The Earlybird: Today's headlines

Bush wants military pay raise, economists say there's no recession, U.S. team searches for shipwreck survivors, Congress still looking at Clinton, Moakley has leukemia, Hastert's OK after surgery, new Lincoln Web site debuts:

  • President Bush will make strengthening the military his issue of the week. Today at Hunter Army Air Field in Savannah, Ga., he will announce a proposal for a $1.4 billion pay raise for the military, and later in Norfolk, Va., Bush will "highlight new developments in weapons research," Reuters reports.
  • Businesses are "lining up" behind Bush's $1.6 trillion tax cut proposal, even though they "have been told the tax-cut plan supported by the White House is intended for individuals," the Washington Times reports.
  • When Bush submits his fiscal 2002 budget at the end of the month, it will include "boosting total spending on discretionary government programs -- those outside Social Security and Medicare -- by less than" 4 percent, which is "a sharp deceleration from" the 6 percent pace "of the past three years," the Wall Street Journal reports.
  • Most economists don't think the United States is in a recession, the Wall Street Journal reports.
  • Larry Thompson, an African American lawyer from Atlanta, is expected to be named "deputy attorney general, a move designed in part to counter criticism that Attorney General John D. Ashcroft is insensitive to race," the Washington Post reports.
Days Of Delay
  • "Arguing that subcommittee restructuring has relegated minority education issues to second-class status, angry Education and the Workforce Democrats are refusing to organize until their concerns are addressed," Roll Call reports.
  • The Senate's e-mail system is so outdated that some staffers have reported "up to a five-day delay in receiving outside e-mails," Roll Call reports.
  • "This week's Conservative Political Action Conference, an annual gathering of the conservative faithful, could be the largest since" Ronald Reagan's presidency, the Washington Post reports. Many conservatives at first were skeptical about Bush but now "see him as one of their own."
  • Meanwhile, "Congress is looking into claims that former President Clinton overspent the White House budget in the first quarter of the fiscal year," U.S. News and World Report's "Washington Whispers" reports.
Searching For Survivors
  • The Coast Guard continues to search for nine people who remain missing after a U.S. submarine sank a Japanese fishing ship near Hawaii on Friday, Reuters reports.
  • Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld promised to "'do the proper thing' to help the victims and their families," AP reports.
  • "Navy crewmen may not have taken the fullest safety precautions available to them before surfacing their nuclear submarine, which split open" the Japanese fishing boat, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Around The World
  • Israeli Prime Minister-elect Ariel Sharon and outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Barak met Sunday to try "to work out a national unity government between the country's two leading parties," the Wall Street Journal reports.
  • Secretary of State Colin Powell has added a visit to Syria to his trip to the Middle East next week, AP reports. "Syria supports Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon who have carried out sporadic attacks against Israelis."
  • Bush and Mexican President Vicente Fox will meet later this week, and Fox said Sunday "that drug trafficking, immigration, energy and economic development" are some of the things they will discuss, Reuters reports.
  • On Sunday, thousands of protesters in Ukraine demanded "the resignation of President Leonid D. Kuchma" and called "for new presidential elections," the New York Times reports.
  • Today, the "NEAR Shoemaker space probe is set to touch down on asteroid Eros today, the first time any craft has tried to land on a tumbling space rock," Reuters reports.
Probing Questions
  • Denise Rich, the wife of recently pardoned financier Marc Rich and Clinton donor, may be offered immunity for her testimony in the congressional investigation into her husband's pardon, Reuters reports.
  • The U.S. attorney in Manhattan "is considering opening a criminal probe into the contributions and gifts" to Clinton that allegedly influenced his pardon of Rich, Newsweek reports.
  • Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., said Sunday that the investigation into the Rich pardon has opened up the possibility of a second impeachment of Clinton, the Washington Times reports.
  • Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., said Sunday that a New York Post story alleging that she "left the White House without reporting thousands of dollars worth of clothing and accessories given to her during her husband's two-term presidency" was false, the New York Post reports.
Never Too Early To Plan Ahead
  • Roll Call reports on some domain names that have been reserved by forward-thinking citizens who hope to donate or sell them later, such as,, and
Special Election Updates
  • California Assemblyman Rod Wright (D) said Friday that he will not run for the 32nd District seat to succeed the late Julian Dixon, Roll Call reports.
  • The Pennsylvania state Democratic Executive Committee has picked Centre County commissioner Scott Conklin to try "to become the first Democrat in 67 years to win" the 9th District seat "away from Republicans" in the race to fill the seat of retiring Rep. Bud Shuster (R), the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Candidates Out Of The Running
  • Rep. Joseph Moakley, D-Mass., plans to announce today that he will not run for a 16th term representing Massachusetts' 9th District "after learning he has an incurable form of leukemia," the Boston Globe reports.
  • Sen. Bob Graham, D-Fla., has said that he will not challenge Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) in 2002, AP reports. Graham is expected to announce his re-election plans in June.
Upcoming Gov Races
  • The New York Daily News reports that New Jersey acting Gov. Donald DiFrancesco (R) "defaulted on $1 million in bank loans" in 1993 "and was bailed out by a group that included a longtime friend who was later awarded a $63 million state contract."
  • "The expected appointment of Massachusetts Gov. Paul Cellucci (R) as ambassador to Canada is expected to unleash a free-for-all to claim his office next year, with Rep. Marty Meehan (D) seen" as a potentially formidable contender in a field of as many as seven Democratic candidates," Roll Call reports.
  • Former Michigan Gov. James Blanchard (D), Rep. David Bonior, D-Mich., and Attorney General Jennifer Granholm (D) all spoke at the Michigan State Democratic Convention Saturday, leaving "little doubt they'll run for governor in 2002," the Detroit News reports.
In The States
  • State lawmakers in California are contemplating buying the state's power grid, which is made up of 32,000 miles of wire, the Los Angeles Times reports.
  • In Texas, "state legislators are so pinched after two tax-cut plans" Bush put into place as governor "that they are talking of tapping a state rainy-day fund or even raising taxes," the Wall Street Journal reports.
Names In The News
  • House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., is doing fine after undergoing kidney stone surgery early this morning in a Chicago-area hospital, Reuters reports.
  • Convicted Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh wrote a letter published in The Sunday Oklahoman requesting that his execution be publicly broadcast, AP reports. The Daily Oklahoman has the letter.
  • Former New York City Mayor Abraham Beame, who served four terms in the 1970s, died Saturday, Reuters reports. He was 94.
  • A new Web site, which "has a searchable database of 10,000 pages of material" on former President Abraham Lincoln, will debut today in honor of the 16th president's birthday, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. It can be found at