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What Passes for Objective Reporting this Election Season:

First two paragraphs of an AP story:

Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin on Saturday accused Democrat Barack Obama of "palling around with terrorists" because of his association with a former 1960s radical, stepping up the campaign's effort to portray Obama as unacceptable to American voters. Palin's reference was to Bill Ayers, one of the founders of the group the Weather Underground. Its members took credit for bombings, including nonfatal explosions at the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol, during the tumultuous Vietnam War era four decades ago. Obama, who was a child when the group was active, served on a charity board with Ayers several years ago and has denounced his radical views and activities.
There is nothing balatantly false in this story, but it's about as one-sided a presentation of the contoversy as one could imagine; no mention that the Weather Underground planned a very deadly attack on Fort Dix; the excuse that the times were "tumultuous;" the reference to Obama being child, no reference to Obama having his inaugural political event at Ayer's house; no mention of Ayers lack of contrition for his terrorist activities; no mention of Ayers' fugitive years; no mention that Obama only saw fit to denounce Ayers' only when it became an issue in his presidential campaign, and the intentional downplaying of Ayers' and Obama's relationship to "serving on a charity board" with Ayers, as opposed to "worked closely with Ayers on a major educational reform project in Chicago." Indeed, I'd say that the last two sentences could have been written by the Obama campaign, and, in fact, that the reporter probably repeated talking points he received from the campaign virtually verbatim.

UPDATE: I'm traveling and haven't seen the New York Times piece on Obama and Ayers. It's possible that the AP reporter was just regurgitating what that story says. If so, the reporter should know better than to rely on the Times, at least in this cycle.

FURTHER UPDATE: Glancing at the comments, a lot of people want to defend Obama, but no one seems willing or able to make a serious argument that the AP story doesn't amount to a defense of Obama in what is supposed to be straight news. The fourth sentence should have simply started with "The Obama campaign ressponds," instead of putting Obama talking points into the reporter's keyboard.

TyWebb:
The word "tumultuous," when used to describe the Vietnam era, is certainly an exaggeration purposefully used by the liberal elite to misinform its readers as to Sen. Obama's terrorist sympathies. Such a blatant conspiracy against Sen. McCain, Gov. Palin, and the righteous GOP will inevitably succeed, because elections are won and lost on one word in an AP story.

/tinfoilhat
10.4.2008 8:01pm
davidbernstein (mail):
when you find an AP reporter downplaying KKK terrorism during the "tumultuous" civil rights era, let me know.
10.4.2008 8:06pm
PC:
Prof. Bernstein, do you think Obama is a terrorist sympathizer?
10.4.2008 8:08pm
jbn (mail):
Pop Quiz: How many innocent civilians has the Weather Undergound killed in the past 30 years?

How many innocent civilians has Israel killed?

Should the candidates denounce Israel just because it has killed innocent civilians?
10.4.2008 8:16pm
Cornellian (mail):
Totally unrelated, other than the fact it's also in the NYT, but there's a really good story in the NYT about Virginia congressman Tom Davis's decision not to run for reelection. Kinda sad really, as he seems like a decent guy.
10.4.2008 8:21pm
dssinc (mail):
"when you find an AP reporter downplaying KKK terrorism during the "tumultuous" civil rights era, let me know."

Maybe I'm misreading this snippet, but in what way is the reporter downplaying terrorism during this time? The use of the word tumultuous is accurately used to describe the period in which these events took place, just as it would be to describe the period in which the killing of Ohio State students took place.

The real story here is the McCain/Pailin campaign's continued attempt to obfuscate the salient issues of this campaign, especially McCain's complicity in the degradation of controls on the nation's financial system at the expense of ordinary citizens, by attempting to focus on irrelevant, divisive issues.
10.4.2008 8:22pm
M (mail):
David, since this is the second big story on this (the first by the pretty right-wing Stanley Kurtz in the Wall Street Journal some time ago) and both came up with no significant link at all and nothing the least bit wrong on Obama's part, maybe the answer just is that _there's nothing here_. I hope you've at least considered that.
10.4.2008 8:25pm
richard cabeza:
The real story here is the McCain/Pailin campaign's continued attempt to obfuscate the salient issues of this campaign [...] by attempting to focus on irrelevant, divisive issues.

Yes, Sen. McCain is really off his game. These indirect attacks are weak and confusing, and they just spawn newspaper stories that weaken the message further. He should be going after the singular salient point that Sen. Obama is almost entirely an unknown quantity, and what little of him we do know reflects leftism beyond any previous Democratic candidate (and beyond most fellow legislators).

Sigh, I guess Sen. McCain is just getting too old for such focused arguments.
10.4.2008 8:26pm
Anon21:
An objective, neutral lead. There is no legitimate controversy here. The ties between Obama and Ayers are paper thin. McCain should count himself lucky that neither Obama nor allied 527s have seen fit to drag Keating Five into this sorry spectacle of a campaign. That's a controversy with a lot more substance to it than this Ayers garbage, and it might have the effect of introducing a whole new generation of voters (already a strong bloc for Obama, of course) to McCain's sleazy past.

McCain has nothing left now. He's discarded his good name to engage in the worst sort of scaremongering and attack politics. He has embarrassed himself by appearing on the same ticket with the laughably ignorant Gov. Palin. And now he's going to lose the election and go back to the Senate to watch President Obama enact his agenda. It must be incredibly galling for this formerly respected politician to have sacrificed everything he spent so long building up, and to get nothing in return.
10.4.2008 8:27pm
jpe (mail):
The AP presented the outline of the story fine. FWIW, my reading is that, by failing to point how stupid the charge is, the AP shows its pro-scandal orientation.
10.4.2008 8:28pm
Kevin Jon Heller:
Shorter David Bernstein: in order to better smear Obama through guilt by association, the AP reporter should have described Ayers' radical past more salaciously.
10.4.2008 8:29pm
pireader (mail):
You seem to view the story as one-sided because it didn't include some facts you view as relevant.

But it's a story about Governor Palin's campaign tactics, not about William Ayers. That becomes clear in the third paragraph, which you didn't quote:

"While it is known that Obama and Ayers live in the same Chicago neighborhood, served on a charity board together and had a fleeting political connection, it's a stretch of any reading of the public record to say the pair ever palled around. And it's simply wrong to suggest that they were associated while Ayers was committing terrorist acts."

In short, the AP is calling Ms. Palin a bald-faced liar badly misinformed.

Would any of the facts you cite have changed that conclusion? If so, which and how? If not, why is it one-sided to omit them?
10.4.2008 8:30pm
bikeguy (mail):

... especially McCain's complicity in the degradation of controls on the nation's financial system ...

Thanks for giving us an irrelevant NYT version of the facts.

For this particular brand of Obama supporter, NOTHING Obama has ever said, done or ever will do is pertinent to his candidacy. Except for the vacuous platitudes.
10.4.2008 8:30pm
Elliot123 (mail):
"Prof. Bernstein, do you think Obama is a terrorist sympathizer?"

In 2001 Ayers told the NYT he wished they had done more bombing. Obama says Ayers is mainstream. Does anyone find advocacy of killing Americans with bombs to be mainstream? Does this indicate Obama is familiar with the prevailing attitudes of Americans on this subject?

Who thinks Ayers is mainstream. If so, why?
10.4.2008 8:34pm
Robert S. Porter (mail) (www):
You mind providing some links for your assertions instead of saying "OMG the NYT is a liberal rag, mustn't listen to that."
10.4.2008 8:35pm
PC:
Thanks for giving us an irrelevant NYT version of the facts.

Credit default swaps are going to have their values set starting on Monday. It is starting with Fannie and Freddie, but will move on to Lehman and AIG. No one knows if any of these auctions will be the trigger event for a much larger meltdown, but the OTC derivatives market is unregulated thanks to McCain's former economic advisor Phil Gramm (estimated value of $600 trillion to $1 quadrillion).

Good luck with that.
10.4.2008 8:37pm
Gilbert (mail):
Obama-Ayers 2008! Oh wait a minute ...
10.4.2008 8:44pm
Anonperson (mail):
You've got to be kidding me. What is the supposed charge here? That Obama believes the WU did the right thing back then? Or that Obama believes in terrorism? Or that Obama believes that the things the WU did back then were not terrible and wrong?

If....if....there were strong evidence of a deep friendship between the two, then maybe the last one could have some justification. Otherwise, this is just a smear. And deducing some deep friendship based on working on a project together is just plain silly. How many of us have worked on projects together with people we did not like?
10.4.2008 8:46pm
Recovering Law Grad:
The only "radical association" that troubles me is the one between Prof. Volokh and David Bernstein, a man who has revealed himself to be a partisan hack of the Sean Hannity sort.
10.4.2008 8:47pm
Random Commenter:
"McCain has nothing left now. He's discarded his good name to engage in the worst sort of scaremongering and attack politics."

In stark contrast with your reasoned, sober, issue-oriented politics.
10.4.2008 8:49pm
TyWebb:
David Bernstein:

when you find an AP reporter downplaying KKK terrorism during the "tumultuous" civil rights era, let me know.

You mean, like this article?

"Burns got involved in the investigation within weeks of the bombing, which came during a tumultuous year of civil rights demonstrations in Birmingham, where segregation was the law."

By your standard, not only has the author couched the act of church bombing in the excuse that they occurred during a "tumultuous time," but he has also pointed out that the laws in Birmingham enforced racial animus.

As some have said above, this Ayers stuff (as well as some of your other character stuff on Obama) is pretty transparent marketing of the GOP brand on your part, given the relative non-issue this relationship has become. But even assuming that your bias didn't lead you to your position, your characterization of the connotation of the words and phrases in the AP article is woefully off-base. I hope you work with a good editor when you write your next article.
10.4.2008 8:50pm
Vermando (mail) (www):
Can this site please stop posting this stuff until after the campaign? Please?
10.4.2008 8:50pm
Angus:
We can play six degrees of separation here, too.

David Bernstein is on faculty at George Mason University.
George Mason has a campus in the United Arab Emirates.
The UAE practices Sharia law.
Therefore David Bernstein favors Sharia law for America!!!!

...or not. But those ties are about as credible as Obama and Ayers.
10.4.2008 8:51pm
Anon21:
Random Commenter:
In stark contrast with your reasoned, sober, issue-oriented politics.

So what? Am I a four-term Senator who was beloved by media and even opposition politicians alike until a few months ago, when I decided to piss it all away on a failed bid for the Presidency? Did I start out with a reputation for fairness and straight talk, which has been left in shreds by my campaign's relentless misrepresentation of facts in paid advertising and public statements? Did I make a mockery of myself by selecting as my running mate a first-term governor of one of the least populous states in the Union, who has been revealed as a sharp attacker who hasn't given a moment's thought to various crucial issues of national policy? If not, it's hard to see how the tragedy of my stridency or even shrillness is on anything like the same order as that of McCain.
10.4.2008 8:56pm
Random Commenter:
"..or not. But those ties are about as credible as Obama and Ayers."

Other than that there's exactly ONE degree of separation between Obama and Ayers, same as there is between me and my best friend. If there's nothing to see here, why the sensitivity? The NYT piece was both late to the party and read like an Obama campaign press release. Why not recall at least a few of the dumpster sifters turning Palin's life upside down and have them do a bit of googling, or even make a few phone calls?

Well, some questions answer themselves.
10.4.2008 9:01pm
Random Commenter:
"So what? Am I a four-term Senator who was beloved by media and even opposition politicians alike until a few months ago, when I decided to piss it all away on a failed bid for the Presidency?"

No, you're just an annoying hack who needs to get out more.
10.4.2008 9:02pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Totally unrelated, other than the fact it's also in the NYT, but there's a really good story in the NYT about Virginia congressman Tom Davis's decision not to run for reelection. Kinda sad really, as he seems like a decent guy.
Good riddance. He led the steroids show trials a few years ago.
10.4.2008 9:03pm
Minnie:
If John McCain had the same relationship with, say, David Duke as Obama has with William Ayers, do you think it would be the same non-story that some of the Obama fanatics here are saying the Obama-Ayers connection is?

Just asking....
10.4.2008 9:08pm
PC:
Other than that there's exactly ONE degree of separation between Obama and Ayers

The same can be said of my wife's grandmother and Pope John Paul II. What's your point?

Why not recall at least a few of the dumpster sifters turning Palin's life upside down and have them do a bit of googling, or even make a few phone calls?

This "story" has been out there since Obama hit the presidential primaries. Perhaps some reporters looked into it and saw there was nothing there? Or maybe all of the Em Ess Em reporters are part of the secret, Muslim conspiracy to elect Obama so he can enact Sharia law and make everyone get gay abortions.
10.4.2008 9:11pm
Knees:
Let's try:

"John McCain serverd on a board with David Duke. John McCain had a fund raiser at David Duke's house. John McCain says, he's just a guy I know in the neighborhood."

Seems like a non-story to me.
10.4.2008 9:11pm
mac7 (mail) (www):
Obama's association with Ayres in the course of his Chicago work was NOTHING ... NOTHING ... if you live in the real world rather than in an ivory tower or some other rarefied reality.

Obama crossed paths with Ayres because the latter was serving in the education field. To suggest that Obama is somehow suspect because he had occasion to rub shoulders with a man who was performing his civic duties in Chicago, is so narrow minded and petty that it frankly defies comprehension.

Ayres paid for his past. He was attempting to improve the lot of kids in the name of God - unlike the real criminals who have destroyed Wall Stret with their greed and lunacy. To Quote Warren Buffet - "madmen who have planted weapons of mass destruction (in the financial markets."

In my experience Americans are big hearted people, tremendously generous ... and given their druthers fair and decent. Attempts to smear Obama along these lines is frankly disgusting. It discredits America.
10.4.2008 9:14pm
PC:
If John McCain had the same relationship with, say, David Duke as Obama has with William Ayers, do you think it would be the same non-story that some of the Obama fanatics here are saying the Obama-Ayers connection is?

The media could drag up McCain's mob or Keating ties. But neither of those would address the problems facing America and would serve as a distraction from the policies of the candidates.
10.4.2008 9:14pm
arthur (mail):
I suggest that all aricles about Ayers' role in bombing civilians ycle this election should contain an appropriate comparison to the role of John McCain in bombing civilians (as well as some discussion of whether or not Obama's ties to Ayers are closer or more distant than McCain's ties to McCain). Since I still haven't seen any mention at all of anything that happened on the 27 or so bombing sorties in which he was not shot down, I'm not holding my breath.
10.4.2008 9:19pm
corneille1640 (mail):

n 2001 Ayers told the NYT he wished they had done more bombing. Obama says Ayers is mainstream. Does anyone find advocacy of killing Americans with bombs to be mainstream? Does this indicate Obama is familiar with the prevailing attitudes of Americans on this subject?

Who thinks Ayers is mainstream. If so, why?

I certainly don't think Mr. Ayers is mainstream and I don't like his hyper-privileged self-righteousness. Yet, I don't think he has openly advocated killing Americans with bombs. He claims/claimed that the Weather Underground has never killed anyone (except fellow members who made mistakes while making bombs).
10.4.2008 9:21pm
richard cabeza:
To suggest that Obama is somehow suspect because he had occasion to rub shoulders with a man who was performing his civic duties in Chicago, is so narrow minded and petty that it frankly defies comprehension.

Ayers chose him to be on the CAC -- an organization which, at very best, was good at doing nothing with millions of dollars -- and they worked together in it. Ayers also had personal contact, eg with the children, so it's not strictly a professional relationship. And he was called mainstream by Obama when questioned.

Here's a hint I probably shouldn't give you: the more people try to pass the contact off as "occasion to rub shoulders," the more it looks like there's something to hide.
10.4.2008 9:23pm
PC:
Here's a hint I probably shouldn't give you: the more people try to pass the contact off as "occasion to rub shoulders," the more it looks like there's something to hide.

I heard that Obama and Ayers were gay lovers. It must be true because they haven't denied it!
10.4.2008 9:26pm
VincentPaul (mail):
mac7, Just how has Ayers paid for his past? Please explain this as you must know something that I don't.
10.4.2008 9:29pm
Knees:
The media could drag up McCain's mob or Keating ties. But neither of those would address the problems facing America and would serve as a distraction from the policies of the candidates.




Does anyone really think that the media is trying to "address the problems facing America" with its coverage, or that it is neutrally presenting the policies of the candidates without distraction?
10.4.2008 9:31pm
richard cabeza:
It must be true because they haven't denied it!

Way to miss the point. And you wonder why the socialists want to govern you like a nanny shaking an infant?
10.4.2008 9:31pm
mariner:
I'll bet if Ayers had bombed an abortion clinic the NYT would be interested in anyone who had ever been in the same room with him.

But he only bombed places like post offices, banks, police stations, and courthouses.

That doesn't count.

Neither does the fact that his organization actually declared war against the United States.

Neither does the fact that Obama's political career was launched in Ayers' house.

Really, there's nothing relevant here.

Really.

Trust me.
10.4.2008 9:32pm
Dr. Weevil (mail) (www):
mac7:
How can you say that Ayers "paid for" his past? He got off on a technicality, and said "guilty as Hell, free as a bird".

corneille1640:
If the WU never killed anyone except each other, it was only their own incompetence and other people's luck. You do know what the prematurely-detonated townhouse bombs were intended for, don't you?
10.4.2008 9:32pm
PC:
And you wonder why the socialists want to govern you like a nanny shaking an infant?

What does the Bush administration have to do with this?
10.4.2008 9:34pm
Glenn W. Bowen (mail):
Ignored in the article is the fact that Ayers remains unrepentant, and has remained the radical he was- he figured out some time ago that it's far more effective going after childrens minds rather than blowing up police stations.
10.4.2008 9:34pm
Z J (mail):
I'm sorry Bernstein, you are still trailing Zywicki by a large margin in the category of biased, irrelevant posts...but you are closing the gap.
10.4.2008 9:35pm
TCO:
I get 5 AP news headlines on my yahoo mail welcome screen. They have been going after Palin hard. Usually it is not "news" in the sense of an event, but more like the content on a negative blog on some factoid they have. They don't go after the other three the same way.

I think they think, this is their mission. To "tell us about her." But it's skewed in impact. And also not really very newsish. More editorial, really.
10.4.2008 9:38pm
MartyH (mail):
Steve Diamond at Global Labor makes a very strong case that Ayers appointed Obama to the chair of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. Ayers wrote the grant that raised the initial $49 million; Diamond documents that Ayers was active in selecting the board makeup. Furthermore, the CAC's bylaws were written by a four person committee. You've probably already guessed that Obama and Ayers were two members of that four member committee. In other words, there was a strong working relationship between Ayers and Obama at the CAC.

Obama is an empty suit. That's not my assessment, that's the British ambassador's, who said that "Obama's policies are still evolving" and "there is little Obama track record to refer back to."

Obama has left a very thin paper trail-no Illinois Senate records, no college transcripts, the CAC files were almost embargoed. He has left no wake, no clue as to his essential self. So we are left to look to his friends, and we see Ayers. We see Wright. We see Frank Davis. We see Rezko. We see his half brother, George Obama, living on a dollar a month in Kenya. Each of these relationships shows a profound lack of judgment.

Obama's relationship with Ayers is just another piece of redundant evidence that he should not be President.
10.4.2008 9:41pm
David Schwartz (mail):
How many innocent civilians has the Weather Undergound killed in the past 30 years? How many innocent civilians has Israel killed?
Not all killings are morally equivalent. What is important is how many innocent death each bears moral responsibility for.
10.4.2008 9:46pm
Pitman (mail) (www):
Sarah Palin is literally in bed with a man who belonged for a number of years, 1995-2002, to an organization which supported the secession of Alaska from the United States (the AIP), and whose founder Joe Volger said "The fires of hell are frozen glaciers compared to my hatred for the American government" and "I'm an Alaskan, not an American. I've got no use for America or her damned institutions." Also, Palin attended the AIP's convention in 2000 and addressed their convention this year. Who might have the bigger problem? I guess that the NYT and all of the rest of the liberal media must be in the tank with a sucessionist America-hating party.
10.4.2008 9:47pm
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
Obama crossed paths with Ayres because the latter was serving in the education field. To suggest that Obama is somehow suspect because he had occasion to rub shoulders with a man who was performing his civic duties in Chicago, is so narrow minded and petty that it frankly defies comprehension.
I do believe that it was a bit more than just rubbing shoulders. I am not talking the babysitting or starting Obama's political career at Ayres' house, but rather their relationship at the CAC. Ayres apparently got Obama the job, and then Obama reciprocated for the years he was involved there by feeding money to Ayres.
Ayres paid for his past. He was attempting to improve the lot of kids in the name of God - unlike the real criminals who have destroyed Wall Street with their greed and lunacy. To Quote Warren Buffet - "madmen who have planted weapons of mass destruction (in the financial markets."
I missed this. My understanding was that neither he nor his wife ever did the jail time that went with the crimes they committed, due to irregularities in evidence gathering (and presumably a lot of family money easing the way). And I don't think that you really want to go into the bailout, given the Democrats, including Obama's fingerprints all over the scandal, or, indeed, that money was being fed to organizations like ACORN by the CAC, which in turn pressured lenders to lend to precisely the sort of borrowers who defaulted causing the crisis.
10.4.2008 9:47pm
Pitman (mail) (www):
"sucessionist", correct to "secessionist"
10.4.2008 9:49pm
Elliot123 (mail):
"I certainly don't think Mr. Ayers is mainstream and I don't like his hyper-privileged self-righteousness. Yet, I don't think he has openly advocated killing Americans with bombs. He claims/claimed that the Weather Underground has never killed anyone (except fellow members who made mistakes while making bombs)."

“I don't regret setting bombs; I feel we didn't do enough." Bill Ayers, NYT Sept 11, 2001

Obama says this guy is mainstream.
10.4.2008 9:49pm
dssinc (mail):
Okay, I'm convinced. Let's not vote for Ayers for president.

More seriously though, since tenuous connections to unsavory people and organizations can be constructed or construed for both presidential candidates, I'm willing to call it a tie on that score, and move on to trying to analyze their respective policy distinctions.

Any McCain backers confident enough in their man's positions to go there instead of bickering about this other marginalia?
10.4.2008 9:49pm
Jeffersonian22 (mail):
That reference to George Obama is out of line, MartyH. When Barack Obama says we're our brother's keeper, he doesn't mean we're actually supposed to care for our brothers, he means we're supposed to turn over our cash to him so he can do it and congratulate himself on his limitless compassion.
10.4.2008 9:54pm
Assistant Village Idiot (mail) (www):
The weakness of the Obama-defenders arguments here is striking. Bernstein acknowledged that the statements in the article are factually correct but cited its clever use of tone to downplay the reality. Thus, pointing out that individual statements are factually correct dodges the issue. And pointing out that Obama was a child then dodges the issue.

It is amusing that when the accusations against Obama are technically correct, but supporters are afraid that people might draw the "wrong" conclusions about them, all of a sudden people know exactly what is meant by tone and implication. There's a whole chapter in Screwtape about it.

I doubt anyone thinks that Obama is a secret bomb-thrower. That Ayers and Obama share some interests in changing education and worked closely together to effect those changes could have been a fairly innocent act. When it is revealed how many of those changes were attempts to teach radical political thought and influence schoolchildren in political ways, then, who Ayers was, who he is now, and what he thinks about his earlier self become pertinent. It is the combination of events that calls for attention. Having unrepentant criminal friends is a problem for a political candidate. It should be. It's not a crime in itself, but it is fair information in our evaluation of him.

Sigh. No matter how many times that is said, the defenders will say "they're accusing Obama of being a terrorist! Obama was only 8 years old then!" I always think that if people have to attack you for what you haven't said, it's because they can't produce a good argument against what you did say.

Defenses such as calling his associations "paper-thin" or that they "crossed paths" only means people have stuck with the official Obama version of the story and ignored what has been unearthed.
10.4.2008 9:55pm
Mister Snitch (mail) (www):
"The real story here is the McCain/Pailin campaign's continued attempt to obfuscate the salient issues of this campaign"

Guess the irony of obfuscating facts by making a charge of obfuscating facts is completely lost on the Obama Truth Squadders.
10.4.2008 9:56pm
The Difference (mail):
This would be problematic if the press were one - sided.

But it's too easy on both candidates.

Palin, for instance, gave a speech this year giving aid &comfort to enemies and is married to an acknowledged traitor.
10.4.2008 9:57pm
rrr (mail):
Amazing that the lefties cry "nothing here" while screaming bloody murder about Palin's daughter, affair, tax preparation service use, etc. Never have I seen such a bunch of hypocrites.

As for claiming we think Obama's a terrorist sympathizer, keep moving those goal posts whenever it's convenient.

Hypocrites.
10.4.2008 10:06pm
JAL (mail):
McCain should count himself lucky that neither Obama nor allied 527s have seen fit to drag Keating Five into this sorry spectacle of a campaign.

This is getting tiresome. McCain was included in the Keating 5 to put a Republican face on a Democrat scandal. Robert Bennett (a Democrat), the special counsel, did not (and does not to this day) think that McCain should have been included.

Here's the SLATE piece, warts and all: http://www.slate.com/id/1004633/

And here is Bennett in a Feb 2008 interview with Alan Colmes: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,331651,00.html

"....But I investigated John McCain for a year and a half, at least, when I was special counsel to the Senate Ethics Committee in the Keating Five, which, by the way, this New York Times article goes back to and discusses, goes back years and years.

And if there is one thing I am absolutely confident of, it is John McCain is an honest and honest man. I recommended to the Senate Ethics Committee that he be cut out of the case, that there was no evidence against him...."

Enough already.

Why do people recite things they can not reference?
10.4.2008 10:11pm
mac7 (mail) (www):
Ayres paid for his past in the sense that he went through a judicial process ... in other words he made it back into society the legit way whether you approve of the verdict or not.

You speak of Ayres as though he is the quintessence of evil. Maybe Americans are kind of sheltered compared to countries that have gone through internecine conflicts at the barrel of the gun - including bombing campaigns. What those countries understand is that these conflicts can only be resolved by compromise and inclusion.

America's experience of a home grown gun-and-bomb campaign is extremely limited. There have been incidents involving abortion activists etc but it is small fry compared to countries that understand the reality of vicious sectarian and political conflicts.

In N.Ireland Martin McGuinness a former provisional IRA leader and a sniper in Derry at one point, is a statesman of some stature. Many other former Shinners and IRA members have made the move from hard core activism to mainline politics. The peace process is a credit to N.Ireland and it shows the capacity of the people to move beyond the petty desire to lay blame and draw lines.

The important point is that Barack Obama has no history whatever of colluding with groups espousing violent activism - it is completely outside his experience. His contact with Willaim Ayres was a coincidence of circumstances ... tangential to his Chicago work.

I mean in the name of God ... if take a job in education in N.Ireland and I have dealings with Martin McGuinness - who was a former Education Minister no less - are you suggesting that any political ambitions I might have should be jettisoned because I had a few pints with Marty - who I repeat used an armalite rifle on the Brits and was an IRA leader with considerable cache.

This line of reasoning is beneath Americans. Irrespective of partisan loyalties, don't you at least acknowledge that in Barack Obama you have a national leader who does you proud. The entire world believes so. Why would you want to smear a great American who raises your stature and your credibility worldwide. It's simply perverse and sadly - petty. Americans are bigger than that - as the results will prove come November.
10.4.2008 10:11pm
frankcross (mail):
As a rule, when a person suggests that an article is biased, it more likely reflects their bias. And their objection is simply that the articles does not share their bias. If the article gets facts wrong, that's fair game, but objection to "tone" is usually objection to not sharing the critic's bias.
10.4.2008 10:14pm
first history:
McCain's association and cooperation with the North Vietnamese; his failure to comply with military regulations concerning conduct as a POW; and his travel to Hanoi, supporting the current Communist government, should result in equally detailed investigation.
10.4.2008 10:18pm
vinnie (mail):
This crap was even debunked by the National Review. CNN says so!!
10.4.2008 10:20pm
Asher (mail):
the excuse that the times were "tumultuous;"

I don't think they're making an excuse, I think they're just contextualizing Ayers's terrorist activities. I mean, you would agree that Ayers is to be distinguished from someone like, say, Timothy McVeigh, wouldn't you?
10.4.2008 10:23pm
Dr. Weevil (mail) (www):
mac7:
Ayers (please learn to spell his name) "went through a judicial process" with a "verdict"? You seem to be under the impression that he was acquitted. In fact, charges were dropped because of prosecutorial misconduct. Ayers' girlfriend and two fellow Weathermen were killed when their bombs went off prematurely in a Greenwich Village townhouse. As Wikipedia notes, ". . . a brick-by-brick search of the rubble uncovered 57 sticks of dynamite, four 12-inch (300 mm) pipe bombs packed with dynamite, and 30 blasting caps. The pipe bombs and several eight-stick packages of dynamite had fuses already attached. Also found were timing devices rigged from alarm clocks, maps of the tunnel network underneath Columbia University, and literature of the political protest organization, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), from which the Weatherman organization had split off. Police described the building as a 'bomb factory', and said that at the time of the explosion dynamite was apparently being wrapped in tape with nails embedded to act as shrapnel. . . . . It took nine days of collecting body parts to determine how many persons had died in the blast." The target of these bombs was apparently either a dance for non-commissioned officers and their dates at Fort Dix, New Jersey, or the Columbia University Library, or both. As I already wrote, it was only incompetence on the part of Ayers' colleagues and lover that prevented them from killing dozens or hundreds of innocent people. As far as I'm concerned, that makes him close enough to "the quintessence of evil" to make anyone who voluntarily associates with him contemptible.

Whether Obama is a national leader (not yet, he isn't) who 'does us proud' is something we Americans will decide for ourselves, thank you very much. If the entire world believes that he is, that just goes to show how ignorant much of the world is.

Please stop embarrassing yourself by writing of things you have no knowledge of.
10.4.2008 10:32pm
Barry P. (mail):
So Obama is tangentially associated with someone who was part of an organization that set some bombs that never killed anybody.

McCain gleefully murdered an untold number of innocent civilians with his bombs.

In the eyes of many commenters and VC contributors, it appears, damaging a small amount of American property is a lot more egregious than murdering many brown people.
10.4.2008 10:35pm
Dr. Weevil (mail) (www):
vinnie:
National Review (who ought to know) says that CNN is full of it.
10.4.2008 10:35pm
Jack Okie (mail):
There is ample evidence that Obama and Ayers had a long and involved relationship. Any of you who are interested in the truth can start with the link below. There are several threads to follow from there.

http://tinyurl.com/4ey8l9
10.4.2008 10:36pm
Zyna Xylander Abayomi (mail) (www):
Maybe it would be more interesting and more useful for a few people to read Steve Diamond's stuff and then address the arguments. I don't think a fair-minded person who did that could just dismiss out of hand the concern about Obama's working partnership with Ayers (along with what looks rather like a deliberate effort to conceal as much as possible about it, and to mislead).
10.4.2008 10:39pm
Smokey:
There's this.

Then there's this.

Draw your own conclusions.
10.4.2008 10:48pm
PC:
Zyna Xylander Abayomi, it would also be interesting and more useful for a few people to read Jerry Kiley's stuff and then address the arguments. I don't think a fair-minded person who did that could just dismiss out of hand the concern about McCain's cooperation with and treasonous statements to Communists (along with what looks rather like a deliberate effort to conceal as much as possible about it, and to mislead).

/troll

Is this really where people want to take our political discourse?
10.4.2008 10:50pm
Bob from Ohio (mail):

How many of us have worked on projects together with people we did not like?


I personally have never worked with a known terrorist. You may have I guess. Obama sure did.

The only difference between McVeigh and Ayers is that McVeigh was a "better" bomb maker. They both intended to kill their fellow Americans.

Ayers is scum and anyone who defends him is....
10.4.2008 10:51pm
bc (mail):
Wow, judging from the speed and intensity of Obama defenders showing up here, I do believe we are hitting a nerve with this Ayers connection thingy. As a military man, I hope McCain sees this as the gaping hole in Obama's defenses it is. Press here John, apparently It feels like a root canal over at Obama headquarters.
10.4.2008 10:51pm
mac7 (mail) (www):
The attempt by the right to conflate AyErs' associations with Obama is that it's not going to fly. Just demonstrates desperation, and people don't vote for the desperate.

And McWeevil I'm glad you don't speak for more enlightened Americans - change is indeed coming.
10.4.2008 10:53pm
Blue:
I love how Ayers' education work is somehow a positive item in his favor.

It isn't.

He is pursing his exact same goal--of overthrowing the Constitutional order of the US--through different means...in this case, twisting the minds of children.
10.4.2008 10:57pm
Elliot123 (mail):
"Ayres paid for his past in the sense that he went through a judicial process ... in other words he made it back into society the legit way whether you approve of the verdict or not."

When did he complete that process? On Sept 11, 2001 Ayers told the NYT, "I don't regret setting bombs; I feel we didn't do enough."

Makes you wonder what the Ayers apologists would say if a McCain associate said, "I don't regret lynching blacks; I feel we didn't do enough."
10.4.2008 10:57pm
dssinc (mail):
"Maybe it would be more interesting and more useful for a few people to read Steve Diamond's stuff and then address the arguments."

Wow, I wish I could get those several minutes back. Life is too short for that sort of conspiratorial rooting around.

Here is a quick word count from this article.

Possibly or possible = 8
Might = 5
Mao or maoist = 7
Guess = 3

The central thesis seems to be that the Ayers family and SDS/WU have "sent" Obama as some sort of end game to implementing a Maoist regime in America.

Read it for fun; cite it at your own peril.
10.4.2008 11:01pm
Anon21:
This is getting tiresome. McCain was included in the Keating 5 to put a Republican face on a Democrat scandal. Robert Bennett (a Democrat), the special counsel, did not (and does not to this day) think that McCain should have been included.

Arrant nonsense. McCain accepted political contributions and free travel from Keating, then met with federal regulators in an attempt to earn favorable treatment for Keating's business for federal regulators. Not to mention the fact that Cindy McCain was invested in a Keating real estate development. McCain wasn't included to put a Republican face on the scandal; he was included because he took money from someone, then provided a political favor. Whether he was corrupt or merely too stupid to realize how he was being played is a question that remains open to this day.

Obama hasn't dredged it up because that really isn't his style. Like it or not, one candidate has been running a gutter campaign, and it's not Obama. (I personally think he's been too soft at times; legit scandals like Keating Five should be fair game, as should, say, Palin's ties to the Alaskan Independence Party. But that's just not how Obama feels the need to conduct his campaign, and I suppose it isn't hard to see why.)
10.4.2008 11:03pm
Anon21:
Strike "for federal regulators" from the end of the second sentence above.
10.4.2008 11:04pm
mac7 (mail) (www):
Elliot none of that or McWeevil's encyclopedic grasp of Ayer's history is the point. The point is that Obama has no connection whatever with violent activism.

I used the N.I. example simply to demonstrate that many who have a violent track record can indeed become a part of the political process, also to demonstrate that this harping on Ayers and his civic contacts with Obama is somewhat ludicrously myopic and partisan - since Obama as we know was never involved with Ayer's deeds, even marginally.

If you are trying to make a case of guilt by the simple act of association years after the fact - sure have a shot - but it ain't going to fly. The more the right works this, the more Americans will see it as a character assassination attempt - an effort of last resort.
10.4.2008 11:12pm
richard cabeza:
PC
What does the Bush administration have to do with this?

Well, when McCain is comparing Obama's policies to Bush's... (In the debate; it maybe have been offhand, but it was funny because it's true.)

Pitman
Sarah Palin is literally in bed with a man who belonged for a number of years, 1995-2002, to an organization which supported the secession of Alaska from the United States (the AIP)

And this is a bad thing? When people bring this up, what exactly are they trying to appeal to? A sense of conformism? Authoritarianism? Empire? None of that applies.

dccinc
Any McCain backers confident enough in their man's positions to go there instead of bickering about this other marginalia?

You're confused. There is plenty, to put it lightly, to dislike about Obama without liking McCain. You just can't deflect it that way; it's weak.

The Difference
But it's too easy on both candidates.

It's the media's job to tell us who to vote for if we feel certain ways, not to inform us so we can draw conclusions.

mac7
What those countries understand is that these conflicts can only be resolved by compromise and inclusion.

Confounding. You see this as a good thing? Why?

The point is that Obama has no connection whatever with violent activism.

(Except through Ayers, whom he categorizes as "mainstream".)

the more Americans will see it as a character assassination attempt - an effort of last resort.

When the resume is blank, that's the only resort available.
10.4.2008 11:18pm
PC:
Well, when McCain is comparing Obama's policies to Bush's...

So Obama was on national TV bragging about voting with Bush 90% of the time?

Man this is getting confusing.
10.4.2008 11:26pm
Smokey:
This is especially for mac7:

clicky
10.4.2008 11:26pm
Zyta Xylander Abayomi (mail) (www):
The genuinely curious can read for themselves what Steve Diamond is actually saying:

http://globallabor.blogspot.com/
10.4.2008 11:35pm
Bryan C (mail):
I mean, you would agree that Ayers is to be distinguished from someone like, say, Timothy McVeigh, wouldn't you?

Well, they're both domestic terrorists. Ayers was just less competent (or less "lucky") and his intended victims were not killed. Oh, and Ayers avoided punishment. Are there other distinctions that you were thinking of?

While I admit I was not there, I sometimes wonder if everyone in the 60's spent their days blowing things up, dodging drafts, marching in protests, killing cops, and having sex at Woodstock. But hey, since it was all "tumultuous" and stuff - unlike all those entirely placid decades before and since - then I guess a few unrepentant bombers aren't anything we should worry our pretty little heads about.

This crap was even debunked by the National Review.

Um, no, it wasn't. As near as I can tell CNN apparently just fabricated that reference out of thin air. The NR bloggers over at The Corner are not happy with CNN right now.

There seem to be a pattern in how stories that are harmful to the Obama campaign are covered. First the stories are ignored for as long as possible, then they're obliquely noted in paragraph 37 of a story on a different topic, then they're "refuted" by asking for a comment by some completely reliable source like an Obama staffer. Finally, if the pesky story still hasn't gone away yet, they just start making stuff up. Where Ayers is concerned they've apparently reached that final stage.
10.4.2008 11:37pm
Brian G (mail) (www):
And it funny how the media is on the "Obama has already won" stories. Please. I am looking forward to the months of "how did Obama lose?" stories. I already know what theya re going to say: vote fraud and racism. of course, it won't be because he is a radical Socialist.
10.4.2008 11:42pm
Obvious (mail):
Knees: "Let's try:

"John McCain serverd on a board with David Duke. John McCain had a fund raiser at David Duke's house. John McCain says, he's just a guy I know in the neighborhood."

Seems like a non-story to me."
-----
To be fair, McCain has eight houses, therefore eight complete sets of neighbors. With that many people to remember, it would be understandable if David Duke sort of slipped through the cracks...
10.4.2008 11:48pm
mdn:
Translation of this post: the media isn't mindlessly regurgitating my favored candidate's attacks anymore, wah wah wah.
10.4.2008 11:48pm
DangerMouse:
Another Village Idiot,

The problem in trying to shame the left with terrorist associations is that the left isn't shamed by them. The left likes terrorists. They're big fans of Che Guevara, who murdered hundreds of innocent civilians that didn't subscribe to his revolutionary ideology. They love Lynne Stewart, who of course passed messages from the blind shiek terrorist. They're enthralled with Sami Al-Arian, who ran organizations linked to Hamas. They love the FARC. They love Castro. They don't think the war on terrorism is a "real" war.

So leftists like Obama see nothing wrong with paling around with terrorists like Ayers. They think they're chic and it's great fun. They don't give a crap how murderous those people are. They. Don't. Care. The only difference is that while the terrorists have the stomach for violence, people like Obama do not.
10.4.2008 11:56pm
Tony Tutins (mail):

(Except through Ayers, whom he categorizes as "mainstream".)

Distinguished Professors of Education at one of a state's two flagship universities are pretty much in the mainstream. Why not look at Jim Lindgren's Weather Underground ties? (Both he and Dohrn are on the Northwestern Law faculty.) Or let's look at McCain's Black Panther ties (both McCain and Bobby Rush are in the United States Congress).

As for launching Obama's political career, Obama's ties to Reform Judaism are as strong as to Ayers, according to the NY Times:

It was later in 1995 that Mr. Ayers and Ms. Dohrn hosted the gathering, in their town house three blocks from Mr. Obama’s home, at which State Senator Alice J. Palmer, who planned to run for Congress, introduced Mr. Obama to a few Democratic friends as her chosen successor. That was one of several such neighborhood events as Mr. Obama prepared to run, said A. J. Wolf, the 84-year-old emeritus rabbi of KAM Isaiah Israel Synagogue, across the street from Mr. Obama’s current house.

“If you ask my wife, we had the first coffee for Barack,” Rabbi Wolf said. He said he had known Mr. Ayers for decades but added, “Bill’s mad at me because I told a reporter he’s a toothless ex-radical.”

“It was kind of a nasty shot,” Mr. Wolf said. “But it’s true. For God’s sake, he’s a professor.”
10.4.2008 11:56pm
Ken Arromdee:
I used the N.I. example simply to demonstrate that many who have a violent track record can indeed become a part of the political process,

We let terrorists in Northern Ireland become part of the political process because it's the best of several bad choices.

There's a big difference between associating with terrorists because you have to, and because you want to.
10.4.2008 11:59pm
Ken Arromdee:
As for launching Obama's political career, Obama's ties to Reform Judaism are as strong as to Ayers, according to the NY Times:

That's like saying "sure, I go to KKK meetings, but I also go to church, so it's all okay". Associating with good people doesn't balance out associating with terrorists.
10.5.2008 12:02am
athelstane (mail):
I'm not sure anyone thinks that Obama favors bombing the Pentagon or Fort Dix.

What is legitimate to ask is whether the full nature of Obama's relationship with Bill Ayers indicates his political outlook is considerably more radical than he has tried to suggest in his campaign.

Some here suggest that Obama's relationship is "paper thin." Which is remarkable considering that Obama launched his political campaign in Ayers' house. Or that, according to what Stanley Kurtz has uncovered in his FOIA explorations of the Annenberg Challenge archives that their working relationship, including Obama's hiring, seems to be a lot closer than previous suggested.

Or more to the point, as Kurtz asks today: "Obama was perfectly aware of Ayers’ radical views, since he read and publically endorsed, without qualification, Ayers’ book on juvenile crime. That book is quite radical, expressing doubts about whether we ought to have a prison system at all, comparing America to South Africa’s apartheid system, and contemptuously dismissing the idea of the United States as a kind or just country."

I dunno about "Swiftboating." But I think it's not unfair to ask Senator Obama whether he now wishes to retract that book endorsement, and if he would care to explain why he made it in the first place, and what his views on the U.S. prison system are now, and if they have changed - why.
10.5.2008 12:02am
That Lawyer Dude (mail) (www):


Both Ayers and his wife are "rehabilitated" in the most "loose use" of the term. They wanted to do great harm. That they failed and then went underground, waited for things to cool off, came up to the surface, took and finished a penalty is all fine and well. They have not reputiated their actions (and I believe that Dohrn has said she would if confronted with the same fact do it again...) That isn't rehabilitated. That is paying your debt. It is not the same.
10.5.2008 12:12am
richard cabeza:
Tony Tutins
(both McCain and Bobby Rush are in the United States Congress)

So what you're saying is that being a fellow senator is the same as having your children baby-sat by, working on the same foundation with, and starting your career with the personal help of someone like Ayers?

Again: if people really found Ayers such an unobjectional character, why would they be making such specious arguments about the alleged non-ties to Obama?
10.5.2008 12:13am
Brooks Lyman (mail):
If John McCain had the same relationship with, say, David Duke as Obama has with William Ayers, do you think it would be the same non-story that some of the Obama fanatics here are saying the Obama-Ayers connection is?

Well, I don't recall reading anywhere about David Duke setting off any terrorist bombs or even suggesting that people do so...

Of course, we all know what's going on: the MSM is covering up for Obama.

And no, I don't want to try to bring these subjects up under President Obama. As a conservative Republican gun owner, I'll have troubles enough.
10.5.2008 12:13am
Suzy (mail):
Compare for a moment how FOX news presents the same story. They write that Palin made this charge against Obama, "because of his ties to '60s radical William Ayers", without presenting any further evidence concerning the nature of these "ties". The flat statements that Obama had "ties" or was "connected" to Ayers are repeated unchallenged on at least three separate occasions in the FOX article.

So, is this the kind of objectivity that Bernstein seeks? I hope not. How exactly should the story have been presented? Some sort of context needs to be provided for Palin's remarks, so that those who have no idea what she might be talking about may discover that she's probably referencing Ayres. They will need to know who Ayres is, and why Obama is allegedly connected to him. Simply saying that he IS connected is biased towards one side, and saying that he is NOT connected is biased towards the other. So where's the middle?

Perhaps when Palin makes such a serious charge, the burden of proof is upon her to justify it! Amazing that this needs to be pointed out on a legal blog, but is it too much to ask that people give reasons for their claims, especially when it's such a grave accusation? When several news outlets have looked into the story and failed to find justification for this sort of claim, and when she provides no further evidence, why is it biased for the AP to follow the same line as the previous news outlets? That Bernstein doesn't like the NYT is not a sufficient reason.
10.5.2008 12:17am
KeyComments (mail):
The WU bombs DID kill some people -- and not just WU members. Read through the NY Times article and you'll see...
10.5.2008 12:28am
KeyComments (mail):
For those not able to understand, the word "tumultuous" in the AP story downplays what the WU did because it suggests the times were simply "chaotic" and "everyone was doing it" (or things similar to what the WU did) then.
10.5.2008 12:36am
wolfefan (mail):
Hi DB -

I'm hoping that you'll post at some point to address the challenge you gave and lost (tumultuous years = civil rights era) - do you have another example?

Best regards -
10.5.2008 12:59am
SukieTawdry (mail):
The real story here is the McCain/Pailin campaign's continued attempt to obfuscate the salient issues of this campaign, especially McCain's complicity in the degradation of controls on the nation's financial system at the expense of ordinary citizens, by attempting to focus on irrelevant, divisive issues.

No, the real story here is the Democrats' continued attempt to obfuscate the fact that the financial system melt-down is rooted in their social engineering schemes. All that bad paper existed in the first place because Freddie and Fannie, attempting to get minorities and low-income people into homes, eased the credit requirements on the loans that they would purchase. It's Democrats who kept "easing" those requirements until for all practical purposes there were no more requirements.

It's Democratic operatives who ran FM/FM cooking the books to enrich themselves, providing cash for their protectors in Congress (one of whom was in a 13-year relationship with Fannie's director of housing initiatives). It's Democrats who fought and defeated all attempts at oversight and regulation. Who claimed all was well in MacMaeLand, that everything was working beautifully just as designed. It's Democrats who when confronted with the regulator's report suggested that maybe it was the regulator who needed investigating. Who when given evidence of Franklin Raines' malfeasance called it a lynching.

It was Fannie and Freddie who put all that bad paper back into circulation bolstered by the "understanding" that it was backed by the full faith and credit of the United States. Everything springs from the Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae well poisoned by yet another disastrous Democratic foray into social engineering. So bring on your salient issues, Obamatrons. You have no one to harm but yourselves.

And besides, who says the Ayers connection isn't a salient issue? Obama, with no background in education, was tapped to distribute the Anneberg spoils. It's ridiculous to suggest, as the Obama campaign does, that Ayers had no part in choosing Obama for that position. The CAC was Ayers' baby. He was very interested in who would get the money and how it would be used (he even managed to get some flowing in his direction). There's simply no way he would allow someone who didn't share his views about education to take the financial reins of that project.

And what are his views? Ayers, who is a great admirer of the Hugo Chavez approach to education, is still the same Marxist radical he ever was, only his methods and approach have changed. He advocates for a "transformative" curricula, one that promotes equity and social justice. He wants schools to become training grounds for revolutionary activists. He believes that first you indoctrinate the teachers and then you provide them with a curricula designed to indoctrinate their students. And that's what he strove to do with the Anneberg funds.

Just as voters have the right to know if Obama shares the views of his 20-year spiritual adviser/mentor and the theology he embraces, they have the right to know which of Bill Ayers' views he shares. They have the right to know why Obama is so very comfortable among these radicals. They have the right to know that Ayers and Obama weren't just a couple of ships passing now and then in the night, but two people of apparent like minds who both worked and socialized together. And they have the right to know that one of the only two executive positions that Obama ever held was director of a project that was judged an abject failure. Read some Steve Diamond and Stanley Kurtz and see what I'm talking about.
10.5.2008 1:07am
The upside . ..:
PC,

So the current financial crisis is the responsibility of Phil Gramm? Do you do anything other than read Mother Jones? Good grief. I didn't realize that Article II of the Constitution provided a special vote to Phil Gramm that enabled him to pass legislation changing the entire finance industry regardless of the vote of other legislators or the President (who, at the time, was some guy named Bill Clinton).

The legislation you're referring to was passed with 90 votes, including a majority of Democrats. It was signed by a Democratic president. But it's McCain, via his association with Gramm, that is responsibile for the financial crisis?

It's hard to have a meaningful debate with people so devoid of reason that they actually make an argument like the one you did. You're an apologist. There are lots of reasons to vote for Obama and against McCain. But folks like you just make up the facts as you go along, regardless of whether they bear any resemblance to reality. If that legislation was the cause of the crisis, and on that fact, many financial experts do not agree (Fannie and Freddie might have played a small role . . . ), the blame can't be attributed to one person or party. A person with a shred of intellectual honesty would acknowledge as much. Clearly you don't fall in that camp, otherwise you wouldn't have made that ridiculous statement.
10.5.2008 1:18am
The upside . ..:
Suzy,

FOX has its bias, of that there is little doubt. But FOX doesn't drive news cycles for other papers -- the Times does. So if the Times is driving the bus, the bias carried with it will travel throughout the press. Now whether this particular story was a product of bias is another matter, and I just don't care enough to offer an opinion.

Perhaps, though, you don't think that the news coverage of the Times is biased? Care to enlighten us?
10.5.2008 1:21am
Elliot123 (mail):
"Elliot none of that or McWeevil's encyclopedic grasp of Ayer's history is the point. The point is that Obama has no connection whatever with violent activism."

Perhaps here are multiple points. Mine is that Obama says this guy is mainstream.

On Sept 11, 2001, Ayers said, "I don't regret setting bombs; I feel we didn't do enough."

Obama says that is mainstream. Who agrees?

Who agrees the following would be mainstream: "I don't regret lynching blacks; I feel we didn't do enough."
10.5.2008 1:22am
The upside . ..:
What evidence is there that Obama knew of Ayers's views? Or did Obama just know that he was another nut job living in Hyde Park? If Obama didn't know (or there isn't much evidence that he did) prior to the beginning of the election campaign, I can't really fault him disavowing Ayers late in the game.

On the other hand, if Obama was aware of his terrorist activities or his comments after 9-11 about "not doing enough," and yet still voluntarily associated with the guy, that is absolutely pertinent and speaks very poorly of his judgment and leanings. I honestly don't have a clue, though, where the truth lies and my intuition is that Obama is not the sort of complete Marxist that Ayers is so I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise.

But that's just me.
10.5.2008 1:27am
Dave N (mail):
The Upside,

I guess when Ayers made his comments on September 11, 2001, Obama was not just paying attention.

By the way, I don't think Obama is a Marxist either. However, I do think that comparing Ayers to Tom Coburn is obscene.

By the way, the true trolls are those who want to compare John McCain's military service with Ayers wanting to bomb people as part of his opposition to the war. The people who made those asinine comparisons are truly pathetic.
10.5.2008 2:16am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
db:

no reference to Obama having his inaugural political event at Ayer's house


I know that there was some kind of event at Ayer's house. Would you please show your evidence that it was "inaugural?"

mariner:

Obama's political career was launched in Ayers' house


hayden:

starting Obama's political career at Ayres' house


athelstane:

Obama launched his political campaign in Ayers' house


Same question.
10.5.2008 2:17am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
elliot:

Who thinks Ayers is mainstream.


Apparently Mark Sanford, the Republican governor of South Carolina. He serves as the Ex-Officio Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the University of South Carolina, where Ayers hold the title of "Distinguished Scholar."
10.5.2008 2:17am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
arthur:

I still haven't seen any mention at all of anything that happened on the 27 or so bombing sorties in which he was not shot down


It's OK because those civilians were "gooks."
10.5.2008 2:17am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
cabeza:

Ayers chose him to be on the CAC


Wrong. "Obama was recommended for the CAC chairmanship by Deborah Leff, nominated by Pat Graham, and elected by the original Annenberg board."
10.5.2008 2:17am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
weevil:

that makes him close enough to "the quintessence of evil" to make anyone who voluntarily associates with him contemptible


Then I guess you think Arnold R. Weber is contemptible, even though he was an adviser to Nixon and Reagan, and has contributed $1,500 to McCain. Weber also served on the CAC board. I guess McCain should return this "contemptible" donation, right?
10.5.2008 2:17am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
marty:

no Illinois Senate records


Yes, aside from the 800 bills he sponsored, he left "no Illinois Senate records."
10.5.2008 2:18am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
jal:

here is Bennett in a Feb 2008 interview with Alan Colmes


At the time, Bennett was working as McCain's lawyer. A slight conflict of interest?

Why do people recite things they can not reference?


Why do people cite things that make them look intensely foolish?
10.5.2008 2:18am
PC:
So the current financial crisis is the responsibility of Phil Gramm?

No, the current financial crisis has been caused by a number of things and blame lies at the feet of both parties. The GSEs were a huge moral hazard because they had the implicit backing of the federal government. The lack of regulation of the OTC derivatives market has allowed a hydra to grow and nobody knows just how out of control it is.

The idea that the CRA or the CFMA or the Fed keeping artificially low interest rates or corruption at Fannie and Freddie or any other single problem "caused" this crisis is absurd. What I am pointing out is the new financial crisis that is on the very near horizon with CDSs has ties directly back to the CFMA (the Dems repeatedly tried to close the Enron loophole but failed).

Next week should be a lot of fun.
10.5.2008 2:23am
dssinc (mail):

All that bad paper existed in the first place because Freddie and Fannie, attempting to get minorities and low-income people into homes, eased the credit requirements on the loans that they would purchase.


Well, no, that's not true. CRA is not the culprit. Get better information here at Barrons.

The money shot in this article:


As Freddie Mac Chairman and CEO Richard Syron recently put it, the GSEs have been hit by a "100-year storm" in the housing market, accentuated by some higher-risk mortgages that they were forced to buy to meet government affordable-housing targets.

The latter contention is more than disingenuous. A substantial portion of Fannie's and Freddie's credit losses comes from $337 billion and $237 billion, respectively, of Alt-A mortgages that the agencies imprudently bought or guaranteed in recent years to boost their market share. These are mortgages for which little or no attempt was made to verify the borrowers' income or net worth. The principal balances were much higher than those of mortgages typically made to low-income borrowers. In short, Alt-A mortgages were a hallmark of real-estate speculation in the ex-urbs of Las Vegas or Los Angeles, not predatory lending to low-income folks in the inner cities.
10.5.2008 2:49am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Hmm, time to uncover some more people with "contemptible" associations.

In 1996, Bill Ayers was awarded an honorary degree ("Doctor of Humane Letters") by Nazareth College. Who was on the Nazareth College Board of Trustees, at that time, and who apparently did not resign, in protest? Stephen D. Natapow, who donated $1,000 to Bush/Cheney in 2003. Uh-oh. The undercover Maoists are everywhere.

Some more "contemptible" people. Look here to see the faces of the trustees of the University of South Carolina, with the Republican governor at the top of the list. And look here to see an article by Ayers, posted on the USC web site. How dare they treat Ayers as if he's "mainstream!"

It's about time you folks got in touch with Gov. Sanford and remind him that "South Carolina's Flagship University" should not be promoting material written by a terrorist.
10.5.2008 3:14am
SukieTawdry (mail):
dssinc: Thank you for that link. Very informative (and not well known, I think, or possibly just ignored when it suits). I stand corrected on that point.
10.5.2008 3:45am
3sons (mail):
dssinc,

Wasn't it the securitization of the higher-risk mortgages (to meet government affordable-housing targets) that opened the flood gate for all the speculative mortgages by pushing for relaxed screening standard?
10.5.2008 6:56am
PersonFromPorlock:
The Difference:

Palin, for instance, gave a speech this year giving aid &comfort to enemies and is married to an acknowledged traitor.

On the other hand, the Palin family is bigger than the Obama family because Michelle eats her babies.

Pfaugh.
10.5.2008 7:53am
Dr. Weevil (mail) (www):
jukeboxgrad seems to think he's come up with a devastating retort. To put it bluntly, I would have resigned from the board of Nazareth College when they gave Ayers an honorary degree, and I do think it was a contemptible thing to do. Accepting a contribution from someone who signed off on an award to Ayers is a far cry from working with Ayers for years and having campaign events at his house.

As for USC, the page he links to specifically says at the bottom: "The views expressed are strictly those of the page author. The contents have not been reviewed by the University of South Carolina."
10.5.2008 9:57am
TyWebb:
So, this is how this works:

1. I challenge you directly on the point of your article; I don't defend Obama from the scurrilous implication you make when you constantly associate him with William Ayres. I simply point out that you are completely exaggerating the effect and probable purpose of the author's grammar, word choice, and syntax, by suggesting that it amounts to overt bias towards Obama when it clearly does not.
2. You suggest that I will be unable to identify a similar use of grammar, word choice, and syntax when examining AP articles discussing right-wing terrorism during the Vietnam era, as some proof that the AP would only do so for leftist terrorism (ignoring, of course, the small sample size that this one article represents, but we'll leave aside your apparent disdain for science for another day).
3. I find exactly such an article. Again, I'm not "defending Obama," I'm making the argument that "the AP story doesn't amount to a defense of Obama."
4. You ignore my riposte, and instead of addressing it down in the comments page (which has become a quite lively discussion), you attempt to make sure no one reads it by posting an update that states no one is making arguments as to the bias of the AP.

If this is what counts for argument on the merits for lawyers who have become professors of law, then I can see why you didn't make it in private practice.
10.5.2008 10:38am
Suzy (mail):
On Bernstein's latest update, the only difference that would have been required to fix the article is the insertion of "The Obama campaign responds that..." in front of that last sentence. I agree with him that this would be an acceptable improvement that would not compromise the objectivity of the piece.

However, that's a pretty hefty backtracking from the earlier claims, which complained that not enough details about the shocking activities of Ayres's group and his own later reflections on his involvement were presented, that more speculation about the depth of Obama's connection to Ayres' should have been offered. I submit that if the article had made any of the changes Bernstein proposed in his original post, it really would have been biased towards the other side.

As it stands, even without correcting the last sentence, it's still reporting undisputed facts that are directly relevant to the present issue: Obama was 8, fact, and he did denounce, fact. Whether you think his denouncement was disingenuous or too little too late, that's not a question for the AP to sort out in its reporting. So what it boils down to is that Bernstein wants one change made to this last sentence, and for that he's tarring and feathering the AP in a manner all out of proportion to the crime.
10.5.2008 11:04am
The upside . ..:
I don't know whether Obama was paying attention to Bill Ayers on September 11, 2001. I imagine he, and most of the rest of us, were more concerned with other things that day. But again, if someone can show that those comments were so widely published at the time in the Chicago media that Obama had to have known of them, then there is simply no question that this is a fair point of criticism. I just don't know the answer to the question.

I'd prefer to maintain some level of intellectual honesty rather than trying to assume the answer based on my political preferences and then digging up material is necessary to show moral equivalence for similar conduct (aka as the jukebox method).
10.5.2008 11:11am
Brian K (mail):
There is nothing balatantly false in this story, but it's about as one-sided a presentation of the contoversy as one could imagine;

In other words, DB doesn't like it when other people do what he does.
10.5.2008 11:14am
Minotauro (mail):
What a shock! The AP runs Obama talking points. The main stream press are now doing cover articles for themselves. As we get closer to election day, the mainstream press is becoming a bit concerned about the argument raised by Hillary Clinton and supporters and now McCain that Obama has never been vetted by the press.

So over the next few weeks, I expect to see the NYT and it's breathren doing cover stories where the Obama issues are raised and dismissed. Then to counter any complaints the press will say sure we covered that story extensively and there was nothing to it.
10.5.2008 11:29am
Bryan C (mail):
In other words, DB doesn't like it when other people do what he does.

Yeah, when DB is promoted from a blogger to a worldwide wire service like those "other people" that might make sense. Agree with him or not, Bernstein does not present himself as either an entirely object or comprehensive news source. Nor do his writings here form the basis for "news" stories in media outlets around the country and around the planet.
10.5.2008 12:01pm
John from Dallas:
DB -- "The fourth sentence should have simply started with 'The Obama campaign ressponds,' instead of putting Obama talking points into the reporter's keyboard."

Since when is a reporter required to preface objectively true facts with "The Obama campaign responds"? If this is indeed a requirement for objectivity, shouldn't the second and third sentences be prefaced by "The McCain campaign contends,"?
10.5.2008 12:16pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
weevil:

I would have resigned from the board of Nazareth College when they gave Ayers an honorary degree


Then you're obviously a much better American than a bunch of people you can read about here. Because as far as I can tell, this many trustees resigned: zero.

Accepting a contribution from someone who signed off on an award to Ayers is a far cry


Maybe it's "a far cry," but is it far enough? Why should McCain take money from someone who honored a terrorist?

having campaign events at his house


I know of one event. Was there more than one? Why are you using plural? And how do you know that it was Obama and not Palmer who chose the location for that event?

And how come no one seems willing to explain why this is repeatedly described as an "inaugural" event, even though there seems to be no evidence to support this claim?

As for USC, the page he links to specifically says at the bottom: "The views expressed are strictly those of the page author. The contents have not been reviewed by the University of South Carolina."


If, say, DailyKos hosted an essay by, say, Hugo Chavez or Kim Jong-il, would you excuse them of responsibility because they included a little pro forma disclaimer like that? I don't think you would.

And aside from hosting the article, USC has granted to Ayers the title of Distinguished Scholar. Gov. Sanford (R) is the ex officio Chairman of the Board. Why does he allow this? Could it be that he thinks Ayers is "mainstream?"
10.5.2008 1:06pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
upside:

then digging up material is necessary to show moral equivalence for similar conduct (aka as the jukebox method)


What's wrong with demonstrating that someone is being hypocritical?
10.5.2008 1:06pm
PC:
Wasn't it the securitization of the higher-risk mortgages (to meet government affordable-housing targets) that opened the flood gate for all the speculative mortgages by pushing for relaxed screening standard?

The Community Reinvestment Act can account for roughly 12% of subprime loans and no Alt-A loans, from what I can tell.
10.5.2008 1:18pm
richard cabeza:
Tu quoque is a bad argument when the additional party you're comparing to isn't the one being defended.
10.5.2008 1:21pm
Hoosier:
Amazing: Even such a serious lapse in judgment by Sen. Obama (I don't think it is anything more than that) is totally defensible in the view of his supporters on VC. No problem at all.

This is getting weird.

But the GOP has no Cicero to make the case against deification. And, hell, look what happened to Cicero.
10.5.2008 1:26pm
TDPerkins (mail):

Elliot123 (mail):
"Prof. Bernstein, do you think Obama is a terrorist sympathizer?"

In 2001 Ayers told the NYT he wished they had done more bombing. Obama says Ayers is mainstream. Does anyone find advocacy of killing Americans with bombs to be mainstream? Does this indicate Obama is familiar with the prevailing attitudes of Americans on this subject?

Who thinks Ayers is mainstream. If so, why?


As long as the terrorists are American leftists, yes, Obama sympathizes with them.

That can't be honestly argued against.

Which is why the counterarguments here are dishonest or are distractions.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, &pfpp
10.5.2008 1:53pm
Dr. Weevil (mail) (www):
Why does the governor of South Carolina allow moronic leftie professors at the state university to honor an unrepentant terrorist? How could he possibly stop them? They have tenure. Surely even 'jukeboxgrad' knows that tenured professors can't be fired for doing stupid and immoral things, as long as they make sure not to commit any felonies or specifically academic misconduct like plagiarism. The governor can't even resign from the board, since he's an ex officio member. Once again, a desperate Obama defender brings up a total red herring.
10.5.2008 1:54pm
The Upside Part II:
jukebox,

Your position on any issue is so utterly predictable. Take the follwoing hypothetical newstory:

"Previously undisclosed records show that ________X_________ drafted legislation in favor of _________Y________________ the day after ____Y______ threw a $200k fundraiser for _____X_____." If X and Y were Obama and the National Education Assocation, you would break your little fingers trying to dig up material on the internet showing that (a) the payment had nothing to do with the legislation and (b) McCain had done the same thing on many occasions. Conversely, if X were McCain and Y were "Big Oil," no matter how much countervailing evidence there was disspelling any link between payments and legislation, you'd do nothing but recite the timing of the payments as one of your silly little web links every time you engage in a debate. While it's true that you're not alone in amplifying the shortcomings of the opposition and rationalizing away the sins of your preferred candidate, you are one of the worst offenders I've ever seen. With respect to my hypothetical, there are always nuances that have to be explored, so I don't fault anyone for not accepting a link at face value. But the problem is that whether you accept the link or reject it depends entirely on the identity of X and Y.

With Ayers, as I noted before, I don't have a clue what Obama knew about his views. But if Obama was aware, it is absolutely a sign of poor judgment and radicalism that he maintained association with Ayers. The fact that others had some tangential reltation through an entity is beside the point (the Sanford example you cite doesn't show hypocrisy or anything of the like and is a comical reach even for you). The issue is whether Obama knowingly associated with a guy, including letting him throw campaign events, with knowledge of his history. I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, but what I won't do is try to excuse the conduct. And if this were a Republican who had associated in the same way with some right-wing radical, you would be demonizing that person. And please don't deny it, because that would only further cement your status around here.

How old are you? At some point in your intellectual development, I hope you realize that politics isn't a game of good and evil and that sins are committed by both parties. You need to get out of the echo chamber once in a while.
10.5.2008 2:04pm
The Upside Part II:
PC

Nice evasion. Your original comment was that "the OTC derivatives market is unregulated thanks to McCain's former economic advisor Phil Gramm (estimated value of $600 trillion to $1 quadrillion)."

Again, please cite that special "Gramm Provision" in the Constitution that delegated to this unique individual the power to decide whether that market should be regulated? I didn't even realize that Gramm had been elected President!

Why didn't you tell us?????
10.5.2008 2:08pm
Suzy (mail):
Some of you think that in any event, Obama at least showed poor judgment in associating with Ayres at all, and should not have continued to do this once he knew the details of Ayres past and present comments. I grant you this--I think you're right about it!

The problem is, Obama did denounce Ayres and has not continued to associate with him. He also did not have his "inaugural" political event at the man's house--at least, I've seen no evidence of this. So how bad was the poor judgment? There's gray area here and insufficient evidence. Nevertheless, Palin sees fit to charge him with "palling around with terrorists". Is that fair, do you think? I mean, I can understand why you're worried about poor judgment on Obama's part here, but can you also understand why her comment seems outrageously unsupported and gutter-level, given the paucity of clear evidence?
10.5.2008 2:41pm
Michael Edward McNeil (mail) (www):
USC has granted to Ayers the title of Distinguished Scholar. Gov. Sanford (R) is the ex officio Chairman of the Board. Why does he allow this? Could it be that he thinks Ayers is "mainstream?"

Lots of people fondly imagine that Bill Ayers is now “mainstream” — but that doesn't make him so. Chicago Mayor Richard Daley portrayed Ayers thus, in a statement praising him earlier this year:
I also know Bill Ayers. He worked with me in shaping our now nationally-renowned school reform program. He is a nationally recognized distinguished professor of education at the University of Illinois/Chicago and a valued member of the Chicago community.

I don't condone what he did 40 years ago but I remember that period well. It was a difficult time, but those days are long over. I believe we have too many challenges in Chicago and our country to keep refighting 40-year-old battles.
Portraying Ayers as merely a relict of 40-year-old ancient history, however, presents a completely distorted picture of the present man. Beyond his more recent 9-11-2001 outrageousness, referred to in comments above, all one must do to acquire perspective on Ayers' current predilections is go to his own web site (notice first of all the emblem at the top of every page), where he proudly presents a speech he delivered in Venezuela in November of 2006, addressing Hugo Chavez. As Ayers proclaimed there less than two years ago:
Amamos la revolucion Bolivariana!

This is my fourth visit to Venezuela, each time at the invitation of my comrade and friend Luis Bonilla, a brilliant educator and inspiring fighter for justice. Luis has taught me a great deal about the Bolivarian Revolution and about the profound educational reforms underway here in Venezuela under the leadership of President Chavez. We share the belief that education is the motor-force of revolution, and I've come to appreciate Luis as a major asset in both the Venezuelan and the international struggle — I look forward to seeing how he and all of you continue to overcome the failings of capitalist education as you seek to create something truly new and deeply humane. […]

’We can't have education without revolution. We have tried peace education for 1,900 years and it has failed. Let us try revolution and see what it will do now.’

I walked out of jail and into my first teaching position — and from that day until this I've thought of myself as a teacher, but I've also understood teaching as a project intimately connected with social justice. After all, the fundamental message of the teacher is this: you can change your life — whoever you are, wherever you've been, whatever you've done, another world is possible. As students and teachers begin to see themselves as linked to one another, as tied to history and capable of collective action, the fundamental message of teaching shifts slightly, and becomes broader, more generous: we must change ourselves as we come together to change the world. Teaching invites transformations, it urges revolutions small and large. La educacion es revolucion!
Love that “new and deeply humane” world that Hugo Chavez and the rest of the “revolucion Bolivariana” are busily creating — not.

Ayers also suggested at his creepy blog just a week ago that McCain’s brief suspension of campaigning while the sudden financial meltdown could be addressed in Congress is a likely presage to “suspending” the election itself. Right.

The fact is, as the foregoing makes clear to all who can see, that Bill Ayers is not (or not just) an unrepentant Weather Underground bomber from a third of a century ago, but is still a modern day communist revolutionary, seeing his present role as a part of the hard-left propaganda wing, one who — rather than hurling physically explosive bombs these days — now tosses verbal bombs whilst exerting every effort to turn students their way.
10.5.2008 3:00pm
The Upside Part II:
Suzy,

The issue is when Obama dumped Ayers. As I noted, it may be that he did it when he found out about the guy's views and past activities. If so, bully for Obama. But if he knew about it and then dumped him overboard only during an election cycle, I think people can legitimately ask whether that was a genuine expression of disapproval rather than a convenient one. I actually think Obama has more trouble on the Reverend Wright affair, because no one really believes that Obama never heard any of the racist rhetoric coming from that guy's pulpit. The most charitable (and I think entirely plausible) view is that Obama knew of it, didn't agree with it, but remained there anyway in order to connect himself to the community for political purposes. He wouldn't be the first politician to do that, but he has had to pay (and may more still) the costs of dancing with that partner. And Obama has now disowned Wright, but not until it was clear that Wright wouldn't keep his lips shut for the duration of the campaign. He showed poor judgment in not disowning Wright to begin with, but it's not as if he's alone in showing poor judgment during this campaign.
10.5.2008 3:16pm
Will Writer (mail):
It seems that no one has picked up on the fact that, as obama was 8 at the time of Ayres terrorism, he has lived several years without figuring out that he is collaborating with an unrepentant terrorist, even to the point of referring to him as "a guy who lives in the neighborhood." This is not guilt by association. This is guilt by stupidity. At the least, this makes him too slow a learner to send to OJT at the White House
10.5.2008 4:17pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
cabeza:

Tu quoque is a bad argument when the additional party you're comparing to isn't the one being defended


Are you talking to me? If you go to the trouble of being more specific, I might be able to understand what you're trying to say.
10.5.2008 4:40pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
weevil:

Why does the governor of South Carolina allow moronic leftie professors at the state university to honor an unrepentant terrorist? How could he possibly stop them?


You mean he's constrained from even stating that he's mildly peeved about it? He's not allowed to drop even a vague hint that he thinks the honor should be withdrawn? There's a rule that says he's not allowed to have and express an opinion on the subject? He's obliged to be silent and thereby imply consent? Really? Who knew?
10.5.2008 4:40pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
upside:

including letting him throw campaign events


Please show your proof that there was more than one event. And please show your proof that it was Obama, not Palmer, who chose the location.

you are one of the worst offenders I've ever seen


If you have a substantive objection to anything I've said, you should tell us what it is. I read your post carefully, to see if one was hidden in there somewhere, but I couldn't find it. Asking me my age doesn't qualify. Likewise for commenting on the size of my fingers.

the Sanford example you cite doesn't show hypocrisy or anything of the like


I just explained to weevil why the Sanford example is relevant.
10.5.2008 4:40pm
DG:
This is a great blog, but the Bernstein posts are invariably tiresome, partisan, and just shy of racist.
10.5.2008 4:42pm
Dr. Weevil (mail) (www):
'jukeboxgrad' assumes that Sanford (a) knows about Ayers and (b) has never expressed any objection to U.S.C. honoring him. It would be nice to see some evidence for either or both of those assumptions. Until then, it looks like JBG is just a weasel too sleazy to admit that his argument is bogus.
10.5.2008 5:22pm
The Upside Part II:
Reasoning with a child like you isn't worth anyone's time, jukebox. There's no point to it. You don't have the intellectual honesty to take a stand based on anything other than the dog you have in the fight. It shows an appalling lack of maturity that makes it rather easy for anyone who visits this blog to know your age without knowing anything else about you.

As for the little fingers comment, well, I apologize for that. I was simply trying to put into images your response to a particular story (which always starts with "what do I want the result to be"). For all I know, that could be a totally inaccurate statement, though I tend to doubt it.
10.5.2008 5:31pm
The Upside Part II:
Dr. Weevil,

Funny how jukebox makes an assumption about Sanford that he'd never make for Obama, even though Sanford has never has the same sort of association with Ayers that Obama did. And as I noted, I do not presume that Obama was aware of the extent of Ayers's views or past conduct. But the analogy is rather silly, but hey, when you're aggregating talking points, why bother with rationality? Throw up as many false allegations of hypocrisy and rationalizations, hoping some stick.
10.5.2008 5:43pm
Shertaugh:
db:

if you keep saying that Obama shouldn't be president because of his association with someone who has done, according to the local mayor, outstanding work in improving local schools, then maybe -- single handedly -- you'll persuade the electorate.

By the way, what's the deal with Palin's use of criminals to obstruct and impeded the Troopergate investigation? You know, the lawyers not licensed to practice law in Alaska and so who are committing misdemeanors?

Oh, who cares about Palin . . . only 1 heartbeat away. Maybe we can bring the anti-witch doctor to D.C. and the government from evildoers.
10.5.2008 5:48pm
Hoosier:
"You know, the lawyers not licensed to practice law in Alaska and so who are committing misdemeanors? "

Can Ah git an "ALLEGEDLY!" mah bruthuhs an' sistahs? (Admittedly poor attempt at Ernest Angely's dialect. But then why spend more time on him than he spends on picking toupees, I always say.)
10.5.2008 6:41pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
hoosier:

Can Ah git an "ALLEGEDLY!" mah bruthuhs an' sistahs?


No. O’Callaghan has admitted that he's helping Van Flein with "legal strategy." O’Callaghan is not a member of the Alaska bar, and he's committing a misdemeanor.
10.5.2008 7:41pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
weevil:

'jukeboxgrad' assumes that Sanford (a) knows about Ayers and (b) has never expressed any objection to U.S.C. honoring him.


At this point, Ayers is front-page news. If he wasn't already, Palin's remark made sure of it. So if there was ever any room to claim that Sanford doesn't 'know about Ayers,' that room is gone.

And to the extent that there are folks like you who believe that honoring Ayers is wrong, then it's reasonable to believe that one or more people like you have brought the situation to Sanford's attention. And if you haven't, you should.

And if anyone can show any sign that Sanford has ever "expressed any objection to U.S.C. honoring" Ayers, I will gladly withdraw my remarks regarding Sanford. In the absence of evidence (I've looked), it's reasonable to assume that Sanford has never done such a thing.

If Ayers is truly as "contemptible" as you claim, then Sanford has no excuse for remaining silent. His silence implies that Ayers is now mainstream.
10.5.2008 8:17pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
upside:

As for the little fingers comment, well, I apologize for that


I wonder where you got the wacky idea that discussing my alleged age ("child") is less offensive than discussing the alleged size of my fingers.

But it's no surprise that just like McCain, you're eager to change the subject and avoid the discussion of anything substantive.

even though Sanford has never has the same sort of association with Ayers that Obama did


You've got it backwards. Obama has never had the same sort of association with Ayers that Sanford had, and still has. Sanford is in a position of authority over people who have honored Ayers. Sanford has a unique opportunity, if not a duty, to criticize what they did. Why is he silent?
10.5.2008 8:17pm
The upside . ..:
Bottom line jukebox is you're not a day older than 25, and every post you make just reaffirms that fact. At some point, you'll have to stop being a perpetual student and have to actually get a job (rather than spending every waking moment moving from website to website attacking anyone who disagrees with you and posting the original thoughts of anyone other than yourself). Until then, you keep grinding away with your latest web links. It's noble work you're doing.
10.5.2008 8:25pm
The upside . ..:
And on your substantive comparison, jukebox, wow, that is really, really weak. Whether Sanford has authority over Ayers or not, most governors don't get involved in every micro-detail of university administration. If Sanford started down that path with every academic, he wouldn't make it that far. That's something you'd know if you actually had to get a real job and contribute something over than web links to society.

Obama's association is a voluntary one. As I said numerous times before, I really don't know whether Obama was aware of Ayers's past, and in my mind, that is the only relevant question. If he did and voluntarily associated with him, it reflects poorly on Obama. Do you disagree with that? I mean seriously, answer that question for the rest of us. If Ayers told Obama "Hey, I once bombed government buildings and on 9/11 I said I didn't do enough," and Obama said "Who am I to judge" and kept his association with the guy, are you actually pretending that Obama shouldn't be held accountable? I'm not suggesting that ever happened. But that's the essence of the inquiry.

That doesn't even come close to the Sanford situation, where you're apparently suggeseting that Sanford should be held accountable for not criticizing someone with whom he didn't voluntarily associate or that he should try to terminate his employment (good luck with that).

This is what I mean when I say you're the worst offender on this site in terms of intellectual dishonesty. A reasonable Obama supporter would say "there's no evidence that Obama knew about Ayers and that their relationship wasn't that close." That's fine. That's a reasonable argument. But only a borderline lunatic or someone incredibly immature would try to justify Obama's association with Ayers by comparing it to the highly dissimilar Sanford situation.

I point to your age and lack of maturity -- whether you find it offensive or not -- because that's the only explantion short of you being a complete nutjob. And many reasonably intelligent people are much more dogmatic in their youth than they are when they have had a little more life experience. That's the most charitable explanation for some of the drivel you post here, and I also think it happens to be accurate.
10.5.2008 8:41pm
Anderson (mail):
the AP story doesn't amount to a defense of Obama in what is supposed to be straight news

Reading is fundamental, as one might imagine a law professor would already know:

Analysis: Palin's words may backfire on McCain

As anyone who reads more newspapers than does Sarah Palin ought to be aware, newspapers often run "analysis" features that are not "straight news stories" but provide background, perspective, and (inevitably) a certain degree of judgment.

However, Professor Bernstein is typically uninterested in the truth, only in advancing his views. Facts which interfere with that effort are to be disregarded.
10.5.2008 8:51pm
Fury:
jukeboxgrad writes:

"Sanford is in a position of authority over people who have honored Ayers.

You're unfortunately again being intellectually lazy, jukeboxgrad. Sanford is in no position of authority over personnel at the University of South Carolina, save the one at-large Trustee he appoints to the Board and also a designee to attend meeting in the place of the Governor.
10.5.2008 9:24pm
Hoosier:
Fury--It's also worth keeping in mind that most trustees on any university board are there for the purpose of donating large money to the university. (At least this is what the university president's executive assistant has assured him/her.)

The only people with real authority are the "X Committee" of the trustees, whatever "X" is at a given university. (Here X=Executive.) We have God-know-how-many trustees. But decisions on appointment of deans, provosts, presidents, and all significant university-wide decisions are left to the Gang of Twelve.

Whether a gubernatorial appointee sits on the ExComm at any particular public university is not something I'd know about. But one would need to demonstrate that he/she does in order to make a point about "positions of authority." If the at-large trustee is not on the committee, then his job is really to eat expensive dinners a couple times a year.

I have long fantasized about being a trustee at my alma mater, Notre Dame. But I think that alumni who most need the free meals are the people least likely to get the nod.
10.5.2008 9:48pm
Hoosier:
The upside . ..:
And on your substantive comparison, jukebox, wow, that is really, really weak. Whether Sanford has authority over Ayers or not, most governors don't get involved in every micro-detail of university administration.


To put it very mildly. Faculty here in Indianer go ape-shit when a governor or state rep is so bold as to ask "What are you doing with state funds, and why does it involve construction of yet another building?"

"Academic freedom" means never having to say . . . well, anything you don't want to say, really.
10.5.2008 9:51pm
Hoosier:
BTW--I am not voting for Obama or Sanford due to their connections with Ayers!

(See how damned reasonable we Mid-Westerners are?)
10.5.2008 9:59pm
Hoosier:
and he's committing a misdemeanor.

Allegedly. (Sorry, but that's how it works.)
10.5.2008 10:00pm
Floridan:
Please, please . . . let's keep this line of argument going.

While Palin and McCain are trying to scare us with charges that Obama is going to bring the 1960s back, he's be addressing the economic problems confronting the nation.

Guess which has more resonance with the people?
10.5.2008 10:12pm
KeyComments (mail):
Look, Obama knows absolutely nothing about economics so I don't understand why anyone would want to hear him talk about it. In fact, I WOULD like him to speak a little on 1960s-style radicalism because that is at least something he may know a bit about.
10.5.2008 10:42pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
upside:

most governors don't get involved in every micro-detail of university administration


Remaining silent while a 'contemptible' terrorist is given honors is hardly a "micro-detail." That is, unless you think Ayers is now mainstream.

you're apparently suggeseting that Sanford should be held accountable for not criticizing someone with whom he didn't voluntarily associate


Sanford is the top official of an institution that has granted honors to Ayers. If that's wrong, Sanford has an obligation to speak up. If it's not wrong, then Obama didn't do anything wrong, either.
10.5.2008 11:07pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
fury:

Sanford is in no position of authority over personnel at the University of South Carolina


Sanford is the ex officio Chairman of the Board. At the very least, he is free to speak up about Ayers. He hasn't. Why not? Didn't he get the memo that McCain needs his help?
10.5.2008 11:07pm
inthethickofit:
you're right about the top of the story being one-sided, but here's what really made my eyes pop out of my head as i was reading the story on the wire:

But while Ayers and Obama are acquainted, the charge that they "pal around" is a stretch of any reading of the public record. And it's simply wrong to suggest that they were associated while Ayers was committing terrorist acts.

'and it's simply wrong'? 'the charge ... is a stretch'?

these are unattributed in the what masquerades as a news story.

i am a journalism instructor at the college level -- and i formerly worked with the author of this article, a reporter for whom i have no small amount of respect, but reading this makes me want to throw up.

if this is an opinion piece, label it. if it's a news story, EDIT IT FOR OBJECTIVITY AND FAIRNESS.

disgusting.
10.5.2008 11:52pm
Dave N (mail):
Hoosier,

I am not even sure he has committed a misdemeanor. Hell, despite it being a Kos talking point (which on this site means JBG, but I digress), the relevant Alaska case on the unauthorized practice of law is Skuse v. State, 714 P.2d 386 (1986). Skuse held, in relevant part:
There is no Bar Rule or Alaska Statute that describes which activities constitute the unauthorized practice of law. The practice of law has been defined by Alaska Statute for the qualification of justices [AS 22.05.070], but this definition is not necessarily the same as that to be used in determining whether ... certain activities constitute the unauthorized practice of law. Although the Alaska Bar Association is authorized by the legislature to recommend such a definition to the state supreme court, see AS 08.08.080(1), it has yet to do so
Id. at 371 (citations and internal punctuation omitted). Subsequent to Skuse, the Alaska Bar adopted Rule 15(b), which provides:
(1) For purposes of the practice of law prohibition for disbarred and suspended attorneys in subparagraph (a)(6) of this rule, except for attorneys suspended solely for non-payment of bar fees, "practice of law" is defined as:

(A) holding oneself out as an attorney or lawyer authorized to practice law;

(B) rendering legal consultation or advice to a client;

(C) appearing on behalf of a client in any hearing or proceeding or before any judicial officer, arbitrator, mediator, court, public agency, referee, magistrate, commissioner, hearing officer, or governmental body which is operating in its adjudicative capacity, including the submission of pleadings;

(D) appearing as a representative of the client at a deposition or other discovery matter;

(E) negotiating or transacting any matter for or on behalf of a client with third parties; or

(F) receiving, disbursing, or otherwise handling a client's funds.
Thus, there is no clear definition of when an out-of-state attorney would engage in the unauthorized practice of law. What exactly does "rendering legal consultation or advice to a client" mean? Because that is the only possible theory these attorneys could be charged with the unauthorized practice of law. Given the Skuse holding, I strongly believe the Alaska courts would agree as well.

Of course, even if the statute somehow survives a vagueness claim there is also a delegation issue (the statute leaves up defining the term to a quasi-private entity, the State Bar of Alaska).

But hey, let the Kool-Aid drinkers keep up the Kos-talking points. Of course, when people opine that orthers are violating the law it might help if they understood it.
10.6.2008 12:02am
Dr. Weevil (mail) (www):
How the Hell does JBG know that Sanford hasn't spoken up about Ayers? Has he read every word written by Sanford and heard every word spoken by him since Ayers was honored by the university? And even if Sanford hasn't spoken up, has JBG considered that criticizing tenured professors for being leftwing morons would be taken as a badge of honor by said leftwing moron professors, and therefore speaking up might be entirely counterproductive? Most of all, why can't JBG admit that he was utterly wrong in suggesting that Sanford could do anything but criticize? Because he's a common troll, perhaps?
10.6.2008 12:09am
Hoosier:
Dave N:

"But hey, let the Kool-Aid drinkers keep up the Kos-talking points."

But when will they shut up and drink the damned Kool-Aid?
10.6.2008 1:26am
Mac (mail):
CNN repeated the same story that the AP did re this today. Get this, it was under the heading of Fact checking or truth seeking in the political statements. Oh my.
10.6.2008 2:02am
Dave N (mail):
Hoosier,

Oh, true--and Jukebox got his info from the Puffington Host and not Kos--I am sure he is going to try to make that somehow significant.

I would note that he USED to call himself "Jukeboxlawgrad". JBG subsequently dropped the "law" part. His comments regarding Alaska law demonstrate he has no clue about the law, especially criminal law--so at least he is no longer engaging in deceptive advertising with his nom de blog.
10.6.2008 2:21am
Brian Macker (mail) (www):
TyWebb,
when you find an AP reporter downplaying KKK terrorism during the "tumultuous" civil rights era, let me know.
"You mean, like this article?"

That article didn't downplay anything. The only think it did do was use the word "tumultuous".

It was also an article about a person who became ashamed of his membership in the KKK and turned snitch. Bill Ayers is still pround of his active involvement.

This was not a puff piece. Was it a puff piece where the underlying fact was that the guy was proud KKK member still believed he did the right thing? Was it hiding the close association of a presidential candidate with him? Hardly.
10.6.2008 7:51am
Brian Macker (mail) (www):
PC,

Other than that there's exactly ONE degree of separation between Obama and Ayers

The same can be said of my wife's grandmother and Pope John Paul II. What's your point?

You must be proud of your grandmothers sitting at the head of an organization set up by the Pope.

What? Oh, you didn't mean that close. You meant she's a Catholic and has about as much a relationship with the Pope as I do with Pres. Bush because I'm an American.
10.6.2008 7:58am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
thick:

it's simply wrong to suggest that they were associated while Ayers was committing terrorist acts


Here's that sentence from the article, along with what follows:

And it's simply wrong to suggest that they were associated while Ayers was committing terrorist acts. Obama was 8 years old at the time the Weather Underground claimed credit for numerous bombings and was blamed for a pipe bomb that killed a San Francisco policeman.


What is incorrect or unfair about those words?
10.6.2008 10:06am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
dave n:

What exactly does "rendering legal consultation or advice to a client" mean? Because that is the only possible theory these attorneys could be charged with the unauthorized practice of law.


Pay attention to what O'Callaghan admitted:

But O'Callaghan (who resigned from the U.S. attorney's office at the end of July to join the McCain campaign) is doing more than just public relations when it comes to "troopergate."  He told NEWSWEEK that he and another McCain campaign lawyer (whom he declined to identify) are serving as legal "consultants" to Thomas Van Flein, the Anchorage lawyer who at state expense is representing Palin and her office in the inquiry. "We are advising Thomas Van Flein on this matter to the extent that it impacts on the national campaign," he said. "I'm helping out on legal strategy."


Tell us about the planet where "helping out on legal strategy" is not "rendering legal consultation or advice to a client."

Jukebox got his info from the Puffington Host and not Kos


And I just showed you that Newsweek also has the quote. And on the ADN site I've seen video of O'Callaghan personally making the statement.

You're doing the regular GOP thing: deny plain facts no matter how well-documented they are.

I would note that he USED to call himself "Jukeboxlawgrad". JBG subsequently dropped the "law" part.


Someone might actually think you're serious, so I should point out that you're simply making a bad joke.
10.6.2008 10:10am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
weevil:

How the Hell does JBG know that Sanford hasn't spoken up about Ayers?


It's possible that Sanford has whispered something into his pillow. It's also possible he said something to his shrink, or his priest. It's even possible that he visited the Western Wall and wrote something on a note. But those statements don't count. What counts is speaking up in public. Because unless Ayers is 'mainstream,' Sanford has a duty to publicly object to the fact that his university honored Ayers.

So let us know when you're in a position to show that anyone has heard a peep out of Sanford. If Sanford had ever made a statement about this, it would not be hard to find.

criticizing tenured professors for being leftwing morons would be taken as a badge of honor by said leftwing moron professors


That's an exceedingly feeble excuse for failing to complain about the glorification of a terrorist.

why can't JBG admit that he was utterly wrong in suggesting that Sanford could do anything but criticize?


Why can't weevil admit that he is utterly wrong to suggest that JBG ever called on Sanford to do anything but criticize?
10.6.2008 10:22am
Hoosier:
You're doing the regular GOP thing

That's a lie! I don't golf.
10.6.2008 11:59am
Dave N (mail):
Jukebox,

You are obviously not an attorney (if you were you would look at the law and not idiotic talking points). First, the Alaska Supreme Court--you know, those people are the ultimate arbiters of Alaska law--has held that the statute is vague. In fact, the term is undefined. For those who believe in the law and not talking points, that means the law is essentially meaningless. What I did provide was the Alaska rule for how a suspended or disbarred attorney could be engaged in the unlawful practice of law--but that provision does not deal with out-of-state attorneys.

Second, I mentioned that the law has a delegation problem. You didn't understand what this means, so I will small words. What I meant is that the statute itself delegates to the Alaska State Bar and the Alaska Supreme Court to define what the "unauthorized practice of law" means. This is important, because, you see, we have three branches of government--and the Legislative branch cannot delegate the language of criminal statutes to others.

Finally, and perhaps I should have mentioned this in my earlier post, Alaska has what is known as the Corpus Delicti Rule (most states have it). IN other words, even if someone says they are doing something illegal, their words alone are insufficient to convict. There has to be independent evidence that a crime has occurred--and that goes for ALL crimes in Alaska.

Simply put, you don't know what you are talking about with respect to criminal law.
10.6.2008 12:20pm
EIDE_Interface (mail):
Yes Obama is a terrorist sympathizer.
10.6.2008 4:22pm
EIDE_Interface (mail):
Bottom line is that when it counted, he didn't disassociate himself back in 1996. Only in 2007 when it didn't count. Obama is not an honorable man.
10.6.2008 4:36pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
dave n:

You are obviously not an attorney


I suppose a really excellent attorney would be able to explain why "helping out on legal strategy" is not "rendering legal consultation or advice to a client." So how come you haven't done that?
10.6.2008 4:48pm
The Upside Part II:
Hey jukebox grad,

Notice you ducked the question. If Obama was aware of Ayers's past and nonetheless maintained his association with Ayers, is that in your mind okay? There are many willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. I suspect your position is that even if Obama was fully aware of what Ayers had done and said, it would not reflect poorly on Obama if he maintained his relationship with Ayers. But when asked the question, you ducked it in your typically juvenile way.

Care to answer? And please try to answer without trying to equate it with what someone else has or hasn't done (again, another sign of an immature mind). Just tell us whether you think Obama acted appropriately if he had knowledge of Ayers's conduct and statements?
10.6.2008 5:48pm
Hoosier:
EIDE_Interface:
Don't vote for either Sanford or Obama for president!

The stakes are just to high!
10.6.2008 5:48pm
Bad English:
It's not clear that Obama is a terrorist sympathizer, but he certainly has no problem befriending terrorists and accepting whatever political profit they may offer him.
10.6.2008 5:52pm
Dave N (mail):
Hey Jukeboxgrad,

Your reading comprehension skills are obviously lacking. I cited the Alaska Supreme Court's leading case on the unauthorized practice of law. You have not even acknowledged that this case exists. I did some actual legal research.

The Alaska Supreme Court said the term was undefined in the law (as of 1986 when the case came out). I have found nothing in Alaska law that has changed since then.

In answer to your question "helping out on legal strategy" means, "talking lawyer to lawyer and sharing ideas." That is NOT the practice of law, particularly in Alaska.

All you know are your talking points. You obviously do not know the law and your attempts to parse words continues to prove I am right in that assessment.
10.6.2008 6:02pm
Guest--:
Dave N.,

Count your blessings that juke box is only playing attorney today. A few weeks ago, jbg was giving parenting critiques of Sarah Palin. When asked whether jbg had any kids of its own, there was . . . . silence.
10.6.2008 6:44pm
Hoosier:
"Count your blessings that juke box is only playing attorney today."

Is that . . . legal?
10.6.2008 7:16pm
Rich Rostrom (mail):
Anyone who thinks Obama did not know exactly who and what Ayers and Dohrn were is blowing smoke.

Ayers and Dohrn were among the most notorious "Weathermen": not least for Dohrn's gruesome public gloating over the mass murders by Charles Manson's cult. They were the foster parents of Chesa Boudin, whose mother Kathy was one of the gunmen in the Brink's armored-car robbery in which the WU murdered two police and a guard.

It is simply not possible that anyone with any serious interests in left and radical U.S. politics never heard of them.

Obame was mentored as a teen by a committed radical and lifelong Communist. As a college student, by his own account, he hung out with campus radicals. This was in the 1970s, when the Weather Underground was very recent news. The Brink's robbery was in 1981.

Furthermore, Obama, his future wife, and Dohrn all worked at Sidley &Austin. S&A was the house law firm for Commonwealth Edison, which was headed by Bill Ayers' father Thomas. Before that, Obama the community organizer worked for ex-SDSer Marilyn Katz. Obama also worked for Judson Miner, a classmate of Dohrn and prominent figure in Chicago radical circles.

To believe that Obama didn't know Ayers, one has to believe that Obama could work with and among many of Ayers' long-time associates without ever hearing about him.
10.6.2008 7:16pm
Guest--:
Geez, Hoosier, when will you learn? It's only illegal if it's a Republican doing it!!

Read the memo -- it's published daily at www.dailykos.com
10.6.2008 7:35pm
Dr. Weevil (mail) (www):
jukeboxgrad clearly implies(yesterday, 9:22am) that he had never "called on Sanford to do anything but criticize". On Sunday he asked "Why does Sanford allow this?" (the naming of Ayers as a Distinguished Professor). Surely any honest and competent reader would infer that he thought Sanford could and should cancel the honor. When called on that, he resorts to dishonest evasions. Just another contemptible troll, though more voluble than most.
10.7.2008 7:38am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Surely any honest and competent reader would infer that he thought Sanford could and should cancel the honor


Surely any honest and competent reader would understand that Sanford "could and should" do everything in his power to "cancel the honor," and to the extent that he lacks direct power to do so, he should speak up and raise a bloody fuss. Why hasn't he? Because even if he lacks the power to cancel the honor, he doesn't lack the power to express his feelings about it. Right?

Nevertheless, I should have realized that I was in the company of simpleminded people. Instead of saying "why does Sanford allow this," I should have said "why does Sanford allow this without us hearing even a peep out of him." Now that I've asked the question in a form that is undoubtedly simple enough for even the likes of you to grasp, will you finally answer it? Claiming that he doesn't want to provide "a badge of honor" to "leftwing moron professors" isn't much of an answer. That same 'logic' applies to everyone who is currently complaining about Ayers (including and especially Palin), and I don't see it leading to any hesitation.

If the motivation to condemn Ayers was something other than a last-minute partisan ploy by a campaign that is rapidly slipping into oblivion, then the folks condemning Ayers would be calling on Sanford to raise his voice. But there is a pointed absence of anyone doing that. You're afraid to do that because you're concerned that Sanford might not say what you need him to say. And that's an appropriate concern, because what he's said so far by his silence is directly contrary to what you need him to say. Because silence is consent.
10.7.2008 9:18am
Hoosier:
Nevertheless, I should have realized that I was in the company of simpleminded people.

And yet you didn't. Wonder what that says about you.

You're afraid to do that because you're concerned that Sanford might not say what you need him to say. And that's an appropriate concern, because what he's said so far by his silence is directly contrary to what you need him to say. Because silence is consent.

When you get past talking points, you aren't really coherent.
10.7.2008 11:56am
Guest--:
And jukebox still hasn't answered the question put to him. Coward.
10.7.2008 3:24pm
Hoosier:
He never does. When trapped, he just tries to distract. Like a squid shooting ink into the water to cover its escape. Attack, attack, attack. Isn't that what the VC community is all about?
10.7.2008 6:03pm
Guest--:
It's probably a useful strategy in his Dungeons &Dragons games.
10.7.2008 6:51pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
hoosier:

He never does.


That reminds me. Still no luck finding that page number?
10.9.2008 11:55am