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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 be in the internals, however, which will be released later tonight. But: Wow.

* Into the Beltway hall of mirrors: Lindsey Graham offers cautious praise for the climate change legislation John Kerry and Joe Lieberman unveiled without him today, but again repeated that the Gulf spill makes energy reform less likely.

* But: Dems and environmentalists are still trying to imagine a better world where an enormous environmental catastrophe acts as an incentive to Senate action on the environment.

* Byron Wolf notes that it was easier to attract support for energy reform from energy CEOs and evangelists than from Republican Senators.

* For the we'll-believe-it-when-we-see-it file: Kerry says Republicans are privately indicating they're willing to deal on energy reform.

* Steve Benen notes that it's urgent to move on climate change now because if Republicans make big gains in Congress, we may not see action until 2013 at the earliest.

* Joe Sudbay says the DSCC's spending on Arlen Specter's reelection campaign is a less-than-judicious use of party funds, and points out the irony of it coming after the national GOP spent so much cash over the years to prop up Specter when he was a Republican.

* Who says cutting the budget is hard? You may have heard that Eric Cantor today rolled out a new initiative inviting Americans to vote on budget cuts proposed by the House GOP. Cantor's office says they've already gotten more than 10,000 votes.

* Obama says he's accountable for civilian deaths in Afghanistan.

* Matt Corley valiantly struggles to keep track of John Cornyn's reasons for opposing Elena Kagan.

* And it looks like chickens-for-checkups may have enabled Harry Reid to retake the lead over Sue Lowden.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  |  May 12, 2010; 6:35 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Happy Hour Roundup , Immigration , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , Supreme Court  
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Next: The Morning Plum

Comments

Charlie Crist has decided to not refund any donations given to him while he was still a member of the GOP. Good for him!

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/05/crist-not-refunding-donations-from-when-he-was-a-republican.php?ref=fpa

Posted by: suekzoo1 | May 12, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

GS: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.

Doesn't surprise me a bit. Who wants all those brown folks in "real America"?

Never underestimate the xenophobia of the US population, despite the fact that 99% of them are the spawn of immigrants.

Sad but true. White folks are not worried about being asked for their papers, so they don't care...

Posted by: srw3 | May 12, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Eric Cantor's YouClip was panned by Redstate as follows:

"Nice try Eric, but we don’t find parlour tricks entertaining right now."

Their assessment (which mirrors Benen's from earlier today):

"It’s a total of less than $6 billion in possible cuts against an annual budget that is over $1.6 trillion in the red. The total cuts offered amount to less than 1/2 of 1 percent if the budget. This at a time when we should be looking at serious annual budget cuts on the order of 25-30%.

Plus, any budget cuts proposed by the GOP at this time will instantly be shot down by the House majority. So it’s an exercise that really does nothing and waste congressional GOP leaders’ time. It’s a PR gimmick."

http://www.redstate.com/elronaldo/2010/05/12/gop-youcut-offers-hollow-lame-6-billion-in-total-phantom-cuts/

Posted by: suekzoo1 | May 12, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

The WSJ is nothing - check out the Pew poll!

"Democrats are evenly split over Arizona’s new immigration law: 45% approve of the law and 46% disapprove. However, majorities of Democrats approve of two of the law’s principal provisions: requiring people to produce documents verifying legal status (65%) and allowing police to detain anyone unable to verify their legal status (55%)."

http://people-press.org/report/613/arizona-immigration-law

Posted by: sbj3 | May 12, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

yeah, RedState thing was killer, though they're making a living panning any and all Republicans right now. It's their niche.

One other quick question: Is anyone still having trouble with the RSS feed? I'm getting scattered complaints.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 12, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Laura Bush pro gay marriage and pro choice:

http://hotair.com/archives/2010/05/12/milblogger-statement-its-time-to-end-dont-ask-dont-tell/

Posted by: sbj3 | May 12, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

As we can see from the photo up top, Greg is rather dark-complexioned. Real American? One wonders.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 12, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

@ sbj3 : Unfortunately xenophobia is not exclusively a republican belief, although republicans are 20-30 points higher than dems in approving these stupid, racist (in application if not in theory) laws.

Posted by: srw3 | May 12, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

On the plus side re Arizona...

"Boycott update: Arizona tourism association counts 23 canceled meetings at a total loss of $6-10 million."
http://thinkprogress.org/2010/05/12/arizona-tourism-immigration/

Posted by: bernielatham | May 12, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Showing off their tea party style Washington outsider bona fides...

"This morning, executives including BP’s chairman Lamar McKay, Transocean CEO Steve Newman, and Halliburton’s Timothy Probert appeared before a hearing in the House Energy and Commerce Committee to dodge responsibility for their respective roles in the Deepwater Horizon Gulf Coast oil spill. About an hour before the investigation began, however, House Republicans gathered a few blocks away for an “oil and gas breakfast” fundraiser with the oil and gas industry to benefit Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX). "
http://thinkprogress.org/2010/05/12/oil-spill-fundraiser/

Posted by: bernielatham | May 12, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

So we are at a point where one of the moderate conservative voices is now Ken Starr...
http://thinkprogress.org/2010/05/12/starr-kagan/

Posted by: bernielatham | May 12, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

@bernie: House Republicans gathered a few blocks away for an “oil and gas breakfast” fundraiser with the oil and gas industry to benefit Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX). "

When asked they said that they saw no conflict of interest attending a oil company fundraiser an hour before questioning oil company executives.
--words fail me....

Posted by: srw3 | May 12, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

And here's a happy tip from Yglesias on how to read the WSJ without giving a penny to the solar system's most vile creature...

"I read the WSJ sometimes. But it’s going to be a cold day in hell before I voluntarily surrender money to firm controlled by Rupert Murdoch when there are alternatives. So here’s a word of advice on how to read WSJ articles you see linked to on blogs without paying. What you need to do is click the link, then your browser will go to an article stub featuring a headline. Then copy the headline and paste it into Google. The article should pop up as your top search result, and if you click that link you’ll see the story free and clear."

Posted by: bernielatham | May 12, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

@srw3 - Pretty serious tin-ear isn't it? One might think that if we just had the chance to sit down and talk with these guys a bit that they'd come to some new perspective. But, really, that would be like handing a "Better Homes and Gardens" to group of hogs and expecting a cleaned-up pen to result.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 12, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

@ BL: Hence repiglicans...

Posted by: srw3 | May 12, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Those of you who read NRO will already know that Kathryn Jean Lopez (K-Lo) is not just an ideologue. She's also really pretty dim.

Here's a tweet from her earlier...

"just wondering: are men allowed to be nominated the the supreme court anymore?"

As I suggested yesterday, the neoconservative's (and some others') attempt to demean Kagan through identifying her with Miers looks to have a pretty clear "women are inferior" sub-text. As Media Matters points out, we'll be searching in vain to find K-Lo complaining when Bush nominated two consecutive males - even where one replaced a female justice.
http://mediamatters.org/blog/201005100015

Posted by: bernielatham | May 12, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

@srw3 - naughty.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 12, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

And speaking of empathy...

Josh writes a really good-hearted post on Mark Sanford. And I agree. There's a lot of peripheral junk in the whole story, not least the prior hypocrisy of Sanford (and the other "family values" conservatives caught up in the differences between their words and their loins) but there was a softness and sincerity to the man in his dilemma and how could one not feel for him?

Last night, my wife voiced a somewhat surprising empathy for George Rekers. She's a psychoanalyst so you'd expect such empathy for his internal state. But she also comes from an extremely crazed fundamentalist corner of Texas Christianity and she just cannot abide this world and its serial hypocrisies. Thus my surprise.

But the truth of it is, this poor man must have spent much of his adult life in the deepest turmoil and self-hatred. And now that the vile secret is known by the entire American population. Poor bastard.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 12, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Digby has a terrific post re Landrieu and company (that would be BP). Lately I've been finding myself agreeing with just about everything she writes. Our patience is beginning to wear a little thin.

"Every single time she goes on TV she makes it very clear that her main concern is the oil industry. Even if she's their full-time employee, she could ask to be let off the leash to do a little less public cheerleading in the middle of this crisis. It's dissonant and weird at this point.(I have no doubt she knows how her employers want her to vote on the issue.)"

"This is a fundamental problem with our current crop of elites. Even when it makes good business or political sense they simply cannot stop shilling. It's obscene. Just as the arrogant Masters of the Universe refused to lay low, even though it was the smart move, you see the oil companies and their lackeys out there spinning like tops and losing all credibility in the process."

"This is very stupid politics, stupid business and stupid damage control. Even whatever respect I might have reluctantly held for these sharks' self-preservation is gone. Our elites are just plain bad at their jobs and they remain powerful and wealthy by dint of their positions not their ability."

"In other words, they are a bloated, decadent aristocracy. And we know what tends to happen to them."

Posted by: lmsinca | May 12, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

"Laura Bush pro gay marriage and pro choice"

Well, good for her! Though she could say it louder and more often.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 12, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone wonder what the polling data would have looked like in Germany in November of 1938 before the Germans finally dealt with those thieving Jews who had been taking advantage of them economically and so had to be dealt with through Kristallnacht.

One wonders what those polls would have looked like. I really don't give a rat's arse about polling. We already know what polling would have looked like in S.C. in 1860 regarding slavery. Should we still have slavery. In fact how much would that polling change if we looked at DeMint and Wilson's S.C. today? Of course it's hyperbolic to suggest South Carolinians would still favor slavory...but secession?
Separate but equal? Jim Crowe...what % would still be in favor...and if it was a plurality would that make it right.

This poll is useless other than to illustrate our manifest ignorance. I jog and walk...I NEVER take ID...would that make me a criminal...and of course Driver's License do not count.in Arizona I would need my birth certificate...of course in the wacky world of Arizona if I was from Hawaii they wouldn't recognize my birth certificate either!

Posted by: rukidding7 | May 12, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

sbj,
Your torrid love affair with the polls continues unabated. Polls in and of themselves are meaningless. Anybody can ask leading, push-poll questions that will generate specific answers. Just like academic tests, polls are only as good as the people who write them and their ability to accurately craft questions which elicit specific information that is not leading. However, even accurate polls can still be wrong.

There was a time when slavery would have polled in excess of 65% nationally. Would that have made it OK? If we had polled white folks in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, or Texas about segregation in the late 1950’s, I’m betting it would have also exceeded 65% against. How about we poll your GOP buddies regarding gays? Do you want to place odds that your teabagger brethren wouldn’t have any problem topping a 65% disapproval rating for gays? Wouldn’t these be valid poll numbers?

Polls can be useful tools, but they are more frequently misused, either naively or intentionally. If you live by the poll, then you also must die by the poll.

In this country, there is really only one poll that truly matters and cannot be misconstrued. It’s called an election.

Posted by: Gasman1 | May 12, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

By now you have all heard that we here in Tampa Bay are going to be blessed with the 2012 Republican Convention.

We are plenty excited, especially the girls who work at the famous Mons Venus giving lap dances.

But all of us are thrilled at the possibility for some scintillating television. As you know every convention needs it's theme song...last time it was a Brooks and Dunn song in Minneapolis.

Here in Tampa we're hoping for something far more appropriate...Pink Floyd's "The Wall" Remember those chords and the chanting delivery. Just imagine Sarah Palin strutting out onto the stage as Floyd hits the chant...
"We don't need no education
Hey teachers leave those kids alone
All in all it's just another..
spill in the gulf"

People are excited by the prospect of Sister Sarah seeing Cuba from St. Pete Beach...unless of course she slips and falls on a tar ball first.

Posted by: rukidding7 | May 12, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

bernie,
I’m sorry, but I cannot muster an ounce of sympathy for either Sanford or Rekers. They each created their own messes. They have nobody to blame but themselves.

Sanford has rather imperiously declared that from now on, his personal life is off limits. Hell, he’s the one that made his personal life tabloid fodder, not the press and not his political foes. He lied to his staff, he lied to his constituents, and he simply did not do the job he was elected to do. THAT is why people became aware of the sordid details of his personal life. Sanford owns that one. If he informs his staff about his whereabouts and makes sure that the Lt. Governor is in charge if he is unavailable, nobody really gives a fat rat’s @ss about his Sanford’s personal life, no matter how pathetic it is.

As for Rekers, he has spent most of his adult life actively harming the LGBT community. Why should I feel any sympathy for him? If he were merely in the closet, that would be one thing, but he has spent his entire adult life oppressing gays. Screw him and anybody who looks like him. He may feel conflicted, but that does not give him the right to lash out so vindictively. If he wants absolution, he can see a priest. I wish him no harm, but I’ll be damned if I’ll waste my sympathy on a perpetrator of hate did his best to punitively ostracize so many from normal lives. I feel sympathy for those in the LGBT community that Rekers sought to isolate from Christianity.

Nope. No tears from me for those two.

Posted by: Gasman1 | May 12, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

@Gasman - Then I place a frostbite curse on your nipples.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 12, 2010 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Why did Bob Bennett lose his seat? Who was responsible? It was Obama. That's how the WSJ sees it. Obama, you see, is so far left that he has polarized the nation like really a lot. The Tea Party has sprung, vital, angry and hungering for blood, from Obama's very own thighs.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704250104575238740578264842.html?mod=rss_Today's_Most_Popular

Posted by: bernielatham | May 12, 2010 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Well I was going to agree with Gasman even though I am an empathetic person with a little background in the human psyche myself, but after seeing Bernie's curse I guess I'd better pass. Is there anyway we could blame Obama for the Rent Boy?

Posted by: lmsinca | May 12, 2010 11:56 PM | Report abuse

bernie,
You have some mojo, as mother nature seems to be bent on frosting my nipples and preventing me from planting my garden for yet another day. My tomatoes are getting restless! It is supposed to get down to 29 degrees tonight and we may get snow in the next couple of days.

If I send you some green chilies, will you remove the curse?

Posted by: Gasman1 | May 13, 2010 12:23 AM | Report abuse

Gas, for green chiles I'll fly my maple leaf flag upside down, ensuring you good weather.

Hard to believe it's that cold there. We've had a patch of cold and wet so I can relate. I'm ready for summer.

lms, thanks for the Digby. That's right on. It's just so pathetic that so few pols actually want to do work for people.

Posted by: BGinCHI | May 13, 2010 1:02 AM | Report abuse

I have no sympathy for Rekers or Sanford. The hypocritical liars couldn't even have the decency to be contrite when they were caught.

Anti gay and family values were only conservative window dressing to attract the fundies.

Where was their compassion for those they pilloried in their righteous indignation?

Why should they get any now?

Posted by: srw3 | May 13, 2010 1:47 AM | Report abuse

Clearly, there are some viable SC nominees among us.

@Gasman - sorry, it's a standard 48 hour curse, once launched, not reversible. But you can mitigate somewhat with ground hot-chili pasties. Trust me in this.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 13, 2010 6:57 AM | Report abuse

Some of you will have bumped into the Elie Wiesel open-letter to Obama story. It's getting richer... http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/may/12/elie-wiesel-criticism-jerusalem-residents

Posted by: bernielatham | May 13, 2010 7:00 AM | Report abuse

Bob Bennett was interviewed yesterday on an NPR station. He does not hold a high opinion of the analytical skills of the folks who took him out. We'll see if this turn of events encourages him and others to get a little louder in protest against what is happening to the party/movement.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 13, 2010 7:21 AM | Report abuse

G'morning, Bernie. Is it worth digging up the Bennett interview?

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 13, 2010 7:25 AM | Report abuse

Greg - Here it is...
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126782931

Posted by: bernielatham | May 13, 2010 7:36 AM | Report abuse

And, from The Corner, an overheard conversation - "They're comin' for ya"
http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=NjE0MTY0MDIzNTI5OGE1ZGRiMGEzMmRhYTUxODkwNTE=

Posted by: bernielatham | May 13, 2010 7:37 AM | Report abuse

"Steve Benen notes that it's urgent to move on climate change now because if Republicans make big gains in Congress, we may not see action until 2013 at the earliest."

A good point to remember. While the Big Picture trend is in the correct direction, the near-term shift may well be slightly negative. Get everything done now. It's good policy AND good politics because that will minimize the losses.

Greg, be sure to let the Powers-That-Be that I, among others, am now clicking through the WaPo Online to get to your site. Or maybe they already know it.

Posted by: wbgonne | May 13, 2010 7:41 AM | Report abuse

An MIT scientist of the Gulf oil leak. Unless these stop-gap measures work by the end of next week, it looks like only a relief well can stop the flow. That means MONTHS of oil gushing into the Gulf:

http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2010/qa-miligram-0512.html

Posted by: wbgonne | May 13, 2010 7:47 AM | Report abuse

On the other hand here is a more optimistic view though, frankly, I'm sure what the optimism is based upon:

"After days of deepening gloom, BP and two Obama administration officials suggested on Wednesday that the company was closer to a solution that might halt the seemingly uncontrollable oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The officials said engineers and scientists at BP’s command center in Houston had drafted plans to work on and around an underwater blowout preventer, a massive safety device that is designed to seal an oil well in an emergency but failed to do so after the explosion at the rig on April 20. The oil giant has “increasing confidence that we can intervene directly in the B.O.P. at acceptably low risk,” a BP spokesman, Andrew Gowers, said. Successive efforts to plug the spill over the past three weeks have failed.

Sent by President Obama to Houston, Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar met with top engineers and scientists at the BP command center for several hours on Wednesday. “Things are looking up,” Dr. Chu, a Nobel laureate in physics, told reporters after the meeting. “Progress is being made.” He cautioned that the situation was still not under control and declined to detail the reasons for his optimism. But when pressed, he said, “I’m feeling more comfortable than I was a week ago.”"

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/13/us/13spill.html?hp

Posted by: wbgonne | May 13, 2010 7:55 AM | Report abuse

@wb - One hopes that the best people are working on this non-stop.

I think it was Ims who earlier made comparison between this event and Apollo 13. The differences - in knowledge, motivation, expertise etc are not encouraging. Capitalism doesn't produce heroes. Just rich people.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 13, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

All, morning roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/05/the_morning_plum_7.html

And thanks for that link, Bernie

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 13, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Very welcome.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 13, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

"One hopes that the best people are working on this non-stop"

Bernie: I sure hope so but I am a bit nonplussed by Chu's optimism and its mysterious basis. In any event, I sure hope he's right so we can start focusing completely on containing the damage.

Posted by: wbgonne | May 13, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

"One hopes that the best people are working on this non-stop"

Bernie: I am a bit nonplussed by Chu's optimism and its mysterious basis. In any event, I sure hope he's right so we can start focusing completely on containing the damage.

Posted by: wbgonne | May 13, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

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