updated 11/4/2005 12:20:13 PM ET 2005-11-04T17:20:13

The funeral for civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks begins at 11 a.m. this morning, and MSNBC will bring you the highlights and key speeches as they happen.  Expected to speak today are President Bill Clinton, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Winnie Mandela and several others.  Aretha Franklin will sing.

As for other news, the President's new pick Sam Alito meets with more members of Congress today.  The Gang of 14, that now famous team of moderates from both the GOP and the Democrats, seem more important than ever at this moment.  As Alito is strongly appealing to the far right and distasteful to the far left, his confirmation seems to be hinged on the middle ground.  Will pro-choice Republicans vote him in?  We'll see, and hopefully have some time to discuss it today.

And the big story yesterday afternoon was Harry Reid's dramatic moment on the Senate floor, calling for a secret session to discuss pre-war intelligence in light of Scooter Libby's indictment last Friday.  Republicans are calling this move political grandstanding and a mere rehashing of the same debate Democrats have pushed since before the 2004 election.  On the flip side, some are saying that the reason the Democrats have been broken records on the war rationale is simply because that question has yet to be sufficiently answered.

At stake in this latest battle is the fundamental matter of why we went to war in Iraq.  The Democrats are now accusing this administration of knowingly twisting intelligence to build a case for war, and then sandbagging opponents like Ambassador Joe Wilson.  The problem with their argument is, those same Democrats voted for the war and sat on their hands for two years.

There is a game of politics going on, per usual.  But is it a matter of the Democrats being Johnny one notes, or is it Republicans playing the politics of distraction to keep us off the trail of larger cover ups in the pre-war intel game?

We'll discuss.

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