Sunday, July 6, 2008

Forgery Revealed in Kos Publication of Obama 'Birth Certificate'

This is an issue that isn't going away for the Obama campaign and unless they address it in an effort to put it to bed, it will become one of those "distractions" the candidate really hates:
A few weeks ago, a diary entry at Daily Kos published several documents purporting to be Obama's birth certificate. One of those documents is now a confirmed forgery, ferreted out by the website Israeli Insider:

Jay McKinnon, a self-described Department of Homeland Security-trained document specialist, has implicated himself in the production of fake Hawaii birth certificate images similar to the one endorsed as genuine by the Barack Obama campaign, and appearing on the same Daily Kos blog entry where the supposedly authentic document appears.

The evidence of forgery and manipulation of images of official documents, triggered by Israel Insider's revelation of the collection of Hawaii birth certificate images on the Photobucket site and the diligent detective work of independent investigative journalists (led by JimJ and Texas Darling) and imaging professionals such as Polarik in the three weeks since the publication of the images, implicate The Daily Kos, a "progressive" blog site, and the Obama campaign's "Fight the Smears" website, in misleading the public with official-looking but manipulated document images of doubtful provenance. Moreover, the blog and the campaign have been negligent in allowing the promotion of obviously forged and fake official documents together with the purported image of Obama's birth certificate.

Read the entire story of how the forgery was discovered.

Two things: First, the Obama campaign should have known the document was a forgery because ostensibly, they have the original. If they did know, suspicion of why they allowed the fake to stay out there without debunking it themselves leads us to the question of "why?"

Secondly, it is now the fault of the campaign that this is an issue. They know darn well that there has been this churning on the interet about this issue and if it now makes the jump to the mainstream medai, they have no one to blame but themselves.

Just what is on the birth certificate that could be problematic? Some speculate it lists his religion as "Muslim" which would no doubt cause him some difficulty. There may be a question regarding his citizenship although I think that particular theory is much less likely. There is enough evidence that Obama was born in Hawaii to discount the idea he is not a "natural born" citizen. Other, even wilder theories are out there having to do with his real father and the citizenship of his mother.

If they are hiding something, it's about time that they come clean. Even if it is damaging, there is plenty of time to overcome whatever is on the certificate - at least there is time for a typical Obama explanation to be put out and accepted by his devotees in the press. It is a case that is getting curiouser and curiouser...


Is Obama not a U.S. citizen anyway?

Barack Obama is not a legal U.S. natural-born citizen according to the law on the books at the time of his birth, which falls between December 24, 1952, to November 13, 1986. Federal Law requires that the office of President requires a natural-born citizen if the child was not born to two U.S. Citizen parents. This is what exempts John McCain, though he was born in the US Panama Canal Zone.

US Law very clearly states: '. . . If only one parent is a U.S. Citizen at the time of one's birth, that parent must have resided in the United States for minimum ten years, five of which must be after the age of 16.' Barack Obama's father was not a U.S. Citizen is a fact.

Obama's mother was only 18 when Obama was born. This means even though she had been a U.S. Citizen for 10 years, (or citizen of Hawaii being a territory), his mother fails the test for at-least-5-years- prior-to Barack Obama's birth, but-after-age-16.

In essence, Mother alone is not old enough to qualify her son for automatic U.S. Citizenship. At most, 2 years elapsed from his mother turning 16 to the time of Barack Obama's birth when she was 18. His mother would have needed to have been 16 + 5 = 21 years old at the time of Barack Obama's birth for him to be a natural-born citizen. Barack Obama was already 3 years old at the time his mother would have needed to be to allow him natural citizenship from his only U.S. Citizen parent. Obama should have been naturalized as a citizen . . but that would disqualify him from holding the office.

The Constitution clearly declares: Naturalized citizens are ineligible to hold the office of President. Though Barack Obama was sent back to Hawaii at age 10, any other information does not matter because his mother is the one who must fulfill the requirement to be a U.S. Citzen for 10 years prior to his birth on August 4, 1961, with 5 of those years being after age 16.

Further, Obama may have had to have remained in the USA for some time frame to protect any citizenship he might have had, rather than living in Indonesia. This is very clear cut and a glaring violation of U.S. Election law. I think the Governor Schwarzenegger of California should be very interested in discovering if Obama is allowed to be elected President without being a natural-born U.S. Citizen, since this would set a precedent. Stay tuned to your TV sets because I suspect some of this information will be leaking through over the next several days.


Cynical search for center continues for Obama

Last week, when the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional the District of Columbia's ban on handguns, Obama immediately declared that he agreed with the decision. This is after his campaign explicitly told the Chicago Tribune last November that he believes the D.C. gun ban is constitutional.

Obama spokesman Bill Burton explains the inexplicable by calling the November -- i.e., the primary season -- statement "inartful." Which suggests a first entry in the Obamaworld dictionary -- "Inartful: clear and straightforward, lacking the artistry that allows subsequent self-refutation and denial."

Obama's seasonally adjusted principles are beginning to pile up: NAFTA, campaign finance reform, warrantless wiretaps, flag pins, gun control. What's left?

Iraq. The reversal is coming, and soon. Two weeks ago, I predicted that by Election Day Obama will have erased all meaningful differences with McCain on withdrawal from Iraq. I underestimated Obama's cynicism. He will make the move much sooner. He will use his upcoming Iraq trip to finally acknowledge the remarkable improvements on the ground and to formally abandon his primary season commitment to a fixed 16-month timetable for removal of all combat troops.

The shift has already begun. Yesterday, he said that his "original position" on withdrawal has always been that "we've got to make sure that our troops are safe and that Iraq is stable." And that "when I go to Iraq . . . I'll have more information and will continue to refine my policies." He hasn't even gone to Iraq and the flip is almost complete....

Obama's strategy is obvious. The country is in a deep malaise and eager for change. He and his party already have the advantage on economic and domestic issues. Obama, therefore, aims to clear the deck by moving rapidly to the center in those areas where he and his party are weakest, namely national security and the broader cultural issues. With these -- and, most important, his war-losing Iraq policy -- out of the way, the election will be decided on charisma and persona. In this corner: the young sleek cool hip elegant challenger. In the other corner: the old guy. No contest.

While Obama may flip on Iraq, he can't erase his poor judgment on Iraq and his being dead wrong on the effects of the surge. He and the Democrats should pay a high political price for that poor judgment if there is political justice is in this country. You should not be that wrong on a matter of vital national security interests and be a viable candidate for President.


Grass roots fret as Obama pirouettes on policy

Grassroots activists whose energy and donations have helped to propel Barack Obama towards the White House are suddenly choking on the bitter pill of disillusion. In less than a month since clinching the Democratic nomination, he has performed a series of policy pirouettes to assuage concerns about his candidacy among a wider and more conservative electorate. It is change, but not the type for which many of those who enthusiastically supported Mr Obama during the primaries had hoped.

The biggest group on Mr Obama's own web portal was one pleading with him yesterday to vote against domestic wire-tapping of terror suspects, which gives phone companies immunity from prosecution for past misdeeds. By 11am 18,733 activists had joined the group, a fivefold increase in a week since he pledged support for the Bill. Previously he had described this measure as violating basic civil liberties, adding: "We have to make clear the lines that cannot be crossed." On Thursday, Mr Obama posted his own message on the site, saying he was "happy to take my lumps" because democracy could not exist without dissent. While some people may view his position as a deal-breaker, he said, "our agreement on the vast majority of issues that matter outweighs the differences".

By then, though, he was fighting another fire over remarks he made in North Dakota suggesting that he would "refine" his policy of a withdrawal of all combat troops from Iraq within 16 months of taking office.

He later hastily convened a second press conference to insist that he was not "searching for manoeuvring room" because he had always said he would listen to commanders on the ground. Mr Obama's emphasis on examining whether hard-won improvements in security had changed the conditions for a pull-out, contrasts to what his campaign manager said only a few months ago in response to earlier hints of a rethink. Back then, David Plouffe had stressed that the plan was "a rock-solid commitment ... there should be no confusion about that".

On Mr Obama's website yesterday, Dianne from Detroit was typical of hundreds of other message senders as she warned him that he was making the same mistake as John Kerry in 2004 by "trying to be all things to all people". She said: "First it was the telecom industry, now it's backing away from the timetable to withdraw the troops ... he will lose progressive Democrats if this continues."

Internet activists, the so-called "Net-roots", are similarly anguished over Mr Obama's praise for a Supreme Court decision striking down a ban on handguns and his nuanced criticism of another ruling against the death penalty being used for child rapists.

He has also softened his opposition to free trade deals such as Nafta, hardened his line against Iran and condemned a liberal group that branded General David Petraeus, the US commander in Iraq, as "General Betrayus".

After a week in which he has campaigned on the themes of patriotism, faith and veterans' rights, Mr Obama was at it again yesterday. He told a Christian magazine that pregnant women suffering "mental distress" should not qualify for late-term abortions, a distinction that sets him apart from most pro-choice advocates.

Mr Obama's aides say that he has always been a centrist politician seeking to unite America rather than divide it. They suggest that some of the disappointment being felt is a consequence of the Left "projecting their own values" on to him. Some groups such as are now telling supporters to pay money into special "escrow funds" that will be available for Mr Obama's campaign only if he lives up to his promises.


NYT turns on Obama

A shocker from the paper that has all but promoted the candidacy of Barack Obama. They find some major league faults with the new Barack Obama. In the past the paper has all but deified Barack Obama. The news section has underreported - or not reported at all- a stream of factual errors, exaggerated claims, campaign tricks, unseemly associates, his ignorance of diplomatic history, his appeasement and accommodationist approach towards our enemies, flip-flopping on Iran, and other assorted developments that cast doubt on Barack Obama's character, judgment, and fitness for office.

But when Obama has started shifting to the center to accumulate more support and casts doubt on how firmly he supports the liberal principles of the Times he has crossed a threshold. The Times takes him to task (finally-a little late but welcome nevertheless) for his political transformation, spurred no doubt by the McCain's campaign to highlight the policy differences between the candidates (see Charles Krauthammer's column today in the Washington Post for an analysis of the cynicism behind Barack Obama moves-it is all about being The American Idol).
Senator Barack Obama stirred his legions of supporters, and raised our hopes, promising to change the old order of things. He spoke with passion about breaking out of the partisan mold of bickering and catering to special pleaders, promised to end President Bush's abuses of power and subverting of the Constitution and disowned the big-money power brokers who have corrupted Washington politics.

Now there seems to be a new Barack Obama on the hustings. First, he broke his promise to try to keep both major parties within public-financing limits for the general election. His team explained that, saying he had a grass-roots-based model and that while he was forgoing public money, he also was eschewing gold-plated fund-raisers. These days he's on a high-roller hunt.

Even his own chief money collector, Penny Pritzker, suggests that the magic of $20 donations from the Web was less a matter of principle than of scheduling. "We have not been able to have much of the senator's time during the primaries, so we have had to rely more on the Internet," she explained as she and her team busily scheduled more than a dozen big-ticket events over the next few weeks at which the target price for quality time with the candidate is more than $30,000 per person.

The new Barack Obama has abandoned his vow to filibuster an electronic wiretapping bill if it includes an immunity clause for telecommunications companies that amounts to a sanctioned cover-up of Mr. Bush's unlawful eavesdropping after 9/11.

In January, when he was battling for Super Tuesday votes, Mr. Obama said that the 1978 law requiring warrants for wiretapping, and the special court it created, worked. "We can trace, track down and take out terrorists while ensuring that our actions are subject to vigorous oversight and do not undermine the very laws and freedom that we are fighting to defend," he declared.

Now, he supports the immunity clause as part of what he calls a compromise but actually is a classic, cynical Washington deal that erodes the power of the special court, virtually eliminates "vigorous oversight" and allows more warrantless eavesdropping than ever.

The Barack Obama of the primary season used to brag that he would stand before interest groups and tell them tough truths. The new Mr. Obama tells evangelical Christians that he wants to expand President Bush's policy of funneling public money for social spending to religious-based organizations - a policy that violates the separation of church and state and turns a government function into a charitable donation.

On top of these perplexing shifts in position, we find ourselves disagreeing powerfully with Mr. Obama on two other issues: the death penalty and gun control. Mr. Obama endorsed the Supreme Court's decision to overturn the District of Columbia's gun-control law. We knew he ascribed to the anti-gun-control groups' misreading of the Constitution as implying an individual right to bear arms. But it was distressing to see him declare that the court provided a guide to "reasonable regulations enacted by local communities to keep their streets safe."

We are not shocked when a candidate moves to the center for the general election. But Mr. Obama's shifts are striking because he was the candidate who proposed to change the face of politics, the man of passionate convictions who did not play old political games.

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air also noticed the Times transformation:
The New York Times editorial board went to bed with a virgin and woke up with a ... well, a pro, in milder terms, or so they seem to imply in today's unhappy missive. The editorial castigates Obama for his replacement of just about everything he has professed from January 2007 to May 2008 with his all-new, 50%-more-"centery" agenda that rejects everything that made him attractive to the Left in the first place. And they wonder where it will all stop.

The paper is even casting doubt that Obama embodies a change that the country can really believe in.. I rarely have a kind word for the editorial page of the New York Times but this editorial is a tocsin that may indicate further media disenchantment with a candidate who, as Ed Morrisey states, seems to be for nothing other than himself.


Obama: The Refined, Artful Candidate

In two impressive columns, last week and this week, Charles Krauthammer has chronicled a large number (but not all) of Obama's reversals of field, changes of direction, modifications of principle, etc., on major issues.

* In the fall, he opposed retroactive immunity for telecom companies who assisted in anti-terrorist monitoring, even threatening to filibuster. Now he supports it.

* In the fall, he trashed NAFTA. Now he calls his previous opposition "overheated" and supports it.

* In the fall he promised to meet with the likes of Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad "without preconditions." Now there will be "preparations," and he may not meet with Ahmadinejad anyway.

* In the fall he promised to accept public financing and abide by spending limits if the Republicans would. Now he has abandoned that pledge and continues to raise tons of unaccountable cash in record amounts.

* In the fall he was no more able to disown Rev. Wright than his own grandmother, but then he ditched both of them, dissing the former as "a typical white person" and proclaiming, much like Rick Louie the Gendarme in the presence of gambling in Casablanca, that, after 20 years of listening to Rev. Wright, he was shocked by what he had just heard.

* In the fall he told the Chicago Tribune that he thought the Washington, D.C., gun ban was constitutional. Now he supports the Supreme Court's decision that it was not, forcing his campaign spokesman to admit that Obama's earlier support for the constitutionality of the gun ban was "inartful." (DISCRIMINATIONS definition: an "inartful" statement is one supporting a previous commitment that is no longer convenient.)

* And here's a flip-flop not mentioned in either of Krauthammer's columns: In the fall, and before, Obama has always supported civil unions but opposed same sex marriage, believing marriage is between a man and a woman. Now he supports the California Supreme Court's decision that his former view of marriage is unconstitutional, and he opposes the California initiative that would re-establish the view that he formerly held, describing it (the initiative and presumably its definition of marriage) as "divisive and discriminatory."

* In the fall Obama promised to begin withdrawing troops from Iraq "immediately" and to be altogether out in 16 months. Now he is "refining" that position. Indeed, he now even refers to his long-held support for immediate withdrawal as his "original position," which reminds me of a man referring to his "first wife" ... while he's still ostensibly married to her.

Obama, of course, has always been right, and remains so even when he jettisons unpopular people and positions for new, more popular ones. He's like General McClellan, who explained (as discussed here) after one of his retreats that he wasn't retreating but merely "changing his base," to the delight of his adversaries.
The spirits of the Confederate soldiers were good. Northern newspapers had reported McClellan's description of his withdrawal to the James as a "change of base," and when the story got to the men, they would loudly laugh at the loser of a dog fight and call out: "Look at him changing his base!"

As Obama continues to "refine" his various "inartful" positions, always with great eloquence, he is well on his way to becoming the presidential candidate with the most, er, flexibile principles and policy commitments since ... John Kerry and his voting for before voting against.



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