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The Plum Line: June 6, 2010 - June 12, 2010

Saturday Roundup

* It's the deregulation, stupid: One of the outstanding questions about Obama's handling of the spill has been whether he'd seize on it to make an aggressive case against the knee-jerk deregulatory ideology that ran rampant before he took office....

By Greg Sargent  |  June 12, 2010; 10:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (119)
Categories:  Climate change , Political media , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Obama Anger Watch: Sam Donaldson gets it right, advises Obama not to even bother trying to play that game. * Ugly fact of the day: "In 17 months in office, President Obama has already outdone every previous president in...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 11, 2010; 5:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (62)
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Happy Hour Roundup , House GOPers , Political media  
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Upping the pressure on Boehner

John Boehner is appearing on ABC's This Week on Sunday, alongide Steny Hoyer. I'll bet you a Plum Line lava lamp that Hoyer will press Boehner to answer a question: What. precisely, is he willing to support in order...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 11, 2010; 3:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (56)
Categories:  Climate change , House Dems , House GOPers  
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You, too, can pretend to crush Obama's head!

Are you really, really, really angry at President Obama? If so, The Weekly Standard is here to help. The mag is selling an "Obama stress head" doll that lets you take out your rage at the President by crushing his...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 11, 2010; 1:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Political media  
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New Kagan document undercuts right wing attack

As Elena Kagan's nomination wends its way through the Senate, Republicans have been scouring her record for ways to paint her as a knee-jerk gun control fanatic. The NRA is expected to point their formidable weaponry in her direction, too....

By Greg Sargent  |  June 11, 2010; 12:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
Categories:  Senate Republicans , Supreme Court  
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What is Boehner willing to support to hold BP liable?

Yesterday I noted that John Boehner's office had clarified that he does, in fact, believe that BP should be held liable for the costs of cleanup and damages. "No taxpayer money for cleanup or damages -- period. BP pays," Boehner's...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 11, 2010; 10:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (58)
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change  
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The Morning Plum

* With scientists now concluding that far more oil is gushing into the Gulf than previously thought, it's very clear that the level of acrimony between American elected officials and BP is suddenly going to escalate exponentially. * The key...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 11, 2010; 8:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (63)
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , House Dems , House GOPers , Morning Plum , Senate Dems  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Though Lisa Murkowski's effort to block the EPA from regulating carbon emissions was defeated in the Senate today, six Democrats voted for it. You know who one of them was, of course. * Still, it's a victory for Obama,...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 10, 2010; 6:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (80)
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Happy Hour Roundup , House GOPers , Senate Dems  
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Boehner spox: No taxpayer money on Gulf spill cleanup or damages

House GOP leader John Boehner does not believe any taxpayer money should be spent on the cleanup of the Gulf spill or on any damages caused by it, his spokesman confirms to me. "No taxpayer money for cleanup or damages...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 10, 2010; 4:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
Categories:  Climate change , House GOPers  
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Schumer spox clarifies "cheering on" Blanche against labor

Okay, it looks like this whole flap over Chuck Schumer's apparent cheering on of Blanche Lincoln for taking on unions is not really a big deal after all. Schumer spokesman Brian Fallon gets in touch to clarify that Schumer was...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 10, 2010; 2:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (81)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems  
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Schumer cheers Blanche for fighting unions?

It was as predicable as a GOP filibuster that Senate Dems would give Blanche Lincoln an ovation upon her victorious return to the Senate. But doesn't it seem a bit questionable for Chuck Schumer, who has been on the forefront...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 10, 2010; 12:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems  
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White House officials make nice with labor

In a private meeting currently under way with labor leaders, top White House officials are working hard to smooth over tensions in the wake of an anonymous administration official's claim that unions had flushed $10 million down the toilet in...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 10, 2010; 11:36 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (51)
Categories:  2010 elections  
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Did labor just want to 'send a message' to Dems?

There's a bit of a meme bubbling up that organized labor never really thought Bill Halter could win the general election in Arkansas, and that unions spent millions primarying Blanche Lincoln for the sole reason that they wanted to send...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 10, 2010; 11:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems  
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The Morning Plum

* The evidence continues to mount: People want a strong Federal response to the Gulf spill -- not just to the cleanup, but to the larger, underlying problems that caused it. Check out these striking numbers from the new Washington...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 10, 2010; 8:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (60)
Categories:  Climate change , Health reform , Morning Plum , Political media , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Robert Gibbs tries to distance the White House from the anonymous official's claim that labor flushed $10 million down the toilet. Sort of. * Good read: Philip Rucker and Peter Slevin weigh in with a very fair piece laying...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 9, 2010; 5:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (103)
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Happy Hour Roundup , Political media , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Yes, labor lost yesterday. And?

Chuck Todd and the gang at First Read say Bill Halter's narrow loss was a "crushing blow to organized labor and the internet left." Of course it was a loss. But John Cole has a solid rejoinder to such simple-minded...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 9, 2010; 2:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (61)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems  
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Sharron Angle: In wake of Gulf spill, we need to "deregulate" Big Oil

Dems are gearing up to paint Sharron Angle, the ultra-conservative candidate who's now taking on Harry Reid, as another Rand Paul and possibly even further to his right. And here's another data point: Angle said in a recent interview that...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 9, 2010; 1:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (63)
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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SEIU officials: Blanche Lincoln should forget about our support in general election

In a move that's likely to ratchet up already-white-hot post-Arkansas tensions between organized labor and the White House, officials with the labor powerhouse SEIU are confirming that they are all but certain not to back Blanche Lincoln in the general...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 9, 2010; 11:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (69)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems  
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The Morning Plum

* Now that the smoke has cleared from the Arkansas war, it's clear that the Lincoln-Halter contest ripped the lid off of simmering tensions between the White House and organized labor -- and that these tensions aren't going away anytime...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 9, 2010; 8:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (108)
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Financial reform , House Dems , Morning Plum , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Election night open thread

11:03 p.m., Quick take on Lincoln's victory: Blanche Lincoln's victory will be widely painted as a crushing loss for the left. Labor poured a huge amount of cash into the race, and there's no quibbling with the fact that this...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 8, 2010; 8:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (82)
Categories:  2010 elections  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Quick note on tonight: The primary we're most focused on tonight is -- natch -- the Arkansas runoff, and polls close at 8:30 p.m. eastern time. We'll be blogging it right here. * Blanche Lincoln pledges to support Bill...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 8, 2010; 6:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (37)
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Happy Hour Roundup , Political media  
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Harry Reid's battle plan against Sharron Angle: Paint her as whackjob

Harry Reid's political operation in Nevada is quietly assembling a battle plan to take on Tea Partyer Sharron Angle in the general election, presuming she beats Sue Lowden in today's GOP primary. The strategy: Use her own words to...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 8, 2010; 4:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (66)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Obama's ass-kicking, in context

Obama's remark about wanting to "know whose ass to kick" is already several news cycles old, but it's worth noting the full context: Obama was answering a question specifically about whether he should be kicking more butt. As Chuck Todd...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 8, 2010; 2:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (45)
Categories:  2010 elections , Political media  
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Poll finds nobody cares about job offer "scandal"

Yes, it's Rasmussen, but this is noteworthy, since it's the first polling to gauge public attitudes towards the Joe Sestak and Andrew Romanoff job offer "scandals." It turns out nobody cares: Voters express only modest concern and hardly any surprise...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 8, 2010; 12:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (39)
Categories:  2010 elections  
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Oil spill threatens Obama's effort to restore trust in government

As many commentators have noted, the Gulf oil spill may pose a serious threat to one of the most important aspects of Obama's presidency: his effort to restore public confidence in government as competent, as a trustworthy agent of genuine...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 8, 2010; 11:09 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (112)
Categories:  Climate change , Political media  
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The Morning Plum

* It's hard to overstate how big a day this could be for the left if labor and progressive activists succeed in taking down Blanche Lincoln, a symbol of everything that's wrong with centrist establishment Democrats. At a time when...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 8, 2010; 8:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (54)
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Morning Plum , Political media , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , Tea Party  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Schumer spox walks back claim climate bill will be scaled down: Chuck Schumer caused a big stir today by telling MSNBC that Senate Dems were poised to move forward with a weaker, scaled down climate change proposal in the...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 7, 2010; 5:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (65)
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Happy Hour Roundup , Political media  
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Yes, people fault the response to the spill. But why?

It's a fact: Multiple polls have now shown that the public is very unhappy with the way Obama and the federal government have handled the Gulf oil spill. Today's Post/ABC News poll, for instance, offers the eyebrow-raising finding that more...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 7, 2010; 3:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (113)
Categories:  Climate change , Political media  
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Could Fox News inherit Helen Thomas's seat?

It's not impossible! Here's why: Even before the controversy erupted over Helen Thomas' remarks, Fox was locked in a behind-the-scenes "death match" with Bloomberg News over who would next inherit her front-row seat in the White House press room, according...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 7, 2010; 1:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  Political media  
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Helen Thomas is 'retiring'

It's over: Helen Thomas is "retiring." Hearst Newspapers, which employs her and publishes her column, e-mails: Helen Thomas announced Monday that she is retiring, effective immediately. Her decision came after her controversial comments about Israel and the Palestinians were captured...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 7, 2010; 12:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
Categories:  Political media  
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Helen Thomas unlikely to hold her plum press seat

The White House Correspondents' Association is debating what to do about Helen Thomas in the wake of the explosion of outrage over her claim that Jews should "get the hell out of Palestine" and go back to Europe. The WHCA...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 7, 2010; 11:49 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security , Political media  
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Rand Paul distorts disabilities act, again

Makin' it up again? Via Think Progress, top tier GOP Senate candidate Rand Paul has now published an op-ed in a Kentucky paper clarifying his views of the proper relationship between government and the private sector. Paul's piece is getting...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 7, 2010; 10:17 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (80)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Republicans  
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The Morning Plum

* Brace yourselves for a host of misplaced military metaphors today: Top Obama administration officials are set to put on a major display of all the "force" they're bringing to bear against the Gulf oil spill. * The action kicks...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 7, 2010; 8:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Foreign policy and national security , Happy Hour Roundup , House Dems , House GOPers , Morning Plum , Political media , Senate Republicans , Tea Party  
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Sunday Roundup

* Quick note to readers, apropos of nothing: I have been absolutely loving your comment threads, which are among the best on the Internets. Thanks so much for your contributions. * Coast Guard admiral Thad Allen, who's overseeing the response...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 6, 2010; 11:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (86)
Categories:  Climate change , Foreign policy and national security , Political media , Senate Dems  
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