The Note: World Wide War

WASHINGTON, June 17

Between the Middle East conflict (Larry Kudlow thinks it is World War IV, Matt Drudge does not), the Shuttle, North Korea, other world events, and the Gang of 500's staggered decampment for points north, east, and west, politics would appear to be receding just a bit.

Our advice, with the POTUS in the air for much of the East Coast news cycle: Watch VPOTUS Cheney closely today.

Having been caught on a major-league open microphone expressing some frustration about the continuing violence in the Middle East toward the end of the G8 Summit, President Bush is now winging his way back to Washington, DC. The President and Mrs. Bush are scheduled to return to the White House at 3:30 pm ET. There is nothing else on the President's public schedule, but that open microphone did pick up Mr. Bush telling Tony Blair that he had to get back home because he had something to do tonight. LINK

The network and cable morning show coverage was likely just the beginning of a news cycle full of open-mic Bush coverage. Before too long, the Naperville footage and the Tucker Carlson interview will be hauled out as well, we bet.

Vice President Dick Cheney attends campaign events in Iowa. Cheney makes 1:30 pm ET remarks at a luncheon on behalf of congressional candidate Jeff Lamberti. He then speaks at a rally for the Iowa Air and Army National Guard in Johnston, IA at 2:35 pm ET. He then heads to a reception for congressional candidate Mike Whalen at 6:30 pm ET. Here's a fundraising primer on the two key congressional races from the Iowa papers. LINK and LINK

The Senate convenes this morning and considers three stem-cell bills: the "Fetus Farming Prohibition Act," the "Alternative Pluripotent Stem Cell Therapies Enhancement Act," and the "Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005." All three are expected to pass when the roll is called tomorrow, bringing about the expected first presidential veto for George W. Bush.

Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) holds a news conference to highlight successes of stem-cell research at 12:00 pm ET at the Capitol.

The AP reports on the House GOP "American Values" agenda moving forward this week with pledge-of-allegiance protection and same sex marriage ban votes planned. LINK

The NAACP continues its 97th annual "Voting our Values, Valuing our Values" convention at 8:45 am ET with remarks by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Rep. Melvin Watt (D-NC) at 9:30 am. The conference began Saturday and is scheduled to take place at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC until Thursday. See the NAACP website for a more detailed agenda of the convention: LINK

Sen. Reid then attends the Senate Democratic Policy Committee's 1:30 pm ET hearing on the Medicare "donut hole" along with fellow Sens. Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Mark Dayton (D-MN), and Jeff Bingaman (D-NM).

Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) is scheduled to discuss "The American Middle Class: Future of the Nation, Future of the Democratic Party" at an event at the National Press Club this morning at 10:00 am ET, before heading off to Des Moines, IA to deliver it again.

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