No Longer Silent: Harassment Allegations Against Cain

To my followers, you may have noticed my radio silence for the last couple of weeks. This has been largely due to the harassment allegations against Cain. Please read my following remarks thoroughly to fully understand my journey of thought.

Before I begin, let’s consider the non-negotiables.

I have long stated that there are two simple characteristics guiding my search for a presidential nominee: 1) values and 2) judgement. I don’t believe being President requires being a lifelong politician. I don’t believe the ability to memorize the names of foreign dignitaries renders someone capable of strong foreign policy. And, I was never one of those people who said Obama couldn’t be president because he was a community organizer and therefore “unqualified.” The easy argument on Obama was that 1) his values did not align with mine, and 2) his judgement was lacking when I evaluated who his associates were. Point settled.

When it comes to the rule of law, there is one reigning precept: innocent until proven guilty.

So, in sum, there are three litmus tests at play in my assessment of the current Cain situation: 1) values, 2) judgement, and 3) innocent until proven guilty.

You have undoubtedly read the 100+ articles circulating from Politico, the Associated Press, and an assortment of other news agencies who didn’t want to miss their share of the ratings pie. So, I will not attempt to regurgitate them. Rather, I will briefly outline my evolution of thought about the allegations.

THE FIRST ALLEGATION

After the initial allegation, I was undaunted. It was anonymous. There were no details. An anonymous allegation does not amount to evidence, and certainly cannot trump innocence until proven guilty…no matter what the media may try to sensationalize.

Let’s pretend someone came out of the woodwork and alleged that Obama’s dear wife-husband Michelle is actually a man who had surgery to become a woman (a reasonable belief, considering her odd resemblance to Worf from Star Trek). The anonymous source knows this because she worked with Michelle and had surgery done at the same clinic. Does that amount to evidence?

THE SECOND ALLEGATION

Similar to the first, the second allegation was anonymous. There were no details. It was not evidence. Then, in a surprising (sarcasm) development, we had a break that the attorney of one of the accusers was filing a plea with the NRA to release the settlement agreement to set the record straight and clear the reputation of the one who filed the complaint. But, wait…the person was anonymous. How did it make sense to clear the reputation of someone who was anonymous? May I suggest dictionary.com?

The attorney persuaded the NRA to waive confidentiality. And I waited anxiously, hoping the gritty details would be known one way or another to settle my voting evaluation. His client was cleared to speak to the press. One problem. The client chose not to speak to the press. And, wait–Cain was apparently truthful when he said that he never signed a settlement. He no longer worked there at the time of the claim.

Conveniently, the salacious details of the alleged infraction would not be released, despite the waiver of confidentiality.

THE THIRD ALLEGATION

What the media is regarding as a third allegation was non-specific. An Iowa radio host described what he regarded as “inappropriate and awkward” comments from Cain toward women who worked at his station. And, more tantalizing yet, the source was not anonymous. Ironically, the details were instead the ones in anonymity. Absent from the story were details about the purported actions.

DIGESTION

As I observed each of these situations, I remained committed to the idea of innocence until proven guilty. But, that is where things began to unravel for me. Though I perceive my political opinions to be independent of outside sources, I allowed the media to do something that I would not realize until a couple of weeks later. Like an attorney, the media didn’t have to attempt to sway my perception of innocence…rather, they merely had to raise doubt about Cain’s values and judgement.

In the Cain campaign’s bungling of a coordinated response, it became evident exactly how “not a career politician” Cain truly was. Even if the allegations were true, an astute politician would claim innocence, kill the story and get back to controlling the discussion. The Cain campaign could not find it’s dagger.

Though I didn’t doubt the veracity of Cain’s statement of innocence, my waning support stemmed from my concern about how well Cain could fend an attack. If he became the nominee, it will not be the last. And, therefore, I found myself unable to bring myself to post pro-Cain articles, considering my own doubts about his electability.

THE FOURTH ALLEGATION

Finally, this week, we had a face to put with actual, tangible allegations–Sharon Bialek. Much like a presidential announcement, she and her infamous attorney Gloria Allred, called a press conference with much pomp and circumstance. I watched with rapt attention to determine whether the first candidate I had ever financially supported had disproved my loyalty.

Of everything Bialek said, one quote stood out conspicuously. As Cain allegedly pulled Bialek’s head toward his crotch, she says she responded, “What are you doing? You know I have a boyfriend, right?”

Huh? You’re allegedly receiving an “unwanted” advance, and that’s your response?

Suddenly, my fraud radar was blaring. And the ensuing details would explain why:

Here we have a woman who allegedly, innocently, went to meet a man for a business meeting in a hotel room. Here we have a woman who said she was not going public to receive financial gain, yet will undoubtedly hit the television circuit and be paid or at least comped for appearances. Here we have a woman who was fired repeatedly and has worked for 9 companies in the last 17 years. Here we have a woman who filed for bankruptcy twice and filed a failed paternity lawsuit in 1999. Here we have a woman whose former co-workers are already describing her as a “rabble-rouser” and someone who would “claim harassment” at the drop of a hat. Here we have a woman who is from Chicago (home of all things Obama). Here we have a woman who lived in the same building as former Obama adviser David Axelrod. Here we have a woman, who by her own admission, was encouraged to go public by an acquaintance who “thought she might have been one of the anonymous women” and encouraged her to seek out Gloria Allred. Here we have a woman who sought out Cain at a TeaCon rally this summer, hugged him, talked affably with him, and had her picture taken with him (all described in detail by an identified witness). Here we have a woman who says she told her then-boyfriend about the incident when it happened 14 years ago; yet she only told her new boyfriend about it within the last 2 weeks (despite the months Cain has been campaigning). Here we have a woman who, according to a co-worker, was fired from the NRA for false allegations of sexual harassment about her boss. Here we have a woman who has been out of work for two years, and has had at least six liens against her totaling around $26,000 since 2000. Here we have a woman who better belongs at Occupy Wall Street.

THE FIFTH ALLEGATION

Then, today, another allegation surfaced. This one seemed the most conspicuous to date. According to the article:

Donna Donella, 40, of Arlington, said the USAID paid Cain to deliver a speech to businessmen and women in Egypt in 2002, during which an Egyptian businesswoman in her 30s asked Cain a question.

“And after the seminar was over,” Donella told The Washington Examiner, “Cain came over to me and a colleague and said, ‘Could you put me in touch with that lovely young lady who asked the question, so I can give her a more thorough answer over dinner?'”

Donella, who no longer works for USAID, said they were suspicious of Cain’s motives and declined to set up the date. Cain responded, “Then you and I can have dinner.” That’s when two female colleagues intervened and suggested they all go to dinner together, Donella said.

Cain exhibited no inappropriate sexual behavior during the dinner, though he did order two $400 bottles of wine and stuck the women with the bill, she said.

So? Doesn’t this play into every stereotype of why women shouldn’t belong in a professional work environment? Pretend that the person in the crowd who asked the question was a man. Does the story read differently?

This is the first moment where I said out loud to myself, “This is just plain stupid.”

THE FINALE

Since the previous remarks, it has also been disclosed that one of the early anonymous women was outed. As it would so happen, she works for the Obama administration.

I don’t count myself a conspiracy theorist. But, any news reporter who ever did a paint-by-number as a kid can connect these details. There appears to be a commonality.

Alas, here I find myself. Having come full circle, I have reclaimed my comfort with Cain. And, I believe others will do the same as Bialek, the face of the allegations, is speedily disproved by the media. The edges are already beginning to fray. Did you know she use to work for a radio affiliate of CBS? A few individuals who work in media have indicated that she has quite a reputation…and that details will be forthcoming…

Stay tuned…

Herman Ready to Go On Offensive

Is Cain about to push back on his GOP contenders? It appears so:

——

COSTELLO: So in the next debate, you’re going on the attack?

CAIN: I’m going on the attack.

COSTELLO: You’re ready to do that.

CAIN: Yes, I am.

COSTELLO: Really, you’ve been the nice guy through all this.

CAIN: Yes.

COSTELLO: The likable guy.

CAIN: I’ve been trying. But they’re getting on my last nerve.

——-

Watch the video of Cain’s remarks here.

Opinion: CNN Debate Performances

I have tuned into each and every debate performance to date, and last night was no exception. The following is my initial impression of the topics and performances.

As expected, one of the early issues addressed was Cain’s 999 plan. Several of the GOP candidates, particularly Santorum and Bachmann, levied the attach that the 999 plan becomes a VAT (value-added-tax) on businesses. This argument is false. Cain’s plan does little more than eliminate double taxation and reduce the corporate tax rate from 35% to 9%. Additionally, it makes inroads to eliminate some of the estimated 12-28% imbedded taxes in products by the time they reach the consumer, because the sales tax is only leveraged at the register between business-to-consumer, not business-to-business. Santorum and Bachmann were either uneducated, misinformed, or intentionally deceptive. With Bachmann’s background as a tax attorney, it would seem to imply the latter.

If the candidates were being genuine with their criticisms, they could have more accurately communicated a distrust of government and a concern that it “could become” a VAT if future lawmakers abuse the structure. (Which, let’s admit, is a very valid concern.)

The candidates could have also argued the impact of 999 on lower-middle and lower-wage-earners. Under almost all scenarios, an individual or couple making less than $35,000-per-year will see their tax liability go up. That is indeed partly the aim of 999–expanding the tax base so that the 47% of Americans who pay zero taxes under the current tax code bear some of the responsibility. To me, this is a good thing. However, it admittedly is a hard point to defend, especially with the currently abysmal economic conditions of the economy. And we can rest assured that this will be one of the pillars of Obama’s class warfare rhetoric moving into the general election if Cain becomes the GOP nominee.

If one digs deeper, the reality is that all American’s benefit by the job-promotion aspects of what 999 accomplishes by making the US more competitive and attractive to manufacturing. But, this is difficult to counter in a debate where you are limited to 30-second answers.

Perhaps the former is why Cain seemed to have a difficult time finding his footing to combat the 999 arrows from all sides. Gingrich seemed to better refute the allegations against 999 than Cain himself.

There were a number of petty, argue-till-you’re-blue-in-the-face moments between candidates–most notably Santorum-Romney and Perry-Romney. While this seemed to be an intentional tactic by CNN to get good ratings, it made the debate tiresome to watch. This prompted me to wonder if the real winners of the debate weren’t, for once, those who chose to wait by the sidelines (Cain, Paul, Gingrich).

After the initial barbs against 999, Cain seemed to find decent footing. In my assessment, he may lose a couple of points between now and the November debates. However, it didn’t seem too devastating.

Though combative, Perry seemed the sharpest of any of his debate performances. My guess is that he is gaining a bit of confidence now that he “actually” has plans and policies that his campaign is beginning to roll out. Yet, there was something almost cold about him. And his hair and make-up team could have done a bit better (assuming he has one).

Gingrich still seems like the moderator in the room. He genuinely seems focused on making sure that voters understand the issues and realize that one of the arguing, bumbling individuals on stage is better equipped to lead the country than the one who had his TelePrompTer stolen this week (Obama).

Ron Paul has his moments of lucidity. In his recently announced economic plan, he promoted the elimination of 6 cabinet departments, $1 trillion in cuts, and a reduction in the President’s salary to just under $40,000. Truthfully, I don’t disagree with a broad portion of his ideas. He benefited last night from the lack of emphasis on foreign policy–the point where he begins to sound like the crazy ole’ man who lives in a shed by the river.

Santorum and Bachmann continue to scratch for attention. Bachmann continues to think that reaffirming she is a mom of a lot of kids is somehow going to earn her the nomination. Most of us love our moms. But, do we all think our moms are the best “person” to run the country for no other reason that being a mom…and, oh yeah, a tax attorney who doesn’t understand what a VAT is?

In sum, I would rank this debate as follows:

  1. Romney (because he is consistent and holds his ground)
  2. Cain (because he mostly stayed out of the fray)
  3. Gingrich (because he came across as the measured intellectual)
  4. Perry (for actually mentally showing up for this debate)
  5. Paul (because of his unique ideas and reasonable explanations)
  6. Santorum (because of his tenacity)
  7. Bachmann (because she proved she’s a moron)

Sadly, Bachmann and Perry were the two I was planning to “choose between” only a couple of short months ago. Anything can happen between now and the early caucuses.

Truthfully, my first choice for president decided not to enter the fray. And I would like to address him here:

Paul Ryan, if you decide to enter the race, I will willingly close down this blog and support you for the nomination. But, I would like you to choose Cain as your VP pick.

As I told everyone at the top of this post…these are simply my opinions. I’m sure yours vary greatly.

CNN Debate Slated for 7PM ET, Cooper to Moderate

The details for the CNN debate are set. CNN is hustling to complete the set before go-live on Tuesday evening. Anderson Cooper will be the moderator for the event, which begins at 8 ET.

Following several less-than-stellar moderators of recent debates, it will be interesting to see Cooper’s approach. Cooper is renowned for his emo-journalistic approach–more emotional that standard journalism–prompting curiosity whether Cooper will choose questions close to his own life. For example, might we see him target Cain for his views regarding homosexuality, since Cooper is a reported homosexual?

Contrasting with the recent Bloomberg TV debate, Cooper and CNN have been tight-lipped regarding the questions and themes of Tuesday’s tangle.

One can rest assured that 999 will again be a hot topic, as competitors seek to score points with voters by mounting attacks already established by the media since last week’s debate.

The jury is out whether Cain will choose to “manage” the debate toward major policy issues aside from his now-well-known economic plan. Energy and international policy, perhaps?

Read the article about the debate setup from the Las Vegas Review Journal.

999 Calculator Revised for Social Security Separation

I’ve been receiving requests to show how the calculation is effected with social security rather than standard employment income. I have revised the calculator to take social security income into account.

Download my new 999 calculator here.

The assertion is true that many who are on social security will end up paying more in visible taxes with 999 because, under the current tax code, social security is untaxed up to $14,160 per person. 999 does not tax social security as income either. However, if those living off of social security spend all of what they earn on new goods, they will pay more through sales tax.

However, the counter-point is that prices for products theoretically come down because the 999 plan eliminates embedded taxes on the production of goods. For simplicity, roughly 28% of every dollar in a product’s price is the result of embedded taxes.

Here is an explanation from Herman Cain’s own mouth on Mike Huckabee’s show this weekend.

Let’s assume for simplicity that a shirt costs you $10. If 28% is embedded tax, the product could be sold for $7.20 and still be profitable for the business. In my opinion, it is doubtful that retailers will award the entire difference back to the consumer, so let’s say their marketing department decides to price it at $7.99 instead. At $7.99, plus 9% sales tax, you would end up paying $8.71. That’s still below the pre-999 sales price. Better yet, if you buy used goods (where possible), you wouldn’t even pay the extra 9%.

So, while the calculator would seem to imply a difficulty for those on social security, the principle illustrates the contrary. Bear that in mind as you run your personal tabulations.

MSNBC Again Asserts Republicans Racist for Supporting Cain

Danged if you do, danged if you don’t. It seems Conservatives these days can’t win on the race debate. Folks who chose not to vote for Obama, or those who seek to remove him from office, are repeatedly derided as racists. Yet, when those same individuals support a candidate for office because he isn’t a career politician (and just so happens to be black), they are again as derided as racists.

Read the article from the Washington Examiner.