factcheck

FactCheck.org

Supposed fact-checking site that's occasionally gotten things wrong (link, link) or shown bias (factcheck.org/elections-2008/wrong_paul.html).

Claims to have seen Barack Obama's "Certificate of Live Birth", and posted pictures of it to their website. However, on the same page they claim that the state of Hawaii has verified that Obama was born in Honolulu; those who state that definitively are lying since no definitive proof of his birthplace has yet been provided.

They are "funded primarily by the Annenberg Foundation" (factcheck.org/about), the same foundation that started the Chicago Annenberg Challenge which was headed up by Barack Obama.

Last modified Sep 7, 2014
Discussed in (click each link for the full post):

Viveca Novak of Fact Check misleads about immigration impact on jobs - 05/15/10

Viveca Novak of FactCheck offers "Does Immigration Cost Jobs? /Economists say immigration, legal or illegal, doesn't hurt American workers" (factcheck.org/2010/05/does-immigration-cost-jobs). It's yet another misleading attempt to try to convince people that what they see happening with their own eyes is not happening.

1. It includes this highly misleading claim:

FactCheck furiously spins healthcare coverage for illegal aliens; Obama still right! - 09/11/09

FactCheck offers "Obama’s Health Care Speech/We fact-check the president's address to Congress and the nation" (factcheck.org/2009/09/obamas-health-care-speech) which to a certain extent contradicts claims made by their own director Brooks Jackson back on August 14. At that time, he said it was "False" that "Illegal Immigrants Will Be Covered" under the House bill; his claim itself is false.

With the new article they're at least admitting that those who point out that illegal aliens would be covered "have a point", but they furiously spin things - surprise! - to Obama's benefit:

[In his speech] Obama was correct when he said his plan wouldn’t insure illegal immigrants; the House bill expressly forbids giving subsidies to those who are in the country illegally. Conservative critics complain that the bill lacks an enforcement mechanism, but that hardly makes the president a liar.

They're giving Obama too much credit. Way, way, way too much credit. He knows there are loopholes and he supports such loopholes. The only reason he isn't pushing to cover the entire population of Mexico is because he knows he couldn't get away with it. Obama is being deliberately deceptive; he's a liar.

They follow the quote above with a longer section; the first part of that reprises their previous false claim. Then:

However, conservative critics object to a lack of specific enforcement measures in the bill. They argue that the lack of a specific verification mechanism constitutes a loophole that would allow illegal immigrants to get benefits despite the legal prohibition. Republican Rep. Dean Heller of Nevada proposed an amendment to the bill that would have required the use of the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements program to check the citizenship of anyone applying for federal coverage or affordability credits. SAVE is the program used by Medicaid and similar entitlement programs. That amendment was voted down along party lines by the House Ways and Means Committee.

Republicans have a point here: More could be done to enforce the ban. But it’s worth remembering that, as a spokesperson for the American Immigration Lawyers Association told us, attempting to get a health care credit would have legal repercussions. "Making a fraudulent claim to an entitlement program when you’re not actually entitled to it would have serious consequences for any person," the spokesperson told us, "but especially if it’s considered a false claim to citizenship, that would have serious immigration consequences that could ultimately lead to deportation." And Rep. Wilson certainly was out of bounds to call the president’s statement a "lie." He later issued a statement apologizing for his "inappropriate and regrettable" comments.

It was at the mention of the AILA that I broke out laughing. While to a certain extent most illegal aliens will try to lie low, the idea that most illegal aliens would be afraid of falsely claiming to be a citizen is absurd. They crossed the border illegally or overstayed their visa; they may be using falsified documents; they know that the chance of being deported are remote due to racial power groups and corrupt politicians. They aren't about to be deterred by a checkbox on a form.

And, of course, FactCheck is trying to imply that Joe Wilson retracted his claim that Obama was lying, when in fact Wilson maintains that Obama was lying.

In addition to Jackson, those responsible are: Jess Henig, DAngelo Gore and Lori Robertson.

Blogger: FactCheck misattributed chain email to me ("Twenty-six Lies About H.R. 3200") - 08/30/09

FactCheck offers "Twenty-six Lies About H.R. 3200" (factcheck.org/2009/08/twenty-six-lies-about-hr-3200), a discussion of a chain email for which they say:

A notorious analysis of the House health care bill contains 48 claims. Twenty-six of them are false and the rest mostly misleading. Only four are true.

FactCheck recently misled about illegal aliens being covered under the House bill and for that and other reasons they aren't a credible source. However, I'm going to leave pointing out what if anything they got wrong in this case to those who are experts on the bil.

In this case, they make the following claim:

We can trace the origins of this collection of claims to a conservative blogger who issued his instant and mostly mistaken analyses as brief "tweets" sent via Twitter as he was paging through the 1,017-page bill. The claims have been embraced as true and posted on hundreds of Web sites, and forwarded in the form of chain e-mails countless times.

The blogger in question claims he didn't write the chain email (link) and a quick comparison of his tweets (link) with the contents of the email shows that they match up in some cases but in others have been slightly modified. If FactCheck is right about some of the claims being false, this is yet another example of Obama opponents mistakes, whether on the part of the blogger or on the part of whoever created the versions of his tweets in the email. In any case, it's dirty pool to try to pin the blame on the person who's post was used as the basis for the email but who didn't write the email itself.

Brooks Jackson of FactCheck misleads about illegal aliens and ObamaCare - 08/24/09

On August 14, Brooks Jackson, Viveca Novak, Lori Robertson and Jess Henig of FactCheck offered the misleading article "Seven Falsehoods About Health Care" (factcheck.org/2009/08/seven-falsehoods-about-health-care), proving once again that Fact Check is not a credible source.

They misleadingly claim that illegal aliens won't be covered under Obama healthcare, pointing to Section 246 of H.R. 3200 which says:

Nothing in this subtitle shall allow Federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States.

For why that's highly misleading, see the links in the first item here. It all depends on your temporal reference point: those who are then-current illegal aliens might not be covered (or instead might be covered through loopholes and fraud), but those who are now-current illegal aliens will be covered if Obama gets his way. Got that? See the last link for an explanation.

Looking into FactCheck's other six points is left as an exercise; some or all may be as misleading as the one discussed here.

Hawaii has not authenticated the Certifications of Live Birth shown on Obama's site or on FactCheck - 08/08/09

Various sources have claimed or implied that Hawaii has verified or authenticated the pictures of a "Certification of Live Birth" ("COLB") as pictured on Obama's website. Or, they've claimed that Hawaiian officials have said that what's shown on his site matches what they have on file. Those claims are false. From this:

In response to a direct question from WND, the Hawaii Department of Health refused to authenticate either of the two versions of President Obama's short-form Certificate of Live Birth, or COLB, posted online – neither the image produced by the Obama campaign nor the images released by FactCheck.org.

Janice Okubo, the public information officer for the Hawaii DOH, also had no explanation for why Dr. Chiyome Fukino's initial press release last October and subsequent press release last week also avoided declaring the posted images to be of authentic documents.

Those falsely claiming that Hawaii has verified those pictures or who have made similar false claims include: Dave Weigel, the National Review, Media Matters, Alexandra Marks, Alex Koppelman, and many others.

FactCheck's "Born in the U.S.A." as of December 7, 2008 - 12/07/08

Included below is the content of the FactCheck page retrieved from factcheck.org/elections-2008/born_in_the_usa.html on December 7, 2008. Screengrabs were taken, each of which is less than 200k: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7, part 8.

The page content follows the graphic showing the part about which FactCheck lied:


Born in the U.S.A.
The truth about Obama's birth certificate.
Summary
In June, the Obama campaign released a digitally scanned image of his birth certificate to quell speculative charges that he might not be a natural-born citizen. But the image prompted more blog-based skepticism about the document's authenticity. And recently, author Jerome Corsi, whose book attacks Obama, said in a TV interview that the birth certificate the campaign has is "fake."

We beg to differ. FactCheck.org staffers have now seen, touched, examined and photographed the original birth certificate. We conclude that it meets all of the requirements from the State Department for proving U.S. citizenship. Claims that the document lacks a raised seal or a signature are false. We have posted high-resolution photographs of the document as "supporting documents" to this article. Our conclusion: Obama was born in the U.S.A. just as he has always said.

Update, Nov. 1: The director of Hawaii’s Department of Health confirmed Oct. 31 that Obama was born in Honolulu.

Analysis
Update Nov. 1: The Associated Press quoted Chiyome Fukino as saying that both she and the  registrar of vital statistics, Alvin Onaka, have personally verified that the health department holds Obama's original birth certificate.

Fukino also was quoted by several other news organizations. The Honolulu Advertiser quoted Fukino as saying the agency had been bombarded by requests, and that the registrar of statistics had even been called in at home in the middle of the night.

Honolulu Advertiser, Nov. 1 2008: "This has gotten ridiculous," state health director Dr. Chiyome Fukino said yesterday. "There are plenty of other, important things to focus on, like the economy, taxes, energy." . . . Will this be enough to quiet the doubters? "I hope so," Fukino said. "We need to get some work done."

Fukino said she has “personally seen and verified that the Hawaii State Department of Health has Sen. Obama’s original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures."

Since we first wrote about Obama's birth certificate on June 16, speculation on his citizenship has continued apace. Some claim that Obama posted a fake birth certificate to his Web page. That charge leaped from the blogosphere to the mainstream media earlier this week when Jerome Corsi, author of a book attacking Obama, repeated the claim in an Aug. 15 interview with Steve Doocy on Fox News.

Corsi: Well, what would be really helpful is if Senator Obama would release primary documents like his birth certificate. The campaign has a false, fake birth certificate posted on their website. How is anybody supposed to really piece together his life?

Doocy: What do you mean they have a "false birth certificate" on their Web site?

Corsi: The original birth certificate of Obama has never been released, and the campaign refuses to release it.

Doocy: Well, couldn't it just be a State of Hawaii-produced duplicate?

Corsi: No, it's a -- there's been good analysis of it on the Internet, and it's been shown to have watermarks from Photoshop. It's a fake document that's on the Web site right now, and the original birth certificate the campaign refuses to produce.

Corsi isn't the only skeptic claiming that the document is a forgery. Among the most frequent objections we saw on forums, blogs and e-mails are:

  • The birth certificate doesn't have a raised seal.
  • It isn't signed.
  • No creases from folding are evident in the scanned version.
  • In the zoomed-in view, there's a strange halo around the letters.
  • The certificate number is blacked out.
  • The date bleeding through from the back seems to say "2007," but the document wasn't released until 2008.
  • The document is a "certification of birth," not a "certificate of birth."

Recently FactCheck representatives got a chance to spend some time with the birth certificate, and we can attest to the fact that it is real and three-dimensional and resides at the Obama headquarters in Chicago. We can assure readers that the certificate does bear a raised seal, and that it's stamped on the back by Hawaii state registrar Alvin T. Onaka (who uses a signature stamp rather than signing individual birth certificates). We even brought home a few photographs.


The Obama birth certificate, held by FactCheck writer Joe Miller

Alvin T. Onaka's signature stamp


The raised seal


Blowup of text


You can click on the photos to get full-size versions, which haven't been edited in any way, except that some have been rotated 90 degrees for viewing purposes.

The certificate has all the elements the State Department requires for proving citizenship to obtain a U.S. passport: "your full name, the full name of your parent(s), date and place of birth, sex, date the birth record was filed, and the seal or other certification of the official custodian of such records." The names, date and place of birth, and filing date are all evident on the scanned version, and you can see the seal above.

The document is a "certification of birth," also known as a short-form birth certificate. The long form is drawn up by the hospital and includes additional information such as birth weight and parents' hometowns. The short form is printed by the state and draws from a database with fewer details. The Hawaii Department of Health's birth record request form does not give the option to request a photocopy of your long-form birth certificate, but their short form has enough information to be acceptable to the State Department. We tried to ask the Hawaii DOH why they only offer the short form, among other questions, but they have not given a response.

The scan released by the campaign shows halos around the black text, making it look (to some) as though the text might have been pasted on top of an image of security paper. But the document itself has no such halos, nor do the close-up photos we took of it. We conclude that the halo seen in the image produced by the campaign is a digital artifact from the scanning process.

We asked the Obama campaign about the date stamp and the blacked-out certificate number. The certificate is stamped June 2007, because that's when Hawaii officials produced it for the campaign, which requested that document and "all the records we could get our hands on" according to spokesperson Shauna Daly. The campaign didn't release its copy until 2008, after speculation began to appear on the Internet questioning Obama's citizenship. The campaign then rushed to release the document, and the rush is responsible for the blacked-out certificate number. Says Shauna: "[We] couldn't get someone on the phone in Hawaii to tell us whether the number represented some secret information, and we erred on the side of blacking it out. Since then we've found out it's pretty irrelevant for the outside world." The document we looked at did have a certificate number; it is 151 1961 - 010641.


Blowup of certificate number

Some of the conspiracy theories that have circulated about Obama are quite imaginative. One conservative blogger suggested that the campaign might have obtained a valid Hawaii birth certificate, soaked it in solvent, then reprinted it with Obama's information. Of course, this anonymous blogger didn't have access to the actual document and presents this as just one possible "scenario" without any evidence that such a thing actually happened or is even feasible.

We also note that so far none of those questioning the authenticity of the document have produced a shred of evidence that the information on it is incorrect. Instead, some speculate that somehow, maybe, he was born in another country and doesn't meet the Constitution's requirement that the president be a "natural-born citizen."

We think our colleagues at PolitiFact.com, who also dug into some of these loopy theories put it pretty well: "It is possible that Obama conspired his way to the precipice of the world’s biggest job, involving a vast network of people and government agencies over decades of lies. Anything’s possible. But step back and look at the overwhelming evidence to the contrary and your sense of what’s reasonable has to take over."

In fact, the conspiracy would need to be even deeper than our colleagues realized. In late July, a researcher looking to dig up dirt on Obama instead found a birth announcement that had been published in the Honolulu Advertiser on Sunday, Aug. 13, 1961:


Obama's birth announcement


The announcement was posted by a pro-Hillary Clinton blogger who grudgingly concluded that Obama "likely" was born Aug. 4, 1961 in Honolulu.

Of course, it's distantly possible that Obama's grandparents may have planted the announcement just in case their grandson needed to prove his U.S. citizenship in order to run for president someday. We suggest that those who choose to go down that path should first equip themselves with a high-quality tinfoil hat. The evidence is clear: Barack Obama was born in the U.S.A.

Update, August 26: We received responses to some of our questions from the Hawaii Department of Health. They couldn't tell us anything about their security paper, but they did answer another frequently-raised question: why is Obama's father's race listed as "African"? Kurt Tsue at the DOH told us that father's race and mother's race are supplied by the parents, and that "we accept what the parents self identify themselves to be." We consider it reasonable to believe that Barack Obama, Sr., would have thought of and reported himself as "African." It's certainly not the slam dunk some readers have made it out to be.

When we asked about the security borders, which look different from some other examples of Hawaii certifications of live birth, Kurt said "The borders are generated each time a certified copy is printed. A citation located on the bottom left hand corner of the certificate indicates which date the form was revised." He also confirmed that the information in the short form birth certificate is sufficient to prove citizenship for "all reasonable purposes."

by Jess Henig, with Joe Miller

Sources
United States Department of State. "Application for a U.S. Passport." Accessed 20 Aug. 2008.

State of Hawaii Department of Health. "Request for Certified Copy of Birth Record." Accessed 20 Aug. 2008.

Hollyfield, Amy. "Obama's Birth Certificate: Final Chapter." Politifact.com. 27 Jun. 2008.

The Associated Press. "State declares Obama birth certificate genuine" 31 Oct 2008.

Nakaso, Dan. "Obama's certificate of birth OK, state says; Health director issues voucher in response to 'ridiculous' barrage" Honolulu Advertiser 1 Nov 2008.

Brooks Jackson/FactCheck spins Obama's Civilian National Security Force - 11/13/08

One of the mistakes that Obama opponents kept engaging in during the election was to make exaggerated or not 100% legalistically formulated claims (e.g., "palling around"). The MSM then jumped on the exaggerated part of those statements in order to draw attention away from the parts that were true.

And, Brooks Jackson of FactCheck uses that technique in his discussion of Rep. Paul Broun's remarks about Obama's "civilian national security force": factcheck.org/askfactcheck/is_obama_planning_a_gestapo-like_civilian_national.html

Jackson quotes the Obama speech as I did here, and ends with:

Does that sound like a force that could kick down your door in the middle of the night and haul you off to a Gulag or concentration camp? You decide.

Now, to show that Brooks Jackson is little more than an Obama-supporting hack and "Fact Check" can't be trusted, here are some questions that Jackson doesn't even ask:

1. Where is the statement from the BHO campaign describing specifically what's in the CNSF, whether the CNSF is a coherent organization or just an umbrella term? A spokesman saying it's a "civilian reserve corps that could handle postwar reconstruction efforts" isn't enough. We need a detailed plan.

2. Obama said the CNSF would be "just as well-funded" as the U.S. military, which gets around a half a trillion dollars per year. Doesn't Obama's statement go well beyond "expansive... and exaggerated" as Jackson says?

3. What happens when Obama's CNSF returns home? Are there circumstances under which they could be activated here? Are there circumstances under which they could be used to push Obama's political aims? For instance, to engage in the strong-arm tactics that he's encouraged his supporters to use?

Those questions and more are left unanswered by Jackson, who instead simply serves as a reflexive defender of Barack Obama rather than a fact checker.

Where was Barack Obama born? In Hawaii? In Kenya? Somewhere else? - 10/19/08

(Please see the Obama citizenship page for the latest.)

Was Barack Obama born in Hawaii, or Kenya, or somewhere else? He claims to have been born in Hawaii, but no definitive proof has been provided. It is a false statement to definitively state that he was born in Hawaii, as some media sources have done. The most they should state is that there's a very strong possibility that he was born in Hawaii and he claims to have been born there, but some reporters and other sources cross the line into pretending that the matter has been settled.

The matter has not been settled, and in fact attorney Philip Berg is currently suing Obama and the DNC, trying to get them to release his records. It's also apparently possible for a Hawaii resident who was born out of state or out of the country to obtain a birth certificate (link). The copies of the Certification of Live Birth ("COLB") discussed below do list Honolulu as his place of birth, but that could have been the result of fraud or a mix-up of some kind.

The following have been offered as proof, even though they aren't:

1. An announcement that appeared in the Honolulu Advertiser on Sunday, Aug. 13, 1961, nine days after his birthdate (picture here). According to that link, those listings came directly from the hospitals. However, neither that nor the listing itself have been confirmed. And, the listing doesn't say where he was born, only providing the address of his parents. There's certainly the possibility that he was born elsewhere and the listing was somehow placed by, for instance, his grandparents. The usual argument against that mockingly asks whether his grandparents planted the announcement thinking that one day he would run for president (used by FactCheck, #3 below). However, there are other explanations. They could have wanted it to confer U.S. citizenship rather than the less valuable Kenyan (or other) citizenship. Or, they could have wanted it in the case of divorce and a resulting custody battle. The announcement alone is not proof.

2. Obama's own statements, such as those made at his site: fightthesmears.com/articles/5/birthcertificate. One would have to be quite gullible to take that page at face value, as all it contains is a picture of his COLB and two links. The first is to the FactCheck article (#3) below. The second is even worse: a link to what is actually merely the opinion of Eli Saslow of the Washington Post: "The truth: Sen. Barack Obama, born in Hawaii, is a Christian family man with a track record of public service." As pointed out in this post, it's false to definitively state that Obama was born in Hawaii, and that article - the one upon which the Obama campaign is relying - contains a series of other lies. The bottom line is that Obama's own statements are not proof. He could be lying. Or, he might not even know for sure, and could simply be relying on a falsified family history.

3. FactCheck was allowed to take photographs of the COLB (factcheck.org/elections-2008/born_in_the_usa.html), however, there are several problems that their supposed proof:
A. FactCheck doesn't indicate that they showed it to document experts.
B. They were able to contact representatives of the state of Hawaii about some related issues, but they weren't able to verify it with that state.
C. Their mocking tone - including the use of the phrase "tinfoil hat" - doesn't speak to their commitment to determine the truth.
D. Their photos show the certificate was issued on June 6, 2007. This may contradict a statement from Politfact (#4 below): "[Janice Okubo of HI's health department] said a copy of the birth certificate was requested in June 2008, but she wouldn't specify by whom." Were there two requests, is that a typo, did Okubo make a mistake, or what?
E. FactCheck is "funded primarily by the Annenberg Foundation" (factcheck.org/about), the same foundation that started the Chicago Annenberg Challenge which was headed up by Barack Obama.
F. While FactCheck for the most part gets things right, they've also gotten several things wrong (link, link) or shown bias (factcheck.org/elections-2008/wrong_paul.html).
G. The EXIF data shown in original photos had a date months before they were supposedly taken, and that EXIF data was removed when they recompressed the photos.
H. FactCheck hasn't exactly pursued this case to the ends of the Earth. For instance, it was a week after the posting of their "definitive" proof that they finally informed us that "[Obama] held both U.S. and Kenyan citizenship as a child, but lost his Kenyan citizenship automatically on his 21st birthday" (http://www.factcheck.org/askfactcheck/does_barack_obama_have_kenyan_citizenship.html).
Bottom line: what FactCheck says is not proof.

12/28/09 UPDATE: For a point of reference, see this post from celebrity gossip site TMZ about their attempts to authenticate a photo of JFK: peekURL.com/zvmdpck
TMZ brought in named document experts to examine the original; FactCheck just used their staffers. FactCheck can't even rise to the level of Harvey Levin. (And, as if to prove my point, it later turned out that the photo was a hoax and was actually from an old magazine having nothing to do with JFK: peekURL.com/ztuvznb Once again: FactCheck didn't even rise to the TMZ level.)

4. The Politfact article (politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2008/jun/27/obamas-birth-certificate-part-ii), which is even less reliable than the one from FactCheck. They attempted to obtain Obama's birth certificate without luck, but eventually they received a picture of the COLB from the Obama campaign (politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2008/jun/13/obamas-birth-certificate), which is presumably the same picture as at Obama's "Fight the Smears" site. However, because such information is only available to direct family members, they were unable to confirm the certificate with the state of Hawaii. The best they could do is interview a spokeswoman for the state of Hawaii's health department (Janice Okubo):
Okubo says she got a copy of her own birth certificate last year and it is identical to the Obama one we received.

And about the copy we e-mailed her for verification? “When we looked at that image you guys sent us, our registrar, he thought he could see pieces of the embossed image through it."

Still, she acknowledges: 'I don’t know that it's possible for us to even say beyond a doubt what the image on the site represents."
Then, after bringing in someone to discuss conspiracy theories, they punt. Their statement that Obama was born in Hawaii is completely based on the assumption that he couldn't have gotten as far as he has without providing proof to others, such as colleges. However, those colleges could have said the same thing and might not have seen his birth certificate or might have seen a forged document. An article based completely on such assumptions is not proof.

5. Snopes says the claim that the COLB is a forgery is "false" (snopes.com/politics/obama/birthcertificate.asp). However, they add no new facts, but simply rely on claims from FactCheck and the suppositions of Politifact. They link to presumably the same JPEG of the COLB as FactCheck as well as the Honolulu Advertiser announcement mentioned in #1. They also say:
Aside from the inherent absurdity of such claims (i.e., that a major party presidential nominee would risk his entire candidacy on a fraud that could be uncovered simply by a check of state health records), the supposedly incriminating details don't pan out...
The problem, of course, is that no such "check" is allowed; if it were, Obama's opponents would have already performed such a check and there would be no issue. As one could have assumed, Snopes cannot be trusted.

Until Obama releases an official copy of his birth certificate to some reliable authority - such as a respected judge - and that certificate is verified with the issuing agency there will always be doubts about his birthplace. Even showing some form of his birth certificate to a group of reporters will not be proof because reporters are not document experts and a very large number of reporters have shown themselves willing to lie on his behalf.

There's certainly the possibility that Obama is playing a game by not releasing documentation. He could be trying to give his opponents false hope that he'd be knocked out of the race at the last moment or even after being elected. Or, he could just be trying to distract his opponents from pursuing an unrelated line of attack that would actually work. Or, there could be something else in his records that he doesn't want his potential voters to see, such as the birth certificate showing some detail that would be damaging, or something similar in a college application.

I don't recommend being distracted by or counting on this issue. However, if anyone definitively says that Obama was born in Hawaii, please direct them to this page. It is false to definitively say that he was born in Hawaii.

UPDATE: I added the Snopes section. Also, shortly before the election, the state of Hawaii issued a statement concerning the issue. Despite what some - including the Associated Press have said, they did not confirm the COLB as pictured at FactCheck, nor did they confirm that he was born in Hawaii. All they confirmed is that he has a certificate on file. And, as discussed at the last link, those born in other states or foreign countries can obtain Hawaii birth certificates if their parents are residents of that state. Further, it would be illegal for those officials to have discussed any of the contents of the certificate without Obama's permission, something that he clearly has not given.

UPDATE 2: All of this information has been collated on this page. UPDATE 3: To be precise, it's a "Certification of Live Birth", not a "Certificate of Live Birth".

Justin Rood/ABC: no worries about voting fraud! (Dem-linked experts say; ACORN) - 10/17/08

Justin Rood of ABC News offers "McCain Acorn Fears Overblown/Charges of Voter Fraud Are Out of Proportion to Reality, They Say" (link). As it turns out, the "they" refers to three sources: a Barack Obama contributor, a former director of the leftwing, illegal immigration-supporting People for the American Way, and FactCheck. No others sources are allowed to weigh in.

Barack Obama funded radical Afro-centric schools (Annenberg Challenge, Rev. Wright) - 10/14/08

Just a couple days ago, both Politfact and FactCheck told us that the Chicago Annenberg Challenge ("CAC") - as run by Barack Obama - was only involved in "mainstream" educational projects. Now, it turns out that CAC gave $200,000 to Chicago's Coalition for Improved Education in South Shore ("CIESS"). That ran the South Shore African Village Collaborative ("SSAVC"), which was a network of Afrocentric schools, based on various radical teachings.

Needless to say, BHO's hack apologists like the anti-American Jason Zengerle will try to downplay this (link).

However, it's clear that Barack Obama knew what the schools were about:
Given the precedent of his earlier responses on [Bill Ayers] and [Reverend Jeremiah Wright], Obama might be inclined to deny personal knowledge of the educational philosophy he was so generously funding. Such a denial would not be convincing. For one thing, we have evidence that in 1995, the same year Obama assumed control of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, he publicly rejected "the unrealistic politics of integrationist assimilation," a stance that clearly resonates with both Wright and Carruthers. (See "No Liberation.")

And as noted, Wright had invited Carruthers, Hilliard, and like-minded thinkers to address his Trinity congregants. Wright likes to tick off his connections to these prominent Afrocentrists in sermons, and Obama would surely have heard of them. Reading over SSAVC's Annenberg proposals, Obama could hardly be ignorant of what they were about. And if by some chance Obama overlooked Hilliard's or Carruthers's names, SSAVC's proposals are filled with references to "rites of passage" and "Ptahhotep," dead giveaways for the anti-American and separatist ideological concoction favored by SSAVC.

We know that Obama did read the proposals. Annenberg documents show him commenting on proposal quality. And especially after 1995, when concerns over self-dealing and conflicts of interest forced the Ayers-headed "Collaborative" to distance itself from monetary issues, all funding decisions fell to Obama and the board. Significantly, there was dissent within the board. One business leader and experienced grant-smith characterized the quality of most Annenberg proposals as "awful." (See "The Chicago Annenberg Challenge: The First Three Years," p. 19.) Yet Obama and his very small and divided board kept the money flowing to ideologically extremist groups like the South Shore African Village Collaborative, instead of organizations focused on traditional educational achievement.
UPDATE: There's more on the projects and groups funded by BHO - including ACORN - here.

Bill Ayers in 2006: "education is the motor-force of revolution" (in Venezuela, with Hugo Chavez) - 10/11/08

Bill Ayers (who's just some guy in Barack Obama's neighborhood and/or someone he used to serve on a couple boards with) gave a speech in November 2006 (when Obama was just 45 years old) at the World Education Forum in Caracas, Venezuela. The full text of his speech is at his site: billayers.wordpress.com/2006/11/07/world-education-forum with a copy here, and a discussion here. The speech is a bit... radical.

Justin Rood/ABC News misleads about Sarah Palin divestment from Sudan - 10/03/08

Followers of the MSM's attempt to destroy Sarah Palin have probably noticed a trend: the MSM reports something that's false or misleading and uses the "recollections" of a Democratic politician from Alaska as their authority on the matter. That's then picked up by the blogs and amplified, until such time as a new smear is ready.

Thus it is that Justin Rood of ABC News offers "Record Refutes Palin's Sudan Claim/Palin Administration Against Sudan Divestment Before It Was For It, Documents Show" (link). The main quote source in the article is Alaskan Democratic politician Les Gara, who's also the "validator" for a highly misleading "fact check" from the Barack Obama campaign: factcheck.barackobama.com/factcheck/2008/10/02/debate_reality_check_palin_wro_1.php

That BHO page says "Palin's administration was complicit in killing Darfur divestment bill" and provides a few quotes in support of that claim. However, the BHO campaign "forgets" to point out that Palin later supported the bill when it was reintroduced in the next session.

Taking his cues from the BHO campaign, ABC's Rood says:
In Thursday's debate, Palin said she had advocated the state divest from Sudan. "When I and others in the legislature found out that we had some millions of dollars [of Permanent Fund investments] in Sudan, we called for divestment through legislation of those dollars," Palin said.

But a search of news clips and transcripts from the time do not turn up an instance in which Palin mentioned the Sudanese crisis or concerns about Alaska's investments tied to the ruling regime. Moreover, Palin's administration openly opposed the bill, and stated its opposition in a public hearing on the measure.
Rood himself and the subhead both admit that the most that can be said is that she (i.e., her administration) were against it to begin with for one reason or other. There are only two angles for an honest reporter: why was her administration was against it initially, and does her statement above imply some sort of immediate action rather than allowing for initial opposition. Rood is trying to give the impression that she was outright lying about supporting divestment, something that this April 03, 2008 article shows to be false (link):
Gov. Sarah Palin's administration signaled support Tuesday for the Legislature to order the divestment of Alaska's public funds from Sudan, where thousands of people have died in the Darfur region.

Department of Revenue Commissioner Patrick Galvin endorsed a bill promoting divestment in Sudan at a hearing before the Senate State Affairs Committee.
Also, the bill that ABC discusses was sponsored by Democrat Les Gara and Republican Bob Lynn. The latter couldn't be reached, but Gara is quite eager to pin blame on Palin and lays it on thick:
"At the last minute they showed up" and supported the divestment effort, Gara said. But by then the legislative session was almost over, and there wasn't enough time to get it passed.
Rood's timeline appears to place that "early this year". Yet, the Alaskan legislature began its session on January 15 (link), and according to this, state senator Hollis French was to co-sponsor a new version of the bill. Rood's timeline is obviously off.

For the details, one possibility would be to contact "Save Darfur Anchorage"; if she were the sticking point I'm sure they would have covered it (link). When a Chinese company that invests in the Sudan (Sinopec) wanted a major state contract (link,link) and was rejected for one reason or other, they took her to task for not publicly rejecting that company over Darfur (link); they also met with her over divestment in December 2007 (link).

And, concerning Sinopec, this December 7, 2007 report says:
Alaska Revenue Commissioner Pat Galvin said concerns about either exports or alleged human-rights violations could be valid considerations during the months-long review process of the gas project proposals.
Galvin is also quoted at some of the previous links as a representative of the Palin administration dealing with divestment.

~ Who's pushing the smear ~
* Needless to say, someone else is buying it and trying to resell it: andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/10/the-odd-lies--2.html. He calls that a "lie", when in fact Sully is the liar.
* Martin Kaste of NPR fails to point out that she later supported divestment: npr.org/blogs/politics/2008/10/palins_budget.html
* Americablog does the same: americablog.com/2008/10/sarah-palins-18-lies-tonight.html That same list was posted by Lowell (raisingkaine.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=16416), this site (yestodemocracy.com/yes_to_democracy_no_to_pu/2008/10/sarah-palins-18.html), and a large number of other blogs and forums. Some don't have a link back, and the ones that do link back to Americablog. However, the list screams "sent from the BHO campaign".
* Americablog again, with John Aravosis quoting only the "good parts" of the ABC piece, the ones that don't mention that the Palin administration later came out in support of divestiture: americablog.com/2008/10/abc-palin-lied-last-night-about.html

Sarah Palin/Joe Biden vice presidential debate live coverage 10/2/08 - 10/02/08

Summary: Palin "won", in that she held her own, which was much better than the MSM and the "pundits" expected (and hoped). She didn't eviscerate Biden (even though she got in a subtle dig against Michelle Obama), but simply by being able to match him she hasn't doomed the McCain campaign and her folksy ways probably helped a good deal. She's also shown herself not to be the monster that the MSM has tried to portray her as.

Commencing now..

Biden implies that madrassas aren't schools. I'm sure he knows, but...

Palin had a "good conversation" with Henry Kissinger. Oh my. Was David Rockefeller there too?

TROUBLE IN POWER GLUTES PARADISE! Andrew Sullivan says:

Palin has very little substance but is killing him stylistically. And Biden sounds very liberal. He's throwing this debate away so far... Biden is just foundering... Biden is just dreadful...

Palin points out that she isn't a DC insider; points out that she withdrew state money from a fund that had invested in the Sudan...

CNN's "uncommitted" Ohio voters sure seem to like everything Biden says. In fact, they just redlined when Biden was speaking, and plummeted just as Palin was starting to speak. It picked up again, and it hasn't redlined during a later Biden speech. However, it's not like CNN is above doing things like I suspect they're doing with those "uncommitted" voters... Oddly enough, afterwards several of those "uncommitted voters indicated that the debate had helped them make up their minds. Nervous but gap-toothed Becky Mock was the only one who'd decided to vote for McCain. How incredibly odd that there'd be so many crypto-Obama supporters among CNN's pool of "uncommitted" voters!

Joe Biden spends a lot of time at Home Depot. Most days you can find him in the lumber department, just shootin' the breeze...

"Oh, Joe, there you go again!" Biden laughs at himself...

Palin's specialities will be energy and "working with special needs children", all under the watchful eye of John McCain...

Biden says Dick Cheney has been the most dangerous VP in history. He's probably right, but he said it like he expected a laugh from other DC insiders, only realizing that wasn't who he was speaking to DC insiders...

Inner thought: Is America ready to elect a vice president who talks like a Canadian?

The ticket of "Drastic Change to the Left" and "No Change in 35 Years"...

Biden's house is his total investment? Someone double-check...

Was Biden cracking up or cracking up? Someone get him a Ricola...

McCain voted against "My Heat" program for seniors to allow them to heat their homes? The only search for that brought up a program in England. Is Biden in the right country? [SEE UPDATE 4]

Sarah Palin says she's always been proud to be an American, and so has McCain (and, by implication, she's referring to Michelle Obama's statements and, well, pretty much everything BHO says...)

THE POWER GLUTES HAD A MOOD SWING:

10.23 pm. I'm changing my mind about this debate. Biden is now cleaning up... 10.29 pm. She's just whirring now... 10.30 pm. Biden's sobriety and authority and call for fundamental change is both reasonable and solid. It will resonate, I think...

P.S. Why is Campbell Brown's leg in the foreground on CNN's coverage? I'm sure it's not just eye candy or anything!

UPDATE: A commenter says this unconfirmed bit at meganmcardle.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/10/media_bias.php:

Media not covering Biden's Lebanon gaffe... First he said Hezbollah was kicked out of Lebanon... Biden's suggestion of moving Nato forces into Lebanon is not practical... Nato is seen as a puppet of the U.S in the middle east and that idea of moving nato into lebanon has long been rejected... Sounds like a good idea but the UN blue hats are the only thing the shia in Lebanon will agree to... This was discussed two years ago and Nato and Hezbollah were both against it.

UPDATE 2: Nine out of ten sockpuppets/BHO supporters posing as "reporters" agree: Biden won the debate (despite unmentioned gaffes). They agree that Palin held her own, but she didn't really answer any of the questions. Plus, she got the name of Gen. David D. McKiernan wrong; she said McClellan, presumably having a minor mix-up with the Civil War general. Oh, my. How will Ahmedinejad respect her now?

Kos says (dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/10/2/21471/4403/39/618299) "So who won? Who cares. Nothing happened to change the dynamics of this race." Sully, whose mood swings have temporarily stablized, says (andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/10/the-bottom-line.html) "The campaign's trajectory remains unaltered."

Translated from Obamaian, those mean that Palin clearly won.

UPDATE 3: Reuters says:

Biden, who is known for his verbal miscues, managed to only have one major gaffe, apparently erroneously referring to Hezbollah instead of Syria when he talked about the United States and France coming to the aid of Lebanon... "When we kicked — along with France, we kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon, I said, and Barack said, 'Move NATO forces in there. Fill the vacuum, because if you don't know — if you don't, Hezbollah will control it,'" Biden said.

However, whether the issue in the first update is another gaffe remains open.

Biden might have also gotten his Constitution wrong.

And, straight outta the McCain campaign comes a list of 14 alleged Biden lies (link).

UPDATE 4: Biden was refering to the LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program) program above, not "My Heat". There are a lot of pages taking him to task for voting against increased for that program and it took a while to find this McCain quote:

"Of course I favor increases in LIHEAP or whatever is necessary to help people meet literally incredible challenges this winter. I have always supported whatever is necessary to help those who can't care for themselves." But he said with spending "out of control," such programs should be paid for rather than add to the deficit.

UPDATE 5: There's more on the Lebanon bit at americanthinker.com/blog/2008/10/and_now_the_mother_of_all_bide.html. FactCheck says they both got things wrong here. Fact-checking them is left as an exercise. And, there are eight more Biden "Errors/Lies/Hallucinations" other than those from the McCain campaign here. That points out that the Katie's Restaurant Biden mentioned in his "I'm one of you" speech shut down in the 80s, changing names and owners. Only recently was it reopened as Wings to Go at Katies. He might have meant to refer to a different restaurant, or maybe all the time he spends hanging out in the lumber department at Home Depot has warped his mind.

FactCheck recompresses, removes EXIF data from Obama birth certificate photos - 09/30/08

Back on August 21, FactCheck released photos apparently showing Barack Obama's birth certificate (actually his "Certification of Live Birth" or "COLB"). At the time, I noted that the EXIF information (added by the camera) showed that the pictures had been shot months before and I mentioned such possibilities as them not setting up their camera correctly, a bad battery, and the like.

Sarah Palin rape kit smear: chronology (Mary Pemberton/AP, DailyKos, Americablog, Eric Croft, Obama campaign) - 09/29/08

Since around September 8, various sites and news organizations have tried to push the smear that Sarah Palin knowingly charged victims in Wasilla, Alaska for rape kits, and that her city stood alone in that practice. As it turns out, those claims are false (link). How did this start? A chronology is here [1], and an amplification is below.

One of the "hidden hands" behind the smear appears to be Alaskan Democrats, such as former Democratic state representative Eric Croft, quoted in the AP story on 9/11 and the CNN story on 9/23. The Obama campaign apparently first got involved around 9/15, although they knew about it as early as 9/12 after the 9/11 AP story. Whether they were involved before will probably never be known, absent obtaining emails to bloggers.

Timeline:

5/23/2000: the local Frontiersman paper published this article.

9/01/08: this blog post mentions it, but that doesn't appear to have been noticed by anyone else so its role as the origin of the smear is doubtful.

9/03/08: the blog "Indiscriminate and Arbitrary Deliberation" run by "George" mentions it here. He had only joined Blogger in August, and his other blog covers cooking pies (link). He doesn't appear to get much traffic, he appears to be a Dennis Kucinich fan, and he appears to be "writing above his pay grade". His sidebar links to some leftwing sites and presumably he also comments there. Perhaps this could be the origin of the smear.

9/08/08: this was the day the Frontiersman story "broke" across blogs. The first mention might have been at a site run by wannabe comic Dave Anthony (link). That was apparently posted at 4pm PST. It was picked up by Americablog [2] at 5pm PST and then at 6pm PST by "Steven R" at DailyKos [3] and then by "Jo Fish" at FDL [4]. Other sites involved were Op Edna [5] and Dave Harding at ProgressOhio [6].

9/09/08: it was picked up by Eric Schmeltzer at the Huffington Post [7].

9/11/08: Mary Pemberton of the Associated Press moved the smear from bloggers to major newspapers, offering this:

Former Democratic Rep. Eric Croft, who sponsored that bill, said he was disappointed that simply asking the Wasilla police department to stop didn't work. Croft said he doubts she was unaware of the practice.

9/12/08: Joe Sudbay of Americablog said this [8]:

Listened to the Obama campaign press conference call this morning. The very first question from a reporter is why the campaign hasn't highlighted the rape kit story. The reporter said, every time I tell someone that story they look at me like I said there is no Santa Claus... Obama campaign chief spokesman Bill Burton's response... "We're familiar with it. Saw the AP story. We are familiar with it."

If anyone knows which "reporter" it was that was trying to devise smears for the BHO campaign, please leave a comment.

9/15/08: the Barack Obama campaign began looking for a rape victim to appear in a TV ad (link).

Kiersten Steward, director of public policy at the Family Violence Prevention Fund, served as a conduit between the campaign and victims and women's advocates... though she never was told about the nature of the commercial, [victims advocate Mikele Shelton-Knight] said she thought that the focus of the ad may be about the practice in Wasilla, Alaska, to charge rape victims to pay for their own exams... Shelton-Knight said Palin should not be criticized for having governed a city with such a law as they were quite common until recent years... Alaska didn't pass a bill until 2000 requiring state and local law endorcement to pay for the exams. And Shelton-Knight said it wasn't until lobbying by her and others that Virginia last year put the financial burden on localities. Many states still charge victims for the cost of the exam.

9/21/08: Chicago writer Anne K. Ream offers "Fault lines in feminism" (link), continuing the smear.

9/23/08: Jessica Yellin of CNN offers "Palin's town charged women for rape exams" (link). From the second link in this post:

[Despite Croft's other claims] Farther down in the story, CNN does reveal that there are no records and no proof that Palin ever even knew about this charging the victim policy. CNN also finally mentions that Wasilla wasn't the only town in Alaska that had this policy.

9/24/08: FactCheck raises questions about the smear (link), and says:

Eric Croft, a former Alaska state representative who sponsored the 2000 legislation, told CNN that "I find it hard to believe that for six months a small town, a police chief, would lead the fight against a statewide piece of legislation receiving unanimous support and the mayor not know about it." But Croft, a Democrat, says he does not recall discussing the issue with Palin at the time.

9/25/08: the New York Times' "Editorial Observer" Dorothy Samuels continues the smear in "Wasilla Watch: Sarah Palin and the Rape Kits" (link). Eric Croft makes an appearance there as well.

10/01/08: Even after all of the above, the Boston Globe editorial "Wasilla made rape victims pay" continues the lies (link).

[1] Same article here:
newsbusters.org/blogs/warner-todd-huston/2008/09/24/
old-media-pushes-false-rape-kit-charge-against-gov-palin
[2] americablog.com/2008/09/wasilla-charged-rape-victims-for-their.html
[3] That post got 395 Diggs: dailykos.com/story/2008/9/8/20552/56258/308/591588
[4] firedoglake.com/2008/09/08/norquists-bathtub
[5] That post got 144 Diggs: opedna.com/2008/09/08/
wasilla-police-billed-sexual-assault-victims-for-rape-kits
[6] progressohio.org/page/community/post/daveharding/CHRJ
[7] huffingtonpost.com/eric-schmeltzer/palins-wasilla-to-rape-vi_b_125047.html
[8] americablog.com/2008/09/its-about-rape-kits-stupid.html

Barack Obama threatens licenses of stations running NRA ad (National Rifle Association) - 09/25/08

The National Rifle Association is running an advertising campaign (their site) highlighting what they say is Barack Obama's "10 Point Plan to 'Change' the Second Amendment". Their various claims involve him wanting to ban handguns, certain types of ammunition, and so forth. Needless to say, the Obama campaign disagrees, and in fact they've gone as far as issue a not-so-veiled threat against the licenses of those radio stations that are running the ad.

FactCheck looks, can't find "Chicago Way" (McCain Obama ad) - 09/23/08

Viveca Novak and Justin Bank of Fact Check offer "Guilt and Associations/McCain once again tries to tar Obama with the controversies of others" about the John McCain ad "Chicago Machine" (factcheck.org/elections-2008/guilt_and_associations.html). The ad links Barack Obama to William Daley, Emil Jones, Tony Rezko, Rod Blagojevich. Per them, the first isn't dirty, the second is only a little dirty, and there's no evidence that BHO was involved in any funny business with the last two.

John McCain ad was right and Barack Obama, MSM misled about BHO's kindergartener sex education bill - 09/16/08

Earlier this month the John McCain campaign released an ad (link, video link) saying in part:
"Obama's one accomplishment?

Legislation to teach "comprehensive sex education" to kindergartners.

Learning about sex before learning to read?

Barack Obama.
This has led to a wide variety of BHO supporters - specifically those in the MSM - calling McCain a liar. To a certain extent, they have somewhat of a point: the bill might not be an "accomplishment" for BHO since he was just a supporter and not a co-sponsor and since it never passed. And, the McCain campaign might not have correctly contextualized some of the other quotes they provide in the ad relating to BHO's educational plans.

However, their complaints don't usually involve those points but instead revolve around the middle sentences quoted above; they try to pretend that kindergarteners were just covered by the bill in order to prevent abuse when in fact the bill was much more far-reaching than BHO and his helpers would have you believe. For an example of what Obama would have you believe, see this or this quote from campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki (link):
"Barack Obama supports sensible, community-driven education for children because, among other things, he believes it could help protect them from pedophiles. A child's knowledge of the difference between appropriate and inappropriate touching is crucial to keeping them safe from predators."
Now, for the truth about the bill, read this:
Within moments of the ad's appearance, the Obama campaign called it "shameful and downright perverse." The legislation in question, a bill [Senate Bill 99] in the Illinois State Senate that was supported but not sponsored by Obama, was, according to Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton, "written to protect young children from sexual predators" and had nothing to do with comprehensive sex education for kindergartners...

Newspaper, magazine, and television commentators quickly piled on. "The kindergarten ad flat-out lies," wrote the New York Times, arguing that "at most, kindergarteners were to be taught the dangers of sexual predators." The Washington Post wrote that "McCain's 'Education' Spot is Dishonest, Deceptive." And in a column in The Hill, the influential blogger Josh Marshall called the sex-education spot "a rancid, race-baiting ad based on [a] lie. Willie Horton looks mild by comparison."
Read the rest, which includes a discussion of how what was originally meant for those in the sixth grade and up was changed to everyone in K-12 because urban areas might require different topics to be covered than more rural areas. The article also includes Byron York trying to get in touch with three of the four original sponsors and for some unknown reason or other not getting his calls returned. Only one of the four spoke with him about the bill:
After we discussed other aspects of the bill, I told [original co-sponsor state senator Iris Martinez] that reading the bill, I just didn't see it as being exclusively, or even mostly, about inappropriate touching. "I didn't see it that way, either," Martinez said. "It's just more information about a whole variety of things that have to go into a sex education class, the things that are outdated that you want to amend with things that are much more current."

So, I asked, you didn't see it specifically as being about inappropriate touching?

"Absolutely not."
That doesn't mean that the parts involving kindergarteners wouldn't be restricted to just inappropriate touching. However, the age range was lowered specifically to allow different school districts to offer teaching appropriate to their areas, and thus those in lower grades could be taught much more than BHO is letting on. For a discussion of that, see this or this.

A list of just some of those who've helped Barack Obama hide the truth about the bill is in the extended entry:



* Adam Nagourney and Jeff Zeleny of the New York Times say the ad "misleadingly accused Obama of endorsing sex education for kindergarten students" (link)

* A New York Times editorial falsely states "At most, kindergarteners were to be taught the dangers of sexual predators." (link) What they could have been taught was left up to the localities.

* Following the party line boilerplate, Paul Krugman says 'In reality, he supported legislation calling for "age and developmentally appropriate education"; in the case of young children, that would have meant guidance to help them avoid sexual predators.'

* Larry Rohter of the New York Times pretends the ad was implying that "comprehensive" meant that kindergarteners would receive the information as high school students; he's probably the only person coming to that conclusion. He also takes Obama's word for his understanding of the bill rather than discussing what the bill actually says and what others intended by it (link).

* Emi Kolawole of FactCheck correctly points out some of the minor errors in the ad, but says 'It's true that the phrase "comprehensive sex education" appeared in the bill, but little else in McCain's claim is accurate.' (link)

* Michael Scherer of Time says "[t]he sex-education bill in question had called only for age-appropriate instruction..."

* Brave New Films promotes a Planned Parenthood ad (alternet.org/blogs/video/98697/ planned_parenthood_rips_into_mccain_for_sex-ed_smear_campaign): 'In an ad, they say that Obama was helping children protect themselves from sex offenders, while McCain seemingly doesn't care.'

* Nedra Pickler and Charles Babbington of the Associated Press claim that the ad "misrepresent[ed] [BHO's] position on sex education for kindergartners." (link). That's not completely inaccurate, but it fails to note that BHO either hasn't read, hasn't understood, or is misrepresenting the bill.

* Joe Garofali of the San Francisco Chronicle falsely states 'Obama doesn't support explicit sex education for kindergarteners. The bill -- which never was passed out of the Illinois legislature --included teaching "age-appropriate sex education" -- you know, what is inappropriate touching, that sort of stuff'. (link)

* Richard Cohen offered "The Ugly New McCain" (link) and called the ad a "lie". That referenced a McCain appearance on The View (!) where Joy Behar called it a lie as well.

* "Hilzoy" of the Washington Monthly pretends it was just about inappropriate touching (link).

* Joe Sudbay tries to pretend it was just about preventing abuse (americablog.com/2008/09/mccain-got-nasty-defending-his-negative.html)

* Democratic consultant Mark Mellman says "There is not an iota of reality in McCain's attack on Obama's supporting comprehensive sex education for kindergartners. As we all know, he voted to help children avoid sexual predators."

* A Tampa Bay Tribune editorial says 'The facts: Obama, while a state lawmaker in Illinois, supported a measure to provide older students with age and developmentally appropriate sex education. Younger children, such as those kindergarten-age, would be taught "age-appropriate" things such as how to protect themselves from sexual predators.'

* A Minneapolis Star-Tribune editorial says "There is no evidence that Obama supported explicit sex education in kindergarten, as a McCain ad implied."

* Not even understanding BHO talking points, Cox Newspapers columnist Tom Teepen says 'No, as an Illinois state legislator Obama did not push for "comprehensive sex education" for kindergarteners. He supported a proposal for age appropriate sex education -- which, for kindergarteners, would have meant only making them aware of the possibility of sex abuse and teaching them means to counter it.'

UPDATE:
* Darrell West from the Brookings Institution falsely states "The McCain campaign ran another spot erroneously claiming Obama favored comprehensive sex education for kindergarteners." (link)

* It's an Anderson Cooper from CNN and "FactCheck" two-fer. CNN aired a "Fact Checking" episode that hewed to the party line (link):
[RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT]: Did Obama want to teach sex education to kindergartners? Not really. The programming question was intended to teach kids how to avoid sexual predators, says the nonpartisan group FactCheck.org.

VIVECA NOVAK, FACTCHECK.ORG: What he wanted to do was increase the range of some -- some sort of sex education, K-12. But the kind of thing he was interested in having kids at a young age learn about was inappropriate sexual advances that might be made against them.
What BHO says he wants and what was in the bill he voted for are, of course, two entirely different things.

FactCheck presents real Barack Obama birth certificate. Or do they... - 08/21/08

The twists and turns surrounding Barack Obama's birth certificate appear to have ended with FactCheck.org claiming that they've seen and handled the real certificate, complete with an official stamp and everything. They've even got pictures here. Well, that ends that!

Except, all they have is the "Certification of Live Birth" (known in the trade as a "COLB"), and not the original birth certificate or a "long form" certificate containing things like parents' cities, etc. And, for some strange reason - as pointed out in a comment here - the EXIF information on their photos shows that at least the one I looked at was taken March 12 of this year at 10:42pm. That could be a battery-related problem, a setup problem, or it could be something else.

And, needless to say, "Texas Darlin'" has more questions, such as:

Why did Janice Okubo tell a reporter that the COLB was ordered "this month" (June 2008 ) if it was ordered in June 2007?

She also points out that FactCheck is part of the Annenberg Foundation; their primary funding is from that organization. Earlier in the day she claimed they, Obama, and ACORN were colluding in some way.

On a sidenote, I haven't found FactCheck completely credible.

Fact Check also has some fun with an announcement that appeared in a Honolulu newspaper a weak after BHO's birth, mocking the idea that it could have been part of a conspiracy. Another possibility is that it was planted, in case of divorce (link).

UPDATE: Since precision is necessary in this case, it's a "Certification of Live Birth", not a "Certificate of Live Birth" as previously stated.

Barack Obama's "civilian national security force" (????) - 07/12/08

Back on July 2, Barack Obama read his "public service" address, and it contained this line that hasn't received much notice:

"We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we've set... We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well funded."

What the Sam Hill? There's nothing at his Service page (barackobama.com/issues/service) discussing anything near such a program. He wants to increase the size of Americorps, create a "Homeland Security Corps", create other specialized groups, and give more power and equipment to the Reserves and Guard. But, considering that the U.S. military budget is nearly half a trillion dollars and they've got bunker busters and nuclear submarines and things like that, one might expect some sort of inkling of a plan.

And, of course, there's the creepy nature of his proposal, but nothing new there.

UPDATE: VOA News also has the BHO quote here. You can hear the quote at around the 16 minute mark of the video below. As discussed here, the quote is missing from the remarks as prepared for delivery as printed in the Denver Post and the WSJ. Why he'd say something in his speech that was different from the prepared remarks isn't clear, and it will be interesting to see which version the campaign puts on their website, if they ever do put it on their site.

UPDATE 2: Also see this discussion of the funding for whatever BHO was proposing. And see these:

Barack Obama, Rahm Emanuel want mandatory community service?; contradicts earlier statements; 100 hours/year in college

Obama spins Civilian National Security Force as for Iraq rebuilding

Brooks Jackson/FactCheck spins Obama's Civilian National Security Force

Lindsey Graham denies NAU, smears Buddy Witherspoon (Beth Brotherton/WYFF; Robert Morris/Myrtle Beach Online) - 05/28/08

Buddy Witherspoon is a dentist from Columbia, South Carolina who's challenging Senator Lindsay Graham, and he's apparently basing his campaign around opposition to illegal immigration and also opposition to the North American Union.

Rather than asking for evidence of plans for a NAU and doing research, Beth Brotherton from WYFF News 4 turned to Graham:
"I think most Americans would find it hard to believe, it is hard to believe, a baseless Internet rumor...

Barack Obama lies, falsely accuses Dobbs, Limbaugh of inciting hate crimes - 05/23/08

At a Florida fundraiser yesterday, Barack Obama said this:
"A certain segment has basically been feeding a kind of xenophobia. There's a reason why hate crimes against Hispanic people doubled last year... If you have people like Lou Dobbs and Rush Limbaugh ginning things up, it's not surprising that would happen."
Those statements are beyond reprehensible, and come close to accusing Dobbs and Limbaugh of breaking the law. And, the reason he did it is because he's completely corrupt, hoping to obtain political power by supporting illegal immigration. Rather than supporting our laws as a U.S. Senator should, he smears those who oppose law-breaking.

Moreover, Obama lied yet again. See how the SPLC's "The Year in Hate" misled about FBI hate crime statistics. See also the FactCheck discussion of one of the February debates:
However, Obama was being overly dramatic when he said, "we have seen hate crimes skyrocket in the wake of the immigration debate."

That's saying a bit much. When we asked his campaign for documentation, they pointed us to the most recent FBI statistics, which actually show that the number of incidents classified officially as "hate crimes" went up 7.8 percent in 2006. (Figures for 2007, which would show what occurred during and after the highly charged debate on the House and Senate immigration bills last year, won't be available until much later in 2008.)

We think a 7.8 percent increase hardly qualifies as a "skyrocket." Looking only at the incidents in which Hispanics were targeted, "hate crimes" rose a bit more, 10.3 percent, but that's hardly a rocket-propelled rise either. Furthermore, the number of anti-Hispanic incidents fluctuates widely from year to year. During the last 11 years, the number of incidents nationwide has bounced around between a low of 426 in 2003 and a high of 597 in 2001, according to the FBI Uniform Crime Reports. It was 576 in 2006.
UPDATE: Here's a segment from the Lou Dobbs show on Obama's lie. Note the figures from the FBI that show that Obama lied, and note also that the Obama campaign couldn't tell them where Obama got his statistics:

Is Barack Obama a Muslim who practices Islam and who attended a madrassa? - 01/27/08

Is Barack Obama a Muslim who practices Islam and who attended a madrassa (madrasa) in Indonesia? Despite whatever emails you might have received, it appears that the answer to that is no. According to him, he's a "committed Christian" (link). His church is the Trinity United Church of Christ, whose pastor has made some rather questionable statements.

Barack Obama's extremist church? (Trinity United Church of Christ) - 01/17/08

Does Barack Obama belong to an anti-white, far-left church? Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright of Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ certainly appears to have made some interesting statements (link, link, link). The last includes excerpts from Obama's book.

Brooks Jackson of FactCheck, fact checked (Newt Gingrich on Senate amnesty) - 06/27/07

Brooks Jackson, Emi Kolawole & Lori Robertson of FactCheck.org offer "Gingrich Distorts Immigration Bill".

"Overstating Border Reform's Price" doesn't tell whole story - 09/16/06

Robert Greenstein and James Horney of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities offer "Overstating Border Reform's Price". It's strikingly similar to the Palm Beach Post editorial "Real immigration reform also comes at good price" of a couple weeks ago.

"Need some wood?" - 10/08/04

I'm sure all America got quite a laugh out of that Bush line in last night's debate. Unfortunately:


...Kerry startled Bush by saying that the president is counted as a small business for tax purposes because he once earned $84 from a timber company he owns.

"I own a timber company?" Bush asked.

Let's all go to FactCheck.org - 10/06/04

From FactCheck.org (watch that TLD!):


Edwards said Halliburton "did business with Libya and Iran, two sworn enemies of the United States" and is now "under investigation for having bribed foreign officials" while Cheney was CEO.

  • Iran: Indeed, Halliburton has said it does about $30 million to $40 million in oilfield service business in Iran annually through a subsidiary, Halliburton Products and Services Ltd.

10/5 VP Debate thread - 10/05/04

Just answer the question, please... What about what Bremer said? Two minutes later, Cheney had not only not answered her question, he said he'd do it all over again. He might have left some wiggle room there; perhaps he wouldn't have done it exactly the same way...

Edwards is stressing that he and Kerry support the troops... Edwards is bringing up Tora Bora just like Kerry did...

Cheney is bringing up Kerry's U.N. comments...