Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Hard Times

Fewer than one-quarter of the people taking part in a new survey have a favorable opinion of The New York Times — and almost two-thirds think the paper deliberately set out to smear John McCain. The Rasmussen Reports poll was taken earlier this week — after last week's much-criticized article suggesting McCain had an improper relationship with a lobbyist.

Just 24 percent of those surveyed approved of the Times — 44 percent did not — 31 percent were not sure.

Concerning the McCain article — 66-percent said it was an attempt by the paper to hurt the Republican's campaign. Only 22-percent thought the Times was just reporting the news.

Unconventional Wisdom

A prominent meteorologist and former NASA scientist has gone public with her questions about the global warming movement. Joanne Simpson was chief scientist for meteorology at the Earth Sciences Directorate at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Institute. She has authored more than 190 studies. She contends the conventional wisdom that man-made greenhouse gasses are fueling climate change is based almost entirely upon computer models she describes as "frail."

She adds — "One distinguished scientist has shown that many aspects of climate change are regional, some of the most harmful caused by changes in human land use. No one seems to have properly factored in population growth and land use, particularly in tropical and coastal areas."

Simpson says both sides in the global warming debate have resorted to hurling personal insults at each other — which she says is a bad development for science.

Family Feud

Two sons of the late Texas Governor Ann Richards are upset with the Hillary Clinton campaign over an Internet video commercial suggesting Richards would have supported Clinton. The campaign says it has permission from Richards' youngest daughter — who says that her mother would be working for Clinton if she were alive.

But sons Dan and Clark Richards say no one can know whom their mother would have supported. They twice denied their permission but the campaign released the ad anyway. A former aide to Governor Richards who is working with the Clinton campaign says after the sons objected — a family photo was removed from the video. She says — "we're not saying we speak for the family."

We're Number One

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says Iran is the world's number one power — and is also striking back at one domestic critic he accuses of siding with the enemy.

Ahmadinejad said in a televised address — "Today the name of Iran means a firm punch in the teeth of the powerful and it puts them in their place."

Iran's former top nuclear negotiator has accused Ahmadinejad of undermining Iranian national interest with what was called "coarse slogans and grandstanding."

Ahmadinejad said the comments were an attempt to materialize the plans of the enemy, and show that Iran is small and the enemy is big.

FOX News Channel's Martin Hill 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