The Note: Bolten and Snow

Peter Beinart, writing in the Washington Post, questions the conventional wisdom about the connection between better border security and stopping terrorism. LINK


The Wall Street Journal's ed board asks if Senate Democrats would be "nuts enough to launch a judicial filibuster" against Brett Kavanaugh, who nomination for a seat on the D.C. Appeals Court will come before the Judiciary Committee today.

Politics of Iran:

"The long-anticipated showdown at the UN over Iran's nuclear program has started," reports ABC News' Jonathan Karl.

The UN Security Council has kicked off a closed session debate on "a resolution demanding that Iran stop enriching uranium."

More Karl: "The resolution -- drafted by the United States, United Kingdom, and France -- expresses 'serious concern' about Iran's behavior and warns its nuclear program is a 'threat to international peace and security.'"

"The resolution does not explicitly call for sanctions, but it is a so-called 'Chapter Seven' resolution -- such resolutions are considered binding, and are usually enforced through sanctions or even military action."

"Both China and Russia went into this meeting opposed to the resolution. Condoleezza Rice heads to New York on Monday, when the Security Council is expected to vote on it."

Politics of Iraq:

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) asked yesterday for U.S. troops to withdraw from Iraq by the end of the year, reports Des Moines Register's Jane Norman. LINK

More on Sen. Harkin's call from the Cedar Rapids Gazette: LINK

Bush Administration:

Catherine Dodge of Bloomberg reports that Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS) is offering up advice (shocking, that) for brand-new chief of staff Joshua Bolten, urging him that "'a good start in terms of improving relationships would be to take calls when senators call, for God's sake.'" LINK

Vice President Cheney addressed a conference of Eastern European leaders and accused Putin's Russia of restricting the rights of its citizens and using energy resources as tools of blackmail, reports David Espo of the Associated Press. LINK

Bloomberg News reports on the same: Link

Per the Washington Post's David Brown, the lesson from Katrina, as reflected in the White House's new bird flu plan, appears to be: don't "wait for help from Washington." LINK

The New York Times reports many states don't have the money to implement the Administration's plans. LINK

USA Today on the same: LINK


Democrats are reviving their calls to delay the Medicare prescription drug signup deadline after a new GAO report found callers to the Medicare hotline often were given erroneous information. LINK

The Fitzgerald investigation:

The New York Times reports that Valerie Plame is shopping around a book proposal among a small group of publishers. LINK


After Louisville businessman Vernon Jackson pled guilty yesterday to bribing Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) with more than $400,000, the Washington Post's Allan Lengel sums up Jefferson's status in compelling fashion: "Jefferson denied any wrongdoing in the case yesterday, but his legal problems are steadily mounting and have undercut his party's efforts to portray the Republicans as the party of political corruption." LINK

More: Jefferson "has not been charged, but he is a target in the case, according to law enforcement authorities. Sources familiar with the case have said a plea agreement with the lawmaker has been explored."

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