The establishment folks in Washington, D.C., they’re in the bubble and they see the world very, very differently than we do and I think most Americans do. And we’re going to continue to go out and try to elect conservatives to the presidency and that’s what we’re focused on.Rick Santorum • Responding to political types suggesting he should drop out, days before the Wisconsin primary. Santorum says he’s in it until Mitt Romney clearly has enough delegates to win — something that likely won’t happen until June, based on how things are going so far. Romney just won another endorsement, this time from Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson (no relation), a show of support that has Santorum on the defensive.
» Pretty harsh considering the thrashing that the Affordable Care Act is reported to be taking in the Supreme Court this week. While both analysts and many inside the White House expected the ugly turnout on the budget proposal, it’s hard to imagine that anybody imagined a shut-out. Should Obama be worried about these sorts of losses piling up as the election draws closer?
Quantifying Nepotism: Everyone knows (or at least assumes) that politicians use their power to benefit people close to them; that’s old news. However, scientific studies on the matter are hard to come by. The watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) wanted to change that, and carried out an exhaustive study of the extent to which nepotism manifests itself in US Congress. Their report is 347 pages long; in case you have better things to do with your time (impossible!), here are some takeaways. Note: This study only covered the 2008 and 2010 election cycles.
» Miscellaneous: Out of the aforementioned 248 members who warranted inclusion in the report, 105 were Democrats, and 143 were Republicans. Speaker of the House John Boehner is nowhere to be found in the report—but Nancy Pelosi is. Oh, and which member of Congress paid fees or salaries to more of his family members than anyone else? Why, none other than anti-government crusader Ron Paul.
Without the Internet and YouTube, [Joseph Kony’s] dastardly deeds would not resonate with politicians. When you get 100 million Americans looking at something, you will get our attention.Sen. Lindsey Graham • On the effect Kony 2012 has had on lawmakers. Yesterday, over a third of the Senate co-sponsored a bill condemning Kony’s actions; now, Graham and other members of Congress are working on a “bounty bill” to help encourage the capture (or “disappearing,” shall we say) of Kony, the now-infamous Ugandan warlord. Graham’s bosom buddy, John McCain, echoed his colleague’s sentiments, saying that “if not ending up dead, [Kony] could end up in the International Criminal Court, and it’d be a wonderful thing.” Now, there’s been a lot of controversy surrounding Kony 2012 and its creators; however, regardless of what you think of the organization behind the effort, it’s inspiring that something as simple as a YouTube video can actually spur Congress into action. It’s also nice to see Democrats and Republicans agree on something for once. source (via • follow)
We have reached a point where we do so little and waste so much time that it really does, I’m sure, weigh heavily on us all.Sen. Dick Durbin • Discussing the snarling issues that have turned the Senate into the most deadlocked part of Congress — an issue emphasized by the fact that, well, nothing gets done. Reuters’ piece on the legislative body notes a number of symbolic “message” votes that never get anywhere (such as a balanced budget amendment and the “Buffett rule”) and a toxic atmosphere which convinced Sen. Olympia Snowe to retire at the end of her term. Can the Senate be saved from itself?
I have never had a vote I’ve taken where I have felt that I let down more people that believed in me.Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski • Describing the hostile environment she recently returned to in Alaska, while making an appearance at the opening of the annual Iditarod sled dog race, during a recent interview with a reporter from the The News Tribune. Murkowski, the second write-in candidate ever to win a spot in the Senate, found herself the target of a great deal of vitriol from female voters who felt betrayed by the woman they helped secure an unlikely seat in Congress. Senator Murkowski believed she was casting a vote in the name of religious freedom when she supported the Blunt Amendment last week; however, she said after her experiences this weekend she would not vote the same if given another opportunity. source (via • follow)