Senator Barack H. Obama’s good pals, that dynamite duo of Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, in addition to being urban terrorists are also hot air hypocrites, proving that old adage “It’s not what you know but whom you know.” Chicago Tribune reporter Ron Grossman researched how a couple of notorious self confessed bomb throwers, who cowardly went into hiding (romantically–and erroneously–labelled underground, like the rats they were) instead of facing the consequences of their actions managed to continue and graduate from universities and then obtain jobs at universities–he a professor of education at the University of Illinois in Chicago, she
on the faculty of Northwestern University’s School of Law. She teaches a course titled Children in Trouble with the Law.
But it’s hard for an outsider not to see the map of family connections behind their paths.
Ayers’ father, Thomas Ayers, was CEO of Commonwealth Edison as well as a trustee of Tribune Co. and chairman of the board of Northwestern University.Ayers was raised in Glen Ellyn, played football at Lake Forest Academy and graduated from the University of Michigan. He joined the Weatherman faction of the Students for a Democratic Society movement, and in the 1970s went underground-“fleeing what the government winkingly calls justice,” as he put it.
Ayers’ father moved in philanthropic circles with Howard Trienens, an attorney with the powerhouse firm of Sidley Austin. The two served together on Northwestern University’s Board of Trustees. Ayers was chairman of that group, then handed the post off to Trienens in 1986.
Trienens headed Sidley Austin when the firm hired Dohrn in 1984. She had never practiced law and had been out of law school for 17 years.
When I asked Trienens if he had hired Dohrn, he replied: “Yes.”
Wasn’t that a bit of nepotism, considering his relationship to her father-in-law? A lot of lawyers would love a first job with such a prestigious firm.
“We often hire friends,” replied Trienens, 84.
Dohrn wasn’t licensed to practice law. Though she passed the bar exam, the ethics committee turned her down because of her rap sheet. That limited the type of work she could do at Sidley Austin, which she left after a few years.
“Dohrn didn’t get a license because she’s stubborn,” Trienens said. “She wouldn’t say she’s sorry.”
Dohrn’s route to Northwestern is harder to discern. Trienens said he had nothing to do with it, though he was then board chairman.“The dean hired her,” he said, referring to Robert Bennett, who was then law school dean. (Bennett did not return phone calls seeking comment.)
Daniel Polsby, a law school faculty member in 1991, recalls Dohrn’s appointment going through an academic side door. Because she was brought on as an “adjunct,” she was never put before a faculty vote.
Seeking clarification from the university, I was told to put my questions in writing. Which I did:
Was her appointment at NU’s law school made by the dean acting alone? Did it have to be ratified by the Board of Trustees?
Instead of answering the questions, the university responded with a boilerplate statement of support: “While many would take issue with views Ms. Dohrn espoused during the 1960s, her career at the law school is an example of a person’s ability to make a difference in the legal system.”
her career at the law school is an example of a person’s ability to make a difference in the legal system.”
The Ayers and Dohrn story can be read as a tale of redemption, albeit lacking an act of contrition. Or it could be seen as verifying Ayers’ conviction that life’s playing fields aren’t level. There is one set of rules for those with the good fortune to live in places such as Glen Ellyn or Kenwood, where the couple lives now. There is another set of rules for the rest of American society.
Ayers put the issue succinctly: “Why all the pretense of equity when some people get four or five outs to the inning while others get only two?”
We will create a cleaner, greener and stronger America by reducing our dependence on foreign oil, eliminating billions in subsidies for oil and gas companies and use the savings to provide consumer relief and develop energy alternatives, and investing in energy independent technology.
I’ve written a couple of pieces on my own site about Obama’s whining. It is really getting to be annoying. The candidate takes any criticism levelled against him as unfair or dirty politics.
This will be a common occurrence in the general election. Democrats have it in their heads that one reason their presidential candidates lose to Republicans is because they don’t respond to GOP “lies and swiftboating” vigorously enough. Pretending that Democrats don’t give as good as they receive in any campaign is ludicrous, of course. But to their rabid base of netnuts, Democrats need to hit back harder in answering GOP campaign charges.
Hence, Obama jumped to the fore last week when President Bush mentioned appeasement of evil by some politicians and castigated the president for dealing a political low blow. Some were surprised at the aggressiveness of Obama’s move since the President didn’t mention him by name but it was indicative of what Obama considers “fighting back” against GOP “lies.”
But instead of coming off as angry, he sounds like an whining child – as he did this morning after an appearance on Good Morning America where he defended his wife from criticism by the Kentucky GOP who created a video of all the things Kentuckians are proud of about America (in contrast to Michelle Obama’s comment that this was the first time she had been proud of America in her lifetime).
Ed Morrissey at Hot Air nails it:
If Obama doesn’t want his wife to receive criticism, then he shouldn’t use her as a surrogate on the campaign trail. Whatever she says on the stump at campaign events is fair game for criticism, just as it has been with Bill Clinton. Obama’s camp has unloaded on the former President for statements he made about Hillary’s loss in South Carolina and several other incidents in which they believe Bill played the race card to explain Obama’s success. Bill’s not running for anything this year, but he has made himself a public figure in this primary race, and his statements are also legitimate targets for attack.The whininess factor has become a real problem for Obama. Presumably, we’d like a President who doesn’t play a perpetual victim on the national stage. What happens when he has to tangle with Congress over policy, or more to the point, when he has to represent America on the world stage? If he can’t deal with legitimate political criticism now, what will we get for a response when Obama runs the federal government?Toughen up, buttercup, and stop whining about criticism of speeches at political events. If you can’t handle that much, you have no business running for re-election to your current job, let alone for the presidency.
As Ed mentions, the Obama camaign felt absolutely no reluctance going after Bill Clinton nor have they shown much hesitation in attacking Cindy McCain for being rich.
But we better get used to this kind of whining from Obama. If he’s not playing the race card every chance he gets he will be crying “foul” when the GOP says anything negative about at all.
Obama: Wrong on Iran
By Dick Morris and Eileen McGann
FrontPageMagazine.com | 5/19/2008
President Bush is absolutely right to criticize sharply direct negotiations with Iranian President Ahmadinejad. Barack Obama’s embrace of the idea of direct negotiations is both naïve and dangerous and should be a big issue in the campaign.
The reason not to negotiate with Ahmadinejad is not simply to stand on ceremony or some kind of policy of non-recognition. It is based on the fundamental need to topple his regime by increasing the sense the Iranian people have — that he has isolated Iran from the rest of the world, to its severe and ongoing detriment.
The Iranian regime is almost entirely dependent on oil and gas revenues to pay for the vast program of social subsidies with which the government buys domestic support. Gasoline costs 35 cents a gallon in Teheran. Bread and all other staples are subsidized from public funds. But 85 percent of all government revenues come from oil and gas exports. There lies the regime’s vulnerability.
Iran is sitting atop the second largest oil reserves in the world. Only Saudi Arabia has more. But it can’t get at them. It lacks the foreign investment and technology necessary to increase, or even to sustain, its petroleum output. Under the Shah, Iran pumped upwards of six million barrels of oil a day. Now, Iran generates fewer than four million daily barrels. With domestic consumption of energy increasing at 10 percent a year — due in part to the massive subsidies which hold the price down — Iran is expected to see its oil exports cut in half by 2011 and entirely eliminated by 2014. If Iran cannot export oil, it cannot pay for social peace and the regime could be in dire trouble.
Without subsidies, the Iranian people, half of whom are under 30 and only 40 percent of whom are ethnically Farsi, will become restive and resentful. Already, many complain that Ahmadinejad’s policies have led to global isolation of Iran and stymied economic growth and social upward mobility. While opinion surveys in Iran indicate that the people support the nuclear aspirations of the regime, they are not willing to pay a price of international isolation.
If a President Obama were to meet with President Ahmadinejad, it would send a signal to the Iranian people that they are not isolated but that the rest of the world has come to respect them and to have to deal with them. The leading argument for toppling the current regime will have been fatally undermined.
But if the West sustains a policy of economic sanctions, curbs on foreign investment, and diplomatic isolation, the Iranian regime’s days are numbered.
Official United Nations sanctions are having some effect on Iran but the real power lies in cutting off investment by foreign companies, particularly in the banking and energy sectors. American companies are already prohibited from doing business there, although General Electric may be seeking ways around this prohibition through foreign subsidiaries.
Frank Gaffney, formerly of Reagan’s Pentagon, has pioneered the use of private economic disinvestment in companies that do business with Iran, Syria, North Korea, or Sudan. On his Web site, he has identified almost 500 companies that do business with these terror sponsoring nations. They include such international powerhouses as Sieman’s, Shell, Repsol, BNP Paribus, and Hyundai. He has crafted a terror free mutual fund which can earn good returns while avoiding investment in any of these companies.
Missouri Treasurer Sarah Steelman — now running for governor — pioneered disinvesting pension funds in these companies. Now California, Florida, and Louisiana have followed suit.
We need to let these policies work and global isolation of Iran is the way to do it. Negotiating with Ahmadinejad would simply boost his domestic stature and enhance his political stability, the exact opposite of what we should — and must — be doing.
Dick Morris is a former adviser to Bill Clinton. Eileen McGann is an attorney and CEO of Vote.com. Together, they collaborate on books, columns and foreign political campaigns. To receive free copies of all of their commentaries, please sign up at dickmorris.com.