New York Mayor's Approval Ratings Getting Low, Low, Low

And now the most telling two minutes in television, the latest from the political grapevine:

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Tough Timing?
A new poll out today by Quinnipiac University shows New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (search) has not only the lowest approval rating of his career, but the lowest approval rating of any mayor in the nation ever polled by Quinnipiac. The poll shows 32 percent -- less than a third -- of New Yorkers approve of Bloomberg's performance, while 56 percent disapprove. The New York Post notes the survey was taken during the time Bloomberg was pushing for higher taxes and the now-in-effect smoking ban.

Not Full Clearance for Clarence
About one-third of the University of Georgia Law School's 30 or so faculty members and one-fourth of its more than 200 graduating students have signed a petition objecting to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas (search) as this year's commencement speaker in two weeks. The Cybercast News Service says that despite Thomas, a Georgia native rising from "humble beginnings" to become a Supreme Court justice, law school professor Donald Wilkes says Thomas is "unworthy" of being the speaker due to his "scandalous Bush v. Gore decision" that legally gave George Bush the presidency. Wilkes added that the decision to invite Thomas in the first place was "appalling, unwise and perverse ... divisive and disrespectful." Nevertheless, the school's invitation stands.

Coalition Commendation
A Norwegian member of parliament has nominated both British Prime Minister Tony Blair (search) and President Bush for the Nobel Peace Prize, commending them for their work in Iraq. Independent Jan Simonsen told Reuters, "Sometimes it's necessary to use a small and effective war to prevent a much more dangerous war in the future," adding that the war had "made it possible to create democracy and respect for human rights in a country which for so many years has been ruled by one of the worst dictators in modern times." Simonsen's nomination missed the Feb. 1 deadline for 2003 nominations, so Blair and Bush will have to wait until 2004 to see if they beat out their fellow nominees, such as Pope John Paul II and U2 front man Bono.

Post-War Pattern
For hundreds of years, as a matter of tradition, England has held religious services after major wars to welcome home soldiers, express the nation's thanks and remember the dead. But the Daily Telegraph says Dr. Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury and an outspoken opponent of the war in Iraq, is now threatening to break from tradition, saying he may not conduct the coming service after the war in Iraq because it could appear "triumphalist."