Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Jordanian-born terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has been replaced as Al Qaeda's chief of operations in Iraq because of a series of high profile mistakes. The Washington Times quotes a leading Islamist with ties to Usama bin Laden who says Zarqawi's role in the organization has been "limited to military action" after making what he called political errors — including beheadings and bombings that turned Iraqi opinion against the terrorists.
But counterterrorism expert Rita Katz tells the paper that Zarqawi has not been demoted, but is merely leaving the Iraqi resistance in the hands of an Iraqi before moving on to pursue global jihad.
Boycott for Immigration
Immigration rights organizers behind last week's massive demonstrations are calling for a nationwide boycott of work, school and shopping on May 1 to protest a stern House proposal on immigration reform. The ANSWER Coalition to stop war and end racism — a loose collection of left wing organizations — is calling it the "Great American Boycott of 2006," and is planning additional marches and rallies in at least 30 cities next week to win full rights for illegal immigrants.
The group credits last week's protests with influencing the Senate Judiciary Committee to pass a more immigrant friendly reform package.
Talking the Talk
Psychologists at the University of Texas think they may know what propelled President Bush to victory in 2004 — he sounded more presidential than his Democratic opponent. Researchers analyzed 271 speeches, interviews, debates and press conferences from the 2004 presidential campaign looking for words, sentences, and speech patterns that may have affected voters' perceptions of each candidate.
The Washington Post reports that Vice President Cheney sounded by far the smartest of the four candidates, while he and President Bush sounded the most presidential.
Democratic Vice Presidential nominee John Edwards, meanwhile, was the most feminine sounding candidate, while John Kerry came across as depressed.
British papers are calling it "Bedgate." During their surprise flight from Liverpool, England to Iraq last week, Condoleezza Rice offered Britain's obviously exhausted Foreign Secretary Jack Straw the use of the sofa bed in her suite onboard her government plane. But Straw says when he awoke he was "mortified" to discover that the arrangement forced the Secretary of State to sleep on the floor.
The Scotsman reports that staff even had trouble clearing the galley because Rice's air bed was in the way. An embarrassed Straw called Rice's sacrifice a textbook case of Southern hospitality.
— FOX News' Aaron Bruns contributed to this report.