Inside the Beltway: Rumsfeld rule for Obama

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Question of the Day

Should Congress make English the official language of the U.S.?

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“There is a wider gap in opinions about the NRA’s influence between liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans than in December. In the current survey, 77 percent of liberal Democrats say the NRA has too much influence over gun control laws, up from 59 percent in December. By contrast, more conservative Republicans say the NRA has the right amount of influence than did so in December — 58 percent now, 46 percent then,” the poll says.

THE U.S. REPUTATION

Do we care? A BBC World Service poll of 26,000 people in 25 countries rates Germany as the most popular nation on the planet. But the respondents were fairly finicky, only granting the nation a 59 percent favorability rating. The win is a reward to Germany “for diligent diplomacy,” surmises BBC analyst Stephen Evans.

And the U.S.? The behemoth BBC poll found Canada is in second place, followed by Britain, Japan, France, the European Union, Brazil, the U.S., China and South Korea. The U.S. favorability rating is, incidentally, 45 percent. Iran is at the bottom of the list, with a 15 percent rating.

CULTURAL MOMENT

“Maple Bacon, Blueberry Pancake, Peanut Butter and Jelly, Fireball Cinnamon, Buttered Popcorn, Cherrykran, Lemon Tea, Mango Passionatefruit, Raspberry Pomegranite. Rainbow Sherbet.”

— Among the choices of 21 new flavored vodkas introduced in the first quarter of 2013 by manufacturers.

“Spirits suppliers came to market with compelling products featuring interesting and sometimes unexpected flavor profiles. Consumers were intrigued,” notes Donna Hood Crecca, a senior analyst at Technomics, a consumer tracking group.

POLL DU JOUR

56 percent of U.S. voters say it would be “better” if the U.S. went back to the health care system that was in place in 2009;85 percent of Republicans, 74 percent of conservatives, 30 percent of Democrats and 27 percent of liberals agree.

34 percent of voters overall say it would be better to leave the new health care law in place; 7 percent of Republicans, 18 percent of conservatives, 61 percent of Democrats and 64 percent of liberals agree.

53 percent overall say they expect their health care to be “worse off” as Obamacare goes into effect; 85 percent of Republicans, 70 percent of conservatives, 48 percent of Democrats and 47 percent of liberals agree.

26 percent say their health care will be “better off” when Obamacare goes into effect; 3 percent of Republicans, 16 percent of conservatives, 48 percent of Democrats and 47 percent of liberals agree.

Source: A Fox News survey of 1,013 registered U.S. voters conducted May 18 to 20.

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