Lou Pritchett, you make me fear for my nation – an open letter to a former soap salesman


It looks like an internet hoax, but it’s not. It’s worse than that.  It is a triumph of cynicism and pessimism wedded to false claims, crafted to impugn a good man.  Lou Pritchett’s letter is scary because he appears to believe it, and others may, too.

It usually comes with this line:  “Subject:  Letter from Procter & Gamble Exec to Obama.”  It may be entitled “An Open Letter to President Obama.”  It’s a letter filled with rant and inaccurate claims against Obama.  But it demonstrates something troubling.  It’s a letter from a guy who should know better, from a guy who can read newspapers and check facts for himself, but a guy who has been suckered in by every false and calumnous claim made against our President.

In short, it’s a letter from a supreme cynic, who has every reason to know better but appears to refuse to think.

Below the fold, I post the letter completely as it came to me, and I respond, with an Open Letter to Former Soap Salesman Lou Pritchett.


Here’s how the letter came to me, and below that, a careful and more pensive response.

“Subject: Letter from Procter & Gamble Exec to Obama

Please read, even if you are an Obama fan.  It is legitimate, written by respected, Lou Prichett, formerly of Proctor and Gamble.  Lou Pritchett is one of corporate America’s true living  legends- an acclaimed author, dynamic teacher and one of the world’s  highest rated speakers. Successful corporate executives everywhere recognize him as the foremost leader in change management. Lou changed the way America does business by creating an audacious concept that came to be known as “partnering.” Pritchett rose from soap salesman to Vice-President, Sales and Customer Development for Procter and Gamble and over the course of 36 years, made corporate history.

AN OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA

Dear President Obama:

You are the thirteenth President under whom I have lived and unlike any of the others, you truly scare me.

You scare me because after months of exposure, I know nothing about you.

You scare me because I do not know how you paid for your expensive Ivy League education and your upscale lifestyle and housing with no visible signs of support.

You scare me because you did not spend the formative years of youth growing up in America and culturally you are not an American.

You scare me because you have never run a company or met a payroll.

You scare me because you have never had military experience, thus don’t understand it at its core.

You scare me because you lack humility and ‘class’, always blaming others.

You scare me because for over half your life you have aligned yourself with radical extremists who hate America and you refuse to publicly denounce these radicals who wish to see America fail.

You scare me because you are a cheerleader for the ‘blame America ‘ crowd and deliver this message abroad.

You scare me because you want to change America to a European style country where the government sector dominates instead of the private sector.

You scare me because you want to replace our health care system with a government controlled one.

You scare me because you prefer ‘wind mills’ to responsibly capitalizing on our own vast oil, coal and shale reserves.

You scare me because you want to kill the American capitalist goose that lays the golden egg which provides the highest standard of living in the world.

You scare me because you have begun to use ‘extortion’ tactics against certain banks and corporations.

You scare me because your own political party shrinks from challenging you on your wild and irresponsible spending  proposals.

You scare me because you will not openly listen to or even consider opposing points of view from intelligent people.

You scare me because you falsely believe that you are both omnipotent and omniscient.

You scare me because the media gives you a free pass on everything you do.

You scare me because you demonize and want to silence the Limbaughs, Hannitys, O’Relllys and Becks who offer opposing, conservative points of view.

You scare me because you prefer controlling over governing.

Finally, you scare me because if you serve a second term I will probably not feel safe in writing a similar letter in 8  years.

Lou Pritchett

The letter came with this explanation attached:

TRUE – CHECK:

http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/youscareme.asp

This letter was sent to the NY Times but they never acknowledged it.

Big surprise!  Since it hit the internet, however, it has had over 500,000 hits.  Keep it going.  All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing.  It’s happening right now.

I disagree.  I think people can actively promote evil, even when they do not intend to.  For example, this letter contains a number of nasty, erroneous claims (I have to work hard not to call them “lies,” but I’ll wager Pritchett just doesn’t know better; I can’t pass judgment on his motives).

No rational person should read anything into the failure of the New York Times to publish the letter.  They get thousands of letters on many topics, and they try to pick the best.  Plus, that paper as most responsible, major papers do, put letters through a basic fact check.  This letter wouldn’t survive that.  Had the paper published Pritchett’s letter, he would have been subject to widespread ridicule.

And, this should not be news, The New York Times does not respond to each of the thousands of letters-to-the-editor it gets every day.

I doubt Pritchett will ever get this letter, though I’d like to be proved wrong.  Garbage should be picked up an carted off so vermin can’t breed in it, however, and so I offer my response below

Open letter to Former Soap Salesman Lou Pritchett

Dear Mr. Pritchett,

Knowing that you’re a voting citizen of the United States, and that you have access to vast stores of accurate information, I look at your letter to President Obama, and I fear for my country. Someone noted the old saw that the only thing necessary for evil to succeed is for good people to do nothing.  On that basis, I cannot let your cynical claims go uncorrected where they err, and unrebutted.

I’ve only lived through 11 presidencies, so you have at least 6 years on me.  But you’re comfortably retired, sitting on a fat pile of assets from your comfortable job at Procter and Gamble.  I will be lucky to be able to retire before I hit 85, after years of public service.  I have reason to be cynical [while you don't].  Your irrational lashing out puzzles me all the more, and troubles me all the more.

You say you don’t know Barack Obama.  That is no one’s fault but your own.

Barack Obama’s been a character on the national stage since he offered a stunningly beautiful keynote speech to the Democratic National Convention in 2004.  There were dozens of profiles written about him in magazines and newspapers, and profiles offered on national television.  His race for the U.S. Senate in Illinois, a major state, got heavy coverage when the Republicans offered a carpet-bagging man from Maryland as candidate for the seat, when the duly-selected Republican candidate dropped out when scandal caught up with him.

Obama won the right to represent Illinois in the U.S. Senate, in the seat occupied before him by people like Alan Dixon, Adlai Stevenson III, Everett Dirksen, and Stephen A. Douglas.  That seat is always watched closely by national media.

Obama’s popularity was based on many things, including two terms in the Illinois State Senate where he pushed through an ethics reform bill, which most people though impossible, and on his best-selling book, Dreams from My Father, a book contracted for by the publishers after Obama had been elected president of the prestigious journal, Harvard Law Review.   Published first in 1995, it was re-published in 2004.  You’ve had 14 years to get to your local library and read the book.

The book wasn’t a secret.  Wikipedia summarizes some of the reaction to the book:

In discussing Dreams from My Father, Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison has called Obama “a writer in my high esteem” and the book “quite extraordinary.” She praised “his ability to reflect on this extraordinary mesh of experiences that he has had, some familiar and some not, and to really meditate on that the way he does, and to set up scenes in narrative structure, dialogue, conversation–all of these things that you don’t often see, obviously, in the routine political memoir biography. [...] It’s unique. It’s his. There are no other ones like that.”[28]

The book “may be the best-written memoir ever produced by an American politician,” wrote Time columnist Joe Klein.[29] In 2008, The Guardians Rob Woodard wrote that Dreams from My Father “is easily the most honest, daring, and ambitious volume put out by a major US politician in the last 50 years.”[30] Michiko Kakutani, the Pulitzer Prize-winning critic for The New York Times, described it as “the most evocative, lyrical and candid autobiography written by a future president.”[31]

The audio book edition earned Obama the 2006 Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album.[32]

Your library might have the audio book, too.   Have you looked?

After he joined the U.S. Senate, he wrote another book based on his campaign and what he saw in Washington, The Audacity of Hope:  Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream.  It topped the New York Times best-seller list in the fall of 2006.

So, you say you don’t know a guy who strode quickly into the limelight in 2004, wrote two best-selling books spilling his guts on his hopes and dreams as an American for a better and stronger America.  Seriously, man, whose fault is it that you didn’t bother to check him out?

You didn’t know anything about George W. Bush, either, even after he’d spent four years as president.  Did you vote for him?

There is no excuse to claim you don’t know about the man we elect president.  Your lack of curiosity, failure to pick up a newspaper or go to the library, is not Barack Obama’s fault.  You need to read more.

If you’d read the books, or the profiles, you’d know that Obama attended Columbia and Harvard on scholarship.  Most students at those schools, today, attend on scholarship.  Several Ivy League schools tell prospective applicants up front that, if they are accepted, they will have the money to go.  Even in the 1990s they prided themselves on helping bright but poor students.

How can you fail to know that?

Barack Obama left the U.S. for a few years early in his life.  He was born in the U.S.A. — in our 50th state! — and he attended school in the U.S. for eight years — longer than Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Jackson and George Washington combined.  He was raised by his two Kansas-born grandparents — as American as L. Frank Baum’s Dorothy, who was raised in similar circumstances (other than her trip to Oz).

Obama grew up playing basketball, the sport invented in a YMCA in New Jersey.  He attended Occidental College in Los Angeles, that all-American megalopolis in California, hoping to play basketball.  But, like William J. Bennett who said he went to Williams College to play football but discovered he had a brain, Obama woke up to scholarship at Occidental — in a big way.  He transferred to Columbia and graduated, worked building a powerful anti-poverty program from scratch in Chicago, and went off to law school at Harvard where he was a smashing success as a scholar and good guy.

These are all grand, American institutions.  Your claiming that basketball, college, Hawaii, California, New York City, Chicago, and Occidental, Columbia and Harvard are outside American culture is a slander to our entire nation and most of the people who live here.

Neither you nor I are more American than any of this culture, or any of these institutions, or Barack Obama.  Your claim insults us all — it is thoughtless, unwarranted and unsupportable.

Why did you not bother to learn this before you wrote your letter?

You accuse Obama of never having had to make a payroll.  I don’t know your early career, but your experience in a large corporation like Procter and Gamble is no better.  You never had to meet a payroll there, either — there was always plenty of money in the bank, a good line of credit from the world’s biggest banks, a good expense account for you, and someone else to do the accounting and cut the checks.

Obama, on the other hand, built from the ground up a non-profit poverty fighting organization for the Catholic Church in Chicago, building it to several employees and a half-million dollar budget in just a few years.

Why do you not know this?

You complain that Obama doesn’t understand the military, but National Guard veteran George W. Bush ignored the advice and wise counsel of the military and led us into a blunder in Iraq.  Military experience is no substitute for genuine curiosity, scholarship and wisdom.

You claim, without any cause I can find, that Obama lacks “humility and class.”  And yet he put his campaign on hold for days to fly to Hawaii for a few moments with his dying grandmother, to say “thank you” for her work raising him.  It could have cost him the election.  Those white, conservatives who voted for him for president of the Harvard Law Review (with many others) note what a good leader he was, not cocky but sure, a class act.

Obama blames others?  What I see is a man who steps up to responsibility, on the economy, on the budget, on our wars, on social issues, though they are all situations he inherited.  He engineered a new budget through Congress — a task George Bush couldn’t get done — in the midst of the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression.  He went to the Capitol to offer to work with Republicans — an offer they promptly repudiated — and he has soldiered on trying to get America’s course straight without their help since.

Obama has never aligned himself with radicals who want to see America fail.  Specifically, he has never aligned himself with Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly or Glenn Back.  Nor has he aligned himself with anyone half as radical on the left.  He’s very much a moderate, and his cabinet choices reflect that.  Ray LaHood is no radical of any stripe.

Where did you ever get that odd idea?  Didn’t you read his books?  Don’t you read the newspapers?

Cheerleader for the “blame America crowd?”  No, that’s not Obama.  He did not say America deserved to be attacked on September 11, 2001, as Christian preachers Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson did.  When he met with Vladimir Putin, unlike George Bush who claimed to have looked into Putin’s eyes and claimed to have seen “trustworthy” man, Obama told Putin the facts and extracted tough agreements to our nation’s advantage.

How could you miss those events?

Obama has never said he wants to change America into a European-style country — though, when we look at greatly reduced heart disease rates in every nation of Europe, or when we look at mass transit in France, Germany and England, we might see places we could do better.

Where did you get such a far-fetched idea?

Obama has never said he wants a government-run health care system.  He has said we have a moral duty to find ways to cover the nearly-50 million Americans who lack insurance and access to timely and inexpensive health care.  He has said we pay too much (we spend $7,000 per capita for health care, way more than double any other nation — and we pay that for the 50 million people who don’t get health care, too).   He has said we need to rein in health care cost inflation, which is double the rate of other goods and services, and which was a major factor in crippling American auto companies competing against foreign producers whose governments offer health coverage for all citizens including auto workers.

Have you read Obama’s statements?  Have you read the House bill, H.R. 3200, which is not Obama’s proposal, but which also doesn’t nationalize health care?  How can you draw that conclusion, when there is no proposal to do so?

Obama wisely urges that we ramp up alternatives to fossil fuels.  But he has also urged that we explore “clean coal,” a proposal that sends environmentalists screaming away. You’re imagining Obama’s opposition to fossil fuels. Windmills?  He’s said we should produce them in the U.S., and not buy them from foreign producers — keep the jobs at home.  Do you favor sending those jobs off-shore?

Where did you get such an idea?  Did you check it out for yourself?

Obama has said not one word in opposition to capitalism. When faced with a choice between nationalizing industries to rescue them, and any other choice, he has in every case avoided nationalization.  The government is a stockholder in some rescued companies, but not the sole owner.  Obama has chosen free market solutions to tough problems where other free-enterprise nations did not.

Why don’t you consider what Obama has done, rather than wild claims from . . . where?

Since when is it “extortion” to give banks enough money to stay in business? Good heavens, man!  The alternative was collapse of our banking system.  Most people complain that the banks were “given” too much!

Plus, most of the banking actions were done by George Bush’s appointee to the Federal Reserve Board, Ben Bernanke, and by the Bush administration prior to January 21, 2009.

Where did you get the idea Obama was behind the actions of the Bush administration, since much of this stuff occurred well before January 21, 2009?

Since when is funding the Pentagon “wild and irresponsible?”  You’ve never heard of the “Blue Dog Democrats,” who threaten to derail our much-needed health care reforms because of the cost?

Surely you live where a newspaper is available, no?

Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, and others, noted that Obama seems to have paid careful attention to her book on Abraham Lincoln’s cabinet, Team of Rivals.  She summarized lessons for Obama from the book in the Harvard Business Journal earlier this year.  I mention that because you cite that Harvard case study of your project, which tells me that you probably grant credence to that journal — though that makes your disrespect of Obama’s term heading the Harvard Law Review more mysterious and silly. Obama said he wants opposing views in the White House, in the basic discussions in his cabinet room and all other rooms of power.

In any case, Obama has populated his cabinet with people who have opposing views — Hillary Clinton, his chief and sometimes bitter rival for the Democratic nomination, Republican Ray LaHood at the critical Department of Transportation. He kept on Robert Gates at the critical post of Secretary of Defense — George W. Bush’s appointee.  No one thinks Gates is a pushover Obama supporter.

Obama made a point of going to the Capitol to confer with congressmen — Republicans first.

When Obama nominated a candidate for the Supreme Court, he consulted with my old boss, Orrin Hatch, first.

Obama’s team, like Rahm Emanuel, makes it a practice not to ignore Republicans, as the Bush administration ignored Democrats and — truth be told — Republican Members of Congress.

“I’ve heard more from Rahm in six months than I heard from Andy Card in six years, and Card’s daughter worked for me,” said former Representative Tom Davis, Republican of Virginia, referring to a chief of staff under President George W. Bush.

Where did you get the idea that Obama doesn’t like discussion or debate, or that he doesn’t listen to dissent?  That view is wholly unsupportable in history and current action.  Have you read the newspapers this week?  Proponents of health care reform claims he’s listened too much to the opposition.  One might have assumed that if one assumed George Bush’s White House was the model — but Obama promised to change things.  This is one area where he’s delivered better than anyone had any right to hope.

Obama thinks he is omnipotent and omniscient?  Then you must have stood and cheered when he noted — wisely — that the U.S. would have no comment in the first days after the disputed Iranian election, noting that any comment would be taken by the rulers as evidence of  U.S. interference.  The U.S. cannot dictate what happens he noted then, and often as well in regard to Iraq and Afghanistan.

On the one hand you claim Obama thinks himself omnipotent and omniscient, but when he goes to Europe to confer with our allies, saying we are neither omnipotent or omniscient and we need and will honor their views and information, you accuse him of “blaming America.”   I think you have not thought through these issues, nor where America’s best interests lie — certainly not as well as has President Obama.

Lou, your bizarre claim about Limbaugh, Hannity, O’Reilly and Beck almost doesn’t deserve comment.  These are guys who revel in America’s failure, whose ratings and income go up if America fails.  Rush Limbaugh admits that he wants Obama to fail, damn the cost to you, me and all other Americans.

And then you have the gall to claim that Obama demonizes them?

In a just universe, their transmitters would be taken out by lightning.  Obama has merely pointed out a few of their errors, but by no stretch, all of their errors.  Obama hasn’t even mentioned more than a dozen of their hundreds of slanders, errors, and misreportings of events.

Do you have a newspaper?  Where could any fair-minded person think these broadcast bullies deserve protection from the guy they try to bully most?

Obama favors control over governing?  In the most important big policy changer so far, health care reform, rather than dictate to Congress, Obama asked Congress to assemble a proposal.  Republicans refused to participate in making a good bill until Nancy Pelosi got it passed in the House.  Then, rather than wake up and try to make changes they might need in the Senate, they launched a campaign of slander and fiction against health care.

Lou, you, particularly, should appreciate what is going on here.  You worked for Procter & Gamble.  Would it be fair to claim you are a satan-worshipper, as Procter & Gamble’s old logo “proved?”  Of course such a charge is bizarre, ungrounded in fact, and damaging to people who have no intention to worship satan (I hope!).  Since you worked for a company that literally had to change its logo due to unfair and wild claims, you should be particularly sensitive to wild and unfair claims against others.  And yet, here you are with a letter read by more than a half million people, passing along wild and unfair claims.

Did you at least blush when you realized what you had done?

Control?  Obama has given up a great deal of control in order, he hopes, to get the reform that will keep our nation from going bankrupt (more than 60% of personal bankruptcies in the U.S. are due to excessive health costs).   This is the mark of a leader.  Did you read Goodwin’s book on Lincoln?  You should.  Obama did.  It shows how a true, flag-waving patriot leads this nation.

Lou, we survived eight years of George Bush and his assault on the Constitution.  Your dissenting views will be honored far more than any dissent was ever honored by Bush — and if Obama has his way, your life will be better, more secure, and your dissent more free, in four years, six years, and eight years.

You could have learned all of that by reading Obama’s two books, by reading his extensive profiles in newspapers and magazines, by watching his well-known speeches and campaign appearances.  Lou, you’re a bright guy, a successful guy who should be reading newspapers and gathering information about how to vote.

It scares me mightily that despite these many opportunities for you to get the facts, you don’t have them, and you promote wild and scurrilous claims across the internet.  If you don’t know better, that’s your fault.  You should know better.

And if Lou Pritchett, with all his money and information gathering ability, smarts and charm, has such a distorted view of America, America’s election process, and our president, then I truly fear for my nation.

James Madison told us why it’s important to have a good public education system and why it’s important to use that education:

A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.

  • James Madison in a letter to William T. Barry, August 4, 1822; Library of Congress, Letters of James Madison

How many others like you might there be, Lou, literally endangering our republic with disinformation and wrong ideas about what is going on?

Is this the result of the slashing of library budgets begun in the Reagan administration?  Is your lack of information due to a lack of a library?  Is this a result of the reduction in news holes in newspapers as that industry struggles to survive against electronic competition?

In any case, shouldn’t a citizen know what the citizen does not know, and seek that information out before making unfounded charges based on false information?

Madison said knowledge governs ignorance.  But Kin Hubbard or someone like him noted that it’s not what we don’t know that gets us into trouble:  It’s what we know that isn’ t so.  You “know” a lot of stuff about Obama that is wrong. If that misplaced “knowledge” governs, America is doomed.

You wrote that letter months ago.  Please tell us you’ve learned in the passed time, and that you now know better.

Yours truly,

Ed Darrell

(I’ve e-mailed this letter to Mr. Pritchett.)

Update: Pritchett responded, sort of.  Like poking a hog.

More information:

Spread the good words instead:

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125 Responses to Lou Pritchett, you make me fear for my nation – an open letter to a former soap salesman

  1. jsojourner says:

    Bob says, That tells me that you think he is the best thing since sliced bread, so why bother discussing it with you?

    You evidently didn’t read my prior post.

    I would much prefer a liberal President. Obama is a center-right corporatist on fiscal issues, a centrist of foreign policy and a center-leftie on social issues.

    I’d love to see Rocky Anderson, Sherrod Brown, Jill Stein or Bernie Sanders calling the shots. Unfortunately, the electorate is much to conservative to seriously consider any of these folks. So we’re stuck with Obama.

    Best thing since sliced bread? Hardly.

    A million times more preferable to The Decider or any of the “root, hog or die” candidates the GOP put up this time around? Hell, yes.

    And there you have it!

    Jim

    Like

  2. Ed Darrell says:

    In a similar vein . . .

    Over at Steve Goddard’s site, I got this question:

    johnmcguire says:
    August 8, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    Say Ed , I just noticed all your comments . You paint quite a picture but there are no records to back your claims concerning obama’s education. Remember ? We haven’t seen any transcrips and the only so called facts we have about him come from rather biased sources . So , you are just an attack dog out there trying to deflect truth . And using the so called facts about his parents ? Who really knows ? We are reasonably certain who the mother is . The fact that we have a president of the US that we don’t know the history of is beyond unacceptable.

    A younger man, I presume, who is prematurely LouPritchett.

    I responded (and hope it will get out of moderation there):

    Say, John. I paint a picture based on the documents. You haven’t seen them? I can’t be responsible for your lack of due diligence. You could have read one or both of his memoirs, but apparently you didn’t. Both of them made the best seller lists. If you’ve ever been a publisher, or if you’ve been published, you know that those things are usually gone over carefully by the lawyers, looking for libelous material, and generally just checking for accuracy. I know some of the GOP opposition researchers who checked stuff out for McCain and others in 2008 — they couldn’t find inaccuracies in his books. Why don’t you read them now?

    You could have done a search for biographical material from 2008, to see what the major investigative reporters and major news outlets found then. You might have noticed that he had eight years in the Illinois legislature, and he left an imprint there. That piece alone should answer most of your questions. You would have found the Politico piece that featured the one note Obama wrote for the law review (editors generally assign that stuff out, but Obama was always one to go a bit above the usual calling). You’d have noticed the 2007 story in the New York Times about Obama’s time at the law review.

    He arrived there as an unknown, Afro-wearing community organizer who had spent years searching for his identity; by the time he left, he had his first national news media exposure, a book contract and a shot of confidence from running the most powerful legal journal in the country.

    As the ribbing in the Revue suggests, Mr. Obama was realizing the power of his own biography. He proved deft at navigating an institution scorched with ideological battles, many of which revolved around race. He developed a leadership style based more on furthering consensus than on imposing his own ideas. Surrounded by students who enjoyed the sound of their own voices, Mr. Obama cast himself as an eager listener, sometimes giving warring classmates the impression that he agreed with all of them at once.

    At the Law Review, Obama led a powerful group of the best students in the world — and

    this interactive graphic demonstrates how several of these people went on to powerful and important work

    — none of them expressing the lack of information you claim to be a problem. (Have you bothered to call any of them to ask what they know?)

    For someone who knows so little about Obama, you might find light in passages like this one:

    Just as he does now that he is a senator, Mr. Obama spoke then about his own biography — initially, Mr. Ogletree said, to correct anyone who assumed he had acquired his position with ease. His message, Mr. Ogletree said, was, “Don’t look at my success and assume that I have had a silver spoon in my mouth and gold coins in my hand.”

    During the constant arguments about race and merit, everyone could point to Mr. Obama and find justification for their views. He had acknowledged benefiting from affirmative action in the past, so those who supported it saw him as the happy product of their beliefs.

    But those who opposed it saw his presidency as the triumph of meritocracy. He [Obama] was a black man who had helped one of Harvard’s most celebrated professors, Laurence H. Tribe, with an article on law and physics, and would graduate magna cum laude.

    Graduated magna? That’s a matter of public record. Did you look?

    If you looked a little harder, you might have found the stories about his election to the presidency of the law review, since that was considered a first in civil rights — and an item of national news. Stories appeared in the Los Angeles and New York papers, and probably others I haven’t found.

    Did you look? Colleges and universities are only too happy to brag about their ex-students. Harvard is no exception.

    Obama’s performance inside and outside the classroom attracted more notice than his distinctive personal story. In the spring of his first year at law school, Obama stopped by the office of Professor Laurence Tribe ’66 inquiring about becoming a research assistant.

    Tribe rarely hired first-year students but recalls being struck by Obama’s unusual combination of intelligence, curiosity and maturity. He was so impressed in fact, that he hired Obama on the spot—and wrote his name and phone number on his calendar that day—March 31, 1989—for posterity.

    Obama helped research a complicated article Tribe wrote making connections between physics and constitutional law as well as a book about abortion. The following year, Obama enrolled in Tribe’s constitutional law course.

    Tribe likes to say he had taught about 4,000 students before Obama and another 4,000 since, yet none has impressed him more.

    Professor Martha Minow recalls: “He had a kind of eloquence and respect from his peers that was really quite remarkable,” Minow says. When he spoke in her class on law and society, “everyone became very attentive and very quiet.”

    Artur Davis ‘93 still vividly recalls how much Obama inspired him with a speech he gave during orientation week on striving for excellence and mastery. Davis, now a United States Congressman from Alabama, insists he left that speech by Obama convinced he’d just heard a future Supreme Court justice—or president.

    Occidental brags, too.

    Heck, if you were curious, you could have checked Snopes.com. Did you even bother?

    Who really knows? Anyone who bothered to look.

    There’s plenty of evidence out there on Obama’s life — very little should be mystery to a person of average curiosity who has the ability to read, and an internet connection or a library card.

    You worry that you don’t have Obama’s transcripts? That’s not necessary. It’s on the record he graduated magna from Harvard Law. That can’t be faked when so many have a reason to check up on it. There’s plenty in the public record that works just fine in court, in the toughest tests of evidence, to show that Obama is who he says he is, and a man of remarkable character and great achievement. You may never have had to do real due diligence on a deal for millions of dollars, or a decision that could put someone behind bars for the rest of their productive life, so you’ll have to take it from people who have done that sort of stuff that the evidence is solid.

    Not that you wouldn’t have looked, had you known, right?

    But, do they ever look?

    Like

  3. Funny, Tony, how about we remember the 300,000 jobs a month that were disappearing under Bush and the fact that the GOP is vastly more responsible for the deficit and debt then Obama or any Democrat is.

    But don’t worry..I’m not expecting you to put reality over your delusion.

    But no..what we can’t afford any more of is the GOP. Because it’s their misguided policies that got us into this mess and the continuation of those policies will only make it worse.

    MItt ROmeny and the GOP is something that this country simply can’t afford…Bush and the GOP ****** up the country enough.

    Like

  4. Ed Darrell says:

    Three years later, we know that Lou Pritchett, low as a a snake as he was and inaccurate as he was and ill-informed as he was, was not the worst we would see from the right wing. Who would have guessed, three years ago, that Republicans would have intentionally tried to crash our economy and our nation’s credit rating, the gift from Alexander Hamilton — and then, hypocritically or in full ignorance, complain that Obama wasn’t doing the founder’s bidding?

    Three years ago I could not guess how dirty and low down opposition to Obama could get.

    Mr. Pritchett is still wrong; who would have guessed there were so many gullibles?

    Like

  5. Tony Zontini says:

    ….and after 3years and millions of people out of work and the country more in debt than any time in history….what say ye now? Sounds like to me Mr.Pritchett was on to something with all his misguided, false statements. We certainly can’t afford any more of Mr. Obama.

    Like

  6. Ed Darrell says:

    Wow. How deep is left field?

    The U.S. Federal Government is a corporation controlled by the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve (Representative Louis McFadden charged government officials and the Board of the Fed with treason by fraud).

    In what state do you claim this corporation is incorporated? Where are the papers of incorporation? All such records are, of necessity, public — so if the claim were true, you should be able to point us to the papers.

    The United States is a corporation and not a country, and we are all slaves by virtue of our birth certificates, our social security numbers and our signatures signifying unwitting contracts with the Corporation.

    1. According to international law, maritime law, and treaties, not to mention the Constitution, the U.S. is a nation. No corporation could legally function as a nation.

    2. The 13th Amendment outlaws slavery. Under the 14th Amendment, your birth certificate says you are a citizen of the U.S., not a slave.

    3. Under the common law, which governs contracts, an “unwitting” contract is an impossibility void ab initio. That’s because a contract is an agreement between at least two parties, all of who have the legal capacity to enter into such an agreement, and all of whom are fully aware of what they are doing.

    4. Under all statutory and common law, you cannot be forced into signing an agreement to which you don’t agree. Signatures forced under duress, or under trickery, are not binding, and cannot be used to enforce agreements.

    5. Who has the capacity to sign those documents for the corporation you allege? Let’s see the statement of authority from the corporation, please. If there is no such statement, the alleged contract is non-binding and unenforceable on any party, if not completely void ab initio on that basis alone.

    Where do you get all that hooey?

    Like

  7. JiminNM says:

    The U.S. Federal Government is a corporation controlled by the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve (Representative Louis McFadden charged government officials and the Board of the Fed with treason by fraud). The United States is a corporation and not a country, and we are all slaves by virtue of our birth certificates, our social security numbers and our signatures signifying unwitting contracts with the Corporation.

    Like

  8. fear of says:

    good advise, i like it

    Like

  9. Bob Barton says:

    Jim I am sure that there is nothing I could say that would change your opinion of President Obama, so I will not waste my time or yours. “But if you care to judge him by three years of his administration, please have at it.” That tells me that you think he is the best thing since sliced bread, so why bother discussing it with you? As to Mr. Pritchett’s article, people make claims everyday from both sides, many of which can be rebutted, denied, proven or disproven. In all honesty, his article is of little or no concern to me. The fact that we have untold numbers of people who would and do argue that our current president is anything better than the worst president in the past 100 years or so, is much scarier than Mr. Pritchett’s letter. Just thought I’d “vomit” again.

    Like

  10. Jim says:

    Robert says, I don’t quite understand why we need to read his books when we have 3 years of his administration, and all of his other prior election activities to judge him on.

    The only person who needs to read the President’s books are the ones who claim his books prove A when they actually prove B. For instance, Lou Pritchett.

    But if you care to judge him by three years of his administration, please have at it. We will have that argument every day, all day. And what of his prior election activities? Do tell.

    Specifics, Robert. Specifics.

    He kvetches, Thes endless debates are actually very tiring.

    Take a nap.

    But wait. You don’t actually participate, do you? Or am I conflating you with some other hit & run poster who simply comes here, vomits and then leaves…never responding to any questions or challenges put to him? I admit, I could be mistaken. There are several.

    And he concludes, Be yourself. It’s a lot easier than trying to be what you think somebody else thinks you are, or wants you to be. I think I got that right.

    kthxbye

    Like

  11. What a ghastly thought, actually reading Obama’s books! At least Ed admits he’s an anybody but the Republican voter. I personally am on the other side of the coin, anybody but Obama! I don’t quite understand why we need to read his books when we have 3 years of his administration, and all of his other prior election activities to judge him on. Thes endless debates are actually very tiring. One side gives evidence, adn the other side rebuts. Then the roles are switched, and we just keep going in circles. I am frankly getting tired of Politics in general, but tha’s another story. Be yourself. It’s a lot easier than trying to be what you think somebody else thinks you are, or wants you to be. I think I got that right.

    Like

  12. Jim says:

    Ed pleads, Please detail where Pritchett is correct in his assessments, and offer evidence — especially, offer evidence from Obama’s books.

    As you know, Ed…I am no Obama fan. I am a liberal. I’ve just cast my lot with him because all the alternatives are too horrific to contemplate.

    That said, I echo you call. Where’s the beef, David? When you make wild assertions, it helps to back them up.

    Jim

    Like

  13. Ed Darrell says:

    David, if you actually read Obama’s books, then you know most of the stuff Pritchett claimed not to know. If you bothered to read newspapers through 2008, you know the rest.

    You make the point: This complaint about Obama has absolutely nothing to do with Obama’s being opaque, but instead indicates the depth of blind panic and hatred in Obama’s critics, and their willingness to stretch the truth, or ignore it completely, in order to “get” him.

    Do you seriously disagree? Great. Please detail where Pritchett is correct in his assessments, and offer evidence — especially, offer evidence from Obama’s books.

    You made the claim. Can you back it up better than Pritchett can?

    If you read my post, and the several links to better information I provided, you understand that I am only responding to the vitriol in Mr. Pritchett’s attempt to cause strife and sow trouble. I am trying to calm the waters, with good information. How dare you claim the facts to be other than they are.

    Like

  14. david says:

    Surely Darrell is just trying to justify his blog deal with controversy
    (comments,etc) and turmoil. And in that he is successful. If he
    truly believes his vitriol and nonsense…he is proof WHY Lou doesn’t know who Bereft Oscama is…the medial and his political
    spin machine won’t let it out. These hit pieces and name calling are always the answer. It is called deflection.

    I read his books and all his available history before I “canned” him as anything but ten times worse than Jimmy Carter as a president.
    At least Carter had been a governor and he was genuine.

    Facts are pesky things. 4 more years would probably be irreversible. That is scary enough.

    Like

  15. Ed Darrell says:

    Skip said:

    Mr. Darrell, your letter sacres the hell out of me! It’s as derisive, cynical, and full of as much BS as he says Pritchett’s letter is. He starts his letter labeling it “Open letter to Former Soap Salesman Lou Pritchett.” A letter starting our with an insult such as that is not only biased, but stupid and spiteful.

    Pritchett is proud of his career at Procter & Gamble. I simply tell the truth, and you call it derisive? Is it soap you hate, or the sales game? Not all salesmen are Willy Loman, you know. But then, few salesmen deign to set themselves up as Lord High Judge and Executioner of all things presidential, like Lou Pritchett did, either.

    Odd, to me, that you find the truth “cynical” and “derisive.” Your comment is already a candidate for weirdest of the month.

    He is presumptuous when bases all of his replies on the assumption that Pritchett has not read Obama’s two books, that he has not met him face to face, and that he does not believe the liberal media. Pritchett never said he didn’t read Obama’s books and he never said that he didn’t read or listen to what the liberal media said.

    Pritchett didn’t have to say it. He wrote stuff that is easily answered with a quick Google search of reputable magazines, or in either of Obama’s two best-selling books. What Lou Pritchett doesn’t know could easily fill a couple of books, but Barack Obama already did that, so Pritchett could know. Again, this is obvious, to anyone who read even a review of Obama’s books. I think it’s mighty odd of you to defend Pritchet’t’s intentional ignorance of the matter.

    You could check out Obama’s books, too — though, obviously, you haven’t. Why not? What do you have against seeking information, what do you have against seeking the truth? And don’t you think a citizen has an obligation to seek out information, before complaining that he doesn’t know?

    Ignorance is one of the most easily cured diseases, though, not often enough is it cured.

    Here, you could have read this above, and followed the links:

    After he joined the U.S. Senate, he wrote another book based on his campaign and what he saw in Washington, The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream. It topped the New York Times best-seller list in the fall of 2006.

    So, you say you don’t know a guy who strode quickly into the limelight in 2004, wrote two best-selling books spilling his guts on his hopes and dreams as an American for a better and stronger America. Seriously, man, whose fault is it that you didn’t bother to check him out?

    You didn’t know anything about George W. Bush, either, even after he’d spent four years as president. Did you vote for him?

    There is no excuse to claim you don’t know about the man we elect president. Your lack of curiosity, failure to pick up a newspaper or go to the library, is not Barack Obama’s fault. You need to read more.

    If you’d read the books, or the profiles, you’d know that Obama attended Columbia and Harvard on scholarship. Most students at those schools, today, attend on scholarship. Several Ivy League schools tell prospective applicants up front that, if they are accepted, they will have the money to go. Even in the 1990s they prided themselves on helping bright but poor students.

    How can you fail to know that?

    Skip said:

    I highly doubt that a man such as Pritchett would have gotten to the top tier one of the biggest companies in America without at least reading his opponents views.

    And yet, there he is, spouting his ignorance. Sort of makes you wonder about the soaps he sold you and your family, doesn’t it? What didn’t he know about the soaps, stuff that was easy to learn, and should have been public information, but you didn’t learn because Lou Pritchett didn’t bother to go down to the lab and find out what was in it, you know?

    But I digress.

    Had Pritechett bothered to read either of the books, he’d have known better. If, as you assume contrary to the evidence, Pritchett read the books, and then wrote this — then that makes Pritchett a scheming, hardened liar.

    I thought accusing him of ignorance was the more gentle, polite, and probably more accurate path.

    You also throw out some claim about being a civil servant as if that would somehow make you qualified to judge Pritchett’s letter when in fact you are not. You may be some sort of civil service employee, but I cannot locate you in the personnel database.

    So, ignorance is your stock in trade?

    Here, check this out. Or read the introduction to this. Ha! This is a great one — see this Hinckley Institute of Politics newsletter from 1984 — there I am in the middle of the photo, shortest guy in the bunch, full beard (dark then) — see pages 3 and 4.

    It’s true, it’s in print. If you had a library, and if you knew how to use it, you could find the facts.

    From what I can tell you are a self-styled know it all who writes opinions on a blog because no serious news media would publish you. Have you tried New York Times or Newsweek? Your letter just makes you sound like another Liberal who is whining because there is criticism of his champion, who’s very likely to lose his chair at the Adult’s Only Dinner table and who’s gravy train is about to fall of the tracks.

    When you’re done, you can turn the projector off, will you?

    Like

  16. skip writes:
    Your letter just makes you sound like another Liberal who is whining because there is criticism of his champion, who’s very likely to lose his chair at the Adult’s Only Dinner table and who’s gravy train is about to fall of the tracks.

    Right….Obama is going to lose the election. To who? Mitt? Your own party can barely stomach Mitt, what makes you think the rest of the country is going to? As for the rest of the circus freaks you have running for the Republican nomination they all have too much baggage and are way too extremists.

    Except for Huntsman and we both know your party is not going to nominate Huntsman.

    THen there is the fact that the Republicans are the single most hated poltiical party in the country right now and are seen as the major reason that the country isn’t in a better economic situation.

    As for the “adults only dinner table” crack that’s hilarious considering your party has been acting like a bunch of irresponsible 5 year olds for at least the last 10 years. There are no adults left among the Republican party with the exception of Olympia Snowe, Senator Collins and, on some level, Tom Coburn. And the first two your party would dearly love to kick out and Tom Coburn routinely commits the ultimate sin for Republicans…questioning why we give such an extravegant amount of welfare to rich people.

    The Republican party has been taken over by malcontents, traitors and lunatics. They have let the patients take over the asylum.

    So chances are that Obama will win this next election and if the Democrats play their cards right they’ll regain the House and keep the Senate.

    Merely because your party, Skip, has gone insane.

    Like

  17. Ed Darrell says:

    Skip,

    I hope you’ll take Rick Perry’s advice, and vote your conscience on November 12.

    It scares me to think people who think Pritchett is right, vote.

    More later, perhaps.

    Like

  18. Skip says:

    Mr. Darrell, A friend of mine just sent me your response to Lou Prithcett’s letter to President Obama. I have to tell you that I think you are full of malarkey. Here is my response to your letter.

    Mr. Darrell, your letter sacres the hell out of me! It’s as derisive, cynical, and full of as much BS as he says Pritchett’s letter is. He starts his letter labeling it “Open letter to Former Soap Salesman Lou Pritchett.” A letter starting our with an insult such as that is not only biased, but stupid and spiteful. He is presumptuous when bases all of his replies on the assumption that Pritchett has not read Obama’s two books, that he has not met him face to face, and that he does not believe the liberal media. Pritchett never said he didn’t read Obama’s books and he never said that he didn’t read or listen to what the liberal media said. I highly doubt that a man such as Pritchett would have gotten to the top tier one of the biggest companies in America without at least reading his opponents views.

    You also throw out some claim about being a civil servant as if that would somehow make you qualified to judge Pritchett’s letter when in fact you are not. You may be some sort of civil service employee, but I cannot locate you in the personnel database. From what I can tell you are a self-styled know it all who writes opinions on a blog because no serious news media would publish you. Have you tried New York Times or Newsweek? Your letter just makes you sound like another Liberal who is whining because there is criticism of his champion, who’s very likely to lose his chair at the Adult’s Only Dinner table and who’s gravy train is about to fall of the tracks. . Skip

    Like

  19. Jim says:

    I agree, Rick. Though I am usually a pretty loyal Democrat and have been since the late 80′s (I was a far right winger in my youth), I can recall a time when — if a Republican beat my candidate — I would shrug my shoulders and say, “Well, he/she is still a pretty good one. I think America — or a given state/District — will be just fine.”

    Of course, I particularly liked the pre-Reagan brand of the GOP. George H.W. Bush was quite socially liberal and fiscally centrist or slightly center-right for his time. He had to make a lot of concessions to get on the ballot with Reagan. But even then — as President — he signed the ADA into law. He talked about the centrality of the United Nations. It could reasonably said that H.W. Bush was the first politician the GOP extremists had in their crosshairs. His “New World Order” syntax did not go over well in crazytown.

    Will the pendulum ever swing back around to sanity? Maybe. But I suspect it won’t be until some sort of national cataclysm or a huge fracture in the Republican Party. I know I’d sure like to figure out how to bottle whatever the modern GOP is making its more moderate members drink. (We could use the recipe selectively on our side of the aisle!) If the GOP is good at anything, it’s intimidation and punishment of its own membership.

    Does anyone really believe former Senator Larry Craig was outed by a Democrat?

    Jim

    Like

  20. Rick says:

    Hi Ed -

    :) No. I think Perry’s finished. He may do well in SC being a Southern evangelical, but beyond that he can’t take on Romney in the future debates and do well. He has the money, but….

    OTOH, I would never have predicted Santorum would have done as well as he did in Iowa either. Or for that matter Ron Paul! Paul, Perry and moreso Santorum scare the hell out of me with their far right, radical thinking. If given the chance, all would take this country back to the late 1800′s. Santorum would outlaw contraception! Say what? Newt isn’t much better, but he’s flaming out too. I just don’t think Santorum’s views will fly in NH, however his Catholic faith won’t be near as suspect as Romney’s in SC.

    Romney or Huntsman are the two ‘best’ candidates, but Huntsman is barely on the map, so we’ll see how his staying power plays out in NH and SC. That leaves Romney, who can’t claim more than about 22-25% of voting Repubs. Evangelicals leaders are already meetings to discuss their strategy. Will they offer up someone else? Dunno.

    My question…. why, oh why can’t the Repubs put up a real statesman like candidate, that is smart, a critical thinker, somewhat progressive and has new ideas about how to bring our beloved country together? We’re 10 months away, and these guys are all they have. Sad, real sad.

    Keep the conversation going. Is there another, more appropriate thread for this discussion?

    Like

  21. Ed Darrell says:

    Red, are you still hanging tough with the prediction of Rick Perry as the Republican candidate?

    Either way, I’d like to hear what you think now.

    Like

  22. I think James is still blasting me and “my side”. James what I love most about you and “your side” is that you do just exactly what you accuse me of doing. You get this big broad brush out and start painting all “Evangelical Christians” with it. Glad you’re so open minded. I state categorically that I do not hate anyone because of their race, skin color, nationality, sexual preference (yes I said preference), religion, or any of the other distinctions you came up with. Do any of these things affect how I treat people? Yes, but only in the sense that my dearest friend could not be a Muslim, simply because we are at odds on many things I will not bore you with. That being said, I treat people the same in general regardless of the distinction you so carefully noticed. I, by the way, have (3) biracial adopted grandchildren whom I love dearly. Be careful when you group all “Christians” into one group. My America is about differences. Not necessarily embracing and taking part in all of them, but at least allowing them to exist. Even right-wing, Bible toting, Fundamental Christians like me.
    Matthew 10: 22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

    Like

  23. Oh and I forgot your sides ramapant attempts to single out, fear and hate monger and deprive of their equality every single minority that your side doesn’t like.

    You know…like blacks, latinos, gays, muslims, anyone that even looks muslim, women who *gasp* dare to like sex, non-Christians, some brands of Christianity that your side doesn’t want to admit are Christian, etc.

    Because in a republic every minority has all the same exact rights as those in the majority. Except for some reason…your party doesn’t like that idea.

    Like

  24. Barton writes:

    We are a Republic. Democracies, true Democracies, are not much more than mob rule. Thanks for all the “education” guys. I feel smarter already.

    Well congratulations, you at least figured that out. Now let me know when your side is going to stop resorting to “but we’re the majority” every time my side points out something you’re doing as unconstitutional. You know..things like school prayer, teaching Creationism and it’s mutant bastard child ID in schools, etc.

    Like

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