The Note

"There is still a lot of construction around The Silver — restaurants, shops, more movie theaters."

When will it be done?

"It will be done in the next 18 months."

Traffic, commercialization--the problems typically associated with this kind of development--are they being managed?

"The development was welcomed. People wanted to come to their own town not Bethesda."

Part of the cynicism about public officials is that something like this is done to appeal to their current constituents and to potential constituencies. We think that's the point of politics. Is the record you've built in Silver Spring and throughout Montgomery County the kind of thing you think you can use to run for governor?

"(Laughter). I think it's a model for anyone. I will tell it until the day I die. People now leave their homes in Chevy Chase and go east toward Silver Spring instead of west toward Bethesda."

Are you interested in being governor of Maryland? Is your record worthy?

"(Laughter). The record in Silver Spring and throughout Montgomery County is clearly a good record if I were to choose to run for governor."

Politics: The Washington Post ed board beats the Westar drum. LINK Relatedly, "A group with Democratic ties is filing complaints against Rep. Billy Tauzin of Louisiana and Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama, saying they may have solicited campaign donations from a utility in exchange for legislative assistance. Both men deny soliciting the donations or providing any help," reports the AP's Pete Yost. LINK Complete with handsome dot drawing, the Wall Street Journal puts on the front page a piece about Note sidekick K.B. "No Relation" Forbes (whose work for the Pats — Buchanan and Rooney — and his namesake presidential candidate has brought him in and out of our lives).

K.B. is using his PR skills to get hospitals to not overcharge the poor and uninsured for medical care, and he is focusing on Hispanics.

Muy bien, El Gordito!

The Associated Press reports on last night's soiree, saying, "President Bush and members of Congress set aside their legislative battles for an evening and feasted on barbecue Wednesday on the South Lawn." LINK Note Note: Is it really a barbecue if there's no actual barbecue served? The Note thinks this was really a "cook-out."

Here's what they chowed on, as provided by the White House:

"Potato Salad Marinated Cole Slaw Sliced Tomato and Avocado Salad with Jalapeno Dressing Green Bean and Spinach Salad with Bacon-Ranch Dressing Deviled Eggs Fried Chicken Hot Dogs Corn Pudding Ranch-Style Pinto Beans Strawberries and Crème Vanilla Ice Cream Pound Cake Chocolate Chip Cookies Wine and Seasonal Beers"

The AP's Will Lester reports, "The Democratic National Committee is taking steps to ease tensions with the Congressional Black Caucus after members of the group were angered by the party's minority hiring." LINK

National security politics: For the life of us, we can't figure out to what this New York Times headline is referring, but Begala and Carville will think it a cruel, all-too-true catch all: "A Democrat Is Loath to Seem Partisan on White House Handling of Iraq Intelligence." LINK Rush Limbaugh (and, perhaps, a researcher/ghost writer) use a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece to ask Senator Carl Levin what he knew and when he knew it about WsMD. uses a full-page New York Times ad (A17 in DC editions) to try to raise money off of WsMD questions.

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