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January 30, 2010

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Of course, it must be considered that, when Obama crosses into Republican philosophical territory, Republicans have no partisan reason to assume he's not lying through his teeth. And so, they're not going to cooperate in being played.

@Brett: People might lie, but bills don't. You don't get 'played' by legislation. Either the small business tax credits being offered are essentially the same as the ones the Republicans have advocated, or they aren't. If they aren't, then they should explain how they want to make them better; their efforts on this score seem pretty weak. If they are, but they now oppose them, then it's blindingly obvious that they care about obstructionism more than consistency--let alone about their constituents.

Um, paygo was put to a vote in the Senate. And every single GOP senator voted against it.

Either way, Pence's argument against tax cuts wasn't that Obama wasn't serious about them. It was that they are bad policy.

That doesn't make any sense at all.

And the national review lamenting the cuts in NASA funding were doing so because...they didn't really think Obama was going to cut NASA...so they argued against the thing he wasn't going to really do so that they wouldn't get played when he didn't do it.

Wow. My head hurts.

The only sensible reason for Obama to lie about supporting these measures would be to make Republicans looks foolish and obstructionist by reflexively opposing them just because they were proposed by Obama. So which course of action should the Republicans take to avoid "being played"?

Unfortunately, the Noise Machine(tm) doesn't do, or even abide, thoughtful analysis or common sense.
All the Foxniks(tm) are hearing is "That nazi socialist is f***ing with you again. He's gonna' take away the Humvee that you'll really never be able to afford if you live to be 110. He's gonna' send marshalls to make your own personal doctor do abortions on pregnant nuns. He's gonna' force all your cousins to marry nigra homos instead of each other."
Look: I know that all of us old farts tend to think things were better in the old days ("Uphill in a blizzard both ways to school, barefoot, and we liked it!"). But damn, i can't believe that the congresses the presidents of my youth (Eisenhower, JFK, LBJ) had to deal with could have had that many objectively stupid members. I just can't.

BTW, all praise to Larison. We probably don't agree on 80% of the solutions for the country, but at least the man can THINK!

"You don't get 'played' by legislation."

Actually, quite often you do, when the legislation authorizes something, but doesn't mandate it. It's amazing how an administration can just not get around to implementing the parts of a bill that were the opposition's price for supporting it. And, of course, the "playing" can consist of making the desired change an amendment to something you consider flat out awful; You vote for the amendment declaring that mayo is better than ketchup, and get attacked for refusing to eat the resulting sh*t sandwich with mayo.

No, sorry, you guys have some partisan motive for pretending Obama is to SOME extent trustworthy. Republicans have absolutely no motive for trusting him, if there's any way at all they could be screwed over.

@Brett: And those are two things no Republican administration has ever done or would do, of course. But the main point here is still Eric's: Pence et al. didn't say Obama is a lying snake. They argued against policies they previously endorsed. Why oh why could they have changed their minds, I wonder?

But in any case, your version of the Republican logic is pretty clear. If Obama advances something you don't agree with, then obstruct because you don't agree with it. If he advances something you do agree with, then obstruct because he's insincere. Under no circumstances attempt to negotiate to get parts of what you want adopted; you'll just end up getting obscurely 'played'. If you've already decided on the outcome you want, it really doesn't matter how you get there, does it?

Re: Daniel Larison

He is a member in what the Southern Poverty Law Center calls a hate group, the League of the South.

I suppose he "can think" but what are we to think?

I've posed this question a lot when his name is brought up as a "role model" conservative.

The kookiness negates, at least for me, any other postive charateristics that people choose to see in him.

http://larison.org/2008/01/16/my-noxious-views/
http://www.splcenter.org/intel.....sp?aid=250

Brett, do actually know people who believe that a change to the tax code "authorizes" but doesn't "mandate"?

Do you actually believe that the way to get lower taxes for at least some people is to vote against any bill that doesn't cut taxes for Warren Buffett too?

--TP

Anyway Brett, what about all the tax cuts Obama's already passed? Was he lying about those but...forgot not to implement them?

And as mentioned, Pence is arguing against tax cuts, not that Obama is lying about them.

Sorry, don't make sense.

Actually, quite often you do, when the legislation authorizes something, but doesn't mandate it.

In the case of a bill providing a tax credit for businesses to hire new employees and a tax credit for raising the salaries of existing employees making less than $100,000, please explain to us idiots how to mandate that businesses actually hire those employees. Please do so in small words and without using crayons.

damn, i can't believe that the congresses the presidents of my youth (Eisenhower, JFK, LBJ) had to deal with could have had that many objectively stupid members. I just can't.

i think there were always some - but perhaps not this many - stupid people in congress, but they usually didn't get to be in the leadership (I don't mean mediocre or run-of-the-mill, I mean stupid, like Pence).

The White House and Congress are positioning themselves quite well for November on fiscal issues. Republicans tipped their hat yesterday: they're going to say that the Democrats' tax cuts aren't "across the board tax cuts like we had with Reagan" and thus aren't real tax cuts... the kind that work and magically conjure fairies possessing the power of the laffer curve.

That argument's way too nuanced to possibly work unless the Democrats concede defeat ahead of time. Obama showed that holding your ground on taxes can work; he blatantly ran on a tax plan that cut taxes for most but included some tax hikes... proving that a tax hike isn't a third rail in national politics if you handle it properly.

Then again, the GOP argument that Dems are somehow underhandedly passing healthcare by getting a final reconciliation vote - two majority votes on the back of one majority vote and one supermajority vote - is just as ridiculous and unworkable. Yet, Dems instantly gave way to that argument.

So Republicans aren't capable of figuring out whether the legislation they are voting on authorizes or mandates a given measure?

When responding to Brett's comments, bear in mind that Brett outed himself in September last year as a birther... he is part of the constitency that this kind of "If Obama's doing it, it's BAD" is aimed at.

And, when Jes says I've been outed as a "birther", keep in mind that what she means by that is not that I think Obama isn't a natural born US citizen, (McCain arguably had greater problems in that respect.) but merely that I think Americans have the right to have that clause of the Constitution enforced. And that convincing the NYT doesn't cut it.

Anyway, you're behind the times, Jes. The current fuss is about Obama having multiple Social Security numbers.

One thing I will say for the guy; When a good biography finally comes out, it's going to be a real page turner; His family appears to make your average soap opera look conventional.

His family appears to make your average soap opera look conventional.

Unlike those boring Kennedys and Bushes. But they were different somehow...not quite sure how...

Brett, anything connected with Dr. Orly Taitz, Esq is also connected with Epic Fail.

Getting correct legal details from her is like pulling teeth, it appears.

Actually, I heartily recommend that anyone and everyone so inclined take every utterance of Orly Taitz, verbatim, as fact.

It's a surefire way to increase your credibility and influence.

Please. Keep at it. With gusto!

"Actually, I heartily recommend that anyone and everyone so inclined take every utterance of Orly Taitz, verbatim, as fact."

Really? I certainly wouldn't. But if you want to know what the wingnuts on one side are obsessing about at any given moment, you can hardly do better than to look at what THEY say they're interested in. Right now, it's multiple Social Security numbers.

"You don't get 'played' by legislation."

I give you "No Child Left Behind". Discuss.

Brett: but merely that I think Americans have the right to have that clause of the Constitution enforced

Thanks for confirming you're a birther for the benefit of anyone who doubted it.

bobbyp: I give you "No Child Left Behind". Discuss.

I may be wrong, but was anyone actually fooled by the "No Child Left Behind" legislation?

No, Jes, I'm pretty sure that "birthers" are people who think Obama actually doesn't meet the constitutional requirements to be President, rather than merely thinking that they ought to be enforced.

To be specific, I think Obama ought to be required to prove he meets those requirements, (And convincing a newspaper reporter doesn't count.) and if required to do so, almost certainly will be able to. I'd leave out the "almost" if he hadn't been so determined to avoid doing it.

"Pence called a White House plan to offer tax credits to small businesses the 'Jimmy Carter tax credit,' arguing that it could provide incentives for employers to lay off employees [bold mine-DL]."

Sounds more Ronald Reagan or Bill Clinton to me.

Who could possibly be against a measure -- a pro-business measure -- that might create jobs and pump some life into small business, which we are constantly told is the lifeblood of the economy?

Mike Pence.

Another of the Republicans who are tools and fools.

Who just ought to come out and say: If President Obama pushes it or creates it, it must be bad.

Sad.

@Brett:

"To be specific, I think Obama ought to be required to prove he meets those requirements, (And convincing a newspaper reporter doesn't count.)"

Fine, here goes:

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

I don't really want to go down this hermeneutic rabbit hole, but come on. Is the word of the Hawaii Director of Health not good enough? Or is Chiyome Fukino in on the conspiracy too? To what higher authority would you appeal? And why oh why is such a stringent standard suddenly so very urgent?

Never mind. The last question answers itself.

"I'm pretty sure that 'birthers' are people who think Obama actually doesn't meet the constitutional requirements to be President, rather than merely thinking that they ought to be enforced."

With all due respect, Brett, isn't it long past time that issue (non-issue, to most) be put to bed and, now that a full year has past, judge President Obama on his performance and achievements rather than smoking-gun material and innuendo.

No. There are only two things that "put this to bed":

1. He relents, and presents the requested long form of his birth certificate.

2. The relevant clause of the Constitution gets repealed.

The only thing that lends the complaints even the faint gloss of plausibility at this point is Obama's determination not to put it to bed himself via the first route.

Also, I am beginning to think President Obama likes running fool's errands.

His bi-partisan and post-partisan desires amounted to a whole lot of wasted time in his first year as president.

He can't possibly think he is going to win them over now -- or even be greeted with a measure of reasonableness -- and yet there he was Friday speaking to House members in a sort of town-hall meeting during their annual retreat.

Fool me once . . .

Of course, he does look like the good guy in all of this. But that doesn't put food on the table.

Steve Benen reminds me of something today: Obama has already passed one of the biggest tax cuts in US history. And IMPLEMENTED it!!!!

Yet Brett would have us believe that the GOP is busy slagging the efficacy of tax cuts, and touting the efficicacy of govt. spending because he would never really follow through on a tax cuts.

The only thing I'd have you believe is that, if you think your opposition comes from blithering morons, and you're getting your head handed to you something like half the time, you probably ought to be rethinking that belief.

Brett,

The positions that they're taking are not borne out of their lack of intelligence, but rather a very calculated, cynical political strategy of oppositing EVERYTHING Obama tries to do, to the maximum extent possible, regardless of the substances or merits.

Hence, you have Pence arguing against tax cuts, the NRO arguing the virtues of spending as job creation, every GOP Senator voting AGAINST Paygo, etc.

That's not moronic. That's it's a well calibrated strategy that just might work - given the media's complicity in failing to tell the whole story.

So, to be sure, I'm not suggesting that they're morons. But rather, it was you who suggested that they weren't actually doing what they were doing, but were opposing these policies because...they didn't trust Obama. Riiiiiiggght.

Brett: No, Jes, I'm pretty sure that "birthers" are people who think Obama actually doesn't meet the constitutional requirements to be President, rather than merely thinking that they ought to be enforced.

*shrug* You made clear the last time we had this discussion that you don't like to think of yourself as a birther, while still consistently pushing the birther position that somehow Obama has failed to prove himself a natural-born citizen of the US.

I pointed out that you're a birther to illustrate better that you are the intended audience for this kind of propaganda from the Republican party: that you are regurgitating in this discussion says nothing about how this will play to a wider audience, though it demonstrates how it's intended to play to the birther right-wing.

Actually, quite often you do, when the legislation authorizes something, but doesn't mandate it. It's amazing how an administration can just not get around to implementing the parts of a bill that were the opposition's price for supporting it.

So here's a crazy solution to your mind-boggling dilemma- mandate it rather than authorizing it. Congress can do that, you know. In not even sure what it would mean for Congress to 'authorize but not mandate' a tax cut.
This argument is so amazingly flimsy I don't even think you believe it; you just need a rationale for opposing the things that you ostensibly support. Clearly, you support power- all else is irrelevant.
I can see why the GOP is choosing the "tax cuts are bad" argument against Obama; it's idiotic, but still better than "we cannot ever work with Obama, even if he's trying to do something we like".

No. There are only two things that "put this to bed":
1. He relents, and presents the requested long form of his birth certificate.

Funny, did they have long-form birth certificates in 1789? How does that fulfil the Constitutional requirements, but the short-form along with the ample additional evidence does not?
And why, if you're so certain that Obama does meet these requirments, did you not hold the same opinion about every other president? I don't believe that a single one of them has submitted official proof of birthplace beyond what Obama has provided.

Who asked, before? If somebody had, I'd have agreed they were entitled to see it.

The problem for Brett is that under a republican administration, he can still display his "independent" affectations as long as he mindlessly supports the republican president and still stay on the "good side" of right wingers, but under a Democrat, he is forced to go full bore right wing loon. Why you expect to be taken seriously is anyone's guess. Brett, you are a bush supporter and a birther: who gives a damn what you think?

Shall I quote from my mindless support of Bush, back in 2007, when the subject of impeaching him came up here?

"I've been saying for some time that I'd support impeaching Bush: It can only distract Democrats from doing anything substantiative, and, after all, I can't argue that he hasn't done anything impeachable, even if I tend to disagree with Democrats about the specifics of the charges.

My only points to the contrary have been that, given Democratic opposition to impeaching the equally guilty Clinton, there's not a chance a Democratic impeachment drive would be seen as principled. Mainly because it wouldn't be... You were eager for some impeachment payback long before Bush did anything to merit it. And you do kind of need at least SOME Republicans on board to prevail.

Posted by: Brett Bellmore | July 06, 2007 at 07:08 PM"

If you'd impeached him, I'd have been cheering. That's the degree of my "mindless support".

Brett: Rejecting the ample evidence that Barack Obama was born in Honolulu Hawaii on August 4th 1961 is the very essence of Birtherism.

Among the evidence is his birth certificate and the fact that two Honolulu newspapers published birth announcements.

That you find that evidence insufficient says far more about your judgment than it does about Barack Obama.

" . . . and presents the requested long form of his birth certificate."

Not the biggest fan, I'd still take short-form Barry over long-form GWB on Obama's worst day.

Jes,

You reply: "I may be wrong, but was anyone actually fooled by the "No Child Left Behind" legislation?"

The Senate vote on NCLB broke down as follows....
Democrats: 6 nays (included Wellstone, god rest his soul).
Republicans: 3 nays

But then again, maybe 40+ Democratic US Senators aren't 'anyone', and the way most of them are acting these days, they may be less than nothing.

Thank you for your reply.

Since Obama was never naturalized, if he is not a natural-born citizen, he is not a citizen at all. I seem to recall having to prove my citizenship to the State Department in order to obtain my passport. I presume Obama had to do the same, so I suppose we can add State to the list of conspirators.

BooThisMan: Obama would have had to provide proof of citizenship -- and specifically HOW he got his citizenship (by birth, etc) to run for any political office.

Such as the Senate.

Or to file his taxes. Or to even appear on the Democratic primary ballot.

In short, there are so many places between "I'd like to run for President" and "Swearing the oath of office" where Obama's citizenship by birth was confirmed.

Anyone arguing he 'hasn't proven it' is a tin-foil hat wearing birther, whether they want to admit it or not. They're just trying to hide the crazy a bit.

Who asked, before? If somebody had, I'd have agreed they were entitled to see it.

The Constitution does not contain any reference to how this matter should be adjudicated. This suggests that it would be handled in the court of public opinion.
The court of public opinion appears to have already spoken on the matter, as it has with all presidents prior to Obama.

BooThisMan: The list of conspirators would need to be incredibly long. The State Department, Hawaii's Republican Governor, two Honolulu newspapers, Obama's gradeshool teachers, his grandparents, the Director of Hawaii's Department of Health, a number of federal judges, and the Supreme Court. Presumably this conspiracy began almost 50 years ago, for the purpose of ... something terrible. It's unclear why these conspirators couldn't have picked somebody born with U.S. Citizenship to begin with — that would have been a lot less work.

You guys don't get it. The current President of the United States is not the Barack Obama who was born in Honolulu, but a different man of the same name. And who knows where he was born?

Incidentally, what do you think God did for fun on his first day off? Easy: he planted fossils in the Earth and scattered microwaves in the Heavens; it was His idea of a practical joke.

Oh, and didya hear about the death panels in the health care bill? Yup, right there on page umptywhatsit. You betcha.

And of course, Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11 and shipped all his WMD to Syria just in time to make Dick and Dubya look like idiots. He wasn't just an evil bastard, he was a freaking genius.

By the way, global warming is a hoax. Those fat-cat scientists who say it's real are just doing it to get multi-million dollar bonuses from ... let's see, it must be from the National Science Foundation. Rich pickings, there.

Torture works, the minimum wage is bad for poor people, you can stimulate the economy by cutting spending (except you can't cut Medicare spending, unless you call it an entitlement first), Rush is not a racist and Glenn Beck is not insane.

Now you know.

--TP

bobbyp: But then again, maybe 40+ Democratic US Senators aren't 'anyone', and the way most of them are acting these days, they may be less than nothing

Nope, it was a genuine question. I was wrong: the Senate, at least, got played. (My recollection of the legislation evidently comes primarily from the public-opinion reaction to it.)

Elm, you've nicely explained why I think it extraordinarily unlikely that Obama would not be able to prove that he's a natural born citizen. As I've repeatedly remarked, the only cause for thinking otherwise is that he's spent, what? $1.4 million in legal expenses so far, fighting having to? Why the hell has he done that?

I tend to vacillate between two theories:

1. It's a handy red herring to keep people after, distracting them from something else they might find if they weren't so focused on this.

2. Given the absurd soap opera his family history is, maybe there's something real there, like the real Barrack having died shortly after birth, and being switched for a cousin. I mean, could be, "Days of our Lives" has nothing on the Obama family's plot twists.

But, really? The only reason I defend the birthers is that I really, REALLY hate the idea of Constitutional provisions that the courts won't enforce. If it's in the Constitution, it ought to be enforceable. Period.

Torture works, the minimum wage is bad for poor people, you can stimulate the economy by cutting spending (except you can't cut Medicare spending, unless you call it an entitlement first), Rush is not a racist and Glenn Beck is not insane.

And Brett Bellmore is a libertarian.

Well, apparently Brett had a toad of Damascus moment on Bush (was it "He's not conservative enough?"), but he keeps doubling down on the birther stuff. The guy has gotten progressively crazier as conservatism has become less and less defensible.

"As I've repeatedly remarked, the only cause for thinking otherwise is that he's spent, what? $1.4 million in legal expenses so far, fighting having to?"

This is simply a lie.

Shorter Republican party: if Obama is in favor of it, we're against it.

Been that way from day one, it will be that way as long as Obama's in office.

The current fuss is about Obama having multiple Social Security numbers.

Next week he'll have a long scaly pointed tail. This will be documented by photographic analysis of the back of his pants.

You read it here first.

Thanks for reminding me of all that, TP.

Hate to say it, but the birthers may be right, Hawaii not really counting as a state and all.

If it's in the Constitution, it ought to be enforceable. Period.

Brett, can you excerpt the specific language in the Constitution that you think is not being enforced? I ask because I doubt the documentation requirements in the Constitution are quite as specific as what you seem to think is needed.

As to your vacillation between two theories, you might want to consider something reasonable in lieu of a false choice between goofy conspiracy theories. Of course, that's just my opinion.

As I've repeatedly remarked, the only cause for thinking otherwise is that he's spent, what? $1.4 million in legal expenses so far, fighting having to

Brett, do you have a link to support this rather outrageous claim?

elm, it's truly alarming to see how many people and institutions in this country are in the pocket of Big Kenya.

To go way back in this thread:
i can't believe that the congresses the presidents of my youth (Eisenhower, JFK, LBJ) had to deal with could have had that many objectively stupid members. I just can't.

Actually, there were a fair number of members who were just like this. They were southern Democrats. I.e. the same people as now make up the majority of the Republican caucus.

I weep for what my party has become. I mean, when someone with Reagan's record (but not the name) would be denounced as a RINO, what kind of conservatives are these? Even normal reactionaries would probably be more sensible.

I guess my Orly Taitz comment above would have seemed more relevant if I'd mentioned that not only is she leading the birther charge, she's also leading the multiple-social-security-numbers charge.

So, not a tangential comment, but relevant.

None of which means that Barack Hussein, President of the United States, has not in his lifetime used 39 different social security numbers, or that he is not a secret part of an advance force from Kanamit, whose objective is to serve mankind.

I tend to vacillate between two theories:

It's funny how all of your theories point to something fishy going on with Obama. I might add:
1a)It keeps the wingnuts predictably distracted, on an issue that a significant majority believe has already been decided, thus marginalizing them. Neutralizing this issue would merely lead to additional conspiracy theories moving to the forefront, theories that have perhaps not already been debunked in the public mind.
3)It's pointless to comply, because Orly T would merely cite 'evidence' that Obama renounced his citizenship while in college and demand every piece of information from those years- which you will presumably support(?), since this would be an effort to enforce a Constitutional provision. (And with the example of his caving on the birther issue, it'd be that much more "suspicious" if he didn't comply).
4)The only people who believe this are profoundly committed to opposing Obama in every possible way, to the point of eg denouncing their own preferred policy positions when Obama embraces them, or eg saying that cooperation with him is actually impossible. For Obama, cooperating with such a lunatic fringe has zero upside.

5)Vacillation will not be tolerated. Make up your mind. I don't recall the word "vacillation" in the Constitution. If "vacillation" was in the Constitution, it would have to be enforced, like it is in the Economics profession.

6) It's obvious to me that Obama is not an American citizen, because he's clearly the offspring of a sex-changed Paul McCartney. I mean, just look: the chin, the eyebrows...it's all the same!

7) The Consitution disallows anyone with as good of a jump shot as Obama to be our President. Also.

maybe there's something real there, like the real Barrack having died shortly after birth, and being switched for a cousin.

That is some serious toad of Damascus, right there.

IMO Obama should call for legislation making it a crime to kick cuddly little kitty cats, just to get the Republicans on record as being in favor of it (kicking cats, that is, not the legislation).

Or maybe knocking ice cream cones out of toddlers' little hands.

Seriously, there's some fun to be had here.

"Brett, can you excerpt the specific language in the Constitution that you think is not being enforced?"

The requirement that the houses of Congress have a quorum present in order to conduct business is clearly not being enforced; Most of the time Congress is conducting business, you could toss a grenade onto the floor of the chamber without casualties, and critically important votes have been held, as "voice" votes to avoid registering the lack of quorum, with as few as 3 members present.

Further, the "enrolled bill" rule, whereby the courts take the word of the Congressional leadership that both chambers voted on the same measure as definiative, has on several instances allowed bills which it could be proven were NOT passed with the same language by both chambers to be enforced as law.

That's just a couple of examples.

Since the headline of this post was, "Maybe Obama Should Publicly Campaign for Each GOP Candidate?" I'd like to assert that one Republican who does not need Obama's help is Scott Brown.

The more I see of Brown, the more I see how his victory over Martha Coakley happened for Ted Kennedy's old Senate seat.

Watching his interview with Barbara Walters on Sunday's 'This Week' on ABC, I can see how his Everyman persona would play well in any state with Independents and disaffected Dems.

His low-key, self-effacing manner plays well on TV and he is not afraid to answer touchy questions.

Brown, who has two daughters, told Walters he is a supporter of Roe v. Wade, saying: "I feel this issue is best handled between a woman and her doctor and her family."

On gay marriage: "And on the marriage issue that you brought up, it's settled here in Massachusetts, but I believe that states should have the ability to determine their own destiny and the government should not be interfering with individual states' rights on issues that they deal with on a daily basis."

Nice to see somebody, be it a Republican or Democrat, not spewing the party line.

Yes, he was deferential to Sarah Palin, but that falls in line with his exceedingly polite persona. I could hear Obama giving the same political deference to Palin.

Yes, he is relatively inexperienced. Wasn't Obama?

Not saying Brown is the real thing, if you will. But I think too many on the Democratic left were too quick to make fun of Brown and put him in Sarah Palin column.

You have cites for both of those, Brett? Right? Because in previous instances, you've often been lying mislead misinformed on this sort of stuff.

That's just a couple of examples.

But, Brett, I thought we were talking about constitutional requirements for documentation as proof of American birth for the president. Maybe my comment wasn't clear enough on that.

Article 1, Section 5: "Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide." All you need to know that one is being violated, is to watch CSPAN.

I was still waiting for a cite on the million dollar legal bill incurred fighting birth certificate issues.

Am I hearing crickets?

The requirement that the houses of Congress have a quorum present in order to conduct business is clearly not being enforced

Actually, that's an interesting point.

Do you have an example of legislation being passed with less a quorum present?

I can point to examples of "business being conducted", without a quorum present. Final votes to pass, (As opposed to shelving...) bills generally involve a quorum worth of votes, but frequently with the members filing in and out, so there's never actually a quorum present at any given time. I'd cut them some slack on that, personally, though it's a technical violation.

The real violations of that one come in with the procedural votes. For instance, the vote to waive cloture on the Brady bill involved only three Senators being present. Ditto for the vote that broke the '95 Republican budget standoff.

Both cases, the sole Republican was Dole, by the way, which is why citing one's solidarity with Bob Dole didn't win Obama any points with conservatives.

I mentioned Scott Brown in an attempt to find some common ground with Brett, but I reckon Brown is too moderate for that to happen.

the real Barrack having died shortly after birth, and being switched for a cousin

This is starting to sound like that White Stripes song "Take Take Take."

And then he showed us his short-form birth certificate, and that was all that I needed.

Then I asked for his long-form birth certificate, and that would be all that I needed.

Then I asked for a sworn affidavit from the obstetrician who delivered him, and that would be all that I needed.

Then I asked for the long-form birth certificates of everyone named Obama or born in Hawaii within five years of him, and the current locations of all those people, and that would be all that I needed.

Then I asked for the complete Social Security database, and that would be all that I needed.

Quoth Brett:Article 1, Section 5: "Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide." All you need to know that one is being violated, is to watch CSPAN.

Great! Now point to the Constitutional definition of "doing Business."

Not gonna play that game, Phil, I wasn't too impressed with the "definition of "is" sophisty, either. If they're not conducting business, they're off on vacation.

If they're not conducting business, they're off on vacation.

Then what's the point of the "but a smaller Number may adjourn from day to day" part?

I'm generally in agreement with you that they should be on the job when they're in DC. I'm just trying to pin down whether there's actually a Constitutional violation, and if so what it is.

So a definition of "doing Business" does seem to be in order, and "not on vacation" seems overly broad.

They can sit around waiting to have some business to conduct, and if some comes along, they are expressly authorized to send for enough additional members to make up a quorum. Once they start voting on the actual business of the chamber, they are, beyond any quibbling, "conducting business".

I guess we're not going to get any quotes from the Constitution on the documentation requirements for proof of American birth for presidential eligiblity.

hairshirthedonist: The only feasible standards of proof on that would be the ones that Obama has clearly surpassed: a statement by the person in question, testimony of a relevant state official, preponderance of evidence, beyond a reasonable doubt*, or adjudication by the courts.

* Note that this doesn't mean "beyond the doubt of cranks and perpetrators-of-fraud who, for reasons unrelated to the evidence, insist that they need just one more document (and will need one more document perpetually)".

Hogan: You forget DNA samples obtained and handled by trustworthy birther technicians of Barack Obama and all members of his family. Of course, to be really sure, they'd need to exhume his parents to get DNA samples from them.

Also, proof that he is, in fact, at least 35 years old and not, as is reasonable to assume, a clone created in 2005.

Also, an alibi and witness for every day from 1994 until today to ensure that he has resided in the U.S. for the requisite 14 years.

But, elm, you and I agree. That's not what the internet is for. I need to hear from Brett.

@hairshirthedonist: But, elm, you and I agree. That's not what the internet is for.

Oh yes it is!

We won the election and now these sore losers will continue to spew your hate with lies. The way ours courts work is that you get a competent lawyer, verifiable facts and present them to a judge, if the facts are real and not half baked lies, then, and only then, you proceed to trial. The Birthers seem to be having a problem with the so call facts that they present. Let’s face it no one will go along with you until you guys win a case, but until then, you will continue to appear dumb, crazy or racist, or maybe all three. Keep plucking that chicken.

How Pythonesque, elm.

Not gonna play that game, Phil, I wasn't too impressed with the "definition of "is" sophisty, either.

Ah, I see. So when it comes to your own hobbyhorses, you'll parse everyone else's words into their elementary particles. But when someone asks you to define something, you clam up. Clever.

I believe you've also been asked for some cites on some other matters. I'm sure they're forthcoming. Right?

I believe you've also been asked for some cites on some other matters. I'm sure they're forthcoming. Right?

If you're involved in any upcoming breath-holding contests, then I strongly advise you to hold your breath for these as it will provide excellent training.

Ya' know, Brett, I stated your claim about the legal bills was a lie. Eric asked for a cite. You have provided nothing.

Now I enjoy reading this blog and occasionally posting here, but I'm going to go out on a limb and just call you out. If I get banned, well then, so be it. But your behavior in this instance is simply unconscionable. So here goes.....

BRETT BELLMORE IS A LIAR AND HE KNOWS HE IS A LIAR.

Well bobbyp the answer is that if you believe WND here THEN HE ISN'T LYING. Now that is a stretch but he is not required to provide a cite just because someone asked for it.

If you question his facts, perfectly valid in this case, you should at least do enough looking around (three minutes in this case) to make sure he is making it up out of thin air. In this case he wasn't.

So Marty,

You apparently feel somebody can assert the most outrageously unsubstantiated claims here without anything to back it up and not be called out for it? You overlook the most elementary thing: If you make an assertion, the onus is on you to back it up. The claim is so patently absurd that is violates everything this discussion board says it stands for. It is an outrage.

"if I believe"? You have got to be kidding. Have you no decency sir? Any at all?

The most outrageously unsubstantiated claim? Come on. It was a trivial point that someone decided to bash Brett for. Do you believe he hasn't spent ANY money protecting himself from these outrageous lies?

I am not sure why it even matters.

Well bobbyp the answer is that if you believe WND here THEN HE ISN'T LYING.

For those not wanting to bother with reading WND, a summary: Obama has spent 2.6M to a law firm since beginning his run for the presidency in 2007 (McCain spent 1.6M on legal fees, but of course stopped spending after he lost).
Obama has spent 1.7M since the end of the campaign.

Now, if you assume that all of that money went to fighting these birther suits, then you could reach the conclusion that Brett did.
But then, you'd have to be a f&%^ing idiot to think that. Really. Not only because campaigns apparently have a lot of non-birther-related legal expenditures (really? campaigns spend money on lawyers?), but because there have been a handful of birther suits and they've all been unceremoniously tossed out as paranoid, time-wasting garbage. It doesn't cost 1.6M to translate "please stop being morons" into legalese and sending out a few letters to that effect.

If you question his facts, perfectly valid in this case, you should at least do enough looking around (three minutes in this case) to make sure he is making it up out of thin air. In this case he wasn't.

First, I think it's incumbent on people to provide sources. I've just spent several minutes looking at a possible source, where Brett has had time to wax his mustache. Result: Brett's got a fine mustache, and my brain is full of WND floaties.
And we don't even know if this is really his source. Maybe he's got something that explains things much better and makes me look the fool for questioning him, but if so he's keeping it to himself.

Second, WND is a crap source, and if it is Brett's source then he's speculated even beyond their brain-damaged journalism- even they didn't assign the entire 1.7M to birther-fighting lawyers, they just imply it (among other things- naturally there's a hint of an AQ-Obama connection, something required by their bylaws afaict).

I am not sure why it even matters.

I think it's common courtesy, really. Brett thinks this for some reason. If he can't remember where he saw it and thinks it was tangential to his argument, then it's easy enough to say that.
The alternative is people throwing 'facts' every which way without consequence. And *everyone* misremembers stuff that they read 6 months ago (usually in a way that advantages their argument).

If it's so completely not worth pursuing, then it's presumably not really worth mentioning in the first place. But the middle ground- it's ok to mention something that might not be true, but not ok to ask for a source or to look into it- that doesn't seem right.

... the answer is that if you believe WND ...

Big "if" there, Marty.

But in general, it's true that Brett has his Miranda rights like anybody else. (Except suspected terrorists, natch.) He is not required to say anything that can or will be used against him in a court of law. He has the right to have a lawyer present during questioning.

So there's no way to convict him of perjury unless we waterboard a confession out of him. Most of us oppose that approach.

Laughing at him, on the other hand, is well within the Geneva Convention:)

--TP

Carleton,

My problem is that, reading through this thread, it didn't seem like that much a key part of even Brett's point. So someone asked for the cite and he went on to something else. He didn't argue at length it was true, he was called on it and moved on. It just didn't seem to warrant the special "BRETT IS A LIAR" comment.

Carleton,

I think its fine to ask for a source. I just think, when I don't get one, I assume it's, well, hearsay and I give it no weight.

Marty: Brett's $1.4 Million dollar claim is, to hear him tell it, the basis for his support of the defamatory accusation that Barack Obama is unqualified to be President of the United States.

Elm, you've nicely explained why I think it extraordinarily unlikely that Obama would not be able to prove that he's a natural born citizen. As I've repeatedly remarked, the only cause for thinking otherwise is that he's spent, what? $1.4 million in legal expenses so far, fighting having to? Why the hell has he done that?

He states the importance of it, and has asserted (contrary to the facts) that Barack Obama has not proven his eligibility to be president when the facts are otherwise. His basis for that is unsubstantiated accusations about his "soap opera" family and unsubstantiated allegations about him spending large sums to avoid proving his citizenship.

The WND piece does nothing to substantiate Brett's assertion, as noted by Carleton Wu. As nobody has defended the article nor strongly stated that it supports Brett's claim, I'll leave it at that.

Calling him to task for repeatedly making assertions that contradict the evidence is very reasonable. Lie is a useful word to describe assertions that contradict evidence known to you and lacking in substantive supporting evidence.

You know what? Maybe you shouldn't assume that I have an unlimited amount of time to spend here. Maybe you shouldn't assume that, given that I just got my latest dose of chemo a few days ago, I even have unlimited energy to spend here during that time. The only reason you're getting this response is that I'm waiting for the nausea meds to kick in, and can't sleep.

I'm holding down a job while on chemo, 'cause I've got a wife and 15 month old to support. I think maybe I should just avoid this site for a while.

Oh, and for the record: It's a valid complaint: I'm not devoting enough time and effort to the conversations I'm getting into, these days. Unfortunately, I can't, and that's likely to only get worse until my treatment is over some time this summer. Maybe I'll be back then. Bye!

If I get banned, well then, so be it.

So be it. 24 hour minimum ban; appeal to the kitty if desired. We're sometimes forgetful about removing bans, so please make sure you write if you find yourself unable to comment, later.

Folks, one alternate possibility is that Brett is simply being unwise. Sure, you and I understand that WND isn't really a source of information, as we understand the meaning of the word, but perhaps Brett hasn't caught on to that yet.

One of the problems with being unwise with one's sources is that it can sometimes take a while to unbelieve that which one has, without ample reason, chosen to believe.

I'm not being sarcastic, here; I am being the voice of experience.

Also, no one is under any obligation at all to answer your questions. If they decline, you may chalk them up asdeclare them mistaken and move on. If Brett becomes abusive or we decide that he's just trolling us, we'll deal with him appropriately. Until then, please try and behave as if your parents taught you some manners, even if they didn't.

And for those who have continued treating Brett with some semblance of courtesy, thanks for your adherence to the posting rules.

Thanks!

Teh Management

Hey Brett -- take care of yourself. Do what you need to do for yourself and your family.

Also, for record, I appreciate your reply on the Congressional quorum question, IMO you have more than a point there.

Hoping for a speedy and solid recovery for you.

Brett, if you're still reading, any disagreements we might have on this site are utterly trivial. I wish you all the best. Hang in there.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Whatnot


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