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The Plum Line: July 18, 2010 - July 24, 2010

Weekend Open Thread

Hey all, I'm taking the weekend off. Let's have a crack at an open thread and see if it works. If you feel like letting me know what I'm missing or otherwise sounding off, go for it. What's happening?...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 24, 2010; 11:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (75)
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* There's no defending the Obama administration's handling of the Shirley Sherrod mess, but an I the only one who thinks Ed Schultz's rousing suggestion that there's a "sissy room" in the White House -- after this mess had been...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 23, 2010; 6:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Happy Hour Roundup , House GOPers , Political media , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , economy  
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Sharron Angle: It's the state's job to bring in jobs

In an exchange with a constituent, Sharron Angle appeared to suggest that bringing in jobs and diversifying the economy in Nevada is the responsibility of state government -- a line that the Reid campaign will likely seize on to depict...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 23, 2010; 4:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (37)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Do "both sides" really do what Breitbart does?

If I ran the universe, the Shirley Sherrod mess would prompt a real media conversation about these questions: Do both sides really engage in Breitbart-style tactics? Is all "ideological media" created equal? The discussion of the Sherrod saga has been...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 23, 2010; 1:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (138)
Categories:  Political media  
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Politico editor defends puffing up Breitbart

At best, it seems like comically awful timing. At worst, it seems symptomatic of an accountability-free Beltway media culture that rewards buzz-creation above all else. Either way, Politico has given a coveted slot on its just-released "50 Politicos to Watch"...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 23, 2010; 12:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (39)
Categories:  Political media  
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Politico: Yes, Palin degrades our discourse, but she drives traffic

A striking admission by Politico's John Harris and Jim VandeHei in their big piece today on the new media reality: At POLITICO, we have an unusual vantage point on this new reality. We are both an enabler (in the eyes...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 23, 2010; 10:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (66)
Categories:  Political media  
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The Morning Plum

* Question of the day, about the death of ambitious climate change legislation: The finger pointing has already begun over who's to blame for failing to win any GOP support for a comprehensive measure. But why did anyone ever expect...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 23, 2010; 8:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
Categories:  Senate Dems  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Senate Dems have abandoned plans for a comprehensive climate change bill, because they can't find any GOP support for it. Without carbon pricing, it should pass with GOP backing this summer. * Depressing: Stephen Stromberg says Dems telegraphed that...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 22, 2010; 5:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (47)
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Happy Hour Roundup , House Dems , Political media , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Tucker Carlson: We will not publish full J-List emails

I just got done exchanging emails with Tucker Carlson, the editor in chief of the Daily Caller, and he confirms to me that the publication will not start publishing the full emails of Journolist members. This would have allowed readers...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 22, 2010; 3:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (77)
Categories:  Political media  
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Gibbs calls on media to do soul searching about Sherrod mess

The Shirley Sherrod mess has ignited another national conversation about race, but if Robert Gibbs has his way, it will also spark some soul-searching by members of the media about their willingness to legitimize bogus stories, particularly ones pushed by...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 22, 2010; 12:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (116)
Categories:  Political media  
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Sharron Angle still taking cash raised by ostracized Tea Party leader?

As you know, the Tea Party Express is under fire because its leader, Mark Williams, recently posted a satirical letter from "the Colored People" to President Lincoln praising slavery. The ensuing controversy got the group expelled from the Tea Party...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 22, 2010; 11:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems , Tea Party  
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A question for the press corps about Breitbart

Less than two months ago, Andrew Breitbart was seen as such an important media figure that he merited a huge profile in The New Yorker magazine. He has been widely quoted by major news organizations on a whole host of...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 22, 2010; 10:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (234)
Categories:  Political media  
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The Morning Plum

* Is "race" the problem? The emerging media consensus this morning on the Shirley Sherrod mess is that it proves race remains a "stumbling block" for Obama. Few, however, seem willing to explain why this is the case, or who...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 22, 2010; 8:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (50)
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Financial reform , Political media , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Here's why Shirley Sherrod may have thought White House wanted her fired: An administration official offered a new explanation to me just now for why Sherrod made this claim, which has driven much of the coverage: While USDA official...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 21, 2010; 6:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
Categories:  Financial reform , House Dems , House GOPers , Political media , Senate Dems  
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White House to media: You lap up Breitbart's nonsense, too!

Okay, Robert Gibbs made a really interesting point at the briefing just now: He delicately pointed out to the assembled reporters that their news organizations had also been too quick to accept the Breitbart video at face value. This is...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 21, 2010; 3:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (95)
Categories:  Political media  
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White House apologizes to Shirley Sherrod

This is a good start: At the press briefing just now, Robert Gibbs apeared to extend a heartfelt apology to Shirley Sherrod on behalf of the Obama administration, and promised a look at what went wrong. Interestingly, though, he sidestepped...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 21, 2010; 3:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (65)
Categories:  Political media  
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More questions arise about White House handling of Sherrod mess

Here's what I want to know: Did anyone at the White House or the Department of Agriculture ever ask themselves for one second whether the Andrew Breitbart tape of Shirley Sherrod might be bogus? This morning, after the full Sherrod...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 21, 2010; 1:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (94)
Categories:  Political media  
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Shirley Sherrod blasts Fox News as racist

Now this is going to drive the right bananas. Check out this nugget in an interview that Shirley Sherrod did with Joe Strupp, in which she comes right out and claims Fox News is using her as a "pawn" in...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 21, 2010; 11:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (113)
Categories:  Political media  
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Republicans delay vote on unemployment extension

And you thought the standoff over unemployment benefits was over! Right now, as we speak, Senate Republicans continue to file a bunch of motions that could delay the vote on extending unemployment benefits for as long as another day. (Senate...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 21, 2010; 10:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (89)
Categories:  Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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The Morning Plum: Vilsack must come clean

* Now that the full Shirley Sherrod video has been released, vindicating her completely, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is promising to undertake a review of her firing. So maybe he will re-instate her after all. But it isn't enough for...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 21, 2010; 8:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (94)
Categories:  2010 elections , Financial reform , House GOPers , Morning Plum , Political media  
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Happy Hour Roundup: NAACP "snookered" by Breitbart

UPDATE, 6:22 p.m.: Just amazing. The NAACP, in its statement just now, says it has reviewed the full tape and admits that they were "snookered" by Breitbart and Fox News into believing that Sherrod had withheld help from the white...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 20, 2010; 6:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (83)
Categories:  2010 elections , Happy Hour Roundup , House Dems , House GOPers  
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White House official: We didn't push for Sherrod's firing

A White House official insists that the White House didn't pressure Shirley Sherrod to resign, or pressure USDA chief Tom Vilsack to fire her, over the Andrew Breitbart video allegedly showing her claiming she didn't help a white farmer 24...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 20, 2010; 4:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (78)
Categories:  Political media  
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Did White House fire woman on strength of bogus Breitbart video?

By now you've heard about the story burning up the right: A U.S. Agriculture Department official says the USDA forced her to resign because Andrew Breitbart posted a video of her supposedly describing how she didn't help a white farmer...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 20, 2010; 3:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (54)
Categories:  Political media  
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Two more GOPers say unemployment benefits encourage folks to stay unemployed

As you know, Republicans such as Sharron Angle have gotten national attention for making the creative argument that we need to cut unemployment benefits because the current high benefit levels act as an incentive for the jobless to stay unemployed....

By Greg Sargent  |  July 20, 2010; 2:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (54)
Categories:  Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , economy  
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Inside GOP's strategy on unemployment

I wanted to expand a bit on the point I made earlier: Republicans are hoping there's a political silver lining for them in the standoff over unemployment, even though polls clearly show that majorities favor extending benefits even if it...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 20, 2010; 12:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (104)
Categories:  Economy / unemployment , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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The public view of unemployment benefits

With the war over unemployment benefits set to heat up today, it's worth noting that the public is on the side of Dems: Two big national polls show clearly that majorities want unemployment benefits extended -- even if it boosts...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 20, 2010; 11:07 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (64)
Categories:  Economy / unemployment , House Dems , House GOPers , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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The Morning Plum

* The unemployment game of chicken continues: Drawing the battle lines on an emotionally potent issue that will be debated right though the midterm elections in states and districts across the country, the Senate is set to approve an extension...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 20, 2010; 8:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  2010 elections , Financial reform , House GOPers , Morning Plum , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , Tea Party  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* We have a winner: The first to suggest repeal of the expected extension of unemployment benefits -- and unemployment benefits in general! Alaska Senate candidate and Tea Party fave Joe Miller tells ABC's Top Line that unemployment benefits are...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 19, 2010; 5:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (45)
Categories:  2010 elections , Happy Hour Roundup , House Dems , House GOPers , Political media , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , Tea Party  
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War escalates between Joe Sestak and right-wing pro-Israel group

A fascinating story out of Pennsylvania: The war is escalating big time between Dem Senate candidate Joe Sestak and Bill Kristol's new pro-Israel group, with the group increasing its ad buy slamming Sestak as soft on Israel and Sestak demanding...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 19, 2010; 3:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (69)
Categories:  2010 elections , Foreign policy and national security , Senate Dems  
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NRCC denies Sessions said GOP wants to go back to Bush agenda

AS you know, Dems have spent the morning jumping all over NRCC chair Pete Sessions for apparently suggesting yesterday that "we need to go back to the exact same agenda" of the Bush years. But an NRCC spokesman is now...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 19, 2010; 1:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (63)
Categories:  2010 elections , Financial reform , House Dems , House GOPers  
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Obama calls out Republicans as deficit frauds

The interesting thing about President Obama's hard hitting remarks about Republicans in the Rose Garden this morning is that he argued as explicitly as he has yet that Republicans who profess concern about the deficit are, well, full of it:...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 19, 2010; 12:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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GOP promises return to Bush agenda?

As you know, Dems are desperate to turn this fall's elections into a so-called "choice election," in which voters understand that they are choosing between two competing approaches to governing, rather than casting their votes as merely a referendum on...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 19, 2010; 10:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (48)
Categories:  2010 elections , House Dems , House GOPers  
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The Morning Plum: Obama on the offensive

* Can President Obama use the bully pulpit to persuade the public that Republicans, not Democrats, are to blame for government dysfunction in the face of struggling recovery, most visibly symbolized by the failure to extend unemployment benefits for millions...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 19, 2010; 8:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  2010 elections , Financial reform , House GOPers , Morning Plum , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , Tea Party  
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