Archive for: November, 2009

Keith Olbermann Blasts President Obama’s Afghanistan Decision

Nov 30 2009 Published by under Featured News

On his MSNBC program Countdown tonight, host Keith Olbermann delivered a brutal critique against President Obama’s decision to send more troops to Afghanistan. He concluded, “So, much of the change for which you were elected, Sir, has thus far been understandably, if begrudgingly, tabled, delayed, made more open-ended.”

Here is the video:

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Olbermann offered some advice for Obama, “You should survey the dismal array of options in front of you — even the orders given out last night — sort them into the unacceptable, the unsuccessful, and the merely un-palatable, and then put your arm down on the table and wipe the entire assortment of them off your desk — off this nation’s desk — and into the scrap heap of history.”

He called the US military an occupying force, “But poll after poll, and anecdote after anecdote, of the reality of public opinion inside Afghanistan is that its residents believe we are fighting Afghanistan. That we, Sir, have become an occupying force. Yes: if we leave, Afghanistan certainly will have an occupying force, whether it’s from Pakistan, or consisting of foreign fighters who will try to ally themselves with the Taliban.”

Here is how he described Obama’s exit strategy, President Obama will be presenting an exit strategy for Afghanistan. The exit strategy that begins by entering still further. Lose to win, sink to swim, escalate to disengage. And even this disconnect of fundamental logic is predicated on the assumption that once the extra troops go in, when the President says “okay, time for adult swim, Generals, time to get out of the pool and bring the troops with you,” that the Pentagon is just going to say “Yeppers.”

He concluded by stressing the left is running out of patience with Obama, “So, much of the change for which you were elected, Sir, has thus far been understandably, if begrudgingly, tabled, delayed, made more open-ended. But patience ebbs, Mr. President. And while the first one thousand key decisions of your presidency were already made about the economy, the first public, easy-to-discern, mouse-or-elephant kind of decision comes tomorrow night at West Point at eight o’clock.”

Olbermann is completely wrong on every count. He offered lots of reasons to leave Afghanistan, but he didn’t discuss what would happen once the U.S. left. The Taliban is waiting the United States out, and as soon as Uncle Sam leaves, they will seize control of the country. You remember the Taliban don’t you, Mr. Olbermann? They were the reason why al-Qaeda was able to make Afghanistan their base of operations.

He is also neglecting to consider the political fallout here in the United States, if the military pulled out of Afghanistan. The Republicans would certainly use a withdrawal against Obama and the Democrats, and God forbid if al-Qaeda attacks the US again after the troops leave Afghanistan, because, justified or not, Obama’s Afghanistan decision will be blamed.

Keith Olbermann isn’t interested in discussing the issue of what do in Afghanistan in any depth. Instead, he is only interesting in providing his liberal audience with more red meat. This is why Olbermann is no different than Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh. Obviously, the solution is not to stay in Afghanistan forever, but Olbermann’s shortsighted advice would only lead to failure both in Afghanistan and political defeat for the Democratic Party.

6 responses so far

Glenn Beck Claims that Saturday Night Lives Makes Him Paranoid

Nov 30 2009 Published by under Featured News

On his Fox News program today, Glenn Beck was standing at his chalkboard trying spell California, when he said, “Saturday Night Live makes me so paranoid.” Something tells me that SNL isn’t the only thing that makes Beck paranoid.

Here is the video courtesy of Media Matters:

Standing at his chalkboard, Beck said, “This is a little place I like to call, Calif-ornia. Saturday Night Live makes me so paranoid now, I like Cali, I gotta write. This is where it affects you.”

This isn’t the first time that Beck has been a bit paranoid about SNL. In October, Beck claimed that the program was out to Sarah Palin him.


We can now add SNL to the list of things that make Glenn Beck paranoid. This list already includes black presidents. Although that one can probably be expanded to black people in general, labor unions, art, and movie theaters. It would appear that there is little in this world that doesn't make Beck paranoid.

I don't know if it is such a good idea for Beck to announce, even in a joking way, that SNL makes him paranoid. This just seems like it would be opening him up for even more ridicule on Saturday Night Live, which will in turn make Beck more paranoid, and result in more SNL comedy.

2 responses so far

Donny Deutsch Calls Beck and Limbaugh Circus Acts, and Lou Dobbs a Racist

Nov 30 2009 Published by under Featured News

Donny Deutsch was on MSNBC’s Morning Joe this morning, and in response to a new poll that found that Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck are the most influential conservatives in America, he said, “These are all entertainers. They’re circus acts.” Deutsch was asked about Lou Dobbs, and he said Dobbs is a racist.

Here is the video courtesy of Media Matters:

While discussing the results of the poll, Deutsch said, “That’s an impressive foursome. That tells me if I am a Democrat I am very happy.” Jim Cramer pointed out that they should use book sells to measure popularity, and Deutsch replied, “Jim, there is a difference between being a popular media figure and an electable candidate, and you’ve got to start to make that distinction. These are all entertainers. They’re circus act, and will they be elected, no.”

Jim Cramer asked Deutsch if he thought Lou Dobbs was an acceptable candidate. Deutsch answered, “Uh, I don’t think so actually. I don’t think so. Maybe because he is a racist is pretty much the reason why.”

The person in charge of the censor button at MSNBC must get very nervous when Donny is on the air. Remember, the last time Donny was on Morning Joe he called Rush Limbaugh a douche. Deutsch doesn’t pull any punches, and I really it would be great to see him back on the air on a nightly basis.

His point about the results of the poll is right on the money. Democrats are giddy when they see Limbaugh, Beck, Cheney, and Palin listed as the four most influential conservatives in America, because none of those four are electable. Each of them makes the GOP appear more out of touch and extreme.

4 responses so far

On Fox News Ben Stein Calls Healthcare and Climate Change Hoaxes

Nov 29 2009 Published by under Featured News

Ben Stein went on Fox News recently to rail against the supposed socialism of the Obama administration. Stein claimed that the healthcare crisis and climate changes are hoaxes carried out by the Obama administration in order to allow the country to be turned into a socialist paradise.

Here is the video courtesy of Media Matters:

Stein was about if he thought the Obama administration was going grant a tax holiday, and he went off, “No, I don’t. This administration is about social control. It is about taking control from the individual and giving it to the state. That’s what the hoax about climate is about. That’s what the hoax about healthcare is about. That’s what the hoax about everything they are doing is about. That’s what the hoax about America is a bad country, and we are going to fix it and make it into a great socialist paradise. That’s what that’s all about. This administration is about a hoax that America is not a great country.”

In one statement, Stein confirmed that he is not a smart as people have always given him credit for. In one rant, he showed himself to be a fool who believes the nonsense about socialism being a threat to America, while also denying the healthcare and climate change problems. Does Stein realize what an out of touch fool he sounded like?

Stein represents views of many on the right. Instead of proposing solutions to our problems, people like Ben Stein bury their heads in the sand and pretend like they don’t exist. Of course for someone as wealthy as Stein there is no healthcare crisis, but for the people who can get insurance, or are battling rising costs, the healthcare crisis is not a hoax.

Republicans have been on an electoral losing streak because they would rather scream about socialism than provide any alternatives to Democratic proposals. Stein’s raving may appeal to the right wing, but to the rest of the political landscape his view point looks woefully out of step.

5 responses so far

Howard Dean Destroys Mike Huckabee’s Public Option Fear Mongering

Nov 29 2009 Published by under Featured News

On Fox News Sunday today, Howard Dean went head to head with Mike Huckabee on the public option. When Huckabee said that the public option would put the private sector out of business, Dean said, “There’s not going to, nobody’s going to put the private sector out of business. That doesn’t happen even in places like Germany or France or Britain.”

Here is a transcript of their exchange:

HUCKABEE: I’m not here to defendant private insurance companies, but to make it as if Medicare is wonderful and never makes a mistake, and the private insurance companies are demons — the facts just don’t always bear that out.

WALLACE: Let me…

DEAN: Well, Medicare can…

WALLACE: Well, go ahead. DEAN: … make mistakes, but let us have our choice. We can leave Medicare if we want to under the system that’s in the House…

HUCKABEE: But not if there’s not…

DEAN: … and go back to the private sector.

HUCKABEE: … a system to go to. If the private…

DEAN: Sure there is, in the private sector.

HUCKABEE: … system goes out of business, there won’t be any.

DEAN: There’s not going to — nobody’s going to put the private sector out of business. That doesn’t happen even in places like Germany or France or Britain.
Fifteen percent of all the dollars are private dollars, even in Britain, which is the most socialized system in the west.

Huckabee could not make his argument against the public option without resorting to fear mongering because opposition the public plan has nothing to do with facts, and everything to do with ideology. If Republicans had any facts to support their opposition then they might be able to make a persuasive case, but the facts support the public option.

Dean is correct. No one is talking about a complete government takeover of healthcare, but the only way Republicans can drum up opposition to reform is to illogically jump from point A to point D in their argument. There will be plenty of room in the market for the private sector because the public option is only designed to cover 6 million people.

Dean leveled Huckabee’s claims simply by pointing out that a public option does not equal government run healthcare, but some people will keep drinking the GOP Favor-Aid, and they won’t believe facts even when they are laid out in front of them. Something tells me that the only thing the Fox News audience heard was government takeover of healthcare.

3 responses so far

President Obama’s Brilliant Year; How Soon Should We Impeach?

Nov 28 2009 Published by under Featured News, White House

Sometimes it seems as though the only kind of dissent allowed on the left is criticism of our own President. Support him and you can be accused of being a teenager or cheerleader, a “blind” supporter.

Ironically, supporting him amidst the raging accusations from both sides actually qualifies as the real dissent at this point. Join DIck Cheney in calling him a “ditherer” and you’re cool. So early in his presidency, have we abandoned him! Fickle liberals.

Of course, that notion lies at the extremes. I’m hoping most of us aren’t interested in being labeled dissenters or supporters, as much as we are interested in truth, accuracy, and justice. That’s really what it means to be a progressive, post-Bush.

“From Arianna Huffington on his left, warning that rising unemployment could be “Obama’s Katrina,” to the ever-crazier Glenn Beck on his right, threatening to desecrate the memory of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. with an anti-Obama March on Washington 37 years to the day after King’s triumphant convening: His critics are sparing no rhetorical excess in their rush to denounce the president.”

“Obama’s Katrina”? Really? That’s not journalism or commentary; it’s hyperbolic hysteria meant to whip the base into a frenzy. Like Fox news does to the right; to the extent that the radical right is now so marginalized by their false anger that they can’t have a conversation with anyone in the real world without alienating themselves. Danger, Will Robinson.

We have the power. Let’s not make the same mistakes the right did.

The “leftist” meme that attacking “our” president makes us deep and serious is as juvenile as the right’s refusal to question their authoritarian dictators.

It’s actually rather boring and predictable, and reveals a failure of critical thinking , particularly when it’s as disingenuous as “Obama’s Katrina” and “Obama’s Vietnam” – another hysterical headline which necessitated taking the wars out of context to make a point. I hate these wars, too. I wish Bush had never started them.

I was one of the minority who didn’t buy W’s excuses from the beginning. I wept the day he announced he wouldn’t wait for the UN. I told my father that day that this would change the world. I felt it in my blood. I was so horrified by where we were going, and so powerless to stop it.

I felt that we would not be able to get out once we were in. And that’s where we are now. We can’t get out. This isn’t Obama’s fault. He was one of the few with the courage to come out AGAINST Bush at the time, while everyone else was cowering to the right’s demands that patriotism insisted you go along with Bush.

That’s the man we have in office right now. A man of principle and honor, who wants peace as much as we do. A man who never would have started these wars. A man who is doing everything he can in his international relations to make sure we don’t end up in another war. Context.

Attack him when it’s real. Or, don’t attack him when it’s real; just report events accurately. And there are plenty of excellent liberal writers doing just that – digging into the DoJ and other areas where the scourge of Bush demands light. Examining Obama’s policies and relationships. Good for them. We need courageous reporters whose goal is the truth.

But can we be more loyal than the right are to Obama? Or would that ruin our image of ourselves as underdogs defending justice at any cost? Would it matter if we could actually defend justice in the long run by supporting our president?

After all, he’s carrying our agenda. Shouldn’t we consider how to support our President in a way that gives him the mandate via public approval that he needs to get certain things accomplished? Do we bear no responsibility at all?

Frank Schaeffer keeps warning the left to support their President, as they have no idea what kind of attacks he’s under behind the scenes. Seeing as Frank came from that crowd, I can’t help but give some credence to his thoughts.

At any rate, hysterical criticism does not a brilliant mind make.

There are real criticisms to be made, but just as importantly at this early stage of his presidency, there are actually also good things to report. They just don’t generate as many hits/clicks as bad things, so they aren’t covered. We all love a train wreck.

How often do you read a headline like “Obama’s Brilliant First Year; by January, he’s accomplished more than any first-year president since Franklin Roosevelt.”? Hat tip to Slate for that inspiring read. Paying attention to the accomplishments of our President is apparently akin to lining up to see “New Moon” post age 13, in both shame and levels of school girl adoration. No serious person would do it. Truth be damned!

Imagine my surprise reading a list of Obama’s achievements in his early presidency. There’s a lot to like in there, for anyone who respects our constitution and was gravely concerned during the bush years about the direction of our country.

For instance, the White House and federal government are respecting the Freedom of Information Act. It may seem small on paper, but this is most assuredly not a small thing. It’s one of the many things we need in order to have a real transparent government of the people.

To this end, he instructed all federal agencies to promote openness and transparency as much as possible. In September, he limited the lobbyists access to the White House. He ended the previous stop-loss policy that kept soldiers in Iraq/Afghanistan longer than their enlistment date! New funding for science and research. He instituted immediate and efficient response to the floods in North Dakota and other natural disasters.

“Obama’s Katrina”? I think not. There are many more on the list, but one which moved me personally was Obama’s instituting enforcement for equal pay for women. Small things that add up to a much better life in often unnoticed ways.

Apparently, Arianna thinks Obama is Bush – and she’s not alone in this sentiment. Take a cruise through any “democratic” website and you’ll see more of this meme than you might expect. Ironically, this is the right wing’s talking point. They’ve been falsely equating Obama to Bush, hoping it would catch on. And the left is all too willing to help them out, under the sadly misguided cover of “questioning authority”. You’d think we were in high school.

If I see one more article comparing him to Bush because he did one thing the same way, I’m going to lose it. It’s not about being a fan; it’s about accuracy and context. And most importantly, it’s about pragmatism.

Shouldn’t we be on our own side? Can’t we save the hysteria for when the Republicans get something real on him and we all abandon him as we did Clinton? Their witch hunt is in full attack mode, so it’s coming. We could save our fire. There’s always plenty of time to shoot ourselves in the foot. No need to rush.

What now? He’s just like Bush! Should we impeach him? Why the heck not? There’s got to be someone better we can get elected, who can handle two %^$@&@* wars and a global economic meltdown as well as right wing haters armed and at the ready and an obstructionist party bringing down every attempt to actually do the job they’ve been elected to do.

ENOUGH! We are better than this. We are smarter than this. We can do this thing.

6 responses so far

Right Wing Media Bias and the Assault on Journalism

Nov 28 2009 Published by under Featured News

Gone are the days of smoky newsrooms and journalists that are committed to facts. They have been replaced by 24 hour cable news networks and right wing infotainers, who give partial treatment to GOP talking points and illogical rhetoric. The result of this is that journalism being undermined by right wing media bias.

There once was a time when you could watch the morning and evening news and gain a real sense of what is happening in the world of politics. Those were the days of Walter Cronkite, Tim Russert, and others like them. You could actually trust the news you were receiving. You could formulate your own opinions based on the facts. Substance was actually mandatory. Fact checking appeared to precede reporting.

Opinions were not relevant or promoted. Tim Russert was known for his extensive and intense approach to research and he did this prior to relating the news story or interviewing a political figure. It was considered the real test to getting the inside scoop on what the interview would be able to reveal and it scrutinized the truthfulness of the political figure. Walter Cronkite was known for being trusted to consistently deliver the truth to his listening audience. You could take that to the bank. Taking pride in their journalistic credibility, these anchors reported the news the world needed to know and they did it without bias.

Watching the news today can be nauseating and poisonous to a person’s sense of wellbeing. For me, it’s as if someone has put something in my food that did not belong there, and it makes me very ill. And then I find out that there wasn’t anything put into the meal of any substance and the ingredients had been recycled from a restaurant with a bad rating.

This is especially true of many of the cable news outlets. You hear more opinions than actual facts. Most of the networks supposedly attempt to bring all sides of a political view. But because of the ratings war, the reporting has turned drastically away from journalism and gone full force toward capitalizing on sensationalism. Lou Dobbs, who suddenly departed CNN, is an example of an opinion journalist. His news stories were often based off sensation.

Who can point this out better than popular talk show host Jon Stewart? Here is his interview with Lou Dobbs:

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Partial treatment has been given to the GOP talking points and illogical rhetoric. They have been truly the party of NO. So what do the networks report? They run the Republican talking points all day and all night. Even if you don’t watch much news, you are bound to get a dose before your day runs out. The average person watching the news assumes that any political interview on the networks by GOP politicians or pundits must represent the truth or it would not be allowed.

CNN fact checkers with opposing information show up after the interviews have run again and again. Very few people even see the fact checkers’ results unless it is reporting on the Democrats missteps. Now there are two news reporters that don’t fall into this category, and I must give props where props are due. Rachel Maddow and Keith Oberman of MSNBC, both do their research and do their best to report the facts and confront those who are obviously not being truthful. They are not presenting their opinions as the news.

And Katie Couric should be applauded for THE interview with Sarah Palin. She has been the only person who interviewed Palin to truly test her substance or lack thereof.

The Oprah Winfrey and Barabara Walters’s interviews were not able to cut through the “bull”. They were taken in by the celebrity and her non answer answers shedding very little light on the real Sarah Palin who is on a campaign for power and wealth in this country, while playing victim to the media as her substance.

There appears to be a campaign in place to embarrass, disrespect and weaken the Obama administration by the news networks by utilizing the PR messages of the GOP like Palin, Cheney, Beck, Dobbs, Joe Scarborough, Pat Buchanan, Right Wing Conservative Extremists, Tea Baggers, etc. As an example, the news coverage of the healthcare Reform meetings in August was ridiculous. It only confused the American audience who had legitimate health care concerns. It was irresponsible journalism.

The good, the strengths and the accomplishments of this administration are not discussed with any real consistency. It’s not news worthy. The disrespect shown to the highest office in the land is incredible. It’s ok, as Americans, to disagree with the administration’s policies or to push for change. It’s ok to have anxiety about the deficit, the economy, or job loss.

But it is not ok to disrespect or deliberately embarrass the President, especially when Obama did not create the situations that we find ourselves in. But he is responsible for trying to resolve them and that is what the nation, the news networks and journalists need to understand and have some patience and faith in our system that we have fought long and hard to uphold.

The Bush/Cheney administration was given eight years to nearly destroy all respect for this nation. President Obama has been given less than a year to regain it. Let us as American citizens press the news outlets and anchors for more truth and less sensationalism. Many rules were broken by the previous administration. How can they along with the main stream media afford to be so disrespectful of the President?

We don’t have to agree with the the President of the United States of America, but we must respect the highest office of the land. If we don’t, how do you expect any foreign government or news agency to do so?

3 responses so far

Would Martin Luther King Be a Republican Today?

Nov 27 2009 Published by under Featured News

Recently I was doing some research on black history and I ran across an article relating to politics. It stated in the article that Dr Martin Luther King was a Republican. So I decided to go further into Black Republicans. I was astonished to learn that when back after reconstruction the Republican Party was similar in ideas as the Democratic Party is today.

Later on, they more or less became increasingly more conservative in their views. I have often wondered since I found this out if Dr King was alive today, knowing what the Republican Party stands for, would he still be a Republican? Makes you think. Then I went online and researched the current black republican movement in this country and I must say I was mortified by some of the things I read.

The way the Republican Party is treating people in this country right now is deplorable at best and to see these Black people literally eating up everything they say is literally repulsive. People like Michelle Malkin and Michael Steele evidently were bused in because back in the day, the federal government told them to integrate.

Both of them are out of reality and haven’t got a clue about the wants and needs of the Black community, but that is to be expected. I have seen people like them all my life. They are typical of some Black folks. They struggle all though their early lives and when they attain a little success they get uppity and think they white and the first thing they do is forget their roots and where they come from and all the people who were pulling for them to get to where they are today.

It is truly a sad sight to see, and now they embrace the Republican Party. A party that is slowly being taken over back Rush Limbaugh and rural southern white men who haven’t got a clue about and could care less about this country’s needs. If that’s what you want and that is your vision of where this country needs to head then you are just as sick and diluted as they are.

3 responses so far

Book Review: Sarah From Alaska

Nov 27 2009 Published by under Featured News

The book Sarah From Alaska by Scott Conroy, and Shushannah Walshe, who were both embedded with Sarah Palin’s vice presidential campaign, manages to accomplish the seemingly impossible. It offers an objective account of Sarah Palin’s fast rise and abrupt resignation. There is lots here for both Palin’s fans and critics.

One of the first things that you will notice when reading this book is that it is comprehensive. Early on, we hear from Sarah Palin’s parents who talk about their daughter as a child and teen. The authors chart Palin’s rise from local mayor to governor to vice presidential candidate mostly through talking to people who were aides to or worked for her. Conroy and Walshe conducted 190 interviews for the book.

They capture not only the changes in Palin’s politics, but also her personality. Sarah Palin went from being a politician whose calling card was compromise to someone who maintains hard line conservative positions. Personality wise, she went from being the governor who would just pop by legislator’s offices to say hi, to being antagonistic and guarded when she got back to Alaska.

Palin’s good and bad points get lots of coverage in this book. She can be kind, generous, and thoughtful. She can also be petty, vindictive, and cold, especially when it comes to firing staff. Palin also seems to lose sight of the big picture as she gets herself bogged down by constantly trying to either enhance or protect her image.

One of the most interesting elements of this book is that it doesn’t take sides in feud between the Palin and McCain camps. It does go into detail to explain how fragmented and dysfunctional the McCain campaign was, and how the addition of Palin to the ticket is was both a lifeline and an anchor for McCain’s electoral prospects.

The reader is bound to learn things that they didn’t know. For instance, Sarah Palin was so uncomfortable with cost of the designer clothes that the McCain campaign bought for her that staffers had to take the price tags off of items before she tried them on. Some of the stories about Palin, like the clothes, turn out to be wrong, while others, such as her thin skin and obsession with anonymous bloggers are accurate.

Nothing is left out. The book covers everything from her rise to her resignation and subsequent Twittering and Facebooking. Writing an objective book about a person as polarizing as Palin does come with the risk that the book may turn off both Palin supporters and critics, but Conroy and Walshe provide so much insight and information that the finished product ends up having something for everyone. If you are looking for a Palin book that offers a neutral portrait of her, than this is the read for you.

Palin supporters will love certain parts of the book and loathe others, while her critics will find plenty of ammo in it to boost their claims that Palin is not ready for the big stage in American politics. In an age where everyone has an agenda, it is refreshing to read a book that is not pushing one.

5 responses so far

Ahead of 2010 Democrats Continue to Dominate Fundraising

Nov 27 2009 Published by under Featured News

Even though the mainstream media loves to talk about the toll that the healthcare debate is taking on the Democratic Party, there has been a large positive upside for the Democrats. The healthcare debate has re energized progressives and fueled a surge in Democratic fund raising. Democrats are currently out raising Republicans at a 3 to 1 pace ahead of the 2010 elections.

According to a story in USA Today “The Democratic National Committee, along with the fund raising arm for House Democrats, out raised Republican committees last month. Overall, all Democratic committees ended October with nearly $38.8 million cash on hand, compared with $21.3 million for Republicans.”

The Republicans had seen their fund raising surge in the last two periods, as they used opposition to healthcare to invigorate donors, but in response to their opposition, progressives were motivated to open their wallets and give to the Democratic Party. Interestingly, the Democrats are still having success courting small donors. The Democratic House Campaign Committee took in over $5 million over the past 3 months, with the average donation being $40.

Any party who holds both the White House and a majority in Congress should fundraise well, but the Democrats are absolutely dominant right now. This is a sign that despite all the talk of a Republican revival in 2010, very little has changed for the GOP since the elections of 2006 and 2008. Michael Steele was brought in to rebuild the grassroots and raise money.

Steele’s tenure thus far has been highlighted by the party’s continued struggle to raise money, and civil war at the grass roots level, where conservative activists are in full rebellion against the RNC and party leaders. However, the blame doesn’t solely rest with Steele.

The problem is with the GOP’s inability to change. If they continue to move to the right, the party will get smaller, and the fundraising gap will continue to grow. Although the Democrats may lose some seats next year, they are still primed to stay in the majority.

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