What if the birthers are right?

As if the existence of a “paranoid style” in American politics required any further proof,  the birther movement refuses to die. It’s adherents claim, contrary to all available facts, that Barack Obama is not a natural-born U.S. citizen and is therefore ineligible to serve as President. Like all good conspiracy theories, it will never completely go away no matter how much evidence there is to disprove it. Ignorance and hatred are powerful things and the American right-wing has a shortage of neither.

Aside from the fact that the birther movement appears to be little more than another in a long series of attempts by the right-wing to delegitimize their opposition rather than engage with it, there is amidst all of this sound and fury, an important question that has yet to be thoroughly explored: what if the birthers are right? What if Barack Obama was born in Kenya rather than Hawaii? I have read speculation ranging from the idea that it would actually make Obama a British subject to the constitutionally unsound notion that he would be designated as ineligible and that therefore John McCain would be President.

I believe the answer is quite simple and that it is not one the birthers will like: even if Obama really was born in Kenya, he would still be a U.S. citizen. That’s right, being born in Kenya would not disqualify Obama from being President.

Think about it. John McCain was born in Panama, but no one seriously question his citizenship. Why is that? Is it a simple case of racism and double standards? No. John McCain is a citizen because his parents were citizens. The children of U.S. citizens born overseas are U.S. citizens.

But wait, you say, Obama’s father was Kenyan. Fair enough, but it doesn’t matter, Obama still meets the criteria.

  1. His mother was a U.S. citizen;
  2. She lived in the U.S. for at least 10 years before he was born; and
  3. A minimum of 5 of those 10 years were after her 14th birthday.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_nationality_law#Through_birth_abroad_to_one_United_States_citizen

Case closed. Not only are the birthers idiots, they’re wasting their time. Even if they could somehow prove their conspiratorial fantasies, they would STILL LOSE. What morons.

An irritating difference between liberals and conservatives.

I was delighted yesterday when Rep.  Alan Grayson (D) – FL decided to give the Republicans a taste of their own medicine on the House floor.  His tongue-in-cheek speech that the GOP’s health care plan consists of “don’t get sick” and if you do to “die quickly” was intended to drive home the point that the Republicans’ politically motivated opposition to reform will simply perpetuate the problem.

Predictably, the irony-challenged and apparently amnesiac House Republicans seized on Grayson’s remarks (which don’t differ substantively from the pronouncements of Grayson’s Republican colleagues), sanctimoniously demanding an apology and comparing him to Rep. Joe Wilson (R) – SC. I don’t really want to go down that road as it’s already being explored except to ask how many of those Republicans voted against the measure to censure Wilson?

I’m more interested in the liberal reaction to Grayson.

Last night on MSNBC I watched as Keith Olbermann and Ariana Huffington lauded Grayson while tut-tutting Grayson’s use of the word ‘holocaust’. Later Rachel Maddow did the same thing and during her interview with Grayson, she asked him at least three times whether he regretted his use of the word. Not only did this make me angry, it got me thinking.

I don’t contend that Olbermann, Huffington and Maddow are wrong to take exception with Grayson’s use of the word ‘holocaust’. I agree with them that it’s both a distraction and an inaccurate comparison.  But I think that the real distraction is that they feel the need to chide him for it.

Imagine if a Republican had made an identical speech. Would Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh criticize their fellow traveler for an unfortunate choice of words? No. They would circle the wagons and press their point.

Conservatives are better at gut-level communications. They aren’t afraid of their own shadows. Wrong as they are, you have to give them credit for sticking to their guns. They ruthlessly deliver their message to its intended recipients.

Opponents of reform would much rather argue about decorum and the proper usage of ‘holocaust’ than fix the existing system. Olbermann, Huffington and Maddow are simply playing into their hands. In this regard they remind of the so-called Blue dog Democrats. If health reform is defeated or watered down so as to be meaningless it will be the Blue dogs’ fault, not the Republicans.  If Democrats like Grayson who want to take a stand fail to deliver their message, part of the responsibility for that failure will rest with PC-obsessed media liberals who dilute that message with silly nattering over his choice of words.

The Democrats need more Graysons. People who aren’t afraid to call the hypocrites out. Instead of eating their own, the three aforementioned liberals (all of whom I like and respect) need to be driving home Grayson’s point. Health reform is too important to bother with self-defeating arguments over semantics.

Obama Has al-Qaeda Worried

The news that al-Qaeda is not enthused about Obama’s victory must have conservatives scratching their knuckle-heads. Obama, you will remember was the candidate whose dangerous naivete would make us more vulnerable to attack. His habit of “palling around with terrorists” was practically an invitation to commit another 9/11.

I think that al-Qaeda is concerned about the incoming Obama administration. Worried that the U.S. will finally have a president who takes terrorism seriously, they have already begun to lash out.

I wonder what that crazy lady, the one who told McCain that she couldn’t trust Obama because “he’s an Arab” thinks about all this. Actually, I bet she doesn’t think anything about it because a) she doesn’t seem to be much of a thinker and b) chances are she doesn’t read the New York Times.

If al-Qaeda’s endorsement of John McCain wasn’t enough to do it, their racists insults against our President-elect should erase these harebrained notions from the public consciousness once and for all.

Keeping Track of Palin’s Lies

John McCain and Sarah Palin are telling so many lies about her record that it’s becoming hard to keep up with them. Palin’s compulsive lying about her past as even more pathological than W’s. Here is a handy list.

  1. Palin stopped the “bridge to nowhere.”
    No, she didn’t pull the plug until Congress had already cut the funding.
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080908/ap_on_el_pr/bridge_to_nowhere_fact_check
    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/701/
  2. Palin was always against the “bridge to nowhere.”
    Not exactly. She was for it before she was against it.
    http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/election2008/2008-08-31-palin-bridge_N.htm
  3. Sarah Palin is a fiscal conservative.
    A fiscal conservative does not rack up $20,000,000 in debt for a small town. Nor does she bill the state of Alaska for staying at her own house, eating her own food or for trips to her husband’s snowmobile races
  4. Sarah Palin opposed earmarks.
    A mayor who opposes earmarks does not hire a lobbyist to obtain earmarks unless that mayor is a lying hypocrite.
    http://www.usnews.com/articles/opinion/2008/09/04/data-points-sarah-palins-lobbyist.html
  5. Palin sold the Governor’s jet on eBay and made a profit.
    No, she listed it on eBay three times but ended up selling it through an aviation broker at a loss.
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/09/06/politics/animal/main4422397.shtml
  6. Palin fired Governor’s mansion chef.
    No. The chef, Stefani Marnon was reassigned to the Republican state legislature to cook for Palin’s cronies since as Governor, Palin prefers to work in Anchorage or Wasilla instead of travelling to Juneau.
    http://dwb.adn.com/news/politics/story/9090479p-9006523c.html
    http://www.adn.com/news/alaska/story/288561.html
  7. Sarah Palin won Miss Congeniality in the 1984 Miss Wasilla pageant.
    Really??? Come on….
    http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/columnists.nsf/debpeterson/story/23D7A0CF8A2E3A61862574B50011DB30?OpenDocument
  8. Update: 9/16/2008

  9. Sarah Palin’s teleprompter failed at the RNC and she had to “wing it” during her acceptance speech.
    “The teleprompter got messed up, I couldn’t follow it, and I just decided I’d just talk to the people in front of me, it was Ohio.” http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2008/09/palin-and-the-t.html OK, she gave an effective speech, but why do they have to lie about the teleprompter?
    Is it because GOP voters just enjoy being lied to?

Diary of a Masochist

Tonight I forced myself to endure GeeDubya’s prime time RNC address. I have been a bad boy and this is my punishment. I was hoping McCain would get away with his scheme to scuttle the current occupant’s speech; old blood ‘n guts must have been so disappointed that Gustav only limped ashore with a whimper.

For now, I rest comfortably on my sofa, merrily hammering away at my laptop. I wonder if I’ll need some sort of Clockwork Orange device to keep me staring at the screen.

8:40 –  There’s an old guy named Swindle on my TV who was a POW with McCain. They had to eat rats while living in their hole in the Hanoi Hilton. Americans will have to eat rats too if McCain wins.

The repthugs are honoring veterans. Veterans are cool. The GOP should stop using them as props unless they’re going to give them proper benefits. Do they have any respect at all for GeeDumbya’s military service? How many veterans are going to have to stand up before Swindle goes away? Standing veterans are even cooler. This guy Swindle knows how to whip a hall half full of conservatives into a frenzy.

Laura Bush. Shiny red dress. This the woman who spreads her legs for the prez. Laura and I have something in common since Bush has fucked both of us. What does she see in that nimrod? The crowd goes wild – not. The lady gives a better speech than her toungue-tied hubby. “My God” she’s thinking, “George will be out of work soon!” She’s proud that the first female VP will be a Republican woman. It would be weird if it was a Republican man. Where is Larry Craig tonight? Apparently the GOP is the party of women, so long as they don’t want to choose or earn equal pay. Republican women must like being second class.

8:50 – Laura promises facts and “straight talk” about W. If only I could slip her some truth serum. W is the edumacation presidunce. Bush’s Judges, like the ones who appointed Bush in the first place, respect the constitution. 4th amendment schmorth amendment. I can barely take my eyes off of Mrs. Bush long enough to type. W has increased the number of Africans with AIDS medications from 50,000 to 2,000,000. Thank gawd; they’ll need it since he won’t help them prevent infection in the first place by giving them condoms. Iraqis live in freedom because of Bush. Freedom from clean drinking water, electricity…… My head may explode like an IED. No, Bush has kept me safe she says, smiling. Safe from having to worry about whether my email and bank records are private, safe from hurricanes and habeas corpus, safe from having to be taxed to pay for a war. So much easier to borrow the money from China. I feel safe again.

8:55 – Bill Clinton got a five minute standing ovation at his speech, but the GOP means bidness. Shrub stands at his podium, lookin real prezidentshul and just dives right in. He can’t be in St. Paul in person because he’s bizzy overseein’ the relief efferts. The reepublican guvners are  coordinatin’ and everythin’ is peachy. See how much better natural disasters are when the govner of Looziana isn’t a defeatocrat? Bush’s beady little eyes dart around. McCain is a great Amerrkin. Bush loves his mama and daddy.

The decider knows what it takes to be prezdint, see? He reads the presidential daily briefs (pdb) – like the one on 8/6/01 entitled “Bin Laden determined to strike in U.S.” That’s the one Condi couldn’t remember the name of. After being briefed on that pdb the decider decided a decision which was to decide to continue his vacation rather than taking action.
Continue reading