NEWS AND OPINION:
The hippies of yore would never believe it. A jumbo-sized Gallup poll now reveals that baby boomers — who once espoused free love, flower power and took to the streets to protest most anything — now constitute a conservative stronghold. Among those born between 1946 and 1964, a sizable 44 percent say they are conservative; a third describe themselves as moderates, and 21 percent are liberal. In comparison, 38 percent of Americans overall are conservative, 36 percent are moderates and a quarter are liberals.
“The expectation is that baby boomers’ conservative tilt will persist as they continue to age into their 70s and 80s,” writes analyst Jeffrey Jones, a finding that might give pause to the generation which claimed not to trust anyone over 30. The only demographic group more conservative are those born before 1946, where almost half — 48 percent — are self-described conservatives, with a third weighing in as moderates and 17 percent as liberals. The numbers are from 14 Gallup polls conducted throughout 2014, among 16,479 U.S. adults.
And we can’t forget those destined to replace the 76.4 million-member boomer generation in the nation’s voting booths: 28 percent of the millennials born between 1980 and 1996 are conservative, 40 percent are moderates, 30 percent liberals. Then there are the Generation Xers — those born from 1965 to 1979. Among them, 35 percent are conservatives, 39 percent are moderates and 23 percent are liberal.
THAT SECURE FEELING
Behold, a bulletin from the Department of Homeland Security, regarding security at the Super Bowl: The federal agency’s National Protection and Programs Directorate “conducted an active-shooter preparedness workshop, training 150 participants, including members of the Super Bowl Planning Committee.”
Augmenting local law enforcement and first responders in Phoenix will be: the Secret Service, the Transportation Safety Administration, the Federal Air Marshals, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, the National Biosurveillance Integration Center, the Office for Bombing Prevention, along with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. And that’s just a partial list.
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HERE COMES THE BALLOON NUKE
It’s ambitious political theater. Global Zero, an international activist group that pines to rid the planet of all nuclear weapons, takes its case to the National Mall on Saturday afternoon for a public rally, featuring a major prop. The organization is bringing along a 48-foot inflatable nuclear bomb balloon for dramatic effect. The thing is four stories high and will be tethered, weather permitting, just south of the White House, to dramatize the group’s unhappiness with President Obama plans to upgrade the U.S. nuclear arsenal. The event kicks off a traveling protest show set for Atlanta, Nashville, San Francisco and other cities in the near future.
“When I was growing up in the ‘80s, these weapons were at the forefront of everyone’s mind and fiercely debated. But though the danger has grown, the scrutiny has faded,” says artist Joe Hill, who will showcase his 3-D street art depicting a nuclear attack on a city. But then there are the realities of toting a behemoth faux bomb to a highly secure area in the nation’s capital. “We had to get a permit through National Park Service and clear it with the Secret Service,” the campaign’s manager John-Michael Donahue advises Inside the Beltway.
‘VERY VERY MESSY’
OK, so Hillary Rodham Clinton will testify before the House Select Committee on Benghazi in the future, which sounds promising — but not to everybody. “Clinton is following standard political protocol for damage control: to appear upfront and get the bad news, all of it, over with as quickly as possible. Better 2015 than 2016,” writes Investor’s Business Daily columnist Andrew Malcolm. “But there’s a problem. Committee Chair Trey Gowdy says he’d be delighted to talk with her — but only 30 days after he gets all of the Benghazi documents he’s requested from her old State Department. Now run by John ‘You’ve Got a Friend’ Kerry, that department is also following Obama’s standard protocol for damage control, called stonewalling.”
Mr. Malcolm continues, “President Obama‘s done it every time he gets in trouble — Fast and Furious, Solyndra, IRS, VA, Obamacare, Benghazi. Stretch out the process. The media will grow tired. Obama minions can claim it’s old news. Given the D.C. media’s lethargy when it comes to probing Democratic dirt, it’s worked pretty well for Obama.”
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But Mr. Obama will one day leave office, while Mrs. Clinton, perhaps, would like to take his place.
“It could be very, very messy at the same time to have a former federal prosecutor like Gowdy boring in on issues so damaging to someone who wants to be elected president in 21 months. How, despite the ambassador’s repeated pleas, could security have been so poor at that consulate? Why, in fact, was it reduced given her admitted knowledge of the gathering terrorist clouds there?” asks Mr. Malcolm.
GOODWILL AMONG SUPER BOWL GOVERNORS
As Super Bowl Sunday looms, political leaders have a little something going on. Govs. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire and Jay Inslee of Washington have revealed what’s at stake as Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots clash on the gridiron. Win or lose, Mr. Baker has agreed to donate some Boston cream pie cupcakes from the famed Koffee Kup Bakery in Springfield to a Washington state food pantry. Mrs. Hassan, on the other hand, has partnered with the North Country Smokehouse and will donate New Hampshire bacon to the charity, also win or lose. Mr. Inslee and Ivar’s Restaurants in Seattle will donate 1,000 cups of clam chowder to food pantries in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire. It is “soup-er,” Mr. Inslee reasons, adding that the Hawks will fight to the end.
“Our Boston cream pie cupcakes were a lucky wager against the Ravens and Colts, and I hope they will lead us to victory again on Sunday,” counters Mr. Baker.
WEEKEND REAL ESTATE
For sale: The Heim-Haury House, Cannelton, Indiana. Unique Greek Revival style home constructed in 1845 entirely from sandstone left over from a nearby historic church; 2,000 square feet, 12-pane original windows, open interior. Partial restoration: New roof and gutters, restored windows and stone surfacing, foundation and structural repairs, exterior painting, rebuilt floors, drainage improvements, landmark status near Ohio River. Priced at $25,000 through HillendenRE.com; property No. 608, listed under Commercial Property heading.
POLL DU JOUR
• 73 percent overall say the nation is now a “dysfunctional family that remains in crisis mode;” 85 percent of Republicans, 76 percent of independents and 61 percent of Democrats agree.
• 24 percent overall say the nation is a “tight-knit family emerging stronger in challenging times;” 14 percent of Republicans, 19 percent of independents and 37 percent of Democrats agree.
• 50 percent overall say the nation’s level of safety “remains the same” since President Obama took office; 37 percent of Republicans, 51 percent of independents and 63 percent of Democrats agree.
• 34 percent say the nations is “less safe;” 60 percent of Republicans, 33 percent of independents and 9 percent of Democrats agree.
• 15 percent overall say the nation is “safer;” 3 percent of Republicans, 16 percent of independents and 28 percent of Democrats agree.
Source: A Fox News poll of 1,099 registered U.S. voters conducted Jan. 25-27.
• Enjoy the Super Bowl; follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.