Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Murder Charges

An officer investigating murder allegations against a U.S. Marine accused of shooting three of the 24 Iraqis killed in Haditha has recommended the charges be dismissed.

Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel Paul Ware says the government's theory that Lance Corporal Justin Sharratt executed the three men was "unsupported and incredible" and relied on contradictory statements by Iraqis. Sharratt testified at a preliminary hearing that he fired only after one of the Iraqis pointed a gun at him.

Colonel Ware's recommendation is not binding. A final decision on whether Sharratt will stand trial will be made by the commanding general overseeing the case.

Three other Marines face murder charges in the Haditha incident, which occurred after a Marine was killed in a roadside bombing.

Pennsylvania Democratic Congressman John Murtha refused to comment today when asked by Gary Gross of the Let Freedom Ring blog for a reaction to Colonel Ware's recommendation. You'll recall that Murtha has said the Marines "overreacted" and "killed innocent civilians in cold blood." But today his office said he would not comment because the investigation is ongoing.

Back in Court

The family of a peace activist who was accidentally killed by a bulldozer while trying to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian home has asked a federal appeals court to reinstate its lawsuit against the American manufacturer of the bulldozer.

Rachel Corrie was run over by the bulldozer when the operator did not see her blocking his path. Her family says Caterpillar Tractor should be held liable because it knew — or should have known — the bulldozer could be used to commit human rights violations.

The original lawsuit was dismissed two years ago. Lawyers for Caterpillar and the U.S. Justice Department say reviving the case would require American courts to improperly intervene in political issues reserved for the president and Congress.

Poor Showing

Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards has made poverty a key campaign theme. But a couple of polls show that Edwards is not getting any traction with the very people he says he's trying to help.

A poll from ABC News and The Washington Post indicates that Edwards' support among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents with household incomes below $20,000/year is just 10 percent — far below Hillary Clinton’s 55 percent and Barack Obama's 20 percent.

And another poll of independents reported in The Post indicates 40 percent from households earning less than $20,000 say there is no chance they would support Edwards. And among those who say their families are falling behind financially, only 9 percent said they would definitely support Edwards — about half the numbers for Clinton and Obama.

Going Negative

A producer for German public television network ZDF who is doing a documentary on the U.S. presidential race is looking for New York City firefighters unhappy — and only those unhappy — with Rudy Giuliani's handling of the 9/11 aftermath.

FOX News obtained an e-mail from producer Stephan Mueller that said: "We are looking for New York firefighters who are dissatisfied or disappointed with former Mayor Giuliani's handling of the 9/11 aftermath."

When contacted by FOX News, Mueller said he was trying to dispute Giuliani's contention that he is in solidarity with the firefighters. Mueller said he based this on information from "a couple" of firefighters. And he said he has not yet made any attempts to contact or interview firefighters who are not upset with Giuliani.

—FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.

With more than 35 years of journalism experience to draw from, Brit Hume currently serves as a senior political analyst for FOX News Channel (FNC) and contributes to all major political coverage. Hume also is regular panelist on FOX's weekly public affairs program, "FOX News Sunday" on Sundays at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. ET. Click here for more information on Brit Hume