Political Web, page A1 … for 9:05 AM ET, February 14, 2006
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Top Items:

Associated Press:
Abramoff Said to Claim Close Ties to Rove  —  WASHINGTON - Three former associates of Jack Abramoff say the now-convicted lobbyist frequently told them he had strong ties to the White House through presidential confidant Karl Rove.  —  The White House said Monday night that Rove remembers meeting Abramoff …
William Douglas / Knight Ridder:
Cheney's companion at fault in shooting, White House says  —  WASHINGTON - The White House blamed the 78-year-old man whom Vice President Dick Cheney shot during a weekend quail hunting trip in Texas for the incident, as officials struggled Monday to explain why they waited nearly 24 hours before making the news public.
Mark Leibovich / Washington Post:
After Cheney's Shooting Incident, Time to Unload  —  Episode Triggers a Fusillade of Wisecracks, And a Withering Blast From White House Press  —  It was one of those "everyone's a wise guy" days in Washington yesterday, thanks to Dick Cheney.  Quipping at the vice president's expense …
Maria Newman / New York Times:
Bush Learned Within Three Hours That Cheney Shot Hunter  —  President Bush was informed within three hours that Vice President Dick Cheney had shot a fellow hunter in South Texas on Saturday afternoon, the White House said today.  —  The shooting, which occurred at about 5:30 p.m. …
Scotty McClellan / Crooks and Liars:
Scotty McClellan on Cheney Shooting  —  Here's the press briefing with Scotty and the gang.  —  Atrios before the briefing:  —  Why was the White House relying on a Texas rancher to get the word of Cheney's hunting accident out over the weekend, asked Gregory, accusing McClellan of "ducking and weaving.''
New York Times:
White House Shoots Foot  —  Let's see.  The vice president of the United States accidentally shot someone while bird-hunting on a Texas ranch.  It took the White House nearly 24 hours to share that information with the rest of the nation because Dick Cheney thought it would be better …
Elisabeth Bumiller / New York Times:
Groans at Home Re: (Cheney Joke Here)
Discussion: Needlenose
Washington Post:
White House Deferred to Cheney on Shooting
Discussion: Amygdala
Nedra Pickler / Associated Press:
Cheney Cited for Breaking Hunting Law
Ian Urbina / New York Times:
Popular Ohio Democrat Drops Out of Race, and Perhaps Politics  —  Paul Hackett, an Iraq war veteran and popular Democratic candidate in Ohio's closely watched Senate contest, said yesterday that he was dropping out of the race and leaving politics altogether as a result of pressure from party leaders.
Steven Erlanger / New York Times:
U.S. and Israelis Are Said to Talk of Hamas Ouster  —  JERUSALEM, Feb. 13 — The United States and Israel are discussing ways to destabilize the Palestinian government so that newly elected Hamas officials will fail and elections will be called again, according to Israeli officials and Western diplomats.
Poll: Americans nervous about Iran  —  Bush's approval rating drops to 39 percent  —  (CNN) — Americans are nervous about the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran, but also worry about the ability of the United States and the United Nations to deal with the situation, a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll released Monday suggests.
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Expectations of Middle East Peace Drop Following Hamas Victory  —  Growing sympathy toward Israelis evident  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Following the election of Hamas as the Palestinian Authority's ruling party, Americans have grown more pessimistic that peace will ever be achieved in the Middle East …
Edmund L. Andrews / New York Times:
U.S. Royalty Plan to Give Windfall to Oil Companies  —  WASHINGTON, Feb. 13 — The federal government is on the verge of one of the biggest giveaways of oil and gas in American history, worth an estimated $7 billion over five years.  —  New projections, buried in the Interior Department's …
Paul Waldman / Washington Monthly:
John Fund Again?  —  It's not your imagination—the Sunday shows really do lean right.  —  If you're up early on Sunday mornings in Washington, you can observe a weekly ritual.  Around 9am, a string of chauffeured town cars and SUVs pulls up outside the NBC studio on Nebraska Avenue …
Discussion: Eschaton
Digby / Hullabaloo:
Dispatches From The Fever Swamp
Michelle Malkin:
DANA MILBANK: CLOWN  —  Washington Post reporter Dana Milbank turned up on an MSNBC show to talk about the Cheney accidental hunting trip shooting wearing this costume:  —  Download and watch the video (Windows Media .wmv file).  —  Hat tip: Tom Elia at The New Editor …
Josh White / Washington Post:
'Don't Ask' Costs More Than Expected  —  Military's Gay Ban Seen in Budget Terms  —  The financial costs to the U.S. military for discharging and replacing gay service members under the nation's "don't ask, don't tell" policy are nearly twice what the government estimated last year …
Michael A. Fletcher / Washington Post:
Larger Darfur Force Needed, Bush, Annan Say  —  President Bush and U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan agreed on the need for a bigger, more mobile peacekeeping force in Sudan's troubled Darfur region during a White House meeting yesterday, but Annan made no specific requests for U.S. military help.
Discussion: Demagogue and Decision '08

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More Items:

Molly Moore / Washington Post:
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Jodi Rudoren / New York Times:
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Discussion: Hullabaloo and Pharyngula
Warner Todd Huston /
Gen. Hayden Corrects Falsity of "Domestic Spying" Claims
Mark Steyn / The Corner on National Review Online:
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Mickey Kaus / Slate:
kf Sweeps the Heartland!
National Review:
Webb Loss  —  In the 1980s, many Democrats, put off …
Discussion: Greg's Opinion and Daily Kos

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