1. A purifying or figurative cleansing of the emotions, especially pity and fear, described by Aristotle as an effect of tragic drama on its audience.
2. A release of emotional tension, as after an overwhelming experience, that restores or refreshes the spirit.
3. Purgation; vigorous evacuation of the bowels.
Democrats win House
Democrats promised Wednesday to lead the country in a new direction after winning control of the House for the first time in 12 years in midterm elections.
By early Wednesday, Democrats had picked up at least 28 seats; they needed 15 to capture a majority in the House.
Democrat Wins Senate Race in Montana:
The Democratic challenger in Montana, Jon Tester, won the race for the United States Senate today, leaving only Virginia to face an uncertain outcome in a tight midterm election race that is not expected to be decided for days or weeks.
Mr. Tester’s victory means that the Senate will at the least be tied 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans.
Early this afternoon, with 99 percent of precincts reporting, Jim Webb, the Democratic challenger [in Virginia], led Senator George Allen, a Republican, by less than 8,000 votes out of more than 2.3 million cast — a difference of about one-third of a percent.
Strategy Shift Likely for Bush:
For weeks, President Bush has waved off questions about how he would cope with a Democratic House. He and his aides said they simply did not expect to be dealing with a Speaker Pelosi, and Bush regularly mocked the Democrats for "measuring the drapes" on Capitol Hill in anticipation of victory.
But the dramatic election results yesterday left Bush facing not only a House but also, possibly, a Senate in the hands of the opposition party -- should the narrow Democratic leads in Virginia and Montana hold up. And later today, at a White House news conference scheduled for just after 1 p.m., the nation will begin hearing just how Bush plans to cope with a completely different Capitol Hill environment than he has faced in his first six years in Washington.
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, the hard-driving and super-confident Pentagon boss who came to symbolize President Bush’s controversial Iraq policy, is resigning, President Bush announced today.
Mr. Bush, appearing at the White House the day after the Republican Party suffered sweeping defeats in Tuesday’s midterm Congressional elections, said he and Mr. Rumsfeld had “a series of thoughtful conversations” and agreed that “the time is right for new leadership at the Pentagon.”
A new agenda:
"Democratic candidates across the country have been talking about their agenda for the country: accountability in Irag with a focus on training Iraqi soldiers and police, engaging partners in the region, and developing a real plan for victory and redeployment; to raise the minimum wage; to provide access to quality and affordable health care to all Americans; to overturn the President's stem cell veto; to allow the government to negotiate for lower prescriptions prices, and to extend the tax deduction for college tuition. And there's more."