Thursday, November 27, 2008

Alan Keyes Interview about Obama's Citizenship

ESSENCE.COM: What exactly do you want to accomplish with this lawsuit?

ALAN KEYES: I had read a little bit about the issues that were being raised about Obama back during the primary season. At first I thought, like a lot of people, "There's nothing to this. It's just a matter of fact. You can establish what the facts are." The Constitution specifies that a citizen who is naturalized, rather than born into the status of being an American citizen, cannot be president. That was done in the beginning because people feared a foreign takeover of the United States government by the process of immigration. Staid as it is, we again are in a situation where a lot of foreign entities have influence or control over U.S. policy.

The reason an issue has been raised about Obama is because of the simple question, which can be answered with a birth certificate that shows he was born in the United States, or born to parents who had the capacity to transmit U.S. citizenship. When the question was asked, he danced around it. If the most important office of the federal government can be occupied by someone who is not qualified under the United States Constitution, that destroys the authority of the Constitution. I think it's something that needs to be dealt with in a clear, straightforward way. Eventually the case will get to the Supreme Court, establish the facts, and clear the air. It's really all very simple.

ESSENCE.COM: The Obama campaign responded to these questions months ago by posting a birth certificate on his campaign Web site, showing that he was born in Hawaii.

KEYES: A lot of questions have been raised about what they posted. It has to be established by a matter of fact, not by some Web site. The state of Hawaii needs to share the birth certificate with the Supreme Court, so they can take a look at it. When I went into the government as part of the United States foreign service, you had to submit an original copy of your birth certificate. People have been dancing around Obama's certification instead of going straight to the answer.

ESSENCE.COM: What's wrong with the birth certificate on his Web site?

KEYES: Part of the problem is, at the time he was born, the state of Hawaii was issuing certificates of live birth. That's what he has on the Web site. They would issue that certificate verifying you were born, but not necessarily in the United States. And there is question that, at the time that he was born, his mother was not yet of age to transmit citizenship. You had to be 19, I think. If he was born in Hawaii, then he is a natural born citizen. If he was born somewhere else-and a question has been raised if his birth was in Kenya-then his mother would not have transmitted citizenship. One needs to verify that the certificate verifies the birthplace.

ESSENCE.COM: State officials from the health department of Hawaii have verified that they have Obama's birth records, and that he was indeed born in Hawaii. Do you think they're lying?

KEYES: I don't think anything. Just let it be verified. This is not something that should be taken on hearsay. This is the most important office. Everything should be done without controversy, in such a way that the Constitutional requirements are met. If something is contrary to the Constitutional requirement, then you have to do away with that. It's not on Obama to do this. The folks with whom this burden presently rests are the officials who are now responsible for the process, who sit on the Supreme Court and other areas. They have to abide by their oaths to preserve and defend the Constitution, and not have him entering into office with a question they refuse to resolve.

ESSENCE.COM: Why didn't you bring this up earlier, during the campaign? Why wait until two months before the inauguration?

KEYES: The election is the time when the people make the judgment, not government officials. The problem in this case is, Obama was not properly vetted-by the media, or other individuals-during the campaign. They refused to look at it. People went to the polls with the issue unresolved. Once the electoral process is done, then the responsibility for certifying the results and making sure it's all according to the Constitution rests on the officials. So we're at a different stage of the process. I don't believe it would be a good idea to turn to the government to establish the qualifications of people who are running for office. That could be abused to limit the options of the people. If people are behaving with integrity, these facts would come out and then people would be able to make their judgment. This didn't happen.

ESSENCE.COM: To a lot of people, your lawsuit looks like a case of sour grapes because you lost. Your response?

KEYES: I think politics is irrelevant to this, actually. I don't see how it is showing fondness for Barack Obama to let him enter into office with a question that could be raised. He should not have to operate under that burden. I think the officials need to clear the air for his sake. From my point of view, it is a bad idea to have a president of the United States enter office with a cloud hanging over his head, where every time he tries to do something, he would end up frittering away time because of that objection. So let's get it over with. Let's resolve it and move forward with a clear an undisturbed mandate for the new president.

ESSENCE.COM: For argument's sake, let's say Obama is only a naturalized citizen, and was raised by Americans and grew up in the United States. What difference does that make to you?

KEYES: It makes a difference to the Constitution. The Constitution has to be obeyed. If we get into a position where it is somehow regarded as dispensable then this country will fall apart. Black people should be the first folks to remember that. Without adherence to the Constitution our battles would have never been won. I don't want to live in a country where we are suddenly back in a world where the force of majority rules. I don't think any of us do.

ESSENCE.COM: Would you be in support of amending that section of the Constitution?

KEYES: No, I would most certainly not. Today we are in more danger as a people of being subverted by foreign powers than we were when it was founded. It is possible, under our present rules in America, for folks from another country to come visit America, to have a child here, to take that child back to wherever, raise that child there, and that child would be an American citizen. Do we really think it would be right to have a person who has not lived in America, does not identify with our people, to run here as president of the United States?

ESSENCE.COM: That's a different situation from what's being questioned about Barack Obama.

KEYES: Rules have to be written in general. You can't write a rule in every particular case. The rules established in the Constitution are general rules that have been abided by people throughout the history of this country. People have been excluded from running for president, people like Arnold Schwarzenegger. One has to think of the common good. This isn't a question of individuals anymore. The key thing about the presidency, in my opinion, is that the person above all takes responsibility for the common good of the country. Our public officials do not swear allegiance to a country; they swear an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. That's something to be taken very seriously. Those are the rules.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Very Funny

Come On!

Media... Bias...

Media hypocrisy in all matters, big and small, healthy and unhealthy”

Obamas Are 'Fabulously Fit' Follow-up: Press Treated Bush Fitness As 'Creepy' and an 'Obsession'

By Tom Blumer

November 25, 2008

In Old Medialand, all it takes for a personal habit -- in this case, exercise -- to go from vice to an overhyped virtue is a change in the party affiliation of the White House occupant.

Yesterday, NB's Tim Graham commented on a puff piece about the Obamas' exercise routines by Associated Press groupie -- er, reporter -- Deanna Bellandi, who characterized the couple as "fabulously fit."

Several NB commenters at Graham's post pointed out that Barack Obama has been smoking cigarettes for years, something Bellandi "somehow" overlooked. Further, Obama has promised to quit, and it's not at all clear that he has.

More to the point, during the Bush presidency, the press treated the current White House occupant's exercise routine quite differently, characterizing it as "creepy," an "obsession," and an "indulgence," even in supposedly objective wire service reports.

In an August 2005 Reuters report about the president's 2-hour, 17-mile bike ride with cycling legend Lance Armstrong in Crawford, Texas, reporter Caron Bohan told readers -- twice -- that Armstrong opposed the war in Iraq. She also managed to work Cindy Sheehan into the narrative, while saying the following about the president's fitness and his routine:

The president was described by his doctors in his annual physical as being in "superior" condition for a man his age.

He takes pride in his six-day-a-week workout regimen and last week he showcased the statistics on his heart rate monitor for a group of reporters who rode with him. The monitor showed he burned 1,493 calories in a two-hour ride, also 17 miles.

Bush says exercise helps sharpen his thinking.

But some of his critics view his exercise obsession as an indulgence that takes time away from other priorities.

Among them is Cindy Sheehan, the Vacaville, California, mother of a soldier killed in Iraq, who until late last week was camped out down the road from Bush's ranch seeking a meeting with him to discuss her opposition to the war.

Sheehan, who left her vigil on Thursday to tend to her sick mother, has said she believes Bush should take fewer bike rides to have more time to focus on the "the nation's work."

LA Times columnist Jonathan Chait was at his Bush-deranged worst in July of that same year:

..... Bush has an obsession with exercise that borders on the creepy.

Given the importance of his job, it is astonishing how much time Bush has to exercise.

There’s no denying that the results are impressive. Bush can bench press 185 pounds five times, and, before a recent knee injury, he ran three miles at a 6-minute, 45-second pace. That’s better than I could manage when I played two sports in high school. And I wasn’t holding the most powerful office on Earth. Which is sort of my point: Does the leader of the free world need to attain that level of physical achievement?

Bush not only thinks so, he thinks it goes for the rest of us as well. In 2002, he initiated a national fitness campaign.

Chait wrote as if Bush was the first president to have "a national fitness campaign," when in fact the President's Council on Youth Fitness has been around since the 1950s, and was renamed the President's Council on Physical Fitness in the 1960s.

This must mean that Ike and Jack Kennedy were obsessed too. The historical record shows that JFK indeed exhibited obsessive behavior -- but in a different physical arena.

I Will Take Case #1, Howie

Sounds Awfully Familiar...

The Man, The Myth, The Legend

Great Input by my favorite economist/columnist.

'Jolting' the Economy

By Thomas Sowell

Barack Obama says that we have to "jolt" the economy. That certainly makes sense, if you take the media's account of the economy seriously-- but should the media be taken seriously?

Amid all the political and media hysteria, national output has declined by less than one-half of one percent. In fact, it may not have declined even that much-- or at all-- when the statistics are revised later, as they very often are.

We are not talking about the Great Depression, when output dropped by one-third and unemployment soared to 25 percent.

What we are talking about is a golden political opportunity for politicians to use the current financial crisis to fundamentally change an economy that has been successful for more than two centuries, so that politicians can henceforth micro-manage all sorts of businesses and play Robin Hood, taking from those who are not likely to vote for them and transferring part of their earnings to those who will vote for them.

For that, the politicians need lots of hype, and that is being generously supplied by the media.

Whatever the merits of trying to shore up some financial institutions, in order to prevent a major disruption of the credit flows that keep the whole economy going, what has in fact been done has been to create a huge pot of money-- hundreds of billions of dollars-- that politicians can use to give out goodies hither and yon, to whomever they please for whatever reason they please.

No doubt we could all use a few billion dollars every now and then. But the question of who actually gets it will be strictly in the hands of Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. It is one of the few parts of the legacy of the Bush administration that the Democrats are not likely to criticize.

Much as we may deplore partisanship in Washington, bipartisan disasters are often twice as bad as partisan disasters-- and this is a bipartisan disaster in the making.

Too many people who argue that there is a beneficial role for the government to play in the economy glide swiftly from that to the conclusion that the government will in fact confine itself to playing such a role.

In the light of history, this is a faith which passeth all understanding. Even in the case of the Great Depression of the 1930s, increasing numbers of economists and historians who have looked back at that era have concluded that, on net balance, government intervention prolonged the Great Depression.

Many of those who have, over the years, praised the fact that this was the first time that the federal government took responsibility for trying to get the country out of a depression do not ask what seems like the logical follow-up question: Did this depression therefore end faster than other depressions where the government stood by and did nothing?

The Great Depression of the 1930s was in fact the longest-lasting of all our depressions.

Government policy in the 1930s was another bipartisan disaster. Despite a myth that Herbert Hoover was a "do nothing" president, he was the first President of the United States to step in to try to put the economy back on track.

With the passing years, it has increasingly been recognized that what FDR did was largely a further extension of what Hoover had done. Where Hoover made things worse, FDR made them much worse.

Herbert Hoover did what Barack Obama is proposing to do. Hoover raised taxes on high-income people and put restrictions on international trade, in order to try to save American jobs. It didn't work then and it is not likely to work now.

Perhaps the most disastrous of all the counterproductive policies of the federal government was the National Industrial Recovery Act under FDR, which set out to do exactly what the politicians today want to do-- micro-manage businesses.

Fortunately, the Supreme Court declared that Act unconstitutional, sparing the country an even bigger disaster.

Today, it is unlikely that the courts will let anything as old-fashioned as the Constitution stand in the way of "change." In short, the economy today has some serious problems but things are not desperate, though they can be made desperate by politicians.