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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 percent of independents approve. Only Republicans don't like his handling of the spill, with 31% approving.

That mirrors a Rasmussen poll released today finding that barely more than one-forth thought Obama's spill performance was "poor."

* Also: Both polls show a big drop in support for offshore drilling, though both find a majority still favors it.

* More momentum for the Senate libs: Harry Reid tells Ryan Grim that he'll definitely allow the bust-up-the-big-banks amendment to get a vote.

* New Research 2000 poll for DailyKos finds John McCain under 50%, beating J.D. Hayworth 48-36. That's down from 52-37 in March.

:* Must-read from Mark Hosenball: Administration officials provide an inside account of the interrogation of the Times Square bomb suspect designed to push back on all the Miranda B.S.

* But: John Boehner says Obama has no terror strategy and has merely gotten "lucky" in preventing attacks.

* Ben Smith notes that the media has a responsibilty to at least try to do something about anonymously funded TV attack ad campaigns like the ones in Arkansas.

* Dick Durbin's theory: Republicans are obstructing Obama's nominees to make government dysfunctional in order to run against Dems for presiding over a dysfunctional government.

* Dem establishment types are paralyzed with fear at the increasingly likely prospect of a surprise Joe Sestak win.

* Here's still more evidence of how protective the White House is being of potential SCOTUS pick Elena Kagan.

* And Secretary of State Hillary Clinton comments on Joe Lieberman's State Department citizenship-stripping proposal: We're good, thanks, but we appreciate the thought, and we'll take a look.

What else is happening?

UPDATE, 9:18 p.m.: McCain poll numbers corrected, apologies for the error.

By Greg Sargent  |  May 6, 2010; 5:59 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Financial reform , Happy Hour Roundup , House GOPers , Political media , Senate Dems  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Shadowy outside group spending $1.5 million to influence Arkansas Dem primary
Next: The Morning Plum



Not sure if you posted on this but its crazy that Republicans can simultaneously be calling for American citizens not to have miranda rights while opposing a bill to keep people on the FBI terrorist watch list from buying guns. How in the world is the media not tearing them apart over this?!

Posted by: sgwhiteinfla | May 6, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

"Dick Durbin's theory: Republicans are obstructing Obama's nominees to make government dysfunctional in order to run against Dems for presiding over a dysfunctional government."

Well, yeah. Or, as Norquist has admitted, he'll work to knock down any attempt to make tax filing simpler and easier for citizens because then they'll be less hateful towards government and taxes.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 6, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

I don't get the fear if Joe Sestak wins?

I think he could be Tomey.

Posted by: maritza1 | May 6, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

sg - Gail Collins has a terrific column this morning on that in the NY Times.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 6, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

sg -- good point. def worth hitting that contradiction tomorrow. always good to have you weigh in, wish you did more often.

bernie -- that's a good point, I think it might be worth going hunting for that quote. :)

by the way, all, a question: are you all experiencing a slowness in loading in this section?

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

Yglesias has a wonderfully sarcastic piece here...

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

FauxNews and the rest of the right wing propaganda machine have been shooting blanks since the HCR win for the Dems. They lost their mojo when it comes to making {roses & puppies]* crazy fiction gain traction. Could it be that they’ve played the Chicken Little act one too many times? What idiocy will they push next?

I can hardly wait.

* - it appears to be the only way I am allowed to indicate language with even the slightest salinity.

Posted by: Gasman1 | May 6, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Re: Dick Durbin:
"Republicans are obstructing Obama's nominees to make government dysfunctional in order to run against Dems for presiding over a dysfunctional government."

CONGRATULATIONS! You've caught up with what progressives have been saying about Republicans for, what, decades? Pat yourself on the back, Nostradamus.

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

Re: AZ Polling

When is the primary vote take place for this one? Hayworth has been steadily making inroads for weeks. It's still not neck and neck - but in a little time it could be. And I think we all know that JD's voters are the more motivated of the two.

Also, did you see what Markos was pointing out from this same poll?,-Gov:-2010s-most-competitive-state

Latino support for the GOP has totally collapsed. In AZ, the GOP actually had decent Latino support too...but no more. Remember, it's estimated that Latinos make up over 30% of the population. Talk about a new structural advantage for the Dems.

If JD wins this primary, it's definitely possible that we'll see both a Dem win the Senate seat and the Gov. mansion in the fall.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | May 6, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Re: Sestak

Rooney is just trying to scare voters away from Sestak. He knows that Sestak has just as good a chance at winning being an unknown as Specter does being an incumbent. But it's his job to get Specter he points to the current polls and cries about "electability". I remember that argument about a strangely named black fellow...

But seriously, the Dem machine in PA will get behind Sestak if he wins, and PA is a machine state. Sestak is polling "ok" against Toomey and that's with nearly all the Dem machine working AGAINST him.

Re: Ben Smith

It's real big of him to comment on another blogger actually having it out with someone about this subject (kudos to Markos). How about next time he, as a supposed "journalist" actually does some of that work himself?

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | May 6, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Re: Majority Support for Drilling

I'm not surprised that a majority still support drilling. We still haven't really "seen" the kind of damage this can cause, since (luckily) the spill hasn't reached the shore. Massive kudos go out to the parties involved in the cleanup and containment...yes, even BP.

But if that giant mass of oil reaches shores, and we get flooded with images and reporting like that support tank. In 1989 the public wasn't NEARLY as connected as it is now. So I have no doubt that public reaction to something as bad or worse than that will really hit American's hard in the gut.


Ok, that's enough from me. Dinner time. Go Magic! Go Wings!

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | May 6, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

So Repubs want govt to appear dysfunctional so they can run against dysfunctional govt, while liberals want oil spills to reach our shores so they can outlaw offshore drilling...

Posted by: sbj3 | May 6, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Monsanto strikes again!

American farmers' broad use of the weedkiller glyphosphate — particularly Roundup, which was originally made by Monsanto — has led to the rapid growth in recent years of herbicide-resistant weeds. To fight them, farmers are being forced to spray fields with more toxic herbicides, pull weeds by hand and return to more labor-intensive methods like regular plowing.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | May 6, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

"Latino support for the GOP has totally collapsed." No one could've predicted that, BBQ.

Posted by: azportsider | May 6, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

@Greg - re Norquist quote...looking but might be in a book.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 6, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse


I go on a short trip to India, and everything changes.

I know I'm late, but congrats Greg on the "upgrade".

Posted by: lynell33 | May 6, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

sbj said: "So Repubs want govt to appear dysfunctional so they can run against dysfunctional govt, while liberals want oil spills to reach our shores so they can outlaw offshore drilling"

Count, if you have a few hours, the instances where Republicans have acted to obstruct implementation of bills (or even the discussion of bills) or have acted to prevent nominees from filling needed positions (as Benen noted today, 97 nominees have been blocked using secret holds whereas at the same point in the Bush administration there had been 8). Then when done, go on to count the number of Republicans who have explicitly said they wish Obama or his policies to fail.

And against all of this you equate an oil spill which is the consequence of, at least in part, the deregulation or counter-regulation policies of the prior administration?

Hardly compelling in your logic, my friend.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 6, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Hmm, according to Orangeman Boehner, when there was a lack of terror attacks during the Bush years (even though there wasn’t: DC sniper, anthrax attacks, etc.), the Orangeman saw that as a sign of Bush’s vigilant stewardship. When there is a genuine absence of attacks during Obama’s time as POTUS, it is a clear sign that he is lucky.

Honestly, how can anybody take anyone who is actually ORANGE seriously? If Obama created 30 million jobs, increased GDP by 5000%, personally caught Bin Laden, cured cancer and AIDS, AND gave everybody in the U.S. a pony, Boehner’s response would be, “Yeah, but can he FLY?”

He might as well were the orange wig and big red nose and really look like the clown that he is.

Posted by: Gasman1 | May 6, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

"Conservative media have defended Arizona's controversial new immigration law by suggesting the law is necessary to fight violent crime. Phoenix police chief Jack Harris has rejected this claim, and he and many other law enforcement officials have argued that the law will distort police priorities."

But why listen to this guy? What does he know about the local situation?

Posted by: bernielatham | May 6, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Seems to me like Hillary's comments were less along the lines of 'thanks, we're good' and more along the lines of 'we have that authority and using it seems like a possibility"

Posted by: Adam_W | May 6, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, lynelle!

All, quick thing, I know several people complained about the slowness of the comments section.

I'm told by the higher ups that this is a temporary problem that's being worked on and should be solved soon enough. So hang in there, thanks for your patience.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 6, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Greg - I've likely missed mention of this but will the site be set up such that links we post are clickable or will copy/paste be our future?

Posted by: bernielatham | May 6, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Well, we got our vote but didn't get the amendment. I'm going to go check the roll call now.

"A move to break up major Wall Street banks failed Thursday night by a vote of 61 to 33."

"Two Republicans, Richard Shelby of Alabama and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, voted with 31 Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, in support of the provision. The author of the pending overall financial reform bill in the Senate, Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, voted against it."

Posted by: lmsinca | May 6, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

This is perfect. Just perfect.

I know you all have to paste it, but please do. Quick and to the point.

Posted by: BGinCHI | May 6, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

lms, saw the vote. Disappointing. It doesn't seem like there's an organization to FinReg right now, does there?

Will the WH come out and lead on this with a clear plan?

The Dems need to get this right, and I can already feel the infighting coming....

Posted by: BGinCHI | May 6, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Here's a link to the roll call for the break up the big banks amendment. I'll list a few of the Dem. Naysayers. Baucus, Conrad, Feinstein, Gillibrand, Kerry, Klobuchar, Landrieu, Lieberman, McCaskil, Menendez, Schumer and both Nelsons. Pretty disappointing.

Posted by: lmsinca | May 6, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

BG, I keep thinking we're making progress but I'm just not so sure. This was the perfect opportunity to really show the middle class who's on their side and we blew it IMO. I trust Sherrod Brown and Ted Kaufman more than just about anyone in the Senate and I know they worked really hard to get this right. Discouraging.

Posted by: lmsinca | May 6, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

So as not to get too gloomy here's some good news that I've been following.

"Today, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski issued a long statement proposing the administration’s way forward after the recent court ruling that shot down the FCC’s power to protect the Internet from big phone and cable companies. In it, Genachowski comes out in favor of reclassifying broadband services as Title II Communications Services, the only logical way forward to protect the Internet."

Posted by: lmsinca | May 6, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Add Ensign to the list of Repubs who voted for the amendment. Headline at HuffPo: "Senate votes for Wall Street". Just a little financial info on the four big banks they were trying to break up. Anyone really believe they wouldn't get bailed out again if necessary? Now we'll get to hear all the excuses assuming anyone asks the question.

"Those four megabanks collectively hold about $7.4 trillion in assets, according to the most recent regulatory filings with the Federal Reserve. That's equal to about 52 percent of the nation's estimated total output last year."

"The top 12 banks in the U.S. control half the country's deposits. By comparison, it took 25 banks to accomplish this feat in 2003 and 42 banks in 1998, according to a Jan. 4 research note by Jason M. Goldberg of Barclays Capital."

"There are 23 bank-holding companies in the U.S. with more than $100 billion in assets, according to Federal Reserve data."

Posted by: lmsinca | May 6, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

These are, as Bernie Sanders said the other night, "the most powerful people in the world".

Posted by: bernielatham | May 6, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

I know Bernie, it's just really hard to watch and feel so powerless. No matter what, the game's rigged and they throw us crumbs to keep us at bay. Sorry, I'm just discouraged. Why would anyone think it's appropriate for four banks to have so much power and be able to take so much risk is beyond my pay scale. I guess I should just call it a night.

Posted by: lmsinca | May 6, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

@BG This is perfect. Just perfect.


OMG...a picture is worth a million words!!
Thanks. Sent on to many.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | May 6, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

"Orangeman Boehner"

Would he have to show his papers in AZ? His color is alien....

Posted by: suekzoo1 | May 6, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Sargent, in the third paragraph, it's "one-fourth," please. Not "one-forth."


Posted by: kwheeler1 | May 6, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Here's a pretty good summary of the amendment votes today over at kos, starting with a possible explanation as to the failure of Brown/Kaufman's SAFE Banking Act:

TPM reported earlier today that Democratic leadership is considering consolidating some tougher, strengthening amendments, including "limiting the size of major financial institutions and restoring firewalls that used to exist between banks and other financial institutions." There might be another iteration of the SAFE concept still alive, but as of now that's unclear.

In addition to these votes, the Senate passed a Cantwell amendment to provide the CFTC with clear antimarket manipulation authority and a Grassley/Cardin amendment giving whistleblower protections to employees of ratings agencies with voice votes. This morning, they passed a Tester/Hutchison amendment to direct the FDIC to implement risk-based assessments when deciding how much a bank should pay in premiums, alliveating an undue burden on smaller, community banks. That passed 98-0. And they roundly defeated, 38-61, a Shelby amendment that would have gutted consumer financial protections in the base bill. For tea-leaves readers, Snowe and Grassley voted with majority, potentially a clue to the ultimate fate of the whole bill.,-Sanders-Fed-Audit-Postponed

Altogether, that's a lot of good stuff that happened today, imho! Not bad. I wanted Brown/Kaufman to pass, but hopefully Dem Senators who opposed B/K can resolve their differences and pass an amendment that would limit the size of the behemoth banks. But with that in progress, the other good stuff that passed (or didn't) today, and the Sanders amendment on the horizon, I think today was a MAJOR step forward on financial reform.

Btw, don'tcha love it that on THE VERY DAY that Congress (under Dem leadership) votes to regulate our financial institutions, there is a MAJOR MAJOR bonehead error that almost causes a stock market crash. Part of the crash today happened because a trade was entered into the system as being $16 BILLION when the trade was supposed to be for $16 MILLION. Looking for a link, but I saw that somewhere. So, um, yeah. These 'smartest men in the room' types prove their infallibility yet again, right? Just unreal.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | May 6, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Here ya go. Read it and... yes... weep!

*Typo may have been cause of market meltdown*

Wall Street went into a freefall. But as it turns out, the billions of dollars lost in the markets on Thursday might have been due to a simple typo.

Sources tell ABC News the stock market slide may have been triggered by what was supposed to be a $16 million trade in Procter & Gamble stock. But someone entered it as $16 billion, by mistake.

That sent the Dow Jones average plummeting more than 700 points in just 15 minutes. At one point it was off by almost 1,000.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | May 6, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

I think it wold be risky for the Big Orange Boner to set foot in Arizona. His preternatural tan pushes him into the realm of eternal suspicion as one who is not of "us."

But, hey, that's the price of looking all "bronzed" doncha' know. I'm sure he won't mind.

Posted by: Gasman1 | May 6, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Eat right & lose weight to Control Diabetes. Use meal planner to find right foods which may help you manage blood sugar under control. Use this free meal planner

Posted by: ancinabelen | May 7, 2010 1:29 AM | Report abuse

Bernie -- I'm not sure about that re the links. It seems like it should be an easy fix. I'll ask and get back to you...

Posted by: sargegreg | May 7, 2010 6:05 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Greg. It's a convenience which we are all getting used to and the lack of it makes the site less user-friendly.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 7, 2010 7:27 AM | Report abuse

There are two notable pieces this morning. First, an op ed in this paper by Jeff Sessions on Obama's upcoming SC nominee...

The second is a NY Times column by Greenhouse on the political rhetoric re SC nominees...

Assignment: compare and contrast the differences in thoughtfulness and the presence/absence of cliche and generality. To put that another way, which seeks to educate and which seeks to indoctrinate?

Posted by: bernielatham | May 7, 2010 7:41 AM | Report abuse


Why is it that sometimes your name comes up as "Greg Sargent" and other times it comes up as "sargegreg"?

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | May 7, 2010 7:47 AM | Report abuse

This combination of artist (correct term) and audience is really delightful...

Posted by: bernielatham | May 7, 2010 7:47 AM | Report abuse

I officially don't like the new format/home of Plumline. The old one had its issues, too, and this one looks better in terms of design, and has preview, but I find comments here harder to scan through. I don't like posters' names at the bottom of posts. The main page is a bit less reader friendly, too.

Posted by: quarterback1 | May 7, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

All, morning roundup posted:

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 7, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

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