The Note

USA Today 's Judy Keen and Haya El Nasser report that the "Bush administration has a pattern of announcing controversial or unfavorable news as the weekend begins." LINK

The duo Note that while this "administration isn't the first to try to bury bad news," it "has had many bad-news Fridays."

On Sunday, the Des Moines Register 's Jonathan Roos reported that the president's "popularity in Iowa has plunged as more Iowans have become disenchanted with his handling of Iraq and the economy." LINK

The AP's Tom Raum reports that the President is carefully picking his states for stops on the campaign trail. LINK

Yesterday's New York Times included a Dick Stevenson piece on the administration's apparent shift to better match up rhetoric with conditions on the ground — what Paul Begala calls "reality." LINK

Brit Hume actually told Howie Kurtz (the REAL Howie Kurtz, not the Howie Kurtz who plays Howie Kurtz on "K Street" … ) that he modeled his interview with President Bush on Larry King. LINK

California recall, the courts:

USA Today 's Martin Kasindorf looks at the high unlikelihood of a delayed recall. LINK

The court's track record (en banc panels have overturned three-judge panel rulings 75% of the time) and the presence of judicial conservatives and moderates, as opposed to the liberal judges on the smaller panel, are two major reasons for betting that the big day will be October 7.

"The judges can act quickly because 'among momentous cases, this one is simpler than most,' says Vikram Amar, a professor at the University of California Hastings College of the Law. 'It involves one Supreme Court precedent, and facts that most of these judges are aware of.'''

The AP eyeballs the 9th Circuit judges and handicaps their decision: LINK

As does the San Francisco Chronicle: LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Henry Weinstein looks at the role of public opinion in the judicial process LINK

"When they decide how those general statements apply to specific cases, judges almost always turn not just to their lawbooks, but to their life experiences and their views of the role judges should play in society."

"'Most judges do not stray far from public opinion,'" said Howard Gillman, a professor of political science and law at USC. Either the judges are sensitive themselves to public views or they were picked by politicians who do 'not appoint these people to be iconoclastic.'"

USA Today 's Patrick McMahon reports that some California elections officials are worrying that just the discussion of a possible delay will diminish voter turnout in the recall. LINK

By the way, today's the last day to register to vote in the recall, reminds the Los Angeles Times' Allison Hoffman LINK

The San Francisco Chronicle throws in a handy list of phone numbers for county registrars. LINK

Were we the only ones (besides the Wall Street Journal ed board) to notice that Judge Pregerson did an on-the-record interview with the Los Angeles Times this weekend about the prospect of his being reversed en banc?

California recall, the latest poll:

John Wildermuth's lead in yesterday's poll write up for the San Francisco Chronicle undoubtedly made the folks on Pico happy. LINK

"The recall race has tightened dramatically in the past month, with a growing number of voters expressing doubts about ousting Democratic Gov. Gray Davis from office, according to a poll released today by the Public Policy Institute of California."

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