The Note: Everything That Ought to Be Up Is Down

"The Bush administration is seeking to appoint a lawyer with little immigration or customs experience to head the troubled law enforcement agency that handles those issues," the Washington Post's Eggen and Hsu report. LINK

Katrina: Bush strategy/response:

The New York Times has the details on Fran Townsend's appointment to head the internal White House inquiry into the "Administration's performance in handling Hurricane Katrina." LINK

"A Republican who served in the Clinton administration's Justice Department before holding a number of jobs under Mr. Bush, Ms. Townsend has a reputation for being tough and independent. But her appointment is unlikely to mute calls from Democrats in Congress for a fully independent investigation," write the Times' Stevenson and Hulse.

The Los Angeles Times' Wallsten and Hamburger hit the front page with a cup-filling-towards-half look at the Bush Administration's post-Katrina comeback with (some) black clergy. If there was a Ken Mehlman growth chart (like a Cal Ripken growth chart), this piece would raise the Chairman up 4 inches. LINK

Susan Page writes up the post-POTUS speech Gallup poll, with its 40 percent approval rating for the President. But she Notes this number belies the stronger approval -- 45 percent -- of the recovery proposals offered up by Bush. LINK

Kudos to Fox News Channel for its exclusive on camera interview with 41 pushing back on 42 for his criticism of 43.

Katrina: Big Casino budget politics:

The Los Angeles Times' Havemann and Hook has the White House rejecting delay of the prescription drug benefit, and a "senior" McCain aide throwing down this, "No fiscal conservative could say with a straight face that [passing the benefit originally] was a good thing to do." LINK

Roll Call's John Bresnahan gets right to the heart of yesterday's Big Casino developments: "Proposals from House GOP conservatives to cut federal spending to offset the costs of Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts ran smack into political reality Monday, as the White House rejected a plan to delay implementation of a new Medicare prescription drug program for one year, an idea that conservatives said would save at least $40 billion."

The Washington Times' Lambro and Fagan have Rep. Mike Pence saying that the fact that the White House so quickly dismissed delaying the implementation of the prescription drug program "may mean that it is nervous. 'If it was really going nowhere, it probably wouldn't have been ruled out,' he said." LINK

Katrina: the blame game:

In Mary Curtius's Los Angeles Times piece reporting that the two parties on the Hill are still stalemated on how to proceed with an investigation, there is this teasing quote: "'If Katrina families will come forward, maybe that will be the next chapter, and that will get the [independent] investigation going,' one senior Democratic Senate aide said." (Ah, the 9/11 model. . .) LINK

Katrina: investigative:

The Wall Street Journal's Dreazen on B1 looks at the companies with "checkered pasts" who are getting FEMA contracts.

Katrina: 2008: Democrats:

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