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Special Report

Even During the Civil War?

And now the most telling two minutes in television, the latest from the political grapevine:

Even During the Civil War?

Robert Traynham, the highest-ranking black Republican staffer on Capitol Hill, says he is -- "deeply perplexed by the silence we hear from [ Democrats]" over Connecticut senator Chris Dodd, who last week said West Virginia democrat Robert Byrd, a former Ku Klux Klan member, -- "would have been a great senator at any moment [in U.S. history]," including during the Civil War.

After all, Traynham says, -- "[Democrats are] the very same people who express outrage when they hear Republicans make comments they believe embody discriminatory sentiments."

In fact, a year and a half ago Dodd called Mississippi Republican Senator Trent Lott -- "irresponsible and inappropriate" for suggesting then Senator Strom Thurmond should have been elected president in 1948, when he was running as a segregationist.

Media Missed It?

Speaking of Dodd's remarks, you'd have a hard time knowing about them from major media. CNN, USA Today, The New York Times, and the Washington Post have ignored the story. Even the largest newspaper in Dodd's home state, the Hartford Courant, hasn't said a word. So far, only the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call has published the story.

Approval at Lowest Level This Year

A new poll shows that President Bush's job approval is at its lowest level this year. According to the Rasmussenreports.com poll, 49 percent of Americans now approve of the president's job performance, down from 51 percent last week.

In addition, the poll shows that -- in the wake of this week's deadly violence in Iraq -- 44 percent of Americans now say the president is doing a poor job in Iraq, up from 38 percent last week.

The drop in his approval ratings appears to be the result of events in Iraq, because more Americans now approve of the way President Bush is handling the economy, going from 36 percent last week to 39 percent this week.

Tough Times?

The New York Times is still having a tough time with the alleged connection between Africa and Saddam Hussein's weapons. The Times has said the president backed off the claim that Iraq tried to buy uranium from Nigeria.

But the country in question is Niger and the president never mentioned it by name. The Times issued a correction today.

Three months ago, the Times said the president, in last year's State of the Union Address, cited -- "what turned out to later be sharply disputed British intelligence that Iraq ... tried to buy uranium from Niger."

But the president never mentioned Niger in that address. So the Times issued a correction, saying that in fact -- "the president said Iraq had been seeking to buy uranium from Africa." But that wasn't exactly true either -- the president had never directly made the accusation, instead attributing it to British intelligence.

FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report