June 29, 2009

Well Ya Don’t Say…er, Write?

Filed under: Activism,Scams,Taxes & Government — Rose @ 1:50 pm

Jack Cashill over at American Thinker has finished quite an extensive amount of phenomenal research that puts into question – no, pretty much nails – Barack Obama on some “originality” issues with regards to who wrote “his” book, “Dreams From My Father.”

This is old-fashioned journalism at its best…here is an excerpt.

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The experts in the field have told me to stick with old-fashioned literary detective work, and I have done just that. Mr. Midwest (anonymous to the public, but known to Cashill — Ed.) has helped.  His most recent contribution is a good example of keen-eyed detection.

Going forward, I will be referring to five books.  These include Ayers’ 1993 To Teach, his 1997 A Kind and Just Parent (shorthand: Parent), his 2001 memoir Fugitive Days, and Obama’s 1995 Dreams From My Father (Dreams). Casual critics of this research have repeated the canard that I attributed both Obama books, Dreams and the 2006 Audacity of Hope (Audacity), to Ayers.  I never have.  From the beginning, I have asserted that the two books appear to have two different authors, and so I will leave Audacity out of the equation until the end.

What Mr. Midwest noticed recently is that both Ayers in Parent and Obama in Dreams make reference to the poet Carl Sandburg.  In itself, this is not a grand revelation.  Let us call it a C-level match. Obama and Ayers seem to have shared the same library in any case.  Both talk of reading the books of Malcolm X, James Baldwin, Langston Hughes, W.E.B. Dubois and Frantz Fanon among others.  In fact, each misspells “Frantz” as “Franz.”

Ayers and Obama, however, go beyond citing Sandburg.  Each quotes the opening line of his poem “Chicago.”  From Dreams:

He poured himself more hot water. “What do you know about Chicago anyway?”

I thought a moment. “Hog butcher to the world,” I said finally.

From Parent:

“At the turn of the century, Chicago had a population of a million people and was a young and muscular city – hub of commerce and industry, the first skyscraper city, home of the famous world exposition, “hog butcher to the world” – bursting with energy.”

This I would call a B-level match.  What raises it up a notch to an A-level match is the fact that both misquote “Chicago,” and they do so in exactly the same way.  The poem actually opens, “Hog butcher for the world.”

Last week, the first email I received from Mr. West had in the message box “759 striking similarities between Dreams and Ayers’ works.”  This claim seemed so outsized I did not take it seriously.  When I was unable to open the documents, I emailed Mr. West back, asked him to reformat, and then forgot about the email.  He resent his documents a few days later.

This time I was able to open them and was promptly blown away.  Mr. West’s analysis was systematic, comprehensive, and utterly, totally, damning.  Of the 759 matches, none were frivolous.  All were C-level or above, and I had no doubt of their authenticity.  I had been gathering many of them in my own reserve waiting for a book-length opportunity to make my case.  Mr. West had done the heavy lifting.  He even indexed his matches.  This represented months of works.  As I learned, he had been patiently gathering material since November when he first began building on my own research.

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Read the whole thing here (and make sure to read the ongoing narrative summary where he also links to a video interview w/Ayers).

Now, anyone who has heard Obama speak without at teleprompter knows that he is FAR from an original…unless of course we’re talking about his politics in which case he gets closest to Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Marx…

So, for those who are upset that Obama can’t produce a $7 long-form birth certificate, don’t feel bad, turns out he can’t produce anything original…shocker.

Lucid Links (062909, Morning)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 7:18 am

Noteworthy Net-Worthies, relatively light on commentary:

Indiana Sitting On Billion Dollar Budget Reserve — “If the Governors of Ohio and Kentucky want tips on how to balance their budget, they might pick up the phone and call Mitch Daniels of Indiana.” I’ve suggested that Indiana is worth emulating at least a couple of times (here and here), not that either of them are listening.

The Honduran “coup” is really, as Ed Morrissey at Hot Air astutely notes, democracy functioning as it should when a tyrant wannabe tries to put himself above the law and his country’s constitution. Guess whose side the White House is on?

Joan Vennochi at the Boston Globe“THE FUZZY math behind the Massachusetts universal healthcare law is starting to add up – just as Washington studies the law as a possible model for the nation.” The trouble is that the real math doesn’t add up, and that liberal commentators like Vennochi, when faced with reality, still won’t let go of the nationalization idea.

No elaboration necessary (HT Berman Post) — “The Obama administration is open to discussions with Iran over its nuclear ambitions despite protests questioning the legitimacy of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s re-election, U.S. officials said Sunday.”

The Coschocton (OH) Tribune editorializes — “More Broken Promises by Strickland.” The opening: “I’ll tell you one thing, but do another. Gov. Ted Strickland should consider that as a slogan for his re-election campaign. It may not work in his favor, but at least it would be forthright.” Ouch.

At the Cincinnati Enquirer, a “let’s make this as vague as possible” headline — “Tea Partiers Protest (Cap and Trade) Bill, Driehaus (‘Yes’ Vote).” I had to add what is in parens to make it comprehensible. Driehaus’s defense — “(The bill will) provide fair, measured controls to reduce carbon emissions 83 percent by 2050. I’m proud to stand with my colleagues today to do the right ting (sic) for the future of America’s economy and security.” The “ting” is, the bill will trash American’s economy and our ability to defend ourselves. His ouster from the First Congressional District is a “ting” that can’t happen soon enough.

Positivity: Nicaraguan bishops chide Ortega — Justice requires action and not just prayer

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:26 am

Standing up to a wannabe tyrant who would dictate what clerics can and can’t do is a positive thing.

From Managua, Nicaragua:

Jun 17, 2009 / 08:51 pm

In response to Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega’s recent “invitation to pray” and to refrain from giving opinions on political issues, the bishops of Nicaragua reminded that justice requires action and not just prayer. The one who prays, they said, must always speak out to defend the truth.

Ortega responded to recent criticism of his administration by “exhorting” the bishops to “pray everyday.” According to El Nuevo Diario, Archbishop Leopoldo Brenes of Managua said, “We don’t belong to any political party, but we do exercise political action at a general level, which means for the common good … .” “Generally as pastors we are always in tune with the sense of our people, and we convey that to those who have the capacity to bring about solutions to problems.”

For his part, the vice president of the bishops’ conference, Bishop Juan Abelardo Guevara, responded to Ortega’s comments by saying it was “abominable to use the word of the Lord to justify absurd positions.”

Auxiliary Bishop Silvio Jose Baez Ortega of Managua …. also reminded the president to listen to the opinions of others, to examine his own conscience and to practice self-correction.

….. “He who prays has the obligation to raise his voice in support of the truth,” he added. “Praying does not exempt one from working for justice, from being a prophet. In the Bible, the prayer and the prophet go hand in hand. He who prays, he who speaks with God, speaks also of God and also denounces the situations in which God is not present.”

Go here for the full story.

MarketWatch and Rex Nutting Gets GDP History Wrong

Filed under: Economy,MSM Biz/Other Ignorance,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:30 am

nuttingr.jpgThose who have followed my posts for a while know that I have a particularly low regard for the work of MarketWatch’s Rex Nutting (pictured at right). It goes back to the pre-housing mess days when he tried to tell me that the the drop in housing prices would look like the 75%-plus drop in the NASDAQ from 2000-2002 or the collapse of Dutch tulip prices centuries ago. . As of April 2009, according the Federal Housing Finance Authority (FHFA), the successor to the Office of Housing Enterprise Oversight, the two-year drop in housing prices since the April 2007 peak has been 11.2% (PDF). Of course, give the Obama administration enough time, and who knows what it might do to housing values?

After the government’s “final” GDP report for the first quarter of 2009 on Thursday (future comprehensive revisions during the next two years could still ultimately change the outcome), it occurred to me that the reported annualized contraction of 5.5%, in combination with the annualized -6.3% logged in the fourth quarter of last year, might be some kind of record. I looked at historical info, and found that the most recent two-quarter dive is the worst since the same quarters of 1957-58. Then in seeing who might have written this up, I came across Nutting’s related report, which contains two statements that are patently untrue.

What’s remarkable is that one of his errors indicates that he or someone else at MarketWatch must have looked for the numbers in question and, along with his editors (if they exist), blown right by them.

Nutting’s erroneous statements in his Thursday MarketWatch report are the first two sentences (bolded by me) in the following paragraph:

The two-quarter contraction is the worst in more than 60 years. Since 1947, the economy had never contracted by more than 4% for two consecutive quarters. With a 0.5% drop in the third quarter of 2008, it’s the first time the economy has contracted for three consecutive quarters since 1975.

Both statements are demonstrably false. A review of 1947-2009, the entire period during which quarterly data has been reported (annual data goes back to 1930), shows that the two quarters I cited earlier came in at -4.2% and -10.4%:

USgdp1957and1958

The economy’s actual (not annualized) contraction during that six-month 1957-58 time period was 3.75%. The actual contraction during the most recent two quarters, after Thursday’s revision, has been “only” 3.0%.

How Rex Nutting or someone helping him could have looked at the government’s GDP history and missed the fact that both 1957-58 quarters in question had annualized contractions worse than 4% — something he specifically said has never happened since 1947 — is a mystery. Additionally, 4Q-1981 and 1Q-1982 had annualized contractions of over 4%, though their two-quarter combined actual (non-annualized) contraction of 2.87% is less than the two most recent quarters.

But there may be a psychological clue in Nutting’s sub-headline: “Trivial revisions can’t hide enormity of economic collapse.”

Perhaps Nutting and MarketWatch have conditioned themselves to believe this is the worst ever collapse already, and contrary data simply can’t penetrate their brains.

The current economic collapse isn’t the worst — yet. But again, give Barack Obama and Congress enough time, and they could very well get us there. Look what they’ve done since they started trashing the economic expectations of investors, businesspeople, and entrepreneurs a year ago.

Nutting reveals elsewhere in his report that predictions for the second quarter of this year are currently for another contraction, this time at an annualized rate of 1.5%. If that occurs, it will be the first time ever that four quarters of contraction in a row have occurred since the government began keeping quarterly data. It will be interesting to see if Nutting maintains his gloom or, given further progress into the Obama administration, whether he’ll try to put a happy face on things like so many of his business-press colleagues.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.