Dictator Uses SEC As Political Weapon: Wall Street Suspects Goldman Charges ‘Not Coincidental’ To Financial Reform Effort

Dictator Uses SEC As Political Weapon: Wall Street Suspects Goldman Charges ‘Not Coincidental’ To Financial Reform Effort

April 17th, 2010 Posted By Pat Dollard.

Obama Economy

New York Post:

Wall Street is more than a little suspicious of today’s charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which has accused Goldman Sachs of lying to investors about who was really behind junk mortgages securities it sold to clients.

Barclays banking analyst Roger Freeman comes right out and blasts the SEC effort as “a well-timed, and perhaps not coincidental, effort to sway some on-the-fence Republicans” to get tough on financial reform.

“Targeting GS, given the flurry of anti-Wall Street press that has centered around that firm, offers the publicity that the administration needs at this critical juncture,” Freeman says in a note to clients today.

He says Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chris Dodd has targeted a vote on the Senate bill for April 26, “and given the short span of time between now and the end of the month, we are not surprised to see the stepped up support for the bill.”

Ministry Of Propaganda Issues New York Times Attack On Arizona’s New Immigration Bill

Ministry Of Propaganda Issues New York Times Attack On Arizona’s New Immigration Bill

April 18th, 2010 Posted By Pat Dollard.

26-3

New York Times:

The Arizona Legislature has just stepped off the deep end of the immigration debate, passing a harsh and mean-spirited bill that would do little to stop illegal immigration. What it would do is lead to more racial profiling, hobble local law enforcement, and open government agencies to frivolous, politically driven lawsuits.
Skip to next paragraph

The bill is a grab bag of measures to enlist law enforcement and government at every level to expose and expel the undocumented. Opponents say it verges on a police state, which sounds overblown until you read it.

It would make not having immigration documents a new state misdemeanor, and allow officers to arrest anyone who could not immediately prove they were here legally. That means if you are brown-skinned and leave home without a wallet, you are in trouble.

Police agencies that believe overly tough enforcement tactics are undercutting their ability to fight crime would have to crack down anyway. The bill would require police officers who have “reasonable suspicion” about someone’s immigration status to demand to see documents. And it would empower anyone to sue any state agency or official or any county, city or town that he or she believes is not fully enforcing immigration law.

The bill, passed by Arizona’s Republican-controlled House on a party-line vote, has already passed the state Senate and will soon be before Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican. She has not said whether she will sign it.

Immigrant advocates and civil-rights lawyers are appalled, and so are police chiefs and sheriffs who say the bill is an assault on public safety, since it would force newly criminalized immigrants to fear and shun the police. It would divert law enforcement resources away from chasing violent offenders, and toward an all-out assault on the mostly harmless undocumented, with the innocent as collateral damage.

It is now up to Governor Brewer to do what is best for her state: she should refuse to sign. If this dangerous experiment becomes law, Washington can still end it by refusing to cooperate, cutting off access to immigration records. Either way, it should cancel programs that enlist state and local law enforcement in the indiscriminate hunt for the undocumented.

The Arizona bill is another reminder why the administration needs to push for real immigration reform. The failure to address it nationally has left the field wide open for this

“Behavior Placement”: Networks Officially Go To Work For Ministry Of Propaganda Spreading Obama Gospel Through Subliminal Messages

“Behavior Placement”: Networks Officially Go To Work For Ministry Of Propaganda Spreading Obama Gospel Through Subliminal Messages

April 18th, 2010 Posted By Pat Dollard.

cass-sunstein
Cass Sunstein, Communist Revolutionary Operative

“People do not want to be hit over the head with issues, but including aspects in the programming makes it resonate more successfully with viewers,” said Jeff Zucker, chief executive of NBC.

Times Online:

A TELEVISION star swigs her mineral water and throws the bottle into a recycling bin. In another scene, in the American version of The Office, the workers complain about metallic-tasting reusable water bottles and switch to filtered tap water instead.

They are among the television stars in shows from sitcoms to detective dramas who are lining up to bombard their fans with subliminal messages. “Behaviour placement” is aimed at persuading audiences to lead greener, healthier and happier lives.

The shows, including Law and Order and 30 Rock, a comedy starring Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey — the one throwing the water bottle — are first being broadcast in America but many will be aired in Britain in the next few weeks.

NBC, one of the big four American television networks, has even hired psychologists to drop environmentally friendly nods into the scripts.

The initiative reflects the “nudge effect” promoted by Richard Thaler, an economist, and Cass Sunstein, a lawyer who is advising President Obama on how to teach people to avoid bad decisions, from jumping red lights to eating junk food.

“People do not want to be hit over the head with issues, but including aspects in the programming makes it resonate more successfully with viewers,” said Jeff Zucker, chief executive of NBC.

Others disagree. The Week magazine, which covers American current affairs, describes such programmes as “cynical and manipulative”.

“The pressure to be eco-conscious is reaching a new high,” said Christopher Rosen, a writer. “NBC implies that people are too dumb to make healthy decisions on their own … television should stick with what works — product placement, where they awkwardly jam products into their programmes to make people want to buy them.”

Tim Kring, the creator of Heroes, the US science fiction series broadcast on BBC2, said he first became aware of behaviour placement when a lorry appeared in an episode picking up recyclable soft drinks bottles.

In America the scene prompted oil companies to pay for advertisements around the show in a bid to associate themselves with the green message.

Islam in the family: Two-day-old girl killed in ‘honour killing’ …”Not Uncommon in Muslim Turkey”

Islam in the family: Two-day-old girl killed in ‘honour killing’ …”Not Uncommon in Muslim Turkey”

They killed a two day old newborn to uphold their honor. They  have …….uh, different priorities. But don’t slam them, it’s an islamic cultural thing, and we must respect our Islamic overlords. Have the feminists come out, tongues flapping, saying it was a “late term abortion”?

OT but related: Why is it that the term “muslim mother” doesn’t evoke the same imagery and warmth as “Jewish mother”? Just sayin. And yet society increasingly chooses to give  more respect to the former — another giant step backwards for mankind and the West.

Two-day-old girl killed in ‘honour killing’

Turkish police on Friday detained an unmarried mother and six other people near Istanbul for their suspected role in the so-called “honour killing” of a 2-day-old baby girl, state news agency Anatolian said.The baby was suffocated by her grandmother after the family learned the 25-year-old mother became pregnant out of wedlock, Anatolian said.

“My family decided to kill my baby,” the mother told the police, according to Anatolian. “My 55-year-old mother choked the baby with a cloth. Then, my brothers buried the baby in a hole in the garden and covered the hole with cement.”

Police found the body after receiving an anonymous phone call.

Among those detained were also a doctor and the doctor’s secretary, They allegedly had agreed not to register the baby’s birth in return for an undisclosed amount of money.

The baby’s father is doing his military service and was not involved in the incident.

“Honour killings,” or crimes carried out against women seen to have tainted the family’s name, are not uncommon in mainly Muslim Turkey, particularly in poor and rural areas.

The European Union, which Turkey has applied to join, has repeatedly urged Ankara to take a tougher stance against such crimes.

America’s Constitutionalist Revolt: Tea Parties Channel the Founding Fathers

America’s Constitutionalist Revolt: Tea Parties Channel the Founding Fathers

by Larry Kudlow

So much is being written in the mainstream media about who the tea partiers are, but very little is being recorded about what these folks are actually saying.

gadsden_flag

We know that this is a decentralized grassroots movement, with many different voices hailing from many different towns across the country. But the tea-party message comes together in the “Contract from America,” the product of an online vote orchestrated by Ryan Hecker, aHouston tea-party activist and national coordinator for the Tea Party Patriots.

With nearly 500,000 votes recorded in less than two months, this Contract forms a blueprint of tea-party policy goals and beliefs.

Of the top-ten planks in the Contract, the number-one issue is protect the Constitution. That’s followed by reject cap-and-trade, demand a balanced budget, and enact fundamental tax reform. And then comes number five: Restore fiscal responsibility and constitutionally limited government in Washington.

Note that two of the top-five priorities of the tea partiers mention the Constitution.

Filling out the Contract, the bottom-five planks are end runaway government spending; defund, repeal, and replace government-run health care; pass an all-of-the-above energy policy; stop the pork; and stop the tax hikes.

What’s so significant to me about this tea-party Contract from America is the strong emphasis on constitutional limits and restraints on legislation, spending, taxing, and government control of the economy. Undoubtedly, the emphasis is there because no one trusts Washington.

As I read this Contract, tea partiers are reminding all of us of the need for the Constitution to protect our freedoms. They’re calling for a renewal of constitutional values, including — first and foremost — a return to constitutional limits on government. The tea partiers who responded to this poll are demanding a rebirth of the consent of the governed. The government works for us, we don’t work for it.

All this makes me think of President Reagan, who never quite succeeded in gaining a constitutional amendment for a balanced budget, or for limits on spending, or for a two-thirds congressional majority for any new tax hikes. But throughout his presidency, and for many years before, the Gipper argued for constitutional limits on government, especially government spending.

And now this message is being echoed perfectly in the tea-party Contract from America. In effect, it picks up where Reagan left off.

The tea partiers, whom I call free-market populists, desire a return to Reaganism. In particular, their demands for a balanced budget (third plank), for restoring fiscal responsibility (5th plank), for ending massive government spending (6th plank), and for stopping the pork (9th plank) all underscore the populist revolt against runaway government spending, and therefore runaway government power.

There are mentions in the Contract of tax reform and stopping tax hikes. But it is pretty clear to everyone nowadays that the massive run-up in spending of recent years will inevitably result in an equally massive tax-hike movement — that is, unless the spending is strictly curbed and reduced.

Yet the tea partiers don’t trust Congress to do this, so they want to bring in constitutional restraint.

A recent survey by the Brookings Institution spells out this spend-and-tax problem with great clarity. Under current spending trends, tax-the-rich efforts to bring the deficit to just 3 percent of GDP — not balance, mind you, but 3 percent deficit — would require a nearly 80 percent marginal tax rate on the most successful earners. And if taxes are raised across-the-board, the marginal rate would rise to nearly 50 percent for the top earners, with state and local tax burdens bringing it up to 60 percent. Otherwise, a European-style value-added tax (VAT) would become necessary.

The tea partiers know this and they don’t like it one bit. And so, at bottom, they have formed a constitutionalist movement to revolt against big government and big taxes — and oh, by the way, to stand against big-government control of large chunks of the economy, such as energy and health care.

Harking back to the Founders’ principles of constitutional limits to government is a very powerful message. It’s a message of freedom, especially economic freedom. The tea partiers have delivered an extremely accurate diagnostic of what ails America right now: Government is growing too fast, too much, too expensively, and in too many places — and in the process it is crowding out our cherished economic freedom.

It’s as though the tea partiers are saying this great country will never fulfill its long-run potential to prosper, create jobs, and lead the world unless constitutional limits to government are restored.

Now, as the tea partiers rally across the country, the big question is only this: Will the political class get it?

Tea Party Report: I Met a 15-Year-Old Christian Girl With More Nerve Than Most Ministers

Tea Party Report: I Met a 15-Year-Old Christian Girl With More Nerve Than Most Ministers
Doug Giles
Saturday, April 17, 2010

This past Thursday I was let out of my cage and allowed to emcee the Palm Beach Tea Party, and thankfully it went off without a hitch. Yep, it was a fantastic patriotic throw down that would have warmed the cockles of even the most pessimistic curmudgeon’s heart. It was b-e-you-ti-ful.

There were no freaky dipstick Tea Party crashers in attendance (I was kinda hoping for some, honestly). The South Florida weather was stunning (which is why we live here). The music provided by Oscar Sastoque and MiamiFitnessConnection.com and the live sounds supplied by Billy Bones of BillyBones.com were unbelievable (you’ve got to check out Billy’s new song, “Freedom”). The various guest speakers, including our keynote Col. Allen West—whom I believe should be the next President and is the liberals’ worst nightmare—were all in fine game form.

Indeed, all our speakers and attendees stood ready and giddy to crush all the goofy house and senate progressives and pathetic RINO pukes who are equally intent on ruining our nation at the polls this next November. Yes, my little children, our Tea Party rocked. I hope yours did as well.

One of the many cool things that the rowdy Giles Tribe and I experienced was the pleasure of hearing a 15-year-old Christian girl speak out about her love for God and—I said and—her love for this country, as well as the necessity for Christians and patriots to oppose Obama’s hostile takeover of our freedom and funds.

Here’s a portion of 15-year-old Ariel Waldron’s speech she blistered us with last Thursday:

Kids . . . teens. . . I’m here to tell you tonight that, yes, you do have a voice. Your life doesn’t start when you’re eighteen; it starts now. We see what’s happening in the world, in our world, so why can’t we say something about it? Heck, why can’t we do something about it? This is our world too, right?We see all the corruption that’s happening today, corruption that will affect OUR FUTURE! And it’s already happening now. Our future is disappearing before it’s even beginning. Taxes are going up; our Constitutional rights are gradually being taken away; the healthcare bill has actually passed. This is America; this isn’t supposed to be happening, right? This is the land of the free, not the land of the government tells me what to do! Last time I checked, we were still a democracy.

So, what are we going to do about it? Are we going to sit here and do nothing, let someone else take care of it? Because I guarantee you if that’s the kind of attitude you have, that’s the kind of attitude others will have, and we’ll get absolutely NOTHING done.

People want change but are too afraid to take the risk to make it happen. Kids, are we too afraid of what people think of us because of our age that we’re going to let our rights and our country be sacrificed? Are we going to let what the world thinks of us stop us from making a difference? I hope that you’re thinking, “Heck NO!” 1 Timothy 4:12 says, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” You set the trend and have others follow you. Make the world take a step back and see that you can make a difference.

There are so many people here tonight, and each one of you came for some reason or another, but one common reason is this: You came to make a difference. So I’ll ask you this: Can you handle it? Will you come together, let your voice be known, speak up for what you believe in? Will you push back, will you follow what’s right, or just stand by and watch over 200 years of work by our founding fathers be diminished?

If you don’t like what’s happening in Washington, help put a stop to it. Don’t just sit there wishing things were different. Let your voice be heard. Even if you affect just one person’s life, if your voice is heard by one person then their voice will be heard by one person, and you’ve just paid it forward; you’ve made a difference. My favorite verse, Philippians 4:13, says this, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” You can do anything you set your mind to. You’ve just got to put it into action, and here’s how: You have a voice; use it. Thank you.

Y’know, as a Christian minister who has watched political correctness castrate many pastors across our nation, I have to say that little 15-year-old Xena Warrior Princess Ari Waldron has bigger cojones, metaphorically speaking, than most preachers (especially the nasty TV kind), Christian entertainers (whatever the heck that is), and definitely more than the low-rent Christian radio program directors who won’t touch anything politically controversial because they’re little, spineless, neutered $40k a year fools.

Somehow, somewhere pastors have decided not to speak out against political corruption and instead retreat into their quaint Christian ghetto on the sidelines of life and remain silent as our nation sinks into socialism.

Thank God there’s a new generation of Bonhoeffers out there led by folks like Ari who believe that they should not only lead souls to Christ but also protect and defend this great American experiment with sass and ardent passion.

Stay righteously defiant, Ari. Our nation depends on young people like you.

(Check out my latest video: Pastors & Politics: The Silence of The Lambs)

Is the Obama Administration Behind An Astroturf Anti-Tea Party Website?

Is the Obama Administration Behind An Astroturf Anti-Tea Party Website?

Posted by Erick Erickson (Profile)

Sunday, April 18th at 11:08AM EDT

2 Comments

“Cass Sunstein has favored the government using outside parties as government propaganda agents to paint their opposition as fringe and undermine their credibility.”

Astroturf is the act of professional interest groups designing campaigns that appear to be grassroots efforts, but are not. It is what the left has accused the tea parties of being. Only more and more it looks like the anti-tea party movement is truly astroturfing.

Writing on January 15, 2010, Glenn Greenwald at Salon noted Barack Obama’s new head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Cass Sunstein, had championed creating fake websites and using outside 501(c)(3) interest groups to act as alleged independent champions of government policy and to “cognitively infiltrate” opposition websites, etc.

In other words, Cass Sunstein has favored the government using outside parties as government propaganda agents to paint their opposition as fringe and undermine their credibility. Kind of like what has been happening with the tea party movement – lots of SEIU members pretending to be tea party activists causing violence in front of TV cameras.

Sunstein advocates that the Government’s stealth infiltration should be accomplished by sending covert agents into “chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups.” He also proposes that the Government make secret payments to so-called “independent” credible voices to bolster the Government’s messaging

Considering Sustein’s recommendations, it is not far removed to speculate the Obama administration is behind a new anti-tea party website called The Other 95, which defends the government from tea party criticisms and attacks the tea party movement as fringe.

The website purports to be authentically grassroots, though one must wonder when the last time was any grassroots activist too the time to defend the government.

The designer is affilated with MoveOn.org and other leftwing sites and causes.

But most notable, the donations page makes donations out to Democracy in Action. Democracy in Action is not for individual activists to use. It is for small and medium sized 501(c)(3) organizations and others on the left. Among its clients? ACORN, True Majority, NAACP, and others.

Hmmmm. . . .

Let’s also remember that Center for American Progress, led by Obama’s transition team director John Podesta, has regular 8 a.m. phone calls to coordinate activity on the left.

It’s a play right out of Lenin’s handbook, forget Alinsky, to call the authentic “inauthentic” and then create something inauthentic demanding it be called “authentic.”

Barack Obama’s Missing Girlfriends

Barack Obama’s Missing Girlfriends

By Jack Cashill

The blogosphere abhors a vacuum. So when the mainstream media (MSM) leave holes in a given narrative — in this case, the biography of the president — bloggers individually, incrementally, and indefatigably strive to fill in the blanks — sometimes successfully, sometimes less so. 

In his comprehensive, 600-plus-page biography of Barack Obama titled The Bridge, New Yorker editor David Remnick lays down the baseline of what the mainstream media know about the president — or at least what they want us to know.
Where Remnick falls oddly silent — not even to scold the blogosphere, which he does often — is on the question of Obama’s love life. This would not be particularly noteworthy save that Obama’s 1995 memoir Dreams From My Father is in large part a racial coming-of-age story.
In Obama’s all-consuming search for identity, and in Remnick’s effort to document that search, Obama’s romantic life should surely have featured. Whether he dated white women or black women — and what he might have learned from either — matters. 
In Obama’s ten years of bachelorhood before he met Michelle in 1989, Remnick creates a credible picture of him as a popular, good-looking man about town. Obama’s Chicago mentor Jerry Kellerman tells Remnick that Obama dated various women and “was more than capable of taking care of himself.” Another Chicago friend, John Owens, claims, “Barack tends to make a strong impression on women.” And Remnick refers specifically to an “old girlfriend” that Obama rather coolly abandoned upon leaving Chicago for Harvard in 1988.
And yet, unless I missed something, despite scores of interviews with Obama acquaintances, never do we actually hear from a woman who dated Barack Obama. The same vacuum is apparent in the book Barack and Michelle, Portrait of an American Marriage, by Christopher Andersen. Andersen quotes Obama’s New York roommate, Sohale Siddiqi, on the subject of Obama’s allure: “I couldn’t outcompete him in picking up girls, that’s for sure” — but we do not hear from any of the girls he might have picked up or dated.
In Dreams, Obama creates a similarly romantic image of himself. At one point, when his half-sister Auma visits him in Chicago pre-Michelle, he tells her about a ruptured relationship with a white woman back in New York. He adds, with more than a little calculation, “There are several black ladies out there who’ve broken my heart just as good,” but we do not read as much as a single sentence about any of these.
In Dreams, Obama recalls his early days in Indonesia, when he began to notice “that Cosby never got the girl on I Spy.” Curiously, in his own book, he does not do much better.
In Dreams, in fact, the only lover Obama talks about is the mystery woman in New York. Although he speaks of her only briefly and in retrospect, he does so vividly and lovingly. “She was white,” he tells Auma. “She had dark hair, and specks of green in her eyes. Her voice sounded like a wind chime.” This is no casual relationship. “We saw each other for almost a year. On the weekends, mostly. Sometimes in her apartment, sometimes in mine.”
One weekend, the woman invites Obama to her family’s country home, which had been her grandfather’s, and “he had inherited it from his grandfather.” The library is filled with old books and photos of the grandfather with presidents, diplomats, industrialists. “It was autumn,” Obama recalls, “beautiful, with woods all around us, and we paddled a canoe across this round, icy lake full of small gold leaves that collected along the shore.”
It is during this memorable weekend that Obama experiences something of a racial epiphany. “I realized that our two worlds, my friend’s and mine, were as distant from each other as Kenya is from Germany. And I knew that if we stayed together I’d eventually live in hers.” This realization inspires Obama to break off this relationship despite a gracious reception by the girl’s parents.
Remnick concedes that Dreams is not to be taken at face value. He calls it a “mixture of verifiable fact, recollection, recreation, invention, and artful shaping.” On any number of points, all fairly trivial, he attempts to sort out the fact from the fancy. On the subject of this critical relationship, the one and only in Dreams before Michelle, he falls conspicuously silent. The reader of The Bridge would not know that Obama had such a relationship.
Christopher Andersen was more curious but made little headway in confirming the story or identifying the woman. “No one,” he writes, “including his roommate and closest friend at the time, Siddiqi, knew of this mysterious lover’s existence.”
Abhorring a vacuum, I have ventured to fill it. Given Remnick’s list of the allowable ways to interpret Dreams – verifiable fact, recollection, recreation, invention, and artful shaping — I choose “D” for the mystery woman: “invention.” In the absence of any contrary information, best evidence argues for an invention largely of Bill Ayers’ contrivance. 
As I have argued from textual analysis, and as Andersen has confirmed from his own reporting, Obama had help with the book. As Andersen tells it, after four futile years of trying to finish the contracted book, a “hopelessly blocked” Obama delivered his family’s “oral histories, along with his partial manuscript and a trunkload of notes” to “friend and neighbor” Ayers for a major overhaul.
Ayers appears to have taken Obama’s shapeless mass of a manuscript and fitted it into a Homeric framework. We know that Ayers is keen on the classics. Early in his own 2001 memoir, Fugitive Days, he tips his Homeric hand. “Memory sails out upon a murky sea — wine-dark, opaque, unfathomable,” he writes with a knowing wink. “Wine-dark sea” is trademark Homer. Ayers seems to have had fun with the project.
Indeed, in January 2009, Michiko Kakutani, the New York Times literary critic, described the structure of Dreams as “a quest in which [Obama] cast himself as both a Telemachus in search of his father and an Odysseus in search of a home.” Three weeks earlier, I had made the identical argument on these pages.
Any number of incidents in Dreams recall Homer’s Odyssey. In his quest, Obama encounters blind seers, lotus-eaters, the “ghosts” of the underworld, whirlpools, a half-dozen sundry “demons,” and even a menacing one-eyed bald man. These encounters likely run the full range of stylistic possibilities from verifiable fact to artful shaping to pure invention.
The mystery woman recalls the temptress Circe. Like Obama’s unnamed girlfriend, Circe lives in a “splendid house” on “spacious grounds.” She too wants her lover, Odysseus, to stay forever. Like Obama, Odysseus has shared his bed with this alien seductress for one year.  But her world can never be his.
“You god-driven man,” Odysseus’s mates warn him, “now the time has come to think about your native land once more, if you are fated to be saved and reach your high-roofed home and your own country” (Ian Johnston translation).
If Obama’s friend nicely fills the Circe role, then she is almost surely grounded in the real-life person of Diana Oughton, Ayers’ lover who was killed in a 1970 Greenwich Village bomb factory blast. Ayers was obsessed with Oughton. In Fugitive Days, he fixes on her in ways that had to discomfit the woman that he eventually married, their fellow traveler in the Weather Underground, Bernardine Dohrn.
Physically, the woman of Obama’s memory, with her “dark hair, and specks of green in her eyes,” evokes images of Oughton. As her FBI files attest, Oughton had brown hair and green eyes. The two women share similar family backgrounds as well. In fact, they seem to have grown up on the very same estate.
According to a Time Magazine article written soon after her death, Oughton “brought Bill Ayers and other radicals” to the family homestead in Dwight, Illinois. There, “she would talk politics with her father, defending the revolutionary’s approach to social ills.” 
The main house on the Oughton estate, a twenty-room Victorian mansion, was built by Oughton’s father’s grandfather. Formally known as the John R. Oughton House, it was placed on the national historic register in 1980. Despite forty years of encroaching development since Oughton’s death, aerial photos show the Oughton estate (103 South Street) with a small lake in the middle and a thick ring of trees around it, very much like the estate in Dreams.
The carriage house, in which Diana lived as a child, now serves as a public library. It may have already seemed like one when Ayers visited, an impression that finds its way into Dreams as a library “filled with old books and pictures of the famous people [the grandfather] had known.”
I should caution that the analysis I have just offered, according to Remnick, at least, is “mere twinkling in the Web’s farthest lunatic orbit.” In the complacently flat earth that Remnick inhabits, I am a “little-known conservative writer” with a racist axe to grind, and Christopher Andersen, despite his many bestsellers, does not exist.
On this and even weightier subjects, Remnick would rather you content yourself with his interpretation, which is often no interpretation at all.

Jack Cashill’s latest book is Popes and Bankers.

Ex-mentor: Sharpton is Obama’s link to the streets that tells us a lot

Ex-mentor: Sharpton is Obama’s link to the streets

By VERENA DOBNIK, Associated Press Writer Verena Dobnik, Associated Press Writer Sat Apr 17, 8:33 pm ET

NEW YORK – The Rev. Al Sharpton is a “lightning rod” for President Barack Obama on inner city streets, Obama’s former Harvard mentor and friend said Saturday at a forum in Harlem.

But Sharpton, who led the event, told The Associated Press that America’s first black president “has to work both for us and for others,” and that if Obama were to push a race-based agenda, “that would only organize the right against him.”

Sharpton spoke on the last day of an annual conference organized by his National Action Network. Speakers included three members of Obama’s Cabinet and Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, as well as Charles Ogletree, the president’s Harvard Law School professor, now a friend.

“Al Sharpton has become the lightning rod in moving Obama’s agenda forward,” Ogletree told the AP, describing Sharpton as a conduit between the disadvantaged and powerful leaders. “And he has access to both the streets and the suites, to make sure that the people who are voiceless, faceless and powerless finally have some say.”

Standing at the back of a balcony overlooking Harlem’s ornate First Corinthian Baptist Church, the 57-year-old lawyer said that some black Americans may be disappointed the president they helped elect isn’t doing more for them.

“And President Obama expected to do a lot more,” said Ogletree, referring to the challenges Obama faces in two wars and the struggling economy. Still, he predicted, the new health care law would affect uninsured black Americans more than any other segment of the population.

But clearly, Sharpton was at the center of this forum. Saturday, the front page of The Washington Post featured a photo of him with a headline that read: “Activist Al Sharpton takes on new role as administration ally.”

Sharpton chuckled at the notion.

“I’ve been as much in this White House as I was in George (W.) Bush’s — it’s only when Bush invited me to the White House, it was him reaching out; when Obama invites me, all of a sudden, we’re allies,” Sharpton joked during a break, sitting in a pew on the altar that served as a high-tech stage.

Amid a heated national debate over whether black leaders should align themselves with the president, Sharpton has defended Obama against criticism from television host Tavis Smiley that “black folk are catching hell” and Obama should do more to help them.

Black Americans, Sharpton said, “need to solve our own problems.”

Sharpton told the AP that he is working to expand his Harlem-based organization to 100 cities from the current 42, with about 200,000 members, “and to really deliver against unemployment that is disproportionate in the black community, and for health care and education reform.”

The four-day conference, focusing on a 12-month plan of action for black leadership, brought together prominent figures from dozens of fields, tackling topics as diverse as finding jobs for men leaving prison and federal subsidies for black farmers.

Sharpton’s “12-month action plan” to better life for black Americans measures its success by individual goal-setting — “every day, every week, every month,” said Mayor Michael Nutter of Philadelphia.

Nutter has a big goal: to reach and teach a half million adults in his city who are considered “low-literate,” which means they can read, technically, but have difficulty understanding a newspaper article or even a utility bill.

“It is impossible for parents to help their children if they can’t read,” said Nutter, who leads the largest American city with a black mayor. “It is almost impossible to lift yourself out of poverty if you can’t function at a high enough level.”

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