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Open Thread: Is Obama a Socialist?

If only he was! We might be getting real Health Care Reform right now. Google defines a Socialism as follows

socialism (uncountable)

  1. Any of various political philosophies that support social and economic equality, collective decision-making, and public control of productive capital and natural resources, as advocated by socialists.
  2. The socialist political philosophies as a group, including Marxism, libertarian socialism, democratic socialism, and social democracy.
  3. (Leninism) The intermediate phase of social development between capitalism and full communism. This is a strategy whereby the State has control of all key resource-producing industries and manages most aspects of the market, in contrast to laissez faire capitalism.
  4. (Classical Marxism) The international communist society where classes and the state no longer exist.

I don’t see how this description fits the President at all. But I could be wrong. Why don’t we ask him? Ever since the primaries ended, some people have adopted right wing memes about Obama, (like that he is a Socialist) and claimed them to be the truth. Some of these people have even called themselves PUMAs. How rude! The Hillbuzz boys are a good example. Many of us really enjoyed their site at one point. But some time in 2008, they went off the deep end began spouting right wing birther nuttery about how Islam and ACORN is trying to take over the world and how Dick Cheney kept America safe and is a champion for Gay Rights. *spits out water* Since then, most liberals have been driven from their website, and it is now an echo chamber for reactionary conservatives. This morning, I was bored, and I saw that they had posted yet another loony article about how textbooks are indoctrinating children with political correctness and a belief in Climate Change or some such other thing, so I left a comment.

This website is more and more becoming an echo chamber for wingbat conservatives. I still love it, but I used to love it more. I don’t think I’ve seen an actual substantive post that didn’t have something to do with demonizing liberals, calling Bam a “socialist” (falls over laughing)or spouting some nuttery about how ACORN is taking over the world in months. There has been nothing about Health Care, nothing about the continuation of Bush’s wiretapping policies and torture, nothing about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Nothing. Once upon a time, this website was wonderful. Now this morning’s post is about how… er

Europe is a weak, crippled, pathetic continent where once mighty societies once stood. It sure doesn’t seem like a coincidence the devolution of Europe coincides perfectly with its catering to all of this PC, pretend everything’s rosey, insist Muslims are Care Bears crap.

I’m sorry, but I just had to say something.

The Hillbuzz boys proceeded to ban me, and then wrote several subsequent comments about my evil partisan leftism and how I was trying to “censor” them. They called me a “good little Democrat” and so on and so forth. They defended themselves by saying they had never claimed to be liberal and had always explained that they were “moderates.”

If moderates and conservatives mounted a years-long effort to take back our schools and install boards who’d fight the Islamization of our curriculums and the re-writing of history in PC-terms, then maybe we can push back against these Alinsky/ACORN radicals before they take permanent hold of young minds and send America down the tubes alongside Europe.

I should be ashamed of myself! I’m just going to go back to destroying America with my socialism now. I only tell this story because it goes back to the Jones controversy. Idiot Right wingers should never be taken seriously. The Hillbuzz boys did, and look at what happened to them.

This is an open thread.

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Dear Mr. Fantasy…Dreaming of 2012

Relax and let yourself dream

Relax and let yourself dream

This story is a couple of days old; but since I don’t watch TV anymore, I didn’t hear about it until today. It seems that two of MSNBC’s most enthusiastic koolaid-slurpers, Keith Olberman and Eugene Robinson, had a discussion on last Thursday night’s Countdown about whether President Obama could find himself with primary challengers in 2012 if he doesn’t pass a strong health care bill with a public option. Here’s the video:

Rasmussen Reports took note of the suggestion.

Olbermann said the president has “compromised on everything so far and as self-defeating as it may be, the progressive caucus and progressives would abandon him if necessary, if this was to be the policy of this administration into 2012. If it’s necessary to find somebody to run against him, I think they’d do it, no matter how destructive that may seem.”

But just over a month ago, before the president signaled a willingness to give up on the so-called public option element of his health care reform plan, voters were evenly divided over whether Hillary Rodham Clinton would challenge Obama for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 2012. Clinton, after all, was a very close second for the party’s nomination last year.

In fact, Rasmussen took a poll. Continue reading

Van Jones resigns

Van Jones

Van Jones

We haven’t been following the saga of Van Jones here at The Confluence because we try to ignore the VRWC Noise Machine and we have been focusing on health care reform.  Here’s the latest news from the Washington Post:

Van Jones, special adviser for green jobs at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, resigned Saturday, following weeks of pressure from the right and a flurry of revelations about his past statements.

“I am resigning my post at the Council on Environmental Quality, effective today,” Jones said in a statement dated Sept 5 released around midnight on Sept 6.

“On the eve of historic fights for health care and clean energy, opponents of reform have mounted a vicious smear campaign against me.They are using lies and distortions to distract and divide,” he continued. “I have been inundated with calls — from across the political spectrum — urging me to ‘stay and fight.’ But I came here to fight for others, not for myself. I cannot in good conscience ask my colleagues to expend precious time and energy defending or explaining my past. We need all hands on deck, fighting for the future.”

White House officials had offered tepid support last week Jones after he issued two public apologies in recent days, one for signing a petition that questioned whether Bush administration officials “may indeed have deliberately allowed 9/11 to happen, perhaps as a pretext for war.”

Earlier, Jones said he was “clearly inappropriate” in using a crude term to describe Republicans in a speech he gave before joining the administration.

Who is Van Jones? From Gawker:

The story of how the President’s Special Advisor for Green Jobs became the biggest, scariest villain of the right wing (this week, anyway) is also the story of how the right wing information delivery process works now.

Here’s the biography of Van Jones: he was a bookish black kid from Tennessee who went to Yale Law and moved to San Francisco and became a radical. Then he decided to use his law degree and smarts to clean up and make things better from inside the establishment.

He was, he openly acknowledges, a “full-on Marxist” in early ’90s California. He joined a revolutionary Marxist group and protested police brutality. Then he founded the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, which combats over-incarceration, police brutality, and urban poverty and violence.

Running a civil rights group dedicated to producing real and immediate improvements in urban life will make a revolutionary Marxist a bit more pragmatic. Jones began focusing on job creation, and, with a bit of prognostic intuition that ought to put Thomas Friedman to shame, he decided, in the late-’90s, to focus on “Green Jobs.” This is, you know, capitalism—he wants to create wealth, and use market forces to make the world and black communities better places!

And in 2008 he wrote a book called The Green Collar Economy, and it made the Times best-seller list, making him as much of a figure of the mainstream as Sean Hannity or Malcolm Gladwell.

So here we have a radical youth turned respectable liberal. Respectable enough to be on Time magazine listicles and win World Economic Forum prizes and everything. Respectable enough for Tom Friedman to profile him. And The New Yorker. Respectable enough for Meg Whitman, as in former eBay CEO and wealthy Republican California gubernatorial candidate and John McCain advisor Meg Whitman, to proclaim herself “a huge fan of Van Jones.”

And for both his activism and his charm he was rewarded with a White House job with the Council on Environmental Quality. He was tasked with making sure stimulus money for green jobs actually went to green jobs. And he’s a great person to have in this administration—he is a genuine environmentalist and the only special interest he’s beholden to is poor people. He is the sort of person we were all praying Obama would bring with him to DC, instead of Larry Summers.

I am no fan of Barack Obama. I rate him as somewhat better than George W. Bush only because he hasn’t launched an unprovoked war on false pretenses. But I have said before and I’ll say again that I would love to be proven wrong about him.  If he fails we all suffer.

I am not going to oppose people and/or policies just because of their connection to Obama, nor am I going to think less of anyone (like Hillary Clinton) because they choose to serve our nation by working for him.  I want Obama to appoint good liberals and progressives to positions in the federal bureaucracy and judiciary.

Van Jones seems to have been a good pick for the position he held. None of the crap thrown at him by the wingnuts had anything to do with his qualifications or job performance.  Obama should have given Jones his full support.


From the Washington Post:

Fox News Channel host Glenn Beck all but declared war on Jones after a group the adviser founded in 2005, ColorofChange.org, led an advertising boycott against Beck’s show to protest his claim that Obama is a racist.

Glenn Beck is not on our side, he is a member of the right-wing lunatic fringe. The idea that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” is bullshit. The attacks on Jones are not based on any alleged incompetence or corruption.  As Digby said:

Murdoch and Ailes have made it quite clear that if you mess with Fox they will unleash the crazies. They’re taking Van Jones’ scalp to send that message.

I have no interest in watching the VRWC destroy a bad Democratic POTUS so they can replace him with someone even worse. Nor will I cheer when real liberals and progressives are driven from an administration that is already overloaded with conservatives and centrists.

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