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Happy Hour Roundup

UPDATE, 5:39 p.m.: The Harry Reid campaign is defying Sharron Angle's cease and desist order, and has gone up with a reconstituted version of Angle's old Web site showing all her previous Tea Partying in all its glory.

The Reid camp had originally reposted her Web site, but after the Angle camp threatened legal action, Reid's team yanked the site. But Reid's campaign claims it has now addressed Angle's concerns and has gone live with it again.

"We made minor changes to address her frivolous concerns and now hope the new Sharron Angle will focus on explaining why the old Sharron Angle's views are so unacceptable," Reid spokesman Kelly Steele emails.

The irony is that the dust up could actually end up drawing more media attention to Angle's old site -- and, by extension, to her old positions.

* Deliberately provocative analogy of the day: Ryan Grim compares Obama advisers pushing deficit reduction over job creation to the "Mayberry Machiavellis" who famously urged Bush to let politics, not empirical reality, guide all decisions.

Obama has his very own Mayberry Machiavellis now!

* I asked below whether Obama would take ownership of his Justice Department's lawsuit against Arizona. Now the smart money predicts that he'll do his best to avoid direct mention of it.

* It isn't just Republicans: Some House Democrats are denouncing the lawsuit, too, which puts them at odds with the Tucson police chief.

* I urge you to check out The Upshot, a new politics and news blog over at that's overseen by my friends Andrew Golis (of former TPM glory) and Chris Lehmann. It's an interesting experiment in rapid-fire reporting and aggregation that will be getting some attention.

* They got their photo-op: Obama strongly denies any tensions or disagreements with Israel in remarks to the press after his meeting with Netanyahu.

* But: Both men dodged questions about whether the settlement freeze will be renewed when it expires in September, a potential obstacle to progress.

* Good read: Michael Lind says what must not be said: "The American people want more government spending."

* Yeah, this'll work: Dems campaigning in their districts with a "Job Fair in a Box" kit.

* Wow, maybe Rand Paul is right about the media being out to get him: All his exposure has made a plurality of Kentucky voters less likely to support him, according to the Dem firm Public Policy Polling.

* And: Rand continues to clarify his position on the immigration fence he's envisioning.

* Fun fact of the day: Oil from the Gulf spill has now landed on beaches in all the Gulf states.

* Yes, it's Rasmussen, but this is striking: Only seven percent see Afghanistan as the biggest threat to our national security, and only one in five say things will improve there.

* But: Hawks continue pushing the claim that Obama's choice of David Petraeus means he will be "flexible" about that drawdown deadline.

* Barbara Morrill, on that poll I cited below showing that the concerns of Tea Partiers and Republicans are identical:

"They just slapped some lipstick on a tea bag and called it a revolution."

* And Sharron Angle allows that she just may have "softened" her positions for the general election.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  |  July 6, 2010; 5:14 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Financial reform , Foreign policy and national security , Happy Hour Roundup , House Dems , Senate Republicans , Tea Party  
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Next: The Morning Plum


"Job Fair in a Box".

Epic message fail.

To be fair, though, it will fit on a bumper sticker.

This is a joke, right?

Posted by: CTVoter | July 6, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Poor, poor David Brooks. He's really getting hit from several corners today, Krugman, Benen, DeLong, and here's Dean Baker's take:

"After inventing a crisis of national insolvency to concern the president (should President Obama also worry about invading Martians?), Mr. Brooks tells readers that:

"The Demand Siders don’t have a good explanation for the past two years."

Hmmm, is that right? Seems to me that we have a very simple theory to explain the past two years. There was a huge bubble in housing that burst beginning in 2006. This led to a plunge in residential construction that cost the economy more than $500 billion in annual demand. In addition, the loss of $6 trillion in housing wealth, coupled with the loss of around $7 trillion in stock wealth, has cost the economy more than $500 billion in annual consumption demand. This is the result of the wealth effect on consumption, a phenomenon that economists have been writing about for close to a century. In addition, there was a bubble in non-residential real estate that collapsed about a year after the collapse of the housing bubble. This cost the economy about another $150 billion in demand. That gives a total loss in annual demand of around $1.2 trillion. All of this was completely predictable and predicted by at least some demand siders."

Posted by: lmsinca | July 6, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

CT Voter -- it appears that it's serious. Unreal.

And lmsinca, I had seen the other takedowns but not the one from Dean Baker. That's good stuff. Thanks.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | July 6, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

I read that Ryan Grim article and found the reporting to be muddled, which shouldn't be surprising since the subject itself is muddled by a lack of strategy from Dems in DC. But leave it to HuffPo to play the angle to maximum outrage and paranoia -- oh, and lots of Bush analogies. Now it's complete.

Posted by: fbacon2 | July 6, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

I think the Job Fair in a Box idea is freakin BRILLIANT.

Have you all read what it is? I think this is just awesome. It is a plan on how to hold a job fair in your district. Local leaders can host a job fair so that unemployed people in that district can find work at a local company that has received money through the stimulus.

Why is this a bad idea? It shows leadership by Dems on the local level, that they are doing something re: jobs and that the stimulus is effective in creating jobs.

And how much could that whole thing have cost to put together? It's not a huge program, the only costs were to pay for the design and printing of the materials. The rest is effort on the local level to encourage employment. Brilliant.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 6, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

All, see the Sharron Angle update I added. Pretty fun.

And thx for that Ethan. Hope you're right.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | July 6, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Promoting a jobs fair in virtually every ad he aired got Scott Lee Cohen the Dem nomination for Lt. Governor early this year in Illinois. Maybe Ethan is on to something.

Next, the Reid campaign proves it has cajones after all!

Posted by: bmcchgo | July 6, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Most welcome Greg.

This 'Job Fair in a Box' is great stuff. I've come up with similar ideas to tackle complex problems with multiple stakeholders.

In many ways, one of the problems with dealing with stakeholder groups on the local level is getting them up to speed with complex plans. A municipality, for example, might not have the basic components -- or even a LIST of basic components -- needed to design and produce an event on this scale. Having pre-defined, pre-developed templates, which local leaders can use as a primary resource, will help local groups get their plans off the ground.

So now, instead of saying to a district, "Have a Job Fair" and then leaving everyone looking at each other, the Dems can say, "Have a Job Fair, here's how, and we made this kit for you to make it easier."

The result is more job fairs than otherwise would have been held, and more job fairs means more employed people. It's certainly not a panacea, but it's really a great idea.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 6, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Harry the horse's asp Reid will be ousted from the Senate on November the 2nd.

119 days until Election Day. See you at the polls, Dims.

Posted by: screwjob17 | July 6, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

"Harry the horse's asp Reid will be ousted from the Senate on November the 2nd."
Posted by: screwjob17

Polls in Nevada agree!

Posted by: chicago77 | July 6, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

"119 days until Election Day. See you at the polls, Dims."

It would mean something if you had something to run on other than the number of days until election day.

That you DON'T have anything to run on is actually pretty hilarious.

It's 119 days for Dems to show the country how morally and intellectually bankrupt the Republican Party is.

Plenty of time.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 6, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Ah, the Streisand effect.

Posted by: icemachine79 | July 6, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

And when screwjob doesn't get the electoral triumph the corporate media assures him is coming, guess what he's going to whine about?

ACORN, that's what.

America's right wing has lost its (hive) mind.

Let's hope they don't get to finish the job they started with 8 years of Cheney-bush...Destroying America.

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | July 6, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Shouldn't Sharron Angle let the free market take care of Reid's use of her old web site materials? Won't the free market of voters decide for themselves who is the best candidate to represent them?

Why is she going to court? I thought government interference was bad, Sharron?

What's the problem?

I can't wait to see what happens when Reid and Conway start asking voters to look at what their opponents have done to earn the voters' confidence? What's your record, Rand? Sharron?

Posted by: BGinCHI | July 6, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

LOL!!! Angle is such an idiot. If she had let it go nobody would have really paid attention. Now it looks like she is covering something up and it is national news. Again, what an idiot, she is totally out of her league.

Posted by: rcc_2000 | July 6, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

In other words - angle is furious to the point of using the law to stop the public from knowing what her positions are. She will try to use the activist courts to stop free speech -- HER OWN SPEECH -- because now that she is the nominee people who actually know at least a little about politics have pointed out to her that SHE IS FREAKIN CRAZY.

Posted by: John1263 | July 6, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

screwjob17 , if Nevada votes for Angle, they will get what they deserve...I personally can't believe that anyone who actually looks at her positions on social security, medicare, Yucca Mtn, etc. will pull the lever for her. Reid is mediocre at best, but Angle is several standard deviations below the minimum for a credible politician.

Posted by: srw3 | July 6, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Harry Reid has every right to air Angle's own public statements. I can't imagine the "concerns" could have been anything other than "frivolous"; maybe "blurring" pictures of innocent civilians in crowd shots or some such.

These people are just pathetic. ALL of them. No American who values their freedom should tolerate this sort of sneakery and skullduggery on the part of our "leaders" and would-be leaders and this sort of secretive nonsense is RAMPANT on the left AND right. The political classes have NO respect for the citizenry and it shows in everything they do.

Angle's pathetic attempt to stifle Reid's freedom of speech is disgusting. That doesn't mean that Reid doesn't digust me too with some of his words and behavior.

Our entire government is a disgrace.

Posted by: andrew23boyle | July 6, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Sargent you need to correct your story’s copy. Angel's letter is not an order, her letter is only a request. Orders are only issued and enforced by a court of law having competent jurisdiction. No court would ever enforce her demand. Reid's use of her policy statements as she published them on her web site is protected political speech under the 1st Amendment.

Posted by: Finnegen | July 6, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

srw, I'd just add that it's not only NV that "gets what they deserve." Unfortunately, as a US Senator, we'd all be inflicted with who NV votes for, and we don't deserve it.

Posted by: BGinCHI | July 6, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Would anyone be proud to vote for Harry Reid?

Posted by: bobbo2 | July 6, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Reid is desparate and pathetic. I am tempted to move to Nevada just so I can vote against him.

Maybe I can hire some Obama Acorn folks to register me there and save the cost of a move?

Posted by: JCM-51 | July 6, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Steele is going to get through this scrape too. I didn't think he'd manage this one. But the lesson for me here is that the Kristol/Cheney crowd apparently don't have the levers of power into the RNC internal machinery that I presumed.

Posted by: bernielatham | July 6, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if the Sharron Angles, Sarah Palins, or even John Boehner ever knew or maybe remember this. The 1956 Republican platform. There's more.

h/t Digby

"Health, Education and Welfare

...[T]he physical, mental, and spiritual well-being of the people is as important as their economic health. It will continue to support this conviction with vigorous action.


...[L]eadership has enlarged Federal assistance for construction of hospitals, emphasizing low-cost care of chronic diseases and the special problems of older persons, and increased Federal aid for medical care of the needy.

We have asked the largest increase in research funds ever sought in one year to intensify attacks on cancer, mental illness, heart disease and other dread diseases.

We demand once again, [...], Federal assistance to help build facilities to train more physicians and scientists.

We have encouraged a notable expansion and improvement of voluntary health insurance, and urge that reinsurance and pooling arrangements be authorized to speed this progress.

We have strengthened the Food and Drug Administration, and we have increased the vocational rehabilitation program to enable a larger number of the disabled to return to satisfying activity.

We have supported measures that have made more housing available than ever before in history, reduced urban slums in local-federal partnership, stimulated record home ownership, and authorized additional low-rent public housing.

We initiated the first flood insurance program in history under Government sponsorship in cooperation with private enterprise.

We shall continue to seek extension and perfection of a sound social security system."

Posted by: lmsinca | July 6, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Here's the bit on immigration:


"...[S]upports an immigration policy which is in keeping with the traditions of America in providing a haven for oppressed peoples, and which is based on equality of treatment, freedom from implications of discrimination between racial, nationality and religious groups, and flexible enough to conform to changing needs and conditions.

We believe that such a policy serves our self-interest, reflects our responsibility for world leadership and develops maximum cooperation with other nations in resolving problems in this area."

Posted by: lmsinca | July 6, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Here's a little more from the "commie" manifesto of the Republican Party in 1956.

"We are proud of and shall continue our far-reaching and sound advances in matters of basic human needs—expansion of social security—broadened coverage in unemployment insurance —improved housing—and better health protection for all our people. We are determined that our government remain warmly responsive to the urgent social and economic problems of our people...

The spirit of our people is the strength of our nation.

America does not prosper unless all Americans prosper.

Government must have a heart as well as a head.

Courage in principle, cooperation in practice make freedom positive."

Posted by: lmsinca | July 7, 2010 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Angle said it. She believes it, she got elected by running on it and now, she doesn't want anyone know? How mainstream can it be.

The nutjob rightwing lost their collective mind when Obama was elected. They went into a delusional spasm of fear and hate.

Fear, Hatred, Distortion, Distraction and Division. Great Platform! Good luck!

Posted by: thebobbob | July 7, 2010 1:20 AM | Report abuse

@Imsinca - Wow! That was a bit of bright research, wasn't it? Far more revelation and compelling "argument" in those few paragraphs than in the last three million online diatribes.

How far could the DNC get, coming up to November, through simply researching and then quoting such documentation (and perhaps similar video clips or audio clips)?

It so clearly demonstrates which party has gone extreme and the distance into extremity it has traveled. It so clearly speaks to the real history of American political ideas and values.

And it precedes - by a full bloody decade - the first day-glo hippy.

Posted by: bernielatham | July 7, 2010 6:16 AM | Report abuse

From same document:

"We shall continue vigorously to support the United Nations."

@Greg - You REALLY ought to trumpet this one. I think it is extremely important.

1) it is real US history
2) it is in their own words
3) it has the potential to get citizens to rethink much of what they have been told that is not merely historically false but which has changed their nation for the worse - and thus undercuts 90% of the propaganda promulgated by FOX or talk radio or NRO etc
4) it has the potential (I really think it does) of making serious political/social headway with absolutely no element of this horrid modern tendency of moving citizens through fear and through character assassination.

Posted by: bernielatham | July 7, 2010 6:29 AM | Report abuse

The full document can be found here...

Posted by: bernielatham | July 7, 2010 6:39 AM | Report abuse

Party platforms for other years...

Posted by: bernielatham | July 7, 2010 6:41 AM | Report abuse

From the Republican Party platform four years later, 1960...

"In the Middle East, we shall continue to support the integrity and independence of all the states of that area including Israel and the Arab States.

With specific reference to Israel and the Arab Nations we urge them to undertake negotiations for a mutually acceptable settlement of the causes of tension between them. We pledge continued efforts:

To eliminate the obstacles to a lasting peace in the area, including the human problem of the Arab refugees.

To seek an end to transit and trade restrictions, blockades and boycotts."

Posted by: bernielatham | July 7, 2010 6:45 AM | Report abuse

Again, the America and the UN in 1960...

"The countries of the free world have been benefited, reinforced and drawn closer together by the vigor of American support of the United Nations, and by our participation in such regional organizations as NATO, SEATO, CENTO, the Organization of American States and other collective security alliances. We assert our intention steadfastly to uphold the action and principles of these bodies."

Posted by: bernielatham | July 7, 2010 6:48 AM | Report abuse

Look at this passage from 1960...

"Human Needs

The ultimate objective of our free society and of an ever-growing economy is to enable the individual to pursue a life of dignity and to develop his own capacities to his maximum potential.

Government's primary role is to help provide the environment within which the individual can seek his own goals. In some areas this requires federal action to supplement individual, local and state initiative. The Republican Party has acted and will act decisively, compassionately, and with deep human understanding in approaching such problems as those of the aged, the infirm, the mentally ill, and the needy.

This is demonstrated by the significant increase in social security coverage and benefits as a result of recommendations made by the Eisenhower-Nixon Administration. As a result of these recommendations and normal growth, 14 million persons are receiving benefits today compared to five million in 1952, and benefit payments total $10.3 billion as compared to $2.5 billion in 1952. In addition, there have been increases in payments to those on public assistance, both for their basic needs and for their health and medical care; and a broad expansion in our federal-state program for restoring disabled persons to useful lives—an expansion which has accomplished the rehabilitation of over half a million persons during this Administration."

Expansion of social security funding to more and more people was once a positive for this party.

Posted by: bernielatham | July 7, 2010 7:09 AM | Report abuse

Bernie, if you go back and read the comments of some of Greg's visitors on the Arizona thread and compare it to their vision from the past, it's really quite shocking. And these folks are not out of the mainstream by much. The Republican party and it's leaders both within and outside of the Government have created the environment we are now stuck dealing with. And it's really pretty disgusting.

Posted by: lmsinca | July 7, 2010 7:29 AM | Report abuse

In the process of trying to get my history of these earlier periods straight, I bumped into this bit which I had not known...

"In 1951, like some of his classmates in the Ivy League, Buckley was recruited into the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA); he served for two years including one year in Mexico City working as a political action specialist in the elite Special Activities Division for E. Howard Hunt." (wikipedia entry on Buckley)

Hunt, of course, was one of Nixon's "engineers" in the Watergate break-in and who subsequently served 33 months in prison for the dirty deed.

Posted by: bernielatham | July 7, 2010 7:30 AM | Report abuse

@Ims - Yes. To all parts of what you've said.

I'm going through the '64 platform now. Completely different in tone with a Dem administration in power. This platform spends most of its time bashing...we're into the era of Nixon and it shows.

Posted by: bernielatham | July 7, 2010 7:37 AM | Report abuse

Contrasting the platform positions noted above in 56 and 60, for 64 we get this:

"Republicans will never surrender to any international group the responsibility of the United States for its sovereignty, its own security, and the leadership of the free world."

Posted by: bernielatham | July 7, 2010 7:40 AM | Report abuse

We also need to remember these platforms are all pre Civil Rights legislation, Southern Strategy and the Religious Right, which is all very telling and interesting on so many levels.

Posted by: lmsinca | July 7, 2010 7:41 AM | Report abuse

The '68 platform (Republicans have been out of power for nearly eight years and Nixon will take office a year later) is HEAVY on the law and order thing. And look at this change...

The Poor

"Welfare and poverty programs will be drastically revised to liberate the poor from the debilitating dependence which erodes self-respect and discourages family unity and responsibility. We will modify the rigid welfare requirements that stifle work motivation and support locally operated children's day care centers to free the parents to accept work."

Posted by: bernielatham | July 7, 2010 7:46 AM | Report abuse

@Ims...I was just thinking along the same lines after posting that '68 piece "the poor". There's a clear racial element now to the platform.

"With the aid of Harry Dent and South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond, who had switched parties in 1964, Richard Nixon ran his 1968 campaign on states' rights and "law and order." Many liberals accused Nixon of pandering to Southern whites, especially with regard to his "states' rights" and "law and order" stands.[24]" (wikipedia entry 'southern strategy')

Posted by: bernielatham | July 7, 2010 7:53 AM | Report abuse

The late 60's and early 70's were also the Vietnam years and exactly that which Eisenhower warned us about was already becoming true.

"There should be no doubt why the Pentagon wants this massively expensive system and why Congress prepares to fund it - despite the unrelenting objections from arms experts, allies, and rival nations. That chorus is all but drowned out by the ''complex'' of which Eisenhower warned. The momentum of ''the weight of this combination,'' in his phrase, seems unstoppable. Yet Eisenhower identified the only possible counterweight, and it is us, the American people. ''Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry'' can compel a turn away from this mortal danger.

Eisenhower's challenge from 40 years ago is more relevant today than ever, and he seemed to know it would be. ''Down the long lane of the history yet to be written, America knows that this world of ours, ever growing smaller, must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect.... Disarmament, with mutual honor and confidence, is a continuing imperative. Together we must learn how to compose differences not with arms, but with intellect and decent purpose.'' Such words are rare in Washington today, but tomorrow their echo can still be heard."

Posted by: lmsinca | July 7, 2010 8:04 AM | Report abuse

@Ims - again, we're thinking along the same lines. The '72 platform is congratulatory (with Nixon in charge now for some time). And the platform is BIG on the post-Viet Nam increases in militarization.

Posted by: bernielatham | July 7, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

I'll rephrase that slightly... the increases in militarization that happened with Viet Nam are now, as of '72', still being promoted in the the party platform.

Posted by: bernielatham | July 7, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

"Fun fact of the day: Oil from the Gulf spill has now landed on beaches in all the Gulf states."

Which states were all hotspots for anti-government, anti-regulation fervor. Now complaining loudly that Daddy has not come fast enough.

Posted by: rhallnj | July 7, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

All, morning roundup posted:

...and Bernie fyi I replied to you via email late last night....

Posted by: Greg Sargent | July 7, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: bernielatham | July 7, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

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