And Josh Marshall's close attention to what current members of Congress are saying about Social Security has proved an invaluable resource for Democratic discipline. LINK
To wit: the AP's preview of President Bush's trip to New Hampshire includes all the opposition arrayed against him, and Notes polls showing some healthy support for the personal accounts idea in theory, and/but much less so when the plan means giving up benefits. LINK
The Chicago Tribune's Jill Zuckman reports that Republican Senators are taking a cue from House Speaker Hastert in urging a slower and steadier pace in selling the Social Security overhaul. LINK
Roll Call's Mark Preston curtain-raises the plans of both Senate Republicans and Democrats to take their campaign for or against, respectively, the President's Social Security plan back to their constituents.
As Linda Douglass reported on "World News Tonight" last night, PowerPoints alone won't do for congressional Republicans who are holding town meetings to push the President's Social Security plan next week -- it's all about the DVDs, report the dust-eating Mike Allen and Brian Faler of the Washington Post. But can you get it on Netflix? LINK
In a letter to the White House, Sen. Tom Harkin writes that disabled Americans are being left out of the Social Security debate and their benefits are being threatened by the talk of personal accounts, reports the Des Moines Register's Jane Norman. LINK
Immigration! A new variable to consider in the Social Security debate, write Robin Toner and David Rosenbaum in the New York Times. The more legal immigrants, the more solvent Social Security could be. LINK
Big Casino budget politics:
The House plows away with efforts to consolidate approps bills; the Senate refuses to go along, so Carl Hulse wonders what will happen when the two chambers try to reconcile their spending desires. LINK
The Wall Street Journal's Amy Schatz on bipartisan outrage over the proposed hike in airline fees, with pretty definitive statements from Ted Stevens.
The Wall Street Journal's Chris Cooper looks at the White House's aggressive efforts to recruit just one friendly Senate Democrat. LINK
". . . White House lobbyists estimate that as many as a third of the 44 Democratic senators will provide occasional assistance on issues such as energy, judicial nominations, tax-code overhaul and perhaps even Social Security. Since Republicans need 60 votes to overcome Democratic filibusters, and have just 55 of their own, winning converts isn't optional."
"Perhaps most important for the White House are those Democrats who must cope with broad home-state support for Mr. Bush. Five Democratic senators -- Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Kent Conrad and Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, Tim Johnson of South Dakota and Evan Bayh of Indiana -- represent states that Mr. Bush carried with at least 60% of the vote in November. Messrs. Nelson and Conrad are up for re-election in 2006."
There's a great clip-'n-save chart of where '08 hopefuls stand in terms of voting with POTUS.
As President Bush's advisory panel on taxes sits down for its first meeting today, the Los Angeles Times' Joel Havemann and Warren Vieth take a closer look at two savings accounts that President Bush has included among his tax proposals in the FY2006 budget. LINK
"Instead of costing the government money, as most Bush tax measures have done, the White House says these accounts would raise revenue over five years."