Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Everybody do the (Heartland) Propaganda!

Remarkable look inside one of these right-wing "think" tanks (suggested motto: "We have the solutions, you come up with the issue!"), sent in an email drop.

I bring you Inside the Heartland Institute.

Check out their plans for 2012 - including Operation Angry Badger, which begins on Page 13.
The [Wisconsin] recall elections of 2012 amount to a referenda on collective bargaining reform at the state level, making the of national interest. Successful recalls would be a major setback to the national effort to regin in public sector compensation and union power...

We are contemplating five projects: (my thoughts in parentheses)

1. Recruit and promote superintendents who support Act 10 (remember the assclown teacher from Monona Grove in the pro-Walker ad saying things that weren't remotely true? That kind of thing)
2. Explain the benefits of Act 10 (without explaining the cuts to education that go further than any cost-reductions that result from Act 10)
3. Document the shortcomings of public schools in Wisconsin (pure propaganda - I'm guessing they'll leave out our "Number 1 in the U.S." standing on graduation rates)
4. Expose teacher pay in key districts (you can bet it'll be heavy on places that don't use the "tools", while leaving out similar levels of pay at schools who already have used the "tools")
5. Create blogs that shadow small-town newspaper coverage of the controversy (a controversy that only exists because of our BS, and will also consist of "paid posters to comment sections") .

We anticipate that this project will cost around $612,000. Maureen Martin, Heartland's legal counsel, will be the chief researcher and writer for the project (meaning she's the spinmiester who fits numbers to the propaganda and leaves out the 95% of reality that might tell a different story) . The anonymous donor (who stands to make big bucks from this) has pledged $100,000 toward this project. We are circulating a proposal to other funders.
So they're trying to continue the big lie about Walker's changes somehow helping Wisconsin education, which will take quite a high level of bullshit, given that a cursory look at the wires over the last few days shows that school districts in Monroe, Manitowoc, Columbus and Jefferson all have had stories mentioning 7-figure deficits for next year.

And who's paying for all of this work? The usual suspects- the Bradley Foundation (who gave $175,000 over the last 2 years, and will give $50,000 more this year), the Charles G. Koch Foundation and "its network of philanthropists" (i.e. PAID LIARS), most every major drug company (for work on "free-market health care" which just so happens to increase their profits), and the former executive director of ALEC. Not surprisingly, the findings of Heartland Institute "researchers" like Maureen Martin just so happen to fit what the Bradleys, Kochs, and ALECs of the world want to see.

Because in places like the Heartland Institute, facts and results don't matter, pushing ideology and grabbing power does. They have a similar item on Page 18 with the sole intent of making up a bunch of crap to deny climate change and discredit known scientific findings. Then these places rely on an uncritical media who accepts this group's research as grounded fact instead of the one-sided spin and deception that it clearly is. Which is why we need a rapid-response team that is vigilant and unyielding, both to the lie machine and to the media, because there isn't "2 sides to the story" when one side is lying and one side is bringing reality. I thank whoever stepped in and dropped this document, because it's a good look inside to one of the many groups of this right-wing network of shysters and BS artists who pay legislators to put in laws that benefit those who donate to these places.

Hillary Clinton was laughed at 15 years ago for suggesting a "vast right-wing conspiracy" was after her and Bill Clinton during Bill's presidency, but then you see this presentation from the Heartland Institute, where spewing propaganda and misleading facts is standard operating procedure, and you have to wonder. Then you recognize the web of right-wing groups (Koch, ALEC, Bradley, school voucher lobby) who constantly seem to grab a heavy influence on GOP lawmakers, with a few heavy hands calling all the shots and seeming to be immune to most Americans' reality, and you stop wondering, and realize Hillary was right. The conspiracy is real, it needs to be confronted at all turns, and it must be put in the swamp once and for all.

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