Missile's Mysterious Details

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Missile's Mysterious Details

Two days after Al-Jazeera aired video of what it said was Iraqi terr orists, firing a missile into that British plane that crashed on Sunday killing 10 on board. New Scientist magazine, quoting defense experts now say the video is almost certainly, "bogus."

The magazine says the pointed shape of the missile and its trajectory indicated it was a surface-to-surface missile, not surface to air missile. And the magazine says it seems missile footage was just stuck in the tape in front of wreckage video with no actual connection.

This would be the second apparent terrorist hoax in as many days. Yesterday an Islamist Web site posted a photo of what it claimed was an American soldier held hostage and threatened to kill him. But no American soldiers have been reported missing. And an American toy maker noticed that the soldier was a ringer for its Special Ops action figure, "Cody."

Sans Senator?

At a dinner designed to promote dialogue between Iran and United States during last week’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, one thing was noticeably absent — the guest speaker, Democrat Delaware Senator Joe Biden. Organizers repeatedly said he was on the way, but guests including Iran’s prime minister and vice president were left waiting for an hour and 20 minutes.

What’s more, the Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi threatened to leave and take his delegation with him, after organizers served wine, which is forbidden in Islam. Waiters removed all the wine glasses. But then they had to come back to remove the menus, which featured meat that violated Islamic law. Biden, for the record, says he was late because he went to the wrong place.

Party Problems?

The Democratic National Committee is up in arms that its own party officials in Michigan are refusing to let it audit books from last year’s presidential campaign. The DNC had to give Michigan Democrats $1 million more than it first planned. And now the DNC says it wants to know if the money was used “wisely.”

Michigan Democratic Chairman Mark Brewer however, insisted there’s no need for an audit since, "There was nothing wrong that was done." He says the DNC is just trying to tarnish the man who led the Michigan campaign, Donnie Fowler, who is now trying to become the chairman of the DNC.

Round of Applause

CBS has announced that when Dan Rather steps down next month as its evening news anchor, veteran correspondent and "Face the Nation" host Bob Schieffer will fill Rather’s shoes on an interim basis. In fact, when Schieffer arrived at the White House luncheon for news anchors this morning, he was greeted by a round of applause from his colleagues.

And when Rather arrived later, he too, congratulated Schieffer, but sources say that CBS did not inform Rather about the move, that he found out when the story hit the wires today.

— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report