"Delving deeper than Congress' inquiry, the independent commission investigating the Sept. 11 terror attacks has made far-reaching requests for documents from the Bush administration and does not expect President Bush to invoke executive privilege, officials say," writes the AP's John Solomon. LINK
Media:The editorial board of OUR polling partner (the Washington Post ) sides with the New York Times over the Times ' polling partner — CBS News — in the Booking Private Lynch flap. LINK
Judicial confirmation battles: Mike Allen of the Washington Post gets all Fed Pagey and writes, "President Bush plans to nominate White House lawyer Brett M. Kavanaugh, an author of independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr's report on President Bill Clinton, for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Republican sources said yesterday." LINK Keying off of a poll paid for by the New Democrat Network, The Washington Times ' Stephen Dinan reports: "Democrats aren't suffering politically among Hispanic voters for blocking the nomination of Miguel Estrada to an appeals court seat, according to a new poll out this week."
The caption in the hard copy indicates that many Hispanics "confuse the actor Erik Estrada of the popular television show about the California Highway Patrol with lawyer Miguel Estrada, President Bush's stalled nominee for an appeals court seat." LINK The Washington Times ' Greg Perce reports that Texas Senator John Cornyn has sent President Bush a letter expressing his concerns regarding a proposal by Sens. Daschle, Leahy and Schumer that the president "consult with them before making any nominations in the event of a vacancy at the end of this month."
"Referring to Mr. Daschle's letter, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said yesterday it was 'a novel new approach to how the Constitution guides the appointment process.'"
"Next week, Mr. Leahy plans to share his views on the selection process at the National Press Club in a luncheon address titled 'Supreme Court Preview: It Doesn't Have to be Armageddon.'" LINK "The White House rejected a suggestion by Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle on Wednesday that Bush meet with Democrats before filling any Supreme Court vacancies to avoid a potentially bruising confirmation fight," reports the AP's Tom Raum. LINK
Legislative agenda: Not since Bob Strauss dined alone at the Palm has there been such meaningful bipartisan bonhomie:
Boyden Gray, John Podesta, and Tim Wirth are teaming up to help break that savage energy policy gridlock. LINK The AP's David Ho reports, "A bipartisan effort is underway in the Senate to overturn parts of a Federal Communications Commission decision that freed media companies from decades-old ownership limits and allowed them to merge and buy new outlets." LINK The AP's Rebecca Carroll has an interesting look at the impact of issue ads on legislative affairs. LINK Carroll writes, "Lobbyists and advocacy groups spent more than $105 million on ads to influence Congress in 2001 and 2002, and the biggest spenders usually won legislative battles, according to a report released Thursday."
Bush Administration strategy/personality:
The AP's H. Josef Hebert reports, "White House officials are narrowing the list of candidates to head the Environmental Protection Agency and congressional Democrats are making clear they plan to use the nomination to challenge President Bush's environmental record." LINK Did anybody see Administrator Whitman on one of those neato people movers on Letterman last night?
Tribune News Services report that the Senate Agriculture Committee approved the nomination of Thomas Dorr to head the USDA, despite Senator Harkin's concerns that "neither the department nor Dorr has answered questions about Dorr's racial views and farm finances." LINK