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The Gonzales Legacy

"But now I am older and wiser. I know that the most important question history will ask us is: What's a little martial law between friends?"

Override Watch

Jonathan Weisman writes in The Washington Post: "The House voted to override a veto by President Bush for the first time yesterday, acting to save a $23 billion water resources bill stuffed with pet projects sought by lawmakers from both political parties.

"The Senate is likely to follow suit as early as today, in what would be the biggest Republican defection of Bush's tenure -- even given the legislation's obscurity."


Charles Babington writes for the Associated Press: "Congressional negotiators said Tuesday they were nearing agreement on a revised children's health bill that they believed would withstand President Bush's veto."

Budget Watch

Richard Simon writes in the Los Angeles Times: "Rep. David R. Obey (D-Wis.), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, recently invited White House budget director Jim Nussle over to the Capitol to talk about how to avert what could become the biggest budget showdown in years.

"'We went out on our balcony and had a drink and talked for a while,' Obey said. But the White House was in no mood to compromise, according to Obey, who said the budget director told him, 'As I go around the White House, I don't find anybody in any quarters interested in any kind of a compromise at all.'"

Iraq Watch

Manu Raju and Mike Soraghan write in the Hill: "Four powerful lawmakers are working on a new Iraq plan for the Democratic Congress in the hope it will reignite the war debate as soon as this week."

Bush and Trade

Henry J. Pulizzi reports for Dow Jones: "President Bush Tuesday pressed Congress to approve outstanding trade agreements, saying 'champions of false populism' in the Western Hemisphere would be emboldened if lawmakers fail to act on deals with Peru, Panama and Colombia. . . .

"Mr. Bush

said it would be 'unacceptable' to pass the Peru agreement and let the Panama and Colombia deals languish."

But that's precisely what may happen.

Greg Hitt writes in the Wall Street Journal: "While the Democratic House appears poised to approve President Bush's proposed trade deal with Peru, Mr. Bush continues to struggle to inject momentum into his broader free-trade agenda."

Import Safety

Renae Merle and Annys Shin write in The Washington Post: "Following recent recalls of Chinese-made tires, toothpaste and toys, the Bush administration yesterday announced a plan to improve the safety of what Americans buy and eat by intervening before imports reach the United States.

"The plan is something of a departure for the administration, which has generally opposed increasing regulation. Its import-safety proposal aims to keep hazardous food and products from entering the country through targeted inspections of high-risk products or producers, and increased cooperation with foreign governments and among U.S. agencies."

Andrew Martin writes in the New York Times that "some advocacy groups warned that unless the plan was backed by significant funds, it would prove meaningless."

Cheney v. Rice

Elisabeth Bumiller of the New York Times talks to Joe Strupp of Editor and Publisher about her forthcoming biography of secretary of state Condoleeza Rice: "Rice's relationship with Vice President Dick Cheney in recent years was 'much more conflict-driven than we have been led to believe.... There was much more conflict on the Middle East and detainees and on Guantanamo Bay than has been written,' Bumiller [said]."

Impeachment (Non) Watch

David Jackson writes in USA Today: "The House nearly wound up debating the impeachment of Vice President Cheney on Tuesday -- thanks to Cheney's fellow Republicans.

"In a surprise move, House Republican leaders tried to force a debate on a Democratic-sponsored impeachment resolution in order to highlight what they called the majority's lack of accomplishments. . . .

"After a couple hours of parliamentary maneuvering, Democratic leaders successfully referred the matter to the House Judiciary Committee."

Jim Abrams writes for the Associated Press that the resolution by longshot presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich "accused Cheney of purposely leading the country into war against Iraq and manipulating intelligence about Iraq's ties with al-Qaida. . . .

"The 11-page resolution also charged that Cheney purposely deceived the nation about an alleged relationship between Iraq and al-Qaida and has 'openly threatened aggression against the Republic of Iran absent any real threat to the United States.'"

Bush's Brother Subject of Investigation

Marilyn W. Thompson writes for the New York Times: "The inspector general of the Department of Education has said he will examine whether federal money was inappropriately used by three states to buy educational products from a company owned by Neil Bush, the president's brother.

"John P. Higgins Jr., the inspector general, said he would review the matter after a group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, detailed at least $1 million in spending from the No Child Left Behind program by school districts in Texas, Florida and Nevada to buy products made by Mr. Bush's company, Ignite Learning of Austin, Tex. Mr. Higgins stated his plans in a letter to the group sent last week."

Book Watch

Salon publishes an excerpt from Craig Unger's new book, "The Fall of the House of Bush: The Untold Story of How a Band of True Believers Seized the Executive Branch, Started the Iraq War, and Still Imperils America's Future."

Unger writes that one way of examining the fall of the younger Bush "could be found in the prism of the elder Bush's relationship with his son, a relationship fraught with ancient conflicts, ideological differences, and their profound failure to communicate with each other."

Factchecking the Factchecker

Washington Post "fact-checker" Michael Dobbs gives Dennis Kucinich "three Pinnochios" for his assertion last week: "More people in this country have seen UFOs than, I think, approve of George Bush's presidency."

Writes Dobbs: "Just for the record, according to a pre-Halloween Associated Press poll, 14 per cent of Americans say they have seen a UFO. The president's current approval rating is currently hovering around 34 per cent."

But had Kucinich said that more people in this country believe in UFOs than approve of Bush's presidency, he would have been correct. According to that AP poll, 34 percent of Americans believe in UFOs (the same percentage who say they believe in ghosts). That's compared to 31 percent in the latest AP poll who approve of the job Bush is doing.

Cartoon Watch

Garry Trudeau on Lord Cheney's war plans; Tom Toles on his lordship's next job; Ann Telnaes on his lordship and the Constitution. Pat Bagley on Bush and Musharraf; Mike Luckovich on a forceful turkey; and Pat Oliphant on Bush, Congress and torture.

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