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Herman Cain to make announcement December 3, 2011

Herman Cain has been discussing his White House bid with his wife Gloria

US Republican Herman Cain is expected to announce on Saturday whether his run for the White House will continue.

The Georgia businessman has been under mounting pressure to quit following an adultery allegation, which he denies.

He discussed with his wife, Gloria, on Friday whether to press on with his campaign, which has also been rocked by sexual harassment claims.

The former pizza executive has gone from obscure longshot to unlikely frontrunner to tabloid fodder.

While Mr Cain’s ratings have slumped, support for former House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich has surged.

Mr Gingrich has now overtaken Mitt Romney in some opinion polls on who should be the Republican candidate to challenge Barack Obama for the White House in November 2012.

‘Sexual affair’

Mr Cain’s campaign said there would be a “major announcement” on Saturday from Atlanta, Georgia, where he is due to open a campaign headquarters at 11:00 (16:00 GMT).

At a town hall meeting in South Carolina on Friday, Mr Cain – who led the Republican race barely more than a month ago – dismissed the stories about him as “garbage”.

But the 65-year-old also said: “I am reassessing because of all this media firestorm stuff.

“Why? Because my wife and family come first. I’ve got to take that into consideration.”

Mr Cain then went to his suburban Atlanta home for his first face-to-face meeting with Gloria, his wife of 42 years, since the adultery allegations came to light.

An Atlanta woman, Ginger White, 46, came forward on Monday to claim she had a 13-year affair with him.

Speaking to MSNBC on Thursday, Ms White denied they had been in love, saying: “It was a sexual affair – as hard as that is for me to say.”

While rejecting any suggestion of an affair with Ms White, Mr Cain has acknowledged helping pay her monthly bills and expenses, and that his wife did not know about the friendship.

New poll crash

His crunch decision looms a month before Iowa holds the first of a series of state-by-state contests, known as primaries and caucuses, that will help pick the Republican nominee.

Ginger White claims Herman Cain paid for her flights to meet him

A new poll by the Des Moines Register newspaper in that state shows Mr Cain’s support among Republican voters has plunged to 8%, from 23% in October.

The Cain campaign has been on damage-control mode since it emerged a little more than a month ago that a restaurant lobby group had paid settlements to two women who claimed he sexually harassed them while he was president of the organisation in the 1990s.

A third woman accused Mr Cain of making improper sexual advances, while another said he put his hand up her skirt in 1997 when she approached him for help finding work.

He has denied wrongdoing in all cases.

This week, his campaign unveiled a Women for Herman Cain webpage with testimonials from female supporters, led by Gloria Cain.

The former Godfather’s Pizza chief executive – who has never won an election – was propelled by conservative Tea Party support to the front of the Republican field in October.

Portraying himself as a business-savvy, anti-establishment outsider, he captured the spotlight with his folksy charm and catchy 9-9-9 tax reform proposal.

But supporters were also alarmed when he made confusing comments about abortion and badly fumbled a question on Libya policy in a recorded interview.

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Bachmann’s campaign manager calls CBS exec ‘a piece of sh–‘ after debate November 15, 2011

November 15, 2011

by legitgov


Bachmann’s campaign manager calls CBS exec ‘a piece of sh–‘ after debate 14 Nov 2011 Michele Bachmann’s campaign manager lashed out at a CBS executive after he was accidentally cc’d on a network email detailing a plan to marginalize the Minnesota Congresswoman at Saturday night’s Republican debate. “John Dickerson should be fired,” the Rep.’s political handler Keith Nahigian told reporters after the debate, CNN and Fox reported. “He is a piece of sh–. He is a fraud and should be fired.”

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Wall Street Journal circulation figures to be investigated October 13, 2011

The newspaper circulation watchdog is set to launch an investigation into Rupert Murdoch‘s flagship Wall Street Journal Europe, following the resignation of its publisher amid allegations that it artificially boosted its sales figures.

The Audit Bureau of Circulations said it had “recently” decided to take another look at the sales scheme that sold bulk copies to students at cut prices on the basis of “new evidence”, although it did not elaborate on when exactly it received the evidence.

Andrew Langhoff, one of Murdoch’s most senior European executives, resigned on Tuesday after the Journal said he had inappropriately agreed to publish two articles as part of a commercial agreement with a Dutch company. On Wednesday the Guardian reported that the Dutch company had been involved in a scheme designed to artificially boost the newspaper’s sales figures.

The scheme included a contract struck by WSJE’s circulation department and a Dutch consulting firm, called Executive Learning Partnership, which ran from May 2009 until April 2011 and involved sponsorship in the paper and an agreement to publish articles promoting the firm.

Through Executive Learning Partnership and other companies, the Journal had effectively been secretly buying thousands of copies of its own paper at low prices, boosting its audited circulation. In total, 41% of the Wall Street Journal Europe’s audited circulation of 75,000 came via this method.

ABC, the official body responsible for auditing the sales of newspapers in the UK, said on Thursday that it had originally reviewed the scheme when it began in 2009 and was “deemed to be compliant with the rules” that govern the category of circulation measurement called “multiple copy subscription sales”.

A second audit of the WSJE’s circulation, carried out to provide a sales figure for the six-month period to the end of December, also gave the newspaper a clean bill of health with ABC stating that it “found the scheme to be in order”.

However, in the light of the resignation of Langhoff and the further allegations, ABC has now changed its stance. “More recently we have re-examined the scheme based on some new evidence available,” said Jerry Wright, chief executive of ABC UK. “There now appears to be additional new information which may give grounds for further investigation.”

According to the official ABC definition of what constitutes a “multiple copy subscription sale”, which it has deemed that the WSJE’s scheme fell into, is as follows: “These are multiple subscriptions purchased on a contractual basis by an organisation for their employees/members, or for students at educational establishments. The final recipients of these copies do not need to be known but the publisher must be able to demonstrate that the subscription copies are delivered to the same fixed pool of individuals. Payment may be by someone other than the recipient”.

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GOP presidential debate: Herman Cain steps into the spotlight October 11, 2011

As the Republican presidential candidates prepare for yet another televised debate, the greasy pole of GOP opinion produces yet another frontrunner: Herman Cain.

Following in the footsteps of would-be leaders Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney and Rick Perry comes the former pizza company chief executive, who boasts of his lack of elected experience, disdains foreign policy and offers simple policy prescriptions that include deep tax cuts, unbending social conservatism and little else.

It’s enough, though, to make him the “flavour of the month” – to quote Sarah Palin – for Republican grassroots looking for a saviour; those who distrust Romney, spurned Bachmann as too lightweight and were disappointed by Perry’s inept entry into the contest.

Over the weekend Cain was feted at the Values Voters Summit in Washington DC, thanks to his rousing address to the conference of religious conservatives and a second-place showing in the summit’s presidential straw poll, behind the methodically-organised Ron Paul.

Now Cain literally finds the spotlight on him in Tuesday night’s debate in New Hampshire, televised by Bloomberg TV. His surge in national opinion polls means he will sit in centre-stage, next to Romney, in the debate itself. And his new status as a frontrunner may see him under attack from other candidates such as Paul and Bachmann.

Cain’s sudden popularity isn’t unusual in the history of Republican politics, where outsiders have caused some startling upsets in the early stages of GOP presidential campaigns. Pat Robertson, Steve Forbes, Pat Buchanan and even Mike Huckabee are some of the names that flared briefly, only to sputter out.

Cain’s rise in national polls can be directly traced to the disappointing performance of Rick Perry, after several uninspiring debate performances and Perry’s inability to overcome a few distinctly unconservative policies as governor of Texas.

The conservative and Tea Party wings of the modern Republican party – which is to say the majority of the GOP – have four core issues: abortion, gun rights, taxation and immigration. Perry fails on the immigration question, because he opposes the simplistic reaction of building a massive fence along the border with Mexico. “If you build a 30-foot wall from El Paso to Brownsville, the 35-foot ladder business gets real good,” was Perry’s pithy response. More crucially, with Perry as governor, Texas offers favourable local tuition fees to some children of illegal immigrants living in the state.

(To explain: US states routinely offer cheaper tuition fees for in-state residents attending a state or public university, such as the University of Texas or Texas AM, considerably below the fees charged to students from out of state. For example: at the University of Texas at Austin, in-state tuition for an undergraduate engineering course is $5,000. For non-residents, the fee is nearly $17,000.)

Perry has nothing to fear on the other three conservative shibboleths, but immigration remains his weak spot, especially when coupled with his apparent inability to hold his own in a debate.

All is not yet lost for Perry. He showed his fundraising prowess by taking in $17m in contributions, the most of any candidate in the latest fundraising round. And one good debate performance may be all he needs to get back on track – especially if the relatively inexperienced Cain finds the spotlight a little too hot.

The other main contender remains Mitt Romney. He appears to have gained nothing from Perry’s slump – a worrying sign that he has too much baggage to win the Republican nomination.

As a former governor of Massachusetts, Romney enjoys very high name recognition in neighbouring New Hampshire, site of the first Republican primary. But even there, his polling lead is just 38% to Cain’s 20% – while only about one in four of those said they would “definitely” vote for him come the election. That’s a disturbingly soft level of support in what should be Romney’s strongest state, and a sign that his history of policy flip-flops leaves him vulnerable.

Tuesday debate in New Hampshire is on the economy, with the three main rivals all having a strong suit. Perry can point to Texas’s record of growth and job creation under his governorship, while both Cain and Romney have a business background – Cain as a chief executive of Godfather’s Pizza and Romney as a venture capitalist. And all three have something to prove.

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Steve Jobs: from parents’ garage to world power October 6, 2011

1955 Steve Jobs is born in San Francisco on 24 February 1955, and adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs of Mountain View, California.

1974 He takes a job at videogame company Atari Inc but resigns after a few months to travel to India.

1975 Jobs and his friend Steve Wozniak build a prototype computer in the garage of Jobs’ parents.

1976 Jobs and Wozniak co-found Apple Computer to sell their machines, staring with the Apple I.

1977 The Apple II is launched. The first successful mass-market computer, it remains in production for 16 years.

1980 The company’s second computer, the Apple III, is launched but proves a commercial failure, plagued by faulty construction.

1983 Apple launches the Lisa, the first personal computer controlled by on-screen icons activated at the click of a mouse. But it also proves unsuccessful.

1984 Apple launches the Macintosh computer, which wins rave reviews but suffers disappointing sales.

1985 Apple closes half its six factories, sheds 1,200 employees (a fifth of its staff) and declares its first quarterly loss. Jobs loses a boardroom battle against John Sculley and is forced out of the company.

1986 Jobs buys the computer graphics division of Lucasfilm Ltd, the company owned by Star Wars director George Lucas, and founds what would become Pixar Animation Studios.

1987 Macintosh II is launched in 1987.

1988 Jobs founds NeXT Computer, but it was not a financial success, selling only 50,000 computers.

1995 With Jobs as its chief executive, Pixar releases Toy Story, the first full-length computer animated film, which is a worldwide box office smash.

1996 Apple buys NeXT for $429m (£277m) and uses Jobs’ technology to build the next generation of its own software.

1997 Jobs becomes Apple’s interim chief executive.

1998 The iMac is launched, a self-contained computer and monitor. Its design eclipses the clunky build of Apple’s competitors.

2001 The first iPod goes on sale in October and proves a huge success.

2003 The iTunes music store is launched in April.

2007 The first iPhone is launched. Jobs decides to drop the computer part of Apple’s name.

2010 The iPad is launched in April and 3m of the devices are sold in 80 days. Nearly 15m iPads are sold worldwide by the end of the year. Apple’s annual sales reach $65bn – a huge rise from $8bn in 2000.

2011 Apple continues to roll out new products to great demand including the iPad 2 and iPhone 4.

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