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Sunday Roundup

* Dianne Feinstein says today that if Saint David Petraeus wants to scrap the Afghanistan drawdown deadline, then we should "give it to him, absolutely."

This is something worth watching: The change in command to Petraeus could perversely end up muting a searching discussion about Afghan policy, rather than encouraging it.

* Relatedly: Lindsey Graham signals that Republicans will use the Petraeus appointment to argue that the drawdown deadline must be scrapped: "When it comes to deadlines, we need to take that off his back."

* Shorter Leon Panetta: The drone strikes that the CIA won't the acknowledge of are in perfect compliance with the law.

* And: Panetta says progress in Afghanistan is "slower" than anticipated.

* And: This quote from the Rolling Stone article on Stanley McChrystal is finally starting to get the attention it deserves:

"If Americans pulled back and started paying attention to this war, it would become even less popular," a senior adviser to McChrystal says.

But again, the appointment of Petraeus will give people cover to postpone a tough conversation about what needs to be done.

* The gang at The Page games out the president's week ahead, and it's daunting: "Return from summit, confirm Kagan, plug the hole, jump-start energy talks, keep Afghanistan policy on track, and jobsjobsjobs."

* Nancy Pelosi is so furious with the Senate for punting on the jobs bill that House Dems may try to do one themselves next week.

* Relatedly: Theda Skocpol says Dems need to go there and blare the message nonstop that "Republicans are sabotaging national economic recovery and preventing jobs growth, just for political advantage."

* Jed Lewison, who's been banging this drum for some time, is glad that The New York Times finally took a critical look at Bobby Jindal's handling of the spill.

* And a quick note to right-wing readers who sent abusive emails for highlighting Sarah Palin's instruction to followers that they read the article comparing the BP escrow fund to Nazism: There's no denying that this is news.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  |  June 27, 2010; 12:17 PM ET
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security , House Dems , House GOPers , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Next: The Morning Plum: Byrd and the Senate

Comments

Republicans and Feinstein are gonna have one major problem with this deadline BS. Whether you like or dont like Petraeus one thing thats clear is he's a company man. He has had plenty of opportunities to undermine Pres Obama but you havent even heard anything linked by him in that vein. Matter of fact some Republicans thought Petraeus leading CentCom would end up changing our withdrawal in Iraq. Instead we are now at a point where its so set in stione for the most part that it never even comes up anymore.

I dont know if that means we will have a tougher and better convo over Afghanistan but I will say Panetta was on T V today admitting it was going slower and harder than anticipated

Posted by: sgwhiteinfla | June 27, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

So this has nothing to do with politics...but I wanted to pass on the youtube video of the fight scene from two of my best friends' wedding (3 mins).

Yes, you read that correctly.

In case you're curious, I'm in the wedding party. I'm the guy who tells a friend of mine to put down the chain saw.

And again, yes, you read that correctly.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vex32C5p23k

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | June 27, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Feinstein also suggests that we should just hand the civilian government over the military and let them make decisions, including those regarding civilian personnel:

"(Petraeus) should make the calls. If he can't work with the ambassador, the ambassador should change. If he can't work with Holbrooke, that should change," Feinstein said. "I think we put all of our eggs in the Petraeus basket." http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/06/27/senators-raise-option-diplomat-shake-afghanistan/

She gets worse every time she opens her mouth.

Posted by: converse | June 27, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

"Dianne Feinstein says today...

...

* Relatedly: Lindsey Graham signals...."


Well, at least at this rate the failure to come (& as long as "success" is defined as a stable Afghan government, something which has probably never existed, and certainly hasn't in two generations) will be a bipartisan spectacular failure.

Nation building in Afghanistan is the ultimate mug's game of empires.

Posted by: akaoddjob | June 27, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

"She gets worse every time she opens her mouth."

I've read before that her aides often have to remind her what party she belongs to.

Posted by: akaoddjob | June 27, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

No devastating Angle tidbits for a couple days? Is Reid out of oppo research already? Looks like that Angle smear campaign had fewer legs than an oily beached dolphin in the Gulf. Reid still cant pull more than 41% and he's already shot his whole wad of dirt on Angle.

Posted by: Truthteller12 | June 27, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Only someone like a rabid right Angle supporter would consider "an oily beached dolphin in the Gulf" to be a clever target of their demented wit.

Posted by: converse | June 27, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

The Alaska Daily News has a great article up regarding BP and blowout preventers. This is a must read. I live along Gulf in TX so I have a vested interest....but I think this is important to all.

BP helped state investigate itself

And the beat goes on....workers report cheating and what happens..give a guess!

Posted by: avahome | June 27, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Oops...link on ADN.com for BP investigation:

http://www.adn.com/2010/06/26/1342800/bp-helped-state-investigate-itself.html

Posted by: avahome | June 27, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Krugman is working overtime to warn of and explain the folly of turning our attention away from the short term unemployment problem.

"I mean, why shouldn’t we be focused on the business cycle? We’ve suffered the worst cyclical downturn since the Great Depression; in terms of unemployment and output gaps, we have recovered almost none of the lost ground. Millions of willing workers are idle because of lack of demand; let them stay idle, and we can turn this into a long-term structural problem, but right now it is precisely a short-term, cyclical problem.

So saying that we need to focus on the long term, and not worry our little heads about trivial short-term issues like the highest long-term unemployment rate since the Great Depression, may sound like wisdom — but it’s actually folly.

Oh, and one more point — not about El-Erian, but about quite a few policymakers and economists: the attempt to shift the discussion away from the short run is not, as often portrayed, an act of vision of courage. On the contrary, it’s an act of cowardice, an attempt to evade responsibility for a disastrous state of affairs that we could fix, but choose not to."

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/25/in-the-long-run-we-are-still-all-dead/

Posted by: lmsinca | June 27, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

I think it would be in everybody's best interest if Palin went the way of Eva Braun.

Posted by: hoser3 | June 27, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

hoser, you mean having sex with a right-wing strongman? I think she went that way a long time ago.

Posted by: BGinCHI | June 27, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Truthteller considers the simple airing of "Right" Angle's wackadoo positions on various issues to be "dirt."

Reid is just getting started on exposing this fringe nutbag.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | June 27, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Good piece from Tomasky on Weigel, Journolist, etc...

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/06/sunday_roundup_3.html

Posted by: bernielatham | June 28, 2010 7:52 AM | Report abuse

All, morning roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/06/the_morning_plum_39.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | June 28, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

NRO editors want folks to vote for the Washington establishment. That is, McCain over Hayworth. Stated reasons? Here's the first:

" He has never voted for a broad-based tax increase"

You gotta love that hedge.

"he has voted for every conservative on the Supreme Court"

There's a clue as to how important NRO considers it is to stack the court with their ideologue-mates.

"and he has a long pro-life record."

That's the boilerplate sop to the Evangelicals and Catholics. For the neoconservative camp and Norquist's crowd, this is an unimportant (or even anti-libertarian) position.

Then we get the second-place reason in their ranking here but not really second place in their thinking:

"McCain has a credibility on national security that few other Republicans can match."

True, insofar as his pro-war stance and support for Israel matches the NRO, and insofar as the media seem to call on John three times a day. He's an "authority".

But one expects that Hayworth would vote as McCain has (and wouldn't do awful stuff like disrespect evangelicals or push campaign finance reform, etc).

So the motivation here by NRO to go all establishmentarian rather than Tea Party is
1) predictable support for pro Likud policy
2) McCain is recognizable and, in this barren modern party, represents a leader figure folks know
3) the party is already running a lot of seriously extreme "fresh faces" and the NRO editors are anxious that rebranding is going a tad too far
http://article.nationalreview.com/437138/mccain-once-more/the-editors

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

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