ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

The Washington Post 's Dan Eggen reports that though the FBI has hundreds of thousands of hours of wiretap recordings from counterterrorism and counterintelligence investigations since Sept. 11, 2001, and though funding has been expanded for translators and linguists, the job's not getting done. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: the Senate:

The Washington Post 's E.J. Dionne suggests that Kerry take note of the heartland and "as he prepares for Thursday's debate with President Bush, John Kerry might ponder the thoughts of Ken Salazar, Colorado's attorney general and one of the Democrats' best hopes for picking up a U.S. Senate seat this year." LINK

And here's the Los Angeles Times ad box on Senator Boxer's first campaign commercial of the season. LINK

Roll Call reports Senator Elizabeth Dole may seek the position of chair of NRSC. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: the House:

The Hill Notes, House Republicans are taking a full offensive position — "moving aggressively to try to increase" their majority "by knocking off Democratic incumbents." LINK

The politics of health care:

The Washington Post 's Ceci Connolly assesses the state of health care in America, and according to government statistics and studies, "In the past four years, Americans have spent an ever-growing portion of their paychecks on health care and for the most part gotten less for their money, forcing millions into the ranks of the uninsured or personal bankruptcy." LINK

The politics of guns:

In one of the clearest examples of election-year posturing out there, Reps. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and John Conyers (D-MI) on Monday called on President Bush to declare whether or not he supports a measure sponsored by Rep. Mark Souder (R-IN) to "end the city's stringent bans on handguns and semiautomatic weapons, lift registration requirements for ammunition and other weapons, and decriminalize possession of unregistered firearms and carrying a handgun in one's home or office." The White House, unsurprisingly, did not comment on the specifics of Souder's bill. LINK

The politics of same-sex marriage:

The New York Times has a global look at the state ballot measures on this hot-button issue. LINK

GOPer and Harvard Law Grad Chris Cox (R-CA) has an impassioned appeal against the Federal Marriage Amendment in today's Wall Street Journal .


Justice Sandra Day O'Connor has been assigned to review a request for stay of the Oregon Supreme Court's decision to take Ralph Nader's name off the ballot, reports Gina Holland of the AP. While the Nader-Campaign filed its case just last Friday, an announcement is expected soon. Oregon residents vote by mail, and their counties have already started printing the 1.9 million ballots. If she approves the Nader campaign's request, the state will be asked to halt printing immediately and put his name back on the ballot. Because this is an emergency appeal, one justice has been assigned to handle the paperwork. She may act alone or ask the entire bench to weigh in.

Nader's attorney Daniel Meek argues state election officials misinterpreted unwritten rules that disqualified Nader's signatures — and in doing so they have disenfranchised voters who would support the independent candidate. Nader took five percent of the Oregon vote in 2000; his support in 2004 has dwindled significantly. LINK

We expect to have a decision SOON from the Ohio Secretary of State on Nader's status the battleground state with 20 electoral votes.

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