Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
A group of more than 50 members of Congress from both sides of the aisle has sent a letter to Jimmy Carter — urging him not to meet with Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal. Mr. Carter has scheduled a session with Meshaal Friday in Damascus, Syria.
But the letter co-sponsored by Democrat Shelly Berkeley of Nevada and Republican Mark Kirk of Illinois includes a list of 26 Americans killed in attacks launched by Hamas. The letter says, "President Carter, do not meet with the man who ordered their deaths."
Another letter from two other Democrats — House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman and Mideast Subcommittee Chairman Gary Ackerman — is also urging Mr. Carter to cancel. The lawmakers say the meeting would undermine the peace process and falls far short of Mr. Carter's high moral standards.
And this afternoon, Michigan Republican Joe Knollenberg introduced legislation that would prevent the federal government from giving taxpayer money to the Carter Center.
We will no doubt learn many new things about the two people who end up running for president this fall. The Washington Times is reporting that presumptive Republican candidate John McCain is an extremely superstitious man. The Times says McCain won't take a salt shaker from your hand — or throw a hat on a bed — two things that supposedly are bad luck.
McCain regularly carries 31 cents in lucky change in his pocket — along with a lucky feather and lucky compass. McCain is said to have dozens of superstitions and rituals — many originating during his days as a navy fighter pilot — a group known to be superstitious.
One thing that does not seem to bother McCain — the fact that his campaign headquarters is on the 13 floor of its building in Arlington, Virginia.
During the Republican Convention that will formalize McCain's nomination — there may be a non-Republican featured among the major speakers.
The Hill newspaper reports independent Senator Joe Lieberman — who was on the Democratic ticket in 2000 as Al Gore's vice presidential pick — could even be asked to give the keynote speech at the Minneapolis convention. The paper reports giving Lieberman a high profile role would be an attempt to reinforce McCain’s bipartisan reputation — and influence independents.
But because Lieberman supports abortion rights and has other liberal positions — using him at the convention could also anger some conservative Republicans. Lieberman says nothing has been formally discussed yet — but he'll do what he can to help McCain.
And the principal of one McLean, Virginia, elementary school says the game of tag is too aggressive for her students — so it has been outlawed as a recess activity.
The Washington Post reports Principal Robyn Hooker of Kent Gardens Elementary says the game had gotten out of hand — so now it's just out. The move has touched off debate among parents. Some agree it's best to be cautious. But others say it's just another example of overzealous rulemaking — and trying to take the risk out of everything. One mother says that while children do occasionally get hurt playing tag — kids need to know that "life's not going to be a breeze." And one father says getting rid of tag is a draconian measure.
That kind of remark has surprised Principal Hooker, who says, "I did not know that tag was so sacred."
— FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.