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How Lame a Duck?

"Last -- earlier in this trip, I called three members of the Senate from the Republican Party, and said, what can we do together to get the bill back up? What do we need to do to work with senators like Senator Ted Kennedy, who is strongly committed to a comprehensive bill? And tomorrow I'll be going to the Senate to talk about a way forward on the piece of legislation.

"It's important that we address this issue now. And I believe we can get it done. Listen, there was -- a lot of progress was made between people in both parties making hard decisions necessary to move a comprehensive plan. It's in the nation's interest to get a comprehensive bill done. The political process sometimes isn't pretty to look at it; there's two steps forward, one step back. We made two steps forward on immigration, we took a step back, and now I'm going to work with those who are focused on getting an immigration bill done and start taking some steps forward again. I believe we can get it done. I'll see you at the bill signing."

Amending the Compromise?

In his Saturday radio address, Bush indicated that he is open to amendments to the bill that was so extensively negotiated by the White House and a bipartisan group of senators: "I understand the skepticism some members of Congress have regarding certain aspects of this legislation," he said. "Like any legislation, this bill is not perfect. And like many Senators, I believe the bill will need to be further improved along the way before it becomes law."

On Fox News, Tony Snow also indicated White House support for amendments: "I think what you see in immigration reform right now is that we had a debate going on on the Senate floor where people were issuing amendments and really having a pretty thoughtful debate about how to try to take a bill that had been negotiated between Democrats and Republicans with assistance from the White House and the administration -- and they've been trying to revise it and improve it.

"Well, we got about two-thirds through the process, and the -- it failed what's called a cloture vote. And one of the reasons it failed that vote is that you still have a dozen or so amendments that deserve to be heard. And our view is if those can be heard, you're going to get a bill."

But how many amendments does the White House support? Which ones? And are any of them considered "poison pills" by various factions?

Scooter Libby Watch

Carol D. Leonnig writes in The Washington Post about five myths she has encountered while covering the trial of Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff. "[E]ven now, four years after Valerie Plame's name hit the papers, the public still has some startling misconceptions about this fascinating, thorny case," she writes.

Myth: "Valerie Plame wasn't a covert operative."

Fact: "Wrong. She was."

Myth: "Karl Rove would have been indicted in the Plame case if it hadn't been for all the destroyed evidence."

Fact: Missing White House e-mails "may contain interesting stuff, but for now, it's rank speculation to suggest that they hold information about the Plame case or would have pushed Fitzgerald to charge Rove with perjury," Leonnig writes. "Fitzgerald told the court just that. He was exercising standard prosecutorial discretion when he decided not to charge Rove, according to sources close to the investigation. He didn't think he had a strong enough case to prove that Rove had intentionally lied to investigators (though some FBI agents disagreed)."

Myth: "Libby didn't leak Plame's identity."


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