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Thread: Van Jones, Barack Obama's 'green jobs' adviser quits amid controversy

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    Bronze Member MissFit's Avatar
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    Default Van Jones, Barack Obama's 'green jobs' adviser quits amid controversy

    Obama 'green jobs' adviser quits amid controversy

    By WILL LESTER, Associated Press Writer Will Lester, Associated Press Writer 10 mins ago

    WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama's adviser Van Jones has resigned amid controversy over past inflammatory statements, the White House said early Sunday.

    Jones, an administration official specializing in environmentally friendly "green jobs" with the White House Council on Environmental Quality was linked to efforts suggesting a government role in the 2001 terror attacks and to derogatory comments about Republicans.

    The resignation comes as Obama is working to regain his footing in the contentious health care debate.

    Jones issued an apology on Thursday for his past statements. When asked the next day whether Obama still had confidence in him, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said only that Jones "continues to work in the administration."

    The matter surfaced after news reports of a derogatory comment Jones made in the past about Republicans, and separately, of Jones' name appearing on a petition connected to the events surrounding the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. That 2004 petition had asked for congressional hearings and other investigations into whether high-level government officials had allowed the attacks to occur.

    "On the eve of historic fights for health care and clean energy, opponents of reform have mounted a vicious smear campaign against me," Jones said in his resignation statement. "They are using lies and distortions to distract and divide."

    Jones said he has been "inundated with calls from across the political spectrum urging me to stay and fight."

    But he said he cannot in good conscience ask his colleagues to spend time and energy defending or explaining his past.

    Jones flatly said in an earlier statement that he did not agree with the petition's stand on the 9/11 attacks and that "it certainly does not reflect my views, now or ever."

    As for his other comments he made before joining Obama's team, Jones said, "If I have offended anyone with statements I made in the past, I apologize."

    Despite his apologies, Republicans demanded Jones quit.

    Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana said in a statement, "His extremist views and coarse rhetoric have no place in this administration or the public debate." Missouri Sen. Christopher Bonds said Congress should investigate Jones's fitness the job.

    Fox News Channel host Glenn Beck repeatedly denounced Jones after a group the adviser co-founded, ColorofChange.org, led an advertising boycott against Beck's show to protest his claim that Obama is a racist.

    James Rucker, the organization's executive director, has said Jones had nothing to do with ColorofChange.org now and didn't even know about the campaign before it started.

    Jones, well-known in the environmental movement, was a civil-rights activist in California before shifting his attention to environmental and energy issues. He is known for laying out a broad vision of a green economy.

    Nancy Sutley chair of the council, said in a statement released early Sunday that she accepts Jones resignation and thanked him for his service.

    "Over the last six months, he had been a strong voice for creating jobs that improve energy efficiency and utilize renewable resources," she said. "We appreciate his hard work and wish him the best moving forward."

    Obama 'green jobs' adviser quits amid controversy - Yahoo! News

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    Fox News Channel host Glenn Beck repeatedly denounced Jones after a group the adviser co-founded, ColorofChange.org, led an advertising boycott against Beck's show to protest his claim that Obama is a racist
    Bingo.

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    Silver Member cockfosters's Avatar
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    This is bullshit.
    Enjoy the liquor and delicatessen.

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    This is just going to encourage Glenn Beck and his followers.

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    Jones flatly said in an earlier statement that he did not agree with the petition's stand on the 9/11 attacks and that "it certainly does not reflect my views, now or ever."
    If he didn't agree with the petition, then why did he sign it? Who signs a petition that they don't agree with? I could care less about his comments about Republicans, but when you sign a petition implying a government role in 9/11, and then take a job in government, it's going to bite you in the ass.

    As for his other comments he made before joining Obama's team, Jones said, "If I have offended anyone with statements I made in the past, I apologize."
    This fake-ass apology doesn't work whether you're a Republican or a Democrat.

    Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana said in a statement, "His extremist views and coarse rhetoric have no place in this administration or the public debate." Missouri Sen. Christopher Bonds said Congress should investigate Jones's fitness the job.
    Republicans saying extremists views and coarse rhetoric have no place in public debate is laughable, since they thrive on it.

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    Elite Member Penny Lane's Avatar
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    When Will This White House Learn You Cannot Negotiate With Terrorists?
    I spent the past several months away from politics. It was an involuntary hiatus made necessary by personal and professional commitments that demanded my utmost attention. When I left, we had a stimulus bill in place, a president with high approval ratings and some remaining afterglow from election night and inauguration day.

    When I returned in mid August, it was to a country that had clearly lost its damn mind. I turned on one cable station to hear people demanding President Obama prove he’s an American citizen, an insane movement led by an Israeli citizen. I switched channels to see another group screeching in fear that Obama’s health care proposal would institute death panels to kill grandma. On yet another station, Glenn Beck accuses this president of having a deep-seated hatred for half of himself. Flip again to find parents removing their children from school because they don’t want their kids exposed to Obama’s socialist indoctrination. And yesterday, Green Jobs Czar Van Jones resigned after extreme pressure from right wing groups and extreme tepidness from the White House that hired him to do his very important work.

    Great. After a brief respite, the most accessible American political discourse has returned to fearful, hate-filled, ignorant rants of a high-volume, low-intellect minority.

    In such an environment, how does one govern? Does one try to “balance” such concepts as contradictory as a “public option” on one hand and “fear of death panels” on the other? Or does one realize that this is a false spectrum and to try to find a center in such a sea is a worthless and foolhardy expedition?

    Too often, this White House has sent the signal that it seeks common ground and conciliation with parties interested in its total destruction. From my point of view, negotiating with ignorance, fear, hate and irrationality is insane. For example, when a major Republican figure in the health care negotiations spreads the death panel lie (Grassley), you see him for what he is, realize you’re dealing with a group of psychopaths, and reset the objectives. “Oh, so that’s how it’s gonna be? Cool. Good to know what we’re dealing with. Thanks for your time. We won’t be needing your services anymore. We’re taking our ball and playing somewhere else.” Negotiations require trust and trust assumes that all parties are not completely batshit crazy.

    I realize I’m lumping a variety of “opposition” camps together: birthers, deathers, those who accuse the president of racism and those who accuse him of socialism. I’m grouping them because to me they all come from the same place. They’re engaging in a form of terrorism. They are using psychological violence (and occasionally the threat of real violence) to pursue a political objective, and in so doing, inflicting harm upon non-combatants.

    If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the movies, it’s that “The United States of America does not negotiate with terrorists.” Yet this White House is willing to let these psychological terrorists set the terms of the debate and negotiate from their insane positions. One group of people is trying to talk about co-pays. The other thinks the president is a secret Kenyan. One group of people sees the creation of domestic, sustainable jobs as a cornerstone of the 21st century economy. The other thinks the president is going to murder your grandmother. This is not legitimate political discourse and to make decisions acknowledging terms so far apart in their reality is just plain stupid.

    Van Jones was one of the good guys. A really, really good guy. He used his education and his passion to combat police brutality and the massive, wasteful incarceration of so many of this nation’s young, brown people. Having fought in the trenches for so long, he saw an opportunity to build hope and jobs and tangible communities as the world responds to the climate crisis. He connected the dots and inspired action and had a vision. He was the rare outsider who got a chance to move inside, and move he did.

    Van was the kind of guy that gave me real confidence in this administration’s seriousness. President Obama meets with generals every day and sees scary reports and wants to get re-elected. I can always make some politics-based allowances for his underwhelming actions. Van, however, was truly one of us. He got it. And to give someone like him power gave me more faith in the president. So when the lynch mob came after Van, it was a test. The same test so many Democratic administrations have failed time and time again. When the going gets tough, do you back your people, or do you fall back on excuses.

    This White House, this administration and this president failed Van, failed its supporters and failed to honor the efforts of millions that got them into office in the first place. What’s the point of having power if you don’t use it? When will this White House realize that nothing it does will ever be acceptable to the loud-mouthed, ignorant minority? When will it learn that you cannot negotiate with terrorists??

    I’m heartbroken over Van’s departure because it’s these little meaningless concessions that undermine people’s faith in the system. You get folks all riled up about change. You empower a man who embodies that change. And they you let him be run out of office by fucking Glenn Beck? So Glenn Beck is running the White House now? Is that how it’s gonna be? Just tell me that I knocked on all those doors for nothing, and I can start the grieving process, but don’t pretend this will solve anything.


    I can’t help but look at this spineless response and see it in contrast to the previous administration. You know how gansta they are? DICK CHENEY IS STILL TALKING SMACK! You don’t see anyone of prominence telling him to shut up. The man who has been wrong about everything gets the full support of his party, yet President Obama can’t find enough audacity to stick up for a true change agent?

    How do you expect folks to continue to go to the mat for your agenda, when you so easily sacrifice our best and brightest at the whim of an illegitimate lynch mob? How do you expect the next generation to invest themselves in the political process when they see that despite their good works, they can be taken out over nonsense, especially when the double standard is so abundantly clear? How can you ask from us what you won’t do for us? And when will you realize that you cannot negotiate with terrorists?
    When Will This White House Learn You Cannot Negotiate With Terrorists? - Jack & Jill Politics

    I was really disappointed to hear they just let him roll over and die like that.

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    If it wasn't for the campaign against Beck, I would say Jones shouldn't have resigned. But considering that the group he founded is leading a campaign against Beck, then by staying in the job the far-right would've stepped up a campaign against him, which would've eventually undermined the Beck campaign.

    And it would've been yet another distraction from the far-right to take the focus off of healthcare, just like this controversy about Obama's speech to school kids.
    As for the Cheney example in that article, they forget one thing. Cheney isn't in government anymore, and for about the last year of the Bush presidency you barely heard a peep out of him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kingcap72 View Post
    Republicans saying extremists views and coarse rhetoric have no place in public debate is laughable, since they thrive on it.
    Mike Pence should really shut his ass since he accepts money from Blackwater founder Erik Prince.
    Rep. Mike Pence, Who Led Witch Hunt Against Van Jones, Took $1000s From Extremist Erik Prince


    Among Pence’s campaign contributors is Blackwater’s owner, whom Pence defended after the Nisour Square massacre in Baghdad.

    By Jeremy Scahill

    Rep. Mike Pence, an Indiana Republican whose name has been mentioned as a potential GOP presidential candidate (and who is not sure if he believes in evolution), led the witch-hunt to force the resignation of White House Green Jobs advisor, Van Jones, over comments Jones made years ago and a 9/11 “truth” petition Jones signed which he said he did not read in its entirety. Jones apologized for some of his comments, which were made before he took his job with the Obama administration and said the petition “certainly does not reflect my views now or ever.”

    Late Saturday, Jones resigned. “On the eve of historic fights for health care and clean energy, opponents of reform have mounted a vicious smear campaign against me,” Jones said in a statement released Sunday. “They are using lies and distortions to distract and divide.” (For a very good analysis of this story, read this).

    On Friday, Pence, who describes himself as “Christian, Conservative, Republican, in that order,” said Jones’s “extremist views and coarse rhetoric have no place in this administration or the public debate.” Beyond the obvious here (the hate-filled rhetoric we see every day from racist, right-wing wackos, including those in public office), it is an interesting comment considering that Pence is an extremist right-wing evangelical Christian who has taken thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Blackwater’s owner, Erik Prince. Prince has also donated to Pence’s Political Action Committee “Principles Exalt a Nation.” In December 2007, three months after Blackwater operatives gunned down 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad’s Nisour Square, Pence and his Republican Study Committee, which serves “the purpose of advancing a conservative social and economic agenda in the House of Representatives,” organized a gathering to welcome Prince to Washington. “Not only has Mr. Princepersonally been targeted by partisan warfare repeatedly over the past months, but the use of contracting throughout the government has been under attack by this Congress,” Pence’s committee’s statement said.

    Should Pence resign for cavorting with and accepting campaign cash from a man who allegedly “views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe,” in the words of a former employee? Oh, right. Those are apparently positive attributes in Pence’s view.
    RebelReports - Rep. Mike Pence, Who Led Witch Hunt Against Van Jones, Took $1000s From Extremist Erik Prince

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    *eyerolls at all of this*

    fail.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kingcap72 View Post
    If he didn't agree with the petition, then why did he sign it? Who signs a petition that they don't agree with? I could care less about his comments about Republicans, but when you sign a petition implying a government role in 9/11, and then take a job in government, it's going to bite you in the ass.



    This fake-ass apology doesn't work whether you're a Republican or a Democrat.



    Republicans saying extremists views and coarse rhetoric have no place in public debate is laughable, since they thrive on it.
    Jeezus, yet another IF "apology."


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    Quote Originally Posted by kingcap72 View Post
    If it wasn't for the campaign against Beck, I would say Jones shouldn't have resigned. But considering that the group he founded is leading a campaign against Beck, then by staying in the job the far-right would've stepped up a campaign against him, which would've eventually undermined the Beck campaign.
    The campaign against Van Jones started back in April, long before the boycott of Beck started.
    Far-Right Site Gains Influence in Obama Era

    Glenn Beck's Van Jones Attacks Fueled by WorldNetDaily Reporting

    By David Weigel 9/4/09 6:00 AM

    An April 12 WorldNetDaily headline; Glenn Beck on Fox News (YouTube)

    On April 12, the conservative Website WorldNetDaily published an expose on newly appointed White House “green czar” Van Jones that labeled the environmental activists a “an admitted radical communist and black nationalist leader.”

    Based on readily available online sources, including an alternative weekly paper in Oakland, California, Aaron Klein’s piece had a sensational title–”Will a ‘red’ help blacks go green?”–and a sensational spin. In the 2005 profile of Jones that Klein cited, reporter Eliza Strickland recalled Jones’s first year out of Yale Law School, working for the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights in the Bay Area, and how when he was “observing the first large rally since the lifting of the city’s state of emergency, he got swept up in mass arrests,” then came to sympathize with the black radicals and communists who’d been arrested with him, before leaving them behind to become an environmental activist. In Klein’s hands, the story took on a different, more sinister tone: “Jones said he first became radicalized in the wake of the 1992 Rodney King riots, during which time he was arrested.”

    Klein’s story made some small waves online, but it wasn’t picked up by the mainstream media until July 23. That was when Glenn Beck first told his Fox News audience about Jones. “This is a guy who is a self-avowed communist,” said Beck, “and he is in the Obama administration … this guy wasn’t a radical, and then was arrested. He spent six months in jail, came out a communist.”

    Beck took a shot at the “avowed communist” Jones again on July 28, again on Aug. 4, again on Aug. 11 (”this is a convicted felon, a guy who spent, I think, six months in prison after the Rodney King beating”), again on Aug. 13, and again on Aug. 21. During that period, a civil rights group called Color of Change launched a campaign to get advertisers to drop Beck. The host responded on August 25 with a week-long special series, “The New Republic: America’s Future,” in which Jones became exhibit A of the “radical leftists currently advising the president of the United States.” Back at WorldNetDaily, Klein wrote matter-of-factly that “Beck’s segments about Jones were based in part on WND’s reporting that Jones was as an admitted radical communist and black nationalist leader.”

    The growing campaign against Jones — to date, Beck has warned his viewers about him on 14 episodes of his Fox News show — is a powerful example of the influence of a Website that’s very infrequently cited by name, even on the right. (Neither Klein nor Beck’s staff responded to TWI’s questions about the Jones stories.) But where other, more mainstream conservative sites cover partisan political battles and run dry op-eds by think tank experts, WND is all muckraking and rumor-chasing, all the time.

    The 12-year-old Website, with 17 full-time editorial staffers, has a White House correspondent, Les Kinsolving, who is most often used by White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs as a punchline. One staff reporter, Jerome Corsi, co-wrote the bestselling Swift Boat Veterans for Truth book “Unfit for Command,” but has been derided by other conservatives for what Politico called “outrageous assertions and fringe theories” about a plan to merge the United States with Mexico and Canada and a shadowy relationship between President Barack Obama and Kenyan Prime Minister Rail Odinga. And the site has relentlessly covered the conspiracy theories about Obama’s citizenship, with hundreds of articles, several petitions, a billboard campaign, and a $17.99 in-house documentary on the issue.


    Rush Limbaugh (left) celebrates the release of his book "See, I Told You So," with collaborator Joseph Farah (right). (WNDBooks)

    But WorldNetDaily’s Web traffic, revenue, and influence are impressive. It frequently leads the pack in conservative online media. According to James R. Whelan, the Florida-based marketer who runs WorldNetDaily’s ad operations, the site has already surpassed $1 million in ad revenue for 2009. It has a mailing list of more than 355,000 e-mail addresses, which has been built up through tools like daily polls on the site, and has been rented (through third-party vendors) by the Republican National Committee.

    “I don’t listen to what idiots like Katie Couric say, about how this is a bad economy and how you can’t do business right now,” said Whelan. “We’re having a great year. We have a great, loyal audience, made up of politically active people who are more or less after the truth.”

    The driving force beyond the site’s financial success is its traffic. Whelan tells potential advertisers that the site reaches “6 million unique viewers every month.” That number is difficult to confirm with public information, but it’s not far off. According to siteanalytics.compete.com, WorldNetDaily had more than 1.9 million visitors in July, the month when the “birther” story peaked. That was the slowest month for the site in more than a year. In June, a more average month, it drew in more than 3.9 million visitors. For comparison, that month Free Republic had around 3.2 million visitors, The Washington Times had roughly 2.9 million, Townhall.com had 2.5 million, HotAir.com had 2.4 million, National Review had roughly 2.2 million, Human Events had 1.4 million, LewRockwell.com had 1.1 million, CNSNews.com had around 532,000, and The American Spectator had around 358,000. Among conservative news sites, only Fox News, with roughly 50 million monthly visitors, and Newsmax, with around 6.2 million in June, regularly beats out WND. It’s tougher sledding for Websites that attempt to carve out a more refined audience of conservatives: in June, David Frum’s New Majority had only 42,000 visitors. (According to Google Analytics, it fared quite a bit better at 72,000 unique visitors.) WND, unlike New Majority, has a permanent link at the Drudge Report; according to Alexa.com, Drudge accounts for 13 percent of WND’s traffic.

    “The problem is that the mainstream conservative world is not impermeable to this stuff,” Frum told TWI. He cited a persistent rumor that President Obama’s administration was setting up special camps to imprison its political foes. “The idea that the administration is setting up concentration camps has actually bled through to Fox News.”

    This week, the libertarian conservative blogger Jon Henke, a consultant who worked for Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) in 2006, challenged fellow conservatives not to buy ads or otherwise do business with the site. “No respectable organization,” wrote Henke, “should support the kind of fringe idiocy that WND peddles.” That inspired Joseph Farah, the founder and editor of the site, to attack Henke. And it didn’t inspire much fear in Whalen. “The heck with that guy,” Whalen told TWI.

    “On the Internet, the right is still divided into Web 1.0 and Web 2.0,” Henke told TWI. “There are news sites that arose in the 1990s and became popular with cultural conservatives, but never moved beyond. WorldNetDaily is one of those. And there needs to be a bright line in between the type of people or rhetoric or movements that traffic in conspiracy theories and the decent right.”

    While some Washington conservative distance themselves from WorldNetDaily (”I don’t know anyone who reads it,” said Henke), its associations with the rest of the movement run deep. Farah founded the site after a stint as a “newspaper doctor” led to hiring Rush Limbaugh as a columnist for the Sacramento Union, and after that led to a job co-writing Limbaugh’s book “See, I Told You So.”

    “Rush Limbaugh is generous, funny, encouraging, kind, and insightful,” Farah wrote in his 2007 memoir “Stop the Presses!: The Inside Story of the New Media Revolution.” “[W]orking closely with Rush Limbaugh on his bestselling book was a treat for me and a memory I will always cherish.”

    Farah founded WorldNetDaily two years after that, and has seldom had trouble bringing prominent conservatives into his orbit. In “Stop the Presses!” Farah recalled how Bill O’Reilly came to him in 2000 to launch an opinion column anchored at the site. “I want my show to be the number one cable show,” said O’Reilly, according to Farah. “I want to write a bestselling book. And I want to launch a nationally-syndicated newspaper column.” That year, political pollster Scott Rasmussen wrote a column for the site, too. In 2002, WorldNetDaily launched a publishing arm, WNDBooks, that would release political tracts and memoirs by Tom Tancredo, NRA Vice President Wayne LaPierre, and most impactfully, radio host Michael Savage. His first WNDBooks release, a collection of WND columns titled The Savage Nation, became their first New York Times #1 bestseller. Savage’s relationship with WND continues to provide them traffic — 6 percent of their readers arrive from his Website, according to Alexa.com — and his success would be matched in 2008 with the release of Corsi’s The Obama Nation.

    “I don’t think life is long enough to go around debunking the various ideas that have occurred to Jerome Corsi,” Frum told TWI.

    Corsi’s reporting is responsible for much of WND’s current notoriety. But the Van Jones model — relentlessly covering Obama appointees until the rest of the media notices–has gotten the best recent results. WND cited a 1977 book co-written by White House science czar John Holdren to report that he “called for forced abortions.” The site has run multiple articles about Cass Sunstein, the president’s nominee to run the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, alleging that he wanted to censor the Internet and that he favored “gun grabs” and “animal rights.” Not only have those allegations made it into the wider conservative media, they’ve fueled Republican holds on Sunstein’s nomination. WND’s coverage of the Obama birth certificate conspiracy, often written by Corsi, has been packaged as an ongoing, dogged investigation. Last month the site published an image of a forged “Kenyan birth certificate” appended with a column by Farah dealing with their editorial decision. “No one here has made a judgment that it is real,” Farah wrote. “What we did was report a fact – that California attorney Orly Taitz has filed a motion in federal court to determine its authenticity.”

    Asked by TWI about WND’s critics, and whether his reports could reach as wide an audience at WND as they could reach on the TV shows that have cooled to inviting him on, Corsi told TWI that the question answered itself.

    “If you didn’t consider WND effective,” said Corsi, “you wouldn’t be writing about us.”
    The Washington Independent » Far-Right Site Gains Influence in Obama Era

    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    *eyerolls at all of this*

    fail.
    Yup.
    Van Jones: A Moment of Truth For Liberal Institutions in the Veal Pen

    By: Jane Hamsher Sunday September 6, 2009 11:24 am

    I first met Van Jones when he was honored last year by the Campaign for America's Future at their gala dinner. He was being swarmed by all of the liberal institutional elite, who just could not be more full of praise for the impressive environmental leader and prison reform organizer. Everybody wanted Van Jones on their board. Everyone wanted him at their fundraisers. Everyone wanted a piece of his formidable limelight.

    Now he's been thrown under the bus by the White House for signing his name to a petition expressing something that 35% of all Democrats believed as of 2007 -- that George Bush knew in advance about the attacks of 9/11. Well, that and calling Republicans "assholes." I'm pretty sure that if you search through the histories of every single liberal leader at the CAF dinner that night, they have publicly said that and worse.


    So where are all the statements defending Van Jones by those who were willing to exploit him when it served their purpose? Why aren't they standing up and defending one of their own, who has done nothing that probably the majority of people in the Democratic party haven't done at one time or another? Is he no longer "one of their own?"

    Someone asked me over the weekend to be more explicit about what the term "veal pen" means:
    The veal crate is a wooden restraining device that is the veal calf's permanent home. It is so small (22" x 54") that the calves cannot turn around or even lie down and stretch and is the ultimate in high-profit, confinement animal agriculture.(1) Designed to prevent movement (exercise), the crate does its job of atrophying the calves' muscles, thus producing tender "gourmet" veal.

    []

    About 14 weeks after their birth, the calves are slaughtered. The quality of this "food," laden with chemicals, lacking in fiber and other nutrients, diseased and processed, is another matter. The real issue is the calves' experience. During their brief lives, they never see the sun or touch the Earth. They never see or taste the grass. Their anemic bodies crave proper sustenance. Their muscles ache for freedom and exercise. They long for maternal care. They are kept in darkness except to be fed two to three times a day for 20 minutes.
    Soon after the election, the Administration began corralling the big liberal DC interest groups into a variety of organizations and communication networks through which they telegraphed their wishes -- into a virtual veal pen. The 8:45 am morning call co-hosted by the "liberal" Center for American Progress, Unity 09, and Common Purpose are just a few of the overt ways that the White House controls its left flank and maintains discipline.

    My own experience with the Veal Pen came indirectly, when some of them had the temerity to launch a campaign against Blue Dogs. They were rebuked and humiliated in front of their peers as a lesson to them all at a Common Purpose meeting, which is run by lobbyist Erik Smith. White House communications director Ellen Moran attends. It isn't an arms-length relationship between these groups and the administration.

    A few weeks ago, Rahm Emanuel showed up at a Common Purpose meeting and called these liberal groups "fucking stupid" for going after Blue Dogs on health care and ordered them not to do so any more. Since that time, to the best of my knowledge, none of them have.

    These organizations may kid themselves that they're doing no harm, but that's not true. They are the institutional liberal validators who telegraph to liberals that there are problems, that things are happening that are not good for them. They are trusted to decode the byzantine rituals of government and let the public know when their interests are not being served, that it's time to pay attention and start making a racket. When they fail to perform that task, the public is left with a vague feeling of anxiety, intuitively understanding that something is wrong but not knowing who or what to blame.

    When the White House met with bankers after the AIG scandal and they said they didn't want to be criticized for getting huge bonuses paid for by taxpayers, the White House complied and "cooled their rhetoric." The President told the public that Timothy Geithner had been instructed to do everything in his power to claw back those bonuses, and the House passed a bill doing just that. But it died in the Senate.

    You remember all those campaigns by the unions, by the online groups, by liberal economics and finance organizations pushing the Senate to take it up?

    Yeah, me either.

    Which means that the teabaggers were in perfect position to harvest all of the discontent over the bank bailout, and no coherent liberal critique was offered. I heard it over and over again -- if you wanted to criticize the White House on financial issues, your institutional funding would dry up instantly. The Obama campaign successfully telegraphed to donors that they should cut off Fund for America, which famously led to its demise. It wasn't the last time something like that happened -- just ask those who were receiving institutional money who criticized the White House and saw their funding cut, at the specific request of liberal institutional leaders who now principally occupy their time by brown nosing friends and former co-workers in the White House.

    And so the groups in the DC veal pen stay silent. They leadership gets gets bought off by cocktail parties at the White House while the interests of their members get sold out. How many have openly pushed back against the Administration on Don't Ask, Don't Tell or DOMA? Well, not many. Most tried to satisfy their LGBT members by outsourcing activism to other organizations, or proving their bona fides by getting involved in the Prop 8 battle that is not directly toxic to the White House. It's a chickenshit sidestep that betrays the their members in the interest of personal gain, which they justify with feeble self-serving palliatives about the importance of "maintaining a seat at the table."

    Where are they on health care? Why aren't they running ads against the AMA, the hospitals, the insurance industry barons who have $700 million in stock options, PhRMA, the device manufacturers and the White House for doing back room deals with all of the above?

    Why are they not calling for the White House to release the details of those secret deals?

    Because they are participating in those deals, instead of trying to destroy them. Well, that and funneling millions of dollars in pass-throughs to their consultant friends that they are supposed to be spending on the health care fight.

    The truth is -- they've all been sucked into insulating the White House from liberal critique, and protecting the administration's ability to carry out a neoliberal agenda that does not serve the interests of their members. They spend their time calculating how to do the absolute minimum to retain their progressive street cred and still walk the line of never criticizing the White House.

    Liberals are told that the public option is an acceptable sacrifice such that we don't repeat the 54 seat swing to the GOP after health care failed in 1994. The President told Progressive members of Congress that they should think about the poor Blue Dogs (who by happy coincidence are sucking up all the health care lobbying dollars) who might face tough elections in 2010.

    Well, now that you bring it up, let's talk about 1994. The election came on the heels of NAFTA, which demoralized the liberal base and depressed turnout. Even as the GOP works hard to rile up their teabaggers base and push turnout numbers up for the 2010 midterm, Democrats are watching the public option die and seeing Van Jones thrown into the meat grinder so Blue Cross and the Blue Dogs can get a room. Telling progressives to go Cheney themselves to save the Blue Dogs could have horrendous consequences on downticket races across the country.

    So where are the liberal groups in all of this? Van Jones was a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. Where are they? As Jeremy Scahill notes, I guess they have better things to do, like argue for more war:
    Reading the Center for American Progress‘ new report supporting President Obama’s escalation of the US war against Afghanistan is a very powerful reminder of how much neoliberals and neocons are alike. This, of course, is not some genius observation, particularly since CAP and the neocons are making it hard to miss, what with their love triangle with the war. Indeed, CAP’s launch event for its report, "Sustainable Security in Afghanistan: Crafting an Effective and Responsible Strategy for the Forgotten Front," included a leading neocon, Frederick Kagan and was promoted by William Kristol’s new version of the Project for a New American Century, the Foreign Policy Initiative. So, here is part of what we are seeing unfold: Running parallel to the bi-partisan war machine within the official government is a coordinated campaign in the shadow government — the think tanks. Or, as Naomi Klein describes them, the people paid to think by the makers of tanks. CAPs particular role in this campaign appears to be attempting to sell Obama’s war.
    CAP's John Podesta is also a partner in the Podesta Group, his brother's lobbying shop that is representing WalMart against the Employee Free Choice Act. This morning on Fox & Friends, Podesta wouldn't say a word in Jones' defense for doing something no worse than what elected Republican members of Congress do on a daily basis. The message is loud and clear: incur the wrath of the right wing, and you're on your own.

    Wow, is that a way to encourage your team or what.

    If these groups, if these liberal leaders, let Jones just hang there while Glenn Beck pounds his chest and celebrates the scalp, we have no liberal institutions. What we have are a bunch of neoliberal enablers who have found a nice comfortable place in the DC establishment that they don't want to jeopardize, and place on the new K-Street gravy train that they don't want to lose. Dropping Van Jones from their rolodex is a small price to pay.

    If there is going to be a serious progressive movement in this country capable of standing up for health care against an industry that spends $1.4 million a day on lobbying, we can't just look to the members of the Progressive Caucus and say "hey, you, get something done." They need cover. They need to know that they will be supported. And people like Van Jones who have given their lives to causes we say we value like prison reform and environmental advocacy need to know that they will be defended, and not handed over to Glenn Beck as an acceptable casualty in the battle for K-Street dollars.

    So to all you liberal organizations in the "veal pen" -- this is your moment of truth. I get all your emails. And the next Common Purpose meeting is probably on Tuesday. If you can't get it together to at least put out a statement of support for Van Jones and condemn the White House for using him as a sacrificial lamb to right wing extremists that will devour us all if left unchecked, it's time to add "proudly liberal only when it doesn't matter" to your logo and be done with it.
    Campaign Silo » Van Jones: A Moment of Truth For Liberal Institutions in the Veal Pen

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    “This is a guy who is a self-avowed communist,” said Beck, “and he is in the Obama administration … this guy wasn’t a radical, and then was arrested. He spent six months in jail, came out a communist.”
    Everybody's a damn communist according to Beck.

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    Elite Member Fluffy's Avatar
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    Climate Change Skeptics Oust Jones With ‘Green Socialist’ Attacks

    Long-Time Libertarian 'Watermelon Environmentalist' Argument Takes Hold With Green Jobs Adviser

    By David Weigel 9/6/09 4:36 PM

    T. Boone Pickens and Van Jones at the National Clean Energy Summit 2.0 in Las Vegas. (Getty Images)

    The descent of Van Jones from a powerful job in Barack Obama’s administration to career-sinking political controversy happened at a stunning pace. On Aug. 10, the White House’s ousted special adviser for green jobs appeared at the National Clean Energy Summit 2.0 in Las Vegas, sharing a stage with Republican billionaire-turned wind power evangelist T. Boone Pickens. The next day, The Washington Post ran a warm, brief profile on Jones, calling him “a leader in a growing movement that aims to hit two major social and policy challenges–the struggling economy and environmental quality–with one boulder.” That was how the mainstream media and the business-friendly side of the environmental movement handled Jones, as a preternaturally gifted advocate for an everyone-wins green campaign.

    After midnight on Sept. 6, 2009, on one of the slowest news days of the year, Jones buckled under a multi-pronged assault on his record and associations, the most damaging being his 2002 and 2004 flirtations with the so-called “9/11 Truth” movement. He resigned from his post. “Opponents of reform have mounted a vicious smear campaign against me,” Jones said in a statement. “They are using lies and distortions to distract and divide… [but] I cannot in good conscience ask my colleagues to expend precious time and energy defending or explaining my past.”

    What Jones might have said, but did not, was that his downfall represented a crucial and possibly educational victory for the wing of the conservative and libertarian movement that has tried, without much success, to paint environmental activists like Jones as anti-capitalist radicals less interested in the health of the planet than in a well-disguised radical agenda.

    For years, Jones had been viewed by the conservative movement as a scam artist, a purveyor of what the libertarian economist and occasional Rush Limbaugh radio show guest-host Walter E. Williams once called “watermelon environmentalism.” The green movement, Williams argued, was socialism in disguise: green on the outside, red on the inside. (Williams, like Jones, is African American.) That critique has been repeated by conservative and libertarians for more than a decade, and it has found powerful advocates. In 2007, Czech Republic President Vaclav Klaus claimed that “the biggest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity at the beginning of the 21st century is not communism or its various softer variants,” but “the threat of ambitious environmentalism.” Later that year, Klaus’s arguments were translated and published in a book by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a libertarian think tank funded, in part, by the energy industry. And Klaus gave the keynote address at the think tank’s 2008 gala dinner. But in recent months, the “watermelon” attack had made it onto Glenn Beck’s Fox News show.

    “Do you like watermelon?” Beck asked sarcastically on the June 26 episode of his program.

    “I love watermelon,” responded Phil Kerpen, the director of policy for Americans for Prosperity.

    “I think this is a watermelon bill,” said Beck.

    “I think you’re exactly right,” said Kerpen. “This bill is green on the outside, the thinnest green on the outside. And inside, it’s deep communist red.”

    Still, before the Jones controversy, the “watermelon environmentalism” attack had been a relatively hard sell. In March, the conservative-libertarian City Journal ran a piece labeling Jones a “green hustler” and “[Jesse] Jackson version 2.0, eco-upgraded for the Great Warming.” In April, the popular right-wing Website WorldNetDaily ran the first in a series of Jones exposes asking whether a “red” would “help blacks go green.” Attacks on Jones remained obscure enough in May that Meg Whitman, a policy adviser to both Mitt Romney’s and John McCain’s presidential campaigns, gushed to reporters about how she “loved” what Jones was doing.

    Not until late July, when Fox’s Glenn Beck started warning his viewers about Jones with some of the same evidence produced by WorldNetDaily, did the long-term campaign against “watermelon environmentalism” go viral. Beck’s reports on Jones leaned heavily on a sympathetic 2005 profile from the East Bay Express, an Oakland, Calif. alternative weekly paper, in which Jones said he became a “communist” after the Rodney King verdict, and detailed his days at the head of a radical chic organization called STORM (Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement). This was a history Jones had been open about for years. But in July, and especially after Color of Change–a civil rights group co-founded by Jones–began pressuring advertisers to drop Beck’s show, Beck and other Fox News personalities ran story after story on how communism was at the root of Jones’s environmentalism. One moment on the Sept. 3 episode of Sean Hannity’s prime time news show, with a small panel, including Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle and conservative pundit S.E. Cupp, digging into the story, was typical of the coverage.

    SEAN HANNITY: He’s a communist. I mean avowed.

    KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE: Yes.

    S.E. CUPP: Self-avowed. Yes.

    KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE: Self-avowed communist.

    Reached on Sunday by TWI, some of the people who’d been in the trenches making the case against “watermelon environmentalism” were not yet sure if the Jones story was a one-time incident, a self-inflicted injury on the green movement, or the kick-off of a wave of new attention on the environmental movement.

    “I think the Jones case is a great example of the green outside-red inside phenomenon,” said Matthew Vadum, a senior editor at the conservative Capital Research Center who has appeared on Beck’s Fox News show and wrote more than a dozen items about Jones for the American Spectator. “With the exception of the 9/11 trutherism, I don’t think Van Jones’s views are much different from those in the environmentalist movement as a whole. Environmentalism isn’t about saving the planet: It’s about controlling the behavior of people.”

    Vadum was not sure about the long-term impact of Jones’s downfall, as some early media coverage of the controversy has honed in on an early 2009 video of Jones calling Republicans who didn’t support climate change legislation “assholes,” which came to light hours before the 9/11 papers. “The mainstream media ignored this throughout and even now is characterizing his departure as based on calling Republicans nasty names, which is but a smidgeon of the whole story.”

    Kerpen, who appeared on Beck’s show many times to provide more analysis of the socialism-environmentalism connection, was happy to see Jones go. But he worried that the “watermelon” issue was gaining less traction than the generic issue of “czars,” policy advisers given executive branch jobs without Senate approval.

    “It’s more important to follow through on the politics of ‘green jobs’ and use the Van Jones affair to fight that concept and cap-and-trade than to pursue other czars,” said Kerpen. “My primary interest has always been using this to win policy fights.”
    The Washington Independent » Climate Change Skeptics Oust Jones With ‘Green Socialist’ Attacks

  14. #14
    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    “Opponents of reform have mounted a vicious smear campaign against me,” Jones said in a statement. “They are using lies and distortions to distract and divide… [but] I cannot in good conscience ask my colleagues to expend precious time and energy defending or explaining my past.”
    While he's right about the smear campaign, he hasn't handled the situation well.

    When it came to his signing the petition, a simple "I signed the petition, but in retrospect it wasn't the smartest move and I sincerely regret it" would've sounded better than "The petition doesn't reflect my views, etc...oh, but I signed it anyway."

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    Elite Member MontanaMama's Avatar
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    When is Glen Beck having his name changed to Joseph McCarthy? Maybe we should just petition a court to have it changed, might cut down on any confusion. Assholes.
    If i hear one more personal attack, i will type while drunk, then you can cry! - Bugdoll
    (716): I'd call her a cunt, but she doesn't seem to have the depth or warmth
    Quote Originally Posted by shedevilang View Post
    (Replying to MontanaMama) This is some of the smartest shit I ever read

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