Democracy Has Prevailed.

February 11, 2012

Digging The Trib...

It seems to be a hobby of mine to research the research presented by my good friends the Scaife braintrust over at the Tribune-Review.

Most of the time after Googling the proper nouns (research sources, purported "experts") I find the conveniently omitted facts that the braintrust doesn't want you to see.  What they leave out tells you much more than what the include.

Today's a good example.  In a piece about the recent row over birth control and the Roman Catholic Church find this paragraph:
As Horace Cooper, a real constitutional law scholar, put it, "(E)ven this exemption fails to accept that the government may not force citizens to choose between their faith or obeying the law regardless of where they work or who they employ."
Horace Cooper? Who's Horace Cooper?  Google and goggle the hidden Scaife connections.

First we find the source of that quotation.  Cooper's described thusly:
Horace Cooper, author of the National Center paper "The Birth Control Mandate is Unconstitutional," adjunct fellow at the National Center [for Public Policy Research] and a legal commentator who taught constitutional law at George Mason University in Virginia, said...
Ah the National Center.  We've seen them before, haven't we?  Scaife controlled foundations have given more than a million dollars to the National Center.

And then on his own website, Cooper's described as:
He is also a research fellow with the National Center for Public Policy Research, a senior fellow with the Heartland Institute and the Director of Law and Regulation at the Institute for Liberty.
Ah, the Heartland Institute. That's another $300,000+ from Scaife.

He was also counsel to then House Majority Leader Dick Armey about 10 years ago.

At Townhall,com, he's described with this:
Horace Cooper is a writer and legal commentator. He is also an adjunct fellow with the Institute for Liberty and a senior fellow with the American Civil Rights Union.
Ah, the American Civil Rights Union.  That's another $700,000 from Scaife.

And the Institute for Liberty?  It's an anti-Health Care act think tank that refuses to discuss it's donors.

And Horace Cooper?  Take a look:
A former official with the Labor Department turned conservative commentator pleaded guilty Wednesday in a corrupt lobbyist case, saying he wanted to put the whole thing behind him.

Horace Cooper, also a one-time aide to former Republican Rep. Dick Armey when he was majority leader of the House, pleaded guilty to falsifying a document when he did not report receiving gifts from lobbyists Jack Abramoff and Neil Volz in 2003.

When Cooper was chief of staff for the Employment Standards Administration, he was required by law to report any such gifts. An indictment alleges he took expensive meals, concert tickets and sports tickets.

The 44-year-old Cooper faces a maximum sentence of a year in prison, but could receive more time because authorities say he tried to stymie investigators by lying to FBI agents.
So despite the fact that Antonin Scalia wrote:
We first had occasion to assert that principle in Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. 145 (1879), where we rejected the claim that criminal laws against polygamy could not be constitutionally applied to those whose religion commanded the practice. "Laws," we said, "are made for the government of actions, and while they cannot interfere with mere religious belief and opinions, they may with practices. . . . Can a man excuse his practices to the contrary because of his religious belief? To permit this would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself." Id., at 166-167.

Subsequent decisions have consistently held that the right of free exercise does not relieve an individual of the obligation to comply with a "valid and neutral law of general applicability on the ground that the law proscribes (or prescribes) conduct that his religion prescribes (or proscribes)."
The Scaife braintrust just happens to find an Abramoff tainted attorney who just happens to be attached to more than a few Scaife-funded think tanks just happens to say:
...this exemption fails to accept that the government may not force citizens to choose between their faith or obeying the law...
Cool thing about that vast right wing conspiracy, huh?

1 comment:

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