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The Plum Line: May 9, 2010 - May 15, 2010

Saturday Roundup

* More Miranda machinations: Charlie Savage manages to squeeze a little bit of detail out of the administration in terms of what it has in mind for revising the Miranda process; President Obama's legal advisers are considering asking Congress to...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 15, 2010; 10:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  2010 elections , Foreign policy and national security , Political media , Senate Dems , Supreme Court  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Get ready: Lots of important elections next week, with far reaching ramifications for our politics. Chris Cillizza raises the curtain on Tuesday's special House election in Pennsylvania, explaining why it's a must-win for the GOP and a must-watch for...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 14, 2010; 6:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
Categories:  Climate change  
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Do voters really care about GOP "obstruction"?

The question comes to mind in light of the news that GOP Rep. Ralph Hall of Texas pulled an extraordinarly cynical maneuver to block a House Dem jobs bill that would have boosted investments in science, research and training programs....

By Greg Sargent  |  May 14, 2010; 4:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  2010 elections , House Dems , House GOPers  
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Dems: We'll dare GOP to side with Big Oil

This could get interesting: Senate Democratic leaders plan to repeatedly push legislation next week to lift the liability cap on oil companies, in an effort to dare Republicans to side with Big Oil and oppose lifting the burden on taxpayers...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 14, 2010; 2:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Climate change , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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How real is this plan to revise Miranda?

As you know, Eric Holder startled the political world last Sunday when he announced that the administration plans to reach out Congress and develop a plan for a broad exception to Miranda in the case of terror suspects. Holder pronounced...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 14, 2010; 12:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security , House Dems , Senate Dems  
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Book: Rahm "begged" Obama for days not to pursue ambitious health reform

Rahm Emanuel spent nearly a week in the summer of 2009 aggressively trying to talk Obama out of moving foward with an ambitious version of health care reform, and by his own admission "begged" him not to do it, a...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 14, 2010; 10:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (45)
Categories:  Health reform , Political media  
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The Morning Plum

* Gulf spill front and center: Truly frightening. Let's face it: We have no idea where the Gulf spill story is taking us. The evidence is mounting that it's far worse than we thought. * And President Obama is set...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 14, 2010; 8:24 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
Categories:  Climate change , Financial reform , Morning Plum , Political media , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Nice Joe Klein column on the Specter-Sestak showdown. Of particular note: The part about how military service made Sestak a Democrat. * Laugh all you want: Eric Cantor's new initiative to have people vote on House GOP budget cut...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 13, 2010; 5:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
Categories:  2010 elections , Foreign policy and national security , Happy Hour Roundup , House GOPers , Immigration , Political media , Senate Republicans  
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Nasty and desperate in Pennsylvania?

Okay, this is pretty deep in the weeds. But it's worth it. Arlen Specter is now accusing Joe Sestak of dishonestly plucking his words out of context in a brutal attack ad Sestak is running. But in making this accusation,...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 13, 2010; 4:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems  
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All populist anger must be right wing

Digby picks up on my post below noting that for all the media chatter about the Tea Partyers, there could very well be some major upheaval on the left next Tuesday. She adds another layer to the argument, noting that...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 13, 2010; 2:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
Categories:  Political media , Tea Party  
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Meek demands Crist reveal position on Kagan

Now this could get interesting: I'm told that Dem Senate candidate Kendrick Meek is about to call on Charlie Crist to reveal whether he'd vote to confirm Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. Crist, intriguingly, has not said anything substantial...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 13, 2010; 1:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Will lefty insurgents win big next week?

Don't look now, but the lefty insurgents could be on the verge of scoring not one, but two major victories next week. People aren't focused enough on this. But let's step back and put it in a larger context: If...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 13, 2010; 11:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (42)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , Tea Party  
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More signs of confidence from Sestak?

Here's another sign that Joe Sestak may really think he's on track to win this thing. Last week the Sestak campaign went up with a brutally tough ad linking Arlen Specter to Sarah Palin and George Bush. The spot seems...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 13, 2010; 9:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems  
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The Morning Plum

* Lots to chew over in the new NBC/WSJ poll: It finds that Republicans have rebuilt their coalition after Obama's victory fractured it in 2008, with independents, blue collar voters, suburban women and rural voters all favoring GOP control of...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 13, 2010; 8:16 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Foreign policy and national security , Health reform , Morning Plum , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , Supreme Court , Tea Party  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Stunning numbers from the new NBC/WSJ poll: Sixty-four percent favor the Arizona immgration law, while only 34% oppose it. This, even though nearly two-thirds think it will lead to discrimination against Latinos who live here legally. The devil will...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 12, 2010; 6:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Happy Hour Roundup , Immigration , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , Supreme Court  
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Next attack on Kagan: Partisan rubber stamp!

If at first you don't succeed... Mitch MConnell, speaking to reporters today, rolled out "> the next attack line on Elena Kagan: Because she served in Obama's administration, she can't possibly be an independent jurist... "As Solicitor General, Ms. Kagan...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 12, 2010; 5:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Senate Republicans , Supreme Court  
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Flashback: Obama raised concerns about Miers' lack of judicial experience

As you know, many on the left (this blog included) have argued that Elena Kagan's lack of experience on the bench is cause for concern, if only because it means we have to do a lot of guessing about her...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 12, 2010; 3:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
Categories:  Supreme Court  
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Kudos to news outlets for skewering GOP "judicial experience" line

It needs to be said that some news outlets are really doing a bang-up job of skewering the GOP's assault on Elena Kagan's lack of judicial experience. Multiple reports this morning have proven this is a standard Republicans never saw...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 12, 2010; 1:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  Political media , Senate Republicans , Supreme Court  
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Time for another support group!

I love this story: Meet a new crop of anti-government House GOP candidates who also happen to be addicted to "Cash for Clunkers." Not long ago it emerged that a number of anti-government Tea Party candidates all had the Tea...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 12, 2010; 11:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  2010 elections , House GOPers  
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National Dem Party funding Specter's ads

In a sign of just how heavily invested the Dem establishment in Washington is in protecting Arlen Specter from Dem primary challenger Joe Sestak, the national Democratic Party is pouring cash into funding Specter's TV ad campaign starring President Obama,...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 12, 2010; 10:24 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (40)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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The Morning Plum

* The climate is just right to begin the climate debate: John Kerry and Joe Lieberman are set to introduce their big climate change bill today, and will acknowledge the reality of the Gulf spill by giving states the right...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 12, 2010; 8:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (64)
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Immigration , Morning Plum , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , Supreme Court  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Sestak Web video mocks Specter's Bush ties: Check out this new web video that Joe Sestak's campaign sent over poking fun at Arlen Specter's new ad starring Obama: * More Pennsylvania news: At the press briefing today, Robert Gibbs...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 11, 2010; 5:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
Categories:  2010 elections , Foreign policy and national security , Happy Hour Roundup , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , Supreme Court  
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Obama wants "limited flexibility" on Miranda

As you know, over the weekend Eric Holder made the surprise announcement that the administration is seeking ways to create a broad exception to the Miranda rule. Absent details, it was hard to evaluate the proposal or the administration's motives...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 11, 2010; 3:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security  
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GOP's `judicial experience' argument hits snag

The argument from Republicans that Elena Kagan may lack the judicial experience to sit on the Supreme Court is getting tougher and tougher to sustain. The problem is that too many Republicans failed to apply this standard to nominees they...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 11, 2010; 1:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (56)
Categories:  Senate Republicans , Supreme Court  
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Why Sestak might really pull it off

Tomorrow, a third poll will come out finding Joe Sestak is leading Arlen Specter in the Pennsylvania Dem primary. The poll, from Franklin & Marshall College, will mirror others showing Sestak ahead by around five points, the poll's director confirms...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 11, 2010; 12:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (42)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Obama's next bailout: Arlen Specter?

Looks like Arlen Specter is hoping Obama will pull off another bailout: Specter himself. Specter has gone up with a "> new ad featuring footage of Obama at a rally urging Pennsylvanians to support the Republican-turned-Dem, a last ditch effort...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 11, 2010; 10:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems  
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The Morning Plum

* As we head into a second noisy day of fighting over the Elena Kagan nomination, what you need to know is that nobody thinks she isn't going to get confirmed with relative ease. * Indeed, Orrin Hatch is already...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 11, 2010; 8:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (48)
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Foreign policy and national security , Morning Plum , Senate Republicans , Supreme Court  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* The RNC hits back: The RNC is now trying to defend its attack on Elena Kagan's praise of Thurgood Marshall, pointing out that Kagan also wrote in her 1993 piece that the role of the court is to interpret...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 10, 2010; 5:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (79)
Categories:  Happy Hour Roundup , Immigration , Senate Republicans , Supreme Court  
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Shadowy Ark. group run out of Va. P.O. box

The other day I ranted about a shadowy group called Americans for Job Security, which is spending more than $1 million in ads attacking Bill Halter in an effort to sway the Arkansas Senate primary -- without any of us...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 10, 2010; 3:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems  
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Another poll shows Sestak ahead

This, from Rasmussen, might be the first non-tracking poll to find Joe Sestak leading Arlen Specter in the Pennsylvania Democratic primary: Suppose the Democratic Primary for the 2010 United States Senate were held today. Would you vote for Arlen Specter...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 10, 2010; 2:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems  
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Gulf spill could boost energy reform

I've just obtained an interesting new poll that suggests Dems have a real opportunity to seize on the Gulf spill to make energy reform a major issue, perhaps even in the midterm elections. The poll strongly supports the view, expressed...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 10, 2010; 1:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Senate Dems  
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Michael Steele attacks Kagan's praise of Thurgood Marshall

As you may have heard by now, Michael Steele has blasted out a statement hitting Elena Kagan because she supposed showed "support" for statements suggesting that the Constitution "as originally drafted and conceived" was "defective." The author of those statements...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 10, 2010; 12:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (54)
Categories:  Supreme Court  
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DCCC pulls out of Hawaii free for all

It's official: The DCCC will be pulling out of the Hawaii special House election, a free-for-all with two Dems and one Republican, because neither Dem will agree to pull out of the race. DCCC spokesperson Jennifer Crider emails: "The DCCC...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 10, 2010; 11:07 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  2010 elections , House Dems , House GOPers  
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White House talking points stress Kagan's bio, bipartisan appeal

A source forward the White House talking points on Elena Kagan that are being distributed to outside allies, instructing them on how to make the case for her in the media, and they give us a clue to the White...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 10, 2010; 11:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Supreme Court  
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The Morning Plum

* The consensus around Obama's choice of Elena Kagan for Supreme Court is that for Obama, her intellectual wattage and technocratic legal knowledge outweighed her lack of judicial experience and the resulting lack of clarity about her ideological leanings. In...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 10, 2010; 8:24 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
Categories:  Morning Plum , Political media , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , Supreme Court  
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Sunday Roundup

* This is going to get interesting: On ABC this morning, Eric Holder revealed that the administration is going to reach out to Congress to develop a new proposal for revising the process leading up to the Mirandizing of terror...

By Greg Sargent  |  May 9, 2010; 10:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
Categories:  2010 elections , Foreign policy and national security , House Dems , Supreme Court  
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