Are Congressional Democrats Losing Interest In Their Own Policy Meetings?

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Published July 12, 2006

| FoxNews.com

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Calling the Roll

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi has informed party members that she plans to count heads at their weekly policy meetings since attendance at the caucuses has dropped to less than 25 percent of the party's 205 members. Pelosi wrote her fellow House Democrats that the party will be working to crystallize its "New Direction" agenda in the next few weeks, and urged every member to show up.

Roll Call reports that interest in the caucuses has waned in recent months — noting that important decisions are almost never made at the meetings, which have become platforms for opinionated members to air their pet concerns.

Anti-Government Judge?

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered a federal judge off a suit against the Interior Department — finding that he's biased against the government. D.C. District Judge Royce Lamberth, a maverick Reagan appointee, has sided almost exclusively with the Native American plaintiffs in the case, accusing the government of malfeasance and incompetence.

The Appeals Court cited nine rulings as evidence of Lamberth's bias — highlighting one in which the judge called the Interior Department a "morally and culturally oblivious hand-me-down of a disgracefully racist and imperialist government."

Professor Goes Postal

An adjunct professor at the University of Arizona has resigned after her threatening comments about a Web logger's two-year-old son created an online uproar.

Self-described left-wing psychology instructor Deborah Frisch escalated a foreign policy argument with blogger Jeff Goldstein last week, writing that if "someone shot you and your 'tyke' it wouldn't slow me down one iota." She also wrote that she hopes "no one Jon-Benets" the child — a reference to the brutal murder of a young Colorado girl ten years ago — and made disturbing sexual remarks about the boy.

Frisch, who stepped down after her department was flooded with e-mails, has apologized to Goldstein, but tells Inside Higher Ed that the real issue is "how these rabid, crazy, right-wing nutcases have stalked me, told on me, reacted totally out of proportion to a joke in bad taste."

Why Is It Warmer?

Seventy percent of Americans agree that the earth is getting warmer, but they're not so sure carbon emissions have anything to do with it. That according to the latest Pew poll in which just 41 person say global warming is due to human activity, while another 41 percent think it's either due to natural patterns in the earth's environment or that there is no solid evidence that the Earth is heating up at all.

Whether or not Americans think global warming is happening, they're not too concerned about it. Just 19 percent say they're worried a great deal about climate change, while 47 percent say they're worried only a little or not at all.

—FOX News Channel's Aaron Bruns contributed to this report.

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