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Forever hold your peace

Today is the day on which we suppose that the US Congress will certify the count of the votes of the Electoral College, and Barack Obama will be elected to a second term in office starting 3 hours and 6 minutes from now. You can watch it live on C-SPAN. The US National Archives has an excellent web page detailing the many Constitutional provisions and statutes dealing with the election of the President. Title 3 of the United States Code, Chapter 1, Section 11 contains this:

The Senate and House of Representatives shall meet in the Hall of the House of Representatives at the hour of 1 o’clock in the afternoon on that day, and the President of the Senate shall be their presiding officer. … Upon such reading of any such certificate or paper, the President of the Senate shall call for objections, if any. Every objection shall be made in writing, and shall state clearly and concisely, and without argument, the ground thereof, and shall be signed by at least one Senator and one Member of the House of Representatives before the same shall be received. When all objections so made to any vote or paper from a State shall have been received and read, the Senate shall thereupon withdraw, and such objections shall be submitted to the Senate for its decision; and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall, in like manner, submit such objections to the House of Representatives for its decision; and no electoral vote or votes from any State which shall have been regularly given by electors whose appointment has been lawfully certified to according to section 6 of this title from which but one return has been received shall be rejected, but the two Houses concurrently may reject the vote or votes when they agree that such vote or votes have not been so regularly given by electors whose appointment has been so certified.

This is the statutory provision that some birthers are invoking in their attempts to forestall Barack Obama’s second term as President. Faxes and letters reportedly have been sent to members of Congress urging them to make such an objection. While the statute seems to be directed at resolving controversies over the electoral votes from individual states, the 20th Amendment makes it clear that Congress has a role in determining whether the president elect may take office:

Section 3. If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the President, the President elect shall have died, the Vice President elect shall become President. If a President shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the President elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice President elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified; and the Congress may by law provide for the case wherein neither a President elect nor a Vice President elect shall have qualified, declaring who shall then act as President, or the manner in which one who is to act shall be selected, and such person shall act accordingly until a President or Vice President shall have qualified.

It would seem to this writer that objections to qualifications apply to the
“President elect” which refers to the person selected by the Electoral College and certified by the Congress. That is, the objection by one House member and one Senator is not the appropriate time to determine qualifications, but that it should come immediately after the vote has been certified.

I do not know precisely how such a decision would be carried out, but this provision has been cited by the courts in support of the proposition that it is the Congress who makes the call as to whether the person elected as President may assume office.

Now is the time; today is the day. If there be any objections speak now, or forever hold your peace. (My comment is a facetious one. Birthers never admit defeat and will never hold their peace. They will keep on beating that dead horse until the Death Panel shuts off their oxygen.)


The certification of the vote has completed. The President of the Senate did not ask for objections. No one raised any point of order. The House chamber was largely empty.

Closing the barn door

Hearing today!

Orly Taitz filed a motion yesterday, December 19, for a temporary restraining order (TRO) in the Eastern District of California federal court. She wants the Court to enjoin several parties, the first 3 of which I list briefly here:

  1. Enjoin the Secretary of State and Governor from certifying the Certificate of Ascertainment.
  2. Enjoin the Electoral College from tallying their votes.
  3. Enjoin the Governor of California from forwarding the Certificate of Electoral Vote to the President of the Senate

It’s a little late. The governor’s Certificate of Ascertainment must be done and forwarded to the National Archives before the Electors vote on December 17. The tallying of the votes was done on December 17 (Obama got all 55 from California).

I don’t see that it is the Governor of the state who is responsible for transporting the tally of the votes to the President of the Senate for counting on January 6, but in any case according to the National Archives, the distribution of the 6 copies of the Certificate of Ascertainment and the votes must be done “immediately.” Since the copies have already been received by the Archives, one reasonably presumes that the copy for the President of the Senate has been sent as well.

Apparently Orly doesn’t want these facts known:

comment left at Taitz web site about the vote already having been tallied. Comment in moderation.

In addition, Orly wants to the court to enjoin the “President of the Senate from presenting the Certificates of the Electoral Vote to the U.S. Congress,” “U.S. Congress from confirming the elections results” and “Defendant Barack Hussein Obama from taking the oath of office as a U.S. President on the inauguration day.” It must take monumental chutzpah1 to do something like that.

Under the Constitution, it is the Congress, not the Judiciary who decides the election results. The Judiciary has no power to intervene. Any high school civics student should know that (of course Orly never had a high school civics class in the US).

According to Taitz [link to Taitz web site] there is a hearing scheduled for today before Chief Judge England on her TRO. I wish I could be there.2

1First time I ever used that word in a sentence.

202:00 PM in Courtroom 7 (MCE) assuming that there will be any oral arguments.

California electoral vote certification forged?

One of the certain proofs that the birthers give for forgery is that certain parts of Obama’s long form birth certificate show a mix of black and white, and gray scale for a signature. Here’s a section from the Certificate magnified:

Detail of Stanley Ann Dunham signature on Obama's birth certifcate

You can see how some of the signature is in gray scale, and some is absolutely black.

Now, look at the Certificate of the California Electoral College vote from the web site of the US National Archives and Records Administration, particularly on signature number 42 magnified:

Detail from 2012 California Electoral College signature.

Wowzers. It’s that same mix of grey scale and black. I guess this means that Romney really won California, and National Archives substituted a forged computer-generated certificate of the vote in place of the real one California sent. Apparently the National Archivist was smart enough to tell the scanner to get rid of the halos.

Dialog showing "Halo Removal" option

Electoral College votes without birther impediment

Despite a handful of ill-timed birther lawsuits directed at the Electoral College or select members of it, the votes were cast yesterday without any impediment from the birthers. I would cite this as a pure victory for sanity over insanity except that it was marred by the remarks of three Republican party officials and electors from Arizona, reports USA Today. State GOP Chairman Tom Morrissey said:

I’m not satisfied with what I’ve seen. I think for somebody in the president’s position to not have produced a document that looks more legitimate, I have a problem with that.

He was ignoring his own Arizona Secretary of State’s demand for and receipt of a verification from Hawaii of the place of Obama’s birth.


The Huffington Post coverage of this story also reported an Orly Taitz lawsuit in Arizona:

The comments of the Arizona Republicans comes a week after birther queen Orly Taitz filed a lawsuit in federal court in Arizona against Vice President Joe Biden and Congress to block Biden from counting the electoral vote.

However, there is no case in Arizona in the federal PACER system in which “TAITZ” is a party, and only two unrelated cases for “BIDEN.”

Read more:

Joe Biden: sued at last

imageI think Joe Biden was actually sued once by Phil Berg in his “interpleader” suit, Hollister v. Soetoro, that was famously “raised, vetted, blogged, texted, twittered, and … massaged by America’s vigilant citizenry,” but the Vice President has been notably absent in most birther litigation. Biden has an important role in the succession of the Executive: as President of the Senate and presider over the certification of the votes of the Electoral College next January 6; and it is in that role that he becomes a defendant in the newest federal lawsuit in California, served up by that frequent filer and “Queen of the Birthers” Orly Taitz, Grinols v. Electoral College.

As they say, “monkey see, monkey do.” At least two lawsuits have been filed against members of the Electoral College: the New York electors by Strunk, and all of them by Sibley in DC., so why not grab this latest birther shiny object and make the grand gesture in California, suing the Electoral College, the President of the Senate (Biden) along with the Governor of California, the Secretary of State of California, the U.S. Congress, and Barack Hussein Obama. Plaintiffs are James Grinols and Robert Odden (losing candidates for Presidential Elector), and Noonan, MacLeran and Judd (losing candidates for President). The attorney, in the black dress, is Orly Taitz.

Taitz, waiting a mere 5 days before the Electoral College meets next Monday, files an “Extraordinary Emergency” petition to stay the vote of the Electoral College. This reminds me of the saying, immortalized on office signs across the English-speaking world:


Taitz also would pretty please like an injunction against Congress and the Vice President to prevent them from doing their constitutionally-mandated duty of certifying the election on January 6. This complaint is so over the top that Taitz’ delusions of grandeur are having delusions of grandeur. My Muse Hyperbolae has left me without words to describe it.

Among many errors, Taitz even gets the redacted Obama social-security number wrong, writing “XXX-XX-2225” instead of “4425.” There no less than 108 pages of exhibits to the 31-page complaint, including an affidavit of Ron Polland (Polarik), and documents from Linda Jordan, Tim Adams and Susan Daniels. In one sense it’s a shame that this will be dismissed when there is such an opportunity to slap down so many birther expert pretenders at one time.

The case number is 2:12-at-01587.


The motion for a temporary restraining order has been tossed because it doesn’t comply with the rules. A competent attorney would, of course, be familiar with the local rules and would have file the required affidavits and forms. “This is the way the case ends, not with a bang but a whimper.” Here are the deficiencies:

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Strunk v. Electors

Christopher-Earl : Strunk is at it again. He has filed a complaint against the 29 New York members of the electoral college, a NYS Assistant Attorney General and newly-elected NY Senator Gillibrand1 as Plaintiffs. The document itself appears at the end of this article.

Strunk is under a court order that prevents him from filing lawsuits against certain officials without the approval of the court, and so a number of likely defendants were omitted.

The short version is that Strunk claims that Obama committed a crime, a felony, by presenting a fake birth certificate, and that the presidential electors in New York will become accomplices in that felony if they vote for Obama when the EC meets December 17. Strunk asks for a temporary restraining order and a permanent injunction to prevent the electors from carrying out their constitutional duty to participate in the selection of the next president. He hopes for a trial next week.

The whole thing is 211 pages, including quite a bit of repetitive boiler plate and a bunch of conspiracy stuff about the Jesuits. His evidence consists of stuff printed from the Internet, including the Arpaio affidavit and Paul Irey’s report. Strunk intends to have Irey appear as a witness, and is asking for donations to finance that.


  1. Starting on Page 30 appears a copy of an email from one Henry Wayland Blake, the subject of which is the Verification of Obama’s birth certificate that was filed in the Mississippi Federal District Court. Mr. Blake accuses attorney Scott Tepper of forging the Verification or collaborating with the forger2. Blake says “I have never testified as a forensic expert.” Well duh. He isn’t a forensic expert.
  2. On page 52 (Exhibit 2), Strunk seems to be confused by the meaning of elector in the 17th Amendment. The section is not clear. Strunk is demanding new elections for Senate.
  3. Did I mention Jesuits? “During the Black Pope’s World War I, the Masonic ally-ruled, Islamic Ottoman Empire would be defeated and dismembered after Jesuit Temporal Coadjutors Sultan Abdul Hamid II and Kaiser Wilhelm II (who had fired anti-Jesuit, Masonic Prince Bismarck) carried out the pope’s Armenian Genocide, murdering nearly two million non-papal Christians via the Grand Orient Lodge’s Masonic ‘Young Turks.’”

Read the complaint:

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