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The Plum Line: December 5, 2010 - December 11, 2010

Open Thread

The argument never ends....

By Greg Sargent  | December 11, 2010; 8:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (126)
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* A quick note on Bill Clinton's surprise appearance with Obama in the press briefing room earlier today. As you may have seen, Obama turned the podium over to Clinton, who proceeded to endorse Obama's tax cut deal. But then...

By Greg Sargent  | December 10, 2010; 6:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (83)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security, Happy Hour Roundup, House Dems, Senate Republicans, gay rights, taxes  
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Will Obama really end tax cuts for rich in 2012?

The fact that many liberals and Dems answer that question in the negative is perhaps the primary reason the White House is having so much trouble selling them on the tax cut deal. Obama has promised to do this, but...

By Greg Sargent  | December 10, 2010; 3:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (85)
Categories:  2012, House GOPers, Senate Republicans, taxes  
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It's war! AFSCME targets Glenn Beck

The campaign by some Republican politicians and right wing media figures against public service workers shows no signs of abating, and is likely to get more intense when the GOP takes over the House next year. One leading group on...

By Greg Sargent  | December 10, 2010; 2:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
Categories:  Labor, Political media, economy  
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Dear moderate GOP Senators: Moderate GOP voters want DADT repealed

This point can't be made enough times, so I'm going to make it again. With Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins vowing to introduce a stand-alone bill to repeal don't ask don't tell, the outstanding question -- as always -- is...

By Greg Sargent  | December 10, 2010; 12:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (66)
Categories:  Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, gay rights  
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How the White House will sell angry House Dems on tax cut deal

The White House is privately circulating a new chart among Congressional Democrats -- sent over by a source -- that is designed to prove to Dems that the tax deal Obama got out of Republicans is really a victory for...

By Greg Sargent  | December 10, 2010; 11:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (67)
Categories:  House Dems, House GOPers, taxes  
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Is the administration caving on federal criminal trials for Gitmo detainees?

Two days ago, the House passed a funding bill that contains a ban on using federal funds for criminal trials against Gitmo detainees, particularly alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed, that would last at least until September of next year....

By Adam Serwer  | December 10, 2010; 10:31 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security  
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The Morning Plum

* Obama tax cut deal will pass the Senate: Senate Dems have now unveiled their final $858 billion version of the tax cut deal, and the sweeteners added for Dems -- extensions of expiring subsidies for alternative-energy sources, among other...

By Greg Sargent  | December 10, 2010; 8:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (36)
Categories:  Morning Plum  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Here's yet another way DADT repeal could still happen: A Senate aide says one scenario being mulled would be to ask the House to pass repeal again and send the Senate a so-called "message" asking for a vote. That...

By Greg Sargent  | December 9, 2010; 6:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (65)
Categories:  Happy Hour Roundup, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, gay rights  
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Why Harry Reid decided to move foward with DADT vote

Earlier this afternoon, just before Harry Reid went onto the Senate floor and gave a speech calling for a vote on repeal of don't ask don't tell -- which has now failed -- he turned to a Senate aide and...

By Greg Sargent  | December 9, 2010; 4:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (84)
Categories:  Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, gay rights  
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How Obama can quiet the charge that he's "triangulating"

The White House appears to be very sensitive to the charge that Obama is engaged in Clinton-style triangulation. For the record, as I noted here yesterday, I don't think what Obama is doing compares to the game Clinton played to...

By Greg Sargent  | December 9, 2010; 2:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (81)
Categories:  gay rights  
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House Democrats' last stand

In a big effort to show force, House Democrats voted just now to reject Obama's tax cut deal, and this behind-the-scenes detail really captures the essence of what's happening: By voice vote, the rank-and-file Democrats passed a resolution that said...

By Greg Sargent  | December 9, 2010; 1:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (129)
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, taxes  
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Is DADT repeal in trouble again?

The behind-the-scenes debate in the Senate over don't ask don't tell has had more ups and downs than a roller coaster ride, and it appears that this morning we may be on another downward plunge. As you know, things were...

By Greg Sargent  | December 9, 2010; 11:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
Categories:  Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, gay rights  
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Obama has always triangulated

I think the conversation about Barack Obama "triangulating" is largely coming up now because it fits a familiar narrative -- an embattled Democratic president facing a confident Republican majority and a disappointed base. The thing is, Obama has always triangulated....

By Adam Serwer  | December 9, 2010; 10:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (48)
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
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The Morning Plum

* Senate Dems warming to Obama tax cut deal: With Senate Democrats set to debate the deal on the Bush tax cuts, it's hard not to notice that there's a growing sense that the deal is going to pass into...

By Greg Sargent  | December 9, 2010; 8:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (57)
Categories:  2012, House Dems, House GOPers, Morning Plum, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, gay rights, taxes  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* This is potentially significant: Susan Collins, who has emerged as key to getting don't ask don't tell repealed, tells my colleague Jonathan Capehart that she can live with Harry Reid's procedural offer of 15 amendments and could vote Yes....

By Greg Sargent  | December 8, 2010; 6:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (60)
Categories:  Happy Hour Roundup, House Dems, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, gay rights, taxes  
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Lisa Murkowski supports repeal of DADT

GOP Senator Lisa Murkowski has decided to support repeal of don't ask don't tell, her spokesman tells me, potentially adding another crucial GOP vote to the Yes column and putting 60 votes within reach. "Her vote will depend on how...

By Greg Sargent  | December 8, 2010; 3:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (74)
Categories:  Senate Republicans, gay rights  
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Is Obama triangulating? Naah, not really.

A White House official emails Ben Smith to dispute the notion that Obama's assault on the left yesterday was part of a concerted strategy of triangulating: Obama, the official noted, was "responding to several very loud voices from the left."...

By Greg Sargent  | December 8, 2010; 1:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (77)
Categories:  House GOPers, Senate Republicans, taxes  
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In blow to DADT repeal, talks with Senator Collins hit wall

Senior Senate Democratic aides are in a panic this morning about the prospects for repeal of don't ask don't tell, because talks with Senator Susan Collins over her procedural demands have hit a wall, with the Democratic leadership dismissing her...

By Greg Sargent  | December 8, 2010; 12:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (85)
Categories:  Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, gay rights  
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Does Obama have contempt for the left?

Yesterday, President Obama gave a combative response to criticism he's been receiving from the left for his proposed deal with Republicans to extend both the middle and upper income tax cuts. Sounding a note that resembled his rebuke to neoconservatives...

By Adam Serwer  | December 8, 2010; 10:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
 
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The Morning Plum

Does the public support Obama's tax cut deal? White House officials have been predicting that the public would support the deal once they realized what Obama is getting in return for temporarily extending the high end cuts, and the...

By Greg Sargent  | December 8, 2010; 8:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (51)
Categories:  2012, House Dems, Morning Plum, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, gay rights, taxes  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Is there really a liberal revolt? The new Pew poll finds no evidence that rank and file Democrats agree that Obama is too quick to give away the store to Republicans: Obama's job approval ratings among Democrats remain strong...

By Greg Sargent  | December 7, 2010; 5:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (95)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security, Happy Hour Roundup, House Dems, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, gay rights, taxes  
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Obama administers a stern scolding to lefty critics

I noted this morning that Obama's strategy going forward will be to position himself as Washington's lone resident adult in a town full of squabbling children on right and left, and at his presser just now, Obama offered a surprisingly...

By Greg Sargent  | December 7, 2010; 3:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (108)
Categories:  Health reform, House Dems, Senate Dems, taxes  
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Is liberal anger at Obama overstated?

I noted below that a new poll sponsored by MoveOn finds intense opposition among Obama's 2008 contributors to a deal extending the Bush tax cuts for the rich. But it's only fair to note the counterargument: In a general sense,...

By Greg Sargent  | December 7, 2010; 1:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (62)
Categories:  2010 elections, 2012, Independents, taxes  
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Poll: Obama supporters strongly opposed to deal extending Bush tax cuts

Okay, we now have our first poll measuring the impact on the Democratic base of Obama's support for a temporary extension of all the Bush tax cuts. Suffice it to say this is a major, make-or-break issue with them that...

By Greg Sargent  | December 7, 2010; 11:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (48)
Categories:  House Dems, Senate Dems, taxes  
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A liberal revolt over the tax cut deal?

The $900 billion deal to extend all of the Bush tax cuts represents a substantial retreat for the president on a major campaign promise, a major victory for the Republican Party, and, let's face it, complete obliteration of the notion...

By Adam Serwer  | December 7, 2010; 10:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (53)
Categories:  House Dems, Senate Dems, gay rights, taxes  
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The Morning Plum

* The first glimpse of Obama's strategy for dealing with divided government: With Democrats reeling in the wake of Obama's deal to extend all the Bush tax cuts, Michael Scherer has a remarkably sane take on what happened, noting that...

By Greg Sargent  | December 7, 2010; 8:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (46)
Categories:  2012, House Dems, House GOPers, Morning Plum, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, taxes  
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Happy Hour Roundup

UPDATE, 6:50 p.m.: In his remarks just now, President Obama conceded he was unhappy with the compromise that temporarily extends the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. But he said it was the only way to prevent taxes from going...

By Greg Sargent  | December 6, 2010; 6:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (75)
Categories:  Happy Hour Roundup, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Republicans, taxes  
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If not now, when?

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has now reiterated his call for Congress to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell right way, before the courts do it instead: "The Congress has two weeks to act on the legislation and I'm not particularly optimistic...

By Greg Sargent  | December 6, 2010; 3:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
Categories:  Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, gay rights  
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Whether DADT repeal passes is largely up to Reid and Obama

Let's not lose sight of this fact: Whether or not Don't Ask Don't Tell is repealed this year is largely up to Harry Reid and Barack Obama. Can those two men wave a wand and force enough Republicans to vote...

By Greg Sargent  | December 6, 2010; 2:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
Categories:  Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, gay rights  
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Why the left is angry at Obama

Dem Rep. Anthony Weiner, who has a real talent for crystallizing liberal anger at Obama into pithy phrases, has just released a statement opening fire on all the talk about a pending "deal" on the tax cuts. It gets at...

By Greg Sargent  | December 6, 2010; 12:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (162)
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, gay rights, taxes  
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How Dems can still eke out a bitter but significant victory

It looks as though the parties are close to deal on the extension of all of the Bush tax cuts for two years in exchange for an extension of unemployment benefits. This is a tremendous capitulation for Democrats and a...

By Adam Serwer  | December 6, 2010; 10:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (73)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, gay rights, taxes  
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The Morning Plum

* Deal takes shape on Bush tax cuts: The President is privately signaling that he will agree to a temporary extension of all the tax cuts, but only if the GOP agrees to extend unemployment benefits. GOP leaders appear willing...

By Greg Sargent  | December 6, 2010; 8:36 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (46)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security, Morning Plum, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, gay rights, taxes  
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Sunday Open Thread

Now that Republicans have successfully filibustered Obama's plan to continue tax cuts for everyone but the wealthiest Americans, it looks like a temporary extension of all the cuts is all but certain. So the only way Dems can walk out...

By Greg Sargent  | December 5, 2010; 9:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (116)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security, gay rights, taxes  
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