Congressional Democrats Tear Into One of Their Own

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Blame Game

Virginia Democratic Congressman Jim Moran is getting slammed by fellow House Democrats over comments that pro-Israel forces in the U.S., "pushed the Iraq war from the beginning."

The Politico newspaper reports Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman called Moran's remarks "deeply offensive."

A group of 16 Jewish Democrats wrote what is described as a withering letter to Moran, saying in part, "The idea that the war in Iraq began because of the influence of Jewish Americans is factually incorrect and unfortunately fits the anti-Semitic stereotypes some have used historically against Jews."

But Moran is not backing down. A spokesman conceded that the congressman's comments may have been "unnecessarily harsh," but said the criticism was directed at a lobbying organization, not a community of people.

Court TV

Several former colleagues of Dan Rather say they are baffled by a $70-million lawsuit the former anchor filed against CBS Wednesday. Rather claims that he was made a "scapegoat" for the discredited story about President Bush's record in the Texas Air National Guard.

The Washington Post reports the executive producer of "60 Minutes 2," who was forced to resign after the story disputes Rather's contention that he played a largely supervisory role in the piece. Josh Howard says, "He did every interview. He worked the sources over the phone. He was there in the room with the so-called document experts. He argued over every line in the script. It's laughable."

And former "CBS Evening News" executive producer Rome Hartman says of the lawsuit, "It's got to be about this lasting sense of hurt and pride. I was flabbergasted. I just don't get it."

Public Reaction

General David Petraeus' popularity and approval is on the rise since his appearances before Congress, despite criticism from Democrats and the now-famous ad calling him "General Betray-Us."

A Gallup Poll shows Petraeus' favorability rating at 61 percent — up from 52 before his testimony. A survey from the Pew Research Center indicates 57 percent of respondents who read or heard about the general's remarks approve of his plan. And 51 percent say they believe Petraeus was presenting an accurate picture of the conditions in Iraq.

Cleaning House

The owners of a Washington dry cleaning shop who were sued for $54 million by a D.C. judge who claimed they lost his pants have decided to close the store where the dispute began.

An attorney for Jin and Soo Chung says the store lost customers and revenue during the two years of litigation, which resulted in a dismissal of the lawsuit — a decision that is under appeal.

The South Korean immigrants have now shut down two of their three businesses. They still operate their original dry cleaning store across from the D.C. Convention Center.

FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.