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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 past, corporate America was not only at the table, they owned the table and the chairs around it," Mr. Obama's combative chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, said in an interview Thursday. "Obama doesn't start off confrontational, but he will be confrontational if there is resistance to the notion that there are other equities."

* Rahm's quote is in This New York Times piece on the larger debate to come: Whether Obama's twisting of BP's arm reveals a penchant for government "overreach" against corporations.

But is this really overreach? More on this later.

* Meanwhile, Senate Democrats can't seem to reach for anything but their tails: They are deeply divided over the energy bill, with Senate liberals threatening to vote against it if it doesn't contain carbon limits. Good, but we'll believe it when we see it...

* How long can Joe Barton survive as ranking Repub on the Energy and Commerce Committee? Josh Marshall imagines the ads starring Barton that Dems can run against Republicans:

"If "candidate X" wins the man in charge of Energy policy in Washington will be Joe Barton, the guy who actually (incredulous and contemptuously inflection on 'actually') apologized to BP for making them pay to clean up the Gulf Coast."

* Karen Tumulty says the Barton mess highlights a larger problem for the GOP:

To some Republicans, their defense of the oil industry has more to do with their belief in free enterprise and their wariness of regulation. The debate over drilling has been a core part of their argument for less government. This may not be the best moment to be making that argument, either.

The question is whether Dems can convincingly seize on the Barton mess, and the Gulf spill, to tell this larger story.

* Indeed, David Corn says the Barton apology to BP merely revealed what the GOP really thinks.

* Dodgin' and weavin': The Justice Department refuses to say whether Hillary Clinton was right in saying they've decided to challenge the Arizona immigration law in court.

* The Afghanistan pundit drumbeat continues: Eugene Robinson says discouraging reports on the war should make Obama more determined to keep his withdrawal deadline, not less.

* MIssed this yesterday, but the Obama-as-Spock meme bites the dust (again) as 60% in CNN poll say Obama "cares about people like you."

* The diehards over at Big Government are really psyched, er, really upset about this new episode involving a Dem staffer manhandling someone with a video camera.

* If you need to get caught up on the mess surrounding the House Dems' DISCLOSE act, here's a good overview.

* And it looks like Sharron Angle's campaign may be heading into chickens for checkups territory.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  |  June 18, 2010; 8:20 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Foreign policy and national security , House GOPers , Morning Plum , Political media , Senate Dems  
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Next: Angle dodges question about armed revolution

Comments

Passing on something that Digby noted, using the term "Shakedown" has dog-whistle roots, as well.

'Take a look at the Amazon listings with similar themes about black politicians. They all use words like 'hustler' 'pimp' 'scammer' 'shakedown artist.'"

http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/shakedown-talking-point-of-many-colors.html

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | June 18, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

"But is this really overreach?"

Yet another instance in which Democrats could be handed a gift from the GOP. If they are dumb enough to try and play the "government overreach" card on the oil spill, it does 2 things:

1) Kills the meme that Obama hasn't done enough. As time drags on (and it will), you would MUCH rather risk the people thinking you are doing too much as opposed to too little.

2) Allows Dems to pivot the debate back to deregulation and attacking the core belief of conservatives - that industries will police themselves...not exactly a persuasive at the moment.

If the GOP really wants to head down that road, I surely hope the Dems in Congress and the White House understand that it's a huge political boon, and use it as such.

Ugh...I hate how terrible Dems are at party messaging.

@Greg

Do you have any idea as to why Dems are so bad at this kind of stuff? Do they simply not communicate within the caucus? Is there some specific reason why they cannot remained focused on a single meme?

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | June 18, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Greg,
I see things differently from you. The "Chicago-style shakedown" talk has been KILLED by Barton's comment.

I wonder if the "shakedown" will counteract the mem that Obama is "weak".

Obama held his ground to a big multinational company and delivered for the American people.

Posted by: maritza1 | June 18, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

For those who'd like a pretty thorough recap of the coverage we've seen on the oil spill so far, I found this great video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uC67CqvXME

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | June 18, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

maritza1 - "The "Chicago-style shakedown" talk has been KILLED by Barton's comment."

No. As noted elsewhere, FOX didn't play the apology from Barton to BP in their coverage of his remarks. This will continue to play in the rightwing media which is the only place it has any traction as a "coherent" (internally consistent) notion.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 18, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

The longer the oil volcano goes on (read: oil hits the Atlantic coast, hurricanes, and/or the worst case scenario that's quietly making the rounds on Oil Drum), and the less Obama can add on top of the 20 billion (he won't, fiscal austerity is the uber-meme, so regular Joe will have to pay), THEN the US population will start saying, why not more money, why not criminal prosecutions?, and the Administration will be flat-footed because the escrow was their quid pro quo with the Green Devil...the GOP will change their tune at that time (the volcano could spew toward NOV) and attack Obama for not doing the Chicago JitterBug Shake-Down except they'll call it sticking up for their constituents with sunburnt necks.

It's just politics, what does politics have to do with integrity (in DC, integrity is only for the extreme and as rare as a red cent).

Bilge, what chance do you give the relief wells? I remember you saying its like shooting an earthworm on the street from the Empire State Building and I hope you were exaggerating.

40% methane in this oil folks....

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_gulf_oil_spill/print;_ylt=AtnkdNwKt_VH1pJHpF6VHXCp_aF4;_ylu=X3oDMTBvajZzaTFyBHBvcwMxNQRzZWMDdG9wBHNsawNwcmludA--

Posted by: Papagnello | June 18, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

ps - and there's no way that the right, including Boehner, Canton etc, will drop the "Chicago thug" image. That's a key element of their portrayal of Obama (relying, as it does, on connotations of Daley and Chicago gangsters of the twenties/thirties). And of course, nothing says Washington like Chicago.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 18, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Slave Sargent:

Hey, ace, you still trying to push the meme that the Alleged Hawaiian's Oval Orifice speech was a success?

Oh, right, we've "moved on" from that in the hopes that your herd will forget how feckless, mendacious and inept he showed himself to be.

But i just won;t go away...he has STAFF:

"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 past, corporate America was not only at the table, they owned the table and the chairs around it," Mr. Obama's combative chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, said in an interview Thursday. "Obama doesn't start off confrontational, but he will be confrontational if there is resistance to the notion that there are other equities.""

My, God Rahm, it's even WORSE than THAT!

Why, in addition to owning the table and the chairs, BeePee owns the very house that YOU live in!

(Rent-free)

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2010/06/rahm-emanuel-bp-gul-oil-spill.html

It's okay, though, Rahm. As long as you remain Obama's boy, these moonbat chumps will never even recognize the scam, even when it's put right in front of them.

Look at how they gave the Alleged Hawaiian their love on Socialist Utopia ObamaCare...despite the fact that the Obama household profited quite handsomely from its links with the Health Care Industry.

The moonbat base is so stupid that they wold literally starve to death at a Golden Corral buffet because they wouldn't eat the grub that you, their Master, had told them was fattening and unhealthful.

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 18, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Methane link above is dead, use:

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gIXWYBTpLtSayJtg41LKXpxSxVPAD9GDJBO84

Posted by: Papagnello | June 18, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

"No. As noted elsewhere, FOX didn't play the apology from Barton to BP in their coverage of his remarks."

Not true. In fact, I just saw it again repeatedly this morning. Plus plenty of commentary about it.

Facts first, please, opinions second.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 18, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Rahm has no right talking about corporate ownership. Period. He's only sticking saliva fingers in the wind.

Posted by: Papagnello | June 18, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

"Obama doesn't start off confrontational, but he will be confrontational if there is resistance to the notion that there are other equities."


How deliciously euphemistic, and ironic, as Bilgey points out.

Rahm
Greenberg
Gorelick
CongressDems
Obama
BP cap and tax deal

Hmmm, what is the pattern here?

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 18, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Rahm's talking about tables probably isn't a good idea, either, recalling as it does his creepily unhinged table-stabbing performance as Clinton henchman.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 18, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Slave Papagnello:
"Bilge, what chance do you give the relief wells? I remember you saying its like shooting an earthworm on the street from the Empire State Building and I hope you were exaggerating."

No, not really. I wasn't.

There's a pretty good chance that they'll hit the bore since these guys are pretty damn good at what they do, and in this case, the best are being called out.

Which is why I'll be at the Macondo well site next week sometime.

"40% methane in this oil folks."

Gee, I hope not. There's always methane present in an oil well, but 40% would make the presence of ships and aircraft over the area of the gusher rather problematic.

Wouldn't take long for a spark to find the zone where the gas leans out enough to go "BOOOM!" quite nicely. Especially with that FPSO with God;s Own Blowtorch running

http://photos.al.com/mobile-press-register/2010/06/evergreen_burner.html

The preps we've been doing are more for hydrogen sulfide.

I'll check your link source and get back to you...time permitting.

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 18, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

@QB - (temporary rule violation of responding to you) They cut it out of initial broadcasts yesterday whereas that wasn't so with other networks. Now, they have no option, it's too big a story, particularly with Baron about to be beheaded.

Posted by: bernielatham | June 18, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Bernielatham,

I am talking about mainstream media. FAUX NEWS is NOT mainstream media. They will continue to portray Obama as a "weak secret communist Muslim who using Chicago-style shakedowns to try and make American a socialist anti-religious country".

In terms of the mainstream media, I think that folks were impressed that Obama was able to get that $20 billion.

Posted by: maritza1 | June 18, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Bernielatham,

I am talking about mainstream media. FAUX NEWS is NOT mainstream media. They will continue to portray Obama as a "weak secret communist Muslim who using Chicago-style shakedowns to try and make American a socialist anti-religious country".

In terms of the mainstream media, I think that folks were impressed that Obama was able to get that $20 billion.

Posted by: maritza1 | June 18, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Papagnello:

Okay, read the article. This is one Aggie's findings.

I'd like to see his findings independently confirmed before I go to the bother of packing my Nomex pajamas.

Not saying that he's wrong, but the entire point of the scientific method is establishing fact through repeated independent replication of results and observations through experiment.

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 18, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

@Greg

Here's some of the local coverage Angle is getting in NV:

http://www.8newsnow.com/Global/category.asp?C=28259&autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=4878954&flvUri=&partnerclipid=

Ouch.

If you had asked me a month ago, I would have said Harry Reid had about a 1% chance of getting re-elected. That number has been climbing, fast. It's shocking that he might still be a Senator after the mid-terms.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | June 18, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

"Under fire for appearing to shield BP from criticism Thursday morning, Rep. Joe Barton was told by House GOP leaders later in the day to apologize "immediately" or lose his position as the senior Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, several Republican sources tell CNN.

House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, and House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R-Virginia, delivered the pointed demand to Barton, a Texas congressman.

"He was told apologize immediately or you will lose your position immediately," said a Republican leadership aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity."

Someone call Darrell Issa. This sounds like a quid pro quo. A job offer in exchange for a political plan. Or is it a shake-down? So many options!

Posted by: suekzoo1 | June 18, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Sue -- reported that here last night! :)

Posted by: Greg Sargent | June 18, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Spock had feelings too!

Posted by: mikefromArlington | June 18, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

If Republicans win, Issa is already pledging to go after this admin non stop and wants a staff of 70 to do it! 70 people for one Congressman. I can imagine a speaker might have a large staff but 70 for some guy who represents squat?

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0610/38697.html

Posted by: mikefromArlington | June 18, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Bachmann is now trying to back away from her comments. “I said that I was concerned that Washington, the Obama administration, could use it as a permanent ATM,” Bachmann insisted to the Pioneer Press. “I want to make sure everyone knows I’m not a shill for BP.” She also recently went on CNN where she similarly made clear that she believes “BP clearly is at fault” for the oil spill. “I’m not here to shill for BP,” she said.

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/06/18/bachmann-bp-shill/

Posted by: cmccauley60 | June 18, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Several days ago, there was discussion here about how seriously Republicans are taking impeachment talks.

Well, according to Politico, Issa seems to be pretty much dead set on finding something, whatever (debunked issues aren't off the table) he could possibly drum up, against Obama:

"Even with control of the House, Republicans won’t be able to easily pass their agenda into law, since the GOP is unlikely to win the Senate and would face a presidential veto on their most sweeping agenda items.

That’s actually good for Issa. With little policy work to get done, Republicans would focus on fighting and investigating Obama."

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0610/38697_Page2.html#ixzz0rDDVbcXs

And there you have it...

So, if Republicans regain control of the House, what will be the primary item on their agenda? The economy? The Gulf? The deficit? The wars? Nope.

In an effort to impeach Obama, they'll be focused like a laser on trying to find something to use against him.

If you think government is broken now, imagine what it will look like with a House whose primary focus is on trying to drum up charges to use in impeachment proceedings against the President.

If you think the White House is currently too distracted to give the many pressing issues confronting the nation their requisite attention, imagine what it will be like when the White House is bogged down with petty subpoenas and politically motivated investigation panels

With Joe Barton's coziness with the oil industry culminating in an apology to BP yesterday, and Issa's giddiness over subpoena power, Republicans have made it abundantly clear that a Republican-controlled House will have a very different agenda than the one set forth by Democrats. Goodbye, tussles over jobs bills, energy and immigration. Hello, deregulation and witch hunts!

Posted by: associate20 | June 18, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Bernie, sometimes things aren't a result of conspiracy. I doubt very much you saw Fox's initial coverage. That clip captured by dkos just showed a snippet each from waxman and Barton and called great attention to the shakedown comments. Nothing was cut out; there was no gap If they had shown the apology part you would be complaining that they omitted the shakedown part. They drew attention to Barton's comments throughout the day. Your conspiracy theorizing is an addiction.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 18, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Bilgey, appreciate the well-informed posts about what's going on with the efforts to stop the gusher. Keep it up; that's valuable insider info.

It's a much better part of my day than name-calling.

Posted by: BGinCHI | June 18, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

The nickel claims he doesn't watch FOX ... unless he has to defend them as fair and balanced.

Posted by: cmccauley60 | June 18, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

"If you think government is broken now, imagine what it will look like with a House whose primary focus is on trying to drum up charges to use in impeachment proceedings against the President. "

I don't have to imagine it.....I remember what it was like during the Clinton Administration.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | June 18, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

"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[.]"
---------------------------------------------

I predict that in this context, people will kinda like that idea. Nice of Republicans to pitch in and help burnish Obama's tough-guy credentials.

Posted by: CalD | June 18, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

SlaveinCHI:
"It's a much better part of my day than name-calling."

Oh, come on, you KNOW that I know that y'all miss it.
Our internet was down most of yesterday while some goof changed the batteries in the Euro satellite or something, so I only had one morning comment, and it kicked off a mini-moonbat bandemonium all over again.

I've come to rather enjoy being y'all's rethuglikkan imaginary bogeyman who jumps out from under your bed and shouts:

"Booga! Booga!"

at you late at night.

Y'all enjoy it, I enjoy it...a good time is had by all.
They don't call it "irritainment" for nuthin' y'know.

"Bilgey, appreciate the well-informed posts about what's going on with the efforts to stop the gusher. Keep it up; that's valuable insider info."

You have no idea how valuable. Guys have been fired from other boats and ships for selling photographs to news organizations.

And there have been all kinds of newshounds and other assorted pestilential vermin trying to get "the inside dope" via false-flagging "Jedi Mind Trickery".

The really peculiar thing, from my POV is that my ship still has ash on the topsides from that Icelandic volcano that farted all over Europe, and now we'll have Macondo oil splooge on our hull.

It's like I've embarked upon some peculiar kind of environmental disaster "cruise itinerary".

You slobbering moonbat!


Posted by: Bilgeman | June 18, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

You may be on to something there. When the clean energy revolution comes, you all can switch to "environmental catastrophe cruise lines."

Million-dollar idea. You won't even have to have clean uniforms like on Love Boat.

Posted by: BGinCHI | June 18, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

MIssed this yesterday, but the Obama-as-Spock meme bites the dust (again) as 60% in CNN poll say Obama "cares about people like you."
--------------------------------------------

...as Dana Milbank gently weeps.

Posted by: CalD | June 18, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

cmciq60, you goofed again.

I said I don't watch Fox much, and I don't. I happened to be home some of yesterday morning and afternoon because I had an appointment, and this morning I woke up several hours early so I watched some news. (They were pretty hard on Hayward, those BP shill on Fox.)

But I do get a kick out of the Fox paranoia here and the nutty things people say -- and the fun of shredding some of the crazier accusations.

Again, why is it you crave my attention?

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 18, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

"I don't have to imagine it.....I remember what it was like during the Clinton Administration."

You don't have to think back that far -- to a government mired down by obstructionist and destructionist Democrats in Congress.

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 18, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Sharron Angle dodges question about armed revolution:

http://bit.ly/bnXYuA

Posted by: Greg Sargent | June 18, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Someone here yesterday just flatly stated that FNC wasn't showing Barton's asinine comments and everyone else just ran with it. It's now CW here, QB, and no one will believe you no matter the facts.

And yes, Greg - we get it, Barton and Angle, Barton and Angle... In the meantime:

"More Incompetence... Crude-Sucking Barges Ordered By Gov. Jindal Shut Down By Feds"

Posted by: sbj3 | June 18, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

"...Obama's twisting of BP's arm reveals a penchant for government "overreach" against corporations."

But...but... you must be confused. Obama can't be mean to corporations. After all, as Jane and the other "progressives" tell us, he's a CORPORATIST.

Posted by: converse | June 18, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

"...Senate liberals threatening to vote against it if it doesn't contain carbon limits. Good, but we'll believe it when we see it..."

Oh right, all the hungry kids say that no loaf is much tastier than half a loaf. Very filling.

Posted by: converse | June 18, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

sbj, indeed, a liberal lie at PL only needs to be told once to become inviolate CW here. They've had Barton's apology all over the place, and even if Bernie's statement were correct that Fox only started covering it today because it had become a story, isn't it interesting that Fox is part of the liberal echo chamber now?

I'd also like to point out that the Kos headline -- "Fox splices out Barton’s apology" -- is not just misleading but is flatly untrue. There is no splice there.

Are the liberals here going to acknowledge that?

Is Greg going to acknowledge that he linked a false headline and correct it?

Posted by: quarterback1 | June 18, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Barton's initial comments typify in general the Republican party mindset toward the average American (corporations 1st, people 2nd or maybe a distant 4th behind dogs and cats). Think about it next time you vote.

Posted by: rocknwroll | June 18, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

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