Sunday, October 12, 2008

the manchurian dalibama, part 4 - obama math

I’ve tried to understand how Obama does math. Must be a Chicago thing. It didn’t take long to gather information on the number of voters in the 1992 drive he headed, the number of years of community organizing he did, and his salary in the Chicago CO job.

My point in the discussion below is that Obama seems to fall into that class of folks with whom I would not socialize nor be comfortable when my back was turned. He states very specific numbers as if they are demonstrable fact, yet the numbers change over time. The people that I have known that do similar things are just not trustworthy. They may be nice people in some respects, but they are too comfortable with lying for my tastes. For that is what it is - do not mistake it: If two statements are made that contradict, two statements describing the exact same thing, one of those two statements is false. If the falsity is a one-time thing attributable to fatigue or misremembering, that is fine. But when the contradictory statements add up, when they appear in all sorts of different proffered stories, then a theme becomes apparent. Then all one needs to do is gather the disparate threads, pull them together, and see the mosaic.

This mosaic seems to be one of convenient truths. In orders words, it is one of lies. Harsh words, yes. But I just cannot escape the conclusion.

Are they not lies in his mind? Then that suggests to me, as the gathered statements discussed below show the contradictions, that Obama does not consider these issues important. His belief that the details are secondary to the broader mission likewise concerns me. It underscores the "Messiah Complex" discussed throughout the world of blogs.

Let’s start at his State Senate website, archived on August 24, 2000. In 1992, Senator Obama served as Illinois Executive Director of PROJECT VOTE!, an effort that added over 100,000 newly registered voters in Illinois.

That’s a common number in the mantra.

Here that number appears in the archived Senate campaign website. April 20, 2003, archive, subpage changed March 6, 2003: Senator Obama received his BA in Political Science from Columbia University. He spent five years working as a community organizer, first in Harlem, then in Chicago. Obama served as Illinois Executive Director of PROJECT VOTE!, which added over 100,000 newly registered voters in Illinois.

Note for discussion later the during of his community organizing: "Five years."

Now we jump to an interview for the Windy City Times, February 4, 2004: So I ran a voter registration drive, called Project Vote, that registered 150,000 new voters to help get Bill Clinton and Carol Moseley Braun elected.

Hunh. 100,000 just grew by 50%. Go figure.

Early last year, published on January 28, 2007, his boss on the project was interviewed by the Brit paper The Telegraph: In 1991, Mr Obama returned to the DCP for a year, organising a voter-registration project from a former Methodist church. His plain brown wood-veneer desk with yellow metal drawers still sits against the breeze-block wall. "He was phenomenal," said the Rev Michael Evans, who helps run the DCP from the same office.

"He was straight out of an Ivy League college but came back here and settled right in. He was a regular guy who used to shoot hoops with us on a Friday night. And he did a great job. He registered 120,000 new voters in just 11 months, and let me tell you, that's an incredible feat."

So, 100,000 – 120,000 – 150,000. Somewhere in there. The larger two numbers are both cited as roughly exact numbers, while the lowest number is always stated as “over.” I think I get it. It’s a Project VOTE!/ACORN thing. Wash out the fraudulent registrations, and you go from 150,000 down to “over 100,000.” Makes sense.

Forward to an interview with The Nation published on April 3, 2007, 150,000 comes back: Obama, only 24, struck board members as "awesome" and "extremely impressive," and they quickly hired him, at $13,000 a year, plus $2,000 for a car--a beat-up blue Honda Civic, which Obama drove for the next three years organizing more than twenty congregations to change their neighborhoods.

But Obama kept his ties to DCP and worked out of its office when he ran a drive that registered 150,000 new voters in 1992 and became the springboard for his own grassroots campaign for Illinois State Senate.

Now we also get his salary for that job: $13,000 base plus $2,000 for a car.

We also read that he organized in Chicago for three years. Remember the time period above? Five years? That means that he organized for two years in New York. We’ll see.

Back to his salary, US News & World Report published an interview on August 26, 2007: Jerry Kellman, a social activist who recruited Obama, recalls, "He was very bright, very articulate, very personable, and very idealistic," inspired by civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.'s philosophy of nonviolence. Kellman offered Obama a job at the annual salary of $10,000, and he threw in $2,000 so Obama could buy a ramshackle car to get around.

Faced with such frustrations, after three years in Chicago, Obama decided to apply his skills in the wider world. He entered Harvard Law School in 1988 …

So now the salary is down to $10,000, although the allotment for the car is the same. We also read that he entered Harvard in 1988, which supports the three-year stint of Chicago agitation that began in 1985. That leaves us, again, with two years of agitation in New York to find.

Let’s go to May 25, 2008, to the commencement speech at Wesleyan University: Meanwhile, this organization offered me $12,000 a year plus $2,000 for an old, beat-up car.

So, $10,000 - $12,000 - $13,000 – somewhere in there. Always with the additional $2,000 for the car.

Forward to September 7, 2008: Obama told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos on "This Week" that he moved to Chicago when he was 24 and was a community organizer for the next three years.


We know he graduated from Columbia in 1983. That’s comes from his present campaign site below. We also know that he worked for a publication house for a year and agitated on behalf of City College for three months before heading to Chicago. (See a previous post, "The Manchurian Dalibama, Part 3, The Bill Ayers CV" a couple posts below this one.)

So his “five years” claim – two of which must be in New York – seems to be a convenient resume filler to account for the narrative he wants. He graduated Columbia in 1983, started Harvard in 1988 - five years!

We’ll let the NYT fill the hole for us: Before graduating from Columbia University in 1983, Mr. Obama had written to civil rights organizations and to black elected officials looking for work. No one wrote back.

He worked brief stints at two different jobs, but unemployed two years later, Mr. Obama answered an advertisement for a Chicago grass-roots organizer. With the devastating demise of the steel industry, Mr. Kellman was trying to work with blacks in the city and whites in the suburbs to salvage manufacturing jobs. Mr. Kellman, who is white, was looking for a black organizer to assist him.

Unemployed? Oh!

So, 3 years - 5 years. Something like that. I've read but am too lazy to find right now references to four years as well.

How does he handle his math issues now?

Here’s the bit from his present campaign site: Barack's father eventually returned to Kenya, and Barack grew up with his mother in Hawaii, and for a few years in Indonesia. Later, he moved to New York, where he graduated from Columbia University in 1983.


Remembering the values of empathy and service that his mother taught him, Barack put law school and corporate life on hold after college and moved to Chicago in 1985, where he became a community organizer with a church-based group seeking to improve living conditions in poor neighborhoods plagued with crime and high unemployment.

The group had some success, but Barack had come to realize that in order to truly improve the lives of people in that community and other communities, it would take not just a change at the local level, but a change in our laws and in our politics.

He went on to earn his law degree from Harvard in 1991, where he became the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. Soon after, he returned to Chicago to practice as a civil rights lawyer and teach constitutional law. Finally, his advocacy work led him to run for the Illinois State Senate, where he served for eight years. In 2004, he became the third African American since Reconstruction to be elected to the U.S. Senate.

No mention of number of voters registered – in fact, no mention of the event at all. Therefore, of course, no mention of his ties to Project VOTE! and ACORN.

No mention of number of years organizing.

No mention of his salary.

It’s just easier that way, I guess.

My point? I’m 49 years old. My first job paid $14,000 even. When they moved me to California, I got a bump to $19,500. Can I remember every salary I ever made? I could piece it together, particularly if I was documenting it on an important website or speaking about it in interviews. A major project like being at the center of a storm in a voter-registration program that supposedly changed the face of Chicago politics? I would remember the numbers, particularly within a 50% tolerance. The numbers of years I was in each of my three previous, now four, careers? By heart. Ten, twelve, and five. Current career, one. It is who I am.

Obama’s math tells me that he would tell the person in front of him the narrative he feels is best for the day. It’s just like the common refrain of pumping a resume – “everyone does it” I am told. Funny, the people that I know that have done it are train wrecks either done or speeding down the tracks. I never have once. Not even in a small way. A resume is composed of facts, not opinions.

I don’t trust someone that can’t find their own history or refuses to tell it the same way over time.

Being challenged at math is pretty funny for a guy that helped to spend $49MM on education through the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, that sat on the Woods and Joyce Boards approving thousands of dollars more for educational research (a recipient of which in all instances was Bill Ayers), and wants our kids to leave the home before kindergarten so the government can begin indoctrination early. On this latter point, Obama, no thank you. I did a better job raising my kids than the teachers' unions ever could.

I do not trust you.


  1. William Ayers is a professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, with whom Barack served on the board of an education-reform organization in the mid-1990's. According to the Associated Press, they are not close: "No evidence shows they were 'pals' or even close when they worked on community boards years ago ..." (

    Smear groups and now the McCain campaign are trying to connect Obama to acts Ayers committed 40 years ago - when Barack was just eight years old. Here's what the New York Times reported on the connection ( "But the two men do not appear to have been close. Nor has Mr. Obama ever expressed sympathy for the radical views and actions of Mr. Ayers, whom he has called 'somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was 8.'"

    Barack has publicly denounced Ayers' radical actions from the 1960's ( "Senator Obama strongly condemns the violent actions of the Weathermen group, as he does all acts of violence. But he was an eight-year-old child when Ayers and the Weathermen were active, and any attempt to connect Obama with events of almost forty years ago is ridiculous."

  2. Lorna, darling, you came to me!!! Welcome Smearbusters! Oh, I am so excited!

    Sweetie, stop following other people and think for yourself. I read your work on Smearbusters (and posted about it) a few days ago. Your comment here is a cut and paste from there - and totally irrelevant to my post!

    This is not a post about Ayers.

    Darling, pumpkin, come on! Think for yourself! You can do it. It'll feel good!

  3. Maxine, you naughty girl! Why would you post here as Lorna? Here's her update to smearbusters:

    Sat, 10/25/2008 - 17:55 Open Corrected maxine Glad to be able to post to blog. FYI, mine was the only comment posted!

  4. Here's Lorna's (fake name - Blogger ID blocked) - real name Maxine's footprint:

    Domain Name ? (Commercial)
    IP Address 216.244.17.# (EarthLink)
    ISP EarthLink
    Continent : North America
    Country : United States (Facts)
    State : California
    City : Oakland
    Lat/Long : 37.795, -122.2193 (Map)
    Language English (U.S.)
    Operating System Microsoft WinXP
    Browser Firefox
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/2008092417 Firefox/3.0.3
    Javascript version 1.5
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    Color Depth : 32 bits
    Time of Visit Oct 25 2008 6:36:45 pm
    Last Page View Oct 25 2008 7:02:56 pm
    Visit Length 26 minutes 11 seconds
    Page Views 2
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    Visit Entry Page http://myaisling.blo...rt-4-obama-math.html
    Visit Exit Page http://myaisling.blo...rt-4-obama-math.html
    Out Click Post a Comment
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    Visitor's Time Oct 25 2008 3:36:45 pm
    Visit Number 1,745

  5. Fake name is Maxine; real name is Lorna. Now don't you feel special? :)

    The Ayers smearing is just the tip of the indignities to which we are subjected by the vitriolic right. But if we Americans are so anti-negativity among the candidates, how come both sides are continuing to do it? Unfortunately, it must work.

    And are you really concerned about the inconsistencies in the totals of how many voters he did or did not help to register? (by the way, news reports are very often not fact checked before rushed to print, air, etc. I know: sad, but true.) Well, at least it got you on the Smearbusters radar, dollface.

  6. babycakes,i know nothing of the "vitriolic right." if you read my posts, i back up every statement with links. i do not spew. i also do not "smearbust" with statements irrelevant to the post and then take credit for correcting something.

    so you are saying that the press quoted The Dalibama incorrectly? Gee, read a little and follow my links - the numbers come from his own campaign websites. read all the manchurian posts.

    what i find humorous about you all is how much emotion you have in this. shutting down tv stations because of a rough interview with biden. threatening letters about ads.

    your guy has the thinnest skin of any candidate i have ever seen.

    and, yes, precious, i do feel special. please come back!

  7. hey precious, got a website? i'd love to see how the other half thinks. i just don't understand socialism and the whole nazi-group-think bit. i don't mean that aggressively. i'd really like to see how you develop arguments.

    care to share, my new BFF?