The Note

As for that $87 billion, the Wall Street Journal 's Rogers writes hell hath no fury like a lawmaker scorned.

"In final negotiations this week, the administration is confident it can kill Senate provisions requiring that half the Iraq aid be conditioned as a loan unless other nations forgive debts accumulated by Baghdad under Saddam Hussein. But Mr. Bush hurt his cause by brusquely dismissing Republican senators at a White House meeting on the loan issue last Tuesday. And to the degree he is seen as ignoring Congress — a widespread view in the Capitol — the president raises the fear among lawmakers that he is ignoring their constituents at home."

Do give the Lindsey Graham quote a look.

But just in case the opposition starts to pop the champagne over all the lousy news, charter members of the media establishment tell them to get to work offering their own alternative for post-war Iraq:

The New York Times editorial board joins the Kristof-inspired chorus and tells Dems to do something more than sound off when it comes to Iraq policy. LINK

Time's Joe Klein takes his turn rapping the Dems. Under the headline "Profiles in Convenience," Klein asks, "Is it too much to ask that politics be put aside on this one issue of transcendent importance, where lives are literally at stake? Happily, Joe Lieberman and Dick Gephardt did the right thing last week." LINK

Big Casino budget politics:

As if he was producing ABC News programming this week, Ron Brownstein reports on the rising costs and declining access to health insurance being faced by many Americans and declares the Gray Davis, George Bush, and Dick Gephardt plans all somewhat unworkable. LINK

California's new governor:

Arnold Schwarzenegger's coming to town and the Los Angeles Times' Shawn Hubler reports that has folks in Sacramento's tourism industry downright giddy. LINK

"Sacramento's close-up has been a long time coming. Though the state capital is the hub of a metropolitan area encompassing close to 2 million people, modern Californians have tended to view it as a backwater between San Francisco and the ski slopes of the Sierra Nevada — a dusty, farm-y pit stop on the way to someplace else."

George Skelton writes Gray Davis' downfall had nothing to do with his policies or his "dull" personality. LINK

"He lacked three assets crucial for any California governor. They are long-range vision, core convictions and people skills."

The San Francisco Chronicle's Marinucci and Wildermuth get some post-mortem quotes from Garry South and Larry Grisolano, neither of which comes close to Attorney General Bill Lockyer's Saturday announcement that he voted for Schwarzenegger. LINK

Politics: We bet we don't see any Dems yelling about this info-gathering any time soon.

Reports the AP's Sharon Theimer, "The Democratic and Republican parties both are collecting information about millions of individual voters, a key ingredient in their 2004 campaign game."

… "The Democratic Party's database includes Census data, such as block-level demographic information; national consumer data, which provides individual details such as whether a person is married, owns a home and has children; voter files, which are available from several states and show a person's party identification and which elections he or she has voted in; and rundowns on how precincts voted in past elections."

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