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The Plum Line: August 1, 2010 - August 7, 2010

ADL: If mosque-builders really wanted to promote reconcilation, they'd move

Via Steve Benen, I see that Fareed Zakaria has decided to return an award bestowed on him by the Anti-Defamation League in order to protest the organization's deeply misguided opposition to the Islamic center near Ground Zero. Over at...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 7, 2010; 9:02 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (135)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Profiles in courage: Anthony Weiner finally breaks his silence on the Islamic center -- in a letter to Mayor Bloomberg. Weiner says government shouldn't block the project but doesn't take a real stand beyond that. Weiner "honors" Bloomberg for...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 6, 2010; 6:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
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Dems developing new strategy for war over Bush tax cuts

With a major battle over the Bush tax cuts looming this fall, top Democrats are formulating a strategy that rests heavily on making the case that letting the tax cuts expire is in fact a Republican tax hike -- because...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 6, 2010; 3:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (49)
Categories:  Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , economy  
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Dems caught in trap of their own making?

In the wake of today's disappointing jobs numbers, a bunch of people around the Web have been lamenting that Dems will take it on the chin for the bad economy even while Republicans have done everything they can to block...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 6, 2010; 1:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (97)
Categories:  economy  
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Sharron Angle: I would refuse money from company that supports gay rights

Sharron Angle has taken some extreme positions, but this one is remarkable even by her standards: She said on a candidate questionnaire that she would refuse political contributions from a private company that backs equal rights for gays and...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 6, 2010; 11:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (74)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Republicans , gay rights  
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GOP: Bad jobs numbers prove Dems have lost control of the wheel

The Republican strategy has been to seize on the ailing economy to feed public pessimism about the ability of Big Government to fix the economy -- and to revive the old canard that government is the problem, not the solution...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 6, 2010; 10:36 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
Categories:  2010 elections , House GOPers , economy  
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The Morning Plum

* Another jobs report, another spin war: It's due out this morning, and economists forecast some 87,000 lost last month and an unemployment rate ticking up from 9.5 percent to 9.6 percent. "Nonsense": Senator George Voinovich on the GOP claim...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 6, 2010; 8:36 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Elena Kagan is confirmed by the Senate, 63-37, almost exactly the margin everyone has predicted for months. Which makes you wonder what all those hearings were really for in the first place. * Harry Reid decries GOP tactics as...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 5, 2010; 6:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
Categories:  2010 elections , Foreign policy and national security , Happy Hour Roundup , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , Supreme Court , economy  
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A question for David Broder: Who's to blame?

I'd be genuinely curious to know how David Broder would answer the following question: How much are Republicans to blame for the current dysfunction in the Senate? Broder has a column today entitled: "The Senate, running on empty." He says...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 5, 2010; 4:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (59)
Categories:  Political media , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Dem strategy on ethics: Make lemons into lemonade

On MSNBC just now, DCCC chair Chris Van Hollen made it explicit: Dems will argue that the ethical travails of Charlie Rangel and Maxine Waters prove that Dems are making good on their promise to "drain the swamp" of corruption...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 5, 2010; 2:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  2010 elections , House Dems , House GOPers  
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Is Obama's position on gay marriage sustainable?

That seems to be one of the core political questions in the wake of the overturning of Proposition 8. How can the president continue opposing gay marriage while supporting the decision to strike down Prop 8, on the grounds that...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 5, 2010; 12:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (178)
Categories:  gay rights  
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Obama admin skewers GOP attack on stimulus cocaine monkeys

Are your stimulus dollars really being wasted on getting monkeys high on crack and cocaine? In recent days, select Republicans and conservatives have taken to bashing the Obama administration over this claim. Sharron Angle has blasted Dems for giving money...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 5, 2010; 11:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (58)
Categories:  Senate Republicans , economy  
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The Morning Plum

* Obama to say government intervention worked: He enjoyed a much-needed victory lap last week when he gave a speech at a Detroit auto plant about how his widely-criticized decision to bail out the auto industry paid off. Today Obama...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 5, 2010; 8:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (79)
Categories:  2010 elections , Foreign policy and national security , House Dems , Morning Plum , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , Tea Party  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Breaking: Federal judge overturns California's gay marriage ban. From the ruling: "Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 4, 2010; 5:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (46)
Categories:  2010 elections , Foreign policy and national security , Happy Hour Roundup , House Dems , House GOPers , Senate Dems , economy  
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Feingold nixes GOP request for hearings into 14th amendment

Republicans may be calling for hearings into revising the 14th amendment, which guarantees citizenship to children of illegal immigrants, but it looks like they're not going to get 'em. Russ Feingold, who chairs the Constitution Subcommittee, which would conduct the...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 4, 2010; 3:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (79)
Categories:  Immigration , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Are GOPers achieving separation from Bush?

This week, many Dems were thrilled when Obama grabbed the presidential megaphone and used it to aggressively link the GOP to George W. Bush. "They don't have a single idea that's different from George Bush's ideas -- not one," Obama...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 4, 2010; 2:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (61)
Categories:  2010 elections , House GOPers  
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Birtherism, alive and well

Updated below. The new CNN poll confirms what we all suspected -- that efforts by traditional news orgs to debunk the "birther" nonsense have done little or nothing to counter the right wing narrative about the Manchurian Muslim who has...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 4, 2010; 1:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (77)
Categories:  Tea Party  
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Democrats' craven silence on Ground Zero mosque continues

Steve Benen, Matthew Yglesias, and Kevin Drum all have posts up blasting Republicans for their unwillingness to step forward and condemn bigoted criticism of plans to build an Islamic center near Ground Zero. Drum asks whether there are any...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 4, 2010; 11:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (99)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security  
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Sharron Angle: Obama and Reid are making government our false "God"

Nevada journalist Jon Ralston unearths an interview that Sharron Angle did with Christian radio that is perhaps her most eyebrow-raising contribution to the conversation yet. In it, she says that government expansion under Obama and Dems is an effort to...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 4, 2010; 10:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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The Morning Plum

* Sharron Angle sharpens up: She's out with a new spot that broadens the economy-based attack on Harry Reid, hammering him for falling home values in Nevada. The key thing to note is that the spot hits Reid with a...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 4, 2010; 8:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
Categories:  2010 elections , Foreign policy and national security , House GOPers , Immigration , Morning Plum , Political media , Senate Dems  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Bold pronouncement of the day, from Jeffrey Goldberg: Bin Laden would bomb the Ground Zero Islamic center if he could, to prevent it from promoting tolerance and monkeying with his plans for a clash of civilizations. Also from Goldberg:...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 3, 2010; 6:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Foreign policy and national security , Happy Hour Roundup , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , Tea Party  
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GOP Senate candidate: No abortion in cases of rape or incest

Ken Buck, the Tea Party backed Senate candidate who's leading in polls for the Colorado GOP nomination, may be heading into a general election with an extreme position on abortion: He opposes it even in cases of rape or incest....

By Greg Sargent  |  August 3, 2010; 4:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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What's Anthony Weiner's position on Ground Zero mosque?

Congressman Anthony Weiner of New York won plaudits from liberals across the country when he erupted on the House floor last week over GOP opposition to a bill that would help people sickened by 9/11. And Weiner has been widely...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 3, 2010; 2:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security , House Dems  
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No, McConnell doesn't support repeal of birthright citizenship. Will he say so?

Senator Mitch McConnell does not support full repeal of birthright citizenship, despite suggestions to the contrary today, and may clarify that point if asked about it at his media stakeout later today, a senior GOP aide tells me. The question...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 3, 2010; 1:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (56)
Categories:  Immigration , Senate Republicans  
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Still more proof Sarah Palin is toxic outside her bubble

Okay, here's still more evidence, as if you needed it, that Sarah Palin is increasingly toxic to voters who reside outside the Palin Nation bubble. Pew Research just released a new poll finding that more than twice as many Americans...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 3, 2010; 11:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (162)
Categories:  2010 elections , 2012  
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Sharron Angle: I pledge to filibuster Dem agenda "to death"

One of Harry Reid's primary arguments against Sharron Angle is that replacing him would cost the state of Nevada, because a freshman Senator wouldn't have anywhere near the clout to deliver the amounts of Federal cash the majority leader has....

By Greg Sargent  |  August 3, 2010; 10:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (56)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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The Morning Plum

* Read of the morning, even if you disagree with it: Robert Reich says Obama's main problem is that he failed to take the risks necessary to expand the realm of the possible to the degree he might have. But:...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 3, 2010; 8:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (46)
Categories:  2010 elections , Foreign policy and national security , House Dems , Morning Plum , Senate Republicans , economy  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Ya think? The White House points out that the battle over whether to extend the Bush tax cuts for the rich just might be a good one for Dems: "We like this argument," White House Chief of Staff Rahm...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 2, 2010; 5:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
Categories:  2010 elections , Foreign policy and national security , Happy Hour Roundup , House Dems , Senate Republicans , economy  
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The absurdity of the "mosque exclusion zone"

In the wake of the controversy over whether to build an Islamic center and mosque near Ground Zero, Matthew Yglesias aptly mocked those calling for the center to be moved by coining the term "mosque exclusion zone." The "mosque exclusion...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 2, 2010; 3:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (154)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security  
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No party switch for Ben Nelson, his office confirms

Nope: Ben Nelson is not going to switch parties, even if the GOP makes big gains in the Senate this fall. Joe Klein stirred some chatter this weekend by speculating that Nelson might switch, citing his opposition to Elena Kagan,...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 2, 2010; 2:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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The real reason Dems are tying GOP to Bush

UPDATE, 1:45 p.m.: A Democratic aide points out that the polling memo also contains empirical evidence that if the public is persuaded that voting Republican would be a return to Bush policies, it has a dramatic impact on voter attitudes:...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 2, 2010; 12:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (131)
Categories:  2010 elections , House Dems , House GOPers , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , economy  
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Obama admin pushes back hard on right's charge that it's not protecting military voters

Have you heard the right wing's latest attack on the Obama Justice Department? It goes like this: The department is "ignoring" a new law designed to protect the voting rights of overseas members of the military. But I've gotten a...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 2, 2010; 10:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Republicans  
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The Morning Plum

* Anybody remember that promise to end the Iraq War? In a measure of how much things have changed since Obama took office, the president plans to deliver a big speech today underscoring that he's making good on his pledge...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 2, 2010; 8:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
Categories:  2010 elections , Foreign policy and national security , House GOPers , Immigration , Morning Plum , Political media , Senate Republicans , economy  
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