The Note: From Your First Cigarette

Morris also blames the GOP majority itself for "total inaction on tax reform and Social Security, and just small steps on immigration and Medicare reform."

Paul Krugman displays his usual disdain for President Bush in his New York Times column and writes that the end of one party control in Washington, DC will likely go some distance in altering policy despite the Administration's push for what Krugman sees as a slightly more than co-equal executive branch. LINK

The New York Times' Adam Nagourney and Jim Rutenberg report that while the White House claims the timing of the Saddam Hussein verdict had nothing to do with the elections, the President is using the news to bring out Republicans voters. LINK


"Jubilant Shiites marched by the hundreds Monday, celebrating Saddam Hussein's conviction and death sentence as Sunnis held defiant counter-demonstrations. The surge in violence expected after the Sunday verdict on Saddam's trial for crimes against humanity still did not materialize. An Interior Ministry spokesman credited a round-the-clock curfew in Baghdad and two restive Sunni provinces. But Iraq's relentless death toll continued: the bodies of 50 murder victims were discovered Sunday, the bulk of them in Baghdad, police said," reports ABC News' Baghdad Bureau.

The Wall Street Journal's ed board writes that "justice for Saddam is one admirable legacy of the American sacrifice in Iraq. But to make it permanent, the U.S. must also defeat the insurgency that battles on in Saddam's name."

The New York Daily News' Michael McAuliff reports that GOP candidates are hoping the Saddam Hussein verdict will help bolster support. LINK

Edward Epstein of the San Francisco Chronicle discusses the political fallout of Saddam Hussein's death sentence, "Tony Snow said it was preposterous to think the verdict's timing was manipulated." LINK

GOP agenda:

In a near must-read, the Wall Street Journal's Fred Barnes writes that Republicans "abandoned" reform, and the consequences have been "dire."

"With scarcely a fight, Republicans gave up on Social Security reform in 2005, immigration reform in 2006, and never really got started on tax reform. Mr. Bush also cast aside the overarching theme for his domestic policy -- the Ownership Society -- without an explanation."

Barnes blames Congress more than the Rebel-in-Chief.

The Washington Post's Jonathan Weisman looks at Hastert's future and reports that Rep. Boehner confirmed yesterday on "Fox News Sunday" that he and Hastert have discussed possibly postponing Republican leadership elections. LINK

". . . if Democrats seize control of the House in tomorrow's election, as many political analysts and pollsters are predicting, then Hastert is widely expected to exit the leadership stage and allow a new generation of Republican leaders to try to recapture the majority," writes Weisman.


The Los Angeles Times' Hamburger and Wallsten deliver a must-read focusing on "a central question to be answered Tuesday in this South Florida House district and other competitive races across the country: Which political force will prove stronger -- the niche-marketing effort, led by GOP strategist Karl Rove and powered by computerized outreach methods, or the classic "throw the bums out" mood of an electorate uneasy with the Iraq war and unhappy with one-party rule?" LINK

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