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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 allow the government to detain terrorism suspects longer after their arrests before presenting them to a judge for an initial hearing, according to administration officials familiar with the discussions.

Civil libertarians are trashing the idea as a departure from the rule of law. And Savage notes (as I reported yesterday) that no one from the administration has even approached anyone in Congress about this yet.

* Aggressive pushback from White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer: He says the "Obama's Katrina" meme grew out of the media's failure to pay attention to what the White House had been doing on the spill all along.

He adds that the White House had to "bludgeon" the press to see reality.

* Chip Reid, who tends to be hard on Obama, says the president is geuinely angry at Big Oil.

* Blanche Lincoln wrongly asserts that the left is demanding that she be with them "100 percent of the time." No, just when it really counts.

* And also the left would like her to stop trying to cut the estate tax.

* Sam Stein reports that the White House didn't ask Elena Kagan about her sexuality.

* The White House campaign arm keeps on crankin' for longtime Republican-turned-Dem Arlen Specter against longtime Dem Joe Sestak.

* ThisClose: Specter up by one point in today's Muhlenberg College tracking poll.

* Whose interests are really being served by the National
Federation of Independent Businesses' decision to join the lawsuit to overturn health reform?

* And here's the fun fact of the day, courtesy of Ronald Brownstein:

If the economy produces jobs over the next eight months at the same pace as it did over the past four months, the nation will have created more jobs in 2010 alone than it did over the entire eight years of George W. Bush's presidency.

Now that would make quite a talking point.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  |  May 15, 2010; 10:38 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Foreign policy and national security , Political media , Senate Dems , Supreme Court  
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Next: Specter hits Sestak for favoring ... gun control


I consider myself somewhat of a political junkie but I had totally missed the Tea Party push to repeal the 17th Amendment to the Constitution. And by repeal I mean they are using it as a litmus test for candidates and whether they endorse them. Who knew such strong consitutionalists/populists not only wanted to change the parts of the Constitution they don't like, they also want to take the power of the people to elect their Senators away and hand it over to state legislatures, many of which are infected top to bottom with all manner of corruption.

I am of two minds about this. First I think it may end up being a huge electoral issue in the Fall if the media starts paying attention. Second the Democratic establishment should fire everyone in charge because it hasn't been an issue up until this point. I would think the easiest way to kill someone's supposedly populist rhetoric is to point out they want to take power away from average every day citizens.

Oh and while Crist is probably his biggest problem right now I hope Kendrick Meek's people use this issue to bludgeon Marco Rubio into submission and or alienate him from his Tea Party base.

Posted by: sgwhiteinfla | May 15, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Good Day, All.

Re: Miranda and terrorism suspects, from the NYTimes article:

"Anthony Romero, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, assailed the Obama administration for considering such ideas. He noted that the administration of President George W. Bush, which was heavily criticized by civil-liberties groups, never proposed such modifications to criminal procedures. “It’s highly troubling that the Obama administration might propose to lengthen the time in which a potential defendant would come before a judge,” Mr. Romero said. “Both proposals would severely undercut the Obama administration’s assertion that they believe in the rule of law.”"

Romero is dead wrong. He says the (anticipated) proposal for legislative changes to Miranda somehow "undercut[s] the Obama administration’s assertion that they believe in the rule of law." That is a ridiculous statement. The WH is considering asking Congress to enact a Miranda exception for terrorism cases. If such a law is enacted, the Supreme Court will get to decide if the law is Constitutional. Whether or not Anthony Romero agrees with the proposal (once it's proposed), that is precisely how the Rule of Law operates. To illustrate the vapidity of Romero's comment, the reason Bush never made such a proposal for legislative changes was that Bush just did what he wanted WITHOUT Congressional assent and WITHOUT Judicial review. Bush acted unilaterally and in secret. The ACLU does itself no favors with such irresponsible criticisms.

Posted by: wbgonne | May 15, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Re: Blanche Lincoln:

Lincoln (and the Village Expert who affirms her stance) misses the point. She doesn't automatically get props as "independent" or "centrist" simply because she defies her party. That simplistic thinking is why our political discourse operates at a 10th Grade level. What matters is WHY she did what she did. In Lincoln's case, she tried to wreck health care reform and ultimately weakened it significantly. Health care reform has been a signature Democratic platform position for years. The fact that she opposed her own party on the HCR merits and then joined the GOP even on procedural votes shows that she does not share the core principles of the Democratic Party. It doesn't make her a "reasonable" or "centrist" or "moderate" Democrat: it makes her a Republican. Which explains her hatred of the Democratic activist base.

Posted by: wbgonne | May 15, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

"And also the left would like her to stop trying to cut the estate tax"

Awesome. Blanche Lincoln (D-Walton Family) strikes again. And she wonders why the left can't stand her.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | May 15, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

RE Lincoln: Not to mention supporting a filibuster of an Obama nominee (Becker to NLRB). That's a dealbreaker.

Posted by: joeff | May 15, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

RE Lincoln: Not to mention supporting a filibuster of an Obama nominee (Becker to NLRB). That's a dealbreaker.

Posted by: joeff | May 15, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

my my saying all those left of center things in the Pravda/Izvestia!
i can't imagine they like even the concept of these words being printed here.

i bet it wont be long before you follow Froomkin

Posted by: Beleck31 | May 15, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

It occurs to me belatedly that Joe the Plummer really ought to be part of our family here.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 15, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

"A new AP-Univision poll of Hispanics and non-Hispanics starkly illustrates the very different perspectives of Hispanic and non-Hispanic voters on the controversial new law in Arizona on immigration enforcement. Unsurprisingly, attitudes towards the new law are pretty polarized. Hispanics oppose the law by a 67/15 margin, with fully 60% saying they "strongly oppose" it. Non-Hispanics favor the law by a 45/20 margin, with 31% saying they "strongly favor" it." May 14, 12:34 post

Posted by: bernielatham | May 15, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

One of the troubling aspects of BP's handling of the oil spill is the unknown consequences of the dispersant used...

Corexit 9500 has been identified as a "moderate" human health hazard that can cause eye, skin or respiratory irritation with prolonged exposure. Its makers also warn that it has the tendency to "bioconcentrate" in the environment.

"Louisiana health and hospitals secretary Alan Levine said federal regulators have been too quick to dismiss worries about the chemicals: "Our concerns about the use of these dispersants underwater is based on the fact that there is virtually no science that supports the use of those chemicals. We're trading off what we know is going to be environmental damage on the surface for environmental damage of a level we don't know that is going to be under the surface."

Part of what is troubling here is that BP has a serious PR interest in reducing or minimizing the VISIBILITY of the spill. There are two parts to that: 1) staving off negative sentiment that would attend images and 2) continued insistence that accurate measurements of the oil outflow can be deduced from the size of the visible oil slick.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 15, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

CSM on dispersants...

Posted by: bernielatham | May 15, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

And more, from the LA Times...,0,2284559.story

So here's an example where an important issue is getting coverage.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 15, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

(as of 5:47 pm pdt Sat, the "To set up @anywhere, please provide client ID" is still popping up. I clik OK twice and it goes away, but when I clik on Comments, it returns.)

Just to keep our brains up-to-date, a barrel of oil is 42 US gallons. 5000 daily barrels = 210,000 gallons; 70,000 daily barrels(the new estimate) = 2,940,000 gallons; Unlike the Valdez, not all of this Hell Well's projectile torrent is on the surface. It is hideously mixed at all levels of the water layers.

Posted by: wendyf | May 15, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

And where is all that oil? It's under the surface because this well is so deep the escaped oil can't reach the surface (yet, anyway). As Bernie says, that's good for BP's PR but not so much for the sea and wildlife. OTOH, maybe it's better than washing up and smothering the marshes. Or maybe not. As far as I can see, nobody knows nothin'.

Posted by: wbgonne | May 16, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

After all else fails, and only after we have filled the Gulf Of Mexico with oil, will we then try to plug the leak and entomb it in concrete.

BP(Black Poison)

BP(Broken Pipes)

BP(Blobs Provider)


When a pipe burst in your home, do you try to stop it from leaking first or last?


You can be sure that there are no better safety features, or repair procedures, in place for any of BP's many other off shore rigs.

Why has President Obama not ordered all those other platforms shut down, until they can be fully inspected, and until a new rigorous inspection regime has been conducted. What the hell is he waiting for; another one to blow? Then it will be too late, and he will have to take the blame for not having halted the other sites, and fully inspected them.

To hell with the: I am mad at BP act. Take action now.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 16, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

All, this new ad from Specter attacking Sestak is pretty awful:

Posted by: sargegreg | May 16, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

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