The Note: Pick Your Poisoned Apple

Surveillance politics:

What if USA Today was wrong, The Note asks innocently?

The Los Angeles Times takes Note of the "ancillary benefits" to Republicans of expanding the briefings: "[S]enior congressional aides said that because of the rules of handling classified information, members who are briefed will likely have to be more circumspect in their public discussions of it, blunting their ability to criticize it." LINK

"'When they know about it, they are obligated to be quiet,' said one senior Republican Senate aide."

The Washington Post on the same: LINK

Verizon jumps on the Bell South band wagon, USA Today reports. LINK

The Washington Post's Arshad Mohammed tries to make heads or tails out of yesterday's confusing Verizon press release. LINK

Fitzgerald investigation:

The Washington Post's Jeffrey Smith on the New York Times and Time mgazine agreeing to turn over reporters' notebooks to the judge in the Scooter Libby trial. LINK

Politics of Medicare:

The Washington Post's Amy Goldstein and Shailagh Murray write of the Administration's use of "superlatives" in discussing the Medicare prescription drug program's 90 percent signup rate. LINK

But the Los Angeles Times says the balloons and self-congratulations may be coming too soon: "3 million low-income seniors who could benefit most from its subsidies remained on the sidelines," Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar reports. LINK

Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa and Democratic Senator Max Baucus (D-MO) push for legislation that would scratch the Monday Medicare deadline for seniors. LINK

Big Casino budget politics:

The Hll's Patrick O'Connor reports on congressional budget movement. LINK

Mollohan:

The New York Times continues its comprehensive work on Rep. Allan Mollohan's (D-WV) finances with a look at his condo rental management business in Washington, DC with a distant and bankrupt cousin of his. LINK

Tony Snow era:

USA Today on Tony Snow's emotional debut. LINK

The Washington Post's Dana Milbank, like much of the rest of the press corps, rates Snow's first briefing a "boffo debut." LINK

The New York Times' Alessandra Stanley ledes her review of Snow's first day at the podium with his unfortunate use of "tar baby," but mostly gives him good marks. LINK

Politics of the cloakroom:

During Tuesday's New Orleans mayoral debate between incumbent Mayor Ray Nagin (D) and Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu (D-LA), the candidates were asked about Sen. Clinton's 2008 prospects.

In an answer that might make things uncomfortable for his sister, Lt. Gov. Landrieu blurted out, "Not going to make it."

Mayor Nagin, by contrast, suggested that Sen. Clinton has "got a shot" and said he would choose the former First Lady over the Republican presidential frontrunner, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).

Nagin said he's always been impressed by the former First Lady whom he described as having a "good presence."

"She's a bit controversial," Nagin added. "But I like that."

New Orleans:

In the debate, "Nagin spent the better part of the hour long debate defending his actions" while Landrieu argued that the city has made "little progress in the nine months since Katrina hit," reports MSNBC's Huma Zaidi. LINK

Brian Thevenot of the Times Picayune writes that both candidates seemed to align with one another in the face of co-moderators who jabbed at both politicians. LINK

The AP reports that Mayor Nagin labeled his opponent as "old city politics." LINK

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