The Note: 9/11/2006


President Bush and Mrs. Bush participated in a moment of silence at 8:46 am ET at the Fort Pitt Firehouse in New York City. The President and First Lady participate in a wreath laying in Shanksville, PA at 11:55 am ET and another wreath laying at the Pentagon at 3:30 pm ET. The President addresses the nation from the Oval Office at 9:01 pm ET.

ABC News will have coverage of all of that throughout the day across all platforms.

ABC's Tom Shine reports that five years ago, members of the House and Senate, both Republican and Democrat, embraced one another in a spirit of love and camaraderie and spontaneously burst into patriotic singing on the steps of the Capitol, which had avoided a direct hit earlier in the day due to the bravery of passengers aboard flight 93.

Today, there will be a re-enactment of that moment, but missing will be the spontaneity as well as the (genuine) love and camaraderie of five years ago. That isn't a cynical statement, just one of fact.

Participants will include House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN), House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). One could not help but be struck by the number of partisan-as-usual press releases that showed up in reportorial inboxes on Sunday. At this writing, no one has pressed SEND on such a release today that we have seen, but it is a safe bet that right after the singing ends, the releases (and rhetoric) will fly again).

Vice President and Mrs. Cheney attended a 7:40 am ET prayer service at St. Johns Episcopal Church. At 8:46 am ET, the Vice President participates in a moment of silence on the South Lawn of the White House. Present and former cabinet officials will also be in attendance, as well as former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld hosts a 9:30 am ET memorial service for family members of victims. Gen. Peter Pace and Vice President Cheney are slated to make remarks.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice hosts a 10:30 am ET remembrance ceremony at the State Department for foreign nationals who died five years ago. At noon, the Secretary of State will depart for Halifax, Canada where she will meet with workers from the Halifax International Airport that assisted the thousands of Americans stranded there on September 11th. She will also meet with citizens of Halifax to thank them for their support.

Former President Bill Clinton delivers 11:15 am ET remarks to the United Jewish Communities International Lion of Judah Conference at the Washington Hilton.

Earlier today, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) attended New York City's commemoration ceremony at Ground Zero, where Rep. Harman bussed her. At 2:00 pm ET, she attends a 9/11 Monument unveiling at the Bayonne Marine Ocean Terminal in Bayonne, NJ. Sen. Clinton, along with Mayors Bloomberg and Giuliani, and Gov. Pataki, did a round robin of television interviews this morning on broadcast and cable, during which no discernable news was made.

Rep. Chris Shays (R-CT) chairs a hearing entitled, "When can Iraqis Assume Full Internal Security?" at 10:00 am ET. Eric Edelman, undersecretary of defense for policy, and Navy Rear Adm. William Sullivan, Joint Chiefs of Staff, testify.

The National Press Club holds a 1:00 pm ET discussion with Tom Kean Sr., chairman of the 9/11 Commission, and Lee Hamilton, vice chairman of the 9/11 Commission.

At 11:30 am ET, Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) and First Lady Ann Romney will attend a luncheon with the families of victims of 9/11.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) delivers remarks at a 1:00 pm ET City of Los Angeles September 11th Remembrance Ceremony. He delivers 4:15 pm ET remarks at the State of California September 11th Memorial in Sacramento, CA. He dedicates the California's Global War on Terrorism Wall of Honor at 5:30 pm ET. And he ends his day with ESPN's Monday Night Football at 10:15 pm ET.

The Senate resumes consideration of the port security bill (HR 4954). No roll call votes are expected.

Former Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) visits Las Vegas to speak at the 23rd Convention of the Laborers International Union of North America and to attend an event to support former Reid spokeswoman and congressional candidate Tessa Hafen.

He M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence holds "A Day of Peace and Reconciliation and Remembrance for 9/11" at 11:30 am ET with Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Gandhi's grandson at the Lincoln Memorial.

Tuesday's primaries:

The most compelling political storyline for Tuesday's primaries is in Rhode Island where Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) is being challenged by the Club for Growth-backed Steve Laffey. Coming one month after Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT) lost a Democratic primary in Connecticut, would a Chafee loss signal a resonant additional purging of party moderates?

Despite voting against the Iraq war, against the Bush tax cuts, and refusing to vote for George W. Bush for reelection in 2004 (he wrote in Bush the elder on the ballot), Chafee is still being backed by the national party because they view him as their best chance to keep the seat in GOP hands, and because he is the incumbent. If Laffey wins, the favorite in the race will be Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse in November -- a key building block for Democrats as they try to gain six seats for control of the Senate.

Also on Tuesday, Sen. Clinton is on the ballot in New York. In her bid for the Democratic nomination for re-election, she has faced only nominal opposition from Jonathan Tasini, who has vigorously opposed the Iraq war.

In addition to Rhode Island and New York, other states holding primaries are: Delaware, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Vermont, Wisconsin, Arizona, and the District of Columbia.

USA Today lays out the five primary races to watch this Tuesday. Their picks? NY-11 (which has "spotlighted racial divisions"), AZ-08 (which has focused on immigration), plus Senate races in Maryland , New York, and Rhode Island. LINK

Robbie Sherwood writes in the Arizona Republic that thousands of voters could be turned away in Arizona's primary on Tuesday, the first election since ID requirements were stiffened. LINK

The Democratic primary eve poll numbers out this morning from Quinnipiac University:

Senate primary (D):

Hillary Clinton 85%

Jonathan Tasini 9%

Gubernatorial primary (D):

Eliot Spitzer 79%

Tom Suozzi 12%

Attorney general primary (D):

Andrew Cuomo 50%

Mark Green 31%

Sean Maloney 7%

The New York Daily News' Ben Smith writes of how the Iraq war is playing a central role in the Democratic primary in New York's 11th congressional district. LINK

Rest of the week ahead:

On Tuesday, House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) holds a pen-and-pad session with reporters in H-107 of the Capitol. Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) celebrates his 50th birthday. And Leading Authorities hosts a reception for former RNC Chair Ed Gillespie's "Winning Right: Campaign Politics and Conservative Policies," Washington, DC, which got a nice review in the Weekly Standard. LINK

On Wednesday, President Bush attends an RNC reception at Evermay in Washington, DC at 12:35 pm ET. Meanwhile, the DCCC's A-list is coming to DC for a "March to the Majority" reception at the Sewall-Belmont House on Capitol Hill. They will also be meeting with the House Democratic caucus, DCCC staff, and relevant interest groups. Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) unveils a new progressive vision on "Health Care for All," Washington, DC. Rep. Shays chairs a House hearing entitled, "What Will it Take to Achieve National Reconciliation?," Washington, DC. Former Gov. Mark Warner (D-VA) hosts a fundraiser for his Forward Together PAC, New York, NY And Geraldine Ferraro headlines the "2006 National Symposium on Women in Politics," Charlottesville, VA

On Thursday, President Bush makes remarks to the House Republican Conference at 9:30 am ET. He meets with the President of South Korea at 11:00 am ET. And he participates in a social dinner in honor of The Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz at 7:45 pm ET. Meanwhile, Democratic Senate candidate Bob Casey, Jr. (D-PA) delivers a speech focused on "Restoring America's Moral Compass: Leadership and the Common Good" at the Catholic University of America's Columbus School of Law, Washington, DC. The AFL-CIO hosts a special evening with Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND), author of "Take This Job And Ship It: How Corporate Greed and Brain Dead Politics Are Selling Out America," at 5:30 pm ET in the Samuel Gompers Room.

On Friday, Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) joins Gov. John Lynch and the 2006 New Hampshire Democratic candidates to kick off the final 60 days of the general election campaign at Democratic headquarters in Manchester, NH.

On Sunday, Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) makes his Iowa debut at Sen. Tom Harkin's (D-IA) annual Steak Fry, West Indianola, IA. Sen. McCain travels to New Hampshire to act as Grand Marshal for the Sylvania 300 NASCAR race. And Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) hosts a fundraiser for Gov. John Lynch (D-NH) and gubernatorial candidate Chet Culver (D-IA), New York, NY.

Weekend must-reads:

In Sunday's New York Times, David Sanger and Eric Schmitt reported that as the nation observes the fifth anniversary of 9/11, Congress and the Supreme Court have pushed back at Vice President Cheney's claim that the President alone, as commander in chief, "can set the rules for detention, interrogation and domestic spying." LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Ron Brownstein wrote: "Compromise in Washington would almost certainly come easier if voters elected more cross-pressured legislators -- red state Democrats and blue state Republicans -- compelled to balance partisan demands against local opinion."


The Washington Post's Jim VandeHei and Chris Cillizza had GOP officials saying that internal polling showing that Republicans could limit losses to six to 10 House seats and two or three Senate seats if the strategy of going after Democrats on local issues and personal controversies – combined with the party's significant financial advantage and battle-tested turnout operation – proves successful. LINK

In this week's New Yorker, David Remnick turns in an excellent and truly must-read behind-the-scenes look at Clinton's post-presidential life and travels. For those interested in all things Clinton, it has

-- Bill Clinton on the record saying things he normally won't say on those terms ("I am sick of Karl Rove's bullshit." and attacking the Washington Post's Sue Schmidt), and talking about presidential politics, including saying John Edwards ran too soon.

-- Congressman Rahm Emanuel saying some tough things about both Bill Clinton and Speaker Hastert.

-- Remnick's view of life in the Clinton bubble, complete with the soliloquies, the temper flair ups, the Magaziner schtick, and the 48-hour days.

Time magazine's Mike Allen analyzes why President Bush's security pitch may not work this time, making reference to a Jan. 31 memo sent to Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) by his staff in which they warned of the danger of mounting too aggressive a criticism of the freshly disclosed NSA espionage program. LINK

Politics of 9/11:

ABC News' Diane Sawyer interviewed former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani this morning. "My first thought was that it couldn't be that long ago," said Giuliani on this five-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

Giuliani said that Ground Zero workers affected by poor air quality should have lifetime benefits and responded to recent comments by former EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman by saying that "everybody's responsible."

"Given the fact that they were all injured as a result of their work here, they should be taken care of," said Giuliani. He went on to say that city, state, and federal government should all take part in that care.

On Don Imus' show, Giuliani said the fact the US has not been attacked since 9/11 has defied his expectations and as Americans, "we have to say to ourselves, we're not safe."

Politics of Iraq:

On any other day, the Thomas Ricks story that the chief of intelligence for the Marine Corps in Iraq "recently filed an unusual secret report concluding that the prospects for securing that country's western Anbar province are dim and that there is almost nothing the U.S. military can do to improve the political and social situation there" would be of seismic importance.

But the Washington Post does the White House a favor by running the Ricks story as well a story on Sadr's evolving role on this busy news day.


and LINK

In an interview with the CBS Evening News on Saturday, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WVA), said the nation would be safer had Saddam Hussein been left in power.

"He wasn't going to attack us," Rockefeller told CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson, adding, "He would have been isolated there."

Rep. Mark Kennedy (R-MN), a Republican Senate candidate in Minnesota, denounced Sen. Rockefeller's comments and issued a press release challenging Democrat Amy Klobuchar to declare where she stands.

Bush Administration agenda:

In Saturday's New York Times, David Sanger and Sheryl Gay Stolberg wrote up the tick-tock on how the current White House communications strategy surrounding the 9/11 anniversary came to be. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Yochi Dreazen framed President Bush's 9/11 commemoration as an effort to "lift Republicans to victory." LINK

Karl Rove's anti-spam crusade, as reported by the New York Daily News on Sunday: LINK

USA Today on First Lady Laura Bush's upcoming, worldly schedule. LINK

2006: Chafee v. Laffey:

On Sunday, Adam Nagourney of the New York Times looked at the Rhode Island Senate race and the national Republican Party efforts on behalf of the Republican Senator least likely to support party positions. LINK

USA Today's Susan Page takes Note of Rhode Island's Chafee/Laffey primary, and sees it as the mirror image of Lieberman/Lamont. LINK

Sunday's Los Angeles Times had David Keating, the Club for Growth's executive director, saying he was unconcerned about how a potential Chafee defeat might shift Senate power. "'Looking at the whole picture, we thought this was a good idea,' Keating said. 'Look, if the Republicans are going to lose control, they are going to lose this seat anyway.'" LINK

The Washington Post's Shailagh Murray reports that "most political observers in Rhode Island gave Laffey the edge as of late last week, but polling has been erratic, and both sides say the outcome is impossible to predict." LINK

The Houston Chronicle on the Rhode Island Senate race. LINK

The Philadelphia Inquirer's Fitzgerald delves into the Rhode Island Senate race, writing that Sen. Chafee grabbed hands at a fundraiser yesterday "as if they were lifelines." Fitzgerald also notes the similarities between this race and Sen. Arlen Specter's (R-PA) primary bout with conservative former Rep. Pat Toomey; Toomey is now head of Club For Growth, which is backing Laffey's bid for Chafee's seat. LINK

The Washington Times' Amy Fagan reports on the Republican candidates for a Rhode Island Senate seat which has become "a battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party." NRSC spokesman Dan Ronanye has already promised that if Sen. Lincoln Chafee, a liberal, wins over his conservative challenger Stephen Laffey, they will not give the Senator any support. LINK

To quote Ronayne, "Mr. Laffey has no chance to win a general election. We would find ourselves down a seat going into the November elections."

Fagan follows that article with another highlighting the Laffey's last-minute campaigning efforts. LINK

2006: Senate:

The Inquirer's Fitzgerald and Budof (evidently working overtime) analyze the personalities on display with Sen. Rick Santorum's (R-PA) and Democratic foe Bob Casey, saying, that while "People like to say that politics should be about issues and not driven by personality," in reality, "style and perception can be decisive." LINK

The pair add: "Analysts point to Casey's woodenness as one reason he lost the 2002 gubernatorial primary to the charismatic Ed Rendell. On the other hand, analysts say Santorum might be well served by restraining himself more, given his tendency to generate controversy." LINK

James O'Toole of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Casey says that he is more than just the anti-Santorum. LINK

The Washington Times' Jon Ward reports on the small, subtle ways that the anniversary of 9/11 is creeping into the campaigns for many in the Maryland US Senate race. LINK

Newsweek's Darman and Thomas make use of the Virginia Senate race as a laboratory for the Democratic efforts to regain voters' confidence on national security matters. LINK

David Kihara writes for the Las Vegas Review-Journal that Senate candidate Jack Carter was hospitalized with colitis, taking him out at an important time in the campaign. LINK

Robbie Sherwood writes in the Arizona Republic that thousands of voters could be turned away in Arizona's primary on Tuesday, the first election since ID requirements were stiffened. LINK

Tim Funk reports in the Charlotte Observer writes that NRSC Chair Elizabeth Dole's (R-NC) political reputation will be on the ballot this November in states all across the country. LINK

On the eve of Maryland's Senate primary, the Baltimore Sun takes Note of Cardin's and Mfume's long standing friendship. LINK

Lesley Clark of the Miami Herald covers the start of Sen. Bill Nelson's (D-FL) campaign. Despite being 30 points up in the polls, Sen. Nelson claims to "take any opponent seriously," even "what's her name." LINK

2006: House:

Due to very tough district lines and early responses to warning signals of possible trouble, New York State may prove to be less fertile ground than the DCCC had hoped in Democrats' efforts to gain a majority in the House, reports the New York Times' Ray Hernandez. LINK

". . . the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee plans to spend roughly $50 million on advertisements for races around the country, according to Republican estimates. But none of that money has been set aside for New York races, except for Mr. Boehlert's seat in the 24th District in the Utica area, according to Democrats involved in the races."

The New York Times tees up tomorrow's primary in AZ-08 as yet another battle between the moderate and conservative wings of the Republican Party – specifically through the immigration lens. LINK

"The candidates have spent more than $2.5 million, making it among the most expensive House races in the country," reports the Times' Archibold.

In "a bruising campaign in which many facts are disputed but a central one is not: If he wins, he will be the first Muslim elected to Congress," leads Alan Cooperman's Washington Post article on Keith Ellison, a Democrat in Minnesota running for the House seat left vacant with the retirement of Rep. Martin Sabo (D). In the less often heard blogosphere story, Mr. Ellison has actually faced opposition from conservative bloggers who identified articles from Ellison supporting Louis Farakhan and suggesting that Caucasians should pay African-Americans reparations. LINK

Richard Fausset writes for the Los Angeles Times that in order for the Democrats to regain the House, they must hold on to the seats they already have. Two Democratic incumbents in Georgia, Jim Marshal (D-GA) and John Barrow (D-GA) are facing difficult races. LINK

Hafen's Nevada campaign hit back against an unfounded charge by an aide to her Republican opponent that she had never made a mortgage payment or held a job in Nevada. LINK

Patrick Crowley of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that in the race between Rep. Geoff Davis (R-KY) and Ken Lucas (D-KY), the public is leaning towards Lucas in what they assume to be his last chance, "it's now or never." LINK

The Los Angeles Times explores the difficulty of a write-in candidacy and how that may cause Tom DeLay's congressional seat to fall into Democratic hands. LINK

2006: down ballot:

Fred Dicker of the New York Post reports Eliot Spitzer is prepared to work hard for Andrew Cuomo to be elected his successor. Dicker also reports that Spitzer expects Cuomo to beat Mark Green in tomorrow's Democratic primary quite easily. LINK

The Schwarzenegger Era:

The Los Angeles Times' Dan Morain Notes Gov. Schwarzenegger's impressive fundraising pace and that he has abandoned his once-proposed idea to avoid political fundraising during the busy bill-signing season. LINK

"'Personally, I think that should be avoided because it a very sensitive time," [former Republican Gov.] Deukmejian said. 'It is the appearance. I'm sure he wouldn't do anything in exchange for a contribution. But it does give that appearance. That should be avoided.'"

Mark Z. Barabak of the Los Angeles Times looks at the Schwarzenegger v. Angelides gubernatorial contest through the lens of the bellwether San Benito County and finds some good news for the incumbent. LINK

In his column, the Los Angeles Times' George Skelton writes of what he sees as an over-reaction to the recent controversy surrounding Gov. Schwarzenegger's recorded comments about Republican legislators, specifically one Latina legislator. LINK

The Los Angeles Times carried Gov. Schwarzenegger's apology for his ethnic comments in Saturday's newspaper. LINK

Duke Helfand reports in the Los Angeles Times that Democratic gubernatorial nominee Phil Angelides was upstaged when Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa rushed to the aid of a fainting 12-year-old girl. LINK

2006: Governor:

The Boston Globe endorses Deval Patrick for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. LINK

The Boston Globe has Patirck telling Jon Keller of CBS4 News: "I'm proud of being a black man, but I'm also a father and a husband of 20-plus years now, and a successful businessperson, and a successful lawyer, and somebody who grew up on the rough side and came up working his way forward. And, frankly, my story is a lot of people's story." LINK

Massachusetts gubernatorial hopeful Christopher Gabrieli accuses the Romney/Healey administration of losing 148,000 jobs since taking office, the Boston Globe reports on Gabrieli's new campaign filer, with some suggesting a pattern of trouble-with-the-truth. LINK

In the Florida gubernatorial race Charlie Crist (R-FL) and Congressman Jim Davis (D-FL) are set to choose their running mates. The Orlando Sentinel article states that "people close to both campaigns say the short lists are filled with black and Hispanic contenders -- and speculation is rising that one or both general-election tickets will feature a black and/or Hispanic running mate for the first time in Florida history." LINK

The Detroit Free Press took a weekend look at the nasty campaign ads between Gov. Granholm (D-MI) and Republican opponent Dick DeVos in what's shaping up to be one of the tougher gubernatorial fights this season. LINK

The Houston Chronicle features an article on the role of faith in the Texas gubernatorial race, referring to the five candidates' views on abortion, gay marriage, and other controversial social issues. LINK

Another article refers to Gov. Rick Perry's (R-TX) declining job approval ratings, hovering between 35% and 41%. Despite his unpopularity, these low numbers may not affect this gubernatorial race because there are four opponents who are splitting the "anti-Perry" vote. LINK

2008: Republicans:

The New York Sun's Josh Gerstein reports that Sen. McCain said yesterday that the American people "are exhibiting a 'schizophrenic' reaction to the challenge facing American forces in Iraq." LINK

Sen. McCain turned 70 last week causing much speculation about whether this means he is too old to become president in 2008. LINK

The Boston Herald has Romney's calendar after the September 19th primary, and they don't include much time in Boston. The governor will make stops in Nevada, New York, DC and a special visit to South Dakota to hunt some pheasant, literally. LINK

Slugged "Evangelicals Key to Romney Run," the Washington Times' Julia Dunn examines the hurdles Gov. Romney will face in a possible run at the presidency as a Mormon considering a recent Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times poll showed 37 percent of people would never consider a Mormon for President. LINK

In a column about the 2006 governor's race, the Boston Globe's Joan Vennochi writes that Gov. Romney "spent more time tearing down Massachusetts than selling it" while in "pursuit of GOP primary voters." LINK

Sunday's Boston Globe explored Gov. Romney's heavy involvement in public health policy in advance of his likely presidential run. LINK

Three-in-Ten GOP members want Rudy Giuliani to run for president in 2008 according to a poll by Opinion Research Corporation released by CNN. LINK

2008: Democrats:

Showing once again his skills as a negotiator, Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM) secured the release of the Chicago Tribune's Paul Salopek on Friday. He also secured the release of Salopek's driver and interpreter. LINK

In the kind of story that brings a smile to the face of Jamie Radice, the Washington Post's David Broder praised DLC Chairman Tom Vilsack (D-IA) in Sunday's newspaper for orchestrating a marriage of "mind and muscle." LINK

Per the Quad City Times, Gov. Vilsack is urging Iowa's congressional delegation to oppose federalizing the National Guard. Gov. Vilsack "proposes a joint command structure where a governor would still control Guard troops, while an on-the-ground coordinator would have direct responsibilities to federal authorities." LINK

The Washington Post's Dan Balz has Sen. Kerry saying: "We have a Katrina foreign Policy." LINK

More on Sen. Kerry's weekend speech from the Boston Globe. LINK

Abby Simons of the Des Moines Register reports on Sen. Dodd's concern for public education and his thoughts on running for President. LINK

Sen. Dodd says that the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks will "likely mark the beginning of a bitter and divisive campaign by Republicans in this year's midterm elections," reports the Associated Press. LINK

In a visit to Londonderry, NH, Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) said: "The American people have closed the book on these guys," referring to the Bush administration and the Republican Party. LINK

The AP on Al Gore's comments Down Under, which have been interpreted as both nearly Shermanesque and door opening. LINK

Politics of immigration:

The New York Times looks at a less than stellar turnout at recent immigrant rights rallies and wonders if the movement can recapture the magic it produced in the spring. LINK

". . . political analysts, policy makers and immigrants alike are questioning the staying power of the fledgling immigrant rights movement. Can the disparate group of churches, unions and immigrant rights organizations that tapped the frustration of immigrant communities transform itself into a political force that can reliably mobilize the masses to march and vote?"

GOP agenda:

Democrats are already jumping on a Bush interview with the Wall Street Journal's Weekend Edition in which the President was saying that he hoped to revisit Social Security reform next year, when he "will be able to drain the politics out of the issue."

Democratic agenda:

Bob Novak's weekend column included an item about behind-the-scenes maneuvering by the Hoyer and Murtha camps in anticipation of a majority leader election. LINK

The House Democratic Caucus is proposing broad changes in how the House operate in order to differentiate itself from the GOP for pre-election publicity, Notes Roll Call's Yachnin.

Politics of Medicare:

"Higher-income people will have to pay higher Medicare premiums than other beneficiaries next year, as the government takes a small but significant step to help the financially ailing program remain viable over the long term," writes Robert Pear of the New York Times in a look at how some premiums are expected to quadruple by 2009. LINK

Clinton Administration vs. Disney:

The New York Post's Earle portrays the edited version of "The Path to 9/11" shown last night as a result of ABC "yielding to pressure" from President Clinton. LINK

The Clintons of Chappaqua:

The New York Post (with some help from the wires) on Bill Clinton's belated birthday bash in Toronto. LINK

Ballot measures:

On Friday, Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D-MT) challenged "New York City, multi-millionaire developer Howard Rich" to a debate on the proposed state spending limit, Constitutional Initiative 97 (CI-97).

Per the Billings Gazette, "CI-97, which is on the Nov. 7 general election ballot, would limit any increases in state spending to the rate of inflation and the rate of population growth in Montana." LINK


"Louisville businessman Vernon L. Jackson was sentenced yesterday to seven years and three months in federal prison for bribing Rep. William J. Jefferson (D-La.) with more than $400,000 and company stock to promote his Kentucky firm's high-tech business ventures," the Washington Post reported on Saturday. LINK


Congratulations to the New York Times for having the great sense to hire Jeff Zeleny (Nebraskan and former Tribunist) to cover the money and politics beat, on which he will star. And, of course, congratulations to Mr. Zeleny, too (and to Sen. Obama).