What's in a Name for Al Qaeda?

Letter reveals bin Laden considered new names for group


And now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Bad Reputation

Usama bin Laden thought his terror organization needed an image makeover. A letter recovered from his compound in Pakistan indicates he thought Al Qaeda had taken a bad rap for killing too many Muslims.

Bin Laden wanted a new name that would remind Muslims they were in a holy war with America. Some of his suggested replacements: "Monotheism and Jihad Group" or "Restoration of the Caliphate Group."

Bin Laden also worried that all his old comrades were either dead or captured and he barely knew their replacements.

PR Headache

Two airlines are dealing with their own public relations problem after reports of discrimination prompted criticism from Jewish groups.

Delta recently partnered with Saudi Arabian Airlines. Reports of alleged discrimination by the Saudi airline against Jewish travelers sparked a firestorm online.

The State Department's website notes U.S. citizens have reported being refused visas because their passports showed travel to Israel or indicated they were born there.

Delta says it must abide by the laws of the countries it serves. The Kingdom says it does not deny visas to U.S. citizens based on their religion.

Tough Crowd

And finally, Texas Governor Rick Perry, who is weighing a Republican presidential run, learned the hard way how tough comedy can be.

Perry was addressing the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials when he joked about the last name of one of his Hispanic appointees. Perry said "Jose Cuevas" was the perfect choice for the state's Alcoholic Beverage Commission because his name sounded a whole lot like the popular tequila brand "Jose Cuervo. "

Reports say the joke fell flat with the audience.