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Happy Hour Roundup

* White House spox Bill Burton emails a description of what the President told Bob Corker during that private exchange today:

The exchange he had with the President was actually pretty civil. They disagreed about the amount of bipartisan effort that was put into financial regulatory reform but, as the President has said before, he would have loved to have gotten 70 or 80 votes on the bill -- but he wasn't going to run up the vote total at the expense of watering down the legislation.

* GOP Senator Pat Roberts, after the same meeting, says Obama should take a "valium." And the guardians of civility in our political discourse weep.

* A day after GOP Rep. Mike Pence argued that "the American people" are opposed to the "liberal political agenda" of repealing DADT, a new CNN poll finds that nearly eight in 10 overall, and a majority of Republicans, favor allowing gays to serve openly.

* Jim Webb comes out against repeal.

* The prospect of DADT repeal again has Republicans warning of a Dem plot to "jam through" legislation. How long have we been debating DADT repeal again?

* More CNN polling: Obama's approval is holding steady at 51%, with a sizable majority approving of his leadership qualities, but the enthusiasm gap between Dems and Repubs persists.

* Ya think she's shoring up her left flank? Blanche Lincoln goes up with a new ad touting her role on Wall Street reform that leads with Rachel Maddow footage.

* David Dayen fact-checks Lincoln's new spot.

* Speaking of changing the conversation about energy reform, Grist lays out 10 ways we can kick our offshore-drilling habit.

* Weigel says John McCain got a big political win when Obama announced today that he's sending troops to the border.

* Dick Durbin says Joe Sestak needs to explain what happened with that alleged White House job offer.

* And GOP Senator Lisa Murkowski, contra Rand Paul, says anyone who isn't mad at BP "has no emotion."

Either that or he just wants the Federal government to shrivel up and disappear in a puff of libertarian fairy dust.

What else is happening?

UPDATE, 6:50 p.m.: Why am I not surprised that McCain has just issued a statement saying the 1,200 troops Obama is sending to the border isn't enough? The surge was never big enough either, remember?

By Greg Sargent  |  May 25, 2010; 6:23 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Happy Hour Roundup , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , Tea Party  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Bob Corker: I hit a "nerve" with the president
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Mike Pence is an idiot.

Please run for President, Mike. Please.

Posted by: BGinCHI | May 25, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

John Cole takes Inhofe and the other fake capitalists to the woodshed:

"I still don’t understand why there are caps at all:

"Republican Senator James Inhofe has stepped up to the plate yet again for big oil, pledging a Republican filibuster against legislation offered by New Jersey’s Robert Menendez that would completely lift the $75 million liability cap currently protecting big oil companies from claims of economic damage from oil spills." (dailykos)

Again, it would seem to me the free market solution is to lift the caps, and if it becomes more pricey to drill oil safely, then companies will just have to pass that cost on to the public, who will, as they did when prices for fuel skyrocketed during the Bush years, adjust their behaviors and purchases accordingly. Additionally, auto companies who have made advances in fuel efficient cars and companies which have already worked to lower their fuel consumption will reap the competitive advantage they deserve. And should deepwater drilling become prohibitively expensive, oil companies will re-examine fields they before thought were too expensive, but now are, by comparison, cost-effective."

Posted by: BGinCHI | May 25, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else wondering if Joe Sestack either flat out lied about getting a WH job offer, or blew whatever conversation there was completely out of proportion?

Posted by: suekzoo1 | May 25, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

sue, it's somewhere between the two :)

and BG, that John Cole is pretty great, thanks for that...

by the way see the update. McCain isn't satisfied with the troops Obama is sending to the border

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 25, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

s'cat: I think insufficient cynicism can be as crippling as an overabundance of it.

Posted by: jzap | May 25, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

"GOOPer Sen Pat Roberts ... says Obama should take a 'valium.' "

Two valium and a Bohner pill make a nice cocktail.

Posted by: jzap | May 25, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

@greg "sue, it's somewhere between the two :)"

Whaddya know there, Greg??? :o)

Here's what I'm thinking lately:

Sestack either did not really get an offer, or the conversation was so general and inspecific that it's no big deal. Sestack used it as a means to showboat "independence." The WH is loathe to throw him under the bus, and he can't come up with more detail now because he's closing to being a liar.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | May 25, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

"libertarian fairy dust"

I like that! Most libertarian philosophy sounds like a Peter Pan fantasy. Remove that nasty government so we can all live like a bunch of unregulated children, expressing our slightest will without anyone telling us no. Perhaps if they sprinkle some of that dust on themselves, they can fly to Somalia and enjoy the true fruits of living without a government.

Posted by: Jaycal | May 25, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

I thought I heard Rachel Maddow say the other day the only way to drill safely is to drill the relief well ahead of time. More pointedly, that there was no safe drilling in any country.

I've since heard that Canada requires North Slope (?) drillers to drill the relief well at the same time they drill the main well.

Anybody know if that's true?

Posted by: jzap | May 25, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

We still don't know if they're going to do the "top kill" tomorrow.

"Engineers were doing at least 12 hours of diagnostic tests Tuesday. They planned to check five spots on the well's crippled five-story blowout preventer to make sure it could withstand the heavy force of the mud. A weak spot in the device could blow under the pressure, causing a brand new leak."

"Wells cautioned that engineers are speeding through a planning process that would normally take months. He warned that the top kill could be delayed or scuttled if Tuesday's pressure readings are bad."

Posted by: lmsinca | May 25, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

"I think insufficient cynicism can be as crippling as an overabundance of it."

Perhaps. I proudly consider myself a skeptic - and wish more people questioned the world around them. I just think cynicism is too self-indulgent and too self-serving.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | May 25, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

jzap: Yeah, all true. Canada requires the relief well drilled simultaneously.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | May 25, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

@jzap - Sorry, can't help you on that one.

But somewhat related, I was wondering why we haven't seen a vigorous prayer and fasting campaign by Michelle Bachmann and friends to gain God's help in defeating this oil leak.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 25, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Ditto Jaycal on the "libertarian fairy dust".

It just all makes sense in their heads: you balance the budget by "cutting waste" and having everyone pay a "flat tax". See? Easy as pie.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | May 25, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin has the emotional i.q. of a 17 yr old girl:

"This is really the ultimate example of the way Palin manipulates the press and inverts the relationship between reporters and politicians, turning the former into "stalkers," and the latter -- as long as they're Republicans or members of her family -- into saints whom no one can criticize. No one in the media should reward Palin for this irresponsible and pathetic bullying."

Posted by: schrodingerscat | May 25, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Could I make a correction on an earlier post?

Specifically, I'd like to suggest that I had it a bit wrong on Limbaugh's digs as revealed in the Chafets book...

"Largely decorated by Limbaugh himself, [his Palm Beach house] reflects the things and places he has seen and admired. A massive chandelier in the dining room, for example, is a replica of the one that hung in the lobby of New York's Plaza Hotel. The vast salon is meant to suggest Versailles. The main guest suite, which I didn't visit, is an exact replica of the Presidential Suite at the Hotel George V in Paris. There is a full suit of armor on display, as well as a life-size oil painting of El Rushbo. Fragrant candles burned throughout the house, a daily home-from-the-wars ritual."

Reading that again, it strikes me that Limbaugh's aesthetic is a mix of Saddam Hussein and Liberace.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 25, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Understatement of the day, via TPM:

"Paul also said he expects there will be a campaign staff shakeup, though he declined to give details. He won the GOP nomination last week with a campaign staff made up largely of political novices and volunteers."

Ya think? He really needs to fire the guy who has those stupid fantasy libertarian ideas.

Posted by: BGinCHI | May 25, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

"Now, after the police dogs, night-sticks and fire-hoses have been beaten back, Rand Paul wants to reopen the question, while, to be sure, claiming that he would have had the "courage to march with Martin Luther King." This is a common strain of courage. It chiefly shines through in men born 50 years too late. Presently among the crowd, they are distinguished at that decisive moment when queried about wars they won't have to fight, in times they will never live. These men populate our history books. They are all on the wrong side."

Posted by: bernielatham | May 25, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Libertarian fairy dust!


Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | May 25, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

@BG: "He really needs to fire the guy who has those stupid fantasy libertarian ideas."

Just does one go about firing oneself? :oP LOL

Posted by: suekzoo1 | May 25, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Sue, I think any Libertarian who runs for office is by definition a hypocrite.

If you can't cook, don't become a chef.

Posted by: BGinCHI | May 25, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

For Sue and Ethan and others who have had excellent posts today on why screaming for the WH to "just do something" is lazy and stupid and naive (oh my):

Posted by: BGinCHI | May 25, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Got this in my email today. While I'm not a Republican I kinda like it:

Spelling test

The last four letters in "American" = I Can
The last four letters in "Republican" = I Can
The last four letters in "Democrats" = Rats

End of Lesson.

Test to follow in November.

November will be set aside as "Rodent Extermination Month"

Posted by: actuator | May 25, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Ah, BG! Thanks. Great link! I hadn't checked in at Al's in a couple of weeks.

The post right below the one you linked is a good read, too. Check it out, if you didn't already.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | May 25, 2010 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Republ"ICAN" figure out more inventive days to screw the American public at every turn. Get that oil out of your pocket.

Sam Stein describes the Menendez proposal:

"Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) is set to introduce on Tuesday afternoon a bill that would fully eliminate any cap on the amount of economic damages that oil companies would have to pay for spills they've caused."

"The New Jersey Democrat is revising an earlier version of legislation he introduced which would have raised the cap from $75 million dollars in liability to $10 billion. Now, the cap will be effectively unlimited, an aide said."

"Inhofe says Republicans oppose unlimited caps because it would limit the ability of oil companies to drill for oil."


"Really? Are they down to their last hundred billion?"

"This vote will be worth watching. It will tell the tale of whether or not the congress is feeling any heat from the people. And if they aren't, and it goes down, it could have an electrifying effect. It's hard to believe that the US Government will vote to let a foreign oil company off the hook for this horror show, but would it surprise you? Me neither. I suspect they will come to regret it though."

Posted by: lmsinca | May 25, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse

"Experts: Legal issues driving BP's oil spill stance"

Read more:

Posted by: bernielatham | May 25, 2010 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Bernie, no doubt, the legal issues involved also make "pushing BP out of the way" a near-impossibility. What company in their right mind would be willing to take over without being given immunity in case they made things worse?

Posted by: suekzoo1 | May 25, 2010 11:21 PM | Report abuse

actuator, I bow down before the GOP trivia machine.

Shorter Republicans: we can't govern, we don't care about anyone but ourselves, we ignore the consequences of our actions. Defeat the Dems!


Posted by: BGinCHI | May 25, 2010 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Why isn't the entire Arizona National Guard mobilized and stationed at the border?

Posted by: rhallnj | May 26, 2010 7:31 AM | Report abuse

Sue - I'm sure that's exactly right, if it were some private entity which would take over from BP. And as the private oil drilling sector are apparently the only people who have this expertise, that's really the only option. If the government (taxpayers) were to take over, the same liabilities would, I presume, apply.

As the McClatchy piece suggests, the way corporate laws have evolved, it is the fiduciary duty of BP to limit liabilities to shareholders, apparently REGARDLESS OF ANY OTHER CONSIDERATION, IE MORAL CONSIDERATIONS OR HURT CAUSED TO COMMUNITIIES, INDIVIDUALS, NATIONAL ECONOMIES.

Within this insane framework, BP has NO reason to operate other than selfishly/callously/greedily/deceitfully. But they have every reason to claim otherwise and to give appearances of being motivated otherwise.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 26, 2010 7:46 AM | Report abuse

All, morning roundup posted:

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 26, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

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