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Someone takes credit for starting the birther movement, finally!

While birthers like Donald Trump try to rewrite history insofar as their role in making birthersism what it is today, Southern Baptist pastor and erstwhile presidential candidate Wiley Drake displays a refreshing candor regarding his role, and at the worst he is doing no more than padding his resume a bit.

I credit Phillip Berg of Pennsylvania with filing the foundational lawsuit challenging Obama’s eligibility to be president, August 21, 2008. It was Berg who popularized the “Grandmother Tape” and turned Internet rumors into a federal lawsuit. Drake, along with Alan Keys and persistent tweeter Markham Robinson, filed suit in California, assisted by attorneys Orly Taitz and Gary Kreep, but not until January of 2009, minutes after Obama had already taken office and whatever standing a presidential candidate had to challenge Obama had evaporated the moment they were no longer a candidate in any sense of the word. Still Drake played a role and probably the most important thing he did was to provide the venue where Orly Taitz burst upon the scene as the queen of the birthers.

Baptist News writer Bob Allen tells Drake’s story in a deadpan style.

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44 Responses to Someone takes credit for starting the birther movement, finally!

  1. avatar
    brygenon October 6, 2016 at 4:08 am #

    Turing internet nonsense into federal lawsuits was what Phil Berg did for a living. In 2003 and 2004, years before the birther thing, Berg copied many of the whack-job theories around the 2001 September 11 attacks into his RICO complaints in Mariani v. Bush and Rodriguez v. Bush. He had no chance in court, and having been an actual attorney he pretty well had to know it, but he pitched his efforts to the crank community in an effort to solicit donations.

  2. avatar
    john October 6, 2016 at 9:02 am #

    Does anyone know if Phil Berg is supporting Hillary or Trump? Berg says he’s lifelong Democrat but it’s hard to believe he would vote for Hillary if he had no love for Obama in the first place.

  3. avatar
    Reality Check October 6, 2016 at 11:38 am #

    1. Why does it matter?

    2. Phil Berg’s political leanings are so far right of either President Obama or Hillary Clinton it is unlikely he would ever support Clinton.

    john:
    Does anyone know if Phil Berg is supporting Hillary or Trump? Berg says he’s lifelong Democrat but it’s hard to believe he would vote for Hillary if he had no love for Obama in the first place.

  4. avatar
    Rickey October 6, 2016 at 12:33 pm #

    Does anyone know (or remember) how Taitz got hooked up with Keyes, Drake and Robinson? It’s had to conceive that they sought her out, since her law practice apparently was limited to defending herself in dental malpractice cases. Drake is in Orange County, so I’m guessing that Orly saw something about Drake birthing and she then approached him.

    Speaking of Orly, I wonder if she is planning to make a prediction on December 22.

  5. avatar
    Rickey October 6, 2016 at 12:39 pm #

    john:
    Does anyone know if Phil Berg is supporting Hillary or Trump? Berg says he’s lifelong Democrat but it’s hard to believe he would vote for Hillary if he had no love for Obama in the first place.

    Berg claimed that he was a Hillary supporter in 2008, but it may just have been that he was anti-Obama and she was the only Democratic alternative.

    Incidentally, Nate Silver says that as of today Hillary has a 78% chance of beating Trump.

  6. avatar
    bob October 6, 2016 at 2:07 pm #

    john:
    Does anyone know if Phil Berg is supporting Hillary or Trump? Berg says he’s lifelong Democrat but it’s hard to believe he would vote for Hillary if he had no love for Obama in the first place.

    If you had bothered to read the link, you would know that Berg had registered as a Republican and voted for Trump in the primary. And he intends to vote for Trump next month.

    You’re welcome.

  7. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy October 6, 2016 at 5:20 pm #

    WND has an article that describes Orly Taitz’s entry into the California lawsuit. It was Alan Keyes that brought in Gary Kreep. Later there was some sort of a disagreement and some plaintiffs went with Kreep and some with Taitz (see: http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/2009/08/the-perils-of-orly-episode-21-orly-loses-a-client/)

    I have a vague recollection of something different, but I find no documentation to support it.

    Rickey: Does anyone know (or remember) how Taitz got hooked up with Keyes, Drake and Robinson?

  8. avatar
    Dave B. October 6, 2016 at 5:39 pm #

    Phil Berg:
    “As soon as possible after the Primary, I will change back to Democrat to try to wake up Democrats as to the disaster that will follow if Hillary is elected as well as the wrong policies of the Democratic Party; and become a leader in Democrats for Trump.
    Donald J. Trump is the answer that the citizens of the United States need to “Make America Great Again.””

    http://www.obamacrimes.com/p/latest-press-release.html

    john:
    Does anyone know if Phil Berg is supporting Hillary or Trump? Berg says he’s lifelong Democrat but it’s hard to believe he would vote for Hillary if he had no love for Obama in the first place.

  9. avatar
    gorefan October 6, 2016 at 5:57 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: have a vague recollection of something different, but I find no documentation to support it.

    I think NBC’s old site use to have a lot of info on the Kreep/Taitz feud.

  10. avatar
    RanTalbott October 7, 2016 at 7:27 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy: I have a vague recollection of something different, but I find no documentation to support it.

    If WorldNutDaily says something different, that’s prima facie evidence that your recollection is correct 😉

  11. avatar
    RanTalbott October 7, 2016 at 7:32 am #

    Dave B.: I will change back to Democrat to try to wake up Democrats

    So, his theory is that other Democrats will look at him, say “If that’s a Democrat, there must be something wrong with being one”, and switch parties?

  12. avatar
    Sef October 7, 2016 at 1:18 pm #

    Dave B.: “As soon as possible after the Primary, I will change back to Democrat

    That’s why NY state requires primaries to be only for those registered in the party having the primary, party caucuses requiring sign in for the party and party registration change not to be effective until after the general election. Other states may be different.

  13. avatar
    Dave B. October 7, 2016 at 6:29 pm #

    Trump’s trying to get some birther on McCain:
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/10/06/donald-trump-s-corporate-biography-claims-john-mccain-was-a-birther.html

  14. avatar
    Dave B. October 7, 2016 at 6:33 pm #

    Meanawhile, Cruz wants everybody to forget about birthers altogether.
    http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/ted-cruz-birther-questions-presidential-debate-229295

  15. avatar
    Voice of Reason October 7, 2016 at 8:27 pm #

    If I recall correctly, Phil Berg was a Ron Paul supporter for years before he temporarily jumped to Hillary in 2008.

  16. avatar
    Cody Robert Judy October 8, 2016 at 10:15 am #

    Dave B.:
    Trump’s trying to get some birther on McCain:
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/10/06/donald-trump-s-corporate-biography-claims-john-mccain-was-a-birther.html

    It’s interesting to notice U.S. Senate Resolution 511 ( co-sponsored by Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen Barack Obama )submitted April 10th and passed April 30th, 2008 that was an over-reach of the authorization of [uniform rule of naturalization] Art. I. Section 8, C- 4 powers even declared to Congress in the Constitution, is not emphasised as anecdotal evidence of McCain and Hillary and Obama being on the same Team.

    The whole reason McCain was opposed to sniffing Obama out as unqualified was based in fact by his own Foreign Sovereignty of Panama birth. Panama was definitely not part or included as a State in the Union of the United States of America.

    Isn’t it a fascinating comb-over of history that Berg’s case cited as filed August 21, 2008 whose lawsuit was dismissed for lack of standing is regarded on this Blog and Wiki pages of Ineligibility Historical note, but the first law suit with Presidential Candidate filing against Presidential Candidate was :

    Judy v. MCCain filed Sept. 3, 2008.

    https://dockets.justia.com/docket/nevada/nvdce/2:2008cv01162/61642

    Indeed, the Keyes v. Obama Case is also noticed as being filed January 2009 after the decision in Judy v. McCain wherein a Federal Judge basically dictated that “to the winner go the spoils” and the defense of damages due to ineligibility.

    The lesson is Obama was not even the first Candidate to be picked on as ineligible totally dismissing any “racist” claim against the first “black president” as Hillary Clinton Recites as stump.

    Why don’t Fact Checkers get busy and prove themselves worthy of salt, by consultation of the Federal Record? Because the actual Record doesn’t fit their racial agenda of division. .that’s why.

    Why Megan McCain’s Tweet her father was first included as Foreign to the Office of President in Federal Court with a Presidential Candidate as Plaintiff really underscores the complicity of building the infrastructure of modern Racism by Republicans or Ego. You can choose which it is.

    But, J. McCain had H. Clinton and B. Obama in his corner for reasons long before Law Suits were filed and contrary to Powers enumerated in the Constitution while they were all in the U.S. Senate. Congress was never granted, and wisely recognized also as a moot body to nature and Nature’s Laws, power to fabricate [ natural born Citizen] ie. Born in the U.S. to U.S. Citizen Parents.

    As for Phil Berg’s vote?

    Isn’t that the biggest fear of Hillary Clinton Democrats who recognize Donald Trump gave to her Senatorial Campaign as well her Clinton Foundation as well was invited and attended Donald Trump’s wedding?

    Isn’t Donald Trump just an under-cover Democrat? How far does Phil have to go off the Democratic Party reservation?

    The Question answered with facts.. not far. Especially given Hillary Clinton’s own support for border barriers and you might as well go into her rejection of TPP, the Pipeline and even her estrangement from same-sex marriage of YouTube Record.

    Hillary’s own Record bears out you don’t know for sure what she’s supporting because she’s got a Public and a Private Agenda for the Public.

    Guessing which is which is a dance of guessing and that’s the way politicians build their own wealth dancing kind of a disco pointing their fingers while landing in different directions till they get elected and re elected.

  17. avatar
    Sef October 8, 2016 at 11:46 am #

    Cody Robert Judy:

    tl;dr

  18. avatar
    Sam the Centipede October 8, 2016 at 12:10 pm #

    Sef: tl;dr

    However short Judy’s hateful nonsense is, it isn’t worth reading. Cody, Nancy and John make an unholy trinity of idiocy.

  19. avatar
    Notorial Dissent October 8, 2016 at 1:14 pm #

    Cody Robert Judy

    tl:dr:dc

  20. avatar
    Joey October 8, 2016 at 4:26 pm #

    Cody Robert Judy has forgotten that Senate Resolution 511 was a non-binding resolution. It was symbolic only.

    A simple resolution is a legislative measure passed by only the Senate or the House. As simple resolutions have been passed by only one house, they are not presented to the President, and they do not have the force of law. A simple resolution is used for matters such as establishing the rules under which each body will operate. This type of resolution is used to act or speak on behalf of only one chamber of Congress.

  21. avatar
    Joey October 8, 2016 at 4:42 pm #

    The first Natural Born Citizen lawsuit of the 2008 election season:
    Hollander v McCain
    Case Information
    Date Filed / Ended: March 14, 2008 / July 25, 2008
    State: New Hampshire
    Issue: Candidate Eligibility
    Courts that Heard this Case: U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire (Case 1:08-cv-00099)

    Issue:
    Whether Senator John McCain is a “natural born citizen” and eligible to be the President of the United States under the provisions of Article I, Section 2, of the U.S. Constitution.

    Status:
    Complaint filed on 3/14/08. Motion to Dismiss filed on 4/30/08. Hearing on Motion to Dismiss is set for 7/24/08. Motion to Dismiss granted on 7/24 and Judgment for defendant entered on 7/25.
    http://moritzlaw.osu.edu/electionlaw/litigation/hollanderv.mccain.php

  22. avatar
    Rickey October 8, 2016 at 10:47 pm #

    Cody Robert Judy: I

    The whole reason McCain was opposed to sniffing Obama out as unqualified was based in fact by his own Foreign Sovereignty of Panama birth.

    Panama has no claim to sovereignty over McCain. Panama doesn’t even have a record of McCain’s birth because he was born on a U.S. Navy base. Panama had no sovereignty over the Navy base, so it had no sovereignty over McCain.

    The Hay–Bunau-Varilla Treaty of 1903 provided that “The Republic of Panama grants to the United States all the rights, power and authority within the zone mentioned which the United States would possess and exercise if it were the sovereign of the territory within which said lands and waters are located to the entire exclusion of the exercise by the Republic of Panama of any such sovereign rights, power or authority.”

  23. avatar
    Notorial Dissent October 9, 2016 at 6:41 am #

    So, then by action of treaty, McCain WAS, born on US soil.

    Rickey: Panama has no claim to sovereignty over McCain. Panama doesn’t even have a record of McCain’s birth because he was born on a U.S. Navy base. Panama had no sovereignty over the Navy base, so it had no sovereignty over McCain.

    The Hay–Bunau-Varilla Treaty of 1903 provided that “The Republic of Panama grants to the United States all the rights, power and authority within the zone mentioned which the United States would possess and exercise if it were the sovereign of the territory within which said lands and waters are located to the entire exclusion of the exercise by the Republic of Panama of any such sovereign rights, power or authority.”

  24. avatar
    Dave B. October 9, 2016 at 2:02 pm #

    That’s not how either signatory to the treaty sees it. From the State Department:

    “For most nationality purposes, the Canal Zone was considered to be foreign territory.”
    Acquisition of U.S. Nationality in U.S. Territories and Possessions, 7 FAM 1120, 1127.1-3.

    https://fam.state.gov/fam/07fam/07fam1120.html#M1120

    From a 1937 Congressional report on the “Citizenship of Certain Classes of Persons Born in the Canal Zone or Republic of Panama”:

    “The necessity for this legislation is apparent because the citizenship of persons born in the Canal Zone of American parents, has never been defined, either by Constitution, treaty, or congressional enactment. This bill would definitely establish the certain classes entitled to citizenship. The homes of many of the employees of the Government are located adjacent to the Canal Zone, but on the territory of the Republic of Panama. The hospitals managed by Americans under officers of the United States Army, and where the children of employees are born are located on territory of the Republic of Panama. Even children born within the limits of the Zone which is under the jurisdiction of the United States are not citizens.”

    http://prawfsblawg.blogs.com/prawfsblawg/files/hr_751303.pdf

    While that report includes some statements which appear on their face to be contradictory, Congress plainly didn’t intend for the Canal Zone, which was never even considered an outlying possession of the United States, to be considered US soil for purposes of the 14th Amendment. That would’ve made non-white persons born there to alien parents citizens, and Congress wanted none of that.

    Notorial Dissent:
    So, then by action of treaty, McCain WAS, born on US soil.

  25. avatar
    Joey October 9, 2016 at 3:10 pm #

    Since there was never a ruling that Senator McCain was ineligible, I see the “issue” as moot, eight years later.
    In my humble opinion, Original Intent can be gleaned from the Naturalization Act of 1790. The first Congress saw fit to exempt from needing naturalization: “…the children of citizens of the United States that may be born beyond Sea, or 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”. John McCain’s father was both a citizen and was resident in the United States.

    Since the passage of the Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment in 1868, whoever qualifies as a “Citizen of the United States at Birth” under statutory law consistent with “All persons born…” in the 14th Amendment is also considered to be a natural born citizen.
    Current law delineating who is a Citizen of the United States at Birth is found in Title 8, Section 1401 of the U.S. Code (8 U.S.C. § 1401).
    Those who don’t qualify under 8 U.S.C. § 1401 are ineligible for the presidency because they needed naturalization in order to be citizens.
    If someone had produced evidence of a Certificate of Naturalization being issued to Senator McCain,then we’d have something serious to discuss.

    In 1874 the Supreme Court ruled in Minor v Happersett: “The Constitution does not say, in words who shall be natural born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to determine that.” “Elsewhere” has turned out to be the U.S. Code of Laws.

  26. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy October 9, 2016 at 5:15 pm #

    Prof. Jack Chin argued that McCain was not eligible both because the Canal Zone was not an incorporated US Territory and because of a quirk in the law that could be read to say the he could not have taken his father’s’ citizenship. However, the 1937 statute made McCain a citizen at birth retroactively.

    One might also argue that McCain was a natural born citizen by the action of English common law.

    McCain, Cruz and Rubio are interesting cases involving legitimate difference of opinion. My view is that in the face of ambiguity, the voters can vote and the Congress can object.

    Dave B.: That’s not how either signatory to the treaty sees it.

  27. avatar
    Rickey October 9, 2016 at 5:52 pm #

    The treaty made it clear that American children born in the Canal Zone were not Panamanian citizens, but even in the absence of the 1937 statute a good argument could have been been made that Congress never intended that those children should be stateless. Sometimes you have to go beyond the literal text and use some common sense.

  28. avatar
    Dave B. October 9, 2016 at 6:51 pm #

    I think Chin drew his argument from that Congressional report, and it would depend upon a particular strict and literal interpretation of Sec. 1993 of the Revised Statutes:

    “Any child hereafter born out of the limits and jurisdiction of the United States, whose father or mother or both at the time of birth of such child is a citizen of the United States, is declared to be a citizen of the United States: but the rights of citizenship shall not descend to any such child unless the citizen father or citizen mother, as the case may be, has resided in the United States previous to the birth of such child.”

    That interpretation views being out of the limits of the United States, and being out of the jurisdiction of the United States, as two separate and distinct conditions, both of which must independently be satisfied. That’s really kind of silly, and I’ve never seen that interpretation applied to any other place under US jurisdiction, but outside the United States. In 1937, it would’ve been just as applicable to the Philippines, Guam, American Samoa and Guantanamo Bay. That interpretation could’ve also prevented some persons born in Puerto Rico to US citizen parents from acquiring US citizenship at birth.

    The State Department very plainly rejects that interpretation, stating that
    “From February 26, 1904, until August 4, 1937, acquisition of U.S. citizenship by persons born in the Canal Zone was governed by Section 1993, Rev Stat. (see 7 FAM 1135). Thus from February 26, 1904 to May 23, 1934, citizenship was transmitted only to children whose fathers were, at the time of the child’s birth, U.S. citizens who had previously resided in the United States. The original Section 1993, R.S., was amended by Act of May 24, 1934, and made possible transmission of citizenship by either U.S. citizen parent who had previously resided in the United States.”
    7 FAM 1120, 1127.

    https://fam.state.gov/fam/07fam/07fam1120.html#M1120

    From “Nationality Laws of the United States- Message from the President of the United States Transmitting a Report Proposing a Revision and Codification of the Nationality Laws of the United States, Prepared at the Request of the President of the United States, by the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the Secretary of Labor”, submitted to President Roosevelt on June 1, 1938:

    “With reference to the above discussion, it is important to note that the Department of State has heretofore held that children born in the outlying possessions of the United States whose fathers were citizens of the United States and had previously resided in the continental United States or one of the incorporated territories thereof, acquired citizenship of the United States at birth, jure sanguini., under the provision of section 1993 of the Revised Statutes. . . .the provision of section 1993 of the Revised statutes was regarded as supplementary to the common-law rule, confirmed by the fourteenth amendment to the Constitution, under which citizenship of the United States was acquired through the fact of birth in the United States itself, and subject to its jurisdiction. It was believed that the words “and jurisdiction” in section 1993 of the Revised Statutes related only to jurisdiction exercised by the United States within the continental United States and the incorporated territories.”

    Revision and Codification of the Nationality Laws of the United States, Part 1, Sections of the Proposed Code with Explanatory Comments (page 16).
    http://prawfsblawg.blogs.com/files/1940nat-act-comm-print-pt-1a.pdf

    Of course, US nationality law sometimes has outcomes that are downright bizarre. But by the interpretation of the agency responsible for determining his citizenship, McCain was born a US citizen.

    The MAIN reason a special law for the Canal Zone, in which a large permanent US citizen population was envisioned, was viewed as being necessary was precisely because it wasn’t part of the United States. Sec. 1993 made a parent’s residence in the United States prior to the birth a requirement for transmission of citizenship; a US citizen born in the Canal Zone who continued to reside there would not satisfy that requirement, and so could not transmit US citizenship to his or her child also born there. So the statute for US citizenship by descent for persons born in the Canal Zone omits any requirement of residence or physical presence in the US prior to the birth.

    There was also the problem of persons born in hospitals outside the Zone administered by US government agencies, so the statute also omitted any residence or physical presence requirement for persons born anywhere in the Republic of Panama to a parent employed by the US government or the entity then operating the Canal (or its successor). That remains partly in effect to this day.

    A big hole in the law was that US citizens born in Panama or the Canal Zone who continued to reside in the Canal Zone without ever becoming residents of the United States would not have been able to transmit US citizenship to children born anywhere outside the US OTHER than Panama or the Canal Zone.

    Dr. Conspiracy