Continued from page 1

“Would you support a Donald Trump candidacy, especially with all this birther talk?” CNN anchor Kiran Chetry asked the Virginia Republican.

“No, I don’t think he is really serious when we see a campaign launched on the birther issue,” Mr. Cantor replied, dismissing the idea that Mr. Trump was the “best hope” to defeat President Obama in 2012.

“I think that there are some very weighty issues that we’re going to have to tackle,” Mr. Cantor observed, adding that the ideal candidate should be “honest with the American people and face facts as far as the debt problem is concerned - and lay out there what we’re trying to do as Republicans in Congress.”

ENTER HERE

In the era of cheerful transparency, the White House visitor’s log is “riddled with holes,” says an analysis by the Center for Public Integrity, which examined the official million-entry database of names.

“Logs routinely omit or cloud key details about the identity of visitors, who they met with, the nature of the visit, and even includes the names of people who never showed up,” say Fred Schulte and Viveca Novak, who pored through the details. (See their findings here: www.iwatchnews.org.)

“These are critical gaps that raise doubts about their historical accuracy and utility in helping the public understand White House operations from social events to meetings on key policy debates,” the pair adds.

“If this is transparency, who needs it?” observes Steven Aftergood, director of the project on government secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists. He called the White House visitor logs “very thin gruel.”

SINISE AT THE READY

He’s a stalwart among those rare Hollywood conservatives eager to back the American military. Actor Gary Sinise hosts Got Heart, Give Hope on Thursday evening; the black-tie gala organized by Hope for the Warriors, a charity, honors wounded service members and their families and families of the fallen at Union Station in Washington.

The audience, already glinting with brass and much mettle, includes: Sen. Mark Kirk, Illinois Republican, Rep. Allen B. West, Florida Republican, Rep. Erik Paulsen, Minnesota Republican, former Maine Gov. John Baldacci, plus Medal of Honor recipients retired Marine Col. H.C. Barnum Jr., retired Army Maj. Drew Dix and Kenneth Fisher, chairman of the Fisher House Foundation.

POLL DU JOUR

• 87 percent of U.S. voters are following press coverage about federal budget issues.

• 65 percent say it is “unlikely” that President Obama and congressional Republicans will agree on federal budget issues before the 2012 elections.

• 61 percent say Republicans are unlikely to propose a serious plan for the budget that is “fair to all Americans.”

Story Continues →