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Iraq

The Washington Post covers yesterday back-and-forth between the White House and Congress over the Iraq spending bill. "The dueling events on opposite ends of Pennsylvania Avenue left the executive and legislative branches hurtling toward a high-stakes collision, with neither side showing signs of backing down. Both sides, in fact, appear to be relishing the confrontation to some extent, gambling that they can outmaneuver the other, galvanize the most passionate forces within their parties, win over public opinion and force an eventual resolution on their terms."

The Post article also adds this: "In appearing with Republican lawmakers yesterday, Bush was following a tactic employed by President Bill Clinton during his own moment of political peril. On the day he was impeached for perjury and obstruction of justice in the Monica S. Lewinsky case in 1998, Clinton summoned the entire House Democratic caucus to the White House to dispel the impression that the incident had left him isolated politically."

With Bush's veto threat looming, Democrats are considering approving money for Iraq on a month-to-month basis, the Boston Globe says. "That would put the president's conduct on a short leash and allow opposition to the war to build, which could compel reluctant lawmakers to the point where Democrats gain enough votes to defeat a presidential veto and force Bush's hand."

In his latest National Journal column, NBC political analyst Charlie Cook writes about some new polls showing that opposition to the Iraq may have bottomed out. "This is not to suggest some dramatic turnaround in public opinion… But the newest survey results suggest that opposition to the war is no longer growing, support for it is no longer in freefall, and public opinion may have steadied."