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Barack Obama’s College Transcripts

So, Donald Trump has yet again duped the media into giving him attention by hyping a “bombshell” that turned out to be a nothing-burger, in this case a re-upping of his insistence that President Obama release his college transcript, sweetened with an offer to donate $5 million to the president’s charity if he does so.

Since the OTB gang has gone on the record more than once on this silly issue, I’ll just re-up my comment in Steven Taylor’s April 2011 posting from the first time Trump floated this issue:

In a hypothetical world where Trump is right, it might be mildly interesting if Senator Barack Obama was actually a poor student who got to Harvard and the presidency of its Law Review through sheer tokenism. It would undermine his narrative and make people question why someone so young and inexperienced should be trusted with the presidency. His presumed intellectual brilliance and precociousness was, after all, what overcame that concern.

But Obama’s now POTFUS. At this point, who gives a rip what he did beforehand? We’re judging him exclusively on his performance as POTFUS.

We at OTB support higher education. Most of us have PhDs or JDs. Further, I don’t think any of us harbor doubts as to whether Barack Obama successfully navigated his way through Columbia and Harvard Law.

Regardless of any of that: Who is it that’s going to base their vote on how well the man did in some long-forgotten class the man took in the 1980s? Hell, I’m a couple years younger than the president and there are classes that I got A’s in that I literally don’t remember having taken.

We have four years of evidence to suggest what kind of president Barack Obama will be.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Once again, I have to wonder if Trump is really a Democrat who’s pretending to be a Republican in order to make the party look crazy (not that the party really need help in that area, what with Akin, Mourdoch, etc.). Just as the race starts tightening up, he’s suddenly back in the limelight acting crazy again.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 7

  2. Dustin says:

    The hook on Trump’s offer is him uttering “to my satisfaction” in the same release that he refers to the long form birth certificate as “whatever it may be.”

    Even the audience this was meant to be red meat for is largely disappointed in Trump here. The sane ones among us never expected a bombshell to begin with.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 4

  3. KarateDeathCar says:

    As it seems the world need a clown, and a clown this world.

    Carry on sad orange clown, carry on.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 5

  4. Console says:

    The amount of blindness to privilege it takes to be conservative drives me crazy. No one has the self-reflection to remotely ask themselves why they aren’t asking the same thing of Mitt “things would be easier as a Latino” Romney. And secondly, let’s say affirmative action was the reason Obama got into his schools. If it took a diversity program for a guy that would go on to graduate summa cum laude, be president of the harvard law review, be a college professor, senator and US president to get into school… then that’s a win for affirmative action. And such a win should cause privileged people to pause and reflect on just how a guy like that could be passed over.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 54 Thumb down 7

  5. michael reynolds says:

    Show us the money, Donald. In cash. Because I have to agree with Laurence O’Donnell who calls bullsh!t on Trump being a billionaire. Billionaires don’t do reality shows. No doubt Trump has money, but would he actually have 5 million in cash available out of his own pocket? I wonder.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 8

  6. Geek, Esq. says:

    Because, of course, becoming President of Harvard Law Review didn’t require any special intelligence or savvy. I mean, how much competition can there be for that slot?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 4

  7. Rick DeMent says:

    He seems to be much less interested in Mitt’s tax returns, why isn’t he offing cash to see those since that probably has more to say about Mitt’s fitness for office tan Obama’s collage transcripts do.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 3

  8. Lynda says:

    One of Romney’s few consistencies has been actively courting Donald Trump’s endorsement and support over his campaign, despite his well-known theatrics including the “birther” nonsense.

    I appreciate that politics makes strange bedfellows but even Michelle Malkin thinks Trump “a clown & not a friend of conservatism”

    Dr Joyner, doesn’t Romney’s befriending of Trump cause you any qualms about his judgment and the wisdom of voting for him?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 4

  9. michael reynolds says:

    Incidentally, I think the best way for Trump to prove he has the cash is to deposit it in the account of a reliable third party who can then verify the facts.

    Seeing no other volunteers. . . I guess I could do it.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 4

  10. David says:

    @michael reynolds: I’d be willing to help out on that for a mere 10% administrative fee…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  11. swbarnes2 says:

    Who is it that’s going to base their vote on how well the man did in some long-forgotten class the man took in the 1980s?

    Come now. You know that this isn’t the issue. Be honest. This “transcriptism” comes from the same place as birtherism. You know that.

    The cold truth is that many people who, like you, vote for conservatives and Republicans, are so racist they will not vote for Obama because he is black. In fact, they can not fathom the possibility of a black man being a legitimate American, let alone a legitimate POTUS. So they say “He’s not a citizen, he’s not really a smart guy, he needs teleprompters!”, because that’s not as low-class as saying “He’s black”. And hell, that molecule-thin veneer is all it takes to prevent you from calling out the bald racism, isn’t it? It’s always “I just don’t get this argument, it’s a mysterious and isolated incident”. Never “This is pure racism, and shame on the people and the party who propagates it. I can’t support this with my words or my vote”.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 36 Thumb down 12

  12. Scott O says:

    I think we need to look into Mr. Romney’s college days. Did he attend parties where people were using caffeinated beverages?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 4

  13. PD Shaw says:

    Isn’t Trump almost by necessity offering to pay for the commission of a crime?

    Who would have the transcripts? Obama and the university, which is required by FERPA to protect the privacy of education records. In theory, Obama might have given the records to some other third-party that would be free to accept the money, but seems doubtful.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  14. Hal 10000 says:

    I have to think that he actually intended to run with this divorce this or some other tomfoolery and then changed gears when he got scooped on his sleaze.

    Who cares about Obama’s transcripts? He’s been President for four years. Judge him on that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

  15. Rob in CT says:

    Trump’s a grifter. A pretty successful one. Who knows what he believes. First and foremost: grifter.

    I love (just loooove) that my mother has a quote of his about the ACA up on her refridgerator. Mom’s always been terribly gullible.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  16. Bob Beller says:

    I cry for the dead electrons who gave of themselves for this crap.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  17. JKB says:

    Well, Trump did take the wind out of the sails of that Gloria person and her “surprise”.

    But no worries, if Obama loses, we’ll probably have the transcripts by the end of November. Within a year for sure as a reason why it was he not Progressivism that America rejected.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 31

  18. anjin-san says:

    @ JKB

    Do you realize that you only sound rational about half of the time?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  19. KarateDeathCar says:

    Don’t you love farce?
    My fault, I fear.
    I thought that you’d want what I want…
    Sorry, my dear!
    And where are the clowns
    Send in the clowns
    Don’t bother, they’re here.

    aint that right JKB!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  20. legion says:

    @anjin-san: That’s being extremely charitable. Perhaps that’s where Trump’s $5m should go!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  21. bk says:

    @anjin-san:

    @ JKB

    Do you realize that you only sound rational about half of the time?

    Feeling mighty benevolent today, are we?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  22. Tillman says:

    I think Obama should do it, but only if Trump puts the money in escrow for the chosen charity before Obama releases the records.

    Hey, stupid people in politics are stupid people in politics, but if they have money that’ll go toward something worthy of its use…you indulge the stupidity for the money.

    “Indulging the stupidity for the money” is probably the exact M.O. of so many television producers on cable.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  23. Scott says:

    I think Planned Parenthood would be an inspired charity.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  24. bill says:

    that’s $5 mil that’ll never be donated……

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  25. anjin-san says:

    Feeling mighty benevolent today, are we?

    Giants are in the series again – shiny happy people in SF :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  26. bill says:

    here’s something to think of-, would you give your school transcripts away for a $5mill donation to any charity of your choice?! i mean really, he’s already the president- what could possibly happen? he could make trump look like an ass, all by himself!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  27. grumpy realist says:

    Also note that Trump left himself wiggle room to renege on his promise. “Released to my satisfaction”. He’ll never be satisfied, so it’s a gimmick. Next season of Apprentice starting, is it?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  28. Jean says:

    It should be noted that Obama didn’t release his records, and NOTHING in his past records is released, not his high school records, his college records, his senate documents have ‘gone’ missing. We know VERY little about the president….if anyone else was so secretive about their records it would be all over the news, so isn’t it? also instead of Obama releasing his birth records when sued for the release, he hires lawyers to stop it…..again why so secretive

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 27

  29. CSK says:

    Please bear in mind that the November sweeps are almost upon us, and Trump has a reality show. In fact, the last time he made a big announcement, it coincided with the May sweeps. Purely fortuitous, I’m sure.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  30. David M says:

    @Jean:

    It’s worth checking on some of those claims, but his records aren’t sealed, he released his birth certificate long ago and no candidate has ever released their transcripts.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 4

  31. Andre Kenji says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Because I have to agree with Laurence O’Donnell who calls bullsh!t on Trump being a billionaire. Billionaires don’t do reality shows.

    Trump is not a billionaire, he is a celebrity. He gets most of his money not because of his investments, but because he simply lends his name to third parties. In 2003, the Brazilian Media ran several stories that Trump wanted to build a Gulf Resort in the city that I live, Itatiba. The investors that were using his name did not manage to get the environmental licenses and the project never took off. His former partner said that Trump got a good money for doing nothing.

    Worse, property prices SKYROCKET some years later. Trump could have invested himself the money, he lost a good opportunity.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  32. Franklin says:

    Whitey did this. Whitey did that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  33. Philips says:

    To this day, I believe there is “NO” good reason why “The President” would not release his transcripts if he has nothing to hide. I can understand Romney not wanting to release his tax returns because of senstive finacial matters, but “School Records”. In fact I think the release of financial records should be removed as a requirement for all elelctions, unless there is a conflict of interest.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 27

  34. bk says:

    @Jean:

    We know VERY little about the president

    True. Except for the fact that HE HAS BEEN PRESIDENT FOR THE PAST FOUR FREAKING YEARS, AND EVERY MOVE OF HIS HAS BEEN ANALYZED TO FREAKING DEATH.

    Where do you come up with this crap?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 37 Thumb down 5

  35. bk says:

    @Jean: It’s scary that people like you walk among us. And can vote.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 7

  36. bk says:

    @Philips:

    To this day, I believe there is “NO” good reason why “The President” would not release his transcripts if he has nothing to hide.

    Any reason that you put “The President” in quotes? Other than to wake up all of the dogs in my neighborhood?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 6

  37. David M says:

    @Philips:

    In fact I think the release of financial records should be removed as a requirement for all elelctions, unless there is a conflict of interest.

    And you don’t think candidates for office or public officials would ever forget to disclose something? Where’s the Picard “WFT is this SH!T” image when it’s truly needed?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  38. michael reynolds says:

    @Philips

    Moron.

    Oh, wait, did I say that out loud? Sorry. So sorry for calling you a moron when “cretin” would be a more interesting word choice.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 5

  39. Unsympathetic says:

    Trump is being overtly racist – there’s no difference between this and the birth certificate nonsense. Because a black man just couldn’t possibly be legit and be elected – it has to be a conspiracy!

    This is no different than Sarah Palin accusing the first black U.S. president yesterday of being a corn-shucking, jive-talking, dishonest Negro. Oh, excuse me, she only said “shuck and jive” – the rest is, of course, assumed.

    I demand to see Trump’s bank accounts because I believe he is bankrupt. I won’t stop until I am satisfied.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2

  40. Tillman says:

    @Philips:

    I can understand Romney not wanting to release his tax returns because of senstive finacial matters, but “School Records”. In fact I think the release of financial records should be removed as a requirement for all elelctions, unless there is a conflict of interest.

    You must be rather young to be concerned about school records over tax returns. See, school records only really concern the young, who are disproportionately affected by their grades. The rest of us are not in school and therefore the main barometer of success is no longer grades from an institution, but the amount of income we make and taxes we pay on it.

    Romney’s tax returns would show off some very interesting things about his success that he’d be hard-pressed to explain, just as I imagine Obama’s Harvard grades would show off some classes he’s completely forgotten that he took (whatever the grade earned). So, honestly, the only rational response if you’re concerned about school grades is that both tax returns and school grades should be open to the public to examine.

    I mean, that’s if you’re rational. You obviously aren’t because you see no reason for a multimillionaire to disclose his tax rate and investments to the American public he is hoping to lead. No, wait, scrap everything I just wrote. How are school records less sensitive than financial records? Now, once you answer that, tell me why the American public needs to see the less sensitive information.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 2

  41. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jean:

    if anyone else was so secretive about their records it would be all over the news, so isn’t it?

    Yes, Obama is so shadowy and secretive about his past that he’s actually written two memoirs about it….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  42. anjin-san says:

    We know VERY little about the president

    You may not know much about him – you sound kinda ignorant. That’s your fault, the information is out there.

    We know quite a bit about him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  43. The Q says:

    This “we know very little” or “he needs to know how to be an American” or “he seems a stranger” is really GOP speak for :”how come this Nigger is our President?

    Lets be real. When the white boy Mitt is defiant and strong in his first debate, its a “game changer” or “proves he’s of Presidential timber”.

    When O does it in the last two debates, he is “uppity” or “rude” or “classless”.

    Get the point racist white clowns masquerading as Republicans?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  44. The Q says:

    I know the N word is offensive, but in context, sometimes its needed to accurately express a true thought.

    Thanks to the editors to allow its use in context.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  45. sam says:

    I would have said Jean=Jan, but for the better syntax, Jan’s that is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  46. Billy Bob says:

    Forrest Trump

    Run barry run.

    We all know barry is an empty suit. barry also must hate charities since his ego is so large
    and revealing his records would just prove he is the FRAUD we all thought he was.

    James don’t question the POTUS, you are just a spinless, gutless coward. I mean tabliod writer

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 8

  47. bill says:

    @The Q:
    Not my quote but kinda hits home here!

    “Why don’t white liberals ever vote for black representatives in their own congressional districts?
    Black Democrats apparently can get elected to Congress only from majority black districts, whereas black Republicans are always elected from majority white districts: Gary Franks, J.C. Watts, Tim Scott, Allen West and (we hope!) Mia Love.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

  48. David M says:

    @bill:

    Ann Coulter isn’t worth reading, much less quoting.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  49. Console says:

    @bill:

    Yeah, talking about the election habits of the party that has the first black president… that’s going to get you real far.

    How blind are you people?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  50. David M says:

    @Console:

    There’s a reason people ignore Ann Coulter.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  51. Josh says:

    What if you discovered that your president had lied on his admission forms to Columbia and been admitted as a foreign student? It is extremely competitive to gain entrance into Columbia — but easier when you transfer as a foreign student. There are numerous documents from when he was in law school and starting his career when Mr. Obama identified himself as a foreign student. Why is this important? Because there has always been a pattern of not really being transparent — but pretending that you are. I loved this guy at the beginning — but the relentless effort to hide who he is is too much to take anymore. And all this plays a role when you see him whispering things to Sarkozy or Medvedev and feining ignorance when it comes to Benghazi. You have to trust your president. If we didnt trust Nixon or Bush, why should I trust Obama?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

  52. LaMont says:

    @Josh:

    Apparently transparency means alot to you. So I can surmise that the issue of transparency is one of the more important subjects in your decision to vote. Thats fair. With that I’ll ask this question; Why would anyone who holds transparency in high regard with their vote NOT vote for president Obama based on an unproven accussation of the lack of transparency (which in my opinion is a false and baseless accusation) but vote for Romney who willfully display this same lack of transparency with regard to his income taxes?

    This question is not meant for you to answer specifically (although if you want please feel free to do so) becuase I do not know that you will vote for Romeny. However, the question is meant to get one to understand that if indeed transparency is high on their pecking order with Obama, it would make sense to compare Obama’s percieved lack of transparency (in your view) with the alternative, that is, Romney’s willfull lack of transparency.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  53. Josh says:

    Hi Lamont:
    Excellent point. Through this entire presidency and this campaign I have often made similar comparisons to President Obama and how his predecessors were treated by the media/press. If you substitute Bush for Obama it is pretty clear that Bush would be ridiculed if his group also created a smokescreen as Mr. Obama has done in Benghazi. But that is another discussion. The question for each of us is — what can you tolerate and not tolerate. If it bothers you that Romney made a lot of money and wont disclose his returns from 10 years ago — then don’t vote for him. But if Harry Reid can make a statement that says that “he heard from someone, who heard from someone that Romney doesn’t pay taxes”then certainly Trump can say “hey Mr. President, show us your transcripts.” Both Reid and Trump sound ridiculous. But is anyone in the media calling Reid “silly or ridiculous” as they do Trump. No they are not. Just as i want to know who Bush and Romney hung out with when they were in their formative years, I want to know about Obama also. But we lovingly look the other way when it comes to Mr. Obama. Suddenly our penchant for shining the light in all places to expose truth falls to the wayside. Where is deepthroat when we really need him?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  54. mantis says:

    @Josh:

    There are numerous documents from when he was in law school and starting his career when Mr. Obama identified himself as a foreign student.

    You are a liar.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  55. mantis says:

    @bill:

    Black Democrats apparently can get elected to Congress only from majority black districts

    All of the black senators invite you to GFY.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  56. LaMont says:

    @Josh:

    I agree that the lack of transparency could lend itself to foolishness on both sides (and yes, Reid has been called silly and ridiculous). However, the fact of the matter is that you have one case where the president is being held to something that traditionally no other president has been held to (disclosing his transcripts) and you have another being held to something that traditionally every presidential candidate has been held to since 1968 (disclosing tax returns) starting with his father – how ironic! Anyone having a problem with how much money Romney made is completely irrelevant (and I couldn’t care less). The problem that I have with this is that these two issues are false equivalencies, but that is another argument. If you want to keep it to a discussion about transparency itself then lets focus on that issues by itself. Obama is being accused of not being transparent because he has not done something that no other president has ever felt the need to do, thus, why should he submit to the accusations? On the other hand, Romney is being accused of not being transparent because he refuse to do something every presidential candidate has done since 1968 – that’s give a decent amount of income tax returns.

    I just don’t see how you (assuming you will vote for Romney) can cite this one issue with Obama when Romney clearly appears to be the worse with regard to this specific subject. I feel that Obama is unfairly being held to what is clearly a different standard when Romney does not want to submit to the same standard every candidate has adhered to since his father. How does Obama’s transcripts or any other perceived lack of transparency compare to Romney’s willful act of not being transparent? One is just an accusation, the other is intent. And if Romney is doing this intentionally, how can you expect that he would be any better than Obama while he is president? I would argue that you could expect him to be much worse.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  57. Josh says:

    Lamont:
    Thanks for your response and I agree with you. So let me ask you for your personal opionion — why do you think Obama does not wish to release his transcripts and why do you think Romney does not wish to release his tax returns from 10 years ago? What are they hiding?? BTW, maybe we should also get their medical/health records as well. What do you think? BTW, recently the CEO of yahoo was forced to resign because he lied about his college degrees and what he studied.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  58. Josh says:

    Hi manti@mantis: Hi mantis: Can you direct me to where that information might be? That would be helpful. Thanks.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  59. mattb says:

    @Josh:

    @mantis: Hi mantis: Can you direct me to where that information might be? That would be helpful. Thanks.

    It doesn’t work that way actually. You made the following claim:

    There are numerous documents from when he was in law school and starting his career when Mr. Obama identified himself as a foreign student.

    So since you brought that claim up, it’s actually *YOUR* responsibility to present the support for the claim. Mantis called you on the unsupported claim.

    The correct response is to present evidence for the initial claim, not ask Mantis to present evidence to contradict your lack of evidence.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  60. mattb says:

    @Josh:

    BTW, recently the CEO of yahoo was forced to resign because he lied about his college degrees and what he studied.

    Correct. However, that’s a dodge of the larger issue. We know, and the institutions in question (Columbia, Occidental College, Havard Law, and the Harvard Law Review) have confirmed Obama studied there (or in the case of the Law Review was the editor) and graduated/transferred from their programs. So he successfully completed his degrees. That’s all that matters. Nothing has been hidden.

    Presidential candidates DO NOT, as a tradition, willingly released college transcripts during the election.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  61. mantis says:

    @Josh:

    Hi mantis: Can you direct me to where that information might be? That would be helpful. Thanks.

    The numerous documents you claim exist? They don’t exist, so I can’t tell you where they are.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  62. LaMont says:

    @Josh:

    why do you think Obama does not wish to release his transcripts

    Becuase I personally feel that he does not want to submit to what he feels is a foolish attempt to be held to a different standard than every other president.

    and why do you think Romney does not wish to release his tax returns from 10 years ago?

    Becuase I personally feel that inspite of the fact that every president since 1968 has met this standard (to a large degree – I believe Obama gave at least 7 returns), Romney has made the calculated decision to hide something that could be very easily rediculed, thus, lending itself to a broader discussion of how today’s tax policies strongly favors the wealthiest amongst us while the same tax policies disproportionately burdens the middle class and working poor. This is a discussion no wealthy person wants to have as it may result in the recalling of some tax loopholes that only the wealthy takes advantage of.

    BTW, maybe we should also get their medical/health records as well. What do you think?

    I don’t agree as it is NOT a standard any presidential candidate has been held to.

    BTW, recently the CEO of yahoo was forced to resign because he lied about his college degrees and what he studied.

    Now I am positively sure that the CEO of yahoo was asked about “his degrees”. I am also positively sure that this is a standard that is held for every CEO in this country for years. Furthermore, I reject the premise that Obama could be lying as there is no evidence that he is under this baseless attempt to hold him accountable of a standard o one else is held accountable for.

    I did not like it when Obama gave his long-from birth certificate when he had no real reason to show it. But the President did it to put an end to a bunch of foolishness. And now the same person (Trump) is pushing this other foolish idea of getting the president to show his transcripts. The same premise behind this ‘transcripts” discussion applies. I would not stoop down to a different standard. Not only is it offensive, it is a major insult! Do anyone with this train of thought even stops to think that maybe, just maybe, the president was and is qualified? It baffles me!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  63. Josh says:

    @LaMont: At the same time, just because something was not done in the past, doesnt mean that we shouldnt require things today. Im sure there was a time when presidents or elected officials did not present their returns. I appreciate your thoughtful responses.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  64. Josh says:

    @mantis: Hi, must be a misunerstanding. I thought you were saying that you knew where they existed.I was referring to Obama’s Literary Agent, Acton & Dystel in their 1991 Promotional Booklet that states that Barack Obama was ‘Born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii.

    The booklet, which was distributed to “business colleagues” in the publishing industry, includes a brief biography of Obama among the biographies of eighty-nine other authors represented by Acton & Dystel. It also promotes Obama’s anticipated first book, Journeys in Black and White–which Obama abandoned, later publishing Dreams from My Father instead.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  65. Josh says:

    @mattb: Thanks for your prodding mattb. I was referring to Obama’s Literary Agent, Acton & Dystel in their 1991 Promotional Booklet that states that Barack Obama was ‘Born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii. Certainly you can imagine the effort and care that went into producing such a document — as it sat on everyone’s desk for years.

    The booklet, which was distributed to “business colleagues” in the publishing industry, includes a brief biography of Obama among the biographies of eighty-nine other authors represented by Acton & Dystel. It also promotes Obama’s anticipated first book, Journeys in Black and White–which Obama abandoned, later publishing Dreams from My Father instead.

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  66. LaMont says:

    @Josh:

    At the same time, just because something was not done in the past, doesnt mean that we shouldnt require things today. Im sure there was a time when presidents or elected officials did not present their returns. I appreciate your thoughtful responses.

    You know I thought of the same thing. How did the showing of tax returns become a standard? Well, In 1968 George Romney volunteered to show 12 years of tax returns. His biographer wrote this about George Romney concerning his tax returns “Release of the document, while it might serve a political purpose, would not prove very much, he argued. One year could be a fluke, perhaps done for show, and what mattered in personal finance was how a man conducted himself over the long haul.”

    This went over so well that ten years later the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 policy was made which mandates all candidates running for office of the President of the United States to file a public financial disclosure report with the federal election commission. So you see, Mitt’s father largely started this trend in good faith that he had nothing to hide. In fact, he thought that several years of tax returns could tell alot about a candidate’s finanical values and as he put it “conducted himself”.

    Now I would have absolutely no problem with Obama if he volunteered his transcripts, birth certificate, or even his medical records to start a trend. However, he correctly should not submit himself to an accounting of different standards. Especially under the false premise that he is hiding something. On the other hand, you have Romney, who clearly refuses to adhere to the same standards even his father employed. I have a problem with that. Don’t you?

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  67. Josh says:

    @LaMont: Lamont — everyone knows that VP Biden had plagarism issues since he nwas in public office and while he was in College. And we also know the story of Ted Kenedy Kennedy earned C grades at the private Milton Academy, but was admitted to Harvard as a “legacy” — his father and older brothers had attended there, so the younger and dimmer Kennedy’s admission was virtually assured. While attending, he was expelled twice, once for cheating on a test and once for paying a classmate to cheat for him. If I substitute Bush for Kennedy or Bush for Biden, wouldn’t you agree that you would feel uncomfortable with having this kind of individual holding the highest office in the land?? Just wondering how everyone feels about it.

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  68. Josh says:

    @LaMont: I see your point. But isn’t he still fulfilling the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 policy?? Isn’t it odd that Obama is so eager to release these financial documents when he is only required to release the minimum? Let me ask you this … what would upset you about his returns? Tax havens? Contributions to non-profits you dont agree with?? Maybe if he was around, his dad would prod him into releasing them. Either way, you have to admit, it gives us something to discuss.

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  69. LaMont says:

    @Josh:

    If I substitute Bush for Kennedy or Bush for Biden, wouldn’t you agree that you would feel uncomfortable with having this kind of individual holding the highest office in the land?? Just wondering how everyone feels about it.

    You don’t have too. Bush went to an ivy league school becuase of who his father is. And it is widely known that he was a C student. Bush did not get the outrage becuase no one cares.

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  70. LaMont says:

    @Josh:

    But isn’t he still fulfilling the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 policy??

    Of course he is it’s law. But we are having a discussion about why Romney won’t give what appears to be a standard of several returns as opposed to why Obama will not give transcripts.

    Isn’t it odd that Obama is so eager to release these financial documents when he is only required to release the minimum?

    Absolutely not, how can you say it is odd when all Obama did was follow the long standing trend of giving multiple tax returns?

    what would upset you about his returns?

    What might upset me and a heck of a ton of voters is any insight on how the wealthiest amongst us take advantage of tax loopholes while the same tax policies show a disproportionate burden imposed on the middle class and the working poor. That is a conversion we should have. And if Romney releasing at least his last seven tax returns (as Obama did) starts that conversation (let alone the fact that it will show how Mitt “conducts himself”) then it would have been worth it. But that is not a conversation Mitt and many other wealthy people is willing to have. The potential outrage could definitely cause some of those loop holes to be filled and the rich don’t want that!

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  71. Josh says:

    @LaMont: Hey a C student … I thought he was more of a D student. I didnt know we had such a genius in the WH :-)

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  72. TxAg says:

    @swbarnes2:
    The reason conservatives and Republicans don’t vote for Obama is because they are conservatives and Republicans, not because they are racist.

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  73. Josh says:

    @LaMont: Hoping everyone is safe and sound. I just emerged from the hurricane … and in the midst of the storm the craziest notion suddenly hit me … how do we even know that it is widely known that Bush was a C student — and that Kennedy and Biden were “cheaters” in school, but we know nothing about Obama as a student?? Think about it. Take care.

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  74. LaMont says:

    @Josh:

    Well, if you’d like to go that route let me ask you this; How was Clinton as a student? What about Carter, Nixon, Ford, etc. Getting my point? By in large, the majority of our past president were never critiqued on this issue because, by in large, no one cares.

    Now, conversely, why would most voters care about a comprehensive set of Romney’s tax returns? Do me a favor and read the following article.

    http://truth-out.org/buzzflash/commentary/item/17613-uaw-charges-romney-with-profiteering-from-auto-bailout

    Article higlights;

    At a press conference in Toledo, Bob King, President of the United Automobile Workers, will announce that his union and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) have filed a formal complaint with the US Office of Government Ethics in Washington stating that Gov. Romney improperly hid a profit of $15.3 million to $115.0 million in Ann Romney’s so-called “blind” trust….

    The Romneys’ gigantic windfall was hidden inside an offshore corporation inside a limited partnership inside a trust which both concealed the gain and reduces taxes on it.

    A commenter on this site stated the following;

    Nothing this man surprises me. I am sure this and many other reasons is why the American people know so little about his tax returns

    This is exactly the point I have been making. Instances like this, even if they were all perfectly legal, would spur a discussion of just how wealthy people are taking advantage of tax loopholes. I can see just why Romney would not be transparent in this regard as it would hurt him immensely if this type of information was found all over his tax returns for the last 7 years.

    Bottom line, There is much more credence in worrying about what Romney is up to in his willful intent to NOT be transparent rather than what Obama is up to in his rightfully dismissive approach at transparency with regard to foolish accusations – accusation that are standards that no other American President has been held to.

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  75. Craig says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

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