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17 days until the Republican convention 81 days until election day


Your intense August Friday (the 13th!!!!) political menu:

1. Waiting for the next series of shoes to drop in the McGreevey matter. (Expect something in the form of an Israeli sandal … .)

2. Watching the press lack its Davenport-level excitement as Bush and Kerry face off in Pacific Time on a Friday in Portland, OR.

3. The new CBO study confirming Ron Brownstein's view that the Bush tax cuts have gone disproportionately to the wealthiest Americans. (And we wonder why today's newspaper stories focus more on the percentage of the tax burden than on the absolute micro and macro dollar figures, which are just as striking … )

4. The new Bush campaign ad, all morning-in-America-ish about the Olympics and actually containing the line "Freedom is spreading throughout the world like a sunrise."

5. New Gallup numbers showing a Bush job approval above 50 percent.

6. The tan, rested, and ready return of John Edwards to the campaign trail.

7. Continued confusion and unrest in Iraq.

8. The Googling monkeys spending the weekend doing finger paintings to decorate the Sheekey Bridge over 8th Avenue.

9. Elizabeth Edwards doing her first solo campaign tour as would-be Second Lady, and Jack and Emma Claire getting their first major profile.

10. Another taste of how weather, sports, and criminal trials can blot out politics in the news whenever they darn please.

We expect the Cipel suit against Gov. McGreevey to be filed in Mercer County this morning — unless it isn't. Gov. McGreevey and State Senate President Codey have no public events.

If there are national political implications to the McGreevey drama in the short term, we haven't located them yet.

No single news organization is out in front yet on fereting out the backstory, but the weekend papers will, we bet, explode with color and investigative nuggets.

Meanwhile, in presidential politics: Watch the banks!

President Bush and Sen. Kerry are both in Portland, OR, today, and the traveling press corps will be asking and thinking about this matter:

"Since 2001, President Bush's tax cuts have shifted federal tax payments from the richest Americans to a wide swath of middle-class families, the Congressional Budget Office has found, a conclusion likely to roil the presidential election campaign," writes the Washington Post's Jonathan Weisman. LINK

"The CBO study, due to be released today, found that the wealthiest 20 percent, whose incomes averaged $182,700 in 2001, saw their share of federal taxes drop from 64.4 percent of total tax payments in 2001 to 63.5 percent this year. The top 1 percent, earning $1.1 million, saw their share fall to 20.1 percent of the total, from 22.2 percent."

"Girding for the study's release, Bush campaign officials have already begun dismissing it as 'the Democrat-requested report.'"

"'The CBO answers the questions they are asked,' said Terry Holt, a Bush campaign spokesman. 'To the extent the questions are shaded to receive a certain response, that's often the response you get.'"

Sen. Kerry brings his 15-day, 21-state, 5,000+-mile (8,000+ with Edwards' solo jaunts) post-convention tour to a close today when he holds a 3:15 pm ET rally at Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Kerry begins his day in Springfield, OR, where he holds a front porch event at noon ET.

President Bush begins his day in Los Angeles and flies to Portland, OR, for a small business summit at 3:15 pm ET. He finishes the day in Washington state at a 10:20 pm ET RNC fundraiser in Medina.

That means that the two candidates, if on schedule, will overlap on the ground in Portland for a decent amount of time.

Sen. Edwards meanwhile returns from his four-day vacation in North Carolina for a 12:15 pm ET front porch event in Flint, MI, the hometown of Michael Moore, who has not been invited, shockingly. Edwards then rallies Flint's Mott Community College at 1:15 pm ET, then heads to Rosemount, MN for a 7:30 pm ET Olympics-watching party.

And Elizabeth Edwards kicks off her first solo campaign swing today, participating in a tour with working women at three local businesses in Columbus, OH at 2:15 pm ET and hosting and African-American women's meet and greet at the Harriet Beecher Stowe House in Cincinnati, OH at 6:30 pm ET.

Tomorrow President Bush speaks at a rally in Sioux City, IA. The President returns to Washington on Sunday. Sen. Kerry is on vacation in Ketchum, ID, all weekend. Sen. Edwards is in Belle Plaine, MN and Fargo, ND, on Saturday and in Waterloo and Des Moines, IA and Springfield MO, on Sunday.

Vice President Cheney, who has no events today, speaks tomorrow at a campaign rally at Elko High School in Elko, NV. He is down on Sunday.

This weekend, America Coming Together bigwigs will convene in Cleveland, OH for a final, pre-election planning session. More than 500 top organizers will attend for what spokesman Jim Jordan calls a weekend of "inspiration, instruction, exhortation and canvassing." Guests include Ann Richards, Barack Obama, and Howard Dean.

On "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," George is on the campaign trail with Obama and Alan Keyes.

Later Sunday, C-SPAN's "Road to the White House" will air the entire 1971 Dick Cavett debate between John O'Neill and John Kerry on Vietnam.

McGreevey comes out:

McGreevey's speech was one of the single most memorable announcements in our news lifetimes.

As for political speeches, it was perhaps the most consequential since Bill Clinton denied having a relationship with "that woman."

The most important political question just might be what effect this all has on other prominent closeted gay Americans.

By engaging in some risky business, McGreevey loses his position as the top gun of New Jersey politics, and risks doing collateral damage to a party that has been far and away dominant in the Garden State by making all the right moves but now risks losing it.

The central figure here by all accounts is Golan Cipel. Cipel, an Israeli citizen, a published poet and former naval officer, met McGreevey while he visited Israel as the mayor of Woodbridge four years ago.

When McGreevey took office he was named the Governor's special assistant on homeland security, without so much as a routine background check in 2002.

At the time questions arose about Cipel and the Governor was asked by a reporter about rumors that he and the man were involved in a sexual relationship. McGreevey denied the allegations saying, "Don't be ridiculous!" "

Cipel has said McGreevey was impressed by his political knowledge, telling an Israeli paper in 2001 that McGreevey 'liked the way I thought.'" LINK

After much controversy, Cipel resigned from state government in August 2002. The relationship between Cipel with McGreevey soured after he left the state payroll, several sources close to the governor report. Those sources believe that Cipel thought that the Governor should continue to help him find a job.

In recent weeks, it has been reported that Cipel said that unless he was paid ''millions of dollars," he would file a sexual harassment lawsuit against the Governor.

McGreevey adviser Jim Margolis (no longer mired in a presidential race and available to offer advice to his Garden State client) tells the Los Angeles Times that Cipel threatened the lawsuit for weeks and added this about the governor's decision to resign. LINK

"He knew that once the word had gotten out about the lawsuit, regardless if the charges were false, that all that would be left would be a circus out there … "

Cipel has been in the United States under a work visa granted to foreigners with special skills not readily available among Americans. In dealing with the Immigration and Naturalization Service, Cipel has been represented by the powerful Newark law firm of Sills Cummis Radin Tischman Epstein & Gross, another of McGreevey's top donors.

The papers on McGreevey's announcement: LINK; LINK; LINK; LINK; LINK; LINK; LINK; and LINK

McGreevey's speech. (Text) LINK (Overview) LINK

N.J. papers profile the career of Gov. McGreevey: LINK and LINK

The final day: LINK

Dina Matos McGreevey, the Governor's wife, and how is she dealing with the dramatic news: LINK and LINK

New Jersey Democrats react to the news of the once bright star of their party: LINK; LINK; LINK; and LINK

New Jersey reacts: LINK; LINK; LINK; and LINK

Reaction from the gay community in New Jersey: LINK and LINK

McGreevey: unanswered questions: So … what is in the lawsuit?

If the lawsuit isn't as, shall we say, "bad" as some think it might be, will Republicans in New Jersey hold their fire for fear of being mean to McGreevey?

Who tried to convince McGreevey not to resign?

Who ultimately convinced him he had to resign?

Was the Nov. 15 date a way to allow him to move the date up if demands that he resign sooner ring louder?

If he resigns before Sept. 3, necessitating a Nov. 2, 2004 election, who would run? (The parties would choose their nominees, but it only takes 800 signatures to run as an independent …)

Can he survive through Nov. 15 anyway?

Do any Democrats start to call on him to leave earlier?

When do the first polls on this come out?

What, if anything, will Sen. Kerry or President Bush say about this?

What will gay rights activists say when the details of the lawsuit are revealed?

Will McGreevey's decision to publicly accept his homosexuality have a salutatory or deleterious effect on the gay rights movement?

And who will be the next politician to come out?

What effect will this have on on-going probes of former McGreevey aides and fundraisers? Are they connected in any way?

A history of McGreevey's troubled reign as governor. LINK

Charges of being an extorter … who is Golan Cipel?: LINK; LINK; LINK; and LINK

The next 90 days will be tenuous in New Jersey politics as plays for power and political gain engulf the state. LINK; LINK; and LINK

"Former Republican Gov. Christie Whitman criticized McGreevey's plan to wait until Nov. 15, saying it 'smacks of politics.' She said it 'would be in the best interests of the state' for the governor to step aside immediately." LINK

McGreevey: the editorials:

Now, here's a group of people who think waiting until Nov. 15 is a bad idea.

"This governor is conning us yet again. What he means is that he intends to stall his departure for two months to ensure that the Democratic Party keeps control of the governorship until the end of 2005. That's unacceptable. Gov. McGreevey should resign at once. If there is any truth to his assurances that he cares about the well-being of the state of New Jersey, he will pack up and go," writes the Trenton Times. LINK

The New York Times writes, "While the mechanics of trying to hold gubernatorial primaries and an election this year would be daunting, Mr. McGreevey's strategy doesn't serve New Jersey residents well." LINK

"Although he said he is resigning to avoid any damage to his family and the state due to his admission of his affair, the governor is also clearly trying to keep the Democratic Party in power. Resigning in November would mean the state Senate president, Richard Codey, would become acting governor and serve out the rest of Mr. McGreevey's term, through January 2006. That would be a gross injustice to the people of New Jersey. Fourteen months is too long to have an acting governor not elected by the people. The best interests of New Jersey — and its residents — must take precedence over the narrow interest of the Democratic Party and its leaders," writes the Bergen Record. LINK

"McGreevey's November resignation date is about politics. It is less about a seamless transition and more about assuring there is still a Democrat in the governor's mansion," states the Herald News. LINK

"As shocking as the announcement was, the suggestion that McGreevey will continue to govern for a time as if nothing happened was equally disturbing … Even in the surreal drama of yesterday's events in Trenton, politics were very much at play. In a way, it's too bad this is the way it had to end. Turmoil has marked McGreevey's governorship since he took office, but the most damning thing that was said about him was that he showed abysmal judgment in selecting those officials around him. Never was there a suggestion that he would profit financially," writes the Star Ledger. LINK

McGreevey: what's next:

State Senate President Richard Codey (LINK) could fulfill the role of acting governor for the rest of the McGreevey term, giving him a incumbent advantage if he were to decide to run for the seat in 2005.

Sen. Jon Corzine, the most popular public official in the state, has the best chance to succeed McGreevey in a 2005 election,. Rep. Robert Menendez, Rep. Rush Holt, Rep. Steve Rothman are just a few of the other names that are circulating as contenders. Republicans in New Jersey do not have the equivalent star power that N.J. Democrats have, but former Jersey City Mayor Bret Schundler (who lost to McGreevey in 2001), State Sen. Diane Allen, and Douglas Forrester are among those being mentioned.

For New Jersey politics, it will be interesting to see how the voters of New Jersey react. In recent months several political officials have been charged with corruption and bribery, with ambitious U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie leading the charge. If a stage was ever set for a backlash from voters for corruption in government this may be the straw that broke the camel's back. Christie has also been long rumored to have an eye on the governor's mansion.

Looking at the national picture, it is difficult to see John Kerry losing his grip on New Jersey as a result of McGreevey's actions. New Jersey is a moderate state where Al Gore triumphed there by half a million votes in 2000. Recent polls in the Garden State show Kerry topping Bush there by double-digit margins. New Jersey is an issues state and the issues still favor Kerry, winning comfortable in November, but only time will tell. LINK

McGreevey and the politics of gay rights:

Quiz: who said this?

"If states choose to do that, in other words, if they want to provide legal protections for gays, that's great. That's fine. But I do not want to change the definition of marriage. I don't think our country should, from the traditional definition of marriage that's between a man or a woman."

"You know, people have said to me, well, if you're gay, you can't inherit because — and you don't get the exemption from income tax. Well, my answer there is get rid of the inheritance tax forever, the death tax, which I'm trying to do. And there are ways to make sure gays have got rights. And you can do so in the law."

Yes — President George W. Bush, on last night's "Larry King Live."

If that doesn't give you a sense of where this whole shebang is heading (and why it will remain a contentious political issue for years), we don't know what will.

The California Supreme Court declared the same sex marriage licenses issued in San Francisco last spring null and void. LINK

Ilene Lelchuk of the San Francisco Chronicle writes that Mayor Newsom, nonetheless, claimed victory because now there is a face on the issue, and with a recent approval rating of 85 percent, is a complicated star within his own party. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Bush-Cheney v. Kerry-Edwards:

The Washington Post 's Dan Balz and Mark Leibovich team up on Vice President Cheney's attacks yesterday on Sen. Kerry's comments on fighting a "more sensitive" war on terror, Noting "Cheney went on to question whether Kerry's worldview had been reshaped by the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, as Bush regularly tells his audiences the attacks did for him." LINK

"Vulnerable over the continued instability in Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein and the failure to find weapons of mass destruction, Bush and Cheney have repeatedly sought to portray Kerry as alternately weak, naive and inconsistent in his views about the war on terrorism," the duo report.

Balz and Leibovich also Note that while Cheney was slamming Kerry in Ohio, President Bush was in Nevada where he "sought to deflect criticism over his decision to approve the storage of nuclear waste in Yucca Mountain — an action that threatens his chances of winning the state — by trying to criticize Kerry's record on the issue."

The AP's Laura Meckler wraps up Vice President Cheney's speech in Dayton yesterday, where Cheney comments on "sensitivity," saying it "won't impress the Sept. 11 terrorists or the Islamic militants who have beheaded U.S. citizens — criticism Kerry dismissed as negative politics." LINK

The Los Angeles Times ' Peter Wallsten and Mark Z. Barabak look at the timing of the latest BC04 attacks and polls that suggest the Democratic ticket "had gained slight leads in some battleground states and the economy continued to weigh on President Bush's prospects." LINK

"Cheney's comments reflected an escalation in the tone of attacks, coming a day after the president himself mocked Kerry for remarks this week that he would have voted to authorize the war in Iraq even if he had known that there were no weapons of mass destruction."

The Times duo look at the focus on the war by BC04 and Note that it comes "as new polls suggest the president is sliding a bit in election battleground states while Kerry may be riding a delayed bounce from his nominating convention — putting added pressure on Bush to perform well at the Republican National Convention from Aug. 30 to Sept. 2."

David Guarino of the Boston Herald Notes: "The strikes fit perfectly into the Bush campaign's attempts to undercut Kerry's Vietnam military record and paint him as unfit to battle terrorists." LINK

The New York Times ' Jodi Wilgoren writes up the "I'll-slam-you-on-Iraq and I'll-dig-at-you-on-the-economy" fight. LINK

The Wall Street Journal editorial board argues that Sen. Kerry's position on Iraq shows he doesn't understand the security demands of a post-9/11 world.

Ron Fournier looks at how recent polls have been leaning in the direction of Kerry-Edwards, but Democratic strategists don't want the campaign to get too confident. LINK

"If public polls and pundits are right, Florida, Michigan, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Oregon and 15 others states plus the District of Columbia are in Kerry's column or leaning his way with 269 electoral votes — one short of the presidency."

"But it's not nearly that simple."

The New York Times ' Glen Justice turns in a must-read about the machinations and politics of campaign finance law, with Ben Ginsberg on the Republican side, and Robert Bauer on the Democratic side, in the drivers' seats of figuring out precisely how McCain-Feingold affects campaigns and parties as they "try to navigate the complex rules to their clients' maximum benefit." LINK

The gibes at the end are priceless and undignified!!!

In Washington Wire, the Wall Street Journal 's Jackie Calmes offers up all sorts of interesting tidbits — and we're looking forward to appearances by both President Bush and Sen. Kerry next week before the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Cincinnati and the Vogue profile of Sen. John Edwards.

USA Today 's Martin Kasindorf writes about the possibly brewing battle over the idea of a national sales tax. LINK

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Levins looks at the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ad and the "Unfit for Command" book and their messages about the Democratic nominee for president. LINK

Who will they vote for? While the voting bloc of Arab-Americans seems recently to be shifting toward Sen. Kerry, the Boston Globe 's Bryan Bender explains how they are still up for grabs. LINK

Sen. Kerry will get a little help in making his case as the presidential candidate who is stronger on education today. A 501(c)4 national advocacy group called Communities for Quality Education — which was founded with seed money from the National Education Association — will release ads in Nevada and Ohio criticizing the Bush education policies of No Child Left Behind.

The $2.4 million buy will be seen in Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada, as well as in Toledo, Cincinnati and Cleveland, OH. Double, triple, quadruple, teaming to make their point — radio ads will begin next week, with plans to phone bank and direct mail as well. The group will release a Spanish version of the ad and is specifically targeting African-American and Latino voters.

This is phase two of an aggressive media campaign by the group. In June, CQE made an estimated $2.9 television buy in Florida, Nevada, Arizona, Ohio and Pennsylvania, with Spanish ads in Tucson and Phoenix. LINK

For a point by point GOP response to round one of the ad campaign see: LINK

The economy:

More on those three simple letters: C … B … .O … .

The Wall Street Journal 's Jackie Calmes reports that President Bush's three tax cuts have benefited the top 1 percent of taxpayers by more than 70 times the average benefit for the middle 20 percent of tax payers, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Calmes looks at the average benefit for each tax bracket in a handy way that we're sure the KE04 team will be citing on the campaign trail today — particularly on front porches in Oregon and Michigan.

The New York Times ' Edmund Andrews also looks at the CBO's tax-cut findings, Noting also that " … the report also gave Republicans support for their contention that tax reduction had brought some benefit to people in almost all income categories. People with the bottom fifth of income, for example, averaging earnings of only $16,620, saw their effective tax rate drop to 5.2 percent from 6.7." LINK

The Wall Street Journal 's Greg Imp reports that consumer spending rebounded in July despite the ever-present pressure of high oil prices, and according the Labor Department, the number of people filing first-time applications for unemployment benefits fell to a five-week low of 333,000.

The Wall Street Journal 's Jon Hilsenrath and Cindy Perman look at the latest economic-forecasting survey by, and Note that the 55 economists polled revised downward their predictions for economic growth, predicting the gross domestic product to grow by 3.8 percent in the third quarter and 4.1 percent in the fourth quarter — down from respective forecasts in June of 4.4 percent and 4.2 percent. Higher oil prices are a substantial part of the issue, the duo write. LINK

Deborah Solomon of the Wall Street Journal profiles William Donaldson, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and looks at how the business of the SEC, particularly with respect to hedge funds, mutual funds, and shareholder access, will likely grind to a halt with the approaching election.

Politics of national security:

The Washington Post 's Mike Allen reports "the Bush administration believes more strongly than ever that al Qaeda terrorists plan to try to influence the presidential race with a massive preelection attack, a strike that is more likely to come in August or September than in October." LINK

"The official ratcheted up administration warnings of an election-related attack on a day when President Bush and Vice President Cheney were on the campaign trail contending that Senator John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) would be a weak commander in chief. Some Democrats accuse the White House of issuing repeated terrorism warnings to inspire fear so voters will hesitate to change leaders with the nation under threat."

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

ABC News' Karen Travers reports that the Bush-Cheney campaign is launching its third ad of the week today, "Victory," timed to the start of the Olympics tonight.

The ad picks up the Olympic theme to highlight the spread of freedom and democracy, Noting that there are "two more free nations" and "two fewer terrorist regimes" this Olympics.

The campaign says it will run on national cable during Olympic sports programming and on health club TV network in more than 250 fitness centers nationwide during the last two weeks of August, "the first time a presidential candidate has advertised in health clubs," per a campaign release.

The health club TV network is operated by ClubCom (which members of the Washington and New York Sports Club will know they can view on personal screens at most machines in their gyms).

Currently the campaign has "Solemn Vow" and "Ownership" airing on national cable and local markets, and "Nuestro Pais, Nuestro President" airing on local markets in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Nevada and New Mexico.

USA Today 's Judy Keen reports, according to a new Gallup Poll, President Bush's approval numbers are on the upswing. "The share of Americans who say they approve of the job Bush is doing inched over the 50% mark to 51%. No president who was at or above 50% at this point in an election year has lost." LINK

The Seattle Times' David Postman previews President Bush's arrival in Seattle today with a look at the five ways his campaign is trying to make Washington a swing state. LINK

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer's Web site is leading with an article by Lewis Kamb detailing why some Native Americans are upset by an answer President Bush gave at the UNITY conference last week about tribal sovereignty. LINK

The New York Times ' Paul Krugman opines "there's a political imperative behind President Bush's "ownership society" theme: the need to provide pseudopopulist cover to policies that are, in reality, highly elitist." LINK

Rick Klein of the Boston Globe looks at President Bush's campaign swing through the Southwest this week as a sign of him moving to the political middle, "despite recent signs that the president's reelection campaign would focus almost exclusively on energizing his conservative base." LINK

Klein Notes: "He has passed up numerous opportunities to rail against the Democrats on hot-button issues like gay marriage and stem-cell research — issues he and other Republicans have previously feasted on."

The Washington Post 's John Harris and Dan Balz wrap President Bush and Laura Bush's "courtesy call" to Nancy Reagan in Los Angeles on Thursday. LINK

The Republican National Convention:

If Rudy Giuliani and John McCain address the Republican National Convention and no television network carries it, did it still happen? LINK

"Bush twins Jenna and Barbara, Emma Bloomberg and Emily Pataki will host a "Next Generation of Leaders" party at Gotham Hall, which will kick off minutes after President Bush finishes his acceptance speech at Madison Square Garden," reports the New York Post . LINK

The AP's Desmond Butler visited the control room of the Federal Protective Service, which will be playing a key role in security in New York, and reports back to tell us what she found. LINK

The New York Times ' Winnie Hu reports that "City Council and labor union officials will run newspaper ads just before the Republican National Convention to call for more federal money for local antiterrorism and education programs." LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Kerry-Edwards '04:

The Washington Post 's Jonathan Finer Notes "John F. Kerry took a new tack Thursday: He changed the subject." LINK

To the economy — and today, to energy.

Mary Dalrymple reports on Sen. Kerry's comments on the economy and gas prices. "Kerry's campaign said increasing oil prices saps consumers' spending powers, eats into companies' profits and weakens consumer confidence." LINK

Knight Ridder's James Kuhnhenn looks at Kerry's attempts to appeal to sportsmen and gun owners. LINK

The Raleigh News & Observer's Lynn Bonner reports, "An online essay describing vice presidential candidate John Edwards as a rude and selfish neighbor is stirring up placid Country Club Hills." LINK

Ryan Lizza chronicles the inter-party debate over the effectiveness of the Democratic convention. LINK

The Washington Post 's Charles Krauthammer Notes "Under the law, George Bush cannot tell the Swift boat vets to stop even if he wanted to. That's campaign finance reform — the panacea that took the money out of politics, remember?" LINK

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

"President Bush's prospects in Florida are looking increasingly shaky," writes Adam Smith of the St. Petersburg Times.

"Barely 80 days before election day, signs abound that Democrats are outperforming Republicans in the state Bush virtually has to win to gain another

term in the White House." LINK

"Republicans had vowed an unprecedented voter registration program, but Democrats are far outpacing them in registration gains."

"Though the Bush-Cheney campaign boasts an unprecedented grass-roots effort, some Republicans are quietly fretting. Not only does Bush look vulnerable in

must-win Florida, they say, at the very least he could be forced to divert resources here that may be needed elsewhere."

ABC News Vote 2004: the battlegrounds:

Edward Murphy of the Portland Press Herald reports that Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maine is cutting 70 jobs in an effort to cut administrative costs. Two weeks ago, parent company Anthem Inc., reported a 34 percent increase in profits in the second quarter of 2004. LINK

The politics of stem cells:

The Washington Post 's Ceci Connolly reports "Sens. Gordon Smith (Ore.) and Trent Lott (Miss.) rose to President Bush's defense yesterday on the emotional issue of stem cell research, although both said they are pushing the White House to embrace an expansion of the policy advocated by Democratic presidential nominee John F. Kerry." LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: the Senate:

Yes, Alan Keyes still supports a repeal of the 17th amendment. LINK

Nader-Camejo '04:

It looks like Ralph Nader's campaign has tip-toed its way to getting on the ballot in just under a dozen states so far — with deadlines almost daily.

The Note rarely Notes it, but Ralph Nader gets A LOT of international press as the story provides plenty of angles for the "stupid Americans" story.

USA Today 's Andrea Stone looks at Republican activity benefiting Nader in different battleground states. LINK

A New Pew Research Center poll shows Nader at 2 percent support — with a margin of error of 3 percent. LINK

Democrats "are sparing no effort to see him finish this race for the White House as nothing more than a pesky asterisk," reports Calvin Woodward of the AP, with a catchy headline dubbing the indie candidate a "menace on the margins." As Nader's poll numbers have dropped, Michael Dimock of the Pew Research Center concludes the polarized electorate is part of what's limiting Nader's appeal. LINK

Campaigning in Tampa, FL yesterday, the AP reports Nader made a plea for conservative support. "The liberal Democrats that voted for us in 2000 are abandoning us in droves," Nader said. "We're going for some of those … hundred million non-voters that the two parties have ignored and can't make a dent in and we're going for independent, liberal and conservatives who voted for Bush in 2000 but who are furious with him now." LINK

Nader will likely be on the ballot as a Reform Party candidate in the Sunshine State. His visit was met with a release from the Florida Democratic Party, saying that "transparent Republican attempts help put him on the ballot and fund his campaign." LINK

The Miami Herald 's Daniel de Vise looks at what kind of impact Nader will have on Southern Florida, a "touchy question" among some progressives. "Four years later, Nader supporters in South Florida feel like pariahs: scorned by Democrats, cast out by the Green Party that once endorsed Nader, and at odds with virtually everyone else in the 'anyone-but-Bush' camp." LINK

The 10:00 news at KOB-TV in Albuquerque took to the streets in interview Nader petition gatherers. LINK

The Des Moines Register's Lynn Campbell writes, "The effort to get Nader on the ballot in Iowa has drawn scrutiny in recent weeks as volunteers who said they were supporting President Bush have appeared outside Bush-Cheney campaign events in Clive and Cedar Rapids, asking Republicans to sign a petition for Nader." LINK

The Nader campaign tells ABC News it delivered more than raw enough signatures to the secretary of state's office to put Nader on the ballot in Iowa yesterday.


"Federal prosecutors investigating possible corruption in city contracting have subpoenaed Mayor James K. Hahn's e-mails," reports the Los Angeles Times .LINK

Rep. Rodney Alexander's party switch last week doesn't appear to be going as smooth as he might have hoped. We're sure it won't take very long for the D-trip to get this clip to your inbox. LINK

The Wall Street Journal 's Elizabeth Bernstein offers mini-profiles of the most politically influential religious leaders in the country, with ties and specific advisery roles to President Bush and Sen. Kerry.

Free Matt Cooper:

The New York Times ' Adam Liptak reports "reporter for The New York Times , Judith Miller, was subpoenaed yesterday by a Washington grand jury investigating the disclosure of the identity of a C.I.A. undercover officer to the syndicated columnist Robert Novak and other journalists." LINK

The Wall Street Journal ed board has no sympathy: "The point is that the road to this legal jeopardy was paved by liberal intentions. No one can honestly claim he didn't see it coming, either."

Good bye, Faryl:

Yesterday, we said goodbye to intern Faryl Ury, our favorite student of Washington. With a keen mind and cheerful attitude, she made our lives so much easier. And she's a delightful member of the Harvard Crimson, furthering that paper's grand conspiracy to take over the world.

TODAY'S SCHEDULE (all times ET):

—8:30 am: The Commerce Department issues the International Trade report for June —8:30 am: The Labor Department issues the Producer Price Index for July —10:30 am: The Healthcare Leadership Council holds a media briefing to release a study on savings for seniors with the Medicare drug discount cards, Washington, DC —11:00 am: Navy Sectary Gordon England holds a briefing on the combatant Status Review Tribunals, Arlington, VA —11:13 am: DNC chairman Terry McAullife hosts conference call on the GOP convention —11:40 am: Secretary of State Colin Powell holds a meeting and working lunch with Pierre Pettigrew, minister of foreign affairs of Canada, Washington, DC —12:00 pm: Sen. John Kerry holds a front porch event at the home of Jeff and Claire Kronser, Springfield, OR —12:00 pm: Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage delivers commencement address and attends luncheon at the Texas A & M University, College Station, TX —12:15 pm: Sen. John Edwards holds a front porch event, Flint, MI —1:15 pm: Sen. Edwards attends a rally at Mott Community College, Flint, MI —2:15 pm: Elizabeth Edwards kicks off her first solo campaign stop, participating in a tour with working women at three local businesses, Columbus, OH —2:45 pm: Secretary of State Colin Powell holds a photo opportunity with the 2004 Cat of the Year "Colin," Washington, D.C. —3:00 pm: The National Campus Greens Convention begins its first of three days of events at the University of California Davis, Davis, CA —3:15 pm: Sen. Kerry brings the "Believe in America" tour to a close with a rally at Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Portland, OR —3:15 pm: President Bush speaks at the Small Business Summit, Portland, OR —4:15 pm: The Federal Reserve releases the weekly conditions report of large commercial banks —6:30 pm: Elizabeth Edwards hosts and African-American Women's Meet and Greet at the Harriet Beecher Stowe House, Cincinnati, OH —7:30 pm: Sen. Edwards attends an Olympic Opening Ceremonies Watch Party at the Rosemount High School Gymnasium, Rosemount, MN —10:20 pm: President Bush speaks at a Victory 200 Dinner at a private residence, Medina, WA