"A Rare Public Appearance"

The Washington Post's Walter Pincus reports President Bush is looking to hire not only a new director of national intelligence but also for three other senior officials to work under the DNI. Goss is still a potential nominee worthy of speculation: "If Goss were named DNI, he would inevitably be questioned in depth about the personnel troubles and retirements at the CIA after he arrived, bringing with him four Republican former staff members from the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, administration and congressional sources said." Pincus says Bush 41 appointee Brent Scowcroft may have blown his chances when he criticized the war in Iraq. Gen. Tommy R. Franks, sporting a shiny new Presidential Medal of Freedom and Adm. William O. Studeman, a former CIA deputy director are also considered possibilities. LINK

Some former military lawyers are kicking around ways to oppose the nomination of White House counsel Alberto Gonzales for attorney general, based on his decisions and comments with regard to detainees, the New York Times reports. LINK

The New York Times' Robert Pear reports that Rep. Billy Tauzin will become president of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the main lobby for brand-name drug companies. The salary for Tauzin, one of the key authors of the new Medicare drug law is speculated to be $2 million or more, given the trade group's comment that it would be comparable to pay at other large associations. LINK

The Washington Post's Helen Dewar follows up on Shailagh Murray's Wednesday story, Noting that the GOP's boost in the Senate has brought new optimism for ANWR drilling. LINK

The New York Daily News reports that Giuliani gave Kerik a good scolding. LINK

The White House is standing by the Kerik vetting conducted by Alberto Gonzales, the Daily News reports. LINK

The Bronx District Attorney's Office said it will investigate the alleged connection between Kerik and a mob-connected contractor. LINK

The New York Times' Nina Bernstein and Robin Stein try to unravel the mystery of Kerik's nanny. LINK

In a story that headlines "The Return of the Hanging Chad," the AP's John Nolan reports at least 35 of Ohio's 88 counties had completed their recounts or were starting Wednesday. LINK

"A divided King County Canvassing Board yesterday took the first step toward counting 573 previously rejected ballots that are expected to boost Democratic gubernatorial candidate Christine Gregoire's vote total," report the Seattle Times' Keith Ervin and Susan Gilmore. By a 2-1 vote decided by Democrats, the board is directing election workers to take another look at absentee ballots that county election officials say were put aside because the signatures weren't entered into the computer system. Three more counties completed their recounts last night, the duo report, and Republican Dino Rossi gained 79 votes, giving him a total lead of 121. LINK

Neil Modie of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer Notes that the decision will likely bring more legal moves by Republicans LINK

The Seattle Times' David Postman interviewed King County elections director Dean Logan, who surmised that the counting errors in the governor's race have shaken voters' confidence in the system. LINK

Andrew Garber of the Seattle Times reports that Gov. Gary Locke is expected to propose a $500 million tax hike to offset a projected $1.5 billion budget deficit -- a move that both Rossi and Gregoire opposed during the campaign. LINK

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