Thursday Morning Rundown
Our thoughts go out to everyone affected by the tragic bridge collapse in Minnesota.
Let me summarize this article in The Hill for you: The Senate GOP is beat up over scandals and fractured over legislative differences but are hoping they can re-unite in the Fall over increasing tax cuts for the rich and cutting spending on programs for working-class Americans. A heartwarming tale, really.
Alaska: The invaluable Talking Points Memo has released their latest video compilation of all the corruption and investigation news from Alaska. Also, in discussing the Senate's possible ceasing of anonymous "holds," Gun Toting Liberal reminds us that Ted Stevens recently used such an anonymous hold against legislation to create an online database of government spending. Shocking that the "King of Pork," now under investigation for his dealings, would want as much secrecy in where public dollars go as possible. Margaret Carlson can't compute why somebody with Ted Stevens' awfully comfortable life would risk it all. All I can offer is the Montgomery Burns quote from The Simpsons: "I'd trade it all for a little more."
Louisiana: What is one of David Vitter's regular call girls offering in her testimony, I wonder? A woman that the DC Madam called "a favorite of Mr. Vitter's" recently gave her testimony to a federal grand jury. (HT: TPM) Another squirmy day for Vitter.
Minnesota: Mark your calendars! On August 21, George W. Bush will be the featured guest at Smilin' Norm Coleman's fundraiser shindig. This won't make Coleman look like he's too closely tied to the failed policies of the Bush Administration, will it? Meanwhile, regarding a 2008 Republican Senate primary, The Hill reports:
Retired Army Lt. Col. Joe Repya (R) Wednesday said his decision about whether to challenge Sen. Norm Coleman (R) in a primary has been pushed back until at least mid-October due to surgery.That Repya was assembling a financial team and looking for a campaign manager means that this is more serious than just a whim. Hopefully, his surgery recovery will proceed smoothly so he can resume preparations for a primary challenge to Smilin' Norm Coleman and his atrocious 43-48 approval rating.
Repya said he has talked to potential members of a financial team and is seeking out a possible campaign manager. But a recent operation on his rotator cuff has slowed the process.
Oregon: Conservatives in Oregon are already working to mislead voters about Speaker Jeff Merkley's record on taxes. Wait until voters know the truth that Merkley worked with Governor Ted Kulongoski to shepherd through numerous tax breaks aimed at helping working-class families, veterans, farmers, fishermen, truckers, and many others.
New Hampshire: The Shaheen family is telling supporters that the likelihood of popular former Governor Jeanne Shaheen entering the 2008 Senate race is at 70%. That is pretty substantial. While her delay in making a decision does hamper the progress of the current Democratic candidates, it does make political sense for Shaheen, as much focus is on the New Hampshire Presidential primary and Shaheen is obliterating Republican John Sununu in the polls. Oh, and John Sununu wants sick kids to stay sick. Very sweet of him.
Texas: Like John Sununu, John Cornyn wants sick kids to stay sick, and he even tries to misdirect and mislead voters as to why.
Oklahoma: The conservative establishment in the Sooner State must be nervous about the possible Senate candidacy of State Senator Andrew Rice, to be releasing laughable pap like this. (HT: Blue Oklahoma) A vigorous challenger in 2008 can be another thing that Jim Inhofe is in denial about.
South Dakota: I have remarked in the past that the SD-GOP deserves credit for having "been very civil and respectful during Senator Johnson's recovery, rather than exploiting his recovery time for political gain." It seems that the "classless" John Ensign doesn't share the SD-GOP's sense of civility.
Maine: As much as she may try, Susan Collins will not be able to duck and dodge questions about her ongoing support for Bush's Iraq War. And, if this letter to the editor of the Bangor Daily News (‘Ambush’ on Islesboro, about halfway down the page) is any indication, Collins will do a "sweaty" job of answering such questions when posed to her.