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As we noted in this space last week, Raleigh played host this past Saturday to a “Nullify Now!” event at which people closely tied to powerful groups and individuals within the modern conservative movment touted some pretty radical stuff –e.g. the notion that states have the right to nullify federal laws they don’t like and even secede from the union. Talk about going back to the 60″s…the 1860′s, that is!

 Today’s Weekly Briefing has some more information and thoughts on the event and makes the argument that, as absurdly wacky as the whole thing was, there is probably good reason for caring and thinking people to take these folks seriously and pay closer attention to what they are saying.

Click here to read more.

As Chris Fitzsimon has been pointing out lately, a group calling itself “Nullify Now” will meet at the Raleigh Convention Center tomorrow. The event is, amazingly enough, co-sponsored by Republican U.S. Senate candidate Greg Brannon of Cary. Brannon, of course, is the fellow who recently picked up the endorsement of national Tea Party favorite, Rand Paul.

In addition to Brannon, the nullifier event is also co-sponsored by, among other fun groups, the North Carolina League of the South — a group that calls for secession from the United States, a western NC branch of the certifiable Glenn Beck creation known as the 9-12 Project, something called Dr. Dan’s Freedom Forum (a website apparently founded by an Asheville-area tea partier who has run for congress in the past) and, not surprisingly,  a for-profit gold and silver retailer.

Should be a fun time. We’ll keep our eyes peeled and ears to the ground for any especially inspiring moments (and any new secession resolutions). Stay tuned!

Ted Cruz 2As we noted a few weeks back, the modern American hard right has, under the leadership of Ted Cruz and his ilk, really morphed into a kind of 21st Century anarchist movement. The goal: do whatever it takes to impose the Koch Brothers/Heritage Foundation/NRA vision of a dog-eat-dog, everyone-for-themselves society — even if it means wrecking the economy and wreaking havoc with essential public structures and services.

This is why stories like this one — in which the Associated Press spells out in painful detail the terrible damage inflicted on the country over the last couple of weeks by the Tea Party hostage crisis – are actually seen by many on the far right as a sign that they are winning. Read More

In case you missed it yesterday afternoon, check out this NPR interview with Republican Congressman Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania in which the congressman places the blame for the federal government shut-down squarely on the shoulders of a group of fire-breathers in his own House Republican caucus. Dent, who opooses much of the Affordable Care Act but thinks it folly to shut down government over the matter, says that there would be an overwhelming bipartisan vote to end the shut-down and pass a clean government funding bill if only House Speaker John Boehner would bring such a proposal to the House floor.

in other words, the GOP congressman confirmed the truth of what President Obama has been saying repeatedly: the shut-down has been brought on by a small faction of far right ideologues who are holding the nation hostage.

Not that anyone expects it to tamp down the out-of-control paranoia on the right wing, but new documents released by the I.R.S. offer strong confirmation that the supposed conspiracy to target conservative nonprofits was, in fact, nonexistent. As the New York Times reports this morning:

“The instructions that Internal Revenue Service officials used to look for applicants seeking tax-exempt status with “Tea Party” and “Patriots” in their titles also included groups whose names included the words “Progressive” and “Occupy,” according to I.R.S. documents released Monday.

The documents appeared to back up contentions by I.R.S. officials and some Democrats that the agency did not intend to single out conservative groups for special scrutiny. Instead, the documents say, officials were trying to use “key word” shortcuts to find overtly political organizations — both liberal and conservative — that were after tax favors by saying they were social welfare organizations.”