The latest from the Political Grapevine:
Majority vs. Minority Opinion
A new poll suggests that American elite, from business owners to university professors to members of Congress, may be out-of-step with the public on some key issues.
The poll, conducted by the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations (search), shows a majority of Americans believe a country should be able to take military action, without UN approval, to stop another country from supporting terrorist groups. But only a minority of the elite agree.
Similarly, the public at large is more in favor of using unilateral military action to keep a country from acquiring nuclear weapons. However, a majority of Americans say the U.S. should withdraw from the Middle East if that's what most Middle Easterners want; a majority of the elite disagree with that.
Al Qaeda’s Eye on U.S. and Mexico Border?
A top Al Qaeda (search) official has met with leaders of a major U.S. and South American gang, in hopes of finding help to infiltrate the U.S. Mexico border ... that according to law enforcement officials quoted by the Washington Times.
Officials say that two months ago, Adnan El Shukri-jumah, thought to have helped plan the 9/11 attacks, traveled to Honduras to meet with leaders of the Mara Salva-trucha, or MS-13, gang, which has successfully smuggled hundreds of its own members into the U.S. Authorities say Al Qaeda's plan banks on the fact that, due to limited detention facilities, most non-Mexican illegal aliens caught along the border are released back into the U.S.
Scorn in the U.S.A.?
Rocker Bruce Springsteen says the media has, "let the country down [and] ... taken a very amoral stand" this election cycle, insisting, "You get tabloid news, you get blood-and-guts news, you get news shot through with a self-glorifying facade of patriotism, but you have to sift too much for the [real] news.”
So what is responsible for this? Well, he tells Rolling Stone magazine, "Fox News and the Republican right have intimidated the press ... and backed them into a corner where they have ceded some of their responsibility and righteous power."
Change of Heart in Texas?
The only newspaper from President Bush's hometown of Crawford, Texas, which endorsed the President in 2000 and backed his decision to go to war in Iraq, is endorsing John Kerry this time around.
The Lone Star Iconoclast, circulation 425, accuses President Bush of trying to, "disable the Social Security system," and blasts him for "continuous mistakes regarding Iraq," insisting, "we were duped into following yet another privileged agenda." As for Kerry, the paper calls the senator a, "highly decorated Vietnam veteran" with "30 years of experience looking out for the American people."
– FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report