Thursday, July 30, 2009

Him, himself, and he

I had hoped we were done with the whole Obama birth certificate thing but if the National Review is writing about it again, I guess my hopes are dashed. I’ve written about this twice before. I believe Obama was born in Hawaii and was therefore a citizen of the United States at birth - and I can’t imagine a better definition of “natural-born citizen” than that. I believe the desire on the part of some to deny that he is a United States citizen has less to do with racism and more to do with Obama’s exotic background, a sort of ramped up version of the “internationalist” insult hurled at many recent Democratic Presidential candidates.

At the same time, however, I do not think the people who are convinced there’s something suspicious going on are idiots or lunatics for one simple reason: the birth certificate Obama has produced does not look like the birth certificates we’re all used to seeing. Obama has produced a “Certification Of Live Birth” (hereinafter COLB) which I’m perfectly prepared to believe is real, legal, and accurate. Obama’s COLB lists (Birth certificate photo 5 is the clearest view):

Child’s Name
Date of Birth; Hour of Birth; Sex
City, Town or Location of Birth; Island of Birth; County of Birth
Mother’s Maiden Name; Mother’s Race
Father’s Name; Father’s Race
Date Filed by Registrar

All well and good. But - despite endless explanations that this is all the information legally required to, for example, get a passport - the simple fact is that a COLB is missing a lot of the information on my birth certificate, on a Hawaiian birth certificate of that era, and - apparently - on the birth certificates most people have stuck in a drawer somewhere.

Someone has graciously put up an image of his Hawaii “Certificate of Live Birth” from 1963, just a couple of years after Obama was born. I’m going to refer to this as an “Original Birth Certificate”. (This is what people mean when they ask about Obama’s “long-form” birth certificate.) If we compare Obama’s COLB to this 1963 Original Birth Certificate, we see that Obama’s COLB omits the following information:

Was this birth Single, Twin, Triplet
If Twin or Triplet was child born 1st, 2nd, 3rd
Name of Hospital or Institution; Is Place of Birth Inside City or Town Limits? If no, give judicial district.

Mother’s Address Information:
Usual Residence of Mother: City, Town, or Rural Location; Island; County and State or Foreign Country
Street Address; Is Residence Inside City or Town Limits? If no, give judicial district
Mother’s Mailing Address; Is Residence on a Farm of Plantation?

Father’s Information:
Age of Father; Birthplace; Usual Occupation; Kind of Business or Industry

Mother’s Information:
Age of Mother: Birthplace; Type of Occupation Outside Home During Pregnancy; Date Last Worked

Signature of Parent or Other Informant; Check Parent or Other; Date of Signature
Signature of Attendant; Check MD, DO, Midwife, Other: Date of Signature
Date Accepted by Local Reg; Signature of Local Registrar; Date Accepted by Reg. General

Questions about the missing information percolated up last summer after the Obama campaign originally released Obama’s COLB. They quieted down partly because a COLB was the only document Hawaii currently provided to anyone and then quieted even more when rumors started circulating that Obama’s Original Birth Certificate had been destroyed. I can’t figure out where this rumor started. The FactCheck article I just linked states that the Hawaii health department still held Obama’s Original Birth Certificate so why people would believe it had been destroyed is beyond me. Perhaps the idea that the COLB was all that was available somehow mutated into the idea that nothing else existed.

Wherever the rumor started, it made everybody happy. Those convinced there was something to the whole birth certificate issue could claim this was more evidence of a cover-up. Those convinced the controversy was nonsense could point out that Hawaii transferred its data to electronic format in 2001 and everyone’s Original Birth Certificate was destroyed.

Certainly John Klein, President of CNN/US, bought the story. On June 23, 2009, Klein sent an email to staffers at “Lou Dobbs Tonight” explaining that the story about Obama’s birth certificate was dead:

Klein asked CNN researchers to dig into the question of why Obama couldn't produce the original birth certificate. The researchers contacted the Hawaii Health Dept. and confirmed that paper documents were discarded in 2001 when the department went paperless. That reportedly includes Pres. Obama's original birth certificate.

Oops! Time for some new researchers. By June 27, Hawaii had said otherwise. Hawaii’s health director issued another statement saying exactly what she’d said during the campaign:

"I, Dr. Chiyome Fukino, director of the Hawaii State Department of Health, have seen the original vital records maintained on file by the Hawaii State Department of Health verifying Barack Hussein Obama was born in Hawaii and is a natural-born American citizen. I have nothing further to add to this statement or my original statement issued in October 2008 over eight months ago...."

In case that still wasn’t clear enough:

In 2001, Hawaii's paper documents were reproduced in electronic format, but "any paper data prior to that still exists," Health Department spokeswoman Janice Okubo said.

Okubo would not say where Obama's original birth certificate is but said, "We have backups for all of our backups."

As I said, this is not new. But now for some reason - perhaps because Obama is not quite so popular as he used to be - the information registered. Suddenly people realize that the Obama Original Birth Certificate, with all that missing information, still exists and want to know why they can’t see it. I can think of three possibilities.

One is that the State of Hawaii simply refuses to release a copy of the Original Birth Certificate. I suppose that’s possible but I consider it unlikely. Surely if the President of the United States asked very nicely for a copy they would accommodate him. Even if they wouldn’t just for him there must be some mechanism for seeing that data. If there isn’t every genealogy buff who has an ancestor from Hawaii is going to be mighty upset.

The second possibility is that the State of Hawaii would be happy to give Obama a copy of his Original Birth Certificate (or Obama may already have one) and there’s nothing interesting about the missing information but Obama would rather keep the controversy going, figuring it tars all his opponents with the crazy brush. Possible but dangerous. The controversy is very slowly changing from being about where Obama was born to being about why he doesn’t just show us the stupid Original Birth Certificate and let us all get back to talking about the economy. When even Obama’s most slavish admirer is starting to wonder, it’s time to come clean.

The third possibility is that there’s no problem producing the Original Birth Certificate but there’s something in that additional information Obama does not want us to see. We can speculate endlessly but I have two theories.

First, maybe Obama is adopted. I have to give White House spokesman Robert Gibbs credit for this one. If he hadn’t suggested DNA as a possible piece of evidence to quell the controversy, I would never have thought of it. Since I only read about his suggestion last night I haven’t had time to flesh out the details. I leave that as an exercise for the reader.

Second - and this one is all mine - Obama is triplets. I mean, really, think about it. It explains so much. Even his most slavish admirer noted that:

... [Obama’s] a surprisingly uneven campaigner.

A soaring rhetorical flourish one day is undercut by a lackluster debate performance the next.

People remarked on this phenomenon throughout the campaign and eventually settled on the explanation that he was lost without his teleprompter. Maybe so. But it would make just as much sense to theorize there were two Barack Obamas campaigning. Not only would that explain why his performance was so uneven but it would also explain so much more.

It would explain why he didn’t know what the Reverend Wright had said and how he could be unaware of Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn’s past history despite living in Chicago all those years. It would explain why he seems to genuinely adore his wife and daughters yet used misogyny so well in his campaign against Hillary Clinton. It would even explain those slips like “spreading the wealth” and the whole bitter-cling thing. Sometimes we were seeing the Barack Obama we knew about: Hawaii, Indonesia, Columbia, Harvard, community organizer, Constitutional law professor, devoted husband and father, rising politician. Sometimes we were seeing a second Obama who had grown up somewhere else - maybe Kansas - and didn’t have that history.

Fine, you say, I’ll buy twins. But why triplets? It’s obvious there must have been a third one. He’s the one they turned the war on terrorism over to once they were elected. He’s the one who’s doing everything George Bush did instead of everything Obama One and Obama Two promised on the campaign trail. He’s also probably the one interfering in Honduras. No Constitutional scholar would do that, right?

It’s a little shocking at first, I know, but think of the advantages. Obama said he was worn out his first few weeks in office; being able to bring in Obama Three obviously helped with that. Also for years people have said the job of the Presidency is too big for one man; no need to worry about that any more. Plus with three of them around, one can be constantly giving speeches and press conferences, taking junkets, being on TV while the others stay at the White House and actually get something done. It’s working out great for all of us.

So there you are. Mystery solved. Triplets. And I’m absolutely certain all three of them are natural born citizens.


Laurie said...

This is absolutely brilliant!!

Do you mind if I link to this post on my blog? It's just a simple family blog - we're a Marine family living on Parris Island.

Elise said...

Laurie, I'd be flattered. Not only would I find it hard to say "No" to someone who calls my work brilliant my very favorite blogger in the whole world is a Marine wife.

Would you leave me the name of your blog and/or a link? I really enjoy reading the blogs of people who comment here. Thanks.

lumpy said...

Crikey! Now it all makes sense! And even better, it also means Biden is THREE lives from the presidency! Hallelujah!!! Praise the Lord!

Elise said...

Good heavens, lumpy, I never even considered that! Excellent point.

Anonymous said...

The triplets idea is good.

Honestly, I've never been all that interested in the birther thing, and it's hard to draw me into conspiracy theories. The fact that I can occasionally get interested in this one at all can be explained, I think, by a couple of things:

(1) I'd love to get on any bandwagon that could tie this man's hands a bit before he destroys parts of my society and economy that I don't think I can do without even long enough to wait for the political climate to turn again, and

(2) he's so shady about his past and his approach to words and action that you couldn't possibly shock me with any revelation that he was hiding a big, inconvenient secret. You could show me proof that he lived in a dom-sub tryst with the Unabomber for ten years and I'd hardly bat an eye.

No doubt I'm being unfair to him, but I can scarcely believe it, and I'm quickly ceasing to care.

-- Texan99

Elise said...

You could show me proof that he lived in a dom-sub tryst with the Unabomber for ten years and I'd hardly bat an eye.

Well now you've done it. I expect this to be making the blog rounds tomorrow. :)

(For some reason that little emoticon always looks like a frog to me.)

aprgal said...

As a citizen interested in being knowledgeable as best as I can determine the legal facts and decisions of law subsequently handed down I find your blog the most reasonable I have happened upon with no name calling due to differing views and ranting of those commenting that just because they "believe" makes a statement "true". With that said let me indicate that what I will state is only that which I have been able to determine. I ask for constructive comments related to my content so that I may better learn and ask for references where possible. I am neither an Obama hater, racist, nor birther and I accept that he was born in Hawaii regardless of the type of BC alluded to. In addition which hospital he was born at seems to be irrelevant. Now, on with it:

1) The Constitution's 14th Amendment indicates the citizenship requirement for that of the President and Vice President that they be "Natural Born".

2) Article II indicates a person must be a natural-born citizen of the US, be at least 35 yrs old, and have been a resident of the US for 14 years (consecutive or accumulative is not clear).

3) Since Obama's father was neither a US citizen nor, perhaps, legally married to his mother Stanley Ann since he had not divorced his Kenyan wife it would fall to his mother to convey "natural-born" citizen status on Obama. Except for the fact that under the law at the time of Obama's birth his mother had to have lived in the US for 10 years 5 of which had to be after she reached the age of 16. She was only 18 not 21 therefore not legally in a position to convey "natural born" status to Obama.

Questions to be clarified if possible:

1) If minor child's cizitenry follows that of custodial parent does that mean that Obama lost his US citizenship (not Natural-Born) when his mother married an Indonesian and took Indonesian citizenship?

2) When Obama was adopted by his step-father and proclaimed an Indonesian citizen under Indonesian law did that effect his citizenship under US law?

3) Indonesian law does not usurp US law does it?

4) Did Obama (aka Dunham, Soetoro) state his citizenship as Kenyan or Indonesian when he attended Occidental, Columbia, and Harward as alluded to by Philip Berg in his dismissed lawsuit?

5) Aren't some of these issues more pertinent than the disclosure of this BC paper???ineak

Elise said...

aprgal - I see you’re brand new to Blogger. Welcome.

1) The 14th amendment says nothing about the citizenship requirement for the President and Vice-President. All it says about citizenship is that:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.

All it says about the Presidency and Vice-Presidency is that no one who previously took an oath to uphold the Constitution then violated that oath can’t hold those offices. I assume this was intended to eliminate Southern rebels from those offices.

You are correct about Article II.

The “10 years, 5 after 16” requirement for Obama’s mother applies only if Obama was born outside the United States. If Obama was born in the United States it doesn’t matter if his mother was from Venus and his father was from Mars: he’s a United States citizen at birth. (This is part of the big fight over illegal aliens: any children they have in the United States are US citizens.)

As for your questions I touched on some of them in the two earlier posts I reference at the beginning of this one. Very briefly:

1,2 and 3) I have no idea if Obama’s mother took Indonesian citizenship, do not know if Obama’s stepfather officially adopted him or proclaimed him an Indonesian citizen. Even if all this occurred, I do not believe a parent can renounce a minor child’s US citizenship although I am willing to be convinced this could occur if you can cite chapter and verse of the law. As I say in one of my earlier posts, information on Indonesian law is hard to find but it looks to me like a minor child who is adopted by an Indonesian can become an Indonesian citizen only if this doesn’t cause dual citizenship. Since Obama was a US citizen (and probably a Kenyan citizen/British subject) he wouldn’t qualify.

4) I have no idea and since we haven’t seen those records I don’t know how anyone could know.

5) Not really. If Obama was born in the United States, he was a US citizen at birth. Everything else is almost certainly irrelevant. The only exception I can imagine is if Obama officially renounced his US citizenship at some point after his 21st birthday. I have no idea if a mechanism for doing so even exists and even if it does, I can’t imagine why he would have done so.

aprgal said...

Thanks Elise, my reference to the 14th Amendment should have been Article II - my hasty typing.

Regarding your responses to 1,2 and 3)I will have to back-track and find the source that stated about Soetoro adopting Obama and conveying Indonesian citizenship to Obama. Have read so many things over the past month and failed to note this particular source. I too don't believe that Soetoro's actions could renounce Obama's US citizenship but I'll see if I can justify that belief.

Regarding 4) Where might Berg have obtained this information to state it as fact in a suit before the US District Court?

Regarding 5) Agreed that Obama was a citizen due to birth in the US but "Natural Born" required that both parents be US citizens which Obama's were not therefore not "Natural Born" regardless of where he was born.

Patience, Patience, I'm learning and do appreciate your mentoring. I've been mentoring for 8 years now grade through high school. But my interest in politics or history was nil until recently so your insight is crucial to the learning curve. I'm one of those "seniors" who'll be given end of life counseling if the "plan" goes through.

Later ---

Elise said...

Where might Berg have obtained this information to state it as fact in a suit before the US District Court?

I have no idea but think that would be an excellent question for you to ask him. As for me, I suppose I'm a conspiracy snob because the fact that Philip J. Berg is a 9/11 "truther" who believes the United States government was complicit in the September 11 destruction of the World Trade Center makes me suspect he got the information about Obama's college applications direct from Alpha Centauri.

Agreed that Obama was a citizen due to birth in the US but "Natural Born" required that both parents be US citizens

What makes you think that "natural born" requires two US citizens as parents? I don't think it requires even one. It's not like there are multiple kinds of citizenship. There are only two: born a US citizen or naturalized a US citizen. The former can be President; the latter cannot. Obama is the former.