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Yesterday, while you were powerless to stop them, Congress passed a law declaring Barack Obama to be a native-born citizen, making his takeover complete.

As previously reported, there’s some question about this. While it has been demonstrated that he was born in Hawaii, there is as of yet no definitive prof that he was not born in Kenya, where his father was. At some point. That’s why Rep. Bill Brasky Rep. Bill Posey has introduced a bill requiring future Presidential candidates (including Obama if he runs again in 2012) to prove they were born.

Though Posey did vote for H. Res. 593, which avers “the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961.” In fact, 378 members of the House of Representatives voted for the non-binding resolution, and none voted against (the rest didn’t record a vote at all, not an uncommon occurence, or is it?)

Republicans didn’t just let this happen, of course. Michele Bachmann delayed it on procedural grounds, forcing . . . er, well, forcing Republican Representatives to go on record picking a side. Unsurprisingly, they all picked the side of rational people, but they could have simply not shown up too. In fact, they didn’t, since there wasn’t a quorum.

So now that that’s taken care of, what’s Washington going to talk about now?


I’m not up for a post today, and there’s not a lot of today left. Have a good weekend.

So, birthers. Huh.

Yes, there are still people out there wondering if Barack Obama is eligible to be president. At last count, 17 lawsuits have been filed either claiming Obama is not a natural-born citizen or demanding that he prove that he is (including a reservist who refused to be deployed because the Commander in Chief is supposedly illegitimate).

So why, you ask, doesn’t he simply provide some evidence that he was born in the U.S.—a birth certificate, perhaps—to quiet the doubters and put the matter to rest. Well, there are several problems with this. First, how many of his predecessors or opponents have been asked to show their birth certificates, let alone done so? Maybe McCain, born in the Panama Canal Zone while it was part of the U.S. Second, he did, as early as 2007. (Incidentally, I love the name of the St. Petersberg Times‘s primary-sources Web site.)

The trouble is, there’s always something else, somewhere to move the goalposts to. Now the clamor is for the “long-form” birth certificate. Then that’ll be questioned, because it’ll be a digital copy, because it’s hard to put a piece of paper on the Internet. Even then, there’ll be people saying “yeah, but that’s not his super-duper-secret birth certificate” and the eligibility Calvinball game will continue. A few holdouts will refuse to accept any docuent as genuine, and therefore probitive, if it doesn’t give his place of birth as Kenya, meaning there is literally no document that will prove to these people that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii.

Then there’s the third issue: Obama’s a bit busy right now.

(h/t Bint Alshamsa at Feministe and the boys and girls at ONTD_P)

Sorry for no content, I’m taking a break. I’ll be back after the vote on Sotomayor with my thoughts on that.

The notion of trigger warnings rubs me the wrong way for a number of reasons I shan’t go into here, so I’m simply not going to post a link to the article in the Telegraph Vanessa at Feministing discusses here, the one saying that if women didn’t go around dressing like that, they wouldn’t get raped.


So, what you can take away from this is . . . isn’t much, as it turns out, what with the actual study saying nothing of the sort. In fact, it says next to nothing about women, focusing on rape as it relates to rapists.

When you get right down to it, in fact, it says nothing at all, because the methodolgy is more than a little shaky:

[Researcher Sophia] Shaw spoke to about 100 men, presenting them with various situations around being with a woman, and asking them when they would call it a night, in order to explore men’s attitudes towards coercing women into sex. “I’m very aware that there are limitations to my study. It’s self report data about sensitive issues, so that’s got its flaws, participants were answering when sober, and so on.”

But that doesn’t excuse the famously socially conservative paper misrepresenting the study’s conclusions.

So it really looks like they were just trying to be provocative. And, um, wrong. Science journalism sucks, but it’s not typically this bad, Which would be fine if they were just amusing themselves—chacun a son goût and all that—but this sort of thing just perpetuates the idea in society that women can do things to avoid being victimized. And therefore that women who don’t do those things are in some sense willing to be victimized, and not, say, trying to live their lives as if they’re free people.

But ultimately the problem with this isn’t that the results are bad. It would be interesting, to say the least, if we discovered actual solid proof that there is something a woman can do to guarantee she won’t be attacked, however unpopular that might be politically. The problem is that a major British newspaper willlfully misrepresented a study. That’s where the harm comes in.

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July 2009
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