The Note: Catching and Pinning Clouds

WASHINGTON, Feb. 8

There are problems and there are PROBLEMS.

Such as:

President Bush and the war.

Mitch McConnell and the Novak. LINK

Mitt Romney and the religion.

Hillary Clinton and the ed boards (the Wall Street Journal's over Iraq, Washington Post's over bundler disclosure, and the the Las Vegas Review Journal over oil company profits LINK).

John Edwards and the blogger dilemma.

Rudy Giuliani and the paper trail.

Terry McAuliffe's book party and the fire marshall.

And then there is:

Speaker Pelosi and the plane.

Pelosi will be thoroughly staked out today after she delivers 10:00 am ET remarks on global warming to the House Science and Technology Committee. The hearing focuses on the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

It isn't at all clear how this contretempts inside a hubbub wrapped around a Drudge-Washington Times engine will end. But three things are certain:

1. The chances of Pelosi-Bush grand bargains on immigration, energy, health care, entitlements, and education just went from slim to slimmer.

2. Pelosi's PR team fiddled while the (more) baseless accusations burned (up the right-wing Freak Show, and then filtered to the Old Media).

3. The ball is in Pelosi's court now.

Also key today: what progress Democrats can make in the Senate and House on language and legislative strategy to get through the kabuki/non-binding portion of their efforts to end the war in Iraq.

This is subkey: The Washington Post's Murray reports: "Senior House Democrats predicted that their measure will attract overwhelming party support and possibly as many as 30 GOP votes."

Secretly not oblivious to any of this, President Bush receives a 3:00 pm ET briefing on homeland security priorities at DHS headquarters in Washington, DC. Earlier in the day, he has a 10:45 am ET photo op with former Lebanese President Amine Gemayel at the White House.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice testifies about the budget before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at 9:15 am ET. She meets with the President at 3:45 pm ET.

The full Senate is expected to approve Gen. George Casey's nomination to be Army chief of staff around 11:30 am ET.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee holds a hearing on the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act at 10:00 am ET.

One day after the Romney-friendly Drudge Report began trumpeting his appeal to fiscal conservatives, former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) focuses on energy in the Hawkeye State today. He has an 11:15 am ET tour of Iowa State University's Bio-Renewable Energy Research Facility in Ames, IA, he has a 1:15 pm ET lunch with supporters in Montour, IA, and he concludes his trip with a 2:30 pm ET visit to Marshalltown, IA.

Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani makes fundraising stops in Bergen and Franklin Lakes, NJ. His exploratory committee holds a 12:00 pm ET press conference call today regarding the Mayor's support in Michigan. Kind of a landmark event, that conference call, since it represents another sign for insiders of the Giuliani effort becoming a "real" campaign operation.

Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM) delivers remarks on "New Realism and the Rebirth of American Leadership" at The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) at 10:00 am ET, Washington, DC. He will speak of an "Axis of Reason."

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