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Trail Mix — 9.20.12 

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Hey, Don’t Forget About Me!

Somebody’s feeling a little left out, aren’t they? Spokane’s 6th District Republican State Rep. Kevin Parker didn’t draw an opponent this election cycle, but that’s not stopping him. He’s up with a TV ad anyway. Not a bad idea, as voters tend not to notice you until there’s an election. And he must have campaign funds just sitting there, wanting to be spent.

For now, Parker’s keeping it positive, but if internal polling shows that __________ is making up ground, he might have to release the attack ads.

So-It’s-Come-To-This Quote of the Week

“We’re going to nuke Barack Obama into radioactive sludge in the swing states with 3,000 to 4,000 points of TV in September. [SuperPACs] Crossroads and Restore will do the same.”

— Rick Wilson, Republican ad man,

to BuzzFeed, 9/17/12

But They’ve Been Working So Hard

If Congress does as planned and adjourns on Friday, our well-paid problem solvers will work just eight days of the 66 weekdays between Aug. 3 and Election Day. That’s right, after Sept. 21, they won’t be back to work until after the election, giving themselves all of October off after working three days in August and eight days in September. It’s the earliest pre-election adjournment since 1960. Luckily, there are no big issues to deal with.

Oh, wait… On Sept. 30, the nation’s farm programs will expire. Farmers marched on D.C. earlier this month in protest, and agriculture is kind of a big deal here in Eastern Washington and North Idaho. Still, House Republicans refused to even introduce their own farm bill for a vote.

And this one is exciting: On Jan. 2, due to past failures to compromise, the whole country is going over a fiscal cliff if Congress can’t solve the budget impasse. That sounds pretty serious: They definitely need a vacation before that happens.

The D.C. insider mantra is that nothing’s getting done anyway, so why not head back home and get reelected? (And with this work schedule, you’d be crazy not to want to keep this job.) Not surprisingly, the only insiders who are talking about the brazen work stoppage are the ones not running for reelection.

“We’ve lost two years in the life of America just stalling, obfuscating, delaying, denying,” Maine Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe, who is retiring, told Bloomberg News. “That’s a tragedy for America. We certainly can do far better.”

We certainly can, but we probably won’t. Statistics show that incumbents are reelected to Congress at an 85 to 95 percent clip.

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