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Paging Jack Cashill. Jack Cashill. Paging Jack Cashill.

[ 91 ] February 20, 2012 |

Jack Cashill’s annoyed that Media Matters for America (MMFA) “intimidate[d] editors into not assigning Deconstructing Obama for review.” His evidence?

To date, even though my thesis is widely accepted on the right, not a single conservative publication has reviewed it, not even to challenge the thesis.  Other than a quick MMFA-style hit in the Washington Post, no mainstream publication has reviewed the book either.

Now, I’m no mainstream publication, but I am a serious literary scholar—I have credentials and everything—and I did spend a fair amount of time giving his evidence a fair hearing. Suffice it to say that I’m a little hurt that Cashill’s never deigned to respond, especially now that he’s complaining that no one’s ever taken his work seriously. So here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to republish my strongest arguments against Cashill below the fold and invite him to read and respond to them. Only I’m not going to invite him—you are.

Please send a civil email in which you link to this post to jcashill (at) aol (dot) com.

Ask others to do so too. Feel free to link to this post. Who knows? Maybe if enough people ask politely, he’ll decide it’s worth his time to respond.

Moreover, because previous attempt to draw a response from him didn’t work, there’s no reason not to try a more direct approach . So, below the fold you’ll find my evidence. I hope that sooner or later we’ll find a response from Cashill himself in the comments.

Part 1: Who really wrote “Obama”‘s Dreams from My Father?

According to Jack Cashill—in an article first published at WorldNetDaily—Dreams from My Father was probably written by Bill Ayers. Cashill opens by demonstrating that Obama, unlike every undergraduate ever, published crap poems in a college literary journal. These crap poems “show not a glint of promise,” Cashill tells us, nor did a “heavily edited, unsigned student case comment” published in the Harvard Law Review.  He then quotes an attorney consulted byPolitico, who called it “a fairly standard example of the genre.”  Cashill has a point here:

The “temperate legal language” of “a fairly standard example” of “a heavily edited, unsigned student case comment” is completely different from the style Obama would employ a few years later in his autobiography. Cashill is right to be suspicious. Who wouldn’t write their autobiography in the temperate language of an anonymous legal brief? What style is better suited to the tale of being abandoned by a father and raised to be a black man by a white woman in the wake of the Civil Right Movements?

None.

But Cashill isn’t content to let the matter rest on logic.  He consults an expert—in this case,Patrick Juola of the Authorship Attribution Program—and is advised to continue doing “good old-fashioned literary detective work” of the sort that’s proven the plays of William Shakespeare were written by Roger Bacon, Christopher Marlowe, William Stanley, Walter Raleigh, Edmund Spenser, or Edward de Vere.  Cashill is no ordinary literary detective: in the past he has been called upon to rescue celebrity biographies, so he recognizes when someone, in this case “[w]hoever rescued Barack Obama’s Dreams from My Father[,] invest[s] considerable time to invent a distinct voice and style for an unknown author.”  And who is this someone?

Bill Ayers.

How does Cashill know?  Because the “distinct voice and style” Ayers invents for Obama “is surely Ayers’ [own].”  Ayers invented a style—his own—then wrote Dreams from My Father in it.  To the untrained eye, that may sound ridiculous; but as a Doctor of Philosophy of Literature, I assure you his “deconstruction” of Obama’s autobiography is sound and valid.

His technical argument begins by pointing out that both Obama’s Dreams from My Father and Ayers’ Fugitive Days “are obsessed with memory and its instability.” Both address this heretofore unheard topic in the history of autobiography in a very similar style. Compare this passage from Obama:

Identity is funny being yourself is funny as you are never yourself to yourself except as you remember yourself and then of course you do not believe yourself you do not really believe yourself why should you, you know so well so very well that it is not yourself.

To this one from Ayers:

Now it could not be yourself because you cannot remember right and if you do remember right it does not sound right and of course it does not sound right because it is not right. You are of course never yourself.

The obsession with the instability of memory should be evident even to those who have never ghost-written celebrity autobiographies. But Cashill’s deconstruction is far from complete. He amasses a boatload of irrefutable evidence:

  1. Both Obama and Ayers “use ’storms’ and ‘horizons’ as metaphor and as reality.”
  2. “Ayers and Obama also speak often of waves and wind, Obama at least a dozen times on wind alone.”
  3. The polyamorous Ayers has “tangled love affairs” while the undergraduate Obama has “tangled arguments.”
  4. “On at least 12 occasions, Obama speaks of ‘despair,’” an emotion Ayers has been known to feel.
  5. “Obama . . . has a fondness for the word ‘murky’ and its aquatic usages.”
  6. Both . . . make conspicuous use of the word ‘flutter.’”
  7. The “Fugitive Days” excerpt scores a 54 on reading ease and a 12th grade reading level. The “Dreams’” excerpt scores a 54.8 on reading ease and a 12th grade reading level.

If Cashill’s math fails to convince you—54 is quite close to 54.8, but numbers might not be to your taste—consider that in his analysis, he “introduce[s his] own book, Sucker Punch . . . [a]s a control.”  How much more scientific does his deconstruction need to be?

At The Corner, Andy McCarthy evaluates Cashill’s argument and proves himself to be an idiot by finding Cashill’s “lengthy analysis . . . thorough, thoughtful, and alarming—particularly his deconstruction of the text in Obama’s memoir and comparison to the themes, sophistication and signature phraseology of Bill Ayers’ memoir.” To be blunt: if you find Cashill’s identification of “sea imagery” and his lists of words both Obama and Ayers use to be particularly anything other than laughable pablum, you’re an eighth-wit.

If, however, you only use Cashill’s musings as a hypothetical which, if true, suggests all the unsavory things you already believe about Obama, then you’ve fully embraced the Cashill Doctrine. What do I mean by that? If you deconstruct Cashill’s name, you’ll find that it contains the words “cash” and shill.” “Cash” refers to paper bank notes which, in more robust times, could be exchanged for goods or services. A “shill,” according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is “one who poses as a disinterested advocate of another but is actually of the latter’s party; a mouthpiece, a stooge.” It goes without saying that shills often shill for cash, but in this case, I think we can say the shill’s shilling for cash and attention.

Part Two: “Polygraph-level scholarship may suffice for harmless speculation about the authorship of Midsummer’s Night Dream, but not for Dreams From My Father. Too much is at stake.”

As all actual, practicing literary critics know, few sentences in critical works scream tendentiousness louder than:

What should be transparent to any literary critic is that . . .

Literary matters are only “transparent” when they’re not properly literary. If something is transparent, you don’t need a literary critic to ponder the depths it doesn’t have—any old idiot will suffice. And that’s exactly why Jack Cashill, author of the above and an idiot of long-standing, is just the man to prove that Bill Ayers wrote Obama’s autobiography, Dreams From My Father. For Cashill and his mysterious contributors (“[t]he media punishment that Joe the Plumber received” requires they remain anonymous), the case against Obama is a compelling one:

What Mr. Midwest noticed recently is that both Ayers in [A Kind and Just Parent] and Obama in [Dreams From My Father] 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 . . . Ayers and Obama, however, go beyond citing Sandburg. Each quotes the opening line of his poem “Chicago” . . . 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.

So both Ayers and Obama misquote the opening line of Carl Sandburg’s “Chicago,” substituting “hog butcher to the world” for “hog butcher for the world.” This mutual error would be significant (an “A-level match”) if Ayers and Obama were the only two people who ever made it, but according to Google Book Search—a secret search engine to which only I have access—the same mistake has been made by Nelson AlgrenAlan LomaxAndrei CodrescuH.L. Mencken,Paul KrugmanPerry MillerDonald HallEd McBainSaul BellowS.J. PerelmanNathanaël WestEzra PoundWright MorrisAllen GinsbergLangston Hughes, and the 1967 Illinois Commission on Automation and Technological Progress. (To name but a few.) According to Cashill, I have now proven that Dreams From My Father was written by many a dead man of American letters, a living mystery writer, a New York Times columnist and the 1967 Illinois Commission on Automation and Technological Progress. That bears repeating:

I have an “A-level match” that proves that Obama’s autobiography was written by a “study of the economic and social effects of automation and other technological changes on industry, commerce, agriculture, education, manpower, and society in Illinois” when Obama was only six years old.  If that somehow fails to convey to the dubious merits of Cashill’s argument, perhaps this will:

Returning to the exotic, in his Indonesian backyard Obama discovered two “birds of paradise” running wild as well as chickens, ducks, and a “yellow dog with a baleful howl.” In [Ayers'] Fugitive Days, there is even more “howling” than there is in Dreams. . . In [A Kind and Just Parent], he talks specifically about a “yellow dog.” And he uses the word “baleful” to describe an “eye” in Fugitive Days. For the record, “baleful” means “threatening harm.” I had to look it up.

You did read that right. Cashill did cite as “A-level” evidence the fact that Ayers and Obama used a word he didn’t know, despite his being the Executive Editor of Kansas City’s premier business publication, Ingram’s Magazine; despite his having written for FortuneThe Wall Street JournalThe Washington Post, and The Weekly Standard; despite his having authored five books of non-fiction; and despite the word “baleful” having appeared in print 342 times in the past six months alone. Granted, all those appearances were in high-minded literary publications like Newsday (“[w]ith his baleful countenance, wild hair, sonorous baritone and sage pronouncements”) or leftist rags like The Washington Times (“warn them in baleful tones if they’ve forgotten, say, the Constitution”), so it would be unreasonable to expect Cashill to have been familiar with the word . . . or would be, were it not for the fact that it also appears 19 times in the pages of the American Thinker, the publication for which Cashill penned this tripe. (Seems he can begin his careful literary analysis of the other 848,000 potential ghost writers closer to home.)

Fortunately for Cashill, his argument is not entirely based on demonstrations of ignorance and popular misquotations (which, when you think about it, is more along the lines of literarydetection than literary criticism anyway), as when he claims that Ayers and Obama are unique among memoirists in their fascination with eyes: “Ayers is fixated with faces, especially eyes [and] Obama is also fixated with faces, especially eyes.” Having performed an extensive study of autobiographical writing, Cashill knows how unique this fixation with eyes is. Consider this passage from Dreams From My Father:

Peter said Peter said eyes are always and eyes are always. Peter said Peter said, eyes are always and Peter said eyes are always. Peter said eyes are always. Peter said eyes are always.

Sorry—that was Gertrude Stein. Here’s the passage from Dreams From My Father:

Whenever I looked in her direction she had her eyes on me. The face she had! The eyes! She lay streched out on the floorboards with her hands under her head and her eyes closed. Sun blazing down, bit of a breeze, water nice and lively. I noticed a scratch on her thigh and asked her how she came by it. Picking gooseberries, she said. I said again I thought it was hopeless and no good going on, and she agreed, without opening her eyes. I asked her to look at me and after a few moments—after a few moments she did, but the eyes just slits, because of the glare. I bent over her to get them in the shadow and they opened. Let me in. We drifted in among the flags and stuck. The way they went down, sighing, before the stem! The eyes she had!

Sorry—that was Samuel Beckett. If I didn’t know better, I’d be inclinced to argue that works that are overtly concerned with the act of remembering and the limitations of memory tend to obsess over the eye and its punned hononym (“I”). Actually, I do know better, so I will: be they modernist experimentations about subjectivity or humble autobiographies, works that concern themselves with the act of remembering and the limitations of memory tend to obsess over the eye and its punned homonym (“I”).

Perhaps it’s unfair of a professional literary critic to expect Cashill to have intimate knowledge of literary modernism. I should cut him some slack and let him perform the kind of close stylistic analysis that I teach my students. Maybe he can handle something simple, like diction:

To this point, I have just skimmed the 759 items in the bill of particulars in my case against Obama’s literary genius. Not familiar with the term “bill of particulars?” Uncertain myself, I looked that one up too. It means a list of written statements made by a party to a court proceeding. Ayers and Obama each refer knowingly to a “bill of particulars.” Doesn’t everyone?

The answer, of course, is no.

Cashill is on to something here. The phrase “bill of particulars” is an uncommon construction, and its repeated use indicates that the speaker has a specialized vocabulary in which this construction regularly appears. According to LexisNexis, this is exactly the case: in the past six months, that exact phrase has been written 509 times and every single one of them looks like this:

United States v. Clark, NO. 05-6507, UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT, 09a0422n.06;, 2009 U.S. App. LEXIS 12940; 2009 FED App. 0422N (6th Cir.), June 15, 2009, Filed, NOT RECOMMENDED FOR FULL-TEXT PUBLICATION. SIXTH CIRCUIT RULE 28(g) LIMITS CITATION TO SPECIFIC SITUATIONS. PLEASE SEE RULE 28(g) BEFORE CITING IN A PROCEEDING IN A COURT IN THE SIXTH CIRCUIT. IF CITED, A COPY MUST BE SERVED ON OTHER PARTIES AND THE COURT. THIS NOTICE IS TO BE PROMINENTLY DISPLAYED IF THIS DECISION IS REPRODUCED.

The only people who regularly use the phrase “bill of particulars,” then, are lawyers, and since Bill Ayers isn’t a lawyer, I think we can all agree that Cashill is right: Obama is the author of Bill Ayers’ Fugitive Dwait a minute!

Part Three:  ”Yet again, Jack Cashill proves why the country needs more actual literary critics.”

Now Cashill’s accusing Michiko Kakutani of plagiarizing his 2008 blockbuster, “The Improvised Odyssey of Barack Obama,” and begins his defense of this claim as one does: by demonstrating that William Ayers is familiar with Homer’s Odyssey.

Ayers knows his Homer. In his 2001 memoir, Fugitive Days, for instance, he specifically identified the Odyssey’s “Cyclops” as a metaphor for the “doomed and helpless” United States. “Picture an oversized, somewhat dim-witted monster, greedy and capricious,” Ayers wrote in his uniquely patriotic way, “its eyes put out by fiery stakes and now flailing in a blind rage, smashing its way through villages and over mountains.”

If, as Cashill hopes to establish, “Ayers knows his Homer,” it would behoove him not to quote Ayers saying that Odysseus put out the eyes of the famously one-eyed monster Polyphemus.  That Ayers speaks of a stereoscopic cyclops speaks ill of him; that Cashill attempts to establish both his own and Ayers’s classicist credibility via a quotation about a two-eyed cyclops only proves that neither should be trusted with Homeric parallels.  (Leave that to the experts.)  Then, as if he anticipated the complaint of the previous sentences, he politely offers evidence of their validity:

In Dreams, Obama confronts his own menacing one-eyed bald man, a Savak-loving Iranian.

Obama once spoke with a one-eyed man, Cashill argues, therefore this reference to a one-eyed cyclops in Dreams From My Father corresponds with Ayers’s reference to a two-eyed one inFugitive Days.  Granted, my summary of his point may be uncharitably literal, even though Obama’s one-eyed man had, to all appearances, two eyes (“an older balding man with a glass eye,” the “drift of [which] gave the Iranian a menacing look”); and even though the point of Obama telling this story is that, despite one of the man’s two eyes giving him “a menacing look,” he “was a friendly and curious” person; and even though, unlike the Odyssey, in which the curse of the one-eyed cyclops Polyphemus results in his father, Poseidon, to unleash contrary winds and furious storms, thereby extending the travels and travails of Odysseus, all that resulted from this conversation was that someone else quoted Malcolm X; even though all those parallels break down, maybe I am being uncharitably literal.  Once the sentence I quoted above is inserted back into its context, the parallels between Homer’s epic and Obama’s memoir become clear:

In Dreams, Obama confronts his own menacing one-eyed bald man, a Savak-loving Iranian. Before he completes his heroic cycle, he also confronts many of the other distractions: green-eyed seductresses, blind seers, lotus-eaters, the “ghosts” of the underworld, whirlpools, and about a half dozen sundry “demons.”

Obama, as scripted by Ayers, lived the most Odysseus-esque life of anyone ever. I never even knew he went to the underworld!  But our President is even more Homeric than that because, in Cashill’s estimation, Obama

assumes the role of both Telemachus and Odysseus, the son seeking the father, and the father seeking home.

This novel statement—no variation of which has appeared in the 2,800 year history of criticism on one of the foundational texts of the Western tradition—was later brazenly stolen by the chief literary critic of the New York Times:

“Dreams From My Father,” written before [Obama] entered politics, was both a searching bildungsroman and an autobiographical quest to understand his roots—a quest in which he cast himself as both a Telemachus in search of his father and an Odysseus in search of a home.

Kakutani should have known better than to borrow such a unique insight into the structure of the Odyssey.  Did she really think no one would notice her thievery if she included it as an afterthought to a sentence with which it bears an organic connection?  If Cashill’s larger argument is correct—if, that is, “Ayers leaves scarcely an Homeric trope unturned in his mining of the Odyssey to describe Obama’s ‘personal interior journey’”—then any literate person who reads both the Odyssey and Dreams From My Father would pick up and comment upon the Homeric parallels, meaning his sentiment is too mundane to be plagiarized.

Of course, Cashill’s larger argument is not correct.  Just because Ayers and Obama both use words that relate to the sea (“fog, mist, ships, seas, boats, oceans, calms, captains, charts, first mates, storms, streams, wind, waves, anchors, barges, horizons, ports, panoramas, moorings, tides, currents, and things howling, fluttering, knotted, ragged, tangled, and murky”) doesn’t mean that Ayers ghostwrote for Obama or that either are directly indebted to Homer.  Cashill predicates his complaint against Kakutani on her having stolen the substance of his argument while denying its conclusion.  She did nothing of the sort.  She tossed off a nifty parallel that fit organically within a larger framework; Cashill erected a larger framework in order to draw tendentious parallels between Circe and Diana Oughton on the grounds that she dated Obama for a year and lived in a nice neighborhood.

Part Four: “Turns out I owe Jack Cashill an apology.”

Because I was wrongwrongwrong about the identity of the author of Dreams From My Father. Independent confirmation of Cashill’s claim that William Ayers penned the President’s memoir comes in the form of a book by celebrity biographer Christopher Andersen. Cashill is right to be excited—it’s not every day you blunder to the plate, close your eyes, swing for the fences and have your prayers answered. That’s what the arrival of corroborating evidence in Andersen’s book amounts to, and no researcher who’s found corroboration of the sort in independently researched materials will begrudge Cashill the tone of unreserved glee and grammatical abandon evident in his latest post:

In his new book, “Barack and Michelle: Portrait of an American Marriage,” Best-selling celebrity journalist, Christopher Andersen, has blown a huge hole in the Obama genius myth without intending to do so.

Who cares that book titles are traditionally underlined or italicized, capital letters belong at the beginning of sentences, or that he uses, commas, like an undergraduate when independent research has provided a factual basis for his speculative argument:

Relying on inside sources, quite possibly Michelle Obama herself, Andersen describes how Dreams came to be published—just as I had envisioned it in my articles on the authorship of Dreams. With the deadline pressing, Michelle recommended that Barack seek advice from “his friend and Hyde Park neighbor Bill Ayers.”

Only a killjoy would complain that Michelle Obama couldn’t be a source, “quite possibly” or otherwise, because Andersen wrote an unauthorized biography—which, by definition, is a biography whose subject or subjects did not participate in its composition. That those “inside sources” who knew of Michelle’s purported recommendation are not named, i.e. sourced, is the sort of thing that, despite being true, only someone who hated joy would point out.

Andersen continues, “In the end, Ayers’s contribution to Barack’s Dreams From My Father would be significant—so much so that the book’s language, oddly specific references, literary devices, and themes would bear a jarring similarity to Ayers’s own writing.”

Even though Cashill jettisons the very pretense of formatting book titles here, and even though Andersen’s claim is couched in a conditional clause (“would be significant”) of the sort favored by authors who learned their libel law from the wrong end of many lawsuits, we should not let such quibbles diminish the importance of this independent, corroborating evidence—especially when, even though Cashill doesn’t identify him in his post, these claims come from a named source:

In the end, Ayers’s contribution of Barack’s Dreams from My Father would be significant—so much so that the book’s language, oddly specific references, literary devices, and themes would bear a jarring similiarity to Ayers’s own writings . . .

“There was a good deal of literary back-scratching going on in Hyde Park,” said writerJack Cashill, who noted that a mutual friend of Barack and Ayers, Rashid Khalidi, thanked Ayers for helping him with his book Resurrecting Empire. Ayers, explained Cashill, “provided an informal editing service for like-minded friends in the neighborhood.”

Your eyes do not deceive you. Against odds of astronomical grandeur, Cashill’s independent, corroborating evidence for his theory that William Ayers wrote the President’s memoir is also named Jack Cashill. But, as Cashill—the one who first made the claim, not the independent researcher who verified it—might say, sometimes the world can be as small as the city of the Chicago.

Comments (91)

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  1. ACS says:

    That was great. Sometimes I feel like people waste too much time arguing with those who are clearly idiots. Occasionally, however(and this is one of those occasions) it’s worth it for the comedic value alone.

    • Bob Nordberg says:

      Ayers and Obama both write about a ‘Tidal River’ Teaching Moment, the same River ‘The Hudson’ both are teaching a young man why it is the River goes both ways, Both tell the story from the same ‘Park’ on the Hudson from the same crossing “the 12th St. Bridge…….Both Ayers and Obama write about a Boy sitting on top a Water Buffalo hitting it with a ‘Bamboo Stick’….You forgot to mention those things.
      Christoper Anderson (in his book) has two eye witness to Ayers getting Obama’s failed attempt at writing Dreams photos..audio tapes exc….You forgot that as well.

      • Bob Nordberg says:

        Why this all matters! We now have Eric Holder protecting Bill Ayers from the murder of another first responder. Holder states they have their own investigation “Stop yours” http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Police-officers-told-to-zip-lips-on-bombing-3247571.php

        • Bob Nordberg says:

          Award winning Author Thomas Lipscomb agrees with Jack! Here are the links to this huge blockbuster story http://pjmedia.com/blog/what-if-ayers-joke-about-writing-dreams-is-on-the-press/

        • Eric Holder says:

          I know where you live, Bob.

          • Barack Obama says:

            Holder, you fool! He’s so close to the truth – any threats you make will simply egg him on to uncover all of my numerous horrible secrets!

          • Bob Nordberg says:

            Hi Eric :) Bill Ayers said twice he actually wrote Dreams for Obama…and he said “If you help me prove it I will split the royaltys with you.”….As a out of work guy living here in S. Texas that money would come in handy! …PS: GOOD JOB PRESSURING THE MEDIA TO DROP THIS STORY!

            After Hannity interview CNN explaines how White House THREATEN CNN!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6c_1EcGjeNk
            CNN: White House canceled appearance because of interview

            • The Dark Avenger says:

              Bill Ayers said twice he actually wrote Dreams for Obama…and he said “If you help me prove it I will split the royaltys with you.”

              I also have a bridge over the Tule River that I’d like to tell you about………………

              • Bob Nordberg says:

                Dark Avenger….here is the second time Bill Ayers said that… http://www.wnd.com/2011/03/280073/
                And the first http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfIZDYm0a54

                • The Dark Avenger says:

                  Oh, I don’t doubt he said it, but I think you don’t understand the American concept of “having ones’ leg pulled”.

                • Bob Nordberg says:

                  Dark Avenger…How many books have you read, or think you would have to read to come up with two that both tell a story on a older man teaching a young boy about a River that ‘GOES BOTH WAYS?’….and how many books would you need to read that tell this story from the EXACT SAME SPOT ON PLANET EARTH?…..Both in Bill Ayers previous books he tells a story ….and Obama tell the same story …..12th St. Bridge at the same dang park on the Hudson River in NYC………! Ayers wrote Dreams…..Then ask your self if you did find two books describing this exact story….What are the chances that these two authors also tell another story ….This story as well you would have to read all the books in the library of congress to find twice….This second story is about a Boy….sitting on op of a Water Buffalo….Hitting it with a Bamboo Stick….Both Ayers (( AND )) Obama tell that story as well…. Oh yes…and they both miss quote ‘Chicago’ the same exact way as well….The list goes on and on….Then add the Puletser prize winning author finding two eye witness to Obama pulling up in front of Ayers home and watching Obama take from his trunk all his FAILED previous work with Dreams …including audio tapes of oral historys Obama got from Kenya and family photos and delivered all this to Ayers home. It’s all here in this award winning book from Chris Anderson http://www.amazon.com/Barack-Michelle-Portrait-American-Marriage/dp/B005Q5W4NA

                  “Andersen, in “Barack and Michelle: Portrait of a Marriage,” writes that Obama was faced with a deadline with the Times Books division of Random House to submit his manuscript after already having canceled a contract with Simon & Schuster. Confronted with the threat of a second failure, his wife, Michelle, suggested he seek the help of “his friend and Hyde Park neighbor Bill Ayers.”

                  Obama had taped interviews with relatives to flesh out his family history, and those “oral histories, along with a partial manuscript and a truckload of notes, were given to Ayers,” writes Andersen.

                  The author quotes a neighbor in the Hyde Park area of Chicago where Obama and Ayers lived, who says of the two, “Everyone knew they were friends and that they worked on various projects together.”

                  “It was no secret. Why would it be? People liked them both,” the neighbor said, according to Andersen.

                  Andersen also has written “marriage portraits” of George and Laura Bush, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and John and Jackie Kennedy. Among his other books are “Somewhere in Heaven: The Remarkable Love Story of Dana and Christopher Reeve,” “Barbra: The Way She Is,” “Sweet Caroline: Last Child of Camelot” and “After Diana: William, Harry, Charles, and the Royal House of Windsor.”

                  “Andersen writes:

                  In the end, Ayers’ contribution to Barack’s “Dreams from My Father” would be significant – so much so that the book’s language, oddly specific references, literary devices, and themes would bear a jarring similarity to Ayers’ own writing.

                  Andersen concludes, “Thanks to help from the veteran writer Ayers, Barack would be able to submit a manuscript to his editors at Times Books”

                  Then to top it all off the Creator of “Times Books” is Thomas Lipscomb who does not believe Obama authored Dreams….. http://pjmedia.com/blog/what-if-ayers-joke-about-writing-dreams-is-on-the-press/

                • Malaclypse says:

                  Then add the Puletser prize winning author

                  I WOULD NEVER ARGUE WITH A PULETSER PRIZE WINNER!

            • Bill Ayers says:

              Thank you, Bob, for pointing out the truth of this story. I look forward to working with you, and securing royalties for us both. IF YOU FIND THIS PROPOSAL ACCEPTABLE, WE SHALL REQUIRE THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTS:

              (A) YOUR BANKER’S NAME, TELEPHONE, ACCOUNT, AND FAX NUMBERS.
              (B) YOUR PRIVATE TELEPHONE AND FAX NUMBERS – FOR CONFIDENTIALITY AND EASY COMMUNICATION.
              (C) YOUR LETTER HEADED PAPER AND PRO-FORMA INVOICE STAMPED AND SIGNED.

            • Bob Nordberg says:

              Dear Mr. President and Eric….I promise never to again bring up this Dreams Business again if you do as Bill Ayers asked, and as a added plus for you from my share of the royalty’s I will share with the THREE award winning authors who state you did have Bill Ayers author Dreams for you….#1. Jack Cashill. #2, Chris Anderson. and #3. Thomas Lipscomb That sounds fair right?….And like you always say “Spread the Wealth Around!”

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfIZDYm0a54

              • John Protevi says:

                DEAR GOD ALMIGHTY PLEASE DO NOT LET THIS THREAD END IT MUST CONTINUE

                • Bob Nordberg says:

                  John if you think this thread is long check this one out over at Pajama Media by Author / Editor Thomas Lipscomb….my comments way back then start at about #105 http://pjmedia.com/blog/what-if-ayers-joke-about-writing-dreams-is-on-the-press/

                  Thomas Lipscomb
                  Thomas Lipscomb is the Founder of Times Books and a Senior Fellow at the Annenberg Center for the Digital Future.

                • Bob Nordberg says:

                  Here is what the man who created Times Books said Thomas Lipscomb
                  “Given all the blogosphere speculation about Bill Ayers ghostwriting for Obama, one major development at the end of September threatened to break the story wide open. Veteran journalist and bestselling author of 33 books Christopher Andersen has just published a fascinating new book: Barack and Michelle: Portrait of an American Marriage. It is largely a sympathetic look at the dynamics within America’s first family.

                  But sorting through the more than 200 interviews Andersen says it took to create this book, he came to a startling conclusion: After Obama had to give up on a $150,000 Simon & Schuster contract because he couldn’t complete the manuscript, his sources were telling him Obama finally had to bring in a ghostwriter to put together his highly praised Dreams From My Father for Times Books. He had a million pieces of tape, pictures, memos, notes, and no manuscript.

                  And he was running out of time to deliver the book.

                  Nothing wrong so far. Few politicians can string a paragraph together without a ghostwriter.

                  Unfortunately for Obama, he was caught at a July 10, 2008, meeting in Fairfax, Virginia proudly saying the following:

                  I’ve written two books. I actually wrote them myself.

                  Also unfortunately for Obama, Andersen’s sources — all of whom were sympathetic and appear to be at least neighbors to Obama — came to other conclusions. Andersen wrote:

                  These oral histories, along with a partial manuscript and a truckload of notes, were given to Ayers. “Everyone knew they were friends and that they worked on various projects together,” another Hyde Park neighbor pointed out. “It was no secret. Why would it be? People liked them both.” In the end, Ayers’ contribution to Barack’s Dreams From My Father would be significant — so much so that the book’s language, oddly specific references, literary devices, and themes would bear a jarring similarity to Ayers’ own writing. Even the caveat at the beginning of Dreams, in which Barack points out that he uses invented dialogue, embellished facts, composite characters, inaccurate chronology, and pseudonyms to create an “approximation” of reality, resembles Ayers’ defense of the inaccuracies in his memoir Fugitive Days. In the foreword to his book, Ayers states that the book is merely a collection of his personal memories and “impressions.” … Thanks to help from the veteran writer Ayers, Barack would be able to submit a manuscript to his editors at Times Books.

                  On Sean Hannity’s show, Andersen explained why:

                  During that campaign I think he was doing some backpedaling, I’ll be honest. And I think that Michelle probably recommended that he not emphasize their relationship with Ayers.

                  Andersen is a celebrity journalist who has worked at Time and People. He knows what kind of lawsuits are occasioned by careless reporting and so far, after many years, he has never had a source or one of his notoriously touchy celebrity subjects complain about the accuracy of his reporting. And the last thing Andersen wanted was to follow this line of questioning as one can see watching him slide out of it on the Hannity clip.

                  Repeatedly grilled on numerous occasions about how close he was with the notorious 1960s Weatherman radical Bill Ayers, Obama stated Ayers was just “a guy who lives in my neighborhood,” and “not somebody who I exchange ideas with on a regular basis.”

                  During the 2008 presidential campaign, The Washington Post “Fact Checker” backed up that Obama statement in attacking a McCain campaign ad that claimed Obama lied about his relationship with Ayers. The Post’s Pinocchio Test concluded: “The McCain campaign is distorting the Obama-Ayers relationship, and exaggerating their closeness. There is no evidence that Obama has “lied” about his dealings with Ayers.” McCain was so cowed by the award of “two Pinocchios” that he wouldn’t let his ticketmate Sarah Palin raise the issue again.

                  Thanks to Christopher Andersen’s hard work there is now credible sourced evidence that Obama did lie about his dealing with Ayers. And thanks to the literary sleuthing of Jack Cashill, whom Andersen credits for finding the textual comparisons between Obama’s Dreams and Ayers’ writing, there is an abundance of internal evidence.

                  Cashill has published a number of articles like “Who Wrote Dreams From My Father and Why It Matters” using classic literary forensic techniques, many of the articles were published in the center right e-magazine American Thinker.

                  Cashill has written for Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post, and holds a Ph.D. in American Studies. He has also produced documentaries for PBS and other stations, one of which won an Emmy. But once he began to dig into stories that examined the similarities between Obama’s Dreams and the writing of Bill Ayers, he found himself restricted to blogs like World Net Daily. http://pjmedia.com/blog/what-if-ayers-joke-about-writing-dreams-is-on-the-press/

                • John Protevi says:

                  NEEDS MOAR CUT-AND-PASTE

                • Malaclypse says:

                  NEEDS MOAR CUT-AND-PASTE

                  Do you know who else cut-and-pasted, John? Obama, from Bill Ayers, that’s who. And I thank God for brave men and women like Bob, who tirelessly seek out long-dead comment threads, doing God’s Work with the persistence of dozens of spambots. Sure, elitists can mock the bad spelling, and lack of logic, and unawareness of so-called “facts,” but Bob knows that, at the end of the day, he has proven, with geometric logic, what happened to those strawberries.

                • Barack Obama says:

                  He can prove what happened to the strawberries? I take it back – HOLDER, DESTROY HIM NOW!!!

                • Bob Nordberg says:

                  John…John…John….If all else fails …[[[ ATTACK ]]]
                  Tha first to try to warn America about Obama’s ties to terrorist Ayers was Hillary Clinton… what did the left do to her?…A: [[[ATTACK]]] …Bill her husband on the last days of his term lat some Weathermen out of Prison with the ‘then’ Eric Holder as his Ast. Atty Gen. letting the Underground out of Prison along with the ‘FLAN’ Terror Gang.
                  Then when Sarah Palin stated the SAME THING Hillary did in the 2008 debates…what did the left do?…A: [[[ATTACK]]]…And now your doing the same to me….” Malaclypse says:
                  January 22, 2013 at 9:54 pm
                  NEEDS MOAR CUT-AND-PASTE

                  Do you know who else cut-and-pasted, John? Obama, from Bill Ayers, that’s who. And I thank God for brave men and women like Bob, who tirelessly seek out long-dead comment threads, doing God’s Work with the persistence of dozens of spambots. Sure, elitists can mock the bad spelling, and lack of logic, and unawareness of so-called “facts,” but Bob knows that, at the end of the day, he has proven, with geometric logic, what happened to those strawberries.”

                  Obama does not have to run again…you can let your hair down…Your plan worked! (read bottom third) http://socialismtheoryandpractice.blogspot.com/2008/06/rethinking-history-and-future-of.html …Lie…attack attack attack

                • Eric Holder says:

                  The only way to be sure is to nuke Branson, Missouri from orbit, boss, but think of the loss of cultural heritage.

                • Barack Obama says:

                  Holder, you simpering nincompoop! Andy Williams is already dead, and I couldn’t care less about Yakov Smirnoff. My plan can still succeed, even if the world knows about my Constitutional ineligibility for the presidency, my secret Muslim faith, my numerous gay affairs, the true identity of my father (Malcolm X), the murder of my grandmother by my hand, and even the ghost-writing of my books by Bill Ayers – BUT IF HE CAN PROVE WHAT HAPPENED TO THE STRAWBERRIES, IT’S ALL OVER FOR ALL OF US! Destroy him now, you utter buffoon! DESTROY HIM BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!!!

                • Eric Holder says:

                  You never let me have the damn codes, boss! And you think Chuck Hegel will go along with this? Are Nebraska and Missouri even really different states? Fuck, I told you not to nominate damn cracker Republicans!

                • GWF "Chuck" Hegel says:

                  I WAS STANDING ON MY HEAD UNTIL BILL AYERS, SAUL ALINSKY, JEREMIAH WRIGHT, AND BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA PUT ME BACK ON MY FEET BY ATTACKING BOB NORDBERG

                • Barack Obama says:

                  Chuck, go get the goddamn codes from Leon and give them to Eric. Bob Nordberg’s not fucking around!

                • Eric Holder says:

                  May Lawrence Welk have mercy on our souls.

                • Oswald Spengler says:

                  Nord-berg = North Mountain. You know who else came from the North? That’s right, the White Walkers:

                  “In that darkness the White Walkers came for the first time. They swept through cities and kingdoms, riding their dead horses, hunting with their packs of pale spiders big as hounds.”

                • J Peterman says:

                  the ‘FLAN’ Terror Gang

                  I’m afraid it’s your urine, Nordberg. You tested positive for sugar…White lotus, Yam-yam, Shanghai Sally.

                • Bob Nordberg says:

                  J. Peterman…. Yes “FLAN” along with two weatherman were released by Bill Clinton on his last days in office.
                  Because of this the MSM went on the attack against Hillary for being the first who said Obama had too many terrorist friends.

                  If they hate America….Holder will set them free… http://michellemalkin.com/2009/02/02/bend-over-here-comes-holder/
                  http://michellemalkin.com/2009/02/02/bend-over-here-comes-holder/

                • Malaclypse says:

                  Bob, FALN are, arguably, terrorists. FLAN, however, is without doubt a fine and tasty dessert.

                • Bob Nordberg says:

                  Malaclypse True ”tasty”
                  I was just pointing out it was not Jack Cashill nor Sarah Palin nor Chris Anderson nor Thomas Lipscomb that first stated Obama has too many ties to Terrorist!
                  It was Hillary Clinton who first warned us at the Dem. debates in 2008, and after she exposed this truth she was attacked for it because of what her husband did with the help of Eric Holder and their releasing not only the Weather Underground killers bu also the FLAN members as well.
                  Eric Holder has a long History of letting terrorist go!
                  In a link above you can see he is currently blocking the prosecution / investigation of Bill Ayers and his wife. http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Police-officers-told-to-zip-lips-on-bombing-3247571.php

                  Here is more on Holder releasing the W. U. and FLAN members http://articles.latimes.com/2009/jan/09/nation/na-holder9
                  “The 16 members of the FALN (the Spanish acronym for Armed Forces of National Liberation) and Los Macheteros had been convicted in Chicago and Hartford variously of bank robbery, possession of explosives and participating in a seditious conspiracy. Overall, the two groups had been linked by the FBI to more than 130 bombings, several armed robberies, six slayings and hundreds of injuries.”

                  The list of murders Holder protects gose on and on….”It has come to light that on Feb. 3, 2010, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder wrote a letter to U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Neal McBride, ordering him “not to seek the death penalty” against three illegal alien gang members charged with robbing and murdering a man in Virginia last summer. All three defendants are members of the notoriously violent Salvadoran gang known as MS-13.” http://www.examiner.com/article/attorney-general-eric-holder-saves-illegal-alien-gang-members-from-the-death-penalty

    • Bob Nordberg says:

      BILL AYERS FINALLY ADMITS HE WROTE DREAMS FROM MY FATHER

      ”Ayers reveals how he has navigated thechallenges and triumphs of this public life with commitment and good humor – from thered carpet at the Oscars to prison vigils and airports (where he is often detained andwhere he finally “confesses” that he actually did write Dreams from My Father.”

      http://www.kpfa.org/events/kpfa-radio-941fm-presents-evening-bill-ayers-public-enemy-confessions-american-dissident-host?mini=eventcalendar%2F2013-10

  2. Mike Schilling says:

    Identity is funny being yourself is funny as you are never yourself to yourself except as you remember yourself and then of course you do not believe yourself you do not really believe yourself why should you, you know so well so very well that it is not yourself.

    Wingnuts on the grass alas.

  3. Hogan says:

    Roger Bacon (d. 1294) s/b Francis Bacon, as far as anyone can tell in this crazy modern world.

    • Bill Murray says:

      but Shakespeare’s time is halfway between Roger Bacon and Kevin Bacon, proving that Roger and Kevin collaborated to write Hamlet

      • Hogan says:

        Let’s play Six Degrees of Bill Ayers, the new board game from David Horowitz! Recommended for alte kakers ages 60 and up.

        • Jeffrey Kramer says:

          Ayers took part in the “Annenberg Challenge” in Chicago; Walter Annenberg was the owner of TV Guide, before he sold it to Rupert Murdoch; Rupert Murdoch, of course, owns Fox News, which featured Glenn Beck’s show; one of Beck’s shows about the evils of Obamaism featured guest expert… Jack Cashill.

          (Cheating only a bit, since once you get to Annenberg you could basically go anywhere.)

  4. rea says:

    If it really was MMFA that prevented this steaming pile from getting reviewed in the mainstream media, Cashill owees MMFA a deep debt of gratitude.

  5. Bill Murray says:

    What should be transparent to any literary critic is that

    I find this murky and by saying so I think that means I wrote this blog post

  6. Woodrowfan says:

    I am tempted to use Cashill’s arguments in my history writing class to provide multiple examples of logical fallacies.

  7. Mike Schilling says:

    Based on the way it combines guardedness with a significant number of offensive lines, I believe Dreams from my Father was written by Joh Ayers,

  8. elm says:

    I read Cashill’s post (don’t ask me why, I don’t even know myself) and SEK isn’t being unfair to him. The majority of the post is the list of times MMFA criticized him. This list is, as far as I know, factually correct.

    Then, at the end, he states that other than a brief WAPO piece, the mainstream media has not reviewed his book. I will assume that this is also factually correct.

    He then concludes that the latter was caused by a MMFA conspiracy, the evidence for which is that MMFA doesn’t like him. And that Soros controls MMFA, I guess.

    If that’s his standard of evidence, then I understand why he’s convinced himself Ayers wrote Obama’s book.

    • Hogan says:

      Ah, but the key fact is that no *conservative* publication has reviewed it either. Which just goes to show the octopodal reach of the Soros conspiracy. Or something.

      • Anderson says:

        Because the first question National Review or The American Conservative or Commentary ask themselves is, Would our content be acceptable to MediaMatters?

        … How the fuck does the guy write that without suddenly realizing, Omigod, I am a nut? It’s chilling, man.

      • Malaclypse says:

        Which just goes to show the octopodal reach of the Soros conspiracy. Or something.

        I think that it clearly establishes that everybody on the internet who is not me must, logically, be SEK. Or maybe Tintin.

    • Ken says:

      Hmm, reminds me to re-watch The Caine Mutiny. Great movie. The strawberries, that’s where I proved it with geometric logic…

  9. witless chum says:

    The most precious part about Cashill is that he thinks it would matter if he was proved right.

    Go back in time to 2007 or so and ask Past Cashill if Obama would be elected comfortably if he said people were clinging to guns and religion and that Rev. Wright’s sermons became widely known.

    He wouldn’t believe then that the electorate took a look at the Bush Years, took a look at John McCain, took a look a Sarah Palin, took a look at congress and said “He can’t be worse than the alternative. Obama!” And if polls are to be believed, they’re getting ready to say it again, despite a bad economy and Obama being prevented from doing much about it by the Republicans in congress.

    Seriously, no one who doesn’t already hate Obama would care. And Cashill’s working himself into a frenzy about it. It’s not even that funny.

  10. NBarnes says:

    The only people who regularly use the phrase “bill of particulars,” then, are lawyers, and since Bill Ayers isn’t a lawyer, I think we can all agree that Cashill is right: Obama is the author of Bill Ayers’ Fugitive D—wait a minute

    Ok, this got an actual laughing-out-loud in real life moment from me.

  11. Warren Terra says:

    I think you left out the bit where Cashill points out that both Obama and Ayers’s books frequently used nautical and weather-based imagery, thereby proving that Ayers wrote Obama’s book.

    It’s funny because Obama spent his entire life prior to college living in seaports (Honolulu, Seattle, Jakarta), and may have never lived twenty miles from the sea until he moved to Chicago. How very odd that he’d make references invoking the ocean.

    (Yes: Obama lived in Seattle for less than a year. He was an infant, possibly not even a toddler. If I weren’t from Seattle, I probably wouldn’t have included it in the list).

  12. Ken says:

    By amusing coincidence, Ta-Nehisi Coates posted an article today in which he notes that some people claim Mark Twain wrote Ulysses S. Grant’s memoirs.

    Or is it coincidence…

    • Mike Schilling says:

      Twain did publish Grant’s memoirs. And they’re brilliantly written — the notion that the finest prosesmith in America might have polished them isn’t ridiculous on it’s face, though as far as I know it’s entirely false.

      • Hogan says:

        One of Grant’s strengths as a commander was the ability to write clear, concise and detailed orders, without rhetorical flourishes and without vagueness. The memoirs are very much in the style of the general who wrote those orders.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Anyone going to confess to having emailed Cashill? I’ll get the ball rolling:

    I did. No response yet. Will keep you (and SEK) posted.

  14. Nigel says:

    All of which reminds me of a joke I heard once about how someone proved that the works of Homer were written by a different man of the same name.

  15. cpinva says:

    by golly, i am convinced! not sure of exactly what of, but i am 150%, solidly, profoundly certain of it!

    thank you for another deeply, transparently enlightening post.

  16. Jeffrey Kramer says:

    Never mind a book review; I want a movie, directed by Roland Emmerich, where Bill Ayers is the father both of Obama’s mother and (via incestuous union with his daughter) Obama himself.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Anyone heard anything? Come on, he can’t ignore that many emails can he?

  18. Epicurus says:

    I think we have all missed the biggest clue here; both Ayers and Obama write in…English! Q.E.D. Ayers must have forged Obama’s autobiography. My FSM, Cashill is really the stupidest man on the Internet, today, anyhow. Be glad to add to his inbox spam, too…

  19. [...] Guns and Money’s SEK fisks an essay claiming to be literary analysis in its conspiracy theory claiming Obama’s books [...]

  20. [...] (typeof(addthis_share) == "undefined"){ addthis_share = [];}Gauntlet thrown … and there it is, still on the ground. I kicked it, but nothing doing. Not that I did expect [...]

  21. Julia Grey says:

    He does appear to have achieved the singularity of fallacies, with logical errors so densely packed that no argument could escape to be seen even if it were buried underneath.

    All logic being pulled inexorably over the event horizon, its mass being compressed, compressed, compressed, down, down, down, unto infinity, into the BLACK HOLE OF OBAMA, which will eventually suck in the entire American universe of loony theories…..

    Geeze, what a nightmare. You can see why the guy is concerned.

  22. Andrew Corsi says:

    Most people have centering their remarks about terrorists only about AYERS.
    HOWEVER! Please see this cute little list of other very interesting people who somehow were all drawn into the inner pals club….
    Hatem El-Hady, Louis Farrakhan, Rashid Khalidi, Bernadette Dohrn, Jamal M. Barzinji, Ahmed Yousef, Jodie Evans, Malik Zulu Shabazz, Sam Graham-Felsen, Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, Muhammad Yunus, Tony Rezko, Evo Morales, Father Michael Pfleger, George Soros, Maria Isabel, Khalid al Mansour (a.k.a. Don Warden), Hashim Nzinga, Daniel Ortega, Ahmed Yousef, Khalid Abdul Muhammed, Carl Davidson, Edward Said, various ACORN managers and a host of other “friends.”

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