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The Plum Line: August 22, 2010 - August 28, 2010

Open Thread

Is it just me, or does the Tea taste kind of weak this morning?...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 28, 2010; 9:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (238)
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Fun read: Chris Moody tries to get Cordoba House opponents to pinpoint precisely what size they'd deem acceptable for the Mosque Exclusion Zone. Not pretty. * Nice catch by Think Progress: Former Bush Commerce Secretary Donald Evans says Bush's...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 27, 2010; 5:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (96)
Categories:  2010 elections , Foreign policy and national security , Happy Hour Roundup , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , Tea Party  
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Will the Dems' Tea Party strategy work?

Yesterday I noted here that Dems are gleeful about this weekend's Glenn Beck rally on the anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech, because it gives them grist for their argument that the GOP is captive to...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 27, 2010; 3:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (145)
Categories:  2010 elections , House Dems , House GOPers , Tea Party  
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Senator Lugar won't take position on "mosque"

Senator Richard Lugar is one of the Beltway's most respected GOP voices on national security, an old-line foreign policy "realist" who is generally not afraid to take positions at odds with the neoconservatives in his party. So I'd been wondering...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 27, 2010; 12:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (104)
Categories:  2010 elections , Foreign policy and national security , Senate Republicans  
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Harry Reid faces a really stiff headwind

One fascinating thing about the Nevada Senate race: Even though Sharron Angle has made some comments that would have long ago disqualified most candidates, and even though Harry Reid's campaign has blasted those comments all over Nevada, Angle and Reid...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 27, 2010; 11:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , Tea Party  
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Sharron Angle twice refuses to disavow claim that there are "domestic enemies" in Congress

In an interview with a conservative talk show host yesterday, Sharron Angle was given two clear chances to disavow the claim that there are "domestic enemies" within Congress, an assertion she previously expressed unequivocal agreement with. Both times, Angle refused....

By Greg Sargent  |  August 27, 2010; 10:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (85)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , Tea Party  
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The Morning Plum

* Letting Bush tax cuts for the rich expire is popular: There's been a bit of debate lately about whether this is clear cut. But a new CBS poll asks the question very clearly, and gets a clear answer: Fifty...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 27, 2010; 8:31 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (51)
Categories:  2010 elections , Foreign policy and national security , Health reform , Morning Plum  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Where we're headed: Brian Beutler predicts the GOP will use its gains in November to pressure Obama and Dems to abandon the stimulus. Which brings up a point I've been meaning to make: If the GOP does make big...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 26, 2010; 5:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (100)
Categories:  2010 elections , Foreign policy and national security , Happy Hour Roundup , House Dems , House GOPers , gay rights  
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Flashback: Crist said Palin would "do a great job" as president

Now that the Florida general election for Senate is under way, one interesting dynamic that's taking shape is that Republican Marco Rubio and Dem Kendrick Meek each have a common interest in tacitly pushing the same kinds of stories to...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 26, 2010; 3:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Sharron Angle ad paints Obama-Reid-Pelosi as tragic love triangle

In terms of pure political effectiveness, the latest ad from Sharron Angle seems like a pretty strong spot: The ad mocks the Obama/Dem vow of change, tying Harry Reid to Nancy Pelosi and President Obama by depicting them as locked...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 26, 2010; 1:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , economy  
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Will Glenn Beck rally help Dems tar GOP as extreme?

It isn't every day that Democrats go out of their way to hype Glenn Beck's activities, but Dems think the Beck rally scheduled for this Saturday -- on the anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech --...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 26, 2010; 12:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (182)
Categories:  Tea Party  
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Reporter: Blue Dog Dem joked that Pelosi might "get sick and die"

Yesterday I noted here that some House Dems in tough districts are now aggressively distancing themselves from the Obama/Pelosi agenda, with some Dems taking direct shots at the President and the Speaker. Blue Dog Dem Bobby Bright of Alabama has...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 26, 2010; 10:58 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (65)
Categories:  2010 elections , House Dems , House GOPers  
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New Reid ad: Sharron Angle is a dangerous maniac

Okay, that headline is an exaggeration, but not much of one. Harry Reid's latest ad strings together a host of Angle-isms to paint her as, well, a dangerous psychopath: What's interesting is that even though Angle did say all these...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 26, 2010; 10:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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The Morning Plum

* Where would unemployment be without the stimulus? Good read: Dylan Matthews marshalls charts and graphs to show that it would be much, much higher, even if unemployment isn't actually falling. * White House keeps bashing Boehner: Obama advisers seem...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 26, 2010; 8:31 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (76)
Categories:  2010 elections , Foreign policy and national security , House Dems , House GOPers , Morning Plum , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Michael Bloomberg, in keeping with his inexplicable desire to also represent his Muslim constituents, invites the Muslim cabbie/stabbing victim to City Hall. * Shocker of the day: Fox News declines to run that ad calling attention to News Corporation's...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 25, 2010; 5:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (77)
Categories:  2010 elections , Foreign policy and national security , Happy Hour Roundup , House GOPers , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , Tea Party  
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More House Dems fleeing (and bashing) Obama and Pelosi

Little by little, we're starting to see more House Dems running ads distancing them from President Obama and Nancy Pelosi -- and even directly taking them on. Some of the spots bash the Obama/Dem agenda in ways that echo GOP...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 25, 2010; 3:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (97)
Categories:  2010 elections , Climate change , Health reform , House Dems , House GOPers  
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The Cheney-ization of the GOP, part II

Yesterday I noted here that the war over Cordoba House revealed something that hasn't gotten the attention it deserves: The degree to which the Cheney-ites are winning the battle over the future direction of GOP foreign policy. It occurs to...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 25, 2010; 1:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (61)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security  
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Harry Reid rips Sharron Angle over "domestic enemies"

Yesterday I reported here that Sharron Angle agreed with a talk show host's claim that we have "domestic enemies" within the "walls of the Senate and the Congress." Now Harry Reid is personally calling on Angle to name names. Reid,...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 25, 2010; 11:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (77)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Van Hollen: We'll use Boehner as weapon against Republicans

The chief of Dem efforts to keep the House came out swinging hard against John Boehner's speech criticizing Obama on the economy, arguing in an interview with me that Boehner had only helped Dems by confirming that a vote for...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 25, 2010; 11:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
Categories:  2010 elections , House Dems , House GOPers  
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The Morning Plum

* Ominous read of the morning: Don't miss this interesting, if ominous, overview of the political predicament Obama and Dems face. Cliff notes version: With the recovery faltering as election day approaches, Dems are simply running out of policy options...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 25, 2010; 8:31 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (90)
Categories:  2010 elections , Foreign policy and national security , House GOPers , Morning Plum  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Breaking: A new Pew poll finds a sizable majority, 62 percent, supports the right of Muslims to build mosques in local communities, even if the neighbors object. * But: A majority opposes this if the project in question is...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 24, 2010; 5:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (89)
Categories:  2010 elections  
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Sharron Angle agrees with radio host who says we have "domestic enemies" within Congress

On a radio interview conducted on the day she announced her Senate run in 2009, Sharron Angle clearly and unequivocally agreed with an interviewer who asserted flatly that there are "domestic enemies" and "homegrown enemies" in the "walls of the...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 24, 2010; 3:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (69)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Dems elevate Boehner as face of Bad Old GOP

There's a reason the White House and Dems are throwing everything they have at John Boehner's speech attacking Obama's economic policies: Dems and White House advisers know they must not allow Boehner and the GOP to achieve a clean relaunch...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 24, 2010; 1:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (91)
Categories:  2010 elections , House GOPers , economy  
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"Mosque" fight reveals Cheney-ization of GOP

Jonathan Chait makes the case that the battle over the "Ground Zero mosque" is more than just a war over issues surrounding the Constitution and religious freedom. Chait notes, crucially, that this is also an intra-party struggle over the future...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 24, 2010; 11:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (93)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security  
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Karen Hughes: I don't remember any of my work with Imam

As you may have heard, former Bush senior adviser Karen Hughes came out against Cordoba House over the weekend. Hughes called on Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf to move the project in order to "provide a path toward the peaceful relationships...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 24, 2010; 10:31 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (58)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security  
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The Morning Plum

* John Boehner's audition for Speaker: Tax cuts to help solve deficit. The GOP leader is giving a speech this morning that gives us a glimpse of how he might handle the gig of Speaker of the House. In it,...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 24, 2010; 8:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (129)
Categories:  2010 elections , Foreign policy and national security , House Dems , House GOPers , Morning Plum , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Kudos to Dick Durbin for clearly and unequivocally supporting Cordoba House, and for denouncing Sarah Palin and her merry band of demagogues for trying to "divide America with fear and hate." Also: Durbin is a member of the Senate...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 23, 2010; 5:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (52)
Categories:  2010 elections , Foreign policy and national security , Happy Hour Roundup , Immigration , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Reid ads quote Sharron Angle in her own words

Here's a fun fact about the Nevada Senate race: Every single one of Harry Reid's ads attacking Sharron Angle has been built largely on quotes generated by Angle herself. The latest: Reid just went up with a new ad pillorying...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 23, 2010; 3:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (64)
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Media Matters to run ad on Fox News touting News Corp's $1 million donation to GOP

Media Matters, which has raised the torturing of Fox News to a high art, has come up with a new one: The group is trying to run an ad touting News Corporation's widely-reported $1 million contribution to the Republican Governors...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 23, 2010; 1:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (140)
Categories:  Political media  
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Why is left so disappointed in Obama?

Politico top dog editor John Harris is leading his site with another one of his big-think conversation-driving pieces, and this one tries to explain the left's disappointment with Obama: White House press secretary Robert Gibbs's recent complaint about the ingratitude...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 23, 2010; 11:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (149)
Categories:  Health reform , Political media  
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Jeff Merkley shows Dems how it's done on "mosque"

As I've been noting here, if you argue that building a center devoted to the study of Islam near Ground Zero constitutes sacrilege towards 9/11, or that it is "provocative," you are inescapably legitimizing the premise that all of Islam...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 23, 2010; 10:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (36)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security  
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The Morning Plum

* The Imam speaks: This could give the "mosque" story new legs heading into a (very) slow news week: Feisal Abdul Rauf says he hopes Cordoba House will foster "an Islamic approach that allows for harmony and understanding among all...

By Greg Sargent  |  August 23, 2010; 8:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (58)
Categories:  2010 elections , Morning Plum , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , Tea Party , economy  
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