The Note: Talking Is Cheap

"With President Bush vowing to veto a bill to loosen restrictions on federal financing for embryonic stem cell research, leading Congressional Republicans, including Senator Bill Frist, the majority leader, have drafted an alternative that promotes new, unproven methods of obtaining stem cells without destroying embryos," writes Sheryl Gay Stolberg of the New York Times. LINK

"The new legislation was being promoted on Tuesday as a middle ground between the bill passed by the House to expand federal financing for the research and Mr. Bush's stance, set down four years ago to permit such financing only for studies on existing embryonic stem cell lines."

Dean's Democrats:

Roll Call's Erin Billings reports that "With tensions on Capitol Hill still somewhat raw over a string of provocative remarks, Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean is finding a friendly reception from at least one group of Members who on Tuesday encouraged him to keep up his candid approach. Dean met over breakfast with about 30 Progressive Caucus Democrats to talk about his vision for the party and his ideas for winning back the House, the Senate and the White House."

Social Security:

"Republican leaders are putting a strategy in place to ensure that Bush's No. 1 domestic priority remains on the legislative front burner, even if the Senate's full attention is focused on confirmation hearings for whoever is nominated to succeed retiring Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor," writes Roll Call's Mark Preston.

"While the GOP plan is still in its nascent stages, the idea is to have the House approve a Social Security-related bill and send it to the Senate for consideration. The measure would not address the creation of personal accounts — a sticking point for Democrats — but would rather serve as a building block for a far more reaching reform bill that would be taken up some time in the future."

2008:

The AP caught yesterday's Clinton/Santorum encounter and semantic exchange… to be continued at a debate podium near you? LINK

2008: Republicans:

Scot Lehigh of the Boston Globe says despite the presidential speculation that has been floating around Gov. Romney is no 'lame duck,' when it comes to serving as the Bay State governor. LINK

After hearing last weeks comments from Sen. Santorum regarding Boston's "liberalism" directly affecting inappropriate sexual behavior such as pedophilia in Roman Catholic Church, Rep. Barney Frank called Santorum "a jerk" and Sen. McCain said "I think he probably has written off Massachusetts," in regards to a possible 2008 presidential run. LINK

2008: Democrats:

The folks at Glover Park and the RNC will be clipping and saving the Hernandez/Healy must-read look in the New York Times today at Sen. Clinton's "evolution." The duo keys off of Clinton's just-launched 2006 campaign website and explores where she stands on abortion, health care, national security, and immigration. LINK

"Some of her positions, particularly on health care, reflect a true evolution. . . On other fronts, she has changed her emphasis. . .," they write.

More: "If Mrs. Clinton's critics and her supporters agree on one thing, it is that she has proved to be a nimble political operator since coming to the Senate. In many ways, her approach is reminiscent of what her husband once called 'the third way,' the path that exploited the political center."

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