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Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) attends the Faith and Freedom Coalition Road to Majority Conference in Washington, June 14, 2013. REUTERS/Mary F. Calvert (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS RELIGION) - RTX10NOQ
Rep. Paul Ryan, seen here telling the crowd why good Jesus-based values demand we cut Food Stamps and meal assistance for seniors yet again because those kids and old people will probably just trade that food for abortions or something. Probably.
The most interesting thing about Ralph Reed's Faith & Freedom Forum being held this week is that it exists at all. Ralph Reed, for those precious few of you who do not remember recent political history, is a crook. He is a political scammer who worked with Jack Abramoff in a swindle of Native American tribes and conservative Christians alike, a scam that went to the heart of the conservative movement but in which every last person save Abramoff himself has undergone a magical conversion back into respectability based essentially on the same scam as they started out with, which is duping Good Christian People out of their money.

So to have Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Allen West, Ron Johnson, Rick Santorum, Gohmert-Perry-Bachman-Palin-Cain-and-everyone-else-who-is-anyone in far-right conservatism eagerly climb aboard the good ship Ralph Reed for his latest little shindig should tell you all you need to know about the sincerity of the whole movement. He's a lobbyist who got caught in a money laundering scandal, and he was back lobbying and collecting checks in no time flat because, bluntly, all the conservatives currently surrounding him were just fine with that. Just don't get caught again, Ralph, and everyone will go along with the political scammer running a supposed morality-based movement. Everyone involved is exactly that shallow.

All right, so let's do this thing. Here's a brief roundup of the stuff that the very important people saw fit to get up in front of a microphone and preach about to a group of moral scolds led by scammers and crooks—the conservative Mob, dressed up nice and pretty. Below the fold lie the details:

  • Paul Ryan is all about riling the churchfolk against Obamacare. “Obamacare says that if you believe in the social teaching of your church, if you disagree with abortifacients — with abortion inducing drugs — it doesn’t matter. You, if you’re a church or a charity or a hospital, you have to buy health insurance that offers your employees these things that are in contradiction to your beliefs. This is what the federal government is demanding.” Well, he's lying about the church part, since they've been granted special godbothering exception, and we've already been through the bit about how yes, you don't get to decide what religion your secular employees will adhere to because we are not the goddamn Taliban, at least not yet. I don't believe for a moment that Paul Ryan cares about the religious implications of Obamacare, but I do believe he cares about riling the rubes into giving him money, which is what this entire little exercise is about.
  • Allen West urged the audience to go to black D.C. neighborhoods so they could see how "progressive socialism and policies that have broken down the family" have turned it into a hellhole. As usual, Allen West has dedicated himself to not making any sense at all, so we will just leave that there and back away slowly.
  • Macro Rubio was there to let folks know that it's perfectly reasonable to fire people for being gay and that he's against any attempts to stop it. Sen. Ron Johnson agrees.
  • Rick Santorum was there to say … oh, who the hell cares. What's that? I have to care? Sigh, fine. Ol' Froth'n'Spit was ticked at Mitt Romney and the GOP for not paying enough attention to "a single janitor, waitress or person who worked" in the companies the GOP propped up as American success stories. Don't recall Rick Santorum doing that either, primarily because his own campaign was focused exclusively on telling people how moral Rick Santorum was and how the entire nation should be like Rick. In other news about Republican morality, fellow sortof-candidate Fred Karger just filed a complaint with the FEC alleging that the Santorum campaign paid $1 million to get the endorsement of prominent moralizing jackass Bob Vander Plaats, so that should be fun to watch.
  • Jeb Bush praised immigrants for being "more fertile" than native-born Americans. Yes, that happened. If I have to live with knowing that happened, so do you.
  • Young America's Foundation president Kate Obenshein opined that "college campuses are indoctrination camps for the abortion industry." That is a fascinating opinion and in no way the bizarre rantings of a fevered mind.
  • Michele Bachmann says that it isn't "prudent" to move forward with better treatment for undocumented immigrants because the "average illegal alien" is uneducated and we'll have to spend taxes on them and the people who "will suffer the most" from treating them better are "Hispanics and African Americans who already suffer very high levels of unemployment." You know, your standard Jesus stuff.
  • Donald Trump is one of the speakers. No, you can't make me care about what Donald Trump has to say to a room full of holier-than-thou types, but this is the sort of "faith-based" conference that attracts people like Donald Freaking Trump. Savor that, you Republican bastards.

So there's your lineup of crooks led by crooks trying to figure out how to best pry money out of the American pocket to give to other crooks. I'm sure there will be more coming, since the ambitious types always use these faith-based conferences to try to outdo each other. Lots of scenery-chewing at these things.

Originally posted to Hunter on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 02:23 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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