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Obama Conspiracy Theories 2014 reader survey

Here’s the 2014 Obama Conspiracy Theories reader survey. In addition to the usual birther stuff, I have added some questions about the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare).

Both birthers and anti-birthers are urged to take the survey. The poll will close at midnight on March 22.

I think that birther activity one year from now will be...

  • Less than today. (56%, 102 Votes)
  • About the same. (37%, 67 Votes)
  • Greater than today. (7%, 14 Votes)

Total Voters: 183

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I visit the following web sites at least once a week (check all that apply):

  • Obama Conspiracy Theories (93%, 157 Votes)
  • The Fogbow (54%, 90 Votes)
  • Birther Report / ORYR (36%, 60 Votes)
  • Orly Taitz Esq. (23%, 38 Votes)
  • Native Born Citizen (15%, 26 Votes)
  • The Free Republic (15%, 25 Votes)
  • Reality Check Radio blog / Radio show (14%, 24 Votes)
  • WorldNetDaily (14%, 24 Votes)
  • Other anti-birther site (8%, 14 Votes)
  • PPSimmons/Gallups (6%, 10 Votes)
  • Whitehouse.gov (5%, 9 Votes)
  • The Post & Email (5%, 8 Votes)
  • Other birther site (4%, 7 Votes)
  • Canada Free Press (4%, 6 Votes)
  • Pastor Manning YouTube channel (2%, 4 Votes)
  • CDR Kerchner's Blog (1%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 168

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Do you think Barack Obama is constitutionally eligible to be President?

  • Yes (94%, 167 Votes)
  • No (5%, 9 Votes)
  • Not sure (1%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 178

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Have you ever donated money to any of the following?

  • I have not donated to either. (70%, 86 Votes)
  • Anti-birther web site or organization (27%, 33 Votes)
  • Birther web site or organization (3%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 123

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How did the Affordable Care Act affect your coverage status?

  • My health insurance situation is largely unchanged under the ACA. (75%, 123 Votes)
  • I became insured thanks to the Affordable Care Act. (12%, 20 Votes)
  • My costs for health insurance significantly decreased under the ACA. (7%, 11 Votes)
  • My costs for health insurance significantly increased under the ACA. (4%, 6 Votes)
  • I became uninsured thanks to the Affordable Care Act. (2%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 164

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Affordable Care Act (check all that apply)

  • I didn't change either. (93%, 138 Votes)
  • I had to change insurance companies due to the ACA. (8%, 12 Votes)
  • I had to change doctors due to the ACA. (2%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 149

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I expect that my out-of-pocket medical costs, including insurance premiums, and allowing for normal inflationary cost increases, to:

  • Stay about the same under the ACA (75%, 113 Votes)
  • Decrease under the ACA (19%, 28 Votes)
  • Increase under the ACA (6%, 10 Votes)

Total Voters: 151

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Obama polls: half full or half empty

Anti-Obama sites say that the country hates Obama and is sorry they elected him. They say that his approval rating is falling sharply. Birther Report cites a story from the Washington Examiner, and inserted one of its trademark bogus headlines:

Poll: 71% of Obama voters, 55% Democrats ‘regret’ voting for his re-election

Because of some errors in the original reporting of that story, Birther Report may not have intentionally misrepresented the data, but it’s misrepresented all the same. Actually 71% of the 10% who said they wouldn’t vote for Obama if they had it to do over said they regretted their vote, and that looks like 7.1%, not 71%. Romney voters are more confident about their 2012 choice, but then Romney hasn’t been president for them to judge.

Even with good data, the result can be spun half full/half empty. The Examiner story was titled: “Poll: Only 79% of Obama voters would vote for him again,” but an equally true headline would be: “Poll: Only 10% of Obama voters would change their votes now.” The difference is in where you put the 11% undecided.

The research was done by YouGov.com (a group I volunteer for), and it’s presented in the context of how well Romney might do in a 2016 run for President. Their conclusion is that Romney is no more popular than he was just before the election.

Believe it or not, there are still birther polls. YouGov surveyed 1000 US  adults between February 8-10. Given only the two choices, 62% say they believe it’s true that Obama was born in the US (and 38% say it’s false). Interestingly, 25% responded that people who say Obama was born outside the US don’t really believe it and are saying it just because they don’t like Obama. The hard core birthers, the ones that are sure Obama was not born in the US, were 15% of the sample. 6% said Obama’s Presidential Library should located be in Kenya.

What might be considered a striking success for birthers, though, is that a whopping 70% say that presidential candidates should be required to show their birth certificates to get on the ballot! Obama was way ahead of the curve on that one, releasing his in mid 2008.

As to Obama’s approval rating, a Washington PostABC poll before the State of the Union showed the President with a 44% approval rating (50% disapproval). That’s up 2 points since November.

The birther “Theory of Everything”

OK, I’ve been out mowing grass again; that’s where I get my “big” ideas. The Theory of Everything is sort of the Holy Grail of physics, the quest for a single theory that would unify General Relativity and Quantum Field Theory.

Simulated Larege Hadron Colliger CMS particle detector data depicting a Higgs boson produced by colliding protons decaying into hadron jets and electrons

One of the (many) complaints you’ll hear about birthers on this site is that the birthers lack a coherent narrative. They criticize the standard theory (to be found in a biography of the President, an encyclopedia, or mainstream news article) based on various anomalies they think exist; however, they have never come up with any alternative narrative that fits the facts better, or even comes close to it.

So as I was mowing, I was thinking about how anti-birthers make fun of birthers for two reasons: one reason is to ridicule, belittle, downplay and dismiss them (in lieu of a scholarly dissection) and the other reason is that sometimes they are just funny. It was in that latter sense that I ran through in my mind the article from the King of  Shambhala at Before It’s News. It was his notion that “All the obots here are CIA pai[d] shills” that set me to thinking about a birther “Theory of Everything.”

In order to fit all the disparate birther semi-theories into a grand unified theory, it is necessary to develop a high-level meta-theory to explain the differences. The solution is obvious: posit a single powerful intelligence (PI) behind everything, who through bribery and coercion controls just about all the players in the birther controversy. So, for example, if Mike Zullo gets caught red-handed fabricating evidence, then either Zullo is part of the conspiracy whose role is to misdirect and discredit the birthers, or he is just gullible and the people who feed him theories are under the control of the PI. I mean, how else can you explain birthers still filing 100 lawsuits after 100 of them had been dismissed, if someone wasn’t paying them to do it?

Under the PI theory, it becomes clear that the long-form birth certificate was carefully constructed to mislead the birthers, salted with anomalies to make them waste time looking for more, but none conclusive enough to stand up to expert scrutiny. The Obama’s themself make ambiguous statements about the President’s roots, again to drive the birthers nuts, while leaving others skeptical. You can take your pick of the birthers of note (and I won’t name names here) who are Obama misinformation purveyors.

So then, the obvious conclusion is that the selection of Barack Obama to become president was carefully made, with his skin color and funny name, specifically for the purpose of creating the birther movement, which is actually spurious. The whole reason for the plot is to distract that powerful counterforce lying nascent on the Internet, comprised of true patriots™ and keyboard warriors™ (those immune from the drug-laden chemtrails and fluoride in the drinking water) who if not distracted by Obama would be focused on the real aims of the PI.

Basically, if one just denies all the evidence and all the testimony of folks on both sides, then suddenly everything fits perfectly. The remaining task to complete the theory is to identify the powerful intelligence. I will leave that up to you:

I expect that my out-of-pocket medical costs, including insurance premiums, and allowing for normal inflationary cost increases, to:

  • Stay about the same under the ACA (75%, 113 Votes)
  • Decrease under the ACA (19%, 28 Votes)
  • Increase under the ACA (6%, 10 Votes)

Total Voters: 151

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The Antichrist? Really?

One in four Americans think Obama may be the Antichrist, survey says.

According to a poll released by opinion researchers Public Policy Polling, that’s exactly what they say (13% say he is and 13% aren’t sure).

In popular Christian mythology (and I say mythology because modern evangelical Christian beliefs about the “The Antichrist” really aren’t based on their sacred texts1, but more on modern urban legends and books like the Left Behind™ series),  the Antichrist is a charismatic person with Satanic power who will fool lots of people, and will precipitate the final violent confrontation between good and evil, an apocalyptic battle in which a significant percentage of humanity will die. Historically, pretty much any leader worth his salt has been called the Antichrist by somebody, and significant percentages of humanity do die from time to time.

President Obama is charismatic, and North Korea is rattling the nuclear sabre, so I suppose some folks are getting jumpy about now. Paradoxically, the “popular” Antichrist can be anyone who promotes world peace or anyone who works against world peace. It can be a loved person or a hated person. It works like a conspiracy theory where evidence against the theory is proof of how well it’s working.

Barack Obama will only be President a little less than 4 more years. Most Presidents retreat into obscurity after leaving office. If that is the case with Obama, the Antichrist seekers will move on to a more visible figure. If he becomes Secretary General of the UN, look out.

What I wonder though is how society functions, how the food gets grown and packaged, firemen put out fires, and Amazon.com get the book I ordered delivered on time, when significant portions of the US population believe in alien abductions, global New World Order conspiracies, that vaccines cause autism, that Osama bin Laden is still alive, antichrists and of course that President Obama was born in Kenya. It seems to me that people must compartmentalize their crazy, acting in rational ways to make a living, but behaving irrationally in private or among other conspiracists. It is, to me, frankly unsettling, but we muddle through somehow.


1In Christian Scripture, the antichrist is anyone who does not believe that Jesus was a flesh-and-blood human being, and there were many of those running around in the 1st century AD.

The last birther standing?

It’s been a while since my last reader poll. The question: who will be the last birther standing? That is, who will still be actively promoting birtherism when the others have moved on or passed on?

Who will be the last birther standing?

  • Orly Taitz (62%, 81 Votes)
  • Butterdezillion (12%, 15 Votes)
  • Rudy (Lonestar1776) (8%, 11 Votes)
  • ORYR host (5%, 6 Votes)
  • Theresa Cao (4%, 5 Votes)
  • Dr. Kate (2%, 2 Votes)
  • James D. Manning (2%, 2 Votes)
  • Jerome Corsi (2%, 2 Votes)
  • Terry Lakin (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Tracy Fair (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Mark Gillar (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Mario Apuzzo (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Al Hendershot (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Christopher-Earl: Strunk (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Chalice Jackson (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Charles Kerchner (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Susan Daniels (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Linda Jordan (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Sharon Rondeau (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Bob Gard (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Mike Zullo (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Paul Irey (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Walter Fitzpatrick (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 130

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Survey: where do the birthers come from?

US Map image with states in colored regionsEarly on in the birther movement, the Daily KOS did a survey that included demographic questions. We learned that those doubting Obama’s US birth came from all over, but their percentages were markedly higher in the South.

Obama Conspiracy Theories has done new a first-of-its-kind poll of 8,000 US birthers, asking them where they lived. Since only birthers were polled, the results are reported as a scaled percentage of their states’ population.

Not surprisingly, we found that most birthers live in Texas, followed closely by California and then Florida. The least number of birthers live in Vermont. As a percentage of the population, however, our survey found that the 10 most birtherish states were (starting with the highest): Wyoming, Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Colorado, New Hampshire, Arizona, West Virginia and Montana. Texas came in 18th, California 42nd and Florida 12th.

In the following table I show the Relative Birther Scale (RBS), which is the number of birthers polled per 100,000 in population (2012 estimate). Of course this is not a measure of any absolute number of birthers, since we only counted a sample. Continue Reading →