In a Friday appearance on CNN’s John King USA, Birther queen Orly Taitz rolled over the eponymous host, and beleaguered guest Cornell Belcher, like that boulder in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Taitz emptied clip after clip of false and unsubstantiated claims at a helpless John King, but just when all seemed lost, King fought back with his own daisy-cutter of crazy, suggesting that President Obama has been rebutting Birthers in code.
There are probably many who wonder why CNN would choose to give twelve minutes of airtime to the widely discredited Orly Taitz. While most of Taitz’s wild claims have been disposed of here and elsewhere, Donald Trump has certainly proven that Birthers are good for business, media-wise.
It also seems as though John King thinks he is going to be the one to spring that one special logic trap that’s going to make Taitz & Co. spring up from their pews, cleansed of the demons, the Holy Spirit of sanity in their feet. Taitz comically disposes of that notion in a Kenyan minute, and leaves King huddled at her feet, covered in Birther pea soup. Belcher tries valiantly to cut in, but is met only with Taitz’s Dueling Birther Banjo.
This morning, the House debated the budget proposal put forth by the Congressional Progressive Caucus, a response to the budget drafted by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). During the debate, CPC member Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) asked Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN) when the Ryan budget would balance and create a surplus. After hemming and hawing for a few seconds, Rokita ultimately couldn’t come up with an answer:
ELLISON: When does the Ryan budget create a surplus?
ROKITA: The budget proposed and voted on by the committee — [...]
ROKITA: With responsible, gradual reforms to the drivers of our debt, like Medicare and Social Security, this budget will balance –
ELLISON: I asked the gentlemen when the Ryan budget created a surplus. He could have given me a year. He didn’t. That’s because he’s probably embarrassed about when that is. Let me tell you when the Progressive Caucus comes to surplus: 2021. That is known as a responsible budget.
The answer to the question is that the “courageous” and “innovative” Ryan budget would create a surplus for the first time in 2040, according to the Congressional Budget Office. An analysis by the Economic Policy Institute, meanwhile, determined that the CPC budget would indeed turn a $30.7 billion surplus in 2021, nearly two full decades ahead of Ryan’s “bold” plan.
I was on the website,Barackryphal, one of my favorite birther debunking sites, searching for an article. This site is on par with Oh For Goodness Sake when it comes to debunking the crazies that we call birthers.
I was looking for the fulltext version of the birther debate that Loren, a writer at Barackryphal composed and posted a couple of years ago.
The last time a public figure uttered this sentence, the nation had a hearty guffaw at Ben Quayle’s expense– until he became Congressman Ben Quayle of Arizona, one of the 535 most powerful people in America. This time, it’s Donald Trump who is pulling out the “Barack Obama is the worst president ever” card with Sean Hannity, amid claims that he also has a “big heart” and “gets along with everybody.”
Unlike most of the combative Trump personal appearances that have made him, somehow, the top potential 2012 Republican presidential candidate on some polls, Trump’s sit-down on Hannity (lavishly overlooking Central Park) was more about what was good about Trump than what was bad about President Obama. This may be, however, because he began the interview with the harshest critique of President Obama yet:
“I always said the worst president was Jimmy Carter. Guess what? Jimmy Carter goes to second place. Barack Obama has been the worst president ever. In the history of this country, Barack Obama is number one.”
Moving right along, Trump had nothing but good things to say– about himself, that is. And of his most threatening opposition, Mike Huckabee. “I do much better when I don’t like the people,” he joked, worrying that the fact that Huckabee was a “terrific guy” would weaken his attack. He once again confirmed that he was not making the media rounds to promote Celebrity Apprentice, and then took some time to explain why he may run. “I think I’m know as a really good businessman,” he noted, adding later that “I’ve made a lot of great decisions” and, what’s more, “I’m a very conservative person with a big heart.” This meant that he gets along “with everybody”– hence his campaign donations to Democrats– and he hoped the rest of the nation could grow to get along, too.
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will be headlining a Tea Party rally this weekend, at a venue that has served as the stage for some very high-profile protests of late: The Wisconsin state Capitol building in Madison.
The state Capitol, of course, was the site of massive protests both outside and inside the building, as tens of thousands of people gathered to show (and shout) their opposition to Gov. Scott Walker’s anti-public employee union agenda. But now, as the Wisconsin State Journal reports, Palin will be coming to town to rally the other side.
And check out this nugget from the paper’s report:
Americans for Prosperity is organizing busses to the event. Last year’s gathering featured former Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson and others.
Americans for Prosperity is, of course, a Koch financed group. The Koch name has popped up quite a bit in the Wisconsin protests — most notably after Walker’s 20-minute phone call in late February with blogger Ian Murphy, who was posing as David Koch. During that call, Walker discussed his ideas for tricking the Democrats into coming back by pretending to negotiate, his ambition to bust the public employee unions in the mold of President Reagan firing the air traffic controllers — an event that Walker said had led to the downfall of the Soviet Union — and that he had considered (but ruled out) planting troublemakers in the crowds of protesters.
Palin’s presence could provide useful measure of activist motivation on each side at this point in the saga. Back in February, a pro-Walker Tea Party rally at the Capitol featured an all-star cast that included Andrew Breitbart and Joe “The Plumber” Wurzelbacher.
However, out of the tens of thousands who showed up that day, only a few thousand were on the pro-Walker side — with several times more demonstrators on the other.
Today, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform called Govs. Scott Walker (R-WI) and Peter Shumlin (D-VT) to testify in a hearing titled “State and Municipal Debt: Tough Choices Ahead.” Much of the hearing was spent probing Wisconsin’s spate of anti-union restrictions it recently passed.
At one point, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) confronted Walker about his crackdown on public employee unions. The congressman referenced a provision Walker signed into law that would require union members to vote every year to continue their membership. Kucinich asked the governor how much money the state would save from the provision. Walker repeatedly dodged the question and eventually admitted that it actually wouldn’t save anything at all.
Kucinich then asked Walker how much money would be saved by barring union dues from being drawn from employee paychecks, another provision of Walker’s legislation. Walker claimed that it would save workers money, but was unable to explain how it would save the state any money. Kucinich then produced a document from the Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau, the state’s equivalent of the Congressional Budget Office, that concluded that Walker’s measures were “nonfiscal” — meaning they had no impact on the state’s finances. Kucinich asked that the letter be included in the public record, but Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) refused:
Walker’s admission is crucial because he had long claimed that his anti-union “budget repair bill” was designed to save the state money, not bust unions. But his words today echo those of Wisconsin state senate leader Scott Fitzgerald (R), who last month effectively admitted that the union fights are not about budgetary issues, but rather about winning the next election by depleting the ranks of organized labor.