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Charlie Hoffman Waves District 23 Birther/Islamophobia Flag

Last updated on 2014.08.08

Sorry about the delay: the Divine Miss K needed some fairy tales of a different sort....

Oh, we were having such a nice discussion of the purported benefits and politics associated the Keystone XL pipeline. But then my suggestion to Mr. Jopling that we could still justify voting for President Barack Obama over Mitt Romney even if the President approves Keystone XL prompts Rep. Charlie Hoffman (R-23/Eureka) to reveal birtherism is all too alive and well in District 23 and the South Dakota Legislature:

Cory you and Rush are one in the same. Spamming for a fight, hooking a left hoping for a return right. Barrack Hussein Obama has not worried about his next paycheck or meal or airline ticket back to his Muslim Motherland since he became a US Citizen sometime back around 1979. He[re] is a link for all your readers to contemplate the validity of the current US President. (And you can call me insane, stupid, dumb, ignorant, country, farmer idiot, whatever; the facts don't add up.) [Rep. Charlie Hoffman, comment #19, "Analyst: Republican Keystone XL Rush 'Nothing But Negative'," Madville Times, 2012.01.14]

Wait: Charlie says I'm just spamming for a fight?

I ask the good Representative if he is seriously going to flog the pretty thoroughly refuted birth certificate and Muslim memes. Rep. Hoffman doubles down:

Cory I do not trust anything Barry has done since he became Barrack. What we see and what we know about Obama is very little. The trusted State Senators I have met from Obama's home state tell me that he never once brought up anything in the Ill State Senate close to what he spoke while running for US President. Everyone today seems to just have given him a pass on his citizenship. I doubt very much that he is far away from George Soros in anything he does.

If anyone in America wants to stand up and shout out "Obama is a Christian!", please do so now so we know who you are. Whatever he is Cory I do not know, but a Christian he is not. Christians do not shout out G_d D__n America while attending their weekly church services [Rep. Charlie Hoffman, comment #21, "Analyst: Republican Keystone XL Rush 'Nothing But Negative'," Madville Times, 2012.01.14].

(Note: "God damn America" came from Pastor Jeremiah Wright, not Barack Obama. I think both men are Christian.)

Just to cap it off, Hoffman pokes me thus:

Cory do have any idea how many more votes I get in District 23 when arguing with you over Obama? [Hoffman, comment #25]

And the crowd goes wild.

Charlie, I have no idea how many more votes you get in District 23 when you talk this nonsense. I'd love to find out firsthand. Years ago I kissed a girl from Eureka and found the experience enjoyable; I'm sure a visit to the town itself would be at least as thrilling.

How about you and I discuss President Barack Obama's religion and/or citizenship in a public debate in Eureka? It'll be Lincoln and Douglas! Darrow and Bryan! Welch and McCarthy! Heck, stage it during the Eureka Carp Tournament (and really, what better day for our carping?), and I'll bet we could double the normal turnout.

We can set up tip jars in the back, let the listeners vote with their cash. The person with the most cash in the jar is declared winner of the debate. You keep the cash in your jar; I give the cash in my jar to whatever noble Democrat stands up to challenge you for your seat in the House... unless said noble Democrat fears that any association with that dastardly socialist atheist blogger might hurt him at the polls.

Gas money would be nice, but I'll settle for being able to video and rebroadcast the debate here on the blog... and to cite the amount of money in your jar as evidence of the sympathy for "insane, stupid, crazy, dumb, ignorant," and most importantly, just plain wrong (wrong! wrong! wrong!) ideas among your constituents.

After Eureka, we could take the show on the road. We could open for Kristi Noem and Matt Varilek/Jeff Barth, who naturally will want to debate imaginary dust regulations. Of course, I'd much rather we all get together in Eureka or elsewhere to debate real policy issues. Anyone game?


  1. Jana 2012.01.14

    Charlie, when you go to church tomorrow morning, ask your minister if it's ok for you to judge another's faith.

    Now back to the subject at hand. Can we be relatively sure that you are a global warming denier?

  2. David Newquist 2012.01.14

    Rep. Hoffman recalls so much scripture for me:

    "There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers."
    -Proverbs 6:16-19

    "If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain."
    -1 Timothy 6:3-5

    And Shakespeare, too:

    " is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing. (Macbeth 5.5.16)

  3. Elliot Knuths 2012.01.15

    Here's a really interesting attack on Obama from the other side... Maybe we can get an overwhelming argument with "Team Obama" and "Not Team Obama" t-shirts and everything!

  4. Bill Fleming 2012.01.15


    "But that’s not so, says Jean-Claude Tremblay, a leading software trainer and Adobe-certified expert, who has years of experience working with and teaching Adobe Illustrator.

    “You should not be so suspicious about this,” Tremblay told, dismissing the allegations.

    He said the layers cited by doubters are evidence of the use of common, off-the-shelf scanning software — not evidence of a forgery. “I have seen a lot of illustrator documents that come from photos and contain those kind of clippings—and it looks exactly like this,” he said.

    Tremblay explained that the scanner optical character recognition (OCR) software attempts to translate characters or words in a photograph into text. He said the layers cited by the doubters shows that software at work – and nothing more.

    “When you open it in Illustrator it looks like layers, but it doesn’t look like someone built it from scratch. If someone made a fake it wouldn’t look like this,” he said.“Some scanning software is trying to separate the background and the text and splitting element into layers and parts of layers.”

    In other words, Charlie, what you're calling a "fake" is the work of a robot trying to turn a picture into typewritten text. It's a cool software thing, but hardly evidence of forgery.

  5. Bill Fleming 2012.01.15

    Charlie, I do work with scanned images for a living too, and you should trust me on this. (I just did the exact same thing the guy in the video did with the file, and I can show you all this if you come to RC for a visit.)

    The image was not produced (constructed) in illustrator.

    What the video you are watching is showing how software "deconstructs" and analyses an image in order to make it "readable."

    Using this same method, it would be possible for you to write something out in long hand, scan it, and the computer will do your typing for you.

    (That's called "OCR," Optical Character Recognition).

    So ask yourself this. If you wrote something out long hand, scanned it into a computer, and the computer then typed out exactly the same words you wrote only it wasn't in your handwriting anymore, would you say that the information was fake and that those weren't your words because they're not in your handwriting anymore?

    Of course not. That would be silly of you.

  6. Bill Fleming 2012.01.15

    p.s. Charlie, do you remember David Koehler from YC?

    He's the son of Ruben Koehler who was president of the College when we went there. He was also a good friend of mine, a fellow art and philosophy major, and jazz musician. He's now an Illinois State senator from Peoria. Have you talked to Dave about this?

  7. Taunia 2012.01.15

    I haven't been paying enough attention. I thought Hoffman was a thinking, decent, above-the-fray Republican, according to some of his comments here at MT. My fault for not checking in more regularly.

    Is this where we jump the shark, foregoing hundreds of years of struggle for humanity, and go all slack jawed that a black man is leading a nation full of white privileged men?

    Maybe that's what Cory was throwing out there with reference to Hoffman's giddy "I get more votes" being a slave owner than a human rights advocate part.

    When did South Dakota go deep south?

    Very sad, Mr. Hoffman.

  8. Bill Fleming 2012.01.15

    Never fear, Taunia. He probably just got into a bad batch of new moonshine. ;^)

  9. Taunia 2012.01.15

    I've never partaken of "moonshine" but the two times I did sample the umbrella drink, I loved everyone, sang every song I ever heard and was a happy, happy silly thing.

    Some people seem to want to fight when they drink. Some get quiet or teary eyed. The rare ones that hold their liquor with no obvious signs of enhancement always surprised me.

    Regardless, inebriation is a defense. Ignorance is not. It's especially disgusting when it's from an office holder.

  10. Bill Fleming 2012.01.15

    I see now, that Charlie is 10 years my junior and so, missed the halcyon days at YC. Too bad. We could have brought him around sooner. But I'm not giving up on him.

  11. Elliot Knuths 2012.01.15


    Might it be possible that his dislike of President Obama stems from something other than his race? Isn't there an old rule that states that, "Correlation does not imply causation," which implies he may dislike Obama's policies or methods, like a politician would? Maybe. I would definitely assume that your immediate assumption that Mr. Hoffman disagrees with Obama strictly due to his race implies that you are more likely to be the racist in this scenario. This derives from the fact that you see the color of Mr. Obama's skin before you hear the words come out of his mouth, and that you may be less "color-blind" than you'd like to think. A perfectly rational analyst of Obama's policy would completely ignore his race, and still find many holes in his positions on crucial issues.

    I'm not saying I agree with Mr. Hoffman unilaterally on this issue, or any other, simply that unjustified assumptions of racism are usually irrelevant when critiquing the president's actions, as they have been for the past 200 years, and that anyone who disagrees with that is breaking their own stance on egalitarianism to provide special exceptions for a man based on his race, much like the Jim Crow Laws did.

    Hope this is of some help,

  12. Nick Nemec 2012.01.15

    Wow. Just wow Charlie. I knew there was much that we didn't agree on but I figured we would agree on a few basic facts. If Birther conspiracy theories aren't racist lies I'd like you to explain what motivates them.

    For the record Ann Dunham's "Motherland" is Kansas, you know the place Dorthy and Toto are from. Even though the President was born in Hawaii her citizenship alone is enough to confer citizenship on her son, the ultimate trump card. His place of birth really is irrelevant. But then the Birther types have never been able to get that through their thick skulls.

    Religion, unlike citizenship, isn't conferred by birth but rather chosen by the individual. Our President has made public proclamations of his Christian faith. But even that is totally irrelevant, the first line of the First Amendment to the Constitution declares that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. While individuals may base their vote on any number of things, including religion, our government can establish no religious tests. Politicians who attempt to place one on their opponents are beneath contempt.

    Charlie, you live in probably the safest Republican district in the state. A politician with courage is able to speak unpopular truths to their constituents, yet you prefer to pander to the lowest common denominator in a vain effort to rack up even bigger vote totals in races where you have no opponents. I don't ask that you go on an anti-birther crusade just gently break the truth to any of the crazies you meet.

  13. Bill Fleming 2012.01.15

    Elliot, your openminded intentions notwithstanding, Charlie is not making issues arguments.

    He is blowing racist dogwhistles.

    He's buying into some ignorant, amateur computer hack's analysis of an official document from the State of Hawaii and the office of the President of the United States.

    He is making an irrational argument about Obama somehow changing his name from "Barry" to "Barack" (he didn't... his name was always Barack, Barry is a nickname like "Charlie"), he is accusing Obama of being a Muslim Terrorist sympathizer (which is laughable) and as being a Muslim himself (he's not) and in a myriad of other ways demonstrating his xenophobic tendancies.

    Worse yet, he's gloating over the fact that when he acts, talks and writes like that, he gets a lot of votes from his constituents (when he should instead be trying to lead and educate them, not placate their provincial, ignorant, separatist attitudes).

    In summary, it all points to Charlie accusing Obama as being somehow "other," not one of us, not a real American. That's paranoid politics and pure demagoguery.

    Now, you can buy into his bullsh*t if you want to, as you bend over backwards to give Charlie the benefit of the doubt, but I'm not going to.

    I go by the old folk wisdom that says if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it's a duck.

    And Charlie is quacking pretty loudly here, Elliot.

    I'm just sayin.

  14. Bill Fleming 2012.01.15

    p.s. Good post Nick.

  15. Elliot Knuths 2012.01.15

    Mr. Fleming,

    I certainly believe Obama is a Christian, but that's beside the point. Personally, I don't base my choice in president upon religion.

    I hate to take up a conspiracy theorist's point of view (next I'll be telling you about the time I drank tea with the aliens!), but I do find the circumstances of the birth certificate ordeal somewhat bizarre. Based on past evidence of presidents behaving in less than exemplary ways (Clinton, Nixon, etc.), and attempting cover-ups, I believe there's not quite enough certainty that the documents are 100% valid (after all, Clinton's famous line about Lewinsky came straight from the horse's mouth, and Nixon's White House published a fair few documents we can just call "unethical.") Let's just say that I won't be betting either way on Obama's birthplace anytime soon (although, not being 21 has a slight impact on that predicament.)

    However, let me reiterate that I am simply still uncertain about the entire thing. It's certainly not a hugely relevant question, anyways, for the moment at least. I feel we've already spent far too much energy on such a silly issue, as people, and as a nation.

    The HOPE that the President is not American-born so as to reject him from the pantheon of presidents simply on behalf of his race or name IS RACIST. I'm not denying that. I would also agree that anyone who knows what they're talking about would be able to spell "Barack" correctly, or at least spell it incorrectly less often than correctly. Mr. Hoffman has failed to do that, and, empirically, I would doubt his full, objective understanding of this issue. I am suggesting that Mr. Hoffman's district may have demonized Obama to such an extent that it becomes astonishingly profitable for a politician to criticize him. That may explain the, "Cory do have any idea how many more votes I get in District 23 when arguing with you over Obama?" comment.

    After re-evaluation, I postulate that Mr. Hoffman may be criticizing Obama on every front as it's winning him votes, and thus profitable for him. Do I agree with his statements that Mr. Obama is a Muslim, or a terrorist? Absolutely not. Do I understand why he makes them (to win votes)? Certainly.


  16. Charlie Hoffman 2012.01.15

    Race has absolutely nothing to do with this but of course one cannot accuse the President of anything without the left throwing the race card out. Where once did I mention color? Inexcusable for anyone to accuse me of that. Call me lame brained, wrong, radical, fine but a racist I am not.

    I absolutely do not trust anything being done in Washington today and Obama is at the center of pushing a debt limit into the stratosphere. Besides that where are his college buddies, his old girlfriends, his college professors, and why block access into college transcripts. It is so easy to doubt the validity of his life yet he seems to like the secrecy.

    Do I have any proof of anything said here? Of course not but the fact that Obama continued attending a church where the pastor continued damning America certainly should raise a red flag on what his deep seated feelings are towards this country. On citizenship what does it matter. Even if the records were always there and not altered why hide them for as long as he did? It makes no sense to anyone who questions authority regularly for the constant hiding of evidence. The senator I know was not the once mentioned here. The change of which Obama pushed throughout his campaign was lost somewhere in the transition from Senator to President. Surely to be honest upon reading the book "Too Big to Fail", one can show objective sympathy to Washington's complex problem still working it's way through our economy. But once TARP salvaged AIG, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch,Goldman Sachs, etc., the stimulus only advanced yet more debt.

    I will share a story about a visit I had with two folks from Massachusetts. While attending an ag conference in DC I had the pleasure of striking up a conversation with a couple who were aggies from Massachusetts and both Democrats. Asking what they thought of Romney both could not stand the man. Then with no motivation from me the woman said, "But we would vote for him 10 times over Obama if given the chance in the next presidential election." This gives me hope that there are many more like my two new friends from the the East coast.

    Extremely sorry if I pushed all the wrong buttons here but Cory you must admit it was a bit fun to chastise me. We are in the middle of a deep hole with very little rope hanging for a lift out. I shall continue doubting the validity of Obama's true objectives as it seems many others do. He is in over his head and has not done what he promised.

  17. Bill Fleming 2012.01.15

    Okay, Elliot, I was born in the United States of America, in Hot Springs South Dakota on March 15th 1950. Do you believe me? If so, why? If not, why not? ...and what would it take for me to prove it to you over the internet?

    p.s. I'm glad to see that you apparently agree that Mr. Hoffman is pandering to voters' racial prejudices for cynical electioneering reasons. That's a good start. Thanks for your clarifications in that regard.

  18. Bill Fleming 2012.01.15

    Charlie, denial is not just a river in Africa, my friend.

  19. larry kurtz 2012.01.15

    Last year, a female legislator told me in a phone interview that Charlie is just one example of the bigotry endemic within the GOP wing of the Statehouse.

    She said it's like tribal members have targets painted on them.

  20. larry kurtz 2012.01.15

    Charlie's antics are like running a stop sign while impaired.

  21. Bill Fleming 2012.01.15

    I'm willing to give Charlie a pass on being a racist by taking him at his word if he's willing to do the same when Obama says he is a Christian. None of us knows what is in another's heart.

    At the same time, Charly simply has no grounds upon which to deny that there are others, perhaps right in his district, who are, in fact racist.

    To deny that would be as ridiculous as my saying that there are no racists in Pennington county.

    And so, it is incumbent upon Charlie not to fuel any racist sentiment by avoiding taking positions which clearly, obviously do so.

    It is his boasting that when he does blow racist, exnophobic dogwhistles that he gets more votes that is the most disturbing issue here.

    Because in doing so, Charlie is betraying his own conscience for political gain.

  22. Steve Sibson 2012.01.15

    "I think both men are Christian"

    No they are not. I would tell you what they really are but Cory will delete my comment like he did many times last week.

    Charlie, the left uses politically correct "memes" to personally attack those who want to seek the real truth all the time. Bill Fleming is an example as he proves it here on this thread.

  23. Elliot Knuths 2012.01.15

    Mr. Fleming,

    You raise a rather valid point, but I think it can be traced to relevance and motivation. To start with, I have no reason to care whether you were born in America or not; it has absolutely no repercussions on me. The validity of our president's birth certificate may have more repercussions on our society, seeing as certain requirements must be met to fill the office of president, American birth being one of them. In short, he has reason to lie; you really don't. Unless you plan on running for President or you want to be stating facts when you sing the classic Springsteen hit, "Born in the USA," you have absolutely no need to be born on American soil.

    The president however, has a much stronger motivation to lie about this. If he WASN'T born in America, people could claim his presidency invalid and potentially kick him out of the White House. He's got a lot more to lose (presidency, reputation, etc.), and thus he has a lot more of a reason to potentially forge a birth certificate. Once again, I'm not saying that I believe he did (I won't throw out any specific numbers, but I'm more confident he is American born than otherwise), only that he has a strong motivation to forge a birth certificate, and as such we cannot be fully sure of the truth. The truth isn't exactly relevant though, the perceived truth is much more important in this case.

    Let me try to explain this in an example: I'm going to hypothetically ask you if you murdered JFK. I'll assume you didn't, which hopefully isn't a gap in logic. Now I'll ask the same question to Oswald, were he still alive. Seeing as the answer has many more implications for him (if he says yes, he has probably killed him, if he says no, he may have killed him), he has much more reason to lie, wouldn't you say? Specifically, much more motivation to deny the crime (the equivalent in this analogy of Obama stating he has American citizenship.) He acts differently than you do out of motivation that you simply don't have; the impact of his answer is much greater than that of yours, and the warping caused by this metaphorical weight makes the situation very, very difficult to decode exactly, which is why I regard any views as, at least partially speculative. We can mess with a little bit more game theory if you'd like, since I'd say that's as a good a method as any to model the Obama birth certificate scenario, but as I said in the previous post, I think more than enough energy has been spent on this controversy, which will yield really weak, speculative results. I think the message to take away is that we should all agree to stick to the issues and soften up on our hypothetical conspiracy theories, especially when so little FULLY reliable information is easily available.


  24. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.01.15

    Thank you, everyone, for helping build my brief book for the debate in Eureka against Charlie. Rep. Hoffman, are we on? I've got a lot of summer dates when I can come up for a show.

    Elliot, Bill points out the danger of your doubt on the President's birth certificate. We have much more documented evidence of Barack Obama's birthplace than we do of pretty much anyone we know in our personal lives. How is any one of us to overcome not just that level of doubt ("I absolutely do not trust anything being done [by Cory, by Elliot, by Nick] today") but the sheer noise of a few politicos amplified by thousands of bloggers and commenters and easily swayed souls in the street?

    Heisenberg and Socrates tell us there is uncertainty in everything (though I'm not sure about that, either). Due to quantum fluctuations, I can't be 100% certain that chair is real. But if I refuse to sit down because I don't want to fall through a cloud of quantum illusion and land on my keester, you're going to look at me funny. Of course, I would have just as much cause to suspect that the floor molecules beneath my feet are going to fluctuate out of position, leaving me scared to death of standing or walking anywhere. "I absolutely do not trust anything being done by subatomic particles! I don't even trust that they are particles!"

    There is more proof that Barack Obama is American and Christian than there is that God exists. Yet if I question the existence of God in my debate with Rep. Hoffman, his District 23 voters (minus Farmer Nick!) may brandish pitchforks.

    Charlie, you have more than enough policy issues on which to challenge the President and advocate for his replacement. But you don't need to pander to ignorance to express your disapproval of Obama's policies. More importantly, as Nick quite sharply points out, you don't need to fuel bad thinking to keep your seat. As a statesman, you have an obligation to lead, to educate, and to root out ignorance. If you won't prick the conscience of your neighbors on this issue, I will be happy to drive up and do so this summer.

    In the mean time, Charlie, you'd better get more of your District 23 voters reading and commenting here! You're looking outnumbered... and I always get a little uneasy when I'm in the majority. :-)

  25. Vincent Gormley 2012.01.15

    Wingnuts! Wow, politics and hardware. Technical help just might involve replacing a few loose screws, but then again.

  26. Steve Sibson 2012.01.15

    "Technical help just might involve replacing a few loose screws, but then again."

    Thanks for proving my point about personal attacks.

    Cory, can a person be a Freemason and a Christian? Before you delete this comment, Obama is a Freemason and the issue is relevant to the discussion.

    [CAH: No, Barack Obama is not a Mason. And I am not having that conversation here. Write you own blog post on the topic.]

  27. Linda McIntyre 2012.01.15

    Just a couple of comments here. The issue is not at this point whether or not Obama was born in the US; he is the President and the birth certificate is a nonissue at this point.

    Rep. Hoffman make no reference to race. But any criticism of Obama seems to bring up this rebuttal. I do not care if he is black, brown, white, or purple. The issue is whether his policies are hurting or helping this country, and the majority of people in this country according to recent polls seem to think they are hurting the country.

    I assume that most people in Rep. Hoffman's district feel the same. It is not his job to convince them otherwise, as some here seem to imply. It is his job to represent his district on issues relating to state gov't.

    As Elliot said above, there is much secrecy about Obama and his past. If Obama were truly in favor of an open and transparent administration, this would have a good place to start and would have laid much speculation to rest.

    This is still a free country. We will not all agree. Some like Obama and his policies. Some do not. But it is NOT an issue of race; it is an issue of POLICY.

  28. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.01.15

    I'm with you, Linda: we really ought to be discussing policy. Charlie's responses indicate he wants to talk about policy. However, Charlie wasn't making a policy point. He claims that Barack Obama is neither Christian nor American. He claims that lots of people in District 23 support those two claims. Independent of any other policy issue, those two claims are flat wrong. You don't get to make outrageous claims, then cleverly leave them on the table by switching to a serious policy discussion without explicitly disavowing them.

    You want me to believe Obama's birth certificate and religion are non-issues? Then say it: "Barack Obama is a natural-born citizen. Barack Obama is a Christian."

    And Linda, a statesman does have a duty to spread the truth, to educate. We can't make good policy, we can't do democracy if the citizens are ignorant.

  29. larry kurtz 2012.01.15

    expect bans on blogging under the influence from this legislature....

  30. Jenny 2012.01.15

    Charlie Hoffman said:

    "Even if the records were always there and not altered why hide them for as long as he did?"

    He released his State Certified BC in June 2008.

    Birther's just didn't like what it said on it.

  31. Linda McIntyre 2012.01.15

    "We can’t make good policy, we can’t do democracy if the citizens are ignorant." I agree completely. This is the argument for transparency, which in reality is not a high priority for this administration.

    I cannot make a statement that Obama is Christian. Whether or not he is cannot be ascertained by any statements he makes either; this is something only he himself knows, as is the case with each and every person.

  32. Bill Fleming 2012.01.15

    Elliot, I have plenty of reason to be dishonest about my place of birth if I am not from this country. Everyone who claims to be an Amrican citizen does. And you have every reason to be as concerned about my citizenship as you do about your President's legitimate Americanism, don't you? i.e. it either makes a difference to you or it doesn't.

  33. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.01.15

    Linda, I'm all for transparency. But it is disingenuous to use these non-issues as proxies for real policy issues where transparency matters.

    Given your stunning agnosticism, why even bring the issue up? Don't we get to equivalently dismiss the claims that Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, and Michele Bachmann make to be Christian? Why do fundagelicals get to rally around Rick Santorum because "he is a devout Catholic" when we can't really know what's in his heart? If you get to dismiss Obama's Christianity as unknowable, then we dismiss everyone's professions of faith.

  34. Jana 2012.01.15

    To all the Charlie Hoffman's out there.

    Where has been the hue and cry for the birth certificates of the Republican Candidates? Oh, yeah their different...and that's the point. What was it that made you suspect or even accuse the President of these United States was a Muslim? So color had nothing to do with it?

    This put's some good thought to the subject:

    The author writes: "So why not call a dog, a dog and just say this issue, birtherism, is racist? As plain as that. I can’t find any logical rationale for people to question this man’s nationality and therefore his legitimacy to be President."

    I would also strongly suggest that the Charlies out there who like to have fun with birtherism read this from Time Magazine. Here's some snips:

    "Earlier this week, Rick Perry said, “It’s fun to poke at [Obama] a little bit and say, ‘Hey, let’s see your grades and your birth certificate.’” And why shouldn’t he find birtherism fun? Racism is supposed to be fun for white people who choose to engage in it."

    "Birtherism is absolutely racism. It’s a clever, coded, politically-correct way to remind people Obama’s black and untrustworthy and not one of us. It’s otherization: making him into an other makes him easier to demonize. For a candidate to say, “Obama’s black, don’t vote for him,” would be too naked, impolite, and distasteful. But that same message is activated by the suggestion that he’s not like us because he’s not from this country."

    "I’m sure Rick Perry senses all this on a deep, subconscious level. Maybe he couldn’t articulate it but he knows that when he asserts his white maleness on Obama he gets a warm feeling inside. I bet Rick will continue sending coded racist messages at Obama in a desperate attempt to establish himself as the true Alpha white male in the race."

  35. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.01.15

    For the record, I'm with Jana on this point. Birtherism is just slightly more clever at hiding its intent than the sniggering high school boys who tell me their "Big Johnson" t-shirts aren't at all related to penises.

  36. Bill Fleming 2012.01.15

    It's a simple step from here to ask those who are even slightly interested in being honest with themselves whether or not they know for sure that Bill Clinton was a natural born citizen. How about either President Bush? Ronald Reagan?

    How about Charlie Hoffman? That names sounds pretty German to me. Maybe even an east german communist or a nazi refugee's grandkid.

    And how do we know someone with the name McIntyre isn't really a refugee from the Irish Republican Army?

    Or that Sibby isn't really just short for his membership in the Symbionese Liberation Army?

    You know what? We don't.

    But if someone hammered away at it on the internet and in the news for about three years, they could get a whole bunch of people to believe it.

    Do you see where that kind of thinking gets us, people? Do you all want to turn into a bunch of irationally paranoid Sibbys?


    If you do that, we won't be able to tell who Sibby is any more.

    He'll just sound like all the rest of you. ;^)

  37. Dave 2012.01.15

    To be truly fair, Charlie now needs to chime in and let us know if he believes Mitt Romney is a Christian, especially since many clergy nationwide have expressed doubts about that.
    I feel sorry for Charlie. Never met him. Never talked to him. But his own words paint him as a racist, a birther, and someone who appears to make poor, knee-jerk decisions because he's easily swayed by hearsay (so and so from Massachusetts told me this...while Joe Blow from Illinois told me that...) in addition to unreliable and false information. It's troubling to learn that one of our state lawmakers possesses such poor judgement.

    Of course, none of this will contribute any meaningful discourse on the pipeline or any of the other pressing matters facing the Legislature. That is truly sad.

  38. Elliot Knuths 2012.01.15

    Enter Noam Chomsky (I'll just throw this out there to show you that even those on the EXTREME left of the spectrum have problems with Obama's system of hiding information, which allows people to make these controversies arise.)

  39. Bill Fleming 2012.01.15

    Elliot, that's why a lot of people like Ron Paul. He is both a left-wing and a right-wing extremist all in one package.

    Plus, please note that Chomsky isn't singling Obama out here. He's talking about marketing and branding in general, and society's tendency to be easily seduced by empty, vague promises.

    I really like Noam Chomesky, and I don't like people putting words in his mouth. You should be careful about that.

  40. Charlie Hoffman 2012.01.15

    Dave, Mitt Romney says he is a Mormon. Anyone who asks questions about Obama you call a racist. The left appears willing to fall on swords for any Democrat. You certainly do not have a clue who I am sir. Are Mormons Christian? They say so, according to you clergy nationwide doubt it. I would assume the Southern Ultra Conservative base will have a hard time voting for Romney because of his Mormon roots. I personally like his policy and what comes out of his mouth. He also is a business leader with genius and I cannot wait for the debates with Obama coming later this year.

    Ask yourself this question; "Would Obama be president today had George Bush not invaded Iraq?" I do not trust Barack Obama. Czar's scare the hell out of me and the level of his socialistic ideology should see him lose the next election. Color it any way you want to but in the end the discussion will always revolve around his failed policy making. I am home on weekends working on issues and obviously upsetting the few leftists who cannot stand reading anything negative about President Obama.

    Dave beyond that I can see that anything any conservative brings to the table from factual sources you call hearsay. I feel sorry for your shallow judgement calling my judgement poor. Time will tell buddy. At least I'm fighting the good fight and trying to make a difference while nearly everyone on this blog only sits at home and complains. Except Sibby though , he actually did come to Pierre last year and tried to push a bill balancing the time grandparents get to see their grandchildren. And for that I respect him greatly.

  41. larry kurtz 2012.01.15

    Right out of the earth hater playbook, Charlie: well executed, sir.

  42. Elliot Knuths 2012.01.15

    Mr. Fleming,

    On a humorous note, I've never even heard of Mr. "Chomesky", and I certainly wouldn't put anything in his mouth without good reason to...

    Grammar Nazi part of me aside, Chomsky singles Obama out more than he singles out any other active politician (speaking of Nazi, your friend Chomsky makes a pretty interesting comment that compares Obama and Hitler.) Above, I posted a pretty neat link where he comes out and says that Obama is worse than Bush and Blair. I think Chomsky has a bigger beef with Mr. Obama than I do, which is really rather interesting, seeing as he is probably the godfather figure of the educated American Left. Yet, nobody implies Chomsky is racist, ever. I sincerely wonder why that is.

    Now we're getting off on tangents worse than a trigonometry teacher, though (I'm more than partially responsible for this, my apologies.) We've heard, from Rep. Hoffman's own mouth, that it's not racism that sparks his comments. He says, "Color it any way you want to but in the end the discussion will always revolve around his failed policy making." If we can tolerate Obama's claims about himself, his religion, etc. should we not also take Mr. Hoffman's?


  43. Linda McIntyre 2012.01.15

    Not sure where you get the idea I'm an agnostic, but whatever. I'm not, but that isn't the issue here either. The entire issue is Obama's policies. You like them. I don't. You like where he is taking this nation. I don't. These are the issues that matter. And they should be the entirety of the debates this election season. But the Dems can't let that be the issue; they have to cloud the issue because the majority of Americans are not happy with what his administration has done. It's that simple.

  44. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.01.15

    That's not a "whatever", Linda. I mean "agnostic" not in the religious sense, but in the broader sense that you are claiming that you cannot have certain knowledge on a specific question one way or the other. You are "agnostic" about the question of whether the President is a Christian, in that you claim none of us can know for sure. I am saying that such agnosticism applied consistently would end all of this discussion and posturing about which Republican is the most devout Christian, since, by your thinking, we cannot know for sure any person's faith.

  45. larry kurtz 2012.01.15

    Our marching orders are being written as we type, Ms. McIntyre: join stone cold fox, Lisa Murkowski and me in urging Congress to sit with people of the other political party at the SOTU.

  46. Dave 2012.01.15

    I don't feel you've answered my question. The nation knows Romney is Mormon, as you stated. Do you equate that with Christianity? I think it's important for us to know, because for reasons that remain rather incredulous, you believe the president is not Christian.

    It's important for us to know if you believe Romney is a Christian. And if you don't, it appears you are willing to simply accept that while doubting the faith of Obama. Is it because Romney is so much more like you -- white and conservative -- when compared to our darker-skinned, Democratic president?

    Charlie, you also just claimed that anyone who questions Obama is labeled as a racist by me. I did state in an earlier comment that your words certainly appear to paint you as one, specifically this statement, written by you:

    "Barrack Hussein Obama has not worried about his next paycheck or meal or airline ticket back to his Muslim Motherland since he became a US Citizen sometime back around 1979."

    You've very effectively tagged yourself as a racist. Sorry Charlie.

  47. Bill Fleming 2012.01.15

    Indeed, Elliot, there are many on the left who are unhappy that Obama turned out to be a left of center moderate, although if you were paying attention, that is exactly how Obama presented himself. I don't agree with Chomskey on this point.

    Obama was quite clear about his intentions. It's just that there were many on the left who were expecting someone more liberal, perhaps due to stereotyping, which is quit different from racism.

    I doubt if I need to explain the difference to you since you seem to have at least enough intelligence to put forth a somewhat more rational defense of Charlie's argument than he seems to be able to muster on his own.

    But if you would like me to, I will of course happily indulge you.

  48. Bill Fleming 2012.01.15


  49. Elliot Knuths 2012.01.15

    Mr. Fleming,

    I think our conversation may have evolved to such a point that it has outgrown the current topic. Maybe you should email me, and we can evaluate one-another's perspectives in a place where our page-long explanations can be better directed, and possibly more interesting to the readers. Your mission, should you choose to accept, is to send me an e-mail (try, though now that I've posted this and my address is archived on Google, I can be expecting my fair share of Spam.)


  50. larry kurtz 2012.01.15

    how do private discussions advance transparency?

  51. Bill Fleming 2012.01.15

    Suit yourself, Elliot.

    I'm comfortable here and I'm guessing we're all finding your comments refreshing.

    I'm not really up for any lengthly pen-pal discussions if you don't mind.

    I prefer the dialogue to remain public because I consider the new media to be an exercise in improvisational community theatre.

    And as such, it suits my life goal of being a conceptual artist.

    I reserve private messaging for people I know and trust.

    We're not there yet.

  52. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.01.15

    I'll take a swing at Elliot's question: "If we can tolerate Obama’s claims about himself, his religion, etc. should we not also take Mr. Hoffman’s?" Not all claims are created equal. President Obama's professions of citizenship and faith square reasonably well with facts on the record. Rep. Hoffman's claim not to be a racist sits uneasily with his continued use of false claims that can facilitate and mask prejudicial sentiments among other citizens. If Mr. Hoffman will cast the same doubt on the Christian credentials of white Republicans who have produced less evidence of their faith and citizenship, I will find it easier to accept that Rep. Hoffman's claims are not the product of some unpleasant double standard.

  53. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.01.15

    Linda, your agnosticism sounds like Stephen Colbert's:

    Mr. Stephanopoulos said the group overnight had released an ad saying that if real candidate Mitt Romney believes that corporations are people, “then Mitt Romney is a serial killer. He’s Mitt the Ripper.”

    “If that’s not accurate, I hope they take it down,” Mr. Colbert said. “I don’t know if Mitt Romney is a serial killer. That’s a question he’s going to have to answer.” Mr. Colbert said, though, that the group isn’t his political action committee, that “it’s the super PAC of, and I hope I’m pronouncing this correctly, Jon Stew-AIR. I believe it’s a soft T” [Thomas M. Burton, "Stephen Colbert, Presidential Explorer," Wall Street Journal: Washington Wire, 2012.01.15].

  54. Elliot Knuths 2012.01.15

    Mr. Kurtz

    I'm all for transparency, so long as it's relevant. In this scenario, I was questioning whether Mr. Fleming's and my somewhat insignificant conversation over Chomsky's views on Obama was necessarily what everyone wanted to see. By extension of your statement, though, I should potentially share everything that goes on in my mind, seeing as that would be necessary for transparency. So, regardless of how long it will be, I'll start: I'm watching Parks and Recreation while researching prospective colleges. Which episode of Parks and Recreation, you ask? Season 2, Episode 12. How long was the episode? 21 minutes, 31 seconds. What else am I doing right now? Playing a game of chess against a computer. What's its Elo rating? 1600-ish. Are you winning? I still have my queens and rooks, which is a plus. What are you wearing? Pajama bottoms and a Manchester United t-shirt. Are you done yet? Yes. What where you trying to demonstrate? That absolute transparency, as you seem to suggest is best, is pretty dang inefficient. I try to keep things on topic, and just as the level of chess computer I'm competing with isn't really necessary information, neither was Mr. Fleming's and my conversation on the far left and its perpetual disappointment with modern U.S. politics. It may have been interesting to us, but I didn't want Mr. Fleming and I to leave dozens of comments this length on a COMMUNITY blog that are really only directed at one person.

    Mr. Fleming,

    We can certainly keep conversation here, if you'd like. I have no objections, I just hope we aren't turning Mr. Heidelberger's into our own individual opinion columns. I try to stay on topic, but I fear I'm drifting away on this subject.

    As for Mr. Heidelberger's rebuttal,

    I agree completely that not all claims are created equally. However, I see this as being in the eyes of the beholder, such that while facts are provable statements, their interpretations are the basis of sound opinions. I'm sure you'll agree. There are facts that Mr. Hoffman is interpreting differently than you, or valuing greater than you, and vice-versa. One cannot universally cite those who doubt, or refuse to wholly accept Obama's American birth as racists. I'm not a racist, but one could probably do something to argue that I am, and using myself as an example would not be very objective evidence, on my part. You can't really argue that Dr. Alan Keyes is racist against Obama, though, seeing as they're both black. Yet Mr. Keyes agrees with Mr. Hoffman on this topic. That at least gives proof that questioning President Obama's American birth does not make one racist.

    I don't know whether Mr. Hoffman is a racist or not. I don't think he is, and I'd like to think he isn't. I'd like to think that we've all evolved to a point where race has little relevance on decision-making, especially at a lawmaking level. I don't know Mr. Hoffman well enough to trust him absolutely, or to distrust him absolutely. From what I've seen him write, he seems strongly opposed to the president, if only partially on grounds of his lawmaking. But is this any different from the hordes of people that voted for Obama because of anything but his stances on key issues? In my mind it is not. I'm willing to give Mr. Hoffman the benefit of the doubt, just as I'm willing to give Obama the benefit of the doubt, and say that his interpretation of Obama has less to do with his hatred of the thought of a black man in the White House, and more to do with populism (both sides have noted he gains votes for any criticism of Obama) which we can't exactly criticize him for, it's how the system works. A man like Chomsky or Friedman (and, to an extent Ron Paul), who is not a populist in the slightest, will NEVER win an election. He is to true to his values, and will not change to gain the extra votes needed for a win. But the successful politician must cater to his voters, as he's their representation in law-making, their voice in the house. The criticism of Obama probably has far less to do with Mr. Hoffman's own views of him. I would wager it has much more to do with his constituents' views. If he gains votes for saying such things about President Obama, is he not simply responding to an incentive, as all humans, no, all animals, no, all existence does?

    I just realized this response alone may crash a few 56k routers, or possibly anyone who remembers them, though I hope it resolves all of the questions posed to me.


  55. Elliot Knuths 2012.01.15

    I made a few grammar/usage errors in the above text. I apologize for that, and hope that the several slight misuses don't interfere with your understanding of the opinion I'm trying to communicate.


  56. Mike 2012.01.15


    "“If it’s just Obama vs. Romney, vote on class warfare: Obama has more life experience with being on the low end of the totem pole, with having to worry about paying the bills.” CAHEIDELBERGER QUOTE

    Cory you and Rush are one in the same. Spamming for a fight, hooking a left hoping for a return right. Barrack Hussein Obama has not worried about his next paycheck or meal or airline ticket back to his Muslim Motherland since he became a US Citizen sometime back around 1979. He is a link for all your readers to contemplate the validity of the current US President. (And you can call me insane, stupid, dumb, ignorant, country, farmer idiot, whatever; the facts don’t add up.)"

    Rep. Hoffman, did you check into the source you quoted for the whole world to see? A 16-18 year old kid who has recently "..invented a new kind of math, Decimology!..." (Tom Lehr, roll over in your grave). Ummmm......yeah. Random weirdo teenager is not an excellent primary source. If you want to stand by it, by all means...

  57. Taunia 2012.01.15

    Mike writes:


    ““If it’s just Obama vs. Romney, vote on class warfare: Obama has more life experience with being on the low end of the totem pole, with having to worry about paying the bills.” CAHEIDELBERGER QUOTE"

    Not sure if that is taken out of context or not, but on the face, it seems to be saying Obama wasn't born with a silver spoon in his mouth like Romney, and has struggled like most of us.

    The point?

  58. larry kurtz 2012.01.15

    If you're a Democrat consider a Montana college, Mr. Knuths.

  59. Elliot Knuths 2012.01.15

    Thank you for your advice Mr. Kurtz. Montana colleges weren't on my list, but I'll certainly look into them a little. For what reasons would you suggest a fine Montanian institution, and which would you say is the best-suited to me?

    Thanks for the advice, Mr. Kurtz,


  60. larry kurtz 2012.01.15

    law and j-school in missoula; engineering and skiing in bozeman. earth hatred in butte. education in dillon...

  61. Elliot Knuths 2012.01.15

    My major question stands, what advantage do you see in a Montana school for me, as opposed to my current favorite, University of Chicago? Any thoughts would be appreciated, I'm a little bit stressed over the whole college selection and application process.


    P.S. Now we're REALLY off topic!

  62. larry kurtz 2012.01.15

    Hard to beat University of Chicago but your vote would count there, too, contrary to a Democrat's vote in South Dakota. Look at Carroll College in Helena.

  63. larry kurtz 2012.01.15

    missoula has the feel of a big town: public transit, night life, culture, hot springs, exquisite cannabis....

  64. Mike 2012.01.15


    I have absolutely no idea what you are getting at, except to agree that your conclusion in regards to Mr. Heidelberger's quote is probably accurate. I was pointing out that Rep. Hoffman's source does not pass the smell test; F- if used as an actual "reference" for an argument.

  65. Elliot Knuths 2012.01.15

    Very interesting, thanks for the advice. I've really read into U of Chicago, and that's probably still the one I'm considering the most, but I'll certainly keep Carroll in consideration. The write-up was very good, it sounds like a very academic institution, too, which is always good for a nerd at heart, like myself.


  66. Taunia 2012.01.15

    Mike, thanks for the clarity. I wasn't clear what you were quoting and what you were writing.

  67. larry kurtz 2012.01.15

    helena is a very politics-centered town, greenish, architecture, money.

  68. Douglas Wiken 2012.01.15

    Hoffman may very well not be a racist, but my guess is that most of the birther crap came as a consequence of racism rather than deep concern of issues or constitutional qualifications.

    A woman in Mitchell gave birth to her child in the same hospital at nearly the same time as did Obama's mother. The story was in the Mitchell Daily Republic months ago.

    What the birther crap really indicates is that they have no real issues to attack Obama with, so they make the most out of their nonsense and keep saying it over and over again in the hope that somebody like Hoffman will believe it.

    Anybody not in the top part of the economic ladder with the 400 who reaped $40,000,000 each in tax breaks totaling something like $18 Billion, should be furious with all Democrats and Republicans in congress who have blocked sensible regulation of corporations and sensible taxation of the very rich.

    Watch the Bill Moyer's show with the authors of Winner Take All Politics and the statistics alone should make you furious if you aren't among the obscenely rich kleptocrat class.

    Obama's birth certificate and religion are insignificant compared to the destruction of democracy inherent in the idea the money is speech.

    Senseless diversions don't serve anybody in South Dakota.

  69. Elliot Knuths 2012.01.15

    Oh, and Mr. Mike (surname unknown),

    I would like to beg you to consider people reliable based more on their reputation and standard of achievement than on their age. I'm only 17, though I'm not arguing that I'm a reliable source. Allow me to point to William Sidis, who graduated cum laude from Harvard at age 16 and began teaching at Rice University at age 17. Look at Mozart, who was a more reliable source in regards to music by his 15th birthday than almost anyone else ever to have walked the globe. No, I'm not even comparable to a Mozart or a Sidis, and the kid used as a source probably isn't, either. Yet, I'd ask that you judge him based on his actions, not on his age. Allow me to present here, a link to the Davidson Fellows Scholarship, which awards students for profound work at a young age (they mention that much work is comparable to a graduate-student level, in terms of quality/complexity.) Yet according to you, this is not reliable research? I'll let you decide that for yourself.


  70. Mike 2012.01.15

    My fault Taunia; lazy keyboarding skills.

  71. Mike 2012.01.15


    Mike is good enough; and lest I come across as a snob towards one's age, I did not intend to. All the young people that received that Fellowship had their work reviewed by peers (or actually, professional, more experienced experts who found their work incredible). They deserve praise for being young AND gifted. The young man Rep Hoffman quotes from, who is named Albert Renshaw has not had any peer-reviewed work published, holds none of the achievements ANY of the young adults you mentioned. That is what I am getting at. Not that he is young, but that he is full of the proverbial "it".
    The thrust of my point, in all honesty, is that Rep. Hoffman expects a youtube video to act as proof that President Obama is not a natural born citizen. Guess what; I can prove Chipmunks can sing ( and wear stylish glasses)

  72. Elliot Knuths 2012.01.15

    That's fine, Mike. I was simply slightly taken aback at your write-up: "Random weirdo teenager is not an excellent primary source." When in fact many "random weirdo teenagers" have gone on to do great things. I'm overjoyed that we've clarified the conversation; I never assumed you were "snob" (and you didn't come off as one, particularly), but it is really encouraging for myself, and for all other young people to hear that we do have a relevant part to play in society, aside from simply metaphorically hatching into future adults. Thank you for the chipmunks, as well.


  73. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.01.15

    I always took great pleasure in being a random weirdo teenager. I look forward to raising my daughter to follow in my footsteps... and not to spread with malice falsehoods about the President. The author of that video posted by Charlie has been thoroughly proven wrong; it is irresponsible of that person to leave the video online without so much as a correction and apology.

  74. Charlie Hoffman 2012.01.15

    I'll step back from my goal last night of provoking Mr. Caheidelburger and admit my charges were not very fair or smart. Thanks to Dave asking the tough question of does Mormonism equate to Christianity. I cannot answer that yet the Mormon statement of faith says they believe in Jesus Christ. Whether Obama is a Christian, a Jew, a Mormon or a Muslim is his business as separation of church and state dictates it really should not matter. He was born somewhere that is certain. It took a long time for him to provide the papers. I can feel the seething hate towards me coming from those of you who feel I betrayed my oath of office by injecting Christianity and Americanism into the fray of this post. I admit it could have been written much differently. Mike you are certainly right that a youtube video does not make the case for hashing out a citizenship arguement.

    Bill you are exactly correct in my basing a faith question from attendance at a church which regularly condemed America as being unfair. Whatever Obama says he is, he is. We all face our own end time sometime.

    What should scare everyone in this country is our doubling of public held debt in the past four years. And it surely does not matter what party or faith you hold for this to become the biggest problem we have ever faced as a country.

  75. Taunia 2012.01.15

    So, yeah, that seems to be the Charlie Hoffman that I remember reading posts from before today.

    I hope that you can keep above the fray and become a true statesman. Even Republicans can be one. :)

  76. larry kurtz 2012.01.15

    if corporations are persons how come they can buy and sell each other?

  77. Bill Fleming 2012.01.15

    Good man, Charlie. I knew you would come through, brother. Thank you.

  78. Jana 2012.01.15

    Thanks Charlie...but this one is a little troubling..."who feel I betrayed my oath of office by injecting Christianity and Americanism"

    What part of that was Americanism and not xenophobia, racism or demagoguery?

  79. Charlie Hoffman 2012.01.15

    Jana I put forth the only word which felt right when questioning Obama's residency. I have set forth an olive branch, assisted in setting the dialogue towards a different tone and yet you bring back racism. For me at least this is over. Cory was correct in his hammering of my misproper wording and accusations. I'll stick to facts next time. Bill I should know better with you and Nick watching; to try getting away with such a doozy. :)

  80. Bill Fleming 2012.01.15

    LOL, Jana, I realize it's possible to read Charlie's whole note as a sarcastic tweak, and I just decided I'd rather not. In diplomacy it's usually best to leave your rival a face-saving out. (p.s. this does not apply to Bob Ellis or Sibby ;^)

  81. Bill Fleming 2012.01.15

    Charlie, I'll watch your back if you watch mine, man. We all have our off days.

  82. Charlie Hoffman 2012.01.15

    Bill I'll let the voters nationwide decide if Pres. Obama is taking us in the right direction and I certainly will back you on unfair play as if I see it unfold. We have much to do here in SD and many miles to go before we sleep. There are no spoils from this war. :)

  83. larry kurtz 2012.01.15

    no spoils from the drug war either: canada's liberal party votes to end it and legalize cannabis.

  84. Bill Fleming 2012.01.15

    Naw, Tom Lawrence is a pro. He has to deal with art directors and designers all the time. That's his job. That was more like musicians cuttin' heads.

  85. Bill Fleming 2012.01.15

    Fair enough, Mr. Hoffman. Carry on.

  86. larry kurtz 2012.01.15

    when the President announces next year that cannabis cultivation and distribution will up to the states, will you have an economic development plan in place, charlie?

  87. Charlie Hoffman 2012.01.15

    Larry are you certain that Mitt Romney will allow the transfer of that authority back to the states? :)

    We all thought President Obama would do so long ago. Guess his advisors wanted to keep the narco-terrorists in power for a while longer in Mexico.

  88. larry kurtz 2012.01.15

    care to answer my question? why not deadwood?

  89. Charlie Hoffman 2012.01.15

    Larry I do not believe the voters of South Dakota will legalize the growing or sale of pot. Nor do I believe the Feds will ever give that authority back to the states. My reference to Mitt was bait. You skipped over it. tsk tsk

    See you on another day Larry. I need to get some work done here and playing blog tag with you is not scoring productive points.

  90. larry kurtz 2012.01.15

    i passed over it on purpose. using the 'm' word to describe cannabis is akin to using the 'n' word to describe persons of color.

    if it quacks like a duck....

  91. larry kurtz 2012.01.15

    Barry Obama chooses to claim his given name while Willard Romney runs from his.

  92. Mike 2012.01.15

    Wait a sec, Did Rep. Hoffman just reveal himself to be the dreaded "Duh" of SDWC with his heidleburger slip up in the comments above?

  93. larry kurtz 2012.01.15

    i thought the same thing, mike

  94. larry kurtz 2012.01.15

    and maybe the jimi at doc's place

  95. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.01.15

    "... separation of church and state dictates it really should not matter..." Good. So when will Republicans start applying that to their own candidates?

    But what, no debate in Eureka? No Carp Days Carp-Off? Come on, Charlie, let's take this conversation to your home crowd! You and I have some voter education to do!

  96. Bill Fleming 2012.01.16

    To recap on the birther business, Nick puts the clincher on it when he notes that Obama's mother was from Kansas. That means even if Barack was born in Oz, he's still an American citizen.

  97. Elliot Knuths 2012.01.16

    To get my last words in on this topic, there is at least some debate still over the birthing rules. Once again, I'm not saying he wasn't born in America, just that I wouldn't bet the farm on him being born on American soil. I'm somewhere near certain he was born in America, but there will always remain a little doubt at the back of my mind.

    The Presidential birth rules leave a lot of gray area, and, Mr. Fleming, having never been clarified in the Constitution, nor the Supreme Court (which I think it eventually should, to promote clarity of government in the future). However, I think we all were all relieved to know that citizenship isn't the only requirement, or we'd have heard the Governator shout, "I'll be back!" after five or six consecutive failed presidential runs. Sadly, if Obama is in fact ineligible, Jerusalem-born Natalie Portman is too, and I think we could all agree, she would make a pretty epic president.

  98. Bill Fleming 2012.01.16

    John McCain was born in Panama, Elliot. There was no debate whatsoever about his eligibility. Nor should there have been. Nor should there be in the future.

  99. Bill Fleming 2012.01.16

    Barack Obama was born to an American mother and a Kenyan father. At the time, Kenya was a colony of Great Britain, so his father was a british subject.

    The following Presidents were born British subjects before the establishment of the United States:

    George Washington
    John Adams
    Thomas Jefferson
    James Madison
    James Monroe
    John Quincy Adams
    Andrew Jackson
    William Henry Harrison

    The following Presidents were born British subjects, as well as American citizens, after the establishment of the United States:

    Chester A. Arthur
    Barack Obama

    This is a non-issue, Elliot. You'll be better off focusing your good mind and curious nature elsewhere.

  100. Steve Sibson 2012.01.16

    Bill, thanks for proving that America is still a colony of Great Britain.

  101. Bill Fleming 2012.01.16

    Steve, thanks for proving once again that you don't really care about women's rights or the rights of their children. Only your own anti-humanist dogmatic, repressive, reactionary, mind-killing ideology.

  102. larry kurtz 2012.01.16

    i think bill just proved that president obama is not an american african so much as an african american.

  103. Bill Fleming 2012.01.16

    Exactly, Larry. And Sibby just proved that when someone fervently believes that it is a sin to think critically, they will eventually forget how to do it.

  104. Steve Sibson 2012.01.16

    sorry, "honored"

  105. larry kurtz 2012.01.16

    you have an erroneous orthographic statement in your blog foisting daugaard on his own guitar, sibby.

  106. Bill Fleming 2012.01.16

    There were 10 "official" inaugural balls. That was not one of them. And the Obamas didn't attend it. Nice that they had one though. A lot of people did. Which one did you go to, Steve?

  107. Steve Sibson 2012.01.16

    So "official" has special meaning to you critical thinkers?

  108. Nick Nemec 2012.01.16

    Get off it Sibby, I was in DC for the inaugural and actually attended one of the official balls. There were also dozens if not hundreds of unofficial balls ranging from black tie affairs to keggers in Georgetown watering holes. It means nothing other than some people wanted to have a party together.

  109. Bill Fleming 2012.01.16

    Hmm... Nick Nemec went to Obama's inaugural ball... why, that must mean that Obama is a... *gasp*... South Dakota farmer!

  110. Nick Nemec 2012.01.16

    Bill your logic is as flawless as Sibby's.

  111. Bill Fleming 2012.01.16

    ...and it was an "offical" ball at that! Nick, I'm glad you came clean about this, brother. It must have been tough keeping that all pent up inside all these years. Do you feel better now, getting all that "farmer" stuff about Obama off your chest?

  112. Steve Sibson 2012.01.16

    And speaking at the Prince Hall Lodge means absolutely nothing too?

    Nick, was their an Inaugural by the National Evangelical Association?

  113. Shane Gerlach 2012.01.16

    I called my dad who is one of the higest ranking Masons in this state, is a Past Most Worthy Grand Patron of the Order of Eastern Star, was the former head of all Masonic Fund Raising Activities in North America, Australia and New Zealand.
    Obama is NOT a Mason.

    But my dad wanted to tell you something Steve. They are watching you.

    All but the last sentence above are true statements.

  114. larry kurtz 2012.01.16

    Hey, Charlie: Al Gore in 2000 was only non-incumbent to have swept all 50 states in the primaries. And Gore was a quasi-incumbent. @fivethirtyeight Nate Silver

    Your candidate will have to get to the convention with Ron Paul nipping at his ankles the whole way as the South Dakota legislature and its super majority have Gordon Howie grading you on whether you side with a Jewish colleague.

    Sounds like fun.

  115. Steve Sibson 2012.01.16

    Shane, I agree that Obama is not an "official" member. So what was he doing at the Prince Hall Lodge? And was there any Evangilical Christians who had an Inaugural for Obama?

  116. larry kurtz 2012.01.16

    The ones who can spell did, Steve.

  117. Shane Gerlach 2012.01.16

    Steve I'm not a Mason and have been to Prince Hall Lodge, have seen every of the rites of the Masonic lodge. It's not a secret Steve.

  118. Shane Gerlach 2012.01.16

    Seriously...we were more secretive in SAE at SDSU than the Masons are.

  119. larry kurtz 2012.01.19

    George Romney was born in Mexico.

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