The Note

Bob Novak uses a thin premise of equal rights and the anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education to ask whither Republican outrage over Senate Democrats delaying the confirmation of a federal appeals court judge until after an affirmative action case at the request of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. The outrage over "this perversion of the judicial process," not to mention the "substance of the Democratic abuse" was suppressed, Novak indignantly writes, because the e-mail that ties the request to the action was one of thousands of e-mails downloaded from Democratic computers by Republican staffers on the Judiciary Committee. Oh, that. LINK

The economy:

Reports Dow Jones, "Stocks are expected to skid early Monday, after the current head of the Iraqi Governing Council was killed in a car bomb in Baghdad, raising concerns about a successful handover and the future viability of Middle East oil markets."

The politics of gas prices:

As crude oil trades above $41 a barrel "and terrorism fears helping to inflate the price, the U.S. has quietly continued to fill its emergency reserves to the highest level ever -- an amount experts say could be used to bring prices down," reports the Wall Street Journal's Warren.

Prison abuse scandal:

Seymour Hersh sets the agenda for the weekend's news cycle(s): "The roots of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal lie not in the criminal inclinations of a few Army reservists but in a decision, approved last year by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, to expand a highly secret operation, which had been focused on the hunt for Al Qaeda, to the interrogation of prisoners in Iraq." LINK

In its story Noting Seymour Hersh's New Yorker piece, the Los Angeles Times says "Condoleezza Rice told the German television network ARD on Sunday that 'as far as we can tell, there's really nothing to the story.'" LINK

Roll Call's Ben Pershing writes, "Frustrated by how both Senate Republicans and the White House have handled Iraq message efforts in the wake of the prisoner abuse scandal, House GOP leaders are aggressively seeking to play a larger role in preventing an increasingly negative story from spiraling out of control."

The politics of Iraq:

The AP reports the "head of the Iraqi Governing Council was killed Monday in a car bombing near a U.S. checkpoint in central Baghdad." And also today, "South Korean officials said the U.S. plans to shift up to 4,000 U.S. troops from their garrisons in South Korea to Iraq to cope with spiraling violence. The move would be the first significant change of U.S. troop levels in South Korea since 1992 and it underscores how the U.S. military is stretched."

Now to the politics.

The Wall Street Journal reports liberal coalition Win Without War is prepping "to begin mobilizing support for removing American troops from Iraq. Though problems in Iraq hurt President Bush most, swelling withdrawal sentiment could also complicate the campaign of Democratic challenger John Kerry."

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