Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
If House Democrats have seemed reluctant to attack House Majority Leader Tom DeLay on the issue of his travels, it may be because foreign travel paid for by outside interests is very much a bipartisan undertaking. The AP reports that at least 43 House members — including 23 Republicans, 19 Democrats, and one independent — have disclosed nearly 200 previously unreported trips since DeLay's travel made headlines in March.
Utah Democrat Jim Matheson and his wife racked up more than $24,000 in airfare alone on their trip to Australia last November. And on the Republican Side, a trip to Spain and Israel by Colorado Republican Bob Beauprez cost the Michael Cherney Foundation more than $21,000.
Senate Republicans Lindsey Graham and Mike DeWine have been eager to argue that their participation in the compromise on judicial filibusters was necessary for Republicans to come out ahead and a new poll explains why. Not only do conservatives dislike the deal — just 22 percent of all Americans hold a favorable opinion of it. 37% of those polled by Rasmussen Reports dislike the compromise.
As for the fourteen senators who made the deal, 26 percent of Republicans have a favorable opinion of the group, and 36 percent have an unfavorable opinion. But when it comes to calling the winners and losers, Republicans are evenly divided, while 38 percent of Democrats say Republicans came out ahead.
Crossing Party Lines
South Dakota Republican John Thune has said he'll break ranks with his Senate colleagues and vote against the nomination of John Bolton to be ambassador to the U.N. — as payback for the proposed closure of Ellsworth Air Force Base in his home state. The move has put Thune in hot water with an unlikely group — the Democrats, who have attacked the Senator for flip-flopping on the issue.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee says Thune voted with Republicans on a failed cloture motion to give Bolton an up or down vote — then announced he'd vote against the nomination. Democrats also accuse Thune of praising Bolton just last month, before using the nomination as leverage against the White House.
A popular British effort to fight world poverty has come under fire, after an "ethical audit" showed wristbands sold for the charity are manufactured in Chinese sweatshops.
Hundreds of thousands of the bracelets have been sold in Britain as part of the "Make Poverty History" campaign — and everyone from pop stars to Prime Minister Tony Blair has been seen sporting the white wristbands. But a report obtained by the London Telegraph accuses the manufacturer of using forced labor, providing poor health and safety provisions, and cheating workers out of pay. A spokesman for Oxfam, which bought 10,000 wristbands from the company last fall, called the purchase "a mistake."
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report