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Our Country is Not a Video Game: Herman Cain, “Sim City,” Plagiarism, and Ripping Off the 99%

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The supposed “meteroric” rise of Herman Cain (if you call 25-27% in a few polls meteroric, which apparently the so-called MSM do) has been in the works for years. But for the seriousness of his attempts to destroy the economic security of most Americans (including moi) with his 9-9-9 plan, it would be laughable when Herman Cain presents as a presidential candidate. The emptiness, phoniness and hypocrisy runneth over. Cain has had the gall to blame unemployment, economic crisis and all the related negatives on the people suffering because of Bush, Republican and conservadem deregulators, and corporate malfeasance. But it is so much worse than those things.  

Some Values!

When Herman Cain talks about what is wrong with America, what he (a wealthy man) really means is that, in his mind, he doesn’t make “enough.” He wants Americans to hand over more of their hard-earned money in the form of tax increases, so people like him can pay less. 9-9-9 is the trifecta of arch-conservative ideas because it: 1) Destroys Social Security (by ending the payroll tax); 2) Destroys Medicare (by ending the payroll tax) and 3) Makes the middle class and poor pay thousands more in taxes, while helping the rich pay less than ever.

9-9-9 would cost most Americans thousands more each year, while cutting the taxes of those who have had it very good these past disastrous years for the rest of America. The regressive 9-9-9- “plan” contains a 9% federal sales tax (on top of state sales taxes) on everything we buy, even food and medicine. This is following Cain’s previous statement that a national sales tax is a bad idea. Talk about duplicity.

What he is really about is exerting pressure through his enablers in the press to force Americans to just give up, roll over and play dead. He wants us to just give up standing up to Republicans, Conservadems, Big Oil (which is behind the Tea Party and Americans for Prosperity), and Wall Street and go back to being the sleeping giant we were. Cain thinks turning us into Chile is a good idea. The rewrite of history is staggering.

The Truth about Chile

The late Milton Friedman, of the Chicago School of Economics, was an adviser to the infamous dictator, Augusto Pinochet, before and during Pinochet’s rule. As Naomi Klein chronicles in Shock Doctrine, he advised the dictator to administer rapid-fire shock and “transformation” of the economy.  Public schools were “replaced by voucher-funded private ones (p. 12). Friedman claimed that rapid-fire shock would “facilitate the adjustment” of the population to the pretense of economic reforms. Pensions were raided. People tortured.  Protesters were snatched from their homes. “Mistakes were made.” (It wasn’t just Chile. The economies of numerous Latin American countries were hijacked and their successor hollowed-out shells were propped up by US foreign policy.) The Chilean citizens were very unhappy.  Later, even following partial changes demanded by the Chilean people, there was no semblance of what they hard before, no economic justice and no restoration of those things the wealthy elite stole from the population.  This is what Herman Cain wants for America?

It’s Not Nice (and, btw, Wrong) to Plagiarize!

9-9-9 is a con.  But it has a familiar ring to it. It is strikingly similar to other flat tax proposals, but mostly, it is similar to a “plan” programmed into the computer/electronic game Sim City, the simulation game which gives kids computer game simulations of all manner of life “experiences.” So his faux “economic adviser,” none other than National Review editor Rich Lowry, has a credibility problem, but you’d be hard-pressed to know it because the fawning media are all over 9-9-9. Over and over, they pretend that Americans love it” because of its simplicity. They also make clear how deeply, the Koch-like “thinkers” are driving their propaganda into the population. They are conditioning our children and grandchildren via the Sims. They are trying to condition you and me through every conceivable media outlet, including NPR.

Some Outsider!

For another, it is Machiavellian at best to “run” (he really has no ground operation) as a Manchurian Candidate (one of at least three) at the behest of the Koch Brothers. That is really ironic given the extreme fringed wrong-wing has kept up a mantra that President Obama was a supposed Manchurian candidate in their “birther” antics.  The fact that Cain is a Koch spokesperson explains why extreme conservatives support him for the time being, at least with their response to polls if not work and donating money.

For years, Cain has spoken at the Koch and Peter Peterson funded Americans for Prosperity events. This is the source of Herman Cain’s supposed popularity. He’s been doing the conservative talk and radio circuit. The most conservative thirty percent of this nation like his screw-the-poor (and middle class) ideas. Here’s more about his speaking engagements.


AFP tapped Cain as the public face of its “Prosperity Expansion Project,” and he traveled the country in 2005 and 2006 speaking to activists who were starting state-based AFP chapters from Wisconsin to Virginia. Through his AFP work he met Mark Block, a longtime Wisconsin Republican operative hired to lead that state’s AFP chapter in 2005 as he rebounded from an earlier campaign scandal that derailed his career.

Block and Cain sometimes traveled together as they built up AFP: Cain was the charismatic speaker preaching the ills of big government; Block was the operative helping with nuts and bolts.

Think about whether you want a Koch spokesperson as president.  Koch is more concerned with it’s ability to pollute and to drill (frack) without impediment than to behave as a good steward of this nation. Koch is hell-bent about ending teh EPA, killing our pension system, destroying Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, education and any other program Americans value than about what is actually good for America.  

Take a look at some recent articles concerning Koch alleged dealings with Iran here.  Here is an article about environmental pollution by Koch Industries. Here is another.

Cain’s supposed meteoric rise to the “top” candidate despite waging no real campaign is a sham. And in Palinesque fashion, he also has a book and book tour.  

Run America Like a Pizza Chain?

Only an idiot, or someone who thinks that’s what we are, would or could suggest we run America like a business, such as his pizza chain. Being the CEO of a pizza chain hardly qualifies one to be president. His other corporate activities are not exactly the stuff which qualifies one to run this country (see below).  

But consider the concept: Run government like a business?  The problem with this is that the chartered responsibility of corporations is to make a profit on behalf of stockholders (not the CEOs and boards).  The responsibility of government is to serve the public and the public good.  Its responsibility is good stewardship, making our country better on our behalf and by good management of our resources. There is a huge difference between using sound management practices and running a country like a business.  It is the former that the government should do at all levels.

Failing to Practice Good Stewardship

Not Herman Kaine.  Check out this article about how Cain used Enron-like principles while serving on the Board of an energy company.


But scrubbed from Cain’s official story is his long tenure as a director at a Midwest energy corporation named Aquila that, like the infamous Enron Corporation, recklessly dove into the wild west of energy trading and speculation-and ultimately screwed its employees out of tens of millions of dollars.

But that’s not all…


Cain served on the board of directors throughout Aquila’s ill-fated trading misadventure and the subsequent collapse of the company’s retirement fund. In fact, he chaired the board’s compensation committee, which, according to the lawsuit, had direct oversight of the push to get employees to invest more and more in Aquila stock. As chair of the compensation committee, Cain also saw fit to dole out $30 million in bonuses, not including stock options, to the top five execs at Aquila in 2002, with the company’s stock plummeting. A month after the Kansas City Star reported on the hefty bonuses in July 2002, the company laid off 500 employees, and the losses to employees holding company stock had reached hundreds of millions of dollars.

Everything About Him Is Bogus

Even the “Black Walnut” Haagendas analogy is bogus.  As Eugene Robinson points out, the company hasn’t made that flavor for some time, yet Herman Cain purported it was his favorite flavor.  There’s nothing either sincere nor legitimate about any Herman Cain “candidacy.”  He’s just one more of a long line of Koch Brothers minions/puppets/friends, at least three of which are “running” for president (Cain, Bachmann, Perry).  It is as simple as that.