Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Hacking the Vote?
Teresa Heinz Kerry, the outspoken wife of Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, says she still doesn't trust the results from November's election and that two brothers may have been responsible for changing the outcome.
Bob and Todd Urosevich are top executives at the two largest manufacturers of electronic voting machines and the Ukrainian immigrants have described their politics as conservative. But at a Seattle fundraiser, Heinz Kerry called the two brothers, "hard right" Republicans who "own 80 percent of the machines used in the US," and argued that it's "very easy to hack into the mother machines." The Seattle Post-Intelligencer says that Heinz Kerry offered no evidence to support her claims, but added, "I fear for '06."
Now that Dan Rather is serving his last days in the anchor chair, prominent CBS colleagues, who never spoke out against him during his heyday, have emerged as critics. First, “60 Minutes” founding producer Don Hewitt and veteran correspondent Mike Wallace said they don't even watch Rather.
And former CBS anchor Walter Cronkite, who claims he doesn't watch either, now says “Face the Nation” host Bob Shieffer should have taken over for Rather years ago. Cronkite told CNN's Wolf Blitzer, "It surprised quite a few people at CBS and elsewhere that, without being able to pull up the ratings beyond third in a three-man field, that they tolerated him being there for so long."
"Democrats Seem Stuck In Concrete"
A new poll by James Carville's Democratic think tank Democracy Corps shows that only 36 percent of Americans support the administration's Social Security plan. But in what he says should be the Democrats' moment, Carville argues that the Bush plan is still alive partly because his own party, "appears to lack direction, conviction, values, advocacy or a larger public purpose."
Only 44 percent of Americans say the Democrats have new ideas for addressing the country's problems and Carville says, "Voters are looking for reform, change and new ideas, but Democrats seem stuck in concrete." Even left-leaning Rolling Stone magazine now says liberal action group MoveOn.org is out of touch with mainstream values.
Co-founder Wes Boyd tells the magazine, "We assume that things that resonate with our base resonate with America" and says the environment, Iraq, and campaign finance reform are their top priorities. But a recent CBS poll ranks the economy, Iraq, Terrorism, Social Security, and health care as the most important issues to Americans. Meanwhile, MoveOn will host a house party on how to "resist the draft" as a conscientious objector. Eleven people have registered so far despite the fact that there is no draft, nor any indication that there will soon be one.
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report