And now the most engrossing two minutes in television, the latest from the political grapevine:
State of the Union Response
A new Gallup poll shows 76 percent of Americans say their reaction to President Bush's State of the Union address last night is positive. But that number is noticeably lower than right after President Bush's past State of the Union addresses.
After last January's address, 84 percent of Americans said their reaction was positive, and 94 percent said that the year before -- shortly after the 9/11 atrocities.
Meanwhile, a new ABC-Money Magazine poll shows that Americans' ratings of the economy -- which has become a key issue in the 2004 presidential race -- are now at their best in the past 21 months.
Stopped Short of Support
Speaking of last night's address, the president again stopped short of supporting a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman, saying, as he has done before, that if the courts continue to force the issue he would look to -- "the constitutional process" to solve it.
Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe today said the president had endorsed -- "inserting bigotry into [the] U.S. constitution," adding -- "President Bush's willingness to support such a mean-spirited measure shows that he is more interested in pleasing his right-wing base than demonstrating any compassion."
Lord Can't Say God
Dupo High School in Dupo, Illinois, has kicked the host of its daily broadcast program, senior James Lord, off the program for at least a month for telling people before winter break -- "Have a safe and happy holiday, and God bless."
School Principal Jonathan Heerboth, quoted in the Belleville News-Democrat, insists Lord's comment was inappropriate for public school. Lord, however, says his school has violated his First Amendment rights, and he will appeal the decision. Still, he says, -- "I can't guarantee I won't say it again."
Deceased, At His Desk
A tax office official in Finland died at his desk ... but nearly 30 colleagues and 70 other staff in his department didn't notice for up to two days. They all reportedly assumed he was just silently poring over tax returns. According to the BBC, the head of personnel feels dreadful and has promised to review procedures.
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report
With more than 35 years of journalism experience to draw from, Brit Hume currently serves as a senior political analyst for FOX News Channel (FNC) and contributes to all major political coverage. Hume also is regular panelist on FOX's weekly public affairs program, "FOX News Sunday" on Sundays at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. ET. Click here for more information on Brit Hume.