- Obama takes aim at ‘corporate deserters’
- Dick’s Sporting Goods lays off 478 PGA golf pros
- Senators: Cease-fire must allow Israel to defend against rockets, tunnels
- Sierra Leone doctor fighting Ebola catches disease
- Iraq welcomes Russian fighter jets, helicopter gunships into ISIL fight
- John McCain laments: Obama’s ‘self-pity … is really kind of sad’
- GOP offer to fix VA gives $10 billion in emergency funds
- Paul Ryan offers to repair U.S. economic safety net with a single grant stream
- Kim Jong-un builds bond with Putin: $250M Russia-backed addition to key port opens
- Pope Francis meets Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman sentenced to death
Inside the Beltway: The appeal of ‘strong America’
Question of the Day
Mention "national security," and voters react. That is what former U.N. ambassador John R. Bolton has discovered. His twin political action committees accrued $1.1 million in the first quarter of the year from some 7,000 small-dollar donors in all 50 states who support Mr. Bolton's "foreign-policy approach of peace through strength," he says.
The John Bolton PAC has $318,038 cash on hand; his super PAC has a treasure chest of $1,135,676. The funds are destined to help elect House and Senate candidates who are keen on national security this year.
"The grass-roots support and the number of contributors in these early days prove two things. First, Americans care strongly about our country's national security, and second, they are deeply concerned about the harm caused to that security over the past five years," Mr. Bolton says. "Candidates supporting a strong America will have the people behind them."
WARM TO BUSH, COOL TO DAVIS
The Lone Star State is still very, very red these days, and new survey numbers have possible implications for the Bush political dynasty and the White House aspirations of Texas Gov. Rick Perry himself.
Republican candidates are leading by double digits in all of the state's major races for 2014, says a Public Policy Polling survey released Tuesday. In the governor's derby, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who bills himself as "conservative to the core," garnered 51 percent of the vote, compared with 37 percent for Wendy Davis, a state senator and pro-choice Democrat with a very high profile.
"Davis had a 39 percent favorability rating right after her famous filibuster last June, but since then, voters in the state have mostly moved toward having negative opinions about her," says pollster Tom Jensen.
"We also looked at the race for land commissioner. It looks like the Bushes should be back in statewide office in Texas. George P. Bush leads Democratic opponent John Cook, 50 percent to 32 percent," he notes.
Mr. Bush, 37, is a lawyer, a U.S, Naval Reserve officer and the son of Jeb Bush. His promise to voters: "I will bring my conservative values and my real-world experience with me." He has conducted a king-sized campaign worthy of his political heritage, complete with extensive bus tour.
Another son will soon lend Mr. Bush a hand. That would be New Jersey state Sen. Tom Kean Jr. — yes, the son of the former New Jersey governor — who will host a private fundraiser for the younger Mr. Bush in May.
Mr. Perry, meanwhile, appears to be back in the proverbial saddle again. The new poll reveals that he has regained the public affection, with 48 percent of voters approving of him, to 44 percent who disapprove. That's up from 39 percent positive approval following his bid for the White House two years ago, Mr. Jensen says.
There is no more environmentally correct Easter eggs than the official White House keepsake Easter eggs, which are virtuously crafted from Forest Stewardship Council-certified U.S. hardwood and are packaged in an eco-friendly gift box made from Sustainable Forestry Iniative-certified paperboard. But that does not resonate much with those who are fowl-friendly.
"I'm writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and our more than 3 million members and supporters to urge you, with all due respect, to use reusable plastic or ceramic eggs instead of hard-boiled chicken eggs at the White House Easter Egg Roll," says Ingrid Newkirk, president of the animal rights group, in a letter to first lady Michelle Obama.
"For chickens on egg-factory farms, Easter is not a time of renewal or joy. It can take up to 34 hours in typically hellish conditions for a hen to produce just one of the thousands of eggs slated to be used at the Easter Egg Roll. Furthermore, encouraging the consumption of cruelly sourced, unhealthy eggs is inconsistent with the goals of the 'Let's Move!' initiative," Ms. Newkirk exclaims.
"Eggs are laden with saturated animal fat and cholesterol, which are primary contributors to some of our nation's top killers, including heart disease and strokes. One single large egg contains more cholesterol than two Big Mac sandwiches do. It's the wrong message to send to children," she concludes.
Mrs. Obama will host the 136th annual Easter Egg Roll on Monday. The event is typically attended by 30,000 parents and children.
A HOPEFUL ADMISSION
"20.16, $201.60, $2,016".
— The staggered admission prices for an upcoming Ready for Hillary PAC fundraiser, scheduled in Boston on Thursday.
90 SECONDS: THE BIG SHUSH
Broadcasters still have little interest in covering IRS scrutiny of conservative tea party groups.
"At this point, it might take a dead body to get the Big Three networks — ABC, ABC and CBS — to give the IRS-Tea Party scandal any sort of real coverage," says Geoffrey Dickens, deputy research director at the Media Research Center, a conservative watchdog.
"Huge developments in the last week — like IRS official Lois Lerner receiving a criminal referral from the House Ways and Means Committee and emails proving she fed tax information on a targeted group to the staff of Rep. Elijah Cummings — were completely censored by ABC and NBC News," Mr. Dickens continues, also citing a new report from Rep. Darrell E. Issa, California Republican, on the IRS, plus revelations that a regional IRS office sported Obama campaign bumper stickers.
"Not one second of ABC or NBC airtime was devoted to any of these major developments. In fact only CBS, in a 90-second story covered the Lerner criminal referral and charges of IRS offices campaigning for Obama," Mr. Dickens says. "Neither CBS, nor any of the other network evening or morning shows covered the other revelations."
SMILEY FACE WINS
The top trending word of the year so far? The Global Language Monitor declares the current winner to be those wordlike entities and "smilies" done up with numbers and markings that are so common in social media. The Texas-based research group bases its conclusions on computerized analysis of word frequency in some 300,000 print and electronic global media, and makes a final declaration of top words at year's end. "Emojis" and "emoticons" win, at least at this point.
"Not only is the English language adding a new word every 98 minutes, but it is also expanding the basis of word creation. The alphabet itself is now expanding beyond letters to numbers and diacritical marks," explains chief analyst Paul JJ Payack, who notes that futeball, ghostplane and blood moon are also trending on the list.
POLL DU JOUR
• 82 percent of Americans say that in marriage, men and women are "equal in every way."
• 75 percent of Americans say marriage is important to them "personally."
• 72 percent say that marriage is less important now than it was to previous generations.
• 67 percent say children should be brought up in a family where the parents are married.
• 57 percent say couples should live together before getting married.
• 57 percent say children should ideally be raised in a household with one stay-at-home parent.
• 49 percent say the term "marriage" should apply only to a man and a woman.
• 39 percent say marriage "is not necessary."
Source: A Harris poll of 2,266 U.S. adults conducted Feb. 12-17 and released Monday.
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