And now the most telling two minutes in television, the latest from the political grapevine:
Con-census on California?
California, (search) where Americans once poured in from around the country, is no longer the magnet it once was, according to census data. In fact, if it weren't for the continuing influx of immigrants from other countries the Golden State would have lost population during the last half of the 1990s. More than 3/4 of a million more people left California for other states than came in. Only New York (search) lost more people to other states, losing a net of 874,000 residents. The top gainer was Florida (search), where 607,000 more people came than left.
Questioning the Constitutionality
A New York-based legal advocacy group is now challenging the constitutionality of the U.S.A Patriot Act (search) on the basis that it violates Americans' right to free speech. The Center for Constitutional Rights has filed papers in federal court, saying the antiterrorism law violates the First Amendment (search) by prohibiting, ‘expert advice and assistance’ to terrorist organizations, as deemed by the U.S. State Department. Some American activists want to give humanitarian assistance to groups labeled terrorists, but a Justice Department spokeswoman tells the Washington Post that any kind of support to terrorists groups, ‘poses a potential threat to the American people.’
A new poll out today shows that Democratic Florida Senator and presidential candidate Bob Graham (search) now has the lowest popularity rating ever in his more-than 16-year career as Florida senator. The poll, conducted by Mason-Dixon polling and quoted in the Orlando Sentinel, shows only 47 percent of Floridians say they have a favorable view of Graham. In addition, the poll shows that if Graham were to take on President Bush today, Graham would lose 51 percent to 39 percent.
In her packet for fellow democrats to read over the congressional August recess, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (search), D-Calif., has included detailed instructions on how to throw a 38th birthday party for Medicare (search). The packet, quoted by The Hill newspaper, says…’Order a sheet cake with 'Happy Birthday Medicare' written on it. ... Buy additional party supplies. Be creative. ... You may also wish to purchase additional party favors…horns and whistles can be very useful to 'boo' the Republican agenda.’
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report