Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Doing His Homework
As we mentioned on Wednesday's broadcast — despite frequent statements that he is not a candidate — New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has commissioned an exhaustive coast-to-coast voter research effort to determine the viability of an independent presidential bid. The Associated Press reports results from the months-long study will be reviewed soon.
Meanwhile a Quinnipiac University poll of New York City voters finds 52 percent say Bloomberg would do a good job. But only 16 percent want to see him go for it. Sixty-one percent say Bloomberg has a moral obligation to serve out his term as mayor.
If Bloomberg does run for president, 34 percent say they will definitely or probably support him – 58 percent say they probably will not.
Both Sides Now
As the Supreme Court considers whether Indiana's voter ID law is constitutional — one woman has become a poster child of sorts — for both sides of the argument. An Indiana newspaper reports opponents of the law had used 72-year-old Faye Buis-Ewing as an example of how it hurts seniors.
Ewing spends her winters in Florida — and her Florida drivers license was rejected by Indiana voting officials on election day 2006. She spent four hours getting an acceptable photo ID so she could vote.
But — now it turns out Ewing was registered to vote in both Indiana and Florida — which is illegal. so supporters of Indiana's photo ID law are pointing to Ewing's case — as an example of why the law is needed in the first place — to prevent voter fraud.
Crime and Punishment
Iranian authorities in the southeastern city of Zahedan have carried out the seldom-used punishment of amputation against five criminals. Radio Free Europe reports the men convicted of armed robbery, hostage taking and firing on police had their right hands and left feet amputated — a practice called "cross amputation."
International rights organizations call amputation torture. The punishments come six months after a man was stoned to death in Gazvin province for committing adultery.
Capital punishment was not invoked in the case of a teacher who patted a student on the head in Wisconsin — but she has had to leave the school. Media reports say the teacher either tapped or rapped the fifth grader on the head — in a manner described as either encouraging — or attention-getting.
Anyway, the student complained to his mother — who reported an assault and battery. Four police and sheriff's squad cars were dispatched, along with three detectives. In the end — police ruled the teacher had not hit the child — but displayed poor judgment.
The 18-year teaching veteran was then reassigned to another school in what the school district calls an effort to avoid a disruption in the learning environment.
— FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.