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The Plum Line: August 8, 2010 - August 14, 2010

Did Obama walk back his support of Cordoba House?

As you know, the Internets are alive with the claim that Obama has now walked back his support of Cordoba House, and I've gotten tons of emails telling me that my earlier praise of the speech is no longer operative....

By Greg Sargent  |  August 14, 2010; 8:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (137)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security  
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One of the finest moments of Obama's presidency

A few quick thoughts about Obama's forceful speech yesterday expressing strong support for Cordoba House, which will go down as one of the finest moments of his presidency. Obama didn't just stand up for the legal right of the group...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 14, 2010; 9:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (399)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security  
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Happy Hour Roundup

UPDATE, 8:30 p.m.: President Obama is voicing strong support for Cordoba House at tonight's Iftar Dinner. From the prepared remarks: Recently, attention has been focused on the construction of mosques in certain communities -- particularly in New York. Now, we...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 13, 2010; 6:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (64)
Categories:  House Dems , House GOPers , Senate Republicans , Tea Party  
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Yes, Reid tried to end birthright citizenship -- but he apologized profusely for it

Right wing blogs think they've unearthed a lethal hit on Harry Reid: He apparently introduced a bill to end birthright citizenship back in 1993. Conservatives are pointing to this as proof of Reid's hypocrisy in the wake of his claim...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 13, 2010; 3:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (60)
Categories:  2010 elections , Immigration , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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More signs Beltway deficit hysteria is overblown

Gallup brings us still more evidence, as if we needed it, that the public ranks the economy and jobs as far more pressing than the deficit: The economy and jobs rank as the top two concerns at 30 and 28...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 13, 2010; 1:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (61)
Categories:  economy  
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Key GOP House candidate declines to support Boehner for speaker

An interesting tidbit out of Texas: A GOP House candidate in a high-profile race that's emerging as a must-win for Republicans conspicuously sidestepped questions about whether he would support John Boehner as the next Speaker of the House. "Next question,"...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 13, 2010; 12:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (40)
Categories:  2010 elections , House Dems , House GOPers  
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Krauthammer: Government regulates liquor stores, so why can't it block the "Ground Zero mosque"?

For some time now, many of the "responsible" opponents of the Islamic center near Ground Zero have employed a clever little dodge. They've criticized the project as a moral wrong, arguing that the developers aren't showing sufficient respect for 9/11...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 13, 2010; 10:58 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (199)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security  
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The Morning Plum

* The Elizabeth Warren "dilemma" heats up: Elizabeth Warren was seen leaving the White House yesterday, and speculation is mounting that Obama may soon decide whether to appoint her as top Wall Street consumer cop. Here's his choice: If Obama...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 13, 2010; 8:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
Categories:  2010 elections , Foreign policy and national security , House GOPers , Immigration , Morning Plum , Senate Republicans , Tea Party  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Jim Geraghty, who is deeply sourced within the Sharron Angle campaign, explains that there's real method behind the apparent madness. Seriously, it's worth a read. * And: Angle, who has plainly discussed phasing out Social Security in the past,...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 12, 2010; 6:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (62)
Categories:  2010 elections , Foreign policy and national security , Happy Hour Roundup , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , Tea Party  
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Kristol group's game plan: Make it politically toxic for Dems to criticize Israel

Bill Kristol's hawkish, pro-Israel group, which has been running ads blasting Dems as anti-Israel, is now making it explicit: It is targeting Dems with paid media for the express purpose of making it politically toxic for them to criticize Israel....

By Greg Sargent  |  August 12, 2010; 3:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security  
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The absurdity of the anti-mosque camp

I'm not sure you could ask for a clearer illustration of the absurdity of the anti-mosque camp's antics than this. A group leading the charge against the Islamic center near Ground Zero has been granted the right to run ads...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 12, 2010; 1:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (280)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security  
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Liz Cheney breaks with Bushies over Imam behind "Ground Zero mosque"

As you've probably heard, Republicans are currently attacking the Obama administration for sending Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf, the man behind the "Ground Zero mosque," to the Mideast to discuss life for Muslims in America. The problem with this attack line,...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 12, 2010; 12:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (98)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security , House GOPers  
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The Bachmann-ization of American Politics

"She ought to be shot." Yesterday I noted here that candidates like Michele Bachmann and Sharron Angle aren't content to keep politics in the realm of a good faith clash of visions or ideologies: They have a perpetual need to...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 12, 2010; 10:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (61)
Categories:  2010 elections , House GOPers , Senate Republicans  
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The Morning Plum

* Still more signs of slippage with the Dem base? The new NBC/WSJ poll, which puts Obama's approval at 47 percent, also finds that a quarter of Democrats are only somewhat or not at all confident that Obama has the...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 12, 2010; 8:13 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (56)
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Morning Plum , Senate Republicans , Tea Party , economy  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Yes, a new CNN poll finds that 68 percent oppose the Islamic center near Ground Zero. But the poll calls it a "mosque," and doesn't ask people if they support government intervention to block it, which is the rub...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 11, 2010; 5:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
Categories:  2010 elections , Foreign policy and national security , Happy Hour Roundup , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Bachmann and Angle agree: State aid is "laundered" money for Dems

On Fox News, Sharron Angle appeared to agree with Michele Bachmann when the latter claimed the $26 billion in state aid passed by Democrats constitutes money being "laundered through the public employee unions" for use by Dem candidates this fall....

By Greg Sargent  |  August 11, 2010; 3:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (75)
Categories:  2010 elections , House GOPers , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Exclusive: Rand Paul's accuser clarifies "kidnapping"

The woman who sparked a national firestorm by recounting Rand Paul's youthful indiscretions to ege-days-hint-theres-a-secret-society-involved.html"> GQ magazine is now clarifying her account: She says she was not kidnapped nor forced to do drugs by Paul. But she reiterated other odd...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 11, 2010; 1:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (138)
Categories:  2010 elections , Political media , Senate Republicans  
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Public evenly split on changing 14th amendment?

An amazing finding, just in from CNN: As you may know, the Constitution says that all children born in the United States are automatically U.S. citizens regardless of their parents' status. Would you favor or oppose a Constitutional amendment to...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 11, 2010; 12:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (53)
Categories:  Immigration  
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Approval of Congress very low -- among Democrats

Robert Gibbs' attack on the "professional left" has sparked a big debate over whether Obama and Dems are really suffering slippage with the Democratic base. Here's another data point: A new Gallup poll finds approval of Congress is surprisingly low...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 11, 2010; 11:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (48)
Categories:  2010 elections  
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The Morning Plum

A much-needed win for the Dem narrative: Tea Party favorite Ken Buck's victory in last night's Colorado Senate GOP primary is the latest in a pattern: The success of right-wingers in Senate primaries means Republicans are heading into the fall...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 11, 2010; 8:14 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (54)
Categories:  2010 elections , House Dems , House GOPers , Morning Plum , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , Tea Party , economy  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* The House passed $26 billion in state aid this afternoon, and Republicans are gearing up to portray it as another Big Government job-killing stimulus boondoggle. * And GOP Rep. Mike Pence says it's a "bailout" of teachers, which is...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 10, 2010; 6:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
Categories:  2010 elections , Foreign policy and national security , Happy Hour Roundup , House Dems , House GOPers  
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Daft idea: Offer state land to get Cordoba House to go away

Via TPM, I see that New York Governor David Paterson has hatched some sort of compromise scheme to get the builders of the Islamic center to move further away from Ground Zero. The idea appears to be that government...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 10, 2010; 4:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (64)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security  
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Blue Dog Dem's TV ad hits Obama as part of "Washington crowd"

Must-watch video: Here's a sign that the immigration wars have made the issue a hot one even for Democrats in districts that aren't grappling with illegal immigration. Blue Dog Dem Joe Donnelly of Indiana is up with a tough talking...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 10, 2010; 2:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
Categories:  2010 elections , House Dems , House GOPers  
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Whatever Gibbs said, liberals still like Obama

With the controversy still simmering over Robert Gibbs' slam on the "professional left," the Dem firm Public Policy Polling offers a reality check on what liberals think of Obama. They overwhelmingly approve: On the national poll we'll release this week...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 10, 2010; 1:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (74)
Categories:  Political media  
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Robert Gibbs concedes attack on left was "inartful"

Robert Gibbs, under fire for his attack on the "professional left," sends over a statement walking it back, conceding it was "inartful," and clarifying that the views he expressed frustration about are not widely held: I watch too much...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 10, 2010; 11:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (55)
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
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Flashback: Obama, White House repeatedly said they value pressure from left

Here's something else that's problematic about Robert Gibbs' attack on the "professional left": It directly contradicts previous claims by the White House and the President himself that they value ongoing pressure on them from liberals. Back when anonymous White House...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 10, 2010; 11:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Political media  
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The Morning Plum

* Robert Gibbs blasts the "professional left": Was it intended as a clever experiment in triangulation, or was it just a momentary stress-related lapse of self-control? Whichever it was, the White House press secretary unloaded on the "professional left" for...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 10, 2010; 8:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (87)
Categories:  2010 elections , 2012 , House Dems , Morning Plum , Senate Republicans  
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Happy Hour Roundup: Rand Paul campaign threatens GQ mag

UPDATE: The Rand Paul campaign is now threatening legal action against GQ magazine over its much-discussed report quoting an anonymous woman claiming Paul kidnapped her in college and forced her to take bong hits. "We are investigating all our options...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 9, 2010; 5:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (77)
Categories:  2010 elections , Foreign policy and national security , Happy Hour Roundup , Political media , Senate Republicans  
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Sharron Angle camp clarifies "First Commandment" claim: Obama thinks he's "all powerful"

As you know, Sharron Angle came under some criticism last week after claiming that Obama and Democrats were trying to turn government into our God. Lest you thought she was being figurative, Angle added that the growth in government constituted...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 9, 2010; 3:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Big mo? Two more Senators call on Obama to appoint Elizabeth Warren

Heads up: Add Dick Durbin and Carl Levin to the list of Senators backing Elizabeth Warren as Obama's key consumer cop on Wall Street. That makes a total of 15 Senators supporting her. Is momentum building in her favor? The...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 9, 2010; 2:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Senate Dems , economy  
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The "responsible" argument against the Ground Zero mosque

Let's label it the "responsible" argument against the Ground Zero mosque. As you know, the Anti-Defamation League says it's adamantly opposed to bigotry against Muslims. But it's opposing the construction of the Islamic center near the site of the attacks...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 9, 2010; 12:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (204)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security  
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GOP leader admits Republicans have "credibility problem" on deficits

Everyone is digging through the lively exchange that David Gregory had with GOP leaders John Boehner and Mike Pence on Meet the Press yesterday over whether to extend the Bush tax cuts for the rich. Most people are focusing on...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 9, 2010; 10:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (129)
Categories:  2010 elections , House GOPers , economy  
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The Morning Plum

* Inside the emerging GOP strategy on the Bush tax cuts: Senate Republicans will mount a new push this fall for a constitutional amendment to balance the budget, just when the war heats up over whether to extend the tax...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 9, 2010; 8:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (67)
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Foreign policy and national security , House GOPers , Morning Plum , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Sunday Open Thread

What's happening? They still letting Muslims worship at the Pentagon?...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 8, 2010; 9:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (88)
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
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