The Fix: The least-loved political leaders in America aren’t named Barack Obama

Want to be despised by the American people? Forget becoming president; you should be a party leader in Congress.

The most unpopular folks in Washington, it seems, are the two leaders of the Senate and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

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In the Loop: Lew: It’s good that the fiscal fight can take ‘a back seat and simmer down’

Loop fans may recall that back in July we observed that the frenzy over the nation’s deficit and debt had tempered, if not completely dissipated. Turns out we aren’t the only ones who noticed.

Speaking Tuesday at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew remarked that deficit reduction “is not as urgent a priority as it was a few years ago.” And he’s quite pleased about that.

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Federal Eye: VA moves to fire two top officials with ties to scandals

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced Monday that it plans to fire two key officials, one who served as head of a troubled regional health network and the other a top contracting officer who allegedly steered work to a Virginia firm.

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Resolved: Harry Reid and John Boehner are very unpopular

The top-ranking members of the House and the Senate are not popular guys.

A new Gallup poll released Monday shows that only about one in five Americans say they hold a favorable impression of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and fewer than one in three same the thing about House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). Even within their own political parties, both men have total favorable ratings under 50 percent.

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The Fix: A reporter misidentified Kevin McCarthy. So did a lot of Fix readers.

A few months ago, the Fix published a quiz called “Name that member of Congress,” which showed how hard it is to tell one politician from another. There were 13 questions, and the average person got five — 5! — right.

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In the Loop: Does Congress need clearer conflict of interest rules?

Nearly two years ago, when the House Ethics Committee issued its report on conflict of interest allegations against Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.), the panel made a suggestion: The House needed to more clearly define what constitutes a conflict of interest.

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The Fix: Why 2014 isn’t the year of the woman

Given the number of women running in top-flight Senate races, one would think this could be a pretty good year for women in Congress.

But that’s not quite the full picture.

What some have labeled the “Year of the Woman” is not turning out that way in terms of overall congressional candidates or nominees. While women will make up the majority of voters, as they typically do, the ballots and the winner’s circle will be about as overwhelmingly white and male as it always is. More men run; more men win.

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