The Note: Jeff Greenfield's "Compulsory Topic"

President Bush meets with Nigerian President at 9:30 am ET; he delivers remarks to a Freedom House meeting at 12:50 pm ET; and he departs for Cancun, Mexico at 4:10 pm ET. Just in time for this morning's meeting, the Nigerian police have announced that Charles Taylor has been arrested at Nigeria's southern border with Cameroon.

Vice President Cheney is expected to make remarks at the 62nd Annual Radio-Television Correspondents' Association dinner in Washington, DC this evening.

Jack Abramoff's finds out today whether his pleas for leniency will be heeded. But he won't be going to prison immediately and could win future sentence reductions by cooperating in a Washington corruption investigation, the AP's Curt Anderson reports. LINK

After an hour of morning business beginning, the Senate resumes consideration of lobbying and ethics overhaul legislation (S 2349) at 10:30 am ET. Roll call votes are expected in the afternoon.

The House meets to consider the College Access and Opportunity Act of 2005 and the Online Freedom of Speech Act at 10:00 am ET.

Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) discusses "A Better Bargain: Overhauling Teacher Collective Bargaining for the 21sst Century" at 2:15 pm ET at the American Enterprise Institute.

Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-A) attends the GOP Lincoln-Reagan dinner in Manchester, NH.

Karen Hughes speaks at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy in Houston, TX.

The US Chamber of Commerce holds a discussion with Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL) on comprehensive immigration reform at 9:30 am ET in Washington, DC.

Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta holds a 10:00 am ET press conference to announce new fuel standards for sport utility vehicles, light trucks, and minivans in Baltimore, MD.

RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman keynotes the Pueblo Lincoln Day Dinner in Pueblo, CO this evening.

"Real Plans for Real People":

Without any levers of power to pull to actually affect policy and prove their mettle, Democrats might be in a position to hope Americans are disaffected enough by President Bush's policies to succeed at simply stating as fact that they can keep Americans safer.

According to excerpts of their planned remarks cunningly obtained by ABC News, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) are expected to cast the Democratic approach as tough, strong, and smart.

"Democrats understand that nothing we do is more important than protecting our country," Sen. Reid is expected to say. "We're all uniting behind a national security agenda that is tough and smart, an agenda that will provide the real security George Bush has promised but failed to deliver."

Rep. Pelosi is expected to say: "Today, Democrats have set forth an agenda that offers a new direction, one that is strong and smart, which understands the challenges America faces in a post 9/11 world, and one that demonstrates that Democrats are the party of real national security."

And Republicans are not wasting a moment in their somewhat defensive but typically aggressive response.

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