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Happy Hour Roundup

* Revelation of the day: Dems realize their problems with independents will be so daunting this fall that they'd better hurry up and rekindle that magic among new Obama voters before it's too late.

* Not our usual fare, but Chuck Schumer is going to push a bill to make your car test your blood alcohol level. I'm all for it. Tell me why I'm wrong.

* Obama and his top advisers may premise the 2012 reelection campaign on the sense that Obama's chief appeal is that he embodies and creates historic breakthroughs.

* Expect more of this: Dems are starting to use Sharron Angle's comments in other races. New Hampshire Dems called on GOP Senate candidate Kelly Ayotte to say today whether she agrees with Angle's comparison of BP escrow cash to a "slush fund."

* Sam Stein unearths another Angle doozy: She suggests that rape victims, rather than seek abortions, should make lemons into lemonade.

* Though Angle has retracted her "slush fund" claim, the DNC hits it again, tying it to the whole GOP:

"Sharron Angle isn't a Republican outlier. She's the Republican mainstream."

* And the plugged-in First Read gang says Obama will hit the "slush fund" comments when he's in Nevada tonight, in keeping with the White House's newfound aggressiveness in grabbing individual GOP quotes to frame the larger storyline.

* Indeed, Obama again tried to step on John Boehner's "ant" today at a fundraiser in Missouri, per the White House transcript:

An ant. That's what he called what we just went through. You can imagine a movie: "The Ant That Ate Our Economy." That's a big ant.

* Boehner's office emails his response:

"On President Obama's watch, more than three million Americans have lost their jobs and unemployment is near 10 percent. But the President keeps whining and indulging in childish partisan attacks. How out of touch can he get?"

* Steve Benen keeps emphasizing the critical point that the Dem majorities aren't going to get any bigger in the next few years.

* Snark o' the day, from Josh Marshall:

I'm wondering if Sen. Vitter means something different from everyone else when he says an aide is assigned to "women's affairs."

* Stranger and stranger: Research 2000 shutters its Web site, redirecting viewers to Wikipedia's page defining a generic "opinion poll."

* Russ Feingold's efforts to curry favor with his state's Tea Partiers don't appear to be alienating his liberal supporters.

* Enviros keep hammering the under-covered issue of oil-spill-cleanup worker safety.

* And Harry Reid, who knows his best hope is to define Angle as extreme and dangerous before her campaign gets off the ground, goes up with another brutal attack ad hitting her for saying job creation is not in a U.S. Senator's job description:

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  |  July 8, 2010; 5:30 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Financial reform , Happy Hour Roundup , House GOPers , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The message of Palin's "Mama Grizzlies" video
Next: The Morning Plum

Comments

"What else is happening?"

Please, God, anything other than "All Angle, all the time!"

How about something on the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts that are going to expire?

Posted by: sbj3 | July 8, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Directly from the "Federal Government is Good for Society" file:

* Breakthrough antibodies neutralize most known AIDS strains *

US researchers have discovered two powerful antibodies that neutralize more than 90 percent of all known strains of the HIV virus in the lab, new research released Thursday showed.

NIH-led scientists discovered the antibodies known as VRCO1 and VRCO2 that prevent most HIV strains from infecting human cells. The find is a potential breakthrough for advancing HIV vaccine design, and antibody therapy for other diseases.

The authors, whose work is published in the July 9 issue of Science, also were able to demonstrate how one of these disease-fighting proteins gets the job done.

"The discovery of these exceptionally broadly neutralizing antibodies to HIV and the structural analysis that explains how they work are exciting advances that will accelerate our efforts to find a preventive HIV vaccine for global use," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health.

"In addition, the technique the teams used to find the new antibodies represents a novel strategy that could be applied to vaccine design for many other infectious diseases," Fauci stressed in a statement.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jQha4E4eemmlNcBrMLfgEHV6j0UQ

HUGE.

GOVERNMENT IS GOOD.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 8, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

A federal judge in Boston ruled that a federal ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional.

"U.S. District Judge Joseph Tauro on Thursday ruled in favor of gay couples' rights in two separate challenges to the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, known as DOMA.

The state had argued the law denied benefits such as Medicaid to gay married couples in Massachusetts, where same-sex unions have been legal since 2004.

Tauro agreed, and said the act forces Massachusetts to discriminate against its own citizens.

"The federal government, by enacting and enforcing DOMA, plainly encroaches upon the firmly entrenched province of the state, and in doing so, offends the Tenth Amendment. For that reason, the statute is invalid," Tauro wrote in a ruling in a lawsuit filed by Attorney General Martha Coakley.

Ruling in a separate case filed by Gays & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, Tauro found that DOMA violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution."


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38154952

Posted by: suekzoo1 | July 8, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Either Roger Simon has writer's block and just had to pull something out of his arse or he has seriously lost his mind.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0710/39469.html

Posted by: schrodingerscat | July 8, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

* McClatchy D.C. Bureau Cuts Polling, Follows Trend *

Robert Rankin, government and politics editor for the chain that serves the San Jose Mercury News, The Miami Herald, and 28 other daily papers, said the bureau is dropping its contract with Ipsos, which conducted polls for the news outlet for years.

"It stops this month," Rankin told me. "The budget requires that that relationship comes to an end."

Rankin said McClatchy did 10 to 11 polls each year, most on politics. "We would do them about once a month," he added. "This hurts."

http://mediamatters.org/strupp/201007080012

Ipsos/McClatchy is NO MO. Sucks. We need MORE polling, not LESS.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 8, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Nice Sue!

I just checked dkos and there's a really in-depth piece on that:

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2010/7/8/882745/-Federal-Court-Holds-DOMA-Unconstitutional

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 8, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

All, I'm kicking around the idea of scrapping the Morning Plum and just starting with regular folks.

It takes folks too long to rev up their commenting in the AM to make it worth it.

Or maybe just scrap it for the summer, while it's slow.

Thoughts?

Posted by: Greg Sargent | July 8, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

*starting with regular POSTS

Posted by: Greg Sargent | July 8, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

More info on the gay marriage rulings in Boston:

http://www.baywindows.com/index.php?ch=news&sc=glbt&sc2=news&sc3=&id=107807

Posted by: suekzoo1 | July 8, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Organizing for America:

A new bill of rights for patients is starting to take effect, and the worst abuses of the insurance industry are coming to an end. As the President recently announced, the Patient's Bill of Rights will ban rescission of coverage, stop discrimination against children with pre-existing conditions, and place restrictions on annual limits.

This is an incredibly important first step for reform, and we need your help. We've put together an information sheet that breaks down exactly what the Patient's Bill of Rights does. We want you to to print it out and pass it along to your friends, post in your local coffee shop and grocery store, or bring it along with you when going door-to-door.

http://my.barackobama.com/patientsbillofrights

Spread the word!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 8, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

@sbj,

i certainly understand why you don't want angle in the news -- she's not only toxic to her own campaign, but to all republicans. but you can expect to keep hearing about her.

there's already enough on record to talk about till the election, but she politely keeps speaking and, therefore, providing more nutty quotes and examples of teabagging wingnuttery.

the important point is the line greg quotes from the dems -- she's not an outlier of today's republican party, she's mainstream.

a feature not a bug.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 8, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Greg, I like the Morning Plum.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | July 8, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

"Chuck Schumer is going to push a bill to make your car test your blood alcohol level. I'm all for it. Tell me why I'm wrong."

Let's try it on guns first.

Posted by: wbgonne | July 8, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

I like the Morning Plum, but it wouldn't break me if you didn't publish it anymore. :) Honestly, whatever's good for you so that you don't burn out!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 8, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

"per the White House transcript: An ant. That's what he called what we just went through. You can imagine a movie: "The Ant That Ate Our Economy." That's a big ant."

That's good stuff. I doubt he wrote it but Obama has a nice touch. He should remember his power.

Posted by: wbgonne | July 8, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

@sbj3: How about something on the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts that are going to expire?

About freakin' time. They should never have been passed in the first place and they should have been rescinded to help pay for the 2 bungled invasions Bush undertook.

Posted by: srw3 | July 8, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Re: Angle Not Being an Outlier:

Yes, as Greg, Imsinca, Bernie and others have pointed out, the current GOP, like the current Supreme Court, is by far the most conservative in recent history, 70 years I'd say. The Republican Party right now is at a pre-New Deal state. And even then, there was not the HATRED toward government and liberalism we see today. Too much stress; something's got to give.

Posted by: wbgonne | July 8, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Re: the fate of the Morning Plum. First I like it and I also think it has product panache. Second, life is a series of adjustments; we just hope they don't hurt too much. You got to do what you got to do, Greg.

Posted by: wbgonne | July 8, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I love The Morning Plum, but do what you gotta do, Greg.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | July 8, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

It's no skin off my nose if the Post is contractually obligated to discuss Reid's race as the Most Important Ever. I am curious though, what will be the consensus around here about Nevada voters if Angle wins? What if, after all the money spent and ink spilled (digital ink that is) Reid loses?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 8, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

@Greg re Morning Plum: The only reason I do not comment is that I am on the West coast. By the time I get in to the office you are usually at your first (real) post.

@srw: I just love the way the Dems are saying they'll do "something" to preserve some cuts during the lame duck session. Fearless!

@sbj: I don't believe Angle is a mainstream conservative politician.

Posted by: sbj3 | July 8, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Greg, re Morning Plum.

I like it but I take your point. If you want to suspend for the summer, maybe just offer an Open Thread, and then posters can put up their own Plums.

The DIY season comes to PL.

Posted by: BGinCHI | July 8, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

All, I appreciate that you like the Morning Plum, and I'm glad you want it to continue. It certainly won't be retired overnight, so don't worry, you won't be surprised! :)

Posted by: Greg Sargent | July 8, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Hate the Schumer idea. Come on, Chuck, are you bored? You want to save us from drunk drivers individually by tampering with the car? How about stronger DUI laws?

Or, how about you save us collectively by going after the financial institutions that wrecked the economy?

Make no small plans, Dems! Not, make ONLY small plans!

Jayzus.

Posted by: BGinCHI | July 8, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

TrollMcWingnut, if Reid loses to Angle, then Nevadans get what they deserve, a barely coherent, partisan from rightwingnutistan. If Reid can't beat someone who won't do interviews (well she has done 1, but you get the point) and tries to hide her campaign stops from the media, then he deserves to lose.

@sbj: not sure what your point is. It is a lot braver to allow tax cuts to expire than to GIVE MONEY AWAY MOSTLY TO RICH PEOPLE ON THE GOVT CREDIT CARD as Bush and the repubs did.

Posted by: srw3 | July 8, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

srw, who are you pulling for in the WC final?

Posted by: BGinCHI | July 8, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

@sbj3: I don't believe Angle is a mainstream conservative politician.

Well, which parts aren't "mainstream" conservative (isn't that an oxymoron?)

Anti-abortion in all cases.
radically reduce the size of government.
privatize social security and medicare
Gun rights fanatic
repeal HCR

All of these things come right from her website. Are you saying that she is trying to hide things that she believes because they are not "mainstream?"

Posted by: srw3 | July 8, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

angle very much is typical of the republican party today. saying she isn't doesn't make it so.

bachman, palin, rand paul, barton, steele, steve king...

these are the faces of the republican party today and they are why i still think the republicans will under perform in november.

barring drastically changed circumstances, they only have a relatively small chance of
taking the house and won't take the senate.

then the fight will be between the camp who think they under performed because they were too extreme and those who argue they just weren't extreme enough.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 8, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

@srw: "Well, which parts aren't "mainstream" conservative (isn't that an oxymoron?)

"Anti-abortion in all cases."

Not most conservatives - we believe in exceptions.

"Radically reduce the size of government."

Not most conservatives - we want to reduce the size of government appropriately.

"privatize social security and medicare"

This isn't really radical. Bush II won twice pushing this. Ryan proposed it.

"Gun rights fanatic"

It's not fanatical to believe that the 2nd amend protects the individual right to own firearms

"repeal HCR"

Since quite a bit of polling indicates that more than a few people seem to agree that Obamacare should be repealed, I don't find this too far out there.

Bravery has nothing to do with letting the tax cuts expire. The Dems are trying to have it both ways. Right now they are saying they'll act to extend the tax breaks - but they won't get to it until the lame duck session. They are saying this because they realize that raising taxes (which is what they are actually going to do) before the midterms would be disastrous.

Get it now?

Posted by: sbj3 | July 8, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

In regards to the Bush Tax cuts, who here thinks they will be allowed to expire? I Think they will.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 8, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

sbj3: You said that you don't think Angle is "mainstream conservative" yet you point out that most of Angle's positions are "mainstream conservative" positions!!!

you prove my point. Most of Angle's positions are firmly in the conservative party line.

""Anti-abortion in all cases."

Not most conservatives - we believe in exceptions."
I think that the GOP platform is absolutely antiabortion in all cases.

"Faithful to the first guarantee of the Declaration of Independence, we assert the inherent dignity and sanctity of all human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed." I don't see anything that moderates this absolutist stance.

"privatize social security and medicare"

This isn't really radical. Bush II won twice pushing this. Ryan proposed it.

"Gun rights fanatic"

It's not fanatical to believe that the 2nd amend protects the individual right to own firearms

"repeal HCR"

So why do you believe that Angle is not in "privatize social security and medicare"

This isn't really radical. Bush II won twice pushing this. Ryan proposed it.

"Gun rights fanatic"

It's not fanatical to believe that the 2nd amend protects the individual right to own firearms

"repeal HCR"

Well these are her stated positions. Which ones do you think put Angle outside of "mainstream conservatism?"

All of these things come right from her website. Are you saying that she is trying to hide things that she believes because they are not "mainstream?"

Posted by: srw3 | July 8, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

@BGinCHI : I don't have a dog in the fight since Ghana went out. I wanted to see an African nation win the first Africa world cup. I am out of my office pool as well. Kind of rooting for Spain, because I studied spanish in school...

Posted by: srw3 | July 8, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

@TrollMcWingnut : I think that they will expire for the >250k crowd...

Posted by: srw3 | July 8, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Srw3,

Fair enough, but why wait until lameduck session to do it? Extending tax cuts for middle class and sticking it to the rich should be a Campaign winner. I'd think they'd do it in September.

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

Greg - Though I am normally a lurker here, I love the Morning Plum, look forward to it. It's your decision though, I will live. :)

@sbj - I hope the tax cuts expire.

Posted by: DinOH | July 8, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of taxes, this on HuffPO:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/08/income-gap-between-rich-a_n_639984.html

Posted by: DinOH | July 8, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

I mainly lurk, but I get a lot of my morning reading material from Plum links. Yours and Bernie's. The Plum is up before *anyone else* except Andrew. Now if you want to leave a thread for Bernie links, that might work.

Posted by: TomBlue | July 8, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

"This isn't really radical. Bush II won twice pushing this. Ryan proposed it."

Sure, sbj. Privatization was first and foremost in his campaign, right? From August 2004, LA Times:

"Even as President Bush has started telling voters that overhauling Social Security would be a key part of his second-term agenda, he is likely to avoid offering specifics before election day, according to Bush aides, lawmakers and privatization advocates.

Instead of getting into details, which would almost certainly embroil him in controversy, Bush is campaigning on broad principles for revamping the 70-year-old retirement system in a way that fits his vision for an "ownership society," the sources said."

Wow....he was really proud of his plan, wasn't he? Laid it right out there in the open so the voters could decide. I guess that's why they felt the need to try and put lipstick on that pig:

"During his January 16, 2005, interview with the Washington Post, President George W. Bush corrected the reporter's use of the term "privatization plan", insisting on the phrase "personal savings accounts." Privatization is no longer the term used by Republicans to describe the plan, due to its poor performance in polls and focus groups."

Posted by: schrodingerscat | July 8, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

"Sam Stein unearths another Angle doozy: She suggests that rape victims, rather than seek abortions, should make lemons into lemonade."

That's not what she suggests. She doesn't say that rape victims should choose not to have abortions. In fact, a non-trivial number of women do choose to continue the pregnancy, and I believe they should be as supported in this decision as the women who choose not to continue the pregnancy. If you are someone's confidante, you should help them explore this option so they make the choice that is best for them.

But this is not her position. She's not offering philosophy or friendly advice. She is talking about the coercive power of the law to FORCE you to do what she wants. Her position is far more extreme. Her position is it should be ILLEGAL for women who are raped to have an abortion.

She believes the law should be changed so that women who are raped do not get to seek anything. The government tells them they are going to have this baby. Period. They or their doctor will go to jail if they end the pregnancy.

This isn't her feelings about what a woman ideally "should" seek to do. This is about Angle's political position on what the law should FORCE a woman in this situation to do.

I believe the law's only business in this situation is putting the guy who raped her in jail. It should have NO SAY in whether she continues or ends her pregnancy--that's up to the victim.

Sharon Angle does not believe that.

And yeah, a guy raping you is EXACTLY like a guy giving you a bag of lemons. Or maybe being pregnant against your will is like lemons. Hell if I know what she was trying to say.

Posted by: theorajones1 | July 8, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

"Not our usual fare, but Chuck Schumer is going to push a bill to make your car test your blood alcohol level. I'm all for it. Tell me why I'm wrong."

Ok.

There are several types of breathalyzers. The ones the cops use are based on various sorts of chemical reactions. This means they carry reagents that eventually run out and then the device won't work any more. Will you disable the entire car until the driver buys more chemicals? Suppose it is an emergency? Not a good solution.

There are electronic breathalyzers (actually called intoxilyzers) as well. Perfect for cars. Problem is they throw an awful lot of false positives. In particular, diabetics and people on low calorie diets can activate these things like clockwork.

So there you go. Which one do you choose? The one that deactivates cars in emergencies (or else ceases to work), or the one that makes it impossible for diabetics to own cars?

Posted by: pj_camp | July 8, 2010 11:42 PM | Report abuse

well i hate to tell you greg but i love the morning plum and the happy hour round up; they are marvelous bookends to your daily output.

as someone mentioned above, they are branding vis a vis your specific blogging voice.

but you gotta do what you gotta do. however let me say that if you drop the morning plum, please do replace it with regular folks. i hate those elites.

Posted by: skippybkroo | July 9, 2010 12:21 AM | Report abuse

I'm okay with you slowing things down for the summer.

As for your car testing your blood alcohol level? sheesh, that makes me prove I'm not guilty. I'm all for requiring it on cars of people who've gotten even a ticket for suspicion of DUI, but sorry, I think it's intrusive.

Posted by: lcrider1 | July 9, 2010 1:01 AM | Report abuse

A bit graphic - doesn't one have to squash a lemon to make lemonade ? Poor analogy by that wingnut.

Posted by: amkeew | July 9, 2010 6:50 AM | Report abuse

All, morning roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/07/the_morning_plum_48.html

...and thanks for your feedback, all, appreciate it...

Posted by: Greg Sargent | July 9, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse

I like the Morning Plum, but I'm perfectly satisfied for you to do what makes sense.

Why are you wrong about the "make your car into a breathalyzer" idea? Let me count the ways:

Raises the price of every new car to go after a small percentage of problem drivers.

Yet another reinforcement of the idea Americans need to be able to prove themselves innocent to go about their lives. "Innocent until proven guilty" has taken too many hits as part of the war on intoxication in the last 40 years as it is. I'm against all of them, let alone adding any more, and you should be too.

Immobilization of cars due to false positive result when the device works as designed but is foiled by the limits of the technology or overly conservative calibration.

Immobilizatin of cars due to false positive result when the device doesn't work as designed.

Lawsuit bonanza when the system produces false negatives and drunk driving collisions happen anyway.

Given the overwhelming tiny proportion of auto trips undertaken by impaired drivers, it would take only a small rate of false positives to produce a situation where the system prevents more unimpaired trips by mistake than impaired trips by design.

Posted by: zimbar | July 9, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

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