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As residents of New Orleans were fleeing Hurricane Gustav, top Republican party officials donned pink boas and swigged vodka shots at a wild whirl of corporate and lobbyist-paid parties this weekend in Minneapolis-St. Paul. Many corporate sponsors and their lobbyists carried through with plans for lavish entertainment of GOP lawmakers and others despite calls from the campaign of Sen. John McCain that Republicans should tone down the convention festivities.
“We will be contacting corporations and others to ask them to be respectful of events in the gulf,” McCain campaign manager Rick Davis said Sunday afternoon.
Yet, last night lobbyists for the National Rifle Association, Lockheed Martin and the American Trucking Association put on a raucus six-hour party at a downtown bar featuring music by the band “Hookers and Blow.” There was no evidence of any actual prostitutes or cocaine. Congressman Bill Shuster (R-PA), a GOP House deputy whip, was seen meeting with a group of lobbyists who bemoaned McCain’s call to tone down the parties which had already been paid for.
Here’s a link to a full ABC TV report on last night’s convention partying.
And make sure to check out the MySpace page for Hookers and Blow, a cover band that performs “Music from a more permissive era,” and that sounds as “If Aretha Franklin and Serge Gainsbourgh [sic] had a love child” (making it especially suitable for this year’s convention).
The band’s influences include Desmond Dekker, Mr. Furley, Shuggie Otis, Hendrix, Bowie, Peter Tork, the Beatles, Toots & Maytals, and Curtis Mayfield. “Check back soon for blogs, pics, t-shirts for sale and downloadable candy for the kids!” says the band’s website.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Commentary — November 17, 2015, 6:41 pm
The Clintons’ so-called charitable enterprise has served as a vehicle to launder money and to enrich family friends.
i. stand with israel
I listen to a lot of conservative talk radio. Confident masculine voices telling me the enemy is everywhere and victory is near — I often find it affirming: there’s a reason I don’t think that way. Last spring, many right-wing commentators made much of a Bloomberg poll that asked Americans, “Are you more sympathetic to Netanyahu or Obama?” Republicans picked the Israeli prime minister over their own president, 67 to 16 percent. There was a lot of affected shock that things had come to this. Rush Limbaugh said of Netanyahu that he wished “we had this kind of forceful moral, ethical clarity leading our own country”; Mark Levin described him as “the leader of the free world.” For a few days there I yelled quite a bit in my car.
The one conservative radio show I do find myself enjoying is hosted by Dennis Prager. At the Thanksgiving dinner of American radio personalities (Limbaugh is your jittery brother-in-law, Michael Savage is your racist uncle, Hugh Hewitt is Hugh Hewitt) Dennis Prager is the turkey-carving patriarch trying to keep the conversation moderately high-minded. While Prager obviously doesn’t like liberals — “The gaps between the left and right on almost every issue that matters are in fact unbridgeable,” he has said — he often invites them onto his show for debate, which is rare among right-wing hosts. Yet his gently exasperated take on the Obama–Netanyahu matchup was among the least charitable: “Those who do not confront evil resent those who do.”
Pairs of moose-dung earrings sold each year at Grizzly’s Gifts in Anchorage, Alaska:
An Alaskan brown bear was reported to have scratched its face with barnacled rocks, making it the first bear seen using tools since 1972, when a Svalbardian polar bear is alleged to have clubbed a seal in the head with a block of ice.
A former prison in Philadelphia that has served as a horror-movie set was being prepared as a detention center for protesters arrested at the upcoming Democratic National Convention, and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump fired his campaign manager.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”