Third Party & Independents Archives

Who's Job Is It Anyway?

Three recent troubling lawsuit decisions have gotten me wondering who is responsible for ensuring that our presidential candidates meet the legal requirements of the office they are attempting to win? After some investigation, it appears that at the present time, that would be ‘no one’.

It seems a bit ridiculous. There are very few actual legal requirements for the office of President of the United States. Yet there appears to be no one who is responsible for making sure that the candidates meet those requirements before an election. Those requirements are:

No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

In addition, the 22nd amendment adds another requirement:

No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once.

Those seem like very reasonable requirements and easy to check out, but the first requirement seems to be a little confusing in today’s time. What does Natural Born Citizen actually mean, legally?

Initially, under the first naturalization law passed in 1790, children of citizens born overseas or otherwise outside of the of the limits of the United States were considered Natural Born Citizens. However, the laws and designations have changed over time to mean possibly different things. Legally we have to use the definition of the laws at the time a person was born to determine if they fall into the proper legal citizen category.

However, three recent decisions, Robinson v Bowen (2008), Hollander v McCain (2008) and Berg v Obama (2008) have all ended the same way. With no discussion on the merits of the complaint but rather a finding that US Citizens have no standing to call into question the meeting of the legal requirements of President of the United States. We, the people, are told that it is none of our business.

I find that answer troubling. Let’s, for example, say that neither John McCain (who was born in Panama) and Obama (who may or may not have been born in Kenya and may or may not have given up citizenship when enrolled in an Indonesian school that would not have allowed dual citizenship) are eligible to hold the office of the President of the United States. At what point does this get determined and by whom?

First place one may think to look would be to the Federal Election Commission.

The FEC is an independent regulatory agency established in 1975 to administer and enforce the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA). That statute limits the sources and amounts of the contributions used to finance federal elections, requires public disclosure of campaign finance information and--in tandem with the Primary Matching Payment Act and the Presidential Election Campaign Fund Act--provides for the public funding of Presidential elections.

Unfortunately, they are not charged with determining the legal ability of an individual to run for President, they only ensure that the financing of those campaigns is done legally.

Philip J Berg, a moderate Democrat (who also filed suit against George Bush for being complicit in the 9/11 attacks and also worked hard in challenging the 2000 election results), brought a suit originally in the spring but was told that the suit then had no merit because Obama was not an official candidate. So, when he was nominated officially, he is told that he has no standing because he is just a single citizen and that any harm “is too vague and its effects too attenuated to confer standing on any and all voters”. This decision was based on the earlier decision in Hollander v McCain (2008) which was thrown out with a similar finding. In recent US Supreme Court decisions, it has been determined that in questioning government, individual citizens do not meet Aritcle III of the U.S. Constitution, limiting federal judicial power to handling cases and controversies in which plaintiffs have clear standing through specific, personal injury.

In the decision, the judge suggests that we seek a means to challenge the legal standing of a candidate through Congress, that they should write laws allowing for that to occur. What this means, very plainly, is that there currently is NO WAY for anyone to challenge that a candidate for the office of President of the United States is legally allowed to take the office or not. There is no organization, no office, no person, no legal body anywhere that can say that a candidate, or indeed a sitting President, can or cannot hold that office.

"Until that time," Surrick says, "voters do not have standing to bring the sort of challenge that Plaintiff attempts to bring."

Does anyone, at all, feel good about these decisions? Does anyone think that we should at least ensure that the constitution is being upheld by making sure that someone has that responsibility before a candidate puts their name on a ballot?

In one area I agree with Philip Berg. He asks us what constitutional crisis will we encounter if, after we elect someone, it is determined that they are not legally allowed to hold that office. I concur, and believe that this is the sort of thing that should be dealt with long before they are brought to the public for voting on.

Posted by Rhinehold at October 29, 2008 4:14 PM
Comments
Comment #268718

To answer Rhinehold’s repetition of an old talking point, Obama was born in Kenya. The birth certificate is valid.

Regarding the overall point of the post, I agree that it is an awfully strange situation to be in. I don’t like that no one seemingly has oversight on this.

Posted by: LawnBoy at October 29, 2008 4:36 PM
Comment #268720

Ack! I meant was not born in Kenya.

Need to preview…

Posted by: LawnBoy at October 29, 2008 4:40 PM
Comment #268721

Lawnboy,

I made no statement about what I think to be the case or not, to be frank I am unsure about the legal status of both candidates. No one has ruled on the legality of either of them and I find that very troubling. But your (and fightthesmears.com’s) simple answer to the troubling questions are not as simple as you want them to be.

So answer these, Lawnboy. Which hospital was Obama born in? We have had 3 answers from him family. Why does his Paternal grandmother say he was born in Kenya? Why is the original birth certificate blocked from being viewed by the Governor of Hawaii? Why is the Kenyan documents about Obama blocked until after the election? Is the reissue that is available for viewing (and I agree that it is valid) a statement of birth or a statement of live birth from a hospital? Do you understand the difference? Did Obama have to give up his citizenship when enrolled in school in Indonesia (this would have been required to have been done by his adopted father for him) and in doing so did he reinstate his citizenship when he returned to the US, something that would be required for him to do in order to hold the office of US Senate and should be on file in the State Department?

The fact is that no one has, or is willing, to answer those questions.

But I am glad that we can agree that the fact that we have no oversight and we, as individual citizens have no recourse to ensure that our candidates are legally allowed to hold the office in question, is very troubling indeed.

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 29, 2008 4:45 PM
Comment #268722

And, of course, we aren’t letting McCain off of the hook either. For the purposes of citizenship, US Military bases are not considered US soil. So the question still remains about being a Natural Born Citizen. It is unfortunately not that simple. :( I’ve seen discussions that you are only a citizen at birth if BOTH parents are citizens, not just one. It is all very confusing and why, I think, we need someone who is legally determining this. And not just federal judges who are willing to have one side or the other of a lawsuit tell them what can and can’t be admitted into evidence as was done recently in an RIAA lawsuit.

And btw, the fact that the ruling was faxed to the judged who signed it and then faxed back out to the plaintiff is very troubling and another example of the problem we are facing here.

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 29, 2008 4:56 PM
Comment #268723

Rhinehold,

It’s easy to invent questions to make something look sinister. It’s easy to look at a legal document that specifies the city and state of birth and call it into question because it doesn’t contain information it doesn’t need to have (the hospital). It’s easy to make normal confusion amongst family members about events 46 years ago into a conspiracy.

However, I expected better from you.

Oh well.

Posted by: LawnBoy at October 29, 2008 4:58 PM
Comment #268724

Lawnboy,

Again, I am not inventing questions, I’m looking for answers to legitimate questions that exist. And you have none.

A certificate of birth can be issued days after a birth occurs, ie a home birth. Those are different than birth certificates that are issued at a hospital where a birth takes place.

Obama’s paternal grandmother says that Obama’s mother was prevented from flying to the US because of the late state of her pregnancy, that she had Obama in Kenya and then flew back to Hawaii and had the birth recorded. And it is completely possible that Obama doesn’t know this and his mother is no longer with us to confirm or deny. All we have to go on is what we have and the citizens of the US are denied access to that information by Obama and his staff, the governor of Hawaii and the Kenyan authorities.

The question is what really happened and we should be trying to find out the answers because they are important legally. But we don’t because many of us don’t WANT any answer than the one we already have. What happened to the desire to seek knowledge and the truth? Oh yeah, that goes out the window when partisanship is involved.

I have no way of being able to say one way or another that either candidate is eligible to hold the office that they are seeking. And apparently no one has the authority to rule on that either. Which puts us in a very very bad situation. One not helped by having a candidate do everything in their power not to answer the questions that the citizens they seek to represent as President ask of them.

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 29, 2008 5:08 PM
Comment #268726
Again, I am not inventing questions, I’m looking for answers to legitimate questions that exist.

The common trope of a conspiracy theorist. Joe Rogan says the same thing all the time.

Why don’t you have any citations for your claims? Oh yeah, that goes out the window when partisanship is involved.

Posted by: LawnBoy at October 29, 2008 5:14 PM
Comment #268727

Because this is not an article about the validity of the charges. Had it been one it would have been more indepth and included independantly sourced documentation about them. Since it is not, it does not. And they are not my claims. They are the claims of a Democrat (no one can argue he is a republican in any sense of the word). Sorry to spoil your fun.

I know you can’t accept that others might have questions that you do not, but that is not my problem. Obama, however, should be concerned that people who he may about to become leader of has concerns of his legitimacy, much like Bush should have had concerns and didn’t. He should at least allow for the press to have access to his official birth record or ask Kenya to release the information they have on him. But he does not. To them, it is just enough to get elected. But we were told that Obama was different. Apparently not so.

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 29, 2008 5:27 PM
Comment #268728

Oh, come on. You make an outlandish claim in your article which you later embellish with more speculative detail, and you say you don’t need to cite them?

Funny.

That’s a great way of spreading rumors, smears, and innuendo without taking any responsibility. Well done.

Posted by: LawnBoy at October 29, 2008 5:41 PM
Comment #268733

I think Rhinehold asks a valid question. If a citizen does not have legal standing to challenge a candidate who does? Does another candidate? It seems the damage that my occur to an opponent isn’t vague.

Posted by: googlumpugus at October 29, 2008 6:33 PM
Comment #268735

This question has been asked and answered numerous times. How difficult is it, and how many times more will it take?

http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/citizen.asp

Posted by: janedoe at October 29, 2008 6:52 PM
Comment #268737

Janedoe,

Except Snopes doesn’t actually answer the questions asked. So I’m not sure where this is a valid link in any regard.

So perhaps answering the asked questions just one time would be enough if anyone would be willing to do that.

What I find interesting is that all four candidates seem to be hiding information from the press. McCain won’t let people see his medical records, neither will Biden. Palin is sequestered from the press way too much and Obama is refusing to allow anyone to look at his original birth certificate to see if it is a live birth or statement of birth certificate.

And of course Kerry and Bush had similar issues with allowing people to look into their past.

It just boggles the mind…

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 29, 2008 6:58 PM
Comment #268740
Which hospital was Obama born in? We have had 3 answers from him family.

The funny thing is that you consider this suspicious. Do you think all of your relatives know in which hospital you were born? Do you know where all of your relatives were born?

I know that I have no idea where my father, sister, nieces, and nephew were born. I also have only a chance at being right if asked where my mother and my wife were born, and I’m not even sure I know at which hospital I was born without asking around. I also wouldn’t expect anyone but my parents to know where I was born these decades later.

This is the problem with lots of conspiracy theories; small understandable discrepancies of memory are blown into “evidence”. There are some questions that reasonably don’t have a precise answer. That’s not proof of anything sinister.

Posted by: LawnBoy at October 29, 2008 7:32 PM
Comment #268741

Obama did allow a view of his original Birth Certificate…he just won’t let YOU see it. It’s okay, you probably don’t need to see it anyway.

I think we can make up questions until we are blue in the face, but when it all boils down, most of them are insignificant. All in public life are vetted by either the NSA

Posted by: Marysdude at October 29, 2008 7:39 PM
Comment #268742
The funny thing is that you consider this suspicious. Do you think all of your relatives know in which hospital you were born?

They do, and two of the different answers were from the same person… Yes, I find that suspicious.

Obama did allow a view of his original Birth Certificate…he just won’t let YOU see it. It’s okay, you probably don’t need to see it anyway.

Ok, so he may be MY president and he is asking for ME to vote for him, but he doesn’t think I need to see his qualifications?

That instills confidence in me in his ability to lead and ‘bring us all together’, thanks.

I think we can make up questions until we are blue in the face, but when it all boils down, most of them are insignificant.

Following the constitution isn’t really ‘insignificant’ in my book…

As for the NSA vetting them, can you provide evidence of that because I am pretty sure that they don’t determine if the candidate is qualified as per the constitution, they don’t have that authority. As per the point of my post, no one does apparently.

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 29, 2008 7:47 PM
Comment #268743
This is the problem with lots of conspiracy theories; small understandable discrepancies of memory are blown into “evidence”. There are some questions that reasonably don’t have a precise answer. That’s not proof of anything sinister.

LawnBoy, I am not suggesting a conspiracy theory. I ask that legitimate questions be answered. If the answer is ‘heck, we don’t know’ then fine. But to not answer is worse, don’t you think?

To block attempts to look at the document that may put it all to bed, or potentially raise more questions, doesn’t lead one to believe that the latter is the case but gives credence to the former…

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 29, 2008 7:49 PM
Comment #268746

I forget where I saw it but many sites have posted the clip of a birth announcement for Barack Obama that appeared in a Hawaii newspaper. If he was planning to hid his true citizenship so he could be President some day then the conspiracy started when he was an infant. The idea is a joke that a baby Obama was already planning to run for president and hid the truth.

I think there’s a good chance that he was a citizen of another country some time in between, but it doesn’t matter so long as he was born in the US and is a citizen now. The point is moot.

As for McCain, he was born in Panama, a US territory, and that’s because his father was an Admiral. He has certainly never claimed to be a citizen of Panama, and it would be ridiculous to start saying that Americans born to the military stationed overseas are not eligible. Anybody trying to make that case will look pretty awful.

The oversight question that worries me the most is not the citizenship question but campaign finance, a bunch of laws on the books that you’re a sucker to follow since the commission overseeing them has come right and said they won’t enforce them.

Right now we have Barack Obama racking up millions of dollars from foreigners, fake individuals, and individuals the same credit card under multiple names to go way beyond the donation limits under the law. Every day we see more stories about this in the media, but those responsible for overseeing campaign donations have declared that they’re bipartisan and it would be “too political” to get involved in the middle of an election.

This is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. We have these laws about political spending but it’s too political to police them. What this means is that you can buy an election with illegally obtained funds and at worst pay a fine when it’s all over. And you know that fine would be paid by rich supporters. And if anybody got convicted of anything, all they’d need is a presidential pardon. It’s ridiculous, and I have no idea why people aren’t outraged over this.

Posted by: Liam at October 29, 2008 8:30 PM
Comment #268747

This discussion about Obama’s citizenship is truly bizarre. Go to Factcheck. They have seen the certified document. They have felt the raised embossed seal, etc. Diversion, diversion…Sad. In fact pathetic.

Posted by: Rich at October 29, 2008 8:44 PM
Comment #268748
I forget where I saw it but many sites have posted the clip of a birth announcement for Barack Obama that appeared in a Hawaii newspaper.

Yes, there was a birth announcement in a Hawaii newspaper.

I think there’s a good chance that he was a citizen of another country some time in between, but it doesn’t matter so long as he was born in the US and is a citizen now.

Not if he had to renounce his citizenship to attend an Indonesian school, in which case he would have to reclaim it when he returned and there would be a State Department form in existence for that. As of this date, that has not surfaced. The question was how did he attend the Indonesian school which would have required that he give up his US citizenship to attend without doing so? Or did he and not do what he needed when he returned, not knowing the law in this regard? It is far from a ‘moot point’.

As for McCain, he was born in Panama, a US territory, and that’s because his father was an Admiral. He has certainly never claimed to be a citizen of Panama, and it would be ridiculous to start saying that Americans born to the military stationed overseas are not eligible.

Several have made the claim and the State Department states that a military base is not considered US Soil for the issue of citizenship. Both of his parents were citizens, so that may put the question out of the naturally born area, but if we had an organization that handled this and could make that determination. Unfortunately we do not.

Right now we have Barack Obama racking up millions of dollars from foreigners, fake individuals, and individuals the same credit card under multiple names to go way beyond the donation limits under the law.

Yes, I saw this story today as well, very interesting but they are assuring us that they are catching it ‘on the back end’.

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 29, 2008 9:07 PM
Comment #268749
Go to Factcheck. They have seen the certified document.

I have and I accept that they have. It is not the original though… It is a valid reproduction, has the seal and all, but doesn’t differentiate between a statement of birth (which could have taken place anywhere) or statement of live birth (which would have had to have taken place in a hospital, and include the name of the hospital).

They have felt the raised embossed seal, etc. Diversion, diversion…Sad. In fact pathetic.

They don’t answer the questions raised, have they? No one has, no one is responsible to.

I suggest that the Reps nominate Arnold in 2012, who could stop them?

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 29, 2008 9:10 PM
Comment #268750

Rhinehold, I support the Republicans, so I got pretty excited about this story when it first came out but then I researched it pretty extensively. The story just doesn’t come together. I don’t want to be like the Democrats and keep just telling and believing and spinning every discredited story that comes out about about political opponents.

Obama’s father wrote on his enrollment form into that Indonesian school that Obama was an Indonesian citizen. For one thing, it’s not clear at all that a father can renounce the citizenship of his child. The school released those records. I saw the form in question. It seems pretty obvious that all somebody had to do was write “Indonesian” on the form, which is a pretty short one, and it wasn’t going to be checked. It seems totally unlikely that they’d require a whole formal procedure for renouncing and proving citizenship. They were a poor school that wasn’t spending a lot of money on students and I think there’s zero possibility that they or Obama’s father would have gone through that much trouble. And if they had a procedure like that, the school should have a record of it. But they don’t.

. But even if Obama had renounced his citizenship in the past, it doesn’t matter. If a court decided tomorrow that Obama wasn’t a US citizen, he could easily naturalize since he’s lived here for decades, and then he’d fulfill the requirement for the Presidency since he really was born here.

What I think is going on actually is that Obama claimed foreign citizenship himself later on to get financial aid for foreign-born students at Columbia University which offered a lot of money in such scholarships. There are those who say that happened, he could easily have done it by checking off a box on a form, and it would explain a lot, including Obama’s refusal to release school records.

Personally, after reading up on all of this, I think that’s what happened. But I can’t prove it, and even if I could, it would just be a minor embarrasment for Obama that wouldn’t really change anything. There are just so many other hidden things about Obama’s past that I think that this one is a waste of time to worry about.

Posted by: Liam at October 29, 2008 9:37 PM
Comment #268753

Well, perhaps I’m being naive, but isn’t the crux of Rhinehold’s question who has legal standing to question this?

Since by Rhinehold’s writing, which I assume to be true, the court said a voter had no standing.

Does the opponent have standing? That’s the issue that interests me, the other stuff is nonsense.

Posted by: googlumpugus at October 29, 2008 9:44 PM
Comment #268754
If a court decided tomorrow that Obama wasn’t a US citizen, he could easily naturalize since he’s lived here for decades, and then he’d fulfill the requirement for the Presidency since he really was born here.

Not exactly correct here. He would have to live here for 14 years as a citizen before he could become President. If it was that he hadn’t reclaimed his citizenship after returning he would have to wait 14 years after regaining it before he could become president. Or that is the thought process. To be honest, without someone to rule on this we just don’t know for sure. And I think that is the real issue I have with the whole process. There isn’t one.

And you are making the assumption that he was born here, which isn’t proven yet. His birth was recorded in Hawaii but there is no detail to show that it was a hospital birth. If it wasn’t a hospital birth, there is no way to know if it actually occurred in the US at all. Including that with the assertion by his paternal grandmother that he was born in Kenya AND Kenya not releasing any information they have about him until after November 4th, it raises questions. Proof? Nope. But questions which I think should be answered because it puts a question on the candidacy.

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 29, 2008 9:47 PM
Comment #268756

googlumpugus,

Thank you, yes that is the real point of the story, I’m not really saying that Obama isn’t legally able to be president (or McCain for that matter) but that there is no one to actually determine this one way or another. If the accusations are true, what happens? There is nothing we can do. The opposing candidate can’t bring suit because how does that hurt him? He has to show direct harm. No one can sue about this, according to the Supreme Court rulings. And since there is no legislative body putting forward a group to handle these questions, this part of the constitution is just being ignored by the courts. Not the first time a part of the constitution was ignored by the courts…

I am for one concerned about this… What would happen if Bush ran for a third term? How would anyone stop him, what mechanism would they use to do that? Or Clinton?

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 29, 2008 9:52 PM
Comment #268759

Rhinehold
The U.S.Senate proclaimed John McCain a natural born citizen back in April of this year. Sen. Leahy introduced the resolution. Citizenship requirements states that a person born abroad of parents both of which are U.S.Citizens are Natural born citizens.

Posted by: KAP at October 29, 2008 9:57 PM
Comment #268766

Rhinehold, you can view a copy of his birth certificate, here.

To answer your specific question about Obama, I am sure the FBI has already validated his certificate since the opposing party controls the White House. If the FBI is going to search Palin’s home, I am sure they would have vetted Obama’s birth certificate.

That said, I am unable to find who in government is charged with the responsibility of validating place of birth for presidential candidates. Perhaps that is the purpose of more than one party, each checking on the other’s birth place record, and if evidence can be found to invalidate a candidate’s birth place, the FBI is brought in to investigate. Just speculation on my part on this point.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 30, 2008 1:13 AM
Comment #268772

This has a lot more, and more complete information:

http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/born_in_the_usa.html

Posted by: janedoe at October 30, 2008 2:53 AM
Comment #268773

RH
Silly, just silly.
BTW Private schools in Indonesia and the region DO allow duel-citizen attendance, even non-citizen attendance but with an additional fee.

Posted by: bills at October 30, 2008 4:04 AM
Comment #268774

Why are you bothering with this? A conspiracy theorist’s claims? This is not a person who thinks these things through.

This is grasping at straws, and it seems to be what people on the right are doing instead of employing real political strategy. You’ll notice, the Democrats haven’t been bothering with this crap, and they’re winning.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 30, 2008 7:45 AM
Comment #268779

I concede Rheinhold’s original point regarding the inexplicable court rulings he’s cited on this subject. To me, it is a good point that needs resolution on its legal merits.

To those who are amazed, appalled, disgusted, disappointed, etc. that such issues with respect to the legitimacy of Obama’s eligibility to run for the highest office in the US have been raised, all I can suggest is to start getting used to it.

You may recall that from day 1 through day 2922 (and even to this day) the Republicans NEVER accepted the legitimacy of the Clinton presidency, even though he was duly elected and his citizenship was never questioned, culminating in his acquittal in his impeachment trial.

Obama, I’m sorry to say, even in this time of economic crisis and time of war, will no doubt be hounded as mercilessly as Clinton if not more mercilessly. There has already been a foiled assassination plot against Obama.

My guess is that unless the Dems hold onto a majority in the House for his entire presidency (should he be elected), he will be investigated and impeached at the earliest opportunity on equally trivial charges as were made against Clinton. The same goes for Biden.

This is in a nutshell the way the modern Republican party works. I say again, start getting used to it because that’s the way it’s going to be if Obama is elected.

Yes, I think it’s wrong. It is just one of the many reasons why, if I had any good reason to be a Repub, I could not be.

I’m just trying to be realistic about the way things are. We have to be prepared for it and we have to deal with it aggressively.

Don’t believe for a second that the Republicans will do anything but attack, attack, attack this man if he is elected.

Posted by: EJN at October 30, 2008 9:12 AM
Comment #268781

Liam: There are just so many other hidden things about Obama’s past that I think that this one is a waste of time to worry about.

This is exactly what I’m talking about, folks. It is only going to get worse if Obama is elected unless the Dems keep a majority throughout his presidency.

Posted by: EJN at October 30, 2008 9:30 AM
Comment #268785

Rhinehold, couldn’t he show direct harm after losing an election? If a false candidate beat him, isn’t his loss the office, salary, prestige, etc.?

Posted by: googlumpugus at October 30, 2008 9:57 AM
Comment #268787

>All in public life are vetted by either the NSA
Posted by: Marysdude at October 29, 2008 07:39 PM

My bust, I didn’t check this after I hit ‘POST’. I intended it to read…either the NSA, the FBI or the Secret Service. Most of it is done by the FBI, but in unusual circumstances the other two will do it. Obama has been in public life long enough that they’ve all likely done their bit, especially since the mccain whiners have made such a stink about his past.

Good dig, janedoe, that link explains and show EVERYTHING!!! Comment #268772

Posted by: Marysdude at October 30, 2008 10:09 AM
Comment #268789

Rhinehold, great question to bring up as it should concern all of us. Pity how some are more concerned with making excuses because you use examples of BOTH candidates, instead of only McCain.

Great follow-ups Goog. I hadn’t even thought about how the office and salary could possibly be considered “harm.” More to think about there. Keep it going you two.

Posted by: kctim at October 30, 2008 10:13 AM
Comment #268792

So Rhinehold posts a lengthy article that contains one line: “(who may or may not have been born in Kenya and may or may not have given up citizenship when enrolled in an Indonesian school that would not have allowed dual citizenship)”.

I knew this article was just another attack on Obama.

Rhinehold, you have the answer to your question. Fight the Smears, Snopes, and Factcheck are responsible for determining a Presidential candidate’s eligibility.

Posted by: George at October 30, 2008 10:24 AM
Comment #268795
Rhinehold, you can view a copy of his birth certificate, here.
This has a lot more, and more complete information:

Yes David and Jane, I viewed both of these months ago. But neither answer the question, since it is a short form copy, about whether this was a statement of birth or statement of live birth that would be available on the original. The governor of Hawaii has blocked access to the original for all but the family, which is ok and understandable in the era of identity theft, but why won’t the Obama campaign just get a copy of the original and let us know which hospital he was born in. It shouldn’t be that hard and would put an end to the open question that now exists, especially given the reports that Obama’s paternal grandmother states that he was born in Kenya because his mother was too far along to fly back to Hawaii.

It also does not address the potential that his adopted father may have renounced his citizenship while enrolling him in an Indonesian school and listing his nationality as only Indonesian. If that happened he would have had to have had his citizenship re-instated, which there would be record of, but isn’t.

I am not saying that these are the case at all, but I find them interesting questions that should be adressed by … someone? But who? That is the real question. For some reason the Obama campaign refuses to pony up the information that would end the questions completely, even when presented with a lawsuit, they could have provided it then and had the case thrown out the week it was filed. Instead they waited for over a month, exceeding the date they were supposed to provide the information requested, and ended up with it being thrown out of court not because of the merits or lack thereof, but because of a lack of standing issue that I, personally, find MORE troubling than a technicality that may exist that may make him ineligible.

In 2004 and again in 2008 (this election) Roger Calero was nominated for the presidency by the Socialist Workers Party. Roger was born in Nicaragua and is a permanent resident (holds a green card) yet is still ON THE BALLOT for the party. Why hasn’t the FBI had it removed if they would do such a thing, since it is obvious? In fact, there is no one who CAN remove his name, other than the states who can block it from being on the ballot, but there is no uniformity there and he did make it on the ballot in some states.

In fact, what is to stop Arnold from running in 2012?

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 30, 2008 10:40 AM
Comment #268797

EJN,

ROFL, you mean the Dems where accepting the legitimacy of George Bush in 2000 & 2004?

Right…

I have to wonder what goes through the head of someone who could actually believe that Republicans question the legitimacy of Clinton and Obama (remember, the person who brought the suit was a DEMOCRAT) and then go on to say that Democrats do not engage in such activity. Almost like their eyes were closed to any wrongdoing by their own party or they were asleep the last eight years…

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 30, 2008 10:46 AM
Comment #268798
Good dig, janedoe, that link explains and show EVERYTHING!!!

It does? I sure didn’t see anywhere in there where it lists the hospital he was born at. Was it a certificate of birth or a certificate of live birth that a hospital would have filled out? Since it is a short form copy, it is not possible to tell, is it?

And it doesn’t even begin to address the issue of attendance at the Indonesian school where his citizenship information was filled out as Indonesian.

And no, I am not saying that he does not meet the qualifications, that decision should be done by someone of authority to certify a candidate has met the qualifications required. But there is no one to do that, and that is what I find troubling…

And no, the NSA, FBI, etc do not have the power to remove someone from the ballots, look at Roger Calero…

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 30, 2008 10:50 AM
Comment #268800

Interesting. It sounds like Obama is a valid candidate and McCain is not, since he was born in Panama. Who cares though?

Posted by: Max at October 30, 2008 10:59 AM
Comment #268806
Who cares though?

Who cares? Well, I suppose if you don’t care what the constitution says or that it should be followed, then it really doesn’t matter, does it?

I know, there are a few silly nits who are still around who think that we should be adhering to the silly old Constitution, that old thing.

Perhaps we can end that once and for all with the next administration? Just put it out of its misery that it is facing now?

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 30, 2008 11:15 AM
Comment #268809

Rhinehold-
Troubling questions are a dime a dozen during elections, and overpriced at that cost. Obama has the weight of the evidence on his side, and your argument is an argument from ignorance- that is, we don’t know so it might be true.

Worse yet, you use that initial non-factual premise to justify charges of conspiratorial concealment of the truth. It’s building one speculation on top of another.

And for what purpose? Well, if they’re serious about it, they’re trying to disqualify him for the office, which seems to be at this point the only way to keep him from becoming president. If they’re less serious, then this is all about “raising questions”, which is all about painting him as a scary outsider.

But in the end, the latter purpose seems more served by this than the former. It’s unlikely that Obama would have remained a candidate with the FBI uncovering a secret lack of citizenship.

The real question here is why those on the right seem to build so much of their appeals and claims on such tenuous information. Either they are reckless with their facts, or purposefully pushing lies and BS for their own advantage.

The Right is often so self-assured that it fails to do even basic factchecking on their claims. At the end of the day, this is part of what’s killing their political prospects and their credibility with people. The person who will say anything to gain power is the person who will say anything to keep it, and the Republicans have pushed a lot of dishonest information to gain and keep their power.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 30, 2008 11:35 AM
Comment #268811

The final desperate attempt to throw a wrench into the works…played out by someone who can’t stand to see a successful campaign run to the finish. If the founders had considered it essential to count the toenail clippings of those seeking office, they’d have provided for it in the founding documents. They said what needed to be said, and let it go at that…I think I’ll let it go at that as well.

I’m still trying to figure out why which hospital Obama was born in has more af a bearing on his citizenship than his Birth Certificate…and, while we don’t know if his step-father renounced his citizenship while in Indonesia, do we know if the step-father was even a legal guardian, and able to make those legal decisions? If he was a citizen of the United States, by way of his Mother’s citizenship, was born to her in Hawaii as the Birth Certificate states, and returned to the states when he was ten years old to live and grow up in his grandparent’s home, why are these questions being still discussed…except as a matter of desperation?

Posted by: Marysdude at October 30, 2008 11:43 AM
Comment #268812

Stephen,

You are ignoring the fact that the person who is making the claims, and who brought the suit, is a Democrat, and it was brought up months ago, not just recently when Obama started to pull away after the economy saw some trouble.

You dismiss questions as invalid because you don’t have them. You ignore the concerns of a lot of people who just want to make sure that the constitution is followed and we are left with finding out later, after in office, that Obama isn’t allowed to hold the position. Which, is precisely the attitude that many expect Obama to lead with, ignoring the concerns of those he disagrees with because they impede upon his, and the Democrat’s, desires.

Finally, you say that the FBI would have found this out and blown the lid off, yet they say and do nothing about Roger Calero, who is still on the ballot in many states and in 2004 actually won several thousand votes while being blatantly incapable of holding the office. It is just not their job so relying upon them to the the arbitor of something they aren’t responsible for seems a position of ignorance.

What I want to know, and you nor anyone else can provide, is who is responsible for certifying that a candidate is legally allowed to run for the office of President of the United States since we, as citizens, are unable to force that determination to be made?

Can you answer that or are you going to fall back on this being a republican conspiracy and move on…

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 30, 2008 11:45 AM
Comment #268813
I’m still trying to figure out why which hospital Obama was born in has more af a bearing on his citizenship than his Birth Certificate

Because someone can get a birth certificate without being born in a hospital. In those cases, the state is taking the word of the mother that the birth took place where she said it did. This happened a lot more in the past when home births occur. In these cases the certificate of birth does not necessarily prove that the birth took place in the state. In this case it makes a difference.

…and, while we don’t know if his step-father renounced his citizenship while in Indonesia, do we know if the step-father was even a legal guardian, and able to make those legal decisions?

Nope, that is another thing that should be looked at but hasn’t because no one is responsible for doing it.

If he was a citizen of the United States, by way of his Mother’s citizenship, was born to her in Hawaii as the Birth Certificate states, and returned to the states when he was ten years old to live and grow up in his grandparent’s home, why are these questions being still discussed

It wouldn’t if those were the facts as we know them, but there are questions surrounding them as being facts.

First, to be a natural born citizen who was born outside of the US both parents have to be citizens, not one. So his mother being a citizen doesn’t help him if he was born in Kenya has his grandmother says.

Second, the birth certificate, the one we have been shown, is a short form copy and does not indicate the hospital of birth, which is only available on the long form. Because of this, we are not able to determine if this is a certificate of live birth, which would have been recorded by a hospital or if it is just a statement of birth that could have occurred outside of a hospital and cannot be verified as having occurred in the state at all.

Third, when he returned, if his citizenship had been renounced, the proper reinstatement forms would have to have been filed. If they weren’t, he was not a citizen all of those years.

Marysdude, these are important questions to people who want to make sure the constitution is followed properly. I am not saying at all that these are all true and Obama wasn’t born in Hawaii, but I can’t say for sure that he was either because the campaign, the state of Hawaii, the country of Kenya and members of Obama’s family including his recently discovered aunt, all say that they will not answer any questions or release any information about him until after November 4th. That raises questions in the minds of those who are curious about finding out the truth, not just trying to sink or save an election.

But more importantly, we have no one to turn to to certify this as being valid or not, nor do we have the ability to force anyone to answer those questions in, what we are told by the Obama campaign itself, the most important election in the history our country.

And as I said, the same is said for McCain. He has had two lawsuits filed against his citizenship and both were dropped for the same reasons, it is maddening to those of us who actually care about what the Constitution says.

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 30, 2008 11:55 AM
Comment #268827

Rhinehold, you incessantly question the “live birth” issue, when the photos show clearly that it is a “certificate of live birth”. And if you’ve truly looked at the evidence that’s provided, you’d also see the texture of the paper, the crease from the fold, the raised stamp and the embossed seal.
Perhaps you could contact the hospital, ask if they have a “live-feed” video copy they would be willing to send to you……at a small fee.

Posted by: janedoe at October 30, 2008 12:52 PM
Comment #268830

stephen

“Why are you bothering with this? A conspiracy theorist’s claims? This is not a person who thinks these things through.”

“This is grasping at straws, and it seems to be what people on the right are doing instead of employing real political strategy. You’ll notice, the Democrats haven’t been bothering with this crap, and they’re winning.”

you appearently have missed the point of this post. the two candidates are merely current examples. i didn’t see where rhinehold was saying either was not eligible, only who should ultimately be responsible for making sure both are. if you are going to be president, you should have no problem with verifying beyond any reasonable doubt that you are eligible, under the guidelines set in the US constitution.

Posted by: dbs at October 30, 2008 1:01 PM
Comment #268835

Rhinehold-

You are ignoring the fact that the person who is making the claims, and who brought the suit, is a Democrat, and it was brought up months ago, not just recently when Obama started to pull away after the economy saw some trouble.

You’re damn right I’m ignoring the fact that the guy is a Democrat. It’s irrelevant to whether he’s right or wrong. So too is the timing.

Hand me the evidence of Obama’s birth outside this country. If that’s true, it should be available to you. If not, then you’re just wasting everybody’s time.

This is nothing so breathtakingly exotic or romantic as a conspiracy. It’s just the typical, banal, disgusting tactics of a group of people who have reduced themselves to this kind of rumormongering in the quest to win every election on matters that have little to do with their increasingly terrible record.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 30, 2008 1:21 PM
Comment #268836

Rhinehold

exellent question. to bad everyone seems more interested going on defense ( even though no accusations have been made ) then trying to actully find an answer to the question. it’s a pretty scary thought actually. the fact that no one seems to have the authority, or is officialy responible for verifying eligibility. there should be an official document completed by some officialy charged agency that eliminates this question.

Posted by: dbs at October 30, 2008 1:27 PM
Comment #268839

Stephen,

And you are going to say your party, including yourself, haven’t labelled Bush with all kinds of conspiracy theories, about what he knew and when he knew it, for the past 5 or 6 years? Please.

I would ask for the evidence from the Kenyan authorities but they have already stated that they won’t release the information until after Nov 4th. Obama’s family won’t answer any questions until after Nov. 4th. Except his paternal grandmother who says that he was born in Kenya. We have no eyewitness account of his birth, on record, other than that of his grandmother and those who are looking to verify or deny the claim have no access to the proof that they are looking for.

The timing is irrelevant because this was first raised months and months ago. Berg was told then that he could not put in a lawsuit until the Dems had officially named Obama the candidate. As soon as that occurred, he started putting in the paperwork and filed over a month ago. And now you are going to say that it is irrelevant because the dismissal was pushed off until two weeks before the election? That’s just being obtuse.

But I am not here saying that he is or isn’t a citizen. That is not the point and you seem to want to ignore that. The point is that there are questions as we have no one to turn to to say ‘hey, is he or isn’t he’ for either him or McCain, or any other candidate! How ridiculous is that! We are told by the court system that we, as citizens, have no authority to make any candidate prove that they meet the requirements that they are required to meet, and there is no one else with that power either.

Will you be voting for Arnold in 2012 then, Stephen?

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 30, 2008 1:29 PM
Comment #268845

I think those who question whether Obama was born in Kenya should check with the State Department to see if Obama’s mother was traveling in Kenya at the time of Obama’s birth. Passport and Visa records should be available. I for one think it is a silly exercise in futile stupidity, but feel free to exercise it at your will.

Posted by: Marysdude at October 30, 2008 2:04 PM
Comment #268846

PS:

I expect that when this question was first raised, that is what the FBI checked into…

Posted by: Marysdude at October 30, 2008 2:05 PM
Comment #268850

Rhinehold-
Some people go with conspiracy theories against Bush. This man is one of them. But I don’t trust such conspiracy theories. I think if you’ll look at my comments regarding the 9/11 Truth Movement, you’ll find I’m not very sympathetic to their conspiracy theory mongering there either. I don’t believe the government is covering up UFO’s at Area 51, or that men can kill goats by staring at them.

In general, I’m a skeptic of conspiracy theories because in my experience people are lousy at keeping big secrets.

Marysdude has the right idea there: if you want evidence, her travel records should be a dead giveaway.

But instead of going through the trouble of all that detective work, what we see here is the attempt to support an extraordinary charge on an argument of ignorance, and then call officials on not disabusing us of that ignorance. I’ve seen how desperately people can cling to this bulls***, even in the face of countervailing evidence, so I don’t lend it much credibility. That I am a supporter only makes me less disposed to take it seriously. It’s not the sole reason for my skepticism.

As for the FBI’s failure to check the status of the other guy? It’s a completely separate matter whether they would be likely to neglect a guy who actually had a serious chance at the presidency. I don’t think a partisan-tainted justice department could resist leaking that fact. They didn’t resist leaking out the ACORN investigation, and this is way bigger, way more damaging than that.

The Right needs to learn the difference between an entertaining argument and a valid one.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 30, 2008 2:32 PM
Comment #268857

Now, I’m a liberal, and I vote Democrat most of the time, so just bear with me for a minute or two…McCain was born in Panama, and was born to American citizens, and his father, at the time was on military orders. If McCain is not an American citizen, than hundreds of thousands, and perhaps millions, of children born to military families overseas are not citizens either, and they can’t vote. Boy, you guys have raised some serious Constitutional issues…let me know how it all turns out, will you?

Posted by: Marysdude at October 30, 2008 2:45 PM
Comment #268866

Good greif dude….look at the worms crawling out of the can! …..and no, I won’t mention names. ;)

Posted by: janedoe at October 30, 2008 3:19 PM
Comment #268884

I am one of those kids born to a military father in Germany (then West Germany). There is a big difference between mccain’s situation (and mine) and someone like Arnold Schwartzeneggar since he was not born a citizen. Though I think even he could make a case since George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Jackson, & Harrison were born before independence. Martin van Buren was the fist president born after independence. Though John Tyler was the first born after the Constitution was ratified. I would personally say no to Arnold because I think importing presidents is a bad idea - we don’t need any Emperor Maximilian’s here.

I think Rhinehold makes a good point about who is allowed to challenge the legitimacy of someone to run for office. I think we, the people should be able to challenge this since we are the one’s directly affected.

Posted by: tcsned at October 30, 2008 4:43 PM
Comment #268887

tc

“personally say no to Arnold because I think importing presidents is a bad idea - we don’t need any Emperor Maximilian’s here.”

“I think we, the people should be able to challenge this since we are the one’s directly affected.”

well tc something we finally agree on. don’t worry though i won’t tell anyone, if you don’t.


Posted by: dbs at October 30, 2008 5:02 PM
Comment #268895

dbs - I think we can escape this instance of common ground with reputations and self respect intact ;)

If the polls are right we’ll see someone try to bring a suit after the election. The issue might be that both of these guys are running for president not the actual president and anyone can run for office but only a natural born citizen can actually become president. But that opens a whole other can of worms.

Posted by: tcsned at October 30, 2008 5:44 PM
Comment #268907

tcsned,

I plead ignorant…how are you and mccain different? I mean as far as foreign birth is concerned…I know you don’t resemble him in any other way…;)

Posted by: Marysdude at October 30, 2008 7:25 PM
Comment #268915

Rhinehold:I have to wonder what goes through the head of someone who could actually believe that Republicans question the legitimacy of Clinton and Obama (remember, the person who brought the suit was a DEMOCRAT)

Well, the Republicans certainly did and most still do question the legitimacy of Clinton, again after being elected fair and square with no controversy…

Rhinehold: and then go on to say that Democrats do not engage in such activity.

Uh, OK. Did I do that or do you have me confused with someone else? I sure don’t think I did.

And, in fact looking back at what I wrote, I’m sure I didn’t. Some Dems (of which, by the way, I am not one) may have questioned Bush’s legitimacy but I sure never addressed whether they did or did not.

My only point is that the Republicans have not the slightest compunction about destroying the commander-in-chief even during wartime, as was amply demonstrated by the Clinton impeachment.

Apology accepted.

Posted by: EJN at October 30, 2008 8:24 PM
Comment #268926

tc

glad to hear it ;)

Posted by: dbs at October 30, 2008 9:23 PM
Comment #268975

Rhinehold:

To answer your main question:

must be at least 25 years old, a citizen of the United States for at least seven years, and be a (legal) inhabitant of the state they represent. Senators must be at least 30 years old, a citizen of the United States for at least nine years, and be a (legal) inhabitant of the state they represent. The President must be at least 35 years old, a natural born citizen of the United States and a resident in the United States for at least fourteen years. It is the responsibility of state legislatures to regulate the qualifications for a candidate appearing on a ballot paper. “Getting on the ballot” is based on candidate’s performances in previous elections. [Elections in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]

In other words, Obama’s eligibility has been vetted by every state whose ballot he appears on.

Additionally, let me address your contention that questions have been left unanswered with regard to Obama’s citizenship:

Which hospital was Obama born in? We have had 3 answers from him family.

Are you aware that the only source of confusion regarding which hospital Obama was born in was conflicting Wikipedia pages? This is a medium which anyone can edit. I saw a troll just yesterday change every date in a wikipedia article from 199x to 198x just to screw with it. And both of those were Hawaiian hospitals. Has anyone provided actual documentation of his birth in a hospital in another country? If not, why do you expect us to presume him a noncitizen until he provides such proof? Generally, in America, we work from the assumption that one is innocent until proven guilty, not guilty until proven innocent. I realize the Republicans have been working to change that, but we’re not there yet.

Why does his Paternal grandmother say he was born in Kenya?

Berg claims to have a tape of a telephone conversation in which someone he claims is Obama’s grandmother said that. Again, the burden of proof is on Berg to validate this.

Why is the original birth certificate blocked from being viewed by the Governor of Hawaii? Why is the Kenyan documents about Obama blocked until after the election?

This is a false claim originating with World Net Daily. Their own article reports the facts of what happened:

The governor’s office officially declined a request made in writing by WND in Hawaii to obtain a copy of the hospital-generated original birth certificate of Barack Obama.

“It does not appear that Dr. Corsi is within any of these categories of persons with a direct and tangible interest in the birth certificate he seeks,” wrote Roz Makuala, manager of constituent services in the governor’s office, in an e-mailed response to a WND request seeking the information.

Those listed as entitled to obtain a copy of an original birth certificate include the person born, or “registrant” according to the legal description from the governor’s office, the spouse or parent of the registrant, a descendant of the registrant, a person having a common ancestor with the registrant, a legal guardian of the registrant, or a person or agency acting on behalf of the registrant.

WND was told the official reason for denial of access to Obama’s birth certificate would be authority granted pursuant to Section 338-18 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes, a provision the anonymous source claimed was designed to prevent identity theft.



Still, the source told WND confidentially the motivation for withholding the original birth certificate was political, although the source refused to disclose whether there was any information on the original birth certificate that would prove politically embarrassing to Obama.

[Obama’s birth certificate sealed by Hawaii governor]

If you have an ancestor in common with Obama, as Cheney himself does, you personally could request this supposedly sealed document. WND simply did not have legal standing to request it. The same is likely true in Kenya, as we only have World Net Daily’s word that:

In Kenya, WND was told by government authorities that all documents concerning Obama were under seal until after the U.S. presidential election on November 4.

Considering that they falsely report that Hawaii has sealed the birth records, that places serious doubt upon this claim I would think.


Is the reissue that is available for viewing (and I agree that it is valid) a statement of birth or a statement of live birth from a hospital? Do you understand the difference?

It is a certification of live birth. Have you looked at it? It says Certification of Live Birth rather prominently across the top of it. It even gives the time he was born, and the city, county and island he was born on. This is easily verified just by looking at it. And, as it says, “This copy serves as prima facie evidence of the fact of birth in any court proceeding.”

Did Obama have to give up his citizenship when enrolled in school in Indonesia (this would have been required to have been done by his adopted father for him) and in doing so did he reinstate his citizenship when he returned to the US, something that would be required for him to do in order to hold the office of US Senate and should be on file in the State Department?

It’s rather funny that you bring this up. The document supposedly proving Obama’s Indonesian citizenship further confirms that he was born in Hawaii. Under section 9, it also shows that the parents of the pupil were unavailable, so it seems likely that this form was filled out by a teacher or other administrator in their absence and they may have assumed some information like citizenship and last name and religion on the basis of Obama’s step father’s citizenship and last name and religion. Finally, even if his father claimed Indonesian citizenship for Obama, under US law:

F. RENUNCIATION FOR MINOR CHILDREN

Parents cannot renounce U.S. citizenship on behalf of their minor children. Before an oath of renunciation will be administered under Section 349(a)(5) of the INA, a person under the age of eighteen must convince a U.S. diplomatic or consular officer that he/she fully understands the nature and consequences of the oath of renunciation, is not subject to duress or undue influence, and is voluntarily seeking to renounce his/her U.S. citizenship.

[Renunciation of U.S. Citizenship]

As there is no record of Obama ever having undergone this process, nor ever signing an oath of renunciation before a US Consular or Diplomatic officer in a foreign country, the simple fact of the matter is that if Obama was born in the US then he remains a US citizen. There is no requirement to reinstate his citizenship, as this in-person formal renunciation is the only form of renunciation that the US accepts. All other forms of renunciation have no legal effect. Even potentially expatriating acts are presumed not to expatriate in the absence of intent to do so:

ADMINISTRATIVE STANDARD OF EVIDENCE

As already noted, the actions listed above can cause loss of U.S. citizenship only if performed voluntarily and with the intention of relinquishing U.S. citizenship. The Department has a uniform administrative standard of evidence based on the premise that U.S. citizens intend to retain United States citizenship when they obtain naturalization in a foreign state, subscribe to a declaration of allegiance to a foreign state, serve in the armed forces of a foreign state not engaged in hostilities with the United States, or accept non-policy level employment with a foreign government.

DISPOSITION OF CASES WHEN ADMINISTRATIVE PREMISE IS APPLICABLE

In light of the administrative premise discussed above, a person who:

   %nbsp;1. is naturalized in a foreign country;
   %nbsp;2. takes a routine oath of allegiance to a foreign state;
   %nbsp;3. serves in the armed forces of a foreign state not engaged in hostilities with the United States, or
   %nbsp;4. accepts non-policy level employment with a foreign government,

and in so doing wishes to retain U.S. citizenship need not submit prior to the commission of a potentially expatriating act a statement or evidence of his or her intent to retain U.S. citizenship since such an intent will be presumed.

When, as the result of an individual’s inquiry or an individual’s application for registration or a passport it comes to the attention of a U.S. consular officer that a U.S. citizen has performed an act made potentially expatriating by Sections 349(a)(1), 349(a)(2), 349(a)(3) or 349(a)(4) as described above, the consular officer will simply ask the applicant if there was intent to relinquish U.S. citizenship when performing the act. If the answer is no, the consular officer will certify that it was not the person’s intent to relinquish U.S. citizenship and, consequently, find that the person has retained U.S. citizenship.

[Advice about Possible Loss of U.S. Citizenship and Dual Nationality]
The fact is that no one has, or is willing, to answer those questions.

As I’ve demonstrated, several of the questions are based on false premises, or claims that have not been backed up. Others have been answered already. I hope that I’ve answered any remaining questions you had, and helped lay to rest the dual myths that Obama’s citizenship has not been vetted by any public official in the course of this election and that he is not a US Citizen.

Posted by: Jarandhel at October 31, 2008 1:23 PM
Comment #268982

Jarandhel,

Great job of research…but I would remind you that when stupid questions are asked or ridiculous charges are made, it is up to the perpetrator to provide the proofs. Shotgunning is fun for some, but unless you just like to look deep into these things, I’d just let them do their own work…

I told him that if he wanted to know if it were possible for Obama to have been born in Kenya, to check passport and visa records at the State Department for his mother’s foreign travels, but I sure as hell didn’t do it for him.

Posted by: Marysdude at October 31, 2008 2:18 PM
Comment #268992

Thanks Marysdude. :) I’d already done most of the research before, I just typed it up and did a bit of cutting and pasting to cite my sources. And I have a few javascript bookmarklets saved now which make that even easier, since I just highlight the text and hit the bookmark and get it formatted for insertion in a blog complete with blockquotes and citation attribute filled out and a formatted link at the end. I hope that the thoroughness of the material I’ve provided will prove more convincing for Rhinehold. In any rate, it should for those who might otherwise be influenced by the manufactured controversies.

Posted by: Jarandhel at October 31, 2008 4:23 PM
Comment #268996

Jarandhel,

It probably won’t help Rhinehold much, nor any of the rest on the right, but it helped me, and I’d expect it helped or impressed some other lefties, and they’ll appreciate it too…

Posted by: Marysdude at October 31, 2008 4:30 PM
Comment #269005

Jarandhel,

Excellent. Thanks.

Posted by: LawnBoy at October 31, 2008 5:53 PM
Comment #269017

These questions only come up for BHO because his name is so foreign that many of his supporters can’t spell it. Personally, I think that a person should be requred to have 4 grandparents that were US citizens to be eligible to be POTUS, so that they have a real connection to this country, not just a theoretical one. The example of BHO is that some guy from wherever can come here, knock up a citizen, and their kid will be eligible to be POTUS 35 years later.

Posted by: ohrealy at October 31, 2008 7:43 PM
Comment #269019
These questions only come up for BHO because his name is so foreign that many of his supporters can’t spell it. Personally, I think that a person should be requred to have 4 grandparents that were US citizens to be eligible to be POTUS, so that they have a real connection to this country, not just a theoretical one. The example of BHO is that some guy from wherever can come here, knock up a citizen, and their kid will be eligible to be POTUS 35 years later.

Yes, and do you know why that is? Because their kid is a CITIZEN, and as such has as much of a real connection to this country as you do. Not just a theoretical one. Having grandparents who were citizens does not give you any more of a real connection to this country than a first generation citizen has. And arguably, if you think it does, then you actually have less of one since that line of thinking is directly opposed to the principles that have made this country what it is. We are a nation of immigrants. The fact that your gene pool has been in the melting pot a bit longer doesn’t mean a thing.

Posted by: Jarandhel at October 31, 2008 8:06 PM
Comment #269039

Jarandhel,

To answer your main question:

You obviously don’t know what my main question was, perhaps you didn’t actually read the article or all of the comments that followed?

I’m not sure why you attribute things to me that I have said, but I never said that I thought that Obama wasn’t a citizen, personally. In fact, I said “I am not saying at all that these are all true and Obama wasn’t born in Hawaii, but I can’t say for sure”.

The point, which I think you missed, is that there is no authority for enforcing the Constitutional requirements. You do try to say it is up to the states, but it is not the responsibility of the states to enforce US Constitutional law. They can only do what they can, but are not the final say. Now, there appears not to be a final say.

In fact, let’s use the one person we KNOW is not eligible to be president. He is not on the ballot in some states (has another person standing in for him) but *IS* on the ballot in others. Obviously the states are not doing their jobs if they are the ones responsible. Neither is the FBI or any other entity or organization.

It should be that a citizen can entreaty the court system to force verification of the US Constitution being followed, but we are now told that we have no standing to do this. Not just in the case of Obama but McCain as well.

Wouldn’t it be better to have all of this brought out in the open in either a court of law or through the findings of an group of people whos purpose is to ensure that any candidate running meets the minimum requirements? It sure would have helped but an end to the rumors on both sides, now wouldn’t it?

You state your case without the thought that someone just might have a different opinion and that your opinion, based on what you have researched, is no more valid than any other’s opinion based on what they have researched. That is why there has to be a mechanism for ensuring that this doesn’t happen in the future. Just imagine if you are wrong and after Nov 4 we find out that Obama is elected but does not meet the requirement to hold office. What happens then? Do we now have President Biden? If we find out before the electoral college meets, could they swing to McCain instead? All kinds of things could happen which is why we need to stop mucking around with partisan swiping and defense and admit that this has become an area that needs addressed going forward.

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 31, 2008 11:37 PM
Comment #269049

Hmmm…President Biden doesn’t sound half bad either…I wonder if HE’s legal???…Palin may be legal, but I think presidential aspirants also have to be of sound mind…

Posted by: Marysdude at November 1, 2008 5:18 AM
Comment #269100

Jarandhel, thank you for your comments, but I have to take issue with the content, “Having grandparents who were citizens does not give you any more of a real connection to this country than a first generation citizen has”

I completely disagree on self-evident grounds. The founding fathers all started as subjects of another country, but the Washington family came here circa 1658. There used to be historical arguments about Andrew Jackson’s birthplace. Some claimed he was born in Ireland, some that he was born on the ship coming over and others argued about whether Waxhaw was in North or South Carolina, but he was still here before our country existed. We not only weren’t set up as a country of immigrants, but large segments of the population were not regarded as citizens at all.

BHO is always a special case, and has been for his whole life.

Posted by: ohrealy at November 1, 2008 5:10 PM
Comment #269108

Rhinehold:

Jarandhel,

To answer your main question:

You obviously don’t know what my main question was, perhaps you didn’t actually read the article or all of the comments that followed?

Your main question was “who is responsible for ensuring that our presidential candidates meet the legal requirements of the office they are attempting to win?” The answer to that question is the states. Now you are asking another question, which I can paraphrase as: whose job is it to correct matters should the states fail at that job. That’s actually rather easily answered as well: first, the voters. All of us. And if we the voters fail at this, the opponent in such a race would have standing to challenge it; see Bush v Gore and Bush v Palm Beach County Canvassing Board for legal precedent. Finally, it would fall to the electors who vote in the electoral college. So we have a multi-tiered process. This is probably why we have never had a foreign citizen or 30 year old as president so far.

I’m not sure why you attribute things to me that I have said, but I never said that I thought that Obama wasn’t a citizen, personally. In fact, I said “I am not saying at all that these are all true and Obama wasn’t born in Hawaii, but I can’t say for sure”.

And now you can.

The point, which I think you missed, is that there is no authority for enforcing the Constitutional requirements. You do try to say it is up to the states, but it is not the responsibility of the states to enforce US Constitutional law. They can only do what they can, but are not the final say. Now, there appears not to be a final say.

No, they’re not the final say. The final say, beyond the voters and even beyond the Supreme Court, would be the electors of the electoral college.

In fact, let’s use the one person we KNOW is not eligible to be president. He is not on the ballot in some states (has another person standing in for him) but *IS* on the ballot in others. Obviously the states are not doing their jobs if they are the ones responsible. Neither is the FBI or any other entity or organization.

You’re right that the states are not. Technically, neither are his opponents. They would have standing to have him removed from the ballot. They probably have not bothered since there is no likelihood of him actually winning the election, and the people supporting him are likely to write his name in anyway if he does not appear on the ballot. Should he actually become a significant threat, they may challenge it in court. And then there is still the electoral college who are unlikely to vote for someone who does not meet the requirements for office.

It should be that a citizen can entreaty the court system to force verification of the US Constitution being followed, but we are now told that we have no standing to do this. Not just in the case of Obama but McCain as well.

Well, frankly, if every citizen in the US had standing in this matter, can you imagine how many baseless lawsuits would be filed against a party’s political opponents? Our courts system would be glutted with them. That’s one of the reasons that only their opponents have standing to bring such suits. We can’t afford to have the millions of lawsuits that would be generated for purely partisan political reasons.

Wouldn’t it be better to have all of this brought out in the open in either a court of law or through the findings of an group of people whos purpose is to ensure that any candidate running meets the minimum requirements? It sure would have helped but an end to the rumors on both sides, now wouldn’t it?

No, not really. People will believe what they want to believe regardless of the findings of a court. See the OJ trial for proof of that. Those who want to believe him guilty do, and those who want to believe him innocent do, regardless of the finding of that court. And if Berg had succeeded in getting his lawsuit heard in court, the next day several million more would have been filed alleging other supposedly disqualifying acts by both candidates. It’s a case of throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks. And it would have pretty much turned the election into even more of a circus than it already is.

After all, the press has reported numerous times on their findings that both candidates are elligible and have been born in the US, and people still aren’t satisfied and say that there are questions which have not yet been answered, even when pointed to information from the State Department itself.

You state your case without the thought that someone just might have a different opinion and that your opinion, based on what you have researched, is no more valid than any other’s opinion based on what they have researched.

I’m sorry, but I state the facts as reported by the State Department regarding the loss of one’s citizenship. There’s no room for opinion there, it’s simple fact. I also state the fact that Obama’s birth certificate is a certified short-form copy of a long-form certificate of live birth. Which is the type of certificate you yourself agree is issued by a hospital. Finally, I state the facts that WND has manifestly lied about the Hawaii birth certificate being sealed, and that the only source for Obama’s family saying he was born anywhere other than Hawaii is a tape which Berg claims is of a telephone conversation with a woman he claims is Obama’s grandmother. I suppose you’re entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts. And the fact is that all of the evidence proves Obama was born in Hawaii and is a US Citizen. Just the short-form birth certificate is acceptable evidence in a court of law.

That is why there has to be a mechanism for ensuring that this doesn’t happen in the future. Just imagine if you are wrong and after Nov 4 we find out that Obama is elected but does not meet the requirement to hold office.

I believe that would likely be grounds for impeachment, for the high crime or misdemeanor of fraud. But then, this entire scenario is science fiction based on the evidence available.

What happens then? Do we now have President Biden? If we find out before the electoral college meets, could they swing to McCain instead? All kinds of things could happen which is why we need to stop mucking around with partisan swiping and defense and admit that this has become an area that needs addressed going forward.

Assuming you’re right, who exactly would you entrust with the power to make this determination? Would the accused have a right to appeal? What would the standards of evidence be? Obama has presented evidence that would serve as proof in any court of law in the nation: a certified copy of his birth certificate. Yet you claim that there are still questions that need to be addressed and that it is reasonable for two people to view the evidence that has been presented and come to different opinions on the subject, even when the facts logically permit no conclusion other than that Obama is a US citizen by birth and retains his citizenship according to every measure enumerated by the State Department. So what objective standard of evidence will you accept to settle the matter?

Posted by: Jarandhel at November 1, 2008 6:57 PM
Comment #269110

ohrealy:

Jarandhel, thank you for your comments, but I have to take issue with the content, “Having grandparents who were citizens does not give you any more of a real connection to this country than a first generation citizen has”

I completely disagree on self-evident grounds. The founding fathers all started as subjects of another country, but the Washington family came here circa 1658. There used to be historical arguments about Andrew Jackson’s birthplace. Some claimed he was born in Ireland, some that he was born on the ship coming over and others argued about whether Waxhaw was in North or South Carolina, but he was still here before our country existed. We not only weren’t set up as a country of immigrants, but large segments of the population were not regarded as citizens at all.

Sorry, but I have to point out the even more self-evident matter that the founders themselves set the standard for who could be President. They required the president to be a natural born citizen. They notably did not require the president to have two parents who were US Citizens, much less four grandparents who were US Citizens. And while it is tragically true that large segments of the population were not regarded as citizens at all, nowhere can we find evidence that the founders wished to create an immigrant class which were unable to fully participate in our government until at least the fourth generation, assuming their children did not marry anyone who was a more recent immigrant. The entire idea that such a class should exist, and the children and grandchildren of immigrants should be excluded from the office of President, is both xenophobic and goes fundamentally against American principles. Nor do we have any class whose nobility is established by how long their families have been here, despite how much the Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution and other similar groups might wish it. The length of time your family has been in the US does not grant you any special status or rights under American law.

BHO is always a special case, and has been for his whole life.

Barack Obama is hardly a special case. He’s a natural-born American citizen who is running for the office of president. As is the right of every natural-born citizen who is at least 35 and who has spent at least 14 years as a resident of the US. Obama qualifies on all points. So what exactly makes him a special case in running for president? Because you don’t like the idea that he can be President if his father was not a US citizen? Tough. That’s not a special case, it’s applying the same legal standards to him as to every other candidate in our nation’s history. He’s just the first who has been popular enough to get elected.

Posted by: Jarandhel at November 1, 2008 7:10 PM
Comment #271646

To the claims that Obama’s grandmother says he was born in Kenya, those are incorrect:

On Oct. 16, an Anabaptist minister named Ron McRae called Sarah Hussein Obama, the president-elect’s 86-year-old paternal step-grandmother, at her home in Kenya. Two translators were on the line when McRae asked if the elder Obama was “present” when the president-elect was born. One of the translators says “yes.” McRae contacted Berg and gave him a partial transcript of the call with a signed affidavit. He opted not to include the rest of the call, in which he asks the question more directly—”Was he born in Mombassa?”—and the translators, finally understanding him, tell him repeatedly that the president-elect was born in Hawaii.

So, basically, this conspiracy theory relies on mistranslations that ignore contrary evidence once the misunderstanding was revealed.

There’s just nothing to this.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 8, 2008 10:20 AM
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