Administration officials contemplate a presidency without Karl Rove; effort is underway to isolate Bush from "further damage" and design contingency plans. Andrew Card, said one GOP strategist, "looks totally burned out." White House is now coping with consequences of a "lost year." [WP, USAT]


Fitzgerald is reportedly investigating whether Rove and "Scooter" Libby "sought to conceal their actions and mislead prosecutors" and/or leaked "garden-variety classified information"; both "have been advised that they may be in serious legal jeopardy." [NYT, WSJ, USAT]

Aide says former FEMA Director Michael Brown ignored eyewitness accounts from New Orleans as levee broke. [WP, NYT, USAT]

White House was blind-sided by reaction to Miers, say observers. Professor: "You're seeing evidence of a profoundly disorganized and demoralized White House. If you are looking for evidence of a rudderless White House, the slipshod manner in which Harriet Miers' papers were prepared is really Exhibit A." [WP, LAT]

Miers has been practicing with mock confirmation hearings; tour of Capitol Hill is over. [NYT, WT]

DeLay is booked by police, then released on $10,000 bond; says flack, "I just may use that photographer for my family Christmas photo." House Republicans seek to "heal leadership divide." [WP, NYT, WSJ]

House approves protection for gun manufacturers and dealers from liability lawsuits; Bush expected to sign bill. [WP, NYT, LAT]

After bickering, $453m for two Alaska bridges is approved; Stevens (R-Alaska) threatened to resign. [WP, NYT, WT]

9/11 panel members attack institutional culture of the FBI for not advancing needed reform. [NYT]

Pelosi seeks investigation into Rep. Bob Ney's (R-Ohio) dealings with a wireless company linked to Jack Abramoff. [NYT]

Senate Commerce Committee approves legislation to roll out digital television by 2009. [NYT]

Gregg (R-NH) wins $853,492 in Powerball lottery. [NYT]

U.S. attorney in Alexandria suspected to be first choice for second-ranking Justice Department position. [NYT]

Powell's former chief of staff, Lawrence Wilkerson, says administration's foreign policy is run by "Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal." [NYT, LAT]

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