HISTORIC BLUE VOTE IN RED NEBRASKA
President-elect Barack Obama won one of Nebraska's electoral votes, the first time in history that the state has split its votes and the first time in 44 years that it had given a vote to a Democrat.
After remaining ballots were counted Friday, Obama had a 3,325-vote lead over Republican John McCain in unofficial results for the 2nd Congressional District. Nebraska, which has five electoral votes, and Maine are the only two states that divide their votes by congressional districts.
Obama, who won the White House last week, has 365 electoral votes to McCain's 162. Missouri, with 11 electoral votes, is still too close to call. Election officials in that state have until Tuesday to finish counting.
The last Democrat to win Nebraska was Lyndon Johnson, who carried the state in 1964.
GOP HOUSE LEADER HAS A CHALLENGER
Rep. Dan Lungren, a former California attorney general, on Friday launched a campaign to replace Rep. John Boehner of Ohio as leader of the House Republicans, seeking the tough job of rebuilding a party that lost more ground to Democrats in last week's elections.
Lungren said Republicans in the House can't go back to business as usual by rubber-stamping Boehner for another two-year term as House minority leader. He said next week's election for leader will say volumes about how House Republicans are reacting to the American people's verdict on Election Day.
The GOP rank and file will vote on its leaders Wednesday as Congress returns for a lame-duck session.
Boehner remains a big favorite to hold onto his job, even though the second- and third-ranking members of the current GOP leadership team have stepped aside to make way for conservative challengers.
A RUSH FOR A SPOT IN INAUGURAL PARADE
First of all, your group's routine can't involve explosives or pyrotechnics, for the obvious security reasons.
If you're a band, you shouldn't play "The Star-Spangled Banner" or "Hail to the Chief." Those tunes are taken.
And if you want to march or perform in the Jan. 20 inauguration parade, you had better hurry. The application deadline has been extended to 5 p.m. Tuesday, in part because of the flood of interest from groups wanting to join the celebration honoring President-elect Barack Obama.
The Armed Forces Inaugural Committee, the organization in charge of collecting applications, said this week that it was receiving 10 applications an hour and had more than 400 so far.
KING FAMILY EYES CUT OF THE ACTION
Since Obama's election as the nation's first black president, street-corner vendors and online stores have been hawking T-shirts, buttons and posters juxtaposing images of him and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. as pillars of racial progress.
Obama will not be making any money from those sales. But now the King family is considering whether to get in on the profits. Isaac Newton Farris Jr., a nephew of King and president of the King Center in Atlanta, said the family is considering lawsuits against sellers of unauthorized merchandise depicting King.
"It's not about the money. The law says that if you don't assert and protect the right to an image, you can lose that right," he said, but added: "We do feel that if somebody's out there making a dollar, we should make a dime."