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The middle class American Dream appears to be shrinking, according to a new Gallup poll.

Shrinking demographic: 51 percent of Americans now 'middle class' - down from 63 percent

- The Washington Times

And yet another poll focuses upon a cultural moment with political implications. Gallup reveals that the middle class is truly shrinking: Fifty-one percent of Americans now describe themselves as middle class, down from 63 percent seven years ago; 48 percent say they are "working or lower class," up 10 percentage points since 2008. Among Republicans, 55 percent say they're middle class, down 12 percentage points; 49 percent of Democrats say the same, down 10 percentage points.

The alma maters of current GOP presidential hopefuls do not include Ivy League schools. (Washington Times graphic)

Harvard-less: GOP presidential hopefuls have 'delightful' lack of Ivy League credentials

- The Washington Times

A noteworthy phenomenon as 2016 looms on the horizon. Democrats often portray Republicans as pedigreed frat boys who are hopelessly out of touch with voters. It is a convenient and oft-repeated claim. But it doesn't have much truth to it anymore. Many of the current GOP presidential hopefuls are not quite living up to the Democratic claim. Which could be a distinct advantage.

The White House Correspondents' Dinner will host 2,600 guests, even though there are only 260 officially credentialed "correspondents." Over 1,000 would-be guests were turned away. (Photo by J.M Eddins for White House Correspondents Assoc.)

WHCD: One giant dinner, 24 private parties, the Comedian-in-Chief and a cast of thousands

- The Washington Times

One giant dinner and 24 private parties later - and the White House Correspondents Dinner season is almost over. Almost. Sunday still percolates with a few stray parties - like CNN's official "hangover party," staged in a pilates studio a few blocks north of the White House. The main event managed to feed and water 2,600 "correspondents" though, along with the 240 genuine journalists who actually have White House credentials. There was a red carpet, people posed, gawkers screamed and snapped selfies.

What once was: The original White House Correspondents Banquet in 1923, attended by 50 actual correspondents. (Library of Congress)

White House Correspondents Dinner hubbub begins

- The Washington Times

Listen: Chatter and restless hubbub over the upcoming White House Correspondents Dinner can be heard in the nation's capital. It will soon drown out even the loudest caterwaul on Capitol Hill. The pre-pre-parties begin Thursday, heralding the big event on Saturday which includes 3,000 'correspondents' and one president. But go ahead.

Inevitable: An Earth Day trip on Air Force One, jet fuel and all

- The Washington Times

Earth Day could be interesting in Florida: President Obama will journey aboard Air Force to visit the Everglades on Wednesday, burning jet fuel and taxpayer funds as he goes. Well, at least it's not as far as Tokyo, which was his Earth Day destination last year. That venture prompted the London Daily Mail to do the math and reveal that magnificent but pricey aircraft consumes 5 gallons of jet fuel for every mile it flies — emitting over 21 pounds of dreaded CO2 per gallon. The fuel alone costs taxpayers about $180,000 per hour of flight time. Oh, the carbon footprint — and the irony.

Hillary Clinton arrives in New Hampshire on Monday for two days of grass-roots campaigning. (Hollis1138)

Hillary Clinton's next script, New Hampshire style — plus the adoring media

- The Washington Times

Iowa seems so long ago, like ancient history in the instant annals of manufactured politics now annoying voters. But it's forever onward for Hillary Rodham Clinton: It's time for the Democrat's greatest presidential hope to journey to New Hampshire, and a whole new dramatic tableau punctuated by pine forests and clear lakes rather than heartland plains and big skies.

Carly Fiorina (Associated Press)

Pro-life is 'morally just, politically smart'

- The Washington Times

The mainstream press typically overlooks polls that suggest the nation is pro-life; a recent YouGov poll, for example, found that two-thirds of Americans believe that "fetuses in the womb are people," including 80 percent of Republicans and 56 percent of Democrats. One group that does not overlook this is the Susan B. Anthony List, a nonprofit that supports pro-life candidates — set to host a daylong summit and evening gala in the nation's capital on Thursday. Republicans will help them: Sen. Rand Paul appears at the summit, Carly Fiorina serves as mistress of ceremonies at the gala, where Sen. Lindsay Graham — lead sponsor of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act — is the keynote speaker. On hand to receive awards for pro-life leadership: Sen. Joni Ernst and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus.

"Ferguson," A play based entirely on Grand Jury testimony surrounding the shooting death of Michael Brown, debuts in Washington on Wednesday. (Phelim McAleer)

Ferguson the Play debuts in D.C. 'to show the truth the mainstream media is trying to hide'

- The Washington Times

"Verbatim drama" would seem ideal for the nation's capital, home to political theater and media hysteria. Verbatim drama, however, is formally categorized as documentary theater — actors read from real court testimonies, transcripts and other actual documents, yielding dramatic effects that can trump the work of a playwright. Which brings us to "Ferguson the Play," a verbatim drama drawn from Grand Jury testimony surrounding the shooting death of Michael Brown.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., the son of Cuban immigrants. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

'Ripping Rubio': Marco Rubio has drawn an unfriendly media for years

- The Washington Times

A certain Florida Republican has drawn negative press for years. Indeed, Sen. Marco Rubio has been a target since he was elected in 2010, so much so that Geoffrey Dickens, an analyst for the Media Research Center, was inspired to track the historic "ripping Rubio" coverage. Among other things, he found that MSNBC once aired two segments in which contributors called the lawmaker "a coconut," and "pretty boy." This week, the network featured Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz calling Mr. Rubio "a flat-Earth society worshipper" and a "prune" adorned with tinsel.

John Podesta, now chairman of Hillary Clinton for America, is on the team rebranding the Democratic Party's new presidential candidate. (Associated Press)

Humble 'champion' with bedrock values? Hillary gets a campaign makeover

- The Washington Times

The counter-coronation is underway as a reserved Hillary Rodham Clinton arrives on the presidential landscape. But wait. We've seen this before. Democratic strategist David Axelrod recast candidate Barack Obama as "no-drama Obama" during the 2008 presidential campaign after Republicans criticized the presumptuous trim of his campaign.

National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre will be meeting some Republican presidential prospects at the group's annual convention in Nashville, Tennessee. The event is expected to have an attendance of 700,000. (Associated Press)

An audience of 70,000: Republican hopefuls aim to please at the NRA convention

- The Washington Times

Talk about accurate aim. A dozen Republican presidential hopefuls are bound for the National Rifle Association's annual convention, which begins Thursday in Nashville, Tennessee. It is a bodacious and powerful event, expected to draw 70,000 folks intent on affirming their allegiance to guns, guts, fellowship and America — with some prayer, country music and family time to go with it.

Patrick Gavin, a journalist, has written and directed a documentary about the White House Correspondents Dinner - and called it "Nerd Prom, the Movie"

White House Correspondents' Dinner becomes 'Nerd Prom, the Movie'

- The Washington Times

Patrick Gavin has written and directed "Nerd Prom: Inside Washington's Wildest Week." The exuberant but incisive documentary debuts in the nation's capital on Thursday, and it is no exercise in celebrity worship. The audacious Mr. Gavin has focused on the "unadulterated self-celebration" surrounding the White House Correspondents' Dinner.

The Stop Hillary PAC has new money, and lots of members. (Stop Hillary PAC)

Stop Hillary PAC raises $1.4 million, draws 827,000 supporters

- The Washington Times

One group has looked askance at a presidential bid by Hillary Rodham Clinton for almost a year. And they're still not ready for Hillary. Indeed, the Stop Hillary PAC is approaching its first anniversary and reports a few numbers that suggest the public is unnerved as well. The "Stop Hillary" clan now claims 827,000 supporters and has raised $1.4 million for their cause. The organizers have been frank about their mission since founding the group last May — and they have a single focus to prevent Mrs. Clinton from reaching the White House.

Sen. Rand Paul will strike a distinctly presidential pose when he announces his 2016 intentions on Tuesday. (Associated Press)

Inside the Beltway: Step aside: Rand Paul goes presidential

- The Washington Times

Not long ago it was Gov. Scott Walker who was the presidential man of distinction as he bounded on the Republican stage, grass-roots appeal and leadership prowess on full display. Then it was Sen. Ted Cruz's turn, upstaging his rivals by being the first to declare formally that he is running for president, followed by relentless campaigning that included 10 stops in two states on Easter weekend alone. And now comes another man — a Kentucky lawmaker ready to rumble.