TODAY SCHEDULE (all times ET)
Morning Show Wrap
Evening Newscasts Wrap
Political people who have a delicious combination of a sense of humor and an appreciation for bipartisan comity/comedy:
A. whoever sat Lynne Cheney next to Bill Clinton at Friday's National Cathredral service for Ronald Reagan (We didn't see them embrace.)
B. whoever sat Karl Rove right behind Al Gore at the same event (We didn't see THEM embrace either.)
C. whoever wrote President Bush's extraordinarily gracious Clinton remarks yesterday
D. the late, great, and already missed Bob Teeter
Political people who have a determined combination of a sense of the jugular and an appreciation for the partisan killer instinct:
A. Michael Moore, whose "Fahrenheit 9/11" screening at the Ziegfield in Manhattan last night proved that the film will be a huge deal in this election year
B. Democratic Rep. Chris Bell, whose ethics complaint against Tom DeLay could remake Washington
C. Vice President Dick Cheney, who is back to touting Saddam Hussein's "long-established ties" with al Qaeda
D. Tad Devine (Kerry) and Steve Schmidt (Bush-Cheney)
If you are an elite (or want to understand that rarified group), read David Brooks' New York Times op-ed piece today, because he has, again, broken the code. LINK
President Bush meets with Jordanian King Abdullah and Afghan President Karzai before speaking to the press with Karzai. Bush also speaks to the Southern Baptist Convention via satellite and attends the congressional picnic on the South Lawn.
Sen. Kerry speaks about the economy to the New Jersey AFL-CIO this morning before flying to Cincinnati for a fundraiser and Columbus for a rally.
The consumer price index increased by 0.6 percent in May, the largest uptick in three years, according to the Department of Labor.
Whose interpretation of the CPI data will reign supreme? Will the market react to the bump on fears that the Fed will raise interest rates sooner than expected? Or is 0.2 percent in core prices -- no food or energy prices in the sample -- small enough to overcome their worries?
When will Democrats begin to argue that inflation is outpacing personal income growth in key states?
And how effectively can the White House make the argument that it's not a bad thing for companies to have more pricing power in a growing economy?
Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan is expected to move along the path to confirmation for a fifth term in a hearing before the Senate Banking Committee at the Capitol, Washington, D.C.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai addresses a joint session of Congress this morning.
Rep. Chris Bell files a complaint with the House Ethics Committee accusing Rep. Tom Delay of violating ethics and federal laws.
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee holds a hearing on oil supply, gasoline demand, and retail gas prices. The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee holds a hearing on efforts to combat terrorism financing. The House Government Reform Committee debates contracting operations in Iraq.
The Senate debates the Defense Authorization bill.
President Bush's bishop, Melvin G. Talbert of the United Methodist Church, and others launch a new ad for Arab television expressing sorrow for Iraqi prisoner abuse and calling it sinful and systemic during a conference call.
Cinema Verite: Michael Moore Takes Manhattan:
The screening of Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" took place last evening at Manhattan's grand Ziegfeld, and if you have any doubt that numerous opinionmakers were present and that they had their opinions shaped (of President Bush and the role this movie might play in this election year), dispel them right now.
OK, maybe not "shaped," but certainly "stoked."
Since the event ended on the late side, the only coverage (we think . . .) you can read of it anywhere this news cycle is right here in The Note.
The evening was so chock full of bold-faced names, that we will simply list a few random attendees for flavor:
Moby, the Rev. Al Sharpton, Stepford queen bee Glenn Close, Deborah Needleman and her husband, Tony Bennett, Jeff Zucker, Gretchen Mol, Elaine "Heavens" May, sly fox Richard Dreyfuss, the whole Holbrooke family, Al Franken, Tim Robbins (one of the many celebrities who brought teen or tween offspring), the elegant duo of petite Yoko Ono and reedy potential daughter-in-law Elizabeth Jagger, and a good portion of the New York City comedy contingent.
The dress ranged from the casually dressed up (pastel Chanel tweeds, some scattered sequins for Tina Brown) to the comfortably dressed down (Philip Seymour Hoffman is cute-as-all-get-out, but were those long shorts or short trousers?); from basic post-work business attire to swank screening-wear (brisk, stylish Chloe Sevigny and Tara Subkoff).
Harvey Weinstein -- fresh back from a primo East Room seat at the Clinton portrait unveiling -- began with a brief, gracious acknowledgement of the passing of Ronald Reagan, credited planner Peggy Siegal (The last-minute switch to a larger venue went swimmingly . . . ), mentioned Ari Emanuel, reiterated his mock plea for a job for the brothers Weinstein, and offered a special thanks to Leonardo DiCaprio, the announced presence of whom sent a faint flutter through the crowd.
During the film, the vast majority of the audience snickered, laughed, hissed, booed, grumbled, sniffled, gasped, and applauded at places bound to please Michael Moore; any gnashing of teeth was in the minority in this group. (The Note fervently hopes the many journalists in attendance maintained a cool lack of bias.)
Then, to a partial standing ovation and enthusiastic cheers, the director took the mike to thank those who helped make the film, discuss his patriotism, and express his hopes for the outcome of the election in November.
Then past a good-natured Tom Brokaw shaking Harvey Weinstein's hand, down the steps, out the door, past the quivering paparazzi, past the milling gogglers, past Salman Rushdie and lovely bride mid-interview, past the lines of limos and town cars, and away into the night.
Meanwhile, Variety reports that the same group which pushed Leslie Moonves and Co. to ship "The Reagans" to Showtime, now with the help of Howard Kaloogian, is pressuring theatres to drop "domestic enemy" Moore's film. LINK
Who has the best opposition research done on this film, we wonder?
ABC News Vote 2004: Bush v. Kerry:
The AP's Nedra Pickler sums up the week ahead: "Kerry will try to blunt his rival's good news by focusing over the next two weeks on economic problems affecting families, beginning with stops in New Jersey, Ohio and Michigan." Meanwhile the Bush's re-election campaign will spin Kerry's negativity as a "misery tour." LINK
Bush and Kerry return from their corners this week to find improved support for Iraq, improving job numbers, and lower gas prices, signaling Sen. Kerry to shift to a "too little, too late" message to woo November voters. The Globe's Glen Johnson reports Kerry pollster Mark Mellman spins, "John Kerry is in a stronger position than any challenger has been against an elected incumbent in the last 50 years, George Bush in a weaker position than any elected incumbent has been in the last 50 years." LINK
The Hill's Jonathan Kaplan writes about Howard Stern's potential impact on voters, stemming from Kaplan's live call into Stern's show on Monday morning when Kaplan began to question Stern without identifying himself as a reporter and was then called a "son of a bitch" and subjected to questioning by Stern about whether or not Kaplan is a "gay reporter." LINK
ABC News Vote 2004: Bush-Cheney re-elect:
The Washington Post's Amy Goldstein wraps President Bush's trip to Liberty, Missouri, where he acknowledged problems with the Medicare prescription drug cards, but also offered a strong defense of them. LINK
The New York Times' Dick Stevenson Notes that Medicare was "an issue that Republicans once had high hopes of turning to their advantage this year." LINK
"Mr. Bush has shied away from talking frequently or in depth about the topic on the campaign trail this year," reflecting concerns from Republicans that the Medicare legislation "has so many problems, including a big price tag and a prescription drug benefit more limited than many retirees might have hoped for, that it could work against them."
AP's Schneider leads his write up of Vice President Cheney's speech in Orlando yesterday with Cheney's connection between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda, Noting that the connection was "an assertion that has been repeatedly challenged by some policy experts and lawmakers." LINK
The Miami Herald's Clark Notes Cheney "sought to compare his boss to the GOP icon credited with ending the Cold War." LINK
The Washington Post's E.J Dionne Notes in "response to a widespread loss of public confidence in the administration's handling of Iraq…there has been a remarkable shift in President Bush's strategy for reelection. Bush once wanted to highlight his differences with John Kerry over Iraq and national security. Now the president is trying to blur them." LINK
Nick "Ad Watch" Anderson of the Los Angeles Times looks at the Media Fund ads that were waiting to greet President Bush yesterday in Missouri, Noting the tactic "likely to become more popular with political operatives increasingly schooled in preemptive attacks." LINK
The New York Times' Sheryl Gay Stolberg Notes "as Republicans try to cloak President Bush in the mantle of Ronald Reagan, their biggest obstacle may be Mr. Reagan's own family."
"At the culmination of an emotional week of mourning for the former president, his son Ron Reagan delivered a eulogy that castigated politicians who use religion "to gain political advantage," a comment that was being interpreted in Washington as a not-so-subtle slap at Mr. Bush." LINK
And we stand corrected -- President Bush will be in Spokane for a George Nethercutt fundraiser on Thursday and it's actually pricier to pose with POTUS than we wrote yesterday. Donors must raise $10,000 to get to stand with the President for the flashbulbs. Thanks, Alex Conant of the Nethercutt campaign, for pointing this out.
ABC News Vote 2004: Sen. John Kerry:
Nice smile, guy -- the Boston Globe goes inside the presumptive nominee's mouth on its gossip page. LINK
The Washington Post's Jonathan Weisman and Jim VandeHei report that Sen. Kerry "will step up his campaign accusing President Bush of saddling the middle class with lower wages and higher costs for health care, education and gasoline, top advisers said yesterday." LINK
But, they Note: "Both the Bush and Kerry campaigns are using selective data to paint very different portraits of a U.S. economy that is humming for some, but hurting others. Americans with higher incomes, real estate in hot markets, stocks and reliable jobs are feeling much less of a pinch than most Americans. But there is no disputing costs such as health care are rising by double digits for most workers, and that many Americans are returning to the workforce with lower wages or fewer hours or benefits, or not returning at all."
The Los Angeles Times' Matea Gold and Michael Finnegan Note that after Kerry campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill and senior advisers Tad Devine, Mark Mellman, and Gene Sperling briefed reporters at the campaign's headquarters on what they deemed the failed economic policies of the Bush Administration, Kerry talked to 300 donors about the middle class having a tough time from Jon Bon Jovi's "castle-like New Jersey estate." LINK
Teresa Heinz Kerry tells the CBS Evening News tonight it was anger over the way Vietnam Vet and Democratic Sen. Max Cleland of Georgia was attacked during his campaign in 2002 that pushed her away from the Republican Party. "Three limbs and all I could think was, 'What does the Republican party need, a fourth limb to make a person a hero?' " LINK
You wouldn't know Kerry is set to visit Columbus this afternoon based on the local media coverage. Yesterday's conveniently timed announcement by the Bush Administration of the arrest of a man alleged to have targeted a Columbus-area mall has conveniently kicked Kerry off the front pages of nearly all of Ohio's newspapers. In Columbus, WBNS-TV's Web site has Kerry's visit as its eight-highest story, the Columbus Dispatch has a short Kerry write-up on the back page of the Metro section, and the WCMH-TV and WSYX-TV Web sites make essentially no mention of the visit at all. LINK
BusinessWeek's Alexandra Starr looks at Democratic efforts to mold "Sideline Singles" into a potent new voting bloc. LINK
Duke University Prof. Peter Feaver Notes in the New York Times that "there is a deeper conflict of interest . . . that Mr. Kerry must overcome. The president's political fortunes improve if the situation in Iraq improves, putting Mr. Kerry in the awkward position of having as much to gain from Iraqi failure as Mr. Bush has from Iraqi success." LINK
ABC News' Linda Douglass reports that freshman Democratic Rep. Chris Bell will file a complaint today with the House ethics committee alleging Tom DeLay violated both ethics rules and federal laws on several occasions.
"This is a rare event," Douglass Notes. "After the toppling of two House Speakers for ethics violations (one Democrat, on Republican), there has been an informal 7-year truce between the parties when it comes to ethics investigations. There are some informal inquiries underway, initiated by the committee itself. But this is one of the first where a formal complaint has been filed. Only a House member can file a complaint against another member. Outside groups cannot file complaints with the committee."
"Bell's complaint focuses on 3 allegations:"
"1. That DeLay took a contribution from Westar in return for trying to change a federal regulation in the company's favor. 2. That DeLay's PAC illegally funneled corporate funds into a campaign to win Republican control of the state legislature (a Texas D.A. is investigating that) ; and 3. That DeLay abused his power by asking the FAA to help track those Democratic legislators who sneaked out of Texas to avoid a redistricting vote."
"It's not clear if Bell's complaint will go anywhere. Neither party has wanted to release the ethics dogs for fear the dogs could come running their way some day. But the committee cannot just throw this complaint in the trash. It comes from a member, and committee members will be forced to at least look at it."
Jonathan Grella, DeLay's spokesman, responded last night to news of Bell's complaint: ""These are warmed-over and factually deficient allegations from a bitter partisan on his way out of office. This election year scorched-earth strategy is doomed to fail, as have all previous attempts of this cynical and sad sort that make a mockery of the process."'
The Washington Post's Charles Babington reports that Bell's plans to file an ethics complaint against DeLay will shatter "the remnants of a seven-year-old, unwritten ethics truce between the two parties and possibly nudging the House back toward a brand of political warfare that helped topple two speakers." LINK
"As Congress prepared for action on its biggest tax bill of this year, many senators had a personal as well as political stake in the domestic manufacturing companies that have emerged as key beneficiaries, according to 2003 financial disclosure statements released yesterday," reports the Washington Post's Helen Dewar. LINK
The Wall Street Journal's Shailagh Murray reports that the House Ways and Means Committee passed the corporate tax bill that offers companies tax breaks in exchange for doing away with the export subsidy that had caused such problems with the WTO.
"The Congressional Budget Office said Monday that it foresaw a significant, growing deficit in the Social Security program, but it concluded that the long-term outlook was less dire than the Bush administration had projected," reports the New York Times' Robert Pear. LINK
ABC News Vote 2004: the battlegrounds:
President Bush doesn't visit Reno until Friday, but they're already atwitter in Northern Nevada about the first visit by a Republican president to the area since 1988. LINK and LINK
Nevada workers rights advocates, joined by a "high-ranking surrogate" from the Kerry campaign, turned in 80,000 signatures yesterday in an effort to get on the ballot a measure that would raise the state's minimum wage to $6.15 an hour. LINK
The economy's rebound is on full-bore in Nevada, reports the Las Vegas Review-Journal's Hubble Smith. "Larger-than-expected growth in Southern Nevada's gaming revenue and visitor volume suggests the economic expansion will continue through the next 18 months." LINK
Boeing won a defense contract yesterday worth nearly $4 billion initially but up to $40 billion over the next 25 years. The contract will have an enormous effect on the Washington state economy: Nearly 1,200 engineering jobs will be created in the Puget Sound area as a result, reports the Seattle Times. LINK
West Virginia's Charleston Gazette offers a sneak peek at Sen. Robert Byrd's upcoming book, which describes the President as, in Byrd's words, "in a class by himself -- ineptitude supreme." The book, "Losing America: Confronting a Reckless and Arrogant Presidency," goes on sale next month. LINK
The reported increase in the number of Asian and Latino Americans is front-page news in Wisconsin. "From April 2000 to July 2003, the Latino population rose 13% to 39.9 million and accounted for about one-half of the nation's additional 9.4 million residents, the Census Bureau said. The increase was almost four times the 3.3% growth in the total U.S. population." LINK
An editorial in the Oregonian cries for a revision of the presidential debates which "have become so empty and dull that most Americans just ignore them." LINK
So what are the major vetted ones doing this week?
Rep. Gephardt has no major public events. Sen. Edwards has about a half dozen over the next seven days. He receives an award tomorrow from the Drum Major Institute in New York. Gen. Clark fundraises for Kerry in New York on Thursday. Gov. Vilsack spends time in Washington and New Mexico at DGA events before attending to a jobs-and-economy tour of Iowa next week.
The New York Times' Glen Justice Notes at least one thing that the Senators under consideration for the running mate slot have in common: they're millionaires. LINK
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson said he wants Kerry to visit the ever-growing population of Rio Rancho, New Mexico saying, "It's candidates' lack of wisdom and brains not to campaign here. I've never understood it." LINK
The Clintons of Chappaqua:
The Washington Post's Mike Allen highlights the bipartisan spirit at the unveiling of the Clinton portraits at the White House, Monday morning. "In fact, Bush and 42 -- a Democrat named Bill Clinton -- entered the East Room together to the strains of "Hail to the Chief" and for 45 minutes transformed the White House into an island of bipartisan humor and graciousness in a roiling election-year sea." LINK
"For a moment in the White House on Monday morning, it seemed like a political mirage: President Bush and Bill Clinton, joking as they walked together into the East Room, then spending the next 20 minutes effusively praising each other. But the even stranger sight was the audience, the men and women who make up Sen. Kerry's brain trust," Notes the New York Times' David Sanger, in high Bumiller mode. LINK
The Chicago Tribune's Jeff Zeleny concludes:
"As they walked through the corridors of the White House, it was Hillary Clinton who was on the minds of many of the Democrats. They said it was not an appropriate day to discuss her political ambitions, which may include running for president. Still, their minds imagined the historic possibilities: If Hillary Clinton were elected, her portrait one day would hang in both the first ladies hallway and with those of the presidents." LINK
The St. Pete Times' Bill Adair Notes that the buffet spread laid out for guests can indicate their place in the pecking order. The Clintons got salmon and crabcakes. LINK
The New York Post's Vincent Morris writes up the Monday morning lovefest and also has a report on the Clintons' finances. LINK and LINK
Time will get the first mag interview with Clinton, the Post reports. LINK
The New York Daily News' Kenneth Bazinet writes, "Just days after eulogizing Ronald Reagan, Bush used similar language to describe Clinton." LINK
Rush and Molloy report, "Hollywood and Washington are buzzing about [Meryl] Streep's Hillaryesque portrayal of a diabolical U.S. senator in the updated 'The Manchurian Candidate.'" LINK
Like a good candidate, Ralph Nader stayed on message in Toledo, Ohio yesterday, where he argued his candidacy helps Democrat John Kerry by inspiring people to vote against President Bush. LINK
Nader plans to collect twice that many signatures as required, roughly 10 thousand, for ballot access in Ohio. The extras are a cushion for invalids. The deadline is Aug. 19 for Ohio, where he won 2.5 percent of the vote in 2000. Ohio is expected to be an important battleground this year.
Michael Sangiacomo of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports Nader admonished voters yesterday, "that if people spent as much time investigating political leaders as they do sports figures, we would have a great government."
"I spoke with a man who said he voted for George Bush because Bush seemed like the kind of guy he'd sit down and have a beer with," Nader said in Cleveland. "What kind of rationale is that to vote for a president? This comes from a guy who can tell you anything you want to know about his local sports team, but nothing about presidential candidates." LINK
Mother Jones' Daily Mojo chronicles -- and questions the origins of -- recent allegations of wrongdoing surrounding the Nader campaign. LINK
The Sun Herald reports Nader will visit Jackson, Miss., on Thursday where his campaign recently began its ballot access petition drive. Only 1,000 valid registered voter signatures are required. LINK
City authorities consider permits requested by about a dozen groups plotting protests at the Republican National Convention, a day before the deadline for such requests. Concerns about terrorism, traffic and other unauthorized protests during the four-day gathering.
Tom Hays of the AP reports among those applying are: United for Peace and Justice, Not In Our Name and Code Pink-Women for Peace, along with the Green Party, the National Council of Arab Americans and various civil rights and labor groups. LINK
Jennifer Peter of AP writes about what was supposed to be "Mayor Thomas Menino's moment in the sun." Labor woes, the closure of a major highway for security reasons, and John Kerry's reported brief flirtation with holding off on officially accepting the nomination at the convention are among the litany of trouble spots in the road to July 26. LINK
The legendary political consultant and pollster, remembered. LINK
Vice President Cheney called Teeter his most important political consultant. LINK
ABC News Vote 2004: the Senate:
The Miami Herald's Marc Caputo writes that despite nominal support from the White House, former Cabinet secretary Mel Martinez has yet to catch fire in the GOP U.S. Senate primary race against former Rep. Bill McCollum. Thus far, Martinez has not capitalized on the Hispanic community, says one supporter who endorsed based on the promise of White House help, and has yet to hit the airwaves to talk about his story statewide. LINK
If only the Republicans could play nice, like Deutsch and Castor.
Morning show wrap:
Mary Kissel of the Wall Street Journal reports that a wide trade deficit and strong retail sales are spurring market concerns that inflation is growing. The Commerce Department reported a record $48.3 billion trade deficit in April, up 3.6 percent since March and showing a $1.5 billion drop in exports.
The Wall Street Journal's Lauren Etter reports that according to the latest Manpower survey, about 30 percent of American companies say they plan to add workers to their payrolls in the third quarter of this year -- continuing the employment projections for the second quarter. The sectors most likely to hire: construction, wholesale, retail trade, services, and manufacturing.
The politics of national security:
The Washington Post's Dan Eggen reports "the independent commission probing the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks has found evidence suggesting the attacks were intended to be carried out in May or June of that year, but were postponed by al Qaeda leaders because lead hijacker Mohamed Atta was not ready, according to sources privy to the panel's findings." LINK
The politics of faith:
Raphael Lewis and Michael Paulson report in the Boston Globe, Massachusetts churches will gives pre-election scorecards the Massachusetts Catholic Conference is sending letters to all 710 parishes in the state encouraging Catholics to ''share their profound disappointment" with lawmakers who did not vote to ban gay marriage earlier this year. The lobbyist for the state's Catholic bishops issued the mailings which prods Catholics to bestow ''highest praise" for lawmakers who opposed gay marriage. LINK
ABC News Vote 2008:
"Iowans are used to national politicians showing up years ahead of presidential elections to start building the groundwork for a caucus campaign. What they aren't used to are leaders who tell them things they may not want to hear," begins David Yepsen. "Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina was in Iowa for the state GOP convention last weekend, and instead of pandering, he talked about issues that can chafe an elephant's hide in this state." LINK
SILVERDOCS, SILVERDOCS, It's Movietime in the City:
If you haven't made arrangements yet -- The Note sincerely hopes to see you at the SILVERDOCS AFI/Discovery Channel Documentary Festival (LINK). There are important and interesting documentaries all day long and into the night each day starting TODAY.
The Note especially considers Thursday's "On the Road: Documenting the Candidate" a must-attend event. Auteurs in attendance will include: George Butler, Paul Stekler, Jesse Moss LINK, and others, for a panel moderation by Mark Halperin of ABC News.
The promised three-minute sneak peek at Butler's upcoming film on John Kerry -- due out before election day -- is by itself good reason to journey to Silver Spring, Md. The film, optioned from Douglas Brinkley's book Tour of Duty (LINK) remains untitled. Paul Stekler's documentary Last Man Standing shows in its entirety earlier in the day Thursday at 4:45 pm ET.
Tickets and all the information you need can be found right here at the SILVERDOCS Web site. LINK
TODAY'S SCHEDULE (all times ET): —8:30 am: The Labor Department releases the Consumer Price Index for May —8:30 am: The Commerce Department releases business inventories for April —9:00 am: Sen. John Kerry speaks about the economy at the New Jersey AFL-CIO's 26th Constitutional Convention, Atlantic City, N.J. —9:10 am: Afghan President Hamid Karzai addresses a joint session of Congress at the Capitol, Washington, D.C. —9:30 am: President Bush meets with Jordanian King Abdullah at the White House —9:45 am: Off-camera press gaggle by White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan —10:00 am: Rep. Randy Dunninghamn, Sen. Mike Crapo, and others hold a news conference to call attention to the importance of men's health and annual health screenings at the Capitol, Washington, D.C. —10:00 am: The United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission releases its annual report to Congress at a press conference at the Capitol, Washington, D.C. —10:30 am: The Senate resumes debate on the Defense Authorization bill —10:30 am: The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee holds a hearing on efforts to combat terrorism financing and receives a new Council on Foreign Relations report on Saudi Arabia's role at the Capitol, Washington, D.C. —10:30 am: President Bush's bishop, Melvin G. Talbert of the United Methodist Church, and others launch a new ad for Arab television expressing sorrow for Iraqi prisoner abuse and calling it sinful and systemic during a conference call —10:35 am: President Bush meets with Afghan President Hamid Karzai at the White House —10:45 am: The Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee holds a hearing on oil supply, gasoline demand, and retail gas prices with Energy Information Administration Administrator Guy Caruso and others at the Capitol, Washington, D.C. —11:00 am: Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan is expected to be confirmed for a fifth term in a hearing before the Senate Banking Committee at the Capitol, Washington, D.C. —11:00 am: The House Government Reform Committee debates contracting operations in Iraq with multiple government witnesses at the Capitol, Washington, D.C. —11:00 am: Reps. Robert Goodlatte and Charles Stenholm introduce voluntary country-of-origin labeling for agricultural, meat and seafood products at a news conference at the Capitol, Washington, D.C. —11:00 am: Sens. Joe Lieberman and Charles Schumer, Reps. Sherwood Boehlert, and Nick Rahall, state transportation officials, and others hold a news conference to discuss federal transportation funding levels at the Capitol, Washington, D.C. —11:25 am: President Bush and Afghan President Karzai hold a joint press conference at the White House —11:30 am: House Minority Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer holds his weekly pen and pad briefing at the Capitol, Washington, D.C. —12:00 pm: Sens. Pete Domenici, Lamar Alexander, and others hold a press conference to push for passage of energy legislation at the Capitol, Washington, D.C. —12:00 pm: First Lady Laura Bush hosts a lunch for members of the U.S. Afghan Women's Council at the White House —12:30 pm: Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge speaks at the Blinded American Veterans Foundation Congressional Awards Luncheon at the Capitol, Washington, D.C. —1:45 pm: On-camera press briefing by Press Secretary McClellan —2:00 pm: Defense Department Undersecretary Douglas Feith, Assistant Secretary of State William Burns, and others testify before the National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations Subcommittee at the Capitol, Washington, D.C. —2:00 pm: Sen. Kerry attends a fundraising reception at the Four Points Sheraton, Cincinnati, Ohio —2:30 pm: Rep. Chris Bell files a complaint with the House Ethics Committee accusing Rep. Tom Delay of violating ethics and federal laws at the Capitol, Washington, D.C. —2:30 pm: Sen. Edward Kennedy, Reps. Rosa DeLauro and Debra Ness, and others introduce the Healthy Families Act at a news conference at the Capitol, Washington, D.C. —2:30 pm: Rep. Dana Rohrabacher speaks at the Young America's Foundation celebration of Ronald Reagan at the Capitol, Washington, D.C. —3:45 pm: President Bush speaks via satellite to the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting from the Map Room, the White House —4:30 pm: United States Trade Representative Robert Zoellick and Moroccan Trade Minister Taib Fassi-Fihri sign the U.S. Morocco Free Trade Agreement at the State Department, Washington, D.C. —6:00 pm: President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush attend the Congressional Picnic on the South Lawn of the White House —6:15 pm: Sen. Kerry holds a "Stronger Economy for America's Families" rally at Westgate Park, Columbus, Ohio