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Cloward and Piven were from Manchuria?

Alinsky and Cloward and Piven. Oh My!

One of the curious things that I have found in my brushes with birthers and their friends, is an interest in old liberal writings that I had never heard of. Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals is one. Another is the “Cloward–Piven strategy.”

The Cloward–Piven strategy was presented by sociologists and activists Robert Cloward and Frances Fox Piven in 1966 in an article in The Nation, “The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty.” Their strategy was aimed at creating a “guaranteed national income” to replace the welfare system, and this goal was to be attained by overwhelming the existing welfare system through enrollment of everyone who was eligible (they claimed the number of recipients would double). The strategy envisioned the creation of a crisis, particularly in the Democratic Party which was in control of Congress and the presidency at that time by shaking up the coalitions that presently constituted the Party. The action they advocated to make it happen was: “…a massive drive to recruit the poor onto the welfare rolls.”

imageSo from time to time I have seen right-wingers mention Cloward-Piven, and I think I looked it up once and shrugged my shoulders. It’s back again at a little higher level, this time from politician Wayne Allyn Root. Root was been campaigning in Mississippi on behalf of Tea Party Senate candidate Chris McDaniel (who lost in a runoff with Thad Cochran – possible challenge being explored). Mother Jones magazine had extensive coverage of Root’s stump speech. In it, Root says that he and every student at Columbia in 1983 studied Cloward-Piven. Root said he knows this because:

Because I’m Barack Obama’s college classmate, Columbia University class of ’83. And when I was there at Columbia, we all studied a plan called Cloward–Piven

This point is somewhat blunted by Root’s later suggestion that Obama didn’t actually attend Columbia since no one remembers him (not actually true).

Returning to Cloward-Piven, Root characterizes the plan as one to “wipe out America” and to:

… get someone elected president, who looks fantastic, who has a beautiful wife, a beautiful children. A family man. Get him to cut his afro or his long hair, his ponytail. Put on a suit, and then lie to everybody.

There’s nothing like that in Cloward and Piven’s article.

This article inaugurates a new conspiracy category on the blog, “Manchurian Candidate.”

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Where was the “birther vote”?

I have always had doubts about birther poll numbers and found it hard to believe that there are as many birthers as the numbers suggest. I am part of the 25% of Americans who believe that people respond to polls saying Obama is ineligible just for spite and not because they believe it.

I find confirmation for my doubts in the California Attorney General election results. I’m working from two assumptions: 1) almost every birther knows who Orly Taitz is and 2) almost everybody knew that Kamala Harris was going to win big.

If Obama’s eligibility is a big deal, then it seems to me that a significant number of voters would vote for Taitz as a symbolic gesture against Barack Obama. On the other hand, no one in their right mind would vote for Taitz because they think she would make a good attorney general. Indeed, the 3.1% for Taitz may just be the Schadenfreude vote. So at least in California, we can put the birther vote somewhere less than 3.1%, far below polling numbers for birthers.

Birther opposes Jill Pryor judicial confirmation

Jill A. Pryor made her first appearance on this blog in its first month of publication in a reference to her law review paper, “The Natural-Born Citizen Clause and Presidential Eligibility: An Approach for Resolving Two Hundred Years of Uncertainty” – Yale Law Journal 1988. [Readers note that the original hyperlink to Prior’s article has gone stale like so many, and I’ve replaced it from Both the 2008 article and the Citizenship bookmarks link page have been updated.]

The Unslave America blog is campaigning to block Senate approval of her nomination to  the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. The 2012 nomination has been backlogged in the Senate for over two years and only this month received a Senate hearing. The author (presumably Tracy Fair) objects to Pryor’s confirmation because she agrees with the universal opinion of authorities on the topic, that persons like Barack Obama are eligible to be President. UA calls Pryor a “Georgia eligibility case co-conspirator” for her article, written more than 20 years before the Georgia eligibility case.

Please help stop this woman from being appointed to the Federal Appeals Court in Georgia by contacting every member on the Senate Judiciary Committee and letting them know that she is aiding and abetting Obama in covering up his identity and helping to hide the truth that he is not a natural born citizen.

Burning the Constitution

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

A Google alert brought me to the article, “Impeach Obama? 2014 Impeachment Starts Operation American Spring,” at The article is headed by this Jon McNaughton portrait of a stern-faced Obama burning the US Constitution.


Interested readers can look at the specific items that article suggests might be impeachable offenses, but I found nothing especially egregious or out of line with things done by other US presidents who were not impeached, and certainly nothing reaching the lawlessness of Watergate or Iran-Contra. Nor is there anything new about an image of a president burning the Constitution:


The preceding cartoon1 depicts the United States as symbolized by the eagle rescuing the Constitution from being burned by Thomas Jefferson. It literally refers to the defeat of Jefferson by Adams in the 1796 presidential election.

1A version of this image (with a less clear face) was incorrectly labeled as George Washington in a prior article on this blog. That has been corrected.

Taitz to Stockman: You have nothing to lose of the great false hopes put forward by the Zullo/Gallups/Volin triad was Congressman Steve Stockman of Texas who was, according to Mike Zullo “still on board pursuing this matter” in an October 3, 2013 YouTube recording titled “Team Arpaio: Rep. Stockman On Board; There Will Be Obama ID Fraud Action.”

While Stockman made some remarks about impeaching Obama, he never said anything about ID Fraud as a reason.

Tea Party candidate Stockman was crushed by establishment Republican candidate John Cornyn in the recent Texas Republican Primary for the US Senate, and so Stockman will be leaving Congress. Buh-bye.

But wait! Couldn’t the lame duck do something? Orly Taitz thinks so, writing today:

Stockman ran unsuccessful against Cornyn for Senate. He also, spoke out on the issue of Obama’s bogus IDs. As he is leaving Congress, he has nothing to lose, he has everything to gain in bringing to the committees an official complaint and an official request to hold hearings on the issue of Obama’s bogus IDs. Please, contact Stockman, ask him not to talk, but to file the actual complaint and a request for congressional hearing[.]

Некультурная Taitz

Taitz-unculturedI’m venting this morning.

The Russian word in the title literally translates into English as “uncultured.” My encounters with the word in literature suggest a stronger connotation, perhaps equivalent to the English phrase “white trash.”

What got my juices flowing this morning was an article by Taitz yesterday attacking Sandra K. Fluke, a woman whom some conservative demagogues shamelessly lie about and denigrate.1 Here’s what Taitz wrote:

Sandra Fluke became nationally known for waging a campaign and demanding free condoms as a law student. Apparently her activities, which necessitated such great expenses for condoms, led her not to become a lawyer, however this did not deter her from running for the State Senate in CA. With millions of bogus voter registrations, a corrupt establishment in CA and millions of stoned, drunk and otherwise brain dead Liberal Democrats in the Los Angeles area of District 26 Ms. Flukie-Fluke might actually win.

The phrase “Flukie-Fluke” sounds bitchy to me and indicative of a mean-spirited writer,  but the rest of the citation shows how irresponsible Taitz is about her information. First off, Sandra Fluke is a lawyer in California, which any fool can look up in about a minute on the California Bar web site, and one doesn’t have to even finish the first sentence of the Wikipedia article on Fluke to learn that she is an attorney. While Taitz in a follow-up title did issue a correction say that Fluke was a lawyer, she didn’t apologize and she didn’t remove the false statements from her prior article.

The general context Taitz presents for Fluke’s advocacy for contraceptive health coverage at Georgetown University  is also wrong. Fluke wasn’t trying to get condoms for herself but contraceptive coverage for all of the women at Georgetown (a Catholic school), an argument that House Republicans didn’t want to hear. And Taitz, not Fluke, is the one who engaged in a steamy extra-marital affair, reports court documents.

The other factual anomaly in the Taitz article regards the number of “stoned, drunk or otherwise brain dead Liberal Democrats in … District 26.” It’s not “millions”; there are fewer than 150,000 registered Democratic voters in District 26.

If this is what Taitz thinks of the voters in her state, and this is the quality of her public discourse, she has no business running for statewide office in California.

1Rush Limbaugh limply apologized for calling Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute,” claiming that he was being humorous.