Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
The man heading a European investigation into allegations that the CIA is operating secret prisons in Europe Tuesday accused the U.S. of “outsourcing torture” and said that is “worse than torturing people yourself.”
But in submitting his interim report to the Council of Europe Tuesday, Swiss Senator Dick Marty admits there is no proof or even hard evidence these secret facilities actually exist. Marty blamed the lack of solid evidence on the failure of European governments to support his investigation. The State Department dismissed the report as nothing new.
Supporters of Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito may have considered his Senate confirmation hearings as a series of scurrilous Democratic attacks on Alito's character that drove his wife to tears. But those attacks seem to have backfired. According to a new Gallup poll, public support for Alito ticked up by 10 percent after the confirmation hearings, up from 49 percent before the hearings to 54 percent in the week after the hearings concluded. Those opposed to Alito's confirmation stayed steady at 30 percent.
The poll also found that only one in three Americans believe Alito would vote to reverse Roe v. Wade.
And speaking of the court, ABC's “Nightline” Monday night reported that Justice Antonin Scalia missed the John Roberts swearing in at the White House because he was playing tennis and going fly-fishing at a resort in Colorado, courtesy of the conservative Federalist Society. The report mentioned only in passing that Scalia taught a legal seminar while on the trip, then quoted at some length New York University Law professor Stephen Gillers, who said the whole thing was unethical. While “Nightline” identified the Federalist Society as conservative, it characterized Gillers only as an ethics expert.
In fact, Gillers is a left-wing Scalia critic who once described the prospect of Republican control of both the White House and Congress as a nightmare. As for Scalia, that seminar he taught in Colorado was a 10-hour course for more than 100 lawyers and law students, open to members and non-members of the Federalist Society. He received no fee for it.
Public support for abortion is declining: a trend that might explain why abortion advocates are so concerned over the balance of the Supreme Court. According to a new survey from pollster John Zogby, a 52-percent majority favors abortion, representing significantly lower support than in years past. Zogby points to radically different numbers as recent as seven years ago when the pro-choice majority was in the 65-68 percent range.
Another poll conducted by Hamilton College in collaboration with Zogby finds a conservative trend among high school seniors when it comes to abortion. While most students believe Roe v. Wade should be upheld, the majority supported restrictions on abortion such as parental consent. Two-thirds of the students said abortion was always or usually morally wrong.
— FOX News' Dominique Pastre contributed to this report