Tom McLaughlin

A former history teacher, Tom is a columnist who lives in Lovell, Maine. His column is published in Maine and New Hampshire newspapers and on numerous web sites. Email: tommclaughlin@fairpoint.net

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Are We Going To Win This War?


We’re at war. Our enemy is radical Islam. It's the aggressor and its goal is to put the world under Sharia Law. Its biggest obstacle is the United States of America because we are the epitome of Western Civilization. Our goal is to defeat radical Islam.

“Are we going to win this war?”

That critical question was asked by someone from the audience at a panel discussion called “The Sharia Challenge in the West,” I attended two weeks ago at the three-day CPAC 2011 (Conservative Political Action Conference). The panel of experts included former CIA Director James Woolsey; former US Attorney Andrew McCarthy who successfully prosecuted the first World Trade Center bombers in 1993; Clifford May - president of the Foundation For the Defense of Democracies; and Ayaan Hirsi Ali - one of the most courageous people alive.

“Are we going to win this war?”

None of the panelists answered with an emphatic “Yes” and that depressed me, even if it didn’t surprise me. Each indicated we could win, but whether we will or not depends on how much Americans want to win. That, unfortunately, is still an open question.Andrew McCarthy, Ayaan Hirsi Ali at CPAC 2011

Panelist Ayaan Hirsi Ali has the most to lose if we don’t win because she’s already marked for death by our enemy. She wrote the script for “Submission,” a movie directed by Theo Van Gogh, a Dutch filmmaker and grand-nephew of the famous Dutch painter. “Submission” criticized Islam for sanctioning abuse of women. Both Hirsi Ali and Van Gogh were threatened with death if they released it, but they did so anyway.

Shortly after, in broad daylight on the streets of Amsterdam, a Muslim immigrant shot Van Gogh eight times, cut his throat, and pinned a note to his torso with a dagger, saying Hirsi Ali was next. Ever since, she’s been under armed guard 24-7-365. Even though she was an elected member of Dutch Parliament, her government has balked about paying to defend her. She moved to the United States and accepted a fellowship with the American Enterprise Institute. Her security is now paid for privately.

“Are we going to win this war?”

The question lingered in the air. Hirsi Ali said the way to win is to “offer an alternative vision,” and I couldn’t agree more strongly. Western Civilization is itself an alternative vision, but our universities and our media are dominated by liberals who blame it for the world’s ills. American colleges and universities are eliminating western civilization courses. And, The Muslim Brotherhood’s goal is to “bring down western civilization from within,” (If you hit this link, scroll down for the English translation). The American left (including many in the Obama Administration) supports the Muslim Brotherhood and its offspring, Hamas. Ramsay Clark, Bill Ayers, Code Pink, and A.N.S.W.E.R. tried to bring aid to Hamas by breaking the Israeli blockade of Gaza last year. The American Left abhors Western Civilization and cooperates with the Muslim Brotherhood to bring it down. “The way you fight this thing is to expose it,” said panelist Andrew McCarthy. Trouble is, leftists dominating our universities shout down speakers who try to expose it. Sharia is Islamic law. Under it, women cannot go out in public unless accompanied by a male relative. Thieves get their hands cut off. Adulterers and homosexuals are stoned to death. If you reject Islam, you’re killed. A woman’s testimony in legal issues is worth half that of a man.

The slogan of the Muslim Brotherhood is:

Allah is our objective.
The Prophet is our leader.

Quran [Sharia] is our law.

Jihad [holy war] is our way.

Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.
Our enemies are anxious to die for their cause. Millions are brainwashed from birth as was Ayaan Hirsi Ali growing up in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya. She said: “Their paradigm is a paradigm of death. That is their core vulnerability. It is a core of death. You defeat it by pushing a core of life.”She’s right of course. We need a massive propaganda campaign to expose Sharia Law and the theist totalitarianism of radical Islam for the dark-age depravity it is. We must contrast our enemy’s vision with the values of our constitutional democracy embodied in The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution with its Bill of Rights.

“We’ve inhibited ourselves,” said Hirsi Ali. “We’re not speaking out enough,” because too many of us have been indoctrinated with multicultural political correctness. “If they defeat us,” she added, “it’s because of our lack of confidence.”Right again. As our leftist media and our leftist universities continue their indoctrination, fewer and fewer Americans understand that our republic is the summit of civilization. Many won’t ever realize that unless we lose it. Then they’ll find out the hard way, but the rest of us need to witness confidently while there’s still time. We need a president who will celebrate Western Civilization, not apologize for it, who will call our enemy by its names: Radical Islam, Sharia, and jihad. We need a president who will champion American exceptionalism, who will foster patriotism in every American and proclaim the United States as the greatest country in the history of the world - because it is.

European leaders including Germany’s Angela Merkel, France’s Nicolas Sarkozy, and the UK’s David Cameron are finally declaring that leftist moonbat multiculturalism is a total failure. As columnist Pat Buchanan puts it: “Only in Canada and the U.S., it seems, is the issue still in dispute.”CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) will, no doubt, scream “Islamophobia!” But, as panelist James Woolsey put it: “If you’re opposed to the beating of women and the killing of apostates, you are not an Islamophobe.”

Please ponder this: How can we expect to defeat our enemy if we’re unwilling even to offend him?

Labels: , , , ,

Saturday, February 12, 2011

CPAC 2011 Saturday

I said yesterday that the Paulies (rabid Ron Paul supporters) annoy me. They love Ron Paul and that's fine. They cheer him lustily and that's fine too. But, when someone else is speaking and making their case? Then they should shut up.

Went to bed early last night. There was a party in the suite next to me and they were boisterous. I could hear them talking about the conference and they went late into the night. They woke me a few times but that didn't bother me much. I could roll over and go back to sleep. If I weren't so tired, I'd have joined them. What did bother me were the Paulies who woke me up yelling from down on the ground somewhere outside: "Ron Paul!: Ron Paul!" The windows were closed and I was on the fourth floor, but they still woke me up. I felt like getting dressed, going down there, getting in their faces and yelling with my fists and teeth gritted: "Shut the f*** up!" I actively considered it, but rolled over and tried hard to go back to sleep instead. Then I'd hear again: "Ron Paul! Ron Paul!" In my younger days I'd have gone out there.

Only one post today. Where did I get the energy to do three in each of the past two days? I had good intentions today too, but . . .

Started the day with Andrew Breitbart at 9:00 am. He got big billing starting off the day because crowds are biggest on Saturday. Many people come only for Saturday at CPAC and this year we were pushing 11,000. There were 8,000 in 2009; 10,000 in 2010 with the Tea Party additions, and 10% more this year. Amazing. Conservatives are fired up.He’s gotten featured billing in the main ballroom. He’s not fringe anymore. He’s earned his stripes in the conservative movement and he's a former liberal, so I identify with him.

The guy introducing him says he has all the right enemies. “The venom hurled at him by the left is ferocious.”Okay. Here he is. No tie. That varies from year to year, I've noticed. He said he’s taking on the institutional left. That he does, certainly.

“The hyper-focused aspects of my ADD makes me stay on the story." Pigford. He’s gnawing that bone relentlessly and I just know he’s going to keep chewing and chewing. See Thursday's post here.He talked about annoying the left for sport near his home in West LA. “Acorn is protesting in front of the Fox television affiliate,” he says. "They chant: 'We are Acorn, mighty mighty Acorn.' It’s all they say. They won’t answer questions." They did say vile things about Andrew though when they spotted him. That was before they disbanded and this was during the focused attack Breitbart made on them last year that eventually put them out of business.

Breitbart went on with his story. He said they resumed chanting: “'We are Acorn. Ask us why.' So, I walked up to them with a video camera and asked, 'Why?'” At that point, he noticed their organizer get perplexed. Others were looking to him for direction and he didn't offer them any. Then, they just disbanded, Breitbart said, and he realized he was having a marvelous time and he wanted to do this for the rest of his life.

“I am Andrew, mighty mighty Andrew,” he said from the CPAC podium. "You can do this too. You can take on those out there who would try to intimidate you. Use a camera [when you do it.]"

Later, he said "I’m at a “Stop the Hate” rally. 'Who here is from SEIU?' I ask them. I have a camera. The organizer gets nervous. I keep asking them questions. They call me a fag and spit on me. Then they disbanded as well.

Then he talked about a Code Pink rally in LA. Guess that's the left's rally point out there on the left coast.

He had another story about that, but I couldn't type fast enough. He connected Code Pink, Pigford, and Obama in a loose way.Being seated in the media lounge with the mainstream media while Breitbart speaks is ironic. They don’t know much about him and they don’t take him seriously. “Is he from LA?” “Is this still Breitbart speaking?” They talk amongst themselves. They don’t understand that Breitbart and armies of others like him will eventually put them out of job.


Next, I attended a session in another room entitled: "The Sharia Challenge in the West" with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, James Woolsey, Clifford May and Andrew McCarthy. It was a marvelous session, best of the day. The email giving me my media credentials asked whom I'd like to interview and I requested Ayaan Hirsi Ali but I never heard back. I got there early, however, and sat in the front. She, however, was partially hidden behind the podium from where I was sitting. During the Q&A, someone asked her the likelihood of the Muslim Brotherhood taking over in Egypt now that Mubarak was gone.
We have to watch three things, she said. First, gauge the extent of MB influence in military. Then gauge the gullibility of the Obama Administration, which brought laughter from the audience which, like me, was probably thinking of Obama's Director of National Intelligence Clapper. And, finally, gauge the level of organization in Egypt by the Muslim Brotherhood. She offered examples of how it was as a teenaged girl growing up in Kenya and believing what the MB preached. Their brainwashing methodology was highly effective. In conclusion, she predicted an MB takeover in three to five years. Others on the panel, including former CIA Director Woolsey, seemed to agree.

When asked by another audience member if we were going to win [the war with Islamists] eventually and how we might do that, she believed we should “offer an alternative vision.” She said, “We’ve inhibited ourselves” by not speaking out enough out of some misguided fear of giving offense. “If they defeat us," she said, it [would be] because of our lack of confidence. . . . Their paradigm is a paradigm of death. That is their core vulnerability. It is a core of death. You defeat it by pushing a core of life.”She said much more than I have time to write here, so I'll return to this in a future column.After lunch, I went back to the big ballroom for a session on what to do in Afghanistan, but Pat Boone was speaking after having received a Lifetime Achievement Award. From way up in the media section, he still looked like he always did seeing him on TV as a kid. On the big screens around the room he did too. I remembered people marveling that he never seemed to age and I wanted to see how he looked close up. I walked up to the dais, knelt down, and used my zoom lens again.Okay, back up in the media lounge. John Bolton just walked by me for an interview with Fox News. I'm sorry Laurie from Bartlett. I missed Bolton's speech earlier that day because I chose to attend the Ayaan Hirsi Ali panel down the hall instead, but you can see it here. He was fifteen feet away and there were security guards around scrutinizing everything, including me. Andrew Breitbart was standing behind me talking to the CNN guy.A guy at the dais down on the floor was talking about Afghanistan costing us $100-120 billion this year. Wow. Bolton was talking and listening to someone remotely through an earplug and looking at the camera. He was talking about the possibility of democracy in Egypt.Next, Breitbart talked to the CNN guy slightly to the left of where I was sitting and trying to concentrate on the speeches below. The Afghanistan panel had broken up and Ron Kessler was slamming the NYT from the podium. Good for him. He says reporters would have been fired years ago for publishing the kinds of stories they run today. They ignore stories they don't like and play up others.Then Congressman Alan West walked by to be interviewed by Fox News. He was scheduled to be speaking at the close of the CPAC Conference, going on at 5:30. He generating the most interest in the media lounge. Many others with media passes hovered and took pictures of him. There was a cranky old guy sitting behind me yelling at people to get out of his way. He sent John Bolton and his security guards scurrying down the stairs a few minutes ago. I’ll have to ask him who he is before I leave.West was talking to Heraldo Rivera remotely about the deficits and the national debt approaching $15 trillion. He said the American people expect [Congress] to do something about that, or we won’t have an America to pass down to our children. I had a chance to shake his hand again as he was leaving. I told him he’s a good man and I hoped he got the crowd pumped later. "Thank you sir," he said.

I almost went down to the bar for a glass or wine when Ann Coulter was introduced. Didn’t see her on the schedule I downloaded a week or so before the conference, so I stayed for her remarks. Then I went down to get some closeups.“We have a path to citizenship," she was saying. "It’s called legal immigration.”

She took questions from the audience. “Where do you get your energy?” someone asked.

“Reading the New York Times. It does something to me,” she said, jerking body spasmodically.Responding to another question about what she thought of GOPride being at CPAC 2011, she answered saying liberals use different groups to destroy the family and that was unfortunate. “Liberals want the family destroyed, they want religion destroyed, because then you have loyalty directly to the state only.”

Last came Congressman Alan West's speech, which was marvelous. He got the most standing O's I've seen during the whole conference. Too bad he's not experienced enough for a presidential run yet. He's got steel in him.I didn't take notes. I just listened and enjoyed.He covered just about every issue important to conservatives and I actually agreed with the totality of what he said, which hardly ever happens no matter who I'm listening to.I'd first met him back in 2009 at the private Geert Wilders reception put on by Pam Geller in the Omni Shoreham. We spoke for several minutes and had our picture taken together. I remember being quite impressed with him and I still am. To see his entire speech, click here.

Labels: , ,

Friday, February 11, 2011

CPAC 2011 Friday Evening

Around lunchtime, I went to see Pam Geller of AtlasShrugged.com and her presentation of The Ground Zero Mosque controversy. She's is right in the thick of it as I've come to expect with her.The panel, with Spencer speaking

Her associate, Robert Spencer, said: "This is a mosque of triumph. “The Second Wave of the September 11th Attacks.” He compared the mosque to Muslims building the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa Mosque on the site of the sacred Jewish Temple Mount, which they did immediately after conquering Jerusalem in the 7th century.

Pam got up and said the trailer for her new film on the Ground Zero Mosque controversy might be too graphic for 9/ll family members to see. She had a hard time getting a hold of the footage and was told by authorities in NYC that the film clips were “embargoed.” She eventually got them and incorporated them into the film. When she began projecting the trailer for us, there were technical difficulties. We saw most of it and it was gut-wrenching. We watched footage of people who jumped. We heard the sound of them hitting the ground. We saw what remained of them on the pavement.The young woman in the middle lost her brother

One woman then spoke about her brother, a fireman, who died. She read from the autopsy report the family got when they identified his body. It was difficult even to listen to. Another woman from the 9/11 families had to leave because she became too emotional.This woman lost her son

Another woman lost her son. "My son is one of the 1100 victims who never were recovered," she said, fighting tears after almost ten years. "The authorities have been trying to suppress the horror," she said. Forty percent of uniformed victims were never found. She fought back tears throughout her remarks.

This was very emotional. This was powerful. Why does media suppress it? It needs to be part of a major propaganda campaign about Islam, about its history, about its lack of respect for other religions and for all those who have to live with the aftermath of terrorism done in the name of Islam. All this was made powerfully evident in that room today.

“[This was] an attack orchestrated by demonic cave-dwelling barbarians. My son is an angel murdered by demons,” the woman said. She was an extremely powerful speaker.

This was the most moving presentation I've seen so far at CPAC 2011.

Next was Texas Governor Rick Perry back in the big ballroom

I was reluctant to leave the 9/11 families presentation, but I wanted to see Perry. It was hard to readjust my mood from room to room, and they were late bringing Perry out. I had to listen to the tail end of the Ron Paul speech in the big ballroom and I had to flash my press credentials to get in past a long, long line of Paulies who couldn’t get access because of fire codes. Finally, though, Paul stopped talking. It was 12 minutes past the hour before all Paulies started filing out and that took longer. I was annoyed again because I could have spent the time listening to more testimony at the Geller presentation.

The guy who stepped up to the mike to introduce him said Perry went from tenant farmer to the Governor’s office. He got a very enthusiastic standing ovation when he came onstage.“I stand here to talk about the willful neglect of the federal government responsibilities,” he said with chutzpah. I liked him. He had passion. He discussed border issues and slammed the federal government for doing what it shouldn't be doing, and neglecting what it should - like policing the border. "The bad actors in Mexico are getting worse,” he said. “We still need a thousand National Guard troops on the border. We need predator drones. Our kids are being trained to operate these things. They could gather data and evidence." With which to go after the perpetrators, I guess.

“The tenth amendment casts a narrow role for the federal government and the governmnet closest to the people really governs best,” he said, and then recited it:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people
.
“Nowhere in there does it say the [federal] government is responsible for solving every problem,” he added. “Return to the vision of our founders. Heaven knows that the time is right.”

Perry went on about the meaning of last November's vote: “[Voters] said, ‘We are fed up. We’re fed up and want to take our country back.’ Americans are fed up with the so-called Progressive Movement," [and] “It cuts across party lines, I’ll tell you that.” He’s spoke without notes and he didn't look at the teleprompter. He used his hands. He was very into what he was saying.I like this guy.

“They ought to be pointing to Texas and saying, you know, that is what the rest [of the states] should be doing.”

He’s doing well, but he’s talking too long.

“At least two federal judges have determined that Obamacare is unconstitutional . . . We need to push back on this federal government."

Next was Herman Cain. Now he can speak. He's a former CEO of Godfather's Pizza and executive at Pillsbury and a conservative radio host in Atlanta. He spoke out last year against charges by the NAACP that the tea party is made up of "racist elements."Herman Cain

The problem with this country is too much “ations," he said. Regulation, legislation, etc. and Obamacare is a disaster. I'd never heard of this guy, but he had the crowd interested."The cost of regulatory compliance [with government] is $10,000 per employee," he said, and that was outrageous. That, and the uncertainty hanging over this economy because business people are afraid of what government may do next is holding everything back he claims, and I agree of course. He wants government to shrink drastically and let business thrive.

I liked Cain, but I was tired and hungry. I wanted to go to my room and have a glass of wine, and I did. Checking out some other sites, I'd saw on the Daily Caller that Jimmy McMillan, former candidate for governor in New York representing "The Rent is Too Damn High Party" showed up in the hallways of the hotel. I missed it. Could have used the comic relief.

With media credentials, I can be one of the people kneeling down in front of the dais snapping pictures. Nice results, huh? I love my 18-270 mm lens. Best photography investment I ever made.

Labels: , , ,

CPAC 2011 Friday Afternoon

McKeever and Dodge

In a small room at CPAC, Andrew Ian Dodge announced he's running against Olympia Snowe in the 2012 Maine Republican primary. There were about 20 people there. I'd met Dodge a couple of years ago at CPAC, but I didn't speak to him much and can't say I know him.

Been expecting Republicans to challenge Snowe in the primary. It seems like a sure thing, but Snowe won't have much to worry about with Dodge.

Dodge isn't a great speaker. He's not even an okay speaker. His thoughts ramble. He doesn't stay on a point very long before going on a tangent. He's unsure of himself even with a small group of conservatives. Makes me wonder how he'll be if he's working with a hostile audience.

He's running against Snowe, he says, because she voted to report an early version of Obamacare out of committee, and he thinks that allowed it to come to a vote in the full senate when it otherwise would not have. “I’m convinced Snowe made a deal with Obama to vote Obamacare out of committee," he said.

Andrew Ian Dodge

As you can see, looks aren't a strong point either. He said he's “Maine coordinator for the Tea Party.”

He wasn't born in Maine but his family has been in the state a long time. His father was a “casual clammer.” He said he was the first to organize a Tea Party rally in Maine, which he refers to as “Tea Party Patriots.”

McKeever said, “You dislike social conservatives, don’t you?”

“No,” said Dodge.

He’s against funding Planned Parenthood, but for monetary reasons, not pro-life reasons. He doesn't plan to take a position on abortion. "[There's a] perception by some that the tea party movement should be a Christian Crusade. I’m a conservative with faith, just don’t happen to share theirs.”

“What do you think about conservative Maine Governor Paul LePage’s support of Snowe?” someone asked him.

"Snowe’s first husband got LePage a bye on the SAT when he was applying to college because he was French," said Dodge. "He's personally loyal to Snowe for that."

I left the little room and went back to the big ballroom for Senator John Thune.John Thune and the crowd

He came onstage to polite applause. I’d heard he’s thinking of running for president and many think he will. I’d seen one profile on him on TV and he seemed fine.

Again, I wanted to be in the room to hear him and feel how the audience perceived him. They liked him but, as with Romney, they weren't passionate about him. After listening to him for ten minutes, I wasn't either.

I want a conservative candidate for president with passion. So does most of America. If one emerges with no skeletons in his closet, he or she would defeat Obama.Thune looks good and he seems sincere if rehearsed, like he's practiced this speech a lot. This was the base here in the big room and they’re not fired up. I could list the individual things he said, but I won’t. They were all good to this conservative writer, but again - I want passion too. Am I expecting too much?

Labels: , , ,

CPAC 2011 Friday Morning

Went to the exhibit hall first thing and bought lots of stuff. Good place to meet people. More about that later.

Went to a good session on the left's attempts to take over the judiciary. More later on that one too, but I just watched Mitt Romney's speech. There was an overflow crowd, but I was able to get into the hall through the media lounge with my pass.The dour mainstream media

The big hall was packed and they stood up to clap for Romney. I wanted to be in the room to feel things. Being in an overflow room watching a monitor isn't the same. The standing O was tepid though, if that seem's possible. There were not hoots, no audible cheers. He got respect as the front-runner for 2012, but there was no passion.Romney on the floor this morning

Romney speaks. I’m reminded immediately that he’s flat when he makes these speeches to conservatives and I've watched him do it five times now. I feel it right away. I interviewed him three years ago at The Conway Daily Sun and he's personable in a small venue, but he lacks passion in both venues. He has pretty good material, but his timing is off. It's as if he's rehearsed the speech over and over and he's doing it the same way he did for his wife last night. He doesn’t have the chutzpah. He doesn’t have fire in the belly. His timing is off. He's not connected to the audience the way Gingrich is when he speaks. Romney looks good. He pronounces words well, but he’s lacking something very important. He doesn’t have presence. He’s like a talking mannequin.Referring to Obama and his economic policies, he says, “What we’re watching is not Brave New World. What we’re watching is Groundhog Day.” Good line, but it falls flat because of his delivery.

Romney quotes Obama's remarks about the worst economy since the Great Depression: "'It could be worse . . .' What’s next?" he asks. "Let them eat cake? or Let them eat organic cake?” Another good line, but he can't deliver it well.

“There are more people out of work in the USA than there are people working in Canada, yet Canada created more new jobs than America has [last month].”

That was a good line and the crowd responded. Not bad.
“15 million Americans are out of work.”

“This is a moral tragedy," he says because of the strain unemployment has on marriages and families. “LIberals should be ashamed that they and their liberal policies have failed these Americans.”

“The president and his fellow liberals look to Europe [for solutions, but] it (socialist policy) does not work there and it will never work here.”[Instead] Believe in capitalism, federalism, the Constitution as it was written by the founders.”He's done now. Bye-bye. Is he the best we've got? I hope not.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

CPAC 2011 Thursday Evening

Got back to the big ballroom and Donald Trump was speaking. I'd heard earlier today he was coming and he talked like he was running for president. I confess I don't know much about him except that he's a real estate developer and sometime-rich-guy who goes on television and says, "You're fired" to people. I never watched the program, but I've heard. I have a hard time taking guys with comb-overs seriously and his is one of the most flamboyant I've ever seen. If you're losing your hair, accept it with dignity. It doesn't make you a bad person.Trump addressing the crowd

"Ron Paul has zero chance of getting elected," he shouted soon after I got there and set up in the media lounge. Yes, I was not allowed back into the Bloggers' Lounge. I made a friend on the ACU Board (they put on CPAC) in the bar last night who offered to help me get in if they refused me, but I don't think I'll take advantage of it right now. I sat next to Joe Klein this afternoon with the mainstream media, but I didn't recognize anyone else yet and I don't want to read their badges. Many were taking notes using the old technology - pen and pad. Nobody does that in the Bloggers' Lounge. Most, however, were banging their laptops like I was. It's a quiet bunch and everybody keeps to themselves. I can deal with that.

Well, Trump is pissing off the Paulies. They're booing him vehemently and they comprise about a quarter of the people down there on the floor. Another quarter stand up and cheer. Most people are annoyed with them. They are different. I kind of like Trump. He's fiesty. The Paulies aren't ruffling his feathers or his hairdo. It's going to be interesting to have him in the race for president, especially in the debates. He's talking like he already announced he's running. He must have said it before I got here.Newly-elected Senator Rand Paul (R-KY)

Rand Paul is at the podium. He says the proposed budget cuts Republicans are offering don't go nearly far enough and he's right. He's talking about going after entitlements. Right again. He says Social Security is going to have to gradually raise the retirement age. Right again. I haven't disagreed with anything he's saying. He's not a dynamic speaker, but I like what I'm hearing.

“The notion that the Commerce Clause can [allow Congress to] do anything," he said, is going to have to change.

Hmm. Can't disagree with that.

He says fellow doctor/Senator Tom Coburn asked Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan: “Could the Congress make people eat three vegetables a day?” She said it could.

Hmm. I like vegetables in my later years, but I want eating them to be my idea.

"How many Tea Party people are out there?" he asks. About a quarter of the crows responds. “[Because of the Tea Party] this town is now talking about the debt and deficit incessantly," he says.

That's good. I like Rand Paul. He suggests cuts to the budget totaling $500 billion so far. I hope we get more like him elected in 2012.
Cheney and Rumsfeld

Next, someone introduces someone else who introduces former Vice President Dick Cheney who will introduce Donald Rumsfeld. Hundreds of Paulies are filing out of the hall and I walk down from the media lounge to the floor so I can get better photographs. I had to wait for them as they filed out.

They were obnoxious. The were shouting “Ron Paul! Ron Paul!” as they walked the aisles. Others in the crowd were clearly angry. “Shut up!” some said with hostility. Most of these rude and obnoxious Ron Paulies were young men - boys really - with longish, Justin Beiber-like hair and lots of stickers plastered over their shirts and jackets. I think Ron Paul is a little strange, but I like and respect him though I agree with Trump that he'll never get elected. He's speaking tomorrow or the next day and I'll probably attend. I liked most everything I heard from his son, Senator Rand Paul, too, but I don’t like their supporters. They don’t reflect well on their heroes. Not at all.

Someone else yelled "Draft Dodger!" as Cheney was speaking, but he seems undaunted. I'm sorry this happens at CPAC and I like Dick Cheney very much. Always have. I like Rumsfeld too. They're big boys and they can take it.Rummy at the podium

Rumsfeld says nice things about the United States and our military. Lots of former military in the crowd. Many are my age - Vietnam era. I feel at home. Rummy plugs his book. He'll be available in the exhibit hall to sign copies.

I'm tired now and I'm going outside to find a place where I can buy a bottle of red wine and some hard Italian cheese. After that, I'll probably go to bed - if I'm smart, that is. I was up late in the lounge last night. Not good to do that two nights in a row, and besides, I've got a good book to read: "The Faithful Departed" by Philip Lawler. I like the title. It's both a phrase and a sentence, depending on how you want to interpret it. It's about the decline of the Boston Archdiocese in the late 20th century and I was there for much of it.

So far, it rings true. Very true.

Good night.

Labels: , ,

CPAC2011 Thursday Afternoon

Black farmers protesting Pigford case fraud

A guy from Brietbart TV invited bloggers downstairs for a press conference on the Pigford black farmers case. Brietbart was there with some farmers and blogger Lee Stranahan from the Huffington Post - dressed in jeans and a T-shirt. He stood out, calling himself "the worst-dressed guy at CPAC" where almost every guy wears a jacket and tie, this writer included. It was nice to see someone from the left just as outraged as Brietbart over this politically-correct fraud. They played audio evidence of fraud by attorneys assisting black "farmers" applying for their piece of more than $2 billion in settlement funds for alleged discrimination against them.Black farmers, Brietbart, and Stranahan on the right

Stranahan was sitting on the right, but he's figuratively from the left - writing as he does for the Huffington Post. Unusual to see someone from the other side at CPAC, but it emphasized his indignation about what was happening with the Pigford case, as well as his respect for Andrew Brieitbart. He explained what we were listening to, which was an attorney named Burrell coaching a church full of alleged black farmers to fill out applications and "get their checks" from the federal government. The standard of proof was as loose as them them claiming their deceased father once tried to get an application from the US Department of Agriculture and was denied because he was black.Representative Steve King (R Iowa)

According to USDA figures, Iowa Congressman Steve King said, there were only 18,000 black farmers, but 94,000 application for compensation. He also said that then Illinois State Senator Barack Obama was encouraging farmers from Illinois to get involved.

We'll definitely be hearing more about this case. Brietbart has a special interest in it after the left accused him of shoddy journalism in the USDA white farmers case and the firing of Shirley Sherrod back in July, 2010. As it turned out, Sherrod and her husband each got $150,000 in "compensation" for pain and suffering, and stand to collect millions more.

Interesting. Very interesting.

I had to leave partway through to get to another session. More on this later, I'm sure.

Labels: , , ,

CPAC2011 Thursday Morning


Got my media pass at 7:00 AM. It's 9:00 now gearing up in the main function room below. I’m in the Bloggers’ Lounge, but I don’t know for how long. I have my media credentials and it says "Blogger" in green below my name on the conference pass. Haven’t been over at the media lounge yet, and if I’m kicked out of here, I’ll check it out. I’m told I can work over there if I have to. Looks like old media: newspapers, TV, etc. There’s a good spirit here and I’ll try to stand my ground. Either way, I saved the $175 conference fee I've usually paid as a conservative civilian and that counts for something.
David Keene, president of the American Conservative Union is speaking, to introduce Michelle Bachmann. She read the roll call of conservative Republican congressman and Senators. She's up now and pumping up the faithful. They're responding. The room isn't filled yet, but they're pouring in from the far side.The internet connection here is deathly slow. So many people are uploading video now, it's clogging things. I better publish when I can. Pam Geller of Atlas Shrugs just sat down next to me and set up. Talked to her in the lounge last night. She's a soldier. Gonna attend her presentation on the Ground Zero Mosque tomorrow.

Okay. Michelle is going after the libs for shutting down energy development here in the good old USA. You know, oil shale, offshore drilling, ANWAR, etc. Good for her. She's finishing now. She's pumping up the crowd to take back the country. "Let's roll."

Labels: , ,