X = President Romney. Y = a Republican Senate. X + Y = Z. Solve for Z. Z could mean the end of Medicare as we know it.Sen. Al Franken • Writing a fundraising e-mail for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee using a math metaphor. Franken is a self-proclaimed “math genius,” apparently — he’s big on showing off the Pythagorean Theorem to elementary school kids in Minnesota — but this math equation doesn’t seem particularly complex to follow. He follows it up with some firm language: “But, alas, it’ll take more than elementary geometry to help the DSCC reach its $90,000 goal before Saturday night’s deadline. We need your help. By which, again, I mean your money.”
» 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?
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)
» Jumping the gun? Harry Reid’s spokesman says that it “sounds like Sen. McConnell is getting a little ahead of himself.” Republicans’ chances of retaking the Senate got worse last month when Olympia Snowe unexpectedly announced her retirement, and worse still when Bob Kerrey decided to run for his old seat in Nebraska several weeks ago. Oh, and Elizabeth Warren is now polling ahead of Scott Brown in Massachusetts. Obviously, a lot can—and will—change between now and November, but McConnell’s comments should be probably be seen more as a PR move to invigorate the Republican base than anything else.
We feel really good. We’ve had some good fortune in North Dakota, in Massachusetts, in Nevada, in Arizona. We have some good candidates all over. I feel very comfortable where we’re going to wind up in November.Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid • Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday about the chances of the Senate staying in Democratic hands. He cites the decision by Olympia Snowe to step down in Maine and the decision by Bob Kerrey to run in Nebraska as other signs that the party will retain power in the Senate come November.
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)