The Note: The Note

"Both Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden predicted that the attempt to block Judge Alito, scheduled for today, will fail," writes Charles Hurt of the Washington Times. Although both Senators will support their party's filibuster, "at least 62 senators were sticking with their pledge to oppose a filibuster -- two more than the number needed to kill a filibuster." LINK

Obama had harsh words for the filibuster concept and Democrats' handling of the Alito debate, reports Jeff Zeleny of the Chicago Tribune on the Senator's "This Week" appearance Sunday morning. LINK

On the eve of the likely Alito confirmation, the New York Times' Kirkpatrick Notes the success of the Federalist Society and others in the conservative movement having groomed young Reagan-era attorneys such as Roberts and Alito to ascend to the bench. LINK

Big Casino budget politics:

Robert Pear's New York Times story on health care spending restraint and children losing access to care is sure to be the first of many such pieces as the President's budget details get unfurled. LINK

Washington Times' Amy Fagan writes that House Republicans return this week to dispute Democrats over a budget bill approval that would cut back $40 billion from entitlement programs. LINK

Blunt v. Boehner v. Shadegg:

The balloting set for Thursday led to exaggerated votes claimed by three House majority leader candidates. "They can't all be right, since the totals claimed by Republican Reps. Roy Blunt, John Boehner and John Shadegg far exceed the 132 lawmakers eligible to vote when the rank and file selects a news leader for an era of political peril," points out Associated Press's David Espo. LINK

The Washington Post's Jonathan Weisman on the GOP leadership race being shaped by calls for reform. LINK

Carl Hulse of the New York Times covers similar territory and reminds all that the winner will instantly become "the new face for House Republicans." LINK

Time Magazine's Perry Bacon, Jr. Notes the Gentleman currently in the lead, Rep. Blunt, is the one who represents the most "continuity" in the leadership. LINK

Shadegg sets himself apart from recent GOP troubles, Billy House of the Arizona Republic writes. LINK

Jonathan Riskind of the Columbus Dispatch offered a Sunday piece looking at what a Leader Boehner could mean for Ohio. LINK

Lobbying reform:

Bloomberg's Jonathan Salant writes that in their current push for lobbying reform, congressional Republicans are "standing against their own history of embracing lobbyists and relaxing ethics rules since they took control of Congress in 1995." LINK

In Sunday's Los Angeles Times, Janet Hook and Richard Simon wrote about the growth of earmarking since the GOP took control of Congress. LINK

Bob Novak on the McCain-Coburn crusade to challenge future earmarks as a violation of Senate rules. LINK

The Abramoff affair:

Sen. John Thune (R-SD), Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), and Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) called for the President on Sunday to disclose White House contacts with the guilty lobbyist, Notes Nedra Pickler of the Associated Press. LINK

Time Magazine's Brian Bennett asks whether President Bush's nomination of Noel Hillman, head of the Abramoff investigation, to a federal judgeship was a strategic move or just coincidence. LINK

To the DNC's delight, the American Prospect published an analysis of Abramoff-related donations which attempts to dispute the GOP talking point that this is a bipartisan scandal. LINK

The politics of Medicare:

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