Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
An Alito critic who was hastily dropped from the witness list this week is complaining that he was done in by "half-truths and innuendoes" on the Internet. Stephen Dujack was set to detail Alito's relationship with the controversial conservative group Concerned Alumni of Princeton, but was asked not to testify after senators learned he'd once compared factory farming to the mass murder of Jews during the Holocaust.
Dujack was defending the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals for building an ad campaign around a similar comparison from his famous grandfather, author and vegetarian Isaac Bashevis Singer after critics complained that one of Singer's literary characters, not the author himself, had used the Holocaust analogy. But in a new Los Angeles Times op-ed, Dujack writes that not only did his grandfather believe in the comparison and Dujack agreed with him.
Opening statements in the Alito confirmation hearings took place on Monday, but one might not have recognized that Senators had moved on to question and answer sessions from watching the hearings over the past two days. New York Democrat Chuck Schumer talked for 75 percent of his allotted Q&A time Wednesday, while Massachusetts Democrat Ted Kennedy talked for 69 percent.
On the other side of the aisle, Ohio's Mike DeWine talked for 72 percent of the allotted time, while South Carolina's Lindsey Graham talked for 65 percent. But by far the biggest abuser was Delaware Democrat Joseph Biden — who began his 30-minute interrogation yesterday with a 13-minute opening "question" and talked for 78 percent of the allotted time. Biden continued his windy ways today speaking for 68 percent of his time.
Terror Investigation vs. Personal Privacy
Sixty-five percent of Americans think investigating possible terrorist threats is more important than protecting personal privacy. That according to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll, which also shows that 48 percent are worried that President Bush won't go far enough to investigate terrorism because of concerns about constitutional rights.
What's more, while 64 percent of respondents believe federal agencies are intruding on some Americans' privacy rights, 49 percent of those say those intrusions are justified. Forty-six percent think they're not justified.
Big Brother Bush?
The president of Democrats.com has had enough of the administration's "spying" on Americans so he's offering to pay volunteers to spy on the administration. Bob Fertik, who also founded Women Leaders Online and the anti-war Web site AfterDowningStreet.org, writes that phone records for anyone in the U.S. can be bought for just $110 and has offered to reimburse volunteers who buy the records for prominent Republicans like Alberto Gonzales, Karl Rove, and John Ashcroft.
Fertik says, "I know there are people who think it's wrong to behave like Republicans," but adds "If we don't take action ourselves, Big Brother Bush will never stop watching us."
— FOX News' Aaron Bruns 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.