The multi-volume Herman Cain saga gets a brand new chapter as a Georgia woman claims their 13-year affair stretched into this year
Updated 6:33 p.m. A woman in Georgia told a local TV station in Atlanta Monday that she had a 13-year affair with presidential candidate Herman Cain that ended just eight months ago, right before he entered the Republican primary.
Ginger White, described as a "businesswoman" in the report by the Fox affiliate, supplied copies of her cell phone bills that showed 61 calls and texts over four months ending this September. When the station texted the number, Cain called back, according to the report.
White said she came forward because she was offended by the way Cain attempted to minimize and dismiss allegations of sexual harassment that have come to light over the last month. "It bothered me that they were demonized," she said.
White said she met Cain in the late 1990s when he was president of the National Restaurant Association and she liked a presentation he gave in Kentucky. She knew he was married, she said, but the affair "was fun. It was something that took me away from my humdrum life at the time." Cain, she said, flew her around and showered her with gifts.
In response to the story, Cain's lawyer, Lin Wood, issued a statement that was breathtaking in its avoidance of a direct denial of the affair: He noted that in this case, Cain was not accused of harassment or assault but of "private, alleged consensual conduct between adults," and contended that this is "not a proper subject of inquiry by the media or the public."
That was starkly different from the line Cain himself took a couple of hours before the story aired. Attempting to get out in front of the news in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Cain flatly denied the charge. He acknowledged knowing White, whom he characterized as an "acquaintance that I thought was a friend." But he said there was no affair.
Both Cain and his wife had the same reaction to the news, the candidate said: "Here we go again." He said he would not drop out because he could "take the lumps"; he said he was in it "for the grandchildren" -- his and everyone else's -- at whatever personal cost.
If you're keeping score at home, Cain now has five official "accusers": the two women to whom the restaurant association doled out five-figure payments to settle sexual harassment charges while he headed the group; another association staffer who told the Associated Press she was harassed but chose not to file a complaint; and Sharon Bialek, who worked for an affiliated organization and has alleged that Cain fondled her and tried to force her head into his lap.
Now, the multi-volume scandal surrounding Cain has another seamy chapter. And unlike the previous ones, it doesn't involve decade-old allegations.
For all the debate about Cain's damage control strategy -- has he been consistent enough, proactive enough, forthright enough to dispel the charges? -- it's the existence of this drip-drip-drip of further accusations, not his response to them, that's causing the damage.
Cain's candidacy looked to be quietly fizzling as conservative voters seized on a new potential favorite, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Cain still polls in the mid- to high teens nationally, putting him in third place in this extremely volatile Republican field. But the more time he spends in this unwelcome spotlight, the harder it gets for his defenders to stay loyal.
How a strange face in a random 19th-century newspaper ad became a portal to a forgotten moment in ASCII art history
One of the joys of modern technology is how easy it is to immerse yourself in the past. Every day, more libraries and archives are pushing pieces of their collections online in easily browsable interfaces.
Why aren’t the critics comparing Donald Trump to a fascist acknowledging that the office he seeks is too powerful?
Wake up, establishment centrists: Donald Trump is coming!
After the Vietnam War and Watergate and the spying scandals uncovered by the Church Committee and the Nixon Administration cronies who nearly firebombed the Brookings Institution, Americans were briefly inclined to rein in executive power—a rebuke to Richard Nixon’s claim that “if the president does it, that means it’s not illegal.” Powerful committees were created to oversee misconduct-prone spy agencies. The War Powers Resolution revived a legislative check on warmaking. “In 34 years,” Vice President Dick Cheney would lament to ABC News in a January 2002 interview, “I have repeatedly seen an erosion of the powers and the ability of the president of the United States to do his job. I feel an obligation... to pass on our offices in better shape than we found them to our successors."
For some, meditation has become more curse than cure. Willoughby Britton wants to know why.
Set back on quiet College Hill in Providence, Rhode Island, sits a dignified, four story, 19th-century house that belongs to Dr. Willoughby Britton. Inside, it is warm, spacious, and organized. The shelves are stocked with organic foods. A solid wood dining room table seats up to 12. Plants are ubiquitous. Comfortable pillows are never far from reach. The basement—with its own bed, living space, and private bathroom—often hosts a rotating cast of yogis and meditation teachers. Britton’s own living space and office are on the second floor. The real sanctuary, however, is on the third floor, where people come from all over to rent rooms, work with Britton, and rest. But they're not there to restore themselves with meditation—they're recovering from it.
For centuries, philosophers and theologians have almost unanimously held that civilization as we know it depends on a widespread belief in free will—and that losing this belief could be calamitous. Our codes of ethics, for example, assume that we can freely choose between right and wrong. In the Christian tradition, this is known as “moral liberty”—the capacity to discern and pursue the good, instead of merely being compelled by appetites and desires. The great Enlightenment philosopher Immanuel Kant reaffirmed this link between freedom and goodness. If we are not free to choose, he argued, then it would make no sense to say we ought to choose the path of righteousness.
Today, the assumption of free will runs through every aspect of American politics, from welfare provision to criminal law. It permeates the popular culture and underpins the American dream—the belief that anyone can make something of themselves no matter what their start in life. As Barack Obama wrote in The Audacity of Hope, American “values are rooted in a basic optimism about life and a faith in free will.”
FindFace's technology may one day allow anyone to identify you with their phone.
Imagine you’re sitting in a coffee shop. Out of the corner of your eye, you see a stranger pointing his phone in your direction. The next day, you get an email from someone claiming to have seen you at the coffee shop. He’s asking you on a date. You have no idea how he got your contact information, let alone how he identified you.
The power to identify total strangers on the street is the advertising pitch for a new wave of startups hoping to capitalize on rapidly advancing facial recognition technology. But in Russia, it’s already a reality.
FindFace, an app launched by a Russian startup two months ago, lets its users identify strangers from pictures of their faces. It does so by matching the photos against profile pictures from VK—also known as VKontakte—a Russian social networking website similar to Facebook. Its founders have touted the app as great for building friendships or starting relationships with strangers. But the privacy risks are enormous.
The refugee crisis in the Dominican Republic and Haiti shows the human consequences of extreme anti-immigration policies—and how voters get used to them.
An unprecedented refugee crisis, economic inequality, and fears of terrorism are helping stoke the rise of extreme anti-immigrant politicians across Europe and the United States. Hungary’s Viktor Orban, France’s Marine Le Pen, Austria’s Norbert Hofer, and yes, Donald Trump, are riding a much-remarkedsurge in popular support, with Hofer just losing his presidential bid by a razor-thin margin. All have embraced extreme nativist rhetoric, but meanwhile a different nationalist experiment is already running its course, and uprooting thousands on the basis of their ancestry, under a leader who is by most accounts a moderate technocrat. And the Dominican Republic’s President Danilo Medina just claimed a landslide reelection victory.
Narcissism, disagreeableness, grandiosity—a psychologist investigates how Trump’s extraordinary personality might shape his possible presidency.
In 2006, Donald Trump made plans to purchase the Menie Estate, near Aberdeen, Scotland, aiming to convert the dunes and grassland into a luxury golf resort. He and the estate’s owner, Tom Griffin, sat down to discuss the transaction at the Cock & Bull restaurant. Griffin recalls that Trump was a hard-nosed negotiator, reluctant to give in on even the tiniest details. But, as Michael D’Antonio writes in his recent biography of Trump, Never Enough, Griffin’s most vivid recollection of the evening pertains to the theatrics. It was as if the golden-haired guest sitting across the table were an actor playing a part on the London stage.
“It was Donald Trump playing Donald Trump,” Griffin observed. There was something unreal about it.
Three Atlantic staffers discuss “The Door,” the fifth episode of the sixth season.
Every week for the sixth season of Game of Thrones, Christopher Orr, Spencer Kornhaber, and Lenika Cruz will be discussing new episodes of the HBO drama. Because no screeners are being made available to critics in advance this year, we'll be posting our thoughts in installments.
Her patchy Billboard Awards performance is drawing the inevitable flak, but fortunately other artists will get their chances to pay homage.
What’s a tribute, anyway? Sunday night’s Billboard Music Awards, the most soul-crushingly cynical of the soul-crushingly cynical music-awards shows, encouraged viewers to take an expansive definition of the word. Britney Spears’s opening set, where she determinedly walked through a medley of her hits and deep cuts, felt like nothing so much as a tribute to her past relevance. Kesha’s powerful version of “It Ain’t Me Babe” was less an homage to Bob Dylan than to her times as a more carefree pop star. Celine Dion doing Queen’s “The Show Must Go On” was an act of personal, public mourning.
But the most divisive performance of the night was the only memorial that was really billed as such—Madonna’s pitchy but pious rendition of “Nothing Compares 2 U” and “Purple Rain” with Stevie Wonder. The performance was, at its most basic level, a tribute to Prince, but like so much of the evening it felt like a statement of futility: Something’s gone forever, and the only, imperfect thing to do is sing about it.