The Note: Membership Has Its Privileges, Part III

WASHINGTON, Nov. 3

NEWS SUMMARY

11 simple steps to be an honorary member of the Gang of 500 for the next 2 hours:

1. Read the day's only must-read newspaper story -- the Washington Post's blind-quote-laden piece on Karl Rove's future at the White House, and say in each of your next three meetings "It's SO obvious who those quotes are from," with a small shake of the head and a knowing half smile. LINK

2. Then, in the next breath, dismiss the seemingly juicy story by saying that the only people who "know" the real deal are the President and Karl C. Rove and they do not dish even to "Diamond Jim." (And, yes, Gang membership requires that you refer to Jim VandeHei that way.)

3. Announce to anyone who will listen: "Nothing will really happen at Scooter's arraignment."

4. Offer to go over to the Washington Post newsroom and show David Broder where to find Peggy Noonan's column on opinionjournal.com.

5. Be able to describe the innermost thoughts of all 54 other Republican Senators about what they think of Dr./Sen./Leader Frist's Tuesday emotional showing.

6. Know that Andy Card and Dan Bartlett are not on the President's trip to Latin America.

7. Opine about the ramifications of "the bubble" being in Latin America for the next dozen news cycles.

8. Be able to explain why the White House and congressional Republicans are so certain that Democrats can't come up with a version of a Contract with America that will be effective in 2006, and describe the role American attitudes towards bigger government and higher taxes play in their certainty.

9. Be able to explain why the anti-gay right is as willing to pshaw Judge Alito's college essay on the right to sodomy as they were Judge Robert's pro bono work on behalf of gay rights aspirations, and be able to anticipate exactly what Steve Schmidt will say in response to anything controversial that comes up in Alito's record (We saw "an academic exercise" and "Judge Alito is proud to have served his country in the US Army Reserves" from miles away.)

10. Know that Bartlett yesterday afternoon became the highest level Administration official to take questions about Libby, and have thoughts about why he did so, and why now, during his Pebble Beach round of Cavuto, Sit Room, and Hardball.

11. Know what three flags were flying outside the Alito home yesterday, per the Los Angeles Times.

ABC News' Jason Ryan reports, "Scooter Libby is expected to make his first post-indictment public appearance at the DC District Court for his arraignment before Judge Reggie Walton. The 10:30am arraignment, where Libby will enter his plea, will be held in the Ceremonial Courtroom on the 6th floor of the courthouse."

"Given the media attention Court officials decided to move this to a larger courtroom since it seats approximately 150 people. We believe that Libby will have to use one of the public entrances to the courthouses despite his crutches."

"A Justice Department source said that Judge Walton is known by the nickname 'Long Ball Walton since he seems to like going for prison sentences that are as long as possible. His bio can be found here: LINK

"Libby will be likely booked after the hearing. The arraignment could last up to 30 minutes depending if the judge wants to set a calendar for motions at this time."

"The US Marshals Service does not release booking photos in Washington DC unless the defendant becomes a fugitive."

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