Daily Briefing: We Begin Bombing In Five Minutes

Still not sure why this is considered news: Bush has "constructive and friendly" talk with Putin about democracy in Russia: "Vladimir heard me loud and clear." Putin winks at Bush: "I believe that some of his ideas could be taken into account in my work, and I will pay due attention to them, for sure." Fer shur! [WP, NYT, NYT, USAT, WT]

Bush heads home with many strings untied: global warming, agreement over Iran, democracy in Russia. . . [USAT]

Interest in White House press briefings no longer limited to wonks; bloggers and C-SPAN viewers rattle the club. [WSJ]

Specter blames both parties for stalemate over judicial nominations. [WP, WSJ, NYT, WT]

Democrats fault Social Security Administration official for appearing at Republican events. Lautenberg: "The administration is running one of the most sophisticated grassroots lobbying strategies in history, and they are using federal employees and taxpayer dollars to do it." [NYT]

Specter's moderate views and attacks on both parties leave him alone in the center. [WP]

Nader: "The organized antiwar movement took the year off in 2004 out of deference to John Kerry. It didn't want to upset his freedom to mimic Bush, as he became more of a hawk on the Iraq war." [WP]


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