Inside the Beltway: Cruz crucible

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Question of the Day

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

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No, it’s not your imagination.

“Americans’ belief that government is too powerful at record level,” says Gallup analyst Joy Wilke, citing new findings from the pollster revealing that 6 in 10 Americans believe the federal government has too much power.

The number is 81 percent among Republicans, incidentally, and 38 percent among Democrats.

THE PRESIDENT’S BUSY, BUSY DAY

While New Yorkers are busy negotiating the traffic challenges posed Tuesday by the United Nations General Assembly, President Obama is busy negotiating his schedule. He addresses the aforementioned big deal gathering in the morning with first lady Michelle Obamapresent.

Then it’s on to a meeting with John Ashe, president of the United Nations General Assembly, followed by a bilateral meeting with President Michel Sleiman of Lebanon, a meeting and a luncheon hosted by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Mr. Obama then journeys to midtown Manhattan for an appearance at the annual Clinton Global Initiative. Will it be, uh, global? Well, maybe. There’s always room for a big finale and a curtain call.

The president and former President Bill Clinton “will engage in a conversation about the future of health care reform in America, and the benefits of expanding access to quality health care around the globe,” the White House notes in an advisory, adding “In the evening, the president will attend an event for the Democratic National Committee” before returning home later in the evening.

DALLY AROUND THE FLAG

Old Glory appears to be losing its cachet among lawmakers currently running for re-election. Many are no longer including the image of the American flag on their campaign websites — for reasons unknown. A University of Minnesota analysis of 441 active campaign websites reveals that 63 out of 221 Republicans use the flag; that’s 28 percent of them. Among Democrats, 37 out of 189 use it, or 24.3 percent overall.

In 2010, nearly half of Republicans (47 percent) and one-third of Democrats (34 percent) featured the American flag on their websites, or 39 percent of those running for re-election. That marks a drop of 39 percent among GOPers, 43 percent among Democrats, and 39 percent overall, says public affairs professor Eric J. Ostermeier, who led the research.

“Is it no longer cool to rally around the flag?” he asks. “Members of Congress seemingly think so, at least when it comes to the visual symbols prominently featured on their re-election campaign websites.”

THE COMMUNION QUESTION

Because of her longstanding support for abortion, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who is a Catholic, must be denied Communion under the law of the Catholic Church. So said Cardinal Raymond Burke, who is head of the highest court at the Vatican. Cardinal Burke made his remarks in a recent interview, basing them on Canon Law, which governs the Catholic Church.

He specifically cited Canon 915, says Michael Chapman, a reporter with CNSnews.com, who notes the law states that Catholics who obstinately persevere “in manifest grave sin” are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.

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