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Happy Hour Roundup

* With the Elena Kagan hearings set to gear up tomorrow, Adam Serwer has a very user-friendly guide to the Republican attack lines.

* And: There's little doubt that Republicans will hammer Kagan with several rounds of tough questioning.

* New blog: Check out Amanda Erickson's new blog over at my former WhoRunsGov stomping ground. It's called Politerati and it will be chronicling the ups and downs, ins and outs, of Beltway power players.

* Kudos to Ben Smith for doing consistently level-headed work on the war over what constitutes "real" reporting:

I am, as I wrote earlier, in favor of letting the two kinds of reporting, and the long spectrum in between them, compete and support each other. Can't we all just get along?

And I think Ben is right to caution against dismissing the more traditional form: We need it. Ben has deservedly got a great rep among traditional reporters, so maybe folks will listen to him.

* Jeffrey Goldberg offers up a much more nuanced view of the dispute than he (and the anonymous sources) did last week.

* Gallup: A majority approves of Obama's decision to sack Stanley McChrystal.

* Evan McMorris-Santoro goes there: "Are Democrats Abandoning Kendrick Meek In Florida?"

* Headline of the day, From TPM: "Thurgood Marshall Takes Center Stage At Kagan Hearings."

* Steve Benen, on Kagan's and Marshall's inclination to defend the powerless:

Maybe my perceptions of public attitudes are off, but I don't imagine most Americans would recoil at the notion of a federal judge looking out for the voices of ordinary citizens, before they're drowned out by powerful interests. Nor do I think the American mainstream's sensibilities are offended by Thurgood Marshall's interest in protecting the underdog.

* Robert Byrd may lie in state in the Capitol.

* Theory of the day, from Glenn Reynolds, on the sex complaint against Al Gore:

"Anybody else notice that this came out right after Gore started criticizing the White House over the oil spill?"

I hadn't made the connection, actually. You?

* And Sharron Angle repeats her call for deregulation of the oil industry, and other industries, to boot.

What else is happening?

UPDATE, 6:43 p.m.: I meant to dig into this earlier, but Joan McCarter suggests that the difficulties in passing FinReg created by Byrd's passing call into question the wisdom of relying on Scott Brown to get it passed.

By Greg Sargent  |  June 28, 2010; 6:10 PM ET
Categories:  Happy Hour Roundup , Political media , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , Supreme Court  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: White House talking points cast Kagan as judicial wallflower
Next: The Morning Plum

Comments

From the link to Goldberg's newer article:

"Goldblog comes down, like Smith, on the let-a-thousand flowers bloom side of the issue"

So Goldberg DISAGREES with the WaPo "reporters" who used HIS ARTICLE to anonymously savage Greg, Ezra, and Dave?

What a freaking joke.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | June 28, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

That Benen comment is right and an amazing understatement.

HOW have we gotten to the point in this country where an entire political party and its followers brazenly support big corporations, openly, against the rest of the citizenry.

For those of you who know about late 19th and early 20th-century capitalism and its discontents, this has all the earmarks of class warfare.

I can't believe people want judges to protect the interests of the powerful against their own interests. I wonder how this sort of ideology has become so widespread? Anyone?

Posted by: BGinCHI | June 28, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

More reporters demonstrating how they can have an opinion and still cover conservatives "fairly":

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2010/06/reporters-caught-on-tape-mocking-sarah-palin-speech.html

Posted by: sbj3 | June 28, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

@sbj3,

I feel pity for any reporter who has to cover a speech by Sarah BarelyCoulda. It is a Seinfeldian problem: how do you write a story about a speech that says nothing? And a speech given at Turkey Tech, to boot?

Posted by: bearclaw1 | June 28, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

"Maybe my perceptions of public attitudes are off, but I don't imagine most Americans would recoil at the notion of a federal judge looking out for the voices of ordinary citizens, before they're drowned out by powerful interests."

God only knows the Representatives we send to Washington don't make our voices heard until next election rolls around. Nice to know someone thinks about the guy on mainstreet...

Posted by: soapm | June 28, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

We love a judge who will "rightly" interpret the 2nd amendment but the 14th where it says whose a citizen isn't important.

When will someone stand up to the right and insist they accept the entire constitution or stop waiving it in the air?

Posted by: soapm | June 28, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

"I meant to dig into this earlier, but Joan McCarter suggests that the difficulties in passing FinReg created by Byrd's passing call into question the wisdom of relying on Scott Brown to get it passed."

Last week I kept wondering why everyone was talking about FinReg like it was a done deal. Obviously I didn't know Byrd would die, but we should always wait till the votes are cast before declaring victory.

Posted by: SDJeff | June 28, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

"Theory of the day, from Glenn Reynolds, on the sex complaint against Al Gore:

"Anybody else notice that this came out right after Gore started criticizing the White House over the oil spill?"

I hadn't made the connection, actually. You?"

No. I noticed that the story came out after the spill and as BP, offshore drilling, the petroleum/energy industries and our present unsustainable and polluting ways are now gaining serious media and citizen attention.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 28, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

funny from Josh...

"TOO HOT FOR TEA
The Tea Party Nation unity convention was all set for July 15th-17th in Las Vegas with Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle as keynote speaker. But it's been cancelled. Because the organizers have decided it will be too hot.

Me neither."

Posted by: bernielatham | June 28, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Since Feingold has said he won't vote yes on the bill, and we don't know how Cantwell or Grassley will vote yet, that leaves the Brown vote as crucial. David Dayen is not feeling too optimistic.

"The giant punchline to all this? Brown could very well vote against the conference report because of its four-year, $19 billion dollar bank levy to cover implementation. So the White House put all their eggs in the Scott Brown basket to ensure passage, and now he’s wavering. Meanwhile, having weakened the bill’s most significant provision, the one they touted since January, Russ Feingold won’t be bailing them out, as he announced his continued opposition to the bill."

http://news.firedoglake.com/2010/06/28/obama-wh-catered-to-scott-brown-on-finreg-now-he-opposes-the-bill/

Posted by: lmsinca | June 28, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Goldberg clarifies:
"On the specific issue of Sargent, I don't think anyone I spoke to inside the Post was thinking of him when they said the critical things they said."

Which means they were talking about Ezra?

I think Goldberg's sources are mostly jealous of the amount of teevee time Ezra gets.

Posted by: flory | June 28, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Benen's first paragraph here, followed by Beinart:

"Peter Beinart noted today that for all the challenges making life difficult for the president right now, "he keeps racking up the wins." Indeed, Beinart makes the compelling case that Obama has recorded more significant milestones in 18 months than the last two Democratic administrations achieved in 12 years.

[E]ven if Obama never manages another legislative victory, he'll already have pulled off one of the most impressive opening acts in American political history. [...]

The larger truth is this: Even as Republicans claim political momentum, the country is in the midst of a major shift leftward when it comes to the role of government. That shift is playing itself out from infrastructure to health care to finance and perhaps eventually to the environment. No one knows whether these shifts will revive the U.S. economy and lay the foundation for stable, broad-based growth, just as no one could predict the impact of the rightward turn in American policy in the early 1980s. Decades later, liberals and conservatives still disagree about whether Reagan's reforms changed America for good or ill. What they don't disagree about is the fact that they fundamentally changed America. Those changes made Reagan one of the most consequential presidents in American history. Eighteen months in, it's a good bet that historians will say the same about Barack Obama."

Posted by: bernielatham | June 28, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

I read the Smith post first, and frankly, think that ought to suffice. But re: the argument here -

"I submit that someone can be a 'real' reporter if he or she is accurate... if he or she has a decent sense of what's newsworthy and important to readers; and if readers come away from his or her stuff feeling more informed than they were before."

Glenn Beck viewers come away from his stuff feeling more informed. He seems to know what excites them, and we're all familiar with Fox's 'fair and balanced' claims. Would you put yourself in the same category? Is this the vision of reporting you're trying to advance?

"There's no basis whatsoever for the B.S. charge that revealing a point of view of necessity compromises the integrity of the actual information purveyed."

Well, this is a good example of how embracing an editorial stance can lead to statements that are unhelpfully narrow (in some cases, border on misleading).

Some people feel that incorporating and trumpeting your personal opinions does affect their trust in the info purveyed. Flatly stating that their perceptions are "B.S." doesn't establish how that's so. Likewise declaring there is "no basis whatsoever." Is that an objective, measurable fact? How do you know it?

Objective reporting was never based on the premise that reporters are not human beings with personal views. Any more than the scientific method is premised on the notion that scientists are capable of omniscience, or devoid of expectations. But both are founded on a post-Enlightenment world where proven facts, and objective knowledge, and measurable progress are possible.

Here's what I'd like to know:

1.) Why do you *need* to be called a reporter? Are the labels "blogger" or "columnist" insufficient?

2.) Why does anyone need to "shut the hell up"? I'm guessing there have been times when old-media purists told you to "shut the hell up," so to speak; why should they have to obey that order from you now?


Posted by: jes7 | June 28, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Obama wants to repeal the constitution. No kidding, he really does. We know it because Limbaugh has it figured out.

There's your conservative movement in mordern dress. There's your GOP leader.
http://mediamatters.org/limbaughwire/2010/06/28#0058

Posted by: bernielatham | June 28, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

"I think Goldberg's sources are mostly jealous of the amount of teevee time Ezra gets."

Yup, and now they can be doubly jealous. Keith Olbermann had Dave Weigel on tonight, and announced that Dave will now be a contributor on MSNBC. No doubt he will be more than the occasional guest he used to be. Talk about landing on your feet!

Posted by: suekzoo1 | June 28, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Tomasky on Skocpol's advice that Dems (and WH) must make the point 24/7 that Republicans are killing economic recovery for political gain and nothing else...

"One Democratic senator, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, has already been blunt about this. The White House has not.

This is a good example of where and why Democrats lose political arguments. As I've written many times, Democrats in general still tend to think that you win political fights by having superior arguments. This of course is manifestly not true. You win political arguments by framing the question the media decide to take up. That means being aggressive in your framing, creating conflict (which the media love), and making sure that reporters will go to the other side and ask them well, how do you respond to this?"
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/michaeltomasky/2010/jun/28/us-midterm-elections-2010-useconomy

And all three of them are right.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 28, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

@Greg - Lots of kudos for your Goldberg/Post piece this morning. Hats off.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 28, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

@Greg

Is this the same Amanda that was running the now defunct "Cabinet Room"?

She was decent, but we've been spoiled with how much you stay and interact. I think after a few comments (and me being the only comments) without any responses and I stopped visiting.

It's the same reason I hardly read Ezra. If I have questions (and since his is about policy, I do)...he NEVER answers. It's pointless to leave his blog with more questions than answers.

Anywho, I'll give Politerati a try...but I'll be honest that it sounds a bit gossipy. Hopefully it turns out more substantive than it sounds at first blush.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | June 28, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Last comment (maybe) on Weigel. The piece he wrote up post-event is one of the most honest and self-reflective things I've read in a long time. Maybe one day we'll read something similar from Alexander but I'm not going to put money on it.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 28, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Chamber of Commerce joins the "let's not forget electability" chorus. Yes, we'll poop on the Tea Party/Eric Erickson crowd, he might have said but didn't.
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0610/39115.html

And heck no, nothing to do with the polls putting her double digits behind Buck.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 28, 2010 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Just now saw this from Jeff Goldberg...

"On the other hand, self-consciously neutral journalism is often riddled with hidden biases. On the specific issue of Sargent, I don't think anyone I spoke to inside the Post was thinking of him when they said the critical things they said. I certainly wasn't thinking of him in this context. He's a pretty killer reporter, as best as I can tell."

Posted by: bernielatham | June 28, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

I have an Al - Tipper theory.
My theory:
1. Al is innocent of the massage / sexual assault charge
2. Al & Tipper knew the story was about to break
3. Al & Tipper agreed long ago that she would never subject herself to one of those "stand by your man" press conferences
4. So they decided to announce their divorce before the story hit so she didn't have to be brought in to this
5. A while after the story passes, they'll announce they have reconciled.

you read it here first

Posted by: matt_ahrens | June 28, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse

All, morning roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/06/the_morning_plum_40.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | June 29, 2010 8:25 AM | Report abuse

The chances that we would see an American major daily carry such a story as this one on its front page are approximately zero. We really ought to ask why this is so.


"A SPECIAL PLACE IN HELL / TEA PARTY JEWS: BETRAYING U.S. AND ISRAEL AT THE SAME TIME
Every wonder what a future America might look like if the Tea Party took over? Try today's Israel.

SILWAN, East Jerusalem – Ever wonder what a future America might look like if the Tea Party took over? Try today's Israel.

That distinctive brew of left-baiting, Obama-hating, poorly veiled racism, clergy-driven jingoism, clergy-fanned derision of the Supreme Court, the Luddite insertion of anti-government bile where an ideology should go, a majority which feels victimized and discriminated against and threatened by minorities of indeterminate legal status – it's all here. It just speaks Hebrew.

In fact, for a far-right segment of U.S. Jewry which, since the rise of Barack Obama, has mushroomed in volume and impact if not in numbers, anti-government animus has taken what may have been an inevitable next step: finding ways to betray in one stroke the policies and, in fact, the national interests of both the United States and Israel..."
http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/a-special-place-in-hell/a-special-place-in-hell-tea-party-jews-betraying-u-s-and-israel-at-the-same-time-1.298977

Posted by: bernielatham | June 29, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

"I visit Israel at least once a year, so I have an opportunity to observe changes in the country's concerns. Never before have I sensed such a mood of foreboding, which has been triggered by two issues above all--the looming impasse in relations with the United States and a possible military confrontation with Iran."
http://www.thedemocraticstrategist.org/strategist/2010/06/tds_co-editor_william_galston_5.php#comments

Posted by: bernielatham | June 29, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

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