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Reposted from Daily Kos by Dave in Northridge
ABC's Jon Karl
ABC's Jonathan Karl moves past "fake but accurate"-gate and demands answers from White House Press Secretary Jay Carney about why President Obama didn't stop the IRS from targeting of conservative 501(c)(4) groups:
JON KARL: How was this allowed to go on for 18 months?  I mean, there were public reports while this was still happening of groups complaining that they had been asked these outrageous questions --
Yeah, why didn't Obama stop the IRS targeting? As Jon Karl says, there were public reports about it while this was still happening, so clearly, Obama must have known about it and decided to cover it up in order to sway the election, right? As Jon says:
 
KARL: There were public reports that this stuff was going on almost a year before the presidential election.
And yet despite these "public report" from "almost a year before the presidential election" Obama did nothing. How deeply sinister! It's clear there was a cover-up!

But I'll admit that I'm confused about one thing. If there was a cover-up, why was the information about the targeting already public? And if the information about the scandal was already public, why didn't Jon Karl or ABC run a single report about it until this month? Were they in on the cover-up that wasn't a cover-up because it was public?

And just in case your head's already hurting from trying to connect Karl's nonsensical logic to facts, here's another head-splitter: If Obama was covering up this thing that was in the public record that ABC was refusing to cover, why is that when Republicans in Congress learned about the IRS's internal inquiry, they said nothing? Were they secretly on Obama's payroll?

These are tough questions, but let's give Karl one last chance to put Carney on the spot:
 

KARL: You're missing the point of my question. Public reports almost a year before the election. Is there any responsibility from the administration of saying, hey, IRS, we don't treat groups differently based on politics [instead of waiting] for the report after the election to make a comment?
Wait, suddenly it all makes sense to me. Jon Karl is part of Barack Obama's conspiracy to make Republicans look like dolts. First, he uses nonexistent email quotes to convince Republicans that a nonexistent Benghazi scandal is actually the biggest thing ever, only to have the air popped out of that balloon. Now he's trying to convince Republicans that the IRS scandal was already public knowledge in 2012, which totally explains why neither he nor ABC ever reported on it and why it was so easy for Obama to cover it up.

Now that I've figured out that Jon Karl is actually an Obama stooge, the one thing that's perfectly clear is that Karl is doing all this to distract attention from the real scandal: President Obama was actually born in Benghazi, and The State Department sent the CIA there to cover the tracks of the ATF agents who had erased evidence of Obama's real birth certificate.

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Reposted from MinistryOfTruth by Dave in Northridge

Today's brutal takedown of career hack Jonathan Karl by Charles P. Pierce over at Esquire.com is a must read.

    Long ago, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur of Ohio once told me that she thought my craft went bad when it became the province almost exclusively of the over-educated, that it had professionalized itself out of its traditional role, that she wished there were a few more people practicing journalism who'd first worked on a loading dock, or in a mine, the way people used to come to the job. Here, with Karl, we apparently have a perfect product of the well-financed and staggeringly successful network of conservative institutions and programs launched more than 40 years ago by The Powell Memo. Assuming the FAIR report is accurate, then Jonathan Karl was not trained as a journalist, because the Collegiate Network doesn't produce journalists. It produces partisan warriors. He was not trained as a reporter, because the Collegiate Network doesn't produce reporters. It produces propagandists. He was not trained as a newsman, because the Collegiate Network doesn't produce newsmen. It produces hacks.

     This is, of course, indelicate for someone in my business to say but, at every level of his steady rise in the business, some executive should have looked at Karl's resume, seen The Collegiate Network there, and then shitcanned the thing before the interview process even began. Are there conservatives who are good reporters? Absolutely. But all the ones that I know came up the same way I did, and none of them came up through the coddled terrariums of the activist Right. They learned their craft. They were not trained to be spies in the camp of the enemy. They were not trained to be moles. And every damn one of them would have checked those phony e-mails before throwing them out to the public, and most of them wouldn't have fallen for them, because they are journalists, reporters, and newsmen. They are not partisan warriors, propagandists, or hacks. If Jonathan Karl doesn't like being called a hack, then he should stop being a hack. Here's one way to do it.

Blow the source who lied to you and, therefore, lied to us.

Do that. Or be a hack.

There's no third alternative.

A hat tip to @JohnSunununu for this catch from Esquire.com

Image Hosting by PictureTrail.com  Now, I've always thought that the worst thing for a journalist is when that journalists mishaps become the story, but for Jon Karl to just shrug his shoulders like "My bad" and then pretend that the lie he helped spread which is central to this story should be ignored while the story continues to be reported on is the height of journalistic malfeasance. Which is why I shall now think of the hapless journalist Kent Brockman whenever I think of Jonathan Karl. Because if Jon Karl wants to behave like a cartoonish caricature of a hack journalist I am happy to agree with him.

   Slightly more below the fold

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Mon May 20, 2013 at 06:53 AM PDT

In 'defense' of ABC's Jon Karl

by Jed Lewison

Reposted from The Jed Report by Dave in Northridge
ABC's Jon Karl
As John Aravosis notes, ABC's Jonathan Karl issued a strange nopology yesterday for his report on the Benghazi talking point emails:
“Clearly, I regret the email was quoted incorrectly and I regret that it’s become a distraction from the story, which still entirely stands.  I should have been clearer about the attribution.  We updated our story immediately.”

-Jonathan Karl, ABC News Chief White House Correspondent

"Entirely stands?" You write a story based on emails that weren't accurate (I'm being charitable) and your story "entirely stands"? Seriously? I mean, isn't this a case of "Other than that, how was the play Mrs. Lincoln?" Yeesh.

But let's step back for a moment and try to be fair and balanced. If you think about it, Karl actually does have a point here. The revelation that his story was based on inaccurate summaries of emails provided by Republicans eager to score political points hasn't actually changed the fact that his original report wasn't a blockbuster to begin with, even if it had been right. So his story still entirely stands—if by "entirely stands" you mean "is, was, and forever will be a complete yawn."

Yes, Karl's original story may have seemed like it was interesting—but only if you weren't actually paying attention to the substance. The thing that made it seem interesting was that the White House supposedly had weighed in on behalf of the State Department to cover up information suggesting that terrorists, potentially linked to al Qaeda, were suspected of participating in the attack. Of course, as we now know from the actual emails, that never happened, but you didn't need the actual emails to understand that point.

Remember, the root of the controversy here isn't the talking points per se, but what Susan Rice did and did not say on those Sunday talk shows. And if she was covering up the involvement of al Qaeda or terrorists she did an abysmal job, because as everybody in Washington, D.C. seems to have forgotten, she did say this:

I think it's clear that there were extremist elements that joined in and escalated the violence. Whether they were al Qaeda affiliates, whether they were Libyan-based extremists or al Qaeda itself I think is one of the things we'll have to determine.
Unless you're going to get on her case for saying "extremists" instead of "terrorists," there was no covering up there. Yes, she relayed the inaccurate information that the attack had begun as a reaction to the video that had inspired protests at other U.S. embassies in the region. But there's nothing new about that. She's long-since apologized for that mistake. Moreover, as the the emails show, her statement was in fact based on the CIA's assessment.

So, to return to my original point, the revelation that Jon Karl's emails were fabricated by Republicans doesn't change his original story. It was a nothing burger then and it's a nothingburger now.

It does, however, create a new story, and it should be a bit of scandal: Who in the Republican Party leaked the false emails to Jon Karl and why did he report them? After all, whoever did this is (a) privvy to classified information and (b) is more interested in scoring political points than protecting the country's national security. It's a question worth asking, not that there's a chance in hell Jon Karl will answer it—or that Darrell Issa will investigate it.

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Reposted from Ian Reifowitz by Ian Reifowitz
Alex Castellanos
Say what?
Benghazi. The IRS. AP phone records. The failures for which Barack Obama will be remembered are not just those of one man or one administration. They are the failures of an old idea, that big, old, dumb, top-down, factory style government can manage the complexities of modern times. The institutions of the past had their day but can't keep up with the hyper-connected, adaptive society we see emerging.
This is the latest in Republican thinking, via GOP strategist Alex Castellanos, writing at CNN. He says that these various matters represent "the constant and consistent failure of 'progressive government.'"

Maybe I'm just not sophisticated enough, "adaptive" or "hyper-connected" enough to understand this new-fangled Republican thinking. Maybe I'm stuck in "big, old, dumb, top-down" ways of thinking.

Nah. This guy's just a hack. But let's engage with Castellanos' ideas seriously for a minute. We can all agree that progressive philosophy centers on a larger role for government in the economy than that which laissez-faire, right-wing conservatives imagine. Fine.

So what in the world does that have to do with the scandal at the IRS -- a non-ideological, non-partisan organization that enforces rather than makes tax policy? And what does it have to do with the surveillance of AP reporters? Are we seriously going to pretend that conservatives haven't gone overboard at times by overzealously enforcing the law in the name of national security? Warrantless wiretaps anyone? And as for Benghazi (!), I'm not going to try and figure out how even the craziest of Republicans could say that their worst-case projection of what happened there has something to do with progressive philosophies on governance.

Let's call this op-ed article what it is. Unadulterated nonsense.

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Reposted from Daily Kos by Dave in Northridge
Clown invites media into Rep. Issa's #Benghazi circus hearing
ABC has joined the circus
Last week, ABC's Jon Karl broke a "blockbuster" scoop on BenghaziWhiteWaterGate™ showing that a senior White House aide had intervened on behalf of the State Department in the process of drafting Susan Rice's talking points:
In an email dated 9/14/12 at 9:34 p.m. — three days after the attack and two days before Ambassador Rice appeared on the Sunday shows – Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes wrote an email saying the State Department’s concerns needed to be addressed.

“We must make sure that the talking points reflect all agency equities, including those of the State Department, and we don’t want to undermine the FBI investigation.  We thus will work through the talking points tomorrow morning at the Deputies Committee meeting.”

And thus proof of the Obama administration's Benghazi talking point coverup was unveiled. But as CNN's Jake Tapper now reports, Karl's report quoted the Rhodes email inaccurately. Here's what Rhodes actually said:
All –

Sorry to be late to this discussion. We need to resolve this in a way that respects all of the relevant equities, particularly the investigation.

There is a ton of wrong information getting out into the public domain from Congress and people who are not particularly informed. Insofar as we have firmed up assessments that don’t compromise intel or the investigation, we need to have the capability to correct the record, as there are significant policy and messaging ramifications that would flow from a hardened mis-impression.

We can take this up tomorrow morning at deputies.

That's very different than the version Karl reported. Specifically, it doesn't say anything remotely like what Karl claimed it said. For example, the State Department isn't even mentioned. As Tapper points out:
So whoever leaked the inaccurate information earlier this month did so in a way that made it appear that the White House – specifically Rhodes – was more interested in the State Department’s concerns, and more focused on the talking points, that the email actually stated.
Karl got burned, plain and simple. He was the stenographer for a someone pushing a political attack against the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton.
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Our text today comes from the Washington Post, where Karen Tumulty and Philip Rucker have, in the main news section (no, this is not Opinion) written an article titled  "Will Obama suffer the 'second-term curse'?" This is an incident of media whoredom, from the comparisons they make to the sources they consult, that seems to me to be well beyond the writers' obligation to report the news. Here, we find that the president the Post appears to think Obama is most like is Jimmy Carter and not for any policy reasons, but because the President's staff doesn't understand life inside the Beltway, and we learn that any obstructionism that the Republican Congress is throwing up is not their fault, as in the fable about the scorpion and the frog. So let us proceed, being mindful of the rules of fair use because so much of this, well . . .

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Reposted from Dave in Northridge by Dave in Northridge

I'm glad I'm a conscientious teacher. Had I not been, I would have found the column George Will wrote last Tuesday (WaPo isn't dating articles on the web for some odd reason) about his "recollection" of Watergate all by myself, although I'm happy to h/t Jeremy Holden at Media Matters for his evisceration of Will's attempt to redefine what we know as the Saturday Night Massacre in the history of the Watergate Affair. This is part of how I teach it, so I don't mind claiming some of this as my own, especially if I have the support of the memory of Richard Ben-Veniste, head of the Watergate task force, from Holden's blog.

It seems that Robert Bork had completed a book before he died.  We'll parse this below, as I learned from a template in the queue of one of the groups I belong to, the great orange divider doodle (that's its name).

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Reposted from Ian Reifowitz by Ian Reifowitz


What are they afraid of? Apparently, when it comes to the issue of gun control, some activists in the gun rights movement are really afraid of a race war. Take a listen to a recent conversation on the Talk to Solomon Show. On the air with host Stan Solomon were Greg W. Howard, a conservative blogger with just under 100,000 Twitter followers, and Larry Pratt, an advocate of gun rights and “English only” laws who famously clashed with CNN’s Piers Morgan in an interview after the Sandy Hook shooting.

The discussion that transpired was like a dramatic reading of The Turner Diaries, that influential (and fictional) book about violent revolution and racial war in America. Pratt argued that President Obama is building his own private army and will send his agents “door to door” to “confiscate guns” — all to provoke a “violent confrontation” with gun owners. Solomon went further, claiming that Obama’s real goal is to create a black army and start a race war. Howard condemned Obama for "sowing the seeds of racial hatred," adding that the president is “not American” because he was “not raised in American culture.”

It is worth noting that Gun Owners of America, of which Pratt is executive director, has 300,000 members. (Ron Paul, the Texas congressman and former Republican presidential candidate, once called it “the only no-compromise gun lobby in Washington” — take that, National Rifle Association!) Yet even a national figure like Pratt can entertain the paranoid fantasy of a race war, telling his colleagues on the air that Obama "would definitely be capable of something as evil as you were suggesting.” In the past, Pratt has gotten in trouble for his ties to white supremacist and anti-Semitic organizations, but his popularity has only grown in recent years. After Morgan called Pratt “an unbelievably stupid man” for arguing that gun bans don’t reduce violent crime, tens of thousands of people flooded a White House petition site calling for the British television host’s deportation.

The fear of a race war is clearly delusional, but it draws strength from the half-truths and outlandish comments that reverberate in the partisan media's echo chamber. For example, black nationalist leader Louis Farrakhan said in a recent interview that the film Django Unchained — a fictional account of a freed slave seeking retribution — is “preparation for a race war.” Conservative media — from Rush Limbaugh to Fox News to Breitbart.com — breathlessly spread word of Farrakhan’s remarks. With pundits so willing to piece together high-level conspiracies out of random shouts and murmurs, it’s no wonder our politics have become so toxic.

The worldview expressed by Pratt, Solomon, and Howard envisions Obama not so much as Django but as something far more radical and dangerous, namely Nat Turner, fomenting a rebellion of enslaved people that will violently tear out the roots of white supremacy and transform our society.

Today, the most prominent voice on behalf of gun rights is Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s executive vice president. LaPierre doesn’t talk about race wars, but racial anxiety underlies many of his public comments. In a recent essay attacking gun control in the Daily Caller, he referred to post-Hurricane Sandy “looters” who “ran wild in South Brooklyn” and “Latin American drug gangs” who have “invaded” every major city. “Good Americans” must arm themselves, he wrote, “to withstand the siege that is coming.”

LaPierre and the NRA don’t have to say “race war” because Larry Pratt has. But their crusade against gun control benefits from the hysteria and paranoia that such reckless, inflammatory rhetoric incites. And the right has done this on countless other issues as well (in 2009, Limbaugh said that Obama’s entire economic agenda was about “forced reparations” for slavery). By exploiting racial fears, these demagogues may be helping their narrow cause, but they are poisoning the very idea of America — a pluralistic society that is built on trust and responsibility.

A slightly revised version of this post appears at In The Fray.

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Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 05:50 AM PST

OMG but John Harwood is a tool.

by Ralphdog

Reposted from Ralphdog by Dave in Northridge

Not much of a diary, but I'm just apoplectic this morning after seeing John Harwood puking up pure Broderism. He was yacking on camera about the bogus fiscal 'cliff' drama, and was asked why it was so difficult for Congress to come to an agreement. His response was pure brain-dead "Villager" horseshit.

Poll

John Harwood:

13%15 votes
7%8 votes
44%50 votes
26%30 votes
7%9 votes

| 113 votes | Vote | Results

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Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 06:21 AM PST

False equivalency again!

by virginia dare

Reposted from virginia dare by Dave in Northridge Editor's Note: Joe Scarborough, shill for the NRA -- Dave in Northridge

Yes,i watched Morning Joe again this morning.  Well, apparently it's not only assault weapons and magazine clips at fault... it is also violence in films and video games, etc.  

No one brought up the fact, our movies and games are widely distributed all over the world and no country has the problem we have with mass shootings at public areas.

It is our gun culture and the expanded rights of the second amendment that allows for gun shows, sale of military style weapons, and the sale of high volume clips that have enabled those with mental issues to gain access to such weapons.

I wish I could have called into Morning Joe and confronted him on his false equivalency.
Alas, I hope that this eventually will be called to his attention and to those on the staff of Morning Joe.

Discuss
Reposted from Triple-B in the Building by Dave in Northridge Editor's Note: Jonathan Bernstein at WaPo -- Dave in Northridge
A Washington media establishment insider offers his take on filibuster reform:
Two things about this. One is that the majority leader right now, with no rule change at all, can force a talking filibuster whenever it’s in the interests of the majority to make it happen.

And the second is that this plan is destined to be a flop. Here’s what would actually happen in a talking filibuster. Republicans would take to the floor and start arguing for the bill. Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and the rest of the Republican-aligned media would treat them as heroes. That would only increase pressure on potentially wavering Republicans to stick to the party line. After all, we all know how this works. It won’t be a difference of opinion; any issue elevated in that way will suddenly turn out to be a critical issue on which basic principles of the republic rest. Anyone who betrays the party on such an important matter must surely be a RINO – and surely deserves a tea-party primary challenge. The result? Republicans would be stacked up in line to deliver ringing denunciations of the offending legislation, stocked with the latest talking points – remember, there’s no need to read from phone books or recite recipes when there are transcripts of Glenn Beck’s show or your favorite conservative blogger to deliver.

Democrats would eventually have to bring down the bill. And realizing that the whole circus would start up anew the next time they try it, they would quietly put an end to talking filibusters.

Wow. A lot to unpack there isn't it?

Bernstein is saying reforming the filibuster to require the GOP to actually filibuster (the way commoners understand it) is silly because it would result in Rush Limbaugh getting mad, Republicans rallying around the Republicans, Democrats going soft, and then giving up and quitting.

Pretty weak minded reasoning isn't it? Reeks of Broderism.

First, Sen. Merkley's reforms include more than making Senators filibuster the way the common man understands it. The goal is to increase the political cost of filibustering, which you can only do by forcing Senators to mouth off. Notably, the reforms also require filibustering Sentors to be present. The current rules do not require this, and using the current rules to make them work the same way is unweildy and complicated. Plus...you guessed it...it would be subject to filibuters. Senator Merkley's reforms actually requires 40 Senators to be in the chamber and standing in opposition to the measure when any member demands the return of regular order. If any one of the obstructing Senators so much as goes to the bathroom, the filibuster is broken. (Which should lead to some rather interesting TV!)

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly...why the hell should Democrats be afraid of Republican hysterics and Rush Limbaugh? I would think Democrats would welcome the putting of some Senators faces to the Republican noise machine. Especially on bills of the Democrats' choosing. Talk about campaign material. A real Republican filibuster, with Fox News, Rush, Drudge, the Washington Post, and the whole list of discredited pundits who know all and see all, would be a tremendous gift to Democrats across the board. Especially if, after finally killing the filibuster off, they go ahead and pass their bill.

It isn't Democrats who would go wobbly after an event like that. It is Republicans after seeing the damage. I should note Bernstein isn't completely opposed to filibuster reform, but his solutions focus more on legislative mechanics rather than raising the political price of obstruction. In fact, he seeks an expedited process for executive appointments without noting that all Senators of both parties use holds on appointments to extract concesssions from the executive branch for constituent services. If there is anything the all Senators wont want to give up, it is their ability to advise the President on key appointments in their backyards. Inexplicably, he still wants to keep the filibuster in place for judicial appointments. Despite the fact that the judicial branch is in crisis for this very reason.

Which brings us back to the whole point of the talking filibuster: the goal is to increase the political cost of obstruction. Bernstein, in true Broderist form, feels like having to actually mouth off and have floor fights over legislation will be bad for democracy. I say nothing but good can come of it.

Discuss
Reposted from Ian Reifowitz by Ian Reifowitz

We all know it's coming. The Republicans always need some way to de-legitimize Barack Obama, or any Democrat who wins the White House. Karl Rove previewed this line as early as Friday:

“If you hadn’t had the storm, there would have been more of a chance for the [Mitt] Romney campaign to talk about the deficit, the debt, the economy. There was a stutter in the campaign. When you have attention drawn away to somewhere else, to something else, it is not to his [Romney's] advantage,” Rove told The Washington Post.

(snip)“It’s the October surprise,” Rove said of Sandy. “For once, the October surprise was a real surprise.”

Haley Barbour whined, "The hurricane is what broke Romney's momentum." Romney insiders are offering similar stories, off the record of course. For more details, read the full article at the Atlantic titled:

Republicans Blame Sandy for Killing Romney's Momentum
When Karl Rove and George W. Bush won a close election in 2004, of course, they earned a "man-date" and the media went right along.

And by the way, Paul Krugman made an excellent argument in his column today that the President's performance during Sandy earned him any bump he got, and that, more importantly, the storm reminded Americans of the differences in the two parties' approaches to the role of government.

This is coming. And that's why I was so pleased to see Nate Silver engage in some prophylactic pre-debunking of this claim. Nate looked at the numbers, which is of course what he does. Yes, Obama's numbers have risen in the days following the storm. However, he was already likely to have won the election when the storm hit (Nate had him at a 73% chance of winning an electoral college majority on October 29). Furthermore, the momentum was already on Obama's side at that point, as he had improved his numbers significantly over the previous two weeks.

Nate summarized his take as follows: "while the storm and the response to it may account for some of Mr. Obama’s gains, it assuredly does not reflect the whole of the story."

Nate offers a number of reasons why, in addition to Sandy, the President's numbers could have improved in the past 7 days:

   

Mr. Obama was adjudicated the winner of the second and third presidential debates in surveys of voters who watched them.

    The past month has brought a series of encouraging economic news, including strong jobs reports in October and last Friday.

    The bounce in the polls that Mr. Romney received after the Denver debate may have been destined to fade in part, as polling bounces often do following political events like national conventions.

    Democrats have an edge in early voting based on states that provide hard data about which party’s voters have turned out to cast ballots. Some voters who were originally rejected by the likely voter models that surveys apply may now be included if they say that they have already voted.

    Both Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney have been running lots of advertisements, which could have some effect, especially in the swing states.

    Mr. Obama’s voter-targeting operation may in fact be stronger than Mr. Romney’s and may have begun to show up in the polls.

    Mr. Obama’s approval rating is at 49 or 50 percent in many surveys, a threshold that would ordinarily predict a narrow re-election for an incumbent.

    Some elections “break” toward one or another candidate at the end as undecided voters tune in and begin to evaluate their decision.

Finally, Nate steps back and looks at the big picture:
If I had told you in January that Mr. Obama’s approval rating would have risen close to 50 percent by November, and that the unemployment rate would have dropped below 8 percent, you likely would have inferred that Mr. Obama was a favorite for re-election, with or without a hurricane and what was judged to be a strong response to it.

This is not to dismiss the effects of the hurricane entirely. But the fact that Mr. Obama’s rebound in the polls has been slow and steady, rather than sudden, would lend weight to some of these other ideas, even if they make for less dramatic narratives.

Take a look at Nate's entire column. I was particularly pleased (as most of you will be), to see his mention of having moved Virginia more firmly into Obama's column, and his point that without Virginia, Romney has even less of chance of winning without Ohio (which, as any poll junkie knows, is even stronger for Obama than Virginia).

The larger point is that the battle to control the narrative never takes a break, even in the moment the election is announced. Republicans will try to say that Romney would have won without Sandy. Be confident in your reply. You've got data on your side.

More than that, however, is to argue that Sandy is exactly what elections should be about. We are deciding which candidate can deal with the real problems America will face. What's more relevant in answering that question than what we've faced the past seven days?

Let's get out there and re-elect this President, and give him the Congress we need!

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