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The Afternoon Flap: November 1, 2011

These are my links for November 1st from 13:51 to 14:56:

  • Satire on Occupy Wall Street Trips Up Rick Perry– Last Friday, at the swanky Barley House tavern in Concord, N.H., Mr. Perry took a little jab at the Occupy Wall Street crowd, referencing an amusing quote his son had sent him from a protester occupying Toronto.“I don’t know if it can be proved up or not,” Mr. Perry conceded, “the young man’s name was Jeremy and he was 38 years old. But he said, ‘We got here at 9 o’clock, and those people, this was in Toronto, I think Bay Street is their comparable [Wall Street], he said those bankers that we came to insult, they’d already been at work for two hours when we got here at 9 o’clock, and when we get ready to leave, you know, they’re still in there working. I guess greed just makes you work hard.”
  • Democracy Versus Mob Rule – Thomas Sowell– In various cities across the country, mobs of mostly young, mostly incoherent, often noisy, and sometimes violent demonstrators are making themselves a major nuisance.Meanwhile, many in the media are practically gushing over these “protesters,” and giving them the free publicity they crave for themselves and their cause — whatever that is, beyond venting their emotions on television.
  • Lawyer: Cain accuser wants to talk but is barred by agreement– One of the women who accused GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain of sexual harassment wants to tell her side of the story but is barred by a confidentiality agreement, her attorney in Washington said Tuesday.Lawyer Joel P. Bennett called on the National Restaurant Association, where the woman and Cain worked in the late 1990s, to release the woman from her written promise not to talk about the allegations or disparage the trade group.
  • Who Are the 1 Percent? – There is a real and potentially fatal problem with the “Us vs. Them” narrative that Occupy Wall Street has made the focal point of its campaign — most famously with the “99 percent against the 1 percent” rhetoric — and that is that it does not transmute smoothly into the more intimate “Me vs. You.” It is one thing haphazardly to generalize about “the 1 percent,” or “the rich,” or “Nazi bankers” and “fascist policemen,” and quite another to get down to cases. When I interviewed a lady who labeled the bankers and the police “Nazis,” she was notably reluctant to describe any one of those to whom I pointed in such extreme terms — “Well, maybe not him personally . . .” Put a face on an epithet, and the vitriol soon dwindles; indeed, the targets who retain their “miscreant” sticker even when named tend to be a long, long way away — far enough removed to be usefully employed as abstractions. This was something I noticed particularly keenly on Friday, at Occupy Wall Street’s march on the banks.
  • The Gingrich revival– Just a few months ago, Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign looked like it was in its death throes. His poll ratings were in free fall after his criticism of fellow Republican Paul Ryan’s plan to reform Medicare as “right-wing social engineering”, and his top staff had quit en masse. But somehow, Gingrich has managed to gradually rebuild his campaign and rehabilitate himself in the eyes of Republican voters.The chart below shows how Republican’s views of Gingrich have changed over the course of the campaign. You can clearly see his ratings sliding in May-June, but then recovering slowly since July. Although they’ve levelled off in the last couple of weeks, they’re now almost back up to the very strong numbers he enjoyed when he launched his campaign and put him just about on a par with Mitt Romney.

    More than likely, the only anti-Romney candidate left.

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