Political Posturing: Consent from Rove

Gonzales' nomination is a set-up designed by Rove to thank conservative base. Appointment would allow Gonzales to gain conservative credentials before future appointment to Supreme Court while enabling Bush to nominate a conservative --possibly Wilkinson or Luttig-- for the first open seat. Bush wants appointments decided by Thanksgiving to focus on agenda. [NYT]

Bush, meeting with Blair, could break administration tradition by appointing special envoy to Middle East and reaching out to Europeans for cooperation; Arafat's death considered opportunity "both to make progress and to show that Bush is trying." [WP, NYT, USAT]

Evangelicals want staunch support of agenda, fear loss of influence as GOP turns moderate: "If the GOP wants to expand and govern effectively, it can't play both sides of the fence anymore. It needs a coherent message, which came through loud and clear in the election." [LAT]

Republicans expected to play hardball with judicial choices. Frist: "[T]he filibuster of judicial nominees must end." [NYT]

Bush will delay intelligence reform legislation to avoid challenging Department of Defense. Aide: "It would take Andy Card or Bush making phone calls to get this done." [LAT]

Hispanic groups pleased with Gonzales but civil liberties organizations call for tough hearings, particularly to answer questions related to Abu Ghraib. [WP]

Bush honors veterans, young and old. [WT, BG]

Bloomberg nearly cancelled his convention speech when Bush aides tried to censor comments attacking Republicans in Congress; one line was eventually removed following consent from Rove. [NYT]

Robert Blackwill, former White House official for Iraq policy, reportedly resigned after Rice scolded him for misconduct towards a female staffer in Kuwait; details are sketchy. [WP]

Experts quickly debunked blogosphere election conspiracy theories: "Some from the traditional media have called for an explanation, but no one from these blogs has called and said, 'We want to know what really happened.'" [NYT]

Despite scattered problems, e-voting was generally flawless. [NYT]

AARP announces opposition of plan to divert some payroll taxes to private retirement accounts; will support incentives for private supplemental accounts. [NYT]

Wall Street's bonanza from Social Security privatization unlikely to come within next ten years. [WSJ]


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