The Note: Sentimental Journey

62 Days Until Inauguration Day

Twas the week before Thanksgiving

And in one city in the South

Republican Governors were angling

To buy Dan Balz a Vermouth

As we leave you be to our final Note before the Thanksgiving holidays (we'll return shortly thereafter) . . .

The Washington Wire in the Wall Street Journal says simply "Social Security First: Tax reform will follow in 2006."

If you aren't focused on this as one of the biggest political issues of the next 18 months, please get focused.

And to help you: read the lead editorial in the same paper, on the other side of the church/state divide -- with applause for fiscal discipline.

In other budget news, the Washington Post's Jonathan Weisman looks at the congressional rejection of tax and spending caps and the move to raise the debt limit. "[The move has] alarmed Wall Street, befuddled the Treasury Department and elicited calls for a rethinking of the way the government handles its authority to tax its citizens and spend those proceeds." LINK

Weisman continues to wait for the bills to come due.

In his look at the Clinton legacy, the Washington Post's weighty John Harris writes, "The dedication and the library suggested the historical argument that is likely to echo -- and remain unresolved -- for decades about Clinton: whether he should be recalled as an innovator who understood the changing character of his times or as a man who squandered his abilities through personal weakness." LINK

By the way: Kit Seeyle's wonderful tick-tock is so full of detail that she manages to use two adjectives to describe two raincoats worn by two Bushes: "fuchsia" and "sensible."

Rush may deem this the giggle quote: "Mrs. Clinton spoke briefly, noting [sic] that the library behind them 'is like my husband -- it's open, it's expansive, it's welcoming, it's filled with light.'" LINK

This was sweet on so many levels:

"Mr. Clinton told Mr. Gore, a noted (sic) environmentalist, that his library, built with solar panels, was energy efficient. Then in words that suggested he might be trying to redeem himself in the eyes of his vice president, who had kept him at arm's length during his 2000 campaign, Mr. Clinton added, 'So Al, thanks for the inspiration, and I'm still trying to measure up to the challenge you set for me so long ago.'"

Check out Bruce Lindsey's explanation of the impeachment exhibit in the Boston Globe. LINK

The Washington Post's Mike Allen looks at President Bush's day honoring his predecessor, and his hasty exit, because late is rude. LINK

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette wraps the day and acknowledges the economic benefits the Clinton Library brings to the old warehouse section of Little Rock and Notes that city leaders are feeling validation. LINK

The bottom lines from various high, middle, and low Clintonistas in Little Rock, as they begin to board their charters and commercial flights out of town (this ain't science but it based on many discussions):

a. Nobody has a clue whom the Democrats will pick as the new party chair.

b. There was a lot more politicking for that job in Little Rock this week than has been reported.

c. John Kerry did not, in the view of many Democrats, run that great a campaign (forgive us our understatement).

d. There are, uhm, mixed feelings about nominating Hillary R. Clinton (D-Blue State) for president in 2008.

e. The steaks at Doe's have gotten better.

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