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Happy Hour Roundup

* Not sure why this isn't getting more attention: BP's efforts to plug the damn hole stalled again at 2:30 A.M. this morning. And there's this:

The suspension of the effort was not announced, and appeared to again contradict statements by company and government officials that suggested the top kill procedure was progressing Friday.

* Obama visits the Gulf but again lets us all down by failing to get worked up into an emotional lather.

* Found: Another vast oil plume.

* Public integrity lawyers tell Sam Stein that the GOP's legal case against the "job offer" to Joe Sestak is complete nonsense.

* But Darrell Issa now apparently want the FBI to get involved.

* Rand Paul roars back into the news with his opposition to granting citizenship to everyone born in the U.S.

* Dave Weigel notes that Republicans are playing Sestak and the White House off against each other, which is shrewd, but my bet this story peters out after the weekend.

* Lindsey Graham warns that if Dems keep expressing doubts about offshore drilling, it will kill any chance for energy reform. Or something like that.

* South Carolina gubernatorial hopeful Nikki Haley, under fire from a blogger still claiming an affair, sets the record straight: "My husband is doing great."

* Glenn Beck apologies for insulting Obama's 11-year-old daughter.

* And chickens-for-checkups keeps on flapping as a Las Vegas Review Journal poll now finds that Harry Reid could beat Sue Lowden.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  |  May 28, 2010; 5:30 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Happy Hour Roundup , House GOPers , Joe Sestak , Senate Republicans  
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Next: Saturday Roundup

Comments

"Rand Paul roars back into the news with his opposition to granting citizenship to everyone born in the U.S."

So much for the Constitution. What else do the Teabaggers pretend to stand for?

Posted by: wbgonne | May 28, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

"Not sure why this isn't getting more attention: BP's efforts to plug the damn hole stalled again at 2:30 A.M. this morning."

You know, Greg, the White House inability or unwillingness to present accurate timely information re: the Gulf Disaster is really getting frustrating, even for me, nevermind for the people in the region. What IS the Administration's problem? How difficult can it be to provide a communications center and point person?

Posted by: wbgonne | May 28, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

"Found: Another vast oil plume.'

Horror. This is a horror.

Posted by: wbgonne | May 28, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Who's the bigger idiot: Darrell Issa or Lindsey Graham?

Tough choice.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | May 28, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Later, All. Enjoy the burgers!

Posted by: wbgonne | May 28, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Another hint on the Matalin statement some months ago that Republicans were going to push a narrative and candidates of the aggrieved and victimized softer gender, perhaps particularly mothers...
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/right-now/2010/05/gop_candidate_makes_fishy_clai.html#comments

Posted by: bernielatham | May 28, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

And let's all toast CNN for it's judgement on choosing Erickson to represent its brand in reporting and news coverage. Re his claim from yesterday that Nikki Haley's ex-somethingorother had receieved huge bribes and that he had many sources telling him this...

Weigel writes: "Today, Erickson admits that he doesn't really have anything."

And he quotes Erickson today: "With apologies to RedState readers... I’ve had no hesitation in stringing the media along like Folks has done"
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/right-now/

Posted by: bernielatham | May 28, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Issa wants the FBI to investigate "allegations" that Issa himself has made.

Isn't that similar Fox News quoting themselves with "some in the media are saying..."

Posted by: Beeliever | May 28, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

@bernie: saw that at Weigel's blog. How many times can one be discredited and still have a major media platform? Unf with wingers it's pretty much infinite (witness Lush, Rimpballs; Becker, Head; etc)... CNN used to do news. Oh well...

@Beeliever: so true.

Later all, I'm out! Greg, thanks for everything as usual. Great work. Have a wonderful holiday weekend and don't forget to thank the troops in whatever ways suits you and your family! They deserve MUCH respect.

http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/05/28/memorial_day_one_holiday_two_countries/

http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/05/28/memorial_day_remembrances/

Posted by: Ethan2010 | May 28, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Ethan -- and yeah Bernie, that was just unreal. CNN contributor!

And thanks to all you commenters for helping to keep the site going.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 28, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

They're different flavors of idiots. I wouldn't put one above the other, but Issa is pretty garden-variety at the moment. Graham is a particularly special sort of idiot. It really takes the cake to declare that because the plan to bribe enough pro-drilling senators to support the climate/energy bill has smacked into the biggest environmental disaster in US history, that the only way forward is to round up *more* pro-drilling Republicans, rather than, y'know, respond to obvious reality and change the plan *not* to be so pro-drilling.

However, I do have to admire how clearly Graham's statement shows that Republican policy positions are completely divorced from reality.

Pesky oil spill -- how dare it show how insane our position is! Let's just ignore it!

Posted by: jimeh | May 28, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

" Rand Paul roars back into the news with his opposition to granting citizenship to everyone born in the U.S."


Why, oh, why is Rand Paul giving interviews to "Russia Today" if he is avoiding our own national media?

Posted by: suekzoo1 | May 28, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

As I sit hit pondering how much longer St. Pete Beach will be someplace where I still swim my heart is torn out and not for my own loss.

How much more must poor ole New Orleans bear?
Katrina? The Bush family's racist response with ole lady Barb's insensitive remarks, George W the cowardly lion FLYING OVER...Pat Robertson the scumbag of our nation blaming the entire catastrophe on citizens of New Orleans because they don't conform to HIS dictatorial view of right and wrong...AND NOW THIS...

Watching Rep Charlie Melancon breaking down in tears over the disaster befalling his home....I visited New Orleans only once in my life..the year before Katrina...

Watching all of this is ripping my heart out...and so I'm going to spend the rest of night drowning myself in Belvedere vodka and thinking of my brothers and sisters and their misery in the Big Easy.
God bless you New Orleans...we and He/She are with you regardless of what that repulsive Pat Roberston might utter.

I'm going to pull out my old Poco CD Legend and wail away to "In the Heart of the Night"

In the heart of the night
In the cool southern rain
There's a full moon in sight
Shining down on the Pontchartrain

And the river she rises
Just like she used to do
She's so full of surprises
She reminds me of you
In the heart of the night (x3)
(Oh, down in New Orleans)

There's a nightbird singing
Right on through till the dawn
And the streets are still ringing
With people carrying on

It's been so long waiting
Just to be here again
Anticipating
All the time I could spend
In the heart of the night

And I trust in your love never falling down
And I trust in your love
Just like I do in this town
Oh, never falling down
Never falling down

Posted by: rukidding7 | May 28, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Something for your "the more things change, the more they stay the same" file

From Andrew Sullivan:

“This world is a strange madhouse. Currently, every coachman and every waiter is debating whether relativity theory is correct. Belief in this matter depends on political party affiliation,” - Albert Einstein, 1920.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | May 28, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

ruk-

I dig that song. Thanks! I've been to NOLA many times (but not since Katrina-that's not why, just hasn't happened) and it breaks my heart.

Sadly, this latest tragedy will not be the last *man-made* one for the planet.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | May 28, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

More B.S. from the Border: http://www.texasobserver.org/cover-story/born-to-be-barred

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | May 28, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

A big toast to you, ruk, and everyone else for weathering the troll storm today. I was out for most of the afternoon but the early party of the day was crazy. Drudge-linked, I'd guess.

Wishing everyone a safe and happy weekend. The weather is so gorgeous and the white wine is chillin.

And Greg, great Sestak reporting. It's an annoying subject, but I think you led the story with an intelligence that had an effect on the story's passage through the media gullet.

Posted by: BGinCHI | May 28, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

BG I'm halfway through Sebastian Junger's "War". It's not as compelling as "Matterhorn" but it is very interesting.

Not fair I guess to compare "journalism" to "creative fiction". Marlantes is the better writer but Junger is also very talented.

I wish Obama would read this book. Talk about a futile war. These guys in Afghanistan have it every bit as bad as the guys in Vietnam.

Posted by: rukidding7 | May 28, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Junger's book is on my list and I want to read it. Thanks for the heads-up.

How are your book revisions coming?

Posted by: BGinCHI | May 28, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Greg, kudos for the Sestak reporting today.

Let's hope when we are back to work on Tuesday that the damn leak has finally been stopped, and we will pull together as a country to face this disaster and get it cleaned up.

As well as our military serving overseas, remember our coast guard this weekend; they have a difficult job to do in the gulf.

Posted by: Beeliever | May 28, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

From Peggy Noonan today:

"The disaster in the Gulf may well spell the political end of the president and his administration."

What a giant tub of dumbass. Privileged AND stupid. Good combo, Peg.

Posted by: BGinCHI | May 28, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

What's the best way to really pump up the US economy? According to George W Bush, something like the Marshall Plan is a crazy Democrat idea. The better solution is war.
http://thinkprogress.org/2010/05/28/argentine-prime-bush-war/

Posted by: bernielatham | May 28, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

I've finally gotten around to reading Beinart's essay in the NYRB, "The Failure of the Jewish Establishment". As some of you will have noticed, this essay has, quite predictably, gained an enormous amount of passionate controvery.

You want to read this essay.
http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2010/jun/10/failure-american-jewish-establishment/

Posted by: bernielatham | May 28, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

And peripherally related to that last...anyone else noticed the pervasive quiet in our media regarding the Guardian revelation of Israeli attempts to market nukes (in three handy sizes) to apartheid South Africa?

Posted by: bernielatham | May 28, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Third rail Bernie, third rail.

Posted by: BGinCHI | May 28, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

@BG - I've not personally been hesitant about third rail issues. Something to do with the size of my nose, I expect.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 28, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Okay, my house is mostly clean and my potatoes and eggs are cooked for tomorrows salad. Here goes, I know Greg did a great job with the Sestak/WH story, but unfortunately for me it played right into the hands of the "you know who's". Here's a quote from Digby today that pretty much summarizes my feelings. It reminds me of when we give too much attention to Palin, remember my boycott.

"This reminds me of the Gore coverage. They justified their puerile attacks by saying he deserved what he got for being a stiff and boring poll who didn't parry the nonsense that the GOP freakshow was throwing at him and that disqualified him for the presidency. Hazing politicians on behalf of GOP operatives really should not be part of our political press coverage. It rewards the worst kind of politicians who have more "savvy" than integrity and perpetuates a political system that creates incentives to damage and destroy people on the basis of trivial nonsense, thus obscuring the very serious substance of their business. This really isn't a parlor game and politicians should not rise or fall based upon how they anticipate and deal with the GOPs mendacious machine, which is designed solely for the purpose of ruining their enemies."

Posted by: lmsinca | May 28, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Ims - I was busy yesterday and didn't have a chance to read the Sestak threads until now (well, Greg's posts, I've been warned off the comments).

The Andrea Mitchell piece Digby points to and Greg's coverage differ in both content and tone and that really makes all the difference.

Digby is right, the modern rightwing machine is mendacious and is out to ruin perceived enemies (Dems mostly, of course, but also Republicans of insufficient ideological purity or inadequate partisan hatred). But disregarding those attacks is not a workable strategy. One has to meet them. Inevitably, that means extending the discourse but there is no other option.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 29, 2010 6:49 AM | Report abuse

Here's a WSJ piece that isn't going to end up in the Texas State science curricula nor be referenced by certain folks in Arizona who don't really like all them strangers arriving...
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703691804575254533386933138.html

Posted by: bernielatham | May 29, 2010 7:05 AM | Report abuse

I think Tomasky gets to the important aspect of the Sestak (and oil spill and all else, for that matter)... (first graph quotes Huff Po)

""The progressive watchdog group Media Matters, meanwhile, pointed out that President Reagan offered California Sen. S.I. Hayakawa a job in his administration if he dropped out of the Senate primary race in California -- an offer that Hayakawa, like Sestak, rejected."


So evidently, in real life in US history, pols have been given a lot of leeway on this. And I think it may be important that what was allegedly on offer was an uncompensated advisory position on some executive branch board, which isn't really much of an emolument and more likely something that would've ended up being a chore.

The real import of this story is this: If the Reps capture the House of Representatives this fall, they will have basically limitless power to keep these things churning forever, turning political horse-trading into potential crimes. They'll hold hearings, issue subpoenas, you name it. Remember the Clinton days. It will never end.

And they're even crazier now then they were then, now that they've convinced themselves we got us a Mooslum preznit.

This is what's at stake this fall. Forget policy. It's this: endless hearings and investigations until they find something that gets the public worked up, or until the public just cries uncle and says oh okay we're sick of hearing you crazy people, if it'll shut you up, just impeach the bastard already." http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/michaeltomasky

Posted by: bernielatham | May 29, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

We'll note that the NRO this morning is going big on Sestak. The hope remains they can yet do damage on this one. http://www.nationalreview.com/

Posted by: bernielatham | May 29, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

You may be right Bernie, but you know the old adage of talking to children and how far you get when you stoop to their level, not very far. We need to be focusing on issues that matter, not the nonsense drummed up by the right. I realize it's helpful to re-frame the debate on our terms in case 1/2 of 1% of the folks following the current meme du jour are persuadable. I guess I just get bored with the whole thing.

Anyway, hopefully this one will be old news by Tuesday, wonder what's waiting in the queue? I'll leave all of that to Greg to figure out, he's good at it.

Posted by: lmsinca | May 29, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Let's hope they don't leave Halliburton out of this investigation. I've followed the hearings a little bit and there seems to be a pattern of skirting the rules and "time is money" preponderance of thought.

Reporting from Washington
"A team of top federal prosecutors and investigators has taken the first steps toward a formal criminal investigation into oil giant BP's actions before and after the drilling rig disaster off Louisiana."

"The investigators, who have been quietly gathering evidence in Louisiana over the last three weeks, are focusing on whether BP skirted federal safety regulations and misled the U.S. government by saying it could quickly clean up an environmental accident."

"The team has met with U.S. attorneys and state officials in the Gulf Coast region and has sent letters to executives of BP and Transocean Ltd., the drilling rig owner, warning them against destroying documents or other internal records."

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-oil-spill-investigation-20100529,0,3427456.story

Posted by: lmsinca | May 29, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

If you're following the news for any inkling of what's going on with the "top kill" or other efforts to stop the gusher, please go to theoildrum.com. They are following everything much more closely than MSM and interpreting events as they unfold in a scientific manner. There is so little technical information coming out of BP that a lot of their posts are based on conjecture but I've found them quite straight forward and informative.

Have a nice weekend all, get out the flags. We need to be working together, not at cross purposes during a time of crisis. We may all be volunteering in the Gulf in the next month or so!!!

Posted by: lmsinca | May 29, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

We're beginning to get some sense of BP's attempts to control media access to the Gulf in order to manipulate/determine what information gets out to the public. Private security entities including infamous Wackenhut are the means... http://www.thenation.com/blog/bp-and-us-government-command-center-guarded-company-afghan-embassy-hazing-scandal

Posted by: bernielatham | May 29, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the links, Ims. Loves ya.

Eric Alterman (via a reader) notes this April 26 column in the oh so dependably factual WS...

"Stephen F. Hayward wrote in the April 26 Weekly Standard:

The two main reasons oil and other fossil fuels became environmentally incorrect in the 1970s—air pollution and risk of oil spills—are largely obsolete. Improvements in drilling technology have greatly reduced the risk of the kind of offshore spill that occurred off Santa Barbara in 1969. There hasn’t been a major drilling related spill since then, though shipping oil by tanker continues to be risky, as the Exxon Valdez taught us. To fear oil spills from offshore rigs today is analogous to fearing air travel now because of prop plane crashes. Hayward is identified as "the F. K. Weyerhaueser fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and the author of the forthcoming Almanac of Environmental Trends," but I think he has a future as the Standard’s editor in chief and a future Fox News analyst." http://www.thenation.com/blog/oil-spill-what-oil-spill

Posted by: bernielatham | May 29, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Honesty and compassion. Better late than never. With any luck, he'll also get honest (with self and others) regarding the heartless, extremist pathologies of the movement he sought to appease.

"Roy Ashburn, the California legislator who came out in March after years of operating as a "family values" Republican, is now speaking out in favor of gay rights.

Ashburn spoke on the state senate floor yesterday about a bill that could affect gay marriage, should it become legal in the state again."

http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/05/former_family_values_ca_legislator_ashburn_comes_o.php

Posted by: bernielatham | May 29, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Anyone have any more details on this. I would love to have a video clip of him saying it.

http://www.irishcentral.com/story/news/people_and_politics/now-rand-paul-wants-to-fry-mexicans-with-electric-fences-95118284.html


"Now Rand Paul wants to fry Mexicans with electric fences"

"Rand Paul has stated that he is in favor of building an underground electrified fence to stop immigrants coming in to America from Mexico.

Speaking to Russian television he said "Millions crossing our border without our knowledge constitutes a clear threat to our nation's security. I will work to secure our borders immediately. My plans include an underground electric fence, with helicopter stations to respond quickly to breaches of the border.

With leaders like these no wonder the Republican Party is in the toilet with Hispanic voters.

Electrified fences would ensure lots of dead bodies of women and children if they tried to cross, just the type of image that America needs in the world.

He also wants children of undocumented to no longer be considered Americans --in direct violation of the 14th Amendment.

The anchor baby argument put forward by Paul and others is ridiculous. A child has to attain the age of 21 before they can claim in a parent.

Paul already is on record opposing the 1964 Civil Rights Act that gave Blacks equality, now he wants fried Mexicans as a tasty desert to his main course of keeping Blacks out.

This guy is the future of the Republican Party?

God Help us all."

Posted by: Liam-still | May 29, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Anyone have any more details on this. I would love to have a video clip of him saying it.

http://www.irishcentral.com/story/news/people_and_politics/now-rand-paul-wants-to-fry-mexicans-with-electric-fences-95118284.html


"Now Rand Paul wants to fry Mexicans with electric fences"

"Rand Paul has stated that he is in favor of building an underground electrified fence to stop immigrants coming in to America from Mexico.

Speaking to Russian television he said "Millions crossing our border without our knowledge constitutes a clear threat to our nation's security. I will work to secure our borders immediately. My plans include an underground electric fence, with helicopter stations to respond quickly to breaches of the border.

With leaders like these no wonder the Republican Party is in the toilet with Hispanic voters.

Electrified fences would ensure lots of dead bodies of women and children if they tried to cross, just the type of image that America needs in the world.

He also wants children of undocumented to no longer be considered Americans --in direct violation of the 14th Amendment.

The anchor baby argument put forward by Paul and others is ridiculous. A child has to attain the age of 21 before they can claim in a parent.

Paul already is on record opposing the 1964 Civil Rights Act that gave Blacks equality, now he wants fried Mexicans as a tasty desert to his main course of keeping Blacks out.

This guy is the future of the Republican Party?

God Help us all."

Posted by: Liam-still | May 29, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

For what it might be worth, the Darrell Issa Hall of Shame...
http://www.perrspectives.com/blog/archives/001007.htm

Posted by: bernielatham | May 29, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, h/t to Crooks and Liars on that last post.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 29, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

I found the video of the Rand Paul interview on Russian English Language TV.

It is on Youtube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aILHHAJhqpM&feature=player_embedded#!

Posted by: Liam-still | May 29, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Weigel talks to Joe McGinniss...
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/right-now/2010/05/exclusive_joe_mcginniss_talks.html#more

Posted by: bernielatham | May 29, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

BP 'systemic failure' endangers Gulf cleanup workers
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/05/28/95049/bps-systemic-failure-harms-workers.html

Posted by: bernielatham | May 29, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for all the links, y'all.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | May 29, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

All, Saturday roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/05/saturday_roundup_3.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 29, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

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