The Senate's Schedule Through August

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Good evening.

WATCH FOR IT: At 11:00 am EST tomorrow, the Federal Trade Commission will announce charges that a major food products company engaged in deceptive advertising.

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-- On Friday,  Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin of West Virginia will announce his choice to temporarily fill the seat left vacant by Sen. Robert Byrd's death. Which means that ...

-- The Senate plans a cloture vote on July 15 for the financial regulatory reform bill. And ...

ALSO: as you first read in this column, the Senate Select Committee for Intelligence will hold a confirmation hearing next Tuesday for James Clapper, President Obama's nominee for Director of National Intelligence.

-- Unemployment insurance will be extended, probably next Wednesday.

-- The week of the 26th, Majority Leader Harry Reid has indicated that the energy bill will be brought to the floor, which provides one week for debate before the Senate takes up the Kagan nomination. The bill will contain four titles: oil spill response, clean energy and jobs (read: renewables), efficiency, and a limit on carbon pollution from utilities, though Reid did not call it that. It is unclear if there are 60 votes for such a bill, but the only way to find out is to bring it to the floor, since some moderate Democrats and Republicans are sitting on the fence hoping that the issue will go away.  

PLEASE, CAN WE STAY IN GITMO?: Lawyers for two detained Algerians want to keep their clients right where they are -- at the Guantanamo Bay prison, rather repatriating them to Algeria, which is what Daniel Fried, the administration's special envoy for Guantanamo, is seeking to do. The lawyers argue that their clients will be tortured in Algeria, despite Algeria's record of treating (not mistreating) the 10 detainees who were repatriated so far under the Bush and Obama administrations. If the detainees' lawyers prevail, they get their wish: their clients stay in Gitmo for a VERY long time, especially if the Republicans take the Congress and then shut down efforts to remove detainees from Gimto. So -- might want to get out while the getting out is good. Nonetheless, a complicated call for an administration that has promised to never render prisoners to countries where they'd face torture or persecution.

GOVERNORS ON POLITICS: Tomorrow on the Atlantic Politics Channel, former Alaska Gov. Tony Knowles and former Oklahoma Rep. Brad Carson discuss their participation in a new Kaiser-funded initiative called the National Energy Policy Institute. It sounds wonky, but it's actually quite canny. For now, though, I asked the two veteran Democrats if they had any advice for their fellow Democrats -- just how can Democrats minimize their losses between now and November?

Carson: "I came from a state where 35 percent self-identify as Tea Partiers, so I'm a bit distorted perhaps in my appreciation for the larger American population. I don't think there is a lot you can do in four or five months. Maybe the economic data picks up, which there are some indication that it is. There aren't that many policy changes you can do, so I'd say you ride the wave and hope that maybe some of the external events help you. But it was predictable that when the President was elected that 2010 would be a difficult year. I mean, the country is deeply divided. There is 35 percent of the people who are Tea Partiers or more in some of those states. So it's probably going to be a difficult year, but there's nothing that I think anyone can do about it."

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Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.

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