The Washington Times ' Steve Miller reports that Jack Ryan, the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate seat in Illinois who promised to drop out of the race, has not yet forfeited his spot on the Illinois ballot, becoming "an official thorn in the side of the party because no new candidate can be named until he submits the withdrawal paperwork." Miller also lists a couple possibilities for replacements, including Ted Nugent. You read that right. LINK
What does it say when a puppet show that includes sex and references to masturbation, not to mention shots at President Bush, is compared to "Fahrenheit 9/11," at least in terms of its effect on Las Vegas?
Linda Ronstadt got booed off the stage in Vegas for praising Michael Moore a couple of nights ago, and today the New York Times ' Jason Zinoman wonders whether a city that reacted so strongly to the Moore praise will be accepting of the fabulous puppet play "Avenue Q." LINK
And just to remind you that Vegas isn't all, well, politics: LINK
And today Variety's Gabriel Snyder is reporting that the Wallace Theaters chain, which operates the only theater not only in places like Topeka, Kan., but also in Crawford, Texas, will finally get prints of "Fahrenheit 9/11." Snyder Notes that the conspiracy theorists were peaked when the closest theater to President Bush's ranch wasn't showing the movie, but it turns out that the cause was more business than politics a spat over the distribution of another Lions Gate movie: "Punisher."
The politics of taxes:
The Chicago Tribune's William Neikirk looks at how a small tax bill is turning into a package of tax breaks for multinational corporations including General Electric, as well as breaks for "among others, bow-and-arrow makers, Oldsmobile dealers, NASCAR racetrack owners and producers of fishing-tackle boxes and sonar fish-finders — not to mention a $12 billion buyout for tobacco farmers. . . . Land developers, ranchers, small-airplane manufacturers, commodity traders and distillers also would benefit from various tax provisions, as would makers of ceiling fans." LINK
"The Republican governors of the four most populous states have asked congressional tax writers to include $19 billion in tax breaks targeted at energy companies in a massive corporate-tax bill," The Hill reports. LINK
Michigan Republicans are accusing Michigan Democrats of outsourcing work to check Nader' s petitions. The AP reports Democratic Executive Chairman Mark Brewer has said the party is testing the validity of every signature. Challenges must be made by 4:00 pm ET Thursday. LINK
The Chicago Tribune Notes Nader raised roughly $500,000 during June and started July with $207,000 in the bank. LINK
Nader volunteers submitted 1,460 signatures in New Jersey — almost twice the number he needs to get on the ballot. And attorney for the campaign warned the state's Democratic Party not to challenge the Nader petitions as parties have in Oregon, Illinois, Florida and Arizona. New Jersey Democratic Party Executive Director Adam Green told the Philadelphia Inquirer he was disappointed that Nader would likely be on the ballot, but that it would not challenge his petitions. Nader won about 3 percent of the vote in New Jersey in 2000. LINK