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* Sens. Kerry and Kennedy may attempt to filibuster Alito; Dems Ben Nelson (Neb.), Robert Byrd (W.Va.), and Tim Johnson (S.D.) announce support of Alito's confirmation. [WP, NYT, LAT]


* Bush distances himself from Jack Abramoff during news conference; offers defense of NSA eavesdropping and stance on Katrina inquiry. [WP, NYT, LAT, USAT, WT]

* Admin has used "at least two separate rationales for why they did not ask for statutory authority" for NSA eavesdropping program. [WP]

* Public opinion of NSA eavesdropping is "nuanced and remains highly unresolved," according to NYT-CBS poll; disapproval of Congress and the Republican Party are both high. 61% are concerned about losing civil liberties. [NYT]

* If tax cuts are allowed to expire in 2010, deficit will turn to surplus in 2012. [USAT]

* Lewis Libby's lawyer asks Patrick Fitzgerald for documents "related to what journalists knew from any source" about Valerie Plame. [WP, NYT]

* Pork and earmarks increase, as does scrutiny; GOP Sens. McCain and Coburn threaten to hold vote on each item. [WP, WP, WT]

* Chief prosecutor in Abramoff investigation resigns to take federal judgeship. [NYT]

* Bush defends his intention to spread democracy. [NYT]

* Bush's main point was "I am the state," Dana Milbank writes. [WP]

* Democrats outline their agenda, "long on vision and short on specifics." [NYT]

* Anti-war candidate may test support of Sen. Lieberman (D-Conn.) in a primary. [LAT]

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