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Birther boomerang

I consider this a very important article because without this article and the information following, the “Mailbox 11/7/2014” article would just stay at the top of the blog and I don’t think anybody wants that. I would really rather flip the page to something else.

The boomerang is the birther theory of the meaning of “natural born citizen,” a theory consistently rejected by legal scholars and the courts. The idea that a US President must be born in the United States of two US citizen parents was cooked up to try to make Barack Obama seem ineligible, and the boomerang returning is the effect this may have on certain conservative presidential hopefuls. In a poll this past May, a fairly significant number of potential voters believe it, and I wonder whether any Republican candidate can receive the presidential nomination who was born outside the United States, or has a non-US-citizen parent.

The occasion is a new article at Gerbil Report™ by Paul Hollrah titled “No, Ted Cruz is Not Eligible to be President.” Hollrah singles out more potential candidates than just Cruz—here’s his take on things:

Ted Cruz Born in Canada, foreign father
Bobby Jindal Born in US, two foreign national parents
Marco Rubio Born in US, two foreign national parents
Rick Santorum Born in US, foreign father

I don’t know whether Santorum’s father, who was born in Italy, was a naturalized citizen or not when Rick Santorum was born, but for the purpose of this discussion it doesn’t matter because we’re not really talking about facts but rumors. Have the birthers poisoned the well for these 4 potential presidential candidates? In a remotely close primary race, the birther nonsense seems to be something that would decide it against them. The disinformation factor was well-stated by the polling company, YouGov, who wrote:

That means more than half of Republicans (53%) would disqualify Texas Senator Ted Cruz from the Presidency on principle.  Cruz was born in Canada to a mother who was an American citizen, while his father was not.   But fewer than one in four Republicans think Cruz was born outside the country; only 10% know his mother was a citizen and his father was not.

imageSome suggest that my Senator, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, will be a candidate for President in 2016. I can just see him running against Hillary Clinton. The whole race would be about Benghazi. Ugh!

Why is Clinton smiling?

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No comment

Foggy reported that comments were disabled at Birther Report this morning (gee, you’re up early, Bill). When I tried it just now (10 am), commenting was enabled, but a test comment I left went straight into moderation, something that wasn’t happening before. I read one comment from around 9 am from SirenDrake that said:

Is it just me, or is the site running slow this morning? I suspect that Obots are hammering the site mercilessly. Might be why Birther Report finally decided to require an account for posting. If he really has.

I should point out to SirenDrake that BirtherReport is hosted by Google, and my thought is that it would take a really huge amount of hammering to slow Google down. The idea that non-birthers in any number are accessing that sorry web site at any given time is hard for me to believe. I ran Pingdom tools on the Jack Cashill article that was the top story on the site, and the page load took 8.8 seconds after no fewer than 702 :!: http requests and transferring 4.4 MB. (My home page loaded in 2.45 seconds making 43 requests for a page size of 818 KB.) I don’t know if that accounts for all the scripting or not. It could be that Intense Debate (that runs their commenting system) or one of their third-party advertising sources was slow. The site itself is what I would call bloated.

But what I really wanted to talk about was not site performance but the rather remarkable fact that I have been able to comment freely at Birther Report without moderation or deletion for at least 6 months now. I have had the privilege of posting long, well-reasoned and fact filled responses to birther claims. I think that it would be clear to the unbiased observer that I was reasonable and they had no substance to their objections. It’s their site (even if Google is paying for it) and they have the right to control who can comment and who cannot.

Update:

I am once again able to post at Birther Report.

Obama’s fake fake Columbia ID

Some idiot at USA Today named Melanie Eversley wrote about a series of tweets on Ebola from idiot Donald Trump yesterday, including a reference to this one:

Readers probably know that the name Barry Soetoro appears on a 1968 Obama school registration entry from Indonesia, when he was living with his mother and step father Lolo Soetoro. The idiotic thing was how the reporter explained the Sotoro reference:

In one [tweet], he made reference to the name Barry Soetoro, which appears on Obama’s Columbia University identification card.

Even birthers know that the Columbia student ID with the Soetoro name is a fake. Gerbil Report™ said in response to the USA Today story:

the Columbia University ID card floating around the internet with Obama’s picture and name Barry Soetoro on it is without a doubt a fake.

So I tweeted in response:

 

Will USA Today issue a correction?

Jedi Pauly tricks UK government into admitting Obama ineligibility–or so he says

imageWhenever I travel abroad I like to make up facetious blog article titles about me fleeing the country, or going to investigate the birthers. It’s all in good fun, but a birther apparently has done it in all seriousness.

Paul (“Jedi Pauly”) Guthrie, birther litigant and blogger, has gone to the United Kingdom, as part of a ploy to force the UK courts to rule President Obama ineligible, so says George Miller in an email published at Gerbil Report™.1

imageGuthrie went to the UK and tried to gain political asylum. They accepted his application, processed it, and rejected his claim. He’s in detention pending removal. Guthrie argues that by accepting his application for review, the UK admitted and officially determined that Obama was an illegal president. That’s just a sample of how Guthrie, who now describes himself as a “political prisoner,” spins defeat into victory in his convoluted description3 of his situation–incarcerated and running out of money.

I haven’t figured out why, if Guthrie had a valid U. S. passport, that he is being detained at the Colnbrook Immigration Removal Center unless they just think they already have enough nutty birthers already (what with Michael Shrimpton, and Lord Monckton). More seriously, I think it’s probably because his stated purpose for entering the country, to get UK courts to examine Obama’s eligibility, is not one of those purposes for which a visa is not required (e.g., attending a conference or training, attending a sporting event, an entertainer, a prospective entrepreneur or tourist). Guthrie argues that the UK cannot deport him so long as a possibility exists that the US could be led by an ineligible president—leading to what he describes as a “life sentence” or requiring the UK courts to adjudicate the definition of the term “natural born citizen” in the US Constitution. I think the UK is perfectly capable of getting rid of him without doing that.

In his press release2, Guthrie describes his incarceration as:

  • a war crime
  • a human rights violation

So to help out Guthrie in the way George Miller requests, I am doing what I can to make this issue public and take it viral on the Internet.

Jedi Pauly web sites:


1One interesting feature of this Birther Report article is it’s introduction of a new term for birther that I hadn’t seen before: Obama ineligibility activist. Personally, I think that sounds even more nutty than birther.

2In the press release, Guthrie is described as a professor of political science, but his LinkedIn profile shows only a BS in applied physics and mathematics from Purdue.

3To give another example of creating meaning from thin air by Guthrie, check out this statement from 2011:

The U.S. Constitution is an agreement between the original thirteen sovereign states of the union of states and their creation, the federal government.  The use of the capitalization of the word “citizen,” as in “natural born Citizen” or “Citizen of the United States,” is meant to convey in the Constitution the exclusion of federal citizen “subjects” such as citizens from the federal territories or possessions.

Every noun in the U. S. Constitution is capitalized.

Zullo huffs and bluffs

This article talks about what I see as a pattern of behavior from Mike Zullo. I’ll be the first to admit that two points don’t make a pattern, but perhaps there are more points.

“Bloviate” is a word that means to talk at length and not say anything. An early use was to describe speeches by President Warren G. Harding. Mike Zullo has for over a year now talked about unspecified evidence gathered by his Cold Case Posse (if indeed there is anyone but him looking into conspiracy theories about the President’s identity documents). You can read the sorry history on RC’s MSCO Cold Case Posse Timeline. After Mike Zullo’s evidence was proven to be fake, and his experts shown to be cranks, Mike Zullo took a different tack: promise everything and deliver nothing. It was pure bluster. After failing to keep various promises, he even stopped setting time frames.

Unable to produce any real evidence, Mike Zullo substituted vacuous talk, and the recent appearance by Zullo spokesperson Carl Gallups on the Peter Boyles radio program attracted huge criticism from birthers for repeating Zullo’s themes, and talking for an hour and not saying anything.

In response, the Cold Case Posse through Gallups did finally say something that won’t blow up their face, copying their material from a reliable source (this and other opposition blogs). Loren Collins proved TWO YEARS AGO that the Joel Gilbert photos, allegedly of Obama’s mother, could not have been her. Now the Cold Case Posse announces the same thing, only attaching the technobabble phrase “digital forensic.”

Former Cold Case Posse member, now CCP critic, Brian Reilly called the Boyles show and talked at length of his perspective on the entire affair. Reilly later called into the RC Radio show, and delivered a shocker that Zullo was once promoting a loony theory about President Obama attending a human sacrifice in Kenya. Just as Zullo responded to the debacle of his failed press conferences with empty rhetoric, he responds to this new damaging information with more rhetoric, this time the veiled suggestion that he will sue Brian Reilly for defamation. Zullo’s quotes are found in an article at the Post & Email web site, reprinted at Birther Report. Did Zullo defend himself with substance? No, he bluffed. Here’s what Zullo said:

We have been monitoring him for the last eight months, and on that broadcast, Mr. Reilly gave me a gift:  we have been waiting for him to come off of an internet broadcast and finally do the slanderous hit-job that he did on public airwaves.

Brian Reilly is fueled by those who are entertained by his trashing of the investigation and his own self-fulfilling motivations. However, there are aspects of his past – facts – that, when they come to light, in my opinion, people are going to find extremely troubling.

Since when does anyone call alleged slander a “gift”? Zullo makes a veiled threat, but again says nothing. He will do nothing because he has nothing. It is Zullo who is the coward, smearing through innuendo. This is the same thing he did to me and Bill Bryan, never actually saying anything, but making vague suggestions. Pathetic.

Disturbing the birthers–priceless!

Sharon Rondeau, citizen journalist at the Post & Email web site, has interviewed Cold Case Posse commander Mike Zullo. In the interview, republished at Gerbil Report™, [cue the MAD-TV “Lowered Expectations” theme], Zullo is quoted:

The Post & Email spoke with Zullo, who told us that “there are going to be some findings that ‘birthers’ may find disturbing,” referring to those who specifically doubt that Obama was born in Hawaii, as he claims.

Since his two original disastrously-wrong but detail-filled news conferences, Mike Zullo has been very closed lipped about his investigation, giving no one anything more to evaluate or criticize. This stonewalling has been remarkably successful in taking off the heat from critics and letting birthers’ imaginations run free, and their hopes soar.

More difficult to parse is another Zullo remark from the interview:

The public doesn’t understand the type of evidence required in a law enforcement investigation. The word “evidence” is often used to describe information that cannot be supported by its own weight.  Evidence that cannot be supported or corroborated is in fact not evidence at all but often personal opinion or just mere speculation.   Real evidence is something that provides proof to ascertain the truth in a proceeding. It has to stand the test of scrutiny, cross-examination and ultimately be determined to be factual and relevant.

Zullo puts that last in the context of speculation that Frank Marshall Davis is Obama’s real father, a speculation devoid of any proof says Zullo. He goes on to suggest that birthers are making him look bad, and he clearly is trying to distance himself and his investigation from the birther movement itself, says Rondeau:

Zullo believes that this is the type of activity which has diminished the credibility of the topic.

Of course it was Zullo himself who promoted all manner of crank image analysis, fake race code tables and unsupported tales at the beginning, but I digress.

Specifically, Zullo criticizes birthers trying to make sense of his intentionally ambiguous remarks, such as those on the Cark Gallups radio program. Zullo seems to be saying that birthers are mistaken when they think he is saying anything understandable [unplug irony meters]:

There is no room for this kind of rabid speculation. This is how wild rumors get started and then are repeated enough times that information-hungry audiences start to believe it to be factually correct.

Some have speculated that Zullo is making a subtle reference to Lawrence Sellin’s interpretation of a Zullo conversation to conclude that some Obots had turned coat and are assisting in the Cold Case Posse investigation (an absurd suggestion because no Obot has anything that could assist Zullo in proving his nonsense conspiracy theories). But even this speculation would be misguided if we listen to Zullo, who taken at his word, is telling us that it’s a mistake to try get any information out of anything he says. Zullo also promised another press conference. Because Zullo was widely criticized for not meeting his previous promises about press conferences, he’s not setting a date for this next one.