The Note: The Note for America



Today's don't-even-consider-missings:

1. The New York Times' Andrew Revkin on White House official Phil Cooney, the chief of staff of the Council on Environmental Quality, who edited a key government policy statement on global warming to allegedly soften its references to the effects of greenhouse gas emissions on the environment. Everyone can read/see what they want to here!!! LINK

2. The missive from truth-teller David Rogers of the Wall Street Journal, who writes, "As spending bills advance in Congress, Republicans are struggling to balance high-profile science and environmental demands at home against the mounting costs of U.S. commitments overseas."

"President Bush's ambitious foreign-aid budget is certain to be squeezed in coming weeks, and both the House and Senate are trimming at the edges of the Pentagon's 2006 budget request as lawmakers look for more money for domestic programs. But the cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars was dramatized again yesterday, when the House Appropriations Committee approved a revised $408 billion military budget that includes more than $45.2 billion in contingency funds to pay for operations after Oct. 1."

3. A potential blockbuster from Bloomberg's Ryan Donmoyer: "The U.S. Interior Department inspector general concluded that the Bush administration offered in 2002 to overpay a prominent Florida family for oil and gas rights on Everglades land, according to people familiar with the matter."

"In a report to the Senate Finance Committee to be made public today, Inspector General Earl Devaney says the department nearly tripled earlier estimates of the value of the mineral rights, the three people said. The agreement wasn't completed and the people familiar with the situation said Devaney's findings would scuttle it."

"The report says that Ann Klee, a Bush administration political appointee, led the effort to reach an agreement with the Collier family shortly after she was named in January 2001 to administer the transition at the Interior Department between presidential administrations."

"Klee, and two Interior Department lawyers, Barry Roth and Peter Schaumberg, relied on a private sector estimate that recommended the $120 million payment after soliciting several appraisals, all of which were lower, Devaney's report says. It also says at least one career Interior Department official contested the high estimate."

4. All the details you didn't pick up from yesterday's ABC News/Washington Post poll. LINK

5. Dean, Dean, Dean, Dean, Dean. LINK

Not to mention all the great reporting from North Korea starting this week by ABC News' Bob Woodruff, who's taking a look at the tense relationship between that country and the United States from the inside. Woodruff and an ABC News team were granted extraordinary visas to report from North Korea, providing the first extensive reporting by an American news organization inside that country since then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's October 2000 visit there. LINK

Today . . .

President Bush meets with Turkish Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan at 10:30 am ET. He talks about strengthening Social Security in Washington, DC at 1:15 pm ET, then sits down for an interview with Fox News Channel's Neil Cavuto at 4:00 pm ET.

House Republicans and Democrats hold their respective closed-door party caucuses at 9:00 am ET.

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