I’M BACK….Happy New Year! Many, many thanks to Steve Benen for filling in for the past week. His blogging has been great, and if you know what’s good for you you’ll bookmark his regular site and visit it daily. He blogs at The Carpetbagger Report (http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com).

Regular blogging will start up on Wednesday morning after I have a chance to catch up on the news. I understand that a new Congress will be in session shortly. Along with a new speaker? Nancy somebody, I think. I imagine that will be worth a blog post or three.

POSTSCRIPT: An emailer reminds me that since I was off for the past week, I didn’t get a chance to gloat about USC’s trouncing of the “We Deserve a Rematch” Michigan Wolverines in the Rose Bowl. I’m a little saddened that anyone thinks I’d gloat over such a thing, but I guess that’s the world we live in. So let me just take this chance to extend my sincere condolences to Michigan fans around the country. I imagine things are pretty chilly in Ann Arbor right about now.

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