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“With the 2014 midterms now eight months away, 15 percent of Americans approve of the overall job Congress is doing,” say Lydia Saad and Andrew Dugan, both analysts for Gallup, who say this has been a pattern since mid-2011.

“If it is partisan rancor that has been driving Congress’ job ratings into the ground since 2010, last month’s drama-free passage of a debt-ceiling increase has done little to ease public concerns,” the analysts write.

“Incumbents running in November still face a highly skeptical public. And while that should concern both parties, Democrats may be especially vulnerable. While President Obama’s suboptimal job-approval score is similar to Reagan’s in 1982, more members of his party are facing competitive Senate races than was true for Ronald Reagan, making Democrats more exposed,” they note.

DESIGNS ON INTELLIGENT DESIGN

Creationists are not the only ones out of favor in academic circles.

Four Indiana state legislators led by Senate Education Committee Chairman Dennis Kruse, a Republican from Auburn, are now taking Ball State University to task for imposing a “speech code censoring faculty speech on intelligent design,” specifically aimed at Eric Hedin, an assistant physics and astronomy professor. He recently suggested that nature displays evidence of intelligent design in an honors course titled “Boundaries of Science.”

The course has been officially canceled, but not without protest. More than 10,000 people signed a petition disputing the action; the legislators have contacted campus officials questioning their judgment and protocols. “We are disturbed by reports that while you restrict faculty speech on intelligent design, BSU authorized a seminar that teaches ‘Science Must Destroy Religion,’” they noted in their letter.

“Thus far BSU has refused to answer many questions about its mistreatment of Mr. Hedin,” says Joshua Youngkin, a lawyer with the Discovery Institute, a nonpartisan, Seattle-based think tank. “BSU even recently filed a complaint with the public-access counselor to delay disclosing emails requested under the Indiana Access to Public Records Act. It’s time for BSU to stop stonewalling.”

BACHMANN JOURNEYS TO BRITAIN

A dose of Yankee wisdom? That could very well be the case when Rep. Michele Bachmann arrives on Friday at the Oxford Union, the famed and august debating society within Oxford University. Founded in 1823, the group has hosted, among many speakers, Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and Winston Churchill.

Organizers describe the Minnesota Republican as “instrumental in forming the House Tea Party Caucus” and “devoted to repealing Obamacare.” Mrs. Bachman will deliver a speech, titled “Seeds of Progress: The Struggle Between Innovation and Bureaucracy,” and plans to examine the bureaucratic impulse to control innovation.

“I believe that it is no coincidence that the greatest explosion of innovation in history accompanied our first experiments with political liberty and free enterprise,” she says. “If we keep our societies open to innovation, we will continue to see breakthroughs that empower individuals to collaborate and transcend the bureaucracies that are thwarting progress.”

POLL DU JOUR

• 56 percent of Americans say the U.S. should not get “too involved” in the Ukraine situation.

• 50 percent of Republicans, 55 percent of Democrats and 62 percent of independents agree.

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