The Note

USA Today's Richard Benedetto writes that President Bush's visit to a Long Island 9/11 memorial yesterday "demonstrated that he has no intention of pulling back in the face of complaints . . . that he is using Sept. 11 for political gain." LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Greg Hitt writes that while President Bush's campaign advisors defend their use of 9/11 as "a guiding theme," Democrats such as Rep. Charlie Rangel believe "They're walking on such thin ice. I'm telling you, it's going to backfire, sure as hell."

Hitt revisits the question of the Gotham City convention choice too.

President Bush "shrugged off protests against his Sept. 11 political ads," with his appearance at the memorial ceremony yesterday, reports the New York Daily News' Haberman and Kennedy, who Note the 300 protestors that were kept out of sight sand earshot. LINK

Newsday's Fireman reports that after participating in the groundbreaking ceremony, President Bush "pinned the emotional banner of 9/11 to his re-election standard" at a BC04 fundraiser and Notes that "Bush's visit triggered strongly mixed emotions, both among relatives of terror attack victims and the broader public." LINK

The New York Post's Orin on the President's visit to Long Island: LINK

The Boston Globe's Wayne Washington reports on the President's Thursday trip to Long Island, where "[the 9/11 memorial] groundbreaking ceremony and fund-raiser ended a day that started with the president telling evangelical Christians that he would fight gay marriage." LINK

The Baltimore Sun's David Greene examines the political baggage that Vice President Cheney -- and his lowered popularity -- brings to the ticket, even with his longstanding appeal to the conservative base. LINK

USA Today's Al Newhart thinks that Vice President Cheney "stole the show" at last Saturday's Gridiron Club dinner. LINK

The AP covers Karl Rove at the GOP's Lincoln Day Dinner in Oregon. "Rove spent an hour in a closed-door session with about 20 Republican activists who paid $5,000 each to have their picture taken with him" before he "then defended Bush's record and attacked Kerry in a speech to 200 Republicans who paid $50 each to attend the dinner." The evening is said to have netted more than $100,000 for the state GOP's Victory Fund. LINK

The New York Times' Oppel reports the Senate voted 51-45 to "approve a $2.4 trillion budget resolution for next year that largely sidesteps, and might hinder, President Bush's request for more tax cuts while providing a big boost in spending on homeland security and the military." A Democratic-backed amendment "that would require that any tax cuts during the next five years win at least 60 votes in the 100-member Senate," but House GOP leadership "signaled" it intends to "kill" the amendment. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Godfrey and McKinnon report that Congress began "preparing budget drafts that call for significant new spending on defense, and even leave some room for tax cuts."

J-O-B-S and outsourcing:

The Washington Post's Allen and Weisman report on the Administration's killing its plans to nominate Anthony Raimondo -- a decision made before Raimondo was wheels down in D.C. on Wednesday night. LINK

USA Today's Peronet Despeignes reports on Raimondo's bowing out from consideration, Noting at the end of his article that the "Bush administration has had several recent stumbles on economic policy." LINK

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