The Note: Long Ball Lay-up

USA Today's Diamond and Jackson. LINK

Hayden for CIA Director: bio:

Scott Shane of the New York Times takes a look at Gen. Hayden's experience and biography. LINK

USA Today's John Diamond gives some background on Hayden, who was director of the NSA from 1999 to 2005. LINK

Hayden for CIA Director: morning shows:

On ABC's "Good Morning America," White House National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley touted the President's choice.

"The President believes he's the right man in the right place at the right time," said Hayden.

When asked if Gen. Hayden will resign his military commission before becoming CIA Director, Hadley said there is, "no reason to do so."

Hadley also rejected the notion that Porter Goss was forced out of his position as CIA Director.

"(Porter Goss) has begun the reform process I described but several times over the last months he has indicated a desire to leave from public service and the president decided he wanted to put together the team that he will have for his second term as soon as possible and that had the effect of accelerating porter's decision."

"Drawing Fire," was NBC's "Today" show headline this morning. Andrea Mitchell reported on "Today" that "Hayden is not close to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld."

Once again keying off of Rep. Hoekstra's (R-MI) Sunday quote, NSA Hadley told NBC's Katie Couric that Hayden is "the right person, at the right time, in the right job," before heralding Hayden's 20 years of "broad" experience in the intelligence business.

"He will not be reporting to Don Rumsfeld," added Hadley in an attempt to quell critics who may believe having a military officer as the head of the CIA is cause for concern.

On CBS both Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-MI) and former CIA Director Stansfield Turner agreed that Michael Hayden might not be the man for the job. Rep. Hoekstra argued that the nomination of a military person to head the CIA is "a serious erosion of rebuilding the intelligence community," and said that "in this nomination you see a splitting apart of the agreement that we had on the department of intelligence [overhaul]."

Former CIA director Stansfield Turner disagreed with that argument, saying that he sees "no reason why not" to have a military person running the CIA. However, Turner argued against Hayden's nomination saying that the general's support for the NSA wiretapping program "is a major barrier in his confirmation."

Per Turner, "I happen to think it was illegal. I believe that's the one cloud over the general's nomination."

Asked if this nomination will be successful, Turner repeated his previous statement about the NSA wiretapping: "I happen to think not, because I happen to think that the wiretapping was illegal."

The politics of tax cuts:

"Republican lawmakers, facing the prospect that their power to cut taxes may soon be curbed, plan to extend breaks that mostly benefit the wealthy and Wall Street at the expense of reductions for middle-income households," per Bloomberg News. LINK

Judges:

Sheryl Gay Stolberg of the New York Times writes of the Republican strategy in the Senate to excite the party's base with two looming judicial battles. Stolberg reports you can expect tough questioning for Brett Kavanaugh and a possible filibuster for Terrence Boyle. LINK

Bush Administration:

In Sunday's New York Times, David Leonhardt explained how both Republicans and Democrats intend to use the Bush-Cheney economy to their advantage this election year. LINK

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