The Note: Economics 101

1. In a front-page look at the scrambling taking place in the House GOP Conference, the Washington Post's Weisman and Murray name Roy Blunt of Missouri, John Boehner of Ohio, Mike Pence of Indiana, John Shadegg of Arizona, Zach Wamp of Tennessee, and Jerry Lewis of California as possible permanent replacements for DeLay. If Blunt were to be the permanent replacement, Eric Cantor of Virginia could claim the whip's post but he might draw opposition from Mike Rogers of Michigan, a former FBI agent who specialized in public corruption cases. LINK

2. The Wall Street Journal's ed board writes that Republicans "seem clueless about the meaning of Jack Abramoff." LINK

The paper calls on the House GOP and DeLay to "move on separately."

And the Gigotites write that if Speaker Dennis Hastert, Acting Majority Leader Roy Blunt and other GOP leaders are "too insulated" to realize that the Republican majority has gradually decided since 1994 that "they want to reform and limit government less than they want to use government to entrench their own power," then Republicans "need new leaders, and right away."

3. "Support wanes for DeLay return to leadership post," blares a Washington Times front-page headline. Ralph Z. Halow and Amy Fagan have Paul Weyrich and the editor of the American Spectator turning cool on DeLay's return to the leadership. But Tony Perkins and Congressman Jack Kingston are sticking by the embattled Hammer. LINK

The Majority and Minority staffs of the Senate Judiciary Committee will provide background briefings on the upcoming Alito hearings to members of the media today.

The grand jury investigating the leak of former CIA operative Valerie Plame's name is scheduled to meet at 9:00 am ET at the Federal District Courthouse in Washington, DC.

First Lady Laura Bush will be at the State Department this afternoon to deliver remarks and introduce Under Secretary of State Karen Hughes at 1:30 pm ET.

Sen. Bayh (D-IN) is in Israel today and Sen. Obama (D-IL) is in Kuwait. The two will meet in Iraq tomorrow as part of a CODEL led by Sen. Bayh. LINK

Sens. McCain (R-AZ), Collins (R-ME), and Sununu (R-NH) are in Antarctica for 10 days observing climate and atmosphere changes, the Washington Post's Al Kamen reports. LINK

Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM) honors New Mexico on the 94th anniversary of its statehood in the Capitol Rotunda in Santa Fe, NM at 1:00 pm ET.

In his post State of the State barnstorming, Gov. Schwarzenegger (R-CA) will sell his "strategic growth plan" in Nimbus and El Monte, CA today.

Tomorrow, Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) heads to Vermont to support Rep. Bernie Sanders' (I-VT) Senate campaign. And since he'll be in the region. Sen. Feingold will also drop by a Hanover Democratic Party event in Hanover, NH tomorrow night.

In advance of the Alito confirmation hearings, Family Research Council's "Justice Sunday III - Proclaim Liberty Throughout the Land" is set to be simulcast on Sunday evening from the Greater Exodus Baptist Church in Philadelphia, PA.

Make sure to tune into "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" on Sunday morning. Senate Judiciary Committee members Sens. Kennedy (D-MA) and Brownback (R-KS) will be George's guests to discuss the upcoming Alito confirmation hearings and much more.

Abramoff: reforming Republicans:

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