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Daily Briefing: Doug Wead, A Tease and A Tool

Bush, in shift, is amenable to incentives for Iran: today's talking point is "Diplomacy is just beginning. Iran is not Iraq." Oh, could you change its name then, so we don't get confused anymore? [NYT, WSJ, USAT]


Doug Wead decides against further publicity, will not release more tapes, and will direct proceeds to charity: "Contrary to a statement that I made to The New York Times, I know very well that personal relationships are more important than history... History can wait." How come... oh never mind. We're SO over this jackanape. 'Here, listen to my juicy secret tapes -- no hold on, I'm keeping the rest. Oh, whoops, everything I said to the New York Times was a lie. Blah blah blah.' Alright, ya douche, ya got yer 15 minutes, now slink off. We hope his kids record Britney remixes over his precious Bush tapes. [NYT, WT]

Administration predicts health spending will double to $3.6t within 10 years; will be 18.7% of the 2014 economy and 49.5% will be government spending. [NYT, LAT, USAT]

Bush, Putin reveal pact to curb nuclear terrorism. [WP]

Bush faces challenge of reviving democracy in Russia. Expert: "There is a shared concern on both sides of the Atlantic, in Europe and the U.S., about recent trends in Russia." [WP]

European leaders adjust to dealing with the post-"hyperpower" of the U.S. [WP, USAT]

Bipartisan report sees No Child Left Behind as "flawed, convoluted and unconstitutional education reform initiative that had usurped state and local control of public schools." [NYT]

Republicans playing wait-and-see with Social Security plan, avoiding the political hot potato. Snow: "We're at the early stages of this education process and engagement process. We're going to hit this hard." [WP, NYT, LAT, USAT]

Alternative plans for Social Security come out of the woodwork. [WP]

Governors likely to vent over Medicaid costs at upcoming meeting with Bush. [WSJ]

Europe eyes Chinese economy, for sale of weapons and beyond: "Its nonmilitary economic objectives weigh far more in this decision than any gains it would get from selling arms." [NYT]

Demonstrators in Germany distanced from Bush: "Most Germans are still emotionally averse to what Bush stands for - going it alone, not paying attention to due process, which we love in Europe." [NYT]

Dean embarks on nationwide speaking tour to energize base. [WT]

Pence, Kirk, Harris, Leahy publish "extremely tame" live blogs from Congress. Ana Marie Cox: "Do we want government to define what blogging is?" Oh sure ya do, kitten. [NYT]

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