[image-1]Posting is going to be very light early today as I head from Obamania to the Myrtle Beach Senior Center Republican Debate. So I saved a few nuggets from the print edition to hold you over. Here’s my rundown on legislative expectations this year.

If we were illegal immigrants, we’d be worried about the Statehouse’s plans for reform in 2008. If we were smokers, money-burning school district bureaucrats, or future perps banking on parole, we’d focus our attention on more pressing concerns — like the latest teen celebrity’s baby bump.

Back to work Jan. 8, legislators will be working from gavel to gavel on immigration reform (or at least what little the state has control over), promising action within weeks, not months.

But pledges by some legislators not to raise taxes and a paltry $92 million in annual dollars to spend make for what may best be described as an elaborate tailgating party for the 2009 session.

“It’s going to be one of the most difficult budget years,” says Senate Finance Chair Hugh Leatherman (R-Florence). “My message would be: Don’t get stars in your eyes.”

…  Meanwhile, the rest of us will wonder about the root of Dakota Fanning’s mood swings, Sandjaya’s unusual food cravings, and that extra weight Hannah Montana is wearing.

More here.