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

  1. #16
    Elite Member Penny Lane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MontanaMama View Post
    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.
    I'd sign that petition.. this really is just a political witch hunt in the name of spite, fear, and ignorance. I guess socialism is the new communism. Consider me a sympathizer. Third "Red" scare, anyone?

  2. #17
    Elite Member Fluffy's Avatar
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    At least someone was prepared to fight for Van Jones, unlike the Obama Administration
    September 06, 2009

    We All Blew It

    Washington, D.C. -- Thursday evening I got worried. Friday I put in a call to ask Van Jones how to help. Saturday I started writing a blog post, which would have appeared this morning. (I've attached it below because it goes into more detail on the history of the "Bush as addict" meme.) But on Saturday night, Van resigned, and this morning I was sick at heart. Collectively we -- the environmental community, progressives, and the Obama administration -- blew this, and we let our cause, our president, and Van Jones down.

    This was a lynch mob and, when it started forming a month ago, we didn't take it seriously enough. When I saw the first Glenn Beck piece on Van Jones and the Apollo Alliance as the new vast left-wing conspiracy, I could not take it seriously. Silence enabled Fox to keep pushing. The statements for which Jones apologized -- the reference to the right as "assholes" and saying that Bush was talking "like a crack-head" were such ordinary political discourse -- think Rahm Emmanuel, think Dick Cheney saying "fuck yourself" to Senator Leahy, think Tom Friedman dubbing Bush "the addict-in-chief" -- that I didn't understand why an apology was necessary; I assumed it would blow over.

    Well, that was a mistake. So was the decision by the White House to treat the initial attacks not as part of an assault on the president but, instead, to allow them to be viewed as being about Van Jones. What we underestimated was the power of the fact that both Jones and the Barack Obama are black. Yes, the hysteria was about politics -- I don't think Fox News really cares about Jones's ethnicity -- but it was enabled by race. Calling Bush a "crack-head" is seen by a large part of America as worse than calling him "addict-in-chief" because crack is not just a drug -- it is a drug used largely by black people. It reminds those Americans who are still uncomfortable with Barack Obama that we have a black president.

    What was the reactionary right up to on Friday? They sent operatives out to San Quentin prison to obtain videotapes of workshops that Van Jones conducted there while he was working to help prisoners transition back to society. (The inmates wouldn't let them get their hands on them -- they knew, before I did, how serious this was.) They were cuing up video clips from teenagers that Jones taught in the Oakland ghetto in 2000. If you watch the infamous "assholes" video carefully, it's clear that what Jones was saying was that Republicans play hardball better than Democrats, and that we need to start playing by their rules. He said it, though, in the language of his own community -- and that, at the end of the day, was his crime. He spoke to and was of a part of an America that Fox and the reactionary right would like to put back on the plantation or pretend is not part of our nation.

    Anyone who has been an effective advocate for these communities has said things that will sound shocking to people in some other parts of America -- just as anyone who genuinely represents certain evangelical communities will have beliefs about morality that more-secular Americans might have a hard time with.

    So lynch mobs can form up from all perspectives. This one, though, was clearly not spontaneous. It was organized by the Republicans as part of a conscious strategy, and it is only the first. We should be critical of ourselves for having blown this one. But we shouldn't forgive either ourselves or the Administration if the next time we sense this happening we don't fight back harder, faster, and in a way that calls a mob a mob, racism racism, and an attack on the president an attack on America.

    Here's the post I started yesterday:


    Breaking News: "George W. Bush Says Americans Are Crack-Heads"


    Well, of course, that quote is not breaking, and it's not news. It's a slight paraphrase from the ex-president's 2006 State of the Union message. The full quote was, "America is addicted to oil, which is often imported from unstable parts of the world." Of course, for two more years Bush presided over a "drill baby drill" energy policy.

    Even so, presidential candidate John McCain sort of went along for a while with the addiction idea, saying our dependence had been thirty years in the making. And later, when McCain, too, jumped on the "drill, baby drill" bandwagon, California Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger told the country: "America is so addicted to oil it will take us years to wean ourselves from it, and to look for new ways to feed our addiction is not the answer." By June 2008, New York Times columnist Tom Friedman was calling Bush "our addict in chief."

    So, somehow, describing former President Bush as being an oil addict shouldn't reallybe breaking news.

    So why is the reactionary right in a complete frothing tizzy this summer that, more than year ago, Van Jones, one of the key rising clean-energy advocates in the country, acerbically described Bush's "drill baby drill" rhetoric as sounding like "a crack-head"?

    (Full disclosure: I once called Mike Curb, the lieutenant governor of California, "an uninformed turkey" for wanting to increase the amount of lead in gasoline. Fuller disclosure, I am a friend of Van Jones, I have been featured with him in a video dialogue on our political upbringings, and I served with him on the board of the Apollo Alliance.)

    And why did Fox News go after Jones but not Friedman, not Schwarzenegger, not even Presidential Science Advisor John Holdren, who in July of '06 criticized the president for failing to follow through and help us kick our "oil addiction"?

    There are three possible reasons. They are connected, and it is their connection that is important.

    1) Van Jones, unlike everyone else I have quoted on the topic of our oil addiction and George Bush's complicity with it, is African-American.

    2) By specifying that Bush's addiction was "crack-head"-like, Jones linked Bush to a drug largely used in the black community.

    3) Van Jones works for the first black man to be elected president.

    This is about politics, but it is empowered by race. If you doubt that, consider that Fox and Glenn Beck have been after Jones for a month -- but only since Beck began losing advertisers over his accusations that Obama was a racist.

    The campaign to get advertisers to cancel their sponsorship of Beck's program was launched by Color of Change, a grassroots organization that Van Jones helped found.

    This trumped-up controversy has been bounced back and forth for the last month in the right-wing echo chamber -- from one Fox show to another, off to the reactionary blogs, but dangerously it broke out into CBS this week.

    How did the reactionaries get CBS to pick this up? In part by screaming "coverup" when the mainstream media ignored this non-news as, well, non-news.

    Jones is an extraordinarily important leader. He cares, passionately, about helping young men and women find their way in the world, even if they had the misfortune to grow up in bad neighborhoods or make bad choices -- and he sees in a new green economy a powerful instrument to heal their lives. But that kind of hope is profoundly threatening to Glenn Beck and people like him. When it comes from a black man, they reach back to an old and ugly instinct.

    This is a lynch mob in the making.
    Taking the Initiative: Carl Pope's Blog - Sierra Club

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by MontanaMama View Post
    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.
    He sure is acting that way.

    Van Jones has become a distraction - and he shouldn't have signed the "truther" petition. But now, I'd like to see someone hit back (politically) at Beck. Beck's views are even more whacked out than whatever Jones said or did, and the Dems should start holding the right and the GOP politicians accountable for Beck and for Limbaugh.

  4. #19
    Silver Member cockfosters's Avatar
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    ugh. You knew this was coming after he got his first scalp. Get ready for the next round of crazy.

    Glenn Beck’s Next Target: Cass Sunstein


    As he makes a real impact in pushing conservative fringe attacks on Obama administration officials into the mainstream, Glenn Beck’s Twitter feed has become a must-read. In a message from last night, Beck told his followers to “FIND EVERYTHING YOU CAN ON CASS SUNSTEIN, MARK LLOYD AND CAROL BROWNER.” They are, respectively, the nominee to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, the Associate General Counsel and Chief Diversity Officer of the FCC, and the Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change. Browner was also administrator of the EPA for all eight years of Bill Clinton’s presidency.


    Beck’s ostensible purpose here is to expose the “czars” who’ve been appointed by the president. Sunstein stands out like a sore thumb, as he’s been tied up by holds and filibusters for months, and Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) only filed for cloture on his nomination at the start of August.
    How has Sunstein become so controversial? Basically, conservative Websites have read his iconoclastic, theoretical writing and pumped up the bits that sound really strange. A current example comes from CNSNews.com.


    Outlined in the 2008 book “Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness,” Sunstein and co-author Richard H. Thaler argued that the main reason that more people do not donate their organs is because they are required to choose donation. … This problem could be remedied if governments changed the laws for organ donation, they said. Currently, unless a patient has explicitly chosen to be an organ donor, either on his driver’s license or with a donor card, the doctors assume that the person did not want to donate and therefore do not harvest his organs. Thaler and Sunstein called this “explicit consent.”
    The CNSNews headline:



    The Washington Independent » Glenn Beck’s Next Target: Cass Sunstein
    Enjoy the liquor and delicatessen.

  5. #20
    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    So - what needs to be done to shut Beck up? Yeah, I'm for free speech and all that other shit, but when it turns into lynch mob mentality and begins costing people their careers and their ways of life, it's gone too far and somebody needs to make sure it's checked. I'm sure Beck thinks he's some Rethug hero now.

  6. #21
    Elite Member Fluffy's Avatar
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    ^I don't know. The people who are going to watch him are going to do so as long as he's on the air. Although, if the right-wing nutjobs blow something up like McVeigh, then I'd be curious to see how they all react, including Beck.

  7. #22
    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Glenn Beck isn't going anywhere. He's on a network that caters to fringe nutjobs and he has a loyal following just like Rush. The only thing that will derail Beck will be a complete psychotic break or he falls off the wagon and becomes a drunk again.

  8. #23
    Elite Member WhoAmI's Avatar
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    ^^Agree. He's not going anywhere unless he actually pull out a gun and shoots someone within full view of witnesses. Nothing happened to Limpballs when it was found he was illegally purchasing drugs.

    Having advertisers drop him didn't make a damn bit of difference, because they're all (as far as I know) still advertising on Fox.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingcap72 View Post
    Glenn Beck isn't going anywhere. He's on a network that caters to fringe nutjobs and he has a loyal following just like Rush. The only thing that will derail Beck will be a complete psychotic break or he falls off the wagon and becomes a drunk again.
    Maybe if Beck starts drinking again, he might get sane.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by visitor42 View Post
    Maybe if Beck starts drinking again, he might get sane.
    That would be funny. But I think Beck is one of those angry drunks.

  11. #26
    Silver Member cockfosters's Avatar
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    GOP Surrenders to Beck's Mob Rule

    When Glenn Beck made his Fox debut, some shrewd conservatives responded with a wink. Maybe the show was paranoid and hysterical. Maybe Beck was none too scrupulous about facts and truth. But why be squeamish? The other side did as bad, or nearly. And see how usefully he mobilized the base!


    Those shrewd conservatives assumed Beck was working for them. Big mistake. Beck is working for himself – and he chooses his targets according to his own scheme of priorities.


    The newest target is Cass Sunstein, confirmed yesterday by the Senate as director of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs within the Office of Management and Budget.


    For more about Sunstein, see Tim Mak’s adjoining report. Bottom line: For those who champion free competitive markets, Cass Sunstein is about the best possible choice to be hoped for from a Democratic administration.
    I arrive at this opinion through first hand knowledge. I studied in one of Cass Sunstein’s seminars at Harvard Law School, and witnessed for two hours per week the fair play of his mind. But it’s not only my opinion. It’s the opinion of: Chris DeMuth, past president of the American Enterprise Institute; of the Wall Street Journal editorial page; and of the editors of Cato’s Regulation magazine. And while Republican-appointed judges like Chief Justice John Roberts and Court of Appeals Judge Michael McConnell cannot properly express a view, I’d wager dollars-to-doughnuts they too support Sunstein: after all, he endorsed both of them.


    Nor is it only American conservatives who admire Sunstein. British Conservative Party leader David Cameron has approvingly quoted Sunstein’s latest book, Nudge (co-authored with University of Chicago economist Richard Thayer).
    Indeed, Cameron has recommended Sunstein’s work so forcefully that the left-leaning British newspaper The Guardian sardonically calls Nudge, Cameron’s “favorite American import.”


    So how is it that this man so admired by economic conservatives worldwide, this market-oriented economist, this endorser of Republican Supreme Court nominees, and – by the way – this constitutional scholar who has endorsed the Heller case expanding Second Amendment gun rights - how could he of all the 10,000 political appointees of the Obama administration become a demon figure to Fox TV’s new star?
    The stated answer – watch here – is that Sunstein is a crazed animal rights fanatic who wants to grant monkeys the right to sue and allow people to execute their retarded children.


    Now it might seem ambitious to try to defeat an administration nominee on the grounds that he is not cruel enough to animals. Here is what Sunstein himself has to say: Laws against animal cruelty have been on the books for years. (Oklahoma’s date back to 1887). They command broad assent, from conservatives as well as liberals. Sunstein argues against trying to enact new laws, and in favor of enforcing existing laws. It’s striking that Beck never actually quotes Sunstein. Beck instead relies instead on an argument from pure assertion: Sunstein opposes animal cruelty, the Princeton philosopher Peter Singer also opposes animal cruelty, therefore Sunstein must agree with everything Peter Singer has ever said or written.
    This is beyond sloppy, beyond ignorant, proceeding straight toward the deceptive.


    To anyone who knows anything – anything! – about what Cass Sunstein has actually written or actually said, it’s a travesty and scandal. And ironically enough, if successful, it would have been a travesty and scandal in which conservatives would find themselves the main victims.


    Had Cass Sunstein somehow been stopped, the next OIRA nominee would certainly have been less favorable to markets, enterprise, and competition. The next nominee would not have supported John Roberts and Michael McConnell, would not have chaired seminars with the American Enterprise Institute, might not have been endorsed by the Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers, and very likely would not have shared with conservatives so many of the values that Beck purports to uphold but in fact betrays.


    Glenn Beck is not the first to make a pleasant living for himself by reckless defamation. We have seen his kind before in American journalism and American politics, and the good news is that their careers never last long. But the bad news is that while their careers do last, such people do terrible damage.


    Republican senators know the truth about Cass Sunstein – that’s why only 33 Republican senators voted “no” on the cloture vote on his nomination, the vote that mattered. Yet unfortunately they also fear the wild disinformation broadcast by Fox News and credulously believed by millions of Fox viewers. So the final vote on the nomination of this best friend conservatives are likely ever to have inside the administration was 57-40, with only a handful of Republicans voting in favor.


    The Senate’s most left-wing member, Bernie Sanders, intelligently voted “nay.” There’s one person at least who did not allow himself to be hustled out of his principles by a television loudmouth.


    With only two exceptions, however, all the Senate’s Democrats present voted aye. That’s perhaps the final irony of this strange episode: I wonder whether so many liberals would have voted in favor of Sunstein if Beck had not denounced him.


    The ultimate happy ending of the story should not however close the page on this appalling episode of broadcast recklessness and political cowardice. We conservatives are submitting our movement to some of the most unscrupulous people in American life. This submission disgraces conservatism, discredits Republicans, and damages the country. It’s beyond time for conservatives who know better to join us at NewMajority in emancipating ourselves from leadership by the most stupid, the most cynical, and the most truthless.


    GOP Surrenders to Beck’s Mob Rule
    Enjoy the liquor and delicatessen.

  12. #27
    Elite Member Fluffy's Avatar
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    Van Jones sent this message out to friends and supporters on Tuesday, Sept. 15.

    Dear Friends:

    My family and I want to thank everyone for the outpouring of love and support that we have received over the past week or so. I resigned from the White House on Sept. 6, and I have remained silent since then—in keeping with my promise not to be a distraction during a key moment in the Obama Presidency.

    Over the past several days, however, many people have been asking how they can help and what they can do.

    The main thing is this: please do everything you can to support both President Obama and the green jobs movement. Winning real change is ultimately the best response to these kinds of smear campaigns.

    I ask everyone to:

    1. Support President Obama’s efforts to fix our nation’s health care, energy and education systems. His victory last fall did not represent the “finish line” in the fight to renew America; his election was just the “starting line.” This autumn, it is time to make history again—with victories on health care and clean energy.

    2. Sign up to support groups that are working for green jobs.

    As others seek to vilify or marginalize the movement for a clean energy economy, the leading groups deserve increased support. This is the year to ensure that the clean energy transformation creates good job opportunities for everyone in America.

    3. Spread the green jobs gospel. The ideas and ideals of the green jobs movement are grounded in fundamental American values—innovation, entrepreneurship, and equal opportunity. My true thoughts can be found in my book: The Green Collar Economy. Check it out from the library—or order a copy and share it with a friend. See for yourself why clean energy and green jobs are good for our country.

    4. Stay connected and speak up for me via your favorite blogs (e.g., Huffington Post, Grist, Jack & Jill, etc.), on message boards and all of your favorite social networking platforms (Twitter, Facebook, etc.). Supporters have set up a couple of them, to help you stay engaged, including: I Stand With Van Jones and I Love Van Jones.

    In due course, I will be offering my perspective on what has happened—including correcting the record about false charges. In the meantime, I must get my family affairs in order and sort through numerous offers and options.

    I want to be clear that I have nothing but love and admiration for President Obama and the entire administration. White House staffers are there to serve and support the President, not the other way around. At this critical moment in history, I could not in good conscience ask my colleagues to expend precious time and energy defending or explaining my past. The White House needs all its hands on deck, fighting for the future.

    Of course, some supporters actually think I will be more effective on the “outside.” Maybe so. But those ideas always remind me of that old canard about Winston Churchill. After he lost a hard-fought election, a friend told him: “Winston, this really is just a blessing in disguise.” Churchill quipped: “Damned good disguise.” I can certainly relate to that sentiment right now.

    Nonetheless, we must keep moving forward. Let’s continue our work to make an America as good as its promise. These are historic times. And we have a lot more history to make.

    Sincerely,
    Van Jones
    A message from Van Jones | Grist

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