The Note

NOTED NOW

TODAY SCHEDULE (all times ET)

FUTURES CALENDAR

Morning Show Wrap

Evening Newscasts Wrap

NEWS SUMMARY

In Washington, opinions about who is going to win the presidential election are like "Adam Clymers" -- everyone has one.

"Adam Clymers," of course, is a common political euphemism for a certain part of the human anatomy. LINK

Public opinion polls still suggest that most Americans, regardless of for whom they are voting, still think the President will win, but it's early yet and that number seems to be (naturally) tightening.

This has been a week in which, as the anchormen say, we have had to make up the lead of The Note each day, because the presidential race seems to have hit a newsless groove.

Which is not to say that there aren't a lot of potentially race changing things happening in the news cycle:

-- rumblings of NATO getting more involved in Iraq -- major new violence and death in Iraq -- the engagement over "Fahrenheit 9/11" -- Deputy Defense Secretary Wolfowitz learning what the word "Romenesko" means -- the possibility of a new CIA chief -- the President of the United States being interviewed in a criminal probe by a no-nonsense prosecutor -- the kicking of the can of the Cheney energy task force documents down the road past election day -- continued signs (mostly) of economic expansion -- serious Nader ballot jousting

And, of course, news of Tuesday's colorful and heated exchange between Vice President Cheney and a man who is apparently fingernails-on-the-blackboard to the Veep, Vermont Democratic Sen. Pat Leahy.

If you haven't heard about this encounter, read the Washington Post's pathbreaking account here LINK, and tell us if you Notice a word that doesn't normally appear in Washington Post and Disney publications.

Some Democrats have seized on Cheney's outburst (His office isn't much denying the account from Leahy's side . . .); on the President's testiness with an Irish television interviewer; and some other signs of alleged White House collar-tightening to suggest that the Bush-Cheney campaign realizes more than ever before that it COULD lose the election.

Democrats who work on presidential campaigns as a rule tend to evince a greater sense that they fear they are going to lose than do Republicans. Or you could call it "doubts about whether they are going to win."

That pattern has largely held in most of the Bush and Kerry ranks this spring and summer, although among both sides' senior message meisters and numbers crunchers, there are some Bushies who are sober eyed about the possibility of loss, and some Kerryites who claim to see the mood of the nation and the trend of the poll lines adding up to making their guy the favorite.

As William Pitt, Earl of Chatham once famously said, "Confidence is a plant of slow growth in an aged bosom."

In a campaign year in which both sides stress that world and national events beyond their control could decide the outcome of the election, having confidence helps a lot. And through all of the Kerry campaign's growing pains and off-tune days, let history record that on the metaphorical eve of the veep pick, the national conventions, and the debates, the famous "confidence gap" is smaller than it has been in quite some time.

A loose and jangly President Bush travels to Ireland today for talks with European Union leaders.

The summit will aim to stress accord despite their differences over the Iraq war and the Middle East peace process.

Organizers of a "Stop Bush Campaign" claim at least 20-thousand people will rally in Dublin tonight before traveling to picket the summit tomorrow.

On Sunday the President travels to Turkey to take part in a NATO meeting focusing on Iraq. He is in Ankara for the meeting on Monday, and returns to Washington, D.C. on Tuesday.

Sen. John Kerry speaks to workers about "investing in jobs of the future" and holds a rally at a High School in Massillon, Ohio, this morning. The Senator then flies to New York City for an evening fundraiser he will attend with former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean.

Watch ABC News' "Nightline" tonight for an inside look at the day on the trail - a day in the life of Sen. John Kerry.

On Saturday, Kerry returns to Washington and gives remarks at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Annual Conference. He then returns to Boston were he has no public events scheduled for Sunday.

On Monday, Kerry speaks in Boston at the annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors (He might have to finesse some labor issues…) and then in the evening he heads to Baltimore for a Kerry Victory 2004 reception.

We'll be watching today and into the weekend to see if Sen. Kerry does any semi-public veepstakes business and to see if Jack Ryan keeps going on with his Senate bid in Illinois, in the face of some Republicans publicly and semi-publicly calling for him to drop out.

Today, Vice President Dick Cheney travels to Saginaw, Mich., to speak about improving the economy at the Duro-Last Roofing factory and he also appears on Fox News Channel's "Your World with Neil Cavuto" at 4:00 pm ET.

Former President Bill Clinton takes his book tour to Los Angeles where he will speak at the AFSCME convention in Anaheim before attending a book signing at Brentano's bookstore in Century City. On Monday the "Bill Clinton Booktour" hits San Francisco.

In the Senate, Majority Leader Frist has announced that today's session will be a brief one in order to pass ambassadorships and other non-controversial legislation. Also on the Hill will be Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, and Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as they testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee on "The Transition of Sovereignty In Iraq: U.S. Policy, Ongoing Military Operations, and the Status of U.S. Armed Forces."

Sen. John Edwards is the keynote speaker at the Iowa Democratic Party Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony tonight -- the night before the start of the state party convention. Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack speaks at this event as well. The ceremony begins at 8:30 pm ET at the Polk County Convention Center.

On Saturday, Ralph Nader gives the keynote address at Oregon's Green Party convention in Salem, Ore. Also on Saturday, the Green Party will nominate its candidates for president and vice president Saturday during its convention in Milwaukee.

On Sunday, "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" focuses on Iraq with an interview with National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice from Turkey. Then This Week brings you an exclusive interview with "Anonymous," the senior CIA officer in charge on monitoring al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden who has written a new book, "Imperial Hubris," which argues that the U.S. is losing the war on terror. Finally, a panel featuring former U.N. Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, New York Times columnist David Brooks, and Newsweek International editor Fareed Zakaria will talk about next week's handover of sovereignty in Iraq.

Next week, Rep. Pat Toomey, in conjunction with the Republican National Committee, will sponsor four events across Pennsylvania to discuss the sanctity of marriage and why those who share those values must continue to support the positive Republican agenda for America.

The Commerce Department has revised its read on first-quarter economic growth, putting the growth rate of the Gross Domestic Product at a slower-than-expected 3.9 percent, ABC News' Ramona Schindelheim reports. It is a surprise, given that economists did not expect to change their earlier reports of 4.4 percent growth. It turns out that exports during the first three months of this year were slower, and imports higher. As a result, Schindelheim Notes, the Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates on Wednesday.

Fahrenheit 9/11:

USA Today's Kasindorf and Keen give "Fahrenheit 9/11" USA Today's "Cover Story" treatment, questioning whether the movie will change voters' minds before the elections. LINK

The duo report that Michael Moore told them part of his goal is to persuade Naderites to vote for Kerry, and they also report that associate producer Joanne Doroshow admitted to them that the most controversial scenes -- showing Saudis leaving the country shortly after 9/11 -- are "confusing." The story is otherwise a wrap of issues surrounding the movie, although Kasindorf and Keen do Note that "on one level, [Moore's] already having his biggest success" because the movie is playing on three times the number of screens that "Bowling for Columbine" ever played on.

(Although Variety and the Chicago Tribune's Jeff Zeleny Note today that the theater count is still "relatively low" despite being the largest number ever for a documentary. Dare we wonder whether more people will see "White Chicks" this weekend?)

Zeleny recaps the partisan arguments surrounding Michael Moore's agenda, whether or it will influence -- much less be seen by -- anyone who supports the President's politics, and whether or not it has enough reach to make a difference. LINK

AP's Sharon Theimer reports on Citizens United's arguing in an FEC complaint that the movie shouldn't be allowed to run ads featuring Bush fewer than 30 days prior to the Republican convention. LINK

(Do read Variety's Gabriel Snyder's socko version of this story.)

Hollywood Reporter's Paul Bond reports on filmmakers' attempts to refute Moore -- including a recently announced festival dedicated solely to films criticizing debunking him. LINK

Variety's Snyder writes that "while Michael Moore's pic has dominated headlines this week, it's not the top dog going into the weekend box office race." That honor goes to "White Chicks," and "Farenheit's" box office success will be based on "strong demand for the pic is outside of Democratic strongholds," Snyder Notes.

It is burning up the New York box office, though. LINK

The New York Times' Felicia Lee Notes that 777-FILM accidentally listed the movie as NC-17 yesterday. LINK

USA Today reports that the DVD version of "Fahrenheit 9/11" will be ready just in time for the election. LINK

The San Francisco Chronicle's Ruthe Stein looks at all the attention paid in the film to the hair and makeup of White House staffers. LINK

Speaking of White House staffers, Communications Director Dan Bartlett was asked by Diane Sawyer early this morning whether he intended to see the movie. "I'm busy these days and I doubt that will elevate to the top of my movie watching list. If I wanted to see a good fiction movie I might see 'Shrek,'" Bartlett quipped.

He continued, criticizing Moore: "Mr. Moore has made it a habit of his not to pay attention to facts. And he comes from a very extreme ideology which he in fact opined that we shouldn't have a military response to 9/11 and bin Laden. He's outside the main stream."

Asked specifically about the scene in which Bush condemns terrorist attacks then quickly segues to his golf game, Bartlett invoked the golfing traditions of presidents past: "I think any American can appreciate that the burden that a President, whether it be President Bush, President Clinton or previous presidents -- General Eisenhower played golf -- are always asked to comment on things going on in the world, but they have to go on with their personal lives as well," Bartlett said.

Moore managed to get under CBS' "Early Show" host Hannah Storm's skin this morning when he called the CBS Evening News "propaganda" and wouldn't "move on" as Storm urged him to do during his criticism of the media. In his only morning show interview of the day, Moore also defended his decision to literally put thoughts into President Bush's head above video of Bush reading to kids in Florida on the morning of Sept. 11. "Sure" it's fair, Moore said. "First of all, it's satire. The thoughts I'm voicing in his head are my humor. Actually, I think it's very generous that I'm even assuming he had thoughts in his head."

Campbell Brown and Harvey Weinstein, Noted! LINK

Rep. Mark Kennedy, who was among the congressmen Moore asked to send their son to Iraq, blasted Moore as a "master of the misleading," according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune's Kevin Diaz. LINK

And let the reviews (outside New York and L.A.) begin:

Reuters' Gorman Notes that many of the reviews say the movie is "brilliantly provocative but unflinchingly partisan." LINK

AP's Christy Lemire says that the funny scenes are often "too snarky, too condescending," and "inadvertently undermines Moore's message," whereas the films's "more sedate moments" are "far more effective, ironically." LINK

Knight Ridder's Bill Ferguson thinks that "both Moore and Bush are masters of oversimplification." LINK

Washington Post's Ann Hornaday just loved it, calling it "required viewing, not just for the thousands of like-minded activists who have vowed to make the documentary a box office hit this weekend, but for anyone who wants to be culturally literate." LINK

Three and a half stars from the Salt Lake Tribune. LINK

The Pittsburgh Tribune Review isn't so upbeat, to say the least, calling the movie "the most self-serving piece of American-bred anti-American propaganda ever to achieve the high profile it has. And it has done so, make no mistake, through the self-aggrandizement of the publicity-crazed filmmaker." LINK

The Trenton Times compares the initial reaction to the film to that of "Passion of Christ." LINK

The Cleveland Plain Dealer's Mark Naymik looks at how MoveOn is trying to capitalize in the movie's interest with voter registration drives outside movie theatres and a Monday night town hall featuring an online chat with Moore. LINK

Roll Call's Amy Keller writes up the FEC's pass on a ruling concerning the legality of Moore's film as a form of electioneering.

"My Life":

Yesterday, we came into the office to find the Googling monkey assigned to watch and evaluate Charlie Rose's Wednesday interview with Bill Clinton fast asleep, his cute little chin resting on the keyboard in such a way to produce an endless series of "z's" (How appropriate!!!!).

But that delayed for a day our look at the outstanding tete-a-tete.

In a week chock-full of television interviews, thronged signings, swank parties, and record-breaking sales for the FPOTUS, Rose offered up a deeply substantive hour with the former president/current best-selling author, who clearly relished the thoughtful conversation.

Rose welcomed Clinton with classic Southern courtesy, then inventoried the completed book, new-found financial security, Mrs. Clinton's distinction as senator, and Chelsea's maturation (Stanford, New York job, adult happiness-thereby eliciting a proud-father smile).

With Clinton musing about power versus influence, and the roles and options of ex-presidents (cleaving to the Carville rule of agreeing to do whatever the President might ask), Charlie jumped right in and made some news.

Secretary of State Clinton (fifth in the line of succession!): While charily contemplating the notion of serving as, say, Middle East envoy in a Kerry administration, Clinton commented on the man ("I like him and I have a high regard for him and I think he'll be a good president if he wins") and the race ("I think he's got at least a 50/50 chance to win"), and explained that he himself has plenty to do without an official job ("I stay busy").

Ahhhhhh, but what about Secretary of State, asked Rose . . . long pause . . . "I don't know what I'd do . . . I'm not looking for a job, but…[as a former president] you acquire a big responsibility to try to help your country, and so if he asked me to go jump off a tower I'd have to seriously consider it. But I don't know."

Clinton quickly demurred, insisting choices such as veep should be left to Kerry alone, without outside pressure, speculation, or constraint. As Rose pressed, Clinton acknowledged "We've had one discussion about it several weeks ago, but he didn't ask me who I thought, he asked me about several people." Clinton then encouraged Kerry to pick a running mate he feels good about; someone who can be a good president if necessary, and someone with whom he'll feel comfortable working and to whom he'll feel comfortable giving responsibility.

The international role and reputation of America: Clinton offered a brief assessment of America's current status as most hated nation, explaining the U.S.'s scary new nuclear doctrine and a host of bullying behavior piled on to the Iraq policy. He then offered a casual defense of the sequence of Bush's actions vis-à-vis Iraq and the UN, but stressed his preference for cooperation over unilateral action whenever possible. (But he's "proud" of Wolfowitz for his recent admission of underestimating Iraqi resistance. Aw.)

Gore 2000: Would Gore have won if Clinton campaigned more in Arkansas? A big old "Probably" was quickly dialed back to an "I don't know." Clinton blamed Gore's Arkansas defeat on the NRA and Ralph Nader, and said he was unaware of how big the problem was in Arkansas (and New Hampshire, Tennessee, Missouri), what with being superbusy as President. He seemed to reluctant to rehash 2000, but acknowledged "I might have been able to make a significant difference . . . in New Hampshire and Arkansas" and said "If can help Kerry, I'll do it. I'll do whatever I can to help him."

41: Likes 41 very much personally (Liked him enough to consider not running against him in 1992. Whatever.) Still likes him today.

43: Should never be underestimated, his dumb "shtick" notwithstanding (and 42 knows something about being underestimated! The right thought he was too nice! Oh.) He praised Bush's "compassionate conservative" speech as "an act of pure genius . . . brilliant," and said he immediately warned the campaign they had a tough competitor. Tough, then and now.

Who said anything about therapy?: Clinton embraced the book's "therapy language" as his own, and advocated the benefits of therapy itself ("I would recommend it to everybody"). (Even so, he was coy about the current Clinton family counseling program).

He then had a little mini-session on the Rose couch, discussing his non "rational" choices (Monica, anyone?). He explained the ambiguous pitfalls of wanting to "be a perfect son" and the palpable pitfalls of being "under a huge amount of stress" (Lost Congress! Starr and Whitewater! Government shutdown! Future of the country in doubt!). But now, "I get it . . . I run right back into that dark hole of my secrets and confirm my deepest fears about myself." (That's enough for today, we'll see you next week).

Legacy: Denied an obsession with his legacy-"I've read enough history to know that my legacy won't be fixed for a hundred years, and I'll be long dead, and so will most of my critics" (Oh, no, not that wily Ken Starr!). Instead, he "keeps score" by asking if people have better stories than they did before he started.

Big Mistake: No, not that. Have you people learned nothing? "The worst thing that I did to America, for Americans, when I was president, in terms of things that affect Americans' lives, was trying to jam so much change down the system in the first two years that I lost the Congress. If I hadn't lost the Congress, we might have been able to get health care, we might have been able to get Social Security reform, in my second term."

"My Life": "On balance, there's more good than bad" (Michiko, anyone?)

With the exception of Larry McMurtry's wet kiss, a Wall Street Journal online roundup Notes that most reviews of Clinton's book are negative . . .

The New York Post's Sara Nelson previews the soon-to-be-published New York Times Book Review review of President Clinton's memoir. LINK

Page Six plays up Judicial Watch's review. LINK

The Washington Post's Charles Krauthammer takes a look at Clinton's legacy, a "wild mishmash of remembrance, anecdote, appointment calendar and political payback." LINK

The Washington Post's Michael Powell gets a little nostalgic for the thrilling days of Whitewater. LINK

Is there a threshold at which everyone in Washington simply explodes from Clinton overdose? We'll find out this Friday as the documentary with the catchy title, "The Hunting of the President: The Ten Year Campaign to Destroy the President," premieres in D.C. at Visions Theater, according to Roll Call.

Such journalistic stalwarts as Ron Brownstein, Walter Shapiro, Michael Duff, John Harris, and others are the standard bearers on a panel today at 9:30 a.m. at the National Press Club hosted by the DLC and The Washington Monthly to talk about the Clinton political legacy.

A taste of what's to come from Mr. Shapiro:

1). In the 2004 election, Clinton's legacy will prove to be less relevant than John Kennedy's but more topical than Jerry Ford's. A big reason for the ex-president's comparative irrelevance is that John Kerry is so unlike him stylistically that it will be hard to refight the Clinton Wars.

2). The Clinton presidency will be remembered:

(A). As a time of relative American innocence -- that halcyon interlude between the Cold War and terrorism -- when, like academic politics, the political in-fighting was so bitter because the stakes were so small;

(B). For the development of Oprah-retic politics, when feel-your-pain empathy created the illusion of a boldly activist administration, especially during the treading-water years after 1994.

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

Just three days ago, here in the Note we suggested that maybe Vice President Dick Cheney was softening his image with just four months to go with the campaign -- witness him holding babies at Bush-Cheney '04 rallies, posing for impromptu photos at an outdoors store and working a ropeline.

Well whatever points Cheney may have scored himself on Monday on the campaign trail have evaporated in a cloud of f-bombs on the Senate floor, as all the major papers report on his "frank exchange of views" with Vermont Sen. Pat Leahy.

'Cheney's idea of a "frank exchange of views' seems to have resulted in him dropping an obscenity.

The Washington Post's Helen Dewar and Dana Milbank report "a brief argument between Vice President Cheney and a senior Democratic senator led Cheney to utter a big-time obscenity on the Senate floor this week." LINK

The Post duo doesn't mince words.

The New York Times' Sheryl Gay Stolberg takes the opportunity to look at "outburst" between Cheney and Leahy as "yet another sign of the deteriorating relations between Republicans and Democrats in the capital."LINK

Stolberg reports that "[t]he outburst, the gist of which was confirmed by aides to Mr. Leahy, grew out of the vice president's apparent irritation over the senator's accusations of profiteering by Halliburton."

The New York Daily News picks up on the Cheney story and Notes that "The White House issued a rebuke in December when Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry waxed profane about President Bush's Iraq policy in a Rolling Stone magazine interview."

"'Did I expect George Bush to f--- it up as badly as he did? I don't think anybody did,' Kerry said." LINK

The Boston Herald wins the headline award: "Bleep the veep: Angry Cheney tells senator to **** OFF!"LINK

Cheney's words make it into Washington Wire.

The New York Post's Vince Morris writes up the Cheney story and even throws in some hard news at the end, Noting in the second-to-last graph the Supreme Court's decision on the Vice President's energy task force. LINK

And speaking of the Vice President and his energy task force . . .

"The Supreme Court held Thursday that a lower court had acted "prematurely" when it rejected a request from Vice President Dick Cheney to block disclosure of records from his energy policy task force," reports the New York Times' Linda Greenhouse. The Supreme Court maven Notes that the decision will "defer any resolution of the politically sensitive lawsuit until after the November elections." LINK

The Washington Post's Chuck Lane Notes the Court decision "sets the stage for months or years of additional legal wrangling if Cheney and President Bush are reelected." LINK

"While drafted in terms applicable mainly to the case before it, the opinion revealed a court now sympathetic to the White House's need to insulate itself from lawsuits. In 1997, the court ruled 9 to 0 that President Bill Clinton would not be unduly hampered by Paula Jones's lawsuit for sexual harassment he had allegedly committed while governor of Arkansas; yesterday, the court warned of 'meritless claims against the executive branch.'"

The Washington Post's editorial board Notes the Supreme Court's decision in favor of Cheney "casts the courts in an odd light, for the rules appear to be suddenly different for the Bush administration than they were for its predecessor." LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Robert Greenberger reports "the Supreme Court told a federal appeals court to take another look at whether a White House energy task force headed by Vice President Dick Cheney must divulge details of its operations, pushing a decision in the politically sensitive case until after the November elections."

The Washington Post's Mike Allen and Robin Wright preview President Bush's trip to Ireland and Turkey for two "summits amid increasing signs that he will win token -- but politically important -- support from NATO for the fledgling Iraqi government, administration officials said yesterday." LINK

In the last few weeks since former President Reagan's death his family has mostly retreated from public view, Notes the Washington Post's Rene Sanchez. But not Ron Reagan, whose new favorite pastime is "bashing Bush." LINK

Deborah Orin of the New York Post writes up some favorable poll numbers for President Bush. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Sen. John Kerry:

Tune in tonight at 11:35 pm ET to "Nightline," when ABC News' Ted Koppel joins Sen. Kerry on the road for a look at a day in the life of the campaign.

The New York Times' Jim Rutenberg analyzes Kerry's new ad (the second focusing on healthcare) that began running in 13 battleground states on Tuesday. LINK

" . . . terms like 'administrative overhead' are not likely to stick in television viewers' minds like, say, 'the Real Thing,'" writes Rutenberg.

The New York Times' Robin Toner deconstructs Sen. Kerry's stump speech in search for a theme and Notes Kerry has yet to produce a popular catchphrase to sum-up his philosophy, but the emerging message suggests "a return to the promise of Clintonian centrism: reducing the deficit, spurring economic growth, trying to ease "the squeeze on middle-class America," as Mr. Kerry puts it, from things like the cost of health insurance and college tuition." LINK

The Washington Post's Lois Romano and Jonathan Krim wrote up Kerry's plans for broadband and technology, as well as the endorsement by Lee Iacocca. LINK

Pat Healy looks at the significance of the glowing endorsement Iacocca gave Sen. Kerry yesterday. And buried way at the end of this Boston Globe story, Healy slips in that the expected $5 million the Kerry campaign was supposed to raise at last night's L.A. concert brought the total for this little trip to California to a whopping $10 million. LINK

The Chicago Tribune's Jill Zuckman writes up Thursday's Iacocca endorsement as well. LINK

AP reports that Sen. Kerry will pick up an endorsement today from the American Federation of Government Employees -- the nation's largest union of federal workers. "The endorsement isn't a surprise," AP Notes. "The union is fighting the Bush administration on an overhaul of the civil service system, collective bargaining rights being stripped for workers in some agencies and annual pay raises." LINK

The New York Times writes up the Bay State battle over how best to fill Kerry's Senate seat should he win the presidency. LINK

The persistent picketing group in Sen. Kerry's home town, the Boston Police Patrolmen's Association is now calling on their Senator not to cross their picket line, according to the Boston Herald. "Kerry's Monday speech at the Sheraton Boston Hotel is expected to draw tons of political glitterati -- all of whom will face a picket line of jeering public workers if the dispute isn't settled by then." LINK

With regard to Kerry's appearance at the Senate in attempt to increase spending on veterans' health benefits, the New York Times' ed board writes "we are glad the measure died. It was only a vehicle for political posturing." LINK

A retired Navy commander opines in USA Today about how that questionable Purple Heart of Sen. Kerry's is in fact worthy of criticism. LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper follows up his Nightline report on one of the defining moments of John Kerry's life, and one he won't talk about: the day in February 1969 when he killed a Vietcong soldier at close range and earned a Silver Star. Tapper sat down with four of Kerry's swift boat crew members to talk about what happened that day -- and how it affected all of them. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire says that Kerry's team is closely watching next week's Fed meeting: "Advisers to the Democratic candidate say likely Federal Reserve rate increases next week will help make the case against Bush budget deficits, since deficits could drive long-term rates up further. Fed Governor Gramlich tells the Concord Coalition that growing deficits "will steadily detract from" economic growth."

The Manchester Union Leader uses a big boot to squash a little bug as the paper invokes Thomas Jefferson to attack the endorsement of Sen. Kerry by 48 Nobel Prize winners. LINK?article=39713">LINK

"The overwhelming majority of single women will vote for John Kerry for president this year," predicts Ann Lewis in a letter to the editor published in today's New York Times. LINK

New AP entertainment Writer Nedra Pickler highlights last night's star-studded LA fundraiser for Sen. Kerry. As apparently Billy Crystal called it: ""Woodstock for really, really rich people." LINK

The AP is running the lyrics to GOP-basher Barbra Streisand's Kerry fundraiser rendition of her classic "People." LINK

Apparently, according to the AP, Sen. Kerry has supporters all over the world. American expatriates in Kabul, Afghanistan held a "Kabul for Kerry" fundraiser Friday. LINK

Cindy Adams reports Dave Matthews and Mary J. Blige's involvement in the July 8 Radio City fundraiser and apparently host Paul Newman has already written a funny introduction. LINK

Rush & Molloy provide a sneak preview to Gail Sheehy's interview with Teresa Heinz Kerry for Mother Jones. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Bush v. Kerry:

Susan Page of USA Today leads, "Most Americans now say that sending U.S. troops to Iraq was a mistake, a USA Today/CNN/Gallup Poll finds. For the first time, a majority also says that the war there has made the nation less safe from terrorism." LINK

Page also takes a look at the head-to-head matchup (poll results: LINK), which shows Bush leading Kerry 48 percent to 47 percent, with Nader at 3 percent. "Three weeks ago," Page Notes, "Kerry led 49% to 43%." However, in the battleground states, the survey shows Kerry widening his lead to 53 percent over Bush's 40 percent.

In a separate story, Page writes that most voters are increasingly unpersuadable. LINK

The New York Times' Jodi Wilgoren and David Sanger wrap both President Bush's and Sen. Kerry's proposals to aid the growth of high-tech businesses, during which "each argued that the other's plans would stifle innovation." LINK

Today, The Media Fund hits President Bush with a 30-second ad on oil prices. It's running only in Nevada. It's all text and pictures; no narration.

The Progress for America Voter Fund, the 527 off-shoot of Progress for America, is spending $1 million in Nevada and New Mexico on an ad that compares President Bush's post 9/11 nation-comforting with some votes Sen. Kerry took in the Senate. It's the first PFAVF ad, and many more are planned.

ABC News Vote 2004: ad traffic for the week of June 21, 2004:

HIGHLIGHTS: The Bush campaign will go off the television airwaves for the near future, but continue targeted radio ads in key states. The Kerry campaign launched a new ad this past week touting his personal story. The anti-Nader groups are still off the air, despite Nader's news this week with picking Peter Camejo as his running mate. Moveon.org and the Media Fund both have new anti-Bush ads up. New anti-Bush and anti-Bill Clinton adds join the fray.

By the numbers . . . 0 Bush television ads starting 6/25/04. 4 Kerry ads in his rotation, including a new campaign labeled "positive" spot. 0 anti-Nader ads. 3 anti-Bush ads by outside groups in targeted markets. 1 pro-Bush ad by an outside group in targeted markets. 4 New Democrat Network ads continuing to tout Hispanic unity behind Democrats. 1 anti-President Clinton ad by Citizens United accusing him for mishandling terrorists while in office.

One ad by Faithful America.org apologizing for the Iraqi prison abuse incidents airing on Arabic language television starting next week.

Veepstakes:

"Whether or not Vilsack and Edwards acknowledge it, what they say tonight and how the expected audience of 400 Democratic activists reacts," while sharing a stage in Iowa, writes the Des Moines Register's Thomas Beaumont, "will be seen as bearing on Kerry's selection." LINK

Beaumont adds another veepstakes gem today as he writes that even Iowans are "skeptical" of Vilsack as the vice president. LINK

Jane Norman of the Des Moines Register is reporting that Sen. Tom Harkin has had "in depth" discussions with Kerry aides, including Jim Johnson, concerning Gov. Vilsack's prospects as the number two man on the ticket. LINK

Sen. Bob Graham remains the running, according to the St. Petersburg Times. LINK

The Chicago Tribune's Anastasia Ustinova reports that Jim Johnson recently met "for an extended discussion" with New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson. LINK

Ralph Nader:

Tomorrow in Portland, Nader-Camejo will hold a nominating convention for the Oregon ballot for President. Nader will keynote. A similar event was planned in in April but according to the Nader campaign site, the event "was organized at the last minute and we fell short of the 1,000 registered voters we needed." (And it might have had something to do with Howard Dean's urgings to stay away . . .)

But two conservative groups are pitching to help this time by telemarketing for supporters to attend -- in hopes of putting Nader's name on Oregon's presidential ballot. "We disagree with Ralph Nader's politics, but we'd love to see him make the ballot," Russ Walker of Citizens for a Sound Economy tells AP. The other group is the Oregon Family Council. "We aren't bashful about doing it," said Mike White, the group's director. "We are a conservative, pro-family organization, and Bush is our guy on virtually every issue." LINK

For some reason, Democrats who are hopping mad about this don't seem to see any difference between their efforts to stop Nader from getting on the ballot and GOP efforts to help him.

Kerry pollster Mark Mellman tells Bill Straub at Scripps Howard News Service the campaign is taking Ralph Nader "very seriously."

"I think at the end of the day most of these Nader voters will see a substantial and significant difference between Nader and John Kerry and they will see that the effect of their vote was to give them their least-preferred alternative." Mellman says the plan is to convince Nader supporters that they "need to look the facts squarely in the eye and vote for John Kerry." LINK

A medicine-like must-read on ballot access for Nader by Julie Hinds, in today's Detroit Free Press. In 2000, Nader was on the ballot in 43 states and Washington, D.C. Ballot access guru Richard Winger predicts this time Nader will match, or top that. LINK

Tomorrow is decision day for Green Party delegates in Milwaukee, Wis. LINK

Ralph Nader has said he will not actively seek the Green Party's support, but tonight Greens in favor of the Nader-Camejo ticket will hold a rally in Milwaukee.

Josh Gerstein writes about the Green Party and a process that harkens back to the days of ye olde time political conventions: LINK

Susannah Rosenblatt and The Los Angeles Times Notes Ralph Nader's unlikely rival: LINK

The Hartford Courant's Janice D'arcy Notes the toll the KerryGreens vs. NaderGreens dichotomy could take on a party that has come so far in the last decade. "Greens are the most significant third party in the country, with 205 elected officials in 27 states." The worst case scenarios both ways: "'If they go with Nader, they could go down in flames with him,"' . . . "'or if they don't, they could lose too much visibility to hang on.'" LINK

Also tomorrow, the Nader campaign begins a series of "rolling conventions" on five different street corners around Seattle. The plan is to collect all 1,000 in one go round the block. LINK

AP reports Ralph Nader may not have enough signatures in Indiana by the June 30 deadline. He was a write-in candidate there in 2000. LINK

Speaking of polls and of battlegrounds, Clay Richards of Quinnipiac, says in Pennsylvania "Ralph Nader clearly is cutting into Senator Kerry's vote.'' LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: the battlegrounds:

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Craig Gilbert writes that despite the millions of dollars spent on ads in Wisconsin, the latest Badger Poll, conducted June 15-23, shows virtually no change from the last survey three months ago. In a head-to-head matchup, President Bush gets 46 percent, Sen. Kerry gets 42 percent, and Ralph Nader gets 5 percent. And despite people saying they're paying more attention to the campaign, the number of undecided voters remains virtually unchanged, Gilbert Notes. LINK

A Pennsylvania poll found that the highest priority for voters in that state was the economy, followed by homeland security and then Iraq, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. LINK

The President has taken a small lead over Sen. Kerry in the battleground of Nevada, according to a new Zogby/Wall Street Journal poll of the state. Support for White House has grown since earlier this month, perhaps fueled in part by Bush and Vice President Cheney's recent visits to the state. LINK

The fallout from Wednesday's announcement that the giant Comdex computer trade show would cancel its November show in Las Vegas continues today. Richard Velotta, writing for the Las Vegas Sun, wonders whether the downturn in the tech industry and economic damage of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks" mean that the show, which last year generated nearly $70 million in non-gaming income for the city, is gone for good. LINK

Enron continues to be an issue in Nevada, where the state's congressional delegation is pushing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to retroactively revoke the former energy giant's ability to sell wholesale power to the state. If FERC buys into the proposal, Nevada power companies could stand to gain up to $330 million. LINK

Also still on the table in Nevada is Yucca Mountain. The nuclear dump, very unpopular among Nevadans, cleared two large hurdles on Thursday, making it increasingly likely that the project will go forward. LINK and LINK

With Sen. Kerry stopping in the football capital of the world today (Massillon, Ohio, for the unenlightened), the Columbus Dispatch takes the opportunity to jump on the Stark County bandwagon, and comes to the conclusion that poor economic news may be "costly" in the county for the president. "Everyone is looking around and asking, 'What has Bush done for us?'" says Stan Jasionowski, president of a union that represents many soon to be unemployed Timken Co. steel workers.

Meanwhile, the Akron Beacon-Journal reports that hundreds of the area's laid-off white-collar workers showed up at Kent State University's Stark Campus to talk with recruiters about 60 new jobs. LINK

A former EPA head asked the Bush Administration yesterday to tighten mercury limits, an issue that directly affects more than 2.4 million Ohioans who live within 10 miles of the state's 17 largest coal-burning power plants. LINK

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch Notes that the construction business is booming in the state, and seems likely to grow even stronger in the coming months. LINK

Tim McLaughlin takes an in-depth look at the star-crossed Boeing 767 refueling program in today's St. Louis Post-Dispatch. McLaughlin comes to no conclusions about the fate of the plan, which would have an enormous economic impact on the battleground states of Missouri and Washington. LINK

Months of high gas prices have left an "indelible" mark on the way Arizonans live their lives. LINK

What a headline: "Abortion-Hating, Gun-Toting, Immigrant-Trashing Kerry Voters." Need we explain that this is Slate's take on West Virginia's status as a battleground state? LINK

Tough economic news in Huntington, W. Va.: Panda Energy International yesterday that it will not build a planned $300 million power plant, which was expected to bring 46 jobs paying an average of $50,000 a year to the area. LINK

Robert Jamieson Jr. describes for his Seattle Post-Intelligencer readers how POWs from the Gulf War are today receiving a "slap in the face" from "Uncle Sam" and the Bush Administration. LINK

A new report released yesterday by health care providers says that nearly half of all bankruptcy filings in Washington state are due to medical debt, due largely to high health care premiums that force families to forgo insurance. LINK

According to the AP, groups in Oregon who support the same-sex marriage ban are confident the amendment will be on the ballot in November as petition signatures continue to roll in. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: the Senate:

Speaker Dennis Hastert allegedly wants Jack Ryan to skedaddle. LINK

The Chicago Tribune's Rick Pearson and Rudolph Bush look at the Illinois Republican Party's efforts to line up a replacement for GOP Senate nominee in the event that he withdraws from the race today. The contender currently at the front of the pack: former State Board of Education Chairman Ron Gidwitz. "Though prominent Republicans have floated several possible replacements, former governors Jim Edgar and James R. Thompson and current state Supreme Court Justice Bob Thomas were quick to rule themselves out. Also frequently mentioned is state Treasurer and state GOP Chairman Judy Baar Topinka, who has thus far shown no interest," Pearson and Bush report. LINK

The politics of Iraq:

The Chicago Tribune's John Hendren reports that while Army Gen. George Casey told Congress that the military may need an additional 15,000 to 25,000 soldiers in Iraq, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has asked the Army to consider shorter tours of duty for troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. In a June 14 memo, Rumsfeld asked Acting Army Secretary Les Brownlee and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker to assess the pros and cons of cutting the tours from 12 months to six, seven, eight, or nine months. LINK

A newly disclosed document shows some contact between Iraqi intelligence agents and Osama bin Laden in the mid-1990s. LINK

"Paul D. Wolfowitz, the deputy defense secretary, issued an unusual apology on Thursday addressed 'to journalists covering Iraq,' in which he expressed 'deep regret' for saying correspondents in Baghdad were afraid to travel and, therefore, published rumors," writes Thom Shanker of the New York Times. LINK

The New York Times' Michael Janofksy wraps former Vice President Gore's speech Thursday, during which he accused the Bush Administration "of undermining American democracy by using the Iraq war to empower the executive branch at the expense of civil liberties, Congress and the court system." LINK

The politics of national security:

The Washington Post's Mike Allen and Walter Pincus report senior administration officials said yesterday that "President Bush has decided he needs to choose a new CIA director to replace George J. Tenet before the election, and the leading candidate is House Intelligence Committee Chairman Porter J. Goss." LINK

Douglas Jehl of the New York Times writes up the latest "scathing" House Intelligence Committee report on the CIA. LINK

CIA leak investigation:

The Washington Post's Susan Schmidt Notes that Fitzgerald's nearly 70-minute session with the President "comes amid a flurry of recent interviews and subpoenas from investigators who have operated in almost complete secrecy for six months, giving little outward indication of where the probe is headed. White House counsel Alberto R. Gonzales testified on June 18 before a grand jury taking testimony in the case, and it was revealed in early June that prosecutors had interviewed Vice The New York Daily News' James Gordon Meek gets this quote from former Ken Starr deputy Sol Wisenberg. LINK

The conventions:

We'll be listening to Mayor Bloomberg's weekly radio show on WABC at 10:00 am ET this morning just in case he decides to announce a convention week transportation plan including some new traffic patterns.

We all knew that the Boston convention costs were skyrocketing, but by how much? Rick Klein of the Boston Globe answers that very question. LINK

The Boston public transportation system, the MTBA, has begun hanging signs, let out a group of "ambassadors to guide readers," and announced a slew of restrictions on carry-on bags that will be accompanying T and bus riders the week of the Democratic National Convention. LINK

Is the Boston Herald's Guarino trying to build even more resentment among the locals than there already is with this lede? "As commuters sweat through convention gridlock, area pols and delegates -- many who live within a few miles of the FleetCenter -- will be living it up in posh, traffic-free serenity at their own downtown hotel." LINK

Stefan Friedman of the New York Post reports Police Commissioner Ray Kelly will start issuing protest permits next week. LINK

Each convention city is set to receive an additional $25 million (doubling previously announced funding) in security funding if the Senate version of the Defense appropriations bill remains intact, reports James Gordon Meek of the New York Daily News. LINK

ABC News' Ed O'Keefe's Kerry campaign report:

LOS ANGELES, June 24, 2004 -- Sen. John Kerry raised over $5 million at a celebrity-packed concert benefiting his campaign and the DNC on Thursday.

Starting 25 minutes late, Billy Crystal kicked off the program, identifying Kerry as "Ed Muskie's stunt man" and jabbing at the stoic Senator, "The polls are looking good; you're the frontrunner; you raised $200 million. If you're having a good time, tell your face."

Teresa Heinz Kerry, seated next to Kerry in the first row of the second section, five rows from stage, slammed her hands on the ledge in front of them and roared with laughter.

The occasional Oscar host defended Kerry on the war medals controversy, saying, "What Republicans don't understand is that it doesn't matter if John Kerry threw away his medals. It was a symbolic gesture. I mean, Gloria Steinem didn't burn her best bra."

Black-on-black wearing, one-time Kucinich supporter Willie Nelson performed "Time Just Slips Away," "Crazy," "Always on My Mind," and "On the Road Again," and introduced them by saying, "We're all here for one reason and that's to change the direction of this country . . . I'm glad to be a part of this so let's get on the road."

Red sequins glimmering, Neil Diamond shook to "Forever in Blue Jeans," "Sweet Caroline," "I Am, I Said," and "Coming to America" and Teresa Heinz Kerry encouraged clapping and waving hands in the crowd.

Leonardo DiCaprio said he believes the "fate of the our planet" depends on the election's outcome.

Robert DeNiro elaborated, "Every four years we're faced with a choice. There's no doubt about it. We need to put John Kerry in the White House."

When quizzed about a Kerry running mate, Boston native and unlikely veepstakes insider Ben Affleck demurred, "It would be hard for me if I say some name that's different from the guy's whose hand I'm going to shake in three weeks when I'm running around Pennsylvania."

Dimmed lights, a three-legged mahogany table topped with three pink roses, and a teapot and white china teacup decorated the melodic stage-left entrance of Barbra Streisand into the Frank Gehry-designed Disney Concert Hall.

"Smile," "Come Rain or Shine," and the first Streisand-Diamond duet performance of "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" in 24 years preceded a revised rendition of "People," which went like this:

"I've sung that song countless times . . . it's always relevant.

TODAY'S SCHEDULE (all times ET): —8:00 am: Rep. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) receives the Premio Ohtli award at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials' 21st Annual Conference, Washington, D.C. —8:30 am: Commerce Department releases the final first quarter report on the Gross Domestic Product —8:45 am: President Bush and Mrs. Bush depart the White House en route to Ireland —9:00 am: The House meets to consider H.R. 4614, the FY05 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act —9:00 am: The House Armed Services Committee holds a briefing on the domestic impact of guard and reserve deployment in ongoing military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere in the world —9:00 am: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) delivers remarks at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials' 21st Annual Conference, Washington, D.C. —9:30 am: The Senate reconvenes for morning business —9:30 am: Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, and Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee in a hearing on "The Transition of Sovereignty In Iraq: U.S. Policy, Ongoing Military Operations, and the Status of U.S. Armed Forces" —9:30 am: The Democratic Leadership Council holds a forum on "My Politics: The Clinton Political Legacy" with Ron Brownstein of the Los Angeles Times, Michael Duffy of Time magazine, John Harris of The Washington Post, Walter Shapiro of USA Today, Al From, founder and CEO of the Democratic Leadership Council, Washington, D.C. —10:00 am: National Association of Realtors releases the May report on existing home sales —10:00 am: The Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge delivers the commencement address at the Inter-American Defense War College, Washington, D.C. —10:00 am: The Center for Responsive Politics holds a news conference to discuss "soft money after McCain-Feingold," Washington, D.C. —10:15 am: Sen. Kerry holds a conversation with workers about "investing in jobs of the future" at Perry High School, Massillon, Ohio —11:45 am: Sen. Kerry holds a rally at the Perry High School gym, Massillon, Ohio —12:25 pm: Vice President Cheney speaks about improving the economy at Duro-Last Roofing, Inc., Saginaw, Mich. —12:30 pm: Bush-Cheney '04 campaign chairman Marc Racicot delivers a keynote address at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials' 21st Annual Conference, Washington, D.C. —1:00 pm: Rev. Jesse Jackson speaks at the convention of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Anaheim, Calif. —3:00 pm: Former President Bill Clinton speaks at the convention of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Anaheim, Calif. —4:00 pm: Vice President Cheney appears on Fox News Channel's "Your World with Neil Cavuto" —5:00 pm: Former President Bill Clinton attends a book signing at Brentano's bookstore, Century City, Calif. —5:00 pm: Vice President Cheney speaks at a BC'04 rally at Morningside College, Sioux City, Iowa —5:30 pm: Sen. John Edwards keynotes the Iowa Democratic Party's Hall of Fame along with Gov. Tom Vilsack, Des Moines, Iowa —7:00 pm: Sen. Kerry attends a fundraiser with Gov. Howard Dean at the Waldorf Astoria, New York, N.Y. —9:00 pm: Peter Camejo and other Green Party leaders attend a rally to urge other Green Party members to endorse Ralph Nader for president, Milwaukee, Wis. —11:00 pm: U.N. Special Envoy to Iraq Lakhdar Brahimi appears on "The Charlie Rose Show" —11:35 pm: ABC News' "Nightline" takes a look at a Day in the Life of Sen. John Kerry