Arizona's Sheriff Arpaio Serves Up Reheated Birtherism

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Doing his best to shift attention from the Federal investigations into his office's discrimination against Latinos and abuses of power, Arizona's sheriff Joe Arpaio is resorting to a well-worn headline-grabber: birtherism.

Arpaio held a press conference Thursday to announce the results of his privately formed "commission" to investigate rumors of President Obama's birth outside the country, and, though he says he entered the investigation with "an open mind," he concludes that the issue should be the subject of a criminal investigation and that Obama's birth certificate is a forgery. Most in our Twitter feed are greeting the news with skepticism as the evidence Arpaio's put forward is mostly a rehash of long-debunked birther arguments. As Slate's Dave Weigel tweets sarcastically, "Was unaware that cut-and-pasting WorldNetDaily articles was a 'government investigation.'" We have to wonder how different Arpaio's "commission" is from the one Donald Trump convened in Hawaii before dropping his own "investigation" in 2011.

Whatever the method and means of Arpaio's latest stab at attention, he managed to grab at least a chunk of Thursday's news cycle. But when we wake up Friday morning, he'll still be accused of discrimination by a real government entity.

Update 6:16 p.m.: Here's Arpaio's press release with a summary of his findings.

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