And now the most scintillating two minutes in television, the latest from the wartime grapevine:
Double the Dose, Triple the Trade
Despite periodic sabotage on pipelines and other facilities, the amount of crude oil being produced in Iraq has more than doubled in the last few months, and -- what's more -- the amount being exported has nearly tripled.
According to a Bloomberg survey, 1.86 million barrels of oil are now being produced a day, up from 850,000 barrels in July, though lower than the 2.5 million barrels before the war began. Similarly, 1.15 million barrels a day are now being exported, up from 400,000 barrels a day in July. Oil exports are expected to soon be worth more than $1 billion each month.
The Army general responsible for keeping the streets of Baghdad secure says Iraqi insurgency there is on the decline despite recent major attacks in Baghdad.
General Mark Hertling of the Army's First Armored Division, quoted by the Stars and Stripes newspaper, says -- "the [insurgents] who continue to fight are losing their support. ... The Iraqi Baghdad population is tired of others disrupting their peace." He notes that after last month's deadly blast at a Red Cross (search) office in Baghdad, the military was swamped with tips from Iraqis, and he estimates 90 percent of such intelligence pays off.
Numbers Don't Lie
Democratic House members have criticized President Bush for creating a -- "record deficit this year ... [that] is mainly the result of massive, irresponsible tax cuts," but a new report says Democratic House members have proposed spending increases that -- adjusted over 10 years -- would equal more than twice President Bush's tax cuts this year and in 2001 combined.
This year alone, Democrats in the House have called for nearly 13 times more spending than their Republican counterparts. According to the study, conducted for the National Taxpayers Union (search), House Democrats pushed $417.6 billion in new spending this year, compared with $32.3 billion from House Republicans.
After serving as a top Clinton White House aide, Democratic Illinois Congressman Rahm Emanuel spent two and a half years in the private sector, as managing director of a Chicago investment bank. He started when he was in his late 30s. He did not have a business degree. In fact, he had no prior business experience -- save for running a small political consultancy.
But in those two and a half years, Emanuel made $16.2 million. Emanuel, quoted in the Chicago Tribune, admits the contacts he made in the White House -- "no doubt helped." But he insists -- "that ain't enough to get you over the goal line. At the end of the day, you've got to perform."
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report