In The Star:
- David Goldstein has been following around Sen. Claire McCaskill and has a look at her first weeks in Washington.
- Jim Sullinger examines Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' plan to use highway money to repair university buildings.
- Kit Wagar finds that Missouri educational leaders like what's in a reform bill.
- Andy Hyland reports that a judge has blocked another annexation bid by Platte City.
- David Klepper updates attempts to make English the official language, with some exceptions, in Kansas.
Elsewhere: Top pickings from The Hotline's "Wake-Up Call," ABC's The Note and others.
- Sen. Barack Obama notes that "no one would call" Jesse Jackson, Shirley Chisholm, Carol Moseley Braun and Al Sharpton "inarticulate.". And Sharpton told Biden: "I take a bath every day."
- Al Franken has begun calling "prominent DFLers in Minnesota to tell them he will definitely challenge" GOP Sen. Norm Coleman, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
- The Los Angeles Times reports that that Sen. John Warner's announcement that he was amending his nonbinding Iraq resolution to say that the Senate "disagrees" with the president's troop increase, while also adding that he would add in clauses opposed to cutting off funding for the troops is designed to win over more Republicans.
- "The revised resolution would express the Senate's opposition to the troop increase but would vow to protect funding for the troops. The resolution does not include Democratic language saying the Bush plan is against the national interest, but it also drops an earlier provision by Warner suggesting Senate support for some additional troops," The Washington Post points out.
- The fact that the House might take up the Warner language cleanly is not good news for the White House, The Hill says. It has a good examination of the varied Iraq resolutions that House Democrats might propose.
- The Democratic National Committee kicks off its winter meeting today. The Note says that the Rules & Bylaws Committee takes up the DNC's "bonus delegate" program for a vote. The program is aimed at rewarding those states who buck the front-loading trend and move their nomination contests later than currently scheduled in 2008.
- The Senate is expected to vote on a minimum wage increase today.
- The Los Angeles Times writes up the year-end totals in the 2008 presidential cash race.
- Susan Page of USA Today takes a look at the conundrum Rudy Giuliani faces in his battle for the White House: "The question is this: Can the thrice-married New Yorker — a supporter of abortion rights, gay rights and gun control — win the nomination of a Republican Party that has become increasingly dependent on and influenced by conservative Christians?" The Family Research Council's Tony Perkins finds Giuliani "unacceptable," and plans to take him out if he shows strength.
- The Washington Times claims that Speaker Nancy Pelosi is seeking Bush administration support for military aircraft to transport her and her (political) family back and forth from San Francisco to Washington.
- "This is a baby. This is a blessing from God. It is not a political statement. It is not a prop to be used in a debate, on either side of a political issue. It is my child," Mary Cheney tells The New York Times.
- Shrek is at the front of a new federal campaign against obesity, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Posted by Keith Chrostowski