The Note: Nine Stories

The Los Angeles Times' Schmitt writes up the first meeting of the White House civil liberties panel, which Lanny Davis (the sole Democratic member of the panel) seems to believe might have some teeth. LINK

Politics of Katrina:

The supplemental that passed the House yesterday included the $4.2 billion in hurricane relief aid the Administration and Louisiana officials had sought. Make sure you read all the way to the end for Rep. Melancon's (D-LA) kicker quote that is sure to get the attention of Tony Perkins. LINK

The Washington Times reports on the status of the New Orleans elections next month. LINK


The Wall Street Journal's "Washington Wire" by John Harwood drills down on the latest NBC/WSJ poll numbers and includes one headline that will make DCCC Chairman Rahm Emanuel smile almost as much as a UTA and Endeavor merger: "Democrats enjoy favorable issue terrain for midterm elections" LINK

Speaking of Emanuel, the DCCC Chair has taken a lot of heat for having said "at the right time we will have a position" on the war.

At yesterday's pen-and-pad briefing, NRCC Chairman Tom Reynolds (R-NY) approached Rahmian levels of evasiveness when asked about permanent bases in Iraq.

After Chairman Reynolds invoked Jack Kemp's name while answering one reporter's question, the NRCC chairman was asked by ABC News if he agreed or disagreed with his friend and former colleague who has said in recent television interviews that he thinks the United States should announce "unambiguously" that it has no intention to keep permanent military bases in the Iraqi nation.

Kemp has also said during his recent round of television interviews to promote work that he and John Edwards have done for the Council on Foreign Relations that he thinks the U.S. should address concerns that it is in Iraq for oil by agreeing not to stay in Iraq beyond a "date certain" which Kemp has suggested should come at the end of 2008 or the beginning of 2009.

Rep. Reynolds said Kemp was "a great football player" and an "elder statesman" in the Republican Party who is "entitled to his opinion."

When pressed to answer whether he disagrees with the Republican Party's 1996 vice presidential nominee, Rep. Reynolds let his reference to Kemp's gridiron talents stand.

In his National Journal column, Charlie Cook looks at the midterm election through his macro lens and does the 1994 vs. 2006 data comparison.

"By almost every relevant measurement, national polls indicate that Republicans are at least as bad off as Democrats were at this point in 1994, before suffering devastating midterm losses," writes Cook.

Per Rachel Kapochunas of Congressional Quarterly, Chairman Reynolds, unafraid of Democratic challenges, said yesterday that the NRCC was well-funded and organized while the Democrats don't have the agenda or the candidates to make an impact in 2006. LINK

If watching the mayor of Newark, NJ ride his bicycle around City Hall in a tank top to deliver petitions at the filing deadline for the May 9 election is your thing, you should click here: LINK

If you aren't yet familiar with just how entertaining and fascinating Newark mayoral elections can be, be sure to check out Marshall Curry's Oscar-nominated film, "Street Fight," about the 2002 campaign. The movie is set to open in Washington, DC today.

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