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Hmm. That Byline Looks Familiar.

Barack Obama with his grandparents after his 1979 high school graduation. (Photo by Obama for America via Getty Images)

One of the strange things for any new White House resident: Suddenly all this old stuff comes up -- exes, distant relations, forgotten letters, goofy photos ...

So it will be for the Obamas, and conservative writer Evan Gahr got into the game last week by excavating a story the prez-elect wrote as a college senior for a Columbia University magazine.

The March 1983 article for Sundial, titled "Breaking the War Mentality," is a feature story about two campus peacenik groups. Byline: Barack Obama, who praised the nuclear-freeze and anti-draft-registration activists for "throwing their weight into shifting America off the dead-end track."

Gahr blogged at the Web site Human Events that Obama's story was "a wholesale endorsement of all sorts of leftist claptrap fashionable at the time." (It also includes some classic college-kid blather like "The most pervasive malady of the collegiate system specifically and the American experience generally, is that elaborate patterns of knowledge and theory have been disembodied from individual choices and government policy." Huh?)

Gahr decries the "morally obtuse and simplistic left-wing views [Obama] espoused at Columbia 25 years ago." Whereas we decry -- well, everything we wrote at age 21. Can we burn it all, please?

And for Michelle Obama, a nicer blast from the past. One of the artists in the Historical Society of Washington's new "Quilts for Obama" exhibit of art quilts from across the United States claims a personal connection -- Carrie Nelson of Georgetown, S.C., who says: "My grandfather Gabriel Robinson (brother of Michelle Obama's grandfather Frasier Robinson Jr.), would have been proud to see President Obama elected."

For those of you doing the math at home, that makes the women second cousins.

By The Reliable Source  |  January 13, 2009; 1:04 AM ET
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The quoted passage that seems to confuse you so is simple English, although couched in multi-syllable words. Maybe this will work for you:
"Too much of what is taught in college specifically, and discussed in America generally, is kept on a theoretical level and never made relevant to individual choices or linked to government policies as a way of allowing evaluation of those policies."

still too advanced for you? How about
"We hear a bunch of stuff in school and on the streets but its always, like, you know, not connected to anything I'm doin' or anything the government is doin' so like, what's the point."

Posted by: 33rdStreet | January 14, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

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