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Dreams From His Aunt

Yesterday Glenn Reynolds made the rounds in his usual style, spotlighting an interesting story and related posts on Barack Obama’s aunt Zeituni Onyango (I’ve deleted the “update” notations):

MAYBE SOMEBODY SHOULD SPREAD SOME WEALTH AROUND IN HIS OWN FAMILY: Obama Aunt Found in Rundown Boston Slum.

Zeituni Onyango, the aunt so affectionately described in Mr Obama’s best-selling memoir Dreams from My Father, lives in a disabled-access flat on a rundown public housing estate in South Boston.

A second relative believed to be the long-lost “Uncle Omar” described in the book was beaten by armed robbers with a “sawed-off rifle” while working in a corner shop in the Dorchester area of the city. He was later evicted from his one-bedroom flat for failing to pay $2,324.20 (£1,488) arrears, according to the Boston Housing Court.

Funny how you have to go to the British papers — in this case the London Times — for this kind of story.

Bob Krumm emails: “The most damning part of the Obama aunt story is that once his campaign found her living in squalor they told her to not talk to the press until after the election, but they didn’t try to help her.” He has a post here to that effect.

Some thoughts from TigerHawk: “I have finally figured out why somebody who has been as successful as Barack Obama believes that the government must help people who cannot or do not help themselves: He simply does not understand that helping the poor, unlucky, or incompetent is first the responsibility of family.”

Plus this: “He has used these people — his grandmother, his aunt and uncle, and so forth — as props in his political narrative. He wants us to measure him in part by his relationship to these Kenyans, but — and here is the harsh part — only as that relationship is described by him. What if his characterization of that relationship is misleading? What if it turns out that while he is delighted to cite these people as evidence of his humble beginnings — that is what I mean by using them as props — he is not so delighted to consider them as part of his family? Is that not at least a potentially useful insight into the character of this man about whom we know so little?”

Ann Althouse defends Obama and quotes the Bible.

At NRO’s Corner, Mark Steyn opened yet another window on the story — a window with a view to Obama’s dubious donations:

The London Times story of Barack Obama’s Aunt Zeituni – like that of his penniless brother and the Kenyan grade school he promised to help – is interesting not only as a reflection on the candidate’s belief that “spreading the wealth around” is a centralized government mandate to be imposed on Joe the Plumber rather than a personal act by, say, a wealthy memoirist whose books repackage colorful relatives to highly lucrative effect.

But, aside from all that, this detail is lovely:

The Times could not determine their immigration status and an official at Boston City Hall said that Ms Onyango was a resident of Flaherty Way but not registered to vote on the electoral roll. However, that Ms Onyango made a contribution to the Obama campaign would indicate that she is a US citizen.

Of course. By definition, if you donate to Barack the Good, you must be one of his loyal subjects. They should make it a requirement of the citizenship test.

By the way, the argument that giving money to Obama is ipso facto proof of citizenship also clears up any question marks over those donations by “A Hitler” and “S Hussein”. Congratulations!

Mark adds a closing thought: “Oh, and if you want to know why The Boston Globe‘s parent company (The New York Times) has been downgraded by Moody’s to junk status, ask yourself why this story is in a foreign newspaper three thousand miles away rather than the local rag.”

UDPATE: Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby writes: “Apropos your comment on the Obama-aunt-in-Boston story…, I gently point out that the Globe DID have the story. It was on the front page of its Metro section yesterday.” The story appears under the headline “Obama aunt may live in Boston.”

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