The Note

"States across the country are reporting stronger tax collections this spring for the first time in three years, fueling hopes that the bleakest budget-cutting days of the economic downturn are over," the New York Times' James Dao reports. But, Notes Dao, "tax revenues are not growing fast enough to offset the rapidly rising costs of Medicaid, pensions and education, which account for most state spending." LINK

The New York Times reports "household debt could soon start to pinch" as "Fed officials, who will meet on Tuesday to set monetary policy, have made it clear that they must eventually raise" interest rates. LINK

USA Today's Stephanie Armour reports, "Companies that once touted family-friendly benefits are cutting back on them in this tight job market, slashing programs that let employees telecommute, work part time, share jobs, or take paid family leave." LINK

The Wall Street Journal's ed board compliments Bush for finally talking about "the harmful effects of broadband taxes and regulation" and discusses a new study to support their claims.

The politics of national security:

The New York Times" Lewis reports the White House's plan "to use military tribunals to try some of the detainees held at Guantánamo Bay" has "been receiving some of its sharpest attacks from the military defense lawyers who are participating in the process." LINK

The Boston Globe's Charlie Savage examines a "surge in secrecy," where eyebrows are raising at the Bush Administration over a bigger pile of classified national security documents than ever before: 14 million last year, 11 million the year before that, and 8 million the year before that. LINK

George Will writes in the Washington Post that President Bush needs to look realistically not only at the situation in Iraq, but the message that his words about it are sending. LINK

"This administration cannot be trusted to govern if it cannot be counted on to think and, having thought, to have second thoughts. Thinking is not the reiteration of bromides about how 'all people yearn to live in freedom' (McClellan). And about how it is 'cultural condescension' to doubt that some cultures have the requisite aptitudes for democracy (Bush). And about how it is a 'myth' that 'our attachment to freedom is a product of our culture' because 'ours are not Western values; they are the universal values of the human spirit' (Tony Blair)."

The Washington Post's Robin Wright looks at the damage-control efforts by the Bush Administration to counteract backlash around the world as a result of the abuse report. LINK

The politics of the 9/11 Commission:

The Hill reports Tom Kean says he hopes his panel "can complete its report in time to have it reviewed by the White House and released well before Democrats gather in Boston" for their convention. LINK

Big casino budget politics: Medicare:

According to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, Administration officials "appear to have violated federal law by barring Medicare's chief actuary from sharing cost estimates with lawmakers debating prescription-drug legislation," the Wall Street Journal's David Rogers reports.

The New York Times' Pear Notes the Administration "pened a campaign to persuade millions of older Americans to sign up for prescription drug discount cards" on Monday. LINK

USA Today's William Welch reports that seniors are angry they face higher prices than are available in Canada despite the drug discount cards. LINK

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