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The Plum Line: December 19, 2010 - December 25, 2010

Christmas Eve Roundup

* It's good to see that Obama is so uninterested in the "triangulation" game that he's banned the word in the White House: Despite all his time studying the Clinton administration, Mr. Obama told his aides that he had no...

By Greg Sargent  | December 24, 2010; 8:39 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (348)
Categories:  House GOPers, Morning Plum, economy, gay rights  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Robert Gibbs tweets that Obama's State of the Union speech will "focus on our debt/deficit." * Filibuster reform update: Senator Jeff Merkley tells Ezra Klein it's not about doing away with the filibuster; it's about changing the rules to...

By Greg Sargent  | December 23, 2010; 5:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (107)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security, Happy Hour Roundup, Senate Dems, filibuster, gay rights  
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Congressional GOP accomplished a great deal, too

Okay, since I just spent some time hailing the achievements of Congressional Democrats, it's only fair to devote a post to what Congressional Republicans have accomplished. A number of you will balk at that last sentence. Surely Congressional Republicans didn't...

By Greg Sargent  | December 23, 2010; 3:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
Categories:  2010 elections, Health reform, House GOPers, Senate Republicans, Tea Party  
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The forgotten accomplishments of the 111th Congress

It's already been pointed out endlessly that the 111th Congress has been one of the most productive in decades. But here's another way to look at it: Consider all the things this Congress has accomplished that we aren't talking about....

By Greg Sargent  | December 23, 2010; 1:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (57)
Categories:  Financial reform, Health reform, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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Harry Reid devising plan to press forward with filibuster reform, aide says

Still more good news for filibuster reform: Harry Reid is in active discussions with his caucus about moving forward with reform in the new year, and is currently devising a plan to do just that, a senior Senate Democratic leadership...

By Greg Sargent  | December 23, 2010; 11:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (63)
Categories:  Senate Dems  
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Obama's (conservative) liberal agenda

As we reach the end of a successful lame-duck session of Congress and the second year of the Obama presidency, Perry Bacon writes, "This blitz of bill signings completes a dramatic first two years for the nation's first black president...

By Adam Serwer  | December 23, 2010; 10:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (81)
Categories:  Health reform  
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The Morning Plum

* Yes, it was a good lame duck session, but the GOP is poised to regain the initiative: The New York Times reminds us this morning that the GOP's takeover of the House next year will enable them to "take...

By Greg Sargent  | December 23, 2010; 8:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (46)
Categories:  2012, House Dems, House GOPers, Morning Plum, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* With the lame duck winding down, the DNC is ramping up its efforts to sell Obama's first two years as ranking among the most productive in memory. This video recapping all of Obama's achievements, and promising more to come,...

By Greg Sargent  | December 22, 2010; 5:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (120)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security, Happy Hour Roundup, House GOPers, Senate Dems, gay rights  
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Obama bested GOP in extraordinary lame duck session

So this afternoon, the Senate voted to ratify New START after months of partisan wrangling and passed the bill giving health benefits to 9/11 heroes after, well, years of partisan wrangling. This, on the same day that Obama signed the...

By Greg Sargent  | December 22, 2010; 4:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (80)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security, Health reform, House GOPers, Senate Republicans, gay rights, taxes  
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Obama's indefinite detention policy: A more humane version of Bush

Yesterday, the Obama administration indicated to reporters that long-awaited action codifying the Bush-era policy of indefinite detention for suspected terrorists would be put in place through executive order. So how bad is this? It's both very bad and an improvement...

By Adam Serwer  | December 22, 2010; 1:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (45)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security  
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Deal reached on 9/11 bill, clearing way for passage

UPDATE, 12:32 p.m.: Mike McAuliffe is reporting that a deal has finally been reached. More soon. ....and a source close to the negotiations confirms to me that a deal has indeed been struck. Details soon... UPDATE, 12:43 p.m.: Senate aides...

By Greg Sargent  | December 22, 2010; 11:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (111)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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The Morning Plum

* Obama to wrap up a successful lame-duck session today: President Obama may hold a press conference today after Wednesday's main events -- the signing of the bill repealing don't ask don't tell and the final vote on New START's...

By Greg Sargent  | December 22, 2010; 8:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (68)
Categories:  2012, Foreign policy and national security, Morning Plum, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, gay rights, race  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* This is pretty great: The Oklahoma City Fire Fighters call on their senators Tom Coburn and Jim Inhofe to support the health bill for 9/11 responders by citing their own experience responding to the 1995 domestic terror bombing of...

By Greg Sargent  | December 21, 2010; 6:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (186)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security, Happy Hour Roundup, Political media, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, gay rights, race  
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Dems call on Obama to push harder for 9/11 bill

In a surprisingly aggressive statement, a key New York lawmaker is demanding that President Obama take a more aggressive public and private role in prodding Congress to pass the 9/11 health bill, insisting that he "speak up and get personally...

By Greg Sargent  | December 21, 2010; 4:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (76)
Categories:  House Dems, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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Lindsey Graham: Senate owes Jon Kyl an apology for moving forward with New START

Look, I get that being an elected member of the world's greatest deliberative body is a really awesome gig, with lots of perks -- secret holds, Senators-only elevators -- that encourage a rather outsized view of the importance of individual...

By Greg Sargent  | December 21, 2010; 3:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (55)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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Dems enlist a new face in push for 9/11 bill: Bush

With even conservatives warning that the GOP is taking a big political risk by blocking the 9/11 health bill, Senate Dems clearly see the opportunity for political gain, and they're out with a new video featuring footage of Republicans themselves...

By Greg Sargent  | December 21, 2010; 1:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (46)
Categories:  Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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Conservative bloggers agree: Haley Barbour is toast

I noted here yesterday that the real problem with Haley Barbour's comments about the Citizens Councils is that they show an unwillingness to avoid urinating on the third rail of race. Today several conservative bloggers came out and denounced Barbour...

By Greg Sargent  | December 21, 2010; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (47)
Categories:  2012, race  
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GOP obstruction made START a White House win

Politico's Laura Rozen and Josh Gerstein report that despite the frivolous obstruction of Republicans in the Senate, New START looks poised for ratification. That has Republicans grumbling about President Obama's success in the lame duck session. Here's Senate Minority Leader...

By Adam Serwer  | December 21, 2010; 10:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (113)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security  
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The Morning Plum

* New START showdown set for today: With a key Senate vote set for today on the treaty, the pressure from the White House and military leadership on wavering GOP senators couldn't be more intense. The military leadership is engaged...

By Greg Sargent  | December 21, 2010; 8:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security, Health reform, House Dems, House GOPers, Morning Plum, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, gay rights, race  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Down to the wire: Obama personally lobbies GOP Senators by phone to support the New START treaty in advance of tomorrow's Senate vote. * Republican Senators privately concede that New START will pass. If it does, that will stand...

By Greg Sargent  | December 20, 2010; 6:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (130)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security, Happy Hour Roundup, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, gay rights, race  
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Does Haley Barbour have a "bubba" problem?

Haley Barbour is being taken seriously as a 2012 contender in Beltway circles, and he's a major GOP fundraiser and establishment player, which explains why it should be big news that he whitewashed the history of the Citizen Council in...

By Greg Sargent  | December 20, 2010; 3:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (90)
Categories:  2012, race  
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Conservatives growing uncomfortable with GOP blockade of 9/11 health bill

With Senate Democrats upping the pressure for passage of the bill giving health benefits to sickened 9/11 responders, it's going to get increasingly hard for GOP Senators to maintain their opposition. That's because even right-leaning commentators and political operatives are...

By Greg Sargent  | December 20, 2010; 1:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (115)
Categories:  Political media, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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Harry Reid earns his place in history

A month ago, with no members of the press present, Harry Reid gave a speech at the private wedding of his openly gay communications director, Jon Summers. According to a source who was present, Reid spoke powerfully in favor of...

By Greg Sargent  | December 20, 2010; 12:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (137)
Categories:  Senate Dems, gay rights  
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Time for the GOP to get serious on START

Senate Republicans need to stop playing politics with the New START treaty and ratify it. Without the treaty, America will lose the ability to monitor Russia's nuclear arsenal and will pointlessly antagonize a country in a position to aid the...

By Adam Serwer  | December 20, 2010; 10:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security  
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The Morning Plum

* The lame duck session's final push comes into view: The historic repeal of don't ask don't tell sets the stage for the final stretch of the lame duck session -- one that's shaping up as a surprisingly good one...

By Greg Sargent  | December 20, 2010; 8:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
Categories:  2012, House GOPers, Morning Plum, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, gay rights, taxes  
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Sunday Open Thread

Not a bad day yesterday. What's next?...

By Greg Sargent  | December 19, 2010; 9:08 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (228)
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
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