ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

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.

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