First, Peggy Noonan continues on her extraordinary roll on opinionjournal.com -- which shouldn't surprise any of us, since Ms. Noonan always rises to the occasion on big stories, such as Katrina. LINK
Her point today is that the big-spending ways of the Bush era are a threat to conservatism, and this should be at least debated (and perhaps repudiated). In short: the most thoughtful, rigorous, and romping political must-read of the post-Katrina era.
Another must-read is Bob Novak's discussion of the Novak- and Bush-bashing that took place in Aspen during Bob's first (and, he predicts, last) trip to Teddy Forstmann's Forstmann Little Aspen Weekend confab. LINK
Bob's main point is that a lot of rich Republicans have turned on the President for a variety of reasons, but there is so much more in here – including Bob's judgment about when and how it is appropriate to break/interpret off-the-record agreements.
Elsewhere in Washington today, at the Pentagon, President Bush will make a statement on the War on Terror at 12 pm ET after receiving a closed military briefing at 9:50 am ET. The President has a 1:15 pm ET meeting with the King Abdullah II of Jordan at the White House.
The House Select Committee begins hearings into how the Katrina disaster happened at 10:00 am ET in Rayburn 2154. No Democrats have joined this committee yet, and the Senate half of the Select Committee is not yet joined with the House. Today's hearing will focus on hurricane forecasting.
There are four other Katrina-related congressional hearings taking place today. (Details below).
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi holds a 3:00 pm ET presser in H-204 of the Capitol following a private meeting with members of Hurricane Katrina relief organizations to call once again for an independent investigation into the Katrina response.
Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama participate in a 9:30 am ET Congressional Black Caucus town hall discussion on "Eradicating Poverty: Removing the Disparities vs. the Innate Drive for Survival and Success" at the Washington Convention Center.
Cindy Sheehan and two Gold Star mothers will join former Congressman Tom Andrews, National Director of Win Without War, at 10:00 am ET Thursday at the National Press Club to unveil two television ads (with small national cable buys) asking President Bush how many more people have to die for his "mistake." Other Gold Star moms who support the war hold a competing event.
The House meets at 10:00 am to consider the School Readiness Act of 2005.
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger holds a 4:00 pm ET town hall meeting in Long Beach, CA. He also meets privately with Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom in Los Angeles.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics releases a report on unemployment insurance claims for the week at 8:30 am ET.
The AFL-CIO announces its "America Needs a New Direction" campaign at 1:00 pm ET in Washington, DC. (See below for more details).
John Roberts for Chief Justice: the whip count:
Since all Senate Republicans are expected to vote "aye," we are focused on the opposition party. As for the Democrats, this is how they are lining up, based on ABC News and other media sources:
Aye or leaning Aye:
Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD) Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE)
Nay or leaning Nay: