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PARIS, THE NEW NORMAL? — Diana Johnstone files an in-depth report from Paris on the political reaction to the Charlie Hebdo shootings; The Treachery of the Black Political Class: Margaret Kimberley charts the rise and fall of the Congressional Black Caucus; The New Great Game: Pepe Escobar assays the game-changing new alliance between Russia and Turkey; Will the Frackers Go Bust? Joshua Frank reports on how the collapse of global oil prices might spell the end of the fracking frenzy in the Bakken Shale; The Future of the Giraffe: Ecologist Monica Bond reports from Tanzania on the frantic efforts to save one of the world’s most iconic species. Plus: Jeffrey St. Clair on Satire in the Service of Power; Chris Floyd on the Age of Terrorism and Absurdity; Mike Whitney on the Drop Dead Fed; John Wight on the rampant racism of Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper;” John Walsh on Hillary Clinton and Lee Ballinger on the Gift of Anger.
Rightwing Godfather Explains His Opposition

Weyrich on the Patriot Act

by JAMES RIDGEWAY And ALICIA NG

Of the three men credited with launching the New Right in the late 1970s, Paul Weyrich is without question the most important. The other two were Dick Viguerie, the right wing direct mail whiz, and Howard Phillips, head of the poverty program in the Nixon administration.

Weyrich started out as a newspaper and radio reporter, then worked as an aide to Colorado’s Republican senator, Gordon Allott, before plunging into politics. He set up the Heritage Foundation by persuading the Coors family to finance the venture. Later, he went on to help found the Moral Majority with Jerry Falwell; The American Legislative Exchange Council, a group pushing conservative ideas among state legislators; the Conservative Digest; and the Free Congress Foundation. Heritage grew to become the single most important policy shop from Reagan up to now. Most of the ideas for Reagan, Bush senior and Bush junior comes from Heritage, and it offers a strong counterbalance to the more liberal think tanks like Brookings.

He has always been especially strong on Christian values, and espouses what might be considered heretical causes for a right winger. For example, Weyrich is a strong supporter of rail transit over bus, sat on Amtrak’s national board and put out a magazine supporting railroads and urban light rail transit systems. In 2004 a spinal injury confined him to a wheelchair. He lost both his legs.

After 911, Weyrich was among a group of conservative leaders who joined the ACLU and other liberals to oppose the Patriot Act. In this video filmed in 2003, he explains his thinking.

Click Here to Watch the Interview.