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Congress: Hole-in-one

Saxby Chambliss sank a hole-in-one during his golf outing with President Obama and Sens. Mark Udall (D-CO) and Bob Corker (R-TN). Later, Chambliss joked, “I told him since I made the hole-in-one, he ought to give us everything we want on entitlement reform.”

Obama was the weakest golfer of the group. In fact, “All three of the senators were ranked among the top 40 on Golf Digest’s 2011 list of ‘Washington’s Top 150 Golfers.’”

Is Mayors Against Illegal Guns turning into the Club for Growth, or as First Read called it back in 2009, The Club for (Democratic) Growth? Politico reports that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s staff has tried to persuade the Bloomberg-backed group not to target vulnerable Democrats in red states on guns because it could lead to a shrinking majority or make it easier for a Republican takeover of the Senate. “It didn’t work,” Politico notes. “Ads from the Bloomberg-funded Mayors Against Illegal Guns are going up soon in Alaska, Arkansas and North Dakota — three states with Democratic senators who broke with the White House on last month’s background checks vote.”

“Two Republican members of the Senate Gang of Eight on immigration said Monday that they won’t support including provisions that would allow the bill to cover same-sex couples,” Politico notes. “Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina told reporters that they oppose the amendment, which would allow gay Americans to sponsor their foreign-born partners for green cards.”

“‘Gang of eight’ immigration negotiators purposely didn’t include provisions for immigrants in same-sex relationships in their bipartisan bill, but the issue they so carefully avoided may rear its head this week,” Roll Call writes. “As the Senate Judiciary Committee prepares for its Thursday markup of the group’s comprehensive immigration bill, it remains unclear whether Chairman Patrick J. Leahy will offer an amendment to allow same-sex partners of American citizens and permanent residents to gain legal status.”

(However, if the Supreme Court strikes down the Defense of Marriage Act, it could potentially render this whole issue moot.)

Reid derided Ted Cruz as nothing more than a “schoolyard bully.” Politico: “Reid was referring to the fact that Senate Democrats would like to go to conference over the two chambers’ budget resolutions. But Republicans have refused. A week ago, the Nevada Democrat tried to move a resolution to create the conference anyway — over GOP objections.”

Bill Richardson, the former governor from New Mexico, also took aim at Cruz, saying he shouldn’t be “defined as a Hispanic.” “He’s anti-immigration. Almost every Hispanic in the country wants to see immigration reform,” Richardson told ABC. “No, I don’t think he should be defined as a Hispanic. He’s a politician from Texas.”

Richardson tried to clarify later that he did not mean to say Cruz wasn’t Hispanic, but that he shouldn’t be defined simply by that single term. Cruz responded, calling Richardson’s attack “mudslinging.” He said, “In my experience, if people are insulting you, if they’re attacking your ethnicity, the tends to indicate that they don’t actually want to engage in the substantive merits of the argument. I certainly have no interest in getting into any sort of mudslinging battle on that front.”

Maybe it’s not so good to be King. Independent Sen. Angus King of Maine still doesn’t have a Senate office.