Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:


Reports of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright's retirement apparently have been greatly exaggerated.

Wright was to have stepped down as senior pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ last Sunday and his hand-picked successor, the Reverend Otis Moss III, was to deliver his first sermon in that role.

Instead, church bulletins identified Moss as "pastor" rather than "senior pastor." And, Time Magazine Reports Wright said during a meeting with church leaders that Moss should be declared "senior pastor-elect" because he still needs supervision.

Moss was also ordered to fire the first person he hired, his head of communications. The ordeal is not sitting well with some in the congregation. One church member said, "Two years ago you felt God gave you the vision to bring Reverend Moss here. Why are you second-guessing God's vision?"

Fete Fret

Updating a story we told you about last Friday, the financially-strapped host committee for this summer's Democratic National Convention in Denver is scrapping plans for more than two dozen parties to welcome state delegations.

The Denver Post reports the DNC will hold one big bash instead. Denver's committee has not met fundraising obligations, even though Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have broken fundraising records for their own campaigns.

Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper says donors have been reluctant because of the lack of a clear nominee. The city had agreed to raise just over $40 million in private donations by June 16, but had only banked $25 million by last month.

Putin Up a Fight?

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin might have a problem with an initiative to build a national museum and memorial to honor victims of Soviet-era repression. That plan is being led by former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev.

A statement from Gorbachev and 25 other leaders and activists reads, "The current and future generations need memory and knowledge of the repressions of the Stalin regime."

Critics say the Russian government has glossed over the crimes of its predecessors and has recast history to suit its needs. Putin even suggested last year that no one should make Russia feel guilty about the millions who died. He has even had a teacher's manual published suggesting Josef Stalin's actions were justified by the need to modernize the economy.

Gorbachev has expressed alarm over efforts to cast Stalin in a positive light, adding, "As for the memory of people who fell into the millstone of Stalin’s repressions, there is still a great deal to be done."

Credit Crooks

A young British couple was recently surprised to find that their bank card had been stolen. They were even more surprised to find out where their money had gone.

An online news site in Kent, England, reports Tania Parker discovered her account had been emptied after she tried to withdraw money from an ATM. When she called her bank, she was told she had made two donations to Barack Obama's campaign totaling around $400.

Parker says she actually prefers Hillary Clinton. She added, "When your card gets nicked you expect them to buy designer jeans or jewelry, not go topping up the coffers of some foreign politician."

FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.