The most obvious signal of conservative acceptance: GOProud, a group of gay and straight conservatives, was invited to the conference this year as guests after being turned down in the past.
They’ve been welcomed. “Not a single person we met or spoke with has expressed disappointment we’re here,” said co-executive director Matt Bechstein.
Recent developments as well as polls help explain the change.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, a conservative Republican, last month vetoed legislation that would have allowed businesses to legally refuse to serve people for “religious freedom” reasons, effectively meaning they could refuse to deal with same-sex couples.
At a Midtown Manhattan steakhouse last June, William A. Ackman, the activist hedge fund manager who had bet a billion dollars on the collapse of the nutritional supplement company Herbalife, offered his latest evidence to a handful of other hedge fund managers about why the company’s stock could soon plummet.
Mr. Ackman told his dinner companions that Representative Linda T. Sánchez, Democrat of California, had sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission the previous day calling for an investigation of the company.
The commission had not yet stamped the letter as received, nor had it been made public. But Mr. Ackman, who had personally lobbied Ms. Sánchez and stood to profit if the company’s stock dropped as a result of the call for an inquiry, already knew what it said, and read from a copy of it that he had on his cellphone.
When Ms. Sánchez’s office ultimately issued a news release a month later, it was backdated as though it had been made public the day before Mr. Ackman’s dinner talk.
Germany’s Angela Merkel delivered a rebuke to President Vladimir Putin on Sunday, telling him that a planned Moscow-backed referendum on whether Crimea should join Russia was illegal and violated Ukraine’s constitution.
Putin defended breakaway moves by pro-Russian leaders in Crimea, where Russian forces tightened their grip on the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula by seizing another border post and a military airfield.
As thousands staged rival rallies in Crimea, street violence flared in Sevastopol, when pro-Russian activists and Cossacks attacked a group of Ukrainians.
Now, researchers from the University of East Anglia have discovered evidence of four new gases that can destroy ozone and are getting into the atmosphere from as yet unidentified sources.
The Halley Research Station in Antarctica, where the hole in the ozone layer was first discovered
Three of the gases are CFCs and one is a hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC), which can also damage ozone.
“Our research has shown four gases that were not around in the atmosphere at all until the 1960s which suggests they are man-made,” said lead researcher Dr Johannes Laube.
Ever wonder what Miley Cyrus might sound like if it were written and recorded in the 1950s? Or what Pitbull and Kesha’s “Timber” would be like if it were produced at the height of doo-wop? Lady Gaga transposed to the ’40s? Daft Punk done by Irish tenor singers? A Motown tribute to Nickelback? Lorde’s “Royals” sung by a talented clown? “Blurred Lines” converted into a bluegrass dance tune?
In the bowels of the National Harbor convention center in suburban Maryland on Thursday, a nonprofit called Empact America schooled attendees about the threat of a terrorist attack by way of an electromagnetic pulse. Former Reagan Defense Department official Frank Gaffney articulated his view that anti-tax activist and American Conservative Union board member Grover Norquist is an undercover agent for the Muslim Brotherhood. Ginni Thomas, a Daily Caller contributor and wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, alleged that President Barack Obama may be guilty of providing material support for terrorism. At least one panelist suggested that Speaker of the House John Boehner was a part of the Benghazi cover-up. (Who can say?)
But this gathering of very concerned right-wingers wasn’t an official part of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference underway in the same facility. The panelists were the “uninvited”—a motley crew of conservative activists who had been shunned by CPAC organizers and assembled, for the second consecutive year, as a sort of shadow convention by Breitbart News. After building a reputation for catering to conspiracy theorists and bigots (especially during the first five years of the Obama administration), CPAC, the nation’s largest annual conservative political shindig, seems to have turned down the volume.
That is, CPAC is getting soft.
… and everyone needs a camo bible to go with that gun.
There’s nothing new about gun raffles in Kentucky, even at a church. Last year, there were 50 events like this one in the state. The Kentucky Baptist Convention says it’s a surefire way to get new people through church doors.
Sunday school teacher David Keele says everyone who knows has a gun. The church giveaways, he says, are a rallying point.
“We’re doing two things here. One, we’re going to talk about the Second Amendment to bear arms. But that isn’t the primary thing,” Keele says. “The primary thing is who Jesus is.”
A major factor in the price rise is hedge funds, private equity firms and other large investors. They’ve moved aggressively into the residential market over the last two years, buying tens of thousands of distressed properties, often at bargain prices.
Some analysts are worried those bulk purchases will leave middle-class buyers out in the cold.
One place investors have been very active is Florida’s Palm Beach County. Jeff Lichtenstein is a real estate agent there and he’s busy. He’s listing and selling homes at a pace reminiscent of the go-go days of the last real estate boom back in 2005 and 2006. “I have 19 or 20 under contract right now, which is the most I’ve had at any given time,” he says.
Some conservatives have started laying into the Oscar-winning movie 12 Years a Slave for creating an unfairly negative portrayal of slavery. You see, the movie portrays slaves being made unhappy by slavery. But that negativity is merely anti-slavery “propaganda,” according to James Bowman in conservative magazine The American Spectator:
If ever in slavery’s 250-year history in North America there were a kind master or a contented slave, as in the nature of things there must have been, here and there, we may be sure that Mr McQueen does not want us to hear about it. This, in turn, surely means that his view of the history of the American South is as partial and one-sided as that of the hated Gone With the Wind.
…Yes, there was much cruelty and hardship in the slave-owning South, as there has been in most of the rest of the world most of the time, and Mr. McQueen’s camera is all over that. But it strains ordinary credulity to suppose that there was nothing else.
We are wondering, was Bowman equally aggrieved by the lack of happy Jews in Schindler’s List?
Climate Council report: over 150 weather records broken last summer, climate change cited as reason
A new report shows Australia has endured another summer of searing temperatures, with more than 150 weather records broken.
The council is releasing its Angry Summer report today, which analyses climate data from across the country for the 2013-2014 summer.