Daily Briefing: No 'Clear Skies'; More Al Qaeda

Today's round-up of everything you need to know: surprisingly long for a Thursday! Study up, there'll be a test before lunch.

Key Republicans balk at $82b request for war spending; Rumsfeld, Rice on defensive. DeLay: "[W]e have found some items in foreign aid that probably do not qualify as immediate emergencies." [WP, LAT]

Bush: Hey, ya know what might "save" Social Security? Raising taxes! [AP]

Rumsfeld plays on his own terms with Armed Services Committee; at one point, he picks up and leaves for lunch. [WP]

Goss: "It may only be a matter of time before Al Qaeda or another group attempts to use chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons." [NYT, WT, USAT]

Armstrong Williams, the man who doesn't know when to shut up, says he solicited contract: "Can you imagine being embroiled in a controversy for a program educating children?" Plus: "I'm no longer Armstrong Williams. I've become a noun. And in some cases, I've become a commodity." [NYT]

Specter, 75, has Hodgkin's disease. [WP, NYT, LAT, USAT]

Greenspan supports private accounts, cautions against borrowing for Social Security. [WP, WSJ, NYT, NYT, USAT]

Bush's promotion of Social Security plan in New Hampshire aimed at Gregg, Sununu. [WT, USAT]

Journalists collectively back Judith Miller. CJR editor: "At a time when she was being held up to such scrutiny for her writing on Iraq, she now is being cast in the role of journalistic martyr." [WP]

In Social Security debate, both sides focus on young people, less trusting of Social Security and open to new ideas: "Their whole strategy is to get seniors to sit it out and get young people to bite." [USAT]

The debate is on Social Security, not over a bill. [NYT]

Democrats peeved by Republican maneuvers at ethics committee. [NYT]

Lawmakers seek easing of stem cell restrictions. [WP]

Clear Skies Act delayed by committee. [NYT]

Log Cabin Republicans too a-scared to handle their own lobbying, hire outside groupy: "We believe there are tremendous opportunities to move legislation." [WP]

Frank Rich dissects Gannon/Guckert: "With real news this timid, the appointment of Jon Stewart to take over Dan Rather's chair at CBS News could be just the jolt television journalism needs. . . the only road back to reality may be to fight fake with fake." [NYT]

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Is there ANY good news for the bumblefucking Trump re-election campaign these days? Their polling numbers are in the shitter, therefore Trump is firing the pollsters. Trump's Hitler rally kickoff event in Florida last night was ... whatever it was. Oh, and did we mention that they ain't got no money? Like, of course, not counting whatever Russian money they're not telling us about.

Don Jr. recently called a prominent donor and warned that Trump's money haul is falling behind where Barack Obama was early in his reelection, while Jared Kushner has privately complained to RNC chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel that Trump's war chest is not as big as it should be at this point in the cycle.

Whiiiiiiiiiine. Guess they're gonna have to see if they can launder some rubles somewhere, ALLEGEDLY.

Gabe Sherman has some more bad news about Trump's shithole campaign, and it is that Robert and Rebekah Mercer, the father-daughter billionaire duo who bankrolled much of Trump's "victory" in 2016 -- including funding Breitbart, and also the part of the "victory" that comprised Cambridge Analytica, the data company they owned that may have done some real hinky stuff, possibly with Russia, in order to get Trump "elected" -- have zipped up their checkbooks and decided Trump can go eat dicks for all they care.

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Spinal Tap - Gimme Some Money

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