# Herman Cain

Weekend open thread: Falls from grace

What’s on your mind this weekend, Bleeding Heartland readers? This is an open thread.

Ben Adler published a highly entertaining article a few days ago about former presidential candidates Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, and Mike Huckabee. Can’t say I was surprised to learn they are all making big money off spam e-mails selling dubious products to former political supporters.

Questions persist over New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s involvement in lane closures on the George Washington Bridge. I doubt the disgraced former Port Authority official has any real dirt on Christie. If he gets the immunity from criminal prosecution he’s seeking, I expect his so-called “evidence” about the governor will turn out to be a whole lot of nothing. Furthermore, if Christie runs for president in 2016, I believe his signing New Jersey’s version of the DREAM Act will be more of a liability in the GOP primaries than anything related to the bridge scandal. Nevertheless, the controversy does appear to have Christie rattled.

Who’s old enough to remember Dinesh D’Souza? He made a name for himself during the 1980s as a conservative provocateur on the Dartmouth campus. He later became a popular paid speaker and occasional talking head. (Unofficial nickname: Distort D’Newsa.) In late January, he was indicted for allegedly breaking federal campaign finance laws. Naturally, D’Souza claims his prosecution may be “a kind of payback” for his documentary film “which links the supposedly anti-colonialist views of [President Barack] Obama’s father to the policies of the Obama presidency.”

Closer to home, misconduct involving federal grants has ended the careers of two former Iowa State University faculty. Palaniappa Molian was a tenured professor in the highly-regarded College of Engineering when he spent federal grant funds on personal expenses unrelated to his research. Last week he pled guilty to felony charges of making false statements; he will be sentenced in April and could face up to five years in prison. It’s not clear yet whether criminal charges will be filed in a much worse case of fraud involving former ISU Assistant Professor Dong-Pyou Han, who had to resign in December after falsifying research on a vaccine for AIDS. James Bradac of the National Institutes of Health told the Des Moines Register that Han’s test results were “the worst case of research fraud he’d seen in his 24 years at the federal agency.”

GOP caucus campaign and debate discussion thread

Seven Six Republican presidential candidates debate tonight in Des Moines, the first time the group has debated since Herman Cain left the race and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich became the front-runner. I plan to live-blog tonight’s debate here, but I wanted to post this thread early to give Bleeding Heartland readers a chance to talk about the race. Links and recent news from the campaign are after the jump.

UPDATE: Scroll down for the live-blog.

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New Register poll and GOP presidential race discussion thread

Iowa Republican caucus-goers have switched their allegiance from one joke candidate selling books to another. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich leads the field in the latest poll by Selzer and Co for the Des Moines Register. Meanwhile, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney trails the latest “not Romney” contender by a larger margin than in the Register’s other polls this year.

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GOP foreign policy debate discussion thread

Yet another Republican presidential candidates’ debate takes place tonight in Washington. CNN’s Wolf Blitzer will moderate as eight candidates discuss foreign policy: former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain, Texas Governor Rick Perry, former Senator Rick Santorum, former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, and Representatives Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul.

A foreign policy debate should allow Paul to stand out from the crowd. My guess is that Santorum will take the lead in challenging his call to negotiate with potential enemies and end most U.S. military interventions.

The latest CNN/ORC International nationwide poll indicates that Newt Gingrich is indeed the new Republican flavor-of-the-week, leading Romney by 24 percent to 20 percent. I expect several rivals for the “not Romney” niche to take Gingrich on tonight. Romney will probably sail above the fray.

Share any thoughts about tonight’s debate or the Republican presidential race in this thread. UPDATE: I posted a few thoughts after the jump.

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New Iowa poll shows Cain leading Paul and Romney (updated)

Former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain and Representative Ron Paul have pushed former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney into third place in a new Iowa Republican poll for Iowa State University, the Cedar Rapids Gazette and KCRG TV. However, less than two months before the Iowa caucuses, the majority of likely participants are still not committed to any candidate.

UPDATE: Now Rasmussen has a new Iowa poll showing former House Speaker Newt Gingrich way ahead among likely caucus-goers, followed by Romney and Cain. Details are below.

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