30 July 2009

Hiatus, Interrupted

Focusing on The Project; consequently, very little time spent on m, p, & g s (or even following the news as closely as desired). Once The Project concludes, expect regular updates and some (possibly) striking revelations.

But first, some oddities:

--many hits on an old post about Stephen King and the highbrow/lowbrow divide, thanks to visitors from The Seated View.

--Lots of hits on the post about the "Sarah Obama tape"

--Many, many hits on the "If I wanted to visit Pakistan in 1981" post.
(these last two really puzzle me, as the rumors they discuss have been repeatedly and thoroughly disproven, beginning last winter).

--lots of people searching for "Birther jokes." I'm not sure how they end up here.

Anyway, more later. Best to ye.

28 July 2009

Hawaii Reaffirms Obama Legitimacy

For the second time (the first was in October 2008), Hawaii's Director of Health, Dr. Chiyome Fukino, verifies that President Obama was, indeed, born in Hawaii, per The Honolulu Advertiser.

The Honolulu Advertiser story also offers details on how the state deals with vital records, including who is, or isn't, permitted to view the original versions of items such as birth certificates, and how the state's COLB formatting has changed over time (the COLB posted online by the Obama campaign reflects the most recent incarnation of the COLB).

It also deflates theories that the Obama birth announcements, which appeared in the Advertiser as well as the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, were "phoned in" from elsewhere: Janice Okubo, the spokesman for the Hawaii Health Department, confirms that such announcements "were not sent to the newspapers by the general public but by the Health Department, which received the information directly from hospitals," (HA). She adds that: "Birth announcements from the public ran elsewhere in both papers and usually included information such as the newborn's name, weight and time of birth" (HA).

So there you go.

Aside: Here is The Guardian's overview of the Birther movement.

24 July 2009

McCain's Camp Checked Out Birther Claims

And came up with nada.

David Weigel reveals that lawyers working with the McCain Campaign's general counsel "monitered" the Birther lawsuits. They did a little investigating of their own as well:

While they ruled out any chance of the ‘birther’ lawsuits holding up in court, lawyers for the McCain campaign did check into the rumors about Obama’s birth and the assertions made by Berg and others. “To the extent that we could, we looked into the substantive side of these allegations,” said [Trevor] Potter. “We never saw any evidence that then-Senator Obama had been born outside of the United States. We saw rumors, but nothing that could be sourced to evidence. There were no statements and no documents that suggested he was born somewhere else. On the other side, there was proof that he was born in Hawaii. There was a certificate issued by the state’s Department of Health, and the responsible official in the state saying that he had personally seen the original certificate. There was a birth announcement in the Honolulu Advertiser, which would be very difficult to invent or plant 47 years in advance.” (Washington Independent)

It's worth your time to read Weigel's entire article, which soundly (and sanely) debunks most of the various Birther claims. While this won't stop the more fervent Birthers, it might help check the mainstream "interest" in the story.

05 July 2009

FBI: No Palin Investigation

There's been a flurry of speculation over Palin's decision to resign her office. One supposition might now be struck off: an FBI agent flat out denies any investigation into the Governor's dealings:
the FBI's Alaska spokesman said the bureau had no investigation into Palin for her activities as governor, as mayor or in any other capacity.

"There is absolutely no truth to those rumors that we're investigating her or getting ready to indict her," Special Agent Eric Gonzalez said in a phone interview Saturday. "It's just not true." He added that there was "no wiggle room" in his comments for any kind of inquiry. (L A Times)
Pretty unequivocal.