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Samuel Alito speaks publicly for the first time: "Good judges are always open to the possibility of changing their minds based on the next brief that they read, or the next argument that's made by an attorney who's appearing before them, or a comment that is made by a colleague during the conference on the case." [WP, NYT, WSJ, USAT, WT, LAT]


58% of Americans believe there is "widespread corruption in Washington," according to fresh WP-ABC News poll; strong majorities approve of sweeping reforms of the lobbying industry. 53% in USAT-CNN poll believe the Abramoff scandal is major. [WP, USAT]

Reps. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and John Boehner (R-Ohio) are the last contenders standing in the race for House majority leader; race seen as "wide open." [WP, NYT, WT, LAT]

FISA judges have rare private meeting at the Justice Department to discuss the eavesdropping program. [NYT]

Confirmation hearings illustrate "a clear disconnect between the zeal of activists and the detachment of the general public." Pollster: "You're going to have to really get some significant news out of these hearings to move the needle in a negative way." [WP, NYT]

Alito's views on the legal footing of NSA eavesdropping will be key component of the hearings. [NYT]

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Alito: "He was nervous. He was more human than Roberts." [NYT, WP]

Cheney is "feeling well" after brief hospitalization. [WP, NYT, USAT]

Abramoff is feeling the affects of his fall. Friend: "Times like this, you find out who your friends are. But that's not something Jack wanted to know." [NYT]

Former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham denies that he used a wire to gather information on other lawmakers. [LAT]

Bush has three events this week about the war on terror. [WT]

Alexander Strategy Group closes under the weight of the Abramoff-DeLay scandals. [WP]

Tim Russert initially resisted testifying about Scooter Libby. [WP]

Bushes visit Baltimore school that rebounded under the No Child Left Behind act. [WP, NYT]

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