Daily Briefing: What Is All This That the Politicians Are Arguing About?

The Man In Black Deficit for 2005 estimated at $427b; could go higher with Social Security overhaul. [WP, NYT, WSJ]

Bush works to quell skepticism about Social Security plans among Republican lawmakers; details expected at SOTU. Warner: "We don't have at this point what I call an unbiased, analytical piece that the average Joe can pick up and say 'What is all this that the politicians are arguing about?'" [WP, NYT]

Democratic Senators make debate on Rice about handling of Iraq; she is likely to be first secretary of State since 1981 not to have unanimous support. Byrd: "The Senate's role of advice and consent to presidential nominations is not a ceremonial exercise." [WP, WP, LAT, NYT]

Syndicated columnist Maggie Gallagher received $21,500 from HHS to promote president's policies. [WP]

Pollsters warn House Republicans of voter backlash over Social Security. [WSJ]

Bush meets with black leaders to explain benefits of agenda. [WP, NYT]

Dean, seeking party chairmanship, unveils list of endorsements. [WP]

MoveOn will make state-by-state endorsements for DNC chair. [LAT]

Moynihan family disturbed by frequent use of name by Bush in Social Security discussions. [NYT]

Conservatives groups disappointed there is little momentum for marriage amendment. [WT]

Spellings denounces PBS cartoon with lesbian characters. [NYT]

New York State Republican Party will ask Giuliani to challenge Clinton; he has no interest. [NYT]

Hillary moves to the middle on values issues. [WT]

[AFP/File/Luke Frazza]


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