Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Fake Certificates, Fake Court Cases, and Fake News

Lucas Smith is, among other things, a novelist. Supposedly. On his YouTube profile, Smith says he "Penned my first book in the year 2002 and went on to publish it the year 2005. Murder By Tejuana & Treachery By Bush And The Supreme Court: A document in the form of a novel, Volume 1 of 4."

A couple of years ago, he created a Wikipedia page about this book. It was eventually deleted, but Deletionpedia saved it.

Various details are included about the plot and whatnot, but the most interesting section is "Litigation concerning this book." There, he writes:

The manuscript of this book was originally banned from publication by a US District Court whose ruling was affirmed by a US Circuit Court of Appeals. Due to a US Supreme Court ruling, this book was allowed to be published provided it would be "...published as a work of fiction..."

There is no Supreme Court case with that quote. I checked. The Supreme Court and Court of Appeals cases he mentions here simply don't exist. Given that he provides no citations or details as to any of these three cases, there's no reason to believe that any of them ever actually existed.

Similarly, in August 2007, Smith added citations to two supposed Australian newspaper articles about his book. As far as I can tell, neither of those articles are real either.

So to anyone inclined to believe that Smith really possesses secret evidence that supports his claims, remember that he's manufactured and promoted other fake stories in the recent past.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

McRae/Shuhubia Affidavit Comparison

You may recall that in Berg v. Obama, two affidavits were filed relating to the infamous telephone conversation with Sarah Obama. One affidavit was from Ron McRae, and the other was from the pseudonymous "Kweli Shuhubia".

It should be noted upfront that there are several glaring deficiencies in the latter affidavit. First, "Kweli Shuhubia" is a pseudonym, and not a real name. Second, nowhere in the affidavit does it mention that the name is fake. Third, the document is not notarized. Fourth, the document is not actually signed at all; the 'signature' is actually just a jpeg of an unintelligible signature cut-and-pasted onto the document. Fifth, unlike McRae's affidavit, Shuhubia's is not hand-dated; the alleged date of signature is pre-printed on the form.

But there is another facet of the Shuhubia document that I believe has long been overlooked: most of it is copied, wholesale, from McRae's affidavit. Shuhubia's description of the conversation is almost word-for-word identical to McRae's, with only occasional minor changes and the necessary shifts between first and third person.

To illustrate their similarity, I have produced this handy comparison sheet:

McRae-Shuhubia Affidavit Comparison

Thus, it's abundantly clear that one affidavit was drafted from the other. And given that McRae's is dated October 27 whereas Shuhubia's is dated October 30, and that Shuhubia's is hardly signed at all, I believe one could draw a reasonable conclusion as to which was the original, and which was the second draft.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Nancy Pelosi: Natural Born Citizen?

When Birthers fantasize about what would happen if Obama were removed from office, they tend to ultimately put Senator Robert Byrd in the Oval Office. Joe Biden is deemed ineligible because he was elected as Obama's running-mate, and Nancy Pelosi is deemed ineligible due to some pseudo-legalistic arguments surrounding her signature on Obama's qualification form.

Curiously, in the seventeen months since Obama took office, I've never yet seen a Birther ask or answer what I should think would be a top priority for them: is Nancy Pelosi a "natural born citizen"?

After all, Birthers can talk a blue streak about why Obama's dual citizenship at birth or his father's citizenship makes him Constitutionally ineligible under their fabricated definitional scheme, but no one ever applies that to Speaker Pelosi.

The reason that is so curious is because, like Obama, Nancy Pelosi is the daughter of an immigrant. Her mother, Annunciata M. Lombardi, was born in Italy in 1909, and immigrated to the United States as a child.

Pelosi's paternal grandfather was also an Italian immigrant, and thus like Tom Tancredo, Pelosi may possess Italian citizenship.

Now I've checked, and in the 1930 census, Pelosi's mother is listed as a naturalized citizen. But I had to research that myself; Pelosi's mother's origins are publicly known, but no Birther has ever expended any effort to learn when or whether Annunciata naturalized. Birthers did not subject Pelosi to their "natural born citizen" standard and, after historical research, find her satisfactory; no, instead they've never bothered to check at all.

And thus, Birthers accidentally betray the truth. The reason they have never checked the citizenship of Nancy Pelosi's parents is because the citizenship of Nancy Pelosi's parents doesn't matter. Not Constitutionally, at least. And neither does the citizenship of Barack Obama's parents, or of any President's parents for the past two centuries. That's why prior to 2008, even the Birthers themselves never concerned themselves with the citizenship of the parents of Presidential candidates. Birthers have created an imaginary definition that they say disqualifies Obama, but they can't manage to employ it consistently even now.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Happy Birther-Versary!

We all missed the occasion, but yesterday was the two-year anniversary of the ostensible birth of Birtherism. Although the 'born in Kenya' rumor had found its way onto a scant handful of websites during the prior three months, it didn't garner any attention or following until after Obama clinched the party nomination, when Jim Geraghty wrote this post on June 9, 2008.

Some people still claim that questions were being raised earlier in the campaign, back into 2007 or earlier. Simply put: they're wrong. Their memories deceive them. The story of Ann Dunham traveling to Kenya and secreting a baby back wasn't even created until after Super Tuesday 2008, and only the fringiest of bloggers paid it any heed until June.

This Saturday, June 12, is also the two-year anniversary of the publication of the Certification of Live Birth. Only three days after the issue broke. A very prompt response, and yet the nonsense lives on.