Patterico's Pontifications

9/23/2008

Barack Obama, Bill Ayers and Ben Smith

Filed under: General — Karl @ 12:03 pm

[Posted by Karl]

Stanley Kurtz has an op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal, detailing Barack Obama’s stint as chairman of an education foundation called the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC), an experience that Obama usuall avoids putting on his resume, most likely because CAC was the brainchild of unrepentant domestic terrorist Bill Ayers:

The CAC’s basic functioning has long been known, because its annual reports, evaluations and some board minutes were public. But the Daley archive contains additional board minutes, the Collaborative minutes, and documentation on the groups that CAC funded and rejected. The Daley archives show that Mr. Obama and Mr. Ayers worked as a team to advance the CAC agenda.

One unsettled question is how Mr. Obama, a former community organizer fresh out of law school, could vault to the top of a new foundation? In response to my questions, the Obama campaign issued a statement saying that Mr. Ayers had nothing to do with Obama’s “recruitment” to the board. The statement says Deborah Leff and Patricia Albjerg Graham (presidents of other foundations) recruited him. Yet the archives show that, along with Ms. Leff and Ms. Graham, Mr. Ayers was one of a working group of five who assembled the initial board in 1994. Mr. Ayers founded CAC and was its guiding spirit. No one would have been appointed the CAC chairman without his approval.

Instapundit Glenn Reynolds asks not only what this says about Obama’s judgment, but also what it says “about the mainstream media, whose organs have quite consciously and deliberately ignored and minimized this subject?”

To answer that question, we might look at the case study of the Politico’s Ben Smith.

In February, Smith asked Obama’s chief strategist (and reigning expert on Chicago’s political tribes), David Axelrod, about the Obama-Ayers relationship and got this answer:

“Bill Ayers lives in his neighborhood. Their kids attend the same school,” he said. “They’re certainly friendly, they know each other, as anyone whose kids go to school together.”

As it turned out, their kids did not go to school together, but Obama was the chairman of a $150 million effort spearheaded by Ayers on the important issue of public education, which funded “awful” projects and “had little impact on student outcomes.”

You would think Axelrod would have some ‘splainin’ to do. But you would be wrong.

As the CAC story emerged, Ben Smith’s blase reaction clearly communicated that he did not care that he was misled by Camp Obama about the Ayers relationship, let alone that Obama’s biggest claim to executive experience (and a reform credential to boot) was judged to be a failure, even by the CAC. Indeed, Smith took the story as evidence of how mainstream Ayers is — as opposed to how dysfunctional the political culture of Chicago is.

In contrast, Smith felt compelled to nitpick statements by John McCain’s campaign strategist, Steve Schmidt, about the Ayers relationship. Smith added in a separate blog post that Schmidt’s comments were “‘Hey, look over here’ politics” — the campaign’s urgent attempt to change the subject from the economy. That was the daily talking point at the Huffington Post, too — even though McCain was making headlines talking about the economy the same day.

Perhaps those who read Ben Smith will stop thinking that he is “in the tank” for Obama when he stops doing the breaststroke through Obama’s Kool-Aid. And the same could be said for any number of Smith’s pals in the media.

–Karl

99 Responses to “Barack Obama, Bill Ayers and Ben Smith”

  1. Well done, sir.

    As the lady at the McCain event last night screamed, “Where are the 30 mainstream (media) investigators in Chicago?!”

    Ed (f35a20)

  2. The only real thing a slimebag like BILL AYERS deserves is a sniper bullet through his forehead and into his brain

    Krazy Kagu (54baa7)

  3. Politico is, I’m afraid, sliding into the MSM pattern. New packaging but the same old product.

    Mike K (6d4fc3)

  4. I’ll be damned — George Will, of all people, has virtually endorsed Obama based on McCain’s response to the credit crisis:

    See here: jewishworldreview.com/cols/will092308.php3

    His bottom-line opinion: Obama may be unprepared for the presidency, due to his lack of experience, but McCain may simply be unfit for the presidency, due to his me-vs-the-world, “off with their heads if they disagree with me” worldview. The former can be fixed with experience, and thus is the lesser risk.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  5. Karl gave me wood.

    ricky (3fe308)

  6. As I’ve pointed out in other threads, Will is a curmudgeon and hasn’t liked anybody since Reagan. His column is an example of the old rule that the enemy of the good is the perfect.

    Kmeic also endorsed Obama based on very vague ideas. Mostly, I would say Samuel Johnson had it right when he said second marriages are “a triumph of hope over experience.” Here we have a triumph of hope over no experience. Irrational. Obama is an empty suit and some people think they will be able to fill in the blanks later.

    I would vote for Sarah Palin for president before I would vote for Obama.

    Mike K (6d4fc3)

  7. What assurances do we have that Smith ever did any reporting? Evidence seems to suggest that Smith worked with the Obama campaign on a story to spin. Smith has no interest in revisiting the facts of the case because he never had an interest in the facts in the first place. He’s an appendage to the Obama campaign…albeit one with plausible deniability, (that is becoming less plausible by the day.)

    Rich Horton (b106f7)

  8. Obama is an empty suit and some people think they will be able to fill in the blanks later.
    Even if he is an empty suit, he’s shown an ability to learn, a willingness to adapt, and an interest in finding common ground with those who disagree with him.

    Those things, to me, show good character. Apparently, to the GOP, “character” means being a stubborn ass who never changes his mind or admits he’s wrong, or recognizes that there’s more than one side to a situation. Because that’s what McCain and especially Palin seem to be most proud of themselves for.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  9. Phil writes:

    Even if he is an empty suit, he’s shown an ability to learn, a willingness to adapt, and an interest in finding common ground with those who disagree with him.

    Which is why McCain has a record of reaching across the aisle on hot-button issues, while Obama has virtually none, and one of the most lefty voting records in the Senate.

    No doubt Phil can give us a list of issues on which Obama has crossed a major constituency of the Democratic Party.

    Karl (1b4668)

  10. In my view, his liberal voting record and this story are the biggest problems I have with Obama. I’m not sure how they will get attention given today’s media, but this Kurtz article is a good start.

    DRJ (8b9d41)

  11. Was Obama selected by Ayers because Ayers knew Obama was a useful idiot that would provide Ayers with cover, or was Obama selected because he wanted to squander $150 million on Marxist indoctrination?

    Perfect Sense (9d1b08)

  12. Which is why McCain has a record of reaching across the aisle on hot-button issues, while Obama has virtually none, and one of the most lefty voting records in the Senate.

    Hey, I respect McCain on certain issues. His basic position on free markets is more appealing to me than Obama’s.

    But there’s a huge difference between “reaching across the aisle on hot-button issues” and actually being willing to accept other points of view. Strategic alliances aren’t the same thing as open-mindednes. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” seems to be McCain’s position. That’s where his aisle-reaching seems to come from.

    Feel free to point me to evidence that shows otherwise, though — I certainly admit I could be wrong.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  13. Obama was the chairman of a $150 million effort spearheaded by Ayers on the important issue of public education, which funded “awful” projects and “had little impact on student outcomes.”

    You make it sound like this Ayers guy has a lot of money. I didn’t realize he was a multi-multi millionare. That’s not very socialistic.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  14. Obama accepts lots of “other points of view.” Which one you hear these days is the one that shows him in a favorable light at the time.

    Obama learned from Saul Alinsky it was Ok for “community organizers” to deny the truth, or to just plain lie as an acceptable tactic to advance the socialist agenda.

    Ropelight (f4b89a)

  15. Boy if Obama is elected president, I can tell already that the same endless conspiracy theories that were circulated about the Clintons will be back again amount Republicans. Obama killed Vince Foster, didn’t he?

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  16. Phil show me some issues where Obama has a non-Left point of view. And I tend to care about what pols do more than what they say.

    As for the $150 million, Ayers got $49 of it from Annenberg, with a $98 million match from Chicago taxpayers. Which was then spent on left-wing groups, with no real benefit to schoolkids.

    Ayers does come from a wealthy family, though. His Dad is (or was) a top guy at Exelon — a company for which Obama has done some favors over the years.

    Karl (1b4668)

  17. Bill Ayres is the son of Thomas G Ayres, chairman and CEO of Commonwealth Edison. The family is quite weathy and very much involved in pushing the socialist agenda.

    Bill Ayres describes himself as a small “c” communist, but he’s also an elitist like his protege, Obama.

    Ropelight (f4b89a)

  18. Phil,

    Obama did not kill Vince Foster. But he did steal the 2000 election and engineer 9/11 as a way of getting an oil pipeline through Afghanistan for Halliburton.

    ;-)

    Karl (1b4668)

  19. “Phil show me some issues where Obama has a non-Left point of view.”

    Warrant less wiretapping.

    jharp (f4bed7)

  20. Phil,
    Obama has shown absolutely no ability to learn new ideas. If he did he wouldn’t be rehashing the same failed policies of every leftist candidate since Jimmy Carter.

    Obama supporters are obviously lost in never-never land when Obama lashes out at small-towner, Fox viewers, bitter-clingers or anyone to the right of his marxist bombmaking buddy, William Ayers.

    The only idea Obama has on his own is lecturing Americans on not being more European. In fact, one wonders why in hell someone who so despises the American people’s history, beliefs and lives would want to be their leader.

    How sad is it that a 45 year old man has nothing but his college degree as a qualification? But Phil isn’t concerned that Obama’s only executive experience is shoveling 145 million dollars of tax payers money down the toilet, because he hopes Obama learned something. Right Phil? Of course, if Obama had learned anything he would still be advocating the exact same ideas only on a larger scale.

    LogicalUS (742bd0)

  21. Karl…..would Left views be illegal in your perfect world?
    Prolly so.
    Annenberg put tons of money into philanthropy, lots of it to the left. Should that be forbidden, such that maybe the Annenbergs of this world should turn their huge lunch money over to the Scaifes of this world?
    If one decides that only either Left or Right is legitimate, I suppose that’s a way of saying that everyone and everything MUST be in the same “league” — the Italian word for that is fascio, which is the root for, well, a word for extreme political intolerance.
    The MSM quite rightly doesn’t see a story where you’re pointing as you jump up and down. Annenberg put money in for CAC. Ayers, whatever his history, was running it because he had the skills and he was, by our government’s decision, free to do so.
    Someone here called Obama a useful idiot. Hope that person was like uber-editor of the Harvard Law Review or whatever, such that he can really look down on Obama with authority, and not just teeny-tiny blog anonymity while day-jobbing at Costco.
    CAC jumped at the chance at having this energetic young black guy who had turned down a clerkship at the federal court of appeals in D.C. — very prestigious — and pretty much a guaranteed move into a Supreme Court clerkship…..and turned all that down, meaning lotsa dollars, to go do community organizing in Chicago. Duh.
    What you guys can’t see is the fact that Stanley Kurtz finally got his wish to look at the archives and……..this is all he came up with?

    I come to this site for organic comedy. That means unintended humor. But it’s still good.
    Put this l’il blogging flareup flame in with all the others that die here, not from water or fire retardants, but from simple lack of oxygen — or gravitas.

    Larry Reilly (d11f9a)

  22. jharp,

    A transparent political flip-flop on FISA? That’s your marquee example?

    Try an issue where he hasn’t been on both sides this year.

    Karl (1b4668)

  23. Larry writes:

    Karl…..would Left views be illegal in your perfect world?
    Prolly so.

    Well, when you start with an unsupported ad hominem, it’s tough to take you seriously. But I guess that”s what you have left, because you can’t refute that: Obama misled people about the scope of his relatonship with Ayers; the MSM almost entirely ignores it; the CAC was a bust; and the MSM almost entirely ignores it.

    If what CAC, Ayers and Obama did was so great, they should talk it up, instead of trying to stonewall access to the records and misleading the press.

    Karl (1b4668)

  24. As for the $150 million, Ayers got $49 of it from Annenberg, with a $98 million match from Chicago taxpayers.

    What is this “Ayers got” the money idea coming from? As I understand it, Ayers was a grant proposal writer for the charitable organization; Obama chared the board of that organization. The money never belonged to Ayers.

    Ayers was associated with Obama, because they were both part of the same organization, but this conspiracy theory makes him sound like he’s some shadowy figure pushing around tens of millions of dollars to accomplish his socialist ends. I don’t see that he’s pulling strings. You basically have to read the facts in the most paranoid way possible even to understand what the alleged conspiracy is.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  25. That’s some tail Stanley Kurtz weaves.

    Oiram (983921)

  26. jharp,

    A transparent political flip-flop on FISA? That’s your marquee example?

    Try an issue where he hasn’t been on both sides this year.

    Comment by Karl — 9/23/2008 @ 3:47 pm

    You asked for one example and I provided it. Enough said.

    jharp (f4bed7)

  27. Phil, you need to read the facts before you attempt to entertain Larry Reilly with your uninformed comments.

    Ropelight (f4b89a)

  28. OK, Ropelight, tell me where I can find these “facts” and I’ll read them. I’ve been reading these hushed-toned conspiracy theories, based on conjecture from utterly mundane facts, for way too long. I’d love to see some real facts.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  29. Oiram said…
    That’s some tail Stanley Kurtz weaves.”

    Would that be anything like a corn-row weave; or, would it be more like a “tall tale”?

    Do all Leftists suck at spelling & grammar, or are we just blessed?

    Another Drew (e8be76)

  30. They amazzing pparts is thet u no exxactly vat I is takin bout Another Drew.

    Oiram (983921)

  31. Phil – Ayers was associated with Obama, because they were both part of the same organization, but this conspiracy theory makes him sound like he’s some shadowy figure pushing around tens of millions of dollars to accomplish his socialist ends.

    Yes, Ayers and Obama were associated. Quite closely. When Axelrod was asked about this, he lied, downplaying the association. That is suspicious behavior.

    You seem to have a problem with Larry Reilly. He admits that they were pushing around millions to accomplish socialist ends.

    Maybe you should send Larry off to re-education.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  32. Heheehhehehe

    Hey Another Drew, re-read this original post…… or at least this part:

    “Stanley Kurtz has an op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal, detailing Barack Obama’s stint as chairman of an education foundation called the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC), an experience that Obama usuall avoids putting on his resume, most likely because CAC was the brainchild of unrepentant domestic terrorist Bill Ayers:”

    “usuall avoids”???

    HMMM…..GUESS IT’S NOT JUST US DEMS EH ANOTHER DREW? :(

    Oiram (983921)

  33. No Oiram – Drew can read your sentence.

    Nobody knows what you’re talking about.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  34. If Obama’s association with Ayers is not very important, put it on the front page of every propagada paper in the land. Feature it on network TV and all the news shows. Let the people decide if facts meet statements. Obama said he did not rely on Ayers for information, at this time. What about in the past??? Not all lawyers are liars, but some walk a fine line. I think the record indicates Obama leaped over that line.

    Zelsdorf Ragshaft III (e18128)

  35. Phil, try reading Stanley Kurtz. The link is at the top of Karl’ post. Lots of other info is at Instapundit, PowerLine, and Michelle Malkin. It’s also available at any number of other on-line sites. Try a few, but avoid the Lost Kos or Huff and Puff, you’re ready to leave the nest.

    Ropelight (f4b89a)

  36. To sum up: Obama was part of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. Ayers was also part of the program.

    That’s some crack reporting, guys.

    jpe (bd88bc)

  37. After reading Kurtz’s piece, I’d like to note how terribly amusing it is that (a) Kurtz thinks there’s something of note in any of this; and (b) it took him months to produce it.

    jpe (bd88bc)

  38. jpe, Ayres wrote the grant proposal and selected Obama to chair the board. They worked cheek by jowl to funnel big bucks to like minded “community organizers” and unrepentant terrorist pals from the heady days of the Weathermen Organization.

    Ayres and Obama were supposed to use the money to improve education, but no positive educational results were ever achieved. But you can’t hold that against Ayers or Obama. They really weren’t trying to help children learn their ABCs. They were trying to organize a community of political activists, and short changing the children was simply a means to fund their socialist agenda.

    Ropelight (f4b89a)

  39. I’d like to note how terribly amusing it is that (a) Kurtz thinks there’s something of note in any of this; and (b) it took him months to produce it.

    jpe – Of course you’d like to and minimize it in the process. More honest people would like to note that Obama has been consistently been lying about the extent of his relationship with an unrepentant terrorist who has some very unusual views about education. Mr. Obama appears to share those same unusual and anti-teacher views. After being stonewalled by friends of the Obama campaign from looking at the material related to a $150 million charity fund Obama chaired in which the unrepentant terrorist played a central role, Mr. Kurtz took a month to summarize his findings into the size of an editorial page opinion. Why was Mr. Obama trying to sweep the episode of his past under the rug.

    I think that’s a more honest way to frame it jpe.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  40. They worked cheek by jowl

    Really? Nothing Kurtz wrote proves that. If you can travel through time and that’s how you know it, maybe you could tape them doing that. Because there doesn’t seem to be any evidence of it.

    Now, back to the real stories. Like: what’s Rachel Ray wearing?

    jpe (bd88bc)

  41. Comment by Oiram — 9/23/2008 @ 4:29 pm

    No, Oiram. You have presented to us a typo (someone forgetting to strike the “y” key to complete the word.

    What you and others conspicuously do, time after time, is to use the incorrect tense, or the incorrect word in what you write.
    Yes, we can still read it. Many studies have found that the human mind can decipher pure gibberish if it has some relationship to actual language; just as (from my musical training), if a musical group starts together, and ends together, a lot of mistakes in the middle will never be noticed.

    However, the point is, the use of juvenile grammar and spelling is a “tell”. It tells us that your thoughts are not complete, and are probably not worthy of consideration.

    Thank you for your interest.

    Another Drew (e8be76)

  42. Mr. Kurtz took a month to summarize his findings

    No, this summarizes his findings:

    ” “

    Everything he wrote is just filler.

    jpe (bd88bc)

  43. jpe – Look over there, something shiny!

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  44. Ropelight just equated anything left, anything Left, as being “socialist.”
    Do tell.
    OK. I can’t be part of that. I’m coming over to your side. Greetings colleague.
    What? Treasury Secretary Paulson, who led the kinky-debt brigade at Goldman-Sachs said what?
    Oh.
    Oh, well. Then greetings comrades. We’re brothers in the new socialism. We need a slogan. How about this:
    From each who has the greatest need.
    From each who had the greatest greed.

    Rah. Rah. Rah!! Capitalism.

    You go get those socialists, Ropeline. They’re ba-a-a-a-ad.

    Larry Reilly (d11f9a)

  45. CAC translated Mr. Ayers’s radicalism into practice. Instead of funding schools directly, it required schools to affiliate with “external partners,” which actually got the money. Proposals from groups focused on math/science achievement were turned down. Instead CAC disbursed money through various far-left community organizers, such as the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (or Acorn).

    Not filler. Damning.

    Don’t fund schools. Reject proposals from actual educational groups. Funnel money through organizations that have a history of misappropriating those funds (ACORN).

    The results? No improvement in education. 150M wasted.

    Running a scam is Obama’s claim to executive experience.

    No wonder you’re all trying to distract from this.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  46. Just to be sure, comrades, our slogan should be thus:

    From each who has the greatest need.
    To each who had the greatest greed.

    Larry Reilly (d11f9a)

  47. Larry – that already is the leftist slogan.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  48. Mary Reilly still hasn’t learned the comprehension skills needed to complete her 3rd grade studies – but give her time, she’s growing up so fast these days!

    Really? Nothing Kurtz wrote proves that.

    Once again, your willful ignorance of Chicago political history rears it’s ugly head – Ayers hosted Obama’s first big fundraising event…in his home. Yeah, they’re just some guys who know each other – through their kids.

    Dmac (e639cc)

  49. Gosh, Dumbac….I didn’t write the line you quoteto set up your flaccid riposte: “Really? Nothing Kurtz wrote proves that?”

    Once again you show your inability to read for comprehension. Rembember, we went over that some time ago? Oh, never mind. Revisiting that would take comprehension.

    One more thing/BTW:
    “Ropeline”? Methinks “Petardline” more apt.

    Larry Reilly (d11f9a)

  50. Phil writes: “Even if he is an empty suit, he’s shown an ability to learn, a willingness to adapt, and an interest in finding common ground with those who disagree with him.

    And so Phil demonstrates that he lives in an utter fantasy land. A fantasy land that allows him to invent such utter, baseless and ridiculous nonsense. Obama has shown nothing of the sort at all at anytime in his career – thin as it is.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  51. To sum up: Obama was part of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. Ayers was also part of the program.

    That’s some crack reporting, guys.

    Comment by jpe

    And the history of the CAC was Ayres’ theory that, instead of teaching children to read and calculate, they should be converted to little activists. No benefit to the children was identified but Ayres Weatherman buddies went from driving taxis to education “researchers.”

    That’s where the $150 million went.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  52. Ayers is an avowed and unapologetic Maoist and has been since his college days 40 years ago. In 2006, he gave a speech in Venezuela in which he praised Chavez’s “revolucion”.

    Obama worked closely with Ayers in his only executive job; Chairman of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge.

    They worked together from 1996-2001 doling out 160 million dollars to loosely organized, left-leaning organizations, some of which were run by Maoists.

    There was no improvement to the Chicago Schools resulting from any of the programs funded by CAC.

    IOW, Obama was a failure in his only executive stint.

    But Ayers was “just a guy in his neighborhood”.

    Nothin to see here. Move along.

    vnjagvet (d3d48a)

  53. Mawy, you’re so cute when you play your little game of “adult talk.”

    Dmac (e639cc)

  54. If Obama is tarred by being on a board with bill ayers, does he get like, un-tarred by the other people associated with this board? Like Walter Annenberg and bankers, etcc?

    imdw (f636ac)

  55. Read the articles imdw, see what you think.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  56. “Perhaps those who read Ben Smith will stop thinking that he is “in the tank” for Obama when he stops doing the breaststroke through Obama’s Kool-Aid.”

    Ouch. That’s gotta leave a mark.

    More on Ayers:

    His latest exploits

    Family values

    Playing revolutionary

    David Warner (569e58)

  57. Ben Smith and Politico are as left-wing as they come! They just have more manners than dKos and HuffPo so they get away more often with their spin, shilling, and lies.

    Cory (6b4784)

  58. “Read the articles imdw, see what you think.”

    I’ve heard a lot about the ayers connections. Does the article talk about the rest of the board? That’s what I havent heard so much. How much was Obama influenced by the money man, Walter annenberg?

    “Perhaps those who read Ben Smith will stop thinking that he is “in the tank” for Obama when he stops doing the breaststroke through Obama’s Kool-Aid.”

    Its quite amazing that mccain’s staff picked the politico to call ‘in the tank.’ And for what? For some followups. They’re at wit’s end. They had their convention bounce, their palin ‘game changer’ and we’re back were we were before. With slight and growing obama leads.

    The obama strategy of pushing on all fronts (50 or 18 or whatever states), and then focusing on what works is fraying them. All obama needs is kerry states plus a bit more, and that strategy is looking like it will deliver.

    imdw (934684)

  59. Funny how ‘nothing to see here’ brought out the full ‘troll storm’. Almost as if they don’t really believe what they’re saying…….nah.

    Bel Aire (e59286)

  60. Actually, you got what I wrote wrong.

    Nice going.

    Bill Bradley (0a8345)

  61. Comment by imdw — 9/23/2008 @ 7:35 pm

    I doubt if Walter Annenberg ever met Bill Ayers.
    Mr. Annenberg lived in Wynnwood PA and Rancho Mirage CA, and would have fund managers doling out the money to outfits like CAC – the secret is the proposal submitted by CAC to the Annenberg Fund. If the goals sound reasonbly attainable and are laudable, they will fund it; though I wonder what kind of background check they put submittees through. It would be interesting to run backgrounds on the screening committee at the Annenberg Fund who green-lighted this give-away. Who knows, they might be some WU/SDS fringe members.
    Oh, BTW, Annenberg died at his home in PA in 2002, at the age of 94.

    Another Drew (e8be76)

  62. “Does the article talk about the rest of the board?”

    Yes, all the board members that are running for President were included.

    I don’t care if George the Junior sat on the board – he isn’t running again. I AM interested in Obama’s choices as to where education money should go. I’m thinking math, yes, Acorn, no. Obama chose the opposite. Why? Why isn’t everyone interested in this?

    I see a lot about Obama to like. But I’ll never vote for Obama because of the press. We’ll go from hostility towards the President to deep, reverent love. Neither is good for our democracy.

    Bel Aire (e59286)

  63. …more on Annenberg:
    He was appointed Ambassador to the Court of St. James (Great Britain) by Richard Nixon,
    and introduced Ronald Reagan to Margaret Thatcher.
    Not someone who could be considered a radical, leftist, revolutionary.

    Another Drew (e8be76)

  64. “Yes, all the board members that are running for President were included.”

    Like ayers? What?

    “I AM interested in Obama’s choices as to where education money should go.”

    But they’re not just his choices, they’re the choices of that board, no? A board which includes bankers, etc… How bad can that be?

    imdw (45d14f)

  65. Why isn’t everyone interested in this?

    Because some people support Obama for President, and highlighting his record of funneling money to left wing idealogues over schools in a scam on education doesn’t sit well with non-fanatics. Especially when it produces no improvement in education for the students.

    His supporters wish to distract from that fact, because, like Obama, they are dishonest.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  66. Phil -

    I’ll be damned
    – You don’t have to announce it; we already know.

    George Will, of all people, has virtually endorsed Obama based on McCain’s response to the credit crisis
    – Aw, you’ve become a fair-weather friend of George Will; how cute. And he has not “virtually endorsed Obama” . . . far from it.

    Even if he is an empty suit,
    – No “if”; he is.

    he’s shown an ability to learn,
    – What has he learned?

    a willingness to adapt,
    – Do the flip, do the flop.

    and an interest in finding common ground with those who disagree with him.
    – He expresses an interest. Show one case where he actually achieved it. Show any proof that “common ground” means anything other than having his opponents accept his leftist position.

    Those things, to me, show good character.
    – That, to me, shows an effective con job.

    Apparently, to the GOP, “character” means being a stubborn ass who never changes his mind or admits he’s wrong, or recognizes that there’s more than one side to a situation.
    – None of which are true, except for the fact that he is tough.

    Because that’s what McCain and especially Palin seem to be most proud of themselves for.
    – What, being stubborn asses? Not putting up with bullshit? Not answering starightforward questions with remnants from a Seinfeld script?

    You make it sound like this Ayers guy has a lot of money. I didn’t realize he was a multi-multi millionare. That’s not very socialistic.
    – Nobody said that. Yet another “you implied it” bullshit lie.

    Hey, I respect McCain on certain issues.
    – That’s mighty caucasian of you.

    His basic position on free markets is more appealing to me than Obama’s.
    – And is reason enough to vote for him.

    But there’s a huge difference between “reaching across the aisle on hot-button issues” and actually being willing to accept other points of view. Strategic alliances aren’t the same thing as open-mindednes.
    – And another lib ideology surfaces: what he did doesn’t matter as much as the reason why he did it.

    “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” seems to be McCain’s position. That’s where his aisle-reaching seems to come from.
    – Actually, it seems to be a cliche . . . and so it is.

    Feel free to point me to evidence that shows otherwise, though — I certainly admit I could be wrong.
    – That’s mighty . . . oh; already used that one.

    Boy if Obama is elected president, I can tell already that the same endless conspiracy theories that were circulated about the Clintons will be back again
    – 1) Don’t use “Obama” and “boy” in the same sentence; racist! 2) Are you anticipating a slew of mysterious deaths in the wake of Obama’s coronation victory?

    What is this “Ayers got” the money idea coming from? As I understand it, Ayers was a grant proposal writer for the charitable organization; Obama chared the board of that organization. The money never belonged to Ayers.
    – What is this continued obsession with parsing the word “is”, ten years down the road?

    Ayers was associated with Obama, because they were both part of the same organization, but this conspiracy theory makes him sound like he’s some shadowy figure pushing around tens of millions of dollars to accomplish his socialist ends.
    – Another “it’s not what you said, it’s what you implied” moment.

    I don’t see that he’s pulling strings. You basically have to read the facts in the most paranoid way possible even to understand what the alleged conspiracy is.
    – What a shock to find that the only use of the word “conspiracy” in this thread is by you.

    Icy Truth (a6d81b)

  67. To my colleagues here at PP: Another Drew, Apogee, Dailyrocks, Dmac, Karl, Mike K., Ropelight, SPQR, Zelsdorf Ragshaft III, and others who post here:

    It is worthwhile to discuss points of disagreement with a reasonable person, and sometimes it’s hard to refrain from entering into an argument from someone being unreasonable, but I think to respond to the level of absurdity of some of the comments here is less fruitful than jousting windmills or trying to argue with Slow-and-Solid Tortoise:

    “Well, suppose you say that I said that she said something quite different. I don’t see that it makes any difference; because if she said what you said I said she said, it’s just the same as if I said what she said she said.”
    Slow-and-Solid Tortoise to Painted Jaguar from “The Beginning of the Armadillos”- in Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling

    Of course, Slow-and-Solid knew he was messing with Painted Jaguar’s synapses and that PJ was too confused to catch on.

    Really, if someone thinks there is nothing of interest in the connection between Obama and Bill Ayers, discussion is pointless. One just hopes that those who think that way are not very plentiful.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  68. MD in Philly – I comment here not to change others, but to challenge what I believe and hopefully develop a consistent thought process regarding those beliefs. This site is unique in that its aspiration for a higher level of discourse is maintained by the hard work of Patterico, DRJ, and many of the the other posters and commenters, who all teach me something new every time I come to this site.

    Yes, there are trolls. But Patterico is getting better at recognizing the truly damaging as opposed to the merely annoying. Yes, many are unreasonable, but unfortunately that is a part of life. It’s all in how you look at it, and that self-examination adds to my own understanding.

    I find more and more that I’m not trying so much to win an argument as much as observe patterns of thought in disparate people. Do you not find it interesting how so many people from different places, education levels, intelligence and economic backgrounds can support one candidate? The social aspects of people’s political opinions, how people come to their opinions, as well as how they defend those opinions when challenged is, I believe, interlinked with human nature and behavior in a way unlike any other. IOW, I don’t see people get as worked up over skiing, movies, legal briefs, you name it.

    I would bet that no one posting on this blog and most likely very few of the commenters have personally met any of the candidates. Yet many have emotional investments in them that rival familial connections, and will continue to defend these unknowns as though they were family. Other than a few paid trolls, most will not profit from the ascension to power of their ‘choice’. Watching the patterns of thought emerge in these interactions is what holds my interest.

    Which brings me to your Slow-and-Solid Tortoise example. I find that so many who play that simpleton game do it for two reasons. The first is attention, which falls under the damaging troll category. Patterico is getting good at removing them. The second is to forward an agenda. One of the reasons that I frequent this site is to observe the interplay between different sides of the debate, which, along with challenging my own beliefs, offers points I hadn’t thought of before. This is not just strengthening my beliefs, it is forcing me to re-confirm beliefs, if the challenge is great enough. If the challenge is sloppy and/or repetitive, that is also valuable.

    I’m a big fan of Milton Friedman, who debated many people with no background in economics, and who came at him dishonestly with various agendas over his lifetime. He was always courteous, informed, assertive and funny. I saw him speak, and was impressed that he interacted with people who he could have easily avoided. I have no doubt that even these ‘smackdowns’ sharpened his own understanding of his beliefs.

    No time spent thinking is wasted, and clarity of thought does not happen without work.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  69. Apogee-

    Thank you for a kind and thoughtful response.

    I too come here primarily for education, as I think Patterico and WLS and the others who blog as well as most of the contributors discuss things with intellectual integrity. There is a desire to understand an issue whether the facts lead to a reassuring conclusion or an “inconvenient” one.

    In your post at #65 you spoke of people trying to distract out of dishonesty. My post came out of a desire, reasonable or otherwise, to simply disregard such behavior. For example, I would be happy to know if there was anything to exonerate Obama concerning his connection to Ayers, but that requires much more than baseless claims of ‘nothing’s there’ or “Why isn’t everyone interested in this?”

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  70. MD, of course you’re correct here, but some of these posts reek of the fabled “astroturfing” of Axelrod and his minions. So if we’re going to keep this blog free of overt censorship, sometimes those efforts must be responded to in an aggressive manner, regardless of an unlikely occurence in which said astroturfer actually becomes a sentient being.

    Dmac (e639cc)

  71. #41 Another Drew. I know my spelling is bad, I know my grammatical errors are atrocious, but please don’t assume that I represent all Democrats and liberals with my imperfect wording and “gibberish” as you put it.

    Interesting that your statement makes it seem that Republicans and conservatives don’t make these mistakes. Have you read some of the comments from your comrades here?

    The really atrocious errors land on both sides of the aisle as does the brilliance.

    The fact that you single me and other Democrats out in your comment #29 and #41 is my “Tell” for you.

    Let’s play poker sometime and see what’s what, maybe you could invite your buddy McCain, oh wait never mind, he plays a true degenerate gamblers game…….. craps.

    Oiram (983921)

  72. Icy Truth is one of the most idiotic blog commentators ever. And THAT’S the ‘Icy Truth’. Your responses (65) are basically ill conceived and rather mundane. Can’t you come up with anything better than calling him a flip flapper? That was played out 4 years ago. I support candidates who are willing to look at new facts and old evidence to reevaluate their positions. If we didn’t support those individuals, we’d still believe the Earth was flat and that dinosaurs lived here 4,000 years ago. Oh shoot, some people still believe that? I rest my case.

    AB (3d65f9)

  73. Dmac – The nice thing is that when partisan commenters attempt to push their agendas, it usually results in an incoherent mess.

    Take AB’s #71, for example:

    AB starts off by ridiculing Icy Truth with an ad-homonym attack, basing it on an assertion that Icy was repeating old, discredited talking points. AB then goes on to repeat an old, discredited talking point regarding Sarah Palin.

    Having established the self-contradiction, AB rests his case.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  74. Apogee – AB is one of our newer trolls. Not quite a drive-by, but not one that actually engages in discussion. Name calling, declaring itself the victor, and ad homs is its stock in trade.

    JD (41e64f)

  75. AB is one of our newer trolls.

    The LSR-400 model?

    Apogee (366e8b)

  76. I tried to engage Icy Truth, but he really didn’t come up with anything of substance, either.

    Have you officially heard Sarah Palin discredit the 4000 year old dinosaur story? Just because she is silent about the topic being taught in school doesn’t mean she personally discredits it, does it apogee? Send me official text or video of her talking about this issue and disagreeing with the Flintstones documentary and then we’ll talk.

    You are right, though. I did engage in ad hominem with Icy Truth. But he isn’t coming up with any actual evidence himself. For example:

    Feel free to point me to evidence that shows otherwise, though — I certainly admit I could be wrong.
    – That’s mighty . . . oh; already used that one.

    Okay, that may be a legitimate response for those who actually agree with Icy Truth, but what about those who actually question what they hear and read? That rebuttal didnt offer any evidence. None of his rebuttals actually contain any substance, they are just attempts at wit… and not very good ones at that.

    AB (c313be)

  77. Have you officially heard Sarah Palin discredit the 4000 year old dinosaur story?

    Complete and utter BS. There is no need to repudiate such idiocy.

    Have you repudiated Sen. Byrd? Since we have no text or video of you doing so, we have to assume you support the KKK. Racist.

    JD (41e64f)

  78. “Have you officially heard Sarah Palin discredit the 4000 year old dinosaur story?”

    AB – Have you seen it attributed to her?

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  79. AB – Have you seen Obama discredit the reparations movement for blacks?

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  80. Fundamentalist creationists believe the 6000 year old earth/4000 year old dinosaur story.

    AB (c313be)

  81. “Fundamentalist creationists believe the 6000 year old earth/4000 year old dinosaur story.”

    AB – That’s a nonresponsive answer.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  82. AB buggers goats.

    Just because it is silent about the topic doesn’t mean it personally discredits it, does it? Send me official text or video of it talking about this issue and disagreeing with it.

    JD (41e64f)

  83. AB – Are you asserting that you are a religious bigot?

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  84. AB buggers goats.

    AB buggers DEAD goats.

    Fixed that for you JD. I’ve got it on tape, too.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  85. He didn’t refute it in text or video, ergo he must support it.

    JD (41e64f)

  86. Have you officially heard Sarah Palin discredit the 4000 year old dinosaur story? Just because she is silent about the topic being taught in school doesn’t mean she personally discredits it, does it apogee

    I’m sure she’s silent about a lot of things, but that doesn’t mean she believes them.

    Your logic is absolutely absurd. We’ve never heard Palin officially state that rainbow-striped unicorns never walked the earth. By your logic, he silence indicates she really believes such a thing.

    Try again, dolt, and this time get someone with a brain to help you.

    Steverino (db5760)

  87. AB – Fundamentalist creationists believe the 6000 year old earth/4000 year old dinosaur story.

    And this has what to do with Palin?

    “Fundamentalist creationists” are not a religious sub-group. Your statement I take to be a vague assertion that Palin shares beliefs with a ‘group’ that does not exist as one.

    It is a simplistic attempt at categorization by designating a straw man, and then attempting to require evidence of a negative to exclude your opponent from membership – i.e. the requirement of information regarding what Palin ‘doesn’t’ believe in order to ‘acquit’ her from membership in a grouping of your own design.

    What has Palin been quoted as saying?

    As for her personal views on evolution, Palin has said, “I believe we have a creator.” But she has not made clear whether her belief also allowed her to accept the theory of evolution as fact.
    “I’m not going to pretend I know how all this came to be,” she has been quoted as saying.

    If you ask me, that sounds more agnostic than anything else.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  88. MD in Philly,

    I take your point about people who simply don’t think the Ayers connection is important.

    Indeed, that one of the underlying motives for the post.

    Much of what inspired the post was the fact that the media has largely gone completely out of its way to avoid reporting that Obama chaired a $160 million dollare education reform effort that was a failure, even by its own internal reports.

    Why?

    One explanation would be a general pro-Obama bias in much of the media. But I suspect it’s the Ayers involvement that specifically causes the media to treat the story like Plutonium. It is consistent with the media’s willful lack of interest in Camp Obama’s bald-faced lying about the Ayers relationship.

    But for those who don’t care about Ayers — or the Leftist bent of the CAC’s work in general — the fact still remains that Obama won’t talk about his biggest executive credential or his biggest reform project, which was a failure. And that failure remains regardless of whether anyone specifically mentions Ayers.

    That is why I made a point of noting that Smith not only does not care that Axelrod lied to him about Ayers, but also does not care about the real-world outcome of the CAC.

    If I was advising the McCain campaign, I would suggest they produce ads highlighting Obama’s $160 million failure as an education reformer without mentioning Ayers. The media would be forced to talk about the CAC and the 24/7 news cycle would amost inevitably raise Ayers, if only to discuss the fact that he was left out of the ad.

    Karl (f07e38)

  89. Thank you Karl, for landing the hijacked thread.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  90. Karl – May I humbly suggest that you might be looking at this in the wrong manner. By all accounts the CAC was a collosal failure at imroving the educational lot of students at the schools where its funds were expended. I happen to agree with the point made by Jeff G at Protein Wisdom yesterday, that the CAC probably was a great succes in creating a new generation of community organizers, race pimps, class warriors, socialist agitators, miscellaneous malcontents and so on.

    So overall, success depends on your point of view. Just sayin’.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  91. MD in Philly, thanks for your comments, I always enjoy reading them, they are without exception wise and well articulated.

    I enjoy the give and take here. Even the Lefty comments are pretty good most of the time, and the brain-dead moonbats are better than what I’ve encounterd elsewhere. But, you’re absolutely right about the time and effort wasted in useless dispute with trolls.

    Icy does a bang-up job playing smack-a-troll, and I sure appreciate his good work. He’s not alone and I salute each and every one here who smacks the snot out of those unpatriotic dirty rotten commie rats. It gives me more time for cocktails and gratuitous sex. At my age a man’s got to keep things in proper perspective. Keep it up Icy, you’re the man, and may the force be with you.

    Ropelight (f4b89a)

  92. 86 apogee – you just keep telling yourself that and maybe youll believe it

    AB (c313be)

  93. AB, what’s the big deal, Sarah Palin is only a woman, not some monster from the frozen tundra. She’s got lots of accomplishments on her record, and plenty of admirers. She’s earned the respect of the people she represents, her approval level is upwards of 80%. Super Sarah is on the GOP ticket for some very good reasons. Which of course don’t, or shouldn’t, concern Dems. They have their VP candidate and we have ours. Live and let live, eh? You go to your church and we’ll go to ours.

    You got some sort of ego problem dealing with strong women?

    Ropelight (f4b89a)

  94. AB — (11:37 am)

    Icy Truth is one of the most idiotic blog commentators ever. And THAT’S the ‘Icy Truth’.
    – Is this from the Don Rickles school of “always start ‘em off with an ad hominem attack”?

    Your responses (65) are basically ill conceived and rather mundane.
    – Shall I presume you are speaking of my 9/23/2008 @ 8:48 pm response to Phil, currently listed as #66? Oh, and non sequiters don’t pass well for criticism unless you explain WHY you think that way.

    Can’t you come up with anything better than calling him a flip flapper?
    – I didn’t call him that; you did. However, you have made me highly curious as to how one can type an “a” instead of an “o” when they are on opposite ends of a standard keyboard.

    That was played out 4 years ago.
    – Actually, nobody called Obama a flip-flopper four years ago. The main thing they called him back then was “Who?”

    I support candidates who are willing to look at new facts and old evidence to reevaluate their positions.
    – Hear, hear!

    If we didn’t support those individuals, we’d still believe the Earth was flat and that dinosaurs lived here 4,000 years ago.
    – And WHO were these candidates? Have you unearthed a “Martin Van Buren Says ‘The Earth Is Round!’” campaign flyer? a “The Bible is WRONG. Vote Grover Cleveland” button?

    Oh shoot, some people still believe that? I rest my case.
    – Rest your brain case; the heat sink is failing.

    (12:19 pm)

    I tried to engage Icy Truth, but he really didn’t come up with anything of substance, either.
    – You did? Let’s see here . . . perhaps you can remind me what thread that was in, since it wasn’t here.

    Have you officially heard Sarah Palin discredit the 4000 year old dinosaur story?
    – Not her job. You seem to be doing a good job of it; perhaps YOU should be in charge of making sure people ‘officially hear’ it discredited.

    Just because she is silent about the topic being taught in school doesn’t mean she personally discredits it, does it apogee?
    – She isn’t silent about it, and she isn’t required to personally discredit it.

    Send me official text or video of her talking about this issue and disagreeing with the Flintstones documentary and then we’ll talk.
    – You need other people to do your searches for you?

    You are right, though. I did engage in ad hominem with Icy Truth. But he isn’t coming up with any actual evidence himself.
    – This oughta be good.

    For example:
    PHIL: Feel free to point me to evidence that shows otherwise, though — I certainly admit I could be wrong.
    ME: That’s mighty . . . oh; already used that one.
    – Phil’s previous statement was “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” seems to be McCain’s position. That’s where his aisle-reaching seems to come from.” He’s requesting “evidence” that shows that statement to be false.

    Okay, that may be a legitimate response for those who actually agree with Icy Truth, but what about those who actually question what they hear and read? That rebuttal didnt offer any evidence.
    – Because Phil was expressing a personal opinion, NOT a conclusion based on any evidence. Ask HIM for the evidence supporting what HE said. The burden of proof is on the prosecution!

    None of his rebuttals actually contain any substance, they are just attempts at wit… and not very good ones at that.
    – You’re most welcome to express your opinion of my wit, and most UNwelcome when it comes to falsely asserting that my rebuttals contain no substance.

    Icy Truth (0b6250)

  95. Hahahaha. You still have come up with nothing. Though, I do love that I go away from the site for a few minutes and you’ve responded to like 8 different things. Seriously, dude. Get a job. Conserva-crazies don’t like the unemployed.

    AB (c313be)

  96. AB – You do have a number of unanswered queries on your plate. Do you have any answers or are you hesitant to answer?

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  97. Seriously, dude. Get a job. Conserva-crazies don’t like the unemployed.
    – I can’t spend my day off (YES, I do have a job) verbally kicking your ass?

    Hahahaha. You still have come up with nothing.
    – Well, at least you conceded my wit. We’ll call that progress. As for me coming up with nothing, make a clear request for what you want me to come up with; I promise to do what I can. What I will not do, and will not promise to do, is to come up with evidence in support of something that I did not say.

    If you are referring to this statement by you: Just because she is silent about the topic being taught in school, and my response (“She isn’t silent about it”), WHY would you even bring up the topic unless you had heard something in regards to her view on it?

    From an Alaska Daily News report from October 27, 2006, during the gubernatorial race [all quotes are the words of Sarah Palin; all emphasis mine]:
    Palin was answering a question from the moderator near the conclusion of Wednesday night’s televised debate on KAKM Channel 7 when she said, “Teach both. You know, don’t be afraid of information. Healthy debate is so important, and it’s so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both.”
    In an interview Thursday, Palin said she meant only to say that discussion of alternative views should be allowed to arise in Alaska classrooms:
    “I don’t think there should be a prohibition against debate if it comes up in class. It doesn’t have to be part of the curriculum.”
    She added that, if elected, she would not push the state Board of Education to add such creation-based alternatives to the state’s required curriculum.
    “I won’t have religion as a litmus test, or anybody’s personal opinion on evolution or creationism,” Palin said.
    Palin said she thought there was value in discussing alternatives.
    “It’s OK to let kids know that there are theories out there,” she said in the interview. “They gain information just by being in a discussion.”
    That was how she was brought up, she said. Her father was a public school science teacher.
    “My dad did talk a lot about his theories of evolution,” she said. “He would show us fossils and say, ‘How old do you think these are?’ ”
    Asked for her personal views on evolution, Palin said, “I believe we have a creator.”
    She would not say whether her belief also allowed her to accept the theory of evolution as fact.
    “I’m not going to pretend I know how all this came to be,” she said.

    Icy Truth (2b3e28)

  98. Thanks Dmac, Karl, Ropelight.

    Karl, I agree this was an important subject to bring up, my main point was the lack of responsible discussion from the other side. Of course, if there is no reasonable response that speaks for itself.

    From another current thread, I am going to adopt a variation of Patterico’s comment on responses that don’t warrant serious discussion. His comment, “You’re just a blip on my radar”. So, in the future I will simply respond, “Blip”.

    But lets get back to serious stuff.
    Steverino, just where would you suggest I go looking for rainbow-striped unicorn’s? The black and white ones are kind of boring. ;-)

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  99. Obama keeps being associated with the more radical supporters of the LEFTIST movement.

    Most of American is in AWE of Obama because he attended Harvard Law School and was Editor of the Harvard Law review.

    Fact is that OBAMA graduated 270th or so out of a HARVARD GRADUATING class of 3100 or so.

    HE did not rank in the TOP FIVE academically in Harvard Law Class. Harvard is playing the political game… by not disclosing the changes that were made to insure that OBAMA was selected as editor of the Review. Due to diversity issues, he was not required to be a TOP ACADEMIC SCHOLAR, write any articles in the Harvard Law Review or even provide a written case study to get the job.

    The only record of his academic background… is that he was a ‘b’ student in high school.. and then he is Editor of the Harvard Law Review. There are no academic records, no test scores, no IQ scores, nothing that indicates that he was admitted into Occidental, Columbia and Harvard because of MERIT and intellectual ability.

    Like many things… OBAMA has hidden all these records, the same with hiding his relationships with Rezko, Fleger, Farakhan,Wright,ACORN and the Chicago Political Machine.

    The MSM has NOT DONE a very through job in researching OBAMA… because he threatens them with lawsuits, or they are owned by rich and powerful supporters.

    Bob Miller (92dd17)


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