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The Plum Line: October 17, 2010 - October 23, 2010

Open Thread

This new poll showing Dems closing the enthusiasm gap can't possibly have any grounding in reality, and was probably sponsored by NPR, George Soros, and anonymous union cash from health care workers, plumbers, and janitors who won't disclose their...

By Greg Sargent  | October 23, 2010; 9:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (323)
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* The Aqua Buddha wars continue to rage with this new ad from Rand Paul blasting Jack Conway for questioning his faith: National Republicans insist that the Conway Aqua Buddha ad has backfired, driving up Conway's negatives. This new spot...

By Greg Sargent  | October 22, 2010; 6:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (153)
Categories:  2010 elections, Campaign finance, Happy Hour Roundup, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, Tea Party  
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Juan Williams gets it right

I know the last thing you all want to hear is more on the Juan Williams mess. But it seems only fair to point out that he now seems to have said pretty much what his critics wanted him to...

By Greg Sargent  | October 22, 2010; 3:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (121)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security, Political media  
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Conservative groups have spent up to $75 million in undisclosed funds, dwarfing left

As you know, the conservative groups that are plowing huge sums of money from undisclosed donors into the midterm elections have been defending their actions by insisting that groups on the left are doing the same. So I thought it...

By Greg Sargent  | October 22, 2010; 1:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (85)
Categories:  2010 elections, Campaign finance  
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Harry Reid's closing message: You'd have to be crazy to replace me with Sharron Angle

Here's one of Harry Reid's closing ads, to be released later today, giving us a glimpse into one of his core closing messages at the end of an extremely negative and hard-fought campaign. The ad contains some of the familiar...

By Greg Sargent  | October 22, 2010; 12:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (64)
Categories:  2010 elections, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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Conservatives declare war on NPR

Adam Serwer is a staff writer for The American Prospect, where he writes his own blog. Matt Welch and William Saletan make a persuasive case that Thinkprogress omitted relevant context from their original post on the statements that got Juan...

By Adam Serwer  | October 22, 2010; 10:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (100)
Categories:  Political media  
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The Morning Plum

* Aqua Buddha shakes up Kentucky race: Read of the morning: Josh Green, on the ground in Kentucky, reports that Kentucky voters and radio stations just can't stop talking about Aqua Buddha, with many wondering why Rand Paul won't just...

By Greg Sargent  | October 22, 2010; 8:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (63)
Categories:  2010 elections, Campaign finance, Foreign policy and national security, House GOPers, Morning Plum, Political media, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, Tea Party  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Thinkin' ahead: House Speaker-in-waiting John Boehner is already taking steps to bring the unruly Tea Party caucus set to arrive in D.C. into the fold. * Anne Kornblut has Obama's homestretch campaign schedule: He's hitting Philadelphia, Bridgeport, Chicago, and...

By Greg Sargent  | October 21, 2010; 6:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (212)
Categories:  2010 elections, Campaign finance, Foreign policy and national security, Happy Hour Roundup, House GOPers, Political media, Tea Party  
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Juan Williams clarifies -- without clarifying

Juan Williams, on Fox News this afternoon, hit back at NPR for firing him over his claim that he gets "worried" and "nervous" when he sees people in Muslim garb: WILLIAMS: Wednesday afternoon, I got a message on my cell...

By Greg Sargent  | October 21, 2010; 4:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (162)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security  
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Right-wing group's mailer warns of "Obamavilles"

This has to be one of the most audacious mailers ever. The 60 Plus Association, a shadowy conservative group that's spending big money this cycle, has dropped a new mail piece in Virginia targeting Dem Rep. Gerry Connolly with a...

By Greg Sargent  | October 21, 2010; 1:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (92)
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, economy  
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Obama: It's "premature" to discuss veto of extension of Bush tax cuts

Obama, in an interview with National Journal, again refuses to say that he would exercise his veto power if Congress extends the Bush tax cuts, because he's hopeful that after the elections we're going to see a new spirit of...

By Greg Sargent  | October 21, 2010; 12:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
Categories:  2010 elections, economy  
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Should Juan Williams have been fired?

Adam Serwer is a staff writer for The American Prospect, where he writes his own blog. Recently journalists like Rick Sanchez and Helen Thomas have been fired or forced to resign for remarks they made about Jews, exposing a rather glaring double-standard...

By Adam Serwer  | October 21, 2010; 11:24 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (158)
Categories:  Political media  
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Poll: Dem attack on secret money is resonating

As promised, MSNBC's First Read gang releases its NBC/WSJ polling showing that voters do care about the secret cash funding attack ads, despite all the assertions you keep hearing to the contrary: So how has the White House/Democratic campaign against...

By Greg Sargent  | October 21, 2010; 10:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (101)
Categories:  2010 elections, Campaign finance, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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The Morning Plum

* Yes, voters do care about the secret cash funding anti-Dem attack ads: I'm told some new national polling will come out this morning making this overwhelmingly clear, at least to people who think it makes sense to base their...

By Greg Sargent  | October 21, 2010; 8:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (51)
Categories:  2010 elections, Campaign finance, House Dems, House GOPers, Labor, Morning Plum, Political media, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Keep an eye on the money in the final stretch. Chris Cillizza reports that Dems are sinking roughly $1 million each into the Nevada, Colorado and Pennsylvania Senate races, and he has the rundown on which vulnerable House Dems...

By Greg Sargent  | October 20, 2010; 6:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (181)
Categories:  2010 elections, Campaign finance, Happy Hour Roundup, House GOPers, Independents, Political media, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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Why Dems were right to push secret cash angle, part 973

It's almost too obvious to point it out, but ya think maybe the Dem efforts to highlight all the secret cash helping Republicans may have helped Dems with ... their fundraising? The DNC is set to report today that they...

By Greg Sargent  | October 20, 2010; 4:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (81)
Categories:  2010 elections, Campaign finance  
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Endorsement of the day

Sharron Angle picked up an important new endorsement today: Sheriff Joe Arpaio rode back into town Tuesday, this time to fire up voters and to stump for Republican U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle in her bid to unseat Democratic...

By Greg Sargent  | October 20, 2010; 2:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (94)
Categories:  2010 elections, Immigration, Senate Republicans, Tea Party  
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That enthusiasm gap remains just awful for Dems

The new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll came out this morning, and there's no sugar-coating it: The poll has some very grim results for Democrats. In the 92 most competitive House districts, the GOP's lead among registered voters is 14 points....

By Greg Sargent  | October 20, 2010; 1:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (86)
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Republicans  
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Jack Conway's next attack on Rand Paul: Sales tax

Jack Conway's campaign, which generated a lot of heat and noise with its ad attacking Rand Paul over the Aqua Buddha affair, is planning to pivot hard to a direct attack on Paul over pocketbook issues. Conway's campaign is planning...

By Greg Sargent  | October 20, 2010; 11:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (87)
Categories:  2010 elections, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, Tea Party  
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Obama's Prop. 8?

Adam Serwer is a staff writer for The American Prospect, where he writes his own blog. Yesterday, the Pentagon directed military services to begin accepting openly gay and lesbian military recruits, following Judge Virginia A. Phillips's decision to refuse the...

By Adam Serwer  | October 20, 2010; 10:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (94)
Categories:  gay rights  
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The Morning Plum

* Dems not backing off secret money push: The DNC is going up with a new spot on national cable hammering Republicans over the millions in secret money funding anti-Dem ads, another sign Dems won't back off this attack line,...

By Greg Sargent  | October 20, 2010; 8:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (101)
Categories:  2010 elections, Campaign finance, House Dems, Morning Plum, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, Tea Party  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Damn good question from Markos Moulitsas: Why are liberal writers spilling more ink on one Jack Conway ad than on the multimillion dollar Chamber/Rove ad campaign attacking Dems across the country? * Politifact debunks another Chamber ad as "deceptive"...

By Greg Sargent  | October 19, 2010; 6:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (115)
Categories:  2010 elections, Campaign finance, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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Big Dog nostalgia

In case you were wondering why Bill Clinton is in such heavy demand on the campaign trail this year, Gallup finds, remarkably, that a Clinton endorsement commands more weight among Democratic voters than one coming from the current occupant of...

By Greg Sargent  | October 19, 2010; 4:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
Categories:  2010 elections, economy  
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Sharron Angle and Christine O'Donnell agree: No separation of church and state

Democratic campaign operatives around the country will tell you privately that it frustrates them that Christine O'Donnell's various eccentricities get so much more media attention than GOP gaffes do in races that Dems view as winnable. Case in point: O'Donnell...

By Greg Sargent  | October 19, 2010; 2:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (127)
Categories:  2010 elections, Senate Republicans, Tea Party  
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Why Karl Rove and U.S. Chamber are laughing at their critics

I'm really sorry to be a broken record about this. But a discussion has erupted today among some of our sharpest political commentators about the secret money funding the massive ad onslaught against Dems mounted by the U.S. Chamber of...

By Greg Sargent  | October 19, 2010; 12:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (91)
Categories:  2010 elections, Campaign finance, Political media  
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Joe Miller, tear down this wall

Adam Serwer is a staff reporter for The American Prospect, where he writes his own blog. Yesterday, my colleague Tim Fernholz had this to say about the news that bodyguards of Alaska Senate Candidate Joe Miller had handcuffed a journalist: What is...

By Adam Serwer  | October 19, 2010; 11:36 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (94)
Categories:  2010 elections, Senate Republicans, Tea Party  
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Aqua Buddha prank victim: Jack Conway ad is "over the top," but accurate, raises legit questions

Dem Jack Conway's new ad hammering Rand Paul over his college excesses is accurate on the facts, and it's legit to raise questions about his past views as a way of probing whether his current posture as a conservative Christian...

By Greg Sargent  | October 19, 2010; 10:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (152)
Categories:  2010 elections, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, Tea Party  
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The Morning Plum

* Can Obama recapture the spirit of '08? A striking finding in a new CBS News poll: Only two thirds of Dems who supported Obama in 2008 say they'll vote Democratic this time around. Dems have exactly two weeks to...

By Greg Sargent  | October 19, 2010; 8:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (145)
Categories:  2010 elections, Campaign finance, House GOPers, Morning Plum, Senate Republicans, Tea Party  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Steve Benen skewers the U.S. Chamber's latest rebuttal of all the independent fact checks debunking many of the claims in its national, anonymously-bankrolled ad onslaught against Dems. * Nevada Tea Party Senate candidate Scott Ashjian says what he thinks...

By Greg Sargent  | October 18, 2010; 6:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (117)
Categories:  2010 elections, Campaign finance, Happy Hour Roundup, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, Tea Party  
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Sharron Angle: My ads aren't referring to Mexico, except when they clearly are

As you may have heard, Sharron Angle is now claiming that her new ad which attacks Harry Reid with images of menacing young Latino men isn't really referring to Latinos. As Jon Ralston reports, Angle has now explained away the...

By Greg Sargent  | October 18, 2010; 5:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (122)
Categories:  2010 elections, Immigration, Senate Republicans  
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Jack Conway campaign denies ad questioned Rand Paul's faith

The Jack Conway campaign, which has taken heat today from some Democrats and liberals who say his new ad slamming Rand Paul crosses a line into questioning his religion, sends over a statement asserting that this wasn't the intention of...

By Greg Sargent  | October 18, 2010; 3:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (90)
Categories:  2010 elections  
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Many Chamber ads attacking House Dems contain debunked falsehoods, distortions

UPDATE, 1:57 p.m.: The Chamber has responded to all these fact checks with a detailed rebuttal, which you can read right here. ********************************************************************* ORIGINAL POST: Last week I noted that the ads that have been bankrolled by Karl Rove's groups...

By Greg Sargent  | October 18, 2010; 12:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (184)
Categories:  2010 elections, Campaign finance, House Dems  
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Sharron Angle's war on Canada

Adam Serwer is a staff reporter for The American Prospect, where he writes his own blog. Last week during their debate, Nevada Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle told Democrat Harry Reid to "man up." But it's time for Angle to...

By Adam Serwer  | October 18, 2010; 11:06 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (57)
Categories:  2010 elections, Immigration, Senate Republicans, Tea Party  
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The Morning Plum

* Beware those shadowy left-wing enviro groups rigging our midterms: The conservative groups founded by Karl Rove, along with the right wing 60 Plus Association and Americans for Job Security, have now spent a total of $33 million on ads...

By Greg Sargent  | October 18, 2010; 8:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (95)
Categories:  2010 elections, Campaign finance, Labor, Morning Plum, Political media, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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Sunday Open Thread

All, a quick update on the state of the comments section. First off, I wanted to thank you regulars again for your patience. It is much appreciated. You should know that the problem is being looked at, and you have...

By Greg Sargent  | October 17, 2010; 9:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (336)
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
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