The Note: Early Action Would Be Prudent

WASHINGTON, March 10 --

NEWS SUMMARY

The Note knows better than to try to pre-frame any political day in which Bill Clinton is in the news.

After arriving at the hospital this morning around 5:00 am ET, President Clinton is in surgery this morning and we expect a statement from his doctors soon after it's completed.

Until then, keep yourself busy reading about Social Security.

The current President stumps for his proposed changes in the retirement program in Louisville, KY at noon ET and in Montgomery, Alabama at 4:50 pm ET. He'll be proceeded/chased by a variety of local and national bracketing events.

Local curtain-raising newspaper coverage of the Bush tour is genuflectory and security-conscious: LINK ; LINK ; LINK

Mr. Bush remains overnight in Memphis.

Treasury Secretary John Snow pitches Social Security in Albuquerque, NM at noon ET.

DNC Chairman Howard Dean breakfasts with Democratic lobbyists and ends the day by joining a MoveOn conference call at 8:05 pm ET. (Sen. Harry Reid will also be on the call.)

Karl Rove thanks Chester County, PA Republicans tonight at their annual dinner.

The Senate meets this morning for regular business and takes up the bankruptcy reform legislation at 11:30 ET. The House is in session at 10:00 am ET, and the highway bill will be on the floor.

At 10:00 am ET, two subcommittees of House Energy and Commerce hold a hearing on steroid abuse in baseball. The House Armed Services committee hears from Defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Joint Chiefs Chairman Richard Myers at 3:00 pm ET. And House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi briefs reporters at 10:45 am ET.

Leader DeLay:

Although the facts are a bit murky still, the Washington Post's Mike Allen and R. Jeffrey Smith advance the macro DeLay story with a detailed look through travel reports showing that House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and two other Republican House members accepted an expense-paid trip to South Korea in 2001, even though such trips provided by foreign agents are prohibited under House rules. The Korea-U.S. Exchange Council hosted another trip in 2003 with another group of lawmakers -- three Democrats and one Republican. LINK

Read it all carefully, and expect there to be some follow up.

Back on the "old" story, the New York Times' Phil Shenon and David Kirkpatrick: "Representative Tom DeLay, the House majority leader, said Wednesday that he was aware of how accounts for corporate donations had been set up at a political action committee that is under criminal investigation by a Texas grand jury and that the committee's lawyers closely monitored all fund-raising activities." LINK

"Mr. DeLay's comments, made at his weekly news conference on Capitol Hill, were his most detailed public remarks to date on his involvement in the creation and fund-raising activities of the committee, Texans for a Republican Majority."

Social Security: the politics:

Among most lobbyists, most reporters, and many Democrats, the question is: when will the President be forced to make a major compromise on Social Security?

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