Bush strikes a subdued tone in Oval Office address about Iraq: "This work has been especially difficult in Iraq -- more difficult than we expected. Reconstruction efforts and the training of Iraqi security forces started more slowly than we hoped. We continue to see violence and suffering, caused by an enemy that is determined and brutal, unconstrained by conscience or the rules of war." [WP, NYT, USAT]

Bush was "uncharacteristically contrite"; speech "culminated a weekend in which his administration tried to retake lost ground" on Iraq and national security. [WP, NYT, NYT, USAT]

Cheney makes surprise visit to Iraq; violence returns after election lull. Cheney: "Well, Iraq's looking good. . . I think when we look back from 10 years hence, we'll see that the year '05 was in fact a watershed year here in Iraq." [WP, NYT, USAT]

Republican leadership approves $41.6b in spending cuts and attempt to open ANWR for drilling. House approves; Senate to take up debates today. [WP, NYT, USAT, LAT]

Rice defends eavesdropping operations on Sunday talk shows; senators call for hearings. [NYT, USAT]

Supreme Court case on redistricting "offers the court an opportunity to rein in some of the partisan excesses that are staining the redistricting process and producing races so one-sided that they often deny Americans the opportunity to cast meaningful votes for the House of Representatives." [LAT]

Pentagon "is carrying out intelligence collection, analysis and operations within the United States and abroad." [WP]

Now Sen. Feingold (D-Wis.) isn't the only one against the Patriot Act. [NYT]

Lawmakers under pressure to return donations from Abramoff. [NYT]

Cheney, Rumsfeld find companionship on the weekends. [NYT]


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