And now some fresh pickings from the political grapevine:

Missed The Grapevine? Watch it!

National Ambitions?
Freshman New York Senator Hillary Clinton is doing more to help Democratic candidates financially than longtime leaders of the party. The Washington Times reports that her leadership political action committee, or HILLPAC, has donated $469,000 to Senate and House Democratic candidates in this election cycle. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle has contributed only $269,000 dollars to the  Democrats in the same 18-month period, and Senator Joe Lieberman, the party's vice presidential candidate in 2000, only $245,000. Senator Clinton says she intends to serve her full six-year term, which would preclude a presidential bid in 2004. But some political strategists note that  spreading money around to fellow Democrats could pay dividends if she does have any national ambitions.

Celebrating Bill's Birthday
The Democratic National Committee, in its latest letter to party members, is asking for more money for Democratic candidates —- of course. But it is also asking members to keep former President Bill Clinton in their thoughts, especially in honor of his 56th birthday on Aug. 19. The letter reads: "... even though President Clinton is no longer in office, he still works for you every day — encouraging economic growth and empowerment, advancing racial and religious reconciliation, fighting AIDS, and promoting citizen service .... (He) continues to show that he still cares about our future." Also included is a card to sign and return to the x-Pres, saying,  "Best wishes on this special day — We miss you!"    

Not Everything in Print Is True
And finally, this morning Washington D.C. commuters were treated to an eye-opening dose of that old saying, "Don' t believe everything you read." The latest edition of Commuter Weekly, published for Maryland and Virginia railway passengers carries a picture of a famous Washington landmark with the heading, "America's Icon of Freedom." And a caption underneath that reads, "The White House, Washington, D.C., is the most recognized building in the world representing freedom." Most recognized in the world perhaps, but not with the folks who publish the Commuter Weekly because this picture is of the Capitol, of course, not the White House. Perhaps a remedial tour of the nation's capital is in order.

With more than 35 years of journalism experience to draw from, Brit Hume currently serves as a senior political analyst for FOX News Channel (FNC) and contributes to all major political coverage. Hume also is regular panelist on FOX's weekly public affairs program, "FOX News Sunday" on Sundays at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. ET. Click here for more information on Brit Hume