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Morning Show Wrap

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47 days until Election Day 14 days until the first proposed presidential debate 19 days until the proposed vice presidential debate 22 days until the second proposed presidential debate 27 days until the third proposed presidential debate


President Bush rocks the people of Minnesota with a focus on health care and national security.

John Kerry takes his turn at the tables in Vegas with the National Guard.

Laura Bush becomes a Jersey girl.

And it turns out that the relentlessly optimistic Bush Administration hasn't necessarily been fully reflecting all of the intelligence it has on the likely future of Iraq.

All of which perfectly sets up some questions we want answers to as soon as possible:

Will the alchemy of continued deaths in Iraq and today's boffo New York Times lead by unportly pepperpot Doug Jehl looking at the pessimistic classified National Intelligence Estimate about the conflict lead to a press and public re-focus on the president's conduct of the war? LINK

Who among us has figured out the best way to filter from "registered voters" to "likely voters" in this presidential year of unprecedented bipartisan efforts to sign up new people and turn them out on election day?

Which does the average suburban Columbus, OH housewife spend more time thinking about: the difference between the words "authentic" and "accurate" or the relative influence of Joe Lockhart versus Bob Shrum? (On such things are presidential races won and lost . . .)

Besides the following sentences, what better evidence can America find for the fact that the Associated Press' Ron Fournier is a cross between Ernest Hemingway, John King, Larry King, Solomon, and Gandhi: "For Kerry to prevail, issues need to matter more. Or voters need to think better of Kerry's character and less of the president's." LINK

Did President Bush's debate-about-debate strategy change, and, if so, how come?

Can Mike McCurry sprinkle enough of his charming bonhomie fairy dust to induce a little Stockholm Syndrome in the Kerry traveling press?

Can Steve Schmidt stop that from happening?

Are DNC interns afraid of Michael Whouley?

Can weather news completely blot out "the most important presidential campaign of our lifetime"?

Does John Kerry's decisive win in the most recent news cycle matter in the minds of an Ivan-flooded viewing public?

What the heck is happening with Ralph Nader in Florida?

Will Mark Mellman and Frank Newport ever make up?

Aside from their huge absentee and registration pushes, what other music is BC04RNC orchestrating behind the scenes?

Who taught CBS News' spokesgal Sandy Genelius to have so much grace under fire?

Has the DNC's obsessive National Guard focus worked, backfired, or had no effect?

Are the presidential campaigns and their respective national party committees at all concerned that the political press corps is on the verge of completely tuning out and deleting without reading their e-mailed press releases (with the exception of scheduling information)?

Will Senators Kerry and Edwards completely avoid being reeled back into the Senate well in the next 40 days?

Today, Kerry speaks to the National Guard Association that received President Bush with overwhelming applause on Tuesday. And it's a sucker's bet that a large amount of the Kerry coverage today will focus on comparing the reception Kerry gets today with President Bush's.

Kerry, who will appear with Gen. Wesley Clark, will not pull his punches; according to the campaign's preview he will tell the "real situation in Iraq":

"More than a thousand Americans have been killed. Instability is rising. Violence is spreading. Extremism is growing. There are now havens for terrorists that weren't there before . . . " (We'll see if the candidate delivers the message that precisely and with passion, and, perhaps, with some references to Doug Jehl.)

In his speech to the group President Bush promised Guard and Reserve members he was "working" on their concerns about the length of and advance notice before their mobilizations. Kerry's campaign promises that he will, as he often does, call the Guard's 40 percent share of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan a "burden" and "talk about the need to strengthen our military so that the men and women of the national Guard are not bearing so much of that burden."

(But an unanswered question not addressed by the campaign: Will Kerry call, as he did in May, for an additional 40,000 troops in Iraq? Or will he emphasize his desire to "within a year from now . . . significantly reduce American forces in Iraq" as he did in August? And will he repeat his claim that President Bush has instituted a "backdoor draft" for the Guard and Reserves?)

Kerry does not speak to the Guard Association until 3:30 pm ET. He then flies to New Mexico for an 8:15 pm ET rally in Albuquerque with Gov. Bill Richardson.

President Bush will deliver the message that the United States is winning the war on terror, including the war in Iraq, during a bus tour through Minnesota — but not without holding a health care-only event in the early afternoon.

Bush comes to the state that Gore won by only 2 percentage points in 2000 with some momentum — Republicans think Bush has a small lead in the state compared to a slightly larger deficit before his convention. Bush sandwiches a 10:35 am ET St. Cloud rally and a 5:05 pm ET Rochester rally with a 1:40 pm ET health care event in Blaine.


Laura Bush holds the campaign's first event in New Jersey, which only the most hopeful have so far cited as a battleground, when she speaks at an 11:15 am ET rally in Hamilton.

Vice President Cheney is in Albuquerque and Reno.

Edwards is in Portsmouth, OH before raising coin in Louisville, KY.

Teresa Heinz Kerry is in Pittsburgh.

Elizabeth Edwards is in North Carolina.

After a morning pro forma session the Senate adjourns until Monday afternoon, when it will vote on the military construction appropriations bill.

According to the Labor Department, consumer prices increased just 0.1 percent in August, below consensus estimates of 0.2 percent — which means we'll expect to hear that inflation is being held in check in the BC04 talking points — and that the Fed may not raise rates in a couple of months, reports ABC News' Daniel Arnall.

Full report: LINK

President Bush and the National Guard: the politics of the documents:

On Wednesday night, just as the first feeds of the evening news broadcasts were ending, CBS released a lengthy statement that: — named another document examiner: James J. Pierce — said Pierce and Matley still think the documents are authentic — acknowledged unspecified "contradictions" in the evidence — employed an even-if-the-docs-are-fake-their-content-is-true argument

The statement said, "Numerous questions have been raised about the authenticity of the documents. CBS News believes it is important for the news media to be accountable and address legitimate questions."

More from the statement: "CBS News is not prepared to reveal its confidential sources or the method by which 60 MINUTES Wednesday received the documents. CBS News' reporting determined that the source of the memos had access to the documents he provided and an opportunity to obtain copies of them. Our sources included individuals who had first-hand knowledge of the events in question."

The statement also focused on the producer behind the story: "Additionally, Mary Mapes, the producer of the report and a well-respected, veteran journalist whose credibility has never been questioned, has been following this story for more than five years. She has a vast and detailed knowledge of the issues surrounding President Bush's service in the Guard and of the individuals involved in the story. Before the report was broadcast, it was vetted and screened in accordance with CBS News standards by several veteran 60 MINUTES Wednesday senior producers and CBS News executives."

The statement said that Pierce and James "appeared on a competing network (Tuesday), where they misrepresented their conversations and communication with CBS News."

The CBS statement also asserted that they had asked two more people, an IBM typewriter technician and a computer software expert with "specific expertise relative to the documents," to examine them and they "found nothing to lead them to believe that the documents did not date back to the early 1970s."

The New York Times ' Rutenberg and Zernike write, "Inside the network, Mr. Rather's colleagues expressed growing alarm at questions about the documents' authenticity."LINK

In a telephone interview with USA Today , Rather "said repeatedly in an interview, [no one] has yet disputed 'the heart' of his report. But, he said, a 'thick partisan fogging machine seeks to cloud the core truth of our story by raising questions about the messenger, methods and techniques,'" reports Johnson and Drinkard. LINK

The Washington Post 's Howard Kurtz sits down with Dan Rather and reports, "Some friends of Rather, whose contract runs until the end of 2006, are discussing whether he might be forced to make an early exit from CBS." LINK

In an article that mostly speculates about Bill Burkett's involvement in the purported National Guard memos about then Lt. Bush, the Washington Post 's Michael Dobbs reports that the memos were faxed to CBS from an Abilene, TX Kinko's. LINK

The New York Times ' Ralph Blumenthal on Bill Burkett. LINK

The Washington Post ominously says:

"In a related development, White House press secretary Scott McClellan hinted that more documents regarding Bush's National Guard service may soon be released. Asked whether officials in the White House have seen unreleased documents, McClellan called that 'a very real possibility.' Other officials with knowledge of the situation said more documents had indeed been uncovered and would be released in the coming days."

And the New York Times reports this wrongly:

"Scott McClellan, the White House spokesman, said at a news briefing that the Democratic National Committee and the Kerry campaign were behind the documents, an accusation both camps denied."

Up on the Hill, Republicans called on CBS News President Andrew Heyward to issue a retraction of the story. House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO) and 39 other House GOPers signed a letter to Heyward.

California Rep. Chris Cox yesterday called for an investigation into the purported National Guard documents about President Bush aired by CBS. LINK

The Hill's Hans Nichols Notes, "Congressional Democrats, without explicitly rallying to Rather's defense, accused Republicans of attempting to intimidate the media and change the subject." LINK

Meanwhile, Maureen Dowd writes about the "pre-emptive paranoia" that Republicans and Karl Rove are behind the documents. LINK

Wall Street Journal 's editorial board thinks "the liberal media establishment has ceased to set the U.S. political agenda." No real explanation of the paper's citation of the actions of ABC News and the Washington Post , but that's OK.

ABC News Vote 2004: Bush v. Kerry:

Who's to blame? Senator Kerry insists it's President Bush. To blame for what? It's "the excuse presidency," which is to say — everything! LINK

"Kerry losing women's support," reads Jeff Zeleny's headline in the Chicago Tribune. LINK

Zeleny writes, "In conversations with women this week in Wisconsin, Iowa and Ohio, security was cited as one of the chief issues in the campaign. Several voters recall how they felt after the Sept. 11 attacks and the more recent school takeover in Russia."

The Bush convention bounce has all but dissipated, according to a new Harris Interactive poll. The phone poll, taken Sep. 9-13, shows Kerry leading Bush 48 percent to 47 percent and that "a slender 51% to 45% majority doesn't believe that Mr. Bush deserves to be re-elected." LINK

Ralph Z. Hallow of the Washington Times Notes Bush's increasing lead in battleground states and Kerry's decreasing support in key groups: "John Kerry is losing support among Democrats, independents, women, Catholics and veterans, all of whom helped give President Bush the Post -convention bounce he got — and still holds — in many polls. " LINK

Which means of course that the race will tighten (even more) if Kerry can get that support back.

Wall Street Journal 's John Wilke looks at the Chamber of Commerce's ad campaigns. "In about 25 states, the business-advocacy group is targeting candidates for attorney general and supreme-court justice who are seen as opposed to legal overhaul or other business interests."

AP's Liz Sidoti reports on the Democrats' attempts to court blacks and Hispanics in battleground state cities and details an anti-abortion ad criticizing Democrats that asks 'Why don't they want our children?'" LINK

Dean David Broder takes an excellent look at a quieter form of criticism of the Iraq war during a Max Cleland event in New Hampshire. LINK

The Washington Post 's Paul Farhi seems to think that the press traveling with the candidates ought to actually have access to them or something. What nerve. LINK

We pause for a moment to allow this irony break (bold and italics ours): "Advisers to both candidates say potential gaffes are not the reason they avoid news conferences — rather it is the risk of losing control of the scripted daily message. Kerry's aides are concerned that if he says something newsworthy at a news conference, he will crowd out the issues that the campaign is trying to push. By limiting media access to Kerry, the campaign ensures that Kerry's planned statements receive prominence in the daily news cycle."

The Washington Post 's editorial board shakes its head at the state of the health care debate between the two campaigns. We'd like to point out, however, that despite the distortions and the political ads that "stretch the truth," at least they're talking about an issue. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Bush-Cheney re-elect:

The president is in Minnesota today for two rallies and a "Focus on Health with President Bush" event. Per campaign spokesman Scott Stanzel, President Bush will talk with a community health center representative, a senior with a Medicare-approved Prescription Drug Card and a beneficiary of a health savings account at the health care event.

Vice President Cheney heads to Albuquerque, NM for a breakfast roundtable and a rally in Reno, NV. Here's your tease — keep your ears open for the Vice President to talk about another failed attempt by Senator Kerry to explain his position on Iraq.

The New York Daily News reports President Bush is "eroding" John Kerry's advantage in New York with BC04 deploying the FLOTUS to Jersey to further test the waters. A new Marist poll shows Kerry's 18-point advantage in New York has slipped — and he now leads Bush 48 percent to 40 percent. While New York remains Blue as can be, a Quinnipiac poll gives Kerry a mere 47-to-41 lead. LINK

AP previews Laura Bush's visit to New Jersey. LINK

The Washington Post 's Mike Allen writes of President Bush's "unusual rebuke" of Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday. LINK

At an event for Hispanic Heritage Month, President Bush expressed concern for Putin's decision on elections in Russia. Bush said that the decision to not have a popular vote for governors in regions in Russia "could undermine democracy in Russia."

The Washington Post 's Wright and Ricks write that the administration plans to use Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi's visit to the United States next week to mount a "vigorous election-year defense of its troubled Iraq policy." LINK

Vice President Cheney and his staff refused to answer the Los Angeles Times' questions about the Veep's draft deferments. LINK

The Washington Post 's Alan Cooperman writes long and bold that while President Bush's general faith is well documented, not even the president's aides know its details, including "whether the president believes that: the Bible is without error; the theory of evolution is true; homosexuality is a sinful choice; only Christians will go to heaven; support for Israel is a biblical imperative; or the war in Iraq is part of God's plan." LINK

Helen Kennedy of the New York Daily News Notes the Bush twins made their campaign trail debut in De Pere, WI, yesterday, urging college students to throw political shindigs for their dad, urging students to put their "party planning skills to good work," by throwing one for their father. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Kerry-Edwards '04:

AP's Nedra Pickler wraps Senator Kerry's day yesterday: LINK

Elisabeth Bumiller is on the Kerry trail and wraps the Senator's criticisms of the president's economic policies. LINK

Wall Street Journal 's Jacob Schlesinger also looks at Kerry taking aim at President Bush, and reports that "Voters will hear a lot more in coming weeks about" Enron and Halliburton.

The Washington Post 's Jim VandeHei leads with Kerry slamming Bush on Iraq, calling the president dishonest about the insurgency and endangering the likelihood of free and fair Iraqi elections. LINK

USA Today 's Martin Kasindorf writes that "Kerry went after Bush with the same aggressiveness that he has shown since the Republican convention in condemning Bush's handling of Iraq and in countering Republican attacks on his Vietnam War service." LINK

The Detroit headlines for Kerry's Wednesday speech read: "Kerry: Bush's term full of excuses" LINK and "Kerry attacks Bush's 'excuse presidency.'" LINK

The Boston Globe 's Ellen Goodman deconstructs the Democrats' "September anxiety attack" over the Kerry campaign by focusing on the calm eye of the storm: Mary Beth Cahill. LINK

After mentioning questions of whether or not she is nasty enough to lead the campaign, Goodman brings this moment of Cahill Zen: "If the Kerry campaign hasn't taken the low road, it is partially because, she says, 'win or lose, and my deep belief is he's going to win, you run a campaign you live with for the rest of your life. George Bush Sr. is forever tarred by the craven way he went after Dukakis.'"

The New York Times ' David Halbfinger provides a DEEP look into the new Kerry campaign message machine and reports that Kerry is happy and that Shrum, Devine, and Mellman have been pushed somewhat aside by Joe Lockhart and Company. LINK

Absent from this story: the words "Joel Johnson" and "Mike Donilon."

Donald Lambro of the Washington Times on Tony Coelho's remarks on the disorganization of the Kerry campaign: LINK

George Will shakes his head at Kerry, examining why a focus on nuance, while helpful in the Senate, doesn't make for a great presidential candidate. That and not talking about a 20-year Senate record. LINK

The New York Times ' Archibold and Nagourney report on the "less belligerent and lower-profile" Senator John Edwards, and get an unnamed adviser to admit "he doesn't make for the most effective attack dog." They also report Edwards was not at all involved in the recent staff shakeup. LINK

The debate about debates:

The Commission on Presidential Debates to the campaigns in a letter yesterday: let's light this candle. LINK

In USA Today , Michael Crow, president of proposed third debate host Arizona State University, writes about the hardships and blessings of raising tuition at his institution. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: The Big Four: Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio, and Wisconsin:

ABC News' Jake Tapper profiled the battleground of Pennsylvania on Wednesday's "World News Tonight," and found independent voters who, concerned about both the economy and national security, are tough sells for the candidates. LINK

And . . . the hotly anticipated ABC News Pennsylvania poll! Proclaiming that the state is "as close as it gets."

Voters in the Keystone State are concerned about the economy which is good for John Kerry, and national security and leadership, which is good for George W. Bush, ABC News' poll found. The head-to-head matchup is basically tied, with 49 percent of likely voters supporting the president and 48 percent supporting the Senator. Add Ralph Nader into the mix, and the numbers become 49-46-2, respectively. LINK

ABC News' Polling Director Gary Langer reports that 21 percent of Pennsylvanians — about 1 in 5 — say they've been contacted by someone from the Bush campaign, and 14 percent say they've been contacted by the Kerry campaign.

He Notes that there are more Democrats than Republicans in the voter pool at this point. Kerry remains competitive on issues including the economy, health care, and education, while Bush finishes stronger on attributes such as security, clarity and leadership. While Kerry holds the edge with registered voters in trust to handle the economy (50 percent to 42 percent), Bush has a 16-point lead on handling terrorism.

Be sure to take a gander at this nugget: 48 percent of registered voters in Pennsylvania say they view President Bush favorably (5 points higher than his unfav rating), and 42 percent say they view Kerry favorably.

And this: "As is the case nationally, Kerry is receiving more of a negative vote than an affirmative one: Fifty-four percent of his supporters in Pennsylvania say they're more against Bush than for Kerry. Among Bush's supporters, by contrast, 81 percent are mainly for him, rather than against Kerry."

The AP's Lara Jakes Jordan reports President Bush is "outhustling" his opponent in Pennsylvania, a state that leans Democrat, as she looks at the ABC News poll and one from Quinnipiac University. LINK

There are several semi-interesting headlines on the Columbus Dispatch's site, including "Bush plan appears to increase deficit more than Kerry's," but the page is being goofy right now and won't link to any articles, which the Columbus Dispatch's webmaster should know puts him or her in the running to unseat the Boston Globe 's Webmaster as The Note's sworn enemy. LINK

The Cincinnati Enquirer's Howard Wilkinson reports on vote rocking in his town. LINK

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Patrick Marley has a headline that should make it into the KE04 scrapbook: "Kerry vows more effective presidency." LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: the battlegrounds:

The Los Angeles Times' LaGanga surely made some Kerry-Edwards field staffers in Arizona very, very happy this morning with her explanation of why the Grand Canyon State is still in play. LINK

A Minnesota poll by the Minneapolis Star Tribune "shows that the flip-flop label seems to be sticking better to Kerry than the inflexible label is adhering to Bush. Even though the poll shows that Kerry retains a nine-point lead over Bush, half of the state's likely voters believe that Kerry flip-flops on issues." LINK Bill Salisbury of the St. Paul Pioneer Press writes up their latest poll, Noting that it does "contrast sharply" with a Wednesday Minnesota poll. It shows Bush leading Kerry 46 percent to 44 percent, with 4 percent margin of error. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: casting and counting:

Michael Moss of the New York Times continues to stake his claim to the casting and counting beat with a piece about the background about a private firm involved with overseas ballot efforts by the government. LINK

Jeff Jacoby's Boston Globe column today highlights what could be a problem: voter fraud. It could result in a stolen election. LINK

Kristen Searer of the Las Vegas Sun writes, "The White House is so concerned about voter registration fraud in Clark County that officials could send in federal investigators to look at the issue, Secretary of State Dean Heller said [Wednesday] morning." LINK

The politics of intelligence:

The Washington Post 's Chuck Babington wraps Congress' plans on intelligence reform and reports that the 9/11 Commission chairs praised the plan presented by Sens. Collins and Lieberman. LINK

AP's Jesse Holland details the intelligence reform legislation. LINK

As does the New York Times ' Phillip Shennon. LINK

Emily Pierce of Roll Call fame writes the Senate Armed Services Committee is on "the verge of losing out in the jurisdictional turf battle" and its "function as an overseer of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee's work." LINK

The politics of the CIA leak:

The Washington Post 's Susan Schmidt reports that Walter Pincus' confidential source "has revealed his or her identity to the special prosecutor conducting the CIA leak inquiry, a development that provides investigators with a fact they have been pursuing in the nearly year-long probe." Pincus, who had been subpoenaed to testify before the grand jury in the case, gave a deposition Wednesday and said "he did not name the source and agreed to be questioned only with the source's approval." LINK

Meanwhile, special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has issued new broader subpoenas for Matt Cooper and Time magazine, and Schmidt reports that Time outside counsel Floyd Abrams said the magazine will move to quash the subpoenas and appeal if the district court refuses.

And that means our "Free Matt Cooper" T-shirt is back in vogue!!!

The politics of Iraq:

USA Today 's Barbara Slavin reports, "Senators from both parties accused the Bush administration Wednesday of incompetence in its efforts to rebuild Iraq and said the United States could lose the war unless it improves security and gets more money into the Iraqi economy." LINK

Knight Ridder's Jonathan Landay writes that Sens. Lugar and Hagel's "rebuked the Bush Administration" with "harsh comments." LINK

Hurricane politics:

President Bush has promised quick relief to the governors of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana has Hurricane Ivan came ashore, reports the Washington Post . LINK

And the AP. LINK

On the Hill:

Congress has a lot of spending bills on its plate, the New York Times ' Carl Hulse reports. LINK

The Senate Appropriations Committee broke ranks yesterday and voted to repeal the administration's new overtime rules. LINK and LINK

The Wall Street Journal 's David Rogers looks at the Senate Appropriations Committee' approval of a $3 billion spending increase to the president's 2005 budget request.

The Hill's Jonathan Kaplan reports that ethics complaints of improper fundraising against Majority Leader Tom DeLay are "likely going to be dismissed by the House ethics committee, according to a source familiar with the panel's internal discussions." The "well-placed source" says at least some of the five Democrats on the panel are expected to agree DeLay has been wrongly accused. LINK

AP's Jim Abrams reports that billionaire Democratic donor George Soros is asking for an investigation into House Speaker's Dennis Hastert's insinuation that Soros' money might come from drug trafficking. LINK

The Hill's Bob Cusack reports the White House is refusing to promote HHS official Howard Zucker, "who has worked on healthcare problems confronting Iraq and Afghanistan because he contributed to the Democratic Party four years ago." LINK

Senator Judd Gregg is challenged to a Scrabble match by "Granny D" Haddock his 94-year-old Democratic opponent. LINK

Big Casino budget politics: Medicare:

New drug price comparisons are now posted on over the objections of drug companies, the New York Times ' Robert Pear reports. LINK

Here, Kitty Kitty:

Heaven personified: Frank Bruni writing about Kitty Kelley in the House and Home section of the New York Times . LINK

Lloyd Grove Notes the National Enquirer has conducted its own follow-up investigation into the allegations in Kelley's new book, "More Proof Bush Used Cocaine." Deputy White House press secretary Trent Duffy calls it, among other things, "trash." LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Nader-Camejo '04:

John Kennedy of the Orlando Sentinel reports — after a day of dramatic events that at points have his both on and off the ballot — Nader's status is on hold. Yesterday justices stepped in and ordered Secretary of State Glenda Hood to halt any presidential ballots from being mailed until a decision is made on Ralph Nader's Reform Party candidacy. The Florida Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Friday morning. LINK

The New York Times ' editorial board thinks the new elections supervisor can't be trusted after her efforts to put Ralph Nader on the ballot. LINK

Susan Greene of the Denver Post looks at the Democrats' effort to remove Nader from the Colorado ballot: "The party's lawsuit — scheduled to be heard Friday in Denver District Court — seeks to prevent Nader from siphoning votes away from Democrat John Kerry as he did from Al Gore in 2000. The case comes as some Democrats are floating a referendum designed to keep Bush from winning all nine of the state's Electoral College votes." LINK

The land of 5 + 2 = 7:

A federal district judge on Wednesday rejected the Bush campaign's request to force the Federal Election Commission to crack down on 527 groups, the Washington Post 's Carol Leonnig reports. LINK

U.S. District Judge James Robertson agreed that the FEC is slow in its enforcement process, but said that the law doesn't give him the authority to order them to speed it up.

The Bush-Cheney '04 campaign put out a statement from general counsel Tom Josefiak on the judge's decision regarding the 527s.

It seems BC04 is not ready to give up the fight, as Josefiak Notes in his statement that the campaign is evaluating its option to appeal the judge's decision on an emergency basis.

From Josefiak:

"We share in the Court's frustration at what Judge Robertson described as 'the glacially slow pace of the FEC' in its enforcement actions. Even though today's motion to force the FEC to act quickly with respect to the 527 organizations was denied, our case is still pending before the Court and the FEC must file a response by November 1, 2004. We are grateful that Judge Robertson recognized the importance of the matter before him by ruling from the bench today, and making clear that we now have the opportunity to appeal his decision on an emergency basis. We are evaluating this option."

"President Bush believes that all of the illegal activities by these soft money groups should stop. We will continue to pursue all options that will help us achieve that goal."

Politics and the movies:

The Los Angeles Times' Elaine Dutka looks at the "anti-'Fahrenheit 9/11'": "Celsius 41.11," brought to you courtesy of "writer-producer Lionel Chetwynd, one of Hollywood's most vocal Republicans" and Citizens United. LINK

"Made over several weeks on a $900,000 budget, 'Celsius 41.11' is scheduled to premiere Sept. 28 at a Washington theater. The title of the movie alludes to the temperature at which the brain deteriorates from heat — in this case, from Moore's left-wing rhetoric," said Chetwynd. Filmmakers say the piece contrasts the positions of Bush and Kerry, and features interviews with "Republican actor-politician Fred Thompson, journalists Fred Barnes and Charles Krauthammer, film critic Michael Medved and terrorism expert Mansoor Ijaz, among others. No contact was made with the White House, the filmmakers said."


Who needs political ads, rallies, and town-hall meetings when you have a ragin' Congress on C-SPAN? Richard Simon of the Los Angeles Times writes, "The Republican-controlled House and Senate have begun taking up bills, not with any expectation they will become law, but with the intention of stoking the presidential campaign and energizing the party's political base."LINK

The New York Times looks at the political resurrection of Marion Barry, a candidate whose own pastor endorsed his major opponent. LINK

The Washington Post editorial board seems confounded by DC voters' choices. LINK

Little boys (and big boys, for that matter) everywhere would be devastated to know that even The Terminator, the Governor of California, could not break through the California flight delays the other day. LINK

TODAY'S SCHEDULE (all times ET):

—8:30 am: The Labor Department releases the August Consumer Price Index —8:30 am: Freddie Mac releases the weekly report on mortgage rates —8:30 am: Labor Department releases the weekly report on initial jobless claims —9:30 am: International electoral experts hold a news conference on their job to monitor the U.S. elections at the National Press Club, Washington, DC —10:00 am: The Senate convenes for a pro forma session —10:30 am: Sen. Tom Harkin holds a press conference at the Capitol on proposed legislation to stop recent changes to overtime rules, Washington, DC —10:30 am: DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe holds a news conference to announce his tour of battleground states, Washington, DC —10:30 am: The American Lung Association and the Sierra Club hold a news conference outside the EPA to criticize the Administration's environmental polices, Washington, DC —10:45 am: President Bush holds a rally in Dick Putz Field, St. Cloud, MN —11:15 am: Laura Bush speaks at a rally at Colonial Fire House, Hamilton, NJ —11:30 am: Elizabeth Edwards holds a discussion with military families at the VFW hall, Fayetteville, NC —12:00 pm: Teresa Heinz Kerry meets with African-American community leaders at Carnegie Library, Pittsburgh, PA —12:25 pm: Sen. John Edwards holds a rally at Roy Rogers Esplanade, Portsmouth, OH —1:00 pm: Vice President Cheney participates in a roundtable discussion at JB's Restaurant, Albuquerque, NM —1:40 pm: President Bush participates in a "Focus on Health with President Bush" event in the NSC Sports Hall, Blaine, MN —3:30 pm: Sen. John Kerry speaks to the National Guard Association general conference, Las Vegas, NV —5:05 pm: President Bush holds a rally in Mayo Field, Rochester, MN —6:00 pm: Kitty Kelley speaks to the Washington Independent Writers about her book "The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty" at the National Press Club, Washington, DC —6:10 pm: Vice President Cheney speaks at a rally in the Reno-Sparks Convention Center, Reno, NV —6:30 pm: Teresa Heinz Kerry attends a get out the vote rally at Penn State University, State College, PA —6:30 pm: Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. participates in a Book Rap about his book "Crimes Against Nature: How George W. Bush and His Corporate Pals are Plundering the Country and Hijacking Our Democracy," Washington, DC —7:00 pm: John Sayles hosts a sneak preview of his film "Silver City" as part of American University's "Political Comedy Festival" at the AFI Silver Theatre, Silver Spring, MD —7:30 pm: Sen. Edwards attends a DNC fundraiser at the Brown Hotel, Louisville, KY —8:35 pm: President Bush returns to the White House —8:35 pm: Sen. Kerry holds a rally at Phil Chacon Memorial Park, Albuquerque, NM