Bob Geiger has done a yeoman's work of analysis on Senate action (or lack thereof) last year. It's a great read, and useful for planning some strategy and talking points for the 2006 elections. Definitely something that folks working for local campaigns should look at and talk over with campaign management types.
So here's your options when looking at just a small sampling of 2005 Senate votes: You can conclude that Republicans either don't give a rat's behind about children, the elderly, working Americans, gun-crime victims or national security or that they're simply out to block any measures brought to the Senate floor by Democrats. But when you look at how 2005 came and went with Democrats essentially powerless to do anything in the Senate and with the Damocles Sword of the GOP revoking filibuster rights hanging over their heads, it's clear that the midterm elections this year loom very large indeed.See what I mean? Great read. Plus, Bob put together a voting guide from Democratic Senators' legislation in 2005. Just the sort of practical information that is handy to have at your fingertips. The upcoming 2006 elections are important for a whole host of reasons -- one of my pet issues is that children in at-risk families deserve better, and with more Democrats in Congress they have better odds at getting some help.
While it's interesting cocktail-party talk to discuss 2008 presidential possibilities and there are certainly few things more enticing than a Democratic House able to bring articles of impeachment against George W. Bush, we see by the numbers and unrealized good deeds that regaining control of the Senate makes 2006 a political Super Bowl year.
(Drawing of the Senate in session from an old edition of Harper's Weekly.)
UPDATE: CNN reporting in their breaking news headline that Abramoff has reached a plea agreement -- will plead guilty to corruption and other charges. Will update as I get more information. (Hat tip to reader Excessive Bastard for the tip.) In the meantime, Bloomberg had some speculation yesterday. When I find something more solid, you'll be the first to know.
UPDATE #2: Atrios reporting that CNN's Ed Henry says Abramoff has been cooperating for up to a year without the final plea agreement in place. Well, that's some interesting news, isn't it? Puts that whole Steno Sue article into an even sharper focus, doesn't it?