The Note

Today's Schedule (all times Eastern):

—10:30 am: Congressman Dick Gephardt attends meet and greet in Charleston, South Carolina —11:25 am: President Bush meets with Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, White House —11:45 am: Congressman Dick Gephardt tours health care center and meets with health care professionals, Charleston —3:15 pm: Senator John Kerry meets with local business leaders, Ames, Iowa —3:45 pm: Vice President Cheney holds closed meeting with Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas —3:50 pm: Senator John Kerry attends activist event, Ames —4:45 pm: Secretary of State Colin Powell meets with Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas —5:00 pm: Governor Howard Dean opens his Des Moines, Iowa campaign headquarters —5:45 pm: Senator John Kerry attends BBQ with Rep. Mark Smith, Marshalltown, Iowa —8:30 pm: Senator John Kerry attends AFSCME People Conference Auction, Des Moines, Iowa

NEWS SUMMARY

Happy July 25!!!

Tentative congratulations, likely-Chairman Gillespie!!!

Farewell, Lloyd!!!

Welcome to New York, Ken Mehlman!!!

We are watching your "intentions" closely, California Democrats not named "Davis"!!!

Enjoy Philadelphia, centrist Democrats!!!

Love a nurse, says John Edwards!!!

And, with that, The Note is off to the Waldorf!!!

In California recall news today:

-- Lt. Governor Bustamante announced Tuesday October 7, 2003 as the date of the special recall election, giving way to a frantic 75-day campaign in uncharted waters.

-- Governor Davis formed his all-star campaign committee called "Californians Against the Costly Recall."

-- Former Vice Presidential nominee Jack Kemp has a strange run in the cycle as a possible replacement candidate.

-- August 9 is the filing deadline for candidates to declare intentions and submit nomination papers — let the jockeying continue.

Today President Bush hosts the Palestinian Prime Minister at the White House. President Bush will attend a tee-ball game on the South Lawn on Sunday.

Governor Dean campaigns in Iowa today, beginning with a leg (Burlington to Troy) of the Des Moines Register 's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa.

His bus tour makes stops in Albia, Chariton, and Oceola before opening his Des Moines headquarters.

He and Senator Kerry address members of the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees tonight. Dean has no public events scheduled for the weekend.

Senator Kerry campaigns in Iowa today and tomorrow. He'll then head tomorrow to San Francisco to speak at the Human Rights Campaign Gala Dinner.

Senator Edwards campaigns in Iowa today and tomorrow, and talks about nurses today. He heads to New Hampshire and Pittsburgh on Sunday, and gives a big health care speech back in New Hampshire.

Congressman Gephardt campaigns in Charleston, South Carolina, meeting with union members and health care professionals. His son, Matt, spends the weekend in Des Moines with AFSCME delegates.

Congressman Kucinich is scheduled to address AFSCME members on Saturday in Des Moines.

Ambassador Braun keynotes the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women's Clubs Annual Banquet in East Rutherford, New Jersey on Saturday night.

The Democratic Leadership Council meets in Philadelphia on Sunday and Monday, with Al and Bruce hosting the normal impressive array (including lots of governors), but no Clinton, no Gore, and no one running for president. That latter cluster was not invited.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Steve Levin looks at for Monday's National Urban League presidential forum through the prism of the NAACP controversy earlier this month. LINK

Seven of the Democratic presidential candidates will be on hand - minus only Senators Kerry and Graham - as will President Bush, who will speak but will not share the stage with them. The Democrats will speak for 10 minutes and answer questions from a moderator, but not the audience.

Politics of national security:

The Washington Post 's Mike Allen says that Vice President Cheney's ship-steadying AEI speech will be followed "next month with a major address on the war on terrorism" by President Bush. LINK

Knight Ridder's Shannon McCaffrey writes up the Vice President's defense on the war with Iraq. LINK

The Wall Street Journal 's Washington Wire writes: "Financier George Soros buys full-page ad in Sunday's New York Times urging Americans to demand Congress 'get the truth' about the administration's case for Iraq war. It follows Friday's similar ad from the Democratic National Committee. Under pressure — and undercut by White House misstatements — resistant Republican leaders may hold open hearings of the Senate Intelligence Committee in September."

James Barnes is skeptical that Niger alone will be enough for Democrats to open a "credibility gap" on President Bush.

"But the Democrats seeking Bush's job are understandbly trying to stoke the controversy for all it's worth," he writes in the forthcoming issue of National Journal.

Barnes includes a useful recap of the tacts taken by Gephardt, Kerry, Edwards, and Graham, including:

Gephardt trying to link Bush's "misleading" claim to "broader criticism of his conduct of diplomacy";

Kerry dismissing the Hadley explanation as "more passing the buck and more politics as usual";

Graham attempting to paint a "sinister picture" of the administration's various explanations. "Hadley's admission 'raises sharp new question as to who at the White House engaged in a cover-up … '";

And Edwards trying to use the uranium controversy to fan doubts about Bush in the area of generational responsibility.

California recall:

Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante has set the special election for Tuesday October 7, 2003.

Bustamante also put to rest any confusion over what a recall ballot may look like. It will have two questions. The first will ask voters whether or not Governor Davis should be recalled and the second will provide a list of replacement candidates should the recall prove successful.

Robert Salladay of the San Francisco Chronicle has the roundup of yesterday's feverish recall activity and reminds his readers that August 9 is the deadline for replacement candidates to declare their intentions and file nomination papers. Mr. Salladay also reports on Governor Davis' newly formed campaign committee. LINK

"Davis, who has done his own polling and focus groups, is preparing a consistent message for voters over the next 75 days under a new group, Californians Against the Costly Recall."

"He announced a new campaign team that will include longtime advisers Garry South and Michael Bustamante, both of whom helped Davis win election in 1998 by the widest margin in modern state history."

The Los Angeles Times' Michael Finnegan writes up the frantic pace of the recall as well as the large amounts of money all interested parties are expected to raise and spend. Dr. Finnegan then gets to the crux of the Democratic dilemma. LINK

"So far, the state's top Democrats in elected office have pledged to stay out of the race in a display of party unity that Davis sees as crucial to his political survival. But under the schedule set Thursday, candidates have 16 days to decide whether to run. So until that deadline, the unpopular governor could face a struggle in keeping fellow party members behind him."

"A top Democratic strategist called the dynamic 'a total game of chicken,' saying the sentiment among labor leaders and other key Democratic players was 'well beyond nervousness.'"

"'There's no question that there's real fear of us losing the governor's office,' the strategist said."

"The subtle positioning by potential Democratic candidates — closing the door, but not all the way — could be seen in a statement Thursday by U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein. Recent polls have shown her as the most popular California Democrat."

"'Nothing that I know right now interests me in running,' she said in Washington. 'I think the recall is a terrible mistake for California.'"

And the Washington Post 's Rene Sanchez and William Booth spoke with former White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta: LINK

"Panetta, according to several sources, would consider putting his name on the ballot only if other Democrats agreed not to run. But other potential candidates, including several statewide officeholders, might be amenable to that only if Panetta declared he would serve out Davis's term and not run for reelection in 2006."

"Asked by telephone if he might become a candidate, Panetta, a former U.S. House member from California, said, 'At this point, there is a consensus among Democrats that we're going to oppose the recall on the merits, and Gray Davis is the one who's going to have to carry the ball.'"

Matt Drudge brought a new Republican name into the mix yesterday, and the Associated Press' Ron Fournier confirmed that there is some buzz surrounding former Buffalo Bill Jack Kemp. LINK

"Jack Kemp, the Republican vice presidential nominee in 1996, emerged Thursday as a possible candidate on the Oct. 7 ballot to recall California Democratic Gov. Gray Davis."

"Several of his supporters called Kemp on Thursday urging him to put his name on the ballot, according to three GOP officials with ties to the former Housing and Urban Development secretary. After one of the calls, Kemp chuckled and told an associate, 'Oh, my God.'"

"The associates said Kemp was flattered by the requests, but it was unclear how seriously he was considering the race. At least one senior Republican official close to Kemp began seeking advice from friends in GOP circles in case Kemp decides to run."

Dean Murphy and John Broder have the main recall story for the Paper of Record, and they include this very key clarification from the Secretary of State's office, which may play into Democratic strategy. LINK

"The secretary of state's office has weighed in on another potentially litigious point: whether voters who vote no on the recall are entitled to choose a replacement candidate anyway. The office said they are."

The New York Times ' Adam Nagourney got several unnamed Republicans close to the White House to endorse the administration's strategy of remaining uninvolved in the recall effort. He also got George Gorton sounding somewhat surprised that he had not heard from the White House about a potential Schwarzenegger candidacy. LINK

Governor Davis (LINK) would prefer to talk about a topic other than the recall, but he says he is prepared to present his credentials once again to the people of California. Charlie LeDuff of the New York Times lays out Governor Davis' political strategy. LINK

"The governor's political approach, Democratic strategists say, will be to find a way to resolve a budget crisis that much of the public accuses him of mishandling, and then charge that Republicans wasted $30 million or so on a recall election, money that could have been spent on extra police officers or inoculations for children."

Mark Z. Barabak produces a Los Angeles Times news analysis which investigates Californians' affinity for governing at the ballot box. LINK

"Over the past 25 years, starting with Proposition 13, Californians have asserted — or tried to assert — control over how much money they send to Sacramento, how lawmakers spend it, how long those politicians stay in office, even how they run their campaigns."

"In that light, the effort to boot an unpopular governor three years before the next scheduled vote — and less than a year after he was grudgingly given a second term — is simply the logical, if utmost, extension of California's penchant for governing via the ballot box, the fullest flowering of its vox pop democracy."

The Los Angeles Times reports on the possibility of lots and lots of legal challenges. LINK

"Three suits are pending, the most recent filed Wednesday in federal court by two San Diego law professors against Secretary of State Kevin Shelley. The professors' suit attacks a state law that allows voters to participate in the election of a new governor only if they also cast ballots in the recall. The professors contend that the law is unconstitutional and voters should be able to select a successor to Davis without voting on the recall."

"'You can vote yes or you can vote no [on the recall] or you should be able to abstain and still have your vote [for a successor] counted,' said Shaun Martin, a constitutional law professor at the University of San Diego School of Law and one of the complainants. 'It deprives people of their right to vote and violates the 1st Amendment by essentially coercing people to vote for something they don't want to vote on.'"

"Martin and Sandra L. Rierson of Thomas Jefferson School of Law, are asking U.S. District Judge Barry T. Moskowitz to order county election officials to count all ballots, regardless of whether a vote is cast on the recall."

Could the Ward Connerly race initiative help bolster Democratic turnout? LINK

State Senate leaders reached a budget compromise yesterday. LINK

When California GOP Chairman George "Duf" Sundheim took over the reins of the party in February, he began mapping out a 21-month game plan to deliver California's 55 electoral votes to President Bush.

Now he finds himself with 75 days to register new voters and get them to the polls on October 7 to recall Governor Davis from office.

Can he unite his party behind a single candidate? Will the party split into warring pro-life and pro-choice factions? Is there a better hamburger to be found than at IN N' OUT Burger?

You will get answers to all of these questions and more when you listen to this week's installment of "Here's the Point" with ABC News Political Director Mark Halperin on your local ABC News radio station.

Big Casino budget politics:

Three key paragraphs from the Washington Post 's Bush story, regarding the child tax credit:

"Although some Republicans worry the issue could hurt them, particularly with women, independent voters and the poor, they are unwilling to compromise a core principle of their economic philosophy." LINK

"'We are doing things that stimulate the economy — period,' Rep. Thomas Davis III (R-Va.) said. The issue has 'some marginal political value,' he said, 'but it's not a huge political issue.'"

"A GOP leader added that because Bush is not applying heavy pressure on House Republicans to act, they are unlikely to budge."

Shadow CBO Director David Rogers of Dow Jones reports: "President Bush's tax cuts are coming back to bite him, as his prized foreign-aid initiatives now must compete within the tight spending limits of the Republican budget plan."

"The top tax rate for most of the nation's businesses would drop" under a bill offered by Ways & Means Chairman Bill Thomas "that eliminates an illegal tax break on overseas income", the AP reports. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Vicki Kemper writes that Senate and House conference committee members can at least agree upon making Medicare more "user-friendly." LINK

The economy:

Paul Krugman puts Alan Greenspan on the couch and concludes the Fed chairman want to wish the economy into recovery to secure his legacy. LINK

ABC 2004: Bush-Cheney re-elect:

Ed Walsh/Jim VandeHei of the Washington Post track the Bush economic roadshow — from the "Vote for Bush: for short, shallow recessions!" message, to the POTUS rhetorical push (?) for the child tax credit, to the supply-side ("ripple effect") dogma. LINK

Greg Hitt of the Wall Street Journal gratuitously annoys Debra DeShong by claiming that the president "prodded Congress to act on" the child tax credit for the poor by mentioning it during the trip.

Dick Stevenson gave Dick Gephardt the right of first rebuttal quote in his write-up of the president's visit to Michigan and Pennsylvania. LINK

Stevenson Notes: "Mr. Bush's trip today was part of a strategy to lay claim for what officials said should be a gradual economic upturn. Next week Treasury Secretary John W. Snow, Commerce Secretary Donald L. Evans and Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao are scheduled to tour Minnesota and Wisconsin to talk about how the three tax cuts Mr. Bush has signed into law will help create jobs."

USA Today 's Richard Benedetto and Judy Keen look the first stop on President Bush's summer economic goodwill tour - in Philadelphia, where he told employees at a federal check-processing plant that "better days" are coming. LINK

In wirey fashion, the AP reports, "President Bush raced through two re-election battlegrounds, pitching himself as aggressively attacking the nation's economic malaise and scooping another $2 million into his campaign coffers." LINK

Tom Delay's trip to the Middle East is a reminder that President Bush's actions do not always meet the expectations of Republicans on certain highly charged issues. LINK

From the Jacksonville Times-Union: "President Bush might visit Jacksonville on Sept. 9, his third trip here since taking office. The White House has not confirmed any travels plans, but two people familiar with local preparations for the visit confirmed the date as a tentative target." LINK

ABC 2004: Bush-Cheney re-elect, RNC:

The new chairman of the Republican Party Edward Gillespie talks about the future of his party today in a New York Post op-ed. LINK

"Fox and Friends" is part of the right-left anti-Saudi coalition, and that meant that incoming chair Gillespie was hounded beyond what he possibly could have expected this morning about the redactions in the 9/11 report pertaining to the House of Saud.

Of course, those tracking the run-up to the Gillespie coronation exclusively through cable TV will have also seen last night's "Hardball" confrontation, during which Mr. Matthews' Joe Wilson obsession (like his Juanita Broaddrick obsession, but without the frission of sexuality and violence) was smacked in the face by a record-clarifying incoming chairman.

The AP's Ron Fournier previews Gillepsie's acceptance speech, Noting the new chairman's disdain for gloomy Democrats. LINK

"'The contest for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination sometimes seems to be a contest to see who can be the most pessimistic, who can protest the most angrily and who can take their party further back in time,' Ed Gillespie said in a text of his address to the 165-member Republican National Committee."

The Washington Wire says: "Republicans boldly look to 2004, unfazed by Bush poll slippage. Republican National Committee members meeting in New York vow to build on innovations credited with historic 2002 election gains. Voter-turnout guru Blaise Hazelwood Saturday outlines changes in so-called '72-Hour Project' for election eve: fewer leaflets and more volunteers."

And more gurus, Miss Calmes might have added.

Fournier also look through Gillespie's memo yesterday to "assure rank-and-file activists that 'the sky is not falling' on President Bush's poll ratings." LINK

Gillespie pointed to the April analysis by senior Bush-Cheney campaign adviser Matt Dowd that "the sky is not falling." (Note Note: we endorsed this theory on July 9 (LINK).

Dowd asserted that President Bush's poll numbers would eventually settle, and even possibly fall behind possible Democratic candidates or simply a faceless "Democratic opponent," but that it wouldn't matter.

"Throughout 1995 President Clinton's re-elect hardly ever got above 40%," he wrote. And while Clinton's highest point was 43% in a December 1995 AP poll, he ended up winning anyway.

Bush, Gillespie argues, isn't even having those kinds of problems.

"To be clear, the president's poll numbers are essentially the same today as there (sic) were the day before Operation Iraqi Freedom commenced on March 17."

On to highlights of Meeting Day 2. It's hard to choose what we liked best about Thursday morning's presentation on the 2004 Republican National Convention.

The wax statues of George W. Bush, Governor Pataki and former Mayor Giuliani?

The (excellent) rendition of "New York, New York" by a cast member of Broadway's ABBA musical "Mamma Mia"?

The four high-kicking Radio City Rockettes decked out in blue velvet and rhinestones?

The Republican history quiz, complete with prizes like golf umbrellas and hotel weekends for the winners?

The bagpipers? The New York soft pretzels? The living Statue of Liberty (LINK) posing for pictures with committee members?

The Bloomingdales goody bags (containing two elephant-shaped cookies each)?

It's nearly impossible to pick.

ABC 2004: The Invisible Primary:

Former New Hampshire Governor Jeanne Shaheen says she'll remain neutral for at least three more months. LINK

"Labor politics takes center stage in Iowa this weekend as the largest union representing state workers holds its statewide convention with presidential rivals coming courting", the AP's Mike Glover reports. LINK

"Three Democratic contenders are scheduled to speak, but relatives, friends and staffers will spend the weekend seeking inroads with one of the most important constituencies in Iowa Democratic politics."

"At the center of the focus is Council 61 of the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, which represents more than 20,000 state workers."

" … the union sided with Al Gore in the Democratic campaign during the last presidential election cycle, helping him to an easy win over Bill Bradley in Iowa's leadoff precinct caucuses."

"Union activists say there won't be discussion of a potential endorsement during this weekend's meeting, but they don't rule out taking that step this fall … ."

"While Gephardt has the closest ties to labor, his rivals are competing hard and making the argument that Gephardt is unlikely to be able to oust President Bush should he win the nomination."

Dean:

Jules Witcover writes up a "surging" Howard Dean who "isn't shying from combat" with the "squirming" Democrats who "find themselves out on a limb in their party over the war" Dean "continues to oppose." LINK

Governor Dean will ride from Bloomington to Troy as part of the Des Moines Register 's annual bike ride through Iowa (RAGBRAI) today. That's a 12-mile haul.

For some reason, John Kerry's Iowa campaign manager, John Norris, tried to play down the significance of the event, which, as far as we can tell, isn't terribly significant. The last candidate to ride was Bruce Babbitt in 1986. (Yes, 1986).

"'A lot of people on RAGBRAI are from out of state,' said John Norris, Iowa director for U.S. Senator John Kerry's campaign. Norris rode on RAGBRAI last year as a candidate for Congress." LINK

"'My experience on RAGBRAI — politics and campaigning are not really what people on RAGBRAI are interested in,' Norris said. 'You can spend a lot of energy on RAGBRAI, and, chances are, you are not talking to caucusgoers.'"

Yeah, but it's a great picture for us TV folks.

Dean will also help a local "Dean Corps" volunteer at a food bank and do about 45,302 other things today.

Edwards:

AP's Mike Glover explains Senator John Edwards' $3 billion health care plan to add 100,000 nurses to the field over five years. Edwards is scheduled to outline the plan in a speech today in Iowa, and hit health care wider in the Granite State Monday, when a well-rested GOP staff will be back from Gotham City. LINK

The Raleigh News & Observer's John Wagner contextualizes the health care speech. LINK

A sports-arena security suggestion that Edwards suggested was also passed by the Senate, Wagner reports. LINK

Wagner goes for the Edwards hat-trick, reporting that the presidential hopeful's speech on recruiting nurses. LINK

Tim Funk of the Charlotte Observer also writes up the speech on nurses. LINK

Gephardt:

Dean Luttrell of New Hampshire's North Conway Mountain Ear wrote on Gephardt's visit to the area yesterday promoting health care and trade. LINK

Graham:

The Orlando Sentinel's article on how Senator Bob Graham and Representative Porter Goss grew closer in the wake of the 9/11 inquiry is also a nice look at Senator Graham's style of legislating and accommodating. LINK

Kerry:

The Wall Street Journal 's Washington Wire reports: " Kerry Uncorked: A Sun Valley, Idaho, wine fest advertises tastings at home of presidential candidate Kerry and wife, Teresa Heinz."

Kucinich:

Slate's William Saletan and Avi Zenilman profile Dennis Kucinich. LINK

Lieberman:

Senator Joe Lieberman was interviewed by Alan Murray and Gloria Borger on CNBC's "Capital Report" last night.

Saying the U.S. is only "slightly safer" than it was before 9/11, Lieberman criticized the administration for not establishing a "so-called centralized watch list. So what happened before, where the CIA knew that two suspected terrorists had come into America but not told anybody esle, still could happen again. And that's just unforgivable."

On the issue of the 28 redacted pages, Lieberman said "unless putting that information out … would compromise the life of one of our agents, there's no excuse for it because … all it does is raise suspicions."

Lieberman defended his Iraq vote while criticizing the administration for overstating its case and "giving a bad name to what I believe was a just war."

Marissa Yaremich of the New Haven Register writes how most of Lieberman's support comes from his home town of Connecticut. LINK

Also from the New Haven Register, Maria Garriga reports the Lieberman will allow Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. to build presidential helicopters. LINK

South Carolina:

Jennifer Talhelm of the Charlotte Observer writes on the difficulties faced by South Carolina Democrats in funding a state primary. LINK

Politics: Friday dose of Espo!!!!!!

"House Democrats likely to be targeted by Republicans in 2004 are steadily building their campaign warchests after a slow start, to the relief of party strategists", the AP reports. LINK

Top House Democrats want to appoint an AFSCME associate general counsel to the Federal Election Commission, effectively ending the FEC term of a pro-campaign finance reform ally, Scott Thomas.

Roll Call 's Preston and Keller Note that the lawyer, Robert Lenhard, appears to have his name on court documents opposing BCRA.

The Washington Post says the appointment "is backed" by lots of Democratic-ish initials, like NARALPCA and NOW.

"The drive to remove Thomas reflects growing ambivalence toward the new law among many Democrats, not to mention overt opposition by some pro-Democratic groups, including organized labor. Many unions object to provisions that bar the use of soft money to finance "issue ads" 30 days before primary elections and 60 days before general elections." LINK

The Post writes up the Hopkins study about Diebold election systems. LINK

The AP in Florida reports: "Gov. Jeb Bush signed an elections bill Thursday that puts Florida in line to receive millions of federal dollars to update antiquated voting equipment and suspends the state's traditional primary runoff for 2004. It also sets the 2004 primary election for Aug. 31 — nine weeks prior to the general election." LINK

A Pew Research Center poll says that 53 percent of Americans remained opposed to gay marriage. An optimistic New York Times article says that percentage is declining. LINK

Verizon and the Communications Workers of America are dueling it out on the air. LINK

Too huge — the Washington Wire of the Wall Street Journal claims the recording industry might be going for steak over sizzle: " Recording Industry Association of America pursues longtime Republican Senate aide Mitch Bainwol to replace departed chief Hilary Rosen … "

The Clintons of Chappaqua:

Spokesgal Karen Dunn is leaving HillaryLand for The Spot — also known as "Yale Law School." LINK

Exclusive to The Note, here's the skinny on her going-away gig:

Food/drink: standard Senate catering with two bars nicely stocked with wine and beer.

Speaking program: John Podesta (mostly speaking about the co-guest of honor, Ann O'Leary, and their early morning White House runs); Philippe Reines (Noting his horror during his interview with Ms. Dunn, when she repeatedly stressed that they would be speaking "all the time" and then conveying the great interest in Decision 2003: to law school or not to go.); and Howard Wolfson (who spoke at great length and with great praise about hiring Karen as an LC and eventually being told that she should really be in charge) .

Celebrity sightings: Chuck Schumer (Karen Noted that she received perhaps the greatest compliment she could receive when the Senator said to her: "You did a good job."), various members of the New York press corps, and Michael Feldman .

Gift presentation: a law school survival kit, including a New York apple for a favorite professor, a legal dictionary, a bestselling book that was presented with much anticipation … and then revealed to include "Harry Potter" in its title, and a package of Ramen noodles (with Senator Clinton Noting, "I don't know what Ramen noodles are. ")

Legislative agenda:

In the face of stiff opposition by the pharmaceutical industry, the House voted 243-186 in favor of a hotly debated measure on Thursday allowing Americans to buy prescription drugs abroad, the Boston Globe 's Susan Milligan reports. LINK

Never say again that PhRMA always gets its way: LINK

At least not until a bill is on the president's desk.

The Head Start reorganization bill passed yesterday in the House faces a tougher time in the Senate. LINK

The measure to give states more leeway in overseeing Head Start and allowing religious education centers to hire people based on their religion squeaked by, 217-216. LINK

Media:

Watch out, Paul Krugman: the New York Times editorial board finally did something with which everyone can agree: they appointed the excellent David Brooks to their ed board. LINK

Lloyd Grove's farewell column says he was more a careful reporter of people than a gossipist (but also asks for Gotham dirt, and mentions John Kerry's fingernails). LINK

Looking tan, rested, and ready, Lloyd appeared across from Brian Lamb this morning, and in listing the reasons for taking the new job, Lloyd didn't list the cash.

Brian Lamb: "Rumor has it they are paying you a lot of money … ."

Lloyd (with biting comeback tone): "Rumor has it they are paying YOU a lot of money … ."

You can bid him (Lloyd, not Brian) farewell at 11 a.m. ET. LINK

Anne Schroeder, some Reliable Sources say, remains the frontrunner to replace him (again: Lloyd, not Brian).

Or, at least, she should be.