Monday, June 30, 2008

The birth certificate saga continues

Is Obababy an American citizen?

A senior official in the State of Hawaii's Department of Health, Director of Communications Janice Okubo, confirms that the image published and circulated by the Obama campaign as his "birth certificate" lacks the necessary embossed seal and signature. Backing away from a quote attributed to her that the image on the campaign site was "valid," she told the St. Petersburg (Florida) Times in an article published yesterday: "I don't know that it's possible for us to even say beyond a doubt what the image on the site represents."

Barack Obama has claimed in writing to have a valid printed document: In the first chapter of his book Dreams From My Father, describing his origins, he wrote about finding a local Hawaiian newspaper article about his Kenyan father: "I discovered this article, folded away among my birth certificate and old vaccination forms, when I was in high school."

So where is that birth certificate? It got lost? The dog ate it? No matter. Barack Obama or an immediate family member can plunk down $10 ($11.50 if he orders online) and have Hawaii mail a certified document to him within a week or two. But more than two weeks have passed since the Obama campaign adopted the suspect, uncertified image of a purported birth document published by a left-wing blog Daily Kos, and nothing certified and nothing on paper has since has been forthcoming. Nor has there been any official comment about the issue from the campaign. They may cling to the hope -- however audacious -- that the one issue that could disqualify their man constitutionally from gaining the presidency will just go away.

Amy Hollyfield of the St. Petersburg Times, and a reporter for the paper's "Politifact" blog, said that she has been seeking the birth certificate "for months." She was frustrated: "Hawaii birth certificates aren't public record. Only family members can request copies, so when the campaign declined to give us one, we were stalled."

Finally, the campaign released the image (resembling the one at the top of this article). Hollyfield e-mailed it to the Hawaii Department of Health, which maintains such records, to ask if it was real. "It's a valid Hawaii state birth certificate," spokesman Janice Okubo told us. Then the firestorm started.

Israel Insider contacted Okubo several days. She could not refer to Obama's specific case, she said, because no one but an authorized family member can do so. But she did confirm that a valid "certification of live birth" would need to have an embossed seal and signature and that it can only be printed and mailed. There is no such thing as an electronic only certification.

In our previous article on this subject we published an example of a certified birth certificate of another Hawaiian citizen, Patricia DeCosta, reproduced below. The stamp and signature are reversed because the embossing is done from the back as per law, as Okubo noted is required by law.

Speaking to National Review Online, Okubo admitted that the Obama image lacked those required features but thought that perhaps the embossing was applied too lightly.

Maybe so, but all the certificates we have seen have the embossed imprint clearly visible, as well as horizontal fold marks.

We got an email yesterday from Bryan Suits who has a radio show on KFI Los Angeles. He writes:
"I have just received my State of Hawaii certified birth certificate for my 1964 debut on the planet earth. It looks....nothing like Obama's. We've scanned it at 72dpi, 300dpi. Nuthin. We can't make the emboss disappear. Also, we can't make THE FOLDS disappear!! How did FightTheSmears do it?

I got curious when I compared his (with the 2007 date bleed) to my old beat-up1986 copy. then I went online on June 13 and ordered the thing. It got here yesterday tri-folded in a state of hawaii envelope. I called the State and asked if I could get an unfolded copy. No dice.

Hollyfield brings up other issues that her readers raised, although she does not address them or explain them [bracketed comments from Israel Insider]:
Where is the embossed seal and the registrar's signature? [Required for validity]

Comparing it to other Hawaii birth certificates, the color shade is different.

Isn't the date stamp bleeding through [in reverse] the back of the document [image] "June [6] 2007?" (Odd since it was supposedly released in June 2008.)

There's no crease from being folded and mailed. [Hawaii requires printing and mailing, according to Okubo. Electronic images are never released, she assured us, nor are they valid.]

It's clearly Photoshopped and a wholesale fraud.

Hollyfield, frustrated by failing to access the required original, being refused by the Obama campaign, and finding only secondary documents from his subsequent career, asks what's "reasonable" and then claims that skeptics about Obama's published birth certificate believe that there's a conspiracy afoot:
Because if this document is forged, then they all are. If this document is forged, a U.S. senator and his presidential campaign have perpetrated a vast, long-term fraud. They have done it with conspiring officials at the Hawaii Department of Health, the Cook County (Ill.) Bureau of Vital Statistics, the Illinois Secretary of State's office, the Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois and many other government agencies.

But Hollyfield is mistaken. There would be no need to invent a conspiracy among officials. All Obama needed to do would be to pass off an uncertified document as being certified. He may have done so unwittingly. Then the rest can follow without any need to conspire with any other official. They just take it on faith that the person is an American citizen.

They don't check about the embossing requirements of the State of the Hawaii. They believe Obama. Why should they doubt him, certainly after he becomes a lawyer and a state senator? The officials believe that the claimed document is authentic, and therefore issue other documents, based on the phony one, buried deep in the documentary chain. Unwitting or not, however, the high stakes for basing one's citizenship on an uncertified birth certificate must be pretty obvious to the campaign now.

Nothing else explains why Obama's campaign refused to release the original paper document, to make this distracting controversy go way. Because Hollyfield is right about one thing:

"If this document is forged, a U.S. senator and his presidential campaign have perpetrated a vast, long-term fraud."

U.S. citizens who have written to Israel Insider or have posted on the Internet are not satisfied. Ordinary people are compelled to produce certified paper birth certificates to get a passport or a driver's license. Why, people are asking, doesn't Obama needed to show one to run for President?

In a follow-up contact by Hollyfield, Janice Okubo backtracked and qualified, pointing to the main issue that Israel Insider and others have brought into focus [our comments in brackets]:
"I guess the big issue that's being raised is the lack of an embossed seal and a signature," Okubo said, pointing out that in Hawaii, both those things are on the back of the document. "Because they scanned the front -- you wouldn't see those things." [But of course, as in the DeCosta sample and others, you can see it clearly.]

Okubo says she got a copy of her own birth certificate last year and it is identical to the Obama one we received. [Well, "identical" cannot be correct. Her name is not Obama, Her certificate number was not blacked out, and her certificate had the required embossed certification. So she can only be saying that the form looked the same, as she said to the National Review Online's Jim Geraghty.]

And about the copy we e-mailed her for verification? "When we looked at that image you guys sent us, our registrar, he thought he could see pieces of the embossed image through it." [Except that she received only what was published on the Internet and circulated by email, and no "pieces of the embossed image" do come through that. We have published the highest resolution available and there is no trace of embossed seal or signature. Readers can see for themselves.]

Still, she acknowledges: "I don't know that it's possible for us "to even say beyond a doubt what the image on the site represents."

And there you have it. Okubo can't "even say beyond a doubt what the image on the site represents" because she is not allowed access to Barack Obama's personal records. State law prohibits it. Only Barack Obama (or another immediate family member) can authorize the release of the paper birth certificate, and submit it to objective analysis. He refuses to do so,


The Chicago Challenge

Barack Obama made one shrewd move this week, along with one risky one. In talking with reporters after the Supreme Court ruled that criminals who rape children may not be executed, Mr. Obama moved smartly to the political center. "I think that the rape of a small child, six or eight years old, is a heinous crime and if a state makes a decision that under narrow, limited, well-defined circumstances, the death penalty is at least potentially applicable, that does not violate our Constitution," he said, siding with conservative dissenters in the case.

Mr. Obama was on shakier ground when he insisted that none of the burgeoning scandals in Illinois politics have anything to do with him. In recent days, top Obama fundraiser Tony Rezko was convicted on influence peddling charges and Democratic Governor Rod Blagojevich is facing possible impeachment hearings in the Illinois legislature over Rezko-related scandals.

"You will recall that for my entire political career here, I was not the endorsed candidate of any political organization here," Mr. Obama told Chicago reporters. "My reputation in Springfield [as a state legislator] was as an independent. There is no doubt I had friends and continue to have friends who come out of the more traditional school of Chicago politics but that's not what launched my political career and that's not what I've ever depended on to get elected, and I would challenge any Chicago reporter to dispute that basic fact."

Throwing down a challenge to reporters might prove uncomfortable for Mr. Obama. Good government groups in Chicago have long deplored his seeming indifference to the corruption in the Daley machine that has dominated the city since 1955. Indeed, Mr. Obama's chief strategist David Axelrod is also current Mayor Richard J. Daley's top political adviser. And while Mr. Obama was not originally elected with the help of the machine, once in the legislature he became a close ally of state Senate President Emil Jones, a cog in the Daley machine who has been the chief obstacle to passing ethics reform through the state legislature.

"Obama may pretend he is Obambi when it comes to corruption," says Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass. "But the fact is that you can't come from Chicago without having your involvement with its politics scrutinized." At Mr. Obama's invitation, here's hoping enterprising reporters start digging.


Mr No-principles

During the Democratic primary season, all those eons ago, Barack Obama deployed no more powerful line against Hillary Clinton than his insistence that 'we can't just tell people what they want to hear. We need to tell them what they need to hear'. More than just a catchy couplet, the phrase was a deadly arrow into the heart of Clintonism.

Few things crippled Hillary's campaign like the belief that she would say or do anything to get elected, from supporting the Iraq War to claiming she'd dodged sniper fire at Tuzla. In Obama, Democrats seemed to have found something refreshing: a brave truth-teller unmoored to pollsters such as Mark Penn, someone who had spoken out against Iraq the war and could at last restore integrity and honesty to Washington politics.

But since Obama dispatched Clinton, he has seemed rather more attuned to what the people want to hear or perhaps he has simply traded the wants of a liberal audience for those of a more moderate one. Either way, he is treading that reliably time-worn path every nominee follows to the political centre. And the question for Democrats is whether to applaud Obama as a cunning politician who knows how to win or fret that he's given undecided voters reason to think his 'politics of hope' are just politics as usual.

First, let us count the repositionings. This past week, Obama expressed surprising disagreement with a Supreme Court ruling that outlawed the death penalty for child rapists (he had previously questioned the rationale of capital punishment). He resisted criticising another high court ruling that affirmed gun owners' rights, even though he had previously seemed to support the gun-control measure at issue.

Obama also dropped his once-stern opposition to a Congressional measure, despised on the left, that would legally shield telecommunications companies that co-operated with extra-legal US government eavesdropping. To some, even the contents of Obama's iPod, recently revealed to Rolling Stone, smacked of political calculation, combining as it did Baby Boomer classics (Stones, Springsteen, Dylan) with highbrow jazz (Coltrane, Miles Davis) mindless top 40 pop (Sheryl Crow) and edgy-but-not-too-edgy hip hop (Jay-Z, Ludacris). Perhaps this playlist should be titled 'Majority Coalition'.

In truth, Obama has been creeping towards the sanitised centre for a while. After disdaining American flag lapel pins last year, he now wears one regularly. When Jeremiah Wright, his controversial former pastor, provoked outrage in March, Obama insisted he could not 'disown' him, but proceeded to do so just a few weeks later with a public condemnation.

Obama now concedes that his sharp criticism of free trade agreements such as Nafta before industrial-area primary voters might have been 'overheated'. He's toughened his talk on Iran and in favour of Israel. He's even shaded his rhetoric on Iraq, downplaying his primary season vow to withdraw all US combat troops within 16 months for more careful talk of a gradual and 'responsible' exit.

Each of these positions has been generally consistent with the prevailing views of the swing voters Obama will need to win in November: independents, liberal Republicans and moderate Democrats whose votes are still up for grabs. After all, Obama has already locked down most core Democrats, who wouldn't think of staying home or voting for the pro-war McCain. But according to an early June Gallup poll, McCain is beating Obama among independents who don't lean toward either party.

McCain campaign operatives have welcomed these interesting new dimensions of Obama's profile. Their core argument, after all, is that Obama is a charlatan - not a harbinger of new politics but a typical pol who has never taken real risks (unlike McCain, who defied his party on campaign finance reform in the late 1990s and recent public opinion over the Iraq War). Obama, they say, is a just another unprincipled flip-flopper: 'John Kerry with a tan,' as prominent conservative activist Grover Norquist recently put it, in a formulation of questionable taste. (Never mind that McCain himself revamped core positions on issues ranging from immigration to tax cuts to secure the Republican nomination.)

That Obama is not the living incarnation of pure principle should be no shock; his vaunted political courage has always been overstated. While prescient, his famous 2002 speech opposing the Iraq War, for instance, was hardly a political risk. Obama represented Chicago's highly liberal Hyde Park area as a state senator and was counting on a similarly anti-war coalition of African-Americans and white liberals in his upcoming US Senate candidacy. And while taking on the Clintons may have been audacious, it was also opportunistic. He did not feel 'the fierce urgency of now' until after the expected challenger to Hillary's crown, former Virginia governor Mark Warner, abandoned his candidacy at the last minute. Savvy Democrats understand that there was always a certain genius to Obama's positioning, that to some degree his talk of changing politics was itself a skilful pose which turned Clinton into a reactionary foil. They will appreciate his awareness for what it takes to get elected. Democrats have long believed that their side practises politics less skilfully, less ruthlessly, than the Republicans. Hence one of Clinton's main promises to Democrats was that she could beat the Republicans at their own cynical game.

For now, they will have to hope that Obama hasn't gone too far. An ever-confounding question of politics is to know at what point a shift to a more majority position is outweighed by the disillusionment and scorn of flip-flopping. Wherever that tipping point is, however, Obama hasn't yet reached it. He is still better off with his current stances than he would be, say, explaining why he doesn't believe that child rapists deserve to die.

It's an unfortunate reality of politics that voters don't want to hear what they need to hear. We want to hear what we want to hear. Obama's recognition of that is a testament that he is, for better or worse, a shrewd, if far from pure, politician. Somewhere Hillary Clinton must be chuckling ruefully.


In Love and Hauteur: Obama and the press, sneering together

The press is in love, really in love, the kind of love that comes twice in a century. Sure, it has had crushes before - on John McCain and Bill Clinton - but those were mere infatuations, and the ardor ebbed quickly. In the cold light of day, the press is finding McCain not quite as cute as they thought him; and as for the old flame, Bill Clinton, when the going got tough and he took swipes at its new love, the press tossed him under the bus and backed over him, most notably with a particularly salacious hit piece - by the husband of one of his former assistants! - in a recent issue of Vanity Fair. That previously Clinton-loving magazine now has a passion for Barack Obama, as do Time and Newsweek, which embarrass themselves on a near-weekly basis. NBC exists mainly to ooze Obamadoration, with other news outlets not far behind.

"Many journalists are not merely observers but participants in the Obama phenomenon," write John F. Harris and Jim VandeHei of Harris thinks some of his reporters need "detox" to get over their rapture, while VandeHei adds, "There is no doubt reporters are smitten with Obama's speeches and promises to change politics." What causes this madness in rational people? Nothing too mad: similar outlooks and interests in common. The press and Obama are a match made in heaven. This isn't insanity, but the product of wholly predictable forces, coming together in an outcome that seems preordained.

Twice before, the American press has had mass crushes on national candidates, but these seem to be two different things. John F. Kennedy and Theodore Roosevelt were young - 43 and 42 - when they became president, both fit the template of American royalty, and both had a genius unmatched before or since for marketing themselves and their families for political gain. They served, in effect, as a fantasy grid for the press and the nation, a compilation of much-longed-for assets and traits.

Both men had money, but their families had not yet been softened by privilege. They were unusually literate for politicians - they read books and wrote them - but they also had combat feats to their credit: Kennedy's PT-109 and Roosevelt's inspiring charge at the battle of San Juan Hill. They showed vigor - or, in JFK's case, "vigah" - in the form of touch-football games on the lawn at the Kennedy compound at Hyannis, 50-mile hikes (which JFK inspired, but never managed to go on), and the obstacle courses at Roosevelt's Sagamore Hill, in which hikers were obliged to go through or over - never around - any roadblock that came in their way. There were beautiful women, Alice and Jackie, and adorable sons, Quentin and John Jr., each of whom would later die young in an airplane. There were the many and varied extended-family members, the summer retreats in expensive and picturesque places, and the exotic upper-class pastimes: The Roosevelts liked to go big-game hunting, often in Africa, and Jackie Kennedy, who was given a magnificent Arabian steed by Pakistan's president, enjoyed riding to hounds.


Many years later, reviving the TR and JFK ambience would make Ralph Lauren a millionaire many times over, but the stars themselves were no slouches when it came to selling their brand. "TR was far from being a spectator in the merchandising of his image," write Peter Collier and David Horowitz in their book on the Roosevelt families. "He always had reporters around, good ones like Jacob Riis and Lincoln Steffens, who allowed him to go over the heads of politicians. . . . During the Cuban campaign, he had received some of the greatest battlefield publicity in the history of warfare from friendly correspondents like Richard Harding Davis and even from more critical ones like Stephen Crane. . . . The courtship had intensified in Albany, where TR [as governor of New York] had daily informal chats with newspapermen and delivered enticing off-the-record opinions while sitting on the corner of his desk. . . . He was also the first to hold `backgrounders,' briefings at which he would present his ideas not for attribution except as an `informed source.' " He was the first to preempt a rival's move by springing something more newsworthy on him, "the first President to give out press releases on a Sunday so that he would have Monday morning's headlines to himself."

With John F. Kennedy 60 years later, it became plus la mˆme chose. Roosevelt had befriended Riis and Steffens; in Washington, Kennedy befriended Benjamin Bradlee, Charles Bartlett (who introduced him to Jackie), and Philip Graham, publisher of the Washington Post. He was so close to Joseph Alsop that he showed up on Alsop's doorstep after the final Inaugural Ball, and during the Missile Crisis in 1962 he asked Alsop's wife to host a dinner so that he could talk at length to a ranking Soviet expert without arousing suspicion. Like TR, he understood how journalists thought; according to David Halberstam, he could tell when editors went on vacation, because their publications had a different feel. He had briefly been a journalist himself near the end of World War II, after his discharge from the Navy, and he planned, when he left the White House, to publish a newspaper. His kin claim Obama is JFK's heir, but he isn't at all the same thing.

The appeal of Barack Obama is similar to that of TR and JFK, yet different: He seems less a person and more an idea. He is a few years older than the others were when they took office, but he has a rather more boyish air. He is exotic, but not very glamorous. He has money now, but he isn't from privilege. TR and JFK were embedded in their families; Obama seems like an orphan or waif. His wife is stunning (and, fashion-wise, seems to be channeling Jackie), and his children are sweet, but there has been little effort so far to market them. No one aspires to a domestic life like Obama's, as they did with Teddy Roosevelt or John Kennedy, or even with Robert F. Kennedy, whose revels at Hickory Hill were a legend. (On the other hand, neither TR nor any of the Kennedys was ever imagined as the Messiah, portrayed in posters as bathed in a halo-like light.)

To the press of their day, and to most of the public, TR and JFK had the appeal of an intense personality and an opulent lifestyle; to the press of today, and to a much smaller slice of the public, Obama has the appeal of a superior mind and character. To them, he is everything they see in themselves and look for in others: ultra-cool, ultra-refined, extremely articulate, wholly non-violent, and transnational in his instincts and biography. He has lived in Hawaii and Indonesia, but not in "middle America." He knows the slums and the faculty clubs, but not the nation's small towns. He knows nothing of business or the military and seems to hold both in muted disdain.

Obama was not born into the elite, but he has joined it by training and by inclination, and in this sense his journey mirrors that of the press, which began as a trade that drew people from all parts of the culture but has become an exclusive profession, staffed largely by upper-middle-class people who feel a strong sense of mission and an equally great self-regard. Now it shows all the signs of an institution in an advanced stage of decadence: It has built a multimillion-dollar shrine to itself in Washington, along with numerous schools and institutions study its "excellence" (which seems to decline as these studies proliferate), and it convenes endless panels to extol its importance and mission, even as scandals plague its most prominent newsrooms and its ratings and circulation figures decline.

As a result, the press becomes more and more like the academic community, Obama's electoral base, which is similarly out of touch with the larger American public. His support in the press approaches that in the college towns, where he rolled up impressive majorities. Bill Clinton came from Hope, as did Mike Huckabee, but to the press Obama has become Hope personified. Journalists are Obama's disciples; he is their prophet, the mirror in which they see themselves. And journalists spend a lot of time looking in the mirror.

More here

Obama's Global Tax

Senator Barack Obama's sponsorship of Senate Bill 2433 aligns with the emerging core theme of his general election campaign. The change he promises will bring much-needed relief, not just to America's victims of economic injustice, but to victims worldwide.

On December 7, 2007, Obama introduced the Senate version of the Global Poverty Act of 2007 (S.2433). On February 13, the bill cleared the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, on which Obama and 6 (Biden, Dodd, Feingold, Hagel, Lugar, Menendez) of the bill's 9 co-sponsors serve. The House version of the bill (H.R.1302) passed by a unanimous voice vote last September 25. Here's an abstract of the proposed legislation:
"To require the President to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to further the United States foreign policy objective of promoting the reduction of global poverty, the elimination of extreme global poverty, and the achievement of the [U.N.] Millennium Development Goal of reducing by one-half the proportion of people worldwide, between 1990 and 2015, who live on less than $1 per day."

If enacted, how much of a financial commitment would that represent to taxpayers? One estimate is 0.7% of gross national product, or an additional $845 billion over 13 years in addition to existing foreign aid expenditures. So far, this proposal is barely on the MSM radar, but we're likely hear more about it as a full Senate vote approaches. Here's how Senator Obama's website frames the bill:
"With billions of people living on just dollars a day around the world, global poverty remains one of the greatest challenges and tragedies the international community faces," said Senator Obama. "It must be a priority of American foreign policy to commit to eliminating extreme poverty and ensuring every child has food, shelter, and clean drinking water. As we strive to rebuild America's standing in the world, this important bill will demonstrate our promise and commitment to those in the developing world. Our commitment to the global economy must extend beyond trade agreements that are more about increasing corporate profits than about helping workers and small farmers everywhere."

In other words, other nations will like us better if we give them our money. And, our trade agreements should not be about business profit, but benevolent social action.

The Global Candidate's sponsorship of the Global Poverty Act thematically aligns with the oft-told story of his life as a child of international parents, as well as with his elliptical juxtaposition of hope and change. He not only offers hope to his U.S. audiences, but to poor children, workers, and small farmers across the globe. George W. Bush's grand theme of spreading democracy globally evolved after 9/11. Obama's grand theme is to spread America's wealth to the world's poor, as the onetime community organizer from the streets of South Chicago goes global.

The species of hope that Barack Obama preaches is a first cousin of disappointment. He speaks to his followers as though they are victims, and it resonates with them because victimhood is a latent element of their collective self-image. Most of the younger ones in his audiences face historically unprecedented educational and vocational opportunities. Within the reasonable grasp of their individual initiatives is a future that is the envy of most of the world's youth. Yet they look longingly for someone from the government to offer them hope.

He says, "It's not too late to claim the American dream," and they cheer wildly, and some even cry. Don't they know that the American dream isn't a wish granted by a politician, or an entitlement from the government? Do they need a political seer to tell them what to hope for, and dream of, because they are unable to find it for themselves?

More here

Obama's Web Site Blows Disclaimer, Now Responsible for All Hate Speech

"Exercise of editorial control" makes Obama 100 percent responsible for his site's hate speech against Jews, pro-Clinton Black people, and seniors

We created our own blog at, which carries the following disclaimer: "Content on blogs in My.BarackObama represents the opinions of community members and in no way should be interpreted as endorsed or approved by the campaign." By deleting our blog and disabling our account, the Obama campaign just blew its disclaimer and can now be held 100 percent responsible for the anti-Semitic, racist, misogynist, and ageist hate speech it allowed to stand (in some cases for more than a year). "Exercise of editorial control" is the EXACT issue that forced to disable its prized Action Forum in 2006, and almost resulted in the organization's total destruction. First, it is necessary to understand the moral (and in some cases legal) meaning of "exercise of editorial control."
The general rule regarding vicarious liability for the publication of defamatory material is that "publishers" are strictly liable for defamatory content in material they publish; mere "distributors," on the other hand, cannot be liable for defamatory content unless they "knew or had reason to know" of that content. Thus, if defamatory material appears in one of my columns, for example, the American Lawyer will be held liable, on the grounds that its exercise of editorial control gives it both the opportunity to screen material prior to distribution and leads readers to conclude that it stands behind whatever it does choose to publish. .

So when Stratton moved for summary judgment on the question of Prodigy's liability, the question before Judge Stuart Ain of the New York State Supreme Court was: does Prodigy more closely resemble a bookseller, in which case Stratton's claim against it must be dismissed, or a newspaper?

The latter, Judge Ain declared: Prodigy "exercise[d] sufficient editorial control over its computer bulletin boards to render it a publisher with the same responsibilities as a newspaper."

We have just established that the Obama campaign exercised editorial control over its computer bulletin boards, thus making Obama the proud owner of material like "Zionist Thought Police," "Jewish Lobby," "House N*****s [for Clinton]," and similar hate speech. On Thursday, we created an account at under this name, with no effort to disguise ourselves as anything but an opponent of Obama. We posted several entries of the following nature, and our account was closed within forty-eight hours.
Urban Legend about "Dreams From My Father"

By Winged Hussar 1683 - Jun 26th, 2008 at 2:05 pm EDT

SMEAR EMAIL From Dreams From My Father: `I found a solace in nursing a pervasive sense of grievance and animosity against my mothers race.' We found no such statement in Dreams From My Father

The Truth:

The indicated page numbers are for the paperback edition of "Dreams From My Father," ISBN 978-1-4000-8277-3

It contradicted the morality my mother had taught me, a morality of subtle distinctions-between individuals of goodwill and those who wished me ill, between active malice and ignorance or indifference. I had a personal stake in that moral framework; I'd discovered that I couldn't escape it if I tried. And yet perhaps it was a framework that blacks in this country could no longer afford; perhaps it weakened black resolve, encouraged confusion within the ranks. Desperate times called for desperate measures, and for many blacks, times were chronically desperate. If [Black] nationalism could create a strong and effective insularity, deliver on its promise of self-respect, then the hurt it might cause well-meaning whites, or the inner turmoil it caused people like me, would be of little consequence. If nationalism could deliver. As it turned out, questions of effectiveness, and not sentiment, caused most of my quarrels with Rafiq.

"Dreams From My Father," pp. 199-200

The truth was that I understood [Joyce], her and all the other black kids who felt the way she did. In their mannerisms, their speech, their mixed-up hearts, I kept recognizing pieces of myself. And that's exactly what scared me. Their confusion made me question my own racial credentials all over again. .To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists and punk-rock performance poets.

"Dreams From My Father," pages 99-100

Within less than 48 hours, we got the following when we tried to log in.

"This account has been disabled"

Needless to say, the Obama campaign had every right to delete this hostile material and the account that went with it but, by doing so, it "exercised editorial control" over the nature of the material it allows to appear. This means that its failure to delete the entries about "Zionist Thought Police," "Jewish Lobby," "Hillary Clinton is a b****," McCain is an "old man" who should pay a "well-deserved visit to the undertaker," Clinton supporters are "house n*****s" means that they at least tacitly approved of this material. That is, the Obama campaign's action rendered meaningless the disclaimer "Content on blogs in My.BarackObama represents the opinions of community members and in no way should be interpreted as endorsed or approved by the campaign."



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