The Note: Courage Mounteth with Occasion

The Los Angeles Times' Ron Brownstein reports that MoveOn's fundraising on behalf of Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) is a powerful asset for the Democrat and also a big bull's eye for Republicans, who are raring to make the group's support an issue in all the states they can. LINK

The Hill's Josephine Hearn looks at the new PAC created by the Republican Study Committee, headed up by Rep. Ernest Istook (R-OK), and aimed at electing more conservatives to Congress. LINK

Social Security:

The Washington Post's Mike Allen and Peter Baker look at the great difference between the original town hall meetings between lawmakers and their constituents on Social Security, and the way the meetings have evolved into "workshops in which administration officials did most of the talking and lawmakers stepped up to answer a few questions after lengthy presentations from Bush appointees." They Note the change came after critics and tough audiences emerged in the first round, and call it emblematic of the back seat members of Congress have taken in the campaigning to overhaul the Social Security program. LINK

Note the tough talk ("failure") from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who said the President and Congress need to start over by targeting workers under 40.

The Los Angeles Times' Warren Vieth and Richard Simon wrap President Bush's visit to West Virginia, where he stirred up Democrats by suggesting that the Social Security trust fund is non-existent because of the pay-as-you-go nature of the program. LINK

We're guessing it was Sen. Max Baucus' day to distribute the Democratic talking points. (He says personal/private accounts are dead.)

The Washington Post's Robert Samuelson seems disgusted with the debate over Social Security that doesn't address the program's solvency, and the entitlement ticking bomb. LINK

Allan Hubbard gets real estate in the Wall Street Journal to reframe, reframe, and reframe Social Security yet again: "Personal accounts do involve a transition -- a transition to a more transparent, more honest system of accounting for Social Security. And, more importantly, by providing ownership, control and the opportunity to save and invest, they lead to a more secure retirement for America's workers."

Sen.Charles Grassley has been bombarded by Iowan constituents and organizations against the President's Social Security plan. LINK

2008: Democrats:

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson signed yet another tax cut into law yesterday. LINK

Scot Lehigh writes of Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell's critique about Democrats and John Kerry; the Governor says that Democrats, on the issues, are "dumbing them down." And the man affectionately called "Fast Eddie" seems to think he can run for re-election and then maybe the White House right after that -- or maybe not. LINK

Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen tries to walk back comments he made about Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, and his staff even called her office to explain, but we still don't know what context Bredesen thinks his comments were taken out of! LINK

2008 Republicans:

Another Rudy Giuliani best seller? A memoir covering his years as a New York prosecutor will be published in 2007. LINK

Just in time!

Wal-Mart:

The United Food and Commercial Workers' Web site made it into most stories we've seen about yesterday's conclave for print journalists at Wal-Mart's headquarters in Bentonville, AR.

Here's the AP's take. LINK

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