TPM News

The Wisconsin Supreme Court recount has already hit a snag in Waukesha County -- the heavily Republican county that has been at the center of the vote-counting controversies -- and in the first bag of votes that they counted, too.

Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus (R), whose handling of the vote-count has attracted so much attention -- with her announced discovery of un-tabulated votes in the City of Brookfield, which she blamed on her own human error in importing the data into the county's database -- has recused herself from heading up the county's canvassing board in the recount.

Regardless, errors abound.

Read More →

President Obama sat down with a local reporter from Ohio on Tuesday and laid into the anti-collective bargaining bill signed into law by Gov. John Kasich (R) last month.

SB5, as the law is known, eliminates the right of thousands of state workers to collectively bargain for benefits and makes going on strike illegal. Democrats and union supports have vowed to fight the legislation at the ballot box, and they've said the issue has done a lot to fire up the base after big Republican wins (including Kasich's) in 2010.

Read More →

Judson Phillips, founder of Tea Party Nation, says that it's all well and good that President Obama has released his long-form birth certificate, but there are still several other questions about his "eligibility" and background that need answering. Among them: Why won't the President release his school records, and is he hiding the fact that he was on a foreign student scholarship?

Read More →

1||April 27, 2011: Hoping to quell speculation that he is not in fact a U.S. citizen, the White House released President Obama's long form birth certificate. Despite significant proof that Obama was born in America, a number of Obama's critics have peddled the "birther" myth over the past few years. Here, TPM takes a look back at the best (or worst) of the birthers.

Donald Trump is the latest, and perhaps most high profile birther, having forged his potential presidential candidacy largely around the issue. Following the release of Obama's birth certificate, Trump held his own press conference, taking credit for the revelation and raising further questions about the Presdent's past. ||TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images/Newsco&&

2||Lawyer, dentist, and "Birther Queen" Orly Taitz filed several lawsuits alleging that President Obama was not a U.S. citizen. In 2009, a federal judge forced Taitz to pay a fine for filing frivolous suits. ||a01/a01/ZUMA Press/Newscom&&

3||Lieutenant Colonel Terrance Lakin faced a court martial last year after he refused to report for duty, saying Obama was ineligible to serve as President and was therefore not a legitimate Commander In Chief. ||MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images/Newscom&&

4||Joseph Farah, publisher of the website World Net Daily, has repeatedly questioned Obama's citizenship on his site. Apparently an official birth certificate isn't enough to satisfy Farah, as WND's article about Obama's release is titled, "White House releases Obama 'birth certificate.'" ||CD1 WENN Photos/Newscom&&

5||Farah's website even sponsored billboards questioning Obama's citizenship, such as this one in California. ||wikimedia&&

6||In Arizona, state Rep. Carl Seel (R) sponsored a bill that would require presidential candidates to produce copies of their birth certificates to get on the ballot in that state. Gov. Jan Brewer (R) vetoed the bill when it came to her desk.||

7||While Fox News' Sean Hannity has not said he believes Obama was born in a foreign country, he falls into the category of "birther curious," in that he has often questioned why Obama hadn't released his birth certificate, further fueling the overall birther debate. || m78/m78/ZUMA Press/Newscom&&

8||Cult action star Chuck Norris is another of the birther curious bunch, having walked the line between calling Obama a foreigner, and questioning why he hadn't released his birth certificate. ||KEVIN DIETSCH/UPI/Newscom&&

9||Right-wing activist Pamela Geller was among the earliest birthers, sounding the alarm during the 2008 presidential campaign that Obama had not released a long form birth certificate. "And why won't Obama release his birth certificate? Is it his country of birth? His religion? His name?," Geller asked on her blog. ||b09/b09/ZUMA Press/Newscom&&

10||Conservative blogger Matt Drudge has also promoted accusations about Obama's citizenship on his website. ||Ron Sachs/Ron Sachs - CNP/Newscom&&

11||Jerome Corsi, co-author of the widely criticized book Unfit For Command about Sen. John Kerry's military experience, is set to release his new book, Where's the Birth Certificate?: The Case that Barack Obama is not Eligible to be President next month. ||RICHARD B. LEVINE/RICHARD B. LEVINE/Newscom&&

12||Republican Presidential aspirant Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), has sidestepped the birther issue, while at the same time adding fuel to the controversy. When pressed by ABC's George Stephanopoulos, Bachmann said she take's President Obama at his word, but that it was not her place to say if he was a born in the U.S. ||Gerry Melendez/MCT/Newscom&&

13||Another Presidential hopeful, Herman Cain, also stepped into the birther debate, saying that he thought Donald Trump was on to something with his birth certificate scavenger hunt. ||hc1/hc1/ZUMA Press/Newscom&&

14||Pastor Bill Keller was so concerned about Obama's citizenship, that he helped produce a full-length informercial on the subject. ||s70/s70/ZUMA Press/Newscom&&

15||Alan Keyes, who lost a Senate bid against Barack Obama in Illinois back in 2004, filed a lawsuit challenging Obama's natural born citizenship shortly after Obama won the 2008 presidential race. ||Jeff Malet/Jeff Malet Photography/Newscom&&

16||Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh has thrown his weight behind the birther controversy as well, once saying on his show that Obama was like God -- in that neither one has a birth certificate. ||ALEXIS C. GLENN/UPI/Newscom&&

In another speed bump for the Wisconsin Supreme Court race, the election officials in Dane County (Madison) are saying that they are unlikely to finish their part of the recount within the allotted two weeks.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports:

"We only have 13 days, and I believe ours will take longer," said clerk Karen Peters.

...In Dane County, Peters said the county Board of Canvassers will work from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. today, and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day thereafter until the job is done.

The state Government Accountability Board, which oversees elections, set the deadline but left open the possibility that it could be extended for some counties.

Liberal-backed challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg formally requested the recount last week, with incumbent conservative Justice David Prosser ahead by 7,316 votes, or 0.488%. This is within the 0.5% margin that entitled Kloppenburg to request a recount at state and local government expense -- and followed the controversial announcement by the county clerk in heavily Republican Waukesha County that she had discovered un-tabulated votes that were not properly added to the county's database, putting Prosser ahead after trailing in the initial numbers.

Beaming with pride, Donald Trump took credit on Wednesday for President Obama releasing a copy of his long-form birth certificate -- but with some qualifications.

"I'm very proud of myself because I've accomplished something that nobody else has been able to accomplish," he said in press conference in New Hampshire. "I'm really honored."

TPM SLIDESHOW: There's The Birth Certificate: TPM's Best Of The Birthers

But, Trump said, "we have to look at it. We have to see, is it real? Is it proper?" He added: "It is rather amazing that all of a sudden it materializes." And, Trump said, there are still questions about President Obama's background. "The word is," Trump told the press, Obama "was a terrible student when he went to Occidental [College]. He then gets to Columbia. He then gets to Harvard."

"I don't know why he doesn't release his records," Trump said. "Why doesn't he release his Occidental records?"

Read More →

TPM just caught up with Newt Gingrich after his address at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast on Wednesday morning. We asked about the news of the moment, the release of President Obama's long-form birth certificate.

Gingrich was in the breakfast all morning, so he appeared to be hearing the news for the first time. He laughed when asked for his reaction and cautioned, "I haven't even looked at it yet."

TPM SLIDESHOW: There's The Birth Certificate: TPM's Best Of The Birthers

Read More →

President Obama, in a rare public appearance on a personal issue Wednesday, scolded the media and those consumed with trying to prove he was not born in the United States.

"I know that there's going to be a segment of people for which, no matter what we put out, this issue will not be put to rest ... ," Obama told reporters. "We do not have time for this kind of silliness. We've got better stuff to do. I've got better stuff to do. We've got big problems to solve. And I'm confident we can solve them, but we're going to have to focus on them -- not on this."

TPM SLIDESHOW: There's The Birth Certificate: TPM's Best Of The Birthers

Read More →

With the release of President Obama's long form birth certificate on Wednesday, many are wondering why the White House decided to even bother wading into the birther debate long after it had been proven to be a red herring.

One reason, as noted by Obama in a press conference Tuesday morning, is that while the birther controversy is largely considered a fringe issue, it's actually mainstream within Republican ranks, according to several recent polls.

TPM SLIDESHOW: There's The Birth Certificate: TPM's Best Of The Birthers

Read More →