Thursday, July 23, 2009

An America Feeding On The Opiates Of The Media Is Heading For Disaster.

An America Feeding On The Opiates Of The Media Is Heading For Disaster.

With all of the richly deserved tributes paid Walter Cronkite in the past few days, including words like professional, honest, integrity and trustworthy; one has to wonder just how much of the verbiage was pure lip service given the fact that hardly a word of those tributes can be applied to the daily dose of verbal venom served as news. The resurgence of “The Birther” insanity, compliments of Lou Dobbs, is now becoming a right wing school of Piranha-like blood lust to be added to the inherent hate and bigotry spewing to which we are becoming numbly accustomed, ignored by the sane and devoured as gospel by those given to acting out their darkest hates and desires. It is time to put a stop to this mindless corporate media editorial drug fest. Some of these people really believe what they are saying and are not just manipulative hate mongers. They are sick; they are dangerous and those who are consuming the verbal lint served up by the non-journalists of our times are waltzing this nation down the path to disaster.

No One Can Say That This White House Does Not Communicate Its Message!

Pelosi Says Congress Can Go On Vacation! Tell Them NO!

Daily Kos - Berkeley,CA,USA
by slinkerwink Yesterday,
Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that she was willing to work through recess, and have the House stay in session to deal with the passage ...

Meet the Birthers: This is who Lou Dobbs is mainstreaming

Why The Birthers Matter
Huffington Post - New York,NY,USA
If their energies had been directed in a positive way, there's a good chance Bush would have beenimpeached and Dick Cheney thrown in jail. ...
See all stories on this topic

SUMMARY: In light of Lou Dobbs' recent promotion of birther theories, Media Matters presents a look at some of the leading figures within the birther community and the views they've espoused.


In recent days, on both radio and TV, CNN host Lou Dobbs has provided cover for conspiracy theorists who claim that President Obama lacks a valid birth certificate and is therefore ineligible to be president. Specifically, Dobbs has repeatedly said that Obama needs to "produce a birth certificate" and cast doubt on the birth certificate posted online by Moreover, Dobbs has claimed that "reasonable people should be interested" in the issue and that Obama has refused to put the questions to rest.

Given Dobbs' spotlighting of the birthers' claims, Media Matters for America presents some of the leading figures within the birther community and the views they've espoused. The figures include Andy Martin, who has made anti-Semitic and racially charged comments; 9-11 "Truther" Philip Berg; perennial candidate for public office Alan Keyes, who has reportedly accused Obama of taking the "slaveholder's position" on abortion; a pastor who has prayed for Obama's death; and the discredited right-wing website WorldNetDaily (WND).

Dobbs has hosted some of the birthers, while others have cited Dobbs' efforts as evidence that the birther movement is growing. WND wrote in a July 16 article that it "has been reporting -- many times in solo fashion -- on the issues that have been raised by multiple lawsuits" and cited Dobbs as evidence that "now word is spreading." Martin wrote in a post on his blog that "the controversy has continued to increase" and that "Dobbs apparently said he was going to contact the Hawai'i governor to demand release of the birth certificate." And on her blog, birther lawyer and dentist Orly Taitz wrote a post titled "More on Eligibility on CNN," which included a link to a Media Matters video featuring Dobbs claiming that there are "a lot of [birther] questions remaining" and that "questions won't go away because they haven't been dealt with."

Gawker's Alex Pareene also explored the birther movement in a July 22 post, "The Birthers: Who Are They and What Do They Want?" and cited Dobbs, among others, as figures granting the birthers legitimacy.

Andy Martin

The New York Times has reported that Martin, who describes himself as an "Internet columnist," "is credited as being among the first -- if not the first -- to assert in a chain e-mail message that Mr. Obama was secretly a Muslim." The Nation's Christopher Hayes has written that when asked about emails being circulated that claimed Obama was educated in a madrassa -- a falsehood, like the claim that Obama is a Muslim:

"Everybody started calling me" when the e-mail first made the rounds, Andy Martin told me. "They said, 'Hey, did you write this?' My answer was 'they are all my children.' "

Since then, Martin has been an active litigant in suing the Hawaii state government over Obama's birth certificate.

As Media Matters has documented, Martin has a history of making anti-Semitic and racially charged comments, such as claiming that "African-American judges ... circle the wagons and try to protect Barry [Obama]" and that "African-Americans are willing to corrupt and abuse their-public offices to defend their own sleazy candidate for office." The Chicago Tribune and several federal courts have stated that Martin has called a judge a "crooked, slimy Jew, who has a history of lying and thieving common to members of his race."

In October 2008, Martin appeared on Fox News' Hannity's America and smeared Obama by claiming he was "training for a radical overthrow of the government" as a community organizer. Fox News later reportedly "express[ed] regret" for hosting Martin given his past remarks.

Philip Berg

As the Politico's Ben Smith noted, Berg is "a former Pennsylvania prosecutor who has also sued President George W. Bush to claim that he was complicit in the September 11 attacks." In 2004, Berg filed a suit with the U.S. District Court of Eastern Pennsylvania on behalf of William Rodriguez. Among Rodriguez's claims in Rodriguez v. Bush was the assertion that "[s]cientific data clearly indicates that the World Trade Center buildings ... were destroyed by means of controlled demolitions, of the sort that take weeks or months to prepare and could only have been an 'inside job.' "

In an August 28, 2008, article (retrieved from Nexis), The Morning Call (Allentown, Pennsylvania) reported that "[c]areer gadfly Philip Berg has a new conspiracy theory -- Barack Obama's actually an African. ... Obama is lying about his U.S. citizenship, Berg's suit asserts, and actually was born in Kenya, according to Obama's grandmother, brother and sister. Only U.S. citizens by birth can be president. Berg's proof? Widely debunked online accounts." The Morning Call also reported that "Berg's blog indicates he has spoken about his 9/11 lawsuit in cities around the world."

Berg filed a birther lawsuit (Berg v. Obama) against Obama, the Democratic National Committee, and the Federal Election Commission; on October 24, 2008, the case was dismissed.

In March, a federal judge dismissed another birther lawsuit filed by Berg, Hollister v. Barry Soetoro. The judge wrote of Berg's suit:

This case, if it were allowed to proceed, would deserve mention in one of those books that seek to prove that the law is foolish or that America has too many lawyers with not enough to do. Even in its relatively short life the case has excited the blogosphere and the conspiracy theorists. The right thing to do is to bring it to an early end.

As Media Matters has documented, on the October 3, 2008, broadcast of Clear Channel's The War Room with Quinn & Rose, Berg asserted that "evidence" indicates that "Barack Obama, even though he states he was born in Hawaii ... was born in Kenya" and added: "It appears right now he might be an illegal alien, not only not be qualified to be president, but not even qualified to be a United States senator from Illinois."

Alan Keyes

Keyes is a frequent presidential candidate who also unsuccessfully ran as the Republican candidate during the 2004 Illinois Senate race against Obama. During the course of the Illinois campaign, Keyes reportedly made numerous controversial remarks, including labeling homosexuality "selfish hedonism"; calling former Vice President Dick Cheney's lesbian daughter a sinner; calling Obama's views on abortion "the slaveholder's position"; accusing Obama of supporting "infanticide"; andclaiming, "Christ would not vote for Barack Obama."

Since then, Keyes has called Obama a "radical communist" who is going to "destroy this country, and we are either going to stop him or the United States of America is going to cease to exist"; said Obama "has made himself the focus of evil, the focus of child-killing policy"; and claimed Obama openlydisplays "contempt for the Constitution's eligibility requirements for the presidency."

Keyes filed a lawsuit against Obama regarding his birth certificate and discussed it on Dobbs' radio show. He is currently a columnist for WorldNetDaily.

Orly Taitz

Before interviewing Taitz, Dobbs said that he began questioning Obama's birth certificate after Taitz filed a lawsuit on behalf of an Army major. In a June 17 profile, the Orange County Weekly's Spencer Kornhaber described Taitz as the "queen bee of people obsessed with" Obama's birth certificate. Kornhaber wrote that "[s]ince November of last year, Taitz has been 'criss-crossing the country'; talking with activists, law-enforcement officers and government officials; filing lawsuits and finding plaintiffs; and speaking at events." Dobbs hosted Taitz and Keyes on the July 15 edition of his radio program. At the conclusion of his interview with Taitz and Keyes, Dobbs said he "learned a lot today, we appreciate it."

Taitz has reportedly made numerous controversial remarks, including:

  • Taitz is quoted in the OC Weekly article as saying in February, "The simple fact is that we are long overdue for another Rebellion in this nation, and I heartily endorse the idea of having one again very soon, preferably starting THIS year!"
  • According to the OC Weekly article, Taitz also said that Obama is a "usurper" and an "arrogant jerk from Africa and Indonesia," and "calls anyone who stands in her way an 'Obama thug.' "
  • According to several blogs -- including ones that support and oppose birther theories -- Taitz wrote that Obama should be tried for "crimes perpetrated upon American citizens": "There is no proof that you are even a citizen. For all we know, you need to go back to Kenya and wait for your green card, and that after we try you for all the crimes perpetrated upon American citizens."
  • Taitz wrote that Obama defenders should be tried in "Nurenberg [sic] style trials":

As a follow up to the previous article about Clair McCuskill [sic], Obama "truth" squad and people like Secretary of State of Ohio Jennifer Brunner and all the others that have been collaborating with this Gestapo-SS establishment, they all should and would be tried in Nurenberg [sic] style trials for harassing, intimidating, blackmailing and terrorizing fellow citizens, for defrauding the whole country. Patriots of this country didn't fight and defeat Nazi Germany to end up with Obamas, McCuskill [sic], Soros, Brunner and the rest of this squad. I hope that the men in this country, particularly in our military will finally revolt against this travesty of Justice. If our government and our elected officials and our judiciary have failed us, then it is time for the new government, new elected officials and a new judiciary.

Taitz is the subject of a lawsuit filed by Berg. Media Matters editor and ConWebWatch proprietor Terry Krepel wrote of Berg's lawsuit against Taitz:

Philip Berg -- the same person whose legal actions over the birth certificate WND first endeavored to shoot down until it decided that they served its anti-Obama agenda -- filed alawsuit against Taitz in April, accusing her and various associates of "harassing" Berg and fellow plaintiffs (among them Taitz's former webmaster), and filing "falsified police and law enforcement reports" regarding her claims against the former webmaster. Berg noted in his filing that "Taitz is no stranger to falsifying stories and falsely claiming to be the victim of 'hacking' of her websites" and accuses Taitz of plagiarizing the briefs he filed in his birth certificate-related actions for her own filings. Berg also claimed that an investigator working for Taitz dug up alleged information about an employee of Berg's and "sent the information to Taitz and a reporter with World Net Daily" complete with the employee's full Social Security number, which neither the investigator nor Taitz had "permissible purpose to obtain."

In a June 22 Washington Independent post, David Weigel wrote of Taitz: "I ran into the same problem that Kornhaber did -- for all of Taitz's legwork, none of her stuff held up. It was/is based on misunderstandings and a failure to check the veracity or meaning of documents with the right people."

Wiley Drake

In his OC Weekly article, Kornhaber wrote that radio pastor Wiley Drake helped bring Taitz into the birther movement. Drake was Keyes' running mate in 2008 on the America's Independent Party presidential ticket and, with Keyes, filed suit against Obama over his birth certificate.

Drake admitted to Fox News' Alan Colmes that he prayed for Obama's death, and has also reportedlysaid he is "glad George Tiller is dead. ... [I]t's an answer to prayer."


The conservative news website frequently posts articles and commentary regarding Obama's birth certificate. WND also offers, "Where's the Birth Certificate?" merchandise and has funded "Where's the Birth Certificate?" billboards across the country. WND gives readers a chance tocontribute to "The Fund For Truth About Obama Birth," which promises to offer a reward to anyone "who can provide persuasive evidence of involvement or presence at that birth -- whether it took place in Hawaii or elsewhere." WND also hosts a petition for "demanding that the constitutional eligibility requirement be taken seriously and that any and all controlling legal authorities in this matter examine the complete birth certificate of Barack Obama." The petition claims to have more than 420,000 signatures.

In reporting on Obama's birth certificate, WND has frequently advanced the claim that Obama was actually born in Kenya. has recently criticized WND for falsely claiming that White House press secretary Robert Gibbs "lied when he said Obama's birth certificate is posted on the Internet."

Media Matters and Krepel have noted that WND has frequently smeared Obama on other topics as well.

Jerome Corsi

Jerome Corsi is a staff writer for WND. In August 2008, Corsi claimed on Fox News that Obama posted online a "false, fake birth certificate." Since then, Corsi has promoted birther theories on WND andelsewhere.

Media Matters previously noted that Corsi wrote a widely criticized and falsehood-laden book about Obama during the 2008 election. Corsi has a history of controversial comments, including:

  • Corsi on Islam: "a worthless, dangerous Satanic religion"
  • Corsi on Catholicism: "Boy buggering in both Islam and Catholicism is okay with the Pope as long as it isn't reported by the liberal press"
  • Corsi on Muslims: "RAGHEADS are Boy-Bumpers as clearly as they are Women-Haters -- it all goes together"
  • Corsi on "John F*ing Commie Kerry": "After he married TerRAHsa, didn't John Kerry begin practicing Judiasm [sic]? He also has paternal grandparents that were Jewish. What religion is John Kerry?"
  • Corsi on Senator "FAT HOG" Clinton: "Anybody ask why HELLary couldn't keep BJ Bill satisfied? Not lesbo or anything, is she?"

In addition to the previously noted birther leaders, as noted, Holocaust Memorial Museum shooter James von Brunn "wrote an internet posting complaining that Obama's birth certificate and other documents have not been made public." Von Brunn has a long history of racist and white supremacist writings.

Yo, Wacko:

Are you aware that none of this matters? Are you aware that the courts have never ruled on the precise meaning of "natural born citizen"? Are you aware that there is substantial evidence that President Chester A. Arthur was born in Canada? Are you aware that Barry Goldwater was born in the Arizona Territory, yet he ran without contest in 1964? Are you aware that George Romney ran for the Republican nomination in 1968 without contest, even though he was born in Mexico?

Are you aware that no court ever ruled that John McCain (born in Panama City) was eligible to run for president?

Are you aware that, as an American citizen with one American citizen for a parent, Barrack Obama is legally entitled to all of the rights of citizenship - and no court has ever ruled otherwise?

Are you aware that your screenname is about the only thing you have contributed that makes any sense at all?

CNN "conspiracy theorist" Lou Dobbs discredits his network -- one wild claim at a time

3 hours and 43 minutes ago

SUMMARY: Lou Dobbs has repeatedly used his CNN show and his radio show to spread discredited theories and wild claims -- his attention to which jeopardizes CNN's credibility.


Lou Dobbs has repeatedly used his prime-time CNN show and his radio show to spread discredited theories and wild claims -- his attention to which jeopardizes CNN's credibility. Dobbs has promoted the fringe notions -- labeled "conspiracy theor[ies]" by his own CNN colleagues -- that President Obama has failed to produce a valid birth certificate and that the U.S. government is conspiring to merge the United States with Mexico and Canada in a "North American Union."

CNN had to express regret over Dobbs' program's use of a hate group's graphic to advance the idea that Mexican immigrants are plotting to retake the American Southwest. And Dobbs was criticized on CNN'sReliable Sources by both a liberal and a conservative guest for his refusal to correct his show's gross overstatement of the number of new leprosy cases in the U.S. (which he had attributed to undocumented immigration).

Obama's birth certificate

During the July 15 edition of his radio program, Dobbs devoted substantial airtime to the issue of Obama's birth certificate, asserting repeatedly that the president needs to "produce" it. Dobbs said that the birth certificate posted online by "that everyone is purporting to validate the president" has "some issues ... I mean, it's peculiar," and stated that he wants to see a "long form" birth certificate, which he called "the real deal." Dobbs also mentioned the issue of Obama's birth certificate on the July 15 edition of his CNN show. Referring to the document that posted, Dobbs said, "It is, in fact, the so-called short form, not the original document. It is really a document saying that the state of Hawaii has the real document in its possession."

Dobbs continued to repeat the "birther" claims on both CNN and his radio show, stating on the July 20 edition of his CNN program that the birth certificate questions offered by "passionate supporters" "won't go away because they haven't been dealt with, it seems possible to, straightforwardly and quickly," and saying on the July 21 edition of his CNN show, "We had people, including reporters from the LA Times, calling up because I referred to this. ... Instead of calling the White House to ask why they didn't do it, they're calling me to ask why I said I don't know what the reality is. No one does." Additionally, on the July 21 edition of his radio show, Dobbs criticized "certain quarters of the national liberal media that are just absolutely trying to knock down the issue of President Obama's birth certificate," stating that they are "focused on being subservient and servile to this presidency rather than being inquisitive and doing their jobs with, you know, the White House." On July 22, Dobbs againasserted on his radio show that Obama could "make the whole ... controversy disappear ... by simply releasing his original birth certificate."

By contrast, Dobbs' CNN colleagues have repeatedly debunked claims that Obama has yet to produce a valid birth certificate, calling them "total bull" and "a whack-job project" that is "more conspiratorial than factual," and have characterized those who make these claims as "nut jobs" and "conspiracy theorists" who wear "tin foil hat[s]." In a July 22 column published on, CNN contributor Roland S. Martin stated, "The nut jobs that continue to promote this story are wacky, right-wing radio and TV talk shows hosts and no-credibility bloggers. They have latched onto this story like bloodsucking leeches, and actually want us to believe this story has legs."

"North American Union"

Dobbs' has also promoted conspiracy theories regarding purported government plans for a "North American Union," while other CNN reporters appear to dismiss these theories out of hand. For example, on the August 21, 2007, edition of The Situation Room, White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux aired a video clip of then-President Bush's response to a question about the North American Union. In that response, Bush said, "It's quite comical, actually, when you realize the difference between reality and what some people are talking on TV about." Malveaux said Bush's denial followed "a lot of talk in the blogosphere and conspiracy theorists." According to a search of the Nexis database conducted at the time, the North American Union had been mentioned on 53 Lou Dobbs Tonight broadcasts prior to Malveaux's statement. Indeed, during a Malveaux report just the day before -- on the August 20, 2007,edition of Lou Dobbs Tonight -- on-screen text read: "Critics say SPP [Security & Prosperity Partnership] an Attempt to Create a N. Amer. Union."

Indeed, Dobbs has a long history of promoting this conspiracy theory. For instance, during the June 21, 2006, edition of Lou Dobbs Tonight, Dobbs stated that "the Bush administration is pushing ahead with a plan to create a North American union with Canada and Mexico" and later asked: "Do you think, our question is, maybe somebody should take a vote if we're going to merge Canada, Mexico and the United States as the leaders of the three countries are attempting to do with the security and prosperity partnership? Yes or no. Cast your vote at" Similarly, on the November 29, 2006, editionof his show, Dobbs asserted that "the Bush administration is determined to create a North American union without consultation or approval of the people of this country or our Congress." Following a report in which CNN correspondent Christine Romans stated, "[C]ritics say foreign policy elites are promoting a European-style union, erasing borders between the three countries and eventually moving to a single North American currency called the Amero" and cited a denial from the Commerce Department, Dobbsstated, "What they're doing is creating a brave new world, an Orwellian world, in which the will of the people is absolutely irrelevant."

"La Reconquista"

Dobbs has also repeatedly linked immigration to fears that some Mexicans plan to take over the American Southwest for Mexico. On the March 31, 2006, edition of his show, Dobbs introduced a report by Romans by stating, "There are some Mexican citizens and some Mexican-Americans who want to see California, New Mexico and other parts of the Southwestern United States given over to Mexico. These groups call it the reconquista, Spanish for reconquest. And they view the millions of Mexican illegal aliens in particular entering the United States as potentially an army of invaders to achieve that takeover." Romans stated, "Long downplayed as a theory of the radical ethnic fringe, the la reconquista, the reconquest, the reclamation, the return, it's resonating with some on the streets," and went on to say, "A lot of open borders groups disavow it completely. But the growing street protests in favor of illegal immigration, Lou, are increasingly taking on the tone of that very radicalism."

On the May 23, 2006, edition of Lou Dobbs Tonight, correspondent Casey Wian characterized then-Mexican President Vicente Fox's trip to Salt Lake City, Utah, as a "Mexican military incursion" and claimed that "[y]ou could call" Fox's trip to the United States "the Vicente Fox Aztlan tour," an apparent, baseless reference to those who purportedly espouse the concept of "reconquista," a term associated with El Plan Espiritual de Aztlán, a document drafted in the early formation of theMovimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (Chicano Student Movement of Aztalan, or MEChA), which critics claim outlines a plan for recapturing the southwestern United States for Mexico. During Wian's report, CNN featured a graphic of "Aztlan" that was sourced to the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC) -- an organization whose "Statement of Principles" says: "We also oppose all efforts to mix the races of mankind, to promote non-white races over the European-American people through so-called 'affirmative action' and similar measures, to destroy or denigrate the European-American heritage, including the heritage of the Southern people, and to force the integration of the races."

On May 25, 2006, in response to the criticism of CNN over the appearance of the CCC graphic during the May 23, 2006, show, a CNN spokeswoman said that a "freelance field producer" had "grabbed the Council of Conservative Citizens map without knowing the nature of the organization" and that its inclusion in the segment "regrettably, was missed in the vetting process."

Leprosy and Immigration

Dobbs also came under intense fire following his program's gross overstatement of the number of new leprosy cases in the U.S. and for implying that immigrants were responsible for the purported spike in the disease's incidence. On the April 14, 2005, edition of his show, Dobbs said, "The invasion of illegal aliens is threatening the health of many Americans." He then introduced a report in which Romans stated that "the woman in our piece [lawyer Madeline Cosman] told us that there were about 900 cases of leprosy for 40 years. There have been 7,000 in the past three years. Leprosy in this country." "Incredible," Dobbs replied. However, as Media Matters and others -- including CBS's 60 Minutes andThe New York Times -- noted, the claim was wildly inflated. According to the National Hansen's Disease Program (NHDP) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), there were 398 U.S. cases of Hansen's disease, or leprosy, reported between 2002 and 2004 -- "the past three years" at the time Romans made her statement. Cosman's claims were originally published in the journal of an organization that has, among other things, promoted conspiracy theories about the death of Vince Foster.

Despite the fact that Romans' original 2005 reporting on leprosy has been proven false, Dobbs has never admitted to the error on his show and indeed defended Romans' reporting on numerous occasions. For example, on the May 6, 2007, edition of 60 Minutes, Dobbs said of the leprosy claim, "If we reported it, it's a fact." On the June 18, 2007, edition of his show, Dobbs tried to downplay his program's airing and affirming of the falsehood, saying the comment was "eight seconds long and as I said, took place two and a half years ago."

On the June 3, 2007, edition of CNN's Reliable Sources, both Rachel Sklar of the progressive Huffington Post and Mary Katherine Ham of the conservative criticized Dobbs' refusal to correct the falsehood.

Hot Air » Blog Archive » Video: Chris Matthews can't get enough of ...
By Allahpundit
Enough blue dog Democrats cross the aisle to make considerable noise about the investigations, possibly bringing about
impeachment hearings. Result? Constitution untouched, and a horrible president is dogged by his mistakes and those of ...
Hot Air » Top Picks -

Liddy Falsely Claimed There Is A "Sworn Statement From The Stepgrandmother" Saying Obama Was Born In Kenya

July 23, 2009 11:15 pm ET

SUMMARY: On Hardball, G. Gordon Liddy falsely claimed that there is "a deposition ... from the stepgrandmother, who says, 'I was present and saw [President Obama] born in Mombasa.' " In fact, while WorldNetDaily claims to have affidavits from two people purportedly involved in an interview with Obama's stepgrandmother, those individuals' accounts have been discredited, and even WND does not claim to have a sworn statement from the stepgrandmother herself.


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 interviewwith 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, 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,'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 acknowledgedpreparing 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.


COLLINS: Stepgrandmother.

MATTHEWS: Your witness.

Socialism And The Politics Of Fear

Frank Llewellyn: Republicans And Their Media Allies Never Really Define What They Mean By Socialism

CBS) Frank Llewellyn is the national director of Democratic Socialists of America.

"Socialism" is now an active part of the Republican lexicon, among the litany of routine charges to be trotted out whenever they cannot come up with a substantive critique of policy initiatives they oppose. Beginning with a steady drumbeat from the far-right blogosphere during last year's Democratic primary campaign, Republicans have attacked health care reform and modest progressive tax reform proposals as somehow "un-American," "European," and, God-forbid, "socialist!"

When the Republicans lost the election and the Obama administration filled its Treasury positions with former Goldman Sachs executives, we socialists thought that was the end of these baseless charges. But when the Republicans found themselves with nothing to say about how to shore-up an economy in free-fall, they deemed the stimulus bill socialist - even though the architect of such policies, John Maynard Keynes, advocated a capitalist economic system.

Republicans and their media allies never really define what they mean by socialism. To some, it is an expansion in government spending (although many capitalist nations funnel more of their GDP through the public sector than the U.S. does). This past February, Fox TV host Glen Beck informed me on the air that Canada must be a socialist country because it had a universal health care system. That would be news to Canada's socialist New Democratic Party, which has occasionally held power at the provincial level but has never won a federal election.

Whatever their definition of socialism is, the term is gaining currency among some Republicans as a form of blanket condemnation of the President and Democratic reform proposals. Just yesterday, RNC Chair Michael Steele declared definitively that Obama's health plan represented socialism, even though the Obama proposals most closely resemble the universal health insurance scheme of Germany - last we knew, an avowedly capitalist nation.

All this Republican chatter is letting me make a living telling people that Obama and his administration are not socialist - and as National Director of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), the United States' largest socialist organization, I ought to know. Just, like the New Deal-era Roosevelt haters, these Republicans erroneously term a president who is trying to save capitalism from itself a socialist.

Contemporary democratic socialists want to mitigate the many adverse impacts that unregulated capitalist markets have on the lives of ordinary people by supporting intelligent democratic regulation of the economy (particularly the financial sector) and by using progressive taxation to finance high-quality public goods that can satisfy all citizens' basic needs for health care, education, unemployment insurance, and job training. We do not wish to destroy markets for consumer goods or to confiscate personal property. Rather, we want to establish efficient government regulation of financial markets so that ordinary citizens can secure stable financing for the purchase of such important personal property as an affordable home.

In other developed democracies, national health care systems are so popular that once they have been established it is politically impossible to eliminate them. In a recent Gallup poll, while only fifty-seven percent of United States residents said they were satisfied with their health care, over seventy-five percent of Canadians and Western Europeans said they would not trade their health care system for the current U. S. model. That is the real reason that Republicans are trying to sow doubt and prevent passage of a national health care bill: they want to protect the for-profit health care and pharmaceutical industries.

American socialists (and many more non-socialists, including 86 members of Congress) support HR 676, John Conyers' Medicare for All single-payer national health plan, which would replace the private insurance industry with a government agency but would preserve personal choice of physician and hospital care.

We socialists are deeply suspicious of the Democratic Party leadership proposals for health care. We worry that these proposals lack a sufficiently robust public insurance option to provide an effective check on the private insurers. Any comparative analysis of health care systems indicates that the greater the role of private, for-profit health insurance companies in the delivery of health care, the higher the cost. This is why the United States has the most expensive healthcare system in the world but trails well behind on crucial indicators of public health, such as infant mortality, longevity, and death of women in childbirth.

The insurance companies don't like the Democratic leadership plan because in theory they might have to face effective competition from a public insurance option. Democratic socialists don't trust the insurance companies enough to keep them in the health insurance market. But President Obama does, which makes it much more likely that the pay-or-play predominantly private insurance plan we distrust is likely to pass. So exactly how does that put the President in a "cabal," to use Michael Steele's word, to advance socialist goals?

This socialist-baiting is more than just name-calling. We are in the middle of a prolonged economic crisis brought on by unrestrained and unregulated capitalism. Since it arose from a crisis in the banking and housing sectors, this economic crisis in particular cannot be solved by normal market mechanisms. There is not sufficient private purchasing power to rejuvenate demand, and capital markets remain very tight. Financial institutions are unwilling to renegotiate under-water mortgages and are even reducing credit lines to borrowers with strong credit ratings.

Absent government efforts to strengthen the rights of working people and organized labor, we face the likelihood of another jobless recovery and declining wages. The devastating decline in value of pensions, retirement accounts and housing means that many near retirement age and even many not so near to retirement will not be able to retire on schedule - and certainly not with dignity and security.

If the United States fails to democratically restructure its economy, we face a future of increased inequality and poverty. But the constant drumbeat of right-wing "socialist-baiting" makes it less likely that this administration will consider the public initiatives - such as investments in alternative energy, education, and health care - that could engender productive jobs at good wages.

Reactionary forces have always utilized anti-socialism to oppose democratic reforms that constrain corporate power. Corporate America tried to red-bait Social Security, the GI Bill, and Medicare. But ordinary Americans rejected the politics of fear, and reforms passed that significantly improved the lives of average Americans. It will take Americans once again rejecting mindless anti-socialism to create sufficient support for the extensive reforms needed to address this deep and systemic economic crisis.

Cheney: Scooter Libby Deserved a Pardon - The Note

News' Jonathan Karl Reports: Vice President Cheney has issued a blunt statement in response to Time Magazine’s cover story on the final days of the Bush presidency, including his efforts to convince Bush to pardon Scooter Libby.

"Scooter Libby is an innocent man who was the victim of a severe miscarriage of justice," Cheney says.

Cheney says that Libby deserved a pardon and then has strong words for Richard Armitage, the man who actually leaked Valerie Plame’s name to Bob Novak. Armitage, Cheney says, “leaked the name and hid that fact from most of his colleagues, including the President.”

Cheney adds: “Mr. Libby is an honorable man and a faithful public servant who served the President, the Vice President and the nation with distinction for many years. He deserved a presidential pardon.”

Bush ultimately commuted Libby's sentence but didn't pardon him.

Commentary From The Right:

More Media Follies

By R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. on 7.23.09 @ 6:09AM

What follows is a column adducing still more evidence of the trivial nature of the contemporary American news media.

The other morning I was lying in bed recovering from minor surgery, my body heaving off the residual effects of a powerful anesthetic, Proposal. Believe me it is a powerful anesthetic. It thrust me into the utmost darkness, for forty minutes according to my doctor. It could have been for eternity. I would have had no idea. I cannot imagine why people abuse such charmless drugs. Why not just pull the trigger as Hemingway pulled the trigger, and enter the darkness forever with absolutely no more pain. Incidentally, Proposal is one of the substances Michael Jackson repaired to for sleep. If he found security in Proposal, his life must have been hell when he was awake.

Yet to return to Washington, D.C. and to my trivial media story. The last aftereffects of Proposal were giving way as I read my doctor's strict instructions. For the remainder of the day, I was not to "drive a car…use a hot stove… heavy machinery …or make important decisions." As I read his enjoinder against making important decisions, the telephone rang. A media booker was at my ear inquiring as to whether I would accept the invitation of a well-known cable news show to talk about how the Republican Party was being affected by Obama critics who have been harassing Democratic politicians with claims that the President did not have a legitimate birth certificate and was born abroad, perhaps in Botswana, or Upper Volta, or Lapland. On his provenance there is no unanimity among these critics.

Well, my doctor's instructions did counsel that I not "make important decisions," but how would that hinder me on a political talk show? As I saw it, I would be in perfect condition to answer the witty ripostes of cable news's talking heads, say Tucker Carlson or Jon Stewart. I agreed to do the afternoon show as long as I did not have to drive a car or use heavy machinery to get to the studio. Moreover, I had good news for the booker. Choosing me to discuss the president's national origins was an inspired choice. A crack reporter of mine at The American Spectator had investigated the matter when it was a hot rumor during the presidential election and found no empirical evidence in support of the story.

Better yet, the Spectator's reporter found evidence militating against the story. At the time of Obama's birth in 1961, a notice of the blessed event was published in the major Hawaiian newspaper. I would not rule out dark and treacherous conspiracies by a Democratic president, especially one in cahoots with Rahm Emanuel, but a conspiracy going back almost five decades exceeds even Emanuel's diablerie. Thus I would gladly appear on this news show and present evidence that the questions about the President's place of birth are without merit. The news story is nonsense. Those who dwell on it are distracting us from today's real issues: the Obama Administration's bankrupting of the country, its attempt to transform American healthcare into a rationing system against senior citizens and the chronically ill, its cap-and-trade bill guaranteeing high unemployment and higher energy costs in time of recession.

Well, ha-ha-ha. Back comes my disappointed booker after conveying the good news that we would be setting the record straight on the show shortly. Alas, the show's producers did not want me to set the record straight. They had wanted me to defend the false story. But I reminded the booker, I knew the story to be false. In fact I had provided the show with irrefutable proof that the story is false. Obama is American-born.

The show proceeded to find a guest who would repeat the false story, either knowingly or out of ignorance -- so much for getting to the truth of issues on television. As for me, I would never knowingly publish anything that I knew to be untrue, not in this column or inThe American Spectator.

I shall make a prediction. This presidency is going to be one of the greatest presidential disappointments in a generation. Arriving on the grim winds of recession with two wars already going on, the Administration's failures are going to be a serious challenge to the country's well-being. If major media continue to treat the news as entertainment rather than the dissemination and analysis of fact, they are going to create still more danger for the country. I say, let them eat Proposal.

Lawsuit seeks CIA records for Pelosi briefings
The Associated Press
Judicial Watch says it's trying to discover the truth about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's allegation that the CIA lied about briefing Congress on the program ...

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