The Note

Salon's Sidney Blumenthal (we are still getting used to that!) doesn't approve one bit of journalists laughing at the President's Radio-TV dinner speech -- and accuses the press corps of "accepting" the President's "radical undermining of the long-established arrangements of Washington, including the demotion of the press's own role, by breaking the off-the-record rule in order to have a weapon to use against Clarke." LINK

The politics of same-sex marriage:

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports on the Georgia state legislature passing the gay marriage amendment yesterday. LINK

"The same proposal failed by just three votes in its first House appearance in late February, a decision that buoyed the hopes of gay rights supporters and sent conservatives scrambling. But four members of the 39-member House Legislative Black Caucus who did not vote Feb. 26 supported the ban Wednesday, ensuring its passage."


The Hill reports that Dems are threatening to subpoena the President's top healthcare adviser if he doesn't testify today on the "Medicare cost-scoring controversy." LINK

The Hill's Bolton reports "the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) has raised $20 million during the first quarter of this year -- a sum that nearly matches the $21.5 million that the committee raised in the first quarter of 2002 under the old soft-money rules. A committee official said that, in total, the NRCC has raised $91 million for the 2004 election." LINK

USA Today's Mark Memmott Notes the unusually large presence of serious issues books being released this election cycle. "Books, the oldest of the 'old media,' are pushing serious issues into the presidential campaign and will remain a powerful force in coming weeks." LINK

The AP reports that Gov. Schwarzenegger, plagued with sexual harassment charges during his gubernatorial campaign, voluntarily took a training course on sexual harassment prevention after the election. LINK

"Time is running out for employers who had hoped for a deal on pension legislation that would ease the burden on financially stressed companies that must make quarterly plan payments for 2004 by April 15," reports David Rogers of the Wall Street Journal.

"The House defied Bush administration objections yesterday and voted to continue giving civilian federal employees the same pay raises that military personnel receive," writes Charles Babington of the Washington Post. LINK

The Washington Post's Leslie Walker reports that Bush has proposed to extend high-speed internet access to all American homes within three years. LINK

The politics of gas prices:

The Washington Post's John Burgess Notes that the White House is disappointed with the decision of OPEC oil ministers "to proceed with a 4 percent cut in oil production beginning Thursday, turning aside criticism from industrial countries that any resulting price rise will harm the world economy." LINK

Republican National Convention:

The New York Daily News' DeFrank and Gittrich report that "while Bush is in the convention center Sept. 2, the Secret Service wants all Amtrak, NJTransit and Long Island Rail Road Service to cease." LINK

Democratic National Convention:

The Boston Globe contains THREE stories on Boston residents' resentment over the potential commuting problems during the Democratic National Convention.

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