And the now the most fascinating two minutes in television, the latest from the wartime grapevine.
Despite national polls showing the president and his policies got a lift from his State of the Union speech, a prominent Democratic strategist is saying his research shows a weak performance on the key domestic issue. Pollster Mark Mellman said a focus group he conducted of 50 so-called "swing voters" as they watched the speech showed that while the approval of the president's plans for the economy went from 24 percent to 34 percent after the speech, that was not a good showing. Mellman told the Washington Times that a majority of the focus group "went in with one major question: What was Bush going to do on the economy? They left with that same question and with that question unanswered."
This contrasts with a Gallup Poll taken after the speech, in which 73 percent said they thought the economic recovery program the president presented was "likely to get the country out of the recession." Twenty-two percent said it would not.
In London, Tony Blair's Labor Government is being pressed by the conservative opposition to explain what newspapers are calling a "crime wave" at the prime minister's office at Number 10 Downing Street. It is one of the most heavily guarded addresses in the country, but the Daily Telegraph says that approximately $150,000 worth of goods, including computers, mobile phones and a bicycle have disappeared. The paper says there was theft from Downing Street in the past but that the cost of missing items has more than doubled since Blair moved in.
Animal rights groups are upset about Hamid Karzai's hat. They say the interim Afghani president's wool cap is made of a particularly soft type of wool available from a newborn or even an unborn karakul lamb. The humane society is saying there's no doubt the animals are mistreated, and the New York Daily News reports that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals are sending Karzai a new hat, made of synthetic wool.