And now the most telling two minutes in television, the latest from the political grapevine:
Discrepancy Among Polls
The noted pollster John Zogby, whose surveys have consistently found lower approval for President Bush than other major polling firms, now says Mr. Bush's job approval rating has dipped nearly 10 percent in recent weeks to 62 percent, with the number disapproving swelling to 38 percent. This in contrast to the latest FOX News Opinion Dynamics poll, which puts the president's job approval at 70 percent, with only 19 percent disapproving. And the current Gallup poll finds 73 percent approving the president's performance and 20 percent disapproving.
Standing in the Way
Senator John McCain is obstructing Senate action on all presidential nominees until the president names the person he wants to the Federal Elections Commission. But Republican aides are putting out the word that the person McCain wants on the commission, lawyer Ellen Weintraub, is a "walking conflict of interest." They note that she is married to Senator Feingold's legislative assistant, who helped write the new campaign finance reform law, and they say her law firm represents a number of Democratic Party fund-raising organizations. Those two facts, they say, would mean she would have to recuse herself from about half the cases before the commission.
Rahm Emanuel, the former top Clinton aide who's running for Congress from Chicago with heavy backing from organized labor, has been found by the Chicago Sun-Times to have used non-union labor to do about $70,000 worth of remodeling on his home. Emanuel says it was a mistake and there's every indication he's been fully forgiven. The AFL-CIO is sticking with its endorsement and Congressional Quarterly reports that Emanuel is so flush with campaign money that he's now donating some of it to other Democratic candidates.
Where's the Beef?
On the Senate floor the other day, Appropriations Committee Chairman Robert Byrd of West Virginia, bitterly criticized White House budget director Mitch Daniels for his attempts to rein in what Daniels considers Congressional pork. Calling Daniels a "little Caesar," Byrd accused him of "meddling" and of "lecturing" the Congress. That afternoon there arrived at Daniels office four pizzas, from Little Caesar's pizza parlor -- all with bacon. They were sent by Senate Republican leader Trent Lott.