Monday, May 21, 2012
So Call Me "Birther"
Breitbart News’ discovery of the 1991 biography distributed by Barack Obama’s then-literary agency, which stated (incorrectly) that Obama had been “born in Kenya,” confirmed what we have been saying for months as we pursued “The Vetting” project.
"Incorrectly"? On what basis do they make that claim?
Follow that link, and you'll see the same story:
Note from Senior Management:
Andrew Breitbart was never a "Birther," and Breitbart News is a site that has never advocated the narrative of "Birtherism." In fact, Andrew believed, as we do, that President Barack Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, on August 4, 1961.Yet Andrew also believed that the complicit mainstream media had refused to examine President Obama's ideological past, or the carefully crafted persona he and his advisers had constructed for him.It is for that reason that we launched "The Vetting," an ongoing series in which we explore the ideological background of President Obama (and other presidential candidates)--not to re-litigate 2008, but because ideas and actions have consequences.It is also in that spirit that we discovered, and now present, the booklet described below--one that includes a marketing pitch for a forthcoming book by a then-young, otherwise unknown former president of the Harvard Law Review.
It is evidence--not of the President's foreign origin, but that Barack Obama's public persona has perhaps been presented differently at different times.
This is all quite factual. That a literary agent for the young Barack Obama reported him as having been born in Kenya is not evidence that he was. Rather, it is evidence, as Breitbart says, that President Obama has felt free to identify himself in divergent and contradictory ways over the years. (It makes little sense that BHO's biography of the time was written by anybody but him; it makes even less sense that a publicity-hungry young Harvard graduate, eager to make a name for himself, would not read a press release about his as-yet-unwritten first book, or would fail to correct an error in that bio. In other words, we can be sure that BHO read the bio stating he was born in Kenya and was comfortable letting it stand, just as a few years later he would read the proofs of Dreams From My Father, stating that he was born in Hawaii, and was comfortable letting that stand too.)
But still we've tiptoeing around the issue here. breitbart.com is bending over backwards to avoid suggesting, even for a moment, that he was born anywhere but Hawaii, according to the accepted narrative (i.e. the one provided by the President).
Well, if they won't say it, I will. WHY SHOULD I BELIEVE THE PRESIDENT WHEN HE SAYS HE WAS BORN IN HAWAII?
(Please note: I'm not claiming that he was born in Kenya, because I haven't seen a Kenyan birth certificate. By the same logic, I'm not claiming that he was born in Hawaii, because I haven't seen a legitimate birth certificate from there either! Neither the much-ballyhooed short form certificate, nor the belatedly-released long form, pass the smell test.)
It's painful to say this, but at this point, I have no reason to believe much of anything the President says, merely because he says it. This goes beyond his many broken campaign promises (closing Guantanamo, not raising taxes on anyone making less than $250K, and so on). But he also claimed, many times, to have lived with his mother and father in Hawaii, which has been thoroughly debunked. He claimed that his dying mother was denied health-care coverage, when in fact she was covered.
It is simply not enough to believe the President's word with respect to anything about his own past. We have now seen that he was comfortable claiming to have been born in Kenya, when it suited him to do so. (He is also on record as being challenged, during his 2004 Senate race, as not being a natural-born American, to which he supposedly retorted, "So what? I'm not running for the Presidency.")
So I'm perfectly willing to believe that the President was born in Hawaii... but so far I've seen no conclusive evidence I was willing to accept. And frankly, given that the President has already claimed as his a birth certificate that is a transparent fraud, should I trust him if he produces another one that looks better?
Much as I respect and admire breitbart.com and the work they're doing, I think they're dropping the ball here. Let's say it again: THE BEST EVIDENCE WE HAVE THAT THE PRESIDENT WAS BORN IN HAWAII IS HIS OWN WORD... and that's just not good enough.
What would it take, at this point, for me to believe that Barack H. Obama II was born in the United States? Frankly, I'm not sure... but it would have to come from somewhere other than the White House. They've muddied the waters enough already.
And if we did find convincing evidence that the President was born in Hawaii, as he now claims he was, the question would still remain -- why did he go to so much trouble to hide, up to and including the production of a fraudulent birth certificate?
If, on the other hand, we find convincing evidence in the other direction -- well then, the reasons for the hiding become clear, don't they?
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
The Heritage Foundation’s Rory Cooper tweeted that Obama had casually dropped his own name into Ronald Reagan’s official biography on www.whitehouse.gov, claiming credit for taking up the mantle of Reagan’s tax reform advocacy with his “Buffett Rule” gimmick. My first thought was, he must be joking. But he wasn’t—it turns out Obama has added bullet points bragging about his own accomplishments to the biographical sketches of every single U.S. president since Calvin Coolidge (except, for some reason, Gerald Ford).
UPDATE: This seems relevant. If President Obama hasn't yet described the Osama bin Laden operation this way, it's probably just a matter of time.
Friday, May 11, 2012
Movie Stars and Politics
Jennifer said it.
And she's perfectly right. Why is a movie star's opinion on politics worth more than, say, a cab driver's? Why should I care what they think?
It's not like being famous automatically earns respect for anything other than that which got you famous. That's why Albert Einstein, for example, went on record with high-minded gibberish in re politics (which was not his area of expertise by any means).
So we can respect actors, say, who are good at what they do, for being good at what they do. Respect in other areas (such as opinions on international politics) will need to be earned separately.
For what actors are good at, quite frankly, is lying -- pretending to be someone they're not.
So I need not care what they think, and indeed I don't. But they ought to care about what I think... because they're selling a product -- their ability to entertain me -- and I don't need to buy it if I don't feel like it. If I can't see an actor's face without getting upset about something stupid he said, I won't pay money to see him. (Did the entertainment industry learn nothing from the Dixie Chicks?)
As Samuel Goldwyn is reported to have warned his scriptwriters: "You gotta message, use Western Union". Or, to put it even more directly, there's this lovely exchange from Inherit the Wind:
Hornbeck: May I ask your opinion, sir, on Evolution?
Shopkeeper: Don't have any opinions. They're bad for business.
On Israel and Iran
Charles Krauthammer hits it out of the park with his latest Washington Post essay, comparing Israel's security situation now to that just before the Six-Day War in 1967.
It's a simple comparison to make. Israel faced an existential threat then (from Egypt's Nasser, threatening to destroy Israel and making it clear that he had the means to do so), as now (Iran's Ahmadinejad, ditto). And then, as now, Israel responded to a looming threat with an interesting political move -- the establishment of a National Unity Government by inviting in the opposition. (Imagine if, in response to the threat of war, President Obama were to appoint Republican party leaders to key Cabinet positions. Yes, this is a big deal.)
But Krauthammer goes on to point out that Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu has done this when he had a powerful incentive not to. Negotiations had already been underway to advance early elections -- far from unheard of in Israeli politics -- with the expectation that Netanyahu's Likud would win those elections handily. So why would Netanyahu turn down a chance for an easy election and four more years in power?
Because, as Prime Minister Eshkol understood in 1967, and as Ariel Sharon advocated more recently, at a time of national emergency you want as broad a base as possible. Israel's Knesset now represents an astonishing 78% of voters... and Israel's government, for now at least, is on the same page vis-a-vis Iran.
Prime Minister Menachem Begin didn't do this when he ordered the destruction of Saddam's nuclear reactors in 1981, just weeks before a national election. It was difficult not to see this as a cynical political move, intended to guarantee re-election, and Begin took a lot of heat for that. But Netanyahu now has the country behind him, tangibly and dramatically -- and he did so in a way that was obviously not a re-election ploy.
Further, since the mandate of the current coalition expires in 18 months, we can expect some sort of resolution of Iranian nuclear ambitions before then.
Israel -- and her allies and supporters worldwide -- can take heart, knowing that the man leading Israel is a brave and clever man who knows exactly what he's doing -- and who has demonstrated that Israel's survival is more important to him than his political career.
Read the whole thing.
(Hat tip: Power Line.)
News Flash: US Military Calls For Violent Measures