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Forever hold your peace

Today is the day on which we suppose that the US Congress will certify the count of the votes of the Electoral College, and Barack Obama will be elected to a second term in office starting 3 hours and 6 minutes from now. You can watch it live on C-SPAN. The US National Archives has an excellent web page detailing the many Constitutional provisions and statutes dealing with the election of the President. Title 3 of the United States Code, Chapter 1, Section 11 contains this:

The Senate and House of Representatives shall meet in the Hall of the House of Representatives at the hour of 1 o’clock in the afternoon on that day, and the President of the Senate shall be their presiding officer. … Upon such reading of any such certificate or paper, the President of the Senate shall call for objections, if any. Every objection shall be made in writing, and shall state clearly and concisely, and without argument, the ground thereof, and shall be signed by at least one Senator and one Member of the House of Representatives before the same shall be received. When all objections so made to any vote or paper from a State shall have been received and read, the Senate shall thereupon withdraw, and such objections shall be submitted to the Senate for its decision; and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall, in like manner, submit such objections to the House of Representatives for its decision; and no electoral vote or votes from any State which shall have been regularly given by electors whose appointment has been lawfully certified to according to section 6 of this title from which but one return has been received shall be rejected, but the two Houses concurrently may reject the vote or votes when they agree that such vote or votes have not been so regularly given by electors whose appointment has been so certified.

This is the statutory provision that some birthers are invoking in their attempts to forestall Barack Obama’s second term as President. Faxes and letters reportedly have been sent to members of Congress urging them to make such an objection. While the statute seems to be directed at resolving controversies over the electoral votes from individual states, the 20th Amendment makes it clear that Congress has a role in determining whether the president elect may take office:

Section 3. If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the President, the President elect shall have died, the Vice President elect shall become President. 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.

It would seem to this writer that objections to qualifications apply to the
“President elect” which refers to the person selected by the Electoral College and certified by the Congress. That is, the objection by one House member and one Senator is not the appropriate time to determine qualifications, but that it should come immediately after the vote has been certified.

I do not know precisely how such a decision would be carried out, but this provision has been cited by the courts in support of the proposition that it is the Congress who makes the call as to whether the person elected as President may assume office.

Now is the time; today is the day. If there be any objections speak now, or forever hold your peace. (My comment is a facetious one. Birthers never admit defeat and will never hold their peace. They will keep on beating that dead horse until the Death Panel shuts off their oxygen.)

Update:

The certification of the vote has completed. The President of the Senate did not ask for objections. No one raised any point of order. The House chamber was largely empty.

208 Responses to Forever hold your peace

  1. avatar
    donna January 4, 2013 at 10:36 am #

    Procedure

    Since the mid-20th century, on January 6 at 1:00 pm before a Joint Session of Congress, the Vice President opens the votes from each state in alphabetical order. He passes the votes to four tellers—two from the House and two from the Senate—who announce the results. House tellers include one Representative from each party and are appointed by the Speaker. At the end of the count, the Vice President then declares the name of the next President.

    The date of the count was changed in 1957, 1985, 1989, and 1997.
    Sitting Vice Presidents Richard Nixon (1961), Hubert Humphrey (1969), and Al Gore (2001) all announced that they had lost their own bid for the Presidency.

    Objections

    Since 1887, 3 U.S.C. 15 sets the method for objections to electoral votes. During the Joint Session, Members of Congress may object to individual electoral votes or to state returns as a whole. An objection must be declared in writing and signed by at least one Representative and one Senator. In the case of an objection, the Joint Session recesses and each chamber considers the objection separately in a session which cannot last more than two hours with each Member speaking for no more than five minutes. After each house votes on whether or not to accept the objection, the Joint Session reconvenes and both chambers disclose their decisions. If they agree to the objection, the votes in question are not counted. If either chamber does not agree with the objection, the votes are counted.

    Objections to the Electoral College votes were recorded in 1969 and 2005. In both cases, the House and Senate rejected the objections and the votes in question were counted.

    http://history.house.gov/Institution/Electoral-College/Electoral-College/

    Congress Decides: 1877

    The contested 1876 presidential election between Republican Rutherford B. Hayes of Ohio and Democrat Samuel J. Tilden of New York was the last to require congressional intervention. Tilden won the popular vote and the electoral count. But Republicans challenged the results in three Southern states, which submitted certificates of election for both candidates. While the Constitution requires the House and Senate to formally count the certificates of election in joint session, it is silent on what Congress should do to resolve disputes. In January 1877, Congress established the Federal Electoral Commission to investigate the disputed Electoral College ballots. The bipartisan commission, which included Representatives, Senators, and Supreme Court Justices, voted along party lines to award all the contested ballots to Hayes—securing the presidency for him by a single electoral vote. The Commission’s controversial results did not spark the violence in the post-Civil War South that some had feared largely because Republicans had struck a compromise with Southern Democrats to remove federal soldiers from the South and end Reconstruction in the event of a Hayes victory.

    http://ohhdev.augdev.com/Institution/Origins-Development/Electoral-College/

  2. avatar
    Thomas Brown January 4, 2013 at 10:39 am #

    “They will keep on beating that dead horse until the Death Panel shuts off their oxygen.”

    Oh pray attend ye, fates, and speed the plough.

    (NADT)

  3. avatar
    john January 4, 2013 at 10:59 am #

    I think the goal is to have a objection filed objection to ALL of the electoral votes won by Obama. Hypothetically, if such an objection were to be upheld, Obama would receive NO electoral votes. Mitt Romney would receive his electoral votes but FAIL to get the majority. In that case, the 12th Amendment would kick in and the House would vote for the President. In that instance, Mitt Romney would chosen to be the President. So if an objection is upheld (That’s a big big IF) Mitt Romney can still become President.

  4. avatar
    john January 4, 2013 at 11:04 am #

    I have spoken to both my Senator and Congressman repeatedly calling them to OBJECT. I have informed them if they did file such an objection, the support would be overwhelming. I told them that in 2004 Senator Barbara Boxer made a written objection. Although her objection was overruled, Senator Boxer was hailed and honored with tremendous support and applause. In fact, Senator Box received 5,000 Rose from supporters on Valentine’s Day for raising the Objection.
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e0/Feb14_boxer_roses.jpg

  5. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 4, 2013 at 11:06 am #

    Can you recall a birther ever doing something nice for anybody?

    john: Senator Boxer was hailed and honored with tremendous support and applause. In fact, Senator Box received 5,000 Rose from supporters on Valentine’s Day for raising the Objection.

  6. avatar
    M Heuss January 4, 2013 at 11:12 am #

    Birthers do nice stuff for us all the time, Doc. I’ve been entertained many an hour over the years following the bumbling antics of our birther friends as they run pell mell into each other repeatedly.

    I’ve assumed they are all well-meaning performance artists. Their inability to make any difference anywhere whatsoever bears my assumption out.

  7. avatar
    bovril January 4, 2013 at 11:18 am #

    John,

    Can you read, seriously this is a question we all would like to know.

    I ask as plainly you have never ACTUALLY read the Constitution.

    You know the part where there both Senate and Congress both vote and both have to accept before a single states votes can not be accepted.

    Now John,

    Here’s three questions for you,

    How many Senators are there in the Senate
    How many of these senators are Republicans
    Which party therefore has the greatest number of votes in the Senate

    You really are mind numbingly stupid if you think for one moment that any Dem Senator would vote to disenfranchise the US people after they voted freely for the a Democratic President via Republican partisan attempts to void the votes of the American people

  8. avatar
    john January 4, 2013 at 11:24 am #

    Sure Doc, A lot of birthers tried to give all sorts of support including financial support to Terry Lakin.

  9. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 4, 2013 at 11:38 am #

    Ah, a good example.

    john: Sure Doc, A lot of birthers tried to give all sorts of support including financial support to Terry Lakin.

  10. avatar
    aesthetocyst January 4, 2013 at 11:49 am #

    john:
    Sure Doc, A lot of birthers tried to give all sorts of support including financial support to Terry Lakin.

    Enabling is not nice.

  11. avatar
    Dave January 4, 2013 at 12:04 pm #

    I would just like to point out, as I have pointed out before, that although John’s plan has pretty much zero chance of success, it strikes me as way better than most birther plans.

    bov points out that the votes are not there. I agree. But John is invoking a procedure that actually exists. This seems to me a step up from the things that the birther lawyers do. Their lawsuits are procedurally a mess, which is why they usually get dismissed right out of the gate.

    And if even one state’s vote got objected to, it would certainly make the news. I think the birthers would regard that as a minor victory. Again, I doubt there is any Senator who would sign this objection, but you can’t really rule it out.

  12. avatar
    Bob January 4, 2013 at 12:06 pm #

    john:
    I think the goal is to . . .

    promulgate an ugly, baseless smear.

  13. avatar
    Dave January 4, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

    One other thing — bov points out that the Dems control the Senate. True. But somewhat beside the point — I doubt there is a GOP Senator who would vote to uphold this objection, and there are probably no more than a tiny handful of GOP Reps who would vote for it.

    You can’t rule out the possibility that the objection will be raised, but it would be utterly crushed in both Houses. Still, it would make the news.

  14. avatar
    Arthur January 4, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

    Dave: I would just like to point out, as I have pointed out before, that although John’s plan has pretty much zero chance of success, it strikes me as way better than most birther plans.

    John should write a screenplay based on his plan. Call it “Congressional Action” with Orly Taitz as Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Norris as Speaker of the House, Max Slaughter, and Jaleel White as President Negro. The catch phrase is: “Not in my House!”

  15. avatar
    Rickey January 4, 2013 at 12:56 pm #

    john:
    I think the goal is to have a objection filed objection to ALL of the electoral votes won by Obama.Hypothetically, if such an objection were to be upheld, Obama would receive NO electoral votes. Mitt Romney would receive his electoral votes but FAIL to get the majority.In that case, the 12th Amendment would kick in and the House would vote for the President.In that instance, Mitt Romney would chosen to be the President.So if an objection is upheld (That’s a big big IF) Mitt Romney can still become President.

    Is Mitt measuring the drapes in the Oval Office?

    Do you have your TV tuned to C-Span?

  16. avatar
    Rickey January 4, 2013 at 1:01 pm #

    john:
    I have spoken to both my Senator and Congressman repeatedly calling them to OBJECT.I have informed them if they did file such an objection, the support would be overwhelming.I told them that in 2004 Senator Barbara Boxer made a written objection.Although her objection was overruled, Senator Boxer was hailed and honored with tremendous support and applause.In fact, Senator Box received 5,000 Rose from supporters on Valentine’s Day for raising the Objection.

    How many Senators and Representatives voted to sustain Boxer’s objection?

  17. avatar
    donna January 4, 2013 at 1:07 pm #

    on c-span, read wilson (sp?) just said that most states have a law against faithless electors but there are some states that don’t and we may see a change here – he wouldn’t be surprised to see at least one ron paul vote come out of the electoral college today -

  18. avatar
    gorefan January 4, 2013 at 1:07 pm #

    “the President of the Senate shall call for objections, if any.”

    Does that mean the VP already knows if there are going to be objections before the cerimony starts?

  19. avatar
    ASK Esq January 4, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

    john: I think the goal is to have a objection filed objection to ALL of the electoral votes won by Obama. Hypothetically, if such an objection were to be upheld, Obama would receive NO electoral votes. Mitt Romney would receive his electoral votes but FAIL to get the majority. In that case, the 12th Amendment would kick in and the House would vote for the President. In that instance, Mitt Romney would chosen to be the President. So if an objection is upheld (That’s a big big IF) Mitt Romney can still become President.

    John, let me ask you something based on political reality. Even assuming for a moment that everything the birthers claim about President Obama is true, even assuming for a moment that you could find one Representative and one Senator willing to join in a written objection, do you honestly feel there is any chance at all of the Republicans, given the current state of national feeling towards that party, being willing to overturn the results of a Presidential election? Can you imaging what would happen to Republicans in the next elections, not just 2014 or 2016, but for the forseeable future? Even if it were abiding by the Constitution, I can’t imagine them not being voted out in huge numbers, perhaps even becoming a third party.

  20. avatar
    Sudoku January 4, 2013 at 1:28 pm #

    “Now is the time; today is the day. If there be any objections speak now, or forever hold your peace.”

    Quote of the Day, Doc C.

    Can I get an amen?

  21. avatar
    Rickey January 4, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

    No faithless electors. No objections.

  22. avatar
    Xyxox January 4, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

    Well, it’s over. No objections. No Birther ponies.

  23. avatar
    Sudoku January 4, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

    Biden just hit the gavel…..done deal!

  24. avatar
    Joey January 4, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

    gorefan:
    “the President of the Senate shall call for objections, if any.”

    Does that mean the VP already knows if there are going to be objections before the cerimony starts?

    Yes, that’s exactly right. And that’s why birthers got their panties all in a bunch in 2009 when the President of Senate Vice President Dick Cheney did not call for objections, he was accused of their in Obama’s pocket, part of the New World Order cabal and a member of the illuminati plus just a bad ol’ guy.
    But now Barack Obama of Illinois has been elected with 332 Electoral votes!

  25. avatar
    donna January 4, 2013 at 1:34 pm #

    anyone else hear the sounds of birther heads exploding?

  26. avatar
    aesthetocyst January 4, 2013 at 1:42 pm #

    john: I have informed them if they did file such an objection, the support would be overwhelming. I told them that in 2004 Senator Barbara Boxer made a written objection. Although her objection was overruled, Senator Boxer was hailed and honored with tremendous support and applause. In fact, Senator Box received 5,000 Rose from supporters on Valentine’s Day for raising the Objection.

    So, you’re urging your Congressperson not to do what’s right, but to do that which you believe is popular?

    “C’mon, do it for the roses!”

    How many roses did you pledge, john? How many roses does it take to buy a Senator and a Rep?

  27. avatar
    Joey January 4, 2013 at 1:43 pm #

    donna:
    anyone else hear the sounds of birther heads exploding?

    No, their next target date is January 20th, have Obama declared ineligible and frog-marched out of the White House for constitutional homicide before the Oath of Office is administered.
    After Inauguration Day, they will be moving on using Richard Nixon’s Second Term, his overwhelming electoral victory and subsequent resignation in disgrace as their model.

  28. avatar
    aesthetocyst January 4, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

    Xyxox:
    Well, it’s over. No objections. No Birther ponies.

    Pink Unicorns for Wingers!

  29. avatar
    DP January 4, 2013 at 1:50 pm #

    Well, I guess that’s one more foolish birther plan into the dustbin of history. It’s rare to see people so completely full of themselves and their own misguided sense of self-righteousness who literally can’t accomplish anything.

  30. avatar
    bovril January 4, 2013 at 1:54 pm #

    So, John, how did the whole objection at the count go for ya…?

    Any written objections…?

    Any frog marching….?

    Anything……?

  31. avatar
    Horus January 4, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

    John… Burn!

  32. avatar
    BillTheCat January 4, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

    Dude, you lost. Stick a fork in it. You’re done.

    Have a nice day! :)

    john:
    I have spoken to both my Senator and Congressman repeatedly calling them to OBJECT.I have informed them if they did file such an objection, the support would be overwhelming.I told them that in 2004 Senator Barbara Boxer made a written objection.Although her objection was overruled, Senator Boxer was hailed and honored with tremendous support and applause.In fact, Senator Box received 5,000 Rose from supporters on Valentine’s Day for raising the Objection.
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e0/Feb14_boxer_roses.jpg

  33. avatar
    Bob January 4, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

    Orly has renamed this the “Judge England case.”

  34. avatar
    GLaB January 4, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

    Arthur: John should write a screenplay based on his plan. Call it “Congressional Action” with Orly Taitz as Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Norris as Speaker of the House, Max Slaughter, and Jaleel White as President Negro. The catch phrase is: “Not in my House!”

    They could get a tribble from Paramount to play The Donald.

  35. avatar
    Scientist January 4, 2013 at 2:53 pm #

    john: I told them that in 2004 Senator Barbara Boxer made a written objection. Although her objection was overruled, Senator Boxer was hailed and honored with tremendous support and applause. In fact, Senator Box received 5,000 Rose from supporters on Valentine’s Day for raising the Objection.

    john-It’s clear. Next time, you need to vote for the Democrats. It’s obvious they care about the Constitution, while the Republicants don’t.

  36. avatar
    Daniel January 4, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

    So John….. what’s your next big plan?

  37. avatar
    Daniel January 4, 2013 at 3:09 pm #

    Scientist: john-It’s clear.Next time, you need to vote for the Democrats.It’s obvious they care about the Constitution, while the Republicants don’t.

    Don’t confuse birthers for Republicans. Real Republicans and Conservatives are embarrassed to be in the same country as a birther.

  38. avatar
    Dave January 4, 2013 at 3:15 pm #

    As far as the permanent holding of the peace goes, it’s never too late to impeach. So there’s nothing so stop birthers from badgering Congress about this. Though it’s pretty obvious that Congressional Republicans want no part of this. Still, birthers have never let a zero chance of success stand in their way.

  39. avatar
    misha marinsky January 4, 2013 at 3:24 pm #

    ‘Birther queen’ Orly Taitz knows the drill, but she keeps trying to oust Obama

    The Sacramento Bee:

    Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/01/04/178993/birther-queen-orly-taitz-knows.html#storylink=cpy

  40. avatar
    gorefan January 4, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

    john: I have informed them if they did file such an objection, the support would be overwhelming.

    Joey: when the President of Senate Vice President Dick Cheney did not call for objections,

    I just watched the EC vote count from 2005. VP Cheney did not call for any objections but when the Ohio vote was called a member of the Ohio Congressional delegation (Rep. Tubbs-Jones) stood up and objected and submittted the written objection.

    http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/185007-1

    That did not happen in 2009 or 2013.

  41. avatar
    Benji Franklin January 4, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

    john: I have spoken to both my Senator and Congressman repeatedly calling them to OBJECT. I have informed them if they did file such an objection, the support would be overwhelming.

    John, it looks like your arguments were wisely dismissed by your Senator and Congressman. You probably don’t realize that they are certain you are crazy as a loon. You live in a private world of your own breaking. It’s a world where the English language is meaningless, where public consensus is always inferior to your personal preference, where intellectual integrity serve you as toilet paper, which when sullied,is then displayed loudly here by you as authentic Constitutional intent slathered with streaks of your imagined ethical superiority.

    Like the other social misfits who pursue the Birther life style, you serve no greater purpose here than to make us all glad that we are not you.

    Perhaps your persuasive powers can now be turned to attempting to have God make Obama trip on a banana peel on his way to the inaugural podium to be sworn in again, as the confirmed, Constitutionally eligible and legally elected President of the United States of America. Tell us you have uttered such a prayer so we can all get real worried about the prospect – you being so influential and all, with those in high places.

  42. avatar
    gorefan January 4, 2013 at 4:50 pm #

    FWIW, Here is an example of an anonymous faithless elector from 2004

    http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/2004_certificates/vote_minnesota_01.html

  43. avatar
    sfjeff January 4, 2013 at 4:53 pm #

    Joey: No, their next target date is January 20th, have Obama declared ineligible and frog-marched out of the White House for constitutional homicide before the Oath of Office is administered.After Inauguration Day, they will be moving on using Richard Nixon’s Second Term, his overwhelming electoral victory and subsequent resignation in disgrace as their model.

    Sadly you are going to be exactly correct.

  44. avatar
    LW January 4, 2013 at 5:03 pm #

    john: . In fact, Senator Box received 5,000 Rose from supporters on Valentine’s Day for raising the Objection.

    Well, actually, the main reason given for the roses was “her candid and eloquent remarks during the Rice confirmation hearings,” but don’t ever let the truth get in the way of a great story.

  45. avatar
    Reality Check January 4, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

    I watched the confirmation today on CSPAN and apparently neither JY-John nor Mario Apuzzo’s bloviating blog post convinced a single member of Congress to file an objection. It was kind of fun to watch a largely ceremonial yet important function play out. For some odd reason I got the impression that Joe Biden was having a lot more fun that was John Boehner while watching the proceedings.

  46. avatar
    Reality Check January 4, 2013 at 5:34 pm #

    Damn, even I forgot to never, never, never take a Birther’s word on anything. You are exactly right.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/02/13/92310/-Barbara-Boxer-to-Receive-5-000-Roses

    LW: Well, actually, the main reason given for the roses was “her candid and eloquent remarks during the Rice confirmation hearings,” but don’t ever let the truth get in the way of a great story.

  47. avatar
    aesthetocyst January 4, 2013 at 5:51 pm #

    Daniel: Don’t confuse birthers for Republicans. Real Republicans and Conservatives are embarrassed to be in the same country as a birther.

    … and the Tea Party? … And the current Red Congressional—uh—’leadership’? … and the last crop of Red Presidential candidates? Where is the line of acceptability?

    There is a need for classical conservatives. Nothing wrong with being a conservative Democrat. Philosophies are not tied to party names, nor vice-versa.

  48. avatar
    Keith January 4, 2013 at 6:27 pm #

    Daniel: Don’t confuse birthers for Republicans. Real Republicans and Conservatives are embarrassed to be in the same country as a birther.

    So speaking of plans, what is your plan for the future of your party, Daniel?

    Are you going to work on expelling the Norquist faction in 2014 (thus giving the House to the Dems for the time being) and trying to rebuild a sane party from the opposition benches?

    I would expect the TEA Party to form an actual party and run candidates if you did that, and maybe they would elect some. Would you then go into semi-permanent coalition with them like the conservative parties do in Australia and Britain?

  49. avatar
    Dave B. January 4, 2013 at 6:35 pm #

    If wishes was hosses, beggars would ride. And if objections was hosses, birthers would still be a-walking.

    john: I think the goal is to have a objection filed objection to ALL of the electoral votes won by Obama

  50. avatar
    misha marinsky January 4, 2013 at 7:04 pm #

    Daniel: Don’t confuse birthers for Republicans. Real Republicans and Conservatives are embarrassed to be in the same country as a birther.

    I can’t name any Republican who denounced the Denialists, except for McCain. One is not enough.

    Also, McCain and Palin expressed tolerance for clinic violence. Google it.

  51. avatar
    Paper January 4, 2013 at 7:17 pm #

    Scarborough did.

    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/morning-joe-reenacts-rick-perrys-parade-magazine-birther-interview/

    Regarding Perry’s birther coyness:

    …Scarborough summed this crop of GOP candidates perfectly. “This is lunacy,” he said. “This is the sort of thing that, not so many years from now, people will look back at the candidates and say ‘What idiots. What total idiots.’”

    misha marinsky: I can’t name any Republican who denounced the Denialists, except for McCain. One is not enough.

    Also, McCain and Palin expressed tolerance for clinic violence. Google it.

  52. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 4, 2013 at 7:22 pm #

    Lindsey Graham called birthers “crazy”.

    misha marinsky: I can’t name any Republican who denounced the Denialists, except for McCain. One is not enough.

  53. avatar
    Paper January 4, 2013 at 7:27 pm #

    *Even* Ann Coulter did. Though in her own false, pretzel-ish blame Hillary fashion, blame the liberal media style, she still pointed out the basics, that birtherism is nonsense.

    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/ann-coulter-donald-trumps-birther-talk-seems-sane-compared-to-charlie-sheen/

    misha marinsky: I can’t name any Republican who denounced the Denialists, except for McCain. One is not enough.

    Also, McCain and Palin expressed tolerance for clinic violence. Google it.

  54. avatar
    Paper January 4, 2013 at 7:30 pm #

    The National Review had a headline, Stop the Birther Nonsense, following up on an editorial taking on the issue:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/bench-memos/293046/stop-birther-nonsense-ed-whelan

    Stop the Birther Nonsense
    By Ed Whelan
    March 9, 2012 10:00 A.M.
    Print Text
    I hadn’t realized that some folks are still peddling the Obama birther nonsense. I agree entirely with this NRO house editorial from Wednesday, which concludes:

    Republicans who have chosen to associate with the birthers have done their party and their country a disservice. And as Sheriff Arpaio settles comfortably into that political mental ward, the same must be said of those Republicans who choose to associate themselves with him more broadly. Those who cannot distinguish between the birthers’ flim-flam and the critical questions that face our nation in 2012 will not win and do not deserve to.

    Also in the National Review, Williamson wrote to/about Sheriff Joe Arpaio:

    “About this birth-certificate business, though: You are looking like more of a fool than usual.”

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/292464/sheriff-joes-birther-posse-kevin-d-williamson#

    misha marinsky: I can’t name any Republican who denounced the Denialists, except for McCain. One is not enough.

  55. avatar
    donna January 4, 2013 at 7:33 pm #

    5/2011 huckabee:

    ”If there was any shred of truth to it, Hillary Clinton and her wonderful investigative opposition research machine would have found it and would have used it,” Huckabee said. “For Republicans to even be bringing it up, I think it’s a waste of energy and time.”

  56. avatar
    Crustacean January 4, 2013 at 7:37 pm #

    Arthur: John should write a screenplay based on his plan. Call it “Congressional Action” with Orly Taitz as Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Norris as Speaker of the House, Max Slaughter, and Jaleel White as President Negro. The catch phrase is: “Not in my House!”

    Nice! It would be tough to out-do the President as played by Terry Crews in “Idiocracy,” though.

    President Camacho: “I know shit’s bad right now, with all that starving bullshit, and the dust storms, and we are running out of french fries and burrito coverings. But I got a solution.

    “Now I understand everyone’s shit’s emotional right now. But I’ve got a 3 point plan that’s going to fix EVERYTHING…”

    South Carolina Representative: “Yeah, I got a solution, you’re a dick! South Carolina, what’s up!”

  57. avatar
    Paper January 4, 2013 at 7:39 pm #

    Rubio, Pawlenty, Karl Rove, too.

  58. avatar
    Paper January 4, 2013 at 7:49 pm #

    Also, all the birthers I personally know, some of whom are the worst (I think all, or maybe almost all, but all the ones I can think of right now) are Ron Paul supporters. They generally despise both parties as corrupt and wrong. They despised Romney. They would love the Republican party to implode; they would love a third party, almost certainly a libertarian style party. Some of them might go for Christie, though.

  59. avatar
    Paper January 4, 2013 at 7:53 pm #

    Oh, mistyped my email address. So I got a grouchy face, for the nonce. ;-}

  60. avatar
    Paper January 4, 2013 at 8:17 pm #

    I despise birtherism. Let me be clear. But I still prefer to keep that contempt where it belongs, not the man or woman, but their beliefs and arguments and nonsense claims, because even the man who has threatened my life over birtherism, is a man who has done kind and good things for people. That is part of why my contempt for birtherism is so adamantine, because in my experience it is worse than drug abuse (which I also have seen in people close to me). I find it more destructive of self and country and society than even drug abuse.

    I have seen plenty of Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde drug abusers in action. But with these drug addicts I have known, they at least want to be Dr. Jekyll, despite their failings. Birthers I know, however, think Mr. Hyde is the good guy. Yes, they do good things elsewhere in their lives, but they think their goodness emanates from Mr. Hyde. They think Mr. Hyde is the best part of themselves. So they embrace and raise up their worst tendencies, calling their most vile behaviors good, even calling such behaviors Christian.

    I find I prefer the drug addicts to the birthers. The drug addicts might try to steal my money or even identity, but they haven’t threatened my life like one of the birthers has. And when caught redhanded, the drug addicts have felt shame, even while they sometimes have *tried* to act above it. The birther just doubled-down.

    That’s my experience, for what it’s worth.

  61. avatar
    misha marinsky January 4, 2013 at 8:26 pm #

    I apologize. I stand corrected. I was thinking of this:

    “John Boehner Still Pandering to the Birthers: It’s Not My Job to Tell People What to Think – House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Sunday that while he believes President Obama is an American citizen and a Christian, Americans have a right to think otherwise if they so choose.

    “It’s not my job to tell the American people what to think,” Boehner said on NBC’s “Meet The Press” when asked about a recent focus group of Iowa voters shown on Fox News during which several said they believe Obama is Muslim.”

    http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/heather/john-boehner-still-pandering-birthers-its-

    It’s Boehner’s job to tell people what to think on every other issue, however.

  62. avatar
    Scientist January 4, 2013 at 8:43 pm #

    Daniel: Don’t confuse birthers for Republicans. Real Republicans and Conservatives are embarrassed to be in the same country as a birther.

    The problem is that birtherism is but one of a whole coterie of idiocies espoused by the current Republican party, including denial of science (clmate change, evolution), the rejection of a 10:1 spending cuts:tax increases by all of the presidential candidates (though the House ended up accepting a deal that was 1:41), “legitimate rape”, a refusal to consider even modest and reasonable controls on private arsenals (why not private nukes?). The current Repubicans are like a patient with multiple organ failure. It’s foolish to pretend that the organs aren’t interconnected and that if you could just fix the kidneys, the liver, heart, lungs and brain would be fine.

  63. avatar
    Daniel January 4, 2013 at 8:56 pm #

    I’m a Republican and I don’t espouse any of that stuff. None of my Republican friends espouse any of that stuff.

    One of the things I hate most about birthers and teabaggers is how they tag all democrats as if they were one democrat; “liberals are…” and “democrats are…”. Be careful you don’t pull a birther with the width of your brush.

  64. avatar
    misha marinsky January 4, 2013 at 9:06 pm #

    Daniel: Be careful you don’t pull a birther with the width of your brush.

    I am guilty, but remember, Willard Romney threw red meat:

    Romney birth certificate remark sets off firestorm – “I love being home in this place where Ann and I were raised, where both of us were born. Ann was born in Henry Ford Hospital. I was born in Harper Hospital,” Romney said. “No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place that we were born and raised.”

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57500031-503544/romney-birth-certificate-remark-sets-off-firestorm/

  65. avatar
    Majority Will January 4, 2013 at 9:15 pm #

    Daniel:
    I’m a Republican and I don’t espouse any of that stuff. None of my Republican friends espouse any of that stuff.

    One of the things I hate most about birthers and teabaggers is how they tag all democrats as if they were one democrat; “liberals are…” and “democrats are…”. Be careful you don’t pull a birther with the width of your brush.

    All generalizations are foolish.

  66. avatar
    Scientist January 4, 2013 at 9:18 pm #

    The leaders of your party support those positions. Both the congressional leadership (supported virtually unanimously by the members of the caucus) and all of the 2012 presidential candidates agreed with them (Huntsman dissented on climate). These positions are in the party platform. So you are free to call yourself a Republican, but you don’t speak for the party as a body, they do. Your beliefs are yours, not Republican beliefs. The same would be true with individual Democrats who disagree with Obama, Reid, Pelosi, the entire congressional caucus and the party platform on virtually every issue. That isn’t to say one can’t dissent at all, but when one disagrees with 90% of what the party currently stands for, the designation becomes meaningless.

  67. avatar
    misha marinsky January 4, 2013 at 9:36 pm #

    Majority Will: All generalizations are foolish.

    Generally speaking, generalizations are stereotypical and far too general.

  68. avatar
    LW January 4, 2013 at 9:51 pm #

    donna:
    5/2011 huckabee:

    ”If there was any shred of truth to it, Hillary Clinton and her wonderful investigative opposition research machine would have found it and would have used it,” Huckabee said. “For Republicans to even be bringing it up, I think it’s a waste of energy and time.”

    Huckabee 3/2011:

    “his perspective as growing up in Kenya with a Kenyan father and grandfather, their view of the Mau Mau Revolution in Kenya is very different than ours because he probably grew up hearing that the British were a bunch of imperialists who persecuted his grandfather.”

    Huckabee’s spokesman shortly thereafter:

    He “simply misspoke” and meant to say Indonesia [because that works so well in the context of the Mau Mau revolution].

    Huckabee himself shortly thereafter:

    “I do think he has a different worldview and I think it’s, in part, molded out of a very different experience. Most of us grew up going to Boy Scout meetings and, you know, our communities were filled with Rotary Clubs, not madrassas.”

    Conclusion:

    Huckabee decided that full-metal birtherism is too much for him to overtly promote, but he’s more than happy to go with “otherness” as often as he can.

  69. avatar
    Majority Will January 4, 2013 at 10:05 pm #

    LW: Huckabee 3/2011:

    “his perspective as growing up in Kenya with a Kenyan father and grandfather, their view of the Mau Mau Revolution in Kenya is very different than ours because he probably grew up hearing that the British were a bunch of imperialists who persecuted his grandfather.”

    Huckabee’s spokesman shortly thereafter:

    He “simply misspoke” and meant to say Indonesia [because that works so well in the context of the Mau Mau revolution].

    Huckabee himself shortly thereafter:

    “I do think he has a different worldview and I think it’s, in part, molded out of a very different experience. Most of us grew up going to Boy Scout meetings and, you know, our communities were filled with Rotary Clubs, not madrassas.”

    Conclusion:

    Huckabee decided that full-metal birtherism is too much for him to overtly promote, but he’s more than happy to go with “otherness” as often as he can.

    Gerakan Pramuka is the national Scouting organization of Indonesia. Scouting was founded in the Dutch East Indies in 1912, and Indonesia became a member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) in 1953. It has 17,103,793 members (as of 2011), making it the world’s largest Scout association.

    (source: wiki)

  70. avatar
    john January 4, 2013 at 11:03 pm #

    I just watched the CSPAN feed of the Joint Session. Joseph Biden DOES NOT call for objections. This is required. Can someone point where Biden calls for OBJECTIONS. He definitely broke the law.

  71. avatar
    Daniel January 4, 2013 at 11:03 pm #

    Scientist:
    The leaders of your party support those positions.Both the congressional leadership (supported virtually unanimously by the members of the caucus) and all of the 2012 presidential candidates agreed with them (Huntsman dissented on climate). These positions are in the party platform.So you are free to call yourself a Republican, but you don’t speak for the party as a body, they do. Your beliefs are yours, not Republican beliefs.The same would be true with individual Democrats who disagree with Obama, Reid, Pelosi, the entire congressional caucus and the party platform on virtually every issue.That isn’t to say one can’t dissent at all, but when one disagrees with 90% of what the party currently stands for, the designation becomes meaningless.

    I’ve been here as long as anyone, and I liked anti-birthers specifically because, generally speaking, they eschewed prejudices and focused on specifics, like the stupidity of birthers. I’ve done my part to fight sedition and no one has been more critical of the nutbags than I.

    I suppose in my zeal to fight the elements trying to hijack my party, I have forgotten that there is still prejudice in people like you.

    Thank you for reminding me that one doesn’t have to be a birther to stink of bigotry.

  72. avatar
    Daniel January 4, 2013 at 11:11 pm #

    john:
    I just watched the CSPAN feed of the Joint Session.Joseph Biden DOES NOT call for objections. This is required.Can someone point where Biden calls for OBJECTIONS.He definitely broke the law.

    It is not required. Your horse is dead John, let it go.

  73. avatar
    john January 4, 2013 at 11:14 pm #

    No doubt Biden broke the law –
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/3/15
    ….Upon such reading of any such certificate or paper, the President of the Senate shall call for objections, if any. Every objection shall be made in writing, and shall state clearly and concisely, and without argument, the ground thereof, and shall be signed by at least one Senator and one Member of the House of Representatives before the same shall be received…..

    In addition, it looks like half of Congress didn’t show up. This is a problem:

    http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/GPO-HPRACTICE-112/pdf/GPO-HPRACTICE-108-25.pdf
    Other Questions Arising in the Matter
    In addition to the joint sessions dividing to consider an objection to the
    counting of any electoral vote, it divides to consider an ‘‘other question arising in the matter.’’ 3 USC 15-18; Manual 220. Such a question also
    must be in writing and signed by both a Member and a Senator. Manual
    220; 107-1, Jan. 6, 2001, p 104. Examples of an ‘‘other question arising
    in the matter’’ include: (1) an objection for lack of a quorum;

    There definitely looks there was a lack of quorum.

  74. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 4, 2013 at 11:15 pm #

    When that reporter asked me if birthers and anti-birthers could ever have a reasonable conversation, I said no. There is a profound lack of respect on each side for the other, and it’s bound to slip out in time. Birthers think anti-birthers are paid shills or treasonous communist/marxists. Anti-birthers think that birthers are weak-minded, morally decrepit, racist and willfully ignorant. It’s not a recipe for dialog.

    When I was posting at ORYR, I said to myself that I was going to be better than them in civility, patience, well-sourced, fair and balanced comments. Well that was trivially easy, but not everybody on my side of the fence thinks birthers should be treated civilly. Folks on both sides have had abuse heaped on them, and they want to give some back.

    It’s not pretty.

    Daniel: Thank you for reminding me that one doesn’t have to be a birther to stink of bigotry.

  75. avatar
    Daniel January 4, 2013 at 11:22 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    When that reporter asked me if birthers and anti-birthers could ever have a reasonable conversation, I said no. There is a profound lack of respect on each side for the other, and it’s bound to slip out in time. Birthers think anti-birthers are paid shills or treasonous communist/marxists. Anti-birthers think that birthers are weak-minded, morally decrepit, racist and willfully ignorant. It’s not a recipe for dialog.

    When I was posting at ORYR, I said to myself that I was going to be better than them in civility, patience, well-sourced, fair and balanced comments. Well that was trivially easy, but not everybody on my side of the fence thinks birthers should be treated civilly. Folks on both sides have had abuse heaped on them, and they want to give some back.

    It’s not pretty.

    Birthers deserve everything they get, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I don’t deserve to be painted with a birther brush by morons who can’t tell the difference between a teabagger and an honest Republican.

    It`s easy to be an anti-birther if you`re a democrat. Try being a Republican anti-birther in a predominantly Democrat forum. Under the circumstances I think I`ve comported myself rather respectably, and with a great deal of patience, having had to endure prejudice from both sides.

    All I`m asking for is the kind of basic respect and human dignity that people like scientist accuse birthers of not giving.

  76. avatar
    SluggoJD January 4, 2013 at 11:40 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    When that reporter asked me if birthers and anti-birthers could ever have a reasonable conversation, I said no. There is a profound lack of respect on each side for the other, and it’s bound to slip out in time. Birthers think anti-birthers are paid shills or treasonous communist/marxists. Anti-birthers think that birthers are weak-minded, morally decrepit, racist and willfully ignorant. It’s not a recipe for dialog.

    When I was posting at ORYR, I said to myself that I was going to be better than them in civility, patience, well-sourced, fair and balanced comments. Well that was trivially easy, but not everybody on my side of the fence thinks birthers should be treated civilly. Folks on both sides have had abuse heaped on them, and they want to give some back.

    It’s not pretty.

    Sorry Doc,

    This isn’t a 50/50 situation. This isn’t a situation where both sides are to blame, or both sides need to chill, or both sides need to have more respect for the other. Pure BS.

    This is the ultimate black and white situation, in more ways than one.

    On one side are good people, who have faith in government institutions, even when manned by flawed human beings, and faith in the laws of the land.

    The other side lacks those kind of people.

    On one side are people who couldn’t care less about the color of one’s skin, or sexual preference, or age, or any other number of “categories” that are used to differentiate people from each other…thus often dividing people.

    On the other side are people who are well aware of differences in color, etc., and use those differences in an attempt to divide others.

    On one side are people who search and accept truth – real truth.

    On the other side are people who not only refuse to accept truth, but make up their own on purpose to be cruel and hateful.

    This is not a 50/50 situation.

    I’m good. I have honor. I don’t make up crap. I respect all others who have honor and dignity.

    And those who have no honor will never receive pity or respect from me, only blunt criticism of their evil, racist nature.

    John

  77. avatar
    Daniel January 4, 2013 at 11:46 pm #

    john:
    No doubt Biden broke the law –
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/3/15
    ….Upon such reading of any such certificate or paper, the President of the Senate shall call for objections, if any. Every objection shall be made in writing, and shall state clearly and concisely, and without argument, the ground thereof, and shall be signed by at least one Senator and one Member of the House of Representatives before the same shall be received…..

    In addition, it looks like half of Congress didn’t show up.This is a problem:

    http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/GPO-HPRACTICE-112/pdf/GPO-HPRACTICE-108-25.pdf
    Other Questions Arising in the Matter
    In addition to the joint sessions dividing to consider an objection to the
    counting of any electoral vote, it divides to consider an ‘‘other question arising in the matter.’’ 3 USC 15-18;Manual 220. Such a question also
    must be in writing and signed by both a Member and a Senator.Manual
    220; 107-1, Jan. 6, 2001, p 104. Examples of an ‘‘other question arising
    in the matter’’ include: (1) an objection for lack of a quorum;

    There definitely looks there was a lack of quorum.

    It`s not a problem because there weren`t any objections. By tradition and according to best congressional practices, any objection would have been announced well ahead of time by both of the people objecting. The written objection would have been considered by the party caucus and the President of the senate notified that an objection existed. Strictly speaking the objection only has to be called for if there is an objection. If by some chance a valid objection did exist and was missed or hidden, then a point of order would have forced the President of the Senate to officially call for those objections. A quorum wasn`t required because there weren`t any objections.

    Even if there was a mistake, that wouldn’t`t invalidate the proceedings. Mistakes can be corrected, as evidenced by the announcements of the Speaker of the House, that corrected several minor errors from previous sessions, that he made immediately after the count… or did you miss that, John…

    You hung all your hopes on a dead horse, John, and you lost…. again! Don’t embarrass yourself further by dripping and moaning for a do-over you’re not entitled to, and not going to get.

  78. avatar
    gorefan January 4, 2013 at 11:48 pm #

    john: No doubt Biden broke the law

    No he did not. The code reads “if any”. The VP knows if anyone is going to file an objection before the ceremony starts. If there are not going to be any he doesn’t call for objections. It slows the proceedings down.

  79. avatar
    Paper January 5, 2013 at 12:16 am #

    I think it is better to stick to birtherism and conspiracy silliness as its own brand, rather than trying to tie that particular brand of crazy to the Republican party as a whole. Regarding 2012 candidates, off the top of my head, Pawlenty stood up against birthers, as did Huntsman.

    I disagree with, and have minor to major problems with a variety of Republican positions, but when we consider the Republican party we also have to consider that it is fighting inside itself. I do not believe, for instance, that we can lump birtherism in with the idea (false idea by my lights) that “spending is the problem.”

    You mention, Scientist, four positions: denial of science, spending/tax ratios, legitimate rape, and overzealous gun protection. Those four do not stack up as smoothly as you suggest, and do not present a case for saying that birtherism is just one of many “idiocies” in the party.

    Denial of science is crazy and that is something that has risen more and more in the party. But…

    Republican proposed and desired spending/tax ratios are not crazy. Wrong, I will say. Destructively wrong, especially at the extremes. But not crazy. A critical error but not an idiocy in any way approaching the level of birtherism.

    “Legitimate rape” is crazy but that is NOT an aspect of the party at large. Many Republicans spoke out against that craziness.

    Overzealous gun protection is not a Republican only issue.

    I do think the Republican party risks its own demise as a national power. And the rabid birthers I personally know would love that outcome; they would love the Republican party to implode. Because they want something else and only hang around the Republicans because they have nowhere else to go (libertarians still too small a group by themselves). I think these extreme aspects of the party do threaten it. But if we want to say elections mean something, Republicans rejected the crazies. Romney was many things but he was not crazy. He pandered, but that’s a different point. The Republican party is threatened by its extremes, but that too is a different point.

    So, Daniel, I believe, is well within his rights to say his Republicanism is not about the crazy. He is fighting for his party. Good.

    Scientist:
    The leaders of your party support those positions.Both the congressional leadership (supported virtually unanimously by the members of the caucus) and all of the 2012 presidential candidates agreed with them (Huntsman dissented on climate). These positions are in the party platform.So you are free to call yourself a Republican, but you don’t speak for the party as a body, they do. Your beliefs are yours, not Republican beliefs.The same would be true with individual Democrats who disagree with Obama, Reid, Pelosi, the entire congressional caucus and the party platform on virtually every issue.That isn’t to say one can’t dissent at all, but when one disagrees with 90% of what the party currently stands for, the designation becomes meaningless.

  80. avatar
    john January 5, 2013 at 12:22 am #

    Calling for Objection is standard practice because IT IS required under Federal Law. Listening to the Joint Session of Congress from Previous years Reveals the following:

    1. 1989 – George Bush does call for Objections – there are none.

    2. 1997- Gore Does call for Objections – There are none.

    3. 2001 – Gore Acknowledges several Objections due to the Florida Vote.

    4. 2005 – We know Barbara Boxer objected so objected were recognized.

    5. 2008 – Chaney does not call for objection but acknowledges there are none.

    6. 2013 – Biden does NOTHING – He neither calls for objections nor does her acknowledge that there are none.

  81. avatar
    Dave January 5, 2013 at 12:41 am #

    John, you know perfectly well that nobody had an objection, so what do you hope to accomplish with this approach?

    As for your comment about quorum, I did hear that many House Republicans didn’t show up, but I confess I don’t know that the quorum requirement is for counting the votes. Do you know?

    john:
    No doubt Biden broke the law –

    There definitely looks there was a lack of quorum.

  82. avatar
    john January 5, 2013 at 12:53 am #

    Based on Past Joint Sessions, Objections or lack of them manifest themselves in 3 ways:

    1. The President of the Senate will acknowledge if there are objections after the Alabama vote is read, they are to come forward.

    2. The President of the Senate acknowledges a Point of Order for an objection after a specific state is called.

    3. The President of Senate acknowledges in the beginning there are no objections. (Without objection)

    In the case of the 2013 Joint Session, Biden did not do any of these 3 approaches – Biden did not call for objections, no Points of order were recognized and Biden did not acknowledge there were no objections. In appears that Biden completely ignored any all objection manifestations.

  83. avatar
    Paper January 5, 2013 at 1:18 am #

    I disagree very very much, SluggoJD. I cannot in good conscience so divide *people.* There is no one who despises birtherism more than me. I will stand my contempt up to anyone’s. But to break it out as you do here, no.

    My brother, an ex-military Oath Keeper who has threatened my life, is a good man in many areas of his life. But in this area, no, he behaves and speaks monstrously. it more and more destroys his life. Very different point.

    If you want to focus on someone like Corsi or Apuzzo, then maybe you have a more *tempting* argument, but even there, I’m not going to separate them out as different kinds of people. I don’t know them as people. I think Apuzzo’s arguments are meritless and destructive and deserve no respect, they even *deserve* contempt, but what do I know about him as a person? And even if I felt he were a terrible person, as I might conceivably feel from reading his posts, I still am not going to say I am honorable, he is not. I thought Breitbart harmed this country in his work, but by many reports he also was a good man in his personal life. I do not make excuses for their actions and arguments, but I refuse to to say I am the honorable one, and there, over there, be monsters. No. Monsters are in us all.

    To take a less crazy example, but one which Scientist points out is an “idiocy,” let’s look at climate change deniers. I have been on the climate change warning brigade for over twenty years, but Freeman Dyson, on the other hand, doesn’t agree with most of the rest of science. There is no reason to follow his thoughts on this matter just because he is Freeman Dyson, but we can at least agree he isn’t an idiot. Intelligent people can be critically wrong without being idiots.

    As Dr. C says, it is not a pretty landscape, this birther land. I believe in consequences, so yes, people like Corsi and Apuzzo, for instance, deserve to have their life’s work thrown in the garbage, with no ifs ands or buts. They deserve to be ashamed (they never will be). They deserve to be shamed. But for their statements, not for their “nature.” They may even deserve shame for what they have made of their lives, devoting so much to garbage. All different points.

    I believe birthers deserve what they get, so when they whine about being mistreated, it’s kind of pathetic on their part. But they are also right, and we are not, in such instances. It is understandable to want to “give some back,” as Dr. C notes, but let’s not go *defending* it. it is not defensible. However, destroying and mulching, ridiculing and condemning their *arguments* and statements and other such nonsense can be done with a clear heart.

    Consequences, yes. Ridicule of their nonsense, absolutely. Name-calling, not so much.

    Forget about human dignity; it’s not even good comedy to indulge in such divisions.

    SluggoJD: Sorry Doc,

    This isn’t a 50/50 situation.This isn’t a situation where both sides are to blame, or both sides need to chill, or both sides need to have more respect for the other.Pure BS.

    This is the ultimate black and white situation, in more ways than one.

    On one side are good people, who have faith in government institutions, even when manned by flawed human beings, and faith in the laws of the land.

    The other side lacks those kind of people.

    On one side are people who couldn’t care less about the color of one’s skin, or sexual preference, or age, or any other number of “categories” that are used to differentiate people from each other…thus often dividing people.

    On the other side are people who are well aware of differences in color, etc., and use those differences in an attempt to divide others.

    On one side are people who search and accept truth – real truth.

    On the other side are people who not only refuse to accept truth, but make up their own on purpose to be cruel and hateful.

    This is not a 50/50 situation.

    I’m good.I have honor.I don’t make up crap.I respect all others who have honor and dignity.

    And those who have no honor will never receive pity or respect from me, only blunt criticism of their evil, racist nature.

    John

  84. avatar
    US Citizen January 5, 2013 at 1:31 am #

    Birther John,

    My wife and I often go to a restaurant in town where the waiters never ask us if we want a high-chair for our child.
    Other people say nothing and are provided such chairs, but never us.
    But we still go there and enjoy our meals.
    Want to know why?
    Because one doesn’t need to ask what is already known.
    We don’t have any children.

  85. avatar
    aesthetocyst January 5, 2013 at 1:37 am #

    john: There definitely looks there was a lack of quorum.

    Have you ever been to Capitol Hill and seen Congress in action? No, C-SPAN is not an all-seeing eye. Faarrrrrr from it. The floor is the show, the pulpit. What goes on there is practically scripted. The work occurs in the halls, the offices, the conferences.

    In Congress, quorum is assumed. Anyone who makes a quorum call does so with the backing of leadership.

  86. avatar
    gorefan January 5, 2013 at 1:40 am #

    john:
    Calling for Objection is standard practice because IT IS required under Federal Law.Listening to the Joint Session of Congress from Previous years Reveals the following:

    1.1989 – George Bush does call for Objections – there are none.

    2.1997- Gore Does call for Objections – There are none.

    3.2001 – Gore Acknowledges several Objections due to the Florida Vote.

    4.2005 – We know Barbara Boxer objected so objected were recognized.

    5.2008 – Chaney does not call for objection but acknowledges there are none.

    6.2013 – Biden does NOTHING – He neither calls for objections nor does her acknowledge that there are none.

    Not true. CSPAN has all the previous vote counts

    Here is 1989

    http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/Ball

    here is 1993

    http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/BallotCo

    Gore did not call for objections in 1997. Cheney did not call for objections in 2005 or 2009.

  87. avatar
    gorefan January 5, 2013 at 1:57 am #

    aesthetocyst: In Congress, quorum is assumed. Anyone who makes a quorum call does so with the backing of leadership.

    In 2001 just as they were getting started a member of the House (Rep. Deutch) raised the point that there was not a quorum. VP Gore told him that the rules for this session required that a point pf order had to be in writing and it must be signed by both a member of the House and a member of the Senate.

    http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/161423-1

    Beginning at the 11:00 minute mark.

  88. avatar
    Paper January 5, 2013 at 2:00 am #

    Here is Jack Maskell and Elizabeth Rybicki (Congressional Research Service) on the subject

    Counting Electoral Votes: An Overview of Procedures at the Joint Session, Including Objections by members of Congress

    http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL32717.pdf

    I do not see explicit reference to these two questions, but there is a reference to a point of order being denied, where that point of order was about there not being a quorum (in a past count). There is no explicit quorum rule written into law here.

    I would say that I think the words “if any” are pretty clear. But I also would note Senators and Representatives are very capable of standing up and objecting without invitation to do so. They do so all the time, and clearly have stood up uninvited to raise various points in past electoral counts.

    One interesting point is made that very little debate or discussion is permitted outside of the strict parameters. That is why the quorum point of order was denied, for instance, in the past.

    While thinking of quorum, we should note that the Senate, for instance, can do quite a lot without quorum. Just the other day, Harry Reid passed through a slew of nominations all by himself with no one else in the hall, by asking for unanimous consent. He had clearly worked it out with McConnell ahead of time, so that here would be no holds or roadblocks on those nominations. The point here being that not everything is beholden to quorum.

    Dave:
    John, you know perfectly well that nobody had an objection, so what do you hope to accomplish with this approach?

    As for your comment about quorum, I did hear that many House Republicans didn’t show up, but I confess I don’t know that the quorum requirement is for counting the votes. Do you know?

  89. avatar
    Paper January 5, 2013 at 2:01 am #

    Right, that point is raised by Jack Maskell and Elizabeth Rybicki in the report above.

    gorefan: In 2001 just as they were getting started a member of the House (Rep. Deutch) raised the point that there was not a quorum.VP Gore told him that the rules for this session required that a point pf order had to be in writing and it must be signed by both a member of the Houseand a member of the Senate.

    http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/161423-1

    Beginning at the 11:00 minute mark.

  90. avatar
    Paper January 5, 2013 at 2:13 am #

    So?

    See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quorum_call

    In other words, what aesthetocyst said.

    john: There definitely looks there was a lack of quorum.

  91. avatar
    BillTheCat January 5, 2013 at 3:15 am #

    Hehe nice :) blew a hole in that theory. Poor John, the straws are getting harder and harder to grasp.

    gorefan: Not true.CSPAN has all the previous vote counts

    Here is 1989

    http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/Ball

    here is 1993

    http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/BallotCo

    Gore did not call for objections in 1997.Cheney did not call for objections in 2005 or 2009.

  92. avatar
    Bonsall Obot January 5, 2013 at 4:53 am #

    Daniel:

    Thank you for reminding me that one doesn’t have to be a birther to stink of bigotry.

    The Drama Queen is strong with this one.

    I am forever amused by the “sane” Republicans who claim that they are being unfairly maligned by their association with the “crazy” Republicans. Birtherism IS mainstream Republicanism. If you truly object to all the crazy policies mentioned above, stop rewarding the Republican party when they misbehave; stop voting for them until they dial back the crazy.

  93. avatar
    john January 5, 2013 at 6:03 am #

    Not true. CSPAN has all the previous vote counts

    Here is 1989

    http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/Ball

    here is 1993

    http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/BallotCo

    Gore did not call for objections in 1997. Cheney did not call for objections in 2005 or 2009.

    In 1989, Bush acknowledges the inivation of those who wish to raise an objection right after the State of Alabama is read – “In there are no objection….”

    In 1997 Gore does the same

    In 2005 and 2009, Chaney acknowledges there are no objections (without objection) but in 2005 a point of order is raised for an objection despite Chaney’s acknowledgment in the beginning that there are none.

    In 2013, Biden NEVER acknowledges there are no objections, makes no inivation for raising of objections and no points of order are raised regarding objections

  94. avatar
    Scientist January 5, 2013 at 6:54 am #

    Daniel: Thank you for reminding me that one doesn’t have to be a birther to stink of bigotry.

    Bonsall Obot: The Drama Queen is strong with this one.

    Indeed, the DQ is strong with this one. It isn’t all about birtherism (sorry, Doc and Daniel). Birtherism is only a tiny part of the foolishness and in many ways it is less dangerous than some of the others. Birtherism merely seeks to oust Obama (who would be replaced by Biden anyway). That would be outrageous, of course, but it would not threaten the planet, as cIimate denialism does, nor the world economy, as threatening debt default does. Compared to those, birtherism is but a minor eccentricity.

    I’m not even referring to birtherism when I speak of the Republican platform because the platform says nothing about it at all. Yet it contains a whole lot of foolishness. Now, Daniel, you say you don’t subscribe to all that foolishness. Fine, I believe you. But at some point when you disagree with the core positions of a party, you stop really belonging to it and belong only to your own vision of what the party could be, rather than what it is. For example, there are anti-abortion Democrats and they are absolutely part of the party. But if a Democrat came out and said Social Security was a Communist plot, I think most Democrats would consider them beyond the pale. And on the other side is the Chinese Communist Party, which fosters State Capitalism really Communist or simply an authoratarian oligarchy? And if a true Communist registered as a Republican, would he really be one?

  95. avatar
    Pieter Nosworthy January 5, 2013 at 8:31 am #

    Some might proffer that regardless whether those constituents who wonder if the President is NBC eligible are right or wrong, it should’ve been brought before the congress as a matter to close definitively by lawmakers that supposedly represent.

    Birthers exist as a significant constituency, some more nutty in their convictions than others (me, I ignore the BC et al BS and find the unresolved question of MvH sufficient).

    A challenge would have been posed and likely the majority of the congress would hold that statutory citizenship at birth suffices to be considered as natural born. I would not have agreed with this assessment, but it would mute this particular argument.

  96. avatar
    Reality Check January 5, 2013 at 9:48 am #

    What unresolved question about Minor v Happersett? The opinion of a few crank attorneys like Leo Donofrio and Mario Apuzzo doesn’t constitute a controversy. There are now a handful of recent court decisions, starting with Ankeny in 2009, that hold that Barack Obama is a natural born citizen. If anyone in Congress disagreed with Barack Obama’s eligibility they have had four years to bring it up on the floor and two chances to do it specifically at the electoral vote certifications. None have.

    Pieter Nosworthy: me, I ignore the BC et al BS and find the unresolved question of MvH sufficient

  97. avatar
    Arthur January 5, 2013 at 10:09 am #

    Pieter Nosworthy: that statutory citizenship at birth suffices

    “Statutory citizen”? That’s a term that Mario Apuzzo endorses but not the federal government or the Constitution. You don’t need to be bothered by such malarkey, as It only exists on certain birther websites–the same is true for those so-called unresolved question concerning Minor v Happersett.

    Anyway, welcome to the discussion . . . I just hope you won’t be arguing recycled Mario.

  98. avatar
    Majority Will January 5, 2013 at 10:09 am #

    Pieter Nosworthy: Birthers exist as a significant constituency

    Birtherism is an idiotic distraction. Congress has enough of those already.

    Birther lawsuits are a waste of our taxes and judicial resources. The fear and hatred based concerns of a few paranoid bigots do not outweigh the will of the majority.

    Your debunked and baseless concerns have been discussed here many times. You might consider doing a little reading in the archives first before making ridiculous posts especially with regards to the Minor case.

  99. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 5, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    You watched it. Did you see any “objection manifestations?” I watched it live, and I didn’t see any.

    john: . In appears that Biden completely ignored any all objection manifestations.

  100. avatar
    Paper January 5, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    No, it is not. It is untenable to say that it is.

    Bonsall Obot:
    Birtherism IS mainstream Republicanism.

  101. avatar
    Arthur January 5, 2013 at 10:26 am #

    Paper: No, it is not. It is untenable to say that it is.

    I agree. While It’s true that mainstream Republicans, including Mitt Romney, scratched the ears of birthers in order to get their votes, I think that if birtherism were mainstream there would have been written objections when Congress certified the electors’ votes. But even lunatics like Louie Gohmert and Steve King were silent.

  102. avatar
    john January 5, 2013 at 10:28 am #

    “You watched it. Did you see any “objection manifestations?” I watched it live, and I didn’t see any.”

    Your right Doc. There were none and that was the violation. Biden failed to acknowledge no objections, failed invite the floor for objections, and no points of order for objections were raised. In all previous Joint Sessions I have seen, this has been done, presumely in accordance of Federal Law since Objections must acknowledged in some way.

  103. avatar
    Thinker January 5, 2013 at 10:31 am #

    It’s not the argument that needs to be muted. It’s the people who make it. And there is not a chance that a determination by Congress that Barack Obama is an natural born citizen would mute the people making the argument. If you and others who believe that Obama is not a natural born citizen responded rationally to logic and evidence, you wouldn’t have bought into the “NBC=two citizen parents” nonsense to begin with.

    Pieter Nosworthy:
    A challenge would have been posed and likely the majority of the congress would hold that statutory citizenship at birth suffices to be considered as natural born. I would not have agreed with this assessment, but it would mute this particular argument.

  104. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 5, 2013 at 10:35 am #

    It reminds me of the definition of “cult”: “My denomination is mainstream and yours is just a cult.”

    I do not think it fair to summarily dismiss a claim that birtherism is mainstream Republican, when in a July 2012 YouGov poll, only 31% of Republicans responded that Obama was born in the US.

    http://today.yougov.com/news/2012/07/11/birthers-are-still-back/

    Paper: No, it is not. It is untenable to say that it is.

    Bonsall Obot:
    Birtherism IS mainstream Republicanism.

  105. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 5, 2013 at 10:40 am #

    Uh, I didn’t see any objections.

    But if it makes you feel better, write some letters, or file a lawsuit.

    john: Objections must acknowledged in some way.

  106. avatar
    Paper January 5, 2013 at 10:42 am #

    I agree that these other issues are more important than birtherism. I will also note that the definition of what it is to be Republican is under threat from the extremes, that that even has been an escalating problem. I think threatening to default on the debt is stupid and selfish beyond belief. But these things are not birtherism, nor does it do any good, nor is it very scientific, to toss them all in a pot and label it Republican while ignoring the fights going on within the party over what it is.

    If you detect any intensity in my writing, that would be because I’m slightly annoyed to be defending Republicans.

    Scientist:
    Indeed, the DQ is strong with this one.It isn’t all about birtherism (sorry, Doc and Daniel).Birtherism is only a tiny part of the foolishness and in many ways it is less dangerous than some of the others.Birtherism merely seeks to oust Obama (who would be replaced by Biden anyway).That would be outrageous, of course, but it would not threaten the planet, as cIimate denialism does, nor the world economy, as threatening debt default does.Compared to those, birtherism is but a minor eccentricity.

    I’m not even referring to birtherism when I speak of the Republican platform because the platform says nothing about it at all.Yet it contains a whole lot of foolishness.Now, Daniel, you say you don’t subscribe to all that foolishness.Fine, I believe you.But at some point when you disagree with the core positions of a party, you stop really belonging to it and belong only to your own vision of what the party could be, rather than what it is.For example, there are anti-abortion Democrats and they are absolutely part of the party.But if a Democrat came out and said Social Security was a Communist plot, I think most Democrats would consider them beyond the pale.And on the other side is the Chinese CommunistParty, which fosters State Capitalism really Communist or simply an authoratarian oligarchy?And if a true Communist registered as a Republican, would he really be one?

  107. avatar
    Bonsall Obot January 5, 2013 at 10:49 am #

    Exactly so; as long as there is a greater chance that a randomly-selected Republican is under the delusion that the President is ineligible to serve than there is that they correctly understand that he is, Birtherism is mainstream Republicanism. This, in addition to the harmful policies Scientist listed, makes them unfit to govern. They aren’t even entitled to a seat at the table until they dial back the crazy. Clean your own house, Republicans, if you want any respect from Americans.

  108. avatar
    donna January 5, 2013 at 11:02 am #

    john: Objections must acknowledged in some way.

    when have member of congress been mute about objecting to anything?

    write to/call your own elected officials and ask them why they didn’t object

  109. avatar
    aesthetocyst January 5, 2013 at 11:15 am #

    john: Biden completely ignored any all objection manifestations.

    Nah, he just never saw them. The Ghostbusters were on site, traps at every entrance to the House chamber, proton packs on hair triggers. The manifestations never had a chance. After 30 years in the business those guys are really, really good!

    Their services were rendered gratis to Obama in exchange for final approval of the Yucca Mountain Ecto Containment Vault. 30 years of ghosts requires serious storage!

    And yes, Boehner was totally in on it.

    (“objection manifestations”? really? really???)

  110. avatar
    Arthur January 5, 2013 at 11:26 am #

    donna: when have member of congress been mute about objecting to anything?

    One way that some birthers, e.g., those who regularly post at ORYR, answer your question is to say that everyone is corrupt–Republican and Democrats, Senators and Congressmen, Federal and State judges, and the Supreme Court. It’s dystopic view of reality that encourages people to view rational opposition as corrupt and treasonous, and deserving of imprisonment or death.

    To my knowledge, john has resisted this view and I hope he continues to do so. My larger hope is that john, and others like him, recognize that Republicans in Congress would love to destroy President Obama, and if there were any truth to his ineligibility, their objections would have dunned Vice President Biden when votes of the electors were certified.

  111. avatar
    Pieter Nosworthy January 5, 2013 at 11:34 am #

    I realize my comment was red meat to those who would rather confront birtherism than the intent of the post’s original question of congressional review of NBC question.

    Relax, one and all…

    Though you may be misguided in your bent, you are unquestionably upheld by a status quo of your understanding. Most everyone is convinced that our President is entitled to his office, unfortunately they are just misinformed due the likes of a constituency of folks such as yourself who quell out of hand.

    You tell them that there is nothing worthy of discussion which is a lie. Birthers may be wrong, but the national debate is still worth having. Contrary to what you may hold dear regarding liberal truth, the hypocrisy of the other side is deafening per free speech.

    Slavery was considered constitutionally acceptable at one time, better heads prevailed. Perhaps the constitutional wonder on NBC has foundation, not all that question are racist.

  112. avatar
    CarlOrcas January 5, 2013 at 11:35 am #

    john:
    “You watched it. Did you see any “objection manifestations?” I watched it live, and I didn’t see any.”

    Your right Doc.There were none and that was the violation.Biden failed to acknowledge no objections, failed invite the floor for objections, and no points of order for objections were raised. In all previous Joint Sessions I have seen, this has been done, presumely in accordance of Federal Law since Objections must acknowledged in some way.

    What “Federal law” governs how Congress operates? My recollection is that Congress – both houses – make their own rules for how they operate.

  113. avatar
    Bob January 5, 2013 at 11:42 am #

    Pieter Nosworthy: Birthers may be wrong, but the national debate is still worth having. Contrary to what you may hold dear regarding liberal truth, the hypocrisy of the other side is deafening per free speech.

    A national debate is fine, an ugly, baseless smear is not. A national debate on the subject wouldn’t include whether or not Obama is eligible. A national discussion is fine, retroactively changing the rules is not.

  114. avatar
    Arthur January 5, 2013 at 11:42 am #

    Pieter Nosworthy: Most everyone is convinced that our President is entitled to his office, unfortunately they are just misinformed due the likes of a constituency of folks such as yourself who quell out of hand.

    “Most everyone” includes the Electoral College, Congress, federal courts, state courts, the Supreme Court, constitutional scholars, and the American voters. But if you want to hold to a boutique misinterpretation of a settled issue, please do so. The country will muddle along somehow.

  115. avatar
    Dave B. January 5, 2013 at 11:46 am #

    Arthur: “Statutory citizen”? That’s a term that Mario Apuzzo endorses but not the federal government or the Constitution.

    No, that’s not true. I would refer you to Justice Blackmun’s opinion in Rogers v. Bellei:
    “The plaintiff’s claim thus must center in the statutory power of Congress and in the appropriate exercise of that power within the restrictions of any pertinent constitutional provisions other than the Fourteenth Amendment’s first sentence.” (paragraph 43);

    that sentence of course being
    “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”

    Justice Blackmun continues:
    “The Court has recognized that existence of this power. It has observed, ‘No alien has the slightest right to naturalization unless all statutory requirements are compiled (sic) with * * *.’ United States v. Ginsberg, 243 U.S. 472, 475, 37 S.Ct. 422, 425, 61 L.Ed. 853 (1917). See United States v. Ness, 245 U.S. 319, 38 S.Ct. 118, 62 L.Ed. 321 (1917); Maney v. United States, 278 U.S. 17, 49 S.Ct. 15, 73 L.Ed. 156 (1928). And the Court has specifically recognized the power of Congress not to grant a United States citizen the right to transmit citizenship by descent.” (paragraph 53)

    and adds:

    “Further, it is conceded here both that Congress may withhold citizenship from persons like plaintiff Bellei and may prescribe a period of residence in the United States as a condition precedent without constitutional question.” (paragraph 54).

    “We feel that it does not make good constitutional sense, or comport with logic, to say, on the one hand, that Congress may impose a condition precedent, with no constitutional complication, and yet be powerless to impose precisely the same condition subsequent. Any such distinction, of course, must rest, if it has any basis at all, on the asserted ‘premise that the rights of citizenship of the native born and of the naturalized person are of the same dignity and are coextensive,’ Schneider v. Rusk, 377 U.S., at 165, 84 S.Ct., at 1189, and on the announcement that Congress has no ‘power, express or implied, to take away an American citizen’s citizenship without his assent,’ Afroyim v. Rusk, 387 U.S., at 257, 87 S.Ct., at 1662. But, as pointed out above, these were utterances bottomed upon Fourteenth Amendment citizenship and that Amendment’s direct reference to ‘persons born or naturalized in the United States.’
    {Allow me to emphasize the sentences which follow:}
    We do not accept the notion that those utterances are now to be judicially extended to citizenship not based upon the Fourteenth Amendment and to make citizenship an absolute. That it is not an absolute is demonstrated by the fact that even Fourteenth Amendment citizenship by naturalization, when unlawfully procured, may be set aside.” (paragraph 66)

    http://openjurist.org/401/us/815/rogers-v-bellei

    Mr. Bellei’s claim to U.S. citizenship was, like Senator McCain’s and unlike President Obama’s, based upon statutory citizenship; it was “citizenship not based upon the Fourteenth Amendment “. Mr. Bellei failed to satisfy the citizenship retention requirements set by the statute then in effect, and lost his citizenship. Those requirements are no longer part of statute, but remain in effect for persons born when they were in effect. For persons whose citizenship at birth arises from the 14th Amendment, no such requirement can be imposed.

    I would also refer you to the words of Justice Gray in Wong Kim Ark (also relied upon by Justice Blackmun in the opinion I’ve cited):
    “This sentence of the fourteenth amendment (Justice Gray is also referring to the first sentence of the Amendment) is declaratory of existing rights, and affirmative of existing law, as to each of the qualifications therein expressed,—’born in the United States,’ ‘naturalized in the United States,’ and ‘subject to the jurisdiction thereof'; in short, as to everything relating to the acquisition of citizenship by facts occurring within the limits of the United States. But it has not touched the acquisition of citizenship by being born abroad of American parents; and has left that subject to be regulated, as it had always been, by congress, in the exercise of the power conferred by the constitution to establish a uniform rule of naturalization.” (paragraph 77)

    http://openjurist.org/169/us/649/united-states-v-wong-kim-ark

    None of which has anything to do with President Obama, whose citizenship at birth is entirely based on the Constitution.

  116. avatar
    donna January 5, 2013 at 11:54 am #

    Arthur:

    they always have to find something over which to create another conspiracy – how would they survive otherwise?

    boehner was up there with biden – i didn’t notice duct tape over his mouth or him sitting with restraints

  117. avatar
    Paper January 5, 2013 at 11:54 am #

    in the back of my mind, I had a feeling that you would be the one to bring that up! Well, it is a point. I do think that is a point worth considering more, and I will review that new poll. For various reasons in the past, I have treated those numbers as somewhat soft. I, for instance, would find it hard to include in the definition of birther people who just say “I don’t know” or some such middling response. I don’t think it speaks favorly of their political awareness or involvement, for sure. I first would like to focus on how many *actively* say Obama was not born here. I’ll look at that now.

    For the record, though, I am not anything resembling a Republican. I voted for Obama twice, proudly. On New Years Eve, I expressed my exasperation with the Republican party as it is now, even perhaps saying that they are going crazy. But that is loose talk at a party, and includes the word “going,” not gone. I can remember growing up respecting Republicans, even though I would never have become one, and I was lamenting that it is much harder to do that today. So, I’m just saying, I am not in anyway defending my group.

    In context here, I was responding to a blanket statement with a blanket statement. So yeah. You got me there.

    My thinking was framed by Scientist’s comments about leadership and core positions, and that is what I was thinking of in my response. I was focused on how mainstream Republicans, politicians and commentators, came out against birtherism. In a party where Ann Coulter of all people denounces birtherism, I do no think it is an easy sell to say mainstream Republicanism is birtherism. Part of the issue here, too, impacting the conversation is the lumping together of birtherism and Republican policy positions, which I think distorts matters.

    The people who have been the mainstream of the party have denounced birthers. Joe Scarborough, a complete small government type, has lambasted birthers, and Trump in particular. So, what I see is a mainstream Republican party fighting against the crazies, and some indeterminate soft number in the middle. But “crazy does not win” and all the crazies lost to Romney. Romney played games, pandered, but that is a different point.

    I just think it is too early to say the Republican party has gone crazy. If they had, they would have picked one of the real crazies as their candidate.

    I just think the jury is out, and thus respect someone like Daniel fighting for his party. That is what people are supposed to do! Call out the crazies, tell them they do not belong, that the crazies do not speak for them.

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    It reminds me of the definition of “cult”: “My denomination is mainstream and yours is just a cult.”

    I do not think it fair tosummarily dismiss a claim that birtherism is mainstream Republican, when in a July 2012 YouGov poll, only 31% of Republicans responded that Obama was born in the US.

    http://today.yougov.com/news/2012/07/11/birthers-are-still-back/

  118. avatar
    misha marinsky January 5, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

    Paper: No, it is not. It is untenable to say that it is.

    Bonsall Obot: Birtherism IS mainstream Republicanism.

    Remember this? – The Birthers in Congress

    Seventeen men and women who are either enabling the fringe movement or having trouble admitting Obama is president

    Salon has here in its (virtual) hand a list of 17 names of members of Congress who have either expressed support for, or refused to oppose, the idea that America has a foreign president problem. You’d be surprised how hard it is to get a member of Congress to say that Barack Obama is a natural-born citizen with the right to be president. Or maybe you wouldn’t. Meet the Birthers on the Hill:

    Read on: http://www.salon.com/2009/07/28/birther_enablers/

  119. avatar
    ASK Esq January 5, 2013 at 12:01 pm #

    john:
    “You watched it. Did you see any “objection manifestations?” I watched it live, and I didn’t see any.”

    Your right Doc.There were none and that was the violation.Biden failed to acknowledge no objections, failed invite the floor for objections, and no points of order for objections were raised. In all previous Joint Sessions I have seen, this has been done, presumely in accordance of Federal Law since Objections must acknowledged in some way.

    And, at that point, anyone who had properly filed a written objection in advance would certainly have stood up and said something, right? So, when the objectors pointed out to Biden that they had, in fact, filed an objection, how did he handle it? Oh, yeah, that’s right. That didn’t happen because, as Biden knew, there were no objections.

  120. avatar
    donna January 5, 2013 at 12:06 pm #

    every media outlet reported “no objections”

    No objections were raised by any Senators or Representatives to the counting and tabulating of the Electoral Vote from any State (or the District of Columbia).

    The Certificates of the Electoral Vote from all 51 jurisdictions seemed “to be regular in form and authentic” and the total Electoral Vote as “ascertained and delivered to the President of the Senate” by the four Tellers- two from each house of Congress, one from each side of the aisle

  121. avatar
    Paper January 5, 2013 at 12:11 pm #

    Oh yeah, that one. For some reason I thought you meant a new one this week. Wrong on my part.

    The take away number for me is 33%, that 33% of Republicans think it is false that Obama was born in the United States. I exclude the “not sures” as something to use as characterizing birtherism in the party. That is too indefinite. It certainly doesn’t speak well of their political awareness, but I do not think it is fair to include those in the definition of birther.

    One could simply flip focus and say 67% of Republicans do not say Obama was born outside the United States.

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    …when in a July 2012 YouGov poll, only 31% of Republicans responded that Obama was born in the US.

    http://today.yougov.com/news/2012/07/11/birthers-are-still-back/

  122. avatar
    Scientist January 5, 2013 at 12:15 pm #

    Pieter Nosworthy: Some might proffer that regardless whether those constituents who wonder if the President is NBC eligible are right or wrong, it should’ve been brought before the congress as a matter to close definitively by lawmakers that supposedly represent.

    By making no objection, the members of Congress did in fact settle the matter as regards Barack Obama and anyone else with a similar set of facts. It doesn’t matter what one of them says in some town hall or talk radio show-one has to judge members of Congress based on the actual votes they cast. And in this case they voted that Obama is eligible. There really is no other way to read it. If you wish to argue that some of them felt otherwise but lacked the courage to vote that way, that doesn’t wash, any more than Democrats who voted for the Iraq war deserved a pass becuase they did so out of cowardice, rather than conviction.

  123. avatar
    Paper January 5, 2013 at 12:20 pm #

    Yes, there is a spectrum. Yes, many of these are enablers at minimum. Different points. These are the people the main body of the party is being threatened by. They are the kind of people who will take down the party, if it finally collapses completely. These are the kind of people Daniel was separating himself from.

    But even there in this article (to make an aside about methods) they make a point of Orly Taitz being Facebook friends (at least at that time, still?) with Michael Steele. Well, Steele has spoken out against birthers.

    Plus, Facebook, so what? I have some Facebook friends (and family) I sometimes consider defriending when I see their crazy, but I almost never do, even when they are totally off the reservation. Facebook is not a measure of friendship or agreement.

    Aside over.

    misha marinsky: Remember this? – The Birthers in Congress

    Seventeen men and women who are either enabling the fringe movement or having trouble admitting Obama is president

  124. avatar
    misha marinsky January 5, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

    Pieter Nosworthy: those constituents who wonder if the President is NBC eligible are right or wrong, it should’ve been brought before the congress

    The purpose of Orly and her ilk to keep pouring gasoline on this, is to incite a lone wolf. Nothing more.

    If anything happens, I say in advance to public figures who pander: J’accuse.

    You are being disingenuous.

  125. avatar
    Paper January 5, 2013 at 12:29 pm #

    Please!

    Points of order are those things they make on their own, by standing up and saying “point of order.” They don’t sit around with a pocketful of points of order, bouncing in their seats waving their hands, saying pick me pick me! I can think of so many times (not!) when Senators have come out of a session saying I had a point of order but no one asked me.

    I do not particularly believe the rest of your statement is true, about what you have seen in all previous joint sessions. I believe someone pointed that out already above. Plus, your reading of the law is imprecise, as seems usual.

    john:

    Your right Doc.There were none and that was the violation.Biden failed to acknowledge no objections, failed invite the floor for objections, and no points of order for objections were raised. In all previous Joint Sessions I have seen, this has been done, presumely in accordance of Federal Law since Objections must acknowledged in some way.

  126. avatar
    Arthur January 5, 2013 at 12:29 pm #

    Dave B.: No, that’s not true.

    Yes, I’ve read that material before, on this site actually, but I don’t have the legal talent or training to make much sense of it. I was referring to the birther argument that there are three types of citizens, and that Obama is ineligible because he’s a so-called “statutory citizen.”

  127. avatar
    Pieter Nosworthy January 5, 2013 at 12:29 pm #

    Most, hopefully all, of us would agree that hypocrisy is an ugly affront to what what we hold dear. I, like you, am disgusted by both the conservative and liberal fronts of reasonableness.

    Some, not enough admittedly, that consider themselves birthers are APOLITICAL in the constitutional question of the President’s right to hold office. Weird and unfortunate, but true.

    I think that MvH is paramount in that said question. Perhaps I’m wrong, but to disparage me out of hand is wrong by any reasonable measure.

    Sure I hate the President’s politics, can you honestly discern your politics from your constitutional view of the NBC question? I have empathy. It’s hard, but both sides find themselves confused.

  128. avatar
    Paper January 5, 2013 at 12:33 pm #

    Title 3 of The US Code deals with this particular joint session for counting electoral votes. Plus, our old “friend” Jack Maskell has a nice overview here:

    http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL32717.pdf

    CarlOrcas: What “Federal law” governs how Congress operates? My recollection is that Congress – both houses – make their own rules for how they operate.

  129. avatar
    Scientist January 5, 2013 at 12:35 pm #

    Paper: I agree that these other issues are more important than birtherism. I will also note that the definition of what it is to be Republican is under threat from the extremes, that that even has been an escalating problem. I think threatening to default on the debt is stupid and selfish beyond belief. But these things are not birtherism, nor does it do any good, nor is it very scientific, to toss them all in a pot and label it Republican while ignoring the fights going on within the party over what it is.
    If you detect any intensity in my writing, that would be because I’m slightly annoyed to be defending Republicans.

    I never said those other extreme views were birtherism. The are actually much worse. Birtherism is now officially beside the point. There is literally nothing birthers can achieve now, not in court, not in Congress, not in public opinion. But if birtherism totally disappeared we would have all the other extremisms, which IMO, literally threaten the lives and the welfare of ordinary citizens in the US and around the world, something birtherism never could do.

    Ann Coulter and Joe Scarborough and Rush Limbaugh have denounced birtherism. BFD. Whoop-de-do. They (or at least Coulter and Limbagh) still endorse all kinds of extreme, dangerous ideas. So their being non-birthers or even anti-birthers doesn’t impress me. Overall, if I had to choose between them and a birther with sensible views on all the issues that actually matter, I would choose the birther.

  130. avatar
    Paper January 5, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

    To disparage *you*, yes, but one’s arguments, no. They are fair game.

    Arguments are not human beings. Birther arguments are despicable and sloppy and stupid and any kind of name anyone wants to use, pretty much. It would be *unreasonable* to let such utter nonsense stand.

    Pieter Nosworthy:

    I think that MvH is paramount in that said question. Perhaps I’m wrong, but to disparage me out of hand is wrong by any reasonable measure.

  131. avatar
    Arthur January 5, 2013 at 12:43 pm #

    Pieter Nosworthy: I think that MvH is paramount in that said question. Perhaps I’m wrong, but to disparage me out of hand is wrong by any reasonable measure.

    Is it disparaging to point out that when birthers try to distort Minor v Happersett into a citizenship case, no one outside of birtherism accepts it, or to point out that birther views on Minor have been rejected in court?

  132. avatar
    Scientist January 5, 2013 at 12:44 pm #

    Pieter Nosworthy: Sure I hate the President’s politics, can you honestly discern your politics from your constitutional view of the NBC question?

    Yes, because I don’t like the politics of Rubio or Jindal or Cruz, but they can be President if they win the election. Which I hope they never do.

    Pieter Nosworthy: I think that MvH is paramount in that said question.

    Huh? A court case from the 1870s on womens’ right to vote? Last I checked women vote. Also, last I checked MvH said nothing about the President Furthermore, I am against judical dictatorship. No matter what ANY court says, the President must be chosen by the people, because he is answerable to them, not to judges.

    Pieter Nosworthy: Most, hopefully all, of us would agree that hypocrisy is an ugly affront to what what we hold dear.

    I bet you rail against “activist judges”. Yet you promote judicial actiivism to take away from the people the basic human right to select their leaders.

  133. avatar
    Paper January 5, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

    Well, I agree with you, these issues are more important. I was just separating birtherism from the rest, and from the core of what it is to be Republican. I was saying even “crazy” Ann Coulter wants nothing to do with those crazies. I get it, I do. I shouldn’t even spend the time I do spend here. More important things to do. On all those other points, I think we’d have to go point by point (which here is not the place), rather than throwing them all together. Each one has its own problems and level of acceptance in the party. But I don’t actually care to do that, because I suspect from following you these years, that we pretty much agree on the points themselves. I just wanted to defend a Republican fighting for his party, not giving in to the crazies.

    Scientist: I never said those other extreme views were birtherism.The are actually much worse. Birtherism is now officially beside the point.There is literally nothing birthers can achieve now, not in court, not in Congress, not in public opinion.But if birtherism totally disappeared we would have all the other extremisms, which IMO, literally threaten the lives and the welfare of ordinary citizens in the US and around the world, something birtherism never could do.

    Ann Coulter and Joe Scarborough and Rush Limbaugh have denounced birtherism.BFD.Whoop-de-do.They (or at least Coulter and Limbagh) still endorse all kinds of extreme, dangerous ideas. So their being non-birthers or even anti-birthers doesn’t impress me.Overall, if I had to choose between them and a birther with sensible views on all the issues that actually matter, I would choose the birther.

  134. avatar
    Majority Will January 5, 2013 at 12:51 pm #

    Pieter Nosworthy: I think that MvH is paramount in that said question. Perhaps I’m wrong, but to disparage me out of hand is wrong by any reasonable measure.

    Yes, you are wrong.

  135. avatar
    Majority Will January 5, 2013 at 12:55 pm #

    Pieter Nosworthy:
    Most, hopefully all, of us would agree that hypocrisy is an ugly affront to what what we hold dear. I, like you, am disgusted by both the conservative and liberal fronts of reasonableness.

    Some, not enough admittedly, that consider themselves birthers are APOLITICAL in the constitutional question of the President’s right to hold office. Weird and unfortunate, but true.

    I think that MvH is paramount in that said question. Perhaps I’m wrong, but to disparage me out of hand is wrong by any reasonable measure.

    Sure I hate the President’s politics, can you honestly discern your politics from your constitutional view of the NBC question? I have empathy. It’s hard, but both sides find themselves confused.

    Pieter, you are a birther if you cannot admit that our President is qualified to hold his office.

  136. avatar
    CarlOrcas January 5, 2013 at 1:00 pm #

    Paper:
    Title 3 of The US Code deals with this particular joint session for counting electoral votes.Plus,our old “friend” Jack Maskell has a nice overview here:

    http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL32717.pdf

    Thanks!

  137. avatar
    Paper January 5, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

    To follow on Scientist’s point, yes. Of course. That is like basic politics 101. No question. I protested against Bush’s actions and policies, but I still respected that he was the President. Even with the matter of Florida and the Supreme Court.

    If you cannot do that simple thing, then I would suggest you take a pause and reconsider and rethink everything from the ground up.

    Pieter Nosworthy: Sure I hate the President’s politics, can you honestly discern your politics from your constitutional view of the NBC question?

    Scientist: Yes, because I don’t like the politics of Rubio or Jindal or Cruz, but they can be President if they win the election.Which I hope they never do.

  138. avatar
    Pieter Nosworthy January 5, 2013 at 1:04 pm #

    Yes, I’m a birther.

    Yes I believe there is room for discussion regarding MvH without the exclusion that it may not be definitive.

    Yes, I believe there are some who are so beyond the pale on both sides that make any hope of discussion incredibly difficult.

    I respect those that have convictions based on their intellectual analysis…it doesn’t give them liberty to be rude or offensive.

    Thanks very much for your welcome to your forum.

  139. avatar
    misha marinsky January 5, 2013 at 1:04 pm #

    Scientist: I don’t like the politics of …Jindal…but they can be President if they win the election. Which I hope they never do.

    Jindal has legalized peonage: Louisiana is the world’s prison capital

    Louisiana is the world’s prison capital. The state imprisons more of its people, per head, than any of its U.S. counterparts. First among Americans means first in the world. Louisiana’s incarceration rate is nearly five times Iran’s, 13 times China’s and 20 times Germany’s.

    The hidden engine behind the state’s well-oiled prison machine is cold, hard cash. A majority of Louisiana inmates are housed in for-profit facilities, which must be supplied with a constant influx of human beings or a $182 million industry will go bankrupt.

    Read on: http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2012/05/louisiana_is_the_worlds_prison.html

  140. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 5, 2013 at 1:09 pm #

    You need to understand the context of this web site on which your are commenting. There are no less than 42 main articles on the site tagged Minor v. Happersett and literally thousands of comments on it. A court in Arizona (Allen v. Democratic Party) said:

    Most importantly, Arizona courts are bound by United States Supreme Court precedent, and this precedent fully supports that President Obama is a natural born citizen under the Constitution and thus qualified to hold the office of President. See United States v. Wong Kim Ark (addressing U. S. Const. amend. XIV) ; Ankeny v. Governor of the State of Indiana (addressing the precise issue). Contrary to Plaintiff’s assertion, Minor v. Happersett does not hold otherwise.

    So I hope you will excuse folks here dismissing claims to the contrary out of hand. It’s already been debated here, and decided by the courts. See also:

    http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/bookmarks/lawsuits/recent-court-rulings-on-presidential-eligibility/

    Pieter Nosworthy: I think that MvH is paramount in that said question. Perhaps I’m wrong, but to disparage me out of hand is wrong by any reasonable measure.

  141. avatar
    misha marinsky January 5, 2013 at 1:09 pm #

    Pieter Nosworthy: Yes, I’m a birther.

    No kidding.

    Pieter Nosworthy: it doesn’t give them liberty to be rude or offensive.

    No, just some Lower East Side sarcasm, with a dash of the Borscht Belt.

  142. avatar
    gorefan January 5, 2013 at 1:13 pm #

    john:
    In 1989, Bush acknowledges the inivation of those who wish to raise an objection right after the State of Alabama is read – “In there are no objection….”

    In 1997 Gore does the same

    Oh John, your so funny.

    First of all you misquote Mr. Bush. He does not say In there are no objection….”, he does say If there is no objection….”

    Here is the entire quote from VP Bush in January, 1989:

    “If there is no objection, the chair will omit in the further procedure the formal statement just made and we will open the certificates in alphabetical order and pass to the tellers the certificates showing the votes of the electors in each state and the tellers will then read, count and announce the result in each state as was done with respect to the state of Alabama. The Chair hears no objection.”

    and from VP Gore in January, 1997:

    “If there is no objection, the chair will omit in the further procedure the formal statement just made and we will open the certificates in alphabetical order and pass to the tellers the certificates showing the votes of the electors in each state and the tellers will then read, count and announce the result in each state as was done with respect to the state of Alabama. The Chair hears no objection.”

    Why am I not surprised that a) you selectively edit the Vice President’s statement, b) you then misquote what the Vice President actually said, and finally c) you do not comprehend what the Vice President actually said.

    This is why birthers have lost every lawsuit, it is the Minor decision all over again – selectively edit, misquote and misunderstand.

  143. avatar
    Majority Will January 5, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

    Pieter Nosworthy:
    Yes, I’m a birther.

    Yes I believe there is room for discussion regarding MvH without the exclusion that it may not be definitive.

    Yes, I believe there are some who are so beyond the pale on both sides that make any hope of discussion incredibly difficult.

    I respect those that have convictions based on their intellectual analysis…it doesn’t give them liberty to be rude or offensive.

    Thanks very much for your welcome to your forum.

    Who do you trust?

    Only people who confirm your bigotries?

    “All of our Presidents have, to date, been born in the 50 states. Notably, President Obama was born in the state of Hawaii, and so is clearly a natural born citizen.”

    – Sandra Day O’Connor

    You must be smarter than Justice O’Connor. Please demonstrate your esteemed qualifications.

  144. avatar
    Pieter Nosworthy January 5, 2013 at 1:18 pm #

    Conspiracy et al,

    I’m well aware of the environment, just thought I’d check on your tolerance. It is a measure of your character. Take that as you will.

    Sure you have espoused numerous times on your measure of the constitutional reflection of MvH, just wanted you to know that some are still not convinced.

    I am not a nut. In fact, I raise your kids that may have enlisted in the military, I purposefully do not promote my constitutional or political beliefs in that professional environment, but am still entrusted with mentoring your children who consider suicide a viable option to life’s travails. Great job, mom and dad.

    Last year more Soldiers killed themselves than were killed in combat. By all means try to explain that in another context than cultural.

  145. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 5, 2013 at 1:19 pm #

    That’s not a true version of history. I’ve never seen any significant historical argument that slavery was unconstitutional. Slavery was abolished not by a national debate over what the Constitution said, but a debate over whether the Constitution should be changed. The Constitution was amended, and slavery was abolished.

    Clearly the majority of Americans are quite happy with Barack Obama, an American-born son of an alien parent, being President so it is hard to imagine that they think that the children of aliens should be barred from the Presidency. The Congress clearly found no grounds for objection when they certified without objection the count of the Electoral College vote yesterday. No less than 8 US courts, state and federal, plus courts of appeals have unanimously decided that the US-born children of aliens are eligible (Tisdale, Allen, Voeltz, Farrar, Hollander, Purpura, Paige and Ankeny).

    So if the majority of citizens is satisfied, the legal scholars are satisfied, the Congress is satisfied and the courts are satisfied — exactly why do you think the country needs to have a debate? Oh, right, because YOU aren’t satisfied.

    You’re entitled to your views, and the Constitution grants you the right to publish them, and the Constitution gives you the right to petition Congress. It does not, however, require that anybody agree with you and it does not say that all points of view have equal validity.

    Pieter Nosworthy: Slavery was considered constitutionally acceptable at one time, better heads prevailed. Perhaps the constitutional wonder on NBC has foundation, not all that question are racist.

  146. avatar
    gorefan January 5, 2013 at 1:22 pm #

    Pieter Nosworthy: Yes I believe there is room for discussion regarding MvH without the exclusion that it may not be definitive.

    Excellent.

    How does the Minor decision change if the following sentence is removed from the opinion?

    “These were natives, or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners.”

    Here is the passage with the statement,

    “The Constitution does not, in words, say who shall be natural-born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that. At common-law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives, or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners. Some authorities go further and include as citizens children born within the jurisdiction without reference to the citizenship of their [p168] parents. As to this class there have been doubts, but never as to the first. For the purposes of this case it is not necessary to solve these doubts.”

    And here it is without the statement,

    “The Constitution does not, in words, say who shall be natural-born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that. At common-law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. Some authorities go further and include as citizens children born within the jurisdiction without reference to the citizenship of their [p168] parents. As to this class there have been doubts, but never as to the first. For the purposes of this case it is not necessary to solve these doubts. “

  147. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 5, 2013 at 1:28 pm #

    Consider yourself “tolerated.”

    Pieter Nosworthy: I’m well aware of the environment, just thought I’d check on your tolerance. It is a measure of your character. Take that as you will.

  148. avatar
    misha marinsky January 5, 2013 at 1:28 pm #

    Pieter Nosworthy: just thought I’d check on your tolerance

    I’m very tolerant. In fact, I fully support electing a dog as mayor. See for yourself:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabbit_Hash,_Kentucky

  149. avatar
    Pieter Nosworthy January 5, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

    For those of you who want to hash the eligibility argument…not now. I consider my questions unresolved in the only realm meaningful.

    Thanks for telling me a consideration someone like you has already espoused and was still found to be wanting.

    The purpose of my post was to say “hello” and take a litmus of the forum.

    Thanks very much.

  150. avatar
    Sudoku January 5, 2013 at 1:30 pm #

    I agree with Doc. It is one thing to go into a discussion with the best of intentions, etc., it is another to have people insult your intelligence, integrity, ancestry and accuse you of deviant sexual preferences, etc., for stating your opinion which just happens to be supported by court decisions they believe were wrongly decided.

    I am sure others here remember more exactly, but I believe it was Mario Apuzzo who said something like, “It is just like obots to refer to the courts.” Gulp! Is there something better to support an opinion of the law?

    As for the Minor case, posters here know it, have read, understand it, etc., and I imagine that more than a few of them are tired of having this same discussion over and over and over. The lawyers here can correct me, but the following is my understanding of the case.

    Virginia Minor was a citizen and believed she should have the right to vote. Missouri’s constitution limited that right to males. The Court agreed Minor was citizen via the 14th Amendment, but said women had always been citizens in the US. Following that, the Court went into the history of citizenship in the US. Within that discussion, the Court said the Constitution did not say who are natural born citizens, that is found in the common law.

    The Court said that all children of citizens would themselves be citizens upon their birth, and were called natives or natural born citizens. Following the verbage most beloved and misunderstood by the birth-tastic, the Court said since “all children” is comprehensive as is “all persons” (referencing the 14th Amendment) “if females are included in the last, they must be in the first. That they are included in the last is not denied. In fact, the whole argument of the plaintiffs proceeds upon that idea.”

    The ruling of the Court in Minor was that the Constitution does not confer suffrage on anyone, so laws against women voting are not unconstitutional. It made no difference to the decision whether Minor was born a citizen (NBC) or was naturalized. Any perceived “definition” of NBC was not necessary to the Court’s ruling, so it is by definition, dicta.

    Many, if not most, of Obama eligibility case and ballot challenges claimed Obama was not NBC and cited the “definition” in Minor as support. Not one court, not one judge, agreed.

    Dr. Conspiracy: It’s not pretty.

    Pieter Nosworthy: I think that MvH is paramount in that said question. Perhaps I’m wrong, but to disparage me out of hand is wrong by any reasonable measure.

  151. avatar
    misha marinsky January 5, 2013 at 1:31 pm #

    Pieter Nosworthy: Last year more Soldiers killed themselves than were killed in combat. By all means try to explain that in another context than cultural.

    Heart Of Darkness

  152. avatar
    Majority Will January 5, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

    Pieter Nosworthy:
    For those of you who want to hash the eligibility argument…not now. I consider my questions unresolved in the only realm meaningful.

    Thanks for telling me a consideration someone like you has already espoused and still found wanting.

    The purpose of my post was to say “hello” and take a litmus of the forum.

    Thanks very much.

    Are you a natural born citizen of the United States of America?

  153. avatar
    JD Reed January 5, 2013 at 1:34 pm #

    Notice that Sven Magnuson (is he banned here?) is plugging a three-second gap theory that he says voids the electoral college vote because (he asserts) Joe Biden and the Congress didn’t follow proper procedure in counting and verifying the vote.. He detected three seconds of soundlessness Friday when he believes Biden may have called for objections but didn’t speak into the mic so no one heard.
    This will harden into gospel with a segment of birthers, though it ignores the fact that every one of the 535 members of Congress had to have received countless messages from birthers demanding that they, under penalty for treason, not verify Obama’s election. So any House or Senate member who intended to object wouold have put it in writing, and if he or she was ignored by the vice president, could have called a press conference afterwards to denounce his steamrolling tactics.
    Of course no evidence that it happened this way, so what’s a reasonable person believe.

  154. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 5, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

    Given 8 losses in court, why are you not convinced? Do you think your legal acumen is greater than the 3-judge panel of the Indiana appeals court? Do you think Judge Gibney is not qualified for the federal bench? Are you part of that crowd that thinks the courts are so afraid of riots in the streets that they issue decisions they really don’t believe?

    What is your rationale for holding your peculiar views? I would really like to know.

    Pieter Nosworthy: Sure you have espoused numerous times on your measure of the constitutional reflection of MvH, just wanted you to know that some are still not convince

  155. avatar
    Rickey January 5, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

    john:
    In 2013…no points of order are raised regarding objections

    Exactly. You realize, I hope, that any Senator or Representative present could have raised a point of order at any time during the proceedings, but none did.

    My suggestion to you is that you call Senator Rubio and your Representative and demand to know why they allowed the count to go forward without objecting.

  156. avatar
    Arthur January 5, 2013 at 1:36 pm #

    Pieter Nosworthy: Yes I believe there is room for discussion regarding MvH without the exclusion that it may not be definitive.

    Yes, I believe there are some who are so beyond the pale on both sides that make any hope of discussion incredibly difficult.

    To me, what you’re proposing is like arguing whether the Packer’s really lost to the Seahawks in that controversial game back in September. The officials ruled, the Packer’s lost, and no amount of armchair refereeing will change that. Likewise, you can argue that we should change the rules about what it means to be a natural born citizen, but it’s tiresome and unproductive to argue whether Minor v Happersett allows President Obama to be considered a natural born citizen. That question has been settled.

  157. avatar
    Dave B. January 5, 2013 at 1:36 pm #

    Arthur: Yes, I’ve read that material before, on this site actually, but I don’t have the legal talent or training to make much sense of it. I was referring to the birther argument that there are three types of citizens, and that Obama is ineligible because he’s a so-called “statutory citizen.”

    It’s only from constantly beating this stuff into my skull that I’m beginning to be able to marginally grasp it; and Arthur, I have no doubt that you are already aware of this, but I think it bears repeating: It’s not a perfectly simple matter of two types of citizens– it depends upon whether you’re looking at in a Constitutional or statutory sense, and there are tangible consequences of that difference (as Mr. Bellei discovered). In a Constitutional sense, all U.S. citizens born outside the United States (whether they acquire their citizenship at birth or after) are naturalized because their citizenship at birth isn’t affirmed by the 14th Amendment. So there you have citizens by birth and citizens by naturalization in that sense.
    On the other hand, U.S. statutes refer to native and naturalized citizens; and in the statutory sense, all circumstances by which citizenship is acquired at birth are enumerated and naturalization is limited to “the conferring of nationality of a State upon a person AFTER birth, by any means whatsoever”. So there you again have citizens by birth and citizens by naturalization, but the contents of each set of citizens are this time different from what they were in the Constitutional sense.
    According to
    7 FAM 1131.6 Nature of Citizenship Acquired by Birth Abroad to U.S. Citizen Parents:
    “Status Generally:
    Persons born abroad who acquire U.S. citizenship at birth by statute GENERALLY (my emphasis) have the same rights and are subject to the same obligations as citizens born in the United States who acquire citizenship pursuant to the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. One exception is that they may be subject to citizenship retention requirements. (That was the relevant exception for Mr. Bellei.)
    Eligibility for Presidency:
    a. It has never been determined definitively by a court whether a person who acquired U.S. citizenship by birth abroad to U.S. citizens is a natural-born citizen within the meaning of Article II of the Constitution and, therefore, eligible for the Presidency. (The precedent of Senator McCain’s very viable candidacy would appear to have settled that.)
    b. Section 1, Article II, of the Constitution states, in relevant part that ―No Person except a natural born Citizen…shall be eligible for the Office of President.‖
    c. The Constitution does not define “natural born”. The ―Act to establish an Uniform Rule of Naturalization‖, enacted March 26, 1790, (1 Stat. 103,104) provided that, ―…the children of citizens of the United States, that may be born … out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens: Provided that the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the United States.‖
    d. This statute is no longer operative, however, and its formula is not included in modern nationality statutes. In any event, the fact that someone is a natural born citizen pursuant to a statute does not necessarily imply that he or she is such a citizen for Constitutional purposes.
    Not Citizens by “Naturalization”:
    Section 201(g) NA and section 301(g) INA (8 U.S.C. 1401(g)) (formerly section 301(a)(7) INA) both specify that naturalization is “the conferring of nationality of a state upon a person after birth.” Clearly, then, Americans who acquired their citizenship by birth abroad to U.S. citizens are not considered naturalized citizens under either act.”
    http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/86757.pdf (pp. 7-8)

    Congress, the State Department and the Supreme Court have all made distinctions between persons who acquire U.S. citizenship at birth in the United States and persons who acquire U.S. citizenship at birth abroad. It’s well established that there are “statutory citizens” (all citizens born outside the U.S., whether they acquire their citizenship at birth or afterwards). President Obama just isn’t one of them, and that’s the rock upon which that particular birther argument breaks.
    Senator McCain is one of them, though.

  158. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 5, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

    No, he’s not banned.

    JD Reed: Sven Magnuson (is he banned here?)

  159. avatar
    Pieter Nosworthy January 5, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

    Conspiracy, at one time our highest court reaffirmed slaves as property. A terrible opinion by any measure. Mistakes were made. I say this because WKA may actually reaffirm NBC as currently acknowledged.

    Like Vonnegut said, so it goes.

    Perhaps you enjoy my worldview…we on this and similar forums are small and inconsequential regarding opinion on the two seminal cases of MvH and WKA. Would it not be appropriate for the USSC to reflect on Art II eligibility per their two prior decisions?

    Hmmm, one would think they were intentionally dodging the issue.

  160. avatar
    Majority Will January 5, 2013 at 1:48 pm #

    Pieter Nosworthy:
    Conspiracy, at one time our highest court reaffirmed slaves as property. A terrible opinion by any measure. Mistakes were made. I say this because WKA may actually reaffirm NBC as currently acknowledged.

    Like Vonnegut said, so it goes.

    Perhaps you enjoy my worldview…we on this and similar forums are small and inconsequential regarding opinion on the two seminal cases of MvH and WKA. Would it not be appropriate for the USSC to reflect on Art II eligibility per their two prior decisions?

    Hmmm, one would thing they were intentionally dodging the issue.

    Why don’t you read before you post?

  161. avatar
    misha marinsky January 5, 2013 at 1:49 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: What is your rationale for holding your peculiar views? I would really like to know.

    It would take more than one textbook. Most likely, a whole course if not a semester.

    There are still people who belong to the Flat Earth Society. Don’t forget this gem:

    Buzz Aldrin Punches Moon Landing Conspiracy Theorist In The Face

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/20/buzz-aldrin-punches-moon_n_241664.html

  162. avatar
    Pieter Nosworthy January 5, 2013 at 1:52 pm #

    Time for a nap. I wish you all well, thanks very much for the warm welcome.

    http://thenaturalbornpresidency.blogspot.com/

  163. avatar
    Rickey January 5, 2013 at 1:54 pm #

    Pieter Nosworthy:

    I am not a nut. In fact, I raise your kids that may have enlisted in the military, I purposefully do not promote my constitutional or political beliefs in that professional environment, but am still entrusted with mentoring your children who consider suicide a viable option to life’s travails. Great job, mom and dad.

    Last year more Soldiers killed themselves than were killed in combat. By all means try to explain that in another context than cultural.

    You may not be a nut, but I detect a strong strain of anti-Americanism in your comments.

    I don’t know what the subject of suicide has to do with Obama, but if you must bring it up you should at least put it in context. According to the World Health Organization, the United States ranks #34 in suicide rate. Suicide rates are higher in the following countries:

    South Korea
    Lithuania
    Guyana
    Kazakhstan
    Belarus
    Japan
    Peoples Republic of China
    Hungary
    Latvia
    Sri Lanka
    Russia
    Ukraine
    Serbia and Montenegro
    Estonia
    Croatia
    Belgium
    Moldova
    Slovenia
    Finland
    Uruguay
    South Africa
    Poland
    Sweden
    France
    Hong Kong
    Suriname
    Bosnia and Herzegovina
    New Zealand
    Austria
    Czech Republic
    Cuba
    Bulgaria
    Romania

    Your suggestion that suicides in the military have some sort of “cultural” component is without merit. A study by the National Center for Veterans Studies revealed that most military personnel who have attempted suicide were suffering from “intense psychological suffering and pain” as a result of the horrific things they saw and endured while in combat.

  164. avatar
    Arthur January 5, 2013 at 2:01 pm #

    Dave B.: In a Constitutional sense, all U.S. citizens born outside the United States (whether they acquire their citizenship at birth or after) are naturalized because their citizenship at birth isn’t affirmed by the 14th Amendment. So there you have citizens by birth and citizens by naturalization in that sense.

    Yes . . . I kind’ understand that. Would it be accurate to say that a child born abroad to citizen parents becomes a natural born citizen through statute?

  165. avatar
    Arthur January 5, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

    Pieter Nosworthy:
    Time for a nap. I wish you all well, thanks very much for the warm welcome.

    http://thenaturalbornpresidency.blogspot.com/

    Of course! I thought I recognized your fawning and self-important style from your posts as “daddynos” at Mario Apuzzo’s site.

  166. avatar
    Arthur January 5, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

    Pieter Nosworthy: Last year more Soldiers killed themselves than were killed in combat. By all means try to explain that in another context than cultural.

    I’d say the suicide rate has most to do with the kind of leadership and training that soldiers receive once they enlist.

  167. avatar
    Daniel January 5, 2013 at 2:17 pm #

    Well I’ve tried to rise above the stupidity, but I can see that stupidity, whether it’s birtherism, or blanket anti-Republicanism, is pretty much pervasive and rooted in the same kind of ignorance and us-vs-them mentality.

    So Scientist and all of your ilk here who forget how long and how often I’ve supported you in your fight against birtherism, and who now decide I’m scum just because I don’t sop up your democrat swill… fornicate you and the horse, or donkey, you rode in on.

    I hope you remember this conversation when your party goes through it’s manic phase, which it has, and it will again, but you won’t because, just like a birther, for you the “TRUTH” is only whatever suits your prejudices.

  168. avatar
    Dave B. January 5, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

    Arthur: Yes . . . I kind’ understand that. Would it be accurate to say that a child born abroad to citizen parents becomes a natural born citizen through statute?

    It’s sure close enough for me. Jill Prior coined the term “naturalized-born” for such persons. She said “Recognition of these “naturalized-born” citizens- those made citizens at birth by naturalization statutes, or treaties- as natural born best comports with the text, history, and structure of the presidential eligibility, naturalization, and citizenship provisions of the Constitution.”
    http://yalelawjournal.org/images/pdfs/pryor_note.pdf (pp. 893-4, pages 13 and 14 of the pdf)

  169. avatar
    Majority Will January 5, 2013 at 2:26 pm #

    Pieter Nosworthy:
    Time for a nap. I wish you all well, thanks very much for the warm welcome.

    http://thenaturalbornpresidency.blogspot.com/

    You’ll be dead far longer than you were alive.

  170. avatar
    Scientist January 5, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: That’s not a true version of history. I’ve never seen any significant historical argument that slavery was unconstitutional. Slavery was abolished not by a national debate over what the Constitution said, but a debate over whether the Constitution should be changed. The Constitution was amended, and slavery was abolished.

    I hate to quarrel wth you Doc, but slavery was abolished (except in Mayland and Kentucky, the 2 slave states that remained in the Union) by presidential decree (the Emancipation Proclamation) which preceded any of the constitutional amendments. When the Union forces took a piece of territory in the South, all slaves within it were immediately freed. The 13th amendment simply ratified the facts on the ground in the Confederate states and extended the same law to the slaves (a very small fraction of the total) in the Union states.

    Yet another example of how constitutional can sometimes equal bad and unconstitutional or extraconstitutional can sometimes equal good. Lincoln is to be applauded (and generally is) for putting moral right and the interests of the nation ahead of the Constitution when they conflicted.

  171. avatar
    Rickey January 5, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

    A bit of Googling revealed that Pieter Nosworthy was in the U.S. Army for 14 years and back in 2009 he signed up to be a plaintiff in one of Orly’s lawsuits when she was desperately trying to find a plaintiff with standing.

    http://jbjd.org/2009/02/27/whats-in-it-for-me/

    He has been flogging his misinterpretation of Minor v. Happersett on multiple birther sites in the past few years.

  172. avatar
    Scientist January 5, 2013 at 2:51 pm #

    Daniel: So Scientist and all of your ilk here who forget how long and how often I’ve supported you in your fight against birtherism, and who now decide I’m scum just because I don’t sop up your democrat swill… fornicate you and the horse, or donkey, you rode in on.

    When dd I say you were “scum”? Republicans seem to be big on cussing these days. Boehner said the same thing to Reid just last week.

    But I would be interested to hear what areas do you agree with the leadership of your party on? By the way, the President considers himself an Eisenhower Republican, which is an accurate representation ofhis positions generally. I might be happy as a Rockefeller one. Nixon proposed universal health care and a guaranteed annual income to replace the alphabet soup of social programs (an idea that originated with Milton Friedman), which I approve of. Also, he started the EPA.

    As for your being anti-birther, do you really expect a medal for that? Should we give one to Anne Coulter, that appaling screechng harridan, too? In my mind she is no better than Orly.

  173. avatar
    Reality Check January 5, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

    Peter posted many times at Politijab. I think he even had his own thread if I recall correctly.

    I consider the Birther’s who are still around to be like the Republicans who believe Obama is a Muslim. There is zero proof for either meme and both groups show a complete lack of critical thinking skills. Just because some pols show there are many of them out there does mean either group is worthy of being taken seriously.

    Rickey: He has been flogging his misinterpretation of Minor v. Happersett on multiple birther sites in the past few years.

  174. avatar
    Arthur January 5, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

    Daniel: Well I’ve tried to rise above the stupidity, but I can see that stupidity, whether it’s birtherism, or blanket anti-Republicanism, is pretty much pervasive and rooted in the same kind of ignorance and us-vs-them mentality.

    Daniel, I’m sorry for the ill-will that’s been tossed around today. Although I vote Democratic and I’m very liberal in my political and social views, I can still find it in my heart to embrace a Republican anti-birther, if for no other reason than that I use to be a registered Republican.

  175. avatar
    Arthur January 5, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

    Reality Check: I consider the Birther’s who are still around to be like the Republicans who believe Obama is a Muslim. There is zero proof for either meme and both groups show a complete lack of critical thinking skills.

    For many, birtherism is more of a social club than a political movement, a way for angry misfits to commiserate with others of their kind who feel disenfranchised from mainstream society.

  176. avatar
    SluggoJD January 5, 2013 at 3:38 pm #

    Daniel, don’t lose sleep over narrow minded folks, whether on the left, the right, or those pretending to be such.

    I really don’t know why someone (and then another) decided to be an #%&*!*& and call you a DQ, because that was pure BS.

  177. avatar
    john January 5, 2013 at 3:46 pm #

    “I consider the Birther’s who are still around to be like the Republicans who believe Obama is a Muslim. There is zero proof for either meme and both groups show a complete lack of critical thinking skills.”

    At worst Obama is a Muslim. At best he’s a Muslim Smypathizer.

  178. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 5, 2013 at 3:47 pm #

    Perhaps I oversimplified in my comment, to stay with a single point. In fact, there was considerable debate as to whether the Emancipation Proclamation was itself constitutional and what would happen to those emancipated persons after the conflict ended. The slaves were freed under the President’s war powers as confiscated property. There is a dialog on this near the beginning of the Lincoln movie.

    Scientist: I hate to quarrel with you Doc, but slavery was abolished (except in Maryland and Kentucky, the 2 slave states that remained in the Union) by presidential decree (the Emancipation Proclamation) which preceded any of the constitutional amendments. When the Union forces took a piece of territory in the South, all slaves within it were immediately freed. The 13th amendment simply ratified the facts on the ground in the Confederate states and extended the same law to the slaves (a very small fraction of the total) in the Union states.

  179. avatar
    gorefan January 5, 2013 at 3:57 pm #

    john:

    John, this is my earlier post about your mangling Mr. Bush’s 1989 statement. I’m reposting it as it may have gotten buried by the Pieter stuff.
    ====================================================================

    Oh John, your so funny.

    First of all you misquote Mr. Bush. He does not say “In there are no objection….”, he does say “If there is no objection….”

    Here is the entire quote from VP Bush in January, 1989:

    “If there is no objection, the chair will omit in the further procedure the formal statement just made and we will open the certificates in alphabetical order and pass to the tellers the certificates showing the votes of the electors in each state and the tellers will then read, count and announce the result in each state as was done with respect to the state of Alabama. The Chair hears no objection.”

    and from VP Gore in January, 1997:

    “If there is no objection, the chair will omit in the further procedure the formal statement just made and we will open the certificates in alphabetical order and pass to the tellers the certificates showing the votes of the electors in each state and the tellers will then read, count and announce the result in each state as was done with respect to the state of Alabama. The Chair hears no objection.”

    Why am I not surprised that a) you selectively edit the Vice President’s statement, b) you then misquote what the Vice President actually said, and finally c) you do not comprehend what the Vice President actually said.

    This is why birthers have lost every lawsuit, it is the Minor decision all over again – selectively edit, misquote and misunderstand.

  180. avatar
    Arthur January 5, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

    john: At worst Obama is a Muslim. At best he’s a Muslim Smypathizer.

    Oh john. Every time I think you might be redeemable, you come out with some asinine comment like the one above. Really, where do you find the wit to breathe?

  181. avatar
    Rickey January 5, 2013 at 4:12 pm #

    john:

    At worst Obama is a Muslim.At best he’s a Muslim Smypathizer.

    I am sympathetic to all religious people who believe in peace, justice and charity and who do not try to impose their beliefs upon me.

    Some of the comments that have been uttered about Islam do not reflect the sentiments of my government or the sentiments of most Americans. Islam, as practiced by the vast majority of people, is a peaceful religion, a religion that respects others. Ours is a country based upon tolerance and we welcome people of all faiths in America. – George W. Bush (November 13, 2002)

  182. avatar
    Scientist January 5, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: Perhaps I oversimplified in my comment, to stay with a single point. In fact, there was considerable debate as to whether the Emancipation Proclamation was itself constitutional and what would happen to those emancipated persons after the conflict ended. The slaves were freed under the President’s war powers as confiscated property. There is a dialog on this near the beginning of the Lincoln movie.

    The disposition of enemy property after the war is a matter of negotiation between the warring parties. Where the loser surrenders unconditionally, as the South did, the victor can do as they choose. There was simply no way that the victorious Union, having lost 360,000 lives plus many more maimed for life was ever going to turn the freed slaves back to the slaveholders, even had the Supreme Court had the chutzpah to order such a monstrous thing.

    Lincoln used troops to keep pro-secession Maryland legislators from reaching Annapolis to vote on secession and did a number of other “uncontitutional” things that helped the Union survive. I for one applaud. The Constitution is not a suicide pact, as a wise Justice said.

  183. avatar
    CarlOrcas January 5, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

    john: At worst Obama is a Muslim. At best he’s a Muslim Smypathizer.

    For the sake of discussion, John, exactly what would the problem be if Obama were a believer in Islam?

  184. avatar
    JD Reed January 5, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

    Scientist: The disposition of enemy property after the war is a matter of negotiation between the warring parties. Where the loser surrenders unconditionally, as the South did, the victor can do as they choose.There was simply no way that the victorious Union, having lost 360,000 lives plus many more maimed for life was ever going to turn the freed slaves back to the slaveholders, even had the Supreme Court had the chutzpah to order such a monstrous thing.

    Lincoln used troops to keep pro-secession Maryland legislators from reaching Annapolis to vote on secession and did a number of other “uncontitutional” things that helped the Union survive.I for one applaud. The Constitution is not a suicide pact, as a wise Justice said.

    Bravo, Scientist!

  185. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 5, 2013 at 4:32 pm #

    The United States never recognized the secession of the southern states, or that the southern states were not part of the Union. They considered the war to be against an insurrection in states of the United States, not the the States themselves. That said, much of the US position in that war was contradictory, arguing that slaves were property for the purpose of confiscating them, but that they were not property on humanistic grounds.

    Scientist: The disposition of enemy property after the war is a matter of negotiation between the warring parties. Where the loser surrenders unconditionally, as the South did, the victor can do as they choose

  186. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 5, 2013 at 4:53 pm #

    Judge Alsup’s dicta in Robinson v. Bowen and the decision in Hollander v. McCain suggest that a person born abroad to two US Citizens would be eligible; however, the McCain case is diluted by the fact that he was born in a territory where the US exercised jurisdiction.

    Dave B.: a. It has never been determined definitively by a court whether a person who acquired U.S. citizenship by birth abroad to U.S. citizens is a natural-born citizen within the meaning of Article II of the Constitution and, therefore, eligible for the Presidency. (The precedent of Senator McCain’s very viable candidacy would appear to have settled that.)

  187. avatar
    Sudoku January 5, 2013 at 5:02 pm #

    1. Congress makes the laws, it does not interpret them, that is the responsibility of the judiciary. You should feel great relief that all the courts who have addressed the merits of the Obama eligibility cases agreed that he is in fact, a NBC.

    1.Pieter Nosworthy: Some might proffer that regardless whether those constituents who wonder if the President is NBC eligible are right or wrong, it should’ve been brought before the congress as a matter to close definitively by lawmakers that supposedly represent.

    2. Gosh….in that one post you refer to those here as misguided, misinformed, lying bullies. What a silver-tongued devil you are!

    2.Pieter Nosworthy: Though you may be misguided in your bent, you are unquestionably upheld by a status quo of your understanding. Most everyone is convinced that our President is entitled to his office, unfortunately they are just misinformed due the likes of a constituency of folks such as yourself who quell out of hand.

    You tell them that there is nothing worthy of discussion which is a lie. Birthers may be wrong, but the national debate is still worth having. Contrary to what you may hold dear regarding liberal truth, the hypocrisy of the other side is deafening per free speech.

    3. You certainly have a way with disparagement yourself. Have you read your posts?

    Are you suggesting that commenters here are either Dems, Libs or Obots, perhaps blindly so? If you are, you are wrong. I have no problem supporting the eligibility of Obama, Jindal and Rubio. Do you?

    3. Pieter Nosworthy: I think that MvH is paramount in that said question. Perhaps I’m wrong, but to disparage me out of hand is wrong by any reasonable measure.

    Sure I hate the President’s politics, can you honestly discern your politics from your constitutional view of the NBC question? I have empathy. It’s hard, but both sides find themselves confused.

    4. I am appalled that anyone who professes himself to be “entrusted with mentoring your children who consider suicide a viable option” could be so heartless and cruel to follow that with “Great job, mom and dad.”

    You do not know the situations of those who post or read comments here. I cannot fathom the heartbreak of losing a child under any circumstances and anyone who would intentionally throw salt into the soul-crushing wounds suffered by those parents is despicable.

    4.Pieter Nosworthy: I am not a nut. In fact, I raise your kids that may have enlisted in the military, I purposefully do not promote my constitutional or political beliefs in that professional environment, but am still e. Great job, mom and dad.

    Last year more Soldiers killed themselves than were killed in combat. By all means try to explain that in another context than cultural.

    5. That hard to believe. Most people use that as an opener, not after they have already offended folks.

    5Pieter Nosworthy: The purpose of my post was to say “hello” and take a litmus of the forum.

    6. Only one who had an almost complete lack of understanding of the US judiciary system would think SCOTUS was dodging the issue.

    As of 12/12, SCOTUS has denied cert. on Obama eligibility cases 22 times. Each time, the respondent waived the right to respond.

    This is exactly the kind of the SCOTUS would take. See Rule 10 below. If the courts that ruled in favor Obama’s eligibility as NBC had done so in error, in conflict with WKA or the oh-so-heralded Minor, SCOTUS would take the case.

    RULE 10. CONSIDERATIONS GOVERNING REVIEW ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI

    Review on a writ of certiorari is not a matter of right, but of judicial discretion. A petition for a writ of certiorari will be granted only for compelling reasons. The following, although neither controlling nor fully measuring the Court’s discretion, indicate the character of the reasons the Court considers:

    (a) a United States court of appeals has entered a decision in conflict with the decision of another United States court of appeals on the same important matter; has decided an important federal question in a way that conflicts with a decision by a state court of last resort; or has so far departed from the accepted and usual course of judicial proceedings, or sanctioned such a departure by a lower court, as to call for an exercise of this Court’s supervisory power;
    (b) a state court of last resort has decided an important federal question in a way that conflicts with the decision of another state court of last resort or of a United States court of appeals;
    (c) a state court or a United States court of appeals has decided an important question of federal law that has not been, but should be, settled by this Court, or has decided an important federal question in a way that conflicts with relevant decisions of this Court.
    A petition for a writ of certiorari is rarely granted when the asserted error consists of erroneous factual findings or the misapplication of a properly stated rule of law.
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/rules/supct/rule_10

    6Pieter Nosworthy: Would it not be appropriate for the USSC to reflect on Art II eligibility per their two prior decisions?

    Hmmm, one would think they were intentionally dodging the issue.

  188. avatar
    Rickey January 5, 2013 at 5:10 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    The United States never recognized the secession of the southern states, or that the southern states were not part of the Union. They considered the war to be against an insurrection in states of the United States, not the the States themselves. That said, much of the US position in that war was contradictory, arguing that slaves were property for the purpose of confiscating them, but that they were not property on humanistic grounds.

    I believe that what is significant is that no court ever ruled that slavery was unconstitutional, hence the necessity for the 13th Amendment. It is possible that some future court might have ruled slavery to be unconstitutional if the 13th Amendment had not passed, but we will never know the answer to that.

    As you pointed out. Lincoln himself had his doubts about whether the Emancipation Proclamation was constitutional.

  189. avatar
    Dave B. January 5, 2013 at 5:15 pm #

    That particular item has a date of 04-01-1998 on it, and that manual was updated in October of this year, so I guess the State Department’s still waiting on somebody to firm their suggestions up into a definitive determination– and as you point out, a more comprehensive one. They’re not the most mercurial of institutions. You’ve sure got a point about Senator McCain’s case being so diluted. in fact I’m never going to be able to think of Senator McCain again without the word “diluted” coming to mind. But you’re right, his candidacy hasn’t settled the matter so handily as it would at first blush appear.

    Dr. Conspiracy: Judge Alsup’s dicta in Robinson v. Bowen and the decision in Hollander v. McCain suggest that a person born abroad to two US Citizens would be eligible; however, the McCain case is diluted by the fact that he was born in a territory where the US exercised jurisdiction.

    Dave B.: a. It has never been determined definitively by a court whether a person who acquired U.S. citizenship by birth abroad to U.S. citizens is a natural-born citizen within the meaning of Article II of the Constitution and, therefore, eligible for the Presidency. (The precedent of Senator McCain’s very viable candidacy would appear to have settled that.)

  190. avatar
    Yoda January 5, 2013 at 5:40 pm #

    I am not now, nor have I ever professed to be a history buff, but I have never considered the Emancipation Proclamation to be the document as it is now widely accepted as being. As understand it, the EP freed slaves within he US, but what was the US at that time? Although the secession was never accepted as Constitutional the fact is that the proclamation was made while certain states did not recognize the authority of the US government and did not consider themselves as part of the country. Clearly, had the South won the war, the EP would have been meaningless in the Confederacy.

    Even if the Country was “whole”, I have serious doubts about the right of the President to make such a declaration. In fact, I submit that even an act of Congress may have been a violation of the 10th Amendment. That is why a Constitutional Amendment was required.

  191. avatar
    Whatever4 January 5, 2013 at 6:05 pm #

    Scientist: I hate to quarrel wth you Doc, but slavery was abolished (except in Mayland and Kentucky, the 2 slave states that remained in the Union) by presidential decree (the Emancipation Proclamation) which preceded any of the constitutional amendments.When the Union forces took a piece of territory in the South, all slaves within it were immediately freed.

    What presidential degree abolishes, future presidential degrees and/or presidential action can reinstate. The 13th amendment is what made slavery unconstitutional.

  192. avatar
    Scientist January 5, 2013 at 6:22 pm #

    Whatever4: What presidential degree abolishes, future presidential degrees and/or presidential action can reinstate. The 13th amendment is what made slavery unconstitutional

    Sure. The same is true regarding the laws against murder, rape, robbery, etc. Those crimes are not mentioned in the Constitution, but Congress and the states made them criminal, as they do up to today with holding people in involuntary servitude. In principle Congress could, at some point, decide to annul the laws against keeping slaves if not for the 13th amendment. They could also annul the laws against murder, rape and robbery, but no one has proposed writing those into the Constitution.

    Britain and France outlawed slavery by acts of Parliament or the National Assembly and that has worked for 200 years. Even Brazil, which kept slavery until 1888 abolished it by decree.

  193. avatar
    Whatever4 January 5, 2013 at 6:25 pm #

    Pieter Nosworthy:
    I realize my comment was red meat to those who would rather confront birtherism than the intent of the post’s original question of congressional review of NBC question.

    Relax, one and all…

    Though you may be misguided in your bent, you are unquestionably upheld by a status quo of your understanding. Most everyone is convinced that our President is entitled to his office, unfortunately they are just misinformed due the likes of a constituency of folks such as yourself who quell out of hand.

    You tell them that there is nothing worthy of discussion which is a lie. Birthers may be wrong, but the national debate is still worth having. Contrary to what you may hold dear regarding liberal truth, the hypocrisy of the other side is deafening per free speech.

    Ah, Noz is back, as arrogant and pseudo-erudite as ever.

    The national debate was held. Birthers lost. The nation moved on. You should consider doing that also.

    Your free speech rights are intact, as evidenced by your ability to have your own blog and postings at other sites. But free speech doesnt mean anyone has to agree with you. It also doesn’t mean anyone has to listen or pay attention to you. As websites are most often privately owned, no one even has to let you post on their site.

    Free speech also means people can disparage you to their heart’s (or the site owner’s) content. Civility and manners say that ideas should be the topic of discussion rather than personal insults, but those are personal decisions.

    Throwing red meat is one thing, but hiding in it hooks connected to fishing lines is a whole different thing.

    Welcome back from Afghanistan.

  194. avatar
    Whatever4 January 5, 2013 at 6:56 pm #

    Pieter Nosworthy:
    Sure I hate the President’s politics, can you honestly discern your politics from your constitutional view of the NBC question?

    Yes. Absolutely I can. I began as a McCain anti-birther, and I am an extremely active general anti-birther. I don’t debate politics, but I am not a Democrat. Up until a couple of years ago I was a registered Republican — now I’m “Unenrolled” specifically so that I can vote in any of the primaries in my state.

    What bothers me the most about many birthers is that they claim to be just interested in the constitution question but really just vehemently hate President Obama. It’s easy for me to separate nonsensical conspiracy theories (Obama’s ring, law license, murders, academics, lack of people who knew him, FEMA cams and microchips, etc.) from substantive policy issues. I have managed to do that with every president back to Jimmy Carter, the first election that I voted in (and not for Carter).

    The definition of Natural Born Citizen isn’t rocket science, doesn’t require sekret decoder rings, and hasn’t been a closely guarded secret for hundreds of years. If the definition was set into stone in Minor v Happersett, then Wong Kim Ark would have gone a different way and courts would have been citing Minor’s definition for over a hundred years. Look for legal citations referring to Minor’s definition compared to WKA’s. Consider why the best Republican legal minds have no problem with Obama’s eligibility even while they have major issues with the legality of his policies.

    Do you consider Rubio, Jindal, etc. natural born citizens?

  195. avatar
    misha marinsky January 5, 2013 at 7:04 pm #

    john: At worst Obama is a Muslim. At best he’s a Muslim Smypathizer.

    US Constitution, Article VI, paragraph 3: “…no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

    I’m Jewish.

  196. avatar
    Whatever4 January 5, 2013 at 7:07 pm #

    To everyone (John, mostly) who says the count was illegal because the VP didn’t call for objections:

    There were several official parliamentarians on duty next to the VP who would have stopped the proceedings if anyone forgot to do something that was critical. The reason the chamber was so empty is that the whole process is so scripted that are no surprises. Look at the video — do you see anyone who was likely to make an objection? Not from their demeanor, but from their political bent. The only faces I recognized were either Democrats or required to be there. Has any Congress member said anything before or after that indicates they intended to object? Someone who wanted to disqualify the President-elect certainly wouldn’t keep it a secret except for a 5 minute window of time.

  197. avatar
    Paper January 5, 2013 at 7:21 pm #

    Birthers are not merely expressing idle opinions. They talk of consequential matters (trying to delegitimate a president) without having an equivalently serious portfolio of evidence, much less legal understanding. I’m simply sorry. Anyone claiming the President is ineligible, the President of the United States, better have their ducks in a row. Not just throwing out tidbits, as in try this, try that, what about this, what about that, did you hear this, did you see that, etc etc etc. This is childish behavior at best. It certainly is not patriotic.

    Name-calling may be a measure of someone’s character. But even there, so what? So some people are rude? So what? So they are not saints. That doesn’t change birther nonsense into meaningful argument.

    It definitely is not a measure of character to be intolerant of garbage, unless you mean it reflects well upon a person to be intolerant of it. You yourself mentioned “debate,” not just polite after-dinner conversation where one doesn’t point out one’s guest’s errors. People who raise serious matters with ridiculous arguments deserve to have their arguments ridiculed.

    I have pointed out many times that birthers can be very intelligent. In my personal experience, they mostly are quite smart. I half-suspect that intelligence is necessary to be a committed birther. Birthers can be kind and caring people, too. The worst birthers I personally know are also vey intelligent and caring. That doesn’t mean anything when it comes to this silliness.

    When it comes to birtherism, you cannot just waltz around talking about the President committing all kinds of conspiracies and crimes, and expect your comments to be treated seriously without actual and substantial evidence, not to mention any sensible motive or even a basic understanding of the laws.

    Such birthers do not deserve to worry about whether or not they are being treated civilly. I believe in civil dialogue. I think it is for the best. But the personal character of anti-birthers at large is irrelevant. Being insulted by some does not make you any closer to having a worthy argument or observation.

    If birthers are going to worry about such civil standards, they would do well to first observe some basic civil practices, such as not claiming the President is guilty of crimes and conspiracies without the slightest sensible evidence of such.

    And at this point in time, it is not so much even about idle birther-curious types. To maintain a birther stance after these last four years takes commitment. And if someone is just idly birthed-curious, they really should just do some basic research first, and not rely upon rumors and internet fol-de-rol.

    Pieter Nosworthy:
    Conspiracy et al,

    I’m well aware of the environment, just thought I’d check on your tolerance. It is a measure of your character. Take that as you will.

    Sure you have espoused numerous times on your measure of the constitutional reflection of MvH, just wanted you to know that some are still not convinced.

    I am not a nut. In fact, I raise your kids that may have enlisted in the military, I purposefully do not promote my constitutional or political beliefs in that professional environment, but am still entrusted with mentoring your children who consider suicide a viable option to life’s travails. Great job, mom and dad.

    Last year more Soldiers killed themselves than were killed in combat. By all means try to explain that in another context than cultural.

  198. avatar
    Whatever4 January 5, 2013 at 7:30 pm #

    Scientist: Sure. The same is true regarding the laws against murder, rape, robbery, etc. Those crimes are not mentioned in the Constitution, but Congress and the states made them criminal, as they do up to today with holding people in involuntary servitude. In principle Congress could, at some point, decide to annul the laws against keeping slaves if not for the 13th amendment. They could also annul the laws against murder, rape and robbery, but no one has proposed writing those into the Constitution.

    Murder, rape, and robbery generally aren’t federal crimes, they are state crimes.

  199. avatar
    Paper January 5, 2013 at 7:56 pm #

    Re the topic of what is the Republican party these days:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/05/republican-party_n_2415552.html

  200. avatar
    Keith January 5, 2013 at 10:55 pm #

    Pieter Nosworthy: You tell them that there is nothing worthy of discussion which is a lie.

    No it is not worthy of discussion.

    Such a discussion is decidedly un-American and unworthy of anyone who claims to want to uphold the Constitution.

    It is, in fact, merely a stalking horse for disenfranchising other citizens, especially those natural born citizens who happen to have undocumented alien parents.

    To that extent is is racist, and unworthy of discussion. Period.

  201. avatar
    Keith January 5, 2013 at 11:20 pm #

    Scientist: I hate to quarrel wth you Doc, but slavery was abolished (except in Mayland and Kentucky, the 2 slave states that remained in the Union) by presidential decree (the Emancipation Proclamation) which preceded any of the constitutional amendments.When the Union forces took a piece of territory in the South, all slaves within it were immediately freed.The 13th amendment simply ratified the facts on the ground in the Confederate states and extended the same law to the slaves (a very small fraction of the total) in the Union states.

    Yet another example of how constitutional can sometimes equal bad and unconstitutional or extraconstitutional can sometimes equal good.Lincoln is to be applauded (and generally is) for putting moral right and the interests of the nation ahead of the Constitution when they conflicted.

    I”m not sure what your point here is. The Emancipation Proclamation did not abolish slavery. The 13th Amendment did.

    The Proclamation freed the slaves in the rebellious states, it did not make slavery illegal there.

    Furthermore the Proclamation had no affect on slaves in the loyalist states, not in Maryland, not in West Virginia, not in Pennsylvania, not in New York, not in Michigan.

    For example, although New York officially abolished slavery in 1827, the Supreme Court said that slaves imported from locations where slavery was legal remained slaves and the ‘rights’ of their owners must be recognized.

  202. avatar
    Keith January 5, 2013 at 11:28 pm #

    Scientist: The disposition of enemy property after the war is a matter of negotiation between the warring parties.

    Acknowledgment of people as ‘enemy property’ is an acknowledgment of their continuing condition in slavery. Only now the people are ‘owned’ by the winning government as confiscated war spoils.

    Proof positive that the Emancipation Proclamation did not end slavery, the 13th Amendment did.

    The EP was a genius PR stroke and is a powerful symbol of the nation coming to terms with its dark self. But it didn’t end slavery.

  203. avatar
    Keith January 5, 2013 at 11:33 pm #

    Rickey: I believe that what is significant is that no court ever ruled that slavery was unconstitutional, hence the necessity for the 13th Amendment. It is possible that some future court might have ruled slavery to be unconstitutional if the 13th Amendment had not passed, but we will never know the answer to that.

    As you pointed out. Lincoln himself had his doubts about whether the Emancipation Proclamation was constitutional.

    Since the condition of slavery was explicitly acknowledged in the Constitution in the “three-fifths” clause, there is no way that it could have been declared unconstitutional without an amendment to make it so.

  204. avatar
    Keith January 5, 2013 at 11:35 pm #

    Yoda: As understand it, the EP freed slaves within he US

    No. It only freed slaves in those states that were at war with the Federal Government – and no other.

  205. avatar
    Whatever4 January 6, 2013 at 12:09 am #

    Yoda: As understand it, the EP freed slaves within he US, but what was the US at that time?

    No point in arguing over something so readily accessible on the Internet. http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/featured_documents/emancipation_proclamation/transcript.html (The irony of that statement is not lost on this anti-birther…)

    …all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.

    The states and parts of states are listed.

    Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, (except the Parishes of St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James Ascension, Assumption, Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans, including the City of New Orleans) Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, (except the forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, and also the counties of Berkley, Accomac, Northampton, Elizabeth City, York, Princess Ann, and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth[)], and which excepted parts, are for the present, left precisely as if this proclamation were not issued.

  206. avatar
    Rickey January 6, 2013 at 12:19 am #

    Keith: Since the condition of slavery was explicitly acknowledged in the Constitution in the “three-fifths” clause, there is no way that it could have been declared unconstitutional without an amendment to make it so.

    Not to mention that many of those who drafted the Constitution were themselves slave owners.

  207. avatar
    Northland10 January 6, 2013 at 7:40 am #

    Keith: No. It only freed slaves in those states that were at war with the Federal Government – and no other.

    He was freeing the slaves in those areas of the US in rebellion (i.e. the unrecognized confederacy). Though I have not studied this fully, I would suspect the reason he could state this is that, constitutionally, the writ of habeus corpus and other rights could be suspended in “cases of rebellion or invasion.” Thus, the CSA was considered in rebellion and military rule was instituted (at least on paper). Still, after the war where the state governments were re-instituted, a simple proclamation would not suffice, nor would it resolve the issue of slaves in states not in rebellion.

    The government and military did try to enforce some military rule on some who they felt may be in rebellion in places where the civilian courts were still running. The Supreme Court, after the war, ruled in Ex Parte Milligan that the right of a writ of habeas corpus remains when the civilian courts are still functioning. Thus, this would confirm that a proclamation would not have any bearing outside of areas still under military rule (not to mention, any future President or Congress could overrule it).

  208. avatar
    Yoda January 6, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

    Whatever4: No point in arguing over something so readily accessible on the Internet. http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/featured_documents/emancipation_proclamation/transcript.html (The irony of that statement is not lost on this anti-birther…)

    The states and parts of states are listed.

    Yes, I screwed up, I should have checked it myself after having not read it in so many years. Thanks for pointing out my error. However, my basic point remains the same, the Proclamation itself was essentially meaningless unless the North won the war.