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The Plum Line: December 12, 2010 - December 18, 2010

DADT repeal wins!

In a historic victory for the military, the Senate Dem leadership, the White House, and the civil rights of embattled gay and lesbian service-members -- and in a massive rebuke to John McCain, Mitch McConnell and the GOP Senate minority's...

By Greg Sargent  | December 18, 2010; 12:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (308)
Categories:  Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, gay rights  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Obama signed the tax deal into law this afternoon, hailing bipartisan compromise, but also taking full ownership of the deal's success in averting a middle class tax hike: "I refused to let that happen. And because we acted, it's...

By Greg Sargent  | December 17, 2010; 6:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (103)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security, Happy Hour Roundup, Senate Republicans, gay rights, taxes  
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GOP Senator to Dems: If you try to pass DADT, Republicans won't pass START

UPDATE, 4:11 p.m.: In an interview with me just now, Senator Bob Corker doubled down on his contention that if Dems move on DADT, Republicans will be less likely to support START. "I felt like momentum was growing for START,"...

By Greg Sargent  | December 17, 2010; 3:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (159)
Categories:  Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, gay rights  
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Looks like Olympia Snowe will vote Yes on DADT repeal

Dana Bash confirms that Olympia Snowe will vote Yes tomorrow on the stand-alone bill repealing don't ask don't tell: Four key GOP senators who have announced their support of a "don't ask, don't tell" repeal are prepared to join Democrats...

By Greg Sargent  | December 17, 2010; 2:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, gay rights  
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The most effective and diabolical lie of the year

One of the big stories of the day is that PolitiFact has now bestowed its much-coveted award for lie of the year on the idea that health reform constituted a "government takeover" of our health care system. It's an excellent...

By Greg Sargent  | December 17, 2010; 1:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (128)
Categories:  Health reform, House GOPers, Political media  
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Will GOP spending cuts kill Obama's reelection chances?

Yesterday, Republicans defeated a massive omnibus spending bill to fund the federal government, arguing that the earmarks stuffed into the bill, among other things, constituted too much spending. At first glance, given the tiny percentage of the bill that's devoted...

By Adam Serwer  | December 17, 2010; 12:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (57)
Categories:  2012, Senate Republicans  
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Scott Brown will vote Yes on DADT repeal

Gettin' closer. Senator Scott Brown will vote Yes on the stand-alone bill to repeal don't ask don't tell when Harry Reid brings it up for a vote on Saturday, Brown's spokesperson confirms to me, putting the count of definite yes...

By Greg Sargent  | December 17, 2010; 10:17 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
 
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The Morning Plum

* Repeal of don't ask don't tell edges closer to reality: The big news of the morning is that Harry Reid will now hold a cloture vote on Saturday on the stand-alone bil repealing DADT, after talks between Dems and...

By Greg Sargent  | December 17, 2010; 8:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (60)
Categories:  Morning Plum, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, taxes  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Counterintuitive take of the day: Mark Murray says the real story about Obama's numbers, given all the setbacks he's suffered, are how stable they've been. * But maybe there is something of a revolt on the left: Gallup finds...

By Greg Sargent  | December 16, 2010; 6:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (83)
Categories:  Happy Hour Roundup, House Dems, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, gay rights, taxes  
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Good news and bad news on DADT

Harry Reid just talked to reporters about the timeline of don't ask don't tell, New START, and other last-minute initiatives. For those who want to see DADT repealed, there was both good news and bad news. The good news: Reid...

By Greg Sargent  | December 16, 2010; 4:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (67)
Categories:  Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, gay rights  
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House Democrats prolong their last stand

By now you may have heard that House Democrats this afternoon threw an obstacle in the path of the Obama tax cut deal, which was set for a vote today. House Dem leaders postponed a preliminary procedural vote because they...

By Greg Sargent  | December 16, 2010; 2:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (52)
Categories:  House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, taxes  
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How Harry Reid can make time for DADT repeal

Now that Scott Brown and Olympia Snowe have come out for the stand-alone bill in the Senate to repeal don't ask don't tell, there's no longer any doubt as to whether there are the necessary 60 votes in the Senate...

By Greg Sargent  | December 16, 2010; 12:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (111)
Categories:  Senate Dems, gay rights  
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Is the push to reform the Senate becoming a real movement?

It's worth noting that for the first time, the push to reform the Senate and change the filibuster is taking on the feeling of a real movement -- one with real institutional support on the left and a growing power...

By Greg Sargent  | December 16, 2010; 11:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
Categories:  Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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The Senate GOP's bore on Christmas

The clearest sign that Republican obstructionists in the Senate are becoming desperate as a result of the increasing likelihood that much of the Democratic lame-duck agenda might actually pass is their pathetic attempt to politicize Christmas. On Tuesday, Sen. Jon...

By Adam Serwer  | December 16, 2010; 10:36 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (45)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security, Senate Republicans, gay rights  
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The Morning Plum

* Next up on don't ask don't tell: With passage in the House now secured, there are more emerging signs DADT repeal has the votes to pass Senate. Steny Hoyer tells Ryan Grim that in an interview that he's obtained...

By Greg Sargent  | December 16, 2010; 8:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (58)
Categories:  House Dems, Morning Plum, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, gay rights, taxes  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Breaking: The House just passed a stand-alone bill repealing don't ask don't tell, 250-175. This ratchets up pressure on Harry Reid to hold a vote on the bill in the Senate. Simply put, the Senate now has the option...

By Greg Sargent  | December 15, 2010; 5:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (108)
Categories:  Happy Hour Roundup, Health reform, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, gay rights, taxes  
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Top House liberal concedes Obama tax deal likely to pass House

In another sign that Obama's tax cut deal seems likely to pass into law over liberal opposition, a top House progressive who opposes the compromise conceded in an interview that it's likely to pass the House pretty much as is,...

By Greg Sargent  | December 15, 2010; 2:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
Categories:  House Dems, Senate Dems, taxes  
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Jim DeMint's office: Reading full START treaty is a delaying "tool"

UPDATE, 3:17 p.m.: DeMint spokesman Wesley Denton just confirmed that the Senator will no longer insist on a reading of the treaty on the Senate floor, but claimed DeMint won this standoff, because the debate has been postponed: "Senator DeMint...

By Greg Sargent  | December 15, 2010; 1:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (57)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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Still another poll finds Dems support tax cut deal

Gallup released a poll this morning finding that a plurality, 49 percent, want Congress to pass the Obama tax cut deal, and I asked Gallup to send over a partisan breakdown to gauge whether there's really any revolt among rank-and-file...

By Greg Sargent  | December 15, 2010; 12:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (37)
Categories:  House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, taxes  
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Why Gen. Amos is wrong about his own Marines

Yesterday, Marine Commandant Gen. James Amos told Stars and Stripes that he was worried repeal of don't ask don't tell could lead to casualties on the battlefield: "Mistakes and inattention or distractions cost Marines lives," he said. "That's the currency...

By Adam Serwer  | December 15, 2010; 10:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (71)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security, gay rights  
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The Morning Plum

* Big day today: If the Senate is the saucer that cools the hot tea from the House, as the famous metaphor has it, that dynamic will be on full display today, with major votes set in the House on...

By Greg Sargent  | December 15, 2010; 8:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (69)
Categories:  House Dems, House GOPers, Morning Plum, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, gay rights, taxes  
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Happy Hour Roundup

All, today's roundup will be shorter than usual because I've got some stuff to do. And so... * Is it really true that Justice Antonin Scalia has accepted Michele Bachmann's invitation for him to give a lecture to incoming House...

By Greg Sargent  | December 14, 2010; 5:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (102)
Categories:  Health reform, House Dems, Senate Dems, gay rights, taxes  
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Don't let the tax cut deal's current popularity overshadow DADT repeal

At least two polls show the tax cut deal between President Obama and congressional Republicans with strong bipartisan political support. But Democrats shouldn't assume that because the tax cut deal is popular now, they're free to drag their feet on other...

By Adam Serwer  | December 14, 2010; 3:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (63)
 
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Harry Reid must vow to hold vote on DADT repeal

It's time. The announcement this morning that House Dems will vote on their own stand alone bill to repeal don't ask don't tell catapults the ball back into Harry Reid's court. If repeal is going to have any chance, the...

By Greg Sargent  | December 14, 2010; 1:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
Categories:  Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, gay rights  
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Why House Dems are in major bind over tax deal

With many House Democrats still furious about Obama's tax cut deal, they are now debating internally how to mount a last stand of sorts against the compromise -- a last ditch effort to block it or at least put their...

By Greg Sargent  | December 14, 2010; 12:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (115)
Categories:  House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, taxes  
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Breaking: House Dems will introduce stand alone DADT repeal bill

This was uncertain as late as this morning. But just now, in a briefing with reporters, Steny Hoyer confirmed it: House Dems will indeed introduce a stand alone bill this week to repeal don't ask don't tell. Hoyer said that...

By Greg Sargent  | December 14, 2010; 11:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (71)
Categories:  House Dems, Senate Dems, gay rights  
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The Morning Plum

* House Dems to mount last stand on the Obama tax cut deal: House Dems are preparing their final push against the tax cut compromise, which could ratchet up tensions yet again between Dems and the White House. With the...

By Greg Sargent  | December 14, 2010; 8:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (39)
Categories:  Health reform, House Dems, House GOPers, Morning Plum, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, gay rights, taxes  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Obama's statement to reporters just now on the Senate's vote on the tax cut deal cranks up the pressure on the House to act immediately: I urge the House of Representatives to act quickly on this important matter. Because...

By Greg Sargent  | December 13, 2010; 6:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (55)
Categories:  Happy Hour Roundup, Health reform, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, gay rights, taxes  
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Senate votes for tax cut deal. What's route through House?

In a victory for the White House, the Senate just passed a cloture motion on Obama's tax cut deal, getting it past a key procedural hurdle and moving it one step closer to law. This isn't the final straight up...

By Greg Sargent  | December 13, 2010; 4:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
Categories:  House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, taxes  
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What if most rank and file Dems support tax cut deal?

In defending the Obama tax cut deal against Democratic criticism, White House officials have argued that the deal's opponents don't speak for Democrats as a whole. Communications director Dan Pfeiffer, for instance, suggested to Politico recently that liberal criticsm of...

By Greg Sargent  | December 13, 2010; 3:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (52)
Categories:  House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, taxes  
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Legal expert: Ruling on health reform is "very defective" and "will be overturned"

As you have already heard, a federal judge in Virginia today pronounced the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional, delivering the hardest legal blow yet to Obama's signature domestic achievement and handing "Obamacare" foes some new material for their ongoing anti-Obamacare dance...

By Greg Sargent  | December 13, 2010; 1:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (54)
Categories:  Health reform, Supreme Court  
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New York Times pronounces Republicans "deficit hawks"

The New York Times, in a straight news article, states as established fact that the incoming House GOP majority is comprised of "deficit hawks." Jonathan Bernstein erupts: There's simply no justification for a neutral-voiced article calling the incoming Republican majority...

By Greg Sargent  | December 13, 2010; 12:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
Categories:  House GOPers, Senate Dems, deficit, taxes  
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Memo to Senate GOP: Courts will repeal DADT if Congress doesn't

In their testimony before the Senate, Pentagon leaders emphasized that if Congress did not act to repeal don't ask don't tell, the courts were likely to do so on their own, creating chaos for the military, which would then be...

By Adam Serwer  | December 13, 2010; 11:07 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  Senate Republicans, gay rights  
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The Morning Plum

* Democrats acknowledge the inevitable: The tax deal will pass. House Dems will be forced to swallow one last compromise before heading into the minority. The Senate is set to vote today on Obama's tax deal, and Dem leaders in...

By Greg Sargent  | December 13, 2010; 8:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (57)
Categories:  House Dems, House GOPers, Morning Plum, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, Tea Party, gay rights, taxes  
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Sunday Open Thread

Who's winning?...

By Greg Sargent  | December 12, 2010; 9:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (51)
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
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