First of all, President Obama was born in Hawaii. I don’t know how much more proof he could have given at that point. But second of all, even if he hadn’t have been, seriously, who cares? Who cares, in all caps with an exclamation point after it. WHO CARES?! It’s not something he can control, and it doesn’t say anything about his character. John McCain was born on a naval base in Panama. I didn’t care about that. I don’t care. At some level, the birther movement is not about hardcore, Constitutional originalists being very concerned with following the letter of the law. It’s about the weird and disturbed people who are—probably on some level—racist, not liking the fact that a black man named Barack Obama is the president, and trying to find a way to say that without saying “I’m a weird, crazy racist.” That’s what that movement was about. But I also wanted to make clear that even if, in the future, a Caucasian gentleman who wants to run for president happens to have been born in Bern, Switzerland—who cares? That law, as I understand it, was established because they didn’t want people from England to come and usurp the country and be in league with England. I think we’re probably safe from that at this point. I don’t think we’re in danger of having a secret British national loyalist running for president and then selling us back to England or something. We’re probably okay.
—  Michael Schur, creator and showrunner of Parks And Recreation, on the birther movement

Republicans’ racist campaign impossible to ignore.

Talking Points Memo:

Political observers have noted for a while that Mitt Romney’s claim that President Obama gutted the work requirement in the 1996 welfare reform law is false. But few in the mainstream media have have gone so far as to accuse Republicans of playing the ‘race card.’

But Chris Matthews, the host of MSNBC’s “Hardball,” didn’t hold back in a tirade launched against RNC Chairman Reince Priebus Monday morning, accusing the Romney campaign of using race to defeat Obama. Matthews lit into Priebus, citing both the welfare attacks and Romney’s recent birth certificate joke as evidence that the GOP is “playing that little ethnic card there.”

“I have to call you on this, Mr. Chairman,” Matthews said in an appearance with Priebus on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” as he responded to Republicans’ criticism that Obama is running a very negative campaign. “But they’ve both negative. That cheap shot about ‘I don’t have a problem with my birth certificate’ was awful. It is an embarrassment to your party to play that card.”

Matthews continued, turning the attacks up a notch:

“You can play your games and giggle about it but the fact is your side playing that card. When you start talking about work requirements, you know what game you’re playing and everybody knows what game you’re playing. It’s a race card and yeah, if your name’s Romney, yeah you were well born, you went to prep school, yeah, brag about it. This guy has an African name and he’s got to live with it. Look who’s gone further in their life. Who was born on third base? Making fun of the guy’s birth certificate issue when it was never a real issue except for the right wing.”

Of course, Priebus tried to deny all this, but what’s the point? It’s so obviously true. Why do you think the GOP is having trouble scaring up anything other than white faces for the convention cameras or that polling shows that 0% — that’s right, zero percent — of African-American voters plan to vote for Romney.

They’ve taken the GOP’s old southern strategy and amped everything up to eleven, hoping that maybe the white racist vote is enough to put them over the top this one last time. The welfare lies, the birtherism, the attacks on Latinos, the voter ID laws that disenfranchise minority voters — it’s all right there, out in the open. These people shouldn’t be allowed to run a merry-go-round, let alone a nation.

GamerGate also seems to have gained some steam, and some prominent support, from elements of the conservative political movement in the U.S. (including Adam Baldwin) who argue that the problems stem from the efforts of “social justice warriors” on the left, who want to destroy the rights of freedom-loving gamers. In that sense, it shares some DNA with the Tea Party or “birther” movements.
— 

How did GamerGate become a lightning rod for violence — and is social media helping or making it worse?

When you’re on the same side as Adam Baldwin, you’re on the wrong side.

(There is a 100% chance he uses this post as an excuse to have his mouthbreathing followers attack me, incidentally.)

The driving force behind the shutdown is passionate, radical birtherism, and the press needs to cover it. 

  • Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), who wrote the original letter to tie the shutdown to the defunding of Obamacare: "2012 is the time we’re going to send Mr. Obama home to Kenya or wherever it is!" 
  • Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) “told supporters he would back a bill to investigate the authenticity of President Barack Obama’s birth certificate.”
  • Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) thinks that Obama’s birth announcements in a Hawaiian newspaper “might’ve announced that by telegram from Kenya.” 
  • Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas): "One of the things I always questioned was the documentation of the president, whether that was fraudulent,"
  • Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) : “Let’s go back and revisit some of these things because Americans have questions about not only the IRS scandal but also about the president’s validity.”
  • Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas): “I think unfortunately the horse is already out of the barn on this, on the whole birth certificate issue.”
  • Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC):  ”There’s no question President Obama’s hiding something on his citizenship.”
  • Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC):  ”There’s no question President Obama’s hiding something on his citizenship.”
  • Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO): “I have doubts that it is really his real birth certificate.”

This is not a normal partisan fight. A fringe group of one party is grabbing hold of the political process, and the press is not reporting the full story. 

[Obama is] just very, very scary. Now, I know there’s a lot of people that are very skeptical as to whether he was born in Hawaii. Personally I believe that he was. I actually believe he was fibbing about being born in Kenya when he was trying to get into college and doing things like writing a book and on and on and on.

So if there was weird stuff going on, I actually think it was happening back in his college days because I think he has spent $1.5 or $2 million through attorneys to have all the college records and all that stuff sealed. If you’re spending money to seal something, that’s probably where the hanky panky was going on.
— 

Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett proving he’s an even bigger jackass than I thought. When asked about his comments later, Bennett replied, “I have no personal knowledge about what happened.” But he’ll sure pretend he does!

I had emailed Bennett previously about the whole “I’m not a birther, I just play one on TV" thing. He never responded. Total shock, I know. I had to email him again about this egregiously racist claim.

And yes, I call it racist because this is the second time he’s attempted to tie Barack Obama to being Kenyan (or pretending to be Kenyan) in some way — supposedly in the name of vetting him — yet Mittbot™ escapes the same scrutiny. Remember when George W. Bush used to crack jokes about being a C student at Yale? Imagine Barack Obama doing that. 

Go on. Imagine it.

It drives these people up the wall that Barack Obama, a charismatic black man, not only succeeded at an Ivy League University, but went on to have a successful career as a professor and became president. Not to mention he wouldn’t have to spend money to have college records sealed because of privacy law.

In other words, clutch the pearls and pray to all the angels and baby Jesus, because there’s an intruding BLACK man in our WHITE House. </sarcasm>

The cherry on top of this racist sundae is Bennett has formed an exploratory committee to run for governor in 2014. It’s never too late to start pandering to your base.

Anyhow, here’s my email to Ken Bennett. If you’d like to email him too, his email is kbennett@azsos.gov

image

[Image Text: 
Dear Mr. Bennett,

I previously wrote you regarding your dabbling in birtherism. To refresh your memory, please view the email here: http://cognitivedissonance.tumblr.com/post/23321374521/my-email-to-ariz-secretary-of-state-ken-bennett

I was thrilled to see you finally back off the pursuit of Barack Obama’s birth certificate after Hawaii satisfied your desires. However, I do believe you should investigate whether or not Mitt Romney is a robot. This is a very real possibility. View the evidence here, here, and here. I have just as much evidence that Romney is a robot as Sheriff Joe Arpaio has that Obama was born in Kenya. But no matter…

I am writing regarding your recent comments about Obama lying about being born in Kenya in order to get into college. You said:

[Obama is] just very, very scary. Now, I know there’s a lot of people that are very skeptical as to whether he was born in Hawaii. Personally I believe that he was. I actually believe he was fibbing about being born in Kenya when he was trying to get into college and doing things like writing a book and on and on and on.

First off, citation needed. Second, I heard a rumor you lied about being a gay Chinese Buddhist from Lincoln, Neb. in order to get into Arizona State University. In reality, you’re a straight white Mormon from Tucson, Ariz. BORING. No wonder you lied.

Please refute these allegations, or else I will assume they are true. After all, I have as much evidence as Arpaio regarding Obama’s birthplace, and just as much evidence about your college attendance as you do about Obama’s. Also, would your office please call for Romney to refute the allegation that he lied about being a human being to get into Harvard.

Cheers,

Meg]

"My guess is that [birtherism] has little to do with actual thought, and everything to do with tribal identification—rejecting Obama as a citizen is another way of rejecting his legitimacy as president." - Jamelle Bouie

It doesn’t matter how many facts you throw at the majority of these people. Birthers will still fester underneath reality.

[Poll: Adam J. Berinsky, Professor of Political Science at MIT; 1,000 respondents]

Goddammit, Kansas:

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, an informal advisor to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, said on Thursday he and his fellow members of a state board were considering removing President Barack Obama from the Kansas ballot this November.

Kobach is part of the State Objections Board along with Attorney General Derek Schmidt and Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, all Republicans. The Topeka Capital-Journal reported that on Thursday the board agreed consider whether to take Obama off the ballot because they said they lacked sufficient evidence about his birth certificate.

Go hang out with Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, bros. Obama’s birth certificate is online, and it’s even printed on a handy mug that you guys could keep in the office. Every time you sip your coffee, you can be reminded just how backwards your theories truly are.

Otherwise, kindly GTFO. 

image

Hawaii Trolls Arizona’s Presidential Birth Certificate-Seeking Secretary of State

Hawaii is apparently so sick of people asking for proof of President Obama’s birth, that they’ve turned the tables on Arizona’s secretary of state, demanding that he’s the one who has to prove he deserves to see it.

Ken Bennett (pictured) has made headlines in the last few days for suggesting that Obama may not be on the ballot in Arizona this November without some solid proof that the President was actually born in Hawaii. Bennett, who says he’s just trying satisfy questions raised by his state’s citizens, has made several phone calls and written inquiries to Hawaii’s health department asking for “verification,” but has yet to get his answer, mostly because state officials are giving him the run around. Which is a nice way of saying he’s being clowned.

Talking Points Memo got ahold of some of the emails and they reveal some epic trolling on the part of Hawaii’s Deputy Attorney General Jill Nagamine. After Bennett sent an itemized list of all the information he wants verified, Nagamine responded with an even longer list of Hawaii statutes that spell out how they don’t give that information to just anyone and asking under what authority does Bennett thinks he’s entitled to the information.

Read more at The Atlantic Wire. [Image: AP]

Louisiana Republican Literally Runs Out Of Interview To Avoid Explaining Why She's A Birther

Louisiana Republican Literally Runs Out Of Interview To Avoid Explaining Why She’s A Birther

Lenar Whitney being interviewed by David Wasserman, via Lenar Whitney’s Facebook page

Journalist David Wasserman has made a career of interviewing hundreds of politicians – this is the first time one has fled his office to avoid answering one of his questions.

The distinction goes to conservative Louisiana state Rep. Lenar Whitney. In a state that is known for being veryconservative, Whitney has…

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There is no FOI [Freedom Of Information] proof that Mr Abbott has renounced his British citizenship. It seems he has stood for parliament on 8 occasions as a dual national, well aware that doing so is in contravention of the constitution. This goes beyond forgetfulness into the realms of possibly intent to defraud the Commonwealth.
—  Did Tony Abbott ever renounce his British citizenship - a mandatory step in order to run for office in Australia? One blogger sought out the documents that would prove the Prime Minister renounced his citizenship to the UK, but to no avail. After questioning the National Archive (where such documentation would be held), the Prime Minister’s office and the British Home Office for evidence, to hit roadblocks at every turn, we have to wonder. If he did renounce his citizenship and is a full citizen of Australia, he should have nothing to hide. So why were emails deleted, and information denied to curious Australian citizens?

(x), (x), (x) and sign the petition asking for these documents to be released here on change.org.

Pictured: two similar people.

5 Famous Modern Events You Won’t Believe Happened Before

#3. Chester A. Arthur Was the Subject of the First “Birther” Movement

When Chester A. Arthur, who claimed to have been born in the exotic land of Vermont, became vice president under James Garfield, his disgruntled opponents in the Republican Party hatched a theory that he was actually born a few miles to the north of where he claimed, across the border amid the wild jungles of dark and savage Canada.

Arthur graduated to full president when Garfield was assassinated, which only made the conspiracy theorists scream louder. They hired a lawyer named Arthur Hinman (a traitor to all Arthur-kind) to investigate these claims. … According to Hinman, Arthur stole the identity of a dead sibling who had been born in Vermont, while he himself was actually born in Quebec. Oh man, not even the “American” part of Canada?

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