The Note: June Comes in Like a Lamb

Mike Williams of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution previews President Bush's OAS remarks, which are expected to focus not only on CAFTA, but on reestablishing the U.S.' influence in the Western hemisphere. LINK?UrAuth=`N_NUOcNZUbTTUWUXUTUZT[UTUWUbU]UZUcU^UcTYWYWZV">LINK

The Miami Herald takes a closer look at the remarks of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who's chairing the OAS meeting. LINK

Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post wraps Secretary of State Rice's remarks to the Organization of American States on Sunday, in which she pressed Western hemisphere nations to actively support democracy and oppose trends toward authoritarianism in the region that would threaten it -- with a pointed, yet less-than-explicit shot at Venezuela. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Sonni Efron contemplates whether National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley is too nice to be effective in his role and make sure all opposing sides are heard. When was the last time you heard that concern about anyone in Washington? LINK

On Sunday, the Washington Post's Jim VandeHei and Peter Baker wrote that President Bush's continued optimism that the U.S. military is succeeding against the insurgency in Iraq, despite the ongoing violence and uncertainty that the institutions that have been established will hold, much less succeed, is creating room for new skepticism and criticism of the White House's approach to Iraq -- particularly after recent CODELs to the country. LINK

"The disconnect between Rose Garden optimism and Baghdad pessimism, according to government officials and independent analysts, stems not only from Bush's focus on tentative signs of long-term progress but also from the shrinking range of policy options available to him if he is wrong. Having set out on a course of trying to stand up a new constitutional, elected government with the security firepower to defend itself, Bush finds himself locked into a strategy that, even if it proves successful, foreshadows many more deadly months to come first, analysts said."

The Los Angeles Times' Tyler Marshall on Sunday examined just how big a priority President Bush's policy of expanding democracy in the world has become since he declared it in his second inaugural address -- via meetings with foreign officials, development programs, and lofty rhetoric. LINK

" Although few foreign policy specialists interviewed for this article questioned the president's personal sincerity, some dismissed his plan as little more than fantasy. Others expressed doubt that the U.S. had the credibility to advance such ambitious reforms -- especially in the Islamic world."

SEC nominee Christopher Cox:

Roll Call's Chris Cillizza looks at the nomination of Rep. Christopher Cox to the SEC, Noting the difference between the White House's public line that it's a coincidence that the President has recently chosen three members of the House of Representatives (add Cox to Portman and Goss) to join his Administration, and "other knowledgeable sources" who said "the run on Members was due to an increased Republican majority and a desire to bring in individuals who could work well in Congress and also sell Bush's policy priorities to the public. Having figures in the Administration who are known entities in Congress could be particularly important as concerns grow that Republican Members may be more willing to stray from the agenda of a president who will not face voters again."

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