POLITICS (National): U.S. Senate, dysfunction, "intensely personal war between the leadership offices": "Leadership war stymies Senate mission" ....
* Washington Post: "Leadership war stymies Senate mission" - From the WP:
The Senate went three months this spring without voting on a single legislative amendment, the nitty-gritty kind of work usually at the heart of congressional lawmaking. So few bills have been approved this year, and so little else has gotten done, that many senators say they are spending most of their time on insignificant and unrewarding work.
The big issues have been sidelined by political and procedural battles and an intensely personal war between the leadership offices. Senators say that they increasingly feel like pawns caught between Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), whose deep personal and political antagonisms have almost immobilized the Senate. The two men so distrust each other, and each is so determined to deny the other even the smallest political success, that their approach to running the Senate has been reduced to a campaign of mutually assured dysfunction.
The problems are so severe that a rump caucus of Democrats and Republicans has been meeting secretly, trying to break the logjam, to no avail.
The situation is so alarming that former Senate leaders, including Thomas Daschle (D-S.D.) and Trent Lott (R-Miss.), are mounting a public intervention to try to steer the chamber back toward effectiveness and maybe even some of its grand traditions. “The Senate has degenerated into a polarized mess,” the former majority leaders recently wrote in a report that criticized both sides.
If the situation seems suddenly more urgent, it is just an escalation of an old problem..........................