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True story: for several years of my employment (circa 1994 – 2004), my main job responsibility was to convert many thousands of pages of our core tech doc to .pdf and publish them to our field staff, thrice a year. I went to school for it and everything. They useta call me the PDF Lady. Oh, if only I were kidding.

To this day, if Uncle B downloads a particularly awkward Adobe file, he fixes me with a cold and bitter stare.

So here’s what I think is going on. This thing looks to have been created by taking a scan of the original document as it was bound in a book (hence the falloff on the lefthand side)…that scan was then was sharpened — either over-sharpened or converted to black-and-white, fax-style — giving the type terrible black jaggies and a white halo. Note some letters (particularly where typed letters touch parts of the printed form) are grayer. The result was then superimposed over the green patterned background. I’m at a loss to explain the soft gray pencil marks; perhaps they were too pale to trigger the sharpening.

My best guess is that this image was produced by some antiquated, stupid but perfectly legitimate automated document storage and retrieval system. Godnose we in the corporate world were bombarded by startups trying to sell shit like this, particularly in the early years, so there’s no telling how much grossly expensive bad ware was hawked to the government. It was probably intended to “enhance” a scan and superimpose it over a state seal or other legitimizing watermark.

In the absence of any new information, I’m going to say: legitimate and official. Also crude, ugly and utterly uninspiring of confidence. Like an electronic vote divorced from its original paper counterpart, it’s probably real but SO easily could be effed with.

Eh…almost like they don’t want the controversy to die down.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 27, 2011, 9:31 pm

I could forge a better fake in an hour. Which is partly why I don’t think it’s a fake.

Comment from Scott Jacobs
Time: April 27, 2011, 9:38 pm

I dare you to make a better fake.

You have an hour. GO!

Comment from Joan of Argghh!
Time: April 27, 2011, 9:41 pm

I know folks “out there” are downloading the WH pdf and finding all sorts of minor touchups all over the doc. I do magic with .pdf stuff all day long, and even an old fart like myself knows to print them out, fax them to myself and re-scan it as a flat file if that’s the look I’m going for. No, you can’t ask why.

Which makes me wonder why we can’t just see the original. I mean, the real original. In analog.

Comment from Joan of Argghh!
Time: April 27, 2011, 9:42 pm

@Scott: no fair! Obama had 3 years to do it!

Comment from Roman Wolf
Time: April 27, 2011, 9:43 pm

I never thought the birther thing would get anywhere. As to if this is a fake or not. I just don’t have the experience and hence I couldn’t tell.

Oh, and I’m still around, even if I don’t post as often as I should.

Comment from Mitchell
Time: April 27, 2011, 9:58 pm

So he’s a BHO the 2nd. We should start calling him Junior from now on. Here’s one odd thing – I seem to recall reading that he changed his name from “Barry” to “Barak” because it was more “authentic” or something. Or was Barry always a nickname and he just started telling everyone to use Barak instead?

Comment from Mitchell
Time: April 27, 2011, 10:02 pm

Oh, and y’all need to be careful – it seems you can arrested for singing Kung Fu Fighting in the U.K. It’s “racist” apparently.

Comment from Uncle Monkey
Time: April 27, 2011, 10:04 pm

What’s really weird is that it’s so antiquated, and yet it puts the thing onto the patterned green background!

It’s like the scanning system was made to remove the old patterned background (if there was one) and put it on the new one?

Sharpening does indeed produce “halos”, oddly the pencil looks fine – perhaps because of its lack of contrast. And that would have done this after the fact I would assume.

And yes – it would be a snap to do a better fake in an hour. Much better.

Truthfully, I spent most of my time looking to see that “Male” wasn’t some sort of tamper.

Comment from Joan of Argghh!
Time: April 27, 2011, 10:09 pm

So, sweasie, have you opened it up in Adobe yet?

I’m home from work today and haven’t had the chance: http://twitpic.com/4q6v2r

Comment from Uncle Monkey
Time: April 27, 2011, 10:16 pm

What’s any of this have to do with Chickens?

Can’t we just stick to the issues?

Comment from Oldcat
Time: April 27, 2011, 10:17 pm

I figure he was born in America because no foreigner can hate this country half as hard as the homegrown leftist twit can.

Comment from Oldcat
Time: April 27, 2011, 10:20 pm

What I got out of all this is that two years of pleading and threatening got nowhere but once the birther stuff upstaged his laughable plan for solving his own deficits – THEN it had to be put to bed at once.

Comment from Joan of Argghh!
Time: April 27, 2011, 10:20 pm

The faint markings look more like some sort of transfer effect from say, having a stack of such BC papers on one’s desk and making notes on another sheet on top. Those old micro-fiche printouts were from negatives, so there was a lot of black “ink” on a BC. Wouldn’t be a stretch to think the negative print had some transfer-off effect.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 27, 2011, 10:25 pm

I don’t have Illustrator no mo’ — nor any of my fancy .pdf’ing gear. I think layers are still consistent with some kind of doc retrieval gear. On the other hand, this shit is so clumsy looking, I’d feel as good about “OBAMA IS FOR REALS” scrawled on a paper bag with a Sharpie.

Comment from Uncle Monkey
Time: April 27, 2011, 10:38 pm

For the record, illustrator CS4 shows it to be flattened, they may have caught on.

You know, it just dawned on me a few days ago when I saw an ad for CS5.5 “educational” suite, that the wife teaches art at a k-8 (soon to have H.S.).

f*ing DUH!

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 27, 2011, 10:51 pm

What’s the deal with 5.5, Uncle Monkey? Bugfix, or do they always release a .5? By my calculations CS6 should be out around October (my next forced upgrade).

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 27, 2011, 10:53 pm

Hmmmm…good point:

RT @imsure: RT @Save_the_USA “African” on BO’s birth certificate is false.Label would have been “Negro” in 1961. VERY TRUE!!<–Interesting

Comment from Uncle Monkey
Time: April 27, 2011, 11:15 pm

S. Weasel, scuttlebutt is that 5.5 will push CS6 back to spring 2012. Adobe will start doing “.5” releases, so no – it’s a new thing.


5.5 adds nothing new to the standby’s (I,P), but there’s changes to all web based stuff, what with all the mobile apps, various platforms and HTML5 that need to be dealt with. I think premier has also been enhanced (have to look).

Oh yeah, and yes – “Negro” should have been used (and was on his FIRST COLB where it said “Negro-African”) http://tinyurl.com/3awdj9k 1961 Race Regulations

Also no baby weight, length – all those thangs.

Comment from Mark Matis
Time: April 28, 2011, 12:24 am

Did “PDF Lady” stand for Pretty Damn Funny???


Comment from Scott Jacobs
Time: April 28, 2011, 12:53 am

I don’t have Illustrator no mo’ — nor any of my fancy .pdf’ing gear.

So you lied to me, is what you’re saying… 🙂

Comment from Mono The Elderish
Time: April 28, 2011, 12:58 am

Yep the african thing is why imma call this fake….

Comment from Sven in Colorado
Time: April 28, 2011, 1:11 am

Twenty foot rail, hot bucket of tar and plenty of raggity ass feathers from the Arkansas turkey and chicken slaughter house.

This dipstick needs his arse run across Route 66 on a skateboard. Then dump him in (Dingy) Harry Reid’s backyard along with Nan P and the greater lot of both houses of congress.

That would be the Mohave Desert. Alkaline and deadly.
Fuck’um all.

No, I am not a nice person right now.

Comment from Armybrat
Time: April 28, 2011, 1:15 am

I just have two words to say about this whole birther thing……Billary Clinton.

Comment from Pavel
Time: April 28, 2011, 1:47 am

“African” was commonly used to describe black Africans in the 1960s (and before.) This was particularly true with black Africans themselves.

Obama is dishonest, incompetent, cowardly, economically illiterate, corrupt, and American. I’ll be happy when the focus stops being on the final point.

Comment from Glen Richards
Time: April 28, 2011, 1:57 am

Did you notice the clerk’s name? U K L Lee – now *that’s* Hawaiian!

Comment from JeffS
Time: April 28, 2011, 4:03 am

I’m with Pavel — O!’s father was from African, and would have been classed as “African” back then. This is a no-brainer.

I’m also with Pavel on “American”. Let’s focus on Obama’s dishonesty, incompetence, cowardliness, ignorance, and corruption.

Comment from David Gillies
Time: April 28, 2011, 7:39 am

Cliffs Notes:

NOT IMPORTANT – where the jug-eared fuckstick currently stinking up 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue was born

IMPORTANT: unfunded liabilities for Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security now at $106 trillion (yes, boys and girls, trillion with a ‘T’).

Nietzsche said if you stare too long into the abyss it will stare into you. If we stare ten more minutes into this abyss it’s going to climb up and punch us so hard in the junk we’ll have three Adam’s apples.

Comment from Mike C.
Time: April 28, 2011, 8:16 am

Okay, that’s a take on the document I haven’t seen anywhere else. Good contribution.

Comment from Oceania
Time: April 28, 2011, 12:15 pm

I’m calling it FAKE.


Because its not the ‘African’ race, when it should be NEGRO/NEGROID.
Its not the poor layering or pen-man-ship.

Its the backgound!
That fomat didn’t exist back then.
Its not a clean scan of the original certificate, it has been altered – and its FAKE!

Comment from Ric Locke
Time: April 28, 2011, 1:00 pm

The whole thing’s funny, if you have a taste for irony.

What’s especially amusing is how many of the “move along here, nothing to see, you have to take Obama’s word for it” crowd were baying in packs for Moar Documentation! Release Every Scrap! Must Have Full Information! regarding George W. Bush in 2000 and (especially) in 2004.

“Birthers” are just “AWOLers” seen in the mirror.

Comment from EastAsia
Time: April 28, 2011, 1:27 pm

I have to admit I’m shocked—his parents were married?? I thought for SURE that was what he was trying to hide.

Comment from Mark Matis
Time: April 28, 2011, 1:32 pm

More on what was released yesterday:

Comment from Elphaba
Time: April 28, 2011, 2:19 pm

Personally, I could easily believe that BO’s mama was a jackal and his father was Satan, himself. 😉 I’m with David Gillies on where the focus needs to be, however. Regardless of origin, the fact that is, Prez. Putt-putt’s presence in the White House means that as a country, we are hosed.

Comment from Uncle Monkey
Time: April 28, 2011, 2:39 pm

Huh, something I just saw was that the doc was set in a clipping path – something I didn’t look for.

So it is – and look at the friggin’ actions list!!
So basically, like Uncle Badger said: either they didn’t hire “Fingers Malone”, or Fingers made sure that it looked screwy.

Any moron trying to hide their tracks sure wouldn’t save out of Photoshop as a PDF, would they? Wouldn’t you just shift/copy the whole thing into a new doc and save for web?

Why does it have to be so weird?

Comment from Uncle Monkey
Time: April 28, 2011, 2:50 pm

Whoops! Nevermind!
Those are the standard actions that you’ll see every time you open a doc. Too early for me here I guess.

So the only weirdness is that it’s set into multiple clipping paths.

Comment from Uncle Monkey
Time: April 28, 2011, 3:39 pm

Here I am again – ok, no mystery at all.

I’ve opened a few PDF docs from scanners that do that (contracts) and it does indeed put everything into clipping paths and in return, layers. The object seem pretty random, but the OCR part of adobe seems to want to pull the text out from the graphics (lines etc.).

Back to the chickens. 🙂

Comment from some vegetable
Time: April 28, 2011, 5:59 pm

While I’ve never doubted Barry’s US birth, I have to say I’d be a little worried if the President of the United States couldn’t have a decent forgery generated with two years notice.

Comment from Ex Hawaiian
Time: April 28, 2011, 7:49 pm

The birth certificate B.S. is just cover for the important stuff – like what passport was he running under in Pakistan, how did he get into the various schools he went to, and what were his grades. Affirmative action in action!

Comment from Oceania
Time: April 29, 2011, 1:13 am

Obama us a problematic entity that is causing mayhem to most Americans. There are too many secrets to hide, and now an ‘official’ faked birth cert.

The rest of the world is sitting back saying: ‘I told you so!’

And so we did …

I see that intel agencies around the world are starting to call it ‘fake’ also.

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: April 29, 2011, 1:26 am

While I’ve never doubted Barry’s US birth, I have to say I’d be a little worried if the President of the United States couldn’t have a decent forgery generated with two years notice.

Ayup to the first and, while I am a bit ambivalent about the idea of a Presidential forger, I find myself in some sympathy with the second thought as well.

Comment from Rob in Katy 16680 /?comments_popup=16680
Time: April 29, 2011, 1:59 am

Well, you don’t want the CIA to do the work because they would then have an anvil over Barry’s head. You guys don’t need anything special other than Adobe viewer. Google whitehouse birth certificate ( http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/rss_viewer/birth-certificate-long-form.pdf ) scan on over to the doc id “61 10641” and zoom in to 800%. You should have no problem finding waldo, either the WH wants to keep playing with folks or they used the same dolt that forged the first one.

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: April 29, 2011, 4:29 am

And that is, in a nutshell, the problem with the whole discussion of authenticity. It has nothing whatsoever to do with real questions of the reliability or value of evidence. This is an issue of faith. Pretty much like (thank you Ric Locke!) the whining about Mr. Bush’s military service was. The rules of evidence for those who believe in the (any!) faith are:

Evidence that clearly supports my position is clearly reliable.

An absence of evidence supporting any position whatsoever is clearly evidence supporting my position.

Evidence tending to suggest that my position is insupportable supports my position because its very existence proves its inaccuracy, and the lengths to which the opposing position will go to discredit the clear truth of my position.

The whole thing gets real embarrassing to watch–real quick!

Comment from Oceania
Time: April 29, 2011, 6:07 am

It has nothing to do with Faith, but the US Constitution, and the rule of US law.

Funny how foreigners and anyone who is not a Yank can point this out.

Your country has lost its soul, and it has certainly no morals.

Do the right thing. Take the Nigger in the Whitehouse outide, and place him against the wall and Execute it.

This is Sedition 101. The President of the United States is in fact a Traitor.

Comment from jwm
Time: April 29, 2011, 9:58 pm


You are rude, crude, and socially unacceptable. I denounce you. Most hardidly.

Comment from Oceania
Time: April 30, 2011, 12:29 am

But don’t shoot the messenger, please.

BTW, Your CNC has just foisted a fake birth certificate on not only the USA, but the World.
Now, what message does that send?

Comment from James the lesser
Time: April 30, 2011, 1:18 am

Cleanup in Aisle 10.

Comment from Oceania
Time: April 30, 2011, 1:29 am

Yes, missing from the bottom of the Whitehouse copy is this:

1. Birthplace: Kenya; Registered Honolulu HRS 333-17.8 per Grandmother

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