After successfully shifting its rhetorical strategy on Iraq, the Bush administration rethinks its plans for the second term; Dan Bartlett and Nicolle Wallace pressed for Bush to admit mistakes. Former Rep. Vin Weber (R-Minn.): "I don't think they realized that Iraq is the totality of their legacy until fairly recently. There is not much of a market for other issues." Grover Norquist: "The lesson from this year is you cannot do anything dramatic unless you have 60 votes." [WP]


Jack Abramoff, "an ingenious dealmaker who hatched interlocking schemes that exploited the machinery of government and trampled the norms of doing business in Washington," is at the center of "what could become the biggest congressional corruption scandal in generations." Former Rep. Mickey Edwards (R-Okla.): "This is at a scale that is really shocking. There is a certain kind of arrogance that in the past you might not have had. They were so supremely confident that there didn't seem to be any kind of moral compass here." [WP]

Department of Homeland Security is crippled by mismanagement and financial problems, audit finds. Inspector general's report: "The circumstances created by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita provide an unprecedented opportunity for fraud, waste and abuse." [WP]

Officials deny that secret radiation detection specifically targeted Muslims. [WP]

Iraqi election results are called "credible and good" by top official at the United Nations. [WP, NYT]

Bush's "authority to conduct the war on terrorism as he sees fit" is at the core of the debate over eavesdropping and the Patriot Act. [USAT]

The relationship of Bush and Cheney is "closer than it has ever been," says senior administration official. [WT]

Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco (D) tries to restore her state and her image: "I'm not a guy, I can't be Rudy, whatever that is. . . Sometimes people think you are falling down when you are the only one standing." [NYT]

Bush rearranges line of succession at the Pentagon. [WT]

William Rehnquist "helped transform a bench focused on the rights of the poor and disenfranchised into one that sought to leave society's problems to elected legislators." [USAT]

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