Notes: George W. Bush has set a new all-time high for quarterly fund-raising: $49.5 million. That brings his total raised to $83.9 million, an amount that Democrats can attain only in their dreams. By comparison Bill Clinton raised only $9.95 million in the last quarter of 1995. What happened to all the noise that was made about campaign-finance reform?

This past week Bush was in California to meet with Governor-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger and to attend fund-raisers. Schwarzenegger wants federal money for California; Bush wants California money for his campaign. Schwarzenegger didn't end up asking for the money this time, but suggested he would in the future (I wonder how other states will feel about that request?).

Once the California fund-raising was done, Bush headed off on a extra-quick, six-day, six-
nation tour to pay back allies among Pacific nations and to raise money, this time however, for his Iraq effort. He scored with Japan on money -- over $1 billion -- but failed to get Japan to agree to stop weakening its currency against the dollar (an import-export consideration). Japan also agreed to consider sending 1,000 troops after its own election campaigns.

According to an October 15, New York Times article by David E. Sanger, Bush will visit the Philippines for eight hours and Indonesia for three hours. Of the short visit to Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri, Sanger writes about an Bush aide's explanation of the visit: "We need to show her support," on of the aides said. "We're just going to show her that support very quickly."

During the trip, Bush will attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit talks in Bangkok, Thailand. He'll also visit Australia and Singapore.

Once all this state business is done, Bush is stops over in Hawaii -- you guessed it -- for more campaign fund-raisers.