Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Some House Democrats, such as Michigan's John Conyers, are calling for efforts to impeach President Bush, a threat Democrats could pursue if they were to win control of the House in November. In fact, Republicans have been using Democratic talk of impeachment to energize Republican voters for this fall's congressional elections. In hopes of blunting that effort, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi is now saying she will not pursue impeachment if the Democrats take control of the House.
Pelosi spokesman Brendan Daly tells The Washington Post that "impeachment is off the table; she is not interested in pursuing it," adding that Republicans "are in such desperate shape, we don't want to give them anything to grab on to."
A new Harris poll puts the president's job approval rating at 29 percent, the lowest number of his presidency. The low approval caps a week of negative polls for the president, but the numbers look just as bad, if not worse, for some prominent Democrats.
While a New York Times poll released earlier this week found that 31 percent of Americans approve of the president, just 26 percent hold a favorable view of 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, while 38 percent have an unfavorable opinion. And 34 percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of New York Senator Hillary Clinton, compared to 35 percent who view her unfavorably.
Representative Cynthia McKinney is once again raising questions about her behavior after she attached dozens of autopsy photos from Colombia to a House Armed Services Committee report on the defense authorization bill.
The Georgia Democrat inserted 24 pictures of the decaying remains of Jaime Gomez, chief of staff to a Colombian politician, who authorities say may or may not have been murdered last month. Along with the photos, McKinney writes that terrorist threats have been exploited to increase funding for "weapons of war, while denying the human suffering and needs that face us."
A spokesman for House Speaker Dennis Hastert says, "It's weird," adding, "Our focus should be on winning the War on Terror, rather than printing up 30 pages of skeletal remains." No explanation from McKinney's office on why the photos were included.
Former Senate Majority Whip Alan Simpson has been out of office for nine years, but the Wyoming Republican hasn't lost his trademark wit. Simpson told an audience at the Library of Congress, "About 15 percent of the people in America are screwballs, lightweights and boobs ... and you don't want people like that not represented in Congress."
And at a time when corruption in Congress has been in the news, The Washington Post reports that Simpson told a joke about two men in prison. One turns to the other and says you know, "the food was a lot better here ... when you were governor."
—Fox News Channel's Aaron Bruns contributed to this report.