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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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News

AOC Slams Anti-Biden Efforts: ‘My Community Does Not Have the Option to Lose’

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U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, one of the most-powerful voices in the House Democratic caucus, re-asserted her support for President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris as some congressional Democrats along with pundits, pollsters, and strategists have called on the President to quit his campaign.

The 34-year-old progressive New York Democrat in a nearly hour-long live video recorded after midnight declared her opposition to those proposing an “open convention,” where the Democratic nominee fro president would be decided, despite the 2024 primaries which Biden and Harris won. She blasted the numerous Democrats anonymously calling for Biden to end his campaign, and slammed those who have little to lose who appear to be behind the movement to oust the President, and those who have already concluded the Democrats cannot win.

“I will say, what upsets me is people saying, ‘we will lose.’ ”

“For me,” she continued, before taking a long, thoughtful pause, “I don’t care who – to a certain extent – I don’t care what name is on there. We are not losing.”

READ MORE: House Dem Leader Hakeem Jeffries and Hispanic Caucus Campaign Arm Rally Behind Biden

“I’m about you, but my community does not have the option to lose. My community does not have the luxury of accepting loss in July,” she said before stressing, “of an election year.”

“Like, my people are the first ones deported. They’re the first ones put in Rikers,” she continued, referring to the infamous New York City jail. “They’re the first ones whose families are killed by war. And this is horrific. I’m not here to like say everything is amazing. Okay, I’m not here to say that like, oh, you know, to lie to people. What I am here to say is that we need to live, we need to make decisions in the conditions that we have before us.”

“Most of the Ocasio-Cortez’s nearly hour-long Live session focused on the risks of forcing Biden to step aside, including potential legal challenges from Republicans and ballot access deadlines in various states. ‘I have not seen a scenario, an alternative scenario, that I feel does not set us up for enormous peril,’ she said,” Business Insider reported.

“If you’re falling out of a coconut tree, God bless you,” she said. “If you’re riding with the President, God bless. I’m not an open-convention person. I think that is crazy.”

READ MORE: ‘Unmitigated Disaster’: Conservatives Stunned by ‘Clinically-Insane Trump Speech’

Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez also made headlines by pointing out that she believes if President Biden were to step aside, Vice President Kamala Harris would also be targeted by some of the same Democrats trying to oust the President.

“I’m just going to say it: If you think that there is consensus among the people who want Joe Biden to leave… that they will support Kamala, Vice President Harris, you would be mistaken,” she added. “They are interested in removing the whole ticket.”

To those Democrats leaking opinions or being quoted anonymously, she had a few strong words.

“That’s b*llsh*t. If you have an opinion, say it with your chest and say it in public,” she said. “That’s a bunch of horsesh*t.”

Her Instagram Live remarks have over 80,000 likes and 6000 comments.

What her full video and the short clip above or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Stop the Attacks’: 1400 Black Women Leaders Demand DNC Support Biden and Harris

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News

House Dem Leader Hakeem Jeffries and Hispanic Caucus Campaign Arm Rally Behind Biden

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Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, in line to become Speaker if Democrats retake the House in November, Friday morning told reporters the presidential ticket has not changed and he believes President Joe Biden is capable of doing the job and winning re-election.

Jeffries’ remarks come amid calls for President Biden to exit the re-election campaign, largely from the “Democratic machine,” including pundits, strategists, and pollsters, along with some Democratic members of the House and Senate.

“President Biden, as I’ve said repeatedly, is our nominee,” Leader Jeffries said in Brooklyn Friday morning, according to video (below) posted by WNBC-TV managing editor Steven Bognar. “He has a tremendous track record of success. He’s one of the most accomplished American presidents in our history. And, he has the vision, I believe the ability, the capacity and the track record to make a case to the American people that will result in us being successful in November.”

“I’ve answered that question repeatedly over the last three weeks,” Jeffries also told reporters, as NBC 4 reported. “I’ve answered that question repeatedly, my answer has not changed.”

Also Friday morning the congressional arm of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus announced its endorsement of the President’s re-election bid.

READ MORE: ‘Stop the Attacks’: 1400 Black Women Leaders Demand DNC Support Biden and Harris

“The fundraising arm of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Bold PAC, has endorsed President Joe Biden for re-election, the Biden campaign said in a statement on Friday,” Reuters reports.

Forbes reported last week, “Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Nev., chair of the influential Congressional Black Caucus, expressed support for President Joe Biden, bolstering Biden’s argument that his base is still behind him amid calls for him to step aside in the race.”

Also last week, The Washington Post reported, “Black House Democrats embrace Biden at another critical juncture.”

“The importance of the roughly 60-member Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) — which includes [Rep. James] Clyburn and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) — was on display Monday night as Biden met with the bloc in a Zoom call, the first with a group of elected lawmakers. The message that many Black Democrats planned to convey to Biden, according to the people familiar with the CBC’s thinking: We will stick by you as we always have.”

READ MORE: ‘Unmitigated Disaster’: Conservatives Stunned by ‘Clinically-Insane Trump Speech’

Congressman Clyburn, who was instrumental in Biden winning the Democratic nomination in 2020, and the election, “has said publicly that he is firmly behind Biden but open to embracing Vice President Harris filling the role if Biden steps aside,” The Post reported.

But while last week the paper noted, “not a single Black House Democrat has defected,” Friday morning one member of the CBC did. U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey (D-TX) became the first member of the Congressional Black Caucus to break ranks, as Punchbowl News’ Max Cohen reported.

MSNBC reports on Friday a total of six members of the U.S. House and one U.S. Senator called on President Biden to exit the race.

Watch video of Democratic Leader Jeffries from Friday below or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Democratic Machine’ Strategists Behind Move to Oust Biden: Ex-Congressman

 

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OPINION

‘Unmitigated Disaster’: Conservatives Stunned by ‘Clinically-Insane Trump Speech’

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The fourth and final night of the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee on Thursday is being panned by pundits, political strategists, grassroots voters, and even some in the press, as many express shock and condemnation over Donald Trump’s presidential nomination acceptance speech, or, as one critic put it, the “clinically-insane Trump speech.”

Chris Wallace, the former long-time Fox News anchor turned CNN commentator declared he was “disappointed,” and suggested Trump’s 90+ minute speech (transcript) helped President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign.

Trump’s speech got off to a good start, Wallace said, but after awhile the GOP nominee, “couldn’t keep up the act, and so we started hearing about ‘crazy Nancy Pelosi,’ and cheating on elections, and talking about Biden. Frankly, it was a long speech, it was a rambling speech, it was a speech by an older man and I couldn’t help but think that the people who are going to be happiest tonight are not the people at Trump headquarters, but the Democrats, maybe at Biden headquarters, maybe at the headquarters of the people who think they are going to replace Joe Biden, but Jake, we have ourselves a presidential campaign again.”

READ MORE: ‘Stop the Attacks’: 1400 Black Women Leaders Demand DNC Support Biden and Harris

CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale reported Trump delivered at least 22 “falsehoods” during his remarks, including that when he left office, “the world was at peace.”


Even The New York Times, which critics say has often ignored or whitewashed Trump’s worst remarks and weaknesses while focusing on President Biden’s – to the point of calling for Biden’s exit but not Trump’s – ran this headline overnight, invoking the ex-president’s 2017 inauguration speech: “Trump Struggles to Turn the Page on ‘American Carnage’.”

“On the last night of the G.O.P. convention on Thursday, Donald J. Trump promised to bridge political divides, and then returned to delighting in deepening them,” the paper of record reported.

Meanwhile, conservatives – former Republicans and current, Never-Trump Republicans – led the criticism on social media Thursday night and into Friday morning.

The Lincoln Project’s Stuart Stevens, a top political strategist and former Republican, panned Thursday night’s GOP convention: “A man who beat his wife introduced a Republican nominee found liable of sexual assault the judge called rape. And the Republican Party thinks it’s great.”

“I’ve watched thousands of political speeches in thirty years in the business. This was by far the worst,” observed Mike Madrid, the Latino GOP political consultant and Lincoln Project co-founder, calling it “an unmitigated disaster.”

“Is anyone else seeing this with their own eyes?” Madrid asked on social media, referring to Trump’s speech. “Maybe, just maybe, this is what independent voters saw at the debate.”

“The [media’s] gonna call for his withdrawal after witnessing this obvious cognitive decline right?” Madrid also asked.

READ MORE: ‘Democratic Machine’ Strategists Behind Move to Oust Biden: Ex-Congressman

He summed it up in one word: “Fiasco.”

Former Republican U.S. Congressman Denver Riggleman declared: “Media should demand Trump step down based on mental issues and incoherence.”

Fred Wellman, the former Lincoln Project executive director had a few words for top Democratic donors dissatisfied with President Joe Biden: “Hey Democratic big donors! Shut up and get back to work. Jesus. We are going to beat this loser like a drum.”

“The View” co-host Ana Navarro-Cárdenas, a Republican who opposes Donald Trump wrote: “If this clinically-insane Trump speech does not get Democrats out of their defeatist doldrums, and focused and energized around electing their nominee -instead of tearing him down- I don’t know what will.”

She added, “And you all are screaming that Biden has dementia….?”

Former Republican Rick Wilson, an award-winning political TV ad expert and Lincoln Project co-founder decimated Trump’s speech and invoked the nominee’s top campaign chiefs:

“Trump’s speech was, objectively, the single worst convention acceptance speech in modern history. It was a ramblefuck disaster from start to its long-delayed finish, and nothing is going to make it better. You know. I know it. LaCivita and Wiles know it. Utter disaster.”

Former Republican U.S. Congressman Joe Walsh added, “And one more thing: I don’t want to hear anyone in the media talk about Biden’s cognitive decline without also talking about Trump’s cognitive decline. Thanks.”

Republican Sarah Longwell, a political strategist and publisher of the conservative news and opinion site The Bulwark, commented throughout Trump’s speech.

“What would [you] say this speech is about?” she asked toward the end. Minutes earlier she remarked, “Rambling man.” And: “I dunno, this weirdo seems pretty beatable.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Have to Stop This Psychopath’: Conway Launches PAC Focused on Trump ‘Mental Instability’

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