The Note: Faux-mentum?

2. Gov. Schweitzer (D-MT) clearly didn't believe the brutal Charleston, SC heat was reason enough to shed his famous blue jeans.

3. Gov. Huckabee (R-AR) disappointed some by not picking up the bass guitar at the DGA/RGA late-night fundraiser.

4. The DGA is about to get far more tech savvy than you might expect. Gone are the clunky old BlackBerries. It's now all about the Moto-Q at 14th & K. LINK

5. And you may have missed the inspired Omear/Blacksten photo op production when host Gov. Mark Sanford (R-SC) instructed his orange glove-clad colleagues on how to properly shuck an oyster. Govs. Minner (D-DE), Huckabee (R-AR), Barbour (R-MS), Kaine (D-VA), Blanco (D-LA), Douglas (R-VT), Napolitano (D-AZ), Schweitzer (D-MT), Manchin (D-WV), Pawlenty (R-MN), and former Gov./HHS Secretary Leavitt all participated.

Gov. Sanford commented that the shucking exercise showed how interconnected the states are since the oysters were from Mississippi.

To which, Gov. Barbour quickly retorted: "Yeah, it reminds me of my legislature -- put a knife in and twist it."

Politics of Iraq:

A Year After March Against Iraq War, Another Try," New York Times on Cindy Sheehan and her crew's second annual march through Crawford, TX. LINK

"Protesters Follow Vacationing Bush," Los Angeles Times. LINK

"50% still think Saddam had WMD," Associated Press. LINK

In an interview with Time magazine, Secretary of State Rice said: "I don't think Iraq is going to slide into civil war. They have a problem with sectarian violence. [But] I don't think that you're looking at the breakdown of the institutions; people haven't opted out of a unified Iraq." LINK

Bush Administration agenda:

"Youth Give Bush Poor Grade, Hurting Republican Hopes, Poll Says," Bloomberg LINK

"Bats What I'm Reading: Dubya," the New York Post on President Bush's summer reading. LINK

2006: landscape:

In his latest column, Charlie Cook breathlessly writes: "Time is running out for Republicans. Unless something dramatic happens before Election Day, Democrats will take control of the House. And the chances that they'll seize the Senate are rising toward 50-50."

"Bush's Vision May Cost GOP," Philadelphia Inquirer's Dick Polman analyzes Republicans' chances for victory as the November midterms approach. LINK

"GOP Candidates Claim Degrees of Separation from President," Michael Abramowitz in Sunday's Washington Post. LINK

"Democrats See an Opening to Grab Control of Congress," Cleveland Plain Dealer. LINK

"Travel danger: politicians at work," U.S. News & World Report on the more than 200 political events taking place this month, with Democrats "trying to take back Congress with their 'New Direction' theme" and Republicans trying to "make August matter," in the words of House leader John Boehner (R-OH). LINK

2006: House:

"'Latte liberal' in the heartland," the San Francisco Chronicle on House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi's (D-CA) "stumping for Democrats in rural areas once seen as GOP territory," appearances in which she "preached the gospel of corn fuel that some believe will boost the nation's economy, the fortunes of farmers, and perhaps the Democratic Party's image in the conservative farm belt." LINK

"Boswell, Lamberti take jabs in debate," Des Moines Register on the 3rd district candidates' first contentious debate. LINK

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