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Specter hits Sestak for favoring ... gun control

So it's come to this: In a bid for conservative and rural Pennsylvania Dems, Arlen Specter is now using targeted ads to attack Joe Sestak for getting an "F" rating from the National Rifle Association.

In a targeted way, Specter also seems to be touting his vote against the assault weapons ban -- a vote he took as a Republican. One wonders how this ad would play among urban Dems in Philadelphia -- if they ever were to hear about it.

Specter's assault on Sestak can be viewed in a Web ad on the site of the Washington Observer-Reporter, a paper in western Pennsylvania that presumably isn't widely read in Philly:

sestaknra.JPG

The same ad is also running on the site of the Scranton Times-Tribune. If you click through the ad, you're taken to this page on Specter's campaign Web site. It blasts Sestak as bad for Pennsylvania gun-owners and features audio of Sestak saying this at a recent debate:

"I also support the assault weapons ban which Arlen Specter opposed and voted against."

Specter voted against the assaut weapons ban in the 1990s and opposed extending the ban in 2004. And Specter wants conservative and rural Dems to know that Sestak attacked him for this. That's presumably meant as a negative for Sestak -- and a positive for Specter. Sestak plans to make an issue of this today in Philly.

It's another mark of what the Dem establishment's party-switching deal with Specter has wrought.

UPDATE, 10:11 a.m.: The final Muhlenberg College tracking poll has the race dead even.

By Greg Sargent  |  May 16, 2010; 9:30 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Next: The Morning Plum

Comments

Greg,

I do not like this new set up for Plum Line. Even when you post a link to your new thread, it does not work.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 16, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Liam -- I'm trying to see if we can fix that and create live links.

I don't see why this shouldn't be doable. Apologies for the difficulties and thanks for your patience...

Posted by: sargegreg | May 16, 2010 9:47 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.

After having watched President Obama dither, for a long time, over the Afghanistan force increase decision, then having watched him let the Town Hall Tea Baggers have a free run against Health Care Reform for many months, before he finally fought back, and now watching him not taking charge of this massive oil spill crisis, and having allowed BP to call all the shots, while they continue to let oil gush into the Gulf waters, for more than three weeks, have convinced me that President Obama is by nature, not capable of taking prompt decisive action.

There is a time for reflection, and there is a time for action.

He does not appear to be capable of distinguish between the two.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 16, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

A tad unseemly, Mr. Specter's campaigning. Perhaps the joys of retirement will soon look more compelling than he's found them previously.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 16, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

NY Times piece this morning on spill isn't very encouraging...

“There’s a shocking amount of oil in the deep water, relative to what you see in the surface water,” said Samantha Joye, a researcher at the University of Georgia who is involved in one of the first scientific missions to gather details about what is happening in the gulf. “There’s a tremendous amount of oil in multiple layers, three or four or five layers deep in the water column.”

The plumes are depleting the oxygen dissolved in the gulf, worrying scientists, who fear that the oxygen level could eventually fall so low as to kill off much of the sea life near the plumes."
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/16/us/16oil.html?hp

Posted by: bernielatham | May 16, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Allowing BP to call all the shots on how the Oil Gusher Catastrophe has been handled, is like;

Allowing The Arsonist to control how the Inferno should be fought.

I am very disappointed in how this President has let that happen.

He should have gone into three mile island mode, like President Carter did, or treated it in a Chernobyl manner.

He is playing Russian Roulette with his Presidency.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 16, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Liam - I'm not what action he (or anyone) might have taken that hasn't been taken to resolve this particular spill. Surely the people with the most experience and expertise related to off shore drilling are the industry engineers. You are going to have to count on them at least initially to resolve the problem. It's not as if there's a large contingent of deep water engineers hanging about in university faculty lounges.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 16, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Greg - I see that your discussion elsewhere re lefty insurgency is gaining a fair bit of tea-partyish commentary. They do like to project a high level of confidence in both the correctness of their ideological presumptions and in the inevitable electoral success of the ideology.

And reading them, one often gets the feeling that they write (and think) in the style of Beck's blackboard - sort of Power Point For Rednecks.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 16, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Bernie,

When the spill first started I predicted, on Plum Line, that BP would continue to try and save the site first, so that they could continue to pump oil from it in the future.

President Obama should have called in all the top military, and civilian experts at once.

The first goal should have been to stop the leak, instead of allowing what has happened.

The site will end up having to be imploded with some type of military efforts, and then entombed. It might involve some sort of bunker buster type strikes, or underwater cruise torpedo strikes, followed by massive amounts of entombment concrete. That should have been the approach from the very start, not one that we will have to start looking at now.

It would have been better if President Obama had all the top military and scientific experts working the problem, and seeking solutions from the very start, instead of having wasted all that time, and allowed all that oil to continue to leak.

As of today; we are back to square one. That should never have been allowed to happen. That mistake is a failure of decisive leadership, which falls squarely on President Obama. Each day that goes by, his Presidency is going to become more and more covered in sticky oil tar.


Posted by: Liam-still | May 16, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Here's one thing the White House can and should do immediately; Set up a command center and hold daily briefings about the efforts underway to close the hole and contain the oil. For instance, this approval of massive amounts of dispersant chemicals should be explained fully to us all (I know the fishers in LA are furious about it). The uncertainty and secrecy, especially with BP in control, is very unsettling.

Posted by: wbgonne | May 16, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

"It's another mark of what the Dem establishment's party-switching deal with Specter has wrought."

Very true, Greg. I realize Specter was something of a special case being the 60th vote but this is a reflection of the problem Dems have had since the Clinton years: the Democrats were so overwhelmed by Conservatives for so long that the Dems became Whipped Dogs, grateful for anyone and anything and willing to compromise all principles for anybody willing to call himself a Democrat. They are STILL doing it, that's why Rahm Emanuel has been such a disappointment as COS. He's still living in the Triangulation Era. (Though it does look like some are beginning to wake up to the reality that Conservatism is dead and pandering to the GOP is now counterproductive to Democratic political aspiration, to say nothing of policy principles).

Posted by: wbgonne | May 16, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

And another point re: the Gulf Oil Disaster: If there are any other ongoing deepwater drilling operations in U.S. water, they should be shut down until their safety is assured. If such assurances cannot be given, then no more deep water drilling. God forbid this happens a second time. The White House Command Center should also address matters like this in its Daily Briefings.

Posted by: wbgonne | May 16, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Bernie: Where are you reading the Teabagger response to Greg's Left Resurgence theme?

Posted by: wbgonne | May 16, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

As of this moment; The Federal Government, has not made a single attempt to stop the leak. Neither has BP. All BP has done, is tried to find ways to continue to siphon the oil out of the site, instead of stopping the leak.

Like I asked before:

If a water pipe bursts in your home, do you keep trying to find ways to pump out the leaking water, while not even trying to stop the leak or not.

Common sense folks.

President Obama should have had all hands on deck to plug the leak, from the very start.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 16, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

wbgonne,

Go to the Post Front Page. On the left hand side; scroll down to the opinions section, until you come to Greg Sargent. That will link you to his opinion column.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 16, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Hmmm. Is it my imagination, or has the rate of trollage really decreased here since we started needing an account to post a comment?

Posted by: jzap | May 16, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Bernie -- I hadn't seen that. I assume I'm getting hammered?

and hey jzap, good to see you here.

Posted by: sargegreg | May 16, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

@Liam: "All BP has done, is tried to find ways to continue to siphon the oil out of the site, instead of stopping the leak."

Listen I abhor BP and the way that they've responded to this situation, but stop trying to turn the siphoning of the oil into something that it isn't. It's an engineering problem....the pressure behind the leak is too great to just plug it up at this point. They're trying to siphon off the oil to keep it out of the water and to relieve some of the pressure.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | May 16, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Obama is the most useless president we have ever had.

Posted by: farmsnorton | May 16, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

give that 80yr old spector another oxygen bottle...i hope he makes it to tuesday so American can watch this geezer cry like the two faced moron he is...but he does make for a poster child for the useless liberals.

Posted by: JWx2 | May 16, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

My wish-list for this site:
+ Reply functionality
+ Clickable links
+ Basic HTML eds: bold, ital, blkquo
+ Clickable headlines on TPL main page
+ Greg gets a day off :-)

The quality of the content -- postings and comments -- is excellent as always.

Hope Greg is enjoying the higher-profile gig. (All those cites on KO and TRMS must have got noticed!)

Congratulations to WaPo, WRG, TPM, Keith and Rachael and MSNBC for helping get Greg what he needs to make TPL rock!

Posted by: jzap | May 16, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Let me add this to my wish-list:
+ Linkable comments

Good things about the site:
+ Needs account to comment
+ Trollage seems down (holding my breath)
+ Each post has links to prev and next posts

(I wish TPMDC would put back the prev and next links. Any ears over there you can whisper in, Greg? You'd be doing another public service!)

Posted by: jzap | May 16, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

its great to see people who can not find something to do on a rainy afternoon know so much about deep water oil drilling

Posted by: crimson1 | May 16, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Liam - re 1053 AM post...

First, I'm not sure how you make conclusions on the WH's involvement with BP and related companies from the point of the explosion and leak.

Second, obviously it was in BP's interests to stop that leak as soon as they could. Costs in dollars and PR damage (severe) accruing to them aren't what they want. I can't imagine that some WH rep yelling at them or threatening them would propel them to faster or more effective action.

Third, I'm more than a little surprised that you assume anybody knows much about how a bunker buster bomb or underwater cruise will behave at these depths not to mention actually solve the problem (mightn't it be made worse?).

As to the military...what do they know about anything re this depth of water or the related geology?

Posted by: bernielatham | May 16, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

wb - On the WP site you'll see down the left side a "discussions" section. Greg threw out a matter for discussion there...
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/community/groups/index.html?plckForumPage=ForumDiscussion&plckDiscussionId=Cat:a70e3396-6663-4a8d-ba19-e44939d3c44fForum:2a26078c-a45a-4f25-b08e-503aa2eea4e0Discussion:0ffdb112-f20b-416e-b254-ef9932823f59&hpid=talkbox1

Posted by: bernielatham | May 16, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Hi jzap! Agree with your tips and would love to see you about more often, my boy.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 16, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

farmsnorton said: "Obama is the most useless president we have ever had."

Ya gotta love this species of compelling reasoning. Who wouldn't be convinced immediately?

Posted by: bernielatham | May 16, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Shall we discuss the integrity level of Brit Hume?

"WILLIAMS: First of all, don’t you think, this spill now is going to be in excess of what happened with Exxon Valdez.

HUME: Let’s see if that happens. There’s a good question today if you are standing on the Gulf, and that is: Where is the oil?

WILLIAMS: “Where is the oil?”

HUME: It’s not on — except for little of chunks of it, you’re not even seeing it on the shore yet." http://thinkprogress.org/2010/05/16/hume-where-is-oil/

Posted by: bernielatham | May 16, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Or we could discuss Newt Gingrich's intellectual and moral integrity level (we'd even leave aside the guy's humping other women while wife was in hospital with cancer)...

"One oil spill since 1969 with 4,000 wells. If the Coast Guard had a reasonable research program, we’d be much further down the road to solving this kind of thing."

As TP notes...

"While it’s unclear which “4,000 wells” Gingrich was referring to, his claim that there has only been one spill since 1969 is not accurate, as the Wonk Room’s Brad Johnson has noted:

Between 1992 and 1998 there were 319 failures of blowout preventers found in US offshore drilling, an average of 45 a year. [MMS, 1999] Between 1992 and 2006 there were at least 39 blowouts off the US coastline, 38 of them in the Gulf of Mexico. [MMS, 7/07] From 2007 to 2009 there were 19 blowouts, all in the Gulf of Mexico. [MMS]

Moreover, the largest accidental oil spill in history was a Gulf of Mexico exploratory rig blowout in 1979 and other major offshore spills have occurred elsewhere around the world. In “one of Australia’s worst oil disasters,” a PTTEP oil rig blew out in the Montara deepwater oil field on August 21, 2009." http://thinkprogress.org/2010/05/16/gingrich-barbour-oil-beaches/

These guys just lie. They do it every day and they no longer have any internal restriction on doing so.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 16, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

C and L freezes a frame from the Wallace interview of Laura Bush in her home and finds an interesting volume in the Bush library...
http://cdn.crooksandliars.com/files/uploads/2010/05/fox_fns_laura_mao_100516a_bf33d_0.jpg

Posted by: bernielatham | May 16, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

From Rolling Stone via C and L, what Rove is up to with his shadow RNC structure...
http://cdn.crooksandliars.com/files/uploads/2010/05/fox_fns_laura_mao_100516a_bf33d_0.jpg

Posted by: bernielatham | May 16, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Two must-see graphs from Krugman (top post and second to top)
http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/

Posted by: bernielatham | May 16, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Shorter Brit Hume and Newt Gingrich #1: I look around in this studio and I don't see any oil. Therefore it's a minor spill.

Shorter Brit Hume and Newt Gingrich #2: our corporate overlords were clear. Nothing to see here. Moving on.

Shorter Brit Hume and Newt Gingrich #3: not now, nor ever, do we have the faintest idea of what we're talking about. Just wire the money straight to our accounts.

Posted by: BGinCHI | May 16, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Gosh Bernie, you're doing all the work for me today. Just got back from NM and looks like the Sunday news is the usual batch of lies, distortions and pure cynicism. Apparently Hume missed the coverage concerning the 10 mile long by 1 mile wide by 300 feet deep plume of oil under the surface of the water. It's one of many and is choking off the oxygen desperately needed for survival of the GOM food chain.

Oh and Sarahs new BFF seems to be Jan Brewer of the "papers please state" and believes suspected terrorists should definitely have access to guns. She took a little heat endorsing Fiorina but seems to be back on board now.

I really wish I could borrow Bilgey's little table with the old Bingo chips glued to the top. LOL

Posted by: lmsinca | May 16, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Looks like they got the tube hooked into the leak so now they're capturing a large portion of the spilled oil. It's just a temporary measure but hopefully it will mitigate some of the damage to come.

"Millions of gallons of crude are already in the water, however, and researchers said the black ooze may have entered a major current that could carry it through the Florida Keys and around to the East Coast."

"BP PLC engineers remotely guiding robot submersibles had worked since Friday to place the tube into a 21-inch pipe nearly a mile below the sea. After several setbacks, the contraption was hooked up successfully and funneling oil to a tanker ship. The oil giant said it will take days to figure out how much oil its contraption is sucking up."

Posted by: lmsinca | May 16, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Someone probably already linked this Dana Milbank article, but just in case not, it's pretty good at identifying what we're seeing regarding the Repubs.

"Beck justifiably credited his viewers for "what happened to Bob Bennett in Utah." He warned: "People in Washington, you should be terrified."

"We should be terrified -- particularly the Republicans, whose party is turning into this One-World-Government, Obama-worships-Satan, Jesus-opposes-climate-bill mélange. And Beck is only part of the trouble. Consider these GOP milestones of recent days:"

"In the Alabama gubernatorial race, a conservative attack ad charged that a Republican gubernatorial candidate "recently said the Bible is only partially true." The outraged candidate reaffirmed his "belief that this world and everything in it is a masterpiece created by the hands of God."

"In Utah, just a couple of days after Bennett's fall, conservative Rep. Jason Chaffetz talked about trying to topple none other than Sen. Orrin Hatch (89 percent lifetime conservative rating) in 2012."

"In Arizona, Sen. John McCain, who once said a fence is the "least effective" way to secure the border, continued his fight against a conservative primary challenge by releasing an ad demanding, "Complete the danged fence."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/14/AR2010051402450.html

Posted by: lmsinca | May 16, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Here's the part you'll get a kick out of Bernie.

"Less well known, but equally ominous, is what happened that same day, 2,500 miles east in Maine. There, the state Republican Party chucked its platform -- a sensible New England mix of free-market economics and conservation -- and adopted a manifesto of insanity: abolishing the Federal Reserve, calling global warming a "myth," sealing the border, and, as a final plank, fighting "efforts to create a one world government."

"One world government? Do our friends Down East fear an invasion from the Canadian maritime provinces? A Viking flotilla coming from Iceland under cover of volcanic ash?"

Posted by: lmsinca | May 16, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Ims - Good! Some progress finally. At some point, I'm sure one of the publications we attend to will do a good piece on the technical story here and give us all a better understanding of the task.

Re bilgey...I'll always love him anyway.

BG - Those conservative guys do show consistency in a few discreet matters. They are consistently dishonest and they are consistent as regards holding empathy as a negative human trait.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 16, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Ims - yes, I saw that Maine bit. These folks are so dull of brain that sometimes I'm just flabbergasted.

This flabbergasts me as well (and REALLY pisses me off)...

"An Israeli official says academic and polemicist Noam Chomsky, who is a fierce critic of Israel, has been denied entry to the country." http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/05/16/world/AP-ML-Israel-Chomsky.html?ref=news

Posted by: bernielatham | May 16, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

As Glenn Beck is so fond of warning us all, "First they came for the gypsies, then they came for the jews..."

Well, looks like the tea party people might end up coming for Mitch McConnell...
http://thinkprogress.org/2010/05/16/rand-paul-supporter/

Posted by: bernielatham | May 16, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

And for some of the more serious modern Republicans, an absence of empathy isn't quite enough. For them, the special zest of psychosis is the missing spice...
http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-05-13/renegade-soldiers-for-congress/?cid=hp:mainpromo3

Posted by: bernielatham | May 16, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

You're not the only one angry Bernie. I read a post earlier that said people still support a Dem over a Repub by a bit of a margin but really don't seem to like anyone who helped strap this mess to the back of the middle class.

"Huge angry mobs converged outside bank employees' houses on Sunday afternoon to demand banks stop lobbying against Wall Street reform."

"Bank of America: bad for America!" shouted community leaders outside the house of Bank of America general counsel Gregory Baer."

"The Chicago-based grassroots organization National People's Action, in coordination with the SEIU, bused more than 700 workers from 20 states to Baer's neighborhood, one of the wealthiest corners of Washington. The action kicks off several days of protests targeting K Street for lobbyists' role in financial reform."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/16/class-warfare-hundreds-pr_n_578015.html

Posted by: lmsinca | May 16, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

I don't know how many of you can stomach Glenn Beck giving a commencement speech but it's worth a watch just for the creepiness of it if nothing else. Glad my Grads didn't have him around.

"Beck received an honorary degree from Liberty. He never graduated from college but spent one semester at Yale University when he was 30, he said, leaving because he could not afford the tuition."

"Beck, who is Mormon, delivered a speech that emphasized the power of faith in righting a country that he said has gone off track.“I look at the things that are facing you today: the worst economy in generations, the euro on the road to collapse, we’re spending ourselves into oblivion…” he said. “We live in a time where you must have great courage; you must have great faith. We live in a time where it seems truth is on the run.”

"His message to the graduates was peppered with tears, humor and even some offbeat wisdom, such as “cabs smell worse in the summer” and “labels are meaningless, but Louis Vuitton shoes are really the best.”A significant portion of the ceremony was devoted to honoring the university’s founder."

"As for paper's assertion that he "stayed away from politics", Beck sure spent a lot of time railing against the Obama administration and trying to link Obama himself with book burners and Adolf Hitler, as is his wont to do. Later he would offer the advice "Shoot to kill", which you can hear in context."

http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/scarce/glenn-beck-delivers-commencement-address-li

Posted by: lmsinca | May 16, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

I still want to know about Sestak's totally open, categorical statement that the Obama administration offered him a job if he'd stay out of the election. Apparently, Sestak didn't suspect, when he said it (and how many people knew this?) that it is against the law to do that. I'm perfectly willing to accept that whoever in the White House, all the way up to Barack Obama (and when you think about it, how could such an offer NOT have originated with the president?), had no idea there was anything illegal about such an offer. I'm further willing to accept the idea of "justice tempered with mercy" if that turns out to be the case. I'm no Obama fan, but I don't want to toss out a president over an honest mistake.
What I CAN'T abide, however, is lying and cover-up. Justice tempered with mercy is all well and good, but in this case we need to temper our mercy with a little justice!!! The longer Barack Obama tries to hide this, the guiltier he will be and the less deserving of any mercy at all.

Posted by: scriobhaim | May 17, 2010 2:11 AM | Report abuse

scriobaim said: (and when you think about it, how could such an offer NOT have originated with the president?)

Actually, when one DOES think about it, the more likely options here run about 18 ways from Sunday. Unless you presume that any President concerns himself with the countless details and personalities of every congressional and senate race. And, you are of course, free to presume such.

But in any case, I for one applaud your serious concerns regarding maintaining the dignity of the WH and Presidency. Because, by god, once you get deals being cut by political operatives for political advantage, well the next thing you know you'll have a justice department re-organized to the end of partisan electoral gain and - almost impossible to imagine it, I know - maybe even a nation manipulated into an illegal, unnecessary and hugely costly war through lies.

So, once again, thanks sincerely for your concerns. We've noted them.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 17, 2010 6:01 AM | Report abuse

@Ims - I saw the Beck/Liberty item and decided to not avail myself of this fruitcake platter. But it is somehow a perfect combination, isn't it? What might one's fevered imagination find as analogous? Not bloody much. Maybe a particularly sweaty and over-weight WFW dude rendered in bright acrylics on black velvet. What sobers is that my analogy is far less a nightmare.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 17, 2010 6:18 AM | Report abuse

"So, once again, thanks sincerely for your concerns. We've noted them", Bernie writes.
Talk about smarmy "sincerity". Doesn't even work as humor--especially because of the royal we.
But "actually...", Bern, when one DOES think about it (do try), if an offer came directly from the White House to THIS potential candidate for THIS potential race (in CONTAST to the "countless details and personalities of every congressional and senate race"... are you keeping up?), for a position in THIS administration INSTEAD of running (am I going too fast?), and since it is the President of the United States who ultimately decides a thing like that (yes, I know, it's really getting complex, but just a little further, Bern...), then, indeed, it IS more likely than not that Barack Obama was directly involved.
By the way... "countless"? There are, what, a hundred Senate seats? And how many of them are up for election this year? I haven't checked, but let's say it's half. Do you find "50" a hard number to count to?
What's saddest of all is, behind the juvenile smarmy "concern" and "sincerity", what you're actually telegraphing to the whole world is, "bernielatham couldn't care less if Barack Obama breaks the law or covers it up as POTUS."
Sorry, Bern, but... you I CAN'T applaud. And that's coming from ME, not "us".

Posted by: scriobhaim | May 17, 2010 6:18 AM | Report abuse

"Sorry, Bern, but... you I CAN'T applaud."

Well, that accounts for the silence.

I see scant reason to imagine that your concerns revolve around either dishonesty or illegality in WH operations. If it were, your attention would be elsewhere. And it clearly isn't.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 17, 2010 6:30 AM | Report abuse

Two very delightful pieces, one on Duke Ellington and the other on Louis Armstrong. Here's the Armstrong piece (I'll link the other next post)...
http://bnreview.barnesandnoble.com/t5/Rock-Roll/Pops-as-Pop/ba-p/2578

As it happens, there's a wonderful quote from Ellington on Armstrong I'll note here...
"He was born poor and died rich and never hurt anyone along the way."

Even before Scriobaim's post above, I'd been thinking about "dignity" which is a word that can be put to both Armstrong and Ellington. It's an interesting word, implying levelness, fairness and honesty even in (especially in) the context of suffering and temptations towards the petty and vindictive.

And as I thought about this stuff, I realized that it is the near total absence of dignity that marks the modern conservative movement and Republican party. Much more suffering seems the only real solution for the movement. I pray it be so. Sincerely.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 17, 2010 6:41 AM | Report abuse

Here's the Ellington piece... http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/atlarge/2010/05/17/100517crat_atlarge_pierpont?currentPage=all

I never got to hear either in live performance but I did, before my mother passed away (she had an exquisite ear and was my musical mentor) I took her to an Ella performance in Vancouver. It was ascendant.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 17, 2010 6:44 AM | Report abuse

"And it clearly isn't."

Egads, how lame. The ultimate syndrome of a bankrupt argument is simply to say that your opponent hasn't said what he's said and doesn't mean what he means. What a ridiculous game. Your response to "I'm concerned about the Sestak question" is "No, you're not". Pythonesque. You don't sell dead parrots, do you?

By "attentions elsewhere", you obviously mean that, in the context of the Sestak question, I should be obsessing over the GWB administration (because, well, that's what YOU want... awfully handy criterion there, Bern.)

Barack Obama surely loves voters with your kind of "thinking". He can commit any crime he might like and trust you to come along with the ironclad defense: "Well... well... hmph, hnh! George Bush was PRESIDENT once! So... there!"

Listen close: the silence continues.

Posted by: scriobhaim | May 17, 2010 6:46 AM | Report abuse

All for now, Bern. Just noticed your run of posts on this article... I get it: this little pond is where you feel like the big fish. That game doesn't interest me.

I wanted to respond to the topic in the article, and I did. The irony is and will remain that my first post was sincere and you felt the need to turn it into your canvas to paint... "Bernie".

The people who occupy these comment pages to make them their pseudo-blogs in the pursuit of... well, we'll leave that unsaid. It's just sad.

Anyway... great, you've proved to the world that you not only can be sarcastic and cutting to the conservatives, but you also have a soul because you like Duke Ellington.

Though what Duke Ellington has to do with the Sestak-Specter race is beyond me....

And you said MY concerns were "elsewhere".... guffaw.

Skippin' outta this pond....

Posted by: scriobhaim | May 17, 2010 6:58 AM | Report abuse

Very good column from Krugman... http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/17/opinion/17krugman.html?hp

But I'd argue that he makes an important omission here. The present seems to me different from even a half decade ago because of the rise of FOX.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 17, 2010 7:11 AM | Report abuse

I'd like to point out something about the posts above from scriobhaim. Notice how quickly his/her direction went towards the personal attack. That's an enduring commonplace on internet boards, of course, and folks on the left do it too. But it is always a drag.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 17, 2010 7:29 AM | Report abuse

Kagan will get through but we're going to try to smear her anyway... http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2010/05/senate-republicans-test-out-ne.html?hpid=politics

Thank goodness the nation faces no present crises. This is really the perfect time for politicians to revert to that carefree mental state six year olds enjoy.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 17, 2010 7:38 AM | Report abuse

Not many of these around...

"Transgender GOP candidate Milo"
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/05/17/94242/transgender-gop-candidate-milo.html

Posted by: bernielatham | May 17, 2010 7:49 AM | Report abuse

Not sure if anyone posted this link before...

"Quest for oil leaves trail of damage across the globe"

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/05/16/94126/quest-for-oil-leaves-trail-of.html?storylink=MI_emailed#ixzz0oBdUXTIP

Have a fine day, all.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 17, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse

All, morning roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/05/the_morning_plum_9.html

And thanks for those links, Bernie. And thanks for the kind words, Jzap.

And wbgonne, I thorougly agree with your analysis for why Dems were so eager to embrace Specter.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 17, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

@Liam: "All BP has done, is tried to find ways to continue to siphon the oil out of the site, instead of stopping the leak."

Listen I abhor BP and the way that they've responded to this situation, but stop trying to turn the siphoning of the oil into something that it isn't. It's an engineering problem....the pressure behind the leak is too great to just plug it up at this point. They're trying to siphon off the oil to keep it out of the water and to relieve some of the pressure.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | May 16, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

......................

Rubbish!

All BP has accomplished is the exact opposite of what you claim. They have let every bit of the oil leak, escape into the Gulf Waters.

BP must love excuse makers like you.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 17, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

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