The Note: Touching a Nerve

Even More Milbank: "Feingold . . . said he wasn't motivated by politics. But then he slipped. 'If there's any Democrat out there woul can't say . . . the president has nor right to make up his own laws, I don't know if that Democrat really is the right candidate,' he said of his likely primary opponents."

As if on cue, Bloomberg News has the DLC's Marshall Wittman condemning Feingold's censure resolution. LINK

"The Republicans couldn't contain their glee over an attempt to censure the president for being overly zealous in defending the country against al-Qaeda… This resolution was the only good news for Republicans in weeks."

The Washington Post's Shailagh Murray reviews Sen. Russ Feingold's history as an "anti-establishment maverick" while contemplating whether Senate Republicans are right in sensing that "Feingold overplayed his hand" in demanding the censure of President Bush. LINK

Like a dog with a chewing toy, RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman is not letting go of Feingold's censure. Today he sent an email to supporters signed up on gop.com stating, "Weakening our national security is their agenda. Is it yours?"

More Mehlman: "Democrat leaders never miss an opportunity to put politics before our nation's security. And now, they would rather censure the President for doing his job than actually fight the War on Terror. It's what the MoveOn.org wing of their party wants, and now, it's their agenda - from the top of the ticket on down."

The Boston Globe reports that three Bay State members of Congress will support Rep. John Conyers' (D-MI) bill to investigate and possibly impeach President Bush, but Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), says he will not be one of them. LINK

Medicare:

Advocates for African-Americans yesterday lobbied black Democratic lawmakers to "put politics aside and work harder to enroll seniors in the Medicare prescription drug plan," per the Washington Times. LINK

"Democrats have opposed and denounced the Medicare drug plan since 2003, but that has put black politicians, mostly Democrats, at odds with many of their senior constituents, who are not only confused by the plan but also by the message from their representatives."

While Noting that the President traveled to upstate New York yesterday to reassure the public of the soundness of the new Medicare prescription drug benefit, Michael Fletcher's Washington Post writethru of the speech is dominated by continued discussion of the administrative problems with the huge new program. LINK

Big Casino budget politics:

Carl Hulse of the New York Times writes up the 50-50 failed vote on enacting "pay-go" rules to the budget process. Hulse goes on to report that Vice President Cheney may be needed to cast a tie-breaking vote on the final budget resolution. LINK

The Senate will likely approve an increase in the debt ceiling later this week, predicts the Los Angeles Times' Joel Havemann. LINK

The Wall Street Journal reports that, in a written Q&A with the Senate Banking Committee, new Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke expressed serious concern about the growing budget deficit and seemed to be, by Grover standards, a bit of a sqish on tax increases.

Bernanke wrote that "the prospective increase in the budget deficit will place at risk future living standards of our country."

The Moussaoui Case:

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