The Note: Serenity



All news organizations and sensible political planners are building their day (weekend?) around the grave news about Pope John Paul II's health.

The lurking background b-stories -- Terri Schiavo, Social Security, the intel report, Tom DeLay -- are, appropriately, lurking in the background.

At 10:50 am ET, President and First Lady Laura Bush talk about helping America's youth at Paul Public Junior High Charter School in Washington, DC.

At 11:00 am ET, former Sen. John Edwards sits down for an interview on Iowa Public Television's "Iowa Press" in Johnston, IA. He'll hold a media availability at 11:30 am ET. He'll also talk about poverty at Urban Dreams with Rep. Wayne Ford in a closed-press meeting.

The Tar Heel visits Madison, WI tomorrow, before heading to Milwaukee to speak at the Democratic Party of Wisconsin's annual Founders' Day Gala. On Sunday, he goes to Jefferson County, MO to campaign for state Senate candidate Rick Johnson.

At 7:45 am ET today, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice introduced Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who delivered remarks at the annual meeting of the American Society of International Law.

The Labor Department reports this morning that the economy added 110,000 jobs in March -- considerably lower than the 220,000 jobs that were expected.

At 2:30 pm ET, the Living Wage Coalition hosts an event to celebrate Georgetown University's recent commitment to paying a living wage to all full-time employees, a promise that came after a nine-day hunger strike by students. AFL-CIO President John Sweeny, Metro Washington Central Labor Council President Jos Williams and other political, labor and religious leaders participate.

At 7:00 pm ET at the National Press Club, April Fool's Day jokesters Matt Cooper of Time magazine, James Rosen of Fox News Channel, David Corn of the Nation, and comedians Will Durst and Bob Somerby participate in a special tribute to the life and work of Hunter S. Thompson -- sponsored by the Hotline and the National Press Club.

Tomorrow night, New York City's version of the Gridiron dinner explodes into view at the annual Inner Circle event at the Hilton on Sixth Avenue. This year's installment is entitled, "Let's Get Ready to Fumble." Watch Bob Hardt dance!!! Watch Ernie Anastos be Ernie Anastos!! Watch boys watch Maggie Haberman!!! Watch Kevin Sheekey own the room!!! Watch more Diallo, stadium, and Giff-looks-young jokes than you could ever imagine!!! Watch Mayor Mike perform with the cast of some real Broadway show TBA!! LINK

Sunday on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," New York state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer sits down to talk about the burgeoning investigation into insurance giant AIG. Also, Sens. Dick Durbin and Jon Kyl will discuss the damning presidential report on the faulty intelligence on the weapons of mass destruction and the little we know about the current nuclear threats. And of course the latest on the Pope.

Social Security:

"House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) has acknowledged that President Bush's call for completion of a Social Security bill this year could be unrealistic and that the legislation might have to wait until 2006," writes the Washington Post's Mike Allen, who Notes that Hastert's comments come in today's National Journal and were immediately met by insistence by Republicans and the White House that an overhaul be signed this year. LINK

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