- - Sunday, September 18, 2011

CAMPAIGN

Cain mum about who is giving him economic advice

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain is quick to discuss his economic plan. But he isn’t saying just who helped him create it.

Mr. Cain calls it the 9-9-9 plan. It would set a corporate flat tax at 9 percent and a personal flat tax at 9 percent, and establish a 9 percent national sales tax. The payroll tax, the estate tax and the tax on capital gains would be eliminated.

He was asked on “Fox News Sunday” who helped him develop the plan. Mr. Cain said he isn’t at liberty to identify anyone but the chairman of his economic advisers.

Mr. Cain says the others are well-known business owners, but he doesn’t want to compromise their confidentiality by naming them publicly.

The Cain campaign didn’t respond to a request for information.

HOUSE

Boehner: U.S. must be strong partner for Israel

House Speaker John A. Boehner says the U.S. commitment to Israel should be stronger now as the American ally faces challenges to its existence in the volatile Middle East.

In an address Sunday to the Jewish National Fund conference in Cincinnati, the Ohio Republican dismissed suggestions that Israel has isolated itself, and he argued that the Jewish state stands above others as the “one true beacon of freedom and opportunity” in the region.

The U.S., he said, must stand by Israel’s side “not just as a broker or observer - but as a strong partner and reliable ally.”

A text of Mr. Boehner’s address was made available in advance.

Mr. Boehner’s remarks come on the eve of the U.N. General Assembly session in New York, which is shaping up as a difficult diplomatic period for Israel.

The Palestinian Authority intends to seek recognition of statehood despite the threat of a U.S. veto in the Security Council and the strong objections of the United States and Israel.

TEXAS

Roots of Bush, Perry rift based on nixed appointment

AUSTIN | So what’s at the heart of the rift between Texas Gov. Rick Perry and his predecessor, George W. Bush?

It seems that when Mr. Bush was governor, he refused to appoint Mr. Perry’s brother-in-law to the Texas appeals court bench.

With Mr. Perry now running for president, the spotlight is shining on the tense relationship between the two Texans and their allied camps.

The spat goes back to 1995.

Mr. Perry was the state’s agricultural commissioner and Mr. Bush was the newly sworn-in governor.

Mr. Perry lobbied for the appointment of his wife’s brother, Joseph E. Thigpen, to an appeals court vacancy. Mr. Bush turned him down.

It’s unclear whether bad blood between the two could make it harder for Mr. Perry to attract large donors in Texas and around the country who once backed Mr. Bush.

WHITE HOUSE

Obama’s back-to-school speech set for Sept. 28

President Obama will deliver his annual back-to-school speech at a District high school later this month.

The White House says the Sept. 28 speech at Benjamin Banneker Academic High School will give the president a chance to speak directly to students across the country. The event hasn’t been without controversy. His first year in office, some parents threatened to pull their students from class during the president’s speech. Conservatives complained that Mr. Obama was trying to push his political agenda in the classroom.

Mr. Obama’s past back-to-school speeches have encouraged students to study hard and take responsibility for their educations. He also urged them to set goals and believe in themselves.

Schools are not required to broadcast the speech.

CAMPAIGN

Bill Clinton: Cheney trying to cause 2012 mischief

Bill Clinton says he has high regard for Dick Cheney’s political skills even if the former vice president tries to cause mischief for Democrats.

Mr. Cheney recently praised Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton as one of the Obama administration’s “most competent” members and said it would be “interesting to speculate” how she might be as president.

Mr. Cheney suggested, tongue in cheek, that she might want to challenge President Obama in 2012, and said that he wouldn’t discourage a primary fight.

Mr. Clinton told CBS’ “Face the Nation” that he’s “gratified whenever anyone says anything nice” about his wife, but one of Mr. Cheney’s skills “is sowing discord among the opposition” and he doesn’t want to help Mr. Cheney’s strategy succeed.

Mr. Clinton did elbow Mr. Cheney, saying “I admire that he’s still out there hitting the ball.”

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