The LA Times reports the U.S. is increasing counter-narcotics efforts in Afghanistan. The Drug Enforcement Administration is sending dozens of DEA agents to Afghanistan. "The increased DEA effort is aimed at more than a dozen drug kingpins whose networks[...]
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I opened a Twitter account under the name Fruit_F_Fly. I’m enjoying it, I think. It’s kinda fun. You get to feel like you’re Jesus Christ and other Twitterers follow you around like they’re your desciples. I just got a note saying Michele Bachmann is one of my “desciples” now. Wretched thing. Now she’s going to [...]
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~ Focuses on green jobs, tax cuts, worker training and transportation ~
~ Builds on Va.?s distinction as low-tax, business-friendly state ~
ROANOKE ? Democratic candidate for governor Creigh Deeds today announced a comprehensive plan to create jobs and renew Virginia?s economy through targeted tax cuts for small businesses, innovative partnerships to generate new jobs in the alternative energy industry, creative initiatives to jump-start an economic recovery in rural regions, as well as a commonsense approach to finally solve Virginia?s statewide transportation challenges through responsible, bipartisan leadership.
In addition, the Deeds Plan to Jump Start the Economy targets additional resources to worker training and education, including a health care option for the temporarily unemployed and new tools to help responsible homeowners avoid foreclosure. It also commits to expand access to broadband and wireless communications to the entire state.
?Our plan will jump-start our economy, create jobs, reduce taxes on small businesses and position Virginia to succeed and win in a new economy once we recover from this challenging time,? Deeds said. ?This plan also provides targeted resources to help families facing unemployment, workers in need of job training, and students interested in high-wage, high-demand jobs.?
Deeds unveiled the proposal during a visit to downtown Roanoke?s State & City Building, the first building in the Roanoke and New River Valleys to receive the U.S. Green Building Council?s prestigious Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEEDŽ) certification. It is one of the first buildings in Virginia to combine LEED-certification and historic preservation.
Deeds was accompanied by U.S. Senator Mark R. Warner, who won high marks during his 2002-06 term as Virginia Governor for his focus on increasing educational and economic opportunities across the Commonwealth.
?Virginia led the nation in telecom in the 1980s, we helped lead the Internet revolution during the 1990s, and I firmly believe that the next generation of jobs and wealth will be found in the ?green? economy,? Senator Warner said. ?Creigh has put together a road map that allows Virginia to grasp that opportunity and take advantage of all of those possibilities if we prepare Virginians to take a leadership role in the alternative energy field.?
The Deeds Plan to Jump Start the Economy builds on efforts of Warner and Governor Timothy M. Kaine, which led to the Commonwealth?s distinction as the nation's Best State for Business [Forbes & CNBC]. It also includes bold initiatives to cut the cost of state government, identifying and implementing additional accountability measures and efficiencies to enhance citizen access to government services to extend Virginia?s hard-won reputation as the country?s Best Managed State [Governing Magazine & The Pew Charitable Trusts].
The Deeds Plan to Jump Start the Economy focuses on four key programs:
Immediate solutions for small business owners, homeowners, and workers:
ˇ Give tax credits to businesses that create jobs.
ˇ Help unemployed workers purchase emergency health insurance.
ˇ Double the Governor?s Opportunity Fund and put $10 million into job training.
ˇ Create a Rural Business Fund to provide loans to small businesses in distressed areas.
ˇ Cut red tape in the small business permitting process.
ˇ Increase state contracting for small, women and minority-owned (SWAM) businesses.
ˇ Finish the last mile of broadband by 2013.
ˇ Offer loan guarantees for Virginia community college students.
ˇ Provide grants to community colleges to expand nursing programs.
ˇ Boost investments in the tourism industry.
Strategies for making Virginia a leader in green energy industries:
ˇ Build a Virtual Energy Research Triangle to coordinate R&D in green energy industries.
ˇ Set a mandatory renewable standard of 15 percent by 2020 and 22 percent by 2025.
ˇ Fund weatherization projects that help low-income Virginians save on their energy bills.
An innovative statewide transportation plan:
ˇWork with the General Assembly and local stakeholders to design and implement a long-term, statewide, multi-modal transportation proposal in his first year as Governor.
ˇ Bring high-speed rail, and expand traditional freight and passenger rail.
ˇ Reduce rush-hour traffic through telecommuting and flextime tax credits.
ˇ Promote smarter land use planning.
ˇ Strengthen oversight of the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).
ˇ Invest in the port and work with military contractors and the Navy.
ˇ Expand road and rails projects in Southwest and Southside.
ˇ Ease congestion on the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel.
A plan to make state government leaner and more efficient:
ˇ Name an Efficiency Improvement Director from the business community
ˇ Require state government to purchase drugs in bulk to save money.
ˇ Promote energy savings in state facilities.
ˇ Institute competitive bidding for durable medical equipment purchases.
ˇ Streamline consumer services to maximize efficiency.
ˇ Create a state employee workforce plan.
ˇ Conduct an unclaimed property auction.
Complete details on the Deeds plan can be found at www.deedsforvirginia.com/economy
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?When I?m invited in to meet with the Speaker or the president,? he said, ?I go into those meetings thinking that I don?t need to come around to their opinion ? they need to come around.?[...]
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On the July 17 edition of CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight, guest host Kitty Pilgrim debunked claims that President Obama does not have a valid birth certificate and is therefore ineligible to be president. Pilgrim said that CNN "found no basis" for such claims and cited "overwhelming evidence that proves that his birth certificate is real, and that he was born in Honolulu," including Obama's birth certificate posted online by FactCheck.org. Pilgrim, a regular correspondent for Lou Dobbs Tonight, issued the categorical rebuttal two days after Dobbs, for whom she was substituting, repeatedly claimed on his radio program that Obama needs to "produce a birth certificate" and cast doubt on the "peculiar" birth certificate posted by FactCheck.org "purporting to validate the president."
Dobbs vs. CNN on resolution of birth certificate claims
On CNN, Pilgrim definitively rebutted conspiracy theories about Obama's birth, stating that Obama released his birth certificate and that a CNN investigation "found no basis for the questions about the president's birthplace":
PILGRIM: Now, questions about the president's place of birth have been asked and answered many times since before the election, and the president's birth certificate says he was born in Hawaii. The state's Republican governor and other officials have backed that up. CNN has fully investigated the issue, found no basis for the questions about the president's birthplace, but the controversy lives on, especially on the Internet.
By contrast, Dobbs accused Obama of refusing to resolve the questions that had been raised, claiming that he has yet to "produce a birth certificate":
DOBBS: This isn't one of those things that goes away quite as easily as I -- at least I thought. I thought we were talking about a bunch of folks that were on the left, or on the right, you know, the fringe that gets a little excited about, you know, tinfoil on their heads and that sort of thing. Well, guess what, folks? There are some issues here that should be really resolved. What's really crazy about this is all the president of the United States has to do is produce a birth certificate. That's all that has to be done, and it would be over.
DOBBS: This is a man [an Army Reserve major challenging Obama's citizenship] who should be taken seriously. There are real questions here that need to be answered. And people talk about, quote-unquote, the lunatic fringe are the only ones interested in this, and it turns out that reasonable people should be interested, and reasonable -- excuse me -- reasonable minds have to understand what's going on. And this can be dismissed with one -- the production of one simple little document, and that's a birth certificate. It's extraordinary.
Dobbs vs. CNN on FactCheck.org's examination of Obama's birth certificate
On CNN, Pilgrim pointed to the birth certificate posted online by FactCheck.org in stating that Obama's "birth certificate is real" and that he was born in Hawaii:
PILGRIM: There's overwhelming evidence that proves that his birth certificate is real, and that he was born in Honolulu on August 4, 1961. If you'll just bear with me, I'll run through a little bit of the evidence, and then we can get to this discussion. Now, the Annenberg Political Fact Check, which is a nonpartisan group, went to Chicago to view the birth certificate last year, and they released photos and this statement, "FactCheck.org staffers have now seen, touched, examined and photographed the original birth certificate. We conclude that it meets all of the requirements from the State Department for proving U.S. citizenship. Our conclusion: Obama was born in the U.S.A. just as he always has said."
By contrast, Dobbs repeatedly cast doubt on the birth certificate posted online by FactCheck, saying he gets a "little annoyed" looking at it. Dobbs described the online birth certificate as a "peculiar little document" that has "some issues."
DOBBS: But I really want to know what's going on. I have no idea what the real -- what the reality is here, but I'm one of those morons who, when I look at something that says "certification of live birth" on FactCheck.org, I assume it's certification of live birth, not -- you know, that's it. FactCheck.org is a terrific website, and they do a wonderful job. But when I'm looking at a certificate of live birth that is certified to be a certification that there is another document that I haven't seen, I get a little annoyed.
Dobbs' remarks about wanting to see a birth certificate with "a signature" echo Alan Keyes' remarks on CNN, during the segment in which Pilgrim debunked the claims regarding Obama's place of birth. Keyes claimed that the evidence of Obama's birth is lacking and if "[y]ou ask me to prove that I was born in New York City at the time and hospital I say, and I will give you a certified copy of a full birth certificate with a doctor's signature, the hospital, and everything else. I won't direct you to some photograph on the Internet."
Pilgrim was not the first CNN personality to debunk claims that Obama has yet to produce a valid birth certificate. As Media Matters noted, prior to his July 15 radio program, Dobbs' CNN colleagues have called such claims "total bull" and "a whack-job project," and have characterized those who make such claims as "conspiracy theorists" who wear "tin foil hat[s]."
From the July 17 edition of CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight:
PILGRIM: Well, an Army Reserve major is again raising controversy over President Obama's place of birth. Now, the major challenged his deployment orders, claiming that President Obama wasn't born in the United States, and that renders his orders illegal.
Now, a former presidential candidate, Alan Keyes, also filed a lawsuit challenging the president's right to hold an office, and a hearing will be -- on that suit will be held on Monday.
Now, questions about the president's place of birth have been asked and answered many times since before the election, and the president's birth certificate says he was born in Hawaii. The state's Republican governor and other officials have backed that up. CNN has fully investigated the issue, found no basis for the questions about the president's birthplace, but the controversy lives on, especially on the Internet.
Joining me now is Orly Taitz, and she represents the Army major and filed the Keyes lawsuit. Former presidential candidate Alan Keyes joins us. And on the other side, John Avlon, who is a columnist for the DailyBeast.com and author of Independent Nation; and Errol Louis, columnist for the New York Daily News and a CNN contributor, also an attorney.
And so, let me, just before we start, bear with me a bit. There's overwhelming evidence that proves that his birth certificate is real, and that he was born in Honolulu on August 4, 1961. If you'll just bear with me, I'll run through a little bit of the evidence, and then we can get to this discussion. Now, the Annenberg Political Fact Check, which is a nonpartisan group, went to Chicago to view the birth certificate last year, and they released photos and this statement, "FactCheck.org staffers have now seen, touched, examined and photographed the original birth certificate. We conclude that it meets all of the requirements from the State Department for proving U.S. citizenship. Our conclusion: Obama was born in the U.S.A. just as he always has said."
The Republican governor of Hawaii, Linda Lingle, on record, she says Obama was indeed born in her state, and we should note, she did support John McCain. So, we also have a copy of the Honolulu Advertiser, the newspaper, August 13, and the Hawaii Star-Bulletin, August 14, 1961, both announcing Barack Obama's birth.
Also, October last year, the director of the Hawaii Department of Health wrote a letter, stating, "I have personally seen and verified that the Hawaii State Department of Health has Senator Obama's original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedure."
PolitiFact.com reissued their results from their investigation they conducted in June of last year, and they say, quote, "Since we published Obama's birth certificate, questions about its authenticity have been frequent and fierce. After reviewing the evidence, we are confident of our rulings."
And this is the last one; thanks for bearing with me. The White House press briefing this week, reporter from the WorldNetDaily pressed again about the birth certificate. The White House press secretary, Robert Gibbs, said this following comment:
GIBBS [video clip]: Do all of your listeners and the listeners throughout this country the service to which any journalist owes those listeners, and that is the pursuit of the noble truth, and the noble truth is that the president was born in Hawaii, a state of the United States of America.
PILGRIM: Now, Alan Keyes, you've been patient letting me get through all that, but what more do you need to be convinced?
KEYES: Some evidence. And the evidence is something that President Obama is strenuously blocking. You ask me to prove that I was born in New York City at the time and hospital I say, and I will give you a certified copy of a full birth certificate with a doctor's signature, the hospital, and everything else. I won't direct you to some photograph on the Internet and a bunch of hearsay statements that would not be accepted as evidence in any court of law.
And so the very simple question is: Why spend $800,000 to a million dollars blocking the birth certificate, blocking records at school and college that would in any way have a bearing on the question --
PILGRIM: All right, Alan --
KEYES: -- both of his birth and of his citizenship claims at various times in his life.
PILGRIM: Let me let --
KEYES: Why is he going to all this trouble if, as they say, the matter is resolved? Can't be resolved by a bunch of statements and assertions.
PILGRIM: OK, Orly, we have to keep this quicker --
PILGRIM: -- but please tell me what you --
TAITZ: OK, Obama never provided his birth certificate. What he provided is certification of live birth that was issued last year that does not have the name of the doctor, does not have the name of the hospital, does not have any signatures. Do you know that Hawaii has a statute, 338, that allows foreign-born children of Hawaiian residence to get Hawaiian birth certificates? Did you know that?
PILGRIM: Errol, I would like you to respond.
LOUIS: Listen, I think -- I think what we have here is a case where under the guise of saying, well, we can't trust whether or not he should be president because we don't have the evidence, it's actually the reverse. These are folks -- and there are a number of them, and some of them are raising money, like WorldNetDaily, which is as far as I'm concerned, running a scam, where they're selling all kinds of bumper stickers and stuff like that. And I don't know what Miss Taitz is taking in the way of legal fees.
TAITZ: Excuse me, if you --
LOUIS: They're raising legal fees from across the country --
TAITZ: I'm doing this pro bono.
PILGRIM: All right.
LOUIS: -- and the reality is they don't accept --
TAITZ: It's pro bono.
LOUIS: -- they don't accept that the president is the president --
TAITZ: No, no, no, no.
LOUIS: -- and, therefore, they work backward and there will never be enough proof to satisfy them.
PILGRIM: All right, John, I have to let --
AVLON: You've offered a mountain of evidence in addition to two birth announcements. That's a pretty deep conspiracy. What we have here --
TAITZ: Can I respond to this?
PILGRIM: In just one second.
AVLON: What we have here is Obama derangement syndrome. This is pathological hatred of the president posing as patriotism.
TAITZ: This is nonsense. This is total nonsense. You have never investigated this.
AVLON: Ambassador Keyes says that President Obama has called him a radical communist.
TAITZ: This is absolutely irrelevant. Sir, this is absolutely irrelevant.
AVLON: You on your blog have repeatedly referred to the administration as Gestapo SS. Which is it? Get your story straight. Is he a Nazi or a communist? You guys are nuts.
TAITZ: You don't know what you're talking about.
PILGRIM: Orly, I have to ask you to let everyone at least have their say before you respond to it.
PILGRIM: I believe we're out of time, I'm sorry to say. Great discussion. Orly Taitz, Alan Keyes, Errol Louis, and John Avlon.
TAITZ: You know what, let me just mention one more thing. In order to be the president, you have to have two parents that are citizens. Obama's father was never a citizen of this country.
PILGRIM: All right.
TAITZ: He was a British citizen.
PILGRIM: Orly, we have to call it there. I'm sorry. Thank you very much -- all of you -- for joining in this very lively debate.
From the July 15 edition of United Stations Radio Networks' The Lou Dobbs Show:
DOBBS: Well, later this hour I'll be talking about the Alan Keyes lawsuit. Folks, this is something -- I have to tell you. When David -- when Major Cook, Stefan Cook -- decided to resist his deployment to Afghanistan -- we learned of it yesterday -- on the basis that Barack Obama is not legitimately president of the United States because he's not a natural-born citizen, I thought, "Here we go with the lunatic fringe. This is a bunch of quackeroos going after him."
It turns out that the Army just rescinded the deployment order to Afghanistan for the major. Alan Keyes -- we talked with his attorney -- Major Cook's, and Alan Keyes' attorney, Orly Taitz -- I mean, I've learned more here in the last day about natural-born citizenship, what documents are available for the president of the United States,and what aren't -- I mean, it's truly crazy. And I decided we'd do something on this, you know, on this show, just to get it out of the way.
But you know what? This isn't one of those things that goes away quite as easily as I -- at least I thought. I thought we were talking about a bunch of folks that were on the left, or on the right, you know, the fringe that gets a little excited about, you know, tinfoil on their heads and that sort of thing. Well, guess what, folks? There are some issues here that should be really resolved. What's really crazy about this is all the president of the United States has to do is produce a birth certificate. That's all that has to be done, and it would be over. So, we're going to be talking about that this hour. We're going to be talking with you.
As a matter of fact, I want to go to the phones right now. I want to talk to Jay in Reno, Nevada. Jay, good to have you with us on The Lou Dobbs Show.
CALLER: Hey, Lou, it's great to hear you. The reason -- there's a whole bunch of points that the media has overlooked. The only thing that the Obama people have is ridicule; they don't have answers, they just make fun of anybody who asks a question. But, you know, his birthday is coming up -- I'll point out a few things nobody mentions. His birthday is coming up in a few weeks, and everybody in the media is going to be telling us he's 48 years old. I would like to know how they know that.
DOBBS: Well, because it says that on the certification of live birth, which I have in my hands right in front of me, Jay. I have the actual document that says that this is a document certifying that there is another document.
CALLER: Shown to be fraudulent, but I'll get to that in a minute. Orly Taitz's going to tell you about that.
DOBBS: All right, but you don't have a whole bunch of time now, partner. I'm not contracted with you for a long run here. Just gotta -- gotta get to the point, if you will, Jay.
CALLER: What could be more personal than somebody's tax return? Barack Obama gladly showed his tax return on April 15, but he won't show his birth certificate. I would like to know the very simple question. Why is he spending millions of dollars in court cases all over America to prevent anyone from seeing it? His lawyers have even threatened people for even asking to see his birth certificate, not to mention all the other records that he refused to show.
DOBBS: Well, if they want to sue The Lou Dobbs Show here, if they want to sue me personally, come on down. But we're going to keep talking about this until we get some straight answers. You know, I can afford a lawyer or two myself, you know. But I really want to know what's going on. I have no idea what the real -- what the reality is here, but I'm one of those morons who, when I look at something that says "certification of live birth" on FactCheck.org, I assume it's certification of live birth, not -- you know, that's it.
FactCheck.org is a terrific website, and they do a wonderful job. But when I'm looking at a certificate of live birth that is certified to be a certification that there is another document that I haven't seen, I get a little annoyed. Especially when John McCain, born in Panama, went to all of the trouble to make certain that the solicitor general rendered an opinion and a determination that he was a natural-born citizen, so why not do the same thing for President Obama? Produce a doggone long -- so-called -- I don't even know what it a long-form birth certificate looks like -- but just produce it and be done with it. I mean, that'd satisfy you, wouldn't it, Jay?
CALLER: It certainly would, but he is going out of his way not to show that there's a reason why he won't show it. American people have a right -- the people --
DOBBS: One of our callers, Jay, by the way, pointed out a lot of people in states all over the country have to produce their birth certificates to get a driver's license, for crying out loud.
CALLER: Every single thing he's done as president, if he is not eligible, will be deemed illegal and have to be undone. What a catastrophe.
DOBBS: Yeah, well that would be a little annoying, wouldn't it?
CALLER: From spending us into oblivion with trillions of dollars that nobody should have ever spent --
DOBBS: Now, wait a minute. You know what I would really like to find out is that George Bush wasn't a natural-born citizen, because that means we could get back about $12 trillion under his authorization that went into the economy. What do you think?
CALLER: I agree, but he would show his -- you -- George Bush, me, you, and everybody else would show a birth certificate.
CALLER: This guy refuses.
DOBBS: You got it. Well, I appreciate the call, Jay, there in Reno, Nevada. We're going to take a quick break; we're going to be taking your calls, we want to hear you. What do you think? Is President Obama -- should he produce his birth certificate -- the long form, the real deal? Should he be a little more forthcoming?
One of our callers, by the way, pointed out that he didn't release -- he didn't release his medical records, either. Now isn't that interesting? And hasn't produced some other documents. What's the deal? What is the deal here? I'm starting to think we have a -- we have a document issue. Do you suppose he's un -- no, I won't even use the word undocumented. It wouldn't be right. We'll be right back.
DOBBS: Professor, I have to be honest. When we started this, going -- following the lawsuit by Major Cook, I thought, "My gosh, you know, this is crazy stuff. Let's get this, you know, get into it and get out of it, and we'll get the truth and we'll be done." This is not quite that easy, is it?
SPIRO: Well, I think it is pretty easy, actually.
DOBBS: All right.
SPIRO: I don't think there's much of a case here.
DOBBS: All right.
SPIRO: It's pretty clear that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961.
SPIRO: And there's absolutely no doubt that he is eligible to be president of the United States on that basis.
DOBBS: All right.
SPIRO: Now what's --
DOBBS: Now you've done that, but you know what? I've got the problem that other people looking at the only document that's available say, "Wait a minute."
SPIRO: I'm not sure what the "wait a minute" is about. I think what's fueling these theories is the counter-factual of if he had been born in Kenya, under the citizenship statute as it was then written, he would not have been a citizen at birth.
SPIRO: So that gives these theorists something to work with.
SPIRO: Even though at the threshold there's a basic factual problem with the theory.
DOBBS: All right, here's my problem as I look at it. And I respect very much the fact that, you know, you've declared him to be a, you know, a natural-born citizen. But my question is: Are you making such a judgment based on his birth certificate that we see on the Web?
SPIRO: Well, as far as I know, nobody has offered up any evidence to the contrary.
SPIRO: So there's no evidence that he was born in Kenya.
SPIRO: And so the best evidence we have is the birth certificate, which has been attested to by various state officials and others with knowledge of what birth certificates from Hawaii look like.
SPIRO: So there's no reason to believe that he wasn't born in Hawaii.
DOBBS: So, you -- what you're saying is then the burden of proof rests not with the individual or the statement that he is or is not a natural-born citizen, but rather on those who would disprove that he or she is?
SPIRO: Well, I think he's supplied adequate evidence for his birth in the United States, that the burden has certainly shifted to others to prove otherwise.
DOBBS: All right. And here is part of -- you know, I'm not sure how one does that. In this case, we're talking about disproving a negative. But rather than going to the merits of this, I want to get back -- well, first of all --
SPIRO: It's not proving the negative; it's proving an allegation that he was born in Kenya.
DOBBS: No, I understand what you're saying, but I'm actually not saying that that would be the problem here. The first thing is to determine whether or not his birth certificate is valid.
DOBBS: And what I don't understand is why that has not been released and given over to the public record. We have a certification of live birth that doesn't have a signature or an attestment of any kind attached to it.
SPIRO: You know, I'm not an expert on Hawaiian documents, but my understanding is that this is the real thing.
DOBBS: Right. No, no, I understand the same thing, too --
SPIRO: And that, you know, at this point, the claims are fringy enough that, again, in the absence --
DOBBS: My word exactly.
SPIRO: -- in the absence of any proof to the contrary, he's satisfied any burden of proof here.
CALLER: The professor who was on is like a mouthpiece for the Obama administration.
DOBBS: Yeah, I agree --[caller] -- I gotta say. Peter Spiro, he is the foremost authority on citizenship, but I was sort of taken by the fact he declares President Obama to be a natural-born citizen without having looked at any of the real documentation that would make it so.
CALLER: That's correct. And the other thing is there have been lawsuits that have -- that they have been attempted to force the legislators and the Electoral College to validate his eligibility. And it's like you have said, there have been millions and millions of dollars spent to quash all of these lawsuits in every legitimate inquiry.
CALLER: And, you know, if it smells like a skunk, it probably is a skunk, and something doesn't smell right with all of this.
DOBBS: Well -- and the way to get rid of those odors is always just open the windows and let the sun shine in. And all we need here is a doggone document, but for some reason the president doesn't want to release that.
DOBBS: First of all, we got to figure out what's going on. You know, we heard Professor Peter Spiro, who's a professor of law at Temple. He's the foremost -- one of the country's foremost experts on citizenship. He says in his judgment that the president is a natural-born citizen. I think most of us would say, as a matter of fact, that he is a natural-born citizen until proved otherwise.
David [caller], we have no proof that he isn't a natural-born citizen, and what's really frustrating here is that he seems to be resistant to the idea of proving that he is -- that is, providing the full-form birth certificate. Why, I don't know. What do you think?
CALLER: Well, all the lawsuits that he's squashing -- it's possible, and probable, I think, that the president knows what's coming.
DOBBS: Well, you know, the way you frame that -- it is possible to say it's probable, you know, as a matter of your opinion or mine, it doesn't matter. You know, I think it's improbable, you think it's probable. The issue is we're talking about it. Wouldn't it be helpful if the president would simply set this aside? Because there's a number of callers have said on this broadcast -- you know, here is John McCain, 72 years old, running for president of the United States. He knows he was born in Panama, because his father was in the Navy and his mother was with his father in Panama, and he was born there. He sought out a ruling by the solicitor general to determine that he met the standard of natural-born citizen.
Absolutely, you know, no effort to do so on the part of Barack H. Obama. Nor, as also our callers have pointed out, this president would not release his medical records. And the national media seemed to be fine with that, whereas they probably would have eviscerated John McCain for failing to do so.
CALLER: Well, I think it's probable. And I think that he's rushing through all these programs through by whatever means because he knows, by virtue of all the lawsuits that are generated, that we the public, we the citizens of the United States, have a mission, and we don't have to wait until the votes -- the voting for 2010.
DOBBS: Well, you obviously are intent upon that. And, David, you know, we'll see if you're right. Certainly your view can't be discounted at this point, because this president refused to provide the documentation that would settle all of the controversy here. David, thank you a lot for the call from Freeport, New York.
DOBBS: There's some reason -- there's some reason that they don't want to do this. I mean, I don't know what the heck it is. But this whole -- you and I agree no matter what you believe about this other stuff -- we agree, do we not, [caller], that if we just looked down at a certificate of birth that had the signature of the doctor, the testament of the hospital, the name of the hospital, the seal, whatever, you know, that would be sufficient.
But what we've got here is a certification of live birth that says that this is evidence that another document exists somewhere at some place at some time.
CALLER: Good to hear you, Lou. I DVR your show every day; I watch it on television. I just found out you had this on your air, and I'm -- this has been an issue on the blogs for over a year now.
CALLER: When I first heard about it, I thought, "Oh, come on, leave this guy alone. This is the dumbest thing ever."
DOBBS: Well, it is a dumb thing. I think we have to all admit this is a dumb thing either way, because, I mean, I can't understand why the president wouldn't just move to get this stuff out of the way. Show the documents, get it done -- I mean, he -- think about it. Well, actually, when I sit here thinking about it, he did not release his medical records, did he?
CALLER: No medical records.
DOBBS: That's right.
CALLER: He spent over a billion -- million dollars to fight this. Why? McCain has shown his birth certificate. Do you realize to get my license renewed in Oregon I have to show my birth certificate?
DOBBS: You know what? This is really very interesting, isn't it? I mean, because I got to be honest with everybody. When I started looking at this and the lawsuit -- Orly Taitz his attorney, for Major Cook, when he -- you know, I thought this is kind of peculiar. But I thought we should find out what's going on because, you know, it's a lawsuit -- a major who is -- he is, by the way, a combat veteran. Some people in the media have called him a coward; they are fools for doing so. But they're fools, anyway; it isn't this one instance that makes them fools.
This is a man who should be taken seriously. There are real questions here that need to be answered. And people talk about, quote-unquote, the lunatic fringe are the only ones interested in this, and it turns out that reasonable people should be interested, and reasonable -- excuse me -- reasonable minds have to understand what's going on. And this can be dismissed with one -- the production of one simple little document, and that's a birth certificate. It's extraordinary.
CALLER: That's all we're asking for. And have you looked at the birth certificate that is online?
DOBBS: Yes, I have. I've got it in front of me, as a matter of fact.
CALLER: Look at the verbiage. Does that look like '60s verbiage for a birth certificate?
DOBBS: Sixties verbiage?
CALLER: The nationality of his father.
DOBBS: OK, under race?
DOBBS: Yes, African. Mother's race: Caucasian. It's peculiar, I have to say. But, you know, hell, I can tell you this, in a career in journalism and broadcasting, I've seen a lot of peculiar things that turned out to be just as true as they can be. And things that seemed as true as they ought to be were the phoniest son-of-a-guns in the world, so we'll find out. We appreciate the call, [caller]. Thank you very much.
But this is a peculiar little document, this certification of live birth that everyone is purporting to validate the president. I think there's some issues with this. I mean, it's peculiar.
President Obama slams the Republican Party for playing politics and carrying the insurance industry’s water on health care reform, singling out Sen. Jim DeMint's "Waterloo" comment:
Now there are some in this town who are content to perpetuate the status quo, who are in fact fighting reform on behalf of special interests. There are others who recognize the problem but believe — or perhaps hope — that we can put off the hard work of insurance reform for another day, another year, another decade.
Just the other day, one Republican Senator said — and I’m quoting him now — "If we’re able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him."
Think about that.
This isn’t about me. This isn’t about politics. This is about a health care system that is breaking America’s families, breaking America’s businesses, and breaking American’s economy.
We can’t afford the politics of delay and defeat when it comes to health care. Not this time, not now.
For the past few months, Newt Gingrich has been trying to sound the alarm that the United States is on the cusp of a monumental security threat far greater than the dangers posed by Germany and Japan in the 1930s and 40s — an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack. Gripped by this fear, Gingrich once argued that the U.S. should take out North Korean missiles, while on their launch pads, with lasers because he believes the reclusive communist state has the ability to carry out such an attack on the U.S.
This morning, during a speech at the Heritage Foundation, Gingrich was at it again. He lamented how the world’s democracies “hid from reality” in the 1920s and 30s and failed to confront the emerging threat in Europe and East Asia. Citing what he had read in “novels,” he then linked that to his perceived EMP threat and deplored the “failure to translate the ability of the imagination into public policy.” “We are living at the edge of a catastrophe,” he said:
GINGRICH: [W]hat we are faced with is not simply a problem, it is potentially catastrophic. … [The] electro-magnetic pulse, from my co-author and good friend Bill Forstchen, has written a remarkable novel called One Second After, in which he takes a town in North Carolina and shows you what would happen with a successful electro-magnetic pulse attack. Electro-magnetic pulse is essentially a peculiarly-sized nuclear device that becomes a giant lightning strike. [...]
[E]xperts in nuclear weaponry, and they came back and said unanimously, ?This is a catastrophic threat waiting to happen and North Korea, China and Russia all understand it and are all working on it.? Which is why I adopted the position towards North Korea that I would literally not allow them to fire any intercontinental range missile that we had not inspected. I would just take it out on the site.
And the reason is simple; one weapon of this kind that went off over Omaha would eliminate most of the electrical production in the United States. And we are not today hardened against this. It is an enormous catastrophic threat.
The Wonk Room’s Matt Duss observed of Gingrich’s “suspense thriller-based” foreign policy:
It?s worth noting as well that the argumentum ad Chamberlinum that Gingrich predictably deploys throughout the speech always involves a sin of omission: Free nations failed to act in the face of a rising threat, resulting in disastrous consequences. I would suggest that, in the wake of the Iraq war, there now exists an effective counter to this heavily overworked rhetorical device. Rather than failing to act, the Bush administration acted ? unwisely and incompetently, in response to a largely imaginary threat ? resulting in disastrous consequences. Call it argumentum ad neoconservatum.
“As the conservative movement continues to melt down,” Duss adds, “conservatives will return to same issue that conservatives have exploited since before fire: Abject fear of our barbaric, unreasoning enemies, and the imputation of faithlessness on the part of those who don?t perceive the threat in the same way.”
GINGRICH: So, let me start with why I believe national security is about to become a dramatically more important debate and the only question is whether we have the debate before there is a disaster or afterwards. I would argue that we are living at the edge of a catastrophe, and that we need to understand that is exactly where we are. That what we are faced with is not simply a problem, it is potentially catastrophic.
The first potential catastrophe is nuclear, and we reported this in the Hart-Rudman Commission in March of 2001, where we said the greatest threat to the United States is a weapon of mass destruction going off in an American city, and at the time we called for a serious Homeland Security Department, which we still don?t have, because a serious Homeland Security Department would be sized to be able to deal three nuclear events simultaneously the same week.
That would be a reasonable threat, we are not talking about the size of nuclear war with the Soviet Union, but we are talking about circumstances where you could literally be faced with a catastrophic loss of life, and none of this is secret. There are novels about it, there are reports about it, there are various studies about it, there was a RAND study three years ago about the impact of a nuclear event in Long Beach, California and what it would do to the entire Los Angeles basin and what the scale of dislocation would be. So these things are all knowable, but we don?t have the political will to act on it.
The second is electro-magnetic pulse, from my co-author and good friend Bill Forstchen, has written remarkable novel, which I commend to all of you, called One Second After, in which he takes a town in North Carolina and shows you what would happen with a successful electro-magnetic pulse attack.
Electro-magnetic pulse is essentially a peculiarly sized nuclear device that becomes a giant lightning strike, it doesn?t kill by radiation or by the power of the shockwave, but it knocks out all the appliances including the generating system that produces electricity including cars that have traditional electrical devices. All the telephones and if you look at the size of the electrical generating system, it?s not replaceable. The length of time it takes to replace that, particular in a society that has lost electricity, is staggering. And Forstchen accurately describes what would the catastrophic consequences be at a human level if you tried to live in a non-electricity world given the way we?ve built our civilization.
Now he didn?t do this out of whole cloth. He started with Congressman Roscoe Bartlett [R-MD] who commissioned 7 nuclear physicists to study what the effect would be, these are all people who had come out of the Cold War-era, they had all worked for the Defense Department, they were all experts in nuclear weaponry, and they came back and said unanimously, ?This is a catastrophic threat waiting to happen and North Korea, China and Russia all understand it and are all working on it.?
Which is why I adopted the position towards North Korea that I would literally not allow them to fire any intercontinental range missile that we had not inspected. I would just take it out on the site. And the reason is simple; one weapon of this kind that went off over Omaha would eliminate most of the electrical production in the United States. And we are not today hardened against this. It is an enormous catastrophic threat.
Sen. John Thune (R-SD) is trying to attach an amendment to the Defense bill that circumvents many state and local gun laws. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is having none of it, thank god.
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The assault has been brutal.Insurance industry flacks, raving RePugs, craven Blue Dogs and K Street hacks have been beating the hell out of health care reform for weeks. Senator Jim DeMint (Orc) South Carolina is blasting it as National Socialism.[...]
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Yesterday, I had the opportunity to sit in on a roundtable discussion hosted by Senators Thomas[...]
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