The Note

More Schindelheim: Tallied up, the economy has added 1.1 million jobs since August 2003. The unemployment is at 5.6 percent, down only slightly from 5.7 percent -- the numbers have remained in this general vicinity since December. She cautions, however, that As always, "the headline numbers don't tell the whole story. There are still 1.6 million fewer jobs than March 2001, the start of the recession."

Alan Greenspan warned Thursday that "rising federal deficits may be the biggest threat to the nation's longterm economic stability," reports the New York Times' Andrews, who Notes the comments suggested growing alarm about the budget deficit, which is likely to run more than $400 billion this year and is widely expected to remain high even though tax revenues are now rising because of faster economic growth." (And somehow the word "'opaque'" isn't so reassuring...) LINK

The politics of Iraq:

The Wall Street Journal trio of Robbins, Calmes and Jaffe look at the "stark" personal, diplomatic and military questions facing President Bush and his Iraq policy, from increasing U.N. involvement to softening the military's image to deciding whether Rumsfeld should stay. Note Rumsfeld-watch here, too: "White House aides are livid over the Pentagon's handling of the prison abuses. Chief political adviser Karl Rove privately complained that Mr. Bush was 'blindsided,' aides said."

The New York Times reports "the military's reliance on civilians to serve as interrogators and translators in Iraq is now so great that many people are being sent abroad without complete background investigations or full qualifications for the positions, government officials and industry experts say." LINK

Tommy Franks talks about the war during a Vanity Fair fest, reports the New York Daily News. LINK

The Halliburton audit is growing, reports Reuters. LINK

The Detroit News' Maureen Feighan reports that there are some Spartans not happy about Dr. Rice's commencement speech today in East Lansing, Mich. LINK

The politics of national security: the new $25 billion request:

"Senior lawmakers in both parties, frustrated by several years of Pentagon secrecy about wartime spending, indicated yesterday that they will not give the Bush administration a free hand in the use of a new $25 billion installment for the war in Iraq," reports the Washington Post's Dan Morgan. LINK

The politics of national security:

"President Bush pressed by King Abdullah II of Jordan for reassurances on the boundaries and status of refugees in a future Palestinian state, promised Thursday to put his views in writing soon but stopped short of making the commitments sought by the king," reports the New York Times' Steven Weisman. LINK

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

USA Today's Susan Page writes that President Bush's poll numbers have dipped at "a crucial part of the campaign," when "nearly two-thirds of Americans say they are paying close attention to the campaign [and] Bush aides have said voters' impressions of the president and challenger John Kerry would begin to set in May and June." LINK

The Orlando Sentinel's Mark Silva reports on the Gallup Poll numbers, leading with this: "Public opposition to the war in Iraq is at an all-time high -- and support for President Bush's handling of the broader war against terrorism is at an all-time low -- after the deadliest month for U.S. troops and revelations about the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by American forces." LINK

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