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56 days until Election Day 23 days until the first proposed presidential debate


There are only five things you need to know about the presidential race today:

1. Isn't it incredible that the ostensibly most sophisticated people in politics are the first ones to wildly overreact to polls?

The Gang of 500 spent Labor Day asking each other if the race is over.

And they will be the first to make up a meta-narrative "comeback" for Kerry if post-Time/Newsweek/Gallup poll numbers this week show the race tighter.

2. This is an exact formula — if more than 31 of the 56 days left until election day are fought in the New York Times and on the network news over Iraq, President Bush will be re-elected.

And it won't be easy for Kerry to keep it below that number of 31. Bush's and Kerry's traveling press corps — like the boys 'n' girls on the bus before them — are obsessed with an artificial "overshadowed by" daily storyline.

And 2004's version of choice involves a very sensitive tripwire for Kerry's domestic message of the day being (all together now, in one big media chorus, led by featured performers Carl Quintanilla and David Halbfinger!) "overshadowed by" a fight with President Bush over Iraq.

And the Bush campaign is brilliant about picking that fight.

3. Read — courtesy of the New York Times — the colloquy that John Edwards had in St. Paul yesterday with a voter — and know in your heart that the voter was standing in for every panicky/panicking Democratic donor, member of Congress, and political consultant:

"Katie Simenson, 41, a massage therapist, accused the Democratic ticket of letting Republicans suggest that Mr. Edwards had taken frivolous cases as a lawyer and that Mr. Kerry was a waffler and soft on defense."

"'They're going to run you right over and make you look like idiots,' Ms. Simenson said."

"Mr. Edwards sought to answer, promising 'to fight every day between now and Election Day" and assuring her that Mr. Kerry "is strong, courageous and he is a fighter.'"

"'And I like to believe I am the same thing,' he said. But Ms. Simenson shook her head."

"'We will — don't shake your head! — we will fight,'' Mr. Edwards continued. 'No, we will fight every way we know how. But we are fighting for you, we are not fighting with these politicians. George Bush wants to fight with politicians. We are fighting for you. We want to make your life better — don't argue with me, let me finish. We're going to stand up — I let you talk, let me finish — we're going to stand up for the things that we believe in.'"

The voter, apparently, was no more convinced than those panicky/panicking Democratic donors, members of Congress, and political consultants currently are.

4. Read the last two paragraphs of the day's only must-read, Adam Nagourney's "where we are" tour de force in the New York Times : LINK

"Republicans and Democrats say the biggest problem for Mr. Bush is the sense among Americans that the country is headed in the wrong direction."

"While history has shown that presidents do not survive electoral storms like that, this is a contest that has proved again and again that the lessons of the past do not necessarily apply. Mr. Bush and his allies, acutely aware of that history, have sought to rewrite it with a month long campaign intended to convince those voters unhappy with the president and the country's direction that the challenger is an even more objectionable choice. The biggest concern for Mr. Kerry's advisers this Labor Day weekend is that Mr. Bush might have accomplished that."

5. As death and chaos in Iraq continue, and you start to write your own history of the 2004 election, don't fall into the trap of focusing just on Kerry's August. Those Bush campaign advisers who expressed faith that the handover of formal power in Iraq by the June 30 deadline would magically remove the political albatross from the President's neck and back turned out to be — so far — amazingly correct.

President Bush campaigns in Missouri today speaking at a campaign event in Lee's Summit at 10:05 am ET, at an "Ask President Bush" event in Sedalia at 1:10 pm ET and ending his day at a 4:45 pm ET campaign event in Columbia.

Vice President Cheney continues campaigning today also attending two town hall meetings, first at 11:30 am ET in Des Moines, IA and then at 5:00 pm ET in Manchester, NH.

Sen. John Kerry only has one scheduled event today in Greensboro, NC at 11:15 am ET.

The Democratic nominee will once again hammer the president on the economy, challenging Bush on outsourcing and alleging that Administration officials defend tax breaks to companies that send jobs overseas, and are trying to do more.

Sen. Edwards is in Chillicothe, OH for a 1:00 pm ET rally and then flies to Bloomington, IL for a 8:00 pm ET DNC fundraiser.

Not having abandoned the foreign policy front entirely, Sen. Bob Graham will hold a conference call at 11:15 am ET to talk about the allegations in his new book that the White House blocked an investigation in the Saudi government and the 9/11 hijackers.

Members of Congress return to Capitol Hill today, as the Senate and House return to session after a summer recess. Among several topics still to be addressed is legislation that addresses the recommendations for 9/11 commission. At 1:30 pm ET Sens. John McCain (R-AZ), Joseph Lieberman (D-CT), Arlen Specter (R-PA) and Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) will hold a news conference to announce the introduction of their bipartisan legislation to implement all of the recommendations.

Another anti-Kerry vets group, Vietnam Veterans for Truth, sponsors of the Web site, holds a press conference today to announce plans for a rally to be held on Sept. 12, along with other planned events they will hold in the days leading up to election day.

Arizona and Nevada both have state primaries today, but there are really no races that rise to the level of needing to distract you on your first post-Labor Day day of the election season. Polls are open from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm ET in Arizona and from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm ET in Nevada. Do Note though that roughly 160,000 Arizona voters and 70,000 Nevada voters enjoyed the wonders of early voting for this primary day. LINK and LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Bush v. Kerry:

Today, the New York Times ' Adam Nagourney turns in the mustest of must-reads, explaining that while there's no doubt that President Bush is in a commanding position, it's all far from over.

We hate to use the words "in flux," but it's precisely the picture Nagourney draws, and we appreciate the reminder that despite all the breathless reporting we're all going to see about polls, who's up, polls, who's down, polls, what looks ominous, polls, and who's resonating with voters, there's still the fundamental question of how voters view not only the candidates but the overall state of the country, and factors beyond either President Bush's or Sen. Kerry's control that will determine that.

And there is this:

"For all of Mr. Bush's success at his convention in New York last week, the underlying dynamics that have made Republicans view him as an endangered incumbent for much of this year remain very much in place: the nation's unease about its future, the deaths in Iraq and the unsteady economy."

"Though Mr. Kerry, the Democratic challenger, has yet to come up with an overarching theme for his campaign even at this late date — an absence that came into sharp relief after Mr. Bush's disciplined convention built on a message of security — he is a politician who has always seemed to run best when he is on the verge of defeat. Even on Labor Day, the traditional start of the general election campaign, when voter opinions are beginning to set, he still has 57 days to make his case."

And Joe Lockhart engages in some a non-Dowdian expectations setting:

"'I would be very surprised if a week from now, the dynamics don't show us in a very tight race,' Joe Lockhart, a senior Kerry adviser, said. 'We look at this race as the president having his high-water mark the last night of this convention.'"

"Which is not to say that Mr. Kerry should be particularly happy about where he is. Three polls taken since the convention show Mr. Bush with a lead. While some Democrats dismissed those polls as unreliable, others said they were worried that the polls had registered lasting damage for Mr. Kerry because of attacks over the past month on his record as a Vietnam veteran and as a protester against the Vietnam War . . . And, finally, many Democrats argue that Mr. Kerry is in a precarious position because even though he has offered proposals intended to draw distinctions with Mr. Bush, including a broad health care plan, he has yet to settle on an overarching campaign theme. Time may be running out."

It's probably a good sign for Kerry that not one daily reporter mocked his "'W' stands for 'wrong'" schtick.

Glen Johnson wraps yesterday's campaign back-and-forth — it sure is heating up out there. Sen. Kerry is trying to get back on the offensive. LINK

"The back-and-forth came on the traditional Labor Day campaign kickoff as Kerry struggled for a comeback amid polls that show Bush has a solid lead," writes the New York Post 's Deb Orin on yesterday's Iraq exchange. LINK

Orin looks at the latest Gallup poll numbers. Her headline writer comes up with this: "Prez in 7 Heaven" LINK

The CNN/ USA Today /Gallup poll released yesterday showed President Bush with a lead over Sen. Kerry, but not as big a lead as the newsweeklies found. Among likely voters, President Bush increased by two percentage points to 52 percent — Sen. Kerry dropped that same two percent to 45 percent. Bush maintains that same 52 percent to 45 percent when Ralph Nader is included.

Among registered voters, the president increased a two percent increase, but the candidates remain statistically tied with 49 percent saying they would vote for Bush and 48 percent for Kerry in the two-candidate race; and 48 percent for Bush, 46 percent for Kerry, and 4 percent for Nader in the three-candidate race.

Writing up the new USA Today /CNN/Gallup poll, USA Today 's Susan Page writes, "By historical standards, the race is too close to call. But the New York convention altered the political landscape and attitudes toward the candidates in ways helpful to Republicans." LINK

USA Today 's Jill Lawrence has yet more insight from the Kerry-Clinton call: "People familiar with the conversation said Clinton urged Kerry to talk about the way Bush's choices have affected people's lives, and contrast with how they would fare under a Kerry presidency. The longest part of the discussion involved how to prepare for the presidential debates this fall." LINK

The St. Paul Pioneer Press' Salisbury and Sweeney report that Edwards "had to wait an hour to land while [Cheney's] jet took off" Monday in St. Paul. LINK

This is what Thomas Oliphant has to say about the economy: you can't spin it. "For ordinary Americans, numbers are lagging indicators, the factual detail about an already experienced trend; like Bob Dylan, they understand you don't need a weatherman to tell which way the wind's blowing. They are already living the reality." LINK

The Note especially praises Oliphant's use of the great Bob Dylan in a column about the economy.

Peter Canellos asserts in the Boston Globe that the Democrats really need a clear position on Iraq and looks at the Republican methodology and what seems to be a Democratic lack of one. LINK

Feisty but off message is still off message, Note Matea Gold and Peter Wallsten of the Los Angeles Times. LINK

"Although Kerry engaged in sharp fashion on the war Monday, the exchange was not exactly what his campaign had in mind for the day's debate. Kerry's advisers had hoped to focus attention on Bush's claims that jobs are coming back, releasing a report showing that the new jobs feature low pay and meager benefits."

David Halbfinger of the New York Times listens to the "say-what?" moments from both candidates yesterday. LINK

Is Vice President Cheney a help or hindrance? Laura Meckler of the AP looks at that very issue. LINK

Meckler Notes, "But unlike Kerry's running mate, John Edwards, Cheney has yet to appear in any of Bush's television ads, which reach the largest numbers of potential voters, and there are no plans to put him in one."

Paul Farhi of the Washington Post takes a clever look at the ads by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and the Willie Horton ad used in the campaign of the first President Bush campaign against Michael Dukakis in 1988, and finds a lot of parallels. LINK

"In both the Horton and Swift boat cases, the respective Bush campaigns disclaimed responsibility, saying the ads were the work of unaffiliated groups. But in both instances, news media reports subsequently exposed ties between the official campaigns and the independent groups."

"And neither of the Bush campaigns specifically repudiated the controversial spots — although George W. Bush has called for an end to all advertising by "527" independent groups, several of which have spent millions of dollars on ads attacking his record. In fact, immediately after the Horton ad stopped airing, the Bush campaign ran its own ad about the Massachusetts prison release program using a picture of Horton, thereby reinforcing the initial commercial and the soft-on-crime message."

The Chicago Tribune's top political story mentions Texans for Truth. LINK

President Clinton's health:

A nice news of day wrap from the New York Times ' McFadden and Alterman: LINK

Shankar Vedantam of the Washington Post also wraps the successful Clinton surgery. LINK

You should not expect Bill Clinton to play a large in the Kerry campaign, reports the New York Times ' Michael Janofsky. LINK

The Washington Post 's John Harris writes that "four years ago President Clinton spent much of the campaign stewing in the Oval Office, banished from the campaign trail" by Al Gore. This year, Clinton again would love to be campaigning for John Kerry, but he will likely be stewing in his living room while "other Democrats are as frustrated at having Clinton on the sidelines as he is to be there." LINK

Still, there are some theories about how this could end up helping Kerry, which are too obvious to list here.

According to Kevin Graham, a cardiologist at Minneapolis Heart Institute, "If (President Clinton) had ignored the first symptoms like a lot of guys do, you might be reading his obituary," reports Ron Winslow of the Wall Street Journal .

The New York Daily News reports Clinton was saved in the "Nick o'Time." Noting "[d]uring preparations for surgery, Clinton requested that a woven bracelet he wears — given to him by a group of Colombian children in 2002 — not be cut off, so it was taped over instead, aides said. The tradition is to wear the bracelet until it falls off on its own." LINK

The New York Post 's Deb Orin and Stephanie Gaskell write up Sen. Clinton and Chelsea's gratitude. LINK

"'Politics stops at the water's edge and the hospital doors,' Clinton spokesman Jim Kennedy said," when asked about Dr. Smith's $2,000 donation to President Bush's campaign. LINK

The New York Post reports David Letterman and Larry King's heart surgeon turned down the gig and recommended Dr. Craig Smith. LINK

James Carville predicts an end to greasy food on the road for President Clinton. LINK

"Clinton will have to permanently change his lifestyle in at least one key respect, Carville said, adding: 'I'd suspect now that if he tries to order a burger and French fries on the road, someone will undoubtedly rat him out to Hillary and Chelsea.'"

Richard Perez-Pena of the New York Times profiles Bush donor Dr. Craig R. Smith. LINK

To every action, there is a reaction. The New York Daily News documents the hoards of journalists and supporters who have rushed to get as close as possible to Clinton's bedside. LINK

Congress returns:

The Los Angeles Times raises the curtain a bit on the pre-election session. LINK

"Even though Republicans and Democrats feel pressure to show voters they can be productive, many concede it will be hard to accomplish in a brief election-eve session what could not be done previously."

"Some analysts warn that legislating under such pressure may not yield good results — especially in high-profile but complex areas such as anti-terrorism and intelligence reform."

Carl Hulse of the New York Times Notes that the Senate will likely take up the flag amendment this week; the House, a same-sex marriage ban by the end of the month; transportation funding, a pledge to prohibit courts from hearing cases about the legality of the Pledge and other fruitful measures. LINK

David Rogers of the Wall Street Journal writes that parties may pay a price at the polls for their unfinished bills in Washington.

"As lawmakers return today from their national conventions, the pile of unfinished bills — and warnings from frustrated voters — is mounting. No budget has been approved for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, and only one of 13 annual appropriations bills has been enacted. Amid high oil prices, energy legislation is stalled, and an entire construction season has passed without action on highway funding."

Whither the congressional generic number in the wake of the Kerry dip, smarties are asking . . .

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

The Washington Post 's Dana Milbank and Spencer Hsu report that for the first Labor Day of his presidency, President Bush did not meet with a trade-union audience and he did not tailor his remarks to the holiday. LINK

The Post duo report that Bush "repeated his assertion that the economy is 'strong and getting stronger,' and hailed the unemployment rate of 5.4 percent as below the average of each of the past three decades."

The Kansas City Star sums up President Bush's assertions in Missouri yesterday that the economy is strong, but Notes: "Yet, an estimated 8 million Americans remain out of work this Labor Day and the job market remains a political vulnerability for the president, especially in hard-hit states like Missouri." LINK

Here's an interesting story behind President Bush's trip to Poplar Bluff, MO yesterday from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "The presidential visit to southeast Missouri was the brainchild of local businessman Hardy Billington, 51, who said that he was upset by criticism of Bush this summer and decided to show his support." LINK

"First came a billboard, on Highway 67 just north of town, thanking Bush and inviting him to visit. Then came a petition drive to back up the invitation with signatures, which topped out last week at 10,500 names."

This Bushism from Poplar Bluff, MO caught the ear of a Los Angeles Times scribe: "Too many OB-GYNS aren't able to practice their love with women all across this country." LINK

Imus played it repeatedly, too.

Vice President Cheney and Sen. John Edwards both campaigned in St. Paul yesterday but on starkly different themes, reports the New York Times Randal Archibald and Rick Lyman. LINK

In fact, Cheney was asked specifically about Sen. Edwards theme of "two Americas" on the campaign trail and Cheney offered a candid assessment, disagreeing with the notion and saying that it "harkens back to some sort of class system, class warfare," reports ABC News' Karen Travers.

Cheney then brought out the line he first used in his convention speech, which is quickly becoming a crowd favorite — that the notion of two Americas is mutual because sometimes America sees two John Kerrys.

The Vice President also jumped into the fray between President Bush and Sen. Kerry yesterday, with an addition to his speech in response to comments that Sen. Kerry made on the campaign trail yesterday.

Cheney told a crowd at a Victory 2004 picnic in Clear Lake, IA that "When it comes to diplomacy, it looks to me like John Kerry should stick to windsurfing."

Which got the Today show to play the windsurfing video, which the Bush campaign L-O-V-E-D.

Vice President Cheney "suggested that President Bill Clinton and even President Ronald Reagan were soft on terrorists, while Mr. Edwards called President Bush a failure on pocketbook concerns like jobs and health care," reports the New York Times Archibold and Lyman. LINK

John Crudele of the New York Post lays out why Republicans should hold off on boasting about the latest job numbers. LINK

Richard Benedetto and Judy Kean look at the state of the Bush campaign in light of the latest polls and declare that "Bush and his aides have seemed confident since the convention." LINK

"'I like the position we're in much better than the position they're in,' said Matthew Dowd, chief strategist for the Bush campaign."

Alan Murray of the Wall Street Journal writes that President Bush's speech at the RNC shows that U.S. conservatism has a new playbook. LINK

"The fight for the next half-century will be over how to prevent taxes and spending from being swollen to European dimensions by government-retirement programs. And politically, that puts conservatives back to where they were before quarterback Kemp abandoned the football field three decades ago — playing defense."

"President Bush's speech offered a rough start at giving conservatives a new offense. 'Government,' he argued, 'should help people improve their lives, not try to run their lives.' The new goal is no longer to make government smaller. Rather, the goal is to change the nature of government so it empowers citizens, provides them more choices and gives them more control over their finances and their lives."

"This is a very big idea — even if it sounded like a laundry list of policy retreads. At its most ambitious, it would be a redefinition of capitalism that would, as the president said, 'extend the frontiers of freedom.'"

The Wall Street Journal 's editorial board favors a two-year extension of the child care tax credit, not a five year extension, for both political and policy reasons.

Cindy Adams is getting excited for the television explosion of the Kitty Kelley book. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Kerry-Edwards '04:

Mary Dalrymple of the AP previews Sen. Kerry's campaign stop in his running mate's home state of North Carolina today. "Kerry was taking his message about jobs and outsourcing to a state with industries vulnerable to international competition, like textiles and apparel." LINK

The Washington Post 's Lois Romano and Paul Farhi wrap Sen. Kerry's head-on attacks on President Bush's handling of both the economy and the war in Iraq on Monday, Noting the pressure the Sen. faces to hit back. "Democrats are deeply concerned that the party's standard-bearer has allowed himself to be defined by the Bush campaign and has not presented a clear, concise message on how he differs from the president." LINK

Bob Shrum cannot help but dislike the bracketed clause in this sentence: "The essence of Mr. Kerry's argument — one he has had a difficult time making — is that Mr. Bush obtained the authority to go to war on false intelligence, and then prosecuted the war in a way that alienated allies and prolonged the insurgency." LINK

"With a friendly crowd in Canonsburg lobbing softball questions yesterday, Democratic presidential nominee John F. Kerry could have ignored a pocket of hecklers that tried to disrupt his campaign," writes the Pittsburgh Post Gazette's Milan Simonich. LINK

Triple-bylining David Halbfinger writes on how Kerry incorporates hecklers into his stump speech. LINK

You should all be very happy you weren't the lead advance person for Kerry's Canonsburg, PA trip, because he or she did not have a very good day yesterday. LINK

The Boston Globe 's Glen Johnson announces that, for the great closer, "the moment not only in his presidential campaign, but also in his political life, has arrived." LINK

Jill Zuckman of the Chicago Tribune sums up her view of Sen. Kerry's new strategy: "To get even, get mad." LINK

"If John Kerry loses this election, August will be seen as the time when he did. But if Kerry wins, it will be because the last month set up the circumstances for his triumph," writes the Washington Post 's E.J. Dionne, who offers up a rationale for how Kerry could prevail (answer: "overkill") and a blind quote from a Dem consultant: "'Not being Bush is not enough.'" LINK

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Sarah Carr covers Edwards' event. LINK

Kerry gets this localized headline from the Columbus Dispatch: "Bush policies all wrong for Ohioans, Kerry says." LINK

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

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Greg Borowski reports that $4 million worth of ads hit the Wisconsin airwaves in August and nearly $15 million worth have aired since March. LINK

The Cincinnati Enquirer's Gregory Korte writes about the many tactics of grass roots campaigning raging across Ohio. LINK

The Philadelphia Daily News reports on Teresa Heinz Kerry's Labor Day and Notes that it is up to the Heinz family to deliver the Keystone State. LINK

"Kerry and her sons, Chris and Andre, are sweeping across the state this week with 16 campaign appearances from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh."

Mrs. Heinz Kerry marched in a Pittsburgh parade too. LINK

"President Bush will be in Johnstown for a rally on Thursday, his campaign staff announced yesterday," reports the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: the battlegrounds:

The Reno Gazette-Journal reports that voters in Nevada today are the first to use touch-screen machines in a statewide primary, and officials are watching to see how it goes. The two weeks of early voting brought few problems with the 100,000 cast. LINK

If the Kerry campaign can just make sure everyone in Michigan reads the Detroit Free Press, the candidate may not have to make another campaign trip there. LINK

"Make no mistake, in many ways Michigan is still a powerhouse state. It enjoys a concentration of automotive research and production facilities unmatched in the world. It boasts a 5-million person workforce, world-class universities, enough electoral votes to draw political candidates like bees, and opportunities for recreation that make a Michigan summer idyllic."

"But for all its advantages, the state bleeds from multiple wounds. Thirty years ago, Michigan's median household income ranked among the highest in the nation; now it struggles to keep pace with the U.S. average. Over the past 12 months, Michigan's average weekly manufacturing wages grew less than 1 percent, while inflation has been running at around 3 percent. In real terms, Michigan workers are falling behind."

"Anti-abortion Catholics can support pro-choice candidates, as long as they agree with the candidate on a range of other issues. That pronouncement in an Italian magazine from Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the Vatican's top spokesman on Catholic teachings," reports the Detroit Free Press' Montemurri. LINK

We wish the link was working on the Albuquerque Journal Web site so you could all read the poll that is leading that paper this morning. The poll shows New Mexicans evenly split on whether the decision to go to war in Iraq was right or wrong. However, 51 percent of those polled trust President Bush to handle Iraq going forward compared with 37 percent who trust Kerry.

The politics of Hurricane Frances:

The Washington Post 's Manuel Roig-Franzia and Michael Grunwald report that state and federal relief crews are finally making it to southeastern Florida after being delayed by bad road conditions on Sunday. Power has been restored to millions of residents, but as of Monday afternoon, three million were still without electricity. Gov. Jeb Bush estimated that the winds and flood damage caused by Frances could match the $7 billion in damages caused by Hurricane Charley. LINK

John Pacenti, J. Christopher Hain, Alan Gomez and Eve Modzelewski of the Palm Beach Post round up the aid efforts, and report that President Bush will visit Palm Beach County on Wednesday, and is asking Congress to approve $2 billion for immediate relief. LINK

The politics of Iraq:

Thirty-four people, including one American soldier, were killed in clashes with insurgent followers of Moqtada al Sadr in Sadr City today, and 193 were wounded, AP reports. LINK

"Seven U.S. Marines were killed on Monday in an apparent suicide attack when a car bomb exploded near their military convoy on the outskirts of Fallujah, the U.S. military reported. The attack, which also killed three Iraqi National Guardsmen, was the deadliest against U.S. troops in four months," reports the Washington Post 's Jackie Spinner. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Nader-Camejo '04:

USA Today opines Ralph Nader's presidential campaign has met unfair institutionalized barriers and challenges led by Democrats. In a campaign that is marginalized in ballots status, the paper asks, "setting partisan interests aside, what is democratic about that?"

"It is just the latest triumph for the arcane rules the parties created to close out competition."LINK

Bonnie Adams of the Times Leader reports absentee ballots from Pennsylvania's Luzerne County Bureau of Elections that were sent to soldiers serving in Iraq and elsewhere last month "must be resent because Ralph Nader has been removed from the ballot in Pennsylvania." LINK

Republican National Convention: aftermath:

In an informal poll of opinion-leading anti-gay marriage Republicans, The Washington Times ' Amy Fagan reports party faithful are satisfied with the amount of attention the issue received in New York City last week, Noting the mentions in Bush's speech and the platform make it clear enough. LINK

Fernanda Santos of the New York Daily News Notes the drop in crime in New York during the Republican National Convention last week. The murder rate was down 40% between Aug. 30 and Sept. 5, compared with the same period last year, according to the latest NYPD data. "Overall crime fell nearly 6%, and shootings decreased by 15% citywide. In Brooklyn, overall crime fell by almost 7%, according to weekly crime stats released yesterday."


Kris Maher of the Wall Street Journal reports that the new overtime rules are "causing many to consider switching employers, seek demotions, or ponder how to battle management during coming contract negotiations."

The Wall Street Journal 's editorial page calls Roger Ailes "one lucky dude" and lauds Fox's ratings victory at the convention.

The Washington Times reports conservative filmmakers will showcase their work at a festival in Texas next weekend, Sept 10-12. LINK

Sen. Bill Frist raised $3.5 from corporations and heavy hitters for the new charity he launched in New York last week. LINK

Fahrenheit 9/11:

Michael Moore wants his film submitted at the Oscars for best picture, not in the documentary category. LINK

TODAY'S SCHEDULE (all times ET):

—9:00 am: Polls open in Arizona state primary —9:30 am: Vietnam Veterans for Truth holds a news conference to announce details of a planned rally for Sept. 12 and other activities through the Nov. 2 national election, Washington, DC —10:00 am: Polls open in Nevada state primary —10:05 am: President Bush speaks in Lee's Summit, MO —11:15 am: Sen. John Kerry attends an event, Greensboro, NC —11:30 am: Vice President Cheney and Mrs. Cheney attend a town hall meeting at the Embassy Suites Hotel, Des Moines, IA —12:00 pm: The Senate reconvenes for legislative business —1:00 pm: Sen. John Edwards attends a rally, Chillicothe, OH —1:00 pm: Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge addresses the National Press Club, Washington, DC —1:10 pm: President Bush participates in an "Ask President Bush" event, Sedalia, MO —1:30 pm: Sens. John McCain (R-AZ), Joseph Lieberman (D-CT), Arlen Specter (R-PA), and Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) hold a news conference to announce the introduction of legislation to implement all of the recommendations made by the 9/11 Commission —1:30 pm: Secretary of State Colin Powell meets with Alphonso Jackson, secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development and head of the U.S. deletation to OSCE conference on racism and xenophobi, Washington, DC —2:00 pm: The House reconvenes for legislative business —2:30 pm: Former Gov. Thomas Kean (R-NJ), chairman of the 9/11 commission, former Rep. Lee Hamilton (D-IN), vice chairman of the 9/11 commission; and John Lehman, former secretary of the Navy and a member of the 9/11 commission, testify before the Senate Select Intelligence Committee holds a hearing on ways to implement recommendations made by the commission —4:45 pm: President Bush speaks in Columbia, MO —5:00 pm: Vice President Cheney participates in a town hall meeting at the Radisson Hotel, Manchester, NH —5:50 pm: Secretary of State Colin Powell delivers remarks at the signing ceremony and reception for the 2005 World Exposition in Japan, Washington, DC —8:00 pm: Sen. Edwards attends a DNC fundraiser, Bloomington, IL —10:00 pm: Polls close in Arizona and Nevada state primaries