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"Surely you can question my policies without questioning my faith. Or for that matter my citizenship." - President Obama
April 27, 2011 2:55 AM   Subscribe

Handwritten 1961 memo in father's immigration file notes Obama born in Hawaii. "Documents obtained from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service through a Freedom of Information Act request offer evidence that President Barack Obama was born in Hawaii. A memo dated Aug. 31, 1961 from William Wood of Immigration and Naturalization Services indicates that Barack Obama, Sr., was attending the University of Hawaii on a student visa and that a son, Barack Obama, II, was born in Honolulu on Aug, 8, 1961." [Image of Memo]
posted by Fizz (719 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
This will definitely change opinions.
posted by dumbland at 2:59 AM on April 27, 2011 [31 favorites]


People genuinely care about Mr. Obama's specific birthplace? I thought it was just an internet meme at this point.
posted by cmonkey at 3:00 AM on April 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


I thought it was just an internet meme at this point.


If only.
posted by timdicator at 3:03 AM on April 27, 2011 [9 favorites]


People genuinely care about Mr. Obama's specific birthplace?

*sigh.
posted by Fizz at 3:05 AM on April 27, 2011


Sure, this would make a difference if Hawaii was part of the United States... some me some evidence of THAT!

Those claiming this shall henceforth be called "Staters", and you heard it first here!
posted by tomswift at 3:14 AM on April 27, 2011 [21 favorites]


At this point we might as well just gather as much evidence as possible that Obama was born in America, if only so the silent majority who aren't frothing racist mouth breathers can see what this "controversy" is really all about
posted by crayz at 3:15 AM on April 27, 2011


How very... convenient.
posted by Faint of Butt at 3:16 AM on April 27, 2011 [10 favorites]


WAIT A MINUTE THIS "EVIDENCE" WAS PROVIDED BY THE GOVERNMENT. WHO RUNS THE GOVERNMENT? OBAMA. WAKE UP SHEEPLE
posted by doublehappy at 3:18 AM on April 27, 2011 [64 favorites]


Any attempt at proving his heritage at this stage is simply going to fan the flames of denial. The only cure for this bullshit is complete refusal to engage on the topic.
posted by londonmark at 3:26 AM on April 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


Well, only 43 percent of americans believe Donald Trump was born in the US, so there is hope.

No, this is not a Joke. It's from Nate Silver's NYT blog.
posted by a womble is an active kind of sloth at 3:28 AM on April 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


When we look back in thirty or forty years time I think most people will agree that this was the moment the United States jumped the shark.
posted by doublehappy at 3:30 AM on April 27, 2011 [48 favorites]


cmonkey: "People genuinely care about Mr. Obama's specific birthplace? I thought it was just an internet meme at this point."

New York Times Poll:
A plurality of Republican voters, 47 percent, said they believed Mr. Obama, who was born in Hawaii, was born in another country; 22 percent said they did not know where he was born, and 32 percent said they believed he was born in the United States.
posted by octothorpe at 3:31 AM on April 27, 2011


Too early. Shoulda held on to this to dump Trump at the right time.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:32 AM on April 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Too early. Shoulda held on to this to dump Trump at the right time.

IT'S NEVER TOO EARLY TO DUMP ON TRUMP!
posted by Fizz at 3:33 AM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Article doesnt load for me, but doesnt the document say August 4th, 1961? (post says 8th)
posted by cashman at 3:34 AM on April 27, 2011


I recently read somewhere (maybe via here) of a study showing that once people had made up their minds about something, that cold, hard evidence refuting their position only served to make them entrench even more. Something about the whole being defensive about being wrong in the first place making folks hold even tighter to their error in the face of facts rebutting it, maybe.

Anyway, at this point, I'm pretty glad half of Republicans feel this way and that now folks like Trump and Franklin Graham are being sucked into this moonbattery, like an irresistible vortex of race-tinged unhingedness. It kind of helps rational Independents puts things into perspective, really. That perspective being: fully half of one of our country's two major political parties is composed of willfully ignorant conspiracy theorists.
posted by darkstar at 3:41 AM on April 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


Well, only 43 percent of americans believe Donald Trump was born in the US, so there is hope.

Holy fuck.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:44 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Does that make him an anchor child?
posted by braax at 3:44 AM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Social ill #737 that reeducation camps would solve.
posted by clarknova at 3:45 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


darkstar, here's the article
posted by telstar at 3:55 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Comparing the Trump situation with the Obama situation is wildly different, I think. The poll numbers for Trump break down as follows:

43% definitely born in US
20% think he was probably born here
30% uncertain
7% think he wasn't

Now, that seems like a pretty reasonable breakdown, really, for a population-wide poll which ostensibly includes people that might reasonably know very little about the guy. Most folks (63%) believe he definitely or probably was born here. The lion's share of the remainder just don't know (and really, why would you necessarily expect people to know where Trump was born?) Only 7% of Americans think Trump wasn't born in the US.

Compare that 7% to the poll of Republicans about Obama, where 47% of ostensibly politically aware voting Republicans definitively believe that their President was not born in the US (and another 22% is unsure) despite a torrent of evidence to prove it. That's some seriously effective propaganda going on there, folks!
posted by darkstar at 3:59 AM on April 27, 2011 [7 favorites]


This is a stupid debate, and MetaFilter is no better having participated in it.
posted by Mikey-San at 4:01 AM on April 27, 2011 [27 favorites]


To the non-USian MeFites...Is this sort of wide-spread insanity going on in your countries, too? I mean, is this just part of normal, modern life on this planet? Or, is it, as I fear, that the US has descended into its own unique form of dementia?

Bonus question: And, if this IS strictly a US illness, is the possibility of these crazies taking-over scaring the living bejeesus out of the rest of the world?
posted by Thorzdad at 4:02 AM on April 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


It's not so much a stupid debate, I think, as it illuminates a persistent and corrosive stupidity in our body politic.

Or, more accurately, it illuminates how professional propagandists can successfully demonize their political enemies with blatant lies even in the face of ultramodern global information-sharing networks and virtually instant access to verifiable knowledge.
posted by darkstar at 4:05 AM on April 27, 2011 [26 favorites]


THEY DO NOT CARE

THEY ONLY CARE THAT A BLACK GUY IS PRESIDENT

JESUS, PEOPLE
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:08 AM on April 27, 2011 [221 favorites]


Any attempt at proving his heritage at this stage is simply going to fan the flames of denial. The only cure for this bullshit is complete refusal to engage on the topic.
Why do people think this way? Do they think conservatives are incapable of spreading ideas among themselves? They don't need our assistance. They'll take silence as evidence that they have a point and we've got nothing.
posted by delmoi at 4:09 AM on April 27, 2011 [7 favorites]


THEY ONLY CARE THAT A BLACK GUY IS PRESIDENT

This.
posted by UseyurBrain at 4:16 AM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


People genuinely care about Mr. Obama's specific birthplace?

Wrong on two counts. Racists genuinely care about Mr. Obama's skin color.
posted by DU at 4:18 AM on April 27, 2011 [18 favorites]


What a terribly sad story that memo implies.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:19 AM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


The only cure for this bullshit is complete refusal to engage on the topic.

Yes, the way to combat ignorance is to refuse to educate. It's is like how I teach my kids to read and write: I refuse to give them books or paper and I work them mercilessly in a factory.
posted by DU at 4:21 AM on April 27, 2011 [19 favorites]


Then there is the ‘birther’ issue. I regard this as coded racism, frankly. I don’t think there’s any other word for it.

- Fareed Zakaria
posted by R. Mutt at 4:21 AM on April 27, 2011 [9 favorites]


It's not so much a stupid debate, I think, as it illuminates a persistent and corrosive stupidity racism in our body politic.

Or, more accurately, it illuminates how professional propagandists can successfully demonize their [non-white] political enemies with blatant [insert: racist] lies


Needed some editing.

I almost enjoy watching this. All those people who claimed they weren't racists but for some reason, I just can't quite put my finger on it, simply cannot accept the legitimacy of a black man in the white house.

I have had my problems with President Obama lately, but seeing the racist scumbags who make up about 30 percent of the US population spit and bluster themselves right out into the open about it has been instructive and purgative.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:25 AM on April 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


Do they think conservatives are incapable of spreading ideas among themselves?

Not ideas, just facts and truths that don't serve their cult-like agenda.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:27 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


The right was lustful in their hatred for Clinton too. It's imposible to measure since the internet wasn't as big of a deal back then, especially with the broad population. Did they hate Clinton as much as they hate Obama? It's hard to compare.
posted by delmoi at 4:30 AM on April 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


To the non-USian MeFites...Is this sort of wide-spread insanity going on in your countries, too?

No, I think you pretty much have a monopoly on it.
posted by unSane at 4:32 AM on April 27, 2011 [14 favorites]


In related news, I think we need to investigate whether there's evidence suggesting that Kenyans coming to this country and winning marathons might have been born in Hawai'i.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 4:33 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


FWIW CNN has been digging into the birther stuff all week on Anderson Cooper's show and debunking like a champion. They dug up people who remember him being born, remember seeing him in the maternity ward, remember him as a child, plus the woman who saw the original certificate and confirmed it exists and is genuine. None of them had been contacted by Trump's 'investigators'. They also ran an undedited interview with Trump where they put all this to him.
posted by unSane at 4:34 AM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


The Right doesn't hate Obama because he's black. They think he's not a real American citizen because he's black. They hate him because he's not an ignorant, government-hating, Bible-thumping, anti-science fuckwad.
posted by DU at 4:34 AM on April 27, 2011 [22 favorites]


Did they hate Clinton as much as they hate Obama?

Oh, God, did they ever. The hatred for Obama hasn't reached anything like the levels of the hatred for Clinton. Yet.
posted by unSane at 4:35 AM on April 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


THEY ONLY CARE THAT A BLACK GUY IS PRESIDENT

This.


Is bullshit. If the "Black Guy" where Clarence Thomas or Michael Steele or Alan Keyes or Colin Powell or any one of the other (have I named them all?) right wing conservatives, they would be all for him.

The right's hysteria about a "Black Guy" in the white house seems to me to be pretty much the same as it was when Bill Clinton was in the white house. When Bill Clinton was president they attacked his legitimacy with whitewater and lewinsky and all of the other live ammunition Clinton left lying around. Obama hasn't given them much and the "birther" thing is all they have.
posted by three blind mice at 4:35 AM on April 27, 2011 [21 favorites]


They dug up people who remember him being born

I should add that these people include the current Governor of Hawaii, who was friends with his parents. They also discovered that the birth announcement was not placed by his parents but came from the hospital, which automatically announced births in the newspaper.
posted by unSane at 4:37 AM on April 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


XQUZYPHYR,

That's as simplistic a view on the situation as those who believe he's the Manchurian candidate.
posted by tgrundke at 4:37 AM on April 27, 2011


But they never claimed Clinton wasn't a real American. Whereas I bet if Michael Steele or were President, they'd be like "he ain't one of us, but he sure killed the unions and destroyed the environment so I guess he's on our side".
posted by DU at 4:39 AM on April 27, 2011


The only reason they haven't released the so-called long form certificate is that the birther stuff is PURE FUCKING GRAVY for the democrats. It's the gift that keeps on giving. The only people who believe the birther stuff are folk who would never vote for Obama before the heat death of the universe. Then, most deliciously of all, if complete insanity takes hold and some birther nut like Trump actually becomes a realistic threat -- they just release the certificate and he goes down in flames.

It's called 'not interrupting your enemy while he's making a mistake'. Tactics 101.
posted by unSane at 4:40 AM on April 27, 2011 [35 favorites]


Why do people think this way? Do they think conservatives are incapable of spreading ideas among themselves? They don't need our assistance. They'll take silence as evidence that they have a point and we've got nothing.

There's a difference between trying to educate the naturally ignorant and entertaining the demands that the willfully ignorant be accepted. This is the line of thinking that ignores that difference and lets there be "equal time" in discussions about global warming and evolution.... and stupid, stupid racism.

That a lot of people are stupid racists does not mean they are suddenly anything more than stupid racists. It took me way too long to realize that it was a mistake to give them a cutesy name to begin with. I don't use the term "birthers" anymore. They are stupid racists.

There is not a single thing you can "debate" with someone who is demanding that you accept their nonsensical, factless, ignorant belief that Obama is a Kenyan Muslim, the earth is 2,000 years old or that magical pixies and imagination are why the ice caps are melting. You can only point out how embarrassing they look in an effort to make them feel embarrassed, and you can only try and humiliate those who facilitate their horseshit. Trying to compare this to "educating" people is ridiculous; these are people who choose to be stupid because it is what they want.

If the resources devoted to presenting more evidence or essays on the reality of Obama's birth and all other cookies that the mice will never consider enough were instead dedicated to having prominent figures ask "so, what's your non-racist argument for this?" on network news and having thousands of people and fans and consumers start asking NBC why there are currently paying an open, avowed racist to have his own TV show, then the issue will be "resolved."
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:40 AM on April 27, 2011 [16 favorites]


But with Clinton they were just as desperate for conspiracies. Whitewater, Vince Foster -- and then they got him with Lewinsky. Remember Clinton's haunted eyes in the hearings? Obama's don't look like that -- yet.
posted by unSane at 4:42 AM on April 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


There is not a single thing you can "debate" with someone who is demanding that you accept their nonsensical, factless, ignorant belief that Obama is a Kenyan Muslim, the earth is 2,000 years old or that magical pixies and imagination are why the ice caps are melting. You can only point out how embarrassing they look in an effort to make them feel embarrassed, and you can only try and humiliate those who facilitate their horseshit.
That's not "ignoring" them though. Humiliation is a great idea. try to make them look like idiots. But don't just "ignore" it.
posted by delmoi at 4:42 AM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


This.

Is bullshit. If the "Black Guy" where Clarence Thomas or Michael Steele or Alan Keyes or Colin Powell or any one of the other (have I named them all?) right wing conservatives, they would be all for him.


That's as simplistic a view on the situation as those who believe he's the Manchurian candidate.

Haha, what's funny is on preview I wrote "Black DEMOCRAT" instead of "black guy" and changed it.

But whatever. Again: I'm sick of being the one who has to "prove" something. Provide a single piece of legitimate evidence that Obama is not an American citizen--by that I mean legitimate proof that his goddamn birth certificate is fake--that is not based on racism.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:42 AM on April 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Well, only 43 percent of americans believe Donald Trump was born in the US, so there is hope.

They probably aren't convinced he was born on Earth.
posted by jonmc at 4:43 AM on April 27, 2011 [7 favorites]


I'm not entirely sure he was born on Earth-- what other earthlings have hair like that?

I have to confess to a nasty little secret. I get a thrill every time Michelle is photographed doing First Lady things because I know that the racists choke on their own bile when they see evidence of her existence.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:47 AM on April 27, 2011 [32 favorites]


I think that fear of Obama's otherness comes from three places, not one:
1) The color of skin
2) His "foreign name"
3) His childhood abroad

There's one thing I've never understood about the "birther" madness. Obama could have been born in Kenya -- or even on Mars -- and still would have been an American citizen simply because his mother was one.
posted by Slothrup at 4:50 AM on April 27, 2011 [12 favorites]


it illuminates how professional propagandists can successfully demonize their political enemies with blatant lies even in the face of ultramodern global information-sharing networks

Yeah! The information flowing through all that gleaming fiber optic is supposed to be true, dammit!
posted by telstar at 4:53 AM on April 27, 2011


Trump's current claim is that somebody, but he won't say who, told him the birth certificate is lost or missing.

To be clear, I don't hate Trump because he's an old, rich, white man. I hate trump because he is an evil piece of shit.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:53 AM on April 27, 2011 [7 favorites]


As I remember it, the right didn't hate Clinton like this. There was ZOMG liberal socialism and ZOMG Whitehouse blow jobs, but not ZOMG [insert stand-in controversy for race]. I think the racism angle makes this a whole 'nother kettle of fish.
posted by angrycat at 4:57 AM on April 27, 2011 [7 favorites]


Trump's current claim is that somebody, but he won't say who, told him the birth certificate is lost or missing.

Who was Project Manager on this? You're fired!
posted by Artw at 5:01 AM on April 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


I doubt that that many people actually believe (and would bet good money) that Obama is legally unqualified to be president.

But to anyone who asks them -- to anyone such as a poll taker who might help shape public opinion against Obama -- the anti-Democrats will certainly say with a straight face they are sure Obama's a foreigner, because that declaration works for them politically when the front page news is often a bloody opinion poll like the one that generated this silly post. They know that some crap will stick if they just throw enough.
posted by pracowity at 5:03 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


As I remember it, the right didn't hate Clinton like this.

I don't think you remember it correctly. They thought he killed a dude, wrapped a body in a carpet, and left it in a park!
posted by escabeche at 5:04 AM on April 27, 2011 [11 favorites]


Yes, the way to combat ignorance is to refuse to educate. It's is like how I teach my kids to read and write: I refuse to give them books or paper and I work them mercilessly in a factory.

Oh my mistake, all the birthers need is educating. It's been such an effective strategy on climate change, health care, gun control, marriage equality, how can it not work on this? Let's show them some facts and bask in the warm glow of their enlightenment.
posted by londonmark at 5:08 AM on April 27, 2011 [18 favorites]


I don't doubt that Trump was born in the U.S., but that thing on his head definitely came from another planet.
posted by briank at 5:08 AM on April 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


The only reason racism wasn't used against Clinton was because he wasn't black.

However, they did claim he fathered an illegitimate black child, so they tried to sneak it in.
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:08 AM on April 27, 2011 [7 favorites]


To the non-USian MeFites...Is this sort of wide-spread insanity going on in your countries, too? I mean, is this just part of normal, modern life on this planet? Or, is it, as I fear, that the US has descended into its own unique form of dementia?

Well, arguably Thorzdad, the last non-foreign head of state of England was Harold Godwinson, 6 January–14 October 1066, depending on how you approach these things.

We tend not to worry about it too much
posted by fatfrank at 5:09 AM on April 27, 2011 [7 favorites]


But whatever. Again: I'm sick of being the one who has to "prove" something. Provide a single piece of legitimate evidence that Obama is not an American citizen--by that I mean legitimate proof that his goddamn birth certificate is fake--that is not based on racism.

Look buddy, I don't have a dog in this hunt. My point is that just because a group of people don't like a politician doesn't mean the dislike is based on race. There are a multitude of reasons to not like the guy, race may or may not be one of them for some people, but it most certainly is a leap to say that it is solely or primarily due to race.
posted by tgrundke at 5:11 AM on April 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


To the non-USian MeFites...Is this sort of wide-spread insanity going on in your countries, too?

No, which is why I thought that this "birther" thing was more akin to the Bielefeld Conspiracy than something that people actually get worked up over in real life. Although, I just found out that "Donald Trump is running for president" is apparently not an internet joke, either, so my day is just full of WTF revelations.
posted by cmonkey at 5:14 AM on April 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


There's one thing I've never understood about the "birther" madness. Obama could have been born in Kenya -- or even on Mars -- and still would have been an American citizen simply because his mother was one.

The POTUS has to be a 'natural born citizen', not just a citizen.
posted by unSane at 5:14 AM on April 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


The discussion is not whether or not individual northers are racist. The argument is bit deism as a racist construct. And it is. It's all about emphasizing the aspects of Obama that are "other." It's a Jungian shadow puppet show about the subject of race.

People may have legitimate reasons to dislike him. They do not have legitimate reasons for perpetuating a fantasy of Obama as an invading African who has stolen our America from us.
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:15 AM on April 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


Birthers, not northers.
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:16 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


This won't change a thing. Sure, someone wrote a note. So?

The more convincing the evidence, the more powerful the conspiracy must be.
posted by Sebmojo at 5:17 AM on April 27, 2011


darkstar: I'm pretty glad half of Republicans feel this way and that now folks like Trump and Franklin Graham are being sucked into this moonbattery

You say that as if they have been heroically resisting being "sucked into" it. The reality is that they have jumped into the moonbat vortex with both arms in front of them as though into a pool of crystal-clear water on a summer day.

tgrundke: My point is that just because a group of people don't like a politician doesn't mean the dislike is based on race. There are a multitude of reasons to not like the guy, race may or may not be one of them for some people, but it most certainly is a leap to say that it is solely or primarily due to race.

At this point, it's more of a leap to say that it's not primarily due to race. Trump saying that Obama a poor student who didn't deserve to get into Harvard or Columbia when he (Trump) has tons of rich (white) friends whose blueblood kids didn't get in even thought they had stellar grades and test scores? What do you call that? Merely pointing out the fellow's minor intellectual deficiencies? Give me a break.
posted by blucevalo at 5:18 AM on April 27, 2011 [8 favorites]


As I remember it, the right didn't hate Clinton like this.

This is true. The right REALLY hated Clinton.

Monica Lewinsky, Paula Jones, Whitewater, Travelgate, Filegate, Wampumgate, the China secrets scandal, Vincent Foster, the way Bill Clinton was vilified for appointing Hillary to chair the white house health care reform effort. The "birther" movement isn't even official; Clinton had Congress and Special Prosecutor Ken Starr breathing down his neck for most of his time in office.

Compared to the way the right hated Clinton, they only mildly dislike Obama.
posted by three blind mice at 5:22 AM on April 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


Look buddy, I don't have a dog in this hunt. My point is that just because a group of people don't like a politician doesn't mean the dislike is based on race. There are a multitude of reasons to not like the guy, race may or may not be one of them for some people, but it most certainly is a leap to say that it is solely or primarily due to race.

You're avoiding the question now. While I'm sure it's a hefty percentage, I didn't say they all "disliked Obama" because of his race. I said that claiming he's not American is based on racism and challenged you to provide a single piece of evidence that proves otherwise. If you "don't have a dog in this hunt" then why are you saying I'm wrong?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:25 AM on April 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


Natural Born Citizen means citizen from birth, which Obama was regardless of where hew was born since his mother was undoubtably a US citizen. Just as John McCain was even though he was born in the Panama Canal zone.

Also Clintons citizeship was questioned fro protesting against the Vietnam war while at Oxford. He was also accused of being a communist spy. They even claimed he burned a US flag.
posted by humanfont at 5:30 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


And they said Clinton was black!
posted by Artw at 5:33 AM on April 27, 2011


Trump saying that Obama a poor student who didn't deserve to get into Harvard or Columbia

Without clear definitions of 'poor student' and 'deserve', that's the weakest hypothesis I've heard in a long time.

And if Obama was such a crappy student, how did his peers select him as President of his edition of the Law Review? Do they usually give that out to some halfwit?

Oh my...
posted by mikelieman at 5:36 AM on April 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


They do not have legitimate reasons for perpetuating a fantasy of Obama as an invading African who has stolen our America from us.

Yeah! Politics is supposed to be based on legitimate reasoning, dammit!
posted by telstar at 5:36 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


There is not a single thing you can "debate" with someone who is demanding that you accept their nonsensical, factless, ignorant belief that Obama is a Kenyan Muslim, the earth is 2,000 years old or that magical pixies and imagination are why the ice caps are melting.

Way to strawman, XQUZYPHYR. They think the earth is 6,000 years old.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:37 AM on April 27, 2011 [24 favorites]


"The Tea Party is tired of Blacks, nigras, Muslims, and Hispanics, especially the illegals, calling us racist for trying to save the America that we love."
posted by octothorpe at 5:38 AM on April 27, 2011 [23 favorites]


I've got an anthem for these truthers.

Where was Obama born?
Only in Kenya,
He comes from Kenya, he's a liar.
Where is his birth certificate?
Only in Kenya,
He's a liar who's birth certificate is in Kenya,
Kenya,
Not Hawaii,
Where the Muslims are,
And the Terrorists,
Kenya Kenya Kenya Kenyaaaaa,
Kenya, send him back to Kenya
Kenya believe it...
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:39 AM on April 27, 2011 [10 favorites]


Natural Born Citizen means citizen from birth

If it was as simple as that clearly the Birthers would have no case. However, the term is not defined in the Constitution and there is a vast muddle of case law pertaining to it. If you remember there were questions about McCain's eligibility during the last election cycle because he was born in Panama on a US base. There was no question about he lineage of his parents.
posted by unSane at 5:41 AM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


(McCain was Natural Born because he was born on a US base, not because his parents were American)
posted by unSane at 5:42 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


"The Tea Party is tired of Blacks, nigras, Muslims, and Hispanics, especially the illegals, calling us racist for trying to save the America that we love."

"We don't even have dogs in this hunt!"
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:42 AM on April 27, 2011 [12 favorites]


The right's hysteria about a "Black Guy" in the white house seems to me to be pretty much the same as it was when Bill Clinton was in the white house.

I think you're missing the fact that the nature of the attacks on Clinton were fundamentally different. Clinton was attacked for being corrupt, for being a liberal, and for being a draft dodger. Obama has been consistently labeled The Other. The charge that he's a Kenyan Muslim is not, to those who believe it, about something he did. It's about something he is.

There are plenty of crazy conspiracy theories the right floated about Obama -- he's working on legislation to steal our guns, he had gay trysts in Chicago at shady nightclubs, he had men murdered, the same kinds of things things that were said about Clinton. But the stuff that really stuck -- the memes with legs that obviously resonate deeply with the base -- are about the idea that Obama is fundamentally The Other. It's a nuanced distinction to make, but none of the charges against Clinton were ever about that.
posted by verb at 5:43 AM on April 27, 2011 [58 favorites]


Comparing the Trump situation with the Obama situation is wildly different, I think.

Nonetheless, I'd like to see someone in the media have the courage to confront Trump straight-up with the idea that 43% of the country thinks he's not from the US, just to see the look on his thick face as he gradually figures out the implications.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:54 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


You seriously think that Trump ever worries about implications? Arguably most of the shit that comes out of his mouth is predicated on ignoring implications.
posted by blucevalo at 5:56 AM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


If you remember there were questions about McCain's eligibility during the last election cycle because he was born in Panama on a US base.

As soon as it became a question, the Congress changed the rules to specifically allow for people being born abroad on US military bases so that he could run.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 5:58 AM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


My god, Octothorpe, that is one hell of a video.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:59 AM on April 27, 2011


White House just released Obama's Long Form Birth Certificate.
posted by lilkeith07 at 6:01 AM on April 27, 2011 [21 favorites]


I think Trump worries about the implications....when it comes to the ratings on his TV show. Which is extremely American, now that I think of it.
posted by rtha at 6:01 AM on April 27, 2011


White House just released Obama's Long Form Birth Certificate.

Quick. SOMEBODY CHECK THE KERNING!
posted by Threeway Handshake at 6:04 AM on April 27, 2011 [23 favorites]


unSane, no, there is no serious debate about the meaning of "natural born citizen".

The friggin' Naturalization Act of 1790, the first set of laws in which the term was explicitly defined, expressly said that the term "natural born citizen" included a person born abroad to parents who are United States citizens. And this has never changed. This has been settled law for more than 200 years.

If you believe there is any real legal question or debate about that, you are being sold a bill of goods. The birthplace of both McCain and Obama are in fact actually completely irrelevant from a legal standpoint.
posted by kyrademon at 6:04 AM on April 27, 2011 [17 favorites]


If you remember there were questions about McCain's eligibility during the last election cycle because he was born in Panama on a US base.
I remember that there was absolute consensus among everyone, including everyone I met volunteering with the Obama campaign, that it would be both wrong and really stupid to raise those questions, since questioning the citizenship of a Real American Hero like McCain could never get any traction and would only backfire and hurt Obama.
posted by craichead at 6:06 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


More info:

The law as of 1790: "The children of citizens of the United States that may be born beyond Sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born Citizens".

(It was actually the fourteenth amendment, in 1868, that explicitly granted citizenship to people born within the United States regardless of their parents' race, citizenship, or place of birth, by the way.)
posted by kyrademon at 6:08 AM on April 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


As much as people have been saying even the stories confirming Obama was born in the US are adding fuel to the fire, I don't really buy that. I'll take this any day over the media trying to seem respectful and unbiased by saying "some doubt Obama was born in the US" without immediately following it with "even though that's a load of bullshit and he totally was." Instead, they would follow it with a bunch of people expressing their conspiracy theories.

Up until this point, most outlets haven't taken care to repeat, over and over, that Obama was born here -- and most articles/reports that did take a stance at all would do it in a single sentence, which hardly made up for the pages of crazy it was buried in. It gave the impression that there was something more to the doubts than there really is. It won't change most birthers' minds, but I think the media still has a responsibility to finally firmly say it's bullshit; there are still people out there that are on the fence about it, and the way the media used to report on it sure as hell didn't help their confusion.

As tempting as it may be to want to simplify things to "ignore it and it'll lose power" and "everyone has already made up their mind," neither is true. People who answer that they absolutely believe Obama was not born in the US have made up their mind, people who actually go to tea party rallies have probably made up their mind -- but there are people who say they don't know if Obama was born here or not, and there are people that have been considering going to tea party rallies but haven't taken that step yet. You can look at the people yelling the loudest and think there's no convincing them, and yeah they're probably racist -- but you aren't seeing the people who can be convinced because they're quieter. Stridently criticizing it isn't a magic bullet, but it's better than simply saying a phenomenon or idea exists and not evaluating it -- and people will find out it exists anyway.

It may be naive of the people who trust that the news will adequately educate them, but in a better world they'd be right -- and understandably, now those people don't know what the hell to think. The media's wishy-washiness -- and FOX's lack of wishy-washiness -- is a big part of that problem. If you've got some outlets outright pushing the idea that Obama wasn't born here, and then the others just seem neutral, then is it really any surprise people are confused because no one seems to be stridently saying he was born here? Like it or not, there are people who haven't made up their mind about Obama's birthplace not because they're racist -- those people have their minds made up -- but because everything they've heard until recently has either said he wasn't, or doesn't seem to really know.

Whether all this could have been avoided by never reporting on the issue in the past, I dunno. I doubt it, but we can't change the past. The best option right now isn't staunchly ignoring it after all the damage has been done and just letting it fester. The best option right now is to say very clearly that this is all bullshit.

It took the media long enough, but sometimes it really is better late than never.
posted by Nattie at 6:14 AM on April 27, 2011 [14 favorites]


If it was as simple as that clearly the Birthers would have no case.

Clearly, the Birthers don't have a case.
posted by NoMich at 6:15 AM on April 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


kyrademon: expressly said that the term "natural born citizen" included a person born abroad to parents who are United States citizens

Interesting question here, though, because his father was Kenyan, at the time a British colony. Meaning under the UK's British Nationality Act 1948, if Obama had been born in Kenyan, or the UK, or Canada for that matter (etc), he'd be a UK citizen by birth. (Which, at least according to Wikipedia, seems to be the angle that some of the birthers are taking). So, which would take precedence - does the US 'natural born citizen' clause still take effect if only one parent was a US citizen? How do you decide whether US or UK law has precedence?

(To be clear, I'm arguing this one out of idle intellectual curiosity, not because I think Obama isn't American. He was obviously born in Hawaii.)

[Incidentally, some birther commented on the Guardian recently that the "real reason" Obama's birth certificate is being "hidden" is because it would show he was a Muslim at birth]
posted by Infinite Jest at 6:16 AM on April 27, 2011


Conspiracy? You want conspiracy? How does the child of a "slippery character" once expelled from Harvard's PhD. program get accepted himself?

The East Coast liberal elites are up to their eyeballs in this.
posted by jsavimbi at 6:17 AM on April 27, 2011


(McCain was Natural Born because he was born on a US base, not because his parents were American)

And it's worth noting that in case there might still be ambiguity, the Senate actually passed a declaration that McCain was a "natural born citizen" so he wouldn't be accused of not being eligible for President any more.

When McCain was actually a moderate, or a maverick perhaps, not toeing the Republican line as strictly as he later would, they were pretty rough on him as well -- I think he was also accused of fathering a black child out of wedlock, which was effective because his adopted daughter who sometimes appears on stage with the McCains in campaigns was born in Bangladesh).
posted by aught at 6:17 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


This has always been a stupid argument, and hopefully the just-released long-form birth certificate will finally end it. For posterity the "birther" argument actually relied on a loophole that because he wasn't a "natural born" citizen because only one of parents was a citizen, and in that case the law required that parent to be over 21 (essentially). I have no idea if this loophole is as bogus as the rest of their argument, but I wouldn't be surprised. This is summarized at the Snopes entry on this mess, which ignores the loophole red herring because Obama was of course born in the U.S.
posted by stopgap at 6:19 AM on April 27, 2011


White House just released Obama's Long Form Birth Certificate.

Mathowie, can we get the flashing lights?
posted by cashman at 6:19 AM on April 27, 2011 [13 favorites]


[Incidentally, some birther commented on the Guardian recently that the "real reason" Obama's birth certificate is being "hidden" is because it would show he was a Muslim at birth]

Which is especially nonsensical given that, while there were both Christians and Muslims on the paternal side of Obama's family, Barack Sr. was an atheist, not a practicing Muslim. Not that the people inclined to Birtherism would be impressed by the atheist part either. (I mean, I know, I know, they're all so muddled they don't even distinguish between the Kenyan father and the Indonesian step-father many years later. It's all disheartening and pathetic.)
posted by aught at 6:24 AM on April 27, 2011


I really wanted Obama to get up on the podium, give a slight pause and in a perfect English accent, "I, Barrack Obama, was born John Windsor, son of Diana and Charles Windsor. My twin brother, William, came several minutes later. I was born with re-vitiligo, the reverse of what Michael Jackson has, or "Uncle Ruckus" disease. Because of this shameful secret I was sent to live in America where I thrived. Through some forged transcripts I managed to pass for a much older man, but here I stand today in front of you as President of the United States. I will say finally, after so many years, we Hanoverians from the House of Windsor have finally taken back what is rightfully ours. Several hours from now, I'm putting the full strength of the United States military under control of Queen Elizabeth. The Federal Reserve and most government institutions will be dissolved and incorporated into their British counterparts. All citizens will be required to present transit papers when traveling between states. Catholics will be moved to Maryland. I will be naming by brother William as Viscount of America and he will preside as your unelected leader. The press corps will be dissolved and we're going to put up a bunch of cameras everywhere for God knows what. And last, but not least, say goodbye to your precious guns. God Save the Queen!"
posted by geoff. at 6:24 AM on April 27, 2011 [141 favorites]


This has always been a stupid argument, and hopefully the just-released long-form birth certificate will finally end it.

Yeah, that's not gonna happen. We will now be in for acres of nitpicking about the historical accuracy of the typeface, the paper, pixels out of place yadda yadda yadda.
posted by rtha at 6:26 AM on April 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


Obama's long form birth certificate

News reports indicate he's still black, though.
posted by DU at 6:26 AM on April 27, 2011 [14 favorites]


This has always been a stupid argument, and hopefully the just-released long-form birth certificate will finally end it.

I really kinda hope that releasing the long-form certificate doesn't slow down the Birther Express very much, and maybe induces some of the more crazypants ones like Bachmann to really double down on the looney. Come on, Michelle, you know that this document is a forgery... and what about that FOUR DAY GAP!?!?! That's easily long enough to get back from Kenyatown, Kenya where the REAL birth happened! You know it, so SAY IT LOUD AND PROUD ON NATIONAL TV.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:26 AM on April 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


In an episode of Star Trek: TNG, or possibly Voyager, I forget which, a child is conceived of mixed race: part normal person race and part spiney person race. Because of complications with the birth (see: spines) the baby is literally TELEPORTED OUT OF IT'S MOTHERS WOMB using Star Trek space magic. This raises two questions:

1) is this the case for all children of mixed race?
2) do we really consider that a NATURAL birth?

If you think about it I believe you'll find you already know the answer.
posted by Artw at 6:26 AM on April 27, 2011 [13 favorites]


The reason why the right hate Obama and hated Clinton is that Democratic party that includes Wall Street leaves a Republican party that is of, by and for racist losers (economic losers) and religious fanatics.

(and by the right, I mean the people who fund, direct and manage "movements" like the "Tea Party")
posted by ennui.bz at 6:28 AM on April 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


[Incidentally, some birther commented on the Guardian recently that the "real reason" Obama's birth certificate is being "hidden" is because it would show he was a Muslim at birth]

Which is especially nonsensical given that, while there were both Christians and Muslims on the paternal side of Obama's family, Barack Sr. was an atheist, not a practicing Muslim. Not that the people inclined to Birtherism would be impressed by the atheist part either. (I mean, I know, I know, they're all so muddled they don't even distinguish between the Kenyan father and the Indonesian step-father many years later. It's all disheartening and pathetic.) birth certificates don't have a field for the baby's religion.

None of this has anything to do with sense.
posted by neroli at 6:28 AM on April 27, 2011 [7 favorites]


Obama's long form birth certificate

This might be a really brilliant move on his part, honestly. I hope he comes out this morning and says something along the lines of "There. Are you happy now? This means we can all get along now and act like sane adults, right? Right, Mr. Crazypants?"
posted by EarBucket at 6:29 AM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


It still says "Certificate of live birth" at the top though. The birthers, freaking out a the wording "This is a certificate of live birth, not a birth certificate" are going to have issues.
posted by delmoi at 6:30 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Too early. Shoulda held on to this to dump Trump at the right time.

I was actually hoping that Trump (or another Birther) would get the nomination, Obama would goad them into bringing it up at the first debate, and then he'd whip the long form birth certificate out of his pocket, wave it in the air, and dare them to come over and get it.
posted by EarBucket at 6:31 AM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Cokie Roberts said on the Sunday wonk-fests that the speculation on Obama's religion is because "…because the same people won’t – won’t say, “I don’t like him cause he’s black.” So it’s – it’s – and – and the fact that it’s acceptable to dislike him because he’s a Muslim is the problem that you were talking about."
posted by tizzie at 6:32 AM on April 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


*Puts on birther glasses, looks at birth certificate*

Wait, his mother was only 18 when he was born? That means she was 17 when he was conceived, which means she was underage and his father was a child molestor like Mohammed! Do you want someone whose father was a child molestor running the country?
posted by Infinite Jest at 6:34 AM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


To be clear, I don't hate Trump because he's an old, rich, white man. I hate trump because he is an evil piece of shit.

He has no lips. Seriously. Look at Trump's face. No. Lips.

It's weird.
posted by The Whelk at 6:34 AM on April 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


The President’s hope is that with this step, we can move on to debating the bigger issues that matter to the American people and the future of the country.

So that's where the hope went.
posted by headnsouth at 6:37 AM on April 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


CNN Employee and RedState.com head Eric Erickson:
So he’ll release it and make it a non-issue for most and, for those who continue to believe there is something off, he’ll go back to portraying them as crazy, racists.

Of course, once the birth certificate issue is dispatched, will he release his college transcripts? That’s the issue for me.
Mouse given cookie.

Prepare for six months of nonsense about how Obama is "hiding that he didn't deserve to get in to Harvard."
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:37 AM on April 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


I think he's wrong to have given this one iota of attention. It really is dignifying playground bullying. He's the HEAD OF STATE for fuck's sake. What's he going to do next? Find out if Hitler really did only have one ball?
posted by Summer at 6:37 AM on April 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


Infinite Jest:

"[D]oes the U.S. 'natural born citizen' clause still take effect if only one parent was a U.S. citizen?"

Yes. There are further laws that explain the details of this.

"How do you decide whether US or UK law has precedence?"

You don't bother. According to the U.S. state department: "The concept of dual nationality means that a person is a citizen of two countries at the same time ... For example, a child born in a foreign country to U.S. citizen parents may be both a U.S. citizen and a citizen of the country of birth ... [A] person who is automatically granted another citizenship does not risk losing U.S. citizenship."

The degree of ignorance required to believe, after even casual research, that there would be a real legal quandary even if he were born outside the U.S. is pretty extreme.
posted by kyrademon at 6:37 AM on April 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


He has no lips. Seriously. Look at Trump's face. No. Lips.

He fired them for saying that he was for taxing the very wealthy a while back.
posted by theredpen at 6:37 AM on April 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


None of this has anything to do with sense.

Well, yeah; but a lot of people (including some I am related to I'm sad to admit) would no doubt say that, since their parents were church-going Christians when they themselves were born and got them promptly baptized as an infant, they have been "Christians since birth." Also, are we sure that it's true that no state's birth certificate has a field for religion? I haven't even looked at my own birth certificate since I applied for a passport a couple decades ago, never mind looked over other states' formats.
posted by aught at 6:38 AM on April 27, 2011


Free Republic thinks it's a fake. Color me shocked.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 6:40 AM on April 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Comment on the Guardian just now:

Why is Barack Hussein Obama so resolutely defensive on the subject of his birthplace ?

Ummmmmm.......
posted by Summer at 6:41 AM on April 27, 2011


THEY ONLY CARE THAT A BLACK GUY IS PRESIDENT

This.

Is bullshit. If the "Black Guy" where Clarence Thomas or Michael Steele or Alan Keyes or Colin Powell or any one of the other (have I named them all?) right wing conservatives, they would be all for him.


Except that those people couldn't be elected to head the GOP ticket because they are BLACK.

Take Steele. Led them to a landslide win. Booted. Why? Because he is BLACK.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:42 AM on April 27, 2011 [7 favorites]


Just for fun, I pulled out the file with our family birth certificates (minus my husband's, which I don't have, and he is uncertain whether he was born in Kansas or Missouri*). My kids' California documents are headed "Certificate of Live Birth". My Texas birth record not only says "Certificate of Birth"** but appears to have been drawn by a small child with a crayon.


*OR KENYA?!?
**It is unclear whether I was born alive, based on this document, putting Obama at least one full step ahead of me in the citizenship game.

posted by padraigin at 6:42 AM on April 27, 2011 [12 favorites]


Of course, once the birth certificate issue is dispatched, will he release his college transcripts? That’s the issue for me.

They're blowing so hard into that dog whistle it's long past hit audible human range
posted by crayz at 6:42 AM on April 27, 2011 [20 favorites]


They're blowing so hard into that dog whistle it's long past hit audible human range

It was never going to satisfy them.

We should start calling them afterbirthers now.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:48 AM on April 27, 2011 [52 favorites]


Oh my mistake, all the birthers need is educating. It's been such an effective strategy on climate change, health care, gun control, marriage equality, how can it not work on this? Let's show them some facts and bask in the warm glow of their enlightenment.

I always thought that even if you're engaging with people like this (i.e. those that are heavily emotionally invested in a topic and will therefore cling to their stubborn racist fool beliefs no matter what contrary evidence you present), the actual education is of observers who are much less involved.

That is, there are a lot of people out there who are not heavily invested in politics and could be swayed either way, and you want them to hear the reasons why birtherism is stupid.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 6:50 AM on April 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Easy so fake. Just fire up a vortex math powered time cube and do it.
posted by WagonTyre at 6:51 AM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Birtherism taps into a deep substrate of white supremacist propaganda that tries to establish a hierarchy of classes of citizenship. The deepest substratum is associated with the Posse Comitatus, Christian Identity, tax protest and other propaganda initiatives started by William Potter Gale. The basic notion is that white, Christian males born in the United States possess a different and higher form of citizenship that exempts them from allegiance to the Federal government, don't need to pay taxes, etc.

Most people get exposed to this propaganda in the form of bogus arguments against paying the federal income tax. However, the root of the arguments are tied up with fantasies about the US constitution, usually in the form of denying that the 13, 14 and 16th amendments were never legally ratified. See the explanation of these amendments in the Citizen's Rule Book. These arguments are very dear to white supremacists because they believe it legally justifies making blacks permanent and hereditary non-citizens. This is a particularly strong undercurrent in birtherism.

The Constitutionalist movement and much of the far right (particularly the John Birch Society) is saturated with this sort of nonsense and it is mind-blowing how wide the exposure to these ideas is. The Mormons are also purveyors of a related set bogus beliefs about the constitution (particularly the White Horse prophesy.) There is a long standing relationship between the LDS and the JBS throughout the western US dating back to the late 50s and early 60s when the two groups leaderships overlapped to a great deal.

The birther nonsense has deep roots, but this is mostly forbidden history. It's not going to get discussed in the news media or by opinion leaders. For the last forty years, we seen repeated instances of fringe beliefs of the racist right being mainstreamed into American politics: survivalism, tax protests, militias, Y2K, anti-immigrant hysteria, islamophobia, and now this nonsense from the Tea Party. Most of the participant/supporters are dupes, but that doesn't absolve them of the responsibility to not get trolled by seditionists, racists and bigots.

Same old toilet, new stain.
posted by warbaby at 6:51 AM on April 27, 2011 [94 favorites]


Mikey-San: "This is a stupid debate, and MetaFilter is no better having participated in it."

This assumes we're actually debating it, as opposed to collectively rolling our eyes at the morons who are trying to make it a debate. Discussing the crazy is not debating the issue. And this is a fine forum for discussion.
posted by caution live frogs at 6:51 AM on April 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


This is a sad and disgusting waste of time and life
posted by lslelel at 6:52 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


This transcript stuff is really grasping at straws. As though Bush got into Yale because he was a brilliant scholar with a wide range of extracurricular talents.
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:52 AM on April 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


They probably aren't convinced he was born on Earth.

Trump was born on Earth, but I'm not willing to assert the same about his hair.
posted by eriko at 6:52 AM on April 27, 2011


Take Steele. Led them to a landslide win. Booted. Why? Because he is BLACK.

You owe me a keyboard.
posted by verb at 6:53 AM on April 27, 2011


Guardian live blog; Trump is claiming credit for forcing Obama to release the certificate.
posted by jack_mo at 6:53 AM on April 27, 2011


President on tv dissing the "sideshow and carnival barkers".
posted by R. Mutt at 6:54 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


President Obama just gave the finest speech of his political career, suckered the news channels into carrying it live, and called them out for covering fluff instead of facts to their faces. I'm really proud of my president today.
posted by EarBucket at 6:56 AM on April 27, 2011 [11 favorites]


i'm just puzzled that the president waited so long to do this - what was the point of refusing for years if he was going to do it anyway?

obama's afraid of these people - and this whole sorry episode, although it's not his fault, doesn't show me much hope for his leadership - he's going to appease these people as much as he can without fighting

he was THAT scared of donald trump?
posted by pyramid termite at 6:56 AM on April 27, 2011


Holy shit it's Barack Obama. I was wondering where he'd been off to.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:56 AM on April 27, 2011 [7 favorites]


"We're not going to solve our problems if we get distracted by carnival acts and sideshow barkers" - heh, take that Donald!
posted by jack_mo at 6:56 AM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Remember that episode of The Office (U.S.), where the staff says that prison sounds like more fun than the office, and Michael gets mad, and in the end Toby explains to Michael that "They don't really believe it. They're teasing you.", and Michael gets a big old "Oh, that's what's happening" look on his face?

So, Birthers don't really believe that Obama was born outside of the United States. Well, they do believe it, but probably not in the same way you believe things. It's not a question of facts, true or false, a question of debate. It's a shibboleth. They repeatedly affirm that Obama was born outside of the United States to affirm their belonging to a group. There's more than one group: Tea Party, Good Christians, Loyal Americans, Lovers of Liberty. But by repeating this statement, they confirm that they belong to their group, their tribe to whom they are fiercely loyal. As an added benefit, it angers many of those in the enemy tribes.

So it's nice that people argue and produce evidence, because it does form a basis for understanding for some people. It's pretty easy to produce enough evidence for those who will be swayed by evidence, but that's been done, and additional evidence will not change the minds of those who are left making birther claims.

And why does this get all the media coverage that it does? The media is the kid at school who says "you and him should fight", so that he can get all the attention (read: ad dollars) for going around and telling people "Hey, there's a fight!".
posted by benito.strauss at 7:00 AM on April 27, 2011 [23 favorites]


he was THAT scared of donald trump?

The Grauniad suggested a conspiracy theory: Obama released the certificate to give Trump a boost, on the grounds that he'd be an even more ridiculous opponent than Palin.
posted by jack_mo at 7:00 AM on April 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Take Steele. Led them to a landslide win. Booted. Why? Because he is BLACK.

I'm pretty sure that it's because he was a gaffe-prone clown.
posted by empath at 7:00 AM on April 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


I love that in my time zone, Good Morning America interrupted its royal wedding and Dancing With The Stars coverage for his announcement.
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:01 AM on April 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm pretty sure that it's because he was a gaffe-prone clown.

So is most of their white leadership. Hasn't stopped them, has it?
posted by aramaic at 7:02 AM on April 27, 2011 [9 favorites]


Of course, once the birth certificate issue is dispatched, will he release his college transcripts? That’s the issue for me.

They'll just keep movin' those goalposts.
posted by octothorpe at 7:02 AM on April 27, 2011


"certificate of live birth" v "birth certificate"...

Can someone please distill the birther apoplexy over these functionally identical terms, so that I can save myself the horror or trawling through a pile of birther websites?
posted by Thorzdad at 7:04 AM on April 27, 2011


i'm just puzzled that the president waited so long to do this - what was the point of refusing for years if he was going to do it anyway?

obama's afraid of these people - and this whole sorry episode, although it's not his fault, doesn't show me much hope for his leadership - he's going to appease these people as much as he can without fighting

he was THAT scared of donald trump?


Waiting for point of maximum advantage. That was a whole weeks-long operation which CNN was in on from the ground floor.

Really? Obama "afraid" of Trump? Just cuz he made him look bad? Hardly. The prez understands low information voters like rove did. But rather than scare the voters, he slaps their face in front of everyone. Does nothing for the women, but it works on poorly-informed males. For prior reference, see the whole McCain going back on his word to "suspend" his campaign by walking head bowed to that debate because Obama dared him too.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:05 AM on April 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


After he releases his college transcript, can I ask that he release the hounds?
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:06 AM on April 27, 2011 [19 favorites]


Waiting for point of maximum advantage.

"october surprise" - i would think that releasing this in october 2012 would have been an even better moment
posted by pyramid termite at 7:07 AM on April 27, 2011


Of course, once the birth certificate issue is dispatched, will he release the video of his conception? That’s the issue for me.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 7:08 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Waiting for point of maximum advantage.

"october surprise" - i would think that releasing this in october 2012 would have been an even better moment


That's only if Trump was the nominee. This is a B*slap moment. Sets the tone.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:09 AM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


So is most of their white leadership. Hasn't stopped them, has it?

The current head of the RNC has been involved a series of public gaffes? The previous one was?
posted by empath at 7:09 AM on April 27, 2011


To the non-USian MeFites...Is this sort of wide-spread insanity going on in your countries, too?

It's not. And yours provides endless amusement, much like a good horror movie does. Westboro Baptist Church? Tea Party? Birthers? Glenn Beck? PNAC? Dick Cheney? The list is endless.

True evidence that the Lovecraftian creative spirit is strong in the US.

Bonus question: And, if this IS strictly a US illness, is the possibility of these crazies taking-over scaring the living bejeesus out of the rest of the world?

Didn't they do that back when Reagan won the election?
posted by Djinh at 7:10 AM on April 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


At last, our long national nightmare is OVER. For good, this time.
posted by the painkiller at 7:12 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I missed the live streaming event and cannot find the video -- does anyone have a link that works now?
posted by theredpen at 7:12 AM on April 27, 2011


Didn't Mr. Trump say he'd release his tax returns if the President released his birth certificate? Ho ho ho.

But this is fairly dopey. There has never been a lack of evidence that the President was born in Hawaii. Never. Because it isn't about where he was born, it's about whop he is, or more accurately, who the worst of our countrymen believe (or pretend to believe) he is. So the addition of more evidence isn't going to change anybody's mind, really.
posted by dirtdirt at 7:13 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Trump made a mistake.
No-hair is human.
posted by hal9k at 7:13 AM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is a B*slap moment. Sets the tone.

it's hard to predict the future, but it's a reasonable belief that so much stuff will have happened by oct 2012 that the tone will be totally different and people may have completely forgotten this
posted by pyramid termite at 7:13 AM on April 27, 2011


I had no idea Quit Hogging All The Crazy would be so goddam timely when I wrote it yesterday.
posted by cortex at 7:14 AM on April 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


I've seen polls that say as many as 51% of Republicans believe Obama was born outside of the U.S.A. Funny, I distinctly recall arguing with some Republicans who were saying how unfair it was that one had to be born in the U.S.A. to be president. You see, they were salivating at the prospect of having what they perceived to be a shoe-in for the presidency when Schwarzenegger was running for governor and polling very well across the U.S.

Hypocrisy? Meh. I'd be disappointed if the people who choose to be the online voice for the Republican Party (real-world voices, too, now that I think about it) did not consistently live down to the cartoonish image I have of them. Not to say that there are not intelligent Republicans. They just tend to get drown out in the sea of stupid, though.
posted by Dodecadermaldenticles at 7:14 AM on April 27, 2011


Are we racist because we do not want to kill babies? Or because we love Christmas? Because we love Sarah Palin? Because she is a female version of Ronald Reagan and to millions of men she is their fantasy wife.
posted by snofoam at 7:15 AM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


To be fair, I have never met Obama. I have no proof he even exists. I demand he visit me personally RIGHT NOW, and even then, after witnessing his presence and even touching his skin, I still won't be sure the whole thing wasn't some mad fantasy. How can I tell there is such as thing as objective reality? Until all of these questions are settled 'Obama' should stand down (if, in fact, there is such a person to take such an action and if actions are possible in a world that might only be a dream).
posted by Summer at 7:15 AM on April 27, 2011 [10 favorites]


Kyrademon: thanks for indulging my hypothetical. I'd thought for some reason that the US was stricter than that on dual citizenship.
posted by Infinite Jest at 7:16 AM on April 27, 2011


Here is the deal: Trump financed that book (by Jerome Corsi?) about Obama's background. All of Trump's media lately about this is simply Trump drumming up business for the book. He likes to make money, and he does that by financing shiny things and getting idiots to buy them. He's just a tout.
posted by gjc at 7:16 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Cue the "Is Hawaii really part of the US?" questions.
posted by ob at 7:16 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


President Obama has released what he calls his long form birth certificate.

Still as fake as the moon landing.


Obama was born on the moon!

No, wait, that was whitey on the moon!*

*yes, i will go to great lengths to link to Gil Scott-Heron.

even as far as responding to comments in deleted double posts

cause Gil is worth it

posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:16 AM on April 27, 2011 [9 favorites]


It's kinda funny that there are current or recent threads where Obama is being excoriated for complicity in crony capitalism, torture, and false imprisonment, but this sentiment has now changed 180 degrees for Lo! Thy messiah hath brought forth a piece of paper!
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:16 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Donald Trump is a perfect example of why the U.S. should tax the living shit out of rich people.
posted by MegoSteve at 7:17 AM on April 27, 2011 [48 favorites]


To be fair, Clinton was also reportedly a black president.

Also, Donald Trump wears a toupee. HAH!
posted by Eideteker at 7:18 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's kinda funny that there are current or recent threads where Obama is being excoriated for complicity in crony capitalism, torture, and false imprisonment, but this sentiment has now changed 180 degrees for Lo! Thy messiah hath brought forth a piece of paper!

That's because some people look at content and action more than party affiliation. Politics isn't binary for some of us.
posted by gjc at 7:19 AM on April 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


It's kinda funny that there are current or recent threads where Obama is being excoriated for complicity in crony capitalism, torture, and false imprisonment, but this sentiment has now changed 180 degrees for Lo! Thy messiah hath brought forth a piece of paper!

Metafilter is not comprised of a single, unified consciousness.
posted by empath at 7:20 AM on April 27, 2011 [7 favorites]


gjc: "Trump financed that book ... about Obama's background ... He likes to make money, and he does that by financing shiny things and getting idiots to buy them. He's just a tout."


So, are you saying this whole kerfluffle was simply being ...

Trumped up?
posted by kyrademon at 7:20 AM on April 27, 2011 [10 favorites]


Metafilter is not comprised of a single, unified consciousness.


yet
posted by unSane at 7:21 AM on April 27, 2011 [13 favorites]


Lo! Thy messiah hath brought forth a piece of paper!

and verily, there shalt be pixels!
posted by pyramid termite at 7:21 AM on April 27, 2011


To the non-USian MeFites...Is this sort of wide-spread insanity going on in your countries, too?

Italy's politics seems like an embarassing clusterfuck right now.
posted by empath at 7:22 AM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's kinda funny that there are current or recent threads where Obama is being excoriated for complicity in crony capitalism, torture, and false imprisonment, but this sentiment has now changed 180 degrees for Lo! Thy messiah hath brought forth a piece of paper!

Well, he does some stuff people don't like and he doesn't do some stuff that people have expected of him, but that doesn't mean that people who think he was born in Kenya aren't idiots.

I don't really understand your concern, to be honest.
posted by padraigin at 7:22 AM on April 27, 2011 [9 favorites]


Donald Trump is a perfect example of why the U.S. should tax the living shit out of rich people.

That's all we need... "You should see my tax bill. I mean, this is one thick, throbbing, fabulously appointed tax bill. This Obama wishes he has paid as much in taxes as I have. If you want to know how to run a country, ask someone who pays a lot of taxes. I think you are really going to be impressed and surprised when I finally fully release my tax bill across this country."
posted by gjc at 7:22 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, now all the conspiracy assholes are going to do is claim that the birth certificate isn't authentic. They constantly move the goalposts... first it was "show is your birth certificate" then it became "show us your long form birth certificate," now it will be "that's a fake" or "why didn't you release your birth certificate sooner"? There is no satisfying crazy people.

What really sickens me is that piece of human filth Donald Trump's continuous lying about the issue to cynically capitalize on the idiocy of the birther movement. The interview where he was told a Hawaiian official verified the existence of a formal "long-form" birth certficate... his response was "I heard it was missing, but I can't tell you who told me that" is just absolutely vile.
posted by MegoSteve at 7:22 AM on April 27, 2011


We do not know for sure that the toupee does not hide a massive white power tattoo.
posted by Artw at 7:23 AM on April 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


What really sickens me is that piece of human filth Donald Trump's continuous lying about the issue to cynically capitalize on the idiocy of the birther movement

I actually think it's hilarious and I hope he doesn't stop.
posted by empath at 7:23 AM on April 27, 2011 [7 favorites]


Also, Donald Trump wears a toupee. HAH!

We shall overcomb,
We shall overcomb,
We shall overcomb, someday
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:24 AM on April 27, 2011 [34 favorites]


Suggested NY Post headline for tomorrow:

TRUMP THE CHUMP
posted by Ironmouth at 7:25 AM on April 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


Cue the "Is Hawaii really part of the US?" questions.

This quotation is attributed to Dan Quayle: "Hawaii has always been a very pivotal role in the Pacific. It is in the Pacific. It is a part of the United States that is an island that is right here."
posted by peeedro at 7:26 AM on April 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


If anyone else remembers Spy magazine from the 80's, they will remember that Spy always referred to Donald Trump as "short-fingered vulgarian Donald Trump". That phrase runs through my mind every time I see him.
posted by benito.strauss at 7:27 AM on April 27, 2011 [13 favorites]


So, are you saying this whole kerfluffle was simply being ...

Trumped up?


YYYYYEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!

*guitar riff*
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:28 AM on April 27, 2011 [16 favorites]


Suggested NY Post headline for tomorrow: TRUMP THE CHUMP

Nah, the post leans too far right to imply that Obama won this round. I'd expect something like "LONG-TIME-IN-COMING FORM".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:28 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Trump is too much of an asshole to have been born anywhere else.
posted by Liquidwolf at 7:28 AM on April 27, 2011 [9 favorites]


(Aside to robocop: Thank God I wasn't the only one thinking that.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:29 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is a B*slap moment. Sets the tone.

it's hard to predict the future, but it's a reasonable belief that so much stuff will have happened by oct 2012 that the tone will be totally different and people may have completely forgotten this


Tone isn't about specific rememberances. Its about setting psychological expectations. Obama has always out masculined his opponents. He out masculined a guy who was in the Hanoi Hilton for seven years.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:30 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I feel like Obama isn't that great a president, as far as making policies I want become action, and sometimes even actively working against certain policies I believe in (extending the patriot act instead of letting it expire, for one), but I feel like he's better than the Republican alternatives.

However, this isn't about Obama's politics. It's about a baseless conspiracy theory gaining respect from the media, a conspiracy theory largely gaining speed from people assuming a black person with a foreign-sounding name is The Other. It's just mudslinging, and it reminds me of the "John McCain has a black baby" rumors, which have a special mix of generally unacceptable behavior (adultury) with barely hidden racism ("The baby was black! He cheated on his wife with a black person!"). That way, people spreading the rumors could claim it upset them not because of the racism, when you could tell they were getting worked up in the first place because of racism.
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:30 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


“What’s your name, boy?” the policeman asked.

“Dr Poussaint. I’m a physician.”

“What’s your first name, boy?”
posted by applemeat at 7:36 AM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


If anyone else remembers Spy magazine from the 80's, they will remember that Spy always referred to Donald Trump as "short-fingered vulgarian Donald Trump". That phrase runs through my mind every time I see him.

Right before they first went dark, they also corrected people who still referred to Trump as "The Donald" by pointing out that the hipper nickname was now "Donald Mayonnaise". I wish that had caught on.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 7:38 AM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Mayonnaise might be hipper, but "Donny Miracle Whip" is so much more appropriate.
posted by gjc at 7:41 AM on April 27, 2011


This is a B*slap moment. Sets the tone.

it's hard to predict the future, but it's a reasonable belief that so much stuff will have happened by oct 2012 that the tone will be totally different and people may have completely forgotten this


Also, time-wise, its probably best to whip it out the day after the idiot goesd on national TV and says your birth certificate is missing or never existed.

Also GOP state legislatures had passed laws requiring the long-form to be a candidate for their state, so it was probably gonna have to come out in a few weeks anyway.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:43 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Tone isn't about specific rememberances. Its about setting psychological expectations.

my point is that a 2nd recession or a new war will totally change both - and we are dangerously close to those happening in the next 18 months

we may well remember these days with wistful nostalgia
posted by pyramid termite at 7:46 AM on April 27, 2011


Fox News: White House Releases ‘What It Says’ Is The President’s Birth Certificate
" ... Fox News is already doing its part to feed the birthers’ collective delusion. Immediately after the news broke that Obama’s long form birth certificate is available, Fox ran a banner headline claiming that the White House had only released 'what it says' is the President’s birth certificate ... Of course, today’s birther-stoking is nothing new for Fox. As Media Matters reports, Fox has promoted the birther myth in at least 52 different segments."
posted by ericb at 7:46 AM on April 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm amazed that anyone cares about this.
posted by freakazoid at 7:48 AM on April 27, 2011


Didn't Mr. Trump say he'd release his tax returns if the President released his birth certificate? Ho ho ho.

Yep. Will Donald Trump Now Release His Tax Returns?
posted by ericb at 7:49 AM on April 27, 2011


Immediately after the news broke that Obama’s long form birth certificate is available, Fox ran a banner headline claiming that the White House had only released 'what it says' is the President’s birth certificate ...

Let's stop feeding the troll, can we?
posted by londonmark at 7:49 AM on April 27, 2011


really freakazoid? Where exactly have you been for the last 15 years?
posted by any major dude at 7:49 AM on April 27, 2011


I said here that Obama would be a fool to release the long-form birth certificate, because the people who want to see it are being disingenuous and will not be persuaded. So my initial reaction to this event was horror. But I think I was wrong.

I'm not an advocate of the 11-dimensional chess theory of Obama's behavior. However I do believe the man can play 2-dimensional chess. I also believe he is not dumb unilaterally; he is only dumb as a constituent part of the Democratic Party and of the government at large. Here he acted unilaterally.

By releasing the long-form certificate, the person who directly benefits is Donald Trump. Donald Trump is a joke candidate who happens to currently be the front-runner for the Republican nomination. If he commits to running, he is unlikely to be nominated, but his popularity and abrasiveness will damage the other candidates. If he then runs as a third party, it would be a catastrophe for the GOP. A boost for Trump is good for Obama. I really don't see another reason why Obama would release this certificate, but I acknowledge that it may have been the right move.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:56 AM on April 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Tone isn't about specific rememberances. Its about setting psychological expectations.

my point is that a 2nd recession or a new war will totally change both - and we are dangerously close to those happening in the next 18 months


You're more than welcome to hope those come true and Obama will finally be destroyed.

I'm not hoping for either.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:56 AM on April 27, 2011


Looks like the birth certifiate release took down reddit (again)...
posted by mikelieman at 7:57 AM on April 27, 2011


Ok, so maybe he's a citizen, but he's still an ANCHOR BABY!
posted by chundo at 8:00 AM on April 27, 2011


Are we racist because we do not want to kill babies?

Nope, the voting to remove women's rights is misogyny, not racism.

Or because we love Christmas?

Nope, but your inability to understand that not everyone is the same religion as you is fairly unpleasant.

Because we love Sarah Palin? Because she is a female version of Ronald Reagan and to millions of men she is their fantasy wife.

Nope, that's just idiot celebrity-worship. Comparing her at best to an Alzheimer's patient who did more to annihilate the middle class than anyone before him, and then saying that many people would let their dicks vote for her, is not the most clarion of endorsements.
posted by FatherDagon at 8:02 AM on April 27, 2011 [60 favorites]


obama's afraid of these people - and this whole sorry episode, although it's not his fault, doesn't show me much hope for his leadership - he's going to appease these people as much as he can without fighting
Eh. Andrew Sullivan, when he was rambling on and on about Sarah Palin would always say he was afraid of her. After all, what could be worse then idiots like these ever gaining power? Trump is a moron.

Anyway, I would imagine Obama is more annoyed then afraid. This kind of stuff would get under anyone's skin.
posted by delmoi at 8:02 AM on April 27, 2011


I said here that Obama would be a fool to release the long-form birth certificate, because the people who want to see it are being disingenuous and will not be persuaded. So my initial reaction to this event was horror. But I think I was wrong.

I'm not an advocate of the 11-dimensional chess theory of Obama's behavior. However I do believe the man can play 2-dimensional chess. I also believe he is not dumb unilaterally; he is only dumb as a constituent part of the Democratic Party and of the government at large. Here he acted unilaterally.

By releasing the long-form certificate, the person who directly benefits is Donald Trump. Donald Trump


Except that birther bills requiring the release to be on the ballot have been passed and Obama aint dumb, he aint going to challenge them in court

This will be the end of birtherism and here's why: if Obama really had anything to hide, he wouldn't administer such a public beatdown while releasing it. People take their cues on believing from circumstances. The President of the United States doesn't publically beat you over the head with something you insist he didn't have 12 hours ago unless he's got nothing to hide. People take their cues from behavior.

They'll be a few last-ditchers, but they will never get any media attention from here on out.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:04 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


You're more than welcome to hope those come true and Obama will finally be destroyed.

and you're more than welcome to think that the world is going to neatly respect the importance of america's partisan squabbles - until it doesn't

hope and fear are trumped by reality every time
posted by pyramid termite at 8:05 AM on April 27, 2011


They'll be a few last-ditchers, but they will never get any media attention from here on out.

It shouldn't have gotten this far. However, Some Might Say that the media doesn't actually exist to inform so much as to advertise.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:07 AM on April 27, 2011


freakazoid: "I'm amazed that anyone cares about this."

Read Conspiracy Theories in American History. An Encyclopedia. by Peter Knight. Preview at Google Books. You'll find that this is how American politics has worked for generations. Conspiracy theories and accusations of hidden agendas, graft, greed and corruption that screw over the voters are an American standard. The powerless seem ever eager to assume the powerful are trying to take advantage of them. Political parties have encouraged it wholesale since we were founded because it works.

This is merely one of the latest in a long, long trail of conspiracy accusations. It won't end here. The Birthers, eager to believe the worst, will no doubt declare the document fake. Or they'll fall back on the "He's a Muslim! Lock up your Daughters!" garbage. Because the memes involved are fear-based, and therefore irrational.

It's a calculated campaign. See Religion Dispatches: Welcome to the Shari'ah Conspiracy Theory Industry: How the American right demonizes Islam for political gain
posted by zarq at 8:07 AM on April 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


pyramid termite is Donald Trump!
posted by shakespeherian at 8:07 AM on April 27, 2011


I always thought Trump was a really unfortunate name for a public figure. Does it mean the same thing in the US as the UK?
posted by londonmark at 8:11 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


The powerless seem ever eager to assume the powerful are trying to take advantage of them.

Well, to be fair, a lot of that sentiment is backed by the fact that the powerful are constantly, relentlessly, mercilessly crushing the powerless under their financial boots.
posted by FatherDagon at 8:12 AM on April 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


I for one, am appalled. I distinctly voted for Obama BECAUSE i thought he was a secret Muslim terrorist Manchurian candidate communist hitler joker. Way to ruin my dreams by being American, Barry.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 8:13 AM on April 27, 2011 [14 favorites]


Also,

In an episode of Star Trek: TNG, or possibly Voyager, I forget which, a child is conceived of mixed race: part normal person race and part spiney person race. Because of complications with the birth (see: spines) the baby is literally TELEPORTED OUT OF IT'S MOTHERS WOMB using Star Trek space magic.

Voyager. Complications in Ensign Samantha Wildman's pregnancy (her husband's race has spiny protrusions on their forehead. Since they were stuck out in the Delta quadrant, the Holographic Doctor had to improvise. Her daughter Naomi Wildman was born healthy, and somehow became a preadolescent in the space of two seasons.

(Christ I suck)
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 8:17 AM on April 27, 2011 [21 favorites]


if I can print up these BC's and spend them at the gas pump I'm a happy camper.
posted by wallstreet1929 at 8:17 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Just dropping in to say there's been crazy wild rumors about candidates for nearly 200 years or so. Elections have always been stupid like this, with folks sending out bizarre rumors to see what sticks on the wall long enough to derail a candidate.

* JFK would answer to the Pope if elected
* Grover Cleveland's illegitimate child
* Ulysses Grant an undependable alcoholic
* John Quincy Adams bathing nude in the local river
* Andrew Jackson was the son of a mulatto prostitute

etc., etc. A 1972 article on some of this is here.

The big difference here is the rumor persisted through half of the first term, instead of dying on the vine/in the pit. But there's some examples of that, too, rumors haunting presidents/elected officials all through their term. The logical thing to do is ignore completely, you're fuckin' president and don't need to pay attention to that shit. But I guess something set them off.
posted by jscott at 8:20 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


FatherDagon: " Well, to be fair, a lot of that sentiment is backed by the fact that the powerful are constantly, relentlessly, mercilessly crushing the powerless under their financial boots."

Yes. Unfortunately, it means that baseless conspiracy theories are usually given more consideration and credibility than they would otherwise have.
posted by zarq at 8:21 AM on April 27, 2011


jscott: "The logical thing to do is ignore completely, you're fuckin' president and don't need to pay attention to that shit. But I guess something set them off."

After 3 years, it probably became apparent that it wasn't going to go away on its own.
posted by zarq at 8:22 AM on April 27, 2011


Yeah, that's not gonna happen. We will now be in for acres of nitpicking about the historical accuracy of the typeface, the paper, pixels out of place yadda yadda yadda.

"You want a toe? I can get you a toe, believe me. There are ways, Dude. You don't wanna know about it, believe me."
posted by nonliteral at 8:22 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Whoops, here's a link to the first page of that LIFE article.
posted by jscott at 8:22 AM on April 27, 2011


I missed the live streaming event and cannot find the video -- does anyone have a link that works now?

CSPAN: President Obama remarks on birth certificate (5:39)
posted by cashman at 8:23 AM on April 27, 2011 [7 favorites]


To the non-USian MeFites...Is this sort of wide-spread insanity going on in your countries, too? I mean, is this just part of normal, modern life on this planet? Or, is it, as I fear, that the US has descended into its own unique form of dementia?

At least be happy you're not from Peru, where nobody doubted Fujimori's citizenship, until we all found out he had been Japanese all along (right after he travelled to Japan before being incarcerated, conveniently enough).
posted by Tarumba at 8:24 AM on April 27, 2011


I always thought Trump was a really unfortunate name for a public figure. Does it mean the same thing in the US as the UK?

I've never heard trump = fart. Common meaning in the US is actually a lot more flattering to The Donald's outlook on life: winning side of a standoff, best card or cards in a hand.
posted by cortex at 8:25 AM on April 27, 2011


Are we racist because we do not want to kill babies? Or because we love Christmas? Because we love Sarah Palin? Because she is a female version of Ronald Reagan and to millions of men she is their fantasy wife.

No, it's pretty much the birther thing, the always reminding us that his full name is Barrack HUSSEIN Obama like that indicates he's some sort of crypto-muslim that gets the "racist" stamp across the forehead.

If you're speaking about The Republican Party in general, we could throw in the Southern Strategy and much of the later 20thC.

But no, liking Christmas, not wanting to take a baby from it's crib and kill it, loving Sarah Palin, these things don't make you racist.

But you can love babies, Palin, and Christmas, and still be a racist birther using all manner of coded language and dog-whistle politics to express your distaste from a black man being President of the United States.

Those things are not mutually exclusive, as evidence by recent polls showing a majority of the Republican party are birthers.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 8:28 AM on April 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


But there's some examples of that, too, rumors haunting presidents/elected officials all through their term.

Hell, in the case of Clinton, the "Vince Foster didn't kill himself" rumor didn't get settled until after he'd left office. There are some who still believe in the Clinton Body Count even today.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:28 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow. I just watched it. I know he's got different ideas than I do about American power and civil liberties, by God damn it's nice to hear an American president engage cogently with reality and problems that confront us, as opposed to a babbling ignoramus trying to convince us to follow his God-bestowed mission.
posted by benito.strauss at 8:29 AM on April 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


But I guess something set them off.

Yeah, see, what set them off is, John Quincy Adams and Grover Cleveland didn't have to worry about being beaten over the head with it 24 hours a day by Gretchen Carlson at Fox News and Eric Erickson over at RedState and Michelle Malkin screeching and Donald the Trumpsky holding 24 press conferences a day to trumpet his certainty that Obama is made of moon cheese and .....
posted by blucevalo at 8:29 AM on April 27, 2011


Common meaning in the US is actually a lot more flattering to The Donald's outlook on life: winning side of a standoff, best card or cards in a hand.

Second most common US usage of trump: trumped up, to mean false or concocted with intent to deceive -- "trumped-up charges", etc.
posted by palomar at 8:29 AM on April 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


I was never worried. I know in my heart of hearts that even if Obama was proven to be born in Africa, that our Supreme Court would render a one-time-this-can-never-be-used-as-case-law ruling to make it all AOK. Like they did for the last guy.
posted by drowsy at 8:30 AM on April 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


The "Hurf durf he can't be a natural born citizen because his dad was subject to the Queen of England and he was born in Kenya" people crack me the fuck UP. Know why? Because I was born in the UK, to a US Citizen mother and a UK Citizen father, and I have a "Certificate of the Birth Abroad of an American Citizen" that says right on it, in black and white, that I am "a Natural Born Citizen of the United States of America, and subject to all the Rights and Privileges accorded thereunto."

Of course, I'm white.
posted by KathrynT at 8:32 AM on April 27, 2011 [10 favorites]


welp, since the other post was deleted i went ahead and turned my comment into a blog post : Top Ten Reasons Barack Obama finally showed his long-form birth certificate
yes, it's a self-link, enjoy :)
posted by liza at 8:33 AM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Whats that Drunk Hulk? STUPID AMERICA! HE PRESIDENT! NO CABBAGE PATCH KID!
posted by Sailormom at 8:33 AM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Common meaning in the US is actually a lot more flattering to The Donald's outlook on life: winning side of a standoff, best card or cards in a hand.

Can we start pushing the fart angle please? It can be our PG-rated santorum.
posted by londonmark at 8:33 AM on April 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


So, who's rooting for Farts/[NSFW DEFINITION HERE] 2012?
posted by mccarty.tim at 8:36 AM on April 27, 2011


Can't win for losing:

"I am really honored, frankly, to have played such a big role." --Donald Trump pats himself on the back.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:38 AM on April 27, 2011


Meanwhile, in his corner office in Hell, Lee Atwater pours a drink and silently toasts Fox News.
posted by cmyk at 8:40 AM on April 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


You can't make this shit up:
In a statement after Obama spoke, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus called the issue a distraction — and yet blamed Obama for playing campaign politics by addressing it.

"The president ought to spend his time getting serious about repairing our economy," Priebus said. "Unfortunately his campaign politics and talk about birth certificates is distracting him from our number one priority — our economy."
posted by PenDevil at 8:41 AM on April 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


Source for that quote in case anyone thinks that has to be made up.
posted by PenDevil at 8:43 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Trump Says Obama Should ‘Get Off His Basketball Court’.
posted by ericb at 8:45 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Reince Priebus"? You made that up.
posted by Vetinari at 8:46 AM on April 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


Wow. I just watched it. I know he's got different ideas than I do about American power and civil liberties, by God damn it's nice to hear an American president engage cogently with reality and problems that confront us

My favorite part about the video is after he says "carnival barkers" at 4:14, and then there's that 5 second pause/caption contest. In my own mind he tilted his head to the side, pursed his lips slightly, raised a single eyebrow, then straightened up and went back to speaking.

Best 5 seconds ever.
posted by cashman at 8:47 AM on April 27, 2011


Donald Trump's New Obama Conspiracy Theory
"Not content with questioning the president’s birthplace, Donald Trump is now wondering how a 'terrible student' got into the Ivy League. Michelle Goldberg traces the far-right history of the claim—which reassures resentful whites that this seemingly brilliant black man isn’t so smart after all."
posted by ericb at 8:47 AM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Trump Adviser: Even If Long-Form Birth Certificate Is Genuine, It Doesn’t Prove Anything.
posted by ericb at 8:49 AM on April 27, 2011


Headlines from 2012 "Why does Obama refuse to address claims that he used vile sorcery during his campaign?"
posted by The Whelk at 8:50 AM on April 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


Donald Trump is now wondering how a 'terrible student' got into the Ivy League

While the rest of us are wondering how the great lug got on TV with that wig. Seriously. Face for radio.
posted by londonmark at 8:52 AM on April 27, 2011


"I've been a huge birther for the last few years. Boy do I feel dumb now. I think we've still got him on the muslim thing though" - comment on Palin's Facebook wall
posted by naju at 8:52 AM on April 27, 2011 [23 favorites]


I liked that Obama didn't take questions, and strode out after he had had his say, like he was a bit annoyed that he had even had to address the silliness in the first place.

In other words, though it IS ridiculous that this is an issue, he took exactly the right tone in addressing it.

Of course, now the racist birthers are just going to rally around some other trumped-up* cause, because haters gotta hate.

*see what I did there?
posted by misha at 8:52 AM on April 27, 2011


Why is President Obama falling all over himself to "prove" his citizenship? What's he trying to hide?
posted by clockzero at 8:52 AM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm surprised it took this long for the CIA to create and plant a sufficiently convincing certificate...
posted by zeoslap at 8:53 AM on April 27, 2011


See? This is why you should never try to play-along with these nuts. It's fairly certain that they had these responses ready to go, if Obama actually released the birth certificate. Obama has just played into their spin machine.

It would have been better to simply let them go on prattling like idiots and brush them off like gnats.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:53 AM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Trump dogged by rumors that his hair does not originate from the U.S
posted by MtDewd at 8:55 AM on April 27, 2011


Obama's long form birth certificate

It's not long enough to convince me!
posted by mazola at 8:55 AM on April 27, 2011


Donald Trump's New Obama Conspiracy Theory

I was stuck in the auto dealership waiting room this morning having to watch a live interview with Trump as he blathered on and on and on and on about this. If its not all a way to get publicity for his TV show I'll be very surprised. I cannot fathom why anyone doesn't see that.
posted by anastasiav at 9:00 AM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


cashman: "I missed the live streaming event and cannot find the video -- does anyone have a link that works now?

CSPAN: President Obama remarks on birth certificate (5:39)"


Thank you very much, cashman!
posted by theredpen at 9:04 AM on April 27, 2011


From USA Today:
For what it’s worth, not everyone is convinced Trump was born in the USA either: 43% say he definitely was born here, and 20% say he probably was; 7% say he definitely or probably was born in another country. Nearly three in 10 say they don’t know enough to say.
posted by PenDevil at 9:04 AM on April 27, 2011


Well, only 43 percent of americans believe Donald Trump was born in the US, so there is hope.

Why is it surprising if most Americans have no idea where a specific celebrity was born? I don't know where Trump was born, since he's not someone I've ever paid attention to. I don't know if he was born in the US or not. I wouldn't be in that 43%. Obviously I could find out right now by going to Wikipedia, but I assume the poll respondents had to answer on the spot.
posted by John Cohen at 9:05 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Not going to be able to do it!

(Thank you, sir, for reminding me of Double XX Posse!)
posted by GodricVT at 9:05 AM on April 27, 2011


He should roll that birth certificate into a tube and shove it up Trumps fat ass.
posted by zzazazz at 9:07 AM on April 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Also, now all the conspiracy assholes are going to do is claim that the birth certificate isn't authentic.

That's not necessarily bad, seeing as some of them have taken over sectors of the republican party. I can foresee that being asked questions on tv such as "So do think the birther issue is now a non-issue?" could actually be quite awkward for at least some republicans.

It could cause some infighting amongst the repubs.
posted by carter at 9:09 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh no. Apparently in proving Obama is an Elitist, the right wing blogosphere accidentally the whole Muslim thing.
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:11 AM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


if I were asked if Trump was born in the US, I might second-guess the answer. A surprising number of people turn out to be born in Canada, and Trump has that Scottish thing going on as well. I don't think there's an equivalency.
posted by running order squabble fest at 9:11 AM on April 27, 2011


A surprising number of people turn out to be born in Canada

I mean, people like Matthew Perry and James Cameron, rather than people in general. It's no surprise that Canadians make babies. They're almost exactly like us, after all.
posted by running order squabble fest at 9:13 AM on April 27, 2011 [8 favorites]


I've never heard trump = fart

You've obviously never encountered the British comic book legend Johnny Fartpants.
posted by carter at 9:14 AM on April 27, 2011


Trump dogged by rumors that his hair does not originate from the U.S

Dog hair you say? Purchased from Cruella DeVille you say?

WHERE'S THE LONG FORM END USER CERTIFICATE FOR TRUMP'S HAIRPIECE?
posted by longbaugh at 9:14 AM on April 27, 2011


Orly Taitz weighs in:
"Look, I applaud this release. I think it's a step in the right direction," so-called "birther queen" Orly Taitz told me in one of her many media interviews this morning. "I credit Donald Trump in pushing this issue."

But she still has her suspicions. Specifically, Taitz thinks that the birth certificate should peg Obama's race as "Negro" and not "African."
posted by PenDevil at 9:14 AM on April 27, 2011


I quickly dipped into the comments on my local news website, and folks there are now saying the whole birth certificate deal was launched by the democrats to distract the public from Obama's failed policies.
posted by marxchivist at 9:15 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


The way the birther issue is set up with in the Conservative ranks, it actually appeals to whatever view a Republican has. If you are a birther, clearly Obama was not born in Hawaii, and the fact that he has twice released his birth certificate won't convince you.

If you are a non-birther Republican, you can look at the recent media reports as proof that the liberal media is trying to make the right look crazy.
posted by drezdn at 9:16 AM on April 27, 2011


Wait, who is Barack Obama II.
posted by clavdivs at 9:18 AM on April 27, 2011


I don't doubt that Trump was born in the U.S., but that thing on his head definitely came from another planet.

He is not only the president of the Alien Head Parasite Club for Men but a customer, too.
posted by y2karl at 9:18 AM on April 27, 2011


If its not all a way to get publicity for his TV show I'll be very surprised. I cannot fathom why anyone doesn't see that.

One of the problems is that people know this, and don't really care. They are entertained in a kind of sick and passive way by the entire increasingly-seamless spectacle of the media's Showbiz-News-Politics presentation. It doesn't matter who's running for president or if Obama is or isn't legit, or if Trump is an idiot or not -- if the spectacle generated by it all is entertaining enough, they keep watching the tube and net, and generating ad revenue for the media.
posted by aught at 9:19 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wait, who is Barack Obama II

Barack Obama is his own father. Through time travel, he created a paradox that will destroy us all.
posted by drezdn at 9:20 AM on April 27, 2011 [9 favorites]


Hah, Wonkette is calling this "THE HALLEY'S COMET OF DUMB PRESIDENTIAL SCANDALS."

I don't always read Wonkette, but when I do, it's when the political newsticker already reads like satire.
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:22 AM on April 27, 2011


John Cohen: " Why is it surprising if most Americans have no idea where a specific celebrity was born? I don't know where Trump was born, since he's not someone I've ever paid attention to. I don't know if he was born in the US or not. I wouldn't be in that 43%. Obviously I could find out right now by going to Wikipedia, but I assume the poll respondents had to answer on the spot."

It's surprising because it's an indication that the Republicans' and Birthers' joint campaign to inject doubt into the process has worked.

One of the most basic axioms about the Presidency is that you can't become Commander in Chief if you're not a US citizen. Eligibility for office is one of the easiest hurdles a candidate must pass in order to be elected. Until 5 years ago, a Presidential candidate (or pretty much anyone who announced an exploratory committee) would have been assumed by the public to have met that most basic requirement for eligibility. There would have been little to no question of this in anyone's mind. In the past, Trump's eligibility would have been taken for granted unless a specific reason to question it was raised.

And yes, pretty much everyone who was conscious during the last decade probably knows about the eligibility requirement. Arnold Schwarzenegger can't be President because the question was raised again and again by the media and various members of Congress. And the Republicans have spent the last three years trying to deligitimize our President by saying he is ineligible to hold the office.
posted by zarq at 9:22 AM on April 27, 2011


I quickly dipped into the comments on my local news website, and folks there are now saying the whole birth certificate deal was launched by the democrats to distract the public from Obama's failed policies.

There's no end to it. It's crazy turtles all the way down.
posted by aught at 9:23 AM on April 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


Obamanate.
posted by clavdivs at 9:23 AM on April 27, 2011


B'ah
posted by clavdivs at 9:23 AM on April 27, 2011


Sorry. That should have said, "They know Arnold Schwarzenegger can't be President..."
posted by zarq at 9:23 AM on April 27, 2011


To paraphrase a friend of mine said, if Obama was proved to be from a race of robotic lizard people, at this point I'm voting for another four years of robot lizard rule.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:24 AM on April 27, 2011 [10 favorites]


who is wonkette, this is about the presidental fiction.
posted by clavdivs at 9:24 AM on April 27, 2011


Aaaaand, the goal posts move (again)!
"Trump said, there are still questions about President Obama's background. 'The word is,' Trump told the press, Obama 'was a terrible student when he went to Occidental [College]. He then gets to Columbia. He then gets to Harvard.'

'I don't know why he doesn't release his records,' Trump said. 'Why doesn't he release his Occidental records?'" *
posted by ericb at 9:25 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


No evidence about the location of Mr. Obama's birth is going to make one bit of difference to the people who claim he isn't a US citizen. The location of his birth is a red herring: it doesn't matter where he was born as long as at least one parent was a US citizen who spent the requisite amount of time in the US. 8 US Code § 1401:
a person born outside the geographical limits of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents one of whom is an alien, and the other a citizen of the United States who, prior to the birth of such person, was physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for a period or periods totaling not less than five years, at least two of which were after attaining the age of fourteen years:

So far as I know, no one has questioned his relationship to his mother.
posted by fogovonslack at 9:26 AM on April 27, 2011


Birther Queen Orly Taitz: Long-Form Birth Certificate Should Say 'Negro' Not 'African'.
posted by ericb at 9:26 AM on April 27, 2011


robot lizard rule: I thought that was Dan Quayle Cj
posted by clavdivs at 9:26 AM on April 27, 2011


Releasing Birth Certificate Is A Good Move
"Sure, it might seem like 'giving in to the enemy -- responding to right-wing hysteria and releasing the long-form birth certificate. But here's why the move is a canny one: [more].
posted by ericb at 9:31 AM on April 27, 2011


'I don't know why he doesn't release his records,' Trump said. 'Why doesn't he release his Occidental records?'" *

The only way to respond to this is, "I'll release my transcripts, Donald, when you release your tax returns like you promised. Don't you keep promises you make to voters?"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:31 AM on April 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


OK, so he might have passed the birth certificate test. But to fully prove that he was born in Hawaii, Obama still has to complete the following tests:

1. Successfully surf a big wave.
2. Play the theme to Hawaii Five-0 on a slack guitar.
3. Weave a grass skirt and fabricate a coconut brassiere.
posted by perhapses at 9:33 AM on April 27, 2011 [9 favorites]


You forgot the ukulele.
posted by Floydd at 9:35 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


And he's gotta make his own poi.
posted by rtha at 9:38 AM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


After he releases his college transcript, can I ask that he release the hounds?

Better keep the hounds leashed until he explains why he has a social security number that was issued in Connecticut, a state he'd never been near at the time. That's another one the birthers are waiting to have debunked.
posted by Oriole Adams at 9:39 AM on April 27, 2011


And end every sentence with "brah".
posted by PenDevil at 9:39 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


He also has to make a perfect 'shaved ice and snow cone' and whip up a tantalizing 'Spam musubi.'
posted by ericb at 9:39 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


He'll also need to start addressing most of the WH press pool as "haole".
posted by palomar at 9:42 AM on April 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


How dumb does a rich white guy have to be not to get into Harvard anyway?
posted by Artw at 9:42 AM on April 27, 2011


Pat Buchanan: Obama's Higher Education Was "Affirmative Action All The Way".
posted by ericb at 9:43 AM on April 27, 2011


But to fully prove that he was born in Hawaii, Obama still has to complete the following tests:

Where's the Pukka Shell necklace, Obama?
posted by drezdn at 9:44 AM on April 27, 2011


Releasing Birth Certificate Is A Good Move

Here's the best reason: it solidifies Donald Trump's early lead in the GOP nomination run, and that is definitely the sort of independent-alienating crazy Obama wants to be running against in '12.
posted by Ryvar at 9:44 AM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


He better have gathered each of those shells from the beach himself, by hand.
posted by Artw at 9:45 AM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Right-wing media are using the fact that President Obama did not issue an Easter message to again question whether he is really a Christian.
posted by ericb at 9:45 AM on April 27, 2011


As the goalposts move, the more the people moving them seen overly racist.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 9:46 AM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


What about the Connecticut number?
Numbers are assigned based on the return address on the request envelope, not residency. And Gilbert notes that Obama's father, also named Barack Hussein Obama, lived in Connecticut for several years. "Dr. Conspiracy" at the site Obama Conspiracy Theories hazards the guess that — assuming the 042-xx-xxxx number really is Obama's — the president "got his SSN as a child living in Indonesia and the application was just processed in Connecticut."


Unleash the hounds. The further they go with this, the more ridiculous they seem. That's fine with me and I suspect it's OK with the president as well.
posted by ofthestrait at 9:46 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Right-wing media are using the fact that President Obama did not issue an Easter message to again question whether he is really a Christian.

This is risible, indeed.
posted by nickmark at 9:46 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Pat Buchanan: Obama's Higher Education Was "Affirmative Action All The Way".

More and more it seems to me that right-wingers are under the mistaken impression that 'Affirmative Action' refers to anyone who is not a straight white male being approved for anything at all.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:46 AM on April 27, 2011 [19 favorites]


Better keep the hounds leashed until he explains why he has a social security number that was issued in Connecticut ...

June 2010 | Obama's Social Security Number: What's Up With This Latest Birther Conspiracy?
posted by ericb at 9:48 AM on April 27, 2011


Pat Buchanan: Obama's Higher Education Was "Affirmative Action All The Way".

And then he went and graduated from Harvard with a Magna Cum Laude! Proving once and for all that affirmative action... really.... does... help?
posted by PenDevil at 9:49 AM on April 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


What about the Connecticut number?

Wait, they're wrong -- "042" can't be a Connecticut number. I was born in Connecticut and my number begins with "045." Their whole premise is wrong.

(And I got my birth certificate right on me, to prove I was born in Connecticut, so nyah.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:50 AM on April 27, 2011


More and more it seems to me that right-wingers are under the mistaken impression that 'Affirmative Action' refers to anyone who is not a straight white male being approved for anything at all.

Well that's the way it was before AA, and that's the way they're gonna make it again. America, fuck yeah
posted by crayz at 9:50 AM on April 27, 2011


Obama's Higher Education Was "Affirmative Action All The Way".

How refreshing to see some explicit racism creep back into the discussion.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:50 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Heh. Donald Trump's personal experience with questionable Ivy League admittance standards.
posted by lalex at 9:51 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wait, they're wrong -- "042" can't be a Connecticut number. I was born in Connecticut and my number begins with "045." Their whole premise is wrong.

I was born in Connecticut ... and my SS# starts with '042.'
posted by ericb at 9:52 AM on April 27, 2011


How refreshing to see some explicit racism creep back into the discussion.

Pat Buchanan is great for not bothering with dog whistles.
posted by drezdn at 9:53 AM on April 27, 2011


Connecticut SSNs start with anything from 040-049.
posted by ofthestrait at 9:53 AM on April 27, 2011


I was born in Connecticut ... and my SS# starts with '042.'

It has now dawned upon me that a given state could have more than one SS number prefix.

Right. I'm getting myself coffee. Anyone need anything while I'm up?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:53 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


And now I'm waiting to see how they explain that affirmative action gave Obama the grades he needed to graduate Magna Cum Laude from Harvard Law, which practices blind grading.
posted by craichead at 9:54 AM on April 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


Obama picked the Conn. 042# to appeal to the Sci-Fi crowd.
posted by drezdn at 9:55 AM on April 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


On the SSN issue...From Wikipedia:
The Area Number, the first three digits, is assigned by the geographical region. Prior to 1973, cards were issued in local Social Security offices around the country and the Area Number represented the office code in which the card was issued. This did not necessarily have to be in the area where the applicant lived, since a person could apply for their card in any Social Security office.

So, there was no actual relationship between where a person lived and his SSN. It's all based on the SS office that issued the card. Functionally, a person living in California could have a number issued in Baltimore.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:56 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Social Security number is a nine-digit number in the format "AAA-GG-SSSS". The number is divided into three parts.

The Area Number, the first three digits, is assigned by the geographical region. Prior to 1973, cards were issued in local Social Security offices around the country and the Area Number represented the office code in which the card was issued. This did not necessarily have to be in the area where the applicant lived, since a person could apply for their card in any Social Security office. Since 1973, when SSA began assigning SSNs and issuing cards centrally from Baltimore, the area number assigned has been based on the ZIP code in the mailing address provided on the application for the original Social Security card. The applicant's mailing address does not have to be the same as their place of residence. Thus, the Area Number does not necessarily represent the State of residence of the applicant, neither prior to 1973, nor since.

Generally, numbers were assigned beginning in the northeast and moving south and westward, so that people on the east coast had the lowest numbers and those on the west coast had the highest numbers. As the areas assigned to a locality are exhausted, new areas from the pool are assigned, so some states have noncontiguous groups of numbers." *
posted by ericb at 9:56 AM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Thorzad, jinx!
posted by ericb at 9:57 AM on April 27, 2011


Also, just as like a little FYI, contra the apparently widely-held belief, if Obama did get in due to Affirmative Action, that doesn't mean he didn't have the grades to get it. Affirmative Action doesn't mean 'This guy is an idiot but he's a minority so let's put him in Harvard Law School,' it means if you have two candidates whose qualifications are equal, you should pick the minority because Jesus Christ the system is biased in the other direction in a hundred different ways. Obama benefiting from Affirmative Action would say nothing about his grades or intelligence or work ethic or anything else.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:58 AM on April 27, 2011 [8 favorites]


Hmm. Seems to me they should also ask if he's really over 35, because he looks darned good for 49. I propose Obama provide a core sample and let the tea party count his rings.

Rings, incidentally, would also provide information on what the climate was like where he was at what time. Was he in chilly Moscow, studying under Soviet elites as a wee lad? Or was he in balmy Cuba, working as Fidel Castro's boy assistant? Or was he in hot and dry Kenya, learning how to be a secret Muslim and hate the British empire?
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:58 AM on April 27, 2011 [13 favorites]


Oh wait that's redwoods.
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:59 AM on April 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Better dead than redwood.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:00 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wait, they're wrong -- "042" can't be a Connecticut number. I was born in Connecticut and my number begins with "045." Their whole premise is wrong.

I was born in Connecticut ... and my SS# starts with '042.'
posted by ericb at 9:52 AM on April 27 [+] [!]


ERICB IS A SEKRIT KENYAN MUSLIN! BURRRRRRRRRRRRNNNNN THE WITCH!
posted by FatherDagon at 10:01 AM on April 27, 2011


Take it up with Rakim.
posted by ericb at 10:02 AM on April 27, 2011 [12 favorites]


Pump up the volume.
posted by grubi at 10:04 AM on April 27, 2011


The new argument from the Teapers is that Obama can't be a Natural Born Citizen because his dad wasn't a US citizen. Unfortunately, going down that path, Obama would be the 6th or 7th president who would be ineligible.
posted by drezdn at 10:05 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Eh. It's been a long time.
posted by longbaugh at 10:05 AM on April 27, 2011


Wait, who is Barack Obama II

A clone. Orly Taitz demands to see his navel.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:06 AM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Just to confirm, is this birth certificate the same one that Obama released in 2008?*

*Not meant as a conspiratorial comment, meant more as a, if it is, why didn't the birthers believe it then?
posted by drezdn at 10:09 AM on April 27, 2011


The Area Number, the first three digits, is assigned by the geographical region. Prior to 1973, cards were issued in local Social Security offices around the country and the Area Number represented the office code in which the card was issued. This did not necessarily have to be in the area where the applicant lived, since a person could apply for their card in any Social Security office.

So, there was no actual relationship between where a person lived and his SSN. It's all based on the SS office that issued the card. Functionally, a person living in California could have a number issued in Baltimore.

Aha, but birthers will point out that Obama's SSN was issued after 1973 (it was allegedly issued sometime between 1977-79). And then that raises another question - did Obama work at Baskin-Robbins as a teen in 1975 without a SSN?
posted by Oriole Adams at 10:09 AM on April 27, 2011


I mean at this point, what do they expect to happen? If some crazy argument about Obama's being born in a particular ward of the hospital that was haunted by Chilean ghosts and had been declared by the Catholic Church to be The Devil's Territory and thus not technically part of the US is actually successful, do they think the John Roberts is going to revoke the Oath of Office and we'll hold a special election that Michelle Bachmann will win? What is even the goal, here?
posted by shakespeherian at 10:09 AM on April 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


What is even the goal, here?

The opening of the 7th seal, etc.
posted by The Whelk at 10:11 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Take it up with Rakim.

What's this all about then?
posted by rakim at 10:11 AM on April 27, 2011 [9 favorites]


Joe Biden as president. They just are really big fans of Biden.
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:12 AM on April 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


did Obama work at Baskin-Robbins as a teen in 1975 without a SSN?

I think the point is, by the time you're asking these questions, you've kind of reduced yourself to something pathetic.
posted by ofthestrait at 10:13 AM on April 27, 2011


also:
the Area Number does not necessarily represent the State of residence of the applicant, neither prior to 1973, nor since.
posted by ofthestrait at 10:15 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Joe Biden as president. They just are really big fans of Biden.

Okay, well who isn't?
posted by shakespeherian at 10:17 AM on April 27, 2011


What's this all about then?

I can't believe you just spent $5 on that.
posted by longbaugh at 10:17 AM on April 27, 2011


I'd really like to hear the actual conversations of the evil fuckers who come up with this shit. I'm not talking about the stupid people who parrot it, I'm talking about the evil fuckers who have actually formulated the plan that the day he releases his long form they move directly to hitting his college record. I just want to know what someone sounds like when they're putting a plan like that together.
posted by Bookhouse at 10:17 AM on April 27, 2011


did Obama work at Baskin-Robbins as a teen in 1975 without a SSN?

is it really true that he tried to rename cherry vanilla as cherry guevara?
posted by pyramid termite at 10:17 AM on April 27, 2011 [11 favorites]


When I was a kid I had to defend myself to bullies in school who thought I couldn't grow up to be president because I was not born in the United States.

I was born on an army base in South Korea. A US army base. But it didn't matter to the kids at school, because they didn't think you could be a natural-born citizen if you were born somewhere other than the US.

I was pretty excited when John McCain ran, because he was born in Panama, so I figured people had pretty much learned the difference between "natural born" and "born on American soil."

Did anyone ever question McCain's eligibility? For more than a minute? When they heard "born in Panama" did they immediately jump to conclusions about McCain being foreign?

If I'd been a white kid born on an army base, no one would have made fun of me for being 'other,' or questioned my right to be here in this country. In fact, they'd probably congratulate me on my father's military service. And then ask me all sorts of questions about what it was like to live in other countries.

But I was a half-Korean kid born in Korea. So, you know. "Other."

It doesn't matter that I have a birth certificate from the State Department, one that says "Certificate of Birth Abroad." I brought that in to school in fifth grade to prove I could grow up to be president one day. The other fifth-graders didn't care. They didn't see it as "proof," because to them there was no sufficient proof of my American-ness. You had only to look at me to know I was "other."

The funny thing is that our president was born in the US. He doesn't even have the same problem I do. It was his opponent in '08 who had that problem, and for him it wasn't any kind of problem at all.

It makes me HOPPING MAD that people think/thought this birther issue is anything but racially motivated. It would not have come up in a McCain presidency, and although I'm sure he has the same credentials I have -- proof that he was born an American citizen on foreign soil -- he never had to face this kind of nonsense. But Obama does. And honestly, showing his birth certificate is just feeding the trolls. There's no point to it, because now they're asking for transcripts and soon they'll want a DNA test just to "prove" that he's human.
posted by brina at 10:18 AM on April 27, 2011 [48 favorites]


did Obama work at Baskin-Robbins as a teen in 1975 without a SSN?

Is that where he first met Ian Mackaye and Henry Rollins?
posted by box at 10:19 AM on April 27, 2011 [7 favorites]


Know who ELSE was born in Connecticut?
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 10:22 AM on April 27, 2011


Barack Obama is his own father. Through time travel, he created a paradox that will destroy us all.

No, no, no....

I'm pretty sure he traveled time for the future of mankind.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:22 AM on April 27, 2011


It makes me HOPPING MAD that people think/thought this birther issue is anything but racially motivated.

Real Americans don't hop.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:28 AM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Okay, Obama, fine. Now SHOW US THE PLACENTA
posted by gman at 10:28 AM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


What's the endgame on this? I don't think Trump or Taitz really expect impeachment or prosecution. The goal is to cover Obama with enough FUD to cost him votes and campaign funds, and to strengthen support for an obstructionist congress.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:28 AM on April 27, 2011


I apologize in advance for the source of the video, because the article around it is just crap, but I really like what Whoopie Goldberg has to say here: "I'm playing the damn card now!"
posted by misha at 10:30 AM on April 27, 2011


The goal is to cover Obama with enough FUD to cost him votes and campaign funds, and to strengthen support for an obstructionist congress.

If anything, it may re-energize the Dem base in order to keep these idiots out.
posted by carter at 10:31 AM on April 27, 2011


As usual, the Onion smoked everybody: Afterbirthers Demand To See Obama's Placenta
posted by ofthestrait at 10:32 AM on April 27, 2011 [7 favorites]


I already have one Facebook acquaintance jump from the "birther" bit to the "bad student" bit - and he's serious about it, too.

I feel that a Facebook Friends Cull is going to come soon...
posted by spinifex23 at 10:32 AM on April 27, 2011


"Agent 44 please report to post-fiction, your cover is ready."
posted by clavdivs at 10:41 AM on April 27, 2011


I can't believe you just spent $5 on that.

I don't think cortex has to pay for his joke accounts.
posted by dersins at 10:41 AM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Is it racist to like toast with eggs? Or to wear suspenders to hold your pants up? Or to think black people shouldn't be allowed to vote because they aren't educated enough? Is it racist to collect bird songs on a handheld tape recorder?
posted by snofoam at 10:54 AM on April 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


Why does Barack Obama hate carnival barkers?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:58 AM on April 27, 2011


What is even the goal, here?

To reinforce group dynamics to keep their voting bloc together. It's not important if true or not. What's important is that they claim to believe it and we don't. If you say, "This is a lie", that brands you as the enemy.

And remember, this is all a huge distraction. The more time we spend talking about this, the less time we spend talking about the banksters who looted and destroyed the economy.
posted by vibrotronica at 11:00 AM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Whatever.
All this proves is that Obama had a birth certificate when he killed Vince Foster.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:01 AM on April 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


I'm not saying Barack Obama is secretly a self-loathing carnival barker. I'm just asking why won't he tell us that he isn't? What is he hiding? Isn't the elephant in the room that maybe there's an actual elephant in the room?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:03 AM on April 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


Our favorite UK newspaper (hamburger) has already waded into what could be next: contentions that Obama had brain surgery (because of what to some looks like a big scar on his head).
posted by ambient2 at 11:04 AM on April 27, 2011


Meme now making the rounds (get in on the ground floor before your Facebook palz)

‎"I showed conservatives my birth certificate, but they still won't believe I'm not white." - J. Christ
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:05 AM on April 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


From the wiki entry on the Natural Born Citizen Clause:
George Romney (1907–1995), who ran for the Republican party nomination in 1968, was born in Mexico to U.S. parents. Romney's grandfather had emigrated to Mexico in 1886 with his three wives and children after Utah outlawed polygamy. Romney's monogamous parents retained their U.S. citizenship and returned to the United States with him in 1912. Romney never received Mexican citizenship, because the country's nationality laws had been restricted to jus-sanguinis statutes due to prevailing politics aimed against American settlers. George Romney therefore had no allegiance to a foreign country.
Yes, George Romney, father of this guy.
posted by electroboy at 11:06 AM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


I admire Chris Rock's optimism about this ridiculousness. The same people still questioning President Obama's citizenship and legitimacy have thrown many, many temper tantrums before, but I hope I hope he's right that this is the most batshit insane moment before a crash:

"I actually like it, in the sense that — you got kids? Kids always act up the most before they go to sleep. And when I see the Tea Party and all this stuff, it actually feels like racism's almost over. Because this is the last — this is the act up before the sleep. They're going crazy. They're insane. You want to get rid of them — and the next thing you know, they're fucking knocked out. And that's what's going on in the country right now."
posted by raztaj at 11:14 AM on April 27, 2011 [30 favorites]


And then they get the night terrors, pee on the rug, and try to climb out a second story window. In which case, let them, of course. But you have to hope they don't knock over the space heater on the way out the window.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:19 AM on April 27, 2011 [7 favorites]


Plus they wake up all early the next morning and beat you on the head with their toys, and they're super hungry and refuse to let you rest until you rise and feed them.
posted by cashman at 11:21 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


> They dug up people who remember him being born

Exhumation for extreme win.
posted by mmrtnt at 11:28 AM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Our only hope is that Trump is secretly Tea Party Benadryl. Here, kids: Have another sip of the Kool-Aid. No, not the Flavor Aid - the Kool-Aid. Thaaaat's riiiight. Niiiighty night.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:30 AM on April 27, 2011


The new argument from the Teapers is that Obama can't be a Natural Born Citizen because his dad wasn't a US citizen. Unfortunately, going down that path, Obama would be the 6th or 7th president who would be ineligible.

To be fair, their parents were all white.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:33 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


The only reason they haven't released the so-called long form certificate is that the birther stuff is PURE FUCKING GRAVY for the democrats. It's the gift that keeps on giving. The only people who believe the birther stuff are folk who would never vote for Obama before the heat death of the universe. Then, most deliciously of all, if complete insanity takes hold and some birther nut like Trump actually becomes a realistic threat -- they just release the certificate and he goes down in flames.

It's called 'not interrupting your enemy while he's making a mistake'. Tactics 101.
posted by unSane at 7:40 AM on April 27 [21 favorites −] [!]


I'd like to congratulate unSane on the successful realization of his heretofore latent psychic ability. Godspeed, and please use your inhuman gifts responsibly.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 11:37 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I always thought Trump was a really unfortunate name for a public figure.

He's no Andrew Boff, that's for sure.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:38 AM on April 27, 2011


> Anyway, at this point, I'm pretty glad half of Republicans feel this way and that now folks like Trump and Franklin Graham are being sucked into this moonbattery

Whoah! Moonbattery* is Left Wing.

This would be Wingnuttery.

*Or, it's something you use to run your Prius at night
posted by mmrtnt at 11:40 AM on April 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


The real shame is captain chalkboard scribbles won't be there to explain this all to me.
posted by iamabot at 11:41 AM on April 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


To be fair, their parents were all white.

That depends on how you feel about the Irish.
posted by drezdn at 11:41 AM on April 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


Maybe we've made a mistake in improving our health and nutrition and, well, survival rate. Surely birthers are people who would never have survived such asinine stupidity beyond childhood.

And fuck the media for not having ignored it all. Since when do we give such obviously racist, completely fucking stupid people such attention?

Fuck me for contributing to the noise. I despise everything and every aspect of this fucked-up media distraction. We all lose.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:42 AM on April 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


Guilty, mostly.
posted by longbaugh at 11:42 AM on April 27, 2011


Here's my new theory. Who's the only person with anything to gain by pushing Birthers? That's right, birtherism is being pushed by Joe Biden himself.
posted by drezdn at 11:42 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why he even shares the letters "B", "I" and "E". A dead giveaway!
posted by longbaugh at 11:43 AM on April 27, 2011


Would the congressional record have any sway here? Because both the House and the Senate have unanimously passed resolutions acknowledging that Obama was born in Hawaii.
posted by Eumachia L F at 11:45 AM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I do appreciate that, as an adopted child who is legally prohibited from accessing my birth certificate, I can never be president.

I'd rather be right that president anyway.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:45 AM on April 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


No, wait, that was whitey on the moon

I'll see your Whitey on the Moon, and raise you a Birther (re)Butt(al) Boogie!
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:48 AM on April 27, 2011


> And last, but not least, say goodbye to your precious guns. God Save the Queen!"

Does this mean I have to start saying "lift" and "lorry" and put "u"s in trailing syllables with "o"s in them?
posted by mmrtnt at 11:51 AM on April 27, 2011


And fuck the media for not having ignored it all. Since when do we give such obviously racist, completely fucking stupid people such attention?

well, they still loyally report on every goofy condemnation pat robertson makes. and tonight we can expect that they'll gladly welcome Oily Taint on every news show. but yeah, they're the key to all this shit.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 11:51 AM on April 27, 2011


Our only hope is that Trump is secretly Tea Party Benadryl

Since Trump's emergence as an utterly loony presidential "contender," I've been quietly mulling over the possibility that his "candidacy" might be a some sort of deep-cover false-flag operation. Admittedly this is farfetched, but bear with me here:

1. Trump generally appears to be motivated primarily by media attention, even more so than by accumulating greater wealth.

2. Trump's name recognition and celebrity guarantee him plenty of media attention for his political views.

3. He is clearly trying to appeal to the craziest fringe of the right.

4. He has way too many inherent negatives (not least of which is being repped by Rahm Emmanuel's brother) to have a chance in hell of winning the GOP nomination.

5. He can, however, make republicans to beat the shit out of each other during the primary season, spending tons of money they might otherwise have in campaign coffers for the general election.

6. His continuing to stir up the loonies on the far right of the teaparty movement raises the very real possibility of a third party candidate running from the far right, which would completely obliterate the GOP's chances in a general election.

7. Do I give him any credit for being subtle and canny enough to try something like this of his own accord? Absolutely not. But if someone smarter and more politically savvy than he (see, perhaps, #4, above) were to point out that a preposterous presidental run would garner him MASSIVE ADDITIONAL MEDIA ATTENTION (see #1, above) then his conclusion could well be...

8. PROFIT!!! (No "?????" step needed).

Do I think this scenario is likely? Of course not. It's ludicrous. It's crazy conspiracy talk. But I'm having a harder and harder time dismissing it out of hand. And, frankly, I kind of like the idea of it.
posted by dersins at 11:54 AM on April 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


When I was a kid I had to defend myself to bullies in school who thought I couldn't grow up to be president because I was not born in the United States.

When we moved from Hawaii to Brookline, MA, in the late 70s, I was disconcerted by the number of my new (7th grade) classmates who: complimented me on learning English so well; wanted to know why we had moved "to the U.S."; asked if we really lived in grass huts, and weren't grass skirts itchy?

I couldn't figure out why any of them thought this: they had TV. They watched Hawaii 5-0 and Magnum P.I., where you could see highrises and cars and people walking around wearing regular clothes. And, you know, Hawaii isn't one of those hard-to-remember states (like, I donnu, #38, or #19, etc.): The 50th state. The last one. How hard is that? Apparently, too hard for some people.
posted by rtha at 11:55 AM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Looking forward to the Daily Show tonight. Might even have to check out Maddow. Still waiting for July 4 & 9/11 for the republican cavalcade of presidential campaigns. And Hillary, I'm still pissed at you for fanning the flames with the 'as far as I know' nonsense.
posted by cashman at 11:55 AM on April 27, 2011


In a statement after Obama spoke, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus called the issue a distraction — and yet blamed Obama for playing campaign politics by addressing it.

Heh.
posted by verb at 11:55 AM on April 27, 2011


I do appreciate that, as an adopted child who is legally prohibited from accessing my birth certificate, I can never be president.

Good one. I thought the same thing during the Arizona bill mess. I wouldn't be eligible to run there because I don't have a "long form" birth certificate because I too was adopted.
posted by drezdn at 11:57 AM on April 27, 2011


6. His continuing to stir up the loonies on the far right of the teaparty movement raises the very real possibility of a third party candidate running from the far right, which would completely obliterate the GOP's chances in a general election.

Trump has said that he will 'probably' run as an independent if he doesn't get the nod.
posted by ofthestrait at 11:58 AM on April 27, 2011


Trump has said that he will 'probably' run as an independent if he doesn't get the nod.

Either way, Obama wins.
posted by grubi at 12:01 PM on April 27, 2011 [7 favorites]


... Claims about Obama's educational history date back to September 2008, when The Wall Street Journal attacked him for not releasing his school records, writing in an editorial, "Some think his transcript, if released, would reveal Mr. Obama as a mediocre student who benefited from racial preference.

Orly Taitz, queen of the birthers, has developed elaborate theories about Obama's college years. As Taitz argues, Obama himself acknowledged that he was directionless when he started college. How, then, did he get himself accepted into the Ivy League?

Her speculation: He went as a foreign exchange student. "Sometimes students with poor grades from other countries who have citizenship in other countries can get into top universities," she told The Daily Beast. "That might be one of the reasons why his records are not unsealed. If his records show he got into Columbia University as a foreign exchange student, then we have a serious issue with his citizenship."

Taitz said she also believes that Obama only attended Columbia for nine months rather than two years. As proof, she offered a document from the National Student Clearinghouse database, which verifies college degrees. The record, which confirms Obama's graduation, lists his dates of attendance as September 1982 to May 1983. Kathleen Dugan, a marketing manager at the National Student Clearinghouse, said Taitz's document is incorrect, the result of the way she conducted her search.

Obama, in this view, is both sinister and stupid, canny enough to perpetrate one of the biggest frauds in American history but still the ultimate affirmative action baby.

"There were duplicate requests to our site from requestor Orly Taitz which, because of the way the queries were input, yielded both correct and incorrect information on past attendance dates for President Barack Obama," said Dugan.

Taitz, naturally, said she believes there's something more ominous at work. She noted that Obama has talked about visiting a friend in Pakistan between his sophomore and junior years of college. "The only reasonable conclusion is that he was there not a month or two, but a year and a half," she said.

And how did this half-educated mediocrity get into Harvard Law School, and then become editor of the Harvard Law Review? Why, Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, of course! According to right-wing lore, a militant Black Muslim named Khalid Al-Mansour introduced his protégé to the prince, who presumably saw a chance to advance his Muslim world-domination agenda by grooming the young man for politics. The prince thus pulled strings on Obama's behalf and even paid his way.

Taitz has forwarded all her information about Obama's college years to Trump and said she is gratified to hear him raising the issue. "He might have also gotten it from other sources, too, but he definitely got it from me," she said. Perhaps he's also been reading the ultra-right-wing website WorldNetDaily, which ran a 2009 piece asking, "Did radical Muslims help send Obama to Harvard?" ... [more]
posted by ericb at 12:04 PM on April 27, 2011


When we moved from Hawaii to Brookline, MA, in the late 70s, I was disconcerted by the number of my new (7th grade) classmates who: complimented me on learning English so well

Shortly before I moved from Colorado to the Oregon coast in the early 90s, I was disconcerted by the number of my (11th grade) Colorado classmates who asked me if I was going to have to learn a new language when I moved.

I had forgotten about that until you posted your comment - I wish so hard I were making it up.
posted by nickmark at 12:10 PM on April 27, 2011 [7 favorites]


5. He can, however, make republicans to beat the shit out of each other during the primary season, spending tons of money they might otherwise have in campaign coffers for the general election.

I question this as a truism after the extended Democratic primary in 2008 resulted in a fundraising boom for both Obama and Clinton, who officially combined both their warchests, staff, and donor lists before the convention. The only week McCain beat Obama's fundraising machine was shortly after the Palin announcement. In fact, I'd say that the extended primary helped Obama win Indiana by funneling cash to local organizations, most of which stayed active until election day, in contrast to the usual practice of writing that state off from the start.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 12:10 PM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Obama is clearly working with the reverse vampires.
posted by The Whelk at 12:11 PM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Taitz, naturally, said she believes there's something more ominous at work.

Yeah, that Taitz is trying to make a living this way. I'm not one for ignoring people like Taitz and Palin, but the time has probably long come that we should be giving them minimal attention and just making fun of everything they say and do. You had your chance, lady. It blew away with the wind this morning at 8:57 Eastern time.
posted by cashman at 12:11 PM on April 27, 2011


I'm not one for ignoring people like Taitz and Palin...

i'm more for establishing suitable parallels. like, if fox is going to present palin's take on obama's policy decisions, cnn should respond by giving snooki's view.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 12:14 PM on April 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


because of what to some looks like a big scar on his head).

The scar analyzers remind me of the wackos who study (and by "study" I mean "overenlarge and run too many Photoshop filters on") images from the Mars landers for clues that NASA is hiding the evidence of rampant Martian life.
posted by aught at 12:16 PM on April 27, 2011


I was disconcerted by the number of my classmates who were morons. Now, they can vote. Well, the ones who aren't dead or in prison.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:28 PM on April 27, 2011


At this point I find that when dealing with birthers, they are looking for the fight, so rather than engage and let them get full of righteous anger, I just give them a look filled with pity and tell them I'm sorry. Sorry that they live in a world that they are terrified of and sorry that they lack the critical thinking skills that would give them comfort.

It's hugely insulting, but quite frankly, so are they.
posted by quin at 12:29 PM on April 27, 2011 [7 favorites]


Shortly before I moved from Colorado to the Oregon coast in the early 90s, I was disconcerted by the number of my (11th grade) Colorado classmates who asked me if I was going to have to learn a new language when I moved.

Oregon is awfully weird. I've been there, and I can attest to its weirdness. Also, if you have really good eyesight, you can see Canada!
posted by rtha at 12:30 PM on April 27, 2011


Trump Unable To Produce Certificate Proving He's Not A Festering Pile Of Shit
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:34 PM on April 27, 2011 [10 favorites]


Trump Unable To Produce Certificate Proving He's Not A Festering Pile Of Shit

Ha! Not even an article. Just the photo of Trump, and the headline.
posted by cashman at 12:38 PM on April 27, 2011


Do you really need more?
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:42 PM on April 27, 2011


I really, really wanted Obama to end his remarks this morning with "NOW GO HOME AND GET YOUR FUCKING SHINE BOX!"
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:42 PM on April 27, 2011 [12 favorites]


Top 20 crazy reactions to the release of the Obama birth certificate.
posted by drezdn at 12:43 PM on April 27, 2011 [7 favorites]


Obama is clearly working with the reverse vampires.

WE'RE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS SHEEPLE
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:43 PM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Seriously, try growing up in New Mexico. It's terrible there. In fact, for decades now, New Mexico Magazine has had a back-page feature called "One Of Our Fifty Is Missing" wherein people submit anecdotes about ignorance of the 47th State's existence as part of the US.

One of my favorites was from many years ago when the GOVERNOR ordered a bicycle from someplace which was eventually returned as undeliverable because nobody at any of the shipping companies all along the delivery route could figure out that Las Cruces, New Mexico was not the same as La Cruz, Mexico.

Here's an equally great customer service moment involving this whole lack of true geographic knowledge by Americans about their own country.

And yet people claim (despite direct analytic evidence, not just anecdotes such as these) that somehow the US is doing well with public education.
posted by hippybear at 12:43 PM on April 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


According to wikipedia (which itself sources politico) thiss bullshit started with "anonymous Clinton supporters" during the primary, which strikes me as highly suspicious. Because if you're the type who wants to get this batshitinsanity out there you don't want to be tagged as the originator of it, you know?

Anyway, as we're already seeing, this will change very few minds, because it stopped being a question of facts - if it ever was one - a long time ago, and became a matter of Dogma. The 51% who "believe" Orly Taitz and Donald Trump don't believe because of anything empirical - they believe because it helps them hate more.

In a sick, cynical way, I love this. The believers have decided on this as Dogma and to say otherwise goes against the Republican Belief System, but at the same time the Republicans in power all know that it's absurd horseshit. Either they piss off the base and create dissension or they look crazy to everyone not in the base. Win-Win.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:44 PM on April 27, 2011


I hear Obama is actually controlled by a tiny man inside a large robot that we recognize as Obama.

And that tiny man has yet another tiny man inside him.
posted by mccarty.tim at 12:51 PM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Actually, people are misunderstanding this whole "natural born" thing. The real issue is whether his Mum had a caesarean or not. You know, like the plot twist in Macbeth.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 12:52 PM on April 27, 2011 [9 favorites]


I really, really wanted Obama to end his remarks this morning with "NOW GO HOME AND GET YOUR FUCKING SHINE BOX!"

You're not going to like how that ends.
posted by mazola at 12:52 PM on April 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Seriously, try growing up in New Mexico. It's terrible there.

Agreed. Just last night I was watching a documentary about a high school chemistry teacher who, in order to pay for his cancer treatment, is forced to turn to selling illegal drugs.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:54 PM on April 27, 2011 [23 favorites]


I question this as a truism after the extended Democratic primary in 2008 resulted in a fundraising boom for both Obama and Clinton, who officially combined both their warchests, staff, and donor lists before the convention. The only week McCain beat Obama's fundraising machine was shortly after the Palin announcement.

The difference is, Obama and Clinton were both mainstream centrist candidates with different demographics. There was no substantial right/left difference among their supporters, so it was easy for them to join forces against the Republicans when all was said and done.

Republicans, though, have a mix of unqualified or extreme candidates, on the one hand, and three centrists (Romney,Huntsman and Pawlenty) who are damaged in the primaries for that reason alone. (And 2 are Mormon). Seems likely you'll end up with a conservative vs. moderate duel, and it's hard to imagine them pulling together, especially if the final two are, say, Romney and Huckabee. Very little common ground, politically or culturally, among their supporters.
posted by msalt at 12:54 PM on April 27, 2011


I think the take away here is that, say what he will, Obama just doesn't feel like an American. And really, who can argue with that? I have faith that Obama is a Lizard Person, and who are you to question my faith? You liberal elites with your Harvard diplomas bought and paid for with taxpayer handouts can throw around all the "facts" that you want - Jesus knows what's up, and he fills me in every day on the radio. Hell, I don't even have to plug it in! Damn thing hasn't worked in four years, anyway.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:55 PM on April 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


They hate the man because he's black. He cribs many of his policies from G. H. W. Bush, yet from now that they're coming from him its pure poison.

So many bloody excuses: its a fraud, his father wasn't American so he isn't, no one remembers his birth...

No shit no one remembers. He was a nobody kid born amongst hundreds of nobody kids. Do you remember the name of the guy who built your house? That was pretty freaking hsitoric for you, now wasn't it?

They're not just racist morons, they were designed to be the biggest of morons, had to be.
posted by Slackermagee at 12:58 PM on April 27, 2011


I love reading these arguments substituting "atheist" for "anti-birther" and "christian" for the other side.
posted by Ardiril at 1:00 PM on April 27, 2011


Do you remember the name of the guy who built your house? Curiously enough, when we got paperwork from the city about the history of our (1974) house, we found out that the construction firm was located across the street from mr epersonae's grandparents' house. he knew them pretty well, actually, and it's one of the better bits of trivia about our house. no connection to anything else, just weird.
posted by epersonae at 1:04 PM on April 27, 2011


Very little common ground, politically or culturally, among their supporters.

All they need to do is what they did last time, pair a not-as-insane Prez candidate with a batshitcrazy Veep candidate.

Imagine a Romney-Santorum run: Country club Republicans get what they want with fiscal conservatism, and churchy Repubs are given the carrot of the boss dying or otherwise being removed from office, bringing their socially reactionary nutter in.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:10 PM on April 27, 2011


All they need to do is what they did last time, pair a not-as-insane Prez candidate with a batshitcrazy Veep candidate.

Exactly. All they need to do is repeat an hilarious failure of a strategy.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:12 PM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Very little common ground, politically or culturally, among their supporters.

I think they'll have little trouble doing what they're told. And they'll be told above the flapping sound of flags waving, that they have to vote for this candidate, or die. I'm pretty pessimistic most days and think the worst of humanity every chance I get, so I'm imagining the run up to November 2012 will be a straight up zoo.
posted by cashman at 1:12 PM on April 27, 2011


A new birther theory is that this long-form certificate is invalid and forged.
See, the signatures are all from "rollerball pens" that were not invented yet.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 1:13 PM on April 27, 2011


NBC online poll:


Now that you've seen Obama's long-form birth certificate, are you convinced he's a US citizen?

Yes. It is irrefutable proof he was born in Hawaii.
10%

No. There will always be doubt in my mind.
37%

I never questioned his citizenship in the first place.
51%



Total Votes: 199,362
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:13 PM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


The POTUS has to be a 'natural born citizen', not just a citizen.

or very old!

Natural Born Citizen means citizen from birth, which Obama was regardless of where hew was born since his mother was undoubtably a US citizen.

(McCain was Natural Born because he was born on a US base, not because his parents were American)

This has been settled law for more than 200 years. If you believe there is any real legal question or debate about that, you are being sold a bill of goods.

...

The degree of ignorance required to believe, after even casual research, that there would be a real legal quandary even if he were born outside the U.S. is pretty extreme.

I don't think it's that simple as any of it.

From the Natural Born Citizen Clause Wikipedia page:

The U.S. Foreign Affairs Manual states that children born in the Panama Canal Zone at certain times became U.S. nationals without citizenship. It also states in general that "it has never been determined definitively by a court whether a person who acquired U.S. citizenship by birth abroad to U.S. citizens is a natural-born citizen […]". In Rogers v. Bellei the Supreme Court only ruled that "children born abroad of Americans are not citizens within the citizenship clause of the 14th Amendment", and didn't elaborate on the natural-born status. Similarly, legal scholar Lawrence Solum concluded in an article on the natural born citizen clause that the question of McCain's eligibility could not be answered with certainty, and that it would depend on the particular approach of "constitutional construction". The urban legend fact checking website Snopes.com has examined the matter and cites numerous experts. It considers the matter "undetermined".

I don't have a link to the Foreign Affairs Manual, but I'll repeat for emphasis:

"it has never been determined definitively by a court whether a person who acquired U.S. citizenship by birth abroad to U.S. citizens is a natural-born citizen."

Who is being sold what here? Also, why do you feel the need to be an asshole?

It's a stupid fucking rule and we should amend the Constitution to change it anyway. But it doesn't seem like it's as cut and dry as you suggest.

Top 20 crazy reactions to the release of the Obama birth certificate.

You can see most of these arguments (and many more!) in the comments on The Smoking Gun's "certer" article.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:14 PM on April 27, 2011


THEY DO NOT CARE

THEY ONLY CARE THAT A BLACK GUY IS PRESIDENT


No, they only care 'cause it's a black guy who isn't Republican. If Obama was in the GOP this would be a total none issue.

I know it's fun to hop on the racism bandwagon, but think it through peeps. The most important color in America is the color of money.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:16 PM on April 27, 2011


All they need to do is repeat an hilarious failure of a strategy.

47% is nothing to sneer at. All they needed was better marketing and prep work. They won't easily make the mistake of picking another dip like Palin, as palatably nutty as she might be to the birther crowd.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:16 PM on April 27, 2011


See, the signatures are all from "rollerball pens" that were not invented yet.

He was born prior to 1888?
posted by Artw at 1:17 PM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Top 20 crazy reactions to the release of the Obama birth certificate.

"Don't care if he was born in America or not, he is still not 'American'"

about sums up the popular "birther" reaction to this news.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:20 PM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Have any of the candidates besides Michele Bachmann confirmed that they aren't witches, yet?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:20 PM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


I have heard that the U.S. has more people incarcerated than any other country in the world. So criminals and most likely, non-criminals or petty criminals are locked up for the "safety" of the common citizenry. Why aren't the ridiculously insane being treated and being prevented from jeopardizing the safety of the common citizen? How is that these people criticize "liberals" for being to soft and tolerant when owe their complete freedom to be totally insane, racist, and insulting to such attitudes?

I've long said that American is rather progressive for broadcasting a "news" channel from what is clearly an insane asylum but it's getting to be dangerous.
posted by juiceCake at 1:21 PM on April 27, 2011


He was born prior to 1888?

They say that ballpoints are different from rollerballs, and these pens that signed it weren't around until the 80s. I am not making this up.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 1:21 PM on April 27, 2011


One of the comments from the NBC poll, from the "there will always be doubt in my mind" side --

"A certificate of live birth is not a birth certificate, hospitals give them out to parents."

...My god.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:22 PM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Trump's Birther Antics Are Driving Away His Liberal Audience

Worth a click for the randomly fascinating chart showing the different political affiliations of fans of prime time TV shows.
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:23 PM on April 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


If Obama was in the GOP this would be a total none issue.

If Obama was in the GOP, any objection to his policies would be met with accusations of racism, like when the people suggesting Palin might not be qualified to hold office were called sexists.
posted by electroboy at 1:23 PM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Reading through twitter and their assorted messageboards, this must be just like when there's a doomsday cult, and their day of the end of the world has passed without the world ending.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 1:24 PM on April 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


Have any of the candidates besides Michele Bachmann confirmed that they aren't witches, yet?

IS OBAMA A GOBLIN?
posted by The Whelk at 1:25 PM on April 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


MoCharaid RT @Arrens: Also, Obama's birth certificate is clearly forged. They didn't even invent paper to be printed on until, like, the 80's.

lolz
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:25 PM on April 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Totally unexpected: Several of my democrat friends, who also happen to be Photoshop pros, claim the document is faked. They point to the odd coloration of the date in the lower-right corner, and the allegation that his name was "Barry" at the time, not Barack. You just never know what you're going to get.
posted by jbickers at 1:25 PM on April 27, 2011



Reading through twitter and their assorted messageboards, this must be just like when there's a doomsday cult, and their day of the end of the world has passed without the world ending.



Speaking of whiiiiiiiich

posted by The Whelk at 1:27 PM on April 27, 2011


He's listed as Barack Hussein Obama, II. Do your friends say the dad used "Barry?"
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:27 PM on April 27, 2011


Several of my Republican enemies, who also happen to be Photoshop amateurs, believe the document is real.

It's like the mirror image of that other anecdote.
posted by box at 1:29 PM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I love how every single birther is an expert in Forensic Document investigation.
posted by drezdn at 1:29 PM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


From drezdn's Top 20 crazy reactions link:

"Now where are his college transcripts? Who paid for his college? You bet it ain't over!!!"

Goalposts.... shifted!

Fuck I hate these people. I know it's not a nice thing to say, but how do you even begin to talk to someone who believes that the revealing a birth certificate is a distraction from the "thousands of illegal Mexicans are pouring through our border's killing innocent Americans!!!!" It's like they from a different planet where nonsense and bullshit is the lingua franca.
posted by quin at 1:30 PM on April 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


Trump's Birther Antics Are Driving Away His Liberal Audience

Also ...

Rosie O'Donnell Won't Stay At Chicago's Trump Tower.

Trump Blasts Seinfeld Pullout
Donald Trump wasn't laughing when funnyman Jerry Seinfeld canceled an upcoming appearance at a benefit for his son's Eric Trump Foundation. Seinfeld pulled out of the Sept. 13 event benefiting the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital because he disagrees with The Donald's questioning of Barack Obama's citizenship"
"Jerry... feels this kind of demagoguery has no place in public discourse... He has respectfully withdrawn from the event, and is making a contribution both to the Eric Trump Foundation and to [St. Jude]." *
posted by ericb at 1:32 PM on April 27, 2011


You're not going to like how that ends.

Somehow, I don't think it's Obama getting stabbed with the pen.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:33 PM on April 27, 2011


In a statement after Obama spoke, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus called the issue a distraction — and yet blamed Obama for playing campaign politics by addressing it.

"The president ought to spend his time getting serious about repairing our economy," Priebus said. "Unfortunately his campaign politics and talk about birth certificates is distracting him from our number one priority — our economy."


I'd just like to label the whole birther thing as a Republican form of race baiting - perhaps "birth baiting."
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:33 PM on April 27, 2011


So Barack Obama - one US parent and one British parent - is questioned by Donald Trump - one US parent and one British parent - as to whether or not he's a US citizen?
posted by Jehan at 1:34 PM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


There's actual video proof of the moon landings and the conspiracy nuts still think it's fake. "The shadows are wrong, the gravity is wrong, etc." If anything, revealing the super secret real birth certificate will drive the birthers even more insane. Still, I kind of wish he saved this as an october surprise.
posted by stavrogin at 1:34 PM on April 27, 2011


He's listed as Barack Hussein Obama, II. Do your friends say the dad used "Barry?"

Yes. They say the "real" certificate would say Barry. And to reiterate, these people are Democrats.
posted by jbickers at 1:35 PM on April 27, 2011


... the allegation that his name was "Barry" at the time, not Barack.

When Barry Became Barack
Barry Obama decided that he didn't like his nickname. A few of his friends at Occidental College had already begun to call him Barack (his formal name), and he'd come to prefer that. The way his half sister, Maya, remembers it, Obama returned home at Christmas in 1980, and there he told his mother and grandparents: no more Barry. Obama recalls it slightly differently, but in the same basic time frame. He believes he told his mom he wanted to be called Barack when she visited him in New York the following summer. By both accounts, it seemed that the elder relatives were reluctant to embrace the change. Maya recalls that Obama's maternal grandparents, who had played a big role in raising him, continued long after that to call him by an affectionate nickname, "Bar." "Not just them, but my mom, too," says Obama.
Why did Obama make the conscious decision to take on his formal African name? His father was also Barack, and also Barry: he chose the nickname when he came to America from Kenya on a scholarship in 1959. His was a typical immigrant transition. Just as a Dutch woman named Hanneke might become Johanna, or a German named Matthias becomes Matt, the elder Barack wanted to fit in. America was a melting pot, and it was expected then that you melt—or at least smooth some of your more foreign edges.

But Obama, after years of trying to fit in himself, decided to reverse that process.
posted by ericb at 1:37 PM on April 27, 2011


Obama's saving nude photos for the October Surprise, when the former Birthers, having gone through the Bad Studenters, Muslimers and Doesn't Wash Hands After Using the Bathroomers phases, have become convinced that Obama is some form of amphibian or fish.

It'll be tasteful photos shot in good lighting. Naturally, though, they will find some evidence of gills.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:37 PM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Rosie O'Donnell Won't Stay At Chicago's Trump Tower.

that's about Trump being opposed to gay marriage, though, rather than Trump being a birther.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:38 PM on April 27, 2011


Interesting ericb. I didn't know the father used "Barry" too.
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:40 PM on April 27, 2011


Wikipedia: Barack Obama Citizenship Conspiracy Theories.
posted by ericb at 1:40 PM on April 27, 2011


Let's All Give Me a Big Pat on the Back for Being Wrong About Everything, by Donald Trump
posted by mrgrimm at 1:44 PM on April 27, 2011


This is such bullshit. I finally went and looked at the so-called "birth certificate." It's a PDF file!!! They didn't even have PDFs when the archangel Gabriel threw Obama out.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:46 PM on April 27, 2011 [14 favorites]


Yeah, I'm kinda boggled by how many people think "Barry" is supposed to be his legal name. Perhaps it's the title of that Newsweek column that caused some of the confusion, i.e. that he used to be *called* Barry and changed that.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:46 PM on April 27, 2011


A Children’s Treasury of Brand-New Birther Theories To Explain Eveything.
posted by ericb at 1:48 PM on April 27, 2011


Publisher Of Upcoming 'Birther' Book Makes No Apologies -- "Man who pushed questions about Obama's birthplace says he shared information with Trump"

The book's title: “Where’s the Birth Certificate? The Case that Barack Obama is not Eligible to be President.”
posted by ericb at 1:53 PM on April 27, 2011


I'm angrier with idiots like Newt Gingrich who say, 'What took him so long to release the certificate?" than I am with the birthers.

The birthers are just conspiracy freaks. They represent a very small segment of the GOP. But when someone says 'why did it take so long' they are showing a side of themselves that cynically embraces these freaks and actually expects a politician to respond to the charges.

When some idiot makes a ridiculous claim about a politician the politician in question should not have to produce results based on those claims. And the opposition should not support the claims either. At a certain point enough is enough and politicians should not have to go around putting out small light bulbs that are declared fires.
posted by Rashomon at 1:56 PM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


There is no document that you can release that will cure stupidity.
If the birthers want to believe, they will.
posted by Flood at 1:57 PM on April 27, 2011


Acclaimed Historian Douglas Brinkley Calls For NBC To Dump Trump, Corporate Sponsors To Pull Ads
"We don’t have to blame 'the media' for dealing with this issue. We have to blame NBC Entertainment. They need to dump Trump from his primetime news show. He’s a poison toad on the airwaves. What corporate sponsor is going to be buying ad time for Donald Trump’s show. Any company that goes into Trump and is willing to pay is going to find consumer boycott like they’ve never seen before. If you are going to do what Trump did and go after the President of the United States in such a grotesque and disingenuous way you better cough up the goods. Today the Obama administration has shown what a charlatan Donald Trump really is."
Video.
posted by ericb at 1:59 PM on April 27, 2011 [8 favorites]


Come on guys, this has nothing to do with race. I bet if Hillary Clinton was in the White House, republicans would assert that she already had two years in office.
posted by catwash at 2:00 PM on April 27, 2011


Seriously, try growing up in New Mexico. It's terrible there.

Yeah, I lived there for a while too.
posted by nickmark at 2:02 PM on April 27, 2011


Well, there is actually a document that would cure stupidity. Unfortunately, it releases pure evil into the world, so it's not a particularly useful tradeoff. But if I'm being honest (which I rarely am), there are days when I consider releasing it. Like today.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:02 PM on April 27, 2011


The Nation: Confronting the Coded Racism of Donald Trump.
posted by ericb at 2:02 PM on April 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


No, they only care 'cause it's a black guy who isn't Republican. If Obama was in the GOP this would be a total none issue.

There are several different "theys" involved here. The GOP strategists don't really care in and of itself that the President is black -- it's just another piece of information to be exploited in dirty politics and power and money games. But for many of the groundlings that the GOP strategists are playing to, it clearly does matter that the President is black and that it deeply upsets them.
posted by aught at 2:05 PM on April 27, 2011


Good grief, people. Stop insulting New Mexico. I was making a comment in response to all the comments about how stupid people are about US geography. I love New Mexico and would live there in a heartbeat if there was any way to make money there.

Sorry that y'all had bad experiences there. But then, it's part of flyover country, so of course y'all hate it.
posted by hippybear at 2:07 PM on April 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Conservative Media Go On Attack After Release Of Obama's Long-Form Birth Certificate
... Beck "Theory": Obama Released Birth Certificate Today To Distract From Bernanke Press Conference.

... Palin: "Don't Let The WH Distract You W/ The Birth Crt From What Bernanke Says Today."

... NRO's Goldberg: The Release Raises A "Perplexing Question": "Why Did The WH Take Such Sweet Time Releasing" Obama's Birth Certificate?

... Fox's Kilmeade: "Why Did The President Wait So Long To Put The Birther Issue To Rest?"

... Daily Caller: "Dear Mr. President: What Took You So Long?"

... FoxNews.Com: "White Houses Releases What It Says Is Obama's Long-Form Birth Certificate."

... WND's Farah: "There Are Still Dozens Of Other Questions Concerning This Question Of Eligibility That Need To Be Resolved."

... Prison Planet Highlights Farah Quote That Birth Certificate "Raises As Many Questions As It Answers."
posted by ericb at 2:07 PM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


So... no sightings of anyone responding to this with "OK, fair enough, I guess I was a bit silly and racist for doubting it"?
posted by Artw at 2:12 PM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


You know what writes almost exactly like rollerballs? Fountain pens. Which were still in relatively common use in 1961.
posted by grubi at 2:12 PM on April 27, 2011


From a comment at The Smoking Gun, a site which I didn't realize ever got political:

I noticed the possible "layers" in this document almost immediately. When I had the .pdf file of the BC open in my browser then used Command + Tab (on an Apple computer), to switch to another app, I noticed that the majority of the text disappeared. I recreated the effect numerous times. As others have suggested, when you open the BC in Acrobat (full version) and strip out the "Metadata" and "Deleted or cropped content" this SAME EXACT TEXT disappears leaving only a few bits of type, date stamps and all or part of three signatures: his mother, the attendant and the local registrar. Also, some of the digits used in the Aug. 8, 1961 date stamp disappear.

Omigod you guys, it's an ARG! A presidential ARG!
posted by jbickers at 2:13 PM on April 27, 2011 [14 favorites]


Damn you Valve!
posted by Artw at 2:20 PM on April 27, 2011


Damn you Valve!

You watch your tongue, sir! I will not have you impugning Valve, not not, not ever!
posted by grubi at 2:21 PM on April 27, 2011


Yeah, I was dumb enough to read that too, jbickers. At least it lead to discovering that the PDF is a scan or photo of a copy of the original certificate, which is in Hawaii.
Hawaii’s registrar certified the new photocopy of the document provided to the White House on April 25, 2011.

The White House also released a letter from the president on April 22 requesting two certified copies of his original certificate of live birth, as well as a letter from Loretta Fuddy, Hawaii’s director of health, approving the request.

The president's personal counsel, Judith Corley, traveled to Hawaii to pick up the documents and carried them back to Washington on a plane. The documents arrived at the White House around 5 p.m. Tuesday.
I did a google search and happened upon that place and even there saw someone suggest it was just something related to the program used to copy the certificate.

Just because I'm nutty, I've followed 5 or 6 of these idiotic assertions, including "omg his hospital couldn't have been named that!" and "omg, look at these twins who were born whose birth certificate numbers are lower than his, omg!"

It's all nonsense, and each time I find the answer, I'm like, why did I bother looking. These people are batshitinsane.
posted by cashman at 2:22 PM on April 27, 2011


You know what writes almost exactly like rollerballs? Fountain pens. Which were still in relatively common use in 1961.

Having looked at the signatures, I can say, with no equivocation: it was signed with a fountain pen. I know because of the thickness of the lines, and because I use a fountain pen every damn day (I prefer it, that's why) and am very familiar with the inconsistency in line thickness. Birthers are fucking retarded.
posted by grubi at 2:27 PM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hearing this story on the radio this morning on my way to work made me smile. I knew the internet was going to be a lot less boring for at least a day or so and that I would find plenty of woowoo to look at and feel my brain trying to giggle out of my skull.

Man, I love finding evidence that people are irrational and inconsistent. It makes it so much easier to argue with people who think that humans are rational and that you can build models based upon this idea. Takes the piss out of most economic and sociology models most of the time. Public policy models too. I love it.

*dons protective goggles and stares deeply into the abyss of craziness and woo*
posted by daq at 2:31 PM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Omigod you guys, it's an ARG! A presidential ARG!

God how I wish that were true.
posted by penduluum at 2:39 PM on April 27, 2011


I'm loving it too, daq.

But I'm worried now about the people like Gingrich or the folks at NRO who are starting to try to have it both ways, and who will probably succeed. The "why did it take so long?" meme is diliberate and facile pandering to a section of supporters who want to hate Obama without having to discuss policy, but who also don't want to be grouped in with the crazy, racist birthers.

"Oh, no, I'm sure he was born in this country. I'm not one of them. But why didn't he release it sooner?"

It's not even a hypothesis or accusation. It's just a talking point with vaguely sinister overtones.

This is what I'm worried about. Because this is the part that's going to come out of this sounding relatively reasonable.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:41 PM on April 27, 2011


It'll be easy to say "you're pandering to the birthers" to those people.
posted by stavrogin at 2:46 PM on April 27, 2011


I suggest you people take a second look at that 'certificate'.

Does it say 'United States' anywhere? 'America'?

I thought not.
posted by mazola at 2:49 PM on April 27, 2011


Whenever an acquaintance of mine asks why Obama hadn't released his birth certificate, I always turn it around: "When are you going to show me yours?" When they say, "It says 'Muslim' on his birth certificate!" I respond with "Yes, as much as yours says 'Christian'." When they say "Why won't he produce the original?" I tell them "You can't do it either. They don't give out the original."

It's more fun to turn it around. Helps point out the absurdity.

Of course, it's more fun to ask them about the birth announcement. COMMUNAZI TIME MACHINE!
posted by grubi at 2:55 PM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, there is actually a document that would cure stupidity. Unfortunately, it releases pure evil into the world, so it's not a particularly useful tradeoff. But if I'm being honest (which I rarely am), there are days when I consider releasing it. Like today.

dddddddddddooooooooooooo iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitttttttttttttt
posted by FatherDagon at 2:55 PM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


I read the Free Republic thread with glee over their crackpot Layers theory. It was better than a MeTa flameout.
posted by yeti at 2:58 PM on April 27, 2011


Did I write two years in office? Oh god, that's what happen when I don't get enough sleep.
posted by catwash at 3:04 PM on April 27, 2011


What's kinda hilarious is that it seems that the Repubs were counting on the fact that Obama wasn't going to stoop to their demands to release his original. That way they could carry on the "I'm just asking questions" schtick without actually ever having to come out and say definitely that he is a US citizen or not.

Now they have to back pedal furiously and proclaim that of course they never for one second doubted it while having to appease the tea baggers who are going mental.

Primaries tend to have a larger percentage of fringe issue voters. Can you imagine the fringe Huckabee/Romney/Bachman et all are going to have to chase now that the birth certificate is off the table?
posted by PenDevil at 3:09 PM on April 27, 2011


(For the record, I wasn't hating on New Mexico; I really enjoyed living there and can't wait to go back for a visit this summer. I was actually trying to echo hippybear's exasperation regarding general geographical understanding, and just wasn't careful enough in my post. I will now ignore the "flyover country" crack.)
posted by nickmark at 3:11 PM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


So, I'll just add my opinion that this stuff is racist AND wouldn't happen to a Black Republican president AND would've happened in another awful way to any other Democratic president. It's not like people don't have limitless capacities for irrational hatred or double-think.

Michael Steele, J.C. Watts, etc? They get a pass on some of the more overt instances of racism because they are, in the minds of the GOP, some of the "good ones." Since the Republican power structure knows them, they don't feel threatened by them, and don't have as much of a primal need to pin stereotypes upon them.

Had it been Hillary Clinton in the oval office, the attacks would be coded against her gender. It doesn't mean that the birthers aren't racist, just that racism wasn't going to be the relevant bigotry at play in those circumstances.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:14 PM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


The birth certificate through the eyes of a Birther.
posted by drezdn at 3:20 PM on April 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


"omg his hospital couldn't have been named that!"

what
posted by rtha at 3:23 PM on April 27, 2011


I hate to say since I am the anti-birther but there is something weird about the BC if you open it up in photoshop and zoom to actual pixels. The pattern on the paper does not seem to follow the curve of the lines as they bend towards the spine. In fact it lines up perfectly with the patten on the flat paper.

There is also a crazy amount of white halo around the text, which could be from sharpening (local contrast increases) during the scan, depending on how they did it.

But the pattern on the spine is really weird. It should follow the same curve as the black gridlines. But it doesn't. The whole thing has a weird look to it, as if it were made up of two layers... the black ink, with its white halo, and the green pattern.

I'd like to know a bit more about how they scanned it.
posted by unSane at 3:23 PM on April 27, 2011


OMG!!! OBAMA IS A SCANNER!!! NO WONDER ALL THE BIRTHER BRAINS ARE ESPLODING!!!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:25 PM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


They won't backpedal, they will just keep picking at it. Bullies don't respect facts. The whole thing is a dogwhistle for racists and peole who hate Obama. The whole thing was just a nonsense taunt from the schoolyard. Facts don't stop someone from teasing you. In fact because you react to it emotionally, there is an incentive to continue. The only thing that will stop this behavior is some kind of significant negative public response. For example Donald Trump should be fired immediately and subjected to utter public humiliation over all his bullshit.
posted by humanfont at 3:29 PM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'd like to know a bit more about how they scanned it.

I have no idea how these people got their President wedged into their scanner, or why.
posted by grapesaresour at 3:30 PM on April 27, 2011 [28 favorites]


All this time we assumed he was Kenyan. Who knew he was really scanned in avian the whole time?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:32 PM on April 27, 2011


Oh, I figured it out. It's a black-and white scan of the original document which was THEN printed on patterned paper by the Hawaii folks. Then scanned again by the WH.

This is going to run and run.
posted by unSane at 3:36 PM on April 27, 2011


unSane, I've heard that the paper in the ledger doesn't photocopy as a coloured pattern, but as plain white. So to give the copy the look of the original, the photocopy paper itself has the green pattern, which is why you see no bend.
posted by maudlin at 3:38 PM on April 27, 2011


Aaaand -- you got there ahead of me.
posted by maudlin at 3:38 PM on April 27, 2011


A couple of my favorite bits of theorizing from the Freepers:

We need lawyers to examine the process by which Hawaii was admitted to the Union. If the all the T’s are not crossed and all th I’s not dotted, Hawaii is not a legitimate state and Obame was not born in the United States.

Is it possible this is simply the birth certificate of some other kid named Barack Obama? Does anyone have a Hawaiian phone book handy to see if there’s some other guy living over there with the same name.
posted by neroli at 3:39 PM on April 27, 2011 [9 favorites]


*facepalm* why couldn't they just do a real high-quality color scan of the document? Why resort so such fakery as to have the b/w photocopy superimposed over the safety pattern?

It's like, they have these ideas about how to defuse problems with their critics, and then they do things which just feed their critics more ammo.
posted by hippybear at 3:42 PM on April 27, 2011


We need lawyers to examine the process by which Hawaii was admitted to the Union. If the all the T’s are not crossed and all th I’s not dotted, Hawaii is not a legitimate state and Obame was not born in the United States.

All right, you're just making shit up now. Surely no one....

*fthh*

That noise was the last shred of my faith in humanity withering and dieing.

One of my favorite parts of Obama's speech today, when he said something about "making stuff up."
posted by marxchivist at 3:42 PM on April 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


It's like playing Tennis against a wall.

The wall will only return easy shots.

It can be fun to play the game of shooting them back.

But the Wall... the Wall will ALWAYS return.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:42 PM on April 27, 2011


Here's another bone for the wingnuts to gnaw on: Obama's dad is listed as "Barack Hussein Obama" but his mom is listed as "Stanley Ann Dunham".

Barack Obama is the child of the unholy union of two men. Just putting it out there. Just asking questions.
posted by PenDevil at 3:45 PM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


But the Wall... the Wall will ALWAYS return.

Well, you know.. all in all... it's just another brick in the wall.
posted by hippybear at 3:47 PM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


why couldn't they just do a real high-quality color scan of the document?

Presumably because this is a certified copy produced by the State of Hawaii and this is how they do them. If the WH had been in control of the process of producing it, it would have poisoned the document's provenance (in the eyes of the conspiracy theorists).
posted by unSane at 3:48 PM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


How can you have any pudding if you don't release your birth certificate?!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:49 PM on April 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


This is my favorite freeper comment so far:

"The hospital “kapiolani maternity gynecological hospital” has apparently never existed."
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:49 PM on April 27, 2011


The right's hysteria about a "Black Guy" in the white house seems to me to be pretty much the same as it was when Bill Clinton was in the white house. When Bill Clinton was president they attacked his legitimacy with whitewater and lewinsky and all of the other live ammunition Clinton left lying around. Obama hasn't given them much and the "birther" thing is all they have.
posted by three blind mice


I don't think you could be more wrong. As you said yourself, the only they have with Obama other than claiming he's socialist is the birther angle, and yet, they HATE him. They need nothing else except to hate him except that he's a black guy that's president and doesn't know his place.

It's not the racist that scare me. It's those that stick their head in the sand when it comes to the extreme racism on the conservative side. I mean, it's not like they even hide it... it is in your face and you still can't see it. You still deny it. Scary.
posted by justgary at 3:56 PM on April 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


We need lawyers to examine the process by which Hawaii was admitted to the Union. If the all the T’s are not crossed and all th I’s not dotted, Hawaii is not a legitimate state and Obame was not born in the United States.

Which, will, mean the US will owe a lot of money to Hawaii in taxes, paying for port usage and renting land for those military bases. But hey! Anything is better than a black president!!!!

(Also interesting how these people never bother to ask how legal the US has been about respecting land treaties with indigenous peoples, being so worried about procedure and rule of law, as they are...)
posted by yeloson at 3:58 PM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


We need lawyers to examine the process by which Hawaii was admitted to the Union. If the all the T’s are not crossed and all th I’s not dotted, Hawaii is not a legitimate state and Obame was not born in the United States.

OMFG. I don't know whether to laugh or barf in excited anxiety. There are a few native Hawaiian groups here who dearly wish for a return to sovereignty, one justification for which is based on the (illegal) overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy. Within the ranks are a handful of extremists who would expel anybody without the proper quantum of Hawaiian blood; proper racists whose hatred is especially targeted at white people. I'd pay so much money to get these people in the same room as a bunch of teabagging freepers, thinking they were about to team up, and then watch as the shitstorm erupts.
posted by krippledkonscious at 4:02 PM on April 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


"The hospital “kapiolani maternity gynecological hospital” has apparently never existed."

Yeah that's the nonsense that I saw earlier also. All this stuff is just bananas. Do 5 minutes worth of searching and it all falls apart. I do want to have information because I know I'm going to run into people who have been suckered into believing this nonsense, but it's so annoying to have to believe it long enough to investigate it.

The wikipedia page ericb linked earlier debunks the "omg no such hospital" nonsense with an image of a birth certificate with the same hospital name, from 1961.

Again, I realize there are a bunch of these falsehoods, but maybe we can get each and every one of them debunked on here, since we all will encounter people who have been sucked into believing it, without doing any of their own research.
posted by cashman at 4:02 PM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


If Hawaii was never a state for the purposes of Obama's eligibility, it must also never have been an overseas territory too.

Which means that the Japanese never attacked US soil in 1941...which means that we were NEVER AT WAR WITH JAPAN!

...which means SOMEONE DROPPED ATOMIC BOMBS ON JAPAN IN 1945 TO COVER UP THE PLOT TO INSTALL A KENYAN SOCIALIST MUSLIM PRESIDENT!!!111!!

This goes far deeper than we ever thought, people!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:04 PM on April 27, 2011 [45 favorites]


Also, poor Heather Smathers. Got the FOIA paperwork back and surely lept for joy. Posted it probably high-fiving her coworkers only to turn into a historical footnote less than 12 hours later.
posted by cashman at 4:05 PM on April 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Hmm. Perhaps that's why the White House released the certificate. They might have wanted to wait a little closer to the primaries but it was probably better to control the situation.
posted by chemoboy at 4:09 PM on April 27, 2011


One part of the Birther explanation is that Hawaii was a sovereign nation and Obama was therefore at least a dual citizen and ineligible for the presidency. Wheels within wheels people.
posted by drezdn at 4:11 PM on April 27, 2011


mrgrimm -- Since you brought it up, I have just checked the U.S. Foreign Affairs Manual.

It does indeed contain the text you quote: "[I]t has never been determined definitively by a court whether a person who acquired U.S. citizenship by birth abroad to U.S. citizens is a natural-born citizen."

Mind you, it does not say they are *not* natural born citizens; simply that there has never been a specific court case where the question came up and a determination made by the courts.

And in fact, the U.S. Foreign Affairs Manual also contains the following text:

"[The statute currently in effect, the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952] as amended by Public Law 103-416 on October 25, 1994, section 301 [the most recent amendment] states as follows with respect to persons born abroad:

"Section 301. The following shall be nationals and citizens of the United States at birth ...

"(g) a person born outside the geographical limits of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents one of whom is an alien, and the other a citizen of the United States who, prior to the birth of such person, was physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for a period or periods totaling not less than five years, at least two of which were after attaining the age of fourteen years [with service abroad in the armed forces of in the employ of the U.S. government also considered to satisfy the physical-presence requirement.]"

There really isn't a question here. If Barack Obama had been born on Mars, he would be a citizen of the U.S. from birth, and I'm not sure what other definition of "natural born citizen" really could exist. It's never been subjected to a specific court case, no, but it's difficult to imagine any other conclusion, especially since the only time "natural born citizen" ever was defined in the law, in 1790, it specifically included children of a U.S. citizen born abroad.

For a court to determine otherwise, they would first have to somehow argue that the definition of citizenship has somehow become more strict since 1790, despite the fact that every iteration of the statutary law has if anything made the definition less strict (as women the descendents of slaves gained more rights), and despite the fact that no law ever enacted since 1790 has ever stated or implied that those born abroad would no longer be considered natural born citizens.

Then they would have to argue against the fact that the U.S. government has always and still considers such people to be natural born citizens -- in fact, it's settled law to the extent that in this very thread, KathrynT notes that she "was born in the UK, to a US Citizen mother and a UK Citizen father, and [has] a 'Certificate of the Birth Abroad of an American Citizen' that says right on it, in black and white, that [she is] 'a Natural Born Citizen of the United States of America, and subject to all the Rights and Privileges accorded thereunto.'" That is to say, the U.S. is currently handing out documents to such people specifically saying they are natural born citizens.

So, yes, you are right such a document as the one KathrynT has never been challenged in court. But despite the Manual's equivocation on the question -- and bear in mind the Manual is meant to serve as a guide to the law and is not law itself -- there really isn't an argument to be made here. If you want to wait until KathrynT runs for president and it actually comes up before the Supreme Court before you consider it decided, feel free, but I'm telling you the law is actually pretty clear in what it says.
posted by kyrademon at 4:12 PM on April 27, 2011 [10 favorites]


Again, I realize there are a bunch of these falsehoods, but maybe we can get each and every one of them debunked on here, since we all will encounter people who have been sucked into believing it, without doing any of their own research

They want to believe. If it isn't this, it will be something else. An endless fight against a hydra, where each head to be sliced off is more ridiculous than the next.
posted by zarq at 4:15 PM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


A little graphic software knowledge is a dangerous thing: "What about the laaaaaayers?!!"

And a succinct response from, believe it or not, NRO's The Corner. (But I recommend getting a drink before you get too deep into the comments.)
posted by maudlin at 4:15 PM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Well, you know.. all in all... it's just another brick in the wall.
posted by hippybear


We don't need birth certification. We don't need Trump tryin' to troll.
Hey! Freepers! Leave Barack alone!
posted by George Clooney at 4:16 PM on April 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


The more conspiratorial side of me thinks that the right has been pushing this because they intend to run a candidate at some point who is definitely not a natural born American citizen and plan on faking his or her birth certificate.
posted by drezdn at 4:17 PM on April 27, 2011


I never thought I'd miss the days when we hated each other over ideological differences. Used to be enough to sneer and call us liberals. We used to be unAmerican if we didn't wear a flag pin on our lapels even when we showered. Not today, though. These weanies require that you actually not be an American before they call you unAmerican. Their hesitation to smear Obama is almost - dare I say it? - unAmerican.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:17 PM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


The more conspiratorial side of me thinks that the right has been pushing this because they intend to run a candidate at some point who is definitely not a natural born American citizen and plan on faking his or her birth certificate.
posted by drezdn


Hello, President Schwarzenegger!
posted by George Clooney at 4:18 PM on April 27, 2011


Bonus: Birthers suck at Photoshop (and Illustrator, and Acrobat, and life).
posted by maudlin at 4:18 PM on April 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


Lots of people have been saying that the release of the birth certificate isn't going to convince any of the birthers. That's true, but the White House surely knows that. What it does do, however, is chip away at the cover and dog whistles that elected Republicans and serious candidates for president next year could hide behind.

I suspect the release will also force the hand of legitimate media outlets. Now that everybody has seen the certificate journalists can no longer treat birther nuttiness as a concern to be taken seriously. Some outlets certainly will continue to do so, but they'll do so at the risk of marginalizing themselves.
posted by plastic_animals at 4:32 PM on April 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


So, Free Republic really wants to disenfranchise all the kids in Hawaii who were told "One day, you could even be president!" in third grade?
posted by mccarty.tim at 4:33 PM on April 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


The Guardian's angle is that Obama has played this very well, letting Trump run with the birther silliness to steal focus from real Republican candidates and discredit them with independents, now releasing the birth certificate just as Trump was about to head to New Hampshire and possibly build some real momentum.

I love how that Corsi guy (of Swift Boat infamy) is just about to release a book called "Where is the Birth Certificate?" Oops.
posted by msalt at 4:34 PM on April 27, 2011


Thorzdad: To the non-USian MeFites...Is this sort of wide-spread insanity going on in your countries, too? I mean, is this just part of normal, modern life on this planet? Or, is it, as I fear, that the US has descended into its own unique form of dementia?

It is not unique. India had a huge debate on the eligibility of Sonia Gandhi (Italian citizen by birth; married into India's most influential political family; acquired Indian citizenship many years later even though she could have done so soon after the wedding; joined politics several years after her husband's assassination) to become Prime Minister. She could have become the Prime Minister after elections won by the coalition led by her party in 2004 and again in 2009, but chose not to (and extracted a fair bit of political mileage out of the "sacrifice"). Her eligibility was essentially confirmed by the court, but conspiracy theories continue to thrive on the internet (sorry, not going to link to them).
posted by vidur at 4:36 PM on April 27, 2011


What am I going to do with all of these "Jesus wants to see Obama's birth certificate" bumper stickers?
posted by drezdn at 4:39 PM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Chris Matthews unloads on Judson Phillips.
posted by PenDevil at 4:43 PM on April 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


Have any of the candidates besides Michele Bachmann confirmed that they aren't witches, yet?
Did she? I know that Christine O'Donnell confirmed (well, claimed) that she isn't a witch, but as far as I know, the jury is still out on Bachmann.
posted by Flunkie at 4:44 PM on April 27, 2011


What am I going to do with all of these "Jesus wants to see Obama's birth certificate" bumper stickers?

Sell them to ironic Williamsburg residents?

Grow a moustache before you head there to sell. You might need to wax it first.
posted by hippybear at 4:46 PM on April 27, 2011


Also, while we're talking about modifying states, I kind of feel like Rhode Island should quit it.

They're not fooling anybody. The state exists primarily to provide a rough size for asteroids between the size of a football field and the state of Texas.
posted by mccarty.tim at 4:46 PM on April 27, 2011 [10 favorites]


I still maintain Bachmann is a group of squirrels in a latex suit.
posted by The Whelk at 4:47 PM on April 27, 2011 [23 favorites]


We need lawyers to examine the process by which Hawaii was admitted to the Union. If the all the T’s are not crossed and all th I’s not dotted, Hawaii is not a legitimate state and Obame was not born in the United States.

Really? Really? Okay, that is it. I'm firing the orbital laser cannons and we're going to start civilization all over. I'll try to miss things like libraries and kittens, but the rest of you are on your fucking own.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 4:47 PM on April 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


The more conspiratorial side of me thinks that the right has been pushing this because they intend to run a candidate at some point who is definitely not a natural born American citizen and plan on faking his or her birth certificate.
posted by drezdn

Hello, President Schwarzenegger!


It turnss out zat mein elter--parents hat secretly kom heir for mein birth und snuck me into Austria for ze citeezenship.
posted by Ironmouth at 4:52 PM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Man, the Tea Party people on the Chris Matthews clip are getting downright philosophical.

They're saying that you can never be fully sure of something.

Shadows on the wall of a cave, man. How can we even know there is truth?
posted by mccarty.tim at 4:53 PM on April 27, 2011 [12 favorites]


Is the birth certificate real or is it just the mental construct of an autistic child as he dreams the goings on in Kapiolani Maternity Gynecological Hospital?
posted by PenDevil at 4:58 PM on April 27, 2011 [11 favorites]


Hello, President Schwarzenegger!

Breaking News: Schwarzenegger to star in proposed new "Terminator".
posted by ericb at 4:59 PM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Anything short of a dunking is insufficient proof that you are not a witch.
posted by Artw at 5:00 PM on April 27, 2011


Is the birth certificate real or is it just the mental construct of an autistic child as he dreams the goings on in Kapiolani Maternity Gynecological Hospital?

Mystery solved!
posted by ericb at 5:00 PM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Chris Matthews unloads on Judson Phillips.

"That's a fake laugh, sir." Awesome.
posted by meese at 5:01 PM on April 27, 2011


Hello, President Schwarzenegger

Schwarzenegger wasn't even conservative enough for "regular" California Republicans. Tea Party types wouldn't even consider him.
posted by wildcrdj at 5:07 PM on April 27, 2011


That's only cos of the plo chops.
posted by jonmc at 5:09 PM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hello, President Schwarzenegger

And First Lady Maria Kennedy? Fat chance...
posted by PenDevil at 5:10 PM on April 27, 2011


ericb, that's quite the obscure reference you have there. I would have never gotten it were it not for the power of Cracked.com!

Also, I'm 22 and wasn't into hospital dramas before I was born. My loss.
posted by mccarty.tim at 5:11 PM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Shadows on the wall of a cave, man. How can we even know there is truth?

Funny, I am following this thread while proctoring a philosophy exam. If Hume is right we cannot ever know that the White House *caused* the release of the birth certificate. I mean, we have a conjunction of events here, but a necessary connection? Q.E.D.

Or something.
posted by joe lisboa at 5:12 PM on April 27, 2011


Wow, Lawrence O'Donnell is en fuego. Going after his own bosses.
posted by Ironmouth at 5:14 PM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]




Check and mate

posted by Senor Cardgage at 5:21 PM on April 27, 2011 [8 favorites]


Check and mate.

Here's hoping the books have already been printed (and I bet they have).
posted by drezdn at 5:25 PM on April 27, 2011


*** NADIR ***
posted by Twang at 5:30 PM on April 27, 2011


Whats the timeline on a thing like that?
I would assume theyd need them printed well in advance for review copies, etc
posted by Senor Cardgage at 5:30 PM on April 27, 2011


Perhaps they could bundle them with a new paper cover that has the birth certificate printed on the back. That's a good value, as it hypes up the birth certificate and makes you really want it, and then in the final chapter it says "Look at the back of that paper cover that slips off! Surprise!"

Or maybe we're misunderstanding what the book's about. Maybe it's a novel that uses the phrase "Where's the birth certificate?" as a cultural catchphrase, like "What's the frequency, Kenneth?" or "Kilroy was here."
posted by mccarty.tim at 5:31 PM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


I mean, on the back of that paper cover thing. Not the back of the book.
posted by mccarty.tim at 5:31 PM on April 27, 2011


Obama Birth Doctor's Widow -- I Had NO IDEA! This is a nice story.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:34 PM on April 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Check and mate. Here's hoping the books have already been printed (and I bet they have).

Likely, but they'll milk it for a while anyway. The full Birther argument is that even if Obama was born in Hawaii, he's not eligible anyway because his father wasn't American and under the colonial law of the time Barack Hussein Obama inherited his father's status as a British subject, which is incompatible with the framers' understanding of what a 'natural born citizen' was.

It's not really about the birth certificate, that's just the catchy hook. It's about whether children born in the US to foreign parent(s) are US citizens or not under the 14th amendment. The whole birther 'movement' is basically an advert for the nativist lobby that wants to deny citizenship to 'anchor babies.'
posted by anigbrowl at 5:46 PM on April 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


I've seen people dissect what they take Obama's motives to be, mostly in connection with Trump's narcissistic screaming... But it seems like this makes a whole lot more sense in light of that stupid AZ law saying you'd have to have your long-form birth certificate checked to be a presidential candidate on the ballot.

Here's why:

Had he released the BC right when that law had come out, it would look like he was caving directly to pressure. He'd look weak.
Had he gone to the Supreme Court about the law, it would only stretch out the debate and make birthers scream all the louder. It'd be a circus -- even more than US politics usually are.
Had he waited until that law (or another one in another Republican-dominated state) went into effect, it would look like he was caving into their superior political tactics. He'd look weak.

Right now, we're in a sweet spot. Brewer veto'd the birther bill in AZ, so releasing it doesn't appear to be in response to that. No other bills have come out yet. And, icing on the cake, we have Trump acting up so dramatically, so Obama can have the appearance of just sighing and rolling his eyes at the whole carnival of it.

Hypothesizing about strategy can feel a lot like conspiracy-developing. I don't really like it. But, hey, it's fun.
posted by meese at 5:59 PM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Obama Birth Doctor's Widow -- I Had NO IDEA!

Ah hah! See? How would a doctor's wife not know every child he delivered? Proof!
posted by wildcrdj at 6:12 PM on April 27, 2011


I feel so guilty when I get worked up into a froth and call Americans idiots, because I know that's a gross generalization and unfair to many.

Then there's stuff like this, and I have to wonder. I really do.

Still, watching Obamanian Change and Hope and Hooray erode into this shitty sludge of stupidity and self-destruction provides me with some small pleasure. Not the positive, uplifting pleasure at an America resurgent and back on track I'd been looking forward to a couple of years ago, of course: schadenfreude is nasty. But you take what you can get.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:39 PM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


But it seems like this makes a whole lot more sense in light of that stupid AZ law saying you'd have to have your long-form birth certificate checked to be a presidential candidate on the ballot.

Um.... You do know that this specific bill was vetoed by the governor and never became law, right?
posted by hippybear at 7:23 PM on April 27, 2011


Um, yes! I said, "Brewer veto'd the birther bill in AZ." I did misspell "vetoed," unfortunately.

However, Texas Republicans were introducing a similar bill, and I'm willing to bet a couple more state legislatures would've been (and might still be) interested in doing the same.
posted by meese at 7:35 PM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


PenDevil: Chris Matthews unloads on Judson Phillips.

As well as some hapless state senator, representing the Young! Handsome! Still Bipedal! wing of whatever party they're celebrating.

I'm used to Chris Matthews in his Tweety persona and it's a wonder to see him so riled up.

He's got the right idea. Keep hammering at the question, "Is Obama as much an American as you are?" Yes ends the discussion; No opens up a whole 'nother can of worms.
posted by dogrose at 7:36 PM on April 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


Oops! I missed that part of your comment, as you used the word "law" when you meant "bill", and thus I was confused. Sorry about that.
posted by hippybear at 8:17 PM on April 27, 2011


Just to share, from one of the related posts. If you're getting a little worn out from all the negativity and snark and schadenfreud around this issue, here's a bit of a palate-cleanser:

President Obama's welcome message to newly naturalized citizens.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:42 PM on April 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Dogrose wrote: He's got the right idea. Keep hammering at the question, "Is Obama as much an American as you are?" Yes ends the discussion; No opens up a whole 'nother can of worms.

Are naturalised immigrants "less American", then?
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:55 PM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


birthers = bigots

1/2 GOP = birthers
posted by bardic at 8:58 PM on April 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


And as others have mentioned, Obama has disappointed me in a number of ways. But goddamn he knows how to drink the GOP's milkshake.

I just wish he'd do it more often. And thank God we elected him over McCain/Palin.
posted by bardic at 8:59 PM on April 27, 2011 [7 favorites]


I still maintain Bachmann is a group of squirrels in a latex suit.

I read that as "Batman" and I was going to argue it.

...Not now of course.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:18 PM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


An impassioned response about how, even in 2011, despite the sacrifices made for freedom, even the President is put in his place for being too uppity.
posted by yeloson at 9:24 PM on April 27, 2011 [12 favorites]


The whole birther thing just reminds me of something Lyndon B. Johnson said: "If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read: PRESIDENT CAN'T SWIM!"
posted by adso at 9:25 PM on April 27, 2011 [18 favorites]


Are naturalised immigrants "less American", then?

No, of course not. Natural born or naturalized, a "no" answer to the question would lead to: "Why not? Are you disputing the documentary evidence? On what basis?" I'm not sure why you're even asking.
posted by dogrose at 9:38 PM on April 27, 2011


Chris Matthews unloads on Judson Phillips.

As well as some hapless state senator, representing the Young! Handsome! Still Bipedal! wing of whatever party they're celebrating.


Good grief, another shithead Arizona politican. My state is so fucked up.
posted by darkstar at 10:14 PM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


An impassioned response about how, even in 2011, despite the sacrifices made for freedom, even the President is put in his place for being too uppity.

This guy is entirely right. At 5 minutes in, he makes a very apt comparison.
posted by chemoboy at 10:30 PM on April 27, 2011


Dogrose: It's the wrong question. Immigrants aren't eligible to be President of the USA, but they're still as much an American as anyone born in the USA. Saying that the argument is about Obama's status as an American is both incorrect and a slur against migrants.
posted by Joe in Australia at 10:40 PM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


For all those who think that people like the birthers just are missing key pieces of information and can be educated, I invite you to listen to the act 2 of the "Kid Politics" episode of This American Life, in which a scientist tries to convince a kid (who has clearly been brainwashed into believing the anti-global-warming crowd) that global warming is real. You should hear the kid: "Well, I'm just not convinced." Hearing that kid, you understand that opinions may be molded, but they're not moldable. I feel like most conservatives literally are unable to let go of positions once they have them; are unable to connect to reason.

Just a warning that listening to that episode (at least acts 1 & 2) may make you want to go back in time, find Reagan, and start punching him in the face and never stop.
posted by Deathalicious at 10:42 PM on April 27, 2011


Deathalicious, having just listened to this excerpt from the Signorile Radio Show, where the host has a facepalm-inducing conversation with a Birther, I don't think I can bear to watch one more person today corrupted by conservative ideology.

It really is amazing to watch someone in realtime calmly offered all the facts, even brought to the point of accepting that they're true, and yet still unable to let go of the lie.
posted by darkstar at 11:14 PM on April 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


yeloson, ow.

That was painful to watch, but thank you for posting it.
posted by torticat at 11:19 PM on April 27, 2011


Joe in Australia: You didn't read what I wrote.

No, of course not. Natural born or naturalized, a "no" answer to the question would lead to: "Why not? Are you disputing the documentary evidence? On what basis?" I'm not sure why you're even asking.
posted by dogrose at 11:26 PM on April 27, 2011


yeloson, that video was wonderful. Thank you.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:37 PM on April 27, 2011


According to wikipedia (which itself sources politico) thiss bullshit started with "anonymous Clinton supporters" during the primary, which strikes me as highly suspicious. Because if you're the type who wants to get this batshitinsanity out there you don't want to be tagged as the originator of it, you know?
Oh man don't you remember hillaryis44.com? The people on that site were fucking insane. I'm laughing just remembering it. Actually the site is still up and they're complaining that the MSM had said Obama couldn't get his original birth certificate, while his new release proves it isn't true. The problem is they just changed the law, I think.
They say that ballpoints are different from rollerballs, and these pens that signed it weren't around until the 80s. I am not making this up.
First search result on that page: Barack Obama wasn't "born" in Hawaii; he was forged in the fires of Mount Kilauea. One Obama to rule them all. #NewObamaConspiracies
*facepalm* why couldn't they just do a real high-quality color scan of the document? Why resort so such fakery as to have the b/w photocopy superimposed over the safety pattern?
There isn't a lot of overlap between state bureaucrats and sticklers for image fidelity. They work with scans and xerox copies all day.
posted by delmoi at 12:02 AM on April 28, 2011


I invite you to listen to the act 2 of the "Kid Politics" episode of This American Life, in which a scientist tries to convince a kid (who has clearly been brainwashed into believing the anti-global-warming crowd) that global warming is real. You should hear the kid: "Well, I'm just not convinced."
Why do you have to make me so sad? I'm used to teenage voices like these being full of promise for the future of humanity, a buoyant red balloon lifting us all, not a pathetic fail-bowl of regurgitated brain-mush. Listening to that was like listening to babies gleefully flipping switches to electrocute puppies. This was even more depressing than hearing the backstory to hardcore taters. I am a more jaded human being now, for better or for worse. You're totally right about wanting to punch Reagan, I'm ordering an effigy first thing tomorrow.
posted by Llama-Lime at 12:45 AM on April 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


Lt Col Terence Larkin update:
The defense fund for birther and former Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin put out a statement on Wednesday in response to the release of President Obama's long-form birth certificate, asking that Lakin, a doctor, be given a "full and complete presidential pardon" for his court martial conviction of six months, "including restoration of pay, benefits, and service."

The reasoning? If only Lakin had seen this birth certificate a year ago he would have never refused his orders to deploy to Afghanistan!
Didn't he get legal advice from Orly Taitz? Can he sue her for misconduct?
posted by PenDevil at 1:51 AM on April 28, 2011


As well as some hapless state senator, representing the Young! Handsome! Still Bipedal! wing of whatever party they're celebrating.

You know, I've been waiting to unload this observation for a while, but there are sort of two classes of right wing wackos on TV. There are the Orly Taitzs and Jerome Corsis (and maybe even the Donald Trumps) -- obviously have a screw loose, prone to paranoid ideation, clearly a venal huckster and not even trying to hide the tradecraft of carnival barking/rodeo clowning self-parody.

And then there are guys like that younger state senator in that Matthews clip. (And might I say, I normally cannot stand Chris Matthews, but when he kept insisting that they answer the question of whether the president was an American "like us" I sat straight up and clapped.)

I've known guys like that. They don't "believe" in anything but their own ambition, and they mold themselves into whatever stereotypical identity it will take -- frat boy, businessman, salesmen, barroom liar, right wing politican -- to be their own version of a bigshot. That guy knows the president was born in the US. It just serves his expedient ambitions to express all those little doubts about "the issue" (a Wash Post op-ed today points out that this -- like global warming or evolution -- is not an "issue" although it is often defined as such, because it is not a matter of truly divided opinion among reasonable people, it is a matter of settled fact among a majority of educated people that are simply denied by a minority in defiance of overwhelming evidence, so there is no "birthplace issue" in fact).

Anyway, these guys come in all classes and colors. They're hucksters, but smart enough to try to establish plausible deniability. Judson Phillips is insane. That other nothing dweeb with the tan below him on the screen? He's just a douchebag.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:35 AM on April 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


And I too wish Obama would come out every single day and punch back like this. A 2 minute hate, if you will, on teh stoopid.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:36 AM on April 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


And people, if you have not seen Lawrence O'Donnell kick Orly Taitz off his show last night, you have not seen great television.

Watch her tactics: that's what they do, refuse to come at any question directly, always reframe, use discursive indirection to undermine the factual premise with which they are confronted. You so rarely see an interviewer say "I will not accept this tactic, answer this question or goodbye."

Bracing.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:39 AM on April 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


the state exists primarily to provide a rough size for asteroids between the size of a football field and the state of Texas.

Is that any way to treat the state that brought you Dunkin Donuts and Mr. Potato Head? C'mon now. We all know that Rhode Island is the mentally-challenged nephew of the other 49 states. It's loveable once you get over the fact that it wore its pants on its head to Thanksgiving dinner last year.
posted by sonika at 4:42 AM on April 28, 2011


Saying that the argument is about Obama's status as an American is both incorrect and a slur against migrants.

saying it isn't about obama's status as an american is not exactly right. all this crap is brought to us by the tea party, which constantly reminds us that we are a nation of real americans (them) and the rest of us.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 5:05 AM on April 28, 2011


#donaldtrumpisabellend
posted by dumdidumdum at 5:26 AM on April 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Trump. T. Rump. Tyrannosaurus Rump. The Thunder Lizard of Ass.

(Yes, I know tyrannosaurus doesn't mean that. It just sounded better than The Tyrant Lizard of Ass. Hey, if the birthers can make up shit, I can make up definitions for Greek words.)
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 5:45 AM on April 28, 2011


According to wikipedia (which itself sources politico) thiss bullshit started with "anonymous Clinton supporters" during the primary, which strikes me as highly suspicious.

Nope, it was definitely Clinton supporters. I was much more engaged with the primaries than I was with the general election, and they were all over it.
posted by empath at 6:02 AM on April 28, 2011


...and they were all over it.

the difference being that when they did not win, they apparently got over it.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 6:05 AM on April 28, 2011


Shadows on the wall of a cave, man. How can we even know there is truth?

Add a bong hit, a game of frisbee or two, and a distracted reading of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, and these 'thoughtful' birthers will have pretty much earned an undergraduate liberal arts degree. (Says the holder of an undergraduate liberal arts degree.)
posted by aught at 6:11 AM on April 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


the difference being that when they did not win, they apparently got over it.

No, they really didn't.

see: Hillaryis44 and No Quarter
posted by empath at 6:17 AM on April 28, 2011


(i should point out that it was never a mainstream position among Hillary supporters -- it's always been a fringe thing -- they were also complaining that he was getting blowjobs from male crack addicts in his limo -- seriously!)
posted by empath at 6:18 AM on April 28, 2011


A few things:
  1. That's why they call it Hardball.
  2. I always thought when I'd see the words Orly Taitz that it had to have something to do with this, but they are parallel developments? God, that's weird.
  3. I can't decide if I think it is extremely clever or extremely lucky, but the birth certificate release is like the ultimate reverse dog whistle karate chop. No reasonable person can look at it and think for a moment that it is fake. It's the real deal. But, for the true believers on the racist jackhole side, there are enough things to keep them frothy - which keeps the mainstream right in the impossible dance of not saying, "you guys are fucking crazy" to the remaining birthers (because the next racist knucklehead those guys won't pander to will be the first), while still saying, "those guys are fucking crazy" to everyone else. That's terrific.
  4. I love how the thing was scanned in B&W and printed on patterned paper. Again: any reasonable person can see what's up, and the nutjobs will stay nutty. It's a best case scenario.
  5. I love how this supposed giant conspiracy machine didn't bother to forge an actual birth certificate and scan that. They made the whole thing in Phototshop so it was easily traced. Awesome.
posted by dirtdirt at 6:25 AM on April 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


Is that any way to treat the state that brought you Dunkin Donuts and Mr. Potato Head?

As someone originally from the South Shore, I simply cannot let this misinformation stand. Dunkin' Donuts was founded in Quincy, MA.

[carry on]
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 6:30 AM on April 28, 2011


MSNBC: Joseph Farah, author of the Tea Party Manifesto, is still driving the Crazy Train

(Too Long, Didn't Watch: So what if he was born in Hawaii, His father was a Kenyan therefore Pres. Obama cannot be a natural born citizen.)
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:32 AM on April 28, 2011


One of the (possibly unforeseen) positive results of the fact that birthers still refuse to accept the birth evidence is that we now get to see them very, very publicly moving the goalposts. In 9 different directions. Simultaneously.
posted by lodurr at 6:38 AM on April 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


I have a feeling a lot birthers believe this...

This level of nastiness, ignorance, stupidity, and insanity is unfathomable to me, even though I'm seeing it before my very eyes. It's like they see 5 fingers/lights when there are 4, without being tortured.
posted by juiceCake at 6:39 AM on April 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I thought it was 3 lights. anyway, they borrowed it from Orwell.
posted by lodurr at 6:45 AM on April 28, 2011


Her speculation: He went as a foreign exchange student. "Sometimes students with poor grades from other countries who have citizenship in other countries can get into top universities," she told The Daily Beast. "That might be one of the reasons why his records are not unsealed. If his records show he got into Columbia University as a foreign exchange student, then we have a serious issue with his citizenship."

Uh, no -- actually it is much, much more difficult to get into a top university if you are an international student.
posted by Comrade_robot at 6:56 AM on April 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Barack Obama wasn't "born" in Hawaii; he was forged in the fires of Mount Kilauea. One Obama to rule them all. #NewObamaConspiracies

Nonsense. Clearly Obama is a Sith lord.
posted by electroboy at 6:57 AM on April 28, 2011


Oh, goodie! a Trek-Star Wars-LOTR Obama Conspiracy smackdown! [rubs palms together /]
posted by lodurr at 7:05 AM on April 28, 2011


So he's the O of Sauron?
posted by grubi at 7:15 AM on April 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


What about George Washington? You know, the father of our country, the president we all thought was so great we stuck him up on Mount Rushmore. He wasn't a natural born citizen of the United States. Neither were his parents. They were all born as British subjects. Neither were the other early presidents. The first president born after 1776 was Martin Van Buren and even his credentials are a little hinkey. English wasn't his first language. He grew up speaking Dutch.

So Obama is more American than George Washington, John Quincy Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and a bunch of other presidents. That's good enough for me. Being so fond of our founding fathers and all, surely this must be good enough for the Tea Party.
posted by marsha56 at 7:28 AM on April 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


This level of nastiness, ignorance, stupidity, and insanity is unfathomable to me, even though I'm seeing it before my very eyes. It's like they see 5 fingers/lights when there are 4, without being tortured.
Oh, they're being tortured all right.
posted by delmoi at 7:37 AM on April 28, 2011


I just wanna say, as a half-breed son of a dark-skinned, naturalized American and a pale-skinned, natural-born American, born on American soil, I resent the fuck out of these racist teabagger douchebags questioning my fellow half-breed's citizenship.

Racist douchebags are gonna be racist douchebags. But it's suddenly dawning on me how personally I'm taking this particular strain of DOUCHBAGGERY that, let us not forget, INFECTS A MAJORITY OF THE GOP
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 7:39 AM on April 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


I thought it was 3 lights. anyway, they borrowed it from Orwell.

Hence why I wrote "5 fingers/lights". The fingers part acknowledging the source, Orwell:

O'Brien held up his left hand, its back towards Winston, with the thumb hidden and the four fingers extended.
'How many fingers am I holding up, Winston?'
'Four.'
'And if the party says that it is not four but five -- then how many?'
'Four.'


Oh, goodie! a Trek-Star Wars-LOTR Obama Conspiracy smackdown!

I am reminded of the Triumph skit.
posted by juiceCake at 7:39 AM on April 28, 2011


What about George Washington? You know, the father of our country, the president we all thought was so great we stuck him up on Mount Rushmore. He wasn't a natural born citizen of the United States. Neither were his parents. They were all born as British subjects...

I figured I covered that when I said "or very old!"

short answer: the Constitution grandfathers any Americans who were citizens at the time of the signing of the Constitution.

It does further underscore the irrelevancy of the requirement today. It's a shame the Constitution is so difficult to change. The natural-born-citizen requirement won't change for a very long time, imo.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:00 AM on April 28, 2011


Honestly I'm not sure what the big deal is about that requirement. I've yet to see a case where it's clear we suffered for losing a candidate who would otherwise have benefited us.

the 'birther' controvesy is kind of an irrelevant datum in the debate, because if they hadn't fixated on the birth certificate they'd have found something else -- like a murder conspiracy, suspiciously large returns on investment, a slightly shady land deal, or fuzzy memory about exactly where you were on christmas eve in 1968.
posted by lodurr at 8:07 AM on April 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Honestly I'm not sure what the big deal is about that requirement. I've yet to see a case where it's clear we suffered for losing a candidate who would otherwise have benefited us.
It's not about individual candidates, although I think you probably could find some potentially good candidates who were disqualified by it, if you looked at the whole of US history. But that's not the point. The real damage is symbolic. It's the only place in US law where we recognize a distinction between naturalized and natural-born citizens. All citizens should be equal, and the requirement that presidents be natural-born citizens enshrines the idea that they're not.
posted by craichead at 8:11 AM on April 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


because if they hadn't fixated on the birth certificate they'd have found something else

Which I think is exactly why he let it go on so long. Keep them occupied. To repeat the feat they'd have to assert something equally easy to disprove, like "he's not able to grow a moustache!" But to quote a movie, some mo-fos always gotta try to ice skate uphill.
posted by cashman at 8:14 AM on April 28, 2011


The weirdness is that the birther movement has been acting the whole time like all they want is a birth certificate, and now that they've gotten two, they're moving on to claim the ones they got were fake or not good enough. Or worse, that having a foreign parent or living in Hawaii means you can't be a president.

They even ran billboards saying "Where's the birth certificate?"
posted by mccarty.tim at 8:20 AM on April 28, 2011


The weirdness is that the birther movement has been acting the whole time like all they want is a birth certificate

It's not weird if you view them as disingenuous, unprincipled racists from the get-go who would never be satisfied with any manner of proof.

From that angle, their act is the logical outcome.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 8:29 AM on April 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


Looks Like Trump's Right: How the Hell Did This President Get Into Those Ivy League Schools?
posted by the other side at 8:45 AM on April 28, 2011 [12 favorites]


About half the people who click on that link aren't going to get to the bottom and are going to get entirely the wrong message from it.
posted by craichead at 8:55 AM on April 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


It is okay to get into an Ivy league school if your dad went there, not if your dad is black.
posted by geoff. at 8:55 AM on April 28, 2011


Am I a bad person for always reading her name as "Oily Taint"?
posted by five fresh fish at 8:56 AM on April 28, 2011


Honestly I'm not sure what the big deal is about that requirement. I've yet to see a case where it's clear we suffered for losing a candidate who would otherwise have benefited us.

The big deal is that the requirement is no longer necessary in any sense. In 1787 or whenever, the United States was no certainty to survive on its own. It had massive natural resources at its disposal that many nations around the world wanted to despoil.

Foreign influence on the presidency was a legitimate concern in 1787. In 2011 it is not (at least not to the point of the country needing to be protected against the very limited scheme of birthing an American citizen in a foreign land with the purpose of usurping American democracy).

What we are missing is not any specific wonderful presidential candidate who has been restricted from serving. What we are missing is that we are excluding a valuable and perhaps significant set of citizens from contributing at the same level as other citizens. For no reason.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:56 AM on April 28, 2011


About half the people who click on that link aren't going to get to the bottom and are going to get entirely the wrong message from it.

I think that's intentional. The point would be to get circulated in right-wing circules.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:59 AM on April 28, 2011


Am I a bad person for always reading her name as "Oily Taint"?

Yes. But only because her name is already ORLY?
posted by cashman at 9:00 AM on April 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Am I a bad person for always reading her name as "Oily Taint"?
I wouldn't say you're a bad person, but it seems kind of off to defend Barack Obama by making fun of someone's weird foreign name.
posted by craichead at 9:02 AM on April 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


About half the people who click on that link aren't going to get to the bottom and are going to get entirely the wrong message from it.

I think that's intentional. The point would be to get circulated in right-wing circles.

All that's going to get circulated is what was linked here, above. The "facts" never matter. It's just about the circulated headline and intended emotion. It's those little fake "gotcha" moments that add up. It's what people were trying to evidence and take advantage of last year with that whole "crazy chalkboard guy on fox" assaulted and killed a young girl 20 years ago thing.
posted by cashman at 9:03 AM on April 28, 2011


I'm telling you the law is actually pretty clear in what it says

I mostly agree with you. I just wanted you to be nicer. Which you then were. In perhaps remedial but for me useful detail. Thanks.

Chris Matthews unloads on Judson Phillips.

"It's a term of speech!"

LMAO
posted by mrgrimm at 9:36 AM on April 28, 2011


Trump's Birther Antics Are Driving Away His Liberal Audience

I'll be interested to see this week's ratings. Cynically, I expect a boost, but one can always Hope.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:38 AM on April 28, 2011


I thought American pride was based partly on its history of immigration and happy assimilation. That's what I don't get about all this hoo ha. I thought the 'them and us' attitude towards immigration was for us decadent Europeans.
posted by Summer at 9:48 AM on April 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I thought the 'them and us' attitude towards immigration was for us decadent Europeans.

And "Muslims"
posted by mrgrimm at 9:54 AM on April 28, 2011


I thought American pride was based partly on its history of immigration and happy assimilation.

American history presents only one view on immigration--it is a view that has been with us for at least as long as we've been a country. It is interwoven into our nation's very identity. Quotations from even our founding fathers represent this view, and you can see almost no distinction between how it was presented back then and how it is presented now. This view is: "The immigrants from which I descend were noble freedom fighters who forged a better union. These new immigrants, on the other hand, are unwashed freeloaders who are destroying the very fabric of society."

I love my country, I really do. But I have to admit: we can be hypocrites.
posted by meese at 9:58 AM on April 28, 2011 [11 favorites]


American history presents only one view on immigration--it is a view that has been with us for at least as long as we've been a country. It is interwoven into our nation's very identity. Quotations from even our founding fathers represent this view, and you can see almost no distinction between how it was presented back then and how it is presented now. This view is: "The immigrants from which I descend were noble freedom fighters who forged a better union. These new immigrants, on the other hand, are unwashed freeloaders who are destroying the very fabric of society."
That's actually really not true. American attitudes towards immigration have always been complicated and contested. There have always, in every era, been people who defended and supported immigration.
posted by craichead at 10:09 AM on April 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


GOP Strategists Fear Fallout From Obama Birth Certificate Release.
posted by ericb at 10:18 AM on April 28, 2011


Off topic, but very much related ...
Oklahoma State Rep. Sally Kern (R): Minorities Earn Less Because They Don't Work As Hard.
posted by ericb at 10:21 AM on April 28, 2011


What craichead said. What I see is a pulse, waves of immigration to the US followed by xenophobia, harsh anti-immigrant laws (eg Chinese exclusion statutes), political attacks and violence (the Know Nothing Movement), English language absolutism, limits on immigration, and eventual acceptance (except for Blacks and Latinos, who've been Other since day 1).

Then after a few years, we open up again and start all over.
posted by msalt at 10:27 AM on April 28, 2011


What I think meese may be referring to is the tendancy for the groups who were the immigrants two generations ago to be the forefront of the xenophobia movements now. And this also was ever thus, sadly.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:28 AM on April 28, 2011


Oklahoma State Rep. Sally Kern (R): Minorities Earn Less Because They Don't Work As Hard.

Its the encroaching horde of mongrel darkies.
They hate to learning.
Have you ever seen a welfare check? Its like a hundred bucks. Sometimes more. Now THAT'S ballin'.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:22 AM on April 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oklahoma State Rep. Sally Kern (R): Minorities Earn Less Because They Don't Work As Hard.

I read the snippet and thought hmm, Kern is not directly saying what they paraphrase her as saying. I'll click through to the original source (Tulsaworld), whereupon I was greeted with a billboard sized picture of her head, big enough that I can actually count her eyelashes. I wanted to watch the video they refer to, but lo and behold, it's forcing me to install Silverlight. Not going to happen. And then I get to this statement at the end of the article, which is at least as dumb:

"Kern said women earn less than men because “they tend to spend more time at home with their families."
posted by cashman at 11:44 AM on April 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Trump To Black Journalist: ‘I Know You’re A Big Obama Fan’.
posted by ericb at 12:35 PM on April 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow.

All this extra attention is giving Trump plenty of opportunity to put his foot in his mouth and then shoot himself in it.
posted by chemoboy at 12:46 PM on April 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


mrgrimm --

Fair enough. I will rephrase the comment you objected to. How about:

Although both by historical statute and as part of current, unbroken practice, the concept of "natural born citizen" has always been applied both to jus soli and jus sanguinis in the United States, it is true both that the term is not explicitly defined in currently applicable statutory law, and that the issue has never been definitively decided by a court case. In practice, however, whether or not the term applies to jus sanguinis has never been more than a minor legal puzzle with the almost certain answer of yes. It seems likely that anyone who claims that the answer is definitely no, or even that the question is crucial and the answer gravely in doubt, either has an agenda of their own or is very much misguided.
posted by kyrademon at 12:49 PM on April 28, 2011


Wow. Donald Trump is definitely pandering to the "Racist Relatives You Feel Uncomfortable About" demographic.
posted by mccarty.tim at 12:50 PM on April 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


All this extra attention is giving Trump plenty of opportunity to put his foot in his mouth and then shoot himself in it.

When has that ever hurt him? Guys got more lives than a cat.

(I am really, really tired of people saying what a smart guy he is, though. He's a clever guy. A great salesman, within his limited domain of experience -- a con man, basically. But actually intelligent? I don't think so.)
posted by lodurr at 12:51 PM on April 28, 2011


American history presents only one view on immigration--it is a view that has been with us for at least as long as we've been a country. [...] "The immigrants from which I descend were noble freedom fighters who forged a better union. These new immigrants, on the other hand, are unwashed freeloaders who are destroying the very fabric of society."

I too disagree with this simplistic analysis. As craichead says, the history of American immigration policy is a complex one made up of conflicting imperatives and long-standing tensions. the rumblings about repealing the 14th amendment which underlie the manufactured birther controversy have their roots in congressional debates that followed the civil war and reprise many of the same arguments.

There is an exclusionary strain in American political thought which is predicated on a notion of (mainly) Anglo-Saxon superiority coupled with existential insecurity. I won't call it racist as such, because in the mid-19th century the widespread beliefs in breeding, manifest destiny and so on seemed rational, given the state of human knowledge at that time. The germ theory of disease was only a speculation, social sciences like economics and archaeology were still in their infancy, and John Stuart Mill had not yet articulated the modern concept of liberalism. Those who favored exclusionary policies (many of whom would have also sympathized with the confederacy) did so largely out of fear that inward migration would have two ill effects - that groups of immigrants would bring social, political and medical problems into the United States with them, and that the increase in diversity would make the country more difficult to govern. Exclusionists looked at Europe's relatively dense population, dense patchwork of ethnic and cultural communities, and millenia-long history of violence and warfare. The existing examples of political stability that included such diversity amounted to the Roman Empire, the dominance of the Catholic church during the middle ages, and in (then-) modern times, the British and Ottoman empires. It seemed to the exclusionists that any political entity capable of uniting far-flung territory with a wide variety of peoples and cultures inevitably devolved into Hobbesian oppression.

Today's descendants of those exclusionists (who make up about 1/4 of Congress) continue to have an atavistic fear of centrist rule, and essentially fear the administrative complexity and the concentrations of power necessary for governing a territory the size of the USA. When you hear weekend warriors muttering about the second amendment and fighting off tyranny, part of the reason it seems ridiculous is because a popular uprising against the United States would be at such an overwhelming strategic disadvantage. It's possible to imagine a popular uprising at the level of an individual state; even in California, a very large state, there's only two large urban hubs (the SF Bay Area and the LA basin) and the state Capitol (Sacramento). But a revolution across the whole USA? Virtually impossible. It takes a billion dollars just to run an election campaign, and almost half of the 4-year presidential term to build the necessary public momentum.

Although there is some truly virulent racism at the core of the nativist movement (a study subject of mine), the reason it has moderate traction across the country as a whole has less to do with ethnic aggression and more to do with a perception of helplessness and political irrelevance within an imperialist framework. This manifests, albeit in quite different ways, at both the left and the right ends of the political spectrum.
posted by anigbrowl at 1:05 PM on April 28, 2011


Obama should make "Born in USA" his theme song.
posted by drezdn at 1:07 PM on April 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I get the feeling Donald Trump's thing is being able to make himself look good in a bad situation. He may not be a shrewd businessman, as the bankruptcies which may have been made for fraudulent reasons indicate, but that's a pretty good skill for getting involved in the media and politics, where it's all about reputation.

I think this is a very smart business decision for Donald Trump. Assuming Trump hasn't been dreaming of being Commander-in-Chief for real, he's getting a lot of free exposure. Also, Trump was smart this time to avoid the Democrats or a third party at the start. While Trump's claims of being a great businessman/entrepreneur may or may not be true, he definitely has the image of a very successful businessperson. The way he acts, it's easy to assume he's completely self-made if you don't know his history. Republicans love this stuff, as they believe businesses are the most efficient institutions in the country, and they think Trump is evidence of the opportunity America offers that they fear they'd lose under Obama. I can see Trump maybe going for a third party if he's comfortable exposing his assets and wants to ride the publicity storm to its logical conclusion (he's not getting the nomination), but in that case he'd just be a spoiler. Democrats aren't going to vote for him even if they are discouraged about Obama, because he's been stoking right wing conspiracy theories. And the Republicans will be split on him at best, since he didn't get the nom.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:19 PM on April 28, 2011


Rolling Snake Eyes: Trump's First Casino Partners Had Alleged Mob Ties.
posted by ericb at 1:23 PM on April 28, 2011


The weird thing is that I don't think Trump cares that much about being a particularly good businessman because I don't think money is the end goal for him. Celebrity is. And you don't make headlines for clockwork growth over consecutive quarters - you make it by being ostentatious, obnoxious, and erratic.

His only real currency is that which feeds his ego, and in that respect the number of cameras pointed at him is worth more than his bank account or credit rating. Those were just the most readily available means to the end.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:37 PM on April 28, 2011


Trump's First Casino Partners Had Alleged Mob Ties.

I can't tell you how disappointed I am to learn that organized crime has infiltrated the gaming industry.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 1:39 PM on April 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I can't tell you how disappointed I am to learn that organized crime has infiltrated the gaming industry.

Here are your winnings, mon capitan.
posted by grubi at 1:41 PM on April 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


There is literally no way that Donald Trump can (viably) run for president. Stories like the one ericb links to are likely legion.

Assuming Trump hasn't been dreaming of being Commander-in-Chief for real, he's getting a lot of free exposure.

His TV show(s) gets (got?) about 10 million (Nielsen) viewers every Sunday night. This "scandal" is not the exposure he needed.

he definitely has the image of a very successful businessperson

He definitely did, (despite being the son of a wealthy real-estate tycoon and achieving most of his "success" because of that).

How do you think this "birther" adventure has affected that image? How many birthers do you know who maintain and promote a brand of "very successful businessman." I count zero.

I'm not sure if I should Nelson: "he's made a huge mistake;" or "douche chill!"
posted by mrgrimm at 1:43 PM on April 28, 2011


Wow, Donald Trump is no Tea Partier.

This site appears to have modern quotes made on the issues, and he seems generally conservative, but not Tea Party conservative unless he's experienced some major changes relatively recently. Do they know who they're voting for? I'm surprised he hasn't issued the important "REPEAL THE NOBAMACARE DEATH MACHINE" platform promise yet. Although it would be refreshing to hear someone actually campaign on "give all the citizens the same healthcare as the Senators," even though Medicare, Medicaid, or the VA would probably scale much better and more efficiently.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:51 PM on April 28, 2011


I think Obama being elected was one of those events that pushed some unacceptable people over the edge into being fucking nuts, like 9/11.
posted by Artw at 1:53 PM on April 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


I can't tell you how disappointed I am to learn that organized crime has infiltrated the gaming industry.

The thing is (as the article points out) Trump has always said that he is 'clean' and thus better than his competitors. But, you knew that already since you read the article.
"For years, Donald Trump has boasted that his casinos are free of the taint of organized crime, using this claim to distinguish his gambling ventures from competitors. But Trump's casinos turn out not to be so squeaky clean.

... As the famously brash developer now considers a run for the presidency, this history could complicate his efforts to project an image of a trusted power in the business world. It exposes a seamy underside to Trump's rise to fortune -- one that involved intimate links to unsavory characters.

... 'One thing you can say about Trump, as the holder of a casino gaming license, is that I’m 100 percent clean -- something you can’t say with certainty about our current group of presidential candidates.'

Trump has sought to lean on such claims while sometimes intimating that industry competitors are themselves tainted by mob associations -- in order to saddle them with restrictions on their casino licenses."
posted by ericb at 2:06 PM on April 28, 2011


The thing is (as the article points out) Trump has always said that he is 'clean' and thus better than his competitors. But, you knew that already since you read the article.

But was anyone (other than, of course, the deeply uninformed or the supremely gullible) actually buying that line?
posted by dersins at 2:11 PM on April 28, 2011


mccarty.tim: I'm surprised he hasn't issued the important "REPEAL THE NOBAMACARE DEATH MACHINE" platform promise yet.

Look for that next.

I'm serious.

As mrgrimm points out, there's not a lot of rational foundation for the idea that this is something that's good for teh Donald's ratings.

This is all about ego. That's what he's getting out of this, and that's why he will push this much, much farther than most people think he will: because he's a junkie, and that's what junkies do.
posted by lodurr at 2:15 PM on April 28, 2011


Wow, Donald Trump is no Tea Partier.

He's also the man who motorboated Rudy Giuliani in the video that was used to question Giuliani's suitability as a candidate for the Republican heartland. If he actually goes through with the candidacy, which I doubt, I imagine proper, documented homophobes running against him will have a field day.
posted by running order squabble fest at 2:17 PM on April 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Trump vs. John King on CNN last night

I'm speechless. Just watch it.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 2:40 PM on April 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is all about ego.

Yep, the man loves a press conference. He's addicted to cameras.
posted by the_artificer at 2:40 PM on April 28, 2011


But was anyone (other than, of course, the deeply uninformed or the supremely gullible) actually buying that line?

Yeah, I wasn't snarking at you for posting the article, ericb, I just meant, well of course he's got mob ties. He runs casinos in Atlantic City (or used to)--the thing speaks for itself.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 2:57 PM on April 28, 2011


I think Obama being elected was one of those events that pushed some unacceptable people over the edge into being fucking nuts, like 9/11.

Around Metafilter, this should be known as a Paramus Event.
posted by drezdn at 2:57 PM on April 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


Gotcha, Horace. : )
posted by ericb at 3:06 PM on April 28, 2011


I'm speechless. Just watch it.

It's interesting that some members of the press are finally angry about this bullshit. A reporter on NPR last night had a very defiant tone about the Tea Party's lies and the release of the certificate. It's about time the press does its job and reports on the Tea Party and its racist conspiracy theories.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:21 PM on April 28, 2011


The disability placed on immigrants by the Constitution of the USA is largely symbolic: you can't tell me that the present system brings forth the best candidates from native-born USA citizens; there's no reason to think it would do any better given a wider pool of potential candidates. None the less, the symbolism is invidious and promotes the more American meme and the idea of privileged birth, concepts which are repugnant to the ideals under which the Constitution was founded.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:32 PM on April 28, 2011


Yeah, I think it's kind of obsolete to require people be physically born in America, even if that bit's not 100% clear. It may have made sense in the founder's day, when travel was a much bigger deal, and they were particularly afraid of foreign governments having influence on them since they were, you know, rejecting colonialism.

However, today, people move around a lot thanks to cheap and lightening fast travel. If anything, a person with experiences growing up elsewhere has a better perspective on the world, and thus a better understanding of the differences that make foreign policy so complicated. And naturalized citizens are remarkable in that they were so invested in the idea of becoming Americans that they worked through a difficult and selective process to achieve that goal, rather than being American by accident of birth/lineage.

The most important part, to me, is the requirement that the president spend a certain number of years in America. 14 years, apparently total although it's unclear, is the current requirement. I'd prefer a certain number of consecutive years either in addition to this or as a replacement. It makes sense to require that politicians spend a good amount of time in the area they will represent.
posted by mccarty.tim at 3:52 PM on April 28, 2011


I recently read up on the Trump family dynasty as a result of all this birther nonsense. With all this coverage, and especially after Trump claimed, "I have a great relationship with the blacks. I've always had a great relationship with the blacks," I've been surprised no one has mentioned the discrimination charges brought up against Trump's family for not renting to blacks back in the 70's.

Until now. Thank you, Salon!
posted by misha at 3:55 PM on April 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


running order squabble fest: "He's also the man who motorboated Rudy Giuliani in the video that was used to question Giuliani's suitability as a candidate for the Republican heartland."

It's a Swiftboat Motorboat Video? :D
posted by zarq at 4:14 PM on April 28, 2011


To paraphrase a friend of mine said, if Obama was proved to be from a race of robotic lizard people, at this point I'm voting for another four years of robot lizard rule.

You probably don't expect to be called on that.
posted by Lizard People at 4:16 PM on April 28, 2011 [10 favorites]


"I have a great relationship with the blacks. I've always had a great relationship with the blacks."

One thing about racists is that they don't even realize the othering language they're using that flags you right away that they don't think of you as people.
posted by yeloson at 4:18 PM on April 28, 2011 [9 favorites]


I'm speechless. Just watch it.

I really didn't think this Onion bit was very humorous until I watched that John King interview. Wow, what a pile of festering shit he is.
posted by NoMich at 5:28 PM on April 28, 2011


I'm speechless. Just watch it.

WHISKEY! TANGO! FOXTROT? Has this man no sense of shame!?!?!?!?!?!?!
[INTERVIEW FOOTAGE]

JK: That CNN poll you mention where you're running neck-&-neck with President Obama, we've never run that poll.

DT: Yes you did.

JK: No we didn't

DT: Yes you did. [TO OFFSCREEN ASSISTANT] Go get the poll, show them. [TO JK] You won't put it on TV! Show them the poll!

JK: We have never run Trump vs Obama in a CNN poll

DT: Yes you did!

JK: No, we fucking well didn't.

DT: Yes you did!

[CUT TO JOHN KING LIVE]

JK: We've spoken to our polling department, and Trump is straight up full of shit and making things up at this point. And we did call bullshit on the birther thing.
(I paraphrase).
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 6:14 PM on April 28, 2011 [11 favorites]


That John King interview is astounding. Trump is awfully not-ready-for-prime-time for a guy who, you know, has his own prime-time TV show.
posted by EarBucket at 7:26 PM on April 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Much as I love trumpwatch, much as he's a jerk, much as I wish a strong wind would come along and whisk him (not the hairpiece) away, he's a sideshow.

He's going to dance around and distract, while the actual republican candidate enjoys more unscrutinized time. Hopefully by this time next week everyone will have figured it out. I'm thinking that whole "Don't get distracted by the carnival barker" thing is a message for

Not to presume all of mefi will vote in any certain way (though the actions of republicans in the past 6 months are pretty much the antithesis of what this site ends up being about), but keeping with the site mantra, Trump is not the best of the Republican web.
posted by cashman at 8:22 PM on April 28, 2011


Again, wow. John King handled that pretty well. He knew when to just let Trump rant and when to call him out. He could have called him out more, but Trump did a great job of making himself sound like a psycho without him.

Every time I log into this thread I see more instances of Trump's reality shrinking into nothingness.

Who called this an evisceration? I can't find the quote anymore.
posted by chemoboy at 9:11 PM on April 28, 2011


I'll be honest, I can't really watch super-confrontational videos most of the time, especially ones between journalists and their interview subjects. Even if it's a subject I virulently disagree with, I just want to step into the fray and calm things down so that I can hear reasonable conversation for once. That shit way above with the two Tea Party pols, for instance? Couldn't get through more than a few minutes of it. Because as nice as it is to see Chris Matthews call out an asshole, I wanted him to be able to try to explain himself before the next question came out.

But that John King/Trump interview is excellent. I don't know what it is, but I'm reminded of Marv's line from Sin City:

"I love hit men. No matter what you do to them, you don't feel bad."
posted by Navelgazer at 9:19 PM on April 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


Trump also reminds me of the distinction that often has to be made in D&D: a high CHA score means that you've got a greater presence in a social situation, but doesn't mean that people necessarily like you more.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:36 PM on April 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Trump "celebrated" last night by giving a profanity-laced speech in a Las Vegas casino in which he called the nation's leaders "stupid, they are stupid people, it is very sad."

Meanwhile, The Smoking Gun has discovered that he lied (surprise!) about having a very high draft number. In actuality he had several student deferments followed by a medical deferment.

Finally, a Fox News Poll done just before and after the birth certificate release on Wednesday shows that
While 33 percent would be at least somewhat proud if Trump were their president, most -- 62 percent -- would not. By comparison, the results are almost the exact opposite for Obama: 65 percent are proud to have him as their president and 33 percent aren’t.
I believe the more we see of The Donald, the more loathsome he will appear to the average voter. Right now he may have some support due to his self-proclaimed success as a businessman as well as reality TV star, but as the real Trump emerges, the public is going to be horrified.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:56 AM on April 29, 2011


but as the real Trump emerges, the public is going to be horrified.

Boy, do I hope that's true. But I suspect that low-information voters that are also on the conservative end of the scale may see the guy's presence on the news shows as a sign that he is the legitimate front runner for the GOP nomination. At that point they may move into a psychological stance that says anything Trump does that horrifies everyone else is just more evidence that he's on the right track.

It would be like a reverse conspiracy theory.
posted by Ipsifendus at 5:04 AM on April 29, 2011


I watched the CNN interview, my first real exposure to Trump. I'm kind of shocked that people think he's serious. He can't really think he's going to run for anything. It's just theater.
posted by Shutter at 5:11 AM on April 29, 2011


I've watched some of the Apprentice shows on and off (hey, I just needed to know if Cyndi Lauper had the entrepreneurial vision, you know?) And while Trump was obviously arrogant and exasperating in his briefings and the boardroom scenes, other times he appeared reasonably astute, even funny. Not often -- I don't think I ever watched the show to finale because there's just so much I can take, even for Cyndi Lauper -- but in those doses, he was bearable.

But after seeing that brief interview with John King, where every "Excuse me! Excuse me!" shoehorned in after King got out three words actually read as "Fuck you! Fuck you!", and where his contempt for anyone who dared question his bullshit was obvious, I think every single editor who ever worked on any version of the Apprentice should get a chest full of Emmys for their surprisingly successful efforts to make that vile piece of shit look human.
posted by maudlin at 5:14 AM on April 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


You are one in a billion, geoff! You have a good sense of humor.
Trump looks like a comedian. He's got way too many skeletons in his closet.
posted by allure at 5:38 AM on April 29, 2011


It is a truism that in any two-way runoff in American politics, Bozo the Clown will get 35%. So what that Fox poll establishes is Trump is margin of error at par or below the Bozo level.

I've recently said it before, but it's worth repeating in the new condensed version:

1) Trump raises donations on the most completely nut-case wingnut flipout issues and postures and collects $$$$ from the most gullible idiots on the far right.
2) Announce Trump has decided not to run, pocket all the donations, then roll them over into a Trump PAC to buy a couple of NY (federal or state) races with some stooge/puppet candidates
3) Profit!!

On the other hand, keeping wingnut issues forward seems to be tamping down the level of political violence, so maybe it's not such a bad thing. It's when they lose hope that things get nasty.

The best we can hope for is centrist rule, but we can do much much much worse than that. I'm strongly behind the not-wurst party. (*insert sausage joke here.*)
posted by warbaby at 6:49 AM on April 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


I caught this on Twitter last night: prior to changing the headline this morning, it was titled "Trump Blames China For 'Made in China' Label".

The cognitive dissonance on display here is Olympic gold in caliber.
posted by quin at 7:45 AM on April 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Just a followup to the speculation on the NY Post headline -- the Post avoided the issue entirely (so as not to imply Obama won anything, I suspect) and focused on the Royal Wedding.

However, the NY Daily News headline addressed it -- they featured a clip of a very stern-looking Obama from when he released the certificate, and the headline was, "Now, SHUT UP!"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:49 AM on April 29, 2011


Daily Mail Launches Weird Attack On Obama's Father.

"Naturally, this story was picked up this morning by Fox Nation."
posted by ericb at 9:49 AM on April 29, 2011


Kimmel Reveals Trump's Hawaiian Investigators, Sort Of.
posted by ericb at 9:52 AM on April 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


The most compelling reason to vote: fully one-third of your fellow citizens are so fucking stupid that one-half of your remaining population needs to vote just to cancel out the stupidity.

For the past decade, we've consistently seen poll result for any issue, a third of the US is just flat-out, stupidly, stunningly wrong.

It doesn't bode well for the future.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:37 AM on April 29, 2011


Groupon pulls ads from Trump site.
posted by ericb at 11:08 AM on April 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Donald Trump’s remarks about Obama could hurt his businesses.
posted by ericb at 11:11 AM on April 29, 2011


Don't Support Donald Trump and Boycott the Sponsors of NBC's The Celebrity Apprentice!
posted by ericb at 11:12 AM on April 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Daily Mail Launches Weird Attack On Obama's Father.

"Naturally, this story was picked up this morning by Fox Nation."


"... who government and university officials were trying to force out of the country."

"Trying"?
"For all the personal anguish described in that memoir, things turned out just fine for Barack Obama Jr. But we can't say the same for his father, who ended his life a disillusioned alcoholic, believing that he had been the victim of immense injustices. From reading this file, I think he had a pretty good case against the U.S. government."
Was Barack Obama Sr. 'eased' out of Harvard, and America, for dating white women?
posted by mrgrimm at 11:17 AM on April 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


In a handwritten note, the agent says a school official promises to talk to the student, "re his marital problems." Clearly, Harvard has decided that it has a problem with Obama's personal life.

In May 1964, Harvard gets back to the I.N.S. and reports that while the student has passed all his exams, the university is "going to try to cook something up to ease him out." The school follows up with a letter telling Obama that they don't have any more money to fund his scholarship and suggesting he finish up his thesis back in Kenya. Without the scholarship funding, his student visa won't be renewed.


Wow!
posted by caddis at 12:38 PM on April 29, 2011


Trump on Trump: Testimony Offers Glimpse of How He Values His Empire
"My net worth fluctuates, and it goes up and down with markets and with attitudes and with feelings, even my own feeling," he told lawyers in the December 2007 deposition."

and

But Mr. Trump had a 30% limited-partnership interest in the project, according to legal documents. A group of Hong Kong investors were the owners. Asked about this during the deposition, Mr. Trump explained that, in his eyes, he owned half because he gets paid fees for managing the buildings and because he didn't have to put up cash in the deal. "In my own mind I've always felt that," he said. "That 30% is equated to 50%," he said. In his interview Sunday, Mr. Trump said he had owned the equivalent of "more than 50%."
posted by electroboy at 12:58 PM on April 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Was Barack Obama Sr. 'eased' out of Harvard, and America, for dating white women?

Well, it's for the potential childrens' sake, really. For what could a child born of such a union really hope to make of himself in the United States?
posted by Navelgazer at 2:54 PM on April 29, 2011 [7 favorites]


I've spent the last few hours reading this thread and one thing which astonishes me still is the way the birthers think they've found childishly simple things wrong with the certificate.

There's a vast left-wing conspiracy, perpetrated over many years, but when it came to picking the name of the hospital, rather than picking the name of a real one, the conspirators just made one up. Then they signed it with the nearest pen to hand and called it a day.

Their enemies are unimaginably cunning and evil, laying their plans decades in advance, but also stupid beyond belief, making laughable beginners' mistakes.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 5:24 PM on April 29, 2011 [6 favorites]


That's actually a common feature of propaganda villains. They're both completely monstrous and unstoppable and everywhere and yet comically weak and foolish and beneath us.
posted by The Whelk at 5:26 PM on April 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


Indeed. Also true for Koch brothers/Tea Partiers, Al Qaeda/individual terrorists, and so on. Blank out the proper nouns in most propaganda and it becomes hard to spot the difference.
posted by anigbrowl at 8:30 PM on April 29, 2011


Except that the conspiracy theories about the Kochs are to some extent true, in that they back phoney grassroots movements and have actively promoted highly anti-democratic measures such as the Wisconsin shenanigans. You are making an equivalence between something that has no basis in fact -- Obama has hidden his true origins -- and something that is at least partially based in fact.
posted by unSane at 4:11 AM on April 30, 2011


Well worth reading: When Donald Trump didn't need proof
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:33 AM on April 30, 2011


Chris Matthews delivers Tea Party birthers a delicious smackdown.
posted by applemeat at 8:05 AM on April 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Carnival Barkers Slam Obama's 'Sideshow' Remark.
posted by ericb at 2:46 PM on April 30, 2011


more
posted by five fresh fish at 4:38 PM on April 30, 2011


Huh
posted by The Whelk at 4:57 PM on April 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Public Policy Polling: Trump takes the lead
Apr 15, 2011 ... I appreciate what Trump is doing. If Obama was eligible, the democrats would not be pushing back so hard against individual states passing ...

Public Policy Polling: Trump collapses
May 10, 2011 ... Donald Trump has had one of the quickest rises and falls in the history of Presidential politics. Last month we found him leading the ...
posted by mrgrimm at 11:10 AM on May 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


A note (to the media) about not feeding the trolls. (illdoctrine)
posted by cashman at 11:57 AM on May 12, 2011


Trump won’t run for president in 2012
posted by the_artificer at 11:11 AM on May 16, 2011


the_artificer: "Trump won’t run for president in 2012"

Buh-bye.
posted by zarq at 11:14 AM on May 16, 2011


That 'clunk' you just heard was the screen door hitting his ass.

What a total douche. His kiss-off statement claims that he'd be elected president if he ran, but basically can't be bothered.
posted by unSane at 11:44 AM on May 16, 2011


His kiss-off statement claims that he'd be elected president if he ran, but basically can't be bothered.

"I maintain the strong conviction that if I were to run, I would be able to win the primary and ultimately, the general election. I have spent the past several months unofficially campaigning and recognize that running for public office cannot be done half heartedly. Ultimately, however, business is my greatest passion and I am not ready to leave the private sector."

Or shorter: "I could totally win and be the most powerful man in the world, but Celeb-Apprentice, y'all, that's my shit right there. Thanks for the free publicity chumps! I'm out!"

The man is a colossal douchebag with sort of narcissism that could sustain the orbit of several small planets around him, but he did just successfully Rickroll a goodish portion of a gullible nation, so... he wins? I guess?

Whatever.
posted by quin at 12:07 PM on May 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm going to miss the crazy. It was glorious.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:10 PM on May 16, 2011


His kiss-off statement claims that he'd be elected president if he ran, but basically can't be bothered.

Yep.

He could be the President of the U.S. or a TV reality-show host ... and he chooses the latter whole-heartedly.

LOL. He must come off as a buffoon of the highest order to even the stupidest American now. I wonder how his ratings are doing ... they look to be fairly flat or unaffected by it all ...
posted by mrgrimm at 12:12 PM on May 16, 2011


I'm going to miss the crazy. It was glorious.

Come on, this is the GOP. There is always some more crazy.
posted by unSane at 12:17 PM on May 16, 2011


mrgrimm: "I wonder how his ratings are doing ... they look to be fairly flat or unaffected by it all ..."

The Atlantic from end of April: Trump's Birther Antics Are Driving Away His Liberal Audience. "He may be dumber than you think: Exclusive research reveals "Celebrity Apprentice" viewers are the most Democratic in primetime TV."
posted by zarq at 12:44 PM on May 16, 2011


Trump crazy is in a class by itself. Trump crazy is the Cristal of crazy. Everything else is just piss!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:44 PM on May 16, 2011


Ya' know ... for years I've heard the words "pie hole" used as a synonym for one's mouth and lips. It dawned on me recently that the perfect illustration of such is Donald Trump's mouth with his thin puckered lips forming a tiny pink oval. 'Pie Hole' indeed. But, more like an A-grade 'Asshole.'
posted by ericb at 1:45 PM on May 16, 2011


Round here we call that 'a mouth like a dog's bottom'.
posted by unSane at 6:37 PM on May 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


When he was speachifying the other week, cursing foreign countries and such, I wanted to ask him, "Do you kiss you mother with that mouth? Do you use tongue?"
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:40 PM on May 16, 2011


I'm 0% sure Trump has like Rouge's mutation except anything he kisses turns to sand.
posted by The Whelk at 7:21 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


"I maintain the strong conviction that if I were to run, I would be able to win the primary and ultimately, the general election.

You know they already made a movie about a situation like this: The Hidden.*

I guess this means we have been deprived of seeing Kyle McLachan burn his alien head parasite off with a flamethrower. Now, that is a shame.

*Which, among other things, featured what was one of Claudia Christian's greatest performances.
posted by y2karl at 7:34 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


So Trump is the anti-lube, is what you're saying, Whelk?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:36 PM on May 16, 2011


He sweats only the purest grains of fine swarovski crystal
posted by The Whelk at 7:50 PM on May 16, 2011


...meth.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:04 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Trump Bows Out

Don't let the screen door hit you on your way out, asshole.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:26 PM on May 16, 2011


Don't you mean, "Trump Blows Out"?

Also, it's fine with me if the door hits him on the way out. Preferable, even.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:02 PM on May 16, 2011


Also, it's fine with me if the door hits him on the way out. Preferable, even.

Heh. Yeah. The idea, though, I guess, is that you want the knucklehead to get out of your sight fast.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:40 AM on May 18, 2011


Obama 2012 Campaign sells "Made In The USA" t-shirts with the birth certificate printed on the back.
posted by octothorpe at 3:10 PM on May 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


I like the mug.
posted by cashman at 5:17 AM on May 19, 2011


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