The Note: The Silver State of the (Political) Union

After our first full week of campaigning, Team Shadegg is pretty happy. Our public supporters include Conservatives, especially RSC Chairman Mike Pence, senior Committee Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner, and other members who simply understand the need for real reform. As always, remember that the private count is substantially higher than the public number (and the private number is another thing we're pretty happy about, too).

Mr. Shadegg took to the air yesterday, with appearances on Bill Bennett's radio show, C-Span's Washington Journal, and Hardball. He also did a blogger conference call -and Arizona sunshine proved very popular in Blog-land.

We were looking forward to "meet"-ing Mr. Blunt and Mr. Boehner on Sunday, but sadly it seems not to be (last chance, Jessica - if y'all won't debate, I bet they give the whole hour to Joe Biden. Seriously, do you want that? Can your conscience take it? Can the American people?).

GOP Leadership:

Rep. Bob Bennett (R-OH) is calling for Rep. Ney's resignation if Ney is indicted. LINK

David Rogers of the Wall Street Journal explores the sometimes complicated alliance between Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) and Chairman of the House Committee on Rules David Dreier (R-CA) and the work that lies ahead of them in the post-DeLay era. LINK

Note to Rogers: artfully written.

Politics of spying:

The white paper released by the Department of Justice yesterday claims that the President has inherent war powers to order warrantless eavesdropping on the international calls and e-mails of US citizens and others in this country. It also argues that if the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is interpreted as blocking the President's powers to protect the country in a time of war, its constitutionality is doubtful and the President's authority supersedes it, the Washington Post's Carol Leonnig reports. LINK

More Leonnig: "Yesterday, ranking Democrats on the Senate and House intelligence committees . . . sent a letter to Vice President Cheney demanding that the full committee be briefed on such intelligence activities in the future."

The New York Times on the DOJ's white paper. LINK

Vice President Cheney reiterated the Bush Administration's stance on domestic surveillance on Thursday, describing it as an essential tool to monitor terrorist organizations. LINK

Samuel Alito for Associate Justice:

Per the Washington Post's Dan Balz, three Democratic Senators who supported Roberts for Chief Justice (Leahy, Salazar, and Baucus) have announced that they will oppose Alito for Associate Justice. But a filibuster is "increasingly less likely," according to Democratic strategists. LINK

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Peggy Noonan looks at the impact that the growth in media sources has had on the ability of Democrats to dominate the airwaves.

"Eleven years ago the Democrats lost control of Congress. Then they lost the presidency. But just as important, maybe more enduringly important, they lost their monopoly on the means of information in America. They lost control of the pipeline. . . ."

"Could Democratic senators today torture Clarence Thomas with tales of Coke cans and porn films? Not likely. Could Ted Kennedy have gotten away with his "Robert Bork's America" speech unanswered? No."

Bush Administration and agenda:

President Bush's definitive "never" response regarding Mrs. Bush and a possible future run for office gets the New York Times treatment. LINK

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