Values Voter Summit Made the Internet Seem Drunk—and Extra Homophobic—This Week

The crew of the Value Voter Summit, AKA, the crazy pants.

The crew of the Value Voter Summit, AKA, the crazy pants.

Did your Facebook feed feel rip-roaring wasted this week? Well, ladies and gentlemen, it’s nothing to be alarmed over: It’s simply the 2014 Values Voter Summit, which brings droves of Tea Party-drinking, Sarah Palin-loving ultra conservatives out of the closet to discuss their utterly (ir)relevant views on all things conservative and anti-gay.

In other words, it is essentially like watching Saturday Night Live every day. Every. Single. Day. Of. The. Week. But these people are serious. Read more »

Corbett Hires Tea Party Conspiracy Theorist at $70k/Yr

Here’s how to get a plum job in government: Spend four years railing against the government. Bucks County-based Ana Puig, a co-founder of the Kitchen Table Patriots, is now the legislative liaison for the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. She will make $68, 245/yr. Presumably, as a good Tea Partier, she will work hard to get that revenue number as close as possible to zero. Here are some greatest hits from her resume, courtesy of Keystone Politics.

In recent years, she has promoted an event featuring topics including “The Muslim Brotherhood and creeping sharia law in America” and “Pro-Islamic bias and indoctrination in our public school textbooks.”

And:

In 2009, Puig told the New York Village Voice that Barack Obama is a Marxist and that the way Obama advanced health care reform was “the same thing” Hugo Chávez did to Venezuela—an “infiltration of the education system, political correctness, class warfare ideology, voter fraud, brainwashing through the mainstream media.”

And:

Her Kitchen Table Patriots website also features a blog that promotes the “birther” conspiracy, refers to the President as a “petulant child,” and says that Obama is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Whether she’ll be seen as a traitor to her grassroots cause remains to be seen. Her Kitchen Table Patriots co-founder Anastasia Przybylski, for instance, was still pounding the pavement this spring. Still, it’s not so surprising that Puig would rush into the arms of a taxpayer-funded position. Here’s Inky politics writer Tom Fitzgerald in a piece about Puig’s hiring.

“Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket,” wrote the social philosopher Eric Hoffer in his 1967 work The Temper of Our Time. OK, that sounds a little cynical, but the broader point works: Social movements have natural life cycles.

What’s more surprising is that Corbett would hire such an inexperienced, extreme candidate in the first place. Actually, come to think of it, that’s not so surprising either.

Tea Party Activists Protest Outside Comcast Shareholders Meeting

At eight o’clock this morning, a dozen Tea Party activists began unfurling handwritten signs and “Don’t Tread on Me” Gadsden flags outside the front entrance of the Kimmel Center. They had been shepherded there by the influential conservative group FreedomWorks to protest Comcast, which was holding its annual shareholders meeting inside. The sparse crowd didn’t quite number 60,000—the number of Philadelphia-area members it beckoned to Broad Street–and wasn’t the usual band of Comcast opponents either. Last year’s shareholders meeting was disrupted by 50 or so Occupy-aligned activists. That said, Comcast’s right-wing antagonists have more in common with the drum circle crowd than they might realize. Read more »

Clarence Thomas Speaks! (First Time in 7 Years!)

Clarence Thomas, by claiming he gets all the info he needs from legal briefs, has managed to sleep through more than half a decade of Supreme Court arguments. Today, jolted awake by an opportunity to needle his alma mater (with whom he has an apparently contentious relationship) Thomas finally said something out loud. To think, there are six and seven year-olds who had never heard the great man speak until today. Of course, as luck would have it, his comment was so uproarious, the gallery broke into hysterical laughter, and the official court transcript did not catch it. Lucikly, SCOTUSblog was there to cut through the noise and tweet it out.

Well, he would know. [Slate]

A Republican Riddle: Is Doubting the Supreme Court Unpatriotic?

I’m sorry that Chris Stigall feels so mad and dispirited about last week’s historic Supreme Court ruling. But let’s remember how this discussion began in the first place.

Forget that Americans spend twice as much, $7,500 per person, on health care than any other nation. Forget that the U.S. ranks 50th worldwide in life expectancy, next to Portugal and Taiwan. Forget that we rank 29th worldwide in infant mortality rates, next to Poland and Slovakia. Forget that, despite these striking figures, Republicans relentlessly argued back in 2010, before “Obamacare” was passed, that the U.S. had the best health-care system in the world and that we’d be crazy to reform it. Read more »

Obamacare Can Still Be Defeated

What are you feeling about last week’s Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare? Dispirited? Mad? Maybe even frightened? Me too. But I’ve been mulling this over a lot since Thursday. I was tempted to get sucked into the notion that “all is lost.” “There goes the Republic.” Then I internalized that I sit here in Philadelphia—a city that gave birth to the impossible when all odds seemed against them. Read more »

If You’re Not Angry at Jose Rodriguez, You Don’t Get to Call Obama a Tyrant

What kind of government sounds more tyrannical to you? One that makes sure every citizen gets health care? Or one that tortures, spies, and kills without accountability?

I ask the question because Jose Rodriguez is in the news. He’s a former CIA official who—a few years back—made the decision to (possibly illegally) destroy videotapes that showed the (possibly illegal) waterboarding of a terror suspect.

He never faced charges. Instead, he got a book contract. And in the book—which comes out this week—Rodriguez defends his destruction of evidence. Read more »

Tea Party-Friendly Talk Radio Arrives in Philly With WWIQ

For years, 106.9FM WKDN Family Radio served as the local soapbox for zealot Harold Camping, who memorably predicted that the world would end in May 2011. Disgraced, Camping has sold the station to 59-year-old Midwestern radio mogul Randy Michaels, who’s ditching Jesus but retaining the Far Right with WWIQ, his just-debuted station that has launched one year after the Apocalypse didn’t happen. Read more »

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