Republicans Prepare to Wield New Power in Washington - NYTimes.com: "Republicans will lay claim to a broad — if partial — governing mandate at exactly noon on Wednesday, ushering into Washington scores of new conservative lawmakers who promise to challenge President Obama’s vision for America’s economic future.
The start of the 112th congress will be marked in the nation’s capital city by grand ceremonies and symbolic gestures. The new owners of prime offices will get their keys. Online Twitter handles will be quietly changed. Powerful committee assignments will become official. And a flood of first-time lawmakers will raise their hands as they take the oath of office"