San Francisco mayor, council, ban trips by city officials to Arizona over the state's controversial new immigration measures; seek means of withdrawing from all existing supplier contracts with AZ firms. This is one to watch: Arizona was a holdout to Martin Luther King Day until conventioneers across America began blacklisting the state, after Phoenix successfully pressured then governor Evan Mecham, later imprisoned for ethical misconduct, and senior U.S. senator John McCain to drop their opposition to recognizing the civil-rights hero's birthday.
Obama still most popular national politician, at 49% approval in Gallup poll, down from peak of 67% approval at this time last year. But incumbent Hill legislators are at a low not seen since 1994, when Dems lost both houses to G.O.P. Thing is, survey respondents aren't keen on G.O.P. either. WaPo says:
Still, for President Obama and his party, there are some positive signs in the poll. The public trusts Democrats more than Republicans to handle the major problems facing the country by a double-digit margin, giving Democrats a bigger lead than they held two months ago, when Congress was engaged in the long endgame over divisive health-care legislation. A majority continues to see Obama as "just about right" ideologically, despite repeated GOP efforts to define the president as outside the mainstream.
In election mode, Obama wows crowds at two Iowa stops in midwest tour. In Ottumwa, hometown of Radar O'Reilly character in long-running "M*A*S*H*" TV series, local Courier reports standing ovation for Obama on HRC, Meanwhile, Rasmussen national poll finds 58% favor repeal of HRC. Go figure.
Can't imagine why Meg Whitman wants to exchange running eBay for the Golden State, lately labelled "the crazy state." Don't grasp her credentials, either, unless selling at the top before eBay shares swooned counts. (AP)
Andrew Cuomo sues Pedro Espada, state senate majority leader, no less, for abusive labor practices at his moonlighting business. Top Empire State official still reeling from separate Cuomo charges last week that Espada siphoned $14 million from his Bronx-based non-profit. Sacramento may be chronically dysfunctional, but Albany is ground zero for corruption, says veteran capital-affairs reporter. (Christopher Ketcham, Harper's; subscription required)
The summit that ate Toronto: G-20 conclave claims Trinity Bellwoods Park as designated pen holding area quarantine zone gathering point for protesters. (Toronto Star)
Nancy Drew, 80 years young, still wows contemporary readers. (Toronto Star)
All three women who have served on the Supreme Court—Sandra Day O’Connor, 80, raised on an Arizona ranch; Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 77, who is Jewish, and Sonia Sotomayor, 55, a Puerto Rican, both from New York—cite Nancy Drew as an early influence.
Laura Bush writes about killing a schoolmate in fatal crash of car she drove at 17, her fear of poisoning and other personal revelations. True to form, classy First Lady waited till retirement to satisfy a public curiosity that would have been distracting if revealed while she was still running the East Wing.
In those awful seconds, the car door must have been flung open by the impact and my body rose in the air until gravity took over and I was pulled, hard and fast, back to earth,' she says. 'The whole time', she adds later, 'I was praying that the person in the other car was alive. In my mind, I was calling ‘Please, God. Please, God. Please, God,’ over and over and over again...
'I lost my faith that November, lost it for many, many years,” she says. 'It was the first time that I had prayed to God for something, begged him for something, not the simple childhood wishing on a star but humbly begging for another human life. And it was as if no one heard. My begging, to my seventeen-year-old mind, had made no difference. The only answer was the sound of Mrs. Douglas’ sobs on the other side of that thin emergency room curtain.'
Today's shocker: Toyota recalls some Sequoias for unexpectedly slowing. Till now, the beleaguered automaker has been laid low by recalls of vehicles that unexpectedly accelerate. (San Jose Mercury News)