28% of Republicans Do Not Believe That Obama Is A Citizen (Updated)

When I wrote my satire of the Birthers last week, I assumed that the folks who seriously believe that Barack Obama is not a citizen was merely a small, but loud fringe with a large web presence. So imagine my surprise when I saw this poll, which indicates that the numbers are worse than I realized:

A forthcoming DailyKos/Research 2000 poll found 77% of Americans believe President Obama was born in the United States, 11% do not, and 12% are not sure.

Among Republicans only, 42% think he’s an American citizen, 28% do not, and 30% are not sure.

If those numbers are accurate (and the DailyKos/Research 2000 polls aggregate in line with other major polls, so there’s no reason to immediately question the numbers), then this is a much more serious problem. As my colleague Dodd pointed out earlier this week, if less than half of Republicans believe that Barack Obama is a citizen, that makes it much more difficult for the Republican Party to put forth reasonable debate and opposition against the Democrats and craft sound policy proposals.

You just can’t focus on policywhen 1/3 of your base wants you to focus on the crazy. You can’t craft sound bipartisan legislation by working with the President when a photo-op with him risks you votes in the primaries becaue 1/3 of your constituency doesn’t want you “working with foreigners” and thinks that the President doesn’t belong there.

Kudos to Bill O’Reilly, Ann Coulter and the other conservative pundits out there who’ve been willing to decry the birthers. Hopefully more will follow suit.

(link via Matthew Yglesias)

Update (Alex Knapp)

A number of people have asked in the comments why this issue can derail Republican legislation as opposed to say, belief in UFOs. Well, simple: it matters because if you have a significant portion of the people who cast ballots in Republican primaries who are passionate and passionately believe that Obama’s Presidency is illegitmate, that is going to dominate the local discussions of politics and it’s going to make it difficult for Republicans who want to be re-elected to just dismiss. Observe this in action:

I am not interested in living in a one party state, but that’s what we’re going to have if the Republican base keeps dwelling on this nonsense.

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Alex Knapp
About Alex Knapp
Alex Knapp is Associate Editor at Forbes for science and games. He was a longtime blogger elsewhere before joining the OTB team in June 2005 and contributed some 700 posts through January 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheAlexKnapp.

Comments

  1. Drew says:

    Here’s someone who will decry them. This is simply ridiculous. Those who actually belive in it, are, well, nuts and boneheads.

    I also note these are the same types who, uh, well, believe in Simon Lagreed bankers who loan to own.

    I also don’t believe in the integrity of the poll for a moment.

  2. Crust says:

    It’s pretty amazing that only a plurality — not a strict majority — of Republicans affirmatively believe that Obama is a citizen. But, shhhhh, don’t tell Dodd.

  3. Alex Knapp says:

    I also don’t believe in the integrity of the poll for a moment.

    And your reasoning being… ?

  4. Eric Florack says:

    if less than half of Republicans believe that Barack Obama is a citizen, that makes it much more difficult for the Republican Party to put forth reasonable debate and opposition against the Democrats and craft sound policy proposals.

    How so? These seem issues easily seperated. After all, policy is not implemented by one man, of whatever birth history.

    As I said the other day…If the White House had more substantial documentation than what we have seen thusfar, I figure they probably would have brought it out, already. If, for no other reason than to shut up the people that they so willingly mock as “conspiracy theorists” etc. After all, they’ve never been shy about revealing any information that makes democrats look good and republicans look bad, even at the risk of Democrat operatives doing jail time as we saw in Ohio for leaking “Joe the Plumber”s” personal information.

    That they do not bring out that information, speaks rather loudly to the idea that they don’t have more substantial proof, than the rather thin documentation they’ve offered thusfar. And that they then fall into “divide and insult” mode (Which yu seem willing, Alex, to jump in with) pretty much confirms that they don’t have anything more substantial and wish the whole thing to go away. If they could, don’t you figure they’d capitalize on exposing the ‘nutcases’ as such?

    I say again… They don’t because they can’t.

    As such, this thing hasn’t gone away.

    Is Obama and natural born American citizen? The truth is I honestly don’t know the answer to that question. He may be. He may not be. The documentation provided to answer that question in the affirmative is at least thin.

    And here’s the fear of the left ies making such noises about this… When combined with the rapidly falling approval numbers, this controversy… this question is going to play rather large indeed on the minds of the American voter. At the very least, moderate supporters of Obama in light of his other failures and broken promises, (Along with those of his party) are going to be looking seriously at what for all outward appearances has the look and feel of yet another cover-up. Getting elected, or, reelected , is a game of appearances. IE think we can safely had this particular controversy to the long list of spots on the record of the Democrats which do not appear to be all that squeaky clean. Certainly, this thing doesn’t take on the appearance of being overly transparent . You may recall we were promised a transparent administration.

    And Alex… here’s a question…. do all Democrats think Obama an American citizen? About the same number who defended Bill Clinton, against the charges he faced, claiming his was innnocent, right?

    And November 2010 looms.

  5. Ugh says:

    God you’re hilarious bithead.

  6. Mark says:

    Eric, you are certifiable.

    2010 does indeed loom. A Republican return to power with this sort of base? Not so much.

  7. Steve Plunk says:

    How many citizens believe in UFO’s? I guess whatever party they’re affiliated with can’t concentrate on policy either.

    Policy is made by those in power and what percentage of those are actively working on “Birther” issues of digging up documents? Give it a rest and don’t make a mountain of a mole hill.

  8. Derrick says:

    As I said the other day…If the White House had more substantial documentation than what we have seen thusfar, I figure they probably would have brought it out, already.

    Also, if Sarah Palin had shown us the birth video of Tripp coming out of the womb, she would have brought it out already. It’s A Conspiracy!

  9. An Interested Party says:

    They don’t because they can’t.

    And why can’t they, pray tell…

    And here’s the fear of the left ies making such noises about this…

    On the contrary, it’s not about fear, but rather, mockery…if a portion of the GOP really believes that the president wasn’t born in this country, they become part of a lunatic fringe that could drag down the Republican Party as a whole…”fear” the Birthers? Ha, that’s funny…

  10. mannning says:

    We are living with a double standard of behavior. The Democrats can yell and scream about literally any aspect of Republicans and republicanism, including their personal lives, their children, their mothers, and their failings dating back to 1900, or even 1776.

    But woe be unto you Republicans if you address Democratic failings–ever! Especially, if you take a page out of the Dems book and address the issues surrounding their God–Obama. There are plenty to chose from, including the remarkable parallels between the Socialist Party platform of 1928 and the current Obama (and congressional) heavy-fiscal-handed directions. It is amazing how many have come to Obama’s defense, saying he is no socialist, as he pushes a socialist agenda.

    I think Bit and others have said simply, “why not dig out the original full birth certificate, and end this once and for all?” Other candidates have done so, why not Obama? No, he had to block any further efforts by legal maneuvering. Why?

    I have no idea. I am fairly sure that someone would have dredged up something by now, if it existed, to prove things one way or another, so there is only one recourse left, and that is to let it go, suffer the consequences, scream when necessary, and vote Republican in 2010 and 2012.

  11. Alex Knapp says:

    No, he had to block any further efforts by legal maneuvering.

    I’ve seen this claim several times without any evidence. Do you happen to have any?

    Because everything I’ve read indicates that there is not original birth certificate because the Hawaii Dept. of Vital Records destroyed all paper copies in 2001 and uploaded the raw data into their system.

  12. The GOP doesn’t have a fringe, it is a fringe.

  13. Eric Florack says:

    And why can’t they, pray tell…

    It doesn’t exist. What else, given the history of releasing anything that makes them look good, would prevent such release? And to be clear…Of itself, that doesn’t prove the birther case, but it doesn’t disprove it either.

    On the contrary, it’s not about fear, but rather, mockery

    What you fail to calculate with is the left’s propensity for using mockery and derision in their attempts to discredit their opponants. The history of such goes all the way back to Marx. It’s a tactic that usually gets yanked out when there are no others to bring to bear.

    I think Bit and others have said simply, “why not dig out the original full birth certificate, and end this once and for all?” Other candidates have done so, why not Obama? No, he had to block any further efforts by legal maneuvering. Why?

    Just so, Manning. Just so.

  14. democratsarefascists says:

    My experience with this issue is that the people who criticize the so-called “birthers” are far MORE ignorant of the issues surrounding the belief than the birthers themselves.

    Meaning that if you ask those who deride them one of the birthers’ specific questions, the critics are completely ignorant, and know they’ve been put on the spot.

    Personally, I don’t care either way. I just find that if you actually educate yourself on the issue, rather than relying on some elitist milquetoast on one of the coasts to tell you “it’s nonsense,” you find there are legitimate questions.

  15. Alex Knapp says:

    Democratsarefascists:

    Meaning that if you ask those who deride them one of the birthers’ specific questions, the critics are completely ignorant, and know they’ve been put on the spot.

    Try me.

  16. Phil Smith says:

    The birthers are idiots, but they’re hardly unique. You remember the truthers, right? MIHOP/LIHOP had a 49% acceptance amongst NYC residents in 2004. In October 2006, 28% of Americans polled believed that the Bush administration was “mostly lying” about what they knew prior to 9-11. I could go on, but you get the picture. I don’t have the internals for that group of idiots, but I think it’s safe that they didn’t vote Republican.

  17. Steve Plunk says:

    Alex this issue is not going to dominate local politics. Sure there will be a few you tube moments but neither party has cornered the market on kooks who disrupt meetings.

    When Code Pink is treated like the wacko organization it is then maybe the Republicans will clean house a bit too. Like I read elsewhere, since when is asking for information a bad thing? I would also ask why does the Left continue to pay more attention to these things than the Right? The Right is used to ignoring kooks from all the years we’ve put up with college hippie punks and the crap conspiracy theories they toss out.

  18. sam says:

    @Bit

    It doesn’t exist. What else, given the history of releasing anything that makes them look good, would prevent such release? And to be clear…Of itself, that doesn’t prove the birther case, but it doesn’t disprove it either.

    Ah, for Christ’s sake, how many times does this have to be posted?

    Asked for more information about the short-form versus long-form birth documents, [Hawaii Department of Health spokeswoman Janice] Okubo said the Health Department “does not have a short-form or long-form certificate.”

    “The birth certificate form has been modified over the years and decades to conform to national standards and models,” she said.

    Okubo also emphasized the certification form “contains all the information needed by all federal government agencies for transactions requiring a birth certificate.”

    She added that the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized the state’s current certification of live birth “as an official birth certificate meeting all federal and other requirements.” [Source]

    You people are out of your goddamned minds.

  19. Alex Knapp says:

    Phil and Steve,

    I hope you’re right that this gets as ignored by the GOP as the truthers were ignored by the Democrats. But I’ve always found GOP politicians to be more in tune with their base voters than Democrats. Of course, that could be a product of only living in virtual one-party states (both GOP and Democrat).

  20. If Alex Knapp wants a challenge, perhaps he can read my name’s link and the pages it links to and then see if he can spot anything false, misleading, or illogical in anything I’ve written on this topic. I’ll assume he’ll be completely intellectually honest and that he’ll be able to understand what the note at the top of that page means and will adjust accordingly.

    Also, the post about helping Obama applies to him. Others might want to read that first.

  21. TangoMan says:

    Because everything I’ve read indicates that there is not original birth certificate because the Hawaii Dept. of Vital Records destroyed all paper copies in 2001 and uploaded the raw data into their system.

    I’m not so sure about that declaration:

    The Hawaii Department of Heath affirmed that no paper birth certificate records were destroyed when the department moved to electronic record-keeping in 2001.

    This “Birther” issue isn’t as clean-cut as it appears. There are, in fact, a few issues that intermingle. President Obama exhibits a paranoid secrecy about his past:

    among the documentation not yet available for Obama includes his kindergarten records, his Punahou school records, his Occidental College records, his Columbia University records, his Columbia thesis, his Harvard Law School records, his Harvard Law Review articles, his scholarly articles from the University of Chicago, his passport, his medical records, his files from his years as an Illinois state senator, his Illinois State Bar Association records, any baptism records, and his adoption records.

    Every other President has been an open book, but with Obama, everything is secret. This secrecy creates an environment which makes the birther claim, to those who are already predisposed to being suspicious about Obama, seem marginally more credible. These folks are operating on the principle “Where there’s smoke there must be fire.”

    Obama is definitely hiding something. No question. Knowing this, the birthers zero in on the claim that would be the most damaging, a claim that would disqualify him from office.

    Secondly, as every Democrat should know deep in their bones, the effectiveness of the Palin propaganda demonstrates that outlandish claims have a way of becoming mainstreamed. If the public had to judge the birther issue solely on the birth certificate issue, then the birther cause would be easily dismissed, however, when placed in the context of the paranoid secrecy that Obama has about his past, the ground is fertile for neutral observers to suspect that he is hiding something. All the birthers need to do is to broaden their attacks on other issues besides the birth certificate and then they’d be poised to give Obama the Palin treatment.

  22. Drew says:

    “And your reasoning being… ?”

    Because I live in Naperville, IL. DuPage County. A Republican hot bed. We talk politics here. 28% are not birthers.

    And DailyKos Polls is the source? Right.

    Please, Alex, this is fast approaching an intelligence/weirdness test. Do you really believe that about a third of Republicans are birthers?

    I don’t believe a third of Democrats are Code Pinkers.

    I have some common sense. Please try same.

  23. Fog says:

    The mannnings and Eric Floracks are pure gold for the Democrats. As long as a significant percentage of rank-and-file Republicans believe that birther nonsense, the Republican candidates who want their votes will be forced to give it lip service, and thus be connected in the public mind with the lunatic fringe.

    Pssst! Aren’t Obama’s birth announcements in the Hawaiian newspaper proof that the government has a time machine!!

  24. Eric Florack says:

    Ah, for Christ’s sake, how many times does this have to be posted?

    Doesn’t matter, because it doesn’t change much. You’re simply agreeing that further proofs do not exist.

    Trouble is, it doesn’t explain the rest of it, as TangoMan points out. As I say, I don’t accept either side of this issue at this point… there’s simply not enough proof to establish it either way.

    But for someone who promised ‘transparency’, there does seem to be a great deal of secrecy surrounding this stuff… most of it from Obama himself. Is it so far out of the realm of reason to wonder why?

  25. Gustopher says:

    42% think he’s an American citizen, 28% do not, and 30% are not sure.

    That would be a lot worse than “28% of Republicans Do Not Believe That Obama Is A Citizen”.

    58% do not believe that he is a citizen
    28% believe that he is not a citizen

    I hope that the poll is inaccurate, because this is scary numbers of crazy people.

    (The poll also places the majority of these crazy people in the South… being in the Northwest, I like that 2000 mile buffer between me and the South more and more)

  26. Gustopher says:

    Secondly, as every Democrat should know deep in their bones, the effectiveness of the Palin propaganda demonstrates that outlandish claims have a way of becoming mainstreamed.

    The primary claim about Palin is that she is a blithering idiot.

    Leaving aside the question of whether she is or is not a blithering idiot, there are enough tapes of her speaking where she certainly sounds like a blithering idiot to make these claims not outlandish.

    I would like to see some polling done to see whether Birthers have a more positive view of Palin than non-Birthers (limited to just the Republicans, of course).

  27. Alex Knapp says:

    Drew,

    If you click thru the poll, there’s a regional breakdown and the birthers appear to be dominant in the south and there aren’t many in the midwest at all.

    TangoMan,

    Re: records being destroyed, I stand corrected:

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-07-27-obama-hawaii_N.htm

    his kindergarten records, his Punahou school records, his Occidental College records, his Columbia University records,…,his Harvard Law School records

    Why are these relevant? Who cares? Can you please find evidence that Bush II, Clinton, Bush I, and Reagan released similar info while in office?

    his Colubmia thesis

    In 1983, Columbia didn’t HAVE a thesis requirement:

    http://deepbackground.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/07/24/1219454.aspx

    his Harvard Law Review articles

    Bullshit. You can order them here: http://www.wshein.com/Catalog/Product.aspx?sku=2023

    his scholarly articles from the University of Chicago

    As a lecturer, he didn’t have a publication requirement. As far as I can tell, he didn’t write any scholarly articles. Do you have evidence showing otherwise?

    his passport

    What President has ever released their passport? I know that neither Clinton nor McCain did during the campaign, because some state department workers were arrested for snooping into all three candidates passport files.

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/03/20/obama.passport/index.html

    his medical records

    Really?

    http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2008/05/obama_releases_health_informat.html

    his files from his years as an Illinois state senator

    There is no archive of them.

    http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2007/11/sweet_column_latest_on_obama_s.html

    his Illinois State Bar Association records

    What records do you want? Disciplinary actions are a matter of public record. The only other records kept are whether he paid his dues on time (which, if he didn’t, would be a matter of public record), whether he met his continuing education obligations (if he didn’t, that would be a matter of public record), and any changes of address (also a matter of public record).

    any baptism records

    Why is that relevant? The Constitution doesn’t require a religious test for public office. In fact, it forbids them.

    his adoption records

    Obama was never adopted, nor has he adopted anyone, so I fail to see how these could be produced.

    These folks are operating on the principle “Where there’s smoke there must be fire.”

    Obama is definitely hiding something.

    Because he won’t release his kindergarten grades? What– do you think he got a “C” in coloring or something?

  28. It does not follow that someone who believes something crazy will always make crazy choices when voting, or that their choices are necessarily out of step with the sane, however you want to define it. I don’t quite see a high enough level of support in the Republican base from these polls that candidates who are birthers are going to be able to win anything.

    Just curious, how many Democrats really, truly believe that George W. Bush is a moron in the literal sense of the word? Or that he was really, truly evil in a Hitler-class sense? Are they crazy? Are their voting patterns also going to result in a one party state?

  29. TangoMan says:

    Leaving aside the question of whether she is or is not a blithering idiot, there are enough tapes of her speaking where she certainly sounds like a blithering idiot to make these claims not outlandish.

    That’s the underlying principle. You take some issue that has a certain plausibility and exaggerate it and extend it until it becomes the defining characteristic.

    Obama has a paranoid secrecy about his past. As more people become aware of this and then become concerned, the “birther” issue, or a variant that focuses on some other aspect of his secret past, will gain more prominence and become accepted by more of those who are not really followers of political minutia. Just as Palin’s negative image amongst the general public has been manufactured so too can Obama’s negative image be manufactured.

  30. Alex Knapp says:

    Charles,

    I don’t quite see a high enough level of support in the Republican base from these polls that candidates who are birthers are going to be able to win anything.

    I hope that’s right, but the 30% “Don’t Know” makes me a little nervous about it.

    Are their voting patterns also going to result in a one party state?

    I think the difference between the Dems and the GOP on this one is that the demographic patterns are favoring the Democrats at the moment. If the GOP continues on this kind of insular path that it’s currently on, I fear that it’s going to be a permanently minority party. I don’t want that to happen. It’s not healthy. But this birther nonsense isn’t going to help.

  31. The comment from “fog” is interesting not just because someone else used a similar strawman involving “time travel” in comments at MoJo. It’s interesting because “fog” appears to be a concern troll. Perhaps Alex Knapp – if he’s decided not to take up my earlier challenge – would care to speculate why this topic seems to bring the sockpuppets and concern trolls out of the woodwork. I posted about something similar at another site and 7 out of 9 comments were from those “concerned” for the GOP’s welfare (the other two were my responses to them).

    And, after wondering why there are so many people “concerned” for the GOP’s welfare, maybe Alex Knapp can wonder why the GOP’s leaders are following the advice of those concern trolls.

  32. Alex Knapp says:

    facts –

    Don’t worry. I’ll be getting to your stuff over the weekend.

  33. RW Rogers says:

    I intend to ask every candidate for any office in my area the following questions:

    1) Is Barack Obama a citizen of the United States of America?

    2) Were the attacks on the WTC and Pentagon on 9/11 planned and carried out by Islamic extremists?

    If they answer either question “No” or “I don’t know,” I’ll vote for their opponent and if I can stomach the opponent’s platform, I’ll give money.

  34. Phil Smith says:

    I hope you’re right that this gets as ignored by the GOP as the truthers were ignored by the Democrats.

    Oh, please, Alex – did you miss what Collin Peterson said about his constituency just this week? You really have a fierce case of pointing out the mote in your neighbor’s eye whilst ignoring the beam in your own.

  35. TangoMan says:

    Why are these relevant? Who cares?

    It’s not for you to determine who cares or why they care. Point of fact, I don’t really give a damn about his birth certificate but I do care quite a bit about his school records. The reason I care is that I want to test the hypothesis that he received preferential treatment in admissions because of his race.

    I already know that his being black has been a great boon to his career. I want to see if his race was also a benefit to him in his college journey.

    You may not care about this issue at all, but that doesn’t make it illegitimate, any more than Governor Palin’s personal beliefs on abortion are illegitimate for consideration by voters who view abortion as an important issue.

    In 1983, Columbia didn’t HAVE a thesis requirement:

    Do you even read the links you provide? The fact that Columbia didn’t have a thesis requirement doesn’t mean that Obama didn’t write a thesis paper for a seminar he was taking. From your link:

    He had saved Obama’s senior paper for years, and even hunted for it again this month in some boxes. But he said his search was fruitless, and he now thinks he tossed it out eight years ago during a move.

    Baron described the paper as a “thesis” or “senior thesis” in several interviews, and said that Obama spent a year working on it. Baron recalls that the topic was nuclear negotiations with the Soviet Union.

    his medical records

    From your link:

    Likely Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) is in “excellent health,” according to a summary of Obama medical records released on Thursday. The 276-word summary was written by Dr. David L. Scheiner, the Chicago doctor who has been Obama’s personal physician since March, 1987.

    The Obama campaign decided to release this summary of Obama’s health status at this time to contrast with the long medical history of GOP presumptive nominee Sen. John McCain (R-Az.).

    A summary of current state of health is NOT the same as a medical history. There are countless medical conditions which go into remission, which do not manifest quickly, which do not register in a blood chemistry test.

    There is no archive of them.

    Again, this speaks to a pattern of Obama scrubbing his paper trail. All documents of his past seem to be missing. I swear, this will be the first President in modern times whose Presidential Library will be contained in a matchbox.

    What records do you want?

    How well did he do on his bar exam?

    Why is that relevant? The Constitution doesn’t require a religious test for public office. In fact, it forbids them.

    Two points. First, it’s not up to you to determine relevancy. Second, you’re misreading the Constitution, in that, while it prohibits the establishment of a religious test to run for office, it cannot in any way prevent voters from considering religious factors in their choice. If voters institute a religious test in the ballot box then that is their prerogative. Obama made claims about his “Christian faith” so voters who want supporting evidence of his claim should have that evidence.

  36. Alex Knapp says:

    Oh, please, Alex – did you miss what Collin Peterson said about his constituency just this week?

    Um… yes.

    In fact, I’ll be honest: I didn’t know who Peterson was until I googled him 30 seconds ago.

    Also, I’m not a D or an R.

  37. odograph says:

    There has to be something in our drinking water, or our food supply. There is just no way man survived and evolved with this level of intelligence.

    (Unless of course you take the pessimistic view that we are primarily emotional and irrational beings, and that this is totally how we got to where we are today.)

  38. billindc says:

    Pretty amazing the nonsense people are willing to believe. Alex and the post’s author have it correct…Democrats absolutely love it when a reasonable Republican like Mike Castle is forced to stand there uncomfortably while a raving lunatic waves around her birth certificate and demands a recitation of the pledge. Winning politics in most of the US is about getting your base and enough of the independents to win 51%. Every time the nuts manage to push their version of the world onto prime time TV another chunk of those middle-of-the-roaders write off the GOP.

    The successful GOP of the eighties became possible when Buckley and Goldwater had the wisdom to kick out the Birchers. From this side of the aisle, it seems obvious you guys are in desperate need of another round of house keeping.

  39. Alex Knapp says:

    TangoMan,

    It’s not for you to determine who cares or why they care. Point of fact, I don’t really give a damn about his birth certificate but I do care quite a bit about his school records. The reason I care is that I want to test the hypothesis that he received preferential treatment in admissions because of his race.

    It is a matter of record that he graduated from Harvard Magnum Cum Laude, meaning that he was in the top 10% in his class.

    But what does his Kindergarten grades have to do with it?

    Also, do you have any evidence that copies of the records exist (I admit they probably do for college).

    Do you even read the links you provide? The fact that Columbia didn’t have a thesis requirement doesn’t mean that Obama didn’t write a thesis paper for a seminar he was taking. From your link:

    Yes, I did read it. I was hoping you would, too, so that you could note that there is no archived copy of it. It’s gone. Kaput. Who cares? When I was in college I wrote papers containing opinions that I no longer believe. I don’t have copies of them. Does that mean I’m “keeping them secret”?

    A summary of current state of health is NOT the same as a medical history. There are countless medical conditions which go into remission, which do not manifest quickly, which do not register in a blood chemistry test.

    Fair enough. Is there any reason to believe that such a condition exists?

    How well did he do on his bar exam?

    Well, I can’t speak for Illinois, but I am a member of three bars, and I don’t know how well *I* did on those exams. They only tell you if you pass or if you fail. Given that he is a member of the Illinois bar, I’m going to take a wild leap of faith here and assume that he passed.

    Obama made claims about his “Christian faith” so voters who want supporting evidence of his claim should have that evidence.

    So a person is only a Christian if there is a record of their Baptism?

  40. Steve Plunk says:

    Alex, Be fair. You may not be a D or R but you are a liberal more likely to align with the D’s. Claiming otherwise is misleading. I’m a conservative R and not afraid to admit it.

    The GOP is a minority party at the moment but with congressional gains coming in the next election and the current White House occupant proving less than capable the tables can be turned before you know it.

  41. Alex Knapp says:

    Steve,

    Actually I’m a left-libertarian who aligns with the party that’s being the least destructive to personal liberty at the moment. Right now that’s the Dems. My party alignment is based on upcoming primaries. If I need to vote R, I switch to R. If I need to vote D, I switch to D.

    I tend to seem more liberal on this site because the vagaries of blogging and the current state of the parites means that the issues discussed tend to put me more on that side.

  42. TangoMan says:

    It is a matter of record that he graduated from Harvard Magnum Cum Laude, meaning that he was in the top 10% in his class.

    1.) That’s not hard to do. To test this hypothesis, compare ease of grading in African-American Studies departments to Electrical Engineering departments. Point: Course selection matters. Students who may take security law or intellectual property law will likely face greater intellectual challenges than students who take classes in “Law as a Vehicle of the Oppressive Class.”

    2.) Two thirds of the graduates from Harvard Law School walk out with honors.

    Here is Professor Volokh remarking on grade inflation:

    When I was a UCLA Law School student in 1989-92, our curve was 20% As, 40% Bs, and 40% Cs or below (the “below” grades were optional and very rare) in each course. In the mid-90s, we shifted to 20% As, 60% Bs, and 20% Cs or below. Recently, we shifted to a 25-29% As, 41-52% B/B+s, 18-22% B-s, and 5-8% Cs or below for first year classes, and 23-27% As, 50-60% B/B+s, 17-23% B-s, and 0-10% Cs or below for second and third year classes

    Point two actually makes point one more relevant. With 2/3 of Harvard law student receiving Latin Honors, the grade difference between an A and an A- in one or two classes can have a significant depressive effect on overall GPA.

    This being the case, an examination of actual courses taken provides more insight than merely relying on class rank. I think most people would be hard pressed to argue that a student who received a 3.75 GPA majoring in pottery is smarter than a student who received a 3.6 GPA majoring in electrical engineering.

    One other point – there are many applicants to top tier schools who could perform to exemplary standards and who meet the qualifications for entry but are not admitted. This being the case, Obama’s class rank doesn’t tell us whether he was given preference because of his race. To determine the answer to that question we need to compare his admissions qualifications to the applicant pool. That’s what I want to see.

    So a person is only a Christian if there is a record of their Baptism?

    That’s a benchmark that is established by individual voters who value this issue highly. It’s not for you nor me to determine. The analog to this form of question is that a politician is only pro-gay if he votes for gay marriage. Those people who place high value on the issue of gay marriage may want to examine, in detail, the beliefs and bona fides of the candidates. Other voters may be satisfied with the candidate making a campaign declaration in support. Other voters who really don’t have a burning interest in the issue might see the whole issue as irrelevant.

  43. TangoMan says:

    My last comment was caught by your anti-spam filters. The comment noted that I should inform you to release it.

    Is there anyway to exempt posters who like to link and do not spam from the filtering system?

  44. TangoMan says:

    Actually I’m a left-libertarian who aligns with the party that’s being the least destructive to personal liberty at the moment.

    Isn’t Left-Libertarian an oxymoron? The Left is in favor of big government, economic redistribution, and using government to create equal outcomes. Libertarians are in favor of minimal government, no economic redistribution, and keeping government out of the business of “engineering society.”

    How can one square this circle?

  45. Alex Knapp says:

    TangoMan,

    (Going backwards)

    How can one square this circle?

    My views are a little more nuanced, but this quote by Sheldon Richmond gets you to the gist of it: “Left-libertarians share the leftists’ concern for the vulnerable and wish not to be mistaken for rightists, but go one better by correctly identifying the source of the vulnerability — corporatism — and the solution: an unfettered competitive market void of any sort of privilege.”

    Is there anyway to exempt posters who like to link and do not spam from the filtering system?

    I honestly don’t know–I don’t think so.

    That’s not hard to do. To test this hypothesis, compare ease of grading in African-American Studies departments to Electrical Engineering departments.

    I don’t have any data to make a comparison. I’ve never taken an course in African-American Studies and I don’t know the grade distribution. I know that lots of conservativces CLAIM that such courses are easy. I’ve never seen them provide DATA that this is so.

    Point: Course selection matters. Students who may take security law or intellectual property law will likely face greater intellectual challenges than students who take classes in “Law as a Vehicle of the Oppressive Class.”

    Intellectual property law isn’t that much more difficult than other types of law. In some cases, it’s easier, because there aren’t as many hard cases. And besides that, law schools grade on a curve (I know for a fact that Harvard does). So course selection in law school doesn’t have as large an effect. Out of twenty students taking “Underwater Basketweaving Law”, there’s still only going to be 2 As, 5Bs, etc. So course selection in law school is irrelevant. It’s all graded on a curve.

    With 2/3 of Harvard law student receiving Latin Honors, the grade difference between an A and an A- in one or two classes can have a significant depressive effect on overall GPA.

    Irrelevant, because, like I said, Harvard grades on a curve. And Magna Cum Laude means top 10%.

    That’s a benchmark that is established by individual voters who value this issue highly. It’s not for you nor me to determine.

    But why is a politician obligated to cater to that sort of nonsense?

  46. just me says:

    Actually I’m a left-libertarian who aligns with the party that’s being the least destructive to personal liberty at the moment. Right now that’s the Dems. My party alignment is based on upcoming primaries. If I need to vote R, I switch to R. If I need to vote D, I switch to D.

    I seriously don’t see you voting R very much, if ever.

    That said-I think this is mostly a stupid issue. I have no doubts that Obama is a citizen, and am pretty convinced even if his birth wouldn’t meet the definition that Obama’s allegience isn’t in question, so I just think it is ridiculously moot point.

    I do think discussions in general over what it means to be a natural born citizen and whether we even need to continue to have this constitutional requirement is interesting. Personally I am not so sure we need to have the natural born citizen requirement, especially for people who were born elsewhere and immigrated here as children. We have a large Bosnian immigrant community here, I have no doubts that the students my kids have attended school with for the last 9 years are more american and loyal to america than they are Bosnian. I am not sure where they were born would or should automatically prevent them from being president. But this is a whole different debate.

  47. Alex Knapp says:

    I seriously don’t see you voting R very much, if ever.

    I vote R more than I vote D, actually. Last fall I did vote for Obama, but I also voted for the Republican House candidate in my district.

  48. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    A Knapp seems to think people must accept the word of someone who says they have seen the document in Hawaii to settle the matter. I believe a Hawaiian official once again stated he has seen the original long form birth certificate. Problem is Hawaii has a bad habit of issuing those without actual proof of someone being born in Hawaii. Second, at that time, a 17 year old girl could not legally transfer citizenship onto offspring born to her. But since Alex admits he leans left, he will believe whatever Master Obama says. You can be convinced if you like. I really don’t care one way or another because even if true, the Democrats would do nothing about it. Alex, I saw the plane hit the tower, and contrary to what your bud Rosie says, fire melts steel. Hypocrisy runs deep and long on the left. Quoting KOS polls? Looks like there is just a little hypocrisy left on your upper lip. Some wise old sage said something to the effect you should not believe half of what you see and none of what you read or hear. But then, I have said before. You cannot educate the stupid out of some people. Judging by your bio, you spent a chunk of change trying to get smart.

  49. TangoMan says:

    So course selection in law school doesn’t have as large an effect.

    An idealized version of school, where professors are completely immune to favor and ideological spillover in job performance would be what you’re referring to. However, in the real world, if I were a student who signed up for some class taught by an ideologue and I rejected his world view, then my papers and my class performance would be graded more stringently than someone who shared the professor’s viewpoint.

    From reading Obama’s “biography” and examining his post law school career, I have strong basis to believe that he likely took many classes best characterized as having “ideological slant.”

    Secondly, I too have some “experience” with how subjective grading done on a “blind basis” is actually performed. Sadly, I don’t share your enthusiasm for the integrity of the process.

    I don’t accept argument based on appeal to authority. The highest honors designation doesn’t mean much unless we know the details on HOW it was earned.

    But why is a politician obligated to cater to that sort of nonsense?

    If a politician makes a show of their “Christian” faith or community or adherence to teachings, etc, then they’re playing on that issue and should support it. They introduced that line of questioning, so the skeptics should not be penalized for pursuing the issue further than the candidate would like.

  50. TangoMan says:

    My views are a little more nuanced, but this quote by Sheldon Richmond gets you to the gist of it: “Left-libertarians share the leftists’ concern for the vulnerable and wish not to be mistaken for rightists, but go one better by correctly identifying the source of the vulnerability — corporatism — and the solution: an unfettered competitive market void of any sort of privilege.”

    Thanks, matters are now clear as mud. How you believe that Obama advances an agenda which works towards creating “an unfettered competitive market void of any sort of privilege” is beyond my ability to comprehend.

    Before you wrote this I thought that you were more of a Leftist-Libertine and were using the libertarian philosophy to create an environment more conducive to libertine social leanings, leanings which have more resonance on the Left. Now that you’ve stated that your a libertarian who marches with the Left because you think that they’re best suited to providing an environment of competition, well, I’m left even more confused than when I thought your primary issue was social freedoms and rejection of the conservative penchant for tradition and customs.

  51. Herb says:

    I vote R more than I vote D, actually. Last fall I did vote for Obama, but I also voted for the Republican House candidate in my district.

    I frankly don’t see how that’s relevant.

    This isn’t a political debate. This is a debate between people who can accept facts…and those who can’t.

    What’s conservative about holding out for “more proof” when it’s already been proven by all currently available standards? Nothing.

    What’s liberal about accepting the fact that Obama was born in Hawaii? Nothing.

    This isn’t politics. This is partisan identity.

  52. TangoMan says:

    “an unfettered competitive market void of any sort of privilege”

    I know that I’m combining thread streams here, so like the Ghostbusters I hope that live in the universe doesn’t end, but when Palin took on corruption in Alaskan politics did she not do more to remove privilege from insiders and cronies than any effort made by Obama during his political life. Further, when she instituted reforms in the oil industry did she not create a more competitive environment, and wasn’t the creation of this more competitive environment the principle reason that the oil firms, who benefited enormously from their rent-seeking station, opposed her so forcefully?

    I see you claiming to want a desired outcome but your actions seem to work towards the opposite goals.

  53. TangoMan says:

    “an unfettered competitive market void of any sort of privilege”

    I know that I’m combining thread streams here, so like the Ghostbusters I hope that life in the universe doesn’t end, but when Palin took on corruption in Alaskan politics did she not do more to remove privilege from insiders and cronies than any effort made by Obama during his political life, which was dedicated to machine politics? Further, when she instituted reforms in the oil industry did she not create a more competitive environment, and wasn’t the creation of this more competitive environment the principle reason that the oil firms, who benefited enormously from their rent-seeking station, opposed her so forcefully?

    I see you claiming to want a desired outcome but your actions seem to work towards the opposite goals.

  54. Drew says:

    Alex –

    If you want to put yourself out there, and stand behind it, its fine by me.

    Resolved: Alex Knapp believes 28% of Republicans are birthers.

    Going forward, all readers are warned to read Alex’s posts through this prism.

    Alternatively, temporary insanity inflicts us all from time to time.

    Readers can decide for themselves.

  55. Alex Knapp says:

    Drew,

    If you want to put yourself out there, and stand behind it, its fine by me.

    Resolved: Alex Knapp believes that polling evidence currently indicates that 28% of Republicans are birthers.

    Fixed that for you.

    Show me evidence to the contrary. I would LOVE for such evidence to be true. I really, really want this poll result to be false.

    But that’s what the poll says.

  56. Alex Knapp says:

    TangoMan,

    Well, I’m also a believer in social freedoms as well. As a student of history, I find that a lot of what social conservatives claim to be “centuries of tradition” is really more like one or two centuries of tradition, if we’re lucky.

    But I tend to vote D at the moment because the GOP is the party of corporate privlege, torture, and interventionist foreign policy. D’s, on the other hand, are the party of slightly less coporate privlege, mostly not torturing, and not quite as interventioninst a foreign policy. Politics being what they are, right now I tend to vote D.

    As for Palin, she raised taxes so prohibitively that smaller oil companies had to shut down projects (link in the article I linked to yesterday). And she is all about sweetheart deals to big corporations. The pipeline as governor. When she was mayor it was big box stores and taxpayer-funded hockey rink.

    Obama’s pretty much a mainstream corporate privleger, too, but he’s slightly better.

  57. I hope that’s right, but the 30% “Don’t Know” makes me a little nervous about it.

    Especially since a lot of the “don’t knows” are people like Bithead who actually are birthers and just say they don’t know to create an air of objectivity.

  58. TangoMan says:

    As for Palin, she raised taxes so prohibitively that smaller oil companies had to shut down projects (link in the article I linked to yesterday).

    Sorry about this cross pollination but I can’t let misstatements stand uncorrected. From your own link in that thread:

    Alaska state officials say they still do plenty to court the oil industry, such as giving small, independent producers breaks on royalty payments. And the state tax bill includes a generous provision for deducting investments in new fields or other capital costs.

    Those “small oil companies” that you mention are British Petroleum and ConocoPhillips and they didn’t shut down projects, they scapegoated the tax reform as the reason that they didn’t start new projects, however they have a history of biding their time on projects, which is why a pipeline that was proposed back during Carter’s Administration had yet to be built or why the massive Pt. Thompson field has lain undeveloped since the signing of development leases back in the 1970s:

    Many observers figured the new field would soon add to the production from an even richer North Slope deposit, Prudhoe Bay, which started sending oil down the trans-Alaska pipeline the same year as the Point Thomson find, 1977.

    But it hasn’t worked out that way.

    Point Thomson has been dormant all these years. The 106,201-acre field has no working wells. It hasn’t produced a single barrel of oil or molecule of gas.

    Now the oil companies that long ago leased acreage at Point Thomson are in jeopardy of eviction because the landlord, the state, is tired of waiting for the taxable oil and gas to start flowing.

    State officials have canceled the leases and say they aim to rent the land to companies more eager to drill and develop the field.

    Exxon Mobil Corp., the lead Point Thomson leaseholder, has responded with a new development plan, and has a drilling rig poised to start poking holes in the frozen tundra.

    Any you know the funny thing, despite this “onerous” tax reform that Governor Palin inflicted on the oil companies, Exxon has finally started drilling on Pt. Thompson this year. Huh!

    I know that you’ll keep searching for those “facts” that support your bias against Palin, and even when they’re not in the links that you provide, I’m sure that you’ll claim those “facts” are there.

  59. ggr says:

    I suspect something like the birthers became inevitable when the truthers started. There’s some universal law that there have to be flakes in all political parties.

    Either that, or both movements are really a very long running gag created by The Onion.

  60. Our Paul says:

    Alex, it is worse than you think. First of all, the birthers have linked up with the Tea Party crowd. Now you have two fringe groups feeding off their own crazy ideas.

    The video you presented is not unexpected. Politico’s Alex Isenstad today reported on a rash of disruptive behaviors at public town hall meetings.

    Meanwhile, Lee Fang of Think Progress has this to say:

    The lobbyist-run groups Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks, which orchestrated the anti-Obama tea parties earlier this year, are now pursuing an aggressive strategy to create an image of mass public opposition to health care and clean energy reform. A leaked memo from Bob MacGuffie, a volunteer with the FreedomWorks website Tea Party Patriots, details how members should be infiltrating town halls and harassing Democratic members of Congress.

    The link at the Think Progress has a copy of the memo, it deserves a careful read. We can expect the tactics shown on the U-Tube clip you showed to be repeated.

    Got to tell you this: When conservatives decided to remain silent when John Kerry was swiftboated in the 2004 elections they empowered the lice that infested the body politics of today. You ain’t seen anything yet, for the swiftboaters are warming up their engines

  61. An Interested Party says:

    How fascinating that Sarah Palin’s number one fanboy on this site is the person who is questioning the grades that the president earned when he was in school…didn’t someone earlier mention something about pointing out the mote in your neighbor’s eye whilst ignoring the beam in your own…

  62. Pug says:

    When Code Pink is treated like the wacko organization it is then maybe the Republicans will clean house a bit too.

    Fling that red herring out there.

    Twenty-eight percent of Democrats are not members or supporters of Code Pink, with another 30% leaning in their direction. In fact, a vast majority of Democrats have probably never heard of the dozen or so aging trust fund babies who comprise Code Pink.

    Republicans don’t need to clean their house. They have enough guests like the birthers to eventually burn it to the ground.

  63. TangoMan says:

    How fascinating that Sarah Palin’s number one fanboy on this site is the person who is questioning the grades that the president earned when he was in school…didn’t someone earlier mention something about pointing out the mote in your neighbor’s eye whilst ignoring the beam in your own..

    I must have missed Sarah Palin’s efforts to create a persona that she is a great intellectual. Since Sarah Palin has built a reputation as a fiscal conservative, the moment that she refuses to release her financial details, I’ll be there to criticize her.

    Obama is claiming to be post-racial and he’s posing as an intellectual (who never wrote anything of substance). I want to test his assertion by seeing how much he used his race to advance in school. I suspect that he is a liar.

  64. Franklin says:

    I’m completely bored by this settled issue, but I did want to point out that I don’t agree with Alex that Republicans are necessarily in trouble because of their Birther problem. Because:

    1) People love conspiracy theories, and Democrats tend to have just as many as anybody.

    2) As charles austin points out, believing one crazy thing doesn’t necessarily mean you’re crazy about everything. Sometimes people say things just to get a rise out of others. Jesse Ventura is a Truther, for example, but I tend to agree with him on a large number of other subjects (by the way, he’s what would be considered a left libertarian, since he doesn’t agree with the general conservative ideal of controlling people’s social behavior). bithead recently pointed out a mindnumbingly stupid suggestion by Walter Cronkite that Cheney got Osama to release a video right before the 2004 election. Cronkite was not, in general, stupid. But he said something downright crazy.

    P.S. That video was a little frightening: it was mob mentality and frankly, I wouldn’t have wanted to be a black person in that room.

  65. sam says:

    @Tangoman

    I want to test his assertion by seeing how much he used his race to advance in school. I suspect that he is a liar.

    From Frontline on Obama’s Harvard Law School Days:

    Bradford Berenson Harvard Law, class of ’91; associate White House counsel, 2001-’03

    The law school generally at that time was riven ideologically, and not just in terms of Republican/Democrat partisan politics, but there were contending schools of legal thought at the time, represented on the faculty, that really polarized both the faculty and the student body. There was a far-left group of professors who adhered to what was known as critical legal studies, and then there were a handful of conservative professors, like Charles Fried, who had served in the Reagan administration. There were intense debates over affirmative action and race issues. This is, after all, just a few years after the end of the Reagan presidency. …

    That doesn’t mean that, day to day, people weren’t friendly to one another, but the classroom was very politicized. The debates and discussions of the law and of cases frequently pit conservatives in our class against liberals in our class, and the discussions often got quite heated. I would say the environment at Harvard Law School back then was political in a borderline unhealthy way. It was quite intense.

    … Interestingly, race was at the forefront of the agenda. There were intense debates over affirmative action that sometimes got expressed through fights over tenure decisions relating to junior faculty at the law school. There were women professors and minority professors who either had come up for tenure or were coming up for tenure, and there were big fights, on the faculty and in the law school at large, over whether they should receive tenure, whether the quality of their scholarship merited that. …

    [A]fter [Obama] became president of the Review, he was under a lot of pressure to participate and lend his voice to those debates. And he did, I think, to some degree. But I would not have described him as a campus radical or a campus political leader. He was the president of the Harvard Law Review, the leader of that organization. But, in that role, his job was to manage, in essence, a publication, and the editors who brought it forth and to do a lot of close editing of academic legal articles. …

    You don’t become president of the Harvard Law Review, no matter how political, or how liberal the place is, by virtue of affirmative action, or by virtue of not being at the very top of your class in terms of legal ability. Barack was at the very top of his class in terms of legal ability. He had a first-class legal mind and, in my view, was selected to be president of the Review entirely on his merits.

    … I never regarded him as kind of a racial special pleader, or a person looking for race-based benefits, either for himself or others. I think as a policy matter, he supported affirmative action and believed in the arguments for it. But unlike many people on the left, he was also willing to acknowledge that it had costs, and he could at least appreciate the arguments on the other side. …

    Not for one moment that I think this will satisfy Tangoman and his fellow travellers.

  66. G.A.Phillips says:

    lol, I’m more worried where some of the rest of you was born and when, comrades….

    Was it millions of years ago?
    Was it yesterday?
    Do you have your papers?

    Was your great great great great great great great great great…….Infinity, Grandpa and Grandma a pair of stupid liberal cave donkey’s or do you just believe in this from story’s handed down from generation to generation for thousands millions and billions of years and then writen into books by those who are what you believe to be profits who dint really live at the time and just made your history up to explain things and control the masses???

  67. DL says:

    What is even more dangerous than being a birther is in continuing to believe that policy and sound thinking can trump the left’s masterful manipulation of images and deceit, while controlling the media, setting up the Pavlovian non-think with years of leftist educational programming, playing the envy – “hate the successful card, and offering free lunches (clinkers for cash) for votes.

    The Republicans offer voters the same entrenched corrupt permanent political class and ASSUME that the voters use logic, and understand economics, don’t want a free lunch, and will vote for them because they are the logical choice.
    We saw the results of their such leadership as a leaky ship, firing cannons at the enemy(radical Islam), while charting a course of spending and cronyism no better than the (left)enemy, and we keep putting up listless incomprehesible non-inspiring candidates, who are stealth RINOs at best.

    It’s not the birther movement that’s killing the right -it’s the right’s leaders failing to do the job, sell the message, and lead according to principle once you happen to win.

    The people of America want to be lied to, that there is an easy path to the good life. We need to tell them that’s the wrong road and why.

    Logic and being right, is not going to get a win, without understanding that Obama won because of image and salesmanship -truth be damned.

    Imagine what image and salesmanship based upon truth could do.

  68. Eric Florack says:

    Isn’t Left-Libertarian an oxymoron?

    Yes.

    I keep waiting for the inherent contradictions to evolve into the cognitive dissonance it cannot help but engender.

  69. Eric Florack says:

    I’m completely bored by this settled issue,

    Seems to me we’ve heard that phrase being used as regards global warming, too.

  70. anjin-san says:

    Climate Change Worries Military Advisers

    Retired Gen. Anthony Zinni was among 11 former generals and admirals on the military advisory board that examined the potential threats of climate change to national security. \

    “The consequences of climate change can affect the organization, training, equipping and planning of the military services,” retired generals and admirals say in a new report.

    National Security and the Threat of Climate Change
    text sizeAAAApril 16, 2007
    We’re used to hearing scientists warn us about climate change. Now a group of retired generals and admirals says global warming could provoke serious national security threats.

    Climate change could create land loss, mass migrations, loss of natural resources, and increased demands on water that may exacerbate or cause conflict — “all things that could have some sort of effect on our security interests around the world,” says retired Gen. Anthony Zinni, a member of the military advisory panel.

    For example, climate change and its impact on already-scarce water resources could exacerbate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, said Zinni, who formerly commanded U.S. forces in the Middle East.

    “Even a small change of 2 to 3 degrees in one direction could be the difference between a management problem [and] a catastrophe,” Zinni tells Renee Montagne.

    Retired Navy Adm. T. Joseph Lopez said in the report that climate change “will provide the conditions that will extend the war on terror.”

    Zinni says that political, economic or social conditions have fed terrorism in many cases.

    “If the environment change exacerbates those to a greater extent, it sort of feeds into the extremists and their ability to recruit supporters,” he says.

    Following is a summary of the advisory panel’s findings and recommendations:

    Findings

    1. Projected climate change poses a serious threat to America’s national security.

    2. Climate change acts increases the potential instability in some of the most volatile regions of the world.

    3. Projected climate change will boost tensions even in stable regions.

    4. Climate change, national security and energy dependence are a related set of global challenges.

    Recommendations

    1. Climate change should be integrated into national security and national defense strategies.

    2. The United States should vow to help stabilize climate changes at levels that will avoid significant disruption to global security and stability.

    3. The United States should commit to global partnerships that help less-developed nations better manage climate impacts.

    4. The Department of Defense should speed adoption of improved business processes and innovative technologies that boost U.S. combat power through energy efficiency.

    5. The Pentagon should assess the impact on U.S. military installations worldwide of rising sea levels, extreme weather events, and other possible climate change impacts over the next 30 to 40 years.

  71. Joe Camel says:

    What concerns me more than any of this is that you all belong to a political party; meaning you have a pre-conceived belief, regardless of the facts..period. You won’t believe facts even when in front of your face. When you vote a party line vote, just shows how narrow minded you are.
    Wanna have some fun in life? Everyone register as an independent.
    In a perfect world, we would throw every one of these idiots out of office and start over, including term limits on all elected government officials, as well as the Supreme Court.
    All this reminds me of the 9/11 doubters, OKC bombing, WTC bombing..It will never end. Besides, can you imagine what would happen “if” it were proved he is not a citizen? It would start race wars as the world has never seen. Vote and ask that your vote count “legally”. Want change, that is where it starts..2010 is the next opportunity.

  72. Our Paul says:

    Excellent and certainly an elegant link sam, my good man (August 1, 2009 | 06:47 am), but in all probability futile. The hard right is incapable of recognizing or discussing any view that does not pass their rigid litmus test. Thus, the appellation of RHINO for those GOP stalwarts who may (gasp) believe that global warming is a problem.

    It was Nixon, with his attacks on “pointy head intellectuals” that fertilized the fields for Reagan’s southern strategy and thinly disguised racism, and that brought Lee Atwater his brief moment of fame, before a brain tumor brought him to his senses. It all came back in the ’08 presidential campaign, Steve Schmidt famously said that Obama’s character was the main issue, not the nation’s problems.

    And thus the remnants of the GOP has been reduced to the politics of personal destruction. On one hand Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit fame, arguing that Obama is not the author of his two books, and on the other hand the fusion of the Palin supporters with the Birther’s, as exemplified by Tangoman and others in this thread.

    Alex Knapp is perceptive and correct. The GOP is using self destructive tactics and muting the voice of conservative thought.

  73. odograph says:

    Isn’t Left-Libertarian an oxymoron?

    Of course not. Just remember that there is more than one axis. At a minimum we can call out economic freedom/control and social freedom/control.

    A left-libertarian is for more freedom on both axis. Thus a left-libertarian would not sweat official definitions of “organic” or “marriage.”

  74. Eric Florack says:

    Climate Change Worries Military Advisers

    ]

    Amazing how certain of the military are now credible, when you need something to bolster your hoax.

    What concerns me more than any of this is that you all belong to a political party

    Leave me out of your fantasies, if you please. I’m not a member of any party. My response here is made solely on the history of the Democrats and what they’ve been capable of in the past.

  75. TangoMan says:

    Interestingly, race was at the forefront of the agenda. There were intense debates over affirmative action that sometimes got expressed through fights over tenure decisions relating to junior faculty at the law school. . . .

    [A]fter [Obama] became president of the Review, he was under a lot of pressure to participate and lend his voice to those debates.

    When it comes to issues of race, PBS as is their wont, is feeding you a line of bull. They make accurate note of the racially charged atmosphere and then present Obama’s election to the Presidency of the HLR as being removed from the smothering debate on affirmative action and the lack of black leaders in the school.

    You don’t become president of the Harvard Law Review, no matter how political, or how liberal the place is, by virtue of affirmative action,

    Yes, you do. Simply making such a statement isn’t evidence in support of the statement. That’s a laughable standard of reasoning, but it’s to be expected when one doesn’t have actual evidence to make the case.

    From Boston.com:

    Classmates recall an especially emotional debate in the spring of 1990 over affirmative action, which conservative students wanted to abolish.

    From the Harvard Law Review Membership page:

    Fourteen editors (two from each 1L section) are selected based on a combination of their first-year grades and their competition scores. Twenty editors are selected based solely on their competition scores. The remaining editors are selected on a discretionary basis. Some of these discretionary slots may be used to implement the Review’s affirmative action policy.

    This past election we saw millions of whites who thought it was important to elect a Black man as President, even though a more experienced and accomplished elder statesman was the alternative. When symbolism confronts experience and competence, we would be in error to always assume that experience and competence trumps symbolism, which is the presumption the PBS commentator is making. The same dynamic we saw in this election was swirling about Harvard Law and in the Review at the time that Obama was elected. There was a burning desire to see Blacks in position of leadership. There were very emotional debates.

    So contra the PBS piece, we have evidence, from the Review Membership page, that one can indeed become an editor of the Review through affirmative action. Considering the vigor of the contemporaneous debates on the issue, the aching desire to see Blacks in positions of leadership, and the symbolism his election would represent, the most parsimonious inference is that racial politics played a role in Obama’s election.

  76. sam says:

    Tman…that is Bradford Berenson speaking (Associate White House Counsel in the Bush Administration), not NPR. Berenson was himself an editor of the Review. But Obama was not an editor of the Harvard Law Review, he as the president of the Review.

  77. sam says:

    Oh, and did you follow the link I supplied?

  78. TangoMan says:

    Tman…that is Bradford Berenson speaking (Associate White House Counsel in the Bush Administration), not NPR. Berenson was himself an editor of the Review. But Obama was not an editor of the Harvard Law Review, he as the president of the Review.

    I recognized who was speaking, which is why I wrote “which is the presumption the PBS commentator is making.” His position in the Bush White House is immaterial, in that one breaks social decorum by implying that a particular individual is benefiting by their race. This social rule applies to Republicans just as much as it does to Democrats. For him to make such a case would taint him with the false charge of racism. The only socially acceptable way to argue against Affirmative Action is to speak only about policy, never individuals.

    I’m fully aware that Obama was President of Law Review. I’m countering Berenson’s contention that racial factors had no bearing on Obama’s election. Racial agitation was churning throughout the school at that time. From the Boston.com link:

    They staged sit-ins in the law library, camped outside the office of Dean Robert C. Clark, and carried signs that read “Diversity Now” and “Homogeneity Feeds Hatred.” The tensions continued the following spring, reaching a high when Derrick A. Bell Jr., the first tenured black professor at the school, resigned in protest. Obama was a member of the Black Law Students Association, which organized many demonstrations that spring. But he was less confrontational than some of his peers.

    The student agitators had little influence on the affairs of the institution, but with Law Review, a student run enterprise, they had their very best shot at bringing about change. Berenson would have us believe that the roiling racial activity on campus was entirely absent within the Law Review organization, even while the Law Review had instituted its own affirmative action policies to promote unqualified students in order to create “diversity” and to battle the “Homogeneity Feeds Hatred” mindsets. I don’t find it plausible that the Law Review was a strict meritocracy in a sea of racial agitation. The symbolism of electing a black man, and the most suitable symbol would be the “calm headed” one rather than the rabble rouser, would satisfy the agitators on campus.

    You’re throwing Berenson up because you believe that his status as a Bush official lends credibility to his statement that Obama didn’t benefit from racial preferences. I counter your argument with an appeal to parsimony. If you would like me to entertain the argument that Obama achieved his position on the basis of merit then I will need to see his admissions qualification, so that I can gauge his undergraduate performance and his LSAT scores against his contemporaries and thus form a fuller understanding of his competence. Maybe you can whisper in President Obama’s ear that he should release his transcripts so that people have information to inform their viewpoints. Absent such information, I believe parsimony trumps opinion.

  79. Spoker says:

    I am not interested in living in a one party state, but that’s what we’re going to have if the Republican base keeps dwelling on this nonsense.

    I find it interesting that it is primarily the ‘Support Barry At All Cost Movement’ that keeps trying to hang this on the Repubs to help derail them. Real Repubs and conservatives moved on a long time ago. It is just the fringe, wing nuts, and Dem’s that keep bringing this up. Saul would be so proud!

  80. Dave Schuler says:

    IIRC, left libertarians tend to be skeptics on the right to property. Note that “skeptic” and “rejectionist” are not synonymous.

  81. Dave Schuler says:

    BTW, having done quite a bit of canvassing over the years, I believe that Republicans, particularly more traditional Republicans tend to poll poorly, particularly those who don’t live in majority Republican enclaves. Consequently, I’d be interested in knowing how the sample was arrived at in the poll.

  82. TangoMan says:

    What do liberals find objectionable in this National Review editorial. Educate me. Please.

  83. ggr says:

    Of course not. Just remember that there is more than one axis. At a minimum we can call out economic freedom/control and social freedom/control.

    A left-libertarian is for more freedom on both axis. Thus a left-libertarian would not sweat official definitions of “organic” or “marriage.”

    Pretty good way of describing it. The linear left-right split barely made sense in the French National assembly a couple of centuries ago, and makes about zero sense now. Its kind of strange to see people speaking about it as if it actually described reality … ie if people’s views could be described on one linear scale.

  84. Ryan says:

    Tangoman:

    John McCain, elder statesman? Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran…. Elder? Yes. Statesman? Not so much. We should count ourselves lucky everyday for at least the next four years.

    On an unrelated note, according to the White House, Obama had a refreshing budweiser at the notorious “beer summit”. I however remain unconvinced. I demand that the president lower the iron curtain of secrecy and provide proof that he was not in fact drinking a kokanee. Coming from a family that contracts barley with Anheuser-Busch I consider it vitally important that the light of truth be shed upon the matter. I trust that I have your support.

  85. sam says:

    TangoMan, if we can put down the cudgels for a moment, can you answer a question for me? When I click on you name, I’m taken to a blog called “Gene Expression” (gnxp.com). However, if I google ‘gene expression’, I find another blog with the same name, but different address (scienceblogs.com/gnxp) — both are, currently, the product of the same person, Razib. The blogs are contemporaneous in postings. Why two?

  86. TangoMan says:

    Sam,

    GNXP is a group blog, of which I am a long time member. Scienceblogs offered Razib a gig and he is the only poster at that blog. Razib was one of the cofounders of the group blog and is still the principal poster.

  87. sam says:

    Ah, Ok, thanks for the reply.

  88. floyd says:

    Name calling will likely be the only response {if any}but…

    1] Would it be a felony for a natural born citizen of the United States to represent himself self as a foreign student in order to acquire scholarship money at a major university?

    2]Does anyone commenting here understand that it is possible to be a citizen while not having the birthright to run for president?

    3] Did resident Obama still have to produce a certified copy of his birth certificate,like every other American,when applying for a passport,while defying a court order during his campaign to produce one?

  89. sam says:

    ffloyd:

    1: I’m guessing it would. Have you any info that that’s what Obama did?

    2: Uh, no, because it is the birthright of every American citizen to run for public office.

    3. The lawsuit, I’m assuming you’re talking about the Berg suit, was dismissed for lack of standing. See Berg vs. Obama, et al. and, just FYI, even though a court order may be issued by a lower court, its execution may be stayed pending an appeal to a higher court.

    Finally,

    A similar court challenge was previously made to the citizenship of Obama’s presidential rival, Senator John McCain (R-AZ), arguing … that McCain did not qualify as a “natural born” US citizen because he was born at Coco Solo Naval Air Station in the Panama Canal Zone, a military installation outside of US territory. US District Judge William Alsup dismissed that lawsuit … in September for lack of standing.

    Same challenge, same result.

  90. TangoMan says:

    1: I’m guessing it would. Have you any info that that’s what Obama did?

    2: Uh, no, because it is the birthright of every American citizen to run for public office.

    1.) People want to see the details of Obama’s university records because they have questions about how he applied.

    2a.) Naturalized Americans don’t have that right.
    2b.) Many people would argue, and I’d be one of them, that an American born on US soil who later accepts citizenship from another nation is not qualified. I’d like the USSC to actually clarify the issues surrounding natural born citizenship.

  91. An Interested Party says:

    Many people would argue, and I’d be one of them, that an American born on US soil who later accepts citizenship from another nation is not qualified. I’d like the USSC to actually clarify the issues surrounding natural born citizenship.

    And where is this stated in any of our founding documents? Wouldn’t it be something if an activist Supreme Court tried to legislate the president out of his job…the irony…meanwhile, let’s see in what part of the country this birther nonsense seems to hold the most sway…how interesting…a nice antidote to this nonsense…

  92. An Interested Party says:

    Oh, and here’s one reason why that Nation Review editorial lacks credibility…

  93. sam says:

    2a.) Naturalized Americans don’t have that right.

    They don’t have the right to run for president, true, or, I suppose, vice-president, but every other elected and appointed office is open to them, although the Presidental Succession Act would apply, i.e., they could not become president under the act.

    Dual-citizenship is allowed under US law. It would be a fascinating situation if a natural-born citizen, who also enjoyed dual-citizenship, ran for president. The constitution (Art, II, sec. 5) is not at all clear on this happenstance.

    I’d like the USSC to actually clarify the issues surrounding natural born citizenship.

    A case would have to be filed in a US district court involving these issues, and would probably face a challenge for standing. Of course, Congress could act in some way to clarify the ambiguities.

  94. TangoMan says:

    Oh, and here’s one reason why that Nation Review editorial lacks credibility

    Sorry. That’s not a good enough argument to derail the principle of transparency and open disclosure from candidates who are running for President. Keeping documentary evidence of one’s life secret and just issuing statements and suing people who want to examine documents (not just the damn birth certificate) is a very difficult position to defend, but I encourage you to try to defend such secrecy.

  95. TangoMan says:

    Dual-citizenship is allowed under US law. It would be a fascinating situation if a natural-born citizen, who also enjoyed dual-citizenship, ran for president. The constitution (Art, II, sec. 5) is not at all clear on this happenstance.

    Which is why I hold that this issue needs clarification sooner rather than later. It’s far better to establish the ground rules prior to a dual citizen running, and perhaps winning, than it is to do so once he is sworn into office and then possibly having to remove him.

    I believe that Canada recently faced some issues like this, where the Liberal leader and their Governor General were also French citizens. Dual loyalties, nor even perceptions, shouldn’t be at play at the top levels of government.