Monthly Archives: October 2012

Movers and Shakers – 8 – The Cato Institute

Cato Institute

Now we enter the murky and often duplicitous realm of the Cato Institute. Ideologically, the Cato Institute often appears to be part of the libertarian mindset – and that is precisely how they intend to appear. As a matter of fact, they work very hard at keeping up those appearances.

The Institute came into being in 1977, as the brain-child of Edward Crane and Charles G. Koch. While taking a Libertarian stance on government intrusion into privacy issues such same-sex marriage, they cozy up to and coddle the right-wingers in other areas while working in coalition with many of the right-wing groups.

Cato ranks among the top 5 most influential think tanks in the country and enjoys a 3rd place ranking in economic policy, and a 2nd place ranking on social policy according to Go To Think Tank Index. Consequently, it is safe to say that the policies and practices of the Cato Institute carry a lot of weight with our governmental entities.

The Institute has led the way and charted the course for the privatization of government services. According to Right Wing Watch, Cato initiated the first push to privatize Social Security in 1983, and has been pushing ever since running a virtual war-room to promote their agenda.

Advocating for limited government, Cato supports the elimination of eight cabinet agencies: Commerce; Education; Energy; Labor; Agriculture; Interior; Transportation; and Veterans Affairs, not to mention the privatization of many government services. This all falls pretty much in line with the Ron Paul school of idiocy that would do away with the same agencies and calls upon neighbors to take care of each other in times of natural disaster.

They also bond with the radical right when it comes to climate change and global warming denial.

The Institute sponsors various periodic policy forums and conferences, and boasts that its alumni includes former board members Rupert Murdoch and Theodore J. Forstmann, the founding chairman of Empower America which is now FreedomWorks.

From Right Wing Watch:

Cato’s corporate sponsors include: Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds, Bell Atlantic Network Services, BellSouth Corporation, Digital Equipment Corporation, GTE Corporation, Microsoft Corporation, Netscape Communications Corporation, NYNEX Corporation, Sun Microsystems, Viacom International, American Express, Chase Manhattan Bank, Chemical Bank, Citicorp/Citibank, Commonwealth Fund, Prudential Securities and Salomon Brothers. Energy conglomerates include: Chevron Companies, Exxon Company, Shell Oil Company and Tenneco Gas, as well as the American Petroleum Institute, Amoco Foundation and Atlantic Richfield Foundation. Cato’s pharmaceutical donors include Eli Lilly & Company, Merck & Company and Pfizer, Inc.

Additional funding has come from Castle Rock Foundation; Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation; Earhart Foundation; JM Foundation; John M. Olin Foundation, Inc.; Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation; Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation; and the branches of the Scaife Foundation.

The Cato Institute is a powerhouse group that has great influence and sway over the politicians who are beholden to them and their supporters. They are closely aligned with the Koch Brothers, Peter Ackerman, Rupert Murdoch, the oil & gas industry, and the extreme right. All of these people and groups have one thing in common – ensuring the ascendancy of their people, and their ideology into the American governmental system.

Movers and Shakers – 7 – Castle Rock Foundation

Castle Rock Foundation

Joseph Coors

The Castle Rock Foundation was started in 1993, with an endowment of $36.6 million from the Adolph Coors Foundation. Their stated mission is to “Promote a better understanding of the free enterprise system, preserve the principles upon which our democracy was founded, encourage personal responsibility and leadership, and uphold traditional American values.”

The Foundation is a major supporter of the Heritage Foundation and the Free Congress Foundation, as well as other other right-wing groups who support the racist, homophobic, and anti-labor ideology of the Coors Family.

A quick scrutiny of the Foundation reveals that many of the organizations funded by the Foundation include active participation by Coors family members. Additionally, here is a list of their Officers:

  • William      K. Coors, President
  • Peter      H. Coors, Vice President
  • Jeffrey      H. Coors, Treasurer
  • Linda      S. Tafoya, Secretary
  • Holland      H. Coors, Trustee
  • Robert      G. Windsor, Trustee

Generally, their grants have been awarded to the Heritage Foundation, the David Horowitz Freedom Center, the Institute on Religion and Public Life, and the Manhattan Institute along with many think tanks, legal foundations, Christian ministries and educational institutions.

Upon closer scrutiny, the list of grants awarded reads like a Who’s Who of the religious, Dominionist Right, demonstrating, yet again, the far-reaching influence that this group of individuals have on the policies and legislation that shape America, and that belie the claim of separation of  church and state.

Movers and Shakers – 6 – America’s Future Foundation

America’s Future Foundation

The AFF is a non-profit network for young conservatives and libertarians in Washington, D.C.  Their focus is building a nationwide network of young professionals who are committed to the principles of limited government, free markets, and personal responsibility.

America’s Future Foundation receives their interns from the Koch Summer Fellow Program which is all tied up with George Mason University.

The Board of Directors for AFF includes individuals with close ties to ALEC and the Koch Brothers. The Chairman, Kmele Foster, has been a frequent guest of FOX News, and is the co-Founder of TelcoIQ, a telecommunications consultancy in Maryland. Stacie Rumenap, Treaurer, is also on the Board of ALEC.

While “developing” their “leaders for liberty,” the are very secretive about their finances and donors. However, we do know that Grover Norquist, Washington lobbyist and anti-tax crusader, sits on their Executive Council along with Ed Meese, Attorney General under Reagan,  and Edwin Feulner, founder of the Heritage Foundation.

This is but one of many organizations that utilize large sums of money to train and indoctrinate our youth into the right-wing ideology and mind-set, largely funded by extremists and zealots who wish to run their agenda on all of us.

Movers and Shakers – 5 – Capital Research Center

Capital Research Center

The Capital Research Center is a right-wing, conservative think tank whose stated mission is to conduct “opposition research” exposing the funding sources behind health and environmental groups.

Founded in 1984, by Willa Johnson, the CRC publishes a range of literature, all of which targets foundations, unions and activist groups that it sees as supporting liberal causes.

The founder of the CRC is Willa Johnson, who was a Senior Vice President of the Heritage Foundation prior to her establishing the CRC. She also served as Deputy Director of the Office of Presidential Personnel in the first Reagan administration, and as a legislative aide in both the Senate and House of Representatives.

Since 1994, Terrance Scanlon has served as the President of CRC. Scanlon is also a former Vice President of the Heritage Foundation.

The group opposes the growth of government-welfare programs and advocates for alternatives from the private sector such as faith-based initiative programs. They are highly critical of animal rights activists and environmentalists. It is little wonder since a couple of their major donors are the Koch Brothers and ExxonMobil.

Other funders are the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation; Sarah Scaife Foundation; Carthage Foundation; Earhart Foundation; Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation; John M. Olin Foundation; and the Philip M. McKenna Foundation.

Huge amounts of money have been pumped into this organization over the last three decades. They have wielded a lot of influence in the halls of Congress and in making policy decisions that impact Americans on a daily basis.

Movers and Shakers – 4 – Atlas Economic Research Foundation

Atlas Economic Research Foundation

The Atlas Economic Research Foundation at first glance appears to be rather innocuous and just another attempt to foist this whole free-market economy on the country. Upon further evaluation, however, we find it not as benign as it appears on the surface.

Their stated “Vision” is “to achieve a society of free and responsible individuals, based upon private property rights, limited government under the rule of law and the market order.”

They promote the international development of like-minded, free market think tanks while supporting networking opportunities for these organizations.

They have far reaching influence and receive a lot of their support from the Koch Brothers as well as millions of dollars from the ExxonMobil Foundation. Additionally, they receive large donations from the Scaife Foundation, the Earhart Foundation and the Carthage Foundation.

Much of their work lies in the area of climate change denial and global warming denial. Hence, it can be assumed that the anti-climate control groups backing the big oil and gas groups are firmly behind this group.

It is important to note that Whitney Ball, the Executive Director of Atlas, is also the founder and board member of the Cato Institute, and the co-Founder and Executive Director of Donors Capital Fund. He sits alongside Christopher DeMuth who is also the Director and Senior Fellow of American Enterprise Institute, Kris Alan Mauren (Director of the Acton Institute), William H. Mellor (Director of Institute For Justice), and John A. Von Kannon (Director of the Heritage Foundation).

In 2011, it came to light that Donors Capital Fund was one of seven foundations that cumulatively donated $42 million dollars to the Islamaphobia Network In America and the hysteria around Sharia Law.

During the 2012, election cycle Atlas has been busy endorsing and funding candidates on the right who share their right-wing extremism.

Additionally, Whitney Ball and associates are closely tied to Richard Viguerie, of the Moral Majority who, himself, has raised and donated billions of dollars to Christian and conservative causes.

The Atlas Economic Research Foundation is a prime example of how these organizations interact and cross-pollinate stealthily to run their extremist agenda on the unsuspecting American people.

Movers and Shakers – 3 – Arthur S. DeMoss Foundation

Arthur S. DeMoss Foundation

The Arthur S. DeMoss foundation is based in West Palm Beach, Florida and is named after the late President of life insurance giant, the National Liberty Corporation.  The foundation holds at least $500 million dollars in assets and is a generous contributor to the Religious Right and many evangelical Christian causes.

In their Statement of Purpose, the Foundation says, “…to promulgate the Christian Gospel throughout the world by any and all proper means, including, but not by way of limitation, the technical assistance of missionaries and missionary groups, the support of pastors, evangelists, missionaries, preachers and others engaged in the promulgation of the Christian Gospel, the printing and distribution of Christian literature, Bibles and tracts, and the support and operation of audio and audio-visual means of communication …”

There are three main program areas within the groups focus. Power For Living is a multi-media, world-wide campaign promoting the book, Power For Living. The book is translated into many different languages for distribution into other countries.

Executive Ministries focuses on discipling  business and professional executives to Jesus Christ. They hold evangelistic luncheons and dinner parties where testimonials from Christian executives are presented, and then follow up counseling is conducted. They also hold men and women’s Bible studies for their conversions, following these up with counseling sessions as well.

Literature for Little Ones is a book distribution to children. Bibles, New Testaments, Christian story books, and other Christian literature is sent to hospitals, orphanages, and schools to give children the opportunity to hear about Jesus.

What isn’t reported is that this group also awards huge grants of money to other like-minded, dominionist outfits such as the American Center for Law and Justice (Pat Robertson’s legal group), GOPAC, a political action committee formed by Newt Gingrich, and the National Coalition for the Protection of Families and Children, an anti- pornography group based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Additional recipients of the Foundation’s generosity include several anti-abortion groups, and the Plymouth Rock Foundation which is a group aligned with the Christian Reconstructionists who seek to impose Biblical Law on America.

Also among some of the largest grant recipients in the Campus Crusade for Christ, Prison Fellowship Ministries, and Liberty University, founded by Jerry Falwell.

The Arthur S. DeMoss Foundation has long tentacles and lots of cash, and they use both to proselytize, indoctrinate, and influence the political arena and the policies that impact all of America, and in some cases, the world. Make no mistake, their message is not that of “just another Christian organization.” Their methods are often stealth, they fly way below the radar, but their intent is just as pernicious as any malignancy that eats away at the vitality of its host. When Arthur DeMoss spoke of the Rebirth of America – I don’t think any of us want to share his vision.

Movers and Shakers – 2 – America Enterprise Institute

American Enterprise Institute

The AEI is one of the oldest and most influential Think Tanks in America. It is a pro-business, right-wing, conservative organization in spite of their claim to be absolutely non-partisan. One of the most troublesome aspects of this group, among man, is their ability to place their people in influential governmental positions.

Located on Seventeenth Street NW in Washington, D.C., the American Enterprise Institute’s Board of Directors is comprised of CEO’s of major companies, including ExxonMobile, Motorola, American Express, State Farm Insurance, and Dow Chemicals.

The top donors to this organization have been the Smith-Richardson Foundation, the Olin Foundation, the Scaife Foundation, and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation. On top of that, they receive millions of dollars from their corporate supporters – General Electric, Amoco, Kraft, Ford Motors, General Motors, Kodak, Metropolitan Life, Proctor and Gamble, Alcoa, General Mills, et. al.

Their areas of focus are varied, but generally include America’s culture war, domestic policy and federal spending, education reform, and welfare reform. During the Bush administration, he appointed more than twenty people from this group to senior positions in his administration.  Of course, Vice President Dick Cheney is one of the former Trustees of AEI.

AEI scholars have given testimony before Congress on numerous issues, including the argument that prayer belongs in public schools and doesn’t violate the Establishment Clause. Additionally, they have come out in favor of censorship of the arts, and have advocated heavily for federally funded school voucher programs.

Their list of Fellows and Scholars includes Lynne Cheney, wife of Vice President Dick Cheney, Newt Gingrich, Christina Hoff Summers, an anti-feminist crusader, and Charles Murray, author of The Bell Curve.

In 2007, a major climate change report was issued from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). AEI then offered $10,000 to any scientist who could undermine this report and emphasize its shortcomings.

The American Enterprise Institute is a major policy-making organization in this country with close ties to the Heritage Foundation, the Council for National Policy,  ALEC, and the Center for Security Policy. The organization and those affiliated with it, are some of the biggest movers and shakers in shaping policy and legislation in America. They foster extreme right-wing ideological views and help to shape and promote the individuals who will run their extreme agenda in the halls of the United States Government.