* Senate votes 72 to 25 to hold roll call on Samuel Alito's confirmation today; Sen. Kerry defends his filibuster attempt. [WP, NYT, LAT, WT, USAT]

* Bush will promote alternative fuels and nuclear power in tonight's State of the Union. Senior official: "What's interesting about this discussion is that he isn't talking about oil exploration at home. Nobody wants to get bogged down in those arguments again." [NYT, USAT]

* 76% of Americans deem health care "an absolute priority" for '06 and only 28% support maintaining the current force in Iraq, according to new WSJ-NBC poll. Bush's approval rating is steady at 39% as leadership and honesty numbers have fallen over the past year; 63% say Democrats lack a "clear agenda." [WSJ, MSNBC]

* Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) questions Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' statements on warrentless eavesdropping. During his confirmation, Gonzales said the practice was "not the policy of the agenda of this president" and offered to tell Congress if that changed. [WP]

* Administration official explains White House strategy on Alito: "Any time they are yelling, preaching, lecturing, and you are cool and calm and breathing deep, you are winning. What that means on television sets where the American people are watching this is, you look good and they look bad. It was the central operating premise." [NYT]

* Lawmakers and Senate groups cancel meetings with lobbyists. [WP]

* House leadership candidates woo conservatives at Republican Study Committee retreat. [NYT, LAT]

* 42% of Americans support bombing Iran's nuclear sites in WP-ABC poll. [WP]

* Spending bill includes "impossible" work standards for welfare parents. [LAT]

* White House seeks $2b more for Iraq. [WT]

* Anti-war liberals may threaten recent Democratic gains in public opinion. "It is time for the Democrats to eat their own," writes Dana Milbank. [WP]

* Alito is seen as "ready to fulfill" Reagan's vision. [LAT]

* With Alito on the court, Justice Kennedy becomes the middle swing vote. [WP]

* Republicans may limit 527 groups in bill aimed at lobbyists. [WSJ]

* Evangelicals are increasingly advocating for the poor and the environment. [LAT]

* Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan retires today. [USAT]

* Vote against Alito may hurt Sen. Lincoln Chafee's (R-R.I.) re-election chances. [WT]

* Bush receives "nearly unanimous" support in Randolph, Utah; 95.6% of the town supported his re-election. [WP]


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