Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Fuzzy Math

Despite consecutive quarters of economic growth in 2008, some Democrats still insist the economy is in a recession. Senator Charles Schumer of New York tells Cybercast News Service, "I think if you ask the average middle class American, they would clearly say we are in a recession."

Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow also says, "We are absolutely in a recession," and Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey says, "We have been in a recession."

The problem is, a recession is defined by two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth. The government's Bureau of Economic Analysis reports the gross domestic product gained about one percentage point in the first quarter of 2008 and was up another 3.3 percent during the second quarter.

Cause for Concern

An upswing in the polls for John McCain has some of the Democratic Party's most experienced operatives worried about Senator Obama's chances. Congressman Bill Pascrell of New Jersey tells Bloomberg News that Obama’s "novelty has worn off," adding that the campaign "seems to have lost its speed, its response time."

Former Bill Clinton pollster Doug Schoen tells the Politico newspaper, "It's a palpable frustration. Deep-seated unease in the sense that the message has gotten away from them."

One Democratic fundraiser who spoke on the condition of anonymity says, "I'm so depressed. It’s happening again. It’s a nightmare."

Second Guessing?

Even Senator Joe Biden seems to think he might not have been the best choice for vice president. In New Hampshire, Wednesday, he said, "Make no mistake about this... Hillary Clinton is as qualified or more qualified than I am to be vice president of the United States of America... quite frankly, she might have been a better pick than me... I mean that sincerely, she's first rate."

Biden also said at a Boston fundraiser earlier in the day that he refused Obama’s request for help during his primary battle with Senator Clinton because of his long friendship with the former first lady.

Online Onslaught

The fulminations about Sarah Palin just keep coming at liberal online magazine Salon.com. Author, playwright and columnist Cintra Wilson, a contributor to Salon and the San Francisco Examiner, says Palin is a "Christian stepford wife in a sexy librarian costume... ideologically, she is their hardcore pornographic centerfold spread, revealing the ugliest underside of Republican ambitions."

Salon staff writer Rebecca Traister says she's having nightmares about Palin, who she says achieved power by "presenting herself as maternal and sexual, sucking up to men, evincing an absolute lack of native ambition." Palin's nomination, she says, is "a grotesque bastardization of everything feminism has ever stood for."

Meanwhile, the actor Matt Damon likens Palin's selection to “something out of a bad Disney movie” and says he's terrified by her. He also said, "I need to know if she really thinks dinosaurs were here four thousand years ago." He said that was a crucial question.

The poor guy apparently swallowed a silly Internet rumor that quoted Palin as referring to dinosaurs as "lizards of Satan" put on earth by God 4,000 years ago. The quote was exposed as a fake almost the minute it surfaced last week.

FOX News Channel's Zachary Kenworthy 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