(CNN) - Well starting from the top I think Sen. Orrin Hatch a Republican, Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat, certainly sounded like both sides were getting together on some sort of compromise. We saw Hatch saying listen I think we can extend unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed without, as Republicans have been insisting, finding a way to pay for it finding the money and you heard Sen. Wyden say on the Democratic side they’ve been wanting to totally stop any kind of tax cut extension for the rich, saying that he could go for a temporary maybe open year extension of tax cuts for everybody. So anyway they’re getting closer. Sometimes the Christmas holiday helps to kind of focus their minds.
Rep. Charlie Rangel said he was embarrassed by his censure by the House and that he felt pain but that it’s not as much of the pain of the people that are unemployed that are at war and that kind of thing. I thought it was also interesting, I asked him if he thought, as some of his colleagues did, that race was at play in the really tough punishment that he got, and he said that’s a discussion I don’t want to have because God’s been good to me and so I don’t want to start complaining now. So that’s not a no, that’s I-don’t-want-to-talk-about-it.
Sen. Richard Lugar said they have the votes to pass the START treaty, the missile treaty between the U.S. and Russia, and he thinks they’ll get to it in the lame duck. He may be the only one but he sort of went through what he thought the program will be and he thinks they will get the treaty coming up.
And finally, though it’s history, I really loved the Beatles expert talking about John Lennon’s long term political impact because we talk so much about his musical impact so pretty interesting to me next Wednesday as most people know is the 30th, 30th year anniversary of the murder of John Lennon. So I thought it was cool to have him on the show and that’s pretty much what I think the headlines were.
Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-New York) on CNN’s “State of the Union”
“It was an embarrassing and painful experience, but somehow I was pleased to know that no matter how much pain I was feeling, it really didn't compare to tens of thousands of brave men and women that find themselves in harm's way and no one can give an explanation.”
Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Indiana) on CNN’s “State of the Union” discussing the START treaty
“Now I'm more optimistic presently. I think that a good number of members do want to be counted. And they want to be counted soon…
CROWLEY: Before the recess?
LUGAR: Yes. A strategy that brings us to this now has pretty strong bipartisan support, starting with the president and then Senator McConnell and others, I hope Senator Reid.”
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) on CNN’s “State of the Union”
“The Democrats want to protect the middle class. I've said that neither side has the votes to get what they want so I think we're going to have to kick it over for about two years. We're going to have to do unemployment insurance, no question even though we're 100 weeks into unemployment insurance. We're going to have to do that. If you want to go beyond that then I think things break down.”
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) on CNN’s “State of the Union”
“I think I'm giving plenty, much of my party doesn't want to extend the Bush tax cuts at all. I'm offering to go along with an extension for a year, to work with Senator Hatch, to go into the Finance Committee, take on the special interests, and do something that would actually put those jobless folks we heard about again this Friday to work.”
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