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Can Congress make a deal on debt-reduction? Maybe, maybe not

Is the Congressional “super committee” charged with crafting a debt-reduction compromise stalled in a partisan mess or are they making progress towards a deal? Depends on who you talk to. Congressional sources tell Capitol Hill Blue that both sides are closing in on a compromise that can find at least $1.2 trillion in budget savings over 10 years but caution that differences between Republicans and Democrats can still derail an agreement by the November 23 deadline. Publicly, both sides take hard stances, giving the impression that any real movement is mired in a mudpit of partisan bickering. After meeting for
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Romney scores big in debate while challengers flounder

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney delivered another strong debate performance Wednesday night but it was overshadowed by the continued flubs and problems by his fading rivals. With Herman Cain increasingly on the defensive over past sexual harassment allegations and another “gotcha” moment by Rick Perry when he couldn’t remember one of his own campaign promises, Romney could have cruised. But he hammered home his points with confidence and style and left his challengers in their own fog of controversy and mistakes. Perry repeatedly stumbled over the name of a third agency of government that he promised to “do away with.” 
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Cain accuser filed discrimination complaint at next job

One of Herman Cain‘s victims of alleged sexual harassment also claimed “unfair treatment” at her next job after leaving the National Restaurant Association, the Associated Press is reporting. Karen Kraushaar did not claim sexual harassment while working as a spokesman for the Immigration and Naturalization Service but did file a complaint because she was not allowed to work at home after a car wreck.  The complaint included a claim that a INS manager circulated a sexual email. Kraushaar told the AP that she consider the complaint “minor” and later dropped it. The revelation, however, will bring more accusations form the
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Second victim goes public as Cain remains in denial

A second former employee of the National Restaurant Association went public today, confirming sexual harassment by GOP presidential contender Herman Cain when he served as head of the trade association in the 1990s. Karen Kraushaar, now a spokeswoman for the Treasury Department, worked in the communications department and said she was a victim of Cain’s sexual harassment. “When you are being sexually harassed in the workplace, your are extremely vulnerable,” Kraushaar said in an interview with The New York Times.  You do whatever you can to quickly get yourself into a job some place safe and that is what I
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Cain attempts to smear reputation of accuser

GOP Presidential contender Herman Cain, his campaign stalled by mounting allegations of sexual harassment, turned to an old political ploy Tuesday — attacking his accuser with smears and charges that she is a chronic lawsuit filer with a history of financial problems. “The fact is that Ms. Bialek has had a long and troubled history, from the courts to personal finances – which may help explain why she has come forward 14 years after an alleged incident with Mr. Cain, powered by celebrity attorney and long term Democrat donor Gloria Allred,” the Cain campaign said today in an email to
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Bachmann: Republicans are socialists too

GOP Presidential contender Michelle Bachmann, and the tea party that holds her so dear, have long maintained that President Barack Obama and the Democratic party are socialists. But Bachmann also thinks the socialist menace also runs in her own Republican party. Said Bachmann Monday at a speech to the Family Research Council in Washington: Unfortunately for too many Republicans, they also aspire to be frugal socialists. We cannot preserve liberty if the choice is between a frugal socialist and an out-of-control socialist. Her comments brought guffaws from some GOP political operatives. “It’s too late to say Bachmann has gone over
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‘Herman Cain reached for my genitals’

A fourth former employee of the National Restaurant Association has come forward — this time publicly — to offer details of GOP presidential contender Herman Cain‘s pattern of sexual harassment during his tenure as head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s. Sharon Bialek says Cain wanted sex in exchange for helping her find a new job after she was laid off from the association, groped her, reached for her crotch and tried to force her head into his crotch. “I was surprised and shocked and I said, what are you doing? You know I have a boyfriend. This
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Sexual harassment charges start to hurt Cain in polls

Sexual harassment claims from the past and a history of harassment of women are taking their toll on the once-rising campaign of Presidential contender Herman Cain. A new poll from Reuters shows Cain’s support dropping five percent since the charges surfaced a week ago.  The poll also shows most of those surveyed believe the reports are true. “It’s starting to sink in that Cain is a damaged candidate,” Democratic operative Jonathan Langstrom tells Capitol Hill Blue.  “He might have had a chance to rebound from this but he has changed his story too many times and ignored the basic rules
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Sexual harassment is part of life in schools

At least 48 percent of school students in grades 7-12 are sexually-harassed in school, a new national survey released by the American Association of University Women says. The report, released Monday, says sexual harassment is “pervasive” in American schools and starts as early as the seventh grade. The harassment comes in many forms: in person, via texting and on social networking sites. Says the report: Sexual harassment has long been an unfortunate part of the climate in middle and high schools in the United States. Often considered a kind of bullying, sexual harassment by definition involves sex and gender and
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Cain uses power, money to buy his way out of trouble

Republican presidential contender Herman Cain is used to buying his way out of trouble. His past is littered with payoffs, bribes and financial incentives to buy employee loyalty, fix problems and curry favor. As President of the National Restaurant Association in Washington, Cain racked up huge travel and entertainment bills that angered members of the association’s board of directors, drew attention from auditors and fostered a reputation that money was no object. Cain hosted drunken parties where lobbyists for the association used lots of booze to influence both members of Congress, state legislators and members of his own board. He
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