Daily Briefing: Freezing and Slashing

The Era Of Red Ties And Bad Hair Bush picks Michael Chertoff to lead DHS; will be the only Jewish member of second-term Cabinet. With confirmation expected, Democrats will focus hearings on Bush's record. [WP, NYT, LAT, WSJ, USAT, WT]


Chertoff criticized for post-9/11 actions, including detention of 762 foreign nationals. Former official: "Mike was the one pushing to say 'Hey, we ought to look at using this more aggressively against terrorists.'" [WP, NYT, LAT, USAT]

Bush's budget freezes, slashes, and cuts spending from veterans to Medicaid; commitment to reducing deficit. [WP]

Bush is confident of agenda in interview, says immigration is "big issue." Bush: "No women in combat." [WT, WT, WT]

Bush launches public push for Social Security plan: "This is part of fulfilling a campaign pledge." Private group plans $9m ad buy on CNN, FNC. [WP, NYT, USAT, WSJ]

Dean officially enters race to head DNC; Trippi doesn't approve. [WP, NYT, LAT]

Ridge details inauguration security; over 6,000 security agents will be on call. [NYT, USAT]

Bush wants incentives for nuclear power: "It certainly answers the environmental issue." [WSJ]

Pelosi, seven other Congressional Democrats ask for investigation of "covert propaganda" following Armstrong Williams revelations. [USAT]

Second term administration appointee choices are comfortable, not charismatic. Keyword: confirmable. [WP]

[AP Photo/Mario Suriani]

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