The Note

While Sharpton and Kennedy made it to Washington and hit the red carpet, the remaining passengers sat there … waiting. Damn bird.

Read more from the trail with Sharpton on abcnews.com: LINK

Moseley Braun:

AlterNet.org's Jessica Lyons mentions Carol Moseley Braun in her article titled "The Politics of Hair"

"Her hair's cropped close to her head, it's not typically feminine, and it's the ultimate no-nonsense cut. It would be interesting to see how the public would react." LINK

Read more from the trail with Moseley Braun on abcnews.com: LINK

Nader:

Steve Miller of the Washington Times reports of a certain Green Party candidate "testing the waters" with a $100-a-head fundraiser in New Jersey this Thursday. Ralph Nader is expected to make a decision about joining the presidential race next month, but he has started an exploratory committee as well as a fundraising Web site. Very curious. LINK

South Carolina:

Roll Call 's Cillizza writes that the South Carolina primary is "shaping up as a test of whether a clear alternative to Howard Dean's candidacy will emerge."

Florida:

The uncertainty over a Democratic nominee in Florida is palpable, despite a strong showing by all of the Democratic presidential candidates at the Florida convention this weekend. Even the candidates themselves felt it. Peter Wallsten of the Miami Herald reports. LINK

The Tallahassee Democrat addressed the same issue.

"The applause-o-meter goes to Dean, but there was something in every speech for every delegate to find something they could agree with," [Susan MacManus, a University of South Florida political science professor] said. "I sense there's a lot of determination to defeat this president and keep that Senate seat in the Democrat column." LINK

On thing is for certain, though. The Democrats have one common enemy. As reported by the Florida Times-Union, the attacks aimed at President Bush's Iraq policy were "blistering." LINK

Big Casino budget politics:

The New York Times on the "competing pressures" facing Bill Frist as he tries to get the spending bill passed. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Nick Anderson explores the art of the earmark and how many Republicans have changed their views on the use of legislative pork. LINK

Bob Novak compares the United States Congress to the Polish Diet, writing "Congressional lust for pork, never before so insatiable, collides with the growing antipathy to sustained work … senators refuse to alter their plans for travel, golf, hunting and fishing in order to be on hand in Washington to consider their special spending. They would rather defer pork than leisure." LINK

Big Casino budget politics: Medicare:

USA Today 's William Welch writes, "The Medicare overhaul that President Bush signs into law today is a major political achievement for his party and promises long-awaited help with prescription-drug costs for millions of seniors and the disabled." LINK

The Boston Globe 's Stephen Glain reports that some AARP members are mighty miffed about the group's support for the bill. LINK

The politics of national security:

Lots of criticism of the administration's Iraq policy on the Sunday shows this week. LINK

And lots from one Very Notable Junior Senator from New York, who said on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" that the administration seems now to be altering its plans for an Iraqi government in hopes of securing "'some kind of exit strategy, some kind of transition before our elections.'" LINK

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