The Note: Right Time, the Right Place, The Right Body, the Right Face

Iraqi labor leaders hold a 10:30 am ET press briefing on Capitol Hill as they mark the halfway point in a 15-day visit to the U.S.

At noon, former leaders of Iraq, Algeria, Malaysia, and France announce the formation of an "Emergency Committee for Iraq" and discuss the next steps in the preparation for Saddam Hussein's legal defense at the National Press Club.

Bush does the Keystone thing:

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports, essentially, that President Bush attempted to boost his poll numbers by stumping for Sen. Rick Santorum and the Republican Party in Pennsylvania. LINK

Chatting with younger-than-college-age students in State College, PA, the President entreated them to join the Social Security discussion by contacting Washington representatives, but some youthful audience members surmised that entitlement worries can wait. LINK

Also from the Philadelphia Inquirer: "Coming to State College gave Bush the opportunity to address two of the groups he hopes will find his ideas appealing -- family farmers, who have to pay both the employer and employee share of the payroll tax, and young people, many of whom wonder about what will be left of Social Security when their time comes to collect." LINK

"The political risks of his decision to push doggedly ahead with his ambitious agenda were on full display as Mr. Bush appeared twice in Pennsylvania, a battleground state with one of the oldest populations in the nation, alongside Mr. Santorum, one of his most ardent supporters on Social Security," writes Dick Stevenson in the New York Times. LINK

"In part because of his support for the changes sought by the president, including the establishment of individual investment accounts and benefit cuts for future generations of middle- and upper-income workers, Mr. Santorum is trailing in his 2006 re-election race and is perhaps the No. 1 target next year for Democrats as they seek to cut into or wipe out the Republican majorities in the House and Senate."

The local newspaper's coverage is pleasantly (for the West Wing) straightforward: LINK

Protestors, protestors: LINK

Joe Paterno gets the limo ride of his life: LINK

Bush agenda:

The Washington Post's Peter Baker and Glenn Kessler look at the new interest that Bush is showing in meeting political dissidents -- part of his second-term push to create a powerful symbolic link between the United States and those who have fought human rights abuses in their own countries. The duo Note the juxtaposition of the meetings with the criticisms toward the U.S. for alleged abuses at prison facilities in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and elsewhere. LINK

A page A-1, triple-bylined-dual-datelined article in the Wall Street Journal concludes that "The Bush administration and some Republican leaders in Congress are scrambling to beef up legislation regulating mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that they see as too easy on the scandal-scarred companies. The White House, which has long sought to rein in Fannie and Freddie, has told House Speaker Dennis Hastert that a bill which last month sailed through the House Financial Services Committee on a bipartisan 65-5 vote failed to meet many of its key goals, according to a senior administration official. The administration and some Republican allies are seeking to prevent it from going to the House floor for a vote in its current form."

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