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The Plum Line: July 25, 2010 - July 31, 2010

Weekend Open Thread

So what's happening? Who won the dawn?...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 31, 2010; 10:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Not backing off: Anthony Weiner just doubled down on his rant in an MSNBC interview, saying his eruption was about exposing GOP tactics: "We needed to respond. Frankly, the Republicans have now, as you know, over the course of...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 30, 2010; 5:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (58)
Categories:  2010 elections , 2012 , Happy Hour Roundup , House Dems , House GOPers , Immigration , Political media , economy  
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Losing faith in the Federal gov't on immigration

You regularly hear critics of the Arizona immigration law argue that public support for it mainly reflects a broader desire for Federal immigration reform. And, of course, we'd all like to believe that that's true. Which makes this finding from...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 30, 2010; 3:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (61)
Categories:  Immigration  
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Obama to auto-workers: If GOP had had its way, your jobs would be gone

President Obama just delivered a rousing speech at an auto plant in Detroit, and it gave us a glimpse of how the fall elections could go for Dems if things start trending their way. The tanking economy has left the...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 30, 2010; 1:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (102)
Categories:  2010 elections , economy  
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ADL: Some opponents of Ground Zero mosque are bigots, but we should let them win anyway

As you have probably heard, the Anti-Defamation League came out against the Ground Zero mosque today. I wanted to highlight this extraordinary bit from their statement: Proponents of the Islamic Center may have every right to build at this site,...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 30, 2010; 11:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (75)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security  
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Anthony Weiner's rant captures Dem impotence

Everybody is talking about Anthony Weiner's high-octane rant on the House floor last night, in which he fulminated over Republican opposition to a bill that would have spent billions on health care for people sickened by the smoke and debris...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 30, 2010; 10:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (117)
Categories:  House Dems , House GOPers  
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The Morning Plum

* The White House wants to know: How can it get the public to focus on the administration's isolated successes, when early tough decisions made by Obama that worked are now getting forgotten amid widespread anxiety about the ailing economy?...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 30, 2010; 8:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  2010 elections , 2012 , Climate change , House Dems , House GOPers , Morning Plum , economy  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Dan Balz says the House Dems' ad spending patterns show clearly that they're running scared. * And the unveiling of "13 very serious allegations" against Charlie Rangel will only make it easier for the GOP to argue that Dems...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 29, 2010; 6:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
Categories:  2010 elections , Foreign policy and national security , Happy Hour Roundup , Political media  
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GOP blocks small business bill. Who will get the blame?

As I've argued a bunch of times before, no matter how many times Dems scream about GOP obstructionism, the jury is out on whether Republicans will take any of the blame for its consequences. Dems run the place, and the...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 29, 2010; 4:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (66)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , economy  
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GOP House candidate: Extending UI benefits is "European"

Okay, we have another Republican applying for membership in the "Let Them Eat Want Ads" Caucus. GOPer Scott Bruun, a state representative in Oregon who's running to unseat Dem Rep. Kurt Schrader, told a local radio program that extending unemployment...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 29, 2010; 2:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  2010 elections , House GOPers , Senate Republicans , economy  
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Huh? Dem Senate candidate won't endorse Reid as majority leader

Wow. Do Dems really think Harry Reid is this radioactive all the way over in Kentucky? Jack Conway, the Dems' Senate candidate in that state, pointedly refused to say he'd vote for Reid as majority leader, and also cast doubt...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 29, 2010; 1:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (36)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Dems pour cold water on GOP request for new Black Panther hearings

Senator Patrick Leahy is pouring cold water on a request by GOP Senators for public hearings into the Black Panther voter intimidation case, a move that will anger conservatives who were hoping for a public airing of the issue to...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 29, 2010; 11:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (39)
Categories:  Political media , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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The "Let Them Eat Want Ads" Caucus

Let's call it the "Let Them Eat Want Ads" Caucus -- those candidates and public officials who argue that unemployment benefits are problematic because they discourage people from seeking jobs. And let's add another Republican to that caucus: Candidate Michele...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 29, 2010; 10:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
Categories:  2010 elections , House Dems , House GOPers , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , economy  
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The Morning Plum

* Maybe Republicans can win the House: Nate Silver runs the numbers and challenges the DCCC's claim that Republicans can't take back the lower chamber. * Still more evidence the public is warming to the health reform law: A new...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 29, 2010; 8:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (40)
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Health reform , House Dems , House GOPers , Morning Plum , economy  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* If Obama's argument can be boiled down to "things could have been worse," as some have noted recently, then perhaps it's worth mentioning that a new study finds that this is entirely true, to a greater degree than we...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 28, 2010; 6:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Happy Hour Roundup , House GOPers , Immigration , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , Tea Party , economy  
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Harry Reid's goal: Localize, localize, localize

One thing that's interesting about the Nevada Senate race is that no Democrat is under more pressure to successfully localize this election and prevent it from becoming a referendum on national Dem policies than is Harry Reid. That's because the...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 28, 2010; 5:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Chuck Todd clarifies his criticism of Journolist

The diehards who are pointing to Journolist as proof of a Vast Left Wing Media Conspiracy were very excited this morning by a Politico article quoting Chuck Todd criticizing the list in fairly harsh terms. Todd ripped J-List as "offensive"...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 28, 2010; 3:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (59)
 
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Halperin says it: The problem is right wing media

As I've been arguing here regularly, the moral of the Shirley Sherrod affair is that not all partisan media are created equal. Though this is overwhelmingly obvious, few media figures have been willing to state clearly that the problem isn't...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 28, 2010; 1:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  Political media  
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Dem memo: No, we won't lose the House

In another sign that House Dem leaders are eager to silence talk about them losing the House, top Democrats are circulating a memo on Capitol Hill that lays out a detailed case for why Republicans will come up short this...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 28, 2010; 12:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (77)
Categories:  2010 elections , House Dems , House GOPers , Tea Party  
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Dear Dems: Stop reading from Rove's playbook on Afghanistan

It's sad that this needs to be said, but Democrats need to stop reading from Karl Rove's playbook when talking about the Afghanistan war. GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah is one of only a dozen Republicans who voted against...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 28, 2010; 10:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (102)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security , House Dems , House GOPers  
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The Morning Plum

"The Republican Tea Party Contract on America." That's what the DNC is rolling out today, in what it bills as a major new effort to get the public to focus on the consequences of a GOP takeover of Congress. At...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 28, 2010; 8:24 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Foreign policy and national security , Health reform  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Republicans successfully blocked the DISCLOSE act today, a big blow to Obama and Dems, but Senate leaders are likely to hold another vote on it this fall, Reid spokesman Jim Manley confirms. * Though the chances of passing it...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 27, 2010; 6:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (37)
Categories:  2010 elections , Financial reform , Foreign policy and national security , Happy Hour Roundup , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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What does Sharron Angle believe about campaign finance?

With the Senate voting today on the DISCLOSE act, it's time to drill down and figure out what Sharron Angle believes about campaign finance regulations. As best as I can determine, Angle has made no public statements directly about the...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 27, 2010; 3:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (72)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Now a Blue Dog Democrat gets caught talking chickens for checkups!

Chickens for checkups is back! Only this time, the culprit isn't a Republican. It's a Blue Dog Democrat -- Rep. Ben Chandler of Kentucky. Chandler is disliked on the left for his opposition to health reform, and this might not...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 27, 2010; 1:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  2010 elections , Health reform  
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More evidence Palin should stay inside her bubble

As I've noted here before, the evidence is mounting that Sarah Palin is successfully tightening her emotional grip on her devoted legions of supporters -- at the expense of everyone else, who increasingly find her to be a major turn...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 27, 2010; 12:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (306)
Categories:  2012  
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Yet again, it all turns on Olympia Snowe

UPDATE, 11:34 a.m.: Senator Ben Nelson's spokesman, Jake Thompson, confirms that Nelson will vote Yes. "He will vote for cloture on the Disclose Act," Thompson emails. "It's all about transparency." That removes one more element of suspense. And a quick...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 27, 2010; 11:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (53)
Categories:  2010 elections , Supreme Court  
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The Morning Plum

* Another big loss looming today? In another vote drawing battle lines for the midterms, Democrats are expected to lose the Senate's vote on the DISCLOSE act, because they couldn't get a single Republican to support their effort to reverse...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 27, 2010; 8:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Foreign policy and national security , House Dems , Morning Plum , Political media , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* The Democrats' political predicament on unemployment comes down to this: Dems have no way of proving the alternate scenarios -- that a smaller stimulus would have resulted in more job loss, or that a larger one would have led...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 26, 2010; 6:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
Categories:  2010 elections , Foreign policy and national security , Health reform , Political media , economy  
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Senate GOP to hold hearings on Black Panther tale?

By now you've heard that Senate Republicans have announced that they're seeking hearings into whether Obama's Justice Department engaged in racial bias in connection with the decision to pursue the voter intimidation case against the New Black Panthers as a...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 26, 2010; 4:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (104)
Categories:  Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Dems underestimate GOP strategy on unemployment

Senator Al Franken, in an interview with Think Progress, sounds the now-familiar refrain from Dems that Republicans are obstructing jobs-related legislation because they think mass economic suffering will benefit the GOP in the midterms: "But I do think that this...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 26, 2010; 2:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (77)
Categories:  Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , economy  
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No, both sides don't do what Breitbart does: Part II

Now that today's New York Times has weighed in on this topic, I'm going to hit this one more time, because I'm telling ya, it's important. As I've been noting here, the real takeaway from the Shirley Sherrod mess is...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 26, 2010; 12:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (40)
Categories:  Political media  
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Journolist flap shows conservative media conspiracy, not liberal one

That's the real story behind the Journolist flap, no matter what you've read to the contrary on news sites, reputable or otherwise. Consider today's lead story on the Daily Caller, the conservative site that's led the charge on the J-list...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 26, 2010; 11:01 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (229)
Categories:  Political media  
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The Morning Plum

* Another distraction from the economy: Again and again, the White House has tried to showcase its achievements on the economy, only to have unforeseen developments hijack the storyline and force White House officials to spend days dealing with non-economy-related...

By Greg Sargent  |  July 26, 2010; 8:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Foreign policy and national security , House Dems , Morning Plum , Political media , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , Tea Party  
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