The Earlybird: Today's Headlines

Bush's education push, the shrinking surplus, new recount book, Mass.-09 voting tomorrow, Schundler's mid-campaign trip, Carnahan's house fire:

  • President Bush will be in Florida today and tomorrow to stump for his education reforms, USA Today reports.
  • During speeches at schools in Jacksonville and Sarasota, Bush will announce "a federal commitment to regional 'reading academies' that would help prepare states and school districts to use new 'research-based' reading instruction and strengthen reading instruction systems," AP reports.
  • As congressional negotiators take up Bush's education plan this week, they "will confront a tangle of issues that are complicating their task, from a deepening budget crisis to policy dilemmas that some experts say threaten to make the plan unworkable," the Washington Post reports.
  • First lady Laura Bush today will make "her first appearance before Congress... to make a pitch for the president's education program," the Wall Street Journal reports. She will testify before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
Saving The Surplus
  • "Democratic and Republican congressional leaders squabbled over the shrinking budget surplus" on the Sunday talk shows, "with Democrats looking to President Bush for solutions and Republicans rallying around a cut in the capital gains tax," the Dallas Morning News reports.
  • Senators from both parties said they supported a reduction in the Social Security payroll tax as a way to help the economy, the Washington Times reports.
  • "Senate Republicans and some conservative activists are actively encouraging President Bush to mount a more forceful attack against Democrats over the judicial nomination process," Roll Call reports.
Controversial Conference
  • The United Nations race conference ended Sunday with the adoption of a 27 page, nonbinding action plan, the New York Times reports, "but victims of racism and intolerance around the world might be forgiven for wondering whether those printed stacks of promises will make much difference to ordinary people."
  • National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said on NBC's "Meet the Press" yesterday that "the United States was justified in walking out" of the conference "because participants wasted time by criticizing Israeli actions and ignoring other issues of injustice," AP reports.
International Impact
  • Secretary of State Colin Powell will visit Peru and Colombia today to deliver "a message that the Bush administration does not hold the region in disregard -- despite what appears to be lax attention to troubling signs around the hemisphere," the Miami Herald reports.
  • Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said on "Fox News Sunday" that "he will urge President Bush to veto a military-spending bill that cuts $1.3 billion from his request for missile-defense and restricts testing," FoxNews.com reports.
  • In Belarus Sunday, President Alexander Lukashenko "claimed victory... in an election marred by widespread allegations of fraud and abuse," the Washington Post reports. Protestors said the election was rigged.
Something To Study
  • The 2000 Census shows that "the gap between the number of men and women in the United States narrowed during the 1990s as immigration and falling death rates helped boost the male population," AP reports. In 2000 there were 138.1 million men and 143.4 million women.
  • A study on the on the sexual exploitation of children released Sunday said that "as many as 400,000 U.S. children are victims of the sex trade each year, from juvenile pornography and street prostitution to selling sex at school," the Houston Chronicle reports.
  • The National Cancer Legislation Advisory Committee will release a study today recommending "a national cancer screening initiative, state action plans and increased spending," AP reports.
  • A study released Sunday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that "small-town Americans tend to smoke more, lose more teeth as they age and die sooner than suburban and many big-city residents," AP reports.
The Latest Mideast Maneuvers
  • "Arab militants unleashed a wave of violence yesterday against Israel, leaving five Israelis and three of the attackers dead," AP reports. Israel responded with "four retaliatory missile strikes."
  • A study from the Army School of Advanced Military Studies "has devised a plan for enforcing a major Israeli-Palestinian peace accord that would require about 20,000 well-armed troops stationed throughout Israel and a newly created Palestinian state," the Washington Times reports.
  • Bush does not "plan to meet with Yasser Arafat when the Palestinian leader comes to New York later this month," CNN.com reports.
  • Israel and the Arab nations are hiring American public relations firms in order to "sway American public opinion their way," U.S. News and World Report's "Washington Whispers" reports.
Count, Recount
  • A new book by Newsweek reporter David A. Kaplan says that a "month after the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision that gave George W. Bush the presidency, dissenting Justice David Souter said he could have won over Justice Anthony Kennedy with just another day," AP reports.
  • The justices were "stewing" after the decision came out, Newsweek reports in an excerpt from the book.
Massachusetts 09 Primary Tomorrow
  • "Despite damaging stories about financial difficulties at the beginning of the race and a more recent barrage of negative television ads aimed in his direction," Massachusetts 09 candidate state Sen. Stephen Lynch (D) "has emerged as the favorite to fill" deceased Rep. Joe Moakley's (D) "shoes in tomorrow's primary," Roll Call reports.
  • In a "bickering and personal" debate yesterday, Massachusetts 09 candidate state Sen. Cheryl Jacques (D) said Lynch "will be a friend to the 'radical right' on Capitol Hill and blankly said he doesn't trust women," the Boston Herald reports.
  • The Democrats running for the seat "went all out yesterday in a final, desperate push for votes, knocking on hundreds of doors, corralling armies of volunteers, shaking hands, and gamely predicting victory," the Boston Globe reports.
  • Businessman Charles Chalk (R) "announced Friday that he will seek the Republican nomination for the 2nd District seat left vacant by the death of Rep. Floyd Spence, R-S.C., the Columbia State reports.
  • No Democrats "have stepped forward to vie for the U.S. House seat left open by" Spence's death, AP reports. The filing deadline for the contest is noon today.
NYC Mayoral Slugfest
  • A New York Post poll of the Democrats running in tomorrow's New York City mayoral primary "finds Mark Green with 28 percent of the mayoral primary vote," followed by Fernando Ferrer at 20 percent and Peter Vallone and Alan Hevesi each with 14 percent.
  • "The artificial harmony of the Democratic race for mayor dissolved yesterday in two contentious, end-of-campaign debates," in which Vallone and Ferrer "accused each other of being racially divisive," the New York Daily News reports.
  • Republican mayoral hopeful Herman Badillo yesterday "lashed out at primary rival Michael Bloomberg in their only TV debate, charging that insulting jokes attributed to the media mogul prove he's 'guilty of sexual harassment,'" the New York Post reports.
Passion, Pilgrimages, Announcements
  • "With increasing passion," Virginia gubernatorial hopeful Mark Warner (D) cites the failure by the governor and Legislature last year to reach a budget agreement "as a battle cry for change," the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot reports. It has become "the dominant issue" and has "helped propel" Warner to "an impressive early lead in opinion polls."
  • "Trailing badly in the polls and with only eight weeks until the election," New Jersey candidate Bret Schundler (R) "has baffled some political analysts and observers" by "leaving his lagging gubernatorial campaign" to "spend three days crisscrossing a violence-torn" Israel, the Newark Star-Ledger reports.
  • Illinois Lt. Gov. Corinne Wood (R) "declared her candidacy for the GOP nomination for governor Sunday, lashing out at primary opponents" as too extreme on abortion and calling herself the "fresh new leadership" of the GOP, the Chicago Tribune reports.
  • In her bid for Florida governor, former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno (D) lacks "the full endorsement from her own Democratic party" because of polls showing "Reno would struggle in the 2002 general election race against" Gov. Jeb Bush (R), Florida Today reports.
  • "Even those sympathetic to" California Secretary of State Bill Jones (R) "question whether he can beat a pair of millionaire rivals for the GOP nomination" for governor -- Former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan and investment banker Bill Simon Jr., the Los Angeles Times reports.
  • Former Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell (D) "is about to hire a team to help him run for governor next year," but "his advisers are not ready to say who will be on that team," the Philadelphia Daily News reports.
Making It Official
  • North Carolina state Rep. Dan Blue (D) "plans to file papers declaring his candidacy for the U.S. Senate this week," the Raleigh News & Observer reports. He "had reserved the state Democratic Party headquarters for an announcement Tuesday, but Blue said he may put the formal kickoff on hold."
  • Rep. John Thune, R-S.D., "is expected to announce late this month or in early October that he will challenge Sen. Tim Johnson (D) next year," Roll Call reports. Thune "has begun staffing up for the contest."
Dems Prepare For House Contests
  • Chicago Alderman Bernie Hansen (D) was "planning to take a comprehensive poll last week to test his chances of winning" the Illinois 5th District seat being left open because Rep. Rod Blagojevich (D) is running for governor, Roll Call reports.
  • California Democrats "have told Congressional campaign officials that they expect no financing from the national party because the state's new map ensures the safety of their incumbents," Roll Call reports.
Fiery Homecoming
  • Sen. Jean Carnahan's (D) Missouri home "caught fire Saturday night after an apparent lightning strike while she was inside, but no one was injured," AP reports.

NEXT STORY: The Earlybird: Today's headlines

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