Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Wrong Turn

Senator Joe Biden was reading through a speech on foreign policy in Cincinnati Wednesday when he suddenly departed from his prepared text.

The Democratic vice presidential nominee criticized John McCain for opposing negotiations with Iran, saying, "After seven years... the Bush administration realized the absurdity of its own policy and sent our leading diplomat to Iran. The assistant secretary of state as he went to Tehran, sat down at the instruction of the president of the United States."


No such meeting ever happened. There was a meeting with Iran but it was Undersecretary William Burns and it was in Switzerland — not Iran — and Burns merely sat in on discussions between Iranian representatives and other international diplomats. Burns had no negotiating role and was just an observer.

And, U.S. diplomats had previously met with Iran anyway, at a lower level in Iraq to discuss issues related to Iraq.

Trash Talking

Democratic Congressman Alcee Hastings of Florida told an audience of Jewish Democrats Wednesday they should be wary of Sarah Palin because "anybody toting guns and stripping moose don't care too much about what they do with Jews and blacks."

Hastings was speaking at the National Jewish Democratic Council's annual conference. Observers say the room erupted in applause and laughter as he made the comments.

He then added, "If Sarah Palin isn't enough of a reason for you to get over whatever your problem is with Barack Obama, then you damn well had better pay attention."

Green Thumb

A $100,000 grant that then-Illinois State Senator Barack Obama awarded in 2001 to a group headed by a one-time campaign volunteer is under investigation by the Illinois attorney general.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports the grant was intended for a botanical garden in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood, but the garden was never built and the money may have been misspent. Records obtained by the Sun-Times show $65,000 of the grant went to the wife of Kenny Smith — an Obama campaign volunteer for his failed congressional run in 2000. Smith heads the Chicago Better Housing Association which was in charge of the project.

Records show Smith wrote another $20,000 in grant-related checks to a construction company that his wife created five months after work on the garden was supposed to have begun.

No Way, Jose!

A man arrested for driving under the influence in South Charleston, West Virginia, got into a lot more trouble after he was hauled down to the police station.

José Cruz was pulled over for driving with his headlights off and then failed a series of sobriety tests. When police were fingerprinting him at the station, Cruz allegedly moved closer to one of the officers and broke wind. In the complaint, the officers say they noticed a "very strong" odor.

The stunt led Cruz to be charged with battery on an officer in addition to DUI and obstruction.

FOX News Channel's Zachary Kenworthy contributed to this report.