The Note: Absolutely Nothing

In his always must-read column, David Yepsen of the Des Moines Register writes the Democratic candidates are clearly in two tiers, although "second tier" candidates Biden, Richardson, and Dodd are still in a good position. On the Republican side, Iowa is a murkier picture because Giuliani is leading in the polls but has not yet campaigned in Iowa and Gingrich who is ahead of Romney in the polls has yet to decide if he will run. LINK

The Washington Post's Shailagh Murray reports that former ethanol opponents Clinton and McCain are now touting ethanol's benefits. She Notes, however, that its campaign value "may be dropping." LINK

2008: House:

Bloomberg's Laura Litvan looks at freshmen Reps. John Hall's (D-NY) and Nick Lampson's (D-TX) disparate views on Iraq and writes of the shaky ground they could be on with their constituents. LINK

2008: Governor:

The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza, Alan Cooperman, and Michael Shear on whether former Sen. John Breaux (D-LA) is considering a Louisiana gubernatorial bid. LINK

Politics of immigration:

In the interest of consensus on immigration, Sen. Kennedy is planning to adapt legislation from last March (when Republicans were in control) in order to gain key Republican support, reports the New York Times' Rachel Swarns. LINK

"Senior aides in both parties said Mr. McCain told several colleagues last week that he was stepping away from the bill because he was troubled by labor provisions it included. Eileen McMenamin, a spokeswoman for Mr. McCain, disputed that assertion, saying he 'remains committed to passing a comprehensive immigration bill.'"

"President Bush is using his Latin America tour to kick off a make-or-break debate over immigration overhaul in the U.S," writes the Wall Street Journal's John D. McKinnon. "But while many analysts say the 2006 election vindicated his support for immigrant-friendly policies, his waning political strength will make it difficult to muster the Republican votes needed for Congress to pass them into law."

The Washington Times' Stephen Dinan reports that President Bush said yesterday that he wants the House and Senate to pass immigration bills by August while adding that the U.S. will continue to send home illegal aliens caught in the meantime, "disappointing his Guatemalan hosts who wanted all deportations to end." LINK

Vice President Cheney:

"No way embattled Cheney will resign - or Bush will even hear of it," subheadlines the New York Daily News' Thomas DeFrank's analysis piece on continued fallout from the Libby trial. LINK

Politics of Halliburton:

ABC News' Jake Tapper reports on Halliburton's plans to pick up and move to Dubai, plans that prompted Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to say that it "just doesn't look good, doesn't sound good, doesn't smell good." LINK

See the video report here: LINK

Political potpourri:

Do not miss ABC News' Jake Tapper's report on the Capitol Hill Animal House. Watch the video here: LINK

In his "Political Punch" blog, Jake Tapper talks Halliburton, sloppy Senators, and Sen. Dodd's "backstage pass" at "The Daily Show." LINK

Josh Gerstein of the New York Sun reports that Rep. Fortney "Pete" Stark (D-CA) has identified himself as the highest-ranking acknowledged atheist in American politics. Stark told the Sun, "When the Secular Coalition asked me to complete a survey on my religious beliefs, I indicated I am a Unitarian who does not believe in a supreme being." LINK

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