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The Plum Line: June 13, 2010 - June 19, 2010

Saturday Roundup

* An interesting piece from Jason Horowitz, who whacks the media for being more obsessed with how the Gulf spill fits into Obama's "narrative" than with the spill itself: The BP oil spill has largely been treated as the latest...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 19, 2010; 10:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (59)
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , House GOPers , Political media , Senate Republicans  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* It's good to see that indefatigable scandal hunter Darrell Issa is making the stakes of the midterm elections crystal clear: Rep. Darrell Issa, the conservative firebrand whose specialty is lobbing corruption allegations at the Obama White House, is making...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 18, 2010; 6:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (50)
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Happy Hour Roundup , House Dems , House GOPers  
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Van Hollen: Joe Barton revealed GOP's true stance on Big Oil

In another sign that Dems will stop at nothing to keep the Joe Barton story alive, the chief of Dem efforts to hold the House just said in an interview that Barton had inadvertently revealed the GOP's true posture towards...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 18, 2010; 4:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change  
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New attack on Kagan: She compared NRA to KKK

It's an explosive charge: Did Elena Kagan compare the NRA with the KKK? So writes National Review, and the claim is likely to gain traction on the right, as part of the ongoing effort to paint her as a liberal...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 18, 2010; 3:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
Categories:  Senate Republicans , Supreme Court  
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New DNC ad calls on GOPers to "stop apologizing to big oil"

Think Dems are determined not to let the Joe Barton story recede into the background, now that he's retracted his apology to BP? The DNC has rapidly put together a new ad starring Barton that calls on Republicans to "stop...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 18, 2010; 1:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  Climate change , House GOPers  
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Can bold new crop of Senators save carbon limits?

If carbon limits have any prayer of surviving in the Senate's energy reform bill, it may turn on the efforts of one group: The energetic freshman and sophomore Senators that are pushing hard to keep carbon limits alive. In a...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 18, 2010; 12:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  Climate change , Senate Dems  
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Angle dodges question about armed revolution

For the first time, Sharron Angle has permitted herself to be directly questioned about her suggestions -- first reported on this blog -- of impending armed revolution. And she basically dodged. From an interview with the Las Vegas Review Journal:...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 18, 2010; 10:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (54)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Republicans , Tea Party  
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The Morning Plum

* Chicago shakedown watch: I predict that this quote from Rahm Emanuel, justifying Obama's right to demand the $20 billion BP escrow fund, will stir a lot of "Chicago shakedown" talk and gangster comparisons on the right today: "In the...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 18, 2010; 8:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Foreign policy and national security , House GOPers , Morning Plum , Political media , Senate Dems  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* House GOP leaders put Barton on notice: The story may not be over for GOP Rep Joe Barton. Even though he has now issued a statement retracting his apology to BP, House GOP leaders John Boehner and Eric Cantor...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 17, 2010; 5:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (55)
Categories:  Climate change , Happy Hour Roundup , House Dems , House GOPers , Political media , Senate Dems , Tea Party  
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Gibbs on GOP: "Hard to tell what planet these people live on"

There's another political dimension to the Joe Barton story worth considering: Until today, the narrative had been entirely focused on the Obama administration's inability to stop the spill. Barton's apology to BP has handed the White House an easy way...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 17, 2010; 3:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (76)
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change  
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How long can Dems keep the Barton story alive?

Democrats are clearly convinced that Joe Barton's apology to BP for the White House's conduct is a pivotal moment of sorts -- one that could allow them to indelibly brand the GOP as the party of Big Oil at a...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 17, 2010; 2:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (136)
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , House Dems , House GOPers  
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Huge majority still wants Obama tougher with BP

This is a fascinating finding buried in the new CNN poll, particularly since it was taken yesterday, on the day that Obama announced he had prevailed on BP to create a $20 billion escrow fund: Too tough 5% About right...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 17, 2010; 1:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
Categories:  Climate change  
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Boehner distances himself from Barton apology to BP

So how bad is it for the GOP that select Republicans are slamming the White House for successfully pressuring BP to create a $20 billion escrow fund, calling it variously a "slush fund" and a "shakedown"? Bad enough for John...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 17, 2010; 11:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (79)
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , House Dems , House GOPers  
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Angle spox clarifies: We should worry about revolution

After refusing for days to clarify her repeated suggestions of a possible impending armed insurrection if Congress continues along its current course, Sharron Angle's campaign spokeman has now offered a clarification of sorts to the Las Vegas Review Journal: Angle...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 17, 2010; 10:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (52)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Republicans  
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The Morning Plum

* Okay, a big day for climate/energy legislation in the Senate: Dems are set to meet this afternoon to discuss how to proceed. Question of the day: Whether Senate Dems have already given up on carbon limits. * Here's what...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 17, 2010; 8:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
Categories:  2012 , Climate change , Health reform , House GOPers , Immigration , Morning Plum , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Sam Stein unearths another doozy about armed insurrection from Sharron Angle: "I'm hoping that we're not getting to Second Amendment remedies. I hope the vote will be the cure for the Harry Reid problems." So now is it okay...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 16, 2010; 5:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (62)
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Happy Hour Roundup , House GOPers , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Obama told BP exec: It's all about Gulf residents

Does this count as emoting yet? President Obama, in the Rose Garden now, just delivered a brief statement announcing that BP had agreed to set up a $20 billion escrow fund for people and businesses impacted by the Gulf disaster....

By Greg Sargent  |  June 16, 2010; 3:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (58)
Categories:  Climate change  
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Cantor rips Van Hollen for citing BP on DISCLOSE act

It looks like Republicans will be broadening their case that Dems are using the Gulf spill for political ends. GOP Rep Eric Cantor is now ripping into Dem Rep. Chris Van Hollen because he cited the power and influence of...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 16, 2010; 2:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , House Dems , House GOPers  
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Dem Challenger: I'll take down Michele Bachmann

Meet the woman who insists she can take down Michele Bachmann. Dem State Senator Tarryl Clark says she's planning a campaign against Bachmann that will turn her national notoriety against her: Bachmann has spent so much time making extreme statements...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 16, 2010; 12:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  2010 elections , House Dems  
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New meme: Spill proves Obama isn't manly enough

So here's where we're headed next. The subtext of some of the criticism in the wake of last night's speech is subtle, but unmistakable: Obama's inability to halt the spill calls his manhood into question. Here, for instance, is The...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 16, 2010; 10:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (138)
Categories:  Climate change  
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The Morning Plum

* The morning after: By declaring that the one thing he refuses to accept is "inaction," Obama signaled in familiar terms that he is fully committed to securing the most ambitious legislative solution to the broader problem that he's able...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 16, 2010; 8:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (42)
Categories:  Climate change , Health reform , House Dems , Morning Plum , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Oval Office speech open thread

9:55 p.m.: Last thoughts for tonight: Seems to me that Jed Lewison has it right: No, he wasn't as specific as we would have liked. But he did devote paragraphs to the general urgency of acting now. The intended audience...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 15, 2010; 7:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (96)
Categories:  Climate change  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Quick note on tonight: Obama's big speech is at 8:00 p.m. eastern -- we'll be blogging it right here. * A reminder of the stakes: Senate Dems say they still don't have 60 votes for an energy bill that...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 15, 2010; 6:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Foreign policy and national security , Happy Hour Roundup , Senate Dems  
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How to quiet those Jimmy Carter comparisons

With Obama set to deliver a big speech tonight on how we're crippled by our dependence on foreign oil, a lot of people are reviving the comparisons between the current president and Jimmy Carter. Most of the comparisons center on...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 15, 2010; 4:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
Categories:  Climate change  
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Poll explains WHY people dislike handling of spill

The other day I noted that polls never seem to ask people why they disapprove of Obama's handling of the Gulf spill, making it easier for folks to continue arguing that people don't like his performance because he hasn't been...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 15, 2010; 3:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
Categories:  Climate change , Political media  
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Sharron Angle floated possibility of armed insurrection

Here's another one that could be tough for Sharron Angle to explain away: In an interview in January, Angle appeared to float the possibility of armed insurrection if "this Congress keeps going the way it is." I'm not kidding. In...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 15, 2010; 1:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (220)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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What Obama should say on climate change

"If not now, when? If not us, who?" Obama employed that line to great effect in the home stretch of the health-care debate, using it to prick the historical consciences of Dem lawmakers who were skittish about supporting reform. The...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 15, 2010; 10:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (107)
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Health reform , Senate Dems  
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The Morning Plum

* Commentators will understandably ask tonight whether Obama's big Oval Office speech solves his "Obama's Katrina" problem by showcasing a tough, compassionate, hands-on president. But it's also worth asking: Will it shake up the sclerotic dynamic in the Senate, where...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 15, 2010; 8:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (50)
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Foreign policy and national security , Morning Plum , Senate Dems  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* I noted below that BP is all but certain to cave to White House demands for an escrow account, and during the press gaggle, Bill Burton hinted that BP has already signaled as much in private negotiations: "The signs...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 14, 2010; 5:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (52)
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Happy Hour Roundup , Senate Republicans  
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Sharron Angle suggested we should privatize Dept of Veterans Affairs

Here's yet another data point for those looking to paint Sharron Angle as a female, right-wing Rand Paul: In a recent interview Angle suggested we should privatize the Department of Veterans Affairs. The key exchange comes halfway through this interview...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 14, 2010; 3:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (55)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Legal authority? BP will (mostly) cave to White House demand for escrow account

A bunch of readers have asked whether the White House is really on solid ground in asserting that it has the legal authority to force BP to set up a massive escrow account to handle the claims of people and...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 14, 2010; 1:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (59)
Categories:  Climate change  
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McConnell: Response to spill should undermine our faith in government

It was inevitable that Republicans would move from criticizing Obama's specific response to the spill to making the case that it should undermine our faith in government in general. And that's exactly what Mitch McConnell has now done, in response...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 14, 2010; 11:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (69)
Categories:  Climate change , Senate Republicans  
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Senate Dems to BP: $20 billion escrow fund NOW

As you know, President Obama is ratcheting up the pressure on BP by demanding that BP create an independently-monitored escrow fund to handle claims by people and businesses affected by the Gulf disaster. The White House hasn't named a specific...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 14, 2010; 10:09 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (54)
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , House GOPers , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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The Morning Plum

* We are now about to see what full White House engagement on the Gulf spill looks like. That's the unmistakable message from this week's schedule, which kicks off with a two-day trip to the Gulf, followed by an Oval...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 14, 2010; 8:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
Categories:  Climate change , Foreign policy and national security , Morning Plum , Political media , Senate Dems  
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Pressure on Boehner pays off?

As I've been noting here, Dems have been pressuring John Boehner to say what, specifically, he'd willing to support in order to hold BP liable for the cleanup and damages associated with the Gulf disaster. Now he's finally clarified: He...

By Greg Sargent  |  June 13, 2010; 11:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (77)
Categories:  Climate change , House Dems , House GOPers , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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