The Note: The Raptor and the Three-legged Rabbits

Keying off of his "Face the Nation" interview, the Washington Post's Charles Babington has Sen. Arlen Specter sending his "clearest" signal to date that Focus on the Family's James Dobson will be called before the Senate Judiciary Committee. LINK

Babington also has Sen. Sam Brownback saying on "Fox News Sunday" that the White House has to produce more of Miers's "work product" and Allen saying on "Meet the Press" that he would have preferred someone other than Miers for the Court but that he is not greatly troubled by her past support for affirmative action while president of the Texas state bar in the 1990s.

Bush agenda:

Nina J. Easton of the Boston Globe writes that recent Bush Administration choices and congressional corruption charges have "rattled" the conservative movement in America. LINK

"The conservative coalition that elected George W. Bush is falling apart," writes Dick Polman of the Philadelphia Inquirer. LINK

Polman sees the intra-party spat over Miers, spending, Iraq, and scandals as getting "very personal."

"Consider the insult directed at Bush the other day by conservative commentator Jonathan V. Last. After learning that high-court nominee Miers had stated in 1989 that she couldn't recall 'the last time I read a whole book,' Last remarked: 'Those who voted for George W. Bush were promised a mind like [Antonin] Scalia's for the Supreme Court. Instead, they've been given a mind like George W. Bush's.'"

Polman warns that if the various conservative factions that are currently fighting with one another field their own candidates in a fight for the party's heart and soul in 2008, they could be imperiled as they were in 1992 when "a lot of conservatives voted for Pat Buchanan during the primaries and Ross Perot in November -- weakening the elder Bush and aiding the election of Bill Clinton."

Big Casino budget politics:

The Los Angeles Times asks if the perfect storm of circumstances may doom the prospect of Congress approving any offsets to pay for Katrina and the war. LINK

The USA Today ed board expresses its outrage with last week's expression of outrage by Sen. Stevens. LINK

Donald Lambro of the Washington Times writes that Sen. Bill Frist is fighting back -- against the fiscal conservatives' war on spending -- by issuing a memo that pinned down defense bills as a sure part of the problem. LINK


Roll Call's John Bresnahan has Josh Earnest, the DNC's suave spokesman, saying the committee reached the $340,000 goal set in an anti-DeLay e-mail sent out by Tom McMahon by "late Friday with contributions from more than 8,000 donors."

Frist and HCA:

"Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) was given considerable information about his stake in his family's hospital company, according to records that are at odds with his past statements that he did not know what was in his stock holdings," the Washington Post's Jeffrey Birnbaum reports. LINK

Note Bob Stevenson's acknowledgement that his boss is not perfect.

Amid questions about how "blind" the blind trusts of Sen. Frist and Sen. Corzine were, nearly all of the Senate's 40 members with holdings in blind trusts are receiving extra scrutiny, reports USA Today. LINK


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