I'm still digging out from the emails from last week—not to mention the short work week—so I thought I'd just offer up few random observations this time.

Let start with this week's big event: Did anyone else notice this during the president's inauguration speech? "We, the people, still believe that every citizen deserves a basic measure of security and dignity. We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit," he intoned, all but conceding that maybe that monster legislation didn't actually cut health care costs after all. Not that any of us are surprised.

Meanwhile, as The New York Times just reported, the president enjoyed a 51 percent job approval rating as Justice Roberts swore him in on Monday—versus a 41 percent disapproval rating. Better numbers than George W. Bush but marks not nearly as high as Presidents Clinton or Reagan. (And based on the forum comments around here, a helluva lot better than yours truly…) But it's also strange he rates so highly when so many of us (rightly) question his handling of the economy and taxes—one of which is certainly growing more than the other…

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