As usual, Chris Matthews has flipped!

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013

New take on foreign birth: Poor Ted Cruz is being forced to explain his foreign birth.

The gentleman was born in Canada, to an American mother. And Canada is a foreign country!

This creates an awkward echo of the Tea Party furor about Obama’s imagined foreign birth. Last night, on Hardball, Chris Matthews explained the Cruz situation as follows:

According to Matthews, Cruz is a natural-born American citizen despite his birth on Canadian soil. The segment started with tape of Cruz explaining his situation to Jonathan Karl:
HARDBALL (8/20/13):
KARL: You were born in Canada. Could you—are you even eligible to be president of the United States?
CRUZ: My mother was born in Wilmington, Delaware. She is a U.S. citizen, so I’m a U.S. citizen by birth.
(End of videotape)

MATTHEWS: “I’m a U.S. citizen by birth,” and he couldn’t be more right. Welcome back to Hardball!

That was Texas senator Ted Cruz telling ABC's Jonathan Karl that he is, in fact, a natural-born citizen, therefore eligible to be president.

Cruz went the extra mile to release his birth certificate to the Dallas Morning News, which reported that Cruz, who was born in Canada to an American mother, has dual citizenship, which is, by the way, the accident of being born up there.

And following that report, Senator Cruz released a statement renouncing his Canadian citizenship formally. He said, "Now the Dallas Morning News says that I may technically have dual citizenship. Assuming that to be true, then sure, I will renounce any Canadian citizen. Nothing against Canada, but I’m an American by birth, and as a U.S. senator. I believe I should only be an American."

Well said. I couldn’t agree with him more. It’s odd for me to say this about a guy I probably disagree with on many points, but he couldn’t be more right.

[...]

He’s giving every indication he may be thinking of running for president and is eligible to do so. He’s a natural-born citizen because he did not have to be naturalized. That’s how simple it is. He was an American at the second of his birth.

[...]

Wayne [Slater], I couldn’t be more clear in my complete and utter agreement with Senator Cruz. He’s an American by birth. His mother was American. I don’t care if you were flying in an airplane over Toledo, or Toledo somewhere in Spain, if you’re born to an American mother, you’re an American, damn it...
As far as we know, Matthews is right. If you’re born on foreign soil to an American mother, you’re an American citizen.

But that isn’t what Matthews said, for several years, during the nonsense about Obama’s alleged foreign birth. Back then, Matthews railed about the birthers’ ridiculous claim that Obama was born in Kenya. But he kept suggesting that Obama would in fact be a foreigner if he had been born in Kenya. He never made the simple point he made last night:

Even if he had been born overseas, he’d be an American citizen.

We complained and complained about Matthews’ take on this matter in the past. But he kept suggesting the birthers were right in their basic theory.

As far as we know, he never said what he said last night: With respect to Obama's citizenship, their stupid claim never even made sense.

As usual, Chris has flipped his position without explaining why he has flipped. We wouldn’t swear that he’s right this time.

But, as usual, he’s different.

52 comments:

  1. Yes, but did Canada require his mother to produce her birth certificate? What about her mother's?

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  2. Come on that's all you have on Ted Cruz?
    You are worried and it may or not happen in 2016.

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  3. Cruz is an alien.

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  4. Here's an alternative explanation, though it isn't an excuse.

    Perhaps Matthews was certain back then that being born in Kenya meant you weren't a U.S. citizen, and he has subsequently learned differently.

    Or is he doomed to repeat the same mistake over and over in order to satisfy some sort of notion of consistency?

    By the way, "Dan," I think if you would ask any Democrat remotely thinking about a run for president in 2016, their dream opponent would be Ted Cruz.

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  5. The critical thing to know about Cruz' Presidential eligibility is whether he's a natural born citizen. Unfortunately, no one is really sure what that means when it comes to people born outside the US, and only the Supreme Court can tell us, which it hasn't.

    Ted Cruz is a naturalized citizen, i.e., he obtained his citizenship via a law passed by Congress. It's true that his US citizenship started the moment he was born, unlike John McCain's. Does that make him Constitutionally "natural born"? No one knows for sure. Did he also obtain his citizenship independently of naturalization law through some form of ius sanguinis? Again, no one knows for sure.

    The US citizenship of babies born abroad is determined by a complicated function that involves the place of birth, the date of birth, and citizenship, nationality, residence history, and military service of the parents. Cruz evidently qualified. Had Obama been born in Kenya, then he wouldn't have qualified.

    Does this make any difference? Not to Obama. He was born in Hawaii, so the 14th Amendment's version of lex solis makes him a natural born citizen. Probably not to Ted Cruz either. If he were elected President and took office, it's doubtful anyone would have standing to challenge his eligibility.

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    1. Sorry, deadrat. But under U.S. law, Ted Cruz is a natural-born U.S. citizen, born to a U.S. parent-citizen in Calgary, and thus eligible to run for President of the United States.

      That is, assuming you are being serious here and not merely parodying the Obama "birther" arguments.

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    2. Well, Anonymous @7:21, perhaps you could cite the law that makes Ted Cruz "natural born." I know it's a challenge you can't meet, because there is no such law. "Natural born" is a Constitutional term of art, and it's interpretation must be left to the Supreme Court. Which hasn't ruled on the issue.

      You're not unreasonable to venture that Cruz meets the criteria, but your guessing isn't dispositive. Had Obama been born outside the US, he wouldn't have been a citizen at all, let alone natural-born, his US citizen-parent notwithstanding.

      I'm not parodying birther arguments. I'm just familiar with the Supreme Court decisions on citizenship and Title 8 of the United States Code.

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    3. Yeah, I'm puzzled on why blogs like TPM they think it is so plain that Cruz is "natural born." Like deadrat, I think it is unclear whether a naturalized citizen like Cruz quailifies. And, again, as deadrat says we might need to see the Supreme Court rule on the matter.

      There are more conditions to citizenship than whether one's mother is an American citizen, such as a residency requirement. For example, if Cruz had stayed in Canada after being born there, his children would not be Americans (unless Cruz's hypothetical children qualified through their mother).

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    4. The law on citizenship must be very tricky...maybe TDH shouldn't be so hard on Matthews' misunderstanding of the law. Cruz has said he didn't realize he had dual citizenship and here's Cruz's legal background:

      After graduating from Princeton, Cruz attended Harvard Law School, graduating magna cum laude in 1995. While at Harvard Law, Cruz was a primary editor of the Harvard Law Review, and executive editor of the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, and a founding editor of the Harvard Latino Law Review. Referring to Cruz's time as a student at Harvard Law, Professor Alan Dershowitz said, "Cruz was off-the-charts brilliant."

      So I guess we better cut Matthews some slack...or Cruz is just lying.

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    5. Glad you asked, deadrat.

      The Naturalization Act of 1790 expliciity states that: "the children of citizens of the United States that may be born beyond sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens"

      Now excuse me if my math is off, but it's been the law of the land for 223 years.

      And I don't see how it could be any clearer. Because Ted Cruz's mother was a citizen of the United States, that makes Cruz a natural born U.S. citizen from the moment he was born -- or, as Cruz might have it -- from the moment he was conceived.

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    6. trollmes, can I suggest you do a bit more research on what a "naturalized" citizen is? Cruz is not a naturalized citizen. But his father is. By virtue of his mother being a U.S. citizen, Cruz has been a U.S. citizen by birth.

      Now here is the rub. By virtue of the Canadian Citizenship Act of 1947, which was written to closely mirror U.S. law, all infants born inside Canada are Canadian citizens, regardless of whether their parents are Canadian citizens, with the sole exception of the children of foreign diplomats born in Canada.

      I guess we could cut Cruz some slack, since he moved here at age 4, of not giving much thought to his Canadian citizenship. But he simply can't stand up in front of a microphone and renounce his Canadian citizenship. There is a process, and he should know it. And I have no doubt he will follow it.

      But dual citizenship, past or even present, does not disqualify him from holding the office of President of the United States.

      Now in my book, a lot of other things do though not in the legal sense. Those are what we should be talking about instead of this nonsense.




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    7. By the way, Obama was born in Hawaii. Documented. Case closed.

      How stupid would it be to argue, "Even if he was born in Kenya . . ."

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    8. Anon 1044,

      I did do some more research. In 2008 the Congressional Research Service looked at the constitutional requirements for serving as President and they were unequivocal about the eligibility of candidates born in the US. But all they could say about persons born outside the US was this:

      "The weight of more recent federal cases, as well as the majority of scholarship on the subject,
      also indicates that the term “natural born citizen” would most likely include, as well as native
      born citizens, those born abroad to U.S. citizen-
      parents, at least one of whom had previously
      resided in the United States, or those born abroad
      to one U.S. citizen parent who, prior to the
      birth, had met the requirements of federal law for physical presence in the country."

      The reason they say "most likely" is that it's not a sure thing. Cruz is not a citizen of the US simply because his mother was a US citizen; it is essential that his mother lived here for particular lengths of time during certain periods of her life. The Supreme Court might wonder how you could be a "natural born" citizen of Cuba, Canada and the US.

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    9. "Ted Cruz is a naturalized citizen, i.e., he obtained his citizenship via a law passed by Congress. " That's not what "naturalized citizen" means. A naturalized citizen is someone who has to go through the process of naturalization, i.e. submitting an application to be naturalized.

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    10. It is drivel such as deadcat's post that causes so much confusion. The situation is actually quite simple. Take my example, similar to Cruz. I am an American-born citizen living abroad. My wife is not American. My kids were born abroad. We went to the US consulate, proved that I was American, and now my kids are American. They are "natrual-born citizens" because they did not have to be naturalized, which is how Congress has defined "natural-born". It really is that simple. The constitution did not define "natural-born" (wisely), leaving that to congress. Congress has changed the definition a few times over the years. Based on the current definition, my kids are natural-born citizens, which means they can run for president. I hope they'll be smarter than that.

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    11. Anonymous @10:28P,

      Do you mind if I list the number of ways that you're clueless? See what I did there? That first question was rhetorical. Just like the one asking you for the law that makes Cruz a natural born citizen.

      In the first place, yes, your math is correct. The Naturalization Act of 1790 is 223 years old, but naturalization law has changed many, many times over those years. Modern citizenship law does not use the term "natural born." Can I make this any clearer? You have to look at the law that was in effect at the time that Cruz was born.

      Now, although I haven't looked it up, I'm willing to believe that the naturalization law in effect at the time Cruz was born made him a citizen at birth. I'll repeat and type more slowly so you can follow:

      n-a-t-u-r-a-l-i-z-a-t-i-o-n l-a-w

      That's right. Cruz became a citizen as a result of Congressional action. He was naturalized at birth under the naturalization law. Does that make him a natural-born citizen? I don't know. Nobody does for sure. Can Congress even make someone a natural-born citizen by statute? I don't know. Nobody does for sure.

      That's the point. The Constitution doesn't define the term "natural born." It doesn't define the term "Commerce … among the several states" either. We have to rely on the Supreme Court for the interpretation of these things.

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    12. Anonymous @ 10:47P,

      That whooshing sound you heard? It was the point going over your head.

      Of course Obama was born in Hawaii, which makes the case for his eligibility for the Presidency closed.

      But we're not talking about Obama's eligibility; we're talking about the complexity of citizenship law. Merely having a mother who was a US citizen when you were born does not guarantee that you are automatically a US citizen. Case in point: had Obama's birthplace been different but his parentage the same, he might not have been a citizen at birth.

      It's called a hypothetical.

      Clear now?

      Delete
    13. Anonymous @10:47

      "How stupid would it be to argue, "Even if he was born in Kenya . . ."

      Ask the author of this Post. That is exactly what he suggested Chris Matthews should argue back in 2009.

      PPP


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    14. Anonymous @ 12:23A,

      Things often seem quite simple when you're ignorant. Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution authorizes Congress "To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization." Which the Congress has enshrined in Title 8 of the United States Code. Nowhere in the Constitution can be found the authority to define the term "natural born," or indeed any other words in the Constitution. That's for the Supreme Court, despite the irony that the Constitution doesn't explicitly grant the Court that authority either.

      Your children may or may not be natural born citizens. Nobody knows for sure. Yeah, you went to the US consulate, proved you were a US citizen, and your children became documented US citizens. How do you think that happened? Did you hear a heavenly choir and see a divine shaft of light? Or do you suppose that your children met the requirements of the current naturalization law as spelled out in Title 8?

      Base on the current definition, your children became citizens at birth. Does that make them natural born? It's not unreasonable to think so, but you'll have to wait for the Supreme Court to say. Even if they're not natural born, they'll still be able to run for President. Candidacy is not the problem, which will only arise if they win. Perhaps they're smarter than that. I hope they're smarter than their father.

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    15. Ilya,

      A naturalized citizen is one whose citizenship is granted by Congressional action, either by private bill or under the conditions or procedures outlined by the naturalization law that can be found in Title 8 of the United States Code. That would include those naturalized as adults and those naturalized at birth.

      The question at hand is whether the intersection of the set of natural born citizens and the set of those born citizens is empty. Only the Supreme Court can say, which they would do by defining the term "natural born."

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    16. Tell you what, deadrat. Why don't you discuss this with Orly Taitz and Donald Trump? You'd have a great time talking about how a law that couldn't be written in plainer English doesn't really apply to politicians you personally disapprove of.

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    17. Anonymous @1:00A,

      What's that supposed to mean, that I'm a birther?

      And what law are you talking about "that couldn't be written in plainer English"? Since you can't be bothered to be courteous enough to supply a nym, are you the Anonymous who thinks that the Naturalization Law of 1790 is still in effect? 'Cause it's not.

      Whether I approve or disapprove of Obama or Cruz is beside the point. The former is a natural born citizen as a result of his birth in Hawaii; the latter was a citizen at birth courtesy of Title 8 of the United States Code. That makes certain the former's eligibility for the office he holds; the eligibility of the latter's for the office he aspires to, not so much.

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    18. Hey Anon @ 1:00 AM. Why not also suggest he have a panel which includes Michelle Malkin so they can discuss Ted Cruz, our first White Hispanic Anchor Baby President.

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    19. As long as we are talking about something that couldn't be written in plainer English,
      how would you define "natural born killer"?
      And if I have the right to bear arms how come I still can't catch fish with the bare hands at the end of my bear arms?

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    20. OK, deadrat, time for your brain to cash the checks your mouth has written.

      Cite me anything, anything at all except the "facts" you keep pulling out of your ass that counters the overwhelming body of legal scholarship that has emerged in the past couple of days that has stated that yes, Ted Cruz meets the citizenship requirements to run for and to serve, if elected, as president of the United States.

      I hate to call it unanimous, because as sure as the Koch brothers could find a scientist to say that climate change is a hoax, there must be some lightweight crackpot attorney -- or more likely some blogger pretending to be an attorney -- out there somewhere who will say there is still doubt about Cruz's qualfications as a citizen to run for POTUS.

      But so far among the people with expertise in this field, it's been unanimous.

      And yes, if you continue to sell your "expertise" that there is any doubt whatsoever, then you are indeed a birther when it comes to Ted Cruz.

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    21. Dang, Anon. @ 1:30, you're pulling out all the stops. Orly T. Donald T. Now the Brother Kochamongus.

      But did you really have to go here:

      "there must be some lightweight crackpot attorney -- or more likely some blogger pretending to be an attorney --out there who...."

      Leave Glenn Greenwald out of this! Leave Glenn Greenwald alone!

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    22. Anonymous @ 1:30A

      At 11:31P, Trollmes quotes the Congressional Research Service, which states that citizens at birth "most likely" qualify as natural born. I don't know how they figure the probability distribution, but "most likely" differs from definitely. So I guess that means that the CRS is now an arm of the Koch brothers' operation. Or something.

      Note that contrary to your claim, there is no controversy about Cruz' qualifications to run for President. The rules apply only to taking office, not running for it.

      As far as I know there isn't an "overwhelming body of legal scholarship" on this topic that has emerged recently or in the past. Certainly not compared to such Constitutional topics as the commerce clause or equal protection law. What you've got are people whose opinions don't count. There are only nine people whose opinions on the matter do count, and they haven't said.

      As TDH is fond of pointing out, ignoramuses like yourself are quick to assume that people who don't hold the "correct" viewpoint belong to the other tribe, who must hold the opposite (and naturally, "incorrect") view. I have repeatedly said that I don't know whether Cruz qualifies as "natural born." Nobody does, including Cruz, you, and experts. That's because it's a Constitutional issue that cannot be decided by anybody but the Supreme Court.

      Because you seem to have a problem reading for comprehension, let me repeat: I'm not maintaining that Cruz is ineligible. I. Don't. Know. in particular, this agnosticism disqualifies me as a Cruz "birther." Birthers are convinced they know something they can't, which makes you more like them than I. I'm glad for your certainty, and if the question ever reaches the Supreme Court, I'm sure they'll invite an amicus brief from you. If you actually bothered to read what I've written, you'd also know that I think this adjudication unlikely. Should Cruz take office, I doubt that anyone would have standing to challenge his eligibility

      Nothing I've said is based on a view of myself as having "expertise." Everything I've said you may check for accuracy. For example, by reading the relevant portions of the United States Code. Perhaps you could cite something I've included in my comments that warrants the scare quotes around "facts." Of course all that would require a small amount of intellectual effort, so I'll understand why you wouldn't want to attempt it.

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    23. Why wouldn't the person who lost the election have standing to sue?

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    24. Why wouldn't the person who lost the election have standing to sue?

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    25. Dipso,

      Standing is tricky and the courts decide the issue on a case by case basis, but there are four general rules. To have standing, you must sustain an actual injury, the party you're suing must have caused the injury, you must show that court action is likely to make you whole, and you must not violate so-called "prudential" limitations. (That last includes a bar against asserting another's legal rights, so I'd think that pretty much excludes anyone but the loser.) Prudential limitations also exclude claims of injuries best addressed legislatively.

      Clearly, the loser has sustained an actual injury. So who caused the injury? I'd have to guess Congress, which in its capacity as the counter and certifier of the electoral college vote, improperly allowed electoral votes to be cast for an ineligible candidate.

      The first hurdle the loser faces is from the prudential category. One may sue government officials to force them to preform duties only when those duties are ministerial, i.e., when the law grants no discretion in the performance of those duties. But the Constitution grants Congress plenary power to determine the suitability of state electors.

      Suppose the loser gets over that first hurdle. He next faces the problem of showing that the courts can make him President. Suppose the courts order Congress to re-canvass the electors and exclude the ineligible winner. What happens if Congress refuses? The courts have no authority to force Congress to do their bidding. In any case, the electors aren't bound to vote for the person they're pledged to. What happens if the winner's electors switch their votes to the winning candidate for Vice President?

      So the bottom line is that I think the rules disfavor the loser's claim of standing, but I don't know. As for the underlying question, nobody knows for sure.

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  6. i do really believe somerby is sick in the head with hatred.

    if mathews didn't have irish-catholic heritage, i dont think we would have seen a tenth of the columns hes done on him.

    im not a fan of mathews myself, but i recognize the second tool of the bigot when i see it: to regularly hold out for criticism various individual members of the group you wish to attack, way out of proportion to their representation within the group, in this case their numbers as journalists or bosses of media companies.

    he also uses the first tool, which is to name the group and regularly say that the group has this or that bad characteristic or multiple bad characteristics, or as somerby has effectively done, that 'we' are evil.

    the only 'group', as though 'we' are a coherent group, which he outright names is americans of irish catholic heritage.

    to see for yourself, google his new site with comment box since late 2011 for somewhat milder attacks or his older site for the strongest bigotry:

    site:http://dailyhowler.blogspot.com irish catholic

    site:http://dailyhowler.blogspot.com irish

    site:http://dailyhowler.blogspot.com mathews

    site:site:http://dailyhowler.blogspot.com o'donnell

    site:http://dailyhowler.blogspot.com collins dowd

    etc etc


    the old site:

    site:http://www.dailyhowler.com irish catholic

    site:http://dailyhowler.blogspot.com irish

    etc etc

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    Replies
    1. You are a giant, dithering moron

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    2. paranoid drivel

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    3. Look!

      Googling this site for "irish" proves "irish" has been mentioned here!!!!

      Thanks for that yeoman work, sonny.

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    4. Well, guys, to be entirely fair here, Somerby in his history has gone on at length with some truly bizarre things to say about the "East Coast Irish-Catholic culture."

      That said, there is enough to criticize roundly this truly bizarre piece about what Matthews should have said about Obama then that he is saying now about Cruz, never mind we are talking about two entirely different sets of facts, without bothering to call him out for bigotry for East Coast Irish-Catholics.



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  7. Matthews is just getting started. Wait until you see him flip against Hillary Clinton as 2016 draws nearer and Cruz starts sending thrills up his leg.

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    Replies
    1. If MSNBC, amid poor ratings decided to flip formats, Matthews is going to see "the game" in whatever way keeps him around cashing in. He does have a track record, back to his lucrative days as Jack Welch's on-air bitch.

      It's amazing liberals would see the guy as any kind of political ally.

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    2. Max, I can only speak for myself and not all "liberals" but I have never seen this guy as any kind of political ally.

      You are correct, however, insofar as he is a chameleon.

      Matthews was one of the early pioneers of the cable shout show, where you paired of one guy parroting one side's talking points against another guy parroting the other side's talking points, all at maximum volume with plenty of crosstalk, and calling that "balance." The very format that Jon Stewart excorciated Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala about.

      Matthews cut his teeth on that format with the McLaughlin Group, the granddaddy of all shout shows.

      But soon that format became boring, and MSNBC was left to find its niche audience elsewhere. And down the dial, there was Fox News drawing big numbers (for cable anyway) without pretending to be "balanced."

      MSNBC had to be dragged kicking and screaming into that format. They even fired the host of their most highly rated show at the time, Phil Donahue, because he dared ask questions during the run-up to the Gulf War.

      Enter Keith Olbermann whose bluster and righteous indignation from the left began to draw an audience. And soon, MSNBC became "our one, true liberal channel."

      I hold no pretense about what MSNBC execs are doing. Yet at the same time, they have put some shows on the air who at least occassionally air reports that are very worth watching. Matthews can't seem to catch on. He's still stuck in the shout show format while masquerading as a progressive.

      But there are also times when Chris Hayes, Rachel Maddow, and even Big Ed Schultz on occasion would do some very solid, original reporting, and even on some very important stories that are grossly under-reported.

      But of course, they are all on the same Somerby list, so nothing they ever do can possibly be any good.




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  8. Poo Poo Platter (Flipso Facto)

    Matthews flipped on the birtherism BS and Somerby was not only right all along, but he "complained and complained" about wacky old Chris all along.

    Well it didn't take our analysts long to find the post in question. Tomorrow will be that post's third birthday. They couldn't find any more, but after we found the turd in the punchbowl in question they didn't we didn't feel the need to fish in the incomparable Howler archives any longer.

    "First, Matthews has been spouting that blather for months about how “they want him picked up because he’s in the country illegally.” We know! He’s arguing on Obama’s side when he says this, but this whole construct is monumentally stupid. Guess what, dumb-ass? If an American woman gives birth in some other country, her baby is still an American citizen! She doesn’t have to leave her baby in France when she returns to the states. Her baby might not be a “natural-born” citizen in the manner required of presidents—but the baby would be a citizen. Almost anyone with two IQ points to rub would understand this simple fact. But Matthews got this stupid riff in his head a long time ago, and he’ll never drop it.

    Somerby accuses Matthews of flipping and of endorsing the birther theory when in fact Matthews was arguing the birthers were lying about Obama's birthplace. And GUESS WHAT, DUMB-ASS, Bob was the one "suggesting"* that the birther's main goal, having Obama declared ineligible to be President because the location of his birth, "might" not make him "natural-born." Matthews was not suggesting the birther's citizenship theory was correct, he was suggesting their whole campaign was a pack of lies. And Bob's cdomplaint was that Matthews should have conceded that regardless of their lies, even if they were true Obama would at least not get deported though he might be legally impeached.

    Lord the Poo is smelly in this post. And dangerously slippery when considering someone is flipping around in it. For less fragrant composted matter, go here:

    http://www.dailyhowler.com/dh082209.html

    * "Suggesting" is the official wiggle word on all Poo Poo Platter menu's.

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    1. Correction: The Somerby post I cited in the above comment is now celebrating its fourth, not third birthday. And the third paragraph should be closed with a quotation mark to indicate it was the end of Mr. Somerby's own words.

      PPP

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    2. Excellent work, PPP.

      What's funny (in a sick way) here is that Somerby didn't know whether or not being born in Kenya as a U.S. citizen from birth to a U.S. citizen mother disqualified him to serve as president, but he thinks that should have been argued anyway.

      Why on earth would Obama, Matthews or anyone else do that when the truth -- that he was born in Hawaii -- was so strong and removed all doubt?

      By the way, arguing this subject with deadrat is like arguing climate change with one of the Koch brothers.

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    3. I will leave your debate with Mr. d'rat untouched, and by my silence "seem" to agree with you both.

      I would, however, wonder if Mr. Somerby will ever do one of his famous text searches on whether Mr. Cruz ever ventured a quoted opinion on the birtherist theories of a few years back.

      PPP

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    4. I should hasten to add, lest I be labeled
      one of the Legion of Somerby haters, I love the last couple of lines I quoted which Somerby penned in panning Matthews. They are priceless. I'll trot out a disguised plagiarized version soon to dismiss someone
      who is unable to rub their two IQ points together hard enough to dislodge a mistaken riff from their noggin.

      PPP

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    5. Anonymous @ 2:13A,

      You're another one who can't seem to read for comprehension. (Or perhaps you're still one who can't read for comprehension. Can't tell if you won't have the courtesy to adopt a nym.) You think P^3 is having a debate with me? What, exactly, do you think the area of dispute is?

      In the entry that P^3 dug up, Somerby stated that being born in Kenya might disqualify one as a natural born citizen of the US. He's right. It might.

      Somerby also claimed that when a woman who is a US citizen gives birth abroad, her child is automatically a US citizen. But that's not true. And as a hypothetical example, had Obama's birthplace been Kenya, he wouldn't have been a citizen at birth. Why do you think the birthers lied and continue to lie about Obama's birthplace?

      But neither of these points is the key to P^3's rant. He thinks TDH missed the whole thrust of Matthews' argument, which is that the birthers were a bunch of liars.

      By the way, if you think I'm arguing that there's the slightest reasonable doubt that Obama was born in Hawaii, then go back and read my comments again. More slowly this time.

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    6. Deadrat, if someone was born in Kenya to a mother who is an American citizen, are you saying that differs from someone being born in Canada to an American citizen mother, with respect to being a "natural born citizen" or a "citizen at birth" eligible to be elected President? If so what is the basis for the distinction? Is there a specific statute that distinguishes Canada from Kenya in this regard?

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    7. The problem with Obama's mother is that she was a minor at the time of his birth.

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    8. Attn deadrat at 3:31 -- "Anonymous @2:13A" doesn't "think P^3 is having a debate" with you.

      "Anonymous @2:13A" *is* P^3.

      You've detected correctly though, that he/she/it is full of shit.

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    9. And I have just detected that anonymous @ 10:38 is really deadrat.

      Why? Because I say so.

      How clever. Not.

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    10. Anonymous @9:17A,

      The hypothetical problem with Obama's mother is that the law in force at the time would have required her to have had six years of US residency after she was 14 before her children born abroad qualified as citizens at birth. That rule excluded minors and more.

      Note to any ignoramus who still thinks I'm a birther: Since Obama was born in Hawaii, his citizenship was granted by the 14th Amendment and not the rules of naturalization law. He became a citizen the moment he drew a breath, regardless of anything to do with his mother.

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  9. Yesterday must have been a really bad day for Bob.

    First he takes the first two mintues of a 15-minute Rachel Maddow report and twists it beyond all recognition to find something, anything, he can beat her with.

    Then he tells Matthews that he should have ignored the truth about Obama's birth and instead argued hypotheticals. "Even if he was born in Kenya . . ."

    A very bad day indeed.

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  10. AC/MA,

    I'm sorry that I wasn't clear about this. From the point of view of the US, the world is divided into 1) the states and DC, 2) incorporated territory, 3) unincorporated territory, and 4) foreign territory. Both Canada and Kenya fall into category 4, and for the purposes of naturalization law, there is nothing that distinguishes them.

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