* FEMA and the White House knew of levee failure earlier than previously disclosed; also, "officials knew long before the storm showed up on the radar that 100,000 people in New Orleans" had no exit strategy. [NYT, NYT]

* Former top CIA official accuses the administration of "cherry-picking" intelligence to justify war against Iraq and suppressing warnings about post-war conditions: "It has become clear that official intelligence was not relied on in making even the most significant national security decisions, that intelligence was misused publicly to justify decisions already made, that damaging ill will developed between [Bush] policymakers and intelligence officers, and that the intelligence community's own work was politicized." [WP]

* Lewis Libby says "supervisors" authorized leaks of classified documents about Iraq's weapons programs. [NYT, W$J]

* Bush defends eavesdropping by citing foiled terror plot against Los Angeles: "We cannot let the fact that America hasn't been attacked in four and a half years since September 11, 2001, lull us into the illusion that the threats to our nation have disappeared. They have not." [WP, NYT, USAT, WT]

* Jack Abramoff says he met with Bush in "almost a dozen settings" over the last five years. [WP, NYT]

* Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) received about $68,000 from Abramoff's firm; ties found between lobbyist and Reid's staff. [WP]

* White House reaches compromise with key senators over the Patriot Act. [WP, NYT, WT, LAT]

* Michael Brown will testify today about FEMA's response to Hurricane Katrina. [WP, NYT]

* Cheney says eavesdropping issue should be campaign topic. [WP]

* Conservatives "seem less celebratory than divided." [NYT, LAT]

* Most programs facing cuts by Bush have seen the threat before. [USAT]

* House Republicans include ethics course in weekend retreat. [WT]

* Cindy Sheehan decides not to run against Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). [LAT]


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