Obama didn’t know Bill Ayers is a socialist? Why didn’t he Google him?

How dumb does Obama and the Democrat machine think Americans are? Is he trying to say he didn’t know that Bill Ayers bombed the Pentagon and a police station? Ayers said he wished he had bombed more in a Sept. 11, 2001 interview. Obama was a politcal partner with Ayers for years. The two community organizers were members of ACORN and headed groups that choose who got a share of $100 million from the Annenberg Challenge for the Woods Foundation; that was only a few years ago in 2002.

Can you imagine the U.S. electing an anti-American socialist as president over a war hero who nearly gave his life for this country?

Here is what you get if you Google Bill Ayers — he spent 10 years as a fugitive in the 1970s when he was part of the “Weather Underground,” an anti-War group that protested U.S. policies by bombing the Pentagon, U.S. Capitol and a string of other government buildings. The FBI labeled them a “domestic terrorist group.”

Today, Ayers and his wife — fellow former Weather Underground leader Bernardine Dohrn — live in upscale Hyde Park, where they moved after surrendering in 1980. Federal charges against the two were dropped because of improper surveillance, so they avoided prison.

Ayers and Dohrn have raised two sons of their own and adopted a third boy whose parents were Weather Underground members who went to prison. Along the way, they met a rising political star named Barack Obama, who lived in their neighborhood, just a few blocks away.

The Ayers-Obama relationship became a hot topic in this year’s Democratic presidential primary debate. It is “an issue certainly Republicans will be raising” should Obama be the Democratic nominee for president, Obama rival Hillary Clinton said. But the press has tried to prove her wrong.

In 1995, Ayers and Dohrn hosted a “meet-and-greet” at their house to introduce Obama to their neighbors during his first run for the Illinois Senate. In 2001, Ayers contributed $200 to Obama’s campaign. Ayers also served alongside Obama between December 1999 and December 2002 on the board of the not-for-profit Woods Fund of Chicago. That board met four times a year, and members would see each other at occasional dinners the group hosted. This was the group that controlled $100 million of the Annenburg Challege money.

Ayers, a Glen Ellyn (upper middle class neighborhood) native who became active in SDS while attending the University of Michigan, is the son of late Commonwealth Edison CEO Thomas G. Ayers. Ayers has praised his dad for standing by him while he was on the lam.

A book Ayers penned about those years, Fugitive Days, landed him in hot water on Sept. 11, 2001. That morning, the New York Times ran a story about the book in which Ayers said, “I don’t regret setting bombs. I feel we didn’t do enough.”

Ayers has a Web site, billayers.org, in which he blogs about politics and other subjects. He lets friends and foes post comments.

In response to an Ayers posting, “End the War,” a reader wrote, “You are an anti-American communist and a terrorist. I hope you get what you deserve over and over and over.”

The bombing was horrible, but that was 40 years ago. What has Ayres and Obama done for socialists lately?

This from Stan Kurtz

In one of the first book-length scholarly studies of ACORN, Organizing Urban America, Rutgers University political scientist Heidi Swarts describes this group, so dear to Barack Obama, as “oppositional outlaws.” Swarts, a strong supporter of ACORN, has no qualms about stating that its members think of themselves as “militants unafraid to confront the powers that be.” “This identity as a uniquely militant organization,” says Swarts, “is reinforced by contentious action.” ACORN protesters will break into private offices, show up at a banker’s home to intimidate his family, or pour protesters into bank lobbies to scare away customers, all in an effort to force a lowering of credit standards for poor and minority customers. According to Swarts, long-term ACORN organizers “tend to see the organization as a solitary vanguard of principled leftists…the only truly radical community organization.”

ACORN’s Inside Strategy
Yet ACORN’s entirely deserved reputation for militance is balanced by its less-well-known “inside strategy.” ACORN has long employed Washington-based lobbyists who understand very well how the legislative game is played. ACORN’s national lobbyists may encourage and benefit from the militant tactics of their base, but in the halls of congress they play the game with smooth sophistication. The untold story of ACORN’s central role in the financial meltdown is about the one-two punch to the banking system administered by this outside/inside strategy.

Can you imagine the U.S. electing an anti-American socialist as president over a war hero who nearly gave his life for this country?

Obama has more respect for Kim Jong-Il and Hugo Chavez than John McCain Sarah Palin. Maybe you do too. That’s where we are in 2008.

9 thoughts on “Obama didn’t know Bill Ayers is a socialist? Why didn’t he Google him?

  1. I was of college age when Ayers was pulling his criminal stunts and by 1995 (probably by 1975) I wouldn’t have known him or who he was if he came up and bit me on the ass.

  2. A litte friendly advice, Mick. Get a grip.

    I read through your piece three times and somehow never found any tiny bit of evidence that Obama shared Ayers’ views. I’ve read thousands of words in the media on the topic and there is likewise no evidence of him and Ayers having anything more than a casual relationship. And yet somehow you can make the jump that because they knew each other, Obama is an “anti-American socialist?”

    I’ve heard of jumping to conclusions but this stunning leap makes jumping to conclusions seem to be a full cardio-vascular workout. Is there anyone left in America with an IQ above room temperature who believes this stuff anymore?

    Let’s face facts here. The guilt by association baloney is done. The silly innuendos are finished. The days of campaigning by smear, fear and slime are thankfully coming to an end. Not only is it a morally bankrupt strategy at a time when we a facing a global economic collapse, two wars and huge other challenges, it just isn’t working anymore.

    The polls are showing that the attacks are backfiring, driving fair-minded and moderate voters away. McCain-Palin rallies are starting to look like angry mobs with people shouting violent threats. Mustering his last fraying shred of decency, John McCain finally had to take away the microphone from a woman who started to label Obama an “Arab” on Friday, conceding that he is actually an American and a decent man with whom he has differences in opinion on how to be president.

    I blame Lee Atwater and his disciples. His culture war, divide us against each other, us vs. them style of politics has dominated the GOP for years. His lineage now runs from disciple Karl Rove to the folks running McCain’s campaign like Rovians Steve Schmidt and Rick Davis. Taken together, they are a one-trick pony who know no other way to run a campaign, even when its not working.

    We cannot unite America to face its challenges if we campaign by divisiveness. I believe Americans have begun to recognize that we need to bridge the partisan divides that cleave our nation if we hope to get America back on track. The times are too uncertain, the problems facing us too crucial for us to continue the nonsense any longer. It’s time for us all to grow up.

  3. Ken, that was a well-written Obama PR piece. You deserve every buck. Are you on Obama’s or ACORN’s payroll?

    In one of the first book-length scholarly studies of ACORN, Organizing Urban America, Rutgers University political scientist Heidi Swarts describes this group, so dear to Barack Obama, as “oppositional outlaws.” Swarts, a strong supporter of ACORN, has no qualms about stating that its members think of themselves as “militants unafraid to confront the powers that be.” “This identity as a uniquely militant organization,” says Swarts, “is reinforced by contentious action.” ACORN protesters will break into private offices, show up at a banker’s home to intimidate his family, or pour protesters into bank lobbies to scare away customers, all in an effort to force a lowering of credit standards for poor and minority customers. According to Swarts, long-term ACORN organizers “tend to see the organization as a solitary vanguard of principled leftists…the only truly radical community organization.”

    ACORN has long employed Washington-based lobbyists who understand very well how the legislative game is played. ACORN’s national lobbyists may encourage and benefit from the militant tactics of their base, but in the halls of congress they play the game with smooth sophistication.

    ACORN’s central role in the financial meltdown is about the one-two punch to the banking system administered by this outside/inside strategy of pros like you Ken. Share some more with us.

  4. Well, there you go again, Mick.

    We’re talking about the silly Bill Ayers libel and suddenly you’re off on ACORN. I know it’s the right’s dementia-of-the-week and I’m sure there will be a new one next week. Back when I was in the game, we called it “throwing something new up against the wall every day to see what sticks.” Not a pretty strategy, but I guess it’s all the right has at this point.

    The McCain campaign has basically conceded the election to Obama on the issues. On those little things like the economic collapse, two wars, a health care crisis, etc., polls show most Americans favor Obama’s solutions to those offered by conservatives, when conservatives bother to offer any. So we’re left with another 23 days of character assassination, guilt by association, innuendo and sleazy attack ads. It’s sad and regrettable that the conservative revolution of the past 25 years — one that started with so many promising new ideas — is dying this kind of agonizing, humiliating death. I feel sorry that John McCain, who has been an honorable, decent man throughout most of his career, must be at the helm of this ship as it founders on the iceberg.

    But if you want to talk about ACORN, let’s have at it.

    So ACORN had a “central role in the financial meltdown?” Who knew the poor and minorities had such awesome economic clout? All they had to do to bring capitalism to its knees was to take out a few home loans. Wow.

    Not only is this an astounding claim, it’s also ludicrous on its face if you understand economics and care about the facts. This notion began on the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal (where they apparently don’t read their own news columns) and at National Review Online and has spread like an infectious lip fungus throughout the right-wing blogosphere.

    The argument, as I understand it, goes something like this. Banks were forced by Washington to make risky loans to minorities and poor people by the Community Reinvestment Act. They then sold this risky paper to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and when these CRA loans began to default, it caused Fannie and Freddie to totter. When they began to shake, other institutions followed and viola, a global financial crisis.

    But speaking of facts, let’s throw around a few just for giggles.

    1. It is true that Fannie and Freddie played a part in this problem, but nowhere near a central role. Poor lending decisions by banks were also part of the problem, as was poor oversight from Washington. That much is clear.

    2. CRA loans were also part of the problem, but reports from the Federal Reserve found the vast majority of banks were actually making money on their CRA loan portfolios. There was nothing in the CRA that required banks to make loans that did not meet their lending standards. In fact, the act and its regulations specifically state that sound lending practices should govern these loans. The Fed reported that the default rate on CRA loans was only marginally higher than on other mortgages.

    3. A crucial fact is that CRA loans were only a very small part of the subprime market. Most banks had 15 percent or less of their loans in subprime CRA loans and banks were only a small part of the huge subprime industry. The vast majority of subprime lending was done by companies like Countrywide, Argent, American Home Mortgage and other mortgage finance companies that specialized in subprime lending.

    4. Can you guess how many CRA loans these big boys in the subprime market made? Did you guess none? It’s true. Since they were not banks or depository institutions, they were not required to comply with the CRA. Instead of raising money to make loans from depositors, these major subprime players got money from funders like Lehman Brothers, Bear Sterns, Merrill Lynch and the like. You may remember those guys, all of whom are no longer in business today due to their huge exposure to subprime loans made outside the banking regulatory system. Many of these loans were also sold to Fannie and Freddie and were a much larger cause of their ultimate failure than CRA loans.

    5. All these major Wall Street players were actually making money in their core business until the day they went out of business. What forced them to fail was the subprime lending business, which they funded out of their private accounts (essentially house money). Because of the systematic deregulation of the financial industry over the past 25 years, led by Republicans and aided and abetted by Democrats, they was much less oversight of these transactions than in the past.

    6. Even the big boys got nervous, or at least tried to hedge their bets, when they realized how much exposure they had to risky mortgages. They started seeking risk partners and a new industry was born: credit default swaps (CDS’s). This was essentially insurance against a borrower defaulting on a subprime loan, or against a package of loans bundled together as a mortgage-backed security. Again due to deregulation, there was no oversight of these transactions. Although it was insurance and much of the CDS market was dominated by insurance companies, the companies bent over backwards to keep from calling it insurance. If they admitted it was insurance, it would have been governed by state insurance regulators. They would have also been required to take prudent steps to protect themselves and investors, like reserving capital against potential losses. So they issued insurance, called it something else and didn’t reserve money to pay potential claims. And when the defaults began, the dominos began to tumble and we saw the world’s largest insurance company, AIG, have to be rescued from bankruptcy.

    To blame ACORN or CRA lending for this crisis is absurd. They were bit players in a drama dominated by huge investment banks, global finance companies and multinational insurance giants.

    But there is a common thread here. Imagine the economy as a football game. At halftime, the referee tears up half the rule book, tells all the other officials to go home and brings the teams back to the field. You can imagine the resulting chaos and mayhem.

    That’s pretty much what we’ve done to our financial services industry over the past 25 years. Brick by brick, we have dismantled much of the regulatory framework put in place following the Great Depression to prevent another financial collapse from occurring. We have also failed to update our regulatory structure to take account of the complex and sophisticated financial instruments now in the marketplace.

    Making matters worse is that financial services is now the largest sector of the American economy, comprising roughly 40 percent of GNP. America is not the world’s factory or services powerhouse anymore, we are the world’s finance company. Failing to keep our regulatory system in place and updated to face new economic realities has endangered our largest and most vulnerable industry and threatened to take world’s economic system down with it.

    Republicans were the prime ideological movers in this deregulatory orgy, with Democrats often serving as cheerleaders and accomplices. The real muscle, though, was the hundreds of financial industry lobbyists who wrote the bills, supplied the campaign cash for both parties and carried the water for their corporate clients. Not only did they succeed in repealing the game’s rules and getting the referees sent home, they also managed to get the field tilted in their favor. They were too big and powerful to fail and yet they did – and all of us are now paying the price.

    This matters not because we need to point fingers of blame, there is plenty to go around. It matters because we have to know the real problem to fix it. If the financial industry and its enablers at the Wall Street Journal editorial page and NRO can fool us into thinking that poor people and minorities getting CRA loans was the culprit, they will evade the re-regulation of the industry that is needed to keep the game fair. After paying the price once, do you really want to pay for their mistakes again?

  5. I’ll answer your well-written PR for the Obamanation.

    But first answer this:

    ACORN received $800k from Obama’s campaign.

    ACORN forced banks to give sub-prime mortgages to unqualified people. If not they would sue for racism. Remember the “red lining” arguments by the Rev. Jessie Jackson and later Barack Obama?

    Barack Obama worked as a lawyer for ACORN.
    He filed a lawsuit against Citibank to force them to supply loans to unqualified loan applicants, based on the color of their skin, not the content of their character, education and job record.

    Americans are wrapped up in their own lives and were going for the “cool factor” that Obama has, but now the horrible credit meltdown has ruined home values across the country and there will be more FBI investigations, class action lawsuits and hell to pay. This won’t be covered up by brilliant PC prose.

  6. I also hope it won’t be covered up, Mick, because I think the roots of this crisis are precisely as I stated. The sooner we recognize it, the faster we can begin to solve the real problem. But I do appreciate the backhanded compliment about “brilliant” prose.

    But let me ask you this. In each of my above comments, I took your thoughts at face value and tried to respond. I may have made my points sharply at times (yeah, the lip fungus made have been a little over the top), but never once did I question your motives. I never accused you of being a shill for McCain, being on anyone’s payroll or offering anything less than your honest opinion.

    Maybe its a small point but it is precisely what bothers me about the deterioration of our political discourse these days. Why is it impossible to treat each other with respect? Why do both sides feel it necessary to be so angry with each other, to accuse the other side of having sinister motives or not being honest? Again, perhaps a small point but something I think would make a big difference in trying to remember that we are all Americans who want the best for our country, even if we sometimes have differents ideas on what is best.

    Now let’s get to your questions. The Obama campaign did pay $832,000 to a group called Citizen Services Inc., which has frequently done consulting work for ACORN. FEC reports show the money went for GOTV efforts.

    I’m not sure how you can say ACORN “forced” banks to give loans to unqualified applicants. I do know that they were involved in anti-redlining activities. The reason redlining laws are on the books in the first place is the long and distinguished history that American banks have for using a person’s address, zip code, skin color or other non-financial criteria to deny them loans.

    What should matter in normal times is only a person’s income and assets — in short, his ability to repay the loan. Of course, many of the non-CRA loans made by unregulated lenders in the abnormal times leading to the meltdown didn’t even check income and assets. People making $40,000 a year were getting $1 million loans with no check on their income or assets whatsoever (the so-called NINA loans). A failure in regulation again, Mick.

    But back to your Citigroup lawsuit. First, Obama is a lawyer. Lawyers file lawsuits, kind of like dentists work on teeth. Second, the lawsuit was specifically an anti-discrimination and anti-redlining case. The key allegation, directly from the plaintiff’s 1994 complaint, is that Citigroup “rejected loan applications of minority applicants while approving loan applications filed by white applicants with similar financial characteristics and credit histories.”

    That doesnt sound like they were trying to force them to make loans to unqualified people, does it? Unless, of course, you believe that a person’s skin color should disqualify them from obtaining credit, everything else being equal.

    I’m sure you are aware Obama was also part of a team of lawyers for ACORN the following year that sought successfully to get Illinois to enforce federal law on voter registration. Before you get too excited, though, they were joined in that successful lawsuit by such subversive organizations as the U.S. Justice Department and the dangerously radical League of Women Voters.

    But lets assume, just for the sake of argument, that none of the real facts matter and that everything you claimed was precisely correct. I have read them several times now and cannot figure out for the life of me what they prove.

    Do you really believe that Obama and ACORN singlehandedly caused the global financial system to collapse? Or is the point just raising questions, making innuendo and questioning motives? I am truly asking, what point does this seemingly unconnected set of facts prove, even if they are all true?

    I just hope al Qaeda doesn’t read this blog. The next time they want to destroy America, they won’t have to fly airplanes into buildings. They’ll just get a black guy to buy a house.

  7. Just FYI, I found this belated article from McClatchy News Service today that actually makes many of the same points I made about how silly it is to try to blame CRA lending for the subprime mortgage crisis.

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/251/story/53802.html

    Their sources are government reports, Federal Reserve Board data and banking statistics that show the private mortgage firms, not federally regulated banks meeting CRA standards, were the predominant players in the bad subprime mortgage market.

    I hope the facts can actually put this ideologically-based baloney to bed once and for all.

  8. Here is a nice video about CRA

    http://www.elinkfind.net/

    Democrats are FULLY responsible for subprime loans
    !
    ”These two entities — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — are not facing any kind of financial crisis,”

    Democrats chose to do nothing in supcommity in 2004

    Watch the video!

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