The Note

It's a tough sell in insurance industry-heavy Des Moines, even among Democrats like the questioner. The logic is essentially "Elect me and my health care policy will shut you down, but there might be fewer beach erosion housing claims in 50 years."

Read more from the trail with Kucinich on LINK


Jeff Jacoby's op-ed in the Minneapolis Star Tribune delves into Sharpton's past, calls his resume "repugnant" and argues that the other candidates should rebuke him.

"There should be no room in American politics for a race-baiting charlatan of any color. Honorable Democrats ought to be able to look Sharpton in the eye and say so. Their failure to do so is a moral and political disgrace." LINK

Jacoby's article also brings up an interesting point about the Tawana Brawley affair. Sharpton refuses to apologize for it, calling it "standing up for civil rights."

Reverend Sharpton gets two mentions in "Open Secrets" on "The Hill." The first, a mention about Jesse, Jr's endorsement of Dean, and the second entitled "'President' Al Sharpton trash-talks Senator John Edwards." LINK

Read more from the trail with Sharpton on LINK

Moseley Braun:

The Washington Post 's Ann Gerhart helps you understand exactly why the Ambassador is running, not raising much money, and not really campaigning that much. Or does she?LINK

Read more from the trail with Moseley Braun on LINK


Spoiler no more? Or again? Mother Jones on another Ralph run in 2004: LINK

The politics of national security:

First, the politics: The Boston Globe 's Anne Kornblut writes, "Faced with growing public uneasiness over Iraq, Republican Party officials intend to change the terms of the political debate heading into next year's election by focusing on the 'doctrine of preemption,' portraying President Bush as a visionary acting to prevent future terrorist attacks on US soil despite the costs and casualties involved overseas." Continues Kornblut, "Republicans hope to convince voters that Democrats are too indecisive and faint-hearted — and perhaps unpatriotic — to protect US interests, arguing that inaction during the Clinton years led to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001." LINK

(How long 'til we get a David Sirota e-mail on this one?)

Then the security:

Twelve Italians and eight Iraqis are dead this morning after a bomb "ripped through an Italian military police base in the Iraqi town of Nasiriya" in "what appeared to be a fresh suicide attack." LINK

General Sanchez dismissed all Vietnam comparisons Tuesday, telling reporters "we are going to win this battle, and this war" and vows to use "all combat power that is available to us" in doing so. LINK

Most all the papers focus on Ambassador Jerry Bremer's hasty and unexpected return to Washington for what the New York Times calls an "urgent round of meetings to discuss ways of speeding up the transfer of power to Iraqis."

The Washington Post 's Robin Wright and Anthony Shadid report, "The Bush administration's foreign policy team yesterday began plotting strategy with L. Paul Bremer, the top U.S. administrator in Baghdad, to save the troubled political transition in Iraq by accelerating the hand-over of power, according to senior U.S. officials." LINK

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