The Note: Getting the Worm

The Republican House leadership has presented a tentative outline for the series of immigration hearings it plans to hold across the country this summer, writes Roll Call's Ben Pershing. With former DeLay aide Brett Loper organizing the effort, House Republicans believe they are equipped to pressure Senate colleagues into voting for a bill dealing only with border security; as one "GOP leadership aide" put it, "'We believe the public and the electorate are where we are on this, not where they are.'" LINK

The Washington Times' Stephen Dinan speaks with Judiciary Chairman Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) about immigration and his committee's duties. Specter believes border security should be Congress' "#1 priority," and that "the president's got to be there" in negotiations if a bill is going to materialize this year. "He's got to get involved, in my opinion, in the negotiations. Now, he has not yet been willing to do that."LINK

In his New York Times column, John Tierney seems to endorse the Pence approach and urges House Republicans to not over-learn the results of CA-50. LINK

"Disgraceful" behavior?:

The New York Times on the Bush Administration taking on the New York Times: LINK

The Washington Post's Peter Baker has President Bush calling the disclosure of the covert bank surveillance program a "disgraceful" act that does "great harm" to the nation. Baker Notes that neither Bush nor Cheney called for investigating journalists as Rep. Peter King (D-NY) proposed. LINK

Deb Orin of the New York Post writes, "Bush was clearly eager to denounce the Times. He normally takes just two questions at photo ops, but took five yesterday until he finally was asked about the leak on the program known as SWIFT." LINK

The Los Angeles Times reports Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA), the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, says she wasn't briefed on the program until it became clear to the Administration that it was going to leak. LINK

The Los Angeles Times editor Dean Baquet offers his Keller-esque explanation to readers on why the paper ran the story. LINK

"The White House b-slaps the Times," blogs ABC News' Jake Tapper. LINK

The Boston Herald columnist Virginia Buckingham on the allegedly self-destructing ways of Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) and the New York Times: "Murtha and The New York Times have done more to aid the fight for Republicans to retain their House and Senate majorities in the last couple of days than Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman could possibly do all year." LINK

Politics of the flag:

On "Good Morning America," ABC News's Jake Tapper reported the "high drama" of the Senate debate and vote on the constitutional amendment. Republican strategist Rich Galen responded to Tapper's pondering of whether or not Leader/Sen./Dr. Frist's brandishing of the issue is smart politics: "I think it gives Republicans who are running either as challengers or as known incumbents a pretty broad pallette on which to paint their opponent."

The Chicago Tribune's Marni Goldberg also reports: LINK

Carl Hulse of the New York Times reports the hard count is still at 66, one vote short of the needed 67. LINK

The Washington Post duo Charles Babington and Jonathan Weisman write that the Senate appears to be within "a vote or two of passage" of the "volatile issue" to amend the Constitution to ban flag burning. LINK

Politics of Iraq: ABC/Washington Post poll:

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