The Note

And the AP's Solomon has the story on the letter Kerry wrote opposing a gay marriage ban a couple of years ago. LINK

The Boston Globe's Phillips and Lewis report on the failure of both proposed amendments on Wednesday in Boston. LINK

The Globe's Rick Klein explains why the legislative deals fell apart. LINK

USA Today's Bayles and Benedetto report on the continued dealings. LINK

The Hill GOP wrestles with the issue of what to do next on gay marriage, reports The Hill. LINK

The economy:

The Wall Street Journal's Ip reports on Greenspan's testimony on the deficits.

Writes Ip, "Mr. Greenspan's warnings on the budget deficit were more urgent than in previous remarks. He said the huge current-account deficit -- the shortfall on trade and investment income between the U.S. and the rest of the world -- makes it even more imperative to cut the budget deficit. He said that would minimize the harm if foreign investors cut back on their purchases of U.S. stocks and bonds, which finance the current-account deficit. But he refused to endorse higher taxes as a way to contain the deficit, as many Democrats have."

We are sure we will hear Mr. Greenspan quoted on this as the general election heats up . . .

Big casino budget politics:

Facing pressure from conservatives, House Republicans met behind closed doors yesterday to come up with a budget strategy that might include cutting back the President's $2.5 trillion budget, including requests for military and domestic security, the New York Times' Hulse reports. LINK

The Hill reports on the "mandatory" conference call Speaker Hastert put together with his members to talk fiscal restraint as the House's GOP leadership works to respond "to constituent complaints about the spiraling budget deficit, as well as growing anger among the conservative base over federal spending, which has reached record levels. It also reflected election-year concerns and signs that the voters are beginning to regard the Democrats as the party of fiscal responsibility, reversing a traditional GOP edge."

And DO check out this graph:

"The resolve to force budget cuts also reflects concerns about Bush's re-election."

"'There's no longer talk about the president having coattails,' said a conservative lawmaker. 'This is Congress worrying about whether the president is going to get reelected, not the president worrying about Congress getting reelected.'" LINK

ABC 2004: The Democratic nomination fight:

Dan Balz and Vanessa Williams of the Washington Post writes that the Kerry campaign is beginning to shift gears and is now preparing for a two-front race targeting both his remaining rivals and President Bush while Gov. Dean steps up his criticisms of Kerry and Sen. Edwards looks to be "increasingly more aggressive on jobs and the economy." LINK

Al Hunt of the Wall Street Journal writes that the even the "lefties" are falling in line behind Kerry as winning in November becomes the number one priority for Democrats.

Maria La Ganga of the Los Angeles Times writes on the rapidly moving electoral push toward Kerry, writing the Senator "is a candidate still under construction. But many Democrats are looking at him like a finished product -- one completed in record time." LINK

It's pretty clear that Ms. La Ganga thinks the current Kerry stump speech still has some extra wind in it.

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