Effective today, I’ll no longer be posting updates to this blog and its corresponding Twitter feed. Operating this site for just shy of four years now has made the decision a tough one.
It’s become increasingly difficult to keep up with all that is going on in the Senate since this has remained a hobby of mine and has not materialized into paid work. I’ve done everything by myself from day one which has also made it more of a challenge to step away from things on a consistent basis when needed without falling behind.
For some, my coverage of the Senate has become something they relied on to keep up with various issues. For that I am humbled and grateful. My goal has always been to keep people informed in an up-to-date fashion. I don’t feel I can maintain that level of commitment any longer while juggling the various other aspects of daily life.
It’s been fun getting to interact online with some great reporters who work at the Capitol and around D.C. I would especially like to thank those writing for POLITICO, The Hill, Talking Points Memo, The Washington Post, Roll Call/CQ, The Huffington Post, National Journal/Hotline On Call and, of course, the wire services for their excellent reporting. They are all tremendously hard-working and talented individuals who made what I did possible.
I’d also like to thank those Senate press offices who were kind enough to be responsive to an unknown blogger such as myself. And of course, C-SPAN, without which floor coverage would not have been possible.
On a final personal note for those interested, I live and work in Oklahoma in the legal profession. That explains my at times incessant Twitter updates about OU football. I’m 27 years old and happily married.
Thanks again to all for your support and God bless.
Merry Christmas to you all! I really appreciate you making this blog a part of your day. Thank you!
A hot mic “left on during a Senate vote Tuesday morning on the Food Safety Act caught a senator complaining that process of setting the agenda during the lame-duck session is ‘rigged,’” the Daily Caller reports.
“It’s all rigged. The whole conversation is rigged,” said Colorado Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet. “The fact that we don’t get to a discussion before the break about what we’re going to do in the lame duck. It’s just rigged.”
The remark was picked up live on C-SPAN 2, although microphones are usually turned down during voting times. An aide quickly realized the mistake, jumped up and had the sound cut off.
Update: A Bennet spokesman issued a statement moments ago on these comments.
Michael was telling the same truths on the senate floor that he tells folks here in Colorado.
For almost two years, he has talked about needing to fix a broken Washington. We can’t move forward on major issues facing our country because of a broken system that is rigged to prevent progress.
We are now in the second week of this work period, and the Senate hasn’t begun debating Defense Authorization, tax cuts that will expire at the end of the year, or unemployment benefits.
Colorado and the rest of our country deserve better which is why he has proposed overhauling the way Washington works, including filibuster and lobbying reforms.
Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) “refuses to let distance come between him and his Wisconsin constituents: The Democrat was in the Badger State often enough this year to hold town hall meetings at a rate of one every three days,” Congress.org reports.
Feingold has held more town halls this year than any other Senator, logging 72 meetings from Jan. 1 to Aug. 31, according to a review by Congress.org. Town hall meetings were defined as public events with the main purpose of allowing voters to question lawmakers. The more targeted appearances that Senators made at private businesses and trade associations were excluded.
Feingold, who faces a serious re-election challenge this fall from Republican Ron Johnson, said he enjoys the meetings. “It’s basically the best thing I do as a Senator,” he said. “It’s very different than a poll or phone call. It’s a far more real experience.”
(credit image – life/getty)
As football season "gets underway, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) is pressing the National Football League to revisit ‘blackout’ policies that keep games off local television stations when they are not sold out," The Hill reports.
In a letter late last week to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Brown says the league’s policy could prevent Ohioans from seeing Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns games on TV even though they can’t afford to attend them.
“While I understand the need for the league to sell tickets and maintain an attractive television product, NFL blackout policies should be revisited as our nation faces the worst economic crisis in generations,” Brown wrote in a Sept. 9 letter to Goodell.
“During these difficult times, working families are struggling to make ends meet. Although appealing, attending a football game is simply cost prohibitive for too many Ohioans. The average price for an NFL game ticket is $77 – nearly ten times the hourly minimum wage,” he added.
(credit image – daylife/getty)
Well folks, it’s vacation time for your daily Senate guide. I won’t return to full blogging until next Saturday. With the Senate returning to session on Monday, you can expect a significant decline in coverage of what’s happening on the floor, namely the roll call votes.
I still plan on posting updates throughout the week on breaking news and any major legislation that passes.
Thanks as always for reading!
(credit image – sun-sentinel)
Democrats are quietly “worrying about whether Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias can win President Barack Obama’s old Senate seat,” the AP reports.
His family’s bank is believed to be on the verge of collapse and reportedly made $20 million in loans to two convicted felons.
Republican Rep. Mark Kirk is already accusing Giannoulias of lying to the voters about the loans, and his campaign is guaranteed to be pounding away at the bank’s problems in millions of dollars worth of television ads.
But the 34-year-old Giannoulias “is still electable if he meets the bank embarrassment head on and strikes back at the Republican congressman as more conservative than this Democratic-trending state, Democratic insiders say.”
Democrats brush aside any talk of getting Giannoulias to bow out of the race.
Democrats say President Obama “will campaign for Giannoulias and top political adviser David Axelrod, a veteran of Chicago politics, is in constant touch with developments in Illinois.”
(credit image – associated press)