Pothole Problems

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Political Programming?

Embattled House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (search) has sent a letter to NBC President Jeff Zucker accusing the network of "slurring" him on this week's episode of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent." (search) In the episode, a police detective investigating a right-wing group's link to the murder of an appellate judge said this: "Looks like the same shooters. CSU found the slug in a post, matched it to the one that killed Judge Barton. Maybe we should put out an APB [all-points bulletin] for somebody in a Tom DeLay T-Shirt."

DeLay calls that a "disturbing misuse of my name" and a "brazen lack of judgment," insisting "this trivialization of the sensitive issue of judicial security represents a great disservice to public discourse."

Network executives at NBC, however, insist the dialogue was not meant to be a political comment. But Dick Wolf, the creator of the popular series, put a more political spin on the matter, saying "I congratulate Congressman DeLay for switching the spotlight from his own problems to an episode of a TV show."

Is George Bush 'our modern day George Wallace'?

Republicans are condemning Iowa Democratic Senator Tom Harkin (search) for saying President Bush's opposition to expanding federally funded embryonic stem cell research makes him "our modern day George Wallace (search)."

Wallace, you may recall, was the Alabama Governor who in 1963 stood in a doorway at the University of Alabama to stop two black students from enrolling. In a conference call with reporters Thursday, Harkin insisted, "The fact is, that the walls of segregation were going to come tumbling down, we were going to move ahead with integration, and no matter what George Wallace did, it was going to happen. And I think it's the same way with President Bush."

The Republican National Committee calls the comparison "over the top" and "outrageous."

Pothole Problems

California Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (search) — hoping to promote road and transit projects across the state — went to a quiet neighborhood of San Jose Thursday, and helped 10 city road workers fill in a massive pothole. Standing before a swarm of cameras, he insisted, "I'm here today to let everyone know that we're going to improve transportation."

But it turns out the pothole he helped fix wasn't a problem just hours before because it wasn't even there. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the crew dug it up, specifically for the event. And, what's more, the nice clean vests that the workers wore were given to them, brand-new, Thursday morning.

Passionate About Soccer

In the Middle East, Reuters news agency says Israeli soldiers have barged into a Palestinian home in the West Bank city of Hebron (search) and reportedly broken furniture and windows while on their mission. Were they looking for contraband? No. Were they looking for an alleged terrorist? No.

Why, according to an Israeli military source quoted by Reuters, they were looking for a TV with a satellite dish so they could watch Wednesday's Champions League soccer (search) final between AC Milan and Liverpool — two of Europe's best teams. Liverpool ended up winning after a dramatic comeback. Reuters says the commander in charge of the Israeli soldiers has now been suspended.

— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report