- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 9, 2014

Maybe lawmakers figure that their favorability ratings are just so low that nothing much matters anymore. They are wrong. Voters want them back in the U.S. Capitol acting like responsible elected officials. Nearly four out of five Americans — 78 percent — say House and Senate members should return to Washington for a vote to authorize the use of military force against Islamic State fighters in Syria and Iraq. Return now. Please. So says a Reason-Rupe poll, which also reveals a little something about the voters themselves.

“When asked why Congress didn’t vote on the authorization of military force before leaving for recess, 63 percent of Americans say members of Congress don’t want to put their vote on the official record, 15 percent say Congress doesn’t believe President Obama needs its authorization for military action, and 8 percent feel Congress simply didn’t have enough time to hold the vote,” the poll says.

Ironically enough, Americans approve of military muscle. Two-thirds of the respondents, in fact, support airstrikes against the Islamic State. And while most don’t approve of the idea, 58 percent anticipate that ground troops will be necessary to defeat the militants.

Inquiring minds wonder, then, why Congress is so reluctant to come back and cast a vote that could actually improve their popularity. How mystifying.

But then, it’s like wondering why President Obama attends glittering fundraisers no matter what global crisis happens to surface. During a week fraught with alarm over Ebola and radical Islamic threats, Mr. Obama will appear at six Democratic money-makers in New York and on the West Coast, winding up those appearances Friday evening — with Air Force One left idling somewhere at $279,000 in operational costs per hour. Again. How mystifying.

FOR THE LEXICON

“Ebola Survival Kit”

— Hazard-protection suits with face shield and assorted accessories, now selling online for as much as $1,300 a kit. CNBC has already reported that sales of this type of suit via Amazon has already risen by 131,000 percent.

“Buying hazmat suits is for a very far-fetched scenario, but it’s not going to stop people from buying them. A suit won’t have much use other than as a Halloween costume,” Dr. Amesh Adalja, a University of Pittsburgh infectious-disease specialist, tells The Guardian.

WEATHER OR NOT

Things have cooled down in the global warming industry now that new satellite data released by Remote Sensing Systems reveals that the global mean surface temperature has not risen in 18 years. This data is the primary resource for NASA, NOAA, and the National Science Foundation, incidentally. The findings are not in accord with the United Nations’ International Panel on Climate Change predictions.

Yeah, well.

“When the endless computer models that predicted warming turned out to be wrong, you might think that the news media would report this extraordinary result. When Hollywood actors, economists, and others with no background in science continue to proclaim global warming, we can feel confident to dismiss them,” says Alan Caruba, a policy adviser for the Heartland Institute, and a longtime observer of the nation’s anxiety trends.

“But the worst of this 18-year anniversary of the lack of warming is the fact we have a president, a secretary of state, and others in the Obama administration who continue not only to proclaim warming — now called climate change — but suggesting that it is the greatest threat to the nation and the world,” Mr. Caruba adds.

“The absurdity of this should hold them up to ridicule, but these pronouncements are published without criticism,” he adds.

PRO-LIFE VOTERS MOBILIZE

Both political parties seek to woo the elusive undecided voters, a phenomenon that pro-life fans watch with keen interest. In some races, more undecided voters identify themselves as pro-life than pro-choice, a factor which could sway close Senate races in states such as Arkansas, Louisiana and North Carolina.

New poll findings from the Susan B. Anthony List, for example, find that 20 percent of the voters in the Tar Heel State are undecided about a choice between incumbent Democratic Sen. Kay R. Hagan and Republican Thom Tillis. Out of that number, 21 percent are pro-life, 14 percent pro-choice.

“Senator Kay Hagan is an abortion radical whose stances in support of taxpayer-funded abortion and late-term abortion after five months are deeply unpopular,” says Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the aforementioned List, an organization devoted to electing pro-life candidates.

“A significant portion of pro-life voters are still undecided,” she says, adding that the List has now partnered with the political action committees of Women Speak Out and of Campaign for American Values, both pro-life and values-driven.

“Our team has already reached well over half a million homes with the message that Senators Mary Landrieu, Mark Pryor, and Kay Hagan stand with the abortion lobby, not their constituents. Not only did these senators vote for ObamaCare, which allows our taxpayer dollars to fund abortion on demand, they have all refused to protect unborn children after 5 months — more than halfway through pregnancy,” Mrs. Dannenfelser adds.

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

For sale: “The House that Rockne Built,” South Bend, Indiana. The custom home of legendary Notre Dame coach Knute Rockne, in stately English Tudor style, built in 1929; 4,180 square feet, four bedrooms, three baths on one-half acre. Den, library, living room, two fireplaces, interior archways, decorative moldings, period chandeliers, neutral interior color scheme. Updated kitchen and baths, two-car detached garage. Original leaded glass windows, limestone fireplace, wrought iron fixtures and railings; “impeccable condition.”

Priced at $500,000, property listing No. 21316656 through EncoreSouthebysRealty.com

POLL DU JOUR

68 percent of Americans say professional athletes have a lower level of personal morality than politicians or celebrities.

66 percent of Americans say players and athletes should be held responsible for enforcing moral standards in U.S. professional sports.

65 percent say team owners are responsible for enforcing moral standards; 56 percent cite team coaches.

55 percent say professional athletes should be held to higher legal standards than average people.

32 percent say the athletes are “setting a good example for children.”

24 percent say sports fans should set morality standards for the athletes.

17 percent say they don’t care what happens off-field “as long as my team wins.”

Source: A Harris Poll of 2,016 U.S. adults conducted Sept. 29-Oct. 1 and released Wednesday.

Murmurs and asides to [email protected]

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