The Note: "Where Does This Go?"

The Wall Street Journal's editorial board on those good deficit numbers: "Why is it that the dreaded federal budget deficit only commands screaming headlines when it's rising, not falling? And why is it that the deficit is portrayed as a fire-breathing, hydra-headed monster only when the press can portray the villain as 'irresponsible tax cuts,' not runaway federal spending?"

"We ask these questions in the wake of the great unreported fiscal story of 2005: the shrinking federal deficit. It's down by at least $100 billion because federal tax receipts have skyrocketed this year by 14.6% (or $204 billion) through June. Private economic forecasters now believe the budget deficit may come in at about 2.5% of GDP, which is in line with the historical average for the past 40 years. Given that we're fighting an expensive, must-win war on terror, these deficit numbers aren't too shabby."

Dean's Democrats:

The Associated Press reports the latest DNC fundraising figures and Notes that since Gov. Dean has become chairman, the DNC has been collecting $1 million per week. LINK


The AP's Mike Glover takes a fun look at how women candidates have faired in the Hawkeye State. LINK

"The state that holds the nation's first presidential caucus stands as one of just two -- Mississippi is the other -- never to have elected a woman governor or sent a woman to Congress."

"It's a statistic that puzzles political observers -- and one that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., considered a front-runner for her party's nomination in 2008, or any woman seeking the presidency can't ignore."

2008: Republicans:

David Yepsen (who, no doubt, is looking forward to hosting the national political press corps in an off-year at the end of the week) writes up Rep. Tancredo's (R-CO) one-issue potential candidacy in the Des Moines Register and Notes both the history and the impact of such protest candidates. LINK

Raphael Lewis of the Boston Glove covers Gov. Romney's trip to Washington yesterday. Romney attended a $1,000 minimum donation PAC fundraiser and spoke to fellow Republicans at the closed media event.

Asked for his reaction to Romney's speech, House majority leader Tom DeLay of Texas quipped: ''I like him, but I don't want to ruin his chances in Massachusetts." LINK

2008: Democrats:

Sen. Hillary Clinton's reelection campaign's website goes into operation tomorrow, reports the New York Times' Ray Hernandez. LINK

". . .Mrs. Clinton's own advisers have privately conceded that she must win re-election decisively - not merely eke out a victory - in order to seriously pursue any national candidacy."

Deborah Orin of the New York Post keys off of Steve Minarik's response to Sen. Clinton's MAD Magazine comparisons to second day that story. LINK

The Indianapolis Star's Maureen Groppe Notes Sen. Bayh's (D-IN) 2005 approach to dealing with his vote against raising fuel efficiency standards. LINK

"'There have been a couple of votes in the Senate on that,' Bayh said. 'Unfortunately, neither approach was successful.'"

We're pretty sure that answer will get fine tuned by 2007, should Sen. Bayh still be making trips to New Hampshire then.

Dan Gearino divulges in the Sioux City Journal that Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack's executive order re-enfranchising past criminals in no way prompted an immediate mass influx of registrants. LINK

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