Is this really as good as it gets? Jack is back with more "evidence" that Bill Ayers was involved in authoring Obama's "Dreams From My Father".
Jonah Goldberg is utterly unimpressed by the lead tidbit which is that both Ayers and Obama misquoted the well-known description of Chicago as "hog butcher to the world".
Mr. Goldberg was kind enough to gloss over the next bit of "evidence", which is either presented opaquely or is some of the worst forensic work I have seen:
So let me see if I understand. A careful reader identified 180 matches between Ayers' work and Obama's that Mr. Cashill considered to be "B-level or above". Mr. Cashill only matched at most sixteen of those phrases or features in his own writing, thereby proving... what?
What is the baseline? For the exercise to be meaningful, a careful reader would need to go through Mr. Cashill's work and compare it directly to Ayers. If that were done, they might well find 164 other Cashill-Ayers matches which, combined with the 16 in hand, resulted in a total of 180 matches in all. And since Obama would not be a match on these 164 new entries, I guess we would conclude that Ayers was the author of Cashill's work.
Or maybe a careful reader would undertake a third comparison and discover Cashill and Obama match on 164 unique new points, thereby proving that Mr. Cashill was the author of "Dreams" and could save us a lot of time by simply admitting it.
That said, perhaps a careful, objective reader would establish that the Cashill-Ayers matches only total 30, which might lead us to wonder whether the Obama-Ayers match rate is unusually high. But right now, we have no baseline at all and no reason to think that Obama, Ayers and Cashill all ought to match on the same phrases.
The third bit of evidence also falls flat:
"The old man" - geez, I never thought I would see that in a book, ha, get it, "See", Old Man", Sea.... But semi-seriously, folks - six names match out of how many? Surely it makes a difference whether the two authors only have six named characters, or each presents a cast encompassing the Chicago phone book.
OK, I can't stop - the next bit of evidence is this:
Wow - the theme of guilt following a self-serving betrayal never shows up anywhere in literature. Maybe Ayers wrote the New Testament story of Judas, too. This is real breakthrough stuff.
I can quit anytime.