The Note: Behind the Locked Double Doors

More Brownstein: "Although Democrats may be split on Murtha's specific proposal, his call for a clear break from Bush's policy is likely to strengthen those who want the party to offer concrete alternatives, many observers believe."

And he concluded thusly: "It's not clear how many other Democrats will reach so far in the weeks ahead. But in both parties there seems little doubt that Murtha has pointed the direction his party is heading."

Jim Hoagland curtain raised "Act 3 of the American experience in Iraq" for Sunday's Washington Post, with reporting, if true, that will blow your mind (unless you have been paying close attention and knew all this already). LINK

Hoagland included these nuggets: "U.S. military commanders are composing their own scenarios that point to a drawdown of 30,000 to 40,000 American troops -- from a current force of about 140,000 -- that will begin before the midterm elections. In private White House meetings Bush has hinted at numbers of that magnitude and roughly corresponding cuts in foreign coalition troops, authoritative sources tell me. Italy's coalition government, facing elections in April, will begin discussions with Washington this week on withdrawing 10 percent or so of Italy's 3,000 troops in Iraq this winter."

Also be sure to Note the object lesson in photo editing provided on today's Washington Post and New York Times front pages.

As for your political cycle B developments. . .

Michael Scanlon, former press secretary for Congressman Tom DeLay and business partner of Jack Abramoff, is scheduled to be arraigned by Judge Ellen Huvell at the US District Court in Washington, DC at 4:00 pm ET.

Bob Woodward is scheduled to appear on CNN's "Larry King Live" at 9:00 pm ET.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) goes all out for George Wallace Jr. in Alabama today. The Arizona Senator attends breakfast, lunch, and afternoon fundraisers for Wallace who is in a contested Republican primary for lieutenant governor of Alabama. McCain also holds a book signing at the Books a Million in Huntsville, AL and appears on "The Tony Danza Show."

Judicial Watch holds a 12:30 pm ET National Press Club discussion of conservative perspectives on the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Samuel Alito with Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch, Manuel Miranda of the Third Branch Conference, and Jan LaRue of Concerned Women of America.

Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) is in Rye Brook, NY today where she is scheduled to hold a 10:15 am ET press conference on flu vaccines and speaks to the Business Council of Westchester at noon ET.

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) discusses her new novel, "A Time to Run," at Politics and Prose in Washington, DC at 7:00 pm ET.

Gov. Phil Bredesen (D-TN) turns 62 years old today.

Tomorrow, Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) returns to court at 10:00 am ET for a pre-trial hearing. DeLay's lawyer will argue to Judge Pat Priest (D) that the actions in question were not crimes in 2002 when they allegedly occurred.

Both the House and Senate stand in recess for the remainder of the week -- as will The Note.

Today will be our final installment of The Note this week, but we'll be back next Monday November 28 just as your L-Tryptophan-induced lethargy is wearing off. We give you hearty and heartfelt thanks for your readership.

Politics of Iraq:

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