Environmentalism

Mr. Jones Goes From Washington, But His Green-Jobs Voodoo Economics Remains

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There is no improving on Jacob Sullum's take on Green Czar Anthony "Van" Jones, who resigned over the weekend. Excerpt:

More troubling than any of this, because it is potentially far more consequential, is Jones' belief, expressed in his book The Green Collar Economy, that dramatically reducing carbon dioxide emissions not only won't cost anything but will actually benefit the economy by creating jobs. I debated this subject with Jones on a radio show last year, and my impression was that he is a true believer in the broken planet fallacy. The problem is that Jones was hired not despite but because of this nutty idea, which his boss also espouses.

That pretty much sums up my interest in the underlying, Glenn Beck-fueled controversy. But post-resignation, it's been fascinating to watch the many media witnesses to Van Jones' defense. "Beck's goal in Jones case: Scare whites," thundered Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell. "[L]et's stop pretending that the fierce opposition from the right isn't racism. It is."

More interesting than the reflexive racism claims are attempts by Jones' friends to explain just how perfect he was for that job. Interesting, because each extended testimonial to the man's dazzling abilities makes me less, not more, inclined to want him anywhere near the public teat.

For instance, today I received an e-mail touting "Van Jones' Greatest moment," which was apparently this December 2007 pep talk to nonprofit workers. Inspiring stuff, I am sure (well, minus the mythical "socialist paradise" he invokes, in which "everything's going well, people are being served, and all the children are happy"), but what exactly does an aimed-at-activists inspirational speech (one in which he claims that he's "never even met a Republican") have to do with helping create environmentally friendly jobs?

Arianna Huffington, in her widely linked apologia, says that what Jones "does best" is "inspire and energize groups around the country. Student groups and labor groups and small business groups and middle class Americans everywhere who are losing jobs and losing homes and losing hope." Again, oratory skills are impressive, but what does that have to do with the price of solar photovoltaic cells? More Huffington:

Back in 2002, I wrote

Never forget!

about how the staid and anything-but-radical heads of the World Economic Forum had invited him to their conference and honored him as a "Global Leader for Tomorrow." Jones had been protesting the World Trade Organization in Seattle and the International Monetary Fund in Washington. But that didn't keep him from exchanging ideas with the rich and powerful at the Forum, or from keeping an open mind.

"The people I've met here," Van told me at the time, "are much more thoughtful, complex, and concerned about social issues than either the left or the media portray them to be."

That's a sound bite you're not likely to see being endlessly replayed on Fox News. But that's the real Van Jones, not the caricature the Fox echo chamber has been pummeling for the last few weeks.

So: The "real Van Jones" protests against international trade agreements and the global elite, and then has some nice things to say about the Davos crowd after they gave him an award. Sounds like a very successful activist and self-promoter, and possibly someone with some curious-at-best notions about economics. Is that good enough for government work?

Oh hell yes, says Eboo Patel, in a Washington Post post entitled "Van Jones, Patriot." Says Patel: "Any company would want Van as its chief executive officer, any church would want him as a bishop."

To bolster this argument Patel (like many others these past few days) linked to this January 2009 New Yorker profile of Jones, written by Elizabeth Kolbert. Though it is an extended piece of highly credulous flattery (headline: "Greening the Ghetto: Can a remedy serve for both global warming and poverty?"), the article contains enough reporting to demonstrate convincingly that Jones–who only moved to environmentalism about five years ago, after being previously concerned with criminal justice issues–has no earthly idea just how his "Clean Energy Jobs Bill" can be transformed from four-word Democratic campaign slogan to a policy that actually creates, you know, green jobs. On the other hand, you walk away convinced that Van Jones is a helluva speaker, and very effective at convincing people to give him money. Sample:

Inside job

He began contacting environmental groups. Most were so eager to shed their all-white image that, knowing next to nothing about him, they invited him to speak to their members and put him on the programs of their conferences. He also began applying for grant money, which he planned to use to bring green jobs to Oakland. In 2004, he persuaded a New York-based philanthropy called the Nathan Cummings Foundation to give him two hundred and fifteen thousand dollars.

"We called all these community meetings, did these retreats, and at the end of the day we had some great photographs, a couple of pamphlets, and not one job," he recalled. "It was a complete and utter failure." Jones went back to the foundation and asked for another two hundred and fifteen thousand dollars, which he got.

"Then we wasted it all again," he said. "Because we still didn't know what we were doing." Gradually, Jones came to see that businesses weren't going to locate in Oakland because some well-meaning nonprofit asked them to. Instead of doing freelance economic-development work, he began to think that he should focus his efforts on public policy. […]

In June, 2007, a measure authorizing the U.S. Department of Labor to spend a hundred and twenty-five million dollars to train workers for green jobs was introduced in the House. The bill, now called the Green Jobs Act, provided targeted funds for low-income trainees. A few months later, the bill was incorporated into a much larger piece of legislation, the Energy Independence and Security Act, and was approved by Congress and signed into law by President Bush in December, 2007. Around this time, Jones left the Ella Baker Center to found Green for All. The organization now has a staff of twenty-five and an annual budget of four million dollars. […]

Portrait of an environmentalist as a young man

Still, the mechanics of creating green jobs—or even what jobs should qualify for the title—have yet to be worked out. At the same time that the President-elect has said that he wants to promote "green" economic growth, much—perhaps most—of the stimulus package is likely to be devoted to projects, like highway expansion, that will have precisely the opposite effect. In the days that I followed Jones around, I heard several people who ran training programs in green professions complain that once their students had graduated they couldn't find work. (Jones's response was that they ought to lobby for more federal support.) […]

Jones's response to such critiques is, in effect, to do them one better. Yes, it may be difficult to address climate change and poverty at the same time, he says, but it's even harder to do so separately. "You've got to have a holistic, integrated set of solutions or you're going to wind up with half your energy being used up to fight 'Drill, baby, drill!'" he told me. "People say, 'Oh, we'll take a shortcut.' Well, those shortcuts are a lot longer than they look."

This is economic policy by sloganeering, and, when that fails to deliver, hitting the federal government up for more money. Ultimately that should be more embarrassing, and is definitely more telling about the economic policies of this administration, than signing some Bush-knew petition.

For a beyond-sloganeering look at clean-energy technologies, bookmark Science Correspondent Ronald Bailey's great June cover story, "It's Alive: Alternative energy subsidies make their biggest comeback since Jimmy Carter," and its companion piece on "Energy Futures." As for Van Jones' favorite two-word euphemism, start here.

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  1. Best post title…oh, nevermind.

  2. What a hustler. He reminds me of Ward Churchill. Here is a guy who knows nothing except that if you have the right color of skin and spout the right rethoric, white people will give you jobs and awards. You kind of have to admire him in a sick sort of way.

    I also would like to know how playing Youtube clips of the guy actually speaking and showing the petition he actually signed amounts to a “smear campaign”.

  3. I hear Van Jones did a great job when he brought the monorail to North Haverbrook.

  4. Gotta love all the fetuses defending a retarded fetus.

  5. I am willing to bet money that within the next year or two, Hollywood is going to make a biopic about this race hustler starring Denzel Washington.

  6. But I can understand why Dem activists are shocked by this. Don’t something like 35% of self identified Dems believe 9-11 might have been an inside job? Don’t most hardcore Dems honestly believe that replacing fossile fuels with more expensive and less reliable green fuels is the way to prosperity?

    In the end, Jones is no crazier than the rest of them.

  7. Every liberal who defends Jones is admitting, by their action, that as far as they’re concerned the statement “I am a Communist,” just isn’t as bad as the statement “I am a Nazi.”

    And the reason for this has to be that they view the first statement more favorably because at some level they think that being a Communist just really isn’t that bad. It’s something almost expected – “Well, any good person might go through an idealistic phase where they think they’re a Communist.” There’s just no other conclusion to draw.

    The disgraceful thing about the Jones episode isn’t that Jones had to resign. It’s that it was necessary for him to be shown to be a Truther before he had to resign. Just being shown to be a self-proclaimed Communist was not sufficient.

  8. I’ve got to agree with Fluffy. I can accept someone being a truther to some extent (there are different types of truthers after all), but being an admitted communist is a whole other ball of wax. That the communist bombshell was a dud and it took the truther label to put an end to his tenure shows the sad state of this nation IMHO.

  9. Instead of doing freelance economic-development work, he began to think that he should focus his efforts on public policy.

    “Hmm, i can’t seem to convince others to align with my goals. I’d better start trying to get the law changed so i can make them.”

  10. “And the reason for this has to be that they view the first statement more favorably because at some level they think that being a Communist just really isn’t that bad. It’s something almost expected – “Well, any good person might go through an idealistic phase where they think they’re a Communist.” There’s just no other conclusion to draw.”

    Of course that is what they believe Fluffy. Have you ever hung out much around Progressives? There are lots of them who privately at least claim to be communists without one ounce of shame. There are hundreds of tenured professors who claim to be “Marxist” historians or economists or Indian Chiefs or whatever. The Left has never come to terms with the crimes of communism and never will. These are the people who think the great crime of the 1950s (worldwide) was McCarthyism instead of say the invasion of Hungary or the Great Leap Forward.

  11. This is economic policy by sloganeering

    Doesn’t that sum up the left’s general method of economic policy making?

  12. NOTE: I previously had the penultimate paragraph in this post mistakenly indented, in such a way to make it look like it was from The New Yorker. Sorry!

    Carry on.

  13. Every liberal who defends Jones is admitting, by their action, that as far as they’re concerned the statement “I am a Communist,” just isn’t as bad as the statement “I am a Nazi.”

    Uh, this is the way it’s always been. I’ve met people who would unabashedly state that they are “communists” with pride. Nazi? No way; they’d have to be some white supremacist piece of shit. Communists are considered “idealistic”.

  14. Any company would want Van as its chief executive officer,

    Name one.

    I love the way his first foray into green jobs creation was, by his own admission, a total failure. So Obama taps him to head national green job creation.

  15. Of course that is what they believe Fluffy. Have you ever hung out much around Progressives? There are lots of them who privately at least claim to be communists without one ounce of shame.

    Right, but at the same time they go berserk if anyone claims that their ideas are socialistic or on a spectrum of left-wing thinking that includes Communism.

  16. Communists are considered “idealistic”.

    Don’t forget misunderstood! They really aren’t bloodthirsty, power-mad tyrants. That’s just one more lie spread by the Republicans.

  17. It is a mundane example but it says a lot. There was a Seinfeld episode where Elaine was dating a communist. The guy was portrayed as kind of a goofy idealist who wore plain colored clothes. Never would anyone make a sitcom episode where a comic subplot involved one of the characters knowingly dating a Nazi. The Left has succeeded in making communism, despites its crimes, be considered a mainstream if curious belief system.

  18. Xeones,

    Well said. And I’m surprised nobody’s said anything about the Bono pic yet. :p

  19. John, I wouldn’t say “mainstream”, but depicted as harmless, yeah.

  20. “The disgraceful thing about the Jones episode isn’t that Jones had to resign. It’s that it was necessary for him to be shown to be a Truther before he had to resign. Just being shown to be a self-proclaimed Communist was not sufficient.”

    According to Axelrod, the White House wanted him to stay.

  21. “Right, but at the same time they go berserk if anyone claims that their ideas are socialistic or on a spectrum of left-wing thinking that includes Communism.”

    That is kind of curious. You see that on here with the real left trolls. They will in one thread claim that capitalism is dead and only socialism can work. And then without missing a beat scream bloody murder on the next thread when someone accuses Obama of being a socialist.

  22. The real story here of course isn’t being addressed by hardly anyone except a handful of media conservatives and bloggers, and the real story has almost nothing to do with Van Jones and everything to do with our “post-racial”, “moderate” president, Barack Obama, and what a total bill of goods the American people were sold in the election.

    Needless to say, Obama is such a freaking coward that he won’t even make any kind of direct statement about Van Jones and what a guy like him was doing being hired in the first place. Of course it sure helps a lot when 90% of the media consists of your lapdogs and sycophants.

  23. John, Check My Beautiful Laundrette, where one of the two main characters is an ex-skinhead.

  24. And I’m surprised nobody’s said anything about the Bono pic yet.

    I’m sure everybody here is familiar with this story, but it’s one of my favorites: U2 was performing in Scotland, and Bono, typically, took a moment to grandstand. After silencing the audience, he began clapping his hands slowly, once every few seconds. “Every time i clap my hands, a child dies of starvation,” he said. A thick brogue came from the crowd: “Well then, stop fookin’ doin’ it, ye evil bastard!”

  25. Art-P.O.G. | September 8, 2009, 2:25pm | #

    Yeah I know. No wonder he won:

    2008 – Best Dressed Environmental List (#1 of 30); Sustainable Style Foundation

  26. “John, Check My Beautiful Laundrette, where one of the two main characters is an ex-skinhead.”

    Ex or current? Interesting.

    Mike M,

    Look around the leftist blogs and you will find this guy is not out of the mainstream for them. Like I said above, Jones is no crazier than the rest of them.

  27. 1. I haven’t followed this that closely, but some of what I’ve heard make Jones sound like a racist, both his quotes and (unconfirmed) comments like the comment here. It’s odd that that side of things wasn’t highlighted.

    2. The horrific petition he signed – a document worse than MeinKampf and the LittleRedBook and the StnstsBbl combined – outrageously asked why no one from the Bush admin was fired for gross incompetence. Can you imagine that? What monster could ask such a question like that. It’s good that that was his downfall, because asking things like that is akin to believing in ShadowPeopleFromPlutoDrivingUFOs.

    3. On a related note, Ed Morrissey realizes that the Dems and the MSM are going to strike back, but he’s not smart enough to figure out what to do about it.

    4. Assignment: which companies would have profited from Jones being in place and which will profit from him leaving?

  28. John,

    Never would anyone make a sitcom episode where a comic subplot involved one of the characters knowingly dating a Nazi.

    An episode of Seinfeld had George falling in love with a Nazi in the back of a limo.

  29. That is kind of curious. You see that on here with the real left trolls. They will in one thread claim that capitalism is dead and only socialism can work. And then without missing a beat scream bloody murder on the next thread when someone accuses Obama of being a socialist.

    Similarly, they freak out if you lump them together with Noam Chomsky or Michael Moore in one thread, and then in another will vigourously defend everything Noam Chomsky and Michael Moore have to say.

  30. “An episode of Seinfeld had George falling in love with a Nazi in the back of a limo.”

    I remember that one. Of course, the joke was that George was so depraved that he was falling in love with someone who was evil just because she was hot. The portrayal of communism was a bit more benign.

  31. L-Dub:

    Who can say about #4? Isn’t it likely his replacement will do more or less what Jones would’ve but maybe without the overt crazy?

  32. Similarly, they freak out if you lump them together with Noam Chomsky or Michael Moore in one thread, and then in another will vigourously defend everything Noam Chomsky and Michael Moore have to say.

    Is this thread going to the Joerasic period?

  33. Art–Stop encouraging it!

  34. Art,

    Don’t engage Lonewacko. It is like feeding the animals at the zoo. It is strictly prohibited.

  35. And usually ends with someone getting their arm eaten by a large preditory animal.

  36. And usually ends with someone getting their arm eaten by a large preditory animal.

    You say that like it’s a bad thing.

  37. I really like the phrase “voodoo economics”, it fits the current “do something!” economic climate really well. The effects of Cash4Clunkers, TARP, and the stimuluses could easily have been achieved by sacrificing a few animals to rid the US of bad economic ju-ju.

  38. Sure is an awful lot of ink spilled over this Van “Boy” Jones character.

  39. Communists are considered “idealistic”.

    They are idealistic. It’s just that their ideals are monstrous.

  40. Apologies all,

    I was in a reckless mood (I was doing a little sparring/grappling earlier, must have had too much adrenaline left over).

    Xeones,

    Regarding Bono, I’m not going to say he’s self-righteous, but I’m told Michael Moore finds him insufferable :p.

  41. Actually if Ben Bernanke had stripped naked, covered his body in ritualistic tribal paint, and rattled a few shrunken skulls at Wall Street it probably would have been less destructive in the long run.

  42. Similarly, they freak out if you lump them together with Noam Chomsky or Michael Moore in one thread, and then in another will vigourously defend everything Noam Chomsky and Michael Moore have to say.

    This was also on display when they complained about called this mess “Obamacare.” If it’s so awesome, what’s wrong with naming it after him?

  43. The Left has succeeded in making communism, despites its crimes, be considered a mainstream if curious belief system.

    Really? Seems to me any number of wacky right-wing conspiracy theories get immediate mainstream legitimacy, while anyone with a view left of left-of-center is not considered a serious person. I don’t know anyone who calls himself a communist, though apparently John hangs out with them all the time.

    I think it’s rather infantile and outmoded to still using red scare language in policy debates. Nobody anywhere is talking about going communist. It’s just hyperbole for the sake of scaring people. But how much longer can you make people afraid of a threat that no longer exists, that nobody under middle age even remembers as a threat, and that nobody in this country advocates?

  44. Art,

    This is all your fault. Talking to LoneDoucheBag summoned Trollny.

  45. Shut the fuck up, Tony.

  46. And on que Tony shows up to engage in just the kind of bizzare behavior that Hazel, Fluffy and I were talking about. Almost makes me think Fluffy or Hazel may be the real Tony.

    And Tony, you might want to call the people of North Korea and Cuba and tell them Communism no longer exists because it will come as one hell of a surprise to them.

  47. I’m so sorry, SugarFree, but…

    I learned it from watching you!

  48. Really? Seems to me any number of wacky right-wing conspiracy theories get immediate mainstream legitimacy, while anyone with a view left of left-of-center is not considered a serious person.

    Please give examples.

  49. John | September 8, 2009, 2:35pm | #
    “John, Check My Beautiful Laundrette, where one of the two main characters is an ex-skinhead.”

    Ex or current? Interesting.

    He was certainly a skinhead at the beginning of the movie. But after he fell in love with a Pakistani guy he probably became an ex-skinhead.

  50. I learned it from watching you!

    Fun fact: In my case, that commercial was spot-on. My dad smoked the devil weed, suffered no ill effects and always made it pretty easy for me to filch a joint or two.

    Of course, there was my friend whose stepdad’s weed was laced with PCP. That was a strange fucking night.

  51. I learned it from watching you!

    Thank God someone else uses this solid gold response. I’ve gotten blank stares from people 5 years younger than me after saying it to them.

  52. On a related note, Ed Morrissey realizes that the Dems and the MSM are going to strike back, but he’s not smart enough to figure out what to do about it.

    Well, the overwhelming bulk of the so-called MSM have had their intense, white hot spotlight squarely focused on republicans and especially conservatives for decades now. I’m honestly not sure what just Mr. Morrissey is concerned about, because nothing in the current political calculus has significantly changed.

  53. Of course, there was my friend whose stepdad’s weed was laced with PCP. That was a strange fucking night.

    I had a Spiderman anti-drug comic that was all about the evils of weed laced with angel dust. Good stuff.

  54. Art, is the desert so boring that you have to engage Lonewacko and Tony-troll?

    wait, I answered my own question.

  55. Ooh, examples would be great!

    As for not knowing any, I know a number of progressive Christians who will accept being called communist, if it’s said kindly. Yet when said with any hint of disapproval will deny it vehemently.

  56. Over the weekend Karen De Coster had an interesting piece about the Van Jones resignation. She claims that it was more about removing percieved radicals from Obama’s administration. Perhaps an attempt to move closer to the center in preparation for the upcoming 2010 elections and possible loss of Dem seats in Congress?

  57. Of course, there was my friend whose stepdad’s weed was laced with PCP. That was a strange fucking night.

    Friend’s Stepdad: Yeah, I know you got secrets. Everybody got secrets. Didn’t know you liked to get wet, dog.
    SugarFree: What’s “wet”?
    Friend’s Stepdad: Butt-naked. Ill. Sherms. Dust. PCP. Primos. P-Dog. That’s what you had. That’s what you were smoking, you couldn’t taste it?
    SugarFree: No, I’ve never done it.
    Friend’s Stepdad: You have now. I haven’t, but you have.
    SugarFree: Oh, shit, Oh, Shit! Man, i’m gonna get piss-tested, and then I’m gonna get fired!

  58. The Red Scare resurgence is evidence of the complete fecklessness of the once vaunted right-wing propaganda machine. They used to be able to make shit up that had some flair and originality. Now it’s just stupid old people scaring other stupid old people about the commies.

  59. TAO,

    Yeah, it’s bad…can’t wait to get back!

    Ska,

    If it weren’t for this site, I probably wouldn’t know about that PSA, either. Thanks H&R!

  60. I had a Spiderman anti-drug comic that was all about the evils of weed laced with angel dust. Good stuff.

    Damn, man, you have to give Seanbaby the heads up on that one.

  61. Tony, shut your commie ass the fuck up!

    Damn…that was fun 🙂

  62. Tony,

    The guy claims to be a communist. They have him on tape doing so. Again, how can it be a scare or a smear job pointing out what he actually beleives?

  63. @Tony,

    Fuck off, slaver!

  64. John,

    First of all, Glenn Beck is not the font of all wisdom. Check your sources if your preferred media overlords will allow it. Second, who appointed you thought-policer-in-chief? As I said, you can believe all manner of utterly false bullshit as long as it’s about death panels, birth certificates, or adam and eve riding on dinosaurs and there’s a platform ready for you to air your creepy nonsense on every major news channel. Even a hint of a flirtation with more radical leftwing views is enough to get you blacklisted as an unserious, even dangerous person as we have seen with this episode.

  65. ANyone who cries commie, or Afro-Leninist (whatever that means) immediately signals others that they should not be taken seriously. Except for here at Reason of course, where anything beyond the crony capitalist system we currently live under is demonized and subject to obtuse childlike tantrums.

  66. Isn’t the larger issue the existence of 32 czars, not whether or not one of them is whack-a-mole crazy?

  67. ooh good one tony! one more bucket of cum for you when you get home!

  68. Tony, wait, you mean that stuff that I see people get laughed at and derided for on right wing blogs? That type of stuff? Those is your examples? Hahaha!!

    Wait, maybe that’s false Tony again. Wait for it, real Tony will be here in a second to deny he’s said anything.

  69. It’s very nice of you guys to treat Tony like a real person and not as the sockpuppet (cockpuppet?) that he is.

  70. Tony and Whoever the fuck you are below him.,

    The guy spent his entire career as an avowed communist before he discovered environmentalism, something he admits is a way to enact socialist policies. On top of that, he is a complete economic illiterate who thinks that adopting more expensive and less reliable energy is the way to prosperity. He has no business anywhere near power.

    But, in his defense, he is no more ignorant and crazy than the two of you and about 40% of the Democratic Party. Considering that fact, maybe it was unfair to pick on him.

  71. @ Tony
    -You’re an idiot.

    @ Not a big rhetorical surprise
    – You do realize that leftist ideology leads to, at the very least, “crony capitalis[m].” Do you have the faintest idea of what you’re talking about?

  72. First of all, Glenn Beck is not the font of all wisdom. Check your sources if your preferred media overlords will allow it.

    Beck is a douche, but if he plays a tape of Jones openly saying that he’s a Communist, it doesn’t matter if he’s a douche.

    No one has asserted that the tape is faked. No one has asserted that Jones didn’t say it. We’re just told a number of variations on “It’s not that simple!” all of which boil down to “You should expect an idealistic liberal to claim to be a Communist when he’s upset!” or “Jones is black, and that makes it OK that he was a Communist!”

    Second, who appointed you thought-policer-in-chief?

    All anyone did was repeat, over and over, a number of TRUE statements:

    1. Jones is a Communist.
    2. Jones is a truther.
    3. Obama loves Jones so much he appointed him to a Czarship.

    This resulted in Jones losing his job because Obama was rightly ashamed.

    Only a real a-hole could argue that making TRUE statements about a GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL is somehow being the “thought police”.

  73. Except for here at Reason of course, where anything beyond the crony capitalist system we currently live under is demonized and subject to obtuse childlike tantrums.

    You gonna post some examples of regulars defending crony capitalism here, or what? I’ll wait.

  74. I’m worried about the national security implications of losing the Green Czar. With out him, how are the Red, Yellow, Blue and Black Czars going to come together to form MegaCzar in times of need?

  75. Do you have the faintest idea of what you’re talking about?

    Never! And how dare you ask!

  76. You know, Hugh, Voltron references are not really appropriate right now. This is serious stuff, according to Tony.

  77. Xeones,

    Didn’t you get the memo? Everyone here loves the current system we have and will do anything to defend the status quo.

  78. Everyone here loves the current system we have and will do anything to defend the status quo.

    Shit, my decoder ring must be on the blink again.

    Oh, and Epi? Voltron references are ALWAYS appropriate.

  79. Isn’t the larger issue the existence of 32 czars, not whether or not one of them is whack-a-mole crazy?

    Or is it 33?

    Obama names first manufacturing czar

    President Barack Obama announced Tuesday that Ron Bloom will serve as the administration’s senior counselor for manufacturing policy.

    Working with the National Economic Council, Bloom will lead policy development and strategic planning for Obama’s efforts to revitalize the manufacturing sector, the White House said.

    I’m surprised no one’s posted on this yet. I first heard it on NPR yesterday AM.

  80. Hugh,

    If they’d just kill Haggar like I told them to, we wouldn’t need to ever form Voltron. Think of the savings!

  81. Fluffy,

    Anyone clamoring to have people fired based on what they believe (or what they make up about what they believe) is a form of thought police, in my opinion. Freedom! Marketplace of ideas! (Just don’t go too far left or we’ll tie you to a stake…)

  82. I’m surprised no one’s posted on this yet.

    The economy’s in the shitter. They haven’t been able to assign someone to the Czar beat yet.

  83. I’m worried about the national security implications of losing the Green Czar. With out him, how are the Red, Yellow, Blue and Black Czars going to come together to form MegaCzar in times of need?

    We’ve got 27 others. Surely one can fill in for Green if MegaCzar is needed to defeat the Ro-publicans.

  84. And what’s with the hysteria over “czars”? Reagan had them, Bush had them. They’re mostly symbolic jobs with little actual policy influence. Why do wingnuts have such amnesia?

  85. tony,

    You moron. It is politics. People are hired and fired based on what they believe. It is not as if he was a mailman. Further, you don’t even believe anything you write. If the guy was found to have once been a avowed Randian, you would have no problem with firing. It is not being a thought police.

  86. @ anti & John,

    I’m not sure if i want to start calling lobbyiest and execs from wallstreet to the insurance companies comminists, but it’s a converstaion that would be fun if i was chemically stimulated. I do realize that the ideology of the past couple of decades have led to the crony capitalist system we are living under today. A system that was encouraged under various republicans, bill clinton, and to a lesser degree, Barack Obama.

    I find it alarming that Reason is advocating punishing people for ideological beliefs, but not surprising since they seem to have a habit of protecting the status quo when rumors of reform circulate. If they weren’t happy with the system we currently have, they wouldn’t have voted for Obama.

    John, was that you in the video shouting Afro Leninist?

  87. NutraSweet always identified with the pink Voltron chick. It just felt right to him.

  88. “I find it alarming that Reason is advocating punishing people for ideological beliefs, but not surprising since they seem to have a habit of protecting the status quo when rumors of reform circulate.”

    Again, it is politics. You are supposed to descriminate based on political beleifs. The fact that the guy is a former marxist, truther economic half wit, makes him unfit for any position of power.

  89. Yes, her vagina did feel very right when I was it in. ‘Til that fat kid walked in on us. He always smelled like rancid pies.

  90. Anyone clamoring to have people fired based on what they believe (or what they make up about what they believe) is a form of thought police, in my opinion. Freedom! Marketplace of ideas! (Just don’t go too far left or we’ll tie you to a stake…)

    Tony,

    Haven’t you noticed, it’s their Latin AMerica foreign policy. Just substitute fire with military aid, death squads, or propaganda.

    It’s amazing how intolerant this website has become.

  91. I’m worried about the national security implications of losing the Green Czar. With out him, how are the Red, Yellow,…

    …and Green czars going to form the Lion of Judah so we can get some sensible marijuana policy?

    It’s a stretch, I know, but I couldn’t resist based on the original order of the quoted post.

  92. NutraSweet: amateur gynecologist and weight loss consultant

  93. It’s amazing how intolerant this website has become.

    Yeah, we’ve gotten pretty intolerant of disingenuous fucktardery around here.

  94. Having them shit a giant, corn-filled turd in the punch bowl is not half as annoying as watching you guys try to fish it out.

  95. “Isn’t the larger issue the existence of 32 czars, not whether or not one of them is whack-a-mole crazy?”

    I heard a congressman (not sure which one) bring up this very point last night saying that this whole czar process needs to be reviewed as it might be illegal.

  96. Not a fan of truthers myself, and i really have no interest in replaying 9/11 for the upteenth time, i think there is a difference. Signing a sheet asking for another investigation, a government hallmark if you will, is different than saying Bush was in the basement and hit the Boom switch. There’s nothing wrong with digging, just don’t be foaming at the mouth. I don’t think this JOnes is like ALex JOnes, or Beck would have shown that video too.

  97. The guy on the streetcorner here selling copies of Socialist Worker (yes, selling) is definitely talking about going communist.

  98. Voodoo economics? Where have I heard that before?

    Reaganomics?

  99. The same people who throw around the term “neocon” like it means anything are shocked that people would have a problem with an alledgedly former Marxist truther being in a powerful position in government. I mean Jesus Christ on a crutch, the whole thing is based on youtubes of what the guy actually said and a petition he admits to signing.

  100. Yeah, we’ve gotten pretty intolerant of disingenuous fucktardery around here.

    whatever you tell yourself man. whatever you have to tell yourself to keep swallowing this garbage.

  101. To which garbage are you referring, kind sir?

  102. I heard a congressman (not sure which one) bring up this very point last night saying that this whole czar process needs to be reviewed as it might be illegal.

    Probably Lamar Alexander. I really don’t care who the President hires as a “special adviser”. I start to care when they do more than give advice. Giving policy advice is one thing, but actually having any effect on the federal bureaucracy? Show me some statutory basis for your position & authority or fuck along most rikki-tik.

  103. Eboo Patel, in a Washington Post post…

    I thought Eboo Patel was a character in Star Wars.

  104. As I said, you can believe all manner of utterly false bullshit as long as it’s about…birth certificates

    That was started by Hilary Clinton supporters, definitely not right-wingers. The righties just ran with it after the primaries were over.

  105. Why do wingnuts have such amnesia?

    We’re not REPUBLICANS, fucknut! A lot more people here are libertarians and not Libertartians. No more posting before you know the difference.

    will do anything to defend the status quo.

    I had dinner with my neigbors last night. I was gently explaining libertarianism and further, *my* libertarianism as an anarcho-capitalist. The wife of said neighbors asked, “aren’t you constantly disappointed with every election?” My short answer: Yes, of course.

    Now, more on topic: …”the fierce opposition from the right isn’t racism. It is.” Good fucking god, when can a citizen critize another citizen, who happens to have a different color of skin, and have it not be called racism? Especially when that second citizen actually has the President’s ear, thus power, however mariginal, to change our lives? Can we, thus, not critize any government official because of their background? It’s really tiring. Does Glen B’doucheck have to get an African-American co-host? Or if that happens, will some people, just as dismissively, lable said co-host as an “Uncle Tom” or “Not a REAL black person?”

  106. I’ll be kind and cruel at the same time, anything written by Welch or Moynihan in the last two weeks, throw one of the babes in for good measure, but not veroniqu(sp) or kerry howley.

  107. “As I said, you can believe all manner of utterly false bullshit as long as it’s about…birth certificates”

    No one here other than Lonewacko is a birther. You can believe all manner of fucktardary as long as you convince yourself that your opponents are something other than what they are.

  108. I thought Eboo Patel was a character in Star Wars.

    “Yoosa say people gonna haf to pay out of pocket? Ohh….nooooooo.”

  109. How does it feeeeeeeeeeel

  110. Just ignore Kool, people. He read all of the Wheel of Time books, and is therefore clearly insane.

  111. Working with the National Economic Council, Bloom will lead policy development and strategic planning for Obama’s efforts to revitalize the manufacturing sector,

    If that doesn’t have Five Year Plan tattooed on its ass . . . .

  112. Kool,

    Again, you didn’t get the memo. As of January 20th dissent was no longer the highest form of Patriotism. It is the highest form of racism.

    What is sad is that fucktards like Tony, in accusing anyone and everyone who criticizes Obama of being racist, are destroying whatever good electing a black President did for race relations. But, it is not like they were not lying when they claimed they gave a shit about moving beyond race last fall.

  113. I’ll less disappointed in Jones leaving than his job staying.

    He shouldn’t have been fired, he should have been let go because the position was terminated.

  114. Epi,

    DAMN YOU!! *shakes fist*

  115. If that doesn’t have Five Year Plan tattooed on its ass . . . .

    It’ll be over as soon as they realize revitalizing manufacturing means cutting union benefits. Then it’s off to the tattoo shop for a cover-up in the shape of the AFL-CIO logo.

  116. Tony, BO has 33 motherfucking “czars”!

    And if “[t]hey’re mostly symbolic jobs with little actual policy influence”, why the fuck do we have them on the public payroll at nearly two hundred grand each?

    Yes i know it’s a drop in the budget ocean, but it’s telling that it’s just A-OK with you that Obama’s got a whole bunch of high paying jobs for people doing nothing.

    And quit with the Reagan did it Bush did it bullshit. I wasn’t right then, and everyone here has said so.

  117. “””Again, you didn’t get the memo. As of January 20th dissent was no longer the highest form of Patriotism. It is the highest form of racism. “””

    John, that memo must have been fake. The real memo would have said dissent went from treason to racism. Have you forgotten your post 9-11 indoctrination? 😉

  118. “Anyone clamoring to have people fired based on what they believe (or what they make up about what they believe) is a form of thought police, in my opinion.”

    those damn gays and their thought police ways! fighting for something they believe strongly in.

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/culturemonster/2008/11/here-is-an-exce.html

    tony, as always, you are an idiot. absolutely, beyond belief, stupid.

  119. Vic,

    I am always the last to get the memos and never get invited to the secret meetings.

  120. Rhetorical, may i have the name of your dealer? Whatever you are on must be pretty amazing, and frankly, i’d like to preemptively forget the rest of this week.

  121. I am always the last to get the memos and never get invited to the secret meetings.

    That’s because you don’t spell well enough to be allowed to the secret meetings.

  122. I heard a congressman (not sure which one) bring up this very point last night saying that this whole czar process needs to be reviewed as it might be illegal.

    Probably Lamar Alexander.

    Probably; but it might be Mike Pence (R-IN), who wants a moratorium on new czars.

  123. Voodoo Economics

    racist.

  124. Kool,

    I’m not accusing anyone here of being a wingnut (except John). I just asked a question, and every time I refer to the existence of Republicans or wingnuts everyone here gets all defensive about it. I know there is a difference. But I also know that John and many others “sockpuppet” Glenn Beck here on a daily basis yet the only people accused of being hacks are liberals. I mean we wouldn’t even be talking about this guy if he weren’t another hysterical right-wing obsession.

  125. It’s amazing how intolerant this website has become.

    Actually, considering that little effort is made to screen out straw-man flinging trolls, and how much effort the good people on these threads put into explaining why you are wrong before telling you to STFU, I’d say we’re pretty tolerant indeed.

  126. Tony, didn’t I tell you that Kool read all of The Wheel of Time books and is clearly insane? Man, it’s like you’re a retarded sockpuppet or something. Go figure.

  127. Obama could fix the weather without the goddamn bowl.

  128. Anyone clamoring to have people fired based on what they believe (or what they make up about what they believe) is a form of thought police, in my opinion.

    Let’s appoint David Duke the Drug Czar. Surely his ideological beliefs are completely irrelevevant to how he would manage that job.
    Anyone who says otherwise is an orwellian thought police manaic. If someone feels like calling himself a Nazi, that’s a personal matter. Nothing anyone should be concerned about.

  129. I mean we wouldn’t even be talking about this guy if he weren’t another hysterical right-wing obsession.

    Yeah, because declaring onself to be a communist and 9-11 truther is just silly shit unworthy of notice. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. These are not the droids you are looking for.

  130. We give John shit all the time.

  131. “We give John shit all the time.”

    Of course you do. And I give you people shit right back. Of course the shit we throw is a bit higher level than screaming “wingnut” and “Glen Beck”. Tony is just angry he is too stupid to join in.

  132. No you’re stupid!!!!

    Am I at your level yet John?

  133. “Actually, considering that little effort is made to screen out straw-man flinging trolls, and how much effort the good people on these threads put into explaining why you are wrong before telling you to STFU, I’d say we’re pretty tolerant indeed.”

    Or stupid to think we can convert somebody with their heads up their butts as far as Tony’s is.

  134. Tony,

    The day you do anything but engage in ad homonym attacks and accuse people of sockpuppeting radio hosts you claim to not listen to (yet somehow know exactly what they are saying) is the day people will let you play in the reindeer games and say something to you besides shut the fuck up.

  135. John,

    Most of what you believe is in my opinion utter bullshit, but it sounds suspiciously like the utter bullshit that passes the lips of said radio and FOX news hosts every day. It can’t be just a coincidence that conservatives all over the country all believe the same bullshit and lies at the same time. As far as I’m concerned you’re no more a libertarian than I am, so I don’t have much regard for your rules of the game on this board.

  136. ad homonym attacks

    “add” attacks?

  137. “Most of what you believe is in my opinion utter bullshit, but it sounds suspiciously like the utter bullshit that passes the lips of said radio and FOX news hosts every day.”

    I don’t listen to talk radio or watch Fox News so I can’t comment on that. You apparently do since you seem to be so expert in the matter.

    But, let me give a phrase for the day. It is called ad hominem. It means

    “An ad hominem argument, also known as argumentum ad hominem (Latin: “argument to the person” or “argument against the person”) is an argument which links the validity of a premise to a characteristic or belief of a person advocating the premise.”

    That is the only thing you ever engage in. You seem constitutionally incapable of ever responding to the substance of a point. Your only response to any argument is to say well “so and so said that so it must be wrong”. While I quite sure that passes for argumetn in the circles you run in, it doesn’t work here.

  138. Anyone clamoring to have people fired based on what they believe (or what they make up about what they believe) is a form of thought police, in my opinion. Freedom! Marketplace of ideas! (Just don’t go too far left or we’ll tie you to a stake…)

    Tony, do you vote?

    Every time you vote you call for someone to either lose a job or not get a job based on what they believe.

    Jones was a government official, you dopes. He was not an official whose office was subject to direct election, but he was a government official nonetheless. “Clamoring” for his dismissal based on his ideas is absolutely no different from “clamoring” for an elected official to not be returned to office.

  139. My respect for Glenn Beck would go way up if he takes out Cass Sunstein. Knocking Carol Browner out of government would be even sweeter.Wait,Sunstein first.That would really piss off the right people even if they are loathe to admit it.Go Glenn Go!

  140. It can’t be just a coincidence that conservatives all over the country all believe the same bullshit and lies at the same time.

    Well, in the case of Jones, of course it wasn’t a “coincidence”.

    Everyone reached the same conclusion about Jones being a Communist and Truther simultaneously because:

    1. He is, so the claims were true
    2. Most people discovered these truths at the same time, due to the efforts of a polemicist.

    Of course it’s not a coincidence. It’s no coincidence that we all suddenly were talking about Michael Jackson’s death at the same time, either. That’s what happens when true stories are reported and people hear them: they talk about them.

  141. In the end, that is the only defense they can mount for Jones. They know he is a hustler, pseudo Marxist economic halfwit who has no more business in a position of power than the crazy old lady at the laundramat. So instead of defend the indefensible, they scream RACIST and attack the source of the attack. Who cares that Glen Beck is not a nice guy? Was the tapes he played of Jones faked?

    If someone you find unsavory makes a valid argument, are you then somehow obligated to disavow that argument because it was made by the wrong person? That seems pretty crazy. Either Jones needed to go or he didn’t. The source of arguments for his needing to go really have nothing to do with it.

  142. Jones is no communist. Hustlers that are this successful love the system they are fleecing. Even Jones knows a real communist system would be too poor to satisfy his lifestyle.

  143. Jones has (or had at least at some point in his life) rather radical views. I accept that. These views are no more radical than the ones Glenn Beck espouses every single day. There should be a place in a Democratic administration for a radical leftist just as there were many, many places in a GOP administration for radical theocrats. I don’t really give that much of a shit about this one person, but I know neo-McCarthyism when I smell it.

  144. Although Oliver Stone may not know it.

  145. I don’t really give that much of a shit about this one person, but I know neo-McCarthyism when I smell it.

    McCarthyism was bad because private citizens who would otherwise have had at least the option their political views private were dragged into the public square and forced, essentially at gunpoint, to testify about their political views and those of others. This was done by government figures, abusing the subpoena power possessed by Congress, not for any legitimate purpose of inquiry but in order to expose those private citizens to social and economic retaliation in their private lives.

    Had any of the people who were brought before the HUAC been candidates for some office, or in positions in the government bureaucracy, it would have been entirely appropriate and fair for citizens to organize against them on the basis of their Communism, and would not have been “McCarthyite” at all.

  146. These views are no more radical than the ones Glenn Beck espouses every single day.

    By the way, Beck is an asshole, but this statement just isn’t true.

    A Communist revolution would involve not just the overthrow of our present system of government, but the complete eradication of our current economic system, as well as the suppression of our various religious and civic institutions. Beck doesn’t advocate anything as extreme as that, and it’s kind of nonsensical to claim that he does. Even a notorious extremist like me ultimately advocates less extreme ideas than any garden variety Communist.

  147. A Communist revolution would involve not just the overthrow of our present system of government, but the complete eradication of our current economic system, as well as the suppression of our various religious and civic institutions. Beck doesn’t advocate anything as extreme as that, and it’s kind of nonsensical to claim that he does. Even a notorious extremist like me ultimately advocates less extreme ideas than any garden variety Communist.

    To be fair, Jones probably doesn’t know that Communism actually entails the violent overthrow of the government. He’s probably about as communist as the average hippie in a Che T-shirt – in the he knows that somehow “communism” has this cool aura of leftist radicalism surrounding it, but has no fucking clue what the philosophy actually represents.

  148. These are the people who think the great crime of the 1950s (worldwide) was McCarthyism instead of say the invasion of Hungary or the Great Leap Forward.

    That’s because of all their so-called intellect, they really don’t have much knowledge of anything. It’s one thing for a 15-year old to be all hot and bothered by corperashuns and be pissed at their establishment parents, but for an academic to be that bereft of knowledge is shameful.

  149. I find it alarming that Reason is advocating punishing people for ideological beliefs,

    Punishment? Citation needed.

  150. I’d like to punish Daryl Hannah for her radical environmentalist views.

  151. I’m sure Kim Kardashian has some punishment-worthy ideological beliefs too.

  152. Looks like white boys have a lot of time to be whining and complaining. Shouldn’t you be shooting up schools or poisoning black people with your pollution conspiracies?

  153. “That is kind of curious. You see that on here with the real left trolls. They will in one thread claim that capitalism is dead and only socialism can work. And then without missing a beat scream bloody murder on the next thread when someone accuses Obama of being a socialist.”

    “For instance, in (another) fawning interview with President Obama, Newsweek editor Jon Meacham mocks Obama’s critics for considering Obama to be a “crypto-socialist.” This, of course, would be the same Jon Meacham who last February co-authored a cover story with Newsweek’s editor at large (and grandson of the six-time presidential candidate for the American Socialist Party) Evan Thomas titled – wait for it – “We Are All Socialists Now,” in which they argued that the growth of government was making us like a “European,” i.e. socialist, country.”

    http://blogs.usatoday.com/oped/2009/06/dont-call-it-socialism.html

    http://www.newsweek.com/id/183663

    Fundamentally these are unserious thinkers who are unused to being called on their bullshit.

  154. Personally, I don’t know what these morons are talking about. I like my President’s black half – I just hate his half-white, all-socialist alter-ego.

    BLACK POWER BABY.

    “Diversity czar? Yeah, I’ll take it.”

  155. PETE,

    If you don’t think corporations should be able to use their resources to influence elections, why do you think the NYT corporation should be allowed to influence elections through its house newspaper?

    I suppose you rationalize that with the idea that publishing a newspaper is a specially protected form of speech which gives an exemption. But that leads to the troubling fact that you give the government an ill defined authority to define what organs of speech are freer than others.

  156. The real question is why didn’t these people run to his aid when Beck was attacking him? If this guy is so fucking swell why wasn’t there a line of people screaming how great he was before he quit?

    I’ll take a guess. Because they didn’t want to sink in the same ship he did. It’s easy to scream how great he was after the fact. Not so easy during the event.

    Fucking useless shitstain hypocrites, all of them. Van needs new friends. Maybe he can entice a few into friendship with future high paying green jobs.

  157. I still look forward to the Fox/Olberman war.

  158. The real question is why didn’t these people run to his aid when Beck was attacking him? If this guy is so fucking swell why wasn’t there a line of people screaming how great he was before he quit?

    I’ll take a guess. Because they didn’t want to sink in the same ship he did. It’s easy to scream how great he was after the fact. Not so easy during the event.

    My take…. while most progressives understand and sympathize with Jones calling himself a communist, they also feel vaguely ashamed of it.

    They aren’t willing to come out and public and say “Hey, there’s nothing wrong with having been a communist!” because deep down inside, they do realize that there IS something wrong with it. They just don’t want to admit it, ebven to themselves.

    It’s all part of the Left’s inability to come to terms with the crimes of communism. They can neither disavow, nor defend, the guy because they can’t either disavow or defend communism itself.

  159. Two pictures with presidents, one with a vice-president, and one with Bono. None with evil Bert. What gives?

  160. With many new announcement about the wizard of oz movies in the news, you might want to consider starting to obtain Wizard of Oz book series either as collectible or investment at RareOzBooks.com.

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