Mary Lynn Jones

Mary Lynn F. Jones is a Washington-based writer. Her work has also appeared in The Chicago Tribune, National
Journal
, the Washington Business Journal and Barron's Guide to the Most
Competitive Colleges
. A native Washingtonian, Jones has been a regular
political commentator for WMAL-AM and has made numerous radio and television
appearances, including on National Public Radio's "Talk of the Nation"
and Fox
News Channel. Mary Lynn received her master's degree in journalism from
Columbia University and her bachelor's degree from Wellesley College.

Recent Articles

Byrd's-Eye View

The Senate used to be a place where members argued eloquently -- and at length -- about important issues. Not anymore, according to the man who wrote the chamber's four-volume history.

“I've never seen a time as partisanly political as the age in which we live,” Senator Robert Byrd told me on October 6 as he was promoting his book, Losing America: Confronting a Reckless and Arrogant Presidency. “Congress, it seems, is governed by the theme we've got to win. The whole thing is built around winning, not around great service, not around great debates.”

DeLaying the Inevitable

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay has Ronald Reagan beat by a mile when it comes to being a Teflon politician.

Last month, three of DeLay's aides were indicted on charges of money laundering related to DeLay's successful efforts to redistrict Texas -- although DeLay has distanced himself from the ruling. And on Sept. 30, the House Ethics Committee gave DeLay its least severe punishment even as it revealed that he offered to support Republican Representative Nick Smith's son's congressional campaign if Smith supported the Medicare bill during the marathon vote in November. Smith voted against it, and his son, Brad, never got DeLay's support, according to a list of endorsements on Brad Smith's website. Brad Smith lost his primary
race in August.

No Rest for the Wicked

As far as Karl Rove is concerned, George W. Bush just about has the presidential race wrapped up and the Democrats have no chance of regaining a majority in the Senate.

Rove told The Washington Times, in a September 23 interview, that he thinks Republicans will gain as many as four seats to hold a 55-to-45 majority in January. That's exactly the same prediction National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman George Allen made last month on Meet the Press. Rove added, "And even a gain of a couple of seats is going to work a sea change on their ability to obstruct these judges." But the poll numbers don't support the idea of such a large GOP pickup.

Midnight Express

The wee hours of a Friday morning tend not to be a busy time for most people. But it's been a very productive period for House Republicans, who passed six bills during that time in 2003.

Democratic Representative Sherrod Brown cataloged the list of legislation passed between midnight and 6 a.m. on Fridays last year for a St. Louis Post-Dispatch column recently. Many of these bills passed by just a handful of votes. The measures cut veterans' benefits as well as Head Start funding and secured $87 billion for Iraq. At 5:55 a.m. on a Saturday, the House passed a prescription-drug bill. As Brown noted, it's convenient to approve measures in the first hours of a Friday morning because coverage is relegated to the Saturday morning papers.

Boundless Ambition

While voters are focused on the presidential race, there's another election a few years away that deserves notice, too. It's the campaign to succeed Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, who has pledged to retire from the Senate at the end of 2006. And while it may seem early to think about this next contest, six senators are already reportedly in the running.

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