Is Being a 'Deadbeat Dad' Strictly a Male Prerogative?

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Just for Men

The Bush administration spends a reported $50 million a year on a program aimed at reducing the number of deadbeat dads by helping fathers build job skills and connect better with their children. It's called the Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Initiative. But it is under attack from the National Organization for Women because the fatherhood initiative is only for men.

NOW and another advocacy group have filed complaints alleging sex discrimination in the use of federal education funds. Administration officials tell The Washington Post that the challenge is misguided, and point out that if men become better fathers, it will benefit women and their children.

Squeeze Play

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus is threatening to "put the squeeze" on public television executives because an upcoming documentary about World War II does not include Hispanics.

The Politico reports members of the caucus met with the president of PBS and said they may restrict federal funding of public television if the documentary by acclaimed producer Ken Burns is not fixed to their liking. PBS argues that the film focuses on individuals rather than groups.

The 14-hour series called "The War" is set to air in September.

McCain Almost Switched Sides?

Democratic lawmakers say Republican Sen. John McCain was close to leaving the GOP in 2001, right before Vermont Republican Jim Jeffords made the switch that gave Democrats control of the Senate.

The Hill newspaper reports former Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle and others had meetings with McCain, and that things such as committee assignments and seniority were discussed. McCain was said to be frustrated as a result of his loss to George W. Bush in the 2000 presidential primaries. But McCain denies that he ever considered leaving the party.

Still, his chief political strategist, John Weaver, tells the paper that McCain did indeed talk to Democrats about moving across the aisle.

Castro's Claim

Fidel Castro is back — and accusing the U.S. of a scheme that he said could kill billions of people.

Castro has published his first editorial since undergoing surgery last summer. He says U.S. plans to partially replace its gasoline consumption with biofuels such as ethanol will result in a worldwide food crisis that will condemn more than three billion people to death. That's because corn and other edible products used to make the fuels would then be unavailable as food.

Castro makes no mention of his health in the article. He has yet to reappear in public and has been seen only in photographs and video.

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