The Note: Clean as a Whistle

According to a federal report released Wednesday, "the Iowa Army National Guard has one of the worst equipment shortages of National Guard organizations in the country for responding to large-scale terror attacks or natural disasters," reports the Des Moines Register's William Petroski. LINK

2008: Senate: Al Franken jumps in:

But seriously, folks. . . comedian Al Franken made it public that he will challenge Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) for his seat in 2008. Rob Hotakainen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune has the details. LINK

The AP has Minnesota GOP Chairman Ron Carey saying he is "confident Minnesotans 'will reject Franken's divisive, scorched-earth attacks." in his run to replace Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) in 2008. LINK

The Libby trial:

ABC News' Jason Ryan has the details on former Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper's testimony and the Karl Rove connection. LINK

The Washington Post's Carol Leonnig on the questions jurors are asking in court during the Libby trial. LINK

The Washington Post's Amy Goldstein and Carol Leonnig report that the testimony of Cooper and Judith Miller "exposed jurors -- and the public -- to the sloppy and incomplete note-taking of reporters, their inability to remember crucial interviews and, in Miller's case, important interview notes stuffed into a shopping bag under her desk." LINK

The New York Times: LINK

Casting and counting:

The AP reports that Gov. Charlie Crist (R-FL) is proposing the state "abandon touch-screen voting machines adopted after the disputed 2000 presidential race" and transition to optical-scanning machines that will provide a paper trail. LINK

Political potpourri:

"The public school lobby lives in fear of competition," writes the Washington Post's George Will. "But school choice is gaining ground." LINK

"San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom's re-election campaign manager resigned Wednesday after confronting the mayor about an affair Newsom had with his wife while she worked in the mayor's office, City Hall sources said," reports the San Francisco Chronicle's Matier, Ross, and Vega. LINK

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