The Note

The Hartford Courant's Lightman looks at Congress and the fight for it this political season, writing that "each side is trying to force the other into recorded votes they'd rather not make in an election year. And they're trying to force debates -- debates whose transcripts will be available instantly on the Internet -- on those issues." Note that "2004 election season is the first presidential election cycle since 1928 when Democrats did not have control of either the White House or one branch of Congress." LINK

The politics of gay marriage:

The Washington Post's David Von Drehle and Alan Cooperman analyze the recent history of the same-sex marriage debate. LINK

The AP's Robert Tanner writes about how attorneys general across the country are handling the issue in different ways. LINK

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that while he supports civil unions, he will stick to enforcing New York state's ban on gay "marriage" -- the first time he's gone public with his views on the subject. LINK

Democratic National Convention:

OK, so it's not really a convention story, but it sort of is . . . the Boston Globe's Anthony Flint reports, "Since the December opening of the southbound Big Dig tunnel, motorists from north of the city have shaved an average of 15 minutes off their commute." LINK

The Boston Globe's Andrea Estes reported on Saturday that DNC officials "may have to spend up to $500,000 to charter buses to transport conventioneers." LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: The Senate:

Rep. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) seemed to be edging closer to running for the seat being vacated by Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colo.), but didn't commit to a bid, the Denver Post's Julia Martinez reports. Politics:

The Los Angeles Times looks at Al Gore the "Unapologetic Populist" whose rhetoric now sounds "more like that of his father" and who has, as Chris Lehane sees it, a "'certain moral standing in the party.'" Note the blind quote at bottom from a "former advisor" who says the Gore campaign taught him/her to "'let your candidate be himself.'" LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Shailagh Murray looks at the Importance of Being Funny for candidates today, focusing on the Podesta-led Center for American Progress's recent Aspen fun fest. (We really wanted to make that trip . . .)

The New York Times' David Kirkpatrick reports on the "influence" that "Christian home-schooling is having on the political right" and looks at the students who matriculate to Patrick Henry College, with its, "knack for political job placement." LINK

The Chicago Sun-Times' Curtis Lawrence writes about disgraced former Congressman Mel Reynolds' attempt to come back to politics and challenge Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. in the Democratic primary for Illinois 2nd Congressional District. LINK

In Texas, Gov. Rick Perry's job approval rating has made him the most "unpopular Texas governor in 14 years, according to a poll released Friday." LINK

The New York Daily News reviewed the "hairy" Gridiron dinner with an eye looking toward the 2008 presidential election. LINK

Media:

The networks are Iraq-bound this week, Notes USA Today's Peter Johnson. LINK

The Boston Herald reports that Mike Barnicle is going to be a Tuesday/Thursday columnist for theā€¦Boston Herald. LINK

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