WBUR

Is Scott Brown A Birther?

Rats! Foiled Again!

The birther nuts dogging Barack Obama thought they had at long last nailed him as being born in Kenya. The right-wing waste dump of gotcha reporting, Breitbart, last week announced that a biography in a promotional booklet from Obama’s former literary agency said that he was “born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii.”

Only it wasn’t true and the woman who had written Obama’s biography admitted that she had misidentified Obama’s birthplace. She called it “nothing more than a fact-checking error.” You accuse the president of the United States of lying about where he was born and you call it a “fact-checking error?”

Somebody should check her sanity.

Birther Revisited

Elizabeth Warren’s ancestry has come under attack from the campaign of Scott Brown and, in close coordination, by the Boston Herald. Like the birther nonsense that Obama has had to deal with, Warren is being criticized by Brown’s allies for claiming to be a member of a minority. Let’s not assume the genealogy was done by the Boston Herald, which broke the story. They have barely enough money to deliver the paper, much less do an in-depth analysis of Warren’s history. No, this surely came from opposition research provided by Brown or his supporters.

The Herald’s Man

Eric Fehrnstrom, Brown’s chief strategist (and Romney’s Etch a Sketch shake-up artist), is a former political reporter for the Boston Herald. The paper has breathlessly headlined all the stories on Warren’s heritage; surely someone in the Brown campaign has helped the story along.

Birther Control

In the same way Obama’s birthers tried to deny him his victory by claiming he wasn’t a “real” citizen, Brown’s people are trying to make it seem that Warren has been cheating by saying she has Native American blood. What this really is about isn’t her heritage, it’s about affirmative action. In other words, it’s about race. Warren’s attackers — mainly in the Boston Herald — believe that she got special treatment by Harvard Law School when they hired her as a professor. There are zero facts to support this; if anyone did anything untoward, it may have been Harvard for wanting to claim diversity in faculty hiring.

Warren didn’t claim her heritage when she applied to Rutgers Law School or University of Texas, but she did at University of Pennsylvania. The Ivy League schools seemed eager to display their sensitivity to minorities. By not refusing to discuss the matter, Warren has lost any control over the story. It is now in its third week.

(Flickr/ beneneuman)

Good Company

Johnny Depp and Kevin Costner claim Native American heritage, as do Chuck Norris, James Earl Jones, Tommy Lee Jones, Cameron Diaz, and of course Cher. Those who have researched it say Elvis Presley definitely had Cherokee blood. Looks, it appears, can be deceiving.

Bad Company

Holier-than-thou Brown has never owned up to his open and ongoing support for Jeff Perry, a Congressional candidate in 2010. While he was a police officer, Perry watched or did nothing to stop an officer he was supposed to be supervising who strip-searched two underaged teenaged girls. Perry lost but landed a $110,000 job in law enforcement on Cape Cod. Mitt Romney also vouched for Perry, which could come back to haunt him.

Is It Relevant?

Warren’s ancestry is not germane to her candidacy or the election. This foolishness has robbed the Senate race of a discussion of legitimate differences between Warren and Brown, such as how to regulate Wall Street abuses, what is the best way to reduce the federal deficit, should the Obama health care overhaul remain in place, how much should the Pentagon budget be reduced?

Despite attempts by Brown and his handlers to change the subject and keep him away from reporters by issuing email statements or yukking it up on jock radio, ultimately a Senate race this big will be decided on more weighty matters than bloodlines.

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  • elewisg39

    I missed the connection.
    How is Scott Brown a birther.
    It seems to be only because you said that he was in the headline.

    Despite your saying so, Warren’s ancestry is not being attacked.
    Questions arose because this 1/32 Cherokee thought it was important to disclose that fact apparently to Harvard and to a law faculty directory.

    Harvard used this 1/32 Cherokee ancestry to promote its commitment to faculty diversity.
    An attack on that promotion is not an attack upon affirmative action.
    Rather it is an attack upon hypocrisy and exaggeration.

    This story does not go away because  comments like yours,  continue to inflame the issue.
    This appears to be some convoluted attempt to play a race card, even if its only a deuce.

  • JimTreacher

    Your tax dollars at work…

  • videosavant

    Clearly, it sucks to be liberal. Or so-called progressive.

    On the other hand, it’s a splendid argument for defunding the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

    You’ll be hearing from us soon.

    • Wareinparis

      Yo! Defunding the Corporation for Public Broadcasting will hurt the good people who depend on the excellent and in depth news coverage provided by NPR, but it won’t break the bank.

      I don’t know or care whether Brown is a so-called birther. Elizabeth Warren’s ancestry is not of particular interest to me either. I do want to know more about how each of them thinks about things that matter.

      This was not, in my opinion, the best titled, or most important NPR article ever done. But it is not the worst, and certainly not a reason to take away the meager share of our tax dollars that presently support Public Radio.

      We ALL benefit from NPR’s contribution to our national discourse.

      • videosavant

        You don’t care much about Elizabeth Warren’s ancestry? OK, do you care that Elizabeth Warren is a deceitful pile of excrement that gamed the affirmative action spoils system for extra special gain for her lily white ass?

        No, you can’t be bothered to sweat the details, because liars like Elizabeth Warren can be counted on to keep the government freebies like NPR coming your way, without bothering to tell you there’s no way it and all the other government-issued pablum can be paid for in the long run.

        And anyone who thinks “good people” should be dependent on NPR deserves the thieving liars they get. And I hope you have or end up with a couple dozen grandchildren, because you’re going to need them and 50 cents of every dollar they earn during their lifetime so that you don’t have to make eye contact with the bottom of the punch bowl.

        Yeah — Yo! Yo! Yo!

        • Rational

          Clearly you are off your meds.  Find them and take them.

          • videosavant

             Memo to Rational: A personal attack is neither an argument nor a counterargument. You think you are belittling me, but you are simply demonstrating your own lack of intellectual capacity and personal sloth.

            You might want to familiarize yourself with the following adage, committing it to memory if necessary. You have provided compelling evidence that it may be relevant to you.

            “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth (or engage your keyboard) and remove all doubt.”

        • Wareinparis

          If you want to talk, let’s do so as adults. That does not include whatever nonsense you have posted above.

          My children and grandchildren are not the source of my support, nor will they be. As a responsible adult, I have always lived a little beneath my modest means. My IRA has been funded since they came into existence. I have worked to secure a respectable, though modest pension. Social Security is not the cornerstone of my financial picture.  In short, I pay my own way.

          And I am happy to contribute regularly to the cost of Public Radio. This I do because it not only informs me, but I believe that over the long term even people like you will benefit from it.

          I repeat, Warren’s ancestry and Brown’s possible Birther theories are not of particular interest to me. How they will attempt to improve our greater lot is what interests me.

          • videosavant

            Good for you. Like you, I am not planning on government dependency.

            However, your logic on NPR seems faulty to me, but I’m sure you’ll clarify if I’m misunderstanding you.

            I don’t have any problem with the existence of NPR, any more than I have a problem with the existence of MSNBC, or CNN, or FOX News or any other news organization. What I do have a problem with is government funding NPR, because this is not a legitimate function of government and it makes NPR beholden to government in a way that sooner or later will compromise objectivity. I happen to believe that corruption of objectivity has already occurred.

            If you want to contribute voluntarily to NPR, via pledge drives or just cutting a check every so often, I salute you — that is the way it should be. But if, by contribute, you mean by paying taxes and supporting government-funding of NPR through those taxes, well then I cannot agree with your point of view. NPR should not be funded by federal, state or local governments. If there is a market for NPR, let it be funded by sponsors, advertisers, or listeners, or some combination. We have never had more options for getting news about current affairs than we have today. If there is a real need and support for NPR, let that market, not taxpayers, support it. Otherwise, we can get by without NPR just fine.

            My point about Elizabeth Warren is that there is mounting evidence that she has a long-standing record of being less than completely honest about who she is and how she climbed the ladder of success in her academic world. I believe that we already have too many politicians who are not truthful about who they are, or what they intend to do if elected. Where is the logic in looking at Elizabeth Warren and concluding that she is a serial liar, and then expecting that putting trust in Elizabeth Warren as a public servant is a recipe for good outcomes? If she lied about who she is, how can she be trusted to determine how government funds — equal to 25% of the US economy each and every year — is going to be spent?

            Do you really not see the folly there?

            While I recognize that I may be titling at windmills, I am done with going along to get along and electing the same sort of people as in the past. Whether it was Einstein or someone else who said it first, it is clear that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is a sign of sloppy thinking, if not a form of mental illness. It is, at minimum, delusional.

            As for your grandchildren, you say you are not dependent on them. But the fact is, we have all chosen to make ourselves dependent on them when we stand by and allow the federal government borrow 40 cents of every dollar, and then still do nothing when government claims that it has no choice but to spend even more. Worse, that problem is being replicated at the state and local levels. You cannot be blind to the fact that the deficits that are on the books ($15 trillion and rising) along with those “off the books” for SS, Medicare and Medicaid (headed toward $100 trillion) cannot be ignored.

            No matter how you twist or turn it, we are willfully spending the wealth of future generations to satisfy our current wants: NPR is just one example of a want — it is not something we need. What we need to do is to start distinguishing between needs and wants then determine whether we can afford to pay for the needs. And then, if there is any money left over after paying for all the needs (all evidence says “no”), we can decide which “wants” we’re going to fund.

            That will be an extraordinarily painful process after nearly 100 years of the delusional thinking that we can have it all and not worry about how it will be paid for.

            The bill is now due. The doors are sealed. It’s time to start making hard choices, and I believe the only rational way to begin that process is getting back to first principles, by dramatically reducing the size and scope of what government does.

          • Wareinparis

            Hurrah! I am delighted that you have responded in a thoughtful manner. I believe that most of us can and will do so when we want to.

            I continue to be happy to make voluntary contributions to NPR, as well as to have a modest portion of my tax dollar go there, too.

            Your frustration with government is understandable. We all share some of that, and it is what makes us keep trying to improve our institutions. Our government is us.

            Honestly, I am not thrilled with either of our current Senatorial candidates from Massachusetts. I don’t really believe that Ms. Warren is sufficiently well known across the state for this job. Nor is she doing anything to garner our interest. Mr. Brown doesn’t impress me as being very substantive.

            I miss the fire of Ted Kennedy, whom I did not appreciate when I was younger. When I stopped putting my focus on Chappaquidick, and started noticing what a lion for Massachusetts he was, I began to recognize Kennedy as a great man, complete with human failings.

            Now we must choose between the two candidates we have. It really will not be easy for me.

          • videosavant

            I’m well past being tired of people who are prepared to put a piece of filth like Ted Kennedy on a pedestal. Little wonder you would find Elizabeth Warren viable.

            Based on your comment, we’d be better off if there were 50 Ted Kennedys and each and every state had a drunk, misogynist and murderer to call their own.

            Or is that sort of representation only good for Massachusetts?

          • Wareinparis

            No one said Kennedy was perfect. I do recognize his work for the disabled, women, gays and lesbians. I also recognize the work he did for uninsured children and to deliver the rights black Americans are entitled to. History will probably regard Ted Kennedy as one of the Senate’s last great lions. This would be in contrast to the great obstructionist Mitch McConnell, an angry man.

            I want to know who will best serve the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as its next senator.  As a personally flawed human, my interest in others’ dirty laundry is not what will help me to determine the best representative of my needs.

            You seem to want to be angry. I do not. I am done.

  • J__o__h__n

    If only Brown required this level of proof when he confirmed that he saw photos of Osama bin Laden’s corpse. 

  • Bkp4x5

    Is Elizabeth Warren an unctuous liar using identity politics to further her status?
    Remember no one got rich on their own in this country,they did it on the backs of oppressed minorities while claiming to be their saviors.

  • stov1306

    OK, so I don’t get it: Is the point of your article to suggest that Scot Brown is a “birther nut” because Elizabeth Warren chose to apply to U of Penn and Harvard as a Native American? And to go further, are you also saying that universities will publicly state that any minority hires were done so just because they were a minority? I worked in an MBA admissions office, and we tried to diversify our student body by actively recruiting minorities — but even if we did accept a minority based on these efforts — I don’t think I would publicly say that the only reason a student got accepted was because he/she was a minority. BUT, if I found out that someone lied about being a minority, I certainly would not have voted to accept them.  I would say it’s common sense that anyone who lied about being a minority in a University setting was trying to up there chances of being admitted — whether they needed to or not.

    And thank God that the NPR does not have the problem that the Herald has of barely being able to deliver their papers. (I’m not sure how this connects to the legitimacy of their attacks.) I thought Warren would applaud a company like this — one that does not make a profit on the backs of taxpayers who provided their infrastructure.

    • J__o__h__n

      Where is the evidence she applied as a minority?

      • stov1306

        Unless Harvard or UPenn release their records, there is no “hard” evidence. The circumstantial evidence is that both touted her as a Native American faculty member. All Warren has to do to is ask for the release of her records, and since she didn’t do this immediately, I’d say the circumstantial evidence is convincing to me.

  • Admit what you did, Elizabeth.

    The issue isn’t her ancestry, and Payne knows it.  The issues are 

    a) the corruption of affirmative action politics, which are not used to help those who really need it, and  b) the enactment of this corruption by Ms. Warren.  She deliberately abused the system, and Harvard was more than happy to collaborate in this embarrassing deceit. 

    No amount of yelling “Birther!” will distract the voters of Massachusetts, liberal or conservative, from the fact that Ms. Warren is wrong to represent us in the Senate.

  • Markus

    My guess is this is a bit embarassing to the other NPR hosts. As has been said, the issue is not her heritage. It’s her integrity. Obviously, Payne knows this, but sadly doesn’t really care as long as his side wins. Doesn’t seem quite up to the standards of other hosts.

  • Rob in Mass

    You seem confused on the issue of Obama’s promotional biography.  It was amended repeatedly over a period of more than a decade and still stated that he was born in Kenya each time until the year he decided to run for President.  I don’t know any sane person who actually thinks he was born in Kenya. But, was he unaware that he was being promoted in this way?  I’m sure he was a busy guy with all that community organizing, but too busy to read his own one paragraph bio?  Not credible.  Which then leads one to wonder why he chose to allow this to go on?

  • http://profiles.google.com/kenyanbornobamacorn KenyanBorn ObamAcorn

    WOW, you’ve got a LOT to learn!

    Let me help:

    Obama literary agent claims Obama was Kenyan-born ~ Now DOZENS more articles confirm the same! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1grt5uehak 
    2012 Vetting Obama: 100% proof Obama is a USURPER ~ 100% sourced w/govt documents http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1DHZmeMXyE 
    2012 Vetting Obama ~ Kenyan Parliament ADMITS Obama is NOT a Native American http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_8PC3oKAvA 
    2012 Vetting Obama NEW EVIDENCE on Obama’s Birth Place ~ Is this the REAL Certificate? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lar_bth5NOI 
    2012 Vetting Obama: BARRY SOETORO ILLEGAL PRESIDENT ~100% SOURCED W/ GOVT DOCUMENTS http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTnJDuVNifQ

    • http://profiles.google.com/vaporland vaporland .

      i guess when you’re living on government subsidized Social Security, you’ve got time for this nonsense…

  • http://profiles.google.com/kenyanbornobamacorn KenyanBorn ObamAcorn

    1862 Representative John Bingham, author of the 14th Amendment (Cong. Globe, 37th Congress, 2nd Session, pg 1639):
    “All from other lands, who by the terms of [congressional] laws and a compliance with their provisions become naturalized, are adopted citizens of the United States; all other persons born within the Republic, of parents owing allegiance to no other sovereignty, are natural born citizens. Gentleman can find no exception to this statement touching natural-born citizens except what is said in the Constitution relating to Indians.”
    http://memory.loc.gov/ll/llcg/059/0600/06811639.gif

     The Civil Rights Act of 1866 failed to pass in the Senate until Lyman Trumbull proposed an amendment to the bill adding the words “That all persons born in the United States and not subject to any foreign power, excluding Indians not taxed, are hereby declared to be citizens of the United States;”
    http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/reconstruction/section4/section4_civrightsact1.html

    The bill then went to the House where Representative John Bingham (author of the “future” 14th amendment), confirms the understanding and construction the framers used in regards to birthright and jurisdiction while speaking on civil rights of citizens in the House on March 9, 1866, in regards to Trumbull’s amendment to the bill:
    “I find no fault with the introductory clause [S 61 Bill], which is simply declaratory of what is written in the Constitution, that every human being born within the jurisdiction of the United States of PARENTS NOT OWING ALLEGIANCE TO ANY FOREIGN SOVEREIGNTY is, in the language of your Constitution itself, a NATURAL BORN CITIZEN”
    MIDDLE COLUMN 3RD PARAGRAPH:
    http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llcg&fileName=071/llcg071.db&recNum=332

    The 14th amendment was introduced to render the Civil Rights act constitutional and amend it to the Constitution. It passed in the House, but failed in the Senate until Senator Jacob Howard’s amendment to the bill (the citizenship clause) was introduced. In 1866 while while introducing bill H.R. 127 (14th Amendment) Jacob M. Howard (Author of the Citizenship clause) states:
    “This amendment which I have offered is simply declaratory of what I regard as the law of the land already, that every person born within the limits of the United States, AND SUBJECT TO THE JURISDICTION THEREOF, is by virtue of natural law and national law a citizen of the United States.”
    http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llcg&fileName=073/llcg073.db&recNum=11

    MEANING that they changed NOTHING with the 14th Amendment, only that they were declaring what was already the law. The LAW he was referring to, was the Civil Rights Act of 1866 which had just recently passed and again states:
    “Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That all persons born in the United States and not subject to any foreign power, excluding Indians not taxed, are hereby declared to be citizens of the United States;”
    http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/reconstruction/section4/section4_civrightsact1.html

    Everyone seems to forget the phrase “subject to the jurisdiction thereof”, which is why the law/amendment went astray. If you look at the congressional records, while they were debating the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and the 14th Amendment, you will find the truth and see the 14th Amendment has been 100% perverted!
     
    What exactly did “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” mean to the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment? Luckily we have Sen. Lyman Trumbull, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, author of the Thirteenth Amendment, and the one who inserted the citizenship clause amendment to the bill, so I think he knew what HE meant:
    “The provision is, that ‘all persons born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens.’ That means ‘subject to the complete jurisdiction thereof.’ What do we mean by ‘complete jurisdiction thereof?’ NOT OWING ALLEGIANCE TO ANYBODY ELSE. That is what it means.”
    http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llcg&fileName=073/llcg073.db&recNum=14

    So this proves that “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” means the same exact thing as “not subject to any foreign power” Senator Howard concurs with Trumbull’s construction:”I concur entirely with the honorable Senator from Illinois [Trumbull], in holding that the word “jurisdiction,” as here employed, ought to be construed so as to imply a full and complete jurisdiction on the part of the United States, whether exercised by Congress, by the executive, or by the judicial department; that is to say, the same jurisdiction in extent and quality as applies to every citizen of the United States now.”
    http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llcg&fileName=073/llcg073.db&recNum=16

    1814 Supreme Court Case, The Venus, Chief Justice Marshall cites Vattel in saying:
    “The whole system of decisions applicable to this subject rests on the law of nations as its base. It is therefore of some importance to inquire how far the writerson that law consider the subjects of one power residing within the territory of another, as retaining their original character or partaking of the character of the nation in which they reside. Vattel, who, though not very full to this point, is more explicit and more satisfactory on it than any other whose work has fallen into my hands, says:”
    “The citizens are the members of the civil society; bound to this society by certain duties, and subject to its authority, they equally participate in its advantages. The natives or indigenes are those born in the country of parents who are citizens. Society not being able to subsist and to perpetuate itself but by the children of the citizens, those children naturally follow the condition of their fathers, and succeed to all their rights.”
    http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llfr&fileName=003/llfr003.db&recNum=632&itemLink=D?hlaw:1:./temp/~ammem_dtRA::%230030633&linkText=1

    Supreme Court Minor V. Happerset:
    “At common-law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives, or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners.”
    http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=88&invol=162

  • http://profiles.google.com/kenyanbornobamacorn KenyanBorn ObamAcorn

    NBC in the Constitutional drafts:
    June 18th, 1787 – Alexander Hamilton suggests that the requirement be added, as: “No person shall be eligible to the office of President of the United States unless he be now a Citizen of one of the States, or hereafter be born a Citizen of the United States.”
    http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llfr&fileName=003/llfr003.db&recNum=632&itemLink=D?hlaw:1:./temp/~ammem_7RJR::%230030633&linkText=1
     
    July 25, 1787 (~5 weeks later) – John Jay writes a letter to General Washington (president of the Constitutional Convention): “Permit me to hint, whether it would be wise and seasonable to provide a strong check to the admission of Foreigners into the administration of our national Government; and to declare expressly that the Commander in Chief of the American army shall not be given to nor devolve on, any but a natural born Citizen.” [the word born is underlined in Jay's letter which signifies the importance of allegiance from birth.]
    http://rs6.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/hlaw:@field%28DOCID+@lit%28fr00379%29%29:
     
    September 2nd, 1787 George Washington pens a letter to John Jay. The last line reads: “I thank you for the hints contained in your letter”
    http://books.google.com/books?id=z0oWAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA76&dq=%22I+thank+you+for+the+hints+contained+in+your+letter%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=yDs0T82yEOLm0QHclt2zAg&ved=0CEkQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=%22I%20thank%20you%20for%20the%20hints%20contained%20in%20your%20letter%22&f=false
     
    September 4th, 1787 (~6 weeks after Jay’s letter and just 2 days after Washington wrote back to Jay) – The “Natural Born Citizen” requirement is now found in their drafts.
    Madison’s notes of the Convention.
    http://www.nhccs.org/dfc-0904.txt

  • Milliband

    I’m much more concerned that Downtown Filibuster Brown is a fake moderate and a lackey of the despic

  • Candelman4

    I am more concerned that Downtown Filibuster Brown is a fake moderate that Warren is a fake  Indian.   Brown has engaged in more filibusters in two years than any Massachusetts Senator in history, and on the big issues has been a shameful lackey for the despicable Mitch McConnell.  If Brown was a Democrat the Herald would have full color pictures of his wife’s pseudo erotic music video on the front page.   

  • John Y.

    The argument of Warren’s indian heritage goes to her CHARACTER, not her politics.  She apparently tried to get special treatment and abused several universities affirmative action programs by taking places away from “real” native americans whose backgrounds were based on native american traditions.  This was mean and self serving.  This was definitely not “playing fair”.

  • Tomas

    “Warren’s ancestry is not germane to her candidacy or the election. This foolishness has robbed the Senate race of a discussion of legitimate differences between Warren and Brown, such as how to regulate Wall Street abuses, what is the best way to reduce the federal deficit, should the Obama health care overhaul remain in place, how much should the Pentagon budget be reduced?”

    You are absolutely right on this point; however, we need to know the differences between Warren and her very worthy Democratic opponent, Marisa DeFranco, before we get to the Brown-Warren comparisons. We need to have a democratic Democratic primary.

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