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Archive | April, 2012

OSBC, you’re our only hope

While I have always been skeptical that there’s significant money to be made in birtherism, they do keep asking. The latest in my mailbox was a fundraising appeal from Pamela Barnett (of Barnett v. Obama fame) for the Obama State Ballot Challenge (OSBC), with the endorsement of Dean Haskin who collected who knows how much in non-refundable registration fees for the canceled Birther Summit.

Barnett wrote:

With the Mitt Romney polls against Obama not showing Romney as a clear winner, this strategy seems to be our greatest chance to ensure that Obama will not be in the White House for another 4 years.

Wow, against that possibility, maybe birthers will chip in a few bucks:

We need to raise big money fast!   Just for these states alone we need to raise $50,000 to cover attorney and filing fees.  Some of these lawsuits are already at the appeal level and there are some heavy hitter attorneys such as Larry Klayman, Esq. (Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch Founder who is fighting in Florida but we would like him to help in California also).  The more money we raise the more qualified legal counsel that can be obtained and the more lawsuits we can launch.  We have the ballot challenger clients throughout the country, we just need the attorneys and funds, and we need them fast!  Our ideal amount to raise would be $10,000 per state.

Given that Obama state ballot challenges have been dropping like flies this year, I don’t think the birthers have much hope at all.

Ubayd changed his name in Canada?

The following story is from 2011, but it’s making the rounds again.

Birther attorney Stephen Pidgeon has a “new” book out called The Obama Error in which he claims that he found a record for a name change from “Barak Mounir Ubayd” to “Barack Hussein Obama” on October 14th, 1982 in Skookumchuck, British Columbia. The interview in which Pidgeon says this is titled “Obama Changed His Name in Canada?” but Ubayd is the one who changed a name. Assuming for the moment that the story is true, what possible relevance does it have to the President who was born Obama and never lived in Canada?

However, we don’t have to assume. After extensive research, Obama Conspiracy Theories has tracked this story to its roots, and learned the stunning truth:

Obamas Geburtsurkunde (Original)

I wonder if Pidgeon realizes that “Mounir Ubayd” is an anagram of  “I mourn Dubya.”

Pidgeon also says that Obama ran for the Senate on the Socialist Workers Party in 1996 (this was hushed up). (Maybe it was the “Satirical Workers Typos.”)

Whatever.

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Birther jokes

The suspense was intense waiting to find out whether President Obama was going to crack any birther jokes at the White House Correspondents Dinner. Mitt Romney sustained a 7.0 zinger and even the Secret Service wasn’t immune.

“My name is Barack Obama.  My mother was born in Kansas.  My father was born in Kenya.  And I was born of course in Hawaii.”

Obama then winks at the crowd and smiles.

Obama impersonator addresses birther questions

In one one of those media events where I was somewhere else and glad of it, Obama impersonator Phil Cambre (known as “The Prez”) and journalist impersonator Jerome Corsi appeared on the show of talk show host impersonator George Jarkesy  to discuss whether someone (not sure if it’s “The Prez” or the President) is a natural born citizen.

Corsi is scheduled to be back on the show May 3.

Removing the Liberty Legal Foundation

It looks like a trend may be starting, removing cases from state courts to federal. It only makes sense for a lawsuit where federal constitutional issues are raised. The latest removal is the Liberty Legal Foundation lawsuit against the Democrats in Tennessee.

LLF attorney Van R. Irion moved to prevent removal, but was denied in a decision by Judge S. Thomas Anderson. Now Irion is trying to spin the loss to his advantage. He starts by saying:

…it is certainly dangerous to read too much into such an opinion

and then goes on to read quite a but into the opinion, including a belief that court is unwilling to dismiss the case on some grounds. Irion quotes, for example,

It is also clear that there will be a legal dispute over the Constitution’s definition of  natural born citizen” and the Supreme Court’s decision in Minor.

I make these observations:

  1. I don’t see that the court is indicating that it won’t dismiss the case.
  2. Federal judge Gibney dismissed the Tisdale case in Virginia while commenting on the definition of natural born citizen.
  3. There is a distinct similarity between Jerry Collette’s assertions and those in this case. Could Collette be removed to federal court too?

You’re crazy and I’m not

I almost used a Stephen Colbert-style title for the story: I’m sane, and so can you!

I cannot help but observe with some bemusement the claims and counter claims that birthers and their detractors level at each other. As an exercise, I listed some of those claims, attempting to arrange them as mirror images of each other:

Birthers say Anti-birthers say
Obots are evil Birthers are crazy
Obots are trying to cover up the truth about the 2008 election Birthers are in denial about the 2008 election
Obots won’t admit the truth Birthers are deluded
Obots are unwilling to face facts Birthers are immune to facts
Obots suffer from confirmation bias Birthers suffer from confirmation bias
Obots are racially motivated Birthers are racially motivated
Obots are socialists Birthers are racists
Birthers exhibit the Dunning-Kruger effect
Birthers are crackpots
Obots don’t understand the law Birthers don’t understand the law
Obots are liars Birthers are liars
Obots are afraid of what will happen once the truth gets out Birthers are afraid of events they can’t control
Obots are slick propagandists Birthers are fooled by slick propagandists
Official sources of information are hopelessly corrupt and unreliable Birthers ignore consensus information from official sources
If the birthers are not heeded, apocalyptic chaos and doom will result Birthers pose a threat to society because of their anti-intellectual stance

Having completed my little exercise I realize that the claims are not mirror images of each other; there is a fundamental difference between birthers and anti-birthers. Anti-birthers believe the birthers are crazy (not clinically insane, but thinking irrationally); birthers on the other hand do not believe that anti-birthers are crazy but that they know the truth and are covering it up.

This morning, I went back to a March 2009 article of mine: Is Obama Citizenship Denial a delusion? That article drew a number of comments from several birthers (or a single birther using multiple sock puppets) including this one:

Got a question for the “Doc”: do you now or have you ever been in the employ of the US gov’t? Who pays for this website?

Over the years, a number of birthers have raised this theme, being unable to believe that someone would put a lot of effort into opposing them unless they were paid to do it. What’s interesting is that the anti-birthers believe that most birthers are “for real” but the birthers think their opponents don’t really believe what they say. It is this lack of comprehension of legitimate disagreement that is, in my mind, a solid mark against the rationality of the birthers.

I’ll repeat what I said in 2009, that birthers are not clinically delusional because they operate within a subculture where their beliefs are considered normal; however, they sure act crazy.