Washington (CNN) - Politics is serious business - but not all of the time. From the halls of Congress to the campaign trail to the international stage, there's always something that gets a laugh or a second glance. Here are some of the things you might have missed:
The world according to Jon
Funnyman Jon Stewart, host of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show," lambasted Republicans for failing to pass a multibillion-dollar bill that would help 9/11 responders pay for health problems that arose from working at ground zero, among other things. Or as Stewart puts it, "the 'least we can do/no brainer act of 2010.'"
"Of course the Republicans wouldn't be so cowardly as to not vote for the bill and justifying their actions - just cowardly enough not to do it on camera," he said.
Washington (CNN) – House Republicans may be deciding on a leader this week, but Republicans across the country still have no clear front-runner for the 2012 presidential nomination.
According to a new Gallup poll, 19 percent of rank-and-file Republicans would support Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination. Romney leads the pack of potential GOP nominees, but Sarah Palin is close behind with 16 percent and tied with Mike Huckabee who has the same amount of support. The three-point margin between the three potential nominees falls within this poll's sampling error, indicating that there is currently a three-way tie for GOP presidential favor.
Washington (CNN) - A new poll suggests that the results of the midterm elections did not alter Americans' views of the two political parties.
A Gallup survey released Monday morning indicates that 43 percent of Americans have a favorable view of the Democratic party following the elections, down just one point from the 44 percent who said they had a favorable view of the party prior to the midterms.
Fairfax, VA (CNN) - Republicans are pressing their supporters to pull out the stops in the effort to retake the House in November's elections, but one of their frequent allies – the National Rifle Association – is still endorsing candidates in either party.
The gun-rights group has endorsed over 200 Republican candidates for Congress, but it has also endorsed 64 Democrats – including a number of incumbents who Republicans believe may be vulnerable, like Chet Edwards in Texas, Stephanie Herseth Sandlin in South Dakota, and Tom Perriello in Virginia.
(CNN) - The House has just adjourned - a week early -to go home so Democrats can run for their political lives. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, ardent as ever, calls in a group of journalists to make her pitch about the productive Congress - and begins with a list of achievements (health care, Wall Street reform, stimulus, small business jobs act).
"I'm so proud of it," she says, sounding like a parent examining a brilliant report card, beaming.
But near the end of the session, the tough, pragmatic Pelosi - the one who has the uphill battle to keep her speakership, the one Republicans boast they want to "fire" - let something slip through her relentlessly upbeat analysis. The unemployment rate, she admits, is a tough reality - and manna for the Republicans.
(CNN) – Democrats know they are going to lose congressional seats in the November elections. The question is what can they do to minimize the damage?
With less than a month to voting day, even the most ardent Democrat conceded on Sunday talk shows that the outlook wasn't rosy.
They differed on whether they can retain majorities in both the House and Senate, with the House considered more vulnerable, but all agreed there will be fewer of them working in Congress next year.
(CNN) - With little more than a month until the November elections, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has a message for Americans: Democrats are holding "middle class Americans hostage."
"After maxing out the national credit card on a failed Stimulus bill and a government-run health care bill, they want more," McConnell said in the Republican party's weekly address. "And that's why they are now holding middle class Americans hostage in pursuit of their foolish desire to tax America's job creators in the middle of a recession."
In Saturday's address the five term Republican senator from Kentucky spent most of his time criticizing the Democrats' handling of the vote on tax cuts. Members of Congress headed home to their states and districts this week without voting on whether to extend the tax cuts passed in 2001 and 2003 under the George W. Bush administration.
(CNN) - With the unofficial start of the 2012 Presidential election less than five weeks away, a new poll indicates that name recognition definitely matters when it comes to early Presidential politics.
According to a Gallup poll released Thursday, 19 percent of Republicans and Independents who lean Republican say they would be most likely to support former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for the next GOP presidential nomination.
Three points back, and within the survey's sampling error, is former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, followed by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee at 12 percent. Palin, the party's 2008 vice presidential nominee, and Romney and Huckabee, who were in the national spotlight thanks to their previous bids for the White House, are all apparently well known to Republicans across the country.
(CNN) - The National Republican Senatorial Committee blasted out an email to reporters Wednesday afternoon with the headline that Sen. John McCain has offered $1 million to the organization.
The promise comes as the party committee is looking to pick up at least 10 seats in order to take back a majority in the Senate. NRSC Chairman Sen. John Cornyn praised McCain, saying, "It's very encouraging to see Sen. McCain step up and do this. Republicans have historically not done this like Democrats have, and that has been a real competitive advantage that they have had."
GOPers were told about the cash infusion by McCain and Cornyn during a weekly Republican conference lunch that took place on Wednesday.
Akron, Ohio (CNN) – David Plouffe, one of President Obama's top political advisers, said Tuesday that the Republican Party has been overwhelmed by a "Beck-Palin-Limbaugh wing" that will make it impossible for the GOP to nominate a viable general election candidate in 2012.
"If you are a moderate Republican thinking about running in a primary for any office in 2011 and 2012, you are going to have to think twice, because you are going to get the Mike Castle treatment," Plouffe said in an interview in Ohio, where he is campaigning for Gov. Ted Strickland. "So they are going to nominate more and more extreme Republicans who are doing very well among that Palin-Limbaugh-Beck base."