The Note

SECRETARY TOMMY THOMPSON: And that is also been throughout the ages, and Congress has made those decisions, and they're political ones, as you know, Peter, and I don't think you're gonna change the political arena as far as subsidizing agriculture in America in the near future.

Want to see more? Tune in to "Peter Jennings Reporting: How to Get Fat Without Really Trying" on Monday at 8:00 pm ET

Weekend round-up:

Adam Nagourney's New York Times valentine to 2/3; Note the Gephardt and Kerry sideswipes, Lockhart semi-trashing Dean, and Lehane pretending they serve biscuits in the Bay Area. LINK

The Boston Globe 's Kranish was skeptical of Dean's tax-cutting boasts; Yepsen was bullish on his chances in Iowa. LINK and LINK

The Globe's Glen Johnson had some great string collected from the Dean bubble. LINK

And the Globe's Johanna Weiss saw Clark rising in New Hampshire. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Bush-Cheney re-elect:

The Dallas Morning News' Hillman looks at President Bush's no-nonsense fundraising appearances, which are "carefully planned to make maximum use of his time — and to maximize his exposure … he prefers lunches and early-evening receptions. Even then, he's in and out, rarely stopping for a bite or lingering very long after his speeches. LINK

The Wall Street Journal 's Hitt reports that Bush's re-election campaign seeks to define rallying points that can be paired with the administration's record on Medicare, tax cuts, and the war in Iraq.

"The search means the coming federal budget will be as much a blueprint for Mr. Bush's re-election as it is a traditional statement of the nation's fiscal priorities. The State of the Union address in late January — and the budget submission to Congress that follows it — also will a provide a big opportunity for the president to put his stamp on the election year."

When President Bush signs Medicare legislation today, he will enact "the most far-reaching changes in Medicare since the program's inception nearly 40 years ago, checking off another priority amid questions about its fiscal wisdom," AP's Lindlaw reports. LINK

USA Today 's Welch calls the Medicare legislation "a big gamble for Bush and the congressional Republicans who wrote it, a double bet that it will work and that politically active seniors will like it." LINK

Philadelphia Inquirer's Hutcheson looks at the Bush Administration's spending habits that have resulted in a 16 percent increase in overall spending and a $374.2 billion deficit. LINK

While US News' Michael Barone writes that President Bush has "redefined" conservatism. "It is now not the process of cutting government and devolving powers; it is the process of installing choice and accountability into government even at the cost of allowing it to grow." LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: The Invisible Primary:

Howie Kurtz looks at the issue of the Bush tax cuts in the Democrats' television ads in a very well-researched piece. LINK

Candidates and staffers will want to read this USA Today article about how tourism bureaus are wooing gay and lesbian vacationers. LINK

House of Labor:

Is the National Education Association's New Hampshire affiliate on the verge of endorsing? (Or "recommending," as they say in NEA-speak!)

Sources familiar with the union's deliberations tells ABC the NEA's Granite State folks will endorse Howard Dean before tomorrow's ABC News/WMUR presidential debate.

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