ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News




Morning Show Wrap

Evening Newscasts Wrap

NEWS SUMMARY: Democrats who want John Kerry to be elected spend a lot their time these days fascinated and frightened by the prospect that President Bush will replace Vice President Cheney on the ticket.

Acknowledging that it all may be inside the Beltway clamor, the New York Times ' Elisabeth Bumiller looks at a new "rumor" in Washington that "Mr. Cheney recently dismissed his personal doctor so that he could see a new one, who will conveniently tell him in August that his heart problems make him unfit to run with Mr. Bush." LINK

How the talented Ms. Bumiller gets just above the front-page fold of her paper today with a story that includes the word "rumor" in the headline is really beyond us.

Look — the only reason to replace Mr. Cheney is if the calculus is made that doing so would increase the chances of Bush re-election.

And that calculation could NEVER be made precisely, since removing him would bring on at least some amount of base unhappiness (particularly if he were replaced by a moderate); some accusations of implicit concession of error on Iraq and other policies; and some charges of political craveness.

Bumiller's story has some clever suggestions that Republicans are a part of a three-way conversation on this, but for the most part, this is a Democrat-and-media dialogue.

In other political news (our all-time favorite transition … ), watch for and consider:

1. John Kerry at the NAACP, as the Congressional Black Caucus slams his new black-targeted ad campaign in the Los Angeles Times, and a likely escalation in the war of words between the two presidential campaigns on all this.

2. Another devastating media focus group in Ohio for the President.

3. The lessons learned from the gay marriage vote are all over the map.

4. Ditka's "no" leaves the Illinois GOP and George Allen without an obvious Senate candidate.

5. Sen. Clinton's convention role remains TBD.

6. The KE team on Imus included plenty of flirting but surprisingly little Edwards interrupting of Kerry; the duo brushed aside the usual questions about the $87 billion, the war, and others. And apparently, Kerry hasn't fully explained why he chose him. One interesting exchange:

Keying off of Sen. Edwards contention Monday on "Today" that Cheney has "lost touch," Imus asked Edwards if he knew how much a gallon of milk and a six pack of beer costs in Albuquerque, N.M.

Edwards said, "I know about what it costs. A half a gallon costs $2.30, $2.40."

Imus said a gallon costs $2.99.

Edwards declined to offer a guess as to the cost of a six-pack of beer, saying, "I haven't drank a six pack of beer in a long time. I haven't bought a six pack of beer in years. I don't know."

On the trail today, as we said/wrote, Sen. Kerry addresses the NAACP convention in Philadelphia this morning at 10:00 am ET after two down days in Boston, something President Bush declined, given the NAACP's ads and criticism of him since 2000. President Bush, though, plans to address the Urban League next week in Detroit.

Sen. Kerry also visits his first front porch as part of his campaign's "Front Porch Tour" in Lansdowne, Pa. at 1:30 pm ET, and travels to Charleston this afternoon for an evening fundraiser and rally.

President Bush signs the Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act at the White House this morning at 10:05 am ET and meets with the president of Mongolia at 1:55 pm ET.

Sen. Edwards continues his first solo campaign run today in the South, attending a town hall meeting at 2:30 pm ET in New Orleans following his own "front porch" stop. He flies to Houston tonight for a fundraiser.

Today is the second "National Party for the president Day," and First Lady Laura Bush will be on a conference call with "tens of thousands" of Bush-Cheney supporters at 8:30 pm ET.

Mrs. Bush is also in the South today, speaking to the press after a Heart Truth campaign event in Jacksonville. After a Jacksonville fundraiser she travels to Nashville for the national Alpha Kappa Alpha convention.

Today is the deadline for Ralph Nader to submit signatures to be included on the Michigan ballot.

And the Senate debates and is expected to pass the FSC/ETI jobs bill today and afterward take up the U.S.-Australia Free Trade Agreement.


Newly hired Googling monkeys are required to master a 754-page style book and pass a test before they get their bananas, as it were.

Often, our monkeys have too much to do and we really need their help putting this Note out.

So we give them a one-page summary of the most important stylistic points. No embellishment from our stylistic analysts, no caveats. Just the facts, in black and white.

For reasons a special commission is investigating, although the given name of aforementioned New York Times super-writer Elisabeth Bumiller is spelled correctly in that style guide, sometimes, mistakes are made. Those monkeys (and humans) less accustomed to the Beltway sometimes replace the 's' with a 'z.'

We do so in yesterday's Note, and for that, we apologize. (We also apologize for making the exact same mistake in Noted Now this morning!)

Incidentally, we refuse requests to release the one-page summation of our longer report.

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

Susan Page of USA Today sat in on a Peter Hart-led focus group in Dayton, Ohio this week and discovered "the face of trouble for President Bush." LINK

This one is a must-read.

Following in the footsteps of "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," C-SPAN and the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania find through a soon-to-be televised focus group that Dayton voters are a "tough sell for both parties." LINK and LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Kerry-Edwards '04:

Ron Fournier of the Family Wire breaks news that Sen. Kerry is reducing his ad buy in Missouri and Arizona and Virginia, but Tad Devine begs the world not to see any deeper meaning in all this. LINK

The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz wraps the Kerry campaign's "$2 million ad buy aimed at black audiences and news outlets." LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Anderson and Yang report the response to the new Kerry campaign ads from the Congressional Black Caucus' chair Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.). "Saying his opinion represented the consensus among the 25 or so caucus members who saw and heard the commercials, he added: 'We felt the ads just did not, would not grip African American people in a way that would cause them to be very excited about going to the polls for John Kerry.'"LINK

With what Patrick Healy of the Boston Globe referred to as "his strongest pitch yet to a key voting bloc," Sen. Kerry is not signaling fear of motivating the base. "The presumptive Democratic nominee, who has drawn lukewarm support in some quarters of the black community, chose to make the push now, a relatively early stage for niche advertising in a presidential race, to signal that blacks' support is important to him, advisers said."LINK

Healy has this: "One adviser said Kerry is so confident at this stage of the campaign that he plans to spend four days in Nantucket starting Saturday, away from the trail and working on his acceptance speech for the convention."

The UPN station in the Raleigh, N.C. area will benefit from the new KE04 African-American ad buy.


The New York Times' Sheryl Gay Stolberg was on the road with Sen. Edwards yesterday, and writes that his approach is still a work in progress. "Mr. Edwards is still very much feeling his way in his solo debut. As he melds his own vision with that of Mr. Kerry, the North Carolina senator must translate his hugely successful primary campaign speech about 'two Americas' — one for the rich and another for the poor — into a broader message that will highlight Mr. Kerry rather than himself." LINK

Our reporTER (The Edwards Reporter) Gloria Riviera (yep, she's BAACK!) phoned in this paragraph from last night, which we present to you unedited and left in its classic Blackberry style:

At the Kerry-Edwards "Victory Party" in Chicago last night, which Edwards and Elizabeth headlined, National Finance Chair Lou Susman announced a take of $750,000 dollars. All goes to KE04. Up and comer Barack Obama spoke, Lou intro'd EE (who btw has come a long way, baby, on her own oratory skills from a stumbling notes-in-hand intro back in IA in January to a smooth, crowd endearing intro last night) and EE intro'd "my guy, now your guy, John Edwards." Event was put together, they say, in five days. Obama's thoughts? "What a party!" He needs to get out more but anyway … Color: Edwards got a run by the river in just before the event last night, having had to skip his beloved workouts entirely last week.

James Rainey of the Los Angeles Times recaps Sen. Edwards The Optimist's first solo day. "Most of Edwards' remarks centered on themes as broad and bright as the blue sky over the golden Capitol dome in Des Moines." Kinda reminds you have that REM song "Shiny, Happy People Holding Hands," doesn't it?LINK

The Des Moines Register's Erin Crawford looks at Elizabeth Edwards as a mother and campaigner. LINK

Still unable to write about the presidential campaign without mentioning the Iowa caucus, the Des Moines Register's Thomas Beaumont writes that Edwards thanked Iowans during his solo-stop there on Wednesday. LINK

USA Today's editorial board takes John Kerry on over his education policies calling for a stronger commitment to accountability. LINK

(We suspect Bridget Dean will soon be getting a call (if she hasn't already) from the Bush campaign about setting up an event with the president.)

"I've always said reform without resources is a waste of time, but resources without reform are a waste of money. When I'm president, we'll have both … ," writes John Kerry in his responding op-ed. LINK

While Homeland Security Secretary was in Boston briefing state and local officials on security during the Democratic convention, Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was in D.C. speaking out against his Senator, John Kerry. The Boston Globe's Lewis reports that Romney called Kerry "too conflicted to be president of the United States."LINK

Slate's Dan Gross wonders who'll be Sen. Kerry's Bob Rubin. LINK

Jodi Wilgoren of the New York Times writes that the Kerry campaign has uncovered the 2004 version of the Straight Talk Express: Teresa Heinz Kerry. LINK

And really, who wouldn't want to be there for this scene: "On the campaign plane, Mrs. Heinz Kerry, in large, dark sunglasses and toting a glass of wine — in the afternoon, a spritzer — is often the first to venture into the reporters' cabin."

Former trial lawyer John Edwards' courtroom skills may be needed after all, to help his brother. According to the New York Daily News, "Sen. John Edwards' little brother has an outstanding warrant for his arrest in Colorado and has thumbed his nose at more than $800 in fines for driving infractions." LINK

Amy Martinez of the Raleigh News & Observer writes up the reconciliation underway between Kerry and Edwards' view on trade. LINK

" … since picking Edwards as his running mate last week, Kerry has adopted some of Edwards' populist rhetoric, saying he doesn't want jobs to go to China and promising to fight for a 'level playing field.'"

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

USA Today's Judy Keen was along for the bus tour through Wisconsin yesterday and reports Bush advisers say President Bush's second term goals will be announced in coming weeks. LINK

"The Bush campaign hopes Wisconsin is this year's West Virginia. This was his 12th visit since taking office. It was one of the first states that aides began to organize. There are Bush leaders in all 72 counties and most of Wisconsin's wards and 29,000 volunteers in the state."

We just love it when the Washington Post's law firm of Milbank and Allen use "whopping" in the second paragraph; the duo today Note, as Terry Moran did on World News Tonight Tuesday, the president's near-evangelical "preaching to the choir" and his engagement in full campaign mode. LINK

"Although not discounting swing voters, Bush is placing unusual emphasis so far on rallying the faithful."

Adam Nagourney's Gray Lady wrap: LINK

The bus tour scored the much intended boffo front page coverage from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. LINK

The view of one Oshkosh, Wis. (where those who serve customers at Leon's custard shop are called carhops) resident courtesy of the Oshkosh Northwestern: LINK

"'He went past very fast,' Theobald-Montrasio said. 'He could have gone a wee bit slower.'"

Meanwhile in an interview with C-SPAN yesterday, Vice President Cheney said "he cannot envision any circumstance in which he would not run for a second term, saying President Bush has been 'very clear he doesn't want to break up the team,'" the AP reports. LINK

The New York Times' Dick Stevenson looks at how President Bush has refined his position on same sex marriage. LINK

Stevenson Notes that the way the amendment failed yesterday "raised questions about whether the White House had fundamentally misjudged the nation's attitude on the issue. And the vote left even some of Mr. Bush's own advisers wondering if his backing of the amendment did not hurt him politically more than it helped by further stoking opposition to him from the left."

At the same time as the amendment was failing in the Senate, President Bush acknowledged the debate in Washington and received a standing ovation in Fond du Lac, Wis., when he told an audience of supporters: "I have made my position clear. I believe that a traditional marriage — marriage between a man and woman — is an important part of stable families."

"In a big shift for the normally docile scientific community, some leading researchers are mounting a political campaign to unseat President Bush this fall, accusing the administration of twisting scientific facts to fit its policies on issues such as global warming, sex education and stem-cell research," reports the Wall Street Journal's Antonio Regaldo.

Ed Chen of the Los Angeles Times picks up that the President is not usually put on the spot at his campaign Q&As — unlike a presidential press conference, "the 'ask the president' format gives Bush an opportunity to respond to questions usually framed in a positive manner."LINK

As does Joe Curl of the Washington Times: LINK

Bob Hillman of the Dallas Morning News reports that the Bush twins each were given "a small, high-quality video camera" from BC04 media guru Mark McKinnon, who said "he hopes the twins will have some fun with the cameras and use them to record a few of the real behind-the-scenes moments of the campaign."LINK

And the New York Post is reporting that Jenna Bush will be a teaching assistant at the Harlem Day Charter school. LINK

''I'm going to teach fourth grade,'' Jenna Bush tells the second graders of Hueytown Elementary. LINK

Jenna Bush got some advice from her mom about her possible upcoming gig as a teacher's assistant at a Harlem charter school. LINK

Deb Orin of the New York Post apparently didn't find anyone who thought Dennis Miller's Badger State routine shocking or inappropriate. LINK

Maureen Dowd opines that the appearance of President Bush's daughters on the campaign trail provides some uplift for their father's campaign. LINK

"With even Republicans like Pat Roberts, the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, questioning whether the president would have launched a war against Iraq if he'd known how weak his case was, Mr. Bush needs all the distractions he can get."

Sen. Kerry's appearance at the NAACP "is being overshadowed by the candidate who never showed up, President Bush," writes the Washington Post's Darryl Fears. LINK

Fears does convey the NAACP's strong animus against Bush; still, we wonder why this story is still a story.

George Hunter of the Detroit News reports President Bush will speak next week to the National Urban League annual conference in Detroit. "I think the people who attend the Urban League conference in a lot of cases are more from corporate America than at the NAACP," Detroit Urban League President N. Charles Anderson says. "Both the chairman and the president of the NAACP are consistently on record as criticizing the president. There's no question where they stand, whereas the Urban League leadership doesn't't have a tendency to attack the president." The day the president will speak is TBD. Sen. Kerry had already RSVPed. LINK

Education Secretary Rod Paige sternly criticizes NAACP leadership in a Wall Street Journal op-ed for taking "a proud, effective organization in a totally new direction: naked partisan politics, pure and simple."

His claim that "(t)hrough his education policies alone, President Bush has done more for the African-American community than any previous president," is going to raise an eyebrow or two in Harlem and Austin.

The conventions:

All you Democratic convention goers, get ready to hold it! Public restrooms will be closing at 5:00 pm ET, as usual. No extensions. No if, ands, or butts. LINK

Roll Call reports Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle will slip out of the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday, thus missing Sen. John Kerry's acceptance speech — in the hopes he will be giving his own again in South Dakota. LINK

Local boy does good — Barack Obama, keynoter: LINK

Jill Lawrence gives equal play to the announcement of Sen. Obama as keynoter as she does to Sen. Clinton's less prominent convention role. LINK

And we wonder if the spinning Kerry press staff Noticed Barack Obama say that he too didn't ask to speak at the convention, but received a phone call from Mary Beth Cahill offering him the slot.

The New York Times' Raymond Hernandez reports that while Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton breezily maintains that she's fine with the decision of Democratic Party leaders not to give her a speaking role at the conventions, her supporters are voicing their protests — and some predict she'll end up with a role anyway. LINK

The New York Post's Fred Dicker writes up Judith Hope's (and others) outrage over the absence of Sen. Clinton from the convention speaking program. Check out the Mario Cuomo quote predicting the Senator will speak should she want to do so. LINK

Despite Gov. Bill Richards assurances that "the odds are good" that Sen. Clinton would speak, the plan now is for her to only participate with a group of women Senators, writes The Hill's Patrick O'Connor. LINK

The Washington Post's Richard Cohen Notes "once again, Ron Reagan will be speaking solely because of his name and because, by implication, he is articulating his dead father's convictions." LINK

New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has made his final offer on a marching route for the largest expected protest of the week. LINK

The Boston Globe's Joanna Weiss humorously compares the two cities hosting conventions this summer. Here's a taste: "One of Boston's print ads reads: 'There are more than 140 languages spoken in Boston. So, theoretically, there are 140 ways to say 'wicked awesome.''"LINK

"New York's version is more concise: '171 Languages Spoken Here. And we can tell you where to go in all of them.'"

The Boston Globe introduces us to some of the delegates from New Hampshire.LINK

The GOP is planning a "rapid-response command center" at the Democratic National Convention, according to The Hill's Geoff Earle. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: the Senate:

Da Dream. Da-Dies.


ABC News Vote 2004: battleground states:

Minnesota is likely to make it through this year without adding to their deficit, as tax collections come in $194 million above estimates. LINK

In a front-page story today, the Albuquerque Journal's Andy Lenderman writes, "Sen. John Kerry's forest management plan would create jobs, provide sufficient funding for firefighters and reduce fire risk near homes, according to a position paper released by the Democratic presidential campaign."

Robert Redford, a celebrity who has never been anywhere near the center square, soundly criticized the Bush administration's environmental policy, while speaking in New Mexico on Wednesday, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican's Ben Neary. LINK

Joe Garner and Jim Tankersley of the Rocky Mountain News gauge the reaction of Colorado lawmakers to the Kerry-Edwards campaign's forest fire policy, which includes a Forest Restoration Corps. LINK

The New York Times' Matthew Wald walks through the arguments for and against burying nuclear waste at Nevada's Yucca Mountain, as Congress tries to determine how to define nuclear waste and what to do with it. LINK

In a less-auspicious debut than was likely hoped for, yesterday's KE04 rollout of a new forest-health initiative received little attention in key Western battleground state newspapers, with most featuring only a short, perfunctory summary of the proposal. LINK and LINK

The editorial board of Tucson's Daily Star returns to the all-important trial lawyer dilemma today, and concludes that the president's rhetoric about trial lawyers being bad for business isn't always true: "The fact is that small businesses may find good use for a trial lawyer if they find themselves being abused by major corporations." LINK

In the key battleground state of West Virginia, it can't be good news for the Kerry campaign that the Republican candidate for governor "is trying to capitalize on Bush's popularity" ("We're going to be just like jam on bread," says the campaign manager), while his Democratic opponent "is staking a different course," in "seeking to distance his candidacy from Kerry's." LINK

The Charleston Gazette says Zogby International polling shows Sen. Edwards has given the KE04 ticket a slight boost in all of the battleground states — except in the Mountain State. "Edwards' magic doesn't seem to be working in West Virginia," says Zogby. LINK

Interesting strategy: the Kerry campaign's spokeswoman in West Virginia tells the Charleston Gazette that Bush supporters — even those wearing pro-Bush t-shirts — will be allowed into today's Kerry rally at the University of Charleston. In response, a BC04 spokesman refused to say whether anti-Bush protestors would be allowed into Friday's presidential stop in the state. LINK

In this time of fear over outsourcing, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer Notes this morning that nearly $75 million in Washington state government contracts have been "farmed out overseas." But Washington state is not alone: for instance, it is one of three-dozen states to use foreign call centers to help food-stamp recipients. LINK

The president is coming to Ohio to raise money to defeat the president — that is, Ohio native Martin Sheen will visit Cleveland in mid-August to support new Northeast Ohio anti-Bush group Bring Ohio Back. The 527, which likes to call itself BOB, is chockfull of A-, B-, and C- list celebrities like actors Chad Lowe and Fisher Stevens, and plans to make use of them in fall concerts and bus tours. LINK

What a nice story: Kerry helps guy who's struggling to get through law school, and now guy throws fundraiser on old pal Kerry's behalf. The Cincinnati Enquirer has all the touching details. LINK

The politics of same-sex marriage:

FMA, we hardly knew ye. LINK

Warning from the Christian Coalition: "We will not forget their cowardly rejection of a vote on the Federal Marriage Amendment this Election Day or on future Election Days. The Christian Coalition will be 'Scoring' this vote in our Congressional Score Cards. Those who stood with us will be remembered and rewarded; those who betrayed traditional marriage, family values, and our children will not be forgotten.:"

The Washington Post's Alan Cooperman writes "despite a defeat in the Senate yesterday, evangelical Christian groups said they would continue to push for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, but some predicted that it would be a 10-year battle." LINK

A same-sex marriage ban "enshrined in the Constitution" would have "sullied" the document, says the Minneapolis Star Tribune editorial board. LINK

New Hampshire's Republican Senators were split on the amendment, with Sen. John Sununu casting a dissenting vote, according to the AP. LINK

"Gay marriage advocates in New Mexico expressed relief and happiness Wednesday as the Bush administration's proposed gay-marriage ban was rejected by the Senate," writes the AP's Mary Perea. LINK

House Republicans are exploring other ways of getting at the same-sex marriage issue, including stripping federal courts of jurisdiction over the issue, according to The Hill's Jonathan E. Kaplan. LINK

The Senate vote on the amendment "left both Democrats and Republicans claiming victory," writes The Hill's Lauren Shepherd. LINK

The Denver Post's Ann Mulkern wraps the last-minute lobbying by groups both for and against the amendment with some reaction from Colorado lawmakers and from groups like Focus on the Family, which intends to keep opposing same-sex marriage. LINK

Eric Gorski of the Denver Post looks at how conservative groups are continuing to try to mobilize voters and activists against same-sex marriage this fall. LINK

M.E. Sprengelmeyer of the Rocky Mountain News spent the day with Sen. Wayne Allard as kept working toward passage of his bill as the vote came down. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: casting and counting:

"We should be OK,'' County Election Supervisor Constance Kaplan assures voters in Miami-Dade Florida, despite her critical letter last month to the company that manufactures touch-screen voting equipment. LINK

The Orlando Sentinel reports a new era in political shenanigans. "Political dirty tricks entered the computer age in Seminole County this week when bogus e-mails falsely accusing a candidate of having an affair, violating campaign-finance laws and gathering petition signatures in bars were sent to the candidate's supporters and city workers." LINK

Abby Goodnough of the New York Times reports that four years after the voting debacle in Florida, problems persist and new ones have arisen — from touch-screen voting machines to accurate voting rolls and registration, to training poll workers. LINK


Today is the deadline for Ralph Nader to turn in those 30,000-plus signatures, and an affidavit to qualify for the Michigan ballot. And the day we just might find out what kind of difference the GOP was able to make!

But the scuttlebutt over Nader getting on the Michigan ballot as a Reform Party candidate has not ended. The AP reports there is still dissent in the Michigan Reform Party over who has authorization to give Nader the Party's line on the ballot, and whether the proper procedure was followed. LINK

Now it's happening in West Virginia: the Charleston Gazette says people are reporting being stopped by "guys wearing big stickers on their shirts that read 'W '04'" who are asking for help in putting "an independent candidate on the ballot." Both the RNC and BC04 claim to have no knowledge of the situation. LINK

Pro-Nader volunteers area heading up petition efforts in the San Francisco Bay area. The candidates hold a rally in San Francisco tomorrow night before Nader says Aloha! LINK

The Austin Chronicle reports Nader and other independent candidates will converge on the federal courtroom of Judge Lee Yeakel next Thursday, July 22, to "hear arguments to equalize the ballot access requirements in Texas between indie candidates and third-party candidates." Experts say Nader has a good shot at winning. LINK

More on Nader-Camejo contributions from prominent Republicans. LINK

The Kansas City Star reports Green Party organizers at a John Fogerty concert collecting signatures to get Nader on the ballot to the tunes of "Born on the Bayou," "Suzy Q," and appropriately "Green River." LINK


The latest Dean Dozen … LINK

The Washington Post's George Will Notes "California's contentment with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is palpable." LINK

The Washington Post's David Broder contemplates "what … .Tennessee Republican [Bill First] said at the National Press Club earlier this week confirms what many in the health field, in business and in both parties increasingly recognize: The American health care system is urgently in need of a basic overhaul." LINK

"Disputing Bush administration estimates, a liberal think tank said yesterday that new federal rules will remove overtime protections for at least 6 million U.S. workers," writes the AP's Martin Crutsinger. LINK

The Politics of national security:

The Wall Street Journal's lead editorial taking to task Joe Wilson's credibility — growing out of the Senate Intelligence Committee's report — reminds us that we should have been raising this story for Note readers since at least Saturday.

TODAY'S SCHEDULE (all times ET): — 7:45 am: Sens. John Kerry and John Edwards call into on MSNBC's "Imus in the Morning" —8:00 am: The Breakfast of Champions honors House Speaker Dennis Hastert, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi; Sen. Paul Sarbanes; and Reps. Martin Sabo and Judy Biggert for their support of basic science research at the Capitol, Washington, D.C. —8:00 am: Commerce Secretary Donald Evans discusses the economy and the business community at a Chamber of Commerce breakfast briefing, Washington, D.C. —8:30 am: The Labor Department releases the weekly report on initial jobless claims and the Producer Price Index for June —8:30 am: The Commerce Department releases the May report on business inventories —8:30 am: Medicare Administrator Dr. Mark McClellan briefs the National Health Council on the Drug Discount Card and the Medicare drug benefit at an event sponsored by the AARP, Washington, D.C. —9:00 am: Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle and Sens. Hillary Clinton and Byron Dorgan participate in a Senate and House Democratic Summit on voting rights, education, the economy, and health care for African-Americans, Washington, D.C. —9:15 am: The Federal Reserve Board releases the industrial production report for June —9:15 am: Iowa First Lady Christine Vilsack holds a media availability to discuss her speaking role at the Democratic National Convention, Des Moines, Iowa —9:30 am: The Senate convenes to take up the FSC/ETI JOBS Bill —9:30 am: Common Cause and Citizens for Responsible Ethics in Washington hold a news conference to discuss the ethics probe of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay at the National Press Club, Washington, D.C. —9:45 am: Off-camera press gaggle by White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan —10:00 am: First Lady Laura Bush speaks on the Heart Truth campaign and hold a media avail at St. Vincent's Medical Center, Jacksonville, Fla. —10:00 am: Sen. Kerry addresses the 95th Annual NAACP Convention at the Philadelphia Convention Center, Philadelphia, Pa. —10:00 am: The House of Representatives meets for legislative business —10:00 am: The Federal Election Commission meets in Washington, D.C. —10:00 am: The Center for Public Integrity holds a press conference on "The Politics of Oil: How One of the World's Richest Industries Influences Government" at the National Press Club, Washington, D.C. —10:05 am: President Bush signs H.R. 1731, the Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act, at the White House —10:15 am: Sens. Ron Wyden, Trent Lott, and Bob Graham hold a press conference on intelligence declassification reform at the Capitol, Washington, D.C. —11:00 am: The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights holds a briefing "Election 2004: Is America Ready to Vote? Examining Integrity, Accessibility for November Elections," Washington, D.C. —12:00 pm: First Lady Laura Bush attends an RNC fundraiser luncheon, Jacksonville, Fla. —12:00 pm: Sen. John Warner holds a press conference at the Capitol on the Red Cross report on conditions at Abu Ghraib prison, Washington, D.C. —12:05 pm: Sen. Edwards makes his first stop on the campaign's "Front Porch Tour," New Orleans, La. —12:45 pm: On-camera press briefing by Press Secretary McClellan —1:30 pm: Sen. Kerry makes his first stop on the campaign's "Front Porch Tour," Lansdowne, Pa. —1:55 pm: President Bush meets with the President of Mongolia at the White House —2:30 pm: Sen. Edwards attends a town hall meeting at Letter Carriers Hall, New Orleans, La. —2:30 pm: Minority Leader Pelosi speaks at the American Federation of Teachers annual convention at the Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C. —3:00 pm: The House Armed Services and International Relations committees submit resolutions calling for the Administration to turn over documents regarding care of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and other places —3:00 pm: Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld hosts an honor cordon to welcome Mongolian President Natsagiyn Bagabandi to the Pentagon, Arlington, Va. —4:10 pm: First Lady Laura Bush speaks at the Alpha Kappa Alpha National Convention at the Gaylord Opryland Resort, Nashville, Tenn. —6:25 pm: Sen. Kerry attends a campaign fundraiser reception at the Charleston Civic Center, Charleston, W.V. —7:00 pm: White House senior political adviser Karl Rove speaks to California Republican leaders and Bush-Cheney '04 supporters at their celebration of the Second National Party for the President Day at the Marriott, Irvine, Calif. —8:15 pm: Sen. Kerry speaks at a rally at the University of Charleston, W.Va. —8:30 pm: First Lady Laura Bush hosts a nationwide conference call on the second "Party for the President Day" with Bush-Cheney supporters —9:00 pm: Sen. Edwards attends a campaign fundraiser reception at the Intercontinental Hotel, Houston, Texas