The Note

The Washington Post's Dana Priest conjures up the Steven Aftergood within and writes, "the Bush administration's uneven decision-making on which sensitive documents it declassifies has prompted criticism that the White House is selectively releasing information to bolster its foreign policy agenda and respond to political pressure." LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: the politics of gas prices:

Because we're Midwest-centric … we start with an article by Bob Livingston of the Daily Republican Register in Illinois. He Notes the effect high gas prices are having for residents of Wabash County in Illinois, where petroleum production is a way of life for many. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Calmes and Fialka look at candidate Bush vs. President Bush on the gas issue. "With gas prices high and today's OPEC meeting likely to keep them there, President Bush is confronting the politically charged question: Why hasn't he done more to try to hold down oil prices?"

"The short answer: He is finding, as have presidents before him, that limiting Americans' costs at the pump isn't as easy as the former oilman made it sound when he ran for office four years ago."

In a summary of yesterday's back-and-forth, Patrick Healy of the Boston Globe Notes, "[Sen.] Kerry also cast the gas debate as a national security issue, pledging to fund science research on alternative energy in order to avoid going to war over oil, which many Democrats cited as the reason for the first Gulf War against Iraq." LINK

The Washington Post's Dana Milbank and Jim VandeHei report "Bush's remarks, at a taxpayer-funded forum on the economy here, were coordinated with his campaign's new ad, which accuses the Massachusetts senator of backing a gas tax increase that would cost the average family $657 a year. Kerry opposes any increase in the gas tax. Though the narrator does not say so, the ad's charge is based on a 10-year-old statement by Kerry." LINK

The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz analyzes the ad, Noting that "the spot softens its charges with a mocking tone and funny footage against the 'wacky' Kerry. But it unfairly presents a gas-tax hike as if it were the senator's current position, when most of the examples are a decade old." LINK

The New York Times' Wilgoren on why gas prices are an irresistible political prop. LINK

"The back-and-forth on gas prices marked the candidates' efforts to translate their larger economic debate into a daily pocketbook issue for voters. Mr. Bush focused on taxes as the villain, while Mr. Kerry framed the high gas prices as a sign of weak economic stewardship."

The Los Angeles Times' Vieth and Simon on the gas sparked to and fro: LINK

"Kerry's attack on the president was part of a broader pitch for reducing dependence on foreign oil. Bush's rebuttal included a reminder that shortages of natural gas and electricity deserve attention too."

"Kerry accused Bush of not fulfilling a 2000 campaign promise to pressure OPEC to boost production to keep prices in check."

(We Noted, with some amusement, the response to this from the White House, per the Washington Post: "A White House spokesman confirmed that Bush has not sought any rollback in the gas tax but said Bush never formally committed to the proposal.")

(Unintentional) irony Noted. By almost everyone.

Nick Anderson provides today's Los Angeles Times ad box on the latest from the Bush-Cheney media mavericks. LINK

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