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Archive | January, 2011

John McCain the “Panamanian Candidate”

Let me begin by saying that this article is an anecdote, and not a research article. At best it’s a starting point for discussion.

I am in Panama this week. I struck up a conversation with our Panamanian guide, and asked her how Panamanians reacted to McCain’s run for the US Presidency. She said that the people were very surprised to learn that John McCain was “Panamanian.”

It is now generally understood in Panama that John McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone. However, our guide said that those born in the zone (herself included) have dual citizenship, American and Panamanian.

The whole McCain ineligibility theory, I suppose, was never very well developed. It took two forms: the fake birth certificate that showed him born in Panama outside the Canal Zone, and the claim that the Canal Zone lacked the kind of jurisdiction that would have made McCain a natural born citizen. They never delved into whether McCain was also a citizen of Panama by virtue of his birth in Panama (in particular in the Canal Zone).

I daresay that if John McCain had been elected that we would not see the same kind of dual-citizen argument raised against him that we see against Barack Obama.

I found this article from the Washington Post that gives further details on McCain’s birth in the Canal Zone.

Further research into this issue reveals that in order for McCain to have acquired Panamanian citizenship, he would have had to register his consular birth certificate from the Department of State with the Panamanian birth registry.


Blog on vacation


Dr. Conspiracy

Tomorrow (Jan. 10) I will either be at home in South Carolina with 20° (F) temperatures, under 4-8 inches of snow and sleet, or I will be basking in the mid 80’s in Panama. You can follow the weather on our new Blog Weather Alert in the right sidebar.

Assuming the weather allows my departure, the blog will be on vacation January 10-27. (If the weather does not cooperate, I will just leave later.) I will leave an open thread tomorrow that will be good for 18 days and then it will automatically close. Anything that goes into moderation will stay there unless I have a chance and the inclination to get in the Internet while traveling. Anything with the F word, the S word or the AH word triggers moderation, as does a comment with a bunch of hyperlinks.

Since this open thread will be open longer than usual, I ask you not to be too chatty or else there will be so many comments the blog software may become unstable.

If I find a copy of John McCain’s birth certificate while I am in Panama, I will find a way to get it posted!


Well, I got out of Greenville, only to get stuck in Atlanta and have to spend the night in the UNHEATED, curse them, airport. I got sick from some kind of virus as a result.


Boehner abdicates leadership position on birther question

House Speaker John Boehner

Newly elected Speaker of the US House of Representatives, John Boehner, was questioned by NBC News correspondent Brian Williams. Here’s the relevant section:

Williams: I’m curious as to how much responsibility you feel specifically because of something that happened this morning. During the reading of the Constitution, Congressman Frank Pallone of New Jersey, was reading a portion of the document, interrupted by someone who heckled from within the chamber. It was to express doubt over the president’s American citizenship. Provided you believe the president is an American citizen, you’ve got 12 members co-sponsoring legislation that does about the same thing, it expresses doubt. Would you be willing to say, “This is a distraction, I’ve looked at it to my satisfaction. Let’s move on”?

Boehner: The state of Hawaii has said that President Obama was born there. That’s good enough for me.

Williams: Would you be willing to say that message to the 12 members in your caucus who seem to either believe otherwise or are willing to express doubt and have co-sponsored legislation?

Boehner: Brian, when you come to the Congress of the United States, there are 435 of us. We’re nothing more than a slice of America. People come, regardless of party labels, they come with all kinds of beliefs and ideas. Uh it’s, it’s the melting pot of America. It’s not up to me to tell them what to think.

On most matters, it is the job of the leader of the party to keep the members in line. At least in public Speaker Boehner seems content to let his nut-case colleagues do their own thing.