The Note

And the Washington Post 's excellent Mr. Ricks analyzes the "two worrisome trends" facing Team Bush: escalating anti-U.S. violence and declining support among the public for the president's Iraq policies. LINK

USA Today sifts through recent Administration statements on progress in Iraq and examines the "debate among Bush and his advisers about whether they should admit that things are not going as well in Iraq as they had hoped." LINK

For her part, the New York Post 's Ms. Orin writes the president "desperately needs to do a much better job of explaining to the American people why Iraq is vital and what his plan is," finding it "a questionable decision for Bush to stay out of sight at his Texas ranch on the second bloodiest day for America since the Iraq war began." LINK

Intel re-tell: The Los Angeles Times' Efron looks at criticisms from outside the administration that its intel point man sculpts intelligence for political purposes. LINK

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Pat Roberts says the White House is ready to hand over the docs his committee is seeking on pre-war Iraq intelligence, while the Los Angeles Times has Trent Duffy promising to be "'helpful" while Noting the "'committee's jurisdiction does not cover the White House.'" LINK

The Washington Post 's Allen helpfully details some of the docs Dems are wanting. LINK

As for the Pentagon, ABC News' Brian Hartman reports Defense officials say Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Doug Feith has turned over all the documents relating to Iraq intel and WMD requested by the Robertson committee.

And in some potentially good news for the White House, the Wall Street Journal 's front page reports "U.S. investigators have unearthed Iraqi records of Saddam Hussein's agents world-wide" that "could lend credence to more recent assertions by the Bush administration that Mr. Hussein was seeking to develop long-range missiles as a preliminary step to renewing a program of chemical and biological weapons."

ABC News Vote 2004: The Invisible Primary: Ron Brownstein keys off Will Marshall and Ken Pollack's recent manifesto urging Democrats to adopt "progressive internationalism" policy to examine how the ever shifting ground in Iraq may call such a policy into question. LINK

"It's clear that many Democratic activists want a nominee who will argue that the war in Iraq has made America less safe — a view that Dean, retired Gen. Wesley K. Clark and possibly even Senator John F. Kerry of Massachusetts would carry into the general election."

Once again, we urge you to subscribe to Roll Call , or you are going to miss Chris Cillizza's sizzling series on the 2/3 states, starting today with brilliant Arizona primary reporting.

USA Today 's ed board doesn't like the fast and furious calendar for choosing a Democratic nominee LINK; but The Macker responds by saying that, compared to 2000, "the 2004 calendar is more balanced and diverse." LINK

"When the Democratic presidential candidates convene here on Tuesday to engage a skeptical generation of younger voters at the Rock the Vote debate, we ask them to address the debt tax as the most important issue affecting young Americans today," write Byron Auguste and Mark Strama in the Boston Globe . LINK

Here's the schedule for this week's chats with the Democratic presidential candidates. Congressman Gephardt is first up today at 11:30 am ET. LINK

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