Industry-Funded CPAC Panelists: Climate Change A 'Silly' 'Scam,' 'Modern Witchcraft'

The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) this morning hosted a panel titled, “What’s The Deal With Global Warming?,” the answer to which was apparently that it’s a “silly debate,” a “scam” and “modern witchcraft.”

The panel was moderated by Joseph Bast of the Heartland Institute, a leading climate-change denial group funded in large part by major corporations, and included Steve Milloy, a longtime climate change denier who is now working for the coal company Murray Energy; Marc Morano of the oil-industry funded Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, a Heartland Institute “expert” and former a staffer for climate skeptic Sen. Jim Inhofe; Marlo Lewis of the anti-regulation Competitive Enterprise Institute; George Landrith of Fronteirs of Freedom, another oil-industry funded climate change denial group; and for “balance,” Shannon Smith, who runs an energy efficiency financing group.

Throughout the hour-long discussion, the panelists were cracking each other up with jabs at climate science.

One of the biggest laugh lines came from Morano, who mocked Rep. Barbara Lee’s warning that the effects of climate change in the developing world could force women into poverty and prostitution. “So now, everyone in the audience worried that your mom’s sister or daughter is going to become a hooker, had better start to get behind a carbon tax or cap and trade,” he joked.

He then made fun of a UN report that many African countries will be especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change. “They’re now saying because of weird weather in Africa and other places, families are desperate and so their daughters are turning to prostitution,” he said. “They’re trying everything and anything.”

Later in the talk, Morano called the idea that climate change makes storms more severe “modern witchcraft.”

Milloy for his part insisted that this “is really sort of a silly discussion,” adding, “I reject the notion that we need to cut back on fossil fuels because we’re worried about the weather possibly being inclement in 30 years or 40 years.”

The panelists also presented various conspiracy theories about U.S. policies meant to combat climate change.

Lewis said that state renewable portfolio standards reminded him of Stalinist production quotas, while Milloy claimed that the climate change “scam” is the “perfect vehicle” for progressives to gain “control of our lives.”

Landrith then chimed in with a bizarre comparison of environmental regulations to allied bombings of German cities in World War II: “If you want to bring the other side to its knees, you bomb their ball bearing factories, you bomb their refineries, okay? If you want to get control of the economy, then you regulate such things.”

Michael Medved At CPAC: States Have Never Banned Gay Marriage, 'That's A Liberal Lie!'

Right-wing talk show host Michael Medved told a CPAC panel sponsored by Focus on the Family today that same-sex marriage has never been banned. While debating the issue of marriage equality with Alexander McCobin of Students for Liberty, Medved claimed, “There’s never been a state in this country that has ever banned gay marriage, that’s a liberal lie.”

Medved seemed to be citing the Religious Right talking point that marriage bans aren’t discriminatory since a gay person could marry someone of the opposite sex, which is the same arguments once made by opponents of the legalization of interracial marriage.

The Most Persecuted Man Of All: Rick Santorum

Billionaire Foster Friess, the conservative mega-donor who propped up Rick Santorum’s presidential campaign and suggested that women put aspirin between their knees as a form of contraception, introduced Rick Santorum at CPAC today, where he said that the former Pennsylvania senator was the most persecuted man there: “If any of us in this room has received more persecution than Rick Santorum, I don’t know who you are. This guy just knows what he believes, knows his heart and is willing to take the grief that people throw at him.”

Paranoia-Rama: CPAC Edition

RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.

This week, here at Right Wing Watch we have been monitoring the Conservative Political Action Conference, the American Conservative Union’s annual summit that has been packed with typical right-wing blustering over taxesBenghazi, Ronald Reagan, not to mention plenty of good old fashioned anti-government conspiracy theories:

5) Wayne LaPierre’s American Nightmare

NRA head Wayne LaPierre told CPAC attendees yesterday that “political and media elites” have conspired against gun owners and conservatives in general, working to “punish anyone who disagrees.”

“The media's intentional corruption of the truth is an abomination and NRA members will never, and I mean never, submit or surrender to the national media,” he said.

Even though crime rates have been falling steadily since the 1990s, LaPierre described his dark vision of an America in which happy and peaceful neighborhoods have been transformed into places of violence and death filled with “knockout-gamers.”

4) IRS Just As Bad As Deposed Leader Of Ukraine

Plenty of CPAC speakers have mentioned the crisis in Ukraine as a supposed failure of President Obama, but Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch went as far as comparing the Obama administration to the government of overthrown Ukrainian president and Putin ally Viktor Yanukovych.

Andy Kroll of Mother Jones reports that Fitton told attendees of CPAC’s “IRS Targeting Scandal: Protecting the Voice of the People” panel that Obama’s IRS, which has been falsely accused of targeting conservative groups, is operating much like how the Yanukovych government violently suppressed anti-government protesters: “People are dying in the streets in Ukraine. People being oppressed by the political regime. That's what the IRS was doing.”

3) Trump’s Immigration Solutions

Donald Trump seems to think Jimmy Carter is dead, and that the US may die too if Congress passes immigration reform. The real estate mogul told CPAC yesterday that immigration reform would mean that America would no longer exist, as immigrants flood into the country, destroy the GOP and “take your job.”

2) Muslim Brotherhood Infiltration of CPAC

Anti-Muslim activist Frank Gaffney hosted an alternative CPAC event yesterday, prompted in part by worries that the right-wing gathering has been infiltrated by the Muslim Brotherhood through Republican activists such as Grover Norquist and Suhail Khan. Gaffney joined other conservatives in denouncing Norquist and Khan as Muslim Brotherhood agents who are advancing “civilization jihad” and undermining America.

Diana West yesterday took to WorldNetDaily to warn CPAC that Norquist and Khan are “a pair of influential men with track records of working with America’s enemies – Islamic organizations the U.S. government has linked to the Muslim Brotherhood and larger world of jihad.” She claimed that they are allied with those who hope “to destroy the United States and transform what is left into an Islamic-ruled land,” and pushed the Muslim Brotherhood “straight into the inner sanctum of the Bush White House.”

1) President Obama Is George Wallace

When the Justice Department challenged Louisiana’s voucher scheme over evidence that the program would resegregate the state’s schools, conservatives were unsurprisingly outraged. At CPAC today, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Religious Right leader Ralph Reed likened President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder to segregationist Alabama governor George Wallace.

D'Souza: Obama Is Coming For Your Couches, Cars

Dinesh D’Souza came to CPAC today to promote his new movie, “America,” and explain how President Obama is implementing an anti-American, anti-capitalist agenda.

D’Souza told the conservative conference that Obama believes “the free market system is based on theft” and seemed to be under the impression that Obama came up with the entire system of taxation: “Think about this, it’s almost like here you are at home, you’re watching TV, and a bunch of government guys show up at your door and they start taking your furniture and taking your car and you’re like, ‘What are you doing?’ They’re like, ‘You know your paycheck that you got last month? You didn’t earn that, you stole it, it doesn’t really belong to you.’ This is what, in a sense, we are up against.”

Staver: Dalai Lama Visit, Hindu Prayer Breakfast Speaker Show Obama's 'Insensitivity To Christianity'

In an interview on VCY America's Crosstalk yesterday, Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver criticized President Obama for being “very pro-homosexual” and “pro-Muslim,” and “doing more harm to our foundational, fundamental values than any president in American history.”

Asked by host Jim Schneider about the “really troubling” decision to invite the Dalai Lama to give an opening prayer at the Senate yesterday, Staver responded that the Dalai Lama's presence in the Senate and the choice of Rajiv Shah, a Hindu USAID official, to deliver an address at the National Prayer breakfast showed the president’s “insensitivity to Christianity.”

Staver criticized new IRS rules that allow legally married same-sex couples to jointly file federal tax returns and "pro-Muslim" EEOC guidelines for allowing religious dress in the workplace, which is ironic since Staver purports to represent a "religious liberty" group.

Schneider: We’ve received from the IRS, they issued a video clip that they posted on YouTube giving instructions to those that are so-called same-sex marriage partners, telling them that if they’re marriage took place in a state or country that recognizes so-called same-sex marriage, that they may claim married filing jointly on their return. The IRS is just going full-bore on this regard.

Staver: Well, it is the IRS going full bore. This is the administration focusing on things that are unnecessary and hurtful, rather than focusing on the job that they’re supposed to do.

This is the IRS that has been targeting conservative organizations and Tea Party groups, pro-Israel and pro-family organizations. This is the IRS that refuses to present testimony before Congress. And this is the IRS that now has the proposed rules to silence 501(c)4 organizations, which are going to primarily hurt conservative organizations.

And now, instead of focusing on what they should do, they’re promoting the so-called lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and whatever else of the alphabet you want to add to that, agenda. This is a very pro-homosexual administration, from President Obama right down to all the people that work underneath him. Not only here in America, but they’re pushing this agenda around the world as well. It is a very damaging agenda. This president is doing more harm to our foundational, fundamental values than any president in American history.

Schneider: Two more issues that have happened today, Matt. Today, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the EEOC, issued a very comprehensive statement on religious garb and grooming in the workplace, rights and responsibilities. What’s behind this?

Staver: Well, what’s behind it, obviously, is the president’s pro-Muslim position. And obviously, when you look at the examples, there are examples for all different kinds of religions, and particularly Muslim religions, but I really don’t see much mention at all of Christianity. This is as though Christianity doesn’t exist.

They then moved on to the Dalai Lama’s visit and the Hindu speaker at the National Prayer Breakfast, which Staver said illustrated the president’s “insensitivity to Christianity.”

Schneider: CNSNews.com is reporting that this very morning, the Dalai Lama delivered the opening prayer at the United States Senate, encouraging prayer to Buddha and all other gods. Just really troubling. We’re not a country that’s founded on ‘all other gods,’ are we?

Staver: No, and in fact if you go back to the National Prayer Breakfast just a few weeks ago in Washington, DC, after Ben Carson spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast a year ago, President Obama for six months or so threatened to not return. And unfortunately, some of the leaders, not wanting to have the first president of the Unites States not attend, ultimately caved in to his pressure, and he’s the one, we are told, that selected the person to speak. The person to speak, now, for the very first time in the National Prayer Breakfast history was not a Christian, but I believe was Hindu, and didn’t mention anything about Christianity or God. This was someone who was picked by Obama, and under those circumstances, Obama would have now agreed to come. I would have said, then go ahead and be the first president. It would certainly show some of your insensitivity to Christianity that you’ve been showing ever since you were inaugurated.

Ralph Reed Likens Obama To George Wallace: 'Let Those Children Go!'

Speaking at CPAC, today, Ralph Reed defended Louisiana’s constitutionally dubious voucher program -- which the Department of Justice warned was resegregating schools -- by comparing President Obama to notorious segregationist George Wallace.

The Faith and Freedom Coalition head told CPAC today that Obama was harming black children and lifted from the spiritual “Go Down, Moses,” to tell Obama: “Let those children go!

Reed also chastised “left-wing bullies” for defeating Arizona’s right-to-discriminate bill and completely misrepresented the Little Sisters of the Poor case.

Reed, who has been embroiled in an ethics scandal over conning Native American casinos, also demanded that Attorney General Eric Holder face impeachment for his pro-marriage equality stance.

Oliver North: GOP Must Oppose Marriage Equality Like It Fought Slavery

In an appearance at CPAC today, Oliver North denounced President Obama for treating military service members like “laboratory rats in some radical social experiment” and “apologizing” for America. North insisted that the US “has nothing ever to apologize for, not once” in its entire history.

Later, North said that the GOP must remain firm in working to ban marriage equality and abortion rights just as abolitionists fought to end slavery, warning that “if we as conservatives cease to be a place where people of faith and those who believe in strong moral values can come, we will cease to be a political force in America.”

Huckabee: Deep In Their Hearts, Most Americans Know God Created This Nation

Mike Huckabee was only given ten minutes to speak at CPAC today, so he wanted to get right into talking about "the things that I know," foremost of which is that God created the United States and if the nation does not repent, it'll deserve to be destroyed just like Sodom and Gomorrah.

"If this nation forgets our God," Huckabee warned, "then God will have every right to forget us."

"There is no other way to explain our history," he continued, "other than by His hand of providence," adding that deep down in our hearts, most Americans know this to be true:

Inhofe: Democrats Want To Eliminate The Military

Speaking with Family Research Council president Tony Perkins on Washington Watch yesterday, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) explained that the recently unveiled Pentagon budget “has the effect of killing our young Americans in combat.”

He said President Obama is to blame for spending cuts because he probably doesn’t want to have a military anyway: “A real liberal in his heart doesn’t think you need a military anyway, I know people that would never admit that, but people I have served with here in the United States Senate, that’s the crisis we’re up against.”

A leading climate change denialist, Inhofe also took issue with spending on environmental projects.

“We really need global warming right now; we’re setting all kinds of records out in Oklahoma,” Inhofe joked, before arguing that federal funds “wasted on the global warming stuff” should have gone towards the military instead.

Perkins responded by arguing that President Obama and other Democrats “despise the military” because they support policies that have allowed gays and lesbians to serve openly.

“If you think back, the president set his sights on the military from the very beginning, pushing the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, which was the beginning of the end of the military,” Perkins said.

He then repeated the false claim that end of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is responsible for an increase in sexual assaults.

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