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The Plum Line: November 7, 2010 - November 13, 2010

Happy Hour Roundup

* UPDATE: Happy 10th anniversary, Talking Points Memo. As someone who spent a fair amount of time stepping over trees to get into TPM's old offices in New York's flower district, I can tell you first-hand that what Josh Marshall...

By Greg Sargent  | November 12, 2010; 5:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (79)
Categories:  2010 elections, 2012, Campaign finance, Happy Hour Roundup, Health reform, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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AFL-CIO calls on Dems to vote on just middle class tax cuts

One of the most powerful labor organizations in the country is throwing its weight behind a legislative strategy on the Bush tax cuts in which Democrats would hold a vote on just extending the middle class tax cuts permanently, without...

By Greg Sargent  | November 12, 2010; 2:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, Labor, Senate Dems, taxes  
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What left wants: A vote only on making middle class tax cuts permanent

One topic that's getting lost in all the noise over whether Obama did or didn't signal a cave on the Bush tax cuts is this: The legislative options Dems actually have at their disposal to force the issue and make...

By Greg Sargent  | November 12, 2010; 12:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (49)
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, taxes  
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Republicans have Obama exactly where they want him

In The New Republic, William Galston writes that Barack Obama has John Boehner "right where he wants him," because of polls showing that Americans want Republicans and Democrats to work together: So Obama faces a win-win situation. If he extends...

By Adam Serwer  | November 12, 2010; 10:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
Categories:  House GOPers, Senate Republicans  
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The Morning Plum

* Obama reiterates firm stance on Bush tax cuts: The President, in Seoul, restates his insistence that the Bush tax cuts for the middle class be made permanent: "My number one priority is making sure that we make the middle-class...

By Greg Sargent  | November 12, 2010; 8:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  2010 elections, 2012, Health reform, House Dems, House GOPers, Morning Plum, Tea Party, gay rights  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Magnanimous bipartisan gesture of the day: Mitch McConnell says he's "willing to listen" if the White House is interested in agreeing to a temporary extension of all the Bush tax cuts. * Interesting move: Dennis Kucinich fires off a...

By Greg Sargent  | November 11, 2010; 4:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (108)
Categories:  2010 elections, Happy Hour Roundup, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Tea Party  
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Poll: GOPers want their leaders to be more conservative, less cooperative

Some interesting findings buried in the new Pew poll suggest Republicans and Democrats have starkly different expectations of their leaders: Republicans want their leaders to be less moderate and less compromising, while Dems want precisely the opposite. I'm not kidding....

By Greg Sargent  | November 11, 2010; 2:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (48)
Categories:  Senate Republicans, Supreme Court  
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People don't really care about "compromise"

CBS News has a new poll out finding that huge majorities of Americans want Obama and Republicans to "compromise," rather than hold out for what they believe in. This echoes what we keep being told about the midterm elections: It...

By Greg Sargent  | November 11, 2010; 1:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (42)
Categories:  2010 elections, taxes  
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The crux of the issue

With the war continuing to rage this morning over David Axelrod's comments about possibly giving in on the Bush tax cuts, it's important to establish what the core question is here: Is the White House going to stand fast behind...

By Greg Sargent  | November 11, 2010; 11:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (82)
Categories:  deficit, economy, taxes  
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Will GOP's fiscal fraudulence save America from the deficit commission?

Adam Serwer is a staff writer at The American Prospect, where he writes his own blog. Democrats should hope Republicans' deficit fraudulence saves the from the president's Fiscal Commission. Yesterday, the co-chairs, Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, released a proposal...

By Adam Serwer  | November 11, 2010; 10:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
Categories:  House GOPers, Senate Republicans, deficit  
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The Morning Plum

UPDATE: White House denies giving in on Bush tax cuts: The White House is sharply denying the Huffington Post story I noted below claiming that David Axelrod signaled a willingness to accept a temporary extension of all the Bush tax...

By Greg Sargent  | November 11, 2010; 8:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (60)
Categories:  2010 elections, Senate Dems, deficit  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* History lesson of the day: Harold Meyerson says Nancy Pelosi does not bear much blame for the Dems' shellacking, because she pushed for a bigger stimulus and passed jobs bills that tanked in the Senate. Remember all that stuff?...

By Greg Sargent  | November 10, 2010; 6:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (68)
Categories:  2010 elections, 2012, House Dems, Senate Republicans, deficit  
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Awkward timing for Democrats

One thing that needs to be noted about the just-released draft report from the co-chairs of Obama's fiscal commission -- dubbed the "catfood commission" in the blogosphere -- is how exquisitely awkward the timing is for Democrats. After an election...

By Greg Sargent  | November 10, 2010; 4:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (76)
Categories:  2012, House Dems, deficit, economy  
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Gearing up: David Brock to launch outside group for 2012

With the White House now signaling it wants outside groups on the left to ramp up for 2012, Media Matters founder David Brock is in discussions to form a new group designed to raise and spend big bucks to counter...

By Greg Sargent  | November 10, 2010; 2:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
Categories:  2010 elections, 2012, Campaign finance  
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Constitutional law prof: Mitch McConnell's attack on health reform is "absurd"

As you may have heard, Mitch McConnell has thrown in his lot with states suing to overturn Obamacare, filing a friend-of-the-court brief arguing that the individual mandate is unconstitutional. I just checked in with a constitutional law professor -- this...

By Greg Sargent  | November 10, 2010; 1:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (75)
 
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Dem Senators privately griping to Joe Scarborough about Obama?

Is it possible that some of the most powerful Dem Senators in the country are privately bitching to Joe Scarborough, of all people, about President Obama? No idea if it's true or not. But that's what Scarborough alleged on MSNBC...

By Greg Sargent  | November 10, 2010; 11:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (97)
Categories:  Political media  
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Earmark debate another example of Republican fiscal fraudulence

The battle between Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and rival Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) over a plan to ban earmarks is another indication of lack of seriousness when it comes to many Republicans' approach to the budget deficit. McConnell is...

By Adam Serwer  | November 10, 2010; 10:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (37)
Categories:  House GOPers, Senate Republicans, economy  
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The Morning Plum

* GOP, mindful of difficulties of repealing health reform, plans investigations into it: Mitch McConnell spells out the game plan: "Oversight will play a crucial role in Republican efforts. We may not be able to bring about straight repeal in...

By Greg Sargent  | November 10, 2010; 8:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (37)
Categories:  2010 elections, 2012, Campaign finance, Health reform, House GOPers, Morning Plum, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, Tea Party  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Nancy Pelosi, unrepentent: She "> admits that job growth was disappointingly slow, but insists that "it does not diminish what we have accomplished," because "President Obama and this Congress were job creators from Day One." * With so many...

By Greg Sargent  | November 9, 2010; 6:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (70)
Categories:  2010 elections, Campaign finance, Happy Hour Roundup, House Dems, Senate Dems  
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The acrimony and partisanship are just getting started

With Darrell Issa claiming he wants Republicans to hold hundreds of hearings on the Obama administration, Rasmussen releases a poll finding the public almost exactly divided on what's to come, though the public leans slightly against investigations: The latest Rasmussen...

By Greg Sargent  | November 9, 2010; 3:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (50)
Categories:  2010 elections, 2012, House GOPers  
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Third party follies

The other day, Michael Bloomberg -- whose potential third-party presidential run continues to generate nonstop chatter -- made the highly dubious and gramatically-challenged claim that "a third-party candidate could run the government easier than a partisan political President." Matthew Yglesias...

By Greg Sargent  | November 9, 2010; 1:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (48)
Categories:  2012, Independents  
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More on that coming "compromise" on the Bush tax cuts

The other day I noted here that it's folly to call a temporary extension of all the Bush tax cuts a "compromise." It merely constitutes doing it the GOP's way for now and kicking the can down the road, on...

By Greg Sargent  | November 9, 2010; 12:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (58)
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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On DADT, it's imperial presidency time

Adam Serwer is a staff writer at The American Prospect, where he writes his own blog. For months, President Obama has pursued repeal of the military's discriminatory don't ask don't tell policy by the book. If the Pentagon's survey shows,...

By Adam Serwer  | November 9, 2010; 10:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, Senate Dems, gay rights  
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The Morning Plum

* Has anyone heard from Heath Shuler? The Blue Dog Dem from North Carolina said recently that he would run for minority leader if the only other alternative were Nancy Pelosi. Well, she has now declared -- and no one...

By Greg Sargent  | November 9, 2010; 8:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (69)
Categories:  2010 elections, 2012, Health reform, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Republicans, Tea Party  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* D'oh! Evan Bayh, who's getting lots of attention right now for saying Dems overreached by passing health reform, appears to have counseled Obama advisers early on that they had to get it done. * Shrewd move: Eric Cantor and...

By Greg Sargent  | November 8, 2010; 6:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (69)
Categories:  2010 elections, Happy Hour Roundup, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Republicans  
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GOP leadership creating new post for freshmen GOPers -- may be occupied by Tea Partyer

Now this is interesting: With many wondering how the House Republican leadership will accommodate the newly elected House GOPers who are soon to arrive in Washington, many of whom are Tea Party-backed, I'm told the leadership has hit on a...

By Greg Sargent  | November 8, 2010; 4:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (46)
Categories:  2010 elections, House GOPers, Tea Party  
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GOP leadership cool to hearings into "scientific fraud" underlying global warming

Last week there was widespread speculation that the GOP is planning to hold high profile hearings next year into the "scientific fraud" behind global warming. The news touched off a round of anxious commentary among liberals about the coming rash...

By Greg Sargent  | November 8, 2010; 3:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (37)
Categories:  Climate change, House GOPers  
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Michele Bachmann and "real" conservatism

Michele Bachmann is running for the post of GOP Conference Chair, the number four slot in the House GOP leadership, and she has now sent out to colleagues a letter outlining the rationale of her candidacy. Bachmann's challenge pits her...

By Greg Sargent  | November 8, 2010; 1:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (64)
Categories:  2010 elections, House GOPers  
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Minority leader Nancy Pelosi would play rough with GOP

As you know, a lot of people have been arguing that Nancy Pelosi is a bad choice for minority leader because she presided over major losses in the House, she's not a natural communicator, she's deeply unpopular, and she'd represent...

By Greg Sargent  | November 8, 2010; 12:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (255)
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, House GOPers  
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Even with tax cuts, GOP appears willing to shoot the hostage

Adam Serwer is a staff writer at The American Prospect, where he writes his own blog. The debate on ABC's This Week between former Reagan Office of Management and Budget director David Stockman and Indiana Rep. Mike Pence (R) was...

By Adam Serwer  | November 8, 2010; 10:49 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (64)
Categories:  2010 elections, House GOPers, Senate Republicans  
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The Morning Plum

* Olbermann will return, and gladness spreads across the land: The statement from MSNBC president Phil Griffin: After several days of deliberation and discussion, I have determined that suspending Keith through and including Monday night's program is an appropriate punishment...

By Greg Sargent  | November 8, 2010; 8:39 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (75)
Categories:  2010 elections, 2012, Health reform, House Dems, House GOPers, Morning Plum, Political media, Senate Republicans, Tea Party  
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Open Thread

Rough waters ahead....

By Greg Sargent  | November 7, 2010; 8:58 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (111)
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
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