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The Plum Line: September 12, 2010 - September 18, 2010

Open Thread

Only 46 days until senators-elect Sharron Angle and Christine O'Donnell and Speaker-to-be John Boehner give victory speeches detailing their plans to restore our glorious center-right country from our nightmarish two-year lapse into socialism. What else is happening?...

By Greg Sargent  | September 18, 2010; 8:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (247)
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* She may be "the one"! Sarah Palin tells Fox News she could run for president if the American people decide she's "the one." * Maybe I'm just fried, but for some reason this brings to mind that McCain/Palin 2008...

By Greg Sargent  | September 17, 2010; 5:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (185)
Categories:  2010 elections, Happy Hour Roundup, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, Tea Party  
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Does Christine O'Donnell think homosexuality is an identity disorder?

This passage from a 2006 profile of Christine O'Donnell in Delaware's Wilmington News Journal may not be conclusive, but it certainly cries out for further exploration: She considers homosexuality an identity disorder and sees pornography and the lust it engenders...

By Greg Sargent  | September 17, 2010; 2:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (84)
Categories:  2010 elections, Senate Republicans, gay rights  
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Dear Dems: Do NOT take GOP deal on tax cuts

This morning, NRSC chair John Cornyn signaled that he is open to a "compromise" under which all the Bush tax cuts would be extended "temporarily." Other GOP Senators seem to be signaling support for this deal, too. Here's why Dems...

By Greg Sargent  | September 17, 2010; 1:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (81)
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, economy  
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When Dems take the low road

It isn't every day that Democrats target Latino challengers with nasty anti-immigrant ads, but these are apparently desperate times for certain embattled Dems. Check out this remarkably vicious new ad from Blue Dog Dem Walt Minnick of Idaho, claiming that...

By Greg Sargent  | September 17, 2010; 11:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (60)
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, House GOPers  
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Dems' next target: Toomey's year in Hong Kong

For some time now, Democrats have been demanding to know what Pat Toomey, the GOP Senate candidate in Pennsylvania, did during his year spent in Hong Kong in 1991 working for a financial advisory firm. Dems have been seeking detail...

By Greg Sargent  | September 17, 2010; 10:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  2010 elections, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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The Morning Plum

* Elizabeth Warren speaks: Elizabeth Warren speaks out about her appointment as special adviser to the President and Treasury, tasked with setting up the new consumer financial protection agency. Though Warren doesn't directly address the swirling questions about how much...

By Greg Sargent  | September 17, 2010; 8:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (103)
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, House GOPers, Morning Plum, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, Tea Party  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Points for honesty: Tea Party Senator Jim DeMint says in a new interview that his goal in the Senate is nothing short of "complete gridlock." Finally, something DeMint and Mitch McConnell can agree on! * The other day I...

By Greg Sargent  | September 16, 2010; 5:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (115)
Categories:  2010 elections, Happy Hour Roundup, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, Tea Party, economy  
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The Nevada dogfight: Reid blasts Angle as "crazy"

This new ad from Harry Reid, hitting back at an earlier spot from Sharron Angle blasting him over immigration, is the clearest indication yet of what a brutal dogfight the Nevada Senate race has become: Reid's ad is a response...

By Greg Sargent  | September 16, 2010; 3:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (55)
Categories:  2010 elections, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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Cornyn: GOP's stance on social issues alienating independents

A striking admission from NRSC chair John Cornyn, buried in today's New York Times article about the GOP and the Tea party: Mr. Cornyn, who has been on the receiving end of anti-establishment anger, argued that the Tea Party had...

By Greg Sargent  | September 16, 2010; 1:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
Categories:  2010 elections, Senate Republicans, Tea Party  
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Top pollster to Dems: Hold a vote on middle class tax cuts!

If House Dems hold a highly-charged vote on whether to extend the middle class tax cuts, it will go a long way towards exciting the lackluster Democratic base, by proving to rank and file Dems that the party is willing...

By Greg Sargent  | September 16, 2010; 11:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (42)
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, House GOPers  
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Is the Dems' Bush strategy finally gaining traction?

Okay, so we now have two national polls suggesting that the Dem strategy of tying the GOP to Bush may finally be gaining some traction. For Dems, it's not a moment too soon. As I've noted here before, polls have...

By Greg Sargent  | September 16, 2010; 10:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (47)
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, economy  
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The Morning Plum

* A silver lining for Dems amid some extremely dark clouds? The new New York Times poll highlights the Dem conundrum: There's widespread disapproval of Obama's performance on the economy (51 percent) and a widespread desire to "throw the bums...

By Greg Sargent  | September 16, 2010; 8:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (57)
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, House GOPers, Morning Plum, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, Tea Party  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Meet Chris Coons, who has suddenly vaulted from forgotten candidate to instant Senatorial front-runner. * Charlie Cook shifts Delaware from an "easy pickup for the GOP" to "Likely Democratic." * But: Jonathan Capehart warns Dems against getting too smug...

By Greg Sargent  | September 15, 2010; 5:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (115)
Categories:  2010 elections, Happy Hour Roundup, House Dems, Political media, Tea Party  
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White House pounds Mitch McConnell as deficit fraud

Dems think the war over the Bush tax cuts is a political winner for them because it lets them paint Republicans as stooges of the rich, but there's another reason they like this fight: It gives them a weapon to...

By Greg Sargent  | September 15, 2010; 3:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (82)
Categories:  2010 elections, Senate Republicans, economy  
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A Blue Dog Dem explains why he doesn't want vote on middle class tax cuts

Okay, I just got off the phone with leading Blue Dog Dem Jim Matheson of Utah, and he explained to me why he opposes the idea of House Dems holding a vote on extending tax cuts for just the middle...

By Greg Sargent  | September 15, 2010; 1:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (68)
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, House GOPers, economy  
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Internal poll: Kentucky Senate race a dead heat

Is the Kentucky Senate race much closer than everyone thinks? An internal poll by respected pollster Benenson Strategy Group that was conducted for Dem Jack Conway's campaign and sent my way finds the race is a statistical tie, with Rand...

By Greg Sargent  | September 15, 2010; 12:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (66)
Categories:  2010 elections, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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O'Donnell's victory signals new direction in Tea Party-GOP relations

I'm the first to admit that I'm far from an expert on the Tea Party. But I wanted to take a stab at making a couple quick points about Christine O'Donnell's victory last night. First, it's the clearest sign yet...

By Greg Sargent  | September 15, 2010; 10:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (129)
Categories:  2010 elections, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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The Morning Plum

* Christine O'Donnell to GOP establishment: Screw you: Whoa. In a clear sign of the GOP intra-party war to come after Tea Party-backed Christine O'Donnell's shocking victory in the Delaware Senate primary, O'Donnell gave a stunning interview a few moments...

By Greg Sargent  | September 15, 2010; 8:19 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (89)
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, House GOPers, Morning Plum, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, Tea Party  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* What to watch tonight: House Dems are holding their caucus meeting, where they'll begin deciding whether to put Republicans on the spot by holding a vote on whether to extend the tax cuts for the middle class. News will...

By Greg Sargent  | September 14, 2010; 6:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (209)
Categories:  2010 elections, Happy Hour Roundup, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, economy  
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Sharron Angle's Nevada and Beltway handlers at odds?

It's already been observed a thousand times that the Tea Party-backed candidates who have won GOP primaries are proving very unpredictable and hard to control for the GOP establishment. With Beltway Republicans on edge about the possibility of Tea Partyer...

By Greg Sargent  | September 14, 2010; 4:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
Categories:  2010 elections, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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Van Hollen: Vote on middle class tax cuts would be good for Dems

The chairman of Dem efforts to hold the House says a highly-charged vote on whether to extend the middle class tax cuts would provide a lift to Dem candidates in the midterm elections, drawing a sharp contrast between Dems as...

By Greg Sargent  | September 14, 2010; 2:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (89)
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, House GOPers, economy  
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Fox relents: Will run ad tonight about News Corp $1 million donation against Dems

It took a few weeks, but Media Matters has finally succeeded in getting Fox News to run its ad about the $1 million donation its parent company News Corporation gave to the Republican Governors Association. Fox has informed Media Matters...

By Greg Sargent  | September 14, 2010; 12:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (84)
Categories:  Political media  
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Sixth national poll shows majority support for ending tax cuts for rich

The other day I noted that five national polls revealed solid majority support for ending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. We now have a sixth poll: The National Journal Congressional Connection Poll, conducted with the Pew Research Center,...

By Greg Sargent  | September 14, 2010; 11:19 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (85)
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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The Morning Plum

* Tense, high-stakes brinkmanship: House Democrats are still debating internally over whether to put Republicans on the spot by calling a vote on Obama's proposal to extend the tax cuts for just the middle class, and with Dems set to...

By Greg Sargent  | September 14, 2010; 8:24 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (61)
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, House GOPers, Morning Plum, Senate Dems  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Can this be? A House leadership aide tells Christina Bellantoni that House Dems may not put John Boehner on the spot by staging a vote on whether to extend tax cuts just for the middle class, which Boehner suggested...

By Greg Sargent  | September 13, 2010; 6:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (162)
Categories:  2010 elections, Happy Hour Roundup, House Dems, House GOPers, Political media, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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Cantor, Ryan distance themselves from Boehner on middle class tax cuts

John Boehner's suggestion that he might support an extension of the tax cuts only for folks who make less than $250,000 -- something Dems have jumped all over today -- has forced other Republicans to try and clean up the...

By Greg Sargent  | September 13, 2010; 5:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
Categories:  House GOPers  
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Why Republicans don't fear fight over tax cuts for rich

So why do Republicans seem unafraid -- why do they even appear to welcome -- a fight over the Bush tax cuts? Multiple polls show strong majority support for ending the Bush tax cuts for the rich. But even as...

By Greg Sargent  | September 13, 2010; 3:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (72)
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, economy  
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Reid's next target: Angle's "extreme and dangerous" legislative record

As followers of Sue Lowden and "chickens for checkups" know well, Harry Reid's political operation can be relentless and quite systematic in grinding up foes, and after highlighting a series of very eccentric Sharron Angle quotes, his operation is now...

By Greg Sargent  | September 13, 2010; 1:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (81)
Categories:  2010 elections, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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"The Obama tax cuts for the middle class"

Call them "the Obama tax cuts for the middle class." Top Democratic leaders in the House are discussing using that phrase to rebrand President Obama's proposed extension of the Bush tax cuts for those making less than $250,000, senior leadership...

By Greg Sargent  | September 13, 2010; 12:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (82)
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, economy  
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Boehner concedes only three percent of small businesses affected by extending tax cuts

As you know, John Boehner made big news yesterday on CBS when he seemed to allow that he would support it if Dems held a vote on whether to extend just the tax cuts of those who make less than...

By Greg Sargent  | September 13, 2010; 10:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (58)
Categories:  2010 elections, House GOPers  
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The Morning Plum

* The Dem game plan on tax cuts for the rich: With Congress back in session this week, the Bush tax cuts will dominate the discussion, and here's the Dems' challenge in a nutshell: Can they force Republicans to own...

By Greg Sargent  | September 13, 2010; 8:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (101)
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, House GOPers, Morning Plum, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, economy  
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Sunday Open Thread

Because American democracy created a framework for an argument without end....

By Greg Sargent  | September 12, 2010; 9:06 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (298)
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
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