The Note

"The first President Bush projected a more moderate image and displayed greater willingness to find common ground with Democrats on issues such as the environment and taxes. The second, mindful of the political grief his father suffered as a result, has devoted far more attention to placating the right on those same issues. And he has been more than willing to accept flak from the political left in the process."

"While the president's father reached out to environmentalists and moderates to get results, those claiming middle ground in this feud say they haven't heard from the White House."

It's been a great press day for Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie.

Gillespie tells reporters over breakfast that when it comes to blasting the president, all that Democratic fire and froth throws voters off. LINK

The Christian Science Monitor wraps up said breakfast with Gillespie offering the following quotations for your reading enjoyment: LINK

-- "[We] have a working assumption that whoever emerges from the Democratic Party primary will be a viable nominee and we are preparing for a close contest next November. We anticipate something much more along the lines of 2000 than 1984."

-- "I do believe that the rhetoric we are seeing from the Democrats today is unprecedented, is a new low in presidential politics and goes beyond political discourse and amounts to political hate speech. I do not believe the American people are going to confuse hatred for passion. People like passion in politics. But the way these Democrats talk about the president is off putting … "

-- "The fact is (the Democrats) are increasingly adopting a weak and indecisive foreign policy that smacks of the '70s, and the Democratic leadership then, and I don't think the American people are going to accept that."

And finally, the Washington Times ' Ralph Hallow reports, the Republican National Committee may look to gin up its conservative base with a plank in the party platform opposing gay marriage. The plank, according to Gillespie, would be a Constitutional amendment defining marriage as a "monogamous, heterosexual union, and would forbid states from legalizing homosexual 'marriages.'" LINK

Salon's Technology & Business section offers an investigative piece on the companies behind the new election technology and the flaws in their products that leave votes open to fraud:

" … according to Bev Harris, a writer who has spent more than a year investigating the shadowy world of the elections equipment industry, the replacement technologies the court cited may be worse — much worse — than the zany punch-card systems it finds so abhorrent. Specifically, Harris' research into Diebold, one of the largest providers of the new touch-screen systems, ought to give elections officials pause about mandating an all-electronic vote." LINK

K Street:

Hey producers of "K Street:" Alan Murray's got some scripting suggestions for you.

Last week it was lobbying against file-sharing by the recording industry. This week: Northpoint Technology Ltd., a company angling to compete for television and Internet service with giants like DirecTV and EchoStar.

Frankly, we just like any column that uses a variation on the phrase "pig at the trough."

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