FROM Michael Abramowitz
The Campaign Gets Nasty Heading into Second Debate Barack Obama 's campaign has aired what it calls a "documentary" on John McCain 's involvement in the savings and loan scandal of the 80's and 90's. McCain has unleashed Sarah Palin. What will we see and hear tonight? Michael Abramowitz, White House correspondent for the Washington Post , previews tonight's second of three debates, with NBC's Tom Brokaw moderating between the candidates and an audience of undecided voters.
The Keys to Middle East Peace Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has scheduled an Israeli-Palestinian peace conference for sometime next month, but not all the players have agreed to show up. Rice, who says the time has come for a Palestinian state to be founded, is shuttling around the Middle East , but Israel won't promise to address the tough issues, and the Arab states are playing hard to get. Meantime, Israel's still-mysterious midnight bombing raid on Syria last month has created problems for the Secretary of State. Syria will be crucial to regional peace, but hard liners within the Bush Administration want to get tough. Was Syria trying to build a nuclear weapon? How will last month's raid impact plans for next month's peace conference?
Gonzales Is Out, Will Mukasey Be His Replacement? Former New York federal judge Michael Mukasey is President Bush's nominee to be the next Attorney General of the United States. He's a law-and-order conservative Senate Democrats may find acceptable, but he could face opposition from the Republican right wing. We hear about his record and some of the issues his confirmation will raise, including politics at the Department of Justice, warrantless wiretaps, the unitary executive and social issues, including abortion.
General David Petraeus on Capitol Hill Before General David Patraeus or Ambassador Ryan Crocker said a word to a joint committee of Congress , Democrats and Republicans were exchanging partisan charges. Democrat Tom Lantos said he respected the witnesses personally, but felt they were sent to convince Americans that victory is at hand. Republican Duncan Hunter —a presidential candidate—said he was outraged that some of his colleagues had attacked the witnesses' credibility. When Petraeus finally got underway , he emphasized that he had neither been scripted nor told what to say by the White House or Pentagon. He said that improved security means US forces can be reduced sometime in the future. But the essence of the message has been telegraphed, and polls show public skepticism that either man is independent of the Bush White House. As the debate on Iraq continues, will the Bush Administration define its objectives?
President Bush's Last Push on Immigration Bill President Bush made a rare visit to Capitol Hill today to lobby Republican support for immigration reform . Before the meeting, Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama rebuffed the President's effort, saying, "He needs help us write a better bill and not back a bill that so many of us cannot support." Michael Abramowitz is White House correspondent for the Washington Post .
Has Vice President Cheney's Clout Been Downsized? Vice President Cheney is on his way to Japan, where he will not meet with the Defense Minister who called the Iraq war a "mistake." Jumio Kyuma has since said he meant it should have been better thought through. The Vice President will visit Australia as well as Japan, partly to reassure them about the recent deal with North Korea . But he may be holding his nose about the kind of arrangement Cheney and his conservative allies long tried to avoid. Is it a sign that the Vice President is not as powerful as he used to be? We ask Michael Abramowitz, who reports for the Washington Post .
Bush Pledges Continued US Presence in Iraq at NATO Summit In Estonia today, President Bush gave a preview of his meeting with Iraq's Prime Minister later this week. Saying he'll discuss the situation on the ground as well as American and European support of Iraqi security forces, he vowed not to pull out troops before the US mission is complete.
Life in New Orleans One Year Later Mayor Ray Nagin wants half of New Orleans to come back home, and today President Bush got a look at what they would find when they got there. A year after Katrina, there's no central plan, and some neighborhoods are as full of debris as they were when the waters receded. Today, Nagin said that things "would have been different" if "rich people were struggling in New Orleans." Will disaster be a catalyst for reconciling issues of race and class? We hear about the desperate lack of affordable housing as 73 separate neighborhoods try to decide what to do. What about jobs, schools and businesses to keep the economy going?
Russian probe gets jolt from Yates and Clapper Senate hearing Intelligence officials have long since concluded that Russia interfered in last year's US election. After yesterday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, what more do we know about the threat to future elections and how it's being handled by the Trump Administration?