And now the most intriguing two minutes in television, the latest from Special Report's "Political Grapevine."

Double the money, double the wins?

House Republicans have opened up a massive fund-raising lead on the Democrats as they look ahead to elections, now 15 months away, in which they fear Democrats may be able to regain control of the chamber.

The Washington Post reports that the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee, which helps finance House races, raised $38.6 million in the first half of this year, well above what it raised two years ago, and more than twice what the Democrats have raised.

The Post reports an even greater GOP advantage in money raised by the party's national committee --  $48.6 million compared to the Democrats' $23.6 million.  This despite the presence of master Clinton fund-raiser Terry McAuliffe as Democratic party chairman.

In support of drilling in ANWR

The liberal political journal The New Republic has come out in favor of drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge. The magazine noted that a study of the effects of oil production in Alaska's neighboring North Slope found no important ecological harm done in the 25 years since drilling began. It further noted that instead of the devastation of the caribou which environmentalists had predicted, the caribou population has actually increased.

As for ANWR, The New Republic said wildlife refuges in the lower 48 states are routinely drilled for oil and gas with no serious environmental harm, adding that new exploration techniques would make drilling in ANWR even less likely to cause harm.

Australian for DECLINED!

Former President Clinton is reported to have approached the sponsors of the Goodwill Games, set to begin in Brisbane, Australia later this month, with an offer. He would appear and speak at the games and they would pay him $3 million.  The Brisbane Courier-Mail said the approach was made through a group of Australian businessman who were negotiating with Clinton for a fund-raising event in Australia.  The offer to speak at the games, the newspaper said, was firmly declined.

They report, we decide?

The Newark Star-Ledger last week published a column by the London-based Canadian writer Gwynne Dyer, who quoted approvingly the results of a survey of presidential intelligence from something called the Lovenstein Institute of Scranton Pennsylvania.  The survey found Bill Clinton to have an IQ of 182, while George W. Bush's was exactly half that.  The only problem is that there is no Lovenstein Institute, and no IQ study -- it's all an internet hoax. The Star-Ledger has published a correction. No word yet from Gwynne Dyer.

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