The Note

The Wall Street Journal ed board has a very tough must-read editorial, grudgingly agreeing with those (mostly Democrats) who say that the failure to come forward with the full facts on the Medicare cost estimate only compounds the Administration's credibility problems and (in their view also) flawed Medicare gambit.

The Los Angeles Times' Vicki Kemper reports Secretary Thompson's decision to move ahead with a formal investigation looking into allegations that the Bush Administration withheld from Congress the accurate cost of the Medicare prescription drug bill. LINK

"Thompson's decision to order a formal investigation, which several Democratic lawmakers demanded last week, was part of an effort by the administration to regain control of the public political debate over the Medicare law and to restore its credibility, which also has been damaged by Democratic attacks on its media campaign to promote the law."

The New York Times' Robin Toner examines the partisan war over Medicare with Democrats demanding an investigation as to whether the Bush administration threatened the chief actuary of Medicare not to reveal the true cost of the program. LINK

TODAY SCHEDULE (all times ET): —8:30 am: The Labor Department releases the Consumer Price Index for February —9:00 am: The House Democratic Caucus holds a closed meeting, Washington, D.C. —9:30 am: The Interfaith Alliance Foundation holds a forum on religion in the 2004 elections at the National Press Club, Washington, D.C. —9:45 am: Off-camera gaggle by White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan —10:00 am: The House of Representatives convenes for legislative business —10:00 am: Supreme Court Justices Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas speak to the Commerce, State, Justice and Judiciary House Subcommittee, Washington, D.C. —10:30 am: President Bush participates in a Shamrock Ceremony, the White House —10:55 am: House Majority Leader Rep. Tom DeLay holds a pen and pad briefing at the Capitol, Washington, D.C. —11:00 am: The League of Conservation Voters holds a news conference to announce a survey on the national energy bill at the Holiday Inn, Washington, D.C. —12:00 pm: Sen. John Kerry speaks about "Protecting our Military Families in Times of War" at the George Washington University, Washington, D.C. —12:00 pm: The Cato Institute holds three luncheon seminars on Social Security, Washington, D.C. —12:00 pm: House Speaker Rep. Dennis Hastert holds his annual St. Patrick's Day luncheon at the Capitol, Washington, D.C. —12:30 pm: President Bush participates in a St. Patrick's Day Luncheon at the Capitol, Washington, D.C. —12:45 pm: On-camera briefing by McClellan —1:00 pm: Politics Live on ABC News Live and AOL —1:00 pm: FBI Director Robert Mueller speaks to the Commerce, State, Justice and Judiciary House Subcommittee, Washington, D.C. —1:00 pm: Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman Rep. Robert Matsui holds a pen-and-pad briefing on Democratic efforts to win control over the House at the Capitol, Washington, D.C. —1:30 pm: Vice President Cheney delivers remarks at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, Simi Valley, Calif. —2:05 pm: Vice President and Mrs. Cheney tour the Lewis and Clark Exhibit at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Simi Valley, Calif. —4:10 pm: Vice President Cheney appears live on Fox News' "Your World" with Brit Hume

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