“Birther” movement gets boost from journalist friend of HI governor

I need to stipulate right up front that I am not a part of the “Birther” movement in any way, shape or form. It only intrigues me from the standpoint of someone who enjoys investigating and digging for information that otherwise might remain questionable or never known. And although I don’t subscribe to the belief that President Obama wasn’t born here, I don’t view everyone who has an issue with his lack of release of his long-form birth certificate as “crazy” or as a “nutter” (although there are certainly some “birthers” who are “out there”). There are quite a few people I deeply respect who have their doubts about Obama’s citizenship. Even noted Obama worshippers like Chris Matthews have questioned more than once why Obama just won’t clear the air by authorizing the release of the long form. I suspect it has everything to do with the fact that most everyone views birthers as “crazy” and Obama, rather than putting the issue to bed, deliberately keeps the issue alive so as to insinuate all of his political opposition is “nuts.”

Having said that, I had to chuckle upon reading this story from Fox News about a journalist friend of Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie who has done a 180 on comments he recently made asserting that the Governor himself said he had not been able to find Obama’s long form birth certificate:

A celebrity journalist now claims he misspoke when he said last week that Hawaii’s governor told him he was unable to find President Barack Obama’s original birth certificate after a search of state and hospital archives.

Mike Evans told FoxNews.com on Wednesday he was remorseful and embarrassed that he appeared to have given the impression that he had discussed the search for Obama’s birth certificate with Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie.

Evans, who says he has been a close friend of Abercrombie since the 1980s, appeared on Minnesota’s KQRS radio last week and said he’d been told by the governor himself that Obama’s birth certificate was nowhere to be found. Evans told KQRS on Jan. 20:

“Yesterday, talking to Neil’s office, Neil says that he searched everywhere using his powers as governor ….. there is no Barack Obama birth certificate in Hawaii. Absolutely no proof at all that he was born in Hawaii.”

But that’s no longer Evans’ story.

“Only this I can you tell you is 100 percent fact: that Neil never told me there was no birth certificate,” Evans told Fox News. “I never talked to him.”

Read the whole story to get a good laugh out of the verbal contortions the guy puts himself through to try and wiggle out of his initial statements. Regardless of what you think about “birtherism”, I think it’s pretty clear that he’s lying about never talking to Abercrombie about the birth certificate. Not even the world’s best gymnast could twist and contort in such a way as to make the “he searched everywhere using his powers as governor” part of Evans’ original comments go away. Not only that, but Abercrombie hasn’t exactly been doing any favors for himself over the last month with his alleged attempts at disproving birtherism claims.

An interesting side note: This issue may come to a head in 2012, thanks to … Arizona:

An Arizona lawmaker has reintroduced a proposal that would require presidential candidates to provide their birth certificates in order to remain on the ballot in the state.

The “birther bill,” which state Rep. Judy Burges failed to get through the Arizona legislature last year, has already attracted more than 30 co-sponsors in both chambers. The proposal comes out of a fringe movement that believes President Obama, whose father was from Kenya, did not meet the citizenship requirements to run in 2008.


Under Burges’ bill, presidential campaign committees would have to provide an affidavit stating a candidate’s citizenship and age. The bill would require along with that “an original long-form birth certificate that includes the date and place of birth, the names of the hospital and the attending physician and signatures of the witnesses in attendance.”

It would also require a “sworn statement attesting that the candidate has not held dual or multiple citizenship and that the candidate’s allegiance is solely to the United States of America.” Finally, it would require another sworn statement detailing the candidate’s “places of residence” in the United States 14 years prior to filing.

The bill would prohibit Arizona’s secretary of state from listing on the ballot any candidate who does not meet those requirements.

I’m not sure what the political composition of the Arizona state legislature is, so I’m not sure if the bill has a snowball’s chance in you-know-where.

Finally, I have to say that I get a bit irritated when any official – whether they be from Hawaii or wherever – takes offense at the idea that anyone here in America would want proof of citizenship for political office. Every political office has job eligibility requirements and American citizens – as employers of politicians – have the right to know whether or not a candidate is eligible. This question popped up for John McCain, also, in 2008 but he handled it the correct way by releasing both the short and long term birth certificate forms. Candidate Obama should have done the same. Sure, even if it was authorized for release you’d still have some in the “birther” crowd claiming it wasn’t authentic, but it would lessen the number of people questioning President Obama’s citizenship. That he continues to refuse to authorize the release of his long form birth certificate just shows how politically calculating he is.

Phineas butts in: Regarding the AZ legislature, the current composition in the wake of the 2010 elections is 21 R vs. 9 D in the state senate and 40 R vs. 20 D in the state house of representatives. Assuming party unity holds, the Republicans could push this through even in the face of a two-thirds requirement. But, here’s a question: the information recorded on state forms changes over time. What if someone has a birth certificate that was legit for their state at the time they were born, but doesn’t meet the new AZ requirements?

Update – 10:18 PM: My friend Simon’s got a good post up at Stubborn Facts about the Arizona eligibility proposal. Make sure to read the whole thing.

My belated but brief recap of last night’s SOTU (CliffsNotes version)

Had the day from hell today. Computer access was severely limited for most of it. Glad to be home.

Anyway, for those of you who either deliberately didn’t watch the SOTU last night, missed it, or who did watch but would like a quick refresher, here’s here’s my much-anticipated recap of our celebrity President’s address to Congress:

— President Obama has finally started believing in American exceptionalism – just as long as we’re more like other countries (China, India, South Korea, etc …).

— This is our “Sputnik moment” – even though the Obama-endorsed budget cuts for NASA say otherwise.

— President Obama believes we should not abandon America’s “most vulnerable” – unless they happen to be the unborn, of course.

— The “idea of America endures” – as long as it is aided, overseen, and controlled by the federal government.

— *Foreign policy yada yada rhetorical/obligatory*

— The successes in Iraq? Thank HIM.

— Spreading the wealth is still a good idea. “The rich” really don’t need all that money, but the government still does. For “investment” purposes in hopes of “creating jobs”, of course.

Did I miss anything? Oh, yes – my own personal comment: I absolutely HATED the bipartisan seating arrangement last night. The only “bipartisan seating” I enjoyed seeing involved the two gentlemen sitting behind the President.

Obama, Biden, Boehner

House Speaker John Boehner gestures after being acknowledged by President Barack Obama during his State of the Union address in Washington, Tuesday, Jan.25, 2011.
(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Best pundit quote of the night came from NRO’s Jim Geraghty:

Obama is the salesman assuring you that you can afford the new sports car. [Paul] Ryan is your accountant, reminding you that you can’t.

And lookin’ mighty sharp while doing so, I might add …


Cutting through Obama’s education nonsense

I didn’t watch the State of the Union address last night. I rarely do, as the event has become little more than a partisan “Speech from the Throne” in which presidents lay out their agenda and play for applause lines. I’d much rather they save the joint sessions for occasions of genuine national importance and go back to the tradition of sending a written report to Congress and be done with it.

Anyway, President Obama apparently gave a lot of time (In a 62-minute speech. Talk about a windbag!) to education, stating the usual platitudes and recommending the customary statist patent remedies of —guess what?— more spending. Oh, what a surprise.

Leave it to Michelle Malkin to marshal the facts to blow away the fog created by Obama hucksterism on behalf of a failing public school system and the unions that feed on it. First, she recounts all the federal money that’s been flushed down that drain so far:

Our government already spends more per capita on education than any other of the 34 wealthiest countries in the world except for Switzerland, according to recent analysis of data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Overall inflation-adjusted K-12 spending has tripled over the past 40 years, the Michigan-based Mackinac Center for Public Policy points out. Yet American test scores and graduation rates are stagnant. One in 10 high schools is a dropout factory. And our students’ performance in one of the most prestigious global math competitions has been so abysmal that the U.S. simply withdrew altogether.

Obama’s fiscal year 2011 budget already represents “one of the largest increases” in federal education spending history, and hikes total discretionary spending to nearly $51 billion. Toss in another $35 billion for mandatory Pell grants. And add another $4 billion for the illusory “Race to the Top” charade to improve academic standards.

Then there’s the $10 billion for the Education Jobs Fund signed into law last August — a naked payoff to the public teachers union, which also includes $50 million for the Striving Readers comprehensive literacy development and education program; $82 million for Student Aid Administration; and $10.7 million for the Ready to Teach program.

Oh, and don’t forget the $100 billion in federal stimulus funding for school programs and initiatives administered by the U.S. Department of Education.

As he extols the virtues of “innovation” and “accountability,” the last thing Obama wants you to think about is the actual results of these profligate federal ed binges…

You’ll have to click through for the accountability portion of this Sherman’s march through educational waste, but don’t miss it. It will leave you angry at pouring so much money into the federal Department of Education for so little in return and wondering why on Earth we should spend more.

Count me among those who think the DoEd should be severely pared back or abolished and that control over education should be returned as much as possible to the state and local levels, where educators will be accountable directly to voters. And, while we’re at it, lets ramp up a voucher system and encourage charter schools to improve competition, breaking the government and union monopoly over K-12 education. I’m happy to say that, for once, California is leading the way in a good direction, toward empowering parents. And in New Orleans, a report from Reason.TV shows how a free-market voucher system is improving what was once one of the nation’s worst school systems.

If President Obama had truly been interested in improving education (his record suggests he’s not), then these suggestions would have been in the mix. But, no matter how closely you go through his 7,000 words, you won’t find them.

I guess instead of “for the children,” it’s “for the government and the unions.”

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) is a disgrace

**Posted by Phineas

In the past she’s been a shameless race-baiter and a conspiracy monger, and now she’s revealed to the nation, her district, and her caucus just how dumb she is:

Behind closed doors, California Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez has proposed removing Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords from the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) until she recovers from injuries sustained after being shot in the head on Jan. 8 in Tucson, The Daily Caller has learned.

The proposal sparked an outrage, according to those in the room — including from those in Sanchez’s own party.

“It’s not appropriate,” Texas Democratic Rep. Silvestre Reyes told The Daily Caller, adding that there was outrage among some members in the room when Sanchez made the suggestion. “It’s bad for morale during her recovery period.”

Reyes and Rep. Adam Smith of Washington put up most of the fight against Sanchez, and helped squash the idea.

Politicians and pundits like to talk about the “optics” of a situation, how it will look to the public. You can imagine what went through the Democratic leadership’s minds when nitwit Sanchez suggested this: “Sure let’s kick to the curb the most sympathetic member of our caucus, just after she’s taken a bullet to the brain. That’ll play well on TV and talk radio!”

Then there’s the legislative side of this nonsensical idea: the Republicans hold a seven-seat majority on HASC. Giffords’ vote wouldn’t be decisive without several Republican defections, so replacing her is meaningless. Sanchez’s staff tried to pass this off as making sure Giffords’ interests were represented, but that can be done by other members of the committee (such as Sanchez, since she cares so deeply) without putting the boot to a colleague who’s already been through so much. (And Reyes has a good point. Morale in rehab counts for a lot, and learning that the work she enjoyed so much is being taken away from her, however temporarily, wouldn’t help.)

Really, I don’t see how Sanchez benefits from this proposal, so I’ll have to put it down to congenital stupidity. She may not be the worst member of California’s 54-seat delegation (There’s stiff competition for that honor), but she’s definitely in the bottom five.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)