Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
A coalition of American Muslim groups is demanding that presumptive Republican nominee John McCain stop using the word "Islamic" to describe terrorists. The Washington Times reports Islamic Society of North America's secretary general wants McCain to use something he calls "more acceptable to the Muslim community."
"You want to call them terrorist criminals, fine. But adding the word 'Muslim' or 'Islamic' certainly doesn't help our cause as Americans... It paints an entire community of believers, 1.2 billion in total, in a very negative way."
But McCain strategist Steve Schmidt says there will be no changes. "The reality is, the hateful ideology which underpins bin Ladenism is properly described as radical Islamic extremism. Senator McCain refers to it that way because that is what it is."
You will recall that left-leaning Washington Post TV writer Tom Shales characterized ABC's production of last week's debate between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama as "despicable" and "shoddy." Now, Clinton aide Jay Carson has written to Shales — citing what he calls a double-standard in his criticism of a debate that contained some tough questions for Obama.
Carson writes, "I didn't recall you ever having the same negative reaction to any of the multiple debates where the moderators were extremely tough on Senator Clinton. MSNBC was so tough on Senator Clinton that they were mocked and criticized by many for the imbalance of their coverage, though notably not you. In fact, you found their most recent debate to be ‘too tame and tepid.'"
So far there has been no public response from Shales. A call from us to his office was not returned.
Senator Clinton's campaign is trying to spin some comments she made a few weeks ago critical of MoveOn.org — an organization that was created to help her husband during the impeachment scandal. MoveOn has endorsed Senator Obama. The Huffington Post reported that Mrs. Clinton told a fundraising audience that MoveOn had "flooded" party caucuses and tried to "intimidate" her supporters.
That caused a flurry of criticism on the liberal blogs. MoveOn's executive director called the comments "unfounded and categorically false."
Sunday, Clinton aide Geoff Garin said, "The truth is that we agree with MoveOn on lots of issues, disagree with them on some ... Senator Clinton ... respects the right of MoveOn to be involved in this process, and respects the role that activists play in our party."
The Moscow tabloid newspaper that published a story last week claiming President Vladimir Putin had left his wife to marry a 24-year-old former Olympic gymnast — is now out of business. The Moscow Times reports the paper — called Moskovsky Korrespondent — is blaming operating costs and "conceptual disagreements with the newsroom" and says the closing has nothing to do with political pressure.
One of the paper's editors scoffs at that saying, "We proved that Russia is not a democracy. We let the genie out of the bottle."
Both Putin and the alleged girlfriend deny the romance story — which has been the subject of rumors in Moscow for months.
— FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.