The Note: Sprint to November

9. Remember your boss: It's their ass, not yours, if you screw up (and then it really will be your ass).

8. Reading your name in the press is not necessarily a good thing for the boss. (Note to JB, write this one on your hand or something.)

7. Humor is good, but make sure It's funny. Ask Ron Bonjean.

6. The aroma of desperation is obvious to everyone, PULEEZE don't jump the shark, or the couch, your age or cultural frame of reference as the case may be.

5. When you have made your point, shut up. (In my book, there is a picture of Howard Dean next to this reference.)

4 There is no substitute for defeat in the shaping of good skills. Ask Mike Meehan.

3. Humility is crucial. Someone or some story comes along and crushes everyone, eventually.

2. Respect your opponent. They make your job worth doing. Besides, this is America, you're supposed to have an opponent.

1. Respect the majority. Believe me, its really hard electing enough people to get you your job back.

Good luck everybody and props to The Note for keeping it real.

Lobbying reform:

The Washington Post's Jonathan Weisman and Charles R. Babcock report on the possible corruption of "special interest funding," that seems to flood Congress. The Washington Post reports "these relationships have coincided with the rapid growth in the volume of home-state pork-barrel projects, commonly called earmarks, that have swelled appropriations bills in recent year." LINK

Big Casino budget politics:

"The latest Congressional Budget Office data also suggest President Bush is unlikely to be able to keep his promise to cut the federal deficit in half by the end of his term," reports the Associated Press. LINK

Republican Sens. John McCain and Tom Coburn sent a letter to their colleagues on Wednesday night announcing they will use Senate rules to force members to vote on the line-item projects members of Congress insert into spending bills to benefit their districts. LINK

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal's Jackie Calmes, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Judd Gregg says he will use his budget-writing post to press Congress to reduce the costs of entitlement programs. "But the political difficulty is illustrated by the fact that the House and Senate haven't finished a deficit-reduction bill left over from last year . . ."

The Fitzgerald investigation:

Scooter Libby's attorneys asked a federal judge "to compel prosecutors to turn over all information obtained from journalists and news organizations about former" CIA "operative Valerie Plame," the Wall Street Journal's Anne Marie Squeo reports.

The New York Times on the same. LINK

The Washington Post: LINK

Politics of Iran:

David Sanger and Elaine Sciolino of the New York Times on the President's support for the Russian proposal to fully control and implement an Iranian civilian nuclear fuel program: "Mr. Bush's explicit public endorsement puts all of the major powers on record supporting the proposal, even as most acknowledge that it is a significant concession to Iran and runs the risk that the country will drag out the negotiations while continuing to produce nuclear material. Yet officials say they believe it is the best face-saving strategy to pursue a negotiated settlement with Iran." LINK

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