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Archive | February, 2011

“YouTubes are infallible”

Texas Representative Leo Berman is I suppose that unwanted uncle of the birther movement, allowing himself to be skewered regularly by the news media. I was not prepared, however, to see him say one of the most remarkably stupid things yet: “The YouTubes are infallible.”

That statement makes a fitting conclusion to the video report by Thanh Tan of the Texas Tribune that appears below. I can’t be to harsh, though; I might be old and senile myself one day.


Tennessee birther bill draws attention

My Google news alerts have shown an uptick in articles about the so-called “birther bill” in Tennessee. The Tennessee law would require “long form” birth certificates and the names of hospitals and doctors.

Today I see that WREG TV, Memphis, and The Knoxville News-Sentinel picked up an Associated Press story saying:

State Sen. Bill Ketron told The Tennessean he proposed the bill because he thinks President Barack Obama might be hiding the fact that he was born in another country.


Donofrio blog scrubbing fails

Nothing new to the fact that Leo C. Donofrio’s Natural Born Citizen blog went dark a few months back. All of his content was summarily scrubbed from the Internet. The blog is back, but the old content remains buried.

Not to worry. An old friend, The Betrayal blog, reprinted some of Donofrio’s material. They wrote:

ADMIN NOTICE: for data security reasons this blog will republish all Leo Donofrio’s articles and updates. This blog runs on a save [sic] server that for all intends [sic] and purposes should be out of the Obama Maffia’s reach[.]

The Betrayal kept one of my favorite articles from Donofrio’s Natural Born Citizen blog, in which this seminal photograph appeared:

Scrubbed from Donofrio's blog

People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.


Can courts define “natural born citizen?”

It’s been the conventional wisdom that should the right case come along, perhaps with a presidential candidate as plaintiff, that the Supreme Court might be induced to define the constitutional term “natural born citizen.” Is that really the case?

I’ve read court decisions that point out that the only effect that phrase has in all of law, and the only distinction that it gives someone who is otherwise a citizen, is eligibility for President of the United States (and since the 12th amendment, the Vice President).

The 20th Amendment uses the phrase “failed to qualify” in connection with the Congress’s role in presidential elections, saying:

If a President shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the President elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice President elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified; and the Congress may by law provide for the case wherein neither a President elect nor a Vice President elect shall have qualified, declaring who shall then act as President, or the manner in which one who is to act shall be selected, and such person shall act accordingly until a President or Vice President shall have qualified.

Given that it is the Congress who certifies presidential elections, and it is the Congress that deals with a President elect who fails to qualify, it would appear that the Congress is the sole arbiter of presidential qualifications. When the Constitution grants authority solely to one branch of government (in this case the Congress), the courts cannot insert themselves. See United States v. Nixon (1993).

I am suggesting that the definition of “natural born citizen” may be an inherently nonjusticiable political question.





Now that Leo Donofrio is publishing again, I needn’t fear running out of material for the blog. In his most recent article: THE SCRUBBING OF AMERICA: How Professor Lawrence Solum Disgraced Himself To Protect Obama’s Eligibility, Donofrio looks into an article from 2008 in the Michigan Law Review and we see in Donofrio’s article a continuation of his pattern of misleading the reader by redefining terms and denigrating anyone who disagrees with him. Professor Solum revised his article and Donofrio calls this “serious scrubbing.”


So what is “scrubbing?” The generic term means to clean something, to remove dirt. Scrubbing an audio file means to remove hiss or hum or other unwanted material. When it comes to a publication or the Internet, it means to remove something — to make it go away. In this last sense, scrubbing has a negative connotation, like “revising history” or covering up something. Glenn Beck used it in this sense when he said “Stuff is being scrubbed from the Internet…overnight.”

Solum, however, is not covering up or scrubbing anything. In the revised article where the change appears, a footnote is added explaining what the change was and why it was made.

What is more important, though, is what Solum is saying in the clarification to his original article. Solum’s original version, according to him, had been misunderstood. This is not surprising since this misunderstanding (or possible misunderstanding) has happened before. Continue Reading →


King Kongmartin v Obamazilla

Self-styled “Internet Powerhouse” and “King of the Birthers” Andy Martin, in the latest installment of his self-generated promotional publicity, has come out with what may the first presidential election ad of the 2012 campaign season. The ad is playing in New Hampshire and started yesterday according to the New Hampshire Journal.

“Now all we need is the money to saturate the air waves,” says Martin.

The ad, which you can watched below, waves the flag and quotes Jerome Corsi in asking “where’s the birth certificate?”

It’s in Hawaii, you dork.