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The Skinny: Are You Ready For Some Gridlock?

The powers that be at have decided that they would like me to wake up early in the morning and deliver some headlines (and snark, I'm not a morning person) to you, dear reader. So, here it is, The Skinny, which will appear daily here on Public Eye and elsewhere on the Web site:

Democratic leaders' parade of appearances on Sunday morning talk shows made headlines this morning, as several announced that their efforts would include troop reductions in Iraq, which Sen. Carl Levin said would take place within the next four to six months.

The White House "signaled a willingness to listen to the Democrats' proposals," writes the New York Times, noting Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten's appearances on two programs touting the new phrases that have replaced the now-defunct "stay the course" maxim -- "fresh ideas" and a "fresh look."

While the White House is "willing to talk about anything" Bolten told ABC, "I don't think we're going to be receptive to the notion there's a fixed timetable at which we automatically pull out, because that could be a true disaster for the Iraqi people."

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Yes, that's the smell of legislative gridlock in the air.

Speaking of gridlock, in case your own personal experience at the nation's airports wasn't enough to frustrate you, a new government report has conveniently quantified it, explaining that in the first nine months of 2006, 24 percent of flights were delayed or canceled. The Washington Post says the grand prize was awarded to Delta Connection flight 5283 (New York To Washington), which arrives late, oh, about 100 percent of the time. The average delay time is about a half hour more than the flight's 53-minute duration. Pack your patience, Thanksgiving travelers!

On its front page, USA Today highlights one of the new Democratic leadership's first priorities: identifying the sponsors of all that pesky pork barrel spending.

Here's where the going gets tough: The Los Angeles Times takes note of the Democratic strategy as well -- adding that the leadership will likely be doing a bit of self-examination if it's carried out

Yes, Harry Reid's $18 million bridge over the Colorado River "among other projects," included in last year's $286-billion federal transportation bill "provided benefits not only for the casino town of Laughlin, Nev., but also, possibly, for the senator himself," since just across the river lies 160 acres of Reid's land. Reid denies any personal financial interest in his efforts to secure the funding.

The Post's front page and the Wall Street Journal's news box have a heaping helping of news from sunny Iraq: In this case, it's Prime Minister Maliki's plans to reshuffle the cabinet following Sunday's suicide attacks at a Baghdad police recruiting center that killed 35 and wounded 56 people. Three of those killed were U.S. soldiers, four were British.

Online: Crossover Queen?

And now, some Web-related news that you may not know (or care to, if you don't know what Rocketboom is.)

Amanda Congdon was crowned queen of vlogs (thats video-blogs for the technologically challenged) when she was the host of Rocketboom "the quirky news and information vlog."

Now, according to Mediaweek Congdon is hot on the trail of her 15 minutes of fame outside the Web.

Rocketboom is the rage among the dorky and the blog obsessed, all of whom were quite upset when Congdon abandoned her anchor duties on the site. And in the grand tradition of obscure bloggers finding commercial success, Congdon is now developing a program with HBO. The news follows the official beginning of her over-exposure: a guest shot on "CSI."

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