Van Jones Controversy: No There There

by: Paul Rosenberg

Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 08:00

When Gertrude Stein quipped, "There's no there there," she was talking about Oakland.  I always thought it was a great line, but a bad rap.  I like Oakland.  But maybe there was a hidden meaning in her words. You see, the Ella Baker Center is in Oakland.  Van Jones used to be its executive direct.  And when it comes to Glen Beck's accusations that ended up causing him to resign, Gertrude Stein was right on the money.

Calling Republicans a-holes?  If that were a firing offense in DC, the place would be a ghost town.  Signing a 9/11 Truther petition?  Well, at first I just shrugged.  Sure they're nutballs, who keep repeating refuted arguments--sort of like Republicans. But people who sign lots of petitions online are bound to sign one or two along the way that maybe they shouldn't have.  That was my first thought.  There's a reason that names on a petition don't carry very much weight compared to letters--even emails--phone calls or faxes.  Signing a petition for something does not make it your cause célèbre.

But then I had to go and use the Google.  And I found the petition.  And it's totally innocuous in the conspiracism department.  In fact, it's an exercise in respectability.  "9/11 Truthers Clean & Sober Tour". That kind of thing.  I wouldn't have signed it, because I think this phraseology is needlessly provocative and it just bugs me:

we have assembled 100 notable Americans and 40 family members of those who died to sign this 9/11 Statement, which calls for immediate public attention to unanswered questions that suggest that people within the current administration may indeed have deliberately allowed 9/11 to happen, perhaps as a pretext for war.

But it's not necessarily false.  What unanswered questions suggest to one person need not be suggested to another. I can easily understand someone shrugging off that bit of innuendo as relatively harmless, given the sorts of questions they wanted answered--questions that the official investigation had clearly left hanging:

We want truthful answers to questions such as:
  1. Why were standard operating procedures for dealing with hijacked airliners not followed that day?
  2. Why were the extensive missile batteries and air defenses reportedly deployed around the Pentagon not activated during the attack?
  3. Why did the Secret Service allow Bush to complete his elementary school visit, apparently unconcerned about his safety or that of the schoolchildren?
  4. Why hasn't a single person been fired, penalized, or reprimanded for the gross incompetence we witnessed that day?
Paul Rosenberg :: Van Jones Controversy: No There There
  1. Why haven't authorities in the U.S. and abroad published the results of multiple investigations into trading that strongly suggested foreknowledge of specific details of the 9/11 attacks, resulting in tens of millions of dollars of traceable gains?
  2. Why has Sibel Edmonds, a former FBI translator who claims to have knowledge of advance warnings, been publicly silenced with a gag order requested by Attorney General Ashcroft and granted by a Bush-appointed judge?
  3. How could Flight 77, which reportedly hit the Pentagon, have flown back towards Washington D.C. for 40 minutes without being detected by the FAA's radar or the even superior radar possessed by the US military?
  4. How were the FBI and CIA able to release the names and photos of the alleged hijackers within hours, as well as to visit houses, restaurants, and flight schools they were known to frequent?
  5. What happened to the over 20 documented warnings given our government by 14 foreign intelligence agencies or heads of state?
  6. Why did the Bush administration cover up the fact that the head of the Pakistani intelligence agency was in Washington the week of 9/11 and reportedly had $100,000 wired to Mohamed Atta, considered the ringleader of the hijackers?
  7. Why did the 911 Commission fail to address most of the questions posed by the families of the victims, in addition to almost all of the questions posed here?
  8. Why was Philip Zelikow chosen to be the Executive Director of the ostensibly independent 911 Commission although he had co-authored a book with Condoleezza Rice?

Note in particular #4 above.  No one was fired for the catastrophic government failure on 9/11.

But now someone has been fired for asking why that was, among other things.  (Yes, yes, I know, he wasn't "fired."  He was just left to twist in the wind until he got the message to fire himself. Difference without a distinction from where I stand.)

Add to the generally sober nature of that list of questions the fact that former CIA officers Ray McGovern and Mel Goodman both signed the petition as well, and you begin to get a sense of how totally bogus the attack on Van Jones really was.

As if you didn't already know that, given that the attacks were lead by Glenn Beck.

The REAL Truther BS

In contrast to the above petition, check out the following sites for detailed debunking of major myths that "9/11 Truthers" promote that Van Jones didn't come within a country mile of:

I do not pretend to be an expert in any of this, since I checked out on this front long ago.  Once I saw the irrational denialist response to the first round of debunking, I saw no reason to pay any further attention.  A sample of that debunking should suffice, since many of the original myths still survive, as if never debunked, or else survive in the form of mutated offspring.

For example, it was enough for me to encounter folks arguing that jet fuel couldn't have caused the steel supports of the WTC to melt, and hence collapse, therefore planted explosives had to be involved.  As Popular Mechanics noted back in 2005:

"Melted" Steel

Claim:"We have been lied to," announces the Web site "The first lie was that the load of fuel from the aircraft was the cause of structural failure. No kerosene fire can burn hot enough to melt steel." The posting is entitled "Proof Of Controlled Demolition At The WTC."

FACT: Jet fuel burns at 800° to 1500°F, not hot enough to melt steel (2750°F). However, experts agree that for the towers to collapse, their steel frames didn't need to melt, they just had to lose some of their structural strength - and that required exposure to much less heat. "I have never seen melted steel in a building fire," says retired New York deputy fire chief Vincent Dunn, author of The Collapse Of Burning Buildings: A Guide To Fireground Safety. "But I've seen a lot of twisted, warped, bent and sagging steel. What happens is that the steel tries to expand at both ends, but when it can no longer expand, it sags and the surrounding concrete cracks."

"Steel loses about 50 percent of its strength at 1100°F," notes senior engineer Farid Alfawak-hiri of the American Institute of Steel Construction. "And at 1800° it is probably at less than 10 percent." NIST also believes that a great deal of the spray-on fireproofing insulation was likely knocked off the steel beams that were in the path of the crashing jets, leaving the metal more vulnerable to the heat.

But jet fuel wasn't the only thing burning, notes Forman Williams, a professor of engineering at the University of California, San Diego, and one of seven structural engineers and fire experts that PM consulted. He says that while the jet fuel was the catalyst for the WTC fires, the resulting inferno was intensified by the combustible material inside the buildings, including rugs, curtains, furniture and paper. NIST reports that pockets of fire hit 1832°F.

"The jet fuel was the ignition source," Williams tells PM. "It burned for maybe 10 minutes, and [the towers] were still standing in 10 minutes. It was the rest of the stuff burning afterward that was responsible for the heat transfer that eventually brought them down."

For me, the bottom line on the whole "9/11 Truth" charade can be summed up in three points:

  1. Many ardent "9/11 Truth" true believers think that they are propounding a radical truth, that folks like just can't handle.  In fact, they are propounding a conservative "truth" which (a) lays all blame for 9/11 on a small cabal of elite operatives, (b) absolves US imperialism and international capitalism of any responsibility for creating oppressive conditions in which terrorism would naturally tend to flourish, and (c) (implicitly or explicitly) makes the racist assumption that Arabs just don't have the smarts to pull off an attack of such magnitude.

  2. Yes, there are very many unanswered questions about 9/11, and our political system--including the Versailles Democratic leadership--has utterly failed to answer them.  This failure is downright criminal.  However, the unanswered questions are almost entirely along the lines of those listed in the petition that Van Jones signed, which are entirely different in character and implication than the "questions" raised (and repeatedly answered) at the core of the "9/11 Truth" conspiracy narratives.

  3. This is all an enormous distraction of energy and attention from actually effective organizing around realworld issues that could have a tremendous impact on the lives of billions of people around the world.  The sort of organizing that, for example, Van Jones has actually been involved in throughout his career.

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    But. but (0.00 / 0)
    he was a self avowed COMMUNIST too!!!!  Also.

    It breaks my heart (4.00 / 3)
    because the Apollo Alliance was something I could really get excited about it. Van Jone's presence lifted my skepticism a little bit.

    But pleasing stupid Glenn Beck is more important to the White House than the Apollo Alliance?!?

    Montani semper liberi

    Uhfortunately (4.00 / 4)
    Obama's indifference to the destruction of the auto industry already proved to me that his interest in the Apollo Alliance was purely cosmetic.

    There was clearly an opening to restructure the auto industry as part of a larger green energy/transportation industry, with a portion of the industrial base shifting to trains, buses, wind turbines, etc.  But this would have required real commitment to actual vision, as opposed to soaring rhetoric about vision in the abstract.  And that would have upset Max Baucus, David Broder and David Brooks.  Hence it was out of the question.

    Thus, I don't think the Apollo Alliance has been a live possibility for half a year now.  The departure of Jones only underscores this point.

    "You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

    [ Parent ]
    so why do we keep defending him from the (0.00 / 0)
    birthers if he won't defend us or any of our principles?

    My blog  

    [ Parent ]
    Because (4.00 / 3)
    that's what we do.  We fight evil. We fight lies.  We fight racism.

    Even if the immediate victim is unable or unwilling to defend themselves, much less do any good to anyone else.

    "You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

    [ Parent ]
    I am too tired (0.00 / 0)
    and he won't fight lies so why should I?

    My blog  

    [ Parent ]
    You don't have to fight for Obama... (4.00 / 2)
    but if you're not going to fight for yourself, how are you any better than he?

    If the liars are allowed to prevail, they will be the ones calling the shots.  They'll make the rules and enforce them at their whim.  And so long as we do not fight against them, we'll have to live by their rules.

    Is that what you want?  To live by their rules?  Because that's what you'll get if you don't fight.

    Sorry.  I'm probably being too confrontational.  This is a sore spot with me, especially with Obama's conciliatory gutlessness.  Things like this just piss me off.

    Health insurance is not health care.
    If you don't fight, you can't win.
    Never give up. Never Surrender.
    Watch out for flying kabuki.

    [ Parent ]
    Obama's a liar (0.00 / 0)
    too. I think the birthers are just his friendemies.  We already lost, and will lose until we stop wasting time on bad candidates like him.  

    My blog  

    [ Parent ]
    Precisely. (4.00 / 3)
    It's not about who he is, it's about who we are.

    Montani semper liberi

    [ Parent ]
    OK, so one question remains… (0.00 / 0)
    ...why then, was Van Jones left to "twist in the wind"? To me, the analysis in this post suggests that there's more to it than Glenn Beck, no? Personally, I find it hard to believe that the shouting of Beck, who's basically seen as an overpaid crank whose ad-base has chinks, has so much weight. It's kinda mystifying.

    "This ain't for the underground. This here is for the sun." -Saul Williams

    Well (4.00 / 3)
    I don't think Obama has much use for DFHs such as Jones.  And conflict avoidance is his middle name.  So I'm not really sure there is any more to it than that.

    But there could be, of course.

    "You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

    [ Parent ]
    but if conflict avoidence is important (0.00 / 0)
    to a guy with Obama's easy upper middle class academic lifestyle, why should I seek it when I defend him from the birthers?  I definately got other things to do.

    My blog  

    [ Parent ]
    Oh God! (4.00 / 1)
    Do I have go all Pastor Niemöller on you?

    "You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

    [ Parent ]
    There already going after me (0.00 / 0)
    but powerful man barak obama does nothin!

    My blog  

    [ Parent ]
    Exactly… (4.00 / 1)
    ...but can I say for the record that I still think it's too early in Obama's presidency to stop fighting? The Bush Administration had eight years to wreak havoc on this country, following eight years of a damn-near thoroughly co-opted Clinton Administration and 12 years of straight-up conservative revolution under Reagan and Bush I. Obama frustrates me as much as anyone, but let's face it, there are still quite a few layers to peel back. What the undeniable populist anger in the country suggests to me is that there are opportunities if we stay vocal.

    "This ain't for the underground. This here is for the sun." -Saul Williams

    [ Parent ]
    Absolutely! (4.00 / 1)
    My whole point is that we have to drag Obama kicking and screaming out of the clutches of Versailles and into the harsh light of day in America.

    "You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

    [ Parent ]
    Did y'all notice (0.00 / 0)
    When POTUS mentioned public option in MPLS today: sustained applause for 20 sec or more.  I think he noticed.

    USA: 1950 to 2010

    [ Parent ]
    I think it was timing (0.00 / 0)
    My theory is that going into labor day they were jittery about the big health reform speech and didn't want wild questions about an alleged communist and truther taking up any media oxygen.  I think they feared a Rev. Wright style culture war newscycle and just didn't want to risk it.

    Instead they got grassroots outrage outside of DC which, um, they do not perceive to be a problem.

    Jones was Valerie Jarrett's recruit, not Axelrod or Emanuel, etc.  Another indicator of where the power lies.

    USA: 1950 to 2010

    [ Parent ]
    Dead on as always (4.00 / 1)
    If fire (they say kerosine fire) can't bring down a steel structure that why are literally all multi-story buildings, made with steel frame construction, required by international code to have fire protection for the steel? This obvious fact never seems to reach the truthers.

    To be honest, I think Cheney well knew the attack was coming and chose not to stop it. I doubt that he expected it to be such a glorious success for his war plans. But it was and here we are living in a bizarre state of amnesia.

    Thank you (4.00 / 1)
    Three other signers of the petition have said it was changed after it had been showed to them, but my take on that is the way the introductory statements can be construed to suggest conspiracy. I haven't wanted to go into it more than that because it's a long conversation.

    But anyone who didn't have some questions (maybe just, "WTF!") after learning the title of the August 6 PDB from Condoleezza Rice's own testimony to the 9-11 commission, with further elucidation that it talked about possible hijacking preparations, was probably out to lunch. With the Cole and embassy bombings still fresh in everyone's minds, how did that not put the administration - any administration - into high gear? What was wrong with them?

    But there had to be some irritating crazy people running around who kept saying a missile hit the Pentagon instead of a plane, and at some point, the discussion was declared permanently off-limits.  

    It Was Declared Off Limits (4.00 / 2)
    from day one.

    "You Lie!" is not for white male Republican presidents.

    As for the signatories, Mel Goodman is a great American hero.  He testified against Robert Gates' nomination to head the CIA in 1991.  There were many other CIA analysts who felt as he did, but he had the courage to come forward and speak.  If you're signing something Mel Goodman is signing, you're in good company on that score.

    Roy McGovern's none too shabby, either.

    I do think it's quite possible the passage I object to was not in the petition as originally circulated.  That's just the sort of manipulation that groups like this are known to resort to.

    "You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

    [ Parent ]
    No there, in no there, there, either (4.00 / 1)
    If this writer's analysis has any cred, one wonders if, not only was Van Jones expendable, whether the "green jobs" project isn't equally expendable.  If the issue is a non-issue, and the no-drama Obama team chose a dramatist, then it does make one wonder about the relative importance of the project to Obama.  Wouldn't be the first time Obama has demonstrated more talk than walk.

    I Guess That Was Just Too Obvious (4.00 / 1)
    I didn't really think it needed saying.

    Green jobs will only be important to the extent that we make it be important.

    See the Progressive Block and the public option.

    "You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

    [ Parent ]
    9-11 (0.00 / 0)
    The list of questions Paul posted (and a few legitimate others) leave the issue unanswered. I have read that up to 30%+ of the populas doesn't believe the official story, myself included. If there is no there there, why is this left to fester? The same old "who benifits" and "follow the money" logic implies much more is unknown (hidden ?). There are just too many unanswered legitmate questions for this to ever be settled, and MANY of us distrust the selected pResident enough to believe nothing is beneath that administration. After all, we know he did send thousands of americans to their deaths in a war based entirely on lies.

    Government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob..... FDR

    This Is Much Simpler Than You Make It Out To Be (4.00 / 3)
    There's clearly a good deal that we don't know, but we already know far more than enough to send lots of folks to jail, and to strip many, many more of their pensions and other perks.

    But that's a no-no, because we're supposed to "look forward, not backward."

    It's called the elite self-protection racket.  And it's part of how power really works in America.  If you want to get to the bottom of things here, don't try reading up on the structural properties of steel. Read up on the structural properties of American power.  William Dumhoff would be an excellent place to start.

    "You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

    [ Parent ]
    I tend to think he will follow through on the Green Jobs, to some extent (0.00 / 0)
    anyway, and the more significant climate bill won't be fit to line a rabbit cage. He's already made Green Jobs part of the stimulus package and preened in Denver- I think it's too integral to his Whole Foods shopper brand. On the other hand, he's never going to fuck with coal, and he's going to sell Clean Coal, because that suits the Whole Foods Shopper  brand as well. Ooo, the things that they can do today! Or, y'know, not.

    [ Parent ]
    a bigger picture (0.00 / 0)
    The thing you should take seriously, Paul, is the organization of the Repubs, and the careful planning.

    They had an air-tight smear on Jones ready for months, and held fire until the propaganda would be most useful.

    (The smear is air-tight because the "branding" of the Dems fits with some stereotypes in public opinion that could be appealed to.  Truth does not matter much, as I am sure you know.)

    Anyway, the thing to think about is that the Repub smear campaigns are highly organized and coordinated.  From where, I don't know, but I would like to know.

    Green jobs is a powerful message for Dems, and Repubs know it.  It is one of the few TPs that Repubs fear.  So they will try very hard to discredit it.

    The oldest tactic in DC is to turn a fight about policy into an attack on the advocate for the other side.  Happens all the time.

    Here, Repubs held fire until the climate bill was due to be introduced in the Senate (and maybe timed to bomb when Labor Day rallies occurred).

    Who said wait?  Who said go?

    Can you figure it out?

    I Think You Give Them Too Much Credit (0.00 / 0)
    They are in terrible disarray.

    Of course the Democrats are worse, which is why green jobs were never going to be a threat to them.  As mentioned above, Obama already passed on the best opportunity to advance the green jobs agenda that he will ever have.

    But you are absolutely right about your underlying point here:

    The oldest tactic in DC is to turn a fight about policy into an attack on the advocate for the other side.  Happens all the time.

    In fact, that's so ingrained that they do it in their sleep.  They can be in total disarray, and they will do this without even knowing it.

    "You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

    [ Parent ]
    organized astroturf (0.00 / 0)
    there is a militancy that is organized

    they want to assassinate (figuratively, of course.  right?) any idea or person even vaguely on the Left

    there is a hysteria just below the surface of the Repub leadership that is alarming

    I think probably the pols just think it is a useful gambit to gain PR advantage

    not so sure what the activists and some Hill staff think

    weird generation on top for the Repubs right now

    and there is a network of Hill staff, corp guys, and "think tank" crowd that is very dark, and plugged together in uncharted ways

    [ Parent ]
    Well we know at least one outpost (0.00 / 0)
    Anyway, the thing to think about is that the Repub smear campaigns are highly organized and coordinated.  From where, I don't know, but I would like to know.

    Back in the day they used to brag about it. Just Google 'Grover Norquist Wednesday meeting' and you will get all kinds of relevant hits including this one from June 1, 2001 in USA Today Norquist's Power HIgh Profile Low

    And it has put Norquist, 44, at the center of action. Short and owlish, a master networker and ebullient believer in the therapeutic value of cutting taxes, Norquist launched the Wednesday Meeting eight years ago to wage guerrilla warfare against the Clinton administration.

    Marshall Wittmann, now with the conservative Hudson Institute, recalls attending the first meeting as legislative director of the Christian Coalition. "We were sort of like the Mensheviks after the Russian Revolution, meeting in Paris cafes," he says.

    Which is to say in 1993, right at the dawn of Clinton's first term..
    One-stop shopping

    Bush has been sending a representative to the Wednesday Meeting for two years, since before he formally announced his presidential candidacy. Now a White House aide attends each week. Vice President Cheney sends his own representative. So do GOP congressional leaders, right-leaning think tanks, conservative advocacy groups and some like-minded K Street lobbyists.

    The meeting has been valuable to the White House because it is the political equivalent of one-stop shopping. By making a single pitch, the administration can generate pressure on members of Congress, calls to radio talk shows and political buzz from dozens of grassroots organizations. It also enables the White House to hear conservatives vent in private - and to respond - before complaints fester.

    Think about the implications of that, more than a year before the Nov 2000 elections, before the first primary, the powers that be in the VRWC had already picked the winner. No wonder the primary field cleared so quickly, 'Lamar' my ass. I supposed representatives of those campaigns might also have been invited, but as it stands it would appear the fix was in.

    So it would appear that one answer to watchman's question is here:
    Americans for Tax Reform
    722 12th Street NW • Suite 400 • Washington, D.C. 20005
    Office 202-785-0266 • Fax 202-785-0261 •
    attn: Grover Norquist

    [ Parent ]
    No Doubt (0.00 / 0)
    Look, I'm the #1 proponent of focusing folk's attention on the workings of hegemeony.  And the Norquist group is definitely a major hub on the immediate workings.  But they've fallen on some very hard times of late, and there's a huge leadership vacuum they are struggling with.

    So I'm simply saying that right now they are mostly running on the infrastructure--both material and ideological--and improvising on top of it, with very little in the way of mid-term strategizing.

    "You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

    [ Parent ]
    The real problem with the petition: Accountability (4.00 / 2)

    Why hasn't a single person been fired, penalized, or reprimanded for the gross incompetence we witnessed that day?

    As we know by this time, accountability is anethema to Versailles.

    I suggest that's the real problem with the petition -- and note how, in thoroughly bipartisan fashion, the Ds and the Rs worked together seamlessly to throw somebody who'd demanded it under the bus.


    I am in earnest -- I will not equivocate -- I will not excuse -- I will not retreat a single inch -- AND I WILL BE HEARD.  

    Five levels of Trutherism (0.00 / 0)
    Actually there are more than that or perhaps they can be considered variations of these five. The problem is that the minute you hint that you might adhere to level one people immediately assume you assent to level 3 or higher. Which is why I mostly don't go there.

    Level one. Bush Knew. Something maybe just the day.
    Level two. Bush Knew. Something maybe just about hijacked planes.
    Level three. Bush Knew Everything. About all four planes and their targets.
    Level four. Bush Knew Everything. About the planes, their targets, plus he rigged the buildings for maximum destruction.
    Level five. Bush Knew Everything. And made sure the Jews knew it so they could avoid the building.

    Now I believe there is a good case for Level one, there are questions about the timeline that morning that just have not been answered. That is the first plane strike had already occurred before Bush left for Booker Elementary and there are firm indications that he knew at least something had happened. Yet under the official WH timeline there was a sixteen minute gap before he was informed and then as noted was allowed to remain in the classroom. Something remains odd.

    That being said levels three to five are crazy. Even if Bush was as evil as Aureus Goldfinger the needed plots would be just too fancy, too risky, and too much could go wrong. Nor is it clear why they would sacrifice the Pentagon and potentially the Capitol or the White House just to make some point, destroying the WTC would have been more than enough. In fiction we would say that the plot was overdetermined.

    Personally I don't believe in Level Two either. But it is not crazy in the same way as the others, I mean Sibel Edmonds exists as does Colleen Rowley, and there are some unanswered questions. But as long as we have Level Three to Five Truthers in the mix those questions won't even get seriously asked.

    Jane Hamsher knocked it out of the park (0.00 / 0)
    last week.


    Since that time (Van's resignation) no major players in the liberal institutions have stepped up for Van.

    Meanwhile we have watched Obama move right on health care.. while in his speech he declared he would stand up to bullshit.. he didn't even stand up to the "liar" scream. In fact he declared with pride as a selling point that "illegals" would not receive care! And within days he coddled the screamers by adding language which will make things worse for "illegals" in need of care.

    I felt like I was watching some modern version of a president promise slave owners black folks would never receive an education. Who the fuck is this man who champions the denial of care of millions of human beings? Is he really this evil?

    At best he used one NC congressional teabagger to move right.. act just like them. If you think he wasn't already there.

    What's the lesson here?

    The only people he will ignore / slap down is us? We need to forking scream bloody murder in order to get him to do something for us. We need to be willing to just make things up in order to get him to do something?

    No matter how one parses this past week... the only people who consistently get the sucker punches are us.

    I Think That's A Bit TOO Bleak (0.00 / 0)
    My diary on Obama's speech just posted 20 minutes ago.  Rather than repeat myself, I'll just suggest you read what I have to say there.

    "You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

    [ Parent ]
    Until he fired himself is a good way of putting it. (0.00 / 0)
    The Obama administration has shown its true colors by how they treated Van Jones. What color is that? Green. But that is the green of dollars not trees.  

    So far Obama as been a mediocre president at best when it comes to accomplishment, but his lack of loyalty to anyone or any principle undermines any otherwise postive aspect to his presidency.

    Still, Van Jones should not have resigned and his doing so was another example of how Obama destroys what he touches. I've seen Van Jones standing unafraid in the street fighting for his causes with the firm and unshakable belief in the Ghandi-King style of non-violence, and for Van Jones to wimp out like and run away from a fight aginst the scum like Glen Beck something powerful ugly must have been told to him by the Obama team.

    Like the "good cop--bad cop" game, Obama is the good corporatist president to Bush's bad corporatist president, but they are both corporatist presidents who advocate expanding American wars of intervention, selling military weapons to the world, making the financial Wall Street robbers richer, no habeus corpus for Guantanimo prisoners, no responsibility for Bush administration orders for torture, no real enegy policy change, etc., etc.

    Every day watching Obama in action confirms for me that this two-party dictatorship is the core of the problem. As long as the Dems and Repubs have the lock on the political system the two-party dictatorship is really just a one party dictatorship in disguise: that is, the dictatorship of the Corporatist Party.  

    PS, I hope Van Jones is done with the Dems (0.00 / 0)
    Maybe after a brief cooling off period, Van will come out of the closet of Democratic Party myopia and join Cynthia McKinney (and me, too,) in the Green Party.

    More war in Afghanistan? Don't blame me, I voted for McKinney.

    More bailouts and bribes for Wall Street? Don't blame me, I voted for McKinney.

    More failure to protect the poor in New Orleans and get them back to their city? Don't blame me, I voted for McKinney.

    More hypocrisy regarding Honduras? Don't blame me, I voted for McKinney.

    More give-aways to big Pharma and private insurance companies? Don't blame me, I voted for McKinney.

    Failures to deal with: uranium weapons, cluster bombs, climate change, energy policy, health care as a human/civil right, marriage as a human/civil right, Israel as an occupying nation in violation of international law, etc, etc.  

    If you voted for Obama, then blame yourself. Don't blame me, I voted for McKinney.

    [ Parent ]
    Wow! You're So Pure! (0.00 / 0)
    Almost as pure as those Floridians who voted for Nader.

    "You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

    [ Parent ]

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