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The Plum Line: September 19, 2010 - September 25, 2010

Weekend Open Thread

All, I'm heading out for the weekend, so you have the place all to yourselves. Keep it clean!...

By Greg Sargent  | September 25, 2010; 8:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (343)
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Dems playing defense big-time? Republicans appear to be spending big money to broaden the House playing field, with $35 million now committed for ads in 55 districts, far more than the 39 the GOP needs to flip the House....

By Greg Sargent  | September 24, 2010; 6:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (113)
Categories:  2010 elections, Happy Hour Roundup, House Dems, House GOPers, Political media, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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Sharron Angle's `chickens for checkups' moment?

Ever since video started circulating yesterday of Sharron Angle appearing to belittle mandated coverage of autism, Dems have been working hard to turn this into Angle's very own "chickens for checkups" moment. It's unclear whether it will rise to that...

By Greg Sargent  | September 24, 2010; 4:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (86)
Categories:  2010 elections, Health reform, Senate Republicans  
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Even Dems are fast losing confidence in gov't

A Gallup poll out today sheds some new light on all the talk about the "enthusiasm gap": It finds that confidence in the legislative branch has dropped most precipitiously among Democrats. The poll's toplines are worrisome enough for Dems: Confidence...

By Greg Sargent  | September 24, 2010; 2:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (86)
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, Senate Dems  
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VIDEO of Christine O'Donnell: I'm going to stop the whole country from having sex

A Democratic source unearths video of Christine O'Donnell in 2003, answering clearly and unequivocally in the affirmative when asked: "You're going to stop the whole country from having sex?" At the time, O'Donnell was with the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, a...

By Greg Sargent  | September 24, 2010; 12:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (298)
Categories:  2010 elections, Senate Republicans  
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Politically savvy Senators wanted middle class tax cut vote

Here's a depressing postscript to yesterday's decision by Senate Dems to postpone the vote on extending the middle class tax cuts: The most politically savvy Senators, the ones who are most involved in the politics of holding the Senate, wanted...

By Greg Sargent  | September 24, 2010; 11:02 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (79)
Categories:  2010 elections, Senate Dems  
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The Morning Plum

* What to watch for today: Dems punted on extending the middle class tax cuts because they were worried that their failure to also extend the high end ones would allow Republicans to blast them for raising taxes. Now, in...

By Greg Sargent  | September 24, 2010; 8:31 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (90)
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Republicans, Supreme Court, Tea Party, gay rights  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* I wrote earlier that Sharron Angle wasn't mocking autism in that vid that's making the rounds, but Nevada writer Steve Sebelius makes a strong case that she was, in fact, expressing "skepticism that autism is a legitimate disorder." Sebelius...

By Greg Sargent  | September 23, 2010; 6:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (88)
Categories:  Happy Hour Roundup, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, Tea Party, economy  
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Liberal blogger directly confronts David Axelrod, accuses White House of "hippie punching"

Top Obama adviser David Axelrod got an earful of the liberal blogosphere's anger at the White House moments ago, when a blogger on a conference call directly called out Axelrod over White House criticism of the left, accusing the administration...

By Greg Sargent  | September 23, 2010; 4:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (141)
Categories:  2010 elections  
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White House acknowledges vote on middle class tax cuts may be dead -- squarely blames GOP

The White House is now acknowledging that the Congressional vote on the middle class tax cuts is unlikely to happen before the elections, effectively moving on to the next phase of this debate, now that Congressional Dems had already pretty...

By Greg Sargent  | September 23, 2010; 2:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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Dear Dems: Grow a pair (part 973)

With all signs pointing to an epic cave by Dems on whether to hold a vote to extend the middle class tax cuts, it's worth resposting this video message to Democrats that went viral when Dems were debating whether to...

By Greg Sargent  | September 23, 2010; 12:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (94)
Categories:  Senate Dems  
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Full context of Obama's "absorb a terrorist attack" quote undercuts conservative criticism

As you know, conservatives spent much of yesterday slamming President Obama over an interview in Bob Woodward's book in which Obama said that "we can absorb a terrorist attack." Right wingers from Liz Cheney on down insisted it proves that...

By Greg Sargent  | September 23, 2010; 11:17 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (128)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security  
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The Morning Plum

* Are Senate Dems going wobbly? It appears that Senate Dems may abandon the idea of holding a vote on extending the middle class tax cuts. Incredibly, the thinking is that a vote is unnecesesary because the lines on this...

By Greg Sargent  | September 23, 2010; 8:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (57)
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, House GOPers, Morning Plum, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, Tea Party, economy  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Still hope for that vote on the middle class tax cuts: Despite increasing signs House Dems may not hold that vote, I'm told that at a House Dem leadership meeting today, there was pretty strong pushback from those who...

By Greg Sargent  | September 22, 2010; 6:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (219)
Categories:  2010 elections, Foreign policy and national security, Happy Hour Roundup, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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Rand Paul kisses neocons' ring, but some neocons remain wary

One faction of the GOP that has remained particularly wary of Rand Paul's Senate candidacy are neoconservatives who are still angry about his father Ron Paul's criticism of Israel and his disdain for Bush-era military adventurism. In the past, Rand...

By Greg Sargent  | September 22, 2010; 3:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
Categories:  2010 elections, Foreign policy and national security, Senate Republicans  
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One Democrat who isn't running away from Dem agenda

At least four high-profile Dem Senate candidates have come out against letting the Bush tax cuts for the rich expire. And many House Dems are practically tripping over themselves as they run away from the Obama/Dem agenda, refusing even to...

By Greg Sargent  | September 22, 2010; 2:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (40)
Categories:  2010 elections, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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Moderates privately urge Dem leaders: No vote on middle class tax cuts!

A number of "moderate" House Dems have privately given Nancy Pelosi and other Dem leaders an earful in recent days, urging them not to hold a vote on whether to extend just the middle class tax cuts and not the...

By Greg Sargent  | September 22, 2010; 12:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (78)
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, House GOPers, economy  
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How Dems should talk about stimulus: Localize!

With polls showing that the public has concluded that the Obama/Dem stimulus is mostly a bust, how should House Dem incumbents and candidates talk about it, if at all? DCCC chair Chris Van Hollen thinks he has a solution: He...

By Greg Sargent  | September 22, 2010; 11:08 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (76)
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, House GOPers, economy  
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The Morning Plum

* Obama to celebrate health reform's six month anniversary: President Obama is set to do a slew of events today celebrating the six month anniversary of the passage of health reform. How long until anonymous skittish Dems run to the...

By Greg Sargent  | September 22, 2010; 8:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (98)
Categories:  2010 elections, Foreign policy and national security, Health reform, House Dems, House GOPers, Morning Plum, Political media, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* In another sign of just how brutal the Nevada dogfight has become, Harry Reid is up with a hard hitting negative ad slamming Sharron Angle over her "extreme" and "dangerous" suggestion that we should move in the direction of...

By Greg Sargent  | September 21, 2010; 6:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (176)
Categories:  2010 elections, 2012, Happy Hour Roundup, House Dems, House GOPers, Political media, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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GOP obstructionism works, part 973

The GOP just blocked the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell in the Senate, and the immediate conclusion to be drawn is that this is yet more proof that GOP obstructionism works brilliantly. It fires up the GOP base, while...

By Greg Sargent  | September 21, 2010; 3:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (128)
Categories:  2010 elections, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, gay rights  
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Who will win the 2012 Tea Party presidential primary?

In case you had any doubts about how central the Tea Party will be to the 2012 GOP presidential primary, this new video from Sarah Palin's political action committee makes it pretty clear: The video is an extended paean by...

By Greg Sargent  | September 21, 2010; 1:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (85)
Categories:  2012, Tea Party  
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New poll: Tax cut fight is winner for Dems in battleground states

If this new poll conducted for the labor powerhouse SEIU doesn't persuade Dems to hold a vote on extending the middle class tax cuts, then nothing will. The toplines of the poll, which were first reported by Alex Burns, are...

By Greg Sargent  | September 21, 2010; 12:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (82)
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, economy  
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Christine O'Donnell is toxic and hurting GOP

Christine O'Donnell's victory provides the clearest sign yet that the Tea Party is damaging GOP prospects, as opposed to acting merely as an energizing and rebranding force, and a new Fox poll in Delaware shows this as clearly as...

By Greg Sargent  | September 21, 2010; 11:08 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (198)
Categories:  2010 elections, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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The Morning Plum

* Tax cut fight is winner for Dems -- in battleground states: Multiple polls have shown that the public is squarely on Dems' side in the fight over the Bush tax cuts for the rich -- but those polls have...

By Greg Sargent  | September 21, 2010; 8:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (76)
Categories:  2010 elections, Foreign policy and national security, Health reform, House Dems, House GOPers, Morning Plum, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, Tea Party, economy, gay rights  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Steve Benen, who previously got blogospheric traction with a series of health care posts called "Pass The Damn Bill," now urges Dems to vote on extending the middle class tax cuts: "Hold The Damn Votes." Indeedy! We'll be hearing...

By Greg Sargent  | September 20, 2010; 5:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (121)
Categories:  2010 elections, Happy Hour Roundup, Health reform, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, economy  
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Game on? Senate Dems move towards vote on middle class tax cuts

Okay, it looks like Senate Democrats are getting close to staging a major confrontation over whether to extend the Bush tax cuts for the middle class. A senior Congressional aide tells me that the Senate Finance Committee, in tandem with...

By Greg Sargent  | September 20, 2010; 3:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (123)
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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Tea Party candidates at odds with top GOP figures on homosexuality

I noted below that Christine O'Donnell appears to believe that homosexuality is an "identity disorder." Now another Tea Partyer running for Senate, Ken Buck of Colorado, has come out against repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell in strikingly hidebound terms, claiming...

By Greg Sargent  | September 20, 2010; 2:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (113)
Categories:  2010 elections, Senate Republicans, gay rights  
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How Dems should nationalize the elections

I see there's some dissatisfaction on the left this morning over the fact that the White House and Democrats are not planning an aggressive national ad campaign tying the GOP to the Tea Party. The New York Times had reported...

By Greg Sargent  | September 20, 2010; 12:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (80)
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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Christine O'Donnell said gays suffer from `identity disorder,' reporter says

Christine O'Donnell claimed in a 2006 interview that homosexuals are psychologically defective, arguing that they suffer from "identity disorder," the reporter who conducted the interview tells me. On Friday I noted here that the Wilmington News Journal ran a...

By Greg Sargent  | September 20, 2010; 10:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (141)
Categories:  2010 elections, Senate Republicans, gay rights  
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The Morning Plum

* Will Dems seize their opportunity this week? The White House clearly thinks the war over the Bush tax cuts is a political gift, and Obama plans to redouble his efforts to use the fight over whether to extend taxes...

By Greg Sargent  | September 20, 2010; 8:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (76)
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, House GOPers, Morning Plum, Political media, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, Tea Party  
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Sunday Open Thread

Question: In this environment, is there anything a Tea Party candidate can say or do that would be considered disqualifying for major office?...

By Greg Sargent  | September 19, 2010; 9:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (281)
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
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