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The Plum Line: January 2, 2011 - January 8, 2011

Open Thread

I have to get a tooth pulled today. Should be a nice break from following politics....

By Greg Sargent  | January 8, 2011; 9:13 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (355)
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Takedown of the day: Rick Brookhiser on the fantasy that Rudy Giuliani has any chance of becoming the 2012 GOP nominee. Short, but brutal. * Jonathan Cohn is optimistic that Dems are finally showing some fight on health care....

By Greg Sargent  | January 7, 2011; 6:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (117)
Categories:  Happy Hour Roundup, Health reform, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, White House, deficit  
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Matt Bai: No ideological shift

Matt Bai breaks with the conventional wisdom, arguing that the William Daley pick does not portend an ideological shift on Obama's part: [I]f the appointments of Mr. Daley and Mr. Sperling portend some kind of ideological break from where the...

By Greg Sargent  | January 7, 2011; 4:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  Political media, White House  
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The GOP's message discipline

Everyone is linking to this Steven Pearlstein column skewering the GOP's ubiquitous talking point that everything Obama and Democrats have done is a "job killer." Folks are pushing back on the "job killer" talking point by pointing to a new...

By Greg Sargent  | January 7, 2011; 2:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (80)
Categories:  Health reform, House GOPers, Political media  
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Obama didn't govern from the "left," part 973

As I noted yesterday, one problem with the William Daley pick is that it risks reinforcing a totally false interpretation of Obama's first two years: That he governed from the "left." Predictably, the "centrist" group Third Way has jumped on...

By Greg Sargent  | January 7, 2011; 1:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (70)
Categories:  2010 elections, 2012, Health reform, White House  
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Why Dems are kicking into high gear against repeal

I noted yesterday that the DNC has fixed on a concerted message to fight the GOP's push to repeal health reform, and in another sign that Dems are kicking into high gear, Organizing for America is going out with an...

By Greg Sargent  | January 7, 2011; 11:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (45)
Categories:  Health reform, House GOPers  
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Pursuing racial division

Ron Brownstein has a piece in National Journal about voters' "white flight" from the Democratic Party during the midterms that is bound to get a lot of attention: By any standard, white voters' rejection of Democrats in November's elections was...

By Adam Serwer  | January 7, 2011; 10:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
Categories:  2010 elections, race  
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The Morning Plum

* White House talking points on Bill Daley: The White House is distributing a set of talking points to outside allies -- sent over by a source -- on how to sell the Bill Daley pick: Talking Points: Bill Daley...

By Greg Sargent  | January 7, 2011; 8:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (124)
Categories:  Health reform, House Dems, House GOPers, Morning Plum, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, White House, deficit  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Did anyone else notice that GOP Reps. Michele Bachmann and Steve King -- both Tea Party chieftains who routinely wrap themselves and their policy preferences in the Constitution -- were conspicuously absent from today's reading? My understanding is that...

By Greg Sargent  | January 6, 2011; 6:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (110)
Categories:  Happy Hour Roundup, Health reform, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Tea Party, White House, deficit  
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Senator Nelson's office clarifies position on filibuster reform

As you probably noticed, Senator Ben Nelson has taken a bit of a beating in the last 24 hours because he seemed to tell a local media outlet that he opposes filibuster reform. "The last thing we need to do...

By Greg Sargent  | January 6, 2011; 4:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (35)
Categories:  Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, filibuster  
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Dems sharpen message for health repeal fight

Lots of people around the Web have been asking whether Democrats have settled on a clear, compelling and coherent strategy for the war against the GOP's effort to repeal the health care law, and it looks like the Democratic National...

By Greg Sargent  | January 6, 2011; 3:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (50)
Categories:  Health reform, House GOPers  
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Strange bedfellows: U.S. Chamber and AFL-CIO may team up against House GOP infrastructure cuts

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO -- two powerful players that are often at each other's throats -- are considering teaming up for a campaign against the House GOP's planned cuts to infrastructure spending, spokespeople for both groups...

By Greg Sargent  | January 6, 2011; 2:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  House GOPers, budget  
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The problem with William Daley as new chief of staff

So it now appears to be official: Obama has chosen William Daley as his new chief of staff. There's been a lot written about how this pick is sure to anger the liberal base, because the optics of appointing a...

By Greg Sargent  | January 6, 2011; 12:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (154)
Categories:  White House  
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Huck Finning the Constitution

Earlier this week, there was an uproar over a publisher's plans to release an edition of Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn that would replace the N-word with the word "slave" in order to make the book more "appropriate"...

By Adam Serwer  | January 6, 2011; 10:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (146)
Categories:  House Dems, House GOPers  
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The Morning Plum

* The new order, House GOP style: Lots of good reporting out there this morning on yesterday's changing of the guard and what it means. Shailagh Murray and Paul Kane have a good curtain-raiser explaining that for all the Republicans'...

By Greg Sargent  | January 6, 2011; 8:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (51)
Categories:  Health reform, House Dems, House GOPers, Morning Plum, Senate Dems, Tea Party, filibuster  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Is Nancy Pelosi openly siding against Harry Reid, and with the House GOP, on earmarks? That's what Eric Cantor says he took from a conference call he had with Pelosi and Obama today. Aaccording to Cantor, Pelosi remarked that...

By Greg Sargent  | January 5, 2011; 6:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (136)
Categories:  Happy Hour Roundup, House Dems, House GOPers, Political media, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, filibuster  
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Sarah Palin proves lying can be very effective

Some folks on the right are excited about an article in The New York Times today reporting that the Obama administration, in a sudden shift, has decided to nix those fabled "death panels": The Obama administration, reversing course, will revise...

By Greg Sargent  | January 5, 2011; 4:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (68)
Categories:  Health reform  
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Harry Reid sure sounds serious about filibuster reform

There's been a lot of speculation of late that Harry Reid -- under attack from Republicans -- may flinch from supporting the filibuster reform package that Senate Dem reformers have just unveiled. But in remarks on the Senate floor moments...

By Greg Sargent  | January 5, 2011; 2:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (81)
Categories:  Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, filibuster  
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Here it is: The filibuster reform package!

Here's a copy of the filibuster reform resolution that Senate Democrats will introduce later today, sent over by an aide to Tom Udall, one of the key Senators driving this campaign. While the broad outlines of the proposal were...

By Greg Sargent  | January 5, 2011; 12:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (51)
Categories:  Senate Dems, filibuster  
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The Tea Party does not own the Constitution

Now that we've learned that Michele Bachmann is mulling a run for president, it's worth taking a quick look at how she views the Constitution. Unsurprisingly, this leading Tea Party warrior queen seems to share the impression many Tea Partyers...

By Greg Sargent  | January 5, 2011; 12:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (110)
Categories:  House Dems, House GOPers  
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Breaking: Trotsky also possibly a member of the New Black Panthers

My posts on the New Black Panther case seem to have hit a mark. Conservative former voting section attorney J. Christian Adams, who has been hailed as a "whistleblower" by conservatives, took to his blog yesterday to accuse me of...

By Adam Serwer  | January 5, 2011; 10:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
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The Morning Plum

* Congressional GOP formally takes power today: With House Republicans set to assume the majority at noon, Paul Kane lays out the long-term game plan: The real action will come after all the symbolic efforts to repeal Obama's agenda, when...

By Greg Sargent  | January 5, 2011; 8:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (102)
Categories:  Health reform, House GOPers, Morning Plum, Political media, Tea Party  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Is Robert Gibbs on his way out of the White House? * If so, Chris Cillizza notes, it could mean the Obama team thinks it's already time to get serious about reelection. * Reality check of the day, from...

By Greg Sargent  | January 4, 2011; 6:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (84)
Categories:  2012, Happy Hour Roundup, Health reform, House Dems, House GOPers, deficit  
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GOP to invite Dems to join in reading of the Constitution

After taking heat for their plan to read the Consitution on the House floor, House Republicans will send out a letter to the whole House membership tonight -- Dems included -- inviting them to participate in Thursday's reading of the...

By Greg Sargent  | January 4, 2011; 5:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (78)
Categories:  House Dems, House GOPers  
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GOP unlikely to allow Dem amendments to repeal bill

As I noted here yesterday, Rep. Peter Welch and other Democrats are hoping to introduce amendments to the GOP's health repeal bill that would exempt specific provisions in the Affordable Care Act from the GOP's repeal measure. This has the...

By Greg Sargent  | January 4, 2011; 3:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  Health reform, House Dems, House GOPers  
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Merkley: Delay could be good for filibuster reform

A quick filibuster reform update. With the internal debates among Senate Dems over filibuster reform moving very quickly on the Hill right now, some people seem worried about the fact that Harry Reid is reportedly seeking a delay on introducing...

By Greg Sargent  | January 4, 2011; 1:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, filibuster  
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Rubin still flat wrong about Black Panther nonsense

Jennifer Rubin responds to yesterday's post on how Republicans have manufactured a scandal out of the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case: Let's take them in order. Adam asserts: "Republican congressmen Lamar Smith and Darrell Issa are literally accusing...

By Adam Serwer  | January 4, 2011; 12:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
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Lamar Alexander: Confused or wily?

I noted this morning that Lamar Alexander's argument against filibuster reform is deeply twisted, but it's really worth pondering his argument at more length. According to The New York Times, Alexander is giving a speech this morning in which he'll...

By Greg Sargent  | January 4, 2011; 11:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Senate Republicans, filibuster  
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The Morning Plum

* Obama: GOP leaders will eventually get serious about cooperating with me: Obama, returning to D.C. on Air Force One, brushed off the GOP's plans to repeal health reform with a surprisingly optimistic prediction of what's to come, per the...

By Greg Sargent  | January 4, 2011; 8:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (52)
Categories:  Health reform, House Dems, House GOPers, Morning Plum, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* It's official: The House GOP will move to repeal the Affordable Care Act next week, holding a vote on January 12th. * And: The GOP legislation repealing health reform will be available on line later tonight right here. *...

By Greg Sargent  | January 3, 2011; 6:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (130)
Categories:  Happy Hour Roundup, Health reform, House Dems, House GOPers, filibuster  
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Dems playing rough on health reform?

More signs Dems are going to get aggressive in the battle with the GOP over the repeal of health reform. In an interview with me just now, Dem Rep. Anthony Weiner, who is one of the best there is at...

By Greg Sargent  | January 3, 2011; 4:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (67)
Categories:  Health reform, House Dems, House GOPers  
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Why Dems should welcome GOP reading of Constitution

Liberals have mostly responded to the House GOP's plans to read the Constitution aloud on the House floor with equal parts derision and outrage. But E.J. Dionne makes the case today that Dems should embrace the GOP's plan as an...

By Greg Sargent  | January 3, 2011; 3:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (88)
Categories:  Health reform, Tea Party  
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Senate Dems to Boehner: We'll block your repeal push

Game on! In the first official response from Dems to the House GOP plan to repeal health reform, Senate Democrats have penned a sharply worded letter to House Speaker John Boehner vowing that repeal is a dead letter in the...

By Greg Sargent  | January 3, 2011; 1:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (206)
Categories:  Health reform, House GOPers, Senate Dems  
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Psst. Conservatives? Eric Holder was right about Black Panther nonsense

The Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin, who has done a great deal to frame the conservative narrative on the New Black Panther story, is irate that Attorney General Eric Holder recently dismissed the right's charges about the Panther voter intimidation case...

By Adam Serwer  | January 3, 2011; 11:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (64)
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
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The dumbest "American exceptionalism" attack on Obama yet

The last thing you need is more proof of the mindlessness and vapidity of the right's attack on Obama for allegedly not believing in "American exceptionalism." But Bill Kristol's latest rendition is really worth savoring, because it unwittingly shows what...

By Greg Sargent  | January 3, 2011; 10:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
Categories:  2012  
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The Morning Plum

* First question of the new year: Are Dems really going to go on offense against health reform repeal? And we're off and running! With the new House GOP leadership vowing to vote to repeal health reform before Obama's State...

By Greg Sargent  | January 3, 2011; 8:39 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
Categories:  2012, Health reform, House GOPers, Political media, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, filibuster, taxes  
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Sunday Open Thread

Many, many thanks to Jonathan Bernstein for his excellent and insightful work in this space last week. I hope you all had a great holiday, and I'll be back with the usual full-time blogging first thing tomorrow morning. What should...

By Greg Sargent  | January 2, 2011; 9:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (209)
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
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