Sunday, April 10, 2011


Trump continues to fan the flames of the birth certificate bonfire, this time with an angry rebuttal letter to Gail Collins of the Times. Ms. Collins then bites back sanctimoniously without the slightest trace of journalistic curiosity. So go the birther wars.

Meanwhile, Jack Cashill--who has done yeoman's work in asking questions that people like Gail Collins should be answering--now has facial egg for failing to notice that a photoshopped picture of a real photo does not prove the real picture is photoshopped. Jack--dude--in the future please get one of your grandkids or some IT geek in the office to look over such things before pulling the trigger.

But back to Collins. In her re-rebuttal letter to Trump she flippantly mentions the "Ayers wrote Dreams" allegation as such:
Ayers is the former ’60s radical who became a huge Republican talking point in 2008 because he had once given a house party for Obama when he was running for state senate. It’s a pretty big jump from coffee and cookies to writing an entire book, but I guess that’s what neighbors are for.
Excuse me ma'am, but Ayers is STILL a radical, he just doesn't blow stuff up anymore. Has the Times laid off their research staff? She then tackles the granny (to her credit, the evidence granny witnessed the birth is unconvincing) and birth cert by only mentioning, which only proved the short form birth cert was real. America still doesn't know from which hospital Obama popped forth or the doctor who popped him forth. And yes, there's a slight significance to that. There was a time when the state of Hawaii didn't even take the state of Hawaii's word on the short form if Hawaiian heritage was being established.

Of course she's not the first mainstreamer (Fox News, too) to simply throw out opinion to rebut these claims. They are are so crazy! But from her picture (probably not recent) she appears to be no spring chicken so perhaps she remembers the old days when a REAL journalist might tackle the controversy by say, setting up a few interviews:

1) State of Hawaii, to ask why they required the long form to claim 'homelands exemption', at least until 2008,
2) Jack Cashill, to discuss his book "Deconstructing Obama",
3) Christopher Andersen, to discuss his book "Barack and Michelle" and the allegation that Ayers ghost wrote "Dreams", which is written right there on the pages (her own paper's Times Book Review didn't bother reviewing it),
4) Bill Ayers himself--perhaps to ask him if he thinks it's weird that Obama's white girlfriend was strangely just like his own,
5) and, after collecting all the info, asking for a response from the administration.

This is how journalism used to work before the reporters started getting their copy off and the Daily Kos.


We all know the mainstream media will probably never turn back from their thinly-veiled advocacy journalism posture, so it's a waste of time lecturing them about it. All that aside--what's Trump really up to here? The explanations of his little theater production has several possibilities... 1) he really believes it and is trying to help the GOP unseat Obama by deflating this issue ahead of time, but will not run; 2) he really believes it and is planning to run, whose status will be greatly helped by being the one who unearthed the 'truth'; 3) he's playing possum for ratings; 4) he's playing possum to help certain non-birther GOP candidates by trying to lure their on-the-fence competitors into taking a stand, thereby destroying them; 5) he's an undercover Democrat simply trying to keep the story going, just like Abercrombie.

We'll have to watch this story to see if number 4 has any merit.


It's possible Trump is getting results others could not. NBC's Mike Isikoff did what was suggested above for Ms. Collins--he called someone in the Hawaii Dept of Records and asked some questions. Actually, someone formerly in the records dept, the person who came out in 2008 and said she'd 'seen' the actual birth certificate on file and he was really, really born in Hiwayer. Chiyone Fukino went further than anyone has previously by saying the following:
Before she would do so, Fukino said, she wanted to inspect the files — and did so, taking with her the state official in charge of vital records. She found the original birth record, properly numbered, half typed and half handwritten, and signed by the doctor who delivered Obama, located in the files. She then put out a public statement asserting to the document's validity. She later put out another public statement in July 2009 — after reviewing the original birth record a second time.
Emphasis added to highlight new information heretofore unreleased. Now, here's what she said back in 2008:
“There have been numerous requests for Sen. Barack Hussein Obama’s official birth certificate. State law (Hawai‘i Revised Statutes §338-18) prohibits the release of a certified birth certificate to persons who do not have a tangible interest in the vital record. Therefore, I as Director of Health for the State of Hawai‘i, along with the Registrar of Vital Statistics who has statutory authority to oversee and maintain these type of vital records, have personally seen and verified that the Hawai‘i State Department of Health has Sen. Obama’s original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures.”
This clarified that indeed there was an original, or vault copy but there was no mention of it being impossible to obtain this same long form, and no mention of a doctor or hospital. All she did was confirm the short form was not a fake. Still, it threw most of the media dogs off the hunt along with yours truly (for a long while at least).

Now she's saying the so-called short form was the only document the records department has released since the 80s, therefore Obama could not have gotten anything else. And that's where Isikoff dropped the ball:
On June 12, 2008 the title for this abbreviated form was Certification of Live Birth. The title for the form that this family received in the first week of June 2009 is Certificate of Live Birth. I called The Dept of Health and confirmed that the title of the form had been changed. The bureaucrat that I spoke to said the change had been made “recently”, but could not or would not tell me when. Sometime between June 12, 2008 and the first week of June 2009 the Hawaiian Dept of Health changed the title of this abbreviated form from “Certification of Live Birth” to “Certificate of Live Birth“. Why?
Why indeed. If one goes to the Hawaii records website and reviews the procedure for applying for a "Home Lands exemption" they find a definite clarification between short and long forms:
Birth certificates (Certificates of Live Birth and Certifications of Live Birth) and Certificates of Hawaiian Birth are the primary documents used to determine native Hawaiian qualification.

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands accepts both Certificates of Live Birth (original birth certificate) and Certifications of Live Birth because they are official government records documenting an individual’s birth. The Certificate of Live Birth generally has more information which is useful for genealogical purposes as compared to the Certification of Live Birth which is a computer-generated printout that provides specific details of a person’s birth. Although original birth certificates (Certificates of Live Birth) are preferred for their greater detail, the State Department of Health (DOH) no longer issues Certificates of Live Birth. When a request is made for a copy of a birth certificate, the DOH issues a Certification of Live Birth.
The problem is, back in 2007 and at least part of 2008 that same page said that applicants HAD to provide a long form to apply, the short form was simply not detailed enough. The evidence for this change has largely been wiped off the web but a few sites saved some quotes. World Nut Daily claims it was somewhere in mid 2009, but we all know their rep. So it was a question Isikoff should have asked, but didn't. Maybe he didn't want to know.

The pushback for the change was that it wasn't really a change at all, just an oversight; a rogue 'obsolete' page on the state's website they "cleaned up" somewhere around 2009. Are we to believe that obsolete page had been there with erroneous information since 2001 when Hawaii first started issuing the computerized short form? Why wouldn't Phillip Berg's initial investigation have brought it to light in mid 2008 and forced a change? Another question Isikoff needed to ask.

At any rate they now allow both short and long forms to be used on the "updated" the Home Lands web page, even though one can no longer obtain a long form. Another question Isikoff didn't ask.

But props to NBC--they actually practiced journalism by contacting someone other than MarKos. In the process they got a former official to admit that a physician attended Obama's birth, something heretofore yet confirmed. Props also to Trump for this gem, which no doubt would not have tumbled out without his making a fuss.

And it could be very useful. The admission there was a doctor present indicates that Obama may well have been playing possum with this issue all along, perhaps planning to spring it at some crucial moment next year. GOP candidates still holding any doubts about this issue would do well to heed this admission and back as far away as possible and leave Obama standing there holding that trump card all by himself.

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