Bush commits federal resources to Gulf Coast: "The challenges that we face on the ground are unprecedented. But there's no doubt in my mind we're going to succeed." Pollster: "To the degree that he is the consoler and healer of the nation, it helps." [WP, WP, WSJ, USAT]

Financial burden of recovery strikes at federal budget deficit; over $20b will be requested. [WSJ, WP, USAT]

Katrina sends oil prices over $3 a gallon, possibly beyond $4; Europeans may lend their stockpiles. [WSJ, MarketWatch, Bloomberg, NYT]

Commodity prices jump. Supply-chain expert: "The Mississippi River is the aorta of the American economy, and New Orleans is the access point to it." [WP]

In Baghdad, nearly 1,000 Iraqis die in stampede sparked by panic; greatest loss of life since the invasion. [NYT, USAT]

Bush tested again by circumstances, but will he deliver? Professor: "It is usually the case with large-scale disasters that it centralizes power in the presidency and improves the president's ratings in public opinion." [NYT, LAT]

Roberts looked down on lawmakers. In 1983, he wrote: "Our only hope is that Congress will continue to do what it does best -- nothing." [LAT]

NYT editorial: "Bush gave one of the worst speeches of his life yesterday. . . the president appeared a day later than he was needed [and] read an address of a quality more appropriate for an Arbor Day celebration." [NYT]

FDA official resigns to protest politically motivated delay of decision on Plan B contraceptive: "I really feel that this decision was not based on the science and clinical evidence. . . I worry about [the FDA's] credibility." [WP, NYT, WSJ]

In pre-Katrina Gallup poll, majorities of Americans express dissatisfaction with Bush; approval rating stands at 45%. [USAT]

Bayh and Warner will introduce Roberts at next week's hearings. [USAT]

Roberts has been practicing for his confirmation hearings. [NYT]

Bolton opposes proposed reorganization of the United Nations. [WP, NYT]

Inspector general at the Pentagon exits to join Blackwater security firm. [WSJ]

Trent Lott loses a house to Katrina. [WP]


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