The Note: The Last Time a New York Times Poll Write-up Was Positive for Republicans Was . . .

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice kicks off her visit to the Middle East today with trips to the Palestinian West Bank, Jerusalem, Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. Sunday morning, Secretary Rice is the guest on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos."

At 2:45 pm ET, Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA) spearheads a protest demanding the release of the Myanmar's imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize winner, Aung San Suu Kyi.

Disputes over Social Security continue with the Labor and Employment Relations Association's conference "Benefits at Risk: Meeting the Challenges of Providing Health Care Benefits and Retirement Income in the 21st Century," starting at 8:00 am ET. At 9:00 am ET, representative Jan Schakowksy (D-IL) will deliver remarks.

The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants holds a news conference to release its "World Refugee Survey 2005" at 10:00 am ET. The Cato Institute's Daniel Griswold and the Wall Street Journal's Steve Moore add their two cents to the immigration debate with a news briefing entitled "Immigration: The Economic Question" at noon ET.

The National Taxpayers Union kicks off its three-day National Taxpayers Conference at 7:45 am ET. Be sure to catch the remarks of Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) and Rep. Mike Pence (R-In.) at 8:15 am ET and 12:15 am ET respectively.

DNC Chairman Howard Dean speaks to the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin Conference in Houston. Tonight, he attends a DNC fundraiser at the home of Fred Baron in Dallas. Saturday, Dean attends a DNC grassroots fundraiser in Austin and then DemocracyFest at Stubb's Barbeque. LINK

Note to the Governor: at least taste the cornbread.

Tune in to Washington's WTOP today at 10:00 am ET today to hear Virginia State Sen. Russ Potts discuss his run as an independent in the soon-to-be-climactic Virginia gubernatorial race.

Sen. John McCain today delivers the commencement address at Northwestern University in Chicago.

And in case you've forgotten, Sunday is Father's Day. To celebrate, Sen. Barack Obama delivers the keynote address at Chicago's Christ Universal Temple at Sunday morning's service.

Not to trade in (semi-)obscure acronyms, but ALEC: move over. There's a new PLAN in state capitals. The Progressive Legislative Exchange Network plans to launch in August as a "new organization to support forward-thinking, progressive state legislators with the policy, communication, and strategic resources to help them fight the progressive battle at the state level." Former Sen. John Edwards already seems to be on board. LINK

Social Security:

Following up and revising (a bit) the Washington Post's reporting from yesterday, as well as breaking new ground, the Wall Street Journal's Jackie Calmes writes that "Congress's Republican leaders, convinced they are staring into the jaws of defeat on overhauling Social Security, are scrambling for an alternative approach to President Bush's top domestic priority that would allow him -- and them -- to seize some measure of victory."

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