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Tag: Rand Paul

Are Anti-immigrant Republican Candidates “American Enough”?

It started when then-Senator, Barack Obama first ran for the presidency: the “birther” movement was born. People of this mindset sought to prove that Obama did not meet the constitutional mandate of “natural-born citizen” in order to have him declared ineligible to run. Once elected, however, the focus shifted to removing him from office.

The 2016 campaign started off relatively quietly. Recently, though, in part because immigration is a key issue in the race and because of the expansive field of candidates, the birthers have re-emerged. Some have indicated that FOUR Republican candidates are actually ineligible because they are not, somehow, “American enough”: Cruz, Jindal, Rubio and Santorum.

Where do they get this notion? Our research showed that a significant number of them cite a 1758 text by a Swiss author (Vattel), titled Law of Nations. According to The Free Dictionary’s law dictionary, “[i]t is a system of rules deducible by natural reason from the immutable principles of natural justice, and established by universal consent among the civilized inhabitants of the world”. The birthers believe that it expressly instructs them as to who may become POTUS. This, despite the book having been written before the U.S. became a country.

So who is a citizen? The US Constitution (14th Amendment) says: All persons born…in the United States…are citizens of the United States… This has been further codified in 8 USC § 1401, which says:

The following shall be nationals and citizens of the United States at birth:
(a) a person born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof;

(b) a person born in the United States to a member of an Indian, Eskimo, Aleutian, or other aboriginal tribe…

(c) a person born outside of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents both of whom are citizens of the United States and one of whom has had a residence in the United States or one of its outlying possessions, prior to the birth of such person;

(d) a person born outside of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents one of whom is a citizen of the United States who has been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for a continuous period of one year prior to the birth of such person, and the other of whom is a national, but not a citizen of the United States;

(e) a person born in an outlying possession of the United States of parents one of whom is a citizen of the United States who has been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for a continuous period of one year at any time prior to the birth of such person;

(f) a person of unknown parentage found in the United States while under the age of five years, until shown, prior to his attaining the age of twenty-one years, not to have been born in the United States;

(g) a person born outside the geographical limits of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents one of whom is an alien, and the other a citizen of the United States who, prior to the birth of such person, was physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for a period or periods totaling not less than five years, at least two of which were after attaining the age of fourteen years..; and

(h) a person born before noon (Eastern Standard Time) May 24, 1934, outside the limits and jurisdiction of the United States of an alien father and a mother who is a citizen of the United States who, prior to the birth of such person, had resided in the United States.

Some of the candidates themselves would terminate “birthright citizenship” and deport newly-declared non-Americans – nearly all of whom have no connection to or knowledge of the nations to which they do “belong”. But what of people whose ancestry includes members of multiple countries? To which would they be deported? How far back in one’s lineage would we have to go before someone’s family “earned” their citizenship? And which candidates among the Republican field are American enough?

We did some masterful Googling and found the following:

The Winner: Rick Perry

Perry has ancestors on his mother’s side who were members of the Choctaw tribal nation. That’s about as American as you can get. His family has had a presence in Texas since it was Mexican territory. Prior to that, they were in Tennessee.

Pre-colonial Roots – American enough?

Jeb! Bush

John Ellis Bush (J.E.B. – get it?) comes from a family of primarily English and German descent. However, the last traceable European ancestor was one John Bush, who lived from 1593-1670. Bush family members are among those who dwelled in the Plymouth Colony, according to Wikipedia.

Mike Huckabee

Someone went to a lot of trouble to document Mike Huckabee’s ancestry: http://www.wargs.com/political/huckabee.html Members of his family have been on this continent since the 1600s. They migrated to Arkansas in the 1800s.

Rand Paul

Likewise, the Paul family has been on this continent since the 1600s.

Antebellum Period

Ben Carson

Through a PBS series called “African American Lives,” Carson’s lineage was traced back to before the Civil War.

Cara Carleton “Carly” (Sneed) Fiorina

Like the Bush family, Fiorina’s heritage is mainly English and German. She was born in Texas and her traceable family roots date back to the Civil War. In fact, her name came from one of those who died in that war. Although biographies are careful to omit for which side, the Sneeds mostly resided in Texas and Tennessee. See: http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=PED&db=nancybesspeyton&id=I1886

Lindsey Graham

While he’s actually been for immigration reform in the past and called other candidates’ positions on the issue “gibberish,” apparently Lindsey doesn’t like birthright citizenship, either. His family have been in the US since at least 1850.

Jim Gilmore

We found it very curious that the former Governor of Virginia has almost nothing that we could find about his family history beyond his parent generation. He appears to be a Virginian through ‘n’ through, though, so we lumped him in this category.

More Recent Arrivals

Chris Christie

Christie’s father is of German, Scottish, and Irish descent. His mother was of Sicilian ancestry. Little is published beyond that much. We’re going to peg him at second generation American.

John Kasich

Kasich’s father was the son of Czech immigrants. His mother was the daughter of Croatian immigrants. So he’s “only” second-generation American.

George Pataki

Pataki’s paternal grandparents were Hungarian and came to the US in the early 1900s. On his mother’s side, his grandfather was Italian-born and married a woman who emigrated from Ireland. Pataki, too, is a second-generation American; when he’s deported, to which country do we send him?

Donald Trump

Trump’s grandfather emigrated to the US in 1885 and became a naturalized US citizen in 1892. His son (Donald’s father) married an English immigrant who gave birth to Donald ten years later. So he is first-generation American on his mother’s side and second-generation on his father’s. And, although he’s made quite a fuss about the immigration topic, three of his children have a Czech-born mother. A fourth child has a Slovenian-born mother.

“Anchor Babies”

Finally, we get to those to whom some might apply the derogatory term “anchor baby”. These would be defined as children born to a non-citizen mother in a country having birthright citizenship.

Rafael “Ted” Cruz

Ted was famously born in Canada of a Cuban father and American mother. Now we ask you to return to 8 USC § 1401(d); whether he is a “natural” citizen of the US is entirely predicated on his mother’s status and residence around the time of his birth. A formal request has been made by birthers for information on this subject. We’ll see how it plays out.

Piyush “Bobby” Jindal

Jindal’s parents were both living in the US – legally, on visas – when little Bobby was born. According to the US Constitution and 8 USC § 1401(a), he is a natural-born citizen, eligible to run for the presidency. Birthers call him an “anchor baby” and further cite that, under the Law of Nations, he and/or his family would necessarily have divided loyalties.

Marco Rubio

Despite his own lack of clarity on the subject, it is well documented that his parents applied for visas to leave Cuba in May 1956. Like Jindal, Rubio would ordinarily be considered a natural-born citizen under the Constitution and 8 USC 1401(a), but some birthers define him as an “anchor baby” with the potential for divided loyalties to a commie country.

Richard John “Rick” Santorum

Santorum’s father arrived in the US from Italy at the age of seven; his mother is of Italian and Irish ancestry. Some birthers take issue, apparently, with his father having been an immigrant; even they, though, admit their case against him is weak. Other birthers have decided he’s “American enough”. http://www.birtherreport.com/2015/01/attorney-rick-santorum-is-article-ii.html

© 2015 Poligags
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Rand Paul – No BS

A number of people are talking about Scott Walker’s lack of a college degree. Those who are concerned may find it equally interesting that Rand Paul did not complete his undergraduate program, either.

Literally no BS (Bachelor of Science) degree:

“Paul attended Baylor University between 1981 and 1984 but never graduated. Yet he was able to attend Duke University Medical School and received a degree there in 1988. At the time, Duke’s medical school did not require students to have a bachelor’s degree…We’re not sure what to make of it, given that…he said his degree was in biology and English. [S]ome well-credentialed readers have emphatically noted that a medical degree is not a degree in biology.”

Washington Post, February 13, 2015

And, as far as his ophthalmology credentialing:

“Rand initially did the right thing and became certified; but when his 10 years were up, he decided he’d had enough and chose not to recertify. Rather, he organized his own certifying program for ophthalmology based right there in his hometown of Bowling Green. He then appointed himself president of the group, which he named the National Board of Ophthalmologists, and better yet, declared his wife (not a doctor) VP and his father-in-law secretary.”

The Daily Beast, June 15, 2010

© 2015 Poligags
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The Right Wing Monopoly on Bullsh*t

A monopoly is a large association – a cartel, syndicate or trust – owned by an individual or group. These associations control industries, markets, or entire economies through a concentration of resources.

Politically, at least, the right wing seems to have cornered the market on bullshit. These people – you know all the players by name – claim the moral high ground and even “divine right” to simultaneously cling to democratic principles while conducting themselves in a contrary manner.

Take national security, for example. The Right asserts superiority in the patriotism department. Early opponents of the Patriot Act were so cowed by the prospect of being labeled “unpatriotic” that 98 of 100 Senators voted in favor of it. In the House, 357 members voted for its passage. But, while claiming that this nation’s security is of the utmost importance, Rep. Darrell Issa (CA), for example, has a history of leaking sensitive information and documents. These leaks have the potential for damaging national security and, according to Rep. Elijah Cummings (MD) “promote political narratives that turn out to be inaccurate after further investigation.” Issa is not the only one whose patriotic fervor is belied by his actions. The Kochs are reputed to have spent $20 million to fight the Patriot Act. Just too intrusive, you know..?

And speaking of intrusive, how about those safety net programs? That “nanny state” government! People who have suffered injury, hard times and numerous other disadvantages should write themselves out of the social contract all together and, ideally, shrivel up and blow away.

“When everyone gets something for nothing, soon no one will have anything, because no one will be producing anything,” said Charles Koch, whose inheritance (made by his daddy, who ran oil pipelines through the USSR for Stalin) clearly stunted his incentive.

Glenn Grothman (WI) offered the belief that the Left would like to breed generations of “takers” in perpetuity: “The Left and the social welfare establishment want children born out of wedlock because they are far more likely to be dependent on the government.”

Of course, when they talk about children born out of wedlock, we know what they really mean: melanin. Pigmentation. Color.

The Right’s “color envy” came to light when Rep. Ted Yoho (FL) proclaimed that taxing tanning salons was “racist”. The White Right really can’t be prejudiced, because they can’t even tell the races or ethnicities apart. Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX) observed: “We know Al Qaeda has camps on the Mexican border. We have people that are trained to act Hispanic when they are radical Islamists.” Meanwhile, Rep. Steve King (IA), expressed a bizarre form of admiration for the athleticism of some: “For every one who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”

The Right generously acknowledges the Left’s inclusion and embracing of the melting pot that is America: “Liberals love diversity. That’s why they love to punish anyone who doesn’t think, act, eat, drink, drive and speak exactly like them.” (Rep. Steve Stockman, TX)

The Right believes, too, that race should pose no obstacle to achievement in this land of opportunity. Everyone has an equal chance of belonging to the 47% moocher class, as business news reporter Michele Caruso-Cabrera explained: “There used to be no income inequality in China because everyone was poor. This is a tradeoff you accept for growth and freedom.”

See? Income inequality is good, because…freedom! Former presidential candidate Herman Cain promoted personal responsibility for landing at one end of the spectrum or the other when he famously said “If you don’t have a job and you are not rich, blame yourself.” If you do have the good fortune to amass a fortune, Iowa Rep. Steve King wants you to be able to keep it all for yourself: “It’s not even the government’s business how much money you make. That’s a part of freedom.”

But freedom only goes so far as the Right wants it to. They’ll let you know when you’ve had enough. State Rep. Mike Turner along with other legislators in Oklahoma are considering a ban on all marriages…to prevent the gay ones without violating the constitutional protections of anyone. After all, as former governor Mike Huckabee can tell you, through gay marriage “holy matrimony is formed into an unholy pretzel.”

But don’t take the Right’s rights away. Especially those pertaining to guns and ammo! “An armed man is a citizen – a disarmed man is a subject,” according to Allen West (FL), while Rep. Frank Lucas (OK) questions whether the Department of Homeland Security is engaged in “a conspiracy to buy up all the bullets so they’re not available to us?”

There have also been attempts by the Right to somehow connect school shootings with abortion. Kevin Cramer (ND) has argued that the legalization of a medical procedure that prevents viable pregnancies from coming to term ultimately results in school shootings – forgetting entirely that pregnancies that do come to term filled those schools in the first place. Numerous experts blame the state of the nation’s mental health care for many shootings in recent years.

Speaking of health, the Right certainly has strong opinions on that topic. Eye doctor/Senator Rand Paul said, “With regard to the idea of whether you have a right to health care… I’m a physician. That means you have a right to come to my house and conscript me. It means you believe in slavery. It means that you’re going to enslave not only me, but the janitor at my hospital, the person who cleans my office, the assistants who work in my office, the nurses.”

So the career he presumably chose and for which he trained (and created his own credentialing authority to make certain he could practice) is slavery for him and his entire staff. Well, slavery happens to be unconstitutional. Or is it? It is the job of the Supreme Court to interpret the US Constitution and apply it to cases – like the Affordable Care Act – unless you listen to Oklahoma Rep. Jim Bridenstine: “Just because the Supreme Court rules on something doesn’t necessarily mean that that’s constitutional.”

The Right’s grasp of mathematics is every bit as good as their command of how the US Government is set up and functions. Budget Wizard Paul Ryan gave us his version of Jaime Escalante’s “fill in the hole” exercise in “Stand and Deliver”. “Let’s pass a bill to cover the moon with yogurt that will cost $5 trillion today. And then let’s pass a bill the next day to cancel that bill. We could save $5 trillion.”

But that is pure genius when compared to the American Petroleum Institute president who cannot cipher the difference between $4,000,000,000 and $0: “The oil and gas industry gets no subsidies, zero, nothing.” The fact is, petroleum was getting tax breaks to the tune of that slightly bigger number.

The Right is equally good at science, too. Recall Rep. Michelle Bachmann’s (MN) assertion that “there isn’t even one study that can be produced that shows that carbon dioxide is a harmful gas.” Or the classic Rep. Steve Stockman (TX) quip: “The best thing about the Earth is if you poke holes in it, oil and gas come out.”

Even when confronted by scientific evidence and facts, the Right’s “logical” conclusion can sound much like Texas Rep. Joe Barton’s: “The Great Flood is an example of climate change. And that certainly wasn’t because mankind overdeveloped hydrocarbon energy.”

US science policy runs through the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, chaired by science skeptic Lamar Smith. He has equally dim counterparts on the Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee. Between some members’ extreme ignorance and their eagerness to defund programs that would benefit the US and world communities scientifically, we can only hope that Alabama state representative Mary Sue McClurkin doesn’t one day join their ranks and regale them with her brand of wisdom: “When a physician removes a child from a woman, that is the largest organ in a body.”

Are they purposely obtuse? Willfully ignorant? If not, what is their end game? Why do they seem to want to bury America beneath what Jon Stewart terms “Bullsh*t Mountain”? An eloquent attempt to answer this question came from Rep. Marlin Stutzman of Indiana: “We’re not going to be disrespected. We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.”

What eluded Stutzman, however, was the fact that the right wingers claim to embody the values on which the nation was founded and, through their keen intellects and industriousness, strive tirelessly to demonstrate this through their actions.

What they really want, though, is the ability to do what they want to whomever they want by whatever means they want – especially if they generate tax-sheltered profits in the bargain. The truth is, they simply do not want government at all.

© 2014 Poligags
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Rand Paul’s Next Speech

Play “Kukudoku”

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With gratitude and credit to Stephen Colbert / The Colbert Report for “Ham Rove”

© 2013 POLIGAGS
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