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Archive | August, 2016

Informed Republicans are birthers too

This is the counterintuitive conclusion of an NBC News poll released today. The poll first shows stark differences between Democrats and Republicans when it comes to beliefs about where Barack Obama was born. More than 80% of Democrats say Obama was born in the US, compared to 27% on the Republican side. (Even that number for Democrats is disturbing to me.)

We’ve always understood that the birther demographic was inversely related to education level and skewed towards older Southern white males. The NBC poll probed how well informed the respondents were, and surprisingly found no significant difference in birther beliefs between Republican respondents who were called “politically knowledgeable” based on answering some factual political questions correctly and those who did not. I think the methodology of finding knowledgeable respondents is pretty sloppy. One of the three questions is about whether the US deficit is higher now than it was in the 90’s. Any Republican would say that it was higher, whether it actually was or not. I got 98% on the citizenship test, but I couldn’t answer that question for sure. [The deficit in the last full federal fiscal year, 2015, was $439 billion. The average deficit in the 1990’s was $134 billion, lower largely because of the surpluses under Clinton. The deficit now is lower than it was in the 1980s.]

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Birther attorney: Wrongful deaths in Benghazi

I was on the Google News site just now and saw that the parents of two persons killed in the 2012 attack on a US facility in Benghazi were bringing a defamation and wrongful death lawsuit against Hillary Clinton. I skimmed the story at the NBC News web site, and wrote a comment on the article, saying:

This lawsuit is a publicity stunt. Any competent lawyer would advise that the plaintiffs have no chance of showing a direct causal link between Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server and the deaths in Benghazi. Without that link, plaintiffs have no standing, and the case will be dismissed.

I patted myself on the back for having learned about standing as part of my avocation of debunking birthers. But then I thought for a minute, and said to myself: “this sounds like Larry Klayman.” I went back to the article and read to the end. It was indeed Larry Klayman representing the parents.

The complaint itself uses misleading language to imply that Secretary Clinton’s email was compromised by foreign governments, and that information in emails obtained by those governments made its way into the hands of terrorists and that this somehow enabled the Benghazi attacks. In fact, the references in the complaint do not show any of this, including any support for the claim that Clinton’s email server was compromised in he first place.

The second count of the complaint is defamation. Klayman says Clinton called his clients liars; however, in all of the quotations in the complaint, Clinton never calls them liars, but only provides a different account of her meeting with them. The worst Clinton says is that they were “wrong.”

It’s a wholly frivolous, and likely politically motivated lawsuit and it is:

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Trending: Trump’s contributions to NAMBLA

I really liked the Daily Beast article about this question because it shows how this latest Internet saturation bombing of Donald Trump about his tax returns on social media is the same kind of stuff Trump used against Obama in 2011-12 and against Hillary Clinton now, just not automated. The article is about smears, not Trump’s actual charitable donations, which of late are a deep, dark secret (why?).

One significant reason I publish this article is to increase the association of Trump and NAMBLA on Internet search engines. I do not mean to encourage people to believe that Trump actually contributed to NAMBLA. I really don’t know what he’s contributed to in recent years, but you know what they say about men with small hands.

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Donald Trump: Birther by proxy

Donald Trump was a vocal birther back in 2011, the year Obama humiliated him at the White House Press Correspondents Dinner after releasing his birth certificate to the press. Still, Trump persisted, at least on Twitter:

Now Trump doesn’t talk so much about that, but oddly some folks around him still do (and Hillary Clinton certainly has not forgotten).

The first was former Trump campaign manager Cory Lewandowski who threw out a variant of the 2009 April Fools joke (no longer a joke when people still believe it on April 2) that Obama went to college as a foreign student. The original version had him as a foreign student at Occidental College and Lewandowski has substituted Harvard. That myth plays to xenophobic bias in people that believe that foreigners get into college ahead of them—which is demonstrably not the case. You can read the full story at the New York Times.

Now Trump’s campaign chair for New York, Carl Paladino, said that most folks are convinced Obama is a Muslim, and he says that Obama is “not a Christian.” That story was covered by several news outlets including the Huffington Post. Readers here may remember that Paladino was the Thrifty car rental franchise owner who in 2012 put “Vote for the AMERICAN” bumper stickers on his rentals. While Paladino defended his actions by saying Obama just acted un-American, it was uncovered that Paladino had tweeted support for a fake Kenyan birth certificate for Obama and forwarded birther emails.

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Trump v. Corsi: Who is lying?

Mother Jones reported this story way back in 2011. That was a rough year for Trump’s credibility, the year he said he talked to Putin (but recently said he had never met or talked to Putin) and the year he said that if he ran for President he would release his net worth statement.

Also in 2011, Jerome Corsi stated that Donald Trump had told him that he had gotten his own computer expert to look at Obama’s birth certificate, and that the expert concluded that it was computer-generated (a Xerox Workcentre 7655 multifunction office machine is a computer of sorts). Corsi described the conversation in more detail in an interview with Alex Jones,  but Trump claims that he never discussed this topic with Corsi, and the only conversation he had with Corsi was to wish him well on his new book (which Trump says he hadn’t read). More recent revelations from WorldNetDaily publisher Joseph Farah as reported in the New York Times suggest that Trump reached out to Farah and Corsi on a continuing basis.

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Birther advisor to birther presidential candidate Donald Trump cites birther source to attack bereaved military family

People who watched the Democratic National Convention were no doubt moved after the speech by the Khan family, who lost a son fighting in Afghanistan. They are Muslims. I suppose one of the reasons that they were asked to appear was to bridge the gap between Muslim Americans and others, demonstrating that we are all patriotic Americans.

Donald Trump, of course, has been in the forefront of anti-Muslim rhetoric and this story of unity does not sit well with his own theme of fear peddling against Muslims, so characteristically he said something bigoted, suggesting that Mrs. Khan didn’t speak because as a Muslim she wasn’t allowed to. It’s not true, of course, evidenced by the fact  that Mrs. Khan spoke in other venues about her son. Trump could have found that out before making his cruel remark, but that’s not his style.

That would have been the end of the story, and none of this would have appeared on this blog, except that the story didn’t end at that, but turned birther. The progressive web site Think Progress reports that Trump veteran affairs adviser Al Baldasaro tweeted:

Read the truth about your hero, Mr Khan who used his son as Political Pawn.

And that tweet linked to a web site, but more about that later. First, who is Al Baldasaro?

Al Baldasaro has comfortably sat on my Birthers from A to Z list since the election challenges in 2012 when New Hampshire representative Baldasaro took part in a ballot challenge, supporting no less than Orly Taitz in her claim that Obama was not eligible to be president.

Now for that link Baldasaro tweeted. It goes to a page at shoebat.com with a headline that claims Mr. Khan is an agent of the Muslim Brotherhood. The only evidence that is presented to support that claim is that Mr. Khan once lived in the United Arab Emirates. By that logic, I guess Donald Trump is also a member of the Muslim Brotherhood by virtue of his UAE business partners.

The site also claims that attorney Khan is trying to promote Sharia law in the United States because he has written scholarly articles about it. I suppose that every Christian who writes about Mosaic law is trying to bring back stoning for adultery, according to that logic.

The shoebat.com article was written in part by Walid Shoebat. Shoebat claims to be a former Islamic terrorist, converted to Christianity, who is an expert on terrorism. A CNN investigation found problems in the frequent right-wing commentator’s claim that he had ever been a terrorist. In any case, he is a birther as I documented in my article from 2011.

So it’s the three birthers, doing what birthers do: slandering the innocent.

H/t: Justlw.

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