The latest from the Political Grapevine:


The doctors who are treating Ukrainian opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko for a mysterious illness which disfigured his face with cysts and lesions have concluded that poison is indeed the cause of the illness.

They say one possibility is that he was poisoned with Dioxin — a highly toxic component used in Agent Orange. Yushckenho has accused the Ukrainian government of trying to poison him to death. But Ukrainian officials insist they had nothing to do with his illness.

Unintended Consequence?

One result of this year's Massachusetts Supreme Court decision to extend marriage benefits for gay couples has been an end to some benefits for unmarried gay couples.

At least eight of Massachusetts' largest employers, including The New York Times Company, IBM, and Northeastern University, are dropping health benefits to unmarried gay couples, saying that since marriage is now an option, gay couples shouldn't receive special treatment and benefits that aren't available to unmarried, heterosexual couples.

But gay-rights groups, quoted by the Boston Globe, insist that's unfair because gay marriage is a harder decision than heterosexual marriage.

Contributor Cut

Gossip biographer Kitty Kelley, whose new book includes such dubious charges as President Bush using cocaine at Camp David while his father was still President, has been dropped as a contributing editor to the popular local magazine The Washingtonian.

Editor Jack Limpert says Kelley has written a "sleazy, irresponsible book." And in an e-mail to her last week, he said, "We don't think we should attack a president personally ... without a very solid basis for doing so ... We felt strongly enough that we didn't want readers to feel that your appearance [in the magazine] meant we endorsed the book."

Kelley, quoted by the Washington Post, called the move "very hurtful."

Redemption required?

Former presidential candidate Ralph Nader is urging liberal filmmaker Michael Moore to stop his "theater of the absurd" and redeem himself. In a letter to Moore, Nader says, "Get off your ... knees and once again confront the forces of corporate power and domination. Jettison your image as the Court Jester for the Democratic Party ... Redeem yourself or forever be consigned to history's judgment of political turncoats, renegades and saboteurs."

So how exactly does Nader suggest Moore achieve this redemption? Why, by contributing to the expenses of Nader's campaign staff.

— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report