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Special Report

Why Are Congressional Democrats Claiming a Political Victory on Iraq?

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Dems Declare Victory

Anti-war Democrats are declaring victory, calling a U.S. general's tentative plan for a gradual troop withdrawal "virtually identical" to Congressman George Casey's plan means the White House has finally conceded to the demands of her "Out of Iraq Caucus" and Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid asked whether Republicans, "still believe a plan for reducing our troop levels is defeatist and unpatriotic."

But one Republican leadership aide argues there is, in fact, a difference between the parties on withdrawal, claiming that while Democrats focus on specific dates, Republicans "look to the generals on the ground."

NYT Foils Finance Plot

Usama bin Laden's vast network of Islamic charities and businesses and wrote that the administration needed to do more to "disable the financial networks used by terrorists" through "stricter regulations, the recruitment of specialized investigators and greater cooperation with foreign banking authorities."

The Times added, "If America is going to wage a new kind of war against terrorism, it must act on all fronts, including the financial one."

Delay Still Causing Trouble

A federal judge says it sounds like former Texas Congressman Tom DeLay withdrew from the House race when he resigned from the House, meaning that Republicans may not be able to replace him on the November ballot.

Lawyers for DeLay argue that the former majority leader didn't withdraw, but made himself ineligible by moving to Virginia, a distinction that would allow the party to select a new nominee.

But after hearing arguments for both sides, U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks said he thinks Delay "is not going to participate in the election and he withdrew." Sparks says he'll issue a formal ruling in the case early next week.

McKinney Web Site Allows Racial Slurs

Georgia Democrat Cynthia McKinney, who's claimed that she was harassed by Capitol Police because she's "a female black Congresswoman," is allowing racial slurs to be posted on her campaign Web site.

In one article linked from the site, a supporter writes off McKinney's former opponent Denise Majette as "an Oreo black candidate" — referring to someone who is black on the outside but white on the inside.

And on the front page, liberal BBC investigative reporter and long-time McKinney defender Greg Palast writes, "The good ol' boy cracker-crats of the Republican Party are having themselves a regular hootenanny" over charges that McKinney punched a Capitol policeman.

The chairman of the black conservative group Project 21 tells Cybercast News that McKinney may not have written the words, but insists she's is responsible for what he called the "disgusting" comments.

—FOX News Channel's Aaron Bruns contributed to this report.