WASHINGTON, May 25
We now return you to your regularly scheduled programs on gas prices, home sales, Michael Jackson, the season finale of "Lost," and some singing competition on Fox we hear is pretty popular with the kids.
As the filibuster fight fades away from evening network newscasts (even cable seems destined to find other storylines to fill the time today) and the consciousness of Americans (okay, okay we're not sure it was ever really there), it still remains the dominant theme in politics as many a big-foot reporter delve a bit further into 2008 ramifications.
Here are tastes of your absolute must-reads for the day:
1. The New York Times' Adam Nagourney on Sen./Leader/Dr. Bill Frist's complicated take-away from the filibuster fight. This kicker quote from Phyllis Schlafly on the next SCOTUS step says it all: "'Frist kind of hangs and falls on this,' she said. 'He has got to get this through.'" LINK
2. Dan Balz of the Washington Post also looks through the lens of the GOP "intraparty warfare" and the cracks in the party unity that have been so prominent (and electorally helpful) under President Bush. LINK
3. From a slightly broader perspective, Jeanne Cummings has your best overall round up of the political implications in the Wall Street Journal.
4. Los Angeles Times duo Brownstein and Hook offer an important reminder that President Bush will be playing the central and critical role in determining the fate of the compromise reached Monday night. LINK
5. The Manchester Union Leader editorial concludes thusly: "Frist has again showed that he is no match for Senate Democrats. If he cannot effectively lead 55 Republican senators, how can he be trusted to lead the party and the country three years from now?" LINK
President Bush today tours a fueling station at a Shell service station in Northeast Washington at 10:10 am ET. At 3:00 pm ET, Bush meets with the President of Indonesia. At 4:00 pm ET, he speaks at an Asian Pacific American Heritage Month celebration.(Yay APA heritage!)
And in this brief respite from official judicial storms, assuming Priscilla Owen is confirmed today (the vote is around noon ET), the Bush legislative agenda keeps rollin' along and Senate Democrats get a chance to talk about something else.
The House meets to vote on the national defense authorization act for FY06. Both caucuses meet behind closed doors; we do expect the leaders to come to cameras at points TBD this ayem.
The House Republican leadership attends a Memorial Day celebration on the Capitol steps at 9:00 am ET. Majority Leader DeLay does an off-camera pen and pad at 10:55 am ET. House Speaker Dennis Hastert meets just before noon with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas.
Sens. Reid, Durbin, and Schumer have a 12:45 pm ET pen and pad to discuss the Democrats' legislative and political agenda for the next few months. (The latter two are honored by the Alliance for Justice at noon for their leadership.)
Sens. Arlen Specter and Tom Harkin hold a press briefing to urge the Senate to quickly consider legislation allowing government-backed research of embryonic stem cells left over from in vitro fertilization. Sen. Sam Brownback has threatened a filibuster but Harkin and others are working to corral the 60 votes needed for cloture.
The Senate Finance Committee, fresh from pushing an AMT fix faster than the White House wants one, will hear testimonials on Social Security solvency.