by baldilocks

Today I was interviewed by Chris Levels, who host a BlogTalkRadio show four days a week called Politics and Prophecy.   It was the second time that Chris invited me to his show, the second time that one of us had equipment failure, and the second time that I was one longer that scheduled. It’s as if the invisible supernatural war springs to the surface a little every time I’m on. I like that.

Whenever I do these things I feel as though I’m babbling, however. I used to try to prepare for them, but it makes things worse because I end up reading, and, therefore, sounding stilted. I’ve done a couple of them for Fausta back when she had a show but I refuse to listen to them. I’ve calmed done a lot since then.

Chris brought up several interesting topics and one made me crack up laughing, though it is far from funny. My laughter was in response to this story about the Southern Poverty Law Center. Because irony is funny.

If its balance sheet is any indication, Donald Trump’s presidency has been very good for the Southern Poverty Law Center. The SPLC’s already impressive endowment grew a staggering 35 percent in fiscal year 2017 to more than $432 million. Including operating funds, total assets topped $477 million as of October 31, 2017. Total revenues and gains in fiscal 2017 exceeded $180 million, more than triple the organization’s expenses for the year, of just under $60 million.

The SPLC has long been considered a fundraising powerhouse, but 2017’s take was mind boggling by any standard. Donations were up 164 percent over 2016: The group took in $132 million between November 2016 and October 2017, compared with $50 million in the preceding 12 months.

While direct contributions produced the lion’s share of the 2017 increase, a booming stock market led to astounding growth in the SPLC’s investment portfolio. In fiscal 2016, unrealized gains came to less than $1 million; a year later they totaled nearly $45 million.

The SPLC, whose website touts its mission as “seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society,” drew fire last year because it keeps nearly $70 million in foreign investments in the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands, and Bermuda, as reported by THE WEEKLY STANDARD. Non-U.S. investments this year are closing in on $100 million, totaling a little more than $92.5 million as of October 31, 2017.

And peep these salaries!

Despite the 2017 windfall, salaries of top SPLC officials and executives were roughly the same or in some cases even lower than the year before. Richard Cohen, the group’s president and CEO, and Morris Dees, co-founder and chief trial counsel, each earned around $400,000 both years. Compensation for other top officials ranged from about $150,000 to $260,000.

Down, covetous streak! Down!

I wondered aloud to Chris about having a tenth of that. But, aside from the off-shore investments, who can blame the SPLC if like-minded entities want to keep it afloat? (Afloat might be understating the matter, yes.)

And I bet they don’t even see the hypocrisy in keeping the word poverty in the organization’s name. After all, it takes money to remain Down for the Struggle!TM

However, if ideologues put their money where their ideology is, what does that say about the Right?

What does that say about you, loyal readers?

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Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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