The Note: Tough Duck

WASHINGTON, July 28

NEWS SUMMARY

If the Bush White House weren't so completely distracted by the Wilson leak investigation, perhaps the President would be able to actually get something done -- besides sign CAFTA, the highway bill, and the energy bill into law; read all the improving economic figures; celebrate his still-bullet-proof Supreme Court nomination; and continue along semi-stealthily on 2006 fundraising and candidate recruitment.

And if the Democrats weren't so sure that a one-sentence party platform ("Karl Rove should be in jail.") was a sure winner, perhaps they would Notice that the Republican majority is likely to get at least some credit with voters for passing these laws; that the Bill Clinton Democratic Party of free trade just might have been dead and buried shortly after midnight; and that the AFL thing -- along with the America Coming Together thing, along with the DNC thing -- leaves the party with some serious money and organization questions.

And/but there's still the Iraq war and Social Security for the White House to deal with, but does anyone think Democrats are scoring political points galore on those?

And/but perhaps Democrats will be able to convince the country by votin' time that Washington is a corrupt, Republican-dominated cesspool of special interest greed and that the macro economic numbers mean nothing. (Just like in 2002 an7d 2004. . .)

So completes our snap-shot summary of everything you have to know about American politics in fewer than 250 words.

At this writing, President Bush's public schedule consists of a 3:00 pm ET photo op in the State Dining Room with representatives from the Future Farmers of America Organization's State Presidents Conference and his rescheduled remarks to be delivered this evening at 7:15 pm ET to the Boy Scout Jamboree in Fort A.P. Hill, VA. Hopefully it will be a bit cooler today for those waiting to hear from the President. LINK

Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-IL) holds a pen and pad briefing at 9:30 am ET where he will, no doubt, champion the passage of CAFTA and sing the praises of the highway and energy bills. We'll be listening to hear what he has to say about those 27 GOP defectors.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi holds a press conference at 10:45 am ET where she will, no doubt, decry the passage of CAFTA and express some concern about the energy bill. We'll be listening to hear what she has to say about those 15 Democratic defectors.

At 2:00 pm ET, Sen./Dr./Leader Frist will be joined by his colleagues in the majority leadership to "review the Republican agenda" in advance of the August recess.

Sens. Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA) meet with Judge John Roberts today.

At 2:15 pm ET, Democrats announce the launch of a new interactive website aimed at engaging Americans in the Supreme Court confirmation process. Sens. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Hillary Clinton (D-NY) are scheduled to participate.

The Senate will reconvene at 9:30 am ET, at which time the Senate will be in morning business for one hour, and then will resume consideration of the gun liability bill. There should be a roll call vote on the Kohl amendment on trigger locks some time on Thursday morning.

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