Daily Briefing: Three Day Weekend Ahoy

Ari Fleischer recalls skepticism of Gannon/Guckert; McClellan deflects: "The credentialing is all handled at the staff assistant level." [NYT]

DeLay, Hastert step away from Bush on Social Security by opposing idea of fiddling cap on taxable earnings. [WP, NYT, LAT, WT]

Bush: "Iran is different from Iraq -- very different. . . there's more diplomacy, in my judgment, to be done." On Syria: "Democracy is on the move, and this is a country that isn't moving with the democratic movement." [WP, NYT]

Catty Rove credits Bush with making conservatism "forward looking." Plus: "The next time one of your smarty-pants liberal friends says to you, 'Well, he didn't have a mandate,' you tell him of this delicious fact: This president got a higher percentage of the vote than any Democratic candidate for president since 1964." [NYT, WT, AP]

Overhaul of class action guidelines passes Congress; a victory for business. [WP, LAT]

Negroponte, an administration loyalist, tapped as first director of national intelligence. Bush: "He understands the power centers in Washington. He's been a consumer of intelligence in the past. And so he's got a good feel for how to move this process forward in a way that addresses the different interests." [NYT, NYT, LAT, USAT]

Ridge met with Republican pollsters during campaign while saying, "We don't do politics in the Department of Homeland Security." [AP]

Bush hopes trip will smooth relations with Europe; Iran to be forefront. [USAT]

Kerry, Hillary introduce election-reform bill that would allow same-day registration and designate a federal holiday. Kerry: "This has nothing to do with the question of outcome of 2004. This has everything to do with full civil rights for Americans, period." [LAT]

Bob Schieffer's brother recently named ambassador to Japan. [NYT]

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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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Beds at the 'temporary' shelter in Homestead, Florida. US HHS photo.

The House of Representatives passed a $4.5 billion emergency bill to fund detention of undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers yesterday, but the bill's demands that government meet minimal standards of humane treatment led Donald Trump to threaten a veto, because no one puts cruelty in a corner. The bill passed largely along party lines, 230-195, with four progressive Democratic first-term representatives opposing it because they believed the machinery of the New Cruelty shouldn't get a single dollar more. Trump prefers a bill already passed by the Senate, which would provide a similar level of funding $4.6 billion), but lacks the House bill's crazy radical requirements that migrants be held in less horrifying conditions than have been reported in the last week.

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