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CPAC St. Louis - That's a Whole Lotta Crazy

CPAC St. Louis convenes this Saturday and the crazy level in the lou is about to go off the charts. Progress Missouri is proud to present this year's crazy brigade, an assortment of right wing radicals who will be speaking at CPAC St. Louis. Strap on your tin foil helmets, it's going to be a bumpy, GIF-tastic ride.

Meet Rick Perry - He's Cray Cray

With 25 years in public office and 10 years as the Governor, Perry has dramatically changed what Texas looks like for future generations. And not in a good way. Under Perry more than 500k workers earn no more than minimum wage. That's more than twice as as many min wage workers in any other state. Under Perry, Texas ranks 1st in the amount of recognized cancer-causing carcinogens released into the air. Under Perry, Texas ranks 50th in the percent of non-elderly women with health insurance. And Perry believes Social Security is a “ponzi scheme” and a “monstrous lie.” Yeah. Here are five more things you need to know about Rick Perry:

Perry vetoed Texas’ Equal Pay Act in June.

Texas would have been the 43rd state to adopt such a law. The bill he vetoed, House Bill 950, was authored by State Rep. Senfronia Thompson of Houston and State Senator Wendy Davis of Fort Worth.

Perry said the 2010 BP oil spill disaster was an ‘Act of God.’

Texas Governor Rick Perry (R) claimed  that the oil rig explosion that caused a massive -- and still-expanding spill -- may have been "just an act of God" that could not have been prevented.

Days after a fatal fertilizer plant explosion, Rick Perry tried to lure businesses to Texas for its weak regulations.

“I have a word of advice for employers frustrated by Illinois’ short-sighted approach to business: you need to get out while there’s still time. The escape route leads straight to Texas, where limited government, low taxes and a pro-business environment are creating more jobs than any other state.”

“George W. Bush did a incredible job in the presidency, defending us from freedom.”,

said Rick Perry on The Today Show in 2010.

"I will tell you: It's three agencies of government, when I get there, that are gone: Commerce, Education and the -- what's the third one there?

Let's see. ... OK. So Commerce, Education and the -- ... The third agency of government I would -- I would do away with the Education, the ... Commerce and -- let's see -- I can't. The third one, I can't. Sorry. Oops."


Meet ALEC - They're Cray Cray

Through the corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council, global corporations and state politicians vote behind closed doors to try to rewrite state laws that govern your rights. These so-called "model bills" reach into almost every area of American life and often directly benefit huge corporations. In ALEC's own words, corporations have "a VOICE and a VOTE" on specific changes to the law that are then proposed in your state. Jonathan Williams, Director of ALEC's Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force, is a confirmed speaker at CPAC St. Louis.

ALEC exists so corporations and politicians both have “a voice and a vote” in state capitols.

On ALEC Task Forces, unelected corporate lobbyists and elected state legislators act as "equals" and both get "a VOICE and a VOTE" on bills or templates to change U.S. law in countless ways. And ALEC's state legislative leaders are tasked with a "duty" under ALEC's public by-laws to get ALEC "model" bills introduced and passed in their home states.

Almost 500 ALEC bills have been identified in state capitols for the legislatures’ 2013 sessions -- at least 84 ALEC bills passed and became law this year.

ALEC bills were introduced in every state in the nation and the District of Columbia in 2013. The top ALEC states were West Virginia (25 bills) and Missouri (21 bills).


Almost 98% of ALEC's cash is from sources other than legislative dues, such as corporations, trade associations, and corporate foundation.

Almost 98% of ALEC's funding comes from corporations like Exxon Mobil, corporate "foundations" like the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, or trade associations like the pharmaceutical industry's PhRMA and sources other than "legislative dues." Those funds help subsidize legislators' trips to ALEC meetings, where they are wined, dined, and handed "model" legislation to make law in their state. Through ALEC, corporations vote on "model" legislation with politicians behind closed doors.

ALEC operates as a “non-profit” organization, with all the tax benefits that entails - while pushing an extremist agenda in state legislatures around country.

It tells the IRS in its tax returns that it does no lobbying, yet it exists to pass profit-driven legislation in statehouses all over the country that benefits its corporate members," said Bob Edgar, president of Common Cause, in a statement. "ALEC is not entitled to abuse its charitable tax status to lobby for private corporate interests, and stick the bill to the American taxpayer." Common Cause wants an IRS audit of ALEC's work, penalties and the payment of back taxes.

Despite ALEC's effort to distance itself from Voter ID and Stand Your Ground by disbanding its controversial Public Safety and Elections Task Force, 62 of these laws were recently introduced.

10 Stand Your Ground bills and 52 bills to enact or tighten Voter ID restrictions. Five states enacted additional Voter ID restrictions, and two states passed Stand Your Ground.  Before the bills are publicly introduced in state legislatures by ALEC politicians or alumni in the governor's offices, they will be cleansed of any reference to the secret corporate voting or who really wrote them.


SAM BROWNBACK - He's Cray Cray

Gov. Brownback wants to make Kansas "Exhibit A" for ALEC's economic policies.

He may very well succeed in making Kansas an example of how to run a state into the ground.

Brownback’s extreme tax plan eliminated a food tax break for low-income Kansans and other tax credits that benefit children and the poor -- to give the wealthiest huge tax breaks.

“Tawny Stottlemire, executive director of the Kansas Association of Community Action Programs, said there was conflict between the governor's campaign pronouncements and reforms implemented by his administration. "It is amazingly curious to people who work in the anti-poverty arena on a day-to-day basis," she said. "The policy discussions are disconnected with the governor's policy objective. This administration seems to want to decrease poverty by making it harder to live in poverty — not by assisting people.”

"The governor promoted the tax package as a "shot of adrenaline" to the state's economy...

To date, the promised "adrenaline shot" has not occurred—the state essentially created zero net new jobs in the second half of 2012—so the state faces a large budget shortfall. The governor has proposed closing it by continuing to underfund K-12 education and an extension of a higher sales tax rate."  

Brownback believes in discredited and dangerous nullification theories.  

“Last session Kansas passed the Second Amendment Protection Act, which exempts any firearm made and sold in Kansas from federal regulation and bars federal agents from attempting to interfere with ownership of such a weapon. It passed despite warnings of it bumping up against the Constitution's "Supremacy Clause" and "Interstate Commerce Clause" and brought an almost immediate threat of legal action from U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. State officials like Gov. Sam Brownback and Secretary of State Kris Kobach have strenuously defended the law, while Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt's office has been mostly silent since it passed, aside from requesting extra funds in anticipation of legal challenges.

He's turning the Kansas Legislature into an almostly exclusively far right wingnuts club.


MIKE LEE - He's Cray Cray

Mike Lee thinks child labor laws are unconstitutional.

In 2011, Lee posted a lecture on his YouTube channel in which he explained in great detail his views on the Constitution. As part of the lecture, which was essentially a lengthy defense of his radical tenther interpretation of the Constitution, Lee claimed federal child labor laws are unconstitutional.

Lee thinks FEMA, federal poverty and food safety programs might all be unconstitutional.

In an interview with Utah public radio, Lee called for a return to failed constitutional vision that spawned the Great Depression, suggesting that even victims of Katrina-like disasters cannot constitutionally receive aid from the federal government.

Mike Lee was one of eight extremists who voted against Violence Against Women Act.

“There aren’t many things Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) doesn’t believe to be unconstitutional. While it probably would not be possible to count every essential law or program that violates Lee’s tenther understanding of the Constitution, a short list includes Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, FEMA, the FDA, federal income assistance for the poor and national child labor laws. So it’s really not that much of a surprise that he found yet another law he thinks is unconstitutional today. This time, it’s the entire Violence Against Women Act.”

Lee thinks his effort to defund Obamacare is comparable to the Revolutionary War.

“The Revolutionary War was fought and won with the support from a minority within a minority of Americans...This is one of those moments.”

“I hope one day to be granted a letter of marque and reprisal so that I could become a pirate”

“Regardless of how long I might serve in the United States Senate I hope one day to be granted a letter of marque and reprisal so that I could become a pirate as I longed to be as a child.”


LOUIE GOHMERT - He's Cray Cray

 "This administration has so many Muslim Brotherhood members that have influence that they just are making wrong decisions for America."

 In an interview with the conservative World Net Daily, Gohmert said that particularly in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing, “it’s very clear to everybody but this administration that radial Islam is at war against us.” “I’m hoping either this administration will wake up or a new one will come in in the next election before irreparable damage is done because radical Islam is at war with us,” Gohmert repeated. “This administration has so many Muslim Brotherhood members that have influence that they just are making wrong decisions for America.”

He thinks the Aurora shootings were the result of 'ongoing attacks on Judeo-Christian beliefs.’

During a radio interview on The Heritage Foundation's "Istook Live!" show, Gohmert was asked why he believes such senseless acts of violence take place. Gohmert responded by talking about the weakening of Christian values in the country. "You know what really gets me, as a Christian, is to see the ongoing attacks on Judeo-Christian beliefs, and then some senseless crazy act of terror like this takes place," Gohmert said.

He thinks terrorists are recruiting pregnant women in order for them to have U.S.-born children who would, several decades from now, attack the United States and "destroy our way of life."

“I talked to a retired FBI agent who said that one of the things they were looking at were terrorist cells overseas who had figured out how to game our system.  And it appeared they would have young women, who became pregnant, would get them into the United States to have a baby.  They wouldn't even have to pay anything for the baby.  And then they would turn back where they could be raised and coddled as future terrorists.  And then one day, twenty...thirty years down the road, they can be sent in to help destroy our way of life.  'Cause they figured out how stupid we are being in this country to allow our enemies to game our system, hurt our economy, get setup in a position to destroy our way of life.”  

He says caribou enjoy the warmth of an oil pipeline.

"So when [caribou] want to go on a date, they invite each other to head over to the pipeline. ... So my real concern now [is] if oil stops running through the pipeline ... do we need a study to see how adversely the caribou would be affected if that warm oil ever quit flowing?"

Sex education “reminds me so much of the summer that I was an exchange student in the Soviet Union.”

“Let the kids be innocent.  Let them dream. Let them play. Let them enjoy their life. You don't have to force this sexuality stuff into their life at such a point. It was never intended to be that way. They'll find out soon enough.  And, in fact, ... mankind has existed for a pretty long time without anyone ever having to give a sex-ed lesson to anybody.  And now we feel like, oh gosh, people are too stupid to unless we force them to sit and listen to instructions.  It's just incredible.”



Norquist opposes closing tax loopholes for the wealthiest of individuals and corporations.

“On Capitol Hill, Norquist has admonished Coburn (Okla.), Crapo (Idaho) and Chambliss (Ga.) for suggesting a tax option for tackling the debt: reducing credits and deductions worth an estimated $1 trillion a year. Although most of the cash would be used to lower tax rates for everyone, a portion would be dedicated to restoring national solvency. No good, says Norquist’s group, Americans for Tax Reform. Under the pledge, raising revenue in any way requires an equal tax cut elsewhere to avoid expanding the size of government. And, yes, that sometimes means protecting tax breaks that Republicans view as bad public policy, Norquist and his supporters say.”

"Bipartisanship is another name for date rape.”

Mother Jones: Few in American politics are as blunt about their plans. "If the American people really want to know what George W. Bush is up to, the best place to look is the candor of Grover Norquist," says Ralph G. Neas, president of People for the American Way. Norquist is not above equating tax collection with a street mugging, or suggesting that arguments for higher taxes on rich people echo the ones Nazis used to justify their targeting of Jews. "Bipartisanship is another name for date rape," he told a reporter in May, borrowing a phrase from former House Majority Leader Dick Armey. He likes to say he wants to shrink the size of government in half over the next 25 years "to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub."

"We are trying to change the tones in the state capitals - and turn them toward bitter nastiness and partisanship."

“The bearded conservative activist is known for pithy, often pugnacious, phrasemaking including his observation, ‘We are trying to change the tones in the state capitals - and turn them toward bitter nastiness and partisanship.’”

“Republicans who vote for a tax increase are rat heads in a Coke bottle.”

“‘Cause let's say you take that Coke bottle home, and you get home, and you're two thirds of the way through the Coke bottle. And you look down at what's left in your Coke bottle is a rat head there. You wonder whether you'd buy Coke ever again. You go on TV, and you show 'em the rat head in the Coke bottle. You call your friends, and tell them about it. And Coke's in trouble. Republicans who vote for a tax increase are rat heads in a Coke bottle. They damage the brand for everyone else.”

Norquist wants to shrink public systems and structures "to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub."


RICK SANTORUM - He's Cray Cray

"One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is I think the dangers of contraception in this country.

It's not okay. It's a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be."

"If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual [gay] sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery.

You have the right to anything... In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That's not to pick on homosexuality. It's not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be. It is one thing."

"I don't want to make black people's lives better by giving them somebody else's money.

I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money and provide for themselves and their families."

Satan has his sights on the U.S...Satan is attacking the great institutions of America,

using those voices of pride, vanity, and sensuality as the root to attack all of the strong plants that has deeply rooted in the American tradition.”

"Look at the political base of the Democratic Party: It is single mothers who run a household.

Why? Because it's so tough economically that they look to the government for help and therefore they're going to vote. So if you want to reduce the Democratic advantage, what you want to do is build two parent families, you eliminate that desire for government."

"Strong, thick hands."


DANA LOESCH - She's Cray Cray

Todd Akin “was trying to fit medical explanation into a soundbite."

 In 2012, Dana Loesch tried to defend Todd Akin’s ‘legitimate rape’ comments. It did not go well.

Loesch defended Virginia’s transvaginal ultrasound bill as no different than consensual sex.

“That’s the big thing that progressives are trying to say, that it’s rape and so on and so forth. [...] There were individuals saying, “Oh what about the Virginia rape? The rapes that, the forced rapes of women who are pregnant?” What? Wait a minute, they had no problem having similar to a trans-vaginal procedure when they engaged in the act that resulted in their pregnancy.”

A Spoon "Can Be Classified As An Assault Weapon.”

"I'd drop trou and do it too."

 Last year: "Can someone explain to me if there's supposed to be a scandal that someone pees on the corpse of a Taliban fighter? Someone who, as part of an organization, murdered over 3,000 Americans? That's me though. I want a million cool points for these guys.”  

Commenting that negotiating with Kathleen Sebelius was like "negotiating with terrorists."


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