It’s Tuesday, November 1st, 2011….and here’s The Gouge!
First up, in the “It’s Not The Crime; It’s The Cover-up” segment, Herman Cain finally gets a taste of what running for President as a Republican really means:
Cain: “I Have Never Sexually Harassed Anyone”
A couple observations on the initial stages of Hermangate; first, if the following video clip is any indication….
….Politico‘s story is thinner than most supermodels.
Second, if, as we’ve been informed, Cain’s camp knew about these allegations some ten days ago, the candidate’s inability to accurately articulate a response, let alone immediately contradicting himself regarding what he knew of the settlements and when he knew it, leave us terribly troubled by Cain’s reaction to the first crisis of his candidacy, as well as the quality of his team.
We’re inclined to give Mr. Cain the benefit of the doubt; but if this particular molehill eventually assumes alpine proportions, Herman may have no one to blame but himself.
As the WSJ‘s Paul Gigot notes in:
The Cain Scrutiny
A large part of Herman Cain’s appeal is that he is a fresh voice who appears untainted by the ugly realities of a political career. The reality — for his candidacy and for Republicans considering a vote for him — is that no presidential candidate stays unscrutinized or untainted forever.
The former businessman has survived on top of the GOP polls for a month, a remarkable feat by itself, and he is now running about even with Mitt Romney in Iowa. But the roughest scrutiny is still to come, as witness Sunday night’s Politico report that two women accused Mr. Cain of having “conversations allegedly filled with innuendo or personal questions of a sexually suggestive nature” when he ran the National Restaurant Association. The political website said the two women agreed to settlements “in the five-figure-range,” which is a relatively modest sum. Politico reported that it knows the women’s names but isn’t disclosing them for what it called privacy reasons.
Sexual harassment claims are notoriously easy to make, and it is impossible to judge the merits of these two cases on the public evidence so far. However, the Cain campaign’s initial response was a mistake because it merely charged political bias without a firm denial. “Fearing the message of Herman Cain who is shaking up the political landscape in Washington, inside the Beltway media have begun to launch unsubstantiated personal attacks on Cain,” the campaign said in a statement. “Dredging up thinly sourced allegations stemming from Mr. Cain’s tenure as the Chief Executive Officer at the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s, political trade press are now casting aspersions on his character and spreading rumors that never stood up to the facts.”
That won’t do for a presidential candidate. Voters want to know whether such a charge is true or false. By late this morning Mr. Cain had acknowledged as much by telling Fox News that he had been falsely accused and that the sexual harassment charges were “totally baseless, totally false.” He said the National Restaurant Association may have settled the cases but that he hadn’t been aware of the settlements.
Mr. Cain’s candidacy can survive these charges if he is telling the truth. He may even get an initial sympathy backlash from Republicans who have learned to be skeptical of such accusations against conservatives. (See Clarence Thomas, Supreme Court nomination of.) What he won’t survive is a revelation that contradicts his denial.
The businessman has done well by running as the antidote to everything that Americans dislike about politics. But how he handles the next week will tell Republicans a lot about the potential president they are only now getting to know.
Turning to International News of Note, we learn….
Greece to Hold Referendum on New European Debt Deal
Taking a huge political gamble, Greece’s prime minister announced Monday that his debt-strapped country will hold a referendum on the new European debt deal reached last week — the first such vote in 37 years. Prime Minister George Papandreou appeared to take many lawmakers by surprise by saying that a hard-bargained agreement that took months for Europe’s leaders to hammer out will be put to a public ballot.
He gave no date or other details on the proposed referendum, which would be the first in Greece since 1974, when the monarchy was abolished by a landslide vote months after the collapse of a military dictatorship.
“This will be the referendum: The citizen will be called upon to say a big ‘yes’ or a big ‘no’ to the new loan arrangement,” Papandreou told Socialist members of parliament. “This is a supreme act of democracy and of patriotism for the people to make their own decision … We have a duty to promote the role and the responsibility of the citizen.”
The move allows Socialist lawmakers — who have been vilified by an increasingly hostile public during months of strikes, sit-ins and violent protests over rounds of austerity measures — to pass the responsibility for the country’s fate to the Greek people themselves.
Thus the fox is permitted to decree how much the farmer will pay him to guard the hen house.
And since we’re on the subject of the perpetually pissed-off, here’s the latest from Joe Curl, courtesy of the Washington Times and Bill Meisen….
The very angry first lady Michelle Obama
Michelle’s back, and she’s madder than ever. She was already pretty angry, seemingly unhappy with just about everything. As her husband wrapped up the Democratic nomination in 2008, she let fly her real feelings: “For the first time in my adult lifetime, I’m really proud of my country.” A few months into her job as first lady, her French counterpart asked how she liked the gig: “Don’t ask!” she reportedly spat. “It’s hell. I can’t stand it!”
Seriously; when is this woman NOT torqued off?!?
She even seems to be mad at her silver-tongued husband. When the two were to set off on a luxurious 10-day vacation to Martha’s Vineyard, she left early – four hours early – and flew up alone. And those private vacations. She’s traveled to some of the world’s most plush resorts, taking 42 days off in the past year – that’d be eight weeks of vacay time if she held down a normal job.
Now, she is ready to spew her bilious disgust with America on the campaign trail. A dignified, transcendent first lady? No chance. Michelle is going to break with a hundred years of tradition and play the role of attack dog, heaping derision on her husband’s political opponents like no other first lady before her.
And it’s already begun. Mad Michelle this week popped down to Davis Island, Fla., to hobnob with the very people her husband despises – the 1 percent. At a massive mansion on the bay, filled with the wealthiest of the wealthy, America’s first lady launched into a tirade about “them” – the Republicans.
“Let’s not forget about what it meant when my husband appointed two brilliant Supreme Court justices, and for the first time in history, our daughters – and our sons – watched three women take their seats on our nation’s highest court. But more importantly, let’s not forget the impact their decisions will have on our lives for decades to come – on our privacy and our security, on whether we can speak freely, worship openly and love whomever we choose. That is what’s at stake here,” she said to applause.
Yes, Republicans hope to regain the White House so they can install Supreme Court justices who will trample Americans’ privacy, ignore the nation’s security, crush free speech and persecute the religious.
Oh, and they’re rich and racist to boot. “Will we be a country where opportunity is limited to just the few at the top? Who are we? Or will we give every child a chance to succeed no matter where they’re from, or what they look like or how much money their parents have. Who are we?”
That’s right, rich people (white, of course) certainly don’t want black people to succeed. They want to squelch success based on what people look like, how much money they have. “Are we going to let them succeed?” the first lady yelled. “Nooo!” the rich white people screamed.
Just as her husband’s re-election strategy is inanely simplistic – blame the Republicans for thwarting his brilliant, economy-saving policies – so too is the first lady’s. She will go to the opulent homes of rich people across the country to tell them how rich people are to blame for America’s woes and guilt them into giving millions for her husband’s campaign.
And the Princeton graduate will tell supporters they simply can’t comprehend the significance of what’s occurring today in America.
“It can be hard to see clearly what’s at stake – because these issues are so complicated, and quite frankly, folks are busy and they’re tired. We’re raising families and working full-time jobs, and many helping out in their own communities on top of all that. So many of us just don’t have the time to follow the news and to sort through all the back-and-forth, and to figure out how all of this stuff connects to our daily lives.”
Yes, only Michelle and her husband can truly understand, although she often tells those uninformed people that when the president returns from one of his campaign trips, “He says, ‘You won’t believe what folks are going through.’ ” So maybe she is the only person in America who understands.
So, America’s first lady will travel the country this election season to tell her fellow Americans just how bad it is out there (between lavish vacations, of course). Unlike President Ronald Reagan, who saw morning in America – that great shining city on a hill – Michelle will tell all who will listen that Republicans want to poison the air and water, stifle free speech, oppress the religious. She will offer not an uplifting vision of what her husband’s America could be but only a vapid view of what Republicans’ America would be.
That is the America she lives in, and by campaign’s end, it will be clear that she’s no longer “proud of my country.” Maybe she never really was.
“Maybe”?!? There’s no maybe about it!
Meanwhile, the First Marxette’s mate continues to pursue government-by-executive-fiat:
Obama to Order FDA to Allay Drug Shortages
Acting once again without Congress, President Obama on Monday was directing the Food and Drug Administration to take steps to reduce drug shortages that administration officials say has placed patients at risk and led to price gouging. The president was signing an executive order — his fifth in a week — instructing the FDA to take action absent congressional approval.
Last year, the FDA reported 178 drug shortages — mainly cancer, anesthetics, electrolytes and emergency room drugs — and the agency says it continues to see an increase in shortages this year.
The White House also announced Obama’s support for House and Senate legislation that would require drug makers to notify the FDA six months ahead of a potential shortage. Under current regulations, drug manufactures are only required to notify the FDA if medically necessary drugs are being discontinued. Notification of shortages is strictly voluntary.
“The shortage of prescription drugs drives up costs, leaves consumers vulnerable to price gouging and threatens our health and safety,” Obama said in a statement before the order was signed. “This is a problem we can’t wait to fix. That’s why today, I am directing my administration to take steps to protect consumers from drug shortages, and I’m committed to working with Congress and industry to keep tackling this problem going forward.”
The executive action is part of an overarching push by the White House to portray Obama, who is facing re-election, as an effective counterpoint to congressional Republicans blocking his jobs legislation. Last week, he issued an executive order to help homeowners refinance at lower mortgage rates and to allow college graduates to simplify and lower their student loan payments.
On Friday he directed government agencies to shorten the time it takes for federal research to turn into commercial products in the marketplace.
Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson responded to the series of executive actions by accusing the president of sidestepping the political process and “consent of the governed.” “They overstep the president’s constitutional boundaries. Obama can rhetorically dress this up however he likes, but his actions are not predicated on the consent of the governed, they are fueled by his desire to maintain and expand power. This is not the rule of law, but the rule of man,” ALG President Bill Wilson said in a statement.
The FDA says major causes of drug shortages are quality or manufacturing problems, or delays in receiving components from suppliers. Drug makers also discontinue certain drugs in favor of newer medications that are more profitable. The FDA does not have authority to force drug makers to continue production of a drug.
Sooo….if the major causes of drug “shortages” are quality, manufacturing or supply problems….and the FDA has no authority whatsoever to force private companies to continue the production of an unprofitable product….from where we sit, The Obamao’s “executive order” doesn’t amount to….
Then there’s this from Michael Barone in Townhall.com.…
In Foreign Affairs, Obama Needs Respect, Not Love
The argument is being made in some quarters that, however unsuccessful Barack Obama’s domestic policies have been, his record in foreign policy has been successful. But when you examine the claims of success, they seem a bit peculiar. (As in….bullsh*t!)
Take the widely read New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman. Last week, he argued that Obama’s “lead from behind” approach to Libya worked much better than what turned out to be the Bush administration’s protracted involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq.
He’s certainly right in saying our troops are not mired down in Libya. But it’s unclear how things will work out there, as it is in Afghanistan. As for Iraq, let’s hope that military scholars Frederick and Kimberly Kagan are wrong when they say that the Obama administration’s inability to achieve its goal of a U.S. troop presence there has converted what was a limited success into “retreat” and “failure.”
Remember that we were told that the election of Obama would make America more popular in the world and that his readiness to negotiate without preconditions with the leaders of countries like Iran and North Korea would make their leaders more willing to see things our way. “He was naive how much his star power,” Friedman admits, “or that of his secretary of state, would get others to swoon in behind us.” “Naive” is a kind way to put it.
Obama seemed to think that the replacement of an uncouth Texan by a nuanced African-American would convert determined enemies of the United States — a supposition that is one of those irritable mental gestures that pass for thought in the faculty lounge.
Iran is run by a regime that has been committing acts of war against us for more than 30 years, starting with the seizure of diplomats — a violation of the first rule of international law. North Korea is run by a gangster regime that starves its people and tries to prevent all contact with the outside world. Astonishingly, foreign policy analyst Fareed Zakaria, writing in The Washington Post after a trip to Tehran, calls for Obama to “return to his original approach and test the Iranians to see if there is any room for dialogue and agreement.”
Give Friedman credit for recognizing that Obama’s “hopes of engaging Iran foundered on the rocks of, well, Iran.” Also give Friedman credit for noting, in a column praising Obama’s foreign policy, that his Arab-Israeli diplomacy “has been a mess,” that he hasn’t assembled “a multilateral coalition to buttress the Arab Awakening” and that “his global climate policy is an invisible embarrassment.”
Friedman defends Obama on the grounds that the world is “messier” than it was in the days of Henry Kissinger and Ronald Reagan. Well, maybe. We don’t have the bipolar conflict between the Free World and the Soviet Union to structure our policy anymore.
What I see in Obama’s foreign policy is a retreat from the dreamy assumptions on which he campaigned to a reluctant and stumbling reversion in many areas to policies resembling those of George W. Bush. Obama, after scorning the policy of promoting democracy that George W. Bush proclaimed in his 2005 inauguration speech (but didn’t pursue rigorously afterward), and after reacting with sublime indifference to the Green protests in Iran in 2009, is now talking up democracy from time to time, though only after hesitation.
He took a brave but long-delayed decision to double down in Afghanistan and has authorized drone attacks on terrorists in Pakistan and Yemen that some of his appointees would have denounced as criminal if Bush were still in office.
But he is also sharply cutting back the defense budget, and his failure to negotiate a troop presence in Iraq could have dreadful consequences. (See today’s Cover Story on our home page at www.thedailygouge.com) Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, like his predecessor Robert Gates, does his best to proclaim that American resolve is firm and can be counted on. They seem to understand what Obama may not yet accept, that as the world’s leading economic and military power the United States is unlikely to be loved, regardless of whether our president is a baseball team owner from Texas or a community organizer from Chicago.
The best we can expect among many of the elites and peoples of the globe is to be respected. And as Machiavelli argued long ago, if you have to choose, it is better to be respected than to be loved.
You want love? Get a dog. Frankly, we’d prefer America be both respected….and feared!
On the Lighter Side….
Then there’s this response to the “99%” from Doug Burr….
….as well as this nominee for Father of the Year from George Lawlor:
The scary part? Odds are the guy bought the costumes used….from George!
Finally, since we’re on the subject of creative Halloween costumes, we’ll wrap thing up with News of the Bizarre, and this story just in from Seattle:
Not a Halloween Costume: Washington Man Cuts Off Arm With Guillotine
A Washington man loses his arm from a homemade guillotine. The guillotine unexpectedly dropped on his shoulder Thursday morning at a camp he was living at, severing his arm. He left the arm behind after the accident and rushed to Bellingham Urology Specialists.
Evelyn Leuther, who works at the clinic, told CBS Seattle a woman passing by said, “I hope that’s a Halloween costume,” referring to the man missing his arm at the shoulder.
As James Taranto noted, “an apocryphal nurse at the hospital described him as ‘disarming'”!