Would You Vote for 'Grandma Strayhorn' for Governor in Texas?

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

One Big Scam?

The U.S. and Iraqi governments are calling the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi a victory in the War on Terror, but some on the left here at home are calling it "one big scam."

One liberal Web log reader says the news is just "another wave of propaganda from the Bush Cabal," saying, "He was likely killed years ago, or is still alive." Another calls it suspicious that Zarqawi's death comes just "as the marriage amendment failed" and "Bush's poll numbers are slipping," adding, "I don't buy it."

Meanwhile, The Washington Times reports that California Democrat Pete Stark called the announcement a political stunt to "cover Bush's [rear] so he doesn't have to answer" for the deaths of Iraqi civilians.

Grandma Strayhorn for Governor?

Independent Texas gubernatorial candidate Carole Keeton Strayhorn is looking to cash in on a popular campaign slogan from her last campaign, filing a petition to appear on the November ballot as "Grandma Strayhorn."

The long-time politician, whose son is former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, changed her name after her recent remarriage — and says confused voters are more likely to recognize her when reminded of her 1998 slogan: "One Tough Grandma."

But a spokesman for incumbent Governor James Richard Perry — better known as Rick — called the move a political gimmick, telling the Houston Chronicle, "She ain't my grandma."

Corrections and Apologies

In a recent story on the alleged killing of Iraqi civilians by U.S. Marines in Haditha, The Times of London ran a brutal photograph of dead Iraqis lying in a bullet-riddled ditch, and the Chicago Sun-Times later ran a cartoon based on the photograph to attack the administration over the Haditha incident. But it turns out that the photograph actually depicts Iraqis murdered by Sunni insurgents months before the Haditha incident.

The Times, which is owned by the parent company of this network, issued a correction, and the Sun-Times says it "deeply regrets" what it called its "egregious error," adding, "we apologize to the U.S. servicemen, especially those in the Marine Corps, and to our readers who were understandably offended."

Political Smear Campaign?

There are all kinds of ways to express a political view, but one college professor in Colorado has launched a "smear campaign" that's gotten her charged with criminal use of a noxious substance.

Kathleen Ensz is accused of filling a campaign mailer she received from Republican Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave with dog manure and depositing it through the mail slot at Musgrave's office.

Ensz, a professor emeritus at the University of Northern Colorado, is a long-time Democrat who supports Musgrave's opponent. Still, friends say they're surprised by her actions, telling the Denver Post that Ensz is normally a "straightforward... no-B.S. — so to speak — kind of person."

—FOX News Channel's Aaron Bruns contributed to this report.