A Look back at CPAC 2016 – Washington, DC- vids & pics

Looking Forward: Republican State Primary decisions are nudging Trump to take the Republican nomination. (If un-contested) brokered-contested-republican-convention                                                The Ohio Convention looms.

Looking Back : The NY Primary ended with mounds of Democrat complaints of illegal machinations from the New York Board of Elections (run by the hardcore left). The “Independents” got snowed. Snuffed. Stripped of their votes by a complicated system with so much small print that to re-register as “Democrats” threw them in the UN-registered pile. Many, also missed the deadline (due to that small  print). October 19 was the cutoff for the April Primary registrations.

Reports of broken machines, missing machines, polling locations locked or – also, missing- come not from a few but thousands (particularly in Bernie-Land – aka Brooklyn).john_cole_exit_poll_cartoon Many unhappy Dems, who are rooting for ol’ Bern, hope that the Hillary/Sanders race remains undecided, a portent of the voting ills that will surely plague America. If it looks like “Hilda” is in jeopardy of sweeping the White House. Look out.

Now a personal review of  CPAC 2016. [My original report was delayed by post-CPAC Primaries and Commie Protests]HOPE filled the air at CPAC 2016. 
In spite of the MSM’s desire to say otherwise, on March 3,4,5, 2016, the millennials, our future, gathered. Three jam-packed days Maryland’s Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center.
Lots to do and so little time.  CPAC, the place to be for those of a Conservative mind-set, to vet potential Presidential candidates, to discuss their policy positions as well as the G.O.P.’s; to illuminate not obfuscate as many candidates lobbied to be the next POTUS.
Lets begin: Thursday, March 3 – Day One.  The Potomac Ball Room.
For the press, this day made working seem so easy. Finding a spot to film. Write. Take pics. Slipping in and out of the ballroom press area. No complications.  Except, this year – we were NOT  able to go ‘on-the floor’ for close-ups of the speakers and panels – except in groups of 10 and then … back to the press-area …

The day began at 9:10 AM with Gov. Scott Walker (WI).
Some of Walker’s comments: ” … the growth of Conservatism state by state, governor by governor. Since 2009 there have been almost 1000 new Republicans elected to office across the country.”

Walker spoke of the economic and fiscal crisis that Wisconsin faced. Education reform. Labor. Unemployment. Right to Work.

“We got GOVERNMENT out of the way. We helped grow the economy.  ‘Good Policy is Good Politics’. We’re making a difference. Our ideas work, when given the chance, even in Blue States. They believe in the Government. WE believe in the Individual. We have a positive plan to take back our states, our community, our country.”Followed by Moderator  KT McFarland’s Panel: “Greatest National Security Challenge” with Dr. James Carafano, Deneen Borelli, Rep. Ryan Zinke.

Some comments:Reagan rebuilt shattered military. Carter gave us Reagan. What will Obama give us. The greatest military that this current POTUS can’t disassemble fast enough. KT: 1980. Regan and Make America Great. Our Time is now. . Peace only through strength. Troops ability to win requires Troops on the ground (Syria) . We have 800,000 employees in DOD . get the government out of the way.”Unfortunately, the press area was so far back in the Potomac Ballroom that filming or taking pictures required a mightier zoom than I had (and both of my cameras have good zoom capability) just not mighty enough for this location. Going ‘on-the-floor’ was helpful but, restricted enough to be complicated.
Since the press platform for the video-cams was too bouncy for my mono-pod set-up, I left (with my gear) for about an hour to check out the Exhibit Hub. [More pictures of the Exhibits in Part 1 Flickr – link at bottom of post] Then back to the press area: Though busier, not too difficult to set-up at a press table this time. (Much happier at the tables)Continuing in the ballroom 1 PM – Wayne La Pierre (National Rifle Association) Some Comments:2nd Amendment guarantees all our freedoms.” “Scalia was a monumental jurist. Mourn him. Miss him. Next President. 3 appointments to Supreme Court. (HRClinton can’t pass a polygraph) Game Over. Americans are fed up. Disgusted. Enraged. Outraged. Gun Laws exist. White House doesn’t enforce these laws. They Blame the NRA”

Panel on “Reforming the Criminal Justice System” (excerpts) Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. (WI) a Democrat-was the star of this panel. Clarke impressed with no-nonsense answers to the questions presented by Moderator, Kelly Riddell.
He was joined by Att. Gen. Ken Cuccinelli (VA), Sen. Mike Lee (UT), Pat Nolan (ACU) “Discussion focused on prisons. Recidivists. Costs of crime. Deeply ingrained behaviors difficult to undo. Punishment is the deterrent to crime.”

Panel on “Fighting For Victory Against “Radical” Islamism” (Excerpts) Ayaan Hirsi Ali (AHA Foundation) was the star of this panel.Moderator: Van Hipp [American Defense International] with Jim Hanson [Center For Security Policy] and Rep. Steve King [IA-4] Ayaan begins speaking at [9:51 to 14:50] She continues (audio only with stills) [19:17 to 21:31] and [26:55 to 30:21] Video returns at 32:11

Comments: “We the people vs the Medina Agenda. In Medina, Religious Philosophy is the antithesis of America. these are the Jihadis. Freedom loving American is not Islamophobic.  Islam is not a Religion of Peace. You must call a spade a spade. Speak up. Speak Out. “King” Obama is partnering with our enemies: CAIR. ISNA. World is more dangerous now than 2001 (9-11)”

Left the ball room for Thursday’s afternoon break-out sessions on Islam and Jihad. Looking for solutions – the TRUTH- in a weary world.
Dr. Zuhdi Jasser’s
presentation (with slides): “Political Islam: How Patriotic American Muslims Defy Radical Islamists” After Jasser’s presentation, the next breakout was to be Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s We are all  Infidels Now” – in the same room- convenient [so we thought] But, the room was switched (with no notice) and confusion followed as to where she was moved. Ayaan’s Infidel breakout “We are all  Infidels Now was replaced by Socialism. Wanting to stay on-topic, I headed to the Frank Gaffney Center For Security break-out panel (a four hour event on Global Jihad – it was half-over) A prudent decision – Ayaan did not do her Infidel break-out (no idea why).
“The Global Jihad Movement in America & the Counter Jihad Campaign” . Moderator: Frank Gaffney . Panel : Paul Weston, Lars Hedegaard, Jim Hanson. It was a two panel discussions on the growing threat of the “Global Jihad Movement”. I missed the first panel, Caught some of the Q and A. There were 5 Questions that I was present for.
Q # 1 is at the very beginning of recording, answered (00:17) by Hanson and Gaffney.
Q #2 (1:36) answered by all 4 panelists (2:24-7:38) [Gaffney, Lars H., Weston, Hanson and again, Gaffney]
Q #3 (7:40 was a long winded fellow. finally a question at 9:07) #3 answered (9:38 to 13:59-Gaffney) 13:40 Hanson, then Weston (14:57-Gaffney again)
Q #4 (16:56) #4 answer (17:49) Hanson (19:48) Gaffney
Last Question #5 (21:29) #5 answer (22:28) Hanson.
Thank you’s (23:33)

Thursday, Day One,  had much to offer and the crowds, though full, were manageable.  Sorry I had to miss the Socialism and Castro breakouts but, choices had to be made. My priority: To catch anything on Islam and Jihad.

Before I leave Thursday- CPAC 2016, an unfortunate misstep from CPAC:  Pamela Geller’s Panel on National Security was denied.

“Back in October, I contacted Matt Schlapp, the chairman of the American Conservative Union, which puts on CPAC. I informed him that my organization, the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), wanted to be a full-fledged sponsor of CPAC, so that I could host an event, “How Liberal Ideology Is Crippling National Security Capability.” Being a CPAC sponsor is not some honor that CPAC organizers confer; any conservative group can buy sponsor status.

Thinking our money was as good as anyone else’s, we invited the internationally renowned Dutch freedom fighter Geert Wilders, who just won the “Politician of the Year” award in The Netherlands. We also invited British politician Paul Weston of LibertyGB, who was arrested for quoting Winston Churchill’s words about Islam; Swiss freedom fighter Oskar Freysinger; Israeli political analyst Caroline Glick; and DHS whistleblower, Philip Haney.

I followed up for months while they “studied the issue.” They were concerned about security because of the death threats I have received since my free speech conference in Garland, Texas last May was attacked by Jihadis. I assured them that my entire security apparatus, a seasoned team of the top professionals in their field, would be in place (at our expense, not CPAC’s), and that several of my speakers who are European politicians would also be coming with their own secret service protection. This should have been adequate.

CPAC doesn’t deserve the name “Conservative.” It should be called the “Cowards Political Action Conference.” Pamela Geller

For CPAC 2016, with so many Presidential candidates, SECURITY was beyond intense. What seems more probable: Censorship

DAY Two, March 4, Friday: Not an easy day for everyone due to insane SECURITY.

The LINE for General Admission was very, very long. Snaking back and forth. I’ve never seen the CPAC lines like this. Friday attendance was HUGE with serious security that included scanning and dog sniffers. It was very, VERY slow. Even the press was scanned and sniffed (on a shorter line).  The Security Teams were committed to getting the press in side without too much delay. Still, packed gear had to be opened and jostled to make sure we were really carrying camera gear, etc. IF ONLY the Gen. Admission lines had sped through in similar fashion …. so that speakers and panels had more audience…. Many people gave up, after hours on line, and went to their rooms to watch the speakers.

 Day Two, once in the press area,was a much more intense challenge. Finding that perfect table-spot for cameras, computers etc.- not so easy. Once set-up no one was going anywhere. Forget the break-out panels. However, 3- 4 hours later, it was time for a bathroom break. But, EVEN THE PRESS had to be re-scanned and sniffed- no matter our gear was inside – step out of the room – get re-scanned.

Fortunately, many of the speakers and panels were worth the tsuris  … Hot topics, major speakers and a bit of controversy as some questioned the Conservative credentials of not just the candidates but, also, CPAC. Malkin and J.B. Martin, in particular, were on fire.

[Some of the speakers are in our video playlist at end of article, as well as the Flickr slideshows]

Michelle Malkin, Conservative blogger, political commentator, author.Comments from Malkin’s speech. “My job is to tell you want you need to her not what you want to hear.  Kasich preceded her. She was critical of him and his support of Common Core. Empty talking points. She came down hard on Common Core and the betrayal of the Governors. Follow the money. Speaking to the politicians: Do the job we demand Don’t stab us in the back. We NEED Ted Cruz. Too often Conservatives hold your nose and vote. Republican brokers. Political sabotage. Two reasons Jeb Bush failed-Common Core and Amnesty” Jenny Beth Martin-co-founder the Tea Party Patriots. Comments: “7 yrs ago the Modern Tea Party was born. Tea Party is NOT dead. Candidates need to appeal to Tea Party. She states that TRUMP is NOT Tea Party. Must love Country. Constitution above own interests. She ends with SUPPORT Ted Cruz. Rumors spread quickly that Donald TRUMP had cancelled CPAC. I don’t think anyone in the press-area was surprised, particularly after these two bold speakers. Trump was not the favored candidate at CPAC, making Ted Cruz the likely winner of the Straw Poll (and he was).

Other “Day Two” Speakers and Panels (impossible to catch everything)

Reince Priebus – Chairman of Republican National Committee  with Sean Hannity. Main selling point: “Republican Party will support no matter who is the candidate. We have a long way to go. States Rights. People will not want Congress deciding. Some may want chaos.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (TX), Candidate for President. Cruz was introduced by ACU Board member, Carolyn Meadows.(The crowd was standing for quite awhile. making the camera hand held and a bit bouncy til they all sat down) He begins speaking at 1:57.  “So Donald Trump is skipping CPAC. Maybe someone told him there were Conservatives and Libertarians- and young people who were going to be here.As Cruz spoke (at 3:37) a gaggle of Trump supporters filed out in protest. But, this did not diminish the fact that Cruz was enormously popular with the CPAC crowd. (He won the Straw Poll).
“If I am elected President, we will repeal every word of ObamaCare. To keep government from getting between us and our doctors.We will abolish the IRS. Passing a Flat Tax. Politicians in both parties have lied. Along with millions of Americans, NO we will not have amnesty. Secure Our Borders.”
Re the passing of Justice Scalia, “He was a Lion of the Law. We are one Liberal Justice away from the Supreme Court ERASING the Second Amendment (and other rights) I will not compromise away your rights. We have a weakened military. We will REBUILD the military. No longer will the military be governed by Political Correctness. We will defeat Islamic Terrorism. Kill the enemy and then get the heck OUT. The long lasting legacy of Barack Obama (like Jimmy Carter gave us Reagan) is gonna be a new generation of leaders in the Republican Party who stand for Life and Liberty… the Constitution…”. [Part 2 was the Q and A with Sean Hannity]

Gov. John Kasich (OH), Candidate for President-At first Kasich reminisces about past CPAC’s and his early political career.“1982 when he first ran for Congress as a Conservative. Reagan. The Kasich Budget. Fiscal responsibility. He fought the Establishment. Building a Team. 1993. Clinton’s budget for higher taxes. Balancing the Federal Budget. We swept to victory.1994 with a Conservative agenda. The American economy was booming. Then I stepped out of politics. Ohio was in trouble. He went back. Governor. Ohio recovered.He addresses some specifics re what was done in Ohio. He ran for re-election. (He did a Mr. Roger’s “You are Special” moment) as he spoke to the Millennials and the future of the Republic. in q and A with Hannity they discussed a possible brokered convention.”

Dr. Ben Carson  (beloved neurosurgeon) Candidate for President.The crowd adored him. But as he announced he was dropping out of the race for President, he said poignantly, “I know, you love me…but you won’t vote for me” Comments from Dr. Carson: “What is happening to our Nation. The Government does not understand what compassion is. (instead) making people dependent…we need to identify those in our society who are trying to splinter us. (We in the government are going to eliminate poverty- the Johnson Admin) …. (government) has made it’s much worse. Hillary. Alinsky. book dedicated to Lucifer.Obama has said we are not a Judeo-Christian Nation. He doesn’t get to decide. WE get to decide. Equality of OPPORTUNITY. The press is the only business specifically protected by the Constitution. BECAUSE, THEY were supposed to be the allies of The People. Not take sides. The press – young members in particular, should remember – If the Country goes over the cliff- you’re gong over, too. Be FAIR. I sit back and relax knowing that the Next Generation is in trouble.”

Matt Schlapp – Chairman of American Conservative Union -Excerpted remarks.“These have been the hard and difficult years that Reagan predicted. But, the Conservative movement is growing stronger. We’re adding voices. We’re are PREPARED for the OBAMA EXIT….We’re at a critical moment for Conservatives.Don’t fear this moment (in history). Embrace it. Like all challenges. We’ll be stronger when we get through it.”

Panel ” Who’s Voting and Who’s Not” Moderator – Matt Schlapp, Panel  included Fred BarnesPolitical Commentator, Charlie Hurt (Wash Times), Brittany Kaiser, Kellyanne Conway. Comments:”Much Ted Cruz support. A Third party will hand election to Hillary. [NOTE: Ballroom was too empty because of the easily 1000 who were trapped on security line. Too slow.]Barnes says that Trump has alienated  too many. Tea Party claims Trump is for Trump. Cruz is most Conservative candidate since Reagan. Cruz needs our help to win against HRC.

Sen. Jim DeMint  (SC) – Comments: To the Republican Party, “Wake up to Conservative Principles”. Time for a Conservative Take over. We must de-fund Obama Care. Republicans with Conservative ideas WIN. Reduce the size of the Fed. Favoritism for None. Opportunities for All. . Make America Strong. Reclaim America.

The VERY popular Dana Perino – Former White House Press Secretary, Political Commentator & author Moderated a panel: “How Conservative Principles Meet Millennial Goals“. Others on the panelRob Bluey, Benny Johnson, Katie Pavlich.   Comments: “Millennials are less patriotic. Only 38% think America is greatest country in the world. When they see how much government takes from their paychecks…they discuss abortion and technology. Important  to see ultra sounds. The baby.

Panel – “Are We Losing our Humanity? Person-hood from Womb to Tomb” Moderator- Julie Hocker. Other panelists– Gianna Jessen, Lenny McAllister, Fr. Ben Johnson all spoke of personal experience. Comments on: Sonograms. Children born during abortions. Birth Defects. Give them life. Stats- 60 children aborted since the panel began today.”

Panel – “Are They Coming for your Home, your Car & your iPhone”
Moderator- Jason Snead. Other panelists- Dr. Greg Dolin, Clark Neily, Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen. Comments: “Cornerstone of Liberty: Property rights vs. Government. Property rights sacred. Government cannot take what is rightfully earned.  Wealth Redistribution vs Taxation. Does our government steal. Intellectual Property. Owners should have a say on how used. Patents/Wright Brothers-Competitor should not be able to use your property. Patent critical to retain/protect innovation. Need strong Intellectual protection. Important for economic growth. Companies without patent innovation grind to a halt. We will not be able to get cheaper drugs through technological innovation. Honor ALL property rights. Soviet example of socialist abuses re property/intellectual rights.”

Gloria Alvarez, National Civic Movement of Guatemala. Álvarez is a political scientist, radio broadcaster, and project director at the National Civic Movement of Guatemala (MCN), an NGO that advocates for the participation of an informed, responsible, and active citizenry in national politics. 
Her remarks were accompanied by slides (see Flickr side show) . A real winner in my eye. Great presentation. “Populism – Manipulates people.You are too poor,too stupid. The Populist Handbook. It starts with Hate Speech. Divide with Hate. No individuality. We are SICK of government.
She is of Guatemalan, Cuban and Hungarian descent and has toured throughout Latin America denouncing populism in the region.

Day Three, Saturday March 5: . With a tepid welcome on the horizon, Trump skipped out on his scheduled appearance.  Since Trump was a no show Day 3 was void of the Day 2 SECURITY Juggernaut. I could now catch two Breakout panels I would probably have missed with clear paths and wide open walkways.

Media Row (outside the ballroom) was practically empty. Days 1 and 2 (March 3 & 4) it had been alive with non stop on-camera and radio interviews. Friday was packed.
Saturday’s Media Row was very QUIET. Many had packed-up leaving ghost-crews (if any)

Before I left D.C., covered two Saturday AM break out panels

Panel One: “Affecting Popular Culture: Do Conservatives have a Role”. Moderator-Ian Walters, Becky Cusey, Stacey Dash, Cameron Goodman
The audience seemed attentive and asked questions.  But, I struggled to get involved with this topic. Perhaps it was just me.

Panel Two: “Europe in Chaos”. Moderator, KT McFarland, focused on the the crisis and chaos in Europe. The panelists: Dr. Nile Gardiner (director the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom), Ben Collins (a former Green Beret) and Dr. Zuhdi Jasser (Pres. American Islamic Forum for Democracy) Part 2 is the Q and A.. First was a statement made Janice Atkinson, a UK Member of the European Parliament. In Part 2 video (at 4:10) the panelists took 6 questions from the audience.  Q #1 : 4:32 (answered by Dr. Gardiner @….. )
Q#2 – 6:50 (answered by Dr. Gardiner @ 8:06) Q#3 -10:07 (answered by Dr. Jasser @ 10:49) Q#4 – 13:45 (answered by Ben Collins @14:41)
Q#5 -17:49 ( answered by Dr. Gardiner @ 18:45) and Q #6 – 20:12
( answered by …..)

Leaving Panel Two, I saw Grover Norquist standing to the side of the Media Row area talking to a small group of 5 or 6 people. Chatting and answering questions. Unfortunately, I had a train to catch. Had to keep moving.

Saturday’s main speakers  were Marco Rubio and Glenn Beck.  But, we made a decision to leave earlier than planned, missing their CPAC speeches.  Check-out time at the Gaylord is 11 am (WAY too early since CPAC goes to 5-6 PM) With baggage and gear, this makes work a problem. Having tried the baggage check area for my extra STUFF in previous years, I knew to avoid that option. Baggage check was overwhelmed. Confused (a serious mess actually) Finding my checked bags was almost impossible.  So, to avoid the hassle, I caught two early morning panels and then hopped the Acela back to Manhattan.

In conclusion: CPAC 2016.  Glad I went. Sorry for the 1000 or so attendees for whom Day 2 was a disappointment. Missing so many speakers and panels due to the security.

On the plus side: All three days. Jammed. Energized. Focused on the election of the 21st century. The three day conclave of Conservatives was worth the trip. No matter who the candidate. Not futile. CPAC was determined to reclaim Reagan’s America.

Playlist videos

Three part Flickr Slide shows

Part 1

DSC_8404

Part 2

Sen Ted Cruz and Sean Hannity

Part 3

Dr. Zudi Jasser breakout session on Political Islam

Addendum- CPAC 2016, two months passed, whatever was preached, lectured, cheered and debated, seems endangered by belligerent in-house fights that grow with each primary, particularly as the nomination swings towards Trump.

In-fighting. Conservatives vs Repubs. Conservatives vs the Lib-Soc-Commie Machine. Conservatives vs Libertarians. The Final Battles that lie ahead may lose us big to the Communist Cabal. (Bernie or Hilda) without a candidate to stand up the Democrat Machine.

The post-apocalyptic, Cloward-Pivens-Alinsky-Marxed America (via Obama-Hillary-Sanders) has snowed many fools and tools putting the White House within the Hildebeast’s grasp.What happens in November can make or break this country.

We need a Candidate who will do as promised. A Man of his Word. Is Trump that man? If not. Than Who?

Times: they are hard, sir…

PDF of CPAC schedule 2016

CPAC-Full-Agenda3.1

++++

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