The Note: The Owl Flies West (?)

Some states are taking issue with the calculations used by the federal government to charge the states billions of dollars to help finance the new Medicare prescription drug benefit, reports the New York Times' Robert Pear. LINK

House of Labor:

The Los Angeles Times takes a thorough look at the declining leverage of U.S. workers in a global economy.

"The forces affecting Delphi and GM workers are extreme versions of what's occurring across the American labor market, where such economic risks as unemployment and health costs once broadly shared by business and government are being shifted directly onto the backs of American working families." LINK

Dean's Democrats:

DNC Chairman Howard Dean did not endorse a candidate in the Mexican presidential contest, but did criticize the Bush Administration's policies on Mexico, reports the AP. LINK

The economy:

Per the Wall Street Journal's Greg Ip, Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan said yesterday that high oil prices will be a drag on the global economy, but they will also speed the shift to alternative energy sources.

The Wall Street Journal ed board calls on Republicans to start telling voters that a major cause of high energy prices are limits on oil and gas exploration and production.

DeLay:

Tom DeLay rejected a plea bargain before he was indicted last month, according to his lawyer, who has filed new motions to dismiss the felony charges against the former House Majority Leader. LINK

With Rep. DeLay scheduled to make his first court appearance on Friday, the Nation's Newspaper details "his hardball politics, envelope-pushing fundraising and building of Republican dominance," and the charge that he enjoys "playing in the gray areas, and occasionally stepping over the line." LINK

With DeLay set to make his first appearance before a Texas judge on Friday, Roll Call's John Bresnahan chronicles the ways in which the former House Majority Leader is turning up the heat on Ronnie Earle.

Ethics:

In a lengthy A1 story, the Washington Post's Grimaldi and Schmidt report that lobbyist Jack Abramoff and House Administration Committee Chair Bob Ney (R-OH) -- the man known to his colleagues as the mayor of the Capitol Hill -- have had a "long-standing relationship" that has "intersected at several points," including the sale of a Florida gambling cruise ship line, the effort of the Tigua Indian tribe to reopen its casino in Texas, and a bid by an Israeli telecommunications company to install antennas for cellular phone access in House buildings." LINK

Brian Walsh, Ney's spokesman, tells ABC News: "Today's story in the Washington Post reads like a cross between Groundhog Day and the National Enquirer. On the one hand, it is regurgitation on top of regurgitation; while on the other hand, it is littered with deliberately deceptive and selective quotes, unsupported statements, misleading theories, and in some instances, outright falsehoods. While the Washington Post continues to drag Congressman Ney's name through the mud with outrageous stories such as this, the Congressman continues to await the opportunity to address all of these matters with the House Ethics Committee which he has been seeking to do for almost a year now."

2008: Republicans:

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