"Grab this gun before Obama does."
And so advises Rep. Steve Stockman, who is raffling off a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle, which he describes as "almost impossible to find in stores and the No. 1 firearm on the gun banners' wish list." The Texas Republican considers the raffle a "promotion" and it has no entry fee; he'll conduct a drawing on July Fourth, and yes, the winner must undergo a background check.
PRETEND OBAMA IS REPUBLICAN
Significant revelations about Benghazi warranted insignificant news coverage, says an analysis by the Media Research Center. "The Obama administration's politically motivated cover-up of the Benghazi terrorist attacks last September was fully exposed during the House oversight committee hearing on Thursday. Five major bombshell revelations emerged that have, so far, only been given lip service by the three broadcast networks," says Brent Bozell, founder of the conservative watchdog group.
"The media have an obligation to the victims' families and to the American people to investigate these revelations morning, noon and night until the truth is known. If the media are having trouble finding the motivation to do their jobs, they should pretend President Obama is a Republican," Mr. Bozell observes.
Among the bombshells? The study cites testimony that a four-man commando team in Tripoli was denied permission to go to Benghazi and help those under siege. It also cites evidence that the State Department knew the event was a terrorist attack, and also questions why then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was never interviewed about the attacks.
"If ABC, CBS and NBC don't thoroughly investigate and report on each and every one of these bombshell developments, and provide the American public with a true and honest account of the administration's deadly mistakes and outright lies, they will also be guilty of deliberately censoring the news," Mr. Bozell adds.
Rumors that businessmen Charles and David Koch intend to buy major newspapers from the Tribune Co. sparked a media frenzy. The brothers, coverage insisted, were intent on establishing a conservative news empire to rival the liberal press. Now the rumors has sparked a protest rally.
"Hundreds of union workers, environmentalists, good government advocates and others will rally outside the offices of Bruce Karsh in downtown Los Angeles on Tuesday," say union-affiliated organizers; Mr. Karsh is chairman of Tribune, which owns the Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun and Chicago Tribune, among other papers.
"The Kochs' radical right-wing extremism has no place in Los Angeles, particularly at the helm of the LA Times," says Maria Elena Durazo, executive secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, which represents 850,000 local workers. The protesters, she says, will don masks and carry signs emblazoned with the motto "No Koch Hate in LA."
The rumored sale of the newspapers has yet to be confirmed, only suggested by a New York Times story published in April that relied on unnamed sources and informed speculation.
DIPLOMA PLUS INSURANCE
Though $8 million has been given to a major PR firm to market "Obamacare" to a confused public, President Obama hopes to counter any chance that America will buy into Republican uneasiness with the implementation and hidden costs of health care reform. They've got one captive audience however.
"To counter the criticism, the White House has told all Cabinet members and senior officials to use commencement speeches to drive home for graduating college students and their parents the benefits they gain from a provision of the law that allows young adults to stay on their family's insurance plans until they turn 26," says a Bloomberg analysis published Thursday.
"One thing Democrats, Republicans and independents can agree on is that they are not happy with Congress. Nineteen percent of Democrats, 15 percent of Republicans, and 14 percent of independents currently approve," says Gallup analyst Elizabeth Mendes.
"Although Americans overwhelmingly disapprove of the job Congress in general is doing, voters re-elect most members of Congress in every election. This phenomenon is partly explained by the finding that Americans have significantly more positive views of their own representative than they do of Congress overall," she continues.
Forty-six percent approve of their local lawmaker. But it's not necessarily an indicator that voters are getting tenderhearted. This is the lowest rating Gallup has on record for the question, with previous local approval ratings ranging from 49 percent to 66 percent, and averaging 58 percent.
WEEKEND REAL ESTATE
For sale: The "Van Swearingen House," built in 1844, Hannibal, Missouri. Two bedrooms, two baths; 1,673 square feet. Two-story porch overlooks Mississippi River, two blocks from Mark Twain's boyhood home. Original random width maple floors, first floor laundry, fireplace, restored six-over-six windows, new cedar shingled roof, new kitchen, new heat and air conditioning, electrical wiring, plumbing. Price: $99,000. Details at Historicforsale.com.
POLL DU JOUR
• 77 percent of U.S. voters like classical music; 74 percent of Republicans and 76 percent of Democrats agree.
• 71 percent of voters overall like country music; 80 percent of Republicans and 66 percent of Democrats agree.
• 65 percent overall like rock music; 59 percent of Republicans and 67 percent of Democrats agree.
• 53 percent overall like singer Taylor Swift; 55 percent of Republicans and 52 percent of Democrats agree.
• 51 percent overall like singer Beyonce; 36 percent of Republicans and 63 percent of Democrats agree.
• 20 percent overall like singer Justin Bieber; 17 percent of Republicans and 23 percent of Democrats agree.
Source: A Public Policy Polling survey of 571 U.S. voters conducted May 6 and 7.
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