Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Republican 2012 Hopefuls Have Their Own Birth Certificate Problems

Donald Trump is taking credit for getting the President to obtain and release a copy of his long form birth certificate. What about all those birthers out there, Donald, don't they get any credit?

This is rather disappointing news, as I was looking forward to the report from the investigators Trump says he sent to Hawaii. And they I'm sure were looking forward to spending a few more weeks in Hawaii at Donald Trump's expense.

Yes, Barack Obama is a natural born citizen as required by the U.S. Constitution to be President. Of course, we knew that three years ago when he released the official short form birth certificate issued by Hawaii. But where is the fun in that? I guess we will have to look elsewhere.

I have proof that Donald Trump was born in Jamaica, and that's a fact supported by all of his birth certificates. Moreover, Donald Trump's mother Mary was a MacLeod from Scotland. Our founding fathers put in the natural born citizen clause just so we wouldn't have to submit to rule by Highland Scot Clan Lairds.

Can Michele Bachmann prove she is a natural born citizen? Michele says she was born in Iowa but to me her accent sounds Canadian. I am absolutely confident you can go to Iowa and search the Waterloo and Black Hawk County records and you will find no record of anyone named Michele Bachmann ever being born there. OK, Michele says her maiden name was Amble. I'll need to see a marriage certificate as well as a birth certificate.

Tim Pawlenty's father Eugene Pawlenty was Polish and his mother Virginia Oldenburg was German. Being a scion of the House of Oldenburg would disqualify Tim from being President. Under the doctrine of sovereign immunity, heirs to royal houses born in foreign countries are not subject to the jurisdiction of the foreign country. Tim would not be a natural born citizen of the United States, even if he could produce a birth certificate.

Newt Gingrich was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania under the birth name Newton McPherson which was changed to Newton Gingrich when he was later adopted by his mother's second husband. Or that's the cover story concocted when his birth records were tampered with by French secret agents. An investigation of Newt's teenage years living in Orleans, France in the late 1950s will prove that the real Newt was replaced with a Gaulist mole.

Mike Huckabee says he was born in Hope, Arkansas. That's the same town where President Bill Clinton was born. If Huckabee were elected President, what are the odds that two Presidents of the United States could be born the same small town in Arkansas? Zero. Huckabee, that's just the sort of name a pair of deep cover Soviet agents would have cooked up in the mid-1950s to go with the false Hope story.

Ron Paul was born in Pittsburgh but was delivered by Cesarean section. As he was "from his mother's womb untimely ripped," Ron Paul is clearly not a natural born citizen. Donald Trump should watch his back if he continues his schemes to play the Macbeth and take over the Tea Party, Ron Paul could be his Macduff.

Mitt Romney's father George was born in the United States - of Mexico. Ay, Chihuahua on a Mormon commune. His mother Lenore was born in the Utah, but was that before or after Utah became one of the United States? I can see I will need Mexican and Utah territorial documents from Mitt. No, I will not accept affidavits. We know Mitt likes to employ illegal immigrants from his Latin American home country. I smell an anchor baby.

Sarah Palin claims her birthplace is Sandpoint, Idaho. But how do we know she wasn't actually born an hour's drive up the road in Creston, British Columbia, Canada? I'm pretty sure Michael Moore can find a retired nurse (or maybe someone who served on one of those Canadian socialized medicine death panels) from the Creston Valley Hospital who will remember a Sarah Palin née Heath being born up there in February 1964.

Facts can be stubborn things, but not as stubborn as a good conspiracy theory spread over the internet.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

George Stephanopoulos and Anderson Cooper Go for Trump on Birtherism

I don't have any doubt that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii and is a natural born citizen fully qualified under the U.S. Constitution to be President of the United States. I could be proven wrong of course, but I don't have any real doubt. The band played Hail to the Chief and that's good enough for me.

Still, it was fun watching George Stephanopoulos attempt to stamp down the birther controversy in interviews with 2012 Republican hopefuls Donald Trump and Michele Bachmann.

George's stamp down was only partly successful with Donald Trump:

George Stephanopoulos: No, those are the facts sir.

Donald Trump: George, they’ve co-opted you.

George Stephanopoulos: Who’s they?

Donald Trump: Obviously, Obama and his minions. They have co-opted you. A certificate of live birth is not the same thing by any stretch of the imagination as a birth certificate.
George Stephanopoulos: You said that you sent investigators to Hawaii and you said quote, "They cannot believe what they’re finding."

Donald Trump: We’re going to see what happens, George.

George Stephanopoulos: What have they found?

Donald Trump: That’s none of your business right now.
Personally, I think what Trump's minions report back is my business. Also, Trump announced that he would release his tax returns when Obama releases his birth certificate. A certificate of live birth is a birth certificate, so let's see those tax returns.

George got a little further in his Michele Bachmann interview:

George Stephanopoulos: Well I have the President's certificate right here. It's certified, it's got a certification number. It's got the registrar of the state signed. It's got a seal on it. And it says 'this copy serves as prima facie evidence of the fact of birth in any court proceeding.'

Michele Bachmann: Well, then that should settle it.
I don't think this is going to settle it. Were the Kennedy assassination theories ever settled? And how did George Stephanopoulos of all people get a copy of the President's birth certificate complete with the official seal?

Anderson Cooper at CNN also took a run at Donald Trump:

Donald Trump: Well I've been told very recently, Anderson, that the birth certificate is missing. I've been told that it's not there or it doesn't exist. And if that's the cas e it's a big problem.

Anderson Cooper: Who told you that?

Donald Trump: I just heard that two days ago from somebody.

Anderson Cooper: From your investigators?

Donald Trump: I don't want to say who.
If President Obama's birth certificate is missing, here's a hint: Maybe George Stephanopoulos has it, or Anderson Cooper. They both showed the certificate on their shows. Again, Donald Trump is just stalling on releasing his tax returns.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Good Friday Night at Toad with Amy Black

I first ran into Amy Black in the audience at Club Passim. In those days Amy Black was honing her band covering other people's songs, a mix of country and bluegrass, contemporary and traditional. I caught one of her shows two years ago at the Bull Run in Shirley and another last year at Sallie O'Brien's in Union Square, Somerville.

Now Amy Black is out with a new CD, One Time, that is loaded with originals. She had her CD release earlier this month, a sold out show at Club Passim. Last night she played two sets at Toad.

Big River is a Johhny Cash song and Amy Black has both the voice and band big enough to cover it well.

Meet Me on the Dance Floor is an Amy Black original that is destined for every honky-tonk dance hall in America.

Reuben is a cover tribute with her sister Corrie Jones to their granddad, Thomas Reuben Jones.

I Can't Play this Game is a song Amy Black says she wrote on her sister's couch, although Amy also swears the song is not about her husband Ryan Black, in case you were wondering.

Ain't No Grave is a traditonal that's also in the Johnny Cash songbook and I can't get enough of those.

Molly worked her fingers to the bones in the Lowell Mills. "Oh Molly, were you happy?"

Well, I was plenty happy with Amy Black at Toad. She has stepped up her music a couple of notches, both in terms of songwriting and performance. While clearly showing the influence of One Time CD producer Lorne Entress, this is what comes from practicing your art over many years. I hope she continues to write new originals and keeps the songbook too.

Friday, April 22, 2011

An Uncle Shaker Reunion of Sorts at Life Alive

Singer/songwriter Jeffrey Foss played a gig at Life Alive in Central Square, Cambridge on April 21, 2011. Some old band friends sat in for a few songs so it was an Uncle Shaker reunion of sorts.

Laurence Scudder, Jeffrey Foss, Barry Oates, and Vincent McCarthy playing together on 40 Steps to Rhona.

Laurence Scudder, Jeffrey Foss, and Barry Oates join in this string instrumental.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Unreliable Narrator Was Last Seen at Johnny D's

The fly-by-night folks at Unreliable Narrative put on a Showcase at Johnny D's in Davis Square, Somerville on April 19. What are they, an acting troupe, a musical group, a vaudeville show?

Unreliable Narrative's story was that they were raisng money to benefit their summer tour of "2010: Our Hideous Future: The Musical!" Is that a benefit in arrears for summer 2010 or in advance for summer 2011? You'll have to track them down to find out, and will be glad you did.

Mei Ohara delivers her experimental progressive electronica.

A little lesbian kissing while fighting humanity's last gasp against the robot overlords in a little pink virtual house down by the riverside.

Perfect Monster serenades the lovely Brad with "This Thong's for YouTube" - never ask for a volunteer from the audience if your comedy partner can't be trusted.

Honking heap of hogwash crying in the milk bucket, I want those naked pictures of Eleanor Roosevelt too!

I would subtitle this Maine named Oxycontin abuse capital of the United States and think I'll stick to the lower 47.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Arianna Huffington to Share AOL Sale Proceeds with HuffPost Bloggers on May Day

Arianna Huffington is selling the Huffington Post to AOL for $315 million. This has generated considerable controversy among the unpaid bloggers on HuffPost, many of whom feel Arianna is profiting unfairly from their work. One blogger has even launched a class action lawsuit seeking a share of the sales proceeds.

Arianna's first response to the lawsuit was dismissive, "I am hesitant to take any time away from aggregating adorable kitten videos to respond," she said. We have learned form our inside sources that she has had a change of heart and will be giving her 9,000 HuffPost bloggers a cut.

Bloggers will receive 2% of the AOL purchase price, net of investment banking fees, for a total of $6,000,000 to be spread equally among the bloggers. For each blogger, that works out to a check for $666. Arriana arrived at that number after arguments from a group of angry bloggers that 2% was less than the taxes she saved in the sale due to the extension of the Bush tax cuts last December.

Arianna is planning a surprise May 1 party at Huffington Post headquarters at 560 Broadway in New York City to announce the checks. "May 1 was a big holiday among the working people in my native Greece," Arianna told her inner circle. "We'll have ice cream and cake and then hand out $666 checks to everyone in attendance." Following the noon reception, really more of a rally, Arianna and her staff and boggers will parade through Soho. "A traditional May Day parade, like we had in Greece," says Arianna.

What changed Arianna's mind was being reminded of an old 2007 email inviting bloggers to participate in a "new cooperative internet media" and "become a member of our blogger community." Cooperatives are a type of legal entity where members own the organization collectively and are entitled to a share if the organization is sold.

We're told the party will start Sunday, May 1 at noon. Bloggers unable to attend can apply through the Contact Us page at the Huffington Post to have the $666 sent to their PayPal accounts.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Mitt Romney Still Doesn't Have a Job But Hasn't Stopped Looking

Today Republican Mitt Romney announced he has formed an exploratory committee to run for President in 2012:

Mitt Romney talks a lot in his announcement about unemployment, which is something Mitt knows a lot about. He had a job as Governor of Massachusetts and seemed to be doing a good job. But then he quit in 2006 because he wanted a better job. Mitt didn't get the job, losing out to John McCain in the Republican primary round of the 2008 Presidential election. Of course, John McCain didn't get the job either, and Mitt is applying again.

What has Mitt Romney been doing in the meantime? Not too much it would seem. He hasn't held any steady employment. He did write a book that he oddly titled No Apology: Believe in America. "No Apology" appeared in big letters with "Believe in America" in little letters. Why any politician would put the words Apology and America together is beyond me.

But Romney does has something he may have to apologize for, and that is the health reform law that he signed into law during his term as Governor here in Massachusetts. RomneyCare became the model for ObamaCare, and a lot of conservatives are unhappy with Mitt Romney about that.

RomneyCare has a lot of good points but its big problem is skyrocketing costs. I accept the notion that nothing is free, but adding the 15% uninsured population to the health insurance rolls shouldn't increase costs by more than 15%, particularly when a lot of those costs were previously subsidized by taxpayers and insurance buyers through the uninsured pool. At the small business where I work, costs went up 33% in just 3 years, and we were forced to switch to a cheaper plan with less coverage.

That's where Mitt also has to apologize for bailing out of his Governorship in 2006, rather than sticking around for another term and making sure that RomneyCare worked. Instead, he turned that job over to Democrat Deval Patrick, whose campaign would be the test run for Barack Obama. Conservatives may want an apologize from Mitt for making possible the invention of Barack Obama too.

Romney's campaign has adopted "Believe in America" as his slogan, dropping the "No Apology" line. But even that may require an apology. It turns out that "Believe in America" was the name of the John Kerry and John Edwards bus tour when they were running for President and Vice President in the summer of 2004, as Democrats. Oops.

Update 4/13/2011: Here's the latest from Mitt on RomneyCare:

"One thing I learned is this, which is that you don't take ideas from a state and try to impose them on a whole nation."
That is exactly the wrong lesson. A better lesson is that if you enact a bold, visionary public initiative you should stay on the job and see it through to successful implementation.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Glenn Beck Gets Out-Foxed

The Glenn Beck show at 5pm on Fox News has been cancelled. Did Fox finally wise up that Glenn Beck is a perpetual anger machine? Or was it just sagging ratings and poor advertising sales?

The Fox News press release had this to say:

"Glenn intends to transition off of his daily program, the third highest rated in all of cable news, later this year."
Translation: Cancelled. It doesn't do much good to be #3 when you have alienated mainstream advertisers, hundreds of whom have been bypassing the Glenn Beck show.

Here's how Glenn Beck handled it on his show last night:

"I knew that if I made my case that something in America was wrong, America would listen. And they have. I'm surprised at the number that have and haven't even with all of the facts."
Translation: The number of people who started out watching Glenn Beck but then stopped would be the #2 rated show on cable news.

Fox News and Glenn Beck are putting on the stony face and sticking to their story that Beck is moving on to bigger and better things. And it's not just Beck who is leaving Fox:

Joel Cheatwood, SVP/Development at FOX News, will be joining Mercury Radio Arts effective April 24, 2011. Part of his role as EVP will be to manage the partnership and serve as a liaison with FOX News.
Translation: Fox is letting Glenn Beck keep his babbysitter.

Fox News Chief Roger Ailes offered this spin:

"Half of the headlines say he’s been canceled. The other half say he quit. We're pretty happy with both of them."
Translation: Good riddance.

Neocons like Glenn Beck are essentially right-wing Marxists, and that means that like all Marxists they have no sense of humor, living and insisting that others live in a joyless world where every little thing is deadly serious.

Worse, Glenn Beck is a neocon populist, an oxymoron if there ever was one. Too often he came off as a moron on oxycontin. Before Keith Olbermann was forced out by MSNBC in January, that may have seemed fair and balanced to Fox, now it its just off kilter.

That does make you wonder, could Glenn and Keith make their come back together, with a Beck & Olbermann format modelled on the old Hannity & Colmes show? That could be called Two Angry Men.

Here on the east coast, the Glenn Beck show airs at 5pm and is repeated at 2am. Who can watch at those times? Unemployed people. And during the long jobless recovery of 2009 and 2010, their unemployment benefits kept getting extended and extended. With no more unemployment extensions for the 99ers, Glenn Beck's audience may have finally had to go find new jobs. Now it's his turn.

And when does Glenn Beck actually go off the air? If you stopped watching a couple of years ago, it really doesn't matter.

Update: American Glob nominates John Stossel to replace Beck. I wonder if Sarah Palin could also be in the wings, she hasn't had a show on Fox News yet.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Save the Date in July for Winnie the Pooh

"Don't you just want to hug Winnie? I mean, come on!"

NCAA Final: Connecticut 53, Butler 41

A school I don't know much about beat a school I had never heard of in a game I didn't watch, and I didn't have any money bet on the game either. That pretty much sums it up.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Is Karzai Playing with Fire in Afghanistan?

Hamid Karzai, the President of Afghanistan first installed in office with the backing of U.S. troops after the fall of the Taliban government following 9/11, has long been accused of playing both sides.

Riots and killings have plagued Afghanistan over the weekend, as angry mobs whipped up by Muslim clerics violently protest the burning of a Koran in a Florida church a few weeks ago. But the proximate cause of these riots may not have been the hateful acts of Terry Jones in Florida but a speech by Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan.

This past Thursday, President Karzai made a speech demanding the U.S. arrest Terry Jones and condemning his Koran burning. Friday, imams began preaching violence in Afghani mosques. The bad news for Karzai is that when the violence spilled out in the streets, the protesters called for death to Karzai as well as death to Americans.

General David Petraeus was forced by events to issue this statement:

In view of the events of recent days, we feel it is important on behalf of ISAF and NATO members in Afghanistan to reiterate our condemnation of any disrespect to the Holy Quran and the Muslim faith. We condemn, in particular, the action of an individual in the United States who recently burned the Holy Quran. We also offer condolences to the families of all those injured and killed in violence which occurred in the wake of the burning of the Holy Quran. We further hope the Afghan people understand that the actions of a small number of individuals, who have been extremely disrespectful to the Holy Quran, are not representative of any of the countries of the international community who are in Afghanistan to help the Afghan people.
President Barack Obama went further in his statement:

"The desecration of any holy text, including the Koran, is an act of extreme intolerance and bigotry. However, to attack and kill innocent people in response is outrageous, and an affront to human decency and dignity. No religion tolerates the slaughter and beheading of innocent people, and there is no justification for such a dishonorable and deplorable act."
Back at what he calls the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida, Terry Jones and his remaining followers have taken to carrying pistols for self-defense in response to death threats and reports of a contract out to kill him. He told the New York Times:

"It was intended to stir the pot; if you don’t shake the boat, everyone will stay in their complacency. ... Did our action provoke them? Of course. Is it a provocation that can be justified? Is it a provocation that should lead to death?"
No, it can't and it shouldn't, but what is the point of committing the provocation when you know where it will lead? Meanwhile, as his encore to putting the Koran on trial and burning it, Terry Jones is reported as saying he next wants to put the Prophet Mohammed on trial. The definition of insanity is when you keep doing the same thing and expecting different results.

Terry Jones is a crackpot. His followers are crackpots. They should not be taken seriously, unless by other crackpots. The idea that a head of state and other leaders in an Islamic nation should lower themselves to take a few crackpots seriously does not speak well of the leader, the nation, or the religion.

Karzai wants the U.S. Congress to condemn Terry Jones. He should be statisfied with the statements from General Petraeus and President Obama. This may be his excuse to break from the United States. Karzai has gotten in the habbit of demanding apologies from the U.S. when Afghan civilians get mistakenly caught in the fighting. We'll see if he gives an apology to the U.N. and the families of its workers killed in this latest atrocity.

"That actually burned quite well," Terry Jones is reported as saying after his Koran burning. Karzai can say the same thing about what is happening in Afghanistan.