Daily Briefing: Hanging In There, Getting It Done

Nothing Like A Well-Placed Fuzzy Mike Second term agenda could be consumed by increasing violence in Iraq; election there scheduled between Bush's inaugural and State of the Union. Powell: "Certainly, we're going to be there through '05 in significant numbers." Rudman: "If this is in some way a precursor of an escalation into a more sophisticated attack by the guerilla insurgents, it would make members of Congress very uneasy and the American people very uneasy." [NYT, WT]

Fresh evidence shows abuse of detainees was more intense and common than previously known. ACLU: "What the documents show so far was that the abuse was widespread and systemic, that it was the result of decisions taken by high-ranking officials, and that the abuse took place within a culture of secrecy and neglect." McClellan: "In terms of specifics, this information is becoming public, so we're becoming aware of more information as it becomes public, as you are." [WP, NYT]

Public skeptical of Bush's plan for Social Security, poll finds. [WP]

Pressure is on Bush to get Democrats on board for Social Security plan. [WSJ]

HHS says imported prescriptions won't save consumers money: "The public expectation that most imported drugs are less expensive than American drugs is not generally true." Rep. Gutknecht (R-Minn.): "I don't know whether to describe this as an insult or an embarrassment." [WP, WSJ, LAT, NYT, USAT, USAT]

Mfume meets Bush, Rove. Mfume: "He said they would continue to try to find ways to communicate their message in hopes that it would resonate with more people who are black and Latino." [WP, LAT]

Americans express resolve in face of horrific violence in Iraq: "We've got to hang in there and get it done." [NYT]

Government to limit global food aid to only emergency crises like Darfur; $100m in savings affects 5-7m people. [NYT]

States in the West and the South are ranked as fastest-growing. [NYT, USAT]

Conyers requests raw exit poll data from news consortium: "Without the raw data, the committee will be severely handicapped in its efforts to show the need for serious election reform in the United States." [NYT]

Bush has strong support among Hispanic men. [WT]

DHS awards larger share of funds to big cities. [NYT]

Social Security privatization modeled on little-known Thrift Savings Plan. [WSJ, USAT]

Bush pardons four. [WP]

Fannie Mae boss fired. [NYT]


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