Tags: birthers

Me 2

Elections, Brain Eaters and Birthers

Back during Obama's first term, a bunch of folks, upset at the idea of a Black President, concocted various dubious and inconsistent legal theories as to why a man obviously born in the USA couldn't be a President. These individuals and their theories all showed signs of being ran through a Brain Eater. Comes news today of two more lawsuits attempting to get Birther-in-Chief Trump a second term. I am shocked, shocked I tell you to report that they suffer from these same flaws.

First, the Attorney General of Texas, a member of the Executive branch, is trying to sue other states to get them to appoint electors for Trump. The key problem here is that, per Trump's lawyers, each state's legislature gets to pick the electors. What possible standing does the Executive branch of another state have in this?

Second, a blogger of unknown provenance is arguing that any election not decided by midnight on election night is null and void. She relies on a misreading of Foster v. Love. This is a case from 1997 where the winner of an October primary could be elected to Congress without there being a vote in November. It says nothing about how long it takes to count the votes. As a practical matter, it has never even been technically possible to complete the count of a US election by midnight.

Bottom line - all of these Trump lawsuits have one purpose - to torture the facts and law until Trump wins. This entry was originally posted at https://chris-gerrib.dreamwidth.org/748554.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
Me 2

On "Investigations"

Here in the USA, if you call the police and ask them to investigate your neighbor, very early in the conversation the police will ask "for what?" They will then quickly follow that up with "what evidence do you have?" Now, they're not looking for you to provide enough evidence to haul your neighbor in front of a judge, but you had better have more facts than "well my neighbor's got shifty eyes."

In the Land of Trump, Fox News and Modern Conservatives, (for whatever daylight exists between those entities) this basic evidentiary requirement gets waived. So despite the fact that there was no evidence Obama was born anywhere else than Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, we got treated to Trump personally demanding an investigation into his place of birth. In fact, I firmly believe the merciless if well-deserved mocking Trump got at a White House Correspondent's dinner over the subject is why Trump ran for President in the first place.

Now, Trump and Fellow Travelers are demanding investigations into the Bidens. Again, no evidence is required. In fact, the one "questionable" thing, Joe Biden's request that a Ukrainian prosecutor be fired, was backed at the time by Republicans in Congress.

But this attitude that no facts are required explains why Trump continues to demand foreign governments investigate Biden. In Trump's mind, he's doing nothing wrong. Biden must be dirty, and if efforts to produce the dirt fail that's not because he's clean but proof of a coverup. So now what we must decide is if we want as the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the United States a man who will use his badge for personal benefit.

This entry was originally posted at https://chris-gerrib.dreamwidth.org/732460.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Two Thoughts

Thought #1 - Bowe Bergdahl

Comes news over the weekend that Bowe Bergdahl, the only US soldier captured by the Taliban, has been released in a POW exchange. Prisoner of war exchanges fell out of favor in the 20th century, although of late Israel has had to do the same thing. It's also not clear how Bergdahl came to be captured. Specifically, did he walk of the base of his own accord or was he grabbed?

In any event, the President's duty as Commander in Chief is to get all of our soldiers back. He did that, in what appears to have been the best way available. Whether or if Bergdahl was in error in getting himself captured can be (and should be) sorted out now that he's in US hands.

Thought #2 - Warbound (Hugos)

Moving from serious to trivia, over the weekend I started to work on reading Larry Correia's Hugo-nominated novel Warbound. I'm finding it hard work. First, I'm 9 chapters in and have yet to find a character I give much of a damn about. Second, Larry's politics are coming through on this one, and it's driving me nuts.

The novel is set in an alternate 1930s where magic is possible and airships rule the air. Having said that, FDR is still President and the Great Depression is still happening. So, what's bugging me is we have FDR, a man who spent his presidency trying to end segregation, attempting to get people with Power to wear armbands on their sleeves warning mere mortals of their abilities!

In defense of Larry, some of the other political irritants, namely a rich guy moaning that the government is trying to screw him, are historically accurate. (The moaning, not the screwing.) At any rate, the novel is heavy going for me.
Me 2

Links in the News

Like the title says:

A) SpaceX successfully launched a Dragon capsule on a mission to dock with the International Space Station. Go baby go!

B) Victoria Strauss at Writer Beware has won the Independent Book Blogger Award for best publishing business blog.

C) The birthers are going two-for-two. The crack investigative team of Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio sent somebody on a taxpayer-funded vacation to Hawaii to get Obama's birth certificate. This was apparently in response to Arizona's Secretary of State asking Hawaii to certify their records. Hawaii's response has been tell us why you can't read the birth certificate.

ETA (5/23/12): The Arizona Secretary of State is now convinced Obama is eligible to be President.
Me 2

Monday-Morning Quarterbacking, Post Superbowl Edition

I guess I watched the Superbowl last night. I mean, the TV was on and the game was playing, but I gave it a best half an eye. I did get to see the "sit-down touchdown" which was weird, and I really liked Clint Eastwood's Chrysler ad.

In other news, last week the birthers tried to get Obama kicked off the ballot in Georgia as ineligible to be President. They failed. As you can see in the final opinion, despite the judge's personal pique at Obama's lawyer, who was a no-show at the main hearing, the arguments against Obama are either not credible, legally dubious or both.

As patgund says, the birthers lost to an empty chair. This is not surprising. Basically, the "best" argument the birthers had was the idea that to be a natural-born citizen you needed to have both parents be US citizens. Since this would create out of whole cloth three classes of citizens, including two by birth, one of whom would not be eligible to be President, the judge shot the idea down. At any rate, I'm sure we've not heard the last on this matter.

ETA Apparently a Federal judge reached the same results.
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Me 2

Birthers Win One, or Hyper-literalism Runs Rampant

So, I heard that "birther queen" Orly Taitz will actually get to argue on the merits that Obama is not a "natural-born citizen" and thus ineligible to be on the ballot in Georgia. Although her public statements say that she will "finally get to depose Obama," her actual argument (PDF here) is that because Obama's father wasn't a US citizen, he's ineligible. Since he doesn't deny that, it's not clear to me why he would need to be called.

She's relying on Minor v. Happersett, an 1875 decision about whether a black woman had a right to vote. Since Wong Kim Ark is later and more on point, I think her "victory" will be short-lived. The 14th Amendment is pretty clear, and amendments change, or "amend," the Constitution. In short, Taitz's argument relies on a hyper-literal interpretation of the law.

In another example of hyper-literalism, Rand Simberg, relying in part on "Mister Torture" himself John Yoo, is arguing that Obama's recess appointment is unconstitutional. Again, not really (PDF). Really not really (more PDF).

Relying on hyper-literalism, especially when it violates common sense, is usually a bad idea. Even if you win the argument, nobody is terribly happy.
Me 2

Pre-Vacation Link Salad

Since I'm clearing out anything that might spoil while I'm out of town, have some links:

A) It's piracy season in Somalia again. Now it looks like pirates are setting fires on ships to flush the crew out of hiding. Oh joy.

B) Fighting climate change is not about environmentalism, it's about the human cost of trying to adapt our cities and farms to new conditions.

C) One of my favorite new authors, Tobias Buckell, is using Kickstarter to fund a novel. The book will be a sequel to his Crystal Rain books. On the subject of writing, a humorous look at the rules of genre writing.

D) From Tobias Buckell, I read of (and have no opinion on) the myth of Easter Island's ecocide.

E) I read that With the law now changed, the Marines appear determined to prove that they will be better than the Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard in recruiting gay, lesbian and bisexual service members.

F) The Birthers now have a posse (literally); Sheriff Joe Arpaio Assigns 'Cold Case Posse' To Investigate Obama's Birth Certificate.

G) An interesting article: Norway: Cruise ship in danger of tilting over. When fighting fire at sea, too much water can be as dangerous as the fire itself.
Me 2

How Things Change

So, last week, Donald Trump, the billionaire son of a multi-millionaire, a fiscally-responsible guy with four bankruptcies and three wives, felt America needed to see Obama's birth certificate.

Obama, self-made son of nobody, released it. We now know that Obama went from that event to a meeting where he got the final plan to capture or kill Osama Bin Laden.

On Saturday night, Obama and others at the White House Correspondent's Dinner took some shots at Trump. We now know that while this was going on, Navy SEALs were in route to "take some shots" at Osama Bin Laden. Per the President's address last night, he greenlighted the operation on Friday. Probably about the same time he approved his remarks for the Saturday yuck-fest.

There are serious threats facing America, and serious problems. Yet we let a reality TV star distract us with trivia.

Well, I'm glad somebody had their eye on the ball.

ETA: Just a reminder - Obama said during the campaign that he'd go into Pakistan if needed. John McCain and current candidate Mitt Romney both thought that was a bad idea.
Me 2

Birthers and Links


Why did Obama release his "long form" birth certificate now? Several reasons:

1) Some percentage of the "birther" crowd are low-information people who just heard from a friend or whatever that there's a controversy. Releasing it this publicly ensures that even tenants at the Under The Rock apartments get the word.

2) Obama got to look like an adult, scolding the childish media.

3) The birthers, including Trump, look like chumps. Remember how Ross Perot got mocked for his "giant sucking sound?"

4) Obama really does want to talk about important stuff, not BS.


How did America get so crazy? Here's the answer.

An essay on the hypocrisy of recession-era America, Los Angeles edition.

Me 2


So, I was very surprised to see that this morning, President Obama released his long-form birth certificate. As you can see at the link, he had to ask the State of Hawaii to waive their usual procedure of issuing the dread "short form."

President Obama then went on TV (breaking into at least the cable news networks) and explained why he did this. Basically, he's pissed.

He's not pissed at the birthers. He's pissed at the news media who are letting the birthers get on camera. We've got two wars, a budget problem, unemployment and a shitty economy and CNN's reporter at the White House asks about the President's birth certificate two days in a row.

Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot. Over!

Now, anybody, and I mean anybody, who asks if Obama is a natural-born citizen can go jump off a bridge. The topic is done, over and finished. Now can we move on to actual important shit?