This is going to be a short-entry day. I’m fighting off a sinus infection — but will be back with a ton of stuff tomorrow. Promise.

Here’s today’s action item: Joe Roche, who serves with the U.S. Army’s 16th Combat Engineer Battalion in Iraq, sent an extraordinary letter to the Houston Chronicle, describing what he sees going on in Iraq. It’s much different than what you’re likely seeing on the television set at home. I read it on the air yesterday. Now, you should read it.

Roche, like most of the men and women I have met in the region, is at once tough, realistic and optimistic. In other words, he is both a great American — and a typical American. He will make you proud.

Now, let me tease what’s ahead for tomorrow: I’ll dissect John Kerry’s latest economic plan, assess President Bush’s communications strategy during a critical week of the war, offer some thoughts about Condoleezza Rice’s testimony before the 9-11 commission, and ask whether Ted Kennedy is lending aid and comfort to Al Qaeda with this week’s description of Iraq as “George Bush’s Vietnam.”