Category Archives: Politics

Hate Groups Represented at Republican’s 2012 CPAC Conference

The Conservative Political Action Conference presently going in DC is what some describe as the “Woodstock” for Republicans. It is a very family friendly event and sponsored by many types of organizations. There was a dust-up last year though when one of the sponsors was GOProud, a gay conservative group. Because of their participation, there were several organizations that chose to withdraw from the event. 

Numerous prominent organizations, including the Heritage Foundation, Family Research Council, the American Family Association, and the Media Research Council, among others, joined a boycott organized by the American Principles Project, which said GOProud stood in “diametrical opposition” to core principles of the conservative movement. Senator Jim DeMint also announced he was boycotting the conference. Mike Huckabee declined to attend the 2010 and 2011 conferences, citing his concern that because of the inclusion of GOProud. 

At the same time they were opposing participation of pro-gay conservative groups, beginning in 2010 they did allow The John Birch Society back into the conference. If you are not familiar with them, in the past they have opposed things like the civil rights movement. 

I have been reading about this year’s lineup and the various presentations that will be given, and I was surprised to see that the lineup includes many leaders/founders of hate groups. It has been apparent that with the rise of the Tea Party, the Republican party has been forced to move more to the right, but the fact that they are now openly welcoming these type of individuals tells me just how radicalized this party is becoming. I have listed some of the participants and presentations that will be given below. You can view the entire list of events here.    

Hard-line conservative participants. 

Peter Brimelow, founder of VDARE, a race-baiting hate group that warns against the pollution of America by non-whites, Catholics, and Spanish-speaking immigrants. Brimelow, an unabashed white nationalist who argues that white Americans should demand U.S. immigration law be changed to allow in mostly whites.   

Bob Vandervoort.  Vandervoort is an executive director of ProEnglish—an English-Only outfit founded by John Tanton. He was also the organizer of the white nationalist group, Chicagoland Friends of American Renaissance .  

Center for Security Policy President Frank Gaffney.  In 2011 he called for the resurrection of the McCarthy-era House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) – this time to target Muslims.    

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, who among other things spreads the lie that pedophilia is “a homosexual problem,” gave an untitled presentation.  

Pam Geller of the anti-Muslim hate group Stop Islamization of America (SIOA). Geller is a birther who made a spectacle of herself last Thanksgiving when she accused Butterball Turkey of “stealth jihad,” and last month crossed yet another line by celebrating the U.S. soldiers who were caught on video urinating on dead Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.

Robert Spencer, a member of SIOA. HE is an entirely self-taught “expert” in the study of modern Islam and the Koran. His writings were cited dozens of times in the manifesto of Anders Breivik, the terrorist who slaughtered 77 people in Norway.   

Kris Kobach, authored a series of draconian, anti-immigrant “enforcement-only” laws, including Arizona’s S.B.1070 and Alabama’s H.B. 56.  

Presentations that will be given. 

The Failure of Multiculturalism: How the pursuit of diversity is weakening the American Identity.  Sponsored by: ProEnglish 

Nullification: The Rightful Remedy  
Presented by the Tenth Amendment Center and Foundation For A Free Society 

Sneak Peak of “Runaway Slave” Documentary with C.L. Bryant – Wilson C 
Sponsored by FreedomWorks 

Rules for Radicals – Wilson A 
Sponsored by the Leadership Institute 

Demonic: How the Liberal Mob is Endangering America – Conservative Book Nook 
Book signing with Author Ann Coulter 

Islamic Law in America: How the Obama Justice Department Is Selling Us Out – McKinley 
TheTeaParty.net Red Carpet Event  

Special Session – Nullification Documentary Q/A – Harding 
Sponsored by: The Tenth Amendment Center and the Foundation for a Free Society 

The 10th Amendment vs. Centralized Power: Thomas Jefferson vs Barack Obama – Harding 
Sponsored by: The Tenth Amendment Center and the Foundation for a Free Society 

Special Preview Reception of Jeffrey Bell’s new book: The Case for Polarized Politics: Why America Needs Social Conservatism  – Taylor 

Why are U.S. taxpayers spending billions to promote abortion and homosexuality worldwide? – Wilson C 
Sponsored by: Human Life International 

Tea Party Patriots: The Second American Revolution – Conservative Book Nook 
Book signing with Author Mark Meckler & Jenny Beth Martin

The Versatile Blogger Award


I would like to send a special thank you to two fellow bloggers, Jueseppi B of The ObamaCrat and mpbulletin of Mashed Potato Bulletin. They recently nominated my blog for The Versatile Blogger Award. I am humbled and honored by this nomination. Since I started this blog, I have been so fortunate to meet some very amazing people. It has been a great experience engaging with others on all types of subjects and different view points from politics to religion to poetry. We have established a wonderful community, and I am so thankful to be a part of it.   

With this honor, there are some requirements I am more than happy to fulfill. I have an opportunity to share with you guys some of my favorite blogs who I know are supurb writers, and I always walk away learning something new. I will also share 7 random facts about myself. So here goes:  

Woodgate’s View 
My name is Larry Beck. No, I’m not related to that self-proclaimed “rodeo clown” on FOX. And though I use LB Woodgate as my on-line pen name, it really has nothing to do with any concern that readers will wrongly associate me with this unstable person or who conservative writer David Frum calls an alienation of “cultural sensibility”. I realize this opening line may run some of you off immediately but if it does because you believe that he is the closest thing to a second coming then there is probably little to no wiggle room to have an open and honest discourse on what I write about. And civil dialogue on the critical issues we face as a nation and as humans (and an occasional dollop of off beat subjects) is what this blog is all about. 

Reflections of a Rational Republican 
This blog comments on the great questions of our day in finance and economics; the emergence of China and India; energy security, clean energy, and climate change; and technological trends from a rational Republican perspective. Sometimes it will even proscribe policy solutions. While this blog will not comment only on conservative issues, it will be colored by them. 

Blogging Blue 
Blogging Blue  was created in July 2007 as an outlet for one guy’s thoughts on politics, current events, sports, and whatever else happened to be on his mind. From one lone contributor, Blogging Blue has grown to include five regular contributors, two semi-regular contributors, and one guy who contributed one single entry. Our political beliefs fall decidedly left of center, so if a liberal point of view isn’t your cup of coffee, then this isn’t the blog for you. We welcome a lively discussion, especially from our conservatives readers, because the whole point of this blog is promote a healthy (and sometimes heated) discussion.   

Extreme Liberal 
I’m one of those liberals who cares about people, thinks government serves a purpose and likes to call out Republicans and Firebaggers on their bullshit. I’m a Film Producer/Director/Editor, Adjunct Professor and photographer when I’m not reading left wing blogs and typing on this one. WARNING: I tell it like it is, if you can’t take it, don’t dish it out. Contact me at liberalforreal@gmail.com 

Don In Massachusetts  
I’m just a 62 year old retired guy, who likes to blog, and write about things that are of interest to me. I’ve been doing this for the last two years. When I first started to blog, I was using Google Blog, then decided to switch to Word Press, which was about six months later. Some people like what I have to say, and some don’t. It goes with the territory. I’ve been labeled a Communist, a Socialist and whatever else you can think of. I’m actually an Independent when it comes to voting, but always voted for the Democrats, as I don’t trust the Republican Party at all. I like to think a lot like a progressive, as there are a lot of people who need help in this country, through no fault of their own. And, this country does need a lot of help. 

Fierce Buddhist 
As a Veteran I served my Country to make sure that the Constitution was upheld. Now, I feel compelled to defend that same document. The oath I took is as follows: “I, William Sheehan, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; ” As a Buddhist, I also have an obligation to do what I can to benefit all sentient beings, not just the privileged few. If I see something or someone that is hurting others I must step forward and do what I can to assist them. In Buddhism this is called a Fierce Bodhisattva. I am only on the path to Enlightenment and can only say to be a Fierce Buddhist.   

She Kept A Parrot  
An old woman who keeps a parrot. 

The Alternate Economy 
In this blog I have gone into a lot of detail about one idea. This idea is divided into many smaller aspects which are represented by the various posts I have made up to this point. All of the posts have one common theme, however. All of the posts on this blog discuss the idea of Love. Generosity is the one aspect of Love on Earth that is the most unbalanced. It expresses itself most strongly in our economy. 

A Little Local Color 
I am an activist in many different fields in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. For the past 7 years I have been working as a mental health survivor and assisting others who have experienced the mental health system. One of the major deficiencies of our system is that it forces many to declare that they are permanently disabled in order to obtain benefits. Unfortunately these monthly payments don’t enable people to afford an average one bedroom apartment. 

A few random facts about myself:  
Bookworm.   Political junkie.   Of course an animal lover — proud mom to my Yorkie, BJ.   Exercise addict — run daily.   Tend to be an introvert.   Love movies.   Love volunteering — I not only get to help others but I get so much out of it. 

Thanks again you guys!

Campaigns For Sale — The Highest Bidder Wins

Since the SCOTUS ruling on Citizens United, it has been so interesting to see how our campaign finance has changed. We now have candidates who are being funded by just a handful of people. We have Newt Gingrich who would not be in the GOP primary race right now if it wasn’t for billionaire casino owner Sheldon Adelson and his family funding his super PAC. Mitt Romney’s campaign raised $18 million in the last half of 2011 from just 200 donors, and over $30 million throughout 2011. Jon Huntsman’S super PAC received over 70% of its funding from his father, Huntsman, Sr.  

Despite your party affiliation, this should be upsetting to you. These very few 0.5 percenters in our country are not giving this money to these candidates because they feel charitable. You have to ask yourself, if they do manage to get their candidate elected, what will they want. 

The billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch are two of the biggest spenders for the Republican party. Despite their attempts to stay in the shadows and not draw attention to themselves, they have been making a lot of news in the last few years (most notably for their creation of the tea party movement). Last weekend they hosted a three-day conference in Coachella Valley in which several hundred deep-pocketed donors attended. Among the most notable attendees were Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Sheldon Adelson. At the end of the event, the Koch brothers and their guests had promised to pledge $100 million in order to defeat President Obama.   

Ed Pilkington of The Guardian wrote about the Kochs and their supporters. 

Though the Kochs have already stamped their influence on the American right, their impact to date looks like small beer compared with their ambitious plans for 2012. According to Kenneth Vogel of Politico, the brothers intend to use their leverage among billionaire conservatives to pump more than $200m into the proceedings, focusing in particular on the presidential race. 

Their potential to sway the electorate through the sheer scale of their spending has been greatly enhanced by Citizens United, last year’s controversial ruling by the US supreme court that opened the floodgates to corporate donations in political campaigns. The ruling allows companies to throw unlimited sums to back their chosen candidates, without having to disclose their spending.  

That makes 2012 the first Citizens United presidential election, and in turn offers rich pickings to the Koch brothers. They have already made clear their intentions. At their most recent billionaires’ gathering in Vail, Colorado in June, Charles Koch described next year’s presidential contest as “the mother of all wars”. A tape of his private speech obtained by Mother Jones said the fight for the White House would be a battle “for the life or death of this country”.  

As for President Obama, we do have a bit of good news. Reuters recently reported that in the FEC financial disclosures released last week, it showed in 2011 his campaign raised 60 percent of the funds, or $58.5 million, from donors who gave less than $200.  

We have entered into a new wild west style of politics where for some of our candidates there is just a small group of people who fund their campaigns and the rise of super PACs who now can have access to unlimited funds and can use those funds in unlimited ways in order to sway our elections. For the middle and lower classes, both Republican and Democrat, this is not a promising sign for our survival.

If the Giants or Patriots Deserve A Super Bowl Parade, Don’t Iraq Vets?


The Iraq War officially ended on December 31, 2011. Since the beginning of the war 8 years ago, over 4400 soldiers have died and over 32,000 have been wounded. Since the end of this war, St. Louis has been the only city to host a Welcome Our Heroes Home parade. IAVA, the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, have started a petition (found here) that will be sent to the President and mayors nationwide pushing for parades to honor our soldiers.

Paul Rieckhoff recently wrote about this on his blog. 

If we can afford two wars, we can afford two welcome home parades. 

But this effort is about more than just a parade. It is what parades represent – a celebration, a commemoration, and an expression of gratitude by a community that has finally learned to separate the war from warriors. It is about creating a day to remember those we’ve lost, respect those who have served, and respond to their needs as returning veterans. 

After a decade at war, with the burden of so many carried by so few, who deserves a parade more than the brave men and women who have deployed two, three, four times since 9/11? 

I hope you guys will join me in signing this petition. If there is any group that deserves a parade, it is not a football team, it is our returning soldiers.

Alabama Republicans Hit A New Low

The Republicans in Alabama are making news again and not in a good way. There are 2 Tea Party candidates running against Jo Bonner (R-AL), Pete Riehm and Dean Young, promising that if they are elected they will impeach President Obama. The crowd present for the debate responded to this with roaring cheer.  

According to the Mobile Press-Register,  

“First, I would cut off his funding. If that didn’t work, I would introduce a resolution describing what he’s done wrong. The last resort, which I am willing to take, would be to impeach him,” Young explained further. Riehm was equally unapologetic, saying, “failure to recognize wrong-doing is moral dereliction and, when you have the authority, failure to uphold the law is accessory to the crime.” Among President Obama’s crimes, argues Riehm, is his failure to defend the Defense of Marriage Act and failure to enforce federal laws on immigration and elections.  

Bonner responded to this saying impeachment “is a serious charge, and you better have good reasons before making it.” Conservative columnist, Quin Hillyer, the moderator said the idea was “pure demagoguery.” 

If that was not enough, Alabama state Senator Shadrack McGill used the bible to justify not raising salaries for teachers. At a prayer breakfast he stated that the bible says increasing teacher salaries would only lead to less-qualified teachers. That doubling teachers’ salaries (starting salary for Alabama teachers begins at $36,144) would not help education. In fact, keeping teacher pay low is a “biblical principle“: 

If you double a teacher’s pay scale, you’ll attract people who aren’t called to teach.   “To go in and raise someone’s child for eight hours a day, or many people’s children for eight hours a day, requires a calling. It better be a calling in your life. I know I wouldn’t want to do it, OK? 

“And these teachers that are called to teach, regardless of the pay scale, they would teach. It’s just in them to do. It’s the ability that God give ‘em. And there are also some teachers, it wouldn’t matter how much you would pay them, they would still perform to the same capacity. 

“If you don’t keep that in balance, you’re going to attract people who are not called, who don’t need to be teaching our children. So, everything has a balance.” 

ThinkProgress reported:

McGill found justification in the Bible for not increasing teacher pay, but he evidently found nothing in scripture preventing him from approving a 67 percent pay increase for legislators in 2007, which increased annual salaries for the part-time legislators from $30,710 to $49,500. He said that the higher pay helped to stop corruption. 

A 2011 report showed that while Alabama teachers have the highest starting salaries in the nation, the state lags far behind the national average for teacher pay. Currently, a part-time legislator in Alabama is making more than a full-time teacher with a Master’s degree and 15 years of experience. 

Watch Out GOP — I’m back

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Hello to all. I must apologize for my absence. I took a respite from politics and went home to Gulf Shores, AL to visit my family for the holidays. It has been a wonderful 2 months. I ran in the mornings and rode my bike in the evenings.

While I did continue working at my regular job, my mom had other plans for me. Since I was home, she had decided that we should completely redecorate her guest bathroom (vacation…what vacation LOL). I refinished her cabinets (wow….while it looks great and it was well worth it, I will never do that again) and painted the walls and ceiling and installed all new hardware. I also cleaned out her huge basement and reorganized everything and did a little yard work.

She definitely put me to work but I loved doing it for her. She is truly an amazing person and the best mom a girl could have. I was also able to spend some quality time with my niece and nephew, and I enjoyed every minute of it. My brother and sister-n-law have raised 2 of the best kids I know.  

I did continue to follow (with glee) the Republican primaries and the debacle by the GOP Congress on the payroll tax cuts among the plethora of other things that happened in January. I am looking forward to see what unfolds in politics this year. By the looks of it, we are in for a wild ride. 

Now that I have made it back to Seattle, I am eager to start writing again and can’t wait to hear from you guys!

Congressional Republicans and Democrats Guilty of Crony Capitalism

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke with committee chairman Spencer Bachus (R-AL) on Capitol Hill March 2, 2011. Bernanke reportedly defended the Federal Reserves monetary policy against criticism from Republicans.

Hypocrisy at its best. For us commoners, it is illegal to trade stocks and bonds if we have access to non-public information about a company. Remember Martha Stewart. She was sent to federal prison for this exact crime. But did you know it is not illegal for everyone. The members of the U.S. Congress are exempt from this law.  

Steve Kroft reports members of Congress and their aides have regular access to powerful political intelligence, and many have made well-timed stock market trades in the very industries they regulate. For now, the practice is perfectly legal, but some say it’s time for the law to change.  

Peter Schweizer’s new book, Throw Them All Out, delves into the details of how both parties are enriching themselves with inside information that the public is not privy to. Many members of Congress are shown to have made suspiciously timed trades including John Kerry, Dick Durbin, and Jim Moran. But it is a Republican from Alabama, Spencer Bachus, who tops them all.  

Henry Blodget of Daily Ticker recently reported on this.     

Rep. Bachus made more than 40 trades in his personal account in the summer and fall of 2008, in the early months of the financial crisis. 

The fact that Bachus personally traded while getting private government briefings is bad enough. The fact that he was the ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee at the time is simply outrageous. 

In one case, the day after getting a private briefing on the collapsing economy and financial system from Ben Bernanke and Hank Paulson, Rep. Bachus effectively shorted the market (by buying options that would rise if the market tanked.) 

A few days later, after the market tanked, Bachus sold his position and nearly doubled his money. 

If a corporate executive or Wall Street trader did this–cashed in personally after getting private, non-public information from his work–Rep. Bachus and every other member of Congress would be up in arms about corruption and insider trading. 

And they would be right.