The Note: Canines and Humans

WASHINGTON, July 20

When it gets above 90 degrees, people in politics and journalism get a little loopy.

Holding things together requires slotting everything into the appropriate category.

As a service to Note readers, here is a summary of this news cycle's top stories, put in one of the two basic categories into which all news falls:

Man-bites-dog political news:

George "Refused to Support Hate-crime Legislation, It Was Like My Father Was Killed All Over Again" Bush speaks to the NAACP. LINK

Sen. Voinovich becomes the champion of getting John Bolton confirmed as U.N. ambassador.

Dog-bites-man political news:

Bill Clinton triangulates within his own family by announcing he is going to campaign for Joe Lieberman.

Bob Novak wails on Israel.

The press appears pro-stem cell research.

Zeleny fans the Obama '08 flames.

Democrats believe that President Bush has reached a Tipping Point with Hispanic voters.

The press appears to want voters to care about the scandal storyline and punish Republicans for it.

Peggy Noonan shows she is a woman of impeccable taste and judgment (and a declining stickler for usage rules she thought would live forever). LINK

Mike Allen works 23 out of every 24 hour period. LINK

ABC News' Karen Travers reports, "President Bush speaks to the NAACP's annual convention in Washington at 10:30 am ET, taking a 'moment of opportunity' to speak to the group he has snubbed since taking office in 2001."

More Travers: "Bush spoke to the NAACP as a presidential candidate in 2000 but has not as president. His relationship with the group has been cool, as the President declined invitations to speak before the group and its leaders have openly criticized his policies."

"White House Press Secretary Tony Snow said on Tuesday that the President is making the remarks this year because there is a 'moment of opportunity' there and he 'wants to make his voice heard.'"

"Snow stressed that the President has a good relationship with Bruce Gordon, the new head of the NAACP and while the President has 'political disagreements' with the organization, the speech 'marks an opportunity to have a conversation.'"

ABC News' Kirit Radia reports Secretary of State Rice is expected to accompany the President to the NAACP gathering for his remarks.

Here's the curtain-raiser from the Nation's Newspaper: LINK

Yesterday at the convention, Rev. Jesse Jackson and Sens. Ted Kennedy (D-MA), Hillary Clinton (D-NY), and Barack Obama (D-IL) acted as if the President was Voldemort, balking at using his name and instead referring to him as "the surprise guest." And since the crowd's applause increased directly with the speakers' growing vitriol against he-who-shall-not-be-named, Bush should probably expect a somewhat difficult audience at his morning speech.

Rev. Al Sharpton, who was scheduled to attend the convention this morning, cancelled his appearance in protest of President Bush's address.

The Senate is expected to vote on extending the Voting Rights Act today. Up to eight hours of debate is expected to get underway at 9:30 am ET. The House voted overwhelmingly last week to extend provisions of the civil rights act that was signed into law by President Johnson after violence erupted in the South over voting rights for African Americans.

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