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D.C. Notebook: Cockroaches more popular than Congress

Published January 13, 2013 4:22 pm

Politics • But the nation's Legislature does rate higher than gonorrhea and North Korea.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

How far has the public's opinion of Congress dropped?

Well, let's put it this way: Cockroaches are now more popular.

Also: colonoscopies, head lice, traffic jams, Genghis Khan, used-car salesmen and Brussels sprouts.

A survey by Public Policy Polling finds that the federal legislative body has suffered in the wake of the last-minute showdowns over the fiscal cliff. For example, those surveyed said they had a higher opinion of root canals (56 percent) than Congress (32 percent).

But Utah's members of Congress should take heart in the fact that the body as a whole did beat out many other undesirable things, including lobbyists, North Korea, the ebola virus, the Kardashians, Lindsay Lohan, meth labs and, yes, gonorrhea.

Romney swag • Looking for that one-of-a-kind Mitt Romney memorabilia to remind you of his historic bid for the presidency?

Well, you might have missed out.

A Craigslist ad recently offered up a 300-pound steel sign shaped like Iowa that features Romney's campaign slogan — all for free, as long as you were willing to drive to Urbandale, Iowa, and haul it away.

Romney, the first Mormon heading a major-party presidential ticket and a politician with deep Utah ties, spoke in front of the large steel sign in Iowa several times as he campaigned there ahead of the state's Republican caucus.

The National Journal says that the new landlord of a former Romney campaign office reportedly wants the sign gone.

The Craigslist ad, sadly, was pulled down within hours, so it appears either someone jumped on it quickly or Romney snatched it up to grace his living-room wall.

Gore may top Romney • Former Vice President Al Gore recently sold his upstart company Current TV to Al Jazeera in a $500 million deal, and the cash windfall could actually make Gore richer than Romney.

Romney, of course, was characterized in his presidential bid as an out-of-touch rich guy, but that wasn't the case during Gore's run in 2000 when he had assets closer to $2 million.

But Gore has a 20 percent stake in Current TV, and his net proceeds, buoyed by his business and consulting work in the last decade, could put him north of $300 million in net worth, Forbes estimates.

Romney, meanwhile, has a fortune of about $230 million. Neither ex-presidential hopeful, though, has the White House.

Like me, please • Nestled between an offer for a new credit card and a shag rug, an ad popped up on Facebook recently asking users to "like" Rep. Jim Matheson's page: "What should I be working on in Congress? Like my page and tell me today."

Matheson, by this week, had snatched up 5,400 or so likes, but he has a ways to go if he wants to top Sen. Orrin Hatch's nearly 25,000 likes.

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Thomas Burr reports from Washington, D.C. He can be reached at tburr@sltrib.com or via Twitter @thomaswburr