Obama, Bill Ayers & Other Red Flags

Was there a conspiracy within the USA mainstream media to ensure Obama was elected in 2008? Did other organizations play a role in coverig up the facts about Obama as well?

I keep finding more and more video and other documentation that our USA media HAD to be somehow complicit in helping Barack Obama get elected.  The horrible truth about this man just keeps bubbling up everywhere. I would like pause here to state that my blogging and research about Obama has NOTHING to do with race. I grew up in racially mixed neighborhoods in the south and attended a high school that was 70% black.  I never had any problems with my peers and my friends and neighbors. We all got along just fine. So don’t go there.

What my bloging on this site DOES have to do with is high crimes in high places: lies, forgeries, falsification of legal documents, cover-ups, denials, attempts at minimizing and obfuscation, using ridicule to dissuade truthseekers,  all of this pertaining to the acquisition of the highest office in the land and it justifies the American public’s right to know the truth about Barack Obama.

We now appear to have a USA mainstream media that no longer reports real news or does any REAL investigative reporting, but instead carries on the pretense thereof for show. Go and have a look at the front page of http://nbc.com

Isn’t it odd to you that 70% of the visual space on the NBC main web page is devoted to a reality show called “Big Brother”? I stared at their site for about 8 minutes looking for any actual news links before I gave up and surfed reuters.com for news instead. ABCNEWS.COM and CBS.COM are no different. We do not really have a free news media in America anymore.

It’s very clear to me. When a country loses a free media, when their media outlets are secretly instructed on which way to slant the reporting, which stories to chase and which stories to ignore, then we are just a few breaths away from losing our country entirely. It is my sincere belief at this point, after all I have learned since last July, that the USA mainstream media is neithr a free or independent media, but is, as Alex JOnes has been shouting into his megahorn for years now, (see http://infowars.com) a broadcasting tool of the hidden elites from the CFR and the Bilderberg Group membership who run this country as they choose.

In my opinion it matters not one whit whether republicans or democrats are in office. Both parties now work for the same hidden bosses and they have for probably decades while the American public remaind in the TV induced stupor that kept them from figuring everything out.

On this page I am just going to list and re-post a few of the doucments I am finding that should have turned any good red blooded American reporters’ hair turn white last year at the prospect of this man being in charge of our country. Here we go.  Some of the documents re-posted below are unrelated to one another, but they all relate to the core issue of integrity, eligibility for office, disclosure, past associations, past affiliations, cash sponsorship, and those kinds of things are what makes us who we are.  Have a look. – CKH

August 18, 2008, 7:45 a.m.

Chicago Annenberg Challenge Shutdown?

A cover-up in the making?

By Stanley Kurtz

The problem of Barack Obama’s relationship with Bill Ayers will not go away. Ayers and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn were terrorists for the notorious Weather Underground during the turbulent 1960s, turning fugitive when a bomb — designed to kill army officers in New Jersey — accidentally exploded in a New York townhouse. Prior to that, Ayers and his cohorts succeeded in bombing the Pentagon. Ayers and Dohrn remain unrepentant for their terrorist past. Ayers was pictured in a 2001 article for Chicago magazine, stomping on an American flag, and told the New York Times just before 9/11 that the notion of the United States as a just and fair and decent place “makes me want to puke.” Although Obama actually launched his political career at an event at Ayers’s and Dohrn’s home, Obama has dismissed Ayers as just “a guy who lives in my neighborhood,” and “not somebody who I exchange ideas from on a regular basis.” For his part, Ayers refuses to discuss his relationship with Obama.

Although the press has been notably lax about pursuing the matter, the full story of the Obama-Ayers relationship calls the truth of Obama’s account seriously into question. When Obama made his first run for political office, articles in both the Chicago Defender and the Hyde Park Herald featured among his qualifications his position as chairman of the board of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, a foundation where Ayers was a founder and guiding force. Obama assumed the Annenberg board chairmanship only months before his first run for office, and almost certainly received the job at the behest of Bill Ayers. During Obama’s time as Annenberg board chairman, Ayers’s own education projects received substantial funding. Indeed, during its first year, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge struggled with significant concerns about possible conflicts of interest. With a writ to aid Chicago’s public schools, the Annenberg challenge played a deeply political role in Chicago’s education wars, and as Annenberg board chairman, Obama clearly aligned himself with Ayers’s radical views on education issues. With Obama heading up the board and Ayers heading up the other key operating body of the Annenberg Challenge, the two would necessarily have had a close working relationship for years (therefore “exchanging ideas on a regular basis”). So when Ayers and Dorhn hosted that kickoff for the first Obama campaign, it was not a random happenstance, but merely further evidence of a close and ongoing political partnership. Of course, all of this clearly contradicts Obama’s dismissal of the significance of his relationship with Ayers.

This much we know from the public record, but a large cache of documents housed in the Richard J. Daley Library at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), is likely to flesh out the story. That document cache contains the internal files of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. The records in question are extensive, consisting of 132 boxes, containing 947 file folders, a total of about 70 linear feet of material. Not only would these files illuminate the working relationship between Obama and Bill Ayers, they would also provide significant insight into a web of ties linking Obama to various radical organizations, including Obama-approved foundation gifts to political allies. Obama’s leadership style and abilities are also sure to be illuminated by the documents in question.

Unfortunately, I don’t yet have access to the documents. The Special Collections section of the Richard J. Daley Library agreed to let me read them, but just before I boarded my flight to Chicago, the top library officials mysteriously intervened to bar access. Circumstances strongly suggest the likelihood that Bill Ayers himself may have played a pivotal role in this denial. Ayers has long taught at UIC, where the Chicago Annenberg Challenge offices were housed, rent-free. Ayers likely arranged for the files of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge to be housed in the UIC library, and may well have been consulted during my unsuccessful struggle to gain access to the documents. Let me, then, explain in greater detail what the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC) records are, and how I have been blocked from seeing them.

Initially, as I said, library officials said that I could examine the CAC records. I received this permission both over the phone and in writing. The subsequent denial of access came with a series of evolving explanations. Is this a politically motivated cover-up? Although at this stage it is impossible to know, it is hard to avoid the suspicion. I also have some concerns for the security of the documents, although I have no specific evidence that their security is endangered. In any case, given the relative dearth of information about Barack Obama’s political past, there is a powerful public interest in the swift release of these documents.


When I learned that the CAC records were housed at UIC Library, I phoned and was assured by a reference librarian that, although I have no UIC affiliation, I would be permitted to examine the records. He suggested I phone the Special Collections section of the library and set up an appointment with a special collections librarian. This reference librarian also ran a search for me and discovered that, in addition to the CAC records, one file folder in the UIC Chancellor’s Office of Community Relations archive contains information on CAC from 1995.

I then spoke with a special-collections librarian and was again assured that I would have access to the CAC records. I was told that, while I could not personally make copies of the material, I could identify documents of interest and have copies made by the library, for a fee. I set up an appointment to meet with the special-collections librarian, and she suggested that I e-mail her the information on the CAC-related chancellor’s documents the reference librarian had discovered, and confirm my appointment time. After I did so, this special-collections librarian forwarded my message to a graduate assistant.

The graduate assistant then e-mailed to let me know that, while the CAC collection had been “processed,” the “finding aid” had not yet been put online. (The “finding aid” is a detailed document of over 60 pages specifying the topics covered by each of the 947 folders in the collection, and showing which boxes hold which folders.) Because the finding aid was not yet online, the graduate assistant attached a copy to her e-mail, inviting me to browse it and identify documents of particular interest, so that the library could have some of the CAC material out and ready for me immediately upon my arrival. I wrote back indicating that I would like to see the single CAC-related folder from the chancellor’s archive, and further identifying 14 boxes from the main body of CAC records containing folders of special interest. Having received clear and repeated representations from the UIC library staff that I would be granted access to the CAC records, I arranged a trip to Chicago.

What follows is more detail than some readers may want to know, but it seems important to get it on record. If a body of material potentially damaging to Barack Obama is being improperly embargoed by a library, the details matter.

Just before my plane took off, I received an e-mail from the special-collections librarian informing me that she had “checked our collection file” and determined that “access to the collection is closed.” I would be permitted to view the single CAC-related file from the Office of the Chancellor records, but nothing from the CAC records proper. I quickly wrote back, expressing surprise and disappointment. I noted that I had arranged my trip based on the library’s assurances of access, and followed up with questions about whether access was being denied because I was unaffiliated with UIC. I also asked who had authority over access to the collection, suggesting that I might be able to contact them and request permission to view it.

After arriving in Chicago, I found a message, not from the special-collections librarian, but from Ann C. Weller, professor and head, Special Collections Department. In answer to my question of who had authority over access to the collection, Weller said, that “the decision was made by me” in consultation with the library director. Weller stated that no one currently has access to the collection and added that: “The Collection is closed because it has come to our attention that there is restricted material in the collection. Once the collection has been processed it will be open to any patron interested in viewing it.”

I responded to Weller by recounting the clear and repeated representations I had received from library staff that I would be granted access to the collection, adding that I had arranged my trip in large part because of these assurances. I then noted that I had studied the CAC finding aid with considerable care. It was clear from that finding aid, I said, that only five out of the 947 folders were in any way restricted. Four folders, containing auditor’s reports, where clearly marked, in bold type, “THESE FOLDERS ARE RESTRICTED VIA ANNENBERG CHALLENGE until further notice.” A fifth folder, containing records of eight CAC Board of Directors meetings in 1995, when CAC was first set up, had a notation nearby with the word, “Consent.” It would be a simple matter, I said, to pull these five folders, allow me access to the remaining 942 folders, and contact the relevant authority for consent to view the records of the 1995 board meetings. After all, I added, Weller herself had said that, other than the restricted folders, the collection ought to be open to all patrons.

I also pointed out to Weller that she had not quite entirely answered my earlier question about who has authority over access to the collection. So I asked who, precisely, holds the authority to bar or permit access to the restricted folders. I added the following thought: “Libraries, of course, exist, not to restrict information, but to make it available to the public. I would hate to think that UIC library was doing anything less than all it could to permit public access to these important materials.”

Weller replied to this message by dropping the restricted documents issue and saying instead that the donor of the CAC records “has alerted us to the fact that we do not have a signed deed of gift.” According to Weller, this means that UIC’s library has no legal right to make the material available. The donor, said Weller, is now working with UIC library to resolve the problem, and “we hope to be able to provide access within the next few weeks.”

Replying to Weller, I briefly noted some elements of her account that I found puzzling. I added that Weller had still not answered my question about who the donor is, and/or who holds controlling authority over the collection. I closed by alerting the library to my intention to come in that day to examine the single CAC-related folder from the chancellor’s records that I did have permission to see. Later that day, I examined that one folder, took notes, and asked for the entire folder’s contents to be copied and mailed to me. I have received no further reply to my reiterated question about the identity of the donor.


There are a number of disturbing elements to this story. Recall that, according to the graduate assistant, the collection had, in fact, already been “processed.” Yet Weller’s initial message to me used the unprocessed state of the collection as a reason for restricting access. And when I pointed out how easy it would be to remove the restricted files, Weller quickly came up with yet another reason to block access. At the moment, I have no way of verifying Weller’s claim that the library has no signed deed of gift, but how likely is it that a collection of such size and importance would have been housed in the library, and listed in publicly accessible international library catalogues, without this very basic detail having been attended to? It’s also puzzling that UIC now raises the absence of any formal agreement with the donor — and thus the absence of any formal restrictions by the donor — as a reason to deny access to a collection placed in library custody precisely to facilitate public access.

The question of who the donor is and/or who holds formal authority over access to the collection, is also critical. It’s notable that after trying to ascertain this information several times, I have still not received a proper reply. One obvious question is whether Bill Ayers and perhaps even Barack Obama himself may be connected to the donor. Obama began his CAC board chairmanship in early 1995, and stepped down from the chairmanship in late 1999, though he remained on the board until CAC phased itself out of existence in 2001. At that time, CAC handed over its remaining assets to a permanent new institution, the Chicago Public Education Fund. Obama served on this Fund’s “Leadership Council,” from 2001 through 2004, overlapping with council service by Bill Ayers’s father, Thomas, and Ayers’s brother, John. Bill Ayers, as noted, was a CAC founder, its guiding force, and co-chaired CAC’s powerful “collaborative.” CAC appears to have been housed at UIC because of Ayers’s connection to the school.

So informally, and perhaps formally, it would appear that both Ayers and Obama may be closely connected to the donor of the CAC records. In fact, Ayers himself may be the donor. In raising her belated point about the absence of a signed deed of gift, Ann Weller indicated that she had been alerted to the fact by the donor, and would henceforth be working with the donor to provide access “within the next few weeks.” One can at least speculate that Weller might have been in touch with her UIC colleague, Bill Ayers, either because he actually holds formal authority as donor, or because he is granted de facto authority over the papers by whatever entity has formal control. One can also speculate that, as former CAC board chair, board member, and as an official of CAC’s successor organization, Barack Obama himself might have had, or may still have, some sort of formal or informal role in this process. Could this help explain why I have never received a clear answer to my question about the identity of the donor?

I expect to follow up this piece with an examination of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge and what it suggests about Obama’s personal, financial, and ideological ties with Bill Ayers. I will also discuss what Obama’s CAC connection might suggest about Obama’s links to various radical groups, about the political character of his service at various foundations, and about his leadership record. I treated some of these issues in “Inside Obama’s Acorn,” and have just explored them, using new material, in an article in the current issue of National Review, entitled “Senator Stealth.” Further information on the Obama-Ayers connection can be found in “Barack Obama’s Lost Years.” Of course there is no substitute for access to the CAC records, but at over 60 pages, the extremely detailed “finding aid” to the CAC records by itself provides important new information that helps extend our understanding of Obama’s political past. I will shortly have more to say about what the finding aid reveals. And while there were no major revelations in it, the contents of the folder from the chancellor’s archive are also of some interest.

We already know a good deal about Obama’s service at the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. That information paints a disturbing picture, and one sharply at odds with Obama’s claim that Bill Ayers was just “a guy who lives in my neighborhood.” A number of bloggers, including, for example, Tom Maguire, at Just One Minute, have done excellent work on the CAC issue. (See here and here.) But the key reporting on the Obama-Ayers connection via the Chicago Annenberg Challenge has been done by Steve Diamond, at Global Labor and Politics. (See especially this important post of June 18, 2008.) Sad to say, the mainstream media has almost entirely ignored the issues so powerfully raised by Diamond, and discussed at length by various bloggers, even though Obama’s service at the Chicago Annenberg Challenge raises serious questions about the veracity of his account of his relationship with Ayers. Access to the CAC records promises to provide a treasure trove of documentary evidence fronting on this and many other critically important issues, from Obama’s policy views, to his political-ideological alliances, to his leadership abilities.


There will be time for substantive discussion later. The immediate concern is to swiftly gain public access to the Chicago Annenberg Challenge records, and to ensure the security of these documents in the meantime. Despite UIC library’s claim that it hopes to be able to provide access within the next few weeks, the apparently shifting and contradictory character of their reasons for denying access have left me with a low level of confidence in these assurances.

I intend to continue my efforts to examine the Chicago Annenberg Challenge records, to take notes, and to order extensive photocopies, to be mailed to me and/or received personally by me, in a timely fashion. I call on the UIC library to take extraordinary steps to secure the documents until such time as this issue is resolved. The public needs clear assurances that none of the CAC records have been, or will be, damaged or removed. I call on UIC library to reveal the name of the donor of the CAC records and/or to specify the person, persons, or body that currently hold authority over these records. I also call on Barack Obama to voice support for the swift release of these records.

Libraries are designed, not to unduly restrict information, but to make it available to an interested public. This country is now mere months away from a momentous presidential election in which a central issue is the political background and character of a relatively young and unknown senator. The Chicago Annenberg Challenge records almost surely contain important information on Senator Obama’s political associations, policy views, ideological leanings, and leadership ability. His role as board chairman of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge is the most important executive experience Obama has held to date. Given this, the public has an urgent right to know what is in the Chicago Annenberg Challenge records.

If you agree, then please write to the president of the University of Illinois system, B. Joseph White. Ask him to take immediate public steps to insure the safety of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge records, to release the identity of the Collection’s donor, and above all to swiftly make the Collection available to me, and to the public at large. You can find an email link for White here. Telephone, fax, and mailing addresses for White’s offices can be found here.

— Stanley Kurtz is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

Stanley Kurtz is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

National Review Online – http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MTgwZTVmN2QyNzk2MmUxMzA5OTg0ODZlM2Y2OGI0NDM

Barack Obama’s Lost Years
The senator’s tenure as a state legislator reveals him to be an old-fashioned, big government, race-conscious liberal.

by Stanley Kurtz
08/11/2008, Volume 013, Issue 45

Barack Obama’s neighborhood newspaper, the Hyde Park Herald, has a longstanding tradition of opening its pages to elected officials-from Chicago aldermen to state legislators to U.S. senators. Obama himself, as a state senator, wrote more than 40 columns for the Herald, under the title “Springfield Report,” between 1996 and 2004. Read in isolation, Obama’s columns from the state capital tell us little. Placed in the context of political and policy battles then raging in Illinois, however, the young legislator’s dispatches powerfully illuminate his political beliefs. Even more revealing are hundreds of articles chronicling Obama’s early political and legislative activities in the pages not only of the Hyde Park Herald, but also of another South Side fixture, the Chicago Defender.

Obama moved to Chicago in order to place himself in what he understood to be the de facto “capital” of black America. For well over 100 years, the Chicago Defender has been the voice of that capital, and therefore a paper of national significance for African Americans. Early on in his political career, Obama complained of being slighted by major media, like the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times. Yet extensive and continuous coverage in both theChicago Defender and the Hyde Park Herald presents a remarkable resource for understanding who Obama is. Reportage in these two papers is particularly significant because Obama’s early political career-the time between his first campaign for the Illinois State Senate in 1995 and his race for U.S. Senate in 2004-can fairly be called the “lost years,” the

period Obama seems least eager to talk about, in contrast to his formative years in Hawaii, California, and New York or his days as a community organizer, both of which are recounted in his memoir, Dreams from My Father. The pages of the Hyde Park Herald and the Chicago Defenderthus offer entrée into Obama’s heretofore hidden world.

What they portray is a Barack Obama sharply at variance with the image of the post-racial, post-ideological, bipartisan, culture-war-shunning politician familiar from current media coverage and purveyed by the Obama campaign. As details of Obama’s early political career emerge into the light, his associations with such radical figures as Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Father Michael Pfleger, Reverend James Meeks, Bill Ayers, and Bernardine Dohrn look less like peculiar instances of personal misjudgment and more like intentional political partnerships. At his core, in other words, the politician chronicled here is profoundly race-conscious, exceedingly liberal, free-spending even in the face of looming state budget deficits, and partisan. Elected president, this man would presumably shift the country sharply to the left on all the key issues of the day-culture-war issues included. It’s no wonder Obama has passed over his Springfield years in relative silence.


Any rounded treatment of Obama’s early political career has got to give prominence to the issue of race. Obama has recently made efforts to preemptively blunt discussion of the race issue, warning that his critics will highlight the fact that he is African American. Yet the question of race plays so large a role in Obama’s own thought and action that it is all but impossible to discuss his political trajectory without acknowledging the extent to which it engrosses him. Obama settled in Chicago with the declared intention of “organizing black folks.” His first book is subtitled “A Story of Race and Inheritance,” and his second book contains an important chapter on race. On his return to Chicago in 1991, Obama practiced civil rights law and for many years taught a seminar on racism and law at the University of Chicago. When he entered the Illinois senate, it was to represent the heavily (although not exclusively) minority 13th district on the South Side of Chicago. Indeed, race functions for Obama as a kind of master-category, pervading and organizing a wide array of issues that many Americans may not think of as racial at all. Understanding Obama’s thinking on race, for example, is a prerequisite to grasping his views on spending and taxation. Thus, we have no alternative but to puzzle out the place of race in Obama’s broader political outlook as well as in his legislative career.

When it comes to issues like affirmative action and set-asides, Obama is anything but the post-racial politician he’s sometimes made out to be. Take set-asides. In 1998, Obama endorsed Democratic gubernatorial hopeful John Schmidt, stressing to the Defender Schmidt’s past support for affirmative action and set-asides. Although Obama was generally pleased by the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2003 acceptance of racial preferences at the University of Michigan, he underscored the danger that Republican-appointed justices might someday overturn the ruling. The day after the Michigan decision, Obama honored the passing of former Atlanta mayor Maynard Jackson Jr., eulogizing Jackson for creating model affirmative action and set-aside programs that spread across the nation.

In 2004, a U.S. District Court disallowed the ordinance under which Chicago required the use of at least 25 percent minority business enterprises and 5 percent women’s business enterprises on city-funded projects. In the immediate aftermath of the ruling, Obama and Jesse Jackson were among the prominent voices calling for a black leadership summit to plot strategy for a restoration of Chicago’s construction quotas. Obama and his allies succeeded in bringing back race-based contracting.

Prominent among those allies were two of Obama’s earliest and strongest political supporters, Hyde Park aldermen Toni Preckwinkle and Leslie Hairston. These two are known as fierce advocates of set-asides and key orchestrators of demonstrations and public-relations campaigns against businesses that question race-based contracting. When, in 2001, construction work was planned for South Lake Shore Drive, a major artery that connects Hyde Park to the rest of Chicago, Preckwinkle and

Hairston seized the occasion to call for an extraordinary 70 percent minority quota on contracts for the project. They even demanded that, for the sake of race-based hiring, normal contractor eligibility requirements be waived. Then when work on South Lake Shore Drive was not awarded to minority contractors, a group consisting of Preckwinkle, Hairston, two neighboring aldermen, and numerous activists staged a surprise raid on the construction site, shutting it down and forcing the contractor to hire more blacks. A raid on a second construction site collapsed when several blacks were found already at work on the project. (The aldermen said these African-American laborers had been hired at the last minute to stymie their protest.)

Biographical treatments of Obama tend to stress the tenuous nature of his black identity-his upbringing by whites, his elite education, his home in Chicago’s highly integrated Hyde Park, personal tensions with black legislators, and questions about whether Obama is “black enough” to represent African Americans. These concerns over Obama’s racial identity are overblown. On race-related issues Obama has stood shoulder to shoulder with Chicago’s African-American politicians for years.

Occasionally, Obama has even gotten out in front of them. In 1999, for example, he made news by calling on the governor to appoint a minority to the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC), a body that had previously attracted little notice among Chicago’s blacks. In 2000, the Chicago Defender named Obama one of a number of “Vanguards for Change,” citing him for “focusing on legislation in areas previously unexplored by the African-American community including his call that a person of color be appointed to the ICC.” Obama did bring a somewhat different background and set of interests to the table. Yet the upshot was to expand the frontiers of race-based politics.

And the story doesn’t end with Obama’s support for set-asides. A Chicago Defender story of 1999 features a front-page picture of Obama beside the headline, “Obama: Illinois Black Caucus is broken.” In the accompanying article, although Obama denies demanding that black legislators march in perfect lockstep, he expresses anger that black state senators have failed to unite for the purpose of placing a newly approved riverboat casino in a minority neighborhood. The failed casino vote, Obama argues, means that the black caucus “is broken and needs to unite for the common good of the African-American community.” Obama continues, “The problem right now is that we don’t have a unified agenda that’s enforced back in the community and is clearly articulated. Everybody tends to be lone agents in these situations.”

Speaking in reply to Obama was Mary E. Flowers, an African-American state senator who apparently broke black caucus discipline and voted to approve the casino’s location in a nonminority area. Said Flowers: “The Black Caucus is from different tribes, different walks of life. I don’t expect all of the whites to vote alike.  .  .  .  Why is it that all of us should walk alike, talk alike and vote alike?  .  .  .  I was chosen by my constituents to represent them, and that is what I try to do.” Given Obama’s supposedly post-racial politics, it is notable that he should be the one demanding enforcement of a black political agenda against “lone agents,” while another black legislator appeals to Obama to leave her free to represent her constituents, black or white, as she sees fit.

Obama’s fight to unify the black caucus on the casino vote was undertaken in partnership with state senator Donne Trotter. Yet nearly every biographical account of Obama lavishes attention on Trotter’s claim that Obama was just a “white man in black face.” The significance of that bit of campaign hype, offered while Trotter was running against Obama for Congress, has been exaggerated, perhaps because Trotter’s epithet helps to defuse the notion that Obama himself practices race-based politics. Yet Obama does exactly that. His public legislative cooperation with Trotter, and with other black Illinois politicians, yields more insight into Obama’s political plans than any electoral rhetoric or private intra-black-caucus backbiting. To the extent that Obama can be accused of having shaky “black credentials,” that very accusation pushes him to practice race-conscious politics all the more energetically.

When the 2000 census revealed dramatic growth in Chicago’s Hispanic and Asian populations alongside a decline in the number of African Americans, the Illinois black caucus was alarmed at the prospect that the number of blacks in the Illinois General Assembly might decline. At that point, Obama stepped to the forefront of the effort to preserve as many black seats as possible. The Defender quotes Obama as saying that, “while everyone agrees that the Hispanic population has grown, they cannot expand by taking African-American seats.” As in the casino dispute, Obama stressed black unity, pushing a plan that would modestly increase the white, Hispanic, and Asian population in what would continue to be the same number of safe black districts. As Obama put it: “An incumbent African-American legislator with a 90 percent district may feel good about his reelection chances, but we as a community would probably be better off if we had two African-American legislators with 60 percent each.”

Obama’s intensely race-conscious approach may surprise Americans who know him primarily through his keynote address at the Democratic National Convention of 2004. When Obama so famously said, “There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America-there’s the United States of America,” most Americans took him to be advocating a color-blind consciousness of the kind expressed in Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream that his children would one day be judged, not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. Anyone who understood Obama’s words that way should know that this is not the whole story. In an essay published in 1988 entitled “Why Organize? Problems and Promise in the Inner City,” Obama tried to make room for both “accommodation and militancy” in black political engagement. He wrote,

The debate as to how black and other dispossessed people can forward their lot in America is not new. From W.E.B. DuBois to Booker T. Washington to Marcus Garvey to Malcolm X to Martin Luther King, this internal debate has raged between integration and nationalism, between accommodation and militancy, between sit-down strikes and board-room negotiations. The lines between these strategies have never been simply drawn, and the most successful black leadership has recognized the need to bridge these seemingly divergent approaches.

However his views may have evolved in the ensuing 20 years, Obama surely knew that the King-like rhetoric of his keynote address would be taken by most Americans as a repudiation of the kind of race-based politics he and his closest allies have consistently practiced throughout his electoral career. It’s difficult to gauge the extent to which Obama may have consciously permitted this misunderstanding to take hold, or the extent to which he still believes that the opposition between “integration and nationalism, between accommodation and militancy” is a false one. Neither alternative is particularly encouraging.


Throughout the 2008 campaign, Obama has made a point of refusing the liberal label. While running for Congress against Bobby Rush in late 1999 and early 2000, however, Obama showed no such compunction. At a November 1999 candidate forum, the Hyde Park Herald reported that “there was little to distinguish” the candidates, who “struggled to differentiate themselves” ideologically. Acknowledged Obama, “[W]e’re all on the liberal wing of the Democratic party.” Indeed, the common political ideology of the candidates was a theme in Herald coverage throughout the race. Rush’s background suggests what that ideology was: A Chicago icon and former Black Panther, Rush received a 90 percent rating in 2000, and a 100 percent rating in 1999, from the liberal Americans for Democratic Action. Both years the American Conservative Union rated him at zero percent.

So how exactly did these two liberal candidates “struggle to differentiate” themselves in debate? During a candidate forum, for example, when Rush bragged that since entering Congress, he hadn’t voted to approve a single defense budget, Obama pounced, accusing Rush of having voted for the Star Wars missile defense system the previous year. Since that contest, Obama’s liberalism hasn’t exactly been a secret to the folks back home. In 2002, Obama himself could speak hopefully of plans “to move a progressive agenda” through the state legislature, and local observers commonly identified Obama as a “progressive.” When it endorsed him for the U.S. Senate in 2004, the Chicago Defender proclaimed Obama “represents renewal of the liberal, humanitarian cause.” The Defender went on to assure readers that Obama would support “progressive action” in Washington.

The most interesting characterization came from Obama himself, who laid out his U.S. Senate campaign strategy for the Defender in 2003: “[A]s you combine a strong African-American base with progressive white and Latino voters, I think it is a recipe for success in the primary and in the general election.” Putting the point slightly differently, Obama added, “When you combine  .  .  .an energized African-American voter base and effective coalition-building with other progressive sectors of the population, we think we have a recipe for victory.” Obama consciously constructed his election strategy on a foundation of leftist ideology and racial bloc voting.

The overwhelming majority of Obama’s “Springfield Report” columns in the Hyde Park Herald deal with state or local issues. It’s interesting, therefore, that one of the tiny handful of Obama columns explicitly dealing with national politics is a 2000 column pleading with readers to support Al Gore rather than Ralph Nader for president. Obama opens his column noting that he’s heard many people complain that Al Gore and George Bush are beholden to the same “big money interests.” In pressing his case for Gore-which hinges on Republican/Democrat differences on issues like Supreme Court appointments, abortion, affirmative action, the environment, and school vouchers-Obama makes a point of agreeing with some of Nader’s criticisms of the major parties. Obama raises no objections to Nader’s agenda and implicitly presents himself as someone who might support Nader, were it not for the danger of a wasted vote aiding the Republicans. It’s also striking that so many of the policy considerations Obama counts as decisive are classic sixties-derived issues-precisely the sort of polarizing culture-war conflicts Obama nowadays claims to have transcended. In the end, Obama needn’t have worried. Hyde Park voted 91 percent for Gore, 6 percent for Bush, and 3 percent for Nader.

Obama’s strong liberalism is nowhere more evident than on the subject of crime. Throughout his Illinois State Senate career, crime was a top Obama concern. Crime is also a key contact-point between Obama and his most celebrated radical associate, William Ayers. We’ve heard a good deal of late about Ayers’s Weatherman terrorism back in the 1960s and his lack of repentance. Ayers refuses to answer questions about his relationship with Obama, while Obama has dismissed Ayers as just “a guy who lives in my neighborhood.” Yet several Obama-Ayers connections are known: Obama’s 1995 political debut at the home of Ayers and his wife (and fellow former terrorist) Bernardine Dohrn, Obama’s joint service with Ayers on the board of the Woods Fund of Chicago, a couple of appearances with Ayers on academic panels, and what the New York Times called Obama’s “rave review” (not actually a full review, but a warm endorsement) of Ayers’s book on juvenile justice, which Obama dubbed “a searing and timely account” in the Chicago Tribune.

For all the attention, the actual content of Ayers’s 1997 book, A Kind and Just Parent, as well as the political context of Obama’s interest in it, have so far passed unremarked. Obama supporters paint Ayers as having mellowed since his radical days, pointing to his wonkish interests. Yet Ayers’s radicalism pervades his book on Chicago’s juvenile court system. Founded in 1899 (long before juvenile murder rates shot off the charts), Chicago’s juvenile court was the first in the world, intended to serve as “a kind and just parent” to offenders. Ayers’s title, he explained in the book, is meant to “bristle with irony” as a commentary on an American “society out of control.” Ayers expressed the same sentiment more bluntly in an interview published in the New York Times shortly after 9/11, when he not only dismissed the notion of the United States as a “just and fair and decent place,” but said the claim “makes me want to puke.” A Kind and Just Parent is a thoughtful, well-informed, and beautifully written book, which provides revealing and sometimes disturbing glimpses of life at a Chicago juvenile detention facility. The book also virtually defines the phrases “liberal guilt” and “soft on crime.” Ayers agon-izes over a high school field trip years ago, on which he and other white students toured a juvenile court system largely populated by black boys. When recounting horrific crimes-and even his own mugging-Ayers focuses on the terrified insecurity of the perpetrators, rather than the harm they inflict. Testifying at the trial of a young felon he’d been tutoring, Ayers calls him “nervous, a little shy  .  .  .  eager to please.” The prosecutor responds: “Would you call shooting someone eight times at close range ‘eager to please?'” Actually, Ayers effectively does do this, opening his book with the claim that a young murderer had “slavishly followed the orders” of his gang leader, rather than acting of his own free will.

Ayers opposes trying even the most vicious juvenile murderers as adults. Beyond that, he’d like to see the prison system itself essentially abolished. Unsatisfied with mere reform, Ayers wants to address the deeper “structural problems of the system.” Drawing explicitly on Michel Foucault, a French philosopher beloved of radical academics, Ayers argues that prisons artificially impose obedience and conformity on society, thereby creating a questionable distinction between the “normal” and the “deviant.” The unfortunate result, says Ayers, is to leave the bulk of us feeling smugly superior to society’s prisoners. Home detention, Ayers believes, might someday be able to replace the prison. Ayers also makes a point of comparing America’s prison system to the mass-detention of a generation of young blacks under South African Apartheid. Ayers’s tone may be different, but the echoes of Jeremiah Wright’s anti-prison rants are plain.

Given his decision to recommend Ayers’s book in the Tribune, it’s fair to say that Obama is at least broadly sympathetic to this perspective. When Obama offers examples of ill-conceived legislation, he often points to building prisons: Instead of building another prison, why not expand health care entitlements? Biographer David Mendell cites Obama’s irritation with fellow legislators who “grandstand” by passing tough-on-crime legislation, while letting bills designed to bring “structural change” languish. Debating Bobby Rush in 2000, Obama bragged that he had “consistently fought against the industrial prison complex.” Obama’s Hyde Park Herald column echoes these points.

The most intriguing thread linking Obama, Ayers, and crime, however, runs through Ayers’s wife, Bernardine Dohrn. Dohrn founded the Children and Family Justice Center at Northwestern University, and along with her associates there, she regularly and energetically opposes “get tough” crime laws. Ayers draws on his wife’s wisdom in A Kind and Just Parent, and Dohrn, like her husband, publicly presents her work on juvenile justice not as a repudiation of her youthful radicalism, but as a continuation of it.

The Ayers-Dohrn-Obama nexus was jolted into action in late 1997 and early 1998, when a major juvenile justice reform bill was introduced in the Illinois General Assembly. Written by prosecutors and sponsored by a Republican ex-prosecutor, the bill was neither simplistic nor partisan. Well aware of evidence that sending juveniles to adult prisons can backfire and actually raise recidivism rates, sponsors met rehabilitation-minded critics halfway. The proposed bill was an early example of “blended sentencing,” in which juveniles who have committed serious crimes are given both a juvenile sentence and a parallel adult sentence. So long as the offender keeps his nose clean, doesn’t violate parole, and participates in community-based rehabilitation, he never has to serve his adult sentence. But if the offender violates the provisions of his juvenile sentence, the adult punishment kicks in. That gives young offenders a powerful incentive to do right, and puts toughness at the service of offering kids a second chance.

Blended sentencing is generally viewed as an innovative compromise. To those on the far left, however, blended sentencing is just another mean-spirited “get tough” crime measure in disguise. That’s why, when the Illinois blended sentencing bill was introduced in 1997, both Obama and Bernardine Dohrn were cited by the Chicago Sun-Times as key local critics of the bill. Steven A. Drizin, an associate of Dohrn’s center (who is thanked in Ayers’s book) was a member of the study commission that helped produce the bill, yet remained an energetic critic, not only of blended sentencing, but of nearly every other prosecutor-favored provision in the bill.

Meanwhile, Obama worked closely with the Illinois Black Legislative Caucus to slow the bill’s progress, expressing skepticism about the blended sentencing provisions. While one report speaks of Obama negotiating with Cook County state’s attorney Richard Devine for a compromise, there is good reason to believe that Obama’s actual aim was to scuttle the entire bill. We have this on the authority of someone who may very well be Michelle Obama herself. Michelle Obama organized a University of Chicago panel about Bill Ayers’s crime book in November 1997, just as the battle over the juvenile justice bill was heating up. That panel featured appearances by some of the key figures discussed in Ayers’s book, along with Obama himself, who was identified in the press release as “working to block proposed legislation that would throw more juvenile offenders into the adult system.” In effect, then, this public event was a joint Obama-Ayers effort to sink the juvenile justice bill-Obama’s decision to plug Ayers’s book in the Chicago Tribune the following month was part of the same political effort.

In January 1998, a front-page headline in the Defender touted Obama’s claim that the juvenile justice bill might be on the verge of failure. Obama hoped that black caucus opposition to the sentencing provisions might be matched by concerns among some Republicans that the bill could force expensive jail construction (based on the prospect that the deterrent effect of blended sentencing might fail, thereby forcing more juveniles into adult prisons). Obama’s hopes were wildly off-base. In the end, the juvenile justice bill passed overwhelmingly. Given his ambitions for higher office, Obama was no doubt reluctant to vote against the final bill. A last-minute, minor and uncontroversial adjustment to the blended-sentencing provisions by the governor appears to have provided enough political cover for the bill’s sharpest critics including Obama to come around and support it.

Also in 1998, according to the Hill, a Washington newspaper, Obama was one of only three Illinois state senators to vote against a proposal making it a criminal offense for convicts on probation or on bail to have contact with a street gang. A year later, on a vote mandating adult prosecution for aggravated discharge of a firearm in or near a school, Obama voted “present,” and reiterated his opposition to adult trials for even serious juvenile offenders. In short, when it comes to the issue of crime, Obama is on the far left of the political spectrum and very much in synch with his active political allies Ayers and Dohrn.

Obama’s signature crime legislation was his effort to combat alleged racial discrimination by the Illinois police. In 2003, the Defender said Obama had “made a career” out of his annual battle for a bill against racial profiling. For years, profiling legislation was bottled up by the Illinois senate’s Republican leader. When senate control shifted to the Democrats in 2003, Obama’s racial profiling bill finally passed-just in time to give his drive for the U.S. Senate nomination a major boost. At the time, Obama touted his profiling bill as “a model for the nation.” It’s also said that Obama showed a willingness to listen to police during the negotiations that led to the final bill. With the Democrats in control, however, the police had little choice but to work with Obama. As Obama himself made clear at the time, the police never abandoned their opposition to the bill.

Police doubts were entirely justified. Obama’s bill is a deeply flawed example of precisely the sort of grievance-driven race-based politics that fuels legislation on affirmative action and minority set-asides. All of these “remedies” falsely leap from statistical evidence of racial disparities to claims of discrimination. In the case of racial profiling, disproportionate police stops of black or Hispanic motorists in no way prove discrimination.

In her path-breaking 2001 study, “The Myth of Racial Profiling,” Heather Mac Donald assembled the evidence. It showed that racially disparate patterns of drug-interdiction stops in New Jersey, one of the first states supposedly proven to have practiced racial profiling, in fact reflected racial differences in the transport of drugs. Drug trafficking is not evenly spread across the population (as profiling activists improperly assume), and for the most part New Jersey police were simply going where the drugs were. Wrote Mac Donald, “When white club owners, along with Israelis and Russians, dominated the Ecstasy trade, that’s whom the cops were arresting.” When the big shipments shifted to minority neighborhoods, arrests followed. That’s good crime intelligence, not racism. The reason virtually every major law-enforcement organization opposes racial-profiling legislation is that these bills invariably fail to provide benchmarks based on actual group-based variations in crime rates. Without such benchmarks, there is no basis for leaping from statistical disparities in traffic-stops to accusations of police racism.

Obama’s February 16, 2000, Hyde Park Herald column was a textbook example of the racial-profiling fallacies Mac Donald exposed. Arguing for legislation to require the collection of traffic-stop data by race, Obama made the bogus leap from disproportionate traffic-stops and searches to accusations of racism using the same, baseline-free ACLU-supplied statistics Mac Donald critiqued. Obama then made a still greater leap: “Racial profiling may explain why incarceration rates are so high among young African Americans-law enforcement officials may be targeting blacks and other minorities as potential criminals and are using the Vehicle Code as a tool to stop and search them.” The notion that the high black incarceration rates are due to racist traffic stops is utterly fanciful. (Mac Donald lays out the evidence not only in her profiling piece, but also in a second important study, published this year, “Is the Criminal-Justice System Racist?”) Obama’s column takes a leaf right out of Jeremiah Wright’s playbook, stoking the worst sort of race-based conspiracy theories.

Indeed, Obama’s racial profiling crusade shows his political alliance with Wright, Pfleger, and Meeks in action. We know from Obama’s 1988 “Why Organize?” essay that a long-term goal of his was to politically organize “liberationist” black churches:

Nowhere is the promise of organizing more apparent than in the traditional black churches. Possessing tremendous financial resources, membership, and-most important-values and biblical traditions that call for empowerment and liberation, the black church is clearly a slumbering giant in the political and economic landscape of cities like Chicago.

We also know from a 1995 profile that Obama viewed his legislative role as an extension of his grass-roots organizing career. So it’s unsurprising to see in the Hyde Park Herald of February 28, 2001, that Obama’s “grass-roots lobbying effort” for racial profiling legislation is to feature not only the ACLU and the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund, but also appearances by Meeks and Pfleger. The Chicago Defender notes the additional presence of Reverend Michael Sykes, an associate pastor of Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ. So Obama’s drive for racial profiling legislation brought to fruition his long-time goal of politically organizing Chicago’s most liberationist black churches. Of course Wright, Meeks, and Pfleger are known for their demagogic accusations of white racism. Obama’s racial profiling bill fit squarely in that tradition. As with Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, it’s evident that the liberationist preachers were also his valued political allies.

Like other racial-profiling activists, Obama frequently cites New Jersey’s experience as proof of his case. A little-noticed 2007 study by University of Chicago professor Paul Heaton sheds some fascinating light on the profiling crusade in that state. Heaton found that as a result of anti-profiling reforms, annual arrests of minorities for motor vehicle theft in New Jersey declined by 20-40 percent. Unfortunately, during the same period, motor vehicle theft increased in minority areas. Heaton concluded: “It appears that official and public scrutiny of profiling behavior by police can lead to substantial reductions in arrests of minorities, although this enforcement reduction may carry the unintended consequence of encouraging crime in minority areas.” In other words, Heaton’s work tends to corroborate Heather Mac Donald’s analysis-not Barack Obama’s. Disproportionate traffic stops are largely a response to disproportionate crime, while using simplistic statistics to falsely accuse police of racism yields more crime, not less.


Important though it is to Obama, the crime issue runs a distant second to his deepest passion: social welfare legislation. “Big government liberal,” “redistributionist”-call him what you like, Obama’s fondest hope is to lead America into another war on poverty. Everything in his state-legislative career points in this direction, and Obama calls for a renewal of expensive national anti-poverty programs in his book The Audacity of Hope. True, Obama’s promotion of government partnerships with private-sector housing contractors (like Antoin “Tony” Rezko) was supposed to open up novel, post-Great Society solutions to the problem of poverty. Yet, as a devastating Boston Globe report on Obama’s Illinois housing policy recently showed, the results of Obama’s new war on poverty are just as counterproductive as those of the old war on poverty. Neighborhoods supposedly renovated now lie deserted by the private developers who took Obama’s government handouts and ran-quickly building or renovating housing units, but failing to maintain them.

Race and crime issues excepted, Obama’s Illinois legislative career as covered in the newspapers essentially boils down to a list of spending measures. Many of Obama’s proposed expenditures were tough to oppose. Because he was working under a Republican majority for the bulk of his time in the Illinois State Senate, Obama became a master of incrementalism. His pattern was to find the smallest, most appealing spending proposal possible, pass it, then build toward more spending on the same issue. An Obama bill exempting juvenile prisoners from paying for nonemergency medical or dental services isn’t something you’d want to vote against. Obama’s small, targeted spending measures tended to pass and to be followed by more: Obama called for a $30 million youth crime prevention package; Obama requested additional funds to expand the regulation of electrical utilities; Obama asked for $50 million over five years to overcome the “digital divide”; Obama proposed to fund anger management classes for children age 5-13; Obama ran for Congress promising to restore federal block grants to pre-Republican levels, and so on.

In a 2007 speech to Al Sharpton’s National Action Network (NAN), Obama touted his Illinois legislative experience and challenged members of Sharpton’s group to find a candidate with a better record of supporting the issues they cared about. (Incidentally, Sharpton named Jeremiah Wright’s daughter Jeri Wright, publisher-editor of Wright’s Trumpet Newsmagazine, to head NAN’s new Chicago chapter in 2007. He named Wright’s successor, Reverend Otis Moss III, its vice president.) Intrigued by Obama’s challenge to Sharpton’s group, Randolph Burnside, a professor of political science, and Kami Whitehurst, a doctoral candidate, both at the Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, decided to put Obama’s Illinois record to the test. The two scholars made a study of bills sponsored and cosponsored by Obama during his Illinois State Senate career.

Published in the Journal of Black Studies, the results are striking. Burnside and Whitehurst produced two bar graphs, one representing bills of which Obama was the main sponsor, arranged by subject, and a second displaying bills Obama joined as a cosponsor. In the chart depicting bills of which Obama was the main sponsor, the bar for “social welfare” legislation towers over every other category. In the chart of Obama’s cosponsored bills, social welfare legislation continues to far exceed all other categories, although now crime-related bills are visibly present in second place, with regulation and tax bills close behind. According to Burnside and Whitehurst, other than social welfare and a bit of government regulation, “Obama devoted very little time to most policy areas.”

This brings us to what is perhaps the most striking result of our tour through Obama’s Springfield days. Conventional wisdom has it that John McCain holds a political advantage over Obama on war and foreign policy issues, while Obama is favored to handle the economy. Yet Obama’s economic experience is largely limited to social welfare spending. Indeed, precisely because of his penchant for spending, Obama’s fingerprints are all over Illinois’s burgeoning fiscal crisis.

The Illinois state budget has been in an ever-widening crisis since 2001. In an April 2007 report, a committee of top Chicago business leaders warned that the state was “headed toward fiscal implosion.” Illinois’s unfunded pension debt is the highest in the nation, while Illinois is sixth in the nation in per capita tax-supported debt. Yet the Illinois General Assembly-now controlled by Obama’s Democratic allies-churns out at will exactly the sort of spending programs Obama pushed for, with only partial success, under the Republicans. The result is a fast-growing gap between revenues and expenditures (unimpeded by the statutory requirement of a balanced budget), rising fears of fiscal meltdown, finger-pointing, and political gridlock.

A watershed moment in Illinois’s fiscal decline came in 2002, when crashing receipts and Democratic reluctance to enact spending cuts forced Republican governor George Ryan to call a special legislative session. While Ryan railed at legislators for refusing to rein in an out-of-control budget, the Chicago Tribune spoke ominously of an “all-consuming state budget crisis.” Unwilling to cut back on social welfare spending, Obama’s chief partner and political mentor, senate Democratic leader Emil Jones, came up with the idea of borrowing against the proceeds of a windfall tobacco lawsuit settlement due to the state.

This idea sent the editorial pages of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Chicago Tribune into a tizzy. Editorialists hammered cut-averse legislators for “chickening out,” for making use of “tricked-up numbers,” for a “cowardly abdication of responsibility,” and for sacrificing the state’s bond rating to “short-term political gains.” As critics repeatedly pointed out, borrowing against a onetime tobacco settlement-instead of balancing the budget with regular revenues-would be a recipe for long-term fiscal disaster.

What was Obama doing while all this was going on? He was promoting the tobacco securitization plan in his Hyde Park Herald column, railing against the governor in the Defender for balancing the budget “on the back of the poor,” and voting to override cuts in treasured programs like bilingual education. Actually, far from “balancing the budget on the backs of the poor,” the governor had trimmed evenly across all the state’s most expensive programs. In the end, Ryan did force a number of cuts, yet the resistance of Obama and his allies took a toll. When, just a year later, Democrats added control of the governorship and state senate to their existing control of the house, they revealed that the state deficit had reached $5 billion-far larger than most had feared. Since then it’s been a swift downhill tumble toward fiscal implosion for Illinois. Now ruling, the Democrats have continued their profligate ways, pushing the state’s budget woes to new heights.

Illinois’s fate may foreshadow the nation’s. Obama’s small and carefully targeted spending bills were expressly designed to win passage by a Republican-controlled state senate. But if Obama takes the presidency with a Democratic Congress at his back, we’ll likely see a grand-scale version of the fiscal mayhem Obama and his colleagues brought to Illinois.

Obama’s overarching political program can be described as “incremental radicalism.” On health care, for example, his long-term strategy in Illinois was no secret. He repeatedly proposed a state constitutional amendment mandating universal health care. Prior to the 2002 budget crisis, Obama’s plan was to use the windfall tobacco settlement to finance the transition to the new system. That would have effectively hidden the huge cost of universal care from the taxpayer until it was too late. Yet Obama touted his many tiny expansions of government-funded health care as baby steps along the path to his goal. The same strategy will likely be practiced-if more subtly-on other issues. Obama takes baby-steps when he has to, but in a favorable legislative environment, Obama’s redistributionist impulses will have free rein, and a budget-busting war on poverty (not to mention entitlement spending) will surely rise again.

Obama’s vaunted reputation for bipartisanship is less than meets the eye. The Illinois legislature has long been home to a number of moderate Republicans, less fiscally conservative than their colleagues, many from districts where the parties are closely balanced. It was easy enough to get a few of these Republicans to sign onto small, carefully tailored spending bills directed toward particularly sympathetic recipients. The trouble with Obama’s bipartisanship is that it was largely a one-way street. Overcoming initial opposition from Catholic groups, for instance, Obama cosponsored an incremental bill on abortion, requiring hospitals to inform rape victims of morning-after pills. Yet rejecting compromise with the other side, Obama voted against bills that would have curbed partial-birth abortions. In other words, Obama is bipartisan so long as that means asking Republicans to take incremental steps toward his own broader goals. When it comes to compromising with the other side, however, Obama says “take a hike.” Obama voted against a bill that would have allowed people in possession of a court order protecting them from some specific individual to carry a concealed weapon in self-defense. The bill failed on a 29-27 vote. Bipartisanship for thee, but not for me: That’s how Obama ended up with the most liberal voting record in the U.S. Senate.

The real Obama? You see him in those charts. Fundamentally, he is a big-government redistributionist who wants above all to aid the poor, particularly the African-American poor. Obama is eager to do so both through race-specific programs and through broad-based social-welfare legislation. “Living wage” legislation may be economically counterproductive, and Obama-backed housing experiments may have ended disastrously, yet Obama is committed to large-scale government solutions to the problem of poverty. Obama’s early campaigns are filled with declarations of his sense of mission-a mission rooted in his community organizing days and manifest in his early legislative battles. Recent political back flips notwithstanding, Barack Obama does have an ideological core, and it’s no mystery at all to any faithful reader of the Chicago Defender or the Hyde Park Herald.

Stanley Kurtz is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

FactCheck.org Has New Birth Certificate Story [Update x2]

August 21, 2008 by texasdarlin

Well, well. I was wondering when this “story” was going to “break” now that Obama has returned from Hawaii. What a coincidence that it’s today, because we just pointed out that Factcheck.org has a conflict of interest in covering Barack Obama because they are owned by The Annenberg Foundation.  And now they have published a new “fight the smears” story about Obama’s Certificate of Live Birth (COLB).

They have a photo of “Factcheck representatives” holding the COLB, and close-ups of the certificate number, stamps, and seal.

Before we go any further, let me stop to say this: YES, I also believe that Obama was born in the USA. I also believe that the Obama COLB reflects his original birth certificate. Read this blog.  The issues are multiple citizenships and identities, the status of his current citizenship, updated birth certificates, etc., not to mention his lack of transparency.

I found this part of the Factcheck article particularly interesting:

We asked the Obama campaign about the date stamp and the blacked-out certificate number. The certificate is stamped June 2007, because that’s when Hawaii officials produced it for the campaign, which requested that document and “all the records we could get our hands on” according to spokesperson Shauna Daly. The campaign didn’t release its copy until 2008, after speculation began to appear on the Internet questioning Obama’s citizenship. The campaign then rushed to release the document, and the rush is responsible for the blacked-out certificate number. Says Shauna: “[We] couldn’t get someone on the phone in Hawaii to tell us whether the number represented some secret information, and we erred on the side of blacking it out. Since then we’ve found out it’s pretty irrelevant for the outside world.” The document we looked at did have a certificate number; it is 151 1961 – 010641.

Interesting, indeed. I have the following questions for Factcheck. Since they are so on-top of this story, I’m sure they have answers:

1. What took the campaign so long to show an actual document to the media?

2.  What other media did the campaign offer to show the COLB to, and have any others seen it and touched it, handled and photographed it?  Or only Annenberg-owned Factcheck?

3. Why did the campaign go to such trouble to digitally black out the certificate number when it could have stuck a piece of solid black tape over the number, especially since, as Factcheck reported, they were in such a hurry?

4. Why did Janice Okubo tell a reporter that the COLB was ordered “this month” (June 2008 ) if it was ordered in June 2007?

5. Since Factcheck is seemingly in the business of helping the Obama campaign fight smears, did Factcheck ask the campaign about the rumor that Republicans are holding Barry Soetoro’s birth certificate? If so, what was the campaign’s response? If not, why not?

And finally…

6. How did Factcheck end up getting this access? Did they ask the campaign, or did the campaign offer to show it to Factcheck? The article is mysteriously vague on that point: “FactCheck representatives got a chance to spend some time with the birth certificate.”

Oh, I know I know, I’m just a loopy conspiracy theorist/anonymous blogger. But please, humor me for a few minutes to post an update answering these reasonable questions. You’d be surprised how many people read this blog, and I can assure you that most of them are not crazy.

Also, Factcheck should make a correction: Atlas Shrugs is not an anonymous blogger.

UPDATE 1:  I agree with Old Atlantic’s comment:

“We don’t know about name changes, parents, guardians, etc. We also know that Hawaii can issue a colb for out of state birth. Obama didn’t grant permission to Hawaii to answer all questions or release the file. Why did Okubo say, according to a recent press report, that Hawaii contacted the Obama campaign and got no response? What about releasing the files in Indonesia? What about the US passport files? What about Obama authorizing any country, state, school, or religious institution to release all records and post them on the internet?

Why doesn’t Obama answer the questions about Indonesia, including having a passport instead of this? This is a blow off.

Why doesn’t Obama authorize former Harvard students to talk about him? Others he knew? Disclose who paid for Harvard?”

UPDATE 2: Reader KSDB also makes good points:

“There’s part of this story that doesn’t add up: This is FactCheck’s comment:

‘We asked the Obama campaign about the date stamp and the blacked-out certificate number. The certificate is stamped June 2007, because that’s when Hawaii officials produced it for the campaign, which requested that document and “all the records we could get our hands on” according to spokesperson Shauna Daly. The campaign didn’t release its copy until 2008, after speculation began to appear on the Internet questioning Obama’s citizenship. The campaign then rushed to release the document, and the rush is responsible for the blacked-out certificate number. Says Shauna: “[We] couldn’t get someone on the phone in Hawaii to tell us whether the number represented some secret information, and we erred on the side of blacking it out. Since then we’ve found out it’s pretty irrelevant for the outside world.” The document we looked at did have a certificate number; it is 151 1961 – 010641.’

Obama’s campaign is saying they ‘rushed’ to release the document and couldn’t get help from the DOH on deciding what to do about the number.

Now this is from the Honolulu Advertiser:

‘Health officials contacted the Obama campaign a few months ago in response to the persistent inquiries “to see if they could try and resolve the issue with the people who were asking questions,” she said.’

A few months ago should have been BEFORE Obama’s campaign ‘rushed’ to post the document. We’re supposed to believe they couldn’t figure out whether it was safe to use the number?? Further, Okubo says:

‘”The thing that’s redacted is just our file number,” she said. “Potentially, if you have that number, you could break into the system.”‘

So we have Obama’s peeps saying the number is no big deal and are showing it at FactCheck, yet Okubo, only a week ago, says it might be a big deal. Further, are we really to believe that the DOH wouldn’t cooperate with Obama’s campaign in telling them what to do about the number?? It’s time for these people to start telling the truth.”

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About CKH888

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2 Responses to Obama, Bill Ayers & Other Red Flags

  1. Pingback: Baby names search by initial B of origin Greek

  2. Su says:

    Nice blog. Enjoyed going through it. Keep it up the good work.

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