Daily Briefing: Epic Fights Edition

He Frightens Children "Epic fights" over Social Security and Supreme Court seen splitting next Congress; Bush will raise topic of Social Security before inauguration. ANWR drilling, tax code, tort reform also at stake. [WP]

Powell, Jeb Bush heading to Southeast Asia. [WT]

Democrats vow to press Gonzales on his role in determining treatment of enemy combatants and his assessment of the Geneva Conventions. [NYT and WSJ]

New Congress is most diverse yet. [USAT]

Transition, lead by Rove, Card, a breeze the second time. Scholar: "The White House knows pretty much where it wants to go and it has a pretty clear road map and they are not going to be wanting Cabinet secretaries to develop new policies. It's a very centralized operation." [WP]

Hastert, a survivor, faces challenging session, possibly a crossroads. Ornstein: "I have yet to see a moment where he's come to one of those crossroads where Hastert has chosen the institution over the party." [NYT]

Wolfensohn quits World Bank post; Zoellick, Tobias, Whitman among replacements floated. [WP]

Industry coalitions look to reform Sarbanes-Oxley Act. U.S. Chamber of Commerce VP: "This is not a corporate-America-pushing-back issue. There are problems here." [WP]

Lugar calls lifetime imprisonment of terrorists without proper trials "a bad idea." [WP]

Contingencies about Rehnquist's last vote need ironing out. [WP]

Unknown number of demonstrators expected at inaugural. Activist: "The energy level is so high that we can't anticipate less than a massive turnout." [WP]

Inauguration festivities will include Kid Rock, Kelsey Grammer, Gloria Estefan, and JoJo. [NYT]

Big businesses contribute to $50m fund for inauguration. [WT]

Salazar to be tested in new Congress. [WT]

Lieberman not interested in Cabinet position. [USAT]

Government gave $1b to faith-based groups in 2003. [USAT]

Most D.C.-area government workers receive 3.71% raise. [WP]

Rep. Robert Matsui dies of rare stem cell disorder. [WP and NYT, WT]

Shirley Chisholm dies at 80. Chisholm: "My greatest political asset, which professional politicians fear, is my mouth, out of which come all kinds of things one shouldn't always discuss for reasons of political expediency." [WP and NYT]


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