The Note: New Verse, Same As the First

Under questioning from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and others, "Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales acknowledged yesterday that some U.S. attorneys have been asked to resign their posts in recent weeks because of performance issues, but he denied any political motives and vowed to quickly submit new nominees for the jobs to the Senate for confirmation." LINK

The Los Angeles Times team of Schmitt, Miller, and Savage write that the Bush Administration's refusal "to provide details to Congress of how a new court-review process for terror-related wiretaps would work, [triggered] a fresh round of complaints and suspicions from Democrats about what the administration was doing." LINK

Believing that President Bush has been kept from "political free fall" by the fact that the United States has suffered no terrorist attacks since 2001, the Wall Street Journal's ed board slams the Bush Administration for what it calls Bush's "wiretap surrender."

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke warned the Senate Budget Committee that rising health-care and Social Security spending could create a "vicious cycle" of rising debt and interest payments and an eventual fiscal crisis, reports the Wall Street Journal's Greg Ip.

Chief White House Usher Gary Walters is retiring at the end of January. In an interview with C-SPAN's Brian Lamb that will air Sunday evening, Walters offered his reflections on the presidents and first ladies he has served. Some excerpts from the Washington Post: LINK

Republican National Committee:

John M. Broder of the New York Times writes that departing chairman Ken Mehlman's words at the RNC's winter meeting were a warning that the GOP would "suffer even more devastating losses in 2008 than it did in 2006 if it did not reach out to minorities and address voter concerns over ethics." LINK

You can read more on ABC News' Political Radar. LINK

As the Republican Party struggles to repair itself, Tamara Lytle of the Orlando Sentinel looks at the unenviable challenges facing incoming Republican National Committee General Chairman Sen. Mel Martinez. Striking a hopeful Note about the state of the party, GOP pollster Ed Goeas said "The Republican Party is like a beaten-down stock that's a good buy." &LINK

2008: Democrats:

Time's Joe Klein -- like music to Gov. Bill Richardson's ears -- writes, "The Democratic Party is being reborn" in the Rocky Mountains, attracting independents and moderate Republicans with straight-shooting, colorful candidates -- and top-line '08 contenders like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama should be taking a page from their playbooks. LINK

Jake Tapper and Avery Miller of ABC News report on the flurry of resolutions, statements, and press releases coming from the Senate's rivals for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination. ABC News' Cokie Roberts said of all the activity, "These candidates are so aware of what each other is doing that it's almost eerie, and they are constantly watching, constantly trying to get the edge." LINK

Using a South Carolina black minister's description of Sen. Obama as a "stranger" and Sen. Edwards as his "homeboy" to make his point, Peter Wallsten of the Los Angeles Times writes that despite his strong ties (and his obvious connection) to the black community, Sen. Obama will still have to fight for black votes because Sens. Clinton and Edwards are quite popular among African Americans. LINK

2008: Democrats: Edwards:

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