ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

ABC News Vote 2004: Bush-Cheney re-elect Democratic National Convention: Note to Washington Bureau Chiefs: There are stories still to be covered outside of Boston. The Los Angeles Times' Kemper has all the details on the Bush Administration's draft rules for the new Medicare law once it is fully in effect come 2006. We wonder why the administration chose to release these rules this week. We're hoping Secretary Thompson gets back to us on that. LINK

The Washington Post 's Walter Pincus reports "President Bush and top administration officials took early steps yesterday to sort through recommendations of the Sept. 11 commission, while some in Congress cautioned against rushing too quickly into a reorganization of the U.S. intelligence system." LINK The Washington Post 's Dana Milbank Notes "With all deliberate speed and a bit of pell-mell scramble, the White House is trying to keep up with lawmakers as they race to implement the recommendations of the Sept. 11 commission. While determined not to be outflanked by Democrats on terrorism with just 98 days before the election, there is one major recommendation Bush aides can't accept." LINK ABC News Vote 2004: casting and counting: John Fund examines electronic voting machines in the Wall Street Journal , and the conspiracy theory about "Manchurian Programmers" who could hack into them. Oh dear — is this "Manchurian" thing going to be the new buzzword? Can't we just bring back adding "-gate" to the end of everything?

The AP reports "the nation's first trial to challenge punch-card balloting since the Florida fiasco four years ago opened Monday with a lawyer arguing that even isolated malfunctions in Ohio could change the November election results in this swing state." LINK ABC News Vote 2004: battleground states: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Craig Gilbert's headline reads: "Clintons praise Kerry, fault Bush." LINK

David Yepsen of the Des Moines Register weighs in today on Sunday's Iowa poll where President Bush leads John Kerry 46 percent to 45 percent in the Hawkeye State. LINK

The newest poll in Nevada shows the race in the state has "tightened significantly," with BC04 holding only a 3 point lead over KE04, reports the Associated Press. Nader draws 4 percent. LINK

Secretary of Education Rod Paige visited Las Vegas yesterday to spread the good word of the administration, but his stop was not without controversy. LINK Detroit Free Press columnist Chris Christoff looks at Wayne County in the Detroit metro area and says it may represent yet another key, historically Democratic stronghold in the battleground state "slipping into the Republican fold." LINK It's unexpected, but news that West Virginia's state government suddenly finds itself "flush with cash" and a budget surplus could mean good things for BC04's chances in the state. LINK

If the size of donations is a barometer of a candidate's support in a state, then it is worth Noting that KE04 has already raised $850,000 in West Virginia this year, more than seven times the amount Al Gore raised in 2000. LINK

North Carolina delegates to the convention continue to get the red-carpet treatment, reports the Winston-Salem Journal. Wonder why? LINK

Nader-Camejo '04: Michigan delegation annoyed by Nader. LINK

The AP Notes Al Gore's plea to third party voters. LINK

Nader submits signatures in Missouri yesterday. LINK

TODAY'S CONVENTION SCHEDULE (all times ET):

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