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Archive | June, 2015

Clueless Cruz comments: Hillary started the birther movement

In an interview with Katie Couric, Ted Cruz repeats the oft-heard, and oft-debunked Internet rumor that Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign started the birther movement.

You know it’s interesting, the whole Birther thing was started by the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2008  against Barack Obama.

— Ted Cruz

The interview was at Yahoo News, and reported by Brietbart News. For the real story, see Loren Collins’ “The Secret Origin of the Birthers.”

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Obama eulogizes slain South Carolina senator

I want to take another point of personal privilege to talk about something that I feel very connected to. As most of you know, I live in South Carolina and have done so longer than anywhere else. Perhaps a little less well known is that the alleged Charleston church shooter, Dylann Roof, was a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, of the same denomination to which I belong (I don’t know if he was active), and that two of the victims of that shooting were graduates of the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, South Carolina (I am a life member of that seminary’s Auxiliary). The presiding bishop of my national church, Elizabeth Eaton, was scheduled to be at the funeral today of one of the victims, the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, who was also a South Carolina state senator. Bishop Eaton said last week:

The suspected shooter (Dylann Roof) is a member of an ELCA congregation. All of a sudden and for all of us, this is an intensely personal tragedy. One of our own is alleged to have shot and killed two who adopted us as their own.

I am thankful for the circumstances that let me hear some of President Obama’s eulogy for Senator Pinckney. Temperatures were around 98 degrees when the Habit for Humanity build crew decided to pack up a little early because of the heat. When I got in my car the radio was tuned as it always is to South Carolina Educational Radio, and the President’s speech was in progress live.

I though his remarks were in places profound, in places moving, and wholly directed at a message of reconciliation. Some on the extreme right think Obama is a Muslim, but maybe they have never heard him sing “Amazing Grace” as he did today in a talk couched in the terms of Christian grace and God working through horrific events. Some say  that he promotes political division based on race, but you cannot find a trace of that in today’s eulogy—he spoke of the forgiveness expressed by the families of the victims and he even praised Republican South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley for her actions in the wake of the Charleston tragedy. This is what good people do in response to grief and loss.

So I am sharing the funeral video with you. Obama’s talk starts an hour and 22 minutes in.

Montgomery demands ACLU off the Melendres case

I did not see this one coming.

Dennis Montgomery has renewed his motion to intervene in the case of Melendres v. Arpaio and for the pro hac vice admission of his attorney Jonathan Mosley in a plea for reconsideration before judge G. Murray Snow. Nothing interesting there, but an attachment to the motion, and the “new information” Montgomery represents as being vital to the reconsideration, contains a memorandum from Larry Klayman to the ACLU demanding that they withdraw as counsel for the Plaintiffs.

The grounds for this demand is “conflict of interest.” Montgomery says that he consulted with the ACLU in 2013 and 2014 about his “legal circumstances.” The ACLU, of course, is not representing Montgomery now, and it seems hard to understand what the conflict of interest is, except that Montgomery claims to have shared confidential information with the ACLU. But, but, but, Montgomery is not even a party to the lawsuit, although he is trying to become one.

Another part of the demand for withdrawal by the ACLU is the curious claim that the ACLU “repeatedly” threatened prosecution of Montgomery. I am struggling here what possible justification exists for this claim. Nothing in the record suggests that the Montgomery did anything against Melendres or the ACLU. What charges could the possibly assert against Montgomery?

I guess this is just another delaying tactic. Heck, it might even be

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In a final stroke of irony, Klayman concludes the letter to the ACLU:

In my entire career as an attorney, as founder of the legal ethics groups Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch, I have never seen a violation of professional ethics and the fiduciary duty between attorney and client of this magnitude and scope.

Says the man who has repeatedly sued Judicial Watch.

The ephemeral nature of the birther movement

It should be obvious that I’m largely out of things to blog about. I mean, look at the attention I’m giving Cody Judy, the kind of coverage that would have been reserved for someone like Orly Taitz just a few years ago. About the only thing going on is the Arpaio trial(s) in Arizona that give a little hope for some birther content.

If the 612 broken hyperlinks (still!) on this web site are any indication, and I think they are, a great deal of Internet birther content now exists only on the Wayback Machine. Birther Report is still going strong, but that’s about it. Orly Taitz hardly mentions birther stuff any more. I can’t remember when the last birther lawsuit was filed. Come my retirement in 2017, we’ll see if there is anything left.