The Note

And our final bit of self-flagellating press criticism for today:

Having given up trying to convince our colleagues in the political press to stop creating "must-win" states for the candidates, we are on the precipice of giving up trying to stop all coverage from being framed by the latest horserace polling data, regardless of the quality of the poll's methodology or, well, anything else.

As President Bush signs Medicare today, more conservative restiveness (in Washington, at least) about increased federal spending driven by the man who beat Al Gore.

Dana Milbank had a clear-eyed view of it over the weekend, although he didn't break the tie between the two spinning sides. LINK

President Bush does indeed sign the Medicare bill this morning and attends a children's reception this afternoon. His portrait will be unveiled tonight at the Yale Club in New York City.

Gov. Dean receives New York City Council endorsements this morning and holds those fundraisers tonight.

Senator Kerry unveils a job creation and technological investment plan at Stanford.

Gen. Clark speaks about family income levels this morning and appears on "Hardball with Chris Matthews" tonight.

Senator Edwards discusses education at a town hall meeting in Oklahoma City today.

Senator Lieberman attends New York City fundraisers tonight.

Rep. Gephardt has no public events today.

Rev. Sharpton has four TV appearances today.

Rep. Kucinich receives an endorsement from activist and Dr. Patch Adams in Washington, D.C. today.

Ambassador Moseley Braun hosts a fundraiser in Chicago tonight.

The Dust-up in Durham:

Two key debate Notes:

In a freakish coincidence that The Note can't explain, Tuesday is also the 25th birthday of's James "Jimmy" Pindell, making him eligible to run for Congress. He logs on to today at 1:00 pm ET to talk about all things politics in New Hampshire — be sure to quiz him about the Dust-up in Durham. LINK

Rumor has it that Tuesday night will mark a rare joint appearance in Durham of what the politico-media cognoscenti call "the two JZ's," who are, of course, Jill Zuckman and Jeff "Rhymes with Felony" Zeleny, both of the Chicago Tribune.

The AP's Holly Ramer writes up a UNH poll done for WMUR stating, "54 percent of likely voters in the Jan. 27 Democratic primary consider debates either somewhat or very important to their decisions. More than a third said they have watched at least one of the several debates that have brought the nine Democratic candidates together." LINK

More Food For Thought:

If you're anything like The Note, you adhere closely to the nutritional guidelines put out by our friends at USDA. And if you, like The Note, pay close attention to the billions in farm subsidies passed by Congress each year, you've probably noticed there is no correlation.

Our colleague Peter Jennings is taking this issue head-on in a one-hour primetime special on America's obesity epidemic. His report examines why if some notables in Washington are so concerned about Americans getting fat, they don't get together with other notables in Washington to ensure the money's going to healthy places.

Note the following exchange:

PETER JENNINGS: I'm suggesting that there is a possibility that government subsidizes more food which you would say as the country's leading health officer is bad for us and subsidizes less those foods which you would tell us are good for us and we should eat.

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