The Note: Everybody into the Pool

John Bolton, President Bush's nominee to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, isn't getting much love from some parts of the diplomatic community, AP reports -- 59 former American diplomats have sent a letter to the Senate urging lawmakers to reject his nomination. LINK

The Bush Administration's "push for military superiority in space" is making arms control advocates nervous both here and abroad, writes the Washington Post's Walter Pincus. LINK

The President has proposed moving the ever-popular Community Development Block Grant program and seventeen other community development programs to the Commerce Department, targeting the programs for a 35 percent cut. The Washington Times' Brian DeBose quickly discovers the idea has bipartisan critics including Rep. Christopher Shays (R-CT) who insists, "I fully support the administration's goal of halving the deficit by 2009, but am deeply concerned some cuts to domestic spending will be to the detriment of our urban areas." LINK

The Chicago Tribune's Gary Marx finds a story in Florida besides Terri Schiavo, discovering the self-proclaimed "termites" determined to end Castro's Cuban regime to the tune of $4.7 million in Bush-supported U.S. aide since 2000. LINK

Riffing on Cuba again, Marx (no relation) sketches the life of Frank Calzon, head of Center for a Free Cuba in Washington, who makes a daily habit of pressing politicians such as Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL) for more than his current $5 million in U.S. funds to-date to fight Castro's Cuba. LINK

This week's featured Political Player on the Washington Post's Fed page: President Bush's top domestic policy adviser, Claude Allen. LINK

The political landscape:

The Washington Post's John Harris turns in an interesting read about the demographics of government -- i.e., "Geriatric Washington," Noting that as a town/industry, DC is more tolerant than others of advanced age and potential infirmity among the ranks of its elite and powerful. Looking not entirely specifically at the age roster of the Supreme Court, Harris also raises the question of whether governmental institutions should self-regulate -- maybe not with a mandatory retirement age, but keeping an eye on what corporate governance expert J.P. Donlon charmingly refers to as a "sell-by date." LINK

It's getting more partisan and more homogenized out there, the Washington Post's Dan Balz reports, taking look at some new data released by the political analysis firm Polidata showing a trend of fewer and fewer "split ticket" districts in which voters chose different parties for president and Congress -- just 59 out of 435 in 2004. And redistricting and party ID are two main reasons. LINK

E.J. Dionne writes in the Washington Post that the increasingly extreme views that liberals and conservatives hold of one another cause each side to overestimate the other, and further the idea that the political status quo and all of the ideas surrounding it are intransigent. Which can make it tough (or easy) for people on either side to remain faithful to their principles and not the politics of a situation. LINK

The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz looks at a new study that concludes 72 percent of faculties at American universities are liberal and 15 percent are conservative -- by their own description. "The study did not attempt to examine whether the political views of faculty members affect the content of their courses," he Notes. LINK

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