Daily Briefing: In Favor of Conflict Edition

Sort Of Lame Day For Images Bush to use "crisis", "fiction", "headed toward an iceberg" when describing Social Security. Advisor: "We need to establish in the public mind a key fiscal fact: right now we are on an unsustainable course." Emanuel: "Their strategy is, we're going to scare people, cut benefits, privatize and call it a reform agenda." [NYT, WSJ]


Increasing Washington chatter about disengagement from Iraq. Franks: "I think we will be engaged with our military in Iraq for, perhaps, 3, 5, perhaps 10 years." [NYT]

Democrats united to deny Bush legislative vistories; openings seen with Social Security, judicial appointments, and tax code. Menendez: "The president's idea of bipartisanship is, 'Here's what I want to do, join me.'" [WP]

Low approval rating steals momentum for Bush agenda. [WT]

Bush praises Palestinian election. [WP, NYT]

Democrats want to build backbone for character fight. [USAT]

Heritage Foundation surprisingly critical of Bush's expeditures. [WT]

Tumultuous summer meeting severed relations between McCain, Rumsfeld. [WT]

Goss reduces counterterrorism meetings from daily to three times a week. [WP]

Emanuel tapped to head Congressional Campaign Committee. [NYT]

Command center for inauguration security based in Northern Virginia; 50 agencies represented: "If we had a release of sarin gas on the Mall, not only will the sensors on the Mall pick it up, we will know the height and density, its direction and how far it has spread." [WP]

Nicolle Devenish, new White House communications director: "I don't think the president keeps the press at arm's length, and I think the president has a healthy respect for the press that covers him." [NYT]

In memoir, Fleisher concludes media is "biased in favor of conflict." [WP]

Inauguration demands stagehands. [WP]

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