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GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain once said foreign policy was not his strong suit.
And he keeps proving himself correct.
Yesterday, Cain said he might release all the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay in exchange for one American hostage.
Apparently, Mr. Cain didn't get the memo - we don't negotiate with terrorists ! Can you imagine an American president releasing Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and friends under ANY circumstances ? I can't.
Cain later said he "misspoke", using the favored obtuse verb of the political class. I would have preferred if Cain said "I was totally out to lunch on that question".
This isn't Cain's first unclear foreign policy position. When asked about the assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki, Cain originally said he was against it, but then changed his mind and said he was for it. He's also been vacillating on his comment about putting an electric fence on the Mexican border. He said he was joking (leave the jokes to Jon Stewart, Mr. Cain. You are supposed to be running for President), and then he said maybe he would put up the electric fence. Pick a position, Cain. These are not small issues.
As stated at one of the above links, you get the impression that Cain is making up his foreign policy answers as he goes along. As Cain says himself, he is not a politician. If that means he doesn't read from a prepared script or a teleprompter like Obama does, that's one thing. That's a plus. But if it means he hasn't really thought through some of these foreign policy issues, that's something else entirely. That means he's unprepared.
Cain also has a problem with his 999 tax plan. Namely...Congress will NEVER pass it. Democrats and Republicans alike have problems with it. One of the architects of Cain's 999 plan, economist Stephon Moore, is already saying the 9% national sales tax should be removed and replaced with a 9% payroll tax. This reflects the conservative concern that Cain is opening up another revenue stream for the federal government, when the feds have plenty of revenue streams already. Conservatives fear the 9-9-9 plan could eventually become the 20-20-20 plan. Democrats are concerned that the tax is regressive and raises taxes on the poorer segments of society (in political parlance, the word "regressive" means everyone is taxed at the same rate, which is...bad?...for some reason. Democrats favor discriminating against people).
In the polls, Cain and Romney are neck and neck...for the moment.
And now for a little comic relief, let's play...
Are You Smarter Than A Wall Street Occupier ? (Isn't everyone ?)
It's a quiz given by New York magazine to the Zacotti park squatters, and yes, they are as clueless as they seem. Nearly 90% of them don't know the top marginal tax rate for the "rich". 84% of them don't know what the Dodd-Frank Act is. 94% of them mistakenly believe the government spends more on the military than on health care and pensions. The Occupiers don't know anything about the very issues they are protesting. Classic.