The Note: Mincing and Parsing

Sen. Feingold calls for censuring President Bush:

Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) said he won't rule out voting to censure President Bush, the Providence Journal reports. LINK

David Kirkpatrick of the New York Times explores how the censure and impeachment movements afoot energize the Republican base. LINK

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) has become the first co-sponsor of Sen. Feingold's censure resolution, reports Roll Call's Erin Billings.

With a provocative "Russ Feingold is a traitor" subject line, Howard Dean sent an email to DNC supporters yesterday in which he defended Sen. Feingold's freedom to speak out without endorsing Feingold's call for censure.

Big Casino budget politics:

The New York Times' Hulse looks at the immense amount of talk about fiscal discipline on the Hill -- and the very little action. LINK

Note, too, how Majority Leader Boehner's quotable nature may go down as one of journalists' favorite developments of the second session of the 109th Congress.

Peggy Noonan's column asks President Bush the following question: "Were you always a liberal on spending?" LINK

Explains Noonan, "I believe it is fair to say most Republicans did not think George W. Bush was motivated to run for the presidency for the primary reason of cutting or controlling spending. But it is also fair to say that they did not think he was Lyndon B. Johnson. And that's what he's turned into."

Yesterday's vote in the House that cleared the way for the passage of a $91.8 billion Iraq-Katrina appropriations bill brought the divisions among House Republicans on spending to the fore, reports the Wall Street Journal's David Rogers.

Republicans in the Senate are more united on spending, writes the Journal's prolific Rogers. Take Note of this line: "Republicans admit they are more cautious this election year in trying to use the budget process to effect change in spending or tax policy."

Per Bloomberg, the President's use of the "emergency" designation on appropriations is garnering "frustration" among many in Congress, including Republicans. LINK

Bush Administration agenda:

Just minutes after he was nominated, Sens. Clinton and Patty Murray (D-WA) announced yesterday they will not allow a vote on Andrew C. von Eschenbach's appointment to be a permanent commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration until the FDA acts on a proposal to make Plan B available without a prescription -- this after the Senators felt they were previously "double-crossed" on the issue. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Peter Wallsten writes up a fascinating, and unlikely conversation on nuclear nonproliferation that happened at the President's Medicare event yesterday. LINK

The Washington Post on the President's insistence on not extending the Medicare prescription drug signup period: LINK

But the Los Angeles Times recaps the Senate inching towards a possible change. LINK

George Will finds another reason to disagree with the White House in his column -- today, the issue is the line item veto, whose "primary effect might be political, and inimical to a core conservative value," Will writes. LINK

GOP agenda:

Ron Brownstein of the Los Angeles Times previews how a GOP-backed bill just out of committee might change the way health insurance is sold. LINK

The Fitzgerald investigation:

Subpoenas have been issued to reporters from the New York Times, NBC News, and Time Magazine in the Libby case, reports the New York Times' Liptak. LINK

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