The Note: This Cause of Terror

The Wall Street Journal's Joe Hagan reports that "the disclosure that Mr. Bush's top political strategist discussed the CIA employment of Mr. Wilson's wife amounts to a political embarrassment for Mr. Rove and the White House. A presidential spokesman had previously given what appeared to be an unequivocal public assurance that Mr. Rove hadn't been involved in the disclosure of Ms. Plame as a CIA operative. Discovery that earlier denials may have been carefully parsed would represent another blow to the administration's credibility, compounding damage from the underlying issue that initially brought Mr. Wilson into the spotlight."

A trio of New York Times reporters looks at how Matt Cooper came to believe (not once, but twice in this investigation) that his sources provided him with a personal waiver of any confidentiality. LINK

Big Casino budget politics:

Bloomberg reports that "President George W. Bush's administration will report this week that surging tax revenue is shrinking this year's budget deficit from the record 2004 level, possibly by as much as $90 billion, giving him a shot at fulfilling his deficit reduction promise three years early."

"With tax revenue running $1 billion a day ahead of the 2004 pace in late April and May, the deficit will likely decline to about $325 billion from $412 billion last year, according to the Congressional Budget Office and private forecasters such as Stephen Stanley, chief economist at RBS Greenwich Capital in Greenwich, Connecticut."

Paul Krugman offers a pre-buttal in his New York Times column. LINK

Bolton:

We just wanted to take this opportunity to remind you all that Congress will be back in session today, closing this particular window for a recess appointment.

The politics of immigration:

Ron Brownstein of the Los Angeles Times explores the "will not" versus the "cannot" sides of the immigration debate and writes wisely, "Each side in this debate thus needs the other. Without a greater investment in enforcement, it probably won't be possible to modernize the immigration laws through an effective guest worker plan. But without modernized laws, a greater investment in enforcement probably won't yield much more control over the border." LINK

Dean's Democrats:

David Broder gives props to Democracy Corps and writes that "their findings illuminate the most striking failure of the Democratic National Committee under the chairmanship of Howard Dean -- the reluctance to create the kind of policy arm that has rescued the party from similar doldrums past." LINK

"When I interviewed Dean recently, he readily acknowledged that 'people think they know what the Republicans stand for, and they can't say that about the Democrats.' But he said he has his staff collecting ideas from Democratic officeholders, activists and contributors about the party's agenda, and he hopes at the DNC's September meeting in Phoenix to find agreement on "three or four broad things we all have in common," then use them in his speeches and on the Web. But when it comes to specific policies, he said, 'we will follow the lead of Pelosi and Reid.'"

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