The Note: Capital Expenditure

The Washington Post's Robert Samuelson doesn't seem to like guest worker plans being pushed by President Bush, or Sens. McCain and Kennedy, because he thinks such programs represent a "conscious policy of creating poverty in the United States while relieving it in Mexico." LINK

The politics of stem cells:

Bloomberg's William Roberts reports that Senate Democrats are planning to force a debate on the issue of stem cell research while Republicans are planning their own debate over bioethics in an effort to "limit the damage from letting stem cells become 'a wedge issue that divides Republicans,' in the words of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN). LINK

Lobbying reform:

In a story looking at the efforts DC restaurants are making to persuade Congress not to enact a meal ban, the Los Angeles Times' Faye Fiore writes that the three positions "with the most sway over Congress, it can be argued, are majority leader of the Senate, speaker of the House and maitre d' of the Palm." LINK

(If we agree, can we get a better table next time?)

Abramoff:

Matt Taibi offers an in-depth Abramoff profile in the current issue of Rolling Stone, but it is his sidebar on disguising himself as a lobbyist and attending a Conrad Burns birthday fundraiser that is the must-read. Be sure to check them both out.

Politics of energy:

The New York Times' Thomas Friedman on the emerging "split" among conservatives on the issue of energy independence: LINK

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Bush Administration is considering applying tougher fuel-economy standards to the largest SUVs on the road. Hit hardest would be GM, which produces three of the four vehicles in question.

A Page One story in the Wall Street Journal asks whether Greenpeace was audited at the urging of its nemesis, ExxonMobil.

Politics of national security:

The Washington Times continues its reporting on the Reid memo urging Democrats to incorporate military imagery into their public events. Sens. Allen and Dole and Boehner spokesman Kevin Madden all get a whack at the piñata while Jim Manley plays defense. LINK

New Orleans mayoral election:

The Rev. Jesse Jackson is touring Southern cities this week to rally opposition to the upcoming mayoral election in New Orleans, saying too many Katrina victims scattered around the country will be unable to vote, the AP's Errin Haines reports. LINK

2006:

Tuesday's edition of Nightline aired a John Donvan interview with Rep. Katherine Harris (R-FL) that included a short pop quiz.

DONVAN: "And then -- only because Harris had told me she felt quite well versed in foreign affairs -- with a master's degree from Harvard -- I ran a short pop quiz."

DONVAN: "Okay, who is the leader of China?"

DONVAN: "And no . . . she didn't know . . . that's Hu JinTao . . . who has held the job for two years . . . though she did name his predecessor . . . Jiang Zamin . . . and in truth . . . I asked several big time Washington journalists the same question . . . and only one of them got the right answer."

Florida's former secretary of state also discussed the $10 million she is spending on her Senate run, the Republican establishment's tepid support for her, flag burning, sexual predators, completing the job in Iraq, and abortion. LINK

You may recall that among the Valentine's Day "gifts" the DCCC delivered to its Republican counterparts at the NRCC was a "bucket of change to give them an idea of what's coming." LINK

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