Who the hell asked Art Pope, anyway? (part I)

OH SHIT, TOTO! Fetch me the ruby slippers. I'm gettin' my ass back to Kansas!

“OH SHIT, TOTO! Fetch me the ruby slippers. I’m gettin’ my ass back to Kansas!”

Well…quoting directly from his own website, it seems he would very much like us to bend at our knees and lay wreaths at his feet in praise of the magnificence of his altruistic sensibilities:

If character is defined by what we do when no one is looking, then Art Pope’s character is defined by his philanthropic work over the past 25 years. With little fanfare, both personally and through the John William Pope Foundation, Art has given away tens of millions of dollars to organizations that seek to empower individuals, expand opportunity, and protect human dignity.

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N&O: (Art) Pope’s Views Criticized

After countless letters to the editor critical of their systematic under-reporting of Art Pope and his grip on the North Carolina political landscape, this one finally saw ink:
Steve Levitt: Pope’s rhetoric

Wait. What? Here’s what they cut out (bold & underlined):

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If it walks like fascism, and quacks like fascism…

For months, I had been struggling to adequately articulate my hypothesis that the unprecedented insidiousness thrust upon us by the extremist elements of the Republican Party transcends even the popular narrative of it’s “hijacking” by the menacing Tea Party.

There is plenty of content across the Intertubes about the Tea Party. ‘To quarterback behind the scenes, third-party efforts’: the tobacco industry and the Tea Party”, and, Study: Tea Party Organizations Have Ties To Tobacco Industry Dating Back To 1980s, were of particular interest to me. I had been under the impression that the movement spontaneously grew out of opposition to the bailout of the U.S. financial system and automakers at the close of the Bush presidency, subjugated early in President Obama’s first term by corporate astroturfing.

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