The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

If the Conservative Political Action Conference can be expected to accomplish anything more than angry bellowing, it is to reliably embarrass every decent and sane conservative in America. Sometimes the problem is a conspiratorial exremist co-sponsor, like the John Birch Society; sometimes the problem is a certifiable kook giving the keynote address, like Glenn Beck; and sometimes the problem is just vicious bullying of gay conservatives, who have been officially expelled from the conference.

But now the annual Washington showcase of the far right is plunging toward new depths of disgrace, by featuring “white nationalists” among its speakers.

To explain the perils of multiculturalism and (nonwhite) immigration, the CPAC organizers have invited several avowed white nationalists — who will spew their bigotry in the same conference hall that will host speeches by Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul (and has already been visited by Herman Cain, who complained about the damage being done to the nation by “stupid” people).

According to reports by People For the American Way and the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights (IREHR), the CPAC contingent this week will include Peter Brimelow, the notorious race-baiting activist who founded VDARE.com, an anti-immigration website that has long been described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate site. Brimelow’s website regularly publishes the work of white supremacist and anti-Semitic writers.

Joining Brimelow on at least one panel will be Robert Vandervoort, identified by CPAC as executive director of ProEnglish, a group advocating “English-only” policies – but Vandervoort is also the former organizer of the “Chicagoland Friends of American Renaissance,” another white nationalist hate group that is affiliated with the same racist authors who appear on Brimelow’s website. Their panel is called “The Failure of Multiculturalism: How the Pursuit of Diversity Is Weakening the American Identity.”

Actually, Vandervoort was slated to appear on two panels at CPAC, including one titled “High Fences, Wide Gates: States vs. the Feds, the Rule of Law & American Identity” where he will be joined by Republican politician Kris Kobach, the Kansas Secretary of State. As IREHR recently reported, Vandervoort “was at the center of white nationalist activity during his time in Illinois.” His “Chicagoland” outfit often held joint activities with the local chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens, the group that directly succeeded the White Citizens Councils of the anti-civil rights era in the South and Midwest. In their own nod to diversity, Vandervoort and Kobach’s panel will also include two Latino Republican legislators from Florida, Rep. David Rivera and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart.

Questioned about the invitations extended to such unsavory figures as Brimelow and Vandervoort, a CPAC spokeswoman told Buzzfeed that the American Conservative Union, which operates CPAC with a coalition of other right-wing groups, accepts no responsibility for their presence. “CPAC is proud to have more than 150 sponsors and exhibitors this year,” boasted Kristy Campbell, the CPAC flack, in an email. “This panel was not organized by the ACU, and specific questions on the event, content or speakers should be directed to the sponsoring organization. Cosponsors and affiliated events do not necessarily represent the opinions of the American Conservative Union.”

But CPAC did decide to bar participation by the gay conservative groups such as the Log Cabin Republicans, and to remove the tainted John Birch Society as a co-sponsor. The gays bother them and the conspiracy nuts humiliate them, but evidently they feel no imperative to shun the white supremacists.

 

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Supreme Court of the United States

YouTube Screenshot

A new analysis is explaining the disturbing circumstances surrounding the overturning of Roe v. Wade and how the U.S. Supreme Court has morphed into an entity actively working toward authoritarianism.

In a new op-ed published by The Guardian, Jill Filipovic —author of the book, The H-Spot: The Feminist Pursuit of Happiness—offered an assessment of the message being sent with the Supreme Court's rollback of the 1973 landmark ruling.

Keep reading... Show less

Billionaires

YouTube Screenshot

After a year of reporting on the tax machinations of the ultrawealthy, ProPublica spotlights the top tax-avoidance techniques that provide massive benefits to billionaires.

Last June, drawing on the largest trove of confidential American tax data that’s ever been obtained, ProPublica launched a series of stories documenting the key ways the ultrawealthy avoid taxes, strategies that are largely unavailable to most taxpayers. To mark the first anniversary of the launch, we decided to assemble a quick summary of the techniques — all of which can generate tax savings on a massive scale — revealed in the series.

1. The Ultra Wealth Effect

Our first story unraveled how billionaires like Elon Musk, Warren Buffett and Jeff Bezos were able to amass some of the largest fortunes in history while paying remarkably little tax relative to their immense wealth. They did it in part by avoiding selling off their vast holdings of stock. The U.S. system taxes income. Selling stock generates income, so they avoid income as the system defines it. Meanwhile, billionaires can tap into their wealth by borrowing against it. And borrowing isn’t taxable. (Buffett said he followed the law and preferred that his wealth go to charity; the others didn’t comment beyond a “?” from Musk.)

Keep reading... Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}