The Note: Everything's Different Now

Democrats will offer their meta-pre-buttal at noon ET in the Lyndon Baines Johnson Room in the US Capitol. Democratic leaders from the Senate and House will be joined by Ret. Gen. Wesley Clark (D-AR) for the release of "The Neo Con," a new Third-Way report "detailing Bush Republicans' failure to secure America and successfully fight the War on Terror in the five years since the attacks of September 11, 2001."

In an attempt to show a unified front on Iraq yesterday, House and Senate Democrats sent a letter to President Bush again calling on him to begin a phased redeployment of troops out of Iraq this year and for "a new direction" in America's strategy for success in Iraq. They also want the SecDef dropped.

Former Gov. Mark Warner (D-VA) plans to offer some Democratic '08er sound on the topic when he addresses the George Mason University School of Law on "The Lessons of September 11th" at 2:00 pm ET in Arlington, VA.

The Senate meets at 11:00 am ET to resume consideration of H.R.5631, the Defense Appropriations bill (and to size up how Joe Lieberman is received by his Democratic colleagues). Be on the lookout for that "no confidence in Rumsfeld" amendment to be introduced to the bill as part of that Democratic effort to show unity on Iraq.

Voters are voting in Florida today in what is expected to be a low-turnout primary day. Rep. Katherine Harris (R-FL) is likely to win her party's nomination for the US Senate and then would receive little or no help from national Republicans for her general election effort. Competitive primaries are taking place in both major parties for the gubernatorial nominations. Charlie Crist and Tom Gallagher are battling it out for the Republican nomination with recent polls giving the edge to Crist and Rep. Jim Davis (D-FL) and Rod Smith are competing for the Democratic nomination in what will likely be an uphill general election battle for either one of them. Polls opened at 7:00 am ET and close at 7:00 pm ET. You can get your election night returns right here: LINK

The House has one more day of its summer district work period before convening tomorrow at 2:00 pm ET.

Majority Leader Boehner issued a statement last week making clear that the GOP national security legislative agenda is the top priority. Boehner also said earmark reform and the suburban agenda is on the GOP's priority list as well.

As for the national security items, Boehner will be pushing for (and upon which he and his colleagues will draw contrasts with Democrats):

Authorizing the President's "Terrorist Surveillance Program," authorizing military tribunals for suspected terrorists, a resolution recognizing the five-year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, strengthening border security, funding and protecting American troops (Defense authorization conference report and "Defense & Military Quality of Life" appropriations conference reports), and Homeland Security appropriations conference report (including funding for border security fences and barriers).

Rep. Boehner holds a 2:30 pm ET pen and pad briefing for reporters where he will likely go over all of the above.

The Department of Energy releases its weekly gas prices report at 4:30 pm ET.

DNC Chairman Howard Dean campaigns with gubernatorial candidate Scudder Parker (D-VT) in Burlington, VT at 2:30 pm ET.

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