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Czar wars: After axing Van Jones, conservatives sharpen knives in hunt for more Obama blood [Updated]

Green jobs czar Van Jones left the Obama administration over the weekend.

The one-time Marxist who had said a bad word about Republicans in February and signed a 9/11 conspiracy petition in 2001 resigned at midnight Saturday, in the middle of a holiday weekend. [Updated 2:30 p.m.: Jones was also a co-founder of Color of Change, which later launched an ad boycott of Glenn Beck's program. But Fox News insists that Beck's venom against Jones was not payback; the anchor had been ferreting out the more unsavory footnotes in Jones' vita before the boycott began, a publicist told us.]

Now Georgia Republican Jack Kingston, in one of those you-can't-make-this-stuff-up moments, is threatening to put all 34 Obama administration czars -- in every area from science to diversity -- under a microscope. In a recent op-ed on his website, Kingston argued:

In its day, czarist Russia had just 18 czars in 300 years. In just seven months, President Obama has nearly doubled that number. At this rate, we’ll have 272 czars by 2012. Who are these people and why are they necessary? Why do we need an Energy Czar and a Secretary of Energy? Why do we need a TARP Czar and a Secretary of Treasury? Why was a 31 year old with no background in the auto industry and who drives a foreign car appointed as the Auto Recovery Czar? What qualifies a college professor to set executive salaries?

To remedy the situation, Kingston has introduced H.R. 3226, the Czar Accountability and Reform Act, which would bar all funds to presidential envoys not confirmed by the Senate.

Other conservatives, smelling blood in the water, are sharpening their knives. Already, Fox's Beck has alerted his Twitter followers to "find everything you can on Cass Sunstein (the regulatory czar), Mark Lloyd (FCC diversity czar), and Carol Browner (energy czar)."

Sustein, a Harvard Law professor, is being castigated by the right for his support of animals. Lloyd is being portrayed as a disciple of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez. Browner, who served in the Clinton White House, is now seen as a socialist.

MSNBC's Keith Obermann, incensed by his Fox counterpart's efforts to root out scandal about the Obama czars, has responded by asking viewers to "send every bit of direct you can find" on Glenn Beck, his radio producer Stu Burguiere and Roger Ailes, the brainchild behind Fox News.

Maybe the czar wars will be good for cable television, but are they good for democracy?

Let us know what you think.

-- Johanna Neuman

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Comments () | Archives (25)

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Go get 'em Keith!

Whether fromt the right or the left, this is all insanity. These grown men and women are behaving as if they were 2 year olds. "Mine" . . . "No, mine" . . . "No, mine!". Where is true inteligence, true conversations, true honesty . . . ? ? ? What can come from this name calling, this posturing? Nothing; that is what. Is that what we want?

Thank you Glenn Beck for reporting on the Czars. No other
news paper or tv news station has the courage to report
the news about our government. Thank you again Fox news
I will continue to watch and listen to your news.

Let's get answers to these questions...

Who are these people and why are they necessary? Why do we need an Energy Czar and a Secretary of Energy? Why do we need a TARP Czar and a Secretary of Treasury? Why was a 31 year old with no background in the auto industry and who drives a foreign car appointed as the Auto Recovery Czar? What qualifies a college professor to set executive salaries?

Conservatives didn't ax Van Jones, the Obama Administration did.

I get the point that they are unelected and answer to the president only, etc. But that gets attached to a picture of Stalin and Mao and creates the wrong impression. These posts exist to help the president set a coordinated, efficient policy. We've got a ton of departments, with a ton of overlap. These posts help these departments approach their respective issues with coordination and efficiency, so things get done and money's not wasted. The Republicans are in such a political bind that they have nothing else to use against Obama except harp on these fantasies they've created, i.e. he's a Marxist, etc. Glenn Beck and Fox News have not offered one solution on the health care issue. In fact, Glenn Beck argues we've got the best system in the world. I wish the man would look back to his show on CNN when he criticized our health care system. The man is an absolute hypocrite. Our democracy is being threatened by people like Beck. He is scaring the hell out of people by making up absolute nonsense so he can raise his ratings, make money, and help the Republican party get back on the radar. He is playing with fire. The hatred and fear he is stoking can have serious consequences. I don't want his bullsh*t to put our President in harms way. He needs to wake up and do his part to make his country a better place.

The Conservatives axed Van Jones? He axed himself!!!!! He is a RACIST!!! Your news piece is BIASED and UNFAIR.....and I am in Independent. The Democrats and Liberals are doing all the bad things the Republicans did, but on steroids. How can anyone who loves this country believe that Van Jones is one of the worst examples of what the "intelligensia" of this country produces? He can apologize for past discrete statements and actions, but he can't DENY HIS LIFE! He is who he is, and for him to try to assert otherwise mocks TRUTH.

FINALLY someone is able to expose these weird 'czars' that Obama is putting into place (usually done with little fanfare). Van Jones puts a face to all of these secretive appointees. What's great is that someone like Glenn Beck actually gives 'THE PEOPLE' a chance to understand these weird czar buddies of Obama's - for the pasts they have, and the views they hold... Obama has been trying to create a 'Thugocracy' and people who enlighten the public to the resumes of these thugs are actually being VERY patriotic!

Carol Browner HAS joined groups and identified herself as a socialist. The other two Beck suspects have also been linked to radical socialist causes and thinking. Although whacky, Beck is correct. We need to be careful of people advising the President, and earning tax payer dollars, that have not been confronted or confirmed by Congress. Not that Congress wouldn't approve of socialist, but that the American people need a say.

If President Bush had over 30 czars without going though congress first ,abc ,nbc ,msnbc would start every show asking where why is he destroying the constitution

That's all Keith Obermann, Maddow and the rest of the revenge mongers at MSNBC can do. "Lets shoot the messenger". They don't defend appointees like Van Johnson, they can't. About 90% of discussions on their broadcasts are about going after the commentators on other stations, especially the one's who are beating the heck out of them in the ratings. No wonder their ratings are dive bombing, it's boring TV.

Beck, fox news ailes whoever...if they are giving advice on policy and getting paid thousands of tax payer dollars..I wanna know if there a communist or klansmen or agreed with some disgusting way of life......so olbermann to try to dig up dirt on a fellow commentator....is astounding and pathetic..oblbermann and msnbc show they just don't care about the truth..if beck was a lying blowhard, jones would of not resigned..he resigned because of what most americans do not agree with.. a racist communist! now we know why nbc,msnbc cbs abc's ratings are in the TANK..there lying hacks for the obummer! way to go Beck keep exposing the truth that the other so called media won't show us!!!!!!!!!!!

Van Jones= Obama's poor choice in character judgment!

The reason that Beck and the O'Reilly wantabee on MSNBC are left asking for information from viewers is that the main stream media refuses to scrutinize any of Obama's czars or any other negative aspect of his administration. The press have laid down their weapons and deserted their posts and have abandoned their responsibility to guard Americans from an all powerful government, which is the most dangerous threat to the American people. Instead, the press spends its time trying to expose people who choose to exercise their first amendment rights when they show up at town hall meetings. Beck is simply filling the vacuum created by the deserters.

R u kidding me? The last time I looked this was still the United States of America. NOT cold war Russia (insanely ridiculous number of czars with HIGHLY questionable pasts, personal views and backgrounds). Anybody want to make a wager that pumping the cesspool on the hill starts with the 2010 elections which morph into one continuous, uninterrupted campaign for 2012. Here's an additional wager: things are so out of control by the time we actually make it to the 2012 election that the polling locations have been declared policed under Marshall law.

It's just unfortunate to lose as talented a man as Van Jones. He was passionate about his work and was on the road to employing the millions of unemployed in America today in a venue that needs promoting--green jobs. We need to bring the jobs back to America that we have sent overseas. This is definitely a time in America where there is no longer a transparency of character. Kingston and Beck are very "small" in their character and are on a witch hunt. All Americans need to stand up tall and start looking for solutions, bipartisan solutions!

Does anyone care about the facts instead of partisan politics. Stop fighting and stop bending the truth. Jones was a self avowed Communist. He said white polluters were purposefully poisoning communities of color. He also said that the green movement was to be the vehicle of perpetuating social justice not afforded by other means. How about Jones' signing the 9/11 truthers' petition stating their belief that the Bush administration was behind the attack as a precursor for war. Are we, America becoming Marxist/Communist? Is that what the majority wish for? Do we no longer value the Constitution? Is capitalism the great evil of the world? Are we willing to give up freedom for security? Do we want the Fed to be the almighty power of our private and economic lives? Stop being distracted with partisanship and start questioning both sides of the isle. Their both complicit in the slow destruction of our Great Country. Let us unite in the name of Freedom, work together in peace, and be honest with ourselves and with others at all times and in all places, and we will never fall, but continue to fight, and lie, and cheat, and speak falsely of one another - we will suffer the consequences and we will be left to ask the question; where did my country go?

Should we really be surprised that those with money and access are working as hard as they can to get the knee-jerk public frightened or upset about any progressive in the new administration? This is about the minority conservative elite manipulating the ignorant and ill-informed to pad their numbers and influence policy in ways that are against most everyone's interest.

Glenn Beck may be wacky but he showed Van Jones own words, advocating a hardcore socialist agenda.

If you have nothing to hide then there will be nothing to find will there? Czars should be vetted and confirmed then also be accountable to tax payers not predators of them.

Its amazing to me to read all the comments and see that probably 80% of all the respondents agree with what Beck is doing. The next time I hear that everyone loves Obama and his ideology and hates what people like Beck, Hannity and Oreilly stand for I will remember this. I am glad to see that 80% of respondents to this article are good patriotic Americans! It gives me great hope. For the rest of you please focus on the details and open your minds to that which makes America stronger.

Thanks Glenn Beck, scrutinize every czar. This is Obama's job but he's not doing it. Those who don't like america, the thugs, criminals, racist people engaged in appeasing the enemy, terrorist, and escalating race-hate between black and white or others in this country should never be accepted by any white house administration.

castigated for animal rights? i believe you are misteaken and distorting facts, cass is being castigated because of his belief that animals have right to property, right to sue a human, should not be "owned" by anyone, but co-exist as a "similarly intelligent being", animals have the right to property, and killing a pest (e.g. a rat) is just as bad as homicide. all of this can be found in his OWN book, the one HE wrote, not made up by some radio personality. i read the book for school. i am not a conservative, i am a democrat, and i believe the presidents approach is going too far.

please do you image,and credit a favor, and don't convey partial truths (basically lies) and use your harvard grade education for reason.

i implore you report me to the taddle site

Terry, this is politics.....

Dear All 535 voting members of the U. S. Legislature.

It is now official: You are all morons!!
The U.S. Postal Service was established in 1775 - you have had 234 years to get it right; IT IS BROKE
Social Security was established in 1935 - you have had 74 years to get it right; IT IS BROKE.
Fannie Mae was established in 1938 - you have had 71 years to get it right; IT IS BROKE.
War on Poverty started in 1964 - you have had 45 years to get it right; $1 trillion of our money is confiscated each year and transferred to "the poor"; IT HASN'T WORKED
Medicare and Medicaid were established in 1965 - you've had 44 years to get it right; THEY'RE BROKE.
Freddie Mac was established in 1970 - you have had 39 years to get it right; IT IS BROKE.
Trillions of dollars in the massive political payoff called the TARP bill of 2009 shows NO sign of working.

And finally to set a new record:

"Cash for Clunkers" was established in 2009 and went broke in 2009! It took good dependable cars ( that were the best some people could afford ) replaced them with high priced ( people who couldn't afford to are now making payments ) mostly Japanese models so a good percentage of the profits, from the sales, went out of the country. The future potential of 700,000 car sales at full value went down the tube and people will probably be keeping their cars longer. Lastly, the American taxpayers are now going to be dinged with paying for yet 3 billion more dollars of our governments experiments to make our wallets even thinner. Now you want to use that expensive idea with appliances.
So with a perfect 100% failure rate and a record that proves that "services" you shove down our throats are failing faster and faster, you want Americans to believe you can be trusted with a government-run health care system? 15% of our economy? Are you crazy?
Truly, the inmates are running the asylum! And what does this say about voters who put such pond scum in office? Maybe we need to let others in on this brilliant record before 2010 and just vote AGAINST ALL INCUMBENTS.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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