Condoleezza Rice defends secret overseas detention of suspected terrorists and says the U.S. "has fully respected the sovereignty of other countries that cooperate in these matters." [WP, NYT]


9/11 Panel says the government is failing to secure the homeland. Thomas Kean: "If they do, and these reforms that might have prevented such an attack have not been implemented, what will our excuses be?" [WP, WP, NYT]

Texas judge dismisses one conspiracy charge against Rep. Tom DeLay (R) but two others stand. [WP, NYT, LAT, WT, USAT]

Bush, visiting North Carolina, touts economic vitality in likely preview of '06 theme: "This economy is strong, and the best days are yet to come." [NYT, WSJ, USAT]

Bush urges extension of tax cuts on investment dividends and capital gains; moderate Republicans "have expressed deep misgivings about approving a measure so beneficial to affluent investors so soon after they approved a budget-cutting bill that would cut people off food stamps, squeeze student lenders, impose new fees on Medicaid recipients and slash federal aid for child-support enforcement." [WP, WT]

Agreement on torture ban said to be within reach. [USAT]

White House wants the Pentagon to control its spending for the first time since 9/11. [NYT]

Donald Rumsfeld: "We've arrived at a strange time in this country where the worst about America and our military seems to so quickly be taken as truth by the press, and reported and spread around the world, often with little context and little scrutiny, let alone correction or accountability after the fact." [NYT, WT]

Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) wants to double the administration's spending on Katrina recovery and reconstruction. [WSJ]

Commercial produced by conservative group says Samuel Alito has protected Christmas. [NYT]

Overhaul of the tax code is delayed. [NYT]

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