The Note

Look here tomorrow for September's all-important unemployment figures. ABC News' Schindelheim reports economists are expecting another month of job losses, which would be the eighth month in a row on the negative side of the column. Recent signs of improvement in the economy have done little to stem the job losses because businesses may be returning to profit by cutting jobs and doing more with less.

Economists fear if things don't turn around soon and jobs don't start to pop up, consumers will start to worry in earnest about their own jobs and halt the spending flow that fuels the American economy.

And THAT would be bad for all sorts of people.

Stay tuned for Friday's figures.

Big Casino budget politics:

Democratic presidential hopefuls who say they'd roll back the Bush tax cuts and not deal with Social Security and Medicare, "the real dangers to the country's solvency," are kidding themselves, the Washington Post 's editorial board Notes. LINK

The politics of national security:

K Mas? The New York Times reports that despite its "rocky start" and the Dell-uge (you gotta read the piece) of resources it already has, the Iraq Survey Group — "made up of teams of troops and experts who are managed by the Pentagon but whose activities are coordinated by David Kay" — is looking for $600 million more as part of the president's $87 billion request.

We imagine lawmakers in your nation's Capital will have plenty of questions for Mr. Kay in his closed appearances on the Hill today. LINK

The Bush Administration should just come out and admit the intelligence on Iraq was wrong, George Will writes in a Washington Post op-ed. LINK

The Washington Post 's Jonathan Weisman reports, "These defections are forcing White House allies to appeal to congressional Democrats to help save the president's proposal. They also underscore the deep unease — in both parties and in both congressional chambers — spurred by public reactions to the spending plan at a time of soaring federal deficits." LINK

The Wall Street Journal 's David Cloud looks at the partisan argument brewing in Congressional intelligence committees over expanding the investigation into whether the Pentagon interfered with the CIA's intelligence on al Qaeda and Iraq.

"At its core, the Democrats and Republicans are fighting over where the blame for the intelligence shortcomings should fall. Democrats say widening the congressional probes would let them look at whether the White House and officials in the Pentagon manipulated sketchy data to justify invading Iraq. Republicans appear to want to fault the CIA and its director, Mr. Tenet, for reports that appear to have wildly missed what was actually going on inside Iraq. That approach would spare the administration from a full-blown investigation into the failures."

USA Today 's Bill Nichols updates us on the latest U.N. resolution offered by the U.S. LINK

USA Today 's Andrea Stone reports, "The White House lost crucial support Wednesday among prominent Senate Republicans as it worked to block changes to its $87 billion military and reconstruction plan for Iraq and Afghanistan." LINK

The Washington Post 's team of Thomas Edsall and Juliet Eilperin report on the Republican lobbyists in Washington eyeing up Iraq as a "major new profit center." LINK

ABC 2004: The Invisible Primary: "New York poll puts Clark ahead of the pack," the AP reports. LINK

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