Yes, Ted Cruz Is A “Natural Born Citizen”

Just in case there's any question, yes, Ted Cruz is Constitutionally eligible to serve as President.

ted-cruz-reporters

Now that Texas Senator Ted Cruz has officially entered the Presidential race, first via a YouTube video that was sent to his Twitter followers at midnight and then this morning during his speech at Liberty University, the question is once again being raised as to whether or not he is eligible to run for President. As you will recall, Rafeal Edward (Ted) Cruz was born in September 1970 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. His parents are Rafeal Bienvenido Cruz, who was born in Cuba in 1939, came to the United States under a student visa in the late 1950s, and later became a permanent resident alien shortly after Fidel Castro took power in Havana on a claim of political asylum, and Elizabeth Darragh, an American citizen who was born in Delaware, married the senior Cruz in the 1960s and they moved to Alberta during the first shale oil boom in that province. Under the Constitution, in order to be legally eligible to be President one must be at least 35 years of age, have lived in the United States for at least the previous fourteen years, and be a “natural born” citizen of the United States. It’s on the last question that some have wondered whether Cruz is eligible to be President notwithstanding the fact that he was born in Canada and, at least until some point several years ago, was at the very least legally eligible under Canadian law to claim Canadian citizenship.

To some degree, of course, the questions about Cruz’s eligibility are being raised in jest by pundits who noted the extent to which questions about President Obama’s citizenship took hold among some segments of the right both before and after the 2008 Presidential election. Indeed, notwithstanding the fact that the White House took the extraordinary step of obtaining a copy of the President’s official certified birth record from Hawaii, there remain those who continue to make the claim that the President is not eligible to serve in the office he has held for the past six years. There are, however, a group of people who are apparently serious about their position regarding Cruz’s ineligibility, largely because they hold to a definition of “natural born citizen” that is simply not supported by existing law.

In any case, it just so happens that Neal Kaytal and Paul Clement, two of the best appellate litigators in the country who happen to come from opposite sides of the political aisle, published a piece earlier this month in the Harvard Law Review that answers this question quite definitively and makes it clear that Cruz is indeed a “natural born citizen” as that term is used in Article II of the Constitution:

While some constitutional issues are truly difficult, with framing-era sources either nonexistent or contradictory, here, the relevant materials clearly indicate that a “natural born Citizen” means a citizen from birth with no need to go through naturalization proceedings. The Supreme Court has long recognized that two particularly useful sources in understanding constitutional terms are British common law. Both confirm that the original meaning of the phrase “natural born Citizen” includes persons born abroad who are citizens from birth based on the citizenship of a parent.

As to the British practice, laws in force in the 1700s recognized that children born outside of the British Empire to subjects of the Crown were subjects themselves and explicitly used “natural born” to encompass such children. These statutes provided that children born abroad to subjects of the British Empire were “natural-born Subjects . . . to all Intents, Constructions, and Purposes whatsoever.” The Framers, of course, would have been intimately familiar with these statutes and the way they used terms like “natural born,” since the statutes were binding law in the colonies before the Revolutionary War. They were also well documented in Blackstone’sCommentaries, a text widely circulated and read by the Framers and routinely invoked in interpreting the Constitution.

No doubt informed by this longstanding tradition, just three years after the drafting of the Constitution, the First Congress established that children born abroad to U.S. citizens were U.S. citizens at birth, and explicitly recognized that such children were “natural born Citizens.” The Naturalization Act of 1790 provided that “the children of citizens of the United States, that may be born beyond sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens: Provided, That the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the United States . . . .” The actions and understandings of the First Congress are particularly persuasive because so many of the Framers of the Constitution were also members of the First Congress. That is particularly true in this instance, as eight of the eleven members of the committee that proposed the natural born eligibility requirement to the Convention served in the First Congress and none objected to a definition of “natural born Citizen” that included persons born abroad to citizen parents.

(…)

The original meaning of “natural born Citizen” also comports with what we know of the Framers’ purpose in including this language in the Constitution. The phrase first appeared in the draft Constitution shortly after George Washington received a letter from John Jay, the future first Chief Justice of the United States, suggesting:

[W]hether it would not be wise & seasonable to provide a . . . strong check to the admission of Foreigners into the administration of our national Government; and to declare expressly that the Command in chief of the american [sic] army shall not be given to, nor devolve on, any but a natural born Citizen.

As recounted by Justice Joseph Story in his famous Commentaries on the Constitution, the purpose of the natural born Citizen clause was thus to “cut[] off all chances for ambitious foreigners, who might otherwise be intriguing for the office; and interpose[] a barrier against those corrupt interferences of foreign governments in executive elections.” The Framers did not fear such machinations from those who were U.S. citizens from birth just because of the happenstance of a foreign birthplace. Indeed, John Jay’s own children were born abroad while he served on diplomatic assignments, and it would be absurd to conclude that Jay proposed to exclude his own children, as foreigners of dubious loyalty, from presidential eligibility.

The birthers, on the other hand, have argued that the phrase “natural born citizen” in the Constitution has a specific meaning that requires that both of a person’s parents be citizens of the United States at the time of their birth. It doesn’t actually say that in the Constitution, of course, and  there isn’t a single shred of legal authority they can rely on to support their claim.  Despite this, they rely upon a definition of “natural born citizen”  given by a Swiss legal philosopher named Emmerich de Vatel. The problem is that the edition of the work in which de Vatel developed this definition of the phrase wasn’t translated into English and published outside of Switzerland until ten years after the Constitution was drafted. Therefore, it’s highly unlikely that his work had any influence on the Founders. More significantly, though there is the simple fact that the Constitution and American law clearly recognize only two forms of American citizenship. Either you are a citizen from the time you are born or you become a citizen through the process of naturalization. There is no other class of citizenship, and no special class of citizenship granted by the law to people who happen to have  two parents who are U.S. citizens as opposed to just one.  Obviously, the term “natural born citizen” as it is used in the Constitution was meant to refer to the first kind of citizen, the person who is a citizen from the time of their birth.

Moreover, it’s worth noting that, under this de Vatel definition, and not counting Obama, the United States has had four Presidents since 1820 who had at least one parent who was not an American citizen at the time of their birth — Andrew Jackson,James Buchanan, Chester Alan Arthur, and Herbert Hoover. At no time did anyone make the argument that any of these men were not “natural born citizens,” so there’s no reason to think that the Founders ever intended to apply this standard to determine eligibility for the Presidency.

Based on this clear original meaning of the “natural born citizen” clause, then,  it is obvious that Cruz is eligible to be President. While he was not born in the United States, at least one of his parents was an American citizen at the time of his birth. Furthermore, as Dara Lind notes at Vox, Cruz’s mother had lived in the United States for at least 14 years after her 14th birthday, which is relevant due to the fact that, under the citizenship law in effect at the time he was born, that is all that was required to confer citizenship by birth upon the child of an American citizen who happened to be born in a foreign country such as Canada. There are plenty of valid reasons to oppose Cruz’s candidacy, relying on a half-baked meritless legal theory should not be one of them.

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FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, Campaign 2016, Law and the Courts, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. HarvardLaw92 says:

    You felt the need to even dignify this absurdity?

  2. John Peabody says:

    Nevertheless, Orly Taitz will rise again!

  3. jukeboxgrad says:

    at least one of his parents was an American citizen at the time of his birth

    I’ll believe it when I see her papers, and don’t bother trying to trick me with the Photoshopped version.

  4. Rafer Janders says:

    You say all that, Doug, and yet…I’d still like to see the long-form birth certificate.

  5. Rafer Janders says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    You felt the need to even dignify this absurdity?

    C’mon, if we didn’t dignify absurdities there’d be a hell of a lot less content on this site.

  6. michael reynolds says:

    To some degree, of course, the questions about Cruz’s eligibility are being raised in jest by pundits who noted the extent to which questions about President Obama’s citizenship took hold among some segments of the right both before and after the 2008 Presidential election.

    Can a majority be properly considered a “segment?” Two out of three Republicans as of 2013.

    The most popular of these conspiracy theories is the belief that President Obama is hidingimportant information about his background and early life, which would include what’s oftenreferred to “birtherism.” Thirty-six percent of Americans think this is probably true, including 64 percent of Republicans and 14 percent of Democrats.

  7. Mu says:

    But but but but that would make {evil incarnate} a natural born citizen too! Can’t do that!

  8. grumpy realist says:

    Oh, you haven’t explored the weirder versions of the birther arguments…There’s a handful of them that claim that only if you are born from an American FATHER are you a U.S. citizen….being born only from an American woman is No Bloody Good because women are nothing but walking wombs and it’s the precious male-sperm that determines everything, doncherknow….

    (The overlap between the birthers that tout the above and people several forks short of a picnic basket is 100%, by the way. The judges aren’t impressed, either.)

  9. CSK says:

    Look quickly at that photo and Cruz looks as if he has a halo around his head, which is how his supporters seem to see him.

  10. Scott F. says:

    @michael reynolds:

    But you know the game, michael.

    We’ll see 2 out of 3 thousand Democrats make a stink out of Cruz being Canadian born and Doug will be able to claim both sides do it.

    “Segment” being a non-specific term has its benefits.

  11. Kylopod says:

    At no time did anyone make the argument that any of these men were not “natural born citizens,”

    There actually were people who made such an argument about Chester Arthur. In his day there was a kind of “birther” movement alleging that he had been born in Canada.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-original-birther-controversy/

    Of course, just as with Obama this claim is wrong in two ways: first in the conspiracy theory itself, and second in the fact that even if it were true it wouldn’t make him ineligible to be president. As I’ve stated before, the claim about Obama’s birthplace is not only false, it’s also patently irrelevant.

  12. MikeSJ says:

    @John Peabody:

    Nevertheless, Orly Taitz will rise again!

    There’s something about her. The bad blonde dye job; the 70’s style blue mascara; the bad accent; the off putting persona…I’m can’t help but think she’s sorta, kinda, and not in a healthy way, hot.

    I’m not proud of that.

  13. Hazelrah says:

    I did not realize his full name was Rafael Edward Cruz. Anyone know where the name Ted came from?

  14. MM2 says:

    @Hazelrah: His Indonesian stepfather, most likely.

  15. C. Clavin says:

    There are a ginormous number of reasons not to want this guy to be President.
    His birthright isn’t even in the top million.

    @Hazelrah:
    Ted is a common nickname for Edwards…see also: Edward Moore “Ted” Kennedy

  16. CB says:

    @Hazelrah:

    Edward = Ted, sometimes, for some reason. Think Teddy Kennedy.

    And Cruz scares me, but not in an “Oh my God, this man could be President” kind of way. More of an “Oh my God, people actually want this man to be President” kind of way.

  17. James P says:

    A natural born citizen is someone who has never been naturalized. Ted Cruz was never naturalized. He doesn’t need to be because he was a US citizen at the time of his birth.

    He is a natural born citizen. Sadly, so is B Hussein Obama (I always thought birthers were missing the point – even if he was born in Kenya he would still be a US citizen).

    Next subject.

  18. KM says:

    There are plenty of valid reasons to oppose Cruz’s candidacy, relying on a half-baked meritless legal theory should not be one of them.

    Schadenfreude, Doug. Have some pie.

    Cruz is legitimate the way Obama is legitimate. To argue for one is to invariably argue for the other. Yes, they are both eligible for the exact same reasons. No, you won’t hear birthers say that aloud.

    For years and years, we’ve had to listen to foaming-at-the-mouth crackpots whine about how the “Kenyan-born” man shouldn’t be in the White House for {insert reason here}. Now the shoe’s on the other foot. The majority of Cruz-birtherism will be well-deserved political payback and a sincere desire to make the nuts admit they are wrong. Nobody will really believe it the way the anti-Obama devotees will but it’s a tool that was readily crafted by the enemy and graciously left on our doorstep. Childish perhaps, but who are we to refuse such a gift when they love it so very very much? You live by the sword, you die by the sword.

  19. Tyrell says:

    This is a use of misdirection to get the news media focused on a non issue. It has happened before, and will happen again.

  20. stonetools says:

    To the Tea Party folks, the fact that Ted Cruz looks like a real American, i.e. is white, trumps all that legalistic birth stuff anyway. That’s what matters to them, not where he is born or the precise legal definition of the term “natural born citizen.”
    Just keeping it real.

  21. C. Clavin says:

    Ted Cruise is going to drag a party that is already radically ideological….even further to the ideological right.
    This is going to be so much fun.

  22. al-Ameda says:

    It would be a shame if the Cruz candidacy became enmeshed or embroiled in a Republican-like Birther controversy. I certainly hope that that doesn’t happen, it would politicize the campaign season, and we don’t we want to jeopardize the current period of bi-partisan cooperation.

  23. Moosebreath says:

    @Mu:

    “But but but but that would make {evil incarnate} a natural born citizen too! Can’t do that!”

    This. So while I am not going to lift a finger to raise this argument, believing it has no merit, I am willing to purchase popcorn futures for when it is time for the Republicans to deal with this issue.

  24. HarvardLaw92 says:

    Hey kids – guess who’s back from the dead … 😀

  25. DrDaveT says:

    I want to see this as the new caption contest:

    “Ted Cruz is a natural born _____”

  26. Andre Kenji says:

    Rafeal Edward (Ted) Cruz was born in September 1970 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

    Rafael, not Rafeal. You could just call him “Rafa” or “rafinha”, it would be awesome.

  27. Barry says:

    @Rafer Janders: “You say all that, Doug, and yet…I’d still like to see the long-form birth certificate.”

    Compromiser!

    I want to see the originalist parchment of the certification of live birthiness.

  28. Rick DeMent says:

    All this being said is there any reason not to amend the constitution to include naturalized citizens (with a reasonable time requirement) since the reason for the founders inclusion has pretty much gone away?

  29. al-Ameda says:

    @DrDaveT:

    I want to see this as the new caption contest:
    “Ted Cruz is a natural born _____”

    “Narcissist”

  30. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Jesus Christ, it was bad enough when I was living rent-free in wr’s head, am I now your personal boogeyman, too?

    This site is nowhere near important enough for me to devote any energy at all to coming up with alternate identities. And all these accusations do nothing more than amuse me at how stupid and arrogant you are. (Which is obvious with how you choose to make your elite credentials the defining nature of your identity, but I digress.)

    I was also amused with your pronouncing Cruz a “sociopath.” Just what did you base your diagnosis on? When did you examine Cruz? And what are your credentials to make such a diagnosis, anyway?

    But since you’re so astute on remote diagnosis, how do you rate Obama as a classic narcissist? He’s written two books where the subject was himself; he tends to observe all kinds of historic events by inserting himself into them (often literally; I’ve lost count of how many commemorations he’s featured with a picture of himself), he gave the Queen of England an IPod pre-loaded with his speeches…

    While you might not have the formal credentials to make such a diagnosis, I think you’re uniquely qualified to judge on this one. After all, someone who literally defines himself (or herself) with their elite credentials of being a 1992 graduate of Harvard Law School at literally every opportunity must have a bit of narcissism of their own.

    Which always made me think of Al Bundy and his “four touchdowns in one game” bit. And that explains why I don’t detest you as much as I could; you remind me of Al Bundy, and I always liked Al Bundy.

    But on the topic of Senator Cruz… earlier today NPR officially categorized him as a “White Hispanic.” The only other person I’ve ever heard described as such was George Zimmerman. It’s apparently a liberal dog-whistle saying “this person’s not really Hispanic, so you can go after them without being called a racist.”

  31. HarvardLaw92 says:

    Jenos, I assure you that the only thoughts I have for you are ones of pity.

    Remarkable timing, though. Remarkable indeed … 😀

  32. appleannie says:

    Darn. I wanted to be a birther…

  33. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    But on the topic of Senator Cruz… earlier today NPR officially categorized him as a “White Hispanic.” The only other person I’ve ever heard described as such was George Zimmerman. It’s apparently a liberal dog-whistle saying “this person’s not really Hispanic, so you can go after them without being called a racist.”

    Jeez, Republicans are race-obsessed.

  34. PJ says:

    @Barry:

    Compromiser!

    I want to see the originalist parchment of the certification of live birthiness.

    Compromiser!

    I want to see DNA evidence that he’s actually the son of Eleanor Elizabeth Darragh Wilson and Rafael Bienvenido Cruz. Because if Ted “Cruz” ever did provide his DNA we would soon find out the actual truth, his father is Fidel Castro and his mother was flown to Canada to give birth.
    He’s the true Manchurian Candidate, waiting to take over the United States of America and make it the Socialist States of America.

    (And yes, I’m j/k, Ted Cruz is a natural born citizen.)

  35. stonetools says:

    You know, if left wingers were truly like right wingers, we would definitely not let this go. Wewould have talk show hosts endlessly discussing the finer points of citizenship law, and hinting that there is a real controversy here. We would be calling for Cruz’s long form birth certificate, and when he didn’t produce it, wonder if he had something to hide. We would ask for his mother’s papers, and when and if they were produced, discuss kerning and whether that particular font was in the use at the time. We would do the d!ck move of always calling him Rafael Eduardo Cruz, in order to make him seem as un-American as possible, just like James P. does with President Obama. We would remind his followers again and again that he is a foreign born Hispanic, just like the millions of people they are trying to kick out.
    But the left doesn’t play hardball like the right, so… we mostly won’t do that. But it sure would be fun.

  36. PJ says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    But on the topic of Senator Cruz… earlier today NPR officially categorized him as a “White Hispanic.” The only other person I’ve ever heard described as such was George Zimmerman. It’s apparently a liberal dog-whistle saying “this person’s not really Hispanic, so you can go after them without being called a racist.”

    Here’s some reading material for you:

    White Hispanic.
    Black Hispanic.

    Maybe you’ll even learn something.

    Though I doubt it.

  37. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @CSK:

    Look quickly at that photo and Cruz looks as if he has a halo around his head, which is how his supporters seem to see him.

    … that’s the joke.

    (*drops mic*)

    http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/thats-the-joke

  38. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @CSK:

    Look quickly at that photo and Cruz looks as if he has a halo around his head, which is how his supporters seem to see him.

    … that’s the joke.

    (*drops mic*)

    http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/thats-the-joke

  39. stonetools says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I was also amused with your pronouncing Cruz a “sociopath.” Just what did you base your diagnosis on? When did you examine Cruz? And what are your credentials to make such a diagnosis, anyway?

    I can’t speak for HL 92, but I agree he is a sociopath, and base it on the fact that he masterminded a scheme to shut down of the federal government for the sole purpose denying access to health care for millions of Americans. That’s sociopathic enough for me, and he has done and said a lot more than that. According to Joshua Marshall, who went to school with him, just about everyone who has interacted with Rafael Eduardo has the same verdict: the guy is very intelligent ,but also a giant a$$hole, which come to think of it, is another way of saying he is a siociopath.

  40. CSK says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    Yeah, I know.

    Peter King, the Republican representative from NY, described Cruz as a “carnival barker,” which strikes me as exactly right.

    I can’t see Cruz getting past the New Hampshire primary. They hate him up there. Actually, he’s pretty well despised as a loudmouthed extremist phony all over the northeast. And I’m talking about Republicans who look at him in that light.

    Don’t they have a phrase in Texas to characterize guys like this? “All hat and no cattle.”

    In any case, he looks like a slug and talks like Daffy Duck.

  41. the Q says:

    “……At no time did anyone make the argument that any of these men were not “natural born citizens,”

    Doug, thats because the unhinged wingnut dipschitt, divorced from all reality and forced fed lies 24/7 by a propoganda machine unmatched by even the yellow journalists 100 years ago, is a recent phenomenon.

    Rafael Eduardo is a foreign born dipschitt. We don’t need no Canadian foreigner telling us Americans how to live.

    Right Jenos?

  42. Andre Kenji says:

    @stonetools:

    We would be calling for Cruz’s long form birth certificate, and when he didn’t produce it, wonder if he had something to hide.

    Nah. US Liberals knows that Rafa Cruz is a complete joke. And they love him for that.

  43. Fuzz T Was says:

    Forget Cruz! What about Hillary?

    Women have served the nation well in Congress, the Courts and other public offices for decades. But may women legally run for and serve in the Office of President?

    Most would say “yes”, women can run for President just like men. However, there appears to be a legal issue that has not been addressed. That issue is language used in Article II of the Constitution.

    The United States Constitution is written, for the most part, in gender-neutral language. The one glaring exception is found in Article II of the document which uses gender-neutral and male-specific pronouns when describing the office and duties of President. Does this mean or imply that only a man may be President of the United States?

    The writers of the Constitution used both non-gender language and male-specific language when describing the position and duties of the President. There are 19 references to the President in the male pronouns of “he” and “his” in Article II. There are no references to she or her.

    Some would argue the use of the male “he” and “his” were not meant to be exclusive to just men. It is common in English to use the word “man” or “mankind” when referring to humanity in general. But the Founders weren’t referring to mankind in general they were referring to one person, the President and they used those male pronouns not once but 19 times in Article II.

    The Constitution does not directly state the President shall be a man or that a woman shall not be President, but history and the wording in Article II seem to imply it.

    The Founders were 18th Century men with 18th Century worldviews. Those views were that women had no place in political matters. The Constitution was created by (land owning) White men primarily for the economic and legal benefit of those men. The Constitutional Convention was made up of 55 White men from the 13 various States. Women were not involved in the creation of the document. There is no record of any discussions concerning women, their rights, or duties during the Constitutional Convention.

    Benjamin Franklin, a Founding Father, referring to the new position of President, stated, “the first MAN at the helm will be a good one!” He was referring, of course, George Washington.
    President Washington, a man, was elected in 1789 (The only odd year election ever for a President). He was the overwhelming choice of the nation. In New Jersey, women, who owned property, could vote in that election but in 1807 the State law allowing women to vote was abolished.

    Given the social norms of that time, a woman as President and Commander and Chief of the military was impossible. It was beyond comprehension. Anyone who suggested such a thing would have been ridiculed. Women needed the care and protection of men. They were physically and emotionally delicate and much too weak to manage such a position. Besides who will care for the children and household. Politics, managing a country and war were the purview of men, not women. These views continued into 19th and 20th Centuries and to some degree even to today.

    Men of the 18th Century created our Constitution and men of the 19th and 20th Centuries using the amendment process and case law made improvements. But wish as we might, we can’t put into the Constitution what isn’t there or ignore what is there because it is not politically correct.

    So can a woman be President of the United State? Up to a few days ago, I was sure they could. Now I’m not so sure.

  44. Scott says:

    @CSK: Speaking of Texas, Sen John Cornyn will not endorse Cruz. Probably because Cruz didn’t endorse Cornyn in the 2014 primary even though he was the sitting Senator.

    BTW, I keep hearing that Cruz is brilliant; I haven’t seen any evidence that it has been put to use..

  45. grumpy realist says:

    @Fuzz T Was: Oh, I’d love to see one of the right-wing candidates say that….

    I warn you, 99% of US women will crawl over broken glass to vote against whatever putz makes that argument.

  46. gVOR08 says:

    @Hazelrah: If our guy, Barack Hussein Obama, can run under his real name, why do John Bush, Willard Romney, James Perry, Cara Fiorinina, and Piyush Jindal need aliases? OK, I can understand Jindal, but the rest?

  47. PJ says:

    @gVOR08:

    If our guy, Barack Hussein Obama, can run under his real name, why do John Bush, Willard Romney, James Perry, Cara Fiorinina, and Piyush Jindal need aliases? OK, I can understand Jindal, but the rest?

    Well, Obama’s real name is Malcolm Little Jr…

  48. grumpy realist says:

    Looks like at least one candidate is jumping on the Cruz Birther Wagon…..

    (giggle snort guffaw)

  49. An Interested Party says:

    Of course, the most delicious part of all of this is that many of the same loons who were screaming that Obama isn’t a legitimate citizen will be strongly supporting this grafter who really wasn’t born in this country…

  50. Hazelrah says:

    I did not know that Ted was short for Edward. Thanks for the info. I always assumed Ted Kennedy’s name was Theodore. While on the topic: does anyone know why Bill is short for William? Or Dick for Richard? Is it just because you can change out the first letter of the name? Rick = Dick. Will = Bill. If so then who got to choose the letter? Why not Rill or Bick?

  51. Jack says:

    Now if only we can get him to nationalize the banks and health care, use the IRS to go after critics, politicizes the Justice Department, spy on journalists, try to curb religious freedom, slash the military, throw open the borders, double the debt and nationalizes the Internet we will have a shoe in for president.

  52. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @Fuzz T Was:

    So can a woman be President of the United State? Up to a few days ago, I was sure they could. Now I’m not so sure

    That argument may be made by some.

    However, after having no meals, and sleeping on the couch for several days, those who make that argument will reconsider and admit that a woman may run for any office she may choose.

  53. de stijl says:

    @Jack:

    Now if only we can get him to nationalize the banks and health care

    I’m confused. When exactly did any President nationalize the banks or health care?

  54. al-Ameda says:

    @Jack:
    and …. you left out the best part – oversee a steady economic recovery from the Republican financial crash and Great Recession of 2008-09.

  55. CB says:
  56. de stijl says:

    Rafeal Bienvenido Cruz

    Ted’s Dad has a middle name that means “Welcome?” I thought that only celebrities and millennials gave their kids wacky names.

  57. Jack says:

    I forgot to add, lie to the public, ignore the Constitution, inflame race relations and urge Latinos to punish Democrat “enemies”, abandon our ­allies, appease tyrants, coddle ­adversaries and use the Crusades as an excuse for inaction as Islamist terrorists slaughter their way across the Mideast.

    Next we can sic him on Israel.

  58. James Pearce says:

    @KM:

    The majority of Cruz-birtherism will be well-deserved political payback and a sincere desire to make the nuts admit they are wrong.

    You’ve got it right. Payback. This is going to be the go-to roast joke for Ted Cruz, but it’s not going to be a movement like Obama-birtherism was.

  59. James Pearce says:

    @Jack:

    nationalizes the Internet

    And you expect to be taken seriously?

  60. wr says:

    @stonetools: “I can’t speak for HL 92, but I agree he is a sociopath, and base it on the fact that he masterminded a scheme to shut down of the federal government for the sole purpose denying access to health care for millions of Americans. That’s sociopathic enough for me,”

    I beg to differ. I believe he masterminded a scheme to shut down the federal government on the pretext of denying access to health care for the sole purpose of calling attention to himself.

    And that’s sociopathic.

  61. Pinky says:

    @CSK:

    Look quickly at that photo and Cruz looks as if he has a halo around his head, which is how his supporters seem to see him.

    I assume this is meant ironically. I know people who support Cruz, but I don’t know anyone who idolizes him. You have seen Obama halo pictures, right? Aside from the occasional Reagan fixation, the right doesn’t act that way. We don’t see government as all-powerful, and we don’t look for deities to run it. Heck, I know people who support Cruz who don’t even like him.

  62. Jack says:

    @al-Ameda:

    and …. you left out the best part – oversee a steady economic recovery from the Republican financial crash and Great Recession of 2008-09.

    I’m sure all the part time workers that had their hours reduced below 29, part time workers that used to be full time workers, and those 92 million unemployed no longer looking for work would agree with you.

  63. An Interested Party says:

    I forgot to add, lie to the public, ignore the Constitution, inflame race relations and urge Latinos to punish Democrat “enemies”, abandon our ­allies, appease tyrants, coddle ­adversaries and use the Crusades as an excuse for inaction as Islamist terrorists slaughter their way across the Mideast.

    Next we can sic him on Israel.

    It must really burn your britches to think that Obama has done all of this…and is still president! Just wait until Hillary succeeds him…then your head can really explode…

  64. Jack says:

    @wr:

    for the sole purpose denying access to health care for millions of Americans

    Name one person. Just one that was denied “access” to healthcare. I won’t wait.

  65. Slugger says:

    The nickname derived from Eduardo is Lalo not Ted.
    Just having a little fun.

  66. James Pearce says:

    @Jack:

    Name one person. Just one that was denied “access” to healthcare. I won’t wait.

    His name was Kyle R. Cuthbert. Look him up.

  67. michael reynolds says:

    @Jack:

    I’ll name a person who was denied access to health insurance: me. I had to form a corporation to get coverage, and as you know, “Corporations are people,” but not the same as me.

  68. Tyrell says:

    As I pointed out, this is a non-issue, an orchestrated misdirection of the peoples’ attention, equal to a David Copperfield magic trick. Look at all of the comments about this spurious, bizarre, inane topic, when the subject should be issues like monetary policy, the fed, police powers, international treaties and trade agreements, unlimited powers of secret government agencies, and the government-financial complex.

  69. Jack says:

    @James Pearce: He was not denied “access”. No one kept him from seeking healthcare. You lose. I win.

    Again.

  70. Jack says:

    @michael reynolds: You were not denied “access” to healthcare. There is a difference between healthcare and insurance. If you need me to explain that difference, then you are not as smart as you portray yourself to be. You could walk into any hospital with an emergency health need and would be seen.

    Your lie is beneath you.

  71. CSK says:

    @Pinky:

    I’m talking about the loons who think he’s the Second Coming. Last week they thought Walker was the Second Coming, but when he supported ethanol subsidies, they decided he was the Devil Incarnate.

    I’m talking about the kind of people who mistake self-aggrandizing bloviation for strength and substance.

    But…sooner or later Cruz will do or say something to alienate them, and they’ll return to making hotel reservations in D.C. for the inauguration of President Palin in January 2017.

    These are people who are looking for a god and savior, not a president.

  72. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jack:

    92 million unemployed no longer looking for work would agree with you.

    Source please (and not that BLS table that you clearly do not understand).

  73. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jack:

    You could walk into any hospital with an emergency health need and would be seen.

    Someone who can’t afford health insurance can somehow magically afford the ER? I’d like to hear more about that. How does it work?

  74. SKI says:

    All healthcare is not emergency care. Prime example being chemotherapy. Hospitals are not required to provide such treatment under EMTALA.

    And requiring someone to pay exorbitant costs is functionally equivalent to denying them care.

    so, in addition to being an arse, you are wrong.

  75. Jack says:

    @HarvardLaw92: ERs must treat every patient despite means to pay.

    The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) is an act of the United States Congress, passed in 1986 as part of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). It requires hospitals that accept payments from Medicare to provide emergency health care treatment to anyone needing it regardless of citizenship, legal status, or ability to pay. There are no reimbursement provisions. Participating hospitals may not transfer or discharge patients needing emergency treatment except with the informed consent or stabilization of the patient or when their condition requires transfer to a hospital better equipped to administer the treatment.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergency_Medical_Treatment_and_Active_Labor_Act

    You’d think a Havaad man would know that. I’m now questioning your credentials.

  76. Jack says:

    @SKI: So, in a capitalist society, a person is simply supposed to give you their labor, supplies, and overhead without expecting reimbursement? Did Obama sign an executive order making all doctors indentured servants that I didn’t know about?

    Funny, I would think that would have made the news.

  77. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jack:

    EMTALA says that they can’t be turned away for lack of ability to pay. It does NOT say that they can’t be billed. It does NOT say that they can’t be sued for non-payment. It does NOT say that they can’t have their wages garnished in satisfaction of a judgment against them as the result of failing to pay. It does NOT say that they can’t have their credit rating destroyed as a result of the preceding.

    Why, it just sounds delightful. Who would pass up an opportunity like that?!

    (Don’t bother with the personal attacks. They’re boring, and I don’t swing at the dirt …)

  78. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jack:

    Caution – moving goalposts in the vicinity 😀

  79. Jack says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Regardless, no one has ever been denied “access” to healthcare as wr stated. Full stop.

  80. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jack:

    Now you have a crystal ball that we don’t know about? You’re asserting that no one, ever, has gone without health care when needed because they knew they couldn’t afford to pay for it?

    Know what else EMTALA doesn’t do? It doesn’t say that you have to be provided with prescriptions. What say you about an unemployed diabetic who needs insulin? He / she is going to just head to the ER every day for an injection?

    Could you dig up some stock tips for us while you still have the ball out?

  81. stonetools says:

    @Jack:

    So, in a capitalist society, a person is simply supposed to give you their labor, supplies, and overhead without expecting reimbursement?

    You should take that up with your Lord and Savior Ronald Reagan. After all, he signed the law requiring that hospitals and doctors provide emergency care, without provision for reimbursement, as you so helpfully noted. I guess its OK when Republican Presidents sign laws like that.

  82. Jack says:

    @HarvardLaw92: My original statement was “Name one person. Just one that was denied “access” to healthcare.”

    The goalposts have never been moved.

    The fact is no person has ever been denied access to healthcare. You know it and I know it.

    I think it’s time you lawyer up.

  83. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jack:

    The fact is no person has ever been denied access to healthcare. You know it and I know it.

    No, you are asserting it. It’s up to you to prove it.

    So prove it …

    (and again, don’t bother with the taunts. You’re wasting your time trying to get a rise out of me …)

  84. Jack says:

    @stonetools:

    You should take that up with your Lord and Savior Ronald Reagan. After all, he signed the law requiring that hospitals and doctors provide emergency care, without provision for reimbursement, as you so helpfully noted. I guess its OK when Republican Presidents sign laws like that.

    And yet, it’s all tax deductible. Doctors are paid by the hospital, or they provide pro bono…another tax deduction. Hospitals deduct expenses, thus reimbursement.

    Tax payers take it up the caboose yet again, but doctors and hospitals are indeed reimbursed.

  85. Jack says:

    @HarvardLaw92: You cannot prove a negative. You and others tried to substitute insurance for healthcare and were called to the carpet for it. You lose. Full stop.

  86. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jack:

    Which is why I called you on the carpet for trying to assert a blanket negative you can’t possibly 1) prove, or 2) even answer with certainty. You’re speaking in rhetoric.

    Oh, and EMTALA? Know what else it doesn’t do? It doesn’t require hospitals to treat non-emergency conditions.

    I asked you about it precisely because I knew you had misread it.

    It means that hospitals can’t turn you away, despite lack of ability to pay, IF YOU HAVE AN EMERGENCY MEDICAL CONDITION. All you are really entitled to without exception under EMTALA is a screening examination to determine if you have such a condition.

    If you don’t have such a condition, they can absolutely send you packing – and they do.

    So, as usual, you lose.

  87. Jack says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Which is why in my reply to Micheal at 20:56 is stated “You could walk into any hospital with an emergency health need and would be seen.”

    I haven’t misread anything.

    You need to go back and look at the timeline counselor, because I pointed to the EMTALA at 21:20, well after establishing that ERs couldn’t turn people away that needed healthcare for emergence health needs.

    Your lawyering just isn’t up to snuff today. I’m guessing your Haavad professors were not as, in the words of Howard Fineman, “In Awe” of your intellect as they were that of Ted Cruz.

  88. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jack:

    LOL, moving goalposts again.

    You specifically stated, and I quote:

    The fact is no person has ever been denied access to healthcare. You know it and I know it.

    You didn’t say “no person with an emergency condition”.

    You said “no person,” period. You took it further to say “ever”. That’s not an ambiguous statement.

    The fact of the matter is that hospitals can, and do, deny treatment to people who are not suffering from emergency medical conditions on the basis of lack of ability to pay for treatment all the time, private hospitals especially.

    Just admit that you walked into a trap and got your ass handed to you (as usual) …

  89. Jack says:

    @HarvardLaw92: The fact of the matter is I already stated emergence health need earlier in this discussion thread. This means I knew exactly what I was doing when I posted EMTALA and you walked into the trap.

    Please tell me…you are the sperm that won?

  90. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jack:

    So, you are agreeing with me that people who do not have emergency medical conditions can be, and are, denied healthcare?

  91. Jack says:

    @HarvardLaw92: They are not denied access to healthcare.

  92. michael reynolds says:

    @Jack:
    I see that in my absence you were pretty well obliterated, so. . .Yeah, what they all said.

    Preventative care, chronic illness, not available at the ER.

    Have you heard the one about how it’s better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt?

  93. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jack:

    Now we’re back to your earlier proposition.

    Either you mean “nobody, ever”, or you meant “nobody with an emergency medical condition, ever”. Is it the set of “everybody” in which case your citation of EMTALA is pointless as it contradicts your own argument, or it is the set of “everybody with an emergency condition?”, in which case you need to address the fact that EMTALA allows refusal of treatment to people who don’t have one.

    You can’t have it both ways, so which one is it?

  94. Jack says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Preventative care, chronic illness, not available at the ER.

    It’s not an emergency need, so no. Go to a free clinic.

  95. michael reynolds says:

    This by the way is episode # 5,387 of Right-winger trots out his talk radio talking points and gets his head handed to him for being clueless.

    You’d think they’d learn. I mean, I know they’re stupid, but how many times do you have to get a two-by-four across the snout before it occurs to you to reconsider your sources of information?

  96. michael reynolds says:

    @Jack:

    Well, it’s all moot now, right? Because thanks to Barack Obama just about everyone can get good, reliable health insurance. They can get emergency care, and they can get chemo and preventative care and diabetes treatments.

    And you’re happy about that, right? Because it’s not like you’re just some a-hole who gets off on sick people dying for lack of treatment. Right?

    Right?

  97. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @stonetools: I can’t speak for HL 92, but I agree he is a sociopath, and base it on the fact that he masterminded a scheme to shut down of the federal government for the sole purpose denying access to health care for millions of Americans.

    Huh? Oh, if you mean ObamaCare, then you’re referring to the scheme to demand every single person buy insurance, whether they want to or not, covering things they may or may not want covered, under penalty of law. The scheme that took away health plans that many people were quite satisfied with, despite Obama’s explicit promise to the contrary. And now a lot of people now have insurance that they can’t afford to use, as they can’t afford the huge deductibles that come with the only plans they could afford.

    Cruz wanted to kill that? The BASTARD!

  98. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jack:

    It’s not an emergency need, so no. Go to a free clinic.

    What if your town doesn’t have one? Say you live in Hays, KS. The nearest free clinic that will see you (unless you are gay, anyway …) is 237 miles away. If you’re gay, you’ll have to drive a bit further …

  99. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Read this: http://www.vox.com/2015/2/19/8069117/obamacare-critics-wrong

    Then come back and talk with a bit more information in your brain hole.

  100. HarvardLaw92 says:

    LOL, I think maybe Jenos just forgot which of his many personas he was signed in under.

  101. Jack says:

    @HarvardLaw92: No, I meant what I said. No one has ever been denied “access” to healthcare. The operable definition of access here is “get, obtain, acquire, or secure”. No one has ever prevented anyone from obtaining healthcare. That would require one to physically restrain a person. Not allowing them to approach a pharmacy, hospital, emergency room, etc.

    The word you are looking for is receiving. This statement is true: People have been prevented from receiving healthcare due to lack of ability to pay.

    Obtaining and receiving are not synonymous..

  102. Jack says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    The nearest free clinic that will see you (unless you are gay, anyway …) is 237 miles away.

    Then you better make sure your car has a full tank of gas. Regardless, no one is restricting your “access” to healthcare.

  103. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jack:

    Seriously? You’re going to come back with some lame attempt at twisting semantics?

    That’s all you have left? Seriously??

    Sounds to me like somebody is throwing in the towel …

  104. Jack says:

    @michael reynolds: So, those 3-6 million Americans who are choosing to pay the Obamacare penalty rather than get insurance must be “sick people dying for lack of treatment”.’

    http://money.cnn.com/2015/01/28/news/economy/obamacare-tax-penalty/

    The 11 million illegals that are not eligible must be “sick people dying for lack of treatment”.’

    You fail on so many levels.

  105. michael reynolds says:

    @Jack:

    Really? Because the people on your side who keep shutting down abortion clinics claim they’re restricting access to abortion by making it extremely difficult to get to a clinic.

    You need to let them know they aren’t doing anything to restrict access because: cars exist.

  106. michael reynolds says:

    @Jack:

    So, those 3-6 million Americans who are choosing to pay the Obamacare penalty rather than get insurance must be “sick people dying for lack of treatment”.’

    No, they’re just fools or brainwashed FoxBot morons.

  107. MBunge says:

    @stonetools: the guy is very intelligent

    Cruz is a great illustration of self-flattery. He’s considered really smart because his accomplishments are cultural signifiers of great intelligence. He went to a fancy school! He excelled in debate! He was a high profile attorney! He’s a big deal politician!

    Nothing he’s done, though, required great intelligence. They required focus, hard work and boldness/dickishness, but only an ordinary amount of brains.

    But it’s not enough for Cruz and people like him to be harder working or more focused than non-elites. They also want to think of themselves as naturally better.

    Mike

  108. michael reynolds says:
  109. Jack says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Words have definition, unless you are a Democrat.

    The fact is, the phrase “for the sole purpose denying access to health care for millions of Americans.” when describing Republicans efforts to overturn/eliminate/replace Obamacare is an outright lie.

    No American was denied “access” to healthcare prior to Obamacare becoming law.

    Besides, isn’t law all about semantics. I think that since there is a “Void for vagueness” doctrine in the Supreme Court, semantics must play some part in law. Or were you asleep that day in law school.

  110. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jack:

    So, those 3-6 million Americans who are choosing to pay the Obamacare penalty

    There you go again, inferring facts not in evidence.

    The article simply states that 3 million to 6 million people will owe the penalty. It does not state that they actively declined to purchase insurance.

    I wonder how many of them live in states which deny them subsidies as a result of their refusal to expend Medicaid? Isn’t is possible that some of that 3 to 6 million people want health insurance, but are unable to obtain it due to the lack of a subsidy?

  111. michael reynolds says:

    @Jack:

    We have long since established that lots of people were denied access to health care. Now you’ve gone into the Fundamentalist Clutch (copyright Loviator). Faced with facts which disprove your faith, you freeze, panic, regurgitate the already disproven point.

  112. CB says:

    @Jack:

    It’s not an emergency need, so no. Go to a free clinic.

    This is supposed to be a good argument? Do you even understand how healthcare costs spiral out of control? Would you even care if you did? Or do you only care about being semantically kinda sorta correctish?

    If so, good job!

  113. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jack:

    Words have definition

    Yes, yes they do.

    For example, according to Webster, “access” has several meanings. Among these is:

    freedom or ability to obtain or make use of something

    So, in other words, you are citing two words which, according to Webster, have the same meaning.

    Your ball, and please try to do more than quibble about semantics this time. You can’t even do that correctly …

  114. MBunge says:

    @Jack: Obtaining and receiving are not synonymous..

    Neither are they exclusionary.

    The only good thing about sophists like this guy is that they don’t understand what they’re doing is sophistry, so they don’t know how to do it well.

    Mike

  115. michael reynolds says:

    Off-topic, but:

    Blasting “diplomatic missteps and political gamesmanship,” former Secretary of State James Baker laid in hard to the Israeli prime minister on Monday evening, criticizing him for an insufficient commitment to peace and an absolutist opposition to the Iran nuclear talks.

    I guess Baker didn’t get the memo that the GOP was now an off-shoot of Likud.

  116. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @MBunge:

    Agreed. I can think of few things which are more sad than someone whose apparent aspiration is life is to be an internet troll, but they even fail to reach (sorry, Jack, fail to ATTAIN 😀 ) that low bar.

    I mean, seriously, how does someone look at himself in the mirror, realize he’s a failure even at being something so monumentally brainless as being a troll, and not want to shoot himself in the face? It’s baffling …

  117. CB says:

    @MBunge:

    Sophi-what?

  118. al-Ameda says:

    @Jack:

    @HarvardLaw92: They are not denied access to healthcare.

    So if they are turned away by the hospital, they have NOT been denied access to health care? Bravo!

  119. Blue Galangal says:

    Taking a break from writing about steam laundries to say how much I’ve enjoyed this thread tonight. Thanks for brightening my evening.

    PS denying access to healthcare, er, abortion clinics is a feature, not a bug, I think, and is probably an integral part of their long awaited and much anticipated replacement* for the ACA.

    *Any day week month election year now…

  120. anjin-san says:

    @michael reynolds:

    former Secretary of State James Baker laid in hard to the Israeli prime minister

    When James A. Baker III talks, people should listen. But todays Republicans won’t.

  121. Tillman says:

    @CB:

    Sophistry, n. The controversial method of an opponent, distinguished from one’s own by superior insincerity and fooling. This method is that of the later Sophists, a Grecian set of philosophers who began by teaching wisdom, prudence, science, art and, in brief, whatever men ought to know, but lost themselves in a maze of quibbles and a fog of words.

    ~Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary

    Sophistry is shorthand for irrelevant and fallacious argumentation, named after the dudes who accused Socrates, the Jesus of the western philosophical world, of corrupting the youth in Athens and had him eat hemlock for it.

  122. Tillman says:

    @Pinky: @CSK: Yeah, but Obama halo pics aren’t usually this good. The light and framing behind Cruz’s head is perfect, like a stained-glass window of a saint.

    Don’t really know any conservatives who are fanatics of Ted Cruz, so I suppose I’ve dodged a bullet there.

  123. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    I’ve found the perfect thing for your obsessive, conspiratorial (and refreshingly unaffected by cleverness) mind: The White House florist has been mysteriously ousted.

    I am morally certain that this involves Benghazi and/or proof that Obama prays toward Mecca five times a day.

  124. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    someone who literally defines himself (or herself) with their elite credentials of being a 1992 graduate of Harvard Law School

    Why is it that bottom feeding conservative trolls and success envy seem to be constant companions?

    I use my football number from my sophomore year in high school in one of my online personas. We won the championship that year, and I started three games for a defense that only gave up 12 points all frigging season. I also kissed my first (but not my last) cheerleader that fall. Pretty big accomplishments for me at the time.

    There is nothing wrong with people who have successes under their belts wanting to have something around to remind them of good times gone by. If you had any, you might understand.

  125. calder says:

    Your quoted text from Harvard Law is missing text …

    The Supreme Court has long recognized that two particularly useful sources in understanding constitutional terms are British common law. #here# Both confirm that the original meaning of the phrase “natural born Citizen” …

    Should be:

    The Supreme Court has long recognized that two particularly useful sources in understanding constitutional terms are British common law **and enactments of the First Congress.**

  126. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @anjin-san:

    There was a short period where he annoyed me. Then I felt sorry for him for a while.

    At this point, I’ve come to the conclusion that the man may have mental health issues, so I don’t take anything he says seriously. I think this “pay attention to me!!” performance art thing of his on here (and who knows how many other sites …) is what gives meaning to his life / how he finds some sense of self-worth.

    Sad / pathetic / miserable. There are any number of adjectives that would work, but the bottom line is that he’s just not worth the effort.

  127. Grumpy says:

    @the Q:

    Whoa.. I see a few minor errors in Doug Mataconis’ explanation.

    First of all, Andrew Jackson was very much alive, and became a citizen automatically when the Constitution was ratified, The Natural Born Clause exempted citizens alive at the time the Constitution was ratified because they could not possibly meet the Natural Born Requirement.

    Second, there were at least two English translations of Vattel’s Law of Nations available when the Constitution was written. The first edition of 1760 was based on the French original Droit des gens of 1758. and the Dublin translation of 1787. .and we know the Continental Congress had a copy as early as 1775 because:

    During 1775, Charles Dumas, an ardent republican [as opposed to a monarchist] living in Europe sent three copies of Vattel’s Law of Nations to Benjamin Franklin. Here is a portion of Franklin’s letter of Dec. 9, 1775 thanking Dumas for the books:

    “… I am much obliged by the kind present you have made us of your edition of Vattel. It came to us in good season, when the circumstances of a rising state make it necessary frequently to consult the law of nations. Accordingly that copy, which I kept, (after depositing one in our own public library here, and sending the other to the College of Massachusetts Bay, as you directed,) has been continually in the hands of the members of our Congress, now sitting, who are much pleased with your notes and preface, and have entertained a high and just esteem for their author…”

  128. de stijl says:

    So, the same person who says this:

    Words have definition

    Also says:

    nationalize the banks and health care [and internet]

    That’s Netanyahu-level chutzpah.

  129. Geez, nothing funnier that watching an idiot engage in a semantic argument with a lawyer.

  130. C. Clavin says:

    So basically Jack is defending an in efficient, wasteful method of delivering healthcare that produces terrible results…one that denied insurance for people with pre-existing conditions and tossed kids off their parents policies…and was too expensive to allow entrepreneurs to strike out on their own…and believes we should go back to it.
    OK.
    Good for him and the rest of the ignorant Tea Baggers.

  131. Guarneri says:

    He’s a natural born man….

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=02XuE639tzY

  132. Guarneri says:

    @michael reynolds:

    It’s scary that you can convince yourself of the two out of three tripe.

  133. CB says:
  134. wr says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Whether or not Jack is actually Jenos, this is standard Jenos-style argumentation — completely wrong on the substance, this kind of troll pins it entire case on silly issues of rhetoric (“you said health care not insurance neener neener neener!!!”) and then screams itself hoarse declaring “victory.” Such “people” have no interest in whatever subject they claim to be talking about, merely in scoring points in a game only they are playing.

  135. Grumpy Realist says:

    @CB: jack doesn’t understand how cancer works, obviously. Or maybe he’s one of those who think you can pray it away.

  136. wr says:

    @michael reynolds: “You’d think they’d learn. I mean, I know they’re stupid, but how many times do you have to get a two-by-four across the snout before it occurs to you to reconsider your sources of information?”

    If all they want is for people to pay attention to them in order to prove they actually have any kind of influence over any tiny part of the world, then it doesn’t matter if they’re proven wrong time after time after time. They’re not looking to be right — they want to annoy you, and thus demonstrate their “power.”

    Granted, it’s the same kind of “power” that “men’s rights activists” gain over women by learning to defrost frozen burritos and thus liberate themselves from all those sluts who won’t cook for them… but if you’re a pathetic loser of a certain type, it’s better than nothing.

    Oh, and hi Jenos!

  137. wr says:

    @Blue Galangal: “Taking a break from writing about steam laundries”

    Okay, I’ll bite — why are you writing about steam laundries?

  138. Pinky says:

    @CSK:

    I’m talking about the loons who think he’s the Second Coming.

    Still, I’ve never heard of any. I can see how such people would be ridiculous, but I don’t think any such people exist.

  139. Blue Galangal says:

    @wr: I’m reviewing a comparative history of steam laundries in the US and Britain for a study group. It’s more interesting than it sounds, fortunately. At least if you like the history of technology.

  140. Pinky says:

    In a deeper sense, aren’t we all taking a break from writing about steam laundries? (Except for those of us who are currently writing about steam laundries, of course.)

  141. jukeboxgrad says:

    I’ve never heard of any … I don’t think any such people exist.

    Link:

    Talk me about your son and his rise. This must be a thing of God.

  142. Pinky says:

    @jukeboxgrad: So? To a Christian, talking to a preacher about his son, those aren’t odd words. I believe that your life is a thing of God. I wouldn’t usually tell you that, but I do.

  143. wr says:

    @Blue Galangal: I didn’t mean to imply it wasn’t interesting. Most things turn out to be if you dig into them. What sorts of things are being compared here?

  144. wr says:

    @wr: Okay, I did a little googling. Is it Arwen Mohun’s book you’re talking about? Because that does sound fascinating…

  145. jukeboxgrad says:

    I believe that your life is a thing of God.

    Brody did not say that Cruz’s “life” was “a thing of God.” He said Cruz’s “rise” was “a thing of God.”

    I’m glad you think my “life is a thing of God.” Do you also think Obama’s “rise” was “a thing of God?” If you did, I’m pretty sure there are conservatives who would accuse you of treating Obama like a messiah.

  146. Pinky says:

    @jukeboxgrad: I think this is one of those times when it helps to speak Evangelical. I’m not fluent, but I can piece things together. I see the angle you’re trying for, but it just isn’t right.

  147. Rafer Janders says:

    @Pinky:

    I think this is one of those times when it helps to speak Evangelical.

    While not one myself, I’m fairly fluent in Evangelical-speak, and jukeboxgrad’s interpretation is far closer to the mark than yours.

  148. michael reynolds says:

    @Blue Galangal:
    I agree with @wr, I can see where a deep dive would be fascinating. If I regret anything in my life it’s that I’ve always been a skimmer not a deep diver. It would be cool to know something really well.

  149. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Vox as a credible news source? Oh, how precious.

    And back on topic… remember, Cruz is a white Hispanic, not a real Hispanic. That means that attacking him isn’t racist. In fact, it’s a high form of anti-racism.

    What distinguishes “white Hispanics” from “real Hispanics” and other “fake minorities?” Some of the telltales are that the “white Hispanics” don’t support illegal immigration, tend towards conservatism, adopting non-ethnic nicknames, don’t place their ethnic identity above their national identity, and in general have wandered off the Democratic Party plantation, which seems to think that it owns the loyalty of anyone of minority heritage.

    See also Nikki Haley, Bobby Jindal, Clarence Thomas, Tim Scott, Ben Carson…

  150. jukeboxgrad says:

    it helps to speak Evangelical

    If you can show me where Brody or anyone like him ever said that Obama’s “rise” was “a thing of God” then I’ll accept your apparent view that Brody wasn’t claiming a special relationship between Cruz and God.

  151. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Vox as a credible news source? Oh, how precious.

    And the facts they report?

    Pathetic. But typical of you.

  152. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    And back on topic… remember, Cruz is a white Hispanic, not a real Hispanic.

    Hispanic is an ethno-linguistic-cultural grouping, not a race. You can be white and Hispanic, black and Hispanic, East Asian and Hispanic,Jewish and Hispanic, Arab and Hispanic, etc. etc. etc.

  153. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    and in general have wandered off the Democratic Party plantation, which seems to think that it owns the loyalty of anyone of minority heritage.

    Interesting that Republicans love to use antebellum slaveholder references when they refer to the current and very salient fact that Blacks vote overwhelmingly Democratic.

    Interesting too that many Republicans imply that Blacks are unable to think for themselves because if Blacks did, they would vote for the same political party – the Republican Party – that believes that “reverse racism” is a bigger problem than traditional racism associated with slavery, segregation, apartheid and Jim Crow.

  154. Tillman says:

    @jukebox: So a preacher dad talking about his son in religious terms since he was a kid shows us…what? I thought we were talking about Cruz fanatics, not family members. I believe we’re going to need someone outside the 700 Club, which sees everything as some sign from God, to describe a near-religious devotion to Cruz for this to work. You know, someone closer to an Obamaniac in ’08, but for Cruz.

    Unlike Pinky, I don’t doubt they exist. I just don’t count super-religious immediate family members as fitting a valid criterion here.

  155. jukeboxgrad says:

    a preacher dad talking about his son

    I quoted Brody, who is not Cruz’s dad.

  156. Tillman says:

    @michael reynolds: Eh, skimming has its advantages. You always have something to talk about, which is an important skill when the power goes out and gadgets run out of charge.

    @Blue Galangal: Mostly stuck to reading about computers/programming (my college degree’s in philosophy, mostly logic), but the most interesting history of tech thing I recently read was this chapters-long digression in a book about the fall of Constantinople in the 1400s on how the Ottomans innovated in siege technology. I mean, I’ve always been flabbergasted about medieval cannons and stuff because I never understood how they forged them, and this book had practical descriptions of the Ottoman furnaces along with neat factoids. (The More You Know™: they had clerics throw treasure – gold and jewelry- into the molten metal and say prayers during the casting. What prayers, we don’t know.)

    Early industrial revolution stuff is really cool too, if only because it appeals to my inner caveman to see all the working parts and figure out what they do for myself. As opposed to mashing buttons on this magic brick and somehow sending a message to someone hundreds of miles away.

  157. michael reynolds says:

    @Tillman:

    if only because it appeals to my inner caveman to see all the working parts and figure out what they do for myself. As opposed to mashing buttons on this magic brick and somehow sending a message to someone hundreds of miles away.

    I wonder if we’re going to see a wider ‘back-to-analog” movement as people realize they’ve never actually spoken to a human in meat space or seen an actual sunset or touched a real woman.

  158. Pinky says:

    @Tillman: Well, everything exists on the internet, and I expect jukeboxgrad to pull up some quote, something better than that one anyway. But to talk about Republicans deifying their candidates? It just doesn’t happen. They barely treat their candidates as human, much less as divine.

    It’s interesting. This site’s comments section always complains about “both sides do it”. But CSK’s accusation (generally about deification, and specifically about halo pictures) is something that one side does regularly and the other side trivially if at all.

  159. al-Ameda says:

    @Jack:

    I’m sure all the part time workers that had their hours reduced below 29, part time workers that used to be full time workers, and those 92 million unemployed no longer looking for work would agree with you.

    Yes, I’m sure that those workers remember well that a Republican president – George W Bush – bequeathed this president with the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression.

  160. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Don’t you mean Nimrata Randhawa Haley and Piyush Jindal?

    It’s somewhat (not much, but somewhat …) interesting that you would cite two people who felt the need to adopt what are effectively pseudonyms in order to make themselves sound whiter while ranting about race.

  161. Tillman says:

    @jukebox: Point taken. Brody, though, is writing for CBN, and it’s amazing how much God-talk can get worked into a conversation when your employers want it there.

  162. CSK says:

    @Pinky:

    Pinky, go over to Lucianne.com some time and read for yourself the drooling over Cruz. I quote from one bedazzled poster: “America needs Ted Cruz’ (sic) leadership, by God’s Divine Providence.”

  163. jukeboxgrad says:

    But to talk about Republicans deifying their candidates? It just doesn’t happen.

    Link:

    Kids pray to cardboard cutout of George W Bush

    Link:

    The Messiah: The Chosen One

    Also “Our Leader.”

    And it’s no surprise to see something like that, since Bush encouraged it with statements like this:

    I feel like God wants me to run for President. I can’t explain it, but I sense my country is going to need me. Something is going to happen… I know it won’t be easy on me or my family, but God wants me to do it.

  164. Tillman says:

    @Pinky: Now I disagree there. This is definitely a “both sides do it” thing. I mentioned Obamaniacs for a reason, but I doubt anyone besides a religion scholar would balk if you described what’s happened to the image of Reagan on the right as “deification.”

    Hell, this is an American thing. When Washington died, the sort of crap that went on seemed like a national ritual to elevate him to godhood. I’m not joking.

  165. jukeboxgrad says:

    But to talk about Republicans deifying their candidates? It just doesn’t happen.

    Link:

    God is clearing the field for Ted Cruz and Rand Paul in 2016

    Note the image of them with halos and wings.

  166. Pinky says:

    @jukeboxgrad: Thanks for citing MoFoPolitics. I see that in the same article he said, “like locusts guided by the hand of God– hordes of illegal immigrants began descending upon the southern border in human waves…”. That’s exactly the kind of lunatic I was expecting you to cite.

  167. gVOR08 says:

    @CSK: Thanks. lucianne.com linked to CNN:

    “Heidi Cruz, the wife of the newly announced Republican presidential candidate, is on unpaid leave from from her executive post at Goldman Sachs for the duration of her husband’s presidential campaign, and will not receive company benefits — including health insurance — during this time, a Goldman spokesperson told CNN.

    It’s unclear what health care plan the Texas senator will choose while his wife is on leave from Goldman. Cruz’s spokespeople didn’t immediately return requests for this information.

    Lawmakers generally are required to receive insurance through Obamacare unless they’re able to obtain coverage from another source. Cruz has built a political brand by vocally opposing that system. If he were to go on the congressional health care plan, he could encounter plenty of criticism.”

    I imagine one of his backers will step in with coverage somehow. But in the meantime, much hilarity may ensue from this example or Cruz’s planning skills.

  168. jukeboxgrad says:

    That’s exactly the kind of lunatic I was expecting you to cite.

    You said this:

    But to talk about Republicans deifying their candidates? It just doesn’t happen.

    I guess you meant to say “it just doesn’t happen except when it happens.” Thanks for clearing that up.

  169. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Yes, because one couldn’t tell Haley’s or Jindal’s ethnic origins just by their appearance, and need to hear their birth names.

    Personally, I think it’s rude to call someone by a name other than they have chosen. (Yes, I do it here quite a bit; I don’t mind being rude here. And I’ve lost track of A) the names I’ve been called, and B) the other people called by my name.) So if Piyush prefers “Bobby,” I’ll call him Bobby. For one, it’s easier for me to pronounce.

    But why don’t you once again demonstrate the incredibly acute and insightful psychological training you’ve demonstrated time and again and tell us why you demand that others adopt ethnic identities so strongly? Why do you need to insist that these people label themselves as hyphenated Americans? What is your great need to make others wear labels?

    And do you practice what you preach? Do you fully embrace your own ethnic heritage at every opportunity? Do you make absolutely certain that every single person you encounter recognizes that aspect of you first and foremost?

    I’d have to say not, because you’ve been remarkably un-ethnic in your comments here. Unless, of course, “ahole-American” is now a recognized ethnic identity.

  170. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Pinky:

    Wouldn’t a Republican (or, for that matter, anyone …) who deifies a political candidate sort of be a lunatic by definition?

  171. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    You, as usual, completely sidestepped the point in the rush to go off on another one of your tangent rants.

    If race is such a non-issue, and we’re such an accepting group of folks here in the US, then why adopt Anglo sounding names in the first place?

    Are they ashamed of their heritage, or do they just think that Americans are going to respond more favorably to a politician named “Nikki” than one named “Nimrata”?

    In either case – why? …

  172. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Do you fully embrace your own ethnic heritage at every opportunity? Do you make absolutely certain that every single person you encounter recognizes that aspect of you first and foremost?

    LOL, if you knew my name, you know that it isn’t a mystery to anybody who hears it that I’m Jewish.

    Oddly, I didn’t feel the need to change it into something more palatable for the Baptists …

  173. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @HarvardLaw92: If race is such a non-issue, and we’re such an accepting group of folks here in the US, then why adopt Anglo sounding names in the first place?

    You’re the one who is bringing it up, so I’d say it’s a major issue for you.

    And I have no idea why Piyush and Nimrata adopted the nicknames they did. Maybe they got tired of hearing their names mispronounced. Maybe they wanted to more fully embrace the culture of the land where they were born. Maybe they got tired of spell correctors trying to “fix” their names.

    Hell, maybe Piyush really admired Bobby Fisher or Bobby Orr, and Nimrata idolized Nikki Sixx or Nikki Heat.

    Barack Obama went by “Barry” for years. Why don’t you ask him why? Why is Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz best known as “Jon Stewart?” What was he trying to hide? What was he denying?

  174. grumpy realist says:

    @al-Ameda: Yes, the Republicans use the argument “you’re a mooching slave if you don’t vote for us!” and then complain when people….don’t vote for them.

    It’s the same arrogance that worries so many of us about Cruz. The guy doesn’t seem to understand that it’s quite possibly that he might be wrong about something. Not so drastic an error when you’re arguing in front of a judge (hey, your client loses), but definitely dangerous when it comes to playing chicken with Russia and the nuclear launch codes.

  175. george says:

    @KM:

    Cruz is legitimate the way Obama is legitimate. To argue for one is to invariably argue for the other. Yes, they are both eligible for the exact same reasons. No, you won’t hear birthers say that aloud.

    Oddly enough it seems some birthers are being consistent and claiming Cruz isn’t eligible – consistently wrong of course, but consistent, Trump and Orly Taitz among them.

  176. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    You’re the one who is bringing it up, so I’d say it’s a major issue for you.

    Says the guy who opened with:

    remember, Cruz is a white Hispanic, not a real Hispanic.

    It really shouldn’t be this easy …

  177. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @george:

    Why bother fighting Republicans when you can get Republicans to fight each other instead?

  178. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @HarvardLaw92: It’s easy when you cheat. You omitted the part where I cited NPR as giving that extremely rare label to Cruz. And I am unaware of NR having a significant right-wing bias…

  179. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    So, you don’t think that Cruz is a white Hispanic, but is instead a real Hispanic?

  180. SKI says:

    @Jack: Change of subject. Your statement was flat out wrong. You may not think there is anything wrong with denying healthcare based on insurability or ability to pay but that isn’t what you said.

  181. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @HarvardLaw92: I think he’s American. I don’t get hung up on labels.

    But I do find it interesting to see who does obsess over them… and in the entertaining ways they tie themselves up in knots when their political agendas cross.

  182. SKI says:

    @Jack: Let me know the free clinics that do chemo…

  183. Monala says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: I usually don’t agree with you, but I agree with you here. Call people what they want to be called. That’s basic respect.

    Btw, I read somewhere that Bobby Jindal chose his nickname from Bobby Brady, because he really liked The Brady Bunch as a kid. Not sure if that is true or not.

    OTOH, “white Hispanic” is very much a real thing. On the U.S. Census and most official forms that ask about race, individuals are asked to identify both their ethnicity (Latino/Hispanic or not), and their race (which, as some have noted above, can be any number of things for someone whose ethnicity is Hispanic).

  184. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I don’t get hung up on labels.

    Of course you don’t. Labels hinder the myth of the post-racial society you guys seem to be so fond of.

    In truth, you’re the one tying yourself up in knots trying to score points against strangers on the internet you evidently detest. I suppose that in your sad existence that must be somewhat validating.

    You don’t seem to have figured out that we don’t take you seriously. I couldn’t care any less about Cruz’s candidacy, or how he chooses to characterize his ethnic heritage, for one simple reason – he has no hope of being nominated, so I don’t take him seriously either.

    He’s useful because he’s damaging to his own party’s political viability. You’re useful because you’re fun to play games with.

    But we don’t take either one of you seriously.

    You know that old adage about “when you can’t spot the patsy at the poker table, you’re the patsy”?

    Nice to meet you, Patsy 😀

  185. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Monala: Huh. Apparently, you’re right — he said that in an interview with 60 Minutes.

    Could’ve been worse. He could have gone by “Beaver” or “Gilligan.”

  186. Monala says:

    @Hazelrah: I remember reading that this was a tradition in 19th century (?) England, to do just that: take a nickname and change the first letter, to create a new nickname. It’s why Peg is a nickname for Margaret: Margaret = Meg = Peg.

  187. Just 'nutha' ig'rant cracker says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Problem is “white Hispanic” is not a particularly “rare” designation. Not everything that you haven’t heard (or claim not to have heard) is “extremely rare.” Don’t feel bad, it happens to all of us.

  188. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Monala: I read once that the name that has the largest number of common nicknames is “Elizabeth.”

    My personal favorite comes from the comic strip “For Better Or For Worse.” The bratty teenage boy calls his sister “Lizard-Breath.”

  189. Just 'nutha' ig'rant cracker says:

    While I’m thinking about it, what’s up with that looking to the sky and’or down his nose at people pose with his head tilted back? Doen’t he realize how elitist it makes him look?

    And don’t tell me that it’s the camera angle the photographer chooses, I’ve seen him on C-Span doing the same thing in Congress.

  190. Pinky says:

    Pierre DuPont, Newton Gingrich, William Jefferson Blythe III, Hillary Rodham Rodham-Clinton Clinton…politicians and normal people do this all the time. (BTW, jukeboxgrad, if you mention someone who didn’t change his name, it’ll totally disprove my statement that people do this all the time.)

  191. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Just ‘nutha’ ig’rant cracker: Problem is “white Hispanic” is not a particularly “rare” designation. Not everything that you haven’t heard (or claim not to have heard) is “extremely rare.” Don’t feel bad, it happens to all of us.

    I’m not surprised; as I said, I find the topic slightly tedious, and tend to be a bit out of the loop on the finer nuances of the extremely stupid topic of “how do we best divide up people?”

    Could you cite some other people besides Cruz and Zimmerman who’ve been called “white Hispanics?” Just a few examples would be nice.

  192. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Hmm … David Farragut, Rita Hayworth, Martin Sheen, Raquel Welch, Cameron Diaz …

  193. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @HarvardLaw92: After I posted my request, I went Googling, and found this Wikipedia article. Judging by your (unattributed) list, it looks like you did the same thing, because you cited four of them in the same order.

    Now how about a reference from “the wild,” such as “Cameron Diaz, the noted White Hispanic actress?”

    Also on that list, just for fun: Ramón Antonio Gerardo Estévez, Jo Raquel Tejada, Margarita Carmen Cansino, Enrique Martín Morales, Andrés Arturo García Menéndez, and Miguel López-Alegría. Why don’t you ask them why they all changed their names before they became famous as
    “White Hispanics?”

  194. Rafer Janders says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Hmm … David Farragut, Rita Hayworth, Martin Sheen, Raquel Welch, Cameron Diaz …

    Ted Williams (yes, the Ted Williams — his mother was Mexican), Charlie Sheen, Emilio Estevez, Hulk Hogan, Valeria Mazza, Alexis Bledel, Cristina Aguilera, Christy Turlington, Vanna White, Aubrey Plaza, Henry Ian Cusick (the Scottish guy from “Lost”), Louis C.K., Oscar Isaac, etc. etc. etc.

  195. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Let’s take a look at that list, shall we?

    David Farragut: father from Spain, mother from North Carolina, of Scotch-Irish descent.

    Rita Hayworth: Born Margarita Carmen Cansino, father from Spain, mother of Irish-English descent.

    Martin Sheen: born Ramón Antonio Gerardo Estévez, father from Spain, mother from Ireland.

    Cameron Diaz: Father of Cuban discent, mother Scots-Irish-German.

    So, by your list, “White Hispanic” is most likely to refer to people of partial Spanish descent with no connection whatsoever to Latin America….

  196. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    So, by your list, “White Hispanic” is most likely to refer to people of partial Spanish descent with no connection whatsoever to Latin America….

    Ted Willams — mother from Mexico

    Hulk Hogan — part-Panamanian.

    Louis C.K — born and raised in Mexico.

    Oscar Isaac — Guatemalan and Cuban.

    Alexis Bledel — paternal family from Argentina

    Valeria Mazza — from Argentina

    Christy Turlingon — mother from El Salvador.

    Etc. etc. etc.

  197. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Cameron Diaz: Father of Cuban discent, mother Scots-Irish-German. So, by your list, “White Hispanic” is most likely to refer to people of partial Spanish descent with no connection whatsoever to Latin America….

    You’re aware that Cuba is part of Latin America, right….?

  198. Pinky says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: You’re never going to win this one, because these days everyone is being classified according to race (as our post-racial society is obsessed with it). So, you name the person, you’re going to be able to find some reference to their race. The internet is a picture of how we think today.

  199. Rafer Janders says:

    @Pinky:

    You’re never going to win this one, because these days everyone is being classified according to race

    Yes, it’s no longer like America was back in the 1960s and 1950s, when no one cared about what race you were so long as you were white and Protestant and of English descent….

  200. Pinky says:

    @Rafer Janders: Things are worse than they were 10-15 years ago.

  201. Scott says:

    @Rafer Janders: This is fun! Desi Arnaz

  202. Tillman says:

    I remember how ten years ago we all knew Irish people were white but we didn’t know Argentinians weren’t silver.

  203. Monala says:

    @Pinky: No, President Obama’s election just brought a lot of underground, simmering racism to the surface.

    I used to participate in a religion forum, starting in the early days of GWB’s presidency. Since that was the primary topic, political discussions were kept to a minimum, although it was generally known who were the liberals and who were the conservatives on the forum.

    That all changed starting in 2008. Suddenly, politics came to dominate discussions, and people whom I never would have suspected of being racist began to let loose with the most offensive comments about Obama in particular and black people in general.

  204. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Rafer Janders: Yes, Rafer, “most likely,” as in “three of the four examples cited.” Maybe the math is a bit advanced for you, but 3/4 is “most.”

  205. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Tillman: I remember how ten years ago we all knew Irish people were white but we didn’t know Argentinians weren’t silver.

    It took me a moment to catch that one, but bravo, sir. That one was very well played.

    Now you’re going to tell me that people from the Ivory Coast aren’t white…

  206. Matt says:

    @Jack: My ex fiancee was several times as she had ITP as a youth. The few that were willing to cover her quoted some seriously ridiculous rates.

    Didn’t matter that her white blood count has been good for a decade.

    Oh wait you’re probably one of those fools that thinks emergency rooms are there for that. So you want her to wait till it’s so bad that the costs of fixing it will be astronomically higher than if she had basic health insurance so she can go to the ER? You’re nuts.

    You do realize you’re advocating the worst possible method of health care right? The worst results possible along with the highest costs possible.

  207. Blue Galangal says:

    @wr: yup, Mohun. Well written, and she keeps all the balls in the air pretty effectively. But she comes out of Case, so we would expect that.

    She’s got a good narrow focus and an abundance of comparative opportunities. She sticks mainly to technology, business/economy, and labor relations, using gender as a lens. Laundry is one of the few domestic technologies that became industrialised and commodified and then went back into the home.

    And no, I didn’t think at all that you were implying it wasn’t interesting; I just have a defensive habit that stems from seeing many eyes glaze over when I say my field is the history of technology!

  208. Blue Galangal says:

    @Tillman: ha, do I have some book recs for you…

    A Social History of the Machine Gun – Ellis
    Railroads in the Civil War: The Impact of Management on Victory and Defeat – Clark
    Hiroshima: The World’s Bomb – Rotter

    These are all readable; in fact, I finished Clark in less than three hours on a plane ride, couldn’t put it down. And I’m not a Civil War buff.

    A little bit drier but a book that has stuck with me since my undergrad experience as far as informing me about Iranian history: The Story of the Daughters of Quchan – Najmabadi.

    There’s a book on my list about Recoding Gender/Women in Computing but I wont rec it as I’ve not read it yet.

    And have you read the (non history) book Reality Is Broken? It’s about video games and human thought. My son must have borrowed it cause it’s not here to give you the author but it’s fascinating.

  209. Simon Dodd says:

    I am anything but a birther; my co-blogger Pat and I wrote defenses of John McCain against proto-birther attacks as early as February 2008, and we did so resting on much the same materials (principally Blackstone) adduced by Katyal & Clement here. I’ve subsequently defended Rubio’s eligibility using the same materials. I also acknowledge the pedigree of those men, and must say that I am not coming here to argue that Cruz is ineligible.

    But for all that, I do not think the case nearly so open-and-shut as some people are claiming, and I do not think that it’s healthy that our first reaction to a potential problem is to associate it with some knuckle-dragging simpletons who have pressed a similar concern in a different context. Even a broken clock is right twice every day.

    With that in mind, while I think much of Katyal & Clement’s piece is pretty good, their idée fixe is problematic, and that’s where I have trouble with it. They insist that the test is what the term “natural-born” meant under English law (which is correct) and that anyone who is a citizen from birth meets this test. But that’s not right as a matter of English law, and it’s problematic as a matter of Constitutional law.

    As to the first: At common-law, the natural-born subject was one born within the king’s realm, but statutes had afforded natural-born status to children of Englishmen born beyond the realm if they were there on the king’s errand—ambassadors, for example. Statutes went further: All children born abroad might be counted as natural-born “provided both their parents were at the time of the birth in allegiance to the king, and the mother had passed the seas by her husband’s consent,” says Blackstone, and by the time of the framing, all children born abroad might generally be counted as natural-born provided their “fathers were natural-born subjects….” But Cruz’s situation does not fit squarely within that, because it was his mother who was the natural-born citizen; his father was not even a naturalized citizen by that time. How would English law have weighed these distinctions? I don’t know. Therein lies the rub.

    As to the second, I want to suggest two problems with Katyal & Clement’s position. In some circumstances, Congress has provided that certain persons may be made citizens in adulthood; those people are naturalized citizens. In other circumstances, Congress has provided that certain other persons become citizens at birth; those people, say Katyal & Clement, are not naturalized citizens, but natural-born. The first difficulty here: What about people who become citizens by virtue of 8 USC 1401(f)? Does section 1401(f) make naturalized citizens or natural-born citizens? What if the child is four years old? What if the child is four days? Can the answer be different depending on the age of the child? It would have to be according to Katyal & Clement, but why, and where is the cutoff?

    And the second difficulty: If Congress can make natural-born citizens, it has the power to delete the natural-born requirement. Katyal & Clement’s position is that by making certain people citizens from birth, it has made them not naturalized citizens but natural-born citizens; but suppose—and the answer can’t be that the hypothetical is too extreme—that Congress passed a law stating that any person born anywhere are U.S. Citizens from birth. Is anyone in the world then potentially eligible to be President? If you adhere to Katyal & Clement’s theory, you must say yes. Or perhaps a more plausible hypothetical: Imagine that there were to be a particularly war-torn small country, Elbonia, and Congress passed a law making all persons born in Elbonia became U.S. Citizens from birth, hoping to rescue as much of the population as possible. Are all Elbonians thereby made potentially eligible to be President? If you adhere to Katyal & Clement’s theory, you must say yes.

    In fine, I do not take the position that Cruz is ineligible. Katyal & Clement go some way toward suggesting that he is, their article is pretty good, and it’s certainly using the right materials (which, ironically, many of those laymen now defending Cruz have rejected out-of-hand). I don’t know whether he is or not. But I do think that the question is more difficult than it is being given credit for, and it does seem to me to be quite pathetic if our reason for refusing to engage with it is that a few kooks made a similar argument about someone else eight years ago.

  210. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Simon Dodd:

    The first difficulty here: What about people who become citizens by virtue of 8 USC 1401(f)? Does section 1401(f) make naturalized citizens or natural-born citizens? What if the child is four years old? What if the child is four days? Can the answer be different depending on the age of the child? It would have to be according to Katyal & Clement, but why, and where is the cutoff?

    Please tell me you aren’t a lawyer. If you are, call up your law school and demand a refund.

    While you’re waiting for that one, how about you read the very first line of 8 U.S. § 1401. It answers your question:

    The following shall be nationals and citizens of the United States at birth:

    Then read 1401(f). It’s not vague. Found while under the age of five = citizen by birth until / unless proven to have been born elsewhere. Found while over the age of five = no dice, sorry.

    Glad to have been able to help. Where do I send the bill?

  211. Simon Dodd says:

    Hi HarvardLaw92; while your condescension is much-appreciated, when the thrill of it fades, you might notice that you didn’t address the question posed. By reciting the language of the statute—don’t knock it, that was beyond Justice Brennan—you have very clearly established that a person whose citizenship rests on section 1401(f) is a citizen. But the question was whether that person is a natural-born citizen or a naturalized citizen.

  212. Tillman says:

    @Blue Galangal: Haven’t read Reality Is Broken, but I have heard of it. I recall thinking it was making a similar point to Everything Bad Is Good For You, but if instead of a section of a book they wrote the whole book on video games.

    God I have so many books to read…

  213. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Simon Dodd: what part of “shall be citizens … at birth” is unclear to you?

    Helpful hint – I have very little, if any, patience with armchair lawyers. Don’t take it personally.

  214. Simon Dodd says:

    @HL92 Nothing at all. It’s very clear. Notice, however, your assumption that “citizens … at birth” = “natural-born.” So you’re still addressing the wrong question. That assumption may be right, I don’t know, but it is an assumption, and it assumes the answer to the precise question at issue: Would the founders have understood English law to make that equivalency? That is (as Katyal & Clement concede) the test; I don’t know the answer to that, but whatever the answer is, it won’t come from misplaced scorn.

  215. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Simon Dodd:

    It’s not an assumption. Our 14th Amendment confers citizenship at birth to any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States who is born in the US.

    Now, “subject to the jurisdiction of the United States” is misleading, because anyone located on US soil is held to be subject to US jurisdiction except in the instance of diplomats and Native Americans. Everybody else – it applies.

    Common law as argued by Katyal and Clement is immaterial, IMO. The Constitution supersedes common law, as does any enacted federal statute which is applicable to an area previously covered by common law, and the 14th Amendment is quite clear with regard to citizenship by birth.

    Article 1, Section 8 empowers Congress to establish laws governing citizenship (yes, I know that it says naturalization. It’s held to mean matters of citizenship policy across the board). Congress has enacted the Immigration and Naturalization Act to address these matters.

    In the instance of 8 USC 1401(f), Congress has mandated that any child under the age of five whose parentage can not be determined, when found in the United States, shall be considered to have been born in the US, and to acquire citizenship by birth under the auspices of the 14th Amendment as a result, unless / until such time as it may be established that the child was actually born outside of the US, providing that this determination is made prior to the time that the child reaches the age of 21. If the child reaches 21 and no determination has been established, he/she is free and clear. They’re a citizen by birth for life.

    Again, there is no ambiguity there. The test conditions are:

    Child under the age of five
    Found in the US
    Parents unknown

    If those conditions are met, the child is held to have been born in the US and acquires citizenship by birth. From that date, until the child’s 21st birthday, the government may prove to the satisfaction of a court that the child was not born within the US. If the government successfully proves this, then the child’s status must be evaluated under the other provisions of sections 1401 to 1409.

    If the newly determined facts establish that the child meets the conditions of some other provision of those sections for citizenship by birth, then the child retains his/her birthright citizenship, otherwise the child is no longer a US citizen. If the child reaches the age of 21 without such facts having been proven, the child is a citizen by birth for the remainder of his/her natural life.

    There are only two types of citizenship defined by US law – citizenship by birth and citizenship by naturalization. Citizenship by birth does = natural born citizen. This is well established in case law, specifically Perkins v. Elg, 307 U.S. 325 (1939). Quoting:

    Steinkauler is a native-born American citizen. There is no law of the United States under which his father or any other person can deprive him of his birthright. He can return to America at the age of twenty-one, and in due time, if the people elect, he can become President of the United States.

    Under citizenship by birth, we recognize two equal and equivalent types – jus sanguinus (citizenship by virtue of blood) and jus soli (citizenship by virtue of soil, i.e. territory).

    Sections 1401 through 1409 concerns themselves with establishing the limits of the class of people who are granted citizenship at birth and selected groups who are collectively naturalized as a population. Note that collectively naturalized is NOT citizenship by birth.

    I am not sure what is confusing you here.

  216. Kylopod says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Why is Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz best known as “Jon Stewart?” What was he trying to hide? What was he denying?

    Jon Stewart was following a tradition of Jewish entertainers who try to WASPify their names. Probably the majority of Jews in early Hollywood did this (e.g. Nathan Birnbaum became George Burns, Benjamin Kubelsky became Jack Benny, Jacob Garfinkle became John Garfield, Moses Horowitz became Moe Howard, and so on). Partly this was motivated by a fear of not being accepted by the public, and partly by a genuine belief in assimilation (the distinguished producer David Selznick once remarked, “I am an American and not a Jew”). This tendency gradually faded as Jews were increasingly accepted into the American mainstream. Performers of Jon Stewart’s generation and later really don’t have any reason to change their name in this way, and most don’t; plenty of contemporary entertainers have distinctly Jewish-sounding names, from Jerry Seinfeld to Jeff Goldblum, and it’s hard to argue that it stood in the way of their success. But, as they say, old habits die hard, so you still have the occasional Jon Stewart or Jason Alexander choosing their stage name as if it were still the 1930s. Since neither of those men has ever done much to hide their Jewishness, my only guess is that it was an agent who told them to change it early in their career, and they followed this dubious advice.

  217. Barry says:

    @KM: “Cruz is legitimate the way Obama is legitimate. To argue for one is to invariably argue for the other. Yes, they are both eligible for the exact same reasons. No, you won’t hear birthers say that aloud.”

    And you won’t hear the MSM (those liberals!) say that either, or comment on how many Birthers dropped that for Cruz.

    You won’t also will rarely hear the MSM discuss Cruzerism without derogatory remarks about the Cruzerisers, and they will never justify discussing it on the grounds that ‘people are talking about it, so there is a news story there’.

  218. Barry says:

    (evil duplicate terminated)

  219. Barry says:

    @grumpy realist: “I warn you, 99% of US women will crawl over broken glass to vote against whatever putz makes that argument.”

    No, probably 60-70%.

    Which would be enough.

  220. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    I’m just curious where all the commentary about how Cruz would be the first Hispanic to be president. (Or even “White Hispanic.”) We got tons of that talk in 2008 about “the first black president” and “the first woman president,” but apparently these sorts of milestones only count when it’s the token figure has a (D) after their name.

  221. Kylopod says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    We got tons of that talk in 2008 about “the first black president” and “the first woman president,” but apparently these sorts of milestones only count when it’s the token figure has a (D) after their name.

    Or, it has to do with whether the candidate is commonly viewed as a plausible winner. The phrase “first black president” wasn’t exactly bandied about when Al Sharpton was running in 2004.

  222. Mikey says:

    @Kylopod:

    The phrase “first black president” wasn’t exactly bandied about when Al Sharpton was running in 2004.

    Well, Bill Clinton already had that, so…

  223. Lenoxus says:

    @Kylopod: Although it does fit a tradition, Jon Stewart’s specific reason for the name change was being on bad terms with his father. He has never hidden his Jewishness and in fact brings it up whenever it’s relevant on his show (for example, when discussing Israeli politics).

    Anyway, it should be clarified that when liberal-types are teasing conservatives about Republicans who go by “less ethnic” names, the target of criticism isn’t those Republicans themselves, but a society (and more specifically, a large subset of Republican voters) who seemingly treats people better if they have done so, and worse if their names are too “foreign”. (Numerous studies certainly support this when it comes to job applications, for example.)

    In fact, some Jenos comments strongly imply that a name change should be seen as a laudable way of demonstrating an embrace of America and its values, and of not rubbing one’s ethnicity in people’s face as if it’s what really matters (per the bad liberal agenda of labeling and dividing people instead of having us just be Americans). I now have a new perspective on those who snidely call the president “Barry” — in at least some cases, they’re not trying to paint him as shifty, so much as suggesting that if he’d stuck with Barry, he’d be signaling patriotism instead of anti-colonialism or whatever.

  224. Simon Dodd says:

    @HL92 It is an assumption, and it’s one that you seem to be having trouble getting past. There’s surely an irony here: You seem certain of Katyal & Clement’s conclusion but doubt their methodology; I am certain of their methodology but am less sure of their conclusions. English law–“at common law” is shorthand–at the time of the framing is perhaps “immaterial” if you’re not an originalist, but for thirty years the conservative legal movement has been originalist through and through, and both Ted Cruz and I are sons of that movement. The content of the adjectival phrase “natural-born,” a term-of-art in English law, draws its content from that law because that is what the founding generation would have understood it to mean. Perhaps I am wrong to think that their understanding was formed by Blackstone (although given that Scalia and Rehnquist insisted so for years, I don’t think I’m wrong), but it was certainly not formed by an amendment adopted nearly a century after the fact, nor by a statute enacted by Congress a century after that. And so you may be right that “[t]here are only two types of citizenship defined by US law,” but what you’re not getting is that the content of the constitution is not determined by the content of the American law of today. For that, we look to the original understanding, which means looking to the English law of the late eighteenth century, which does not track the current state of federal law.

  225. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Simon Dodd:

    but what you’re not getting is that the content of the constitution is not determined by the content of the American law of today. For that, we look to the original understanding,

    I’m not sure where you got this idea that the Constitution is locked in time with regard to what the people sitting in a room in Philadelphia thought its mandates meant when they wrote it. We call that originalism, and it has been pretty thoroughly rejected – hence one of the (many) reasons Scalia has been reduced to bitter rants in dissent for the majority of his career. It sounds to me like you are trying to initiate a backdoor discussion about the legitimacy of originalism, and you are absolutely not going to find any consideration of that position from me. It’s bunk.

    The sole determining authority with regard to what the verbiage contained in the Constitution means is SCOTUS – they interpret it, and their interpretations become fact.

    They interpreted “natural born” to mean “citizen by birth” in Perkins v. Elg. That ruling is still operative precedent. Only they can overturn it – and they have not done so, ergo it is fact. “Natural born citizen” = “citizen by virtue of birth”

  226. Just 'nutha' ig'rant cracker says:

    @Pinky: Nno, they’re not. And they certainly not worse than they were 40-60 years ago.

  227. grumpy realist says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Scalia’s interpretation of originalism seems to boil down to “anything I say it is”, which also doesn’t help originalism’s reputation.

  228. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Agreed, and to an extent I think that demonstrates the utterly implausibility of originalism as a legal theory. If someone as undoubtedly brilliant as Scalia can’t find a way to consistently apply it, no one can – because it doesn’t work.

    My go to example in that regard is Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. An originalist understanding of the 14th Amendment would force any intellectually consistent originalist to vote to uphold segregation. After all, I think we can be pretty certain that had the 14th Amendment been thought, in 1868, to have debarred segregation of public schools, it would never have been ratified.

    It’s death knell, for me anyway, was Scalia invoking substantive due process (which he has spent his life railing against) as the basis for his reasoning in McDonald v. City of Chicago. If he’s thrown in the towel, which he essentially did, it’s over. The Federalists can sit in their star chambers and sulk if it gets them through the day, but they’ve lost.

  229. Simon Dodd says:

    @HL92, Perkins has absolutely no relevance to this. It is concerned with citizenship and loss thereof in the context of the Fourteenth Amendment; it neither says nor purports to say anything about the peculiar context of Article II. Your invocation of it is, ironically, rather like the birthers’ invocation of cases like Minor and Wong Kim Ark–“here’s a case that mentions the magic words, CLEARLY it settles the question!” And of course they overread those cases and misapply them to a question far from their holding, just as you’re doing with Perkins.

    But you have now showed your hand. Obviously if you’re a non-originalist, I will certainly concede that you are free to make up whatever hogwash you like. I absolutely concur with you on this point: We are not going to have a debate here about originalism; if you have absented yourself on that point, more fool you. For the rest of us, for those of us who are originalists, the meaning of the clause is to be found by looking to the English law that stands behind its words, and the answer to that question is not at all clear.

  230. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Simon Dodd:

    Perkins has absolutely no relevance to this

    Really? SCOTUS opines that a native-born citizen (born in Missouri) to alien parents (subjects of Prussia) who was subsequently taken to Prussia and then acquired German citizen/subject status is still eligible to return to the US and be elected president, but you think that to be immaterial?

    On what basis did they determine that Steinkauler was eligible to be elected president? What was the basis of their reasoning in that regard, given that the Constitution stipulates that only natural born citizens or persons who were citizens at the time of the adoption of the Constitution? Note – all the members of that second class have been dead for close to 200 years now, so it is a null set. In fact, the only way that Steinkauler could possibly have been determined by SCOTUS as eligible to be elected president is if “natural born citizen” = “citizen by birth”.

    Or are you just asserting that the ruling has no meaning because you do not like what it concludes?

  231. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Simon Dodd:

    We are not going to have a debate here about originalism

    On that point, you are indeed correct. We aren’t. You’ll find a decided rejection of your legal theories – and varying degrees of ridicule for the same – on this forum.

    Might I suggest going here instead? I think you’ll be happier there.

  232. Monala says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Tim Scott was referred to as “the first black Senator from the South since reconstruction.”

  233. Barry says:

    @HarvardLaw92: “We call that originalism, and it has been pretty thoroughly rejected – hence one of the (many) reasons Scalia has been reduced to bitter rants in dissent for the majority of his career. ”

    And hasn’t Scalia rewritten ‘originalism’ to mean ‘whatever I want?’ (with some honorable exceptions).

  234. An Interested Party says:

    but apparently these sorts of milestones only count when it’s the token figure has a (D) after their name.

    That’s awfully rich considering the Democratic Party has scores of people of color both as politicians and as a large section of the party’s voting base…meanwhile, the GOP only seems to trot out people of color as tokens…

  235. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Barry:

    Oh G-d yes. Gonzales v. Raich. District of Columbia v. Heller. McDonald v. City of Chicago. The list goes on and on.

    The primary example that we tend to focus on is his treatment of Wickard v. Filburn. He’s against it as wrongly decided one day, then in love with it the next when he’s citing it as precedent. The guy could give Romney lessons in flip-flopping.

  236. grumpy realist says:

    @Simon Dodd: Read the friggin’ Constitution, you idiot!