The Note: I Made It Through the Night

The New York Times' Sam Dillon writes about Margaret Spellings' tough, "fun, strategic, and savvy" White House-marinated political style, but after reading his article, we don't see too much that anyone would object to. So we, too, are "mystified" by the blind quote from a Washington lobbyist who says that Spellings "terrified" him. The conclusion: Spellings argues passionately for a bill the President passionately believes in. And she listens. And doesn't like to BS. And demonstrates, at times, flexibility. And believes, like the President, that the soft bigotry of low expectations is a real phenomenon worth commenting on. LINK

In a follow-up to previous reporting, the New York Times' Eric Schmitt Notes today that "the Army is preparing to issue a new interrogations manual that expressly bars the harsh techniques disclosed in the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal, and incorporates safeguards devised to prevent such misconduct at military prison camps in the future, Army officials said Wednesday. The new manual, the first revision in 13 years, will specifically prohibit practices like stripping prisoners, keeping them in stressful positions for a long time, imposing dietary restrictions, employing police dogs to intimidate prisoners and using sleep deprivation as a tool to get them to talk, the officials said. Those practices were not included in the manual in use when the bulk of the abuses occurred at Abu Ghraib in Iraq in the fall of 2003, but neither were they specifically banned." LINK

The Washington Post's Justin Blum and Jim VandeHei report that industry analysts weren't as enthralled with President Bush's energy proposals yesterday as he might have liked, and said the ideas wouldn't have much effect on gas prices. LINK

The Chicago Tribune's William Neikirk talked with (even) more skeptical experts. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Warren Vieth and Ed Chen write that the proposals could gain some momentum if they generate public pressure to pass the energy bill. LINK

Richard Simon of the Los Angeles Times looks at the battle between the federal government and states over liquefied natural gas terminals, Noting that "A provision similar to the one the president endorsed Wednesday is already moving through Congress. It is opposed by the administrations of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in California and Gov. Jeb Bush, the president's brother, in Florida. The two governors fear it would weaken the states' ability to respond to safety and environmental concerns over the terminals." LINK

USA Today's Thomas Frank and Alan Levin have details of the false alarm that sent President Bush to the White House bunker and Vice President Cheney to an undisclosed location on Wednesday. LINK

2008: Republicans:

In today's Sioux City Journal, David Dreeszen hones in on Senator/Doctor/Leader Frist's remarks at a Siouxlander (IA) leaders dinner Wednesday evening in the capital city (D.C., not Des Moines). LINK

Speaking as much from his experience as a physician as from his current position, Dr. Frist announced that health care is at the tip-top of the Senate's laundry list of items due for revitalization during the 109th term. The discussion later evolved to include the increasingly unwieldy medical malpractice suits.

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