Voodoo Practitioners of the West

Paul Krugman talks about the voodoo economics of the new GOP. This concludes a series on the Witch Doctors who are funding it. And a surprise ending!

We end this series as we began it: with the juvenile antics of Tucker Carlson, who leapt at his guest hatespeakership of the Sean Hannity show on Faux Nooz™, who have evidently minted the magick elixir that gives the old saw, “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time,” much needful palliation and near-refutation with highly lucrative propagandistic propagation.

Faux’s Antics?

Fox Utterly Destroys Cable News Ratings Competition in 2010 —  The Nielsen numbers are in for 2010, and in the battle for cable news ratings supremacy, Fox News took the title for the ninth year in a row — bludgeoning the competition for another year…

Tucker’s Antics?

Tucker Carlson: “I Think Personally [Michael Vick] Should Have Been Executed”

You might recall that this investigation into the money behind Tucker Carlson’s and former Cheney employee Neil Patel’s “The Daily Caller” began with Tucker’s loud braying that he had purchased the domain “KeithOlbermann Dot Com.” Which probably was hilarious at whatever private academy he attended middle school in, but was unworthy of any serious view of the world.

not inhumane; just inhuman

And this time, the idiotic proposition that animal cruelty — no matter how horrendous — is of such monstrous proportion that the Death Penalty must be invoked flies in the face of all human law from Hammurabi to the present day. Fascinating from a conservative. But this isn’t about Tucker, who plays the fool at the end of Rupert Murdoch’s and Foster Friess’ leash. And Murdoch I’ve covered elsewhere.

This is the short form of the story so far:

Tucker Carlson is Keith Olbermann; I am Glenn Beck (18 July)

Carlson and the Daily Caller buy “Keith Olbermann dot com” and engage in a variety of dickish acts.

More Fake Cowboys (23 July)

We meet Foster Friess, a kid from Wisconsin who made his money buying and selling stocks out of Delaware, who moved to the 7th Wealthiest County in the United States of America in 1992 (Teton County, Wyoming). His connections with the late John Walton (Wal-Mart), Rich and Betsy DeVos (of Amway fame), the CNP, the Kochs and various other electoral cabals, all the while trumpeting his “philanthropy” (in contradistinction to his seeming misanthropy). Turns out he never read the lesson of the Widow’s Mite (Mark 12:41-44Luke 21:1-4) in his New Testament.

The Biggest Foundation That You’ve Never Heard Of (1 Aug. )

We learn of the “anointed for life” board of the National Christian Charitable Foundation, Inc., which dispensed $421,155,901 in 2008. We learn that Foster Friess’ hundreds of millions in his “family foundation” are now administered by the NCF. The heretical nature of the NCF’s “Christianity” vis a vis the Nicene Creed, which has been the benchmark since 325 AD.

Following Foster’s Buddies’ Money (10 Aug.)

I correct the prior report, to show that the NCF is bigger than the American Heart Association, the Boy Scouts of America, Yale’s endowment fund, PBS, CARE, the Girl Scouts of America and many others. How the NCF donates to libertarian “charities” like Koch’s “Americans for Prosperity” — a founder and funder of the tea parties, etc. How the NCF’s finances are kind of flabbergasting to an expert on foundation abuse. And how $873,398 in brokers’ fees was paid to Friess Associates, now run by Friess’ son, in Jackson Hole, according to the NCF’s 2008 tax returns.

Foster’s Dominionist Pals (13 Aug.)

How Foster Friess, the NCF and the American Family Association are linked in right wing apocalyptic circles, monetarily. And the AFA’s poitical agenda that’s being supported.

Rubber Baby Buggy Bunglers (18 Aug.)

Darby and the Scofield Reference Bible, and how the modern belief in “The Rapture” and the Apocalypse, in the Tribulation, Armageddon, etc. infiltrated into mainstream American Christianity, and just how far the NCF, Friess, AFA, etc. are from traditional Christian practice, as a means of understanding their worldview from INSIDE.

(12 Nov.)

More exceptionally dickish behavior from Tucker. Foster Friess holds a birthday party for the widow of a friend in Phoenix, but gives himself the top billing for the “Foster Friess Stars and Stripes Classic.”

[Note: READ Michael Reynolds’ “Inside The #1 Religious Right Money Machine” if you haven’t already.]

I have delayed this last part because I had not wanted to dip my feet simultaneously in long excursions into Dominionist Christianity and Kochian Shenanigans. Happily, as it turned out, the final chapter wrote itself.

‘official’ Foster Friess from his website

Firstly, Foster Friess turns up as a major contributor in races as diverse as Illinois and the New Mexico Governor’s race, and on and on.

According to the FEC, here’s what the last round of off-year elections cost (NATIONAL offices, only.)


— ————–Receipts —————— Disbursements

All———– $1,090,857,901 ———$1,064,434,893
Republican–  $580,797,506 ———–$540,467,057
Democrat —-$506,854,959 ————$520,978,865
Other ————$3,205,436 —————-$2,988,971


—————-Receipts —————— Disbursements

All ———–$758,883,443 ————–$753,556,783
Republican-  $421,666,158 ————–$403,108,076
Democrat—  $322,247,581 ————-$335,745,025
Other ———-$14,969,704 —————-$14,703,682

And here’s a wee smidgen of what Foster Friess spent over the same period (from the FEC, with links to transactions and committees):


03/31/2010 2400.00 10990529459
03/31/2010 2400.00 10990529459


11/01/2010 2400.00 10021140005


10/11/2010 1500.00 10991767487


01/13/2010 2400.00 10020331326


10/15/2010 900.00 10932007470


03/03/2010 1000.00 10930610978


02/12/2010 3500.00 10930452341


08/26/2010 2500.00 10931440126


06/02/2010 5000.00 10990859695

And, from 2009,


08/28/2009 1000.00 10020080399


12/28/2009 1000.00 10020071231

Not earth-shattering, by the standards of this most expensive or lucrative of elections (depending on your interests). But you’ll notice the pattern. Some candidates are funded before the campaign begins in earnest (2009), while others get last minute donations, and still others get pre- and post-primary cash. Clearly there’s a sort of horse race bettor’s mentality going on here. Which stands to reason: Foster Friess Associates, like Robert Mercer’s Renaissance Technologies, is based on picking “growth” stocks and producing high yields, which both companies loudly bray at the slightest provication.

But you’ve only scratched the tip of the iceberg. If you go to the FEC individual contributors’ page, you’ll notice that just plugging in “FRIESS” with no first name yields five pages of printouts for “FRIESS” in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. There’s “Lynn Friess” and “Lynette Friess” and “Lynette E Friess,” and “Friess, L.” and even “Friess, Foster Mrs.” All a homemaker in Jackson, Wyo.* And always made at the same time that Foster makes HIS contributions to whatever committee requires the cash.

Lynette E. and Foster S. Friess

(* Except back in the ’90s, before they moved to Millionaire Acres outside of Jackson Hole, Wyoming to pretend to be cowboys circa 2000, when Foster from Wisconsin made his home in Delaware while running “Brandywine” funds as one of the most successful go-go funds of the ’90s — when Lynn Friess is listed as a homemaker in GREENVILLE, DE 19807.)

Things like this 12-31-2009 contribution from Lynn Friess a/k/a all the aforementioned:


12/31/2009 1000.00 10020060621

or this:


01/13/2010 2400.00 10020331327

or this:


10/14/2010 2400.00 10021030391

click for original FEC page

Our new Ruling Class of Stock Bettors: tossing out thousand dollar contributions like bon bons, even in states they DON’T own vacation homes or real estate in.

With apologies to Rembrandt

And Steven Friess and Frank Friess also of Jackson, Wyo. and Friess Polly, Polly J. Mrs. and Ms. of Jackson, Wyoming, who is sometimes various things:






It is all rather confusing. But then, that’s the point, right? The poker chips probably come from the same source, but even when lawfully reported, there is a bewildering series of variations, all generally the maximum that the law allows. After all, Foster Friess retired off to Wyoming to play Gene Autry with a tidy quarter billion dollars or so from managing stock bets for a decade, and the legal limits of campaign contributions are just chump change for the various Friesses of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, after all.

If it merely stopped there, it would be one thing. Nothing out of the usual. Just a GOP high roller pushing a bunch of chips onto the table, looking out for his bet … er, best interests. Except there is one all-important question which is neither asked, nor addressed, which I will reveal at the end.

But then we add in all those little state contributions in states like New Mexico. From the New Mexico Independent, September 14, 2010:

… Foster Friess is he biggest individual donor to [successful GOP gubernatorial candidate Susana] Martinez during the last period. He gave $200,000.

He has also given generously to, among others, Senator John McCain, R-Arizona, Senator John Thune, R-S.D, and the Republican Party of New Mexico.

But Friess doesn’t just donate to political candidates. He is also the source of $3 million in funding for the conservative website The Daily Caller, run by Tucker Carlson.

He also has promoted the controversial documentary Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West. DVDs of the movie, criticized as inflammatory, were mailed out to swing state voters and inserted in newspapers in advance of the 2008 election. Although the film was made in 2006, liberal groups cried foul, saying the producers were trying to influence the election in favor of John McCain.

Friess is also an advocate for school choice. Denish and Martinez have tangled over vouchers, which Martinez now says she does not support.

The liberal magazine Mother Jones did a short profile on Friess in 1997, listing him as 14th on the list of top political donors in the country on a federal level. […]

And in Arizona, as I reported in December 14’s  “Because “Cudgel For Growth” Wouldn’t Sound as Warm and Fuzzy.”

In Illinois, he was only the NINTH biggest contributor $200,000 to GOP gubernatorial  candidate Bill Brady — who contributed $242,000 himself to himself.

And so on and so forth, until we come to the story that I reported and didn’t even know it.

Three years ago, the hoi polloi of the Council for National Policy met in Salt Lake City, Utah. Here’s the lede to the Salt Lake City Tribune’s story on September 29, 2007 [emphasis added] as archived by the Sutherland Institute:


Salt Lake Tribune

By Robert Gehrke

Vice President Dick Cheney and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney addressed some of the most influential leaders of the conservative movement Friday in Salt Lake City, but their speeches, like the group itself, remain cloaked in secrecy.

The Council for National Policy is a shadowy group comprising leaders in the family values, national defense and ”decency” movements, dubbed “Sith Lords of the Ultra-Right” by the liberal blog DailyKos.

Members are told not to discuss the group, reveal the topics discussed in the closed-door meetings, or even say whether or not they are members of the organization.

You’re not supposed to be here,” said a grinning Foster Friess, who was pleasant but steadfast in his unwillingness to talk about the group….

Yeah. THAT Foster Friess. As I reported earlier, he’s been on the governing board at least since 1996. He was co-chairman in 1994.

We’ve seen the Council for National Policy before, in “Dominionist Hoedown in Salt Lake City and YOU ain’t Invited,” (29 Sept, 2007), and “Dominionist Hoedown Links (update)” (30 September 2007):

OK. So who’s this “dominionist” gaggle that’s having a hoedown, and where’s the hoedown?

Well, this is the bunch, according to Raw Story:

Founded in 1981 by Tim LaHaye, the co-author of the popular post-apocalyptic Christian-themed Left Behind books, the group holds confidential meetings three times a year attended by a small but powerful cadre of top conservatives.

“The media should not know when or where we meet or who takes part in our programs, before or after a meeting,” one of the group’s rules reads, according to a New York Times profile of the organization in 2004.

“The membership list is ‘strictly confidential,” said the Times. “Guests may attend ‘only with the unanimous approval of the executive committee’.”

But WHO the heck are we talking about?

Well, at least Mr. Friess was following the rules of our modern “Anti-Hellfire” club.

Out of Focus James Dobson of Focus on the Family, l.

But the gray eminences of the Council on National Policy (CNP) were IN Salt Lake City for reasons that become clear in retrospect. Salon reported:

Religious right may blackball Giuliani

Christian conservative leaders privately consider supporting a third- party, anti-abortion candidate should Rudy Giuliani win the GOP nomination.

By Michael Scherer

Sept. 30, 2007 | WASHINGTON — A powerful group of conservative Christian leaders decided Saturday at a private meeting in Salt Lake City to consider supporting a third-party candidate for president if a pro-choice nominee like Rudy Giuliani wins the Republican nomination.

The meeting of about 50 leaders, including Focus on the Family’s James Dobson, the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins and former presidential candidate Gary Bauer, who called in by phone, took place at the Grand America Hotel during a gathering of the Council for National Policy, a powerful shadow group of mostly religious conservatives. James Clymer, the chairman of the U.S. Constitution Party, was also present  …

The private meeting was not a part of the official CNP schedule, which is itself a closely held secret. “Dobson came in just for this meeting,” the person said. The decision confirms the fears of many Republican Party officials, who have worried that a Giuliani nomination would irrevocably split the GOP…. Earlier in the day, Vice President Dick Cheney had traveled to Utah to deliver a brief address to the larger CNP gathering. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney also addressed the larger group.

The decision has also been reported in an unsigned article by WorldNetDaily, a conservative online news service. “Not only was there a consensus among activists to withhold support for the Republican nominee, there was even discussion about supporting the entry of a new candidate to challenge the frontrunners,” the article said. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, WorldNetDaily’s editor, Joseph Farah, attended the larger CNP gathering.

Regular readers will be familiar with Mr. Farah, who publishes WorldNetDaily out of Grant’s Pass, Oregon, in a seemingly apocalyptic-survivalist compound closely aligned with “guru” Roy Masters, and his son, Chris, whose radio syndication empire has included Art Bell’s Coast to Coast (now with George Noori) and Michael Savage. Savage’s first book was published via WorldNetDaily’s publishing arm, and Farah himself is almost certainly the ghost-writer (officially acknowledged as “collaborator,” appropriately enough) of Rush Limbaugh’s second book See I Told You So.

Farah (far R.) and Limbaugh at the
See I Told You So book release party

I only bring this up to relay what “unsigned” from WorldNetDaily wrote about that ultra-secret conference that publisher and head writer Joe Farah attended:

Farah moderating the “Values Voters” GOPrez debate in 2008


Christian leaders threaten to abandon Republicans
Dobson, others meet in Salt Lake City to plan options in presidential campaign

Posted: September 30, 2007
1:00 am Eastern

© 2010 WorldNetDaily.com

James Dobson WASHINGTON – Some of the top leaders in Christian pro-family activism – including James Dobson of Focus on the Family – met in Salt Lake City yesterday to plot a strategy should Rudy Giuliani or another supporter of legalized abortion be nominated by the Republican Party as its presidential candidate.

Not only was there a consensus among activists to withhold support for the Republican nominee, there was even discussion about supporting the entry of a new candidate to challenge the frontrunners.


Perhaps the most surprising development in the meeting was the floating of an idea to recruit yet another candidate to enter the fray.

Among the more intriguing names mentioned was billionaire Foster Friess, a major Republican contributor and philanthropist who lives in Jackson, Wyoming.

Straight from the horse’s mouth. Now, let’s look at that meeting, and then I’ll finish the story with a bit of Wasilliness that you probably never expected.

29 SEPTEMBER 2007 · 6:22 PM

Dominionist Hoedown in Salt Lake City and YOU ain’t Invited

[NOTE: Because it just might make you read it, longtime newsman Doug Krile lists this in today’s Krile Files as The Best Story of the Night: Oh, my. There’s enough intrigue here to keep anybody interesting. Follow the twists and turns and be prepared to be surprised! — hw]

What’s a “dominionist”?

It’s important that you ask that question first, or else you’ll have no way of analyzing what’s going on. According to Wikipedia:

Dominionism is described by some contemporary scholars and journalists as a tendency among conservative politically-active Christians to seek influence or control over secular civil government through political action — aiming either at a nation governed by Christians or a nation governed by a Christian understanding of biblical law.[1][2][3][4][5] The use and application of this terminology is a matter of controversy.

And here:

Range of Dominionist ideas

Francis Schaeffer is sometimes called one of the founders of the Christian Right movement, which some have labeled a Dominionist movement. There is controversy regarding the link between Schaeffer’s teaching and Dominion Theology, a tendency shaped primarily by theologian Rousas John Rushdoony.

Rushdoony was the intellectual founder of Christian Reconstructionism, a postmillennialist form of Theocratic Dominion Theology. Schaeffer and Rushdoony read each others’ writings, and even met. Most mainstream Christians reject Rushdoony’s views and other forms of Dominion theology as quite radical.[6] Schaeffer led a study of Rushdoony’s writings at Schaeffer’s institute in Switzerland. Schaeffer and other premillennialists picked up themes of dominionism from the postmillennialist Rushdoony, and adapted them to premillennial theology.

According to Rushdoony, the idea of dominion drawn from Genesis implied a form of Christian theocracy or, more accurately, a theonomy. For example, he wrote that:

The purpose of Christ’s coming was in terms of the creation mandate. . . . The redeemed are called to the original purpose of man, to exercise dominion under God, to be covenant-keepers, and to fulfil “the righteousness of the law” (Rom. 8:4). . . . Man is summoned to create the society God requires.[18]

Now, I wrote about the roots of the home schooling movement in AVA OREGON! (See the NYT piece on, HERE) in 2005, in “Is Our Children Learning?“:

Question: What do a pamphlet entitled “Slavery As It Was,” the Christian Reconstruction Movement, David Duke, Haley Barbour, Stonewall Jackson’s biographer, John Ashcroft, the League of the South, Moscow, Idaho, and homeschooling have in common? More than you might think.

I noted:

But, the Cary School turns out to be one of the over 135 schools nationally that have been “accredited” through Moscow, Idaho pastor Douglas Wilson’s “New Saint Andrews” scheme. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Far greater are the numbers of “home schoolers” who are regular recipients of Wilson’s educational program and publications — a scheme and movement that traces its roots to Stonewall Jackson’s chaplain and biographer, southern apologist and “theologian” R.L. Dabney, and R.J. Rushdoony — founder of Christian Reconstruction — the founder of the modern home schooling movement.

And here’s the impact:

The Christian Reconstruction Movement, which shares features and goals with the Christian Identity movement claims to be apolitical:We are postmillennialists and believe that in the long term the majority of society will be saved or will at least outwardly conform to God’s Law. Therefore, our goal is not to capture the political realm, but to work for regeneration of individuals and families at the local level and to reform the church by teaching correct doctrine especially in the area of biblical law. A brief perusal of Reconstructionist books will prove that this is the case. A few deal with civil politics. Most deal with families, the church and Christian education. Most of the early materials for home schooling children were written by Reconstructionists,” writes Reconstructionist Jay Rogers.

(I’ve restored the links. Researching and writing for AVA OREGON! was, essentially, blogging on paper — i.e. minus hypertexting.)

And her’s the kicker, Rogers writes on page 58:

The correct reason for home schooling is not simply the quality of education in the government run school system. It is to say that the government has no authority whatever over your children. You are the one who is ultimately responsible.*

[* 2010 Note: Isn’t it interesting that the “Tea Party” candidate here in Peter DeFazio’s district this year was both a “libertarian” and a “home-schooling” advocate in line with R.J. Rushdoony and, seemingly, the Dominionist agenda.]

OK. So who’s this “dominionist” gaggle that’s having a hoedown, and where’s the hoedown?

Well, this is the bunch, according to Raw Story:

Founded in 1981 by Tim LaHaye, the co-author of the popular post-apocalyptic Christian-themed Left Behind books, the group holds confidential meetings three times a year attended by a small but powerful cadre of top conservatives.

“The media should not know when or where we meet or who takes part in our programs, before of after a meeting,” one of the group’s rules reads, according to a New York Times profile of the organization in 2004.

“The membership list is ‘strictly confidential,” said the Times. “Guests may attend ‘only with the unanimous approval of the executive committee’.”

But WHO the heck are we talking about?

Here’s the lead from Raw Story:

Cheney to address top secret conservative policy group

An ultra-secret conservative group — so secret that members don’t even use the group’s name in communications — will feature Vice President Dick Cheney as a speaker at a meeting in Utah today.

“Cheney will address the fall meeting of the Council for National Policy, a group whose self-described mission is to promote ‘a free-enterprise system, a strong national defense and support for traditional Western values,” according to the Salt Lake City Tribune.

In case you were holding out hope that this might actually be on the up and up in some way, it isn’t. The Salt Lake Tribune reports:

Deseret News editor’s speech raises questions
Cannon says he’s going to the closed conference as a journalist, but that he won’t write about it
By Glen Warchol, The Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated: 09/29/2007 01:58:22 AM MDT

Vice president Dick Cheney won’t be the only headliner speaking to a secretive conservative policy conclave this weekend.

The editor of the Deseret Morning News, former Republican state chairman Joe Cannon, is also on the marquee at the influential Council for National Policy.

Though Cannon is a former lobbyist and brother of Congressman Chris Cannon, his attendance in his new role as a journalist at the meeting closed to news media sends up red flags, ethicists say.

That Cannon promised council leaders he would not write about what was discussed should alarm his readers because he is shifting his loyalty from them to powerful government insiders, says Kelly McBride of the Poynter Institute, a nonpartisan journalism think tank.

“To have an editor agree to that [confidentiality] sends a really bad message that [journalists] are willing to play by their terms,” McBride says ….

Now, you need to know that The Deseret News (Salt Lake City’s OTHER major newspaper), is WHOLLY-OWNED by the Mormon Church. OK? Got that?

Without a self-aware whiff of any hypocrisy, The Deseret News reports:

The event was closed to news media, but Utah Lt. Gov. Gary Herbert said the vice president’s speech was given to a “very friendly audience” of maybe 300 to 400 people.

One presumes that the reporter isn’t on speaking terms with HER editor, and so, didn’t know that a member of the news media was in attendance … or, perhaps she realizes that maybe the editor’s astonishingly split loyalties make it hard to characterize him as “news media.”

Mitt Romney was there, of course.

Now, I told you about the huge amounts of cash being slushed around the country to fund “school choice” and “school voucher” politicians and initiatives on Friday (“Disneyland Democracy”). Bear that in mind as we come to some of the agenda of the “Council for National Policy.” The NOT-Church-owned Salt Lake City Tribune was able to get ahold of some of the agenda and publish it (kudos to Robert Gehrke on his reporting (it’s what reporters USED to do, back in the days when they had actual moxie):

Two sessions are also dedicated to Utah’s voucher referendum, featuring Doug Holmes, chairman of Parents for Choice in Education, and Lyall Swim, director of operations for the Sutherland Institute.

Featured speakers and topics

“Lessons Learned From Utah’s School Choice Battle”
Doug Holmes, chairman, Parents for Choice in Education.

“The ABCs of Vouchers: Lessons From Utah’s Fight for School Choice”
Lyall Swim, Sutherland Institute

“How Unions Are Affecting the Economy”
Rick Berman, founder of UnionFacts.com.*

[*NOTE: Link added. I’ve covered Berman at intimate length, HERE and HERE, and he was just featured on “60 Minutes” in August — ” Meet Rick Berman, A.K.A. “Dr. Evil”. HW]

“Update on the Battles for Worker Rights vs. Big Labor”
Trent England, Evergreen Freedom Foundation

“What is Endangered: Climate or Freedom?”
Va’clav Klaus, Czech Republic president

“How Conservatives Must Continue to Fight the Fairness Doctrine
Stuart Epperson, Salem Communication Corp.

“The Next Generation of Conservatives”
Rev. Jonathan Falwell

“Resolved: The United States is Winning the War in Iraq”
Debaters: Richard Greco, Jr., Assistant Secretary of the Navy
and John Lenczowski, founder, Institute for World Politics

“Keeping Pro-Life in the Republican Platform”
Colleen Parro, director of the Republican National Coalition for Life

“Parents’ Rights in Public Schools”
Mathew Staver, dean of Liberty University School of Law

Or, maybe they were just meeting to blackball Rudy Giuliani.

So, what does it all mean? And how long before some clever comment is made about “tin foil hats”? I don’t know. It’s in your mental lap now. Knock it out of the ballpark.

But here’s a quote that might help you, while you’re figuring it out:

QUOTE: “Our late friend Murray Rothbard used to point out to those who scoffed at ‘conspiracy theories’ that history is indeed full of real conspiracies, and that often conspiracy provides a more satisfactory explanation for an event than the “lone nut theory” that is popular with government spokespersons.

But still, “Darth Vader” AND “Dr. Evil”? speaking to a gaggle of hyper-secretive Dominionists in Salt Lake City, Utah? No Theocracies here. Nosirree. Must have been one HELL of a hoedown.

Whomever the actual hoes ended up being.

(Endnote: A BIG tip of the HW Hat to Darrell P.)


The Loan Ranger Rides!

OK. So now we know why they were there and what Foster Friess was doing with his CNP pals in Salt Lake City. Let’s see how they followed up on it. According to Max Blumenthal:

The Council For National Policy Meets In Minn, Vets Palin

Max Blumenthal
Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 02:48:46 AM EST

Last week, while the media focused almost obsessively on the DNC’s spectacle in Denver, the country’s most influential conservatives met quietly at a hotel in downtown Minneapolis to get to know Sarah Palin. The assembled were members of the Council for National Policy, an ultra-secretive cabal that networks wealthy right-wing donors together with top conservative operatives to plan long-term movement strategy.

CNP members have included Tony Perkins, James Dobson, Grover Norquist, Tim LaHaye and Paul Weyrich. At a secret 2000 meeting of the CNP, George W. Bush promised to nominate only pro-life judges; in 2004, then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist told the group, “The destiny of the nation is on the shoulders of the conservative movement.” This year, thanks to Sarah Palin’s selection, the movement may have finally aligned itself behind the campaign of John McCain.

Though Dobson and Perkins reportedly attended the recent CNP meeting in Minneapolis, a full roster of guests would be nearly impossible to require. The CNP deliberately operates below the radar, going to excessive lengths to obscure its activities.


I only learned of the get-together through an online commentary by one of its attendees, top Dobson/Focus on the Family flack Tom Minnery. (Watch it here)

Minnery described the mood as CNP members watched Palin accept her selection as John McCain’s Vice Presidential pick. “I was standing in the back of a ballroom filled with largely Republicans who were hoping against hope that something would put excitement back into this campaign,” Minnery said. “And I have to tell you, that speech by Alaska Governor Sarah Palin — people were on their seats applauding, cheering, yelling… That room in Minneapolis watching on the television screen was electrified. I have not seen anything like it in a long time.”

Minnery added that his boss, Dobson, has yearned for a conservative female leader like Margaret Thatcher to emerge on the American scene.

The wall writing was on the hand

I’ll leave you to do the math. There’s a lot more, but you get the idea. There was a lot of buzz about the well-documented fact that the CNP — Foster Friess and James Dobson and the rest — had picked Sarah Palin, as the price for their allegiance.

I have written all year about the reformation of the Republican party after Bush & Cheney drove it into the ground. The “Neo Con” wing would be shoved out, and the Koch/Dobson wing was angling to make their move.

The “libertarian” wing had their tea parties, and scared the old line (and formerly neo-con and evangelical) GOP. They also managed to keep the GOP from taking both chambers of Congress and their “coalition” in the house seems to be spooking more “moderate” (as in, a liberal cannibal would be a cannibal who only takes limbs, while leaving the victim alive, a “moderate” cannibal would kill, cook and eat the victim, while a “right wing” cannibal would insist on eating the victim raw. We’re talking about the “moderate” cannibals here) Republicans in the House.

from the Goldwater Institute annual report, 2009, p. 14
Stossel, Steyn and a slew of others are rubbing elbows …

As Foster was in Salt Lake City, so, too he was in Aspen; according to the New York Times:

Secretive Republican Donors Are Planning Ahead

Published: October 19, 2010

A secretive network of Republican donors is heading to the Palm Springs area for a long weekend in January, but it will not be to relax after a hard-fought election — it will be to plan for the next one.

Koch Industries, the longtime underwriter of libertarian causes from the Cato Institute in Washington to the ballot initiative that would suspend California’s landmark law capping greenhouse gases, is planning a confidential meeting at the Rancho Las Palmas Resort and Spa to, as an invitation says, “develop strategies to counter the most severe threats facing our free society and outline a vision of how we can foster a renewal of American free enterprise and prosperity.”

The invitation, sent to potential new participants, offers a rare peek at the Koch network of the ultrawealthy and the politically well-connected, its far-reaching agenda to enlist ordinary Americans to its cause, and its desire for the utmost secrecy.

Gee. Sound familiar?

Koch Industries, a Wichita-based energy and manufacturing conglomerate run by the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, operates a foundation that finances political advocacy groups, but tax law protects those groups from having to disclose much about what they do and who contributes.

With a personalized letter signed by Charles Koch, the invitation to the four-day Rancho Mirage meeting opens with a grand call to action: “If not us, who? If not now, when?”

The Koch network meets twice a year to plan and expand its efforts — as the letter says, “to review strategies for combating the multitude of public policies that threaten to destroy America as we know it.”

Those efforts, the letter makes clear, include countering “climate change alarmism and the move to socialized health care,” as well as “the regulatory assault on energy,” and making donations to higher education and philanthropic organizations to advance the Koch agenda.


The participants in Aspen dined under the stars at the top of the gondola run on Aspen Mountain, and listened to Glenn Beck of Fox News

Dance, monkey, dance! Amuse us.

in a session titled, “Is America on the Road to Serfdom?” (The title refers to a classic of Austrian economic thought that informs libertarian ideology, popularized by Mr. Beck on his show.) The participants included some of the nation’s wealthiest families and biggest names in finance: private equity and hedge fund executives like John Childs, Cliff Asness, Steve Schwarzman and Ken Griffin; Phil Anschutz, the entertainment and media mogul ranked by Forbes as the 34th-richest person in the country; Rich DeVos, the co-founder of Amway; Steve Bechtel of the giant construction firm; and Kenneth Langone of Home Depot.

The group also included longtime Republican donors and officials, including Foster Friess, Fred Malek and former Attorney General Edwin Meese III.


You junior Mystery Rangers can find a guest list here, courtesy of ThinkProgress. It’s the whole handbook, letter and guest list. Amazing stuff.

But I think we can establish as a matter of uncontrovertable fact that Foster Friess who attends Secret Koch meetings in Aspen, Colorado and the Foster Friess who attends secret CNP meetings in Salt Lake City, Utah are the same Foster Friess, and that, increasingly, the two “wings” of religious zealotry and AynRandiness have made accord in the reformation of the next incarnation of the new GOP.

= ?

It seems counter-intuitive, I know, but who could have predicted that the Catholic Church and Jerry Falwell and the Feminists would all be in bed together on the anti-pornography witch-hunts of the 1980s? The Dominionists would have imposed the Christian version of Sharia Law (THEIR version of God’s Commandments, mind you). The Libertarians would have all restraints thrown off. But in Art Robinson and in Foster Friess we find a perfect melding of the two seemingly contradictory political forms of conservatism.

Either way, Sarah Palin’s dual utility to both camps, and her insertion by the CNP seems clearer now. I walked right over it in 2007, and I missed it in 2008, but as 2010 ends, the puzzle pieces begin to form ever larger portions of the tapestry of theocracy and oligarchy that I had not even understood to be connected before.

And Foster Friess wrote neighbor Neil Patel and tweedy TV pretty preppie boy Tucker Carlson $3 million dollars of pocket change  for The Daily Caller megablog to, as Friess writes, “Tucker and Neil present a huge opportunity to re-introduce civility to our political discourse. They are mature, sensible men who are very thoughtful and experienced with pleasant senses of humor and do not take themselves too seriously. They want to make a contribution to the dialogue that occurs in our country that has become too antagonistic, nasty and hostile. . . .” as Carlson continues his astonishingly juvenile gaffes. Like buying KeithOlbermann dot com and spoofing a Philly reporter. That’s what started this, back in July. Or releasing the private emails from “Journolist” because he asked to join and they wouldn’t let him. Allegedly dickish poacher of Wyoming fish. Etc.

I did not want to know these things, but, having discovered them, I cannot, in good conscience, remain silent nor ignore this story. Call it a dogged devotion to my chosen vocation. But the evidence is clear, manifest and the implications seem as staggering as they are chilling.

What right have these men to tell ME who my congressman and assemblyperson ought to be? What RIGHT have they to buy my democracy for filthy lucre?

That is the question that remains unanswered, and unexamined.

However, that is beyond the scope of this series. Instead, we return to spoiled preppy Tucker Carlson and his bow-tie botox:

epilogue: Phaeton Falling Further Still

Quoth our Tucker, evermore:

“I’m a Christian, I’ve made mistakes myself, I believe fervently in second chances,” Carlson said. “But Michael Vick killed dogs, and he did in a heartless and cruel way. And I think, personally, he should’ve been executed for that. He wasn’t, but the idea that the President of the United States would be getting behind someone who murdered dogs? Kind of beyond the pale.”

All right: it’s clear from context that it was just Tucker’s way of going all faux-outraged and crapping on President Obama. We get that. But I have to wonder at the value system that lies behind his little judgment from on high.

Let me put it this way:

Animal cruelty has always (alas) been with us, since before we were even humans.

And we have made great strides, but a human life has ALWAYS been worth more than an animal’s life, excepting slaves and serfs. Think about that: unless it was the emperor’s prize racing stallion, the death penalty has virtually never been invoked for animal cruelty in the history of civilization.

Except I remember a certain way of thinking once upon a time.

I am as certain as certain can be that with extremely rare exceptions, no free man has been lawfully executed for harming an animal.

But I am equally certain that too many of those who were considered “not human” say, 150 years ago, COULD well be lawfully executed for harming or hurting Massa’s favorite animal — and were.

Now, consider what Carlson has basically said about Michael Vick’s value as a human being — flawed, certainly, perpetually stained by his cruelty, perhaps — versus the value of “doggies,” and come to your own conclusion.

But this brings to a close our question of July — “Who is financing Tucker Carlson’s immature, attention-grabbing tantrums?” — with this answer:

Friess fosters him.

Courage …

and may you enjoy a  Happy and Prosperous (however you define “prosperity”) New Year in 2011!

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About Hart Williams

Mr. Williams grew up in Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas and New Mexico. He lived in Hollywood, California for many years. He has been published in The Washington Post, The Kansas City Star, The Santa Fe Sun, The Los Angeles Free Press, Oui Magazine, New West, and many, many more. A published novelist and a filmed screenwriter, Mr. Williams eschews the decadence of Hollywood for the simple, wholesome goodness of the plain, honest people of the land. He enjoys Luis Buñuel documentaries immensely.
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