Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Presidential Backing

Former President Bill Clinton is defending Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman against attacks from fellow party members, calling the efforts of some Democrats to lash out at others who have different views on the war "the nuttiest strategy I ever heard in my life."

Speaking at an Aspen Institute conference last week, Clinton said Lieberman is right to oppose a fixed timetable for withdrawing troops from Iraq, saying, "Why send a signal about when you're going to leave to people trying to keep Iraq divided? Would you make any political deals if you knew you could just hang around and maybe get what you want?"

Approved, But Unfunded

Less than two months after overwhelmingly approving a 370-mile fence along the Mexican border by a vote of 83-16, the Senate has overwhelmingly refused to fund it. Seventy-one senators voted to kill an amendment proposed by Alabama Republican Jeff Sessions that would authorize $1.8 billion to pay for the fence — including 34 senators who voted for the fence in May.

Opponents of the amendment complained that it would have taken money from other Homeland Security programs. But Sessions says if his colleagues were really serious about building the fence, they'd find the funding to do it.

Bastion of Free Speech?

A Miami school board's decision to pull a controversial children's book that critics say paints an overly positive picture of Cuba from the shelves is being called an act of censorship by Cuban state librarians. But even the ACLU doesn't want their help. A spokesman for the group says "there is plenty of work to do promoting freedom of expression in Cuba, and it seems to me that's where their efforts ought to be."

Meanwhile, one former librarian in Cuba says his ex-colleagues are criticizing "a democratic situation where there are committees and boards that discuss things and vote on them," noting that in Cuba, "it's Fidel Castro who decides what you read."

Commitment to Fight Crime

The new Mayor of Newark, New Jersey, made a hands-on contribution to his campaign pledge to cut crime — chasing down a robbery suspect and berating him on the street. Mayor Cory Booker, whose term began July 1, left City Hall Thursday afternoon, only to find the scissors-wielding suspect fleeing a police officer.

Booker, a former college tight end, took off after him. His two security officers caught the man first, but The New York Times reports that as Booker reached the group, he shouted at the suspect, "Not in our city anymore! Those days are over!"

—FOX News Channel's Aaron Bruns contributed to this report.

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