5. Although a few of today's accounts juxtapose the new/current version of what happened with some of Dr. Rice's past statements, there is more of that to come, including with things said by the president. Get those tape researchers working!
6. Democratic and media suspicions continue to dovetail, and the new/current account is going to be picked at hard in the next day or two.
7. Judge Gonzales can thank his lucky stars there is no independent counsel law on the books.
8. There seems to be some Andy Card-ordered internal investigation going on at the White House that yielded one of the two new memos, but what caused the CIA to suddenly find the one they found? And who debriefed the president (per the briefing) on all this? Has anyone debriefed the VPOTUS?
9. And speaking of questions: Does this end the monster feud between the White House and the CIA? What will the absent Dr. Rice say the next time reporters can question her?
10. When does it become "What did Dr. Rice know and when did she know it?" and if the president's National Security Adviser was a male, would the trajectory be different?
MOST IMPORTANT POLITICAL EVENTS OF THE DAY
1. The president in the Rose Garden.
2. The recall certification in Sacramento.
3. Howard Dean in New Hampshire.
4. Rudy Giuliani at the opening of the RNC.
5. (tie) David Sanger's next phone call with Dr. Rice and whatever Congressman Bill Thomas does.
MOST IMPORTANT NEWSPAPER STORIES OF THE DAY
1. Dan Balz of the Washington Post on the politics of Iraq. LINK
2. The Los Angeles Times on some new recall wrinkles. LINK
3. Harold Meyerson's Washington Post op-ed on Howard Dean, Dick Gephardt, and John Kerry. LINK
4. Ron Fournier's look at some unhappy and worried Republicans on the eve of the RNC summer meeting, who don't like the president's poll numbers or staffing. LINK
5. The San Francisco Chronicle on how California 2003 could end up like Florida 2000. LINK
MOST IMPORTANT POLITICAL DYNAMICS TO WATCH
1. Where is Andy Card?
2. How quickly does Bill Clinton do the "switch" following his "bait" of supportive comments on Niger?
3. Will anyone in the Democratic Party organize the separate outstanding presidential campaign opposition research efforts on yellowcake?
4. Will the RNC meeting be a lovefest, a non-event, or an orgy of pushback?
5. Is Senator Rockefeller's Q going up?
In California recall news today:
-- The Los Angeles Times surveyed California county elections officials who confirmed more than 1.1 million signatures have been verified, well above the threshold to get the recall measure on the ballot.
-- The Secretary of State's office officially puts the current number of verified signatures received at 678,472 or roughly 75% of the total needed. The counties face an 8:00 pm EDT deadline to submit their final totals. Secretary of State Kevin Shelley could certify the recall as early as 8:30 pm EDT today, although he more likely will wait until tomorrow.
-- Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante told reporters he will set a date for the recall election within 24 hours of certification. The timetable would most likely allow replacement candidates more than 24 hours (as some have feared) to declare their candidacies.
-- A very limited timetable for an unplanned recall election has California election officials worried about total chaos at the polls.