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Happy Hour Roundup

* Profiles in courage: Anthony Weiner finally breaks his silence on the Islamic center -- in a letter to Mayor Bloomberg. Weiner says government shouldn't block the project but doesn't take a real stand beyond that.

Weiner "honors" Bloomberg for taking a "powerful" stance, without endorsing the sentiment that made Bloomberg's position so powerful.

* Indeed, Weiner seemed to play both sides, suggesting it's legit to probe the financing of the mosque, the stance of the project's critics.

* Maggie Haberman, on Weiner's letter: "I'm not really sure what the purpose of doing this letter was, since all it does is highlight that Weiner is taking both sides, instead of taking neither."

* Last word on the Weiner mess: What happened to the feisty and gutsy liberal hero that shouted at Republicans on the House floor the other day? It's beyond sad that some evidently see it as a huge political risk to stand up for the right of Muslim New Yorkers to study their heritage somewhere on the lower half of Manhattan.

* No repeat of last August! Sam Stein reports that the White House and top Dems are deeply engaged in charting a strategy to win the summer.

* Mitch McConnell says Dems are in the same situation now that Republicans were when they had the majority and the Bush albatross was dragging them down.

* Headline of the day, from CNN: "Will Bush-bashing help Democrats win over weary voters?" Expect lots more like that...

* It's not all about her: Sarah Palin signals she'll be lending her fundraising clout to the GOP effort this fall, which is no small thing.

* Jon Ralston, who's been hounding Sharron Angle, comes through with another report on some very bizarre associations.

* Eric Kleefeld wonders whether Angle would use, or even touch, any computer hardware produced by Intel Corporation, given that it supports gay rights.

* But is Angle making under-the-radar gains? Jim Geraghty reports that Angle's campaign has quietly been sinking some surprisingly big money into ads, countering Reid's ongoing blitz.

* Justin Elliott wonders why we haven't heard a peep about the fact that Muslims have been praying inside the Pentagon since 9/11.

* And Markos Moulitsas hits one of this blog's pet points: No matter how much Dems scream about GOP obstructionism, it works politically for Republicans on several levels.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  |  August 6, 2010; 6:14 PM ET
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
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Next: ADL: If mosque-builders really wanted to promote reconcilation, they'd move

Comments

"And Markos Moulitsas hits one of this blog's pet points: No matter how much Dems scream about GOP obstructionism, it works politically for Republicans on several levels."

What Dodd is saying is there is less chance to get true and large pork fat for your district or to carve out a piece of the legislation for your special interest group if all you need is 50 votes. Getting those last few votes is when the real deal making begins...

Posted by: soapm | August 6, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

If Barry's had the most productive first 2 years since FDR, how can Republican obstructionism be a problem? Conversely, if Republican obstructionism is destroying Barry's Presidency, How can he have had the most productive first 2 years since FDR?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | August 6, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

If Barry's had the most productive first 2 years since FDR, how can Republican obstructionism be a problem? Conversely, if Republican obstructionism is destroying Barry's Presidency, How can he have had the most productive first 2 years since FDR?

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

If Barry's had the most productive first 2 years since FDR, how can Republican obstructionism be a problem? Conversely, if Republican obstructionism is destroying Barry's Presidency, How can he have had the most productive first 2 years since FDR?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | August 6, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Looks like the Black Farmers Association is going to have to wait until after the recess to get their money. Ridiculous. Dr. James Boyd has a response to the failure of the Senate. Digby has more.

Boyd: "This is partisan politics at its absolute worst. Anytime you can get seven tries at a bill and it fails seven times all for different excuses. First they told us that we had to find offsets, we found the offsets. This bill wasn't the right fit, that bill wasn't the right fit. But not one Republican has voted to secure the funds for black farmers.

We're going to be out in the month of August, Don, raising some cane in these Senatorial election where we can make a difference. It's time for this partisan politics to stop and for the Senate to start working for the American people. We've sat back and been nice about this thing long enough and we're sick and tired of being sick and tired of waiting."

Posted by: lmsinca | August 6, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Holy Cow! A threefer! Sorry!

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | August 6, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

@TrollMcWingnut : well, for example, only half the number of judicial appointments have been voted on compared to a the bush admin at this time in his reign of terror.

The same for other executive branch appointments...

I don't see any contradiction between getting historic bills passed and also having to give away lots of good stuff in those bills (that would make them far more effective), in order to muster 60 votes for every single policy initiative. Bills can be historic and still flawed because of obstructionist tactics.

There is not one "left" voice on this. Many progressives don't think that HCR for example is that big a win exactly because it was so watered down to pass. Same with finreg. Same with the stimulus, which was really too small to start with and then got the AMT added in which took stimulus money away from where it would be most effective. So it depends who you talk to. I think that mainstream dems are more on the historic accomplishments side. Progressives are more on the too much compromise side.

Its too bad that 90% of Americans couldn't pass high school civics. If they understood the rudiments of the senate rabbit hole, the republicans' relentless, venal, hypocritical, obstructionism would be obvious to them and they might, you know, be mad about how much time and effort it took to get around this obstruction.

BTW, you never answered my question: Did you refer to GWB as Georgie? You seem enamored of Barry....

Posted by: srw3 | August 6, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

This is just wrong on so many levels. Ginni Thomas discussing the prop 8 decision with Neil Cavuto. Isn't her husband going to be ultimately deciding this case? Do Supreme Court justices ever recuse themselves? Check out her last sentence.

CAVUTO: Voters are angry...There is a disconnect between judges and politicians and the will of the people...

THOMAS: It's stunning, actually. I've never seen anything like the times that we're living in. It feels almost revolutionary, I'd say. So I'm glad Congress is going home, and LibertyCentral.org has the spot light (brandishes large flashlight) out for town halls. People want to talk to them about the votes they've had and LibertyCentral.org is showing them how to do that.

CAVUTO: There's so many of these issues where either a judge or a politician overrides the will of the people or at least sentiment, you know, be it gay marriage in California, you know, the illegal immigration issue in Arizona. It's kicked to a court and a lot of these are heading to your husband's court.

From your vantage point -- nothing to say about the Supreme Court -- shouldn't they be resolved on a people level and the people themselves have kind of spoken on all of them?

THOMAS: Amen, Neil. Come to LibertyCentral.org and join us. We are all about policy and what people can do in the public square. Once it hits a legal test it is a whole different thing. I see a different line between the law and policy and I know other people in my house do too.

http://crooksandliars.com/karoli/neil-cavuto-wonders-whether-ginni-thomas-kn

Posted by: lmsinca | August 6, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

I think we need more discussion in the media about Harry Reid's religion since the liberal marching orders this week are to go after Sharron Angle for being too Christian. Maybe a reporter should ask Reid about how he feels about his church baptizing the President's dead mother.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baptism_for_the_dead#Vicarious_baptism_of_Barack_Obama.27s_mother

Posted by: Truthteller12 | August 6, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Srw3, 

I wanted to call him Bushitler McHaliburton but it was taken.  And the WaPo forbid expletives.  Also I'm to lazy to use symbols instead of letters to form expletives. Barry is about as polite an epitaph as I can muster.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | August 6, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

lmsinca, it's disgusting that Clarence Thomas' wife is so politically outspoken, but as far as I know, there's no law against the spouse of a supreme court justice engaging in this kind of behavior.

Posted by: SDJeff | August 6, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

I don't know why the democrats don't just put the public option back up for a vote. It would effect the budget, so it should be able to come up for a vote under reconciliation.

Passing this and having Obama sign it would bring possibly millions of disillusioned democrats back into the fold, and would probably bring a net gain of independents too. This was politically very popular. It's a no brainer.

The PO isn't really a big deal for me, and economists predicted it wouldn't really bring down premiums for those who chose it, but it's symbolic for so many voters and democrats are letting a golden opportunity slip away.

Posted by: SDJeff | August 6, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Truthteller...if like Sharron Angle..Harry Reid were wearing his religion on his sleeve and making us believe that the book of Mormon supersedes the Constitution. I think Mike Huckabee is a heck of a nice guy but he thinks the Bible takes precedence over the Constitution. Both of these people who would be representatives of ALL the people not just the Christians, they also represent Atheists, Agnostics, Jews, Catholics, Muslims etc. Politicians are not supposed to be like Palin and pick a group of "real" Americans to represent and eff the rest of us "fake" Americans.

Do you understand that truth(LMAO)teller.
What a wonderfully arrogant name you've selected btw...too bad you wouldn't recognize the truth if it smacked you in the face.

Stop with the false equivalency already. Has Harry Reid said our Government is God or that our Government violates the first commandment? Sharon Angle and Rand Paul and the other wingnuts are not being persecuted for heaven's sake. They are simply being asked to explain their views. The fact that most Americans do not agree with them is not the LIBERAL media persecuting them.

And please...you too Greg...stop with the freaking term Bush bashing. When they make fun of his weak intellect, call him a drunken frat boy, deride him for not defending his country when he skipped out on service by getting a cushy appointment to the Air NG and then skipped half of those assignments...I could go on with what could be perhaps construed as Bush bashing.

Pointing out the ACTUAL FREAKING STATE OF THIS NATION'S ECONOMY by the end of Bush's term is not Bush Bashing!!! It's pointing out important facts relating to choosing our leaders. When you read the history books and the historians and economists explain Herbert Hoover's and the R's connection to the Great Depression is that Hoover Bashing. Is reviewing Watergate Nixon bashing?

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 6, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

@Ethan Sorry brother ya know I luv ya but I'm afraid I have to bail on your guy Kendrick.

The latest polls show Crist with a double digit lead over Rubio who has a double digit lead over Meek (who btw trails Greene)

Something is going on in Florida. Yes I realize ALL politicians have to get elected first and so their first concern is usually their job..getting elected...not what is good for their country. Crist is not above all of that, I do not deny that...but really I like Obama and tell me Ethan that many of his decisions (HCR-Fin Regs THE FREAKING WARS)
are not also tinged by political necessity.

Crist was on Chris Matthews tonight and he made some very cogent points. Everybody including Matthews asks who Crist will caucus with and he always replies the people of Florida. I'm not sure whether he means he stay independent, we've even had rumors that Harry Reid has already approached him and of course most think he stay with the R's. Doesn't really matter does it. In fact he might be a bigger thorn to the r's in their caucus than out.

I do believe him when he says as an independent he is not free to vote his conscience and do what is what he TRULY believes to be best for Floridians...not best for the R's or the D's. In other words perhaps the party system needs some severe shaking up. Too much bad crap goes down on BOTH sides in the name of party unity.

Sorry Ethan but I'd already warned you...ANYBODY BUT THE CROOK RUBIO. I'm afraid that's going to be Crist and watching him tonight on Hardball I'm not sure that isn't a really good thing. Certainly the Tea party would have worked their magic again jumping on the bandwagon of a crook whose income QUADRUPLED while he was Speaker of the Florida House. Every special interest, developer, business oriented bill got fast tracked under Rubio and surprise surprise...he managed to get some really great consultant fees later on for those favors.

Again do the freaking math....the Florida House did not vote to quadruple their salaries while Rubio was Speaker so where do the tea brained nimrods think all that money came from...thin freaking air because Marco has charisma.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 6, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

"If Barry's had the most productive first 2 years since FDR, how can Republican obstructionism be a problem? Conversely, if Republican obstructionism is destroying Barry's Presidency, How can he have had the most productive first 2 years since FDR?"

The Republican's are obstructing the nation from enjoying the benefits of said legislation and from enjoying how much things have improved since they left power. They also force us to get Ben Nelsen which should make the bill bipartisan...

Posted by: soapm | August 6, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

No surprise that big money is coming in to help Angle. She was hardly the desired rep to go up against Reid but now that the GOP is stuck with her they are going to go big. Taking out Reid must be near the top of their list of goals this cycle for the symbolism of it (pre-2012) and because beheading the opposition is a prime strategy.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 6, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Oops horrible typo...

As an independent Crist is NOW free to vote his conscience as opposed to is NOT free.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 6, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

I sincerely hope that Crist does caucus with the Dems, especially since so many Dems/Liberals/Progressives/whatever have been on his side since before he became an Independent, but this to me seems like we shouldn't count our chickens before they hatch.

"Crist: Senate GOP Caucus 'Would Have To Do Better' For My Vote"
http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/08/crist-senate-gop-caucus-would-have-to-do-better-for-my-vote.php#more


My interpretation is that Crist will probably caucus with whoever is the party in power after the elections.

Posted by: lynell33 | August 6, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

"No surprise that big money is coming in to help Angle. She was hardly the desired rep to go up against Reid but now that the GOP is stuck with her they are going to go big. Taking out Reid must be near the top of their list of goals this cycle for the symbolism of it (pre-2012) and because beheading the opposition is a prime strategy."

But what if Harry sucks up enough campaign dollars that you lose Boxer or Murray? Or Don Giannoulias loses it in a squeeker? Based on Progressive's past assesment of Reid's tenure, it seems silly to spend any resources defending him with Durbin or Schumer in the wings. Also, based on past history, Angle would'nt vote for anything from either party, so no loss, just gain. What am I missing that makes him so valuable? Beside the special underwear?

Also, is Angle now some sort of Christian/Scientology hybrid that I'm not aware of? I know she said some nice things about a Scientology Rehab center, does that make her a convert or what? Considering her references to Christianity, it does not seem to jibe with her being a Scientologist.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | August 6, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

"My interpretation is that Crist will probably caucus with whoever is the party in power after the elections."

You may be right tynell but I'm not sure.
Yes he gets crappy assignments if he doesn't caucus...but if you saw him on Hardball tonight you'd realize how liberating it is for a man who admittedly took out of synch positions when he was still an R to match the R challenge from right wingnut crook marco rubio. Imagine for a second being a Senator...one of a hundred and you're free to vote your conscience...free from listening to morons like Mitch McConnell or Jim Demint who don't love our country but simply want to produce a "Waterloo" for Obama...the heck with the nation huh?

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 6, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

"Based on Progressive's past assesment of Reid's tenure, it seems silly to spend any resources defending him with Durbin or Schumer in the wings"

Troll, that's a good question. I think overall, it hurts more to lose a seat than to lose a potential Leader in Durbin. But Angle represents the ignorance, stupidity, and incompetence that progressives fear, similar to Palin, and she must be beaten. If she wins, the silver lining is Democrats get a new Leader.

Posted by: SDJeff | August 6, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

It will be really interesting to see how things line up after the midterms.

Even though I'm a progressive (marxist, communist, socialist, Kenyan, terrorist fist jabber) I'm ecstatic at the way the R's and their laughable trolls are claiming victory before the election is even contested. If you don't mind wingnuts we'll just wait and let the voters decide...not Fox news and that 2% of ill informed America that is their audience.

Posters on this site have repeatedly referred to the 20% who have always been on the wacko right...the tea partiers..whatever they call themselves this year...right now in two polls Charlie Crist as an I is kicking the crook Marco Rubio's behind by double digits in BOTH polls. Rubio is stuck at 30% in BOTH polls. So perhaps in Florida we have 30% of the moronic wingnuts who would vote for a crook before an I or a D.

AFTER the election we'll ALL know better won't we!

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 6, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

"I think we need more discussion in the media about Harry Reid's religion since the liberal marching orders this week are to go after Sharron Angle for being too Christian."

I don't think anyone here is accusing Angle of being too Christian. The problem is when her religious freedom infringes upon my right to believe in the separation of church and state. She's clearly a Christian Reconstructionist and is trying to bring her brand of Biblical Constitutional theory to the Senate of the United States. All this talk of 2nd amendment rights, tyranny, States rights, jurisprudence to biblical premise, etc. etc. are always popular when we have a democrat in the WH. With Bachmann, Demint et al, and Sarah Palin waiting in the wings it's in my best interest to help Harry Reid win in Nevada, whether I'm enamored with him or not.

Posted by: lmsinca | August 6, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

I call this clueless Cantor. His final ideas was to produce an environment where jobs can be created, okkkkaaaay, he's got nothin'.

"Today, Robert Barbera, chief economist of Mount Lucas Management — who seems sympathetic to extending all of the Bush tax cuts himself — asked Cantor three times what he would do to get the long-term budget deficit under control if the cuts were extended. “Excuse me, do you have any proposals about out-year cuts in entitlement expenditures?” he asked. The results were predictable:"

CANTOR: First of all, let’s just talk about these so-called tax cuts. If you look at the entrepreneurs and small and large businesses out there, nobody’s getting a tax cut. One of two things is going to happen in January. Taxes go up or they stay the same.

BARBERA: No, no, no, I agree. I want my taxes to stay the same. I agree with you. I’m just saying if the contention is that we have a large expenditure problem, can’t you attach to this, and end the debate, some cuts in out-year entitlement spending? You’re saying we need to cut spending, so let’s cut spending.

CANTOR: Absolutely, listen, we’ve got spending to cut in the short-term, and what we’ve got is a huge problem in the long-term, where we’ve got to get serious about it. You’re absolutely right.

BARBERA: We could get serious about it now. In other words, there’s nothing preventing you from saying ‘I would propose that we cut, ten years out, expenditures on Social Security by blank.’ You could do that today. You could put out a press release.

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/08/06/cantor-nothing/

Posted by: lmsinca | August 6, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Also, is Angle now some sort of Christian/Scientology hybrid that I'm not aware of? I know she said some nice things about a Scientology Rehab center, does that make her a convert or what? Considering her references to Christianity, it does not seem to jibe with her being a Scientologist.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | August 6, 2010 8:29 PM
==========================

Trolly, I'm happy to see you and your fellow voters trying to defend Sharron Angle. It is a fine demonstration of the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of today's GOBP party.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | August 7, 2010 1:00 AM | Report abuse

ifthethunderdontgetya, "It is a fine demonstration of the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of today's GOBP party."

I'll cop to the moral bankruptcy but I'll be damned if I'll let anybody declare me, or my party, intellectually bankrupt. Do you think idiots control every aspect of you and your fellow citizens (we call you slaves) lives through our corporations? Do you think Haliburton controls the executive branch of your so called Representative Republic (snicker) by following intellectually bankrupt folly? Do you think the Military Industrial Complex created itself? Sharron Angle is the linchpin to our, that's right... I said OUR, plan to thoroughly dominate this so-called freely elected government. With her... Elevation, your subjugation will be complete.

Have fun in the camps.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | August 7, 2010 1:11 AM | Report abuse

You know, I as a jew also have a problem with this mosque.

And I am a progressive democrat.

Muslims have literally thrown mud of hate, despicable hate, against jews and christians for 100s of years.

The wounds of 9-11 go deeper than many realize.

Since I am an american now living in Germany, I can call myself someone who has learned to overcome a lot of prejudices. No american jew lives in Germany for 13 years without learning to shed prejudices.

But I also know what comes out of islamic "community centers" in Germany, and the picture is not pretty.

I personally think that the idea of building a mosque or an islamic community center this close to ground zero is a terrible idea, a tactless idea, and I can understand why more than 60% of New Yorkers of ALL stripes and ideologies agree with me.

I personally am sick and tired of being told that we must always be tolerant when islam shows such blatant and inhumane intolerance 24/7.

And I would be much more willing to agree to a mosque so close to the place where over 2,700 innocents were murdered at the hands of islamic terrorists who were hailed by the VAST MAJORITY of the islamic world (make no illusions about this, it was so and is still so), when islam would at least allow churches falling into decay in Egypt to be rebuilt, when Saudi Arabia would allow visitors from outside to wear crosses or mogen davids around their necks, when the islamic media would stop depicting jews as dogs and pigs and such.

I have a great idea for you: how about a church and a synagogue in Medina and Mecca first, and then we allow a mosque next to ground zero?

Think the islamic community will bite on that one?

Fair is fair, right?
Or do you take the position that muslims don't need to be fair?

If the american muslim community was REALLY interested in healing the unbelievable amount of damage done to the american religious and ideological psyche on 9-11, there are far better ways to to it that this. But no, the islamic community pouted for 9 years and crossed its arms and said over and over - "we are being picked on, we are being discriminated against, because of a crazy few" (mind you, a "crazy few" that were hailed by over 80% of palestinians and and syrians, just for starters).

Think about it.

I am a strong supporter of Obama and his legislative agenda, but this mosque idea is imo and absolute abomination and on this one, I must agree with the right.

Posted by: bonncaruso | August 7, 2010 5:28 AM | Report abuse

ifthethunderdontgetya -- well said.

It's also interesting that taking issue with Angle for refusing to take money from corporations who support equal rights for gays is criticizing her for being "too Christian."

Do folks want a weekend open thread today?

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 7, 2010 8:08 AM | Report abuse

@Greg - As I'm still quite busy and can't contribute much, I'll let others offer up their answers to that question. But generally speaking, I don't know why you shouldn't have weekends for self and family. There's a valuable regenerative aspect to time away.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 7, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

All, new thread: Anti Defamation League now questioning motives behind Islamic center:

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

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 7, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

@Troll - Re Angle and Scientology.

You posted your comment in response to something else I'd written so I'll assume you allude to what I'd previously said on this matter. So, let's get the facts right.

1) I made no claim she was a Scientologist. what I've claimed follows and is simply factual.
2) She has advanced a Scientology originated and managed prison rehab program. These programs are NEVER managed/directed by others than active Scientologists following explicit Scientology policies and who are answerable on a daily basis to administrators in the Church hierarchy.
2) She publicly misrepresented the connections between the programs origins and its management.
3) She has adopted a standard Scientology legal response after the republication of her prior website. Not only is it their standard legal response in this situation, it is a quite unique response (which was why it seemed so odd to those not familiar with the history of Scientology's legal strategies).

Whether she's an active Scientologist or not is an irrelevancy to me (though not to the majority of the Republican christian base - which is surely why she misrepresented as I noted above). I don't care if she's a Buddhist or a Muslim or a Whirling Dervish and nor should you as it's none of our business. Unless - and it's an important caveat - the version of the faith she holds would propel her to forward policies that favor her faith or that would have negative consequences for matters of liberty. As Imsinca notes above, Reconstructionist Christianity is such a faith stance and not less so than are the versions of Muslim faith such as held by the Taliban.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 7, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Republicans in the punch bowl.

Posted by: hoser3 | August 8, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

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