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October 04, 2008

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Jim Ryan

Oh, I'm hip to the gambler's fallacy. I no longer even have an inuition that there is any "run of luck." I thought I was pretty good at being on my guard but I was gobsmacked by Boris's puzzle and the Monty Hall Problem.

Extraneus

Aw, they changed the headline of that "analysis" already? Same story, though.

And though she may have scored a political hit each time, her attack was unsubstantiated and carried a racially tinged subtext that John McCain himself may come to regret.

Yeah, speaking of probabilities, I guess he "may" somehow come to regret it, but probably not as much as Obama already does.

Hey, so if Ayers and Obama are "friends," according to Mayor Daley, how can anyone quibble with the statement that they're pals, or even that they pal around? Unless they've paused their friendship for some reason [cough], or are somehow estranged, "friends" are friends, right?

boris

there are some things about probability that are just flat-out counter-intuitive

Which was the original point of my Monty Hall variation to begin with. There are puzzles that tend to trap people with a working knowledge of a subject, hence 2 unknowns always = 50:50 odds. The Libby case was one where hindsight blindness (IMO)was trapping people with a good working knowledge of the case into miscalculating the odds of Libby deliberately misleading the grand jury.

Cecil Turner

You think that had more to do with it than the fact that the jury pool was 90% Democrat?

DebinNC

"Now every AP article that carried this headline “Analysis: Palin’s words carry racial tinge” has been edited to the “Analysis: Palin’s words may backfire on McCain"

AP made the change imo because the race card is generally so discredited in this day and age that it backfires on the dealer. I wish a reporter just once had asked Obama if he agreed with Wright's oft repeated view about the presence of institutionalized white supremacy, and, if so, how he proposes to end it.

MayBee

Axelrod, too, said they are friendly.

Scott Shane, CIA specialist, felt no need to question the Obama campaign about the following remarks (via Politico):
Axelrod:

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

UPDATE: There's been a bit of confusion about Axelrod's line on the kids, who -- as the Guardian's Daniel Nasaw noted -- aren't the same age. Obama's kids went go the the University of Chicago Lab Schools, where Ayers kids, who are much older, had gone. However, Bernardine Dohrn is still active at the school, and an Obama aide said that was the connection.

They are friendly.
The connection is that Ayres and Obama's kids go to the same school.
No, the connection is that Dohrn is still active at the school.
No, they met at the launch party at Ayres' house, which Alice Palmer planned.
No, they met at the Annenberg challenge.

kim

Heh, Jim, I keep puzzling over it, too. It's like one of those optical illlusions; see it one way now, another way a moment later. There's probably a good reason I never made much of a gambler. The things I bet on have indeterminable odds and outcomes. Who could ask for anything better than those chances?
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MayBee

Ben Smith today on the RNC complaint to the FEC:

The RNC says it plans to file a complaint about Obama's low-dollar fundraising, based on two incidents, reported by Newsmax and then Newsweek, in which clearly fictional donors gave thousands, which were then returned.

There's no evidence that this is widespread, but Obama's campaign doesn't disclose the small contributions publicly (though it does to the FEC), so there could be other instances, and it could be possible to funnel a lot of money to a campaign in small chunks this way.

I thought not all the money was returned.
I love his last line (which I bolded). It is as if this simply had not occurred to anybody, that this possibility existed.

PeterUK

"You think that had more to do with it than the fact that the jury pool was 90% Democrat?"

That and the fact Libby was tried for an offence he was not charged with.

clarice

Boris, Cecil, everytime I look at the Libby case I am amazed at the utterly incomprehensible jury verdict.

boris

You think that had more to do with it than the fact that the jury pool was 90% Democrat?

Not so much the trial, but I do think Fitz worked a Monty on the process. The so called motive for Libby to cover up was strictly hindsight driven.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

Obama will win, the dems will enjoy a senate majority, and your all screwed!

Are you sure? I'm not.

Throw the Bums Out!

PeterUK

"Obama will win, the dems will enjoy a senate majority, and your(sic) all screwed!"

"Hope and Change"

"Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord Obama"

kim

I also think that jury foreman got the only holdout thrown out. Given the money that NBC put into the case, what is the chance that foreman wasn't placed on the jury?
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Extraneus

There's no evidence that this is widespread...

It never ceases to amaze me how well this line continues to work.

There's no evidence that Obama did well on the LSAT, either, is there?

MayBee
Boris, Cecil, everytime I look at the Libby case I am amazed at the utterly incomprehensible jury verdict.

I just finished jury duty, and I thought about the Libby case often.
Only your honor keeps you from going home and googling everything you want to know about the case.
The juror that wrote on Huffpo said his wife saved him the NYT article about the FireDogLake house.
There is no way that guy didn't go home everynight and scour the internet for the story of the day.

kim

Yes, MayBee, and the irony is that that is what got the art historian thrown off the jury. Oh, someday the story will be told. I was banned from here so I liveblogged JOM at MaineWebReport. Someone noticed.
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sbw

Axelgrease


Great label!

clarice

IIRC that juror (the one who read FDL and had been a Russert neighbor) was friends with Isikoff. I was there before the verdict and saw Isikoff skulk in to the courtroom and then the bloggers' room with rotten Sid Blumenthal --

kim

And I still maintain that Fitz drove Russert to an early grave. Guilt was a powerful force in Russert, and what are the details of the accident in which he broke his bone? Was it syncope from an arrhythmia from atherosclerosis or ischemia? Wonders get worked mysteriously. What are the odds?
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kim

It is likely that Russert's ischemia was silent or he was a dangerous denier. What are the odds that a guilt ridden perjuror doesn't worsen his heart disease during a time of great stress. I don't think Tim Russert knew what hit him, but I think he saw it coming in Fitz.
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glasater

Well, the Dems have seen to it that there's no quorum on the FEC so I don't know what filing a complaint accomplishes before the election

There's no evidence that this is widespread, but Obama's campaign doesn't disclose the small contributions publicly (though it does to the FEC), so there could be other instances, and it could be possible to funnel a lot of money to a campaign in small chunks this way.


When I was working in elections--all donations to any campaign were open to scrutiny by either party no matter what amount was given.
When did this change?

bad

DrJ

The pdf linked under name is one we want to add to our CAC website.

One of the letters is a request for cash from various groups to pay for operating expenses for the CAC.

My take on the remaining letters exchanged is that Obama was looking for "matching funds" from foundations in Chicago in order to secure the $49.2 million from Annenberg. The "matching funds" needed to fall within certain dates to be considered.

The off-putting part is that the funds were already granted to various groups for whatever purpose. They weren't going to "The Annenberg Way" of education reform because the CAC had not yet gotten off the ground to push "The Annenberg Way".

Perhaps this is the way the foundation world works but it seems sleazy and more than a little dishonest.

MayBee

kim- I remember all that, except I didn't realize you'd been banned here.

bad

LUN to the previous documents at Judicial Watch.

Thanks Ann!!

kim

I had words with the Typepad Goddess and called her bad names and she reminded me of my ugly habit of jocular sockpuppetry. At least I hope that's what happened.
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clarice

Remember Russert had diabetes which could also have effected his memory and testimony"human adults with insulin resistance or Type II diabetes have subtle but noticeable problems with learning and memory". http://www.apa.org/monitor/dec05/diabetes.html

kim

I bow, Kuan Yin.
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bgates

Looks like I missed the visit from the stalwart Reagan fan who's thrilled at the idea of a filibuster-proof Senate under the direction of Harry Reid.

I'm not banning today's crop, because we could get a perfectly reasonable 'mike' or 'joe' coming by someday.

Jim Ryan

It's like one of those optical illlusions; see it one way now, another way a moment later.

I know exactly what you mean, Kim. I'm going to chew on this one for weeks, I can tell.

kim

Yeah, it's gonna be fun cogitating; just let's you and I not play cards with these hustlers.
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Steve Diamond

Mike et al:

As my latest post demonstrates, the Scott Shane story in the Times confirms my longstanding argument that Ayers approved the appointment of Obama to the CAC board.

The basis for this conclusion is that the documentary evidence I provided the Times, but that they did not understand and thus ignored, prove that Ayers was the legal agent of the CAC responsible for the selection of the board.

The informal advisors to Ayers, Leff and Graham and Simmons may have helped move the name forward (and would have been helpful to Ayers in convincing more prominent board members of Obama's bone fides) but when Ayers met with Obama prior to the first board meeting, as the Times quotes Obama campaign rep La Bolt as confirming, Ayers approved Obama for the board.

Please read that post as well as my earlier White Wash post on the Times and I will be happy to answer any questions anyone here has today.

Steve Diamond

kim

Thank you, Steve. What do you think the two are trying to conceal about their relationship? You are not required to speculate if you don't want to do so.
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Steve Diamond

I can only assume that they both understand that the association is toxic because of Ayers' past history of violence. I think they likely believe that the Ayers' approach to education, although linked in my view to Ayers' past political activity, can be dealt with more easily. So far that is proving to be correct.

I also think that in addition to agreeing with Ayers politically, Obama is very reluctant to sweep Ayers under the bus, so to speak, because he wants a wing of people around him that can be a buffer against the pressures he is likely to face from more establishment forces in Washington, if elected.

kim

You mean he'll need a sturmabteilung to protect him from those destructive cyclones?

But thanks for your highly informed opinion. I think you are dead right.
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bad

Professor Diamond,

Was Ken Rolling intervening on behalf of Obama in the library kerfuffle or does he have his own issues he'd like kept under the radar?

bad

An author I heard on a radio show believes that Tom Ayers was responsible for securing the Annenberg Grant on behalf of Bill Ayers because the author considered it highly unlikely that a former FBI most wanted, unrepentant terrorist would be handed $50 million without some heavy guarentees. Is that a likely scenario or had Bill Ayers sufficiently rehabilitated himself to the education world to receive the grant on his own merits?

bad

Dr. Diamond,

Is Tom Ayers Bill's brother or his son?

Steve Diamond

Tom is Bill's father. Rick and John are brothers of Bill and also in education.

The role of Tom Ayers in helping to rehabilitate his son into public life after he came out of hiding is a very important question to explore but I have very few answers, only reasoned speculation based on the fact that SidleyAustin hired Bernardine Dohrn at Tom Ayers' request. Tom Ayers was also active in education reform in Chicago.

I believe it is reasonable to suspect that Rolling was trying to block access to the CAC records in order to protect what he sees as in Obama's interest. I base this conclusion on the email from Rolling to Warren Chapman at UIC that Stanley Kurtz obtained as well as the statement by Rolling that he just happened to contact UIC on the very same day as Kurtz (August 11).

kim

Isn't that particular Tom his father?
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Ann

bad,

I haven't read this yet, but Jonah Goldberg (NRO) links to this article in REVOLUTION magazine (yikes):

Interview with Bill Ayers:
On Progressive Education, Critical Thinking and the Cowardice of Some in Dangerous Times

kim

Here's something I don't understand, Steve. Tom Ayers was pretty tight with Daley Senior, so why did Bill basically challenge the Daley establishment by the community initiatives? Wasn't that sort of biting the hand that fed you?
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bad

Can you forsee a circumstance under which Obama will admit to his relationship with Ayers? If Obama becomes president will Ayers be an open advisor?

Steve Diamond

Well, actually, Tom Ayers was the leader of what one might call the "bourgeois opposition" to Daley the First.

Tom Ayers was a committed liberal and thus an active supporter of open housing and other civil rights causes. He helped broker a deal between King and Daley and then formed a multiracial business coalition to advocate for better race relations in the city. Nothing too radical, just more or less consistent with the Hubert Humphrey wing of the Democratic Party.

So I would say Ayers Sr. was tolerated by the Bridgeport based Daley family about whom the Ayers/Lyric Opera crowd most likely thought were, as they say, NOCD (Not our class dear).

Early on in the post 1988 reform period I think Daley more or less went along with the LSC idea as did many mainstream figures - it was a chink in the armor of the unpopular Teachers Union as well as a way to break into the power of the huge school administration, both places where, by the way, black Chicagoans had a chance for a middle class life.

However, it became clear by the 92 or 93 period that the LSC's were not having a serious impact on student outcomes and so Daley began an effort to gut the LSCs and business began to back his effort. That is why Ayers and his allies in the school reform movement were so anxious to get their hands on the CAC money. In fact, once they got it, according to Rolling, Daley tried to take it away from them!

bad

Sorry about the "Tom" question. I meant "John" which has been answered.

MayBee

Steve Diamond-
Do you know anything about the Catalyst foundation, or why Susan Klonsky, Michelle Obama, and John Ayres would be on the planning committee for a party for it in 2000?

My comment with link Here.

Did Scott Shane seem curious about the previous stories about how Ayres and Obama met that had come out of the Obama camp?

sbw

Prof. Diamond...

A John Ayers received a grant (220K+?) from CAC. Was this Bill Ayers' brother or son? I googled Bill and John and came up with a son named John.

I suppose it doesn't matter since giving to relatives is a no-no.

bad

Maybee

Catalyst is an education magazine focused on Chicago and education reform. IIRC CAC gave funds to the magazine. CAC probably expected positive publicity.

I don't know if the foundation and the magazine are the same entity.

MayBee

Thanks, bad.
It all seems very incestuous.

Steve Diamond

Bad is right: Catalyst was set up to follow the school reform process. Linda Lenz works there - one of the apologists for Obama and Ayers.

Shane was not very curious about much at all. He seemed put out that he was even on the story.

John Ayers ran a group called Leadership for Quality Education which trained LSC members in Chicago. I cannot recall when he joined LQE, though. But I do recall that CAC gave them money. John is the brother of Bill and Rick.

Yes, all very incestuous - the Klonsky's and Ayers's all in education.

Hillary R. Clinton

Steve,

You refer to Ayers as a buffer zone around Obama should he become president. Do you see Ayers as an open ally, or more of a kitchen cabinet behund the scenes?

kim

I understand, and thanks, Steve.
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Ranger

Hot air has video up of Team Obama playing defense this morning. Their new excuse is pathetic... Obama had no idea who Ayers was when they first started working together!

Kind of hard to sell that when Michelle Obama worked at the same law firm as "Mrs. Ayers" aka, Bernardine Dohrn at the time when she (Dohrn) was denied a law license by the state for moral terpitude relating to her criminal obstruction of justice. I have a feeling that would have been a huge topic around the office when it happened.

bad

Obama had no idea who Ayers was when they first started working together!

How is that possible when his education is soooo top notch and he is soooo smart and he is soooo well informed? You'd think he grew up in Alaska....

Sue

Idiots will vote for the democrat, as long as the economy is the issue. And I have no idea why. Have you ever seen giddier democratic pundits though? The economy is falling apart. Our guy wins!

MayBee

Obama had no idea who Ayers was when they first started working together!

Heh.
I know (and I bet you all know) these people like Ayres. Not bombers, but ex-hippie radicals. They can't wait to throw their little diatribes into every conversation. You know within a half an hour of talking to them that they think America is imperialistic, selfish, over-consumes, and full of ignorant people.

Everything about Obama's early campaigning shows that he fits in perfectly with that kind of thinking. Not wearing the flag pin is small, but his reasons are the same reasons people protested when fire houses flew the flag after 9/11. The way he thinks Iran misbehaves because we shut them out of the world, the way he says America is not liked because we don't cooperate, that we are embarassing when we travel overseas, that our President should meet with the likes of Chavez, Castro, and Ahmadinjhad because we shouldn't act like meeting the President is a prize.
All of that and more shows me Obama fit in with the Ayres of the world, but for the bombing.
Obama has managed to clean up his message as the election has gotten rolling. I just worry about where his instincts are, because I bet you money it's that America is too powerful and the wealth distribution is unfair.

MayBee

Story on Today show right now:
Just how middle class is Sarah Palin? They make almost 2x the median Alaskan income! Each member of the Palin family received Alaskan rebate checks. They have almost a million dollars worth of assets.

She is obviously no lunch bucket Joe Biden.

clarice

Wait just a darned minute...I thought she and the First Dude were stupid and common..What is it?

MayBee

They made their extraordinary money doing common Alaskan things, clarice.

I kid you not. That was the jist of the story.

DebinNC

"Idiots will vote for the democrat, as long as the economy is the issue. And I have no idea why."

What can we expect when the MSM has no interest in reporting at whose feet the financial collapse lies, and McCain is similarly disinclined to offer a sustained tutorial? If McCain were naming names and pointing to pivotal dates when Dems blocked oversight, the MSM might report what he said, because "fightin'" is newsworthy. But since McCain remains silent, so can they. My anger at Team McCain is growing exponentially.

Barney Frank

"Idiots will vote for the democrat, as long as the economy is the issue. And I have no idea why."

Well the easy answer is because they're idiots, but truly it is not that they'll vote for Dems as long as the economy is the issue. They'll vote for whomever has not been in power, especially in the white house, when the economy went south.
Reagan 1980 and Bush 2000 being recent examples of Repubs benefitting from this.

joojooluv

No matter where you go, right wingers are always America-hating hypocrites. You can't stand the fact that your guy is losing on merits so you have to make up nonsense. Why do people love Obama and follow him? I guess because he is a leader who inspires. And why is McCain so crappy in the polls. The simple answer is mostly likely the true one: he is a crappy candidate. You toss out the ideas of merit and fair play as soon as it doesn't serve your 'cause' (whatever that is - it's not dealing with the problems of this country, that's for sure). The conservative brand stinks and it's fun watching the meltdown. Better hide in the basement! The terrorists are coming!

kim

Merit? Biden and Obama against McCain and Palin? You've a poor measure of 'merit', pal.
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