Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Passed Over In Poll
The Washington Post (search) has a front-page headline Tuesday, based on its new poll, that says, "Filibuster Rule Change Opposed." But the poll makes no mention of filibusters, whatsoever. Nor does it mention that new rules would apply to all future Presidents, Democrat or Republican, or to any Senate, Democrat or Republican. Instead the Post/ABC News poll asked, "Would you support or oppose changing Senate rules to make it easier for the Republicans to confirm Bush's judicial nominees?"
To that, 66 percent said no. If you doubt whether the framing of a poll question can influence the outcome, consider this: When a Republican poll said, "Even if they disagree with a judge, Senate Democrats should at least allow the President's nominations to be voted on," 81 percent said they agreed.
GOP Arguments Fail The Smell Test?
The Minneapolis Star Tribune (search) says Republican arguments against filibustering judges are "sheer sophistry," and "fail [the] smell test." But not so long ago it was the filibuster that didn't smell so hot, to the Star Tribune which called GOP filibusters over then-President Clinton's proposals a "putrid flood of verbiage" and a "worsening threat to American democracy."
As the Web log Powerline (search) points out, the paper concluded that politicians should "crusade for changes in Senate procedures that would prevent an obstructionist minority from delaying action indefinitely." The deputy editor of the Star Tribune's editorial page, however, disputes that his paper ever called for a rules change.
Latest Bolton Attack
The latest attack on U.N. Ambassador nominee John Bolton (search) comes from Frederick Vreeland (search), desribed by the AP as "a former U.S. ambassador to Morocco ... who worked with Bolton in the early 1990s." But Vreeland turns out to be quite a bit more than that. He's a noted Bush critic, who's affiliated with the group Diplomats and Commanders for Change, which opposed President Bush's re-election, and says on its web site that it's "deeply concerned by the damage the Bush Administration has caused to our national and international interests." What's more, in 2003, Vreeland wrote an article calling the terrorist bombings in Morocco "collateral damage" from U.S. efforts against terrorism.
"9/11: The Road To Tyranny"?
A professor at North Carolina Wesleyan College (search) in Rocky Mount is defending her course titled, "9/11: The Road to Tyranny," which teaches that the official story of the 9/11 attacks is actually a government cover-up. According to one required text, the attacks were orchestrated and carried out by U-S government elites themselves. Professor Jane Christensen (search) insists, "I teach the truth about 9/11 ... This is a war by the extreme right wing motivated by the Zionists to quash academic freedom." So what does the school think about all this? Well, its President says, "We don't tell professors what to think. We don't tell professor what to teach. ... that's what [Saddam Hussein] did."
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report