The Note

The Washington Post's Walter Pincus and Dan Eggen report that "An allegation that a high-ranking al Qaeda member was an officer in Saddam Hussein's private militia may have resulted from confusion over Iraqi names, a senior administration official said yesterday." LINK

The Washington Post's E.J. Dionne thinks "the Bush administration should give us the proof (about a link between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein on 9/11) or stop making claims it can't support. Put up or shut up." LINK

The Washington Times' Betsy Pisik reports that U.S. authorities are planning a low-key transfer of power in Iraq next week. New U.S. Ambassador to Iraq John Negroponte will not attend, expected to arrive at his new job around July 2, and finalized plans for the handover are being kept secret. LINK

Should the issue of non-photographed flag draped coffins come up again on the campaign trail, President Bush will be able to point to yesterday's defeat of a Lautenberg amendment for some political cover. LINK

Prison abuse scandal:

The New York Times reports top commanders such as Generals Sanchez and Abizaid will have to submit to questioning in the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal. LINK

The New York Times' investigation into prisoner abuse has not led to the top of the chain of command. LINK

"A close review of recently disclosed documents and interviews with soldiers, officers and government officials find a broader pattern of misconduct and knowledge about it stretching into the middle chain of command. But there is no clear evidence to date that the highest military or civilian leaders ordered or authorized the mistreatment of prisoners at American-run prisons in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay, Cuba."

The politics of HMOs:

The Washington Times' Tom Ramstack looks at yesterday's unanimous Supreme Court decision not to allow patients to sue their HMOs for malpractice when they are unable to receive treatment prescribed by their doctors. The ruling could affect 72 million patients who belong to managed care plans. LINK

The Supreme Court's decision to strike down a provision of the Texas Health Care Liability Act also weakens the ability of voters to sue HMOs in the key battleground states of Arizona, Maine, Washington state, and West Virginia. LINK

Sen. Kerry has already promised to turn the Supreme Court's decision into a campaign issue. LINK

Congress:

Sen. Tom Harkin is threatening HUD with legislation if they don't keep college kids out of low-income housing. HUD would have gotten away with it, if it weren't for those meddling kids! LINK

"Seeking to unify Republicans behind a single candidate in Louisiana's open 7th district, three influential Members of the state delegation hosted a fundraiser for heart surgeon Charles Boustany (R) on Monday night," writes Roll Call's Chris Cillizza.

The conventions:

The Boston Herald reports, "city taxi drivers and Democratic National Convention hosts struck a deal last night that will give all 5,000-plus delegates vouchers for discounted, $12 rides to and from Logan International Airport, with a three-person-per-cab minimum." LINK

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