Patterico's Pontifications

5/29/2008

Truthing Obamafuscations: Part Two of a Continuing Series Through November

Filed under: General — WLS @ 2:19 pm



Posted by WLS:

A couple weeks ago I decided to start calling attention to “Obamafuscastions” of the truth through the summer and into the fall.  Part one is here.

I’ve had several opportunties over the past couple weeks to post additional parts, but they just didn’t seem juicy enough.

But this passage from the commencement speech he gave at Wesleyan College has a glaring factual untruth in it — and its about his OWN biography:

But during my first two years of college, perhaps because the values my mother had taught me –hard work, honesty, empathy – had resurfaced after a long hibernation; or perhaps because of the example of wonderful teachers and lasting friends, I began to notice a world beyond myself.  I became active in the movement to oppose the apartheid regime of South Africa.  I began following the debates in this country about poverty and health care.  So that by the time I graduated from college, I was possessed with a crazy idea – that I would work at a grassroots level to bring about change. 

I wrote letters to every organization in the country I could think of.  And one day, a small group of churches on the South Side of Chicago offered me a job to come work as a community organizer in neighborhoods that had been devastated by steel plant closings.  My mother and grandparents wanted me to go to law school.  My friends were applying to jobs on Wall Street.  Meanwhile, this organization offered me $12,000 a year plus $2,000 for an old, beat-up car.

And I said yes.   

Based on the Wikipedia entry for Obama, this is not an accurate timeline of his migration to South Side Chicago politics as a “community organizer.”  He did not go there directly out of college as he suggests here — he went two years later — after first working for two NY organizations:   Business_International_Corporation  a publishing and business consulting group, and New York Public Interest Research Group.

Business International Corporation (BI) was a publishing and advisory firm dedicated to assisting American companies in operating abroad. In 1986, Business International was acquired by The Economist Group in London, and eventually merged with The Economist Intelligence Unit.

Founded in 1953 … BI initially focused on American companies and started out with a weekly newsletter (called Business International) and a group of key corporate clients. BI eventually became the premier information source on global business with research, advisory functions, conferences and government roundtables in addition to its publications. It was headquartered in New York City, with major offices in Geneva, London, Vienna, Hong Kong and Tokyo, and a network of correspondents across the globe.

Publications included a family of newsletters (Business International, Business Europe, Business Eastern Europe, Business Latin America, Business Asia, Business China, and Business International Money Report), regularly updated reference products covering 40-50 countries (Financing Foreign Operations; Investment, Licensing and Trading Conditions Abroad), an international business and economic forecasting service, a risk assessment service, and in-depth research reports. It also conducted specialized research assignments for its clients. It was well-known for its Roundtable Conferences that brought senior business executives together with key government figures in capital cities around the globe. Its business forecasting conferences and publications were also widely used.

Its international client base included most major American companies, as well as European, Japanese and Indian companies and corporate groups.

United States Senator Barack Obama‘s first job after graduating from Columbia University was with the company. He held a position as a research associate in its general international business information division.

The website for the New York Public Interest Research  Group, is found here.

So, why would Obama say in a commencement speech that his call to public service came from a political awakening during his first (not sure if he meant “first” two years which were at Occidental in Los Angeles, or his “final” two years which were at Columbia in NY)  two years of college led him to write letters to every orgainization in the country he could think of, resulting ultimately in an offer to work for $12,000 on the South Side of Chicago — but failed to mention that he worked for a big business outfit in New York immediately after graduation?

Inconveniently, that FACT wouldn’t fit the narrative he’s constructed of a man whose epiphany for service stirred the community organizer buried deep in his sole.

This is another example of what I called attention to yesterday — Obama’s willingness to embellish facts in order to make stories about himself seem richer in their texture.

h/t powerlineblog 

91 Responses to “Truthing Obamafuscations: Part Two of a Continuing Series Through November”

  1. I can respect someone’s decision to eschew professional life in the corporate environment if they truly believe that they would be more fulfilled in a non-profit, charitable, or in general “community/social service” setting. I have a friend who graduated from Georgetown with an econ degree, went into the corporate world, and is now a pastoral minister at a Catholic university. He loves it.
    I just never hear what exactly were the communties that Obama organized, what policies and programs he organized, and what was his track record of success in this very lofty sounding position that is hailed as the pinnacle of sefless devotion to the concerns of “the people.” What exactly did he accomplish?

    Jack Klompus (b796b4)

  2. Based on the Wikipedia entry for Obama, this is not an accurate timeline of his migration to South Side Chicago politics as a “community organizer.”

    One should never, ever begin a factual critique of someone’s quotes with “based on the Wikipedia entry…” Seriously, that reads like a high school term paper written by a stoner.

    Chris (1e0cf4)

  3. What the Obamessiah says doesn’t matter to his supporters. He could have sex with a sheep in Macy’s window on 34th street in broad daylight, and his supporters would only want to know:

    1 – Was he practicing safe sex, and:
    2 – Whether or not the sheep consented. After all his supporters generally believe (or should I say “feel”?) that animals have rights that trump all other human concerns.

    Horatio (a549f7)

  4. Don’t forget that he was conceived, Immaculate conception. when his parents got caught up in the waves of hysteria surrounding the Selma march, which would not occur for 4 more years. And, he’s from an island. And, Axelrod’s company is a lobbying company, and his campaign mgr in Puerto Rico is a lobbyist, which are both against his own rules, and he will talk to Iran, then won’t, then will, and he has not been to Iraq in over 2 years and will not go with McCain because it is a meaningless gesture, but wait, he has been planning his own meaningless gesture ….

    JD (5f0e11)

  5. One of my favorite Obamafuscations was in his third (I think) of eight explanations of his relationship to Rev. Wright when he said that Trinity United Church of Christ was not all that different from most black churches. People attending other black churches then started piping up and saying, yeah Barack, it is. Busted right off the bat he was with that when when he trid to smear the entire “black church” with Rev. Wright’s racism.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  6. daley – did you order your limited edition copy of his landmark, historic, greatest oration since Cicero, speech on race from his campaign site? As I recall some commenters declared that it would be studied and pored over by scholars and students for the rest of human history.

    Jack Klompus (b796b4)

  7. Jack – For something devoid of any new substance, I agree it was a great speech.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  8. I refer you to The Bard with regard to “The Speech”:

    Out, out, brief candle!
    [Obama’s] but a walking shadow, a poor player
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
    And then is heard no more: it is a tale
    Told by [a Chicago pol], full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing.

    Horatio (a549f7)

  9. Re the resort to Wiki, I agree that it is a site that must be used with caution. But, unless someone can point to an authoritative site that says Obama graduated from Columbia in 1983 and headed straight for Chicago’s south side, then the “Obamafuscation” of the truth remains.

    He spent a year working for a big business New York outfit as a research assistant.

    When he says in a speech that he heard the calling to service while in college and selflessly went to help the poor and downtrodden for $12,000 a year, it’s a lie.

    WLS (68fd1f)

  10. He sure is trying to pull the wool over America’s eyes. You can tell because he didn’t explain his decision to work for BI in his biography. Except he did:

    In the months leading up to graduation, I wrote to every civil rights organization I could think of, to any black elected official in the country with a progressive agenda, to neighborhood councils & tenant rights groups. When no one wrote back, I wasn’t discouraged. I decided to find more conventional work for a year, to pay off my student loans and maybe even save a little bit. I would need the money later, I told myself. Organizers didn’t make any money; their poverty was proof of their integrity. (Dreams of My Father, 125)

    I know, I know, if he really wanted to be a community organizer, he wouldn’t have taken “no” for an answer. He would’ve swathed himself in rags and camped before the doors of the group he wanted to work for, and remained there for the 30 days and 30 nights they require of all applicants.

    Seriously, his story is consistent. This post, on the other hand, with its Wikipedia citation and secret knowledge of Obama’s inner heart — so that you might know which omissions constitute sins, and which are merely irrelevant — isn’t. With reason, I mean, isn’t consistent reason.

    SEK (bd295a)

  11. He’s just skipping over the boring parts of his life. Nobody could ever tell a story in a speech if they didn’t skip over the boring parts.

    In college, he developed a goal of working in grassroots community service after college. He accomplished that goal. That’s the story.

    You’re basically impeaching Obama’s credibility by pointing to him doing something everyone does, and calling it a “LIE.”

    People who agree with you already that Obama isn’t credible will be very impressed. “Of course it’s a lie, because we know he’s a liar! He must have been trying to trick us somehow by ommitting information that is easilly and publically accessible!”

    Can you imagine how freaking boring McCain’s POW stories would be if, every time he told his tales of torture and heroism, he also had to talk about all the days in captivity when he just sat in a bamboo hut and did nothing?

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  12. When he says in a speech that he heard the calling to service while in college and selflessly went to help the poor and downtrodden for $12,000 a year, it’s a lie.

    A lie? I decided to grad school when I graduated from college. Had a calling, you know, but if I hadn’t gotten into any grad programs, I would’ve worked in real estate for a year and reapplied the next. If I didn’t get in that year, I’d work in real estate for another year and reapplied the next. None of this has any bearing on when I decided to go to grad school.

    This really isn’t that complicated, people.

    SEK (bd295a)

  13. I just never hear what exactly were the communties that Obama organized, what policies and programs he organized, and what was his track record of success in this very lofty sounding position that is hailed as the pinnacle of sefless devotion to the concerns of “the people.” What exactly did he accomplish?

    Much about that here.here

    MamaAJ (788539)

  14. Thanks for the link Mama! Good ol’ ACORN – I always remember their ragtag street team with clipboards going door to door around Philly during election season. Apparently they did a remarkable job registering corpses and people at nonexistent addresses to help secure the illustrious Mayor John Street a second term. Another great “grassroots” organization was the Kensington Welfare Rights Union led by former prostitute and homeless heroin addict Cheri Honkala who never met a news camera she didn’t like.

    Jack Klompus (b796b4)

  15. Thanks, MamaAJ. I tried to post that link and got caught up in the spam filter. I think its a must read, Kurtz is quickly becoming one of my favorites.

    cfbleachers (4040c7)

  16. I guess you have to mess it up to get it through the filter, lol.

    I saw that on LGF today, btw.

    MamaAJ (788539)

  17. SEK – It’s all in the interpretation. Obama eventually went and helped the poor and downtrodden, but when you read his words contrasting his behavior with that of his classmates, most people would believe he did so immediately. Don’t understand what your decision making process about grad school has to do with Obama, but thanks for sharing.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  18. Organizers didn’t make any money; their poverty was proof of their integrity. (Dreams of My Father, 125)

    SEK – Thanks for the above quote. I guess he nails Jetstream Jesse and Rev. Al with that one.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  19. Obama could have easily said in his speech, “After a short time working for a consulting company in New York, I pursued my true calling which was community activisim in Chicago.”

    He didn’t. He gave the impression he went straight from Columbia to the South Side to work for the poor.

    That’s not true and he knew it wasn’t true.

    It his entire political persona weren’t built around the notion of his selfless dedication to others, then the omission wouldn’t be an issue.

    But more importantly, the passage cited from page 125 of his biography simply reeks of falsity.

    A Columbia University grad writes to every civil rights organization and every black elected official in the country with a progressive agenda, to neighborhood councils & tenant rights groups — and NO ONE wrote back?????

    He couldn’t carry his resume into the offices of Charlie Rangel in Harlem and get a job — or get directed to an organization that might have a job for him?

    No sale.

    WLS (68fd1f)

  20. What is so odd about Obama’s convenient omission in the story, as WLS points, out is how trifling it is. I for one would not think less of Obama if he admitted that he joined the corporate world and spent a couple of years as a filthy capitalist before embarking on his project to save humanity. The fact that Obama is trying to hide that part of his history seems to indicate that he really believes that his teeming horde of acolytes would think less of him if they knew that he once tried to make a fast buck in corporate America.

    JVW (78155f)

  21. JVW: YES! Spot on. Look at the attitude of #11 Phil dismissing genuine interest in this aspect of Obama’s narrative of self. He’s just skipping over the “boring parts of his life” so who cares, right?

    Jack Klompus (b796b4)

  22. Apparently to some, referring to Bush as a cokehead, a drunk, suffering a daddy complex, and all manner of gutter level personal slurs is sophisticated political criticism and analysis. To the same people, the attempt to interpret the meaning and motivation behind the words of a candidate in an attempt to decipher a potential president’s governing philosophy are examples of dirty tricks and smears, often racially motivated.

    Jack Klompus (b796b4)

  23. Oh, come on, this is such a distraction!

    How is that going to help Obama’s kids?

    Patricia (f56a97)

  24. Welcome to The Narrative. I’ve been hammer on it since March. Nice Deb had a handy collection about two weeks ago. Good work.

    PrestoPundit (ff5e16)

  25. Their poverty is proof of their integrity? Baracky seems to have done pretty well for himself. Does that mean he has less integrity?

    JD (5f0e11)

  26. #14 Thanks for the Philly references. You stir up my memories of Frank Rizzo, Wilson Goode, Jack and Jill Africa of MOVE (ok- John and Birdie). Hey, even recall as a youth Lillian Riese escapades up in coal country late fifties. What a town, what heartbreaking sports franchises.

    Do wonder how the Obamas ever managed to make any payments toward those student loans and also afford fresh fruit. Seems they do well enough now as capitalists and yet want us to live under Marxism.

    madmax333 (5b5b88)

  27. It’s all in the interpretation. Obama eventually went and helped the poor and downtrodden, but when you read his words contrasting his behavior with that of his classmates, most people would believe he did so immediately. Don’t understand what your decision making process about grad school has to do with Obama, but thanks for sharing.

    The point of my hypothetical story was, quite — make that ridiculously — simply to point out that decisions can be made and acted upon before you see any results. He said he decided to go into community organization before he graduated, applied everywhere he could, but got turned down, so he took a job elsewhere to help pay off his student loans. There’s no contradiction there. This isn’t a matter of interpretation except inasmuch as you and WLS are, frankly, are deliberately misinterpreting. You’re like psychoanalytic critics scouring texts for anything longer than it is wide, then declaring you’ve found penises EVERYWHERE.

    Obama could have easily said in his speech, “After a short time working for a consulting company in New York, I pursued my true calling which was community activisim in Chicago.”

    Given that he didn’t lie in what he said, the fact that you claim he’s lying because he didn’t repeat what he’d written in his memoir makes me think you’re not being intellectually honest here. He’s not hiding anything. He simply didn’t address, in a commencement speech on what’s supposed to be a day of optimism for newly-minted college graduates, that he found his calling, but didn’t get to act upon it immediately upon graduation.

    He gave the impression he went straight from Columbia to the South Side to work for the poor.

    As I said, this is a bad interpretation. He said that 1) he was possessed of the idea of community organizing in his last two years of college and 2) that after he graduated he wrote to every program out there and got a job with one of them. That’s true, i.e. it is the truth. You want to rake him over the coals for not mentioning that he got a job and paid off his loans in the interim, which is relevant because … you think it’s relevant? You know, he may’ve also worked at McDonald’s after he graduated to make ends meet. Does that make his commitment to community organization suspect? Or does it suggest maybe, I don’t know, he liked to eat?

    It his entire political persona weren’t built around the notion of his selfless dedication to others, then the omission wouldn’t be an issue.

    You might want to start another series based solely around what you think he’s deliberately omitting. You can start with all those times he said he loved his wife, because, really, I’m sure he does, but has he never cheated in his mind!?! Has he never imagined what it’d be like to make love to another woman!?! Are we to believe that this so-called “family man” has never had a prurient thought about someone other than Michelle!?! Of course not! MUST CITE WLS!

    Seriously, this is the level of misinterpretation you’re selling here, and it’s not becoming.

    But more importantly, the passage cited from page 125 of his biography simply reeks of falsity.

    Yes, I know you think it does. Why don’t consult Wikipedia and tell me whether or not it’s actually true.

    A Columbia University grad writes to every civil rights organization and every black elected official in the country with a progressive agenda, to neighborhood councils & tenant rights groups — and NO ONE wrote back?????

    You’re absolutely correct. It’s impossible to imagine that a green-faced graduate might not have the connections to land nor how to write the applications to land a position in a civil rights organization. That’s absolutely absurd. They hire anyone, so the fact that it took him a year to land a position is proof-positive he’s a liar.

    He couldn’t carry his resume into the offices of Charlie Rangel in Harlem and get a job — or get directed to an organization that might have a job for him?

    Well, it didn’t happen, so yes, I can believe it didn’t happen. Seriously, you’re engaging in nothing more here than rank speculation based on your own ignorance and Wikipedia. I, personally, don’t know about the hiring practices of community organization services, but who knows, maybe his application set off people’s bullshit detector. Maybe community organizers don’t trust people with Ivy diplomas who claim to want to help the poor because they all stay for a week, see what the job actually entails, then scuttle back to their yacht clubs.

    If you have a shred of intellectual honesty, you’ll admit that you’re speculating from a position a position of utter ignorance.

    The fact that Obama is trying to hide that part of his history seems to indicate that he really believes that his teeming horde of acolytes would think less of him if they knew that he once tried to make a fast buck in corporate America.

    Trying to hide it by writing about it in his memoirs? You’re right, Obama’s an idiot … or, maybe, a genius! He’s hiding the truth in plain sight! Brilliant!

    SEK (bd295a)

  28. He said it in his memoirs therefore he can omit it forever and it is never a lie of omission because he said it in his memoirs !!!!!!!!! I’ll bet the NAACP, ACORN, Maxine Waters and all of the other organizations that ignored him sure are feeling pretty stupid right now. And, SEK, he did not take ayear to pay off his student loans, according to Michelle, they are just like any other millionaires and just got out from under the burden of their college loans. And fresh fruit, oh the humanity.

    JD (5f0e11)

  29. #27 perhaps you’d deign to enlighten us peons as to just why Obama inspires the media to be so deep in the tank for him? Why people are so prone to accept everything he says as the answer to all of society’s ills? Why grown men get thrills in their legs and seemingly have a desire to fellate Barack Hussein? What has he ever even accomplished in the legislative realm? Where has he ever actually compromised with the other side? Why he has people like Wright, Rezno, Ayers and other sociopaths in his orbit but few what might be termed middle-of-the road ordinary people not sucking on the public teat? Why we are told their must be limits as to what we may question his Highness about because he must define what is distracting? Why his wife can give campaign speeches and bash America, but we are not supposed to raise any questions about her words? Why we have to be racists if we oppose anything BHO proposes? These and many other questions are pertinent and you kool-aid drinkers are clueless wads.

    madmax333 (5b5b88)

  30. SEK — this is a guy who managed to get from Punahou to Occidental, and from Occidental to Columbia.

    But he can’t get from Broadway and 120th all the way to West 125th Street? Its only 5 blocks north and 6 blocks east.

    Punahou School has one of the most extensive outreach programs for graduates of any private academy in the US. And you can’t sell me on the idea that a Columbia grad in the heart of New York, whose grades were good enough to get him into Harvard Law School just a few years later, could find no interest from public interest groups in his services.

    Its bullsheet.

    WLS (68fd1f)

  31. “As I said, this is a bad interpretation.”

    As SEK once again proves, no one can question the Obama narrative. No alternative interpretations are allowed.

    Verboten

    Penis imaginers

    You are wrong!!!!111eleventyone!!

    Kyoto

    Cuba Libre

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  32. He said it in his memoirs therefore he can omit it forever and it is never a lie of omission because he said it in his memoirs[!]

    You’ll forgive me for not copying all of your 3,591 exclamation points. For me, one does the trick. That said, I’m only saying that his account of it in his memoirs is proof that he’s not hiding it. Simple as that. He chose to put it in the public record, so to accuse him of trying to withhold it is, for lack of a better word, silly.

    I’ll bet the NAACP, ACORN, Maxine Waters and all of the other organizations that ignored him sure are feeling pretty stupid right now.

    Yes, you will bet, because you certainly don’t know. Come on, we’re at Patterico’s place, surely some sort of evidentiary standard should apply.

    perhaps you’d deign to enlighten us peons as to just why Obama inspires the media to be so deep in the tank for him?

    You’ll have to excuse me, but I don’t deign. I speak, yes, and sometimes criticize, but I don’t deign. So if you’d like enlightenment, well, you’ll need to seek that on your own.

    Why people are so prone to accept everything he says as the answer to all of society’s ills?

    I accept His Word absolutely because it’s His Word. I don’t know why you don’t. It’s His Word. What’s wrong with you?

    Why grown men get thrills in their legs and seemingly have a desire to fellate Barack Hussein?

    Projection is a wonderful thing because, um, for the person doing the projecting, you know, because it allows him to project his own fantasies, however deeply buried, no matter how way, way down, onto someone else, someone they disagree with, because, you know, they’re the ones who want what he wants! I’m not projecting! You shut up!

    Why he has people like Wright, Rezno, Ayers and other sociopaths in his orbit but few what might be termed middle-of-the road ordinary people not sucking on the public teat?

    “Boo-doo-deep. I’m sorry, the public teat you are sucking at has been disconnected or is no longer in service. Please hang up and suck again.”

    Why we are told their must be limits as to what we may question his Highness about because he must define what is distracting?

    Because. God damn it, I said “BECAUSE.” You will listen to me now! DON’T MAKE ME PULL THIS CAR OVER!?!

    Why his wife can give campaign speeches and bash America, but we are not supposed to raise any questions about her words?

    You’re absolutely right. America is perfect. There has never been, nor is there now, anything wrong it. Patriotism is blind faith in the absolute authority of the status quo. Things can never be more perfect than they are now … unless, you know, we repeal Roe v. Wade, find a way to deal with illegal immigration, make sure the Second Amendment is respected, &c. Besides all those things I criticize constantly, America is absolutely, positively, 100% perfect, and anyone who says otherwise doesn’t wear a flag on his lapel loves terrorists. Q.E.D.

    Why we have to be racists if we oppose anything BHO proposes? These and many other questions are pertinent and you kool-aid drinkers are clueless wads.

    Perhaps, my good man, but my question to you is this:

    What, exactly, are we wads of? I fancy myself a wad of Perfect, hand-crafted from the finest of Excellence and displayed in a case of 24 carat Awesome. I’m proud to be a wad. What, if I may be so bold, are you a wad of? I’d wager Resentment larded with impurities, ten parts Indignation for every part of Thought … but I’ve been wrong before.

    SEK (bd295a)

  33. And you can’t sell me on the idea that a Columbia grad in the heart of New York, whose grades were good enough to get him into Harvard Law School just a few years later, could find no interest from public interest groups in his services.

    Dodge. Dodge dodge dodge. I was requesting facts here, but you’ve replied with nothing of substance, and with nothing but supposition. Yes, obviously we should kowtow before the mightiness of your suppository power … except, no, I don’t think we should, since you’re asking us to indulge in your fantastic knowledge of Obama’s inner heart on the basis, frankly, of your ignorance. Present me with some evidence about, well, anything and I’ll likely be convinced. I’m a sucker that way.

    SEK (bd295a)

  34. As SEK once again proves, no one can question the Obama narrative.

    daley, what is this, Protein Wisdom? (Hi Dan!) Wait, it isn’t, yet I’m the same guy whose opinion there is given some weight. So whatever it is I’m once again proving, well, it ought to be something weighty, since I’m proving it.

    Granted, I’m not proving anything so much as demonstrating the extent to which you, WLS and like-minded folk are bending every word Obama utters into a narrative of your own construction … but that’s beside the point. I get it. I do. Obama is evil. And a liar.

    Obama is an evil liar.

    Granted.

    But don’t you still think you want something more solid in the way of evidence? I mean, I know you are convinced, but if you want to convince people who aren’t you, don’t you think you might want to come up with something, I don’t know, a little more convincing?

    SEK (bd295a)

  35. His stint as a summer associate at Sidley and Austin three years later puts the lie in all of Barack What-Else-Can-A-Poor-Boy-Do Obama’s narrative. To lawyers at least. Lawyers know what summer associate means. And what not getting hired as an associate means.

    Barack The-Game-Is-Afoot-Watson Obama tried to make his way into the ruling class through a high-powered law firm. And he was found wanting. So he picked an alternate route — overseer of the Daley plantation.

    nk (6c75e0)

  36. “Why his wife can give campaign speeches and bash America, but we are not supposed to raise any questions about her words?”
    “You’re absolutely right. America is perfect. There has never been, nor is there now, anything wrong it.”

    Well wait a sec, he’s not in any way implying that America is perfect by raising this point. Maybe “bash” is harsh but I think he’s right that if she makes public statements with regard to her political views then her critique of America, the gov’t, etc., are perfectly fair game for rebuttal.

    Jack Klompus (b796b4)

  37. SEK — you act as if I must accept as true Obama’s words simply because he put pen to paper and wrote them down.

    So did James Frey.

    The story sounds incredulous to me. I don’t BELIEVE it. That’s an OPINION I hold.

    What EVIDENCE is there that Obama wrote even one letter to anyone upon graduation?

    WLS (68fd1f)

  38. You know, SEK, it’s not just this instance where Obama is embellishing the truth in order to make a pretty good story even more remarkable. It has been noted that he has — on more than one occasion — spoken of his uncle being in the army unit that liberated the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz, even though it has been pointed out just how unlikely that would be. It seems that Senator Obama has something of a habit of embellishment.

    JVW (78155f)

  39. Maybe “bash” is harsh but I think he’s right that if she makes public statements with regard to her political views then her critique of America, the gov’t, etc., are perfectly fair game for rebuttal.

    Absolutely. Rebut away! Seriously, I’m not one to shy away from an argument. (He says, typing away furiously on a political blog when he should be doing something productive.)

    SEK — you act as if I must accept as true Obama’s words simply because he put pen to paper and wrote them down.

    Maybe I ought to type slower. I don’t think that at all. I do think that if you want to claim he’s hiding something — i.e. that he’s withholding information he thinks might damage his image from the public record — you ought to focus on stuff he hasn’t willingly added to the public record. To do otherwise strikes me, well, as sort of stupid. To wit:

    Mister F.: You mustn’t tell anyone about me!

    Ms. Hottie: I won’t!

    Mister F.: I’m enthralled we’re in agreement!

    Ms. Hottie: I’ll only write about you in my best-selling memoirs!

    Mister F.: !?!

    Since this isn’t what you’ve said he’s doing — is the opposite, in fact — I don’t think this is what you mean. And yet, it’s the only thing a reasonable person could infer from the evidence you’ve presented.

    What EVIDENCE is there that Obama wrote even one letter to anyone upon graduation?

    Wait, you want evidence now? I thought supposition was enough for you? After all, your entire post is based on nothing more than supposition. What right do you have to ask for evidence now? To be honest, you don’t have any. You’ve exhausted my supply of Benefit-of-Doubt, and I’m not really willing to refill the tank on your behalf … unless you realize, and admit, that you’re now asking for something you never provided in the first place. Or intimated was required in the first place. You’re the bee’s knees of bad exemplars at this point, so I don’t think you have any right to ask for that which your blinders didn’t compel you to provide. To wit:

    The story sounds incredulous to me.

    So the intellectually honest thing is to present his omission as fact? Although I appreciate your lower standards — makes doing my research all the easier — I can’t help but question your motivation for lowering them …

    SEK (bd295a)

  40. SEK – Since I haven’t called Obama a liar on this thread I don’t understand why you are so snippy. I disagree with your interpretation of what you call “facts” and your demands that others present evidence when you have essentially merely presented an argument, not facts or evidence. I am not bound to accept your interpretation whatever weight you believe your opinion carries at Protein Wisdom. I hope that status makes you a pile of dough by the way, enjoy it.

    Obama, as others have pointed out, has a history of embellishing his history and leaving out inconvenient details. His initial explanation of his relationship with Bill Ayers was a classic example of obfuscation by omission since you were asking for examples above. A former colleague of Obama’s at BIC blogged about his embellishments to that job description. I’ll put the link in a separate comment since they tend to get hung up in the filter here. Take that with a grain a salt though because you don’t know whether the colleague has an axe to grind.

    Others have posted on the same topic as WLS, including Powerline, but they can also probably be dismissed as warmongering, homophobic, racist neocons.

    SEK, with your vaunted opinion of your opinions, do you think they should be weighted 5x, 10x, 20x or what is the magic weighting relative to the opinions of regular commenters here? I’m trying to get a handle on your sense of self-importance.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  41. The link to Obama’s former BIC colleague claiming BIC embellished his work description:

    http://www.analyzethis.net/blog/2005/07/09/barack-obama-embellishes-his-resume/

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  42. spoken of his uncle being in the army unit that liberated the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz

    I’ve got this one covered, thank you very much.

    Since I haven’t called Obama a liar on this thread I don’t understand why you are so snippy.

    I don’t know if you can tell, but I’m actually not snippy here. It’s a thing, I know, the sarcasm, but it’s not snippiness.

    I disagree with your interpretation of what you call “facts” and your demands that others present evidence when you have essentially merely presented an argument, not facts or evidence.

    Actually, I have presented facts, as recorded in his memoir. You might like to discount them — to claim, contra evidence, that he’s hiding his post-collegiate career in order to pander to him-and-them-and-what’s-his-face — but but my facts consist of nothing more than the fact that he’s hiding nothing.

    I am not bound to accept your interpretation whatever weight you believe your opinion carries at Protein Wisdom. I hope that status makes you a pile of dough by the way, enjoy it.

    I’m merely reminding you, daley, that I’m not a dishonest interlocutor. If I were, I’d not remind you of anything, treat you like I didn’t know you, and amble along. (By the by, Dan’s already embezzled a MILLION TRILLION DOLLARS my way, so of course I’m going to give him props.)

    Obama, as others have pointed out, has a history of embellishing his history and leaving out inconvenient details.

    Absolutely. His not mentioning that he didn’t land his dream job immediately upon graduating is proof that he’s leaving out inconvenient details … or that he’s a human being who can’t control his own destiny. One of the two.

    His initial explanation of his relationship with Bill Ayers was a classic example of obfuscation by omission since you were asking for examples above.

    Yes, of course, his relationship with a minor elected official who happened to be a player in Chicago politics is a damning condemnation of him. That he worked with the officials elected in adjacent districts is a smear of blackness so vile its stain can never be cleansed … or we can consider him a politician who works with the colleagues his given as opposed to the ones he wants. Heaven forfend.

    Others have posted on the same topic as WLS, including Powerline, but they can also probably be dismissed as warmongering, homophobic, racist neocons.

    Actually, and this was sort of my point with mentioning Protein Wisdom, I don’t discount people’s thoughts based on their political affiliation. I thought that was obvious, but in case it wasn’t, I’ll repeat myself:

    I don’t discount people’s thoughts based on their political affiliation.

    See why I mentioned that earlier? See why it might, you know, maybe and perhaps be of some importance?

    SEK, with your vaunted opinion of your opinions, do you think they should be weighted 5x, 10x, 20x or what is the magic weighting relative to the opinions of regular commenters here?

    Dude, you should know better than this. When I’m wrong, I’m wrong. I’ll admit it … or do I need to list everything I’ve been wrong about in every thread I participate in? I could do that but, you know, people would start to think I’m self-centered. Maybe it’d be better to give a fellow the benefit of the doubt once in a while. I know, I know, it messes with the ideological purity of your brain’s thoughts, but still …

    SEK (bd295a)

  43. Wait, screw all that nuance:

    I AM RIGHT. ALWAYS. FOREVER. ALL YE LESSER NON-RIGHT TYPES BOW DOWN BEFORE — NOT LIKE THAT, FOOLS, BOW DOWN RIGHT AND PROP — GOOD LORD, WHO TAUGHT YOU HOW TO BOW? DO YOU HAVE STUPID KNEES? THAT’S NOT HOW YOU — CHRIST, DO I HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING MYSELF HERE? ALL THE OTHER GODS ARE GOING TO LAUGH — ALRIGHT, OVER HERE AND I’LL SHOW YOU HOW IT’S DONE — THOSE ARE YOUR ELBOWS!?! YOU BOW WITH YOUR KNEES! LORD ALMIGHTY …

    SEK (bd295a)

  44. [JVW] . . . spoken of his uncle being in the army unit that liberated the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz

    [SEK] I’ve got this one covered, thank you very much.

    Nope. Nice try, pal, but you and the guy you linked to are flat out wrong. If you check the link that I provided, there is an actual video of Obama claiming that it was “Auschwitz” his uncle went into, not Ohrdurf as Acephalous lamely tries to substitute in defense of his hero.

    JVW (78155f)

  45. “Dude, you should know better than this. When I’m wrong, I’m wrong. I’ll admit it.”

    SEK – The above reminds me about what I like about you. You’re so much like Glenn Greenwald that way.

    “I don’t discount people’s thoughts based on their political affiliation.”

    Nope, never seen you do that over at your place. Heh.

    “Yes, of course, his relationship with a minor elected official who happened to be a player in Chicago politics is a damning condemnation of him.”

    You need to read up on Bill Ayers, sport. You’re way behind the curve here.

    ” Absolutely. His not mentioning that he didn’t land his dream job immediately upon graduating is proof that he’s leaving out inconvenient details … or that he’s a human being who can’t control his own destiny. One of the two.”

    No, you’re just presenting a different interpretation of what he did, while his friends were seeking Wall Street jobs per his commencement address. The bio has detail.

    “I don’t know if you can tell, but I’m actually not snippy here. It’s a thing, I know, the sarcasm, but it’s not snippiness.”

    Dude, that thing, the sarcasm, I think it needs some work. I’m not sure too many people here got it.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  46. SEK – Was #42 that thing, you know, the sarcasm? If it was, you’re doing better.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  47. Nope. Nice try, pal, but you and the guy you linked to are flat out wrong. If you check the link that I provided, there is an actual video of Obama claiming that it was “Auschwitz” his uncle went into, not Ohrdurf as Acephalous lamely tries to substitute in defense of his hero.

    I didn’t claim he didn’t say Auschwitz. I acknowledged that he might’ve made a mistake as to the camp his uncle (GREAT UNCLE! WHAT A LIAR!) helped liberate, but argued that the contention that his uncle didn’t liberate a concentration camp is shameful in the extreme. He did. He may’ve gotten the name of the camp wrong, but that’s not the point. He didn’t lie, nor did he intend to, about the actions of his uncle. Care to disprove this?

    The above reminds me about what I like about you. You’re so much like Glenn Greenwald that way.

    See, this is an example of bad sarcasm. It’s ill-conceived. Anyone with half a brain can see it coming ten miles away. If really want to own The Internet, you’re gonna have to try a little harder.

    Nope, never seen you do that over at your place.

    Neither have I. Care to present some … I don’t know … evidence that I’ve dismissed someone solely on account of their political affiliation? (Can I add, parenthetically, “I dare you”?)

    You need to read up on Bill Ayers, sport. You’re way behind the curve here.

    Ayers’ role in the ’60s has little to do with his role in contemporary Chicago politics … or with his relationship to Obama. I know you want it to be meaningful — i.e. you want Ayers’ positions in the ’60s to have some direct correlation to Obama’s policy statements — but that’s something you’re going to have to prove. Intimation won’t cut it here.

    Dude, that thing, the sarcasm, I think it needs some work. I’m not sure too many people here got it.

    Dude, the fact that I indicated my sarcasm with sign-posts like “dude” should be an indication that I’m sign-posting my sarcasm. It’s damn-near — nay! is — tautological. I’m just sayin’ …

    SEK (bd295a)

  48. I think an enterprising reporter (I know, I know) should go ask every single civil rights group and every black legislator how they feel about ignoring Baracky when he was offering his services.

    JD (5f0e11)

  49. JD – They probably didn’t want to hire a halfrican. Racists!

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  50. All the pronouns I left out? They were stolen.

    By REPUBLICANS.

    They want to discredit me.

    They have everything at all to do allsoever and allnot with my not proofing my comment. ANYONE WHO SAYS OTHERWISE IS A REPUBLICAN LYING LIAR (or whatever flies for MOST ULTIMATE INSULT around here).

    SEK (bd295a)

  51. So the “strike” ain’t quite working around here tonight. Well then … you’ll just have to guess the thing I obviously didn’t mean.

    SEK (bd295a)

  52. I like SEK but he has a mouthful of Baracky tonight. He is acting like Mona.

    JD (5f0e11)

  53. I see, SEK. So Obama made a “mistake” in saying Auschwitz instead of Ohrdurf. According to CBS News, however, Obama’s spokesman says that he really meant Buchenwald. We all know how easy it is to mix up those two since they share such a close alliteration [that, SEK, is an example of sarcasm]. And seeing as how not every Obama speech in his political career has been filmed and preserved for all time, I wonder how many other times he has made the same “mistake.”

    But you go right on ahead and keep up this fantasy that Obama would never try to mislead voters by embellishing a story.

    JVW (78155f)

  54. “You need to read up on Bill Ayers, sport. You’re way behind the curve here.”

    I’ll stick by my comment here. I agree the 1960s mean relatively little. Was Ayers elected to anything? Who are you talking about?

    “If really want to own The Internet, you’re gonna have to try a little harder.”

    Shit, now it’s not a surprise anymore. Gotta find a new goal.

    Seriously though, I think Greenwald admits he’s wrong more often than you and not because you aren’t.

    “I’m merely reminding you, daley, that I’m not a dishonest interlocutor.”

    See, I still am trying to get my arms around this one. You demand that people hew to your interpretation of events and evidence, refuse to modify your positions, and insult people but then claim it was satire. I don’t know, is that honest? Amusing in a defensive and fearful sort of way I guess, but honest, I’m not there yet.

    “Dude, the fact that I indicated my sarcasm with sign-posts like “dude” should be an indication that I’m sign-posting my sarcasm.”

    Yannow, I blew it, I should have recognized it by relying on those crazee mind reading skilz you attributed to me earlier. Sorry.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  55. And I think that SEK was a bit quick to simply brush aside Ayers, and frankly, was quite cavalier in even his description of Ayers.

    JD (5f0e11)

  56. According to CBS News, however, Obama’s spokesman says that he really meant Buchenwald. We all know how easy it is to mix up those two since they share such a close alliteration [that, SEK, is an example of sarcasm].

    Ohrdurf’s an ancillary camp outside Buchenwald. But thanks for playing.

    Was Ayers elected to anything? Who are you talking about?

    If you need me to explain Ayers’ influence in Chicago politics, this conversation’s going be a lot more involved than you think. But please, I beg you, explain to me how irrelevant the Big Players in Local Politics are, and how they can be shunned without reprecussions.

    You demand that people hew to your interpretation of events and evidence, refuse to modify your positions, and insult people but then claim it was satire.

    I admit, I do demand people hew to facts when they’re 1) eminently available, 2) not hidden, and 3) unconcealed … not to mention, 4) widely acknowledged and 5) openly admitted. I mean, I know he’s trying to obscure his career behind his frank account of his career, but you’re right, he should always acknowledge absolutely everything he’s ever done because to do otherwise would be dishonest. On that note, when I was in 10th and 11th grade, I worked at Albertson’s …

    SEK (bd295a)

  57. Ohrdurf’s an ancillary camp outside Buchenwald. But thanks for playing.

    And because of that, Obama naturally refers to it as Auschwitz? Wow, is there any contortion to which you won’t subject your argument to try and defend your man?

    JVW (78155f)

  58. “If you need me to explain Ayers’ influence in Chicago politics”

    No, I don’t, but thanks for the offer. I want to make sure you understand his background because based on your description you sound very confused. You might spend some time boning up on his connections to Obama for your own, edification.

    “I admit, I do demand people hew to facts when they’re 1) eminently available, 2) not hidden, and 3) unconcealed … not to mention, 4) widely acknowledged and 5) openly admitted.”

    There you go again SEK, sticking by your interpretation. I made some changes to his speech below to make it more consistent with his bio and book and your interpretation of events. Hopefully you will agree that the changes are improvements to put all the “available” facts as you call them in one place, rather than having disreputable people allege he is hiding information, especially since he was addressing graduating students and their families.

    “So that by the time I graduated from college, I was possessed with a crazy idea – that I would work at a grassroots level to bring about change.

    I wrote letters to every organization in the country I could think of. And one day ABOUT TWO YEARS AFTER I GRADUATED AND AFTER I PUT SOME BUCKS IN MY POCKET, a small group of churches on the South Side of Chicago offered me a job to come work as a community organizer in neighborhoods that had been devastated by steel plant closings. My mother and grandparents wanted me to go to law school. My friends had gotten jobs on Wall Street. Meanwhile, this organization offered me $12,000 a year plus $2,000 for an old, beat-up car. REMEMBER BOYS AND GIRLS, DREAMS DEFERRED ARE NOT DREAMS DENIED. YOU CAN SELL OUT AND PURSUE RESUME ENHANCEMENT FOR A POLITICAL CAREER LATER. I DID.”

    Dude – Who writes his speeches anyway.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  59. I spent 50 years in Chicago, worked as a young lawyer trying federal lawsuits against the City, and I believe I have a pretty decent grasp on Chicago politics.

    However, I now feel a bit of humility for NOT understanding William Ayers “influence in Chicago politics”.

    What…precisely…is his “influence”? Because frankly, I could not be more polar opposite in my worldview or belief system than he is, although I recognize the brand.

    The gist of what I’m reading (perhaps between the lines)is that Sen. Obama HAD to deal with Ayers in order to advance through the “system” of Chicago politics.

    Really? I know several dozen elected officials who would disagree, but I’m not sure if that qualifies as “evidence”.

    In fact, those folks who held very, very, very far left…hard leftist worldviews did NOT hold much sway over the Bridgeport/Southside Irish power base.

    They certainly didn’t play well on the Vrdolyak Southeast Side, nor with George Dunne or any of the 1st Ward crowd.

    So, please forgive me for not simply taking a politician at his…you know…”word” when he writes an autobiography that wends its way through the machinations of his elevation to messiah of New Leftism.

    “Frank” was presented in a cloudy and shrouded manner…but turned out to be a hard leftist Frank Marshall Davis.

    Please again forgive me…but, I find that fact a bit perplexing. If a man has such a strong influence in one’s life…why the simultaneous game of peek-a-boo with who he is and the worldview he espouses? So that the apologia can read that Sen. Obama “came clean” about him…he “mentioned” his name, after all when he said “Frank”? Seems a bit disingenuous to me…but, I’m searching for burglars under the beds, right?

    And, again…please pardon me…but, didn’t young Obama ALREADY have Rev. Wright’s impramatur BEFORE he went off to school…(with a bundle of his firebrand tapes in hand to study)?

    Are we suggesting that the editor of the Harvard Law Review, intern at Sidley, protege of Rev Wright, ….couldn’t get a RESPONSE from community groups as a low paid, semi-volunteer?

    Please forgive me, but my experience in having lived in that City all my life and having worked with (and against) the people who travel in those circles…lead me to deduce…that is a HIGHLY UNLIKELY narrative.

    His first foray into the world of politics was to run AGAINST a former Black Panther. His first foray into the legal world, was at Sidley & Austin. (where he met Michelle)

    His first job was NOT at the ACLU, People’s Law Office, …or any one of the five or six consistent Civil Rights firms who handled the bulk of the lawsuits in the City at the time. (I tried cases against them all)

    You see, I am taking knowledge of certain things I do know…and using them to form opinions about things I am being told.

    I don’t think Sen. Obama “stumbled” onto the hard left and was forced to endure whatever political flotsam and jetsam floated upon his shores.

    I believe there is a consistent pattern that weaves from his mom, through “Frank” Marshall Davis, through his most radical professors, through Rev. Wright/Farrakhan, through Ayers & Dorhn, through Father Pfleger, through ACORN …that is getting the same “peek-a-boo
    treatment that “Frank” got in the self-narrative.

    Like a magician whose trinkets are spilling out of the sleeves instead of hidden within them…it’s designed to avert the eyes nonetheless, but in a “here they are” sleight of hand. It’s a neat trick, because it gives people in the Apologia Apostles crowd the opportunity to beat their sticks in both directions.

    “He didn’t HIDE the fact…the fact doesn’t exist”. (or doesn’t matter, or is a distraction, or is a smear job, or is racist, or is the latest in the great bubble machine’s counterattacks)

    Piecing together what I do know…and then reviewing the FACTS BEFORE ACCEPTING THE NARRATIVE
    it appears that Sen. Obama chose his hard left pathway because it was the one which made him feel most at home. His affiliations with Wright, Ayers, Dorhn, …would have been comfy…since what they spewed was nearly identical to what he heard at home and with “Frank”.

    In fact, I believe he is more inclined to agree…than disagree…with their worldview. He says NOW that he denounces that worldview, but that doesn’t comport with …well…virtually anything he has done prior to needing to appear more centrist for this national election.

    cfbleachers (4040c7)

  60. “One should never, ever begin a factual critique of someone’s quotes with “based on the Wikipedia entry…” Seriously, that reads like a high school term paper written by a stoner.”

    Hey at least this time he included the quote. But it is a weak nitpick, as there isnt that strong a suggestion that he went straight after college.

    stef (e66d8d)

  61. daleyrocks:

    It’s cute that you’re jealous of Obama because he made money at one point of his life and, at another, worked for low pay to help improve his community.

    When you take my dick out of your mouth to begin your spittle-flecked response, why don’t you go get me a beer, okay, cupcake?

    DW 5000 (1a2fa5)

  62. It’s cute that you’re jealous of Obama because he made money at one point of his life and, at another, worked for low pay to help improve his community.

    We have vastly different deffinitions of what “low pay” is. He took a pay cut, but he was hardly Pauly Pauper…

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  63. DW 5000 #61,

    As Uncle says, profanity is the last refuge of the inarticulate motherf***er.

    nk (6c75e0)

  64. legit question here:

    “I didn’t claim he didn’t say Auschwitz. I acknowledged that he might’ve made a mistake as to the camp his uncle (GREAT UNCLE! WHAT A LIAR!) helped liberate, but argued that the contention that his uncle didn’t liberate a concentration camp is shameful in the extreme. He did. He may’ve gotten the name of the camp wrong, but that’s not the point. He didn’t lie, nor did he intend to, about the actions of his uncle. Care to disprove this?”

    Did we ever figure out how BO’s Great Uncle (who enlisted in the Navy) got to the Army and Buchenwald? (I’ve been out of it, so if this has been answered, just hit me a link, thanks)

    Lord Nazh (899dce)

  65. Did we ever figure out how BO’s Great Uncle (who enlisted in the Navy) got to the Army and Buchenwald?

    That notion has been debunked. He was there.

    Pablo (99243e)

  66. There being Ohrdruf, that is.

    Pablo (99243e)

  67. “It’s cute that you’re jealous of Obama”

    DW – Damn, you got me, but for the wrong reasons. I wish I was black ’cause then I could get me more white wimmins.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  68. Criticism of Baracky sure does bring out teh krazy.

    JD (75f5c3)

  69. JD – Bunch of racists, all of ’em.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  70. Don’t forget that he was conceived, Immaculate conception. when his parents got caught up in the waves of hysteria surrounding the Selma march, which would not occur for 4 more years.

    I believe the proper term for that is “The Immaculate Preconception”.

    Rob Crawford (6c262f)

  71. Rob – I think Franco Harris had that phrase trademarked.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  72. Nope, daley. We are the racists. They are enlightened.

    JD (75f5c3)

  73. … a man whose epiphany for service stirred the community organizer buried deep in his sole.

    Did he see a podiatrist to get that community organizer looked at?

    Joshua (9ede0e)

  74. i don’t think the wesleyan speech is a big deal. those of you who have ever composed a resume for a law firm job know that the clerkships go on the resume, but the veil of discretion is drawn over the stint as a strip club bouncer.

    assistant devil's advocate (5e136d)

  75. Nope, daley. We are the racists. They are enlightened.

    JD – I’d go back to my guns if I could except there’s a hand gun ban in the town that I live in. I wonder what Mr. Second Amendment thinks about that?

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  76. He’s all for it, as long as you don’t call it a handgun ban, just a “gun safety law.”

    Xrlq (b71926)

  77. His constituents don’t care about the law. They’ll be armed whether the government gives them permission to be or not. And he knows that. It’s the bitter gun and God clingers who’ll be disarmed. And he knows that too.

    Barack The-Sedge-Is-Withered-On-The-Lake-And-No-Birds-Sing Obama is no President for anybody who’s got something to lose.

    nk (6c75e0)

  78. Joshua @73 — LMAO. I’m not even going to correct my error since your comment is too funny.

    WLS (68fd1f)

  79. Phil wrote:

    He’s just skipping over the boring parts of his life. Nobody could ever tell a story in a speech if they didn’t skip over the boring parts.

    In college, he developed a goal of working in grassroots community service after college. He accomplished that goal. That’s the story.

    You’re basically impeaching Obama’s credibility by pointing to him doing something everyone does, and calling it a “LIE.”

    Puhleeze, Phil. Let’s review what he said:


    But during my first two years of college, perhaps because the values my mother had taught me –hard work, honesty, empathy – had resurfaced after a long hibernation; or perhaps because of the example of wonderful teachers and lasting friends, I began to notice a world beyond myself…

    (snip)

    by the time I graduated from college, I was possessed with a crazy idea – that I would work at a grassroots level to bring about change.

    I wrote letters to every organization in the country I could think of. And one day, a small group of churches on the South Side of Chicago offered me a job to come work as a community organizer in neighborhoods that had been devastated by steel plant closings. My mother and grandparents wanted me to go to law school. My friends were applying to jobs on Wall Street. Meanwhile, this organization offered me $12,000 a year plus $2,000 for an old, beat-up car.

    And I said yes.

    The way he tells the story, he was rarin’ to go chase his crazy dream out of college while his “friends were applying to jobs on Wall Street.” Well, Business International Corporation may not have been literally “on Wall Street,” but it sure wasn’t “grassroots community service.”

    His omission of his corporate job out of college is simpatico with his wife’s previously noted message to young adults…

    “Don’t go into corporate America. You know, become teachers. Work for the community. Be social workers. Be a nurse. Those are the careers that we need, and we’re encouraging our young people to do that.

    I don’t even know you, and think you’re too smart to believe that. Unless, of course, you’ve fallen for the hype and forget that while Obama is often well-spoken, charismatic, and attractive, he is, at his core, nothing more than a politician, and should not be immune from the skepticism with which intelligent people view those of that profession.

    And let’s dispense with the idea that there are some details too small for us to know about the people who aspire to be “Leader of the Free World.” The job’s too important for us to be told, “that’s none of your business.”

    L.N. Smithee (0931d2)

  80. “That notion has been debunked. He was there.”

    Thanks Pablo, but what happened to Buchenwald?

    Lord Nazh (899dce)

  81. My commentary about the Auschwitz/Buchenwald/ Ohrdruf confusion is that Obama’s decision to say “Auschwitz” fits the emerging pattern of saying things not factually true because they add texture and importance to the story he is telling.

    Everyone has heard of Auschwitz, and the horrors of the images that name conjurs up in one’s mind are immense. Buchenwald, not so much, though people who have read even modest amounts about the history of WWII would recognize the name.

    I trust that next to no one would have recognized Ohrdruf had he used that name.

    I think he chose to use Auschwitz — its not the first time he’s told this story — because it has the most impact, even though its not true.

    Rather than say “My uncle (great uncle, whatever) was among the first US troops to liberate a Nazi concentration camp in Germany” he had to embellish the story to heighten its impact on the listener.

    Same with his commencement speech — in order to heighten the impact of his “call to service” it was more conveninent to simply skip over the year of corporate work than to mention it because mentioning it would dampen the narrative.

    WLS (68fd1f)

  82. Spot on, WLS.

    Why settle for the truth when the media will let me lie ?!

    JD (75f5c3)

  83. Thanks Pablo, but what happened to Buchenwald?

    Ohrdorf was a Buchenwald auxiliary, or something like that. Another case of having missed it by that much. But from all accounts, it was a very not pretty thing to see. In other words, there’s some truth to the story but Baracky slaughtered the actual facts of it.

    Pablo (99243e)

  84. Or, what WLS said. Baracky is an orator, above all else.

    Pablo (99243e)

  85. Baracky is an orator, nothing else

    Fixed that… :)

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  86. Ohrdorf was a Buchenwald auxiliary, or something like that. Another case of having missed it by that much. But from all accounts, it was a very not pretty thing to see. In other words, there’s some truth to the story but Baracky slaughtered the actual facts of it.

    Some truth, sure, but confusing a slave labor camp with an extermination camp strikes me as a pretty serious error, in and of itself.

    Xrlq (b71926)

  87. “Some truth, sure, but confusing a slave labor camp with an extermination camp strikes me as a pretty serious error, in and of itself.”

    Xrlq – When you’re pandering, you want to embellish with the story that tugs the heartstrings the most.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  88. Some truth, sure, but confusing a slave labor camp with an extermination camp strikes me as a pretty serious error, in and of itself.

    Ehh…yes and no. The accounts of Ohrdruf/Buchenwald are horrifying. I’ve been to Dachau some 40 years after it ceased operation and it chills me to this day. Both were work camps where lots and lots of people died deaths of violence or neglect and were incinerated like so much trash. In fact, Dachau had “showers” installed that were intended for use but never were…but still. Gross inhumanity is evident in a place like that.

    You’d like to have a story like this straight and any factual error is serious. But the substantive difference in the vileness and inhumanity of the places is only a matter of degree, and it isn’t a very great difference. You could even argue that the death camps were a shade more merciful as the work camps wrung you dry before you had the relief of death.

    Pablo (99243e)

  89. This is in response to Comment #14 by Jack Klompus:

    Another great “grassroots” organization was the Kensington Welfare Rights Union led by former prostitute and homeless heroin addict Cheri Honkala who never met a news camera she didn’t like.

    I wish to respectfully correct the record as far as Cheri Honkala’s past. In the early 1980’s, Honkala was a homeless teen who did prostitute. She has never been a heroin addict or addicted to any other illegal drugs. As far as the details of her life, Honkala has a long record of being matter-of-fact.

    As for the work of the Kensington Welfare Rights Union, Honkala is considered a true trailblazer amongst those who are concerned about the rights of poor and low-income people. Rather, Honkala is also an internationally recognized leader in the arenas of human rights and economic justice.

    Mr. Klompus- I respect your right to your opinion, but please stick to facts. It does nothing to inform fellow readers with a stray and inaccurate comment.

    Arun Prabhakaran (a5d4ed)

  90. Arun, are you from Philadelphia?

    Jack Klompus (b796b4)

  91. zugmqhow mspjzlq aegb pkij vzmet dmrbgjw pfbvryid

    cnab anqhjod (1009ba)


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