Category Archives: Politics

Proof Of Citizenship Is Not Trivial For My Child

(Originally posted on Nov 25, 2015 as /archives/10617)

This is from Episode 10 of “The Newsroom” by Aaron Sorkin. In it, Jeff Daniels, as Will McAvoy, takes on the Tea Party.

In it he says, among other things:

Dorothy Cooper is a 96 year old resident of Chattanooga Tennessee and has been voting for the last 75 years.  This year, she has been told she can’t.  A new law in Tennessee requires residents to show a government issued photo ID in order to vote.  Dorothy Cooper doesn’t have a driver’s license, because Dorothy Cooper doesn’t have a car. Dorothy Cooper doesn’t have a passport; a vacation abroad was never in her future.

In Kansas It’s Far Worse

In Kansas we need to show proof of citizenship to vote, and to get a driver’s license: not just ID.

If you are a US citizen, then your child becomes a US citizen as soon as they become legal residents. The combination of your proof of citizenship, your adoption papers, and their proof of residence is proof of citizenship.

However: in my experience government employees are not familiar with this law, and do not know how to read this law, and will demand that you produce the Certificate of Citizenship for foreign born adopted children.

In Kansas, in order to get a learner’s permit, so that my child can drive, required me to educate four levels of management at our DMV. It escalated to the highest level. It took many hours of time, over a couple of days of time, to get this done. That’s with extremely helpful people. If they weren’t so helpful, it would have gone much worse.

Natural born citizens can use a birth certificate, but it costs $550 for any person that is already a US citizen, but wasn’t born in the USA, to get citizenship papers.

In our case naturalization was automatic when my daughter was adopted by her American mother. INS doesn’t automatically provide proof of citizenship for adopted children, but adopted children are naturalized citizens. It was very difficult to convince the DMV though: I needed to convince four levels of management that a foreign birth certificate, and adoption papers, are proof of citizenship, because of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000. (Ironically, Sam Brownback’s children have the same status.)

My child, who is a US citizen cannot vote without that $550 piece of paper, because: Sam Brownback.

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Here is the video.

Here is the transcript. I copied it from DAILY KOS, and they copied it from the video:

Good Evening, I’m Will McAvoy.  Today is Monday, August 8 [2011].

And this past Friday, for the first time ever, Standard and Poor’s downgraded the credit rating of the US Treasury.  You would think that would be tonight’s top story.  Or you might think it would be the Dow closing down 634 points on its worst day of trading in 3 years.   Or the austerity riots in Europe.  Or any statements of the Republican candidates running for president. Or the President himself.  But it’s not.

Tonight’s top story is a woman named Dorothy Cooper.  

Dorothy Cooper is a 96 year old resident of Chattanooga Tennessee and has been voting for the last 75 years.  This year, she has been told she can’t.  A new law in Tennessee requires residents to show a government issued photo ID in order to vote.  Dorothy Cooper doesn’t have a driver’s license, because Dorothy Cooper doesn’t have a car. Dorothy Cooper doesn’t have a passport; a vacation abroad was never in her future.

Tennessee isn’t alone.  At this moment,  33 states have proposed or already adopted the same voter id laws that have disqualified Dorothy Cooper from the one fundamental thing that we all do as Americans.  It’s estimated that 11% or roughly 20 million people don’t have government issued voter ids and will be disenfranchised this November.   Why?  To crack down on the terrible problem of voter fraud.  Governor Rick Perry of Texas, who is about to enter the presidential primary race, is serious about cracking down on the problem:

>Video of Perry:  “Making sure that there is not fraud, making sure that someone is not manipulating that process makes all the sense in the world to me.”<

Me too.  Because voter fraud is such a huge problem that during a five year period in the Bush Administration, when 196 million votes were cast, the number of cases of voter fraud reached…86.   Not 86,000.  86.  Here’s what that number looks like as a percentage of votes cast.  .00004%.  Four one hundred thousandths of a percent.  This would be called a solution without a problem, but it’s not.  It’s just a solution to a different problem.  

Republican’s have a hard time getting certain people to vote for them.  So life would be a lot easier if certain people just weren’t allowed to vote at all.  I’m ashamed to say that 32 out of the 33 voter id laws were proposed by Republican legislators,  and passed by Republican controlled statehouses.  And signed into law by Republican governors.   I am not ashamed to say that I, however, am a Republican.  And that brings us to tonight’s second story.

I’m what the leaders of the Tea Party would call a RINO:  Republican in Name Only.  And that’s ironic because that’s exactly what I think about the leaders of the Tea Party.   Because the most conservative Republicans today…aren’t Republicans.  

Republicans believe in a prohibitive military.  We believe in a common sense government.   And that there are social programs enacted in the last half century that work but that there are way too many costing way too much, that don’t.  We believe in the rule of law and order and free market capitalism.  The Tea Party believes in loving America but hating Americans.  Tea Party Congressman  Allen West of Florida.  

>Video of West:  I must confess, when I see anyone with an Obama bumper sticker, I recogonize them as a threat to the gene pool. <

 They believe in loving America, but hating its government.  Conservative activist, Grover Norquist.

>Video of Norquist:  I don’t want to abolish government,  I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub. <

And they believe that anybody who disagrees with the Tea Party has sinister anti-American motives.  

>Video of Herman Cain:  The objective of the liberals is to destroy this country.  The objective of the liberals is to make America mediocre.  <

Most of all, you must never, under any circumstance, seek  to reach a compromise with your opponent.  Or do any of what Democrats and genuine Republicans both call ‘governing.’  Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell:

>Vidieo of McConnell:  Our top political priority over the next two years should be to deny President Obama a second term.<

And one other plank in the Tea Party platform.  If you are poor, it means that you are either too lazy or too stupid to be rich.  Here’s Andre Bauer, Tea Party Leader and the Lt. Governor of South Carolina [McAvoy read’s Bauer’s words] :  My grandmother was not a highly educated woman but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals.  You know why?  Because they breed.”

It’s almost hard to believe that Republicans can’t get Dorothy Cooper to vote for them.

During Tea Party rallys and in campaign speeches, we’ve been told that America has been founded as a Christian nation and if the founding fathers were here today, they’d tell us so.  Here’s John Adams in the treaty of Tripoli:  “As the government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.”  And here’s Thomas Jefferson:  “…that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions.”  And here’s the first amendment to the US Constitution:  “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”

What’s more frightening than the perversion of our great history is that sensible strong smart Republicans, the very men and women who should be standing up to radical fundamentalism, are so frightened in losing primary battles to religious zealots that they’ve thrown in the towel on sanity.  So we get this:

>Video of John McCain:  Yes, that the constitution established the United States as a Christian nation.<

It’s ironic because the biggest enemy of the phony Republican isn’t Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid or Hillary Clinton or Barak Obama.  It’s this man.  [image of Jesus Christ].  He said ‘Heal the sick.  Feed the hungry.   Care for the weakest among us.  And always pray in private. ‘  

On screen behind McAvoy while he reads:
–    Ideological  purity
–    Compromise as weakness
–    A fundamentalist belief in scriptural literalism
–    Denying science
–    Unmoved by facts
–    Undeterred by new information
–    A hostile fear of progress
–    A demonization of education
–    A need to control women’s bodies
–    Severe xenophobia
–    Tribal mentality
–    Intolerance of dissent
–    A pathological hatred of the US government

They can call themselves the Tea Party.  They can call themselves Conservatives.   And they can even call themselves Republicans.  Though Republican’s certainly shouldn’t.  But we should call them what they are:  The American Taliban.  And the American Taliban cannot survive if Dorothy Cooper is allowed to vote.  

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