The latest from the Political Grapevine:
Off to India?
Democrats have condemned the — "unpatriotic practice"— of U.S. companies moving their operations overseas. But in Michigan Democrats are now being accused of doing just that. The state Democratic Party, apparently worried that Independent Ralph Nader will take votes away from John Kerry, has hired a contractor to see whether Nader has enough valid signatures to get on the Michigan ballot.
But state Republicans say that contractor has now "outsourced" the work to India. According to a Republican spokesman an Indian data entry firm is checking whether the signatures on the Nader petitions are valid. The contractor has refused to comment.
Ronstadt Promises Moore Praise
Four days after singer Linda Ronstadt (search) was booed during a performance and escorted out of the Aladdin casino in Las Vegas for saying Michael Moore is a "great American patriot who is spreading the truth," filmmaker Moore has now written a letter to the casino's president calling the reaction to Ronstadt "simply stupid and un-American."
Moore has offered to show his latest film — "Fahrenheit 9/11" — to anyone in Vegas for free if the casino apologizes and invites Ronstadt back. Ronstadt, meanwhile, says she'll continue to praise Moore— insisting —"I want people to get their head up out of their mashed potatoes and learn something about the issues and go and vote."
Only in Washington
And while we're on this food theme, the American Meat Institute hosted a lunch in the U.S. capitol today to celebrate National Hot Dog Month. But, outside, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals held its own event to promote vegetarianism.
Two PETA activists, who happen to be Playboy Playmates, handed out veggie dogs while wearing what PETA calls, "strategically-placed lettuce leaves." A spokeswoman for the Meat Institute called PETA hypocritical saying, "they're concerned about exploitation of animals— but they'll readily exploit women to achieve their goals."
PETA said its event is "the opposite of exploitation," since the two Playmates are volunteers who are "using [their] success to take a stand for compassion." Only in Washington.
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report