The Note

The Boston Globe's Joanna Weiss and Donovan Slack run through the coverage of the Bay State's legislature, Noting that for some people "it's easier to tune out and wait for the final results than to rise and fall with every step." LINK

The Boston Globe's Frank Phillips reports on the legal options that Gov. Romney is considering. LINK

The AP's David Kravets reports that the California Supreme Court "ordered an immediate halt to gay marriages yesterday in San Francisco, delivering a victory to conservatives who have fought for a month to block the ceremonies." LINK

The St. Petersburg Times' Bill Varian reports that Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio signed an executive order Thursday extending health benefits to unmarried domestic partners of city employees, including same-sex couples" joining "a handful of other local governments in Florida offering the benefit to employees with domestic partners." LINK

The President affirmed his commitment to an amendment banning same-sex marriages in a speech to evangelicals Thursday, saying, "'I will defend the sanctity of marriage against activist courts and local officials who want to redefine marriage,'" reports the New York Times' Kirkpatrick. LINK

Democratic National Convention:

The Boston Globe's Andrea Estes reports, "Local and national labor unions, including the AFL-CIO, lashed out at Mayor Thomas M. Menino yesterday, accusing him of making anti-union remarks, and urged Democratic Party leaders to pressure the mayor to settle 29 labor disputes immediately." LINK

The Democratic National Convention Committee launched its Web site Thursday -- we're trying to figure out what being an "E-Delegate" means. LINK

The politics of Medicare:

The New York Times' Robert Pear reports that Sen. Trent Lott, switching his previous position, will now support drug importation from Canada. A rather spirited McLellan-McCain exchange is also Noted by Mr. Pear. LINK

The New York Times' Hakim reports that General Motors' staggering health care obligation to future retirees reached a staggering $63 billion -- and that it would have been $4 billion more if not thanks to the recent Medicare bill. Note that G.M. is "the largest private provider of health care benefits in the United States and the largest private purchaser of well-known brand-name drugs like Viagra and Lipitor." LINK

Knight Ridder's Tony Pugh reports, "The government's top expert on Medicare costs was warned that he would be fired if he told key lawmakers about a series of Bush administration cost estimates that could have torpedoed congressional passage of the White House-backed Medicare prescription-drug plan." LINK

The politics of national security:

The New York Times' Stevenson and Lichtblau report on Susan Lindauer, the ex-congressional aide who is charged with working with the Iraqi intelligence service before the war began. Investigators "said she had sought to influence American policy by presenting herself as an intermediary to a highly placed relative, Andrew H. Card Jr., the White House chief of staff." LINK

The New York Times' Michael Janofsky reports that Rep. Henry Waxman released Defense Department documents on Thursday that detailed the "faulty cost estimates by Halliburton for services in Iraq and Kuwait. " LINK

The New York Times' Glanz reports that critics are expressing doubt over the credibility of the missile defense system. LINK

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