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Clinton Camp Using Obama's Pastor Problem to Woo Superdelegates?

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Mum's the Word

While most of Hillary Clinton's backers have refused to say anything publicly about Barack Obama's relationship with his fiery former pastor, privately top advisers have reportedly "spent recent days making the case to wavering superdelegates that Mr. Obama's association with Mr. Wright would doom their party in the general election."

That report was carried in the closing paragraphs of a New York Times story today. The Clinton camp refuses to either confirm or deny it.

A Costly Affair

The new governor of New York — David Paterson — says he may have used campaign funds for at least one hotel hookup during his series of extramarital affairs. Paterson and his wife both admitted this week to having affairs during what they called "a difficult period" in their relationship.

Records show that Paterson's campaign paid a bill for $103.87 at a Quality Hotel on the upper-west side of Manhattan in December, 2002. The campaign also paid for 3 other stays at the same hotel. Paterson says he reimbursed his campaign but acknowledged he may have failed to do so in one instance.

The governor listed his stays at the hotel as "constituent services."

Aquatic Androids

Scientists say that 3,000 robots that are collecting global warming data from the earth's oceans have sent a puzzling message. Readings from these instruments suggest that the oceans have not warmed up at all over the past five years. But scientists say the bewildering part is that the years since 2003 have been some of the hottest on record.

One scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory says that 80 to 90-percent of global warming involves heating up ocean waters. So why are the oceans still relatively cool and — in some cases — even cooler than before?

It seems the scientists are not sure. Some say global warming may have taken a breather. Others suggest they don't understand what the robots are telling them. Kevin Trenberth at the National Center for Atmospheric Research says, "I suspect that we'll be able to put this together with a little bit more perspective and further analysis. But what this does is highlight some of the issues and send people back to the drawing board."

Educational Unease

It seems the U.S. is not the only country in which parents are worried about what their children are learning — or not learning — in school.

In a survey of 1,400 British schoolchildren, one in three believes that Sir Winston Churchill was the first man to walk on the moon. Perhaps more worrying is that three-quarters of those surveyed could not identify the moon in the night's sky.

British schoolchildren are also 3-times as likely to name a star on television than one from the cosmos and a third think that the surface of Mars is actually blue.

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