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The Morning Flap: November 3, 2011

These are my links for November 2nd through November 3rd:

  • Cain Harassment Issue: Who Said What To Whom?– As questions multiply over the nature of sexual harassment claims made against Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, finger-pointing and denials among top rivals are widening.Meanwhile, one of the accuser’s attorneys is seeking his client’s release from her confidentiality agreement despite the accuser’s reluctance to go public.

    The campaigns of Rick Perry and Mitt Romney — Cain’s top challengers in the 2012 GOP race — are denying charges they were the source of the story that broke Sunday claiming two women had received financial settlements in a dispute over alleged inappropriate behavior by Cain, the former head of the National Restaurant Association.

    On Wednesday, Cain’s top aide accused Perry’s campaign of being behind the release of the stories.

    “This is one of the actions in America that is the reason why people don’t get involved in politics,” Mark Block, Cain’s campaign chief of staff, said in an exclusive interview with Fox News’ “Special Report.” “The actions of the Perry campaign are despicable.”

    “Rick Perry and his campaign owe Herman Cain and his family an apology,” Block added.

    The Cain campaign suggested the source for that story was longtime GOP consultant Curt Anderson, who worked for Cain’s failed 2004 U.S. Senate bid and had been debriefed on the harassment allegations by Cain himself. Anderson now works for Perry.

    “I’ve known Herman Cain for about seven years. I was one of several consultants on his Senate race in 2004 and was proud to help him,” Anderson said. “I’d never heard any of these allegations until I read them in Politico, nor does anything I read in the press change my opinion that Herman is an upstanding man and a gentleman.”

    “I have great respect for Herman and his character and I would never speak ill of him, on the record or off the record,” he added. “That’s true today and it’s not going to change.”

    The Perry campaign also disavowed any connection to the story, calling Block’s charge “reckless and false.”

    “For a candidate and campaign that claim to be the victims of unfounded and unproven accusations, they are awfully quick to hurl unfounded accusations themselves,” Perry campaign spokesman Ray Sullivan said in email. “Contrary to the Cain campaign’s false accusations, there is not one shred of evidence that any member of the Perry team had anything to do with the recent stories regarding Herman Cain — because it isn’t true.”

    Sullivan also noted that backers of Mitt Romney’s campaign are connected to the National Restaurant Association, though the Romney campaign responded simply that any suggestion it pushed the Cain story is “not true.”

    One of the women, who lives in Maryland and has served as a spokeswoman for several federal agencies, refuses to let her attorney reveal her identity though attorney Joel P. Bennett claims she wants to contest Cain’s version of events.

    Bennett said he’s trying to get the National Restaurant Association, which Cain led at the time of the accusations, to release her from a confidentiality agreement so he can provide details on Thursday.

    The second woman — first described in a Politico story which sent ripples through the Cain campaign — is a registered lobbyist in New Jersey, according to a former pollster at the NRA.

    Pollster Chris Wilson told KTOK radio in Oklahoma that at the time the woman was a “lower level staffer” probably two years out of college. But her experiences with Cain were witnessed by him and others attending an event at a restaurant in Crystal City, Va., right across the river from Washington, D.C.

    “Everybody was aware of it,” he told the radio station. “It was only a matter of time because so many people were aware of what took place, so many people were aware of her situation, the fact she left after this. Everybody knew … with the campaign that this would eventually come up.”

    The two women left the NRA with financial settlements and an agreement to never speak of the details. The New York Times reported Wednesday that the woman now in New Jersey received $35,000 in her settlement, representing a year’s salary.

    Wilson, who wouldn’t describe the alleged confrontation because of “legal issues,” said the woman wants to talk, and speculated the NRA is going to have no choice but to release her from her confidentiality agreement.

  • Cain Says Perry Camp Behind Sex Harassment Leak– Was the recent attack on Herman Cain’s presidential campaign a professional hit job? Absolutely, says Herman Cain. And he says he knows just where to look for the guy who did it: At 815 Slaters Lane in Alexandria, Virginia, a low-slung former warehouse in the shadow of a coal plant.There, beside rusting rail lines, is the home of OnMessage Inc., a Republican-leaning consulting firm recently hired to bolster Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s presidential campaign.
  • Poll Watch: Three in Four Americans Back Obama on Iraq Withdrawal– Americans widely support President Obama’s recent decision to withdraw nearly all U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of the year, with 75% approving. That includes the vast majority of Democrats and independents. Republicans, however, are slightly more likely to disapprove than approve.hese results are based on an Oct. 29-30 Gallup poll. On Oct. 21, Obama announced that U.S. troops would be out of Iraq by the end of the year. Only a small U.S. force would remain to guard the U.S. embassy, among other responsibilities.The U.S. ended combat operations in Iraq in August 2010.

    These findings are consistent with Americans’ long-standing desire to leave Iraq. Last August, as the drawdown in U.S. forces was underway, 6 in 10 Americans were opposed to renewing combat operations in Iraq even if Iraqi forces were unable to maintain security in that country.

    Republicans at that time also expressed some willingness to remain in Iraq, depending on the stability of the situation there, while Democrats and independents were largely opposed to a change in the policy.

    Prior to the end of combat operations, Republicans generally opposed, while Democrats largely favored, setting a timetable for U.S. withdrawal from Iraq.

    Thus, Republicans’ disapproval of Obama’s withdrawal policy may partly be influenced by their more general opposition to setting hard deadlines for withdrawing troops, rather than an actual desire to keep U.S. troops in Iraq. Their opposition to his policy may also be related to their broader disapproval of Obama — 9% of Republicans have approved of the job Obama is doing in each of the last three months

  • VEEP SPECULATION IS JUST THAT– There really is no need to talk about vice-presidential selection right now, but in recent weeks discussion of the subject has filled pages, airwaves and cyberspace as a number of knowledgeable observers have approached the subject from imaginable (and unimaginable) angles. Pundits have declared Vice President Joe Biden dumped and have anointed any number of Republican running mates. And one of the nation’s leading political writers has called for a new procedure to select vice-presidential candidates.To paraphrase Dan Quayle during the 1992 vice-presidential debate, it’s time to take a deep breath. It’s much ado about very little. The vice presidency matters, but the Democratic vice-presidential nomination is a done deal, the Republican choice is too contingent to even speculate about and both choices will, and should, be made as they normally are, by the presidential candidates.
  • Oakland protesters vandalise banks and smash shop windows – California demonstrators shut down city’s port while blocking traffic
    1. Riot police fire tear gas and stun grenades to try and regain control
    2. Two protesters hospitalised after they were struck by a car
    3. Protesters went on rampage vandalising banks and storefronts
    4. Chase and Wells Fargo branches attacked and Whole Foods store

    Occupy Oakland protesters claimed victory after they shut down one of the nation’s busiest shipping ports – escalating a movement whose tactics had largely been limited to marches, rallies and camps.

    In a five-hour stand-off protesters vandalised businesses and smashed bank windows, as they tried to shut down the city – and police appeared to respond using tear gas and flash bang grenades.

    The California demonstrators blocked operations at the city’s port and stopped traffic on Wednesday in protests against economic inequality and police brutality, marred by scattered vandalism.

  • Occupy Oakland Protesters Tear Gased by Police– Police have used tear gas and “flash bang” grenades on a large crowd of demonstrators that lit a massive bonfire in the streets of downtown Oakland, Calif., in a conflict following a day of action that saw the city’s port closed after demonstrators. blocked itDozens of police in riot gear advanced on protesters who had pushed together several large metal and plastic trash bins to start a fire that reached 15 feet in the air, according to The Associated Press. Police reportedly warned protesters to clear out before firing several rounds of tear gas and “flash bang” grenades.

    Several protesters, many of whom wore gas masks, chanted “We Are Scott Olson” as the police fired at them early Wednesday. Olson is the Iraq War veteran who suffered a fractured skull last month after he was hit in the head by a projectile during a conflict with police.

    The conflict came hours after thousands of Occupy Oakland protesters marched on the Port of Oakland, disrupting operations at the nation’s fifth largest port and causing all maritime operations in the city to be shut down.

  • Peaceful Occupy protests degenerate into chaos– A day of demonstrations in Oakland that began as a significant step toward expanding the political and economic influence of the Occupy Wall Street movement, ended with police in riot gear arresting dozens of protesters who had marched through downtown to break into a vacant building, shattering windows, spraying graffiti and setting fires along the way.”We go from having a peaceful movement to now just chaos,” said protester Monique Agnew, 40.

    The far-flung movement of protesters challenging the world’s economic systems and distribution of wealth has gained momentum in recent weeks, capturing the world’s attention by shutting down one of the nation’s busiest shipping ports toward the end of a daylong “general strike” that prompted solidarity rallies across the U.S.

    About 3,000 people converged on the Port of Oakland, the nation’s fifth-busiest harbor, in a nearly five-hour protest Wednesday, swarming the area and blocking exits and streets with illegally parked vehicles and hastily-erected, chain-link fences.

    Port officials said they were forced to cease maritime operations, citing concerns for workers’ safety. They said in a statement they hope to resume operations Thursday “and that Port workers will be allowed to get to their jobs without incident. Continued missed shifts represent economic hardship for maritime workers, truckers, and their families, as well as lost jobs and lost tax revenue for our region.”

    Supporters in New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and elsewhere staged smaller-scale demonstrations; each group saying its protest was a show of support for the Oakland movement, which became a rallying point when an Iraq War veteran was seriously injured in a clash with police last week.

    The larger Occupy movement has yet to coalesce into an organized association and until the port shut down had largely been limited scattershot marches, rallies and tent encampments since it began in September.

    Organizers in Oakland had viewed the day as a significant victory. Police said that about 7,000 people participated in demonstrations throughout the day that were peaceful except for a few incidents of vandalism.

  • (500) – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-11-03 #tcot #catcot
  • foursquare:: Gregory Flap @ Sierra La Verne Country Club

    – Alice’s 20 th anniversary luncheon with MWD (@ Sierra La Verne Country Club)

  • Dilbert November 2, 2011 – Fun at Work? » Flap’s California Blog – Dilbert November 2, 2011 – Fun at Work?
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Morning Drill: November 2, 2011 – The Morning Drill: November 2, 2011
  • foursquare:: Gregory Flap @ Starbucks

    – Waiting for Alice’s 20 th anniversary work luncheon (@ Starbucks)

  • At a News Conference, Cain Avoids Questions – – >It is just starting for Cain – Cain Skirts Media in a Tense Encounter #tcot
  • The Morning Flap: November 2, 2011 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The Morning Flap: November 2, 2011 #tcot #catcot