The Note: Mystery Training

Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) hosts Sen. Reid (D-NV) when he visits Hope, AR at 4:30 pm ET where "thousands of manufactured homes built for hurricane evacuees in Louisiana and Mississippi continue to sit on the airport's tarmac and nearby pastures, and have become a symbol of FEMA's ineptitude." Sen. Pryor is encouraging Sen. Reid to support the "Hope Housing Act," which he introduced in the Senate to waive FEMA's restriction to move these temporary homes into a flood plain." LINK

Sen. Reid then heads to Austin, TX where he will discuss national security issues and why Republican "incompetence" has made our homeland "less safe." He will be joined by Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) and others who will highlight Republican failures, from Hurricane Katrina to port security.

If your intern goes missing around 11:30 am ET, check Longworth 1539. Jessica Simpson, Operation Smile's International Youth Ambassador, is joining Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) and Operation Smile CEO Bill Magee, Jr., at a Capitol Hill press conference.

To set the stage for November's showdown between Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) and former Rep. Nick Lampson (D-TX), DCCC Executive Director John Lapp hosts an on-line chat at 10:00 am ET. LINK

Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) is bringing his trademark listening sessions to the Web at 10:30 am ET today. LINK

Gov. Tom Vilsack (D-IA) embarks on a nine-day trip to India with an Iowa delegation.

Today and tomorrow, the nation's presidential libraries and the National Archives will host an unprecedented two-day conference examining the history of the Vietnam War and the American presidency. The conference will be held at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston. Among the many participants are former President Jimmy Carter, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE), Ted Sorensen, Gen. Wesley Clark, and David Halberstam.

Be sure to tune into "This Week" on Sunday when George Stephanopoulos will interview Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI).

And a happy birthday from The Note to one of America's finest political reporters, Bill Nichols of USA Today. Bill's first-class campaign work has sometimes overshadowed his golf, music, and foreign policy writing. But nothing -- NOTHING -- tops his piece from December of last year, in which he wrote about a TV classic, with this editor's Note: "USA TODAY reporter Bill Nichols first watched A Charlie Brown Christmas on Dec. 9, 1965. He was 7. This Thanksgiving, he watched a tape of it with his son, Charlie, 3, for the first time." If you missed the story then, here's your chance to read it now -- before wishing Bill a happy day. LINK


On "Good Morning America," ABC's Claire Shipman said today's cattle call in Memphis comes at an "extremely turbulent time for Republicans." She said the gathering will give a "sense of direction about where the party is headed" and it will be an important test of strength as these contenders all jockey for position."

"President Bush won't be there," Shipman continued, "but he will be the focus. There is enormous party frustration over everything from the port deal to government spending to his plummeting poll numbers."

"Early presidential polls make John McCain the pack leader right now. But he's got a lot to prove to the conservative crowd."

She also said in her piece: "The hot name right now? Virginia Senator --and former governor -- George Allen."

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