Senate

Lindsey Graham, you are the weakest link

Featured image Lindsey Graham, in an appearance on Hugh Hewitt’s show, advocated a return to the requirement that all presidential nominations receive 60 votes in order to be confirmed. Graham told Hugh: If you keep it at 51, all they [Democrats] have to do is pick up three, four Republicans and I’m worried that you’re no stronger than your weakest link. Having to get to 60 is a much more collaborative process. »

Ted Cruz votes to hamper U.S. anti-terrorism intelligence gathering

Featured image The Senate has failed to pass the “USA Freedom Act,” which would have hobbled our government’s efforts to conduct electronic surveillance of terrorists. Good. As Mitch McConnell argued, with ISIS and other blood thirsty terrorist groups on the rise, this is “the worst possible time to be tying our hands behind our back.” Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey and former NSA and CIA director Michael Hayden have described the “USA »

59

Featured image 59 is an important number for Mary Landrieu, and not just because she turns that age this week. 59 is the number of votes Obamacare would have received in the Senate if Landrieu hadn’t voted for the legislation. In this scenario, Obamacare would have been defeated and Landrieu probably would have been reelected Senator earlier this month, or be headed for reelection in a runoff. 59 is also the number »

Mary, Mary, what you’ve come to

Featured image It’s a gloomy, rainy Monday in Washington, D.C. But the rain hasn’t deterred protesters from descending on Mary Landrieu’s stately Capitol Hill townhouse to protest the Louisiana Senator’s support of the Keystone XL oil pipeline (photo below). The protesters reportedly are standing in Landrieu’s yard. They have also deposited an ugly mock black plastic pipeline on her property. The police are on hand, but have done nothing to keep the »

Say goodnight, Mary

Featured image Here is a poll to brighten your day. Bill Cassidy leads Mary Landrieu by 16 points, according to a survey by Magellan Strategies. The poll was taken for the Cassidy campaign, but the results don’t seem far-fetched. If you add Cassidy’s share of the vote on November 4 (41 percent) to the 14 percent share received by the other Republican in the race (Rob Maness), you get a landslide of »

Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch — is there a meaningful difference?

Featured image The nomination of Loretta Lynch for Attorney General elicited praise from many familiar with her work as a prosecutor. From some conservatives, it brought relief that President Obama hadn’t nominated Tom Perez. And nearly everyone is relieved that Eric Holder will depart. But there was a time when Holder received the same kind of praise Lynch is getting now. Indeed, he was something of a golden boy during his time »

A Pryor/Cotton footnote

Featured image In the run-up to the mid-term elections Atlantic political reporter Mollly Ball took a close look at our friend and now, since last week, Arkansas Senator-elect Tom Cotton “The making of a conservative superstar.” Ball is a diligent and skilled reporter, but the piece seemed to me a work of almost self-parodic liberal/media hostility. It annoyed me at the time; now I want to look back in cheer. Ball led »

Senate Will Vote on Keystone to Help Landrieu

Featured image Next week, Harry Reid will hold a vote on the Keystone pipeline. Why? To help Mary Landrieu hang on to her Senate seat. Landrieu wants to posture as a pro-energy Keystone supporter, and Reid is happy to give her the opportunity. There is a nice irony here. Tom Steyer contributed (or promised to contribute, anyway) $100 million to anti-Keystone Democrats. The Democrats happily accepted his money and nearly all of »

Dan Sullivan prevails

Featured image In the department of today’s good news, the AP reports that Republican challenger Dan Sullivan has defeated Democratic incumbent Mark Begich in last week’s midterm elections. Among other things, Dan Sullivan is a Marine combat veteran. He is now another member of the strong entering class of Republican members that stands to make an important contribution to our country in the next Congress. Sullivan’s victory bumps up the Senate Republican »

Ten strikes and you’re out

Featured image A friend takes us on a stroll down memory lane with the top Democratic swings and misses of 2014. 1. Reid cleverly gets Baucus (MT) to resign early to be appointed ambassador. The Dem governor then appoints a senator who can run as an “incumbent.” They appoint a guy who has plagiarism problems and has to drop out. They can only find some whacko woman to run instead. Easy R »

Should Republicans reinstate the judicial filibuster?

Featured image With Republicans about to assume control of the Senate, a debate has broken out over whether to bring back the filibuster for judicial nominees. Readers will recall that Harry Reid and his crew eliminated the filibuster (except for Supreme Court nominees) in order, primarily, to confirm three left-wing nominees for the all-important U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The estimable Ed Whelan argues that it would »

What a man we have in Manchin

Featured image The Washington Post’s Ed O’Keefe explores Senator Joe Manchin’s frustrations with soon-to-be former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Manchin forthrightly describes the election returns as “a real ass-whuppin’.” He then expressed frustrations with Harry Reid’s preventive approach to voting on potentially controversial bills. Is there some reason he has kept silent up till now? O’Keefe follows up: When asked whether Reid wants to do something, or is an obstructionist, or »

Tim Scott outshines Lindsey Graham

Featured image Scott has already made note of Tim Scott’s big victory in South Carolina. That state held two Senate races last night. In the other, Sen. Lindsey Graham won a very comfortable victory. Scott outperformed Graham, though. He captured around 61 percent of the vote and had a victory margin of about 24 points. Graham received around 54.5 percent of the vote and his margin was in the neighborhood of 16 »

Harry, We Knew Ye Too Damn Well [Further Updated]

Featured image Harry Reid’s tenure as Senate Majority Leader hasn’t just been controversial, it has been disgraceful. Reid submerged the Senate in partisan politics of the most vicious sort, turning the Senate floor into a forum for outrageous attacks on private citizens and refusing to allow that body to vote on more than 300 bills that had passed the House of Representatives–all the while blaming “gridlock” on the Republicans. Reid denied Republican »

Republicans closing in on control of Senate [UPDATED: Ernst puts GOP over the top]

Featured image As I write this (shortly after 10:00 p.m. in the East), the GOP has picked up five Senate seats tonight. The pick-ups are in West Virginia, Arkansas, South Dakota, Colorado, and Montana. This puts the Republicans within one pick-up of taking control of the Senate. The GOP’s burden would increase, of course, if the Democrats were to gain a seat. And that could happen in Kansas, although incumbent Republican Pat »

What’s up in Virginia? [UPDATED -- Warner ahead]

Featured image Early in the campaign season, I had some hope that Republican Ed Gillespie would unseat incumbent Mark Warner. As the season went on, however, I saw no evidence that Gillespie had a serious shot. But now, with almost half the vote counted, Gillespie leads Warner 51.8 to 45.6. In absolute terms, he leads by almost 60,000 votes. Virginia returns can fluctuate pretty dramatically during the course of an evening. As »

McConnell reelected

Featured image Fox News has called the Kentucky Senate race. Mitch McConnell is the winner. Maybe now Alison Grimes will tell us how she voted in the last presidential race. By the end of evening, McConnell may be the new Senate majority leader. That would be one fine night for the old war horse. McConnell’s counterpart, Harry Reid, will be up for reelection in two years. He will have the benefit of »