Approval of Bush slips to new lows: 38% in Newsweek poll and 42% in Time poll; 28% are "satisfied with the way things are going" in the country and 57% have lost confidence in the government since Katrina, Newsweek reports. [Newsweek, Time]

White House did not comprehend the scope of Katrina until Thursday night; Dan Bartlett prepared a DVD of news clips for Bush's flight south. "Problems cascaded and compounded; each mistake made the next mistake worse," writes Evan Thomas. "Bush's leadership style and the bureaucratic culture combined to produce a disaster within a disaster." [Newsweek]

Purported al Qaeda operative threatens Los Angeles and Melbourne, Australia in new video message: "So don't believe Bush and Blair. . . If your leaders really cared about anything other than protecting their own wealth, status and positions, then they wouldn't attempt to hide the real reasons for our operations by telling you that we are bloodthirsty sadists, who kill out of mere hatred of freedom and the Western way of life. . . When it comes to defending our religion, our freedom, and our brothers in faith, every one of us is Mohammed Atta." [ABC News, USAT]

Roberts' confirmation hearings begin today at noon; Judiciary Committee members will also be scrutinized. [WP, NYT, USAT, LAT]

Bush makes third trip to Gulf region. [WP, NYT]

Majority of Americans want the next Supreme Court justice to be a non-white woman, according to Newsweek poll; heated partisan battle expected over O'Connor's replacement. [Newsweek, WSJ]

Katrina forces the White House and Capitol Hill to confront issues of race and poverty. NAACP president: "[The White House] wanted to be sure they knew what we were thinking." Obama: "I think what we do need to ask ourselves is whether [Roberts] has the heart, the breadth of perspective and the recognition that historically the role of the court has been to look out not just for the powerful but also the powerless." [WP, NYT, LAT]

Rush to provide aid to Katrina victims could result in fraud. [USAT]

Bush and lawmakers could be blamed for underfunding FEMA. Landreiu: "Even if he [Brown] had been Superman, I'm not sure he could have carried out the job because of the lack of resources in FEMA." [WSJ]

Bush could consider nominating a Democrat, Brownstein suggests. [LAT]

White House criticized for using no-bid contracts for rebuilding the Gulf Coast. [WSJ]

Pentagon is revising guidelines that dictate preemptive use of nuclear weapons. [NYT]

Complete coverage of confirmation hearings may be limited to PBS, Court TV, and C-SPAN3. [WP]


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