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While working as a community organizer, Obama was repeatedly asked to join a Christian congregation but begged off.

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This page is organized chronologically.  Blue titles are "hot" links to more information.

WHAT Exactly Does A "Community Organizer" Do?

Barack Obama's rise has left many Americans asking themselves that question.  Here's a big part of the answer: Community organizers intimidate banks into making high-risk loans to customers with poor credit.  In the name of fairness to minorities, community organizers occupy private offices, chant inside bank lobbies, and confront executives at their homes -- and thereby force financial institutions to direct hundreds of millions of dollars in mortgages to low-credit customers.

In other words, community organizers help to undermine the US economy by pushing the banking system into a sinkhole of bad loans.  And Obama has spent years training and funding the organizers who do it.

New York

Obama graduated from Columbia College in 1983 and briefly entered the commercial world, staying in New York for a little more than a year after graduation.  He  was employed by Business International Corporation before moving to the activist New York Public Interest Research Group.

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

 

Obama's recollection of this period demonstrates his tendency towards puffery, writing in "Dreams...," (p. 135), that his first job after graduating Columbia was as a "research assistant" in "a consulting house to multinational corporations," with "my own office, my own secretary" and "myself in a suit and tie, a briefcase in my hand."

But as one of his former fellow workers (and an Obama supporter) has written, it wasn't a consulting house; it was a small company that published newsletters on international business, "a bit of a sweatshop" where casual attire and low pay were the norm.  His job was essentially copyediting "in the cramped three Wang terminal space we called the bull pen."

 

Here's an interesting account of the BI period from several of Obama's co-workers.

Obama rejected the commercial world and joined the agitators at The New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG).  Created by Ralph Nader in the 1970s, NYPIRG is New York State's largest student-directed consumer, environmental and government reform organization.  It is a not-for-profit group, established to effect policy reforms while training students and other New Yorkers to be advocates.  Since 1973, NYPIRG has played the key role in fighting for more than 120 public interest laws and executive orders.

During this period, Obama spent three months working for a NYPIRG offshoot up in Harlem, trying to convince the minority students at City College about the importance of recycling.

Why Chicago?

In 1984, after Columbia but before Harvard, Obama moved to Chicago.  "I came because of Harold Washington," he says.  "I wanted to do community organizing, and I couldn't think of a better city than one as energized and hopeful as Chicago was then."

The Project

The Chicago Period began in 1985, when some leftists were looking for someone who could recruit in a black neighborhood in the south side of Chicago and Obama applied for the position as a community organizer for the Developing Communities Project (DCP) of the Calumet Community Religious Conference (CCRC) in Chicago.  The "Project" was funded with a $25,000 grant by Bill Ayers' Woods Fund.  Here is an account from the Gamaliel Foundation, another community organizing group. 

Obama was 24 years old, unmarried, and according to his memoir, searching for a genuine African-American community.

Stories have varied wildly. Jerry Kellman, who hired him and is now a strong supporter, says it was "$10,000 a year and a $2,000 car allowance".  Obama himself has given different numbers; his memoir says $10,000 (as well as the car), in his "Wesleyan speech, he gave it as "$12,000 a year plus $2,000 for an old, beat-up car", and when he announced his candidacy for president, it was "a group of churches had offered me a job as a community organizer for $13,000 a year".

However, Ryan Lizza, then at The New Republic, reported that "Jean Rudd of the Woods Fund...had provided Kellman with his original $25,000 to hire Obama". . Ari Berman reported in The Nation that the "[Woods Fund] gave a $25,000 grant to the Developing Communities Project, which hired Obama CBS2 in Chicago ran a story with a document showing that Obama's planned 1987 salary was $25,000, a number that the Obama campaign confirmed whilst insisting that his original salary was $13,000.

So accounts, to put it mildly, vary.  This isn't just a minor discrepancy; Obama's entire campaign narrative begins with his tremendous self-sacrifice in taking on what at the time was a reasonable salary for a young college graduate.  Either Obama has lied about his starting salary or he has neglected to mention that his salary nearly doubled within 18 months.

Both the CCRC and the DCP were built on the Alinsky model of community agitation, wherein paid organizers learned how to "rub raw the sores of discontent," in Alinsky's words.

Alinsky viewed as supremely important the role of the organizer, or master manipulator, whose guidance was responsible for setting the agendas of the People’s Organization.  "The organizer," Alinsky wrote, "is in a true sense reaching for the highest level for which man can reach -- to create, to be a 'great creator,' to play God."

One of Obama's early mentors in the Alinsky method was Mike Kruglik, who had this to say to an interviewer of The New Republic, about Obama:

"He was a natural, the undisputed master of agitation, who could engage a room full of recruiting targets in a rapid-fire Socratic dialogue, nudging them to admit that they were not living up to their own standards.  As with the panhandler, he could be aggressive and confrontational.  With probing, sometimes personal questions, he would pinpoint the source of pain in their lives, tearing down their egos just enough before dangling a carrot of hope that they could make things better."

The agitator's job, according to Alinsky, is first to bring folks to the "realization" that they are indeed miserable, that their misery is the fault of unresponsive governments or greedy corporations, then help them to bond together to demand what they deserve, and to make such an almighty stink that the dastardly  governments and corporations will see imminent "self-interest" in granting whatever it is that will cause the harassment to cease.

In these methods, euphemistically labeled "community organizing," Obama had a four-year education, which he often says was the best education he ever got anywhere.

For three years Barack Obama was the director of Developing Communities Project, an institutionally based community organization on Chicago’s far south side.  He has also been a consultant and instructor for the Gamaliel Foundation, an organizing institute working throughout the Midwest.

Alinsky

For those unfamiliar with Saul Alinsky, his writings on radicalism and social change will chill the bones of not only conservatives, but more moderate liberals:

"Any revolutionary CHANGE must be preceded by a passive, affirmative, non-challenging attitude toward CHANGE among the mass of our people.  They must feel so frustrated, so defeated, so lost, so futureless in the prevailing system that they are willing to let go of the past and CHANGE the future."

"This acceptance is the reformation essential to any revolution.  To bring on this reformation requires that the organizer work inside the system, among not only the middle class but the 40 per cent of American families –- more than seventy million people -– whose income range from $5,000 to $10,000 a year [in 1971]."


And what word comes out of Obama's mouth the most -- why, CHANGE!

Here is a wonderful backgrounder on Hillary, Obama and the cult of Alinsky -- the weird thing, it's published in the Tehran Times in English.

Gamaliel

The connections are numerous. Gregory Galluzzo, Gamaliel's co-founder and executive director, served as a trainer and mentor during Obama's mid-1980s organizing days in Chicago.  The Developing Communities Project, which first hired Obama, is part of the Gamaliel network.  Obama became a consultant and eventually a trainer of community organizers for Gamaliel.  (He also served as a trainer for ACORN.)  And he has kept up his ties with Gamaliel during his time in the U.S. Senate.
 

After hearing about Barack Obama's ties to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, Fr. Michael Pfleger, and the militant activists of ACORN (the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), it should be clear to everyone that his extremist roots run deep.

But the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee has yet another connection with the world of far-Left radicalism.  Obama has long been linked -- through foundation grants, shared political activism, collaboration on legislation and tactics, and mutual praise and support -- with the Chicago-based Gamaliel Foundation, one of the least known yet most influential national umbrella groups for church-based "community organizers."

The same separatist, anti-American theology of liberation that was so boldly and bitterly proclaimed by Obama's pastor is shared, if more quietly, by Obama's Gamaliel colleagues.  The operative word here is "quietly."  Gamaliel specializes in ideological stealth, and Obama, a master student of Gamaliel strategy, shows disturbing signs of being a sub rosa radical himself.  Obama's legislative tactics, as well as his persistent professions of non-ideological pragmatism, appear to be inspired by his radical mentors' most sophisticated tactics.  Not only has Obama studied, taught, and apparently absorbed stealth techniques from radical groups like Gamaliel and ACORN, but in his position as a board member of Chicago's supposedly nonpartisan Woods Fund, he quietly funneled money to his radical allies -- at the very moment he most needed their support to boost his political career.  It's high time for these shadowy, perhaps improper, ties to receive a dose of sunlight.

Read more -- Stanley Kurtz

Friends Of The Parks

Obama’s early Chicago days opens with the touching story of his efforts to build a partnership with Chicago’s "Friends of the Parks, so that parents in a blighted neighborhood could have an inviting spot for their kids to play.

However, as the L. A. Times puts it, "Obama’s task was to help far South Side residents press for improvement" in their communities.  Part of Obama’s work, it would appear, was to organize demonstrations, much in the mold of radical groups like ACORN.

Altgeld Gardens

Next, Obama worked at a Chicago housing project, Altgeld Gardens, where he refined his skills.

Here, Obama worked as an ethnic activist, helping the impoverished black community wring more money and services from the government.  That government money was wrecking the morals of the housing-project residents seems obvious from his book, but Obama never comes out and says it.  Numerous white moderates assume that a man of Obama’s superlative intelligence must be kidding when he espouses his cast-iron liberalism on race-related policies, but they don’t understand the emotional imperative of racial loyalty to him.

His mentor during this period was the veteran local agitator, Hazel Johnson, who disputes the version of events at Altgeld Gardens that Obama wrote of in his book and tells audiences at his political gatherings.

Madeleine Talbot

An L. A. Times piece says some claim that Obama’s book, "Dreams from My Father," exaggerates his accomplishments in spearheading an asbestos cleanup at the low-income housing project.  Obama, these critics say, denies due credit to Johnson, who claims she was the one who actually discovered the asbestos problem and led the efforts to resolve it.  Read carefully, the L. A. Times story leans toward confirming this complaint against Obama, yet the story’s emphasis is to affirm Obama’s important role in the battle.  Speaking up in defense of Obama on the asbestos issue is Madeleine Talbot, who at the time was a leader at Chicago ACORN.  Talbot, we learn, was so impressed by Obama’s organizing skills that she invited him to help train her own staff.

Obama Gets Religion

In 1988, while working as a community organizer, Obama was repeatedly asked to join Christian congregations but begged off.

"I remained a reluctant skeptic, doubtful of my own motives ..." he wrote.

When Obama first undertook his agitating work in Chicago's South Side poor neighborhoods, he was un-churched.  Yet his office was in a Church and most of the folks he needed to agitate and organize were Church people -- pastors and congregants -- who took their churches and their church-going very seriously.  Again and again, he was asked by pastors and church ladies, "Where do you go to Church, young man?"  It was a question he dodged for a while, but finally he relented and joined a church, to get some "street cred," according to his second book, "Audacity."

Obama didn't join just any church, but a huge black nationalist church, the
Trinity United Church of Christ (UCC).  Its pastor, Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright, unabashedly preaches a "black" gospel.

The crosscurrents appealed to Obama.  He came to believe that the church could not only compensate for the limitations of Alinsky-style organizing but could help answer the nagging identity problem he had come to Chicago to solve.  "It was a powerful program, this cultural community," he wrote, "one more pliant than simple nationalism, more sustaining than my own brand of organizing."

So it is very clear.  Obama joined Trinity UCC for political reasons.

Harvard Law School

Obama interrupts his activist career to attend Harvard Law School.

Summer In The City

Obama is a summer intern at the corporate law firm Sidley Austin LLP in Chicago where he meets Michelle Robinson, his summer adviser -- and Michelle's friend and fellow staffer, the left-wing terrorist Bernadine Dohrn.

Harvard Law Review

Obama’s story first surfaced publicly in February 1990, when he was elected as the first black president of The Harvard Law Review. An initial wire service report described him simply as a 28-year-old, second-year student from Hawaii who had "not ruled out a future in politics"; but in the days that followed, newspaper reporters grew interested and produced long, detailed profiles of Obama.

The coverage prompted a call to him from Jane Dystel, a gravelly-voiced literary agent, who suggested Obama write a book proposal.  Then she got him a contract with Poseidon Press, a now-defunct imprint of Simon & Schuster.  When he missed his deadline, she got him another contract and a $40,000 advance from Times Books.

Obama graduated from Harvard Law School in 1991 and received his Juris Doctor law degree, magna cum laude.

Judson Miner

Obama moves back to Chicago where he takes a job with the civil rights law firm, Davis, Miner, Barnhill and Galland.

Judson Miner had been counsel to Chicago's late black mayor, Harold Washington.  Miner was also classmates with Bernardine Dohrn at the University of Chicago law school in 1967 where they were both were involved in anti-war activity.

Obama is a member of the Illinois Bar.  He was admitted on December 17, 1991.  He is voluntarily inactive, with no record of discipline or pending proceedings.  You can check the status of Illinois lawyers at www.iardc.org.

Obama lied twice on his application to the Illinois Bar by omission.  He neglected to provide his "also know as" name of Barry Soetoro and information regarding his six years of abusing drugs.

People who knew Obama in the early 1990s said he made it clear that he aspired to run for public office.  For that, the firm, now called Miner, Barnhill & Gallard, was a good place to start.

The firm has been a force in Chicago politics.  Carol Moseley Braun, one of Obama's predecessors in the U.S. Senate from Illinois, briefly worked there.

Miner was counsel to the late Chicago Mayor Harold Washington.  Allison Davis, a co-founder of the firm who since has left, is a major Chicago developer.

Miner, Davis and other partners and clients have been a regular source of campaign money for Obama, giving him $100,000 over the years.  Miner said he organized fundraisers for Obama's first state Senate run, his 2000 congressional campaign and his 2004 U.S. Senate race.

Davis, who could not be reached for comment, has been a partner with other Chicago developers who also are clients of the firm and are Obama backers.  One Davis partner was Antoin "Tony" Rezko, a major Obama patron who has now been convicted in a federal public corruption case.

Over the next several years, Obama represents victims of housing and employment discrimination.  The law firm says Obama logged 3,723 billable hours during his tenure from 1993 to 2004, most of it during the first four years.

In 1995, the year his first book came out, Obama started his successful run for the Illinois state Senate, and stopped working full-time once he took office in 1997.  He remained associated with the firm until he was elected to the U.S. Senate nearly eight years later.

Project Vote

By 1991, when Obama, law degree in hand, returned to Chicago...black voter registration and turnout in the city were at their lowest points since record keeping began.

Six months after he took the helm of Chicago's Project Vote!, those conditions had been reversed.  Within a few months, Obama, a tall, affable workaholic, had recruited staff and volunteers from black churches, community groups, and politicians.

He helped train 700 deputy registrars, out of a total of 11,000 citywide.  And he began a saturation media campaign with the help of black-owned Brainstorm Communications.  The group's slogan -- "It's a Power Thing" -- was ubiquitous in African-American neighborhoods.  "It was overwhelming," says Joseph Gardner, a commissioner of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District and the director of the steering committee for Project Vote!  "The black community in this city had not been so energized and so single-minded since Harold died."

"I think it's fair to say we reinvigorated a slumbering constituency," says Obama.  "We got people to take notice."

As for Project Vote! itself, its operations in Chicago have officially closed down.  Barack Obama has returned to work on his book, which he plans to complete this month.  "We won't let the momentum die," he says.  "I'll take personal responsibility for that.  We plan to hold politicians' feet to the flames in 1993, to remind them that we can produce a bloc of voters large enough that it cannot be ignored."

Nor can Obama himself be ignored.  The success of the voter-registration drive has marked him as the political star the Mayor should perhaps be watching for.  "The sky's the limit for Barack," says Burrell.

Some of Daley's closest advisers are similarly impressed.  "In its technical demands, a voter-registration drive is not unlike a mini-political campaign," says John Schmidt, chairman of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority and a fundraiser for Project Vote!  "Barack ran this superbly.  I have no doubt he could run an equally good political campaign if that's what he decided to do next."

Obama shrugs off the possibility of running for office.  "Who knows?" he says.  "But probably not immediately."  He smiles.

Project Vote of course was an affiliate of the radical community group ACORN, to which Obama was long connected.

When Obama successfully ran for an Illinois State Senate seat in 1995/96 he was endorsed by DSA.  He also joined and was endorsed by the New Party, a front for ACORN, DSA and the Committees of Correspondence.

Woods Fund

Barack Obama served on the board of directors of Woods Fund of Chicago from 1993 to 2001.  During that time, the tax exempt foundation made some interesting grants, including one to Obama's church, Trinity United Church of Christ, headed by Rev. Jeremiah Wright.  Grants were also made to ACORN, a left wing voter registration group and to a partnership for constructing low income housing.  The fund also used Northern Trust for financial services, which is the same company that provided Obama his 2005 mortgage.

In 2001 the board of directors included Obama, William Ayers, the former Weather Underground radical terrorist, and serving as chairman was Howard J. Stanback who headed New Kenwood LLC, a limited liability company founded by now-convicted felon Tony Rezko and Allison Davis, Obama's former boss at the law firm of Davis Miner Barnhill & Galland.

Chicago Law School

He also began teaching at the University of Chicago Law School, although he declined to pursue a tenure-track post, hoping to save time for politics.

 

Here is Obama's Constitutional Law III, 1996 Final Examination.  His examination review is here.  All of the exam questions appear to deal with an issue connected with minority activism (race, gender preference), which I suppose one would expect to be the extent of Obama’s interest in "constitutional" law.

During the presidential campaign, Obama would consistently and falsely claims that he was a law professor.  The Sun-Times reported that, 'Several direct-mail pieces issued for Obama's primary [Senate] campaign said he was a law professor at the University of Chicago.  He is not.  He is a senior lecturer (now on leave) at the school.  In academia, there is a vast difference between the two titles.  Details matter.'  In academia, there's a significant difference: professors have tenure while lecturers do not.

The University of Chicago Law School has now posted a statement declaring his claims semantically sound: "The Law School has received many media requests about Barack Obama, especially about his status as 'Senior Lecturer.'

From 1992 until his election to the U.S. Senate in 2004, Barack Obama served as a instructor in the Law School.  He was a Lecturer from 1992 to 1996.  He was a Senior Lecturer from 1996 to 2004, during which time he taught three courses per year.  Senior Lecturers are considered to be members of the Law School faculty and are regarded as professors, although not full-time or tenure-track.  The title of Senior Lecturer is distinct from the title of Lecturer, which signifies adjunct status.  Like Obama, each of the Law School's Senior Lecturers have high-demand careers in politics or public service, which prevent full-time teaching.  Several times during his 12 years as an instructor in the Law School, Obama was invited to join the faculty in a full-time tenure-track position, but he declined."

Obama's Syllabus
D. Fredrick says the classes Obama taught at the University of Chicago seem to have had more to do with race than law.

The syllabus for a class Obama teaches in the spring of 1994, "Current Issues in Racism and the Law," covers the topics, "Discussion of Reconstruction and Jim Crow," "Discussion of Black Response," and "Discussion of Civil Rights/Backlash."

Student discussion topics suggested by Obama include, "The All-Black, All-Male School," "Interracial Adoptions," "Racial Gerrymandering," "Race and the Criminal Justice System," "Racial Bias in the Media," "Welfare Policy and Reproductive Freedom," "Affirmative Action," and "Reparations." (For the slavery reparations discussion, Obama poses such sample questions as, "Do such proposals have any realistic chance of working their way through the political system?" and "Would there be any legal impediments to such a broadly-conceived reparations policy?").

Required reading assigned by Obama include works by his beloved Derrick Bell, his critical race theory professor at Harvard.

If most of the classes taught by Obama are in a similar vein (another of his classes was called "Race, Racism, and the Law"), he should be considered a teacher of race and the law, rather than a professor of constitutional law. His choice of subject matter suggests that the issue of race affects every aspect of his life
Law School Faculty Hated Obama
According to TheBlogProf blog, the University of Chicago Law School faculty hated Obama, "because he was lazy, unqualified, never attended any of the faculty meetings, and it was clear that the position was nothing more than a political stepping stool."

Note: The original link to TheBlogProf now has an "invitation only" sign-in.  Here is a copy of the article archived in FreeRepublic.com.

Is the Obama's resume accurate when it comes to his career and qualifications?  I can corroborate that Obama's "teaching career" at Chicago was, to put it kindly, a sham.

I spent some time with the highest tenured faculty member at Chicago Law a few months back, and he did not have many nice things to say about "Barry."  Obama applied for a position as an adjunct and wasn't even considered.  A few weeks later the law school got a phone call from the Board of Trustees telling them to find him an office, put him on the payroll, and give him a class to teach.  The Board told him he didn't have to be a member of the faculty, but they needed to give him a temporary position.  He was never a professor and was hardly an adjunct.

According to my professor friend, he had the lowest intellectual capacity in the building.  He also doubted whether he was legitimately an editor on the Harvard Law Review, because if he was, he would be the first and only editor of an Ivy League law review to never be published while in school (publication is or was a requirement).

Consider this: Barack Obama, former editor of the Harvard Law Review, is no longer a "lawyer."  He surrendered his license back in 2008 possibly to escape charges that he "fibbed" on his bar application.

A senior lecturer is one thing.  A fully ranked law professor is another.  According to the Chicago Sun-Times, "Obama did NOT 'hold the title' of a University of Chicago law school professor."  Barack Obama was NOT a Constitutional Law professor at the University of Chicago.

The University of Chicago released a statement in March, 2008 saying Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) "served as a professor" in the law school, but that is a title Obama, who taught courses there part-time, never held, a spokesman for the school later confirmed.

"He did not hold the title of professor of law," said Marsha Ferziger Nagorsky, an Assistant Dean for Communications and Lecturer in Law at the University of Chicago School of Law.

The former Constitutional senior lecturer cited the U.S. Constitution recently during his State of the Union Address.  Unfortunately, the quote he cited was from the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution.
    
    
By the way, the promises Obama mentions, are not a notion, our founders named them unalienable rights.  The document is our Declaration of Independence and it reads: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

And this is the same guy who lectured the Supreme Court moments later in the same speech?

When you are a phony it's hard to keep facts straight.

The Book

If one had to name Barack Obama's chief accomplishments in public life, his two books would outweigh anything he has done in politics.  The New York Times had a fascinating article, The Story of Obama, Written by Obama, on the front page of Sunday's paper.  The piece points out that Obama's attraction to the masses is driven not by what he has accomplished in the real world (especially in the Senate), but by his ability to tell a tale -- his own.  Unspoken by the NYT is that this phenomena does have its place in history -- it is the very definition of "cult of personality."

After he was elected as the first black president of the Harvard Law Review. He was approached by an agent, Jane Dystel, who got him a contract for a book.

Obama’s original plan was to write a book about race relations (what else?), but, sitting down to write, he found his mind "pulled toward rockier shores."  So the book became more personal -- the record of an interior journey, as he put it in the introduction, "a boy’s search for his father, and through that a search for a workable meaning for his life as a black American."

Obama had been given free use of an office at the University of Chicago, along with a law school fellowship and the aforementioned advance, to finish his first manuscript.   Obama missed his deadline, and Dystel promptly got him another contract and a $40,000 advance for the same book.

The New York Times reported that Obama's first agent (the one he dumped) got him a a second book deal with Random House after the first one with Poseidon Press fell through.

The Times article neglects to mention that Obama received then Random House publisher Peter Osnos describes as a six figure advance "(about $125,000, I am told)" from Poseidon.  According to Osnos, Obama would have had to return all or part of the first advance.  Did he?  And when?

Obama and Dystel worked mostly by telephone and by manuscripts sent by Federal Express between New York and Chicago. Obama, an inveterate journal writer who had published poems in a college literary magazine but had never attempted a book, struggled to finish. His half-sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, said he eventually retreated to Bali for several months with his wife, Michelle, "to find a peaceful sanctuary where there were no phones."

Ah, retreating to Bali after getting a second $40,000 advance and while receiving income from a law school fellowship -- a tough life indeed.  We can all empathize. Oh, and about the "truthfulness of the book"?
 
 
In the introduction, Mr. Obama acknowledged his use of pseudonyms, composite characters, approximated dialogue and events out of chronological order. He was writing at a time well before a recent series of publishing scandals involving fabrication in memoirs. "He was trying to be careful of people's feelings," said Deborah Baker, the editor on the first paperback edition of the book. "The fact is, it all had a sort of larger truth going on that you couldn't make up."

That's how we judge "truth" now? Ignore the lies used to build the foundation for the benefit of the quest for the nebulous "larger truth"? This article is looking more and more like an apologia for upcoming disclosures that Obama's story as told by himself has more than a few holes in it.

Anna Helps With "Dreams..."

Anna helped Barack write his book, "Dreams from My Father," while she was battling cancer. Obama wrote:

During the writing of this book, she would read the drafts, correcting stories that I had misunderstood, careful not to comment on my characterizations of her but quick to explain or defend the less flattering aspects of my father’s character.

Obama noted in the book that it was Ann rather than his natural father who taught him about his African American heritage.

She would come home with books on the civil rights movement, the recordings of Mahalia Jackson, the speeches of Dr. King.  When she told me stories of schoolchildren in the South who were forced to read books handed down from wealthier white schools but who went on to become doctors and lawyers and scientists, I felt chastened by my reluctance to wake up and study in the mornings…

Every black man was Thurgood Marshall or Sidney Poitier; every black woman Fannie Lou Hamer or Lena Horne.  To be black was to be the beneficiary of a great inheritance, a special destiny, glorious burdens that only we were strong enough to bear.

Obama noted in the book that he might have written a different book if he had known she was dying when he wrote it:

I think sometimes that had I known she would not survive her illness, I might have written a different book -- less a meditation on the absent parent, more a celebration of the one who was the single constant in my life.

In my daughters I see her every day, her joy, her capacity for wonder.  I won’t try to describe how deeply I mourn her passing still.  I know that she was the kindest, most generous spirit I have ever known, and that what is best in me I owe to her.

His mother was his first class and race propagandist and mentor.

Who Wrote Dreams And Why It Matters

Jack Cashill said his involvement in this occasionally harrowing literary adventure began in July 2008, entirely innocently.  A friend sent him some short excerpts from Dreams and asked if they were as radical as they sounded.  Cashill bought the book, located the excerpts, and reported back that, in context, the excerpts were not particularly troubling.

But he did notice something else.  The book was much too well written.  Cashill had seen enough of Obama's interviews to know that he did not speak with anywhere near the verbal sophistication on display in Dreams.

 


About six weeks later, for entirely unrelated reasons, Cashill picked up a copy of Bill Ayers 2001 memoir, Fugitive Days.  Ayers, he discovered, writes very well and very much like "Obama."

In mid-September, after considerable digging, Cashill wrote a few speculative articles for American Thinker and other online journals and discovered that he was not alone in his suspicions.

Looking for some scientific verification, Cashill consulted Patrick Juola of Duquesne, a leading authority in the field of literary forensics.  Juola, however, advised him against relying on computer analysis on a subject this sensitive.  "The accuracy just isn't there," he told him.  He encouraged Cashill instead "to do what you're already doing . . . good old-fashioned literary detective work."  Cashill took his advice.

The first question Cashill had to resolve was whether the 33 year-old Barack Obama was capable of writing what Time Magazine has called "the best-written memoir ever produced by an American politician."

The answer is almost assuredly "no."

Very interesting piece -- worth reading -- go here . . .

Mortgage Meltdown

Note:  Many of the links on this page have been moved to here.

Sources point to Obama as a starting point to the domino affect that lead to the housing crises we are now facing.  Check the provided links and judge for yourself.
 
"In a 1995 case known as Buycks-Roberson v. Citibank, Obama and his fellow attorneys charged that Citibank was making too few loans to black applicants, "victimized" by home mortgage lenders, and won the case.  As one commentator noted in May 2008, legal "successes" such as this were probably responsible for the sub-prime mortgage crisis of 2007 AND 2008.  That is, banks were not loaning to blacks whose credit was poor.  When the law forced them to lend money anyway, the inevitable collapse occurred."

Buycks-Roberson v. Citibank Fed. Sav. Bank
 
 
Obama had a part in the lawsuit that started the government on a course of forcing lenders to give more loans to those who had poor credit.  Lending companies were forced to come up with imaginative ways of fulfilling the quota that was required.  Sub-prime lending was born as a result.  The mortgage crises was forecast by many who were able to look beyond the quota.

This New York Times article (.pdf) clearly forecast the mortgage meltdown.

In a move that could help increase home ownership rates among minorities and low-income consumers, the Fannie Mae Corporation is easing the credit requirements on loans that it will purchase from banks and other lenders, ... under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration.

"Fannie Mae has expanded home ownership for millions of families by reducing down payment requirements," said Franklin Raines, Fannie Mae's chairman and chief executive officer.  "Yet there remain too many borrowers whose credit is just a notch below what our underwriting has required who have been relegated to paying significantly higher mortgage rates in the so-called subprime market."

Demographic information on these borrowers is sketchy.  But at least one study indicates that 18 percent of the loans in the subprime market went to black borrowers, compared to 5 percent of loans in the conventional loan market.

In moving, even tentatively, into this new area of lending, Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any difficulties during flush economic times.  But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry of the 1980s.

"From the perspective of many people, including me, this is another thrift industry growing up around us," said Peter Wallison, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.  "If they fail, the government will have to step up and bail them out, the way it stepped up and bailed out the thrift industry."

More Mortgage Meltdown

What exactly does a "community organizer" do?  Barack Obama's rise has left many Americans asking themselves that question.  Here's a big part of the answer: Community organizers intimidate banks into making high-risk loans to customers with poor credit.

In the name of fairness to minorities, community organizers occupy private offices, chant inside bank lobbies, and confront executives at their homes -- and thereby force financial institutions to direct hundreds of millions of dollars in mortgages to low-credit customers.

In other words, community organizers help to undermine the US economy by pushing the banking system into a sinkhole of bad loans.  And Obama has spent years training and funding the organizers who do it.

The seeds of today's financial meltdown lie in the Community Reinvestment Act -- a law passed in 1977 and made riskier by unwise amendments and regulatory rulings in later decades.

CRA was meant to encourage banks to make loans to high-risk borrowers, often minorities living in unstable neighborhoods.  That has provided an opening to radical groups like ACORN (the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) to abuse the law by forcing banks to make hundreds of millions of dollars in "subprime" loans to often uncreditworthy poor and minority customers.

Any bank that wants to expand or merge with another has to show it has complied with CRA -- and approval can be held up by complaints filed by groups like ACORN.

In fact, intimidation tactics, public charges of racism and threats to use CRA to block business expansion have enabled ACORN to extract hundreds of millions of dollars in loans and contributions from America's financial institutions.

Banks already overexposed by these shaky loans were pushed still further in the wrong direction when government-sponsored Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac began buying up their bad loans and offering them for sale on world markets.

Fannie and Freddie acted in response to Clinton administration pressure to boost homeownership rates among minorities and the poor.  However compassionate the motive, the result of this systematic disregard for normal credit standards has been financial disaster.

One key pioneer of ACORN's subprime-loan shakedown racket was Madeline Talbott -- an activist with extensive ties to Barack Obama.  She was also in on the ground floor of the disastrous turn in Fannie Mae's mortgage policies.

Long the director of Chicago ACORN, Talbott is a specialist in "direct action" -- organizers' term for their militant tactics of intimidation and disruption. Perhaps her most famous stunt was leading a group of ACORN protesters breaking into a meeting of the Chicago City Council to push for a "living wage" law, shouting in defiance as she was arrested for mob action and disorderly conduct.  But her real legacy may be her drive to push banks into making risky mortgage loans.

Important! -- Read the details from Stanley Kurtz

Mortgage Meltdown -- Full Circle

The NAACP is accusing Wells Fargo and HSBC of forcing blacks into subprime mortgages while whites with identical qualifications got lower rates.

Class-action lawsuits were to be filed against the banks Friday in federal court in Los Angeles, Austin Tighe, co-lead counsel for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, told The Associated Press.

Black homebuyers have been 3 1/2 times more likely to receive a subprime loan than white borrowers, and six times more likely to get a subprime rate when refinancing, Tighe said.  Blacks still were disproportionately steered into subprime loans when their credit scores, income and down payment were equal to those of white homebuyers, he said.

Similar NAACP lawsuits are pending against a dozen other subprime lenders.

"This is systematic, institutionalized racism," Tighe said.  "Once you take out factors relative to income and credit risk, the only difference between the borrowers is the color of their skin."

Tighe estimated that "tens of thousands" of blacks had been forced into bad loans, but said it was difficult to gauge the scope of the problem because banks keep much of their internal data private.  The lawsuits could force banks to divulge closely guarded information, such as how banks can determine the race of a loan applicant and how federal bailout funds are being spent.

The NAACP is seeking reforms from the banks such as increased transparency in the loan process, educational outreach and internal training.

File under damned if you do -- damned if you don't.

Politics

In 1995, when Obama gets the chance to run for the state senate in a district that includes Hyde Park, the home of the university and some of the poorest ghettos on the South Side, he jumps at it.

A longtime, widely-revered matron of the civil rights movement named Alice Palmer had held the seat for a number of years, but she announced that she wanted to run for Congress.  So, Obama seized the opportunity and proclaimed his intention to run for Alice's open seat.

And, we're off!
 

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