Birthers’ next move

Sheriff plans birther press conference; Romney's secret money; more health suits; and other top Tuesday stories

Topics: Birthers, Healthcare Reform, Mitt Romney, 2012 Elections,

Birthers not giving up: Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio is preparing to reveal what his team claims is explosive new evidence that President Obama was not born in the United States. Arpaio, whose “Cold Case Posse” has already held one press conference on the supposed forgery of Obama’s birth certificate, plans to hold another media event on July 17th with the new details. “I can’t disclose to you what we’ve discovered, but it’s going to be a shocking revelation at our press conference,” Mike Zullo, head of the posse, told a Tea Party radio program, according to the birther website WorldNetDaily.

Romney’s secret money: On the heels of Vanity Fair’s story looking into Romney’s offshore tax havns, the AP is out today with a piece noting that Romney holds funds that he hasn’t always disclosed to the public, which could boost his net worth above the $250 million he states publicly. One such secret fund, Sankaty High Yield Asset Investors Ltd. is registered in Bermuda and “was transferred to a trust owned by Romney’s wife, Ann, one day before he was sworn in as Massachusetts governor in 2003, according to Bermuda records obtained by The Associated Press.”

“The omissions were permitted by state and federal authorities overseeing Romney’s ethics filings, and he has never been cited for failing to disclose information about his money. But Romney’s limited disclosures deprive the public of an accurate depiction of his wealth and a clear understanding of how his assets are handled and taxed, according to experts in private equity, tax and campaign finance law,” the AP notes.

Obamacare not the biggest tax increase ever: Following the lead of Rush Limbaugh, who called the Affordable Care Act “the largest tax increase in the history of the world,” many other conservatives have made similar hyperbolic claims about the tax implications of the law, but they’re all just that – exaggerations. In fact, the law is nowhere near the biggest tax increase in American history, falling short of tax hikes implemented by both Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, among others



More healthcare lawsuits coming: Politico reports, “The Supreme Court lawsuit isn’t the end of the legal challenges to the health care law — and the next ones just might help Republicans keep pushing their favorite political hot buttons. The next wave of lawsuits likely wouldn’t put the whole law at stake, as the challenge to the individual mandate could have. But they’re going after pieces of the law that happen to be red meat for many conservative voters — like the law’s contraception mandate and a new Medicare panel that Republicans call a ‘rationing board.’ And one possible legal challenge, which would try to block the feds from offering subsidies in a federal health insurance exchange, is meant to exploit a loophole in the law. But it could also be a good ‘messaging hit’ — allowing them to attack the subsidies they see as a budget-busting new entitlement.”

An unhealthy dose of irony: TPM notes that “many of the governors threatening to stymie implementation of the Affordable Care Act preside over states with high uninsurance rates.” Ironically, its these states who could most benefit from the provisions of the law that their governors are refusing to implement.


Alex Seitz-Wald

Alex Seitz-Wald is Salon's political reporter. Email him at aseitz-wald@salon.com, and follow him on Twitter @aseitzwald.

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