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Birtherdammerung (?)

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When I was in college, the second time around, I took a course on broadcast journalism that involved getting your hands on the mechanisms. We did a couple of web broadcasts — which are still up to this day — and were tasked with reporting to OU's radio station, learning how to operate the tapes (primitive things, compared with the web broadcast software we used), and selecting a story out of the basket of leads to follow up on.

The next bit was quintessential me: I picked the story that sounded like it had the most bite — something about a land use issue — and ran with it. As I talked to different people, trying to track stuff down, I found out there may have been a controversy, and, sensing blood, chased after that. And chased, and chased, and chased... only to find out, too late to do anything about it, that there was no truth to the matter. It was just sour grapes on one person's part, and hardly worth mentioning.

The end result was that I didn't get the all-important on-air interview, which was a decent amount of my grade. My instructor wasn't amused, but I remember the news editor at the radio station telling me "Well that's just too bad. You really DID go after that story."

But effort only gets you so much; there's not always a margin for believing things into existence in a largely fact-based world.

So, in one sense, I can understand the monomania of the Birthers, who have taken what should have been a somewhat sad commentary on our over-litigious times, and instead turned "Birther" into a runner-up for the word of the year. I know what it's like to chase down something you just KNOW is there, somewhere, only to have the facts say otherwise every step of the way. And I know what it's like to keep going, anyway, even though common sense (and two instructors, and your overall GPA) are telling you to back off and look for something else.

The difference is that while the Birthers and I were both chasing phantoms, I just got a C+ in a class I probably should have aced. They, on the other hand, now have real problems to contend with.

The first-place winner for legal and financial self-sodomy in pursuit of the "truth" is, of course, Orly "Birther Queen" Taitz, who has the US Attorney's Office after her to pay a $20,000 fine to Judge Hand of Georgia for wasting his court's time with a frivolous refilling — a fine she has flat-out refused to pay. As of this writing, there has been no word as to how aggressively the office has gone after her, or what steps she may be taking to deal with this matter.

But she also has other problems. Also as of this writing:

* Larry Sinclair, former FOO (Friend Of Orly), who claims that he had coke-fueled gay sex in the back of a limo with then-Senator Barack Obama, filed an affidavit stating that Orly wanted him to lie on the stand in Barnett vs. Obama.

* Then Lucas Smith, another former FOO, who claims to have gotten a copy of the really-really-real Kenyan Birth Certificate by bribing a hospital official to look the other way, filed a similar affidavit, claiming that not only did she want him to lie on the stand in Barnett vs. Obama, but also that she was having an affair with her shady, "anarchist" "legal partner," Charles E. Lincoln III.

* Then Charles E. Lincoln III not only left her side, but rolled over on her in order to pull his own fat out of the fire. Yes, according to him, they WERE having an affair.

Now, keep in mind that most of Birtherism is based on lies ("Obama never showed his Birth Certificate" being first and foremost), and therefore, it can be reasonably supposed that most or all of these FOOs have either been lying in the past, or are lying now. Unlike Birthers, we should be willing to suspend our condemnation and outrage until such time as the facts are actually made known, in or out of a court of law, and all reasonable appeals exhausted.

But Orly's woes are just the tip of the iceberg on this fine day. It would appear that, much like bad daddy Saturn devouring his children, the Birther movement is now chomping down on its primary players, mostly through internecine cannibalism.

As succinctly and excellently put at Oh For Goodness Sake:

We have Orly Taitz battling Gary Kreep. Philip Berg suing Orly. Charles Lincoln, III, well, you know. Larry Sinclair and Lucas Smith fighting with Orly. MissTickly with and then not with Leo Donofrio. Phil Berg and Lawrence J. Joyce trashing Orly and Hemenway. Dr. Kate and jbjd are arguing again, but it's not as entertaining as when jbjd stood up Dr. Kate on Blog Talk Radio.

Now Leo Donofrio has shut down his blog. Apparently, he and Mario Apuzzo got into a spat about Quo Warranto. Really.

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J. Edward Tremlett is a lot of things, currently. He's back in the states after a seven-year stint in Dubai, UAE. He's been published in such diverse places as The American Partisan, the International American, The End is Nigh, Pyramid Magazine (more...)

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