WASHINGTON, June 27
Here's the best little political news summary on the Web, for Tuesday, June 27, 2006: The White House wants to make 2006 a "choice" election -- a choice between the New York Times and patriotism. LINK
If Utah Republican Congressman Chris Cannon loses his primary today, the dead immigration reform effort will be, uhm, even deader. LINK
Dana Milbank and Norah O'Donnell speak for 493/500th of the Gang of 500 on flag burning and the righteousness of making "rally the base" a dirty phrase. LINK
Supporters of the flag amendment aren't at 67 votes yet. LINK
And, apparently, supporters of the line item veto aren't where they need to be either, because the issue will be front and center at 10:50 am ET when President Bush speaks at the JW Marriot Hotel in Washington, DC. The President is also planning to meet with a group of Senators, including Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE), this morning to discuss getting a line item veto plan through the Senate.
At 1:20 pm ET, President Bush meets in the Oval Office with Staff Sgt. Christian Bagge, a soldier from Eugene, OR who lost his legs serving in Iraq. Later in the afternoon the President will go running with Bagge around the track on the White House South Lawn.
ABC News' Karen Travers reports that Bagge, 24, was injured by a roadside IED on June 3, 2005 just south of Kirkuk. The soldier was in a convoy of three Humvees checking the road for explosives -- the first vehicle was hit by a bomb and when Bagge's vehicle pulled up to provide security, a second bomb went off on his side just as he stepped out of the vehicle. Bagge had both legs amputated -- one below the knee and the other just above the knee. He spent months in rehab learning to walk and made it his goal to run again. President Bush met Bagge at Brook Army Medical Center in San Antonio, TX on January 1, 2006. The two talked about running and hit it off and Bagge asked the President if they could go running together some time in the future.
The President agreed and he will make a rare outing in running shoes, shifting from his standard exercise of biking, to run with the injured soldier. Bush used to run several days a week but a knee injury forced him give it up.
The President is also scheduled to participate in a 1:45 pm ET meeting with National Endowment for Democracy award recipients.
The Senate resumes consideration of a proposed constitutional amendment that would authorize Congress to outlaw flag desecration at 11:00 am ET. Dr./Leader/Sen. Frist, Sen. Brownback, and several other Senators join Maj. Gen Brady of the Citizens Flag Alliance at a 12:15 pm ET press conference on the flag amendment in S-230. The Senate will recess between 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. for weekly policy lunches.
The House meets at 10:00 am ET to consider the Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005 and the Seasoned Customer CTR Exemption Act of 2006, and to recognize National Homeownership Month. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), DCCC Chairman Rahm Emanuel, and Rep. Hilda Solis (D-CA) hold a 10:45 am ET news conference in H-204 to offer key improvements to the prescription drug program.