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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 nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples."

* Absolute must read: The Sharron Angle campaign's response to the news today that she likened Obama/Dem govenment expansion to idolatry:

Only the supreme arrogance of Senator Harry Reid would believe that he has a divine right to rule over mere mortals by ramming through Obamacare, billions in reckless spending, and yes, buying cocaine for monkeys. The fact is, Senator Reid has acted like he's all-powerful and accountable to no one. Citizens are frustrated because, like Sharron, they understand Washington has become a giant, unseen, omnipotent force whose presence is felt in all our lives whether we like it or not.

Unless I'm missing something, that sounds a bit like a reiteration of her position, right?

* A win for Senate Dems, and many thousands of other people, as Dems overcome the GOP filibuster on the $26 billion plan to avert tens of thousands of layoffs. It will pass the Senate later this week.

* And Nancy Pelosi steps up and calls Dems into session, via the Twitter: "I will be calling the House back into session early next week to save teachers' jobs and help seniors & children."

* Steve Benen really nails it on the reticence of Dems about the Ground Zero Islamic center: "Their silence make the bigots' voices seem louder, while making the Dems appear cowardly."

* The Anti-Defamation League's Abe Foxman appears to throw in the towel, sort of.

* Headline of the day, from Salon, on Chris Dodd's puzzling insistence that Dems refrain from reforming the filibuster:

Dodd begs Dems: Please don't fix the Senate!

Don't worry, Senator, they probably won't.

* Dems say Virginia attorney general Ken Cuccinelli, who's suing to overturn Obamacare, made an interesting concession today: He appeared to say that the overall law may be Constitutional -- only the individual mandate is unconstitutional in isolation.

I'm not sure about this one -- the right's target has always been the individual mandate. But Dems claim it's a concession because the individual mandate is insaparable from the overall bill -- and that this highlights the absurdity of the right's argument. Give it a watch and make up your own mind.

* Ezra Klein skewers the right's favorite new comparison: Reagan's handling of the early-'eighties recession versus Obama's handling of the massive financial meltdown he inherited.

* One other fascinating number from the internals of the new CNN birther poll: Only 42 percent of Americans are willing to say Obama was "definitely" born in the United States.

A big chunk says he "probably" was, which nonetheless captures a small level of uncertainty.

* GOP Rep. Mike Pence says Obama is the most anti-Israel president in the "modern history of the state of Israel." More anti-Israel than Jimmy Carter, Congressman?

* Jonathan Bernstein says Dems could take better advantage of the GOP base's "descent into crazy" by forcing Repubs to take more difficult votes that force them to choose between crazy and sane.

* And no end to the grievance: Allies of Sarah Palin are still trying to make Katie Couric pay for the sin of asking Vice Presidential wannabe Palin a few tough on-air questions two years ago.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  |  August 4, 2010; 5:48 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Foreign policy and national security , Happy Hour Roundup , House Dems , House GOPers , Senate Dems , economy  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Feingold nixes GOP request for hearings into 14th amendment
Next: The Morning Plum

Comments

Ms. Couric should have asked Sharron Angle to provide the questions that she should ask Simple Sarah, and that would have made all the difference.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 4, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Way to go, Sharron! Who does she think she is - Grayson? She's hilarious.

Posted by: sbj3 | August 4, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

This made me laugh out loud:

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2010/08/04/cnn-poll-quarter-doubt-president-was-born-in-u-s/

Not that they're posting about the birthers, but that they posted the birth certificate and newspaper announcement of Barack's birth (49 years ago today!)...

It's actually good that they did that.

But that they HAVE to at this point because so many Americans are deluded by the GOP? It's just so crazy that I had to laugh.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 4, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

"Unless I'm missing something, that sounds a bit like a reiteration of her position, right?"

Well it certainly isn't a refudiation.

Posted by: SDJeff | August 4, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Angle makes Harry Reid sound like the villain in a comic book. I wish he was half that tough.

Posted by: BGinCHI | August 4, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Good stuff today Greg, where to start?

Prop 8 was overturned, and the cynical part of me is celebrating the disgust, anguish and defeat of bigots and conservatives(they aren't necessarily the same here....a lot of democrats voted with the majority of republicans in favor of Prop 8).

The amazing thing about the Obama birth certificate question is that as far as I know, his birth certificate is the ONLY one and therefore most widely viewed birth certificate of any president in US history. This just goes to show that at least 58% of Americans are either stupid or, no that's it....stupid....

Well I would hope Obama is the most anti-Israel, considering almost every other president has been the personal lackey of the Israeli PM.

"asking Vice Presidential wannabe Palin a few tough on-air questions two years ago."

Yeah the ever backbreaking and controversial "where do you get your news?" question....

And I'm very happy to see Pelosi and Reid taking care of a little pro-American legislation in congress....

It's a good day.

Posted by: SDJeff | August 4, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Pelosi is the star of the show. They did well to get that bill. Lowers the deficit in 10 years and invests in education.

You know what, THAT ought to be the conservative position!

What is it they are trying to conserve, yacht racing?

Posted by: BGinCHI | August 4, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

I guess it would have been acceptable if Ms. Couric had asked Sarah;

How big are your Cojones, compared to Senator Biden's, and did you buy you cup protector at Neiman Marcus?

Posted by: Liam-still | August 4, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

This should not go unnoticed today! The START Treaty is stalled in the Senate because...wait for it....the Repubs don't think Obama is SPENDING ENOUGH MONEY.


GOP WANTS MORE GOVERNMENT SPENDING BEFORE NEW START RATIFICATION.... The Obama administration's new arms-control treaty with Russia has to be ratified. Of course, it takes 67 votes to approve a treaty in the Senate, which means finding eight Republicans mature enough to do the right thing.

To be sure, the treaty enjoys enthusiastic bipartisan support -- mostly, with the exception of Sen. Dick Lugar, from Republican elder statesmen who are no longer in government. Officials like Brent Scowcroft, George Schultz, Colin Powell, former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), Reagan Chief of Staff Howard Baker, former Sen. John Danforth (R-Mo.) have all urged the Senate to ratify New START.

Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D) recently noted that if Senate Republicans block ratification of the treaty, "American credibility on nuclear issues would evaporate," and every country that's signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty would ask itself, "If the U.S. is unwilling to live up to its commitments, why should we live up to ours?"

With that in mind, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.) has worked hard to advance New START, with bipartisan support, from his committee before the summer recess. Yesterday, he was forced to pull back -- Republicans refused to get on board, despite the urging of GOP foreign policy experts.

...


In this instance, the main GOP complaint is that the Obama administration has called for spending $80 billion over the next decade on modernizing nuclear weapons facilities, and $100 billion on strategic bombers and long-range missiles that carry nuclear warheads.

Republicans are arguing that this isn't enough, which is why they won't let the treaty advance from committee.

In other words, the most important treaty this Congress will consider is stuck because Republicans want to increase spending.


http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_08/025044.php

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 4, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

That Pence story goes hand in hand with your earlier Mosque story (I wish we would quit accepting right wing phrases like ground zero mosque or Obamacare). Its more about fear of a backlash from NeoCons AIPAC and ADL than about Dems being afraid to defend Muslims in general. See also Dem reaction to the flotilla incident. BTW did u know that Israel actually charged some military guys for their actions during their assault on Gaza in Dec of 08? im guessing most people didnt hear about it because it was one of the most under covered stories of the year.

Posted by: sgwhiteinfla | August 4, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

There's your answer BG, thanks Sue.

Teachers + Poor = HELL NO!

Nuclear Warheads = SPEND SPEND SPEND!

It's enough to make you sick.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 4, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

* Prison to parliament? Ex-Guantanamo detainee runs for office *

"They couldn't find any excuse to get rid of us (so) they just tied these allegations on (to) us to get us put in jail," Yar told a Guantanamo detainee review board in 2005. "Anybody who is not on their side would be put in jail so they can get total control of the government."

It was another two years before Yar was released from Guantanamo, and six more months in an Afghan jail before he was a free man. His father was released in 2006.

"Based on my experience, it seemed that there was a pretty high probability that they were the victims of allegations made by rivals," said Peter Ryan, the Philadelphia-based attorney for Yar, his father and more than a dozen other Guantanamo detainees. [...]

Yar returned to Afghanistan with a palpable disdain for Americans.

"When they took me to the plane and shaved my beard, I realized that Americans are the cruelest people in the world and they're very stupid," Yar said. "You destroy the life of someone whose crime is unproved and claim you are protecting human rights."

Yar called Afghan President Hamid Karzai the leader of a U.S. "puppet government," but said running for parliament was the best choice among unpalatable options.

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/08/04/98642/prison-to-parliament-ex-guantanamo.html

Incredible story, worth a read.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 4, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

McClatchy has been impressive in this decade, Ethan.

Sad to say both the WaPo and the NYT have disgraced themselves by pushing (and continuing to push) pro-war propaganda.

No insult intended to Greg S., but I grew up in D.C.

The Post is not what it was before Donald Graham.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | August 4, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Not sure why no Democrats will speak up and explain that the individual mandate, like the death panels, was a republican idea. They put that into the legislation even though they voted against it.

Sure wish Dems had a backbone...

Posted by: soapm | August 4, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

It's almost as if the Republicans have a corner on bad ideas. EPA, Wage & Price controls, Judge Souter, Reagan' amnesty, No Child Left Behind, Medicare Drug Benefit. Yikes!

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | August 4, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

The individual mandate was originally a Republican idea but it was the Dems who put it into the HCR bill. The idea is to create a pool of healthy and sick people in order to offset the cost of insurance and not allow people to wait until they are sick to purchase coverage.

The mandate would have been much more popular with voters if they had the choice of a public option along with the mandate which would have helped drive down the cost of insurance through competition. We are reaping the results of that now and there is no way to get rid of the mandate and keep rates even remotely affordable if we're going to increase the pool with those with pre-existing conditions.

Posted by: lmsinca | August 4, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget bikes, McTrolly.

http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/04/colorado-candidate-warns-of-bicycle-plot/

~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | August 4, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

And torture ... you forgot torture.

Posted by: cmccauley60 | August 4, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

thunder, I saw that earlier, he cracks me up. My daughter leaves for CO on Monday, I'm beginning to have second thoughts LOL.

Posted by: lmsinca | August 4, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Cmon ... let's help troll out with his list of bad republican ideas. At least it will show that at one time they had ideas, no matter that they were all bad.

Posted by: cmccauley60 | August 4, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Sure, cmccauley60!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilg_7JOvS2c

To hell with that Silly Olde Constitution!

Let's be fixin' it.

All them original intentalmalists are naught but a pack of Satan's imps.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | August 4, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Hey all, check this out. I was doing a bit of the Googles and ran across this regarding the judge that overturned Prop 8.

via wiki

"nomination by President George H. W. Bush to a seat on the federal district court...Walker's original nomination to the bench by Ronald Reagan in 1987 stalled in the Senate Judiciary Committee because of controversy over his representation of the United States Olympic Committee in a lawsuit that prohibited the use of the title "Gay Olympics".[4] Two dozen House Democrats, led by Rep. Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco, opposed his nomination because of his alleged "insensitivity" to gays and the poor. Years later, the San Francisco Chronicle noted the irony of this opposition due to Walker's sexual orientation."

The irony of it all eh?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | August 4, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Irony is woman's work, mike.
/wingnut
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | August 4, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

"Steve Benen really nails it on the reticence of Dems about the Ground Zero Islamic center: 'Their silence make the bigots' voices seem louder, while making the Dems appear cowardly.'"
----------------------------------------------

No, Steve. People running around shouting, "Where is the outrage?!?!?!" and demanding that everyone in sight "take a stand" on what was essentially a local issue that the city of New York seems to have already resolved quite satisfactorily thanks, amplifies the bigots' voices a by giving them the attention they desperately seek and lending oxygen to the fire they've been trying to start. I know you mean well but if the object of the exercise is really to make the bigots' voices *not* seem louder, you've picked a rather curious way of going about it.

Posted by: CalD | August 4, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Not sure Republicans invented torture. Just ask the poor woman who made up the Dodd/Kennedy "waitress sandwich".

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | August 4, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

* U.S. Uses Pakistan Disaster to Show Commitment *

The United States pledged on Wednesday a major effort to help millions hit by epic floods in Pakistan while also hoping to boost Washington's image there as the country's fragile government struggles with the crisis.

Experts said the disaster gave the Obama administration a rare chance to help reverse negative opinion of the U.S. role in the region, and also was an effort to counter extremist attempts to take advantage of the chaos caused by the floods.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Islamabad could count on U.S. help following floods that have already killed more than 1,400 people and displaced millions.

"They can look to the United States for our support," she said. "We have been working hard over the past year to build a partnership with the people of Pakistan and this is an essential element of that partnership."

U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke said Washington was also seeking to mobilize other nations to help in relief efforts.

"In the midst of so many other challenges, Pakistan now confronts another major natural disaster. The United States is responding rapidly," Holbrooke told Reuters.

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2010/08/04/world/international-us-pakistan-floods-usa.html

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 4, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Mike that is absolutely hilarious. This ruling is the gift that keeps on giving!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 4, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Meet Alcanivorax. Oil-eating bacteria.

Yum.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/05/science/earth/05microbe.html

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 4, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Not sure Republicans invented torture. Just ask the poor woman who made up the Dodd/Kennedy "waitress sandwich".

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | August 4, 2010 9:42 PM |
==========================

Torture has been around a while.

But the only people in the US defending it (not to mention advocating for more) are wingnuts.

See Wapo OpEd contributor Dick Cheney, Bush torture enthusiast and current WaPoo employee Marc Thiessen, Chuckie Krauthammer, et cetera.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | August 4, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

"Jonathan Bernstein says Dems could take better advantage of the GOP base's "descent into crazy" by forcing Repubs to take more difficult votes that force them to choose between crazy and sane."
----------------------------------------------

Didn't I read somewhere they other day that that's pretty much exactly what Dem's intend to do in September? Something about the heavy lifting being pretty well wrapped up for the year (and my god, what a year it's been for heavy lifting in congress) and taking the opportunity now to draw some contrasts.

Posted by: CalD | August 4, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

You forgot to include me as well, I'm all for torture under the right cirmcumstances. I will reserve some admiration for those against it in all instances regardless of the consequences. The second half of Goldwater: "...moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue." I would be too weak to knowingly let mass murder happen.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | August 4, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse

The number of people who do not believe that President Obama was born in the US... a couple years ago, maybe in the WashPost, I read that in one survey about 10 percent of the people surveyed did not believe that Hawaii was a state! Those people should be taken out of the survey and only the people who know that Hawaii is a state counted!

Posted by: Truth12 | August 4, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for letting us know you're just another war criminal wannabe.

Let us know how you like it when you finally realize you love the opposite of the United States of America.

Posted by: akaoddjob | August 4, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

"Our interminable war on terror sometimes seems designed to justify every bad thing libertarians have ever said about government. For example, it's uncontested that the Bush administration's "enhanced interrogation" techniques came from a training program adopted after Chinese communists tortured U.S. soldiers captured in Korea.

Morality aside, it's almost impossible to imagine a dumber basis for fighting terror than adopting communist tactics designed to elicit false confessions."

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2010/08/the-right-and-the-terror-war.html

Posted by: akaoddjob | August 4, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Today's American conservatives: criminal, incompetent, stupid (at everything except relentless delusional thinking).

Posted by: akaoddjob | August 4, 2010 11:33 PM | Report abuse

akaoddjob, "Let us know how you like it when you finally realize you love the opposite of the United States of America." I toldja I was weak. "...moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."

What is the opposite of the United States? Post Bush regime, of course.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | August 4, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

"The Prop 8 case now makes three consecutive judicial opinions holding that laws prohibiting same-sex marriages have no rational basis. Interestingly, all three were authored by judges who were nominated or appointed by Republicans. Today’s Northern District of California opinion was authored by Judge Vaughn Walker, who was nominated by Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Last month’s District of Massachusetts opinion was authored by Judge Joseph Tauro, who was nominated by Richard Nixon. The Iowa Supreme Court (unanimous) opinion was authored by Justice Mark Cady, who was appointed by Republican Governor Terry E. Branstad."

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2010/08/how-the-gop-gave-us-judicial-equality.html

Posted by: akaoddjob | August 4, 2010 11:58 PM | Report abuse

LOL!

Post Bush?

Try dictatorship. You know, fascism in the name of "liberty"......

Posted by: akaoddjob | August 5, 2010 12:00 AM | Report abuse

We had to destroy the rule of law in order to save the rule of law.

That's what the unitary executive is all about.

Posted by: akaoddjob | August 5, 2010 12:01 AM | Report abuse

akaoddjob, "Try dictatorship. You know, fascism in the name of "liberty"......"

What country is that?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | August 5, 2010 12:02 AM | Report abuse

When refuse like you and your ilk become influential it's a symptom of a sick body politic.

Posted by: akaoddjob | August 5, 2010 12:03 AM | Report abuse

oddjob,

How about trying a thought, then perhaps a reasoned concept, then...dare to dream...and attempt an argument via analysis and synthesis.

Insipid Tourettes-like-SadlyNo mimicry is also/known/as boring.

Posted by: tao9 | August 5, 2010 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Cucinelli knows that without the mandate, the health reform is unviable. The mandate is the glue that holds it together.

Posted by: rhallnj | August 5, 2010 6:43 AM | Report abuse

How about trying a thought, then perhaps a reasoned concept, then...dare to dream...and attempt an argument via analysis and synthesis.

Insipid Tourettes-like-SadlyNo mimicry is also/known/as boring.

Posted by: tao9 | August 5, 2010 12:08 AM |
============================

Did you miss the point that akaoddjob made: In case the moral argument against torture is not enough for all you 24 fans, in the real world it is an ineffective method for gathering information?

http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2009-04-20/torture-doesnt-work/

There's no excuse for willful ignorance.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | August 5, 2010 7:58 AM | Report abuse

All, Morning Roundup Posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/08/the_morning_plum_67.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 5, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

@tmwn:EPA, Wage & Price controls, Judge Souter, Reagan' amnesty, No Child Left Behind, Medicare Drug Benefit.

well all of the things you cite, except the last 2 have been categorically repudiated by todays repub party. The last two are dubious. NCLB was never funded at the levels that would allow schools to actually improve, not just be labeled failures. Medicare D was a giveaway to the drug companies and just added to the deficit. If dems had proposed it, repubs would have screamed about the deficit.

Its too bad the crazy has taken over the repubs. And BTW, everyone with any credibility in interrogation will tell you that torture doesn't work. People will say anything to make the torture stop.........

Posted by: srw3 | August 5, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

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