Daily Briefing: 'He Listened. He Smiled. He Nodded.'
• Roberts supports privacy rights, wavers on Roe; Schumer is "pleasantly surprised." Gary Bauer: "A careful reading of the transcript shows he committed to nothing once [Roberts] is on the court. We are left with what we always had. . . a new conservative majority." [WP, WP, NYT, NYT, WSJ, LAT, USAT]
• Bush: "Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government, and to the extent that the federal government didn't fully do its job right, I take responsibility. I want to know what went right and what went wrong." [WP, NYT]
• Roberts remained posed and cautious: "He listened. He smiled. He nodded." Brownstein: He "exuded the quiet confidence of a man who knew that he was ahead in the game during a lengthy but mostly sedate confirmation hearing Tuesday. . . Roberts' performance marked a bright spot for a White House battered by criticism of its response to Hurricane Katrina, and demonstrated the inherent vitality of presidential power." [NYT, LAT, NYT]
• FAA knew Al Qaeda wanted "to hijack a commercial jet and slam it into a U.S. landmark" in 1998 and knew vulnerability of airports. Kean: "[Katrina] is not a terrorist incident, but it brings into play all of the same issues and shortcomings. . . Whoever is responsible for acting in these places hasn't acted. Are they going to do it now? What else has to happen for people to act?" [NYT, WP]
• Democrats, led by Hillary, seek investigation of government's response to Katrina. [NYT]