The Note: A Male, Hoarse



As the press goes gaga for 43 behaving like 42 (staying out late eating dinner, changing his schedule on the fly, boogying with a charismatic young foreign leader), check out this code breaking here at home:

1. E.J. Dionne in the Washington Post on WHY the Democrats are digging in on judges, Social Security, DeLay, and more. LINK

2. Brody Mullins in the Wall Street Journal on why those "non-partisan" Washington interest groups are often liberal fronts, and what you should do about it.

3. Nina Easton in the Boston Globe on Dr. Dean's prescriptions for Massachusetts Democrats. LINK

4. The opening and closing paragraphs in Dick Morris' New York Post column -- perfectly explaining why the David Rosen story is going to be with us for a while. LINK

5. The Los Angeles Times' Mary Curtius on the principle, pragmatism, and politics guiding the Hagel, Chafee, and Voinovich votes on Bolton. LINK

(Clue: if Sen. Hagel wants to ever be the Republican nominee for "higher office," it's pretty clear how he should vote . . . )

President Bush's public day is done; he met with the President of Georgia in Tblisi. He delivered a speech before a cheering crowd of thousands in "Freedom Square" in Tbilisi, Georgia (a.k.a. Lenin Square during Soviet rule). Bush praised the Georgian people and President Mikheil Saakashvili, who led the Rose Revolution in 2003 that overthrew a corrupt government.

He returns to the White House around 6:10 pm ET tonight.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin in California today for the federal criminal trial against Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's Senate 2000 finance director, David Rosen. Josh Gerstein's salivary glands are on overdrive already.

The Senate Judiciary Committee continues its look at the reauthorization of the USA Patriot Act. The full body continues debate on the highway bill and the supplemental appropriation for Iraq and Afghanistan.

Party policy luncheons are from 10:30 am ET to 12:30 pm ET, with an expected (TBD) visit to the cameras from Majority Leader Frist. The judges and the constitutional/nuclear option hangs heavy in the air.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee holds an oversight committee on the ways in which Saddam Hussein apparently manipulated the Oil For Food program. Witnesses include Steven Groves and Mark Greenblatt of the permanent investigation subcommittees, Thomas Schweich, the chief of staff to the US mission to the UN, and others. The Senate Commerce Committee tackles identity theft and data information services. Witnesses include executives from ChoicePoint and Lexis Nexis.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi speaks this morning to the AFL-CIO's Industrial Union Council, which is meeting at the Washington Hilton. Among the topics: CAFTA. Minority Whip Steny Hoyer has a pen-and-pad at 10:00 am ET.

The National Association of Realtors continues its legislative and trade exposition; speakers today include Sen. James Talent (R-MO), and Rep. Richard Pombo (R-CA)

The New Democrat Network today will launch its New Politics Institute and holds an 11:00 am ET conference call with founders Simon Rosenberg, Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, and Andy and Deborah Rappaport.

Filibuster battles:

The New York Times has a good overview if you missed yesterday's developments. LINK

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