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The Afternoon and Evening Flap: November 8, 2011

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These are my links for November 8 in the PM

  • Obama Couldn’t Wait: His New Christmas Tree Tax – President Obama’s Agriculture Department today announced that it will impose a new 15-cent charge on all fresh Christmas trees—the Christmas Tree Tax—to support a new Federal program to improve the image and marketing of Christmas trees.

    In the Federal Register of November 8, 2011, Acting Administrator of Agricultural Marketing David R. Shipman announced that the Secretary of Agriculture will appoint a Christmas Tree Promotion Board. The purpose of the Board is to run a “program of promotion, research, evaluation, and information designed to strengthen the Christmas tree industry’s position in the marketplace; maintain and expend existing markets for Christmas trees; and to carry out programs, plans, and projects designed to provide maximum benefits to the Christmas tree industry” (7 CFR 1214.46(n)). And the program of “information” is to include efforts to “enhance the image of Christmas trees and the Christmas tree industry in the United States” (7 CFR 1214.10).

    To pay for the new Federal Christmas tree image improvement and marketing program, the Department of Agriculture imposed a 15-cent fee on all sales of fresh Christmas trees by sellers of more than 500 trees per year (7 CFR 1214.52). And, of course, the Christmas tree sellers are free to pass along the 15-cent Federal fee to consumers who buy their Christmas trees.

    Acting Administrator Shipman had the temerity to say the 15-cent mandatory Christmas tree fee “is not a tax nor does it yield revenue for the Federal government” (76 CFR 69102). The Federal government mandates that the Christmas tree sellers pay the 15-cents per tree, whether they want to or not. The Federal government directs that the revenue generated by the 15-cent fee goes to the Board appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture to carry out the Christmas tree program established by the Secretary of Agriculture. Mr. President, that’s a new 15-cent tax to pay for a Federal program to improve the image and marketing of Christmas trees.

    Nobody is saying President Obama doesn’t have authority to impose his new Christmas Tree Tax — his Administration cites the Commodity Promotion, Research and Information Act of 1996. Just because the Obama Administration has the legal power to impose its Christmas Tree Tax doesn’t mean it should do so.

  • Mitt Romney as the Nominee: Conservatism Dies and Barack Obama Wins – Why Romney Will Be The Nominee

    Mitt Romney will be the nominee because the other candidates, right now, are a pretty pathetic lot.

    The base will not forgive Rick Perry his immigration sins. In fact, that has hurt him far more than his debate performances, but his debate performances have hurt him badly. Perry, who came out principled and fiery with a record others could only envy, has left others with the impression that he’s a poor man’s version of the village idiot, which in the SEC we call “Aggies”. Maybe he can turn it around.

    Newt Gingrich will not be the nominee because, despite his daughter’s rebuttals to the horror stories of how Gingrich divorced his first of three wives, Jackie Gingrich told the Washington Post on January 3, 1985, “He walked out in the spring of 1980 and I returned to Georgia. By September, I went into the hospital for my third surgery. The two girls came to see me, and said Daddy is downstairs and could he come up? When he got there, he wanted to discuss the terms of the divorce while I was recovering from the surgery.”

    Gingrich went on to cheat on the second wife with the third. Regardless of the actual facts or even the spin, he won’t win women.

    Herman Cain won’t be the nominee because he can’t win women either. Regardless of what you think of the Politico story, Cain’s handling of the story has been an epic disaster. He’s down at least 10 points with women in Iowa. He’s falling even further and doesn’t even realize it. He’s largely been emboldened by a conservative media that is so used to standing by its men that too few are telling Herman that he is now at the point where he must actually sit and answer questions whether he wants to or not and whether he feels maligned or not and whether I think he should have to or not. If he loses women by as big as he is starting to lose the women, he cannot win.

    So Mitt Romney will be the nominee. Conservatives will not rally together with the least of the bad alternatives and Romney, like John McCain before him, will run up the middle to the nomination. But, just like McCain, Romney will not beat Barack Obama.

  • Issue 2 falls, Ohio collective bargaining law repealed – Ohioans voted Tuesday night to repeal a Republican-backed law that restricted collective bargaining for public workers, a victory for Democrats and labor organizers both nationally and in the state.

    AP has declared Issue 2 (as the law was called on the ballot) dead. As of this writing, with about a quarter of precincts in, repeal led by a whopping 63 to 37 percent margin.

    Gov. John Kasich (R) took office in January vowing to curb unions’ power. But he appears to have overstepped his hand in curtailing the rights of 350,000 public workers — including firefighters and police officers — to negotiate over benefits, equipment and other issues.

    The backlash against the law began as soon as Kasich signed it, in March. By August, when the governor asked for a compromise with unions, it was too late.

    As in other states, the law became a battleground for an ongoing fight between labor and conservative groups over collective bargaining. In Wisconsin, after Gov. Scott Walker (R) eliminated collective bargaining for many public employees, Democrats and labor failed to take back the state Senate in recall elections. Now, unions have their first bonafide win.

    By including firefighters and police officers in the legislation, Republicans in Ohio set themselves up for a far more difficult fight. Wisconsin’s collective bargaining law made exceptions for both.

  • Herman Cain: Harassment charge is ‘baseless, bogus and false’ – Republican Herman Cain directly confronted allegations on Tuesday that he had sexually harassed women, saying his latest accuser had lied and promising to continue his quest for the presidency.

    Addressing the controversy before a throng of reporters in suburban Phoenix, Cain said he had no recollection of ever meeting Sharon Bialek, the woman who went public Monday and accused him of groping her in a car after the two dined together in Washington 14 years ago. Cain called her account “baseless, bogus and false” and said Bialek and three other women who have accused him of sexual harassment are part of a coordinated effort to attack his character and derail his campaign.

    “We are not going to allow Washington or politics to deny me the opportunity to represent this great nation,” Cain said, adding that he would be willing to take a lie-detector test. “As far as these accusations causing me to back off and maybe withdraw from this presidential primary race — ain’t gonna happen.”

    The controversy over the charges escalated just minutes before Cain’s news conference, when one of the previously anonymous women accusing him of inappropriate behavior decided to reveal her name after it appeared on news sites. She urged the other accusers to hold a news conference with her.

    Karen Kraushaar, 55, now a communications official for the Treasury Department’s inspector general for tax administration, filed a claim of sexual harassment against Cain when he headed the National Restaurant Association and she was an employee there in the 1990s. She received a payment when she left the organization, but Cain, who disputed the allegations at the time, was not a party to the agreement.

    “The reason sexual harassment is so difficult to prove is that workplace sexual predators try to make sure the victim is alone when the harassment takes place,” she wrote in an e-mail after Cain’s news conference.

  • Herman Cain sex harassment questions not barred at Michigan debate tomorrow night – When Herman Cain debated Newt Gingrich solo in Texas over the weekend, questions about the sex harassment allegations from his NRA tenure were off-limits.

    Continue Reading
    But a CNBC spokesman tells me that the cable network has reserved the right to ask such questions at tomorrow’s debate in Michigan, which is supposed to be focused on the economy.

    “The debate will focus on jobs, taxes, the deficit and the health of our national economy, but there are no restrictions on questions,” spokesman Brian Steel wrote me in an email. “As for Herman Cain, he is scheduled to attend.”

    Asked whether the Cain campaign had requested any question restrictions, Steel said all conversations with the various campaigns are off the record and declined to say one way or the other.

  • DeMint endorses Stenberg, sponsors fund-raising drive – Republican Senate candidate Don Stenberg on Tuesday got the endorsement he wanted.
    South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, sometimes described as a kingmaker for candidates seeking conservative support, said Stenberg is “a lifelong conservative with the principles, integrity and courage needed to stand up to the big spenders in both political parties in Washington.”
    Stenberg is “not only the strongest conservative in the race, but we also believe he’s the most electable,” DeMint said in a statement issued through his Senate Conservatives Fund website.
    The five-candidate 2012 GOP Senate field includes Attorney General Jon Bruning, state Sen. Deb Fischer of Valentine, Pat Flynn of Schuyler and Spencer Zimmerman of Omaha.
    Stenberg, Nebraska’s state treasurer, is a candidate with strong name recognition numbers, but scarce financial support. 
    A Senate candidate for the fourth time — he was the Republican nominee in 2000 — Stenberg entered October with $18,000 in campaign cash on hand compared to $1.6 million available to Bruning, the presumed Republican frontrunner.
  • Ron Paul and the GOP’s third-party nightmare scenario – Ron Paul is a powerful man.

    The Texas Republican Congressman says he has no intention of launching an independent run for president if he loses the GOP presidential primary next year. But, if he happens to change his mind, polling suggests he could have a major impact on the identity of the next president.

    A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll shows that an independent bid from Paul would garner 18 percent of the national vote. Perhaps more important, it would swing the popular vote toward President Obama by a large margin — 44 percent to 32 percent in a hypothetical three-way matchup that also includes former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

    In a head-to-head race with Romney, Obama leads by a far more narrow 49 percent to 43 percent.

    “Dr. Paul has strong crossover appeal, and could do very well as an independent,” Paul campaign manager Jesse Benton told The Fix. “He has, however, decided to remain in the GOP, as he has for over 20 years in Congress, and use that appeal to beat President Obama as the Republican nominee.”

    But, what if Paul doesn’t wind up as the GOP nominee? It’s not hard to see how a Paul third-party candidacy could create a nightmare scenario — albeit an unlikely one — for Republicans.

    As we’ve discussed previously on this blog, a third-party bid is a very difficult undertaking, and there are relatively few politicians — we’re thinking Paul, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and self-promoter Donald Trump here — who could actually pull it off. A politician essentially needs vast personal wealth, name recognition or an extremely devoted following — and ideally all three. And, even then, they have precious little chance of winning.

  • Karen Kraushaar, second Cain accuser wants ‘joint press conference’ – A second woman — Karen Kraushaar, a communications official at the Treasury Department – has come forward to identify herself as a woman who says she was sexually harassed by Herman Cain.

    Kraushaar was one of the two women originally mentioned in a POLITICO story that appeared Oct. 30. Kraushaar and another employee of the National Restaurant Association had complained about Cain’s behavior to colleagues and senior officials at the NRA, and both women left the trade group with a cash settlement. Kraushaar received about $45,000.

    POLITICO initially had shielded Kraushaar’s identity to protect her privacy, but on Tuesday, Kraushaar agreed that her identity could be revealed.

    Kraushaar, 55, said in an interview with POLITICO that she would like to band together with the other three women accusing Cain of harassment.

    “That would be my preference, that we all go together in a joint press conference,” she said, noting that she’s turned down interview requests from a number of TV news shows.

    Kraushaar said she had not talked to the other women about such an idea and that such a plan would be executed by their attorneys.

    Now the spokesperson for IRS’s Inspector General, Kraushaar has worked as a career federal government official for different agencies in Washington. A Brown graduate, Kraushaar received a master’s degree from the University of Michigan and began her career as a print journalist.

    On the details of Cain’s allegedly inappropriate behavior with the two women, POLITICO had a half-dozen sources shedding light on different aspects of the complaints.

  • Poll: Cain favorability slips with Republicans as allegations mount – The Hill’s Blog Briefing Room – Poll: Cain favorability slips with Republicans as allegations mount
  • Poll: Cain favorability slips with Republicans as allegations mount – Forty percent of Republicans have a less favorable view of Herman Cain after watching the press conference in which Sheila Bialek accused the GOP presidential candidate of groping her in a car, according to a Reuters-Ipsos poll released on Tuesday.

    39 percent of Republicans polled said they believe the allegations against the candidate are true. On Tuesday Cain accused Bialeck of lying, and said he doesn’t “remember knowing her.”

    While recent polls show that Cain continues to match up well against his GOP rivals, a Gallup poll released on Tuesday showed Cain’s “positive intensity score” has plummeted in the week’s since the sexual harassment allegations were first made public.

    Bialek is the fourth woman to accuse Cain of sexual harassment but the first to do so publicly. Cain has strongly denied the accusations, and his campaign responded by attacking Bialeck’s credibility on Tuesday, saying she has a “long and troubled” history.

  • Herman Cain holds news conference on sexual harassment accusations (Live video, tweets) – Election 2012 – The Washington Post – RT @washingtonpost: Herman Cain now: “I tried to remember if I recognized her. And I didn’t.” #video
  • Need To Know Videos – NationalJournal.com – RT @nationaljournal: Cain: The charges, and accusations, I absolutely reject. They simply didn’t happen.
  • (403) http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2011/11/08/nbc-to-air-the-biggest-loser-where-are-they-now-special-on-wed – (403) …
  • President 2012: Let’s Get this Done | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012: Let’s Get this Done #tcot #catcot
  • (403) http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2011/11/08/nbc-to-air-the-biggest-loser-where-are-they-now-special-on-wednesday-november-23/110032/?&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter – NBC to Air ‘The Biggest Loser: Where Are They Now” Special on Wednesday, November 23
  • NBC to Air ‘The Biggest Loser: Where Are They Now” Special on Wednesday, November 23 – November 8, 2011 – It’s an inspiring Thanksgiving special unlike any before on “The Biggest Loser,” when the holiday treat “The Biggest Loser: Where Are They Now?” premieres on Wednesday, November 23 (9-11 p.m. ET). Viewers can catch up with some of their favorite contestants from past seasons of the series, but they’ll also be treated for the first time ever to hilarious bloopers featuring the trainers, host Alison Sweeney and the contestants.

    Alison Sweeney hosts the special, filmed before a live audience, and trainers Bob Harper, Anna Kournikova and Dolvett Quince will all be on hand to share their thoughts about the current season of the show. Cameras will also follow trainer Bob Harper through “a day in the life.” And a blooper reel adds to the fun, giving viewers a backstage pass to some of the funniest behind-the-scenes moments with the host, trainers and season 12 contestants.

    One contestant makes a big surprise announcement, and another shares her emotional story of competing in one of the most difficult competitions in the world. And “The Biggest Loser” family comes together to help one of their own – season nine contestant Sam Poueu – and give an update on his condition following his terrible accident. Plus, cooking expert Aida Mollenkamp will prepare a healthy Thanksgiving feast for the trainers and past season contestants, and share great cooking tips as well.

    Fan favorites like Abby Rike (season eight), Tara Costa (season seven), O’Neal Hampton (season nine) and season five winner Ali Vincent will reveal what they are up to now, along with season eight champ Danny Cahill and season 11 winner Olivia Ward. Viewers can also catch up with Hannah Curlee (season 11) and Jesse Atkins (season 10) as well as other popular players like season seven’s Sione Fa and Jerry and Estella Hayes, who give their updates via personal videos.

    I attended the taping!

  • Cain surrogate warns “elites in conservative media” – Niger Innis, the national spokesman for the Congress of Racial Equality and a “volunteer adviser” for Herman Cain’s campaign, goes on Fox News to attack a group that hasn’t been terribly sympathetic to Cain’s woes — the “elites in the conservative media.”

    “I would caution Karl [Rove], I would caution members of the conservative elite that sexual harassment today is being used as a powerful, political weapon the same way that the race card today is used as a powerful, political weapon.

    And I would caution these elites in the conservative media, as well as in the liberal media: do you really think it’s just going to end — this political tool — with Herman Cain? I caution them to be careful about what they say.”

    A little risky. Cain needs all the friends he can get right now, and this won’t make an already leery portion of the media think more hospitably of him.

    By the way, here’s some more small evidence of the Cain campaign’s notoriously inept handling of all this.

    At the beginning of the interview, Innis takes care to say he’s not speaking for the Cain campaign, but Fox News host Jon Scott later objected, saying that Fox News was told he was speaking for the campaign. By the end of the chat, it was unclear whom Innis was actually speaking for.

  • Herman Cain accuser has history of financial troubles, legal squabbles – The emerging portrait of Herman Cain’s most recent accuser shows a suburban homemaker with a history of financial and legal troubles, but one who supporters say has the guts to do the right thing.

    Sharon Bialek, 50, is the fourth woman — and the first publicly — to accuse the Republican presidential hopeful of sexual harassment. In a dramatic news conference Monday in New York, Bialek, a former employee of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, said she had sought Cain’s help in finding a new job in July 1997 shortly after the organization had fired her.

    Instead, Bialek said, Cain, who was then head of the restaurant association, reached under her skirt while the two were seated in a parked car and attempted to move her head toward his crotch. Cain’s campaign quickly issued a denial, calling her allegations “completely false.”

    Bialek said she shared her allegations with her then-boyfriend and another male friend shortly after her meeting with Cain. However, the man she is now engaged to said she did not tell him about her history with the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO until Friday night, when she told him she was going to New York for the news conference.

    Her fiance, Mark Harwood, said he was in “a bit of shock” but admired her decision to come forward.

    “It’s not an anti-political thing. It’s not a money thing,” said Harwood, who shares a large, five-bedroom home with Bialek in north suburban Mundelein. “She’s just trying to do the right thing, and that takes guts.”

  • Cain attacks accuser, cites woman’s ‘long and troubled history’ – Herman Cain’s campaign on Tuesday challenged the credibility of Sharon Bialek, who has publicly accused the GOP presidential candidate of making an unwanted sexual advance.

    The campaign released a memo to the press detailing what it characterized as Bialek’s “long and troubled” history, including a 1999 paternity dispute, to argue the public should trust Cain over his latest accuser.

    “In stark contrast to Mr. Cain’s four decades spent climbing the corporate ladder rising to the level of CEO at multiple successful business enterprises, Ms. Bialek has taken a far different path,” the Cain release said.

    “The fact is that Ms. Bialek has had a long and troubled history, from the courts to personal finances – which may help explain why she has come forward 14 years after an alleged incident with Mr. Cain, powered by celebrity attorney and long term Democrat donor Gloria Allred.”

    The Cain campaign goes after Bialek’s employment history and legal record in making its case against her. It lists six civil lawsuits against Bialek, and suggests she has had a troubled worklife.

    “Ms. Bialek has worked for nine employers over the last seventeen years,” the campaign writes.

    Bialek on Monday held a New York press conference to highlight an incident in 1997 in which she said Cain sexually harassed and attempted to grope her. Cain has denied the charges.

    At the time, Cain headed the National Restaurant Association, where Bialek worked for a short time in 1996 and 1997.

    Bialek said she approached Cain for help in finding another job after she left the National Restaurant Association.

    With Allred at her side, Bialek said Cain, after a dinner in Washington, had put his hand under her skirt and reached for her genitals. She also said Cain had taken her head and moved it toward his crotch.

    When Bialek asked Cain to top, she said Cain said, “You want a job, right?”

  • Herman Cain campaign launches attack on accuser Sharon Bialek – Alexander Burns – POLITICO.com – RT @politico: From @aburnspolitico: The Cain camp launches a lengthy attack via email on Sharon Bialek —
  • The Morning Flap: November 8, 2011 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The Morning Flap: November 8, 2011 #tcot #catcot
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The Afternoon Flap: November 7, 2011

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These are my links for November 7th from 09:06 to 12:43:

  • Big labor favor: DNC may replace local workers with out-of-state union labor for convention – Charlotte, N.C. Mayor Anthony Foxx, a Democrat with close ties to President Barack Obama, is taking political heat as several reports show he plans to replace local workers with out-of-state union workers during the Democratic National Convention next year.

    Foxx’s mayoral Republican challenger, Scott Stone, has been a vocal opponent of Foxx’s purportedly anti-local business policies. Stone recently held a press conference asking Foxx to pledge he wouldn’t give DNC jobs to out-of-state unions, but Foxx refused to commit.

    After the press conference, RedState’s Ben Howe discovered that the DNC was “discriminating against” a local large format sign printing company because it does not employ union labor. Since then, more reports of “discrimination” against non-union shops in Charlotte have surfaced.

    The Ritz Carlton hotel in Charlotte, where the president is reportedly staying during the DNC next year, plans to temporarily lay off its employees, LaborUnionReport.com reports. LaborUnionReport.com spoke with a Ritz Carlton non-union employee who confirmed “they had been told they would be laid off during the convention.”

    The Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) disputes the LaborUnionReport.com report. “The claim is totally fabricated and false,” said DNCC spokesperson Kristie Greco. “There is no Democratic Convention-related obligation to cause the furlough of hotel workers convention week.”*

    The local newspaper of record, the Charlotte Observer, ran a front page story this weekend also bashing the Democratic Party for its lack of transparency in planning the DNC convention.

  • Accuser Details Lewd Behavior by Cain – Attorney Says Corroborates Claim – In an interview after Ms. Bialek’s news conference, Joel P. Bennett, a lawyer for one of Mr. Cain’s anonymous accusers, said that Ms. Bialek’s claims were “very similar” in nature to the incident that occurred between his client and Mr. Cain.

    His client has not said whether Mr. Cain touched her physically. In a statement Friday on her behalf, Mr. Bennett alleged that Mr. Cain had engaged in a “series of inappropriate behaviors and unwanted advances” toward his client.

    “It corroborates the claim,” Mr. Bennett said of Ms. Bialek’s allegation. Asked whether that meant that Mr. Cain had physically touched his client inappropriately, Mr. Bennett said “I can’t get more specific” but added that “I can say it is corroborating.”

    Mr. Bennett also said that a woman named Sharon from Chicago left a message on his answering machine over the weekend saying that she, too, had been the subject of harassment at the hands of Mr. Cain. Mr. Bennett said he called her back to suggest that he could arrange for her to come forward confidentially, but that she said that she would think about it.

    After watching the news conference, Mr. Bennett said: “I guess she got over her shyness.”

    Ms. Bialek is the first woman to come forward publicly with such allegations. In her statement to the press, Ms. Bialek said that she had been fired at the association after about a year working for the group’s educational foundation in its Chicago office. She said she sought Mr. Cain’s help to find other employment during a trip to Washington about a month after he left the group.

    During that trip, she said Mr. Cain had secretly upgraded her hotel room before drinks and dinner that the two had to discuss possible future employment. She said that after dinner, he put his hand on her leg and ran it under her skirt and pulled her head toward his crotch.

  • BREAKING: Cain accuser says candidate groped her in 1997 – A woman who claimed Herman Cain sexually assaulted her in 1997 said Monday she hoped the Republican presidential candidate would come clean about other allegations of sexual misconduct.

    Sharon Bialek said Cain reached under her skirt and pressed her head toward his crotch when Bialek was visiting Cain in Washington to get job hunting advice after she had been “terminated” from the National Restaurant Association.

    Bialek said that when she protested, Cain asked, “You want a job, right?”

    Bialek worked at the educational foundation of the National Restaurant Association beginning from 1996 to 1997, when she said her superiors released her from her position, citing poor fundraising numbers.

    Bialek said she was already acquainted with Cain after meeting him at NRA conferences, and visited him in Washington in July 1997 to see if he could help her regain her position or find another position within the organization.

    When Bialek and Cain were returning from dinner, Bialek said Cain made inappropriate advances in a parked car.

    “He put his hand on my leg, under my skirt, and reached for my genitals,” Bialek said. “He also grabbed my head and pushed it toward his crotch.”

    Cain’s campaign denied Bialek’s allegations in a statement before the press conference began.

    “Just as the country finally begins to refocus on our crippling $15 trillion national debt and the unacceptably high unemployment rate, now activist celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred is bringing forth more false accusations against the character of Republican front-runner Herman Cain,” the statement read.

    “All allegations of harassment against Mr. Cain are completely false. Mr. Cain has never harassed anyone. Fortunately the American people will not allow Mr. Cain’s bold “9-9-9 Plan”, clear foreign policy vision and plans for energy independence to be overshadowed by these bogus attacks.”

  • Woman says Cain put hand up her skirt – Sharon Bialek alleged at a news conference today that Herman Cain reached under her skirt in 1997 as she sought help in finding a job.

    The Chicago-area mother, described by her lawyer as a registered Republican, urged the GOP presidential candidate to “come clean” and admit how he was “inappropriate” with her and other women.

    Bialek’s story was immediately denied by the Cain campaign, which sent out a news release as the woman spoke publicly at a New York City news conference with her lawyer, noted defense attorney Gloria Allred, by her side.

    The stories of three other women have been reported by Politico and the Associated Press.

    “All allegations of harassment against Mr. Cain are completely false,” the Cain campaign statement said. “Mr. Cain has never harassed anyone.”

    The disclosure by Bialek brought a shocking twist to the allegations of sexual misconduct by Cain, which date back to his time as head of the National Restaurant Association from 1996-1999.

    Cain’s campaign has been roiled for more than a week by the allegations. He is tied with Mitt Romney for the GOP presidential nomination in a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll. But a majority of Republicans say they wouldn’t vote for a candidate proved to have sexually harassed employees.

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The Afternoon Flap: November 4, 2011

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These are my links for November 4th PM.

  • Cain accuser stands by sexual harassment complaint– One of the women who accused Republican presidential contender Herman Cain of sexual harassment released a statement through her lawyer Friday stating that she “stands by” her complaint, which was made “in good faith about a series of inappropriate behaviors and unwanted advances.”There was “more than one incident” of harassment involving Cain and his client over the span of a couple of months in 1999, attorney Joel Bennett said.

    Bennett said his client, married for 26 years, will not reveal her identity because “she and her husband see no value in revisiting this matter now nor in discussing the matter any further publicly or privately.”

    “In fact,” he added, “it would be extremely painful for her to do so.”

    Bennett released the statement after reaching an agreement to do so with the National Restaurant Association, the organization headed by Cain during the time of the alleged harassment. The group had reached an agreement with the alleged victim that included a series of confidentiality and non-disparagement provisions.

    Dawn Sweeney, the current head of the association, issued a statement confirming that in July 1999, Bennett’s client “filed a formal internal complaint, in accordance with the association’s existing policies prohibiting discrimination and harassment.”

    Cain, she noted, “disputed the allegations in the complaint.”

    The controversy has dominated Cain’s front-running campaign for the past week. A defiant Cain insists he did nothing wrong, and will not let the issue deter him.

    For its part, Cain’s campaign said earlier Friday it is considering filing a lawsuit against Politico, the news organization which broke the harassment story last Sunday.

  • Laura Richardson to be proved by House Ethics Committee– The House Ethics Committee has approved a full-scale investigation into allegations against Rep. Laura Richardson, rejecting the California Democrat’s efforts to head off the probe.The decision is a serious blow to Richardson’s already troubled reelection chances in 2012. And it also likely to reignite the debate in some circles whether African-American lawmakers are targeted for ethical or criminal probes at a higher rate than their white counterparts. Richardson raised the race issue in a statement Friday, saying she would explore whether the Ethics Committee “has engaged in discriminatory conduct.”
  • State of the blogosphere 2011: Using social networks for self-promotion – For its annual look at the blogging world, Technorati surveyed 4,114 bloggers in 45 countries. This year, the focus was on why and how they blog, their connections with brands and how they use social media.
    Meet the bloggersThose surveyed are mostly hobbyists (61 percent) who don’t post daily. In fact, only 11 percent of surveyed bloggers were posting on a daily basis. Thirteen percent of bloggers are doing it for extra income on the side, and only 5 percent are bonafide professional full-timers bloggers. Of the pros, 37 percent say it makes up the majority of their income. The remainder of the bloggers are doing it to promote a brand or company — 13 percent are entrepreneurs and 8 percent are corporate.

    For the most part, the bloggers are educated, married parents between 25 and 44 years old. Though still mostly male (59 percent), there was a gender shift from last year when 64 percent were men.

    Eighty percent have been blogging for over two years, and half for over four years. Bloggers are juggling an average of three different blogs, up from two last year. It’s interesting that bloggers are maintaining or increasing the amount of time they put into their blogs after launching, instead of losing interest or moving onto the next new thing.

  • Another poll shows Gingrich on the rise– If you need more evidence that Newt Gingrich’s bid for the GOP presidential nomination is on the rise, check out a new poll by ABC News and the Washington Post.According to the survey, out Friday morning, 12% of Republicans and independents who lean toward the GOP say they support the former House Speaker for their party’s presidential nomination. That’s up five points from one month ago. Gingrich is in fourth place in the new poll, one percentage point behind Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

    Gingrich was in third place at 10% support in a Quinnipiac University national poll released Wednesday, up seven points from late August. He stands at 12% in a recent Fox News Poll and at 10% in a recent CBS/New York Times survey.

    And it’s not just national polling. In Iowa, the first state to vote in the primary and caucus calendar, Gingrich is in fourth place, at 10%, according to a recent CNN/Time/ORC International Poll of registered Republicans.

    Gingrich’s campaign was left for dead by many in late spring, after a number of top advisers and staffers quit and the campaign faced financial difficulties.

    But the former House Speaker has performed well in eight presidential debates held this year, acting as the elder statesman while many of his rivals for the nomination attacked each other. And his fundraising appears to be picking up. Gingrich says he raised more money in October than the $800,000 he brought in during the previous three months.

  • House to launch ethics investigation of Rep. Laura Richardson– The House Ethics Committee voted Thursday to launch an investigation into whether Rep. Laura Richardson pressured her congressional staff to work on her campaign, adding to her political troubles as she faces a tough reelection campaign next year.The investigation is expected to be announced Friday. The panel, equally divided between Democrats and Republicans, largely operates in secret. Members voted unanimously to form a four-member investigative subcommittee — with power to subpoena witnesses and documents — to examine whether the Long Beach Democrat violated House standards of conduct. The investigation is likely to take months.

    A source familiar with the preliminary inquiry discussed it on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. At least eight current and former Richardson staff members told investigators they felt compelled to work on her 2010 reelection campaign on their own time, the source said. Some said House resources, such as congressional phones and copying machines, were used in the campaign, the source said.

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The Afternoon Flap: November 3, 2011

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These are my links for November 3rd PM.

  • Cain Catches Flak, but Will It Shoot Down His Candidacy?– Washington was all a-Twitter (literally) Monday over Politico’s story about the sexual-harassment charges against Herman Cain — and about Cain’s serial self-contradictions.Faithful Fox News viewers saw him in the afternoon saying he didn’t know the terms of a settlement reached with the complainants and then saw him tell Greta Van Susteren in the 10 p.m. hour that he did.

    The Politico story, quoting no named sources, described Cain’s alleged misconduct as “conversations allegedly filled with innuendo or personal questions of a sexually suggestive nature” and “physical gestures that were not overtly sexual.”

  • Ron Paul Fever at Zuccotti Park– I hear many names bandied about in Zuccotti Park, and not just at the fringes. Among the most popular are Karl Marx, Hugo Chávez, Michael Moore, Paul Ehrlich, and Dennis Kucinich. But today I heard a less predictable one spoken more widely: Ron Paul.There are three key reasons for this, I think. The first is a good old marriage of convenience, the same sort of unholy alliance as arose in the early 20th century when Baptists and bootleggers came together to argue for the prohibition of alcohol in America. You see, Ron Paul is angry, too, and he wants to “restore” America to its old ways. The majority of Paul’s policy positions may be radically different, but much of his rhetoric is in line with Occupy Wall Street’s, particularly his anti-Hamiltonian conviction that the banks have callously denatured the United States. For many, this alone is enough to make him an ally.

    The protesters I spoke to today were predominantly appalled when I told them of Paul’s attitude towards Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the federal government in general, not to mention of his deregulatory zeal and staunch pro-life commitment. But, ultimately, this didn’t matter as much as the fact that he wants “change,” too. Revolution first, details later — we’ll just leave the specifics to Working Group 48.

  • Who Dropped the Dime on Cain? – Fred Thompson– In a case of an untimely death, the first thing the cops do when they arrive at the home of the deceased is to try to determine whether the death was the result of a self-inflicted wound and, if it wasn’t, whether a member of the family did it. Statistics show that these are good places to start looking. If the recent events surrounding sexual-harassment allegations against Herman Cain sink his campaign, the same postmortem may be appropriate.First, Cain’s self-inflicted wounds. When the allegations became public, he started defending himself with an unloaded gun. Even an admirably unconventional campaign cannot defy certain principles. One would be never to eat at a place with an “Eats” sign in the window. Another is that when it hits the fan, you should get your recollection and your facts as straight as you can before you start talking. You can’t outwit the media at their own game if you don’t know the game they’re playing. Now it’s not just about whether he was overly friendly with Miss Molly at the Fourth of July picnic — it’s also about catching him in inconsistencies.
  • If Cain sinks, will Gingrich benefit? – In the early summer of 2007, an over-the-hill John McCain, his campaign in shambles, was given up for dead in his race for the Republican presidential nomination. He wouldn’t give up, though, and by sheer force of will managed to grab his party’s spot on the ticket — and lead it to a crushing defeat.
    In the early summer of 2011, an over-the-hill Newt Gingrich, his campaign in shambles, was given up for dead in his race for the Republican presidential nomination. He wouldn’t give up, though, and by sheer force of will has managed to talk himself back into contention for his party’s spot on the ticket. But do Republican voters really want to be led to another crushing defeat?
    That, alas, is almost sure to happen if Gingrich is the Republican standard bearer. Like McCain, he’s quite old by any non-Reagan presidential standards (indeed, if inaugurated he would be just four months younger than Reagan was on his Inauguration Day). Like McCain, he has a nasty temper (although, to be fair, it’s nowhere near as nasty as McCain’s). Like McCain, he has a sordid history with, uh, relationships, although his is more well known than McCain’s and does not enjoy the excuse of a “pass” to re-sow wild oats due to brutal years in captivity.Short answer is: MAYBE.
  • Poll Watch: Voters Evenly Divided As to Whether Allegations Against Cain Are Serious and True– Two-thirds of America’s voters recognize that Herman Cain is the Republican candidate who has been accused of sexual harassment. Voters are evenly divided about the allegations and most Republicans believe the public airing of the charges suggest Cain is considered a serious threat to win the nomination.The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 39% believe the allegations against Cain are at least somewhat likely to be serious and true.  Thirty-eight percent (38%) disagree and 23% are not sure. Those figures include 17% who believe it’s Very Likely and 11% who say Not at All Likely.
  • The Generation Gap and the 2012 Election– In the last four national elections, generational differences have mattered more than they have in decades. According to the exit polls, younger people have voted substantially more Democratic than other age groups in each election since 2004, while older voters have cast more ballots for Republican candidates in each election since 2006.The latest national polls suggest this pattern may well continue in 2012. Millennial generation voters are inclined to back Barack Obama for reelection by a wide margin in a matchup against Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate who has run the strongest against Obama in many polls. By contrast, Silent generation voters are solidly behind Romney.

    In between the youngest and the oldest voters are the Baby Boom generation and Generation X. Both groups are less supportive of Obama than they were in 2008 and are now on the fence with respect to a second term for the president.

  • Gallup Poll Watch: U.S. Unemployment Improves to 8.4% | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Gallup Poll Watch: U.S. Unemployment Improves to 8.4% #tcot #catcot
  • The Blame Game on Herman Cain – NYTimes.com – The Blame Game on Herman Cain
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: It Is Running at Night Season: 7 Tips for Safety – It Is Running at Night Season: 7 Tips for Safety
  • President 2012: Mitt Romney Welcomes Rick Perry to California with New Attack Ad » Flap’s California Blog – President 2012: Mitt Romney Welcomes Rick Perry to California with New Attack Ad
  • Chantix IS Unsuitable for First-Line Smoking Cessation | Smiles For A Lifetime – Temporary (Locum Tenens) Dentistry – Chantix IS Unsuitable for First-Line Smoking Cessation
  • Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Morning Drill: November 3, 2011 – The Morning Drill: November 3, 2011
  • House Issues Subpoenas to White House Regarding Bankrupt Solyndra | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – House Issues Subpoenas to White House Regarding Bankrupt Solyndra #tcot #catcot
  • Numbers USA Sponsors Twitter Campaign to Pass H.R. 2885 and E-Verify | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Numbers USA Sponsors Twitter Campaign to Pass H.R. 2885 and E-Verify #tcot #catcot
  • Charlie Hebdo Reprints Mohammad Cartoon Defending the Freedom to Poke Fun | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Charlie Hebdo Reprints Mohammad Cartoon Defending the Freedom to Poke Fun #tcot #catcot
  • The Morning Flap: November 3, 2011 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The Morning Flap: November 3, 2011 #tcot #catcot
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