The Note

Big Casino budget politics: Senator Nickles will introduce a budget resolution trimming the president's defense spending request, reports the New York Times . LINK

The Washington Post 's Edward Walsh reports that "leaders of veterans' organizations and a union that represents VA workers are voicing strong criticism of Bush's fiscal 2005 budget plan." LINK

The economy: The Wall Street Journal 's Greg Ip writes on Alan Greenspan's comments that "interest rates are too low for long-term economic stability and will have to rise at some point."

Politics: The Washington Post 's Helen Dewar writes "Senate sponsors of legislation to shield the firearms industry from lawsuits yesterday abruptly killed their own bill after it was amended to renew an expiring ban on assault weapons and to require background checks for gun show purchases." LINK

The New York Times ' Stolberg on the demise of a measure to shield gun manufacturers and dealers from lawsuits. LINK

The Hill's Earle reports CAFTA is suffering from a political hangover brought on by NAFTA as Dems split on the measure. LINK

The politics of national security: Philip Shenon of the New York Times reports the Sept. 11 investigation commission is wrestling with White House interview restrictions and wants Condoleezza Rice to testify in public. LINK

The politics of gay marriage: The Washington Post 's Rene Sanchez reports "California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger told a national television audience Monday night that he would not object if state law were changed to allow gay marriage and that he strongly opposes President Bush's call for a constitutional amendment barring such unions." LINK

In a Washington Post op-ed, Steven Waldman of Beliefnet suggests "President Bush's endorsement of a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage could prove to be a great moment for gay rights" because of his decision to "support the rights of states to provide various partnership benefits, including civil unions." LINK

The New York Times ' Jacobs reports that in Georgia, black lawmakers have helped block an amendment banning gay marriages. LINK

The AP reports gay marriages are to begin in Oregon. LINK

Salon finds some uneasiness about the same-sex marriage fight in Massachusetts' gay community. LINK

Gabriel Wasserman of the Poughkeepsie Journal reports on the case of New Paltz Mayor Jason West, who faces 19 counts of ''solemnizing a marriage without a license,'' a misdemeanor, for marrying gay couples in his city on Friday. LINK

A year of celebrating humor in the James S. Brady Press Room: A year ago today, now 18-year-old Henry Seltzer created a Web site with the intention of showcasing what he considered Ari Fleischer's (remember him?) "underreported humor." LINK

At the time, Seltzer told The Note that he was hoping for an on-the-record response from his subject. He settled for a year of White House humor.

Note: the site now documents the funnies of the new Mr. Personality (a.k.a. press secretary) of the White House, Mr. Scott McClellan.

Seltzer, who keeps a seating chart of the White House briefing room in his wallet, hopes to intern with C-SPAN this summer.

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