The Note: Bugging Indecisions

An "open letter" was sent by House Majority Leader Boehner (R-OH) to his constituents yesterday. Boehner writes at length about the distinction between the "over friendly" e-mail and becoming aware of that in spring 2006 and the sexually explicit instant messages he learned of when ABC News published the report on Friday. Embedded in the letter is his stated support for Hastert continuing as Speaker.

This Chicago Tribune story is must-reading for anyone following all this closely. LINK

It includes no huge news, but. . .

1. An interview with Hastert in which he renews his accusations that ABC News, Democrats, and George Soros are the real culprits here.

2. A rare on-the-record interview with Hastert's powerful deputy chief of staff Mike Stokke.

3. A quote from an anonymous Republican with close ties to the White House:

"'This is a disaster. It's undermining our base. And it's been handled terribly,' said a Republican official with close ties to the White House. 'Quite frankly, right now, everybody's circling the wagons.'"

"But the official pointed out that a departure by Hastert might not solve the party's political difficulties since Boehner also was in the loop on the complaint. 'The No. 2 supposedly knew about this months ago,' the official said."

Like the Chicago Tribune account, this Bloomberg News story makes clear that Hastert is spending time calling allies to keep them on board. LINK

Note, too, that Bloomberg reports "Human Events, a conservative national weekly, will call on House Republicans to elect new leaders in an edition that goes to press today, said Tom Winter, the editor-in-chief. 'I don't think Hastert will be there much longer,' Winter said."

And don't miss the important on-the-record quotes from Republican members Porter and Franks talking, well, frankly about how bad this is for the party.

The House ethics committee meets at 10:00 am ET. Pool camera coverage is expected for entrances and exits. The committee meets in executive session. Members are not expected to address the cameras.

Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-NY) is scheduled to appear on National Public Radio at 10:15 am ET on the program "On Point."

President Bush was scheduled to participate in a briefing on No Child Left Behind at 9:15 am ET followed by a visit to Woodbridge Elementary and Middle Campus Schools in Washington, DC. President Bush makes remarks about his education agenda at 11:00 am ET.

Later, Mr. Bush meets with the National Commander of the American Legion at the White House at 1:55 pm ET.

Vice President Dick Cheney addresses the Michigan Congressional Victory Committee 2006 at 12:30 pm ET in Bath, MI. He then heads off to a reception for the Allen Victory Committee at 5:00 pm ET in McLean, VA.

First Lady Laura Bush speaks at two events today, the Preserve America History Teacher of the Year Awards at 12:30 pm ET and the National Parks Foundation Gala at 7:00 pm ET, both in New York City.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) delivers an address at 11 am ET concerning the economy at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. The Associated Press has a preview of her remarks. LINK

Former President Bill Clinton campaigns for congressional candidate Joe Sestak at 12:00 pm ET in Wayne, PA while across the state, in Gladwyne, PA, Former President George H. W. Bush a fundraiser for Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA).

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