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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 announces that he'll support FinReg. One more Republican needed to get to 60.

* Ezra Klein puts it better than I did: Dem prospects this fall are likely to turn entirely on their own performance with the economy.

* Chris Van Hollen differs with Robert Gibbs by ruling out the possibilty that Dems could lose the House.

* Surprisingly, Eric Cantor happens to agree with Gibbs on this one.

* Ben Smith notes that the odd obsession of White House advisers with what David Brooks thinks cuts against their affectation of not caring what the "pundits" think.

* Peter Hamby skewers all the media hype around Sarah Palin's fundraising announcement today:

But the PAC's fundraising so far this year has been roughly on pace with its 2009 efforts. Palin raised more than $1.2 million since the beginning of this year, about $200,000 less than she raised in the second half of 2009.

* Speaking of Palin media hype, CNN devotes an entire piece to a Palin Tweet describing Obama's economic plan as "backasswards." In what universe is this news?

* David Vitter may not be a real live birther himself, but he supports conservative efforts to use the courts to force Obama to produce his birth certificate. Or something.

* Former TPM alum Justin Elliott, who's now at Salon, reports that Scott Rasmussen (who insists his polling doesn't tilt right) will be a featured speaker on an upcoming conservative cruise.

* Hey, if Keep America Safe could get extensive media coverage by painting Obama as soft on terror in a handful of Web videos, why not launch a sister organization designed to keep Israel safe from Obama and Dems?

* Alex Pareen notes that it's all very 2002 and 2004.

* Clarification of the day: Colorado Tea Party Senate candidate Ken Buck has clarified his earlier claim -- which was apparently problematic for some reason -- that President Obama is not a greater threat to America than Al Qaeda.

How did Buck do this? By telling ABC's Top Line that he does think the "progressive liberal movement," if not Obama himself, is a greater threat than Al Qaeda. Too late -- the damage with the Tea Partyers is proably irreparable!

* And right wing media are now claiming that a provision in FinReg would create hiring quotas and "diversity czars" -- wow, "diversity" and "czars," a twofer! -- but it turns out the whole thing is bogus.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  |  July 12, 2010; 6:18 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , 2012 , Foreign policy and national security , Happy Hour Roundup  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: How do you make Dems care about the midterms?
Next: The Morning Plum

Comments

Here's another one Greg.

"Rep. Tom Perriello (D-Va.), perhaps the top Republican target in the House of Representatives, reported raising more than $660,000 in the second quarter of 2010 -- breaking his record from last quarter. Hailing from a traditionally conservative district, the Virginia Democrat has been routinely listed among the most endangered members in Congress. But instead of moderating his positions to appeal to Republican voters, the congressman has done the opposite, proudly casting a vote in favor of health care reform and cap and trade, as well as embracing rather than backing away from the stimulus."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/12/tom-perriello-and-marco-r_n_643431.html

Posted by: lmsinca | July 12, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Scott Rassmussen is an independent pollster.

Dick Cheney is Santa Clause.

Republicans care about the deficit.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 12, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

"David Vitter may not be a real live birther himself, but he supports conservative efforts ..."

Should be noted that Vitter gets a serious Republican challenger (Retired State Supreme Court Justice Chet Traylor) for the primary:

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2010/07/12/after-tumultuous-first-term-vitter-draws-a-primary-challenge/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+rss/cnn_politicalticker+(Blog:+Political+Ticker)&fbid=3-bUW86Ag4G

Posted by: sbj3 | July 12, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

This is how they're going to win control?

RNC website asks 'Play Golf or Save the Gulf?'

Painful.

Dem response:

“It’s nice to know that Michael Steele can take time out of his busy schedule of fending off calls for his resignation to play politics with the oil spill," Sevugan said. "And it’s too bad he’d rather play political games than support the Administration’s efforts to hold BP accountable and a pass energy security bill that ensures we are never in a position where we are reliant on big oil companies like BP again. Of course, if we could harness even a fraction of the energy Republicans put into these silly websites we wouldn’t need a new energy bill.”

Story is at cnn ticker if you want a link.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 12, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

thanks lmsinca. I love the Perriello story.

Ethan -- heh.

and sbj, re that primary threat, does anyone know who the GOP establishment is siding with on this one?

Posted by: Greg Sargent | July 12, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse


Michelle Bachmann up nine.

http://www.minnesotademocratsexposed.com/2010/07/12/breaking-survey-usa-poll-on-cd6/

Keep putting money in that race Dems.

Posted by: Truthteller12 | July 12, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Truthteller12, according to Bachmann you are a slave.

Are you a slave?

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 12, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Details on new drilling moratorium:

http://www.doi.gov/news/pressreleases/Secretary-Salazar-Issues-New-Suspensions-to-Guide-Safe-Pause-on-Deepwater-Drilling.cfm

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 12, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

I see Harry Reid has critiqued President Obama’s “peacemaker” approach to policy-making and suggested he embrace a tougher posture toward Republicans. Okay, I can take this criticism from almost anyone except Harry Reid. hell Nancy Pelosi has more cal to say this, since with or without WH support, Pelosi, is knocking heads together...period. That's why GOP hates her so much, cause she's getting stuff done.

Harry Reid is full of shitake.

He didn't mind Obama playing "peacemaker" when Obama essentially made sure the "light-skinned" Negro comment didn't derail Mr Reid's leadership in any real way, did he.

He sure didn't mind Obama being peacemaker when both Michelle Obama and Barack Obama travelled to NV (numerous times) to fundraise for Sen Reid did he...

ya know what, Harry Reid better be happy that Obama ain't like the Clintons or Bush/Rove and likes to hold grudges, or withhold support...

Reid needs to thank his lucky stars Obama ain't that petty. Hell, that is the main reason why I could never go into politics. I may just be too petty. I'd only serve one term too, cause by the end of it, people would probably hate me.

Posted by: lynell33 | July 12, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

so this is what the rightwing republicans have: mealy mouthed quasi birtherism; hysterical birtherism; calling obama and progressive americans a greater threat than bin ladin; complaints that obama is an evil genius working day and night to destroy america; and complaints that obama is a lazy incompetent layabout who plays too much golf.

and he's a fascist. and -- at the same time -- he's a socialist. he's also a secret muslim and a radical black christian.

what else?

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 12, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

I posted this in the Rass thread but now I'm really confused.

I thought the quality of Rass's polling was enough to make the folks at Research2000 blush? You don't have to give me a copy of the Talking Points, but at least, to quote Dr.Evil: "Throw me a fricken' bone here."

Or, do we only believe Him When we agree with the results?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 12, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Rass is like Greg Sargent: His polls are fair but he has a preferred outcome.

And Greg - "Roy Fletcher, a Republican political consultant who served as Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) deputy campaign manager in 2000, escorted Traylor to the filing office."

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0710/39558.html#ixzz0tVskVmeJ

Posted by: sbj3 | July 12, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

troll,

drop the schtick. the trend is so obvious and undeniable that even a right leaning pollster like the conservative cruise speaker rasmussen has to acknowledge it.

it's like noting that even conservatives like beahner and cantor recognize that total repeal of hcr is a non starter.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 12, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Blah,

I agree, repeal will be impossible while Barry's in office. I'm hoping for defunding until he's voted out (fingers crossed). Or the SC decides that the commerce clause does In fact have some limits (snort).

Why don't the Democrats campaign on it? Wouldn't that boost their midterm chances? I mean why pass something you are going to run away from? It doesn't make sense.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 12, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Ethan: "Scott Rassmussen is an independent pollster."

Ethan, did you see this item at Benen's today?

"Pollster Scott Rasmussen, who maintains he is reliable and independent despite criticism from Democrats that he tilts to the right, will in November speak for no fee on a post-election National Review cruise to raise money for the conservative magazine.

Besides Rasmussen, the week-long cruise features an impressive lineup of conservative operatives, journalists, and academics -- Karl Rove, Andrew Breitbart, Phyllis Schlafly, and Jonah Goldberg, to name just a few -- and will sail around the Caribbean stopping at ports in the Bahamas, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel, Mexico.

Rasmussen's compensation for the appearance is the free cruise itself for him and his wife."

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_07/024685.php

Posted by: suekzoo1 | July 12, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

How come Dem spox can't write simple sentences? E.g., David Sevugan:

"And it’s too bad he’d [Steele] rather play political games than support the Administration’s efforts to hold BP accountable and a pass energy security bill that ensures we are never in a position where we are reliant on big oil companies like BP again."

I'm pretty good at diagramming sentences, but just trying to count the number of independent and dependent clauses in that monster makes my head spin.

Posted by: jzap | July 12, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Hey all, looks like the new cap is in place on the gusher. As far as I can tell from cameras and conversation at the oildrum, no leaks around the seal and oil is flowing through a tall white pipe which I assume will be connected to surface vessels soon. Finally, hopefully. Lots of props to the scientists and engineers working on this problem.

Posted by: lmsinca | July 12, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

sbj3,

"Rass is like Greg Sargent: His polls are fair but he has a preferred outcome."

Delicious.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 12, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

except that ras isn't fair -- per 538, his polls show a consistent and significant republican house effect.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 12, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

@Ims - Thanks for the news! Been tied up all day at work.

Posted by: bernielatham | July 12, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Here's something I first read about this morning and have seen it mentioned in a few blogs. Leaders from various progressive groups are getting together to form a coalition to fight for and organize uniformly around specific policy goals. It's loosely called "one nation" for now and they're already planning an event in DC Oct. 2nd. I haven't seen a website or anything yet but I hope they get it going and plan marches or whatever across the country. I'm ready to put my tennis shoes on and walk for the middle class.

"Having been confronted with the specter of the tea party . . . we felt it urgent to organize the majority of this country, which voted in 2008 and has gone back to the couch," said Benjamin Jealous, president of the NAACP. "We've been split off in different directions."

The groups involved represent the core of the first-time voters who backed Obama, including the National Council of La Raza, the Service Employees International Union, the NAACP, the AFL-CIO, and the United States Student Association. (The effort is separate from the Democratic Party's plan to spend $50 million trying to reach those same voters.)

Their aha! moment happened after the health-care overhaul passed this spring. Liberal groups, which focused their collective strength to push the bill against heavy resistance, felt relevant and effective for the first time in a long while. That health-care coalition, composed of civil rights groups, student activists and labor leaders, liked the winning formula.

"In many ways, the bitter fight for health-care reform has painfully highlighted that we must go back to the grass-roots organizing that won us the election in the first place," said George Gresham, president of 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East.

Liberal leaders see "much of the progressive agenda at risk in this election," said Paul Starr, a professor of public affairs at Princeton University and co-editor of the American Prospect, a liberal magazine. "There is no choice but for these groups to get together. The historical pattern is that voter turnout falls disproportionately among minorities and young people at these midterm elections, so they are fighting a historical trend."

Leaders of the groups have been meeting for about three months in a planning process that some participants called arduous, debating everything from the name of the coalition to what the branding and logo should look like.

The coalition's first goal is to plan a march to "demonstrate to Congress that these agenda items have support across multiple demographics," Jealous said. The demonstration, to be held Oct. 2, will center on pressing for more government spending on job creation."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/12/tom-perriello-and-marco-r_n_643431.html

Posted by: lmsinca | July 12, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Insinca,

"Their aha! moment happened after the health-care overhaul passed this spring. Liberal groups, which focused their collective strength to push the bill against heavy resistance, felt relevant and effective for the first time in a long while. That health-care coalition, composed of civil rights groups, student activists and labor leaders, liked the winning formula." With all due respect, it seems all I've heard is that the HCR bill was a gift to insurance corporations and drug companies. The "heavy resistance" was coming from the liberal left as well, was it not? This seems like taking credit for something to establish credibility.

""In many ways, the bitter fight for health-care reform has painfully highlighted that we must go back to the grass-roots organizing that won us the election in the first place," said George Gresham, president of 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East." So, "leaders from various progressive groups" form grassroots support? Doesn't this sound a little top down to you? Why will this work when OFA did not? Or the Coffee Party people, I thought that was a grass roots thing? What happened to that?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 12, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

McWing, a lot of us were unhappy with the HCR bill and the wheeling and dealing behind the scenes, but once we saw the benefits to actual Americans, without insurance, we were happy to work the phone lines and make sure it passed. I think it's loosely called "compromise". Not every progressive group felt the same way, big surprise. I have a lot of 20-30 year olds in my family, plus their friends, so yeah they worked the phones as well. I watched the House vote with a lot of them and there were cheers and tears all around, regardless of some of the disappointments.

As far as OFA goes, I quit last year when they tried to get me to be quiet at a meeting when I brought up questions about Obama's commitment to the public option. I'm not a cheerleader, but I do consider myself a worker bee. As progressives we're in quite a conundrum. I have no intention of sitting on the couch while Republicans take control. I may not be completely happy or satisfied with the Administration but it's a far cry from the alternative. I'm working on a campaign here to unseat a Republican incumbent in the House and will send money to as many progressive candidates as I can afford. That's the best I can do right now and I would love the opportunity to march for the middle class if this coalition gets it sh.. together. Of course that remains to be seen.

Posted by: lmsinca | July 12, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Snowe joins Collins and Brown to pass finreg. If they put Elizabeth Warren in charge of the CFPA, we'll have a shot at real protections for consumers.

"WASHINGTON (AP) -- Sens. Olympia Snowe and Scott Brown pushed sweeping financial legislation to the edge of final passage Monday, both announcing they intend to support the regulatory overhaul despite initial misgivings.

Snowe of Maine and Brown of Massachusetts join Susan Collins of Maine as three crucial Republican votes for the legislation.

"While not perfect, the legislation takes necessary steps to implement meaningful regulatory reforms, create strong consumer protections and restore confidence in the American financial system," Snowe said in a statement Monday evening.

In breaking with the rest of the Republican Party, the three lawmakers appeared to give Democratic leaders the 60 votes needed to overcome procedural hurdles facing the legislation.

Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said the legislation would be wrapped up this week."

Posted by: lmsinca | July 12, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

"Fox News analyst Andrew Napolitano says Bush and Cheney ‘should have been indicted.’"

Nice to see the fellow get this one right.
http://thinkprogress.org/2010/07/12/napolitano-bush-indict/

Posted by: bernielatham | July 12, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

All I can say is WOW Bernie. Coming from Napolitano, I'm absolutely shocked and have to wonder what Liz would say. She's been relatively quiet lately, I've noticed, as has her dad. I think maybe his health is not that great. W keeps a pretty low profile as well as far as I can tell.

Hope you enjoyed your brief holiday.

Posted by: lmsinca | July 12, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

jzap - Agree. Dem messaging is teh suck. When will the dems ever learn to master soundbites ?

Posted by: amkeew | July 12, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Ims - Napolitano didn't mince any words there, did he? Very gratifying to see integrity whenever it arises.

Holiday short but grand. Lotsa family and friends and sunshine. A good round of golf. And during the coolest wedding after-party I've been to, sat down with a fine conga drum and did a duet with a didgeridoo. It was quite sublime actually.

Posted by: bernielatham | July 12, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

Por Favor!

Spare us the creepstar/geek from Gawker when it comes to politix.

Unless folks here want to see stylings such as "engorgement" and "Paris!!!!" and "hatef#*k" worked into a post on Hizbollah.

The "e" you left off the end of his last name is for elfbarf.

Posted by: tao9 | July 12, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

here's something else: maddow reports tonight that o'keefe and giles broke california law when they taped an acorn employee without his knowledge or permission. it was the employee who pumped them for info then called the cops and reported them. of course, neither o'keefe, giles or fox reported that part of the story.

apparently the guy got fired too.

he's suing them for at least 75k in damages.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/ns/msnbc_tv-rachel_maddow_show/

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 12, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

tao, you know I like it when you drop in for a comment or two, but I have absolutely no clue what you're talking about tonight. Is it some kind of inside joke between you and Greg? I'm pretty sure I clicked on every one of Greg's links and I'm completely clueless. Maybe it's just me.

Anyway, see y'all manana.

Posted by: lmsinca | July 12, 2010 11:45 PM | Report abuse

HI lms!

This one (middle of post above):

"Alex Pareen notes that it's all very 2002 and 2004."

The fellow is an embarrasment...perfect 4 Salon, though {;>).

Posted by: tao9 | July 12, 2010 11:51 PM | Report abuse

And Bernie, the didgeridoo is my new favorite instrument, I would have loved to hear that. Glad you're back.

Posted by: lmsinca | July 12, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

I saw a SUV today with the following bumberstickers/jive:
"Don't blame me, I voted for the American" and "Osama for Obama". I was tempted to leave an ironic note but concluded they were their own damnation. But, I live in Texas and...well...

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | July 13, 2010 4:03 AM | Report abuse

You should be fined for not having insurance because if you have an emergency and go to the emergency room, then you do not have the money for the bill, it gets charged to everyone else. Get medical insurance for your entire family at the best price from http://bit.ly/chE6zp By contributing to the pool and doing your part, overall costs come down. Its like stores that have to charge more because of all the theft. People go to the hospital and then not pay, it gets charged to everyone else.

Posted by: bidzill | July 13, 2010 6:22 AM | Report abuse

"President Obama is not a greater threat to America than Al Qaeda."

The Republican Party, is, however, a greater threat to us than Al Qaeda.

Posted by: rhallnj | July 13, 2010 6:45 AM | Report abuse

"Socialist" Canada seems to be out-performing the US.

"Whatever else they've thought about their much smaller neighbor to the north, Americans have almost never looked to Canada as a role model.

Indeed, during the long, bitter push to revamp the U.S. healthcare system, opponents repeatedly warned that, if we weren't careful, we could end up with a medical system like Canada's.

But on healthcare, as well as on such critical issues as the deficit, unemployment, immigration and prospering in the global economy, Canada seems to be outperforming the United States. And in doing so, it is offering examples of successful strategies that Americans might consider."
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fi-econ-canada-20100711,0,3148079.story

Posted by: bernielatham | July 13, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

ps... on our trip up to Vancouver Island last week, we noticed that in our destination city there were a surprising number of Canadian flags attached to houses. That's not something I've seen before and I don't know if it was unique to this city (lots of tourism) but that's my guess.

My response? Disgust is probably the best word.

Posted by: bernielatham | July 13, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

"Canada seems to be outperforming the United States. And in doing so, it is offering examples of successful strategies that Americans might consider."

Well, Bernie, that's not going to happen. We're not allowed as 'mericunz to admit that we're not the bestest, most wonderfulest, at everything in the whole wide world. Anything else is just soshulist propoganda.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | July 13, 2010 8:08 AM | Report abuse

All, morning roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/07/the_morning_plum_50.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | July 13, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

@sc - Pity, isn't it?

Posted by: bernielatham | July 13, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse

yes. it is a pity. it speaks of a certain lack of self confidence on the part of the boisterous jingoists. let's not give in to them.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 13, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

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