The Note: Nine Stories

And Note this: "Mrs. Kempthorne didn't sound too excited about moving to Washington, but said she goes there every month already for her foundation work. 'There's airplanes,' she said. 'I'm not leaving Idaho -- neither one of us are leaving Idaho completely. We can go back and forth and feel very comfortable, but Idaho is home.'"

The Idaho Statesman's Rocky Barker takes a look at the environmental policies we should expect from Gov. Dirk Kempthorne (R-ID) should he be confirmed as Interior Secretary. LINK

Dan Popkey reports that Gov. Kempthorne already has plans for term as Interior Secretary. First on the list: reforming the Endangered Species Act. LINK

Brad Hem of the Idaho Statesman on Risch: LINK

"'My understanding from Jim is he will continue to seek re-election as lieutenant governor,' Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis said."

Environmentalists have voiced opposition to the nomination of Gov. Kempthorne as Interior Secretary, saying that Kempthorne, "fought to open national forests to logging, mining, and oil and gas drilling and worked to weaken safe-water and endangered species laws," per the Chicago Tribune's Baker and Eilperin. LINK

The Los Angeles Times includes this quote from Idaho Conservation League executive director Rick Johnson: "'The ideology that he brings to the office has more to do with anti-federalism, bringing issues back down to a state level,' Johnson said. 'He's not a wing nut. Not an ideologue. He comes in wearing cowboy boots, but they are polished.'" LINK

Sen. Feingold calls for censuring President Bush:

Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) held a rare press conference on Thursday to pushback against those who have criticized his resolution to censure President Bush.

"If the right-wing really believes in this country that -- Rush Limbaugh and others -- that somehow they can turn the President's reputation around by saying, 'You're darn right he violated the law, and that's a good thing,' I think they're just as confused (about this) as they are about their Iraq politics," Sen. Feingold said, "People aren't buying it anymore."

The New York Sun on Sen. Feingold's presser. LINK

Most Democrats, afraid of alienating centrist voters, remain less than keen on Sen. Russ Feingold's (D-WI) censure proposal, Notes the Chicago Tribune's Jeff Zeleny. LINK

Over at The New Republic online, Ryan Lizza shreds Feingold's censure strategy to bits: "At the nadir of Republican disarray, Democrats somehow managed to turn the spotlight back to their divisions. So which side really cares more about holding Bush to account? Feingold and the Bush-hating hordes or the consultant-driven Democratic wimps in the Senate? It's not even a close call." LINK

More Lizza: "So the partisans on the left cheering Feingold appear to have both the policy and the politics wrong. Censure is meaningless. Changing the FISA law is the way to address Bush's overreach. And the only way for Democrats to change FISA is for them to take back the Senate. This week, Feingold's censure petition has made that goal just a little bit more difficult to achieve."

Per Marie Horrigan of Congressional Quarterly, DCCC Chairman Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) said yesterday voters will be looking for Democrats to bring "change" in the 2006 elections. Emanuel also said he didn't want to spend time on the censure issue, but disclaimed, "I can only speak for this Democrat." LINK

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