* The number of retiring members of Congress went up a little more this week when two incumbent Democrats -- New York's Carolyn McCarthy and North Carolina's Mike McIntyre -- announced they won't run for re-election. McCarthy's seat is expected to remain in Democratic hands; McIntyre's seat is not.
* In Kansas, Paul Davis' Democratic gubernatorial campaign has picked up a fair amount of support from moderate Republicans bothered by Gov. Sam Brownback's (R) extremism. This week, a former Republican state House speaker and two other retired GOP lawmakers threw their backing to Davis.
* American United for Change launched a new ad this week on cable networks, slamming congressional Republicans for their opposition to extended unemployment benefits.
* Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) commissioned a poll to gauge former Sen. Scott Brown's (R-Mass.) viability as a challenger in New Hampshire.
* Former RNC chairman Ed Gillespie is apparently serious about taking on Sen. Mark Warner (D) in Virginia later this year, and will reportedly launch his campaign as early as next week.
* Sen. Lamar Alexander (R), facing some primary challengers, is dipping into his campaign war chest to launch his first television ads of the campaign season. "To that land where politics too often doesn't work, Tennessee sends Lamar Alexander," the ad tells viewers.
* And there's some preliminary evidence that President Obama's standing is starting to recover a bit, with the latest Quinnipiac poll showing his approval rating climbing a few points and his disapproval rating dropping a few points.