Written by Lotus on Monday, 8 of November , 2010 at 11:56 pm
I did a fun interview with Glen Asbury (@glenasbury) as part of his weekly “Twitter Personality of the Week.” The questions were great! Excerpt:
6. You must have, by this point, many fascinating stories to share about your interactions with various political celebrities. Can you share 2 or 3 of your top anecdotes?
Wow, this is a hard question! I have a friend who calls me the Forrest Gump of the conservative movement, so there are a few to choose from. The first thing that comes to mind is when I was traveling with Ann Coulter to Tallahassee, my hometown. I was really excited about the trip. She was coming from New York and I was coming from D.C. I took the metro with my mom, who was on the way to her job at the Pentagon. I made my flight, but Coulter and I never made it to Tallahassee that day. My flight was grounded in Columbia, SC. The flight attendant said there was a “national emergency.” It was the morning of September 11, 2001. Within a few minutes, I was able to get in touch with my mom, who was still at the Pentagon. Coulter was on her way to the airport when it happened and was stuck in Queens. I don’t want to be one of those people who make a national tragedy about them, but it was just one of those moments when the real world and my Forrest Gump life collided.
Finally meeting Rush in person was so unbelievable that I barely remember it. I know we spent about 20 minutes in the green room, but I don’t remember much about it. We took photos. He asked what had been the biggest news to come out of the conference. I have no idea what I said. As it turned out, it hadn’t happened yet. The most auspicious moment of CPAC 2009 was definitely Rush’s first “National Address to the Nation.” It was probably the most significant moment leading up to the 2010 elections. When Rush spoke, it was one month after Obama’s inauguration. Conservatives were on the ropes, but Rush gave a message of hope. The fight for freedom wasn’t lost; it was just beginning.
Read the entire interview here.
Category: Back When I Was a Kid,C-Word,Conservatives I Love,Twitter
Written by Lotus on Thursday, 25 of February , 2010 at 9:46 pm
Wow, I haven’t blogged in MONTHS. The two people that stumble upon this website must have think I died.
Anyway, I have some random only-at-CPAC-moments that I wanted to share:
– As the director of CPAC, I do a lot of random things. At CPAC 2010, this included running up to my room to get hairspray for a Congresswoman, going to CPAC office at 10 p.m. on Tuesday night to move chalkboard that was accidentally delivered to office rather than hotel (and get chalk), apply 4+ coats of polyuerthane to chalkboard in order to preserve keynote speaker Glenn Beck’s thoughts, demanded hotel/beck and call boy get me ETA on Diet Coke shipment … I’m sure more things will come to me.
– As I mentioned, both myself and my assistant drove to the CPAC office the night before major preparations. A thought crossed our minds: What if we got into a terrible accident? We would both be gone. I wasn’t the only one with morid thoughts because my former assistant who now volunteers the week of the conference texted me and was appalled that we left the hotel. She called me names that she later took back.
– There were a lot of surprises at CPAC this year. Confession: I didn’t know about one of them. Any guesses on which one?
– Yes, some speakers use a teleprompter. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, just because teleprompter is visible doesn’t mean speaker is actually using it. Only 5 or 6 speakers actually used it. Not that there’s anything wrong with it…
– I enjoyed Twittering from CPAC this year. It was fun posting photos of surprise guests and other insider information. I hope people that couldn’t join us in person felt a little closer to the CPAC experience.
– I got flowers from one of the speakers. I now have a new appreciation for pink roses. Very cute.
– A DC-area hotel sales rep brought me and my assistant bottles of absinthe. They haven’t been opened.
– The day before CPAC someone at the hotel asked if we were expecting any media.
– Despite the time crunch, I went to church for the first time in like 10 years the Sunday before CPAC. I was surprised at how downhill acceptable church clothes have gone. I insisted that my escort wear a suit. He was one of the few that did.
– You can watch video of CPAC speakers and panels at www.cpac.org.
– I watched two pay-per-view movies the Sunday after CPAC: An Education and Zombieland. It was the first relaxing evening I’ve had in almost two months. I’m glad I took it because I was in full post-CPAC media mode by Monday morning.
– During another moment of peace on Sunday, I realized that the four people I trust the most were with me all weekend. I hope they know who they are.
Category: C-Word,Conservatives I Love
Written by Lotus on Saturday, 6 of June , 2009 at 2:03 pm
Some of the speakers at the conference included Rep. Paul Ryan, Phyllis Schlafly, Rep. Aaron “Abs” Schock and Sen. John McCain. Thankfully there was a tastefully scheduled lunch break between McCain and the “Why We Lost in 2008” discussion. I assume most of the discussion will be about “reaching out.” [UPDATE: I learned on Twitter that our friend David All said that Republicans lost because they didn’t utilize the internet enough. Now is the time I wish I had taken that picture of McCain in front of the CPAC booth with his iPhone.]
Friday night was the Lee Atwater Dinner Gala. Buddha has an objection to anything being named after Atwater. I wonder if he feels the same way about Goldwater. Both had “coming to Jesus” moments toward the end of their lives. The speaker at the Gala was Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Earlier this week Pawlenty announced that he wouldn’t be seeking reelection, so the speculation began that he would be running for president in 2012. Um, EVERYONE is running in 2012.
Buddha likes to focus on the crowd, so I suppose I’ll make a few comments. As usual, the girls are pretty in their TJ Maxx suits. White is in. White skirts, white pant suits. I even saw a pair of white stripper heels. What’s the rule? White stripper heels are acceptable after Easter and before the season finale of Daisy of Love? The boys are ok. On the plus side, they seem less dorky than years past. I think I may prefer the dorky boys over the frat boys. Of course, any media coverage of the CRNC will focus on the boys with the most ill-fitting khakis, red tie and blue jacket. I’d say less than 20% of the boys here are actually dressed that way.
One similarity between CRNC and America’s Future Now conference is lots and lots of Starbucks cups. Perhaps caffeine addiction (or the allusion, i.e.“OMG, I need a coffee, like, NOW”) could be what brings both sides together. It’s the 00s version of the “Buy the world a Coke” commercial. Starbucks should really look into this.
I had a nice chat with Chris Malagisi of the Young Conservatives Coalition. After getting an unsolicited autograph, we talked about me and Buddha’s experience at America’s Future Now. While the crowd wasn’t raucous, they aren’t laying down. They’re still approaching their issues as fights that need to be won. The other side is in power and they’re not sitting back and waiting for their agenda to pass. What are we waiting for?
Finally, in an effort to reclaim my youth at the biannual College Republican National Conference, I had a Shirley Temple for lunch. Buddha, an old soul, had a Bloody Mary.
Category: C-Word,Conservatives I Love,Higher Education
Written by Lotus on Saturday, 6 of June , 2009 at 1:45 pm
WASHINGTON D.C. – Your eyes and ears on the ground returns to the nation’s capitol for a check-in of the College Republican National Convention.
Buddha remembers his first CRNC; it was 1993 or 1994. Bill Spadea ran unopposed, and Tony Zagotta was still tearing up the town.
What Buddha remembers about that 93-94 event was that the CRNC appeared to be an excuse for a bunch of frat boys to play playground politics with one another and celebrate running the winning campaign – unopposed, or course – with kegstands.
Ah, the 90s. [LOTUS: This year’s president was also unopposed.]
Happy to see so many young GOPers in the house. Your Buddha wishes that he could stick around to see what kind of stuff RNC Chairman Mike “Balls of” Steele says to get you guys pumped up for 2012, when you’ll actually be old enough to vote.
“Yo, yo, yo, what up my homeys! Can you dig it? My homey John Boehner came to bring the pain, hardcore to your brain! What! Y’heard? Step up to get your rep up, youngsters: you are the future!”
[LOTUS: Actually, this sounds more like Buddha introducing his next set at the Red and Black.]
In all seriousness, maybe the big guy will find his most receptive audience to date.
Great to see so many great groups represented here: CPAC, NRA, YCC, ISI, YAF, Eagle Forum… conservative groups.
N.B. CRNC: It’s conservatives who support your causes and pay to co-sponsor your events.
Did Republicans for Choice send a rep? [LOTUS: Yes, Michael Steele]
Is the Main Street Republican Partnership Here? [LOTUS: Yes, Michael Steele]
And where are the social groups?
Family Research Council and Concerned Women for America: where are you? [LOTUS: In the kitchen, where they belong. Just kidding, I love those chicks.]
You’re missing the fun. Their outfits are great. Unironic plaid pants, fer cryin’ out loud. You have got to check this out! [LOTUS: Buddha prefers for every item he wears to be ironic, i.e. Stop Global Warming arm bands, argyle sweaters, 2000 Olympics polo shirts, Prada eyewear, other people’s dirty socks.]
And kids, only treat yourself to a keg stand if you actually beat your opponent.
No opponent, no drinky-drink.
Category: Back When I Was a Kid,C-Word,Conservatives I Love
Written by Lotus on Tuesday, 2 of June , 2009 at 10:39 pm
Well folks, your trusty truth squad returns for analysis of Day 2 of the AFN6W! the Buddha, joined by LOTUS (more from LOTUS later), JOTUS, LLOTUS aka The Llama, and Cool Breeze — your eyes and ears on the ground — make the rounds and bring you the news from today’s most unnewsworthy event.
The empty press riser notwithstanding, most of the media attending (using the word “media” loosely) appear to be independent non-network left-wing entities that, oddly, none of your truth squad recognize.
The peculiar lack of media — correction: recognizable media — and the event’s organizers’ contentedness with that fact — reflect something odd we’ve noticed; it appears that most of the attendees here would prefer to live in a world occupied soley by like-minded left-wingnuts! Especially odd given all the articulated desire for and pride taken in the Left’s “diversity.”
Whether it’s yesterday’s applause line from an audience member during one session’s Q&A that conservatives ought to be “punished” for their views or another speaker’s prediction that the GOP will theme its upcoming political campaigns around charges of Liberal elitism “selling fear and divisiveness,” the desire here appears to be one of denial.
It ain’t just a river in Egypt anymore. [LOTUS: Zing!]
What’s ignored here at AFN6W!? (besides the obvious: Iraq! — wasn’t that how you got energized in the first place? Isn’t that why you guys wouldn’t get behind Hillary?) Attendees appear to not think that decency exists outside of this tiny, unwell-attended event. If one can’t accept government-as-God as a way of life — in the words of one lunch speaker that “we must be ministers” in the “greening of our economic recovery” — then one doesn’t deserve to participate in the democratic process.
Every vote counts! As long as you vote the way Rev. Obama tells you to vote.
Overheard: “Mmmm: the Kool-aid’s delicious!”
It’s as if everyone here has agreed that it’s impossible to imagine that a conservative may have arrived at at his or her viewpoint through thoughtful reasoning, an examination of history, and common sense. The prevalent view is that harboring conservative political values — and living by them — represents some character defect.
We wonder if some savvy and literate folks here are beginning to recognize that conservative observers are legitimately attending your O-propaganda sessions. We’d give you an A+ in your collective ability to regurgitate the DNC’s talking points of the day. Well, we didn’t try to scheme our way in on a media badge like so many folks eyeing us (and how a number of those on the Left do at CPAC). Still, there’s this odd sense that you know we are here.
Since everyone here seems to think they know what conservatives are and are all about, what you should do AFN6W! attendees is use this as an opportunity to to actually get to know a conservative. We are here. We live among you. We attend your events. We watch, we laugh. It’s that easy. It is not a grand conspiracy to prevent minorites from voting as many have alleged here. It is a belief in the ideal of America and our founders’ belief in the paramount rights of the individual and that government — when given power — will take advantage of it at the expense of the rights of the citizenry.
AFN6W! organizers might ask the same question internally about our attendance the question Adm. James Bond Stockdale asked in 1992: Who are we and why are we here?
We are your neighbors that silently tend to our lawns, we are the deliverypeople who drop off your FedEx package and ask for your signature. We are the mechanics who fix your Honda hybrids. We are the bartenders who act like we’re your friend and serve you a free shooter when you are so obviously bombing with that girl who is waaay out of your league.
Why are we here? First, to compare your event with ours. Bottom line: Ours is better. Better attended, better planned, better staffed, better covered by media, and better at including diverse points of view.
Second, to remind ourselves that you don’t have horns and tails, and to also remind YOU that we don’t either. You might say that we don’t believe in a Red America or Blue America, but in one United States of America. Heard that somewhere before?
Y’all act as if decency and reasonable discourse is a concept that you took a patent out on when Big Bad Barry smoked the White Lady in Iowa and told her that He didn’t know if he was campaigning against the lady or the gentleman in that marriage of convenience.
Well, decency and discourse have always been staples where we come from. We like Nat Hentoff, and we’re not afraid to give him a forum to speak his mind. And will continue to live like that, because it’s the right way for an an American to live, despite your desire to live like the victims of heavy-handed ways of King Friday VIII of the Kingdom of Make-Believe where everyone has a claim at marganilization resulting in a freebie suckle from the nipple of Uncle Sam’s voluminous rack.
We are here to talk to you and for you to talk to us — politely and reasonably, and our behavior while we are here conveys that. And believe it or not, to find common ground. Not because your leader inspired us to do so, but because we have always done so and don’t posess a common desire to ignore your existance and your right to think and act for yourselves; in fact, we would encourage you to do so.
When one speaker today noted how difficult it is for college students to organize on college campuses because of bullshit 50 sq. ft. free-speech-zone regulations, we cheer. Google Ruth Malhotra and Orit Sklar. They are our heroes, and they should be yours. If you can’t find it in your hearts to cheer for these girls, then you have failed our test of tolerance and diversity. [LOTUS: CPAC 2009 honored up-and-coming leaders Ruth and Orit at CPAC 2009. By contrast, tonight AFN6W! will be honoring a union boss and ACORN leader at their Gala.]
The New-Age guru who lives in the White House — whom you all seem to worship — spoke during the campaign as if he desired to find that common ground that includes all Americans.
Your worship of the Man-in-Chief however, fails to keep him honest on that claim. You have failed to pressure him to end the war in Iraq, which is why you voted for him and not Hillary, and you have allowed the unions to serve as your spokespeople and let highfallutin’ union bosses dictate the intensity and timing of the pressure that the grassroots can exert on the current administration.
We don’t pay no union dues. And even if you don’t allow the unions to regularly dock your paycheck AFN6W! attendees, you are paying them elsewhere in your refusal to stand up to their corrupt money-grubbing leadership.
And so, TheLOTUSBlog and her truth squad members issue a challenge to EVERY attendee, speaker, and staffer here:
You know who we are. Talk to us. We don’t bite. We may disagree, and we may chuckle at your inability to laugh at the peculiarities that are the odd definitions of prospering inside 495, but we don’t hate as a way of life and we don’t want to lock you up in re-educatiuon camps (as efficient that as might be — it’s sooo Hillary). [LOTUS: Re-education camps may he the only Chinese institution attendees don’t wish to import. More on that later.]
The point is we got involed in politics not because of one man’s beliefs, but because of our own beliefs.
[LOTUS: At the “Green Luncheon” we sat with a few progressives, including one intern at AFN6W!, that seemed to be aware of who we were. Unfortunately, they were much more interested in typing (or Facebooking) on their Macs. We won’t take it personally though because we weren’t that interested in the speakers at the podium either.]
We want to talk. We want to talk about the things we agree on, like opposition to portions of the USA PATRIOT Act and the CAPPS II program, and we want to talk about the things we disagree on, like how the General Motors bailout is really a debate over employment and nationalizing jobs that crank out overpriced second-rate vehicles that run on the fossil fuels you say we need to wean ourselves off of and how the bailout ruins GM’s chances at achieving viability as a American corporation that’s on par with Toyota and Honda. [LOTUS: In case they forgot, it’s Toyota that makes their car of choice — the Prius.]
Hell folks, you know we can even just chit-chat about how the mainstream media never seems to get it right.
So the question and the challenge exists: are Obama’s campaign promises to include all Americans in His America an empty promise? Or was it a bullshit throw-away feel-good line that served the momentary task of accruing the power that the rest of you so desparately crave to taste.
Look for us on Wednesday, June 3. Here’s where we’ll be:
9:30 a.m. — Exhibit Hall
10:20 a.m. — New Media — The Politics of the Changing Media Scheme
11:40 a.m. — Closing Brunch
And how come all the ladies around here have a problem saying “thank you” when I open the door for them?
Additional observation: I shook Je$$e Jackson’s hand earlier today. When the handshake ended, I was pleasantly suprised NOT to find the blood of Dr. King on my hands.
Category: C-Word,Dirty Hippies
Written by Lotus on Monday, 1 of June , 2009 at 6:54 pm
Buddha Riggs reflects on Day One:
The Future is Now. The Present is, well, Yesterday, apparently.
The liberals at AFN6W! are so energized that they envision a 40-year term of progressive dominance as a result of last year’s electoral victories.
That is, the liberals who were sufficiently energized to show up to the 2009 conference. Attendance is down dramatically at this year’s event: roughly 700 activists this year, compared to 3,000 at last year’s event.
Admittedly tough to get a decent head count because the organizers turned off the lights in the main ballroom to facilitate attendance number-fudging (like that phony 3,000 number from last year) and put a bunch of trees around the meager seating area. Surrounding the seating area, is empty space; in fact, enough empty space to have the entire Oberlin College track team run laps around the audience unnoticed.
Congratulations, environmentalists! By the end of the conference, you may have more trees than people.
And all this talk about transparancy? Step one: turn on the gaddamn lights.
We interviewed the trees and they said that now that Obama is President they will recommence the processing of your carbon emissions. If you look closely at each tree, like a delicate snowflake, is different, individual, and unique. The trees ought to be given a medal or something for refusing to march in lockstep orthodoxy.
Speaking of going green, how many trees died to run that monster jumbotron in the media room (restricted access) that no one is watching?
Formerly named the Take Back America Conference, organizers have declared Mission Accomplished, changed the name to AFN6W!, and are left with figuring out how to take advantage of the good times that sent their main man Barry to his NW DC digs.
To that end, there is a lot of ass-kissing of young people. Young people, according to liberal Sara Robinson, a womyn who admits that liberals’ key to success is “keeping the cons bottled up,” are “diverse, of mixed-race, self-organizers, and at heart, progressive.”
So, if you are a young person, who is not of mixed-race and you’re an individualist, take note: you don’t exist here.
And it’s reflected in the attendance. For all the young-people-are-the-future sycophancy, there is a noticible lack of young people in the crowd. And the ones that do appear are in ties, which means that they’re at work.
The young people who are here don’t want to be here: they are for the most part professional liberals who have forgone their right to think freely and independently for the opportunity to get paid and aquire the heath insurance that they puport every American deserves and send the message to their parents that they are productive and prosperous members of society and cultivate the fantasy that one day their little Johnnie, ahem, Little Muqtada will be a member of the Washington establishment with the real power to do real things, like get them a tour of the Capitol Rotunda, or even better: a White House Christmas, ahem, Holiday Tree Ornament in the mail.
FYI, generally Buddha does not talk to young people who wear ties (unless it’s a wedding, or a gay wedding, or a funeral, or a gay funeral, or at Xmas midnight mass with the rest of the drunks) because it means that on some level you aspire to be The Man’s bitch.
I thought dissent was patriotic. Wtf?
The trendy thing to accessorize your work clothes with is apparently obeisance.
Up next, the evening schoomze.
The American people have their marching orders:
What Would Robert Stacy McCain Do?
So what did we learn about liberals? Get this doozy: According to one attendee, “the [conservative] movement ended civil rights by assassination, like Dr. King!”
My dear, you put the ass in assassination.
A couple random thoughts from LOTUS:
– There are no mics in the main ballroom. No questions even in the safety of darkness.
-One Twitterer criticized me for reporting that less than 600 people were in the main ballroom, which a posted sign states seats 3,500. He said the crowd was “raucous.” Ha! This crowd had minimal polite applause. No energy. In fact, during one panel, a speaker mentioned Ann Coulter and there was no reaction to what she thought was probably a red meat line. No boos. No hissing. Nothing.
– It’s hard to muster any anger at the former or current government guys (Podesta, some advisor to Biden). They say nothing. At least half a dozen times both Buddha and I began writing a sentence they started, but the ending never came.
– They LOVE using the word “narrative.” It’s not about ideas, it’s about the “narrative.” In other words, the sappy story that gets the people in the cage. Panelist Sara Robinson of the Campaign for America’s Future told the “Kicking [Conservatives] While Their Down” panel, “Conservatives are terrified of [universal of health care] because of how much good government can do. The dominant narrative will be ours.”
Category: C-Word,Dirty Hippies
Written by Lotus on Monday, 1 of June , 2009 at 2:44 am
Buddha Riggs Reporting for Duty!
As part of its continuing effort to bring you the thoughtful and up-to-the-minute political buzz you crave, TheLotusBlog is pleased to launch its coverage of the premier radical-liberal-progressive annual Washington D.C. confab: The America’s Future NOW! Conference (AFNOW!) — formerly known as The Take Back America Conference.
The name of the event was changed after the radical liberal-progressive establishment’s unexpected Taking Back of America.
Props, radical-liberal establishment.
TheLOTUSBlog’s LOTUS and guestblogger Buddha Riggs did a quick site walk-thru and the buzz is, well, non-existant. The bar: empty. The ballroom: dark. The Exhibit Hall: empty tables, well-defended. It’s a shame to see so many security night watchmen guarding the empty space and tables around them; they had better be getting overtime. At least one of them brought a book by Mario Puzo.
On tap for tomorrow: Rev. Jesse Jackson speaks and we assume will lead us in prayer before lunch. Wondering if any of the good and allegedly Reverend’s church parishoners will also be in attendance.
Rainbow/P.U.S.H it: Rainbow/P.U.S.H. it good.
Rainbow/P.U.S.H. it: Rainbow/P.U.S.H. it REAL good!
SWAG Count: 2 buttons from U.S. Steelworkers (“Fight Back America” rectangle and “Keep It Made in America” round); The Little Blue Book of Big Trade Problems from Alliance for American Manufacturers.
Category: C-Word,Dirty Hippies
Written by Lotus on Sunday, 31 of May , 2009 at 10:56 pm
I’m going undercover this week! I checked into the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington D.C. today and it’s a total ghost town compared to the hustle during CPAC. This week the Omni will be the site of the lefty America’s Future NOW! conference, which is sponsored by the Campaign for America’s Future. Unlike past conferences, the 2009 conference doesn’t have any huge speakers. In 2006 and 2007 they had Obama, this year they have David Bonier and Howard Dean.
The conference begins at 10 a.m. on Monday, June 1. Some of the panel titles are pretty funny:
The Economy: OMG!
Kick Them When They’re Down? How the Right Plans to Come Back and What Can Be Done About It [Note: the question mark is a recent addition to the title. I wonder if this was some sort of internal debate.]
A New and Enduring Progressive Majority?
Tackling the Big Money Obstacle to a Progressive Agenda
Big Money and Stray Dogs: Taking On the Folks Who Stand in the Way
Despite boasting up to 3,000 people at past conferences, inside sources tell me that this year’s organizers are only expecting between 550-700 attendees. Progressive grassroots activists on the march!
Check TheLOTUSBlog.com and on Twitter at @CPACnews for updates throughout the conference. LOTUS, JOTUS and Buddha Riggs want to know — are the grassroots greener on the other side?
UPDATE: Buddha Riggs spots Vice President of U.S. Steelworkers in the hotel bar.
Category: C-Word,Dirty Hippies
Written by Lotus on Saturday, 12 of July , 2008 at 9:42 pm
Tony Snow was the closing speaker at this year’s CPAC. Following his speech, he stayed and signed autographs and took pictures with the attendees and volunteers. Later than night I received a voicemail message from him thanking me for the opportunity to speak. Sometimes it can seem a little hollow to hear the talking heads say how nice someone was. But take it from a nobody like me — he really was as nice and gracious as they say.
Click here to watch Tony’s speech at CPAC 2008.
Click here to read the transcript of Tony’s speech at CPAC 2008.
Category: C-Word,Conservatives I Love
Written by Lotus on Monday, 11 of February , 2008 at 5:42 pm