Here are some more Americans struck by the loss of health care benefits who Kent Conrad can laugh at...
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...and I think this group will be at the XpoNential Music Festival this weekend in Philly (didn't see them in the lineup, though - it will be hot and humid, so be prepared).
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Before Dr. David McKalip was emailing around photoshopped pictures of President Obama as a loin clothed, pierced nose witch doctor he was writing guest editorials on the horrors of ObamaCare in papers like the St. Petersburg Times. [...]
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TPM Reader CR with an important addition about the rise of tasers as a substitute for "self-defense training and lessons in conflict resolution" ...Thank you for printing CL's commentary on the power of the local constabulary. I wholeheartedly agree. [...]
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Just a little something re the birther thing. Open thread below...
From TPM Reader JS ...You done well running reader NL's essay on police abuse of their power. But you and NL framed it poorly: "They put themselves in harm's way for us everyday."Police work is not that dangerous compared to, say, driving a cab. [...]
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Two of my closest friends from college are from Jersey, Secaucus actually, and over the years they have regaled me with richly woven tales of the corruption that permeates life in the Garden State. But nothing tops this one. I mean what one can one say[...]
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Advancing the conspiracy theory that President Obama lacks a valid birth certificate and is therefore ineligible to be president, radio host G. Gordon Liddy falsely claimed during the July 23 edition of MSNBC's Hardball that there is "a deposition, which is a sworn statement, from the stepgrandmother, who says, 'I was present and saw [Obama] born in Mombasa, Kenya.' " In fact, while the conservative news website WorldNetDaily claims to be "in possession" of affidavits from Anabaptist minister Ron McRae and Rev. Kweli Shuhubia, two individuals who purportedly took part in a telephone interview with the president's stepgrandmother, McRae's and Shuhubia's accounts have been discredited, and even WorldNetDaily does not claim to have a "sworn statement" from the stepgrandmother herself.
According to WorldNetDaily, McRae and Shuhubia each asserted in their affidavits that President Obama's stepgrandmother, Sarah Hussein Obama, told them that President Obama was born in Mombasa. However, in a December 4, 2008, Slate.com article, David Weigel noted that McRae provided Pennsylvania attorney Philip J. Berg with only a "partial transcript of the call" and that the "rest of the call" showed that McRae was repeatedly told during the interview that "the president-elect was born in Hawaii":
On Oct. 16, an Anabaptist minister named Ron McRae called Sarah Hussein Obama, the president-elect's 86-year-old paternal step-grandmother, at her home in Kenya. Two translators were on the line when McRae asked if the elder Obama was "present" when the president-elect was born. One of the translators says "yes." McRae contacted Berg and gave him a partial transcript of the call with a signed affidavit. He opted not to include the rest of the call, in which he asks the question more directly -- "Was he born in Mombassa?" -- and the translators, finally understanding him, tell him repeatedly that the president-elect was born in Hawaii.
In a December 5, 2008, War Room post, Salon.com's Alex Koppelman similarly noted that the full audio of the interview indicates that McRae was told "over and over again, that Obama was born in the U.S.":
During the interview, which was conducted through a translator by a street preacher named Ron McRae, Sarah Obama does in fact say she was present. But it's clear that there was a mistranslation, because as soon as McRae very excitedly starts to try to get additional details, the people on the other end of the line realize what's happened and say, over and over again, that Obama was born in the U.S.
For some reason, the transcripts of the interview that have been posted on various right-wing Web sites all seem to cut off right after Sarah Obama says she was there when her grandson was born. So does this YouTube video with the audio of the interview. But as The Economist points out, McRae also released the full audio, in which the key parts of the conversation can be heard. Here's part of it. (The other person speaking is translator Vitalis Akech Ogombe.)
MCRAE: When I come in December. I would like to come by the place, the hospital, where he was born. Could you tell me where he was born? Was he born in Mombasa?
OGOMBE: No, Obama was not born in Mombasa. He was born in America.
MCRAE: Whereabouts was he born? I thought he was born in Kenya.
OGOMBE: No, he was born in America, not in Mombasa.
MCRAE: Do you know where he was born? I thought he was born in Kenya. I was going to go by and see where he was born.
OGOMBE: Hawaii. Hawaii. Sir, she says he was born in Hawaii. In the state of Hawaii, where his father was also learning, there. The state of Hawaii.
Additionally, the Chicago Tribune reported on December 3, 2008: "The translator said he was one of two interpreters conducting the interview in a crowded hut during a celebration, over a speaker phone that dropped the call three times."
As Media Matters has detailed, Liddy served four and a half years in prison in connection with his conviction for his role in the Watergate break-in and the break-in at the office of the psychiatrist of Daniel Ellsberg, the military analyst who leaked the Pentagon Papers. Liddy has acknowledged preparing to kill someone during the Ellsberg break-in "if necessary"; plotting to kill journalist Jack Anderson; plotting with a "gangland figure" to kill Howard Hunt to stop him from cooperating with investigators; plotting to firebomb the Brookings Institution; and plotting to kidnap "leftist guerillas" at the 1972 Republican National Convention -- a plan he outlined to the Nixon administration using terminology borrowed from the Nazis. (The homicide, firebombing, and kidnapping plots were never carried out; the break-ins were.) During the 1990s, Liddy reportedly instructed his radio audience on multiple occasions on how to shoot Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms agents and also reportedly said he had named his shooting targets after Bill and Hillary Clinton.
From the July 23 edition of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews:
CHRIS MATTHEWS (host): This is all available, Gordon. Here it is. [Certification of Live birth is shown on screen.] So we have the number. What do you think now?
LIDDY: Well, I would like to check it out. The preponderance of the evidence is as follows. You've got a deposition, which is a sworn statement, from the stepgrandmother, who says, "I was present and saw him born in Mombasa, Kenya." You've got the certificate of live birth that they have here. It's not a birth certificate. It says right on it, "certificate of live birth."
MATTHEWS: But you claim he was born in the Kenyan slums. You say that as a fact.
LIDDY: No, in a hospital in Mombasa. I didn't say the Kenyan slums.
E. STEVEN COLLINS (WRNB radio talk show host): What's the difference? Chris, Chris --
MATTHEWS: I mean, where -- which hospital in Mombasa? I mean, I've been over there so many times. Where is this -- all this happened? You have a whole history of this fellow in Kenya. Do we have any evidence it ever happened?
LIDDY: What ever happened?
MATTHEWS: That he was born in Kenya?
LIDDY: Yeah, I've got the deposition of the stepgrandmother, who said that she witnessed it.
MATTHEWS: Your witness.
With health care on everyone's lips today, the electoral front page is a little light tonight, as it was on Wednesday:
CT-Sen: New Quinnipiac Poll Puts Dodd In A Perilous Position
Former Congressman Rob Simmons is holding onto a nine-point lead over incumbent Democrat Chris Dodd, according to a new poll out from Quinnipiac. Simmons holds a 48-39 lead over the Senator. Both men have sizeable leads in their respective primaries. Barack Obama remains quite popular in the Nutmeg State, checking in with a 63% job approval rating.
AR-Sen: A Never-Ending Fountain of The Crazy From Arkansas Republicans
The search for an Arkansas Republican that is not prone to batshit crazy statements continues unabated. Curtis Reynolds, the Army veteran who has entered the 2010 Senate race, said yesterday that he believes that the country needs to be defended from "domestic" enemies and that "We need someone to stand up to Barack Obama and his policies. We must protect our culture, our Christian identity." In a later Q&A session, he not only tried to stress that he wasn't classifying Obama as one of the domestic enemies, but he even joked that he didn't want to "do a Kim Hendren", a reference to the gaffe-prone Republican legislator already in the Senate field.
NATIONAL: Where Obama's Support Is Softening
One fairly reliable national pollster that has shown a noticeable drop in support for President Obama has been the team over at PPP. Today, Tom Jensen at PPP does an excellent job of popping open the hood and looking for specific demographic groups where the President's support has slackened noticeably. It is well worth the read.
IL-10: Top GOP Candidate Reconsidering 2010 Plans
Beth Coulson, a state legislator seen as one of the GOP's best hopes to retain the seat held by newly-minted Senate candidate Mark Kirk, appeared to have shut the door on such a bid earlier this week. Now, according to Illinois' Capitol Fax blog, Coulson might be reconsidering. In an email to supporters, she seems to indicate that she feels an obligation to at least consider a Congressional bid. Democrat Dan Seals moved into the role of Democratic frontrunner with his candidacy announcement earlier this week.
TX-Gov: Texas State Government Loves Them Some Stimulus Money
This isn't really electoral news, per se, but it is too good to pass up. According to a report by the National Council of State Legislatures, the state of Texas (and their sometime-secessionist governor) used federal stimulus monies to shore up 96.7% of their budget gap this year. Keep that statistic in mind the next time you hear Governor Rick Perry wailing about the assault on states rights being perpetrated by the Obama government.
RACE FOR THE HOUSE: Cook Changes Three Race Ratings, All In Dem Direction
Top-drawer pundit Charlie Cook and his crew over at the Cook Political Report have altered their forecasts on three House races today, all of them in the direction of the Democrats. He has moved both PA-15 and OH-02 from "Likely Republican" to "Leans Republican", most likely on the strength of the two recruits that have been landed in those districts in the last two days: Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan in PA-15, and state Senator Todd Book in OH-02. Murphy seems increasingly secure in his district, which prompted his seat to be moved from "Leans Democratic" To "Likely Democratic".
POLLING ANALYSIS: Lots of Fussin' Going On
Finally, we get two interesting takes on recent polling data from people with, admittedly, rooting interests. First of all, former David Vitter pollster David Pascoe tries to tear apart this week's PPP poll on the Louisiana Senate race, saying that the pollster is over-sampling African-Americans, and thus is skewing the polling in favor of the Democrats. Meanwhile, Arlen Specter is apparently dismissing yesterday's sour news in the Quinnipiac poll as the result of shoddy sampling, prompting Nate over at 538 to dive under the hood. (Hat Tip: Crisitunity over at SSP).