The Bain of Our Existence

By: The Common Constitutionalist

So I guess “Venture Capitalist” or “Private Equity” are dirty words (unless it’s prefaced with Blackstone).

Years ago, Mitt Romney was a venture capitalist. If you listen to the mainstream media, you would get the impression that these companies, like private equity firm, Bain Capital, scour the countryside looking for struggling businesses. Without doing any research on the

Count Romula

companies viability, they swoop in, take over, fire everyone and sell off the carcass. That’s seems to be the way it is portrayed.

But that’s the private sector for ya. Those in private industry are looking to do one thing; make money. They don’t seem to understand that the sole purpose of the private sector is not to make a profit, but to create jobs (preferably union). Private industry is to create jobs, provide a living wage, pensions and benefits for their unionized workers and since profit is evil, all will be paid for by that large pot of gold hidden under every CEOs desk.

As an aside, I love the term “workers”. It’s such a wonderfully socialist/communist term. Like the worker bees in Woodrow Wilson’s grand “beehive” vision.

The public sector, or government, surely knows better how to invest in struggling companies.

Just imagine what would’ve become of General Motors if the government hadn’t stepped in and bailed it out with our money. GM would have been forced into bankruptcy reorganization. Union contracts would’ve become null and void and would’ve had to been renegotiated. Tragic! Many workers would’ve lost their jobs. In the private sector we would call these people dead wood, or non-essential personnel. This, of course, would have been completely heartless.

Lucky for us, our benevolent government stepped in and saved the day. They rescued the struggling healthcare auto company thus saving the jobs of many thousands of workers. Those who are students of history understand that every company that is forced to file for bankruptcy reorganization must fire every employee and shut its doors.

Thankfully that didn’t happen. Our government, with great foresight and great courage gave billions and billions of our dollars to save those union jobs. (Notice I said gave and not lent billions of dollars. We have not been paid back in full and likely never will. Bless them for that.)

In doing so, it was mandated that only about 800 Chrysler and almost 1100 GM, nonunion dealerships close. I’m sure those dealerships and all their employees were more than happy to sacrifice themselves in order to save the UAW.

It was all for the greater good. Workers of the world unite! Unless you worked for a dealership.

You see, private industry is like a casino and the private equity firms are like the high rolling gamblers that destroy everyone that stand in the way of their prize; big profits. Just ask those poor saps who work at Sealy Corp. or Staples or Sports Authority, Domino’s Pizza, Toys R Us or Dunkin Donuts, just a few of Romney’s more famous victims. Oh wait; they added thousands of jobs. Forget I said that.

Government investment in companies is where it’s at. Success stories abound.

Just look at the laundry list of prosperity from government largess.

Let’s see; give me second. I’ll think of some. Got it! How about Solyndra, Solar Trust of America, Energy Conversion Devices. Then there’s Evergreen Solar, Solar Power Industries and Spectrawatt. They took our money and parlayed that investment into viable growth companies employing many workers.

What? They all went belly up? No workers, no nothing? How could that be? I’m sure the experts in the government did countless hours of research and viability studies before handing out billions of dollars. That doesn’t sound all like our government. It sounds more like those wicked private equity firms.

In closing if I may be serious; people start and invest in business to make money. Sure, that’s not the only reason, but it’s the main reason. Someone has an idea for a better mouse trap so they start company to build the mousetraps. If they didn’t think they could make money, they wouldn’t start. They don’t set out to start a business with the aim of hiring people. That is the result of hard work and growing the business so one has to hire people.

The same goes for venture capitalists or private equity firms. They spend countless hours researching before they invest in an already struggling industry. It is of course a risk, but it is an educated risk. They don’t just throw money at something and hope for the best like the government does. They can’t afford to. Unlike the government, they don’t have unlimited funds to waste.

No matter how much research these private equity firms do, not every investment will yield success and some of the companies won’t make it. That’s called life.

It is however, almost a sure bet, that if the venture capitalist or private equity firm didn’t invest in the company, said company wouldn’t survive. With the infusion of new capital, they at least have a chance and worst-case, they may get a few more years of life that they wouldn’t otherwise have had, like GST Steel.

Go for a Quick Dip

A quick dip in this pool could well turn into a marathon. It’s the Crystal Lagoon at San Alfonso del Mar resort in Chile.

Swimming a length in this, the world’s largest outdoor pool, would mean stroke after stroke for more than three fifths of a mile – that’s 20 Olympic-size swimming pools.

The enormous man-made lagoon is set halfway up the country’s Pacific coast, in the city of Algarrobo, and is filled with 66 million gallons of crystal clear seawater.

It also hold the Guinness record for the world’s deepest – so if you don’t feel like diving 115ft to the bottom, it might be best to bring some spare goggles.

The pool opened in December 2006 after nearly five years of construction work and is said to have set developers back as much as $1.5 billion.

And on top of that eye-watering initial cost, it takes over $3 million a year to keep it in working order.

It uses a computer-controlled suction and filtration system to suck water in from the ocean at one end and pump it out at the other, while the sun warms it to 26C (79F) – nine degrees higher than the sea.

The pool’s incredible dimensions leave the next biggest floundering in its wake, with the Orthlieb in Morocco measuring a mere 1,575ft long.

Attribution: India Times, Mail Online

Wanted – An Honest Politician

Big Lies in Politics

By Thomas Sowell

The fact that so many successful politicians are such shameless liars is not only a reflection on them; it is also a reflection on us. When the people want the impossible, only liars can satisfy them, and only in the short run. The current outbreaks of riots in Europe show what happens when the truth catches up with both the politicians and the people in the long run.

Among the biggest lies of the welfare states on both sides of the Atlantic is the notion that the government can supply the people with things they want but cannot afford. Since the government gets its resources from the people, if the people as a whole cannot afford something, neither can the government.

There is, of course, the perennial fallacy that the government can simply raise taxes on “the rich” and use that additional revenue to pay for things that most people cannot afford. What is amazing is the implicit assumption that “the rich” are all such complete fools that they will do nothing to prevent their money from being taxed away. History shows otherwise.

After the Constitution of the United States was amended to permit a federal income tax, in 1916, the number of people reporting taxable incomes of $300,000 a year or more fell from well over a thousand to fewer than three hundred by 1921.

Were the rich all getting poorer? Not at all. They were investing huge sums of money in tax-exempt securities. The amount of money invested in tax-exempt securities was larger than the federal budget, and nearly half as large as the national debt.

This was not unique to the United States or to that era. After the British government raised their income tax on the top income earners in 2010, they discovered that they collected less tax revenue than before. Other countries have had similar experiences. Apparently the rich are not all fools, after all.

In today’s globalized world economy, the rich can simply invest their money in countries where tax rates are lower.

So, if you cannot rely on “the rich” to pick up the slack, what can you rely on? Lies.

Nothing is easier for a politician than promising government benefits that cannot be delivered. Pensions such as Social Security are perfect for this role. The promises that are made are for money to be paid many years from now — and somebody else will be in power then, left with the job of figuring out what to say and do when the money runs out and the riots start.

There are all sorts of ways of postponing the day of reckoning. The government can refuse to pay what it costs to get things done. Cutting what doctors are paid for treating Medicare patients is one obvious example.

That of course leads some doctors to refuse to take on new Medicare patients. But this process takes time to really make its full impact felt — and elections are held in the short run. This is another growing problem that can be left for someone else to try to cope with in future years.

Increasing amounts of paperwork for doctors in welfare states with government-run medical care, and reduced payments to those doctors, in order to stave off the day of bankruptcy, mean that the medical profession is likely to attract fewer of the brightest young people who have other occupations available to them — paying more money and having fewer hassles. But this too is a long-run problem — and elections are still held in the short run.

Eventually, all these long-run problems can catch up with the wonderful-sounding lies that are the lifeblood of welfare state politics. But there can be a lot of elections between now and eventually — and those who are good at political lies can win a lot of those elections.

As the day of reckoning approaches, there are a number of ways of seeming to overcome the crisis. If the government is running out of money, it can print more money. That does not make the country any richer, but it quietly transfers part of the value of existing money from people’s savings and income to the government, whose newly printed money is worth just as much as the money that people worked for and saved.

Printing more money means inflation — and inflation is a quiet lie, by which a government can keep its promises on paper, but with money worth much less than when the promises were made.

Is it so surprising voters with unrealistic hopes elect politicians who lie about being able to fulfill those hopes?

To Protect & Defend…The United Nations

In the 1990s, conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly wrote a moving description of the plight of U.S. Army Specialist E-4 Michael G. New, a medic in the Third Infantry Division who was drummed out of the military because he refused to wear the uniform of the United Nations.

“When American soldiers were killed over Iraq,” she wrote, “Vice President Al Gore told the widows and orphans of those men that ‘they died in the service of the United Nations.’ That wasn’t a slip of the tongue; his words reveal the Clinton administration’s plan to use our armed forces as U.N. mercenaries all over the world at the whim of U.N. bureaucrats.

Schlafly said New had “raised the flag of patriotism against the Clinton-Gore goal.”

“Michael New’s trial is our battle, if we care about America,” she wrote.

What if New was right all along, and the order to don the U.N. emblems was unlawful, as he argued throughout his dispute with his commanding officers at his court-martial and throughout the appeals process?

It would mean that prosecutors in the Clinton administration withheld exculpatory evidence, deceived a judge in the case and misled defense counsel to stamp out what could have been a rebellion against illegal orders to serve under the banner of the international political group.

That’s the very assertion in a new and unprecedented appeal to the U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals in a “Petition for Extraordinary Relief in the Nature of a Writ of Error.”

It is being filed by Herbert W. Titus, of counsel with the law firm of William J. Olson, P.C.

This is the scenario that had been released to the public to this point. New was a soldier who objected to changing his allegiance from the U.S. Constitution, which he promised in an oath to defend, to the United Nations. Clinton was ramping up his involvement in various ethic conflicts around the globe. New was to be dispatched, under the command of the U.N., to Macedonia.

It was through Presidential Decision Directive 25 that Clinton ordered American troops to submit to the command of multilateral “peace” operations around the world.

But New refused to wear the arm patch and hat designating him a soldier of the United Nations. He eventually was charged and given a Bad Conduct Discharge, a slam on his personal integrity that has followed him since.

In one of the stops in his battle, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia warned that it would not overturn his conviction, which he argued was reached incorrectly because the deployment to which he was assigned violated the UNPA (United Nations Participation Act).

He has argued that the UNPA requires that specific congressional approval be given for certain deployments under the United Nations and that permission had not been obtained by the military.

That law, dating from the 1940s, does require such approval. It also forbids the placement of more than 1,000 soldiers under such command at any one time.

But under Clinton’s orders, such deployments were to be made by him “on a case-by-case basis.” He said he would allow U.S. forces to be placed under a “competent U.N. commander” based on factors such as U.S. interests, the size of the proposed force and the risk. 

“Such action wil be undertaken consistent with the U.S. Constitution, U.S. federal law and the Uniform Code of Military Justice,” he wrote.

But what fell out of the process was the effort to obtain permission from Congress.

Instead, Clinton said, “The United States will take a leadership role in obtaining international agreement to enhance the headquarters capabilities of the U.N. to conduct peace operations effectively, to achieve economies of scale and reap the benefits of past experience. The United States will contribute personnel, technical assistance, equipment, facilities and funding for that enhancement.”

Defense attorneys had asked the government about such documentation during New’s court martial and were refused access, Titus explained. In fact, the prosecutors represented an abbreviated set of some 8-10 pages as the full order, and did not let the judge and defense counsel know the full extent of the order.

“When Mr. New’s attorneys requested that the classified document, which would have revealed that Clinton’s operational policy was not in compliance with the law, [the prosecutor] represented to the court and to New’s lawyers that the document he had in his hand, of 8-10 pages, was the document,” according to the appeal.

Actually, it contained closer to 30 pages.

Titus told WND that an appropriate resolution to the apparent misbehavior by prosecutors probably would include vacating the conviction and removing it from New’s record.

His pleading explains further: “Mr. New’s civilian defense counsel [in 1995] requested that pre-trial motions be deferred until defense counsel gained access to certain ‘classified’ documents in the custody of the government.”

Primary among those was the Presidential Decision Directive 25.

“We would like to see that document that forms the basis of what the government has asserted in that briefing is the legality of the order pertaining to Specialist New,” counsel argued.

Government officials refused, announcing “PDD 25 to be irrelevant to this trial” even though commanding officers specifically cited “PDD 25″ as a basis for the Macedonia deployment.

It was not until 2009, after the document was declassified, that New became aware of Clinton’s statements. And, according to the brief, it was at that time New also obtained access to Presidential Review Directive 13, which coordinated with PDD 25.

“As a direct result from having been denied access to material and exculpatory information in the classified versions of PDD 25 and PDD/PRD13, demonstrating noncompliance with UNPA, the military judge ruled that Mr. New failed to carry his ‘heavy burden of demonstrating [the order’s] unlawfulness,’” the filing states.

In the case, the military “denied petitioner his liberty and property without due process of law by unlawfully suppressing material and exculpatory information respecting the illegality of the order of which petitioner was charged to have disobeyed.”

“Both classified document PDD 25 and PRD 13 contained information that would have provided ample support for Mr. New’s claim that the order to wear the U.N. uniform violated the UNPA,” the pleading explains.

“Specifically, the classified version of PDD 25 adopted a policy of American armed force participation, both combatant and noncombatant, in disregard of whether the deployment of those armed forces complied either with Section 6 or Section 7 of the UNPA,” the case alleges.

How was Clinton ultimately going to get around such violations?

“The classified version of PDD 25 revealed the existence of a classified plan by the Clinton Administration to seek legislative change at an appropriate future time to remove the limitations placed by the UNPA on presidential discretion to commit American armed forces to multilateral U.N. peace operations.”

Both documents support “the validity of Mr. New’s contention that the Macedonian deployment violated the UNPA.”

Without relief, New will continue to suffer unjustly from the “ineradicable stigma” of a punitive discharge from the military, the argument contends.

Further, it would allow to remain unchallenged and unrecognized the usurpation of federal law by Clinton, the brief explains.

“We now know that PDD [25] sanctioned American armed force participation in U.N. multilateral peacekeeping operations without any regard to whether the Clinton administration’s new policy complied with UNPA requirements limiting U.S. participation in either U.N. peace enforcement or peace keeping operations,” a support brief said.

“Indeed, there is strong evidence in the classified versions of PDD 25 and PRD 13 to support a claim that the Clinton administration viewed UNPA as an obstacle to be avoided, rather than a law to be obeyed.”

The brief continued, “Now that PDD 25 has been declassified, obtained, and reviewed, the executive order can be seen as little more than camouflage for a presidential administration to do what it wanted to do, irrespective of the law.”

Schlafly’s article quoted New himself to get the message across: “I took an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic. My Army enlistment oath is to the Constitution. I cannot find any reference to the United Nations in that oath.”

 
 Attribution: WND
 

Smart Shoe

GPS technology can help Alzheimer’s sufferers and their caregivers, with the release of a shoe that tracks the wearer’s position and plots their position on Google Maps.

The GPS Smart Shoe embeds a GPS receiver and SIM card to send the shoe’s position to a private tracking website – helping to find people if they wander off.

With an estimated 5 million sufferers in the U.S., manufacturer Aetrex said they wanted to use technology to enable extra support.

The shoes are available for both men and women, with either straps or shoelaces, and sell for around $300 a pair, with a monthly service plan of $30.

The transmitter is embedded in the base of the right heel and tracks the user’s location in real time, sending that data at specified intervals to a central monitoring station.

If the wearer ever leaves a specified zone, the caregiver can track their whereabouts on the Aetrex website, which uses Google Maps to plot the position.

When the wearer wanders off wearing the GPS Shoe, their caregiver will immediately receive a geo-fence alert on their smartphone and computer, with a direct link to a Google map plotting the wanderer’s location.

The company is also talking to various Alzheimer associations to explore various partnerships.

If there is a downside to the technology, it is that the battery life of the GPS receiver lasts only two days – so it could run flat if no-one remembers to charge it.

However an email alert is sent to the caregiver when the battery is low.

The website AllThingsDigital asked Evan Schwartz, the company founder, if there was any risk to the product in terms of surveillance concerns.

He said: “It’s all kinds of good and bad and ugly popping up when it comes to GPS tech these days, and that’s definitely a concern.”

“There are enough people who make jokes about tracking a spouse, or what if you threw the shoe in the trunk of someone’s car and they never know it’s being used for that, that sort of thing.”

“But at the same time, this shoe has been designed to serve a purpose, and it’s to help caregivers, so we have a hard time believing someone would abuse this.”

Maybe Justice will be Done

Transcript from Rush Limbaugh’s Radio program:

Trayvon Martin had drugs in his system. This is turning out to be the Duke lacrosse case all over again. Trayvon Martin, 17-year-old who was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, had the drug THC in his system the night of his death. That’s the primary ingredient in marijuana. The revelation came as prosecutors in the case prepared to release to the public hundreds of pages of new evidence along with videos and crime scene photos. None of this information was in the charging affidavit, none of it. The charging affidavit contained only the fact that Zimmerman went out there and profiled Trayvon Martin.

Even now, even now NBC News — and we can never forget what they did — NBC News doctored the 911 tape of Zimmerman’s call to the cops to make it look like Zimmerman was profiling and was a racist and was only chasing Trayvon Martin because he was a black guy. They totally doctored that tape. The person that doctored it supposedly has been fired. Two other people at NBC were fired shortly afterwards. We don’t know who the original editor was that was canned. They haven’t identified by name, but they’ve told us the person has been fired. The tape was doctored on two separate occasions, and even after all of that, what I said earlier about you can’t humiliate the media, NBC News had a story this week in which they referred to George Zimmerman as a white man with Hispanic heritage.

After all of the so-called embarrassment and humiliation that they should have felt and suffered over the journalistically criminal doctoring of the 911 tape, they didn’t just leave something out of it. They put it in a different order. They made it sound like Zimmerman said something that he didn’t say. He only identified Trayvon Martin as black after he was asked to by the dispatcher. He did not volunteer the information. The NBC edited version of the tape makes it look like that’s the first thing that Zimmerman told him when he made the 911 call. The New York Times was the first to run the story that Zimmerman was a white Hispanic. It was the fifth time in the history of the New York Times anybody could find where they had done that.

But NBC this week referred to Zimmerman as a white man with Hispanic heritage. Even after all of this new evidence is coming out that Zimmerman was literally beat up, that Trayvon Martin had bruises on his knuckles, eyewitnesses now and a cop documenting Zimmerman’s story almost step by step. This case is falling apart. Now Trayvon Martin, THC was found in his blood and urine. This is another thing. The autopsy showed that Zimmerman shot Martin from a distance of between one inch and 18 inches away, which bolsters Zimmerman’s claim that he shot Martin during a struggle. Everybody else, the media, tried to make it look like Trayvon Martin was shot in cold blood by George Zimmerman, who was chasing after him and shot him from a distance without any provocation. And none of that was true. None of the way the story was originally reported, very little of it, was true. Just like the Duke lacrosse case.

So now, in the New York Daily News today is a column by Alan Dershowitz of Harvard Law. The headline says it all: “Drop George Zimmerman’s Murder Charge.” According to this column by Dershowitz, this new evidence is proof positive — well, not proof positive, but highly likely here that George Zimmerman did indeed, as he said, acted in self-defense.

“A medical report by George Zimmerman’s doctor has disclosed that Zimmerman had a fractured nose, two black eyes, two lacerations on the back of his head and a back injury on the day after the fatal shooting. If this evidence turns out to be valid, the prosecutor will have no choice but to drop the second-degree murder charge against Zimmerman — if she wants to act ethically, lawfully and professionally. There is, of course, no assurance that the special prosecutor handling the case, State Attorney Angela Corey, will do the right thing. Because until now, her actions have been anything but ethical, lawful and professional.”

That’s Dershowitz, Harvard Law, a liberal, writing about a state attorney up in Jacksonville. I fully expect the Jacksonville affiliate, WOKV, to call the state attorney now, ask them what they think of what Limbaugh said about what Dershowitz said.

NBC News, by the way, also claimed in their story after the autopsy was revealed, the detailed autopsy report, NBC claimed that Trayvon Martin was shot at intermediate range, not close range. I don’t know the official term is close range, but the distance was between one and 18 inches. I don’t know what the legal term for that distance is and I don’t know what the distance for intermediate range is, but NBC is attempting to imply that Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin from quite a ways away. Honestly, I don’t know what’s happened to this network. It’s not just MSNBC that’s gone over the cliff. The parent network, NBC, has as well. There’s no pretense anymore.

Even after the 911 tapes were doctored, even after they fired three people involved in that, supposedly, they still describe Zimmerman as a white man with Hispanic heritage, in order to carry the racist template forward, that this was a crime that occurred only because a white guy saw a black guy wearing a hoodie in his neighborhood and doesn’t like black guys in his neighborhood so, pow. That’s what NBC wants its readers and viewers to believe happened, when it didn’t. They know it didn’t. Yet it doesn’t matter.

What’s Swahili for Aloha?

From: Breitbart/Big Government:

 

Andrew Breitbart was never a “Birther,” and Breitbart News is a site that has never advocated the narrative of “Birtherism.” In fact, Andrew believed, as does The Common Constitutionalist, that President Barack Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, on August 4, 1961.

Yet Breitbart also believed that the complicit mainstream media had refused to examine President Obama’s ideological past, or the carefully crafted persona he and his advisers had constructed for him.

It is in that spirit that Breitbart.com discovered, and now present, the booklet described below–one that includes a marketing pitch for a forthcoming book by a then-young, otherwise unknown former president of the Harvard Law Review.

It is evidence–not of the President’s foreign origin, but that Barack Obama’s public persona has indeed been presented differently at different times.

***

Breitbart News has obtained a promotional booklet produced in 1991 by Barack Obama’s then-literary agency, Acton & Dystel, which touts Obama as “born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii.”

The booklet, which was distributed to “business colleagues” in the publishing industry, includes a brief biography of Obama among the biographies of eighty-nine other authors represented by Acton & Dystel.

It also promotes Obama’s anticipated first book, Journeys in Black and White–which Obama abandoned, later publishing Dreams from My Father instead.

Obama’s biography in the booklet is as follows (image and text below):

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Jay Acton no longer represents Obama. However, Jane Dystel still lists Obama as a client on her agency’s website.

According to the booklet itself, the text was edited by Miriam Goderich, who has since become Dystel’s partner at Dystel & Goderich, an agency founded in 1994. Breitbart News attempted to reach Goderich by telephone several times over several days. Her calls are screened by an automated service that requires callers to state their name and company, which we did. She never answered.

The design of the booklet was undertaken by Richard Bellsey, who has since closed his business. Bellsey, reached by telephone, could not recall the exact details of the booklet, but told Breitbart News that it “sounds like one of our jobs, like I did for [Acton & Dystel] twenty years ago or more.”

The parade of authors alongside Obama in the booklet includes politicians, such as former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill; sports legends, such as Joe Montana and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar; and numerous Hollywood celebrities.

The reverse side of the page that features Barack Obama includes former Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader and early-1990s “boy band” pop sensation New Kids On the Block.

Acton, who spoke to Breitbart News by telephone, confirmed precise details of the booklet and said that it cost the agency tens of thousands of dollars to produce.

He indicated that while “almost nobody” wrote his or her own biography, the non-athletes in the booklet, whom “the agents deal[t] with on a daily basis,” were “probably” approached to approve the text as presented.

Dystel did not respond to numerous requests for comment, via email and telephone. Her assistant told Breitbart News that Dystel “does not answer questions about Obama.”

The errant Obama biography in the Acton & Dystel booklet does not contradict the authenticity of Obama’s birth certificate. Moreover, several contemporaneous accounts of Obama’s background describe Obama as having been born in Hawaii.

The biography does, however, fit a pattern in which Obama–or the people representing and supporting him–manipulate his public persona.

David Maraniss’s forthcoming biography of Obama has reportedly confirmed, for example, that a girlfriend Obama described in Dreams from My Father was, in fact, an amalgam of several separate individuals.

In addition, Obama and his handlers have a history of redefining his identity when expedient. In March 2008, for example, he famously declared: “I can no more disown [Jeremiah Wright] than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother.”

Several weeks later, Obama left Wright’s church–and, according to Edward Klein’s new biography, The Amateur: Barack Obama in the White House, allegedly attempted to persuade Wright not to “do any more public speaking until after the November [2008] election” (51).

Obama has been known frequently to fictionalize aspects of his own life. During his 2008 campaign, for instance, Obama claimed that his dying mother had fought with insurance companies over coverage for her cancer treatments.

That turned out to be untrue, but Obama has repeated the story–which even the Washington Post called “misleading”–in a campaign video for the 2012 election.

The Acton & Dystel biography could also reflect how Obama was seen by his associates, or transitions in his own identity. He is said, for instance, to have cultivated an “international” identity until well into his adulthood, according to Maraniss.

Regardless of the reason for Obama’s odd biography, the Acton & Dystel booklet raises new questions as part of ongoing efforts to understand Barack Obama–who, despite four years in office remains a mystery to many Americans, thanks to the mainstream media.