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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 the "Charlie Brown theory of government," a reference, of course, to Lucy and the football.

* Paul Kane reports that Mitch McConnell stanunchly defended the filibuster today because it enabled him to practically grind the Senate to a halt to block Obama's agenda, and vowed more of the same.

* Here's some video of McConnell saying that if Obama wants compromise, he needs to move to the "center right."

* Steve Benen translates McConnell's idea of compromise: "I'm willing to compromise with you, unless it means you getting some of what you want, in which case, forget it."

* But: McConnell says there are some potential areas of common ground. For instance: Deficit reduction.

* A small problem for Illinois Dem Senate candiate Alexi Giannoulias? The NRSC is circulating video of Dem Rep. Bobby Rush of Chicago telling local news he's "not sold" on Giannoulias as of yet.

* Takedown of the day: Ezra Klein versus Chris Dodd over the latter's puzzling opposition to filibuster reform.

* Matt Yglesias keeps hitting the crucial point that the current level of filibustering is a recent development, and filibuster reform would be restoring what once was closer to the norm.

* Bold pronouncement of the day: William Saletan says Newt Gingrich's anti-mosque campaign has allied him with Osama Bin Laden.

* John Boehner says the Dem ethics travails may not have a big impact on the midterms.

* Brian Beutler gets inside the murky workings of the White House deficit commission and finds that GOP opposition to tax increases is making entitlement cuts more likely.

* Daily Kos is back in the polling game after hiring the Dem firm Public Policy Polling, which will be of interest to insiders, since Daily Kos has a history of surveying under-polled races and conversation-driving topics.

* And Palin Nation is an irony-free zone: Sarah Palin claims, wait for it, that we're in our current fix because Obama wasn't thoroughly vetted before the election.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  |  August 5, 2010; 6:25 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Foreign policy and national security , Happy Hour Roundup , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , Supreme Court , economy  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: A question for David Broder: Who's to blame?
Next: The Morning Plum

Comments

Careful of Bobby Rush. He may mean "literally" sold, as in, where's my cut?

Not my favorite member of Congress....

Having said that, I'd expect Giannoulias to kick things into gear pretty soon. He's been completely off the radar in media markets so far. He really needs to do well downstate, so again, Rush won't be a huge indicator of that anyway.

Posted by: BGinCHI | August 5, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone listen to Bobby Rush? Really?

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 5, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Greg, Supposedly Christina Romer is leaving the WH due to skirmishes with Larry Summers. If true, this could be a big story. My hunch is it's partially true but her prediction of 8% unemployment is still the bigger issue.

http://hotlineoncall.nationaljournal.com/archives/2010/08/romer_to_leave.php

Posted by: calchala | August 5, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

"While former half-term governor Palin is certainly an expert in not being vetted, we put our trust in the judgment of the American people who rejected not only the broken policies she and Republicans continue to call for, but also this very kind of childish politics she continues to engage in," DNC national press secretary Hari Sevugan said. "What's been fully vetted and thoroughly rejected by the American people is the failed approach in tone and substance offered by Sarah Palin and her ilk."

:o)

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 5, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

"William Saletan says Newt Gingrich's anti-mosque campaign has allied him with Osama Bin Laden."

Of course. Like I said a day or two ago, the wingnuts have been unintentionally aiding Al Qaeda since 9/12.

Posted by: akaoddjob | August 5, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

"Sarah Palin claims, wait for it, that we're in our current fix because Obama wasn't thoroughly vetted before the election."

Headdesk............

Posted by: akaoddjob | August 5, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

McConnell expects to see a lot more of Obama. Either he expects to be Majority leader or they still plan to filibuster the living day lights out of every piece of legislation even if the Senate is more balanced.

What to expect, if the GOP takes over the Senate the nation will be reminded how 50 votes is normal for most legislation and the only reason the Republican did what they did was to save the nation from Obama's radical socialist agenda. Who cares if we voted for that agenda and some of us feel their agenda is worse.

If the Democrats keep majority the nation will continue to believe 60 votes is normally what you need.

Posted by: soapm | August 5, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

"A small problem for Illinois Dem Senate candiate Alexi Giannoulias? The NRSC is circulating video of Dem Rep. Bobby Rush of Chicago telling local news he's "not sold" on Giannoulias as of yet."

For some Illinois independents and republicans who can't stomach voting for a liar like Kirk, this could be exactly the kind of *non-endorsement* that they're looking for. Wonder if Alexi actually told him to hold of for a while, at least until they need to do some serious gotv in chicago AA neighborhoods?

Posted by: converse | August 5, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

@suezoo

A lot of voters in Chicago, that Giannoulias needs in order to win, listen to Rush.

Posted by: converse | August 5, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

"A lot of voters in Chicago, that Giannoulias needs in order to win, listen to Rush."

Fortunately not everyone who listens to rush believes everything he says. That goes for Beck and Hannity also. If that were so, Obama wouldn't be POTUS.

Posted by: soapm | August 5, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Harry Reid decries GOP tactics as the "Charlie Brown theory of government," a reference, of course, to Lucy and the football.
===============================

Which makes Reid the dolt who gets fooled over and over again.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | August 5, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

soapm: "Fortunately not everyone who listens to rush believes everything he says. That goes for Beck and Hannity also. If that were so, Obama wouldn't be POTUS."

Can you say, "DUH!"? The story was about BOBBY RUSH, you know, democratic US congressman from Chicago.

Posted by: converse | August 5, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, but this just made me giggle after a long day:

"WASHINGTON—Unable to find a single Republican senator willing to break ranks and support the measure, Senate Democrats failed Thursday to stop the filibuster of S. 6253, a one-page resolution recognizing the 50th anniversary of Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird. "We almost had Scott Brown (R-MA) on board, but he balked when members of his party insisted the book only be commended if its court-room scenes were shortened a bit and the setting changed to Nebraska,"....."

http://www.theonion.com/articles/senate-unable-to-get-enough-republican-votes-to-ho,17848/

Posted by: schrodingerscat | August 5, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

converse: "A lot of voters in Chicago, that Giannoulias needs in order to win, listen to Rush."

Okay, I will accept that you know way more than I do about this. What would motivate Bobby Rush to say what he said? Is this just a way to step on Obama's fundraiser today for Alexi? (I know the relationship between Rush and Obama has been uncomfortable for years....)

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 5, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

converse, your Bobby Rush point is right, but I don't think he's all that critical unless he comes right out and says DON'T vote for this guy. The worst that might happen is that the gotv is poor.

Again, Alexi needs to do well downstate, as Obama did. He'll do fine in Chi; nobody likes idiot Kirk anyway. Except the moneybags north shore and GOPs who don't know any better.

Posted by: BGinCHI | August 5, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Wow, here's some video of one of those racist Tea Party guys:

http://www.sodahead.com/united-states/heres-a-real-man-speaking-without-a-teleprompter-video/blog-393325/

Posted by: actuator | August 5, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Mitch McConnell will no doubt go down as the biggest failure as Minority leader and most pathetic coward for not standing up to the radical fringe of the Republican party and at least try to worth with Democrats in a meaningful way.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | August 5, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

J.P. Green over at TDS discusses Jonathan Chait's evaluation of the individual mandate and Paul Starr's idea for tempering some of the assault or maybe faux assault coming from the right. I think it's a pretty good idea.

"Chait says the assault on the individual mandate of the health care reform act is the thread which conservatives hope can be tugged to "unravel the whole structure of health care reform" and he designates it "the Leninist plan to collapse the system." But Chait also explains that conservatives and insurers don't really want to pull the plug on the individual mandate, which is the financial foundation of the act, and leave everything else in place, in which case the reform law would morph into a single payer system.

Chait also suggests that reform supporters consider an interesting proposal in a New York Times op-ed by Paul Starr, author of The Social Transformation of American Medicine. As Starr Explains, quoted by Chait:

...Let individuals opt out of the new insurance system, without a penalty, by signing a form on their tax return acknowledging that they would then be ineligible for federal health insurance subsidies for a fixed period -- say, five years.

During that time, if they had second thoughts and decided to buy health insurance, they would have no guarantee that they could find a policy or that it would cover pre-existing conditions. In other words, they would face a market much like the one that exists now. And while that's hardly a desirable position to be in, they would have made the decision themselves, and the option to step outside the system would relieve Republican concerns about government mandates.

As Chait concludes, "Democrats should work on implementing Starr's idea. It's better than having endless political fights over the single least popular aspect of the Affordable Care Act." Looking at an even bigger picture, it's a great example of the type of thoughtful modification of a progressive reform that does no damage, but minimizes public resistance. Dems need more of this kind of thinking."

Posted by: lmsinca | August 5, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

"* Matt Yglesias keeps hitting the crucial point that the current level of filibustering is a recent development, and filibuster reform would be restoring what once was closer to the norm."

Keep it at 60 votes but make them actually filibuster, for days on end, with the major networks, CNN and MSNBC (and Fox News if it's the democrats in the minority) covering it all day every day, exposing the minority for obstructing until public support proves too much for them to continue.

UNLESS it's really worthy of a filibuster, in which case the public will be made aware of what's going on, allowing them to call and pressure members of the majority into dropping or voting against the legislation.

Posted by: SDJeff | August 5, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

I missed this yesterday. When they voted on the bill yesterday to extend aid to states. Dems allowed a vote on an amendment by DeMint. Guess who voted to permanently extend the Bush tax cuts, our two favorite Dems. Too bad Bill decided to meddle in Arkansas politics.

"Ben Nelson provided further evidence that he is a deficit peacock — someone who claims to be concerned about the deficit but isn’t actually interested in taking serious steps toward a balanced budget. Before the final vote on the states’ aid bill that passed today, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) offered two amendments that would, in effect, permanently extend the Bush tax cuts. David Dayen has the results:

Before passing the state fiscal aid bill, Democrats actually gave Jim DeMint two votes on tax rates. He wanted to add massively to the deficit – literally trillions of dollars – by freezing in place the tax rates on individuals and “small businesses” that we have now, and which make us one of the most lightly-taxed industrialized nations on the planet. And look at this: Democrats rejected the measure entirely. On both votes, only Ben Nelson [and Sen. Blanche Lincoln (AR)] crossed the aisle to vote with all Republicans [except deficit hawk George Voinovich (OH)]

Nelson and Lincoln (who also claims to be concerned about deficits) apparently don’t mind spending $3.1 trillion over the next ten years to pursue ineffective tax cuts for the wealthy. Perhaps they should have listened to their colleague, Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), who said of DeMint’s proposal, “that’s not serious. Is that a stunt? Yes, it’s a stunt. Is it a gimmick? Yes, it’s a gimmick. Is it serious? No, it’s not serious.”

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/08/05/nelson-lincoln-bush/

Posted by: lmsinca | August 5, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

See this DIGG burying operation going on by right wing nut jobs?

http://blogs.alternet.org/oleoleolson/2010/08/05/massive-censorship-of-digg-uncovered/

Fascists, all of em.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | August 5, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

That was really fascinating mike. It makes them all look like a bunch of cowards too.

Posted by: lmsinca | August 5, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Cyberwars

Posted by: mikefromArlington | August 5, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Gotta love Mitch, "we have areas of common ground like for instance deficit reduction". So lets extend the Bush tax cuts for the rich and by the way, they don't have to be paid for...

What a hypocrite...

Posted by: soapm | August 5, 2010 11:09 PM | Report abuse

lmsinca, interesting, I hadn't heard that. Who woulda thought Baucus had so much common sense?

Posted by: SDJeff | August 5, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Nelson and Lincoln
====================

Right wing pukes, and part of the DLC Corporatist base.

There's no change like no change!
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | August 5, 2010 11:29 PM | Report abuse

yes it is very true that major brands always give out free samples on health products check out http://bit.ly/bf1xD8 tell your friends also

Posted by: sharonjo6 | August 6, 2010 3:03 AM | Report abuse

Can you Digg it?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2010/aug/06/digg-investigates-claims-conservative-censorship
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | August 6, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

All, morning roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/08/the_morning_plum_68.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 6, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

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