Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Behind the Numbers
The people behind an interactive poll that showed Hillary Clinton would lose to any of the top five Republican presidential candidates — are now firing back at criticism from the Clinton camp.
The Zogby online poll of about 9,000 likely voters showed that each Republican candidate would top Senator Clinton by three to five points in a general election match-up. Clinton chief political strategist and pollster Mark Penn says — "That was Zogby's first interactive, online poll ever... It's a meaningless poll."
Zogby calls Penn's statement — "a knee-jerk reaction by a campaign under pressure coming down the stretch."
And Zogby says the idea that this was the pollster's first online poll is — "a bizarre contention .. since Penn's company has been quietly requesting the results of such polls from Zogby for years… No other campaign has made as many requests for Zogby polling data over the years than Penn has made on behalf of Clinton."
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is accusing CNN of instigating a murder — his own. Chavez is upset about a mistake on the cable channel Monday in which his picture was shown with a graphic that read — "Who killed him?" It is believed the graphic pertained to another story. The anchor called for it to be taken down and the network apologized.
But Chavez says — "Undoubtedly it is part of the psychological warfare." Chavez has in the past accused many news organizations of biased reporting in what he says is a U.S. sponsored media campaign to destabilize the Venezuelan government.
Meanwhile Chavez's ex-wife is apologizing for publicly supporting him in the past — and is now urging defeat of this weekend's vote to eliminate presidential term limits and expand Chavez's power. Maria Isabel Rodriguez says the proposals could put even the right to life at risk.
From "the politics makes strange bedfellows" department — President Bush's ambassador to the United Nations was seen this week having lunch with one of the administration's most ardent and influential critics. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and billionaire George Soros were spotted at a restaurant close to the United Nations. Soros is the money behind organizations such as MoveOn.org.
The two men talked for about an hour-and-a-half. Soros' office would not comment. A spokesman for Khalilzad said the ambassador meets with a number of people in both official and personal capacities. His aides declined to say if the ambassador had met with other leading Democrats.
Crime and Punishment
And a follow-up on a story we've told you about concerning a 19-year-old Saudi rape victim sentenced to 90 lashes for being alone with a male who was not a relative — then re-sentenced to 200 lashes for talking to the media about it.
Saudi Foreign Minister Saud Al-Faisal now says the Saudi judiciary will review the case. This comes following an international outcry over the increased sentence.
Last Saturday the Saudi Justice Ministry said the woman confessed to adultery. It insisted the flogging would be carried out — and condemned foreign interference.
— FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.