And now some fresh pickings from the political grapevine:
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A Bush Push For More Contributions
President Bush's (search) re-election campaign has sent a letter that portrays the most prolific fundraiser in American political history as an underdog in the money primary. The note insists that, "the president needs your help." It adds, "Democrats and their allies will have more money to spend attacking the president during the nomination battle than we will have to defend him."
Well, maybe not. The president so far has raised in excess of $55 million, more than all the democratic candidates combined. The president's team aims at raising another $145 million by Election Day 2004.
N.Y. Officeholders Denounce Dean’s Venue
Howard Dean (search) ticked off some New York officeholders during a campaign speech Tuesday. Staten Island City Councilman James Oddo even fired off a letter, calling the appearance "offensive" and "narrow-minded." Oddo was referring not to Dean's words, but his choice of venue…standing before a wall, painted by a hired graffiti artist.
Oddo writes, "maybe in your world graffiti vandals are artists ... [but] in New York City and in the real world they are criminals who destroy our quality of life." A spokesman for New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (search) calls Dean's site selection "unfortunate."
U.S. Air Force and DHL Give New Air Conditions
And, finally, there's a happy ending to the saga of Delaware resident Frankie Mayo (search), the mother of a soldier in Iraq. She tried to send more than 500 air conditioners to coalition forces, only to have the U.S. Postal Service call a halt to the mission after 450 units had made their way overseas.
The reason...air conditioners use compressed gas, which government officials have deemed a safety hazard. The U.S. Air Force and cargo carrier DHL…with some funding from conservative radio personality Rush Limbaugh (search)…both have agreed to ship the new round of air conditioners, and the first shipment was expected to leave for Iraq sometime today.
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report