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The Plum Line: October 3, 2010 - October 9, 2010

Open Thread

This has been quite an election season....

By Greg Sargent  | October 9, 2010; 8:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (243)
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Jon Ralston skewers the methodology of the recent public polls showing Sharron Angle with a slight lead. * Headline of the day, from ABC News, on John Boehner's speech on the economy today: Boehner's Closing Argument on Jobs: "Do...

By Greg Sargent  | October 8, 2010; 5:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (76)
Categories:  2010 elections, Happy Hour Roundup, Health reform, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, Tea Party  
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How low is the public's regard for the GOP?

Amid all the grim polling news for Dems, one bright spot that Democrats take solace in is that the GOP notches consistently higher disapproval ratings than Dems do. And polls certainly do show that. But how significant are those numbers,...

By Greg Sargent  | October 8, 2010; 3:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (81)
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, economy  
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U.S. Chamber sees no need to address core allegation against it

With Obama and Dems hammering away ceaselessly at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over allegations that foreign money may be funding its attack ads against Dems, it's worth stepping back and making a key point: The Chamber still hasn't addressed...

By Greg Sargent  | October 8, 2010; 1:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (94)
Categories:  2010 elections, Campaign finance, House Dems, House GOPers  
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David Vitter's new ad trafficks heavily in race-baiting

Adam Serwer is a staff writer for The American Prospect, where he writes his own blog.Earlier this week, Nevada Senate Candidate Sharron Angle put out an anti-immigrant ad that used some of the same images of "scary looking" immigrants as an ad...

By Adam Serwer  | October 8, 2010; 12:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (42)
Categories:  Immigration  
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AUDIO of Sharron Angle suggesting Sharia Law a threat in America

I've got some audio of Sharron Angle suggesting in a town hall meeting that Sharia Law is a threat in America. Angle's claim was first reported by the Mesquite Local News last week, but it attracted very little attention. The...

By Greg Sargent  | October 8, 2010; 10:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (72)
Categories:  2010 elections, Foreign policy and national security, Senate Republicans  
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The Morning Plum

* Last chance for Dems to make their pitch pitch on the economy: With the last monthly jobs numbers before election day due out this morning, and with economists expecting little change in unemployment, Dems are set to give their...

By Greg Sargent  | October 8, 2010; 8:31 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (84)
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, House GOPers, Morning Plum, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Obama brings down the hammer: He will not sign a bill passed by Congress that could make foreclosures easlier. * Obama targets Chamber: At a political rally today, he attacked the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over allegations that its...

By Greg Sargent  | October 7, 2010; 6:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (142)
Categories:  2010 elections, Happy Hour Roundup, House Dems, Senate Republicans, Tea Party  
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Axelrod: I did not endorse "ground zero mosque" compromise

Is the White House retreating on the "ground zero mosque"? There's a bit of buzz out there to that effect, because senior Obama advisor David Axelrod reportedly said at an event last night that he was open to putting an...

By Greg Sargent  | October 7, 2010; 4:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (46)
 
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Is the "hicky" actor in GOP ad a non-story?

Sam Stein digs into the question of whether national Republicans were in any way responsible for the casting call that asked for "hicky blue collar" actors to play regular Joes bashing Obama in the NRSC ad in West Virginia. The...

By Greg Sargent  | October 7, 2010; 2:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (120)
Categories:  2010 elections, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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RNC circulates study that shows Dem tax plan is better for poor than GOP one

Okay, this is a bit in the weeds. But it's worth it. This morning the Republican National Committee blasted out a story from The Hill about a new nonpartisan study finding that the poor will be hit hardest if all...

By Greg Sargent  | October 7, 2010; 1:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (62)
Categories:  House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, economy  
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Lou Dobbs's illegal immigrant problem -- and ours

Adam Serwer is a staff writer for The American Prospect, where he writes his own blog. The fact that Lou Dobbs, who is responsible for some of the absolute worst lies about illegal immigrants, may have actually hired some should...

By Adam Serwer  | October 7, 2010; 11:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (92)
Categories:  Immigration  
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`Hicky' actor in GOP ad tries to cash in: I'm available for more work!

The political world is chattering away this morning over Mike Allen's story reporting that national Republicans are airing an ad attacking the Democrat in the West Virginia Senate race that was cast with actors in Philadelphia. The ad features "regular...

By Greg Sargent  | October 7, 2010; 10:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (49)
Categories:  2010 elections, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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The Morning Plum

* Can a Dem win by (gasp!) trying to persuade voters that Dems are right? The read of the morning is E.J. Dionne's piece on Dem Rep. Tom Perriello of Virginia, who seems to have gotten it into his head...

By Greg Sargent  | October 7, 2010; 8:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (63)
Categories:  2010 elections, Campaign finance, House Dems, Independents, Morning Plum, Senate Republicans, Tea Party, economy  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Ben Smith notes that the real story behind the Chamber-Think Progress dust-up is that the campaign finance system is suddenly close to collapse. * Speaking of which, ad spending for this election is on track to reach $3 billion....

By Greg Sargent  | October 6, 2010; 6:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (102)
Categories:  2010 elections, Campaign finance, Happy Hour Roundup, Health reform, House Dems, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, Tea Party, economy  
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U.S. Chamber broadens attack on Think Progress, alleges Soros-funded plot to silence business

With Dems seizing on Think Progress' allegations that U.S. Chamber of Commerce attack ads may be partly funded with foreign cash, the Chamber sends over its most detailed response yet to the charges, leveling the scorching claim that the liberal...

By Greg Sargent  | October 6, 2010; 4:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (120)
Categories:  2010 elections, Labor  
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House Dems to blast U.S. Chamber's ads as foreign-influenced

House Democrats in tough races are being advised by Dem leaders to seize on new revelations about the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's foreign fundraising to defend themselves against the Chamber's ad onslaught -- another sign of just how urgent it...

By Greg Sargent  | October 6, 2010; 2:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (59)
Categories:  2010 elections, Campaign finance  
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Sharron Angle's 'Willie Horton' ad

Adam Serwer is a staff writer for The American Prospect, where he writes his own blog. Between her thinly veiled endorsements of violence, her railing against government spending while receiving government health care, and her recently revealed attempts to force...

By Adam Serwer  | October 6, 2010; 1:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (57)
Categories:  2010 elections, Senate Republicans  
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Former RNC chair Ed Gillespie on O'Donnell's China takeover claim: Maybe there's something to it!

There was a hilarious moment on MSNBC just now that underscores just how uncomfortable Christine O'Donnell has made life for GOP leaders: Former RNC chair Ed Gillespie refused to disavow O'Donnell's claim that she possesses classified information on China's secret...

By Greg Sargent  | October 6, 2010; 12:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
 
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House "moderates" will be even more awesome and powerful next year

Steve Benen highlights a new Roll Call story reporting that House GOP aides have secretly drawn up a target list of "moderate" Democrats they're targeting in hopes of getting them to switch parties after the elections: House Republicans are already...

By Greg Sargent  | October 6, 2010; 11:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, House GOPers  
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The Morning Plum

* Something is seriously wrong: Is there a point at which the torrents of outside cash flooding the midterm elections will prompt some kind of consensus among the political classes that we're entering dangerous new uncharted territory and that something...

By Greg Sargent  | October 6, 2010; 8:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (65)
Categories:  2010 elections, Campaign finance, House Dems, House GOPers, Immigration, Morning Plum, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Nice post from Steve Benen supplying historical context and explaining why it's so dispiriting that there's such widespread ignorance about the scope and ambition of this Congress' accomplishments. * Garance Franke-Ruta explains Howard Kurtz's decision to leave the Post...

By Greg Sargent  | October 5, 2010; 5:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (184)
Categories:  2010 elections, Campaign finance, Foreign policy and national security, Happy Hour Roundup, Senate Republicans, Tea Party  
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Only one third of Democrats see this Congress' achievements as historic

What if the Dem base's lack of enthusiasm is rooted in the fact that Dems aren't even aware of how much Congress has accomplished in the last two years? A new poll from Pew and National Journal contains a really...

By Greg Sargent  | October 5, 2010; 3:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
Categories:  Financial reform, Health reform, House Dems, Senate Dems, economy  
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Explaining Christine O'Donnell's "I'm not a witch" ad

Christine O'Donnell's startling new ad, which clarified that she's "not a witch" and is instead, well, "you," has been widely greeted today with puzzlement by the political classes. Now the O'Donnell campaign has put out a statement explaining the...

By Greg Sargent  | October 5, 2010; 2:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (57)
Categories:  2010 elections, Senate Republicans, Tea Party  
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Independents not buying Dems' core messages

If Dems are going to avert a major bloodbath in November, they need independents to embrace two core Dem messages that seem particularly geared towards those voters: The claim that a vote for the GOP is a vote to return...

By Greg Sargent  | October 5, 2010; 1:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (81)
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, House GOPers, Independents, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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Tea Partyers on the dole

Adam Serwer is a staff writer for The American Prospect, where he writes his own blog. The most common trait of so-called "Tea Party" candidates is that they rail against government spending. The second most common trait of so-called "Tea...

By Adam Serwer  | October 5, 2010; 12:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (73)
Categories:  Tea Party  
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AUDIO of Christine O'Donnell claiming secret Chinese plot to take over U.S.

I've obtained audio of Christine O'Donnell claiming that China has a "carefully thought out and strategic plan to take over America" and asserting that she has access to classified info detailing China's takeover plot. The Associated Press reported yesterday on...

By Greg Sargent  | October 5, 2010; 11:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (93)
Categories:  2010 elections, Senate Republicans, Tea Party  
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The Morning Plum

* Dems experiencing a modest uptick in their fortunes? That's the upshot of the new Washington Post/ABC poll, which finds the climate remains almost as bad for Dems as it has been throughout the summer, but there have been slight...

By Greg Sargent  | October 5, 2010; 8:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (143)
Categories:  2010 elections, Campaign finance, House Dems, Morning Plum, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, Tea Party  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* The number of GOP Senate candidates who have made controversial statements opposing the minimum wage is now up to four and counting. * Mori Dinauer, on Alaska Tea Partyer Joe Miller's claim that the 10th amendment renders Federal...

By Greg Sargent  | October 4, 2010; 6:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (156)
Categories:  2010 elections, Happy Hour Roundup, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Republicans, Tea Party  
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Is overall liberal dissatisfaction with Obama overstated?

An interesting finding from Gallup: Obama's average approval among liberals for the month of September is at 75 percent -- only four points lower than the 79 percent approval Obama notches among Dems overall. That number, of course, doesn't tell...

By Greg Sargent  | October 4, 2010; 3:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (158)
Categories:  2010 elections, Labor, economy, gay rights  
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Sharron Angle promises Tea Party candidate "juice" if he drops out of race

By now you've surely heard that Nevada journalist Jon Ralston has obtained audio of an extraordinary private meeting between Sharron Angle and the Nevada Tea Party candidate for Senate, in which Angle trashes the GOP leadership at length. But the...

By Greg Sargent  | October 4, 2010; 2:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (115)
Categories:  2010 elections, Senate Republicans, Tea Party  
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The 'magic' of the Supreme Court's rightward shift

Adam Serwer is a staff writer with The American Prospect, where he writes his own blog. Barry Friedman and Dahila Lithwick have an importance piece up at Slate today, the first day of the Supreme Court's new term, looking back...

By Adam Serwer  | October 4, 2010; 12:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
Categories:  Supreme Court  
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Is the Dem base awakening?

DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse sends over some new, as-yet-unreleased details about the DNC's $16 million fundraising haul in September that Dems will be touting today as proof that the "enthusiasm gap" is closing. * The DNC pulled in "the most...

By Greg Sargent  | October 4, 2010; 11:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (54)
Categories:  2010 elections  
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Does Joe Miller think child labor laws are unconstitutional?

Dems are jumping on Alaska Tea Party candidate Joe Miller for calling for the abolishment of the Federal minimum wage, but what's particularly interesting about this, I think, is his rationale for doing so: So there should not be a...

By Greg Sargent  | October 4, 2010; 10:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (65)
Categories:  2010 elections, Senate Republicans, Tea Party  
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The Morning Plum

* Outside cash from the right drowning the midterms: The must-read of the morning is T.W. Farnam's and Dan Eggen's overview of the post-Citizens United spending by outside groups, which is now up to $80 million with the right outspending...

By Greg Sargent  | October 4, 2010; 8:36 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (86)
Categories:  2010 elections, Health reform, House Dems, House GOPers, Morning Plum, Political media, Senate Republicans, Tea Party  
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Sunday Open Thread

Did I hear that a few people hung out on the National Mall yesterday?...

By Greg Sargent  | October 3, 2010; 8:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (194)
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
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