The Note: Getting the Worm

Per the Washington Post's Dan Balz, Sen. Kerry has set yet another deadline, this time in his plan for energy independence, which includes mandates to reduce U.S. oil consumption by 2.5 million barrels a day by 2015. The Massachusetts Senator also set out a goal to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and other greenhouse gases by 65 percent in 44 years. LINK

Republican National Committee spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt wryly told the AP that one should expect that Sen. Kerry's three-step energy plan to free Americans from dependence on foreign oil would gather as much Democratic support as his recent Iraq legislation, writes the Boston Globe's Shawntaye Hopkins. LINK

The Associated Press' Frederic Frommer reports Republicans' glee over the very public coupling of Sens. Kerry and Russ Feingold over the war in Iraq. "Whether it's John Kerry's indecisiveness or Russ Feingold's extremism, Democrats across the board support an approach that results in surrendering to our enemy," said Ann Marie Hauser, a spokeswoman for the RNC. "But as 2008 looms, it is interesting to watch these two senators trip over each other as they rush to the far left of their party." LINK

Clintons of Chappaqua:

Per the Union Leader, former President Clinton travels to New Hampshire today for the first time since he signed copies of "My Life." LINK

DeLay:

The Houston Chronicle's Janet Elliott reports that a federal judge yesterday said he believes former House Majority Leader Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) withdrew from the November election, which could portend trouble for Republicans to name a replacement candidate. The judge also said that if political parties can sub more popular candidates for primary winners, "The abuse would be incredible." LINK

DeLay also testified that he lives and votes in Virginia -- not Texas -- and is therefore ineligible for the ballot in November. LINK

Murtha:

Although Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) agreed to quit openly campaigning for the position of Majority Leader (in the event of a Democratic sweep in November) exactly two weeks ago, Steve Kornacki of Roll Call reports that the senior Appropriations Committee member and Iraq critic's battle against Minority Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) continues to rage underground. Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-CA) questioned how covert Rep. Murtha's campaign really is: '"You have people talking to other people, but you're not campaigning? What does that mean?'" LINK

The Schwarzenegger Era:

Gov. Schwarzenegger called for a special legislative session on the California corrections system yesterday and declared an immediate need for the construction of more prisons. The Los Angeles Times has the story. LINK

Washington Post on the same: LINK

SCOTUS rejects campaign limits in Vermont case:

Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell reacted to Monday's Supreme Court ruling by telling ABC News that he was "more disappointed than surprised."

With Justice O'Connor's recent replacement by Justice Alito, Sorrell said the State of Vermont knew that it wouldn't be easy to find a fifth vote to uphold the state's strict contribution limits.

Sorrell was surprised, however, by the magnitude of the loss.

"What was surprising," said Sorrell, "is that we didn't pick up Justice Breyer's vote. We assumed wrongly that we were going to get Justice Breyer's vote."

Justice Breyer joined today's 6-3 majority striking down Vermont's campaign finance law.

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