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The Incoming Majority

The Wall Street Journal looks at Democrats' narrow loss last week when they tried to pass a bill that would recoup royalties from oil and gas companies who drill on federal lands, and says the party continues to face the big question of "how to pay for their initiatives and address significant fiscal problems left behind by outgoing Republicans?"

The Los Angeles Times has a lot of details on Pelosi's coming-out party as the first woman Speaker of the House.  "The impending inauguration kicks off the contest over who will define Nancy Pelosi: Republicans who see her as a reckless liberal, or Pelosi herself, who wants to be seen as an American Everywoman, leading her party on a steady course to the center." 

The San Francisco Chronicle examines Pelosi's attempt to govern from the center -- "pragmatism that Democrats believe is necessary to keep the party unified and in the majority beyond 2008."  

The Washington Post says a group of younger Democratic House members have begin making waves within their caucus (though the story doesn't make a connection with the reformist Gang of Seven young Republican House members who stirred things up in the early 1990s). 

Roll Call rounds up efforts being planned by both parties in the Senate to enact ethics reforms at the legislative level and within their own caucuses, from the reforms incoming Majority Leader Harry Reid plans to propose, to incoming Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's consideration of doing away with the regular lobbyist-funded retreat, to the joint caucus being planned for the start of the new Congress.

Bob Novak wonders whether the Democrats' idea of reform extends beyond new restrictions on lobbyists to Washington's bipartisan appetite for pork-barrel spending.