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Happy Hour Roundup

* Crucial number from the new CBS poll: Seventy percent say the economy is going to stay the same or get worse, suggesting the White House message that things are on the right track just isn't sticking.

* Which raises a question: At what point does the current Dem message that things are improving become counterproductive happy talk? After all, in the absence of more action, it risks making Dems look out of touch with the reality on the ground and makes it tougher for Obama to point to how awful things are to spur Congress to act.

* Relatedly, Eleanor Clift frames the political challenge: "Can Obama convince voters to stay the course?"

* And: Senate Dems plan to take yet another run at passing an unemployment benefits expansion, possibly next week.

* Also: Harry Reid says he's got a "rough draft" of an energy bill, which means it could move by the end of the month, though the core question of whether to include carbon pricing hasn't yet been resolved.

* Steny Hoyer becomes the latest Dem to shoot down press sec Robert Gibbs's claim that the GOP could take back the House.

* Beltway head-in-the-sand moment of the day: Olympia Snowe professes herself baffled by the lack of bipartisan support for financial regulatory reform, claiming it's "disconcerting."

* And: Now that FinReg looks to be a near-certainty, Dems hope to use it as a major issue in this fall's contested Senate races.

* Rush Limbaugh loudly gnashes his teeth at Scott Brown's heretical support for FinReg.

* Sam Stein unearths video of Sharron Angle discussing the Almighty's grand plan for her to become a Senator.

* Steve Benen wonders whether some Republicans are pining for the days when Sue "chickens for checkups" Lowden was the expected GOP Senate candidate in Nevada.

* NRSC chief John Cornyn says Robert Bennett is wrong, insists the Tea Party isn't going to damage Republican hopes.

* Jonathan Capehart notes that Obama's standing is very comparable to that of both Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan two years in -- and both saw their parties suffer midterm bloodbaths.

* But: Dems are mapping out a plan to aggressively deploy the Big Dog in swing states.

* And Howard Kurtz says there's nothing wrong with news orgs hiring blogger-reporters with opinions:

"People who consume news are smart. They can figure it out, as long as we're straight with them."

Yup! What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  |  July 13, 2010; 5:18 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Financial reform , Happy Hour Roundup , Political media , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Comments

I'm unclear on the numbers for FinReg. If Brown, Snowe, and Collins are voting yes, and Nelson is the only dem voting no, with Byrd's replacement not in yet, doesn't that mean 59-2=57 dems, the 3 repubs, equals 60....why is there even talk of getting Grassley or anyone else on board? Why not vote for cloture right now and be done with it?

Posted by: SDJeff | July 13, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

"Seventy percent say the economy is going to stay the same or get worse, suggesting the White House message that things are on the right track just isn't sticking"

I disagree. While 70% may have felt that way at the time the poll was taken, realize that we had a few really really bad weeks economically. It was almost entirely due to the Euro/Greece Crisis and speculation as to how that would affect American business. THAT is what started recent debate about a "double dip."

Anyway, so far, earnings reports have been better than expected and I believe we will see more good news in the coming weeks. The better the stock market does, the more people will support Obama and his economic policies (if for no other reason, the psychological impact of the Dow).

But I think since Obama really only recently started the "Forward or Backwards" campaign, it's worth waiting to see how we do with the earnings reports, monthly GDP data, as well as the jobs reports; before we declare that his messaging hasn't 'taken' with the public.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 13, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

sdjeff -- Nelson said today he'll vote Yes, so they have 60.

...and fair point Ethan. If the White House really starts hammering the forward-backward meme and using its megaphone, it's very possible things could shift.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | July 13, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

"If the White House really starts hammering the forward-backward meme and using its megaphone, it's very possible things could shift"

Yes, they should absolutely drive this home over and over and over again. The FinReg bill passing would be a HUGE selling point in that debate.

BUT at the end of the day the way the message really works is for the economy to continue to improve. Which, barring another Euro-type mini-crisis, it certainly should.

This earnings season, if it is as good as it seems like it might be, COULD BE the final straw that broke the corporations' backs, giving them sufficient reason (and capital) to start hiring again in earnest. One or two months of solid private sector job creation and we're talking a whole different ballgame.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 13, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

i still think the republicans are experiencing something of a civil war that will have serious repercussions in the elections and after. we are only experiencing the beginnings of the angle/paul efffect. barton was a good example of how wide spread the propensity to accidentally tell the truth about extreme the rightwing republicans are.

his subsequent smackdown by noehner and cantor is an example of the 'elite,' 'establishment,' 'rino' stance and reaction to the fringe. the rending of cloth anf gnashing of teeth at redstate and like minded sites provided a good view of the fringe counter reaction.

if the economy does improve, or is thought to, then that combined with increasing awareness of rightwing republican extremism might make for much better election results for the dems than predicted by people like cook.

then, watch out. the fringe will say the party underperformed because the rinos were too moderate and the establishment types will charge that the fringe was to vocal about its wackiness.

and then things will get interesting.


Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 13, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

"People who consume news are smart. They can figure it out, as long as we're straight with them."

Uh, considering the traditional media isn't "straight" with the public most of the time...I fail to see how they'd be an adequate judge of what's considered factual reporting.

@Ethan

"I disagree. While 70% may have felt that way at the time the poll was taken, realize that we had a few really really bad weeks economically."

While that might have a bit of truth...Greg is 100% right that if Dems aren't (seen as) doing more to help get the economy to recover, it people will continue to sour on the administration.

@Greg

I would say that you should keep in mind that if the public sees/believes that Dems and Obama are in fact continuing to do more to help the economy recover, the "right track" message will gain more traction, even if people don't see positives right away.

Most that are negative right now aren't that way because of what Dems are doing, they are that way because they don't think enough is being done.

Hint: Step number one would be passing unemployment benefits - or at least making the biggest show of the GOP filibuster of it. Dems should hire a central coordinator for the entire caucus that helps set up TV interviews. Then schedule a vote on the extensions...followed by a Dem on every single news station, on every single show, for the next 48 hours to talk about it. A single page of talking points, one for if passes (touting it's passage, and how it helps the economy and the average American) and one for if it fails (blast the GOP filibuster as hurting not just people, but the economy).

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | July 13, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

"sdjeff -- Nelson said today he'll vote Yes, so they have 60."

Thanks Greg, and I forgot about Feingold, I guess he's still a No?

Posted by: SDJeff | July 13, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Also, this oil spill is dragging Obama down with it, fairly I think. But IF(Oh please God, not that I believe in you but please someone!) it stops, just like HCR, it helps for it to not be in the news every day.

And the window is closing, I believe only 3 more jobs reports before the election, so they better be damn good.

Posted by: SDJeff | July 13, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

"At what point does the current Dem message that things are improving become counterproductive happy talk?"

Oh, we're waaaay past that point. Cynicism rules. What we want to hear from our leaders now is an apology and less "blame it on Bush."

Re the forward-backward meme:

"Kang: We must move forward... not backwards, not to the side, not forwards, but always whirling, whirling, whirling towards freedom."

Posted by: sbj3 | July 13, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

"Beltway head-in-the-sand moment of the day: Olympia Snowe professes herself baffled by the lack of bipartisan support for financial regulatory reform, claiming it's "disconcerting.""

Gad. I wonder if she's noticed the shift from steam to internal combustion.

Posted by: bernielatham | July 13, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Following fast on the heels of the hottest "Jan-May — and spring — in the temperature record, it’s also the hottest Jan-June on record in the NASA dataset [click on figure to enlarge].

It’s all the more powerful evidence of human-caused warming “because it occurs when the recent minimum of solar irradiance is having its maximum cooling effect,” as a recent must-read NASA paper notes."
http://climateprogress.org/2010/07/10/nasa-hottest-year-solar-minimum/

NASA - spawning bed of communist infidels.

Posted by: bernielatham | July 13, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Iowa Tea Party puts up a snappy new billboard. A picture's worth a thousand words.

http://gazetteonline.com/breaking-news/2010/07/13/iowa-billboard-compares-obama-to-hitler-draws-criticism

Posted by: lmsinca | July 13, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Read Stein's piece on Angle (linked by Greg) I see that Ralph Reed is joining the effort to get rid of Harry Reid by pumping up Angle's "I loves me some jesus you betcha" bona fides.

And from Ed Kilgore:

"Yesterday Rasmussen--yes, Rasmussen--released a new poll showing Harry Reid in a statistical dead heat with Republican nominee Sharron Angle. True, Angle has never been gangbusters in a general election poll, but as recently as June 9 she held an eleven-point lead over Reid--and then her issue positions started drawing attention.

Aside from Angle's rapidly eroding horse-race numbers, her approval/disapproval ratings aren't much better than Reid's; even though she's had very little time to alienate voters, she's done so very efficiently.

It's all a reminder of a simple but oft-forgotten fact about politics: no matter how "nationalized" an election has become; no matter how tilted the "landscape" is; no matter how rigidly partisan voters seem to be--in the end, elections require a choice between candidates, and Harry Reid has drawn an opponent who has given his campaign, and perhaps his career, new life. " http://www.thedemocraticstrategist.org/strategist/2010/07/reids_revival.php#comments

Posted by: bernielatham | July 13, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

@Ims - classy crowd, ain't they? And edurcated like the dickens, too.

Posted by: bernielatham | July 13, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Man that billboard is something. Some of the comments were pretty out there too. There were many comments that were critical of the billboard, to be fair. There were also some that revel in the comparison...go figure...

Posted by: srw3 | July 13, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

"Which raises a question: At what point does the current Dem message that things are improving become counterproductive happy talk?"

No, it again points out the Democrats messaging problem. They haven't sold the people on how things have gotten better and what potential dump we were heading in. They need to sell the fact that they stop the bleeding of jobs and will need more time to create a new environment for hiring but the last thing we want to do is put the guys whose policies ruined the economy via deregulation back in charge.

Every time a Republican says Obama policies are dangerous a Democrat needs to grab the mic and explain, "but it was deregulation that crashed the economy. Obama is just trying to put common sense rules of the road back in place which is only dangerous for the guys wanting to drive recklessly like the wall street bankers and the Republicans'.

The Democrats have let the message get so unbalanced that it's hard to imagine them getting it on track before November. They can do it but now is a good time to start.

Posted by: soapm | July 13, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

"NRSC chief John Cornyn says Robert Bennett is wrong, insists the Tea Party isn't going to damage Republican hopes."

Another opportunity the Democrats missed, they should have painted the tea party as uncompromising far right extremest when they had all the coverage. They should have did it every time they were within any distance of a mic until the label stuck.

Posted by: soapm | July 13, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

"Harry Reid has been quiet about his opponent, letting surrogates do the dirty work."

NOW I understand why Greg has so many Angle posts...

Posted by: sbj3 | July 13, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

SBJ, here's your apology:

We, the Democrats, are sorry that you, the Republicans, are so ignorant that you think stopping Wall Street Reform, Health Care/Insurance Reform, and Energy Reform would be good for the country.

We, the Democrats, are also sorry that you, the Republicans, are so vested with the corporate elite that you let Big Oil, the Club for Growth, Wall Street, and the big health insurance companies write your destructive agenda.

Once more, we apologize for doing what's right for America and resisting your morally, ethically, and intellectually bankrupt "party" of fools and thieves.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 13, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

@Ethan: Well, that apology doesn't seem too sincere!

Posted by: sbj3 | July 13, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

"Well, that apology doesn't seem too sincere!"

Maybe that's because I left off the best part. Here it is:

"Bite me."

:)

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 13, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Digby takes up one of Greg's posts. Here's the last graph and link:

"And that, needless to say, explains why the Republicans are obstructing everything in sight. The worse off the people are, the better they will do. It's not like their leaders didn't telegraph that from the very beginning."
http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2010/07/in-america-winning-isnt-everything-its.html

Posted by: bernielatham | July 13, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Berm Baby Berm

See pix, such a STUPID idea:

http://dailykos.com/storyonly/2010/7/13/884006/-Bobbys-berms-already-washing-away

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 13, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

A Chart That Screams, 'Extend Unemployment Benefits!'

This chart shows a serious problem. That giant gap consists of Americans who are unemployed, and couldn't get a job even if they wanted to. This emphasizes the need for Congress to extend unemployment benefits. It's pretty clear that millions of Americans remain unemployed because the jobs aren't there -- not becuase they aren't trying hard enough to find them. In fact, it's not even close.

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2010/07/a-chart-that-screams-extend-unemployment-benefits/59662/

Another "DUHHHH!" moment. Of COURSE we need to extend emergency benefits spending. GOP = idiots.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 13, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

You know I was thinking about that billboard and the Tea Party's hatred of Obama, I don't think you could call it anything else. A lot of us more liberal voters waited eight years with hope to elect someone who might help restore the middle class to it's rightful place in the U.S.

We fought and worked and spent money we could ill afford to put someone in the White House with similar values to ours. That billboard just shows me what they think of all of us, everyone of us who voted for a Democrat. We won the election but none of them think we deserve even a chance to balance the power and corruption of the millionaires and corporations with our own dreams for ourselves and our children. They want all the wealth and resources for themselves, it couldn't be more clear.

Now that we know the Tea Party is just a wing of the Republican Party, I guess we're all Socialists and Marxists to them. Good to know.

Posted by: lmsinca | July 13, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Bernie: "NASA - spawning bed of communist infidels."

Look, the charts don't lie. All we need is another huge volcanic eruption somewhere, and we'll be fine for another three or four years.

Posted by: jzap | July 13, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

@Ims - I don't think it is even as coherent as "they are marxists/socialists" because most modern conservatives clearly haven't got much of a clue what those words refer to historically. They could have been trained to think of liberalism as Satanism and that's what we'd hear now. The primitiveness and tribalism of it shows what we limited creatures can fall to when manipulated, mis-educated and driven towards fearfulness/hatred.

I'm less disgusted by the victims of this propaganda and rabble rousing than I am of the people who set to creating it, of course. Those people are not redeemable. They are the worst among us.

Posted by: bernielatham | July 13, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

A must read from Michael Tomasky:

"In which we stop the presses for two honest Republicans"
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/michaeltomasky/2010/jul/13/congress-useconomy-two-honest-republicans-paulson-simpson

Posted by: bernielatham | July 13, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Bolton, Kristol, the WSJ and the related usual suspects REALLY want more war...

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/07/13/bolton-eci-war-iran/

One can only guess at the interiors of these peoples' minds. None of them, we know, have ever found cause to put themselves in personal danger serving their country. That's for the cannon-fodder class with whom they don't sip their brandy and Scotch on Friday evenings.

Posted by: bernielatham | July 13, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Why bother being either truthful or coherent when it isn't asked of you by your audience because they just don't know what those two things look like?

"Cantor Says Federal Spending Doesn’t ‘Create Jobs’ — At Job Fair With Companies Funded By The Stimulus"
http://thinkprogress.org/2010/07/13/cantor-jobs-fair-stimulus/

Posted by: bernielatham | July 13, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

From Greenwald:
"Marc Thiessen and the myth of the American Jewish voter

When The Washington Post hired torture advocate and low-level Bush propagandist Marc Thiessen as an Op-Ed columnist, it got exactly what it apparently wanted: a regular dose of falsehood-filled neoconservative tripe. But even by his own lowly standards, Thiessen outdoes himself today by hauling out one of the neocon Right's most disproven though still-favorite myths: that Jewish American voters are about to abandon Democratic politicians en masse because of their supposed lack of devotion to Israel. The Right spent all of 2008 spreading the myth that Obama had a "Jewish problem" because of his perceived unreliability on Israel, only for Obama to receive close to 8 out of 10 Jewish votes, even more than John Kerry received in 2004. That's because the dirty little secret of neocons is that the vast majority of Jewish American voters reject their worldview. Undeterred, Thiessen today goes back to that discredited well, blaming Obama's alleged hostility toward Israel and Netanyahu for this claimed development:

*The drop in Hispanic support is dwarfed by the astounding 36-point drop in support for Obama from one of the most reliable Democratic constituencies: Jewish voters.*

To call this assertion factually false is to put it politely." (much more at link)
http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/07/13/thiessen/index.html

Posted by: bernielatham | July 13, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

ps on that last... "tail wagging the dog" is a bit of a tired metaphor but golly goodness it sure fits the case of what those folks in Greenwald's piece want to be the case re Israel/America.

Posted by: bernielatham | July 13, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Hey, anyone seen Bernie?

Posted by: tao9 | July 13, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Nope. Damned pity, too. If he was around, he'd probably post this link showing the complete idiocy and foul-smelling falsehoods in Kyl and McConnell's claims about the Bush tax cuts. For those who need pictures, there's even a graph...
http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/13/invincible-ignorance/

Posted by: bernielatham | July 13, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

I expect he'd add a link to this Alterman piece as well, though I'm just guessing:

"Debate continues over The Washington Post’s forcing out of blogger Dave Weigel for writing uncomplimentary things about the conservatives he covered in a Washington Post blog. This is unfortunate since not only did Weigel get the short end of the stick, but the incident raises myriad issues simultaneously. I addressed a few of these in my last Nation column, but the discussion has continued and this column by the Washington Post’s conflict-of-interest-king, Howard Kurtz, among others, raise new questions about the Post’s behavior and its meaning for the future of journalism." (more at link)
http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2010/07/ta070810.html

Posted by: bernielatham | July 13, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Hey Bernie #2, thanks for all the great links. Has anyone followed the conservative reporting of the "Black Panther" case. Here's an interesting tidbit from media matters regarding both Olbermans take and Mediate's response.

"Here's the thing: Keith Olbermann was not "blaming" the Bush administration for failing to prosecute the New Black Panthers. He was debunking the central accusation driving the New Black Panther story on Fox News -- namely, that the Obama administration dropped the case for, in the words of Fox News' Megyn Kelly, "political and racial reasons." When matched against the undisputed fact that the Bush administration declined to pursue the case and the undisputed fact that the Obama administration obtained judgment against one of the New Black Panthers, that accusation crumbles.

This isn't a case of two groups of partisans blaming the other party's administration for a controversial legal decision. This is all about the conservative media completely disregarding the facts as they stand to accuse the first black president and attorney general of being racially biased."

http://mediamatters.org/blog/201007130018

Posted by: lmsinca | July 13, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

lms,

As I understand it, Dubya's DOJ dropped the criminal case. Pres Obama & Mr. Holder dropped the civil proceedings v. the NBPP. The civil action was the big enchilada as to seriously chastening the "kill the cracker babies" Shabazz, et.al. as an organization. Very big dif.

The sanctioning judgement against Mr. Shabazz personally, was to enjoin him from any "action" only at the Philly polling place where the incident took place. He is free as a bird (just like Wm. Ayers!) to take his act to a polling place anywhere else in these United States.

If that's not accurate I'm open to reproval, as per usual. ;)

Posted by: tao9 | July 13, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Ims - Yeah, I've been following that one today.

It's really the same strategy as deployed against Clinton - constant attack using anything folks might dream up to make the President look bad, with truthfulness and accuracy being of no importance whatsoever. Later, when the smear turns out to be total BS (Acorn), the damage is done and there'll be no thought of correction (and of course all of this is used to drive mainstream media attention).

But now there's FOX as well. Pretty ugly people, all in all.

Posted by: bernielatham | July 13, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Time to lock up and go home for yummies.

Right now, Portland is as delightful as it gets and that's pretty delightful.

Posted by: bernielatham | July 13, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse

B,

You must be in OR. Portland ME is pretty muggy and tres buggy this time-o-year.

enjoy

Posted by: tao9 | July 13, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, right now its, uh, dark in ME too.
Must be OR.

enjoyx2

Posted by: tao9 | July 13, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Have a good one Bernie and enjoy the nice weather.

Tao, here's a take on the Black Panther deal from Tomasky. It's difficult to find the truth of the video but there weren't any complaints for the civil case. This is mostly a routine case dealt with in a legal manner and not some conspiracy of the DOJ/Obama to protect the Black Panthers. It's patently ludicrous to think otherwise but it plays right into the conservative feeding frenzy.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/michaeltomasky/2010/jul/13/obama-administration-race-black-panther-party

Posted by: lmsinca | July 13, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Also this Tao, from Media Matters.

"Quite simply, the Obama administration's Justice Department pursued voter intimidation charges against a black individual carrying a weapon outside a polling station -- they obtained default judgment in May against Minister King Samir Shabazz, who was carrying a nightstick outside a Philadelphia polling station.

Posted by: lmsinca | July 13, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Also the video was made pre election. No one condones what the guy said by the way but it has nothing to do with Obama or Holder, just another paint brush of fear and loathing from the right.

Posted by: lmsinca | July 13, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

lms,

The current admin DOJ originally obtained a default judgement v. the NBPP enjoining the entire party from any polling place "actions." They subsequently dropped the injunction altogether. Eyewitness affidavits state Mr. Shabazz used the cracker line at the polling place, and brandished the baton at white voters, and called black GOP poll watchers, "traitors." The DOJ, also at first, won an injunction banning Mr. Shabazz from all polling place activity 4evah, then reduced it to Philly only, & to be lifted in 2012.

¿Por qué?

Posted by: tao9 | July 13, 2010 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Truth be told, I'm not that exercised by the whole NBPP polling affair. Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to my...and all that.

I find it interesting tho, that I've got a much bigger picture as to the actual events in situ & the DOJ evolution of sanctions. (And it ain't from Fox, either.)

Tomasky and MediaMatterzTeenBeat offer up a halfie at the most, as/usual. Why don't they trust y'all with all the skinny?

Posted by: tao9 | July 14, 2010 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Mitch McConnell was yukking it up last Winter about the snowstorms and Al Gore.

Why is McConnell so silent about what is shaping up was the warmest Summer ever?

Posted by: rhallnj | July 14, 2010 7:45 AM | Report abuse

rhallnj asked: "Why is McConnell so silent about what is shaping up was the warmest Summer ever?"

Not to mention everyone else who pushed that narrative last winter (Limbaugh, FOX, et al). Because honesty and consistency have no intrinsic value to them.

Posted by: bernielatham | July 14, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse

@tao - Yes, Oregon it is. For the wedding, we drove up to central Vancouver Island (a 10 hour trip north with two hours on BC Ferries). The difference in latitude means, of course, somewhat different vegetation with conifers predominant up there but my daughter, who joined us after flying down from the north of the Yukon, found central Vancouver Island "so southern!" It was a sort of Michelle Bachmann perspective.

Posted by: bernielatham | July 14, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

All, morning roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/07/the_morning_plum_51.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | July 14, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

The Black Panther incident has zero (or close to zero) relevance to voter suppression. The importance of this incident/issue relates to propaganda techniques and to the use of racist memes (big, scary black man) to engender fears and hatreds. It is morally and socially (and intellectually) destructive and vile.

Posted by: bernielatham | July 14, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

tao, I wish you'd provide a link so I could read what you're reading myself. From everything I've read, not just Tomasky or media matters, Obama/Holder have no connection whatsoever with the NBPP and they are even listed by the SPLC as a hate group. I don't understand why everyone connects this case, based upon differing legal views, to Obama. Since when is the President held to that kind of standard? They're obviously a twisted and hate filled group but what's the point, are we all supposed to be lumped in with them because we're not conservative, or the President because he happens to be black? Apparently, there's a standard that needs to be met in voter intimidation cases that wasn't met here and my understanding is they were grateful to get what they could out of it.

Posted by: lmsinca | July 14, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Obviously, Kathleen Parker is vying for Maureen Dowd's place as first-ranked in the "vacuous columnist" category. Today's column is on Palin:

"This woman is not to be feared or loathed. She is to be taken with a grain of humor and a dash of admiration. A different version of Madonna, she's a public relations machine who manipulates public perception with well-timed and, recently, sophisticated messaging."
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/13/AR2010071304635.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

Why not, one wonders, have the original version, Madonna, sitting in the WH? Neither to be feared nor loathed, apparently. Same, Paris Hilton or Perez Hilton. All they need is to be a PR machine with sophisticated messaging.

Note to Kathleen Parker - You are not rising to any occasion here. You are falling to it. And it is cowardly.

Posted by: bernielatham | July 14, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

"It's Unanimous! GOP Says No To Unemployment Benefits, Yes To Tax Cuts For The Rich"

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/07/its-unanimous-gop-says-pay-for-unemployment-benefits-not-tax-cuts-for-the-rich.php?ref=fpblg

Related item - powdered wig producers see upswing coming.

Posted by: bernielatham | July 14, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

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