10/3: Morning Communique

THESE DAYS

President Bush has chosen Harriet Miers, White House counsel and a loyal member of the president's inner circle, to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court, a senior administration official said today.

Playwright August Wilson, whose epic 10-play cycle chronicling the black experience in 20th-century America included such landmark dramas as "Fences" and "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom," died Sunday of liver cancer at the age of 60.

Just two days before Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS) stepped down as Majority Leader in 2002, the company Frist's father started quietly settled a massive Medicare fraud lawsuit for $630 million. The eleventh-hour deal -- brokered with Justice Department attorneys after a seven-year court battle -- was made as Frist (R-TN) secured the necessary votes to assume the Senate's top post.

Federal auditors said on Friday that the Bush administration violated the law by buying favorable news coverage of President Bush's education policies, by making payments to the conservative commentator Armstrong Williams and by hiring a public relations company to analyze media perceptions of the Republican Party.

Michael Isikoff wonders how many "No.2" Al Qaeda leaders there are in Iraq as another No. 2 Al Qaeda leader, Abu Azzam, was killed last week.

MINNESOTA BLOG OF THE DAY

Raven, aka Rambly McRambleson, blogs at Narcoleptic Squirrel when she can stay awake.

[Minnesota-based blog directory]

TIME WASTERS

100 Most Often Misspelled Words in English

Hey, it's a creepy toothless dude licking his eyeball with his tongue.

FREEDOM OF SPEECH

"This president, frankly, sometimes acts like a king. He's imperious. He believes he controls Washington and controls our country, and does so sometimes in a way that, it's his way or the highway, and doesn't take into account what other people are thinking...when they have a different point of view or are (from) a different party."

-- Sen. Ken Salazar (D-CO)


"As I've grown fond of saying, there aren't a lot of deathbed conversions of liberals who wished they'd been more selfish, less sympathetic, who wished they'd spent more time saving money and hating the less fortunate and arguing for war and the elimination of social supports and building the federal deficit and devaluing the dollar and erasing the nation's diplomatic credibility. The only person I can think of like that is Sen. Norm Coleman."

-- Rake editor Hans Eisenbeis at The Rake's Progress blog


"It's not going to be as black as it was for a long time, if ever again."

-- HUD Secretary Alphonso R. Jackson, on the new New Orleans


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