First Day at CPAC 2015

CPAC 2015 Fairfax Free Citizen Photo Photo: Fairfax Free Citizen
The biggest conservative conference in the country featured on the first day many prominent figures and politicians who form the conservative movement in our country and influence such policies.
Dr. Ben Carson, the first speaker of the day, emphasized the need to reach minority voters, to return control of education to the local level by abolishing the federal Common Core standards, and the need to eliminate welfare dependency. “I’m not interested in getting rid of the safety net. I’m interested in getting rid of the dependency.”
Charlie Kirk, Sen. Sasse (NE) and Mia Love (UT-4) discussed ways in which the American dream can be reclaimed by millennials who are looking forward to their future.
Phyllis Schlaffly of the Eagle Forum and Emmett McGroarty of the American Principles Project looked at the many ways that the rotten Common Core destroys the American education system, the American dream, and alters the fundamental make-up and ideals of our nation.
Sen. John Barrasso (WY), Rep. Marsha Blackburn (TN-7) and Jim Capretta of Ethics and Public Policy Center offered a concrete conservative replacement to Obamacare.
Sen. Joni Ernst (IA) and LTC Oliver North, USMC (Ret.) of the Freedom Alliance gave speeches in support of our veterans, forgotten and ignored by this administration.
A debate on Obama’s initiative to reduce intellectual property rights highlighted Adam Mossoff of George Mason University and a panel that looked at “patent trolls” who file blanket lawsuits to target small businesses.
Departing from the usual CPAC speeches, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey was interviewed on stage by conservative talk-show host Laura Ingraham who asked him pointed questions.
In response to Laura’s question that he signed New Jersey early onto Common Core and to Race to the Top grants, Christie avoided a direct answer by emphasizing that local control, parents, teachers, and others at the state level should set education standards.
As a pro-life advocate, Christie vetoed Planned Parenthood even though he is not a social conservative. He has a passion in fighting for the people, speaking his mind, and often tells people “to sit down and shut up.” “There is so much ridiculous stuff coming out of the White House,” he said. He wants to reform education and to save the pension system by being fiscally responsible but the teachers’ union is fighting him.
He avoided the question on illegal immigration by declaring that we must create opportunities for unemployed Americans like the people in Detroit, however, “folks want to come here” and we have “misdirected priorities.”
Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett Packard, and Chairman of the American Conservative Union Foundation, made pointed remarks about Hillary Clinton’s job performance as Secretary of State. She joked about her own unmarketable Stanford degree in Medieval History and Philosophy and how that “degree has come in handy recently since the President is talking about the Crusades.” She continued, “Yes, Mr. President, ISIS wants to drive the whole world back to the Middle Ages, but the rest of us moved on about 800 years ago.”
Addressing the Democrat-invented war on women and the faux inequality cries coming from well-paid liberal academia and from millionaires in Hollywood, Fiorina explained, and “I know that it is only in this country that a young woman can go from secretary to CEO.”
“Life has potential,” she said, and you have the right and opportunity in this country to fulfill your potential. But you need a real education to fulfill that potential, not just a handout and social justice indoctrination.
She advocated ending this administration’s destruction of small businesses that create half of the new jobs in this country; we need more small businesses, not large crony capitalism. We have to retrain America as more and more workers lose their jobs.
She criticized the lack of leadership in this country giving as example Secretary Clinton’s response to the Benghazi fiasco, who said, “What difference does it make?” Fiorina continued, “Flying is an activity, not an accomplishment. Mrs. Clinton, please, name an accomplishment! I have met Vladimir Putin and I know that his ambitions will not be deterred by a gimmicky red reset button.” Referring to Hillary Clinton, Fiorina concludes, “She does not know what leadership means.” Our country is “without equivocation the greatest nation that the world has ever known” and it needs a leader.
We have too many failing high schools in this country, Fiorina said, and the President is trying to distract us by offering two years of community college classes free.
Sen. Ted Cruz (TX) rocked the house with his proposal to bring back a Reagan Coalition, to promote life, marriage, economic growth, to fight ISIS, and a nuclear Iran. Sean Hannity asked him several questions. “America is in jeopardy and we are gathered here to fight for freedom in our country.” We must reignite America and reassemble the Reagan coalition, he said.
Cruz pointedly remarked that Washington wants Obamacare but people want freedom, the people don’t want amnesty pushed by Washington, they want the rule of law. “If you like your Internet, you can keep your Internet.” Unfortunately Net Neutrality was approved today and the Internet will be treated as a utility. Cruz followed with, “Hillary Clinton embodies the corruption in Washington.” We need to run a populist campaign, he said, and bring power back to the American people, away from Washington.
The panel on immigration asked the question if “Conservatives can reach a consensus?” I was speechless since the American people do not want illegal immigration and certainly do not want a consensus — they want the law enforced and want legal immigrants that are actually assimilating and contributing to the wellbeing of our exceptional nation.
The discussion centered again on the legal immigration system being broken, the old tired rhetoric from Washington. When asked what specific part was broken and why the borders are not enforced, panel members were unable to give a credible response.
Panel members Alfonso Aguilar with the American Principles Project and Mario Lopez with the Hispanic Leadership Fund voiced the opinion that these “folks,” referring to illegal aliens, come here for work and we therefore need to bring back a guest worker program similar to the Braceros in the 1960s that was successful but it was pulled by the Mexican government.
Some of the audience members disagreed that illegals come here just to work, they receive full welfare benefits, giving examples of the $4.1 billion given to ITIN tax filers in earned income tax credit for children who were not even living in the United States and the 2011-2013 retroactive earned income tax credit that will be given to illegal aliens who are going to be amnestied. Representative Jeff Duncan (SC-3) disagreed with the other two panelists on some issues.
The panel “Climate: What Tom Steyer Won’t Tell You,” focused on the climate change hoax and the millions of jobs lost due to green energy legislation, regulations, and subsidies to solar, wind, and biofuel power, and the billions lost in grants and loans to failed renewables companies. Representative Bill Flores (TX-17) focused on six points of the climate change agenda:
1. It kills jobs.
2. It costs trillions of dollars.
3. It is based on junk science.
4. It uses fantasy technology.
5. It manipulates the cost/benefit data.
6. It fails the smell test.
Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute presented charts of actual temperature data and CO2 data that have been manipulated to fit the climate change agenda and their outlandish claims. Andrew Langer of the Institute for Liberty presented more factual information on the true cost of the faux global warming. Gary Broadband of the Murray Energy Corporation, a mining company in Ohio that employs 7,500 people, presented sobering data on the number of coal mines that have been closed or are in the process of closing due to the EPA excessive and stringent regulations, leaving thousands of miners without jobs and contributing to a shortage of electricity and higher utility prices.
When Gov. Scott Walker took the stage, the room went wild. He was heckled again by a lone person unhappy with his reforms that put Wisconsin on the path to financial recovery, solvency, tax reductions, and accountability from unions. Unintimidated, Walker said, “those voices can’t drown out the voices of hard-working taxpayers.”
The most salient point of the day was Walker’s statement that, what made America exceptional throughout history, were Americans who had cared more about the future of their children and grandchildren than they cared about their political careers and re-elections. Today we have Washington, up the Potomac River, he mused, “68 square miles surrounded by reality.”
We should not measure success by how many people are dependent on government, he said. We celebrate our independence from government, not dependence on government; that is why we have 4th of July.
“We must have a President that understands that radical Islamic terrorism is a threat to our lives. We must take a fight to them, not wait until they bring the fight to America. We need a leader who will stand with Israel” and a leader who will show our allies respect.
Gov. Bobby Jindal was received with tremendous enthusiasm and applause. He focused his speech on the need to fight terrorism. He said, ISIS fighters must be “hunted down and killed.” He criticized the administration severely for failing to recognize the enemy and address the Islamist problem. He said, “We don’t need a war on international poverty, we need a war on the evil radical Islamic terrorism.”
Former Gov. Sarah Palin (AK) and Nigel Farage, leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) concluded the lineup of speakers for day one at CPAC 2015.

Copyright: Ileana Johnson 2015

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