1. You just had a lot of members who just don’t want to vote for anything.
     


  2. Do I have the best credentials? Probably not. ‘Cause, you know, whatever.
     

  3. Check out this week’s cover!

     

  4. R.J. MATSON Copyright 2014 Cagle Cartoons

    The week’s best editorial cartoons

     


  5. If babies had guns, they wouldn’t be aborted.
     

  6. On this day in 1868, the Senate impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson began. The House of Representatives had already impeached the president on 11 counts of trying to fire War Secretary Edwin Stanton and for violating post-war Reconstruction Acts. After a dramatic two-month Senate trial, Johnson was acquitted by a single vote. Bill Clinton is the only other president to have been impeached.

    Here’s what else happened on this day in history

     

  7. Parliamentary procedure is as baffling and dull to most people as it is important to our legislative process. But the Senate gave us a very watchable — interesting, even — little civics lesson on Thursday, when Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) filibustered a bill he had introduced only hours earlier. The bill at hand was a measure proposed by the White House, based on a “last-choice,” one-off fix McConnell himself came up with in the 2011 debt-ceiling standoff, to take America’s borrowing limit out of Congress’ hands — the president could raise the debt ceiling, and Congress could override him only with a veto-proof majority. McConnell introduced the bill to show that President Obama doesn’t have the votes for such a measure even in the Democrat-controlled Senate. Well on Thursday, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) called his bluff. 

    McConnell’s miscalculation is amusing, but it also tells us something about the larger issue: The showdown over the fiscal cliff, says Greg Sargent at The Washington Post. This was “the first major test we’ve seen of whether Dems will remain united” behind Obama, and they passed. Things are going to get hairier, “particularly if Republicans make good on their vow to use the debt ceiling to leverage entitlement cuts next year, and Obama makes good on his refusal to countenance the debt ceiling having any role in the talks.” But if you’re Obama, this is a good sign that your fractious, famously self-defeating party may actually stick together in this fight.

    Watch McConnell filibuster his own bill

    (Source: theweek.com)

     

  8. "Most East Coast journalists and politicos I’ve spoken with cannot fathom how Todd Akin could possibly remain a candidate" in Missouri’s U.S. Senate race, says former Missouri lawmaker Jeffrey Smith at Salon. After all, every Republican official from presidential aspirant Mitt Romney on down has urged him to drop out following his infamous comments about the pregnancy-stifling powers of “legitimate rape.” The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) and GOP super PAC Crossroads GPS have even said they’ll pull their millions in funding from the race if he remains the candidate.

    But looking at the situation from Akin’s point of view, and knowing his history, his decision to defy his party and keep on challenging Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) makes more sense. Here, six reasons Akin is still in the race:

    1. This is Akin’s last hurrah
      Todd Akin is 65, he has given up his safe House seat to run for the Senate, and he has burned any and all bridges within his party, so this is clearly his last chance “to grab the brass ring,” says Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo. Why would he care what Karl Rove or Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus wants him to do, or even what might be best for his party? Akin “just isn’t going to give up what he’s been hungering for for a lifetime because of one bad news cycle.”
       
    2. And he thinks he can still win
      Unlike Republican officials and strategists — and, for that matter, the nonpartisan Cook Political Report — Akin doesn’t think he’s doomed. As he explained to former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee on Tuesday, this whole flap over “one word and one sentence on one day” seems “like a little bit of an overreaction.” Akin might be right about his chances, too, says Markos Moulitsas at The Daily Kos. Missouri is an increasingly Republican state, and McCaskill has by far “the worst poll numbers of any incumbent this cycle,” so trying to ride out the storm “wouldn’t be irrational in the least.” Besides, “if he quits now, he’s a punch line forever,” says Salon’s Smith. If he stays in, “he has a 50 percent chance of being a U.S. senator as well as a punch line.” What would you choose?
       
    3. Akin doesn’t owe his party anything
      Republicans are pulling out all the stops to push Akin aside, but the six-term back-bencher is “totally unbeholden to the GOP establishment that needs him to drop out,” says Aaron Blake at The Washington Post. He has never been a team player, and most GOP leaders and Tea Party groups backed his opponents in the ugly three-way primary he won just two weeks ago. “In other words, nobody who is telling Akin to drop out is a dear friend of his.” Right, what does he have to lose by staying in the race, says Ed Kilgore at Washington Monthly, “other than the opportunistic support of people who don’t know or like him and would probably have taken credit for his victory had he won without this latest incident?”

    More reasons…

     


  9. At a time when part of the Democratic message is that the GOP is conducting a ‘war on women,’ Akin has provided Democrats with a limitless supply of ammunition for use against GOP candidates.
    — 

    — Charlie Mahtesian at Politico outlines one reason why the GOP desperately wants Todd Akin to drop out. "Akin has provided Democrats with an opportunity to drive the wedge deeper."

    4 reasons the GOP desperately wants Todd Akin to drop out

     

  10. Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), one of the Senate’s only true centrist Republicans, caused “nothing short of a political earthquake” on Tuesday by announcing that she won’t seek re-election this fall. Snowe says she can no longer be productive amid the “atmosphere of polarization and ‘my way or the highway’ ideologies” in Washington (can you blame her?). Her departure plans caught everybody off-guard, especially her Republican colleagues, who have been working hard to seize control of the Senate. Democrats now have a prime chance to pick up a Republican seat in blue Maine. How much will Snowe’s retirement hurt the GOP?

     


  11. Republicans have been raising concerns about how to pay for the $7.4 billion measure, while Democrats, led by Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand of New York, have argued that the nation had a moral obligation to assist those who put their lives at risk during rescue operations at ground zero.
    — A quote from the New York Times story about the Democrats’ 9/11 health bill, which was blocked by Republican senators today. The bill would have provided medical care to NYC rescue workers and residents whose health was impacted as a result of the toxic fumes, dust and smoke at ground zero.
     


  12. In a recorded private conversation, Nevada’s GOP candidate for Senate pleads with an independent Tea Party candidate to help her by dropping out. Angle promises to use her “juice” to get Scott Ashjian access to congressional leaders if he helps her win in November.