Another Day, Another Cain Accuser CRUMBLES

Nov 09 2011 Published by under salt

UPDATE Wednesday November 9, 2011 1:50pm Eastern:  Now we have some reporting on what so grievously offended the ‘You’re as tall as my wife’ ACK! FIND ME A LAWYER I’VE BEEN HARASSED’ Cain accuser on the job she took after the one with Cain where she filed a second, consecutive harassment claim… You ready?  Get the children away from the computer because this might really hurt.  It was an email a male co-worker sent around that was a joke about how computers are like men, in that you have to turn them on, and like women, in that they remember everything… I swear to God that is what prompted this woman to file a formal complaint.  It was the central feature of her complaint – not ancillary – the central feature of it.  I don’t have a link yet, I just heard Megyn Kelly and Monica Crowley discussing it and Megyn was reading some wire copy with the text of the email.

Wow.  As bad as you think it’s gonna get, credibility-wise for these women’s complaints, they must be wishing their evidence was that good.

Not only do we now have a veteran CBS reporter suggesting that Bialek is full of hoo-hah (see previous post), now we discover that ‘You’re as tall as my wife’ ACK! FIND ME A LAWYER I’VE BEEN HARASSED’ filed a sex harassment suit in the next job AFTER that…

When the fourth estate does it’s job – which is to uncover the truth and not advocate, it’s a beautiful thing, isn’t it?

Sunlight truly is the best disinfectant.  Brandeis got that right.

Note:  It’s important to give props to A.P. on this.  They’ve devolved into the worst sort of hackery, but they did their job on this story.  I’m not a big believer in giving trophies to people just for showing up and doing their jobs.  Call me old-fashioned, but I think you should have to excel - as a pattern behavior – in the task at hand to get a trophy, but if giving praise – a metaphorical trophy – to A.P. helps bring them back to proper journalistic practices, well, hell, I can hand out some hardware…

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CBS’ Bill Kurtis: Herman Cain, Sharon Bialek Harassment ‘Roles May Even Have Been REVERSED’

Nov 09 2011 Published by under salt

From The Blaze:

…Veteran journalist and CBS anchor Bill Kurtis on WLS sa(id) that Herman Cain’s accuser, Sharon Bialek, is a former CBS employee with a ‘track record.’ Given her checkered past, a chuckling Kurtis posited that Bialek‘s and Cain’s roles in the alleged car-incident could even have been reversed.

Some of Kurtis’ observations on Bialek were as follows:

‘She has a history.’

‘There is a lot more to this story.’

‘I can assure you that there will be far more to this story.’

‘Let’s put Herman or Sharon in the car and say their roles may even have been reversed, given her track record here.’

Bialek worked for CBS radio station WCKG from 2006-2007.

…Precious few news outlets are delving into Bialek’s questionable history.

Now, obviously, ‘sexual harassment’ is, legally, a power thing. An employee can’t threaten an employer with punitive action if they don’t get nookie, but people are still people. Sex happens. And there’s no reason to believe that one human couldn’t make sexual overtures to another human no matter what their job title is.

Do you realize what this means?  Herman, by monolithic description, is a true gentleman, so may be in the awful position of not wanting to ‘out’ this woman’s advances to him!  Knowing, too, that by the simple act of trying to save his campaign, he may torpedo it by being a cad – when he wasn’t.

Herman may have even hinted in his presser yesterday that this was exactly what happened when he said that ‘sex harassment’ can go from woman to man, not just man to woman – again, quite apart from the important legal distinction involving the role of power.

Wow.  You couldn’t write this any better.

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Nov 09 2011 Published by under salt

People are jumping ugly over how Cain does not remember Bee-lack or whatever the hell her last name is, so for our purposes here, it will be Bee-lack.  

Let me tell you something from the perspective of someone who at one time, in a very small way, was kinda famous.  When I was #1 afternoon drive (on the radio, Smooth Jazz WJJZ) in Philadelphia, I met, and hugged, thousands of people.  

I have no idea who they were.  None.  Zip.  Nada.  Herman’s running for President, for crying out loud.  So just go ahead and multiply that by 1000.  Easy.

I would emcee concerts with 20,000 people in the audience.  Just walking from stage to my car, I would shake 100 hands, sign 50 autographs, and hug 25 people. Ironically, the height of this time of my making these kinds of public appearances was the late 1990′s, the time in question for Herman.

There were even more intimate ‘meet & greets’ I would host with artists & listeners where we would spend several hours together.  Maybe 100 people for 2 or 3 hours, standing around, having drinks.  

I have no idea who they were. None. Zip. Nada.

But you know what?  Some of those people, probably more than a few dozen, will remember meeting me.  Because I was one of the ‘famous’ people in this scenario. People remember meeting ‘famous’ people, but ‘famous’ people can’t possibly remember everyone they meet – They’re famous!

So this meme about it being incredible that Herman does not remember Bee-lack is nonsense. Especially since it appears there’s something fishy about her story & credibility.  I don’t doubt for a second that Herman upgraded her hotel, bought her drinks, and bought her dinner, but I’ve had a great many dinners with a great many people over the years and I don’t remember them all!  

Do you know how many dinners CEO’s have?  How many ‘upgrades’ they hand out? They do it all the damned time.  I don’t doubt that they spent the evening together as described, but the only ‘assault’ that happened in that car was the ‘no’ Bee-lack got when Herman told her she wasn’t going to get a job.  He may very well have made a pass at her, but as detailed in previous posts, he’s not going to go to the trouble of wining & dining her with a ‘palatial’ suite upstairs and not even get on the elevator to use it.  

It’s just not credible that this charming man – who has never, ever been witnessed being anything other than charming even by his accusers – wouldn’t just charm his way into any nookie he wanted.  

I repeat:  Bee-lack’s charge of assault, simply isn’t credible.

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Drudge: Cain Accuser to Speak Monday Afternoon

Nov 07 2011 Published by under salt

UPDATE IV: Monday November 7, 2011 4:06pm Eastern: I want to be clear - Her story is credible – EXCEPT the ‘ugly’ part for reasons I outlined below.  THAT’S the part she was promised money for.  He probably propositioned her in that car, but without ever actually getting up to the hotel suite, there would be no story.  What did he do?  He upgraded an out-of-work woman, bought her drinks, bought her dinner – That’s BAD? It may not be the most prudent thing for a married guy to do, but an innocent reading of this is that he was a nice guy.  Somebody with an agenda offered her a job, or money, to ‘kick it up a notch’ I’d bet my house.

UPDATE III: Monday November 7, 2011 3:04pm Eastern: PREDICTION: Watch for this woman to show up with a new gig, likely traceable back to either Rahm Emanuel or possibly even Mitt Romney or Rick Perry, but I’d bet Rahm.  I understand Oprah’s OWN network is struggling.  Maybe they’ll be hiring a new ‘non-traditional’ fundraiser for its charitable arm – which is what her previous job description was.  Watch.  It will likely happen just before Christmas, on a Friday, when nobody is looking.  Remember where you read it first ;)

UPDATE II: Monday November 7, 2011 2:12pm Eastern:  Post presser impressions: He had THREE chances to get her into a hotel suite HE UPGRADED her to, and doesn’t even get on the ELEVATOR?

We have a 30 year resident of Chicago, an out-of-work tv/radio professional, who, by her own testimony says she was with him, in public, at least 5 times, where nothing-zip-nada-zero in his behavior towards her can be said to be untoward.  In advance of the night in question, a meeting they’ve arranged to talk about a job while she was in from out of town, he upgrades her to a ‘palatial’ hotel suite, ostensibly TO USE IT, and he passes THREE OPPORTUNITIES which LITERALLY could have got him to the door – or inside – and DOESN’T EVEN GET ON THE ELEVATOR?  Not ONCE?

When she gets to town for an arranged meeting to talk about a job, he upgrades her to a suite at her hotel.   When he gets the chance to choose the suite as their initial meeting place… he chooses the hotel bar, not what the woman described as a ‘palatial’ suite.  He gets another chance to take her up to the ‘palatial’ suite he upgraded her to… then takes her out to dinner. He has yet another chance where he could have chosen to walk her to the door of the ‘palatial’ suite and finally do the deed… and gropes her in the car? Outside the Restaurant Association? Think about that:  OUTSIDE THE FRONT DOOR OF THE RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION.  This is ALL HER TESTIMONY.

CONCLUSION:  I see a single out-of-work Chicago mom who wants back on television.  Sorry.  I don’t pretend to be unbiased about this but – really. Maybe Herman got drunk and made a pass, but what she described, just shoving his hand up her dress and bending her neck down to his crotch in a car IN FRONT OF THE FRONT DOOR OF THE N.R.A. IS NOT CREDIBLE.  This man is a charmer, by her own description.  If he were going to cheat on his wife, by upgrading a woman to a palatial hotel suite, spending the evening talking to her, over drinks, over dinner, do you mean to tell me he wouldn’t sweet-talk his way right up to the door of the suite?  Sweet-talk his way into the suite?  This woman was clearly very taken with him.  He could have talked his way into her pants – and had she described that scenario, I would have believed it.  Finally, as to these ‘sworn statements’?  Big deal.  They’re sworn statements that this woman told these two men the same bullsh*t story.

UPDATE:  Monday November 7, 2011 12:33pm Eastern:  With an hour to go to the 1:30 scheduled presser, I stand by my prediction she will back out/flame out.  It will be a one, maybe two day story at most.  Parenthetically, I had to turn off talk radio.  (Turned to an HD all-1970′s channel now… *sigh*) I just couldn’t take it anymore – even from Rush (of whom I am only a lukewarm fan, but) who has tried to be reasonable about this.  I’ll probably turn the TV on for Megyn Kelly at 1pm (can I look like her in my next life?) but I’m at my saturation limit. Seriously.

As I write this, it’s 9:45am Eastern.

I’m putting 50/50 odds she backs out before the news conference.

Even if she speaks, it will result in reflecting more poorly on her than him.  Even before I have a name or have heard a syllable, she’s demonstrated a lack of judgement by choosing the ‘impeccably principled’ Gloria Allred to be at her side;  so clearly there’s money involved, and right out of the gate her motives & veracity are suspect.

For my part, it had better be on the level ofBl*w me or I’ll fire you’ if I’m gonna take it seriously. Being ‘offended’ ain’t gonna wash.  There’s a name for women who are ‘offended’ for money.  

Remember where you heard it first ;)

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Alone w/his Principles, in the Oval. Who to Trust?

Nov 06 2011 Published by under salt

History teaches us that the Presidency is a very lonely job, reliant as it is on what is ultimately, and often only, the deeply held principles of one man.

If anything new can be said to have come out of last night’s debate between Herman Cain & Newt Gingrich, it’s the stark relief of the milieu in which each man operates.

Herman’s the big-picture guy. Newt’s the bulldog.  Each uniquely suited to operating at the peak of their powers where they’ve been, and where they’re going – together.

Herman looks at an entity holistically, as an entire organism, and breathes life into it based on proven, sound, principles. He knows these principles, and believes deeply in them. Deep enough to have roots resistant to rot.

Newt’s the boots on the ground. He’s brilliant dodging bullets, finding the exit in the maze, and making the rules work for him, knowing them as well as he does. I have no doubt he could be the big-picture guy, but I worry the elixir of corruption is too sweet, too tempting to him.  I don’t trust Newt alone in the Oval Office with his principles.

I do trust Herman.

The two of them together will save the Republic.

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THINK About This: Obama Would FAIL Background Check to Be on HIS OWN Secret Service Detail

Nov 05 2011 Published by under salt

Noel Sheppard at NewsBusters hits it out of the park, again.  From his story CNN Runs More Stories on Cain ‘Scandal’ in Six Days Than it Did Obama’s Ties to Ayers, Rezko and Wright Combined

‘… Combined (these) ‘scandals’ got roughly four reports a month from CNN.  By comparison, the so-called most trusted name in news has devoted almost 16 stories a day to as yet unproven sexual harassment allegations aimed at Cain.’

So let’s do the math on this, comparing, to borrow a phrase of my man Herman’s, ‘apples to apples’, okay?

4 x per month = 1x per week = 1x per day. (Let’s say.)

16x per day = CNN’s frequency rate on Herman Cain’s non-touching, non-naked, no-pictures, no-threats, no-names, no-specifics, totally anonymous allegations of supposedly doing something wrong in two public places, witnessed by people who won’t say what they supposedly saw even though they are not bound by any legal covenant not to — got it?

So…  CNN’s rate of frequency, for spewing ABSOLUTE BULLCR*P is:

SIXTEEN TIMES - 16x – that of the damning, verifiable, named FELONY SCUM Obama FREELY CHOSE TO ASSOCIATE WITH.

It’s SIXTEEN TIMES more important to spew INNUENDO on a man whose entire life SCREAMS integrity than to send a reporter – like they to did to Wasilla-frickin’-Alaska to investigate a person no longer in public office, where they turned up nothing, btw – to investigate people, who, if a member of the Secret Service had a known association, would disqualify them from their detail protecting the guy who does have these known associations – Got that?

THINK ABOUT THAT:  The guys who are charged with taking a BULLET FOR OBAMA have been BETTER VETTED THAN THE PRESIDENT.  

Secret Service CAN’T HAVE ANY KNOWN ASSOCIATIONS with people or organizations whose stated aim to do violence to the Republic…


Just Google Secret Service background check and navigate to their site, then have a look.  It’s thought-provoking to say the least.

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Cain Confidentiality LIFTED = *crickets*

Nov 04 2011 Published by under salt

About an hour ago, the National Restaurant Association lifted the cone of sha – er – silence from the neck of the silent-but-yipping-poodle accuser of Herman Cain’s.

So what has Politico done with the documents it has been so careful to keep under wraps? And what has the woman in question done?


INSIDER SECRET:  Newsrooms have obituaries written in advance, okay?  They have interns keep them updated like resumes, so that when someone drops, they’re first with the news. You don’t think – IF THEY ACTUALLY HAD SOMETHING SUBSTANTIAL – that they didn’t have this ready to go on the outside chance the Association broke with long-standing practice and lifted the ban?  

If they actually HAD something it would be a siren on Drudge right now.


You know what happened?  I’ll betcha I know:  This woman, who at the time was 30 according to reports, has had some time to think about her claim.  She has realized in the fullness of time, that she was being a p.c. b*tch, and if she actually stood in the harsh sunlight of scrutiny, 2/3′s of America would adjudge her to be a reckless, shameless wench trying to besmirch the good name of a good man.

I’m bettin’ that’s true.  May take a while to be proven, but I’m bettin’….

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Married Obama’s Gay Blow-Job in a Chicago Limo

Nov 04 2011 Published by under salt

Where are all Barack Obama’s old girlfriends?  Ever wonder?  Not a SINGLE BIMBO ERUPTION.  Not one woman can be found to dish bedding America’s first black President?  Really?  NOT ONE???????????????????? The National Enquirer tried to drum up some kind of mistress last summer, but…

Larry Sinclair claims he blew Barry in the back of a limo in Chicago in (I think it was 2006. It’s been a while since I read the book, but it was defintely post-Michelle), and that cocaine was Barry’s preferred Viagra.

This guy has the name of the hotel, the address, the limo company, receipts, witnesses who can testify they were both there at the time, on and on, and on… He’s not an Ivy league anonymous female giving Politico vague complaints of non-touching, non-naked gestures, but hey… He’s a criminal, right? Has a rap sheet a mile long. Yes, he does.

But the collateral evidence surrounding this guy’s claim is one hell of a lot more solid than the ones against Herman Cain.

UPDATE 01/29/2012:  In the time since I originally posted this, I recall reading somewhere on-line that the date of the alleged limo blow job was in 1999.  Which still makes him a married Obama.  Guess he took that whole “party like it’s 1999″ thing seriously.

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Pop Quiz on Cain Sex Harassment “Story”

Nov 02 2011 Published by under salt

Okay, gang… What DON’T we see in these headlines I just took a screenshot of from the right hand column of Drudge, Wednesday, November 2, 2011, at around 7:20pm Eastern?\"DrudgeStumped? Let me help you:

1. A single solitary woman’s FACE behind these accusations. To this day I remember Paula Jones bad perm. I remember the blonde hairdresser. I even remember poor Kathleen Willey.

2. A quote like: ‘Wanna kiss it’?

3. A quote like: ‘You better put some ice on that’ on the way out the hotel room door, while ‘feeling the pain’ of the woman’s fat-lip

4. Witnesses with DETAILS.  Oh, we’ve got witnesses, all right, but not a single one of them has said DICK, pardon the vernacular, of ANY SUBSTANCE.  ZERO details.

5. Speaking of DICK… The image of Weiner’s wiener is still fresh in my mind.  Do you see any pictures here?  Or even an allegation of a picture?


I’ve certainly had enough.

BONUS:  Herman’s gotta hire a Communications pro NOW.  Monica Crowley, for instance.

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Devil is in the DETAILS

Nov 02 2011 Published by under salt




Now we hear from someone who supposedly witnessed the case that was bought off, but, though NOT bought off himself, WON’T SAY EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED. Only that it happened at a restaurant which he named by name…

So…. What?  Herman had a few and looked at some sweet young thing the wrong way?

We now have a disc jockey in Iowa saying two female staffers allege some kind of inappropriate conduct when he was in the state a year ago… in the hallway of the radio station… But again… NO DETAILS.


DETAILS PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In summary:

1. ‘Non-sexual’ but yet somehow ‘offensive’ ‘gestures’ got 5 figure settlement BUT NO DETAILS.

2. #1 happened at a restaurant, seen by a witness, but the witness WON’T SAY DETAILS EVEN THOUGH HE’S FREE TO.

3. Some Iowa radio station employees allege improper conduct in a hallway BUT WON’T (Wait for it) GIVE DETAILS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Uh… That ain’t dropping trou and asking ‘Do you wanna kiss it’ or ‘You should put some ice on that’ after giving a woman a fat lip, or ASSAULT IN THE OVAL OFFICE which is what Kathleen Willey alleged, so let’s get those liberal knives back in the block before we go all insane, okay?

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Cain Accuser “Wary” of Scrutiny – DUH.

Nov 02 2011 Published by under salt

AP is now reporting the supposedly chomping-at-the-bit-with-righteous-indignation-gold-digging-tart is now ‘wary’ of coming forward with her bullsh*t claim on Herman Cain.


Her story is CRAP and she knows it can’t stand scrutiny.  How much more CONVENIENT to hide behind vague innuendo, right?

I have been all over The Politico, Real Clear, everywhere I could leave a comment DARING this woman, BEGGING this woman to come forward.  Know why?

Because I knew it was CRAP.  

I KNEW her story was CRAP because I know this:

If you rely on the conservative maxim that more speech is the answer to the ‘problem’ of free speech it never, ever, ever fails people of principle…

and sends those not so situated scurrying back into the dark where they belong.

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Herman’s “10 Day” / “57″ State Problem Explained

Nov 02 2011 Published by under salt

99% of America either:

(1.) Doesn’t follow the hour-to-hour developments on the ‘non-sexual’-but-’offensive gesture’-sex-’harassment‘-non-story, which is now what the Establishment analysts of both Parties (technically correctly) describe as a process’ vs. ‘substance’ problem.   It’s now become HOW Herman answers the questions, NOT a story on the veracity of the original charge in the first place. 

(2.) Yup… But even if his answers are ‘evolving’… Nobody cares!

Know why?  Because NORMAL people think like Herman did, which is what got him in this mess. 

Herman thought the truth would set him free. That’s why, even thought he had a heads up about this, he didn’t assemble a team of ‘Spinners.’

I firmly believe he thought he could just tell the truth… as he remembered it… coming back to him, as it understandably would after 12 years, in ever-more detailed bits…

I am personally troubled by the fact that Herman failed the ‘emergency on the trail’ management test, yes, I am.  But I am unmoved by it because I know, down to my bones, that it was a mistake made by an honorable man, who – and this is the real core of this – until he’d touched the Progressive Power grid, didn’t realize the voltage of that evil.  What’s new, is that the Establishment G.O.P. contributed to the electric shock.

Now he knows D.C. in this unique moment in time, when we have a culture, helped along by Obama, of pitting American against American… and Establishment (read: CORRUPT) GOP against New (read: HONORABLE) Tea Party.

My man Herman’s a fast learner.  He’ll not make this mistake again.  On the trail…

…Or in the White House.

BTW:  Remember Obama’s horrible, dreadful, inexplicable FLUB on drivers’ licenses for illegals during the ’08 campaign debates?  A flub made even though Hillary had been burned in the previous debate?  Nobody on MSNBC regarded Obama’s LACK OF FRIGGING DEBATE PREPARATION – KNOWING HE WOULD GET THE DAMNED QUESTION as DISQUALIFYING, did they?

UPDATE:  Morning Joe is jumping all over Herman for a clip they played of him which, to their ear, indicated that Herman thought China didn’t have nukes.  Uh… No, you dishonest brokers.  He’s using the normal, vernacular short-hand that everybody uses which is to describe they ability to nuke us from there.  Got it?

UPDATE II:  Just while writing the above paragraph, Andrea Mitchell and the panel lamented that the Republican Party is giving Herman ‘a pass’ and ‘not asking the questions’ they should ask…

Someone find me a puppy so I can kick it! AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!



Pass?  GETTING A PASS, ANDREA????????????????????????

You mean like you gave Obama ‘I’ve been to 57 states so far’ A PASS?????

And that’s not even the WORST, STUPID thing he’s said, before OR AFTER the White House!

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Annie Prediction Comes True in ONE DAY

Nov 01 2011 Published by under salt

 Sometimes I’m just that good…

Early yesterday morning I predicted that Herman Cain would score a big cash bonanza from people being royally p*ssed off that he was being so grievously slimed.  Even MSNBC commies like Herman, because he inspires genuine affection. Not Bubba affection.  Genuine affection.  But here’s where the Bubba-lovers figured wrong – and – I think, Mitt Romney/Karl Rove figured wrong when they planted this story (That’s just my theory).  This ain’t 1996 anymore.  We’ve got internet, Fox, talk radio… We didn’t have that then.  Not broadly, anyway.  It was all in it’s infancy.  And the electorate is far more sophisticated than it was then about the occasional uptight, humorless b*tch trying to get a cash payday over nothing, – because she heard about Anita Hill from her Flashdance-at-the-gym BFF’s – which is what it appears this case was.  In short -


To quote Charlie Sheen:  WINNING!

Not only was I right, I was RECORD-BREAKING right.  They had their biggest ever day of on-line fundraising, with donations coming in from people righteously clicking in their $upport!

From The Washingon TImes,  under the headline of:

Cain Campaign has Biggest Online Fundraising Day

‘…The campaign raised $250,000 in online donatinos in one day. However, one Cain campaign source confirmed to me that the fundraising for Monday is well over $300,000.’

Keep it up MSNBC… It only helps the cause!

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EASY Prediction for Ya, ‘Lil Mika!

Nov 01 2011 Published by under salt

 Poor Mika Brzezinski.

She and Morning Joe are falling all over themselves trying to make a story out of the the nothing-burger* Herman Cain story by attacking HOW he is answering the questions, with no self-awareness of how they went to bat for Anthony Weiner who tweeted pictures of his hard d*ck to a college girl – when he had just found out his wife was expecting their first child, no less – just a few months ago, and you know what?

One week from today there will be polls showing the standings nearly unchanged AND fundraising for Cain UP (when we get money reports – which don’t have to be filed until the end of the quarter, but I’ll bet we get some anecdotal / tangential testimony to that effect).

Remember where you read it first ;)

BTW:  It’s a family joke that my husband makes a lousy philanderer because the first thing he does is talk about his wife.  He’ll be alone at a bar out on the road having dinner or something and that’s the first thing he’ll do!  (Being a salesman, he’ll talk to a post, anyone who will stand still long enough to listen!  Happily, he’s charming!) But it’s funny that Herman Cain’s big deal involves him remarking on the height of the woman in question – by comparing it to his wife’s!

*Remember, so far we have a girl who was ‘offended’ by ‘non-sexual’ ‘gestures’ and got a fly-swatter of a payment of ‘five figures’ which means, I am betting, she was an uptight, angry, humorless b*tch looking for a payout, made a fuss, and got a quick $10-$50k to please just shut the f*ck up and go away… I mean, please!  Who among us has not worked with someone, more than one someone, like this!  There have been zero allegations of any sexual touching or private parts being exposed or threats to do something or elseNone of that - which would, in my mind, constitute an authentic charge which should be taken very seriously, indeed.  And let me be clear – if Herman did any of that – My bad, we’re done, my support for him is over, but I’d bet my house he didn’t.  There’s nothing in his history, story, behavior, testimony from long-time colleagues, that would indicate that kind of evil exists in him.  Okay?

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Remember Who You Are – PLEASE

Oct 31 2011 Published by under salt

Below are Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)’s remarks to The Heritage Foundation a few days ago. Read them and remember who you are – as an American, the proud inheritor of the Great American experiment in self-government, reliant as it is on the underlying belief and operating philosophy that your fellow man, set free to pursue his destiny, is good. Read them and be inspired. Read them and be reminded as I was, weeping, what it’s like to have a leader regard you with esteem - and feel real hope for your country & in your fellow countrymen.

We’re here today to explore the American Idea, and I can’t think of a better venue for this topic. The mission of the Heritage Foundation is to promote the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.

These are the principles that define the American Idea. And this mission has never been timelier, because these principles are very much under threat from policies here in Washington.

The American Idea belongs to all of us – inherited from our nation’s Founders, preserved by the countless sacrifices of our veterans, and advanced by visionary leaders, past and present.

What makes America exceptional – what gives life to the American Idea – is our dedication to the self-evident truth that we are all created equal, giving us equal rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And that means opportunity.

The perfection of our union, especially our commitment to equality of opportunity, has been a story of constant striving to live up to our Founding principles. This is what Abraham Lincoln meant when he said, “In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free – honorable alike in what we give, and what we preserve.”

This commitment to liberty and equality is something we take for granted during times of prosperity, when a growing economic pie gives all Americans the opportunity to pursue their dreams, to provide brighter futures for their kids, or maybe just to meet their families’ needs.

These are tough times. We know all too well that too many Americans are hurting today. And these hardships have reopened our longstanding national debate over what it means to be an exceptional nation. Have those periods of unprecedented prosperity in America’s past been the product of our Founding principles?

Or, as some would argue, have we made it this far only in spite of our outdated values? Are we still an exceptional nation? Should we even seek to be unique? Or should we become more like the rest of the world – more bureaucratic, less hopeful, and less free?

The American Idea is not tried in times of prosperity. Instead, it is tested when times are tough: when the pie is shrinking, when businesses are closing, and when workers are losing their jobs.

Those are the times when America’s commitment to equality of opportunity is called into question. That’s when the temptation to exploit fear and envy returns – when many in Washington use the politics of division to evade responsibility for their failures and to advance their own narrow political interests.

To my great disappointment, it appears that the politics of division are making a big comeback. Many Americans share my disappointment – especially those who were filled with great hope a few years ago, when then-Senator Obama announced his candidacy in Springfield, Illinois.

Do you remember what he said? He said that what’s stopped us from meeting our nation’s greatest challenges is “the failure of leadership, the smallness of our politics – the ease with which we’re distracted by the petty and trivial, our chronic avoidance of tough decisions, our preference for scoring cheap political points instead of rolling up our sleeves and building a working consensus to tackle big problems.”

I couldn’t agree more.

And yet, nearly three years into his presidency, look at where we are now:

Petty and trivial? Just last week, the President told a crowd in North Carolina that Republicans are in favor of “dirtier air, dirtier water, and less people with health insurance.” Can you think of a pettier way to describe sincere disagreements between the two parties on regulation and health care?

Chronic avoidance of tough decisions? The President still has not put forward a credible plan to tackle the threat of ever-rising spending and debt, and it’s been over 900 days since his party passed a budget in the Senate.

A preference for scoring cheap political points instead of consensus-building? This is the same President who is currently campaigning against a do-nothing Congress, when in fact, the House of Representatives has passed over a dozen bills to help get the economy moving and deal with the debt, only to see the President’s party kill those bills in the do-nothing Senate.

Look, we put our cards on the table. Earlier this year, the House of Representatives advanced a far-reaching plan filled with common-sense reforms aimed at putting the budget on the path to balance and the economy on the path to prosperity.

But instead of working together where we agree, the President has opted for divisive rhetoric and the broken politics of the past. He is going from town to town, impugning the motives of Republicans, setting up straw men and scapegoats, and engaging in intellectually lazy arguments, as he tries to build support for punitive tax hikes on job creators.

The tax increases proposed by Senate Democrats and endorsed by the President – when combined with the new taxes in the health-care law, and the President’s other tax preferences – would push the top federal tax rate to roughly 50 percent in just 14 months, while doing nothing to promote job creation.

This tax increase on so-called “millionaires and billionaires” would actually constitute a huge tax hike on the nation’s most successful small businesses. According to the Tax Foundation, the surtax would hit roughly 35 percent of small-business income.

As P.J. O’Rourke put it, “The good news is that, according to the Obama administration, the rich will pay for everything. The bad news is that, according to the Obama administration, you’re rich.”

Actually, the news is even worse. As a practical matter, when you try to chase ever-higher spending with ever-higher tax increases, you eventually run into a brick wall of math.

The President has been talking a lot about math lately. He’s been saying that “If we’re not willing to ask those who’ve done extraordinarily well to help America close the deficit… the math says… we’ve got to put the entire burden on the middle class and the poor.”

This is really a stunning assertion from the President. When you look at the actual math, you quickly realize that the way out of this mess is to combine economic growth with reasonable, responsible spending restraint. Yet neither of these things factors into the President’s zero-sum logic.

According to the President’s logic, we should give up on trying to reform our tax code to grow the economy and get more revenue that way. Instead, these goals are taking a backseat to the President’s misguided understanding of fairness.

Remember that 2008 debate, when ABC’s Charlie Gibson pointed out that raising the capital gains tax rate actually tends to drive revenues down?

Obama replied: “Well, Charlie, what I’ve said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness.” That’s the kind of logic we are unfortunately seeing today.

Also according to the President’s logic, spending restraint is incompatible with a strong, well-functioning safety net. The belief that recipients of government aid are better off the more we spend on them is remarkably persistent. No matter how many times this central tenet of liberalism gets debunked, like Brett Favre, it just keeps coming back.

The President has wrongly framed Republican efforts to get government spending under control as hard-hearted attacks on the poor. In reality, spending on programs for seniors and for lower-income families continues to grow every year under the House-passed budget – it just grows at a sustainable rate. We direct tax dollars where they’re needed most, and stop spending money we don’t have on boondoggles we don’t need.

The President’s political math is a muddled mix of false accusations and false choices. The actual math is apolitical, and it’s clear: By the time my kids are my age, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office projects that the size of government will be double what it is today.

Government health care programs alone will have grown to consume 45 percent of federal spending. The primary driver of this increase is runaway inflation in health care costs, which are rising at 2 to 3 times the rate of GDP.

It’s impossible to keep funding health care expenditures at this rate. Even President Obama has said, “If you look at the numbers, Medicare in particular will run out of money, and we will not be able to sustain that program no matter how much taxes go up.”

So the real debate is about how best to control these unsustainable costs. And if I could sum up that disagreement in a couple of sentences, I would say this: Our plan is to empower patients. Their plan is to empower bureaucrats.

The Republican plan gives individuals the power to put market pressure on providers and make them compete.

The President’s plan is to give 15 unelected bureaucrats in Washington the power to cut Medicare in ways that, according to Medicare’s own chief actuary, would simply drive providers out of business. This would result in harsh disruptions and denied care for seniors.

Pain like this simply can’t be sustained. So when it comes to out-of-control spending on entitlements, the President’s math simply doesn’t add up.

And his math is no better on the tax side. Let’s say we took all the income from those the President calls “rich” – those making $250,000 or more. A 100 percent tax rate on their total annual income would only fund the government for six months. Just six months!

What about some of the other tax hikes the President likes to talk about? Under the President’s policies, deficits are set to rise by a whopping $9.5 trillion over the next 10 years.

Letting the top two tax rates expire would equal roughly 8 percent of that planned deficit increase.

Eliminating tax subsidies for oil and gas companies would only equal 0.5 percent of the President’s planned deficits.

And what about corporate jet owners? That provision would reduce those deficits by just 0.03 percent.

Look, I’m all for closing tax loopholes – but you can’t close our nation’s deficits by chasing ever-higher spending with politically motivated tax hikes here and there. Instead, tax reform must broaden the base and lower rates.

This policy approach, which has attracted strong bipartisan support, would bolster our fiscal health by increasing competitiveness and encouraging more investment and job creation.

Lately, the President has been fond of taking Ronald Reagan quotes out of context, in an effort to persuade Republicans that Reagan would have agreed with the idea of using fear and envy to push a partisan agenda of permanently higher taxes.

Every time he does this, I can picture Reagan shaking his head: “There you go again.”

Obama quotes Reagan as saying that bus drivers shouldn’t pay a higher effective tax rate than millionaires. Well, that’s a no-brainer. Nobody disagrees with that.

But it is simply disingenuous to use this quote as evidence that Reagan would have supported the tax increases that Obama wants Congress to pass.

Reagan was attempting to build support for the landmark 1986 tax reform, a revenue-neutral law that reformed the tax code by lowering tax rates while broadening the tax base.

Reagan’s point – which President Obama clearly missed – was not that we should raise tax rates to chase out-of-control spending in Washington.

His point was that we should get rid of loopholes that are exploited by the few, so that we could lower everyone’s tax rates and help the economy grow.

The House-passed budget includes this kind of tax reform, which many agree would provide an immediate boost to the economy. Our budget proposed getting rid of scores of loopholes, lowering the hurdles for job creation and economic growth, and making our tax code fair, simple, and competitive.

In his address to Congress last month, the President said he agrees in principle with this kind of reform, especially when it comes to the uncompetitive way we tax our businesses.

This made Republicans think, well, we might have an opportunity here for the kind of genuine consensus-building that the President talked about as a candidate.

Yet he chose not to pursue this kind of tax reform. Instead, he sent us a partisan bill filled with the same stimulus proposals that failed two years ago, only this time he also asked for permanent tax hikes to go with them.

He’s also failed to work with us on another area where one would think we could find common ground: ending the lavish subsidies and government benefits that go to those who are already successful.

The House-passed budget was full of proposals to get rid of corporate welfare and crony capitalism.

Why are tax dollars being wasted on bankrupt, politically-connected solar energy firms?

Why is Washington wasting your money on entrenched agribusiness?

Why have we extended an endless supply of taxpayer credit to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, instead of demanding that their government guarantee be wound down and their taxpayer subsidies ended?

Rather than raising taxes and making it more difficult for Americans to become wealthy, let’s lower the amount of government spending the wealthy now receive.

The President likes to use Warren Buffett and his secretary as an example of why we should raise taxes on the rich.

Well, Warren Buffett gets the same health and retirement benefits from the government as his secretary.

But our proposals to modestly income-adjust Social Security and Medicare benefits have been met with sheer demagoguery by leading members of the President’s party.

The politics of division have always struck me as odd: the eagerness to take more, combined with the refusal to subsidize less.

Instead of working with us on these common-sense reforms, the President is barnstorming swing states, pushing a divisive message that pits one group of Americans against another on the basis of class.

This just won’t work in America. Class is not a fixed designation in this country. We are an upwardly mobile society with a lot of movement between income groups.

The Treasury Department’s latest study on income mobility in America found that during the ten-year period starting in 1996, roughly half of the taxpayers who started in the bottom 20 percent had moved up to a higher income group by 2005.

Meanwhile, half of all taxpayers ended up in a different income group at the end of ten years. Many moved up, and some moved down, but economic growth resulted in rising incomes for most people over this period.

Another recent survey of over 500 successful entrepreneurs found that 93 percent came from middle-class or lower-class backgrounds. The majority were the first in their families to launch a business.

Their stories are the American story: Millions of immigrants fled from the closed societies of the Old World to the security of equal rights in this land of upward mobility.

Telling Americans they are stuck in their current station in life, that they are victims of circumstances beyond their control, and that government’s role is to help them cope with it – well, that’s not who we are. That’s not what we do.

Our Founding Fathers rejected this mentality. In societies marked by class structure, an elite class made up of rich and powerful patrons supplies the needs of a large client underclass that toils, but cannot own. The unfairness of closed societies is the kindling for class warfare, where the interests of “capital” and “labor” are perpetually in conflict. What one class wins, the other loses.

The legacy of this tradition can still be seen in Europe today: Top-heavy welfare states have replaced the traditional aristocracies, and masses of the long-term unemployed are locked into the new lower class.

The United States was destined to break out of this bleak history. Our future would not be staked on traditional class structures, but on civic solidarity. Gone would be the struggle of class against class.

Instead, Americans would work, compete, and co-operate in an open market, climb the ladder of opportunity, and keep the fruits of their efforts.

Self-government and the rule of law would secure our equal, God-given rights. Our political and economic systems – rooted in freedom and responsibility – would reward, and thus cultivate, traditional virtues.

Given that the President’s policies have moved us closer to the European model, I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised that his class-based rhetoric has followed suit.

We shouldn’t be surprised… but we have every right to be disappointed. Instead of appealing to the hope and optimism that were hallmarks of his first campaign, he has launched his second campaign by preying on the emotions of fear, envy, and resentment.

This has the potential to be just as damaging as his misguided policies. Sowing social unrest and class resentment makes America weaker, not stronger. Pitting one group against another only distracts us from the true sources of inequity in this country – corporate welfare that enriches the powerful, and empty promises that betray the powerless.

Ironically, equality of outcome is a form of inequality – one that is based on political influence and bureaucratic favoritism.

That’s the real class warfare that threatens us: A class of bureaucrats and connected crony capitalists trying to rise above the rest of us, call the shots, rig the rules, and preserve their place atop society. And their gains will come at the expense of working Americans, entrepreneurs, and that small businesswoman who has the gall to take on the corporate chieftain.

It’s disappointing that this President’s actions have exacerbated this form of class warfare in so many ways:

While the EPA is busy punishing commercially competitive sources of energy, a class of bureaucrats at the Department of Energy has been acting like the world’s worst venture capital fund, spending recklessly on politically favored alternatives.

While the unemployment rate remains stuck above 9 percent, a class of bureaucrats at the National Labor Relations Board is threatening hundreds of jobs by suing an American employer for politically motivated reasons.

And while millions of Americans are left wondering whether their employers will drop their health insurance because of the new health care law, a class of bureaucrats at HHS has handed out over 1,400 waivers to those firms and unions with the political connections to lobby for them.

These actions starkly highlight the difference between the two parties that lies at the heart of the matter: Whether we are a nation that still believes in equality of opportunity, or whether we are moving away from that, and towards an insistence on equality of outcome.

If you believe in the former, you follow the American Idea that justice is done when we level the playing field at the starting line, and rewards are proportionate to merit and effort.

If you believe in the latter kind of equality, you think most differences in wealth and rewards are matters of luck or exploitation, and that few really deserve what they have.

That’s the moral basis of class warfare – a false morality that confuses fairness with redistribution, and promotes class envy instead of social mobility.

I’d like to introduce President Obama to the Ronald Reagan he isn’t so eager to quote – the man who said, “Since when do we in America believe that our society is made up of two diametrically opposed classes – one rich, one poor – both in a permanent state of conflict and neither able to get ahead except at the expense of the other? Since when do we in America accept this alien and discredited theory of social and class warfare? Since when do we in America endorse the politics of envy and division?”

President Reagan was absolutely right. Instead of policies that make it harder for Americans to rise, let’s lower the hurdles to upward mobility.

That’s what the American Idea is all about. You know, in the midst of all the joys and sorrows of our everyday lives, I think we sometimes forget why America was considered such an exceptional nation at its Founding, and why it remains so.

To me, the results of the Founders’ exceptional vision can be summed up in a single sentence: Throughout human history, the American Idea has done more to help the poor than any other economic system ever designed.

Americans, guided by our ideals, have sacrificed everything to combat tyranny and brutal dictators; we’ve expanded opportunity, opened markets, and inspired others to resist oppression; we’ve exported innovation and imagination; and we’ve welcomed immigrants seeking a fresh start.

Here in America – unlike most places on earth – all citizens have the right to rise.

Thank you.

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