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Donald Trump: Born in South Africa?

I must confess that these stories that have been circulating on the Internet for over 5 years flew completely under my radar. An early report on the African Trump controversy appeared on the Our End of the Net blog April 20, 2011. It’s gaining traction on Twitter today.

According to the report, Trump was born in South Africa, and returned to the US at age 15. Forensics expert Kevin Rooney explains:

Two years ago, when Obama was elected, Trump decided to run for president. He spent three and a half million dollars over two years manufacturing an American birth certificate, bribed doctors and nurses to say they had been present at his birth, and even hiring for life a troupe of actors to play his childhood American friends, college classmates and professors, etc.

I found the article entertaining. I, however, remain skeptical.

Nothing new at BR in a week

Image result for dead-on exhumerI bought a nail puller (a Dead-on Exhumer) last week that can also open a bottle. Someone on the Internet said “In a post apocalyptic world until the beer runs out, you need a tool like this.” If I may stretch the analogy, my blog is the nail puller and birtherism is beer, and the beer seems to be running out. The last Birther Report article was dated June 5, and it was about, of all things, Obama’s college records. How old is that story?

This article exhibits the problem. The text of the article is too short to match the height of the nail puller graphic on the right, so I’m having to fill in with unnecessary background to make it look right. If birtherism were alive and well, I’d have more to say.

It does seem that every time we think that birtherism is dead, something comes up, most notably Sheriff Arpaio’s Cold Case Posse and Donald Trump. We’ll see.

Iafrate officially leaves Arpaio defense team

Arpaio defense attorney Michele Iafrate was named by Judge G. Murray Snow as a possible target of a criminal referral for advice she gave Defendants in the Melendres case. She allegedly advised the Sheriff’s Office not to disclose the existence of documents covered by a court order demanding production of IDs confiscated by the Department. Iafrate has taken a low profile in the proceedings since her dodgy advice was made public. Today, attorney Iafrate officially filed a motion to withdraw from the defense team of Joe Arpaio and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. Defendants will continue to be represented by the law firm of Jones, Skelton and Hochuli and co-counsel John Masterton.

In other Melendres news, Maricopa county has today filed notice of their acceptance of  a budget of $200,000 to provide notice to persons who may have been harmed by unlawful detention by the Sheriff’s Office.

Update:

The motion was granted on June 9.

Trump beats cockroaches in head-to-head contest

Trump vs cockroach

imageThe poll results are in. Donald Trump beat cockroaches in a Public Policy Polling favorable opinion contest, edging out the nasty little critters by a solid 6 points (45/30). Cockroaches and hemorrhoids were the only two categories in the poll where Trump came out on top with a more favorable opinion. Respondents had a lower opinion of Trump than Used Car Salesmen, Traffic Jams, Hipsters, DMV, Root Canals, Jury Duty and Lice (by a whopping 26 points).

Conspiracy belief among Trump supporters

But, dear friends, I’m not here to talk about Donald Trump. No, I’m here to talk about Trumpsters and how they feel about certain conspiracy theories. Trump himself seems to be somewhat of a conspiracy theorist, and so PPP wondered if that carried over to his supporters. Of that narrow 34% of voters who in general have a positive opinion of Trump, they asked about beliefs in various conspiracy theories, and the results were:

  • 65% think President Obama is a Muslim, only 13% think he’s a Christian.
  • 59% think President Obama was not born in the United States, only 23% think that he was.
  • 27% think vaccines cause autism, 45% don’t think they do, another 29% are not sure.
  • 24% think Antonin Scalia was murdered, just 42% think he died naturally, another 34% are unsure.
  • 7% think Ted Cruz’s father was involved in the assassination of JFK, 55% think he was not involved, another 38% are unsure.

Crazification Factor

In the poll, PPP found that 5% of respondents said that Ted Cruz is the Zodiac Killer. Go figger.

Judge: Is considering criminal referrals of birther sheriff

The day’s hearings leave us in suspense, with Judge G. Murray Snow stating that he is considering criminal referrals of Joe Arpaio, Gerald Sheridan, Capt. Bailey and Michele Iafrate. Yes, that last one was the MCSO’s attorney, who IIRC advised her clients not to disclose to the Court that they had confiscated IDs that they were under orders to produce.

Security was high with 7 US Marshals in attendance and social media reports of more outside. The courtroom itself was packed.

Protest signs, and even a custom Arpaio in prison garb balloon were on display outside the courthouse.

Photo credit: Bob Davidson (maybe)

The parties in the case have been negotiating recompense to the victims of illegal detention, and Judge Snow settled on $1,000 for the first hour plus $200 for every 20 minutes over, reports Megan Cassidy of the The Republic. $125,000 to $200,000 will be earmarked for notifying members of the Plaintiff class. Certain parts of the MCSO, particularly the Internal Affairs division may be taken into receivership.

Sheriff Joe appeared defeated sitting at the Defendant’s table, as he picked at his wedding ring.

Larry Klayman was in court for part of the morning, but then left. Mike Zullo did not appear. No definite date was set for final orders.

Follow this topic on Twitter under the hashtag #arpaiocontempt. News updates will be added to this article.

Other news coverage:

Klayman to hold press conference on courthouse steps in Phoenix Tuesday

Birther attorney Larry Klayman reports that he will be at the Melendres v. Arpaio hearing May 31, and will hold a press conference afterwards.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in a brief order Friday, granted Klayman’s motion to expedite the appeal of Dennis Montgomery (whom Klayman represents, but who is not directly a party to the Melendres case) to intervene in the case. That order comes too late to affect Tuesday’s hearing.

Earlier this month federal district judge G. Murray Snow found Joe Arpaio and three of his current and former staff members guilty of civil contempt of court. Tuesday’s hearing will address penalties and possible referral of one or more defendants to the Department of Justice for prosecution of criminal contempt (and possibly other charges such as obstruction of justice and perjury).

Klayman says:

Recently, Snow, despite this pending appeal, issued a ruling finding that my client Montgomery committed a fraud

Judge Snow’s Findings of Fact do indeed use that word “fraud” at 360:

First, Mr. Montgomery committed a fraud on the MCSO. …

Judge Snow went so far as to call the evidence of Montgomery’s fraud “overwhelming” (362). This is not, however, one of the findings of fact, but rather a point used in reaching a finding against the defendants.

I seems unlikely to this observer that Judge Snow will make any criminal referral of Dennis Montgomery. First and foremost, Montgomery was not a party to the Court’s order and did not disobey it. Further, Montgomery did not harm plaintiffs in the Melendres case and therefore is not part of any remedy due them. Lastly there is the question of jurisdiction because of where Montgomery committed fraud. It would seem that the ones who should rightly pursue charges against Dennis Montgomery would be his victims, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, and the people of Maricopa County.

Klayman previously, in addition to the removal of Judge Snow, demanded the resignation of Barack Obama and John Boehner, suggesting that the people should “rise up” against Obama and “show force.”