As the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) gets set to kick off just outside of Washington DC, the event is already mired in a controversy over white nationalism.
ProEnglish, the white nationalist led English-only outfit that created serious headaches for the conference back in 2012, has quietly been allowed to again be an official exhibitor at CPAC 2014 when it opens today.
According to the CPAC 2014 event site, the ProEnglish booth is number 538, sandwiched between the booth for a movie about the IRS “scandal” and the booth for the group, Tradition, Family, Property. The site lists the ProEnglish contact for CPAC as Robert Vandervoort.
Prior to becoming executive director of ProEnglish, Robert Vandervoort was the organizer of the white nationalist group, Chicagoland Friends of American Renaissance, while he lived in Illinois. During that period Vandervoort was at the center of much of the white nationalist activity in the region. While he was in charge, Chicagoland Friends of American Renaissance often held joint meetings with the local chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens. He also made appearances at white nationalist events outside Illinois, for instance participating in the 2009 Preserving Western Civilization Conference.
The Institute For Research & Education on Human Rights points out today that the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is once again welcoming a white nationalist group, even while shunning organizations that represent LGBT and atheist conservatives.
IREHR reports that the white nationalist group ProEnglish is sponsoring a booth at this week’s CPAC, which costs exhibitors $4,000 in exchange for official recognition and promotion from conference organizers. ProEnglish is an anti-immigrant “English only” group led by Bob Vandervoort, who previously headed a white nationalist group and who has fretted about the “cultural and racial dispossession of the West’s historic people” and the coming of a “post-Western America.” Vandervoort has also written about supposed “racial differences” in “intelligence and temperament.”
ProEnglish is part of the network of anti-immigrant groups connected to white nationalist John Tanton. The Center for New Community explains:
ProEnglish was established in 1994 with the oversight of its founding chairman, the white nationalist John Tanton. In fact, it is Tanton’s second English language interest group, formed after he left the first, U.S. English, after a racially charged memo that surfaced in 1988.
While Vandervoort’s group was apparently not too controversial for the conference, two other groups were. Late last month, the American Conservative Union, which organizes CPAC, abruptly canceled the exhibition booth of the group American Atheists after an outcry from Religious Right groups. Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, said of the planned inclusion of the atheist group, “Does the American Conservative Union really think the liberties and values they seek to preserve can be maintained when they partner with individuals and organizations that are undermining the understanding that our liberties come from God? Thomas Jefferson warned against such nonsense.”
Oh yes, I know what you’ve heard. And it’s true, as the state’s boosters like to brag, that Texas does not have an income tax. But Texas has sales and property taxes that make its overall burden of taxation on low-wage families much heavier than the national average, while the state also taxes the middle class at rates as high or higher than in California. For instance, non-elderly Californians with family income in the middle 20 percent of the income distribution pay combined state and local taxes amounting to 8.2 percent of their income, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy; by contrast, their counterparts in Texas pay 8.6 percent.
And unlike in California, middle-class families in Texas don’t get the advantage of having rich people share equally in the cost of providing government services. The top 1 percent in Texas have an effective tax rate of just 3.2 percent. That’s roughly two-fifths the rate that’s borne by the middle class, and just a quarter the rate paid by all those low-wage “takers” at the bottom 20 percent of the family income distribution. This Robin-Hood-in-reverse system gives Texas the fifth-most-regressive tax structure in the nation.
Middle- and lower-income Texans in effect make up for the taxes the rich don’t pay in Texas by making do with fewer government services, such as by accepting a K-12 public school system that ranks behind forty-one other states, including Alabama, in spending per student.
Is “tea party candidate” a toxic label or a badge of honor? It depends on who you ask. Therein lies the conundrum for the Republican Party.
By nearly 2-1, Republicans say a candidate’s tea party affiliation makes it more likely they will vote for them, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. But by about the same margin, the broader pool of Americans is less likely to vote for that candidate.
In short, it’s generally a good idea for GOP candidates to embrace the tea party in a primary. But in swing districts and states, it’s typically a bad one to do it — or at least to do it too much — in the general election.
An interesting perspective to argue over.
This analysis allows us to explain what we consistently observe. It explains why a conservative party rarely nominates the most conservative candidate. It explains why the party often seems to nominate the “next in line.” And, perhaps most importantly, it explains why certain candidates emerge as the “surprise” candidate in each race.
Analysts and advisers who understand this elemental map of the Republican electorate will be better positioned to navigate the shoals of the Republican nominating river and bring one’s favored candidate safely home to port.
REPUBLICAN VOTERS fall into four rough camps. They are: moderate or liberal voters; somewhat conservative voters; very conservative, evangelical voters; and very conservative, secular voters. Each of these groups supports extremely different types of candidates. Each of these groups has also demonstrated stable preferences over the past twenty years.
Russia’s parliament gave its defiant support Friday to Crimean lawmakers who want to see their region split from Ukraine and join Russia, saying no sanctions imposed by the United States or Europe will change its mind.
A delegation from the Crimean Parliament is in Moscow a day after its lawmakers voted unanimously to split from Ukraine, and said they’d put the decision to a public vote on March 16.
Crimea, an autonomous region in southern Ukraine with an ethnic Russian majority and strong cultural ties to Russia, has become the epicenter of a battle for influence between Moscow, Kiev and the West.
Newsweek emerged from its hibernation this week with a blockbuster story: the real identity of the mysterious inventor of Bitcoin, who went by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. Newsweek claims he is a 64-year-old, Japanese-American software engineer born Satoshi Nakamoto.
On Thursday, that Satoshi Nakamoto said Newsweek got it wrong.
In an exclusive two-hour interview with The Associated Press, Nakamoto, 64, denied he had anything to do with it and said he had never heard of bitcoin until his son told him he had been contacted by a Newsweek reporter three weeks ago.
Nakamoto acknowledged that many of the details in Newsweek’s report are correct, including that he once worked for a defense contractor, and that his given name at birth was Satoshi. But he strongly disputed the magazine’s assertion that he is “the face behind bitcoin.”
“I got nothing to do with it,” he said, repeatedly.
Meanwhile, the real Satoshi Nakamoto says he’s not Newsweek’s Satoshi Nakamoto. p2pfoundation.ning.com Of course, since he’s remaining anonymous, no one is really sure if that’s the for-real Satoshi, or someone pretending to be the real Satoshi.
And so the plot thickens … Did Newsweek fumble its cover story? Is Satoshi Nakamoto of Temple City, Calif., trying to hoodwink us? Is the real Satoshi sowing seeds of confusion and doubt? Will the real inventor of Bitcoin please stand up, please stand up?
Stay tuned for another exciting episode, same Bat-time, same Bat-channel!
You know how you can look back at people living 150 years ago and chuckle at how they thought leeches could cure colds and drills could fix headaches? Well, a hundred years from now, that’s how they’ll see our treatment of mental illness (assuming they can be so smug living in a nightmarish dystopia). The truth is, we’re just barely figuring out why human brains go wrong the way they do, and the most interesting theories suggest that many times what we now call a disorder used to be an awesome advantage.
I really enjoy Cracked. They’ve come a long way from being Mad’s also-ran.
t a Wednesday question-and-answer at UCLA, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton mostly stood by her earlier comparison of Russia’s Vladimir Putin to Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, the Washington Post reports.
“I just want people to have a little historic perspective,” Clinton said during the session, adding that she was merely pointing out similarity in tactics. “I’m not making a comparison certainly, but I am recommending that we perhaps can learn from this tactic that has been used before.”
She also called Putin a “tough guy with a thin skin,” but warned that his goal was “to re-Sovietize Russia’s periphery.”
On Tuesday the former first lady compared Putin to Hitler during a fundraising luncheon in California for the local Boys and Girls Clubs, the Associated Press reports.
All continues to not be well in the world of Bitcoin and related cryptocurrencies. Another exchange has been hacked, with the perpetrators making off with 76.69 bitcoins (a little under $50,000 at current trading rates).
On Tuesday, the owner of the Poloniex exchange admitted on the Bitcoin Talk forum that around “12.3 percent of the BTC on Poloniex” was stolen. Poloniex did not immediately respond to Ars’ request for comment.
Poloniex owner Busoni explained that the hacker found a flaw in his site’s code that processes withdrawals. The hacker discovered that multiple simultaneous withdrawals are processed essentially at the same time and that the system’s software doesn’t check quickly enough for a negative balance, so they are still processed.
The site’s owner went on to add that the “major problem here is that the auditing and security features were not explicitly looking for negative balances.”
So what’s next? The company can’t cover the losses, so its users will.