Fireweednectar’s Weblog

Views from The Last Frontier

Is Bill Ayers Obama’s ghostwriter?

Jack Cashill believes that Bill Ayers, unrepentant terrorist, Weatherman and current professor of education (!), wrote Barack Obama’s memoir Dreams of My Father, and has written a three-part article to outline his theory. As I write this it has been about an hour since I heard parts of a radio interview by Rusty Humphries of Jack Cashill, who discussed some of the technical aspects of making this determination. He also spoke of qsum, an authorship attribution program that is key to proving his assertions. He does not, however, have the skills to run the program and is appealing to an unbiased audience member who can aid him in the process of going through to compare/contrast the two books. Such a person should contact Cashill at this address.

Following is Part I: Did Bill Ayers write Obama’s “Dreams”? of the series.

“I picture the street coming alive, awakening from the fury of winter, stirred from the chilly spring night by cold glimmers of sunlight angling through the city.” Bill Ayers, Fugitive Days.

“Night now fell in midafternoon, especially when the snowstorms rolled in, boundless prairie storms that set the sky close to the ground, the city lights reflected against the clouds.” Barack Obama, Dreams From My Father.

Prior to 1990, when Barack Obama contracted to write Dreams From My Father, he had written very close to nothing.

As an undergraduate, Obama had written what he justifiably calls some “very bad poetry.” He published nothing under his own name in The Harvard Law Review, where he served as an editor and as president. And after leaving Harvard, he published nothing in its review or in any law journal.

Then, in 1995, this untested 33 year-old produced what Time Magazine has called–with a straight face– “the best-written memoir ever produced by an American politician.”

The public is asked to believe Obama wrote this on his own. I do not buy this canard for a minute, not at all. In writing a book on intellectual fraud, Hoodwinked, I developed an eye for literary humbug, and Dreams serves up an eyeful.

In writing an earlier article about Dreams’ dubious authorship, I had questioned whether the influential Muslim crackpot who paved Obama’s way into Harvard, Khalid al Mansour, might have greased his way into the world of publishing as well. If so, he remains well behind the scenes.

On closer examination, the path to publication appears more straightforward than I anticipated. There are two sources here to consider.

One, a surprising 2006 article by liberal publisher Peter Osnos for the American Century Foundation, offers some hard evidence on what Osnos describes as the “ruthlessness” of Obama’s literary ascent.

The second, more speculative source–Bill Ayers’ 2001 memoir Fugitive Days—may very well answer the questions that Osnos cannot.

As Osnos relates, a 1990 New York Times profile on Harvard’s first black editor caught the eye of a hustling young literary agent named Jane Dystel.

Dystel persuaded Obama to put a book proposal together, and she submitted it. Poseidon, a small imprint of Simon & Schuster, signed on and authorized a roughly $125,000 advance for Obama’s proposed memoir.

With advance in hand, Obama repaired to Chicago where the University of Chicago offered him an office and stipend to help him write. Obama dithered.

At one point, in order to finish without interruption, he and wife Michelle decamped to Bali. Obama was supposed to have finished the book within a year. Bali or not, advance or no, he could not. He was surely in way over his head.

According to Osnos, Simon & Schuster canceled the contract and likely asked that Obama return at least some of the advance.

Dystel did not give up. She solicited Times Book, the division of Random House at which Osnos was publisher. He met with Obama, took his word that he could finish the book, and authorized a new advance of $40,000.

Then suddenly, somehow, the muse descended on Obama and transformed him from a struggling, unschooled wannabe into a literary superstar.

As the New York Times gushed, again with a straight face,Obama was “that rare politician who can write . . . and write movingly and genuinely about himself.”

Osnos offhandedly notes that the writing of Dreams was “all Obama’s,” which means only that someone had fixed the book before he had seen it. Two questions demand answers: who and why.

I have attempted to contact Dystel without success, but it is highly unlikely she re-wrote the book. Whoever did almost assuredly shared many of Obama’s sentiments, spoke his language and spent considerable time reworking the text.

I had never even thought of Bill Ayers as a likely ghostwriter until I ordered his memoir, Fugitive Days, and began to read it. He writes very well and very much like “Obama.”

Unlike Dreams, however, where the high style is intermittent, Fugitive Days is infused with the authorial voice in every sentence. That voice is surely Ayers’.

“What makes Fugitive Days unique is its unsparing detail and its marvelous human coherence and integrity,” writes left wing literary guru and Obama pal, Edward Said.

Said adds that Ayers’ “family background, his education, his political awakening, his anger and involvement . . . all these are rendered in their truth without a trace of nostalgia.” He could have said very much the same about Dreams From My Father.

Obama’s memoir was published in June 1995. In January 1995, Ayers had chosen Obama, then a junior lawyer at a minor law firm, to chair the multi-million dollar Chicago Annenberg Challenge grants.

In the fall of that same year, 1995, Ayers and his wife, Weatherwoman Bernardine Dohrn, launched Obama’s ascent to political stardom with a fundraiser in their Chicago home.

In short, Ayers had the means, the motive, the time, the place and the literary ability to jumpstart Obama’s career. And, as Ayers had to know, a lovely memoir under Obama’s belt made for a much better resume than an unfulfilled contract over his head.

Part II: Deconstructing the Text

Part III: Why it Matters

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Thursday 25 September 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The real Barack Obama, in case you didn’t know

The reality of Barack Obama

The reality of Barack Obama

Source: Nice Deb

Thursday 25 September 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , | 5 Comments

Obama campaign sues to control TV ads by NRA

Obama Campaign Threaten Legal Action Over NRA Ads

Fairfax, VA-Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign has sent threatening letters to news agencies in Pennsylvania and Ohio to stop airing ads exposing his anti-gun record sponsored by the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF).

The kicker? NRA-PVF’s Ohio’s ads have not yet begun running.

“Barack Obama and his campaign are terrified of the truth,” declared Chris W. Cox, Chairman of NRA-PVF. “Sen. Obama’s statements and support for restricting access to firearms, raising taxes on guns and ammunition and voting against the use of firearms for self-defense in the home are a matter of public record. NRA-PVF will make sure that everyone knows of Obama’s abysmal record on guns and hunting.”

The Obama campaign sent cease and desist letters to news outlets in Pennsylvania and Ohio, denouncing the ads and demanding their removal from the airwaves. All stations where NRA-PVF has purchased or plans to purchase ads have been provided with documented evidence of Sen. Obama’s anti-gun record.

Obama Campaign Cease and Desist Letter

NRA-PVF Response Memo

NRA-PVF Response to Washington Post “fact check”

Click here to get to article, letter, memo and fact check

“Barack Obama would be the most anti-gun president in our nation’s history. That’s the truth,” concluded Cox. “NRA-PVF has the facts on our side. No amount of running from or lying about his record and then intimidating news outlets in the hope of deceiving American gun owners and hunters is going to work. Those strong arm tactics may work in Chicago, but not in Pennsylvania and Ohio, and not as long as NRA-PVF has anything to say about it.”

I understand some people reading this might not be interested in guns, or believe in gun control. In that case I would urge you to consider the erasure of rights we have been hearing about over the past few years include the right to information–what the Obama campaign here seeks to quash. Whether you agree with gun control or not, no campaign has the right to keep information from the public, or use insidious methods to intimidate others into doing the same.

If you believe this to be a small or insignificant matter, consider the consequences of government violation of any other of our constitutionally guaranteed rights and protections? Would you tolerate it? It is not the nature of a responsible citizen to pick and choose which guaranteed rights may apply to fellow citizens, but this is what the Obama campaign seeks to do.

The Moynihan Commission on Government Secrecy had as its key findings:

* that secrecy is a form of government regulation
* that excessive secrecy has significant consequences for the national interest when policy makers
are not fully informed
* the government is not held accountable for its actions
* the public cannot engage fully in informed debate

The people of the United States are entitled to and demand better than such insidious forms of public control.

Thursday 25 September 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Sarah Palin roams the streets of New York (not)

A Sarah Palin impersonator hired by the New York Daily News was charged with walking around the city as a test to see how locals and tourists respond.

People waved and cheered at her, some even asking for autographs. A gaggle of tourists gathered round and others aimed their cameras from tour buses. A Lehman Brothers employee stopped to chat and a passer-by shouted, “You’re hot! But I hope you lose!”

One man out for a stroll allowed his granddaughter’s photo to be made, but only after an opposition button was prominently placed on the child. “If her parents see her with anyone who even looks like Palin,” he said, “they’ll strangle me.”

So, does this mean New Yorkers have switched to milk from their favorite wine?

Not quite. Somehow New Yorkers never struck me as mean-spirited or absurd enough to boycott something for a resemblance. They bicker with each other when trying to give out-of-towners proper directions (I’m speaking from personal experience here) and old ladies pass out hard candies to people who give up their seats for them. (With the looks people get when they try to ignore them, you might be hard pressed to find someone unwilling to relinquish that seat!)

But let’s be realistic. I am sure the Daily News, whose rag factor remains unknown to me, thought they were having a spot of fun, but a few random passersby a survey does not make. And the “‘Palin’ by Comparison” table they inserted in the article’s center is designed to bias. I know, I know, to some it might seem I have no sense of humor. But the truth is bias trickled into society, in deliberately small amounts, has a real effect. Such entries as “countries visited”–which recalls the outlandish assertion that somehow having obtained a passport only last year is practically a personal deficiency–combined with the table’s title disregards the fact that millions of Americans are not in possession of a passport.

And, shocking as it may seem to lots of New Yorkers, some Alaskans have never been Outside. So what? They would be able to spot Kristy Webb as a fakester from opposite ends of Manhattan, as she in reality looks nothing like the real Sarah.

Thursday 25 September 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , | Leave a comment

Harry Reid tries to deny access to energy resources

Allahpundit, you rock!

Alarm raised: Reid quietly trying to extend ban on oil shale

Two days after leaving through the front door he’s trying to sneak back in through the side. Jim DeMint is up in arms, as is Heritage:

This comes as both a stunning and ridiculous development; Americans are still coping with high energy prices and coming to grips with a plan to bailout Wall Street, and Senator Reid is denying access to potentially one of America’s most abundant energy reserves. Just how much energy you ask?

Dr. Daniel Fine of MIT reported that 750 billion barrels worth of oil shale have been discovered in Colorado alone. That amount is enough to potentially power the U.S. economy for many decades. Furthermore, if full-scale production begins within five years, the U.S. could completely end its dependence on OPEC by 2020…

In essence, Senator Reid is stripping the decision rights away from his colleagues in other states.

Here’s a fact sheet from Gingrich’s American Solutions group noting that America’s oil shale deposits are fully three times the size of Saudi Arabia’s proven oil reserves, and here’s the contact information for all 100 senators. Go rattle some cages. Exit question: How about a hastily arranged presser for the Barracuda to stress her outrageous outrage at this development?

Update: A reader e-mailed Reid’s spokesman for comment and got this reply. I’m not kidding about rattling cages.

There is a possibility the Senate will be asked to vote on reestablishing the moratorium on oil shale extraction. Although Senate Democrats support measures to increase this nation’s energy supply, oil shale extraction has not been proven to be economically viable, will produce more greenhouse gases, and will significantly decrease the West’s water supply.

It’s worth repeating: contact your senator

Senator Ted Stevens: 202.224.3004 (Fax: 202.224.2354)

To e-mail Senator Ted Stevens

Senator Lisa Murkowski: 202.224.6665 (Fax: 202.224.5301)

To e-mail Senator Murkowski

Alaska residents may call Senator Murkowski’s Anchorage office toll free at 1.877.829.6030.

Thursday 25 September 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Famous last words

“We are in the most serious financial crisis in generations.”

“If I can be helpful, then I am prepared to be anywhere, anytime…If you need us, If I can be helpful, I’m prepared to be there at any point.

John McCain: Goes to Washington to actually do his job.
Barack Obama: Wants to keep campaigning.

It’s really serious, hey?

Thursday 25 September 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , | 1 Comment

Barack Obama hubris unprecedented

From P.U.M.A.

A company in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter is making commemorative coins for American presidential hopeful Barack Obama.

Windsor, Elizabeth & Windsor has already sold more than 300 limited edition commemorative silver coins to the Democratic Party to hand out to key members of the campaign to elect Obama.

The coins already sold to the Democrats will be presented to the senators, congressmen, governors and other politicians they are being given to within the next two weeks.

The company directors got the idea of producing the coins after seeing actress Meryl Streep talking about Barack Obama on a television programme.

When they got in touch with the Democrats the party jumped at the chance. And the coins have proved such a hit that locally produced versions have already been launched to compete with the UK originals.

The coins show Senator Obama’s face, along with a picture of the White House and the legend “President of the United States of America”.

So there you have it folks, please make sure you hurry up and get yours, as supply is very limited. Make sure you place it next to your President Kerry and President Gore commemorative coins, oh, wait, Gore and Kerry had a bit more humility and didn’t actually make presidential coins…

Either way, I am glad the Obama campaign has decided that the November election is a mere formality, as he is already the President-elect. I guess I don’t need to go to the polls on that day after all…

But in reality, PUMA pundit, I’m sure you will be going with as much glee as I will, with the prospect of NObama straight ahead.

Thursday 25 September 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , | Leave a comment

Where did Obama’s garden go?

This is change?

A $100,000 state grant for a botanic garden in Englewood that then-state Sen. Barack Obama awarded in 2001 to a group headed by a onetime campaign volunteer is now under investigation by the Illinois attorney general amid new questions, prompted by Chicago Sun-Times reports, about whether the money might have been misspent.

The garden was never built. And now state records obtained by the Sun-Times show $65,000 of the grant money went to the wife of Kenny B. Smith, the Obama 2000 congressional campaign volunteer who heads the Chicago Better Housing Association, which was in charge of the project for the blighted South Side neighborhood.

Smith wrote another $20,000 in grant-related checks to K.D. Contractors, a construction company that his wife, Karen D. Smith, created five months after work on the garden was supposed to have begun, records show. K.D. is no longer in business.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan — a Democrat who is supporting Obama’s presidential bid — is investigating “whether this charitable organization properly used its charitable assets, including the state funds it received,” Cara Smith, Madigan’s deputy chief of staff, said Wednesday.

In addition to the 2001 grant that Obama directed to the housing association as a “member initiative,” the not-for-profit group got a separate $20,000 state grant in 2006.

But of course the person investigating the crime is a Obama supporter, so we shouldn’t be surprised that others will go under the bus as Obama skates:

Madigan’s office has notified Obama’s presidential campaign of the probe, which was launched this week. But Obama’s actions in awarding the money are not a focus of the investigation, Smith said.

Come on. The spouse of a campaign aide gets a grant for a garden that never gets built and Obama isn’t suspected of any wrongdoing?

How about his judgment?

The relationship between Smith and Obama dates to at least 1997, when Obama wrote a letter that Smith used to help the housing association win city funding for an affordable-housing development near the garden site. Plans called for more than 50 homes; a dozen ultimately were built.

So he helped the aide get funding for 50 homes, most of which were never built. Then a few years later he gives that same aide some MORE money for a garden that was never built.

Yeah, this guy is all about change.

More here

Thursday 25 September 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sarah Palin disinvite: Hillary, 1; Malcolm Hoenlein, big fat zero

Key points in the Pamela Geller article

The notorious disinviting of Sarah Palin from an anti-Ahmedinejad rally in New York is a product of the secret war Hillary Clinton is waging against the Obama presidential campaign.

The catalyst that set the disastrous events in motion was Hillary Clinton’s withdrawal.

Many weak and nonsensical excuses were made for Clinton’s withdrawal. It was said she pulled out because she thought the event was partisan, or because she did not want to appear with Palin. She was unhappy that the organizers did not tell her that Palin also was going to attend.

Actually, what Clinton signaled was her chances of seizing the nomination and the White House in 2012 were more important than presenting a united front against Ahmadinejad.

So what happened to set the ball rolling? Hillary’s pull out had nothing to do with Palin. It was an implicit hit at Obama. Hillary did not want to be the one to represent Obama. Obama’s position on Iran is sophomoric, idiotic and dangerous. Hillary has been more responsible and she was not going to clean up his mess.

In plain terms, Hillary Clinton was not going to be the face of Obama’s Iranian foreign policy. Obama has said he would meet with Ahmedinejad without condition — essentially rewarding him for his nuclear arsenal and genocidal threats. No way was Hillary going to pave that road for him, so she pulled out forcing Obama to face the jihad music. In withdrawing she forced him send someone in his stead — but who?

Clinton could not have known that Jewish lay leadership would cave to their left wing activists, but that was of little import to her. Her action was taken to shine the spotlight on Obama’s complete failure on Iran, and she accomplished this. Claiming that by inviting Palin (and Clinton, Biden and Wexler), the organizers were in danger of losing their tax-exempt status was ridiculous. It was not a political rally and Hillary attended and spoke in 2006 when she was running for the Senate. Was that political? Those who make that argument insult our intelligence.

I do not forgive Malcolm Hoenlein for caving to the leftist Jews. The buck stops with him and he blew it. Israel is in Iran’s nuclear cross hairs. Full weaponization is either here or imminent. American Jews need real leadership and that is why Malcolm Hoinlein must resign. He is tired and gutless. As executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations since June 1986, it was his decision to make. Hoenlein has demonstrated he is not capable of leading the Jewish people as the world prepares for a second holocaust. The left wing politics of yesterday cause irreparable harm.

The real issue is why Obama didn’t send anyone to represent him at the Anti-Ahmedinejad rally? Having no one there for Obama makes it seem he did not want to upset the Hitler wannabe, or that he was pandering to his widespread support in the Muslim world or his 22% lead over McCain among Muslim Americans.

Hillary wanted these question raised in the subconscious of Jewish and other pro-Israel/anti-Iran voters.

In this Presidential race, Hillary is a McCain operative even if he doesn’t know it.

Thursday 25 September 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Obama bundler meets with Ahmadinejad

Ed Morrissey reports:

And she’s bragging about it, too. Apparently without “preparations”, Code Pink founders Jodie Evans and Medea Benjamin met with Iranian president and raging anti-Semite Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in New York. Evans wears another hat in this election as well; she has pledged to raise over $50,000 for Barack Obama as one of his main bundlers:

Calling it a “major step forward” in relations between Iran and the United States, leading activists Medea Benjamin and Jodie Evans of CODEPINK Women for Peace — along with more than 150 other U.S. peace group representatives — met Wednesday afternoon with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad here following his appearance at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.

They had some interesting ideas for promoting peace with the man who has threatened to wipe Israel off the map, who funds terrorist groups like Hezbollah and Hamas, whose munitions kill American soldiers in Iraq, and whose nation currently wants to build nukes. Their solutions? Peace parks and investing in Iranian businesses:

The CODEPINK women proposed inviting American and Iranian artists to build a “peace park” in Tehran, a memorial dedicated to people-to-people commitment to peace and diplomacy between our two countries.

They also proposed a plan to invest funds in an Iranian business, one that produces green and sustainable products, such as bicycles. This grassroots investment would be the opposite of efforts by the Bush administration and Congress to tighten sanctions, a move which CODEPINK thinks would only hurt ordinary, everyday Iranians. Such a symbolic CODEPINK investment in a green, sustainable business would challenge U.S. regulations blocking trade with Iran and would show how diplomacy and trade are preferable to war and sanctions.

Most people want to stop investing in an Iranian system that needs cash for its nuclear aspirations. Congress has considered a divestment bill this year, for instance, attempting to use leverage . In fact, both John McCain and Barack Obama support divesture. Maybe that message got lost in the shuffle at Team O.

That brings us to the bigger question: why is a bundler for Obama’s campaign meeting with the head of the biggest terror-sponsoring regime in the world? Let’s skip over all of the hypocrisy of a supposed “peace” group sucking up to a man who funds terrorists, murders, and violence all over the world. (They like Castro, too, so that’s old news.) Here we have someone actively working to raise funds for Obama meeting with the explicitly avowed enemy of one of our closest allies. What does that say about Obama and his campaign?

Obama should disavow Evans and return the money she has bundled for him. If not, we can consider that agreement with Evans’ actions and judge Obama’s foreign-policy instincts by it. (via Melanie Morgan and Free Republic’s Kristin Taylor)

It’s worth repeating Melanie Morgan re: how closely Obama embraces this group:

“Obama recently put his seal of approval on Evans’ attempt to storm the stage during the acceptance speech of Republican vice presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska when he welcomed her to his two Hollywood fundraisers last week, the exclusive $28,500 per person event and the $2500 per person event Barbra Streisand sang at the same evening.”

Interestingly, this link, Evans’s statement of the meeting with Ahmadinejad (toward the bottom of Kristinn Taylor’s entry) led to a very pink, but inaccessible page. (This is as of Friday 25 September 2008, 06.30 AKDT)

Why, Code Pink, is this a major step forward? You don’t represent the United States in any official capacity and you have no power to set policy. And rare as it may be for a “world leader” to meet with an activist group, you seem to be forgetting that it isn’t because he admires your principles. You are useful and nothing else.

Many of the people who speak out against what Code Pink are doing are reviled and mocked for being “uneducated” and “ignorant” but the truth is we are the ones who understand better than they do what pawns they are. We also understand they are a giant liability for Obama, who himself has already stated he would meet with Ahmadinejad without having established any prior conditions. This is against the interests of the United States, the desires of most Americans, and offensive to those whose families have suffered as a result of the actions of the revolutionary Iranian government.

Moreover, they seem to be mixing up the Iranian people with their leader, who by the way has to be approved by an unelected body, even to run for office. Wishing to establish some sort of dialogue with private Iranian citizens is noteworthy and probably even more advantageous because, depending on the circumstances, you might come closer to getting some insight into what ordinary Iranians have to say. Given the chance, probably one of the first things many Iranians would inform these women of is that many Iranian women are not even permitted to ride bicycles because it is deemed as “immodest.” Evans and Benjamin also need to be reminded that in his own country Ahmadinejad routinely jails and otherwise punishes women, whose rights are denied daily.

Why are they not asking him about those issues? Perhaps because they believe in freedom of speech only when it pertains to their own agenda.

Thursday 25 September 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment