* Bush remains firm on port deal as lawmakers from both parties voice concern: "I want those who are questioning it to step up and explain why all of a sudden a Middle Eastern company is held to a different standard than a [British] company... They ought to look at the facts and understand the consequences of what they're going to do. But if they pass a law, I'll deal with it, with a veto." [WP, NYT, W$J, LAT, WT, USAT]


* Supreme Court will hear case on partial birth abortion; decision will test new court. [WP, NYT, W$J, WT, USAT]

* Bush devotes second day to talking up alternative energy options. [WP, NYT]

* Andy Card called off December briefing about NSA eavesdropping to the House Intelligence Committee. [NYT]

* Commander of Guantanamo admits force-feeding detainees; Rumsfeld says interrogation tactics changed after legal concerns were raised in early 2003. [NYT, NYT]

* Alito was "precocious," jovial, and "enthusiastic" on his first day. [WP]

* Fundraisers aim to raise $5m for Lewis Libby's defense fund. [WP]

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