Think of today's news organizations as insatiable beasts whose ravenous appetites constantly need more and more news bites, and more analysis about those news bites. The desire for more content for their viewers and readers means that they deem everything new to be newsworthy, or at least newsworthy enough...
Not really -- the senate is democratically controlled and has not voted on or recommended amendments to budgets, job creation legislation, corrective legislation --- all sorts of things. Look to Harry Reid who won't allow the legislation to come to a vote if you're looking for an obstructionist.
The challenge for modern-day campaigns is that the rapid speed of the news cycle ensures that new news is created on a daily basis, even when it is not really news. Blame the hunger for something novel and fresh that can eat up time on the 24-hour cable news channels.
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