1.) John Shadegg: House GOP is ‘on probation’ — After 16 years in the House, Rep. John Shadegg is retiring to Arizona. The Daily Caller’s Jon Ward caught up with the son of Barry Goldwater altar ego Stephen Shadegg on his way out the door. Ward asked him, for instance, what makes the Tea Party different from previous conservative waves, such as Newt Gingrich’s 1994 production, in which Shadegg had a walk-on part as a newly elected congressman. “When the Gingrich revolution happened, the Gingrich revolution collapsed,” Shadegg told Ward. “It had betrayed its supporters.” By “it” Shadegg means Republican detractors and other “old bulls” like Tom DeLay, who claimed in 2005 that the government could not cut its spending any further. Now the party is getting a second chance, Shadegg said. “What happens to this class? Does this class get turned by Washington? Does the class change or does this class actually change Washington? I personally think that’s the $64,000 question.” Or, you know, the $1.7 trillion question.
2.) Washington will usher in the New Year with Obamacare — As many as 21 provisions could go into effect in 2011 if Republicans fail to defund Obamacare. Among the more meddlesome for Americans who aren’t already on Medicare: Changes to health savings accounts and enforcement of nutritional labeling. The former change (which goes into effect Jan. 1, 2011) “excludes the costs for over-the-counter drugs not prescribed by a doctor from being reimbursed through a Health Reimbursement Account or health Flexible Spending Account and from being reimbursed on a tax-free basis through a Health Savings Account or Archer Medical Savings Account,” reports Kaiser Health News. The latter (which goes into effect March 23, 2011) “requires disclosure of the nutritional content of standard menu items at chain restaurants and food sold from vending machines.” Ugh.
3.) How is Bill Richardson supposed to replace Hillary if he can’t even pardon a dead guy? — “With his tenure as New Mexico governor running out this week, Bill Richardson says he is still mulling a pardon for Billy the Kid, with public sentiment leaning in favor of the pardon,” reports the LA Times. To reach this insanely important decision, Richardson created a website where New Mexicans could vote on whether or not to pardon an outlaw who died in 1881. The results have split down the middle. Some people think it would be neat to pardon a convicted murderer, while others are somewhat incensed that Richardson is even considering pardoning a cop killer. Governor-elect Susana Martinez wants to know why Richardson is dedicating state resources to absolving a corpse.
4.) Bill Clinton rebuffed by natives yet again — “Mayoral hopeful Rep. Danny Davis warned former President Bill Clinton — who will be campaigning for rival Rahm Emanuel — to stay out of Chicago politics if he wants to maintain warm relations with African Americans — and told me President Obama should remain neutral as well,” reports the Chicago Sun Times. Will Clinton listen? Probably not! Since Obama was elected, Clinton has been sent to Florida to screw Rep. Kendrick Meek by publicly colluding with Gov. Charlie Crist; to Pennsylvania and Colorado to discourage Democrats from running for office; to Rhode Island to assuage the wounds of a Democratic gubernatorial candidate who Obama declined to endorse; and to the White House briefing room to sell Obama’s policies for him. Clinton will not miss an opportunity to practice the Chicago way in Chicago.
5.) Rangel: ‘I think [Obama] has rehabilitated’ — It is official: According to Charlie Rangel, Pres. Obama will not be primaried by a more liberal Democrat. How does Rangel know this? “I think he has rehabilitated,” Rangel said on MSNBC. “This is a different president after the lame-duck…He is much stronger than we thought he was.” So, repealing DADT and extending the tax cuts for only two years makes up for Gitmo, no public option, the failure of immigration reform, etc., etc.? Perhaps now that Rangel’s ethics trial is over, he can safely admit to being on drugs pretty much all the time.
6.) Poll: Leave the Internet alone — “The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that only 21% of Likely U.S. Voters want the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to regulate the Internet as it does radio and television. Fifty-four percent (54%) are opposed to such regulation, and 25% are not sure,” reports Rasmussen. “The survey was conducted shortly after the FCC decided on a party line vote to impose so-called “net neutrality” regulations on the Internet world. Republicans and unaffiliated voters overwhelmingly oppose FCC regulation of the Internet, while Democrats are more evenly divided. Those who use the Internet most are most opposed to FCC regulations.”