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The Plum Line: December 26, 2010 - January 1, 2011

Is Sarah Palin toast?

Thanks, again, to Greg for inviting me and to everyone for reading -- and Happy New Year to all. Before I go, I'll just do a bit of blogging on everyone's favorite subject, the Sage of Wasilla. Nate Silver had...

By Jonathan Bernstein  | December 31, 2010; 3:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (253)
Categories:  2012  
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Here comes filibuster reform

One more time, on the filibuster and what's likely to happen next week. First, an update: it seems that Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell are working towards the possibility of some sort of compromise, which would then be voted in...

By Jonathan Bernstein  | December 31, 2010; 10:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (48)
 
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Happy Hour Roundup

You know, as easy as it is to mock (as I've done), I'm not actually against formally reading the Constitution on the House floor.  As meaningless ceremonial clutter goes, well, it beats the Pledge of Allegiance.  By a lot.  But...

By Jonathan Bernstein  | December 30, 2010; 5:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (154)
Categories:  Happy Hour Roundup  
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For National Economic Council, forget appearances

Noam Scheiber has a good discussion today of the pros and cons surrounding the possible appointment of Gene Sperling to replace Larry Summers at the National Economic Council (see also Ezra Klein).  The job, an important one, requires an honest...

By Jonathan Bernstein  | December 30, 2010; 3:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
 
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Why liberals think their politicians are all wimps

There's a good question floating around the intertubes today, framed by The Economist's E.G.: There seems to be a certain temperamental difference between conservatives and Republicans on the one hand and liberals and the Democrats on the other. In broad...

By Jonathan Bernstein  | December 30, 2010; 11:07 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
Categories:  House Dems, Senate Dems  
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The Senate's Opening Day

Brian Beutler over at TPM has some reporting on the emerging rules reform package that will be offered in the Senate by Tom Udall and Jeff Merkley on Jan. 5. I find the substance underwhelming, and I'm not someone who...

By Jonathan Bernstein  | December 30, 2010; 10:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Senate Dems  
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Happy Hour Roundup

Today's great 2012 read is David S. Bernstein's review in the Phoenix of the lay of the (GOP) land in New Hampshire, post-2010.  (Disclosure: by my brother, the journalist).  I like his general speculation at the end: Candidates will also...

By Jonathan Bernstein  | December 29, 2010; 5:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (198)
Categories:  Happy Hour Roundup  
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Long-term fixes needed

More great blogging from Ezra Klein, in this case two excellent items about the stimulus package. I think the real policy takeaway here, and in general from the events of 2007-2010, is that the anti-recession regime built after the New...

By Jonathan Bernstein  | December 29, 2010; 3:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Economy / unemployment  
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The odd GOP compulsion to punish Democrats retroactively

My favorite in this genre, the all-time classic, is the 22nd Amendment, which Republicans passed to punish FDR by prohibiting Ike, Reagan, and W. from serving a third term. (Okay, granted, the only one who realistically had a shot of...

By Jonathan Bernstein  | December 29, 2010; 2:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
Categories:  House GOPers  
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A possible deal on nominations reform

Ezra Klein believes that Democrats and Republicans may be able to cut a deal on Senate rules about nominations; it seems that Mike Lee, incoming GOP senator from Utah, currently holds the 2005 GOP position that judicial nominations should not...

By Jonathan Bernstein  | December 29, 2010; 10:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
 
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Happy Hour Roundup

Speaking of deficits, those who like large budget deficits should be be quite pleased that House Republicans are fulfilling their promise to replace deficit-reducing PAYGO with deficit-increasing CUTGO.  Robert Greenstein and James Horney explain this in more depth; see also...

By Jonathan Bernstein  | December 28, 2010; 5:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (269)
Categories:  Happy Hour Roundup  
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Democracy, deficits, and 'preemptive fiscal adjustment'

I'm a big fan of a series of posts Matt Yglesias has written about what he calls "preemptive fiscal adjustment" (previous posts here and here). I think it's a good topic for thinking about incentives and democracy, which I'm going...

By Jonathan Bernstein  | December 28, 2010; 3:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
Categories:  deficit  
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The early line on 2012

I think Nate Silver's round-up of Barack Obama's reelection prospects is pretty good.  The conclusion sounds right -- that Obama is in reasonably good shape, but that it's a mistake to extrapolate from 1982 and 1994 and conclude that just...

By Jonathan Bernstein  | December 28, 2010; 12:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
Categories:  2012  
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Earmarks, lettermarks, phonemarks (hey -- why no textingmarks?)

I suppose everyone's going to be reading Ron Nixon's article this morning about the ways that members of Congress influence agencies to spend on specific projects with or without earmarks.  And they should; it's well-reported.  What's missing, however, is what's...

By Jonathan Bernstein  | December 28, 2010; 10:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
Categories:  House GOPers, Senate Republicans  
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Happy Hour Roundup

Today's must-read is Brian Beutler's reporting on GOP plans to fight regulations. At first glance, I'm going to say that this seems more like posturing and spin than effective, substantive tactics; most likely, the real leverage that the GOP can...

By Jonathan Bernstein  | December 27, 2010; 4:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (99)
Categories:  Happy Hour Roundup  
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EPA action isn't 'unilateral'

The EPA acts and threatens more; James Joyner complains:Presidents have, since the days of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, made unilateral decisions arguably outside the scope of their Constitutional power and dared Congress or the Courts to stop them.   The ...

By Jonathan Bernstein  | December 27, 2010; 1:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (40)
 
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No, we don't want a Mr. Smith Senate

Anyone interested in Senate reform should read Ezra Klein's terrific interview with Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) -- if you missed it at the end of last week, go back and read it now. I'll also note Merkley's memo about reform.I...

By Jonathan Bernstein  | December 27, 2010; 12:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
 
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Nominations and the filibuster in the 112th Senate

Jonathan Bernstein writes about American politics, political institutions and democracy at A Plain Blog About Politics, and you can follow him on Twitter here.First of all, thanks to Greg for asking me to fill in for him. As they...

By Jonathan Bernstein  | December 27, 2010; 9:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
 
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