10:35 AM, Nov 11, 2015 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
The Center for American Progress (CAP), one of the largest and most influential liberal think tanks in Washington, recently extended an invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He spoke there yesterday, and the New York Times write-up notes that Netanyahu "project[ed] a benevolent tone even as he countered criticism of his approach to resolving the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians."
And yet, in the run-up to Netanyahu's speech, a number of CAP employees objected to his appearence because, well, they think he's a bad man and it seems they don't like being exposed to ideas that differ from their own. At a meeting on Friday, some staffers read aloud a statement objecting to Netanyahu's appearence. According to a report in Foreign Policy, "opponents of the upcoming event received an enthusiastic round of applause in the 100-plus person conference room despite the presence of senior CAP leadership." What's notable about the statement, however, is how the rhetoric sounds awfully similar to the embarassing hyperbolic social justice boilerplate we've been hearing at Yale, Mizzou, and other colleges:
Coming to work at CAP gives many of us the opportunity to make this country safe and accepting of all. While we watch the hate crimes, discrimination and biases faced by some of our communities, we come to work every day proud that this institution is a space where our voices will be respected and where our leadership assures we feel safe, respected and heard. In that sense this place isn’t so much a job or a profession or a nine-to-six. It’s a survival tactic. But it’s not just about our individual struggles because, in the words of MLK, we’re not free until we’re all free.
And at CAP we are a family. We spend more hours with one another at this institution than we do with our own families and friends outside the office. It is imperative that we feel confident in this building to improve the lives of all Americans, and essentially to work on getting us all free. It becomes difficult to step outside of our building and say to our allies why this visit is happening, for some of us here we ourselves feel that we were not considered in that decision.
The statement goes on to address Netanyahu's role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a way that is predictably pro-Palestinian. But the expectation that merely being in the same building as a democratically elected head of an important state is a threat to employees' personal well-being, exacerbates their "individual struggles," and is otherwise oppressing people the world over is just cringeworthy. (Also, the employees at CAP spend more time with each other then their friends and families? Get out more, guys.) The statement concludes this way:
So what comes next? What happens when we come back to work on Thursday Nov. 12? What is the Center for Americans Progress to the people whose lived experiences Netanyahu’s policies directly impact? How do we face our communities with answers?
These are all questions that we, as passionate and committed employees of the Center for American Progress have been asking ourselves this past week and hope for answers to. As you look around the room, people of faith and all backgrounds are asking these questions. Some are standing; many, many more don’t feel empowered to do so. This is a humanity and human rights issue universally felt. Some of us think this event shouldn’t be happening at all and others think a broader discussion of this with CAP family should have happened before this major decision.
Again, we are appreciative of this institution, and the opportunity to speak out because this is a family and right now as members of the CAP family we are in a place of confusion and hurt.
When he agreed to appear at CAP, Netanyahu certainly knew that he would be facing an audience that would be hostile to some degree and he would be forced to confront some pointed questions. And it sounds like he did this in a way that was respectful, even conciliatory. But instead of viewing this as an opportunity to influence Netanyahu, or even expose how his leadership and policies are inferior, CAP employees were worried about how engaging in mere dialogue with someone they find disagreeable has put them "in a place of confusion and hurt."
9:02 AM, Mar 1, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
Readers of the New York Times had a shock this morning: A full-page ad on page A9 from the Emergency Committee for Israel documenting the anti-Israel views of the Center for American Progress and Media Matters--and then asking why various Jewish communal philanthropies and business groups are funding those organizations. It should cause quite a stir.
Here's the ad:
8:05 AM, Jan 26, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
With the Center for American Progress’s Think Progress blog under scrutiny for publishing what some would consider borderline anti-Semitic content, it would seem likely that bloggers over there might be careful about the content. (Even Think Progress’s editor Faiz Shakir admitted that some of the language used by employees of the liberal institution is anti-Semitic, according to an email obtained by the Jerusalem Post.) At least, one would think, the higher ups are presumably now being more careful, considering they backed away from the controversial content last week, as the Washington Post reported at the time.
11:46 AM, Jan 18, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
Alana Goodman, writing at the New York Post:
Last December, a top anti-Semitism watchdog group accused the Center for American Progress, a prominent Washington think tank, of peddling anti-Israel and borderline anti-Semitic material on its Web site and Twitter feeds. Six days later, President Obama met for coffee with the man who oversaw the offending content — Faiz Shakir, the site’s editor-in-chief.
12:55 PM, Dec 7, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
Ben Smith has an important piece in Politico today about the anti-Israel left:
The Center for American Progress, the party’s key hub of ideas and strategy, and Media Matters, a central messaging organization, have emerged as vocal critics of their party’s staunchly pro-Israel congressional leadership and have been at odds, at times, with Barack Obama’s White House, which has acted as a reluctant ally to Benjamin Netanyahu’s Israeli government.
1:08 PM, Sep 19, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
The Los Angeles Times opened up a new front in the Solyndra scandal on Friday (and there are too many fronts to count at this point), reporting that Steve Spinner, another prominent Obama donor, served as a top official in the Energy Department program that made the half-billion dollar loan to the now bankrupt solar panel maker. In Spinner's defense, he did recuse himself from the decision to grant the loan—because his wife works at a law firm that represented Solyndra.
9:41 PM, Sep 8, 2011 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
Here’s how bad it’s gotten for President Obama:
At 9:20 p.m., the White House press office sent out a statement of support for the president’s proposal from ... the Center for American Progress (see below). That’s newsworthy!
11:45 AM, Jun 29, 2011 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
Think Progress reporter Lee Fang has a long history of being spectacularly wrong. However, there's a seemingly unending thirst for his breathless demonization of the Koch brothers and other rants about corporate greed among the low IQ end of the liberal spectrum.
4:15 PM, Jun 9, 2011 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
Yuval Levin highlighted this yesterday, and it's one of the most revealing things I've seen recently, not just about Obamacare, but how the left generally views the exercise of power.
First, a refresher: Buried deep within the Obamacare bill is the Democrats' plan for lowering Medicare costs -- something called the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). Here's how it works:
3:16 PM, Apr 17, 2011 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
The name Lee Fang is far from a household name. However, from his perch at the Soros-funded think tank Center for American Progress, Fang has the dubious distinction of promulgating questionable Koch Industries political conspiracies perhaps more than any other person.
Left-wing critics of Koch Industries are only discrediting themselves.12:10 PM, Mar 3, 2011 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
In today's Examiner, Mark Tapscott discusses William F. Buckley's banishment of John Birchers to the fringe of the conservative movement decades ago and how it relates to today's conspiracy mongering on the left. In particular, the bleatings about the influence of Koch Industries have run comepletely off the rails and it's discrediting to the left: