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The Plum Line: July 11, 2010 - July 17, 2010

Happy Hour Roundup: Vitter apologizes to Maddow

* Senator David Vitter is apologizing to Rachel Maddow for suggesting she only looked like a woman "a long time ago." Vitter's office sends over the note of apology he's written to the talk show host: Dear Rachel, Regarding my...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 16, 2010; 5:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (128)
Categories:  2010 elections , 2012 , Financial reform , House Dems , House GOPers , Political media , Senate Republicans , Tea Party  
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Senator Vitter suggests Rachel Maddow only looked like a woman "a long time ago"

UPDATE, 5:16 p.m.: Vitter has now written a note of apology to Maddow. Original post: Oh, what fun! On a right wing radio station this morning, Senator David Vitter appeared to suggest that MSNBC host Rachel Maddow only looked like...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 16, 2010; 2:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (118)
Categories:  Senate Republicans  
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Boehner: No more new Federal regulations!

UPDATE, 2:50 p.m.: DCCC chair Chris Van Hollen responds: "Republican Leader Boehner's comments are Exhibit A of how Washington Republicans want to adopt the same policies that got us into this mess to begin with. You would think that -...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 16, 2010; 12:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (69)
Categories:  Financial reform , House GOPers  
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Only Republicans like Sarah Palin

Okay, that headline is an exaggeration, but not by much. The new Gallup poll shows a striking disconnect in public opinion about Sarah Palin: While her favorability ratings are significantly higher among Republicans than all the other 2012 GOP hopefuls,...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 16, 2010; 11:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (110)
Categories:  2012 , Political media  
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The Morning Plum

* Striking new numbers out of Nevada: Harry Reid has suddenly opened up a seven point lead over Sharron Angle in a new Las Vegas Review Journal poll, Reid leads 44-37, though the race is still volatile, with 10 percent...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 16, 2010; 8:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
Categories:  2010 elections , 2012 , Climate change , Financial reform , Foreign policy and national security , Morning Plum , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* From the when-it-rains-it-pours department: The Senate, which passed Wall Street reform today, will have another run at extending unemployment benefits early next week -- and this time it may succeed. * Also in the above link, the sobering fact...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 15, 2010; 6:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
Categories:  2010 elections , Financial reform , Health reform , House Dems , House GOPers , Senate Dems  
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With passing of FinReg, Dems are winning the larger argument (very, very slowly)

As you know, Senate Dems today passed the most sweeping overhaul of our financial regulatory system since the Great Depression. When Obama signs it into law, it will cap a run of legislative activity that rivals some of the most...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 15, 2010; 4:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (62)
Categories:  2010 elections , 2012 , Financial reform , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Pelosi fundraising email: You're damn right we're keeping the House!

You have to love this, from Nancy Pelosi's latest fundraising email for House Dems, emailed over by a Democrat: Here is what will happen in November. Democrats will keep control of the House. Period. While some Washington pundits are claiming...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 15, 2010; 2:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  2010 elections , House Dems , Senate Dems  
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What if that ad attacking mosque near Ground Zero is a stunt?

By now you may have heard that a shadowy right-wing group is getting lots of attention because two major networks have refused to run its despicable, bigoted ad attacking plans to build a mosque near Ground Zero. But what if...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 15, 2010; 1:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security , Political media  
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GOP strategist: FinReg easy to attack because bill is "so complicated"

Moments ago, the Senate voted 60-38 to end debate on the financial regulatory reform bill, clearing the way for the most ambitious effort to overhaul Wall Street rules since the Great Depression. History in the making. But that doesn't mean...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 15, 2010; 12:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
Categories:  Financial reform , Senate Dems  
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Politico's theory: Liberal bloggers don't care if Dems sustain large losses this fall

I'm probably a sucker for biting on this attack on the liberal blogosphere from Poiltico top-dog editors John Harris and Jim VandeHei, but this is so divorced from reality that it really shouldn't go unanswered: The liberal blogosphere grew in...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 15, 2010; 9:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (96)
Categories:  2010 elections , House Dems , Political media , Senate Dems  
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The Morning Plum: Fury among House Dems

* The lid has suddenly been ripped off and the seething tensions and anger among Democrats have now been laid bare. As I noted here yesterday, House Dems are furious that they will be the ones who get shellacked in...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 15, 2010; 8:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Financial reform , House Dems , Morning Plum , Political media , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Brian Beutler does a nice job using reporting to demonstrate one of this blog's pet points: No matter how much Dems scream about GOP obstructionism, it may not hurt Republicans, because Dems may pay the bigger price for government...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 14, 2010; 5:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (74)
Categories:  2010 elections , Financial reform , Happy Hour Roundup , House Dems , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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What's really driving tensions between House Dems and White House? It's jobs, stupid!

By now you've read reams of stories about how House Dem leaders are smoking mad at the White House because Robert Gibbs suggested that Republicans could take back the House. In a closed-door meeting yesterday, House Dems vented about their...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 14, 2010; 3:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Financial reform , Health reform , House Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Latest right wing attack: Obama only cares about black victims of terrorism

This has to be the dumbest attack yet: Some on the right are on a tear because President Obama allegedly said Al Qaeda kills Africans because the organization is "racist." The hint here is that Obama cares more about black...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 14, 2010; 1:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (78)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security , Political media  
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Harry Reid's dilemma: He can't talk about John Ensign scandal

Harry Reid has a dilemma on his hands. He has a very effective argument at his disposal that he could be making to Nevadans about why they should keep him in office. The problem is that he can't --...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 14, 2010; 11:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Yes, the base matters: Pelosi to speak at Netroots Nation

Good news: I'm told that Nancy Pelosi will be heading out to Las Vegas to speak at Netroots Nation next week. Here's why this is important: Now that Harry Reid has also agreed to attend, for the first time, the...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 14, 2010; 10:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
Categories:  House Dems , Senate Dems  
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The Morning Plum

* Let's have a grand debate about this: Mitch McConnell confirms that the official GOP position is that extending unemployment benefits must be offset by tax hikes or spending cuts in other areas -- while tax cuts for the rich...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 14, 2010; 8:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  2010 elections , 2012 , Climate change , House Dems , House GOPers , Morning Plum , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Crucial number from the new CBS poll: Seventy percent say the economy is going to stay the same or get worse, suggesting the White House message that things are on the right track just isn't sticking. * Which raises...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 13, 2010; 5:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (54)
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Financial reform , Happy Hour Roundup , Political media , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Sharron Angle: Tea Party ousted Robert Bennett because he "outlived his usefulness"

The Harry Reid campaign thinks they've found another high-octane Sharron Angle quote that will help them paint her as too harsh and extreme for the Senate: She claimed last night that Senator Robert Bennett, who was ousted by the Tea...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 13, 2010; 2:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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The GOP strategy of obstruction is working beautifully

As you know, I've been arguing here that the GOP strategy of obstruction is paying off for Republicans -- big time. The public is blaming Democrats, not Republicans, for the government dysfunction that has resulted from Republican obstructionist tactics, because...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 13, 2010; 12:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (65)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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George Steinbrenner and the New York of my childhood

I have no idea how to write about sports, and that's certainly not the topic of this blog, but George Steinbrenner had an enormous impact on the city I grew up in, and by extension on my childhood, so I...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 13, 2010; 11:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (55)
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
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The Morning Plum

* Meet the "99ers": The 1.4 million who have now been unemployed for at least 99 weeks, reaching the limit of their insurance. Will this "drive cable's day"? * Dems to lose 30 House seats? DNC chair Tim Kaine, on...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 13, 2010; 8:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (40)
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Financial reform , House GOPers , Morning Plum , Political media , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Breaking: A Democrat in a conservative district discovers he can be straight with voters about the virtues of government without immediately imploding on the spot. * A sucker born every minute? Tea Partiers gnash their teeth as Scott Brown...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 12, 2010; 6:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (42)
Categories:  2010 elections , 2012 , Foreign policy and national security , Happy Hour Roundup  
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How do you make Dems care about the midterms?

As you know, over the weekend Robert Gibbs dropped a political bomb, saying that Republicans just may take back the House. His comments are being widely interpreted as an urgent warning designed to get rank and file Dems to grasp...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 12, 2010; 4:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (61)
Categories:  2010 elections , Financial reform  
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Sharron Angle flummoxes local press with "stimulus" non-sequitor

Here's the latest out of Nevada: Sharron Angle is getting attention for flubbing an answer involving job creation in a manner that raises questions about whether she grasps an enormously important local issue. This is not going to get the...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 12, 2010; 2:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (63)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Rasmussen: Support for repealing health reform dropping

Rasmussen is widely believed to have a conservative tilt, so Rasmussen's latest finding that support for the repeal of health care reform is dropping seems particularly noteworthy: Fifty-three percent (53%) of voters nationwide favor repeal of the recently passed national...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 12, 2010; 12:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  2010 elections , Health reform , House GOPers  
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Sarah Palin plays media for chumps

Good stuff from Chuck Todd, who said on MSNBC this morning that his media colleagues are far too willing to hype Sarah Palin's every Facebook and Twitter update as huge news: My only quibble is that Todd, in criticizing Palin...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 12, 2010; 10:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (211)
Categories:  Political media  
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The Morning Plum

* Hey, yo, Democrats, it's crunch time: With the midterms suddenly right around the corner, the next couple of weeks in Congress could prove critical. Dems returning from recess know they need to deliver on financial and energy reform, and...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 12, 2010; 8:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  2010 elections , 2012 , Climate change , Financial reform , Immigration , Morning Plum , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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