The Note: With No Apologies to Bill Safire

A look ahead to next week when Congress reconvenes courtesy of Speaker-Designate Nancy Pelosi's memo to her caucus. On Tuesday, December 5, at 9:00 am ET House Democrats hear a presentation on Iraq from Dr. Brzezinski, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, and Major General John Batiste, among others.

On Wednesday, December 6, at 9:30 am ET, House Democrats hear a presentation on the economy by former Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin.

Roll Call's Pierce reports that Republican infighting in Congress is likely to cause Republican leaders to "punt" the nine remaining spending bills to next year's Democratic-led Congress.

Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) concedes he is not likely to become Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, reports Newsweek, as Speaker-designate Pelosi seeks a "compromise" candidate for the post. LINK

The Washington Post's Charles Babington reports that Democratic lawmakers "vow to come roaring out of the blocks when they assume control of the next Congress" but Notes that absent from the list of Democratic priorities "are the knottiest problems that bedeviled the outgoing Congress, including immigration, domestic surveillance and the war in Iraq." LINK

Bloomberg's Al Hunt, a huge Panetta fan, warns that Rep. Pelosi's status as "the highest-ranking woman in American political history" is "both a splendid showcase and a treacherous trap," and he urges her to "find her equivalent of Jim Baker or Kirk O'Donnell soon," lest she be devoured by "what has been called the 'freak show' of American political journalism." LINK

The Washington Times' Eric Pfeiffer reports on Democratic assurances the House will focus on "issues that have bipartisan support." LINK

Exploring what they did the last time they were in charge, the Chicago Tribune looks at Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) and the rest of the "old bulls", the veteran lawmakers who are poised to become committee chairmen in the 110th Congress. LINK

"Following in President Clinton's footsteps," Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) accused Fox's Chris Wallace of "conducting a skewed interview designed to make Democrats look bad," reports the New York Sun's Josh Gerstein. LINK

Bush Administration:

Peter Baker of the Washington Post and Jim Rutenberg of the New York Times separately look at how 43 might revive things a ala 40 and 42, but neither solves the Right-Left puzzle. Note the Durbin quote of Reid to Bush on the promise of bipartisanship (' . . . that Mr. Bush had made a similar vow after the 2004 election, which was followed by still more partisan rancor.') and this blind quote from the Republican Hill aide -- "'While the White House is trying to define their legacy, they'll try to triangulate us . . . There is no sense of wanting to defend the Bush administration right now.'" LINK and LINK

The New York Daily News' Thomas DeFrank reports that President Bush and his closest supports are seeking out "megadonations" toward the construction of his Presidential library -- reportedly to be located at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. LINK

This one has priceless blind quotes too.

"A White House spokesperson confirms that Gates will be sworn in as the new Defense secretary 'in the new year,' a good two weeks after his confirmation," reports Newsweek. LINK

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