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The Plum Line: February 6, 2011 - February 12, 2011

Open Thread

All yours....

By Greg Sargent  | February 12, 2011; 8:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (318)
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Jackie Calmes reports from inside the White House that officials are confident they have the upper hand over the GOP in the coming debt ceiling standoff. * Jake Tapper takes a skeptical look at the Obama administration's record on...

By Greg Sargent  | February 11, 2011; 6:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (159)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security, Happy Hour Roundup, House Dems, House GOPers, abortion, debt ceiling  
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Obama: "Today belongs to the people of Egypt"

From President Obama's remarks on Mubarak's departure just now: This is not the end of Egypt's transition. It's a beginning. I'm sure there will be difficult days ahead. And many questions remain unanswered. But I am confident that the peple...

By Greg Sargent  | February 11, 2011; 4:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (74)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security  
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Bipartisanship! Repubs, Dems, indys agree jobs far more important than deficit

Today's Gallup poll finds yet again that the public ranks jobs as a far more important problem than the deficit. The partisan breakdown shows that even Republicans agree with this: While Republicans are more likely to cite the deficit as...

By Greg Sargent  | February 11, 2011; 2:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  Political media, bipartisanship, deficit  
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Egypt

Mubarak is out, and Nick Kristof strikes a triumphant but also cautionary note on what it means and what's next: This is a huge triumph for people power, and it will resonate across the Middle East and far beyond (you...

By Greg Sargent  | February 11, 2011; 1:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (137)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security  
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Mitt Romney's health care Gordian Knot

Mitt Romney just wrapped up his speech at CPAC, and for someone who threw around all kinds of red meat attacks about the President -- the "Obama Misery Index," "Obama's Hoovervilles," etc. -- it's awfully strange that he said virtually...

By Greg Sargent  | February 11, 2011; 12:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (39)
Categories:  2012, Health reform  
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The GOP's post-birtherism

After a Republican congressman from Idaho, Rep. Raul Labrador, made a joke implying that the president wasn't born in the U.S. at CPAC yesterday, Dave Weigel wrote "Striking just how mundane this seems now. Two years ago, this would have...

By Adam Serwer  | February 11, 2011; 10:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (52)
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
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The Morning Plum

* Conservatives crank up pressure on House GOP leadership: It's becoming clearer and clearer that conservatives are determined to leave House Republicans no maneuvering room whatsoever on their campaign promise of massive spending cuts. The latest: With the House GOP...

By Greg Sargent  | February 11, 2011; 8:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (119)
Categories:  Health reform, House Dems, House GOPers, Morning Plum, Senate Republicans, Supreme Court, Tea Party, abortion  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* The Tea is on full boil as House Republicans, facing a revolt from conservatives, vow to figure out a way to push the budget cuts back up to $100 billion. * A source close to White House deputy press...

By Greg Sargent  | February 10, 2011; 6:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (141)
Categories:  Happy Hour Roundup, Health reform, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Republicans, Tea Party  
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Pelosi vows huge fight against GOP over abortion

Nancy Pelosi's extremely blunt assessments of the true motives of Republicans are why her supporters love her and her enemies hate her with equal passion, and on a conference call with bloggers just now, she unleashed a slashing attack on...

By Greg Sargent  | February 10, 2011; 3:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (146)
Categories:  House Dems, House GOPers, abortion  
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Americans love government spending -- when you start to talk specifics

The new Pew poll perfectly captures the contradiction at the heart of public attitudes towards government and spending -- and suggests that Dems could have an advantage in the coming battles over these topics, provided they handle it the right...

By Greg Sargent  | February 10, 2011; 2:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (46)
Categories:  House GOPers, Senate Republicans, budget, deficit  
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House Republican on health law repeal: Time for GOP to "put up or shut up"

In another sign that the politics of repeal are far from a slam dunk for many Republicans, a House GOPer went way off the national Republican Party's message on the health law, dismissing the House vote for repeal as merely...

By Greg Sargent  | February 10, 2011; 12:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
Categories:  Health reform, House GOPers  
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Poll: No constituency for Muslim Brotherhood takeover in Egypt

Fears that the protests in Egypt would lead to an Islamist takeover have been a point of convergence for the regime of embattled Egyptian ruler Hosni Mubarak and some on the American right. But a new poll of Egyptians suggests...

By Adam Serwer  | February 10, 2011; 10:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (76)
 
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The Morning Plum

* GOP fractures as budget wars heat up: The budget wars are now underway in earnest, and as predicted, the House GOP proposal yesterday for cuts is nowhere near enough for House conservatives, who are staging a mini-revolt and demanding...

By Greg Sargent  | February 10, 2011; 8:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (93)
Categories:  House GOPers, Morning Plum, Political media, budget  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Jim Webb's retirement creates an open seat in a traditionally Republican stronghold, putting Dems on defense on yet another front and perhaps making GOP control of the Senate more likely. * Liberal hero Tom Perriello could run for Webb's...

By Greg Sargent  | February 9, 2011; 4:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (138)
Categories:  Happy Hour Roundup, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Tea Party, gay rights  
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What do House GOPers with Muslim constituents think of Pete King's hearings?

GOP Reps. Dave Reichert of Washington State and Richard Nugent of Florida both preside over districts with Muslim communities in them. They both have backgrounds in law enforcement. So you'd think they'd have something to say about Rep. Pete King's...

By Greg Sargent  | February 9, 2011; 3:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (45)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security, House GOPers  
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Ben Nelson on the individual mandate: "We need to find an alternative"

Here's Senator Ben Nelson, one of four red-state Dems who is now talking about changing the individual mandate, on MSNBC sounding extremely committed to the idea. He says that the mandate has now "attracted questions about its constitutionality," claims it's...

By Greg Sargent  | February 9, 2011; 1:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
Categories:  Health reform, Senate Dems  
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The right's delusions of world-historical grandeur

Is the Tea Party movement comparable to the abolitionist, civil rights and women's suffrage movements? As I've noted here before, it often seems like some on the right are suffering from what you might call a world-historical inferiority complex. They're...

By Greg Sargent  | February 9, 2011; 11:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (117)
Categories:  Health reform, Tea Party  
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Newsflash: Tea Party didn't kill Patriot Act

Yesterday, a vote on reauthorizing three expiring provisions of the Patriot Act failed after most Democrats and a few Republicans voted against it. So does the vote represent a new Tea Party revolt against big government? Hardly. Republicans hate the...

By Adam Serwer  | February 9, 2011; 10:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security, House GOPers, Tea Party  
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The Morning Plum

* The Democrats face a dilemma on job creation: What to watch for: Senate Dems are set to go to their retreat for the rest of the week, where they will try to figure out how to come up with...

By Greg Sargent  | February 9, 2011; 8:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (104)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security, Health reform, House GOPers, Morning Plum, Tea Party  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* With moderate Dems saying they're open to changing the individual mandate, the White House swiftly puts the kibosh on the idea, a sign of how committed Obama is to the mandate as the lynchpin of health reform. * Ezra...

By Greg Sargent  | February 8, 2011; 6:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (146)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security, Happy Hour Roundup, Health reform, House GOPers, Senate Dems, deficit  
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Why the DNC plan to nix corporate contributions to convention matters

Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems to me that there's been surprisingly little written by opinionmakers about the plan by Obama and Dems to nix direct corporate contributions funding the 2012 Democratic National Convention. The plan is an "important first...

By Greg Sargent  | February 8, 2011; 4:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (37)
Categories:  2012, Campaign finance  
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Pete King: No law enforcement officials will substantiate my claims about Muslims

As you know, Pete King is planning hearings into the radicalization of Muslim communities. He's now opened up a bit to The New York Times on what the focus of those hearings will be, and unless I'm missing something, he's...

By Greg Sargent  | February 8, 2011; 2:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (75)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security, House GOPers  
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Arianna planning huge expansion of citizen journalism for 2012 campaign

Arianna Huffington is planning to use AOL's infrastructure to launch a major expansion of citizen journalism in advance of the 2012 presidential campaign, she tells me in an interview, sharing new details about her vision of expanded political coverage in...

By Greg Sargent  | February 8, 2011; 12:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
Categories:  2012, Political media  
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Tim Pawlenty: DADT dead-ender all the way

Yesterday in Iowa, Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty (R) told the Center for American Progress's Igor Volsky that he is so opposed to the repeal of don't ask don't tell that he would be willing to defund it: PAWLENTY: We...

By Adam Serwer  | February 8, 2011; 10:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
Categories:  2012, gay rights  
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The Morning Plum

* Supreme Court to uphold health law? Read of the morning: Don't miss Harvard professor Laurence Tribe's strong piece arguing that the Supremes should uphold their "constitutional duty" and dismiss the transparently political lawsuits designed to overturn the Affordable Care...

By Greg Sargent  | February 8, 2011; 8:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (68)
Categories:  Health reform, House GOPers, Morning Plum, Senate Republicans, Tea Party, budget  
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Happy Hour Roundup

* Arianna Huffington, in an interview with Keach Hagey, rejects claims that the AOL deal means the site's liberal leanings will be diluted: "We don't see ourselves as left." I don't think Huffington means that the site's editorial choices don't...

By Greg Sargent  | February 7, 2011; 6:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (101)
Categories:  2012, Foreign policy and national security, Happy Hour Roundup, Health reform, Political media  
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About the U.S. Chamber's opposition to Iran sanctions

Brian Beutler points out that the semi-official Iranian news agency is claiming that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently sent a "statement" to Iran stating that the American business community is completely opposed to sanctions against that country designed to...

By Greg Sargent  | February 7, 2011; 3:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security  
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AFL-CIO: We liked Obama's challenge to Chamber of Commerce

I keep reading in various places that all those losers on the left are absolutely outraged that Obama sold them out by giving what's widely being described as an "olive branch" speech today to the Chamber of Commerce. But judging...

By Greg Sargent  | February 7, 2011; 2:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
Categories:  Labor  
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House GOPer: Leadership had to talk me into voting for repeal

Check out this interesting video, flagged by Democrats, of young up-and-coming House GOP Rep. Sean Duffy of Wisconsin, telling a local TV station that he was so skeptical of his leadership's claim that they intend to "replace" health reform after...

By Greg Sargent  | February 7, 2011; 1:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (64)
Categories:  Health reform, House GOPers  
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VandeHarris give away the game

Politico top dogs John Harris and Jim VandeHei have an important piece today arguing that President Obama has effectively played the Washington press corps "like a fiddle" with all his gestures designed to persuade them that he's moved to the...

By Greg Sargent  | February 7, 2011; 12:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
 
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Palin says nothing in particular about Egypt, still gets headlines

At the risk of enabling the media's habit of granting far too much attention to what Sarah Palin has to say, I still can't help pointing out that Sarah Palin's remarks on Egypt were essentially meaningless: It's a difficult situation....

By Adam Serwer  | February 7, 2011; 10:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (56)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security  
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The Morning Plum

* Obama and Chamber of Commerce to make nice: The President's speech to the Chamber today will prompt a lot of talk about a "thaw" in relations, but the truth is that the Chamber remains wholly committed on every level...

By Greg Sargent  | February 7, 2011; 8:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (65)
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security, Health reform, House GOPers, Morning Plum, Political media, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, debt ceiling  
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Sunday Open Thread

Keep at it....

By Greg Sargent  | February 6, 2011; 9:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (232)
 
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