The Note: Watch What They Say


Everyone who has ever written for the Huffington Post, listened to Gene Sperling talk about tennis, or means the senior senator from Illinois when they use the term "Dick," knows full well that the Bush White House and its Republican allies on Capitol Hill will put aside principles anytime adherence to principle stands in the way of achieving political goals.

So it is going to take a bit more analysis than the norm to understand why the President won't fire Donald Rumsfeld; why congressional Republicans are challenging the Administration's position on military tribunals and electronic surveillance; and why the Justice Department is allowing the investigation of Tom DeLay and others to continue.

Unfortunately, we don't have time for such analysis, because President Bush is about to re-start his banging of the security drum with his 9:30 am ET Cabinet meeting and, then, his 1:45 pm ET remarks in the East Room of the White House on suspected terrorist detainees.

ABC News' Karen Travers reports, "President Bush will give the third speech in this latest round on the war on terrorism. The President plans to discuss his Administration's approach to the question of how and where to try prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay and he will submit legislation to the Hill on this issue. A White House official said yesterday that the Administration has been working with Members of Congress on proposed legislation since June 29, when the Supreme Court ruled in the case of Hamdan v. Rumsfeld that the President does not have the authority to order military tribunals for detainees at Guantanamo Bay. The President will likely discuss how his Administration's policies are keeping the American people safe and why it's necessary to have a way to keep terrorists off the streets and a way to bring them to justice, a White House official said."

ABC News' Jessica Yellin adds that "Bush's audience will be Cabinet members, 9/11 families, people from think tanks, first responders, former Administration members, and conservative opinion leaders."

Today's Democratic pre-buttal comes at 11:30 am ET in the Senate Radio and TV gallery from Sens. Schumer (D-NY) and Menendez (D-NJ) who plan to discuss how "Bush Republican policies have failed to secure America, failed to end the war in Iraq, and failed to bring terrorists to justice."

(Before Schumer does the partisan Blue-meat thing, he'll join Rep. Peter King (R-NY) in bipartisan fashion at 10:15 am ET to promote their plan to have President Bush proclaim September 11 as a day of national voluntary service.)

The Senate reconvenes at 9:45 am ET. At that time the Senate will be in a period of morning business for up to 30 minutes and will then resume consideration of HR 5631 the Defense appropriations bill. The Senate will recess from 12:30 pm ET -2:15 pm ET to accommodate weekly policy luncheons. (Stakeouts galore to follow.)

Sen. Clinton does her bipartisan thing today too. Sens. Clinton (D-NY) and Sununu (R-NH) join Reps. Peter King (R-NY) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) to call for passage of their bipartisan legislation to improve the child safety features in new vehicles at 11:30 am ET.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), members of the Congressional Black Caucus, and a panel of experts hold a 1:00 pm ET roundtable discussion on voter protection in Washington, DC.

Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) holds his weekly pen and pad briefing with reporters at 12:30 pm ET.

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