The Note: Touching a Nerve

The Los Angeles Times' Savage and Schmitt unconsciously foreshadow the upcoming politicization of the Carla Martin fiasco, writing that it represents just the latest "in a series of missteps and false starts that have beset the Bush administration's prosecution of terrorism cases." LINK

The New York Times' ed board paints the Moussaoui trial misstep as fitting into a larger Bush Administration incompetence narrative. LINK

Politics of Iraq:

Secretary Rumsfeld intimates nearly 800 troops will move from Kuwait into Iraq to bolster force strength in advance of a Shiite pilgrimage. LINK

Sen. Pat Roberts' (R-KS) progress report yesterday on the Senate Intelligence Committee's investigation of pre-war intelligence problems drew "muted optimism" from Democrats, per the Los Angeles Times' Maura Reynolds. LINK

Bush Administration agenda:

Read this one paragraph from David Sanger's New York Times story on the President's Rochester-area push for his Medicare prescription drug program. LINK

"In an echo of speeches conceding errors in the responses to Hurricane Katrina and the Iraq reconstruction, and in which he insisted that the problems were being resolved, Mr. Bush told a group of pharmacists and Medicare participants here that he had expected that the program would have a rocky start."

Joseph Spector of the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle has the local angle on the President's visit. LINK

In his New York Post column, Dick Morris offers some unsolicited advice to the White House: Remember a permanent campaign exists and start scheduling the President on a daily campaign-like speaking schedule if you want to hang on to majorities in both chambers and define your legacy. LINK

A USA Today analysis finds a record increase in the number of Americans receiving aid from federal programs like Medicaid and food stamps. LINK

Katherine Harris:

Adam Smith and Anita Kumar of the St. Petersburg Times discuss Katherine Harris' (R-FL) change of plans about the announcement (which will now be televised instead of being fed to Florida reporters) and suggest that the "major announcement" might involve campaign finances, not a withdrawal from the race – even if as of yesterday, pollster Ed Goeas, a chief campaign advisor, has called it quits. LINK

Bill Rufty of the Ledger picks up on the two major rumors about the Harris announcement: that Harris will stay in the race and "loan herself a considerable amount of money," and that the announcement will be televised. LINK

Larry Wheeler of the News-Press Notes some possibilities for the "major announcement": "She's remaining in the race; she's resigning her House seat to concentrate on the Senate campaign; she will be self-financing some or all of the remainder of her candidacy." LINK

Port politics:

Sens. Reid and Schumer aren't convinced that DP World will retract its bid to operate US ports and are still threatening legislation to permanently block the deal, reports Roll Call's Emily Pierce.

While addressing the American Medical Association on Tuesday, DNC Chairman Howard Dean seized on an AP report indicating that DP World has no immediate plans to sell its US subsidiary's interests at Miami's seaport. LINK

"We need some straight answers," said Dean.

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