The Note: Tough Duck

There's an awesome only-in-Roll Call article from Erin Billings and Mark Preston on the Democratic Party's message guru, but why Roll Call call him "Peter?"

"National Democratic leaders are poised to drop a much-hyped message guru they turned to just a few months ago to help re-brand the party, looking instead for different voices to provide them with a sharper political message, sources said."

"Senior Democratic sources said New York marketing expert and former Internet executive Peter Yanowitch, is perceived by many in the party as moving too slowly, and has yet to wow party leaders with a solid game plan. The sources said that Congressional leaders and the Democratic National Committee, working together on an overhaul of the party's image, are ready to turn to seasoned media firms and other non-Washington communications experts to help spread the Democratic agenda beyond the Beltway."

"'Everyone is deeply appreciative about Richard Yanowitch's contributions to the process, but there is an agreement that now is the time to turn to a commercial firm," said a senior Democratic aide who requested anonymity. "At this point, there is a general agreement from both chambers and the DNC that it is time to move forward with a united front and pursue messaging with professionals outside the Beltway.'"

Politics:

This paragraph appears in a sidebar story by Al Baker of the New York Times regarding a conference call on which New York's Republican state senators yucked it up before an after they were addressed by a dignified George Pataki: LINK

". . .a reporter listened in on after being invited to do so by a Republican operative. Participants in the call were not asked to identify themselves."

In other words: a must read for anyone who works in politics anywhere on the planet.

Other Thursday schedule items:

Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff addresses the Commonwealth Club of California at 12:30 pm ET in Santa Clara, CA.

At 2:00 pm ET, the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims marks up legislation that would eliminate the diversity immigrant program.

At 10:00 am ET, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hold an oversight hearing titled "NASA Passenger Aircraft Mission -- Required or Expensive Perk?".

At 11:00 am ET, Sens. John McCain (R-AZ), John Warner (R-VA) and Hillary Clinton (D-NY) join Reps. C.W. "Bill" Young (R-FL) and Henry Hyde (R-IL) for a news conference to announce a major effort to build a rehabilitation center for the National Armed Forces in San Antonio, TX.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) and Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL) attend an event titled "The Black Male: Endangered Species or Hope for the Future?" at 2:15 pm ET at the Washington Convention Center.

At 2:30 pm ET, the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee holds a hearing on balancing copyright protection and technological innovation in light of the MGM v. Grokster decision.

FairVote kicks off a national campaign calling for the direct election of the president at a news conference beginning at 9:00 am ET.

Former Secretary of State and National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger attends a noontime luncheon to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Helsinki Final Act.

At 1:00 pm ET, FreedomWorks Chairman Dick Armey and Congressman Patrick McHenry (R-NC) hold an invitation-only conference call to discuss their strategy for pressuring Congress on "critical issues" during the August recess.

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