William Ayers and the company he keeps | Bleader

William Ayers and the company he keeps

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Who is Barack Obama?

He’s the Democratic candidate for president.

No, who is he really?

He’s someone who once consorted with William Ayers.

And what do you call people who have consorted?

Gee, a consortium I guess.

Just asking. So who’s William Ayers?

He’s a professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He’s published several books and served on important boards.

No. Who is he really?

He used to be a Weatherman. His wife, Bernardine Dohrn, was one too. They were underground for a while. The Reader’s written about them. Here's an excellent cover story by Ben Joravsky and here are a couple of columns by yours truly.

What did the Weathermen do?

Back during the Vietnam war, they planted bombs.

Don’t you find it remarkable that someone who planted bombs now consorts with respectable people?

The only other bomber from that era who’s done as well is John McCain. He bombed Vietnamese.

Tell me more about this consortium.

In 1995 the Annenberg Foundation issued a $49.2 million grant to support school reform in Chicago. Ayers and Obama were both heavily involved in the Chicago campaign to get this money. So was Arnold Weber, former president of Northwestern University. When the grant was announced, Mayor Daley and Governor Edgar said a few words.

That's Daley as in the Daley-Blagojevich-Rezko-Obama cabal? And Edgar as in "I'm just here to keep the seat warm for convicted felon George Ryan"?

I guess.

And isn’t it the Northwestern law school that now employs Ayers’s wife?

I believe it is.

And runs something called the Center on Wrongful Convictions in order to spring convicted cop killers out of prison?

That's so.

Just asking. So who’s this Annenberg fellow?

Walter Annenberg was a prominent Philadelphia publisher whom President Nixon named U.S. ambassador to Great Britain. It's estimated he gave away about $2 billion dollars during his life to various causes, mostly educational.

But who was he really?

He was the son of Moses "Moe" Annenberg, who late in life did time for tax evasion and early in his newspaper career, before he got rich, was hired along with his brother Max by William Randolph Hearst to peddle Hearst’s papers here and see to it anyone trying to peddle the opposition got beaten silly. One of their captains was Dion O’Banion, who became a major bootlegger and mob boss. Capone rubbed him out in 1924.

So when we talk about a consortium we’re talking about Obama and a variety of thugs, terrorists, mob kingpins, crooked pols, and pinko educators spanning decades.

So it seems.

Not that there's anything wrong with that. But don't you think the public ought to know?

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