The Note: Prime Time Live

A vote on a GOP plan that would create a bipartisan, bicameral panel to investigate Katrina (as opposed to an independent inquiry) could come to the floor in the House as early as tomorrow in what proves to be a major loyalty test, The Hill's Josephine Hearn reports. LINK

The Houston Chronicle reports that Rep. Tom DeLay is "shrugging off" Democratic requests for an independent panel to investigate the hurricane Katrina response. LINK

Katrina: Big Casino budget politics:

Hidden on B4 of the Wall Street is a Sarah Lueck/David Rogers tip-of-the-iceberg piece on Medicaid costs arising from the storm.

And there's this lead from an anti-pork Journal editorial: "Some public-spirited folks in Bozeman, Montana, have come up with a wonderful idea to help Uncle Sam offset some of the $62 billion federal cost of Hurricane Katrina relief. The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports that Montanans from both sides of the political aisle have petitioned the city council to give the feds back a $4 million earmark to pay for a parking garage in the just-passed $286 billion highway bill. As one of these citizens, Jane Shaw, told us: 'We figure New Orleans needs the money right now a lot more than we need extra downtown parking space.'"

The Washington Times contrasts House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's declaration of "victory" in the war on budget fat with David Keene's assessment that government spending was spiraling out of control even before Katrina. LINK

The Department of Homeland Security's Inspector General will investigate some no bid contracts related to relief efforts, reports the New York Times. LINK

John Roberts for Chief Justice:

Roberts' confirmation-conversiony view on a right to privacy seems to be to the left of Bork and the right of Souter. Some might ask: Doesn't that alone make Phyllis Schlafly right when she says Roberts is not a Scalia or a Thomas, as the President promised?

In fact, the USA Today editorial board sees Roberts having a confirmation conversion on privacy, which they like. LINK

Robin Toner of the New York Times parses the nominee's words on abortion and gets Gary Bauer to express his "less than satisfied" response to being left with just hope about how Roberts might rule with respect to Roe. LINK

Jay Sekulow was "extremely pleased with the answers" Roberts gave yesterday, believing that his description of when courts should be willing to rethink precedents "left the door open" to the possibility he might vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, the Washington Post's Goldstein and Babington report. LINK

The New York Post editorial page takes Sen. Specter to task for his use of "super-duper precedent." LINK

Liberals aren't happy with Roberts but the Washington Times' Stephen Dinan has conservatives from the Federalist Society to the Family Research Council to the Concerned Women of America saying that Roberts "expertly handled questions on abortion." LINK

The New York Times Purdum, as only he can, describes the nominee's performance as "Delphic." LINK

Ron Brownstein's Los Angeles Times news analysis says that Roberts' "conciliatory comments" on a right to privacy and his emphasis on the importance of precedent will likely maximize his support on the floor from Democrats. LINK

Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Adam Liptak of the New York Times write the first day of Roberts questioning was "a day punctuated by flashes of hostility and humor. . ." LINK

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