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Sunday Roundup

* This is going to get interesting: On ABC this morning, Eric Holder revealed that the administration is going to reach out to Congress to develop a new proposal for revising the process leading up to the Mirandizing of terror suspects.

Holder said that the administration would work with Congress to develop a "proposal that is both constitutional but is also relevant to our time and the threat that we face." One possibility: Extending the amount of interrogation time before Miranda rights are read.

We need to see the details before seeing what the administration has in mind, but the key is that it's obvious that Mirandizing would be preserved. It will be interesting to see how the anti-Miranda camp handles this one: Look for them to oppose any and all proposals that preserve Mirandizing, revealing that the anti-Miranda push is entirely political with no foundation in policy substance.

******************************************************

* Speaking of which, a great Rudy moment: Pressed by Jake Tapper this morning to name a single instance where treating a terror suspect as an enemy combatant had yielded better results than the civilian court system, Giuliani simply ignored the question and kept right on bashing the administration for Mirandizing the Times Square bomb suspect.

Even better, Rudy somehow managed to acknowledge that, yes, the suspect has kept on cooperating, even as he continued to say the Miranda policy must be scrapped for good.

* Rudy revealed again that the fact that he was New York mayor on 9/11 -- nine years ago -- doesn't confer on him any national security authority or credibility whatsoever, even if networks continue to pretend otherwise. Steve Benen amplifies the case.

* Gettin' very interesting indeed: Joe Sestak has now expanded his lead over Arlen Specter in today's Muhlenberg College tracking poll.

Yesterday Sestak was up two; today he's up four. That's a clear sign of momentum. And the pool of undecideds continues to shrink.

* Also: Duncan Black notes that Sestak is now attracting the attention of the national media, an indication something real is happening.

* Another sign that Obama's presidency may not end up dramatically transforming the political map: Early Dem hopes for making big inroads in the west are running aground in Colorado.

* Sen. Bob Bennett is now officially the Tea Party's "first incumbent scalp."

* With the hard-fought race for John Murtha's seat now gaining national attention, the GOP candidate has settled on an interesting strategy: Repeatedly attack Murtha's votes on health and energy reform without ever mentioning his name, as he remains beloved in his district.

* Glenn Greenwald rounds up the latest criticism from the left and other developments surrounding presumed SCOTUS nominee Elena Kagan.

* And there is no chance whatsoever that Robert Gibbs will be able to survive this scandal.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  |  May 9, 2010; 10:54 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Foreign policy and national security , House Dems , Supreme Court  
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Next: The Morning Plum

Comments

The administration caving on the Miranda rights issue is beyond dissappointing, its politically incompetent. Not only will it not stop the criticisms from the right, it effectively validates them. At a moment when they are winning the argument over national security they decide to give Republicans and NeoCons all the ammo they need to point at them and say "See, we told you so!" On this issue I hope Congressional Dems give them the middle finger and rebuff them because it will be them who get pummelled in the midterm elections not Pres Obama who is virtually assured reelection in 2016 unless an as yet unseen credible GOP opponent can emerge between now and then. That's not hyperbole, that's a fact. If for no other reason than self preservation Dems in Congress should start being proactive in putting an end to all this capitulation by the White House in the name of "bipartisanship".

Wishful thinking, I know...

Posted by: sgwhiteinfla | May 9, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

sg, are we sure admin is caving? I think it's also possible they're just tweaking the timing of it. But devil in details...

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 9, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

@Greg

One side says "We can't be mirandizing these terrorists"

The other side says "Its the law and we are still able to get valuable information that way.

Then later they say "Well, maybe we DO need to change miranda law up a little bit"

What would you call it? Better yet, how will the American people hear it no matter what the intent is?

Posted by: sgwhiteinfla | May 9, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Didn't they already tweak the "public safety" issue by quite a bit of time with the Time Square bomber? The underpants bomber only got about 50 minutes before being read his warning, and they stretched that into several hours or more with the TS guy. Is Holder just trying to justify that or is he really proposing something new?

I don't know, I'm getting a little frustrated having to sacrifice my principles all the time. I support the President but I just can't accept or agree to some of the strategy he employs or maybe even more basic than that, I might just disagree with some of his principles. Am I supposed to just blindly support everything he does because I so desperately don't want the Repubs to take back control?

Posted by: lmsinca | May 9, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Sorry Greenwald it looks like it will be Elena Kagan.

Posted by: maritza1 | May 9, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

i wish someone, anyone, would ask holder, ivy-league law graduate, to point out the difference between the treatment of citizens and others under miranda. from what orifice would he have produced the answer to that?

Posted by: benjoya | May 9, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

sg -- I think caving would be agreeing to do away with Mirandizing in certain situations (presuming that's even possible)

the anti-Miranda camp wants no Miranda, and for terror suspects to be designated as enemy combatant...

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 9, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Re: Miranda and terrorism suspects. I haven't seen Holder's proposal but I will probably find it objectionable because I firmly believe in civil liberties and I don't see any problems with how Miranda currently operates. That said, this IS the proper way to go about things: the Administration consults with Congress and together they craft legislation which will then be tested in the courts. If we object to the Miranda proposal we should contact our elected leaders and tell them so before it is passed. I know this sounds pollyana-ish but this truly is the way such things should be handled by the Administration. A thorough and refreshing change from Bush-Cheney who acted in secret and trampled the rule of law.

Posted by: wbgonne | May 9, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

@Greg

Im sure you realize this but the Mirandizing loophole as it stands means that they already don't Mirandize a suspect right away. Looking to expand on that for all intents and purposes COULD do away with Mirandizing suspects in practice. And even if they choose not to go quite that far I have already talked about the hammer and nail approach. The Republicans and NeoCons will repeat over and over again that they are weak on terror and they are still Mirandizing terrorists in very simple terms while the admininstration will be left to try to explain how they are not mirandizing terrorists even though they vigorously pushed back on the notion after the underpants bomber that Mirandizing a suspect puts lives at risk. This isn't just kicking hippies, its absolutely caving on an issue they had effectively already won in the court of public opinion.

Posted by: sgwhiteinfla | May 9, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Marcy Wheeler on Holder:

"Even in his appearance on ABC, Holder makes a case that Miranda has not impeded any investigation to date:"

"The system has proven to be effective. …. people have been given Miranda warnings, people have continued to talk, as was the case [with Faisal Shahzad], as was the case with Abdulmutallab in Detroit."

"And Holder has made even more passionate defenses of Miranda in the past, notably in Congressional testimony. Nevertheless, Holder effectively uses his Sunday show debut to say, “If it ain’t broke, but fearmongers like Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham want to attack it nevertheless, then hell! Let’s break it!”

"But gosh. It sure is nice to see the last defender of rule of law allowed to appear on the Sunday shows!"

Posted by: lmsinca | May 9, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Have a nice Mother's Day all, I'm out.

Posted by: lmsinca | May 9, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

@Greg
Yesterday and earlier this morning, posts of mine were captured and, I presume, beheaded.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 9, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Oh, it's a cave all right. No other way to paint this. (Valiant effort, Greg!) Wait until they have to cave on challenging the AZ law.

Posted by: sbj3 | May 9, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Re: Gibbs scandal.

Since it's such a stupid and trivial issue, I'm sure it's going to grow legs and be the topic du jour on Fox all week long.

I don't watch the Sunday morning blabberfests any longer--for those of you who do, was there any discussion about the expanding catastrophe in the Gulf? God, the world is a depressing place these days.

Posted by: CTVoter | May 9, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

"Oh, it's a cave all right."

How so?

Posted by: wbgonne | May 9, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I don't think it is a cave. I think it is important that it is clear what the exemption is on the miranda in a "ticking time bomb" scenario.

Posted by: maritza1 | May 9, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Jeez, no sooner does bernie say that Liz Cheney has disappeared and up she pops again. And follows Buchanan's suggested pattern quite well, we might add. Born liar, the girl.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 9, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, link here: http://thinkprogress.org/

Posted by: bernielatham | May 9, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

And...I didn't watch Liz's performances on FOX but dollars to donuts there was no mention of the girl of Halliburton's role in the Gulf oil spill. We really cannot allow people like her to regain power. It would be unpatriotic.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 9, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

When the words "ticking time bomb scenario" are used to defend something the Obama administration is doing, you know we are going down the wrong path. Just saying.

Posted by: sgwhiteinfla | May 9, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Agreed, sg. Iraq was a ticking time bomb for the GOP and the chickenhawk establishment. And then they proceeded to waste billions of dollars and thousands of lives turning it into one.

Idiots.

Posted by: BGinCHI | May 9, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

You said: "Also: Duncan Black notes that Sestak is now attracting the attention of the national media, an indication something real is happening."

I can think of SO MANY stories that attracted the attention of the national media and were totally UNREAL. Um... ballon boy, anyone?

Posted by: converse | May 9, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Agreed, sg. Iraq was a ticking time bomb for the GOP and the chickenhawk establishment. And then they proceeded to waste billions of dollars and thousands of lives turning it into one.

Idiots.

Posted by: BGinCHI | May 9, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Apologies for double post. Error message again....

Posted by: BGinCHI | May 9, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Bernie, apologies for your difficulties.

I don't think any of them would have intentionally been beheaded. I'd be very surprised if anyone is on monitoring duty over the weekend. :)

Let me see what's going on. I assure you it wasn't intentional -- thanks for your patience.

Posted by: sargegreg | May 9, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

hey greg i didn't get a chance yesterday to add my vote for as many weekend plums as your schedule allows. yours and steve benen's are the two blogs i read daily (well, and mine, of course).

Posted by: skippybkroo | May 9, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

do you think it's possible than there is a human on the planet that has watched american tv, movies who remains clueless about the "you have the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney appointed by us or your own" (paraphrase)???? Or has bothered to google "miranda rights" or has been given terrorist training 101? Is this supposed to be a big secret that if we don't tell someone under suspicion of their rights then they have no clue that they exist under our Bill of Rights? How stupid do we have to get? Do you suppose we had to waterboard KSM 183 times because we mirandized him and he just shut up???

Posted by: mickster1 | May 9, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

@Greg - Nah, had no suspicion the beheadings were intentional. The one this morning was about 1800 words so perhaps that length might have kicked in some mechanism?

Posted by: bernielatham | May 9, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

"Yesterday Sestak was up two; today he's up four. That's a clear sign of momentum. And the pool of undecideds continues to shrink."
-------------------------------------------

C'mon Greg, you know better than that.

a) This is a tracking poll. You could easily be looking at a one-day anomaly that get's kicked out the back end day after tomorrow.

b) Even if this turns out to be a real development and not just statistical jitter, the proper term for a 4-point "lead" in a poll with a +/- 5% margin of error is "statistical dead heat."

I'd like very much to see Pennsylvania Democrats give Specter his walking papers myself, but not so much that I'm willing to engage in wishful thinking and/or ignore the most basic principles of statistical sampling. (I'm definitely keeping my fingers crossed though.)

Posted by: CalD | May 9, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

@mickster1 - Yes, there are clearly many people who are pretty seriously confused about a lot of these things. They are misinformed on a daily basis so it ought not to surprise us much, I guess.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 9, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Two great pieces by Alterman. Here's one...
http://www.thenation.com/article/party-every-day%20

Posted by: bernielatham | May 9, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Here's the other...
http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2010/05/ta_050610.html

Posted by: bernielatham | May 9, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

If you've followed the NRO/Weekly Standard crowd much, you'll recognize Ed Whelan as the point man for smears on judicial matters and persons (of the non-extremist right sort). As the piece notes, he clerked for Scalia. What he does here is typical. He's a serious scumbag. He's dishonest and apparently completely without integrity or character.
http://mediamatters.org/press/releases/201005090009

Posted by: bernielatham | May 9, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Regarding Kagan, who was nowhere near my top choice for SC, it's surprising she's being criticized for not hiring enough women. If she were black and didn't hire many blacks, would we be criticizing her for not doing so? Are they saying this woman discriminates against women? That's a big stretch. As far as hiring only one minority in 32, well that's troubling, but is it an indication of bias, enough to the point that she would be disqualified for SC justice?

The same article says Diane Wood hired only 1 minority, but it was out of only 10 hires. Who's to say her next 22 wouldn't have all been white? We don't know. This is all conjecture. It's good that it's brought up, but from my POV, this does not prove that she wouldn't make a good justice.

The other main argument against her are her ties to Goldman Sachs, which even Greenwald admits is "minor". Some people will criticize every move Obama makes. Sometimes they make a good point. This time, they don't.

Posted by: SDJeff | May 9, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

I admit I know very little about Kagan or Wood. I am sure we will all know much more about Kagan in the weeks to come, if reports are true that she is getting the nod.

538.com comments on the Kagan hiring story, with a statistical analysis of course.

http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2010/05/on-kagans-minority-hiring-record.html

Posted by: Andy94 | May 10, 2010 7:23 AM | Report abuse

Nicolle Bell at Crooks and Liars quotes some conservatives on how they'll proceed with ANY SC nominee... http://crooksandliars.com/nicole-belle/breaking-obama-name-elena-kagan-scotu

Posted by: bernielatham | May 10, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Just how big is the BP oil spill? This will give you some perspective...
http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/archives/2010/05/oil-spill-scale.php

Posted by: bernielatham | May 10, 2010 7:58 AM | Report abuse

SCOTUS blog lays out the near future... http://www.scotusblog.com/2010/05/where-we-go-from-here/#more-19874

Posted by: bernielatham | May 10, 2010 8:00 AM | Report abuse

"Look for them to oppose any and all proposals that preserve Mirandizing, revealing that the anti-Miranda push is entirely political with no foundation in policy substance."

Because of course Greg knows there is no conceivable legitimate reason to oppose Mirandizing international terrorists.

I suppose that makes sense if one assumes, as the left now apparently does, that Mirandization doesn't inhibit suspects from talking but in fact leads them to admit everything.

Of course, the Miranda decision was based on the belief that suspects would admit more if they didn't know they had the right not to talk, but it's much harder to pretend that the opposition is unprincipled if the left admits there is a cost.

Anyone who thinks Obama/Holder have a coherent policy should remember Holder's answer to the question whether a soldier who captured bin Laden would have to Mirandize him.

Posted by: quarterback1 | May 10, 2010 8:20 AM | Report abuse

"He's a serious scumbag. He's dishonest and apparently completely without integrity or character."

Good argument.

Posted by: quarterback1 | May 10, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

All, morning roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/05/the_morning_plum_4.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 10, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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