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Googling in the Bathtub with Grover Norquist

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash dri­ve that can be obtained here. [1] (The flash dri­ve includes the anti-fas­cist books avail­able on this site.)

COMMENT: In the ongo­ing series about L’Af­faire Snow­den, we have dis­cussed the fact that the col­lec­tion of meta­da­ta is rou­tine by Inter­net and cell­phone com­pa­nies, as well as retail out­lets that offer dis­count cards. (The har­vest­ing of meta­da­ta is the focal point of what the NSA does and what lies at the cen­ter of the “con­tro­ver­sy.”)

A recent post by PR Watch notes that Grover Norquist [2] has been among the recip­i­ents of Google mon­ey [3].

Hav­ing opined that he want­ed to “drown” gov­ern­ment in the “bath­tub,” Norquist is a lynch­pin of the “Shut­down GOP” and the founder of the Islam­ic Free Mar­ket Insti­tute. [4] A syn­the­sis of the GOP and the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood [5], the Insti­tute is inex­tri­ca­bly linked [6] with the Oper­a­tion Green Quest inves­ti­ga­tion [7] into ter­ror­ist financ­ing.

Against the back­ground of Google’s financ­ing of Norquist’s cru­sades and oth­er right-wing caus­es [8], one can but won­der what Google may be doing with the vast amounts of meta­da­ta they har­vest.

“The Googliza­tion of the Far Right: Why is Google Fund­ing Grover Norquist, Her­itage Action and ALEC?” by Nick Surgey; prwatch.org; 11/27/2013. [3]

EXCERPT: Google, the tech giant sup­pos­ed­ly guid­ed by its “don’t be evil” mot­to, has been fund­ing a grow­ing list of groups advanc­ing the agen­da of the Koch broth­ers.

Orga­ni­za­tions that received “sub­stan­tial” fund­ing from Google for the first time over the past year include Grover Norquist’s Amer­i­cans for Tax Reform, the Fed­er­al­ist Soci­ety, the Amer­i­can Con­ser­v­a­tive Union (best known for its CPAC con­fer­ence), and the polit­i­cal arm of the Her­itage Foun­da­tion that led the charge to shut down the gov­ern­ment over the Afford­able Care Act: Her­itage Action . . . .
. . . . More than any oth­er group work­ing to repeal the Afford­able Care Act, Her­itage Action pushed for a sus­tained gov­ern­ment shut­down in the fall of 2013, tak­ing the coun­try to the brink of a poten­tial­ly cat­a­stroph­ic debt default.

Lay­ing the ground for that strat­e­gy, Her­itage Action held a nine-city “Defund Oba­macare Town Hall Tour” in August 2013, pro­vid­ing a plat­form for Texas Sen­a­tor Ted Cruz to address crowds of cheer­ing tea par­ty sup­port­ers.

For Cruz, increas­ing­ly spo­ken of as a 2016 Pres­i­den­tial can­di­date, the gov­ern­ment shut­down helped raise his pro­file and build his sup­port­er — and donor — base.

Notably, Her­itage Action received $500,000 from the Koch-fund­ed and Koch-oper­a­tive staffed Free­dom Part­ners in 2012. It is not yet known how much Her­itage Action received in 2013 from sources oth­er than Google.

Per­haps sur­pris­ing­ly, Google has a his­to­ry of sup­port­ing Cruz. Via its Polit­i­cal Action Com­mit­tee – Google Inc. Net PAC – the PAC pro­vid­ed the “Ted Cruz for Sen­ate” cam­paign with a $10,000 con­tri­bu­tion in 2012. Addi­tion­al­ly, despite being five years out from the fresh­man Sen­a­tor’s next elec­tion, Google’s PAC has already made a $2,500 con­tri­bu­tion to the Cruz reelec­tion cam­paign for 2018, the largest amount that the PAC has giv­en so far to any Sen­ate can­di­date run­ning that elec­tion year accord­ing to dis­clo­sures made by Google.

Amer­i­cans for Tax Reform (ATR), the anti-gov­ern­ment group run by Repub­li­can oper­a­tive Grover Norquist, was anoth­er new recip­i­ent of fund­ing from Google in 2013. ATR is best known for its “Tax­pay­er Pro­tec­tion Pledge,” and for its fun­da­men­tal­ist attacks on any Repub­li­can who might dare to vote for any increase in tax­es. Accord­ing to the Cen­ter for Respon­sive Pol­i­tics, ATR received 85% of its fund­ing in 2012 ($26.4 mil­lion) from the ultra-par­ti­san Karl Rove-run Cross­roads GPS, anoth­er dark mon­ey group.

ATR Pres­i­dent Grover Norquist infa­mous­ly said that he wants to shrink gov­ern­ment “down to the size where we can drown it in the bath­tub.” Google’s posi­tion on the rel­a­tive size of gov­ern­ment ver­sus bath­tubs is not known, but accord­ing to a Bloomberg analy­sis of Google’s U.S. cor­po­rate fil­ings, it avoids approx­i­mate­ly $2 bil­lion dol­lars glob­al­ly in tax pay­ments each year through the use of cre­ative tax shel­ters. . . .