Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

Hat NOT optional

A couple of caveats lead into this post, the first being that, yes, I have lived outside the good old US of A for going on twenty years now. The second, perhaps even more obvious to frequent readers, is the fact that my take on most Republicans is that they’re morons, evil or self-centered assholes, or, often, all three. The point in putting provisos in paragraph one? Fair warning.

I’ve managed to ignore most of the issue that’s now referred to by the unlikely title of “birtherism”, but in my time off from writing about annoyances this one has grown beyond the boundaries of ignorance … ignorability … whatever … into that dimension we used to call “The Twilight Zone”, but now has gone really scary.

An article in Slate that reports 45% of Republicans saying President Obama was not born in the US had me giggling … at first … with the thought that about that wide a margin in the GOP hasn’t quite got the scoop on Hawaii actually being a state. Although that’s probably true, it gets worse:

Among Republicans, 45 percent believe he was born abroad, while only 33 percent say he was born in the United States. More than a dozen state legislatures have discussed or are discussing “birther bills” that usually seek to force presidential candidates to prove their birthplace, although at least five states have been reluctant to actually turn the bills into law. Oklahoma could soon become the first with a vote expected next week.

What a fucking waste of time and money! And that’s not even bringing up the idiot factor.

As mentioned, I’ve not followed the the buildup to this pile of smelly residue, so followed this link to, TA DAAAA!, “Where it all began”, and am forced to admit it makes even less sense now.

That theory first emerged in the spring of 2008, as Clinton supporters circulated an anonymous email questioning Obama’s citizenship.

“Barack Obama’s mother was living in Kenya with his Arab-African father late in her pregnancy. She was not allowed to travel by plane then, so Barack Obama was born there and his mother then took him to Hawaii to register his birth,” asserted one chain email that surfaced on the urban legend site Snopes.com in April 2008.

Another early version of the theory, reported by the Chicago Tribune in June 2008, depended on a specious legal theory that was, for a time, the heart of the argument: that Obama was born in Hawaii but had a Kenyan father, and his mother was only 18 years old. Therefore, under existing immigration law, he was not eligible for automatic citizenship upon birth — a claim that depended on an understandable, but incorrect, reading of immigration law. Other theories suggested that Obama lost his U.S. citizenship when he moved to Indonesia or visited Pakistan in violation of a supposed State Department ban as a young man. (There was no such ban.)

A birth certificate was produced — produced as in “handed over by the State of Hawaii”, not “run off with the help of Photo Shop” — but apparently proved about as much to “birthers” as any old piece of paper might, not surprising when many dedicated to the concept of Obama being foreign-born most likely have fake diplomas from Whatsamatta U hanging on their walls.

FactCheck.org, the non-partisan website, was allowed to examine the physical copy of the birth certificate in August 2008, and concluded it was real, that it had a raised seal, a signature and met all the State Department criteria for proof of citizenship. Combined with the state’s recognition that the record was real—and contemporary newspaper announcements of Obama’s birth, submitted by the hospitals —they concluded that he was a natural born citizen.

Hawaii has repeatedly confirmed the document’s authenticity.

“I, Dr. Chiyome Fukino, director of the Hawai’i State Department of Health, have seen the original vital records maintained on file by the Hawai’i State Department of Health verifying Barrack (sic) Hussein Obama was born in Hawai’i and is a natural-born American citizen,” one exasperated state official said in 2008 and again in 2009 in a statement.

“Of course, it’s distantly possible that Obama’s grandparents may have planted the announcement just in case their grandson needed to prove his U.S. citizenship in order to run for president someday,” FactCheck concluded. But, “those who choose to go down that path should first equip themselves with a high-quality tinfoil hat.”

As 2012 looms … as an election year or the end of the world, you make the call … those tinfoil hats should be mandatory.

Of course, not all Republicans have fallen under the lobotomy blade …

Some Republicans take the position out of a basic respect for facts, but they also worry about its consequences for their party.

“It makes us look weird. It makes us look crazy. It makes us look demented. It makes us look sick, troubled, and not suitable for civilized company,” one of the first conservatives to turn against the birthers, talk show host Michael Medved, said in 2009. “I’m not a conspiracist, but this could be a very big conspiracy to make conservatives disgrace themselves.”

Hm.

What if …

Donald Trump has been hired by the Dems to stoke the fire under the bonkers birthers … cuz just maybe he’s needing a few extra bucks for those hair plugs he’s needing … so finds it worth it to make a complete ass of himself on the alter of complete assdome in hopes of either fooling all of the people all of the time or just enough idiots for long enough to be president or make the GOP a laughing stock.

There’s a theory …

Read Full Post »

Guess what I found in my post office box today. No. Really … guess.

(Take some time … )

Okay. Spilling now …

Today, the 28th of September, 2009, I open my PO Box to find … ta daaaaaa!!!! … my absentee ballot that starts out like this:

Dear Voter,
Your Vote by Mail Ballot for the November 4, 2008 General Election is enclosed.

You are designated as an Overseas Federal Voter. Your voter registration form indicates that you are living out of the country indefinitely. As a federal voter you are only entitled to vote for federal candidates in the following offices:
President, Vice President, US Senator and members of the House of Representatives. (And so on …)

Gee. Thanks.

I’ll assume that “only entitled to vote for” can be interpreted as ENTITLED to vote, which may be a bit tough since my ballot reached me almost one full year late.

Although Seychelles is on the other side of the world, it is actually ON this planet, and … hey! … we have a postal service that connects to other countries. My address on the envelope (no postmark to indicate when it was sent, by the way) is correct, and with “OFFICIAL ABSENTEE BALLOTING MATERIAL – FIRST CLASS MAIL” writ large across the front, it seems that slow-boat-round-the-horn was not to be an option for getting this into my hands.

I was in Sacramento, site of the return address, just a couple of months ago, so know that it has not vanished for one hundred years, a la Brigadoon. and that planes still fly from California toward the rest of the world, many carrying post.

Were I the conspiracy-minded sort, I may suspect that my declaration of Democrat on the application might have slowed down the process a bit, but … well … okay, that did run across the corners of my mind and felt no less far-fetched than the idea that I’m either living in a time warp or on some far-flung planet.

Imagine how pissed off I’d be if Obama hadn’t won …

Read Full Post »

Magnar and me

Magnar and me

This morning’s post is bound to ramble, as I’m foggier than San Francisco in a November due to a spontaneous Magnar-induced party that invaded my veranda at about 10 last night, then left him here … three sheets to the wind, maybe four … and wanting to show me photos of his dad’s sheep and read to me in Norwegian after the six people he brought along (Who were those guys?) moved on to their next venue.

I never complain about Magnar, and never will, as he kept me going through months of sheer torture and terror, and because there’s actually nothing to complain about … he is truly Mr. Wonderful in every way … plus I LOVE to hear the world news in his native language. (Stan fell asleep in a chair … but that was no problem. His snoring … he saws logs, while I simply purr when I sleep … was great background music.)

But … I was just getting ready to hit the sack, being well worn out from a full day in town, and all the happy dancing I did all day to the tune of President Elect Barak Obama, when he and a gaggle of Brits arrived equipped with wine and beers and great conversation. (One even bought a copy of my book, so it was an evening of fun AND profit.)

The kids were well asleep, and once they’re out, they’re out, so undisturbed by the hilarity created when perfect strangers meet and find they get on like a house afire.

One thing in the long list of things I love about island life is the tendency people develop here to not let personal connections pass without notice and appreciation for kindred souls casually encountered.

Mark has the kids this weekend, and now we have a party to attend tomorrow night … and that’s how the social calendar fills so very fast in such a small place.

On the election topic, my daughter, Jenn, forwarded an email this morning from one of her coworkers that offers a symmetry that deserves thought:

1. The modern conservative movement began with the crushing defeat of Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater in the 1964 presidential race. The modern conservative movement ends with the crushing defeat of Arizona Sen. John McCain — who took Goldwater’s Senate seat upon his retirement — in the 2008 presidential race.

2. Modern liberalism began its implosion with riots in Chicago’sGrant Park at the 1968 Democratic Convention. Tonight, modern liberalism is reborn at Chicago’s Grant Park, where a black Chicago Democrat will celebrate winning the presidency.

Got out of my morning drive today thanks to another great friend. Andy was flying to Praslin today … another island about 15 minutes away by flying soapbox … and the timing worked out that dropping the kids at school was a favor he could provide. Yipee.

I was up at 5, as usual, but had only to walk Sam and Cj up the hill to catch their lift with him; then was back in bed by 6:30 and caught another couple of hours. What a treat!

I’m loving life these days, and so happy to be. Turns out, I’m a lucky bunny after all. Wow.

Read Full Post »

As most long-time readers know, I’m 12 time zones away from my home state of California … that’s exactly halfway around the globe … so I was well into Wednesday when election results started coming in. I caught a few of the early ones on CNN before leaving for the long haul to town in my daily trek taking the kids to school, and was sorry to leave the TV.

By the time I arrived, I’d had text messages updating me, and those set me on a search for a functioning television, but seeing that it was not yet 9am, that was fruitless. I tried the British High Commission, but being British and all no TV was to be found. I then hit the American Consular Office, but Travis, the guy who mans the place was not yet in.

A bit more wandering managed to kill off an hour, so we popped into the Pirate’s Arms … a local hangout, for a cup of tea, and … lo and behold … were greeted by President Elect Obama delivering his speech on the 5′ plasma screen!

Wow. The crowd! The speech! The tears! The smiles! I did the happy dance right then and there.

Throughout the rest of the day, as we spent the whole of it in Victoria, I had people stopping me every few yards to congratulate me … I’m fairly well known here, you see … all of whom were almost as happy as I am with the outcome.

Even on this remote island in this far-flung country the population is taking hope from this amazing and historic turn of events, and are now looking toward America for the sort of leadership … albeit not until the 20th of January … to begin to lead us all out of the mess 8 years of living under the idiot bush has created.

Although I carry two passports, today I am SO proud to be an American … and after living abroad for so many years I have to admit that it’s been quite a while since I’ve felt right in holding my head up high and shouting my roots to the rooftops.

We really aren’t as stupid as we’ve been looking, and the rest of the world is heaving a sigh of relief over that.

Read Full Post »

It’s only been election day in the States for a little under an hour now, but on this side of the world the morning is heading toward afternoon and that has me thinking I should be sitting in front of the TV and listening to Wolf Blitzer yammer on about exit polls.

This is certain to be one of those days that I resent the hell out of whoever has yet to get around to inventing the beamy-uppy thing, as I would LOVE to be in the US for all of this particular Tuesday in this particular November.

I’ve not minded at all missing out on the hoopla of the last two Presidential elections … in fact I casually contemplated passing myself off as Canadian (or a Kiwi like Sis, but I can’t do the accent) … but this one brings such promise that I’m sorry to be missing the party … Democrat, of course.

My beautiful and bright daughter, Jenn, has been stumping for Obama in North Carolina, and I would love to be sitting with her as the results come in. Not that I’m counting unhatched chickens from way over here in the Indian Ocean … no way! I’ve been out of America long enough now to harbor no illusions about the potential of pinheads to rise like over-yeasty bread and take over the world, reminding me in no little way of the creature introduced in Michael Landon’s first film, “The Blob”.

Could it be, though, that this time around intelligence counts? Could smart and honorable and vital and committed and fresh and fill-in-a-positive-adjective-here carry the day?

Do the world a favor, and get out and vote today, and if you’re still undecided and of the mindset that a movie star should tell you what box to tick, feel free to let my brother influence you. After all, he’s a smart guy, too.

I’ll be over here waiting with fish on my tongue (baited breath … a groaner, I know, but it’s an inside joke aimed at a few) for the results to start coming in on CNN’s website … Anderson Cooper is cute, isn’t he just, and isn’t that what TV news is all about? … and hoping for the promise of a new and brighter world.

We all sure could use that.

Read Full Post »

The title of this post is not one I expected to ever write nor an emotion I would experience, but this morning I am most certainly missing being in the loop of the US political scene.

My measly one hour of CNN consisted of commentary of Obama’s speech at the convention, and although it was conducted with more enthusiasm than I’ve seen from some of the folks at the network than usual, I get the sense that an historical moment passed me by … one that I would have enjoyed a whole heck of a lot, too.

As mentioned in my previous post, my daughter is stumping for Obama in North Carolina and thrilled to be doing so. Having not seen her jazzed about national affairs like this ever before, my 1960’s protesting soul is thrilled at her passion, and her choice of direction for aiming that passion pleases me.

I recently read “The Audacity of Hope”, my first introduction into Barack beyond soundbites, and found only one topic to disagree with in the entire book. (I’m not a fan of bio fuels, ethanol especially, and consider them an unacceptable compromise over fossil fuels that’s going to bite the world in the butt big time.)

For the past eight years, I’ve been living as an embarrassed expat apologizing for GW Bush and wondering how in hell such a stupid man got the job of President … TWICE … which caused no end of worry over what the hell my fellow Americans could possibly be thinking.

Finally, finally, there’s something I can understand happening, a process and a conclusion (so far) that makes sense on many levels, and a hopefulness in the air that’s not been detectable, much less breathable, in a very long time.

So, yes, I find myself missing the politics of today’s America, the hype, the groove, the zeal and wholehearted and hopeful commitment that has grabbed a generation with little example in living memory of happy days being here again.

I will, of course, be voting, as every vote DOES count, and following the campaign as I can from here with my limited TV and painfully slow Internet, and while doing so I’ll be envying all of you there the national frisson that’s taken hold, shaken things up and has so many so hopeful.

Enjoy the ride, and keep up the good work!

Read Full Post »

I could, with very little prompting, boast endlessly about the innate genius, fantastic beauty and amazing accomplishments of all four of my children, and sometime do.

Today, however, I’ll just post a link to this article in the New York Times that shows the quality of the paper by quoting my eldest child, my daughter Jennifer, in a story about her presidential candidate of preference.

Read Full Post »