The Note

The Albuquerque Tribune's Hal Rhodes blames low voter turnout in this year's presidential primaries on sheer boredom. LINK

The politics of national security:

The New York Times' Judith Miller takes a look at some of the Pentagon's report on the 2001 anthrax attacks, "which concludes that the nation is woefully ill-prepared to detect and respond to a bioterrorist assault." LINK

Although the Bush Administration has updated the 1980s security standard for the security of nuclear plants, critics argue that the standards are not high enough and that current guard forces would be outnumbered if a 9/11 style attack were to occur at a nuclear site, reports R. Jeffrey Smith of the Washington Post. LINK

Bush Administration strategy/personality:

"A mixture of gossip, family doings and truncated contemporary history, "The Bushes" does not reveal any lasting clues about this unusual group of people who have done so much to shape modern American politics," writes the Washington Post's Lewis Gould in his review of Peter and Rochelle Schweizer's book on the first family. LINK

Reproductive Politics:

Three constitutional challenges to the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act officially get underway today in federal courts. Judges in New York, San Francisco and Lincoln, Neb. will consider requests to stop Bush-approved legislation which bans an abortion procedure some say bears "disturbing similarity to the killing of a newborn infant," writes Al Kamen of the Washington Post. LINK

Courts in San Francisco, Lincoln, Neb., and New York City will all begin to hear cases today against the partial-birth abortion ban signed into law by President Bush last November, the New York Times echoes. LINK

The AP's Larry Neumeister writes, "Even before President Bush signed a bill into law in November outlawing a type of late-term abortion, opponents made the unusual step of filing three federal lawsuits seeking to block it." LINK

"Those lawsuits were expected to be heard Monday in a trio of courtrooms stretching from coast to coast as abortion-rights supporters challenge the first substantial limitation on abortion since the Supreme Court's landmark Roe v. Wade decision."

The politics of gas:

The AP's Tim Molloy reports that nationwide gas prices have reached $1.80 a gallon, a new record high. As Memorial Day weekend and summer get closer, there is little chance that the price will drop. Gasoline prices are up 29 cents a gallon since late December. LINK

The Washington Post editorial board urges the government removing all subsidies given to the oil and gas industries in order to promote alternative energy sources. LINK

The politics of same-sex marriage:

The AP's Peter reports that is Massachusetts, "State representatives were to resume their constitutional convention Monday, picking up a proposed amendment that would ban same-sex marriage but make Massachusetts the second state to grant civil-union benefits." LINK

In a second story, Peter writes that this debate is particularly personal to the lawmakers as well, even bringing some to tears. LINK

The Boston Globe's Lewis and Rodriguez write "Lawmakers, spent after two previous sessions this year, may cast anywhere from three to a dozen votes over the next three days on a dizzying array of amendments and amendments to amendments." LINK

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