• And now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine...

    Spook My Ride

    President Obama's Midwestern bus tour is getting a lot of attention but so is his mode of transportation.

    Some say the million dollar blacked-out behemoth looks like it should be carrying Darth Vader rather than a president.

    Descriptions range from "dark and imposing" to "really scary."

    A BBC writer says -- quote -- "It looks more like a police mortuary van than a symbol of hope" -- calling it -- quote -- "...the battle bus from Mordor."

    And one White House blogger joked - quote -- "I fully expect Obama to get off the bus and instead of kissing babies say to them, 'Luke, I am your father.'"

    Short Shrift

    A Muslim group isn't happy with the extremely brief response it received to a letter sent to Florida Republican Congressman Allen West.

    A South Florida TV station reports, West was asked by the Florida Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) to disassociate himself from activists the group considers anti-Islamic.

    West's response -- quote -- "NUTS!"

    CAIR called that childish. But West's office responded saying -- quote -- "Historically, NUTS is a clear and definitive response. We have gone back and forth with letters and conversations...CAIR doesn't need any more explanation."

    Meanwhile, the freshman lawmaker says he's not ruling out a run for Senate, but that after seven months in office he's not -- quote -- "Drinking his own Kool-Aid."

    Fit to Be Tied

    And finally, a proposal making its way through the California legislature is being called another example of "nanny state" politics.

    It requires all hotels to use fitted bed sheets.

    The Los Angeles Times reports it is backed by housekeepers' unions, who say maids hurt their backs lifting mattresses to replace flat sheets.

    Opponents say politicians should be fixing the budget, rather than regulating bed sheets.