Tales from the Trail

Specter gains chairmanship, loses potential foe

May 7, 2009

Senator Arlen Specter, who has had some rocky times since switching from the Republican to Democratic party last week, had a really good day on Thursday.

Minnesota Democrat Franken calls on Biden

May 7, 2009

frankenDemocrat Al Franken went to Washington on Wednesday — but not to to claim the Minnesota Senate seat Republican incumbent Norm Coleman lost in the November election. Franken, a comic turned politician, called on Vice President Joe Biden at the White House to talk about policy issues and the still-unresolved Minnesota contest he hopes will end with a win for the Democrats.

Specter: Republican Sr becomes Democrat Jr

May 6, 2009

SENATE/CLINTON/GATES

A week after switching parties, former Republican-turned-Democratic U.S. Senator Arlen Specter has suffered the political equivalent of a kick in the pants.

Specter debuts on the Democratic side of the Senate

April 30, 2009

SENATE/CLINTON/GATESNewly minted Democratic Senator Arlen Specter made a relatively quiet debut as an official Democrat on Thursday — his desk was moved to the other side of the aisle.

U.S. Senate goes two ways on estate taxes

April 3, 2009

The U.S. Senate went two different ways on the estate tax, which has been a contentious issue for years — a tax congressional Republicans have villified as the “death tax”.BRITAIN-RICHARDSON/

White House pulls trigger early on budget praise

April 3, 2009

G20/As the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate drew closer to wrapping up votes on their version of the fiscal 2010 budget, President Barack Obama’s staff appeared to pull the trigger a bit hastily on his congratulatory statements praising the Senate vote.

Tell us what you really think Senator Grassley

March 17, 2009

WASHINGTON – How outraged can they be?

U.S. lawmakers are clearly outraged by the $165 million in bonuses being paid to executives at bailed-out insurer American International Group. For the last two days, they’ve been talking about it in press releases,  at news conference and in speeches on the floor of the Senate and House.

Senators escape being pinned down on bill full of earmarks

March 10, 2009

FINANCIAL/Much has been made in Washington over the last week in the U.S. Senate about which Democrats and Republicans would vote for the $410 billion bill to fund government operations because it includes thousands of lawmakers’ pet projects.

The First Draft: From education to Bernanke to borders

March 10, 2009

Topic of the day for the White House: education. OBAMA/

President Barack Obama is unveiling his plans to reform the U.S. education system, which has one of the worst high school dropout rates in the industrialized world.

He’s In…

February 11, 2009

For everyone wondering whether John McCain would run for re-election to the U.S. Senate after that grueling presidential campaign — wonder no more.