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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 Emanuel said in an interview. "We stand for middle-class tax cuts; the Republicans are willing to hold that hostage on behalf of the top 2 percent."

So, again, how is it that some Congressional Dems appear inclined to blink?

* Another one: Dem Rep. Maxine Waters now faces her own ethics trial, potentially making life even tougher for Dems this fall.

* But: Waters flatly denies wrongdoing.

* If you thought the RNC had canceled a fundraiser with Andrew Breitbart over the Shirley Sherrod mess, then you were absolutely wrong. Event's still on.

* President Obama himself pushed the line today that a vote for the GOP is a vote for Bush:

"They don't have a single idea that's different from George Bush's ideas, not one. Instead, they're betting on amnesia."

* ICYMI: I reported earlier today that some Dems are worried about polling that shows the public is not inclined to believe the current GOP equals Bush.

* Taegan Goddard flags a key number from the new Gallup poll suggesting that if 2010 patterns continue, the GOP stands to make major gains.

* Marc Thiessen wants the Defense Department to use its power to "track" WikiLeaks' founder, lest he leak again. But rest assured, Thiessen is not suggesting drone strikes!

* Takedown of the day: Peter Beinart rips the Anti-Defamation League's opposition to the Islamic center near Ground Zero and gets at the larger story here. Great read.

* Uh oh: The Islamic center is expected to move forward by clearing a key procedural hurdle tomorrow.

* Liz Cheney says freedom of religion shouldn't apply to the mosque's builders.

* If Dems don't move to dump the filibuster at the start of next session, they'll have no one to blame but themselves the next time a single Senator ties them in knots.

* And Rand Paul again says what he really thinks, suggesting that the market is better at keeping workers safe than workplace safety rules are.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  |  August 2, 2010; 5:40 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Foreign policy and national security , Happy Hour Roundup , House Dems , Senate Republicans , economy  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The absurdity of the "mosque exclusion zone"
Next: The Morning Plum


"If Dems don't move to dump the filibuster at the start of next session, they'll have no one to blame but themselves the next time a single Senator ties them in knots."

I have a hard time believing they'll do the right thing on filibuster reform. Considering they went into the last congressional session with 58 seats(before Specter and Franken joined) why didn't they waive the filibuster back then? Think what we could've done with health care. The president and other democrats might still be extremely popular if not for the effing senate.

Posted by: SDJeff | August 2, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

" Liz Cheney says freedom of religion shouldn't apply to the mosque's builders."

There we go, selectively waiving the constitution again. Now it only applies when they say it applies...

Wait until they get their country back!

Posted by: soapm | August 2, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

SDJeff: "Think what we could've done with health care. The president and other democrats might still be extremely popular if not for the effing senate. "

If I'm not mistaked the Democratic Caucus had 60 votes from May of'09 to Fevruary '10. Why didn't they perfect health care then?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | August 2, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

"They’re counting on that you all forgot. They think that they can run the okey-doke on you. Bamboozle you."

Sounds more folksy than G W Bush!

Posted by: sbj3 | August 2, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Be careful what you wished for. Anything that can be passed with just 51 votes, can also be reversed with 51 votes.

Making something hard to pass, also makes it hard to be overturned, when the other party regains power.

Sooner or later they will; and you might appreciate being able to force them to come up sixty votes then, before they could reverse all the legislation that you approved of.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 2, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

"Liz Cheney says freedom of religion shouldn't apply to the mosque's builders."

Why does she hate the First Amendment?!?!?!?!?!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 2, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

From the link, Obama:

"when you get in your car, when you go forward, what do you do? You put it in ‘D.’ When you want to go back, what do you do? You put it in ‘R.’ We don't want to go into reverse back in the ditch."

That's some awesome stuff right there. Tailor-made for some great ad visuals.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 2, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

"If I'm not mistaked the Democratic Caucus had 60 votes from May of'09 to Fevruary '10. Why didn't they perfect health care then?"

Lieberman joined 40 republicans in opposing the public option which killed it on the spot. They probably could've gotten 51 votes for a Medicare buy-in.

Posted by: SDJeff | August 2, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Liz Cheney loves her some First Amendment when it applies to corporations.

Why oh why are the neocons so afraid? Why does their fear always take the form of aggression?

I'll bet you every elementary school teacher out there knows the answer.

Posted by: BGinCHI | August 2, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

"Lieberman joined 40 republicans in opposing the public option which killed it on the spot. They probably could've gotten 51 votes for a Medicare buy-in."

I thought they had 53 or 55 for a PO. Any normal congress and we'd of had real reform. With this new 60 vote rule to pass any legislation it appears the Senate is at a grid lock going forward. No matter who wins power, no one will have 60 votes...

Posted by: soapm | August 2, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Call this: The Teahadists Take a Vacation.

"Tea party" activists drawn to Williamsburg and its portrayal of Founding Fathers

WILLIAMSBURG -- The original Tea Party may have been in Boston, but some modern-day "tea party" activists are finding a powerful narrative this summer at a different historic landmark: Colonial Williamsburg.

Amid the history buffs and parents with young children wandering along the crushed shell paths of Virginia's restored colonial city, some noticeably angrier and more politically minded tourists can often be found.

They stand in the crowd listening closely as the costumed actors relive dramatic moments in the founding of our country. They clap loudly when an actor portraying Patrick Henry delivers his "Give me liberty or give me death" speech. They cheer and hoot when Gen. George Washington surveys the troops behind the original 18th-century courthouse. And they shout out about the tyranny of our current government during scenes depicting the nation's struggle for freedom from Britain.

"General, when is it appropriate to resort to arms to fight for our liberty?" asked a tourist on a recent weekday during "A Conversation with George Washington," a hugely popular dialogue between actor and audience in the shaded backyard of Charlton's Coffeehouse.

Standing on a simple wooden stage before a crowd of about 100, the man portraying Washington replied: "Only when all peaceful remedies have been exhausted. Or if we are forced to do so in our own self-defense."


Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 2, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Hey Rand, tell it to the workers in China. But, I guess they don't count, eh?

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | August 2, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

From the Rand Paul link:

"You'd try to make good rules to protect your people here. If you don't, I'm thinking that no one will apply for those jobs."

Said just like a spoiled, child of privilege who has obviously never faced the day to day struggle of supporting a family.

That quote ticks me off so much, I'm practically seething. Does he really think that people faced with the options of taking a dangerous job or not being able to feed their families will opt for the former? Does he truly believe that most of these people have a myriad of other options to choose from?

I lost a cousin in a coal mining accident in the early '70s and both my grandfather and my uncle worked in the mines. They did these jobs because that was just about the only work that was available to them - and they certainly didn't have the luxury of making some sort of complicated risk/benefit analysis before they accepted the job. If Paul believes that most Americans have the freedom to turn down steady work because it might be "dangerous", then it shows how truly out of touch he really is.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | August 2, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

The Teahadists take a vacation, scene II

Sometimes, the activists appear surprised when the Founding Fathers don't always provide the "give 'em hell" response they seem to be looking for.

When a tourist asked George Washington a question about what should be done to those colonists who remain loyal to the tyrannical British king, Washington interjected: "I hope that we're all loyal, sir" -- a reminder that Washington, far from being an early agitator against the throne, was among those who sought to avoid revolution until the very end.

When another audience member asked the general to reflect on the role of prayer and religion in politics, he said: "Prayers, sir, are a man's private concern. They are not a matter of public interest. And nor should they be. There is nothing so personal as a man's relationship with his creator."

And when another asked whether the Boston Tea Party had helped rally the patriots, Washington disagreed with force: The tea party "should never have occurred," he said. "It's hurt our cause, sir."

That may not have been the answer the man expected from the father of our country. But even in that spirited crowd, no one was going to tell George Washington he was wrong.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 2, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Greg, the Rand Paul quote is MUCH worse than your tease makes it sound.

"The bottom line is I'm not an expert, so don't give me the power in Washington to be making rules. You live here, and you have to work in the mines. You'd try to make good rules to protect your people here. If you don't, I'm thinking that no one will apply for those jobs. I know that doesn't sound..." Here he stumbles, trying to parse his words properly but only presaging his campaign misstep. "I want to be compassionate," he concludes, "and I'm sorry for what happened, but I wonder: Was it just an accident?"

Unbelievable. So, "give the local people the right to make the rules"? Who? The mine owners, of course.

For the workers, they can just "not apply for those jobs" if they're unsafe. Right Rand, they can just go and find whatever other jobs are out there in your fantasyland.

Rand Paul has never suffered a day in his life nor walked in anyone's shoes who was unlucky enough not to be born a doctor's/politician's son.

Posted by: BGinCHI | August 2, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

"If I'm not mistaked the Democratic Caucus had 60 votes from May of'09 to Fevruary '10. Why didn't they perfect health care then?"

wingnut are you deliberately misstating reality? Joe LIEberman may have caucused with the Dems but he was hardly a vote they could count on. He supported the freaking REPUBLICAN candidate for Prez...he flipped 180 degrees on his position for the early 55-65 buyin to Medicare. See wingnut that's rightie try to lump a traitorous liar like LIEbermann in with the Dems even though he couldn't win his own Dem primary adn the Dem Party did not support him!!!

So, by denying religious rights to Abdul Rauf simply because she disagrees him, isn’t Cheney espousing one of the central tenants of the religious extremism she claims to abhor?

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 2, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm, a vote for the GOP is a vote for Bush policies. Yeah right, and it just might be a vote against Obama policies.

Our Dear Leader was in Atlanta today. (I live nearby.) Roy Barnes, Dem candidate for governor of Georgia made dang sure he was nowhere near Obama who has a less than 40 percent approval rating in the state. No guilt by association for Barnes.

Posted by: actuator | August 2, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Georgia hated Lincoln too(I just bring him up since he's the only thing the Republican Party can ever be proud of and they always remind us he was a republican).

The South isn't really known for electing great political leaders.

Posted by: SDJeff | August 2, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

I find it amazing that you would use Lincoln, a president who led the fight in the worst war this nation has endured, with Obama.

You are correct, after all Georgia did elect someone to governor and voted for that guy for president who will still be ranked below George W. Bush (I'm no fan BTW) in history, Jimmy Carter.

To quote a poster on a science blog I visit:

Jim Barker says:

"It seems as the political thought content increases, the critical thought content approaches zero."

As someone said he should name this Barker's Law. So Barker's Law applies to your comment.

Posted by: actuator | August 2, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

First off actuator, I have to say I've kind of missed you, lately there've been a few trollers who've out-trolled you, and I mean that in a nice way. I always appreciate honest debate.

I'm curious what science blog you visit, considering what an anti-science stance your party has taken. It's a like a democrat who talks about guns. You know there are plenty of them but they kind of go against the stereotype.

Anyway, fine, point taken, it wasn't one of my better posts and I knew it at the time. I just thought I'd throw Lincoln at you but I had a feeling you'd come back with Carter.

The point is that southerners have never taken too well to northerners who represent change. It's rarely mattered the other way around. Northern states have voted for Bush, Clinton, Carter, Johnson and plenty of other southerners. Obama won more electoral votes than any northern democrat since FDR.

I see major parallels between Obama and Lincoln, besides the obvious Illinois connection. They represent major change, and the other party doesn't like it. Both times the largest opposition has been in the south, and these Tea Partiers remind me much more of southern rebels than the Patriot rebels they pretend to emulate. Back then the opposition was so opposed, they actually seceded from the Union, causing that disastrous war you mentioned. Today they just talk about "2nd Amendment solutions" which is still scary.

Ok that was another tangential post having very little to do with Roy Barnes, but I just felt like saying it anyway.

Posted by: SDJeff | August 2, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Someone asked today why worry about the Republicans call for an extension of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans when Obama has said they have no interest in extending them. The reason is that soooo many Republicans are lying once again to the American people and calling it a $3.8 trillion tax hike. Here's a list of the lies spreading around the issue and an explanation of each one at the link. We need to be armed with the facts if we want to argue against their deception. Another reason we need to be concerned with this issue is because I read a comment by a respected progressive blogger who thinks Dems will extend even the tax cuts for the wealthiest for a couple of years.

"Sadly, Stockman and Greenspan are just about the only voices in the Republican Party speaking the truth about the fiscal devastation wrought by the expiring Bush tax cuts. After all, the national debt tripled under Ronald Reagan, only to double again during the tenure of George W. Bush. And as it turns out, the Bush tax cut windfall for the wealthy accounted for almost half the budget deficits during his presidency and, if made permanent, would contribute more to the U.S. budget deficit than the Obama stimulus, the TARP program, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and revenue lost to the recession - combined. Of course, you'd never know it listening to the leaders of GOP."

And that's just the beginning. Here, then, are 10 Republican Lies about the Bush tax cuts:

* Lie #1: Democrats Plan Across the Board Tax Hikes on January 1st
* Lie #2: Democrats Want a $3.8 Trillion Tax Increase
* Lie #3: Tax Cuts Pay for Themselves
* Lie #4: The Bush Tax Cuts Didn't Add to the Deficit
* Lie #5: Expiring High Income Tax Cuts Will Hurt Small Business
* Lie #6: The Estate Tax Devastates Small Businesses and Family Farms
* Lie #7: The Bush Tax Cuts Helped All Americans
* Lie #8. Extending Bush Tax Cuts for the Wealthy is the Best Way to Stimulate the Economy
* Lie #9. Bush Tax Cuts Produced 52 Straight Months of Job Growth
* Lie #10: The Rich Pay Too Much in Taxes Already

Posted by: lmsinca | August 2, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse


Indeed, Linclon was a change agent. His templates, however, for the execution of his inimitable vision were the Declaration (the origin for the concept of "united States"...lower-case u, thank you very much) and the Constitution. Lincoln did not add new rights, he enforced, in his view, established rights (some even call them "natural") that had been deprived via custom, policy and legislation.

Mr. Obama is the penultimate, and that's saying alot, accumulator of rights unfound anywhere in the documents.

The Federal District judge, not for nothin', today found standing for Virginia, and found merit in the state's argument that the individual mandate is 1) unprecedented, and 2) outside the reach of the Commerce Clause.

The people in general, and TeaParty people in particular, get this intrisically w/out a whole lot of prompting. They are more astute about these core principles, by several orders of magnitude, than all the BerwickOrszagGoolsbee Pie that surrounds the President.

Posted by: tao9 | August 2, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse

For anyone unsure of why it is so important that Obama choose Elizabeth Warren to head the CFPB please read her full speech at Netroots.

"But it also means something else to stand on behalf of families. When powerful people get together in our government, and they start to divide up where things are going to go, when they start to make decisions about who is going to be helped and who is not going to be helped, there needs to be at least one person in the room who asks the question, "How will this affect America's families?" Not just how will it affect America's banks, not just how will it affect America's businesses, but how will it affect America's families. One of the things this bureau can do is be there on behalf of American families."

Posted by: lmsinca | August 2, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

SD, I visit wattsupwiththat, discovery & others. The two I mentioned were actually recommended in the NYT. I am not a Republican and I believe that unbiased, proven science uninfluenced by politics is of high import to how we humans get along in this world. My readings of scientific books and articles have led me to become a true atheist, however, knowing that most people are influenced from childhood to believe in deities, I'm not going to be nasty to believers.

Question: Why is it that being a fiscal conservative, who does not want government control of almost every aspect of human life and therefore, based on the legislation sought by and the executive decisions made by this administration, believes that the left is overreaching, must be a "troll", as many of you so often put it?

Posted by: actuator | August 3, 2010 12:07 AM | Report abuse

You know what a troll is....someone who's being a dick and refuses to discuss facts, usually on an opposing political website.

"Why is it that being a fiscal conservative, who does not want government control of almost every aspect of human life"

You say almost every aspect, but an exaggeration, don't you think? Isn't it more like there are a few major overreaches by the government into your life?

Would you agree that it's necessary for the government to have a certain level of control over the greed that has bankrupted our economy? Or over the health insurance industry when they refuse coverage to sick children? Is that really so tyrannical?

Posted by: SDJeff | August 3, 2010 2:53 AM | Report abuse

SD, I visit wattsupwiththat, discovery & others. The two I mentioned were actually recommended in the NYT.

Yet, as time goes by, they are increasingly discredited...NYT recommend or no.

"I say the same thing we said back in January and February when we had the coldest winter in a long time," said Inhofe, from a shady spot in front of the Capitol Building. ... "We're in a cycle now that all the scientists agree is going into a cooling period," he said.


Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | August 3, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse

All, morning roundup posted:

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 3, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Greg - Thanks for the Beinart link. His piece there, like his recent NYRB piece on the failures of the American Jewish establishment, shows up the profound differences between the younger generation of Jewish political thinkers/writers (Beinart, Alterman, Yglesias, Marshall, etc - it's a long list) and the older generation of the Kristols, the Podhoretz crowd, Foxman, etc.

The difference are not merely in the realm of political ideas but, perhaps more importantly, in the realm of polemic or rhetorical styles used. The younger generation are dedicated to getting their facts right and voicing conclusions/opinions that include those facts and follow from those facts.

But that's not the way of it for the older generation for whom the unyielding defense of Israeli policies and actions has become the paramount aim in all they do - facts, prior moral standards, and founding documents (as in Beinart's quote from the ADL's founding aims) are now of little consequence for this older generation.

If anyone thinks I've overstated this case, you only need to review the rhetorical styles of Beinart in Greg's link above to Kristol in the Liz Cheney link, also above.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 3, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

"They think that they can run the okey-doke on you."
What did he mean to say? Was he trying to say, "do the rope-a-dope"? But even that wouldn't have made much sense. When the President talks about getting "all wee-weed up" and about "run(ning) the okey-doke on you," it sounds like he's trying a little too hard to sound like the average Joe. It doesn't work.

Posted by: dcsuburb | August 3, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

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