April 13th, 2010

On David Remnick, Jack Cashill, and the authorship of “Dreams From My Father”

I happened to catch David Remnick on television the other day pluggng his new biography of President Obama, The Bridge. It was the first time I’d ever seen New Yorker editor Remnick, and I was transfixed by the hushed and awed NPR-ish tones in which he spoke almost worshipfully of Obama.

We were used to hearing that sort of Obama veneration during the campaign. But it’s extraordinary that Remnick has managed to hold onto it so long, in the face of so much evidence that would tend to topple the pedestal on which anyone but a man who had long ago abandoned any pretense of objective critical thinking might have placed Obama.

For example, take the title of Remnick’s book, which, according to a review in the New York Times:

…refers to the bridge in Selma, Ala., where civil rights demonstrators were violently attacked by state troopers on March 7, 1965…[and] the observation made by one of the leaders of that march, John Lewis, that “Barack Obama is what comes at the end of that bridge in Selma”…[and] the hope voiced by many of the president’s supporters that he would be a bridge between the races, between red states and blue states, between conservatives and liberals, between the generations who remember the bitter days of segregation and those who have grown up in a new, increasingly multicultural America.

This reference to the racial-healing promise of Obama doesn’t appear to have been meant in an ironic, wistful, looking-back sort of way. According to the Times review of the book, Remnick seems to believe that Obama is still a bring-us-all-together kind of guy, whose ” impulse was to try to reconcile or synthesize opposing views. Perhaps it’s also an inclination that explains why he made such a concerted effort last year to try to get Republican support on a health care bill.”

Yes indeed; some “bridge.” The only reconciling effort that occurred there was the use of reconciliation to pass that one-sided monstrosity.

Jack Cashill has a different take on Remnick’s book. Cashill is the man who’s been asserting for quite some time that Bill Ayers ghost-wrote Dreams From My Father for Obama, and he thinks that Remnick’s research has unwittingly supplied more support for Cashill’s case, as well as adding some other interesting information about Obama’s academic history.

First, just to let you know how Remnick operates, here’s Cashill on Remnick’s presentation in The Bridge of Cashill’s credentials:

In the way of credentials, Remnick allows me no discernible Ph.D. in American studies, no Fulbright, no articles in Fortune or the Wall Street Journal, no well-received book on intellectual fraud, no books at all.

Remnick describes me a “little-known conservative writer, magazine editor, and a former talk-radio-show host.” The “little-known” stands in obvious contrast to the well-known, Princeton-educated, Washington Post-groomed New Yorker editor Remnick. The “talk-radio” I did as a sideline more than ten years ago. Remnick intends the reference as a slight.

More damning still, I have done my writing for “right-wing Web sites, including American Thinker and World Net Daily,” obscure dwarf stars in the “Web’s farthest lunatic orbit.” (FYI, the American Thinker editors have better credentials than Remnick or I.)

Next, we have from Remnick the first news of Obama’s undergraduate academic record that I’ve ever come across. And remember, the information Cashill cites here hails from a book written by an Obama admirer:

At Columbia, Remnick tells us, Obama was an “unspectacular” student. Northwestern University communications professor John McKnight reinforces the point, telling Remnick, “I don’t think [Obama] did too well in college.”

McKnight, a Chicago friend, wrote a letter of reference for Obama to attend Harvard Law School. Remnick assures us that Obama was a “serious” student at Columbia, just not a particularly good one. Still, Obama finessed his way into a law school that chooses its 500 new students each year from 7,000 applicants whose LSAT scores generally chart in the 98th to 99th percentile range and whose GPAs average between 3.80 and 3.95…Obama certainly did not write well when he was at Columbia. Remnick charitably describes the one article Obama wrote for Columbia’s weekly news magazine, Sundial, as “muddled,” and he is referring only to the content.

But Cashill is especially interested in this:

Unfortunately, as Jerry Kellman, the organizer who recruited Obama to Chicago, informed Remnick, “[Obama] told me that he had trouble writing, he had to force himself to write.”…[and] Still, for all of Obama’s presumed literary talents, it strikes even Remnick a bit strange that “he never published a single academic article.”

The plot (to coin a phrase) thickens even more when we come to Remnick’s treatment of the writing of Dreams From My Father (which he believes was most definitely written by Obama). Here’s Cashill referring back to Remnick’s book and the information contained therein:

In 1991, Obama also began to work in earnest on the book that he had contracted to write for Poseidon, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. “The advance was reportedly over a $100,000,” Remnick writes. “Obama received half of that amount on signing the contract.”

By 1991, Obama had met Michelle, and the two indulged in a social life that would have left Scarlett O’Hara dizzy. Writes Remnick, “He and Michelle accepted countless invitations to lunches, dinners, cocktail parties, barbecues, and receptions for right minded charities.” Obama also joined the East Bank Club, a combined gym and urban country club, and served on at least a few charitable boards.

Obama’s obligations were taking their toll. “Obama had missed deadlines and handed in bloated, yet incomplete drafts,” Remnick tells us. Simon & Schuster lost patience. In late 1992, weeks after the Obamas’ marriage, the firm canceled the contract…

At the time, the Obamas, still childless, were making well into six figures between them as they partied their way through progressive Chicago’s frenzied social life. According to Remnick, Bill Ayers and weatherwoman bride Bernadine Dohrn played a highly visible role in that life. Remnick calls them collectively the “Elsa Maxwell of Hyde Park.”

After his agent secured Obama a smaller contract with the Times Books division of Random House, Barack decamped to Bali — Bali? — in early 1993 in the hope that he would be able to finish the book without interruption. The sojourn proved fruitless. He still could not produce.

Remnick papers over the two years between Bali and the book’s 1995 publication. He quotes Henry Ferris, the Times Book editor, to bolster Obama’s claim to authorship. Ferris “worked directly with Obama,” Remnick tells us, but Ferris edited in New York while Obama wrote in Chicago. Ferris would have had no way of knowing just how much of the editing or writing Obama was doing himself.

In late 1994, Obama finally submitted his manuscript for publication. Remnick expects the faithful to believe that a mediocre student who had nothing in print save for the occasional “muddled” essay, who blew a huge contract after more than two futile years, who wrote no legal articles, and who turned in bloated drafts when he did start writing, somehow found the time and inspiration during an absurdly busy period of his life to write what Time Magazine would call “the best-written memoir ever produced by an American politician.”

Cashill (with the assistance of Remnick) reports. You decide.

40 Responses to “On David Remnick, Jack Cashill, and the authorship of “Dreams From My Father””

  1. roc scssrs Says:

    I read Cashill’s analysis during the campaign and found it quite believable. I didn’t read Dreams but I have read (huge sections of) Ayers’ “Teaching Toward Freedom.” Ayers airily proposes wholesale changes in American education and society without a thought for real-life consequences, all in the name of some sort of wonderful and wholesome revolution. It most certainly reads like a consciousness-raiser for the Obama administration.

  2. vanderleun Says:

    How dare Cashill overlook the fact that Dreams is in the grand tradition of Alex Haley’s Roots?

    That’s the book and author about whom Obama beer buddy Henry Gates has said, “Most of us feel it’s highly unlikely that Alex actually found the village whence his ancestors sprang. Roots is a work of the imagination rather than strict historical scholarship. It was an important event because it captured everyone’s imagination.”

  3. vanderleun Says:

    Ah, but now I must apologize. Cashill has indeed done the job on ROOTS.


  4. Steve G Says:

    One gets the impression that Obama was a committed Marxist in college and was pushed along by fellow travelers (professors), to the point of being anointed head of the law review at Harvard Law School WITHOUT having written an article for submission. Given that he did not have the experience of writing a law article and all that entails (use of footnotes, proper citations, proper use of supra, infra, and so on), I bet he never edited anyone else’s submission either. He probably sat at home and drank beer. I know he never went to a course on the U.S. Constitution as he might have learned something about it, even if he only slept through the course.

    So, now we have to conclude that our president is a dope, surrounded by dopes, and only likes the sound of his own stupid voice. As glaring examples, he can’t tolerate any form of dissent, he is not good on his feet, he lies with reckless abandon as if were not smart enough to catch him, he surrounds himself with second rate talent, and he can’t leave campaigning for governing.

    Less than three years to go, aaaaannnnnnnndddddddd counting!

  5. RickZ Says:

    Of course Obie didn’t churn out his two ‘autobiographies’: Homey don’t write. At least we’ve seen no proof that Obie can write a coherent sentence, much less a paragraph or a book.

  6. RickZ Says:

    Steve G Says:

    he is not good on his feet,

    Which is why Obie’s law career is less than stellar, and why he never chose to practice law in a courtroom in front of a jury: He’s bore a jury to tears. It’s also a reason why it’s no big deal that Obie (and Me-chelle) gave up the law license: It was, like just about everyone and everything in his life, a prop that served its purpose.

  7. Bob from Virginia Says:

    Alas, Cashill’s revelations about Obama the writer will become as well known as those of Alex Haley.

    So a high class confidence man was elected president during a time when the mass media culture supposedly made it impossible to hide anything.

    The mass media culture apparently has made easier, not harder to fool people. Simply make a non-entity into a fashion and anything is possible, at least in a society where the superficial is considered sublime. Fat, happy and stupid-Obama’s America.

  8. Stella Paul Says:

    I recently started to read Dreams of My Father and immediately noticed that the Obama we now know could never have written it.

    I also noticed it begins with two disturbingly sadistic stories about him and his father, which reveal a lot.


  9. Occam's Beard Says:

    where civil rights demonstrators were violently attacked by state troopers Democrat employees of local government


    “Most of us feel it’s highly unlikely that Alex actually found the village whence his ancestors sprang.

    Did anyone actually believe Roots was literally true? Seriously? Most white people can’t trace their history back that far, and we were supposed to believe that slave genealogy was kept more assiduously? Please.

    At Columbia, Remnick tells us, Obama was an “unspectacular” student. Northwestern University communications professor John McKnight reinforces the point, telling Remnick, “I don’t think [Obama] did too well in college.”

    Huh? Huh? Told ya! /g

    In one of my academic positions I had to interview prospective students and then interact with them weekly for the next several years, which placed a premium on selecting the most able. Years of guessing which students would thrive academically and which would struggle, and then seeing how they actually performed, improved the ability to make that provisional determination after brief contact.

    Obama (off the teleprompter) shows little facility for abstract reasoning (i.e., the ability to connect phenomena that superficially appear unconnected as having some common underlying principle or anti-principle; for example, from the other thread, the connection between refrigerators and snow on mountain tops). For this reason, it’s no surprise that he was a mediocre student (which was obvious in any case from his reticence about his academic record).

    Remnick charitably describes the one article Obama wrote for Columbia’s weekly news magazine, Sundial, as “muddled,” and he is referring only to the content.

    Which comports well with his extemporaneous speech. Liberal hagiography would have us believe that a man who is incoherent in speech becomes a wordsmith at a keyboard. No sale.

  10. Gringo Says:

    Steve G

    One gets the impression that Obama was a committed Marxist in college,,

    Here is some evidence from John Drew, who as a graduate student and committed Marxist , met the undergraduate Barack Obama.
    http://www.newsrealblog.com/2010/02/17/face-to-face-with-young-marxist-obama-remembering-my-days-as-an-anti-apartheid-student-activist/ O as student radical, from John Drew.

    http://www.breitbart.tv/the-b-cast-interview-was-obama-a-committed-marxist-in-college/ Drew’s video. long but worth it. Do some chores while listening to it.

  11. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

    can be gulled. All our difficulty comes with the others. When did you meet a workman who believes what he reads in the papers?…But the educated public, who read the highbrow weeklies, don’t need reconditioning. They’re alright already. They’ll believe anything.”> CS Lewis That Hideous Strength 1945.

  12. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

    Durn. Beginning of that quote is supposed to be “Ah you fool, it’s the educated reader who can… ” etc.

  13. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    I think a pretty good case can be made for Obama being a “Red diaper baby”—his father, his mother, his grandparents who attended “The Little Red Church on the Hill,” Frank Marshall Davis, the Communist Party member who was the beloved mentor of Obama’s teen age years, 20 years of the Marxist Black Liberation Theology of the Rev. Jeremiah “God Damn America” Wright as his “spiritual and political mentor,” Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, etc.

    When Obama goes down, I am hoping that he takes the MSM down with him.

    I still can’t believe that they got away with denying that Obama was ever raised as a Muslim, and with simply ignoring Obama’s 3-4 year stint as Director of the Annenberg Challenge of Chicago (hired by Bill Ayers with an assist from the then single lawyer, Michelle), where he reportedly worked on almost a daily basis with Ayers, and shared offices with Ayers and former Weatherman and Maoist hard liner Mike Klonsky.

  14. Occam's Beard Says:

    When Obama goes down, I am hoping that he takes the MSM down with him.

    And both take the lunatic left fringe of the Democrat Party down with them too. A world without liberalism/ progressivism/ socialism/ communism/ whatever-ism they call it next.

  15. Occam's Beard Says:

    I can’t help but wonder what will happen when, inevitably, some of the truth leaks out, as it did about, e.g., JFK’s philandering.

    Whatever the truth about Obama may be, it’s seems certain that at least some of his public persona is a fraud. When (if?) that finally comes out, the MSM will be well and truly finished for not having done their jobs.

  16. IgotBupkis Says:

    > “The advance was reportedly over a $100,000,” Remnick writes. “Obama received half of that amount on signing the contract.”

    Who the F*** pays a unpublished NOBODY (as Obama clearly was in 1991) a 100k advance for a book?

    How do I get one of these deals?

    THIS just SMACKS of something really hinky going on behind the scenes.

  17. neo-neocon Says:

    IGotBupkis: I don’t have the link right now, but I recall reading several times that the book contract came after Obama got tons of publicity for being the first black president of Harvard Law Review. There was a big article about him in the NY Times, for example. He was quite a celebrity, and on the strength of that, the first publisher offered him a contract for a book that was supposed to be about race relations. He didn’t deliver, and later on the book morphed into the (inevitable) autobiography that focused on his racial identity.

  18. Occam's Beard Says:

    Yeah, it does, but even more telling is that (IIRC) he had to disgorge at least some of the advance, although he was broke, when he couldn’t pull the trigger and write the book (just as he failed to write anything for the Harvard Law Review).

    Then, magically, he later wrote fluently. Hmmm.
    It’s a miracle!

    Or perhaps not.

  19. Sadie Says:

    Who the F*** pays a unpublished NOBODY (as Obama clearly was in 1991) a 100k advance for a book?

    That is the $64,000 question with an inflationary clause built in to it. 60%-70% of all books are pre-determined material along with the author.

    Gotta agree with ‘hinky’ take on this. Who or what began to groom the man, who wanted to be king is one of the many unanswered questions.

  20. Gringo Says:

    Wolla Dalbo, while there may be a case for considering Barack Obama a red diaper baby, his mother’s and grandparents’ involvement in thelittle red church on the hill, a.k.a. East Shore Unitarian Church, should not be considered evidence for that. From an article on that:

    Madelyn and Stanley shed their Methodist and Baptist upbringing and began attending Sunday services at the East Shore Unitarian Church in nearby Bellevue.

    “In the 1950s, this was sometimes known as ‘the little Red church on the hill,’ ” said Peter Luton, the church’s senior minister, referring to the effects of McCarthyism. Skepticism, the kind that Stanley embraced and passed on to his daughter, was welcomed here.

    From the beginning, East Shore members were determined to learn about and affect the world around them. Well-publicized debates and forums on such controversial subjects as the admission of “Red China” to the United Nations earned the new church the name, “The Little Red Church on the Hill.”

    I was a member and officer of Liberal Religious Youth( Unitarian) in high school. Yes, Unitarians were very secular and very liberal by the standards of the day, and still are. But closet commies or open commies, while there may have been some, they were few and far between. None of the parents of my LRY peers were commies; they were garden variety liberals. Were they very much against McCarthy? Hell, yes.

    The only example I found out of a red diaper baby was a peer in another town who was invited to join our LRY group, but never did. Years later, because he had published several books, I read his Wikipedia entry. I found out there that he had been a red diaper baby, but at the time I never knew it.

    IOW, membership in the Unitarian Church should not be taken as evidence of commie leanings.

    Garrison Keillor has some good jokes about Unitarians.

  21. Gringo Says:

    Sorry about the link.

  22. Promethea Says:

    I still think George Soros is behind a lot of Obama’s “accomplishments.” Apparently Soros owned a publishing company that promoted Obama’s writing. Too lazy to look for the source, but I believe I read this on American Thinker. Maybe it was one of Cashill’s articles.

    Cashill has done an amazing job in checking Obama’s background.

    The mainstream media has hidden all the things that most of us already know. Yesterday the Chicago Tribune listed Barack and Michelle’s “accomplishments” and called her a lawyer and a hospital administrator. Her resume is total puffery. What keeps the Tribune writing this silly stuff? Is Soros paying the staff’s salaries? Really, it’s a scandal.

    I hope we’ll know the truth about Obama sometime. The fact that his background is so hidden is quite an “accomplishment.” I can’t think of another scam that has been as successful as this one is. Obama’s been in office for over a year, and the truth about this con man is still not generally known.

  23. Occam's Beard Says:

    I still think George Soros is behind a lot of Obama’s “accomplishments.”

    Despite being constitutionally averse to conspiracy theories (consonant with my nom de net), I subscribe to the same suspicion. Have you ever even heard of – much less known – anyone else who had so many weird coincidences (“Hey, my Chicago neighbor now used to be my NY neighbor, whom I didn’t know then, although we moved in the same circles and worked in the same political movement. Whaddya know?”) happenstances, lucky breaks, and other events in his life? Or who just glided effortlessly through life with nary a hiccough, much less a contretemps?

    If Obama’s life really has been solely the result of good fortune, he should put his entire 401(k) into lottery tickets.

    Yesterday the Chicago Tribune listed Barack and Michelle’s “accomplishments” and called her a lawyer and a hospital administrator.

    Michelle accomplished so much that the hospital didn’t even need to fill her position once she left. Now that’s what I call doing one hell of a job. The job is done not just for now, but in perpetuity.

    Apparently Soros owned a publishing company that promoted Obama’s writing.

    Any easy and semi-legit way to back a future candidate would be to give him a book contract with an advance, have something ghostwritten for him, then buy up the books, put ’em in a warehouse, and call in some favors in the press. The candidate now has some cash and some favorable publicity. With luck, you can generate enough media hype to pull the books out of the warehouse and sell them. Genius.

    Much more clever than the Hillary dipsy-doodle, where a supporter buys both ends of an option or commodity contract, gives you the one in the money, and eats the other one.

  24. anna Says:

    the thing that bugs me the worst is this: even if everything awful about obama comes out, even if he crashes and burns in the worst way possible, even if he gets impeached or removed somehow, use your imagination – the thing is that people are still going to venerate him and he is still going to be a god-figure to a disturbingly large portion of the population.

  25. JBalconi Says:

    I agree with Anna about Obama’s image going the distance. However, I’m not disturbed by it. I’ve been in homes with unironic velvet Elvises, watched young men wearing shirts in praise of Tu’pac, and seen conspicuous-consumption posterboys sporting Che Guevara and Charles Manson tattoos on their shins.

    Stupidity in culture is nothing new.

    I just hope that he decides to peddle his post-presidential crap in Europe. And that DECADES after office, he dies naturally, surrounded by loved ones, preferably living that expat lifestyle. That way at least we’ll be spared conspiracy theories.

  26. Occam's Beard Says:


    Think of it as paying the freight for the iniquity of slavery. Slavery retarded economic growth in the South by artifically prolonging the agricultural stage of development, and thereby discouraging the innovation that could have generated much more wealth.

    Even though Obama is not descended from slaves – quite the contrary, is likely to have descended from slavers – having him hung around our necks is also part of that price, as is the existence of inner city battlefields, and a disproportionate fraction of crime, illiteracy, infant mortality, drug abuse, welfare, and civic corruption.

    On the other hand, we have the Left to thank for keeping the wound open and weeping to promote their political aggrandizement at the expense of the previously downtrodden.

  27. Promethea Says:

    Anna . . .

    I guess we’ll have to live with this. I always knew that JF Kennedy was an idiot, a self-serving phony, and an adulterer–I even knew someone who knew someone who slept with him–and “Camelot” was always a crock. Yet we had the Kennedys for the next 50 years.

    Our culture is not improving. It makes me sad to think that Barack and Michelle are going to be on American Idol. That’s kind of like the trashy parties that the Roman emperors used to throw.

    Oh well. We just have to hope that American has another era of excellence in the future.

  28. Bob From Virginia Says:

    You are right Anna, a sizable portion of Russia has fond memories of Uncle Joe and I’ve met Germans who would be content if Adolf took over their thinking. Moral, no amount of pain is going to switch off the need of some to believe in Santa Claus.
    For Obama to lose his luster with the la la crowd it will take a lot of pain, that is national tragedy, that he and only he will be liable for. Logic won’t do it, logic will not take out of a man’s head what logic did not put there as Pres. Wilson said. Until that happens we are going to hear nothing but excuses or denial from his believers and that amplified by the MSM.

    For the next couple of years, and probably longer, we will spend a lot of time muttering, with declining concern about being overheard “how can anyone believe this rot”, with regard to the OBmessiah.

  29. Tatyana Says:

    Promethea: this is I have been thinking (and saying) for a long time, almost from the start of Obama’s rise in the media. I.e.: he’s just a front, a puppet, a figure on sticks propelled by a certain force. For all his outrageous personal shortcomings and shame he brought to the highest office in the country – the plague is not him, but people behind him.

    Occam’s Beard: I agree with you as well. [this time, at least].

  30. Occam's Beard Says:

    Occam’s Beard: I agree with you as well. [this time, at least].

    Great news. So there’s hope yet. /g

  31. sherlock Says:

    Bali? This set my spidey-sense off bigtime. I am afraid Obama may not only be an affirmative-action phoney of little intellect, he may be a very-well-blackmailed plant.

    Damn the media to hell, along with the legions of clueless twits who believe they have any acquaintance with the truth.

  32. mikemcdaniel Says:

    Speaking as a teacher of writing, unless Obama suddenly gained a quantum and hitherto unheard of increase in his abilities as a writer, and in an extraordinarily short period of time, the chances of his producing what he claims to have produced are zip and squat. Despite the fact that everyone, to one degree or another, can write, and therefore, most believe writing well to be no $%#@ing big deal (as VP Biden might say), writing well is a relatively rare ability that requires a substantial and highly specific genetic endowment, many long years of dedicated practice and skilled mentoring, a far larger than average vocabulary, and an interesting and elusive quality commonly known as “voice.”

    These are not qualities that one, absent implants from aliens, or a sudden increase of 50-100 points in IQ, can achieve in the time afforded Obama, to say nothing of the–should we say, distractions?–of the conditions under which he reportedly “labored.” I have certainly seen nothing in Mr. Obama which would lead to me believe that either of these possibilities has come to pass. In fact, based only on his speaking, I would have given him no better than a C in a college level speech class, and that speaks rather poorly of his abilities as a writer.

    For comparison, imagine a mediocre basketball player who was not sufficiently gifted and skilled to make the varsity team of his high school, within the space of a year or two, gaining all of the abilities and skills necessary to make himself a second round draft pick of a top NBA team. Exactly. That would never happen either.

    And what is a major publishing house doing giving a minor Chicago pol, a man about whom virtually no one had heard, a $100,000 advance to write an autobiography? And he had, back then, a literary agent!? A man who had apparently, to that point in his life, accomplished less than nothing as a writer, producing nothing upon which a publisher would rely in making a publication decision? For those of us who live in the real world, none of this rings true.

    Cashill’s case is indeed compelling.

  33. neo-neocon Says:

    mikemcdaniel: I agree with you in general about Obama and writing. But specifically about the publisher’s advance, note what I wrote here.

  34. Occam's Beard Says:

    ///unless Obama suddenly gained a quantum and hitherto unheard of increase in his abilities as a writer…

    Quantum mechanics in essence maintains that fundamental properties of matter, such as energy, angular momentum, and vibrational frequencies are granular. A quantum is the smallest theoretically possible increment in such a quantity.

    For that reason I’m perfectly prepared to concede that Obama could have gained a quantum of writing ability (but not two, owing to the writing selection rules – joke for physicsguy).

  35. expat Says:

    I just read the Gary Wills NYT review of Remnick’s book. He seems impressed by Obama’s saying that he could walk into a housing project or into a corporate boardroom. Are all these people such provincial hicks that they agree with Obama that this is a great talent? Or is it that Wills and colleagues can’t imagine ever talking to a member of the unwashed class.

    Then he says that Remnick showed how Ayers, Wright et al were not major players in Obama’s life. Do you think he would swallow that line if it came out that Sarah Palin had once walked into Fred Phelps’ church to ask directions?

    As to the writing, perhaps Obama’s missing scholarly works have to do with his reluctance to put a position on paper, kind of like voting present. He may just hate taking a stand on anything, even in a college essay or a book on race relations.

    An “autobiography” is a different can of worms. Obama may well have been able to spin his history into the basic outline of his book, but I doubt that the final product is his alone. He doesn’t have the patience for using language artistically. You don’t get applauding crowds or TV cameras when you are sitting at a desk for months writing. It’s a bit like Obamacare: announce the goal, delegate the grunt work, put your name on the cover, then go on a book tour to sell the product. It’s like all those bills he got his name on in the Illinois legislature. Obama is bored by real work and he is perfectly willing to take credit for a product despite the meagerness of his input.

  36. physicsguy Says:

    “For that reason I’m perfectly prepared to concede that Obama could have gained a quantum of writing ability (but not two, owing to the writing selection rules – joke for physicsguy).”

    But Occam, your conclusion is uncertain .


  37. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    I am amused by all of the commentors on various blogs and in the MSM who go out of their way to laugh at what they characterize as “crazy,” “conspiracy theory” assertions by bloggers and those not on the Left or part of the MSM, that Obama is some kind of “Manchurian candidate,” But what is Obama, really, if not just that; some sort of “Manchurian Candidate.”

    In Obama we have a President about whom—in comparison to any prior President– we really know nothing, and what we are supposed to know about him is a concocted, patched up, full of gaps and holes, Swiss cheesey mess, satisfactory only to those still enthralled by the enchantments of our very own “Saruman the Wise.”

    Let us count the ways.

    Do we know for certain where Obama was born? No, because we have never seen his original birth certificate and, curiously, Obama and the DNC have reportedly spent something like $2 million dollars so far to keep it that way and, along the way, have coined the new derogatory term “Birther,” to deflect attention from inconvenient questions.

    What about the members of Obama’s immediate family–his biological father, Kenyan Luo tribe member, Muslim, and Socialist, Barack Obama, Sr., his mother Stanley Dunham, his Muslim step-father Lolo Soetoro, his grandfather “Gramps” and his grandmother “Toots,” and their lives and outlooks, statements and world views? Somehow, the MSM has never gotten around to delving deeply into these major influences on Obama’s life, and all remains superficial, nebulous, and in “soft focus.”

    Can we say with certainty that Obama was not raised as a Muslim from ages 6-10? No. Because our MSM studiously avoided going to Indonesia and actually doing some investigating, probably because the New Zealand based researchers who did go to Indonesia and investigate found evidence that, yes, Obama was raised as a Muslim, and his schoolmates and friends said an unusually observant one, and the MSM did not want to be faced with this discovery. Better to not know.

    What about the apparently deep and long practiced influence of Black Communist Party member—and so much more that is pernicious–Frank Marshall Davis on Obama from ages 10 to 17? Nope, the MSM doesn’t want to touch this subject, and we only know the little we do know because of the reporting done by the British press.

    Any reportage about who helped Obama get into Harvard Law, and his links to Black Nationalist and Muslim Khalid al-Mansour, a close financial adviser to Saudi Billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal? Nope, people on the Internet are interested and digging, but not the MSM.

    Do we have any idea how Obama did, what he wrote as an undergraduate at Occidental College, or at Columbia, or at Harvard Law? No, because all of those records are sealed and, as for Harvard Law, where Obama was editor of the Law Review, we know of exactly one, unsigned couple of paragraphs long law note he wrote. I note, too, the curious fact that swarms—in fact only a scant handful–of his fellow students, friends and teachers at these schools have not turned up to tell us all about his time at these schools.

    Any in depth reportage from the MSM about the Muslim roommate that Obama mentions in “Dreams From My Father,” and Obama’s trip with him to Pakistan (at a time when the hard line Muslim government in control was not allowing Westerners to enter the country) to stay with that roommate’s family, and travel around the country? Well, a few bloggers have investigated but, again, the MSM does not want to look in this direction, for fear of what it might see.

    What about Obama’s friendships with Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dohrn, Mike Klonski, Edward Said, Rashid Khalidi? Nope, not really investigated in great detail either, but, rather, we are told, as with so much else Obama, “nothing to see here folks, move along.”

    How about his time as a Lecturer (not, as is often claimed, a Professor) on Constitutional Law at the University of Chicago School of Law? No one has turned up any thing he wrote in any of his eight plus years there.

    What about his activities as a “community organizer?” Curiously, again, no one in the MSM has seen fit to dig into this achievement–that Obama regards as one of his chief credentials–to see exactly what he did and what he accomplished, and we are basically just left with the term “community organizer.”

    Obama’s deep and long lasting ties with ACORN? The MSM is not interested.

    How about Obama’s twenty years as a member of the Rev. Jeremiah “God Damn America” Wright’s Marxist inspired, Black Liberation Theology preaching church? Nope, because despite Obama and family’s regular attendance to listen to 20 years of racist, anti-White, anti-Jewish, anti-American, pro-Palestinian, incendiary preaching—and a Sunday Program a quarter of an inch thick, chocked full of speeches and articles Wright thought appropriate, Obama was allowed to get away with saying that he never heard such talk.

    What about Obama’s four years as the Director of the totally failed $100-200 million dollar Annenberg Challenge of Chicago, in which he worked on an almost daily basis with Bill Ayers? Obama has been allowed by the MSM to pretend that this never happened.

    Obama’s voting record as an Illinois State Senator? Somehow, not available and hardly even ever mentioned.

    Obama’s short career as a U.S. Senator and his “legislative achievements”? Again, rarely mentioned and never explored in depth.

    What about Obama and Michelle’s trip to Kenya—on the taxpayer’s dime, while Obama was a sitting U.S. Senator–to interfere in the internal politics of Kenya (and drawing a diplomatic protest by the government of Kenya) by campaigning for several days for Obama’s “cousin” and fellow Luo tribesman, Muslim, East German educated Marxist Raila Odinga, called by some the “Butcher of Kenya,” for the murders and vicious, bloody attacks mobs of his machete wielding followers have committed? What about Odinga’s agreement with the leaders of Kenya’s 10% Muslim minority to restrict Christian worship in 90% Christian Kenya, and to impose Shari’a law, in return for them delivering the Muslim vote and if he won, or about the massacres and violence that followed Odinga’s defeat? Nope, the MSM hardly noticed this incident and when they did, they focused on a speech Obama gave to Kenyan government officials about “development,” and not on Obama and Odinga. If not for the British press, we would probably not even know about this whole incident, or Odinga.

    So, you tell me, would you hire or trust, let handle your money, or allow to determine your and your children’s, your country’s future, someone whose past was this deliberately hidden and shrouded in such secrecy? Well, obviously, a majority of voters did.

    Who is this man? What drives him? How has he managed to have such a charmed life; which seems like a Japanese puppet show, in which those manipulating the puppet are dressed in black, in the background, and are often not clearly seen?

  38. Occam's Beard Says:

    But Occam, your conclusion is uncertain .

    On principle? /g

  39. Occam's Beard Says:

    Well said, Wolla.

    How has he managed to have such a charmed life; which seems like a Japanese puppet show, in which those manipulating the puppet are dressed in black, in the background, and are often not clearly seen?

    I think it’s pretty clear: McCarthy wasn’t as far off base as he was made out to be. In particular, it’s hard to escape the conclusion that the press has been thoroughly subverted.

  40. RodW Says:

    Don Foster used computer analysis of vocabulary and usage to out Joe Klein as ‘Anonymous’, the author of Primary Colours. It must be possible to do similar analysis of ‘Dreams From My Father”, other work known to be Obama’s, and work by people who are suspected of ghosting the book for Obama.

About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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