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Doc’s State of the Birther Address

The conspiracy theory I call “the birther movement” has been around 5 years now and over that time we’ve seen an Internet rumor grow to a national phenomenon, where most people know about it and at one point more than half of Republicans believed it. Books were written, web sites created, over 200 lawsuits were filed (all without success), and the President himself addressed the issue in a special press conference on national television.

Where are we now?

Clearly much of energy behind birtherism was political. Support for such beliefs was strongly skewed toward people leaning to the right politically, and if any one birther demographic were signaled out, it would be old conservative southern white guys. Today, however, political motivation is waning as the focus of presidential politics moves from Barack Obama to the 2016 election. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has said that a political movement based on “angry white guys” is not sustainable.

The 9/11 truthers were largely left-leaning at the start, and focused on President George W. Bush. In 2006, as the administration of Bush wound down, activism from the left died down, and truther activists are now comprised mainly of far right groups: Constitutional Party and Libertarian supporters, folks who are prone to conspiracy belief in general. What we see among the Truthers is a shift from political motivation to classic conspiracy theory thinking, and an overall decline in activism.

With the birther movement, I think that we’ll a see similar shift this year. The racial bias that underlies much of the movement will remain and I expect that “angry white guys” will continue to be the core demographic, but general right-wing activism will decline, while general conspiracy thinking and racial bias will provide any new converts. The President is scheduled to leave office in January 2017, and that leaves hardly any opportunity for new lawsuits, although Orly Taitz continues her individual legal efforts to pry documents out of the federal government.

One interesting development is the election of a number of Tea Party affiliates to Congress. These individuals, who may be described as “fringe” in many of their beliefs, and characterized by a general non-application of critical thinking to their public positions, are ripe candidates for new birther converts, or may be “closet birthers” already. We’re waiting to see what if anything will come from Representatives Stockman and Yoho. We may see resolutions or bills introduced (but not approved) relating to birther issues. We may again see allied legislation (to require birth certificates from presidential candidates) offered in States in the run up to the 2016 election. Now that they cannot be accused of being attempts to block Obama’s candidacy, some of these “birther bills” may actually pass.

What I see today is a lack of enthusiasm among birthers. Many birther web sites have gone inactive. The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Cold Case Posse is about the only news-making activity going on, and that initiative really has nowhere to go1 besides making money from Mike Zullo’s new book. On the other hand, I think that low-level birtherism is with us for the long term, settling down among all the other many conspiracy theories (Freemasons, black helicopters, New World Order, chemtrails, HAARP, alien abduction/UFO cover up, and on and on) that haunt the back alleys of the Internet.


1Maricopa County lacks jurisdiction to prosecute any alleged crimes involving President Obama, plus the County Prosecutor seems to be level-headed enough to recognize that the Posse doesn’t have any evidence.

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73 Responses to Doc’s State of the Birther Address

  1. avatar
    Jim August 13, 2013 at 10:16 am #

    I get the feeling that the CCP is feeling the heat, from both sides. Wouldn’t surprise me if Zullo decided the book wasn’t worth the headache and just abandoned this at some point in the near future.

  2. avatar
    Keith August 13, 2013 at 10:30 am #

    I disagree that the 9/11 truthers are/were from the “left”.

    They are/were anti government in general and approach the topic from both sides. They also tend to be chem trail conspiracists and alien lizard master enthusiasts. I suspect they are the descendants of fluoridated water is a commie plot’ers.

  3. avatar
    Curious George August 13, 2013 at 10:32 am #

    Jim:
    I get the feeling that the CCP is feeling the heat, from both sides.Wouldn’t surprise me if Zullo decided the book wasn’t worth the headache and just abandoned this at some point in the near future.

    Carl Gallups said yesterday he and Z will use all venues to get the facts out IF Congress won’t act. I’ll bet Z And G will use their WND connection to publish just the facts. A second book? Buy the book and all the secrets will be revealed. It will make a great door stop.

  4. avatar
    The Magic M August 13, 2013 at 11:12 am #

    The President is scheduled to leave office in January 2017, and that leaves hardly any opportunity for new lawsuits

    Indeed I expect most birthers to drift to other conspiracy theories – just think of what Hillary would provide them, from resurrecting Whitewater to Benghazi. Though I think that a potential female President could invite more outlandish legal theories in the wake of Vattelism. No doubt that if you search long enough, you’ll find some 1700’s legal scholar who claimed women could not hold office – just a couple pretzel twists and they’ll arrive at a “consistent” argument why no woman can be Prez. Padawan Pauly will lead the charge!

    Apart from Hillary, expect most of them to attack any non-white candidate, regardless of party affiliation, with birther arguments (“where were they REALLY born?”) and others.

    Those who just can’t let go of Obama will probably become attached to arguments I’d call “singularity theory” – that some singular event in history that hasn’t been “rectified” somehow invalidates anything that came after it. As in “as long as Obama hasn’t been deemed a usurper and all laws signed by him void, there can be no legal US government”.
    This is another typical last resort for those cranks who simply can’t accept they’re not finding any obvious fault with the new government.
    It’s like claiming because some prince signed a treaty on the wrong line in 1562, China’s soil legally still belongs to Hungary, or something.

  5. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG August 13, 2013 at 11:35 am #

    One is left to wonder what will become of the bile-spewing, but ultimately powerless keyboard commandos like Falcon, once January 2017 rolls around.
    Or “Constitutional candidates” like Cody Robert Judy, who despite the election being over for nine months, is still belly-aching about it!

  6. avatar
    Benji Franklin August 13, 2013 at 12:35 pm #

    Curious George: Carl Gallups said yesterday he and Z will use all venues to get the facts out IF Congress won’t act.</blockquote

    I think the way he actually put it several times now (like he's reading this part from a script) was that in the worst case scenario of no Congressional investigation, he and Z will use "every means available to us to get these facts before the public"

    Which means basically, Zulo's book of course – that's the reason they aren't submitting their worthless "evidence" of criminality immediately to any real authority. It would officially fail before he publishes his book.

    All the other "avenues" available to them to "get the word out" will be advertising Zulo's book.

    Sounds like from their supporters' cynical comments over at ORYR, they're on to Carl and Mike's scam. Of course, there is no ethical or legal reason not to go public with the evidence if it was legitimate. Honest patriots would feel obliged to do so.

    Carl will continue to tease his slow-learning flock with declarations that exciting new developments are pushing this closer toward a Congressional investigation. But his routine is already getting old to even his brain-dead true believers.

    Carl's "put them off" script will have to change soon – he can't keep just repeating the phrases "new, new, exciting developments, but I can't tell you what they are" forever here.

    Since he already knows that the closest thing they'll ever produce to a Congressional investigation- will be a sleazy Joseph Farah hosted Zullo book-signing event, don't be surprised if Gallups starts promising that the "big showdown" will feature a passle of Obama-bashing whistleblowers, the Carl Gallups VIP Dancers, and Mike's Zullo's secret sauce. Of course, the recipe will be only in the book.

  7. avatar
    G August 13, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

    Yeah, I guess it is a case of YMMV (your mileage may vary) on this topic, in terms of who you encountered. I sure knew a lot of anti-war lefties raving with ODS during the Bush years, but in terms of actual “Truthers” (those that really saw it as some sort of INTENTIONAL government caused conspiracy, not simply blaming the government for not taking the threat of terrorism seriously enough) that I came across, they were mainly highly anti-government paranoid folks, who blamed the government for everything, regardless. Quite a few were libertarian. (We’ve got a lot of conservative-libertarians where I live for some reason…and they’ve been in these parts for longer than I have…so I come across them alot. They are now big Tea Party types and 9.12 groups.)

    So yeah, what I’m getting at is that I always was of the same conclusion you came to on this matter. But I guess others claim to know liberal folks who were truly “Truthers”…I’m sure there are some, as there are crazies in every segment of the population, but I’ve never really met them personally. I wonder if those type of folks are like the wacky environmental extremists / anti-globalist that exist in some corners of the far-left…they are certainly a type of anti-government paranoids, if you ask me…

    The main thing is that most of the left ignores or disavows the crazy at their far fringes. Unfortunately, the right mostly panders to theirs…

    Keith:
    I disagree that the 9/11 truthers are/were from the “left”.

    They are/were anti government in general and approach the topic from both sides. They also tend to be chem trail conspiracists and alien lizard master enthusiasts. I suspect they are the descendants of fluoridated water is a commie plot’ers.

  8. avatar
    BillTheCat August 13, 2013 at 2:08 pm #

    Keith:
    I disagree that the 9/11 truthers are/were from the “left”.

    They are/were anti government in general and approach the topic from both sides. They also tend to be chem trail conspiracists and alien lizard master enthusiasts. I suspect they are the descendants of fluoridated water is a commie plot’ers.

    Two words: Alex Jones.

  9. avatar
    Slartibartfast August 13, 2013 at 2:36 pm #

    As someone who believes that President Bush is a war criminal and a liar, even I am disgusted by the monstrous assumption of the MIHOP* truthers regarding W. I think a lot of moonbats cozied up to the truthers for the same reason many RWNJs cozied up to the birthers—a way to (falsely) smear a president they didn’t like. The difference is that the moonbat truthers were never anywhere near as politically effective as the birthers (which is saying a lot since the birthers, try as they might, never seemed to do more than hurt the Republican party).

    * Made It Happen On Purpose (as opposed to Let It Happen On Purpose)

    Keith:
    I disagree that the 9/11 truthers are/were from the “left”.

    They are/were anti government in general and approach the topic from both sides. They also tend to be chem trail conspiracists and alien lizard master enthusiasts. I suspect they are the descendants of fluoridated water is a commie plot’ers.

  10. avatar
    Curious George August 13, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

    Benji Franklin:
    “Since he already knows that the closest thing they’ll ever produce to a Congressional investigation- will be a sleazy Joseph Farah hosted Zullo book-signing event, don’t be surprised if Gallups starts promising that the “big showdown” will feature a passle of Obama-bashing whistleblowers, the Carl Gallups VIP Dancers, and Mike’s Zullo’s secret sauce. Of course, the recipe will be only in the book.”

    Any day now they will be doing pre-sales for an autographed copy of the new book. Last time it was Zullo and Corsi. Anyone want to place bets this time it will be Zullo and Gallups?

    Outstanding review Benji.

  11. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 13, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

    I would refer to Scott Sommers’ articles in Skeptic Magazine and the studies he cites in support of my statement that prior to 2006, 9/11 conspiracy belief was tied to protests against the Bush Administration and were skewed to the left politically.

    Keith: They are/were anti government in general and approach the topic from both sides.

  12. avatar
    donna August 13, 2013 at 3:47 pm #

    shocking but i agree with orly regarding arpaio – cut off their donations unless they do something

    of course, we know they are unable to do anything but with no funding and no people attending their pressers, what choice will they have?

    there were 50 birthers who recently protested against obama when he was in florida – their signs read “Kenyan Go Home” – 50? seriously? and mostly old and white

    About 50 protesters stood on either side of the road outside the hotel, “many of them older and most of them white,” according to a White House pool report. The protesters hoisted signs reading “Kenyan Go Home, “Impeach Obama” and “Obama Lies.”

    As President Barack Obama spoke in Phoenix Tuesday about responsible home ownership, hundreds of people stood outside protesting his policies, many shouting and carrying racially charged chants and signs.

    “Bye Bye Black Sheep,” the protestors shouted at one point, a reference to the president’s skin color, according to the Arizona Republic.

    Another protestor carried a sign that said “Impeach the Half-White Muslim!”

    “He’s 47 percent Negro,” one protestor shouted.

    i also look at this from a world view (and some posters here are from outside the US) – we are a laughing stock and a disgrace – we bloviate about equality, human rights, free elections, etc and criticize those who don’t agree with us – i think of people in muslim countries with those purple fingers after just voting for the first time and remember the lines here in 2012 due to voter suppression

    a disgrace!!!!!! we have no right to pontificate – study what occurred in communist romania under Ceaușescu regarding abortion & contraception – they lost an entire generation due to maternal morbidity – if romania doesn’t resemble the US today, i don’t know what does – my dental hygienist grew up there during that time – she tells me about the government coming into factories and internally checking women for an IUD string – people were imprisoned for carrying condoms and, like santorum wanted to do, mothers were rewarded – He designated the title “Heroine Mother” for any woman who bore and brought up ten or more children. For seven to nine children a woman won the order of “Maternal Glory.” For five or six children she was given the “Maternity Medal.”

    “The fetus is the socialist property of the whole society. Giving birth is a patriotic duty. Those who refuse to have children are deserters, escaping the aw of natural continuity.”

    Furthermore, sex education did not exist, and any literature on the subject was ce
    nsored. The role of Romanian women was first as workers, and second as
    mothers.

    by 1985 a woman had to have had five children, with all five still under her care, or be more than forty-five years old to qualify for an abortion and contraception

    many children were dumped into orphanages because either the mother died or was too poor to support so many children

  13. avatar
    BK August 13, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

    A lot is just politics driven by the opposing party. There are probably many left-wing groups who will only be happy when a Republican is back in White House so they can start complaining and bringing up conspiracy theories, and the same holds true for some right-wing groups salivating over the ensuing firestorm if H wins the throne.

    With so many lies from the government, regardless of who is in power, some outlandish, you never know what truthful claim is being squelched.

  14. avatar
    helen August 13, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

    “The conspiracy theory I call “the birther movement” has been around 5 years now and over that time we’ve seen an Internet rumor grow to a national phenomenon, where most people know about it and at one point more than half of Republicans believed it. Books were written, web sites created, over 200 lawsuits were filed (all without success), and the President himself addressed the issue in a special press conference on national television.’

    Mostly correct and true, but, did you forget that 8 cases are stilll running and therefore can not be considered unsuccessful, in total.

    I never believe in the truthers, although I read and looked at their stuff, actually talked to one of the guys here and advised him that he was going about it wrongly,

    But that is not here or there.

    What does not surprise me is that each political group denies that their side was involved in it.

    As to the birthers being white southerners, eh, who knows , as I have seen no particular evidence of it being a sectional thing.

    You do note that 1/2 of the Republicans believe in birtherism, but don’t mention the Democrats percentage of believers.

    And if 1/2 of Republicans believe in it, hmmmm, seems nationwide, not sectional.

    But, I do understand the reluctance to admit even Democrats might not follow the party line

    And , if there is a party line split on the facts, it might also indicate that there may, or may not, be a problem in the facts.

  15. avatar
    justlw August 13, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

    I think the difference between birther and truther political affiliation is that almost all mainstream politicians and proles on the left are more than happy to distance themselves from 9/11 Truthers. Can you name one Democratic politician who has even thrown a wink in that direction? In fact, the only outspoken Truthers with any name recognition (other than for being Truthers) that come to mind are Joe Rogan and Charlie Sheen.

    Meanwhile, we could probably put a list together of scores of GOP officeholders who have been birther-curious, birther-encouraging, or even outright full-metal birther.

    (A link to a “complete authorized version” of Sommers’ article can be found on his blog, btw.)

  16. avatar
    Joey August 13, 2013 at 5:08 pm #

    helen:
    “The conspiracy theory I call “the birther movement” has been around 5 years now and over that time we’ve seen an Internet rumor grow to a national phenomenon, where most people know about it and at one point more than half of Republicans believed it. Books were written, web sites created, over 200 lawsuits were filed (all without success), and the President himself addressed the issue in a special press conference on national television.’

    Mostly correct and true,but, did you forget that 8 cases are stilll running and therefore can not be considered unsuccessful, in total.

    I never believe in the truthers, although I read and looked at their stuff, actually talked to one of the guys here and advised him that he was going about it wrongly,

    But that is not here or there.

    What does not surprise me is that each political group denies that their side was involved in it.

    As to the birthers being white southerners, eh, who knows , as I have seen no particular evidence of it being a sectional thing.

    You do note that 1/2 of the Republicans believe in birtherism, but don’t mention the Democrats percentage of believers.

    And if 1/2 of Republicans believe in it, hmmmm, seems nationwide, not sectional.

    But,I do understand the reluctance to admit even Democrats might not follow the party line

    And , if there is a party line split on the facts, it might also indicate that there may, or may not, be a problem in the facts.

    The birther movement is a minor political sub-cultural oddity. Barack Obama was elected with 68% of the electoral vote in 2008 and reelected with 62% of the electoral vote in 2012. Anything over 60% is considered an Electoral College landslide victory. Therefore the birther movement had litte to no Impact on the general elections.
    Since the votes of the Electors were unanimously certified without objection from a single member of Congress, Barack Hussein Obama is the duly elected and reelected 44th President of the United States and pending legal challenges are now moot.
    The 12th Amendment is perfectly clear: whoever receives a majority of the votes of the electors “SHALL BE THE PRESIDENT.”

  17. avatar
    justlw August 13, 2013 at 5:09 pm #

    Now that I’ve had a chance myself to delve a little more deeply into the article linked to above, I found a little more food for thought to go with my lunch.

    First of all, it’s probably not the same article Doc is referring to; it appears to be a 2011 followup to an earlier article by Sommers.

    Second, this article says that of the sample of Truthers the author investigated, the strongest affiliation is with Libertarianism. as well as “Constitutionalist,”, “Christian Constitutional Party,” and “member of the Tea Party,” with “only one member of the [“highly committed” sample group] describ[ing] herself as ‘liberal,’ making her the only person in the total 111 surveyed members to do so.”

    However, this doesn’t really negate what Doc was saying. The article says “earlier research on 9/11 conspiracies [presumably Sommers’ own?] described the belief as appealing to supporters of the Democratic Party” although, he says, other discussions “describe 9/11 conspiracy as a non-partisan issue with no specific appeal to either the left or right.”

    What he says in this 2011 article is that 9/11 Trutherism once was a more popular issue for some on the left, when it could be seen as an indictment of the Bush Administration. He also points out a few more famous Truthers, such as Josh Brolin, Barbra Streisand, Sean Penn, and Michael Moore — and notes that none of them seem to be actively involved with it as an issue now that Bush is out of office.

    But, his conclusion would seem to be that now that the Bush administration is out of office, there is zero identifiable Democratic affiliation in the current Truther ranks, and that most of it indeed is now identified more generally with anti-government sentiment.

    (And by the way, I am vehemently with Slartibartfast when he says that accusing Bush of an active role in 9/11 is just plain disgusting.)

  18. avatar
    justlw August 13, 2013 at 5:13 pm #

    helen: Mostly correct and true, but, did you forget that 8 cases are stilll running and therefore can not be considered unsuccessful, in total.

    You’re right!

  19. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 13, 2013 at 5:13 pm #

    You don’t see or know a lot of things and it seems to be related to your unwillingness to look for them. You can find links to those poll results on this site, or in a search engine.

    helen: As to the birthers being white southerners, eh, who knows , as I have seen no particular evidence of it being a sectional thing.

  20. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 13, 2013 at 5:15 pm #

    It’s in another article.

    helen: You do note that 1/2 of the Republicans believe in birtherism, but don’t mention the Democrats percentage of believers.

  21. avatar
    DP August 13, 2013 at 5:25 pm #

    I think at this point, the birther meme is losing whatever steam it had among the general populace. But there’s a hardened core of insanity that’s just getting worse.

    Out of curiosity, I checked out Free Republic. One forlorn thread of madness was titled: “Another Congressman Onboard! GET INVOLVED NOW!” Yep, Zullo is on the march and all us OBOTS are cringing in terror.

    Then there’s this little gem from an argument on the thread about whether Obama’s coup is bloodless or not: “Not bloodless – many targeted assassinations such as Breitbart and other killings of political opponents etc, as well as mass killings like those murdered by the Fast and Furious weapons, military killed be crippling rules of engagement, etc. But bloodless in the sense of no mass government arrests and executions.” Really? There’s a level of drivel below which you’re basically just arguing with a mollusk.

    I understand all of this intellectually. But I personally cannot really imagine being so devoted to something, so certain of your righteousness and the existential terror of your enemies before it, when all the sane people are simply laughing at you.

  22. avatar
    donna August 13, 2013 at 5:32 pm #

    DP: But I personally cannot really imagine being so devoted to something, so certain of your righteousness and the existential terror of your enemies before it, when all the sane people are simply laughing at you.

    did you ever see “south pacific” or hear the song “you’ve got to be carefully taught”?

    http://www.stlyrics.com/lyrics/southpacific/youvegottobecarefullytaught.htm

    i think of that song all the time

  23. avatar
    helen August 13, 2013 at 5:41 pm #

    It is a good thing to be devoted to your beliefs, it may be a bad thing to be devoted to your polical stance.

    As excess dedication to a political stance results in chaos in the long run as the different parties try to retain , or gain, control.

    There appears to be no political system that is safe from become dissolute and corrupt!

    Here you have a political system in the USA where the President appears, yes, appears, to want to circumvent the Congress and run the Nation the way he beliefs is correct for the Nation

  24. avatar
    justlw August 13, 2013 at 5:50 pm #

    Well, clearly the best recourse is to make crap up about his birth certificate.

  25. avatar
    donna August 13, 2013 at 5:52 pm #

    helen: Here you have a political system in the USA where the President appears, yes, appears, to want to circumvent the Congress and run the Nation the way he beliefs is correct for the Nation

    WOW isn’t that what every president is accused of doing? what about the blair memo and bush’s run up to his war in iraq?

    http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/NY_Times_to_report_on_secret_0326.html

    what about bush signing executive order 13233 limiting access to the records of former U.S. Presidents & VPs?

    obama overturned that order with EO 13489, which essentially restored most of the wording of reagan’s Order 12667 with some modifications. (obama was/is accused of hiding his PERSONAL records with that order)

    bush’s unfunded medicare part D was less popular than the ACA and bush spent $70 million on a public relations campaign for Medicare, including an expenditure of $600,000 to fly a blimp over football stadiums, state fairs, and an auto race to promote its 1-800-MEDICARE information line. After the Medicare Part D drug benefit was passed into law, the Bush Administration spent even more, planning a three-year, $300 million public relations campaign that included a $25 million advertising campaign and a bus tour featuring high-level Administration officials that visited 100 cities in 2005.

    imagine the outrage if obama did that?

  26. avatar
    helen August 13, 2013 at 6:17 pm #

    it seems to me that the President must sign a executive priviledge order on each and every record of his, unless he has signed an excecutive priviledge order on all of his personal documents.

    but, I don’t see how he can claim executive privilege on non-archived matters under this Executive Order.

    Now he can sign it on matters under discussion ,or in process, but he could not sign it on why the dog was flown to his vacation spot.

  27. avatar
    justlw August 13, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

    helen: why the dog was flown to his vacation spot

    Because it was his dog, ya big transvestite doof. And the plane was going there anyway.

  28. avatar
    Dr Kenneth Noisewater August 13, 2013 at 6:28 pm #

    helen: it seems to me that the President must sign a executive priviledge order on each and every record of his, unless he has signed an excecutive priviledge order on all of his personal documents.

    What are you even talking about?

  29. avatar
    CarlOrcas August 13, 2013 at 6:31 pm #

    helen: Here you have a political system in the USA where the President appears, yes, appears, to want to circumvent the Congress and run the Nation the way he beliefs is correct for the Nation

    Oh, you want to talk about Richard Nixon now?

  30. avatar
    donna August 13, 2013 at 6:33 pm #

    helen: but he could not sign it on why the dog was flown to his vacation spot.

    bo flew on the plane to florida with barack and michelle when they spoke to veterans – they then flew to the vineyard – if you watched the news, you saw bo deplaning

    his own personal records are HIS and covered by privacy laws – bush’s EO was to hide presidential an vp records which obama overturned by his first EO – bush signed 291 executive orders – obama signed 163 –

    http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/orders/

    http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/executive-orders/obama.html

    sorry, but i have no clue as to what the rest of your post means –

  31. avatar
    Crustacean August 13, 2013 at 6:34 pm #

    Especially the Gerry & the Pacemakers record he owns. There’s really no plausible excuse for that one…

    helen: it seems to me that the President must sign a executive priviledge order on each and every record of his

  32. avatar
    CarlOrcas August 13, 2013 at 6:36 pm #

    helen:
    it seems to me that the President must sign a executive priviledge order on each and every record of his, unless he has signed an excecutive priviledge order on all of his personal documents.

    but, I don’t see how he can claim executive privilege on non-archived matters under this Executive Order.

    Now he can sign it on matters under discussion ,or in process, but he could not sign it on why the dog was flown to his vacation spot.

    Hello? What in the world are you talking about?

    What does the dog have to do with anything? This same stupid story comes up every time they go on vacation: The dog isn’t flown alone. The dog goes on another plane with staff when the destination requires smaller planes.

  33. avatar
    justlw August 13, 2013 at 6:39 pm #

    I must apologize for my immediately previous post. I have no idea as to your actual size, large or small, or whether you actually put on women’s clothing when you post here as a woman.

    But my God, this is what you get your or somebody else’s panties in a bunch over?

    The last president of the United States pre-emptively invaded the wrong freaking country and you think we should be worried about made-up bullcrap about the president’s dog?! Or the idea that forgers handcraft every specimen of a document they’re trying to promote as real — and misspell “Hawaii” in one of their artisanal documents in the process?

    Jeez.

  34. avatar
    donna August 13, 2013 at 6:44 pm #

    CarlOrcas: This same stupid story comes up every time they go on vacation

    a great (under 2:00 min) video “Presidential vacations by the numbers”

    As President Obama continues his summer break in Martha’s Vineyard, POLITICO’s Kevin Cirilli takes a look back at the sprawling digs and price tags of the presidential vacations enjoyed by Presidents Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Bush.

    http://www.politico.com/politico44/2013/08/presidential-vacations-by-the-numbers-170465.html?hp=f3

    baby bush took 879 vacation days over his 8 years; 77 trips to his crawford ranch; 9 trips to crawford in his first term; in 2005, he took a 5-WEEK vacation in crawford ….. the longest presidential retreat in 36 years

    On the eve of Obama’s departure for Martha’s Vineyard, Mark Knoller tweeted that “since taking office, Pres Obama has taken 14 vacation trips spanning all or part of 92 days.” Knoller also tweeted that “at the same point in office, Pres. GWBush had made 50 visits to this Texas Ranch totaling all or part of 323 days.”

    Another 26 of Bush’s vacation days are accounted for by trips to Kennebunkport, with 18 days on vacation at miscellaneous locations, according to Knoller’s data.

    UNLIKE bush, Obama doesn’t own a vacation home

  35. avatar
    JPotter August 13, 2013 at 6:45 pm #

    justlw: this is what you get your or somebody else’s panties in a bunch over?

    Someone’s Desperately Flinging Something.

  36. avatar
    justlw August 13, 2013 at 6:50 pm #

    JPotter: Someone’s Desperately Flinging Something.

    It’s the next inevitable step in the cycle of Very Special Guest Concern Trolls. The next phase, and please let it be soon, should be storming off in a huff. (“Or a minute and a huff.” )

  37. avatar
    JPotter August 13, 2013 at 6:56 pm #

    justlw: The next phase, and please let it be soon, should be storming off in a huff.

    Not this one, he babble aimlessly for months. Even w/o getting any response. He’s that bored … and been here several times.

  38. avatar
    CarlOrcas August 13, 2013 at 7:01 pm #

    donna: UNLIKE bush, Obama doesn’t own a vacation home

    This crap has been going on forever. Lincoln was criticized for staying at the Soldier’s Home because it was cooler there than down by the Potomac. Every President since has gotten flack for the time they manage to get out of the White House.

    Frankly I don’t begrudge any of them time away from the White House. It’s a bizarre environment – public and cloistered at the same time. And, of course, no President is ever away from the job. They can’t take the phone off the hook and zone out for a day.

  39. avatar
    donna August 13, 2013 at 7:26 pm #

    CarlOrcas:

    i wholeheartedly agree – a person would go MAD in that environment especially since they have been “on the outside” for 99% of their lives – let alone one with so much else on his mind

    i am glad that mark knoller and others keep track –

    and the obamas have 2 young girls who are also entitled to a break –

    i remember when obama drove a Chevy Volt for a spin around the White House grounds before the Secret Service barked out, “Under no circumstances is he to leave the gate.”

    i did that at 14

  40. avatar
    Suranis August 13, 2013 at 7:39 pm #

    And Bush the Lesser played so much Golf that he put his Knee out and his doctors told him to give it up 5 years into his Presidency, at which point he said he was giving up Golf “for the troops.

  41. avatar
    Suranis August 13, 2013 at 7:53 pm #

    I think its great to find that the Presidents Dog is responsible for the destruction of America’s economy.

  42. avatar
    JPotter August 13, 2013 at 8:03 pm #

    Suranis:
    I think its great to find that the Presidents Dog is responsible for the destruction of America’s economy.

    Shhhhh … you’ll have the nuts clamoring for a canine sacrifice.

    And if that doesn’t work …. yikes, what’s next?

  43. avatar
    Rickey August 13, 2013 at 11:14 pm #

    helen:
    why the dog was flown to his vacation spot.

    Would you prefer that Bo walk to Martha’s Vineyard? Or perhaps ride on top of the plane?

    He actually takes up very little space. Since the plane was going there anyway, it cost essentially nothing to bring Bo along.

    Why do you hate dogs?

  44. avatar
    Slartibartfast August 13, 2013 at 11:39 pm #

    Jesse Ventura comes to mind as another “celebrity” truther. There are a couple of other things that I think distinguish the two groups: the truthers are better activists (they could draw more than a usurpathon worth of people to their protests)—which seems to me to be consistent with the truthers being a more liberal group. Also, they have several “professional” organizations (Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth and Pilots for 9/11 truth) and even a crank technical journal (JONES—The Journal of Nine-Eleven Studies, founded by Stephen Jones) to back up their junk science. I don’t think that there are two birther lawyers that can stand to be in the same room with one another, let alone agree enough to be in a birther legal organization together.

    justlw:
    I think the difference between birther and truther political affiliation is that almost all mainstream politicians and proles on the left are more than happy to distance themselves from 9/11 Truthers.Can you name one Democratic politician who has even thrown a wink in that direction?In fact, the only outspoken Truthers with any name recognition (other than for being Truthers) that come to mind are Joe Rogan and Charlie Sheen.

    Meanwhile, we could probably put a list together of scores of GOP officeholders who have been birther-curious, birther-encouraging, or even outright full-metal birther.

    (A link to a “complete authorized version” of Sommers’ article can be found on his blog, btw.)

  45. avatar
    misha marinsky August 13, 2013 at 11:42 pm #

    helen: he could not sign it on why the dog was flown to his vacation spot.

    Rickey: Or perhaps ride on top of the plane?

    Romney would have put Bo on the roof of his car, for 12 hours.

    BTW, I just flew coast-to-coast twice. Angel, my Afghan hound, rode in the cabin with me both ways. Max, my Siamese, rode in an under-seat carrier. Total cost, both ways: $250.

    I have a question for “Helen”: Do you dress in drag when you post here? Do you put on women’s clothing and hang around in bars?

  46. avatar
    misha marinsky August 13, 2013 at 11:50 pm #

    Suranis: And Bush the Lesser played so much Golf that he put his Knee out

    Eisenhower was 8 years of playing golf. Dulles was an anti-Semite.

  47. avatar
    Keith August 14, 2013 at 4:24 am #

    misha marinsky: Eisenhower was 8 years of playing golf. Dulles was an anti-Semite.

    I don’t get it.

    Marx wouldn’t join any club that would have him as a member.

    These things are related how?

  48. avatar
    The Magic M August 14, 2013 at 4:43 am #

    Rickey: He actually takes up very little space. Since the plane was going there anyway, it cost essentially nothing to bring Bo along.

    But you know the nutjob mindset. To them, the story already reads “they sent an extra plane just for the dog” and that stays in their mind just like “Obama’s lawyer admitted the BC is a forgery”.
    The only thing I don’t get is why it was a story to begin with. If actually the dog had been given a costly “for Bo only” airlift, it would’ve been one, but I I don’t get why a paper like the Telegraph would specifically mention the dog.

  49. avatar
    Benji Franklin August 14, 2013 at 2:55 pm #

    I see Carl Gallups has now turned on one of the VIP’s he was gushing over in connection with the recent Sheriff’s playday wherein non-sheriff Zullo presented all of his “forgery” garbage.

    ORYR has a PPSimmons link (shouldn’t that be “PeePeeSimians” anyway?) featuring cry-baby Carl angsting over Florida Congressman Jeff Miller’s current declaration that he never agreed to meet with Carl and Zullo to let them present all the “forgery fraud case” lies in person.

    Some of you may recall that both of these two-legged threats to rational use of the English Language, met with Miller’s Staff and afterwards Carl assured his dependent hoard that the staff appeared to agree with their accusatory presentation.

    Ha Ha Ha!

    Just more of the empty promises we have come to expect from Carl and Mike, who evidently attended the James Corsi school of conspiracy-related book hyping.

    Carl doesn’t hesitate to appeal to the stupidest haters he can find, but no matter how stupid they are, most of them see themselves drifting into an event where a publicly issued photo could tie them to these two idiots, and recover soon enough to run for the Hill, as if to say, “Carl and Mike, okay – we’re not THAT stupid.”

  50. avatar
    Kiwiwriter August 19, 2013 at 5:26 pm #

    helen:

    Now he can sign it on matters under discussion ,or in process, but he could not sign it on why the dog was flown to his vacation spot.

    I’m fed up with this “dog was flown” nonsense. This particular lie dates back to 1943, when the Republican Party accused President Franklin D. Roosevelt of sending a US Navy destroyer to an Aleutian island in wartime and at taxpayer expense to pick up his Scotty Fala from an island where he had supposedly been left behind by the White House staff.

    FDR gave a hilarious demolition of this lie a few days after it surfaced, about how he wasn’t upset, but the dog was.

    Since then, every time a Democratic President has gone on the road, someone has dusted off the story about Fala and updated it for present consumption, to make it appear that the sitting Democratic President is an Oriental despotic tyrant who cares nothing for the costs of his administration and has the uttermost contempt for the ordinary American, and the dog is central to the scandal.

    Every bloody time.

    Well, the fact is, the Obama dog couldn’t fly with the family for logistical reasons. The Obama plane was too small to accommodate the dog crate. So the dog did not travel all by himself in a government plane — he went up in a larger plane, along with Obama staffers, their luggage, and their working kit. Dog, aides, luggage. All together. The same plane. So I don’t see the waste or despotism here, unless you think the President shouldn’t have his staff fly with him on “vacations,” which, as far I as have been able to study in American history, haven’t been too relaxing for presidents since Calvin Coolidge could take naps in the White House.

    This is trivial, Helen. This is grinding your penknife of hatred and loathing of that horrible Democratic half-black man with the Arab name in the White House. It has nothing to do with anything, including the contents of Obama’s birth certificate. It’s recycling an old lie to burnish hatred and loathing.

    Sorry, Helen. You’re just another troll. D-minus. Try again.

  51. avatar
    Kiwiwriter August 19, 2013 at 5:37 pm #

    On a more important subject, the Truthers versus the Birthers:

    I have seen both left-wing and right-wing Truthers. Interestingly, they blame the same targets: large corporations, the CIA, the Bush family, the oil companies, and Larry Silverstein. They both insist on a grand cover-up, they both insist the WTC buildings were filled up with dynamite and that the hijacks were “false flags” and massive cover-ups are in place. They have difficulty accounting for where the airline passengers and crew were taken to be massacred and their bodies disposed of.

    The BIG difference between the right-wing truthers and the left-wing truthers is that the right-wing truthers blame everybody’s favorite whipping boy: the Jews. According to the right-wingers, the whole blast was an Israeli-Zionist plot (with the Masons, the Jesuits, the Bilderbergers, and the Tri-Lateralists thrown in) to involve the US in expensive and ruinous wars that will fatten the wallets of the Jewish bankers and enable Satan to take over the world.

    The left-wing truthers, whose dialectic is closer to Marx and Mao, eschew religious and supernatural explanations for their conspiracy elements, and are a little quieter about being anti-Semitic than the right-wing truthers. Left-wing truthers know that Jews and gays were gassed along with Communists by the Nazis, so they don’t like to spout neo-Nazi theories. They hate Zionism, they hate big corporations, they hate banks, but they don’t hate Jews…they regard religion as the opiate of the masses.

    More importantly, a chunk of left-wingers ARE Jewish, and bloody well know that there is no Jewish conspiracy.

    The left-wing truthers see 9/11 as the prelude to a Fascist takeover of the United States among their other penknives, whereas the the right-wing truthers see a Jewish-Satanic-Communist takeover being planned…along with that horrible New World Order.

    I know it seems ridiculous, but some of these neo-Nazis do believe the Communists and big corporations work hand-in-hand. Tom Metzger posited that the big corporations support illegal immigration through left-wing politics so that they can hire cheap labor and strikebreakers.

    Trying to decipher these conspiracy theories requires an understanding of a simple concept: the exact players and ideologies don’t matter to the conspiracy theorist. What matters is that there is a grand conspiracy, they’re all in it together, it’s been going on since medieval times, and the object is the total destruction of the world. If that’s the case, the conspirators have been doing a bloody fatuous job. The world’s still rolling along.

  52. avatar
    Scott Sommers August 21, 2013 at 11:12 am #

    Doc, thank you for the citation. I haven’t read through all the comments, so I’m flying by the seat of my pants here. I’m a naturally-born Canadian. Having only 2 viable political parties in the USA means that all kinds of people get attached to one party or another. In terms of candidates and elected representatives who have endorsed conspiracy theories, there is no comparison between the Democrats and the Republicans. In contrast to the dozens and dozens, maybe hundreds, of elected Republicans who have publicly endorsed conspiracy theories of every sort, I have been unable to find any Democrats. As I put it in my blog post ‘Republicans Who Are Birthers’,
    “…the only significant Democrats I am aware of who have publicly endorsed a 9/11 conspiracy theory are Cynthia McKinney, who served six terms in the United States House of Representatives for the Democrats, and Van Jones, who was Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. McKinney is now completely ostracized from the Democrats and has recently appeared on stage endorsing an American patriot group that promotes chemtrails and global weather engineering. Jones was fired from his position after it was disclosed that in 2004, he had signed a 911Truth.org petition calling for a new 9/11 investigation.”

    I’ll say it again, I have been unable to find even one other elected Democrat who has publicly endorsed a conspiracy theory of any kind. I’m not saying there aren’t any. But I haven’t been able to find them, and I’ve looked.

  53. avatar
    Arthur August 21, 2013 at 12:40 pm #

    Scott Sommers: I’ll say it again, I have been unable to find even one other elected Democrat who has publicly endorsed a conspiracy theory of any kind. I’m not saying there aren’t any. But I haven’t been able to find them, and I’ve looked.

    The connection between irrational conspiratorial thinking and party allegiance is an interesting topic. Although now it’s almost inconceivable to imagine, at one time, leading conservatives worked actively to scrub the Republican party of its lunatic fringe. For example, the editor of the conservative “National Review,” Rich Lowry, recalls that William F. Buckley’s goal was to upscale the respectability of the conservative movement by purging “the American right of its kooks. He marginalized the anti-Semites, the John Birchers, the nativists and their sort.”

    Unfortunately, “kook-scrubbing” isn’t something that can be done once and then forgotten. The lunatics have come back like a bad penny; moreover, they’re not just yelling from the sidelines, they’ve won seats in the House and Senate. The men and women of the rational wing of the Republican party are few and far between, and no one has the courage to stand up to the loonies.

  54. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 21, 2013 at 2:02 pm #

    I suspect that if you looked at Kennedy assassination conspiracy theories, you would find more.

    Scott Sommers: I’ll say it again, I have been unable to find even one other elected Democrat who has publicly endorsed a conspiracy theory of any kind. I’m not saying there aren’t any. But I haven’t been able to find them, and I’ve looked.

  55. avatar
    Arthur August 21, 2013 at 2:32 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: I suspect that if you looked at Kennedy assassination conspiracy theories, you would find more.

    Wikipedia has a summary of Kennedy assassination conspiracy theories. In the long list of people who have advanced conspiracies surrounding Kennedy’s death, I don’t find any Democratic politicians, in office or out, who have written books on the subject or given support to them. There may be some, but they aren’t mentioned.

  56. avatar
    JPotter August 21, 2013 at 3:33 pm #

    Arthur: I don’t find any Democratic politicians, in office or out, who have written books on the subject or given support to them. There may be some, but they aren’t mentioned.

    Soros scrubbed them.

    The overall correlation is between extremism and conspiratorial thinking, not with party affiliation. Extremism leads to paranoia leads to persecution complex. You can find the same on the left and the right. Particularly if you go all the way around the bend to where the left and right touch 😉

    Conservatives /= Republican nor does liberal = Democrat. Those associations ebb and flow. As do the balance of moderates and extremists in each party.

    Obviously, Conservatives have been eating up the Republican party for a long, long time, and at an accelerating pace. And extremism is on the rise amongst conservatives. What’s new is the massive block of groupthink absorbing and professing a common body of orthodoxy. A massive collection of memes as liturgy. Appearing and proliferating faster and faster.

    Fringes groups used to be isolated and varied. Never so conglomerated, drawing the middle toward the fringe through sheer mass. Question is, will this black hole like growth continue to entrench, or dissipate?

  57. avatar
    Rickey August 21, 2013 at 4:49 pm #

    Arthur: Wikipedia has a summary of Kennedy assassination conspiracy theories. In the long list of people who have advanced conspiracies surrounding Kennedy’s death, I don’t find any Democratic politicians, in office or out, who have written books on the subject or given support to them. There may be some, but they aren’t mentioned.

    The one I can think of is Mark Lane, who served one term as a Democratic New York Assemblyman in the early sixties. I have no idea if Lane is still a Democrat.

  58. avatar
    Dr Kenneth Noisewater August 21, 2013 at 5:10 pm #

    Suranis: And Bush the Lesser played so much Golf that he put his Knee out and his doctors told him to give it up 5 years into his Presidency, at which point he said he was giving up Golf “for the troops.

    Speaking of which I just received a picture from a colleague who was playing golf with George W. Bush this week.

  59. avatar
    Arthur August 21, 2013 at 5:16 pm #

    JPotter: The overall correlation is between extremism and conspiratorial thinking, not with party affiliation. Extremism leads to paranoia leads to persecution complex.

    You may be right. If you are, I’d say that the current extremism was nurtured by the rise of conservative talk radio.

  60. avatar
    donna August 21, 2013 at 6:28 pm #

    Arthur: I’d say that the current extremism was nurtured by the rise of conservative talk radio.

    “nurtured”, NO, talk radio and fox are merely the megaphones

    remember, roe v wade was 1973

    One member of the New Right, Republican Strategist Paul Weyrich, founded the Heritage Foundation in 1973 — a think tank to promote the ideas of the New Right. Weyrich also founded ALEC, The American Legislative Exchange Council in 1973 to coordinate the work of Religious Right state legislators. ALEC initially positioned itself as a counterweight to liberal foundations and think tanks, focusing on social issues like abortion and the Equal Rights Amendment, but became a magnet for corporate lobbyists.

    In 1979 Weyrich coined the term “Moral Majority.” Their goal was to politicize members of fundamentalist, Pentecostal and charismatic churches – a constituency that had been basically apolitical.

    Paul Weyrich, speaking in Dallas in 1980, captured the spirit of this new movement. He said,

    “We are talking about Christianizing America. We are talking about simply spreading the gospel in a political context.”

    http://www.theocracywatch.org/taking_over.htm

    In1980, paul weyrich told evangelicals “I don’t want everybody to vote. As a matter of fact our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.”

    2012+ translation: voter-roll purges, overly restrictive voter-IDs, early voting cuts, etc

    stand your ground? ALEC wrote the model legislation

    anti-climate change? ALEC – known by its critics as a “corporate bill mill” – has hit the ground running in 2013, pushing “models bills” mandating the teaching of climate change denial in public school systems. ALEC’s “model bills” are written by and for corporate lobbyists alongside conservative legislators at its annual meetings. ALEC raises much of its corporate funding from the fossil fuel industry, which in turn utilizes ALEC as a key – though far from the only – vehicle to ram through its legislative agenda through in the states.

    the privatization of education? The group behind “Stand Your Ground” laws in a number of states has been mighty busy working to get laws passed in the area of school reform — and the aim has been the privatization of public education.

    That group is the American Legislative Exchange Council, better known as ALEC, which likes to call itself a “nonpartisan public-private partnership” but is actually a corporate-backed enterprise that writes “model legislation” that its membership of nearly 2,000 conservative legislators use in states to pass laws that promote privatization in every part of American life: education, health care, the environment, the economy, etc.

    MORE: http://www.pfaw.org/rww-in-focus/alec-the-voice-of-corporate-special-interests-state-legislatures

    they are a CANCER for which they ALL should be DENIED pain meds

  61. avatar
    Arthur August 21, 2013 at 7:26 pm #

    donna: One member of the New Right, Republican Strategist Paul Weyrich, founded the Heritage Foundation in 1973 — a think tank to promote the ideas of the New Right. Weyrich also founded ALEC, The American Legislative Exchange Council in 1973 to coordinate the work of Religious Right state legislators. ALEC initially positioned itself as a counterweight to liberal foundations and think tanks, focusing on social issues like abortion and the Equal Rights Amendment, but became a magnet for corporate lobbyists.

    Excellent observation about the work of Weyrich. I had no idea that ALEC has been around since the mid ’70s. Thanks for information.

  62. avatar
    donna August 21, 2013 at 10:31 pm #

    Arthur: Excellent observation about the work of Weyrich. I had no idea that ALEC has been around since the mid ’70s. Thanks for information.

    avec plaisir!!!!!

    as a female who loves this country, the thought of a “corporate theocracy” has me jumping out of my skin

  63. avatar
    Arthur August 21, 2013 at 11:13 pm #

    donna: avec plaisir!!!!!

    Do you know what the first Google entry for “avec plaisir” is? A lingerie shop in Toronto that offers “luxury brands of lingerie to discerning shoppers.”

    Donna, are you trying to 50-Shades-of-Grey me?

  64. avatar
    donna August 21, 2013 at 11:35 pm #

    Arthur: Donna, are you trying to 50-Shades-of-Grey me?

    ça me fait rigoler, mon ami!!!!!

    are you shopping?????

  65. avatar
    John Reilly August 22, 2013 at 12:50 am #

    Arthur: Do you know what the first Google entry for “avec plaisir” is? A lingerie shop in Toronto that offers “luxury brands of lingerie to discerning shoppers.”

    Donna, are you trying to 50-Shades-of-Grey me?

    Isn’t that near where Senator Cruz was born? Do you think there is a connection?

  66. avatar
    Arthur August 22, 2013 at 2:05 am #

    donna: are you shopping?????

    I do most of my shopping at REI. If you’re into a nice chambray skort that wicks moisture, dries quickly, and comes with 50+ UPF protection and liner shorts that offer light compression, staying comfortable no matter the temperature, let’s talk. We can hike the Ice Age Trail and hunt Asperges sauvages.

  67. avatar
    Arthur August 22, 2013 at 2:07 am #

    John Reilly: Isn’t that near where Senator Cruz was born? Do you think there is a connection?

    Now that you mention it, there’s something about the way Cruz talks that makes me think he’d rather like to be fitted for a corset.

  68. avatar
    Keith August 22, 2013 at 4:25 am #

    Kiwiwriter: They have difficulty accounting for where the airline passengers and crew were taken to be massacred and their bodies disposed of.

    That brings up a simile between truthers and birthers.

    1) If all the information on the ‘forged’ birth certificate is the same as the information in the Hawai’i DoH files, as verified by the DoH many times over; why forge the certificate? Why fake it when doing it for real is far, far easier. ?

    2) If the 9/11 events involved the faking of crashes of four rather large commercial passenger airplanes and the blowing up of buildings that required some pretty high tech holograms, disguising a cruise missile to look like a passenger plane, and installing high explosives when the buildings were constructed, and the disappearance of hundreds of passengers who then have to be kept silent essentially for eternity (so murdered after the fact then?); why not just actually crash the planes into the buildings? Why fake it when doing it for real is far, far easier.

  69. avatar
    Keith August 22, 2013 at 4:32 am #

    Arthur: William F. Buckley’s goal was to upscale the respectability of the conservative movement by purging “the American right of its kooks. He marginalized the anti-Semites, the John Birchers, the nativists and their sort.”

    Unfortunately, “kook-scrubbing” isn’t something that can be done once and then forgotten. The lunatics have come back like a bad penny;

    100% spot on.

    The TEA Party is the 21st Century reincarnation of the John Birch Society. The remaining stump of the JBS begs to differ, but they are just butt-hurt that they aren’t relevant anymore (as if they ever were).

    Both were started and funded by the Koch Family. Both espouse the same platform. Both spout the same rhetoric. Both are racist and borderline fascist. Neither has any respect for the Constitution or American institutions.

  70. avatar
    misha marinsky August 22, 2013 at 8:38 am #

    Kiwiwriter: So I don’t see the waste or despotism here

    I just flew coast-to-coast, and had Angel and Max with me in the passenger cabin. Total cost, round trip: $250.

    Scott Sommers: Having only 2 viable political parties in the USA means that all kinds of people get attached to one party or another.

    We don’t have a parliament, and are locked into a 2-party system. It’s devolved into tribalism.

    Keith: Both are racist and borderline fascist.

    donna: In1980, paul weyrich told evangelicals “I don’t want everybody to vote. As a matter of fact our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.”

    The unholy alliance of neocons and evangelicals. I’m looking at you, Orly.

  71. avatar
    misha marinsky August 22, 2013 at 8:49 am #

    Arthur: Buckley’s goal was to upscale the respectability of the conservative movement by purging “the American right of its kooks.

    Buckley has died, the kooks are back, and are here to stay.

  72. avatar
    The Magic M August 22, 2013 at 11:30 am #

    Keith: Why fake it when doing it for real is far, far easier.

    Because “doing it for real” wouldn’t require a massive conspiracy that is nigh-omnipotent. And without the belief in a nigh-omnipotent cabal of people, conspiracy believers would have to face the fact many things in everyday life (from today’s gas price to natural disasters) are totally outside human control, leaving them with a feeling of fear and desperation.

    The one motive behind conspiracy belief is that “man is the master of his fate” in the most extreme sense of the word. Because obviously God doesn’t bother whether millions die.
    But if man has the power to stop a tsunami or an earthquake, nobody would have to die if only the “right” people came to power.
    Conspiracy believers are many things, but most of all they’re scared shootless.

  73. avatar
    Arthur August 23, 2013 at 1:30 pm #

    Arthur: The men and women of the rational wing of the Republican party are few and far between, and no one has the courage to stand up to the loonies.

    Is Salon reading my posts? Doubtful. I think we’re just seeing the same things.

    “Tom Coburn, Ted Cruz and other crackpots can’t stand up to their base and face reality. Can this party ever change?”

    http://www.salon.com/2013/08/23/party_of_wackadoos_the_delusional_impeachment_crusade/