Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Nothing Political About Investigations?

Travis County, Texas, district attorney Ronnie Earle, who's leading an investigation into a group founded by House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, says there's nothing political about his investigations into Republicans. Just last week, though, he was the featured speaker at a political fundraiser, hosted by the pro-Democratic Texas Values in Action Coalition — which raked in $102,000 for Democratic campaigns. During his speech, Earle insisted his investigation of DeLay is "not just about Tom DeLay. If it isn't this Tom DeLay, it'll be another one, just like one bully replaces the one before." Plus, he said, "This is a structural problem ... Money brings power and power corrupts."

Moran Says ‘Some Big Fish’ Hate Bush

ABC News White House Correspondent Terry Moran says there are "some big fish" in the White House press corps who hate President Bush. And, he told radio host Hugh Hewitt, "upwards of 70 [percent]" of White House correspondents voted for Democratic President candidate John Kerry in November. He wouldn't get any more specific. He did say, though, there's a "deep anti-military bias in the media. One that begins from the premise that the military must be lying, and that American projection of power around the world must be wrong."

Is Optimism that Outlandish?

Researchers at New Jersey Medical School in Newark say they're shocked by findings of a poll they commissioned that showed the vast majority of Americans are optimistic about their futures. Eighty-two percent of those between 18 and 44 say they're optimistic, as do 75 percent of those 45 to 64, and 64 percent of those 65 and older. One doctor at the school says, "What amazed us most was their determined optimism, even as they showed great concern about bad things happening in the world."

As for the only one-third of respondents who called global warming a major problem, a psychiatrist at the school insists, "We found this relative lack of concern surprising, given the overwhelming scientific consensus that global warming is occurring now, and that if unchecked, could be disastrous."

No 'Ifs,' 'Ands' Or 'Butts' About It?

A New York judge has ruled that when a Manhattan fabric store clerk patted a female customer's behind, laws against improper and forcible touching had not been violated. The woman insists the clerk touched her in order to degrade or abuse her, adding that it caused her annoyance and alarm.

But Judge Richard Weinberg ruled that all the clerk did was "touch quickly with the flat of the hand," and that "a pat on the buttocks, regardless of how offensive it might be to the recipient, does not qualify as 'forcible' touching under the ordinary and accepted meaning of these words." To violate the law, he said, "squeezing, grabbing or pinching" is required.

— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report