Senate votes to extend the Patriot Act for six months. [WP, NYT]


Senate approves $40b in budget cuts with Cheney casting tie-breaking vote; two Republicans and 42 Democrats block plan for drilling in ANWR with filibuster. Sen. John Kerry: "I'm confident we will see another debate on ANWR." [WP, WP, WP, WP, NYT, LAT, USAT]

FISA judges request briefing on eavesdropping program. [WP]

Jack Abramoff inches closer to a plea deal. [NYT, LAT]

Bush reaches out to black critics, suggesting "that the White House has not abandoned its political goal of trying to draw black voters from Democratic ranks"; Donna Brazile speaks highly of the president's efforts. [NYT]

Eavesdropping program is unlikely to be challenged in court because of its secrecy. [USAT]

Department of Homeland Security was a mess from its inception. [WP]

Scott McClellan has lost hair from the stress, some colleagues say; "When briefings get tense, McClellan's voice can become robotic, as if he's a hostage reading a statement. His body language can betray unease: He starts blinking rapidly and he clenches his shoulders as an interrogator unfurls a question." [WP]

Congress has not found a way to ween off foreign oil. [WP]

National Security Agency's image has been "muddied considerably" by eavesdropping program. [NYT]

Jeanine Pirro drops bid to oust Sen. Hillary Clinton; will run for attorney general of New York instead. [WP, NYT, LAT]

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