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from Tales from the Trail:

What wilderness? Republicans emerge from elections ready to charge

Republicans have emerged from the political wilderness and they're wasting no time laying down markers.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell particularly sounds like he's looking for bear, not mincing words in his speech at the Heritage Foundation today.  SAFRICA/

Never mind that his party is still  in the minority in the Senate and would need support from Democrats and the president to get anything enacted, McConnell appears ready to lay down the law.

"The White House has a choice: they can change course, or they can double down on a vision of government that the American people have roundly rejected," McConnell said. "If the administration wants cooperation, it will have to begin to move in our direction."

from Tales from the Trail:

Washington Extra – Chastened, humbled… and shellacked

It was a subdued and chastened president who took the podium for his post-election news conference today. His tone flat, his eyes often downcast, his smile largely absent, Obama admitted the election results were “humbling.” At first, he tried to pin the blame on the tepid economic recovery, but as the questions ground on, he took more and more responsibility for the defeat on himself. For setting a bad tone with business, for not making enough progress on the economy, for failing to change the way Washington works.

Yet there was no contrition about the policies he pursued.  Perhaps this was not the right venue for that, perhaps history will prove him right, but one had the feeling the president believed just as firmly as ever in the policies he had so painstakingly worked out in his long Oval Office deliberations. The Democrats who lost on Tuesday, he said, had already contacted him to say they had no regrets, because they felt “we were doing the right thing.”

from Tales from the Trail:

Contrite Obama shows personal side

It wasn't quite a Bill Clinton-style "I feel your pain" moment, but for President Barack Obama it was about as emotional as he ever gets in public.

Often criticized as aloof and cerebral, Obama showed his personal side at Wednesday's news conference. OBAMA/

from Tales from the Trail:

Palin for President? Someone’s gotta do it

It's a tough job, but someone's got to do it. And if no one else wants to do it, Sarah Palin says she would step in.

The former Republican vice presidential candidate, who has been stirring the pot this year with her backing for Tea Party candidates for the midterm elections, has been hard to pin down on whether she plans to run for president in 2012. Well, until now.

from Tales from the Trail:

Reuters-Ipsos poll: Pennsylvania Senate race tied with one week left

The Pennsylvania Senate race has tightened up considerably a week before the Nov. 2 election and is likely to be hard fought to the end.

USA-ELECTIONS/Republican Pat Toomey, who had a 10 percentage point advangate among likely voters in August, is now locked in a tight race with Democrat Joe Sestak -- tied at 46 percent, according to a Reuters-Ipsos poll.

from Oddly Enough Blog:

Legumes and goobers and tubers, oh my!

veg combo 490

Blog Guy, you've helped other readers with their photo collections. I recall the guy who collects pictures of dancing presidents, and the one who asked for shots of rich folks eating ice cream.

veg michelle potato new 280Frankly, as a serious collector, both of those guys sound pretty weird to me.

I see. And what do you collect?

Photos of important people with vegetables. Here's part of my collection, including my pride and joy, former President George Bush holding a can of Bush's Baked Beans. That one is worth a fortune.

from Tales from the Trail:

George W. Bush starting to emerge from cone of silence

George W. Bush is slowly starting to emerge from a self-imposed cone of silence that he has generally adhered to since leaving Washington for Texas when he turned over the presidency to Barack Obama.

BASEBALL/President No. 43 gave a lecture at the University of Texas in Tyler, Texas, on Tuesday and spoke before a sold-out crowd of 2,000 people. All this is according to the Tyler newspaper.

from Tales from the Trail:

Washington Extra – Busting those Obama myths (or not)

Our top story today (at least according to readers of Reuters.com):  President Barack Obama is to appear on “Mythbusters”, a television series that uses science to separate fact from fiction. It is part of a White House effort to highlight the importance of science, math and engineering, as experts warn that low interest in these subjects could damage America’s global competitiveness.

Among the myths the program has tackled before:

What's worse, having an empty beer bottle smashed over your head or a full one?

Can a sniffer dog be thrown off the scent using household items?

USA/A myth Obama will help debunk:

The 2,000-year-old story that Greek mathematician and engineer Archimedes set fire to an invading Roman fleet using a system of mirrors to focus the sun's rays.

from Tales from the Trail:

Rice returns to White House for audience with another president

Condoleezza Rice, secretary of state to former President George W. Bush, returns to the White House this afternoon for a chat with the man who succeeded her boss, President Barack Obama. HONGKONG

It's not totally unheard of for presidents to chat with predecessors' Cabinet members. And the one-on-one in the Oval Office is probably just a show of respect for a former U.S. foreign policy leader.

from Tales from the Trail:

In Washington, Clooney shines his star power for Sudan

USA/The  normally buzzing White House press gallery came to a halt on Tuesday as film star George Clooney visited in hopes that his megawatt star power would draw mainstream media attention to  Sudan,  and help prompt President Barack Obama and other world leaders to use "robust diplomacy" to prevent violence in the African nation before a crucial election on Jan. 9.

"Right now, at this moment there's an opportunity here to negotiate this, to negotiate a peace treaty," Clooney told reporters at the White House after meeting with President Barack Obama. "It's complicated and it's difficult and it means negotiating with people who you don't necessarily like and you don't necessarily get along with. This administration seems committed to it and we have to focus on that right now."

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