Saturday, July 11, 2009

Wingnut Wrapup

I thought I'd try something different today. Here is a screen capture from today's Town Hall website:

This is a list of articles which they recommend today. Each one, as you can see, lists the source for the article. I thought it would be interesting to take this sample of conservative opinion, and see where it comes from, so I did a little research on these organizations. I'm not going to provide detailed footnotes. Most of the references here come from the Source Watch encyclopedia, with some from the People for the American Way's Right Wing Watch and Wikipedia. Well, here they are:

Center for a Just Society

The Center for a Just Society works "to advance and defend Judeo-Christian principles of human dignity and social justice in law, policy and the public square," according to its website.
The group's chair, Ken Connor, "served as counsel to Governor Jeb Bush in Bush v. Schiavo
Some of their noble works: "Exploding the Myths of Islamic Terrorism," (of course, just spreading more, worse ones,) "Judicial Activism," (i.e. no judges that will rule against corporations,) and anti abortion advocacy.

Center for Consumer Freedom

The Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) (formerly called the "Guest Choice Network") is a front group for the restaurant, alcohol and tobacco industries. It runs media campaigns which oppose the efforts of scientists, doctors, health advocates, environmentalists and groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving,

Also, they deny a link between obesity and junk food consumption, fight Menu Labeling and anti-smoking restrictions. What a noble bunch of self-sacrificing people.

Heritage Foundation

One of the biggest lie factories in existence today.

Its initial funding was provided by Joseph Coors, of the Coors beer empire, and Richard Mellon Scaife, prime financier of the attacks on President Clinton.
Where do they get their money? Here's a partial list of their disinterested, patriotic donors: Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Mortgage Insurance Companies of America, and American International Group (AIG), auto company Honda, tobacco company Altria Group (Philip Morris), drug and medical companies Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, and Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, oil companies ChevronTexaco and Exxon Mobil, software giant Microsoft, and chipping in over $100,000 each, Alticor (Amway), Pfizer, PhRMA, and United Parcel Service (UPS).

American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property

"Founded in 1973, the American TFP was formed to resist, in the realm of ideas, the liberal, socialist and communist trends of the times and proudly affirm the positive values of tradition, family and property..."

No, I didn't make that up.

Susan B. Anthony List

An organization founded in response to "Emily's List." Candidates receiving support from the SBA List Candidate Fund are predominantly or exclusively Republicans. Although one of its stated aims is to elect more pro-life women to Congress, close to half of the candidates endorsed by the SBA List Candidate Fund in recent campaigns appear to have been pro-life men.

Faces of Lawsuit Abuse: a project of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform.

A front group from the Chamber of Commerce, devoted to denying consumers the right to sue corporations.

Family Research Council

The FRC is associated with James Dobson's Focus on the Family, a national leader in religious intolerance.

Media Research Center

A conservative media watchdog group run by president and founder Brent Bozell, a notorious conservative hatemonger. It is predominately funded by larger right-wing foundations (i.e. rich people and corporations.)

The liberal media watch group Media Matters for America has ...repeatedly criticized the MRC, charging that they view the media "through a funhouse mirror that renders everything--even the facts themselves--as manifestations of insidious bias.

Regular Folks United

A group founded by Lori Roman, formerly of the Bush department of faith based initiatives, and member of the "American Legislative Exchange Council", a "tax-exempt screen for major U.S. corporations and trade associations that use it to influence legislative activities at the state level." The ALEC was founded by right wing kingpin Paul Weyrich.

Alliance Defense Fund

The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) was founded in 1994....as a response to the American Civil Liberties Union, to defend "family values." ADF's major focus is strategizing and coordinating with hundreds of lawyers and right-wing groups to defend what they define as "Christian legal issues." Prominent leaders: James Dobson and Donald Wildmon, two of the grand champions of religious intolerance, and highly influential in high Republican circles.

ADF encourages spiritual leaders to endorse candidates from the pulpit, which is illegal.

Ashbrook Center

The Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs is a conservative academic center at Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio, dedicated by Ronald Reagan on May 9, 1983.

It is named for the late Congressman John M. Ashbrook, an Ohio Republican best known for having run a largely symbolic campaign for the Republican presidential nomination in 1972, against the incumbent Richard Nixon, to protest what some saw as Nixon's failure to live up to conservative principles such as constitutionally limited government, reducing federal spending, opposition to civil rights, and uncompromising anti-communism.

Through its stable of more than a dozen writers and fellows, the Ashbrook Center has vigorously defended George W. Bush's war on terrorism, supported right to life campaigns, and advocated for a host of other conservative policies.

Americans for Limited Government

Americans for Limited Government (ALG) is a conservative, libertarian think tank. Its primary concerns are tax and spending reform, property rights restoration, school choice and political term limits.
ALG has been criticized for representing wealthy out-of-state interests under the guise of local grassroots activism.

ALG sent letters to persons who had donated funds to Democratic candidates for the 2008 elections in an attempt to surpress financial support for Democratic candidates through use of bullying tactics and intimidation.

ALG seems to be funded primarily by a single person: New York real estate developer and major Republican donor Howard S. Rich

American Vision

From their website: "American Vision’s (AV’s) mission has been to Restore America to its Biblical Foundation....By way of Christian maturity, we can “Exercise Servanthood Dominion” over all God’s world as He has commanded us to do. This is what American Vision is all about."

"Servanthood Dominion" is right wing cant for subjugating the government to religious leaders.

American Conservative Union

Founded by William F. Buckley

"ACU is the key to my plans to change the direction of government."
– President Ronald Reagan

Well, there you have it- a compendium of professional propaganda mills funded by the very rich, and right wing Christian wackos. Maybe that's why what they believe is so crazy.

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