The First Draft, Friday Jan. 2
The new year begins on a quiet note in Washington, but lawmakers are preparing to hit the ground running next week when the 111th Congress will be seated.
President-elect Barack Obama is scheduled to return to Washington this weekend and plans to meet House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Monday to discuss the legislative agenda and plans for a nearly $1 trillion economic stimulus package.
Obama also plans to meet Republican leaders Rep. John Boehner and Sen. Mitch McConnell.
Meanwhile the posh Hay Adams Hotel is looking like its getting ready to receive the future first family. Television news outlets have begun setting up news crews outside the hotel where Obama and his family are reportedly going to stay for a few weeks.
And forget about parking near the hotel, which is a few blocks from the White House. No parking until further notice signs have already gone up around the hotel.
World financial markets start the new year on a positive note and Wall Street may follow that lead.
The top news item in major U.S. papers and morning news shows is the violence in the Middle East and an Israeli strike on Gaza that killed a top Hamas leader.
The Washington Post features reflections of two senior advisers to president George W. Bush.
Photo credit: Reuters/Hugh Gentry ( President-elect Obama prepares to leave Hawaii on Jan. 1, 2009)