What's Black and White (and Red, White and Blue) All Over?

WASHINGTON, Oct. 7, 2004 — -- NOTED NOW



Morning Show Wrap

Evening Newscasts Wrap

26 days until election day

1 day until the second presidential debate moderated by ABC News' Charles Gibson

6 days until the third presidential debate


On the eve of what could be the most decisive day in the long, hard march that is the 2004 presidential campaign, everywhere you look things are pretty much as they've been all year:

— President Bush walks Clinton-like through a political hailstorm over Iraq (in this instance: the Duelfer report), his case for war intellectually undermined (at least in Blue America … ), but not necessarily having his chances for reelection (in Purple America) decisively affected.

— President Bush is also using the "negative frame" that his campaign selected way back in March to brand John Kerry as unacceptable. Check out the language the POTUS uses in a mass fundraising e-mail that just went out in his name, with verbiage that echoes yesterday's full fuselage attack speech — pretty much the greatest hits of the rock band Gillespie and Schmidt:

"My opponent continues his pattern of confusing contradictions. … The American President must speak clearly, … my opponent's weak, vacillating views … John Kerry the most liberal member of the United States Senate. When the competition includes Ted Kennedy, that's really saying something. … He said: 'Well, I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it.' … .My opponent has a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of this war against terror, and he has no plan to win in Iraq."

— To soften all of this, Laura Bush was deployed on last night's Tonight Show to make Bushie seem warm and fuzzy.

— Senator Kerry is still saying things like this (in this instance: to ink-stained wretch Bill Keller in the New York Times ): "I'm going to talk somewhere, in an appropriate moment — I'm not sure when or where — you know values and faith." (Note to Senator Kerry, the Democratic nominee for president: THE ELECTION IS IN 26 DAYS!!!)

— With all eyes constantly set on 270 electoral votes, people with the last names "Bush," "Kerry," "Cheney," and "Edwards" are today making appearances in these not-insignificant states: Wisconsin, Florida, Colorado, Oregon, Iowa, and Pennsylvania.

— Lynne Cheney has unleashed her famously tart, sparkling rancor, out of love of spouse and country.

— Indices of greater-than-usual public interest keep cropping up, with boffo TV ratings for the veep debate.

— The politics of 9/11 hovers over everything.

— Mike McCurry has the political press corps eating out of the palm of his hand (OK, that's actually relatively new this cycle — but oh-so-familiar … ).

— No matter how big the developments on Capitol Hill seem to be to the breathless gang at Roll Call , nothing that happens there breaks through on the presidential campaign trail. (Will John Kerry even mention Tom DeLay?)

— Ralph Nader is somewhat below the radar, hovering off to the side of the stage, today making a campaign stop at the Dickensian-named "Egg of the Plaza."

— Howard Dean is meeting up!!!

President Bush brings his retooled stump speech to Wisconsin today, continuing his week-long Blue-state tour to a state that Gore won in 2000 by a measly 5,000 votes. He speaks at a single rally — 4:20 pm ET in Wausau, WI, part of a county that was separated in 2000 by only 2,300 votes out of almost 60,000.

Speaking of Blue states, Senator John Edwards heads into New Jersey today for the second time in nine days. The state which went for Gore in 2000 by 15 percentage points in 2000 has slowly emerged as a bit of a battleground this time around. The latest post-presidential debate Quinnipiac University poll, gave Kerry a 3% lead, barely outside the margin of error of 2.9%. LINK

Edwards holds a 1:00 pm town hall focusing on homeland security at the port in Bayonne, but not before appealing to the overwhelmingly female audiences of "Live with Regis and Kelly" and "The View" — on which he appears live at 9:00 am and 11:00 am, respectively in many markets. Edwards also holds a 7:00 pm fundraiser that is open only to a print pool reporter.

Edwards' sparring partner Vice President Cheney continues a two-full-day visit to Florida with two events: a 9:00 am town hall in Miami and an 11:30 am roundtable in Fort Myers.

In the Reddish state of Colorado Senator John Kerry continues his seclusion outside of Denver, although he is scheduled to hold some sort of welcoming when he arrives in St. Louis just in time for the local 10:00 pm news. His taped interview with BET's Ed Gordon airs tonight, but if the excerpts released yesterday are any indication, the interview makes no news.

Laura Bush comes off her Tonight Show interview to campaign in Sioux City, IA and Philadelphia. Teresa Heinz Kerry is in Eugene, OR.

Ralph Nader is in Albany, Syracuse, and Ithica, NY today.

And don't forget — the new JibJab cartoon will be released tonight on The Tonight Show.

The politics of Iraq:

Just in case you missed this the first time:

Writes Bob Novak: "When I reported in this column Sept. 20 that there is 'strong feeling' in the 'Bush administration policymaking apparatus' that 'U.S. troops must leave Iraq next year,' Republican politicians — most recently Bush-Cheney campaign manager Ken Mehlman — disagreed. But Don Rumsfeld has not contradicted me." LINK

"Nobody from the administration has officially rejected my column. Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, in his usual teasing of words, says pretty much what I did. While politicians such as Mehlman talk about 'victory' in Iraq and President Bush implies it, war planners such as Rumsfeld do not. These realists recognize that aims in this ugly war have been reduced."

USA Today 's Barbara Slavin offers more data related to Novak's assertion. LINK

You'll want to read this entire column.

The Two Bills in New Hampshire pass this along:

Nashua Telegraph headline: Inspector: Iraq had no WMD's

Manchester Union Leader page A5 (next to "In Brief" with photo of the back of Kobe Bryant's alleged victim): "No proof Saddam had WMD, but he was still a threat."

Every accounting gives the "intent" finding fair play, but we see the Duelfer report fitting a bit more easily into John Kerry's preparation for the St. Louis debate than the president's.

"In his report, and in testimony Wednesday to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Duelfer refuted many of the Bush administration's most dramatic claims before the war … " write the Los Angeles Times' Drogin and Miller. LINK

The headline over Glenn Kessler's story reads "War's Rationales Are Undermined One More Time" and the subhead reads "Revelations May Hurt Bush's Image." He writes that "The risk for the Bush campaign is that the drip-drip of the revelations will slowly erode the advantage that the president has held among voters for his handling of the Iraq war and especially the struggle against terrorism." LINK

The New York Times ' editorial board thinks the nothing in Duelfer's report "provides Mr. Bush with the justification he wanted for a preventive war because the weapons programs did not exist." LINK

While the Washington Post 's editorial board defends Bush's decision to go to war, writing in light of Duelfer's report that "What can't be known is what would have happened had Mr. Bush chosen not to invade." LINK

The Wall Street Journal 's Jaffe and Cloud write that Duelfer's report "undercuts one of the administration's main rationales for the war." LINK

The Washington Post 's Mike Allen had a deep look at the timing of the report and how widely it was circulated in the administration. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Beat Me in St. Louis:

Your sources for debate news: (check out their debate blog!) and Noted Now LINK

The fabulous Jonathan Greenberger of Washington University in St. Louis writes that as many as 300 students are still waiting for tickets to tomorrow's debate.LINK

If the Washington Post Style section doesn't profile Greenberger, they are making a huge error, IOHO.

Michael no-Moore for St. Louis University Students. Moore canceled a scheduled appearance today due to pneumonia.LINK

Washington University in St. Louis's makes final debate preparations … LINK

… as a visiting professor there gets a Nobel Prize: LINK

Infoweek says a special security portal will protect the candidates. LINK

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Massey reports that voters in Pennsylvania and neighbors in Ohio and New Jersey will be listening tomorrow night for what the candidates have to say on the economy — Noting the different circumstances in each state. LINK

Police in St. Louis are gearing up for the debate and the candidates' Saturday campaigning. LINK

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports a surge in voter applications as Missourians reached their registration deadline yesterday, many of which were "delivered by political groups that had sponsored voter registration drives." LINK

The New York Post 's Deb Orin ponders that "the ultimate 2004 X-factor may be if voters are somehow, in a deep visceral way, uneasy about having Kerry as war leader. Tomorrow night is his best chance to reassure them." LINK

Frank Rich thinks James Baker committed the same sins as those handling Nixon before the first 1960 debate because he and his colleagues reside in an "isolated echo chamber" of Fox News. LINK

(Psst. Now accepting applications for what we're going to call the next debate in Tempe, Arizona. And "Tempest in Tempe" is too MSNBC'ish.)

Did we mention Mark Mellman thinks Kerry had an "overwhelming victory" in Miami? LINK

There's some major scuttlebutt at the University of Arizona over "Democracy in America: Political Satire Then and Now," an art exhibit that coincides with the third and final presidential debate.

According to the Washington Times , "It showcases historical art alongside contemporary art and includes paintings, prints, cartoons and photos. When plans for the display were first reported in Phoenix's New Times on July 1, the publication said there would be enough anti-Bush art in the exhibit at the Tempe campus to 'make Michael Moore blush' — a reference to the 'Fahrenheit 9/11' filmmaker." LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Bush v. Kerry:

The Wall Street Journal 's Greg Hitt looks at the shrinking field of battleground states, as the Kerry troops are backing down from Missouri, Arizona and Louisiana, and the Bush camp concedes Washington and Maine may not play for President Bush. Hitt talks to Charlie Cook, who estimates the electoral vote counts at 208 for Bush and 207 for Kerry. LINK

The Wall Street Journal 's Jane Kim turns in a great must-read about how Wall Street is viewing the election, with brokerage houses examining the implications of a Bush win v. a Kerry win on the markets. For example, Kerry would help bonds, and Bush would help stocks. Energy companies would get a boost from President Bush, but alternative-energy producers would benefit from Senator Kerry. Smells like a debate topic to us.LINK

The Wall Street Journal 's John Fialka writes up the Energy Department's forecast that home heating bills will be significantly steeper this winter, with home heating oil costs expected to rise 28 percent in New England, propane expected to jump 21 percent and natural gas prices expected to rise 15 percent in the upper Midwest.While Congress has set aside $2 billion for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, the prices mean that the fund will fall $600 million short of its needs, according to one analyst.

George Will on the fundamental domestic policy difference between Bush and Kerry. LINK

Read David Broder's column to find out why George W. Bush didn't think baseball would ever let a second team encroach on the Orioles and why he wants to rename the Washington Expos the Washington Reagans. LINK

The Wall Street Journal 's editorial board thinks Kerry's promise of diplomacy with Iran is an "arms-control illusion" and that Kim Jung Ill is waiting for talks in the hope that Kerry gets elected. LINK

The Wall Street Journal 's editorial board picks up on Edwards' endorsement of tax reform. LINK

In the city where the candidates will next meet, the Archbishop is stepping up his political advice. Here's the Los Angeles Times' P.J. Hufstutter with the story. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Bush-Cheney re-elect:

ABC News' Ann Compton reports that on November 1, President Bush will fly to Texas for a big rally, overnight to in Crawford, vote early Tuesday morning, then fly to Washington. His election night party will take place at the Reagan Building.

All the national political reporters seem to agree that President Bush's "major/important/significant" speech yesterday was his toughest yet.

The New York Times ' Stevenson and Sanger report the president's "retooled and highly combative stump speech" "signaled that he would stand firm" on his handling of Iraq, carrying the risk "that he will appear out of touch with the realities on the ground in Iraq" — something "one of Mr. Bush's closest aides" says is less important than showing "he is going to stick with it, not look back, and make this work." LINK

Read the blind quotes in that one, and try to guess who said 'em!!!!! They are so very, very 41 Administration-ish!!!!

The Washington Post 's Jim VandeHei calls the president's speech hish "toughest and most comprehensive" attack on John Kerry. LINK

The Wall Street Journal 's Greg Hitt writes that Bush's speech "was designed to recast the campaign along more sharply ideological lines." LINK

"W hints Kerry a coward," headlines the New York Daily News. "On Iraq, Senator Kerry has a strategy of retreat," Bush said on the trail in Pennsylvania. "I have a strategy of victory." LINK

USA Today 's Judy Keen Notes, "Bush's forceful delivery of his prepared text [yesterday in Pennsylvania] was in sharp contrast to his occasional meandering during the debate." LINK

The Chicago Sun-Times slaps this headline on Lindlaw's AP write up: "President unveils new zingers after poor showing in debate." LINK

We suspect that's not the kind of headline they wanted out of this.

The Los Angeles Times' Ed Chen's lead packs almost as strong of a punch as the speech itself. LINK

"President Bush on Wednesday unleashed a blistering, two-pronged attack on Senator John F. Kerry as a 'tax-and-spend liberal' whose failure to understand the changes caused by the 9/11 terrorist attacks would 'weaken America and make the world more dangerous.'"

Joe Curl of the Washington Times thinks the president "unleashed a blistering speech" that gave Bush an "opportunity to sharpen his attack" and "diffuse the lingering effects" of his facial expressions from last week's debate.LINK

The good people of Wisconsin are getting to read about the big speech too, thanks to the Journal Sentinel running some New York Times and

Boston Globe copy. LINK

Best-selling author Maureen Dowd thinks the Kerry got most under the president's skin by invoking his father, much like Clinton did to George H.W. Bush in 1992. "Playing the Daddy card was part of the Kerry makeover by the Clintonistas — Bubba eye for the Brahmin guy." LINK

Donald Lambro teases good jobs news for President Bush leading into tomorrow night's debate.

"The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics will release its monthly employment report for September and will announce a preliminary revised estimate of the number of payroll jobs created in the March 2003 to March 2004 period. Administration forecasters say the estimate could add 288,000 to 400,000 jobs to Mr. Bush's record." LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Kerry-Edwards '04:

In an interview with the New York Times ' Kerry beat reporter Jodi Wilgoren and executive editor Bill Keller, Senator John Kerry accuses President Bush of exploiting and misleading on the issue of same sex marriage and, according to Wilgoren and Keller, accuses Bush of politicizing his faith. He also claims he and Bush have the "same position, fundamentally," on same sex marriage. LINK

Wilgoren and Keller write that "Mr. Kerry said Mr. Bush had politicized faith to an unacceptable degree, used religion to divide and breached the boundary between church and state by promoting government aid to 'faith based' organizations."

But they do not quote him saying any of that directly.

They then write "Careful not to question the sincerity of Mr. Bush's faith or to criticize the mobilization of conservative religious forces on his behalf, Mr. Kerry nonetheless suggested his opponent's campaign had gone over the line with the way it frames some issues."

And they quote him saying the somewhat less critical "I think you have to draw that line, so the answer is yes, they reached beyond that line, and in my judgment they're trying to exploit certain issues. The president and I have the same position, fundamentally, on gay marriage. We do. Same position. But they're out there misleading people and exploiting it."

The Denver Post reports "Teresa Heinz Kerry appeared in an alcove of the Englewood hotel Wednesday for a 15- minute chat with about a dozen Republicans who have swung their support to her husband." LINK

Rick Klein of the Boston Globe marks the return of the L-word, Massachusetts Liberal to be exact, on the campaign trail. LINK

In Sunday's New York Times Magazine, Matt Bai delivers a brilliant, if not overly sympathetic, analysis of John Kerry's foreign policy that breaks through each side's rhetorical attacks and defenses to find a true chasm between the optimistic, military-heavy state-based Notion of the war on terror of President Bush and the diplomacy-heavy ideological "civilization against chaos" view of Senator John Kerry.

Bai discovers a candidate for president who recoils at probing questions during interviews ("what some politicians … might have considered an opportunity to persuade and impress voters Kerry seemed to regard only as an invitation to do himself harm") but with the help of named and unnamed friends and advisers Bai sees a candidate who he believes understood the global fight against terrorism long before Sept. 11 — but whose world-view is less politically viable post-9/11. "He may well be right … when he says that a multinational, law-enforcement-like approach can be more effective in fighting terrorists. But his less lofty vision might have seemed more satisfying — and would have been easier to talk about in a presidential campaign — in a world where the twin towers still stood," Bai concludes.

Cheney versus Edwards:

ABC News' Jake Tapper fact checks Tuesday night's debate. LINK

"Cheney told Edwards, 'You made the comment that the Gulf War coalition in '91 was far stronger than this. No. We had 34 countries then; we've got 30 today.'"

"Although Cheney is right about the number of countries involved in the Iraq war, the fact is that in 1991, countries in the coalition donated much more money and troops to the effort. In 1991, coalition members committed 39 percent of the more than 695,000 troops on the ground, or 270,000 troops, according to a white paper by the U.S. Naval Institute and the U.S. Air Force. That compared with just 15 percent of the 156,000 coalition troops in Iraq right now, or 23,000, according to the Pentagon."

"Moneywise, a 2002 study from the Center for Strategic & International Studies, estimates the United States paid 5 percent, or about $4 billion, of the $80 billion in constant dollars that the 1991 Persian Gulf War cost. No one estimates that the United States will pay that small a price this time."

The New York Times ' Archibold and Hernandez on Edwards and Cheney's campaigning and sniping in Florida yesterday. LINK

The Washington Post 's Mark Leibovich thinks the vice presidential debate is part of the "continuum of presidential debates — and more often vice presidential debates — where the rhetoric veers into the undefined zone between 'spirited exchange of ideas' and 'personal attacks.'" LINK

The Washington Post 's Robert O'Harrow thinks Edwards "occasionally jumbled or oversimplified the complex details" of Halliburton's role as a contractor and that Cheney did not mention some of Edwards' charges are the subject of ongoing investigations. LINK

Washington Post 's Dana Milbank writes up Vice President Cheney's "dot-bomb" yesterday in which he mixed fackcheck.org with factcheck.com, whose programmers pointed to georgesoros.com yesterday, and reports that factcheck.com yesterday said Edwards was mostly correct in his criticism Halliburton when Cheney was its CEO. LINK

Over to you, Steve Schmidt.

The Boston Globe 's Susan Milligan looks at those three times the Vice President has met his opponent and points out that while Cheney was chiding Edwards for his Senate attendance record, the president of the Senate himself really only meets with Republican Senators when he's there. LINK

In a Boston Globe Web-exclusive, Thomas Oliphant writes "The reason behind Cheney's dramatic misstatement of an easily verifiable fact is revealing. It helps explain why Cheney's performance overall may have been helpful to George Bush in its appeal to already rabid Republicans, but why Edwards's was more helpful to John Kerry in its stronger appeal to the undecided or still-persuadable." LINK

43.6 million people watched the Vice Presidential debate, the best viewership since the 1992 VP debate. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: casting and counting:

One half of the 2000 or so provisional ballots cast during the August 31 primary were thrown out, according to the St. Petersburg Times.LINK

"Canvassing boards rejected 41 percent of the approximately 2,000 provisional ballots cast in the primaries."

"The 851 rejected ballots make up a tiny fraction of the total vote, normally not enough to change the outcome of an election. But that could have changed the course of the presidency in 2000, when President Bush won by 537 votes."

More on the check box controversy; some Florida Supervisors of Elections will accept ballots without the citizen box being checked, and others won't. LINK

It's not just in Cleveland. Franklin County elections officials wonder how seriously they need to take Secretary of State Blackwell's directive on provisional ballots too. LINK

The New York Times ' editorial board thinks the suppression of minority voters is "alive and well." LINK

"Federal officials are looking into the Daily News' discovery that some 46,000 people are registered to vote in both Florida and New York City," writes Russ Buettner in the New York Daily News. LINK

USA Today 's Kevin Johnson details how some states are dealing with security precautions and what the FBI is doing to prepare. LINK and LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: the Big Four battlegrounds: Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Wisconsin:

There are about a half dozen articles on Edwards and Cheney's Florida visits: LINK

Two new Florida polls give President Bush a slight lead in the state. LINK

While the president was bashing Kerry in Wilkes-Barre, George Soros (of factcheck.com fame!) brought his own defeat-Bush campaign to Philadelphia. LINK

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has a new poll out showing Senator Kerry pulling ahead of President Bush in the Keystone State. The poll shows Kerry leading Bush with RVs 48 to 41 percent, Nader with 3, and 8 percent undecided. LINK

The Philadelphia Inquirer's Parmley and Moore Note the courting of Pennsylvania female voters.LINK

A Western Pennsylvania restaurant chain is serving up "Bushberry" and "Kerryberry" ice cream as part of a Sundae Poll! LINK

Parents in Western Philadelphia are upset with school over-crowding, reports the Philadelphia Daily News. LINK

Ohio's two Republican Senators will vote against the proposed same sex marriage ban reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

"U.S. Sens. Mike DeWine of Cedarville and George Voinovich of Cleveland, who are Catholic, announced Wednesday that they oppose the measure, which will appear on the Nov. 2 ballot as Issue 1. The two Republican heavyweights added their voices to a growing chorus of critics who contend the measure is bad for Ohio's economy." LINK

The Columbus Dispatch leads with Jehl's New York Times story on the Duelfer report under the headline, "Iraq found WMD free."

"Homeowners in the Midwest can expect to pay an average of $1,003 to heat their homes this winter — up $127 from last year — even without a brutally cold season, according to a federal forecast released Wednesday." So leads the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. LINK

"In a state that is almost split down the middle over whether to vote for President Bush or Democratic challenger John Kerry, undecided voters in north central Wisconsin say they will use the presidential debates to decide which candidate is lucky enough to receive their votes," reports the Wausau Daily Herald. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: the battlegrounds:

Valerie Richardson turns the eyes of Washington Times readers to Amendment 36 in Colorado, a measure that could mean the difference between winner take all or winner take five. [Colorado has nine electoral votes.] "A statewide Ciruli Associates poll found 51 percent in favor of the measure and 37 percent against it. The rest were undecided." LINK

In "Apple's Almanac," Johnny Apple writes that Iowa is a battleground and recalls some of his fonder memories there. LINK

The Washington Post 's Evelyn Nieves on the "biggest GOTV Oregon has ever seen." LINK

A new post-debate Arizona Republic poll shows that some Bush supporters may have slipped to the undecided category following the Miami debate. Note: we did not say they slipped to Kerry's side. Bush is still leading Kerry by 10 percent, 48-38, BUT the last poll had Bush up 16.LINK

The Arizona Republic reports that the same poll finds "Public support for Protect Arizona Now has dropped slightly, but the immigration measure on the November ballot still appears to have overwhelming support." LINK

"Minnesota hasn't voted for a Republican for president since 1972 and has produced such liberals as Eugene McCarthy, Hubert Humphrey, Orville Freeman, Walter Mondale and Paul Wellstone," writes Jim Snyder in the Hill with a nice backwards and forwards look at what's changed. LINK


Fritz Wenzel of the Toledo Blade reports, Ralph Nader's questionable ballot status in Ohio has inspired local elections officials to notify absentee voters not to submit their vote. A fine mess this is. LINK

An attorney for Nader filed a lawsuit yesterday in U.S. District Court in Columbus against Secretary of State Ken Blackwell. The case mainly takes issue with an Ohio law that requires petition circulators to be Ohio residents, James Drew reports. LINK

A Keystone Poll taken after the first presidential debate Sept. 30, shows Ralph Nader has the backing of 3 percent of likely voters, in Pennsylvania and is favored by 3 percent of all registered voters. LINK

The Yale Daily News Notes a Yale University student summing up her feelings about Ralph Nader after hearing him speak at a place he calls "the source of our political problems," yesterday. "All his points are very intelligent, and I share his views on a lot of positions, but since he has no chance of winning, I just feel like my vote would be wasted," Josh Odsess-Rubin '08 said. LINK

If you missed what Nader said about Skull and Bones, you missed out!!!!

The Florida New Times takes attorney Lawrence Tribe to task for arguing against Nader's appearance on the ballot in Florida — and looks at how the third party vote will/may/could shift the dynamic in the state.. LINK


The Boston Globe 's Michael Levenson reports that last night in Lenox Hill Al Gore went to town on his 2000 opponent over the environment and more — but he also managed to poke a little fun at himself too. "I am Al Gore, I used to be the next president of the United States. Actually, I'm a recovering politician. I'm on about step 9."LINK

Note to Jano and Feldman: get the man some new jokes pu-leeeeeze.

Boston Globe columnist Ellen Goodman celebrates what she thinks is the end of Security Moms. LINK

"Never mind all the anecdotes about undecided moms scared straight into the arms of the president. They are, by and large, voting for Bush because they already are Republicans. Ta da. They are more likely to align with the president on questions of faith and values than security."

For more on women voters, Carol Taber of the Boston Globe explains how the female vote has changed since 9/11. LINK

The New York Times ' Sheryl Gay Stolberg Notes that the House ethics committee dismissed the most serious charges leveled at Tom Delay. LINK

House and Senate negotiators agreed on a corporate tax bill yesterday that includes a $10 billion buyout of the nation's tobacco farmers. LINK

The Washington Post 's editorial board urges President Bush to cast his first veto to defeat the corporate tax bill. LINK

The Wall Street Journal 's Murray on the corporate tax bill. LINK

Little Rock is abuzz with the upcoming opening of the Clinton Presidential Center on Nov. 18, and event that the Washington Times Notes has "attracted positive RSVPs from all of living former presidents and President Bush, as well as celebrities including Ben Affleck, Bono and Barbra Streisand, and foreign dignitaries." LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: The Senate:

The Washington Post 's Peter Slevin thinks Alan Keyes has "polarized even the Republicans. To his own great delight." (Check out the photo for a laugh!) LINK

TODAY'S SCHEDULE (all times ET):

—8:00 am: NRSC Chairman Rep. Tom Reynolds holds a pen-and-pad briefing with members of the National Press Club to discuss the upcoming House elections, Washington, DC

—9:00 am: Sen. John Edwards appears on "Live with Regis and Kelly"

—9:00 am: Vice President and Lynne Cheney host a town hall meeting at the Radisson Mart Plaza Hotel and Convention Center, Miami, FL

—10:00 am: The 9/11 Commission Caucus and members of the 9/11 Family Steering Committee and the 9/11 Commission hold a press conference at the Capitol to discuss the House intelligence reform bill, Washington, DC

—10:45 am: House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi holds a news conference at the Capitol, Washington, DC

—11:00 am: Sen. Edwards appears on "The View"

—11:00 am: Ralph Nader holds a rally at the Egg at the Plaza, Albany, NY

—11:30 am: Vice President and Lynne Cheney hold a roundtable discussion with community leaders at the Farmers Market Restaurant, Fort Myers, FL

—1:00 pm: Sen. Edwards holds a town hall on homeland security at the Cape Liberty Port, Bayonne, NJ

—1:00 pm: Members of the Congressional Black Caucus hold a hearing at the Capitol on election preparedness, Washington, DC

—2:30 pm: Laura Bush holds a rally at the Sioux City Convention Center, Sioux City, IA

—3:00 pm: The consumer credit report for August is released

—3:45 pm: Teresa Heinz Kerry holds a rally at the McDonald Theater, Eugene, OR

—4:20 pm: President Bush holds a rally at Marathon Park, Wausau, WI

—5:00 pm: Former Gov. Howard Dean holds a meet-up with Kerry-Edwards supporters at the Church Brew Works, Pittsburgh, PA

—5:00 pm: Ralph Nader holds a rally at the South Presbyterian Church, Syracuse, NY

—7:00 pm: Sen. Edwards attends a DNC fundraiser, Montclair, NJ

—7:15 pm: Laura Bush holds a rally at Holy Family University, Philadelphia, PA

—8:00 pm: Sen. John Kerry appears on BET

—8:00 pm: Ralph Nader holds a rally at the State Theater, Ithaca, NY

—10:15 pm: Sen. John Kerry is scheduled to arrive in St. Louis

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