The Note: As Annoying As the Kennedy Center Honors

Newsweek's cover package on the upcoming Iraq Study Group report which may produce something less dramatic than last week's leaks suggested. LINK

Miami plays host to some bummed out Republican governors, including Barbour and Perry, who see the shrinking number of Republican governor's across the country as directly linked to the war in Iraq, the Washington Times reports. LINK

GOP agenda:

Roll Call reports that "incoming Senate Republican leaders will hold an unusual two-day retreat this week to assess the Nov. 7 outcome and to begin crafting a battle plan for the newly minted minority."

The (planned) final week of the lame duck 109th Congress will not see the rest of the spending bills passed, but it will attempt to expand offshore oil drilling and the likely confirmation of a new Secretary of Defense. Carl Hulse of the New York Times previews the work week on the Hill. LINK

Democratic agenda:

The Democratic Party faces pressures to live up to the demands of voters in 2006 while also looking towards 2008. DNC chair Howard Dean speaks on those political points to the Associated Press and specifically Notes that the 2006 election results were not a "mandate" of the American people. LINK

Big Casino budget politics:

David Lightman of the Hartford Courant writes that due to mainly political problems, more than likely Congress won't pass a budget before Christmas. LINK

Bush Administration agenda:

The White House is ramping up it's efforts on energy policy, even considering cutting tariffs on imported ethanol, amid the shift in power on Capitol Hill, reports John McKinnon and Deborah Solomon of the Wall Street Journal.

The New York Times' Barringer reports that President Bush may clear the path for expanded oil drilling in the waters off Southwestern Alaska. LINK

New Hampshire:

The Union Leader reports on the settlement reached in New Hampshire's phone jamming controversy and the role it played in the mid-term elections. LINK

The AP on the same: LINK

Political potpourri:

Ben Smith of the New York Daily News dedicates his column to championing New York Democrats "secret weapon" -- press secretary Blake Zeff. LINK

The week ahead:

On Tuesday, speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Democrats will hold a forum to discuss the war in Iraq. ABC's George Stephanopoulos is the featured guest lecturer at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service in Little Rock, AR. ABC's Jan Greenberg moderates a discussion with Supreme Court Justices Breyer and Scalia. Former President Bill Clinton attends a CHAI Event in Angkor, Cambodia. The Urban Institute hosts a discussion "The New Congress and the Budget: Perspectives from Three Former Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Directors". David Kunset, former Clinton White House speechwriter participates in the Economic Policy Institute's briefing on a new report, "Talking Past Each Other: What Everyday Americans Really Think (and Elites Don't get) About the Economy". The White House Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board holds its first public meeting. The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research holds a discussion with Arthur Brooks, author of "Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism" at 5:00 pm ET. ABC News' Mark Halperin speaks at New Hampshire's St. Anselm College's Institute of Politics at 7:00 pm ET LINK

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