Olla podrida: Short takes for Bathtub reading

April 2, 2012

Dr. Ann Dunham was an interesting woman who met challenges, some of her own making, and made life work. She mothered a future president of the United States, she earned a Ph.D. and with it she fought global poverty. In March 2011 Donald Trump stated on “Good Morning America” that birthers like him shouldn’t be dismissed as “idiots.” I guess we can make that dismissal now. The birthers have wasted our precious time with specious allegations and owe the country an apology.

Berlin Airlift:  Lieutenant Donald W. Measley of Hampton, New Jersey is presented with a bouquet of flowers by nine-year-old Suzanna Joks of Berlin. Truman Library photo

Berlin Airlift: Lieutenant Donald W. Measley of Hampton, New Jersey is presented with a bouquet of flowers by nine-year-old Suzanna Joks of Berlin. Truman Library photo

YANGON, MYANMAR — The party of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said Monday it had won nearly every seat in closely watched by-elections, a startling result that showed strong support for the opposition even among government employees and soldiers.

Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate who was elected to Parliament for the first time, was ebullient on Monday and spoke of the “beginning of a new era” in a brief address to a tightly packed crowd outside her party’s headquarters.

In total, elections were held in 45 districts, a portion of the more than 600 seats in Parliament. The National League for Democracy appears to have won in 43 districts, according to Hein Min, a member of an independent Burmese election monitoring group.


Birthers lose to an empty chair

February 5, 2012

Yes, really.

Despite dire warnings from an administrative law judge in the Georgia Secretary of State‘s office, Obama’s attorneys refused to even put in an appearance at the hearing to decide whether Barack Obama is eligible to run for president under the Constitution’s natural born citizen clause.  Facing a contempt citation, they refused to lend the attention that an appearance by the president’s lawyer would give to such a circus trial.

Empty Chair, by Jim Strong Photography, copyright 2006

Beautiful photo of an empty chair, by Jim Strong, copyright 2006 -- go buy a print from him (click the picture), and have him autograph it. That empty chair's cousin made better arguments in a Georgia courtroom that did Orly Taitz or any other birther.

Pleading their case before a judge mad at Obama, with no defense put up by Obama’s lawyers at all, the birthers still lost.  Their case does not cross the threshold of credibility a case needs to be taken seriously, the judge ruled.  Obama is a natural born citizen, Obama is perfectly eligible for the presidency due  to his Hawaiian birth, and the birthers should fold their tents and go back to their figurative plows or knitting.

The birthers lost to a defense argued (badly) by an empty chair.

If your livelihood depends on their going back to their plows and needles, you’re in trouble.

Were you surprised?  Birthers have lost every one of these suits.  Birthers still don’t give up.

Here, read the decision at SCRIBD:  Barack Obama is who he says he is.

View this document on Scribd

Judge Michael Malihi was not pleased with Obama’s lawyers for their failure to show.  That tactic force the judge to actually look at the evidence presented and rule that what was presented by the birthers not only does not make the case that Obama is not a natural born citizen, but that the evidence does not even make a prima facie case that further arguments are needed — the evidence sheds no light, it’s “not probative.”

Technically the ruling is advisory to the Georgia Secretary of State; no one expects the SOS to go completely off the rails, barking down the halls of the capitol building to graze the lawn, and decide contrary to the recommendation from Judge Malihi.

Several birthers allowed themselves to get excited that their string of bad luck and courtroom smackdowns might be changing.  They have been disappointed.

The world works, and law again proves its value.

More, Resources:

Tip of the old scrub brush to reader Whatever4, who alerted us to the decision and gave us the link to Scribd.


“When we’re telling whoppers about Obama and government, please don’t pester us with the facts” Department

June 27, 2011

First:  American Elephant, a blog that insults pachyderms with its mendacious ways, stretches for ways to complain about President Obama.  In a recent post, the author tried to poke ill-humored fun at Obama and companies he’s visited over the past couple of years.  It’s the headline that caught my attention:

“President Obama has never held a private job, but picks the winners and losers for the economy”

The premise is false, of course — it’s based on that Republican smear meme that Obama and his cabinet lack experience in the private sector, a smear that breaks down quickly if anyone looks at the biographies of the cabinet.  Obama also comes from the private sector, though when confronted with the facts the meme spreaders tend to make rash and foolish claims like “the Catholic church is public sector” and “lawyers all work for the government.”

Conspiracy theory cartoon by Chris Madden

Cartoon by Chris Madden, via TV Tropes

I left a response there, but don’t expect the blog owner to show the decency of allowing it through moderation:

President Obama worked for a private group providing services to people below the poverty line, and then he worked for a very large private law firm, while teaching at the privately-run University of Chicago.  He had never worked for government until his election to the Illinois State Senate (is that salaried?).

You should probably correct the headline.

As if.  Not only is the headline wrong, but the evidence doesn’t support the second premise, and there are other serious problems with the claims and arguments advanced there.  True American elephants probably take to drink to try to forget what’s being done under their name.

Second, and probably third:  There is the minor kerfuffle of the hoax report out of Pakistan that nuclear power plants in Nebraska are either near meltdown, or already melted down, and you don’t know about it because President Obama ordered a news blackout to avoid panic but at the same time condemning hundreds of thousands of Midwesterners to radiation poisoning deaths.  It’s an absurd story on several fronts and several levels — news of the flood plight of the power plants has been reported around the world, for example — but those bent on being suckered by every conspiracy claim to come down the pike, or bent on criticizing President Obama no matter how much they must twist the fact to do it, cannot be dissuaded.

Take for example this odd blog:  A discussion of the imagined meltdown quickly disintegrates into defense of holding on to birther views despite Obama’s release of his “long form” birth certificate (no good information goes un-urinated upon).  Then discussion veers off into all sorts of paranoia — UN “control” of U.S. lands, occupation of several states by rogue Transportation Security Agents (you didn’t hear about it due to the news blackout, most likely), Obama’s being controlled by or controlling GE (‘didn’t GE have something to do with the design of those nuclear reactors?’), Army Corps of Engineers plots to flood the Midwest (????), Obama’s overturning the Constitution through the use of executive orders (which no one there can find at the moment, but they’re sure they exist, somewhere . . .  gee, did we misplace it?) including a wholly imaginary order to take over all rural lands in the U.S. (why?), and complaints that the U.S. is not deporting U.S. soldiers or their families quickly enough.

Such a ball of delusional paranoia and errors of history, law, and other facts!  One might imagine these people so involved in tracking down misinformation and distorting real information that they forget to kick their dogs.  (Seriously, I’d tend to think these people could be helped by having a dog or a cat, except for the very real fear I have they’d forget to feed the creatures; like a drowning person, fighting all efforts to save them.)

Our nation has a collective inability to deal with the facts of too many situations, because too many people simply deny the facts in front of our collective national faceJonathan Kay’s recent book, Among the Truthers, gets at the problem — you can imagine how strongly any of these bloggers and commenters would resist even reading Kay’s book.  It’s not that they seek information to make good decisions on policy, but that they seek the misinformation to justify their paranoid claims that “we are all really, really screwed!

As with the blogs noted above, we witness the birth of voodoo history, bogus history, and intentional ignorance.

There is a great danger from these cesspools of willful ignorance.  As more people refuse to grant credence to facts, to reality, it becomes more difficult to muster a consensus on what to do about any particular problem.  Wildfires and drought in Texas this year already wiped out more than three-fifths of the state’s wheat harvest; floods in the upper Midwest will surely do serious damage to wheat crops there.  We face a shortage of the surpluses of wheat the nation has used to bring peace and vanquish hunger around the world for the past 60 years — think of our “sale” of wheat to the old Soviet Union, stopping the starvation death toll under 10 million and indebting the USSR to the U.S. and the non-communist West — a debt the USSR never could pay off, and a debt which was the hammer to start the crumbling of the foundations of Soviet Communism.  In short, we have a wheat supply problem, caused in no small part by weather extremes that are, mostly likely, aggravated by global warming.

Can we agree to take action?  Probably not, not so long as so many people deny that warming is happening and throw every roadblock in the path of action, in the name of “preventing government takeover.”

As a nation, we have problems with flood control, and emergency preparedness, and the management of undeveloped lands and farm lands — not to mention the many urban problems we face.  What are the odds we can get a consensus on any of those problems, at least enough of a consensus to take constructive action?

For want of a nail, the horseshoe was lost, begins the old saw.  We can’t even get agreement that horseshoes should be nailed to a horse’s hoof — how can we get the consensus to make sure there are enough nails to do the job?


Birth certificate mugs? Pour my coffee right in, wake ’em up!

May 18, 2011

I get e-mail that makes me smile on a dreary day (everything below quoted from the e-mail):

Ed —

Let me introduce you to Jerome Corsi.

This week he released a new book that the publisher says will be a bestseller “of historic proportions.”

The title is “Where’s the Birth Certificate?” — yes, really.

Corsi’s work is a greatest-hits reel of delusions, ranging from 9/11 conspiracies to claiming that there is an infinite supply of oil in the Earth’s core. In 2008, he published a book about Barack Obama claiming, among other things, that he (a) is a secret Muslim; (b) is secretly anti-military; (c) secretly dealt drugs; and (d) secretly supported terrorist actions when he was eight years old. So many secrets!

FactCheck.org called Corsi’s work “a mishmash of unsupported conjecture, half-truths, logical fallacies and outright falsehoods.”

There’s really no way to make this stuff completely go away. The only thing we can do is laugh at it — and make sure as many other people as possible are in on the joke.

So let’s just do this — get your Obama birth certificate mug here:

Last year, the President said, “I can’t spend all of my time with my birth certificate plastered on my forehead.”

This is about as close as we can get.

If the facts can’t make these ridiculous smears go away, we can at least have a little fun with it.

And then we’ll get back to the important work of supporting the President as he tackles real problems like high gas prices, the deficit, and unemployment.

Thanks,

Julianna

Julianna Smoot
Deputy Campaign Manager
Obama for AmericaPaid for by Obama for America

P.S. — Mug not your thing? How about a T-shirt?

Contributions or gifts to Obama for America are not tax deductible.


Goldie Taylor at TheGrio.com: Why Obama shouldn’t have to “show his papers”

May 1, 2011

More, Resources: 


Are Trump and the birthers hypocrites? Racists?

April 28, 2011

You will love this post from Day Riffer:

Looks Like Trump’s Right: How the Hell Did This President Get Into Those Ivy League Schools?

Politics

– “The dean looked over Barack’s transcript and college boards and then suggested in a kindly way that he apply to some less competitive colleges in addition to Columbia.”

– “There were no class rankings at his high school, but Barack never made honor roll even one term, unlike 110 boys in his class.”

– “His SAT scores were 566 for the verbal part and 640 for math. Those were far below the median scores for students admitted to his class at Columbia: 668 verbal and 718 math.”

– “At Columbia, Barack Obama distinguished himself primarily as a hard partier, and he managed to be detained by police twice during his university years: once for stealing a Christmas wreath as a fraternity prank and once for trying to tear down the goalposts during a football game at Princeton.”

– “Obama’s transcript at Columbia shows that he was a solid C student. Although a history major, he sampled widely in the social sciences and did poorly in political science and economics while achieving some of his best grades (the equivalent of a B+) in philosophy and anthropology. The transcript indicates that in Obama’s freshman year, the only year for which rankings were available, he was in the twenty-first percentile of his class—meaning that four-fifths of the students were above him. Yet at the same time that he was earning Cs at Columbia, Obama displayed a formidable intelligence in another way. At his induction into the Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) fraternity, he and others were asked to name all fifty-four pledges in the room. Most were were able to name only five or six. When it was Obama’s turn, he named every single one. Later he rose to become president of DKE, and he was also tapped into Skull and Bones, an elite secret society to which his father had also belonged.”

And then he somehow got into Harvard for graduate school.

Oh, wait.

My bad.

I made a mistake.

Please replace the reference to “high school” with “Andover.”

Please replace “Columbia” with “Yale.”

Please replace “Barack Obama” with “George W. Bush.”

Thanks.

(PresidentProfiles.com)

Read more: http://dayriffer.com/category/28/l/2056/looks-like-trump-s-right-how-the-hell-em-did-em-this-president-get-into-those-ivy-league-schools#ixzz1Kr8k1xVN

Tip of the old scrub brush to Kenny, back from China and “digging deep” in his new studies.


Obama’s birth certificate: Putting the sideshow freaks and carnival barkers on the hot seat

April 27, 2011

No, it’s not particularly important, especially since we knew from so many other sources that Obama was, indeed, Honolulu born.

The White House pried the old birth certificate out of the records of the State of Hawaii, and released copies to the world today.

The White House video:

ABC Television’s report:

View a .pdf of the form here:  President Obama\’s original Hawaiian birth certificate

I predict Orly Taitz, Donald Trump, and all the other sideshow freaks and carnival barkers, will continue to bark away.  Remember, when P. T. Barnum made a copy of the hoax “Cardiff Giant,” people paid a premium to see the fake of the hoax.  P. T. Barnum’s ghost stalks and stomps on Republican and birther grounds now.

More:

_____________

Boy, looking at this, you gotta know that Obama planned this all out, as Morgan claimed in comments below — just so he could get this story from Juan Williams and Shepard Smith at Fox News:

Oh, For Goodness Sake posted that video, without any other comment, as “National Mirror Moment.”  Birthers, Palinistas and Republicans must be choking on their dinners from that report.  Has the Fox turned on ’em?

Always a good site to expose the inanity and insanity of Obama’s critics, especially on the issues of Obama’s history, Oh, For Goodness Sake has a particular bead on the hypocrisy of those same critics:

How many times have you heard the promise: The president could end this today if he’d just release his long form birth certificate? So now they’ve got the f—ing long form birth certificate, is it done for the Birthers?

No. No. No. No. No. No. And Nope.

Bigots.  Probably no small amount of racism in there, too.  Plus, they’ve exposed themselves as genuinely opposed to America’s good health.  David Gardner and Milton Goldstein pegged it, even if we have to paraphrase them a bit:  Had a foreign government tried to do what the birthers are doing, we’d have considered it an act of war.  History is not kind to idlers, those who fail to call out injustice, nor idiots.


%d bloggers like this: