Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Dems Invoke FDR
Senate Democrats gathered at the Franklin Roosevelt Memorial today to invoke the image of FDR in calling on President Bush to remove private accounts from his Social Security proposal. But it turns out that FDR himself planned to include private investment accounts in the Social Security program when he proposed it.
In a written statement to Congress in 1935, Roosevelt said that any Social Security plans should include, "Voluntary contributory annuities, by which individual initiative can increase the annual amounts received in old age," adding that government funding, "ought to ultimately be supplanted by self-supporting annuity plans."
Last night, Senate minority leader Harry Reid likened the president’s proposal to allow Americans to divert a portion of payroll taxes into personal security investment accounts to "gambling." But in 1999, the Nevada Democrat proposed something very similar on our own "FOX News Sunday" saying, "Most of us have no problem with taking a small amount of the Social Security proceeds and putting it into the private sector."
The National Council for Research on Women will host Teresa Heinz Kerry at an awards dinner next month. But to read their program, you’d never know the woman they’re honoring is the wife of former Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry. A spokesperson for the Council says that the Heinz Family Philanthropies directed them to drop the Kerry name in their promotional materials. And that Teresa only used it while her husband was running for president.
But Philanthropies President Jeffrey Lewis refused to confirm that, saying that nothing has really changed since the campaign. Heinz or Heinz-Kerry is known to keep portraits of both her husbands in her various residences.
Answering the Allegations
Syria and Iran are responding to the rebuke the president gave them as terrorist sponsors in last night’s State of the Union address. A Syrian spokesman says the president’s accusations were based on "inaccurate reports." And that "everyone knows that Syria is cooperating and fighting terrorism."
And an Iranian spokesman says Mr. Bush’s speech was "a repetition of his former ground less claims and accusations." Adding that the president has "closed his eyes on the realities of Iran."
Meanwhile, Iranian opposition groups tell Reuters News Service that Iran has tested a crucial triggering mechanism for a nuclear weapon, despite a promise to end all nuclear testing. And the Financial Times reports that they have purchased Ukrainian missiles designed to carry warheads.
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report