She reminds me of my youngest daughter who donned a jet black wig over her red tresses and faux-leather bodice and snow boots as she fought Gods and Monster as Xena. Vanden Heuvel is an heiress to a huge fortune that allows her to open doors all over Manhattan and Cambridge and East Egg and L.A. to spout class war with Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes and fellow trust fund baby Anderson Cooper.
Today, in the Washington Post, this doyen of democracy deconstruction sparks up the Birkenstock Bolsheviks of America with ways to combat Donald trump.
She leads off by quoting one of the most egregious creeps in American philanthropy - Gara Lamarche.
Gara Lamarche looted billions of dollars from Chuck Feeney's Atlantic Philanthropies all through the 1990's and into the New Millennium. Now, here is a reather lengthy bit of read to whet your appetite for further study of Marxists who loot family foundations:
Feeney’s “transformational philanthropy” across five continents focused on laying down a big check early on to support major projects (usually centered on a new building of some kind), which would in turn inspire others to make their own large contributions. But Feeney wasn’t focused on the buildings themselves (he never allowed them to be named for him) but rather the way large new facilities could revitalize a local neighborhood and also spur long-term growth in a larger area by boosting the educational and medical sectors. Just as he heeded Andrew Carnegie’s injunction not to die rich, he also heeded his predecessor’s advice to build “the ladders upon which the aspiring can rise.” This was the niche where Feeney had found his proudest moments as a philanthropist—such as the $125 million that AP committed in 2008 to the University of California San Francisco Medical Center in the run-down Mission Bay neighborhood. Or the $62 million AP provided to Galway University in Ireland, which is just a portion of the $800 million AP has provided to fund education in Ireland. Or the $350 million AP provided to Feeney’s alma mater, Cornell, so it could build a campus on New York City’s neglected Roosevelt Island (a fraction of the estimated $1 billion AP has awarded to Cornell).
For his part, LaMarche had his own answer to this question, one he had proffered even before becoming AP’s CEO in 2007: amplify AP’s funding for “community organizing” and “social justice giving,” as O’Clery puts it. In other words, embrace the philosophy of Soros and the Open Society Institute, and fund battalions of radical Alinskyite nonprofit protest groups.
As O’Clery writes, “from 2007 to 2011, under LaMarche’s management, [AP] would make over one hundred contributions to 501(c)(4) organizations” such as HCAN. (See examples below.) In this, LaMarche enjoyed a particularly strong rapport with three members of AP’s board: Frederick “Fritz” A. O. Schwarz Jr. (AP’s board chair, a prominent liberal lawyer and great-grandson of the famous New York toy baron); Elizabeth McCormack (a long-time fixture of the Rockefeller family’s philanthropic interests); and Michael Sovern (one-time Columbia University president and former trustee of Bill Clinton’s legal defense fund).
O’Clery writes that “Feeney was initially supportive of LaMarche’s prioritizing health care reform.” But the wider consequences of this shift towards smaller grants was not lost on him. It meant a major change in the size of grants AP had been making for most of its history, as well as their intended impact.
Feeney has liberal political leanings, but his philanthropy was another matter – more rooted in a philosophical, rather than political, view of the world. AP’s record of grants can be best understood as an expression of Chuck Feeney’s personal background. Feeney’s family of origin was not a wealthy one, but it was rich in terms of values—including charity towards others. One gets the impression from O’Clery’s book that Feeney’s philanthropy gave him a chance to express some of his most dearly held personal values, as handed down by his parents and neighborhood. Said his daughter Leslie:
“He has incredible empathy with people, which has its roots in his Irish Catholic background. He is a real child of his time. One needs to understand those Irish American neighborhoods during and after [World War II], how they worked, how they helped each other. That’s a big part of his life. He saw his mother and father take people off the street, helping people.”
For Feeney, the chance to do something extraordinary for others in need was no light matter—not out of a desire to be ostentatious or court publicity, nor out of a sense of “guilt” that he had become a rich man, but more likely, perhaps, for him to demonstrate that his basic beliefs remained undiluted by his great wealth.
In strategy, tactics, and impact of philanthropy, the approach of LaMarche, who seems to live for political controversy, activism, publicity, and adulation, could not be more different from Feeney’s.
The philosophical battle lines between founder, key board members, and the foundation’s senior leaders were drawn.
Gara Lamarche is up to his game and Katrina Vanden Heuvel delights in his coaching.
As the new year begins, any honest progressive knows the political outlook is bleak. But if we’re going to limit the damage that President-elect Donald Trump inflicts on the country, then despair is not an option. The real question, as Democracy Alliance President Gara LaMarche recently said, “is how you fight intelligently and strategically when every house is burning down.”
Indeed, with Trump and Republicans in Congress aggressively pushing a right-wing agenda, progressives will need to invest their resources and attention where they can do the most good — both now and over the next four years. With that in mind, here are three steps to take to resist and rebuild as the Trump administration gets underway.
First, while strong national leadership is certainly important, progressives must recognize that the most significant resistance to Trump won’t take place in Washington. It’s going to happen in the streets led by grass-roots activists, and in communities, city halls and statehouses nationwide.
Katrina touts Governor Moonbean of the nouveau secessionist State of California as a 'national leader' who just might confound American Trumpery and save this nation for the Banana Republic Obama founded . . .and lost in an election.
Progressive always seem to be people with bucks up to their butts - trust fund babies like Bill Ayers, Katerina Vanden Heuvel and Bill De Blasio, or Cadillac Commies leeched onto to hide of 501(c)3 family fortunes.
They make sense to the news media. Progressive America is a two-headed monster fueled by wealth and hungry for power. Our media has taken the short-cut to access and power and waddles along the Progressive Path - Deconstruction of Universal Truths, Abortion, Dependency, Identity Victimhood, Race and Class Warfare.
The rest of us know Progressives and "the Media" to be phonies and snobs. Progressives created the opportunity taken by Donald Trump. I just hope that he is not one of them.
He inherited his wealth, but that does not make him a bad guy. I know plenty of uber-rich folks who are as down-to-earth genuine and sincere as the ladies of the St. Cajetan Altar and Rosary Society and the guys at the Evergreen Park VFW - John Buck, Ron Gidwitz, Ty Warner and the late Don Flynn come to mind, here in Chicago.
Progressives want something for themselves - power.
Everyone else a happy, secure and meaningful life.
The two-headed monster is still breathing