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Cultivate bemusement

Obama laughs over birth certificate controversy

When President Obama released his birth certificate to the world on April 27, 2011 (a date that will live in history), he said that he had watched the birther story “with bemusement.” Obama himself has minions to keep tabs on the birthers: political aides to see if there’s anything of substance to respond to, and the Secret Service to keep tabs on any birthers who show symptoms of rabies. He doesn’t think about birthers much any more, according to a speech he made to the National Action Network convention in New York City yesterday. Speaking about Voter ID laws, the President quipped [11:12 in the video]:

imageAnd just to be clear, I know where my birth certificate is, but a lot of people don’t. [crowd laughs] A lot of people don’t. [Obama chuckles] I think it’s still up on a web site somewhere. [Obama chuckles and shakes his head] You remember that? That was crazy. [crowd laughs] That was some crazy stuff. [crowd and Obama laughs] I haven’t thought about that in a while. [Obama shakes his head and laughs]

Business Insider has an article: “Obama Laughs About ‘Crazy’ Birth Certificate Questions.” [I had a problem with Firefox locking up on that page, and had to use the Chrome browser.] A lively discussion appears there with a number of below average birthers participating. The discussion reveals a subculture of birthers who are even more clueless than the ones we deal with most frequently, saying things like:

  • Harrison Bounel is Michelle Obama’s cousin.
  • The Acton and Dystel bio appeared on the inside flap of Obama’s book.
  • No legitimate PDF document has layers.

The better-informed (relatively speaking) birthers at Birther Report are trying to read hidden significance into the remarks through the analysis of Obama’s microexpressions. One said:

I think Mike would agree, at 21:09 he twitches the right side of his mouth and face like I’ve never seen him do before.

Some contextually challenged folks think that Obama is acknowledging in the video that a lot of people don’t know where the President’s birth certificate, but he’s saying that a lot of people don’t know where their birth certificate is. See “Obama Admits People Don’t Know Where His Birth Certificate Is” at The Daily Dose of Conservatism web site. A commenter there thinks the video has been scrubbed :roll:

Other birthers are whining because Obama insulted them. See “Here Is Obama’s Latest Insult To Birth Certificate Skeptics” at Western Journalism.

Is Obama a good President?

Lest any one be disappointed, let me say up front that I don’t plan to answer the question that titles this essay. I frankly do not know the answer, nor even have a firm opinion.

When it comes to where President Obama was born, there is a right answer and a wrong answer, and I don’t think that the perspective of history will add much if anything to that question. When it comes to a President’s job performance, the phrase “fog of war” comes to mind and it’s hard to be objective from the middle of the propaganda battle.

People who dislike Obama through confirmation bias or something more sinister, portray everything he does as a disaster, and the worst ever. It is trivially easy to find anything that is not perfect and claim that it should be better, whether it reasonably could be made better or not. No President (save perhaps Lincoln) actually presided over the near destruction of the country, and while we have problems, I don’t think the country is anywhere near the verge of civil war nor an economic collapse like the Great Depression. Obama critics on the left had, I think, an unrealistic view of how liberal he was, and so they are disappointed when he’s not what they expected. I see Obama as a moderate pragmatist and not at all compatible with extremists and radicals on either the left or the right—and those people are the ones who make the most noise.

If I could point one unequivocal failure of the Obama Administration, it would be the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. However, that is mitigated by an army of people working as hard as they could to make it fail. Understanding this issue, too, will benefit from the hindsight of history, and 5 years from now, the ACA may be as popular as Social Security.

So ask me again in 10 years whether I think Barack Obama was a good President.

Obama subpoenaed in Indiana case

I was being snarky when I wrote just a little while back in my article “The testimony of three witnesses” about Orly Taitz confirming witnesses to appear on October 22 at the trial in Taitz v. Elections Commission, “I doubt that Barack Obama has confirmed.”

As someone commented to me just last week: if you have a room full of lawyers figuring what Orly Taitz will do next, she will do something completely unexpected. Perhaps trying to subpoena the President is not completely unexpected. She did it last time around in Georgia. The Georgia administrative law court had no authority to enforce any subpoena. The Superior Court in Indiana can enforce one in Indiana, but not in Washington, DC. But we have a subpoena in any case [link to Taitz web site]. (I think a check mark is missing.)


The subpoena was sent to two attorneys who have represented President Obama in the past, Michael (empty chair) Jablonski in Georgia and Kip Wainscott, Counsel & Director of Delegate Operations at Obama for America. I don’t know if either actually represents Barack Obama today. I got the impression Orly served the subpoenas by email.

I have no idea what will happen. This is like watching a train wreck in slow motion.

Sincerest form of flattery?

Doctor Conspiracy

Doctor Conspiracy

I was roaming the wide Internet this morning and happened upon a bog published by one Gabrielle Cusumano and I happened to notice her list of “Featured Articles” and one struck my eye: Barack Obama’s Birth Certificate is a Forgery. See and Read Why by Gabrielle Cusumano.

I naturally clicked on that link, ready to go over and debunk it unmercifully, but to my surprise, I agreed 100% with everything on it. In fact I wrote 100% of everything on it. Yes friends, the page was cut and pasted from, a copy of Barack Obama’s Birth Certificate Doesn’t Really Say He Was Born in Hawaii. In really small type at the very bottom of this article there is an attribution: “Excerpted from:” but alas no hyperlink.

The Irony here is that she apparently thinks that this article actually supports her anti-Obama foolishness. I would say something over there bit it’s more fun to have that subversive text sitting there working its white magic in midst of the den of iniquity. 😉

To David Crockett

Some of the folks who comment here frequently mention articles from The Betrayal Blog so I have the chance to follow at least the subjects there even if I don’t get to visit as much as I might like. This blog is a one-man show and takes up most of my free time. Obama doesn’t pay me enough to quit my day job [JUST JOKING!].

Anyway, I was musing today about how truly different the world view is here than at The Betrayal. Continue Reading →