Tag Archives: CPAC 2014

How CPAC Stacked the Deck on the Amnesty Panel

illegal-aliens-obamacatchreleasevoteHere’s a handy rule of thumb: If two of the four members of an immigration panel have Hispanic surnames you can bet it’s an amnesty panel in disguise. That was certainly the case at CPAC’s ‘Can There Be Meaningful Immigration Reform Without Citizenship?’

(This phenomenon is evidently peculiar to Hispanics. If two people named Schmidt and Kruger were on a panel it would be unfair to assume they enthusiastically support bomb damage reparations from WWII.)

Alfonso Aguilar and the Rev. Luis Cortes were joined by moderator Mercy Schlapp — a veteran of the Bush White House that was pushing amnesty until 9/11. The anti–amnesty speaker was Derrick Morgan of the Heritage Foundation and the afternoon’s advocate for the feudal system was Helen Krieble.

Schlapp set the tone when she remarked on the favor illegals were doing the economy by being here. Much like burglars boost an area’s GDP when they make the rounds of pawn shops.

Sbe was followed by Kreible, president of the Vernon K. Kreible Foundation, who said the debate should be about American principles: Equal treatment under the law, individual freedom and personal responsibility. So far so good, but then she reduced our choices to a false binary: Grant amnesty or do nothing.

The realistic option is removing the job incentive for illegals. But that is not a choice Kreible will ever entertain, because that would mean business can’t import serfs. She claims it’s wrong to set “artificial” limits on the number of workers you can hire. It’s Kreible’s belief that borders are a government matter, but workers are a business matter. In practice this means the federal government can keep Mohamed Atta out, unless he plans to mow your lawn.

What Kreible objects to is that ‘citizen’ word. She wants to implement a “red card” program that puts citizens in the penalty box. She would import workers without conveying citizenship or the right to remain after the job is over. This is similar to the wildly successful Turkish guest worker program the Germans had. Only problem is the Turks are still in Germany.

And while individuals should be “responsible,” American business is exempt. Right now if a US business thinks US workers want too much money, the business is free to open a subsidiary in Mexico and hire all the Mexicans it wants. But that’s a problem for agribusiness corporations, because shipping Alabama to Chihuahua would be a logistical nightmare. What’s more, sometimes the Mexican government seizes private business, you can’t trust the cops, ‘mordida’ cuts into profit margins and there’s always that decapitation problem.

So for Kreible the business solution is to flood the labor market by bringing Mexico here and let taxpayers deal with social costs.

Unfortunately for her there is no moral, ethical or conservative justification for bringing in foreign labor when unemployment in the US is over 7 percent and labor participation rates are at an all time low.

Alfonso Aguilar, director of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles, evidently believes the word ‘conservative’ is a verbal spice you sprinkle on leftist policies to make them more palatable for genuine conservatives. He wants conservatives to “own” the immigration issue by out–pandering the Democrats.

Aguilar contends the entire illegal problem is a result of “big government” setting quotas and holding the quaint notion that US jobs should go to US citizens. He recycles every lame, reverse racist amnesty cliché he could find, beginning with illegals are doing the jobs Americans won’t do.

After that howler he became incoherent. Aguilar says illegals taking jobs here “creates jobs for working class Americans.” He claims that illegals did not disregard the rule of law because they didn’t come here voluntarily. Instead business brought them here. This was genuine news to me. Who would have thought coyotes were members of the Chamber of Commerce?

Aguilar also introduced the concept of “circular immigration.” Letting illegals come here and return to their home country as many times as they and Greyhound wished. Although something tells me the circle would stop abruptly in the US when it came time to collect Social Security.

He was followed by the Rev. Luis Cortes who is the president of Esperanza. The organization’s website motto is: “Strengthening our Hispanic community” meaning it’s La Raza with a Bible. Cortes’ solution is to make citizens of anyone who ranks Cinco de Mayo ahead of the 4th of July. Otherwise, “it gives Democrats an issue.” And afterwards Democrats won’t need an issue because with 9 million or so new voters they’ll never lose another presidential election.

The most insulting aspect of the panel was how the pro–amnesty participants evidently believed using the word ‘conservative’ to describe leftist policies would somehow convince a gullible audience.

A conservative immigration reform would be built on trying something new: Enhancing the law we have now. Make it a felony to hire an employee that failed an E–Verify check or hire an employee without checking E–Verify. And strictly enforce the prohibition against illegals enrolling in any welfare or social programs.

Drying up the job market will accomplish two goals. First many of the illegals will self–deport. Second it will raise wages for US workers and lower the unemployment rate. Right now many jobs go unfilled by citizens because they aren’t willing to accept the prevailing wage scale in Juarez because they don’t live in Juarez. If employers were forced to pay wages high enough to attract US citizens, more citizens would work.

That’s a conservative, free market solution that’s good for the country and preserves the rule of law. Unfortunately the ‘C’ in CPAC now appears to stand for ‘capitulation.’

CPAC Day One Part 2

Chris Christie dolls were not for sale at CPAC.

Chris Christie dolls were not for sale at CPAC.

The Curious Case of the Leaf Blower that Didn’t Roar

Sen. Marco Rubio walked on stage and contrary to rumor, he wasn’t wearing a sombrero. In fact he gave what could be called a surgical speech, because he completely buried any reference to his amnesty mistake late last year.

In fact he talked about almost everyone’s border but that of the US. Rubio is for protecting Japan’s border. Ukraine’s border. Even Israel’s border, but not a peep about the border violations Mexico encourages. We’ve being invaded, too but no one but the taxpayers seems to care.

Rubio’s new focus is obviously on foreign policy, since amnesty policy was disastrous for him. He goes East and Easter, touching no points South. He touched on the tax code, regulations and energy. And he still has that problem with words–per–gallon. In a speech that was only 15 minutes long, Rubio still had to stop to take a drink.

Verdict: Nice young man, but not ready.

In a very fitting bit of scheduling, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie spoke just before lunch.

The bully governor used his bully pulpit to talk about his fight against public employee unions and the struggle to reform their pensions. Christie told the audience how he faced union members in their den as he went to the firefighter’s convention and walked through the crowd to get to the podium. But Christie misses the point. No one questions his courage. Conservatives question his convictions.

At the end of his firefighter’s speech he said two–thirds of the audience was cheering him. I don’t know if two–thirds of the conservative base will be cheering for a candidate who also favors amnesty. A topic Christie also failed to bring up.

Christie wants the party to start talking “about what we are for and not what we are against.” He contends that government is about “getting things done.” But that’s what intrusive Democrats say, too.

It was obvious from his speech that all the Sandy storm money is now in the bank, because the governor felt liberated to criticize his new best friend Obama, “What the hell are we paying him for, if he won’t lead?”

Christie summarized by saying under his administration there are fewer state employees, less spending and teacher tenure reforms. He added he’s pro–life but did so in the third person. But there was not a word about smaller government or less intrusive government. I get the feeling he’s Teddy Roosevelt with bariatric surgery. Activism got us in the mess we’re in today.

Christie got a standing ovation, but it was as he was leaving.

CPAC 2014 AS IT HAPPENS

 

Sen. Mitch McConnell with an item from the CPAC Lost & found.

Sen. Mitch McConnell with an item from the CPAC Lost & found.

CPAC begins in less than an hour. I’ll be covering the speeches that matter (as least to me) and the panels that are relevant (see previous).

Since I’m a one–man news team, I can’t make everything, but I’ll do my best to be your eyes & ears.

(Sorry for the delay. The CPAC/Gaylord WiFi is pathetic. Impossible to if you depend on it to work. Now that the media center has cleared out I can get a connection.

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SEN. TED CRUZ

This is my first time for an in–person Cruz speech. Not sure he needs a microphone, Cruz really projects.

He began by pointing out the obvious under an Obama administration. Liberty is under assault. But the question is how do we win?

Cruz wants to mobilize the country starting with the young who have the most to risk. He explained the two Republicans that appealed most to younger voters were two of the oldest candidates: Ronald Reagan and Ron Paul.

According to the senator, They didn’t do it because they were young, too. Their appeal was based on a strong and principled stand on the issues. Their vision appealed to younger voters, not their chronology.

Cruz wants to follow in their footsteps and to do it he outlined a 10–point program designed to “tell the truth.”

1. Defend the Constitution
2. Abolish the IRS: Simple,flat tax
3. Expand energy in this country & create high–paying jobs all over America.
4. Expand school choice
5. Repeal Dodd–Frank
6. Audit the Federal Reserve
7. Pass strong balanced budget amendment
8. Repeal every single word of Obamacare
9. Stop the lawlessness in the White House
10. End the corruption

The tenth item is where Cruz earns his reputation for not playing nice in Washington. “Ending the corruption” offends all the insiders, starting with the GOP. He wants to “eliminate corporate welfare and crony capitalism.” Which offends the Chamber of Commerce. Then Cruz proposes a lifetime ban on lobbying for anyone that has ever served in Congress, which includes past and current colleagues.

He completes the trifecta of tribulation for the political class by calling for a Constitutional amendment establishing term limits for Congress. Serve in Congress? Win a lifetime ban on lobbying. Which includes most of those the first two items left out.

Cruz says the DC consultant’s choice of stand up for principles and lose versus keep your head down and let the Democrats defeat themselves is false.

Cruz intends to win by taking strong stands and making a “clear distinction” between the two parties. He hopes the CPAC conservatives are with him.
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PAUL RYAN

Ryan speaking after Cruz is unfortunate scheduling for Rep. Paul ’The Compromiser’ Ryan, because his speech embodied “the DC consultant’s choice” Cruz was warning against: Keeping your head down and letting the Democrats defeat themselves, instead of giving voters a clear and distinct choice.

Ryan’s speech was more about the Obama failings in the news everyday and much less about what Republicans should stand for to win. He was more for broadcasting Obama failings rather than giving voters a clear choice. The Ryan option: Vote for us, because we aren’t charge of this disaster.

His speech was also a chance for the audience to recover from the Cruz address. No standing ovations until Ryan left and his jokes only received polite chuckles.

The congressman admitted “we have our internal disagreements, but I prefer to think of it as creative tension.” He called it a dispute over tactics and not principles. The problem with that is the election is only eight months away and it’s time to make a decision.

As Cruz pointed out 30 minutes earlier, playing it safe has been beating Republicans for decades.

Ryan is optimistic. Ironically, he used his budget work as an example of conservative progress. “In 2008 my budget only had eight co–sponsors.” Now he’s passed three budgets in a row, but what he failed to mention was his latest budget “compromise” that reversed the sequester cuts and increased spending and the deficit.

Ryan said the “left offers a full stomach and an empty soul.” His speech filled the time allotted him but left the audience empty of inspiration.

 

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Mitch McConnell

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell comes on stage brandishing a flintlock rifle. I wouldn’t have been more surprised if he’d come out dressed in a loin cloth.

My first thought was isn’t it a little early in the program to be announcing items left in the Lost & Found? Shouldn’t Mitch just send it to the Charlton Heston estate? Besides, in Maryland – site of CPAC this year – that rifle might qualify as an assault weapon since men in uniform have fired it at the enemy.

McConnell is a back room operator, a legislative technician. I could see him proudly sporting a quill pen, that’s in character. McConnell is not Ronald Reagan. Heck, Mitch isn’t even Clint Eastwood’s chair. His persona doesn’t lend itself to dramatic symbolic gestures. He says something to Sen. Tom Coburn as the senator from Oklahoma leaves the stage. Maybe the transcript, if it ever appears, will clear up this firearms mystery.

McConnell starts praising Coburn, who is leaving the Senate even before his self–imposed term limit takes effect. It seems each morning when he arrives at the office, Coburn empties his pockets and goes through the metal detector like every other regular taxpayer who visits the Hill, rather than flashing his Senate I–don’t–have–to–endure–petty–annoyances card. McConnell likes this common touch and says Coburn is the only senator that does this.

Evidently he doesn’t realize the contrast between him and Tom Coburn does not work to his advantage. On the previous panel Coburn had stressed the importance of term limits to restoring the Republic, while McConnell personifies the time servers who help grow big government.

McConnell, still tone deaf, then tells the audience how much time he’s spent filing briefs at the Supreme Court trying to thwart Obama. Which is one of the problems of his ‘leadership.’ Separation of Powers means co–equal branches of government, which means in turn that McConnell and Boehner shouldn’t be running to daddy supreme every time that bully Barack takes his lunch money.

McConnell then assures us he won’t let us down. But he already has. Mitch likes Coburn’s example. He just won’t follow it.