The Note: Comes in 3s

Gov. Mike Rounds (R-SD) announced over the weekend his serious consideration to support the South Dakota bill banning most abortion cases "if the bill is written correctly," writes Reuters' Michael Condon. LINK

Politics of Katrina:

The Des Moines Register's editorial board responds to last week's White House report thusly: "Return the Federal Emergency Management Agency to its status as an independent agency, with a focus on natural disasters and an administrator who has direct access to the president. Better yet, dismantle the entire Department of Homeland Security, which holds FEMA and 21 other agencies in its clutches." LINK


Kit Seelye's must-read New York Times examination of the current state of affairs in the White House briefing room: LINK

"Renana Brooks, a clinical psychologist practicing in Washington who said she had counseled several White House correspondents, said the last few years had given rise to 'White House reporter syndrome,' in which competitive high achievers feel restricted and controlled and become emotionally isolated from others who are not steeped in the same experience."


Jim Rutenberg's bouquet to Kevin Sheekey landed on Saturday's New York Times front page. LINK

Jeff Zeleny of the Chicago Tribune analyzes Sen. Obama's (D-IL) evolution and future on the political stage. LINK

The Washington Post's Ceci Connolly is underwhelmed by Kate Michelman's "With Liberty and Justice for All" book. LINK

In the Sunday edition, James Norman of the Des Moines Register cites a National Journal review that ranks Iowa's House delegation as "the fifth most conservative" in the nation. LINK

"Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff says the nation's aviation system remains 'the No. 1 target' for terrorists," and warns that the Department of Homeland security may have to cut funding for airport security if Congress rejects a $2.50 increase in passenger fees proposed by DHS, writes Mimi Hall of USA Today. LINK

The week ahead:

President Bush meets with the Italian Prime Minister tomorrow morning before his interview with ABC's Elizabeth Vargas and then he heads off to India and Pakistan later in the day.

Vice President Cheney delivers remarks tomorrow morning at the 46th Annual American Legion Washington Conference in Washington, DC.

Former President Clinton addresses the NGA winter meeting tomorrow morning. The FPOTUS is going to discuss his personal health journey. (Though, if he attempts to show his scars LBJ-style LINK, Gov. Huckabee jokingly promised to rush the stage and bring the presentation to a close.)

The Senate Judiciary Committee meets tomorrow at 9:30 am ET for its second hearing on the NSA domestic warrantless wiretapping program and House Majority Leader Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) holds a 1:30 pm ET pen & pad briefing with reporters.

Also tomorrow, Gov. Tom Vilsack delivers remarks at the National Press Club in Washington, DC on "building a sense of community."

After gaveling the NGA winter meeting to a close, NGA Chairman/Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AR) heads to the Granite state to address the Grafton County Lincoln Day Dinner in West Lebanon, NH. Gov. Huckabee heads to South Carolina later this week.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in LULAC v. Perry et al, a case involving the controversial Texas redistricting plan engineered by Rep. Tom DeLay that culminated in Republicans garnering more congressional seats in 2004.

Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) celebrates his 53rd birthday on Thursday.

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