The Note: The Note

DNC Chairman Howard Dean heads to familiar Granite State turf today where he will attend a New Hampshire Democratic Party fundraiser in Concord, NH and then head down to Boston, MA for a 5:30 pm ET "DNC Democracy Bonds Rally."

At 2:00 pm ET, the Treasury Department will release federal budget statistics for July.

Also at 2:00 pm ET, Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) discusses his new book "It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good" in Wilmington, DE. Expect a Q & A as well as a book-signing to follow Santorum's talk.

Sen. George Allen (R-VA) continues his listening tour through the Commonwealth.

Roberts:

A videotape of John Roberts' Feb. 25, 2005 speech to students at Wake Forest University has made it into the hands of the Los Angeles Times' Maura Reynolds (and the Senate Judiciary Committee as well). In the speech Roberts explains that he finds decision making as a judge to be a much tougher task than he anticipated. He also cites a healthy bipartisan grouping of Supreme Court Justices as his favorites, including Robert Jackson (for his writings) and Felix Frankfurter and John Marshall Harlan (for their "analytical clarity"). LINK

The Wall Street Journal's editorial board does not like the new NARAL ad, which puts them in league with the Annenberg folks and many clear thinkers. Let's see if any Democratic Senator is brave enough to denounce the spot. . .

Bush agenda:

The Wall Street Journal's Chris Cooper Notes that even in the doldrums of August, the White House can still "adroitly" air its message from the precincts of Crawford and dominate the news cycle.

Case in point: The Los Angeles Times' Chen and Havemann wrap President Bush's "new confidence" in the economy and report the President's cautionary words on rising healthcare and energy costs as potential obstacles in continued economic growth. LINK

The Boston Globe's Scot Lehigh Notes that although the President's poll numbers are lower than perhaps Dan Bartlett would like, that has not shaken Bush's positive and "pleased" outlook on himself and his fiscal policies. LINK

The politics of Iraq:

The Los Angeles Times' Mazzetti writes up Secretary Rumsfeld's now standard caution that insurgent violence in Iraq will likely increase as the country approaches its next political deadline. LINK

Note NBC News' open talk about the White House's open talk about troop withdrawals, however.

Maureen Dowd is back writing bi-weekly, and today it is about the war in Iraq. LINK

Big Casino budget politics: Medicare:

Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar of the Los Angeles Times writes the lower-than-expected Medicare prescription drug benefit costs announced by the Administration yesterday "came as something of a surprise. Until now, most analysts had predicted that the program would be much more expensive than Bush and the Republican-controlled Congress envisioned." LINK

Robert Pear of the New York Times reads the fine print, too, however, beneath the headline. LINK

The Fitzgerald investigation:

The AP reports that members of the Inter-American Press Association have embarked upon Washington, DC this week to show their support for jailed reporter Judith Miller and meet with Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) about legislation that would secure the journalist/source relationship. LINK

Ethics:

Rep. Duke Cunningham (R-CA) is seeking permission from the FEC to use his campaign war chest to help pay some hefty legal bills. LINK

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