The high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his doctrine.

Jesus answered him, “I have spoken publicly to the world. I have always taught in a synagogue or in the temple area 10 where all the Jews gather, and in secret I have said nothing. Why ask me? Ask those who heard me what I said to them. They know what I said.”

When he had said this, one of the temple guards standing there struck Jesus and said, “Is this the way you answer the high priest?”

Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong; but if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?”

(John 18:19-23)

Senator Joe Paine: Do I actually *see* this–?

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington 1939

I crashed a little early yesterday so I didn’t get a chance to comment on the exchange between Jennifer Rubin and the head of CPAC Al Cardenas

Also, this year we decided not to invite Pamela Geller for comments she made at CPAC critical of our officers. In each of these cases, their ad hominem attacks denigrate the debate and distract from the real point of CPAC — to energize and empower conservative political activists and offer a platform to leaders to discuss policy issues that are important to the conservative movement and the nation.

If you are going to exclude people who critique CPAC there wouldn’t be a member of the MSM coming through the door. As for Ad hominem, those cancelled checks for $10,000 each at Pam’s site don’t seem Ad-hominem to me. Nor does the insight magazine article she quotes are pretty clear

Canceled checks obtained by Insight show Alamoudi provided seed money to start a GOP-oriented Muslim group called the Islamic Institute, which Norquist originally chaired and now is led by former Alamoudi aide and former AMC staffer Khaled Saffuri. A White House memo obtained by Insight prepared for coordinating Muslim and Arab-American “public-liaison” events with the White House shows that the Islamic Institute was instrumental in establishing the connection. The memo, from early 2001, provides lists of invitees and the name, date of birth and Social Security number of each. Norquist, as the first chairman of the Islamic Institute, tops the list.

Alamoudi and others, including Norquist, tried to keep critics at bay by branding them as “racists” and “bigots.”

Rubin was unimpressed:

This is troubling on many levels (of which I will touch on only a few) – beginning with the willingness to make accusations and then not explain the factual basis for them (waving your hand at unspecified news reports doesn’t cut it), the indifference to the upset caused within the movement, the attacks on people of conscience as attention-seekers and then the sudden refusal to explain how the action came about with a ground rule ignored in the prior e-mail

But when I got up today and looked at my e-mail then my jaw dropped:

The American Conservative Union (ACU) today announced Donald Trump will address CPAC 2013, the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference. America’s largest gathering of conservative leaders and activists to be held Thursday, March 14 – Saturday, March 16, 2013.

“Donald Trump is an American patriot and success story with a massive following among small government conservatives,” said ACU Chairman Al Cardenas. “I look forward to welcoming him back to the CPAC stage next week. Mr. Trump’s previous CPAC appearance was hugely popular among our attendees and we expect it will be even more popular this year.”

Donald Trump? Donald TRUMP? Cripes was Alex Jones booked that week? Did Trump have a better year than Christie? Did The Donald™ take bigger risks to speak truth to power than Pam? Pam routinely packs every event she had at CPAC, it the argument is popularity Pam brings it in spades.

There is one thing that Trump can do that Pam can’t. Trump can write those $10,000 checks, Pam, not so much.

Can’t anybody play this game?

Update: Just a reminder Pam received the Queen Esther Award for Jewish Heroism this year.

What heroic thing has Donald Trump done?

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Olimometer 2.52

Well this is another post unlikely to generate a $10,000 check to support this blog but the meter did move a little bit yesterday meaning it will only take 6 readers kicking in $20 to make this week’s paycheck.

(as for covering my cpac expenses I’ll have to worry about that later).

I’m no Nate Thayer and you likely won’t find me in Iraq anytime soon but like him I’m trying to eek out a living writing and on the radio. If you think I’m delivering value for money consider hitting DaTipJar below.





Media types looking to marginalize conservatives and ignore Bachmann, Cain and Palin hardest hit: Read MSNBC:

“After considerable deliberation and reflection, I have decided not to pursue the office of the presidency,” Trump said in a statement.

With his typical bravado, Trump maintained that he would have won the Republican primary and the general election, but recognized that “running for public office cannot be done half-heartedly.”

If nothing else the morning shows will get one more day talking about a non candidate, perhaps they will shift to Jimmy McMillian instead.

So the most powerful person in the world in front of a group of some of the most famous names in the press spends all his time joking about Donald Trump.

Does anyone seriously believe that Trump considers this a bad thing? Ann Althouse doesn’t

Hey, it’s a victory for Trump that the President talked about him at all, and he talked about him a lot. And all these stories about how grim and grumpy Trump looked? Trump always has a grumpy expression on his face. I detected more of a shadow of a smile than usual.

The Big Man says this:

You don’t punish Donald Trump by giving him attention. A more experienced politician would know that. Nor is building Trump up good for Obama — Trump has actually hurt him more than all the others combined. Because, you know, Trump has actually been willing to criticize him without being afraid of the Big Media retribution. The various traditional GOP candidates still have the old cringe-reflex where Big Media criticism is concerned.

He is right about Trump hurting him but wrong about the build up, as long as Trump is the news other GOP candidates can’t break through.

I don’t think Trump is planning on running I think he’s much too smart to believe his own hype. I do however think his weakness is his ego and the White House intends to use this against him. Even if he damages the president it won’t matter if a 3rd party run allows him to win with a minority of the vote.

A Trump 3rd party run would draw chiefly from people who are not paying attention but are hurting, these are exactly the people Obama needs to keep away from the Republican column.

It could backfire but since I see it as Obama’s best shot.

It’s about time:

The White House released President Obama’s original birth certificate Wednesday.

They did? But I thought everybody was saying that He already released it? How can it be that there was a long form that wasn’t released? Here is the image:

I'd say it's a case closed moment

The PDF file is here.

Now as for the document itself. There isn’t anything I see odd with it, nothing embarrassing, nothing strange. Nothing in terms of the speculation that we’ve been hearing.

To the president I say: Was it really that hard to do this?

To Donald Trump who is as I type right now is taking a victory lap. I say, HUH? He is taking credit for getting the document released (true) but he is not touching the fact that he saying stuff like “I hear its been lost etc etc etc.” He is talking issues this morning but the fact that he is doing a huge 180 on what his speculation was just a few days ago. Is he actually going to get a pass on that?

Expect updates as fast as I can type them.

Update: Trump is still holding court, I can’t believe he is going to spin his way though this. But It looks like he is going to.

To the questions of where he was born: I’d say case closed. As I’ve said in the past I believe he was born here (the newspaper clippings and the fact that the Clinton’s counter it was decisive to me.)

To political advantage: Short Term Advantage Obama long term advantage GOP This stopps speculation and the bleeding that was coming over this issue, it also gives the lie to the idea that this wasn’t hurting Obama politically. This was released today because Trump was causing damage and Jermoe Corsi’s book was #1 on Amazon.

In the long term it takes it off the table before he could bait enough GOP candidates to give an opinion that he could disprove at a key point in the campaign. The longer this was in play the more likely he could hit this at a time at maximum advantage. That’s a card they would have liked to play later. With $5 gas etc anything that keep the public’s eyes on the state of the country helps the White House, That ability for the WH to attack and distract on this issue is now gone. What will Chris Matthews do when he has to ask about gas prices, budget cuts and wars?

Eligibility: Now there is one interesting point to be made that Andrea Shea King raised on the show a few weeks ago (I’ll see if I can get her for the panel today). On that show Andrea pointed out that the birth certificate was a Red Herring. The actual issue she and others were making is the definition of “Natural Born Citizen”. She made the argument that under the constitution and in history That eligibility issue was defined by a person born of two American parents. The certificate shows that his father was born outside the US, so people making that case can actually advance.

However the Supreme Court has never ruled on this issue one way or the other. Remember what John Meacham said just a couple of weeks ago:

Watch the full episode. See more Need To Know.

This is not a trivial difference. Here is the Boston Globe from November 1896:

The fact that the Constitution says “natural” instead of “native” shows to my mind that that distinction was probably discussed. A natural born citizen would be one who by nature, that is by inheritance, so to speak was a citizen , as distinguished from one who was by nativity or locality of birth a citizen.

This is from a regular column called The People’s Lawyer that ran at the time.

As I type this NOW MSNBC is talking about the distinction between the two terms, odd they never brought this up before and admitting it has never been litigated.

With the release of the certificate this actually gives the ability of those making the case that he’s not eligible under the natural born clause ammo to make their case. Since however its a question of interpretation I suspect the lower courts and the Supreme Court would rule that “Natural born” should be interpreted as “native born” since President Obama in effect makes the precedent. Transforming this from an interesting legal debate vs a historical footnote.

This is certainly not going to be a boring news day.

Another update: Some commentary around the net:

Stacy McCain

I’m waiting for Andrew Sullivan to say, “See there? Now where’s Trig’s birth certificate? What’s Sarah Palin hiding?” In fact, Sully may have already said that, but I haven’t bothered to look yet.

Captain Ed:

Whatever credibility Trump had just dissipated this morning. He won in the same sense that Charlie Sheen is #winning! by getting canned and then embarrassing himself on a national tour.

Bill Jacobson:

this would confirm that Team Obama recognizes that the birth certificate issue has gone from tactical tool to strategic nightmare.

and:

The ease with which the White House obtained the documents demonstrates the rank idiocy of the mainstream media, which has been feeding us a steady stream of excuses as to why Obama could not obtain the document.

Lonely Conservative:

The White House has requested that Hawaii release the long form birth certificate, it can be seen here. I just have to wonder why they didn’t do this two years ago?

I don’t, it wasn’t to his advantage then.

Weigel:

Until today, you could speculate that the White House wasn’t answering them because they couldn’t. After today, you’ve got to be wondering if (Tim) Adams just flat-out lied.

I’m pleased to say I never heard of Tim Adams till I read Weigel’s piece

Firedoglake has a interesting way of putting it:

The President of the United States has been harassed into releasing his “long-form” birth certificate

Yeah I was harassed into releasing mine when my insurance changed

Oliver Willis:

It’s dumb that Obama had to go to extraordinary lengths to release his long-form birth certificate, but hilarious because it now shows that the leading presidential candidate of the Republican party has gotten to his position on what is an even now more thoroughly debunked conspiracy theory.

That first sentence is very true, but not for the reason Oliver thinks.

Patterico:

So the “long form” — which supposedly cannot possibly be obtained by the President, because Hawaii supposedly never ever ever ever releases it (at least according to those who have confidently told me this) — has been released. [UPDATE: But see my UPDATE x2. I don’t think it actually has been. At least, I’m not sure.]

And it is certified, which Hawaii supposedly cannot possibly ever ever ever do (according to the same people).

Looks like those of us who said the President had the ability to do this were right.

Now the question becomes: why didn’t the President do this long ago? In our most recent thread, we debated this. After all, he was being sued and spending campaign money to defend those lawsuits. Why not get the original evidence? Hawaii law allowed it. Was he hiding something? Or just arrogant?

I see nothing startling on the certificate, so I am going with the “arrogance” explanation.

Karol Markovicz is with me on advantage:

the release of the certificate will be a good, temporary bump for Obama. He gets to seem above the silliness. But in the longer term Obama is at a disadvantage. Now perhaps people will focus on his misguided policies and wrongheaded politics instead of the place of his birth. Yes, Obama took a major distraction off the table. Unfortunately for the president, the distraction had been a big help to him.

As for Trump, he might have lost his calling card issue but he’s still a sideshow and the media will still cover him. Does he have a chance at being our next president? Of course not. But his ability to get our president to cower and give in makes him a winner today.

Update 3: Bazinga!

Remember when I asked Trump in my interview last week if he would release his tax returns? This is what he said:

“Maybe I’m going to do the tax returns when Obama does his birth certificate. I may tie my tax returns,” Trump told me. “I’d love to give my tax returns. I may tie my tax returns into Obama’s birth certificate.”

So what do you think? Will Trump do it?

Update 4: Insty:

TRUMP 1, OBAMA 0: So I was at the gym when they finally caved and released the birth certificate – and on both the Fox and the CNN monitors I saw Donald Trump, who quickly started talking about . . . gasoline prices. See, he knows how to keep the pressure on.

Ann Althouse echos me:

I’d say, the reason Obama did not release the long-form birth certificate before is that he thought it was to his advantage to allow other people to look bad or crazy in one way or another by going on in the birtherist mode. But there was a tipping point, as Trump got traction and polls showed huge numbers of American’s entertaining doubts. So, it was all political strategy.

As I’ve written in the past the primary reason why the administration did not end the so-called “birther” controversy once and for all by the release of the President original birth certificate is because it was to their advantage to deflect and or discredit people who pursue it as not serious.

There was however an interesting side effect, it meant that this meme was underground to some degree, unchallenged and growing. So when Donald Trump, a person with sufficient celebrity that the media can’t ignore or break brought it up, it was able to feed on years of those unanswered questions that he spoke aloud and in plain language.

Trumps friends in the media at first expressed surprise, then regret then disdain, but as this clip from PBS indicates (via hot air), they now have fear.

Watch the full episode. See more Need To Know.

It is amazing, it’s the “There are no death panels but lets repeal them anyway” bit all over again. Not only does Meacham call for the repeal of the “Natural Born” clause, but he basically makes the same argument that Andrea Shea King did on the show a few weeks ago in terms of its meaning.

That he is making this argument to a PBS audience shows that this has gone beyond those who watch The View. Trump’s shots have become body blows that are lowing the president’s defenses and Public Television that has always been there to help defend the democrats who fund them are going to try to soften the blows.

Trump is not my choice for the nomination, he’s not even in my top 5, but he has done serious damage politically to President Obama and as long as he is in play he will continue to do so. As Rush Limbaugh has said, the media will tell you who they fear, right now they fear Trump.

I have heard quite a few people, ordinary people start to talk about Donald Trump positively. A lot of this is due to the push back against the media and his willingness to say aloud what other have not.

Ed Morrissey of Hot Air , one of the most reasonable people in the blogosphere however looks behind the curtain and reminds us of a few relevant facts:

Trump’s business bankruptcies include the Taj Mahal casino (1991), and the Trump Plaza Hotel (1992), in both cases losing half his stake in the reorganizations. Trump Entertainment Resorts filed for Chapter 11 in 2009, and in 2008 his Trump International Tower in Chicago defaulted on a $40 million loan.

His response to the last financial setback was both instructive and, well, entertaining. Trump blamed the global economic collapse and tried to have it declared an act of God to get out from paying back the $40 million — and then demanded $3 billion in damages from the bank for attempting to collect on the loan.

So much for “the buck stops here.” It’s worth noting that his own investors have booted him from management at these holdings after his risk-taking and failures. That’s not exactly a great track record for a chief executive.

This is 2011, it’s not possible to hide this information unless people don’t want to see it. Or lets put it another way. Let’s stipulate: for the sake of argument that Trump is absolutely correct on the Birth Certificate issue, that in itself does not qualify him for president.

Donald Trump is a self promoter, he understands that no matter what comes of this, in terms of publicity he will come out ahead, particularly if he can convince donors to pay for his campaign. Can someone explain to me how this ability to promote himself is any different from President Obama’s ability to run a successful campaign?

Would Trump be an improvement over the president? Well yeah, but I would be an Improvement over the president and I have no business running for office either.

The media not withstanding there are several excellent and competent choices for the Republican Nomination this time around. I think its going to take more than a couple of lively speeches and TV appearances to include Mr. Trump on this list.

As you know I’m not a huge fan of Mitt Romney as president but this is a very smart strategic move:

Mitt Romney forcefully said Tuesday night that he believes President Barack Obama was born in America and that “the citizenship test has been passed.”

“I think the citizenship test has been passed. I believe the president was born in the United States. There are real reasons to get this guy out of office,” Romney told CNBC’s Larry Kudlow the day after he formally announced that he’s exploring a run for the White House. “The man needs to be taken out of office but his citizenship isn’t the reason why.”

As I’ve said before the best Romney strategy is to divide the conservative vote. Meanwhile he has painted himself as the anti-Palin. For a 35% strategy in a crowded field it is important to stand out to some degree.

Let’s face it Mitt’s base is not the more conservative wing of the party so the best move to not only get publicity but credibility by forthrightly stating that the president WAS born in the US (I agree btw). By boldly challenging this narrative aloud and tweaking Trump in the bargain he gains good press from the MSM (not the use of the word “forcefully” in the Politico story) while appealing to establishment republicans. It also give him a moment to look like a decisive leader and make any others that say the same after he already did sound “me tooish”.

Governor Romney is going to need a lot more of these moments if he is going to get in the White House, but for today it was the smart move.

…in three sentences.

My wife is starting a new job, we will be getting new insurance because of it. We are REQUIRED to provide not only our marriage certificate but the long form copies of the birth certificates of both of our children.

Having to produce a birth certificate is not an irregular occurrence for the average person so when Trump says this to the general public, they understand it.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, It’s my opinion that the president is born in Hawaii, I believe that the reason for withholding permission for the certificate was to keep this alive as a club to beat people with, but I’m starting to think it is backfiring. The whole idea that something is being hidden is so embedded in the public’s mind that it establishes an idea of “otherness” that is going to hurt come re-election time. This is the law of unintended consequences.

I’m also thinking that the willingness of Trump to say aloud what a lot of other people are thinking but not saying is going to help a lot with people who aren’t involved every day. This is the 2nd time Trump has done this and both times its paid off.

Do I think he will win the nomination? No, will he make things interesting in terms of the MSM? Yup.

Update: On Morning Joe just now Joe Scarborough nailed it pointing out that the liberal audience of the View applauded when Trump said this. If the White House doesn’t see that this is trouble then they ought to. And the attempt to describe Trump as “going birther”, Mika’s disgust and the exiling of the segment to the “News you can’t use” segment doesn’t change the fact that an awful lot of people saw him say it and heard that applause.

Update 2: In comments Haiku Guy nails it big time.

What Trump is doing
Is giving us permission
To ask the question.

Exactly right.

Update 3: Here is the clip:

That audience response tells the story.

Update 4: CNN is on it.

Update 5: Great minds think alike: Bill Jacobson:

Listen to the crowd reaction beginning at the 2:08 mark, as Donald Trump vigorously and repeatedly states “I want him to show the birth certificate.” The crowd claps loudly to Trump’s words. (It seems an unlikely time for the producers to have flashed an applause light, so it is fair to assume the crowd reaction was spontaneous.)

Update 6: Now a memorandum thread. Since Robert Stacy McCain is sick today I’ll steal his line to Hit DaTipJar and encourage you all to check out my Radio Show this Saturday at 10 a.m. on WCRN AM 830 you can listen online here.

Update 7: Treacher at the Daily caller hits both of my points:

That’s why I don’t put any stock in the Birther stuff. If it were true, wouldn’t Hillary’s people have dug it up and used it?

and

But what’s really revealing here is that not only is he not laughed off the stage, but he gets a couple of applause breaks for it. Hey, Barry, when you start to lose the hens who’ll actually sit through a taping of The View…

…and this thread is still generating comments.

Update 8: Salon declares Trump irrelevant, and then spends 10 paragraphs going after him.

Donald Trump at the podium. It was worth coming to CPAC just to see someone willing to say that out loud. It was the emperor has no clothes moment of CPAC

some other quotes from Trump:

“Leaders from China and Mexico can’t believe what they are getting away with. The view our leadership as weak and ineffective.”

“Most successful people don’t want to be scrutinized or abused”

Update: Trump has decided he doesn’t want to talk to bloggers row. Yup he’s not afraid of tough questions.