In Honor of Flag Day 2012
One More Dubious Story in the Obama Family Saga
by Jack Cashill
June 14, 2012
The respectable media, left and right, are finally opening themselves up to the possibility that the story Barack Obama told in his 1995 memoir Dreams from My Father has been, in large part, manufactured.
As a case in point, the Weekly Standard's Andrew Ferguson has had to do some serious re-evaluating of the man after reading David Maraniss's soon-to-be released book, Barack Obama: The Story. Writes Ferguson ruefully, "The writer who would later use the power of his life story to become a plausible public man was making it up, to an alarming extent."
What Ferguson found particularly "dispiriting" was that the moments most likely to be "invented" were the most critical ones, the book's racially-charged epiphanies, "those periodic aha! moments that carry the book and bring its author closer to self-discovery."
Although I have not yet seen the Maraniss book, I suspect there is one such story that he may have missed. Ferguson certainly did not discuss it, and that is Obama's alleged meeting with his half-brother Mark Ndesandjo in Kenya more than twenty years ago. Although I wrote about this in some detail last year, it deserves revisiting given the renewed interest in Obama's many fictions.
In Dreams, Obama goes on at great length about his first meeting with Ndesandjo in 1988 (or thereabouts) on the occasion of Obama's first visit to Kenya. This meeting took place at the home of Ruth Ndesandjo, Mark's Jewish American mother, who remarried after her divorce from Barack Obama, Sr.
In Dreams, Obama remembered Ruth's current husband, Ndesandjo's stepfather, bouncing his and Ruth's son, Joey, on his lap. Joey was born no later than 1980. That was some heavy-duty bouncing. Do the math.
"I hear you're at Berkeley," said Obama, who is four years Ndesandjo's senior.
"Stanford," Ndesandjo corrected. "I'm in my last year of the physics program there." Obama added accurately, "His voice was deep, his accent perfectly American." After a lengthy meeting with Ndesandjo and his mother, Obama reportedly called his half-brother the following week, and the two had a heart-to-heart over lunch.
Ndesandjo, who grew up with Obama Sr., was so appalled by his father's behavior that he took his stepfather's name after his parents divorced and turned his back on Kenya. "Don't you ever feel like you might be losing something?" asked the forever patronizing Obama, then noisily trying to reclaim his own Kenyan roots.
"Understand, I'm not ashamed of being half Kenyan," Ndesandjo answered. "I just don't ask myself a lot of questions about what it all means. About who I really am." Ndesandjo eventually moved to China where he lives to this day.
This all sounds legitimate, but when Obama was interviewed about Ndesandjo on the occasion of a state visit to China in 2009, he said dismissively, "Well, you know, I don't know him well."(at ~1:50 in this CNN video). Obama then added the kicker that deepens the Obama mystery, "I met him for the first time a couple of years ago."
If Obama met Ndesandjo in Africa as claimed, that first meeting would have been more than twenty years prior. As related in Dreams, they met twice, at length both times, and in some depth. There should be no forgetting the two poignant, detailed visits with a new-found brother, visits that consume three pages of book space.
In sorting through this story, it is hard to know what is true. Best guess: Obama visited Ruth and pulled a few details about Ndesandjo from this visit and from his half-sister Auma's recollection.
As I wrote last year, "This kind of fictionalization would not be particularly troubling were it an anomaly. It is not. It is the norm. No one really knows where the lies begin and end."
Gov. Scott Pulling Non-Voters From Voter Rolls 'No Purge'
by Greg McDonald
June 14, 2012
|Gov. Rick Scott|
Florida Gov. Rick Scott is defending his efforts to strike non-citizens from the voter rolls in the state, claiming it was wrong for the Justice Department to interfere in an attempt to stop the effort.
“There’s no purge,” Scott told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren Wednesday. “What we’re trying to make sure is Americans have a right to vote.”
Scott said his efforts have already found evidence of at least 100 non-citizens registered to vote, and he insisted that those registrations are diluting the votes of legal state residents.
“It’s illegal for someone not a citizen of this country to vote,” he said. “It’s a crime.”
So far, Scott’s administration has ignored orders from the Justice Department to cease its purge of voter rolls.
But at least 65 of the state’s 67 counties have complied with the order, according to the Miami Herald, which reported Wednesday that some of the noncitizens rooted out by the purge in two counties may actually be legal voters.
The Justice Department, meanwhile has sued the state, charging that the purge is a violation of at least two voting rights laws.
In response, the Scott administration has countersued the Department of Homeland Security in an effort, he says, to obtain more up to date citizen information from its federal database that could help identify illegal Florida voters.
Scott told Van Susteren the state asked for the information a year ago, but Homeland Security “stalled” in its response.
As a result, he said the state turned to its own motor vehicle database of information, which many county elections officials say is far too outdated to be reliable.
“By federal law, we have a right to the database. It’s supposed to be able to be used for voter registration,” he said.
Read more on Newsmax.com: Gov. Scott: Pulling Noncitizens From Voter Rolls