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Obama releases birth certificate, voters talk petrol prices

Mark Mardell | 17:55 UK time, Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Annapolis, Maryland

"I don't care where he was born. I just wish he would do something abut gas [petrol] prices," a man in Chick and Ruth's diner on the main street of Annapolis in the US state of Maryland told me.

That is the sort of reaction President Barack Obama hopes for. His message is that the fuss about where he was born is bemusing, puzzling, silly and a "sideshow" distracting from the huge economic issues facing America.

But Mr Obama had to kick over the sideshow if the customers at the diner were anything to go by. Most people I spoke had a hazy perception that there was something slightly untrustworthy about the document released by the Obama campaign two and a half years ago. Most thought this had dragged on far too long and deserved to be cleared up.

The argument that Mr Obama isn't eligible to be US president because he wasn't born in the US was once thought to be the preserve of the political fringes, those whose "birther" nickname equates them with the "truthers" who believe 9/11 was carried out by the US government.

But it was plonked centre stage by potential Republican candidate, billionaire property developer and TV star Donald Trump, who has said several times that he doubts Mr Obama was born in Hawaii and that he has put private detectives on the case.

Mr Trump was in New Hampshire today doing multiple stops in this key state. Mr Obama's press conference both stymies his big day and gives him even more publicity. Mr Obama's aim must be to make him look deeply unserious.

Many Obama supporters feel racism motivates the birthers - disbelief that a black man can be an American president. Some birthers are opponents who hate his values so much they think he must be un-American literally as well as metaphorically.

But there's no doubt his team has handled this appallingly.

They have today released the full birth certificate. In 2008 they released a "certification of live birth". The White House communications director writes:

When any citizen born in Hawaii requests their birth certificate, they receive exactly what the president received. In fact, the document posted on the campaign website is what Hawaiians use to get a driver's license from the state and the document recognised by the federal government and the courts for all legal purposes. That's because it is the birth certificate.

That appears to be true, and the Hawaiian authorities were apparently reluctant to publish the full thing. But what could be more delicious to conspiracy theorists than the existence of an unseen document that apparently the authorities were keen to keep from the full public gaze?

In Chick and Ruth's I found a full variety of views about the issue. A waitress said it was crazy that anyone ever doubted when Mr Obama was born, an older man still thought that his president may have been born in Kenyan and wanted to study the document. A younger man had no real doubts but thought this was overdue.

It may not go away. I have already had one e-mail from someone who said he had no interest in were Mr Obama was born but claimed the new document had been doctored.

But one thing is very clear. I was in Annapolis filming a story on the economy, and nearly every customer I spoke to ended up talking, unprompted, about the price of petrol. That was the real issue for them. Like the president, they regarded anything else as a sideshow, albeit an entertaining one.

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    It's sad that people like Trump have so much media power that they're able to foist this nonsense on the public and force President Obama to respond.

  • Comment number 2.

    Yes, he should have done it sooner. Let's see what the wacko birthers come up this time to discredit his citizenship. With them,the goal posts will always be moving. Wait, wait, I know what it will be. Questions concerning Hawaii's statehood. Questions about it's becomming a territory. Well. it was a bit of a grab by the US.
    Manifest destiny rescinded?

  • Comment number 3.

    Regarding the length of time it has taken to produce this document it can only be expected that many would view it as evasiveness and if trying to avoid producing it then the next thought is there must be something to hide. Questions would have been asked of any individual appearing to be so evasive far less one in a national leadership position.

    Concerning fuel prices I am British but moving to live in the US soon though not for any economic reasons rather simply to be with someone and i'm looking forward to those cheap fuel prices they have there. They need to take a look around the world to see how lucky they are to have such cheap fuel. Try paying the equivalent of $10 a gallon as I have then feel entitled to complain about fuel prices.

  • Comment number 4.

    The birthers...gee...a new word from the Republicans and Tea Party. They are wasting taxpayers money. I find them to be a bunch of Hillbillies.

  • Comment number 5.

    @oppozition : You won't be looking forward to the distances you will be driving. Try driving over 2897k in one direction.

  • Comment number 6.

    This is all so deeply offensive. Why didn’t Obama produce this certificate sooner? Maybe he felt it was beneath him, maybe he felt that he should be believed and trusted and that the Hawaiian officials should be believed and trusted. Why has no one pointed out that given this “birther” theory anyone born outside of the US to American citizens would not be eligible to run for President? This would include anyone born to military families serving abroad, anyone born to State Dept employees serving abroad, including US ambassadors. I do not understand why this flaw in the birthers’ theory has not been challenged in the media. And as for Donald Trump running for President, can this country possibly take him seriously after the performance put on by his hair during a Monday night football game? If he wants to run there should be a “piecers” movement challenging him to prove his hair is real! And No a letter from his barber will not suffice.

  • Comment number 7.

    It boggles the mind why the then presidential candidate didn't simply release the whole birth certificate as soon as this issue arose, faced it head on, and put the insane conspirosy theorists properly in their place. Allowing it to fester and grow has only served to, inadvertently, promote raceism and disunity, not to mention give the world one more hilarious joke to laugh at. And here I was thinking that the United states' goal in the international community was to be a serious partner, offering beneficial substantive solutions to our shared problems, not to be its comedian. This is just so embarrissing! The world must roll their eyes at us at least once a day.

    Mark "one thing is very clear. I was in Annapolis filming a story on the economy, and nearly every customer I spoke to ended up talking, unprompted, about the price of petrol. That was the real issue for them."

    Of course it is, because - as you correctly observed in your '"The Limits of American Power" entry - it is practically unAmerican to take public transportation. May be if we had $9 and $10 a gallon gas as they do in Britain, we wouldn't be so stubbernly demanding. We might see the benefits, both to mother earth and our society, of taking mass transet once in a while.


    The people you spoke to, I'm fairly certain, did not talk unprompted about our corrupt health care system, greedily opportunistic Wallstreet bankers, selfish oil companies, and/or the president's inability to grow a back bone and stand up for the average person. Did they?

  • Comment number 8.

    The whole birther charade has been jaw-dropping to the people I talk to.

    It has so detracted from the main issues facing Americans that it may have caused real damage to the Republican cause when people realise that the right has wasted time and credibility on this nonsensical point.

    This is the first time that any President has had to produce his own birth certificate to satisfy the gaping and credulous populace. In any other circumstances it would have been a matter for hilarity but here, I think I can feel what was behind this affair: covert racism.
    I said before that there are people who, if you put the cert. behind a glass case for public inspection at appropriate opening hours, there'd still be visitors who'd walk away saying 'I don't believe it: it's a fake". There are people who would never be convinced, poor things.

    Now let's hear the right on those gas (petrol!) prices and other issues of substance. Please shut up about pieces of paper.

  • Comment number 9.

    Mark, let's be clear on the facts. The official short-form birth certificate released by the Obama campaign in 2008 is exactly what Hawaiian officials describe. This is not merely a statement that "appears to be true," as you claim; it is true. To receive a copy of the long-form birth certificate (which is also labeled "certificate of live birth"), Hawaiians have to request a waiver from the state. So when you talk about "reluctance," it's really a matter of process.

    For people raising questions on how the Obama campaign/administration handled this ridiculous saga, it's important to note that there is no playbook as no other president or candidate has been forced to provide a birth certificate.

    Believing in conspiracy theories is part of human nature. Even after all the facts have been gathered supporting Obama's Hawaiian birth with no evidence suggesting the contrary, many will still refuse to accept proven reality. The mainstream media, however, must stop promoting debate of this conspiracy theory and focus on the real issues facing the country.

    The real question you should have, Mark, is for Donald Trump, who said he would release his financial statements after the President released his long-form birth certificate. The clock is ticking.

  • Comment number 10.

    I'd like to thank Donald Trump for getting this out in the open.Maybe he can also clear up some other issues re. Mr. Obama's past.Or perhaps not.
    It's not so much a racial issue, folks just don't connect to the President & he in turn is not forthcoming which creates more suspicion. But I'm sure it's partly racial-at least a little bit.

  • Comment number 11.

    We should amend the constitution to allow for foreign-born Americans to run for president, in my opinion. One can be a high military official (Rick Sanchez) or Secritary of State (Henry Kissinger) but not president. I understand why the founders included this barrior in the constitution, but in case we (and the world) haven't noticed, the United States has changed a little over the past 235 years. Its time to change the requirements for president to adapt to these changing times.

    Furthermore, just think. If the natural-born clause wasn't in the constitution (or had been amended before Obama ran) this whole "birther" thing could have been avoided!

  • Comment number 12.

    Something for Trump to get Trumped with Obama card.

  • Comment number 13.

    The United States Constitution was written in the late 18th century, but perhaps just where a US president was born could have little relevance, today. I have worked with people from various places around the world, and am convinced that good thinking is good thinking, no matter where it comes from.

  • Comment number 14.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 15.

    No one seems to have pointed out the fact that John McCain, Obama's opponent in the last election, was born in Panama. Because he was born on a U.S. Naval Air Base, he would be regarded as having been born on American "territory," raising the issue of the whole meaning of being "foreign born." I wonder if McCain had been elected president, a similar "birther" movement would have started?

  • Comment number 16.

    Donald Trump is a clown and has many more problems with veracity than Pres. Obama will ever have. To start: he is not now a billionaire, if he ever was one. He has gone bankrupt several times. Those buildings and projects with his name on them are owned only in a very small percentage by him. He clings to an increasingly ragged fame with his ludicrous TV show. That said, I'd love to see him run for President. He'll destroy the insanely right-wing Republican party.

  • Comment number 17.

    I'm afraid that the issue of where Mr. Obama was born is going to end up like the moon landing. There are just some people that no matter how much evidence is put forward they won't believe it. This release may decrease their number slightly, but the number will never be naught. The people who are attempting to make a career on this topic will, rightfully, claim victory today. In the same breath however, they will say they still have doubts about the authenticity of the document. They will also elude to other "birther" complaints to keep the issue alive. What we can hope is that a general downward trend in media coverage of the topic will start today. Regardless, in twenty years when conspiracy theorists meet for a few pints at their local pub, someone will probably bring up the Obama birth certificate issue.

  • Comment number 18.

    I think anyone that says he isn't an American should be arrested and made to prove that they were born in the US. Passport? Birth certificate? Fakes, prove you were born here! See how they like it.
    Bunch of morons

  • Comment number 19.

    Not happy with the quality of this post. There are numerous typos and the sentences almost invariably start with 'but'. This is the best the BBC can do for a North America editor? You would have thought he at least listened in secondary school English lessons...

  • Comment number 20.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 21.

    All of this commotion surrounding President Obama's birth certificate is just silly. Even he had been born in Kenya (which he was not), His mother was American which makes him American. The man who ran for president that was not born in U.S. is John McCain. He was born in Panama. His parents were American, so he is American. You have to see the whole picture and not just take a bit of the truth, spin a story of lies, and scare the uninformed. Read the Constitution.

  • Comment number 22.

    Conspiracy theorists and racists have a lot in common. You have to be taught or choose to believe in either against rational evidence. Therefore, trying to change a racist's mind or some who chooses to believe in a "birther" issue is bound to fail (maybe partly because they are also racist) These are not rational behaviors, whether it is racism or irrational conspiracy theories.

  • Comment number 23.

    And once again voters want a President to do something about petrol prices, which is not something any President can effect much unless he gets Congress to restrict imports of oil which would drive prices up. The price of oil (and petrol) is influenced by worldwide supply and demand. The USA doesn't control worldwide supply and on the demand side consumes 20% of the oil. So even if the USA cut consumption by 50% it would not affect supply greatly. Sigh... People never learn....

  • Comment number 24.

    I'm an American, and I find this whole issue to be disgusting and childish.
    I think Obama had every right to not produce the full on "real" birth certificate when this absurd issue was first brought up. Granted he's rather famous now, but handing over your birth certificate information is the first step to being victim to identity theft. Only you can request YOUR birth certificate information for this (and many other) reason(s).
    My one question to these paranoid fools is: Do you really think a President is not subject to extensive background checks by the CIA, NSA, and Secret Service? Apparently the fools who want our country in lockdown do not trust those same agencies to do their job. Brilliant.
    Furthermore, this is simply a classic distraction tactic being used by the right-wing nutjobs to make sure people aren't paying attention to what they are (or are not) doing whilst in office. They are pointing at Obama and yelling SMOKE! while they are turning around and setting everyone's civil and human rights on fire.

    People who behave like this (especially "Tea Party" members) are an embarrassment to my country and make me hang my head in shame.

  • Comment number 25.

    In today's world, where computer technology has enabled the creation of excellent forgeries of documents, videos, etc. Example: It is possibly to create a video of anyone doing just about anything, such as having sex with a horse. The acceptance of anything is really based on the faith in and trust of the presenter. President Obama in his handling of the situation only added to the mistrust and questioning of the validity of his birth documentation. In the State of New Jersey, a birth certificate is not sufficient documentation to get a driver's license and I found his unwillingness to produce a birth certificate arrogant and offensive.

  • Comment number 26.

    FrankMcG wrote, "I found his unwillingness to produce a birth certificate arrogant and offensive."

    Besides the fact that the Obama campaign did release the official birth certificate given to them by Hawaii in 2008, why would it have been arrogant if candidate Obama had not done so? No other presidential candidate had done so before. Your use of the word "arrogant" is suggestive given these facts.

  • Comment number 27.

    Don't candidates for election in the USA have to present their bona fides to an appropriate electoral body BEFORE they get on the ballot sheet?
    What a silly country the USA is

  • Comment number 28.

    25. At 22:58pm 27th Apr 2011, FrankMcG wrote:
    In today's world, where computer technology has enabled the creation of excellent forgeries of documents, videos, etc. Example: It is possibly to create a video of anyone doing just about anything, such as having sex with a horse. The acceptance of anything is really based on the faith in and trust of the presenter. President Obama in his handling of the situation only added to the mistrust and questioning of the validity of his birth documentation. In the State of New Jersey, a birth certificate is not sufficient documentation to get a driver's license and I found his unwillingness to produce a birth certificate arrogant and offensive.

    --------------

    Then you are far too easily offended. Did Kennedy present his birth certificate to the nation? Or either of the Bushes? Or Clinton? Or any other presidential candidate? No one questioned their nationality in the way that Obama's nationality has been questioned - why could that possibly be? Couldn't be the colour of his skin or his name, could it? Surely not!
    And can you think of any reason why a black man in the USA may feel that he shouldn't have to hand over official documents about his birth and status to any white man that demands it ? Did you say "arrogant", by the way?

  • Comment number 29.

    Do all those people really object to Obama because they didn't believe the first official Hawaiian report?
    So now that this is settled, how many of the 'birthers' are going to change their minds and evaluate this president on the basis of what he has, and has not actually done?
    My guess: four.
    All the rest will just embrace the next hate-point provided by the far-right billionaire's media dollars. Remember, thanks to the 'Citizens United' Supreme Court decision, working Americans have the right to contribute as much to political campaigns as any multi-national corporation. Fair is fair.

  • Comment number 30.

    I think Obama could have made this issue go away four years ago when he was campaigning by simply doing what he did today and releasing his birth certificate. Maybe he was offended that people even asked and then just got stubborn about it but he's a politician and he should have known that conspiracy theories thrive on government officials refusing to release information. Yes, as he said it was silly for the issue of his birth to have stuck around this long but he could have made it go away any time he chose so he shares some of the blame for the silliness.

    Now can we please get on with the business of fixing the gaping hole in the budget?

  • Comment number 31.

    FrankMcG, (#25. At 22:58pm 27th Apr 2011)

    "... computer technology has enabled the creation of excellent forgeries of documents, videos, etc ..."
    While I don't have as great a problem as you do with the President's handling of the matter of his birth certificate, you're quite right about how difficult it has become for someone who is not a subject matter expert to detect a good digital forgery. Scientific American ran an article on this subject, Digital Image Forensics, in the June 2008 issue.

  • Comment number 32.

    5. At 20:27pm 27th Apr 2011, Martin_Van_Buren wrote:
    @oppozition : You won't be looking forward to the distances you will be driving. Try driving over 2897k in one direction.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I agree and its typical where i live in Australia. Petrol prices are and always have been roughly half price per Litre as in in the UK, yet we have to travel more than twice the distances.

  • Comment number 33.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 34.

    19. At 21:40pm 27th Apr 2011, td299 wrote:
    Not happy with the quality of this post. There are numerous typos and the sentences almost invariably start with 'but'. This is the best the BBC can do for a North America editor? You would have thought he at least listened in secondary school English lessons...
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Here we go, an American speaking a borrowed language complaining that an Englishman's grammar is faulty. As an editor the complainant ought to know that the English language is dynamic and constantly changes including grammar "rules".

    If (lol) anything the complainant should analy(z)/se his own corruption of English first.

  • Comment number 35.

    22. At 22:14pm 27th Apr 2011, armando99 wrote:

    Conspiracy theorists and racists have a lot in common. You have to be taught or choose to believe in either against rational evidence. Therefore, trying to change a racist's mind or some who chooses to believe in a "birther" issue is bound to fail (maybe partly because they are also racist) These are not rational behaviors, whether it is racism or irrational conspiracy theories.

    ---------

    And no matter what evidence is produced, this issue will never go away. There are too many evil people who benefit from stoking this fire.

  • Comment number 36.

    I love these comments. How dare anyone challenge Obama?

    As if anyone should ever doubt a man who hid his official, full birth certificate for 3 + years (released as soon as a democratic governor gets into office in HI), who won't release his college records (first president ever), who won't release his medical records (first president in modern times).

    The dems/libs challenged (and the media jumped on the bandwagon) when Bush's military records were challenged. Sadly, the challenging documents were proven fakes months later and the lead media rep (Dan Rather) lost his job over it. How much of the media has investigated Obama's medical and school records, let alone his birth certificate?

    A large number of liberals/dems believe Bush faked 9/11, but we can't believe another president would fake his birth place and a doc to become president?

    Thousands would have to have been involved to stage 9/11 and all would have to keep the secret for a decade. Not going to happen in this Wikileaks age.

    But challenge Obama and you are an idiot. The idiots are the ones who just accept on authority.

    Mike

  • Comment number 37.

    "But there's no doubt his team has handled this appallingly."

    No one 4 years ago could have figured this would have become such a weird, huge issue now. That being the case, I think there's little doubt Obama's treated this brilliantly. It does him no damage to allow people who would never support him anyways to have this strange issue fester in their heads and alienate more moderate voters. And now to release this at the height of paranoia, to deflate the bubble when it can't get bigger? Brilliant politics.

    I wonder sometimes if foreign journalists comprehend how politics in America are actually practiced. Hell, even a blowhard like Rush Limbaugh spent most of today discussing the value of releasing this information now and not earlier. If he can see this is a calculated political move, why can't the savvy journalists of the BBC see that Obama could have released this any time but chose right now?

  • Comment number 38.

    23. At 22:21pm 27th Apr 2011, armando99 wrote:

    "And once again voters want a President to do something about petrol prices, which is not something any President can effect much unless he gets Congress to restrict imports of oil which would drive prices up. The price of oil (and petrol) is influenced by worldwide supply and demand. The USA doesn't control worldwide supply and on the demand side consumes 20% of the oil. So even if the USA cut consumption by 50% it would not affect supply greatly. Sigh... People never learn...."

    -----------

    Yet the United States could go a long way toward making it far less relevant -

    by reducing dependence on fossil fuels generally; and
    by reducing dependence on foreign oil in particular.

    by reduc

  • Comment number 39.

    Mark,

    Obama's PR team made a big mistake by waiting this long to release his birth certificate. One need only recall the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth fiasco to realize that ignoring a seemingly baseless accusation coming from a small group of determined wingnuts can have major political consequences if not dealt with quickly and decisively. Kerry made that mistake and it cost him dearly in the subsequent election. The fact that buffoons such as Trump can still manage to rally round the "birthers" is an indication that Obama's PR team waited far too long to extinguish this ludicrous fallacy.

    A bit off topic now... What did you get to eat at Chick and Ruth's? Their crab omelette can't be beat.

  • Comment number 40.

    Are we taking the Nazi direction proving our lineage too? How stupid and senseless. The man was already a US Senator for the State of Illinois. What's with you people?

  • Comment number 41.

    This whole "Obama isn't an American citizen" garbage is insulting to common sense to put it bluntly, and Donald Trump's "contribution" doesn't help matters. This has been going on since President Obama was Candidate Obama, and what I find interesting is that Senator McCain (R-AZ) was born in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936---but the "birthers" never raised any questions about that!
    {Between you, me and the internet---I think the issue is a back-door way to complain about Obama being African-American/biracial.}

  • Comment number 42.

    When you grow weary of "birthers", there is, by the way, a very interesting election campaign unfolding in Canada.

    Among other things, the separatist party at the federal level, the Bloc Quebecois, which has dominated Quebec (50+ seats out of 75) for roughly 20 years has, since Easter, seen its vote move to the federalist NDP, Canada's social-democratic party. NDP support in Quebec - about 10% of the vote in 2008 is approx. 40%. The Bloc is now fighting for its life. Nobody, at all, predicted this.

    The perennial centrist market-economy+reasonable social programs party, the Liberals, have lost 1/4 - 1/3 of their support to the NDP, and may now be in free-fall. They, too, trail the NDP.

    The Liberal campaign has, ... er, ... um, failed to fire voters' imaginations. Their leader was the subject of a vicious two year smear campaign by the Conservatives, and has never recovered. A brilliant man who performs brilliantly at party rallies, his performance at critical junctures on TV has been lacklustre.


    The Conservatives (think Tea Party, or Republican Party North) have seen their support hover between 35 - 40 % on a slightly declining trend throughout the campaign, and may not necessarily be that far from winning a majority of seats on 35% of the vote. Success for the Conservative strategy relies on vote splitting between the Liberals and NDP. The general idea was to cruise home to a majority while the Liberals and NDP tear each other apart fighting for second place.

    There are four days left in the campaign.
    A majority requires 155 seats out of 308.

    Scatter in the polling data has been uncommonly large.

    At present the level of uncertainty is so great that the Conservatives may win anywhere from 120 - 180 seats on 35% of actual votes cast. The Liberals look set to win between 45 and 75 seats. The NDP may win anywhere from 50 to ??? 110+? seats, and the Bloc may win anywhere from 12 - 40 seats.

    To add spice to the story, voter turnout in the advanced polls held over the Easter weekend was up 35% over the 2008 election. The Conservatives strategy for winning a majority also depends on low voter turnout.

    This election is the most unpredictable in many years, and the parties have vastly different visions of the future of the country. It is very difficult to say what is going to happen on May 2.

    But I'd be watching to find out.

  • Comment number 43.

    Typical of the US to waste all this time & money over a birth certificate when there are more important matters to be concerned about. What would have the US done if they discovered that he wasn't born in the US-impeach him? This was all started by the Goebbels type propaganda of the US press.

  • Comment number 44.

    @38 Interested foreigner

    So basically you are talking about the development of a broader energy plan. While that is highly worthwhile, that's minimally a 10 year plan and would have no immediate effect on oil prices. So that does nothing to assuage people now.

    #39
    Considering this birther issue developed as an issue in the Democratic presidential primary (thanks Hillary!), and it clearly did nothing to prevent Obama getting elected, I think we can see pretty clearly that his political team has never let the issue gain any traction when it mattered. Now that he's released the birth certificate at an ideal moment, his political calculations have alienated the extreme right wing, painted numerous Republican candidates as fools, and allowed Trump to take a ridiculous issue and use it to silence any meaningful discussion of issues or future presidential candidates in the Republican party at the prime time of when presidential hopefuls typically declare their candidacy.

    If that's not politically brilliant use of the proverbial ace in the hole, I don't know what is.

  • Comment number 45.

    11. At 20:47pm 27th Apr 2011, PursuitOfLove wrote: “If the natural-born clause wasn't in the constitution (or had been amended before Obama ran) this whole "birther" thing could have been avoided!”

    I think you are overestimating the intelligence and/or good sense of the kind of people who have engaged in this mean-spirited folly for so long. You may also be underestimating the power of their motives, and quite possibly their racism and/or their political extremism.

    If it hadn’t been this it would have been something else, like he’s a card carrying socialist, communist or Nazi. I have already heard something like this fall-back position.

    15. At 21:04pm 27th Apr 2011, Bill Elliott wrote:
    “Because he was born on a U.S. Naval Air Base, he would be regarded as having been born on American "territory," raising the issue of the whole meaning of being "foreign born."

    We’ve been there already, at least once. Barry Goldwater [if I remember aright] was in the same situation, and it was resolved that he was qualified.

  • Comment number 46.

    Funny, but my first thought was wondering if the type face on the long form was used in Hawaii in 1961. Hope they got that right this time. :)

    Second and perhaps meaningless, although curious, was why the check box for MD was checked and then smudged over.

    Third was why Mark's link to the long form doesn't show the other half of the document. It's not all that long really.

    On a less serious note, Trump should be praised for putting this non issue to bed.

  • Comment number 47.

    To quote
    [quote]That appears to be true, and the Hawaiian authorities were apparently reluctant to publish the full thing. But what could be more delicious to conspiracy theorists than the existence of an unseen document that apparently the authorities were keen to keep from the full public gaze?[/quote]

    That's because that document may not be released under normal circumstances. Obama needed to obtain a waver to obtain it and release it to the public. The average person would simply be denied. The waiver was obtained likely through political pressure, something the average man could not do.

    The BBC even covers it here:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-13212230

    Please stop perpetuating this nonsense. Please BBC continue to be the reputable news source which you are, and please do not let such a disgraceful article like this slip by again.

  • Comment number 48.

    I have looked on the Certificate of Live Birth of one Barak Hussein Obama, II, and reality has once again prevailed. Out of the swirling masses of suppositions and allegations born of doubt, hate, rumor and the overbearing need to force uncertainty into a crueler and abhorrent reality, Normalcy is once again found to be true.

    Yes, his mother was only 18. Yes, his father was an actual AFRICAN. Yes his mother was a white teenager born in Wichita in Kansas, and yes, his father’s city and nation of birth are NOT stated anywhere in the document; but there it is, and exactly like the rest of us he was born on this Earth and in this country, on a date that is known and is certified by the government of the State of Hawaii (that is and was at the time admittedly a part of the United States of America) and so he is like us, and an American.

    Well, maybe not so very much like us. But look: his organization (must have) meant it as a subtle attack on the Republicans, to distract the party from the real issues, to pump up the Trump and so to weaken all Republicans who are trying to get established in the public eye. That proves he is real, and merely another politician.

    KScurmudgeon
    welcome back - getting desperate....

  • Comment number 49.

    44 Athena 07

    Quite so.

    But, of course, if America had started on this path, as it could have done, some 30 years ago, it might have been in a happier position as long ago as 20 years ago ...

    Each journey begins with a single step.

    I might also add that America's exposure and expenditures on national security might have been correspondingly reduced, as well.

  • Comment number 50.

    #49 Interestedforeigner

    Again, I agree it would be great to have a comprehensive energy policy and it would have been even better to have one in place as of 20 years ago. And if we did have one, higher gas prices would be less of an issue.

    However, that is largely irrelevant to what the president could do, or at least seem to be doing, about gas prices now.

  • Comment number 51.

    Welcome back Mark, I hope your vacation with your family went great!
    As a voter, I find the birth certificate issue to be moot because the man has been President for nearly a full term. The accusation of racism by Democrat supporters over the certificate issue is expected; it happens often enough that most days I just roll my eyes or shrug when Republicans are labelled as such. I also believe that Trump deserves credit for this certificate release because he gave the Birther movement a legitimate national face & voice. That being said, I am relieved that Obama has released his long form certificate of birth; we can finally lay this bizarre issue to rest. Mark, you are spot on about the importance of the economy and more specifically gas prices; they are uncomfortably high, even down here near the refineries.

  • Comment number 52.

    It's never been a "crisis" (from lead on US/Canada page). Is it necessary to use loaded words to introduce an item? Is it too dull to attract readers otherwise?

    Trump is a "fringe" candidate, by the way, so the controversy has not gone mainstream merely because he picked it up.

  • Comment number 53.

    #51 BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    DITTO! I agree!!!

  • Comment number 54.

    The Republicans remind me of the McGovern Democrats...sacrifing party prospects over dubious "issues"

    Wow, in an era where the deficit And gasoline prices are big issues, the Republican *fringe issues* dominate...it will be a stroll to reelection by Obama and friends..a dubious prize, yes, but handed to the democrats on a silver platter.

    Also, maybe the people offended by starting sentences with the word "but" are too ...to notice excellent writing when they see it.

    Latest M Mardell critisism received is just SO amazingly ..well..self explanatory..says more about the commenters than the blog author---lovely

    :))))

  • Comment number 55.

    Now back to a reality check.....

    Increased fuel prices = inflation....lost jobs....etc.

    Oil dependency....you better believe it!

    Can it be fixed now = Nope

    In the future = would be nice!

    So right now we have a college educated government (of lawyers) who only know how to "twist" words around and call it the truth.
    I've listened to some of Obamas speeches and he doesn't have an answer for anything, not even a silver bullet! Why, because all the education (especially constitutional lawyers) in the world cannot replace experience.
    Correction....they do have the experience on knowing how to pass the blame on.

    I do see that we have some of those federal employees posting here again. Hey... just so you know.... I was really hoping for a government shutdown, so you people know what it's like in this (Obama) government screwed up nation of ours and share and understand the grief of so many jobless "Americans". Oh yeh as your government keeps on saying (twisting) "the jobless rate is down".... Yep, more people have used up their unemployment benefits....that's how it's gaged.

  • Comment number 56.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 57.

    I don't think you can blame the GOP or the Tea Party or Mr. Trump for this whole 'birther' movement. I think the media are largely to blame for this. By giving air time/column space, they are doing nothing but keeping this non-story alive. The President is a US citizen. Let's move on. Furthermore, reading the comments posted on an article of a prominent US right wing news organisation website, it is disturbing and saddening to see that racism is pretty much alive in the US.

  • Comment number 58.

    @Little Johnny Wonder aka Little John #56

    I have to admit, I'm confused too.

  • Comment number 59.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 60.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 61.

    So, when is Donald Trump going to publicly apologise to President Obama for calling his integrity into question? - and whilst he is at it, when is he going to apologise to the Civil Servants of Hawaii for questioning their integrity and professionalism and also that of whichever electoral body it is that validates that Presidential Candidate meet the necessary legal criteria? How can the guy be proud of making an issue of this? He made himself look like a fool but I guess this is a sign of things to come - more dirty politics in the next American election with an agenda to avoid real debate on issues that really matter.

  • Comment number 62.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 63.

    Donnald Trump esquire is obviously getting far too big for his boots.

    Imho the US Gov should stitch him (and his de la soul buddy's) up for Higher Rate Tax good and proper

  • Comment number 64.

    Trump has taken an issue that it would have been "unpresidential" to deal with and fired it up into a major story. So the 5 minutes it took to swat the story aside can now be justified without having to worry about being side tracked by the next trumped up conspiracy accusation. It also has the fringe benefit of making Trump look foolish.

  • Comment number 65.

    I am an American and I feel that the office of the Presidency has been thoroughly diminished by Trump's clown act. No other president of our country has had to 'prove' to the American people that he was born in this country with a publicly displayed birth certificate. All presidential candidates are vetted before they run for office. We all know that. This is racism in its 'finest' hour. Trump is a repugnant, racist boor, who was born with every privilege. While I may not support all of President Obama's policies, I'll take a thousand Obamas over one Trump.

  • Comment number 66.

    Gas prices aside, why hasn't our current Commander-in-Chief hasn't taken any action "to protect innocent civilians from being slaughtered" in SYRIA?


    Are we going to target Bashar Assad personally as a part of enforcing a no-fly zone?

    Like we do re Muammar Qaddafi in Libya?

  • Comment number 67.

    athena07, (#50. At 04:01am 28th Apr 2011)

    ”... However, that [a twenty year old comprehensive energy policy] is largely irrelevant to what the president could do, or at least seem to be doing, about gas prices now."
    True.

  • Comment number 68.

    BienvenueEnLouisiana, (#51. At 05:09am 28th Apr 2011)

    ”... I am relieved that Obama has released his long form certificate of birth; we can finally lay this bizarre issue to rest ...”
    That would be nice, wouldn’t it? Let us all hope that more substantive issues dominate future Federal politics.

  • Comment number 69.

    powermeerkat, (#66. At 10:34am 28th Apr 2011)

    "... why hasn't our current Commander-in-Chief hasn't taken any action "to protect innocent civilians from being slaughtered" in SYRIA? ..."
    As "NATO" is barely able to enforce the Libyan NFZ, even with surreptitious U.S. assistance, a proposal of a useful Syrian NFZ is just silly.

  • Comment number 70.

    powermeerkat, (#66. At 10:34am 28th Apr 2011)

    "... why hasn't our current Commander-in-Chief hasn't taken any action "to protect innocent civilians from being slaughtered" in SYRIA? ..."
    As "NATO" is barely able to enforce the Libyan NFZ, even with surreptitious U.S. assistance, a proposal of a useful Syrian NFZ is just silly.

  • Comment number 71.

    #55 Silentmajority has hit the nail on the head.

    People in the UK, the USA and generally in Europe aren't interested in 'the deficit' and how to solve it.

    They (we) are interested in prices, jobs, schools, bread-and-butter issues that affect us and our families and friends. I've read a lot about the deficit and am little the wiser as to how our nations' debts are to be paid off except by hard graft and a lot of pain. I do see that it's a government's duty to do its best by its citizens - and it's in its own interest, as elections near, to be seen to be doing as much as it can to stimulate industry and commerce, and encourage growth. Maybe it's time for another 'new deal' requiring courage and vision.

    Many in the USA are urging their government to bring the boys home from abroad. The boys will still need their pay however, and America still has to be defended. If you make sweeping defence cuts you put even more people on the dole. There are no easy answers and no rabbits left in the hat.

  • Comment number 72.

    Re #70


    My rhetorical question was addressed to our Commander-in-Chief, Barack Hussein Obama, the leader very sensitive (judging by his own public statements) to innocent people's slaughters; not to 'NATO'.

    BTW. There's no NFZ to enforce in Libya, since Qaddafi's regime doesn't have any aircraft capable of any military action.

  • Comment number 73.

    #3 oppozition

    Take note...a US gallon is smaller than a UK gallon!

    1 gal (UK) = 4.546 litres
    1 gal (US) = 3.785 litres (or liters for the US!)

  • Comment number 74.

    1. At 19:31pm 27th Apr 2011, shehzad wrote:

    YOU:
    It's sad that people like Trump have so much media power that they're able to foist this nonsense on the public and force President Obama to respond.

    ME:
    Whereas the media exposure of Whoopie Goldberg, Rosie O'Donnell, Joy Behar, John Stewart and Steven Colbert and countless other left-winger (whose sole qualification is being funny to some people) is perfectly normal.

    Remember, O'Donnell is a Truther. As is Martin Sheen, Ed Asner, Harry Belafonte and countless other left wingers. So it is clear that the liberals will embrace lunacy if the target of the delusion is someone they hate.

  • Comment number 75.

    25. At 22:58pm 27th Apr 2011, FrankMcG wrote:

    "I found his unwillingness to produce a birth certificate arrogant and offensive"

    I wonder what you make of a Congress which consistently refuses to release the funds to allow the elected POTUS to put in place the policies he was elected for?
    How arrogant and offensive is it to put yourself (and your party) above the wishes of the electorate?

  • Comment number 76.

    It doesn't really matter. If people want to believe that he was born in Kenya then they will believe he was born in Kenya. Humans are not intelligent, rational actors who will change their opinions as evidence is presented but rather creatures who will view all evidence through skewed eyes, especially if they have already been encouraged by their environment to prematurely decide something.

  • Comment number 77.

    Trump is a racist and plays that card when he needs attention and he seems to need attention all the time. His ignorance and unwillingness to be truthful makes him very popular with Republicans as that is their standard approach to politics.
    Gas prices! Exactly what do people think the president has to do with gas prices...private companies with political influence in congress that bilks the public and usually pays little or no taxes. As the Republicans are the champions of the private sector maybe someone should ask them what they are doing about gas prices? Ask any ignorant American a question and you will get an ignorant answer.

  • Comment number 78.

    Do all of those saying Obama is the first person to have his eligibility questioned:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_Born_Citizen_Clause

  • Comment number 79.

    3. At 19:58pm 27th Apr 2011, oppozition wrote:

    "Concerning fuel prices I am British but moving to live in the US soon though not for any economic reasons rather simply to be with someone and i'm looking forward to those cheap fuel prices they have there. They need to take a look around the world to see how lucky they are to have such cheap fuel."

    Oil prices are global, the differences in prices are almost all to do with the taxes imposed by the government you live under. I am sure in some cases the cost of getting the fuel to the consumer may be a factor but not in most cases.

  • Comment number 80.

    I guess the birthers sentiments were just a throwback to the 60's with those over 50 remembering how the presidents kind was treated in the US and Africa with segregation laws, racial prejudices, ignorant stereotyping and the blacks were more militant fighting for their rights as black panthers in the US, or joining MLK's peaceful protests, or were Mau Mau's in Kenya fighting against British Oppression.
    In those days blacks and white did not mix.

    The same lower life plankton are still alive today and have kept their backward mentality from yesterday.

  • Comment number 81.

    Yes it is silly.....so ridiculous that people want to know why he did not provide it in 1995 when it became an issue. Mr Obama has been asked for this information since the run for the Illinois Senate, has sealed all his records and spent up to $2 million dollars to hide this one document. His biggest mistake now is not providing a copy of the original from 1961 when computers did not exist. This will spur on the conspiracy as Obama has had 3 years to create one and still refuses to allow the public our right to view his records under the Freedom of Information Act.

    Was never on the Birther mantra but people need to realize a certificate of live birth is not a common document. Every government facility require a full birth certificate.

    I do think Obama is ruining our country. His whole platform for Presidency was HATE BUSH & a $1.3 Trillion debt. Americans have been hurting the past ten years while Bush did lower taxes and keep unemployment between 4-6% while handling 911, 2 wars, and Katrina that devastated an area the size of England.

    Since Obama took office, unemployment has skyrocketed, he spent $14 Trillion in 18 months, illegally forcing Americans to use their disposable income to purchase insurance while exempting many corporations and individuals, raised taxes on small businesses, cut medicare and Social Security, taxing the middle class that he promised he would not, pay scales have fallen to barely above minimum wage for new hires, layoffs and salary cuts continue, his stimulus plan is prettying up roads and bridges that did not need it while lining bankers pockets with bonuses for losing money.............and he is printing money left and right adding inflation and no hope for lowering high gas, electric, food, etc.

    I believe he is the worst president ever. He likens himself to Clinton when it comes to manipulating Congress.........except times were thriving during Clinton's era. Taxes were high but we could afford a decent living, college, even a vacation or two, and the US had a comfort zone to invest in things.

    We need to focus on the next President, who ever that may be, to clean up this preposterous mess.

  • Comment number 82.

    for the Brit moving to the US. Our gallon is 3.74. It is not an imperial gallon. So today with gas being 4.35 - 5.15 a gallon..........it is not that cheap. Plus we drive 30-40k miles a year. So $ 1.16-1.38 a liter. And you will be earning US dollars once here, so it is not equivalent to using pounds to pay for dollar gas.

  • Comment number 83.

    The birthers can rant and rave like wild beasts as much as they like, but they can't stop the process of evolution and will eventually and thankfully shortly become extinct and dead as dodo's and their vexatious hate will soon be gone and forgotten when they pass. It's called "progess" and none can stop the march of time in this time.

  • Comment number 84.

    #80 Little Johnny Wonder aka Little John:

    When all other forms of intelligence fail "play the race car". Typical of most bi-assed individuals unable to think for themselves!

  • Comment number 85.

    #81 patty wrote:

    Well written!

  • Comment number 86.

    #82 patty wrote:
    "for the Brit moving to the US. Our gallon is 3.74. It is not an imperial gallon. So today with gas being 4.35 - 5.15 a gallon..........it is not that cheap. Plus we drive 30-40k miles a year. So $ 1.16-1.38 a liter. And you will be earning US dollars once here, so it is not equivalent to using pounds to pay for dollar gas".

    Yep! But also it would take longer to cross New York City, east to west, than England. Plus many Americans have to commute longer distances just to work, if than can find a job.

  • Comment number 87.

    84. At 16:26pm 28th Apr 2011, USSilentMajority wrote:
    #80 Little Johnny Wonder aka Little John:

    When all other forms of intelligence fail "play the race car". Typical of most bi-assed individuals unable to think for themselves!
    =================================================
    Racism is more about the establishment of White Global Power Systems ruling the world than them good all rednecks drinking whisky and rye singing bye bye american pie.

    What card.. cowboys play cards when gambling. I might be psychic as I am picking up vibrations you got a white mind and personality defining more than the color of your skin complexion.

  • Comment number 88.

    It seems totally illogical that an American student studying in an American University and had a kenyan partner would travel to kenya to have her baby.

    But Obama looks more Kenyan than Caucasian Europid, so its probably too much for peoples brains to conceive that he was born in the US and not Africa.

  • Comment number 89.

    #87 Little Johnny Wonder aka Little John wrote:
    84. At 16:26pm 28th Apr 2011, USSilentMajority wrote:
    #80 Little Johnny Wonder aka Little John:

    When all other forms of intelligence fail "play the race car". Typical of most bi-assed individuals unable to think for themselves!
    =================================================
    "Racism is more about the establishment of White Global Power Systems ruling the world than them good all rednecks drinking whisky and rye singing bye bye american pie.

    What card.. cowboys play cards when gambling. I might be psychic as I am picking up vibrations you got a white mind and personality defining more than the color of your skin complexion."

    Like I said! "When all other forms of intelligence fail "play the race card". Typical of most bi-assed individuals unable to think for themselves!"

    Hmmm! I wouldn't hang out a psychic open for business sign, if I where you! But I bet you might do well as a federal employee.

  • Comment number 90.

    #88. Little Johnny Wonder aka Little John wrote:
    "It seems totally illogical that an American student studying in an American University and had a kenyan partner would travel to kenya to have her baby."

    You don't do very well with logic, you need to work on fact!

    You may very well be logical when you play Nintendo, but real life is a different story.

    Hey... see you later... I've got better things to do than try to re-educate a federal employee or gamer!

  • Comment number 91.

    Obama has been caught in a cultural crossover, with a local mind and foreign body, but at least he has been exposed to both black and white american cultures socially as well as professionally unlike some white folks who don't mix and mingle and look at others as different when they are really the same with similar hopes and aspirations in life behind the closed door facades. He knows you and your ilk better than you know him as he has lived and worked with you all his life and has been exposed to two cultures and not one.

  • Comment number 92.

    "unlike some white folks who don't mix and mingle"

    LOL, just the white folks huh?

  • Comment number 93.

    92. You should try mixing with black, brown, yellow, pink and green and stop looking for a certificate of birth to define people racially. If our actions support others then we add power to life, otherwise chaos is to be expected.

  • Comment number 94.

    #81 patty
    The idea that Obama has spent 2 million dollars to seal his records is an absurd claim. He doesn't have to spend a dime to keep records private that already are supposed to be private, like a birth certificate. If you have real proof of this instead of repeating half-baked claims made by Trump and others whackjobs, I would willingly eat crow.

    Next, the Freedom of Information Act does not entitle one to view anyone's private records, like a birth certificate.

    Third, no government facility requires the full birth certificate for anything. Not for a passport, not to get a new social security card, not to enlist in the military. The "certificate of live birth" Obama has shown is in fact the preferred legal document. Your claim is simply made up.

    Fourth, there is no clear answer regarding the constitutionality of requiring people to purchase health insurance (we already require people to purchase insurance for driving a car and many other activities). In any case, your characterization of this one provision of the new health care law fails to mention all the additional provisions to lessen or eliminate the burdens of buying health insurance on those who face economic hardship.

    And the idea that Obama has raised taxes on small businesses, has cut medicare, has cut social security, and has introduced some new tax for the middle class are all total fabrications. As is the idea that he has spent 14 trillion in any period of time as the ENTIRETY of US debt stands at 14 trillion right now. Finally, the idea that economy imploded AFTER Obama came to office is so bizarre, I can't really comprehend it.

    In short, your entire post is either willfully deceitful or composed of outright lies. And shame on you, silentmajority, for perpetuating those absurd falsehoods by calling that "well written."

  • Comment number 95.

    93. At 17:37pm 28th Apr 2011, Little Johnny Wonder aka Little John wrote:

    "92. You should try mixing with black, brown, yellow, pink and green and stop looking for a certificate of birth to define people racially. If our actions support others then we add power to life, otherwise chaos is to be expected."

    You make many assumptions. I happen to be a minority in the city I live in and interact will kinds of people from all economic classes. I just think it's funny when think only white people would stick to their own. You have obviously not seen much, if any, of the USA.

  • Comment number 96.

    Johnny: unlike some white folks who don't mix and mingle
    --------
    Well, lets look at the Attorney General,eh?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Holder
    An excerpt:
    Holder gave a speech on race relations on February 18, 2009, in the midst of Black History Month, in which he called the United States "a nation of cowards" on racial issues.
    -----
    Is it not ironic that after voting in the first African American President that the black AG he appointed called America a nation of cowards?

    I never liked Holder after he said that...
    --------
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Holder
    An excerpt:
    In May 2010 Holder expressed "concerns" about "Arizona’s tough new immigration law", saying that it might "lead to racial profiling". Holder was criticized for his testimony during a House Judiciary Committee hearing, when he said that he had "not read" the Arizona law and that he had formed his opinions on the basis of news reports.
    ---------
    How could he say it might lead to racial profiling if he didn't even read it?
    --------
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Holder
    An excerpt:
    In May 2009, Holder's Department of Justice ended a civil suit originally brought by the Bush administration against the New Black Panther Party, its chairman, and two of its members for voter intimidation due to their conduct during the 2008 election. Two members of the party had stood outside a polling station during the election in paramilitary uniforms, one of them carrying a billy club, and both shouted racial insults at white voters. Although none of the defendants appeared in court to contest the charges, the the department of justice voluntarily dropped the charges against the party, its chairman, and one of the two members who had stood outside the polling station, and obtained a narrow injunction against the other. While the Department of Justice has contended that the charges were dropped due to lack of evidence, several of its current and former members have stated that Holder's Department of Justice is unwilling to prosecute minorities for civil rights violations.
    -----------
    So is voter intimidation okay if the people doing it are not white?

  • Comment number 97.

    Mr Obama is more tolerant to international communities as he has african european hawaiian brothers sisters and cousins in his family and was raised by white grand parents, basically birthers are rejecting Obama clinging onto a wing and a prayer.

  • Comment number 98.

    A Certificate of Live Birth is not the same as a Birth Certificate. You can't even get a US passport without a document that says "Birth Certificate". You can put lipstick on a pig and call it anything you want, but it's still a pig. Why does the press including you say that Obama released his Birth Certificate? It's a Certificate of Live Birth. Look at the top line: a birth certificate says "Birth Certificate". And they are not the same - check out US Passport laws. Why is this so difficult to report?

  • Comment number 99.

    You good ameri-yes-we-can bloggers can color posterize all you want, I'm off for a beer (or more), *we're 5 hours ahead inna the Uk

  • Comment number 100.

    Patty: I do think Obama is ruining our country. His whole platform for Presidency was HATE BUSH & a $1.3 Trillion debt. Americans have been hurting the past ten years while Bush did lower taxes and keep unemployment between 4-6% while handling 911, 2 wars, and Katrina that devastated an area the size of England.
    --------
    I think Bush and Obama both have and are ruining our country...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_W._Bush%27s_first_term_as_President_of_the_United_States
    An excerpt:
    Federal spending in constant dollars increased under Bush by 26% in his first four and one-half years in office. Significant increases in both military and domestic expenditure, combined with tax cuts and a recession, all contributed to record budget deficits recorded during the Bush administration. From the start of his first term, economic indicators were predicting a recession. Bush enacted massive tax cuts in July 2001 which changed the way federal taxes were paid and introduced changes to the retirement and pension plans of senior citizens.
    -----
    Who else but Bush and Obama increase spending whilst decreasing taxes?
    This is not brain surgery...
    -------
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_W._Bush%27s_second_term_as_President_of_the_United_States
    An excerpt:
    Bush's stated goals for his second term:
    4. Possible amnesty for many illegal aliens living and working in the United States
    Most of the conservatives broke ranks with Bush and vigorously opposed the bill, for its provisions regarding legalization of illegal immigrants and providing them with a path to citizenship. In mid July, Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney's chief political advisors, Karl Rove and Lewis "Scooter" Libby respectively, came under fire for revealing the identity of covert Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agent Valerie Plame to reporters in the CIA leak scandal. Libby resigned on October 28, hours after his indictment by a grand jury on multiple counts of perjury, false statements, and obstruction in this case.
    ------
    Why would they reveal a CIA agent?
    -----
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bush_economy
    An excerpt:
    The U.S. national debt grew significantly from 2001 to 2008, both in dollars terms and relative to the size of the economy (GDP), due to a combination of tax cuts and wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated that extending the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts (which are scheduled to expire in 2010) would cost the U.S. Treasury nearly $1.8 trillion in the following decade, dramatically increasing federal deficits.%2

 

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