It seemed that President Obama’s release of his full birth certificate a couple of months ago — and his brutal skewering of Donald Trump at the White House correspondents dinner in May — completely took the air out of the “birther” movement.
Not so. None other than Orly Taitz , the Los Angeles lawyer, dentist and real estate agent, is still on the case, recently filing a Freedom of Information Act suit in federal court against Social Security Administration Commissioner Michael Astrue.
Taitz is looking for information that would prove that Obama’s Social Security number was from Connecticut, not Hawaii, and is therefore fraudulent.
But she’s having some inexplicable problems complying with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 5.2(a)(1), which simply says that only the last four digits of a Social Security number should be used in any documents filed; the first five digits must be redacted.
Seems she repeatedly violated that rule by redacting the wrong numbers, sparking a blistering rebuke this week from Chief Judge Royce C. Lamberth of the U.S. District Court here, who wrote that she was “wasting the Court’s time with nonsense,” which is “not the way [for her] to have any hope of prevailing in this case.”
“After making the somewhat hysterical claim . . . that there may be ‘an employee in this court who is intentionally sabotaging’ her,” Lamberth, a Reagan appointee, wrote in his order, Taitz then “engaged” a courtroom deputy clerk “in a lengthy, accusatory conversation.”
Taitz “is either toying with the court or displaying her own stupidity,” Lamberth said. “There is no logical explanation she can provide as to why she is now wasting the court’s time. ”
(Memo to file: Send private note to Taitz to advise her that the last, the very last, federal judge she wants to provoke is Lamberth. Trust us on this. Or ask the Interior Department. Hapless Interior lawyers have appeared in his courtroom on countless occasions. )
The Obama administration is experiencing the usual third-year brain drain as top staff start drifting away, some to the 2012 campaign, some back to academia or private sector jobs, some to simply a change of pace from the grind.
Buzz at the National Security Council is that Rexon Ryu, now director of “Non-Proliferation, Weapons of Mass Destruction” and before that top foreign policy adviser to former senator Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), is moving on to become head of the D.C. office of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice .
NSC legal adviser Mary DeRosa, in a job that’s become extremely high-profile in recent years, what with Guantanamo, torture and other hot-button issues, is said to be moving on after taking some time off. DeRosa, who had worked at the Department of Homeland Security and for the Senate Judiciary Committee, was nominated July 11 to be a public delegate to the U.N. General Assembly, a parting gift that may require some light lifting during the two-week UNGA meeting in Manhattan in September.
Word is that deputy NSC legal adviser Avril Haines, formerly a deputy legal adviser at the State Department, will move up to replace DeRosa.
Meanwhile, Douglas Lute, the deputy national security adviser for Iraq and Afghanistan, was said to have been leaving this summer — apparently someone had been tapped to replace him, but that didn’t work out — but Lute has just told his staff that he’s staying indefinitely.
Speaking of staff moves, we had thought something was going to be worked out for former NSC chief of staff Mark Lippert , who was last seen on Oct. 1, 2009, heading off to an active-duty posting as an intelligence officer with the Navy SEALs.
Lippert left Iraq earlier this year and apparently has been either ensconced at the Pentagon or doing various missions that we can’t talk about in places we don’t know.
The respected South Korean newspaper Dong-A Ilbo reported on April 17 that Lippert “will take over as the Pentagon’s assistant secretary for Asia-Pacific security affairs,” but he has yet to be nominated.
There have been reports of quiet opposition to him in the Senate related to his opposition to the Afghan surge — although he left the White House two months before the surge was announced.
Latest word is that Lippert’s nomination for the job may well be good to go.
Federal contractors are getting increasingly worried that a partisan deadlock over the debt ceiling may result in the government’s not being able to pay them.
Well, there’s good news and bad news here. The good news is the law says that as a government contractor you can take your case to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and get a default judgment ordering the government to pay up.
The bad news? The judges won’t be working and the lights at the court will be out.
Major move at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Douglas Frantz, the committee’s highly regarded deputy staff director and chief investigator, is off to open the new office here of Kroll’s business intelligence and investigations practice. His title will be managing director.
Frantz has been with the committee since Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) became chairman 21 / 2 years ago. Before that, Frantz had made an honest living as a reporter and editor at the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times. It had been widely assumed that when Kerry became secretary of state in a second Obama administration, he’d take Frantz with him for a top spot. That may be less likely now.
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