Following news of Roberts' involvement in 1996 gay rights case, the White House "immediately sought to reassure [his] conservative backers. . . but it appeared that not all of them had been convinced." Limbaugh: "There's no question the people on the right are going to say: 'Wait a minute. Wait a minute! The guy is doing pro bono work and helping gay activists?'" [NYT, LAT]

Roberts' private practice work did not always jibe with conservative agenda, yet "some activists on both sides remain secure in their conviction that he is an emphatic conservative who will move the high court to the right." Kristol: "I don't think this is serious. Most conservatives are very pleased." [WP]

Bush and company plan major push for Roberts during dead of August. [WT]

Novak told by CNN to "take some time off" after on-air scuffle with Carville. [WP, NYT]

Deficit forecast worsens: "legislation passed by Congress this year will add $35 billion to next year's budget deficit and $115 billion through 2010." [USAT]

Rehnquist briefly hospitalized for fever. [WP, NYT]

Death toll rises in Iraq: 18 U.S. troops died on Wednesday. Bush: "We will stay on the offense against these people." [WP, WT]

Negotiations under way for the Pentagon to shift the majority of detainees at Guantanamo to Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. [WP, USAT]

Confidential government assessment issues generic warning of domestic terrorist attacks, possibly including suicide bombings; Al Qaeda remains a threat. [NYT, USAT]

Pentagon will release photos of soldiers' coffins in response to FOIA suit. [NYT]

Former Israeli lobbyists indicted for "conspiring to gather and disclose classified national security information to journalists" and possibly leaking information to Israel. [WP, NYT]

Influence of women's groups like NOW has significantly waned since last Supreme Court nomination. [WSJ]


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