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September 20, 2012

The Real Slim Shady Barack Obama

Courtesy of the Washington Examiner:

Writing in his 1995 autobiography, "Dreams from My Father," Obama said he became "a civil rights lawyer" because "to lend meaning to a community's suffering and take part in its healing -- that required something more."

There was indeed "something more" to Obama's legal career, but it wasn't civil rights litigation at the Chicago law firm of Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, where he was employed for a decade.

.... In March 1994, a year before "Dreams" was published, Obama was the lead defense attorney on an obscure case in Cook County Court that has heretofore escaped examination by the national media.

In this case, Obama defended a Chicago slumlord and powerful political ally who was charged with a long list of offenses against poor residents. The defendant was the Woodlawn Preservation & Investment Corp., controlled by Bishop Arthur Brazier, a South Side Chicago preacher and political operator.

...Brazier was closely allied with Obama and his firm, not least because Davis was on WPIC's Board of Directors.

...Brazier's WPIC had failed for nearly a month to supply heat and running water for the complex's 15 crumbling apartments. On Jan. 18, 1994, the day the heat went off, Chicago's official high temperature was 11 below zero, the day after it was 19 below.

Even worse, the residents were then ordered to leave the WPIC complex in the winter chill without the due process they would have been afforded by an eviction procedure.

In court documents reviewed by The Washington Examiner, Daniel W. Weil, commissioner of Chicago's Buildings Department, slammed WPIC for multiple municipal code violations, including "failure to maintain adequate heat," failure "to provide every family unit with approved heating facilities," and "failure to provide adequate" supplies of either hot or cold running water.

Things were so bad that the city's outraged corporation counsel declared that "the levying of a fine is not an adequate remedy" and asked the court for a permanent injunction against WPIC, appointment of a receiver and imposition of a lien on WPIC to pay for repairs, attorneys' fees and court costs.

But Obama did his work so well that in the end, on March 3, 1994, the court simply fined WPIC $50. Only then did Obama tell the court of the forcible removal of tenants in the bitter cold.

Isn't it amazing that we're only now finding out about this? Where have the press been? These are folks so avid to dig up dirt on Mitt Romney that they don't hesitate for a moment to dig through 900 pages of "leaked" (euphemism for "stolen") financial documents from Bain Capital. Confronted with video of Obama saying he believes in income redistribution, MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell refuses to cover it because it's "not authenticated" (never mind that the Obama campaign has acknowledged it's him). You see, it's incomplete. It might have been edited. If that's the standard, why did they cover the Romney tapes, which in addition to being incomplete were also very likely illegally obtained?

It's not as though this kind of information isn't out there. In February of 2010, I wrote about the false hype surrounding Obama's resume:

Rosen's argument - that Obama's failings as President uniquely qualify him for a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land - ought to be damning. Is there any other profession in which failure at something else would be advanced as a compelling argument for hiring a job applicant? But the rules that apply to others seem to be suspended when Obama's name comes up. Read Rosen's entire essay. Notice anything missing? References, perhaps, to actual legal experience? Rosen is smart to gloss over the pesky question of experience because, as it turns out, Obama did precious little of note during his brief stint as an attorney:
"He was doing the work that any first-year or second-year associate would do," Miner said. "In litigation he was doing basic research and writing memos. ... In the first couple years he would play a very minor role. He wouldn't know (much) so he would take the lead from whoever was supervising his work."

...Obama did not work long as a full-time attorney.

The law firm says he logged 3,723 billable hours during his tenure from 1993 to 2004, most of it during the four years between 1993 and 1996.

In 1995, the year his first book came out, Obama started his successful run for the Illinois state senate and stopped working full time once he took office in 1997.

Hmmm... let's see. Just as a rough tally, 3723/4 years equals about 930 billable hours a year.

For comparison purposes, the ABA's Model Law Firm Policy Regarding Billable Hours prescribes an average of 1900 billable hours per year. Over a four year period, a typical associate would rack up about 7,600 billable hours. Obama billed about half of that. But since we're applying a different standard to Obama, let's give him another chance.

Perhaps the type of work he did is somehow remarkable? A few excerpts from a Chicago Sun Times piece about Obama's legal career quickly dispel that notion too:

"He wrote lots of substantial memos, but he didn't try any cases," said Judson Miner, a partner in the firm who was Obama's boss.

A search of all the cases in Cook County Circuit Court in which Obama made an appearance since he graduated from Harvard in 1991 shows: Zero.

His practice was confined mainly to federal court in Chicago, where he made formal appearances in only five district court cases and another five in cases before the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals -- a total of 10 cases in his legal career. He was on the winning side of just about all those cases. Miner said there were 30 cases to which Obama contributed in some way.

And of those 10 cases, the media somehow "missed" the one where he got a slumlord off with a $50 fine. They must not have been looking terribly hard. But hey - wasn't Obama the first black editor of the Harvard Law Review? And he was a ConLaw professor for over a decade! Surely these are real accomplishments?

One thing he did not do while at the review was publish his own work. The absence of a paper trail is a pattern throughout his academic and to some extent his political career.

The pattern of leaving no intellectual footprints pre-dates Harvard. He has claimed he lost his senior thesis from Columbia University, where he majored in political science. The thesis was on Soviet nuclear disarmament. The depth of knowledge on display in Barry Obama's undergraduate thesis is of particular interest because he was wrong about a crucial Kennedy-Khrushchev conference, and about the diplomatic history between America and the Soviets.

... Although he was president of the Harvard Law Review as a student, in which capacity he no doubt wrote some unsigned notes, a search of the HeinOnline database of law journals turns up exactly nothing credited to Obama in any law review anywhere at any time. This is yet more indication that his status as "lecturer" at Chicago was not a regular faculty appointment, since regular full-time faculty are expected to produce scholarship. Notwithstanding an apparent eleven-year teaching career in constitutional law at a top-flight law school, not one single article, published talk, book review, or comment of any kind, appears anywhere in the professional legal literature, under Barack Obama's name.

OK let's Move On to his much vaunted legislative experience:

When asked about his legislative record, Obama rattles off several bills he sponsored as an Illinois lawmaker. He expanded children's health insurance; made the state Earned Income Tax Credit refundable for low-income families; required public bodies to tape closed-door meetings to make government more transparent; and required police to videotape interrogations of homicide suspects.

And the list goes on.

It's a lengthy record filled with core liberal issues. But what's interesting, and almost never discussed, is that he built his entire legislative record in Illinois in a single year.

How can that be? As it turns out, Obama owes it all to a would be Kingmaker: Emil Jones Jr. Jones was a three decade veteran lawmaker, and he knew a good thing when he saw it:

"He said, 'Cliff, I'm gonna make me a U.S. Senator.'"

"Oh, you are? Who might that be?"

"Barack Obama."

Jones appointed Obama sponsor of virtually every high-profile piece of legislation, angering many rank-and-file state legislators who had more seniority than Obama and had spent years championing the bills.

"I took all the beatings and insults and endured all the racist comments over the years from nasty Republican committee chairmen," State Senator Rickey Hendon, the original sponsor of landmark racial profiling and videotaped confession legislation yanked away by Jones and given to Obama, complained to me at the time. "Barack didn't have to endure any of it, yet, in the end, he got all the credit.

"I don't consider it bill jacking," Hendon told me. "But no one wants to carry the ball 99 yards all the way to the one-yard line, and then give it to the halfback who gets all the credit and the stats in the record book."

During his seventh and final year in the state Senate, Obama's stats soared. He sponsored a whopping 26 bills passed into law — including many he now cites in his presidential campaign when attacked as inexperienced.

It was a stunning achievement that started him on the path of national politics — and he couldn't have done it without Jones.

I'm guessing we won't see much about this in the Washington Post or the NY Times, because the fact that much of Obama's resume is a fiction is not nearly as important as Mitt Romney's private remarks at a fundraiser.

Posted by Cassandra at September 20, 2012 08:29 AM

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The fictional resume is certainly in keeping with the fabricated persona. Public Obama has been in most every instance a self-promulgated misrepresentation of private Obama. Never in history has so much praise been accounted to so little achievement except in cases of preposterous fraud or insanity. The conspiratorially minded would be well within the allowed limits in thinking Obama had more the requisite and essential features of a Manchurian candidate than a man we are meant to believe has been sent to us by the New Age gods.

Posted by: George Pal at September 20, 2012 10:44 AM

I forgot to mention - great post - in the I didn't know that sense.

Posted by: George Pal at September 20, 2012 10:46 AM

Like Gertrude Stein's Oakland, when it comes to Obama's personal history "there's no there, there." It's all stagecraft and facade. I admit that I am still somewhat stunned at the degree to which the media has failed in its duties as the watchdog of the Republic, but I'm no fool, either. Romney's not going to win by revealing Obama as the fraud he is, but by articulating an idea of what a post-Obama America would look like. Jeezus, Mitt, get on the damned ball.

Posted by: spd rdr at September 20, 2012 12:24 PM

Cass: This is great info. I did not know this about him, but am not surprised. I have been reading about the early Bolsheviks and the 1917 Russian Revolution. There are many parallels between those guys and what I call the "Chicago" crowd of Obama, Rahm, Axelrod, etc. They were both brutal, thuggish, and all about seizing power by any means necessary, but were very successful at crafting a facade and mythos of caring and compassion for the people.

Posted by: a former european at September 20, 2012 01:41 PM

Spd: I agree with you that the media is so in the tank for Obama that it has become disgusting, but I don't see this as a bad thing necessarily. The media has always been overwhelmingly liberal, and was always against any non-liberal. Don't you remember how poisonous the mainstream press were against Reagan's policies in the 80s? Back then, though, they were very careful to deny bias and at least project a facade of objectivity. As the media has given up this facade of impartiality to become Obama partisans, they have made a huge mistake, imho. The public trust in the media is at all time lows. More and more people are seeing the true agendas of biased reporters, and tuning them out for that reason. Also, because the liberal media are all parotting the current Party-approved Truth from Obama and the DNC, they all sound alike and make the same identical points. Is there really any difference anymore between CBS, NBC, ABC, and the others? The mainstream media is hemmorrhaging viewers/readers, who all seem to be going to FOX based on ratings. This is a wonderful development. No more will closet liberals like Cronkite, or even avowed liberals like Rather or Donaldson at their peak, be able to shape and influence public opinion like they once were. Once you've lost the public trust in your objectivity and fairness, it will be very hard, if not impossible, to get it back.

Posted by: a former european at September 20, 2012 01:57 PM

Well said, AFE. And I might add that there's a little tiny man living in my head that is trying to convince me that because of (not "in spite of", but because of) the fact that the media are so far in the tank for Obama, the reality of what is about to happen on November the 6th isn't registering. They're so completely blind to the real possibility that Romney might turn out more voters than their Chosen One that they're already calling the race! Have at it!

Posted by: spd rdr at September 20, 2012 02:12 PM

They were both brutal, thuggish, and all about seizing power by any means necessary, but were very successful at crafting a facade and mythos of caring and compassion for the people.

I've been fairly obsessed with this idea lately: with the difference between seeming and substance, words and deeds.

It just infuriates me that so many people are more concerned with what a candidate or leader says than with what he does. It's like they don't even notice the disconnect.

I hope afe is right. What am I saying? Afe is always right :)

Posted by: Cass at September 20, 2012 03:36 PM

Ah, Cass. How I missed basking in the warm glow of your regard.:)

Posted by: a former european at September 20, 2012 05:24 PM

It's amazing to me that in the backed up septic tank that is the 2012 Obama administration the Obama myth persists.

Today I read of some entertainment industry weenies all but pleading with the electorate to swear to the “Führereid”.

Oh to have had a Fourth Estate in 2008 to make the public aware of
Michelle's concern for the poor and down-trodden,
Momma Jarrett self-sacrifice for the poor,
the Right Rev. Jeremiah Wright, spiritual advisor to the Light Bringer,
and lest we forget, good old
guilty as Hell, free as a bird, incognito associate, and kindred spirit Bill Ayers.

All birds of a feather to our illustrious ∅inChief, just to name a few.

And yet, much of this history, along with all that is now being made available to the public, does not sway the Fifth Column from their apparent mission to deceive the general public on behalf of, nor those who will vote for, The ∅ once again.

I think I'll hush now so I do not miss my evening session of bitterly clinging.

Posted by: bthun at September 20, 2012 06:37 PM

You do have that, always. Even when we disagree.

Posted by: Cass at September 20, 2012 06:38 PM

Yikes! I think my attempted post exceeded my linked articles per post quota.

Just as well... The villains are painfully aware of The ∅inChief's disreputable history contained in my iddy biddy rant.

M'lady, ditto what George Pal said at September 20, 2012 10:46 AM.

Posted by: bthun at September 20, 2012 06:46 PM

Excellent post. I remember reading that about the slumlords back when Obama was campaigning.

I has to ax a question, though. The missing thesis were never written, as opposed to being suppressed?

But M'chel's thesis from Princeton was made off-limits as well. We all know she has a lot to say.

Posted by: La Femme Crickita at September 20, 2012 09:26 PM

AFE, I've missed you! I was wondering about your whereabouts just the other day.

Posted by: Texan99 at September 21, 2012 09:36 AM

Ah, the capitalist roader, AFE, returns, with his running dog, spd rdr. And he is a fast running dog, in his bourgeousie Porsche.

Soon, with heavy industry to assist us, we will no longer have the need of your income and the taxes you pay while swindling the Proletariat of their hard earned wages. With the new generation of enlightened lawyers such as Sandra Fluke now being trained, previous capitalist running dog lawyers such as this "Texan99" and "spd rdr" will no longer be of service to the people and the collective needs of all, under President for Life Obama and also Chairman of the One True Democratic Party of America.

Regard your futures carefully as you are all part of many lists which have been carefully compiled by the Dept. of Decandency Observation (DODO). Your fate may be to listen and be re-educated by our glorious leader, Chairman Obama and his many brilliant speeches recorded on IPods, or perhaps labor at one of the new FEMA camps helping to build the glorious future for the Proletariat, or just making condoms for Counselor Fluke.

Beware, Tovarich, we are all watching you, as we are also watching MSNBC, the Voice of the New Truth.

Posted by: Comrade Don Brouhaha at September 21, 2012 04:58 PM