The Note

Today's Schedule (all times Eastern):

—8:00 am: Senator John Edwards addresses a "Politics and Eggs" breakfast, Bedford, N.H. —8:00 am: Polls open in Alabama tax referendum —9:30 am: Senate convenes for legislative business —9:30 am: Senate Foreign Relations Committee receives closed briefing on North Korea from Secretary of State Colin Powell, Capitol Hill —10:00 am: Reverend Al Sharpton addresses the AFSCME meeting, D.C. —10:00 am: Senator Edwards meets with voters at Marryanne's Diner, Derry, N.H. —10:00 am: Senate Armed Services Committee hears testimony from Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz and General Richard Myers, Capitol Hill —12:25 pm: President Bush attends a Bush-Cheney 2004 fundraiser, Jacksonville, Fla. —12:30 pm: House convenes for morning business —1:50 pm: President Bush makes remarks on education at Hyde Park Elementary School, Jacksonville, Fla. —2:00 pm: Senator John Kerry visits and holds a media availability at the Downtown Baltimore Children's Center, Baltimore —2:00 pm: House convenes for legislative business —2:30 pm Senator Edwards addresses the AFSCME meeting, D.C. —6:35 pm: President Bush attends a Bush-Cheney 2004 fundraiser, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. —8:00 pm: Polls close in Alabama tax referendum —8:00 pm: Democratic presidential debate sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus at Morgan State University, Baltimore


The most common human refrain one hears in a roomful of bickering Googling monkeys is, "Can't we all just get along?"

But in presidential politics, war-time budgeting, and recall madness, things tend to be more about conflict than cooperation.

There's that whole Winston Churchill thing about how democracy is the worst form of government except for everything else that has been tried, but sometimes, loving Kumbaya togetherness (Don't tell a soul, but The Note's theme song is the Partridge Family's "C'mon, Get Happy." LINK), we can't help but wish that the people we cover (and the consultants who advise them) would stop fighting and start working as one big happy American family.

We aren't cynical or overly idealistic, but as we survey the political landscape today, we see various dueling couples that are making things dynamic, interesting, and heavily conflict laden.

George Bush and people with green eye shades.

Joe Lieberman and Howard Dean.

The Guard/Reserve families and Pentagon planners.

Don Rumsfeld and all sorts of people.

John Kerry and himself.

Joe Trippi and his conscience.

Ed Gillespie and Joe McQuaid.

Maria Shriver and Wal-Mart shoppers.

The staff of The Note and the Boston Globe 's webmaster.

Bob Riley and tax haters.

Erin and Wade.

Hillary Clinton and her mouth.

Deborah DeShong and Deborah Desant.

With precisely four weeks to go until the California recall (which we heard Ann Curry mention a time or two this morning); with Administration officials up on the Hill beginning the long, painful process of justifying their multibillion-dollar request; and with a potentially crabby Baltimore Democratic presidential debate — there is plenty of stuff leading inexorably to more conflict within the shining city on the hill that is the United States of America.

In Baltimore, the third major Democratic presidential debate of the 2004 cycle happens this very day.

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