Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Call for Sacrifice
Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards says he wants people to give up their sport utility vehicles. Edwards told a labor group Tuesday that Americans should drive more fuel-efficient vehicles and called the U.S. "the worst polluter on the planet."
Edwards' campaign concedes he does own a hybrid Ford Escape SUV, along with a 2004 Chrysler Pacifica midsize SUV, but says he uses that less often now.
Edwards was also asked about the apparent contradiction of asking Americans to sacrifice while he lives in a 28,000 square foot mansion in North Carolina. He replied that he came from nothing and worked hard all his life — saying, "I have no apologies whatsoever for what I've done with my life."
Opposing Clean Energy?
The environmental group Greenpeace has launched a 30-second television ad criticizing Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy and Congressman Eilliam Delahunt — both Democrats — for their opposition to a proposed wind power farm on Nantucket Sound.
The ad says the two lawmakers are putting the selfish interests of wealthy homeowners on the sound ahead of the environment and the 80 percent of Massachusetts residents it says support the project.
Kennedy's family compound in Hyannisport is 6 miles from the proposed site. A Kennedy spokeswoman says the senator opposes the 25-square-mile wind farm for economic and environmental reasons. Delahunt's spokesman calls the ad divisive, saying environmentalists who support the project are trying to impose their will on the community.
The liberal political action committee America Coming Together has been fined $775,000 for donating unregulated cash to Democratic candidates during the 2004 elections. The group's major donors include billionaire George Soros. Its leaders agreed to the fine without admitting any wrongdoing.
America Coming Together raised $137 million for voter registration efforts in 17 states. But the Federal Election Commission says most of that money came from donations that violated federal limits or broke other rules. The organization has been dormant since shortly after the 2004 elections and is in the process of shutting down.
Twenty-two year old former Army soldier Lisa Kohlhagen has a bad knee from a training accident but other than that she's healthy. Yet when Kohlhagen contacted the Veteran's Administration to find out why her disability checks had stopped coming, they had an alarming explanation. She tells an Atlanta TV station, "They said, 'You're dead,' and I said, 'No, I'm not dead.' And they kept trying to tell me I was dead but I'm not."
Kohlhagen says that after a few days the V.A. finally realized she was in fact alive. But her $115-a-month disability checks still have not resumed.
—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.