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Political Notebook

More Americans say they are 'prolife' in poll

Joe Raymond/Associated PressAlan Keyes (left), former GOP presidential candidate, was instructed to leave the Notre Dame campus before his arrest yesterday at an antiabortion protest in South Bend, Ind. Joe Raymond/Associated PressAlan Keyes (left), former GOP presidential candidate, was instructed to leave the Notre Dame campus before his arrest yesterday at an antiabortion protest in South Bend, Ind. (Joe Raymond/Associated Press)
Associated Press / May 16, 2009
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On the eve of President Obama's controversial commencement speech at Notre Dame tomorrow, a Gallup Poll released yesterday showed a majority of Americans calling themselves "prolife" on abortion for the first time since Gallup starting asking the question in 1995.

The survey, conducted May 7-10, found 51 percent saying they were prolife and 42 percent prochoice - a significant shift from a year ago, when 50 percent were prochoice and 44 percent prolife. Antiabortion groups jumped on the results, pointing out that pollsters suggested that "it is possible that, through his abortion policies, Obama" has had an impact. Republicans and Republican-leaning independents calling themselves "prolife" rose by 10 percentage points over the past year, from 60 percent to 70 percent.

Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a statement: "These polling results confirm a long trend: Americans are increasingly identifying with the position of protecting human life . . . President Obama and the proabortion majority in Congress are in a collision course with public opinion on abortion policy."

Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, disputed the poll, pointing to the success of abortion-rights candidates for Congress and to abortion-rights supporters winning seven ballot measures in South Dakota, California, Oregon, and Colorado since 2005.

Democrats' bill to limit gases would raise little
WASHINGTON - House Democrats' bill to limit gases blamed for global warming would generate a fraction of the money President Obama wanted to get from it to pay for a middle-class tax credit.

Leaders of the House Energy committee officially introduced the 932-page bill yesterday, revealing critical details of the legislation in advance of the panel voting on the measure by the end of next week. The bill would cap carbon emissions and distribute permits to companies to meet increasingly lower pollution targets.

In his budget, Obama called for auctioning off all of the pollution permits, a strategy that would have raised nearly $650 billion over the next decade. Most of the money would have paid for a tax credit to offset higher energy prices expected to be passed down from industries.

But House Democrats said yesterday they plan to auction 15 percent of the allowances to help lower- and middle-income families pay for higher energy bills. The remainder will be given away to a variety of industries and states to ease costs.

Obama's finances stable amid US recession
WASHINGTON - President Obama's personal finances appear to be on sound footing even as the nation's economy struggles, a financial report he released yesterday shows.

Obama and his wife, Michelle, have $1.4 million to $5.9 million in assets, not counting their Chicago home. Their holdings include up to $265,000 in checking accounts. Much of the Obamas' wealth comes from the president's best-selling books, "Dreams from My Father" and "The Audacity of Hope," which brought in about $2.5 million in royalties last year.