“The campaign came, and in American public life, I mean — whether it be foreign policy, or domestic policy, often, you kind of shut down when the campaign comes.” — George W. Bush, interview with ITAR-TASS, 2/18/05
A full day of gloating and fear-mongering was on the agenda yesterday at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
First, there was the gloating:
9:05am – 2004: How the Good Guys Won
Then the fear-mongering mixed with some baseless accusations:
9:55am – 2004: How the Bad Guys Tried to Stop Us and How We Can Guard Against Future Cheating
A break for some well-qualified experts to discuss “the question of bias” in the media:
11:05am – Novak vs. Donaldson: Did the Media Out Do Itself in 2004?
Then some more fear-mongering and baseless acusations:
1:05pm – Thwarting the Liberal Drive to Govern Through Judicial Edict
Followed by a dose of total craziness:
3:45pm – Kofi Annan and Rowanda [sic]: Impartial to Genocide
Sorry you missed it? There’s still plenty of time to trot on down to the Ronald Reagan Building for tomorrow’s program, which includes “In Defense of Innovation : The War Against the Drug Companies,” (after all, in 2003 the drug indutry was only the third most profitable industry in the country) and “Battling the Left in Its Privileged Sanctuaries.” Or, another good one: “Can Conservatives Get an Even Break on Campus? What’s Going On in our Colleges?”
You can get the inside scoop on what’s actually happening inside the conference from our Campus Progress mole.
Rep. Chris Cox, Chair of the Homeland Security Committee told the audience, “We continue to find biological and chemical weapons [in Iraq].”
…still waiting for the official transcript.
Update: This quote has been confirmed by Salon. Full quote:
We continue to discover biological and chemical weapons and facilities to make them inside Iraq
Don’t like science? The Indiana legislature has the perfect solution: legislate it away.
On Wednesday, the Public Policy and Veterans Affairs Committee of the Indiana legislature approved a bill that states “a human fetus can survive outside the womb after 20 weeks of gestation.” Nevermind that it’s totally untrue. Arthur Caplan, director of the Center for Bioethics at UPenn, said “no medical experts suggest a baby born as early as 20 weeks as viable.”
Next Headline: Senate Votes Earth Is Flat, 55-45.
Apparently, one of the duties for deputy chiefs of staff in this administration is to cheerlead. Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference, the newest White House deputy chief of staff, Karl Rove, snickered, “The next time one of your smarty-pants liberal friends says to you, ‘Well, he didn’t have a mandate,’ you tell him of this delicious fact: This president got a higher percentage of the vote than any Democratic candidate for president since 1964.”
Do we really have to revisit the fact that President Bush had no mandate? If we are going back to that, then let’s also mention that President Bush enjoys the honor of being the president to have the largest number of citizens vote against him. And if we’re going to compare him to past presidents, Nixon is a prime choice; they are the “only chief executive[s] to begin [their] second term with a job rating under 60 percent.”
Fitting in well with this administration, Rove refuses to accept that you can’t will fiction into fact by mere insistence.
Public Broadcasting Service CEO Pat Mitchell maintains the recent “Postcards with Buster” episode had nothing to do with her decision to leave the station, but as today’s Washington Post reports, the controversy was indicative of the partisan interference that has plagued the station in recent years.
Mitchell originally signaled she was “comfortable” with the episode in question, but according to PBS spokesman Lea Sloan, she changed her mind “after conversations with a number of PBS stations and ‘national leadership.’” Asked who among the “national leadership” had contacted Mitchell, “Sloan named John Lawson, who lobbies for public TV stations on the Hill and Kathleen Cox, president and CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.” Lawson, besides being CEO of the Association of Public Television Stations, is Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings’s brother-in-law. His role in the controversy suggests a direct conflict of interest: Lawson is supposed to advocate for public television stations, but has a family connection with media censors in the Bush administration.
Meanwhile, in the current model, the bulk of PBS’s funding comes from the CBP, whose board President Bush has attempted to stack with partisan political operatives. Two of the board’s newest members, Gay Hart Gaines and Cheryl Halpern, have given more than $816,000 to Republican causes over the past 14 years. In addition, both have shown contempt for the board’s function. According to Common Cause, Gaines was a key fundraiser for Newt Gingrich a decade ago when the House speaker campaigned to “zero out” CPB funding and privatize PBS. Halpern signaled her intentions during her confirmation hearing, when she suggested the CPB should be given authority to penalize and “remove physically” someone whose broadcasts it decided were unbalanced.
The House yesterday passed legislation restricting citizens’ ability to file class action lawsuits against abusive corporations – the latest in Washington’s now daily sellouts to Corporate America. Sure, with right-wing conservatives in control of Congress, the bill’s passage was no surprise. But what was shocking is how many so-called “progressives” supported the measure, both in the Senate and the House.
In the Senate, 18 Democrats supported the measure, including many self-described progressives. Similarly, in the House, 50 Democrats, including many self-described progressives, supported the measure.
Remember, this is the same bill that was vehemently opposed by “civil rights organizations, labor groups, consumer organizations, environmental groups and many state prosecutors” who note “that the bill would provide shelter for unscrupulous companies by slamming the courthouse doors on many deserving would-be plaintiffs.” As Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) said in voting against it, “The business community has worked so long and hard” for the bill because “businesses know they can win more class-action cases in federal court – that’s what this whole debate is about.”
Is this just one more signal that the “progressives” are abandoning their economic tradition? Or will this be a wake-up call to progressives to reconnect with their historic roots? We will soon see — a bill changing the nation’s bankruptcy laws is coming down the pike. As the Washington Post notes, the measure is “backed by the credit card industry and opposed by consumer groups [and] would make it harder for consumers to wipe out debt through bankruptcy.” Stay tuned…