As long as I’m not waiting around for the Senate to take a vote on anything….

• Lest you think that Senate failure is limited to the state fiscal aid bill, the energy/oil spill response bill due for a cloture vote on a motion to proceed on Wednesday is unlikely to pass. Senate negotiators seem more interested in crafting a way for both the Democratic and Republican versions of the bill to separately fail than to move anything substantial. The Senate may go ahead and try to pass the CLEAR Act, which cleared the House last week, but that’s unlikely. I love this legislative body!

• A federal judge ruled that Virginia can sue over provisions of the Affordable Care Act, but that’s mostly a procedural and jurisdictional ruling, not a ruling on the merits of the case. And anyway, Virginia AG Ken Cuccinelli has a financial relationship with the judge in the case, so this one was never in doubt.

• Speaking of the Cooch, he issued an opinion bringing Virginia in line with Arizona’s SB1070 today. So apparently, despite not having passed a law, Virginia will direct their law enforcement personnel to ask for the papers of anyone they find suspicious. Melting pot!

• Rand Paul doesn’t think the government should be involved in mining safety. That should play well in Kentucky, which after all isn’t a big mining state. Also, the Boston gig’s cancelled, but don’t worry, it’s not a big college town.

• Get ready for the flood of corporate spending in the wake of the failure of the DISCLOSE Act. It’s really only just beginning; 2012 will be ridiculous.

• Nouri al-Maliki responded to the President’s call for a scheduled drawdown in Iraq by accusing his critics of wanting to destroy Iraq. Meanwhile, 12 Iraqis died today in a series of attacks. And ever-grateful John Boehner credits the troops and not their commander-in-chief for the conclusion in Iraq.

• The locals don’t want BP to scale back their cleanup efforts. They ought not want the oil giant to keep poisoning them with dispersant, either, even if the EPA covers for the effort.

• Israel will participate in the UN’s Gaza flotilla probe.

• Obama finally calls for the release of three American hikers detained in Iran.

• Interesting post from Nate Silver on race and the partisan blogosphere. His is a crude metric (just mentions of the word race), but it’s worth noting that FDL comes in relatively low, and extremely low compared to its blogospheric counterparts, on the scale.

• Ben Cardin faults the White House on policy and transparency with respect to closing Guantanamo.

• Tom Tancredo is happily killing any chance for Republicans to regain the Governor’s seat in Colorado. Republicans in disarray.

• I really hope LA’s mass transit becomes a national model, but it’ll take a while.

• Mickey Kaus invents imaginary colleagues who then dish to him about Journolist.

• Democrat-come-lately Jeff Greene, who could be the Dem candidate for Senate in Florida, seems like a real asshole.

• Alan Grayson really wants the FCC to stop their reclassification of broadband services? And is he really hiding behind the notion that Congress should change the classification, not a federal agency, which he must know is a long and lonely struggle? Is he really threatening the future of a free and open Internet? WTF?

• The husband of my Congresswoman has bought Newsweek. The editor of the magazine, Jon Meacham, immediately resigned. Does this mean that when I call my Congresswoman about an issue, I can ask for a biweekly column as well?

• The best part about this is not that Ben Nelson won’t switch parties, it’s that Joe Klein is called “some blogger” by Ben Nelson’s press secretary. If only i was a fly on the wall when Joe heard that…

• The Netherlands is out of Afghanistan. They’re only the first of the coalition to bug out.

• I guess now isn’t the best time for the RNC to hold a fundraiser with Andrew Breitbart.

• By way of correction for this piece: my resume/bio should have, and from now on will, say that my work has been cited in a series of traditional media outlets, not that my work has appeared in them, which gives the wrong impression that I’ve written for the NYT or WaPo. Apologies for that. Anyway, this is a recap of the training session I did on covering Congress.

• What Jay-Z’s Empire State of Mind would sound like if it was about a small village in Wales.