Daily Briefing: 'The Mainstream Has Turned'

Strategists think Bush, Republicans may have overestimated and misread election results. [WP]

Frist says filibuster showdown is "inevitable"; leaves door open for '08. [USAT]

House, Senate near agreement on $82b package for Iraq, Afghanistan. [WSJ]

White House insists Laura's stand-up was not politically motivated; she'll watch "Desperate Housewives" on DVD. [NYT, WT]

DeLay: "I know I have been watched and investigated probably more than even Bill Clinton. They can't find anything." [WT]

Conservative tribute to DeLay could be more of a eulogy. [WP]

Parties welcome ambivalence on abortion, in theory. Reid: "We're not looking for pro-life (or) pro-choice candidates. We're looking for candidates who can win." [USAT]

Pat Robertson praises Giuliani's presidential prospects. [LAT]

Snow criticized for constantly selling Social Security plan. [LAT]

Bush, Bolton: echo, echo. [WP]

Approval of Schwarzenegger falls below 50% for the first time. Critic: "The mainstream has turned on him." [NYT]

Q&A about Bush's Social Security plan. [WSJ]

Princetonians hold anti-Frist teach-in outside of Frist Campus Center. [WP]

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Martha McSally is worried. Everything was coming up Martha when Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey picked her to fill the late John McCain's Senate seat. But now the junior senator has to hold that seat in 2020, and actual elections are where she has her troubles. Kyrsten Sinema, she of the fierce wardrobe, defeated McSally last year when they were running against each other for Jeff Flake's old seat. Arizona hadn't elected a Democratic senator since 1988.

McSally's likely challenger next year is Mark Kelly, who's a goddamn astronaut. We appreciate her service as an Air Force pilot but really, Kelly's been in space, where the Klingons are. Kelly's identical twin is also an astronaut. McSally has four siblings and none of them are astronauts or even her twin. She can't win this.

Besides, this is Kelly's campaign announcement video. When his awesome wife, Gabby Giffords, shows up, we just lose it. Why are we even bothering with an election?

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FINALLY. Of course, we say "finally," because we haven't been behind the scenes in the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees to witness the negotiating and wrangling firsthand, so we don't know what it's taken to make this happen, but clear your calendars for July 17, because Bobby Mueller is goin' to Congress!

Committee chairs Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler sent the letter late yesterday, accompanied by a subpoena, for Mueller to testify at 9 a.m. Eastern on July 17, which is a Wednesday, so you will presumably not be busy with brunch. The hearings for each committee will be back to back, after which members of Mueller's staff will meet with committee staff behind closed doors.

Schiff told Rachel Maddow last night that it should not be viewed as a friendly subpoena, because as we all know, Mueller has been very reluctant to become the star of the political circus this will surely create. However, he's gonna have to suck it up, because as we all saw after what happened when Mueller addressed the nation for 10 whole minutes, there is great value in actually having Mueller breathe life into his own work, for an American audience that hasn't read his 448-page report. (And we don't blame them/you! We probably wouldn't have read it all if it wasn't our job. It would probably be on our "list," like "someday I am going to watch 'The Sopranos' start to finish finally. And then I will read the Mueller Report!")

Point is, it needs to happen on live TV, where people can gather around at work and on the train and in the Fantastic Sams while they gets their hair did, and let this highly respected public servant tell the story of how America's most hostile enemy attacked the 2016 election in order to help Donald Trump, how the Trump campaign was positively orgasmic over that reacharound, and how Trump criminally obstructed the investigation into that hostile foreign attack at every turn.

And because Robert Mueller is a patriotic American who respects the rule of law and our institutions, he will be complying with the subpoena, because of fucking course he will.

Right off the bat, we have a couple of questions:

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