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By Jose Rodriguez
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Glenn Beck is a racist. He’s also a communist and a fascist. And he hates America.
There. I said it. And I feel much better for it.
What’s my proof? Well, I have tons of made up facts and paranoid delusions to support my assertions. Isn’t that how Beck and his kind operate? No facts; only baseless assertions supported by “facts” that have been twisted and perverted to fit his narrow view of the world.
In the last few months, Beck has waged a jihad against a single individual: Van Jones. Now, why in the world would this little, paranoid, anglo be so interested in an environmentally conscious African American, working for an African American President? Hmmm…
Glen Beck is a racist.
Not really, but he is.
No, that’s not the reason (though Beck has had no problem calling the President a racist). It turns out that Van Jones is the founder of an advocacy group called Color of Change, which has been running a successful campaign to force advertisers to drop their sponsorship of Beck’s show on the Fox network. So far, 57 have jumped the crazy ship lollypop. What caused the group to start their campaign? Beck’s racist comments: President Obama is “a racist” and has a “deep-seated hatred for white people.” Well, that sounds like totally rational and legitimate debate.
But Beck was beating this drum before the Color of Change campaign, on July 23rd and July 28th. On July 23rd, Beck devoted a small amount of time on Jones’ efforts to create a “green” economy, which would create “green” jobs. He also described Jones as a “communist.” I know, I know– what a horrible person, right? Trying to give people jobs in the private sector while combating Global Climate Change sooooooo makes him a communist. On July 28th, Beck had on his show an “expert” named Phil Kerpen from the conservative think-tank Americans for prosperity. These two nut-jobs went on to weave a complex and convoluded conspiratorial web of lies and speculation, one that included Color of Change, the Apollo Alliance, and ACORN. These progressive groups, who advocate for social justice and equality, are apparently communists who want to overturn the system.
Here is a bit of their idiotic conversation:
BECK: OK. So, Wade Rathke, ACORN, Tides Center, they decide that they’re going to fund and create Apollo. One of the founders is the guy who went to jail — this is during the Rodney King thing — he went to jail and he was just a black nationalist. He came out a communist and he also then started looking into the green movement, and he is the guy who said, “Hey, if we tie labor and ACORN and Greenpeace together, we’ve got a super- powerful group, Apollo.”
Is it true Apollo helped design the stimulus package?
KERPEN: They did. They put out a draft stimulus bill last year in 2008. It included almost everything that ended up being in the final stimulus bill. Harry Reid has thanked them for helping design the final stimulus package that was enacted into law. And they brag on their Web site that they helped design this thing and push it through.
I love it when people who are trying to help the poor and disadvantaged are branded as communists who hate freedom and America.
Glenn Beck is a racist. Yeah, I know I said it earlier, but I was joking. Now I’m serious. He may not know he’s a racist, but he is– at least on a sub conscious level. Not only has he called our first African American President a racist with deep seated hatred for white people, but he is also curiously focused on Jones’ early years, trying to portray him as a radical black nationalist. Even his attacks on Color of Change and ACORN, groups that are aimed at bettering the lives of minorities in urban areas, seem to be racially motivated. He sees dark skinned people rising to positions of power and he is scared shitless.
Let’s take a moment to evaluate the charge that Van Jones is a communist. Here is a video clip of Beck on the O’Reilly Factor. Notice that O’Reilly asks Beck if Jones renounced his early radicalism. Notice, too, that Beck doesn’t answer the question:
Why does Beck avoid answering the question? Because Jones did renounce his early views.
Certainly, Jones did brand himself as a communist. When he was jailed(improperly) following the riots of the Rodney King trial, Jones encountered revolutionary people with radical ideas. “I spent the next ten years of my life working with a lot of those people I met in jail, trying to be a revolutionary… I was a rowdy nationalist on April 28th, and then the verdicts came down on April 29th. By August, I was a communist.” This is the quote that Beck refers to constantly. Unfortunately, he never mentions the rest of the story.
After working in 2000 against Prop 21 (designed to impose stricter sentences on criminals) he faced a tremendous inner struggle when the Proposition passed and his revolutionary group imploded. As Eva Paterson (a mentor to Jones in his early years) wrote, “I counseled him to rethink his tactics and to work for change in wiser ways. In time, he jettisoned his youthful notions and moved on to seek more effective and attainable solutions.” Jones looked around and saw that there were other ways to achieve social progress: “I realized that there are a lot of people who are capitalists — shudder, shudder — who are really committed to fairly significant change in the economy, and were having bigger impacts than me and a lot of my friends with our protest signs.” So, Jones renounced his radical ways and accepted a different path: “Now, I put the issues and constituencies first. I’ll work with anybody, I’ll fight anybody if it will push our issues forward. … I’m willing to forgo the cheap satisfaction of the radical pose for the deep satisfaction of radical ends.” It was also at this time that Jones turned to God and returned to his Christian faith. Within the last year, Jones also published a book titled, “The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can fix Our Two Biggest Problems.” Note that the book is a capitalist approach to solving our unemployment problem as well as our Climate Change problem.
Another of Beck’s otrageous claims is that Jones is a convicted felon, who was part of the race riots following the Rodney King trial. While it is true that Jones was arrested, his characterization is false and dishonest.
Here is Eva Paterson’s description of the event:
On May 8, 1992, the week AFTER the Rodney King disturbances, I sent a staff attorney and Van out to be legal monitors at a peaceful march in San Francisco. The local police, perhaps understandably nervous, stopped the march and arrested hundreds of people — including all the legal monitors.
The matter was quickly sorted out; Van and my staff attorney were released within a few hours. All charges against them were dropped. Van was part of a successful class action lawsuit later; the City of San Francisco ultimately compensated him financially for his unjust arrest (a rare outcome).
So, it is completely false and wrong for Beck to continue to portray Jones as a felon.
Van Jones is an individual who has made it his life’s work to fight for social change, social justice. His tactics and beliefs were radical and revolutionary, but he has long since change his ways, though social change and justice are still his goal. He is someone who has a powerful presence, who empowers people to become the chage they want to see. It was this work, particularly his efforts to create a “green” economy that caught the eye of the Obama administration. Despite Beck’s claim that Jones is a “Green Jobs Czar,” Jones is really nothing more than a low-level advisor. The term “Czar” is one that has been used by the media, though never used by the Obama administration. Beck loves using the word, as though it implies some level of shady business. In reality, Jones is an intelligent, passionate, and dynamic individual who wants to make a difference.
Check out the following video:
I have to say that I am totally disappointed in Senator Obama’s performance tonight. This was a perfect opportunity to put away Senator McCain, and Obama blew it. Instead, he spent a great deal of time defending himself and explaining himself. Throughout the debate, Obama was cool and collected, and he was able to connect to voters on important issues like health care and education, but he allowed McCain to assume the dominant and aggressive position throughout the night. Now, Obama did not have to hit a home-run tonight because he is in a commanding lead in the polls, but he really should have performed better. He was flat and boring. In short, Obama sucked tonight.
On the other hand, while McCain was aggressive and in attack mode (his comfort zone), he failed to hit a home-run, as well. He failed to provide any details or background on his proposals. More importantly, he failed to follow through on his attacks on Obama, vis a vis Ayers and ACORN. Like his campaign thus far, he was erratic and all over the place, instead of being focused and on message. To his credit, he beat Obama over the head with two issues: Obama’s tax policy and the economy. The latter has been Obama’s strength, but McCain bested him tonight on that topic. However, overall, McCain came across as mean spirited, hateful, and angry. This may have been the cause of his erratic responses throughout the night. While McCain may have pleased his base on issues like abortion and taxes, he did not connect with Independent voters, who will be deciding this election. And, as I wrote in my previous blog, they hate attacks, which is all McCain did tonight. It will be interesting how they respond to tonight’s debate.
Tonight was a draw. Simply put. Obama failed to wow the viewers, and McCain failed to prove his case that he is any different from Bush or that Obama is a dangerous individual. Though tonight was a draw, that is essentially a default victory for Obama and a default loss for McCain. Obama needed only maintain the staus quo of the race, while McCain needed a decisive victory, which he failed to get.
The real winner in tonight’s debate, however, was moderator Bob Schieffer, who succeeded in drawing the two candidates away from their talking points and succeeded in getting them to confront one another. He asked thoughtful and interesting questions tonight that made this the best debate of the election. Good for you, Bob!
Now, we’re off to November 4th!
Oh, and I do have to make one other point. I went to Canada over the summer for my honeymoon. My wife and I stayed in Victoria. We fell in love with the place, but we also fell in love with the people. They were so kind, tolerant, intelligent, thoughtful, and giving. I thought, “Wow, the Canadians are very different from Americans.” I come across so many people in America who are ignorant, hateful, loud, and selfish. By no means do I think all, or even the majority, of Americans are that way, but there are elements of our country that fail, I think to live up to the standards of our forefathers. I thought Canadians had.
Well, that bubble sure burst when I started getting such hateful posts from an individual called clancop, who is a Canadian. He’s a little ball of hate, that guy. I guess I was wrong about Canada. Well, that’s what happens when you make generalizations, I suppose.
The whole ACORN fiasco is nothing but a sign of the right’s desperation. They see conspiracy theories everywhere: Obama is a closet Muslim, they scream; He registered people to vote, they cry; He knew a man who was a domestic terrorist forty years ago, they squeal. Frankly, I want to hear about policy issues, not frantic accusations.
The ACORN debacle has been pushed primarily by a right-wing columnist named Stanley Kurtz, of the ultra-conservative National Review. The basic gist of his “logic” is that Obama became BFF’s with William Ayers while they sat on the board of the Annenberg Challenge, and, surprise surprise, they both attended board meetings. Most of Kurtz’s arguments are based on very weak, however passionately put forth, information. Not even Kurtz himself entirely believes his own assertions. “Does that mean Obama himself schooled Acorn volunteers in disruptive ‘direct action?’ Not necessarily,” He wrote. At another point, he only goes so far as to write, “Part of Obama’s work, it would appear, was to organize demonstrations, much in the mold of radical groups like Acorn.” Mostly, Kurtz is engaging in the lowest form of character assassination.
It should be mentioned that anytime people want to organize or help other people, it is immediately denounced as “radical” or “leftist” by pieces of shit like Kurtz. Oh, dear god, especially when people are trying to get poor people to register to vote. Boy do the right-wingers go bat shit!
The Annenberg Challenge was established to reform the schools of Chicago, which were in desperate need of help. They even were awarded a 50 million dollar grant in order to meet this goal. The Annenberg Challenge engaged in such radical and leftist activities as trying to reduce class size, trying to bring schools and the community closer together, and encouraging teachers to work together and to further their education. Wow. That’s radical. So radical, in fact, that the program was created by staunchly conservative Walter Annenberg, a friend of Ronald Reagan, a big-time GOP donor, and US ambassador to Britain under President Nixon.
Stanley Kurtz was so curious about this topic that he demanded to see the Annenberg records. Confused librarians at the University of Illinois at Chicago (where, incidently, Ayers is a Professor of Education) were unsure about whether or not Kurtz was allowed access, so they denied his request. This immediately was seized upon as evidence that Obama and Ayers were trying to cover up their relationship. He wrote, “Circumstances strongly suggest the likelihood that Bill Ayers himself may have played a pivotal role in this denial.” Again, he’s pulling this right out of his ass. He promised his readers that the files would be a treasure trove of information regarding Obama and Ayers’ relationship. Unfortunately for Kurtz and his ilk, Kurtz was allowed to view the records, but he still found nothing substantial. Oops!
The Chicago Tribune wrote this about Kurtz’s “journalism” on the subject: “This is Alice in Wonderland journalism—Conclusion first! Research afterward!” How appropriate.
Obama is slightly responisble for Kurtz’s rise in popularity… so popular, apparently, that he has gained readership around the globe (even Canada)… Instead of confronting Kurtz directly, Obama urged his supporters to call or write WGN, a radio network that allowed Kurtz air-time to spread his hate-mongering, and complain. Kurtz and his supporters again jumped on this as proof that Obama was trying to kill the story. *sigh*
Again, the reason the right is so upset by ACORN is that they have recently announced that they have registered 1.3 million new voters. The thought of people voting is frightening to the right. Especially poor people! Sure, there have been instances of fraudulent registrations across the country, but it is not voter fraud until they attempt to vote. It is also interesting to note, that these fraudulent registrations have been caught (in fact, they were even brought to the attention of election officials by… get this… ACORN itself) , thus preventing anyone from actually voting. The right screaming about voter fraud is actually very hilarious considering how they cheated Gore out of the Presidency through voter fraud in Florida.
All this talk now of potential voter fraud is designed to set Barack Obama up for charges that he stole the election. People on the right can point and scream, “See! They stole it!” Instead of accepting responsibility for the loss (bad policies, Bush fatigue, Obama is a better candidate), they’re already planning to undermine the Obama presidency.
I can’t stress enough how full of shit Kurtz is. And I can’t stress enough how much I hope McCain brings this up during the next debate, because he will lose. The American people want to hear solutions, not groundless personal attacks.
PALIN IS IN DEEP SHIT UP IN ALASKA!!
So, here we go again…
The latest attacks from right-wing bloggers, McCain sympathizers, and CNN’s Mr. Independent, Lou Dobbs, have to do with Senator Obama’s “ties” to ACORN. The right really has nothing to talk about. The McCain campaign– through McCain advisor Greg Strimple– has already said that it intends to “turn the page” on the economy, and focus on personal attacks in the final 26 days. Speakers at McCain rallies use Obama’s middle name (Hussein) in an attempt to somehow cast him as a radical Muslim in some terrorist cell. A McCain campaign co-chairman and former Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating went as far as to belittle Obama as simply a “guy of the street… who used cocaine.” He also went on to discuss Rev. Jeremiah Wright , even though Senator John McCain himself said that topic was off-limits. The rhetoric from the McCain camp is so intense that it is affecting the attitudes of people going to his rallies. People could be heard shouting “Kill him!” and “terrorist!” as VP wannabe Sarah Palin attempted to link Obama to Bill Ayers .
The bottomline is this– the McCain people are desperate and they’re willing to throw anything and everything at Senator Obama… including an ACORN.
As many may or may not know, ACORN has gotten into some trouble over the past few weeks for voter registration fraud. Apparently, dead people and the Dallas Cowboy’s want to vote in this election, which would be admirable if it were truely them registering. As with the Ayers scandal, the slightest connection to this controversial group translates into HUGE and CLOSE ties in the minds of the right-wing, who scream at the media for failing to ask Obama serious questions about his ties to ACORN, Ayers, Wright, or space invaders. The fact is, his relationship to all of them has been thoroughly investigated by the media and internet bloggers over the last 19 months.
Let’s start at the begining…
According to Fox News, there are “three stages of connection” between ACORN and Senator Obama: he represented ACORN in court; he trained ACORN orgainzers; and that he was appointed head of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge board by Bill Ayers, and then the two used government money to fund ACORN.
Let’s take the first charge…
In 1995, Barack Obama, in conjunction with the US Department of Justice, represented a group of organizations that were trying to force the State of Illinois to comply with a federal voting access law, called the Motor Voter law. One of those organizations just happened to be ACORN. In fact, much of Obama’s early work in Chicago was related to civil and voting rights, and for his efforts he was rewarded with the IVI-IPO Legal Eagle Award in 1995.
… and then the second charge…
Barack Obama never trained or organized for ACORN. In 1992, Obama did orgainze with the non-partisan group Project Vote in their registration drive, which many of the right-wing blowhards cite as proof positive of his links to ACORN. Unfortunately for them, the facts are in the way. ACORN and Project Vote did not begin to co-ordinate their efforts until 1994– for those conservatives out ther who can’t do math, that’s two years. The National Director for Project Vote‘s 1992 voter registration was Sanford Newman, who wrote an editorial in the Wall Street Journal to debunk the myth that Obama was organizing for ACORN. Newman also wrote
that Obama turned down lucrative and far more prestigious job offers to accept the “meager salary” of Project Vote. As Newman noted, this was Obama’s “deep commitment to strengthening the democratic process [which] is something that all Americans should applaud regardless of their party or politics.”
…and the last charge…
On Saturday October 3, 2008, the New York Times reported that:
Some bloggers have recently speculated that Mr. Ayers had engineered that post for him. In fact, according to several people involved, Mr. Ayers played no role in Mr. Obama’s appointment. Instead, it was suggested by Deborah Leff, then president of the Joyce Foundation, a Chicago-based group whose board Mr. Obama, a young lawyer, had joined the previous year… Ms. Leff suggested that Mr. Obama would make a good board chairman, she said in an interview. Mr. Ayers was not present and had not suggested Mr. Obama, she said. Ms. Graham said she invited Mr. Obama to dinner at an Italian restaurant in Chicago and was impressed. “At the end of the dinner I said, ‘I really want you to be chairman.’ He said, ‘I’ll do it if you’ll be vice chairman,’ ” Ms. Graham recalled, and she agreed.
The McCain camp needs to throw a Hail Mary. The polls look bad for McCain, but the Electoral map looks even worse. If recent poll findings hold, or move more into Senator Obama’s favor, then Senator McCain has no chance of victory come this November 4th. That is what is enraging his supporters. Those hardline Republican’s have been angrily demanding that McCain go after Obama more aggressively.
I agree. He should.
But here’s why–
John McCain cannot win by simply appealing to his base. He is going to need the support of Independents, but he is not going to get their support by making personal attacks against Obama’s character. They want to hear about issues that matter to them.
Bill Ayers doesn’t matter to them.
ACORN doesn’t matter to them.
What matters to them is health care, the war, the economy, and changing Washington. If John McCain wants to play in the mud, then let him. He’s only spelling out his own doom..