Inside the Beltway: Zero hour

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He’s bandying about a potential guest list and welcomes suggestions. On the dream roster so far: National Rifle Association Chairman Wayne LaPierre; Rep. Michele Bachmann, former Florida congressman Allen B. West, Michelle Malkin, Ted Nugent, Herman Cain, Ann and Mitt Romney, plus representatives from Chick-fil-A and Hobby Lobby. Follow the developments here: glennbeck.com.

Secretary Krugman

After Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, suggested in a Guardian opinion piece that Paul Krugman be nominated for Treasury secretary, The New York Times op-ed columnist swung into blushing denial.

“I’m flattered, but it really is a bad idea. The main point, as I see it, is that it would mean taking me out of a quasi-official job that I believe I’m good at and putting me into one I’d be bad at,” Mr. Krugman wrote in a blog.

“Let’s talk frankly about the job I have. The New York Times isn’t just some newspaper somewhere, it’s the nation’s paper of record. As a result, being an op-ed columnist at The Times is a pretty big deal — one I’m immensely grateful to have been granted — and those who hold the position, if they know how to use it effectively, have a lot more influence on national debate than, say, most senators. Does anyone doubt that the White House pays attention to what I write?”

Academic bliss

So what is the least stressful job in America? According to CareerCast.com, the breeziest job of all is university professor. In second place is seamstress, followed by medical records technician, jeweler, medical lab technician, audiologist, dietician, hairstylist, librarian and, in 10th place, drill press operator. The group based its choices on a spectrum of factors such as salary and job outlook. For the professors, it’s got to be the money.

Harvard University pays full-time professors $198,400, with a 7:1 student-to-professor ratio, while University of Chicago professors receive $197,800 per year with a 6:1 ratio. Among public universities, the University of California at Los Angeles is highest paying, with an average wage of $162,600 for its full-time staff, according to CareerCast analyst Kyle Kensing.

Poll du jour

• 45 percent of Americans approve of the “fiscal cliff” deal.

• 26 percent of Republicans, 32 percent of conservatives, 66 percent of Democrats and 60 percent of liberals agree.

• 52 percent overall approve of President Obama’s “performance” in the fiscal cliff deal.

• 27 percent of Republicans, 36 percent of conservatives, 81 percent of Democrats and 74 percent of liberals agree.

• 31 percent overall approve of House Speaker John A. Boehner’s performance.

• 38 percent of Republicans, 37 percent of conservatives, 27 percent of Democrats and 28 percent of liberals agree.

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