The Note: Flying Pigs

WASHINGTON, March 30

NEWS SUMMARY

Hell freezes over and pigs fly:

The Wall Street Journal editorial page runs an op-ed celebrating Clay Shaw's add-on Social Security idea.

Bill Bradley writes a New York Times op-ed (with help?) demonstrating more brilliant and complete understanding of how the two parties relate to ideas and electoral success (and the media!!!) than he ever let on he had as a candidate. (must-read) LINK

In a companion op-ed, Jack Danforth suggests the Republican Party has become too beholden to religious conservatives. (must-read) LINK

The New York Post criticizes President Bush in a front-page editorial in the Schiavo case.

Hell is very hot and pigs are earth-bound:

The New York Observer suggests that Rudy Giuliani plays by different rules regarding his business dealings and future aspirations. (must-read) LINK

The New York Times looks at DeLay, Inc., with lots of murky implications.

Mary Matalin -- in announcing the Mary Cheney book deal -- is the picture of confidence and elegance.

Iowa is the center of the political universe.

President Bush heads to Cedar Rapids for a 1:10 pm ET conversation on Social Security, with Sen. Charles Grassley at Kirkwood Community College, which is in Rep. Leach's district (Rep. Leach is regarding Social Security a candidate for the LaHood Award).

The President is also doing an interview with WHO Newsradio at 12:15 pm ET, which should be interesting.

There is much anti-personal-accounts bracketing that will go on on the ground in Iowa.

First Lady Laura Bush is in Afghanistan on a trip focusing on Afghan women, a meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, a tour of a teacher training institute, and remarks to U.S. troops at Bagram Air Base. Mrs. Bush, who is traveling with Education Secretary Margaret Spelling, will also award $21 million in education grants as part of the U.S. effort to spread democracy in Muslim countries: $17.7 million for the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul and $3.5 million for the International School in Afghanistan, a K-12 school.

At 10:00 am ET, People for the American Way Foundation holds a news conference to launch a multimillion-dollar national advertising and grassroots campaign to urge Senators to preserve filibusters on judicial nominations.

At 11:00 am ET, the Campaign for America's Future will hold a conference call to unveil its new TV ad urging Congress to "wash its hands" of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.

At 12:30 pm ET, the Center for American Progress and Washington Monthly hold a discussion whether a military draft is needed. Among the participants: former Army Capt. Philip Carter, contributor to the Washington Monthly; and Lawrence Korb, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, participate.

At 7:00 pm ET, Progressive Maryland holds its 2005 awards banquet, and among the honorees are former Sen. John Edwards, AFL-CIO president John Sweeney.

Social Security:

In an exclusive report with interesting implications, The Hill's Bob Cusack reports that congressional Democrats are in fact putting together their own plan for retirement savings that doesn't call for any change to the existing Social Security system. LINK

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