Looks like the political world really is starting to take Herman Cain seriously: Anonymous “sexual harassment” charges have been exhumed against him by Politico, the left-tilting, Web-centric press organization.
How else to explain the hit piece, which reported that Cain — now riding high in the polls — was the target of sexual-harassment allegations some 15 years ago while head of the National Restaurant Association?
Cain strongly denies the allegations, insisting that “I have never sexually harassed anyone” — though he acknowledges that a complaint had been made.
And he says the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigated and found “no basis” to support the charge.
However, the eatery trade group apparently delivered a “five-figure” payday to the two women who brought the charges.
Cain says he was unaware of any payments, largely because he’d recused himself and left the matter to the group’s counsel and human-resources department.
But, he said, “it couldn’t have been very much money, or I would have had to know about it.”
As for the story itself, Cain was adamant: It’s “a witch hunt.”
Clearly, questions remain unanswered.
Politico certainly is no help — one of the story’s authors declared: “We’re just not going to get into the details of exactly what happened with these women beside what’s in the story.”
Which leaves Cain trying to explain — what exactly?
The New York Post (Nov. 1)
World Series lessons
Tens of thousands of fans recently lined the streets of downtown St. Louis to see the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals in a parade route that ended with a celebration inside a packed Busch Stadium. The parade was an exclamation point on an incredible season that included a historic World Series, including an epic Game 6.
Some may argue that baseball is just a game. To some extent, that is true. However, baseball can teach us a great deal. The Cardinals never gave up. Even when the hope of making postseason play in August was minimal at best, the Redbirds put forth their best effort. This year, that effort led to a World Series title.
Cardinals manager Tony La Russa recently announced his retirement. After 16 seasons with the Cardinals and leading the organization to three World Series appearances and two titles, the future Hall of Fame manager holds a special place in Cardinals history.
In addition to finding a new manager, the organization will have other key decisions to make about the 2012 season. But for now, it’s time to enjoy a World Series championship.
Congratulations to the Cardinals, and thanks for an incredible season.
Southeast Missourian, Cape Girardeau (Nov. 2)
Naive about Wall Street
Wall Street still runs the show on Capitol Hill, even with the lessons learned from the Great Recession and the imperatives of the Dodd-Frank financial reforms.
The Securities and Exchange Commission adopted rules for those who operate hedge funds and other private investment funds, and then pared back its proposed oversight to the very largest.
These oh-so-clever devices — think mutual funds for the nation’s wealthiest — have not been subject to review or reporting requirements. These murky investments ran into trouble before with messy, expensive consequences.
Regulators must expect the worst. No sizable investment, especially fancy market plays fueled by borrowing, stands in isolation. The more inventive the scheme, the greater the ripple effect when things go wrong.
That was not the argument the SEC heard from the financial industries and their minions in Congress: Rules intended to provide transparency for regulators and investors would be too expensive to implement and monitor. Timely, detailed reports would be too onerous for the fund managers.
The SEC and other policymakers genuflected toward Wall Street. Only the largest funds would have to parse out information. The cherry on top was elimination of penalties for perjury and deceptive filings.
SEC chair Mary Schapiro was upbeat as she predicted the new rules would give the commission and public, “insight into hedge fund and private managers who previously conducted their work under the radar, and outside the vision of regulators.”
In a regulatory environment where reforms are watered down before they start, Schapiro’s observation sounds inexplicably naive.
The Seattle Times (Nov. 2)