“I didn’t come to the Senate to sign on to a bunch of letters and give a speech once a week on the floor.” — Florida Republican Marco Rubio pauses, during a heated defense of the immigration overhaul, to explain that he didn’t battle his way into the World’s Greatest Deliberative Body just to sit idly by on the sidelines.
(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)
But while he is here, might as well unload a few custom water bottles, right?
In honor of Memorial Day, we present to you the following, courtesy of Massachusetts’ junior senator.
Following a performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Friday’s commencement of the Boston College Law School, Sen. William “Mo” Cowan, D-Mass., went off script for a moment before addressing the graduating class of near-lawyers.
“Before I get into my prepared remarks — some of my staff is a little nervous — let me say something,” Cowan began. “Since that fateful morning, oh so many years ago, when the sun rose after the attack on Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor and Francis Scott Key penned ‘The Star-Spangled Banner,’ it has been performed in many places and in many ways.
“But I submit to you, ladies and gentlemen, there are three versions that are considered the classics. You may recall in 1969 Woodstock when Jimi Hendrix played left handed.”
Cowan continued: “You weren’t around back then? Maybe you were around, like I was, in  when Marvin Gaye walked to the center court of the Great Western Forum at the NBA All-Star game and performed a very soulful rendition.”
“And certainly, I suspect most of you were alive, in 1991 when Whitney Houston took to the field before the Super Bowl to sing what is arguably the greatest performance of our national anthem ever,” Cowan said.
“Today, ladies and gentlemen, I submit to you a fourth version,” Cowan said about the version of the anthem that graduating BC law student Harold T. Hines belted out before the beginning of the ceremony. The crowd went wild.
We challenge you, dear readers, to watch the versions above and not get choked up from love of country.
— Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., about D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals nominee Sri Srinivasan, to Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. Reid had said of Schumer: “He’s Harvard-educated, so he can say his last name. Not me. I’m struggling with his last name.”
— A baseball fan from Montreal attending Sunday’s Washington Nationals-Chicago Cubs game at Nationals Park. The Montreal Expos left Canada in 2004 to become the Nationals.
Charlie Brotman, former announcer for the Washington Senators, holds up a license plate celebrating the move of the Montreal Expos to Washington at a November 2004 event announcing the team’s renaming to Nationals. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Apparently, all Sen. Max Baucus wanted to do was get through Tuesday morning’s hearing before starting to inform his staff and close allies he was retiring.
But the Montana Democrat never got the chance, as news reports started lighting up iPhones and BlackBerrys just as he was set to convene a hearing on foster care. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., approached Baucus before the start of the hearing and said something to the effect of “Congratulations on your news,” a tipster in the room told HOH.
Isakson had kind words for Baucus on Tuesday. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)
“My father had a ranch; we used to have 50-60 wetbacks to pick tomatoes,” the 79-year-old Young said. “It takes two people to pick the same tomatoes now. It’s all done by machine.”
Don’t believe us? You can listen to the audio here:
KTUU in Alaska has since reported that Young issued a statement Thursday night saying he was simply using the vocabulary of his youth.
“During a sit down interview with Ketchikan Public Radio this week, I used a term that was commonly used during my days growing up on a farm in Central California,” Young said in the statement, according to KTUU. “I know that this term is not used in the same way nowadays and I meant no disrespect.”