See Dick Not Run?

The latest from the Political Grapevine:

Secret Operation Successful
The U.S. has completed a secret operation to remove nearly 2 tons of uranium and hundreds of highly radioactive items from Iraq that could have been used to build a dirty bomb. The Energy Department says the operation, completed exactly two weeks ago, is a — "major achievement [to] ... keep potentially dangerous nuclear material out of the hands of terrorists."

The nuclear material — which U.S. officials would offer little detail about — was secured from Iraq's former nuclear research facility and has been airlifted to an undisclosed location for further analysis.

Times' Take on It
The week after coalition authorities in Iraq transferred power to Iraqis, the L.A. Times has reported — "L. Paul Bremer III (search), the civilian administrator for Iraq, left without even giving a final speech to the country — almost as if he were afraid to look in the eye of the people he had ruled for more than a year." And the Washington Post reported that — "There was no farewell address to the Iraqi people."

But, in fact, not only did Bremer address the Iraqi people, he did so in this message broadcast in Iraq on Al Iraqiya TV and reported on by other media, including the San Francisco chronicle. When the L.A. Times reporter was called on this by a reader, the reporter's response was — "I will gladly look at the material you have forwarded me and if indeed I should have included a qualification I will discuss doing so with my desk."

Governor Violated the Law?
Massachusetts Democrats are accusing Republican Governor Mitt Romney of breaking the law by criticizing the Kerry-Edwards ticket. They claim Romney's comments that Edwards, like Kerry, is — "more liberal than the people at large" violated a prohibition against using public resources for partisan political campaign activity.

And what resources do they say Romney used? Why, public property and the state seal, which was visible behind Romney when he made the comments outside his State House office yesterday. Democrats say the setting — "leads an unknowing public to believe that this is the position of the Commonwealth." Romney, however, calls the complaints petty and baseless.

See Dick Not Run?
President Bush's blunt defense of Dick Cheney (search) as his running mate seems not to have put a stop to the notion that Cheney might be replaced on the ticket. Former New York Republican Senator Alfonse D'Amato today said President Bush should consider dumping Cheney in favor of Secretary of State Colin Powell or Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., insisting they would — "add a great dimension to the ticket."

The AP called D'Amato — "influential," but D'Amato is not known to have any influence with the Bush administration.

FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report