Van Jones is back, reconstructed and rehabilitated.
Jones, recall, departed from his White House job as "green jobs czar" after publicity about his association with a "9/11 truther" organization that alleges complicity of the Bush administration with the 9/11 attack.
He was already a lightening rod, having characterized President Bush as a "crackhead", using profanity to describe Republicans, and offering gems like blaming "white polluters and white environmentalists" for "steering poison" to minority communities.
But as White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel understands that power brokers should "never waste a crisis", those on the left grasp that you never waste an asset like a black self-described communist from the 1990's with an Ivy League degree and a best selling "green jobs" book.
So now Jones has new jobs at Princeton University and Washington's Center for American Progress. And, to seal the public rehabilitation, he will be awarded the NAACP's Image Award, and has been called by NAACP president Benjamin Jealous a "national treasure."
Central to Jones' work will, of course, be the continuation of his "green jobs" agenda. The Center for American Progress announcement says he'll be a senior fellow and leader with its Green Opportunity Initiative.
CAP was founded by rich liberals who thought the left needed a think tank like conservatives have (as they concluded they needed talk radio, and hence founded the now defunct Air America). One of the major sources of funding of CAP was Marion and Herbert Sandler who got rich building Golden West Financial selling Adjustable Rate Mortgages with teaser rates to unsophisticated buyers. Yes, the very greedy kind of businesspeople that the Obama administration would have us believe caused our current economic crisis.
But the beauty of the left is that facts will never get in the way of ideology.
The recent scandal associated with the use of research data at the Climate Research Unit in England -- which has been essentially the headquarters of global warming research -- has brought claims of man-made climate change into serious doubt.
Sober minds realize that this must be a time for reassessment about assumptions driving the belief that irreversible climate change has occurred and that this alleged change is caused by human activity. As expressed in an editorial in Britain's Prospect Magazine, "We cannot rely on highly imperfect climate models as a basis for policy initiatives that cost billions and change how we live."
But this hasn't put a dent in the green jobs movement. President Obama continues to push this idea as central to economic recovery, as he did the other day speaking to CEOs at the Business Roundtable in Washington.
The love affair on the left with "green jobs" is, of course, about ideology, which is why facts are irrelevant. It is another excuse to grow government and bring European socialism to America. What could be a better opportunity than to claim that the planet's atmosphere is now out of whack because of capitalism?
Van Jones is important because he uses environmentalism as a new platform to welcome poor blacks onto the government plantation.
This is important spin because poor folks do have common sense. In a Zogby poll done after the presidential election, 73 percent of blacks said they were opposed to taxing fossil fuels to promote alternative energy.
The Carter Administration invested $2.1 billion in the Great Plains Coal Gasification Plant to convert coal to gas. The result? Zero. Federal government spending since 1961 on "advanced energy technologies and basic energy science research" totals $187 billion with hardly anything to show.
Poor folks don't need socialism or green jobs. They need green money. They'll get more of it being free, going to school, getting married and going to work.