"There is no chance the issue will be resolved before the Nov. 2 election, and some states are sticking with punch cards until 2006, when new electronic-voting standards that include some form of paper record are supposed to be in place. That will result in continued use of punch cards in precincts that are home to about 19 percent of registered voters this fall, Election Data Services projects, down from about 31 percent four years ago."
In Periscope, Newsweek's Howard Fineman goes out on a limb and packs a wallop in just a couple of paragraphs, reporting (a) that this week may bring "a round of private, close-to-final decision discussions with potential running mates" for Sen. Kerry, (b) that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has refused overtures to discuss it, (c) Sen. John Edwards has been told to keep his schedule open to be able to sit down with Kerry, and (d) the Independence Day holiday may not be all that relaxing, as a "strong faction is pushing for an early pick -- perhaps around July 4." LINK
The Hartford Courant's David Lightman writes about how Sen. Lieberman is so less present on the stump for Sen. Kerry than most of his other former nomination rivals, and Lightman that it's Lieberman's position on the war in Iraq that is "freezing him out" of a larger role in the campaign, contention as a running mate, and even more influence on the vice presidential search. LINK
The Des Moines Register's Thomas Beaumont says chemistry between candidates could lead to the eventual veep choice, and that "Kerry and Vilsack have an easy relationship." LINK
ABC News Vote 2004: the Senate:
Roll Call reports that majority leader Bill Frist has confirmed that he will still actively campaign against minority leader Tom Daschle, saying he would not desert Daschle's opponent Rep. John Thune.
The politics of the 9/11 commission:
The talk of possible Al Qaeda/Iraq ties got a lot of play on the Sunday morning circuit with many commissioners making the rounds. Here is the New York Times wrap-up: LINK
William Safire takes on the 9/11 commission staff today and urges the commissioners to reclaim its "nonpartisan credibility." LINK
The politics of Iraq:
The New York Times report the Bush Administration has been putting revenues from Iraqi oil to work in rebuilding Iraqi infrastructure prior to the handover of sovereignty. LINK
The Washington Post's Rajiv Chandrasekaran takes a look at the frustrations of an American educator who goes to Iraq to help rebuild the country's educational system in the second of his three-part series on the reconstruction of Iraq. LINK
Chandrasekaran on Sunday took the first must-read look at what was expected to happen with the handover of sovereignty in Iraq, versus the reality of what is happening -- and the miscalculations that ensued. "Viewed from Baghdad since April 2003, the occupation has evolved from an optimistic partnership between Americans and Iraqis into a relationship riven by frustration and resentment," he wrote. LINK
The Washington Post's Jackson Diehl observes "though Bush's mismanagement of Iraq has put his democracy advocates on the defensive, there nevertheless now exists the beginning of a broad pro-reform coalition in and outside the region." LINK
The Washington Post's Will Haygood takes a really interesting (not to mention largely glowing) look at the career of the U.S.' new ambassador to Iraq, John Negroponte. LINK