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The Morning Plum

* This is key: Obama energy chief Carol Browner, in an interview with Bloomberg TV, links the Gulf spill to the push for energy reform.

"This accident, this tragedy, is actually heightening people's interest in energy in this country and in wanting a different energy plan," Browner said, giving reform a more than 50% chance of passing this year.

Obama had previously refrained from linking the disaster to the need for immediate action on energy reform, so this is a step forward. But: Browner appeared to say domestic oil drilling must be part of the solution.

* Meanwhile, the left mobilizes. FireDogLake, again blurring the lines between blogospheric advocacy and outright political activism, is running a tough new ad on D.C. cable that uses Obama's words and pictures of the spill to urge a drilling ban.

* And: John Kerry and Lieberman may water down offshore drilling in the energy reform compromise bill they're set to introduce next week.

* Brace yourselves for the monthly spin war over the jobs numbers, due out this morning.

* Gutsy! Senator Robert Menendez takes a hard whack at Obama for suggesting we might have to put immigration reform on hold:

"Telling people we're not going to get a legislative solution this year, or to suggest maybe that it's not possible this year, is not in the best interests of the nation."

* Former Federal prosecutor Rudy Giuliani will go on ABC this Sunday, where he'll say we shouldn't have Mirandized the Times Square suspect, potentially making it tougher for prosecutors to convict.

* Interesting that John Boehner is being far more sensible than some Dems about Joe Lieberman's citizenship-stripping bill:

"If they are a U.S. citizen, until they are convicted of some crime, I don't see how you would attempt to take their citizenship away," Mr. Boehner said. "That would be pretty difficult under the U.S. Constitution."

* This will drive some discussion on the left: Pentagon bans four journalists from covering proceedings at Guantanamo because they identified a witness who's under a protective order even though his name has already been in the public domain.

* FinReg update: The amendment pushed by Senate liberals to bust up the big banks has gone down to defeat, and the Bernie Sanders Fed audit amendment that had gained momentum has now been delayed.

* Colleen Hanabusa, labor's candidate in the Hawaii House special election free-for-all, says she's not letting Washington Dems push her out of the race, and the DCCC may give up.

* Watch this one: Virginia Rep. Tom Pierrello's reelection campaign looms as a test case to see whether Dems who fearlessly make the case for Obama's agenda can survive (or thrive!) in marginal districts.

* And here's the shocker of the day: Those who argued that the Arizona immigration law is necessary because the Federal government won't solve the problem are refusing to delay the state law for one short year to allow the Federal government to solve the problem.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  |  May 7, 2010; 8:22 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Financial reform , Immigration , Morning Plum , Senate Dems  
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Next: Prominent GOP pollster: Times Square bomb scare gives Republicans an "opportunity"


"where he'll say we shouldn't have Mirandized the Times Square suspect, potentially making it tougher for prosecutors to convict."

Maybe I haven't had enough coffee this morning, but I don't understand what you're trying to say. Why would him saying that make it tougher for prosecutors to convict?

Posted by: schrodingerscat | May 7, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

The jobs numbers are in:

290k jobs added in April, unemployment rate 9.9%.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | May 7, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Hi Greg:

I submitted a long bit about Sessions' SCOTUS WaPo Op-Ed but it's being held for moderation. What's up with that?

Posted by: wbgonne | May 7, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Conservative ideology has little use for intellectual honesty or consistency. Here's Nile Gardiner, the director of the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom at the Heritage Foundation writing at The Corner this morning. Note the thesis of large mandate from voters and what that implies for policies that should follow...

If Brown stays on as prime minister, or hands over to a successor in the Labour Party, the consequences for Britain will be dire...He would have no popular mandate to govern, and would face massive opposition from much of the public as well most of the British media. Such a government would be short-lived and destined to be a failure.

Britain needs strong leadership both at home and internationally, and the electorate has voted emphatically for change. To deny the will of the British people would be a grave mistake with hugely damaging consequences for the country."

And here's Gardiner writing in the Telegraph UK yesterday...

"President Obama’s first 16 months in office provide an important lesson for the next British Prime Minister in how not to run the country. The hallmarks of the Obama administration have been the relentless rise of big government, excessive levels of public spending and borrowing, little or no job creation, the weakening of America’s defences, the appeasement of America’s enemies, and the decline of US global power"

Mandates, shmandates.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 7, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Hey Greg,

Maybe you know this already and people at the Post are working on it - if not I'd just like to let you know:

when viewing your blog in Google Reader it appears to be one long paragraph with no spacing or indents between lines, none of the links you create or videos you post show up - which is a shame because it has suddenly made your blog much harder to read.

Posted by: outlawtorn103 | May 7, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

"President Obama’s first 16 months in office provide an important lesson for the next British Prime Minister in how not to run the country."

What nonsense. In fact, I think Obama's first 16 months have likely been the most impressive of any president in recent history. No president has had to deal with so many major crises so early in his administration. And Obama has handled each challenge deftly. Conservatives -- here, in the U.K. and Israel, too -- are untethered from reality.

Posted by: wbgonne | May 7, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

wbgonne, let me check on that. not sure why that would happen. apologies for your difficulties.

and outlawtorn, can you try unsubscribing and resubscribing to the new RSS feed? that seems to have worked for many people.

thanks, all, for your patience as we work out these kinks.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 7, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

schrodingers, I'm saying that if you don't Mirandize suspects it's tougher to win a conviction.

so coming from a former prosecutor it's doubly ridiculous. make sense?

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 7, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

HI Greg,

I have had the posting problem over at Ezra's house. IF there are lots of links in the post, the software kicks your post to "moderation" where it basically dies. Sometimes if I try to post a few replies quickly, it also locks my UID out.

beyond left

Posted by: srw3 | May 7, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Greg if you expect anything but poor quality hackery from Rudy 911 Guliani, you are in for disappointment. He ceased to be a serious politician when he thought that retired NY folks in Fla could make him the repub candidate. Since then, he has been a hired gun for his consulting firm Bracewell and Guliani. I mean, look at his 180 on civilian trials for "terrorists". I am dizzy trying to follow all of his flip flops.

Posted by: srw3 | May 7, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

thanks srw. wbgonne, did your post have links?

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 7, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

My post had a link to Sessions' WaPo Op-Ed.

Posted by: wbgonne | May 7, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Greg: I just lost another post to moderation in the thread for yesterday's Morning Plum. And it was a good one where I eviscerated QB's Constitutional theory that Big Government is good when it strips civil liberties but not when it solves common problems.

I think I'll wait until the technical glitches are worked out before submitting another post.

Posted by: wbgonne | May 7, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

P.S., There was NO LINK in the most recent lost post.

Posted by: wbgonne | May 7, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

apologies, wbgonne. I'll get my techies on this right away.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 7, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

No problem, Greg. You gotta work out the kinks. Thanks for being so responsive.

Posted by: wbgonne | May 7, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse


Embattled U.S. Senator John Ensign awaits word on whether the Senate Ethics Committee will move forward with public hearings into scandals swirling around the Nevada Republican.

Officially, no decision has been made regarding a formal hearing. But something unfolded in Las Vegas this week that could be a blueprint for the senator's future, and it's not pretty.

All this week, I-Team cameras have been secretly recording as senate investigators talked with a who's who of Las Vegas business and political leaders.

Must read.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | May 7, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Updated JOBS Chart @ Benen:

Btw, Feb and March were revised up a combined 120k jobs in addition to the April numbers.

Heck yeah.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | May 7, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Oh I can hardly wait for said evisceration. If past performance is any indication of future results, I fear it will disappoint those who share wb's cozy theory that one either hates the Constitution or believes it applies to the whole world.

Posted by: quarterback1 | May 7, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

@Ethan: I imagine we'll see another poll about the public's confidence in the economy coming out in a week or so...and it will be up a little bit more.

I'm a little surprised that the Government only hired 66,000 workers for the Census. They are projected to hire nearly a million people...but the first few months of hiring aren't on pace to get even close to that by July. Maybe we'll see a spike in May and June?

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | May 7, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

" one either hates the Constitution or believes it applies to the whole world"

Not the whole world. American citizens arrested on American soil for crimes committed in America.


Posted by: wbgonne | May 7, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse


"American citizens arrested on American soil for crimes committed in America."

I didn't realize you were so far to the right. The Constitution doesn't simply apply to citizens. It applies to everyone.

Otherwise it's like saying a law passed in Ohio doesn't apply to someone visiting from Texas, because they aren't an Ohio resident.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | May 7, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

As for Arizona Governor Jan Brewer not delaying the Naziesque “Papers Please” law, it is merely confirmation that this law has NOTHING to do with prompting the federal government into doing something about immigration. This is all about xenophobic white bigots think that they intimidate brown folks.

Ever since Arizona became a haven for white conservatives, there has been far more tension between the Anglo and Latino communities than in neighboring New Mexico. That tension is due solely to the antipathy that white conservatives seem to have toward Latinos. Maybe the conservatives don’t realize that Arizona was populated by non-whites for thousands of years before the Goldwater/Quayle crowd showed up.

Posted by: Gasman1 | May 7, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse


wb calls me a doofus for returning his favor of exaggerating his position, and then chickenmadness jumps in to chide wb for rejecting the caricature.

Why do YOU "hate the Constitution," wb?

Posted by: quarterback1 | May 7, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Like I said yesterday about the AZ pols (Brewer, McCain, Kyl), this offer of a delay while immigration reform is done will elicit either a constructive response (because they want to accomplish something) or no response (because they are playing political games).

So far you can see that the GOP doesn't want to engage with policy solutions. All McCain cares about is his primary, and NOTHING else. And please don't whine that he's "been for immigration reform for a long time." Do something, McCain, then we'll take you seriously.

Posted by: BGinCHI | May 7, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Sargent,

First time poster, but a huge fan since I found your blog a while ago. Congrats on the move.

How is the race going between Blanche Lincoln and Bill Halter? And more importantly, can you confirm or deny whether President Obama picked Elena Kagan?

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

TheBBQChickenMadness ; I don't think the Const is limited in all respects to American citizens arrested in America for crimes committed here. But that is the paradigmatic scope of the Const. (Various Const. provisions have different applicability to non-citizens, etc.)

To QB:

I hope Hillary declares you a non-citizen for your material support of the Teabaggers.

Posted by: wbgonne | May 7, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

All, this seems important:

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 7, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse


You shouldn't use my chiding of wb as support of your gross misunderstanding of it.

You willfully disregard the Constitution in your arguments on a near daily basis around here. It's obvious to every poster on this board (and the previous one) that you either a) don't know what your talking about, b) don't care about the Constitution, or c) are so blinded by anti-Democrat partisan rage that everything you say is a knee-jerk reaction within your own little echochamber.

I prefer to see it as a combonation as all three, though I couldn't venture a guess at the proportions.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | May 7, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

When you engage in your apologia for bloated pedophile Limbaugh - as you did yesterday, are you doing that work pro bono or has he hired you to do his legal work? Does he pay you in Oxycontin or has he merely promised to let you tag along the next time he heads to the Dominican Republic to rape children?

Because I had the temerity to quote Limbaugh accurately, I suppose I can expect a threat of legal action. It is always so terrifying when the vaporous lawyers at “Sock Puppet, Mountebank, & Charlatan” serve you notice that they intend to name you as defendant in a pretend lawsuit. It especially focuses the mind to realize that it will be the senior partner, Mr. Sock Puppet himself who will be going after you in these imagined proceedings. For we all know what a legal super genius Mr. Sock Puppet is; he reminds us of it constantly.

Jeez, now I have to go and buy a pretend suit to wear in court.

Posted by: Gasman1 | May 7, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

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