The Party of National Insecurity


The Democrats have cleverly lulled the Republicans into a false sense of confidence for the midterm election.

Based on the results in 2002 and 2004, on Terry McAuliffe's eye rolls at bipartisan social gatherings, and on what gets written in The Note, Republicans believe that they can hold their Senate and House majorities by playing the national security card from the top and bottom of the deck in the July-August-September-October-November window and ride that to victory.

But over the weekend, ABC News was given an exclusive first-look tour of the new Democratic Party war room in the bowels of the DNC headquarters, behind a secret passageway and down some stairs. There on the wall is a sign with the party's Dean-Schumer-Emanuel-Pelosi-Soros-Sweeney-Kennedy-Clintons-Reid-approved messages:

It's Iraq, Stupid

Change Versus More of the Same

Don't Forget Human and Civil Rights

If you just look to "McLaughlin Group" alums, however, the picture remains mixed, with Freddie "The Beatle" Barnes writing in the Weekly Standard that everything's coming up roses in the Bolten era LINK, while Robert "Novakio" Novak sees the GOP whistling past the graveyard. LINK (Both are mega must reads.)

Decide for yourselves:

1. The Boston Globe's Susan Milligan reports that after losing some ground on terrorism in the spring, "Republicans are now seeking to strengthen their public image on national security by seizing on North Korea and the Supreme Court ruling, as well as the decision by several newspapers to report on an international bank surveillance program that the US government is using to track the finances of suspected terrorists." LINK

2. The New York Times reports much of the remaining legislative calendar will likely be dedicated to crafting a trial system for terrorism detainees in light of the Supreme Court's Hamdan decision. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) are expected to play leading roles on the matter in the days ahead, with Graham having the potential trickier role of avoiding intra-party division on the issue. LINK


3. Speculation will be intense today as to who leaked Chairman Peter Hoekstra's letter to the President and what Hoekstra's motives are in the wake of the New York Times reporting on Sunday about the "blunt" missive he sent President Bush on May 18, expressing concerns about the way in which the Administration had been handling briefing Congress on intelligence matters. LINK


4. With classic cover art depicting President Bush getting lost under a 10-gallong hat, Time magazine reports on "the end of Cowboy Diplomacy" and "why the Bush Doctrine no longer works for the Bush Administration." LINK

5. Tony Cordesman, an ABC News consultant, writes: "We need to be careful not to focus too much on possible US crimes in Iraq and ignore what seems to be the failure of the operation to take back control of Baghdad and bring the militias back under control. The weekend indicates that this operation has accomplished nothing that really help reestablish order in a city where even the most conservative counts indicate close to 60% of the violence in Iraq is now occurring."

"The question of whether the Mahdi militia simply lashed out or deliberately attempted to destabilize the new government is equally critical. The most important single test Maliki faces in the short run is showing he can establish order in the capital, make sure the MOI and MOD do not support Shi'ite violence, and that the militias are under control. So far, he is failing on all three counts -- along with a long-planned US effort to have Iraqi forces establish control once the new government was chosen."

6. David Sanger's must-read news analysis in the New York Times continues to explore the strategy shift from preemption to patience. LINK

Mr. Patient, President Bush, meets with Janez Jansa, the prime minister of Slovenia, at 10:00 am ET, he attends the swearing-in ceremony for Hank Paulson, the new Secretary of the Treasury, at 11:10 am ET, and he participates in a social dinner in honor of the Special Olympics and its founder, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, at 7:25 pm ET. Ms. Shriver turns 85 today.

Vice President Cheney delivers 12:30 pm ET remarks at a closed NRCC luncheon in Michigan. He delivers 7:00 pm ET remarks at a reception for Rep. Ron Lewis (R-KY). Rep. Lewis is being challenged by Democrat Mike Weaver, a state representative and retired Army officer, in a district that President Bush carried by 31 points in 2004.

Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) delivers 9:45 am ET remarks to ACORN's national convention at Ohio State University in Columbus, OH. Mindful of the way conservatives have used state ballot measures banning same-sex marriage to drive turnout, progressives are pushing ballot measures in six states (Montana, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, and Ohio) to raise the minimum wage, according to the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center. The federal minimum wage has languished at $5.15 minimum wage for the past nine years. If approved, the proposed constitutional amendment would increase Ohio's minimum wage from $5.15 an hour to $6.85, with adjustments made annually thereafter.

While Sen. Clinton is in Ohio, Bill Clinton is in Africa, where he is launching a sustainable development initiative and working on behalf of his foundation's HIV/AIDS project. The former president is scheduled to have dinner with African heads of state in Cape Town, South Africa.

Karl Rove rallies "grassroots supporters" at 8:30 pm ET in Parker, CO at the Wildlife Experience Museum while RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman has a full day of closed press events in both Northern and Southern California.

Starting today, Rudy Giuliani is scheduled to campaign in five states over the next three days. He is slated to raise money for Sen. Mike DeWine (R) in Cleveland, OH today. Later this week, he campaigns for Rep. Asa Hutchinson (R) in Arkansas, Judy Baar Topinka (R) in Illinois, Sen. Rick Santorum (R) and Linn Swann (R) in Pennsylvania, and Bob Ehrlich (R) in Maryland.

The immigration field hearings continue today. At 11:00 am ET in Miami, FL, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA), Sen. John Warner (R-VA), Sen. Graham, and Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL) will examine the contributions of immigrants to the United States Armed Forces at a field hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee field hearing. Gen. Peter Pace is testifying.

There are currently 33,000 green card holders and another 30,000 naturalized citizens serving in the US military, according to data Sen. Kennedy's office obtained from the Department of Defense and the US Citizenship and Immigration Services Bureau. One hundred and one have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. Immigrants make up about five percent of the US military but over history have earned more than 20 percent of the Congressional Medals of Honor.

Sen. Kennedy is expected to say that it is "an insult" when the "far right" makes the "wrong headed bumper sticker claim that the solution to our immigration problems is just to build more fences and add more border patrols."

After participating in today's immigration field hearing, Sen. McCain joins Gov. Jeb Bush (R-FL) at a (closed) Orlando fundraiser for Florida Republicans. The New York Times recently reported that supporters of Sen. McCain "made it clear in interviews that the McCain camp viewed" Jeb "as an ideal running mate for Mr. McCain." LINK

Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) stops at the Tigin Irish Pub in Stamford, CT to campaign with Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT) at 11:15 am ET.

The Senate Democratic Policy Committee holds an oversight hearing on the impact of cuts in federal funding for law enforcement programs on rising violent crime rates at 1:30 pm ET in Dirksen 192.

The Senate considers the Homeland Security Appropriations bill (the first roll call vote is expected to occur at approximately 5:30 pm ET).

The House meets to formulate a rule on the "Credit Rating Agency Duopoly Relief Act of 2006" and the "Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006."

National Intelligence Director John Negroponte delivers 1:00 pm ET remarks to the US Chamber of Commerce in Washington, DC.

Former Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) and Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) raise money for a proposed statewide minimum wage hike in Tucson and Phoenix, AZ.

Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AK) attends a news conference with Iowa Senate candidate Larry Noble and appears on the Jan Mickelson radio show, Ankeny, Des Moines, IA.

The DGA holds its summer policy meeting (read: treating donors to some MLB All-Star game action) in Pittsburgh, PA.

Time declares "the end of the Bush Doctrine":

On NBC's "Today" show, Dan Senor and James Carville did the morning show cross-talk on President Bush's foreign policy record this morning.

Senor conceded that going to war with North Korea and/or Iran may not be totally feasible at the moment, but added ". . . sending a signal, even though we can't back up with full scale military action, would certainly influence the behavior of these regimes."

James Carville on how the Democrats might use the so-called end of the Bush Doctrine to their political advantage in the midterm elections: "Santorum in Pennsylvania, DeWine in Ohio, and Talent in Missouri have completely bought into this cowboy diplomacy and completely bought into a foreign policy that is utterly failing around the world."

Per the Associated Press, Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN), the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is "now relenting from his earlier advocacy of direct negotiations." LINK

"The shots eliminated the efficacy of that," said Sen. Lugar while appearing on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos."

Per the Wall Street Journal's Greg Hitt, "The U.S. sees North Korea as a threat to global stability and is seeking ways to force the country to abandon its nuclear ambitions. But South Korea sees a potentially peaceful neighbor and is looking for ways to promote dialogue and spread capitalism, with reunification the ultimate aim."

Hoekstra's "blunt letter":

Rep. Hoekstra appeared on "Fox News Sunday," garnering coverage in the Washington Post LINK, Chicago Tribune LINK, Associated Press LINK, the New York Times LINK, and the Los Angeles Times LINK.

(We'd love to know what Porter Goss makes of all this!)

Politics of immigration:

The Miami Herald Notes that Sen. Warner's spiel in today's immigration hearing in Miami today will focus on immigrants' contributions to America's armed forces. LINK

In Sunday's Los Angeles Times, Nicholas Riccardi and Mark Z. Barabak Noted the ways in which Republican candidates "increasingly are attacking their Democratic opponents" on immigration. LINK

The Cook Political Report's Amy Walter says: "The focus in Washington has been almost exclusively on the risk among Republicans. But there are also Democrats, especially Democrats in conservative-leaning districts, who may also have to find themselves distancing themselves from the national party."

The Boston Herald's ed board looks at the way Sen. Kennedy and a bevy of Senate Republicans have countered the House's field hearings and writes: "Hey, you mess with the bull - you get the horns." LINK

Bush Administration agenda:

The New York Times' Edmund Andrews got ahead of the curve in the Sunday paper with the news that fast climbing tax revenue is projected to cut the federal deficit by $100 billion more than officials had projected six months ago. LINK

Richard Wolffe of Newsweek asks, "Has Bush turned green in his six years in office?" and explains why both environmental groups and the Bush White House say the answer is "no." LINK

Deborah Orin of the New York Post (with an assist from Mike McCurry) heaped tons of praise on Tony Snow in her Sunday story which looked at the page turning Bush Administration. LINK


Time magazine's Mike Allen and Hillary Hylton have "a source close" to former Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) saying that the former House Majority Leader is "planning an aggressive campaign to retake the House seat he quit in June if an appeals court lets stand a ruling by a federal judge last week that his name must stay on November's ballot--even though he has moved to Virginia. 'If it isn't overturned, Katy bar the door!' says a G.O.P. official. 'Guess he'll have to fire up the engines on the campaign and let 'er rip.'" LINK

In Saturday's Houston Chronicle, Kristen Mack reported that DeLay told a friendly crowd on Friday that "Democrats seeking to force him onto the November ballot 'may get exactly what they want.' After savoring a standing ovation, he quickly said the comment was not an announcement that he will seek the office he vacated last month." LINK

David M. Drucker of Roll Call details the dire implications of last week's DeLay decision for the GOP, Noting that "the ruling leaves Republicans without a candidate to campaign against the well-funded [Democratic candidate] Lampson for at least another month pending the outcome of an appeal to the 5th Circuit, and gives their prospective nominee only three months to raise money and hammer the Democrat should they win the case." LINK


The Houston Chronicle reports that residents of Laredo, TX are wondering whether Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Rep. Henry Bonilla (R-TX), or both, will ultimately represent them. LINK

George Skelton of the Los Angeles Times appears somewhat skeptical that redistricting reform is headed to the Golden State anytime soon. LINK

GOP agenda:

The AP's Laurie Kellman looks at the GOP's unexpected internal strife over its "American Values Agenda." LINK

Dr./Leader/Sen. Frist has abandoned Senate plans to remain in session in early October, aiming to give GOP colleagues as much time as possible to campaign in their home states before Election Day, Roll Call's John Stanton and Ben Pershing report.

Reuters has the unfavorable reviews of this session of Congress, including guest reviewer Dick Armey, " 'I'm not sure what this Congress has accomplished.'" In advance of this week's G-8 summit, the Wall Street Journal's Yochi J. Dreazen writes "the U.S. needs Russia more than Russia needs the U.S."

Politics of national security:

The Wall Street Journal's Greg Jaffe reports that the Army met its recruiting goal for the month of June and expects to meet their mark for July and August, ending last year talks of a possible draft. However, lower expectations and "moral waivers" have raised questions about the quality of the troops.

Politics of Iraq:

Who knew rallying support for an anti-amnesty proposal for Iraqi insurgents would be so hard among congressional Republicans? David Lightman of the Hartford Courant reports that Rep. John Larson (D-CT) is finding little camaraderie among his fellow members of Congress as his resolution languishes in the House. LINK

The Washington Times' Rowan Scarborough reports on politicians' posturing over the 500 vials of sarin gas found in Iraq. LINK

Sen. Lieberman's primary politics:

Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post has a cup o' joe with Joe and then argues that "There's more to Lieberman than his stance on the war," and that Democrats might want to put more attention on other races, such as some close House races in Connecticut. LINK and LINK



USA Today Notes the unusual Senate sponsorship of the "vehicle and fuel choice" measures, including potential 08ers Sens. Bayh, Brownback, and Clinton. LINK

2008: Republicans:

On "Good Morning America," Sen. McCain talked to ABC's Bill Weir about North Korea, hinting not so subtly that he expects China to step up its talks to Kim Jong Il, saying, "We have every right to expect China to be very, very forceful, and we should make it very clear to the Chinese that this is a defining issue to our relationship."

(It's worth Noting that during his back-to-back appearance in front of the American Legion in Richmond, VA on Saturday, Sen. George Allen (R-VA) engaged in some saber rattling towards China).

Sen. McCain also commented on a recent Rasmussen poll that has the Arizona Republican leading Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) 43 percent to 44 percent in Massachusetts should they both run. "I take it as name ID primarily," he said, "and only for junkies. I'd like to say otherwise, but it's meaningless at this point in history."

On a back-to-back appearance on CBS' Early Show, he commented on the same poll with near verbatim remarks just moments later, closing with a grin and "I've enjoyed my time in Massachusetts a great deal."

The New York Post's Orin, a stickler for methodology, writes up the Rasmussen poll. LINK

In Sunday's Washington Post, Jonathan Weisman had Grover Norquist saying, "John McCain thinks he can't be president if I'm standing here saying he's got a problem with taxes" while McCain chief of staff Mark Salter says: "Obviously, Gover is not well, It would be cruel for us to respond in kind." LINK

In his Saturday column, Bob Novak reported that "well-connected public figures" say "they have been told recently by Rudolph Giuliani that, as of now, he intends to run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008." Novak's contention that Giuliani will have to switch on abortion, gays, or guns, is madness personified. LINK

Giuliani and McCain travel to Illinois this week to campaign for Republican gubernatorial candidate Judy Baar Topinka, reports the AP. LINK

Religion may prove to be a focal issue of the 2008 presidential election, particularly for Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA), who faces growing concern from evangelicals and others for his Mormon faith according to recent polls. The State's Lee Bandy has the story. LINK

Meanwhile, a group called "Evangelicals for Mitt" writes in its "Why We Support Governor Romney" section, "Yes, Gov. Romney is a Mormon. We are not. According to the liberal media, this is an unbridgeable gap, and evangelicals will never turn out to support a faithful Mormon like Mitt Romney. As usual, the media have it wrong. And they root their error (as usual) in a fundamental misunderstanding about American evangelicals -- seeing us as ignorant and intolerant simpletons who are incapable of making sophisticated political value judgments." LINK

The Boston Herald reports that Gov. Romney will spend this week "vacationing" in New Hampshire while studying bills on the minimum wage and other matters. LINK

The Boston Globe's Sunday coverage of spending-cutting Gov. Romney's final budget: LINK

Joan Vennochi's Sunday Boston Globe column praised Gov. Romney for putting politics aside and delivering some resources for Boston to fight youth violence in the city. LINK

(Note the potential Willie Horton moment Vennochi seemed to believe Romney risked.)

Per the Des Moines Register's Tom Beaumont, Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-IA) told Iowans not to worry too much about North Korea, adding, "They are doing some saber-rattling, but their swords are very dull and very rusty." LINK

Fresh off a business trip-cum-tropical adventure in Asia, a "hopeful Huckabee," writes the Washington Times' Guy Pierce, will work this week to reinstitute an Arkansas ban on same-sex couples acting as foster parents. LINK

In Roll Call this morning, Stu Rothenberg evaluates former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's (R-GA) chances as a GOP candidate for President in 2008, concluding that they will depend on the unknown answers to two important queries: Will Gingrich actively campaign this year? and "Do Republicans want to relive 1994 or forget it?" LINK

Fred Dicker's New York Post column includes an item about the "lame-duck" Pataki who has all but "checked-out," per administration insiders. LINK

The AP on "a disparate group" of Internet gurus, political junkies" and Clinton foes pushing a Condoleezza Rice candidacy "even though President Bush's top diplomat has said repeatedly that she has no desire to be president." LINK

2008: Democrats:

In an Ohio curtain raiser that calls her the 2008 Democratic frontrunner, Jonathan Rinskind and Jack Torry of the Columbus Dispatch have one former Clinton Administration official explaining Sen. Clinton's image by saying that she "caught a lot of flak that otherwise would have been directed at her husband . . ." LINK

Sen. Clinton is holding a series of meetings with top Wall Street executives, the Financial Times' Ben White reports, in an effort to convince potential donors that she is "a free-market centrist, not the tax-and-spend, protectionist liberal some Republicans paint her to be." LINK

Or: "Senator Who Represents Wall Street Meets with Constituents." A Sunday New York Post editorial urged Sen. Clinton to "emulate" Sen. Lieberman instead of "throwing erstwhile allies under an anti-war 'peace bus. . . '" LINK

In a column written for FNC's Web site, Susan Estrich of Fox News calls Sen. Clinton's Lieberman-Lamont positioning a low-cost way to appeal to the left without compromising her push to position herself as a centrist for the general election. LINK

In Saturday's Des Moines Register, Tom Beaumont characterized John Edwards' decision to say that he will support the Democratic nominee in the Connecticut race -- rather than endorsing Sen. Lieberman -- as "more evidence of the North Carolina Democrat's effort to project himself as an anti-war populist, after himself voting for the resolution that authorized President Bush's use of force in Iraq." LINK

Newsweek's Darman looks at John Edwards (somewhat) under-the-radar approach to the 2008 presidential contest. LINK

The Columbus Dispatch's Alan Johnson reports that John Edwards "got a rollicking reception" from ACORN members over the weekend as he pushed a hike in the state's minimum wage. LINK

More on Edwards from the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Aaron Marshall. LINK

And the AP's Erica Ryan. LINK

At 1:53 am ET, we received an email from "Draft Gore," an online group founded in 2002, asking us to join them as they renew their effort to "draft Al Gore for president by being one the first people to sign this national online petition asking him to be our candidate in 2008." LINK

In an unusual move for a politician, reports Roll Call's Mary Ann Akers, Sen. Kerry lionized potential Democratic opponent Al Gore by calling him "a visionary on climate change" in a recent email to supporters.

The Hotline's Marc Ambinder reported over the weekend that the (at least) $5 million that Warner's PAC will soon announce that it has raised this cycle for Democrats "puts him in the ballpark" of Sen. Clinton, "who has raised at least $7.5 million for Democrats" and John Edwards, "who has raised at least $6.5 million" while "everyone lags Sen. John Kerry, who has raised close to $14 million." LINK

In an early wedding present to Dan Pfeiffer, the AP's Mike Glover reports that Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN), whose youthful candor, centrism, and astounding election record in a heavily Republican state make him an attractive candidate, is building an effective campaign machine and is fast making inroads in Iowa. LINK

Talking to party faithful yesterday, Sen. Bayh laid out his case for the White House by harkening his experience on the Senate Armed Services Committee and two terms as governor, suggesting they'd help him avoid "on-the-job training" in the Oval Office, reports the AP's Tim Coyne. LINK

Wisconsin's WEAU reports that in a recent poll of Democratic voters in the state of Washington, Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) came in fourth behind Clinton, Gore, and Edwards.

Clintons of Chappaqua:

In Sunday's Los Angeles Times, Jeffrey Rabin reported that Bill Clinton "thanked President Bush for siding with moderates in his own party regarding immigration" while accusing the GOP's hard-liners of "using the immigration issue to divide Congress and the nation." LINK

Without disclosing which portions of the bill he disagrees wtih, the story indicates that Clinton "said he favors the Senate's approach," while maintaining that there are "some elements of the bill he dislikes."

Yes, we Noted the great World Cup cutaway.

2006: Senate:

Robin Toner continues her New York Times series on the Pennsylvania Senate race. Today's installment looks at Sen. Santorum's battle to shed any sense that he has "gone Washington." LINK

In a Perfect Storm of a cliché, Toner slipped into her lede "fights for his political life" past an obviously dozing editor.

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) is fuming, Roll Call's Mary Ann Akers writes, at Maryland GOP Senate candidate and Lt. Governor Michael Steele's decision to showcase a photo that suggests the two politicians are on friendly, even intimate, terms. LINK

In his Sunday column, the Washington Post's David Broder asked Rep. Mark Green (R-MN), the GOP's Senate candidate in Minnesota, if he agreed with CQ's description of him as "a dedicated conservative and loyal Bush supporter." LINK

Per Broder, Kennedy "seemed surprised" before saying: 'I don't know if I'd use any of those words to describe me. . .'"

In Sunday's Los Angeles Times, columnist Steve Lopez ripped Sen. Kennedy for signing a DSCC fundraising solicitation which was heavy on calling the Republicans "shameless" and light on affirmative ideas. LINK

2006: House:

Timed with today's visit by the Vice President on behalf of Rep. Ron Lewis of Kentucky, the Wall Street Journal's David Rogers writes that if Democrats are to gain the 15 seats needed to control the House, they must widen the battlefield with long-shot sleeper races like this one."

The AP Notes that Mike Weaver, the Democrat challenging Lewis, has received campaign help from Gen. Wesley Clark. LINK

In the competitive Democratic primary in Brooklyn's 11th congressional district, Chris Owens is hoping to take over the family business from his dad, Rep. Major Owens, who has held the seat for 24 years. The New York Times' Jonathan Hicks has the story. LINK

Andrea Peyser columnizes in the New York Post that it is not just racial politics at play in the NY-11 Democratic primary, but religion has a role as well. LINK

2006: Governor:

In a move to attract the "Milliennials," Florida gubernatorial candidates are trying to woo support from younger generations by adding podcasts and blogs to their websites and are hosting hip-hop and R&B concerts, meet-the-candidate parties at martini bars and night clubs, and are pasting their profiles on websites like and MySpace. The Sun-Sentinel's Hollis has more. LINK

Pat Healy of the New York Times looks at the expected fundraising disparity between statewide Republican and Democratic candidates in the Empire State in a year likely to lean heavily toward Democrats. LINK

The New York Post's Dicker writes up the expected gubernatorial fundraising totals too. LINK

Celeste Katz of the New York Daily News reports on a race in which Faso can boast about his victory over Eliot Spitzer. LINK

On Sunday, the Boston Globe Noted the Massachusetts Democratic Party's effort (with Michael Dukakis and Cam Kerry in prominent roles) to police television ads in the gubernatorial primary from becoming too negative to avoid delivering too wounded a nominee for the general election campaign. LINK

2006: Downballot:

Maggie Haberman of the New York Post reports Howard Wolfson and Gigi Georges of the Glover Park Group have signed on with the Cuomo campaign in the New York State Attorney General race. LINK

Politics of same-sex marriage:

The Wall Street Journal's editorial page has an article arguing that last week's New York Supreme Court ruling that the state constitutions did not guarantee the right to same-sex marriage was a "blessing in disguise" as worst case scenario would be gay marriage to be "imposed on a skeptical public by a judicial order that would inspire a political backlash and make compromise impossible."

Rep. Jefferson:

Roll Call's John Breshahan reports that although the House and the Department of Justice are no closer to agreeing on what constitutes an acceptable search of a congressional office, a decision on whether the FBI's May 20 raid of Rep. William Jefferson's (D-LA) Washington office violated the Constitution's separation of powers clause and its Speech and Debate clause could come as early as today.

With the Sunday deadline having just passed, the AP examines the embattled lawmaker's siezed papers that were put on ice by President Bush and what will happen next. LINK

Dean's Democrats:

Kenneth Baer and Andrei Cherny promote their new "Democracy: A Journal of Ideas" in a Los Angeles Times op-ed where they compare the Democratic Party to the "98-pound weakling who lives in fear of the school bully." LINK

Politics of lobbying:

The Washington Post's Jeffrey H. Birnbaum reports on a former lobbyist turned deputy chief of staff of the House Appropriations Committee who received two million dollars from his former employer. LINK


Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun Times curtain-raises Sen. Obama's upcoming African adventure and Notes both the substance and symbolism. LINK

If you skipped the New York Times' this weekend, you missed this breathless lede, topping an adorable tale: "Molly Rebecca Levinson and Joshua Wachs were married Monday evening at the Bar Lev Ranch in Moran, Wyo., the bride's family vacation home. Rabbi Eliezer Havivi officiated." LINK

And The Note says: Mazel tov.

Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post sees the power of in the upcoming 2006 and 2008 elections, putting the power of media and campaign advertising in the hands of the masses. LINK

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), a musician himself, was instrumental (no pun intended) in the release of Dallas Austin, an R&B producer who was arrested in Dubai for possession of illegal drugs reports the AP. LINK

Week ahead:

On Tuesday, President Bush makes 9:55 am ET remarks on the mid-session review at the White House before attending a fundraiser for Republican gubernatorial candidate Mark Green in Madison, WI. Karl Rove speaks to La Raza at the Los Angeles convention center at 3:30 pm ET. Also speaking at the same luncheon will be Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM). Former President Clinton delivers a Microsoft Government Leadership Forum Speech and meets with African heads of state in Cape Town, South Africa. Giuliani campaigns for gubernatorial candidates Asa Hutchinson (R-AR) in Little Rock, AR and Judy Baer Topinka (R-IL) in Chicago, IL. He also campaigns for Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) in Pittsburgh, PA. Mark Warner begins a two-day Iowa visit. Gov. Huckabee begins attending the Education Commission of the States three-day meeting in Minneapolis, MN. And OMB Director Rob Portman speaks at the National Press Club.

On Wednesday, President Bush departs for Germany for a visit with Chancellor Merkel while former President Clinton tours a Clinton Foundation HIV/AIDS Initiative Clinic in Maseru, Lesotho.Sen. Obama keynotes the 2nd annual Campus Progress National Student Conference in Washington, DC. Giuliani (R-NYC) stumps for gubernatorial candidate Lynn Swann (R-PA) and for Gov. Bob Erlich in Baltimore, MD.

On Thursday, the House takes up the re-authorization of the Voting Rights Act while former President Clinton attends Nelson Mandela's birthday celebration in Johannesburg, South Africa.

On Friday, President Bush flies to St. Petersburg for the G-8 summit. He remains in Russia until Monday, July 17, when he returns to Washington, DC. Former President Clinton meets with President Bingu Wa Mutharika in Lilongwe, Malawi and signs a Clinton Hunter Development Initiative Memorandum of Understanding with Malawi officials. Sen. McCain raises money for Republican congressional candidate Mike Whalen in Cedar Falls, IA

On Saturday, the NAACP comes to Washington, DC for its annual convention. If reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act is not resolved by the time of the convention, NAACP organizers are considering a Capitol Hill march. Former President Clinton has breakfast with President Paul Kagame in Kigali, Rwanda. He also visits a hospital and attends an agriculture event with local farmers. Sen. McCain raises money for David McSweeney, the Republican challenging Rep. Melissa Bean (D-IL), in Barrington Hills, IL.

On Sunday, former President Clinton tours a pediatric AIDS hospital and delivers a speech to Ethiopian Medical Students in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.