And now the most compelling two minutes in television, the latest from the political grapevine:
Need of a Band-Aide
An aide to Democratic presidential candidate and Missouri Rep. Dick Gephardt (search) has threatened retaliation if state employees work for Howard Dean (search) in the upcoming Missouri primary, that according to two prominent labor leaders.
Andrew Stern, president of the Services Employees International Union, and Gerald McEntee, head of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, say Gephardt's aide threatened to try to reverse an executive order granting state employees collective bargaining rights. The aide, though, says the two misunderstood her, and that -- "if anyone felt threatened, ... I apologize."
Fund Favor Request
The president of the NAACP's Legal Defense Fund asked Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy (search) to block the confirmation of a judge whom she thought might vote unfavorably in an affirmative action case her organization was participating in. According to the Washington Times, Elaine Jones wanted Kennedy to keep -- "conservative" Tennessee Judge Julia Gibbons from joining the sixth circuit court of appeals until after that bench ruled on last year's University of Michigan case. The director of the Center of Individual Freedom calls the request -- "no less than tampering with a jury or bribing a judge" and is urging the state of Virginia to disbar Jones.
That Little Box on Your 1040 ...
From the wonderful world of campaign financing, Lyndon LaRouche (search) -- the perennial, fringe Democratic presidential candidate who was sentenced to five years in federal prison for fraud and whose demonstrators tried to disrupt the presidential candidates debate three months ago -- is receiving $840,000 in matching funds for his presidential campaign. That's more funds than candidates Al Sharpton, Dennis Kucinich or Carol Moseley Braun will receive.
British Airlines Banter
After some debate among the White House and a British airline, the National Air Traffic Services has gotten to the bottom of whether a British Airways pilot spotted and contacted Air Force One (search) on its way to Baghdad last week, as the White House originally said. An investigation by British air authorities concluded that a -- "non-U.K. operator" did ask the London control tower if the aircraft behind it was Air Force One, to which the tower -- using altered information for security reasons -- said no. After hearing the explanation, NBC's Norah O'Donnell asked if the flap over the pilot exchange -- "now takes some of the shine off the president's surprise visit to the troops."
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report