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The New CPAC Makes the Old CPAC Look Like the #Resistance


The New CPAC Makes the Old CPAC Look Like the #Resistance
By Ben Jacobs

In 2014, a dissident group of conservatives held their own counter CPAC called the Uninvited. It featured speakers on the hard right such as Senator Ted Cruz and Representative Mo Brooks and featured a welcome address from Steve Bannon, whose then-website Breitbart sponsored the event. Inside CPAC that year were Carly Fiorina, Senator Pat Toomey, and foreign-policy veteran John Bolton.

Fast-forward to CPAC in 2021. Cruz and Brooks, who both vocally supported Donald Trump’s challenge to certifying Joe Biden’s win on January 6, are speaking at CPAC. Fiorina voted for Biden, Toomey voted to convict Trump in his second impeachment trial, and Bolton became a vocal Trump critic who was cited as a key witness in the first impeachment trial.


For a large contingent of attendees who sit through every minute of the conference, CPAC is their vacation. For others, it’s a raucous party: Young conservatives show up to hear fiery speeches during the day and get absolutely lit at night. Then there are the professional operatives and D.C. journalists for whom this is a networking event, a chance to woo clients and cultivate sources. They’re there to swap some business cards and expense some drinks. Finally, there is just the fringe attracted by a big crowd and a large press pen. If you too want to turn yourself into an alt-right martyr or just shout at national reporters, CPAC is the place.

Terry Schilling, an ACU board member who met his wife at CPAC, which he first attended in 2006, described the event “as really a reflection of the conservative movement and where it is headed.” He noted when he first went to the event, attendees all seemed to wear “bow ties, sport coats, and boat shoes.” Schilling argued the crowd was now far more diverse: “There are truckers and people with tattoos and purple hair,” and it was an event that was no longer reliant on people who read National Review.

And, for Schlapp, the CPAC crowd was the perfect litmus test of conservative feeling in the country. “It’s a random association of people who buy their own tickets, come from all over the country, and it’s not a cheap thing to attend. If that’s not an example of where the conservative movement is, I don’t know what would be.”
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Feb 26, 2021, 11:42 PM (4 replies)

Humility becomes President Biden

I keep thinking about this and how endearing I found it.

Biden says he's uncomfortable with how much he's waited on in the White House. Trump had bragged about the opulence at a similar point in his presidency.
Sinéad Baker
Feb 17, 2021, 8:14 AM

President Biden said he was "extremely self-conscious" about being waited on in the White House.

At a CNN town hall, he said he was "raised in a way that you didn't look for anybody to wait on you."

In the first week of his presidency, Trump bragged about the opulence of the White House.

President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that he was uncomfortable with how much he was waited on by staff in the White House. President Donald Trump had bragged about its opulence at a similar point in his presidency.


Posted by babylonsister | Fri Feb 26, 2021, 11:29 PM (5 replies)

Don't Blame Mr. Potato Head: What You Didn't Know About The Gender Of Your Spud


Editors' Pick|Feb 26, 2021,12:54pm EST|2,410 views
Don’t Blame Mr. Potato Head: What You Didn’t Know About The Gender Of Your Spud
Alex Knapp
Alex KnappForbes Staff
I write about the future of science, technology, and culture.

The Potato Head line

The new Potato Head line drops the "Mister" to better reflect the world kids live in, though Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head themselves aren't going anywhere.

Toymaking giant Hasbro engendered (ahem) controversy this week by announcing at its investor day that it was dropping the “Mr.” moniker from its Mr. Potato Head line of toys, and would be offering a gender-neutral version of the toy alongside the traditional Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head.


Matt Damon growing potatoes on Mars in the film The Martian.

Using a potato to grow new plants helped save Matt Damon's life on Mars. GENRE FILMS/INTERNATIONAL TRADER

Fortunately for farmers, potatoes can also reproduce asexually—much like the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park. Life finds a way. This is the main process through which potatoes are produced around the world: the tuber (i.e., the part of the potato you eat) can be planted to sprout new plants. Particularly healthy tubers that are disease-free are sold to farmers as “seed potatoes” and produce new plants that are genetically identical to their parents. It’s this property of the potato that saved Matt Damon’s life when he was stranded on the Red Planet in The Martian.

And now back to the original controversy from which this hot-potato issue sprouted: In science, whether you’re talking about potatoes or people, gender is more complicated than simple binaries. Particularly when it comes to potatoes, which are male, female and asexual—all at the same time.

So in one very important way, Hasbro has always gotten the concept of the toy exactly right, scientifically speaking. Like its earthy ancestor, Potato Head has interchangeable parts.
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Feb 26, 2021, 10:41 PM (3 replies)

"An Unelected Parliamentarian Does Not Get to Deprive 32 Million Americans the Raise They Deserve"


"An Unelected Parliamentarian Does Not Get to Deprive 32 Million Americans the Raise They Deserve"
Community (This content is not subject to review by Daily Kos staff prior to publication.)
Friday February 26, 2021 · 9:08 AM EST


Common Dreams

Leading progressives—including Sen. Bernie Sanders and Reps. Ro Khanna and Pramila Jayapal—reacted with opposition and disbelief Thursday evening after Elizabeth MacDonough, the chief Senate parliamentarian, issued her belief and guidance that inclusion of a federal minimum wage increase in the pending Covid-19 relief package does not qualify for the budget reconciliation process that would allow the bill to be passed by the chamber with a simple majority.

"I strongly disagree with tonight's decision by the Senate Parliamentarian," said Sanders in a statement. Citing recent reviews by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which showed the outsized impact that raising the wage would have on the federal budget, the Vermont lawmaker and current Senate Budget Committee chairman—who has made raising the federal minimum a cornerstone of his presidential campaigns in both 2016 and 2020—said the assessment wildly missed the mark.

"The CBO made it absolutely clear that raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour had a substantial budgetary impact and should be allowed under reconciliation," Sanders said. "It is hard for me to understand how drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge was considered to be consistent with the Byrd Rule while increasing the minimum wage is not."


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday evening the provision will remain in the House bill on which the chamber is voting Friday. However, the parliamentarian ruled that the increase to $15 per hour did not meet a strict set of guidelines needed to move forward in the Senate's reconciliation process. That means that the House will pass its bill, the Senate will have to strip the minimum wage provision out, and then eventually the House will have to pass that bill again at the end of the process.


"We are deeply disappointed in this decision," Schumer said in a statement following the ruling. "We are not going to give up the fight to raise the minimum wage to $15 to help millions of struggling American workers and their families. The American people deserve it, and we are committed to making it a reality."

The parliamentarian's decision marks the end of a multi-weeks effort by Senate Budget Chairman Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont, to include the provision in the relief bill.

Posted by babylonsister | Fri Feb 26, 2021, 03:26 PM (29 replies)

Eric Boehlert: Neera Tanden and how the press plays dumb about sexism, racism


Neera Tanden and how the press plays dumb about sexism, racism
Here we go again
Eric Boehlert
2 hr ago


“I believe her overtly partisan statements will have a toxic and detrimental impact on the important working relationship between members of Congress and the next director of the Office of Management and Budget," announced Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV).

With that, Manchin likely became the first United States senator in history to vote against a cabinet-level nominee from his own party because that person was deemed to be too partisan. Because her tone was wrong. That stunning bout of illogical concern barely drew a second look from Beltway pundits, many of whom nodded their heads in agreement, as if the uncharted move made perfect sense.

What Manchin's unheard of claim should have prompted from the press was a search for the real reason behind his objections, and why it's possible all 50 Republican senators will vote against Tanden, when no previous Biden nominee has faced that kind of uniform GOP opposition. It should have sparked a searing and widespread look at whether women, and particularly women of color, are held to a different standard when they throw some partisan elbows around. (In 2018, Manchin voted to confirm right-wing Twitter troll Richard Grennell to become U.S. Ambassador to Germany.)

But the Beltway press doesn't want to dwell on prejudice. Anxious to turn the Tanden story into a procedural one, the news media stress the Biden White House is to blame for the possibly failed nominee; for “miscalculating.”


It's not surprising the Beltway press is ducking the sexism story, specifically. There still hasn't been an open and honest media discussion about how the political press mistreated Hillary Clinton when she ran in 2016, and in 2008. Instead, the press remains committed to the idea that Clinton was a uniquely flawed candidate. That way journalists don't have to acknowledge their sexist sins of the past.

New York Times political editor Patrick Healy last year: "I don't think we applied double standards to Clinton." This, from the newspaper that for 16 months treated Clinton's private emails is if they were Iran Contra + Watergate.

Why does the Times remain in denial about 2016? Because admitting that the paper engaged in deeply sexist behavior would damage how the Times likes to market itself, as being a fair, open-minded, and forward-thinking enterprise.

Democratic women of color continue to be held to a different Beltway set of rules in public life. That’s just not a story the press wants to tell.
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Feb 26, 2021, 09:50 AM (5 replies)

The Equality Act Was Just The Start As House Democrats Move To Ban Muslim Bans


Posted on Thu, Feb 25th, 2021 by Jason Easley
The Equality Act Was Just The Start As House Democrats Move To Ban Muslim Bans

House Democrats passed The Equality Act then introduced a bill to ban any future Muslim ban-type presidential actions.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) have reintroduced the NO BAN Act which would prevent immigration discrimination based on religion and limit presidential authority in imposing travel bans.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Nadler said in a statement provided to PoliticusUSA, “When the Trump Administration issued its xenophobic Muslim Ban, it was immediately apparent that it was unconstitutional, discriminatory, and morally reprehensible. am grateful that President Biden took bold action on day one to repeal this ban and reunite families, but we cannot risk the possibility of any future President reinstating this heinous policy. That is why I am so proud to join Congresswoman Chu in introducing the NO BAN Act, which defends Congress’s role in establishing our immigration laws and restores our reputation as an inclusive, welcoming nation.”

Rep. Chu said, “The Muslim Ban was a hateful stain on our nation. Inspired only by bigotry and not any genuine national security concerns, the ban served only to separate families while stoking bigotry, xenophobia, and Islamophobia. That is why I was so grateful when President Joe Biden took action on his first day in office to rescind all versions of this ban. However, we cannot risk letting prejudice become policy again. That is why I am once again introducing the NO BAN Act to update our laws.”

Democrats are just getting started. Reversing Trump’s bigoted and hateful policies is only part of what needs to be done. The Trump years taught Democrats in Congress that they need to restore the power balance between the Legislative and Executive branches.

A Muslim ban can never happen again, but it is equally important that future presidents not have the power to do what Trump did.
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Feb 26, 2021, 08:44 AM (0 replies)

Democrats Crushing GOP on Social Media


Democrats Crushing GOP on Social Media
February 26, 2021 at 6:46 am EST By Taegan Goddard

“In a swift reversal from 90 days ago, Democrats are now the ones with overpowering social media muscle and the ability to drive news,” Axios reports.

“Former President Donald Trump’s digital exile and the reversal of national power has turned the tables on which party can keep a stranglehold on online conversation.”
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Feb 26, 2021, 07:26 AM (7 replies)

What Terrible Things Did Neera Tanden Tweet?

Hypocrisy on full display, again.


What Terrible Things Did Neera Tanden Tweet?
February 25, 2021 at 8:37 am EST By Taegan Goddard

Dana Millbank: “Can you believe that Neera Tanden called Hillary Clinton the ‘anti-Christ’ and the ‘real enemy’? Oh, wait. It was Ryan Zinke who said those things. Fifty-one Republican senators (and several Democrats, including Joe Manchin) confirmed him as secretary of the interior in 2017.”

“And how about the times Tanden allegedly called the NAACP a ‘pinko organization’ that ‘hates white people’ and used racial epithets? My bad. That was Jeff Sessions. Again, 51 Republican senators (and one Democrat, Manchin) voted to confirm him as attorney general in 2017.”

“Surely Tanden went beyond the pale when she “liked” a tweet calling then-Secretary of State John F. Kerry a ‘traitor’ and ‘Vietnam’s worst export,’ and when she suggested Clinton supporters leave the country. Except Mike Pompeo was the one who did those things. He won confirmation as secretary of state in 2018 with the votes of 50 Republicans and six Democrats, including Manchin.”
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Feb 25, 2021, 09:04 AM (62 replies)

Stephen Miller Accuses Biden of 'Cruel' and 'Inhumane' Immigration Policies


Stephen Miller Accuses Biden of ‘Cruel’ and ‘Inhumane’ Immigration Policies
Allison Quinn
News Editor
Published Feb. 25, 2021 12:46AM ET
Fox News
Video @ link~

Stephen Miller, the former White House adviser behind the Trump administration’s decision to enforce family separations at the border, kept a straight face as he railed against President Joe Biden’s immigration policies on Wednesday night for their “cruelty and inhumanity.” Appearing on Fox News’ The Ingraham Angle, Miller responded to Biden’s decision to revoke a ban on legal immigration that Trump imposed last spring by arguing that the “astonishing action” would lead to “limitless amounts of low-wage visa workers” stealing jobs from Americans. Right on cue from host Laura Ingraham, who complained of “unaccompanied minors flooding across” the border, Miller pivoted to the Biden administration’s decision to reopen a Trump-era migrant child facility in Texas.

“What we are seeing here is the cruelty and inhumanity of Joe Biden’s immigration policies,” Miller said. “He came into office and announced that there’s an open door, and that young people who come into this country illegally are going to be resettled instead of returned. He is forcing thousands of young children into the arms of smugglers, into the arms of traffickers, into the arms of coyotes... That is cruel. That is inhumane,” he said. The move by the Biden administration to reopen the migrant facility has sparked outrage, even among supporters, but Miller appeared to have none of the same concerns when he pushed for the “zero tolerance” policy that allowed thousands of migrant children to be separated from their families under Trump.
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Feb 25, 2021, 08:26 AM (15 replies)

The Rude Pundit: 500,000+ Dead Need to Be Piled in Front of the GOP


The Rude Pundit
Proudly lowering the level of political discourse
500,000+ Dead Need to Be Piled in Front of the GOP

This dumbfuck nation has no idea about how deep the post-traumatic stress disorder it's going to have to deal with for the foreseeable future is going to be. As we shift back to whatever normalcy is, we are going to bear the scars of the miserable last year and more. Every human interaction will be burdened with a sense of unease, an anxiety that will remain even as we know that we're vaccinated, that the virus is gone or under control. We will have been rewired by this brief but scarring period, and that goes even for those who act like it's all back to how things were pre-COVID. Resistance to the trauma is an active effect of it.

And then there's the mountain of the dead to contend with. Over a half-million people who lived in the goddamned United States are no longer here, and that's another scar on our exhausted, marked-up bodies. We cannot allow that loss to simply be absorbed into our collective propensity to repress, to forget the quotidian horrors of 21st-century existence. We need to keep that pain and grief present. And we need to lay those corpses down where they belong: piled like fleshy cordwood right in front of the Republicans.

We live in the world that they fucked up. No, the GOP didn't start the coronavirus, but they sure as hell made it into a catastrophe through their unending support for Donald Trump, who saw COVID not as a crisis but as a turd in the punchbowl at his gaudy party that he wasn't going to fish out. And they can't ever be allowed to forget it. What I fear is that the Republican Party is already changing the narrative, shifting blame for the high death count to states, to federal medical officials like Anthony Fauci, and, when it doesn't seem completely insane, eventually to the Biden administration, sweeping their own guilt away.

You can see it happen in real time with their refusal to deal honestly in any way with the insurrection and riot at the Capitol on January 6. You can see it in the party's refusal to censure, formally or informally, their members who profess to believe that the 2020 election was so filled with fraud and illegalities that Donald Trump actually beat Joe Biden. In fact, when you get to the level of the state GOP, they've gone completely nutzoid in their adherence to what we now call "the Big Lie" about the election, using it as an excuse to fuck over the voters with bullshit, useless restrictions that seek to turn Democratic voters into criminals. They are gaslighting and then building their agenda on how they've gaslit everyone.

In her scathing piece titled "Trump Is Guilty of Pandemicide" in Foreign Policy, Laurie Garrett damningly lays out how Trump completely checked out on any decisions at all on COVID efforts between the election and the inauguration. He was essentially telling us all to go fuck ourselves and die if he wasn't installed back in office. And it's not as if he did much of anything before, other than not blocking funding to get a vaccine. He made masks and social distancing and lockdowns into a political battleground. He perversely refused to acknowledge the dead and sick, offering virtually no words of comfort or sympathy. He lied about his own bout of coronavirus. He supported the sick fucks who protested maskless against restrictions, even to the point of violence, even to the point of an attempted kidnap/murder of the governor of Michigan. He held rallies and events with no masking and no social distancing that were superspreader events. He pointedly declined to use the Defense Production Act until too far into the pandemic and even then on a limited basis. He didn't give a single rat shit about having a national plan on testing and mitigation, and, at the end, we lost two months of vaccine distribution because, as I said, we could all go fuck ourselves, as far as he was concerned. So many lives could have been saved. So many jobs and businesses could have been saved. As Garrett puts it, prior to Trump, "no sitting U.S. president...has willfully allowed such preventable carnage to unfold on the American people."


I know we say all the time that Democrats are unmatched in their ability to fuck up golden opportunities to put a goddamn stake in the heart of the GOP vampires. But this shit isn't even that hard. Every terrible allegation you can make against Republicans is fucking real, unlike the fantasy crap they pin on Democrats. And it would suck to lose the chance to secure a narrative that paints the GOP as the criminals and extremists they are, all in the name of some worthless fucking illusion of unity.

See, Democrats can explain, the problem with unity, the problem with bipartisanship is that one of the parties is filled with murderers. Look at all the dead people piled in front of them.
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Feb 25, 2021, 08:20 AM (4 replies)
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