Blogbash & Bearing the Scarlet “M” at CPAC 2014

Do you know who I am?

Maureen Dowd at CPAC a few years ago

Who  are you with?

Howard Fineman questioning me at the Darthmouth GOP Presidential Debate as I asked a question of Debbie Wasserman Schultz in the spin room.

Old friend Jerry Wilson’s tweet not withstanding

I did in fact attend blogbash, the invitation only event that the National Bloggers Club holds every year at CPAC. Stills thursday 042 and while I was neither nominated nor won any award (although If there is ever a “Best Cannoli at CPACthanks to Dutch Kitchen Bakery I figure it’s a lock)   I was also privileged to be invited to more exclusive Blogbash pre-party which included guests and speakers such as

Senator Rand Paul of KY Stills thursday 040 & Gov Rick Perry of Texas. Stills thursday 043 Although I left early to cover another event (where I scored a huge interview with Bo Snerdley of the Rush Limbaugh show) I was there long enough to notice something interesting.

Watching Governor Perry’s speech during the Blogbash pre-party something struck me that he was acting different than any pol I had seen at CPAC off of the stage.  Take a look at his speech and see if you can spot what it is:

Give up?  He seemed in an incredibly relaxed mood, almost jovial. This was true  even though he was in a room full of people who:

1.  Spend their working days reporting on politicians


2. Were drinking Alcohol from an open bar.


3.  All were carrying Video devices containing instant access to the internet.

Under those circumstances an experienced pol like Governor Perry would naturally be as cautious as a cat in a rocking chair testing floor but he was not.  One might think it was he is a Texan and yesterday was Alamo day, that is not the reason.

In my opinion he was relaxed because he knew every person in that room was a friendly.

This illustrates one of the changes since CPAC that the move to the Gaylord National Harbor has created.

In the old days of CPAC there was “Bloggers Row” a room over the balcony that was exclusively reserved for bloggers, except for special moment when the MSM was allowed in to follow a key candidate.  One of the most glorious moments of CPAC for conservative bloggers  was Maureen Dowd not being allowed in the room that we were over her loud protestations.

As the bloggers in the bloggers lounge were overwhelmingly conservative a potential conservative candidate or member of congress could be escorted in and know he or she was among allies (the few liberals were easily identified).

conservative blogger could score some excellent interviews that a member of the general media never could.  It was one of the few places where bloggers had an incredible advantage over the MSM.

Now consider CPAC 2014.  With a 2nd year under their belt CPAC has settled on a format and a layout as illustrated in this video cut short by my memory card filling up There is no specific bloggers area bloggers nor MSM area Ted Cruz stills Wednesday 002 we are all credentialed as Media together Ted Cruz stills Wednesday 019 This has led to some disadvantages for the MSM. Since they lack the flexibility of bloggers they likely couldn’t come in a day early for credentials as some of us did.  This is why many missed the opening remarks of Ted Cruz while waiting in the incredible line to credentials

On the plus side for the MSM reporters from the New York Times and Al Jazeera English sitting to my left and behind me both had access to the Cannoli I offer giving them a huge thumbs up.

For bloggers it means we of new media are elevated to full equality with the old media.  This is a huge change from just two years ago meaning none of us at CPAC will ever be Howard Finemaned as I was in Dartmouth. But that equality means something else, it also means that we don’t have the same access to members of congress & conservative leaders we once had.

Unless we are personally known to the handlers for Pols we are assumed to be the hostile MSM & treated accordingly. This carries over to interviewing individuals which is my forte or conservative groups in the vendor’s room.  While a few might remember me from the fedora & Dr. Who scarf when they see that scarlet”Media” badge on me the defensive walls go up on the assumption that any member of the media is out to make them or conservative look bad. Membership has its privileges but also it’s responsibility.

It also means that I am less likely to be able to take care of Sissy Willis’ request

The Scarlet “M” is the cost of the equality of bloggers and the MSM,

So today I am trying an experiment so see if I can free myself of it

While I will of course be wearing my Dr. Who scarf and Fedora I am eschewing my normal suit and tie and will instead be wearing a pair of blue pants and a T-Shirt from Blogbash 2012

This will mean that I can be easily identified as a blogger & a “friendly” even if a person doesn’t recognize me.

Will this clear the Scarlet “M” from my soul, we shall find out later today.


Olimometer 2.52

It’s Friday and with only 48 hours to go to the end of my payweek my prospect for securing said pay appear bleak.

Not only am I nearly $250 shy of a full pay but this will put me in a hole for the March Mortgage that will require a really big week to dig me out of later.

So I must come to you fedora in hand saying, if you think the writing provided by My Magnificent Seven and myself is worth it and you find my CPAC coverage & interviews worthwhile please hit DaTipJar for what you can.

You my readers are the difference between the success or the failure of this enterprise I ask you to hit DaTipJar and help me succeed.

Now there is another reason to kick in on a more permanent way

DaGuy low rez copy-psd

Under normal circumstance an event with 10,000 potential subscribers should be a goldmine for my quest to pick up 61 more, however I am not in a position to solicit CPAC attendees in this way. (Though I just got a creative Idea as I’m typing this that I might try today or tomorrow.)

In case my cunning plan fails please consider being a subscriber. 61 subscribers @ at $20 a month are necessary to secure the cost of Da Magnificent Seven and my mortgage meaning each month.

This will not only allow the blog to grow & prosper but will give me the peace of mind each month of knowing that the mortgage will be paid without dipping into the savings reserves that have been depleted though the Obama years.

It’s your call.

Immediately Recognized as Newsworthy: Advantage Hoge

I haven’t written much on the Kimberlin wars lately but there are two posts up that are worthy of note.

Stacy has a very long and detailed post concerning Bill Schmelfeidt while it speaks for itself in Stacy’s classic style there is one part that I find significant:

The advice my editors gave me long ago was simple: “If someone calls you to complain about a story, you should be polite, but the minute they mention ‘libel’ or otherwise threaten legal action, the conversation is over. Give them the name of our lawyers and tell them not to contact the newsroom again, as this is now a legal matter.”

Now, if the person is serious and the lawyers say “correct” or “retract,” you follow their legal advice — that’s what lawyers are for — but in nearly all cases, a threat of a lawsuit is merely that, a threat

Long before the days of WordPress, Blogger or twitter Stacy McCain was a reporter who reported for a living. So when he talks about legal standards on reporting he knows what he is talking about.

I also know that when Stacy smells a story he is a combination of Lt Data who remembers and files every detail for later use and a starving dog with a bone.

In other words if there are facts out there he is going to find them. If the facts favor Mr. Schmelfeidt I suspect Stacy will find that, if not he will find that too.

I’m sure Mr. Schmelfeidt will make his argument and readers can look at the words and evidence presented and come to conclusions.

Let’s be clear, Stacy McCain is a close friend, I flatter myself that Lee Stranahan is a friend, and the list of people who are currently clashing with Mr. Schmelfeidt are all associates of mine to some degree I’m on friendly terms most of them, have met personally many of them and have no reason to mistrust any of what they say.

Now it might surprise a few people that I’ve recently had contact with Mr. Schmelfeidt. At the request of a friend I made a request concerning some work of mine used in a photoshop of a vulgar nature and after a short but cordial exchange of e-mails Bill Schmelfeidt kindly acquiesced to my request.

He had no incentive to agree to my request, my associates and friends are his foes, so in my opinion it was proper to publicly thank him.  That shocked a few people.

What does this mean in terms of the veracity of all that has been written concerning him in the past by all those people I know and trust? Absolutely nothing, it means I made a polite request of Bill Schmelfeidt and he politely agreed.   If it means anything it’s an argument for civil discourse in general and the rewards of same.  I’m a big fan of that.

Politics isn’t beanbag, a lot is at stake.  Sharp elbows are likely to be thrown and on occasion lines are crossed,  that’s to be expected.  Some of these lines are of decorum and proper behavior, some are of legality and copyright and some are of personal safety.

With the instantaneous nature of the internet it is quite easy to cross such lines in anger, and the public nature of the net makes it harder to walk back without with embarrassment or a perception of weakness.

My response to the crossing of said lines varies:

My advice to anyone who crosses lines of proprietary or decorum in such a situation is pretty much the same, walk back and avoid doing so in the future. Remember in terms of morality there is no sin that Christ will not forgive if one asks for forgiveness and repents. As for men the instructions given to Christians are rather explicit about forgiveness.

Personal or family safety lines?   I’m an American of Sicilian ancestry, my advice, walk back REALLY fast and apologize, see the Christ entry above.

As for the lines of legality, those lines are brighter and there are specific procedures and remedies for such things. If someone believes they have been injured they may follow said procedures and let the law handle it.

And that brings us to the second post I saw today. It isn’t as long or as well written as Stacy’s post but it is infinitely more newsworthy.

After a lot of old-fashioned detective work using techniques including some modern signal processing methods, a member of the Vast Hogewash Research Organization has found images of Brett Kimberlin among the stills and videos taken at and around BlogBash in March of this year. There sure are a lot of surveillance cameras in that neighborhood.

Given the threats he is supposed to have made to the venue and other possible threats from a member of Team Kimberlin to individual bloggers who attend BlogBash, the photographs showing he was present at the event will probably be of interest to law enforcement agencies investigating the matter.

The threats concerning Blog Bash (which I attended) was the subject of multiple posts at this blog.

It’s one thing to have disputes on copyright, or images or insults and take down orders. It’s another thing after implied threats to a venue involving a convicted bomber where significant people in the political world were in attendance that might involve law enforcement.

Stacy’s long post and any reply by Bill Schmelfeidt might be more interesting reading and the twitter exchanges that will follow may certainly be more entertaining for the average reader.

But if you are looking for a story that actually has the potential to eventually break into the MSM. I’d bookmark Mr. Hoge’s post for future reference.

The wheels of the law turn slowly but they turn.


Olimometer 2.52

Last week for the first time I remember I made my paycheck EXACTLY.

That’s an interesting factoid but exact or not the fact that I made it is a cause of thanks.

But a new week and on Thursday a new month with a new mortgage begins and my quest for the $305 paycheck continues.

Care to be part of it, hit DaTipJar below


What Blogbash means

Kirk:  Gentlemen, I have no great love for you, your planet, your culture. Despite that, Mr. Spock and I are going to go out there and quite probably die in an attempt to show you that there are some things worth dying for.

Star Trek Errand of Mercy 1967

I want to say one more thing about the Blogbash threats concerning Ali Akbar and the individual bloggers who will be at Blogbash.  First Ali:

There are a lot of ways to make a buck or two as a consultant in DC and outside in politics.  Very few involve bloggers.

You’re not going to get rich or even comfortable catering to bloggers.  They work part-time, or like me scratch out what living we can. While engaged we don’t’ have a long line of people with six and seven-figure bank accounts banging at our door.  If we did we would all be Tucker Carlson with our own startups.

It’s even less likely you’ll make your fortune with Conservative bloggers.  After all they are rarely picked up by mainstream magazines and almost never on the tube and when their stories make the tube, it’s to be attacked and belittled.

Then on top of that you have the Kimberlin Crowd.  Aaron Walker, Stacy McCain, Lee Stranahan and Patterico have all paid a price for opposing them, and if you think it’s just an “internet squabble” ask Aaron Walker’s wife

I’m in an odd place. I’m close to some people who don’t think much of Ali, to them I say this: Put aside any disagreements you have for a sec, isn’t it true it would have been easier for Ali to just ignore all of this Kimberlin stuff and worry about building connections to think tanks and congress-members?

The Kimberlin Crowd did not go after him, he wasn’t a primary target. Instead of worrying about a few bloggers getting grief from the Kimberlin he could have been working to build his brand.  Ignoring that stuff wouldn’t have hurt his bottom line one bit, in fact it might have helped it, every hour not spend dealing with this stuff could be an hour on the phone with a potential campaign or consulting client.

He jumped in anyway.

This week Ali could be all about connections and throwing  a kick-ass-party that’s hard enough.  Instead he has to worry about security and threats against him, the people who work for or with him and every person who attends his event AND try to be about his connections and throwing a kick-ass-party

That’s being Breitbart.

As the bloggers attending. There are people who think Aaron Walker not withstanding, the Kimberlin stuff is a little thing and the threat is small.  Some might pooh pooh it all saying Blogbash is a hell of a party and people want to be there so the minimal risk involved is no big deal for a kick-ass-party, an open bar and free food.

I suspect those people have never been to CPAC before.

Let me tell you something about CPAC, it’s all about networking. The reason a group or individual gets upset about being excluded is the access to thousands of potential supporters.  The young people coming are potential foot soldiers and the older people have the cash.

Every single one of these groups, think tanks and campaigns are looking for attention.  That’s why there are so many parties.

There are events, social and parties everywhere you look, all with people you want to connect with or meet.  It takes a real effort to avoid the social and the parties with movers and shakers particularly if you can be the source of anything resembling coverage to their causes.  If you are a writer of any sort these guys want you there to write about them and remember this year the MSM & bloggers have the same credentials so bloggers will have even more access than before.

You’ll find more parties, more free booze and more free food than you can shake a fork at and while blogbash has specific things going for it.  Every single other event, big and small has one huge advantage over it:

None of the others are drawing attention of a convicted Bomber who has actively blown up people nor are facing a Muslim protest including “a powerful Iman to stir up the crowd”.

For those who have forgotten such potential caused Comedy Central to censor one of their most popular shows and is the reason why for the last three years Cartoonist Molly Norris remains in hiding in her own country under an assumed name.

Don’t think for one second that every single person with an invite to Blogbash isn’t aware of this.

People might say the risk is small, to them I say two things:

1. There are plenty of fun alternatives available in DC where the risk of zero.

2. The risk always seems a lot smaller when you’re not the one taking it.

If you are a blogger going to Blogbash, you’re not just going to a CPAC party, you’re making a statement, and that statement is “I will not submit!”

That’s all.


Kimberlim, Islam, Blogbash? Bring it on!

“I love it, God help me I love it so”

Patton 1970

Smitty: So many times every day you stop and give thanks, but mostly I don’t catch on what you’re thanking the Lord for. I mean, there’s nothing special.
Parson: I give thanks for the time and for the place.
Smitty: The time and the place, Parson?
Parson: The time to live and the place to die. That’s all any man gets. No more, no less.

The Alamo 1960

Looking at Stacy McCain’s latest on Blog Bash, everybody’s favorite Domestic terrorist convicted Bomber seems to be taking an active role in attempting to intimidate the potential attendees to Blogbash .

While you ponder that assertion of prescient knowledge, look at what “Texas Tim” wrote on Thursday morning:

“So here are a few suggestions: call [the venue] and tell them about Ali and about who BlogBash has nominated for awards. . . .
“Call Muslim organizations and urge them to weigh in by calling [the venue] and joining the protest at annd boycott of [the venue]. . . .
“Let’s put [the venue] of business for hosting anti-American Islamophobes, felons, pimps and pornographers. . . . [The venue’s] assault on women and Islam will not be tolerated.”

Well, this is fascinating, isn’t it? On the same two days that the BlogBash venue is contacted by Rauhauser and Kimberlin, “Texas Tim” first predicts Muslim groups will contact the venue, and then urges readers to encourage such groups to contact the venue. And the threat to put a certain nightclub “out of business” is the exact same language used by Brett Kimberlin in his phone call to the venue manager.

Hmmmm meanwhile Lee Stranahan writes the following:

This started weeks ago, however. BreitbartUnmasked writer “Texas Tim”–a fake persona and probably Brett Kimberlin himself made the threat about ‘a throng of Muslims’ back on February 25th.

Oh and BTW, my wife said that a throng of Muslims is going to do a massive protest at CPAC against Walker. She is going to make sure that everyone of them has your picture so they can tell you what they think of you support a virulent Islamophobe. And a very powerful Imam will be there two to stir up the crowd. Good luck with all of that.

I have to admit it, seeing this makes me grin from ear to ear.

“But DaTechGuy”, you might ask, “What the hell are you thinking? At best this means a major protest against you and your friends during Blogbash, at worst it dangerous, a combination of Islamic extremists and a Bomber who has already blown people up.  If it happens you’re going to be there to be blown up!”

Well yes, that’s a possibility but dear reader you are forgetting several things:

1. Eyes on the Prize


There have been quite a few people for quite a long time trying to achieve this goal that Andrew called for.

The action against a public building in the nation’s capital attended by hundreds of not only bloggers and writers, but movers and shakers at the Nation’s Capital tends to be noticed.  A public attempt to intimidate them is the perfect vehicle to not only expose these guys to the public, but perhaps expose those who might be financing their move or using them as muscle.

It will be fun to find out.

2. CPAC,  Norquist & Islam

As I’ve already written Pam Geller has been kept from holding her event at CPAC and Robert Spencer has refused the People’s Choice Award over restrictions on speech over the subject.

Now you have a CPAC related event with the presence of a large chunk of CPAC accredited press (this year there is no differential between bloggers and MSM in credentialing) being threatened by a convicted Bomber who is apparently associating with a “very powerful Imam”

I suspect at least a few of those 500+ bloggers with their flip phones might find the chance to ask some of the assembled GOP powerhouses at CPAC 2013 about this, and I daresay that their answers might make news. In fact unless I’m very much mistaken J. Christian Adams and Former Congressman Allen West are both going to be at CPAC, Congressman West will be speaking, and they have been signed on as commentators for PJ Media. Perhaps they might even ask the questions themselves

I would be shocked if one of those 500 bloggers did NOT find the time to ask the question to CPAC in general and Grover Norquist in particular about the threats to blogbash and the association between them an a “powerful Iman to stir up the crowd”. It would be rather delicious if Col West asked a question like:

“Mr Norquist given the exclusion of certain Anti-Jihad bloggers/writers to you have any comment to make on the attempts to reports of attempts to intimidate the Blogbash event by muslims led by a “powerful Iman to stir up the crowd” in association with Convicted Speedway Bomber Brett Kimberlin and how do you reconcile this with your previous cries of Islamophobia?”

“Mr Norquist will you condemn the attempts of convicted Speedway Bomber Brett Kimberlin and his associates to intimidate credentialed journalists of CPAC at their event and will you urge Muslims including the aforementioned “powerful Iman” to not associate in any way with any attempt to intimidate said credentialed CPAC journalists?

I’d love to hear the answer to those questions.  Wouldn’t you?

3. Remember Denver

Let’s say an Islamic Group led by a “powerful Iman to stir up the crowd” shows up outside the Venue of Blogbash. What do you think will happen? Well a clue can be drawn from Denver when the Occupods attempted to storm one of our events and marched on our hotel.

Cameras, Cameras Cameras and questions questions questions.

An Islamic group led by a “powerful Iman to stir up the crowd” is what people in our business refer to as “News” and you have 500 bloggers with recording devices. Unless this Iman has a crowd of 100 or more this protest is going to be absolutely swamped and outnumbers with blogger with recording devices all over them asking questions and shouting back. This isn’t Egypt, These guys don’t have the police or the Army to beat us into line. This isn’t Dearborn where an Islamic mob felt safe to stone Christians. Unless the rent a mob (and lets not pretend these guys will NOT be using rent a mobs to swell their numbers) is huge they are going to find a situations not to their liking and I suspect police will take notice of such a mob, without a permit doing such a thing

4. Can’t wait to ask the questions.

Let’s say an Islamic mob does show up with a “powerful Iman to stir up the crowd” chanting whatever they want to chant and lets say only a couple of bloggers leave the party to film them.  The interviews will be delicious.

“You are claiming the bloggers here are islamophobic, given the association of the convicted speedway bomber Brett Kimberlin and his associates with this protest how does that dovetail with your claims of Peaceful Islam?

“The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community claims Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is the Mujaddid are they Apostates or Kafir (non believers)?”

“Death to Apostates from Islam”  “Thumbs up or thumbs down?”

I have several more questions in the bank that I won’t play in public now but I think the answers to these questions will be illuminating and I simply can’t wait to ask the “Powerful Iman” about his contacts with the Kimberlin Crowd, I’m sure the association with a convicted Bomber is just the image American Muslims are dying to have publicized.

5.  Be Breitbart

Think for a moment.  Imagine if Andrew Breitbart was alive and these threats were going on, what would he be doing?  imagine further that this event takes place and with Kimberlin’s lackeys filming (which you know they will) a Muslim crowd led by a “powerful Iman to stir up the crowd” turns up.

What do you think Andrew would do?  How do you think Andrew would do it?

Now imagine that you had 500 people who all admire and miss Andrew Breitbart, who all want to “be Breitbart”

This event, this provocation and this attempt to bully is precisely the opportunity for people to step up, to create a visible leader or maybe several of them.

as Andrew would say:  BRING IT ON!

6.  It’s News

As people who have seen me at prior Blog Bashes know I invariably grab some food, park myself close to an electrical outlet, take out my Laptop and spend my time at the party working.  (with the occasional Pinball break if a machine is nearby)  It’s my understanding that this year due to space concerns, Laptops are not allowed.

Parties are nice and it’s always a pleasure to see friends but I’m going to see those friends in the media area and open bars not withstanding I’m not a drinker (Personally I question the wisdom of drinking in a room full of folks carrying video phones with instant internet access).

My entire take home pay is whatever my readers send me weekly, my goal is $300 a week.  The people who give those $2 $10 $20 or occasional $100 as my paycheck expect me to earn that money.  Hotel and Air going to CPAC will cost me $862.72 and that doesn’t count cabs, food or any other expenses.  If I’m going to spend that money to go to CPAC , it’s to cover news, if I see friends and occasionally relax after hours, fine, but if I’m there it’s to WORK.

Looking at the events I’ve descried above I,  to steal a line from R.S. McCain “Immediately recognized them as Newsworthy”

Given that I’m there to cover stories, It’s very nice of the Kimberlin crowd and their Islamic friends to provide me with one and the opportunity to do up close and personal.

Hey my wife’s 50th birthday and my 25th anniversary are both coming up in the next 30 days If I’m going to spend $1000 dollars on something other than her it damn well better be worth it.

“But DaTechGuy”, you insist, “What good is any of that if you get blown up?”

Well, I’m Catholic, I figure you’ve got to die of something, I’ve got life insurance for the family and I always get confession and absolution before I get on a plane.  What more does a person need?

Update:  Fixed a few typos

March Goal

Olimometer 2.52

My thanks to all who kicked in to provide me a full paycheck this week and advanced me well on the way to the monthly goal for March.  Because of this  tomorrow’s posts will be completely free of any fundraising pitch.

….or Maybe the Marine Barracks in Beirut

In my last post I suggested the Kimberlin crowd was trying to create another Molly Norris perhaps instead they have another key event they want to copy

The venue received a call from a man yesterday. Guess what his name is? “Neal.”

He called to gather information about Blog Bash, knowing that all of us will be in one room for the first time ever. He tried scaring them. This is harassment and nothing short of a threat.

So they’re calling Blog Bash, normally a venue would not get over worried about a bunch of left wing stooges making a fuss. Perhaps Ali is just over-reacting, well lets tell the same story with a slightly different perspective:

Guests and sponsors of the fourth annual “Blog Bash” have been harassed by associates of convicted bomber Brett Kimberlin, the event’s organizer said Thursday.

and let not forget one important fact about said convicted bomber

In 1981, Kimberlin was sentenced to 50 years in federal prison for his crimes,

I submit and suggest that an event where “all of us will be in one room for the first time” drawing the interest of associates of a convicted Bomber is something of significance.

I think this is a huge mistake on their part, if you try to go after the odd blogger here and there online it’s pretty easy to convince a judge that it’s just some internet squabble.

However when you are harassing the organizers and venue of an event that draws significant guests from the political world and said event is held at a DC venue with some gravitas that’s a different story. Said venues tend to have security staffs, lawyers and resources that they can draw on and are not likely to let something like this just go.

Quick CPAC update

Day 1 of CPAC was full of activity but also full of issues as the wi-fi was iffy all day.

Marco Rubio brought the house down with a roaring speech that was well received. Rubio noted that many who live under poverty and oppression look at America and realize that there are people there who had come from the same background as they did gives them hope.

Michelle Bachmann also spoke, she deserved better luck in her campaign

Rick Perry also visited the bloggers lounge, it was the first time I met him and it was rather amazing that this poised and confident man in person just didn’t play on the air

And of course there are friends who stopped on by:

Dianna Peterson and Andrew Breitbart

Drawing three Aces, Stranahan Attila and Darby

O’Keefe & Co at Blogbash

Pam Geller

Nice Deb and Michelle Lancaster? It’s good to be da blogger

At least one game show host speaks the conservative LINGO

Weigel is a man of the left but he doesn’t look his nose down on his fellow bloggers

And if that doesn’t end all it turns out there is a separate pro-life/catholic convention here as well. I interviewed two priests when I returned from Blogbash

I have more video and photos than I have time to get them up and
I am already frankly overtired so tonight I absolutely need to make it to Smitty’s tonight so I am prepared to do the show live tomorrow morning.