"Stoner" misspelling honors "Westworld"
It was a big week for Barack Obama.
After two years and four months of relentless drivel from the birther crowd, recently aided and abetted by Donald Trump (hope no one asks for a certificate of his hair's authenticity), the president finally secured his official birth certificate from the state of Hawaii and released it, ensuring that conspiracy theorists will continue to have plenty to ponder for the rest of his presidency. Then Obama pulled the trigger on Osama bin Laden — public enemy number one — and allegedly buried him at sea (buried him at sea?), providing conspiracy theorists with fodder for the rest of his life.
And finally (and less momentously), on Monday a portrait of President Barack Obama was installed in the Colorado Capitol building. The painting, which is now hanging in the west foyer of the third-floor rotunda, was paid for with $10,000 in private donations from Democrats; former Denver mayor Wellington Webb and Wilma Webb helped raise the majority of the funds.
But some Republicans at the Capitol apparently don't believe that Obama's portrait should hang alongside those of the other 43 presidents — Republicans like Senator Kent Lambert and Representative Janak Joshi, both of Colorado Springs. The week before the painting went up, those two lawmakers introduced bills that would force elected officials to show proof of citizenship before entering office (much less being commemorated in portraits). Ten other GOP senators signed on in support of this effort: Bill Cadman, Scott Renfroe, Mark Scheffel, Keith King, Steve King (no, the Kings are not part of a civil union), Nancy Spence, Kevin Grantham, Ted Harvey, Mike Kopp and Kevin Lundberg.
The bill was quickly killed on Monday, but remember those names, because the Birther 12 still have a few days in which to cause trouble before the session ends. For example, they could introduce:
Aloha and Goodbye: Hawaii didn't become a state until August 21, 1959. This resolution would retroactively move that day forward by exactly two years, to August 21, 1961, seventeen days after Obama was born (at least according to his "birth certificate.") This would mean he wasn't born in the United States and therefore is not eligible to be president.
State-funded Militia: Colorado's state-funded militia would be responsible for stopping all Obama-created federal funding from coming across our borders, whether it was earmarked for transportation improvements, job-creation efforts or for cleaning up contaminated Superfund sites. Guards would be posted at Welcome to Colorado booths. To pay for the militia, the Birther 12 could divert all school-related funding, beginning with free healthy breakfasts for low-income kids.
Citizenhood Amendment: If human life begins with conception, then so, too, does residency. This amendment would dictate that citizenship begins with conception, and since Barack Obama's parents have both died, they can't prove definitively that they weren't in another country when their son was conceived. In that case, he's a foreigner.
Redistricting: Democrats in the state legislature are having fun right now jerry-rigging Colorado's population into districts that will give their party's candidates a better chance during election season. But the birther crowd shouldn't let that happen. Instead, they could sponsor a bill that only allows people with American-sounding names to vote, and then group all of Denver, Boulder and Pueblo into one district.
Scene and herd: What's Gary Faulkner going to do now that Osama bin Laden is (allegedly) dead? Let's send him to hunt down Moammar Gadhafi...and figure out how to spell his name.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Westword's biggest stories.