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Democratic leaders believe the "ethics-corruption issue," not Samuel Alito, will win them seats in November. [WP, W$J]


Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) says he has enough votes to be the next majority leader. Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio): "We'll see where the votes really are." [USAT]

Bush orders insurers to fill gaps in Medicare program; "Republicans have joined Democrats in asserting that the federal government botched the beginning of the prescription drug program." [NYT]

Under pressure of Jack Abramoff scandal, Rep. Bob Ney (R-Ohio) will temporarily step aside as head of the House Administration Committee. [WP, NYT]

Twenty-five year friendship with Abramoff is "proving highly inconvenient" for Ralph Reed as he runs for governor of Georgia; his records have been subpoenaed. [WP]

After signing bills, Bush maintains the presidential power to override them. Political professor: "The president is basically saying that those structural changes are nice, but I don't have to listen to anybody in particular." [NYT]

Sen. Specter (R-Penn.) vows to look "closely" at NSA eavesdropping: "I don't see any talk about impeachment here." [NYT, WT]

Success of Alito challenges the conventional wisdom on the Supreme Court and abortion. Sen. Feinstein (D-Calif.): "I do not see a likelihood of a filibuster." [NYT, WT]

At the hearings, Alito said "I don't know" 29 times, Democrats mentioned Vanguard 68 times, and Republicans uttered "integrity" 43 times. [WP]

Laura Bush is "irritated" by criticism of the administration's AIDS prevention program in Africa. [WT]

At the United Nations, the administration takes a defensive posture regarding human rights. [WP]

Opponents of abortion are making strides outside of the political arena. [NYT]

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