The Note: Still Believe in a Place Called Kennebunkport/Chappaqua

The Los Angeles Times' Nick Anderson takes a great look at the Bush secondary education agenda, Noting that while the President's ducks appear to be in a row as he begins his push for testing in high schools, he could end up facing stiff opposition from both sides in the aftermath of No Child Left Behind, as lawmakers insist that the program be implemented differently in terms of both money and reconciling state and federal standards. Anderson also Notes the prominence that governors will have in the discussion, particularly given the National Governors Association planned "education summit" during their February winter meeting. Read all the way to the end for the very salient comments of Virginia Gov. Mark Warner. We look forward to seeing how his . . . platform continues to take shape. LINK

We also wonder if Gov. Schwarzenegger will address the issue as it pertains to California tomorrow in his state of the state address. LINK

Bush Cabinet:

The Washington Post's Dan Eggen reports that some high-ranking retired military officers including Army Gen. John Shalikashvili are squeamish about the nomination of White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales to be attorney general, and sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday outlining their concerns over his role in handling detainees and other portions of the war on terror. Interesting to Note the number of officers who had signed on as advisers to the Kerry campaign. LINK

The Washington Times notes the array of questions Judge Gonzales faces at his confirmation hearing. LINK

Iraq:

Two New York Times bigs -- Rich Oppel and David Sanger -- dip their toes into the "election delayed?" scenario for Iraq.

"The (American) officials insisted that Dr. Allawi, Iraq's interim leader, did not tell Mr. Bush that the elections should be delayed, though his defense minister said in Cairo on Monday that the voting could be postponed to ensure greater participation by Sunnis. 'There was no substantive conversation about delay,' a senior administration official said. Dr. Allawi, the official said, 'wasn't even a bit wobbly' on that point." LINK

"But some officials in Washington and in Iraq interpreted the telephone call as a sign that Dr. Allawi, who is clearly concerned his own party could be headed to defeat if the election is held on schedule, may be preparing the ground to make the case for delay to Mr. Bush."

We wonder what the difference between "no substantive conversation" and no conversational at all is.

Read today's Wall Street Journal front pager on the delicate balance between ideology and pragmatism inherent in Mr. Bush's plans for Iraq and the Middle East, and then get in to the nitty-gritty about the presumed desire among some in the policy world and in Iraq to delay the election.

Disaster relief:

The Los Angeles Times' Ed Chen and Maggie Farley wrap President Bush's decision to tap former Presidents Bush and Clinton to assist with fundraising efforts for tsunami victims and the difficulties of getting aid out to the people who need it in the affected countries. LINK

The Washington Post's Peter Baker and Alan Cooperman look at the role former Presidents Clinton and Bush will play in the U.S. relief effort for the tsunami victims. LINK

House ethics:

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