The Note: Finding The Gang

WASHINGTON, July 30

NEWS SUMMARY

The President is in excellent health (and/but the same cannot be said for his Social Security efforts).

Per ABC News' Ann Compton, he'll announce his recess appointment of John Bolton to be ambassador to the UN this morning. Time tbd.

Bob Novak semi-breaks his silence -- against lawyer's orders -- to push back against the CIA. LINK

Ron Brownstein uses his Los Angeles Times column to brilliant explain the risks and rewards bound up in the Hillary Clinton-DLC alliance. LINK

Governor Pataki plans to veto a morning-after pill bill, and New York liberals are going to be in high dudgeon. LINK

The MSM loves Sen./Leader/Dr. Frist's stem cell decision; it loves free trade but isn't crazy about the way the CAFTA votes were rounded up; it hates the transportation bill; it wants Paul Hackett to win tomorrow's special House election in OH-2 (although in this case, it is less liberal bias than wanting the good story); and it will spend the day reading the Ken Auletta story. LINK

Questions for you to ponder?; is the over/under for Roberts votes in the Senate appropropriately set at 70 for wagering purposes?; and why hasn't anyone reported who appeared at the Wilson leak investigation grand jury on Friday?

(Insert clunky Mondy transition here:)

A man who is as concerned as anyone with those matters, President Bush, is in Washington, and does not have any public events on his schedule today, sans the Bolton announcement, which he will make in person. He is planning to leave for Waco/Crawford on the morrow, after signing the CAFTA legislation.

Voters in Ohio's 2nd congressional district choose the successor to former Rep. Rob Portman's seat. The Republican, Jean Schmidt is favored, but the Democrat, an Iraq War vet named Paul Hackett, is receiving plenty of attention, in part because of his strong opposition to the war, and in part because of his outspoken criticism of the Commander in Chief.

Because both national committees have now spent real money on the contest, and because the district voted overwhelmingly for President Bush last year, this is one of those cases in which the national media will be justified in treating only one of the two outcomes as a real story. And you can guess which one that is. (We can hear the Chairman Rahm quotes even now…..)

Meanwhile, in Detroit, voters go to the polls for the city's mayoral primary. The main contenders include current mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and former deputy mayor Freman Hendrix.

Also tomorrow, Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) begins a three-day visit to Iowa.

The 9/11 Public Discourse Project holds a discussion on foreign policy in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia at 9:30 am ET Tuesday. 9/11 Commission Vice Chair Lee Hamilton moderates a panel that includes former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger.

On Wednesday, President Bush speaks to Republican legislators about his agenda in Grape Vine, TX.

The Young Democrats of America begins its national convention in San Francisco, CA. Expect appearances by Leader Nancy Pelosi, Governor Bill Richardson, Rep. Barney Frank, Rep. Mike Honda, Rep. Loretta Sanchez, Rep. Ellen Tauscher, and CA State Treasurer Phil Angelides. The full list and schedule can be found at: LINK

Gen. Wesley Clark and Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) travel to the Big Apple to attend Rep. Charlie Rangel's (D-NY) 75th birthday bash at Tavern on the Green.

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