ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

Daniel Golden of the Wall Street Journal looks at the power of the nation's largest union, the National Education Association, and how the "rise of nonunion teacher associations is helping erode the longstanding clout of the NEA." As Golden lists the states where such non-union groups are growing, Note the battlegrounds among them (Washington, Arkansas, Missouri, and if you're feeling a certain way, Virginia).

The Wall Street Journal 's June Kronholz looks at the quid pro quo on No Child Left Behind that the NEA is expecting from Sen. Kerry in exchange for its support.

"Democratic congressional candidates seem to be embracing an old political adage: If your opponent is self-destructing, don't get in the way," write the Washington Post 's Chuck Babington and Brian Faler. "Buoyed by polls showing that most Americans feel the nation is on the wrong track (with Republicans controlling the House, Senate and White House), Democratic campaign leaders seem largely content to let anti-GOP sentiment run its course and, ideally, carry their party back to control of the House after a decade in the minority." LINK

All signs of convention treatment point to delegates from George Bush's Texas being discounted — an airport hotel, lack of breakfast speakers, and more. LINK

The Wall Street Journal 's Convention Wire reports that the Iowa delegation is now loving Howard Dean. But more importantly (relative to where you are), Carl Bialik reports that the Secret Service has lifted its ban and declared umbrellas safe to bring into the FleetCenter compound!! We who are about to be rained on salute you. (Now we wonder when hairspray and makeup will make it off the banned list.)

If the names Bill Clinton, Roger Porter and Alex Blenkinsopp excite you (and they DO indeed excite more than the average Harvard Crimson alum), you will absolutely want to read this article: LINK

Democratic National Convention: the money:

The Washington Post 's Jeffrey Birnbaum and Thomas Edsall highlight the large donations of lobbyists at the Democratic convention, which also means a large presence. LINK

USA Today 's Kathy Kiely and Jim Drinkard report, "The outside political groups that have drawn attention this year for their fundraising on behalf of John Kerry are looking a lot like insiders this week at the Democratic convention." LINK

Democratic National Convention: outside the hall:

"The convention is only half over, as [Tom] Menino, 61, is quick to point out, but the rehabilitation of the popular mayor's image here is close to complete," Notes the Washington Post 's Jonathan Finer. LINK

Democratic National Convention: the media:

The belle of the ball is local news. As Ken Goldstein tells the Los Angeles Times, local news "dwarfs" other means of information absorption for most Americans. Terry McAuliffe's "operation area code" is in full effect. LINK

The Washington Post 's Paul Farhi takes a look at the planning and production of the Democratic convention. LINK

The Washington Post takes Note of the tabloids' depiction of Senator Kerry as "an out-of-this-world figure." LINK

Democratic National Convention: opinion pieces and editorials:

The Washington Post 's Harold Meyerson posits "Ever since Ronald Reagan became president, the Democrats have had a challenge: They've needed to reinvent populism." LINK

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