Obama has fed his green Jones to King CONG
With clarity and verve [Van] Jones finally brought to the mainstream the critical message that what’s good for the environment is also good for the economy.
By Harvey Wasserman / The Rag Blog / September 6, 2009
See ‘The right wing’s assault on Van Jones and the progressive left’ by Carl Davidson, and the article that started it all, ‘Van Jones scandal threatens Obama presidency’ by Cliff Kincaid, Below.
Van Jones has been fed to King CONG (Coal, Oil, Nukes & Gas).
Obama’s one serious green bright spot has been sacrificed at the McCarthyite altar of the corporate bloviation machine.
The brilliant, charismatic Jones was responsible for the administration’s single significant accomplishment to date. With clarity and verve Jones finally brought to the mainstream the critical message that what’s good for the environment is also good for the economy.
The convenience of this simple truth has long been known to the green power movement. Since the early 1970s we have argued that converting away from fossil and nuclear fuels — coal, oil, nukes & gas — and onto a Solartopian system based on renewables and efficiency is the only route to long-term prosperity. With community-based solar, wind, tidal, geothermal, mass transit, increased efficiency and efficiency, we can and must build a sustainable economy that will create jobs and geo-political stability.
An early articulation of this green-powered vision came at the “Toward Tomorrow” Fair at the University of Masschusetts, Amherst, in 1975. As the “No Nukes” movement was just gathering grassroots steam, we envisioned a community-based Solartopian energy system that would guarantee full employment and a survivable planet.
For the next quarter century, the No Nukes movement helped drive atomic energy into its economic and ecological black hole. As fossil fuels became ever more unsustainable, the vision took shape. Wind, solar and efficiency technologies boomed ahead.
But the multi-trillion-dollar fossil/nuke industry is nothing if not entrenched. Throughout the Reagan-Bush-Clinton-Bush nightmare it made common wisdom of the Big Lie that saving the environment meant economic sacrifice. In fact, except for King CONG’s short-term mega-profits, the opposite has always been true.
Van Jones finally broke through. As an informed, exciting and compelling presenter, Jones made clear that the “green collar economy” is tangible and terrific. In his writings, mass meetings, television and legislative testimony, Jones turned the corner on the message that what’s good for the environment is not only good for the economy, it’s essential. Appearing with the likes of Robert Redford on Larry King, and much more, Jones finally injected into the mainstream the message that there will be no prosperity, no full employment, and no survivable planet without the necessary and doable conversion to a green-powered Earth.
With Jones running point, Obama has in fact made millions of critical dollars available for renewable energy. The Stimulus Package does include a significant sector of cash for those wishing to bring wind, photovoltaics and other Solartopian systems into their home, office and industrial energy mix.
But we’ve seen this before. Jimmy Carter took halting steps up the Solartopian highway in the late 1970s. Tens of thousands of green jobs were created in California and elsewhere. Then Ronald Reagan ripped the solar water heater off the White House roof and Gov. George Deukmejian killed Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax credit program. The industry went into a tailspin, those thousands of jobs disappeared, and America’s dependency on foreign oil soared out of control.
With Jones gone we have to worry that Obama might now repeat history. The pretext for forcing Jones out was pathetic. Like millions of Americans he signed a petition asking for an investigation into the 9/11 felling of the World Trade Center. He used the dreaded term “asshole” to accurately describe some Republicans, and then used it to describe himself and his friends. He may have said some things that some right winger might’ve construed as racist.
Did he kill someone? Did he engage in torture? Did he steal money? Is he a lousy parent?
This is McCarthyism at its most lethal, and administrative timidity at its most dangerous. If groveling to the corporate bloviators is Obama’s strategy for making change, we are in deep deep trouble.
In fact Van Jones, as imperfect as the rest of us, was Obama’s critical firestarter in a green-powered revolution that is decades overdue. While the likes of Glenn Beck can crow over his demise, it’s the gargantuan King CONG barons of fossil/nuke who are really in the saddle. Pushing Van Jones aside is a major coup for the destroyers of the planet, and a big loss for those of us who would re-power and save it.
We will, of course, continue to fight against fossil and nuclear power and for a green-powered Earth. But as it has been for decades, the going is rough. Will this administration really be with us?
[Harvey Wasserman’s Solartopia: Our Green-Powered Earth is at www.harveywasserman.com. In 1973 he helped coin the phrase “No Nukes.”]
The right wing’s assault on Van Jones and the progressive left
By Carl Davidson / The Rag Blog / September 6, 2009
Here’s the motherlode piece fueling the rightwing blogosphere that helped bring down Van Jones. The text will show you that it won’t stop here. They will use everything they can to cripple and take down Obama from the right, and will use more and more sham “connections,” such as with me, to do it.
The right is aiming at any alliances between the liberals and the progressive left to destroy both. Their success here in this case, thanks to capitulation on this matter by the White House, shows why liberals have always been rather weak and wavering when the right bares its fangs, and why we, the progressive left, have to take up the slack, bringing others along with us. Moreover, it shows we need better and stronger organization to back up our gains.
Finally, it show the stupidity and futility of those on the left who want to aim their main fire at this time at Obama’s presidency, and end up carrying water for the right wing populists and proto-fascists. None of this means we shouldn’t criticize Obama’s wars and take to the streets against them. But it does mean you have to study how to deliver the main blow to the immediate rising danger. If you want to lend a hand, make use of the PayPal button at Progressives for Obama. Even better, join or organize a PDA and/or a CCDS chapter, or something similar that you like better. But get organized.
Van Jones scandal threatens Obama presidency
By Cliff Kincaid / September 5, 2009
Our media have been slow to grasp the significance of the Van Jones story.
Reporting from near the home turf of embattled Green Jobs Czar Van Jones, Joe Garofoli of the San Francisco Chronicle says it’s clearly a bad sign when White House flak Robert Gibbs is asked if Jones still enjoys the confidence of the President and merely replies that Jones “continues to work in this administration.”
But the White House has to know that, if Jones goes, the questions won’t end. Who appointed him? Who looked into his background? Who knew what and when?
Gibbs knows that the Jones controversy undermines confidence in the President, who bears ultimate responsibility for the appointment. Gibbs also has to know that, if Jones’ background can sink Jones, the President himself is in trouble. Obama has decades of friendly associations with communists and terrorists, ranging from Communist Party USA member Frank Marshall Davis in his youth in Hawaii to communist terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn in Chicago when he was doing community organizing and running for political office.
By comparison to Obama, when it comes to nefarious connections, Jones is a piker.
Curiously, it’s not Jones’ communist background which has proven to be the most controversial. Rather, it’s his two apologies in a week for statements calling Republicans “assholes” and having signed a 9/11 truth statement blaming the terrorist attacks on U.S. officials.
It’s the communism, stupid.
As Professor Paul Kengor points out, “We now know that even the most authoritative sources, such as the seminal Harvard University Press work, The Black Book of Communism, were conservative when estimating only 100 million deaths at the hands of communist governments. The latest research, for instance, claims that Mao Zedong alone was responsible for the deaths of at least 60-70 million in China, and Joseph Stalin alone may well have killed 60 million in the USSR-those are just two communist countries that managed to far surpass the entire combined death toll of World War I and II, the two worst wars in the history of humanity.”
Do we want adherents of this foreign ideology of mass murder holding high government positions?
Van Jones, of course, is only a symbol of the problem. And communists are not required to promote communist policies. The Obama Administration is pursuing the destruction of anti-communist Honduras, in order to please Hugo Chavez, the Marxist ruler of Venezuela currently on a friendly visit to terrorist Iran. This is a scandal that deserves at least as much attention as Van Jones’ communist connections.
Our media have been slow to grasp the significance of the Van Jones story. Some news outlets have only reluctantly covered it because of the Jones statements about Republicans and 9/11.
But Jones’ communist background has been known since April 6, when New Zealand blogger Trevor Loudon revealed it in striking detail. This was only a few weeks after the appointment was announced. Joseph Farah’s World Net Daily then picked up the story and ran several important follow-ups.
While the Jones appointment has now become both a White House and Democratic Party scandal, one prominent Republican has already gotten burned as a result of her association with the identified communist.
Meg Whitman, the former president and CEO of eBay who is running for Governor of California, has been forced by the controversy to disavow her previous comments in support of Jones. She says, “My husband and I met him and many others on a cruise sponsored by National Geographic and The Aspen Institute. He talked about supporting job growth in California, but of course I did not do a background check of his past over dinner.”
Look who else was on the “Arctic Expedition for Climate Action 2008” cruise with Jones:
- Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright
- Larry Brilliant, Director, Google.org
- President Jimmy Carter & Rosalynn Carter
- Senator Tom Daschle & Linda Daschle
- John Fahey, President, National Geographic
- Mike Finley, President of the Turner Foundation
- Walter Isaacson, President, the Aspen Institute
- Andy Stern, President, Service Employees International Union
- R.E. “Ted” Turner, Chairman, Turner Foundation, Inc.
- Governor Bill Ritter, Jr., Governor, Colorado>
On March 27, 2009, the Aspen Institute gave its Energy and Environment Award in the category of “Individual Thought Leadership” to Van Jones.
Although Whitman now says that she wasn’t able to do a background check on Jones over dinner, she had previously said that she “got to know him very well.”
Here’s what she said, in comments captured on You Tube: “There’s a guy over in Oakland, I think his name is Van… Jones. And he and I were on a cruise last summer in the Arctic for climate change. And I got to know him very well. And a lot of the work he’s doing to enfranchise broader communities I’m a big fan of. He’s done a marvelous job… I’m a huge fan of his. He is very bright, very articulate, very passionate. I think he is exactly right.”
For someone who “got to know him very well,” she seemed to have some trouble remembering his name. In any event, while Whitman endorsed Jones and his work, at least she didn’t hire him. The White House did.
According to the Van Jones website, “In March 2009 Van went to work as the special adviser for green jobs at the White House Council on Environmental Quality.” What does this phrase “went to work” really mean?
As we have previously reported, the Obama Transition Project developed a 7-page questionnaire of 63 questions for people seeking top administration jobs. Here are some of the questions:
- Briefly describe the most controversial matters you have been involved with during the course of your career.
- Please identify all speeches you have given. If available please provide the test [sic] or recordings of each such speech or identify any recordings of speeches of which you are aware.
- If you have ever sent an electronic communication, including but not limited to an email, text message or instant message, that could suggest a conflict of interest or be a possible source of embarrassment to you, your family, or the President-Elect if it were made public, please describe.
The final question 63 was all-encompassing: “Please provide any other information, including information about other members of your family, that could suggest a conflict of interest or be a possible source of embarrassment to you, your family, or the president-elect.”
But it’s not known if Jones ever filled out the questionnaire. It seems doubtful.
The New York Times said that for those who managed to fill out the questionnaire and clear those hurdles, “the reward could be the job they wanted. But first there will be more forms, for security and ethics clearances from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Office of Government Ethics.”
So was Jones subjected to a security investigation by the FBI? No one seems to know. It seems doubtful.
I went to the website of the Office of Government Ethics, which collects and posts “Executive Branch Personnel Public Financial Disclosure Reports or Other Covered Records.” I put the name “Van Jones” into the search engine and “0 records” turned up.
It turns out that this data base only includes individuals “nominated or appointed by President Obama with the advice and consent of the Senate.” Since Jones didn’t have to go through a Senate confirmation hearing, he didn’t have to complete any of these forms.
The President, of course, didn’t have to fill out those forms, either. He didn’t have to go through an FBI background check. So the same questions being asked about Van Jones can be asked about Obama. Van Jones and his supporters know it. They probably know more about the President than we do. And that gives them political leverage and potential blackmail material.
As we argued in a previous column, it appears that a Communist Party spin-off, the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism (CCDS), was instrumental in some way in getting Jones his job. A one-time secret member of this network, Rep. Barbara Lee, is a close friend of both Jones and Obama. Jones comes from Oakland, California, and Lee represents Oakland. They worked together on the “green jobs” issue before Jones “went to work” at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Lee hailed the Jones appointment.
Another key CCDS official is Carl Davidson, a Marxist and former SDS activist described by blogger Trevor Loudon as “a big fan and promoter of Van Jones’ work.” Indeed, the latest edition of the “CCDS Mobilizer” notes that Davidson participated in New York City’s annual “Left Forum” in April of this year where he “presented Van Jones’ program for Green Jobs for inner city youth, but framing it as a larger structural reform project that could, if done right, unite a progressive majority and help get us out of the current crisis.”
In other words, the “Green Jobs” project is a disguised form of socialism.
Loudon reports that Davidson has pushed Van Jones and his agenda at every opportunity — just as he was pushing Obama as a political candidate in the 1990s. “Davidson was an ardent supporter of Obama for several years and helped organize the famous peace rally in Chicago in where Obama pinned his colors to the anti-Iraq war cause,” Loudon explains.
If you go to the CCDS website, you’ll see that one of the speakers at the recent CCDS convention was Angela Davis, former CPUSA candidate for vice president. I saw a picture of Davis on the first floor of the Ella Baker Center in Oakland when I was there in April looking into the Van Jones controversy. Jones founded the Ella Baker Center.
Rep. Lee, in her book, Renegade for Peace & Justice, talks about her work as “Comrade Barbara” in the Black Panther organization with Angela Davis, “the noted African American member of the Communist Party.” Davis was a key endorser of the July 17-19, 1992, national CCDS conference, “Perspectives for Democracy and Socialism in the ’90s.” One of the topics was, “Toward a Socialist United States?” Jones spoke to a CCDS fundraiser in 2006.
It is becoming increasingly clear that the scandal threatens not only the job of Van Jones but the Obama presidency.
The evidence suggests that a communist network has a direct pipeline into the White House. It is a network that includes the President himself.
So how can Obama fire Jones without putting his own presidency in jeopardy? This is the dilemma that grips the White House.
Cliff Kincaid is the Editor of the AIM Report.]
Source /AIM Report
Also see BOOKS / Van Jones’ ‘Green Collar Economy’ by Carl Davidson / The Rag Blog / September 6, 2009