The Note: Frozen in Place


Just when you thought you figured out the calendar mess, here comes Michigan. The Legislature could vote as soon as tomorrow to move Michigan's primary date to Jan.15 or even earlier, The Boston Globe's Brian Mooney reports. "The Michigan move would further accelerate sweeping changes in the election calendar that could lead to the selection of the major-party nominees earlier than ever before," Mooney writes. New Hampshire could move to Jan. 8, and Iowans would have to decide one and for all whether having caucuses in 2007 is the terrible idea they all know it is.

Also in the news:

The "transformation" of former governor Mike Huckabee, R-Ark., has begun, Politico's Jonathan Martin reports. "He faces having to turn his wise-cracking image on its head and start trying to turn attack dog," Martin writes. "In media appearances and on the stump, the normally sunny Huckabee is using barbed language to portray [Mitt] Romney as a politically expedient and wealthy spendthrift who can't relate to the day-to-day problems of average Americans."

Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., swooped into Newark yesterday to declare that the slayings of three young men occurred because Newark is a "sanctuary city" for undocumented immigrants. "I encourage the family of the victims to pursue a lawsuit against the city," Tancredo said. Imagine if a Democrat had suggested a lawsuit as a remedy?

Romney, R-Mass., is also mentioning Newark (and San Francisco and -- most significantly -- New York City, where a certain former mayor is running for president) in a new radio ad where he talks tough on immigration. "Sanctuary cities become magnets that encourage illegal immigration and undermine secure borders," a voice-over says.

Obama is calling for an easing of travel restrictions to Cuba. He's endorsing " 'unrestricted rights' for Cuban Americans to visit and send money to family in Cuba, just days before his first pilgrimage to Little Havana as a presidential candidate," The Miami Herald's Beth Reinhard writes.

Documents related to the warrantless surveillance program are under Vice President Dick Cheney's control -- anyone want to guess whether Congress ever sees them? Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., "said yesterday that he will pursue contempt proceedings against administration officials if the documents are not produced."

The Bush administration is escalating its clash with Congress over children's healthcare. (Quite the battle to choose -- wonder why Karl Rove was ready to call it quits?) The administration "has announced new policies that will make it harder for states to insure all but the lowest-income children," writes Christopher Lee of The Washington Post. "New administrative hurdles . . . are aimed at preventing parents with private insurance for their children from availing of the government-subsidized State Children's Health Insurance Program. But Democrats and children's advocates said that the announcement will jeopardize coverage for children whose parents work at jobs that do not provide employer-paid insurance."

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