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4 days until the Democratic convention 39 days until the Republican convention 103 days until election day
Today, we bring you news from the world of politics.
Or more exactly, we bring you news of two new ways you can plug into ABC News coverage of politics and the conventions.
From now until election day — available to you 'round the clock — ABC News Now and Noted Now.
CONSIDER OUR RARE USE OF ALL CAPS HERE AS THE DIGITAL EQUIVALENT OF OUR GRABBING YOU BY THE LAPELS AND YELLING SWEETLY IN YOUR EARS:
WE LOVE POLITICS AND WE LOVE MEDIA AND IF YOU ARE A NOTE READER, WE HOPE YOU TRUST OUR SENSIBILITIES ABOUT WHAT IS IMPORTANT AND GOOD AND KEY.
DON'T SKIM AND DON'T IGNORE.
WE ARE EXCITED ABOUT TWO NEW WAYS FOR THE JOURNALISTS OF ABC NEWS TO GET YOU THE BEST POLITICAL COVERAGE AVAILABLE ANYWHERE, BUT YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE TO ADJUST YOUR HORIZONS AND BUILD UP YOUR TECH MUSCLES JUST A LITTLE BIT.
OK — resuming in a normal tone of voice and volume.
Let's start with the gavel-to-gavel sound and picture and reporting . . .
Launching this Monday at the start of the Democratic National Convention, ABC News Now extends to digital cable the 24-hour news programming already available via our broadband service on ABCNEWS.com.
As we alluded to both last week and this, ABC News will feature primetime coverage of the Democratic convention from 10:00 p.m. ET to 11:00 p.m. ET on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday on our broadcast affiliates all over America.
But you don't have to wait that long to find out what's going on. ABC News Now will cover the Democratic convention in Boston and the Republican convention in New York, gavel-to-gavel, anchored by Peter Jennings — and you can watch it on TV over either your digital TV or cable signal, or on your PC by signing up with one of our broadband partners or on ABCNEWS.com.
But it doesn't stop there.
ABC News Now isn't just a convention phenomenon; it will remain on the air, on your digital signal and broadband connections, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, right through the election — and through it we'll cover many Bush/Cheney and Kerry/Edwards campaign events live and in full that you won't be able to find on any other cable channel or anywhere else on the Web.
So you will be able to watch at home or office or dorm room — anytime.
It's ABC News political coverage as you have come to expect it — streaming video, just like on "regular" TV — just delivered in a myriad of modern ways.
We'll also have regular newsbriefs from our anchors and news reports from ABC News correspondents around the world.
Again, beyond all the coverage of politics and news you will get from ABC News, this will be THE place for live events all day and into the night.
How often have you been all excited this year to see a speech by President Bush or John Kerry and found the cable networks either cutting away or not covering the event at all?
ABC News Now is now — starting Monday — an indispensable product in your political media life.
If you are working on the campaign, covering the campaign, or simply intensely interested in the outcome, you are going to want to spend a little time today making sure you know how you are going to be able to watch starting Monday.
How do you get to see all this fantastic coverage? Several ways:
Digital cable at home: All 10 ABC owned affiliated stations will have the digital channel, and like many non-owned affiliates, they will be arranging for cable coverage within their local markets.
These stations are: WABC (New York City), KABC (Los Angeles), WLS (Chicago), WPVI (Philadelphia), KGO (San Francisco), KTRK (Houston), WTVD (Raleigh/Durham), WJRT (Flint, Mich.), WTVG (Toledo, Ohio), and KFSN (Fresno, Calif.).
We will have more announcements of affiliate plans and affiliate/network collaboration in the future, and more information on where to find the channel on the cable system where you live.
On your PC: Go to ABCNEWS.com and subscribe to ABC News On Demand. You get a free trial period, and after that it's a mere $4.95 a month (LINK).
You can also go to REAL.com (LINK) and subscribe to RealNetworks' SuperPass, which gives you a free trial, and then costs just $9.95 a month.
If you're an AOL subscriber, it's available at AOL.com for no extra charge. Via AOL News, click on ABC News 24/7 to watch. There's also a free trial period if you aren't yet a subscriber.
It's also available to SBC/Yahoo and Bell South DSL customers.
Hand-held devices: Sprint PCS Vision customers download MobiTV from the applications menu, and tune in to Channel 5.
For even more information: LINK
If all that seems complicated to you (Yes, we mean you, Fred Hochberg . . .), go find a tech-savvy friend and say "I want me ABC News Now now," and they will figure out how to sign you up and tune you in.
Now, on to you strictly word Internet types who like hitting "reload" for your political news from ABC News all day …
For the past couple of months, many of you have tuned in to Noted Now for the latest and best political reporting, updates from the campaigns, and information both from the road and from the inside.
Now we've made it better. That's right, people, a separate, bookmarkable (dare we say, PERMALINK?) page for your Noted Now pleasure — more readable and updated all the time.
And it's right here: LINK
So log on, tune in, and stay that way — and check back with ABC News throughout EVERY day for the latest, most up-to-the-minute political news.
Tonight on "World News Tonight," Peter Jennings is live in Detroit in the battleground state of Michigan to chat with Sen. John Kerry and take a look at the pulse of the Wolverine State with ABC News' John Cochran. Watch it, read excerpts on the interview on Noted Now, listen to them on ABC News Radio . . . you get the idea.
Sept. 11 is the lead today: at 11:30 am ET, the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the U.S. releases its final, 567-page report. Watch the unveiling live on ABC . . . then go to your favorite local bookstore to buy it.
President Bush received the briefing from the Commission's chairman and vice-chairman at 8:50 am ET this morning. At 9:50 am ET, Bush signs the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004 at the White House, and this afternoon is in the non-battleground state of Illinois to tour and speak about national security at the Northeastern Illinois Public Training Academy at 4:40 pm ET. He ends the day in Winnetka, Ill., where he raises money for the RNC.
We wonder if he'll be talking about the KE04 Radio City Music Hall fundraiser and John Edwards in People magazine today too — we hear that stuff really gins up the ol' money machine, even if it's arguably outside the realm of the strictly "presidential."
As you inferred from the above Sen. Kerry is in Detroit, speaking to the National Urban League Conference (at 10:00 am ET) and receiving the endorsement of former opponent Rep. Kucinich in Detroit at 12:50 pm ET. Kerry travels to Denver late this afternoon preceding his pre-convention national campaign swing that will begin tomorrow.
Jenna and Barbara Bush are in and around Philadelphia today for more closed-door events with Bush-Cheney supporters.
Sen. Edwards is in Hartford today for a 1:15 pm ET fundraiser. He also flies to Denver this evening in advance of tomorrow's event in Kerry's birthplace of Aurora, Colo.
Ralph Nader's campaign is in a Texas court today arguing that his more than 50,000 signatures should be accepted despite missing the deadline for submission.
And the Senate votes on judicial nominations and takes up the DOD Appropriations bill.
The politics of the 9/11 commission:
"The unanimous final report of the Sept. 11 commission will sharply criticize Congress for failing in its role as overall watchdog over the nation's intelligence agencies and will call for wholesale changes in the way lawmakers oversee intelligence agencies and the Homeland Security Department," reports the New York Times ' Carl Hulse and Philip Shenon. LINK
The Washington Post's Dan Eggen and Dafna Linzer preview the report, which roams "far beyond the hijacking plot and the government's failure to detect it, touching on issues including weapons-proliferation policies and the United States' treatment of detainees captured in the war on terrorism." LINK
The New York Times' David Sanger looks at the different angles to be taken in Washington concerning the Sept. 11 commission's final report. LINK
"When the dust settles, today's 9/11 Commission report may well be remembered as much for what it did not contain as for its factual exposition and recommendations," writes Rep. Christopher Cox in his preview of the 9-11 commission's final report and its impact.
"The commission's report 'exonerates the Saudis to a large degree,' said a Senate official who attended a recent briefing by the Sept. 11 panel," writes Greg Miller of the Los Angeles Times. LINK
The Chicago Tribune's William Neikirk looks at the partisan battle — political hot potato, more like — Republicans and Democrats are waging as the final 9/11 commission report is released, and wraps in the effects of the Berger incident and President Bush's comments that he'd have "moved heaven and earth to protect America" if he'd had any inkling that attacks on the U.S. were imminent. LINK
The Washington Post 's Dana Milbank writes up the passenger manifest released Wednesday showing that 13 relatives of Osama bin Laden left the U.S. on a chartered flight eight days after Sept. 11.
The New York Post 's Vince Morris reports Sen. Frist is a bit more eager to get to work on some of the suggested reforms than are his House colleagues. LINK
USA Today 's Mimi Hall and Andrea Stone report, "President Bush defended his war on terrorism Wednesday as an independent commission that conducted the most comprehensive review yet of the Sept. 11 attacks prepared to call for sweeping changes in the nation's intelligence-gathering system." LINK
You can pick up the report at your local bookstore on this, the very same day it is released. LINK
It costs $10 and was number 42 on Amazon.com yesterday, Notes the Washington Post 's Linton Weeks. LINK
ABC News Vote 2004: Kerry-Edwards '04:
The AP's Nedra Pickler previews Sen. John Kerry's speech on gang violence at the Urban League in Detroit. "John Kerry says as president he would direct a zero-tolerance policy against gang violence and spend more on programs aimed at steering urban youth away from crime." LINK
Deborah Orin wonders if it isn't time for another Kerry adviser to step down in addition to Sandy Berger. In her New York Post column, Orin looks at recent findings at odds with Ambassador Joe Wilson's assertions, and she reports he is still currently advising the Kerry campaign. LINK
The Chicago Tribune's Stephen Hedges takes a look at Sen. Kerry's foreign policy team. LINK
Ad executives looked at four separate campaign advertisements and voted on which one they thought was most effective. "Three Minutes," the first John Kerry ad featuring his new running mate John Edwards won by a landslide reports Wendy Pollack of the Wall Street Journal .
Jim Rutenberg of the New York Times reviews and fact checks John Kerry's latest ad targeting Hispanic voters, "Faith." LINK
Stephanie Gaskell of the New York Post totaled up Edwards' Big Apple Wednesday haul: $1.3 million. LINK
Last night on CNN's "Larry King Live," Sen. Edwards said he supports a Cabinet-level intelligence director, and talked about the need for America to make a "fresh start" with its allies. We found King's questions about things getting personal on the campaign trail — and the way Mrs. Edwards finessed it — both odd and interesting (respectively). LINK
The Cleveland Plain Dealer's Elizabeth Auster and Stephen Koff write up Rep. Dennis Kucinich's decision to leave the presidential race and endorse Kerry. LINK
Peggy Noonan previews what she expects from John Kerry at the Democratic convention in today's Wall Street Journal.
ABC News Vote 2004: Bush-Cheney re-elect:
President Bush helped raise $23 million last night for the NRCC and the NRSC, a record for the president's Dinner and the national political reporters look at his speech and his outline of a second term agenda.
Richard Stevenson of the New York Times reports on President Bush's speech last night, Noting "Mr. Bush offered no details and only the barest outlines of new initiatives as his campaign begins what aides said would be a effort of several weeks to flesh out for voters what he would do if re-elected." LINK
Jeff Zeleny of the Chicago Tribune writes up last night's Republican fundraiser in Washington, where President Bush said he has "turned a corner in spreading freedom throughout the world" and promised to focus on that agenda in a second term, while saying his Democratic opponents have a message coming from "the same old pessimism." LINK
Anne Kornblut of the Boston Globe Notes "was billed as a positive shift in tone for the president" but Bush "devoted at least as much time to criticizing his Democratic opponent as to promoting his second-term plans." LINK
The Los Angeles Times' Peter Wallsten: "Though he offered few specifics, it was the president's strongest suggestion yet that he would forge ahead with a plan to create private retirement savings and health accounts." LINK
Mike Allen of the Washington Post writes up the president's speech and points out that the "new agenda is heavier on business goals than the 'compassionate conservatism' he espoused in his previous campaign." LINK
The AP's Scott Lindlaw wraps President Bush's speech detailing his "second-term agenda." LINK
Deb Orin of the New York Post : LINK
Greg Hitt of the Wall Street Journal previews President Bush's efforts tomorrow to bolster his image as a defender of the homeland.
"President Bush yesterday scuttled a Republican agreement to extend three expiring middle-class tax cuts for two years, deciding instead to push for a more costly five-year extension when Congress returns in September," writes the Washington Post's Jonathan Weisman. LINK
John McKinnon of the Wall Street Journal reports that "Congressional budget analysts gave passing marks to two of the leading plans for restoring Social Security solvency through private accounts, including one proposed by a panel set up by President Bush."
The Bush/Cheney camp will begin to target the usually solidly Democrat Florida Jewish population, writes Adam Smith at the St. Petersburg Times. LINK
The New York Times ' Michael Janofsky looks at the Republican Party's struggles at reaching African-American voters. LINK
Steve Miller of the Washington Times writes up a survey by Black America's Political Action Committee showing that 73 percent of black registered voters disapprove of the job President Bush is doing. LINK
The Washington Times ' Joseph Curl takes a look at the RNC's oppo operation during the Democratic convention, including more than a dozen Republican surrogates, that will operate next week in Boston. LINK
The Republican National Committee plans to have volunteers nationwide donate blood, feed the hungry and operate community health fairs in a "broader effort to draw attention away from the Democratic National Convention," reports Jennifer Steinhauer of the New York Times . LINK
Maureen Dowd writes in today's New York Times that President Bush was close in his belief that Iraq had connections to al Qaeda — he was just off by a single letter. LINK
The Washington Post 's Robert O'Harrow Jr. previews "a hearing today by the House Committee on Government Reform, as it examines allegations of waste, abuse and profiteering related to the Army's contracts in Iraq with Halliburton, the oil services company that Dick Cheney ran from 1995 to 2000." LINK
Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry's is towing a 12-foot President Bush with flames coming out of his pants across the countryside. LINK
Democratic National Convention:
The Boston Globe 's Farragher reports that the union's dispute is beginning to sour the taste in Bostonian's mouths. "But as their protracted contract dispute with the city arrives at a critical stage today, the Boston Police Patrolmen's Association is feeling the sting of less flattering adjectives: Self-centered, divisive, greedy, disruptive. A union unwilling to reach common ground." LINK
Bob Novak uses Mayor Menino's troubles to bash organized labor's ties to Democrats. LINK
The Boston 2004 host committee reports that the delegate welcoming parties for Michigan and Ohio are being cancelled because of the BPPA picketing.
The Boston Globe 's Estes has details: LINK
Boston Herald columnist Barnicle tells the BPPA to get over it. LINK
An AP poll finds that delegates to the Democratic National Convention are more amenable to same-sex couples than their presidential ticket. LINK
U.S. District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodlock toured the site of the "free-speech zone" in Boston where protestors will be all-but caged in after protest groups have filed suit against the city over the space. No verdict yet. LINK
The Boston Globe 's Ordonez looks at some of the beefed-up security measures hitting Boston next week — including suburban cops with gas masks and riot gear in tow. LINK
The Boston Herald asks whether leaving Boston Mayor Thomas Menino off the list of convention speakers at first was a mistake or intentional . . . regardless, he's speaking now, right? LINK
The Boston Globe 's Sarah Schweitzer visits with the two most important women of the Democratic National Convention: the two women hairstylists in charge of the backstage hair operation. LINK
The Boston Herald looks at surprise potential convention party-crasher and Bush-basher Michael Moore. LINK
Those of you bringing laptops to the convention in Boston beware: the Boston Globe reports "Michael Maggio, the president of Newbury Networks Inc., said that unless proper precautions are taken, computer vandals will be able to tap into these laptops by using wireless transmitters located outside of the FleetCenter." LINK
The Boston Globe 's Convention Notebook contributors find some Bush-supporters in the home of the Democratic National Convention 2004. LINK
Pam Belluck of the New York Times writes about the Democrats' fear of the ghost of '88 and how they hope history will not repeat itself this year with a nominee from Massachusetts. LINK
Roll Call 's Erin Billings reports Democratic House leaders have given their most endangered incumbents freedom to opt out of Boston, as re-election is more important than pomp or circumstance.
Only in Boston, kiddies, only in Boston. Cindy Adams has all your party details. LINK
Minnesota GOP Sen. Norm Coleman will be among the Republicans in Boston "truth squadding" the Democrats, writes the St. Paul Pioneer Press' Tom Webb. LINK
As will "Wayward Democrat Sen. Zell Miller," Roll Call reports.
You may have heard the story of how Sen. Kerry saved Jim Rassmann's life in Vietnam — and if you haven't, you'll hear it at the Boston Convention next week. In a long interview with the Reno Gazette-Journal, Rassmann explains that he continues to tell the story because it's "payment for a debt that Rassmann figures he owes Kerry." LINK
The Philadelphia Inquirer on the politics of delegate selection. LINK
Rush & Molloy suggest Ben Affleck may be taking to the podium to address the convention on Tuesday night. And since it's tough to write an Affleck item without a Matt Damon mention, you'll be glad to know he intends to vote this year. LINK
The New York Daily News reports comedian Margaret Cho (who just might have fit right in at the Radio City fundraiser) is no longer slated to perform at a Human Rights Campaign event. LINK
Here's some trivia: who will be the youngest delegate in Boston? You may not have guessed it is 17-year-old Sarah Bender, but does the fact she's from Ohio surprise anyone? LINK
The Note has learned that the offices of the Glover Park Group in Washington, D.C. have been deluged with phone calls looking for tickets to their convention party on July 25. One problem: there is, according to GPG, no such event. It appears that this non-event was mistakenly included in a public schedule released by the DNCC. When reached for comment, Joe Lockhart, former White House press secretary and partner at the firm released the following statement:
"We are pleased and gratified by the tremendous response and interest from journalists, elected officials, and party officials. We just wish we were able to attend the party so we could thank them ourselves."
The politics of Sandy Berger:
You must read Susan Schmidt and John Harris's tick-tock . . . LINK
"The White House said Wednesday that senior officials in its counsel's office were told by Justice Department investigators months ago that a criminal investigation was under way to determine if Samuel R. Berger," irking the Kerry campaign and leading them to accuse the White House of leaking the story to the press, reports the New York Times ' Lichtblau and Sanger. LINK
Stephen Hess tells the Los Angeles Times' Schmitt and Gold he remains uncertain of what the ultimate political impact of the Berger story might be as the scribes wrap up Wednesday's rhetorical ratcheting up. LINK
The Washington Times ' James Lakely and Stephen Dinan report that Congress will investigate Berger's actions at the National Archives, along with Terry McAuliffe's FOIA request to the Justice Department looking for evidence that the White House politicized the FBI probe underway. LINK
USA Today 's Kevin Johnson's lead reads, "President Bush on Wednesday described the federal inquiry into Clinton White House national security adviser Sandy Berger's mishandling of classified documents as 'a very serious matter.'" LINK
ABC News Vote 2004: Bush-Cheney v. Kerry-Edwards:
According to a survey by the Washington Post , Univision and the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute, "Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) holds a strong lead over President Bush among the nation's Hispanic voters, with a majority rejecting the president's handling of the economy and the war in Iraq," report the Washington Post 's Richard Morin and Dan Balz. LINK
A joint poll of the Kaiser Family Foundation and Pew Hispanic Center on the politics of the much-coveted Hispanic vote finds that the key issues are education, healthcare, economy and national security — with 62 percent of registered Latino voters leaning for Kerry and 32 percent for Bush. On immigration "more than eight in 10 registered Hispanics favor Democratic plans for resolving the status of unauthorized immigrants, more than the just over half who favor President Bush's proposal for a temporary worker program." LINK and LINK
USA Today 's Susan Page writes about how important security issues are to voters in the paper's cover story. LINK
Page Notes, "While President Bush's strategists once thought the debate over who would be a better commander in chief would guarantee his re-election, that no longer seems so certain."
Now, you too can have John Kerry and George Bush duke it out in the ring, on your cell phone?!?! The New York Times ' Michel Marriott has the details. LINK
Republican National Convention:
The New York Post reports United for Peace and Justice has given up dreams of Central Park's greener pastures and come to terms with its Ray Kelly dictated fate of a West Side Highway march on the eve of the convention. LINK
The New York Daily News' Maggie Haberman was there for the press conference on the steps too. LINK
The New York Times ' Joyce Purnick implores Republican convention goers coming to New York to "get out of the cocoon and see the city for what it is." LINK
The politics of national security:
Federal investigator said yesterday "the U.S. military has spent most of the $65 billion that Congress approved for fighting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and is scrambling to find $12.3 billion more from within the Defense Department to finance the wars through the end of the fiscal year," writes the Washington Post 's Jonathan Weisman. LINK
The Washington Post 's Tom Ricks and Josh White report that the Army's recruiting pool is at its lowest in three years. LINK
How to handle election day in the event of a terrorist attack is an issue not too many people are eager to have, reports the Los Angeles Times. LINK
The Washington Post 's Nell Henderson reports "disputing election-year assertions that the U.S. economy is producing lower-quality jobs than it has in the past, [Alan Greenspan] said yesterday that continuing wage sluggishness reflects the fact that many workers are ill-prepared to take advantage of the opportunities that the economy offers." LINK
ABC News Vote 2004: battleground states:
Is it going to their heads? The Canton Repository reports this morning "Stark County to be center of attention at Democratic Convention." Perhaps a bit extreme, but maybe not so far from the truth: Monday night, the infamous Timken Steelworkers will talk with former President Clinton via satellite as part of his address to the convention. LINK
Ho-hum. Another visit by Sen. Kerry to Columbus is in the works, reports the Columbus Dispatch. This time, on Sunday, the Massachusetts Senator will attend an 11:00 am ET service at the First Church of God, followed by a visit with families in Columbus' Ward 62, a "North Side ward considered an election toss up."
The cost to Jerry Springer of becoming a delegate to the Convention from Ohio was $500,250, reports the Cincinnati Enquirer. LINK
The Dayton Daily News takes a closer look at its fair city's status as the second-largest magnet for campaign ads in the country. LINK
Ah, the economic circle of life: jobs destroyed, jobs created, all in a day's work in Michigan. (It's worth Noting that the new jobs are at WalMart, while the layoffs are in a manufacturing plant.) LINK and LINK
The Detroit Free Press takes the occasion of the Urban League's convention in the Motor City to examine how black voters feel about the upcoming election. The conclusion? Both candidates are failing "to stir black voters." The article is particularly harsh on Sen. Kerry, who " hasn't inspired many black voters" and is "no Clinton" for the African-American community. LINK
All of that may be true, but the Detroit News reports that a recent poll of Michigan's black voters show 84 percent support KE04, while "it detected no support for Bush." LINK
A new Florida constitutional amendment creating a higher minimum wage and tying that wage to inflation, will be on the ballot this fall, according to the Miami Herald 's Gregg Fields. LINK
The Miami Herald debates the touch-screen issue and calls for a state audit of voting technology. LINK
"Florida can expect 'a media monsoon' and lots of scrutiny," after experts said on Wednesday that the election system in the Southern state still faces difficulty, writes the St. Petersburg Times' Lucy Morgan. LINK
The St. Paul Pioneer Press' Mike Hughlett continues the roll out of the state poll done in conjunction with Minnesota Public Radio. Today's results show that Minnesotans are more optimistic about their economic future. LINK
More Minnesota polls. The St. Paul Pioneer Press' Bill Salisbury reports that a University of Minnesota poll shows that election results in the Upper Midwest depend entirely on the 10 percent to 15 percent of voters remaining undecided, especially in the inner-ring suburbs. LINK
In that same poll, the Minneapolis Star Tribune's Eric Black writes, it becomes apparent that many, if not most, in the Upper Midwest have the wrong impression of Sen. Kerry's position on troops in Iraq. LINK
The economy continues to present a rosy picture for Sin City. The latest evidence? Casino earnings that are "as hot as summer." LINK
The Las Vegas Sun reports an increase in "fraudulent voter registration" in Clark County, Nevada — home of Las Vegas — while Noting the presence of unnamed "political groups" around the state who have been trying to register more voters. LINK
Maine's relatively low unemployment rate of 4.1 percent in June may present "a much rosier employment picture than it is in actuality," because the state's Department of Labor uses the unusual accounting technique of including self-employed people in its employment statistics. LINK
John Cacoulidis may just be trying to reveal his leanings in the presidential race, but his Bush-Cheney house sign ("an immense, white banner") is raising some eyebrows in Cumberland, Maine. LINK
What's good for one state is bad for another: battleground Arizona is losing highly paid aerospace jobs to non-battleground Kansas. LINK
A new study in Arizona says voters there have seen an average of 200 commercials — already — related to the presidential campaign. LINK
Oregon gas prices have been dropping faster than the national average, writes the Salem Statesman Journal's Toby Manthey. LINK
On the Hill:
The Wall Street Journal editorial page accuses Senator Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) of being an obstruction in today's edition, while also calling the Senate a "dead zone" for legislation.
ABC News Vote 2004: the Senate:
The Chicago Tribune's John Chase and Liam Ford take a look at the "thin bench of prospects" to step into the Republican slot to run for U.S. Senate in Illinois and the domino effect that seems to be dominating the Illinois GOP as possible candidate after possible candidate bows out of the running. LINK
A new poll shows that nearly half of Florida Republicans are undecided in the U.S. Senate race a mere 41 days from the primary, writes the Miami Herald 's Marc Caputo. LINK
ABC News Vote 2004: the House:
Roll Call looks at the "comeback" of Rep. Cynthia McKinney's (D-Ga.) and the party's chances in November.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution discusses the McKinney-comeback formula "Cynthia McKinney stuck to the issues, controlled her tongue and rallied an army of volunteers who fanned out throughout the 4th Congressional District to energize voters." LINK
As U.S. Rep. James C. Greenwood plans to announce his transition from public life to private life after six-terms — the contenders emerge. LINK
AP's Mike Glover gets former Dole campaign manager Scott Reed to say of "Fahrenheit 9/11" that "I'm not sure if it moves voters, but if it moves 3 or 4 percent it's been a success." Glover also gets Reed, with Republican operative Joe Gaylord, to admit that, in Glover's words, "Fahrenheit 9/11" "is seen as a political headache because it has reached beyond the Democratic base. Independents and GOP-leaning voters are likely to be found sitting beside those set to revel in its depiction of a clueless president with questionable ties to the oil industry." LINK
The Washington Post 's Tommy Nguyen Notes "one form of nonfiction narrative remains determinedly liberal: the documentary film." LINK
We're detecting a trend here: Sharon Waxman of the New York Times also wrote about this the other day.
And Variety's Susan Crabtree reports that Citizens United, which originally filed a complaint with the FEC after the movie was released arguing the movie's ads fell under campaign finance laws, is now expanding that complaint to Sony/Columbia Tri Star and its DVD distribution rights.
And where will Michael Moore be during the convention? Well, he'll be speaking to the Congressional Black Caucus in Boston on Monday, and on Tuesday he'll host a private screening of his movie at Brookline's Coolidge Corner Theater for AFSCME members, AP reports today. LINK
The politics of same-sex marriage:
The Chicago Tribune's Anastasia Ustinova looks at the legislation sponsored by Rep. John Hostettler (R-Ind.) and set to be voted on this week, barring federal courts — including the Supreme Court — from ruling on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage, thereby leaving the issue to be decided by the states. LINK
The Wall Street Journal 's Avery Johnson reports on the deteriorating relationship between Ralph Nader and Kerry supporters, which will only grow more intense after Nader's visit tomorrow to Boston to attend a Veterans for Peace convention. LINK
Dean David Broder of the Washington Post writes up a fascinating interview with Ralph Nader, saying he has a "genius for controversy" and that "once again Nader sees himself as the innocent victim of powerful forces, rather than the instigator of trouble." Broder walks Nader through the interesting twists of logic that have him both complaining about Democratic and Republican dirty tricks and agreeing to accept help to get on the ballot from Republicans in Michigan — and tweaks both sides for their purported interest in doing what's right for the voters. LINK
In the wake of Nader's qualification for Nevada's ballot Wednesday, the State Democratic Party says it has not yet decided whether to challenge the decision with the Nevada Secretary of State. But it refuses to rule out the option, which it has until Aug. 24 to exercise. LINK
Who knew there was an entire industry devoted to this? Jenny Breslin, the head of the signature-gathering firm whose employees came under fire last week for refusing to admit they were gathering names to put Nader on West Virginia's ballot, visited the state yesterday to assure state officials that her employees are now wearing their credentials and acting less mysteriously. Breslin's firm, which she says is "well regarded within the industry," may still face a criminal probe. LINK
John Kerry tells Dan Rather, "My hope is that in the course of this campaign that John Edwards and I will speak to people in the country who once supported Ralph Nader or found a reason for his candidacy. I hope people will not waste their votes, because a vote for Ralph Nader will be a vote for George Bush." LINK
Texas ballot access laws and Nader's possible candidacy in the state will be tested this morning before U.S. District Court Judge Lee Yeakel. The AP reports Nader's campaign turned in signatures two weeks after the state deadline in May. LINK
From the outside:
The Washington Times ' Ralph Z. Hallow writes that Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Jack Kemp and former White House Counsel C. Boyden Gray are merging their existing groups to form FreedomWorks as a move to counter Democratic 527 groups. Hallow Notes that "the merger gives FreedomWorks the CSE membership of 360,000 activists and donors across the country. It also brings Empower America's donor network." We particularly enjoyed this quote from Mr. Armey: "'We believe that hard work beats daddy's money.'" LINK
Politics: Lloyd Grove provides the lowdown on some Congressional Black Caucus hand wringing over whether or not to invite President Bush to address the group at its conference in September. LINK
Roll Call 's Paul Can reports that just more than 18 months after he was ousted from leadership, Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) is one of the biggest fundraisers on Capitol Hill, "collecting the second-largest haul of cash for his PAC so far in the 108th Congress." His leadership political action committee has raked-in just under $3 million since he left office, raising questions about what he may plan to do with it. "While many GOP Senators, aides and strategists privately are betting he'll retire — Lott raised just $17,335 last quarter for his re-election committee — the Mississippi Republican remains intentionally coy about his future." One anonymous Republican Senator says it all hinges on whether the media would allow him to recoup his image. LINK
"It wasn't a good day for Gov. Perdue," says Georgia's Democratic Party Chairman Bobby Kahn, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "for the first time since Reconstruction, more Georgians voted a Republican ballot than a Democratic one in a primary." LINK
What do you do if you get a suspicious package that you think is "potentially hazardous" and you work in Sen. Ted Kennedy's office? You forward it on to Sen. George Allen's office, since it has a Virginia postmark, reports The Hill. LINK
In the world of political memorabilia, items featuring John Edwards and Ronald Reagan are hot, but Howard Dean and Ralph Nader are not, reports Avery Johnson of the Wall Street Journal .
The Washington Post 's Rebecca Dana attempts to explain the odd world of vote-swapping and selling. LINK
The New York Daily News looks at how politics can be a means to a social life. LINK
The Note would like to give a shout out to Tyler Glick, who might just be our favorite Note reader named Glick. In the Louisville Courier-Journal, Mr. Glick name-drops The Note as a favorite source that gets cut off when the electricity goes out. His low-tech fix? "What It Takes," Richard Ben Cramer's huge and breathtaking book on the 1988 presidential campaign. That's a junkie that may even put our Googling monkeys to shame. Thanks for reading, Tyler. Is there any unwritten rule against plugging a plug for yourself? Let's hope not. LINK
Roll Call describes C-SPAN's ramp-up of coverage for the political conventions.
More on ABC News' convention coverage: LINK
The politics of single voters:
The principal members of Washington's favorite bipartisan think tank, that is the wedded union of Mary Matalin and James Carville, were on hand at the National Press Club Wednesday for Match.com's unveiling of intriguing statistics and goals for its "Every Single Voter Counts" campaign. At a press briefing, Carville said it is difficult to peg single voters as a group, but they are just as identifiable as married couples in their many shared concerns. Carville emphasized that, although he is married now, he did have 49 years of experience at being single, so he felt that he had some bit of experience to offer Match.com as they make an effort to encourage single people to vote.
Who needs to go out for happy hour tonight, still feeling the loss of "Friends," when you can stay home and watch a quirky and truthful documentary about those women behind the men: the "Washington Wives."
The documentary debuts tonight on A&E and looks at the lives of those women who stood by their husbands as they campaigned through the Democratic nomination process. You don't get much better than off-the-cuff moments with Teresa — yes, we know most of her moments are just-how-she-is moments and that's why her husband loves her, and yada yada yada. But comparing her with some of the others side by side makes those glimpses even more outstanding.
Elizabeth Edwards is shown as the disciplined campaigner, fiercely loyal wife, and protective mother — with a sense of humor to boot.
Sally Quinn, that Washington wife extraordinaire (who appropriately is shot at one of her own fabulous D.C. parties and in her home in the Hamptons), is also interviewed.
The New York Times ' Alessandra Stanley writes up her review LINK and Notes the lack of Judy Dean. We understand why the producers would want to include Howard Dean's wife — but she's a Vermont wife — and it seems weird watching Stephanie Schriock as her replacement.
Other than that, tune in and watch what being a wealthy, pampered, but tired and devoted wife on the campaign trail is all about.
ABC News' Ed O'Keefe's Kerry campaign report:
NANTUCKET, MASS., July 21, 2004 — As Sen. John F. Kerry reached the first step of the Kerry-Edwards campaign 757 after four seaside-on-the-Sound days, the sun-soaked candidate lamented, "Do we have to leave? I don't want to go."
For the second time in as many months, Kerry wiled away the dog days of a campaign summer with some kite surfing, biking and casual dining, all in between polishing what well could be the most important speech of his political life to date.
The nominee-to-be's presence may have incidentally disquieted the normally tranquil island.
Hundreds gathered outside St. Mary's Spanish-language mass on Sunday night, clapping and cheering as they caught sight of the Senator and Teresa Heinz Kerry.
A trip to the reasonably posh American Seasons (LINK) or the BYOB, cash-only Black Eyed Susan's (LINK) routinely drew friendly crowds of curious onlookers.
But on Tuesday night, island politics got personal.
Republican neighbors just a few doors down from the Heinz estate resisted the temptation to show their GOP-stripes until another, more left-leaning neighbor hung a large Kerry-Edwards banner on the front of their home.
The Republicans, who asked not to be identified by name, struck back, prominently hanging a Bush-Cheney banner on their seaside estate.
But on Tuesday night, the couple returned to find their BC04 banner clipped, mysteriously missing in the foggy Nantucket night.
Upset by the incident, the couple contemplated confronting the Kerry's in person but the prospect of knocking on a Secret Service-protected door seemed unappealingly daunting.
Plan B. When the couple checked the phone book for a contact number for their billionaire neighbor and the presumptive Democratic nominee, they amazed to find a number ending in a tell-tale 757.
On a whim, they dialed the number, leaving a message for the political power couple. Later that night, Teresa Heinz Kerry (who fortunately had an alibi in her husband and a television camera crew at dinner) returned the couple's call, apologizing profusely for the unfortunate neighborhood spat.
Heinz Kerry reportedly insisted that it was every islander's — as well as every individual's — right to political self-expression and that, although the campaign had nothing to do with the incident, she did not support the banner cutting.
Graciously accepting the apology, the neighbor admitted to Heinz Kerry that they live in a house divided as their children, living in a BC04 banner-less abode, support Kerry.
Kerry travels to Detroit on Thursday, delivering a speech to the Urban League just one day before the president. Kerry begins his march toward Boston on Friday, traveling to Aurora, Colo., the city of his birth.
At the movies with The Note:
The Note made it into Paramount Pictures' sneak preview of "The Manchurian Candidate" last night. As is usually the case, the Googling monkeys ate too much popcorn, but even that agony couldn't distract us from a very engaging film. Meryl Streep's performance is very, very intriguing to say the least. We think Mr. Sinatra would have liked this re-imagination of the original film he made famous. We can't wait to read Chuck Todd's review!
Wednesday's Note misstated the affiliation of writer Philip Gourevitch. He writes for the New Yorker. We regret the error.
TODAY'S SCHEDULE (all times ET):
— 8:30 am: The Labor Department releases the weekly jobless claims report — 8:50 am: President Bush receives his copy of the 9/11 Commission report on the South Lawn of the White House — 9:30 am: The Senate convenes for morning business — 9:30 am: The Senate Armed Services Committee holds a hearing on the report on prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib Prison — 9:50 am: President Bush signs H.R. 218, the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004 at the White House — 10:00 am: Off-camera gaggle by White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan — 10:00 am: The House of Representatives meets for morning business — 10:00 am: Sen. John Kerry addresses the 2004 National Urban League Conference at the Cobo Center, Detroit, Mich. — 10:00 am: The American Conservative Union releases its plans to publish a book titled "Who is John Kerry?" at the National Press Club, Washington, D.C. — 10:45 am: House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi holds her regular news conference at the Capitol, Washington, D.C. — 11:00 am: The Senate conducts back-to-back Roll Call votes on three motions to invoke cloture on three judicial nominations — 11:30 am: The 9/11 Commission releases its final report. Live on ABC News. — 12:00 pm: House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Robert Menendez, Rep. James Clyburn, and assistant to the House Minority Leader John Spratt hold a news conference to discuss the policy and political record of the Republican-controlled Congress at the Capitol, Washington, D.C. — 12:30 pm: Sens. Charles Schumer and Patty Murray hold a news conference to urge the White House and Senate leadership to move on the Homeland Security spending bill and other bills, Washington, D.C. — 12:30 pm: Former Gov. Howard Dean holds a press conference in to discuss his role at the Democratic convention, South Burlington, Vt. — 12:50 pm: Sen. Kerry receives the endorsement of Rep. Dennis Kucinich during an African-American ministers reception at Cobo Center, Detroit, Mich. — 1:15 pm: Sen. John Edwards attends a campaign fundraiser lunch at the Goodwin Hotel, Hartford, Conn. — 1:45 pm: House Speaker Rep. Dennis Hastert and other members of the GOP leadership hold a news conference to discuss measures to prevent further attacks against the United States at the Capitol, Washington, D.C. — 3:20 pm: President Bush tours the Northeastern Illinois Public Training Academy, Glenview, Ill. — 3:30 pm: Former President Bill Clinton signs copies of his book "My Life" at Books & Books, Coral Gables, Fla. — 4:40 pm: President Bush speaks about homeland security at the Northeastern Illinois Public Training Academy, Glenview, Ill. — 6:35 pm: President Bush speaks at an RNC fundraiser, Winnetka, Ill. — 9:45 pm: President Bush returns to the White House