Obama’s first executive order. A Limerick

I can‘t spend all of my time with my birth certificate plastered on my forehead”
Said Barack Obama to NBC’s Brian Williams.

How about producing the birth certificate?
On your first day in office, after the inaugural address but before all the parties you went and rescinded one executive order and replaced it with another. What was so urgent/

Obama’s first act as President EXECUTIVE ORDER 13489 banning release of any of his records.
THE WHITE HOUSE Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release January 21, 2009
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to establish policies and procedures governing the assertion of executive privilege by incumbent and former Presidents in connection with the release of Presidential records by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) pursuant to the Presidential Records Act of 1978, it is hereby ordered as follows: Section 1. Definitions. (….)
Sec. 2. Notice of Intent to Disclose Presidential Records. (a) When the Archivist provides notice to the incumbent and former Presidents of his intent to disclose Presidential records pursuant to section 1270.46 of the NARA regulations, the Archivist, using any guidelines provided by the incumbent and former Presidents, shall identify any specific materials, the disclosure of which he believes may raise a substantial question of executive privilege. However, nothing in this order is intended to affect the right of the incumbent or former Presidents to invoke executive privilege with respect to materials not identified by the Archivist. Copies of the notice for the incumbent President shall be delivered to the President (through the Counsel to the President) and the Attorney General (through the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel). The copy of the notice for the former President shall be delivered to the former President or his designated representative. (b) Upon the passage of 30 days after receipt by the incumbent and former Presidents of a notice of intent to disclose Presidential records, the Archivist may disclose the records covered by the notice, unless during that time period the Archivist has received a claim of executive privilege by the incumbent or former President or the Archivist has been instructed by the incumbent President or his designee to extend the time period for a time certain and with reason for the extension of time provided in the notice. If a shorter period of time is required under the circumstances set forth in section 1270.44 of the NARA regulations, the Archivist shall so indicate in the notice.

In short: All records of previous and sitting presidents are fully transparent unless the president declares executive privilege. Guess what? He did. So much for transparency.

Which leads to the Limerick:

Certificate, birth:” I’ve done all that I can.”
Obama! Own up and behave like a man!
Your transparency sucks.
What’s the cost? Fifteen bucks.
Instead you invoked an executive ban.


One Comment

  1. Posted September 14, 2010 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been following this issue since before the 2008 election, and you’re spot on. In every other office of the government you have to produce a proof of citizenship, generally a birth certificate. Why is the presidency different? Heck, I even have to show one to get a job at most places.

    Love the limerick too, well done.


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