The Note: Astriding Europe Like a Reformer Seeking Results

On Sunday, the Washington Post's Peter Baker wrote a very good curtain-raiser on the President's meeting on his trip with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and what the President hopes to accomplish -- or at least discuss -- with Putin during their sit-down. LINK

Elisabeth Bumiller of the New York Times on an emphasis she didn't see: "White House officials had promoted the speech as a major embrace of European unity, and had released excerpts on Sunday night suggesting that the president would extensively support the idea of the 25-member European Union as a partner rather as a rival to the United States. But he did not devote more than a few sentences to those ideas, and cast his support for a new European unity in the context of his goal of advancing liberty." LINK

Elaine Sciolino of the Paper of Record on the de-rechristening of freedom of fries and the clash of world views. LINK

Medicare/Medicaid:

A powerful Senator takes a shot at Bill Gates in Robert Pear's take-out on the debate over Medicare coverage for erectile dysfunction: "There's no reason we should be covering lifestyle drugs for senior citizens such as Viagra and Cialis,' said Senator Judd Gregg, Republican of New Hampshire, the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee. 'There's no reason a working American should have to pay for that type of drug if, for example, Bill Gates needs it when he retires.'" LINK

The New York Post says New York taxpayers have "shelled out" $20 million for Viagra and other ED treatments. LINK

Chairman Dean, the Democrats and labor:

After trolling the blogs on the DNC Web site, the Washington Post's Dan Balz on Sunday took a look at how Howard Dean's trademark transformation of the Democratic Party from the grassroots up could end up taking them leftward. LINK

"At a minimum, say party strategists, the shift will mean a more confrontational Democratic Party in battles with President Bush and the Republicans. But some strategists worry that the influence of grass-roots activists could push the party even further to the left, particularly on national security, reinforcing a weakness that Bush exploited in his reelection campaign."

Newsweek's Eleanor Clift examines how "secular" got to be a dirty word, and how Howard Dean is framing his leadership of the Democratic Party as Dems start to look at how to talk about faith and morality. LINK

The Washington Post's Tom Edsall on Saturday previewed the reportedly upcoming Sweeny vs. Wilhelm battle for the leadership of the AFL-CIO. LINK

2005:

In Sunday's New York Times, two fellas (who go by the names "Chalian" and "Halperin") wrote about Mayor Bloomberg's current commanding position as he seeks Republican re-election in a Democratic city. LINK

2006:

Roll Call's Chris Cillizza writes that House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) is gearing up for some possible redistricting payback, talking with several Democratic governors, including Illinois, New Mexico, and Louisiana, about redrawing their states' congressional boundaries.

On Sunday, the Boston Globe's Frank Phillips looked at the fundraising powerhouse that is Sen. Ted Kennedy's 2006 re-election bid, Noting that while the Massachusetts GOP is having trouble rustling up a candidate, the Senator is following the Steve Grossman-endorsed playbook to keep raising cash and not let his guard down. LINK

Politics:

Rep. Jim Nussle to Iowa Republicans: we've got a lot of work to do. LINK

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