Wednesday Must-Reads: Sotomayor Day 3

Confirmation hearings for President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor press on into day 3 Wednesday.

Confirmation hearings for President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor press on into day 3 Wednesday. Day 2 saw some tough questions, but no real revelations or missteps from Sotomayor. Republican senators grilled the nominee on her past 11 years on the bench, hitting everything from her ‘wise Latina’ remark in 2001 to her decision in the New Haven firefighter’s case recently overturned by the high court. Sen. Jeff Sessions, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, hammered Sotomayer with hard-hitting questions that may satisfy the base but could potentially alienate Hispanics voters being courted by the party.

If you want a blow-by-blow of today’s proceedings, The New York Times is live-blogging.

After Sarah Palin’s apparent offer to campaign for a few good Democrats after leaving office in Alaska, several Blue Dogs tell Politico they aren’t the least bit interested in the former vice presidential nominee’s help. So far no one has been willing to accept her generous offer, despite Palin’s popularity with some of the group’s rural constituents.

Four years in prison can’t keep former North Carolina Democratic Rep. Frank Ballance down, or off the campaign trail. Ballance recently finished a stint in federal prison for money laundering and mail fraud. And now that he’s free from chains, he was welcomed home by a band of supporters attending a rally in his honor and is considering another run for federal office. Balance told press covering the event, “I know I can run for Congress, but I’m not sure if I can run for school board. You’ve gotta run for what you can run for.”

National Journal has composed a list of the top six underperforming state governments. Not surprisingly, New York comes in at number one. The honor is due in part to the soap opera that continues to be the state legislature with its party defectors-and returners-and the subsequent quarreling that has ensued. Not to mention the criminal charges facing fence-hoping state senators Hiram Monserrate and Pedro Espada Jr.  Monserrate is charged with felony assault for allegedly stabbing his girlfriend and Espada if facing a hefty fine to the tune of several thousand dollars for allegedly failing to disclose political contributions. Both senators defected from the Democratic Party only to return again. And in Illinois, Chris Kennedy, the son of the late Robert F. Kennedy, may make a less than fairy-tail entrance onto the political stage. A potential candidate for U.S. Senate in 2010, Kennedy could face an FEC investigation after a formal complaint was filed accusing him of spending $5,000 on his campaign before officially announcing his candidacy.

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