Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Elephant Extinction

Some in the media believe the Republican Party is washed up and dying. Leslie Savan wrote in The Nation earlier this month: "What sort of psychological bent would lead people to wan t to be part of a dead-end political party like the GOP has become?"

But, a new Gallup poll from May 7 – 10 shows it's not quite that bad for the GOP. Thirty-two percent of participants in the survey identified themselves as Republicans, 32 percent as Democrats, and 34 percent Independents. And if you include Independent "leaners," Republicans and Democrats are also tied at 45 percent between May 7 – 10.

Compared to last month, from April 20 — 21, Republican Party identification has risen five percentage points while Democrats have fallen four. With "leaners" included, the GOP gained six and Democrats lost five.

Manual Override

Monday, the Louisiana House unanimously agreed to override Republican Governor Bobby Jindal's rejection of $98 million in federal stimulus money. But it's unlikely most lawmakers even knew what they were voting for.

Democratic Representative Avon Honey quietly added language to sidestep Jindal's rejection of funds into a bill during the final minutes of debate. Honey told lawmakers: "The amendment is merely adding language for the requirements for ARRA."

He did not explain that the acronym stands for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — the formal name for the stimulus package. The House speaker was even heard asking an aide what the amendment stood for, but the aide didn't know.

The Associate Press reports Jindal's Workforce Commission executive director Tim Barfield released a statement saying the move, "flies in the face of the open, honest government our people deserve... not sneaky tactics."

Lost in the Mail

A promotion for energy conservation by the Toronto Better Buildings Partnership could be accused of sending mixed signals by mail. The Partnership issued a one-page press release promoting conservation.

But a local newspaper, Toronto Star, reports the letter arrived in a large brown paper envelope, padded with plastic bubble wrap. Inside the envelope was a cardboard box. Inside the box, stuffed with tissue paper, was a green Lego toy with the Partnership's logo on it, a color picture of the Lego toy, a piece of paper with the logo, and the one-page release.

The PR firm that handled the release praised the paper for being recycled, but one city official admitted, "Maybe the packaging could have been a little bit better."

— FOX News Channel's Lanna Britt contributed to this report.