The Note

In addition to the local coverage of the Bush/Specter appearance yesterday, some national reporters tagged along on the trip and write up the President's day stumping for the Patriot Act and the senior Senator from Pennsylvania.

AP's Lindlaw reports that with Karl Rove in tow, President Bush made his 27th stop in the Keystone State. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's ed board argues the President may be bitten by his backing for incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter in his Pa. GOP primary against more conservative Rep. Pat Toomey. Writes the ed board, "a Senator Toomey would be a far more reliable vote in a second Bush term on everything from legal and Social Security reform to taxes. Senator Specter, on the other hand, has made a career of breaking with his party on key votes and then high-tailing it to the right when it's necessary to save his hide in a primary."

The Washington Post's Mike Allen reports on the President's stumping for the permanent extension of the USA Patriot Act. LINK

The Washington Times' Lakely: LINK

USA Today's Keen: LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Chen and Schmitt: LINK

The New York Times' Elisabeth Bumiller focuses on the stumping for Specter yesterday and Notes that despite differences of opinions, President Bush and Sen. Specter last night were "side by side, heaping praise on each other as if their political futures depended on it." LINK

The Washington Post's Dana Milbank summarizes the White House's approach to the press: "Reporters covering the Bush administration discovered early on that the best source on the president's activities was often someplace other than the White House." LINK

After weeks of tough negotiations, Vice President Cheney was allowed to speak live and uncensored to the Chinese people when he visited the country last week, The New York Times' Joseph Kahn reports. LINK

The New York Times' Lee reports that at this tax season, the IRS totes a supportive message for the president on its Web site. LINK

The New York Times' David Brooks reviews air pollution trends under the Bush Administration and concludes that they have remained largely unchanged from the Clinton Administration until now. LINK

The Hill's Kaplan writes that Hill Republicans, "concerned" by the campaign focus on outsourcing from their Democratic competitors, "are crafting a 'competitiveness agenda' that will stress simplifying the tax code and scaling back government regulations" set to be rolled out in mid-May." LINK

More POTUS vs. AFL-CIO: The Wall Street Journal's McKinnon and Pierceall report that "the government is expected to issue new rules as soon as today extending rights for overtime pay to more low-wage workers, but reducing or eliminating that protection for many white-collar and middle-income employees."

In a "substantial shift," the Washington Post's Kirstin Downey reports, the Administration will allow workers who earn less than $100,000 to earn overtime pay. LINK

From the outside:

Keying off the latest FEC reports, the Los Angeles Times reports that "fueled by money from Hollywood, unions and wealthy executives, the largest independent groups raising money to defeat President Bush in November collected more than $20 million in the first quarter of 2004, according to records released by the IRS." Note, though, the 527s "are still far short of their goal, now estimated at $145 million" and the Media Fund's fundraising goal has been scaled back from $75 million to $50 million LINK

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