Saturday Reads: Is that a Giant Weta in your pocket, or are you just pretending to be Herman Cain…Posted: December 3, 2011
Minx here with you today and tomorrow…so let’s get the party started.
Well, it is an exciting day…this afternoon at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, LSU and UGA meet to decide who gets the championship of the SEC. This isn’t the only show in town…also happening today in Atlanta…Herman Cain’s big press announcement.
I am just going to go ahead and get some of the Cain stuff out-of-the-way. Here are a couple of links Boston Boomer sent me last night: Cain launches website smearing accusers as ‘pathetic husbandless women’ | The Raw Story
Herman Cain’s struggling presidential campaign has created a new website that they say is a “fellowship of women dedicated to helping elect Herman Cain” — but the real purpose seems to be to destroy the reputation of his accusers.
While the website “Women for Cain” is chaired by Cain’s wife, Gloria Cain, it does not offer a single statement by her. Instead, it asks other women to share “thoughts and encouragement for Mr. Cain.”
The candidate has described the accusations of sexual impropriety as “character assassination on me,” but it may be the alleged victims whose characters are being assassinated with the comments his campaign has chosen to publish.
He is really trying extra hard to earn the women vote isn’t he?
Featuring a stock photo of women giving thumbs up — a photo that’s been used by numerous other websites — it quotes a woman named Barbara Dayan.
“Dear Mrs. Cain Don’t pay attention to these pathetic husbandless women who are jealous of women like you in happy long-term marriages,” Dayan wrote. “These vindictive women can’t find a husband or keep one. They are like stalkers who try to latch on to any man who shows a bit of kindness or attention to them.”
“[A]s a REAL woman I do not believe for one second any of these ‘women’ that have crawled out from under a rock somewhere to defame you and bring pain to you and your family,” Cheryl Vaglienti remarked. “They are pitiful creatures at the very least, and evil at the most. Isn’t it convenient that they have suddenly become offended by supposed advances by you now after all these years, my goodness, poor babies, how have they been able to bare up under the pain for all these oh so many years… LIARS, LIARS, LIARS…GO GET THEM HERMAN AND PLEASE DO NOT QUIT!!!!”
You can read some more comments “chosen” or should I say, “allowed” by Cain’s campaign. I don’t know, but my guess is Herman is writing his own material…if he isn’t then he must be friends with all these women, and giving them some “financial assistance,” you know…cause he is such a great guy.
In the next link, Herman Cain’s Marriage Shaken by Infidelity Charges – The Daily Beast
A close friend of one Cain’s two children explained that Herman and Gloria Cain’s marriage has seen its share of trouble over the years and his attraction to other women always played a huge role in the friction.
In this May 21, 2011 photo, Gloria Cain, left, accompanies her husband Herman Cain as he announces his run for Republican candidate for president in Atlanta. , David Goldman / AP Photo
“It never felt like a real marriage when I was around them,’’ says the friend. “Mostly he was always gone and his wife seemed to be OK with it. Not being together seemed the norm for their marriage, and Gloria didn’t seem to mind. His kids didn’t seem to mind either. ’’
The friend noted that when Cain was around, he seemed completely in his own world.
“He was king of his castle and no one questioned him,’’ says the friend. “It was an uncomfortable set-up for an outsider like me to be around. He was so indifferent to everyone. But I liked Gloria. She was warm and kind.”
Several people who know the Cain family say Gloria and Herman have even lived in separate residences over the years. “They stayed together for good face. They’re old school where you stay just because. Herman likes to give the appearance of living this holier-than-thou life. But it’s anything but,” says someone close to the family.
Well, there is a bright note to all this…it seems they have lived separate lives…for a long, long time. I wouldn’t be surprised if Cain backs out of the race, and Gloria finally files for divorce.
Hey, BTW, did you see the 1986 Human Resources video from Godfather’s Pizza? Herman Cain’s 1986 Sexual Harassment Training
In this 1986 sexual harassment training video for Godfather’s Pizza, Herman Cain explains the dos and don’ts of sex in the workplace.
Ha Ha Ha…got ya didn’t I?
More after the jump…
Alright, next on the list for today’s news round-up: Iranian diplomats fly out as Tehran threatens ‘action’ – Middle East – World – The Independent
The last remaining Iranian diplomats in Britain left the country last night, expelled by the Foreign Secretary after an attack on the UK embassy and diplomatic residence in Tehran outraged Western capitals and plunged diplomatic relations with the Islamic republic to their lowest level in recent times.
Officials from the Foreign Office confirmed that the diplomats had departed on a plane from Heathrow last night. Earlier, Iranian embassy staff were seen packing bags into a removals van, ahead of the 2pm deadline. An Iranian militia group suspected to have been involved in the attack on the British Embassy has pledged to give them a heroes’ welcome when they return to Tehran today.
At least they got out without any problems.
On Thursday, EU ministers agreed to “broaden existing sanctions” against the country, which may include an embargo on Iranian oil to increase financial pressure on the regime. The US Senate also approved wider sanctions. Staff at the Iranian consulate responsible for the official documents of thousands of Iranian UK residents remained at their posts yesterday as a steady stream of anxious ex-pats collected passports and ID cards. Staff at the consulate, a short walk from the embassy, did not know how long they would be able to carry on with their work, but insisted they were not diplomats and were only “here to help people”.
Here is something you all may have missed this past Thanksgiving weekend: The News You Did and Didn’t Hear From Big Pharma This Thanksgiving
The pharmaceutical industry had two things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving season. Three new wrongdoing settlements that broke right before the holiday were buried among yam and traffic jam news–and a new sleeping pill that isn’t new at all but just Ambien with a new name became a leading “news” story.
Of course everyone knows that the time for corporations and governments to dump bad news is Friday at 5:00 PM because no one hears the tree fall in the forest and by Monday something else will have happened. Did anyone notice that Merck pled guilty to criminal marketing of the painkiller Vioxx and agreed to pay $950 million before the holiday? In addition to the $4.85 billion it has already paid to victims?
Well, Merck is only one of three Pharmaceutical companies that got a media reprieve…
Then there’s Pfizer. The drug giant agreed to pay more than $60 million to resolve federal probes into alleged bribes to overseas doctors to use Pfizer drugs, reported the Wall Street Journal before the holiday. Penalties were probably reduced because Pfizer was willing to help the government by “ratting” on its competitors, says the Journal.
Meanwhile, the Chicago Tribune reported before Thanksgiving that Abbott is about to settle lawsuits that it illegally marketed the epilepsy drug Depakote to nursing home directors, geriatric doctors and other long-term care facilities and greased palms with kickbacks. Abbott has set aside $1.5 billion for a settlement, says the Trib.
That Depakote is the drug I was on for twenty years, it turned my liver toxic…Just a side note, on a soap box: Depakote was one of the epilepsy medications that had fewer mental side effects. And by that I am talking the kind of things that all epilepsy medication seem to do…they turn your brain into an awkward stupified lump of grey matter. These barbiturates can slow down the thought process, communication becomes an ordeal because your brain is working slower than you want it to…it sounds strange, but it is like you know what you want to say…but the brain does not allow your mouth to form the words fast enough. It is this self-realization that really makes things difficult. You are completely aware of the slowness that is causing your obvious deficiency. What was once so simple, forming a sentence, becomes a concentrated excruciating act. When you add the other horrible physical side affects, the anti-seizure drugs available are real health hazards. This is one area of medicine that needs new and safer drugs…but since epilepsy medication does not cause erections…make wrinkles go away…or grow hair on bald heads…it comes down to a lack of enthusiasm. (I’ll get off my soap box now…)
While the Merck, Pfizer and Abbott settlements may look sizeable, copping to a settlement allows drug companies to keep the Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement which is their lifeblood. Profits from the alleged wrongdoing usually dwarf penalties, too. “Even with these large fines, it is still good business to promote drugs illegally,” says Dr. Adriane Fugh-Berman, director of PharmedOut, a project at Georgetown University Medical Center.
You may not have heard the screams, but this was the week the drug industry fell off a cliff.
The most profitable medicine in history, which has been earning up to £8bn a year, came out of patent in the world’s biggest market on Thursday. And it was just one of four bestsellers that lost protection in the United States that day.
Lipitor is the ultimate blockbuster drug, an anti-cholesterol pill that tackles the effects of modern lifestyles and helped Pfizer to be the world’s biggest drug dealer. It comes out of patent across Europe in May. The company is spending a fortune to persuade patients to continue taking its medicine, but cheaper generics will savage income from this drug.
It is the most dramatic example yet of how Big Pharma is hurtling over the so-called “patent cliff”, leaving the industry in a big panic. Until recently, this was the most profitable legal business on the planet; now it faces an uncertain future. It is losing control of 10 mega-medicines this year alone and dozens more over the next few years.
I guess it pays to promote drugs illegally…especially if you are losing 10 of your brand name prescription drugs patents.
Big Pharma’s business model is at breaking point. Not just because regulators are more risk-averse and health services demand cheaper drugs and more generics. But because they can no longer just hire tens of thousands of researchers to create new generations of blockbuster drugs that will work on vast swathes of the population, earning back the billions they cost to develop and trial.
We have moved into a new era of medicine thanks to astonishing advances in biology and genetics. Perhaps the best example is paracetamol, around since the 19th century and one of the most commonly used household drugs. But only this year have researchers at King’s College London finally understood how it works on the human body, opening up the prospect of safer and more effective painkillers.
The consequence of such advances is drugs that work less like a blunderbuss and more like a sniper’s rifle, aiming their medicinal bullets at smaller groups of people. So we have a drug such as Herceptin, so effective for treating breast cancer – but only for women with a particular receptor on their cancerous cells.
With such possibilities, like being able to target smaller groups of patients, I wonder if the push for a larger sales target of people will cause more obvious kinds of medicines to be developed. I’m thinking along the lines of Viagra and “cosmetic” types of drugs. The demand is certainly out there…
Sen. Scott Brown’s campaign and his political action committee are hustling for millions of dollars from K Street lobbyists and Wall Street interests to keep the Massachusetts seat of iconic Democrat Edward M. Kennedy in Republican hands.
Financial service lobbyists and other K Street advocates have for weeks been working hard to help the freshman senator win his high-stakes battle for re-election against Elizabeth Warren, a liberal Harvard law professor. Warren is anathema for many finance-sector lobbyists and Wall Street leaders who abhor the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau— a centerpiece of the financial services overhaul—of which Warren was the intellectual architect.
Even though Brown’s campaign had over $10.5 million in the bank as of Sept. 30, lobbyists are in overdrive to raise millions more because Warren’s campaign is off to a fast start and a new poll shows her with a slight edge over Brown.
Yeah, Warren has them running scared!
Other advertising firepower on Brown’s behalf is expected to come from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The business behemoth will be engaged early and heavily in Massachusetts with ads as the Chamber did, to the tune of about $1 million, when Brown won his special election in early 2010.
Inside the Beltway, fundraising has been heating up too. On Nov. 30, veteran financial services lobbyist Dan Crowley, a partner at K & L Gates, hosted a breakfast fundraiser for the senator that drew about a dozen other lobbyists. “There is no Senate race that more clearly reflects the choice for the future direction of the country,” Crowley said, pitting the role of government versus the role of the private sector.
With a year to go before the election…the GOP is really making it clear, Warren is a threat. The article details all the GOP lobbyist plans and reports on various fundraisers Scott Brown supporters are banking on.
Boston Boomer also sent me these next two links, check it out: Walker administration would charge Capitol protesters for police, cleanup – JSOnline
Gov. Scott Walker’s administration could hold demonstrators at the Capitol liable for the cost of extra police or cleanup and repairs after protests, under a new policy unveiled Thursday.
The rules, which several legal experts said raised serious free speech concerns, seemed likely to add to the controversy that has simmered all year over demonstrations in the state’s seat of government.
The policy, which also requires permits for events at the statehouse and other state buildings, took effect Thursday and will be phased in by Dec. 16. Walker administration officials contend the policy simply clarifies existing rules.
I wonder if these new policies have language that denotes what kinds of “free speech” are required to pay up before the Gov. Walker’s administration will issue these “event” permits.
But Edward Fallone, an associate professor at Marquette University Law School, said the possibility of charging demonstrators for police costs might be problematic because some groups might not be able to afford to pay.
“I’m a little skeptical about charging people to express their First Amendment opinion,” he said. “You can’t really put a price tag on the First Amendment.”
Oh, I beg to differ…everything has a price tag./snark
Here is a summary of the fine print:
Groups of four or more people must obtain permits for all activity and displays in state buildings and apply for those permits at least 72 hours in advance. The policy requires permits for 100 or more people outside the Capitol. The policy does provide some leeway for spontaneous gatherings triggered by unforeseen events.
Groups holding demonstrations could be charged for the costs of having extra police on hand for the event. Costs associated with a counterprotest could be charged to that second group. The costs would be $50 per hour per Capitol Police officer – costs for police officers from outside agencies would depend on the costs billed to the state. The police could require an advance payment as a requirement for getting a permit and also could require liability insurance or a bond.
“Our goal is to provide equal and continual access for all Wisconsinites to their state buildings in a way that is reasonable and safe,” Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch said in a statement. “This policy ensures our ability to appropriately staff events for the safety of those participating.”
Bob Dreps, a lawyer who handles First Amendment cases including work for the Journal Sentinel, noted that the state can put some restrictions on the “time, place and manner” of free speech. But he said it was “laughable” to define a rally as four or more people.
“They still have to be reasonable on their face,” Dreps said of the rules.
And what does the ACLU think? Chris Ahmuty, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin, said he was,
…concerned about whether some groups would be turned away from the Capitol because they lacked the means to pay the possible costs. He said he was likewise concerned that the policies such as charging or requiring insurance could be applied by state officials differently according to whether a group supported them.
Ahhh, First Amendment Rights…enjoy them while you can.
Now, I completely missed this next link, so thank you BB! Norquist Tells GOP That Raising Taxes On The Middle Class Doesn’t Count As A Tax Increase | ThinkProgress
Norquist met with Republican members today to let them know that opposing the extension of the payroll tax cut — which would provide many families an extra $1,000 a year — would not amount to supporting a tax increase, National Journal’s Billy House reported today:
That stands in contrast, however, to Norquist’s position on tax cuts for the wealthy. Norquist has repeatedly warned GOP members about voting in favor of repealing the Bush tax cuts for the rich or tax hikes on millionaires, even verbally sparring with a member of a group of millionaires advocating for higher taxes on themselves last month in Washington, D.C. And yet, when it comes to tax cuts for the middle class meant to drive economic recovery, Norquist clearly takes a different stance.
For more on this, see this link: GOP Willing To Raise Payroll Taxes On 113 Million Households To Spare 345,000 Millionaires From Tiny Surtax | ThinkProgress
Allowing the payroll tax cut to expire at the end of the year would hit middle-class families with a $1,000 tax increase, providing a substantial drag on the economy. In fact, according to Macroeconomic Advisers, allowing the payroll tax cut to lapse “would reduce GDP growth by 0.5 percent and cost the economy 400,000 jobs.” Other estimates are even worse, with Barclays’s estimating that a payroll tax increase could say 1.5 percent off of GDP growth.
The GOP has, time and again, blocked any legislation that would increase taxes by the slightest amount on the ultra-wealthy, even with tax revenue at a 60 year low, taxes on the rich the lowest they’ve been in a generation, and income inequality out of control. Instead, Republicans would prefer to raise taxes on the middle-class, knocking the economy where it can least afford it.
Norquist shows time and time again that he is the one controlling the Government of the United States. His influence is treasonous and I can’t believe he is getting away with this shit!
I don’t want to end it on a sour note, so here is the link that connects to the title of today’s post: Man Finds Huge Giant Weta, Single Largest Insect on Record | Geekosystem
Pictured above is a giant weta. Actually, it’s a giant giant weta. You see, giant wetas are, as a species, larger than any other species of insect currently in existence. The one above is the largest particular giant weta, a goliath of goliaths. The specimen was found by former park ranger Mark Moffett on Little Barrier Island in New Zealand, the only place giant wetas are known to currently live. Surprisingly enough, Moffett was actually looking for the bugs, so the discovery was something to be celebrated, not something to be feared and haunted by…
Giant wetas are in the genus Deinarida, which is Greek for “Terrible Grasshopper.” It looks like a giant wingless cricket…hmmm…that gives me a great idea for a Pinocchio remake. Can you see it? Herman Cain as Pinocchio (or Hermancchio) only it isn’t his nose that grows longer if he lies…let’s just say it gives the phrase “wooden boy” a whole new meaning. Co-Starring one of these giant wetas as Jiminy Weta, the “official conscience” of Hermancchio.
Will the real Herman Cain conscience make its appearance later today?
I doubt it, but it would be cool to see a Jiminy Weta on Cain’s shoulder, making sure the Godfather of Pizza does the right thing!
So what are you reading and blogging about today?