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Saturday, November 5, 2011

The haves, the have-mores, and the have-a-fisking

I know it's been a while since I've posted anything here. The short version is that circumstances at work have caused me to work a lot harder than before, which has resulted in me having less free time than before. That doesn't appear to be changing anytime soon, so I'm going to have to do some work-arounds in order to continue writing here.

One of those work-arounds is that I've changed my schedule a little bit. Before, I was working 50 hours a week, 7 days a week. Some people don't like to work 7 days, but I loved it. For one thing, it prevented my ditzy assistant manager from goofing things up too badly. When I say my assistant is ditzy, I'm not exaggerating. If there is something that can be fouled up, she will find a way to foul it up. One day, I'm going to write a book on that subject.

But now, I'm going to throw in a weekly day of rest into my schedule. For now, my day of rest is on a Saturday so that I can catch some college football. I haven't watched any college football in about 20 years or so, and the game has changed a bit during that time.

I'm also going to try to write some more, although it looks like this will be my last fisking of Gene Lyons. (A fisking is a point-by-point refutation of another person's writings, with an emphasis on the refutation being humorous.) Gene has had a weekly column published in my state-wide newspaper for about ten years or so now, and I've done 0n-and-off fiskings of his columns for at least the past 7 years.

But now, Gene's columns are not being carried by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette anymore, due to their picking up of another Arkansas liberal columnist John Brummett. Brummett doesn't seem to be as insane or delusional as Gene obviously is, so I don't know if I'm going to have any fun fisking any of his columns.

Luckily, Gene is still being carried at Salon.com, and that is where I got his latest column. As usual, Gene's blatherings are in Commie Red, while my snarky comments are in the coolest shade of blue. Let's jump in!

Now and then, George W. Bush told the unvarnished truth — most often in jest. Consider the GOP presidential nominee's October 20, 2000 speech at a high-society $800-a-plate fundraiser at New York's Waldorf-Astoria. Resplendent in a black tailcoat, waistcoat and white bow tie, Bush greeted the swells with evident satisfaction.

"This is an impressive crowd," he said. "The haves and the have-mores. Some people call you the elites; I call you my base."

Any questions?

Oooh, ooh, pick me, pick me!

At the 2008 version of the dinner, then-Senator Barack Obama said, “Contrary to the rumors you have heard, I was not born in a manger. I was actually born on Krypton and sent here by my father Jor-El to save the planet Earth.” Using your logic, Gene, that means Obama is... Superman!

Funny, I don't recall Superman being such a miserable failure in the comic books, do you?

But seriously, Gene, don't you think it's a bit dishonest of you to not tell your audience that the fundraiser that Bush was at was for charity? That traditionally it is used by the candidates to poke fun at themselves?

Dishonest? Gene? Why, that's certainly unprecedented!!!!

Eight months later, President Bush delivered sweeping tax cuts to that patrician base. Given current hysteria over what a recent Washington Post article called "the runaway national debt," it requires an act of historical memory to recall that the Bush administration rationalized reducing taxes on inherited wealth because paying down the debt too soon might roil financial markets.

Eleven years later, the Post warns in a ballyhooed article reading like something out of Joseph Heller's "Catch-22," that Social Security — the 75 year old bedrock of millions of Americans' retirement hopes — has "passed a treacherous milestone," gone "cash negative," and "is sucking money out of the Treasury."

Anybody who discerns a relationship between these events, that is, between a decade of keeping the "have-mores" yachts and Lear jets running smoothly and a manufactured crisis supposedly threatening grandma's monthly Social Security check must be some kind of radical leftist.

That, or somebody skeptical of the decades-long propaganda war against America's most efficient, successful and popular social insurance program. It's an effort that's falsely persuaded millions of younger Americans that Social Security's in its last days and made crying wolf a test of "seriousness" among Beltway courtier-pundits like the Post's Lori Montgomery, who concocted an imaginary front page emergency out of a relatively meaningless actuarial event.

So, the thing to take away from this is that grandma doesn't have to worry about a "crisis" "threatening" grandma's Social Security check. Apparently, everything is hunky-dory out there in America.

All in service, alas, of a single unstated premise: the "have-mores" have made off with grandma's money fair and square. They have no intention of paying it back. That's the only possible interpretation of the Post's admonition that "the $2.6 trillion Social Security trust fund will provide little relief. The government has borrowed every cent and now must raise taxes, cut spending or borrow more heavily from outside investors to keep benefit checks flowing."

???? But, you just said, Gene, that grandma doesn't have to worry about a "crisis" "threatening" to take away her Social Security check? And now, you're saying that the have-mores have already taken it away??


Little relief? In fact, the law's working precisely as intended. After 28 years of generating huge payroll tax surpluses to cover the Baby Boomers' retirement benefits, the system must now begin to draw upon those funds to help pay current benefits—the vast majority still covered by current payroll tax receipts.

"Rather than posing any sort of crisis," explains Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, "this is exactly what had been planned when Congress last made major changes to the program in 1983 based on the recommendations of the Greenspan commission."

Again, this is the beneficiaries' money, invested by the Social Security trustees in U.S. Treasury bonds drawn upon "the full faith and credit of the United States."

1983? Why, I'm sure there was a President then. If only I could remember who it was that was President then.

Ray-burn, wasn't it? Eh, something like that, I'll look it up later. I'm sure it isn't important, anyway.

Far from being "meaningless IOUs" as right-wing cant has it, they represent the same legally-binding promise between the U.S. government and its people that it makes with Wall Street banks and the Chinese government, which also hold Treasury Bonds.

A promise not very different, The Daily Howler's Bob Somerby points out, from the one implicit in your bank statement or 401(k) (if you're lucky enough to have one). Did you think the money was buried in earthen jars filled with gold bullion and precious stones?

Raise taxes, cut spending or borrow? What other options does the U.S. government, or any government, have?

On his New York Times blog, Paul Krugman dissects the Catch-22 logic behind the Post's bogus crisis. You can't simultaneously argue "that the trust fund is meaningless, because SS is just part of the budget, then claim that some crisis arises when receipts fall short of payments, because SS is a standalone program." For practical purposes, it's got to be one or the other.

So is Social Security a "Ponzi scheme?" No, it's group insurance, not an investment.

Not a Ponzi scheme? Well, if Gene and a great economist like Paul Krugman (snicker) thinks so, then it must be true. After all, Krugman won a Pullet Surprise, I mean, a Pulitzer Prize or something like that.

I wonder who taught Krugman about economics? You don't think it was this guy, do you? Nah, he seems to know what he is talking about, and Krugman... doesn't. I don't think Krugman could dissect a Taco Bell burrito.

You die young, somebody else benefits. Its finances have been open public record since 1936. Do fewer workers support each beneficiary? Sure, but who cares? It's denominated in dollars, not a head count. The Boomers were nearing 40 when the Reagan administration fixed the actuarial tables. No surprises there.

"Denominated in dollars, not a head count."

Good heavens, I think he's actually serious with that.

Reagan? Reagan, reagan, reagan....?

OH, right! It was Reagan who was President in 1983! I knew it was something like that!

Hey wait! Did Gene just admit that Reagan, a Republican, fixed Social Security? By golly, he did!

Are longer life expectancies screwing up the numbers? Not really. Most of the rise is explained by lower infant and child mortality, not by old timers overstaying their welcome. Kevin Drum points out that gradually raising the payroll tax one percent and doubling the earnings cap over twenty years would make Social Security solvent forever.

But that's not good enough for the more hidebound members of the $800-a-plate set. See, over 75 years Social Security has provided a measure of dignity, security and freedom to working Americans that just annoys the hell out of their betters.

But don't worry, Superm- I mean, Obama will fix all of this.

This is an amazingly cogent column by Gene. Just as rife with errors as before, and a little more insane than before, but still much improved. It was probably an aberration, but time will tell.

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Occupy Seattle Schedules "Anarchist Multimedia Extravaganza," Calls for "End of System"

Unsurprisingly, those that claim to be "oppressed" at Occupy Seattle have laptops, iPhones, internet access, and movie projectors.  They also have a website on which they have published a schedule of upcoming events.

This coming Monday, November 7, Occupy Seattle will be having an Anarchist Multimedia Extravaganza.  Here is the description that they have posted to their site:
There are so many disgusting things wrong with this, it is almost impossible to know where to start.  First, notice what they have, despite being "poor:" movie projectors, access to films, and enough money to either hire a DJ.

Second, the riots in France in May 1968 were actually Left of the communists in that country, as the protesters created a "new" kind of strike.  It also led to tremendous violence where protesters would overturn random cars and burn down buildings.  It looked like this:
Third, notice who is sponsoring the event.  "Socialist Alternative and various anarchists?"  This is the hundredth example that I have seen that destroys the Left's argument that OWS isn't calling for the end of capitalism and democracy.

Here are other scheduled events (all visible on their website).  A discussion on Socialist Feminism and Anarchism, which asks, "How can capitalism and the state be abolished?"
And today's schedule (note Planned Parenthood and socialism):
Do these nut jobs represent you?  I certainly hope not.

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The Slippery Slope of Liberalism

A young couple from South Africa that was engaged to be married and about to become parents have discovered that they are actually brother and sister.  The parents of the couple split up when the women was 8 months old and the man was 2.  The father has been quoted as saying he left his wife due to her being unfaithful.  The wife kept the daughter and the husband raised the son, both as single parents.  They never told their children they had siblings.  Quite obviously neither parent had any interest in their other child either.

We live in a culture that has changed the meaning of parenthood in so many ways of late, that it is considered perfectly acceptable to lie to your children about where they come from and have bonds between child and parent.  These parents raised their children like they had either a sperm donor or a uterus host instead of another parent.

These children have grown into adults and went to college where they met and fell in love with each other.  Apparently, there is also a term for immediate family members who grow up not knowing each other who develop a strong sexual attraction to each other:
Genetic Sexual Attraction (GSA) is a term that describes the phenomenon of sexual attraction between close relatives, such as siblings, first and second cousins or a parent and offspring who first meet as adults.
It is not the same as incest, though this is what it is called if a sexual relationship is then entered into.
The term GSA was coined 30 years ago by American Barbara Gonyo. She wrote a book about the lust she felt for the adult son she had given up for adoption 26 years earlier.
She never acted on her feelings.
GSA is rare between people raised together in early childhood due to a reverse sexual imprinting known as the Westermarck effect, which desensitizes them from sexual attraction.
Experts believe that this effect evolved to prevent inbreeding.
A child is about to born through incest.  A couple is heartbroken.  A family has been destroyed.  All because two parents decided to be selfish instead of telling their children the truth about their family and to swallow their pride and put their children first.

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OWS That Started Colorado Fire: Ron Paul Supporter

Guess it isn't that big of a surprise. We get this via Jammie Wearing Fool.

"There's tons of drama," she said, adding activists present at the site since Oct. 10 have worked to keep it positive. "Anyone we got negative vibes off of was asked to leave."

She said Benjamin Gilmore, who was part of the movement "since Day One," is a Ron Paul supporter. There has been friction between Paul supporters and other Occupy activists, whose views are "a little bit more extreme," she said.

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Watch Cain Gingrich Debate Video Live

Starting at 5pm EST:

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Fear of Violence Spreading to Occupy Seattle

With violence breaking out among members of Occupy Oakland and Denver, there is a growing concern that the movement may break out into mob storms. With the protesters losing members and even positive press coverage, there is a further concern of outright attacks beginning.

This brings us to Seattle, where these is a very real atmosphere of tensions building in the city. In 1999 the city, known for its hippy and hipster populations, saw violent protests against the World Trade Organization.
Protesters at Occupy Seattle
Now, it has gotten so tense that parents are even cordoning the Occupy protesters from their children. The occupiers had even squatted on a playground, creating an unsafe environment:
“He likes going out in the sandbox and playing and he can’t do that anymore,” Crawford says.

Crawford says he walked around the area near the playground and saw empty beer cans and smelled marijuana.
Just as in Oakland, tensions between the police and the protesters are increasing, so much so that violence may begin in the Northwest city.
Reports of Occupy Seattle's protestors animosity towards police has been noted in confrontations since they took up encampment in Seattle's Westlake Park.
Just several weeks ago came arrests in the city as the protesters refused to move. They were met with arrests:
Those who refused are being arrested and their tents are being moved.

KOMO Radio reports there have been a half-dozen arrests for obstruction.
The costs of all of these protests for Seattle? Over $100k so far. And that's not even counting lost business and possibly lost jobs. With those factors included, the number could be much, much higher.

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Surprise: University Classes Held at Occupy Seattle

Leave it to the Left Coast to hold something like this. With the national Occupy protests waning in numbers and even receiving some critical attention from the media, it appears that their influence is declining. Even worse, the violence that has shaken Oakland and Denver has even gained the attention of some in the press.

For Occupy, times are not as fat as a month ago. Cold temperatures are draining 20ish hipsters from New York city and threatening every northern protest. As the winter months move on, this will likely thin the crowd out even further.

So, without a natural constituency to help the anti-capitalist protests, what is there to do? There was hiring of ringers to attend protests and now this.

Who would think that college professors would be out-of-touch leftists?

In Seattle, university professors have decided to spend state and federal tax dollars by holding their classes among the protests. Many of those protesting were formerly influenced by leftist ideas from college, and would be very impressionable.

And who would have guessed a union connection?

"We didn't talk about their particular strategies," said Strickland, who is the president of the American Federation of Teachers Seattle Local 1789. "I guess my impression is that these are people who are thoughtful. They certainly don't have all the answers. They make mistakes along the way. Does that mean they're ineffective or pointless? I don't think so."

Also not surprising? The non-sensical responses from the group:

"The problem with Seattle's protesters is that they get caught up in fighting what is. What they need to do right now is give an example of what can be," writer Paul Constant posted, later adding, "make your camp a destination that people want to visit. Making this whole thing a battle over a public space that nobody likes is embarrassing and it flies in the face of what the Occupy Wall Street protesters have created."

Your academic system at work.

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OWS Burns $10,000,000 Worth of Buildings

Because they're just so peaceful:
Police have arrested an Occupy Fort Collins protester in connection with a $10 million arson fire that damaged dozens of condominiums and businesses in Fort Collins.

Benjamin David Gilmore, 29, was arrested on Thursday night on suspicion of arson, burglary and criminal mischief.

On Oct. 24, a fire started at 3:30 a.m. in a four-story apartment complex under construction. The fire spread to the occupied Penny Flats condominium and retail building next door.

The fire at Penny Flats caused heavy fire damage to the fourth floor and roof, and heavy smoke and water damage to the first, second and third floors, according to Poudre Fire Authority spokesman Patrick Love.
Damage was estimated at $10 million.
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Andy Rooney Dead at 92

Sad news:
Andy Rooney, the "60 Minutes" commentator known to generations for his wry, humorous and contentious television essays - a unique genre he is credited with inventing - died Friday night in a hospital in New York City of complications following minor surgery. He was 92, and had homes in New York City, Rensselaerville, N.Y. and Rowayton, Conn.

"It's a sad day at '60 Minutes' and for everybody here at CBS News," said Jeff Fager, chairman of CBS News and the executive producer of "60 Minutes." "It's hard to imagine not having Andy around. He loved his life and he lived it on his own terms. We will miss him very much."

Rooney had announced on Oct. 2, 2011 in his 1,097th essay for "60 Minutes" that he would no longer appear regularly.

Rooney wrote for television since its birth, spending more than 60 years at CBS, 30 of them behind the camera as a writer and producer, first for entertainment and then news programming, before becoming a television personality - a role he said he was never comfortable in. He preferred to be known as a writer and was the author of best-selling books and a national newspaper column, in addition to his "60 Minutes" essays.
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Gingrich's Time to Shine

Since this Republican marathon began in late Spring, we have witnessed the rise and fall of Bachmann, Perry, and now possibly Cain if the press remains this negative for too long, while Mitt Romney has remained strong at 25%, and Newt Gingrich has performed awesomely at the debates. I think if the trend of rise and fall holds with Cain - Gingrich will finally shine.

Tonight's modified Lincoln-Douglas debate between Cain and Gingrich could do more to shape the race than anything that has come out of the media thus far, because both the crowd in Houston and viewers watching from home (C-SPAN 8:00 PM), will finally be able to see substantive answers to difficult questions for once.

And considering the master of debates and knowledge will have uninterrupted time to not only promote his own solutions, but to evaluate his opponents, could very well turn this debate into a Newt slug fest - if Cain cannot hold his own and that's debatable. Will Cain be able to adjust from thirty/sixty second soundbites to minutes long answers? His talk radio experience says yes, but his previous debate performances say no.....

Regardless, if Cain is able to hold off Gingrich and perform well, then he will likely stand the test of time and be Romney's central opposition during the primaries, but if Gingrich is able to dispatch Cain on substance, it is very likely the former Speaker could become this cycle's comeback kid.

What say you?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Gingrich predicts GOP race will be "Mitt and Newt"

From AJC:
Newt Gingrich predicts the race for the GOP nomination will come down to two weary candidates: "This will end up being Mitt and Newt."

Gingrich, the former Georgia congressman and speaker of the U.S. House, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday that his campaign is now where it needs to be and that by December he'll have the resources to compete head to head with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

"And Romney is the real competitor," Gingrich said in his Buckhead campaign headquarters, where he rallied two dozen volunteers before heading to Duluth for a town hall meeting sponsored by the 7th District Republican Party.

An obviously upbeat Gingrich said he survived June and July, which he called the darkest two months of his 53-year political career, and is poised to make a serious run at the nomination.

It's a remarkable turnaround for a candidate many pundits and news outlets had declared out of the race earlier this year. And while polls have shown Gingrich inching into sole possession of third place -- including a Quinnipiac poll released Tuesday that had him distancing himself from fourth-place Rick Perry -- he's still at least 10-12 percentage points behind Romney and Atlanta resident Herman Cain.
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Greece Confidence Vote Results

Greek Prime Minister Papandreou received the necessary votes to survive in office. This came after the crisis surrounding a European bailout. He needed 151 votes of 300.

Total as of 6:56pm EST

Yes: 153

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National Restaurant Association Releases Statement on Cain Allegations

Here is the statement in its entirety:
“We have seen the statement Joel Bennett released earlier today on behalf of his client, a former employee of the Association. The Association consented to the release of that statement, at the request of Mr. Bennett’s client.

“Based upon the information currently available, we can confirm that more than a decade ago, in July 1999, Mr. Bennett’s client filed a formal internal complaint, in accordance with the Association’s existing policies prohibiting discrimination and harassment. Mr. Herman Cain disputed the allegations in the complaint. The Association and Mr. Bennett’s client subsequently entered into an agreement to resolve the matter, without any admission of liability. Mr. Cain was not a party to that agreement. The agreement contains mutual confidentiality obligations. Notwithstanding the Association’s ongoing policy of maintaining the privacy of all personnel matters, we have advised Mr. Bennett that we are willing to waive the confidentiality of this matter and permit Mr. Bennett’s client to comment. As indicated in Mr. Bennett’s statement, his client prefers not to be further involved with this matter and we will respect her decision.

“The Association has robust policies designed to ensure that employees with concerns may bring them forward for prompt investigation and resolution, without risk of retaliation. The Association is fully committed to equal employment opportunity and to an environment that is free from any discrimination or harassment.”
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Who Votes for Democracy?

Democracy! Democracy! Democracy! This is the mantra that we hear from Tahrir Square to Yemen from Belarus to Wall Street protestors are on the march around the world demanding Democracy!
Democracy has long been the cover for all manner of despotic totalitarian regimes creating hellholes for their own people and nightmares for the rest of us.  One needs only to recall that even though the popular myth of Hitler being elected is demonstrably false, he lost the only election he ever ran in, he was however appointed Chancellor in 1933 after his Nazi Party became the largest single party through democratic elections.  His ghoulish regime achieved total power when 90% of the German people voted to make Hitler the F├╝hrer or undisputed dictator of their nation. And who can forget the many Democratic People’s Republics that have graced the world with their despotic presence, East Germany, Cuba, Laos, Vietnam and North Korea.  The cover of democracy and the votes of the people have been used to legitimize the most insidious forms of human depravity.
It is popular among conservatives to decry the nation-wide and world-wide demand for democracy as if it were something new under the sun.   It is also popular to point out that the United States of America was founded as a representative Republic not as a Democracy.  The representative nature of the Republic was enshrined in both the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution.  The difference is proudly pointed out that we are a representative republic which operates on democratic principles NOT a democracy.
It is not quite as popular to point out that though our representative Republic has always operated on democratic principles in the beginning that democracy did not spread out very far.  The franchise was restricted only to males of the Caucasian persuasion who owned a certain amount of property.   The dirty little secret teachers of American History Survey classes fought for years to keep from their impressionable students was that even though Wilson led America into fighting World War I to make the world safe for democracy and FDR led us into World War II as the Arsenal of Democracy the Founders of our country went to great lengths to protect our Republic from the perils of democracy.
Examples of the Founders distaste for democracy are easy to find:
James Madison said, “Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security, or the rights of property; and have, in general, been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”
John Adams said, “Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide” and, “The experience of all former ages had shown that of all human governments, democracy was the most unstable, fluctuating and short-lived.”
Alexander Hamilton said, “It has been observed that a pure democracy if it were practicable would be the most perfect government. Experience has proved that no position is more false than this. The ancient democracies in which the people themselves deliberated never possessed one good feature of government. Their very character was tyranny; their figure deformity.”
The circle of American democracy was at first drawn closely around the ruling circle of intellectuals, lawyers and men of property because they feared the tyranny of those unable or unwilling to learn the rudiments of History, Economics or Governance.  However, as time passed spurred on by a combination of their desire to participate and the cajoling of those who wanted to rule them people began to agitate for an extension of the franchise and for one reason or another the circle began to expand until by the 1830s throughout the United States most Caucasian males could vote.  By comparison in Britain at the same time less than 10% could vote.
The watchword in America became democracy, not in the speeches of the first Progressives in the 1890s but in the voices of their great grandfathers in the second generation after our Revolution.  Within a generation leadership passed from Washington, Jefferson, Madison and other statesmen with grand visions of liberty and freedom to partisan leaders of political factions.  The stirring and deeply reflective tone of the Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers was replaced by clever slogans designed to move the masses and win votes.
Alexis de Tocqueville is often quoted to show the high state of American involvement and participation in the democratic process.  He is less often quoted in his assessment of that process, “The most able men in the United States are very rarely place at the head of affairs.”  He pointed to the character of a democracy where people ignored important issues, disdained intellectuals who were informed of these issues and instead were moved by “the clamor of a mountebank [a demagogue] who knows the secret of stimulating their tastes.”
In the recent past President Bush in 2005 during his second inaugural speech declared the doctrine that bears his name by saying, ‘‘it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.’’ Since that time democratic elections have brought us Hamas as the elected representatives of the Palestinian People, Islamists have won the first post-Arab Spring election in Tunisia and who can forget that Hugo Chavez has won multiple elections in Venezuela and then there is our new partner in our latest military adventure Yoweri Museveni Uganda’s President-for-Life who was democratically elected as was his more famous predecessor Idi Amin Dada.
The democratic revolution which began in America a generation after the establishment of our representative Republic has grown through the roughshod years of Jackson, the tax, tax, tax, spend, spend, spend, elect, elect, elect days of FDR and has morphed into the Occupy Everywhere movement currently polluting our cities and clamoring for the predictable goal of pure democracy, “From each according to their ability to each according to their need.” 
We are witnessing the tyranny not of the majority but instead of the majority of voters coming to fruition.  In America in a typical election only 50% or less of eligible voters bothers to cast their ballot.  Many congressional districts are gerrymandered into personal possessions, local counties, cities and states belong to good-old-boy networks and the Senate is the province of millionaire media stars.  The uninformed elect the unqualified to give them what is unearned.
Or as our old friend Alexis de Tocqueville also said, “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years.”
The democratic revolution begun in America 200 years ago has circled the globe.  The leaders of the Egyptian revolutionaries have come to New York to join the protesters at Zuccotti Park to chant, the mantra, “Democracy Now!”  Looking at the paradise on earth replicated from New York to Oakland in these demonstrations supported by the unions, Democrats and the President I only have one question, “Who will vote for that?”
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2011 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens

White House Rejects Solyndra Subpoena; WH Says It's a "Fishing Expedition"

After the collapse of Solyndra, a solar company that received over $500,000,000 in loans from the Obama Administration, Republicans noted the unsettling amount of ties that the White House had with the defunct company.

Vice President Biden called on his advisers to hurry through the loan, President Obama toured the Solyndra plant in 2010, and the top executives of Solyndra donated heavily to then-candidate Obama in 2008.  President Bush rejected loaning the company money, saying that it was too risky, and even President Obama's advisors told him in person that the half-a-billion-dollar loan was "not ready for prime time."

The Obama Administration has stated repeatedly that it did nothing wrong and would "not have changed" what he did if he had the chance.  Mr. Obama has also said he has nothing to hide.  And yet, today the Obama Administration rejected a subpoena on the Solyndra loan it pushed for, possibly confirming that the President does indeed have something to hide.

Kathryn H. Ruemmler, counsel to the president, stated officially that the rejection was because the subpoena was a "significant intrusion" into what the President has done in the White House. Her argument, in part, is that Congress has no need to know what Mr. Obama does or why.

She continued, "There is no basis for such a broad request beyond a 'vast fishing expedition.'"

You can read the entire document below:
Letter from the White House Counsel 11 04 11

Why exactly the Administration would reject the subpoena, considering they have consistently stated that they want the "truth" to come out, can only be speculated.  While the official report says that the subpoena is too much to deal with, the White House knew it was coming and chose an odd time and an odd reason to say no.

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Internal Fights Among Protesters Break Out after OWS Poll Released; Accusations of "Racism," "White Supremacy"

Go figure, the Occupy Wall Street is inordinately white, young, and educated.  After this internal poll was released, OWS protesters said pollsters and other Occupy Wall Street supporters championed “insidious racism” and “white supremacy.”

According to the survey, there are over 50 white people for every African-American at the protests.  Likewise, the people at OWS are inordinately young, with less than a third 45-years-old or older.  Additionally, 90% of people at the protest have gone to college, nearly twice the national average.

Here's the poll, set to various pie charts and colors:

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Deranged Homeless Man goes on Violent Rampage in Zuccotti Park

From the New York Post:
A deranged homeless man who has been squatting among the Occupy Wall Street protesters in lower Manhattan went on a violent, early-morning rampage yesterday, cursing incoherently and kicking down tents.

The only thing that could stop Jeremy Clinch from his Godzilla-like rampage was a left hook to the face delivered by a paranoid fellow protester who claimed to be an ex-Turkish diplomat -- and charged that his assailant was carrying out a plot hatched by Mayor Bloomberg.

“I’ve been here from Day One! I haven’t got a tent!” the Cleveland-native Clinch shrieked as he furiously kicked down tents onto sleeping protesters at about 8 a.m.

“I’ve been here for three months, and I haven’t been able to sleep!” the out-of-his-head Clinch screamed.

It was just the type of increasingly violent incident that has downtown residents -- already bombarded by megaphones, incessant drumming, graffiti and public urination -- feeling on edge as the OWS takeover of Zuccotti Park enters its third month.

“You want to fight? You want to get f--ked up? Let’s get it on! Let’s get it on!” Clinch ranted.

The unhinged vagrant then put the boot to the wrong man -- Recai “Rocky” Iskender, 48, of Cliffside Park, NJ, as he slept in his tent.
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Video- Cain Releases New Ad Entitled "High Tech Lynching"

Update- As pointed out by our astute colleague, this video was not released directly by Cain, but by supporters of his.

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October Jobs Report: 80k Jobs, 9.0% Unemployment

The October jobs picture is a mixed bag. The government released the figures earlier today, which provide one piece of bad news with one of potentially good news. For one, employers slowed job growth to just 80,000, coming in below expectations. Secondly, the unemployment rate fell from 9.1% to 9.0%.

This could be seen as a positive-- more are back to work, or as the fact that more have given up looking for employment.

"Either survey portrays a job market that is a bit better than people might have hoped for," said David Resler, chief economic consultant with Nomura.That said, there's still a lot of room for improvement. Roughly 13.9 million Americans remained unemployed in October, 42% of whom had been out of work for 27 weeks or longer.

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Romney, Cain Tied

HT: GOP 12

The 2012 Republican Primary race is once again a two man fight for the top spot, according to a new poll by ABC News/Washington Post, but there are two more men on the outside looking in for a shot, or another, to break out and seriously contend for the nomination.

Mitt Romney - 24%.
Herman Cain - 23%.
Rick Perry - 13%.
Newt Gingrich - 12%.

Romney and Cain continue to fight for position in this continuous horse race, but the media is forgetting about Rick Perry, who is still sticking around in double digits, and former Speaker Newt Gingrich, who has actually reached the top three/four (pending on which poll you read) of the field after struggling for relevance since his campaign began.

This poll was taken after the Cain controversy erupted earlier this week, but only time will tell if the story will really derail his campaign or have any effect at all, and this once again reflects the problem Romney has: he is stuck hovering around 25%, while the Not-Romney electorate considers their options...

What say you?

The Month in Review

It's that time of the month again.  October was a pretty successful month for Pundit Press, as we smashed through 1,000,000 views all-time and continue to climb. Thank you to all of our readers: you make it all possible.

Number of articles written in October: 347 articles

Number of Articles Per Author-

Aurelius- 192 Posts
Thomas Ferdousi- 40 Posts
Mr. K- 36 Posts
Danny R. Butcher- 34 Posts
Just a conservative girl- An Impressive First Month of 25 Posts
Unlikely Hospitalist- 12 Posts
Dr. Robert Owens- 4 Posts
The Desert Paladin- 2 Posts
MO Atty- 2 Posts
Joe C.- 0 Posts

In the month of October, Pundit Press received 93,407 pageviews, 18,500 more than August and September combined.

Top Articles of the Month-

1. "Gaddafi Death Picture" an Obvious Fake (Written Originally in August), by Aurelius, with 29,699 views

2. Occupy Madison Loses Permit Because Protesters were "Publicly Masturbating," by Aurelius, with 12,455 views

3. Qaddafi Death Photo, by Thomas, with 2,692 views

4. Occupy Wall Street: Beheading of Children, Hangings Will Make People "Fall in Line," by Aurelius, with 2,547 views

5. 'Rick Perry' Bad Lip-Syncing Video, by Aurelius, with 2,200 views

6. Qaddafi Death Video, by Thomas, with 1,625 views

7. Occupy Wall Street Defaces 9/11 Memorial Statue, by Aurelius, with 1,392 views

8. Liberals Call for Death of Herman Cain; "I Applauded" When He Almost Died of Cancer, by Aurelius, with 1,347 views

9. Working Families Party Offers People Up to $650 a Week to Join Wall Street Protests, by Aurelius, with 1,252 views

10. Occupy Wall Street Hatred, Violence, and Antisemitism Compilation, by Aurelius, with 1,078 views

11. Compilation: 40 Examples of OWS Violence, Perversion, and Anti-semitism (With Pictures, Videos), by Aurelius, with 1,078 views (yes, the same number of views for two different compilations)

Those that linked to Us:

Michelle Malkin
Big Government
Andrew Breitbart
Director Blue
Gateway Pundit
Weasel Zippers
American Thinker
PJ Media

Tomb of the the unknown blogger (for anyone we missed)


- As I mentioned before, we broke 1,000,000 pageviews all-time this past month. Here's looking forward to the next million!
- Joe C., our beloved sports analyst, did not write any articles in October
- Just a conservative girl made a strong showing this month, writing an impressive number of articles. Keep it up!

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America Divided on Charges Against Herman Cain

Rasmussen wasted little time and has polled on the country's reaction to the Politico article that discussed charges of harassment against Herman Cain.  
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 39% believe the allegations against Cain are at least somewhat likely to be serious and true.  Thirty-eight percent (38%) disagree and 23% are not sure. Those figures include 17% who believe it’s Very Likely and 11% who say Not at All Likely.
The poll also showed:
most Republicans believe the public airing of the charges suggest Cain is considered a serious threat to win the nomination.
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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Picture: OWS Burns American Flag

Not surprising, considering who is doing it, but still disgusting:

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One Day After Supporting OWS, Men's Wearhouse in Oakland Vandalized by Protesters

It's a simple lesson in appeasement that the world learned in the 1930s.  When there are radicals that are demanding ludicrous things based on erroneous facts, you do not give in.  This is something that the Men's Wearhouse in Oakland did not learn.

Yesterday they put up this sign in their window:
And today, that very window was smashed in by protesters
Check out our extensive  coverage!
Is it any surprise that a bunch of hoodlums calling for the end of capitalism would bust in a window of a business?  I don't think so.

Maybe Men's Wearhouse will learn from this lesson.  But I can't guarantee it.

H/T: SF Gate, TAP

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Cain Considering Legal Action Against Politico

From the Washington Post:
A Herman Cain aide said Thursday that the Cain campaign is considering its legal options over the original Politico story, which revealed that the former head of the National Restaurant Association was accused of sexually harassing at least two women during his tenure in the 1990s.

“This is likely not over with Politico from a legal perspective,” a campaign official told the Post, stopping short of explaining what exactly he meant by taking legal action against the publication.

The Cain campaign has had an attorney advising it since Saturday on crisis management, which hasn’t gone particularly well for Cain since the story broke Sunday night.

On Thursday night, Politico reported more details of the allegations against Cain, saying that the former NRA head made a “sexual overture to [one of the women] at one of the group’s events.”

Politico cited “multiple sources independently familiar with the matter” and said the woman in question was “livid” and reported the incident that night to an NRA board member. She left the trade group soon afterwards, the publication reported.
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Is Cain Able?

This past week has been very tough on Herman Cain, because he has had to starve off allegations of sexual harassment during his tenure as head of the National Restaurant Association and hasn't been able to build on recent momentum. I have absolutely no idea what happened over ten years ago, but it means nothing when it comes my opposition of his campaign.

I oppose Mr. Cain not for the color of his skin, but because of the content of his character, which is woefully uneducated on foreign policy and, apparently, even though much has been made of said inability, has been unable, or unwilling, to do anything about it. He doesn't sit down and study Uzbekistan during campaign trips, he mocks knowledge about the nation.

He doesn't consider what his policy on Afghanistan would be, he tosses the question up to unknown advisers in the Cain White House. And he didn't stand with America's right to hunt down and eliminate al-Awlaki... he opposed it in the summer and celebrated it in the fall. Flip-flopping faster then Senator John Kerry in sandals.

Before people support Herman Cain, they shouldn't read the Politico story and guess whether it's true or not, they should examine his foreign policy experience, or lack thereof, and statements, then decide whether Cain is really able to serve as President of the United States. But we wouldn't have this problem if he just schooled himself for a couple of weeks...

What say you?

Video- Pelosi Suffers Near Meltdown When Confronted About Shady Investments

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Source: "Herman [Cain] took advantage of seniority and power with a young woman"

It continues.  From PJ Media:
Adding to the ongoing Herman Cain sexual harassment controversy, two sources have now confirmed to PJ Media that a female employee of the National Restaurant Association told associates she had been brought by Mr. Cain to his Crystal City, Virginia residence where she alleged “he had taken advantage of me.”

One source, a male, told PJ Media:
Herman took advantage of seniority and power with a young woman. It was an abuse of power.
Implying that coming forward with the accusations was an ordeal for the young woman, the source also said:
Who do you believe, a CEO or a mid-level staffer? It was unsettling for her to make charges.
The name of the woman — who was in her early twenties at the time of the alleged incident — has been confirmed by PJ Media. We have chosen not to reveal her identity for reasons of discretion.

Both sources, one male and one female, worked at the time — mid-1990s — for the governmental affairs department of the National Restaurant Association, as did the woman.

According to both sources, Mr. Cain and the woman had been with a large group for a long evening of food and drink at the Ciao Baby Cucina, a restaurant near NRA headquarters in downtown Washington, D.C. This was a normal routine, as the trade association worked with the food and beverage industry. Afterwards, Mr. Cain allegedly took the woman by taxi to his apartment, where she spent the night and woke up in his bed.
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House Subpoenas White House

From the Washington Times:
Showing a growing frustration with the the Obama administration, congressional Republicans on Thursday authorized their second subpoena this week, demanding White House documents related to failed solar technology company Solyndra.

By a 14-9 party-line vote the Energy and Commerce Committee’s investigative subcommittee authorized issuing a subpoena for any White House documents related to Solyndra, which received renewable energy loan guarantees under President Obama’s stimulus program. The request for documents could include details of the president’s own travel and communications.

Democrats said it was “unprecedented” to subpoena documents from the president’s executive office like this, but Republicans said they’ve run out of patience with White House “stalling.”

“We simply cannot allow the executive branch at its highest levels to pick and choose what they will produce, or whether they will produce anything at all,” said Rep. Cliff Stearns, the Florida Republican who runs the investigative panel.

Thursday’s subpoena came just a day after the Judiciary Committee’s immigration subcommittee voted along party lines to authorize a subpoena for Homeland Security records related to illegal immigrants the department has declined to pursue deportation cases against.
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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Tea Party/Occupy Wall Street Checklist

Via The Jawa Report:

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Rahm Emanuel Involved in Cain Sexual Harassment Leak?

This story grows more and more complex by the hour:
Herman Cain's campaign is revealing suspicions about who is behind the story regarding the former unidentified employees who accused Mr. Cain of sexual harassment in the late 1990's.

According to a source who is friends with the Cain campaign, not only is the Rick Perry campaign involved but also the Mayor of Chicago and former Obama White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is likely involved with the sexual harassment accuser attacks. A friend of the Cain campaign believes a National Restaurant Association (NRA) employee out of the Chicago office leaked the story to the Perry campaign via information and influence from Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office.

According to Politico's Jonathan Martin, Curt Anderson, the Perry advisor who the Cain campaign is accusing of leaking the damaging information, is denying the charges.
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Cain Camp Accuses Perry Campaign of Leaking Sexual Harassment Claims

From Fox News:
Herman Cain's top aide accused Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s camp of leaking stories to the media about sexual harassment allegations from the 1990s that have rocked the former pizza company executive’s presidential campaign.

Cain has been grappling with the allegations since Politico first reported Sunday night that at least two women who worked for the National Restaurant Association when Cain was the head had received financial settlements after they complained about his behavior.

The Cain campaign points to longtime GOP consultant Curt Anderson, who worked for Cain's failed 2004 U.S. Senate bid and was debriefed on the harassment allegations by Cain himself. Anderson now works for Perry.

And Chris Wilson, a former pollster for the restaurant association, said Wednesday he witnessed Cain's alleged inappropriate behavior. He's now involved with a pro-Perry super political action committee.

Both men deny leaking the story and the Perry aides says the first they learned about it was this week in the press.

But Cain's team isn't buying it and demands an apology.
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Compilation: Dumbest Occupy Wall Street Tweets

Honestly, finding stupid things said by Occupy Wall Street is like trying to find a leaf in the forest.  They're everywhere, so in a way my job is pretty easy.  However, I still took the liberty to find the extra-dumb comments made by supporters of OWS.

So, without further ado...

This doesn't make sense:
Hey, this socialism stuff sounds pretty awesome:
Democracy and/or capitalism are going down:
Obligatory antisemetic rambling:
Don't forget to try to tie the Tea Party to terrorism, even though you have no proof:
Try to tie the Second Amendment, the First Amendment, atheism, and the GOP together:
And there's nothing like quoting a Founding Father out of context and applying modern meanings to 200-year-old words:
But I thought they wanted to work within the system:
Police=child rapists=Hitler:

After reading these, I think I need a shower.

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Third Worker Says She was Harassed by Cain

From Yahoo!:
A third former employee says she considered filing a workplace complaint over what she considered aggressive and unwanted behavior by Herman Cain when she worked for the presidential candidate in the 1990s. She says the behavior included a private invitation to his corporate apartment.

She worked for the National Restaurant Association when he was its head. She told The Associated Press that Cain made sexually suggestive remarks or gestures about the same time that two co-workers had settled separate harassment complaints against him.

The employee described situations in which she said Cain told her he had confided to colleagues how attractive she was and invited her to his corporate apartment outside work. She spoke on condition of anonymity, saying she feared retaliation.

Cain's campaign declined to comment.
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Report: U.K. Preparing for Military Strike on Iran Nuclear Facilities

From Haaretz:
The U.K. is stepping up its preparations for a military strike on Iran, the Guardian newspaper reported on Wednesday. According to the report, the U.K. is increasingly concerned over Tehran's nuclear program, and is preparing to deploy Royal Navy ships in the coming months to assist a possible U.S. attack on key facilities in Iran.

The paper cited senior officials who said they believed Iran had regained its technological capabilities which were severely damaged in a cyber-attack last year. Iran said the Stuxnet worm infected personal computers of employees at the Bushehr plant, but not the plant's main systems. The New York Times reported last January that the worm was a joint Israeli-U.S. effort to undermine Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Iran's military chief warned Wednesday that an Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear development sites will come at a heavy price, according to the Iranian ISNA news agency.

Responding to reports that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been trying to gain a majority in the cabinet for an attack on Iran, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff of Iran's armed forces, Hassan Firouzabadi, warned both Israel and the U.S. against such a move.

Meanwhile, the Israel Air Force continues conducting comprehensive drills on long-range attacks.
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Romney: Obama has a "4-4-4 Plan"

From CBS:
Riffing on a businessman Herman Cain's "9-9-9" economic plan, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney tried out a new campaign slogan on Wednesday, saying that he's heard that President Obama has a "4-4-4" plan -- four years in office, $4 trillion more in debt, and 4 million jobs lost.

The comments by the former Massachusetts governor, made at a private fundraiser in New York City, played off Cain's proposal to replace the U.S. tax code with a flat tax of 9 percent on income, businesses and consumer goods. However, Romney's 15-minute address to a group of about 300 donors at the Manhattan's Grand Hyatt was mostly about foreign policy and his own ideas for fixing the economy, according to New York Republican Chairman Ed Cox. Romney did not comment on the sexual harassment scandal currently engulfing his rival's campaign.

Event hosts included New York Jets football team owner Woody Johnson and hedge fund manager John Paulson. Outside the hotel, about 15 protesters loosely affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement gathered, some holding signs of Romney in a doctored poster from the film Wall Street and captioned "Greed is good: Romney-Gekko 2012."
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Israel Weighs Pre-Emptive Strike on Iran

From Sky News:
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to rally support in his cabinet for an attack on Iran, according to government sources.

The country's defence minister Ehud Barak and the foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman are said to be among those backing a pre-emptive strike to neutralise Iran's nuclear ambitions.
But a narrow majority of ministers currently oppose the move, which could trigger a wave of regional retaliation.

The debate over possible Israeli military action has reached fever pitch in recent days with newspaper leader columns discussing the benefits and dangers of hitting Iran.

Mr Lieberman responded to the reports of a push to gain cabinet approval by saying that "Iran poses the most dangerous threat to world order."

But he said Israel's military options should not be a matter for public discussion.
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Possible Jihadist Attack Destroys Offices of Paper that Published Mohammed Cartoon

There has been a possible jihadist attack in France earlier today. The French paper Charlie Hebdo published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in a recent issue. Seemingly in response, gasoline bombs were used to destroy their offices.

No one was killed and the paper's website was also hacked. In 2005, they published another picture of Mohammed.

This came after threats:

Charb said the magazine had received several threats on Twitter and Facebook before the attack.

"This is the first time we have been physically attacked, but we won't let it get to us," he said.

Of course, this could be an impetus for the nanny states to pass new restrictions on free speech. Let's hope not.

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Cain Extends Lead Over Romney to Seven

From ABC:
A poll released Wednesday puts Herman Cain ahead of Mitt Romney by seven percentage points in the presidential race, reflecting a margin wider than the sampling error.

Cain and Romney competed for the top spot in national polls for much of October, but a Quinnipiac University Poll shows Cain breaking ahead to take a solid lead.

Cain took 30 percent of support among registered Republican voters, according to the survey, with Romney following at 23 percent.

The poll, taken almost entirely before reports emerged of sexual allegations against Cain, shows him leading in a hypothetical matchup against Romney, 47 percent to 39 percent.

But Romney fared better than Cain in a hypothetical contest with President Barack Obama, scoring 42 percent to Obama's 47 percent. Cain came in at 40 percent, against Obama's 50 percent.
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Conservatives' Herman Cain Dilemma

Conservatives, for the most part, have decided to rally around Herman Cain after the announcement of him being faced with complaints of harassment while running the National Restaurant Association.  Both Rush and Ann Coulter have said these are racially motivated attacks.  All of this without knowing who it is that brought this to the attention of Politico in the first place.  

One could make a very good argument that much more is to be gained by people on the right at this moment in time.  Perry's campaign is in serious trouble.  Romney is facing a very serious challenge for the first time in the campaign by a person who is going to attract the conservative base much more so than Romney ever will.  The other candidates are sinking fast and will be in the dustbin of irrelevancy in very short order.  While it would be stupid for any GOP candidate to put these out there, it is not beyond the realm of possibility. 

The truth is this, this story is not a smear job as many on right are characterizing as.  The Politico story is true.  The Cain campaign was given plenty of notice of the story before it was released.  The first reaction of the Cain campaign was to say nothing.  Then when Cain decided to speak on Monday morning he gave an incoherent and not truthful response.  
“If the restaurant association did a settlement, I wasn’t even aware of it and I hope it wasn’t for much. If there was a settlement, it was handled by some of the other officers at the restaurant association.”
Hours later, he said that there was a settlement and it was a small amount of money, only several months pay.  It has since come out that the settlement was for a years salary; $35,000.  We don't know all the details of the complaint that was filed.  We have heard what Cain has had to say.  If that is really all there is to it, it was ridiculous lawsuit.  But, we don't know all the details.  

Most people on the right side of aisle have very strong feelings about what we perceive to be frivolous lawsuits and trial lawyers who seem to be out to make a buck off anything that they can.  Another thing that may not be being made clear is how common it is for an organization to settle these suits as it far less expensive then fighting them, it limits future claims of liability, and it reduces the chances of bad PR.  The privacy agreements signed are also a normal course of business when settling these suits.  It is also true that settling is not an admission of guilt.  It is the price of doing business in the litigious world we live in.  

When running for the office of the presidency your entire life is bared out for the all the world to see.  Anyone who has had this type of settlement in the past, it is going to come out.  Cain should have been better prepared to answer questions on this matter.  Cain also should have gotten more familiar with the details of the case before making any statements.  I don't think that anyone can say that they would remember every detail of something that happened more than dozen years ago.  

Cain is saying some pretty incredible things if you really sit back and think about it.  He is saying that he had no idea of how much the settlement was for even though he was the head of the association.  While it is very likely that he stayed out of the day to day details of the claim and the settlement, but as the head of the organization writing out a check that large would have to get approval.  As person who worked in the non profit sector for many years I can tell you everything must be coded and signed off on before the accounting department will cut a check.  It is really likely that he was not made aware of how much the settlement was?  

There is no way any honest broker can say that there is not a left leaning bias to many in the media.  I think they self identify as democrats at something along the lines of 80%.  This is nothing new, nor should it be surprise that many in media are going to handle a story like this about a conservative with glee.  But, that doesn't justify making statements that Mr. Cain is some sort of victim.  The story is true.  This is a relevant piece of information for voters to have when deciding whom they are going to cast a ballot for.  

Mr. Cain has plenty of time to repair any damage caused by this story.  All he has to do is be truthful and lay out the facts as best he can under the circumstances of the confidentially agreements.  But what he shouldn't be doing is calling himself a victim.  This information was bound to come out at some point.  The first votes are still two months away.  If Politico were trying to derail his candidacy as everyone claims, they would have waited to release this story much closer to the Iowa Caucus, when he wouldn't have had time to repair the damage.  

The fact that many on the right feel that this story wouldn't be reported if he were a liberal is a silly argument. While that may very well be some truth to that line of thinking, the point is that it should be reported.  Voters should have as much information that they can on a potential president.  They can decide for themselves what they feel matters and what they feel doesn't.  Someone reporting the truth is not smear job. It is their job.  We can all hope for the sake of the nation that they will continue to report these stories regardless of what party the person happens to belong to.  

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Suspicions of Second Syrian Nuclear Plant

Following Israel's 2007 raid that destroyed a Syrian plutonium plant, it now appears that the Syrians had a parallel uranium enrichment plant. Despite the Ba'athist state's denials of working with former Pakistani nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan, new evidence is emerging.

In al-Hasaka, Syria, suspicion has arisen at a site nominally identified as a cotton-spinning plant. DebkaFile had a very similar story earlier today, identifying the uranium as being from Saddam's Iraq. This site is very similar to a design that Khan sold Muammar Qaddafi's Libya before that country dismantled its nuclear program in 2003.

It appears that the IAEA has also released documents catching Khan and the Syrians red-handed:

The U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency also has obtained correspondence between Khan and a Syrian government official, Muhidin Issa, who proposed scientific cooperation and a visit to Khan's laboratories following Pakistan's successful nuclear test in 1998.

This also comes after the country received a visit from the disgraced scientist:

The former investigator said Syria acknowledged to the IAEA that Khan made at least one trip to Syria to deliver scientific lectures, as The Los Angeles Times reported in 2004.

The plans for the Syrian site are almost identical to those that Khan sold Qaddafi.

Another set of the same plans was turned over to the IAEA after Libya abandoned its nuclear program. Libya told the IAEA it had ordered 10,000 gas centrifuges from Khan, most of which it intended for a facility that was to be built according to the plans. Centrifuges are used to enrich uranium in the weapons-making process.

The investigator said the layout of the Al-Hasakah facility matches the plans used in Libya almost exactly, with a large building surrounded by three smaller workshops in the same configurations. Investigators were struck that even the parking lots had similarities, with a covered area to shield cars from the sun.

These plans show Assad again not playing by the rules, believing Syria to be above international law because it can play it both ways in the Middle East. On the one side, Assad can help Iran and fund Hamas and Hezbollah while also claiming to be a bulwark against al Qaeda. Assad cannot have it both ways-- and hopefully his days are coming to an end.

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

When Words Come Back To Haunt You - RNC's New Ad - It's Been Three Years

A Very Powerful Message One Year from Election Day

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Greece "On Brink of Collapse"

Thanks, Papandreou:
Uncertainty in Greece raised fresh fears that the single currency crisis will spread. European stock markets plunged and the Italian government’s borrowing costs hit record highs as investors warned that efforts to save the euro were “unravelling”.

George Papandreou, the Greek prime minister, faced calls by members of his own government to step down amid fears that Greeks will vote against the bail-out package and the deep cuts in public spending its sponsors are demanding. As Greek politics grew ever more chaotic, there were strong political protests as the government moved to replace military chiefs with officers seen as more supportive of Mr Papandreou.

A No vote could mean Greece is forced to withdraw from the single currency, raising doubts about the euro’s value and wiping trillions off the value of shares and loans across the continent.
The renewed global turmoil overshadowed the release of better than expected economic figures in Britain. The economy grew by 0.5 per cent over the summer, almost double the increase expected by economists. Growth is expected to slow and possibly even slip back into recession because of the eurozone crisis.
Oh, and socialism doesn't work. Thought I'd point that out.

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