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Herman Cain denied everything in the opening of his pushback presser. “I have never acted inappropriately with anyone. Period,” he told the press.

He said he saw Sharon Bialek “yesterday in that news conference for the very first time… I didn’t even recognize the name at all.”

“The charges and the accusations I absolutely reject. They simply didn’t happen.”

“Ain’t gonna happen,” he said, addressing the issue of whether he would stop running. “I will not be deterred by anonymous, false, incorrect accusations.”

Congressional Democrats weren't surprised Tuesday to learn, in a story first reported by the Wall Street Journal, that White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley had handed a big chunk of his portfolio over to senior adviser -- and former acting Chief of Staff -- Pete Rouse. Indeed, they've been living under the new regime for several weeks, and according to one highly placed Senate Democratic aide the improvement has been self evident.

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Herman Cain’s attorney took the stand ahead of the GOP candidate’s press conference to push back at yesterday’s revelations.

“Herman Cain finds himself on trial in the court of public opinion, falsely accused,” he said. “I ask that you at least afford him fairness.”

He also urged the media to “maintain your common sense” and “utilize your own life experience” when judging the story.

Herman Cain is holding a press conference in Arizona, expected to start any minute. Watch the press conference live below, via MSNBC:

As part of Herman Cain's efforts to tear down his latest accuser, Sharon Bialek, Cain has gone after her lawyer, Gloria Allred.

To be sure, Allred is a soft target. A cursory glance at Twitter Monday when it was announced that Allred would be bringing forward a Cain accuser showed few reporters and pundits with nice things to say about the woman who somehow seems to appear near the center of every sex scandal these days.

But one man is coming to Allred's defense: Karl Rove.

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This sounds like the first signs of the season’s war on Christmas: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker ® refuses to call the state’s holiday-season tree anything but a Christmas tree.

The AP reports that since 1985, the tree hasn’t been associated with any particular religion. Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie tells the AP it’s a Christmas tree, and he doesn’t know what more to say about it.

While most of the Republican field is running away from Herman Cain's scandal at near-lightspeed velocity, Mitt Romney told ABC News on Tuesday that the charges are "serious" and that Cain needs to address them immediately.

"These are serious allegations," he told interviewer George Stephanopolous, "and they're going to have to be addressed seriously."

Romney said that he doesn't want "to suppose truth or lack of truth" in the case, but he indicated that any time accusers come forward it's a legitimate issue. And he said the latest charges, from Sharon Bialek, bothered him especially, saying "this woman's charges are particularly disturbing and they're serious."

By contrast, Rick Perry went out of his way to avoid the topic under the same line of questioning from ABC/Yahoo on Tuesday, saying "It's not of great interest to me."

House Republican's plan to kill the Justice Department's Community Orienting Policing Services (COPS) program is "unacceptable" and would "place this nation at risk," Attorney General Eric Holder said Tuesday.

"Though we are enjoying historically low crime rates, we have 30,000 vacant law enforcement positions in this county, we have lost 12,000 officers over the course of the last year, and we put at risk the possibility that these historically low rates will not remain there forever," Holder said in response to a question from Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

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Conservatives are also working hard in Ohio to save SB 5, the anti-union legislation that they argue will help control state and local government budgets. FreedomWorks is one of the groups in the state pushing back against repeal efforts by running a campaign focusing on getting out Republican voters across the state in the face of some bad polling numbers and a strongly organized repeal effort.

In an interview with TPM, Director of Campaigns Brandon Steinhauser said that FreedomWorks itself was hoping to make 250,000 calls to supporters from Sunday though today, hitting GOP voters who they have identified as in favor of keeping SB 5 and ensuring they get those people out to the polls. Other national conservative groups like Americans for Prosperity are participating in voter contact efforts, in addition to Building A Better Ohio, the state organization dedicated to stopping repeal.

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National Journal reports:

Senate Republicans are willing to accept up to $300 billion in net tax increases over 10 years as part of a potential super committee deal, aides said on Tuesday. The Republicans called the move a major concession; Democrats said it was a public relations ruse.