Many have asked me, how did your life change so dramatically? Well, I was kind of rootless after Dad died, so I asked the village ajuoga what to do. He cast pebbles and, rather improbably, they came up saying I was destined to be president of the Harvard Law Review and then teach constitutional law at the University of Chicago. This was a lot for a young man to process, let alone live up to. But the pebbles donâ€™t lie, so I wrapped some meager possessions in a wildebeest skin and set out for Nairobi.
Almost a year later, I arrived in Boston, shoeless and speaking only a few crude English phrases. But the faculty of Harvard took pity on me, and soon no one was more surprised than I when I graduated with a Juris Doctor, magna cum laude. I believe old Onyangoâ€™s tales of Anansi the trickster god helped me to grasp the cunning subtleties of the U.S. legal system.”
Doug Ross tracks the changes to the biography Barack Obama provided, in third person form, to his literary agent.
On June 27, 1998, the website read: [Emphasis added] “BARACK OBAMA was the first black president of the Harvard Law Review. He was born in Kenya to an American anthropologist and a Kenyan finance minister, and was raised in Indonesia, Hawaii, and Chicago. His first book is DREAMS FROM MY FATHER: A STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE.”
The Obama entry remained unmodified (e.g., June 6, 2002) until sometime around December 9, 2004, when it was modified to read: “BARACK OBAMA is the junior Democratic senator from Illinois, and was the dynamic keynote speaker at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. He was also the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. He was born in Kenya to an American anthropologist and a Kenyan finance minister, and was raised in Indonesia, Hawaii, and Chicago. His first book, DREAMS FROM MY FATHER: A STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE, is a New York Times bestseller.”
On February 10, 2007, Senator Barack Obama formally announced his candidacy for the Presidency.
On April 3, 2007, the website read: “BARACK OBAMA is the junior Democratic senator from Illinois and was the dynamic keynote speaker at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. He was also the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. He was born in Kenya to an American anthropologist and a Kenyan finance minister and was raised in Indonesia, Hawaii, and Chicago. His first book, DREAMS FROM MY FATHER: A STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE, has been a long time New York Times bestseller.”
Sometime between April 3rd and April 21st, a member of the Obama campaign staff (or Obama himself) noticed the discrepancy in birthplace that would presumably disqualify the Senator from office.
On April 21, 2007, the website read: “BARACK OBAMA is the junior Democratic senator from Illinois and was the dynamic keynote speaker at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. He was also the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. He was born in Hawaii to an American anthropologist and a Kenyan finance minister and was raised in Indonesia, Hawaii, and Chicago. His first book, DREAMS FROM MY FATHER: A STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE, has been a long time New York Times bestseller.”
On June 14, 2007, the website read: “BARACK OBAMA, the junior Democratic senator from Illinois, is currently campaigning to become the 2008 Democratic presidential nominee. He was born in Hawaii to a father who was raised in a small village in Kenya and a mother who grew up in small-town Kansas. Barack’s father eventually returned to Kenya, and Barack grew up with his mother in Hawaii, and for a few years in Indonesia. Later, he moved to New York, where he graduated from Columbia University before moving to Chicago, where he became a community organizer. He went on to earn his law degree from Harvard, where he became the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. His first book, DREAMS FROM MY FATHER: A STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE, has been a long-time New York Times bestseller.”
Old media’s feeble handling of this issue — parroting the laughable assertion that clerical errors caused Obama’s birthplace to be incorrectly listed, when former clients and the agency’s policy itself states that authors provide the biographical briefs — is pathetic.
Mark Steyn theorizes about the meaning of all the confusion about Obama’s birthplace.
When it comes to conspiracies, Iâ€™m an Occamâ€™s Razor man. The more obvious explanation of the variable first line in the eternally shifting sands of Obamaâ€™s biography is that, rather than pretending to have been born in Hawaii, heâ€™s spent much of his life pretending to have been born in Kenya. After all, if your first book is an exploration of racial identity and has the working title â€œJourneys in Black and White,â€ being born in Hawaii doesnâ€™t really help. Itâ€™s entirely irrelevant to the twin pillars of contemporary black grievance â€” American slavery and European imperialism. To 99.99 percent of people, Hawaii is a luxury-vacation destination and nothing else. Whereas Kenya puts you at the heart of what, in an otherwise notably orderly decolonization process by the British, was a bitter and violent struggle against the white manâ€™s rule. Cool! The composite chicks dig it, and the literary agents.
And whereâ€™s the harm in it? Everybody does it â€” at least in the circles in which Obama hangs. At Harvard Law School, where young Barack was â€œthe first African-American president of The Harvard Law Review,â€ thereâ€™s no end of famous firsts: As The Fordham Law Review reported, â€œHarvard Law School hired its first woman of color, Elizabeth Warren, in 1995.â€ …
In 1984, when â€œElizabeth Warren â€” Cherokeeâ€ was cooking up a storm, the young Obama was still trying to figure out his name: Heâ€™d been â€œBarryâ€ up till then. According to his recently discovered New York girlfriend, back when she dated him he was â€œBAR-ack,â€ emphasis on the first syllable, as in barracks, which is how his dad was known back in Kenya. Later in the Eighties, he decided â€œBAR-ackâ€ was too British, and modified it to â€œBa-RACK.â€ Some years ago, on Fox News, Bob Beckel criticized me for mispronouncing Barack Obamaâ€™s name. My mistake. All I did was say it the way theyâ€™ve always said it back in Kenya. But Obama himself didnâ€™t finally decide what his name was or how to say it until he was pushing 30. In the shifting sands of identity, he picked his crabs carefully.
â€œI suppose heâ€™d had the name ready for a long time, even then,â€ says Nick Carraway in The Great Gatsby. â€œHis parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people â€” his imagination had never really accepted them as his parents at all. The truth was that Jay Gatsby of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his Platonic conception of himself. . . . So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen-year-old boy would be likely to invent, and to this conception he was faithful to the end.â€
In a postmodern America, the things that Gatsby attempted to fake â€” an elite schooling â€” Obama actually had; the things that Gatsby attempted to obscure â€” the impoverished roots â€” merely add to Obamaâ€™s luster. Gatsby claimed to have gone to Oxford, but nobody knew him there because he never went; Obama had a million bucksâ€™ worth of elite education at Occidental, Columbia, and Harvard Law, and still nobody knew him (â€œFox News contacted some 400 of his classmates and found no one who remembered himâ€). In that sense, Obama out-Gatsbys Gatsby…
“A little boy said to his mother; ‘Mommy, how come I’m black and you’re white?'” “His mother replied, ‘Don’t even go there Barack! From what I can remember about that party, you’re lucky you don’t bark!'”
The thought police are hot on that judge’s trail this morning. Scott Lemieux’s commenter thebewilderness explains that the reach of current PC punitive enforcement just doesn’t go far enough.
I have a couple family members like that. Not a public racist where it would have a negative effect on them. Just a private racist among friends and family. I guess thatâ€™s what they mean when they moan about having to be politically correct.
Jonah Goldberg, in his emailed newsletter which just arrived, shares pretty much my own perspective on Obama’s birth certificate.
Frankly, I’m perfectly happy Obama released his birth certificate. I always thought that the only thing worse than the birthers being wrong would be the birthers being right.
Igniting a whacky constitutional crisis because Barack Obama spent a few weeks or months in Kenya as an infant seemed like madness to me. Throwing out the first black president in the middle of his presidency would be absurdly difficult, painful, and counterproductive in every way, dredging up a level of biliousness this country has rarely if ever seen. And at the end of the process, even if a “birther Congress” could have successfully impeached and removed the guy for being ineligible, we would have . . . President Joe Biden.
(By the way, I’ve long pondered what a Biden presidency would look like. I think the Lloyd Bridges character in Airplane! gives us a good sense of what Biden’s presidential leadership style would be.) …
I got a lot of grief from the usual types for asking why Obama dragged this out as long as he did. I still think it’s a perfectly legitimate question.
It seems to me that if there was no “there” there this whole time, the responsible thing would have been for a junior deputy assistant press secretary to release the thing over two years ago.
Think about it. Liberal surrogates in and out of the press and the administration have been saying for two years that the birthers are discrediting the Republican party. They’re racist. They’re nuts. They’re trying to tear down the president and the country with their paranoia. And yet Obama could have put the whole thing to rest with five minutes of paper shuffling. The White House only asked Hawaii for the birth certificate last week. And this was after we’d been told incessantly that Hawaii couldn’t find or couldn’t release the long-form birth certificate.
(Never mind that we never heard anything like the same level of outrage and dismay over the “truther” conspiracy theories, which A) were more widely held on the left than birtherism has been on the right and B) were far, far more repugnant. One theory held that a politician was hiding something on his birth certificate for political reasons. The other theory held that the United States government from the president down systematically planned and carried out the worst terrorist attack in American history and then successfully covered it up with the help of nearly all of our elite institutions.)
It seems to me the strategists around Obama liked it this way. They thought they could exploit the birthers the way Clinton exploited the militias. Keeping the story in the news by letting the birthers drive themselves nuts helped them. The press helped, too. Did you ever notice how whenever a Republican denounced the birthers or dismissed the issue, the press would often cast it as a tactical move to win moderates, not an act of conviction?
During the week of news coverage that Obama says was dominated by the birther issue, you were something like 35 times more likely to hear about the subject on CNN or MSNBC. Do you think those outlets framed the issue in a light favorable to the birthers or to the president? (Even now, the only media types really eager to prop up the birthers as a serious force are MSNBC hosts and their freelance producers at Media Matters & Co., who want to use the topic for guilt by association.)
Trump changed the equation. As odd as it is to me personally, Trump is a mainstream figure and his birtherism wasn’t discrediting the GOP because he’s not identified as a “real” Republican. And given the awful economy and the general pessimism out there, the birther thing had more salience culturally (which is unfortunate).
But also, Obama has been cultivating his image as the “grown-up.” The White House has been trying to position Obama as the adult in the room, above the squabbling parties. Releasing the birth certificate now and having the president denounce “silliness” and “distractions” was a great way to get that message out there.
Or at least it seemed that way. My hunch is that Americans are starting to figure who Obama really is — and the answer, as always, has nothing to do with his birth certificate.
The theory that he was born in Kenyan would have disqualified him from office on the basis of an alleged clause in a pre-1970 Naturalization Law, which apparently excluded from citizenship the child of an under-aged female American citizen by a non-American father who gave birth outside the US.
Jus sanguinis and the 14th Amendment would probably have caused such a clause to fail in a court test anyway, and Jonah Goldberg is perfectly correct in arguing that we want to remove Obama electorally, and not by a technicality in order to promote Joe Biden.
But it still makes no sense for Obama to have refused to release that long-form birth certificate.
Frank Fleming has examined it and concludes that it must be real.
Tommy De Seno attempts (not very persuasively) to dispel skepticism provoked by the “layered birth certificate image” issue.
As I understand it, if you scan an image to a pdf, there are no layers. You basically get a photograph. However, if you use a software like Photoshop and change things, you get layers – the original image and the new image layered on top of one another.
Or so I thought.
I went online to read the 411 from folks who claim to know much about this sort of thing. I got lost in conversations about OCR and halos and other geeky things. All I accomplished was to become intimidated. Both sides sounded convincing, I assume because I know so little about computers that I’m easy to convince.
Before this thing gets out of control, the makers of Adobe and Photoshop need to come out with a joint statement and explain what is behind this “layered” business. Guys like me can’t figure it out.
Another point: Even if it is layered, it’s OK. What was released could be an aggregation of information from other sources of Hawaiian vital statistics, which is perfectly legitimate.
Scarcely had the White House released President Obama’s birth certificate than the “Birther” skeptics issued statements expressing their continued doubts about other aspects of Obama’s biography. One oft-heard refrain was that the president had waited too long to release the document. Others moved on to demanding to see Obama’s academic transcripts. Donald Trump congratulated himself on having pressured the White House into finally putting an end to many months of mystery.
What will be the political impact of this? In the long term, likely none at all. Americans who don’t like Obama will continue not to like him. The president gave a sanctimonious press conference lecture — the nation was being “distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers,” he said — but Obama’s opponents have long since ceded his superlative gifts at delivering sanctimonious lectures. Where he fails is in delivering effective policies to address our nation’s manifold problems. By the time the 2012 election arrives, the Birther controversy will be long forgotten, while Obama’s failed policies will (or at least should be) front and center of the campaign debate.
And Fleming and Hayes parse the law to demonstrate that Barack Hussein Obama II, birth certificate or no birth certificate, does not meet Congress’s definition of a natural born citizen.
The â€˜long formâ€™ birth certificate that the White House released confirms that Barack Hussein Obama, Sr. was our presidentâ€™s father. Obama Sr., a Kenyan by birth, was a citizen of the British Empire. While his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, was an American citizen, his father never emigrated to the United States, or married her. … [should be: “validly married her” as Barack Obama Sr. was already married in Kenya, his marriage to Stanley Ann Dunham was bigamous and therefore invalid. — DZ]
While the definition of â€˜natural born citizenâ€™ was never made by the founding fathers, in 2008 then Senator Obama co-sponsored Senate Resolution 511 which was drafted to address the status of senator and presidential hopeful John McCainâ€™s status as a natural born citizen, having been born in the Panama Canal Zone.
Whereas there is no evidence of the intention of the Framers or any Congress to limit the constitutional rights of children born to Americans serving in the military nor to prevent those children from serving as their countryâ€™s President;
Whereas such limitations would be inconsistent with the purpose and intent of the `natural born Citizenâ€™ clause of the Constitution of the United States, as evidenced by the First Congressâ€™s own statute defining the term `natural born Citizenâ€™;
An Act To establish an uniform rule of naturalization
Approved March 26 1790 US Statutes at Large Vol I pp 103 104
â€¦And the children of citizens of the United States that may be born beyond sea or out of the limits of the United States shall be considered as natural born citizens. Provided That the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the United States.
This distinction drawn between â€˜citizenâ€™ and â€˜natural born citizenâ€™ is at the heart of the debate over Obamaâ€™s eligibility to continue serving as the President of the United States.
Itâ€™s this issue that the members of the â€˜birtherâ€™ movement should have been behind since day one, instead of concocting theories about Kenya midwives and Indonesian home births.
Only 30 months after the November 2008 election which won him the presidency, Barack Hussein Obama II, stung by repeated criticism by Donald Trump, suddenly abandoned the dogged struggle he had fought in the courts of at least 8 states at a cost estimated to approach close to $2 million and finally released a copy of his long-form birth certificate from the state of Hawaii.
When one glances over the fabled and mysterious document, alleged recently not even to exist as a form of Hawaiian document, on the one hand, one is comforted with the knowledge that the occupant of the chief magistracy of the United States is actually apparently eligible to hold the office he currently occupies. But, on the other hand, one remains perplexed as to why he did not simply release this bland and uncontroversial document long ago.
I think the country is still due a rational explanation of why it was that the president wanted to avoid releasing this.
Nonetheless, NYM congratulates the President of the United States on this bold gesture in the direction of transparency.
Special thanks are obviously due to Mr. Donald Trump, who personally assumed the responsibility for articulating public concern and forcing the disclosure of a fundamentally significant source of data.
Propelled by the release last Friday of the new film version, Ayn Rand’s 1957 novel Atlas Shrugged, in three different editions, is today occupying positions 1, 2, and 3 on Amazon’s Bestseller List of Classic Literature & Fiction.
Over the course of more than three years of research, Jerome Corsi assembles the evidence that Barack Obama is constitutionally ineligible for the office of the presidency. As a New York Times bestselling author, Harvard graduate, and investigative journalist, Corsi exposes in detail key issues with Obama’s eligibility, including the fact the President has spent millions of dollars in legal fees to avoid providing the American people with something as simple as a long-form birth certificate.
Some news agency reports that Hawaii’s governor is abandoning his effort to release Obama’s mysterious long-form birth certificate.
A privacy law that shields birth certificates has prompted Democratic Gov. Neil Abercrombie to abandon efforts to dispel claims that President Barack Obama was born outside Hawaii, his office says.
State Attorney General David Louie told the governor that privacy laws bar him from disclosing an individual’s birth documentation without the person’s consent, Abercrombie spokeswoman Donalyn Dela Cruz said Friday.
Obama is not only not releasing his birth certificate, college transcripts, and medical records, he is also not releasing his detailed legal bills, but Obama’s campaign organization is required by law to divulge what it does with its money, and World Net Daily is able to report:
President Obama has paid nearly $1.7 million to his top eligibility lawyer since the election.
Obama for America, Obama’s 2008 political campaign, merged with the Democratic National Committee in January and is now known as Organizing for America. The grass-roots army that some refer to as “Obama 2.0” is still collecting financial contributions.
Federal Election Commission records for “Obama for America” show that the lobby organization has paid international law firm Perkins Coie exactly $1,666,397.01 since the 2008 election. …
The FEC shows Obama’s campaign has made regular payments to Perkins Coie since Jan. 1, 2007 â€“ the month he formed a presidential exploratory committee and only weeks before he formally announced his candidacy for president.
In total, Obama has paid Perkins Coie, a single law firm, $2.6 million since he announced his campaign for presidency. …
Robert Bauer of Perkins Coie â€“ top lawyer for Obama, Obama’s presidential campaign, the Democratic National Committee and Obama’s Organizing for America â€“ is the same Washington, D.C., lawyer who defended President Obama in lawsuits challenging his eligibility to be president.
Mother Jones’ Stephanie Mencimer argues that the $1.7 million spent on Perkins Coie’s legal services since the election cannot possibly all have been for costs related to keeping that birth certificate out of public view.
WorldNetDaily has noted that FEC filings show that Obama’s presidential campaign has paid out more than $1.7 million since the election to the law firm of Perkins Coie. Until recently, that firm was home to Obama’s campaign lawyer, and now White House counsel, Robert Bauerâ€”the very same DC lawyer, says WND, who has defended Obama in many of the birther lawsuits. Ergo, WND concluded, Obama must be devoting that entire $1.7 million to crushing birthers in court. This is a ridiculous claim: Even after an election is over a presidential campaign has plenty of need for lawyers as it winds down operations and meets campaign finance law requirements.
I think she has a point. There must have been some legal filings and reports that had to be done but, $1.7 million is a lot of money and obviously represents a great deal more in the way of legal services than routine, post-election paperwork.
How much money would you or I spend to avoid releasing our original and complete birth certificate so that every Tom, Dick, and Harry could pore over it to his heart’s content (as part of our ascension to the highest office in the land)? The obvious answer, in my own case, is not a dime. Why would I care?
Barack Obama clearly has spent very large and substantial sums of money on legal efforts to prevent that birth certificate’s public release. It is clearly in his interest to release it, to end law suits and put a stop to speculation and charges that he is somehow unqualified for the office he holds but, as we see again, despite encouragement from his own friend and ally, Hawaii’s Governor Abercrombie, Obama is not releasing it.
I don’t think Obama was born in Kenya, but it is only too obvious that Obama must have something to hide. Something sufficiently embarrassing or damaging that it is worth spending a great deal of money to conceal it.