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The Morning Plum

* Obama jumps on Angle's "slush fund": In another sign Dems will continue to pound away at Sharron Angle's comparison of the BP escrow cash to a "slush fund," the President pounced on it at a fundraiser for Harry Reid yesterday.

Obama mocked Angle for subsequently claiming she'd made a mistake. "I'm sure she meant `slush fund' in the nicest possible way," he joked. "Why would you want somebody who has that philosophy representing the people of Nevada?"

* "BP Republicans": The DNC will continue to hit the "slush fund" comments, which were first reported here yesterday, by linking them to the GOP on a new Web site called "BP Republicans."

"It's more than Barton redux," a party official emails about Angle's latest. "It proves that an expression of empathy toward BP is not an isolated misstatement by a wayward Republican. Republicans have proven that taking the side of big oil is a bedrock governing philosophy of the GOP."

* The larger story here is that the Reid-Angle slugfest is now under way in earnest, and here's a brutal new ad from the Angle campaign attacking Reid on unemployment:

* Rand Paul is back to worrying about Obama's rough treatment of BP.

* Something to watch: I'm told that a number of major Senate and House candidates across the country will sign on today with that enviro campaign to draw attention to the under-covered issue of the dangers faced by oil-spill-cleanup workers.

* Ouch! Takedown of the day: Richard Lugar rips Mitt Romney for criticizing the START treaty, suggesting delicately that Romney perhaps doesn't have the faintest clue what he's talking about.

* Which prompts Michael Scherer to note an important development: The parting of ways between old-guard national security Republicans and new right wing "hawks" like Romney and Sarah Palin.

* I'd say that divide is really between Republicans who actually know something about foreign policy and national security and Republicans who just make it up as they go along.

* FinReg isn't a done deal: Three Republican Senators are still holding out on whether they'll back financial regulatory reform, and Dems probably need two of them to reach 60 votes.

* Jonathan Martin notes, rightly I think, that Palin's Web video yesterday marks a new level of professionalized political activity on her part and was designed to send a message to fellow Republicans that they'd better look out.

* Americans really love the Arizona immigration law: Nearly $500,000 in contributions to the defense fund against Obama's lawsuit have already rolled in from around the country.

* And Glenn Greenwald lists all the media scalps claimed by neoconservative critics, and wonders why it is that the "liberal media" are so willing to sacrifice their own whenever neocons yell "boo."

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  |  July 9, 2010; 8:24 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , 2012 , Financial reform , Foreign policy and national security , Morning Plum , Political media , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Next: Is Obama a patsy, or a thug?


What else?

At yesterday's hearing in New Orleans before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, Gov. Bobby Jindal's lawyer argued for drilling to resume immediately because "the seafood industry is dead" and "the hospitality industry is on the ropes." In other words, Louisiana is ruined so let's just turn it into an oil pit. Sandberm Bobby the Wonderboy is saying that his state is already a wasteland so we might as well Drill Baby Drill. Now THAT is leadership.

If you're interested hear is the audio from the hearing. Jindal's lawyer is about 10 minutes from the end.

Posted by: wbgonne | July 9, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

I'm wondering whether that will actually go on the air, of if it's just a web release. Also, I wasn't all that impressed by it. *shrug*


People don't love the AZ immigration law. They love the idea of DOING SOMETHING on immigration. It's a distinction that should really be made. Progressives have been arguing that people wanted action on immigration for years now, and have been ignored. Most are just supporting the concept of actually taking action on immigration policy, as opposed to any particular provisions within the law.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | July 9, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Re the Neocon media scalp-hunting: This is merely a reflection of the Conservative bias that dominates discourse in the country today. And, as I mentioned yesterday, the new political correctness is Conservative in nature. Consider all the things that one cannot even SAY today without being vilified as socialist, tyrannical, etc. While there are Sacred Cows like Israel and warmongering generally, lost of the Conservative bias is in favor of property over people. Or to put it in terms of protected Constitutional interests, property has been elevated over liberty or, property and liberty have been made equivalent. This is the upshot of the SCOTUS ruling in Citizens United where corporations -- business entities -- have the same liberty interests as human beings. The primacy of property rights is also, incidentally, how Justice Taney upheld slavery in Dred Scott. It appears that present day Conservatism has regressed beyond pre-New Dealism into an antebellum state.

Posted by: wbgonne | July 9, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse

TheBBQChickenMadness: Totally agree that people want SOMETHING done re: immigration. The Democrats seem unable to grasp just how detrimental it is for them to appear impotent. Same as with health care which, by the time the Dems got something done everyone was disgusted by the backroom dealmaking process. Regardless of what they say to pollsters, the American people want action, not bi-partisan BS. The Dems should bring comprehensive immigration reform to the Senate floor; maybe it won't pass but at least they'll be doing something. Debate it. Argue about it. Vote on it. That's why they are there in DC.

Posted by: wbgonne | July 9, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

wbgonne, thoroughly agree that Dems don't understand how deadly appearances of their impotence really are. In fact I think the screaming of "Party of No" might just exacerbate the problem...

and BBQ, you're right, I didn't really mean it seriously. I hope it's true that the support for the AZ law just constitutes support for doing SOMETHING...

Posted by: Greg Sargent | July 9, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Greg: When I called Sen Kerry's office after Scott Brown's victory, Kerry's office told me that Brown's win showed that people want bi-partisanship. I said no: people want results. A screaming match ensued.

The bottom line is we need new Democratic leaders who aren't ashamed to be Democrats and don't secretly wish and try to pretend that they are Republicans. The entire national discourse must be moved significantly Left just to get into the realm of rationality. The Dems would do well to elevate Whitehouse, Brown, Franken and others into leadership positions. The Old Guard is just too timid and whipped.

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

"The Old Guard is just too timid and whipped."

And corrupt too. Time to blood the noobies.

Greg, would it kill you to have basic html like blockquotes, bolding, direct links etc. here at plumline ? Are wapo suits that stingy ?

Posted by: amkeew | July 9, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

What is the big deal about Palin's video? It really isn't that good, has no substantive message, and is very unlikely to increase her favorables with women. Anybody with money can hire someone to make a relatively slick vid... what was the point?

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

BTW: Saw Rahm on the Newshour yesterday. Will someone please tell me what he adds to the Obama Administration? He is just another of those Dems who secretly think the GOP is right on everything and it oozes out of him when he talks policy. He is an inveterate Triangulator, which is just another term for saying the GOP is correct and the Dems will act just like the GOP so vote for Dems because ...

Posted by: wbgonne | July 9, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

@wbgonne re:immigration

Seems to me that's one of the things that people don't get about Obama...he's not interested in going through the motions in order to show that he can lose. If he's going to push something, he intends to win, one way or the other. A string of "show losses" probably would have an even more detrimental effect on morale.

Posted by: converse | July 9, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

amkeew, I've noted this before, but folks might have missed it.

They are exploring replacing this commenting platform with a new one, and it just may have html, live links and all the features you're looking for.

I can't promise it will have these things, but I'm advocating for it and we can cross our fingers.


Posted by: Greg Sargent | July 9, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Any legislative victories that Obama can claim over the past 18 months (some say more than the 12 years of Clinton and Carter combined) have been in large part due to the efforts of Rahm Emmanuel. He's not particularly likeable, but he is effective.

Posted by: converse | July 9, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

"What is the big deal about Palin's video?"

This is a good example of how low everyone has set the bar for Palin. Instead of holding her to some relative standard of competency, she's managed to intimidate the press so that everyone sort of looks the other way when she makes a fool of herself and then applauds wildly when she manages to put a noun and a verb together in proper order.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | July 9, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

This incumbent Republican lost his bid for re-election. He believes Republicans are not leading and refused to join the Palin/Beck/DeMint/Bachmann/etc. club.

"Inglis said voters eventually will discover that you're "preying on their fears" and turn away.

"I think we have a lot of leaders that are following those (television and talk radio) personalities and not leading," he said. "What it takes to lead is to say, 'You know, that's just not right.'"

Inglis said the rhetoric also distracts from the real problems that politicians should be trying to resolve, such as budget deficits and energy security.

"It's a real concern, because I think what we're doing is dividing the country into partisan camps that really look a lot like Shia and Sunni," he said, referring to the two predominant Islamic denominations that have feuded for centuries. "It's very difficult to come together to find solutions."

Inglis' refusal to join in on the Obama-bashing of the far right played a big role in his landslide defeat on June 22. Leading up to the election, he frequently challenged voters who questioned the president's citizenship or patriotism. At one town hall meeting, he was jeered for saying that Beck, a Fox News Channel host, is a divisive fearmonger."

Posted by: lmsinca | July 9, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

agree I.

Posted by: converse | July 9, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

No video can make Palin something she isn't -- intelligent.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | July 9, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

I've been hearing a growing "concern" from the right about the Obama Administration being anti-business and that is why the economy is still in the doldrums. Krugman does a good job of dismantling that meme. I heard a snippet of an interview with Maria Bartiromo who was being a good soldier to the "don't let the Bush tax cuts expire" war this morning. No push back from Chuck Todd that I heard, although I admit to clicking her into silence relatively quickly.

"So why are we hearing so much about the alleged harm being inflicted by an antibusiness climate? For the most part it’s the same old, same old: lobbyists trying to bully Washington into cutting taxes and dismantling regulations, while extracting bigger fees from their clients along the way.

Beyond that, business leaders are, as I said, feeling unloved: the financial crisis, health insurance scandals, and the catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico have taken a toll on their reputation. Somehow, however, rather than blaming their peers for bad behavior, C.E.O.’s blame Mr. Obama for “demonizing” business — by which they apparently mean speaking frankly about the culpability of the guilty parties.

Well, C.E.O.’s are people, too — but soothing their hurt feelings isn’t a priority right now, and it has nothing at all to do with promoting economic recovery. If we want stronger business spending, we need to give businesses a reason to spend. And to do that, the government needs to start doing more, not less, to promote overall economic recovery."

Posted by: lmsinca | July 9, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

* U.S. has now lost 75 percent of Guantanamo habeas cases *

A federal judge has ordered the release of another Yemeni captive at Guantanamo, the 37th time a war on terror captive in southeast Cuba has won his unlawful detention suit against the U.S. government.

Judge Paul Friedman's order in the case of Hussein Almerfedi at the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., instructs the Obama administration to "take all necessary and appropriate steps to facilitate the release of petitioner forthwith."

Bush/Cheney/Neocons = dark stain on America

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 9, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

wbgonne, on people wanting Dems to act like Dems, yes. Exhibit A: Alan Grayson. We need more of that confrontational attitude; a wing of the Dem party that plays hardball.

Posted by: BGinCHI | July 9, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Greg, your best snark of the summer (so far):

"I'd say that divide is really between Republicans who actually know something about foreign policy and national security and Republicans who just make it up as they go along."


Posted by: BGinCHI | July 9, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Greg, I heard a rumor you may be doing away with the Morning Plum. I have no problem with that, it's your blog afterall, except to make a request of an open thread where we can park links and have a discussion to begin our day. Usually by your second or third post I'm working and can't really read or comment. I really enjoy the early and late threads, just my 2 cents.

Posted by: lmsinca | July 9, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

" Richard Lugar rips Mitt Romney for criticizing the START treaty, suggesting delicately that Romney perhaps doesn't have the faintest clue what he's talking about."

Perfect Hair Mittens will say absolutely whatever he believes is most likely to win him the next election. Beyond that he has no convictions at all. He's an excellent example of a Groucho Marx joke come to life:

"These are my convictions. If you don't like them, I have others."

Posted by: akaoddjob | July 9, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Greg, All,

This one is a MUST READ re: comments by Bob Inglis (former GOP Rep who was just booted by Tea Party for criticizing Beck):

* GOP leaders let demagogues set tone, lawmaker says *

Too many Republican leaders are acquiescing to a poisonous "demagoguery" that threatens the party's long-term credibility, says a veteran GOP House member who was defeated in South Carolina's primary last month.

While not naming names, 12-year incumbent Rep. Bob Inglis suggested in interviews with The Associated Press that tea party favorites such as former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin and right-wing talk show hosts like Glenn Beck are the culprits.

He cited a claim made famous by Palin that the Democratic health care bill would create "death panels" to decide whether elderly or sick people should get care.

"There were no death panels in the bill ... and to encourage that kind of fear is just the lowest form of political leadership. It's not leadership. It's demagoguery," said Inglis, one of three Republican incumbents who have lost their seats in Congress to primary and state party convention challengers this year.

Inglis said voters eventually will discover that you're "preying on their fears" and turn away.

"I think we have a lot of leaders that are following those (television and talk radio) personalities and not leading," he said. "What it takes to lead is to say, 'You know, that's just not right.'"


Inglis said he was shocked during the health care votes as he watched protesters jeering Rep. John Lewis, a Georgia Democrat who was beaten as a leading civil rights activist in the 1960s.

Inglis said he was too far away during the jeering incident to hear whether the protesters shouted racial epithets, as Lewis and other black lawmakers have claimed. But Inglis said the behavior was threatening and abusive.

"I caught him at the door and said, 'John, I guess you've been here before,'" Inglis said.

Inglis, 50, who calls himself a Jack Kemp disciple because he has emphasized outreach to minorities as the late Republican congressman did, thinks racism is a part of the vitriol directed at President Barack Obama.

"I love the South. I'm a Southerner. But I can feel it," he said.

Greg, I think that would be an EXCELLENT piece to follow-up on, showing the clear Civil War taking place now in the GOP.

Read the whole article. It's INCREDIBLE.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 9, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

"Which prompts Michael Scherer to note an important development: The parting of ways between old-guard national security Republicans and new right wing "hawks" like Romney and Sarah Palin."

I think it's more likely that this is just an old dispute between older Republicans who were foreign policy realists, and newer neoconservative Republicans. The realists hold to foreign policy views that up until 2001 were more or less constant since the end of WWII, regardless of the party running the Oval Office.

The neoconservatives are dangerous.

Posted by: akaoddjob | July 9, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Think Progress compares Bennett's loss to Inglis. Being conservative is no longer enough for the GOP.

"Like Inglis, Sen. Bob Bennett (R-UT) lost his GOP primary, despite a similarly conservative voting record. Bennett later slammed the GOP for being held captive to far right-tea parties and Fox News, noting, “I find plenty of slogans on the Republican side, but not very many ideas.”

Posted by: lmsinca | July 9, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

"Americans really love the Arizona immigration law: Nearly $500,000 in contributions to the defense fund against Obama's lawsuit have already rolled in from around the country."

A majority of Americans also disagreed with the Loving v. Virginia decision until almost thirty years after it was decided.

Just because Americans like something doesn't make it legal, let alone moral.

Posted by: akaoddjob | July 9, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse


I can't agree either that 1) losses are worse than not trying; or 2) Rahm is a plus for the Administration. As we have discussed many times, in order for effective governance to resume there must be a seismic shift in political discourse. That will only happen when the Dems begin to actually declare and fight for what they believe in. If Obama is committed to incrementalism then you may be correct about Rahm's value because that's what Rahm is. But I think incrementalism is a devastatingly wrongheaded approach under the present political circumstances. The time for Blue Dogs and Republicrats should be over because they are now irrelevant. The GOP is so far Right that they won't compromise on anything so offering moderate positions hoping for GOP support is a worthless tactic. And, honestly, considering Obama's strong electoral victory coupled with muscular Dem control of both houses of Congress, HCR, the Stimulus, and even the proposed FinReg are wishy-washy at best. Again, Rahm's style. So, yes, I agree that Rahm has a stamp on the Administration but I think it is a negative not a positive. The country must be moved and Triangulation won't accomplish that. In fact, as we've seen with the Republicrats and HCR, these DINOs actually undermine the party message.

Posted by: wbgonne | July 9, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse


Right. And Rahm and the Republicrats despise the activist wing of the Democratic Part. F-ing retards if I'm correct. In fact, I bet Rahm hates Liberals Dems MORE than the he does the GOP. Talk about corroding from within. Sheesh!

Posted by: wbgonne | July 9, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Not every Republican appears willing to sign King's petition to repeal in entirety the HCR bill. Maybe the bill is growing on constituents in Republican districts, oh no!!!!!!1

"But King’s petition seems to have lost momentum. No new members have signed onto the petition in the last week, and members who have wavered on repeal, like Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA), still have yet to sign on. At a town hall in Mayville, Wisconsin on Tuesday, Rep. Tom Petri (R-WI) told ThinkProgress that he would not be interested in joining King’s repeal crusade, preferring rather to make changes to the law later:

TP: Do you support the proposals floated by people like Steve King who say, ‘we’ve got to repeal health reform.’ He has a discharge petition but he says he’ll file another piece of legislation after the midterms as well. Would you support that type of effort?

PETRI: I think we need to redo health reform and change a lot of it. I’m not in favor of repealing every last thing in it. I’m sure out of those two thousand pages, there are one or two things that make a lot of sense. I thought, frankly, the effort to try to help people who did not have health reform coverage because of preexisting coverage and the like was worth making."

Posted by: lmsinca | July 9, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

* RNC Never Reimbursed for Nightclub Expense *

Although the RNC insisted it would be reimbursed for expenses at a Hollywood bondage-themed nightclub, the Daily Caller notes that "months later, there's no evidence in Federal Election Commission filings that that has happened."

"According to FEC reports, the California political operative who initially incurred the nightclub expense on behalf of the RNC, Erik Brown, did not send money to the RNC. Neither did an RNC employee, Allison Meyers, who took young donors to the club, which features topless women dancers imitating lesbian sex acts."


Or is it: Dough!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 9, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Benen takes on the Inglis comments:

Inglis and Bennett were kicked out of Congress because they were willing to work with people they disagreed with, and took the notion of problem-solving seriously. As the Republican Party moves further and further to the right, the rejection of officials like Inglis and Bennett signals a dangerous trend for the political system.

What's worse, Inglis suggests the GOP's demagoguery will eventually backfire, causing voters to move away from the party preying on their fears. But in the short-term, that's probably backwards -- if Republicans do very well in November, as seems likely, they'll conclude that their recent tactics are a recipe for success. The result will be more offensive politics, not less.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 9, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Let's see I think Inglis mentioned demagoguery as an issue with the GOP. From C&L below:

"Well, the other day at a campaign event for his pal, Republican Senate candidate and renowned Tea Partier Ken Buck (a favorite of Erick Erickson, too), Tancredo seemed quite aware of this confusion, and did his best to clear it up for us all:

Tancredo: What could be more important for you to do, really, if you think about this? Everything is at stake here. Everything.

I firmly believe with all my heart, you guys, although we have had many threats to our nation -- and we have gone through a whole lot of things, and survived many things. We -- I always say, you know, we survived the Civil War, we survived the Depression, we went through all -- we survived Bill Clinton, for heaven's sake!

But nothing -- I do not believe -- not the Soviet Union, when we were in, you know, that thirty-five year period leading up to the fall of the Soviet Union, thanks to Ronald Reagan, God bless him. [Applause]


But we had that threat, we survived it. Later, we found out we had another threat to our way of life, and that was Al Qaeda, and we found that out on 9/11.

But I firmly believe this -- it's not just, you know, some dramatic statement a person would make to get press or something or ink. I believe this with all my heart -- that the greatest threat to the United States today, the greatest threat to our liberty, the greatest threat to the Constitution of the United States, the greatest threat to our way of life, everything we believe in, the greatest threat to the country that was put together by the Founding Fathers, is the guy that is in the White House today."

Posted by: lmsinca | July 9, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

"Any legislative victories that Obama can claim over the past 18 months (some say more than the 12 years of Clinton and Carter combined) have been in large part due to the efforts of Rahm Emmanuel. He's not particularly likeable, but he is effective."

He also harmed health care reform, begging Obama to use a minimalist approach that was so bad Nancy Pelosi derided it as "kiddy care".

Posted by: akaoddjob | July 9, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Didn't see this yesterday:

* GOP Corporate Special Interest Groups Plan On Buying Elections with $300 MILLION Spend *

A four-page memorandum circulating widely among Democrats estimates that conservative interest groups, including the newly-minted American Crossroads, could collectively spend upwards of $300 million on the fall campaigns -- a far larger sum than in previous election cycles. Democrats have been slow to recognize the impending threat of such third-party groups, but have now concluded that conservative groups are likely to dramatically outspend liberal groups this cycle, said one Democratic official.

For the past few weeks, Democratic National Committee Chairman Timothy M. Kaine, the lawmakers responsible for retaining the party's congressional majorities and other party leaders have been privately issuing warnings to top party donors and strategists.

"There's a real danger that we'll see an avalanche of special-interest money flowing into these campaigns," Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said in an interview Thursday. "This kind of money can clearly affect the outcome of elections. That's why they're doing it. And that's why it's important [for Democrats] to try and confront the challenge."

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 9, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

All, here's my question: Is Obama a patsy, or a thug?

Posted by: Greg Sargent | July 9, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Before we go gaga over that inglis guy, let's remember his vile role in clinton saga and the fact he became all wise after he lost. If he had squeaked past that teabagger nut, you betcha he would have just kept his mouth shut.

Posted by: amkeew | July 9, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

"Tancredo seemed quite aware of this confusion, and did his best to clear it up for us all"

I can only imagine the incredulity of my Italian immigrant-hating maternal grandparents, both from families that have been in the USA since well before the Civil War (including at least one ancestor who fought in the Revolutionary War) if they were to learn that today's anti-immigrant cause is championed by a man whose last name ends in a vowel...........

Tancredo really needs a life lesson in the implications of what he's doing, and what it says about his worthlessness as a human being.

Posted by: akaoddjob | July 9, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

oddjob, agreed.

Tancredo has obviously never had a regular job before. No one who has worked in a restaurant, or as farm labor, or construction, would be able to seriously believe that crap.

Oh, and maybe read some history Tom.


Posted by: BGinCHI | July 9, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

As I said in my July 4th post at my blog (which I was excoriated for pimping here by a commenter who doesn't seem to be around much), there's an easy response to Tancredo's extremist BS: quote Lincoln at these fools: "a house divided against itself cannot stand." Then follow up by expanding on it with "people who tell you to hate and fear a political opposition which is operating within the rules of our system but simply has different policy goals have an agenda - but that agenda has nothing to do with 'what's best for the nation'. No one who wants what's best for the nation would attempt to turn citizen against citizen in fear and hatred over simple policy disagreements. Anyone who does is not a patriot, because their tactics lead to a weaker nation, not a stronger one, and taken to the logical conclusion, the destruction of the nation itself." Really take it to them; it has the advantage of being true.

As to Ethan's point about business openly planning to buy the elections, that could be countered with ads asking, "where are they getting the money? Certainly not from you - thanks to the way they destroyed the economy, most Americans don't have any money to spare for political contributions. And they've been working hard to make sure you never do again - blocking unemployment insurance extensions for the millions made jobless by their destructive policies, standing in the way of aid to state and local governments. Who do you think they'll represent if re-elected - you, or the guys who paid to put them in office?"

Most voters are, if not stupid, at the very least ill- or mis-informed. These things have to be spelled out, and in a forum where they will be seen/heard by the masses. In other words, with ads during American Idol.

Posted by: JennOfArk | July 9, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

1) Obama has not only tried, he has succeeded on many levels, much better than your proposed "show losses"; 2) as long as sixty votes are required to pass ANYTHING in the Senate, compromise will be necessary. While you may believe that you could have made better compromises, politics is not the work of armchair quarterbacks, it's for those who understand how power works, the "art of the possible."

You say, "The time for Blue Dogs and Republicrats should be over because they are now irrelevant." Again, that's only true if you don't really want to pass legislation through the Senate; otherwise, they are very relevant.

I have contacted Alexi Gianoullias' office in attempts to get him to go on the record that, if the Democrats maintain a majority in the Senate after the November election, he, as part of the new congress, will vote to change the Senate rules regarding cloture and holds. Perhaps we could agree on this? I urge others to contact their Democratic Senate candidates to demand the same.

Posted by: converse | July 9, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Stanford University published a paper this month in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that found 97 percent to 98 percent of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field support the tenet that combustion of fossil fuels is the source of global climate change, the basic finding of the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report that was awarded the Nobel Prize. Just 2 percent of the scientists who are skeptical of that conclusion are actively publishing in the field, said the Stanford study.

Yesterday, Media Matters, a non-profit online news site that "monitors and corrects conservative misinformation," joined 12 environmental and climate action groups in calling for "news outlets that reported on the original "Climategate" controversy over stolen emails and the reliability of climate science to set the record straight. These outlets are urged to highlight recent developments that completely disprove much of the evidence that supported the alleged "Climategate" scandal."

"Every newspaper, magazine, and television show that reported on these bogus scandals owes it to its audience to set the record straight with the same forcefulness and frequency that it reported the original, disproven charges," said a letter signed by the groups and sent to newspaper editorial boards. "Failure to publicly correct the record undermines the very heart of journalism -- to report the truth."

I encourage everyone concerned about the reporting over the theft of climate-related emails GO AHEAD AND CALL THE MEDIA AND DEMAND THAT THEY SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT ON THIS REPUBLICAN GINNED-UP "CONTROVERSY"

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 9, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

re: incrementalism

Read history. Ninety-five percent of change in anything resembling a democracy is incremental. You work and work and work wait for that wave of history to come along where something significant can be done. The election of 2008 was a temendously important wave of history. Be proud of what we did. Now we work and work and work and wait for the next one.

Posted by: converse | July 9, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse


Could I have a link where Pelosi "derided it as kiddie care?" Or are you sourcing an anonymous report of a "private" conversation?

Posted by: converse | July 9, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

As requested:

"To wit: When Rahm Emanuel pushed for a scaled down bill in the wake of the Massachusetts debacle, Pelosi privately dissed him as an “incrementalist” who wanted to pass nothing more than “kiddie-care.” Fightin’ words!"

(Link has link to relevant news articles.)

Posted by: akaoddjob | July 9, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

"Ninety-five percent of change in anything resembling a democracy is incremental."

And the other 5% is what really counts. To effectuate the necessary shift in public sentiment, the Democrats must stand bold and proud, not weak, compromised and apologetic. The Obama Administration has been a colossal failure of political opportunity so far. And, yes, I think Rahm Emanuel is largely responsible. I'd fire his ass yesterday.

Of course, I HAVE been wrong before.

Posted by: wbgonne | July 9, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

As I thought, the "kiddie care" *quote* was from an anonymous source about a private conversation (and, ugh, Politico, at that!).

I heard that Pelosi called Rahm "the greatest negotiater I've ever seen." Of course, like your's, that also came from an anonymous source about a private conversation.

There is a small faction (fdlers, et al) currently calling Dems "weak, compromised and apologetic;" many others see Obama as strong, progressive and pragmatic.

To prepare for the time that the 5% can be accomplished requires a string of successes, as Obama has done, not "proud" failures. Look at Obama's primary campaign for a lesson on strategy. Better yet, go organize in the real world to see what really works.

Posted by: converse | July 9, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

"As I thought, the "kiddie care" *quote* was from an anonymous source about a private conversation (and, ugh, Politico, at that!)."

Greg may be able to provide you a better assessment of the source's reliability than I can. One can be a good negotiator and still be too timid.

Posted by: akaoddjob | July 9, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse


Hey, I'm not trying to fight with you. We're on the same team, I think, we just have different strategies. However, your reflexive attack on the Left is exactly what Rahm has fostered. And it is self-defeating for the Democratic Party. Not to mention the country needs serious help now.

As to Rahm negotiating skills, nobody is questioning his aptitude (I'm not at least). Rahm will fight. But it is nearly always AGAINST the Left Wing of his own party, a/k/a the base of the party. Can you imagine Republicans attacking the Right under any circumstances? No, even though the Right has gone bat-sh*t crazy the GOP still knows who butters its bread. Rahm is still bashing hippies like Clinton did. It may have been politically wise then (I think not, personally) but now it is simply self-destructive.

Posted by: wbgonne | July 9, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Reflexive attack? I think you were the one who started the hating on Emmanuel.

I only consider it a team when the players clearly understand what team they're on and who their leader is.

Posted by: converse | July 9, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

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