Daily Briefing: Conventional Wisdom "On Its Head"

Hastert "increasingly determined" to resolve disagreement over ethics panel; DeLay denies wrongdoing as new allegations of payments by Abramoff surface. [NYT]


Specter is unsure Bolton can pass Senate vote. [NYT, USAT]

Bush quietly had personal meetings with Republican lawmakers to listen to their hesitations about Social Security plan; gatherings were held in his residence, with peanuts and soda. GOP aide: "It is a reflection of the difficulty the president is having in terms of convincing the American public and Congress." [LAT]

Frist in videotape to faithful: "If these senators are not prepared to fulfill their constitutional responsibility [to vote on judicial nominees], then why are they here in the first place?" [WP, WSJ, NYT, WT]

McConnell: "We have the votes we need" for filibuster block. [WT]

Democratic lawmakers have managed surprising number of victories as the minority party, turning "conventional wisdom on its head." [WP]

Social Security initiative has stalled as 60-day campaign nears end; new effort for representatives to pick up slack. [USAT, WT]

White House may seek U.N. resolution to restrain movement of North Korea's nuclear materials. Rice: "We are willing - when the time is right, when we believe that we have exhausted the possibilities of the framework we are in - to go to the Security Council." [NYT]

Bush welcomes Crown Prince Abdullah to ranch; oil prices are top issue. [NYT]

Bill Clinton sends video endorsement to Blair: With a "progressive government in power [people] sometimes fall into the trap of thinking it doesn't matter and there are no consequences. But if you believe that, look at the difference in the U.S. between now and four years ago." [NYT]

Study: "Democrats will not do better with married parents until they recognize one simple truth: Parents have a beef with popular culture... they are losing their ability to protect their kids from morally corrosive images and messages." [WT]

Trippi dreams viable third-party candidate can ride internet wave to '08: "Somebody could come along and raise $200 million and have 600,000 people on the streets working for them without any party structure in the blink of an eye." [LAT]

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