Ken Calvert

The Two Faces of the Birthers, Deathers, Deniers, Racists and the Politics of Hate

Are They Traitors to America?

 

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Senator John Barrasso

Presented by: The Religious Freedom Coalition of the SouthEast

Senator John Barrasso

Bush and Wicca and Doreen Valiente

Thank You for Whatever you can do.

 

 

 

Go to http://professionalleft.blogspot.com for a treat!!! Driftglass and Bluegal make the visit worth while.  Then,

Go to Veracity Stew - another progressive Podcast and a Must Listen (warning: contains occasional adult language and sensitive material-NSFW):


CONTENTS

Part I  Introduction to the Right Wing Conspiracy

Part II The Religious Right and the Christian Reconstructionists

Part III Christian Reconstructionism, Christian Ayatollahs, and Racism

Part IV  Republican Gomorrah

Part V  The 12 Worst (and most powerful) Christian Right Groups

Part VI  The Anatomy of the Religious Right

Part VII  The Family

Part VIII  The Tea Party

Part IX  Want to know the truth about statements made by Politicians?  Click on the following web sites to check on what is true and what is false.

 

Question:  "Separation between Church and State."  Who coined the Phrase?  Give up?  Answer:   Thomas Jefferson - one of the founding fathers of this great Nation and a creator of the U.S. Constitution and the First Amendment to that same Constitution.  Thomas Jefferson, in 1802, wrote a Letter to the Dansbury Baptist Convention, referring to the First Amendment to the US Constitution.  In it he said:

"Believing that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their Legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church and State."


Bush and Wicca and Doreen Valiente If You like this site click on

 

We will leave it up to the reader to determine whether far right Conservatives have made serious errors in judgment; whether they are traitors to America and the American People.  Although, they have all supported a Conservative Christian position especially when it comes to Church and State issues, it is apparent from the data collected, that the first amendment may be in danger from their past and future actions.

We interviewed several of these wingnuts and they stated that their position is that Hindu, Shintoists, or Witches aren't "Real" religions."  What is a real religion?  What you have been practicing?  Read the following and remember: "By their Works may they be known."  This is a summary of information collected from several sources about Birthers and Far Right Extremists.

(Remember it is best to investigate on your own when looking at allegations about anyone.     Don't believe us, think for yourself and investigate for yourself!  And remember, the Religious Freedom Coalition does not represent any political party nor do we recommend any political candidate, nor are we involving ourselves in the political process.  BUT, we are here to expose hypocrites who abuse our trust in them and will not stand for public officials lying, stealing, making unethical choices, and not representing the American People.


EXTREMIST (TEA PARTY) REPUBLICANS ARE THE ENEMY AND TRAITORS TO AMERICA by R. Blackbird

Extremist (Tea Party) Republicans are selfish, power hungry, hateful of the poor, disloyal to the nation and its people, dishonest, avaricious, scornful of the nation's history, the dignity of its institutions, its standards of political morality, and its vision of advancement for all the people. The Republicans love war as long as they and theirs do not have to put on helmets and carry guns into the fighting. They use lies to start wars that kill hundreds of thousands of innocents and thousands of our own military service people. They love massive war-time profits, unavailable to their rich masters if war is absent.

Those Extremist Republicans hate the rest of us, which they must, in order to pass away from themselves and onto us, the financial burdens and losses their crimes, schemes and thefts cause. They are prolific, incessant, and destructive liars. They are blasphemers for they insist that their hateful and destructive deeds are the work of God. They are apostates for they gleefully attack the poor, the immigrants, the old and the sick, of whom God has commanded all of us to be mindful.

There is no reasoning with them, for all their logic is built on false premises. There is no appealing to them for honor's sake for they have lost all sense of shame and have no honor, there is no appealing to them for the nation's sake for that it what they hate the most.

Extremist (Tea Party) Republicans are the enemy.

 


Part X  The Audacity of Hate


The Audacity of Hate: Birthers, Deathers, Deniers, Racists and Barack Obama

Excerpts from an article by Walter Brasch on BuzzFlash Blog at TRUTHOUT 5/21/2011

The latest garbage spewing hate as it circles the Internet in a viral state of panic continues a three year smear against Barack Obama.

The attacks had begun with the extreme right wing spitting out Obama's full name-Barack HUSSEIN Obama, as if somehow he wasn't an American but connected to the Iraqi dictator who, despite the Bush Administration's best efforts, had no connections to 9/11.

When the right-wingers and Tea Party Pack get tired of their "cutesy" attempts to link Obama to militant Muslims, they launch half-truths and lies to claim he wasn't born in the United States. Like Jaws, Jason, or Freddy Krueger, "birther" propaganda keeps returning, even when independent state officials and analysts proved the claims false.

The issue simmered on Fox TV and talk radio until Donald Trump, the man with the planet-sized ego and the bacteria-sized brain, inserted his persona into the issue, while pontificating about becoming the next president. The media, exhausted from having to cover the antics of Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen, turned their news columns over to the man who would be God-if only it paid better.

The Wing Nut Cotillion, with Trump getting the headlines, then demanded Obama produce a long-form birth certificate-which he did while leading a combined White House-CIA-Pentagon effort to find and destroy Osama bin Laden. The truth still hasn't quieted the conspiracy nuts.

Not willing to accept truth and logic, the extreme right wing, grasping for anything they could find, have attacked the raid that killed bin Laden. Among their screeches are that bin Laden isn't dead . . . that he was killed a week earlier or even years earlier . . . that Obama had hidden the death until there was a more political time to reveal it . . . that it was George W. Bush (who publicly said six months after 9/11 that he didn't care about bin Laden) who deserves all the credit . . . and that while Navy SEALS should get credit, Obama is too weak to have overseen any part of the mission.

And now from the caves of ignorance and hatred comes a much-forwarded letter, which the anonymous author says "shouldn't surprise anyone." Written as fact, the letter informs us Barack Obama: "never held a 'real' job, never owned a business and as far as we know, never really attended Harvard or Columbia since those transcripts have never been released and no one remembers him from their time at either school."

The email of hate further "enlightens" us that "Being a community activist only gives someone insite [sic] on how to assist the less fortunate and dregs of society on how to acquire government housing and government benefits without ever contributing one penny in taxes."

That's right. The Whackadoodles Wearing Tinfoil Caps crowd has escaped again.

Among those community activists who worked with the "dregs of society," apparently on ways to scam the government, are St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226), founder of the Franciscan order and patron saint of animals and the environment; Jacob Riis (1849-1914), a journalist and photographer who exposed the squalor of slums and tenement buildings; Dorothy Day (1897-1980), a journalist who founded the Catholic Worker Movement that advocated nonviolent action to help the poor and homeless, and who the archdiocese of New York, at the direction of Pope John Paul II, began a process leading to beatification; and Jane Addams (1860-1935), who fought for better conditions for children and mothers, was active in the progressive campaigns of Teddy Roosevelt and who, like Roosevelt, earned a Nobel Peace Prize. Those who rail against community activists for not having "real" jobs would also oppose Saul Alinsky (1909-1972), who tirelessly established the nation's most effective organizational structure to help the poor and disenfranchised to gain a voice against political, economic, and social oppression; Dr. Benjamin Spock (1903-1998), America's foremost pediatrician, for leading antiwar campaigns; Cesar Chavez (1927-1993), who helped get farm workers respectable pay and decent working conditions; Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968) who, with hundreds of thousands of others, forced a nation to finally confront its racism; and innumerable leaders of the feminist and gay rights communities who got America to confront their other prejudices. All were community activists.

Not dregs because they have "real" jobs are the bankers and Wall Street investors who brought about the housing crisis that led to the worst depression in the past seven decades. Also exempt from contempt are the business owners who downsized, right-sized, and shipped their production overseas, throwing millions of Americans out of work.

Barack Obama, castigated for not having a "real job," worked more than a year as research associate and editor at the Business International Corp., three years as director of Developing Community Projects, a church-based group for eight Catholic parishes, and summer jobs at law firms. Other "not real" jobs include being an author, civil rights lawyer, and a professor of Constitutional law at one of the nation's more prestigious colleges. Frankly, it's rather nice to have a president who actually understands the Constitution-as opposed to the rabble who misquote, misstate, and misappropriate it all the time.

Those propagating the email of hate believe Obama couldn't earn degrees from Ivy League colleges; the subtext is as clear as their refusal to believe in an integrated nation. So, I contacted the registrars at Columbia and Harvard. In less than 10 minutes, the registrar at Columbia confirmed that Barack Obama received a B.A. in political science, and the registrar at Harvard Law School confirmed Obama received a J.D. These are public records. Anyone can ask the same questions, and get the same answer. Logic alone should have shot down these accusations. Obama was editor of the Harvard Law Review, something as easy to verify as his graduation, and he passed the Illinois bar exam-which requires graduation from college and law school, and a personal character test-also a matter of public record.

Even if Obama provided official transcripts, which are confidential, the wing nuts of society will claim that, like the birth certificate and the death of bin Laden, the transcripts were faked.

The truth is that the politics of hate, combined with media complicity and Internet access, has led not to a discussion of issues but to character assassination, with racism and bigotry as its pillars.


Obama Birth Certificate Was Released By The White House

The following are excerpts from an article by Sam Stein posted on huffingtonpost.com 04/27/11

WASHINGTON -- The White House released on Wednesday President Barack Obama's "long form" birth certificate, the document whose absence has long been at the heart of the conspiracy-riddled discussion over Obama's legitimacy to serve as the nation's commander in chief.

The move came as a surprise to the press corps, many of whom had not shown up for Wednesday's early-morning White House briefing. By the time word had spread that Obama would be making a 9:45 a.m. statement on the matter, however, the top anchors at all the networks had scurried into the briefing room.

Once there, they received a presidential scolding for their concern with "silliness." Obama began his five-minute statement with the complaint that he wouldn't be able to get the networks to break into their regularly scheduled programming for a speech on policy proposals.

"I know that there is going to be a segment of people for which no matter what we put out, this issue will not be put to rest," Obama said. "But I am speaking for the vast majority of the American people as well as for the press. We do not have time for this kind of silliness. We have better stuff to do. I have got better stuff to do. We have got big problems to solve."

"We are not going to be able to do it if we are distracted, we are not going to be able to do it if we spend time vilifying each other ... if we just make stuff up and pretend that facts are not facts, we are not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by side shows and carnival barkers," the president declared earlier.

The document released by the White House differs from the one that Obama's aides made public during the 2008 presidential campaign. Instead of a "certification" of live birth, this was a "certificate," clearly recording that the president was born on Aug. 4, 1961 in the Kapiolani Maternity and Gynecological Hospital in Honolulu.

For years, Obama's circle of aides had resisted calls to make the latter form public, noting that a certification is legally sound and what any citizen of Hawaii receives upon requesting documents of birth. And indeed, for some time, that explanation -- supported by a a wide swath of other contemporaneous evidence - seemed to suffice.

But some who challenged the president's citizenship remained unsatisfied, and in recent weeks they found a high-profile megaphone for their cause: business tycoon and presidential flirt Donald Trump.

"This issue was resolved in 2008. It has not been an issue," White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer said during a morning briefing in which he and other officials took care not to mention Trump's name. "None of you have asked about it, called about it or reported on it until the last few weeks ... [not releasing it] would probably be good for the president politically. Despite that, the president said he was struck by how this was crowding out the debate."

Last Friday, the president himself wrote Loretta J. Fuddy, the director of health at the State of Hawaii, requesting "two certified copies of my original certificate of live birth." Fuddy complied. Shortly thereafter, the president's counsel, Judith Corley of the firm Perkins Coie, flew to Hawaii to pick up two copies of the form. The trip was not taxpayer funded but, rather, paid out of the president's personal account. Corley returned on Tuesday at roughly 4 p.m. with the copies. The White House announced a "morning gaggle" for reporters shortly thereafter. One aide explained that they did not want to "hold" on to the documents for release on a later date.

Many members of the press confessed to being "stunned" as it became clear what was about to be discussed. White House press assistants handed out a six-page stapled packet of photocopies showing the new and old birth certificates as well as the White House's legal correspondence with Hawaii's Department of Health.

And yet it was the press that played a large role in forcing the administration's hand. CNN's Ed Henry had pressed White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on the issue just one day earlier, despite the fact that his own network had done a thorough investigation debunking the claims of the conspiracy theorists.

"There will always be some selection of people who will believe something. That is not the issue," Pfeiffer said when asked if Wednesday's move would silence the doubters. "This issue is, this is not a discussion happening just among conspiracy theorists. It is happening here in this room, on all of the networks, and it is something that every major political figure of both parties -- instead of talking about real issues -- is being asked about this. So the president decided to release this."

(HERE IS A PHOTO OF HIS BIRTH CERTIFICATE AND A VIDEO OF OBAMA'S RESPONSE)

WATCH PRESIDENT OBAMAS RESPONSE:

 

 


WHO ARE THE BIRTHERS?

Barack Obama was, without question, born in the U.S., and he is eligible to be president, but experts on conspiracy theories say that won't ever matter to those who believe otherwise.

Excerpts from an article written by Alex Koppelman for salon.com Dec. 5, 2008

There are, sadly, a lot of Birthers out there. A recent poll showed that 11 percent of Americans -- including 28 percent of Republicans -- don't believe President Obama was born in the U.S. Another 12 percent aren't sure.

So, at some point, you're likely to find out that a friend or relative is a Birther. Your Uncle Floyd will forward you a chain e-mail that says Obama was actually born in Kenya and there's a Kenyan birth certificate that proves it and hundreds of government officials and reporters are in on a conspiracy to hide the truth of his ineligibility for the presidency from the public.

A few of the theories: "Barack Obama can't be president: He wasn't really born in Hawaii, and the certification of live birth his campaign released is a forgery. He was born in Kenya. Or maybe Indonesia. Or, wait, maybe he was born in Hawaii -- but that doesn't matter, since he was also a British citizen at birth because of his father, and you can't be a "natural-born citizen" in that case. (But then, maybe his "father" wasn't really his father; maybe his real dad was an obscure communist poet. Or Malcolm X.)"

You might think these rumors would have died off after Obama produced proof in June 2008 that he was, in fact, born in Hawaii to an American citizen, his mother, Ann, or after Hawaii state officials confirmed in October that he was born there. You might think the rumors would have died off after he was elected by a comfortable margin. Instead, they've intensified. There have been paid advertisements in the Chicago Tribune questioning the president-elect's birth certificate and eligibility, and one group is raising money to run a similar ad on television. The right-wing Web site WorldNetDaily has been reporting on the issue almost nonstop. Numerous plaintiffs have filed lawsuits in various states. And Friday, the Supreme Court's nine justices will decide whether they want to hear one of those suits, which also contends that John McCain, born in the former Panama Canal Zone, does not meet the Constitution's requirements to hold the presidency.

The people hoping this is a sign the court will agree with them and stop Obama from becoming president are almost certain to be let down. The fact that the case has gone to conference doesn't mean anything about its merits -- the court will also be deciding whether to take up a number of other cases, and the chances that the suit will actually be heard is exceedingly small. Eugene Volokh, a law professor at UCLA, has calculated that over the past eight years the court has considered in conference 842 cases that sought a stay. Only 60 of them were actually heard. Seven hundred and eighty-two were denied.

But that doesn't matter. The false controversy isn't going to go away soon. Yes, Obama was born in Hawaii, and yes, he is eligible to be president. But according to several experts in conspiracy theories, and in the psychology of people who believe in conspiracy theories, there's little chance those people who think Obama is barred from the presidency will ever be convinced otherwise. "There's no amount of evidence or data that will change somebody's mind," says Michael Shermer, who is the publisher of Skeptic magazine and a columnist for Scientific American, and who holds an undergraduate and a master's degree in psychology. "The more data you present a person, the more they doubt it ... Once you're committed, especially behaviorally committed or financially committed, the more impossible it becomes to change your mind."

Any inconvenient facts are irrelevant. People who believe in a conspiracy theory "develop a selective perception, their mind refuses to accept contrary evidence," Chip Berlet, a senior analyst with Political Research Associates who studies such theories, says. "As soon as you criticize a conspiracy theory, you become part of the conspiracy."

Evan Harrington, a social psychologist who is an associate professor at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, agrees. "One of the tendencies of the conspiracy notion, the whole appeal, is that a lot of the information the believer has is secret or special," Harrington says. "The real evidence is out there, [and] you can give them all this evidence, but they'll have convenient ways to discredit [it]."

Whatever can't be ignored can be twisted to fit into the narrative; every new disclosure of something that should, by rights, end the controversy only opens up new questions, identifies new plotters. Perhaps the most common argument of those questioning Obama's eligibility is that he should just release his full, original birth certificate, rather than the shorter certification, which is a copy. His failure to do so only proves there is reason to be suspicious, they say, and if the document was released, the issue would go away. But that's unlikely. It was, after all, the Obama campaign's release of the certification this summer that stoked the fever of conspiracy mongers.

For believers, it works like this: So what if Dr. Chiyome Fukino, the director of Hawaii's Department of Health, released a statement saying she has verified that the state has the original birth certificate on record? So what if she said separately that the certification looks identical to one she was issued for her own Hawaii birth certificate? Why didn't her statement specify Obama's birthplace? So what if a Hawaii Health Department spokeswoman later clarified that Fukino meant that Obama was born in Hawaii? So what if researchers for FactCheck.org actually saw the physical copy of the certification and debunked much of the key "evidence" supposedly proving that the image posted online is a forgery? They're not really independent. They're funded by the Annenberg Public Policy Center, and Obama once (with Bill Ayers, no less) ran an entirely unrelated program that happened to be paid for with money donated by Walter Annenberg. And on and on and on.

If the long-form birth certificate were released, with its unequivocal identification of Hawaii as Obama's place of birth, the cycle would almost certainly continue. Rush Limbaugh already suggested that Obama's trip to Hawaii to see his ailing grandmother, who died not long after, was somehow connected to the controversy. Others, like Michael Savage, followed Limbaugh's lead, saying Obama was going to Hawaii to alter the record.

Not surprisingly, almost all of the people who've been most prominent in pushing this story have a history of conspiracist thought. There's Jerome Corsi, who's best known as the co-author of the book that launched the Swift boat vets; he's a chief proponent of the claim that the government is secretly planning to form a "North American Union" with Canada and Mexico. Philip Berg, who filed the lawsuit that had until now drawn the most public attention, is a 9/11 Truther.

Andy Martin, who's credited with starting the myth that Obama is a Muslim and has been intimately involved in the birth certificate mess as well, was denied admission to the Illinois bar because of a psychiatric evaluation that showed he had "moderately severe character defect manifested by well-documented ideation with a paranoid flavor and a grandiose character." He also has a long history of anti-Semitism. Robert Schulz, who's responsible for the ads in the Tribune, is a fairly notorious tax protester. In 2007, a federal judge ordered Schulz to shutter his Web site because he and his organization were, in the words of the Justice Department's Tax Division, using the site to promote "a nationwide tax-fraud scheme."

We could be dealing with the repercussions of the tangled web these people have woven for years after Obama is inaugurated. We already have some hints of what's to come. Gary Kreep, who heads the United States Justice Foundation and is representing Alan Keyes in one of the lawsuits over the president-elect's eligibility, has said his group will file suit to challenge each and every one of Obama's actions as president.

He may well inspire others. There are a surprising number of people out there -- tax protesters, for instance -- who rely on similarly creative legal thinking based on conspiracy theories for their defense. So don't be too surprised if, sometime after Jan. 20, defendants in federal trials suddenly claim they can't be prosecuted. If Obama isn't really president, then laws he signs have no effect, Department of Justice prosecutors have no authority and judges he appoints aren't legally judges. Anyone who tells you otherwise is just part of the conspiracy.


A GUIDE TO REFUTING THE BIRTHERS CLAIMS

Excerpts from an article written by Alex Koppleman and published by salon.com on Aug. 5, 2009

In the spirit of public service, Salon has compiled a list of the most popular Birther myths, along with all the debunking you could ever ask for. Now you can just  e-mail this list to Uncle Floyd and get on with your life.

Unfortunately, there is some small print involved in this offer. We can't promise this article will convince Uncle Floyd that Obama was born in the U.S. and is the legitimate president. In fact, we can just about guarantee that it won't have much effect at all. That's just the way conspiracy theories work: Believers are unlikely to change their minds, no matter how much evidence you present.

Still, it's worth a try.

Myth 1: Obama wasn't born in the U.S.

This is the big one. It may also be the most easily refuted. First of all, during the presidential campaign, Obama released a certification of live birth, which is the official document you get if you ask Hawaii for a copy of your birth certificate. There are allegations that what Obama released is a forgery, but state officials have repeatedly affirmed its authenticity and said they've checked it against the original record and that Obama was indeed born in Hawaii. PLUS on April 17 The White House released his long form Birth certificate.

If that wasn't enough, two Hawaiian newspapers carried announcements of Obama's birth in August 1961. (Read the Honolulu Advertiser's item from Aug. 13, 1961, nine days after Obama's birth, here.) The traditional joke that Birther debunkers make is that his grandparents must have placed those announcements because they knew that he'd want to run for president nearly five decades later. The truth, though, is that the notices are even stronger pieces of evidence than that. Obama's family didn't place them -- Hawaii did, as it does for all births. The announcements were based on official records sent to the papers by the state's Department of Health.

Myth 2: Obama can't be president because his father was a British citizen

Some of the Birthers -- like de facto leader Orly Taitz -- believe that Obama wouldn't be eligible for the presidency even if he were born in the U.S. That's because, in their infinite wisdom, the Founding Fathers included in the Constitution a fair amount of phrases they never really bothered to define. One of those is this explanation of who can be president: "No person except a natural born citizen."

The Supreme Court has never ruled directly on the question of what "natural born citizen" means. So the Birthers have simply settled on their own definition -- someone born to two citizen parents -- and found a source,"The Law of Nations," a 1758 book by the Swiss philosopher Emerich de Vattel, to back them up.

There are a couple of problems with this. Most important, Obama isn't the first president with a non-citizen parent: Chester A. Arthur, the 21st president, was. His father was from Ireland and apparently did not become a U.S. citizen until more than 10 years after the future president's birth.

Plus, even if the Founding Fathers did rely on Vattel as much as the Birthers say -- always a dubious proposition -- Swiss philosophy books aren't legal precedent in the United States. British common law is. And in 1898, in the case of U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark, the Supreme Court looked into the meaning of "natural born" in the common law and concluded that a non-citizen's mere presence in the U.S. is enough to make their child, if born here, a natural-born citizen.

Myth 3: A Kenyan birth certificate for Obama, showing he was born in Mombasa, has been discovered

It's a hoax. Once Taitz released the document, purportedly a certified copy of a Kenyan birth certificate, it took less than two days for Internet sleuths to prove that it had been forged.

The first signs were a couple of small but revealing errors: The certification is dated Feb. 17, 1964, when newly independent Kenya was known as the Dominion of Kenya. It wouldn't start calling itself the Republic of Kenya until December of that year -- but the document refers to the republic. Additionally, the document's header refers to "Coast Province," but as two British professors who are experts in Kenyan history pointed out to Salon, at the time the certificate was supposedly produced, the country's provinces were referred to as regions.

For the final nail in this myth's coffin, one particularly enterprising man, Steve Eddy, located the original Australian document on which the Kenyan certificate was apparently based. The two documents share several identical numbers, including the page and the book of records in which they can be found, and minor changes were made to the names of the registrars responsible for the Australian copy. Taitz claims the Australian certificate "was created to try to discredit my efforts" but it was in fact available on the Internet as far back as 2007.

Myth 4: Obama's grandmother said he was born in Kenya

There's a kernel of truth to this one. In an interview with a street preacher named Ron McRae, Sarah Obama, the second wife of the president's grandfather, did say she was there, in Kenya, for her grandson's birth.

Unfortunately for the Birthers, it was the result of a miscommunication -- or perhaps a mistranslation -- and as soon as McRae started pressing the issue, Obama's family realized what had happened and corrected him. Most Birthers simply ignore the corrections, excising them from audio and transcripts of the conversation posted online. McRae just believes it's part of the conspiracy and that Obama's younger relatives were coached to hide the truth.

The full audio can be downloaded here. What follows is a transcript of the relevant portion of the interview:

MCRAE: Could I ask her about his actual birthplace? I would like to see his birthplace when I come to Kenya in December. Was she present when he was born in Kenya?

TRANSLATOR: Yes. She says, yes, she was, she was present when Obama was born.

MCRAE: When I come in December. I would like to come by the place, the hospital, where he was born. Could you tell me where he was born? Was he born in Mombasa?

TRANSLATOR: No, Obama was not born in Mombasa. He was born in America.

MCRAE: Whereabouts was he born? I thought he was born in Kenya.

TRANSLATOR: No, he was born in America, not in Mombasa.

MCRAE: Do you know where he was born? I thought he was born in Kenya. I was going to go by and see where he was born.

TRANSLATOR: Hawaii. Hawaii. Sir, she says he was born in Hawaii. In the state of Hawaii, where his father was also learning, there. The state of Hawaii.

Myth 5: Hawaii allows parents to get birth certificates for their foreign-born children

This one is actually true -- just not in the way the Birthers think. Here's their position, as outlined by World Net Daily, a conservative news site that's become the unofficial Birther Web headquarters: "The 'Certification of Live Birth' posted online and widely touted as 'Obama's birth certificate' does not in any way prove he was born in Hawaii, since the same 'short-form' document is easily obtainable for children not born in Hawaii."

Children not born in Hawaii can get a birth document from the state. But it won't say they were born in Hawaii, as Obama's does.

"If you were born in Bali, for example, you could get a certificate from the state of Hawaii saying you were born in Bali," Janice Okubo, the director of communications for the state Department of Health, told the Washington Independent's David Weigel recently. "You could not get a certificate saying you were born in Honolulu. The state has to verify a fact like that for it to appear on the certificate."

Myth 6: Obama traveled to Pakistan using an Indonesian passport

When the Birthers tire of arguing that Obama wasn't born in the U.S., they take another tack. At some point during the time he spent in Indonesia growing up, they say, Obama must have taken Indonesian citizenship or renounced his American citizenship or both. As proof, they cite the trip he took to Pakistan in 1981 with a friend from college, and say the U.S. government had issued a ban on travel by its citizens to the country.

Thing is, there was no travel ban. "We have no record of any travel ban between America and Pakistan during that period or since," a State Department spokesman told Weigel. And FactCheck.org's Brooks Jackson notes that the New York Times printed an article about travel to Pakistan on June 14, 1981, which said Americans just needed a visa to travel there. Two months later, the U.S. consul general in Lahore, Pakistan, wrote to the Times to say he'd "welcome an influx of Americans."

Myth 7: Obama hasn't released his birth certificate

Strictly speaking, what Obama's campaign originally released wasn't called a birth certificate; it's a certification of live birth. But there's no functional difference between the two: Ask Hawaii for your birth certificate, and you'll get the certification of live birth back.  (BUT, as I've stated, The WH released the original long form Birth Certificate on 4/17/2011.)

"Our Certificate of Live Birth is the standard form, which was modeled after national standards that are acceptable by federal agencies and organizations," Okubo told the Honolulu Advertiser. "With that form, you can get your passport or your soccer registration or your driver's license."

There had been some confusion about whether the original even still exists, but that's now been cleared up.  (You can see a image of it above) Okubo told the Advertiser that in 2001 the state's paper documents were put into an electronic form, but "any paper data prior to that still exists ... we have backups for all of our backups."

Myth 8:  If Obama would just release his birth certificate, he could end all this

He did and it hasn't ended has it.  So why didn't the state of Hawaii release the original paper document? By law, the state can't release Obama's birth records without his OK. State law says that the document can only be released to or "inspect[ed]" by someone with a "direct and tangible" interest. (Though, again, except for "permit[ting] inspection," the law refers to the release of copies and certified copies, not the original record.)  So Obama sent a rep to pick it up and bring it back to the White House where it was released to the Media.

Conspiracy theorists cling to their theories in the face of all evidence, and in this case the groundwork for disputing an original birth certificate has already been laid. In October of 2008, Rush Limbaugh suggested that Obama's trip to Hawaii to see his dying grandmother might really have been made in order to do some quick forgery. Limbaugh's fellow talk radio host Michael Savage jumped on that bandwagon, too.

Plus, the Birthers have a long list of other demands. Here's one sent out by Gary Kreep, who's representing Alan Keyes in his lawsuit challenging Obama's eligibility. Read it, and abandon all hope:

  • Actual long-form birth certificate (NOT an easily-forged electronic copy of a short-form document that is not even officially accepted in Hawaii)
  • Passport files
  • University of Chicago Law School scholarly articles
  • Harvard Law Review articles
  • Harvard Law School records
  • Columbia University records
  • Columbia University senior thesis, "Soviet Nuclear Disarmament"
  • Occidental College records, including financial aid that he may have received
  • Punahou School records, where Mr. Obama attended from the fifth grade until he finished high school
  • Noelani Elementary School records, where Barack Obama attended kindergarten (according to the Hawaii Department of Education, students must submit a birth certificate to register -- but parents may bring a passport or student visa if the child is from a foreign country)
  • Complete files and schedules of his years as an Illinois state senator from 1997 to 2004
  • Obama's client list from during his time in private practice with the Chicago law firm of Davis, Miner, Barnhill and Gallard
  • Illinois State Bar Association records
  • Baptism records
  • Obama/Dunham marriage license
  • Obama/Dunham divorce documents
  • Soetoro/Dunham marriage license
  • Soetero/Dunham adoption records 

THE BIRTHERS IN CONGRESS

Seventeen men and women who are either enabling the fringe movement or having trouble admitting Obama is president

Excerpts from an article by Gabriel Winant in salon.com, July 28, 2009

News

Reuters, AP, Handout photos

Clockwise from top left, Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla.; Rep. Bill Posey, R-Fla.; Rep. Mary Bono Mack, R-Calif.; Rep. John Culberson, R-Texas; Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.; Rep. John Campbell, R-Calif.

"The only people that I know who are afraid to take drug tests are the people who use drugs," says Rep. Bill Posey. The Florida Republican is the author of the so-called "Birther" bill, which would require future presidential candidates to submit their birth certificates. The fact that President Obama has already submitted -- forgive the extension of Posey's metaphor -- a clean urine sample seems to be completely irrelevant. Whether it's out of cynicism, fear of the GOP base or a simple inability to read and reason, the ranks of Birthers in Congress seem to be growing.

Here are a list of 17 names of members of Congress who have either expressed support for, or refused to oppose, the idea that America has a foreign president problem. You'd be surprised how hard it is to get a member of Congress to say that Barack Obama is a natural-born citizen with the right to be president. Or maybe you wouldn't. Meet the Birthers on the Hill:


Rep: Bill Posey, R-Fla.: Though rumors of then-candidate Barack Obama's ineligibility for office incubated in right-wing fever swamps during the campaign, they found their first congressional ally in the actual swamps of Florida. Posey, a first-term representative from the "Space Coast" of Florida, is the sponsor of a bill that would require presidential candidates to submit their birth certificates. Posey has said that he can't "swear on a stack of Bibles" that Obama is a citizen. The congressman told Lou Dobbs, "The eligibility of the president to serve under the Constitution has arisen five times, and Congress has failed to do anything about it thus far." Barry Goldwater was born in Arizona Territory, Posey points out. George Romney was born in Mexico. Shoot, John McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone, and, claims Posey, the New York Times and Washington Post thought that made him ineligible. (We must have missed those editions of the Times and the Post. Posey's office has not responded to a request for comment.)

Meanwhile, Stephen Colbert has demanded that Posey disprove the rumors about his own parentage. An outraged Posey denies the allegation. "There is no reason to say that I'm the illegitimate grandson of an alligator."


Rep. John Campbell, R-Calif.: Though he wasn't the first member of Congress to board the birther train, Campbell is perhaps the most infamous, thanks to an interview on the topic with an unamused Chris Matthews. Campbell cites the same talking points -- Romney, Goldwater and McCain -- as Posey did. "Nice try," responds Matthews, who then showed him the president's birth certificate. "You're verifying the paranoia out there. You're saying to the people, 'You're right, that's a reasonable question, whether he's a citizen or not.'"

Campbell spends the interview trying to weasel out of the question. "As far as I know, yes," he says of Obama's legitimacy. "Say it now: Barack Obama is president of the United States and he was born in this country," Matthews insists. "He is president of the United States," responds Campbell. Finally, under duress, Campbell concedes that Obama enjoys natural-born status: "Yes, I believe so."

With a hint of malice, Matthews half-jokes his way through the end of the segment, saying, "Congressman John Campbell, who does believe -- watch the rerun at 7 -- that Barack Obama is a native-born American. So those wackos in your district out there, don't vote for this guy, because he fundamentally disagrees with you. I'm just kidding." Campbell winces visibly.


Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla.: Probably the know-nothingest member of the Senate, Inhofe thinks climate change is "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people." Coming in second, presumably, is the current fraudulent presidency. The Oklahoma conservative recently told Politico that the Birthers "have a point," adding, "I don't discourage it ... But I'm going to pursue defeating [Obama] on things that I think are very destructive to America." In a later clarification, he accused the White House of not doing "a very good job of dispelling the concerns of these citizens."


Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala.: Asked about the president's eligibility at an Alabama town hall meeting back in February, Shelby said, "Well, his father was Kenyan and they said he was born in Hawaii, but I haven't seen any birth certificate. You have to be born in America to be president." Almost immediately afterward, his spokesperson was saying that the local paper had distorted what happened, adding, "While [Shelby] hasn't personally seen the president's birth certificate, he is confident that the matter has been thoroughly examined."


Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.: This Tennessee politician, a co-sponsor of the Posey bill, trusts that the president is a natural-born citizen, says a spokesperson. She just thinks it's mighty odd that candidates for office don't have to meet "the same basic identifying standard as a 16-year-old Tennessean aspiring to a driver's license." Obviously, as government bloats and journalism withers, the DMV is much easier to trick than the international media.


Rep. Dan Burton, R-Ind.: Paranoia is how Burton gets in the news. In the 1990s, the Indiana Republican shot a pumpkin in his backyard to demonstrate how the Clintons could have whacked Vince Foster. Now he's a co-sponsor of the birther bill. Says a spokesperson, explaining Burton's co-sponsorhip, "You don't want to needlessly expose presidents to crazy conspiracy theories." No, of course not.


Team Stonewall: Mike Stark, of the blog FireDogLake, wandered around the Capitol trying, and mainly failing, to get a straight answer.

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., tells Stark she "would like to see the documents." One wonders what's stopping her.

Rep. Charles Boustany, R-La., says the issue of Obama's eligibility "is certainly being looked at." (Though apparently not by him.) "I think there are questions. We'll have to see."


Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb., asks Stark, "Do you have some evidence that he is or isn't?"

Rep. Greg Harper, R-Miss., says that he thinks that "the Constitution speaks for itself, and it'll be up to others to look into that." Michigan's

Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, asked whether Obama was born in the United States, says, "I'm focused on healthcare issues." (When the question was reiterated by Salon, a McCotter spokesperson again refused to comment, saying, "He's focused on healthcare like he said.") However, Rep. Tom Price, who sprinted away from Stark's camera, apparently doesn't want to be a member of Team Stonewall. A Price spokesman told Salon that Price was only running because he was late for a vote, and that Price does in fact believe that Obama was born in the United States.


The Gaggle of Unknown Texans: Reps. John Carter, John Culberson, Kenny Marchant, Ted Poe and Randy Neugebauer, all backbench Texas Republicans, have signed on to the Posey bill. Says Neugebauer, "I don't have the documentation one way or the other. And so my assumption is that he is a natural-born citizen, that hopefully the appropriate people checked that." Apparently, Neugebauer also does not have access to the Internet. Explains a spokesperson for Carter, "The requirement is there in the law upfront. So all of our candidates in the future should respond and present the documentation upfront, and then there can't be any of these type of charges." Chalk all these charges against Obama to his tardiness in presenting his documentation. He waited all the way until June of 2008.

The Facebook Friends: A number of prominent Republicans are friends with birther leaders on Facebook. Of course, Facebook friendship need not imply an endorsement, in any form, of the denial of the president's eligibility for office. For example, New Jersey's Rep. Scott Garrett is Facebook friends with Philip Berg, a big-time Birther. "Oh my," said Garrett communications director Erica Elliott in response to this information. Elliott had never heard of Berg, but explained that Garrett doesn't manage his Facebook account, and a staffer must have confirmed Berg's friendship request, unaware of who he is.

The most aggressive Facebook user among the Birthers is Orly Taitz, the California dentist-lawyer-real estate agent who may also be the best-known Birther, even though she is a Facebook novice. "Today," she posted Sunday, "is the first day my assistants Vivian and Theresa opened my Facebook account to wide audience." Already she counts Rep. Eric Cantor, the House minority whip, among her virtual friends. But Cantor's spokesperson says much the same thing that Garrett's did: "She is registering her support for Eric Cantor, and nothing more. Not vice versa." (Taitz is also Facebook friends with Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, whose office did not respond to a request for comment.)


Finally, Taitz claims that she was friended by Rep. Mary Bono Mack of California shortly after becoming active on Facebook. "Amazingly, Congresswoman Mary Bono asked to be my friend on Facebook."

A spokeswoman for Bono Mack told Salon that the Facebook friendship with Taitz doesn’t indicate support for Taitz, and is just a form of general, broad outreach. However, given three opportunities to agree on behalf of Bono Mack that the president was born in the United States and is qualified to command the armed forces, the spokeswoman refused to comment.


Counting the Facebook friends, that's 17 Republican elected officials who either seem doubtful that Obama is a legal head of state or are more than willing to indulge and even fan the unfounded doubts of their constituents. Nearly one in 10 members of the House Republican Caucus can fairly be said to have Birther sympathies, and those are just the ones we know about. The evasiveness doesn't really look great either. After all, as Posey says, the only people who won't take drug tests are the ones doing drugs. 


 

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