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September 07, 2009

Stand By Your Van (Jones)

Over the weekend, presidential adviser Van Jones resigned after a smear campaign by FOX News patron patriot of the week Glenn Beck.

So, why should Vermont care?

For starters, Sen. Bernie Sanders chairs the Subcommittee on Green Jobs and the New Economy, which is part of the Environment and Public Works Committee. Sanders has worked some with Jones — but also with the White House Council on Environmental Quality—  on ways to spur the "green" economy by creating manufacturing jobs in the United States to build solar panels, wind turbines and other environmentally-friendly energy technology.

VanjonesOn Friday, the ranking Republican — Christopher "Kit" Bond (R-MO) issued a letter to Sanders, asking him to hold hearings on Jones' "behavior and comments to reassure the American people that their government is safe from his divisive, incendiary and ultimately counterproductive sentiments."

Sanders now doesn't have to worry about responding to Bond's letter, but he is disappointed in Jones' resignation.

Equally, Sanders is bothered by the lack of counterattack by Democratic leaders and the Obama administration on the "right-wing echo chamber."

"To surrender to them is ridiculous, because they're not going to stop. They're just going to go after the next guy," said Sanders. "We need to be standing up to them more vigorously and exposing their lies."

Beck successfully dug up unsavory moments from Jones' past — such as when Jones added his signature to a petition asking for a more detailed probe into the attacks of September 11, 2001, and calling members of the GOP "assholes" during a speech before he was hired on by the White House. Beck also drudged up claims that Jones was a communist, or a socialist, or maybe a fascist. Possibly a racist, too.

On FOX News Sunday, former Gov. Howard Dean said Jones was "brought down" and called it a "terrible loss for the country."

Vermonters had a close-up view of Jones at work when he gave the keynote speech at this year's Vermont Business Expo — the organization's 25th annual event. In case you missed what this radical, communist, fire-breathing, destroyer of capitalism had to say, here's a link to Jones' speech.

He's articulate, engaging, and offers one of the best explanations to the mysterious "cap-and-trade" system I've heard yet. He was also pretty clear that the Obama administration was siding with the problem solvers, not the problem makers, in cleaning up the environment. But, he expected the solutions to come from the private sector, not government.

I shit you not.

Best line was Jones telling the crowd that if we have a 22nd century, and he stressed if, it will not be because Pres. Barack Obama was the first black president. "It will be because he was the first green president," he noted.

He also said in 100 years the idea of the first black president will have lost its luster because the country will have elected a Latino, a lesbian and someone in a wheelchair by then. As in, there are many more firsts that lay ahead of us.

OK, now I can see why Beck is scared. I mean, after all, he's only a white guy. I mean, they don't run jack shit anymore.

If you don't want to sit through the hour-long program (his speech is about a half hour), then you want to check out this interview he did with Tuttle Middle School students Riya Patel and Neel Desai of South Burlington Network News. It's an eight-minute video, and the students cut right to the chase.

Best part of the interview is when Jones dismisses the "green jobs czar" title and says he thinks of himself as the "green jobs handyman."

If you ask me, Jones is just the first of any number of talented, articulate, educated black men in the administration that Beck and other closeted — or not-so-closeted — racists will attack and denigrate. Why? Because their real target is Pres. Barack Obama — the person they are convinced was born in Kenya with only one goal in mind: steal the presidency, wage a communist jihad and enslave all white people as reparation for, you know, real slavery.

"Beck successfully dug up unsavory moments from Jones' past — such as when Jones added his signature to a petition asking for a more detailed probe into the attacks of September 11, 2001..."

That is unsavory! How could anybody want more information about 9-11? The commission Bush created went over everything.

The petition also stated that the gov't may have played a role in the attacks.

Van is a great guy but let's be realistic folks. you can not say the gov't had something to do with 9/11 and continue to work for the administration.

Please, let's be the bigger people here and not be hypocrites. If the shoe was on the other foot we would be screaming for their heads.

" you can not say the gov't had something to do with 9/11 and continue to work for the administration. "

Your leap of logic just missed the cliff's edge... Your statement makes no sense. Or about as much sense as "Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction so we must invade."

This was the political equivalent of a hit job by the mob.

"you can not say the gov't had something to do with 9/11 and continue to work for the administration."

Why not? It's not the current administration in question, it's Bush's crew. And in case you didn't notice, they did a lot of crappy stuff that's being looked into now. Not that I believe the "911 truthers" have a case, but it's hardly a firing offense for someone to have cast doubts on the truthfulness or morals of Dubya and his cronies. Particularly when it appears it was just a signature on a petition.

This was a witch hunt, pure and simple.

you people are precisely why the democratic party is destined to continue to fail. you have no comprehension on how politics work but continue to push forward as if you are geniuses.

"This was a witch hunt, pure and simple." right you are and in case you've been a sleep for 60 years this is how politics work on both sides of the aisle.

It is absolutely the current administration in question or have you forgotten who was employing Jones?

Sir Winston thriller - Its clear you have the intelligence of a cat so explaining how my statement makes sense to you will just take entirely too long. If you think one gov't attacking another gov't over misinformation is the same as playing internal politics and still think my statement lacks logic I can only suggest you get help.

"you people are precisely why the democratic party is destined to continue to fail."

Majorities in both houses of Congress...a popular president...majorities in both houses in the state...and the Republican Party polling about as popular as syphilis at a sorority. Yeah--the Democrats sure are failing.

wow, winning those seats are awesome especially when they can't pass anything progressive in nature. So they are worth what exactly? Oh and Mr. thriller please don't forget what happened in 1994. We are heading for a repeat. Two years in power and NOTHING accomplished.

Sorry Mr. thriller I do have to say one more thing. The fact that you equate holding power to being successful is disturbing. Shouldn't you be measuring their success by what they actually do?

"you can not say the gov't had something to do with 9/11 and continue to work for the administration."

You are right. This is the downside of silently looking on in approval while the crazy mob throws tomatoes. The wild accusations about 9/11 were tacitly approved by the Dems, because it harmed their enemies.

Take a lesson, those of you who are still pursuing the ex-bushies, because you are in power now. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. Being in power means knowing and fighting America's REAL enemies.

I wonder if there is more. David Horowitz, a self-described former communist and son of communists, said on the Glen Beck show that Jones also came from a communist family. It was a Whitaker Chambers moment. At the risk of being called a red-baiter, it's worth looking into, if this story is being pursued.'s like 2001-2008 didn't happen for these people.

I'm pretty sure I found the original 9-11 Truth statement Van Jones signed onto here.

I think what happened on 9-11 presents a brilliant example of how epistemology fails us. How do we know what we know about 9-11?

I wonder- do we not know both the melting point of steel and the temperatures at which jet fuel burns? I don't. I don't know whom to trust for the right answers to those questions.

Others like Matt Taibbi or Bill Simmon believe in a web of truth held together by the vast web of those in the government, media and general society that would have to be wrong if Bin Laden didn't do it and the official story was false. The story can't be false they say- because it would be so difficult to believe all these people would either be liars or dupes.

I will point out however that the belief that secrets cannot be kept, and that were there secrets about 9-11 they'd have outed by now- is not logically sound.

There may be secrets as yet unknown. That is the a priori meaning of secrets. We can believe secrets would have outed by now, but we don't know what we don't know.

As I heard a Monk ask once "What is greater? All that we can imagine, or all that we cannot possibly imagine."

I don't know.

this is not a debate about 9/11 or the years 2001-08. If you want to rehash those arguments - which I personally find appropriate in the right setting - you clearly have no understanding of what's going on here. neither of you can even stay focused on the question at hand here.

Then what is going on here? What is the question at hand? Please tell us.

I have already told you but you chose to hear - in this case read - whatever you want. how typical of us liberals. You can debate all you want about Bush and 9/11. The former you have a majority the latter you do not. A wide majority of Americans are appalled by the assertion that the gov't had something to do with killing 3,000 of their own people. If you don't get that well than I have no choice but to quote the great Barney Frank "Sir, having a debate with you is like debating the dinning room table". The ONLY thing that matters - whether you agree or not - is that fact. If the administration supports someone that supports the 9/11 conspiracy which is so contrary to what people believe the Obama admin would be harming themselves beyond repair. Its amazing to me that Van Jones seems to get this more than you do.

Why in gods name would Obama want to debate if he believes the gov't that he now runs had something to do with 9/11? If you think he keeps Jones on staff and doesn't get asked the question a 100 times a day well, dining room table you are.

While all of us are products of the society that we live in, some us chose to change society for better or worse. Like many of us, I went through several stages as I developed my worldview.

Prior to 9-11, I was an engineer immersed in my daily job. Many of us are caught in the same daily grind without time for much else, especially since real wages have not kept up with the cost of living. The extra time after work is spent in leisure activities, often watching television. After 9-11, I ignored Dubya's advice to just go shopping and instead researched Wahhabism.

I didn't begin to really wake up until early 2007, until I donned my tin-foil hat and became a Ron Paul supporter. I was shocked at the blatant corruption, the shadow government, and the various industrial complexes that curtail democracy within our government. Somewhere, along the way, the ideals of the American Revolution had been co-opted by corporate-personhood. I was mad as hell and I wasn't going take it any more. But then I learned about radical evangelism, politics of deviance, neoliberalism, social justice, climate change, and peak oil.

Finally, I began to realize that we must accept responsibility for the situation in the world today, and to realize that change will not come from above, but from the people below. Just as the French rejected the birthright of kings in the eighteenth century, people outside the U.S. are rejecting neoliberalism in South America. Might we look to the people of Oaxaca, Mexico and Honduras as examples of real change?

Glenn Beck is in the stage of being mad as hell. Many people having little time for much else, listen to and watch Glenn Beck and his ilk, and they too become mad as hell. People like Van Jones have already reached the final stage and realize that real social change only comes when all people unite for the common good.

"...I was an engineer..."

You don't happen to know the melting point of steel and the temperatures at which jet fuel burns, do you?

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