Jan 7, 2013
EDITOR’S NOTE: We are still working on our second post of a series on the tragic events in Newtown, Connecticut. We promised it for today, but unfortunately is it not ready for posting. We apologize.
Some corners of the conservative world were all a-titter as dentist, real estate agent and lawyer Orly Taitz had filed a lawsuit claiming Barack Obama was not eligible to be president as he is not a “natural born citizen” as required by the US Constitution Article 2, section 1, clause 5. The case is Noonan v. Bowen (2:12-CV-02997-MCE-DAD,) and was filed on December 13, 2012.
While the case was being scheduled, Taitz filed a motion for a temporary restraining order (TRO) to prevent California Electors from casting their Electoral College votes for Obama as well as seeking to stop California Secretary of State Debra Bowen from certifying the state’s election results.
Taitz was granted a hearing on the TRO which was scheduled for January 3, 2013.
This too set the “birther nation” all a-twitter.
We read post after post and tweet after tweet saying Taitz’s case would be heard in front of the Supreme Court on January 3.
“Finally,” they exclaimed, “we can get rid of the guy who is ineligible to sit in the White House!”
When we read the posts and tweets, we had to hang our head in shame. There is just so much wrong with them. First, the case was being held in the Federal Court for the Eastern District of California. That is not only the US Supreme Court as many of the posts and tweets imply, but it is not even the California Supreme Court. Secondly, a hearing for a TRO is not the same thing as a trial.
Taitz wanted to present witnesses but the judge, using rules for federal courts, ruled that the arguments would be oral arguments restricted to 20 minutes per side.
Taitz was not happy and according to news reports from the hearing spent a great deal of time arguing that she should be able to present witnesses.
Feb 7, 2012
Another case challenging the eligibility of Barack Obama has ended in a judgment for Obama.
On Friday, February 3, 2012, Georgia State Judge Michael M. Malihi entered a verdict for Obama in what seemed to be a promising case to have Obama declared ineligible to be president. This makes the tally 99 cases filed against Obama’s eligibility. Of the 99, 8 are still pending. The remaining 91 have been dismissed or decided in favor of Obama’s eligibility.
But the Georgia case was different. Under Georgia law, a voter could ask the Secretary of State to verify the eligibility of a person appearing on a ballot. The State looked at the evidence and declared Obama to be eligible. But under the same law, the voter could appeal the decision of the Secretary of State and ask for a hearing in front of an administrative judge. The plaintiffs did just that and the case was assigned to Judge Malihi.
For the hearing, Obama’s attorney Michael Jablonski was issued a subpoena for Obama himself to appear in court. Jablonski attempted to have the subpoena quashed but Judge Malihi ruled against him saying in part:
In support of his motion, Defendant argues that “if enforced, [the subpoena] requires him to interrupt duties as President of the United States” to attend a hearing in Atlanta, Georgia. However, Defendant fails to provide any legal authority to support his motion to quash the subpoena to attend. Defendant’s motion suggests that no President should be compelled to attend a Court hearing. This may be correct. But Defendant has failed to enlighten the Court with any legal authority. Specifically, Defendant has failed to cite to any legal authority evidencing why his attendance is “unreasonable or oppressive, or that the testimony… [is] irrelevant, immaterial, or cumulative and unnecessary to a party’s preparation or presentation at the hearing, or that basic fairness dictates that the subpoena should not be enforced.” Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. r. 616-1-2-.19(5).
There actually is a great deal of precedence for quashing a subpoena for the appearance of a sitting American president. The law has often recognized that sitting presidents have more important things to do than to respond in person to every lawsuit filed against them. (Even Thomas Jefferson refused to answer a subpoena.) While Jablonski was technically right, in what appears to be a case of bad lawyering, he forgot to cite any relevant law or precedent.
When Malihi made this ruling, he was hailed by many who support the birther movement to be one who “upheld the law.” He was praised as a hero for holding Obama to the same standard as other citizens.
A showdown was set for January 26th in Malihi’s courtroom to enter more evidence into the case whether Obama is eligible.
Jan 9, 2012
This past weekend we were reading posts on our Facebook wall when we saw a post from a gentlemen saying the US Supreme Court was going to hear a case on the eligibility of Obama to be president. This is an issue we have followed somewhat closely over the years and were somewhat surprised to see we had missed something this important.
The post linked to this article on Sodahead.com entitled “Very Quietly Obama’s Citizenship Case Reaches the Supreme Court.”
AP – WASHINGTON D.C. -
In a move certain to fuel the debate over Obama’s qualifications for the presidency, the group “Americans for Freedom of Information” has Released copies of President Obama’s college transcripts from Occidental College … Released today, the transcript school indicates that Obama, under the name Barry Soetoro, received financial aid as a foreign student from Indonesia as an undergraduate. The transcript was released by Occidental College in compliance with a court order in a suit brought by the group in the Superior Court of California. The transcript shows that Obama (Soetoro) applied for financial aid and was awarded a fellowship for foreign students from the Fulbright Foundation Scholarship program. To qualify, for the scholarship, a student must claim foreign citizenship.
This document would seem to provide the smoking gun that many of Obama’s detractors have been seeking. Along with the evidence that he was first born in Kenya and there is no record of him ever applying for US citizenship, this is looking pretty grim. The news has created a firestorm at the White House as the release casts increasing doubt about Obama’s legitimacy and qualification to serve as President article titled, “Obama Eligibility Questioned,” leading some to speculate that the story may overshadow economic issues on Obama’s first official visit to the U.K. In a related matter, under growing pressure from several groups, Justice Antonin Scalia announced that the Supreme Court agreed on Tuesday to hear arguments concerning Obama’s legal eligibility to serve as President in a case brought by Leo Donofrio of New Jersey . This lawsuit claims Obama’s dual citizenship disqualified him from serving as president.. Donofrio’s case is just one of 18 suits brought by citizens demanding proof of Obama’s citizenship or qualification to serve as president.
Gary Kreep of the United States Justice Foundation has released the results of their investigation of Obama’s campaign spending. This study estimates that Obama has spent upwards of $950,000 in campaign funds in the past year with eleven law firms in 12 states for legal resources to block disclosure of any of his personal records. Mr. Kreep indicated that the investigation is still ongoing but that the final report will be provided to the U.S. Attorney general, Eric Holder. Mr. Holder has refused to comment on the matter…
The article perplexed us further. As we said, we follow the court cases on the eligibility issue rather closely here and haven’t seen anything to support this article.
Little nagging things within the article bothered us as well. First, the article simply says “AP” but does not link to an actual article by the Associated Press. Secondly, the AP usually puts the name of a court case when it is headed to the Supreme Court. As no case appeared in the article, we were even more skeptical. Lastly, we had never seen a Supreme Court Justice announce a case was going to be reviewed. Usually it is the entire court that releases the docket.
We started to look and came upon an article from UrbanLegends.com examining a couple of emails they received 2009. One was received in April of that year. Here’s the first paragraph of the email:
Nov 3, 2011
In August 2011, after receiving requests from constituents of his county, controversial and outspoken Maricopa County Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio announced he would investigate the controversy surrounding the Obama birth certificate using his “Cold Case Posse.”
Arpaio has always thought out of the box when it comes to law enforcement. He has made jails a less than ergonomically friendly place in which to spend time. The results of this are mixed as there are disputes as to whether the recidivism of criminals is lessened by the conditions at the jail. It also appears that for the most part, money saved by the spartan jail conditions are lost in defending lawsuits on those conditions.
Arpaio is a polarizing figure. You either love him or hate him. You either support or attack him. In a world of political correctness, Arpaio proudly stands as a man who does what he thinks is right and best for the people who elect him.
Good for him. Even if one disagrees with him, one should admire someone who stands on their principles.
Arpaio’s formation of a “Cold Case Posse” goes back to at least 2006 when Arpaio announced he was adding another “posse” to his list of over 55 “posses” that were currently involved with the Sheriff’s office. Other posses were looking into dead beat dads, prostitutes, illegal immigrants, etc. Adding a “posse” to look into “cold cases” was a way for Apaio to have someone looking at cases whose lack of leads and investigation paths had resulted in dead ends. With nowhere else to go and more cases coming in, the cases without leads were put into a cold case file.
The “Cold Case Posse” would be given the ability to look into the cases with a new, fresh eye. As the posse members were not on the payroll, there were no direct costs to the taxpayers and administrative costs were financed through donations and a 501(c) program. The posses are pretty much a win for all involved.
However, to be fair, we should say the qualifications to be on this “Cold Case Posse” are non-existent.
America’s toughest sheriff is seeking retirees, ex-police officers, Realtors, and lawyers for his cold case posse. Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said he’d like journalists for the posse because “they’re great investigators.”
“I’ll even take a psychic,” he added. “People will laugh at that, but I don’t care.”
For those few of you who aren’t familiar with Arpaio’s posses, his office has more than 55 posses that include about 3,000 people who track down the likes of deadbeat parents, prostitutes and illegal immigrants.
About 40 people, including new recruits and some current posse members, will be on the cold case group that will focus on 225 unsolved murders dating back to 1963, Arpaio has announced.
There don’t seem to be any specific qualifications for the unpaid post.
When Arpaio announced he was going to have his Cold Case Posse look into the Obama eligibility issue, birthers and birther sites were euphoric.
Let the spinning begin.
Oct 17, 2011
President Obama is looking for a graphic design that will help him promote his “jobs bill” to the country. We suspect he is looking to re-create the magic of the “Hope” poster from his 2008 Presidential campaign.
The person who creates the graphic work for the jobs promotion will be paid nothing.
Not a dime.
Not one cent.
Here is a man who has raised $70 million for his re-election campaign in the last three months and yet he is not willing to pay an artist for their work.
According to the Obama campaign website announcing the contest, three “winners” will get the following:
Three winners will get a framed print of their poster signed by President Obama and a limited edition of their poster will be sold in the campaign store with proceeds benefiting the campaign.
There are many times when an artist will do something on the speculation they may get paid. “Spec work” as it is called, can help an artist build their portfolio, gain exposure, or be a feather on their resume.
But here we have a call for a poster advocating a jobs bill. One simply cannot get past the irony or hypocrisy of a campaign calling for work and not providing an actual job for the artist.
As part of the specifications for the artwork, the work has to include the text of the representation of the following phrases:
Aug 8, 2011
UPDATE AT END OF POST!
Today is a big day for some of the leaders in the “birther” movement. At 10 AM local time, Orly Taitz, jerome Corsi, Doug Vogt, Paul Irey plan to show up at the Hawaii Department of Health and Human Services to “to examine Barack Obama’s original 1961 typewritten birth certificate.”
Afterwards, Corsi and his band will hold a press conference. (Gee, what a shock that is.)
A little background is necessary. Taitz filed a subpoena in June of 2012. Despite the fact that Taitz had screwed up the filing on procedural grounds, the State of Hawaii responded to Taitz explaining the law to her by citing Hawaii’s Revised Statues 338-18.
(a) To protect the integrity of vital statistics records, to ensure their proper use, and to ensure the efficient and proper administration of the vital statistics system, it shall be unlawful for any person to permit inspection of, or to disclose information contained in vital statistics records, or to copy or issue a copy of all or part of any such record, except as authorized by this part or by rules adopted by the department of health.
(b) The department shall not permit inspection of public health statistics records, or issue a certified copy of any such record or part thereof, unless it is satisfied that the applicant has a direct and tangible interest in the record. The following persons shall be considered to have a direct and tangible interest in a public health statistics record:
(1) The registrant;
(2) The spouse of the registrant;
(3) A parent of the registrant;
(4) A descendant of the registrant;
(5) A person having a common ancestor with the registrant;
(6) A legal guardian of the registrant;
(7) A person or agency acting on behalf of the registrant;
(8) A personal representative of the registrant’s estate;
(9) A person whose right to inspect or obtain a certified copy of the record is established by an order of a court of competent jurisdiction;
(10) Adoptive parents who have filed a petition for adoption and who need to determine the death of one or more of the prospective adopted child’s natural or legal parents;
(11) A person who needs to determine the marital status of a former spouse in order to determine the payment of alimony;
(12) A person who needs to determine the death of a nonrelated co-owner of property purchased under a joint tenancy agreement; and
(13) A person who needs a death certificate for the determination of payments under a credit insurance policy.
Taitz fills none of those with a “direct and tangible interest” in the birth certificate.
Jul 9, 2011
A few weeks ago, we wrote a post called “Trying to Teach a Pigs to Sing” in which we addressed some of the issues that had been brought to our attention on the “birther” issue. The “birther” issue is where there are some people who claim that the Obama birth certificate is forged.
At the end of the post, (one of four we made on this subject) we said the following:
We are no longer interested in trying to teach pigs to sing. The vast majority of conspiracy theorists, whether they be “birthers,” “truthers,” believers of the “shooter on the grassy knoll,” or “Roosevelt knew of the attack on Pearl Harbor,” cannot be reasoned with. Facts do not matter. Rational discussion does not matter.
To the rest of the birthers who cannot and will not discuss issues and facts, or feel that anyone who disagrees with you is a liberal, an Obama plant, or some other charge made in an ad hominem attack, you are going to have to go to another trough.
This one is closed for you.
Go learn to sing elsewhere.
Why did we say that? Well, it goes back to an assertion we made early on:
Jun 24, 2011
There is an old saying that goes something like “never try to teach a pig to sing: it is a waste of time and annoys the pig.” For the most part, that has been our experience so far with people in the “birther” movement. Since our last article on the subject addressing just one issue and one “conclusion,” we have had people stop by and leave all sorts of communications with us. Some have been pleasant and engaged in a rational discourse. We thank the people who have discussed the issue in that manner. We have found those people to be respectful and genuinely seeking an intelligent discussion.
On the other hand, there are the “true believers.” These are the folks that will not engage in a debate. These are the folks that will not look at any evidence that is contrary to their beliefs. These are the people that are so convinced that they are right about the birther issue, when trying to discuss it with them, they refuse to discuss a singular issue and stay on point. They will attack anything in order not to discuss a valid point. As we said earlier,
One thing that we have noticed over the years is that conspiracy theorists have a thought process that relies more on perception rather than reality. For example, a conspiracy theorist will say, “Look at ‘A’!” as support for his theory. When “A” is de-bunked, the conspiracy theorist will respond with “but look at ‘B’!” After debunking “B,” the conspiracy theorist will say, “Ah! But look at ‘C’!” When “C” is debunked also, they will return to “A” or a variation of “A.” After awhile, with all the permutations of the debunked theories they maintain are legitimate, a person is tired of the battle and simply says “whatever.” The conspiracy theorist will then say “you need to look at all the evidence!” even though you have discredited all of the evidence.
We will generally welcome people here that are interested in a debate of the facts. We will not suffer people that won’t engage and then act in a trollish manner.