Daily Briefing: 'Gap Between Rhetoric and Reality'

New rules for House ethics panel may paralyze functions; Hastert under pressure from some Republicans. Mollohan: "We cannot organize a bipartisan House ethics committee with a partisan process." [NYT, WSJ]


Bolton kept information on Iran from Powell, Rice. [WP]

Ties to Abramoff may bite Ralph Reed. Strategist and friend: "Nobody grows up dreaming of being lieutenant governor." [NYT]

Hagel may oppose Bolton: "We need a uniter. We need a builder." [LAT]

DeLay at NRA gathering: "When a man is in trouble or in a good fight, you want to have your friends around, preferably armed. So I feel really good." [WP]

Lott on DeLay: "I do think the White House needs to remember that people who fight hard for you as a candidate and for your issues as a president ... deserve your support, aggressive support." [WT]

McCain ruffles Pentagon's feathers from Armed Services subcommittee. [WSJ]

Administration's slowness on outreach to Islamic world shows "gap between rhetoric and reality"; Hughes, Dina Powell won't start for months and no Muslims are yet involved. [WP]

Brownstein: "This is a miserable moment for centrist senators. They are caught between a president pursuing an aggressive, even crusading, conservative agenda and a Democratic Party fighting ferociously to block it." [LAT]

Democrats head west to build base. Strategist: "Given the closeness of the presidential vote in New Mexico, Nevada and even Colorado, we don't need to make great inroads." [LAT]

Working poor largely uninterested in private accounts for Social Security. Hubbard: "What [Bush] gets most irritated by is when it is suggested, 'Oh the $10-an-hour person isn't sophisticated enough to deal with a personal retirement account.'" [WP]

Baseball as a metaphor for Bush's political life, courtesy of Bumiller. [NYT]

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