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Happy Hour Roundup

* There's no defending the Obama administration's handling of the Shirley Sherrod mess, but an I the only one who thinks Ed Schultz's rousing suggestion that there's a "sissy room" in the White House -- after this mess had been resolved -- rings like over-the-top pandering?

The other stuff he said was cool, though.

* The Sherrod tale completely eclipsed three significant Obama victories on the economic front.

* Glenn Greenwald asks: Why has the Post's big series on our vast surveillance state drawn so little reaction from our political classes?

* Despite what some are claiming, it may be that no amount of table-pounding and arm-twisting from Obama would have been enough to get a carbon-pricing bill through the Senate.

* Steve Benen says what must not be said about Breitbart: The Shirley Sherrod mess should "serve as a permanent credibility killer."

* Great scoop from Justin Elliott: Karl Rove's grassroots group raised almost all its money for the midterms thus far from four billionaires.

* House Dems are worried that Charlie Rangel's ethical travails could make things even worse in an already-difficult climate this fall.

* Mike Tomasky wonders what it will take to get conservatives to take global warming seriously.

* The melting of Senator Jim Inhofe's igloo certainly won't be enough to do it.

* Takedown of the day: William Saletan versus Breitbart. Again: Both sides do not do it.

* Didn't someone predict this would happen? Blanche Lincoln is trailing by 25 points in the latest Rasmussen poll.

* Is Senator John Thune the Republican who worries top Democrats most about 2012?

* Sleeper question of the day: How serious are Republicans about impeachment, anyway?

* And no matter how many times people say otherwise, Rove's "admission" that "his greatest mistake" was not challenging Dem claims that Bush lied us into war is in no way, shape or form a concession.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  |  July 23, 2010; 6:36 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Happy Hour Roundup , House GOPers , Political media , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , economy  
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Next: Weekend Open Thread

Comments

I tend to think of Ed Shulz as the Rush Limbaugh of the left. You're always well advised to switch to another station when he comes one.

Posted by: CalD | July 23, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

As for there being no defense for the administration's initial handling of the Sherrod case though, I'd have to heartily agree. Check out mild-mannered Walter Shapiro taking Tom Vilsak to the wood shed on this.

http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/07/22/the-shirley-sherrod-saga-lessons-from-bureaucratic-blunders/

Posted by: CalD | July 23, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Just did some poking around the web.

There is actually a HUGE amount of vile racist content on the web. Groups and individuals who avidly support the Tea Parties.

If you want to read some of the filth, I posted some at the bottom of the "Both Sides" thread. Do not read if you don't feel like being angry.

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

If there are any JOURNALISTS out there, all you need is a connection to the internet and you can find a TON of evidence that open racists -- i.e. racists who use the word "n**ger" to describe African Americans -- are actively involved in the Tea Parties.

Now I must go take a shower in hot bleach.

Have a good weekend.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 23, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Alvin Greene rap song:

http://www.wbtv.com/global/Story.asp?s=12861089

Posted by: sbj3 | July 23, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

I agree, CalD. Schulz is a not-very-bright blowhard who does nothing to add to the conversation. I don't find it surprising that he used to be a die-hard conservative.

Posted by: IndyLinda | July 23, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

@Greg

The reason some believe that Carbon Pricing is still likely is more about the EPA regulating it than anything. Unless SOMETHING is done by way of carbon caps or pricing, the EPA has carte blanche to regulate carbon emissions however they see fit.

The story goes that rather than have a straight up regulatory frame work, which would essentially be nothing but punishments, that business will get behind something like a cap or pricing system that would at least get them something out of the deal.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | July 23, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

That Shellenberger interview may be the most sensible thing I've read lately on carbon. I did think however that he may have been a tad too quick to dismiss the value of what's been accomplished in the last year or so on the advocacy front.

New ideas take time to gain acceptance. Big new ideas take a lot of time. Nothing you can do about that except to try and keep slogging toward the things you care about as best you can. But I definitely think they've succeeded in moving the ball down the field on this. The fact that people are even talking about it seriously now is really kind of huge.

Posted by: CalD | July 23, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

"How serious are Republicans about impeachment, anyway?"

I'm still betting that if the GOP takes back the House, we'll see serious discussion - I'm talking real trial ballons - about holding impeachment hearings.

Think about it. It will play out like everything else. The GOP has said Pres. Obama is destroying America. The base flips out and says "to protect America, we have to get him out of office". Now, a couple hard hard right GOPers will lend it creedence (see: Bachmann, DeMint). Then every Republican in the House will be barraged by angry tea-parties as traitors to America if they don't jump on board.

I think a trial ballon and serious talk about it is for sure. I think actually trying to move forward with hearings is likely. Even if they don't get anything...the goal won't be to impeach. The goal will be to spend the entire 112th Congress smearing Pres. Obama in every way possible and avoiding doing anything else.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | July 23, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

The melting of Senator Jim Inhofe's igloo certainly won't be enough to do it.
----------------------------------------------

The hilarious thing (if it weren't so tragic) about someone pointing to a record snowfall as some sort of refutation of climate change is that record snowfalls are very much in line with climate change models. As it was explained to me at least, higher temperatures mean more water evaporating into the air from the oceans. More humidity means more precipitation of all kinds, particularly in cooler areas where water in the air condenses more readily, such as places where it happens to be winter.

Posted by: CalD | July 23, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Rupert Murdoch interested in buying Politico?

Posted by: pwkennedy | July 23, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

BBQ, regarding impeachment, did you see this from Michell Bachmann today?

"Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) has a plan for what the Republicans should do if they win control of the House of Representatives: Spend all their time investigating the Obama administration.

"Oh, I think that's all we should do," Bachmann told the Three Fingers of Politics website. "I think that all we should do is issue subpoenas and have one hearing after another, and expose all the nonsense that has gone on."

Posted by: suekzoo1 | July 23, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

"Didn't someone predict this would happen? Blanche Lincoln is trailing by 25 points in the latest Rasmussen poll."
----------------------------------------------

If a Rasmussen overnight Insta-poll put Lincoln behind by 25 points, that's probably good news for Lincoln.

- Ras has Burr ahead by 15% in NC. PPP makes it 5%.

- He puts Paul ahead by 8% in KY. PPP calls it even.

- He sees Rubio leading in FL. PPP and Ipsos put Crist ahead by 6 or 7.

- In LA, it's Vitter by 18-24 according to Ras. PPP makes it more like 9.

- He has Angle ahead by 3 in NV. PPP calls it +2 for Reid, Mason-Dixon says +7.

- Ohio is Portman country by 6% says Ras. PPP and Quinnipiac say Fisher by 2.

- Ras puts Toomey in front by 7 in PA. Quinnipiac calls it dead even.

Anyone else see a pattern here?

Don't be a hater, Greg. It's just so ten minutes ago. All the cool kids are backing Lincoln now.*

* http://www.katv.com/news/stories/0710/756337.html?ref=rs&cmpid=rss_news_756337

Posted by: CalD | July 23, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

@sue

Texas GOP Rep. Lamar Smith has hinted at it:

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/07/19/lamar-smith-impeach/

Followed up by Tancredo saying the same thing. I don't take Tancredo seriously, but it shows that the Tea Party is already thinking it...and we've seen how the GOP has to cater to keep them happy.

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/07/23/tancredo-impeach-obama/

In fairness to the right...FOX semi-mocked Tancredo for suggesting it:

http://www.mediaite.com/tv/megyn-kelly-openly-mocks-tom-tancredos-call-for-obamas-impeachment/

But you know what...it got airtime, didn't it? This is laying the foundation. What Megyn Kelly is really saying in this segment (listen to her tone) "That's ridiculous...so convince me." Then gives him a platform to sell impeachment.

They are planting the seed now.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | July 23, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Glenn Greenwald asks: Why has the Post's big series on our vast surveillance state drawn so little reaction from our political classes?
================================

=>Any doubt about whether there'd be any meaningful (or even cosmetic) changes as a result of the Post exposé (it was really more a compilation of already known facts) was quickly dispelled by the reaction of the political class: not just one of indifference, but outright contempt for the concerns raised by this story. On Tuesday -- 24 hours after the first installment appeared -- the Senate's Homeland Security Committee removed a provision from the Intelligence Authorization Act which would have provided some marginally greater oversight over the Government's secret intelligence programs, because Obama was threatening to veto any bill providing for such oversight.<=

Because neither the GOBPers nor the corporatists Democrats ("CLAP LOUDER, HIPPIES!") have any problem with it.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | July 23, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

"Glenn Greenwald asks: Why has the Post's big series on our vast surveillance state drawn so little reaction from our political classes?"
----------------------------------------------

I'm sorry, did someone just say something about something other than the Shirley Sherrod affair? I didn't quite catch it, whatever it was.

Posted by: CalD | July 23, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

"The Sherrod tale completely eclipsed three significant Obama victories on the economic front."

Yes, it did. And earlier accomplishments (of historic proportions) have likewise been submerged beneath a constant barrage of noise from the right. There's method in this madness.

Posted by: bernielatham | July 23, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Ed Schultz: The other stuff he said was cool, though.

Really? What stuff? This stuff?

"He also complained that Obama hasn't gone on his show or sat recently for interviews with Keith Olbermann or Rachel Maddow, adding that during the campaign, "I busted my ass for Obama." Schultz said that instead of going on The Ed Show, Obama went on Bret Baier's show on Fox, "in my time slot. What's that all about?"


Spoken like a true sideshow barker.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | July 23, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

I've never watched more than two minutes of the Ed show so don't have any opinion on the fellow.

But if you turn away from the TV during his broadcast and listen to his voice you'll find that he has copied the vocal style (in pacing, intonations and where he places his accents) from Limbaugh. Remarkably similar.

That doesn't mean anything other than that he has copied a style that has proven effective in the radio format.

Posted by: bernielatham | July 23, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

"Virtually all of the $4.7 million raised by Karl Rove's new conservative outfit was contributed by just four billionaires, three of whom are based in Dallas, Texas, and two of whom made their fortune in the oil and gas industry."
http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2010/07/23/rove_group_billionaire_donors/index.html

Of course, if you turn the world up-side-down, the roots of grass are at the top.

Posted by: bernielatham | July 23, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Bernie, I don't see anything historic, let alone significant, in the 'financial reform' bill.

Uber banks and financial firms still own Congress, and they aren't getting busted up.

It is weak tea.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | July 23, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

both Schultz and Olbermann have been pandering and over the top.
Seriously, the president does not deal with personel issues, especially some employee in one of the hundreds of depts.
I mean - really.
Let's do some real thinking here.
The only thing we know is the msm keeps insisting, despite many different people saying otherwise, that Obama was the one.
Please.
the media has an obsessive need to make every story, whether true or made up, about the president.
It's sick.

Posted by: vwcat | July 23, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

"Mike Tomasky wonders what it will take to get conservatives to take global warming seriously."

You can be sure that when global warming renders their states uninhabitable (e.g. Oklahoma, Arizona), Republicans will demand the Federal government ride to the rescue.

Posted by: rhallnj | July 24, 2010 6:44 AM | Report abuse

"Despite what some are claiming, it may be that no amount of table-pounding and arm-twisting from Obama would have been enough to get a carbon-pricing bill through the Senate."

Here's what Obama should have done.

1. Gone on national TV and announced that energy/climate change is an urgent national priority.

2. Insist that Congress give him a carbon-pricing bill to sign or else Obama will use the EPA to do it without Congressional input.

3. Announce that he will veto any Congressional bill to undermine EPA's regulatory power.

Someone please tell me what is wrong with this idea and why it isn't been done by the Administration.

Posted by: wbgonne | July 24, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

wbgonne - Frankly, no one in the world repeat the world -, at this time of uncertainty, gives a damn about climate change. That's a sad fact and it would be better if liberals are not tilting at that particular windmill at this particular time. Choose your battles wisely.

Greg - Will you let go off your pet peeve now, now that you've realized the reality ? Stop pushing undoable meme.

Bernie - Lol @ "Of course, if you turn the world up-side-down, the roots of grass are at the top." Perfect.

Posted by: amkeew | July 24, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

amkeew: "Frankly, no one in the world repeat the world -, at this time of uncertainty, gives a damn about climate change."

No one, except China.

"China to Start Carbon Trading While U.S. Senate Fiddles Around"

The irony could hardly be stronger: amid reports that an obstructionist minority has blocked US Senate action from moving on clean energy and climate legislation that would create real incentives for clean energy, news reports from China indicate that top government officials met this week to discuss how China can start its own carbon trading program.

As NRDC’s Executive Director wrote, continuing obstructionism in the Senate is blocking the path forward on essential clean energy and climate legislation in the US that would create good clean energy jobs, reduce carbon pollution and protect our children’s and country’s future. Meanwhile, China keeps moving forward on clean energy and climate change action. New reports by the China Daily press agency confirmed today that China will include carbon trading in its 12th Five-Year Plan (the effective law of the land in China), which begins next year and ends in 2015 (as both the English and Chinese news outlets reported). China’s emissions trading system will most likely be implemented in specific economic sectors such as coal-fired power generation. As China Daily reports:

“The country is set to begin domestic carbon trading programs during its 12th Five-Year Plan period (2011-2015) to help it meet its 2020 carbon intensity target.

The decision was made at a closed-door meeting chaired by Xie Zhenhua, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), and attended by officials from related ministries, enterprises, environmental exchanges and think tanks”

The carbon trading program would help China meet its goal of reducing carbon intensity by 40-45% by 2020. The story reports that the government of China sees carbon trading as a market-based, cost-effective supplement to current administrative measures to reduce emissions, such as requiring the Top 1000 energy consuming enterprises to sign agreements with the central government to improve their energy efficiency.

More: http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/jschmidt/china_moves_while_us_fiddles.html

Posted by: suekzoo1 | July 24, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Let's review. Fox/Bierbatter says "jump", Obama and the DLC jump. What did Schultz get wrong? Obama IS the Republican party of 1976. He reacts just as the Republican nitwits demand.

So Schultz is being mean? Sometimes the truth is mean. But it is still the truth. I'd prefer the "wimp wing". But, as long as the Republicans are calling the tune, Obama is dancing. Break dancing. ... Like in 1976.

Posted by: rjmmcelroy | July 24, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Well, this is depressing. Stats proving the middle class is an endangered species:http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/the-u.s.-middle-class-is-being-wiped-out-here%27s-the-stats-to-prove-it-520657.html?tickers=^DJI,^GSPC,SPY,MCD,WMT,XRT,DIA

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | July 24, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

In contrast to Charlie Rangel's legal problems, Benen highlights this that everyone else seems to be ignoring:

"But while the ethics investigation into a House Democrat has generated considerable attention, you may not have heard that a conservative Republican senator conceded yesterday that he's cooperating with a federal criminal investigation of another conservative Republican senator.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) has turned over e-mails to federal authorities investigating Sen. John Ensign's extramarital affair with a campaign aide, the latest sign that the criminal probe into the embattled Nevada Republican is picking up steam.

Coburn told POLITICO that he is cooperating with the Justice Department in the investigation of Ensign, and says he's willing to submit himself to an interview with the FBI or Senate Select Committee on Ethics, which is conducting a parallel investigation into whether Ensign broke Senate rules.

"We've given them everything they wanted," Coburn said, referring to the Justice Department.

That's the right move for Coburn. A year ago, the right-wing Oklahoman suggested he might not cooperate, arguig that he, as a medical professional, considered Ensign his patient. (Given that Coburn is an OB-GYN, the argument defied any reasonable understanding of logic and anatomy.)

Coburn wisely decided not to pursue this. Rather than fighting, the Oklahoma Republican reportedly turned over more than 1,200 pages of documents to the Justice Department.

Coburn's revelations -- made late on a Friday afternoon -- come on the heels of news that Ensign's aides have told investigators that the senator knew he was violating ethics rules on lobbying restrictions, but did it anyway."

I continue to marvel at this scandal. Here we have John Ensign, a "family values" conservative Republican, who had an extra-marital sexual relationship with his friend's wife, while condemning others' moral failings. Ensign's parents offered to pay hush-money. He ignored ethics laws and tried to use his office to arrange lobbying jobs for his mistress' husband. The likelihood of Ensign being indicted seems fairly high.

...

And yet, there's no media frenzy. No reporters staked out in front of Ensign's home. No op-eds speculating about the need for Ensign to resign in disgrace. Instead, the media's fascinated with Charlie Rangel.

Rangel is facing a probe from the House ethics committee, while Ensign is under scrutiny from the FBI.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | July 24, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

"Frankly, no one in the world repeat the world -, at this time of uncertainty, gives a damn about climate change. That's a sad fact and it would be better if liberals are not tilting at that particular windmill at this particular time. Choose your battles wisely."

amkeew:

I think your assumptions are wrong. I think many people do indeed care about energy reform and climate change. But even if you are correct the fact is that these ARE critical issues to both the near-term and long-term economic security of this country. I think the reasons are too obvious to state.

On so many occasions we have heard the Administration and its defenders say that the political reality makes this or that policy initiative impractical or even impossible. I have had grave doubts about those protestations of impotence. But even granting its viability as to what has already transpired, this -- it seems to me -- is indisputably within the President's power. Pretty much entirely within his power. In fact, it is a DEMONSTRATION of presidential power, the lack of which, I think, has been the most serious deficiency of Obama's Presidency so far. This is almost literally a battle he cannot lose. And, if the White House declines to do this, the ONLY reason for it will be an unwillingness to exercise presidential power and authority.

Bottom line: If Obama DOES NOT do this it puts the lie to the previous claims of impossibility on other policy questions. What we will have instead is a feckless and timid Administration which, I fear, is precisely what we have witnessed since inauguration day.

But I could be wrong, of course, so I'll ask once again for you -- or anyone -- to say why Obama cannot to the following:

1. Gone on national TV and announced that energy/climate change is an urgent national priority.

2. Insist that Congress give him a carbon-pricing bill to sign or else Obama will use the EPA to do it without Congressional input.

3. Announce that he will veto any Congressional bill to undermine EPA's regulatory power.

Someone please tell me what is wrong with this idea and why it isn't been done by the Administration.

And if there is no answer to that question, then please tell me why the Administration does and should choose to forego this opportunity. Because I truly and honestly don't get it.

Posted by: wbgonne | July 24, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

And re: China. If the U.S. DOESN'T act soon our days as the world's dominant power are near an end. The rest of the world is going to move ahead without us and then we will be FORCED to take action under duress. And the economic costs will be far more severe. It is, quite simply, a stupid approach and I implore anyone to explain why Obama should adopt it.

Posted by: wbgonne | July 24, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

All, here you go: As requested, a weekend open thread:

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

Let's see if it works...if enough folks weigh in we can make it a regular feature.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | July 24, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Inhofe's igloo (Light Helmet in "Spaceballs") may very well melt, but the underlying permafrost (Inhofe's brain) may not defrost for a while yet.

Posted by: hoser3 | July 25, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

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