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Debunking Vogt’s sealed affidavit–Part 1

Since there is little new debunking to accomplish, let me go back to some unfinished debunking. Douglas Vogt was one of a string of litigants who attempted to show that President Obama’s birth certificate is a forgery. Vogt attempted to force a federal court in Washington State to convene a grand jury to investigate. Vogt lost in that attempt. A significant part of his filing was an analysis by him purporting to prove that that Obama’s birth certificate was a crude forgery. Part of that proof was made public, and part of it was included in a sealed affidavit, which became unsealed when it was submitted as part of an appeal to the US Supreme Court. The original court filing was debunked in part by me on this blog, and also in full by Frank Arduini. Vogt’s analysis was wrong largely because he let his bias cause him to jump to unfounded conclusions, and to ignore obvious problems. More objective observers such as I and Arduini were able to spot the mistakes. See:

At the time those articles were published the Vogt sealed affidavit was unavailable, and so when it did come out, except for noting that I was one of his putative forgers, I didn’t address it.

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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.]

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:

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.

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.