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What’s CPAC? Everything You Wanted To Know But Were (Rightly) Afraid To Ask

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CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, is an event held annually by a group of American right-wing conservative extremists, hell-bent on taking down Barack Obama and the Democratic Party, instilling fear in America, “taking their country back” to the stone age, and propagating so-called “American values” of selfishness, ignorance, and Christian bible-centric governing.

CPAC Hallmarks

The hallmark culmination of each CPAC are the results of the straw poll, in which the CPAC attendees vote for whom they want the Republican presidential nominee to be, and the closing speech.

Read: “Who Will CPAC Nominate As GOP 2012 Presidential Nominee?” for a full list of this year’s straw poll nominees.

Watch: Glenn Beck- Keynote Speech at CPAC 2010

Winners of the CPAC straw poll in years past have rarely won the GOP presidential nomination, much less the presidency. Last year’s winner was Ron Paul, who interrupted Mitt Romney’s three-year streak. George W. Bush did win in 2000, and Ronald Reagan won in 1976, 1980, and 1984.

CPAC closing speakers of recent years past have included right wing extremist icons such as Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter, and Newt Gingrich. Often, the speakers mention the Republican deity, Ronald Reagan, who himself spoke at CPAC a dozen times.

Waning Importance Of CPAC

Despite the fact that this year’s CPAC has drawn its largest crowd ever, an estimated 11,000 attendees, an obvious indicator of the waning importance of CPAC, organized by the American Conservative Union, the oldest conservative lobbying organization in the country, is this year’s closing speaker, Rep. Allen West. An extreme right-wing freshman Republican politician, West is best known for falsely claiming, “I have a clearance that even the president of the United States cannot obtain because of my background.” The closing speaker, by comparison, last year was Glenn Beck, and the year prior, Rush Limbaugh.

This year’s CPAC, which began today and runs through Saturday evening, boasts the following list of confirmed speakers, most of whom represent the GOP of the 20th Century. A few notable exeptions are the Tea Party favorites, such as fraudulent journalist Andrew Breitbart and Rep. Michele Bachmann.

Another obvious indicator of the waning importance of CPAC is that the most-well-known GOP member, Sarah Palin, along with Marco Rubio, Senator Jim DeMint, will not be attending this year’s CPAC. (The Atlantic asks today, “CPAC Begins, but Does It Still Matter?“)

This year’s confirmed speakers include:

Rep. Michele Bachmann
Gov. Haley Barbour
Hon. John Bolton
Andrew Breitbart
Arthur Brooks
Herman Cain
Ann Coulter
Gov. Mitch Daniels
Hon. Newt Gingrich
David Horowitz
Wayne LaPierre
Sen. Mike Lee
Sen. Mitch McConnell
Rep. Ron Paul
Sen. Rand Paul
Hon. Tim Pawlenty
Gov. Rick Perry
Hon. Mitt Romney
Hon. Donald Rumsfeld
Rep. Paul Ryan
Hon. Rick Santorum
Phyllis Schlafly
Sen. John Thune
Rep. Allen West

Events, Panel Discussion, Speeches

Some of the events during this year’s CPAC include panel discussions and presentations, such as, “The Left’s Campaign to Reshape the Judiciary,” “How Political Correctness is Harming America’s Military,” “Why The Conservative Party Is The Next Step For The Tea Party,” “Lawlessness, Racialism and Terror at Obama’s Department of Justice,” “Reagan at 100: Role Model for the Next Generation,” “Repealing Obamacare: In The States, In Courts, and In Congress,” and “Traditional Marriage and Society.”

Controversaries: God and The Gays

Several large controversies have plagued this year’s event. First, Muslims. As you know, Islamophobia is a big social issue gripping Fox News-based Americans. So, a panel discussion, “The Importance of Faith & Religious Liberty in the US & Abroad,” sponsored by Muslims for America, surely will draw strong reactions, especially as there is another presentation, “The Ground Zero Mosque: The Second Wave of the 9/11 Attacks,” sponsored by the American Freedom Defense Initiative. This event features bigot extraordinaire Pamela Geller, and is the worldwide “special screening” of a trailer for the new AFDI documentary, “The Ground Zero Mosque: The Second Wave of the 9/11.” Talk about a conflict!

But wait, there’s more!

Another Islamophobia event, “The Sharia Challenge in the West,” takes place on Saturday.

Hopefully there’s strong security at these events.

Then there’s the “problem” of “the gays.”

GOProud, a gay Republican organization, is attending this year’s event, and as a result, many right-wing bigots and their organizations, such as the Heritage Foundation and the Family Research Council, Senator Jim DeMint, and other Republican heavyweights decided to not attend.

Read: “In CPAC’s Conservative Circus, Are Gays The High-Wire Act At CPAC 2010?

Erick Erickson, possibly America’s least self-aware citizen, and a CNN contributor and founder of RedState, a right-wing blog, today wrote, “GOProud is not a conservative organization.”

He adds, “GOProud has taken one of the favorite leftist bullet points and brought it straight into CPAC. You oppose affirmative action? You’re a racist. You oppose gay marriage? You’re a bigot.”

“Those groups and people who have sat out CPAC this year have done so not because they hate the gays, as Grover Norquist and GOProud would have you believe, but because GOProud is not a conservative organization and its agenda is not a conservative agenda.”

More anti-gay controversary at CPAC: Politico reports, “A POLITICO reporter just got handed a flier telling parents and young people that “radical homosexual front groups and their supporters will be in attendance to push their perversion on you.” This comes as some social conservative groups are boycotting CPAC in protest of the gay Republican group GOProud’s attendance.

So, does CPAC matter? Yes and no. Yes, because it propagates and celebrates anti-American extremism, and no, because it propagates and celebrates anti-American extremism.

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Watch: Texas Attorney General Suggests Arming Teachers After 15 Shot and Killed at Elementary School

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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton called for arming teachers and “doing more at the school” to prevent school mass shootings, immediately after14 elementary school students and one teacher were shot and killed in  Uvalde, Texas.

Paxton, who is in a tight re-election primary runoff race, was speaking to a Newsmax host who noted that Texas is “not a stranger to shootings.”

“Yes, sadly, this has happened again, and it’s a horrible tragedy,” Paxton said, after being asked what efforts have been talked about or taken to prevent school shootings.

“Having one point of entry, making it more difficult for people even to get in that point of entry, and having, potentially, teachers and other administrators who have gone through training and who are armed because first responders typically can’t get there in time to prevent a shooting. This is just not possible unless you have a police officer on every campus, which for a lot of these schools is almost impossible. So I think you’re gonna have to do more at the school because it typically involves very short periods of time and you have to have people trained on campus to react.”

The host talked about hardening schools “so they’re not easy prey for crazy people who go nuts with firearms.”

Defending his call for people to be armed Paxton went on to say people who are “not following murder laws” are “not going to follow gun laws.”

Watch:

 

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BREAKING NEWS

14 Students and One Teacher Dead at Texas Elementary School Mass Shooting (Streaming Video)

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Fourteen students and one teacher are dead, and others have been injured after a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

ABC News live video (below) reports “14 dead,” stating Gov. Greg Abbott has made that announcement. ABC News, online, citing multiple sources, reports the shooter is also dead.

CNN confirms 15 are dead:

NBC News adds: “The shooting occurred after new FBI statistics released Monday showed active shooter incidents in 2021 surged by more than 50 percent from 2020 and nearly 97 percent from 2017.”

Streaming video via ABC News:

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Fox News Corporate Chief Shrugs Off Complaints of Network’s White Nationalism: ‘Comes With the Territory’

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Lachlan Murdoch, the executive chairman and CEO of the parent company of Fox News does not appear concerned about the far right-wing network’s embrace of white nationalism, saying the growing criticism just “comes with the territory.”

“I think when you’re in the news business, and you’re number one,” said Murdoch in an interview with Axios, “you get a lot of heat and it just comes with the territory.”

“I think the world is more divided and on edge than it has been, you know, for a very long time,” Murdoch, son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, added. “I think on the noise around it, so much of it is politicized … And so, you’ve got to be tough about it.”

The 50-year-old Murdoch took no responsibility for the world being more divided, on edge, and politicized.

Axios points out that a “broad array of Democratic officials and progressive groups have criticized Fox News, saying its hosts have referenced the ‘great replacement theory,’ a racist conspiracy theory that reportedly inspired the Buffalo shooter.”

Like his father, Lachlan Murdoch shares citizenship with Australia and the United States (but also with the U.K.)

Last week, former GOP strategist Steve Schmidt called on the United States government to revoke Rupert Murdoch’s U.S. citizenship. He said the 91-year-old Australian-born media titan is “the most venomous and dangerous foreigner to ever arrive on American soil.”

Schmidt added:

Meanwhile, Media Matters senior fellow Matthew Gertz noted, “Lachlan Murdoch has apparently given up on his obvious lie that Tucker Carlson doesn’t promote ‘replacement theory,’ he is making it quite clear that Fox prioritizes white supremacist content.”

The Washington Post’s Philip Bump says Lachlan Murdoch is blaming “complaints about white nationalist rhetoric on jealousy.”

“Presented with Tucker Carlson combining anti-left and anti-immigrant rhetoric into an indefensible the elites are out to get regular Americans narrative — a common racist trope — the CEO of Fox responds: Haters gonna hate. Never mind that nearly half of Republicans now think that this theory accurately reflects reality; people are just jealous of Fox News.

 

 

 

 

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