Tuesday, July 15, 2008
The birth certificate puzzle gets more interesting still
Was Barack born a bastard? If his father was already married -- which he was -- a marriage in Hawaii between Obama senior and Obama's mother could not legally have taken place.
Michelle Obama had a round table discussion, according to Huffington Post and made a little Freudian slip "His own mother, she said at the beginning of her remarks, was "very young and very single when she had him."
This is, of course, a departure from the official biography wherein Barry says his parents married when she was 3 months pregnant. Of course, how could a clerk in the Hawaiian clerk's office issue a marriage license for them, when Barack Sr. was already married in Kenya?
In this day and age, however, that in itself is still not enough cause for him to refuse to present a valid birth certificate, other than the obviously photo-shopped, GIIMP fraud posed on his official website.
Barack Shady Obama: The Indonesian Candidate
It seems to me that Obama has no real religious convictions, and used that so-called `christian' `church' in order to advance his career. Politically, the real issue is his character. He lied when he said he has never been a Muslim, and when he said his only connection to Islam was via his grandfather (even then he lied about his grandfathers Islamic bio!)
He also seems to treat voters as if they're all morons (or at least enough of them to win an election). He doesn't believe in old-fashioned things like truth, definitions, borders, or facts. E.g. Many "Muslims" attend Trinity since they preach that one can be a Muslim and a Christian at the same time. And it appears that Obama was never actually physically baptized. In other words, besides their bizarre Black Jesus teachings etc, `Trinity' is basically a syncretic cult.
My impression of Obama is that he's lost, confused, pussy-whipped and shady. And what on Earth is his reasoning in keeping his proper birth certificate secret for so long? In his first appearance on the national stage, he began his speech by upping his African roots, and using his family and the circumstances of his birth for political benefit.
Even then, any researcher could have just got a copy of his book and found out that his dad was a criminal, and that his grandfather, whom he called a "nigger", viewed Barack Jr as a pollutant in the black blood stream, and was fierce in his love of Islam and contempt for Christianity.
Once details of Obama's personal life came out, all of a sudden his life is "out-of-bounds." One question concerned his birth. A year ago he refused to release his birth certificate to the media. After months of controversy, he has just released a secondary document (issued 2007-06-06) to a Jihad-supporting website. He knows that even the Obamainstream media would see through this document in a heartbeat. It is clearly not an original birth certificate. Even the font should tell a casual observer that.
A 1961 Hawai'ian birth certificate asks about 20 questions, including such details as whether there are any twins or triplets, the father's birth-place, etc. There are no signatures on the document just released by Obama. It even says on the document that it is invalid if altered, which it clearly has been What about the note in the bottom left-hand corner? The document was revised in November 2001, or the statute was changed then?
It is a document to prove a birth, it is not the original document. Historians would scoff at it. It is a government extract of the original birth certificate filed with the state. It is not a copy of the original document, simply the extracted information printed onto a proprietary paper at the time of the request. Furthermore, it is common practice in many US states to edit such secondary certificates to account for name-changes, sex-changes (ha, that would be a good story!), updated info (such as a newly identified father etc.). In other words, if he has changed his name, he could request that this ID reflect that change.
This just raises more doubts about Obama. What on Earth is his problem? How is it possible that not one reporter has asked him if he is a citizen of any other country?
While Obama has shared his extensive obsessions with Africa and his skin color, no-one has paid attention to reports that he was listed as an Indonesian citizen at school, and that he traveled on an Indonesian passport. Is their any validity to these reports? You'd think inquiring minds would want to know. But no. I guess that would just be expressing far too much curiosity about a virtual unknown who wants to be the leader of the most powerful nation on Earth.
If I were in Obama's situation, I would consider it perfectly rational that people would wonder which countries I was a citizen of, considering how convoluted his history is. I think a person should be expected to renounce all foreign citizenships when attempting to become Head of State. I would publicly clarify my complete citizenship status, and would publicly renounce all foreign citizenships before it even became an issue.
Therefore, I'm STUNNED that some reporter hasn't asked Obama the perfectly reasonable questions: "Are you or have you ever been a citizen of Kenya or of Indonesia? Yes or no?"
I have no idea if it's true, but I've read a few blogs claiming that he traveled on his Indonesian father's passport, that he was listed as an Indonesian citizen in school there, and that his Kenyan father registered his birth in Kenya. Certainly all possible. He has traveled to both Kenya and Indonesia as an adult.
He would automatically have been eligible for Indonesian citizenship when his mother married Lolo Soetoro. In fact the government at that time was intensely nationalistic. Soetoro returned there because the government ordered all Indonesians to "return home". Millions of Chinese Indonesians were forced to accept sole Indonesian citizenship or face deportation. (Actually millions were murdered.) Dual citizenship was not accepted! And his mother was more committed to Indonesia than to the US.
None of this would disqualify him from the presidency. Especially considering he was subject to his mother's whims. However, considering all of this, it is perfectly reasonable to ask him about his status as a dual or triple citizen. But that's just me, I guess.
General David Petraeus meeting could herald Barack Obama U-turn on Iraq
Later this month, under conditions of extreme security, Barack Obama will jet into Baghdad for policy discussions with America's most popular general that could change the course of US involvement in Iraq. The long-awaited meeting with General David Petraeus, commander of coalition forces in Iraq, is likely to prove the most dangerous encounter - politically and personally - of a week-long world tour that will carry the Democratic presidential candidate from high-profile meetings in London, Paris, Rome and Berlin to the military bases of Afghanistan and Iraq.
The candidate and the general have for months seemed at loggerheads over troop levels in Iraq, with Obama committed to a rapid withdrawal over the next 18 months and Petraeus arguing that a premature pull-out might endanger the success of the US military "surge" that has produced a sharp drop in violence this year.
Obama's Republican rival, Senator John McCain, has repeatedly taunted the Democratic candidate for not having previously arranged a face-to-face meeting with Petraeus, whom many Americans credit with rescuing the US mission from disaster. A clock on the Republican National Committee's website noted that, as of yesterday, it was 916 days since Obama paid his only previous visit to Iraq. "The trip has already turned into a trap," warned Roger Simon, the chief political columnist of the widely read Politico website. "What is Obama going to learn from it?"
Last month McCain, who has visited Iraq at least eight times since the fall of Saddam Hussein, invited Obama to accompany him on a joint fact-finding mission to Baghdad. The Illinois senator's aides dismissed the offer as a "political stunt", but the issue has become an embarrassment for Obama as the apparent success of the US surge has raised questions about his commitment to a steady withdrawal of one to two combat brigades each month.
"Is Obama the real deal or an eloquent phoney?" asked Morton Kondracke, a conservative columnist. "It would convince me that he was a daring politician if he saw General Petraeus and came back saying . . .`This war was wrong at the start, but now we have to win it . . . we will withdraw - but only under conditions of success'." With Republicans panting at the prospect of an Obama U-turn on a key plank of foreign policy, the Petraeus meeting promises a moment of genuine political theatre that is likely to be absent from the "grip'n'grin" photo opportunities lined up with Gordon Brown, President Nicolas Sarkozy, Pope Benedict and other leaders in Europe.
"I guess the question is, if indeed he's going to Iraq and nothing that he sees will change or impact his decision-making on this, then why is he going?" asked Brian Rogers, a McCain campaign spokesman. "If it's just to make a political point, then it represents the kind of cynical politics that the American people are pretty sick and tired of."
As the chief architect of the anti-terrorist surge, Petraeus is widely admired for reversing the tide of gloom that engulfed America when the original assault on Baghdad gave way to sectarian chaos. Last year he was among candidates for Time magazine's Man of the Year; last week he was confirmed by the US Senate as the next commander-in-chief of Central Command, a promotion that will put him in charge of US forces across a swathe of northern Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia.
Washington analysts are even speculating that Petraeus could become the next Dwight D Eisenhower - the second world war general who remained in Europe to lead Nato then returned to America to be elected president. All this presents a formidable challenge to Obama, who will not want to be seen at odds with such a popular general.
The two have already crossed swords at a congressional hearing, although the senator subsequently defended Petraeus when a left-wing website labelled him "General Betray-Us".
Despite Petraeus's testimony to the Senate that "Iraq's problems will require a long-term effort", Obama has continued to emphasise in speeches and on his website that he wants all combat brigades out of Iraq by the end of next year. That commitment persuaded many Democrats to back him against Hillary Clinton. But earlier this month Obama caused uproar among liberals by hinting that his policies might be "refined".
Obama's supporters argue it makes military and political sense to modify his stance in the light of experience on the ground. The Republicans see his manoeuvring differently: they are portraying him as a cynical flip-flopper. "Why can't Obama keep his story straight?" asked a recent e-mail from the McCain campaign.
With friends like these....
(Note the American flag in the fireplace)
At a press availability Sunday afternoon in San Diego, Senator Obama was asked, according to the diligent Maria Gavrilovic of CBS News: "The upcoming issue of the New Yorker, the July 21st issue, has a picture of you, depicting you and your wife on the cover. Have you seen it? If not, I can show it to you on my computer. It shows your wife Michelle with an Afro and an AK 47 and the two of you doing the fist bump with you in a sort of turban-type thing on top. I wondered if you've seen it or if you want to see it or if you have a response to it?"
Obama (shrugs incredulously): "I have no response to that." Priceless stage direction by Maria.
The magazine explains at the start of its news release previewing the issue: "On the cover of the July 21, 2008, issue of the The New Yorker, in `The Politics of Fear,' artist Barry Blitt satirizes the use of scare tactics and misinformation in the Presidential election to derail Barack Obama's campaign." I'm sure Senator Obama is oh-so appreciative for The New Yorker's help.
UPDATE -- Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton says: "The New Yorker may think, as one of their staff explained to us, that their cover is a satirical lampoon of the caricature Senator Obama's right-wing critics have tried to create. But most readers will see it as tasteless and offensive. And we agree."
Source. Doug Ross has lots of updates and comments.
Obama's Bear Market
Are global investors anticipating a Barack Obama victory in November and the economic storm that his high-tax and antitrade policies would bring? That's a convenient reading of the stock market's recent behavior for Republicans, who have reason for wanting to deflect blame from George W. Bush and his Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. But we do know investors are forward-looking and the slide in the dollar and the fall in the market (despite decent corporate profits) have accelerated at the same pace as Mr. Obama's meteoric political rise over the past nine months.
Now some smart analysts have decided to quantify the relationship. They find a definite inverse correlation between Mr. Obama's probability of winning the election (as measured by the Intrade political futures market) and the ups and downs of the stock market. Intrade provides a trading market where investors can bet on who will win the election - such betting markets have a record of performing better than polls in forecasting election outcomes. University of Michigan Economist Mark Perry was perhaps the first to uncover the relationship between this Obama index and asset values. Radio host and fund manager Jerry Bowyer notes on CNBC.com that investors would have good reason for wanting to flee U.S. markets ahead of an Obama victory. Increases in capital gains and dividend taxes alone will "mean very large additional levies on investors." Mr. Bowyer adds: "Of course, this affects stock prices. It is ludicrous to suggest that adding taxes directly on an asset class would have no effect on its value."
If Messrs. Perry and Bowyer are correct in their analysis, the lousy market in the last few weeks makes sense. Yes, it's partly a result of Ben Bernanke's decision not to raise interest rates. But Senator Obama is now trading as a 34% favorite - that is, bettors believe Mr. Obama is 34% more likely to win in November than Republican John McCain. That implies big tax hikes aimed at the returns on investment in the stock market.
The lesson here for investors is to keep an eye on the betting markets as a leading indicator as to the direction of stocks. "If the political winds keep blowing left," says Dan Clifton of Strategas, an investment advisory firm, "the market is going to tank. In that case, I advise, get out of the market while you still can
Obama overstates his role on immigration
But McCain deserves credit for going out on a limb to forge bipartisan deal
No matter if you are-or are not - voting for presumptive GOP nominee Sen. John McCain (R-Az.), he deserves credit for trying to forge a bipartisan deal on immigration in 2005 and 2006 at great personal political risk, a situation unfamiliar to rival Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.). McCain put his comeback presidential bid in peril because of his leadership role with Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) to find a path for millions of illegal immigrants to stay in the U.S.
The Kennedy-McCain legislation stalled in 2006, because the hardline pro- and anti-immigration forces preferred the status quo to a compromise. Another try in 2007 - in a bill backed by McCain and Obama - also failed.
McCain and Obama, wooing Hispanic voters, each has madeclear in recent appearances before the National Association of Latino Elected Officials and the League of United Latino American Citizens a few days ago that he would make immigration reform - and legalizing the status of millions of illegal immigrants - a priority if elected president. I expect each to send the same message at the upcoming National Council of La Raza conference in San Diego, where Obama speaks Sunday and McCain on Monday.
In the meantime, Obama on the campaign trail inflates his leadership role - casting himself as someone who could figure out how to get something done. Obama "did not absolutely stand out in any way,'' said Margaret Sands Orchowski, the author of "Immigration and the American Dream: Battling the Political Hype and Hysteria," and a close follower of the legislation.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a McCain ally and a key player on immigration, said Obama was around for only a "handful" of meetings and helped destroy a 2007 compromise when he voted for making guest worker visa programs temporary. A permanent guest worker program was to be a trade for a legalization program to cover many illegal immigrants. "When it came time to putting that bill together, he was more of a problem than he was a help. And when it came time to try to get the bill passed, he, in my opinion, broke the agreement we had. He was in the photo op, but he could not execute the hard part of the deal," Graham said," Graham said.
An Obama Senate staffer who did not want his name used disputed whether the sunset provision in the guest worker program killed the bill and said that either Obama or his top immigration staffer were in strategy sessions and that Kennedy, in his speech endorsing Obama vouched for Obama's work on immigration.
In praising Obama for his work on immigration, Kennedy said of Obama, "There is the tireless skill of a senator who was there in the early mornings to help us hammer out a needed compromise on immigration reform, who always saw a way to protect national security and the dignity of people who did not have a vote. For them, he was a voice for justice, a voice for justice. For them, he was a voice for justice."
On Thursday in Fairfax, Va., Obama was asked about his qualifications to understand Latino needs. After noting his work as a community organizer and state senator - he spoke of McCain. "John McCain bucked much of his party and worked with Ted Kennedy, worked with me and others to help shape comprehensive immigration reform legislation in the Senate. And I thought that was courageous of him." Obama, in a sly verbal stroke, made himself an equal on immigration leadership to Kennedy and demoted McCain to a helper.
McCain-after the two failed attempts to pass a comprehensive bill - now wants to satisfy conservatives by first passing a border security and enforcement measure. Obama said that approach means McCain "can't give you confidence that he is going to be serious about that issue. I will be." McCain is not saying enforcement only. He is saying enforcement first.
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