The Note: Sprint to November

Third, pound the ball on the ground by showing that it is Democrats who will stand up for the truth and move us forward: Let's stand for something that actually matters to people in a way that will brand the party as truly being the party of reform for the middle class. We need to appreciate that we are not in power and have no obligation to put out proposals that can be immediately implemented. Let's keep it simple and identify three truly BIG ideas that will communicate to voters that we actually want to do something to make their lives better. Here is a halftime snack of a pu-pu platter of ideas to choose from: let's have tax reform that eliminates taxes for those making $50,000 or less and reduce forms to one page (front and back); let's clean up Congress by putting in place actual term limits; let's immediately impose sanctions on Iran and keep all options on the table; let's have an energy plan that makes the U.S. independent from the Middle East in ten years; let's have a sin tax on the porn industry that pays for college for every kid in America that gets a B average; let's create a string of high tech universities and colleges to meet the challenges of the flat world; let's establish a national 401(k) (thanks, Gene).

Finally, let's show our commitment to the importance of faith in public life by praying for additional Republican incumbent retirements. Because without more of those, we will remain the minority party, no matter what happens.

This is the playbook. Now go follow it!

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Having read and digested his party's strategy memo over a glass of orange juice, President Bush has a 9:30 am ET meeting with the Senate Republican Conference, an 11:10 am ET meeting with Saad Hariri, a Member of the Lebanese Parliament, and an interview with CBS' Bob Schieffer, which is slated to air on the Evening News and on Face the Nation.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) has filed for cloture to end debate on Samuel Alito's Supreme Court nomination. ABC News' Liz Marlantes reports that the cloture vote will be at 4:30 pm ET on Monday with a final vote coming at 11:00 am ET on Tuesday, with the slight catch that the two leaders could still "vitiate" -- or agree to a change in the schedule. Alito met with Sen. Kent Conrad at 9:00 am ET (D-ND) and he meets with Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) at 10:15 am ET.

NRCC Chairman Tom Reynolds (R-NY) holds a "pen and pad" briefing to discuss the midterm elections at 10:30 am ET at NRCC headquarters in Washington, DC.

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) address the US Conference of Mayors at 9:30 am ET. Sen. Reid will criticize Republicans in Washington for cutting "17,000 personnel from the National Guard," not cooperating with the Katrina investigation, and for not adequately funding homeland security.

Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) is in the Pacific Northwest today. The former First Lady is the special guest at a 3:00 pm ET fundraiser for Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) in Seattle, WA. Sen. Clinton will raise money for her own re-election campaign in Portland, OR at 9:30 pm ET. She will be introduced at her fundraiser by Gov. Ted Kulongoski (D-OR). In addition to the money events, she joins Sen. Cantwell at "Seattle Biodiesel" to call for increased federal investment in alternative fuels to match the efforts already underway at the local level.

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