Mike Berman’s Washington Watch

No. 128

State of the Nation

62% say that the country is off on the wrong track, according to the most recent NBC/WSJ survey. This represents the highest number who feel the country is on the wrong track since 69% expressed that view in December 2011....

The Differences an Election Makes

The section entitled “The Role of Washington is Changing” in the previous WW drew a question from one reader: What did this data look like before the 2010 election? In the following pages, the material in italics is the pre-2010...

President Obama

The public’s grade for the job President Obama is doing (as found by Gallup) is 43% approval/48% disapproval. Of the 5 previous two-term Presidents at this point in their second term this is better than only Richard Nixon. The list...


It is way too early to handicap the 2016 Presidential race. So, for the foreseeable future the Watch’s only attention to the race will be to keep a running list of folks who are getting serious mention. The list has...

The Congress

In the most recent CNN/ORC survey, 20% approve of the job being done by Congress, while 78% disapprove. This is the highest approval number recorded in the six times this survey question has been asked in this poll since January...

1,000 dinners and A View from the Commode

A thousand plus dinners Have you ever said to someone with whom you are having dinner, “we must have had 100s of meals together?” One night, a few weeks back, Rita Braver and Bob Barnett, Debbie and I were having...

Restaurant: Newton's Table

Bethesda, Maryland: Newton’s noise level is quite muted. In so many restaurants, having a reasonably voiced conversation with the others in your party is a task, because the restaurant is so noisy overall. The ceiling and the floor at Newtons’s are covered in material designed to absorb sound.

Restaurant: Casa Luca

Washington, DC: The restaurant’s menu uses descriptive words for various dishes that remind one of an “old style” Italian restaurant.The fact that wine is served in tumblers rather than more conventional wine glasses is also reminiscent of the old style. The pastas are made daily in-house.

Restaurant: Nopa

Washington, DC: The restaurant is on the 2nd floor of the building at 800 F Street. There are two flights of stairs, one outside and the other inside the restaurant.

Restaurant: Obelisk

Washington, DC: David, who is clearly a fan, said that if he had to choose one restaurant at which to eat every meal, it would be Obelisk. When I asked what he would do about breakfast and lunch, since Obelisk is only open for dinner, he suggested that he probably would not need the other meals.