Bob Novak in his column LINK Jeff Jacoby in his Boston Globe column LINK and Jonathan Weisman in the Washington Post Note the allegedly unabashed profligacy of congressional Republicans, including on the energy and transportation bills. LINK
Rep. Jeff Flake is portrayed throughout as a lonely dissident.
And Carl Hulse of the New York Times gets too wonky for even The Note in talking about the highway bill's sneaky bloatedness. LINK
Bush agenda and Republicans:
Dick Stevenson of the New York Times looks at the President's decision to verbally endorse the concept/nomenclature of the "war on terror." LINK
The classy Ed Chen of the Los Angeles Times wraps the President's remarks to conservative state legislators yesterday and provides a peek at his upcoming bill signing schedule. LINK
Notes Jim VandeHei in the Washington Post: ". . . . the president faces several challenges to the agenda he laid out in the early days of the second term, including Social Security, expanding the No Child Left Behind education law to cover high schools and changing the immigration system."
"It is also unclear whether Congress will restrain spending enough for Bush to meet his goal of cutting the deficit in half by 2009. The White House recently projected the budget deficit will slip to $333 billion this fiscal year from $412 billion in 2004, as a result of an unexpected surge in tax receipts."
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's James O'Toole previews the RNC summer meeting: "With political antennae already sensitive to portents for the next presidential election, an unstated part of the agendas of the formal and informal gatherings in the Omni William Penn Hotel will involve handicapping the prospects of the party's would-be successors to Bush. More overtly, the GOP hierarchy will be focused on preserving its majorities in next year's midterm elections."
"One of them, U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum's anticipated challenge from state Treasurer Bob Casey Jr., will be highlighted throughout the GOP meetings. Santorum is one of the featured speakers at the RNC session tomorrow. Beyond whatever applause he receives there, party members will have an opportunity to demonstrate more tangible support at a fund-raising reception tomorrow night at the Sen. John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center in the Strip District." LINK
From the Wall Street Journal's Greg Ip: "The White House search for a successor to Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, who is scheduled to retire in January, has intensified and goes beyond the three candidates mentioned most often, said people familiar with matter. For months, the three candidates cited most frequently have been economists Martin Feldstein of Harvard University, Glenn Hubbard of Columbia University and Ben Bernanke, chairman of President Bush's Council of Economic Advisers. But the White House also is looking at other candidates, including former Bush adviser Lawrence Lindsey, said several people familiar with the process. They said the White House hasn't rejected the three main candidates but doesn't want to limit its choice prematurely. There appears to be no clear favorite."