"Defying expectations that he would immediately retire if the Republicans lost their majority, Mr. Hastert is preparing to remain in the House for at least the early months of the 110th Congress while he helps orchestrate a line of succession at home in Illinois and seeks to shape a political ending beyond his party’s defeat.hmmm. that's interesting, given how close he is to 'al qaeda'. what does he know that we dont? (or perhaps he just likes non-commercial planes)
Since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, he has rarely if ever flown on commercial planes because of security concerns..."
* speaking of which, reuters:
"Illegal drugs may be cheaper than ever before in Europe, with prices of heroin slumping 45 percent and cocaine down 22 percent over five years, according to the first Europe-wide report of its kind on drug prices* Big Tent Democrat at TL is armando.
Drug prices still varied considerably in different European countries, with cannabis ranging from 2.3 euros per gram in Portugal to 12 euros per gram in Norway and heroin going for 12 euros a gram in Turkey to 141 euros a gram in Sweden."
* krugman (thnx jen):
"You know what really had me terrified on Nov. 7? The all-too-real possibility of a highly suspect result. What would we have done if the Republicans had held on to the House by a narrow margin, but circumstantial evidence strongly suggested that a combination of vote suppression and defective — or rigged — electronic voting machines made the difference?* ejdionne:
As far as I can tell, the reason Florida-13 hasn’t become a major national story is that neither control of Congress nor control of the White House is on the line. But do we have to wait for a constitutional crisis to realize that we’re in danger of becoming a digital-age banana republic?"
"But there is good news here: This is a problem in just one congressional district. Control of the House does not depend on how this race turns out. It is therefore in the interest of both parties, not to mention the country, to be simultaneously aggressive and judicious in figuring out what went wrong in Sarasota and to use that knowledge to fix the nation's voting system before a major disaster strikes. Sarasota is the canary in the electronic coal mine."
"The Bush White House can expect a lot of activity from the incoming Democratic Congress in January. First, Patrick Leahy promises that when he takes over the Senate Judiciary Committee, he will kick start numerous requests for information that Arlen Specter allowed to be routinely stonewalled by the administration. Leahy hopes that subpoenas will not be necessary, but rest assured he will not hesitate to issue them and quick. Leahy has a whole list of things he wants answers on, including the CIA’s interrogation methods and its treatment of detainees, voter fraud, and immigration.
Similarly, incoming Senate Intelligence Committee chair Jay Rockefeller, who has appeared to be invisible at times, himself now promises that he will pursue a “cleanup agenda” when he takes over. Among the things that Rockefeller will dig into first will be the long-stalled Phase Two inquiry on how the White House manipulated intelligence on Iraq’s WMDs. He, like Leahy, wants to investigate the CIA’s warrant less surveillance program and Bush’s direct authorization of the CIA’s secret rendition and overseas prison program. Note that the administration’s initial reaction to the Leahy requests was to indicate that the appropriate oversight body on the CIA should be the Intelligence Committee. This makes it imperative that Rockefeller get a spine, and for Nancy Pelosi to avoid a major mistake and name a House Intelligence Committee chair who isn’t compromised."