Joe Miller (R-AK) says he won't hold up Lisa Murkowski's (R-ite-in-AK) certification as senator from Alaska. But he's keeping up his legal fight for the people of Alaska, who, he says deserve a better recount system.
- We have a frontrunner: In the RNC Chair race, all signs are pointing to the front runner being Reince Priebus, the Wisconsin GOP chairman/RNC lawyer/former Michael Steele ally. As is par for the RNC Chair race course, most members are undecided, though Priebus leads in the Hotline's latest whip count.
- Et tu, Steel? By the way, a key Steele supporter has defected, California committeeman Shawn Steel (no e). Without Steel's support, RNC members think it would be tough for Steele (with an e) to get the 85 votes of 168 needed to win reelection. Chris Cillizza over the weekend awarded Steele the "Worst Year in Washington" winner.
- Stemming the 'Birther' tide: The new Hawaii governor, Neil Abercrombie -- a former congressman, who was friends with President Obama's parents -- says he's going to push to change state law to release more information on Obama's birth in the state in an effort to stop (or at least reduce) the persistent birthers. “It’s an insult to his mother and to his father, and I knew his mother and father; they were my friends, and I have an emotional interest in that,” he told the New York Times Thursday. “It’s an emotional insult. It is disrespectful to the president; it is disrespectful to the office.”
- The Zombie Phrase: The 2009 Politifact Lie of the Year, "Death Panels," may be making a comeback. The New York Times reported yesterday, "Under the new policy, outlined in a Medicare regulation, the government will pay doctors who advise patients on options for end-of-life care, which may include advance directives to forgo aggressive life-sustaining treatment. ... The new rule says Medicare will cover 'voluntary advance care planning,' to discuss end-of-life treatment, as part of the annual visit." The Obama administration is firing back, saying this is a continuation of Bush policies. The Wall Street Journal: "The White House on Sunday said the new Medicare directive, reported Sunday by the New York Times, doesn't constitute a resurrection of the original health-care-bill language. It said the George W. Bush administration had already put in place guidelines allowing for Medicare to pay for end-of-life consultations."
- 2012 Watch: With lots of candidates waiting to see how the field shakes out, it looks like some potential top-tier candidates are going to feel the scrutiny, even without announcing yet. First, it was Haley Barbour's comments on race from the 1980s. Now Politico writes of his use of private jets, which it frames as a continuation of his days as a lobbyist with this headline: "In tough economic times, Barbour still flies high." And this key line: "The trips, according to a POLITICO review of the Cessna’s flight manifest since 2007, have mixed state business with both pleasure and national politics." Mitt Romney, who has been running for 2012 seemingly since 2008, is already feeling the scrutiny with tough AP and Boston Globe pieces looking at the former Massachusetts governor's positions on health care, START, and the tax cuts deal.
- Let's not debate: Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) is one who's waiting to announce and he's turning down debates for now.
- All the political world's a stage... Juan Williams said on FOX that Sarah Palin commands the stage like no other 2012 GOPer but added that she's not on the same "intellectual stage" as Obama. Palin has yet to respond on FOX, where she, too, is a paid contributor, on Facebook or Twitter, where she's been "silent" since Christmas Eve.
- Long December: And maybe the threat of another long, cold Winter was just too much for Bristol Palin. She's headed to the mainland, plunking down $172,000 for a 3,900-square foot brown stucco home in Maricopa, AZ. The property in what's described as a modest development, had been foreclosed on. Hollywood gossip site TMZ says she's moving to attend college, possibly at Arizona State University.