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May 01, 2008


Danube of Thought

What's the big deal about Ayers? Didn't he always phone in advance to warn about his bombs? Somebody said so--was it Appalled, or was it Foo Bar?

Tom Maguire

Ok, you're kidding, but...

The "we didn't kill anyone" defense sort of fell short yesterday.


A superbly well-linked and well-reasoned analysis of the salient aspects of MO's favorite issue (politically, just how clueless IS she)?

"Didn't he always phone in advance to warn about his bombs?"

ROFL, I'll bet Ayers now rues the day his pal Barry decided to seek national office.

Thomas Collins

OK, I accept Michelle's invitation. here are my questions:

1. Will President Obama use the bully pulpit of the Presidency to exhort elementary, middle and high schools to emphasize the teaching of basic reading and comprehension, computation and experimental science skills, or will he give psychobabble speeches about diversity and self-esteem?

2. Will President Obama support vouchers so that parents who currently don't have the financial ability to leave a failing public school will have that choice?

3. Will President Obama reject the Weather Underground view of America and promote the view of America as a grand experiment that holds out the best chance in a fickle world for humans to pursue life, liberty and happiness? And will he exhort American history teachers to point out the benefits of the American experiment? Will he exhort teachers, when they teach the history of slavery, to introduce the students to the scholarship regarding Arab and black African involvement in the slave trade, or will he promote the view that slavery is simply the sin of the evil white man?

3. President Obama has said he would meet with our enemies abroad. Will he meet with our friends here such as Thomas Sowell and seek out their views on what is wrong with contemporary American education and how to fix it?

4. Will President Obama exhort his pals on the Harvard Law Review to produce legal scholarship supporting the ability of public school principals to have autonomy in the setting of school rules? Will he set the tone in the Presidency that the ACLU suing public schools trying to foster a sense of discipline helps noone and hurts the poor?

5. Candidate Obama has emphasized the importance of the rhetorical aspects of the Presidency. Will President Obama use his rhetorical skills from the Presidential bully pulpit to promote excellence in education or to pander to leftist special interest groups?

6. Will President Obama articulate clearly his views on what constitutes educational excellence (whether it be education in the liberal arts, mathematics, natural and social sciences, fine arts, music or trades)?

7. Will President Obama denounce the view held by many in the academy that an individual classified by the academic establishment as a minority, by virtue of power relations, cannot be a racist? Will he urge our educational institutions to educate students about racism in all its aspects and all its practitioners, of whatever race, creed or color?

Yes, by all means, Michelle, let's focus on the issues and have truly honest conversations.

who, me?

Sickening, that the moneyed Annenberg initiative has been coopted, courtesy of the usual suspects, into more Marxist poison.


Ayers, miserable worthless rat-bastard that it is, has abused the usually beneficial sentiment of let-bygones-be-bygones to claim a perch to preach his malignant lunacy. For this crowd NOTHING is ever over. Obammy claiming infancy as a defense falls down over this fact. Knowing Ayers virtuless ambitions reveals that Barry is as slippery as they come. Old "Museum Council" Hillary could learn a thing or two. Remember O'Banya claiming of Ayers, "This guy is a professor of English and someone who served blah blah blah..." A faulty memory or he really is not that acquainted with Ayers? None of the above. Barry knows damn good and well what Ayers is, what he intends and how he intends to accomplish it. Ayers wants to bring Marxist/Castroist/Chavist revolution HERE. Just as the Weathermen vowed to bring the war home. The crapulent traitor knows his own mug is, um, problematic so what to do? In extremis, appears BHO. Ayers launches his political career and the rest is not yet history. Barry is ignorant of this? Who the hell is he, Helen Keller?

Ayers is going to make Wright look like Hsu.

WAR! Huh! Good God, y'all!
Wha-ut is it good for?


Now DOT, you can't judge a man by the company he keeps. Can you?


Obama on education in his PA race speech:

"We do not need to recite here the history of racial injustice in this country. But we do need to remind ourselves that so many of the disparities that exist in the African-American community today can be directly traced to inequalities passed on from an earlier generation that suffered under the brutal legacy of slavery and Jim Crow.

Segregated schools were, and are, inferior schools; we still haven't fixed them, fifty years after Brown v. Board of Education, and the inferior education they provided, then and now, helps explain the pervasive achievement gap between today's black and white students."

Obama has identified the problem. Has he articulated the solution to segregated schools? Don't most cities have a minority-to-majority school choice plan in place?


... education is the thing we should be angry about.”

Is there anything this woman is not angry about???


OT - kinda creepy - The DC Madam committed suicide????? Hmmmm.


You know, I read somewhere that the segregated schools in DC were the best schools in the country. If you look at African/Americans who have succeeded in this country, segregated schools didn't hurt them. Not that I'm advocating for segregation, but I don't think desegregation accomplished its goal. I think democrats have thoroughly shown they don't have a clue about education. Not to educate, anyway.



That buzz you hear is the sound of all of DC going "hmmmmmm." Everyone who isn't sighing with relief, that is.


Perhaps Obama should try balancing Wright's view of the nation and its problems, with that espoused by Bill Cosby. (He even has a PhD in Education.)

Cosby has been roundly attacked by grievence mongers because he rightly assigns co-ownership of the ills afflicting the black community on the black community itself - and the race baiters like Wright.

Unfortunately, Obama will attempt to avoid taking a firm stance in public. Instead he hopes once again that his non-clarifying, clarifications relative to a person will be enlarged to represent his stance on topics he won't take on directly.


This may be a Soviet style suicide. You know the kind with multiple gunshot wounds to the head.


I don't believe that Obama's recollections about Ayers are foggy. When Obama met him, Ayers was a famously controversial figure who has made no effort to stay out of the news since. Yet it seems the fogginess persists to this day.

It's apparent, that within the Obama Campaign, there have been discussions about what to say regarding the Ayers Connection. Obama's recollections of Ayers would certainly have been refreshed then.

After careful consideration the Campaign chose this "foggy recollection" of a neighbor narrative which includes some pretty egregious omissions.

So, the foggy recollection is an outright lie, and the omissions are suspicious. I can't help thinking that there is another Ayers Connection shoe, out there somewhere, waiting to drop.


Sue. My Black friends cried when the DC schools desegregated--Dunbar High School (Black) was one of the best high schools in the country; certainly it turned out more really accomplished Black students than any other. At the moment, the DC public schools remain a joke and Dunbar is at the bottom of the heap of high schools.

"His (Obama's) campaign is not being derailed by his race, it's being derailed by a person who doesn't want him to prove that we have made great advances in this country," Huckabee told reporters. ... "Jeremiah Wright needs for Obama to lose so he can justify his anger, his hostile bitterness against the United States of America," Huckabee said.

I live in Oregon, a soon to be battleground state, and Obama's media offensive (and it is offensive) is in full swing.

His education ad is... not worth the effort. Basically, somehow he personally is going to expand early childhood education (indoctrination), hire more teachers (I thought that was a local function), pay them more (I know that's a local function), and basically shower money on the problems from the Federal level. Then he goes into PSA mode about how that's not enough - parents actually have to act like parents.

For a few seconds at the end he actually sounds a bit like a Republican.

Basically he's offering a chicken in every pot... with the reminder that we've got to pluck the bird.

Ah, here it is, although not with the NC reference: http://youtube.com/watch?v=pdCEg8elaYc

Oh, and Mr. Obama, I understand you went to either private schools (Catholic, and the very tony Punahou Prep school) in Hawaii, and I have no idea what in Indonesia. Punahou isn't for the financially destitute.


Ya know, shouldn't Obama be advocating segregated schools, what with that difference in clapping thing?

Rick Ballard

"I think democrats have thoroughly shown they don't have a clue about education."


I disagree strongly. I believe that the Dems are fully aware of the fact that even a modestly educated electorate would see through a "no results" charade such as that perpetrated by Obama and Ayers with Annenberg money. It takes a very deep level of ignorance to keep falling for the same smiles and lies decade after decade after decade.

Actual education is a much bigger existential threat to Democrats than is islamofascism. We're talking about their phoney-baloney jobs here!


Evidently a guy in Indiana did manage to kill himself some years ago by using a power drill to drill multiple holes in his head. Just kept drilling til he hit a bad spot, I guess.

The joke where I came from was the guy found in the river, wrapped up in about 50 feet of chains and padlocks. "Just like the rotten S.O.B. Stolt more chain than he could swim with."


Oh, and about MO's anger. I belief their is no plumbing its depths. She' angry about everything, all the way down. I sincerely doubt if becoming the First Lady will affect it much. Perhaps electing her Empress of the World would, but I've got my doubts.



I can't remember where I read the article, but it was about the unintended consequences of desegregation. From what I remember, those who were advocating for desegregation weren't doing so to break up the black schools and send black students to white schools, but to put pressure on the all white school boards to put more money into the black schools. The ruling turned out to hurt them by taking them away from black role models.


IMO, Ayers and his friends have bought America to This

In the US, of course, the NeoCommunists were the Sixties Radicals who decided to carry on a "Long March through the Institutions." That means the college faculties, the high schools, the media, Hollywood, and government. Today, major foundations started by Henry Ford and Andrew Carnegie have turned Hard Left. Capitalist money is turned against the very engines of prosperity."

"Hillary Clinton's puppy love for Saul Alinsky, when she was a college student in the Sixties, is symbolic of the way the "new" radicals fell in love with the old, hard-line Communists. Hillary Clinton started her adult life as a millenarian zealot, following the old prophet of radicalism. It's anybody's guess what she believes today, but I suspect it's not the Methodism of her youth. The methods of the Democratic Party today are taken straight out of Saul Alinsky's playbook."

"A new Stalin-Nazi alliance is alive in Europe and parts of the US, as Leftists openly ally themselves with Islamic Fascists. Islamists worship Allah and the Leftists worship atheism, but the ideological differences are not that big compared to the Hitler-Stalin Pact. Common enemies and common goals overcome doctrinal differences, to be worked out later."

Another great James Lewis article at American Thinker.


If Obama thinks parents need to act like parents, why did he let his daughters listen to Reverend Wright spew ludicrous conspiracy theories week after week?

Danube of Thought

I think that in general the GOP is almost (but not quite) equally to blame for the travesty of modern public education. Once they acquiesced in the intrusion of the federal government and federal money, the game was up. The rest is just mere quibbling over details.

No principled conservative, not even a principled Republican, would get anywhere near such crap as "No Child Left Behind." By all means, leave 'em behind, where the people who know best (parents, local school authorities) can see to their education. But that train left the station long ago.



We're talking about their phoney-baloney jobs here!

I still say they are clueless about how to educate. And by that I mean, teaching students reading, writing and arithmetic, with recess, geography, health, english and history thrown in for good measure. And music once a week. You can tell when I went to school, can't you?


One of Palfrey's "girls" committed suicide in January, too.


I don't think Obama said that he disagreed with Wright's views on education, that we need to put lessons into rap music format in order for black children to learn them.


I wonder what Thomas Sowell thinks about black children not being able to learn like white children? I sure wouldn't want to put my learning abilities up against his. And I doubt he learned much different than I did, even though he is from a slightly older generation.


http://sweetness-light.com/archive/bill-clinton-commuted-weather-underground>Hill can't do much with this


Well, Hill can simply say "I disown Bill, can we just MoveOn, this conversation doesn't help Chelsea"......


Re Operation Chaos in NC and IN next Tuesday: Does anyone know which Dem would be a weaker opponent in the Fall at this point? I don't, so I'm planning on choosing the Rep ballot. Plus, I don't want to look back and think I enabled either of these Dems winning the WH.


"and the inferior education they provided, then and now, helps explain the pervasive achievement gap between today's black and white students."

Aren't the teachers educating those black, inner city students mostly black. Aren't the school administrators and school boards of these inferior inner city schools mostly black? Isn't the per-capita spending on these black, inner city schools as high as any public school system anywhere? What would Obama change to fix the problem?


"I live in Oregon, a soon to be battleground state"

What "battleground"?

There are too many old hippies and moonbats living there now. All it is now is an extension of the Northern Californian socialist workers paradise.



At the Presidential level, I'm not sure there's much downside to Operation Chaos. Hillary might be the stronger opponent IF she didn't have to stomp on Obama to get the nomination. It seems pretty clear that if that happens, the Dems will be in deep yogurt in the general and beyond.

However, there may be downticket Rep primary races where your vote is needed. I voted Rep in TX for what it's worth - I wasn't brave enough to take the OC plunge.

Scott Meyer

Thank you for taking the time to pull this together. I will read it all tonight. I think education is an issue that Republicans could use to undermine the Democratic chokehold on blacks. Use it as a useful funding mechanism that circumvents all of the poverty merchants doing nothing in the 50 largest cities in the country were drop-out rates exceed 50 percent--according to a recent study by a foundation headed by Colin Powell, his wife, and Mort Kondracke's wife.


Ah, Ennis. Hiya.


Bigger Thomas 'aint gonna get the keys to the car this time around.


Charter schools; public school accountability, by contract, with students, teachers, and parents.


Ruh Roh. Northwestern just cancelled an honorary degree for the good Rev. Now that might hurt.


Wright, Ayers, Dohrn, Rezko, Khalidi, Alsammarae...does Barack Obama have any SANE friends??? If he becomes president, maybe we'll need to form a new cabinet post to continually evaluate the mental stability of the president and his associates, and another one just to keep Ayers hand away from "the button"!!!

Bill O'bama

There are plenty of reasons to dislike Rev. Wright, but at least the man told the truth - as he believes it. He said Barry talks as a POLITICIAN....and that is ALL any one needs to know about Barry despite his nose in the sky rhetoric about hope and change and "yes we can" - well sure you can, what you can is take a looooong summer vacation after IN and NC :)


Hill's women pals get caught trying to suppress the Black vote in N Car.
http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2008/04/north-carolin-1.html>Crookess v Pansy


What a Cabinet:

President - Barack Hussein Obama
First She-Devil - Michelle Obama
Vice President - ???????
Secretary of Education - Bill Ayers
Secretary of State - Bernadette Dohrn
Treasury Secretary - Tony Rezko
Spiritual Advisor - Jeremiah Wright
Secretary of DHS - Aiham Alsammarae
Attorney General - Rashid Khalidi

Holy Carp.


I wish there was a remedy for the achievement gap that didn't involve parental involvement, but there isn't. Until more black parents are willing to oversee homework and obliterate the studying = "acting white" pathology, nothing will change. I don't know why, but, much more so than whites, black parents subcribe to the "It's the school's job to teach" philosophy, limiting their contribution to getting them dressed and on the school bus.

JM Hanes


From the source of your last excerpt, I found this bit equally telling:

It is not known what, if any, pressure was exerted on the Challenge to fund members of the working group, but it is easy to imagine that the group exercised influence on expanding the number of grants awarded to different networks. For perhaps the first year, the working group -- now called the Collaborative -- was highly involved in key activities and decisions. For example, the original sessions outlining how the application process would work were conducted by the Collaborative, according to Bill McKersie. McKersie wrote his 1996 dissertation on the education reform work of several Chicago-area foundations (and at one point was under consideration as the executive director of the Challenge). "The Collaborative was very much running the show," said McKersie of the three community meetings he attended in 1995. "They were way out in front of the staff," he said.

In fact, the working group was responsible for reviewing the first round of applications from organizations in Chicago that wished to be funded. According to Hallett, the group members did not formally approve grants. "There was no intention for the Collaborative to be the grant-making entity," said Anne Hallett. "They simply made recommendations, and in any case we were already staffed [with separate Chicago Challenge employees] when the first grants were made." However, others suggest that the working group/Collaborative remained influential throughout the formative period of the Challenge. In addition, Bill McKersie points out that many of those in control of the process were neophytes. "A set of people who didn't have a lot of experience in grant making got control of the process," said McKersie.

If Obama had been a working member of the Collaborative, I think you'd have a much better case for tying him to Ayers. If, in typcial non-profit fashion, the Challenge's Executive Director played liason between the Collaborative and his board, Obama and Ayers could easily have brushed little more than elbows on this operational front. I won't serve on non-profit Boards where individual Board members don't have direct contact with organization staff, because I've found that Executive Directors almost universally minimize internal conflicts and external difficulties and, more often than not, work hardest of all to minimize Board interference. In this case, there's a second degree of separation between staff and the Collaborative as well.

Perhaps someone else can ferret out more convincing evidence of an Ayers/Obama axis of evil; so far, I'd say this story comports almost perfectly with Obama's habitual efforts at positioning himself to plant his name on success and walk away from failure. Chairing the Challenge probably gave him access to higher, and more well-heeled, powers than Ayers. Maybe none of the literature mentions him because he was otherwise not present, as your Slate source rather more than implies. Team Obama has clearly tried to airbrush the Annenberg connection out of the picture. It raises some pretty obvious questions about Obama's leadership on the education front; I wouldn't be surprised if the Ayers' factor never even crossed his Chicago-based campaign gurus' radar till it landed on their doorstep. I could only marvel at their laughable counter to Ayer's infamous Sept. 11th snippet: "The interview occurred prior to publication." There's your context!

On education, per se, the Annenberg story here is rather fascinating. We find two popular conservative conceits, decentralized control and test-based metrics in opposition to each other at the heart of what appears to be the Anneburg failure. Indeed, the kind of non-governmental initiatives and experimental modeling the Annenberg Challenge in Chicago might be said to represent could find considerable approval in Republican circles. The assessment being culled for references to Obama and Ayers seems well worth pondering in its own right.


Vice President- ?????? I think its fairly obvious that position is held for Richardson.

Why are Obamabots bringing up Peter Paul now that they are loosing? Isnt that dividing the party?

JM Hanes


From your voter suppression link:

A D.C. advocacy group called Women's Voices, Women Vote is being accused of waging a high-tech voter suppression campaign, after voters in predominantly black districts in North Carolina began receiving automated phone calls implying that they hadn't properly registered to vote in the upcoming Democratic primary.
I had to laugh. There they go again, using Republican tactics. Let not the force be troubled, however, I hereby throw in my rhetorical (Republican) towel on the issue!

rita forte

Ken Rolling...? Wasn't he that guy who killed his whole family in Wisconsin? Yeah, that's it! Now we've got Obama!!!


"What a Cabinet:"

I guess Dept of Defense was downgraded to a less than cabinet grade position. Probably just turned all their duties over to the NOI group under Farrakhan.



Sissy Willis

Sol Stern at City Journal has been on Ayers's case for some time in two excellent articles:

The Ed Schools’ Latest—and Worst—Humbug

Obama’s Real Bill Ayers Problem

Rick Ballard

Thanks, Sissy. It's nice that there's an Obama Liberation Pedagogy to go with the Obama Liberation Theology. No one can say that he's not a well rounded light weight Marxist assclown.

Hang on, BHO! 'Cause I really can't wait to see the thumping you're going to get in the general.

JM Hanes


Reading the opener to your first link ("Teaching for “social justice” is a cruel hoax on disadvantaged kids."), I couldn't help thinking about Obama's preference for the term "social gospel" over "black liberation theology":

Well, first of all, in terms of liberation theology, I'm not a theologian. So I think to some theologians, there might be some well-worked-out theory of what constitutes liberation theology versus non-liberation-theology.

I went to church and listened to sermons. And in the sermons that I heard, and this is true, I do think, across the board in many black churches, there is an emphasis on the importance of social struggle, the importance of striving for equality and justice and fairness -- a social gospel.

This simple layman who supposedly wouldn't know a "well-worked-out theory" from a nursery rhyme is the same man who made a virtual study of blackness, and per Rolling Stone, the same man Laurence Tribe lauded as one of his two best students ever for his "very powerful ability to synthesize diverse sources of information." Thus will black liberation theology be re-born as social gospel in polite society, to take its place alongside other PC euphemisms like social justice.


jmh, In a better world than this, that story would be getting a great deal more coverage than it is.

Thus will black liberation theology be re-born as social gospel in polite society, to take its place alongside other PC euphemisms like social justice.

The way Obama worded it..."social struggle"..."equality and justice and fairness"..."a social gospel" - is pretty much exactly the same as "social justice." church. "Social justice" is Ayers' bag re: education. And people want to contest the idea that Obama and Ayers hold similar views? I bet they hold nearly identical views as far as education is concerned. And that's really scary, as I think JMH noted in another thread.

Thanks Sissy for those links - very helpful. The ed schools are a poisoned well if ever there was one.


oops, that should read **the same as "social justice" as it is expressed in the black church.*** Sorry!


Here's the nasty little secret of public education, especially in poor black neighborhoods: black kids don't want to learn anything that has nothing to do with blacks. Even then, they don't want to read, study, do homework, think; they want teachers to give them the answers so they can plug in the information. How do I know? Yes, I'm a school teacher. A black school teacher. Education reform? It's all destined to go down the drain until those in positions of power confront the reality of black kids choosing ignorance over knowledge (cuz, after all, doncherknow, to be educated is to be acting white?) out of sheer racism and laziness. Me, I'd not spend another dime on public schooling; in fact, I'd cut fund and make public school kids pay for books (you ought to see how kids treat books paid for by taxpayers!) and for transport. Don't gimme that nonsense about poverty!!!! You're not poor if you can spend $50 or $100 on jeans or sneakers. The money they spend on that stuff, let 'em spend on school: books, transportation, uniforms. Then, MAYBE, they might develop an appreciation and desire for learning and schooling. As for Obama, that fluff-pocket, he's as impotent as a limp dick no matter what he does cuz his wife wears the pants.

David H Dennis

I attempted, as best as I could, to read the Chicago Challenge reports that have been linked.

Essentially, they said that the Chicago Challenge accomplished nothing - the results, positive and negative, were well within a reasonable margin for error.

But what I found most interesting is that the reports didn't tell me what they tried to accomplish except in the vaguest terms. Improve the curriculum, great - but how? Get teachers and parents more involved, great - but how, and in what?

There was more information in these reports on fundraising and on money than on what they were trying to accomplish in the schools, and that seems downright shameful to me.

All sorts of nice graphs about money spent and how they should have had more in order to accomplish something - but virtually nothing about what they were actually trying to do.

I would think getting your hands dirty, going into the schools, talking to students and teachers, would be essential to understand what happened, and yet there is not one word from a student or teacher in the report.

It says things like "The school coordinated curriculum changes with its educational partner, who the administration and teachers were comfortable with." What kind of changes? What's the goal? How was the goal explained? Was it even much different from the pre-Annenberg process? No wonder nothing got accomplished!

Perhaps this is more about Barack Obama than we know, since that sounds remarkably like his campaign - a lot of great words about change, but little about how this change would occur, or even, well, what it was in the first place.

Obama may win the nomination just because Hillary Clinton is such an unattractive figure, but McCain should be a pretty happy guy right now.



"This may be a Soviet style suicide."
Slightly O/T.
From the Austin American Statesman~~~~~


"Police have said that they think he might have killed himself and that he had talked about committing suicide.

However, the condition of his body — he was found with his hands and legs bound and tape over his eyes — has caused others to consider the death suspicious."

"Hamad's family has described him as a peace activist who worked to help others locally and internationally.

According to a search warrant affidavit, Hamad operated the Palestine Children's Welfare Fund, which bills itself as an organization to improve the lives of Palestinian children.

It said that Hamad received $633,965 in donations and that he sent some of the money — about $527,000 — to the Middle East. But the affidavit said authorities "can not determine the ultimate disposition of these funds at this time."

H/T to Atlas Shrugs


Chicago is home to one of the greatest educators In America - Marva Collins. The tv movie The Marva Collins Story, starring Cicely Tyson and Morgan Freeman, followed a 60 Minutes story in 1980 about her amazing school which began in her home in South Side Chicago."

"In 1995, Charles Murray wrote a controversial book called " The Bell Curve ". In the book he mentioned that Marva Collins' work would have no long lasting effects on the children. 60 Minutes ( CBS' TV News show) wanted to find out if this was true. So, they ran a second story showcasing the lives of the first thirty-three students who attended Westside Preparatory School. Statistically, one of the students should have been shot, two in jail and five on welfare. This was not the case. All thirty-three students, now adults, were leading very successful lives with a majority choosing teaching as a profession.

At the end of 1996, Marva decided to go back into the Chicago Public Schools to help three of the one hundred and nine schools placed on probation. She asked for the three lowest achieving schools, in the worst areas and with the lowest parental involvement. Similar to Oklahoma, two schools decided to implement the Marva Collins' methodology while one school decided not to implement the method. After just four months of working with the schools the Iowa Standardized Test was scheduled.

The two schools (Beidler Elementary and McNair Elementary) that did the work had an increase of over 85%, the other school had an increase of only 10%. Beidler and McNair were part of an elite group of four schools that doubled their test scores in at least one area. Since Beidler came off probation, the 1997/98 school year saw Marva Collins only working with McNair Elementary School. McNair posted the 10th highest increase in Math and the 6th highest increase in Reading in all of Chicago."

I wouldn't be surprised to find Ayers et al have no interest in Mrs. Collins or her methods.


Sounds like the Chicago Challenge was hoping to change education in Chicago. They applied for a grant and got a bunch of money. Then they hoped some more, but still nothing changed.
Maybe they forgot to transcend and unify.


Hit has a great blog today advertising JOM and answering in his own special way the question:

Is there any question who would be on Obama's short list for Secretary of Education?


Indaga and Deb:

My mom taught special ed in a working class neighborhood public school in rustbelt USA for nearly her last 20 years. Her class sizes ranged from 15-25. Her pupils were of all creeds and races, and ranged in age from 6-12 with IQs from 75 to 125 the latter, generally kids with cerebral palsey some of whom were deaf, and some of whom were unable to walk or talk. She profoundly respected Marva Collins, because her philosophy was essentially the same as Mom's. Discipline, fundamentals, challenge, respect, and love in appropriate doses, depending on the individual child.

This isn't a racial thing. It is a human nature thing. No one proportion of ingredients works for all students. But the ingredients are the same.


Not so fast, Michelle. It took you 20 years to turn the page on Wright. Just give us a few more months.


Wow, vnjagvet, your mother sounds like a very special lady. What a blessing she must have been to those families.


Of course she's special, consider the great job she did with her son.


Thanks, Deb and Clarice. Quite a remarkable woman, indeed. She did all of that after my dad died when he was 48 and she was 46. She earned a BS in Chemistry before she married, and went back to get her ed credits so she could teach.

After dad died, against all advice, she kept the family home my dad had designed and had built, paid it off, sent her three children to college and grad school (we earned our expenses), saw us all married and saw and enjoyed immensely 8 of her 11 grandchildren (three of mine came after she died).

Determination runs in the family:>) Don't screw around with Pennsylvania dutchwomen!!!



How sweet is your comment about your mom. We don't need hope and change, we need more Pennsylvania dutchwomen and men!

Do you realize how we could capture the heart of this great country, if we had more leaders that spoke like you just did about the greatness of your family.

Laika's Last Woof

“When was the last time we heard some really solid questions for these candidates on education in a debate?"

OMG she's castrating her own husband, joining the chorus with Hillary in calling for a debate.

"Why can't you be a man and debate that woman?"

What a harpy.


Since nonprofit board members have to be elected and reelected by other board members, did Obama vote to have Ayers on the relatively small Woods’ board knowing Ayers’ terrorist background and his unrepentant stance on his terrorist background? And since Obama was on the board before Ayers and knew Ayers previously, was it Obama who nominated or recommended Ayres for the board?

While Ayers may not have directly killed anyone, he says he was involved in bombings. Thus, he likely knew of and helped with the bomb making or at least probably conspired with the bomb makers at the townhouse in NY that blew up killing three people, including his girlfriend. Wouldn’t that make him criminally libel for manslaughter or murder? Is there any statue of limitations on this kind of crime?

At the time of 9/11, Obama’s guru, the Reverend Wright, blames America. Obama’s terrorist friend, Ayers, says his bombs weren’t big enough, maybe implying he felt outdone by Osama. Obama intentionally chooses not to ware an American flag lapel pin, which at the time was meant to show support and respect for America under attack and the thousands murdered on 9/11.

Yes, it’s true. Obama would be a different kind of American President.

Tom Maguire

From JHM;

Perhaps someone else can ferret out more convincing evidence of an Ayers/Obama axis of evil; so far, I'd say this story comports almost perfectly with Obama's habitual efforts at positioning himself to plant his name on success and walk away from failure.

You may be right, but before getting sucked into evaluating the relationship, there is the question of why we can't get a straight answer from Barack as to what the relationship actually was. The press ought to play the "cover-up exceeds the crime" game.

My theory - if there's smoke and a guy with a fire extinguisher, there may have been a fire.



A campaign's staff (who really should be putting together the explanation here) is only as good as their candidate. And it seems like, from all of the links, that Obama's role was not that large -- though it might look ok on a campaign resume. We are talking about a guy who has trouble remembering the town he's in on the campaign. It could be that he does not remember faces or committees or 501(c)(3)s that well. Remember, in Pennsylvania, Obama acted like he was not expecting the Ayers question at all. His statements are likely based on some vague recollections, where people are getting mixed together.

Plus, as a principle, I dislike the approach you are taking to a guilt by association issue. It's not Obama to prove his association with this guy are anything more than incdental. It's up to the dream team of Maguire and Scary Larry to prove that it's not. I think JMH has told you -- gently -- that you aren't remotely there yet.



We are talking about a guy who has trouble remembering the town he's in on the campaign.

And you aren't appalled that a man as young as he is can't remember what town he is in? I can only imagine how appalled you would be if it was a republican who had that problem.

Cecil Turner

Plus, as a principle, I dislike the approach you are taking to a guilt by association issue.

Looks to me like you just keep repeating the talking points in this bit of Kos-Kiddie stupidity: Bill Ayers, Oliver North, and Guilt By Association. And that ain't principle.

Speaking of lack of principles, check out the Baptist Minister post, and this bit of related chicanery (that also bears fingerprints from our friends at Daily Kos).


Maybe the government infected him with AIDs and he just doesn't know yet.



I have used Ollie as argument that there is an uncomfortable analogy in McCain's own campaign to Obama's willingness to accept Ayers support in an early part of his career. Obama's people will, undoubtedly make the same argument. Why? because, despite the passionate beliefs of most of the JOM commentariat, soeme of the people who will decide this election see North as somebody who was plotting to sell arms to a terrorist nation, who escaped punishment by a technicality. (Most will see him as that guy on Fox News).

If I were a true Kos Kiddie, I would have called what Tom is doing "McCarthyism", and then insulted somebody, rather than attempt reasoning by analogy. I wouldn't be too wrong approaching it that way, but it is rude to insult your fellow posters.

More to the point, the most TM is going to net from his line of inquiry is that Obama worked with a dubious figure that a lot of other Chicago pols have worked with. Good luck making a big issue of that.


Hey! I voted for Reagan both times!



Hey! I voted for Reagan both times!

So did I. Your point?


dislike the approach you are taking to a guilt by association

ISTM you are trying to pretend that each component of a pattern should be viewed in isolation. IOW connecting dots not allowed.

Ayers is one of the dots along with God Damn America, flag pin and pledge. Ayers, Wright and Obama look like, talk like, and walk like birds of a feather.


They also live in the same neighborhood ( at least until the 10 mill manse get built and Wright goes uptown ) and have enjoyed the protection of the NOI on occasion. Lots of intersection or coincidence you pick.



Just RR was accused of being somewhat muddleheaded from time to time. (I think it was part of his act, myself)

With respect to your more serious point, I know that a lot of business travel can have me disoriented to where I am, what day it is, and where I am going next. So I sympathize some with Obama here. Also, I don't think you realize the sheer volume of people a politician has to meet and act like best friends with. It's not far fetched that Obama may not have a good memory of all his points of contact with Ayers.

Anyway, if I were in TM's shoes, I would definitely have fun with the Annenburg Foundation on the grounds that -- if Obama is not recalling his days at Annenburg--- he's likely padding his education resume (a la Hillary in Tuzla). If he's not, then its reasonable to expect he knows more about Ayers than he is telling.


Just RR was accused of being somewhat muddleheaded from time to time.

I'm going to point out again that Obama is young. Very young in comparison to Ronald Reagan, John McCain, and Hillary Clinton. It isn't helping him to appear muddleheaded during the primaries.

Also, I don't think you realize the sheer volume of people a politician has to meet and act like best friends with.

Not only did he not know where he was, he didn't know what month it was. Not a good sign for handling the pressure he is going to be under as president of the most powerful country on earth.


He became disoriented because of the corkscrew landing and the sniper fire.



Cecil Turner

. . . soeme of the people who will decide this election see North as somebody who was plotting to sell arms to a terrorist nation, who escaped punishment by a technicality.

In the first place, "terrorist nation" is an oxymoron. There's a reason the laws of war require a chain of command, or for militias, that the first rule is:

  • (a) that of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;
Unlawful combatants are inherently uncontrollable and prone to war crimes. Terrorist apologists are reluctant to acknowledge this little fact, or to accept any definition, but there it is. Ayers was (is?) a terrorist. Under no common usage can North be even related to them (even if, contra reality, North had been tried for something other than getting a security system and obstructing Congress's partisan witch hunt). The analogy doesn't work on any level. So no, I'm not buying that you came up with that one on your own.

If I were a true Kos Kiddie . . .

Didn't say you were. Just said you apparently picked up a few talking points from 'em.

JM Hanes


Precisely what kind of fire are you actually proposing here? I see a lot of insinuation, but it's not clear to me precisely what kind of problem or relationship you think he might be hiding -- which is a big piece of why the issue has yet to rise above guilt by association. On the one hand we've got a conspiracy theory without the theory. On the other, I can think of plenty of pretty pedestrian potential fires Obama might want to avoid igniting.

The guy's whole personna relies on positioning himself above political fray, and that's a steep climb from Chicago, the national poster child for old politics and corruption. He's hardly going to say that he was just using William Ayers, or that if you want to do education reform in Chicago, you suck up to Ayers, or that to get ahead in Chicago politics he sucked up to everybody in sight. He doesn't want to look like he's an Ayers acolyte either, and end up defending Ayers' philosophy of "educating for social justice," even if he agrees with him, instead pushing the Obama philosophy of education. He also can't say he chaired the Annenberg Challenge because it would put him in the Chicago big leagues or look good on his political resume -- but never really put in any work.

Aside from not knowing how Ayers would respond to being denounced by the potential next President, wouldn't any politician think twice about pissing off the guy who has just been elected (with apparent ease) as Vice President of what is apparently the largest association of educators in the country? I can easily see Obama trying to avoid that kind of rock and hard place by minimizing their relationship -- especially if it really wasn't a regular working relationship in the first place -- and hoping the whole thing will go away. I can also imagine him seeing the demand for such apologies & renunciations as being one long, potentially disastrous, slippery slope. It's not as if this is the only attack he's simply tried to dismiss as "the old politics." He dismisses almost every attack that way.

Ultimately, I think Obama's obsessive positioning, in the apparent belief that if you're careful, you can actually pull off being all things to all people is what's most likely to lose him the Presidency. I could be wrong, but I think we're really talking political misjudgment, not Manchurian candidate. Obama is young enough that he may not even have the historical perspective to understand why a guy who is a fixture in Chicago politics might be so controversial anywhere else or to distinguish between political noise on the right and potential damage. I'm not sure about the latter myself, at this point.

None of which is to say that I don't think Ayers philosophy of education isn't radical or dangerous in its own way. Ditto for Obama's callowness.


Aside from not knowing how Ayers would respond to being denounced by the potential next President

Don't see any calls for that. My take is just indicator that puts things like flag pins in context. There is no guilt implied by the association.

JM Hanes


I generally try to avoid analogies, because (alas!) in my experience, you almost invariably end up arguing over the accuracy of the analogy, instead of the actual question at issue. Truly useful analogies are few and far between.


With respect to your more serious point, I know that a lot of business travel can have me disoriented to where I am

Yeah, I remember waking up and having to turn on the morning local news to figure out where I was.
If Obama being muddleheaded because he's tired during a campaign can get people to ease off the president/candidates' missteps in general, count me in.
I've just been subjected to 8 years of hearing whining about Bush's "vacation" time, and tittering about his mispronunciation of names, and going to the wrong door to exit a Chinese stage, and "being tired" never seemed to be enough of an explanation for you people.

JM Hanes

The context could easily be Obama trying to distance himself from the Annenberg Challenge when it's been cast as a bungled effort on a signature issue like education.

JM Hanes


With age and experience come the finer points of pacing! :) When all you're selling is your story and your voice, not your policies, you can't delegate to surrogates either. Obama is looking more out of his depth by the day, I think.


His statements are likely based on some vague recollections, where people are getting mixed together.

Maybe BHO should try out the subjective defense?


I was listening to Hardball for a while tonite (I know, I know, but it's fun to see them so distressed) and Matthews was gloating about how vital Obama is - all that youthful exuberance. He failed to mention that he can't quite figure out where he is.


Mark Steyn is absolutely fabulous again:

And, of course, the senator's speech does share one quality with Cooper Union, Gettysburg, the FDR Inaugural, Henry V at Agincourt, Socrates' Apology, etc.: It's history. He said, apropos the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, that "I could no more disown him than I can disown my white grandmother." But last week Obama did disown him. So, great-speech-wise, it's a bit like Churchill promising to fight them on the beaches and never surrender, and then surrendering a month and a half later, and on a beach he decided not to fight on.

It was never a great speech. It was a simulacrum of a great speech written to flatter gullible pundits into hailing it as the real deal. It should be "required reading in classrooms," said Bob Herbert in the New York Times; it was "extraordinary" and "rhetorical magic," said Joe Klein in Time – which gets closer to the truth: As with most "magic," it was merely a trick of redirection.

Obama appeared to have made Jeremiah Wright vanish into thin air, but it turned out he was just under the heavily draped table waiting to pop up again. The speech was designed to take a very specific problem – the fact that Barack Obama, the Great Uniter, had sat in the pews of a neo-segregationist huckster for 20 years – and generalize it into some grand meditation on race in America. Sen. Obama looked America in the face and said: Who ya gonna believe? My "rhetorical magic" or your lyin' eyes?

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/obama-speech-wright-2033159-magic-senator>We means Me
E olson

Re: Ken Rolling

E olson

Re: Ken Rolling


I have read other articles on this subject and it sounds like Obama and Ayers have a hidden agenda. Elect Obama as President and the grant applications won't even be needed. Our taxes will start flowing to hand picked school systems whether it is needed or not needed. What happened to the $500 million donation and the $42-$50 million grant. The complete challenge failed. I don't owe anyone any reparations. I didn't have the money to finish college either. I was a white single mother and had to work very hard to get my daughter through high school. She then graduated from college with the help of scholarships and one student loan of which she paid by working after her graduation. I DON'T OWE ANYONE REPARATIONS. I DIDN'T INHERIT ANYTHING BY BEING WHITE.


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