I have become completely obsessed with this so-called “deather” phenomenon, the topic du jour that the media wants to shove down our throats at the moment. I should warn you straight away, that I am a raging news junkie. There are far too many moments of my life spent sitting on the couch watching a news channel on television, while reading the news on my iPad, and checking Twitter with my Blackberry. In fact, I have pretty much been in that position since Sunday night. So, as soon as I heard the news that we had finally tracked down and eliminated the most infamous terrorist of any of our lifetimes, I did kind of wonder if we would see a death photo of Osama bin Laden.
I’m not really someone who seeks out shocking or gruesome images or videos, only because I don’t want to live with something that disturbing in my mind if I can avoid it. In fact, I have never watched any of the videos of Americans being beheaded at the hands of animals in the Middle East, I didn’t watch Saddam Hussien’s execution, I’m frankly just not curious about these things. However, on Monday morning, when I listened to Hoda and Kathie Lee breezily chatting about a death photo on the Today show, I figured there was no way in hell those photos weren’t going to be released. Well, obviously I was wrong. Of course, no politician would ever let an opportunity like this pass without milking it for all the political capital it is worth, so a delay and drawn out public debate didn’t surprise me.
Responding to charges that Gary Johnson is not a libertarian, Jeremy Kolassa notes that libertarianism isn’t as rigid as some think, particularly on foreign policy. It is this sort of philosophical polytomy that has given us the choice of two libertarians in the 2012 election, both from different factions of the liberty movement.
For many libertarians like myself, Gary Johnson offers a breath of fresh air from several themes popular with the Ron Paul movement, which is fraught with conspiracy theorists, anarcho-capitalists, and armchair economists who believe themselves to be experts on monetary policy after reading End the Fed. Views of this nature are detrimental to the growth of libertarianism and have tainted Ron Paul’s campaign, rendering it unacceptable to many mainstream voters. Thus far, Governor Johnson has done well to avoid these poisons.
Unfortunately, not everyone within the Johnson campaign agrees with this strategy. While it is certainly not a requirement that campaign staffers agree entirely with their boss, there are some views that must be repudiated for the good of the campaign. Birtherism – a conspiracy theory believing that President Barack Obama was not born within the United States – is one of those views. For this reason, Gary Johnson must immediately remove his Virginia campaign Co-Director, Juanita Billings, as she has revealed that she subscribes to this theory.
Admittedly, I’ve never been a big fan of World Net Daily (WND), an ultra-conservative website run by Joseph Farah. The site has become one of the main hubs for Birthers, the conspiracy theorists that believe President Barack Obama isn’t a natural born citizen — either because they doubt the legitimacy of his birth certificate or because his father was not a U.S. Citizen. But recently, Loren Collins unearthed pretty solid proof that Jerome Corsi has been plagiarizing various sources in content he has posted at WND:
Several months back I illustrated how Brad O’Leary, in his WND-published book The Audacity of Deceit, heavily copied an article by another WorldNetDaily writer. Another blog noted last month where a column by WND head Joseph Farah bore a suspicious resemblance to a Wikipedia article.
But neither of those hold a candle to a December 19 WND article by Jerome Corsi, author of The Obama Nation and Where’s the Birth Certificate? The article is “Obama’s legacy of broken promises – in Kenya”. Not only is roughly half of Corsi’s article lifted from a 2008 British news story, but Corsi goes further, and repeatedly claims that the copied information and quotations were instead obtained by unnamed “WND researchers” in Kenya.
Over the last few days, since the reported death of Osama bin Laden, there has been debate over whether or not the Obama Administration should release photos of the terrorist’s body. CIA Director Leon Panetta said yesterday that it would “ultimately” happen, but would not give a window. The reason for the hold up is the photos are very graphic and the administration is worried that it “could be inflammatory.”
A lot of people are asking whether the White House will release photographic proof of Osama bin Laden’s death. It should. The operation to get OBL has been very successful thus far, including the decisions to conduct a raid instead of a standoff bombing and the burial at sea. The latter avoided a repeat of the race to dig up Che Guevara.
If you thought the birther nonsense would end with President Obama’s release of his long form birth certificate, think again. Plenty of people are already arguing about the authenticity of the document, while others are now shifting to say that he had dual citizenship and may not be eligible to be president. Personally, I want what some of these people have been smoking.
One point that’s been brought up is that the father’s race is listed as “African”, not “Black”. Of course, the fact that his father was actually from Africa, therefore the term was appropriate, seems to be lost on some folks. Black was a term used for American black people, but people actually from Africa?
As for the issue of dual citizenship, read the Constitution. It simply says a “natural born citizen”. Nothing more, nothing less. Dual citizenship, even if Obama did have it, isn’t disqualifying. However, so far there’s absolutely no evidence to really support the dual citizenship argument.
Many birthers have argued that Obama traveled to Pakistan during a period in the 1980′s when travel to that nation was impossible for American citizens. Sounds pretty damning, doesn’t it? Of course, the same year Obama went, there was a New York Times travel article about going to Pakistan. Um…oops?
The whole birther nonsense is a distraction. Yes, I agree that President Obama has been a bad president. Yes, I want to see him out of office. However, conspiracy theories don’t help anyone in any way. They make the president’s opposition look insane at best.
We have some real problems in this country, and while some will still try to argue that Obama is Kenyan or Indonesian or Martian or whatever, it won’t change a thing. He produced the birth certificate, but like so many predicted, it wasn’t enough. For crazy people, it usually isn’t.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) visited New Hampshire yesterday. No, he’s not running for president; But he did take a shot at Donald Trump, the statist real estate mogul that is considering a bid for the GOP presidential nomination and making a fool out of himself over the birther non-issue:
While speaking at a breakfast with New Hampshire Republicans one day after “The Donald” visited the Granite State, Paul riffed off the potential GOP presidential candidate’s “birther” questions.
“I’ve come to New Hampshire today because I’m very concerned,” said Paul, according to The New York Times. “I want to see the original long-form certificate of Donald Trump’s Republican registration.”
Paul’s comments follow up on some GOP-aligned groups’ effort to discredit Trump as a conservative. The free-market Club for Growth has accused Trump of being a liberal for his previous support of universal healthcare and his desire to raise tariffs on China.
Paul, a Tea Party favorite, said it would serve the GOP better to get behind a candidate who has better conservative credentials.
“Let’s look to Republicans who not only talk the talk, but walk the walk,” he said. “If we find the right candidate, I see no reason why we can’t win in 2012.”
In case you haven’t heard, the White House has released a copy of President Barack Obama’s birth certificate (you can view it below). The reasoning for release is that the conspiracy that Obama was born in a foreign country, which was debunked a few years ago, is unhealthy for the nation. You can read the correspondence the White House had with public officials in Hawaii, where Obama was born (and there was never a real reason to believe he wasn’t born there), here.
Of course, Donald Trump, who is considering a bid for the GOP nomination, is taking full credit for the White House releasing Obama’s birth certificate. While many are not taken Trump’s talk seriously, if he does decide to run, Obama just gave him a boost with a significant, though mind-numbingly stupid constituency in the conservative movement. Trump as a Republican nominee would likely be the easiest route to re-election among those currently performing well in primary polls.
While it may look like Trump put Obama on the defensive and forced him to release his birth certificate, this is actually very good strategy on the part of Obama by helping his weakest possible opponent.
While I wish the folks pushing this idiotic conspriacy would either go away or turn their attention to issues that actually matter; unfortunately, the release of Obama’s birth certificate isn’t going to end birtherism since reason and evidence don’t matter to conspiracy theorists.
Jonathan Hoenig, a market analyst and defender of free markets, fired some shots at Donald Trump, who is pimping his TV show considering a bid for the Republican presidential nomination, due to his lack of capitalist principles:
A recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found Donald Trump tied with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee for second among primary voters as their pick for the Republican nomination for president.
Aside from the attention he has received for questioning whether President Barack Obama was born in the United States, Trump’s primary appeal is undoubtedly his business experience. Given the nation’s festering inflation , exploding deficit and still moribund economy, there’s obvious interest in leaders who promote fiscal conservatism, capitalism and growth. The problem is: Donald Trump isn’t one of those leaders.
For example, Trump professes to support free trade, yet proposes a 25% tax on imported goods from China to level what he sees as trade imbalances in the global economy. It’s a contemptuous proposal which would immediately punish Americans by raising the price on virtually everything we buy.