Everyday Erinyes #74

 Posted by at 11:41 am  Politics
May 132017

Experts in autocracies have pointed out that it is, unfortunately, easy to slip into normalizing the tyrant, hence it is important to hang on to outrage.  These incidents which seem to call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with them will, I hope, help with that.  Even though there are many more which I can't include.  As a reminder, though no one really knows how many there were supposed to be, the three names we have are Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone. These roughly translate as "unceasing," "grudging," and "vengeful destruction."

What a week.  WHAT. A. WEEK.  Well, at least the big story is SO big that the crumbs I have come up with, important though they may be (one probably isn't), will largely have gone under everyone's radar.  So maybe we can learn something.  Although, maybe we will wish we hadn't.

All of us are familiar to the point of contempt with the infamous Koch Brothers, including their connection to ALEC.  What we may not be so vividly aware of is thet they are not alone.  I'd like to introduce you to the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation.

Documents regarding this Foundation first became available in October 2016, when references showed up in two Twitter accounts linked to the Russiand who hackec the DNC (yes, I should say "alleged," but please assume that a lot of this is "alleged" for now.)  Turns out the Bradley Foundation is a little bigger than the three Koch family foundations combined ($835 mill as of June 2016).  Well, that's interesting.  So where is this money going?

CMD has examined thousands of these documents, including Bradley board documents between 2013-2016. The documents indicate that Bradley has a new stream of funding to build this “conservative infrastructure” and is using a metric to assess the strength and depth of that infrastructure in individual states — including “receptive” politicians, right-wing “think tanks,” symbiotic “grassroots” groups, friendly media, litigation centers, and opposition research — to guide Bradley’s strategic funding initiatives.

Dismantling unions is high on their list of priorities, and ais considered by them to be an important key to turning blue states red.  States like Wisconsin and Michigan.  Incidentally, the Foundation is organized as a 501(c)(3), though from its activities it appears it ought to be a 501(c)(4).  Rich donors, therefore, are receiving tax breaks – as if they needed any more of those – from their contributions.

Two specific examples of uses of Bradley money raise red flags:

1.  Training Republican Candidates and Operatives.

This section follows the money from Bradley to American Majority [sic] to the former Media Trackers, now called Greenhouse Solutons.  “American Majority has trained 3,853 pro-freedom individuals at more than 100 training events. 208 trained candidates have run for state or local office, 181 advanced out of their primaries to the general election. 104 went on to win their elections. These include state legislators, 45 county board supervisors, 27 municipal office holders, 22 school board members and 5 judges.”

2.  Bradley Infrastructure and the "Barder Fund."

“In effectuating its mission, by necessity, Bradley’s grantmaking program has always emphasized the importance of what’s now being called “infrastructure.” Historically, Bradley used to be known and was lauded for providing ongoing, general-operating support to the national think tanks that laid the foundation for and then helped sustain the conservative ascendance beginning in the 1980s.”

The Bradley files contain a list of 20 Bradley-funded national organizations that support this state-based infrastructure (Barder Fund, August 18, 2015).

These include:
America’s Future Foundation
American Legislative Exchange Council  (note:  we know this one well)
American Transparency
Americans for Prosperity Foundation
Americans for Tax Reform Foundation
Center for Consumer Freedom [Berman and Co.]
Employment Policies Institute [Berman and Co.]
Interstate Policy Alliance [Berman and Co.]
Foundation for Government Accountability
FreedomWorks Foundation
Illinois Policy Institute
Leadership Program of the Rockies
Liberty Foundation of America
Manhattan Institute for Policy Research
Mercatus Center
National Review Institute
Sagamore Institute
State Policy Network
Texas Public Policy Foundation
Think Freely Media

It's a long, fact-filled article, but it does have a link to a much shorter, sharable video on Facebook 9I am not on Facebook myself, sorry.)  Alecto, there's a very long time buildup here.  Can you work on it?

Meanwhile, in Arizona, Republican ambition and goals have come to this:
"Arizona legislator: 'One thing I would like to repeal is the law on compulsory education'"

Yes, you read that right.  “Education used to be a privilege… People used to believe getting an education was something you had to be privileged to get, that you had to work hard to get. Now we basically force it down everybody’s throats.”

As the "diarist" says:

Those of you who don’t want to be in school, which was about 95% of my friends in 3rd grade, shouldn’t be forced to be learnin’ stuff (and you should know this when you’re eight). Why do you need algebra, chemistry, history, literature or other useless information in order to be Walmart greeters, convenience store clerks, burger flippers or good fundy wives. Or Republican voters. Nor do you need pesky critical thinking classes that might tell you how much you’re getting screwed.

Arizona Democrats regularly point out that the legislature and Gov. Ducey are trying to destroy public education. Rep. Mosley has a solution: Why bother? There aren't enough facepalms left.

Megaera, I would say this qualifies as "grudging."

Finally, this last revelation doesn't really qualify as important.  It's noteworthy only as additional evidence of how delusional people can be – and, unfortunately, that includes people who have equally delusional followers.  You thought Pizzagate was farfetched?  I swear, I am NOT making this up.  I couldn't.

End Times radio host Rick Wiles interviewed “financial analyst” Jim Willie of GoldenJackass.com on his “Trunews” radio program on Friday, where Willie asserted that Queen Elizabeth is a child-killing satanist lizard who is literally inhuman and that Bill and Hillary Clinton are both cannibals.

Right Wing Watch has an audio of the radio program, but here's an excerpt of what Jim Willie had to say:

Hillary Clinton has the same cannibalism brain disease [that Bill CLinton has], Willie said, before adding that she actually already died due to some “very serious incident” that happened on 9/11 from which she never recovered.

“That woman on the third [presidential] debate, if you think that was Hillary, you got rocks in your head, you got nothing in your head,” Willie declared. “That was a 45 to 50 year-old woman posing as a wrinkled 70 year-old Hillary? Are you kidding me? I’m not stupid!”

Tisiphone, I hardly know what to say after that.  Good luck.
The Furies and I will be back.

Cross posted to Care2 at http://www.care2.com/news/member/101612212/4052383


  8 Responses to “Everyday Erinyes #74”

  1. Thank you for covering the CMD piece,  I wanted to do so, but Drumpfentreason crowded it out..  Citizens United must be reversed.  ALEC must be driven from existence.

    Ignorance may be bliss, but stupidity is Republican.

    Trump may not be a cannibal, per se, but he gargles human by products in Russian Hotel Rooms.  Willie is guilty of projection.

    Great piece, JD!!

  2. Alecto: YIKES!!! I haven't read it all for it to sink in, but WOW! Horrible!
    "But there is nothing like money to make fringe, far-right ideas appear more respectable".  Of course. Sad.

    Magaera: Lived in AZ and worked at an elementary school, which I enjoyed, and have wonderful memories of. I am stunned that a politician would even think of saying this!! Oh, wait…..it's the Repug way of thinking. Perhaps THEY need to go back to school !!

    Tisiphone: Uh. OK…….where do these folks come from?? Scary!! And…creepy too!

    Whew!! What a week, eh? Furies, polish those shields, as you're going to be forever busy with these nutjobs.

    Thank you, Joanne for this.

    • Maybe they hated school themselves and are actually showing some empathy.  Wait a minute -what am I saying?  No, that can't be it.  Not possibly!

  3. I've decided that my standard response to your informative "Everyday Erinyes" posts are:

    WTF is WRONG with those people?

  4. Alecto: Thanks for the inside story on the CMD investigation of the Bradley Foundation, Joanne. For "fun" I had a look at this foundation's site and their mission statement; Part of it reads: " The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation is likewise devoted to strengthening American democratic capitalism and the institutions, principles, and values that sustain and nurture it.  Its programs support limited, competent government; a dynamic marketplace for economic, intellectual, and cultural activity; and a vigorous defense, at home and abroad, of American ideas and institutions. Sounds "innocent" enough, although alarm bells should start ringing at phrases like 'American democratic capitalism', 'limited competent government' and especially the 'vigorous defense…abroad…of American ideas and institutions. You know you're looking at right wing meddling in politics to capitalize the gains of a few just from this small part. The 'abroad' must be a hint at their Russian connections. The Bradley Foundation is just part of a very far reaching, extensive and intricate network. I'm sure the CMD can do0 with all the help it can get from the furies

    Megaera: Rep. Paul Mosley firmly believes that “education is still a privilege, and the kids who don’t want to be there are a larger distraction to the kids who do want to be there.” Yes ladies and gentlemen, back to the days when only the gentry could afford to have their kids educated, just because they earned it…uhm were entitled to it. It comes from a good heart, though, Mosely only wants to save those nice little rich kids from being distracted by those poor kids making such a ruckus because they're having education forced down their throats. Who the frack voted for this guy and put him in the position where people actually pay attention to the BS that comes out of his mouth?

    Tisiphone: Well, that's modern media for you. Ratings are everything so even the village idiot gets his chance on 5 minutes of fame by ranting his inimitable lunacies if that draws in some other cretins to watch it. No, you couldn't make it up, Joanne. Only the worst of the village idiots can. They used to lock them up, you know.

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