Daily Briefing: From "Flat Bust" to "Safety Net"
• Social Security overhaul, as currently proposed, appears unlikely to pass Senate vote. [WP]
• Senators disappointed by lack of blame, accountability in report on detainee abuse. Warner: "There has not been a finality in terms of the assessment of accountability of either senior policy people or senior officers." [WP, NYT, USAT]
• Bush dedicates time to shoring up Republican support. Emanuel: "His burden is not persuading Democrats, but people in his own party who have walked away from the idea that we're going to pull money out of Social Security, run up $2 trillion in debt and, by the way, cut benefits by 40 percent." [NYT, LAT, WT, WT]
• Bush refers to Social Security as "safety net," stops use of "crisis," "flat bust." Bush: "Well, I'm going to keep telling people we've got a problem until it sinks in." [USAT]
• Hughes announces return to Bush's inner circle, does not return WP's calls or emails. [WP]
• On Medicaid, Senators caught between governors and Bush. Coleman: "There is widespread concern about what is being asked in the nature of these cuts." [NYT]
• Liberal Democrats bothered by party divisions. Harkin: "This is not where we as Democrats ought to be, for crying out loud." [NYT]