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Happy Hour Roundup

* Even the diehards over at The Corner say Mark Kirk's misleading references to his service should be a campaign issue.

* Breaking: A Congressional Dem calls on Obama to be tougher with Israel in the wake of the flotilla raid. Oh, wait, never mind, it's only Dennis Kucinich, and he's a crank, so it doesn't count

* Meanwhile, Eric Cantor again backs Israel, and lauds Obama's stance thus far: "I commend the administration for its steadfast support of Israel in resisting another Goldstone-style U.N. investigation."

* Nitpicker, the blogger who got the Kirk story started, pokes another hole in Kirk's latest pushback.

* Relatedly, the headline of the day, from Swampland: "No One's Going to Beam You Out of This One, Mr. Kirk."

* Gallup: Republicans have now moved into the lead in the generic Congressional matchup, largely due to the drop in self-identifying Dems.

* Still more evidence Sue Lowden is sweating next week's primary: She may now be spending general election funds on a last minute ad blitz.

* Artur Davis' effort to become the first black governor of Alabama by snubbing blacks and liberals really didn't work out all that well for him.

* Chip Reid, who tends not to give Obama the benefit of the doubt, says he really got serious in today's speech about using the spill to rally for energy reform.

* And here's the key quote along those lines from Obama today:

"We have to acknowledge that there are inherent risks to drilling four miles beneath the surface of the Earth -- risks that are bound to increase the harder oil extraction becomes. Just like we have to acknowledge that an America run solely on fossil fuels should not be the vision we have for our children and grandchildren ... The time has come, once and for all, for this nation to fully embrace a clean energy future."

* Republicans will seize on this new AP report about the White House allegedly offering a Colorado Dem a job to forego a Senate race, but Michael Crowley explains why there's no "there" there.

* Why is CNN devoting an entire item to yet another ridiculous Sarah Palin Tweet? Oh yeah -- because it generates clicks and comments.

* And dismissing climate change as being nothing more than "the weather" apparently has some kind of odd appeal for GOP primary voters in California.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  |  June 2, 2010; 6:18 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Foreign policy and national security , Happy Hour Roundup  
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Next: The Morning Plum

Comments

Heads will soon be 'sploding all over this blog!

"U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday defended Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip and its decision to intercept the pro-Palestinian flotilla bringing humanitarian aid to the coastal territory, though he did not go so far as to defend the Israel Navy raid that killed nine people two days earlier."

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/biden-israel-right-to-stop-gaza-flotilla-from-breaking-blockade-1.293833

h/t Hot Air

Posted by: sbj3 | June 2, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

swampland is always just a bit off. It should have been: "No One's Going to Beam You Out of This One, Commander Kirk."

Posted by: andrewlong | June 2, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Nothing on this?

"Administration officials dangled the possibility of a job for former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff last year in hopes he would forego a challenge to Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, his rival in an Aug. 10 primary, administration officials said Wednesday."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/02/AR2010060203585.html

Posted by: sbj3 | June 2, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

I think Arthur Davis' loss, should also be a wake-up call for Dems in Southern states in general. African Americans are a loyal block of Dem voters, and usually, we are extremely loyal to "our own" in general, heck, at first, we even liked Clarence Thomas, and we still don't hate Condi Rice, but we love Colin Powell.

What happened to Davis' is that, due in large part to the election of Barack Obama, more and more African Americans are watching and listening, and are actually taking in more of the political world than we have in the past. Many of the people I know, while not crazy pols like some of us on the blogosphere, are very in tune to what's happening in the political world, particurlary as it relates to the Obama White House. It used to be that I had to be the one to bring up politics for any of my peep to talk about, now though, the same people who really didn't pay attention to what was happening, come up to me and ask me if I've heard about this or that.

Davis thought he was just automatically gonna get AA votes, so he basically turned his back on them to try and attract non-black votes, and what happened he got neither, the whites didn't vote for him, and the AA turnout was abysmal, and those of AA who did turn out didn't even vote for him in large numbers anyway.

No one is crying for Arthur Davis. But I think that what happened to him, is a cautionary tail for Dems in the coming 2012 elections. Forget about whether or not Obama will be able to be re-elected (I think he will), what the Dems need to think about is, what would happen if Obama gets primaried, and for whatever reason is not on the ballot for 2012 (I know not a likely scenario) a low turnout among AA would really affect Dem chances in those states in the south, and in those Congressional districts where AA are a large and important voting bloc.

I doubt if it happens, but I hope Arthur Davis' loss makes some Southern Dems paticularly,(both AA and not) and national Dems in general, think twice before taking our votes for granted

Posted by: lynell33 | June 2, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

All, note that I'm adding items one by one...I got behind schedule today, apologies.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | June 2, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

* Still more evidence Sue Lowden is sweating next week's primary: She may now be spending general election funds on a last minute ad blitz.

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

Greg,

She should be OK, as long as she does not start bartering her health care chickens savings, for TV time.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 2, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Greg: You da man!

"Why is CNN devoting an entire item to yet another ridiculous Sarah Palin Tweet? Oh yeah -- because it generates clicks and comments."

I'm glad you mentioned that. Have you ever noticed how UNIFORMED the people on TV "news" and commentary shows are? Don't these people even read the day's New York Times and Washington Post, never mind a book or two, BEFORE THEY GO ON NATIONAL TELEVISION AND PROVE THEMSELVES IGNORANT FOOLS? The only person on TV who actually seems to do any work is Rachel Maddow.

You know what America needs? Pride. Real pride. Not the jingo-junk the GOP and Teabaggers spew. Pride in doing a job well. Pride in thinking. Pride in doing the right thing. Pride enough, anyway, to know that you really shouldn't be on television wasting people's time if you can't even bother to gather information to share?

"Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say."(Garcia, J.)

Posted by: wbgonne | June 2, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

haha, thanks liam for cheering me up after a very tough day. also liked your response to whoever it was who compared a single crashed airline to the gulf spill.

and yeah Andrew, "Commander Kirk" would indeed have twisted the knife a bit more. :)

and all, more items have been added above.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | June 2, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

@ sbj3 : Didn't you read the Crowley or Ornstein commentaries on this total non-story. There is no "there" there.

"If what the Obama administration did was impeachable, then Rep. Issa might want to consider retroactive impeachment action against Ronald Reagan, whose White House directly suggested to S.I. Hayakawa that he would get an administration position if he would stay out of the Republican primary for Senate in California or call for an investigation and special prosecutor of the Bush White House for discussing a Cabinet post with Democratic Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska to clear the field for their preferred Republican candidate Mike Johanns in 2006. At the same time, Issa might want to call for expulsion of his Senate colleague Judd Gregg, who insisted before he accepted the post of Commerce Secretary in the Obama administration that there be a guarantee that his successor, appointed by a Democratic governor, be a Republican."

Read more: http://swampland.blogs.time.com/2010/06/02/breaking-white-house-practices-politics/#ixzz0pjyZOq2S

Posted by: srw3 | June 2, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

@sbj3:U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday defended Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip and its decision to intercept the pro-Palestinian flotilla bringing humanitarian aid to the coastal territory, though he did not go so far as to defend the Israel Navy raid that killed nine people two days earlier.

Nothing exploding here. Biden is a typical centrist democrat and therefore reflexively pro-Israel, like most of the Dem caucus. Why is this news? Biden is wrong about this, but he is wrong about lots of stuff concerning Israel and other things...It is modestly gratifying that he didn't just repeat Bibi's line about the terrorists on the ships attacking the nice Israeli commandos that came to visit with their guns in the middle of the night and how those baddd people jumped in front of the Israeli bullets just to make the IDF look bad...

Posted by: srw3 | June 2, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

sbj3,
Perhaps Greg doesn't see it as his job to forward every crackpot tinfoil conspiracy generated by the GOP.

Don't worry. I'm sure you can get all you can handle from your favorite Obama-hating pundit.

Posted by: n0ym | June 2, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Israel needs to draw back to the 69 borders, because under international law, they are not allowed to confiscate land, and annex it from the territory under their occupation.

It is time for them to let go, and have the Palestinian State established. It does not matter if Israel and the new Palestinian State recognize each other or not. Once there are two states, side by side, they will both have to avoid acts of aggression which will lead to justified war, in response.

Israel having had control of the occupation for more than forty years, is long enough. Time to stop the nonsense, and allow the Palestinians to take their place among the family of nations.

Turn them loose, which then forces them to behave like a real nation, or face the consequences.

The Gaza strip may have to become a separate country, from the West Bank. Geographically, it just does not make much sense to have it established with the West Bank, as a single nation. There are several countries that are smaller in size, and populations, than that of Gaza.

Israel would have been better off, if they had never taken over Gaza from Egypt.

It reminds me of the tale about the Australian Aboriginal Chief, who was given a beautiful, ornate boomerang, by his tribe, to commemorate his twenty five years as their tribal leader.

The poor man spent the rest of his life, unsuccessfully trying to toss away his old boomerang.

Sorry to hear about your bad day Greg. Keep the faith, and things will look brighter in the morning.

It was Birther Bilgey who made the absurd comparison between a single plane crash, and the massive oil spill in the Gulf.

Good night all.

Posted by: Liam-still | June

Posted by: Liam-still | June 2, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

"Second GOP operative comes forward to say he had affair with Nikki Haley, leading candidate to become the Republican nominee for governor of South Carolina."
http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/news/2010/06/second_goper_claims_affair_with_haley.php?ref=fpblg

In my loins I'm goin' to Carolina
Can't ya just feel the sunshine

Posted by: bernielatham | June 2, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

I know I'm a nerd, but I've been hanging out a lot over at theoildrum and also watching the ROV's trying to put the fix on. There has been some discussion today over there about Obama's push for beginning to seriously address our dependence on oil. They normally appear to stay away from politics but most of the regulars there, when they're not brainstorming or explaining the BP gusher, are working on ways to transition to clean energy. They are hoping to avoid the panic that will set in sometime between 2012 and 2015 when everyone really understands what peak oil means. Here's a response from alanfromBigEasy today to what was a typical conservative insult to what they like to call "greenies". I'll follow this post with another more technical quote from Alan regarding wind turbines.

"No, many of the "Greens" have it VERY much on the ball.

Just read the article on the front page of TOD - "Deepwater Horizon and the Technology, Economics and Environmental Impacts of Resource Depletion - The End is Nigh".

I think I made one of my better comments there.

The "Greens" here have been having a high level debate for a half decade here on TOD. We have diverted some attention and IQ horsepower to the BP disaster, but that is not our core mission.

You have stumbled into a "Tech Central" for the Greens :-)

The "brain dead Luddites" are the "Drill, Baby, Drill" crowd supporting a recent VP candidate.

Alan

PS: Texas has had no restrictions on drilling, yet they cannot produce enough oil to feed the demands of Texas. Texas is an oil importer."

Posted by: lmsinca | June 2, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

"We need build only 450,000 or so wind turbines (1.5 MW size, fewer with larger) to produce half of our electricity. They last @ 25 years each (and the towers can likely handle 2 generations of WTs or 50 years). So 450,000/25 = 18,000/year once we get built out. Take down 9,000 towers/yr, melt them and build and install new ones.

Compare that to the number of cars we build each year.

Associated HV DC lines (life 50 to 70 years) and pumped storage (centuries life) will be needed for wind to get much above 20% of US electrical demand.

We can run 80% of our intercity freight on electrified railroads (we did 90% in WW II) for a bit less than 2% of our total electrical demand.

Today, our Urban Rail (PLUS Northeast Corridor Amtrak) take 0.19% of our electrical demand. We should build a minimum of ten times as much Urban Rail (ten NYC, DC, Chicago etc. subway equivalents, etc. or 1.9% of electrical demand) to help get us past post-Peak Oil.

Best Hopes for Obama GREATLY increasing his plans !

Alan"

Posted by: lmsinca | June 2, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

lms, thanks much for those two posts. Really interesting.

I'm blown away by the reference to Palin (and many others who follow the same line of thought) and how it's "so five minutes ago." If Obama can make connections to this community and move us forward in the infrastructure elements Alan mentions, we can have a New Deal on Energy.

That would be a game changer. Our competitors on the world economic stage will not be able to compete with us if we switch radically and smartly.

Posted by: BGinCHI | June 2, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

BG, I really find the entire energy "crisis" so compelling on so many levels. I had a brief run-in with qb yesterday re BP and clean energy and I suddenly realized he has no interest unless the "free market" finds a magical solution. If the competition is there with oil then the market will find the solution with never a thought or comment to the fact that we're going to run out of oil and will need to change our habits regardless of the market.

It's so easy for him, Palin, Limbaugh, Beck and more than a few conservatives in Congress to dismiss us all as environmental groupies and just wait and see what happens. They seem to have no interest in conserving what oil is left. These men and women over at theoildrum and people like my daughter are working on solutions for the future, regardless of the politics. They realize what's at stake and we can't just sit back and hope the free market suddenly gets it's act together, evidence BP.

I know Obama has a lot on his plate and I haven't always agreed with his centrist solutions, but I'm really beginning to think this is the defining issue of his presidency. I just hope he runs with it.

Posted by: lmsinca | June 2, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Gubernatorial candidate of South Carolina, Nikki Haley, has another issue to deny -- a one night stand:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/02/AR2010060204251.html

is this because the SCGOP doesn't want to be run by a woman??

Posted by: jeeze56 | June 2, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Greg:

I hope you have a nice day.

If you think it worthwhile please note this absolutely f-ing unbelievable development:

Gov. Bobby Jindal urges Obama to get deepwater drilling back quickly

http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2010/06/gov_bobby_jindal_urges_obama_t.html

I swear to god this country is insane.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 2, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Bob Cesca's conclusion in a piece over at HuffPo. And Jindal seems to be having an identity crisis wb.

"Forty years of corporate deregulation by conservative Republican Ayn Rand fetishists (and their Democratic enablers) have successfully poisoned the Gulf of Mexico. Ironically, the most liberal pro-regulation president in this same span of time -- the president who has announced on several occasions a significant break from Reagan's "government is the problem" mantra -- appears to be the only politician being blamed for this so far. One of many reasons why I fear it'll be another 40 years before we roll back this free market monster."

"And, as I watch this video, the solution occurs to me: they should just plug the oil leak with every single existing copy of Atlas Shrugged."

Posted by: lmsinca | June 2, 2010 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Imsinca:

Bob Cesca. Is that the guy I saw on TV the other night? He's pretty good.

I'll tell ya. Much as O feel for the people of LA they have to stand up right now for themselves and their state. Their governor is owned by Big Oil. So are both their U.S. senators, one GOP the other Dem. Half the federal judges in LA have already recused themselves from any BP litigation due to "conflicts of interest" including oil investments and friendships with oil executives and lawyers. So I understand that the people of LA are on their own. BUT. They simply must step up and take over their state right now. They must tell Jindal, Landrieu, Vitter and the rest of them that the people of Louisaina will no longer be salves to Big Oil. If they don't they may find themselves bereft of sympathy.

Posted by: wbgonne | June 2, 2010 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Bob Cesca is awesome. In fact, his website is called Bob Cesca's Awesome Blog. It's a good one, as are his weekly Huffington articles. I wouldn't have even known the Plum Line if Bob didn't link to it so frequently.

Posted by: SDJeff | June 3, 2010 1:05 AM | Report abuse

Might Scaife buy Newsweek? Yes.
http://mediamatters.org/blog/201006020052

Posted by: bernielatham | June 3, 2010 1:40 AM | Report abuse

"The Bush-Cheney pattern of cuts in funding for renewable energy R & D, coupled with subsidies and tax breaks for Big Oil continued throughout their administration, culminating in their 2008 lifting of the moratorium on offshore drilling, including the eastern Gulf of Mexico and offshore of the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. As Lefton notes, "Bush then called on Congress to lift its own annual ban on drilling, as John McCain embraced "drill, baby, drill" that year."

Bush's Bungling mismanagement of the Hurricane Katrina recovery effort was the critical turning point for public opinion towards his administration. But, affirming observations made by TDS Co-Editor William Galston back in early May, Lefton makes a compelling case that the BP disaster in the Gulf should forevermore be known as "Cheney's Katrina."
http://www.thedemocraticstrategist.org/strategist/2010/06/countering_the_gop_spill_spin.php#comments

Posted by: bernielatham | June 3, 2010 1:48 AM | Report abuse

I am as amused as I am disturbed by liberals' obsession with Ayn Rand and their gross ignorance of her relationship to conservatism of the last 50 years.

If you want to be simplistic about it, there is little to no relationship, because her philosophy was denounced as fanatical by Bill Buckley (and Whittacre Chambers), who largely shaped conservatism's intellectual contours during this period. For many years, in fact, she reportedly refused to attend any event where Buckley was present.

But it makes good propoganda for propogandists like Cesca.

The Gulf disaster happened on Obama's watch, under his regulations and regulators.

Live with it.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 3, 2010 7:39 AM | Report abuse

lmsinca, two questions.

When are we going to run out of oil?

Are people working on alternatives part of the free market?

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 3, 2010 7:43 AM | Report abuse

qb

Two answers, nobody knows and yes.

We are depleting our natural resources at a fast clip and we need to do a better job of conserving and planning for a future less reliant on oil. Ending the tax breaks and corporate influence of big oil and investing more in alternatives and transitioning to clean energy needs to be sped up. Hiding our head in the sand isn't working. It seems to me we should all want the same thing and realize that the "free market" is moving too slow, we're going to pay for that one way or another.

Posted by: lmsinca | June 3, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

All, morning roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/06/the_morning_plum_23.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | June 3, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

lms,

What I don't see is the basis for anyone to conclude that "we" are hiding our heads in the sand and not investing "enough" in alternatives, or what the objective measurement is from which you conclude that it "isn't working."

There are nearly infinite economic incentives for someone to invent or develop superior alternatives, and you seem to acknowledge that a lot of people are working to do so. The belief that "better" results would be achieved if the government commanded reallocation of more resources into development of alternatives is just that -- a belief based on unprovable assumptions.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 3, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

btw, the question about when we run out of oil isn't to deny that the world holds some finite amount but to highlight that we have been on the verge of running out, according to environmental extremists, for decades, yet the date of running out keeps being pushed farther into the future as we find more (that was believed not to exist), and develop more ways to extract it.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 3, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

qb, I don't think we can rely on the free market to solve our dependency problems. And the warnings from years ago by environmentalists are now coming true as we have depleted the easily accessible oil and coal, our reliance is becoming less and less sustainable for both the environment and our economic growth. And yes, most of us have buried our heads in the sand and gone about our merry ways saying if I want a steak I'll have it or if I want that big truck you can't tell me no. We can either change our ways now or not. Everyone worries about the "deficit" we're leaving our grandchildren, this is a much larger burden and it's something we all need to work on, politics aside.

"But the era of cheap, easy petroleum is over; we are paying steadily more and more for what we put in our gas tanks—more not just in dollars, but in lives and health, in a failed foreign policy that spawns foreign wars and military occupations, and in the lost integrity of the biological systems that sustain life on this planet."

"The only solution is to do proactively, and sooner, what we will end up doing anyway as a result of resource depletion and economic, environmental, and military ruin: end our dependence on the stuff. Everybody knows we must do this. Even a recent American president (an oil man, it should be noted) admitted that, “America is addicted to oil.” Will we let this addiction destroy us, or will we overcome it? Good intentions are not enough. We must make this the central practical, fiscal priority of the nation."

http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6544#more

Posted by: lmsinca | June 3, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

@qb: You don't understand peak oil. In fact, we are in stage 3 of the peak oil model, where the only major finds have huge technological and financial challenges, like say drilling a mile below the sea floor to find oil or using 2 barrels of water to produce 1 barrel of tar sands oil.

the last time the world discovered as much oil as it produced in a year, was back in the mid 1980s. The trend is clearly unsustainable. Over the last couple of years, the world is consuming three times as much crude oil compared to what was discovered during those years.

Posted by: srw3 | June 3, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

You both simply fail to grasp the obvious.

You ASSUME no one is doing anything about finding alternative energy, and that somehow if we "stop burying our heads in the sand," i.e., have the government "do something" about it, someone will come up with a magic solution.

Yes, predictions of impending oil depletion evolve, because they continue to fail to come true. That is just proof of what critics always said: The Malthusians don't understand technological advancement and economics.

It would be great if someone would invent or discover the magic energy solution. No more paying authoritarian and two-faced fanatical Muslim countries for oil! But you all need some better explanation for why it hasn't happened yet than cliches about "hiding our head in the sand." Billions and billions have been invested in alternatives. Maybe it just isn't that simple.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 3, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

qb, of course it's not that simple, which is why we need to be doing more. If you think DW drilling is being done because we have an unlimited supply of oil reserves and we aren't facing shortages and more difficult scenarios in extraction in the future then I'm at a loss for words. We could keep waiting for the "free market" to solve our energy problems or move into a larger expansion of alternatives. Local, State and Federal governments all need to get on the same page to move us forward and drag our citizens kicking and screaming along with them. It's all about investing which costs money and it shouldn't be a political football any longer. Just my opinion.

Posted by: lmsinca | June 3, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

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