And now the most telling two minutes in television, the latest from the wartime grapevine:
A new poll shows that -- after three weeks of intense and deadly violence in Iraq -- approval for how the president is handling the situation there has dropped. In addition, the Gallup Poll shows only 52 percent of Americans now say it was worth going to war in Iraq, down from 56 percent three weeks ago. And -- in one week alone -- the number of Americans who say the U.S. needs to send more troops to Iraq has significantly increased.
However, President Bush has nonetheless lengthened his lead over Democratic rival John Kerry in one week. President Bush would now beat John Kerry by six points if elections were held today, with Ralph Nader in the race. That's up from four points a week earlier. And, significantly more Americans say they trust President Bush, rather than Kerry, to handle the situation in Iraq.
Moore's Make of It
Speaking of the deadly violence in Iraq, filmmaker and left-wing activist Michael Moore says -- "The majority of Americans supported this war ... and, sadly, that majority must now sacrifice their children until enough blood has been let that maybe -- just maybe -- God and the Iraqi people will forgive us."
Moore also says U.S. contractors in Iraq -- some of which have been murdered and mutilated -- "are not contractors. ... They are mercenaries and soldiers of fortune. They are there for the money." As for the Iraqis who kill Americans, Moore says -- "They are the Revolution, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow -- and they will win."
Casting Doubt on Some Details
A new report by the 9/11 commission is casting doubt on some of what we thought we knew. For example, the commission says that, in fact, box cutters were likely not the terrorists' weapon of choice. The commission says that hijackers probably used Leatherman utility knives -- which were permitted on aircraft and which two of the hijackers owned. Box cutters were banned.
According to the LA Times, the commission also disputes allegations that Saudis in the Bin Laden family were allowed to leave the U.S. on chartered jets right after 9/11. While some bin Laden relatives were allowed to leave the country, the commission says that, in fact, nobody was allowed to leave while other flights were still grounded, and everyone who left was screened by federal agencies.
Food for Thought ... but Not for Eating?
President Bush's re-election campaign has ended its latest fundraising tour with a luncheon in Charlotte, North Carolina. For $2,000 a plate, participants were served seared beef tenderloin, golden tomatoes and fruit. Thing is, no silverware was provided.
What's more, it was at the request of the White House. According to a White House aide, quoted by the Wall Street Journal, officials didn't want participants eating during the president's speech.
— 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.