According to a report from Politico, the annual conservative gathering known as CPAC is having problems this year as sponsors drop out, speakers cancel and worries about the still raging COVID -19 pandemic has the usual attendees thinking about taking a pass.
Normally held in Washington D.C. which allowed the conference to attract an all-star list of Republican lawmaker speakers -- including now-former President Donald Trump -- the conference was moved to Florida to be closer to Trump and because of Florida's lax COVID restrictions.
That has people nervous about the Feb. 25-28 event.
"President Donald Trump's election loss has created hurdles around programming and guest booking. Stringent coronavirus guidelines in Maryland have pushed the conference outside of the Washington, D.C. area for the first time in nearly 50 years," Politico reports. "Previous sponsors aren't yet committed or have decided to forgo sponsorship entirely due to changes to the event's format or disappointment in the return on their investment last year. And the president that attendees adored so much may not show up to the event at all."
The report notes that Trump hasn't committed to attending this year -- which could help boost attendance -- and Vice President Mike Pence is uncertain this year after being the subject of Trump's supporter's ire for certifying the 2020 election for President Joe Biden.
As for CPAC's sponsorship issues, Politico previously reported that sponsors having second thoughts and that the annual conference was having difficulties, which led to American Conservative Union General Counsel David Safavian to accuse Politico of "'tortious interference with business relationships' and attempting 'to cancel both CPAC and the American Conservative Union itself.'"
The Politico report adds that last year "an attendee who'd been in direct contact with Schlapp had tested positive for Covid-19. Organizers were forced to warn nearly 100 conference-goers of potential exposure and the president's chief of staff went into self-quarantine, though only one actual case ended up being traced to the event," which has raised fears of COVID -19 exposure this year.
"As for this year's sponsors, some of whom spent as much as $250,000 in past years for exclusive benefits and branding opportunities, several said they were still evaluating the benefits or had decided not to sponsor at all due to mediocre returns on the investment or changes to the conference structure," the report states. "Gryphon Editions operations manager Michael Hawkins said his company did not plan to sponsor the conference this year after being informed that the CPAC bookstore, which has been set up for attendees in past years, would no longer be available due to Covid-19 precautions."
"Laura Merriott, president of the anti-abortion nonprofit Save Unborn Life, said her group 'didn't get much response [from] donors last time' after paying between $1,000-$3,000 for a sponsorship and creating a pop-up exhibition," Politico reports with Merriott admitting, "It doesn't pay for itself when you go and set up and you don't get" enough new donors to "make it worthwhile."
As for past sponsors, "the Washington Examiner, Republican National Committee, Turning Point USA, Heartland Institute and Save our States — said they had yet to make a decision as of last week about sponsoring again."
You can read more here.
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Mormons should defend democracy and condemn racism, a church leader argued in a recent speech.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports, "In the wake of a deadly racist attack in Buffalo, President Dallin H. Oaks urged Latter-day Saints to condemn racism and 'avoid extreme or polarizing positions and teachings that undermine the U.S. Constitution.'”
Oaks, a former Utah Supreme Court justice, is the first counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“In condemning and working against racism, we encourage our students, our teachers, and all our members to avoid extreme or polarizing positions and teachings that undermine the U.S. Constitution and other core institutions,” Oaks said. “[The Constitution’s] inspired principles, including the freedoms of speech and religion and its authorized amendments, have allowed subsequent generations to continue to improve and strengthen the rights of all of its citizens.”
He also urged "fair treatment" for members of the LGBTQ community.
“Individuals or groups who do not treat our LGBTQ members with empathy and charity are not aligned with the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ,” Elder Gilbert said. “At the same time, ignoring God’s laws has never been the Savior’s pattern for showing love. Remember, Jesus asked us to love God first.”
Watch the speech below or at this link.
President Oaks Says Proclaim Truth With Love www.youtube.com
A former SpaceX flight attendant is alleging that while on Elon Musk's Gulfstream G650ER, Musk exposed himself to her and then offered to give her a horse in exchange for sexual favors.
During the incident, which Musk's accuser states took place in a private cabin on the aircraft en route to London in 2016, Musk rubbed the woman's leg and pleaded for a sexual massage, which she firmly declined. The details of the offense were laid out in a signed declaration, and Musk threw $250,000 at the problem in 2018, hoping it would all go away. But, unfortunately for him, the internet is forever.
In emails and other documentation obtained by Insider, the woman worked as a contracted member of the SpaceX cabin crew and, shortly after taking the position, was encouraged by Musk to also become a licensed masseuse for the sole purpose of giving him massages while onboard. It was during one of these massages that Musk is said to have asked her to "do more." After entering into a private cabin on the aircraft, the woman states that she was met by a fully naked Musk covered only by a sheet laid over his privates, which was later moved to expose his erect penis.
After being asked by Insider to explain himself, Musk reportedly asked for more time to craft his response and then returned with the following:
"If I were inclined to engage in sexual harassment, this is unlikely to be the first time in my entire 30-year career that it comes to light." Musk then referred to the claim as a "politically motivated hit piece," according to Insider.
The flight attendant, who is choosing to remain anonymous, told a friend that professional opportunities took a dive after refusing Musk's proposition. In 2018, assuming her lack of work was linked to turning Musk down, she hired an employment lawyer and human resources was contacted. Rather than go to court, Musk offered a severance agreement amounting to $250,000 and made the woman promise not to pursue the matter further. The woman's friend, whose intel was included in the signed declaration against Musk, decided to speak up about the incident now and she herself is a survivor of sexual assault.
"I absolutely felt a responsibility to come forward with it, especially now," the accuser's friend said to Insider. "He is the richest man in the world. Someone with that level of power causing that kind of harm and then throwing some money at the situation, that's not accountability."
According to Pet Rogue Science, the cost of a horse ranges from $100 – $10,000, but the most expensive breeds such as an Arabian or Thoroughbred can run almost exactly $250,000.
'They come for the lulz... but stay for rage juice': Conservative blasts 'radicalizing' internet 'messiahs'
On Thursday, in a podcast interview posted to The Bulwark, former RNC official and Jeb Bush staffer Tim Miller walked through the danger posed by the internet's radicalization of "angry young white men" to commit acts of hate.
This danger, Miller argued, is laid clear by the gunman who murdered 10 Black supermarket shoppers in Buffalo, after months of preparation and planning — and inspiration from the darkest corners of online message boards.
"These young men were radicalized not by religious clerics or cult leaders, but by message-board messiahs who cloak their radical ideology in memes," said Miller. "The 18-year-old who carried out the latest white supremacist mass murder left no doubt that’s exactly what led him to do it. He wrote in his 180-page manifesto that the idea for the attack came online: 'Browsing /pol/ one day I saw a short gif of a man walking into a building and shooting a shotgun through a dark hallway.' That man was the perpetrator of the massacre at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, which he livestreamed on Facebook."
"The Buffalo shooter says he then began researching Christchurch and developed his beliefs, mostly on the internet, where he learned about the Great Replacement theory, which posits that shadowy forces — usually Democrats or Jews — are plotting to replace white European ethnoculture by importing minorities with higher fertility rates," noted Miller. "This replacement ideology has flourished in online forums like 8Chan and Gab and Parler where racist blog boys post dehumanizing memes that they often pretend are jokes when called on it."
The Attorney General of New York has already announced an investigation into the online platforms that allegedly inspired the gunman's murderous rampage.
"They come for the lulz, but stay for the surround-sound of rage juice that tells them that they are the victim of modern woke culture," concluded Miller. "And the most unstable among them get convinced that their only choice is to act. From Christchurch, to Charleston, to El Paso, to Buffalo, we’ve seen the deadly result — which is why we cannot dismiss their lulz as some stupid internet game. I’d like to close this week by remembering the people who are the victims of this latest racist attack."
You can read the whole interview here.