CPAC

14 Scenes from CPAC 2014

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This is a bonus scene ||| CPAC button booth
CPAC button booth

Today I was among a few brave Reason staffers who spent the day at the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). This year's CPAC is taking place just outside the nation's capital in Maryland's National Harbor, in a giant, domed conference center/hotel/mall that we've decided must be a template for a lunar colony. Matthew Feeney was busy investigating conservative drug policy and doing radio interviews, while Matt Welch and Kennedy were exploring things on-camera. But as a CPAC first-timer, I had no firm agenda. I was committed to rooting around in search of whatever seemed like it might interest libertarians.

I did not have the best luck. The major speakers seemed mostly to repeat tried and true GOP talking points. They made politician jokes (like South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott's quip that he wouldn't personally be too bothered by increased tanning bed taxes). They complained a lot about "the mainstream media," which was a culture war I thought we were all shaking off but apparently not. There was ample God-tinged acoustic rock between speakers.

Donald Trump was at least candid, and some of the smaller sessions later in the day proved interesting. But for a good stretch, CPAC seemed better seen than heard. There were lots of fine, upstanding-looking young adults in navy blue blazers, interspersed with folks in cowboy boots and flag-print doo rags (which is, taken together, pretty much what you'd expect, right?). There were kids rolling Ronald Reagan posters while talking about Donald Trump. There were all sorts of lifesize cardboard cutouts.

There was plenty to see, so I spent much of the time taking photos. Which I will now share. Are you ready? Welcome to CPAC 2014.

The Weekly Standard booth, one of many in which cardboard cutouts figured prominently:

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He lives!

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Kids rolling up Sarah Palin and Ronald Reagan posters. Overheard as we walked by: "I'm such a big Donald Trump fan!"

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I have no idea what is happening here. The booth was for a book called How Money Walks by Travis H. Brown.

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The National Organization for Marriage booth:

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When I got near, I heard a man asking whether the National Oranization for Marriage (NOM) fought against marriages between "men in their sixties and women in their twenties," as these relationships were also destroying the sanctity of marriage. At first I thought he was trying to be clever, but it soon became apparent this was a very real concern of his. "They marry because the older men have money," he explained to the man behind the booth, who was being very patient. "I think you're talking about a sugar daddy," the NOM staffer said.

"A gold digger!" the aggrieved man said excitedly, sure the staffer was catching on now. "Where is the data?" What was the organization going to do about it?

The staffer explained that they weren't really into the government mandating who could and couldn't marry, which—while perhaps the right thing to say to this man—was also patently untrue, since that's pretty much NOM's driving principle. I later heard the first man bringing up his concerns with the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute folks.

Anyway … they start 'em on the bow ties young in this crowd.

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Persecuted: the movie. Conservative persecution was an all-around popular theme at CPAC.

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Unfair: the movie. Double feature, anyone?

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Texas Sen. Ted Cruz being chased down by the press:

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For sale: foam bricks printed with your opponent's name.

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The guy in the sash represents The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property, "an organization of lay Catholic Americans concerned with the moral crisis shaking the remnants of Christian civilization." They were very nice and gave me a pamphlet about 10 reasons to reject socialism. (For the record, that is not their booth in the background.)

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Sarah Palin's Amazing America is coming:

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An audience of one. All music was coordinated by BigDawg Music Radio, which advertised itself as "based on the theories of Breitbart."

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God bless the U.S.A.

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  1. “Flag Print Doo Rags” would be an excellent album name for a shitty “acoustic rock” band.

    1. Is that Freedom Rock, man?

  2. Also, Elizabeth, thanks for entering the den of insipidity, and reporting back to the faithful. A grateful commentariat thanks you.

    1. I was going to give her a hard time for calling herself “brave” in the first sentence, but after reading the article I thought it was a fair description.

  3. …in a giant, domed conference center/hotel/mall that we’ve decided must be a template for a lunar colony.

    CPAC knows how to secure its borders. By taking it… UNDER THE DOME!

    1. “Two immigrants enter, one citizen leaves!”

  4. Ms. Brown, you seem like a reasonable person, so I guess I’m only going to have to say this one time.

    Don’t. Fuck. With. Bow Ties.

    1. I actually love bow ties. I wasn’t necessarily complaining about their early introduction.

      1. Good.

        See, I knew you were a reasonable person who knew this was a good post and it would have been a shame if … something “happened” to it. *Glances at Tuccille in the corner*

        1. D’jya hear about Ticcille’s COUSIN?!

          1. Yeah, he’s the one who gave him his street name “J.D.”. You know what that stands for? “John Doe”, because when J.D. fucks up some poor sticazzi what not paid up, that’s all they’ll be able to figure out about him from what’s left.

    2. You’re kidding right? Unless you’re James Bond, bow ties are the stupidest thing you could wear anywhere near your neck.

      1. We are no longer on speaking terms.

        1. I’ve already stopped speaking to him. Let’s speak about how much we’ve so stopped speaking to him.

          1. A friggin’ noose looks better on a neck than a bowtie. Seriously, a bowtie is a great way to let the world know just how big a dork you are and that yes you do still let your mother dress you.

            1. See, now you’re just trolling. Because there is no way a reasonable pers…wait. You like JJ Trek.

              Never mind.

              1. The awful dorkishness of bowties is the perfect companion to the awful beyond-saving-with-nostalgia-goggles/’only the acting is worse than the writing’ pre-JJ Star Trek.

                1. That’s it. Time to nuke Canada. I don’t care if you’re good neighbors or not.

                  1. That’s it. Time to nuke Canada. I don’t care if you’re good neighbors or not.

                    He’s actually trying to goad you to do just that. Don’t let him win. Leave him trapped in the great white north.

                    1. NO JESSE NO I WILL NEVER FORGIVE YOU FOR THIS

                    2. Wait, does that make me the Bond villain or you?

                      I figure you sort of default to that role…

                    3. My friends say I actually look a bit like Daniel Craig. Sort of.

                    4. Well that certainly puts a face to the name. That and Serious looking like Ryan Gosling, and Warty looking like the kraken from 20000 leagues under the sea.

                    5. G/morning Reasonoids

                      Well that certainly puts a face to the name

                      I remember a girl in a bar years ago told me I look like Nick Cave.

                      does that make me the Bond villain

                      I haven’t heard anyone call Putin a Bond villain yet. WTF?!?

  5. She forgot to mention the name of the hotel.

    /fratboy

  6. Amen. And amen. And amen. You have to forgive me. I’m not familiar with the local custom. Where I come from, you always say “Amen” after you hear a prayer. Because that’s what you just heard – a prayer. Where I come from, that particular prayer is called “The Prayer for the Dead.” You just heard The Prayer for the Dead, CPAC, and you didn’t say, “Amen.” This party is dead. I didn’t kill it. Don’t blame me. It was dead when I got here. It’s too late for prayers.

  7. Oh yeah. These guys are gonna save us. I’ll remember this the next time some conservative pleads with me to vote GOP because “they are so much better than the alternative.” Jesus.

    1. “Jesus” was my immediate reaction.

      What an embarrassment. But I suppose this is what it looks like when they’re getting out of the way.

      1. Hey, leave me the fuck out of this.

    2. But…

      No. I got nothin’.

    3. Er I though it was CPAC not the GOP conference. Which makes your statement just as valid but applying to the whole contard ‘movement’ not just the GOP.

    4. I think it will get better when Rand starts speaking.

  8. Persecuted: the movie. Conservative persecution was an all-around popular theme at CPAC.

    They even got Dean Stockwell to be in it. Cylons did have a persecution complex.

    I also liked the pro-life booth with the fetus cutout that looks like the movie poster for 2010: The Year We Make Contact

  9. Elizabeth, thanks for the article and for the others thus far.

    Respectfully, Why. The. Fuck. would Reason waste this kind of money to send more than one person to what is guaranteed to be a derpfest of the highest order. They don’t care about libertarian principles, and are HIGHLY unlikely to provide more than a bunch of laughs.

    You are to be applauded for your courage.

    As an aside, do not betray to the commentariat an appreciation for anything, bow ties included. This way lies peril; this way lies Warty.

    1. It was near the Reason HQ in DC, apparently a short drive away. Not sure where the big expense you’re thinking of comes in.

      1. I’m thinking of the costs of the subsequent therapy and workman’s comp.

      2. Well you know their going to claim the per diem and just spend all their money at the strip club.

        1. Hmm. Do female reason reporters do this too? Why would women go to strip clubs when they can see boobs (and not just their own) anytime they want to?

    2. There are some libertarian groups there like Cato but yeah I wouldn’t want to be there.

  10. Guess the Paul folks didn’t bother making much of a showing this year. No presidential cycle so media opportunities are limited. They have won the nominee vote multiple times in the past so it is certainly easy enough to take over the convention.

  11. For sale: foam bricks printed with your opponent’s name.

    I don’t understand. Is this a Republican thing?

    1. Well, yeah. The Democrat ones just have “RACIST!”.

      1. So, you squeeze them to feel better, or what?

          1. I think it’s a nod to the first season of (U.S.) House of Cards.

            1. Thanks, Elizabeth.

              1. Ah. I’ve only seen the Brit version.

                1. The one with Ricky Gervais?

  12. Is it me, or does it seem that CPAC is designed by a team of people whose mandate is =

    “Make sure everything here makes anyone from that bizarre ‘Libertarian’ fringe sick to their stomachs, such that they start to think ‘Sea-Steading’ is in fact a more reasonable alternative to voting Republican as a means to improve society”

    All I can think is, ‘Christ almighty, don’t any of you people *GET IT* yet? The fucking ’90s are over. The Bush thing? Over. Those ‘Good Old’ Tom DeLay years? Fucking done and dusted. William Kristol? That douchebag is so far gone he thinks we WON IRAQ. Are YOU ALL from like, DeMoines or something? Who wears Dockers anymore? What do you mean, “War On Christmas”?? Have I traveled back in time?? Why does this kid have a bow-tie? Look, I liked Reagan too, but if you recall? He was mentally unfit to go to the bathroom by himself by the end?? I was there!! IT WAS BORING!! SO ARE YOU!!

    And no, this is not something that a “conservative brand consultant” is going to help.

    We need a new GOP, and fast.

    1. I agree we need a new GOP because you are insane if you think it will be easier to pull liberals in to a libertarian tent than conservatives.

      I get just as sick as any reasonable person should with some of the stuff the Reason staff has shown from CPAC but it doesn’t hold a candle to the equivalent idiocy from the left.

      1. Maybe, but if this is the *new GOP* and the *much more Christian and serious* CPAC we were promised would be the result of kicking GoProud and the other gays out, then there is something seriously wrong with the GOP — more so if ‘conservative’ ‘activists’ are of this ilk.

        FFS

        1. Agreed. Stupid party gotta stupid.

          But again, I think a larger chunk of the GOP supports things like GOProud than doesn’t. As usual the ones flinging the most shit get the most attention.

        2. Even worse, CPAC kicked out the John Birch Society.

    2. Who wears Dockers anymore?

      People who can’t afford a pair of Bills Khakis.

      Why does this kid have a bow-tie?

      He’s in that awkward stage between Neoconservatism and having read his first Ayn Rand novel. Makes me a little nostaglic, actually.

      1. re: Bill’s Khakis =

        They are a overpaid-lame-man’s (former) J.L. Powell, which used to be the most expensive place to get khaki pants and a button up shirt on the *planet*. ..but were still pretty cool style at least. They have since cut their line down to the bone and kept only the moderate and fairly boring stuff. But at their peak they offered a camel-hair overcoat for like $11,000 and dope leather goods and a $300 “Perfect White Shirt” (double-knit Egyptian cotton)…socks for $50…. etc.

        I googled it, and the first suggested answer pane? Was “JL Powell RIDICULOUSLY OVERPRICED”

        One comment I found was, “Nice stuff. Either I could order it from JL Powell, or maybe just *fly to England and have it handmade* for cheaper”…

        That is not a lie. I luckily got a few items from them @ bankruptcy sale prices. Purdey tweed stuff for $100. Yikes.

    3. he thinks we WON IRAQ

      Well you did.

      1. Only in the sense that Saddam is dead and the previous power structure is gone. As far as building a stable and lasting democracy? Not so much.

        1. America crushed AQ and the Shia militias and other hostiles and then peaced out. That’s victory. Sweet sweet victory.

          1. You’re either a great troll, or fucking retarded.

            because

            1) the ‘shia militias’? – the ‘old ones’ were the Badr brigades, Mahdi armi/Sadrists, and al-Haqs. Now the Badrs pretty much run the country, the Sadrists dominate half the political posts, and the Al-Haqs are (still) the most violent mafia group in the country. These are the guys we *handed power to* – the ones we were shooting at until ~2007.

            2) and the former AQI? is now the new and improved ISIS, and is still waging a war there, last anyone checked, bro. No Disneyland in Fallujah quite yet.

            And all that sweet, sweet victory there? cost a trillion bucks. We could have had Saddamn killed for a measly couple mil if that was the gameplan.

            Vietnam looks like a blowout win by contrast.

            1. the Badrs pretty much run the country

              Citation needed

              the Sadrists dominate half the political posts

              Their militia was crushed

              the Al-Haqs are (still) the most violent mafia group in the country.

              Citation needed.

              he former AQI? is now the new and improved ISIS, and is still waging a war there, last anyone checked, bro.

              Not on America. They were crushed and their comeback is a problem for the new Iraqi government.

              The pricetage while unreasonable does not make this any less a victory.

              Seriously, just stop. You may as well be arguing that the sky is orange. America won in Iraq, period. The surge and Anbar awakening worked, period. End of story.

        2. Well, no, they aren’t say, Germany. But they seem to be a perfectly functioning country.

          Is there still violence? Political corruption? Sure, but is it worse than say Chicago?

          1. “Is there still violence? Political corruption? Sure, but is it worse than say Chicago”

            http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..story.html

            “”Feb, 2014
            BAGHDAD ? Scores of bodies have been dumped in Iraq’s canals and palm groves in recent months, reminding terrified residents of the worst days of the country’s sectarian conflict and fueling fears that the stage is being set for another civil war. More than 1,000 people were killed in January in Iraq…the al-Qaeda splinter group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, regularly bombs Shiite neighborhoods in Baghdad. The Sunni-dominated group is also battling the army for control of cities in the western province of Anbar…”

            – Today (Thurs March 6) alone there were *only* like a dozen bombings… up slightly from Weds..

            http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..story.html

            BAGHDAD ? Bombings targeting shoppers across central Iraq and clashes near the militant-held city of Fallujah killed at least 42 people Thursday….In Baghdad, a car bomb targeting shoppers in the southwestern Amil killed seven people and wounded 17… south of Baghdad, two car bombs killed nine civilians and wounded 28…

            They don’t mention the quality of the Deep Dish pizza.

            1. This is not relevant to the condition America left the country in, which was pretty peaceful. Which is victory for America.

  13. “Overheard as we walked by: “I’m such a big Donald Trump fan!” ”
    That’s sad.

  14. What in the gorram fuck is wrong with these people? Was this conference designed by the same people who came up with RomneyBot 5000? Is this what happens when you kick out the gays? I mean hot damn: play the Top Gun volleyball scene on an endless loop* if you have to, but if this is the alternative to a gay CPAC then this thing needs to be gayed up, stat.

    *NTTAWWT

  15. This is what a proper Moon base looks like

    Those glass atriums can’t survive a meteor strike.

    1. I think the pottery around the outside is what makes it invincible.

      1. “Uncle Owen…. Aunt Beru….?”

        1. It can’t withstand the precision of Imperial Stormtroopers.

        2. It can’t withstand the precision of Imperial Stormtroopers.

          1. They just always hit those blast points.

            People on the other hand…

    2. Oh Monolithic Dome Institute…where would we be without your combination of crazy?

      If you need to, you can own the ship that got them there.

      http://www.monolithic.org/stor…..ip-pegasus

      1. Monolithic domes rule, as long as they serve unlimited portions of fried, same-day fresh, whole catfish.

  16. I feel kind of sorry for the guy playing for that one audience member. Maybe it is just the cropping on the photo? I’ll go with that…

  17. Does anyone else suspect that there’s an increasingly obvious split between the “Christian conservatives” and…. uh, everyone else?

    maybe there are “Secular” political strategists who really think you can’t have a ‘conservative’ political movement without including the rabid pro-lifers and the bible-beating anti-gay people…but I’m sincerely starting to doubt that. Big time.

    I’ve been thinking that the SoCon-politicians days have been numbered for a while…that, as Nick presciently pointed out a couple of years ago (was it 2008?), we had witnessed the ‘high water mark’ of that whole shtick, and that no one was buying the Rick Santorum-type story anymore – not even the SoCons themselves!

    They might have their ‘deeply held views’, sure, but the idea that these things* must necessarily be the chosen political battleground had ceased to be the broadest consensus

    (*by ‘things’ I’m thinking *evolution/God In School? *when is a fetus a ‘life’? *Opposition to Gay Marriage, etc)

    These fights still happen, yes. But I think the groundswell among young people for a Ron Paul type candidate, and the success of the Tea Party / ‘Constitution-Cons’ has really changed the direction of growth entirely.

    The question is, again = DO THEY GET IT?… if not, fuck 2016.

    1. If the answer involves faith in the GOP to do the right thing then I have some bad news for you.

    2. How dare you question the sanctity of the Big Tent?!?

      Blasphemer!

    3. Oh I’d say SoCons are definitely on the way out. I’d wager a guess that it is because they never really had most of the country on their side, except maybe for gay marriage at one point. What they did have was a lot of built up frustration about where society was headed, and a few politicians managed to tap into that and the result was a lot of enthusiasm. But enthusiasm in political movements is tough to maintain, and there was a collective “Whoa” from a majority of Americans that found the SoCon agenda too extreme. Couple that with a rapid turn around in attitudes about gay marriage, and the “uncool” factor associated with SoCons in just about every form of popular media, and it isn’t surprising that their star is fading.

      1. Gilmore makes an interesting point about the TP consitution-cons changing the direction away from SoCons. If this is true, we have a lot to be thankful to the TP for.

        I’d also add that the SoCons are simply dying off. Literally.

        1. I’d also add that the SoCons are simply dying off. Literally.

          And more specifically the fact the older SoCons are never changing so until they actually die they aren’t going away.

          1. This is true, but as a relative of a half dozen or so of them (ranging from poor Baptist southerners to my ageing uber-catholic marine-veteran dad)… the word I hear from many of them is that they don’t care about ‘legislating god’ so much anymore (although the ‘hobby lobby’ case has been followed closely by them) as they do fear the bankruptcy of the country in a wave of Jimmy Carter-meets-LBJ fiscal stupidity. Meaning = I think a lot of them would go for a TP candidate over Santorum 2.0 if they thought it could win.

      2. It’s SoCons that kept sending Ron Paul back to congress, in 2012 he won the evangelicals in the Iowa caucuses. Rand owned the socon vote in the KY GOP senate primary.SoCons put Thomas Massie and Justin Amash in congress. Mike Lee is the socon senator from a socon state.
        Your most liberty-leaning elected officials are mostly elected with the support of a majority of the socon vote.

        1. The problem is when SoCons do anything other than obediently and quietly supporting their Libertarian betters. They start getting ‘ideas’ like ‘lets support Rick Santorum’. They need to learn their place.

    4. I think the split is between *old* conservatives and *young*. Plenty of young religious conservatives, but they are much more classically liberal and consistent than the older ones who have conservatism in a vise. Gay marriage and (especially) pro-life aren’t killers, but politicians and SoCons need to know when to shut the hell up, and how to contextualized their issues.

      (BTW? That’s not bad advice for libertarians, either. Believe it or not, libertarian thoughts on the CRA are not the most pressing issue of the day.)

        1. Civil Rights Act. Freedom of association v. non-discrimination in public accommodations. It is a really interesting area for discussion, and the courts have screwed it up pretty badly, but it is waaay to easy to demagogue. It is amazing that Rand Paul survived that one.

  18. “The-MSM-as-culture-war” being shaken off?

    Posters here complain all the time about the media not doing their job properly, being in the pocket of power/the Dems/etc. Where are people divesting themselves of that meme (around here, even)?

    1. They’re not. The male Dave Weigel would never have made that gaffe.

  19. Man this whole party event thing sounds stupid and even worse, boring. Maybe Rand’s words will make it worth it tomorrow.

  20. I really like this new Reason writer ‘Elizabeth’. I liked her as soon as she used the term ‘anti-choice’.

  21. Transgender woman sues Crossfit for not letting her compete as a woman

    A transgender woman is going to war with CrossFit — claiming the fitness titans refused to let her compete in the women’s division at the upcoming CrossFit Games because she was born with a penis … TMZ Sports has learned.

    Chloie Jonnson has filed a $2.5 MILLION lawsuit against CF — claiming she underwent sex reassignment surgery in 2006 and is legally recognized as a woman by the State of California.

    But when Chloie — 5’4″, 151 lbs — asked the powers that be about competing in the Games with the ladies, she was shot down hard.

    In fact, TMZ Sports obtained a letter from CrossFit to Chloie in which the CF pulled no punches — “We have simply ruled that based upon [Chloie] being born as a male, she will need to compete in the Men’s Division.”

    CF argues … “The fundamental, ineluctable fact is that a male competitor who has a sex reassignment procedure still has a genetic makeup that confers a physical and physiological advantage over women.”

    But in the letter, CF gets aggressive — saying, “Our decision has nothing to do with ‘ignorance’ or being bigots — it has to do with a very real understanding of the human genome, of fundamental biology, that you are either intentionally ignoring or missed in high school.”

    The science is settled?

    1. TMZ Sports? I didn’t know ESPN went through a rebranding.

  22. GILMORE|3.6.14 @ 10:42PM|#
    “Does anyone else suspect that there’s an increasingly obvious split between the “Christian conservatives” and…. uh, everyone else?”

    Depends on one issue only.
    I’m an atheist and I do not propose to use the government to promote my views on religion. So long as Xian (or J-ish, or Muslims or B-ists or Eco-whackos, or…) agree, I have no problems.
    As soon as one says ‘God says *we* must do…”, I got problems.

    1. They don’t call em Christian Conservatives for nuthin’.

  23. One more thing I’d like to add: even in a cartoon cardboard cutout Kristoll’s face is eminently punchable.

    Another thing: there was a debate a few nights ago about Driven. Thought I should way in because my opinion is valued here especially in pop culture subjects. Driven is in fact a good movie real good after the slow first half-hour. I neither understood nor cared about the odes to other movies.

  24. Report: At least two Oscar voters picked ’12 Years A Slave’ for Best Picture without having seen it

    The surprising revelation comes via the Los Angeles Times: “All the same, two Oscar voters privately admitted that they didn’t see ’12 Years a Slave,’ thinking it would be upsetting. But they said they voted for it anyway because, given the film’s social relevance, they felt obligated to do so.”

    During her Oscars monologue, host Ellen DeGeneres made reference to that kind of thinking with a joke about how the evening might go: “Possibility number one: ’12 Years a Slave’ wins Best Picture. Possibility number two: You’re all racists.”

    If the Academy Awards have no integrity, I just don’t know what I can believe in anymore.

    1. I’m still pissed they cut the Batkids appearance.

      Jesus, give these guys a chance to do something cool and they end up shitting all over it.

      Impressive.

      1. “I’m still pissed they cut the Batkids appearance.”

        I’m not. I live in SF and every sleazy politico used the opportunity to mug for the camera.
        Oh, and the kid’s been treated quite well by now; better than 99% of the kids I ever see. Goody for him, but…
        enough of the mug shots and enough of the kid.

        1. Do 99% of the 5 year olds you see have Leukemia? I know SF is fucked up but come on dude.

          Although if I lived there I would probably be sick of him by now too.

  25. mgman on Mar 6, 2014 at 02:43:43
    “Monopolies are self sustaining, once all competition is eliminated or subsumed then there is no one left to have a free market. Competitors cannot emerge in a non-cometitive environment, such as is found in monopolies. This is nothing new, it’s been occuring since the rise of industrialization. Companies will use their size and clout to remove competition instead of competing based on service or product. Regulation and enforcement prevents such behavior. Companies know that, so they’ll use their financial clout to pressure government for favorable regulation. You are looking at this problem backwards, blaming regulations for monopolies when in fact the exact opposite is true. As long as regulations are created and enforced fairly then monopolies cannot form. When big business subverts the regulatory process then we have problems. The cause of this problem isn’t the government, but big business.”

    1. Regulation and enforcement prevents enables such behavior.

      FOAD slaver.

      1. I keep trying to explain to the dude, but he doesn’t get it.

    2. Ask him if he’s aware that there’s only been one monopoly in US history that’s ever arisen without direct government help.

      It was ALCOA in the 1940s and the Supreme Court ruled that it got that way purely by providing a superior product that outcompeted other companies and through any illegal or underhanded means.

      Standard Oil is often brought up, but by the time SO was declared in violation of anti-trust laws in 1913, it’s market share had fallen from its peak of 90% in the 1890s to just 67%.

      Furthermore, none of the progressive trust busters accused Standard Oil of price gouging. In fact, they accused Standard Oil of making oil reinement so efficient that they could lower prices and undercut competitors. It was actually the trust busters that were being lobbied by other corporations to pass these laws to save America from Standard’s cheap oil.

      1. Thanks for that. Although I’m more of a first principles guy.

      2. You made me just read United States v. Alcoa which contained this particular satist thing of beauty

        Judge Learned Hand-

        “It was not inevitable that it should always anticipate increases in the demand for ingot and be prepared to supply them. Nothing compelled it to keep doubling and redoubling its capacity before others entered the field. It insists that it never excluded competitors; but we can think of no more effective exclusion than progressively to embrace each new opportunity as it opened, and to face every newcomer with new capacity already geared into a great organization, having the advantage of experience, trade connections and the elite of personnel.”

        BARF.

    3. Monopolies are self sustaining, once all competition is eliminated or subsumed then there is no one left to have a free market. Competitors cannot emerge in a non-cometitive environment, such as is found in monopolies.

      Which is why Bromkonvention still has the world’s bromine market completely cornered.

      1. And why we all use WordPerfect.

  26. “mgman on Mar 6, 2014 at 02:43:43
    “Monopolies are self sustaining”

    What does douchehat think the federal regulators *are*, exactly?

    1. Still trying to figure that out. He just admitted that part of how big corps maintain is by having regulators on their side. He totally did not realize he argued my point back at me.

  27. This is why I don’t join stuff.

  28. You don’t get it, these people aren’t “true conservatives.” Everyone knows that “true conservatives” are libertarians.

    “True conservatives” are also hard-right theocrats. “True conservatives” are hyper-militarists. And “true conservatives” are anti-trade nativists.

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