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September 09, 2009

The left-wing intellectual network that got Obama elected, post Van Jones: Suckers

Jones Resignation Deals Blow to Obama and the Left - WSJ.com
As a candidate, Barack Obama was at pains to offer himself as a man of moderate policies, and especially of moderate temperament. He said he would listen to both the right and left, choosing the best of each depending on "what works." He sold himself as a center-left pragmatist. When his radical associations—Reverend Jeremiah Wright, William Ayers—came to light, Candidate Obama promptly disavowed them. Now comes Mr. Jones, with a long trail of extreme comments and left-wing organizing, who nonetheless became the White House adviser for "green jobs." This weekend he too was thrown under the bus. However, Mr. Jones wasn't some unknown crazy who insinuated himself with the Obama crowd under false pretenses. He has been a leading young light of the left-wing political movement for many years. ... Mr. Jones was a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, which was established, funded and celebrated as the new intellectual vanguard of the Democratic Party. ... Mr. Jones was poised to play a prominent role in disbursing tens of billions of dollars of stimulus money. It was the ideal perch from which he could keep funding the left-wing networks from which he sprang, this time with taxpayer money. ... This helps explain why the political left is so upset about Mr. Jones's resignation. Listen to David Sirota, another left-wing think-tank denizen and activist, who wrote the following Sunday on the Huffington Post Web site: "Finally, the Jones announcement will inevitably create a chilling effect on the aspirations of other movement progressives. Van is a fantastic person who has done fantastic work. He's kept his advocacy real and didn't compromise his principles. And so when he was appointed to a high-level White House job, it seemed to validate that you could, in fact, keep it real and also advance in American politics and government. That is to say, his story seemed to prove that an outsider could also succeed on the inside—and that outside advocacy doesn't automatically prohibit you from one day working on the inside."
Suckers.

September 06, 2009

Cash4Gold sues Consumerist, whistleblower to stop reporting on its alleged tactics

Cash4gold: The Article Cash4Gold Doesn't Want You To Read
Our tests – which lasted from May through early July – found that Cash4Gold and its competitors offered simple and relatively transparent service. ... The actual offers, however, were miserly. Cash4Gold sent back checks ranging from $7.60 to $12.72 (or 11% to 18% of melt value), the lowest amounts of any firm. But others weren't far behind: GoldKit offered $7.81 to $20.59, and GoldPaq $8.22 to $13.11. Each of those deals was worse than what our mystery shoppers could get at local jewelers and pawn shops, which offered anywhere from $25 to $50. ... Cash4Gold declined to discuss the test results, but other news reports suggest lowball checks are typical. CEO Aronson has said the company pays from as little as 20% to as much as 80% of the gold's value. And in an interview with Good Morning America, he suggested that customers who want more money should take their business elsewhere. "If all you care about is the net dollar, and you're willing to go to the seedy part of town, and you're willing to travel around ... I want you to go there," Aronson said. All this stands in contrast to Cash4Gold's advertising claims. While its website acknowledges that a jeweler or a pawn shop might offer more, one TV ad boasts "With gold, silver and platinum at their highest value in decades, Cash4Gold.com is able to give you top dollar for your unwanted jewelry." ...

September 05, 2009

How Clinton's policing grants helped build our police state

Fire Chief Shot in Jericho, Ark., Shot in Court by Police
Now the police chief has disbanded his force "until things calm down," a judge has voided all outstanding police-issued citations and sheriff's deputies are asking where all the money from the tickets went. With 174 residents, the city can keep seven police officers on its rolls but missed payments on police and fire department vehicles and saw its last business close its doors a few weeks ago. "You can't even buy a loaf of bread, but we've got seven police officers," said former resident Larry Harris, who left town because he said the police harassment became unbearable. Sheriff's deputies patrolled Jericho until the 1990s, when the city received grant money to start its own police force, Martin said. Police often camped out in the department's two cruisers along the highway that runs through town, waiting for drivers who failed to slow down when they reached the 45 mph zone ringing Jericho. Residents say the ticketing got out of hand. "When I first moved out here, they wrote me a ticket for going 58 mph in my driveway," 75-year-old retiree Albert Beebe said.