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The Plum Line: May 2, 2010 - May 8, 2010

Saturday Roundup

* Wow: Joe Sestak really could pull this off: He's edged ahead of Arlen Specter in today's Morning Call/Muhlenberg College tracking poll. That's Sestak's first lead in the race, with 14% of Dem primary voters still undecided. * Josh Kraushaar...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 8, 2010; 6:16 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (64)
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Foreign policy and national security , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , Supreme Court  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Still more mixed messaging from the GOP on the economy: Eric Cantor issued a statement today saying the 290,000 jobs added in April is "a good thing," but Mike Pence weighed in thusly: "These are difficult times for America's...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 7, 2010; 6:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (39)
Categories:  Climate change , Happy Hour Roundup , House GOPers , Immigration , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , Supreme Court  
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Sue Lowden now running TV ad claiming (wrongly) that chickens-for-checkups was "out of context"

Wow. If it's Friday afternoon, it's time for the latest installment in chickens-for-checkups. And this is one of the best yet. Over a month after this controversy first cracked its way out of the shell and into national consciousness, Sue...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 7, 2010; 4:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Halter demands FEC probe of shadowy outside group running attack ads

Gettin' hotter in Arkansas. Bill Halter, who's challenging Blanche Lincoln in a fiercely fought primary, is now demanding that the Feds probe a shadowy outside group that's running over $1 million in attack ads against him without disclosing where the...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 7, 2010; 2:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems  
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Was today's jobs announcement good news or bad news? Boehner and Cantor differ

It's instructive to contrast the statements released today by John Boehner and Eric Cantor, the numbers one and two in the House GOP leadership, on today's jobs announcement. In case you missed it, the Labor Department announced today that while...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 7, 2010; 1:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  House GOPers  
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CAIR calls on GOP leaders to repudiate "terrorist" profiling ad

I reported here the other day that Dan Fanelli, a Florida Republican who's hoping to take on Dem Rep. Alan Grayson, ran a stark, racially charged ad that seemed to strongly endorse racial profiling of people from Muslim countries. The...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 7, 2010; 12:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security , House GOPers  
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Prominent GOP pollster: Times Square bomb scare gives Republicans an "opportunity"

Whit Ayres is a prominent Republican pollster who has co-founded something called "Resurgent Republic," which bills itself as a message testing outfit for GOP lawmakers -- part of an effort by Republicans to build an infrastructure to retake power in...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 7, 2010; 10:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (87)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security , House GOPers  
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The Morning Plum

* This is key: Obama energy chief Carol Browner, in an interview with Bloomberg TV, links the Gulf spill to the push for energy reform. "This accident, this tragedy, is actually heightening people's interest in energy in this country and...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 7, 2010; 8:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Financial reform , Immigration , Morning Plum , Senate Dems  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Fox polls "Obama's Katrina," gets wrong answer: Despite the right's ongoing attacks, the new Fox poll finds that 50% approve of "how the Obama administration is dealing with the oil spill in the gulf coast." Only 29% disapprove. Fifty-two...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 6, 2010; 5:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (45)
Categories:  2010 elections , Financial reform , Happy Hour Roundup , House GOPers , Political media , Senate Dems  
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Shadowy outside group spending $1.5 million to influence Arkansas Dem primary

It's worth stepping back and marveling at what's happening in Arkansas. A shadowy third-party group that's said to be backed by business interests -- nobody knows for sure -- is spending roughly $1.5 million to defeat Blanche Lincoln's primary foe,...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 6, 2010; 4:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (56)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems  
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Schumer calls McCain's bluff on AZ law

I like this one a lot. Senator Chuck Schumer has just sent a letter to the governor of Arizona, asking her to delay the implementation of the immigration law (SB 1070) in order to give Congress time to implement Federal...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 6, 2010; 2:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (39)
Categories:  2010 elections , Immigration , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Franken, Feingold sign on to big-bank-busting measure, bringing total to 11 Senators

Okay, I've got more signs for you that Senate liberals may be gaining momentum with their efforts to toughen up financial reg reform. Senators Al Franken and Russ Feingold have signed on to an amendment to FinReg -- being pushed...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 6, 2010; 1:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  Financial reform , Senate Dems  
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Poll deflates "Obama's Katrina" meme

Yes, it's Rasmussen, but this is worth a look, since it's the first effort I've seen to gauge the public's perception of Obama's handling of the Gulf spill: How do you rate President Obama's response to the major oil leak...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 6, 2010; 11:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (45)
Categories:  Climate change  
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SEIU ad contradicts Obama on Blanche Lincoln

The SEIU and others on the left have vowed open war on Dems who didn't fully back core progressive priorities on health reform, putting them on the wrong side of the White House and the Dem establishment, and here's the...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 6, 2010; 9:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  2010 elections , Financial reform , Health reform , Senate Dems  
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The Morning Plum

* With debate finally under way on the financial reform bill, are Dems at risk of squandering an opportunity to capitalize on the unusually high level of populist anger to achieve true and lasting Wall Street reform? That's what Senate...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 6, 2010; 6:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (39)
Categories:  2010 elections , Financial reform , House Dems , Morning Plum , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , Tea Party  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Don't miss E.J. Dionne's sendoff of the retiring David Obey. * But: Did Obey quit because he was destined to become the next scalp of national conservatives? * Either way, the seat is definitely now in play for Republicans....

By Greg Sargent  |  May 5, 2010; 6:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
Categories:  2010 elections , Financial reform , Foreign policy and national security , House Dems , House GOPers , Political media , Senate Dems  
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Bloomberg: Mirandized Times Square bomb suspect has "continued to be helpful"

You'd think Mayor Michael Bloomberg really wants to get the handling of the Times Square bomb suspect just right. If he agreed with GOP Rep. Pete King (N.Y.) that the Mirandizing of Faisal Shahzad compromised our ability to get info...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 5, 2010; 4:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security , House GOPers , Senate Republicans  
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Labor group demands TV station yank racially-tinged ad tying Halter to India

I don't know if you caught this yesterday, but a business-backed third party group is running an unsightly new ad attacking Sen. Blanche Lincoln's Arkansas Democratic primary opponent, Bill Halter. The spot, funded by Americans for Job Security, claims that...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 5, 2010; 3:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems  
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Schumer comes out against Lieberman's citizenship-stripping plan

Okay, it turns out that Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y) is not supporting Connecticut independent Sen. Joe Lieberman's new proposal to strip the citizenship of those who are involved with terror groups. In fact, he's coming out against it forcefully, saying...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 5, 2010; 1:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
Categories:  2010 elections , Foreign policy and national security , Senate Dems  
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Here's how Joe Lieberman's citizenship-stripping bill would work

By now you've heard that Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) is proposing a new law that could potentially strip Americans of their citizenship if they're involved with foreign terrorist organizations. Two things you should know about this: First, it isn't just...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 5, 2010; 11:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (56)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security , House Dems , Senate Dems  
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GOP House candidate runs TV ad calling for racial profiling

You absolutely have to see this TV ad that a House GOP candidate hoping to take on Dem Rep. Alan Grayson (D) has run in Florida. It not only supports racial profiling, but urges it as a matter of policy...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 5, 2010; 10:31 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (72)
Categories:  2010 elections , House Dems , House GOPers  
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The Morning Plum

* Newcomers, welcome to The Plum Line. A brief description of this blog's mission is right here. Every morning at around 8:00 a.m. I'll be posting The Morning Plum, a rapid-fire guide to political news and opinion, mostly from the...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 5, 2010; 8:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Foreign policy and national security , Immigration , Morning Plum , Tea Party  
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Happy Hour Roundup -- and Welcome!

* Note to readers: Newcomers, welcome to my blog, The Plum Line. Regulars, if you've just landed here, it's because you've been redirected from the old digs. This is a blog of reported opinion. It's mostly about the Democratic Party,...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 4, 2010; 6:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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GOP Rep: Rubio should be "ashamed" for not backing Arizona law

It isn't every day that an aspiring GOP candidate positions himself to the right of Marco Rubio and whacks the Tea Party darling as a squishy liberal, but that's exactly what Allen West of Florida, who's vying to unseat Dem...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 4, 2010; 2:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  2010 elections , Immigration , Tea Party  
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Heritage crowd grumbles angrily when Eric Cantor says Obama isn't "domestic enemy"

Eric Cantor unleashed a harsh attack on Obama's national security policies in a speech sponsored by the right-wing Heritage Foundation today, and I've got some video of what may be the best moment: The crowd grumbling audibly in anger...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 4, 2010; 1:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security  
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Twelve Hours After Arrest, GOPers Already Banging "Miranda" Drum

Yesterday, GOP Rep Pete King, who is always ready with a quote criticizing Obama's terrorism record, actually offered praise of his handling of the Times Square bomb scare. "I'm satisfied," King said, adding: "There's nothing they haven't done." Since then,...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 4, 2010; 10:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security  
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Lowden's campaign chief: Everyone has access to health care -- at emergency room

Okay, chickens-for-checkups has taken another new turn: Sue Lowden's campaign manager has now said that all Americans already have access to health care -- because if you get shot in the chest, you can simply head over to the emergency...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 3, 2010; 6:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2010 elections , Health reform , Senate Dems  
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Did Gibbs open door to reinstating drilling ban?

President Obama has an opportunity on his hands: He could, if he so chose, seize on the Gulf oil spill to reverse his announcement of new offshore drilling and reinstate the ban on it. No idea if he'll take this...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 3, 2010; 2:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Climate change  
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Sheriff Arpaio NOT running for governor, source suggests

Controversial Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has repeatedly gotten national attention for his tendency to swagger around as a self-styled border version of Robocop, is set to announce today whether he's running for Governor, and those opposed to the Arizona...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 3, 2010; 1:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Immigration  
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Meek begins drawing a contrast

Off-shore drilling has long been a major issue in Florida, because of the beaches and because oil companies have eyed Florida waters for a long time. And so Dem candidate Kendrick Meek is now seizing on the Gulf oil spill...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 3, 2010; 12:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems  
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Did Dems Need Psychologist To Tell Them To Be More Populist?

Keep an eye on this one, because it's gonna gain traction on the right: Republicans are getting ready to pounce on a new report claiming Senate Dems hired a psychologist to advise them on how to be more populist. CQ...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 3, 2010; 10:39 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Senate Dems  
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The Morning Plum

* Has Obama successfully put the Katrina comparisons to rest? The political world seems to have moved on to the failed Times Square bomb, but the White House continues working to nip the Katrina meme in the bud. It'll be...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 3, 2010; 8:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Morning Plum , Senate Republicans , Tea Party  
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