Daily Briefing: 'Conveys flexibility without being flexible'

House Republicans concerned "DeLay effect" will spoil chances in '06. Ney, Pombo, Feeney, Taylor are targeted by liberals; Shays: "Some of the most conservative of my constituents are asking, 'What's going on down there?'" [WP]

9/11 Commission members seek detailed status check of security agencies. Kean: "There are a lot of our recommendations that have not been implemented." [NYT]

North Korea apparently ready to talk with administration about its nuclear program. [NYT]

Congressional agenda is in "disarray." [LAT]

Biden, Edwards break from Dean. Biden: "I don't think he speaks for the majority of Democrats. . . I wish that rhetoric would change." [WP]

Many East Asian diplomats worried Rumsfeld is making China an enemy by treating it as an enemy. [WSJ]

Rice out of step with Pentagon regarding North Korea. [WP]

Energy bill may not make it to Bush. [WSJ]

First-term lawmakers are increasingly influential; see Obama, Thune, Salazar, Schultz. [USAT]

Laura's comments two weeks ago about democracy in Egypt are still reverberating through the Middle East. [NYT]

Rehnquist retirement watch: when? [USAT]

Voinovich, on the verge of tears. Senator gets emotional about Bolton: "My emotions are a little bit closer to the surface than maybe they should be." [NYT]

Critics question if Hadley is too nice and too accommodating to Rice, Cheney. Gelb: "He's intellectually forceful without being rhetorically forceful. He's a guy who conveys flexibility without being flexible." [LAT]

Business-friendly regulations for cars that run on ethanol have actually increased gas consumption. Waxman: "It's a special-interest provision that benefits the automobile manufacturers, based on a pretense." [WP]


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