The Washington Post's Dan Eggen writes that Bush Administration officials have been "punctilious" in discussing the NSA program over the past five months, "parsing their words with care and limiting comments to the portion of the program that had been confirmed by the president in December." LINK
A USA Today/Gallup Poll found a majority of Americans disapprove of the National Security Agency's database of phone records. Of 809 adults surveyed, 51% said they disapproved of the program, and 43% approved. USA Today's results vary from the ABC News/Washington Post poll released last week that showed 63% of Americans said the program was an acceptable way for the government to investigate terrorism. The difference in poll results could be attributed to the way in which the questions were phrased, the difference in time between when the story broke and the questions were asked, and the number of respondents polled. LINK
Per ABC News polling director Gary Langer, "These different results tell us a lot about how compelling the competing interests are. The main differences I see between this and Newsweek, vs. ours, are that we first asked about the broader investigation-vs.-privacy issue, and we laid out much more specifically the rationale for the program (to analyze call patterns in an effort to identify terrorism suspects). When these competing, positive interests are at stake, language and information matter - a fact that will surely play itself out as the debate progresses.
The New York Times wraps the Sunday morning chatter on the NSA surveillance programs leading with Stephen Hadley's strong defense of the programs and their legality. LINK
The Los Angeles Times on the same. LINK
Two Cheney stories from the weekend you should read, if you missed them.
The New York Times Sunday story on Vice President Cheney's alleged push for (and Gen. Hayden's reluctance) expanded eavesdropping after the 9/11 attacks: LINK
Michael Isikoff of Newsweek offered up a Saturday web exclusive on a Patrick Fitzgerald filing in the Libby case of Cheney's annotated copy of Joe Wilson's 2003 New York Times op-ed. LINK
The New York Post writes up First Lady Laura Bush's desire to not use same-sex marriage as a campaign tool and her sketicism about poll numbers. LINK
Jeffrey Birnbaum reports on the front page of the Washington Post with elegant belatedness that controversy over Rep. Alan Mollohan's (D-WVA) "blending of commerce and legislation has triggered a federal probe, cost Mollohan his position on the House ethics committee and undermined the Democrats' effort to portray the GOP as the party of corruption because of the Jack Abramoff scandal. LINK
Per Roll Call's Bresnahan: "Federal prosecutors are seeking to interview at least nine current or former staffers on the House Intelligence, Appropriations and Armed Services committees as they widen their probe into the bribery scheme involving former Rep. Duke Cunningham (R-Calif.), according to House officials."
The Los Angeles Times looks at Rep. Ken Calvert's (R-CA) real estate investments in the context of infrastructure projects he earmarked in spending bills. LINK
On Sunday, the New York Times looked at the Homeland Security dollars that have poured into Rep. Harold Rogers' (R-KY) district. LINK