The Note: A Time of Andy Card's Choosing

Gen. Michael Hayden, the Deputy National Intelligence Director, discusses the NSA's warrantless wiretapping program in a 10:00 am ET speech to the National Press Club.

Two conservative foreign policy groups, the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and the revived Committee on the Present Danger, were holding a 9:30 am ET presser on Capitol Hill to urge President Bush to seek international sanctions against Iran.

Gov. Joe Manchin (D-WV) introduces mine safety legislation today. The governor's proposals would create a new statewide hotline to report accidents, require operators to keep extra breathing packs in their mines, and issue gear to miners that would pinpoint their location underground and communicate with the surface in the event of an emergency.

In Washington, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, and Education holds an 11:00 am ET hearing on the Sago Mine disaster.

Amid reports of "disarray" in the implementation of the new Medicare prescription drug benefit program, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) visits pharmacies in Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse at 8:00 am ET, 11:00 am ET, and 4:00 pm ET, respectively, to call for action to aid local pharmacists and seniors who are "bearing the brunt of problems plaguing the new program."

Public Citizen, Common Cause, Democracy 21, the Campaign Legal Center, the US Public Interest Research Group, and the League of Women Voters hold a 12:00 pm ET press conference at the National Press Club to outline a lobbying reform package that would address "the systematic failures that made the Jack Abramoff scandal possible."

Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta participates in a ceremonial ribbon-cutting to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the interstate highway system at the Wardman Park Marriott Hotel in Washington, DC.

The Democratic Policy Committee holds a 1:30 pm ET oversight hearing on whether Halliburton failed to provide clean water to US troops in Iraq.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) discusses his "Strategic Growth Plan" in Riverside, CA at 1:00 pm ET and in Fresno, CA at 6:00 pm ET.

Gov. Tom Vilsack (D-IA) signs "Bobby & Michelle's Bill" at 3:00 pm ET in Des Moines, IA.

Abortion politics:

In Sunday's Los Angeles Times, P.J. Huffstutter and Stephanie Simon wrote that lawmakers in Indiana, Ohio, Georgia, and Tennessee are pushing broad abortion restrictions this year in the hopes of prompting the Supreme Court to revisit its Roe v. Wade decision. LINK

"Even if Alito and Roberts prove to be staunch antiabortion votes, a bare majority of justices would still support the core principle of a woman's right to end an unwanted pregnancy. But a retirement or illness among the more liberal justices could change that balance."

Michigan Chooses Life, an organization opposed to abortion rights, is working to get a measure on Michigan's 2006 ballot that would change the state constitution to legally define a person as existing at the moment of conception, the AP reports. LINK

Per the AP, the ACLU of Michigan has said that even if the measure did succeed, it would be challenged in court.

The Abramoff affair:

While appearing on ABC's "Good Morning America" earlier today, White House counselor Dan Bartlett said of Jack Abramoff: "He's been to fund-raisers, we've said that before. But some sort of nefarious connection because the President takes a picture at a fundraiser that the President has somehow been involved with Jack Abramoff is absolutely absurd."

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