I think I’ve changed a lot, and it’s not because I’ve become a liberal from being a conservative — it’s just that I thought about it more. The issues are so complex, you can’t just go with some ideological mantra for each substantive issue.
—  17-year-old Jonathan Krohn • Giving a bit of insight into his current political beliefs during an interview with Politico. Krohn, who became a viral sensation among conservatives after delivering a speech at the 2009 CPAC while only thirteen years old, now says that he’s abandoned his former social conservative values. And while he admitted he’d likely vote for President Obama if he was old enough, Jonathan stopped short of saying he was a full-blown liberal, Democrat, or progressive. “I’m tired of being an ideology,” he said, "and it’s not fun and it gets boring and it’s not who we are as individuals.” (hat tip to our own Matthew Keys) source (viafollow)
‘Name An Accomplishment’: A Question Republicans Shouldn’t Ask

With her boffo appearance at CPAC, it became obvious why Carly Fiorina masquerades as a presidential candidate: She loves the attention! According to National Review, her CPAC remarks scored a hit, if only because she trashed Hillary Clinton’s record as Secretary of State. Fiorina certainly proved her cred as a Fox News Republican. She eagerly parroted familiar talking points about Clinton – “Name an accomplishment!” – and accused Clinton of saying, “What difference does it make?” in response to the attack on the Benghazi consulate. Such craven willingness to lie for a cheap cheer at CPAC is all they – or we – need to know about Fiorina.

Carly Florin addresses CPAC 2014.

“Name an Accomplishment” is a game that everyone can play, however, and I daresay that Hillary Clinton and her avid defense team have plenty of answers. As for Fiorina, she came close to wrecking Hewlett-Packard, a major U.S. technology firm whose owners and shareholders hope never to see her face again. Many of her former colleagues there consider her utterly without qualifications for any role in government, no matter how small. (They make her sound like a pretty awful person, too.) Beyond her dubious résumé, Fiorina’s most memorable achievement was the moronic “Demon Sheep ad,” nominated by NPR’s Ken Rudin as “the worst political ad ever” – aired with her approval, of course.

Few former secretaries of state can actually point to a single, world-historical achievement distinguishing their tenure. Clinton went far, and not just literally, toward restoring American prestige and alliances after the nadir of the Bush administration.

As for Bush’s secretaries of state, both share responsibility for bringing this country to a very low point: Colin Powell with his infamous UN speech on Iraq’s “weapons of mass destruction,” a decision that he has since disowned; and Condoleezza Rice, with her “mushroom cloud” fakery and a long series of lies on the same topic. Hundreds of thousands dead, still more grievously wounded and left homeless, trillions of dollars squandered, and a violent Islamist movement rising from the ruins: Now there’s a whole series of accomplishments! Neither Powell nor Rice is likely to be remembered for much else.


Inside The 2015 CPAC                    

Several thousand conservative activists from across the country swarmed the National Harbor convention center near Washington for a three-day affair that will feature most of the potential Republican candidates for president, from Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina to Jeb Bush and Scott Walker.

The story of how the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, mushroomed from a small, informal gathering of the right into a multimillion-dollar can’t-miss pageant for the Republican Party is reflected in its corporate sponsors. It's underwritten by the National Rifle Association, the Heritage Foundation, the Trump Organization Inc. and the Motion Picture Association of America in addition to much more modestly moneyed religious and small-government interest groups. 

The American Conservative Union, the nonprofit organization that puts on CPAC, generated $8 million in revenue in 2013, according to its most recent tax documents, almost double its budget just two years earlier. The funding explosion coincided with the rising influence of the Tea Party movement, which became a guiding force in the 2012 presidential election. On the CPAC stage that year, eventual Republican nominee Mitt Romney, once the governor of deep-blue Massachusetts, labeled himself “severely conservative.”

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg 

© 2015 Bloomberg Finance LP

MSNBC host won't attend CPAC unless GOPROUD is let in, too

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes received an odd and very notable distinction last week, as announced on the air by his colleague Rachel Maddow — he was invited to attend this year’s CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference), and appear on a panel called “Washington CSI,” a retrospective analysis of the bygone 2012 election season. This is, needless to say, not the kind of invite liberal TV hosts get too often, and Hayes’ views are in more radical discord with modern conservatism than most. He could have shared the stage with such luminaries as Michael Barone and Ralph Reed, and by his account was enthused to attend, until he remembered a crucial fact about the conference — they barred GOPROUD from sponsorship last year, as social conservatives took a dim view of the intersection of conservative politics and gay rights. So, he told them he’d only attend if GOPROUD was brought into the fold as well. That CPAC wholly excised Hayes’ invitation from their updated schedule today is suggestive of how they felt about his bargain. (We’re having some troubles with the video embed at present, sincerest apologies. You can view Hayes’ full explanation here.)

Phil Robertson is a caricature. A plain-spoken, no-nonsense conservative folk hero, who talks about God, guns and guts. Like washed-up rock musician, Ted Nugent, and former Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin, conservatives love Robertson because he embodies what they view as the quintessentially American persona. Robertson in unencumbered by the complexity of nuanced thought regarding foreign policy. His solution is get right with Jesus and the world’s problems will be fixed.

While not all conservatives are likely to agree that it is that simple, an astonishing number do. Robertson’s chaotic speech was frequently interrupted with applause. Furthermore, a poll released earlier in the week, reveals that 57 percent of Republican voters want to establish Christianity as the official national religion. Presto, that should fix America’s troubles. Problem solved.

Elizabeth Warren Questions Scott Walker’s Loyalties After Ludicrous ISIS/Union Comparison

Elizabeth Warren Questions Scott Walker’s Loyalties After Ludicrous ISIS/Union Comparison

On Saturday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) roasted Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker ® for recently comparing Union protesters to the Islamic State. Walker, following his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Thursday, was asked by an audience member,

“I want a commander-in-chief who will do everything in their power to ensure that the threat from radical Islamic terrorists…

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Analysis: White nationalist at CPAC illustrates GOP's "inclusiveness" dilemma

Brimelow, a white nationalist, spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday. (Twitter: Ryan J. Reilly)

Channel: Politics

Take a look at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference agenda and you will see a major reason why the Republican Party struggles to attract Latino voters.

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None Dare Call It Treason: Tom Cotton, Iran and Old GOP Ideas


Acoupla weeks befor freshmun Senater Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) an’ 46 Senate Republicun co-signateries sent a Missd Connectyuns lett'r ta Iruniun hardliners (“Saw y'all n’ Tehrun … thunk y'all mite want ta git togeth'r an’ sabotage nucleer arms kuntrol talks?”), s…

I am sorry that I will not be your president – but I will be your co-worker and I will work shoulder to shoulder alongside you. In the end, we’ll win for the same reason we’ve won before because our cause is just and it is right.
—  Mitt Romney, speaking at CPAC today. While he was respectfully received by the crowd, Politico writes that “indifference pervaded the halls” prior to his speech. source
CPAC attendees: Let Homeland Security shut down!

Because hats!

There’s one contingent of people who are happy that House Republicans are apparently willing to shut down the Department of Homeland Security, and as it happens, they’re all meeting nearby. At CPAC!

[M]any conservatives here in the grand ballroom, sporting “Run Ben Run” t-shirts that encourage retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson to embark on a presidential campaign, and waving popsicle sticks with Cruz’s face glued on, don’t believe shutting down DHS matters. What they want is for someone to stand up against Obama.

“Let’s take the pain and preserve the Constitution,” says Chris Phillips. “If you get blamed for upholding the Constitution, that is a worthy cause.”

A man is dressed as Captain America at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland on Thursday.(Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

These people who are currently midway through a three-day orgy of pants-wetting over ISIS being in their bedroom closets don’t have much faith that Boehner will really go through with shutting down the department, however.

“Everybody is looking at Boehner to see what he is going to do, and he won’t say, but we know he’s going to cave too,” says CPAC attendee Pat Cashman. “They should have kicked him out when they had the chance.”

So there you go. If Boehner shuts down Homeland Security he’ll get the begrudging respect of a bunch of people wearing old-timey hats, and if he averts the shutdown, those same people will hate him.

Roaring applause: Allen West energizes conservatives at CPAC

“It is not the public good that matters, it is the personal good.” Representative Allen West (R-FL) fired up the crowd, during his speech at CPAC Friday night, saying that conservatives have allowed “the other side to paint us as racist” for too long. Rep. West reminded voters that proof of that statement’s inaccuracy stood before them saying, “today, as a conservative black Republican and former soldier, I’m here to set that record straight.” His comments drew roaring applause. (photo by Flickr user markn3tel) source

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#llamagate: GOP Clowns and Freaks Pandering At CPAC

The right’s ever favorite Conservative Political Action Conference, affectionately known as CPAC, got under way Thursday in National Harbor, Maryland. It’s a time for every 2016 hopeful to woo the conservative base by touting their right-wing bonafides. Here are a few highlights from the land of the loony.

1. Carly Fiorina taking on Hillary Clinton

This was rich—the only Republican woman with 2016 potential tried to go toe-to-toe with Hillary.

“Mrs. Clinton, name an accomplishment,” Fiorina said during her speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, D.C. “And in the meantime, please explain why we should accept that the millions and millions of dollars that have flowed into the Clinton Global Initiative from foreign governments do not represent a conflict of interest.”

Okay, as long as we’re listing accomplishments, here’s a couple for Fiorina:

• Driving Hewlett-Packard into the ground

HP stock had a net drop of more than 50 percent during her tenure, far more than that of Dell or IBM, two key competitors.

• Job creation … in China

During a 2010 debate, Sen. Barbara Boxer famously noted Fiorina’s knack for outsourcing: “I guess my opponent is kind of used to creating jobs in China and other places.”

2. Chris Christie trashing Jeb Bush

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie conceded that Jeb’s the “frontrunner,” but only if “the elites in Washington” are picking the nominee, he added.

“If the people of the United States decide to pick the next president of the United States and they want someone who looks at them in the eye, connects with them and is one of them, I’ll do OK,” Christie added.

I guess by “connect” he means “shouting down” people whenever he’s questioned. Because that’s Christie’s specialty, telling reporters and constituents to “

sit down and shut up.

” It’s a sure vote-getter.  

3. More Christie: bragging about cutting cancer screening and health care services for women

“I ran as a pro-life candidate in 2009 unapologetically, spoke at the rally on the steps of the statehouse. I was the first governor to ever speak at a pro-life rally on the steps of the statehouse in the state of New Jersey,” Christie told the approving crowd. “And I vetoed Planned Parenthood funding five times out of the New Jersey budget.”

‘Nuff said.

4. Shadow boxer Ted Cruz asks fellow Republicans: When have you stood up and fought?

After listing every blowhard, self-aggrandizing position that each and every speaker will take, Cruz added: “But when have you stood up and fought?” The idea being that only Ted Cruz, Senate martyr, is the only one who’s actually taken individual action to push back against the damning onslaught of liberalism — and worse, moderate Republicanism. Cruz mentioned that everyone can claim they’ve fought Democrats. But “when have you been willing to stand up to Republicans?”

Or alternatively: When have you screwed over the nation solely for your own political gain?

5. #llamadrama

That’s right—the sideshow that ran away with the CPAC coverage: Llamas on the loose!

Both Fox News and CNN took live footage of llamas running wild in the streets in Arizona.

“There it goes… wants to be free,” remarked the CNN commentator, who admitted feeling “silly” for narrating the llamagate blow-by-blow.

Fox News’ Shepard Smith later added, “Black llama we can’t find anymore, but white llama’s being put into a truck.”

Sorry, CBAC.  The Llamas stole the show.

I absolutely loved the speeches that Bobby Jindal, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, and Rand Paul made at CPAC! I also really liked a lot of what Ted Cruz and Ben Carson had to say but I feel like Rubio and Paul are a little more practical. Boy, I’m going to have a hard time deciding who I like most. I am most definitely not on the Jeb Bush train though…

I think my demographic is being systematically disenfranchised.

Young, white Southern male at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

No, seriously.

This occurred immediately before a black woman was notified by a fellow attendee, “You’re not welcome!”

Also, a white supremacist caused an uproar by suggesting that the GOP might do better as “Booker T. Washington Republicans” by way of adopting a “united like the hand, but separate like the fingers” philosophy.