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Pre-game show

I was thinking about Orly Taitz’ case to be decided in Mississippi at a telephonic hearing next Wednesday (January 22, 2014) and the articles I might write leading up to it, and I hope an interview with Scott Tepper (one of the defense attorneys) on RC Radio afterwards. It reminded me of pre-game television coverage of a really important sporting event.

Not being a lawyer, it’s hard for me to judge the legal importance of Taitz v. Democrat Party of Mississippi. I would think that the “big game” was Berg v. Obama in 2008, where we saw the birther conspiracy conspiracies presented in their purest form, and opposition by the federal government and then candidate Barack Obama. It established the precedent for such cases being dismissed for lack of standing; nevertheless, the Taitz case has several elements to make it interesting:

  • The first case defended by a fully-trained Obot
  • Reluctant plaintiffs, one evening requesting sanctions against Taitz for dragging her into it
  • Civil racketeering charges (RICO)
  • A wide range of defendants: a state political party, political defendants, federal defendants and Hawaii defendants (one not deceased)
  • A long paper trail (approaching 100 entries in the docket)
  • A real evidentiary-quality document, a Hawaii verification of the president’s birth certificate in the hands of the Court
  • The threat of defendants demanding sanctions, possibly amounting to 6 figures

TaitzStats

I’ve laid in a big supply of popcorn.

Recycling

Donald Trump told the NBC Today Show’s Meridith Vieira this morning that  he has people on the ground in Hawaii looking into Obama’s origins and that we wouldn’t believe what they are finding out. Apparently his team has been digging deeply into old birther blogs because that was what Trump was repeating today.

I wrote an article in 2010 titled “We all came out of Berg’s suit” about how much of the birther story comes from the old Berg lawsuit from 2008, which itself came largely from Internet blogs. Berg’s theories still form the backbone of the birther story. Of course Berg, being the the instigator of the first lawsuit Barack Obama had to defend, couldn’t make the $2 million dollar legal fee claim (that had to wait until the number of birther lawsuits mounted, even though Obama wasn’t even named in most of them, and Obama actually defended himself in only 3, and none of those even came to trial).

Let’s look at what Trump said this morning (see NBC closed caption transcript).

  1. Obama doesn’t have a birth certificate (“he doesn’t have one”). Trump later softened this to a growing doubt that he has one and then “I hope he does.”
  2. “He has what’s called certificate of live birth [sic] that’s something that’s easy to get…It’s not the equivalent of a birth certificate, not even close.”
  3. “I read it [Obama's Certification of Live Birth] very carefully. It doesn’t have a serial number , doesn’t have a signature. There’s not even a signature.”
  4. Obama’s grandmother says she was there when Barack Obama was born in Kenya.
  5. Obama has spent $2 million in legal fees “trying to get away from this issue.”

I think most of this is covered pretty thoroughly on this blog. I am considering an update on Obama’s legal fees since this seems to be so central to just about every birther narrative, and the rumored expense keeps going up.

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Birthers v Sanity

There were two rallies held in Washington DC last month. The first was the Obama Birth Certificate / Eligibility / Obamacare rally organized by birther attorney Philip J. Berg, and the second The Rally to Restore Sanity hosted by Comedy Central comedians Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. Here are images of the two:

Birther Rally

Rally to Restore Sanity view from space (click to enlarge)

Rally to Restore Sanity (ground view)

There was also a satellite location for the Rally to Restore Sanity at Manuel’s Tavern in Atlanta, GA, that may have exceeded the number attending Berg’s rally.

Berg thanks Pravda

Obama eligibility denialist lawyer Phil Berg issued a press release yesterday thanking the Russian Internet news site Pravda.ru:

Philip J. Berg, Esquire here – WOW !  Thanks to Sam Sewell and PRAVDA for printing what the United States National Media [Radio, TV & Newspapers] has refused, I believe on purpose, to bring forth the facts regarding Obama.

Pravda.ru tends toward nationalist and sensationalist content

According to the Wikipedia, Pravda, one time official news organ for the Soviet government, was officially disbanded after the Soviet Union fell. Former Pravda employees started a new private print newspaper with the former name, and others an unrelated web publishing  enterprise, Pravda Online, the publication Berg mentions. Pravda.ru is  a tabloid web site tending towards nationalist and sensationalist content, and is not new to birther stories, dating back to December 2, 2008 with its opinion column touting Phil Berg talking points, Barack, the Amazing Mr. Obama, written by old Soviet hardliner [just kidding] Mark S. McGrew.

Artists conception of "Where's the birth Certificate" sign from Pravda

The unsigned Pravda.ru article yesterday is titled No evidence of Hawaiian birth for AKA Obama. What about Kenya? It cites such sources as Mario Apuzzo’s blog, and includes things that only a birther could love such as:

Obama’s ‘Certification of Live Birth’ form reveals his Birth Registration was FILED in 1961 but was never fully ACCEPTED by the Hawaiian State Registrar’s Office. Continue Reading →

Birther math (part 6)

Here we continue the analysis of a A Catalog of Evidence – Concerned Americans Have Good Reason to Doubt that Putative President Obama Was Born in Hawaii by attorney Mario Apuzzo. We’re adding up the value of the items in his catalog picking up from Birther math Part 5.

This is the next to last (HOORAY!) installment of “Birther math.” So far in parts 1-5, we have seen an attorney do what attorneys are trained to do: create doubt. Unfortunately the doubt is build on unsupported claims, outright false statements, and clever tricks of rhetoric that my High School English teacher taught us were wrong to use. So far, it’s nothing that hasn’t been hashed and rehashed on the Internet and been debunked on this web site, the mainstream press and fact checking and debunking web sites. The score entering part 6 remains a goose egg.

Let’s move on to item 26.

(26) Nancy Pelosi, in her capacity as the Chair of the Democratic National Convention, signed an affidavit to 50 states certifying that Obama was nominated for the Office of President. In many of the 50 states, Pelosi did not address the issue of Obama’s Article II “natural born citizenship” qualifications…. Continue Reading →

A question for Phil Berg

Philip Berg

I left this question over at Phil Berg’s web site, Obamacrimes.com, in November of 2009. I don’t know whether I didn’t see the answer at the time, or what. In any case an answer of sorts did appear. Here’s the question:

A particular point of interest to me regarding the Berg v. Obama lawsuit is the difference between the original complaint and the first amended complaint and how that came to happen.

After the original filing of the suit, quite a bit of media attention was focused on Phil Berg and his lawsuit, but I don’t think it caught hold in the minds of many folk until the amended complaint and the introduction of the affidavit by “Kweli Shuhubia” [not his real name] and the abbreviated version of the “grandmother tape”. Continue Reading →