Archives for November 2011
The recent allegations against him have certainly received a substantial amount of attention from the media, Herman Cain continues to largely get a pass on the lack of knowledge about the issues that the next president will face.
The latest example was a question on Medicare during his “debate” with Newt Gingrich on Saturday night. As you can see below, Cain hesitates for a few seconds, repeats part of the question as he looks to the sky and then defers to Gingrich:
The crowd laughs, but this isn’t very funny. Cain managed to explain away a lack of knowledge on the issues with his charm and very targeted rhetoric. We’ve documented Cain’s shortfalls on policy here before, including he most recent gaffe — the odd comment about China trying to develop nuclear weapons; though it has been overlooked due to obvious reasons.
The mulligans will eventually run out, but Republicans better hope it comes during the primary and not the general election when substance, not a cult of personality, matters much more.
With the recent fixation by the media on alleged inappropriate behavior, perhaps they should turn their attention to the invasive security measures that have been adopted by the Transportation Security Administration. Tabitha Hale, who does great work at FreedomWorks and is a blogger at RedState, recounts her recent ordeal:
Yesterday, I arrived at the airport to head from Houston, TX (IAH) back to Washington, DC (DCA). I am a frequent flyer – I know how the system works. I took off my boots and glasses, pulled my laptop out and went to walk through the metal detector. Naturally, I’d been selected to go through the scanner.
I always opt out of the scanners. It’s sort of a form of civil protest for me. It slows the process down. They get cranky. And I always do it publicly because I want everyone to see what the pat down is actually like. I also feel like they’ll be less invasive if people are watching.
I happened to be wearing a sleeveless cotton dress, a lightweight cardigan, and tights. I stepped aside for the invasion and they ask me to spread my legs.
She started by asking me to take my cardigan off. I said I’d rather not. She seemed put out, but didn’t make me remove it and began the pat down from behind. She made me lift up my cardigan to check my back, went into my sleeves, and touched every inch of my hair.
Then she got to my waist band. I had on black tights under my dress, which I’m certain is not uncommon. She asked me to lift my dress so she could check the waistband of my tights.
I felt my stomach drop. I said “I’m not lifting my dress for you. No way.” She was obviously irritated with me now and said that she would take me to the private screening area if I would like.
If Herman Cain was looking forward to a less stressful week on the campaign trail, he’s got another thing coming. Yesterday, a fourth woman came forward with very specific allegations of impropriety against Cain, which are more along the lines of sexual assault:
A Chicago woman accused Herman Cain of sexually inappropriate behavior Monday, claiming at a news conference that the presidential candidate pushed her to perform a sex act in exchange for his help in landing a job while he ran the National Restaurant Association.
In stepping forward, Sharon Bialek, a middle-aged single mother who appeared with celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred in New York, became the first woman to speak on the record about what she claims happened over a decade ago.
Bialek said she met Cain for dinner in the summer of 1997 after she had lost her job at a foundation affiliated with the National Restaurant Association. She told the packed press conference that the incident took place in a car after a dinner meeting in Washington.
“[H]e suddenly reached over and put his hand on my leg under my skirt and reached for my genitals,” said Bialek, a Chicago native who worked for the foundation for roughly six months in 1997, according to the NRA.“He also grabbed my head and pushed it toward his crotch.”
When she arrived in Washington to meet Cain, Bialek said she found he had upgraded her hotel suite. Cain took her to dinner at an Italian restaurant, then drove over to see the National Restaurant Association headquarters. But Cain stopped the car outside the group’s office and made an advance, she said.
Bialek says she told Cain at the time: “What are you doing, you know I have a boyfriend, this isn’t what I came here for.”
Matt Welch, who along with Nick Gillespie authored The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What’s Wrong with America, recently visited with Judge Andrew Napolitano on Freedom Watch to discuss whether or not wealthy Americans owe their success to the government:
Yaron Brook, executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute, explains that Occupy Wall Street has a misguided focus. Instead of targeting the federal government for corporatist economic policies and cronyism, they’ve gone after higher income earners, many of whom have done nothing more than experienced success in their endeavors:
The New York Times seems puzzled that the laws of economics insist on fulfilling their pronouncements:
East Harlem has been undergoing a resurgence for two decades, yet the neighborhood is still pockmarked with four- or five-story walk-ups where the ground-floor stores are bustling and the apartments above are devoid of life. Their windows are boarded up, blocked up or just drearily empty, torn curtains testifying to no one’s having lived there for years.
Although the vacancy rate in Manhattan hovers at 1 percent, at least some of the landlords of these sealed-up buildings — hundreds of them exist in pockets across the city — are deliberately keeping their buildings mostly vacant, content to earn income from first-floor commercial tenants rather than deal with the trouble and expense of residential tenants.
In some cases, city housing officials say, landlords are waiting for a revived economy to raise rents so that it makes financial sense to repair plumbing and electrical wiring. In other cases, landlords are “warehousing” apartments for the moment that a deep-pocketed developer comes along, as has happened in the blocks just north of 96th Street, East Harlem’s southern boundary. In still other cases, it is simply mystifying that apartments would be left vacant for decades, particularly since East Harlem has been a magnet for Mexican and other Latino immigrants, as well as young strivers looking for cheap space.
This phenomenon is hardly “mystifying” and can be explained almost entirely by basic economics:
Blanche Lincoln, a former Democratic Senator from Arkansas, criticized President Barack Obama last week for the anti-business regulations that his administration put in place over the last few years:
A key small-business advocate and a former Democratic senator are teaming up to fight regulations coming out of the Obama administration that they say are hampering economic growth.
Former Sen. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas and Dan Danner, the chief executive of the National Federation of Independent Business, signaled Wednesday that taking some of the regulatory load off smaller companies would help in the current battle against high unemployment.
At the Wednesday event, Lincoln, the campaign’s chairwoman, and Danner rarely delved into specifics about which regulations were particularly burdensome for small businesses. Instead, the pair said they wanted the small-business owners who faced those regulations to tell their own stories, and signaled that the campaign would largely avoid discussing congressional legislation.
“The objective here is not to rifleshot and pick out things that are onerous. Our objective here is to encourage the administration to take the opportunity now to look at the ways that you can interject things that will create more efficient and effective regulations,” said Lincoln.
In all, businesses in six states — Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia — have joined the campaign.
McDonald’s CEO Jim Skinner also called for Obama and Congress to cut spending and restructure the tax code in a way that encourages businesses to grow and is more competitive internationally:
I was at the Defending the American Dream Summit last Friday, put on by the Americans for Prosperity Foundation. I was really there just for the Free Market Job Fair, sponsored by the Leadership Institute and ConservativeJobs, but I also managed to see the speeches by Romney, Cain, and Giuliani in the ballroom. (Fortunately, I left long before the OccupyDC nutcases appeared, but that’s another post.)
Sitting there in the back, the room illuminated only by the four gargantuan TV screens projecting the speaker’s face, and the light on the stage, I was awestruck by how cavernous the place was. No, really—you could have parked the Nimitz in there and still probably had enough room for a Space Shuttle or two. That feeling, however, was quickly replaced by awe at the candidates who graced us with their presence—and the fact that one old guy up in the front was really spry, to be hopping around like that.
Namely, though, the awe was, “This is the best the GOP has?”
To me, Romney’s biggest plus was he has a voice that belongs in nearly every commercial about life insurance and in cartoons. It has that deep texture that you look for in voice actors, and seriously—could you not imagine this guy being the voice of Skeletor? Aside from that, however, I was disappointed. He offered up the same conservative talking points of cutting government spending and working from one’s bootstraps (including a story about creating Staples in the back room of a warehouse with used Naugahyde chairs), but those are words: will they actually translate into action?
Over at Reason, A. Barton Hinkle explains that the message being carried by Occupy Wall Street, though part of it may resonate with an American public weary of bailouts, is the carries the same anti-capitalist we come to know and roll our eyes at from the Left:
The Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement, obsessed with fairness, has benefitted from the lack of it. The protesters don’t think so—but that is because many of them have not thought enough.
The demonstrators resent disparity. So consider the disparity in coverage of OWS and the Tea Party. A single (still unsubstantiated) allegation that someone in the crowd at a 2010 Tea Party rally in Washington hurled a racial slur at Rep. John Lewis sufficed to prove the entire movement a kissin’ cousin of the KKK. But that “Google Wall Street Jews” guy? A lone nut. As for the signs calling for the “death of capitalism” and telling Wall Street bankers to “Jump, you [expletives]” and declaring “capitalism can’t be fixed—we need revolution”? Unrepresentative, surely. Ditto the 5:30 Oakland seminar on Marxism 101, and the dude in the Lenin T-shirt, and… .
It’s been awhile since we’ve posted the GOP Presidential Power Rankings. Honestly, I needed a break from the race. But with the first votes being cast on January 3rd in Iowa, we need to crank it up again.
- We are now less than a year away from the 2012 Presidential Election; 364 days to be exact (November 6, 2012).
- The latest numbers from Gallup show Obama and Romney tied. However, he leads Perry and Cain both nationally and in “swing states.”
- A generic Republican beats Obama on key issues in swing states.
- Jim Pethokoukis notes a recent election forcast model showing that the odds of Obama being re-elected are declining.
- Whoever wins the GOP primary will, along with Obama, face a skeptical electorate.
- Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) will not endorse in the GOP primary.