Daily Briefing: Degenerating Into a 'Broken' Force Edition

The Nations Chief Law Enforcement OfficerGonzales left out key information in clemency recommendations to Governor Bush for numerous death sentences; defense attorneys believe "Gonzales provided unfair or incomplete summaries of evidence and mitigating circumstances." In some cases, Gonzales just noted the date of execution. [WP]

Gonzales to offer "unapologetic defense" of memo on Geneva Conventions; to state he is "deeply committed to the rule of law" and treaties. [WP, NYT, WT]

Bush must convince many Republican lawmakers and some Democrats of his plans for Social Security. Gingrich: "[A]nything that changes benefits on an involuntary basis will allow the Democrats, the AARP and the unions to beat our brains in. It isn't politically doable." White House reportedly prepared to reduce benefits. [NYT, WSJ]

Fresh evidence shows concern about detainee abuses and torture long before photos were public. [NYT]

National Association of Manufacturers to enter fray of judicial nominations for the first time; set to spend millions on ads in support of conservative picks. Democratic aide: "I can't think of a similar situation where a group so little identified with such a debate is getting involved at this level in this way." [LAT]

Army Reserve "in grave danger of being unable to meet other operational requirements" and "rapidly degenerating into a 'broken' force" due to wrong policies, according to chief in internal memo. [USAT]

Hefley likely to be removed as chairman to ethics committee: "I'm not naive enough to not know that there are some folks that are very upset with me because they think we were too harsh with DeLay." [WP]

Bush devotes week to curbing "junk lawsuits," calls for "meaningful, real" legislation. [WP, NYT, USAT, WT]

Boxer may join Conyers in objecting to electoral tally. [NYT, BG, USAT, WT]

Tsunami relief efforts strain military. [WSJ]

Bush gives $10,000 to tsunami relief. [WP]

Powell, Jeb Bush stunned by devastation in Southeast Asia; 36 Americans now reported dead. [WP, NYT, USAT]

Lugar, other Republicans will provide Rice with their questions in advance of confirmation hearings. [WP]

Ethnicity will "be on full display" at Gonzales' confirmation. President of Mexican American Political Association: "It is a stroke of genius on the part of President Bush. There is no doubt in my mind that the ethnic card is being played here, and actually to the detriment, in my mind, of the Latino community." [LAT]

Rehnquist's return unknown. [USAT]

Resignations at CIA slow as analysts wait to see if Goss becomes director of national intelligence; former official calls for more long-term analysis. [WP]

Top officials exit Homeland Security with department at crossroads. [WSJ]

Bush names Claude Allen, duputy HHS secretary and former aide to Helms, as domestic policy advisor; a controversial pick. [LAT]

Zoellick to be Rice's deputy at State Department. [WSJ]

Kerry, in Iraq: "I need to understand it, so I can make the judgments. That's why I'm here, to see and hear firsthand what the dynamics are." [WP]

Army National Guard general to head investigation of abuses at Gitmo. [WSJ]

Lewis (R-Calif.) named chair of House Appropriations Committee. [LAT, LAT, WP, NYT, WSJ]


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