February 9, 2012. Washington. DC – CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference)
Off and running EARLY. It was 7:00AM (and for a “late-riser” I was doing good ) as I headed for the bloggers check-in area to get any last minute info I may need for the day (including the very necessary wire-less code) and then I headed to a favorite, the Exhibit Hall.
They were still setting things up and many of the exhibitors were upstairs waiting for the opening-speakers in the Main Ball Room, but still took loads of pictures that will be posted after the reports on the panels.
OUTSIDE the Ball Room, the crowds of CPAC attendees were registering, getting ready for three days of non-stop activity. (Noticed some added restrictions posted, rules of conduct etc most likely prompted by the #OWS renegades planning to crash the event)
The first two panels, I just took notes and pictures … not sure why… they were both very interesting. Great way to start the day.
“Return of Big Labor: What Can We Learn from Wisconsin and Ohio?”
Senior Fellow F. Vincent Vernuccio, Labor Policy Counsel, Competitive Enterprise Institute; Steven Malanga, Senior Editor, City Journal, Manhattan Institute; Moderator: Terry Scanlon, President, Capital Research Center; Kevin Mooney, Capitol Bureau Reporter, Pelican Institute for Public Policy (L to R in photo)
“One reason the unions are opposed to us is “Right To Work”.
Not anti-union to support “Right To work”
In Wisconsin, Governor Walkers’ Bill. no mandate. $31 million saved.
Teachers lost nothing. And a reduction in property taxes
Freedom. Less government. Workers have a choice
Shameful that Wisconsin and Indiana Democrat Legislators refused to do their jobs (by hiding)
California pensions system is broken (300 billion)
California had Big Labor Pension Reform
It was retroactively rolled-back when Grey Davis elected.
All the money that had been saved was retroactively put back in to the system.
Only 3% union $ goes to represent union members.
Many union members vote Republican but union $ goes to support politics (and it’s NOT Republican)
What happened to representing The Workers?
Union dues down by 50%. Pension Plans under-funded.
Left always goes emotional when fighting reform:
“Bill will kill babies”
“Schools will blow-up”
Our side needs to get our message together (and funding) to break up these bills.
Citizens need to know what’s IN bills ( fiscal reality)”
“From Fidel to Chavez: How Do We Stop the Resurgence of Socialism in Latin America”
[The Honorable Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), United States Representative did not attend]
The Honorable David Rivera (R-FL), United States Representative ; The Honorable Otto Reich, President, Otto Reich Associates, LLC, Former Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Former United States Ambassador to Venezuela
Moderator: Mauricio Claver-Carone, Executive Director, Cuba Democracy Public Advocacy
David Rivera spoke first.
“Dictatorial regimes in Latin America.
Cuba. Chavez . Ecuador. Nicaragua
Anti-America rhetoric from demagogues
Free-Trade. We want equal partnership. NAFTA
In Latin America often confronted by burdensome process
Reform Consular process
Support NGOs, sports, educate; bridge the ant-American message”
On the spread of Socialism
Otto Reich : Latin America is not European Socialism. It has failed.
Greece has failed . It is not the Castro-Chavez Marxist-Socialism
In our own interest (U.S.) a peaceful, prosperous FREE Hemisphere
Latin America’s anti-imperialist economic project, ALBA (21st c Socialism) is not free, not peaceful, not prosperous [drug traffic, explosives, narcotics, terrorism]
We should be surrounded by peaceful Nations. What should Obama do. Diplomatic outreach to those that are hostile regimes? Offered friendship to Chavez.
Chavez’ response: Largest military build-up financed by Russia. Opened doors to Iran (Ah’jad). Marxist guerrillas in Columbia. In Ecuador, had lunch with anti-American President. Nationalized property. Closed U.S. Air base . Expelled U.S. Ambassador.
Bolivia expelled U.S. We must care about the anti-American alliance South of our borders, financed by Chavez. STOP subsidizing Chavez (oil). His bag-men took Venezuelan suitcases of cash to places in South America…from Chavez…to Argentina.
Cut-off the OIL. Cut-off the Life-Line
Answer to a question: Castro asked Venezuelan President for $300 million to “do America in”. Two years later, Castro attacked Venezuela.
Rivera: Cuba has no electoral process. Venezuela does. Independents groups in Cuba trying to change. NGO’s in Venezuela can be supported.”
Sadly, at 12:30, this panel was so BORING!! The only one negative experience, panel-wise, everything else I checked out was great.
“The Failure of Multiculturalism: How the pursuit of diversity is weakening the American Identity” –
Sponsored by ProEnglish
[ Dr. Serge Trifkovic, foreign affairs editor for Chronicles magazine did not attend]
Speakers: Robert Vandervoort, Executive Director, ProEnglish; Dr. Rosalie Porter, author of American Immigrant: My Life In Three Languages, chairwoman of the board, ProEnglish ; Peter Brimelow, author of The Patriot Game: National Dreams and Political Realities and founder of VDARE.com and John Derbyshire, contributing editor at National Review and author of We Are Doomed (L to R in picture)
First a long rambling speech, of Trifkovik’s, was read by Vandervoort. Those on the panel seemed as fidgety as the audience waiting for this speech to end. It may have been an interesting panel, but the elongated “read” lost me. I was juggling events anyway, so I decided to be on-time for the next panel.
LINK to a hard-core Leftist report on the panel(predictably nasty)
“Is Disarming America Smart Politics? The Security and Economic Costs of Obama’s Policies “
– Sponsored by Center for Security Policy
Speakers: Frank Gaffney, Jr., President, Center for Security Policy; Joel Arrends, Executive Director, Vets for Freedom; Mackenzie Eaglen, Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute; LtGen Jack Klimp, USMC (Ret.), National Association for Uniformed Services (NAUS); & MG Al Zapanta, USARNG, President and CEO, U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce
Speaker is Lt. Gen Jack Klimp, USMC, (Ret) from NAUS ( National Association for Uniformed Services) After listening to Lt. Gen Kilmp, remain very concerned for our men and women in uniform.
This is a newer version, picture was adjusted)
Link to other speakers on this panel here
2:05 ( They were running late in the Ball Room so managed to catch this panel that I thought I’d missed) Is it an Arab Spring… or Arab Winter?
“Is the “Arab Spring” Good or Bad for America?”
The Honorable Jim Gilmore, President and Chief Executive Officer, Free Congress Foundation and Former Governor of Virginia, Former Member, Congressional Homeland Security Commission (1999-2003) The Honorable Zalmay Khalilzad, President, Gryphon Partners, Former U.S. Permanent Representative to the UN, Former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, and Former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan The Honorable Elliott Abrams, Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies, Council on Foreign Relations David French, Senior Counsel, American Center for Law and Justice
Moderator: Cliff May, President, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies
“Back to the Future: How Do We Bring Back Civics Education to Our Schools?”
(Complete Audio below)
Moderator: Dr. Ed Moore, President, The Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida; Dr. Matthew Spalding, Vice President, American Studies and Director, B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics, The Heritage Foundation and Author, We Still Hold These Truths; Dr. Larry Schweikart, Author, Patriot’s History of the United States and Daniel Flynn, Author ( L to R in picture)
(Length audio 42:59) This was a great Panel. Civics. Who teaches REAL Civics anymore? Pride of Country. Of America? If Howard Zinn’s Marxist revisionist History book is in the classroom, you know the answer. However, I was pleased to learn of A Patriot’s History, that it is in the Classroom ( or can be) and that when it is even immigrants ( as well as those born here) can learn to speak PROUDLY of being an American and to be thankful for the sacrifices made by others to allow us to live FREE.
For those interested, hopeful publishing the audio will be useful.
“Great and Noble Purpose here”
10:19: grabbed some snippets that stuck with me: “Civics. The Way America Works. Best taught through History. Taught in an historical context, how government works. Foreign constitutions used as a model, due to failure to connect teach civics and Constitution, American Exceptionalism. Without historical foundations, susceptible to relativism. you will accept that Amer. Constitutional structure is deficient. Myopic…designed to operate 4 pillars, Common Law, Private Prop, Predominant Christ religion and Free Market. Without all 4 factors, an Amer-Like Constitution will fail… ask the French. Without teaching American Exceptionalism as part and parcel of CIVICS, will generate America-Hate they won’t understand historical concerns of protecting the Common Man from Government.”
“Recent experience with an instructor from the Sunni-system who taught immigrant classes for the constitution for citizenship classes. He wrote me, we’ve been using a Civics Text Book and our passing rates has been 65% at best. So he said he started using the Patriots History of the United States to teach this CIVICS class. As a result, no student in my class came in with less than a 95%. I suggested he try to get the to adopt the book. I suggested a study. Sunni bought into a study, a test. (teaching 1/2 with the Patriots History) All those who used the Patriots History were in the top 20%. The others were in the bottom 50 %. And the ADOPTED the Patriots History. SUNNI.”
John Adams quote: Children should be educated and instructed in the principles of FREEDOM
And at 41:02 he adds to “the best part of the Sunni story”. “What they found about the students before when they were using just the civics book, he told me his students were coming up very hostile toward America; they hated this country. They didn’t like it, they were ambivalent. And after they started using Patriot’s History, I think you can use any good conservative history book, they came out GRATEFUL that they were in this country. They loved this country because they saw what people had gone through to give them the liberties they have.”
So glad to have audio and video recorders to capture these panels. Even with written notes it’s way too much info jamming from one panel to the other.
(4:05) caught END of Herman Cain, Former CEO, Godfather’s Pizza – Marriott Ballroom. The crowd LOVED him!
Cain was a much fun as Sarah (who I missed cause I left early Saturday). Caught this great display :
BTW: Urban Infidel was there all day Sat ( link to her report.) Great pics of Sarah!
Next—Cain’s BUS parked outside:
And his TABLE inside:
As I left the Ball Room, caught the beginning of The Honorable Rand Paul (R-KY), United States Senator –
Daddy–Ron wasn’t at CPAC but he was SELLING his stuff downstairs…..
BLOGGERS BASH Finished up the day at this year’s Blog Bash at 6:30 PM. We were bussed to Microsoft’s state-of-the-art Innovation and Policy Center on K street. After an unfortunate problem with our Blogger Bash ID’s (the strings were all twisted and stuck together). we were finally allowed to ascend to an upper floor of Microsoft were Suhail Khan was greeting us as we exited the elevators (more on him and Grover Norquist in Friday’s post) BTW-there were NO PICTURES ALLOWED! Go figure. You get a bunch of bloggers together for a party and we’re told we can’t take any pictures. (very odd)
Next : Friday Feb 10th CPAC 2012