Saturday, July 19, 2008

Live Blog from AFP-Texas Defending the American Dream (Day Two)

Day 2 of the Defending the Dream Summit is underway. It's 9:10 AM. This morning we're all in a general session awaiting the speakers, who will be:

Michael Steel
, Chairman of GOPAC and former Maryland Lt. Gov.
Hon. John Carter, U.S. Congressman - 31st District of Texas
Grover Norquist - President of Americans for Tax Reform
John Fund - Editorial Writer for the The Wall Street Journal
Steve Moore - The Wall Street Journal
Hon. Michael Williams - Texas Railroad Commission Chairman
Hon. Elizabeth Ames Jones - Texas Railroad Commission Member
Marrie Spaeth - Spaeth Communications, Swift Veterans for Truth
Erik Erickson -
Hon. Steve Lonegan - State Director, American for Prosperity Foundation New Jersey
Peggy Venable - State Director, American for Prosperity Foundation - Texas
Tim Phillips - President, American for Prosperity Foundation

Tim Phillips opens with a pep talk to the attendees. He says that it is time for conservatives to not just be online but to take on the liberals online. We are establishing our own netroots.

Cap and Trade
really ought to be called "duck and cover". The Cap and Trade legislation killed recently in Congress would increase our taxes by 1.2 trillion dollars at the Federal level. Al Gore and company "need" 32 such bills. Cap and Trade would mean a loss of 1.2 million jobs across the economy. State legislation would drain more on top of that out of our economy. Incandescent light bulbs will be banned starting in 2012 and the alternative bulbs are hazardous substances if they are broken (they can't be disposed of in the trash like regular bulbs). Lifestyle changes that Al Gore and company want are changes that government will decide for us on our behalf (how sweet). It means giving away the freedom to determine our own destiny.

Peggy "the Invincible" Venable (dubbed that by Robert Novak last night) is now at the podium. Lone Star Times is the most visited political website in Texas. When we say we are behind online we only mean we are behind where we want to be. Texas Public Policy Foundations has built a web site where citizens can investigate the spending of local government entities.

David Hartman just introduced Steve Moore of The Wall Street Journal who told a joke on himself about how he is so bad at shooting a gun that his fellow skeet shooter told him he must be from the New York Times. See The Nanny-State Diaries.

The top 1 % of income earners pay 40% of the income taxes collected. Those who make above the marginal income level in this country pay 97% of the taxes. Obama's sweet spot is a 53% marginal tax rate. Twenty-three countries in Eastern Europe have a flat tax, some as low as 10%. Ireland has the most robust economy in Europe after cutting the marginal tax rate from 48% to 12% fifteen years ago.

Moore says that the death tax goes to zero in 2010 (I believe that was the year he said) and back up the next near. Dr. Kevorkian will be very busy in 2010 offing grandmas for their heirs' sake, he jokes.

Cap and trade should be called Cap and Kill because it is going to kill our economy.

Grover Norquist is up. He talks about how Republican's in Washington have kept their promise not to raise taxes and to cut taxes (8 times), about the importance of freedom, and about keeping government out of our lives. This is the "Leave Us Alone Coalition". The left's list of what they want to make us do is "slightly longer than Leviticus" (and much less beneficial, I might add). "The left is made up of competing parasites." "Republican's who vote for tax increases are like rat heads in Coke bottles. They destroy the Republican brand." Grover talks about the dangers of increasing capital gains and dividend taxes and recommends, which is a mutual fund that invests in the market only when Congress is out of session.

Marrie Spaeth - Spaeth Communications, Swift Veterans for Truth is up now talking about the power of negative words. Negative words are more memorable. Her role today is to introduce the Hon. Michael Williams - Texas Railroad Commission Chairman.

Michael Williams breaks into the middle of Marrie's intro of him. He graciously thanks the Texans in the crowd for giving him the opportunities he has had to serve them and the rest of the citizens of Texas. We are going to take over the online community from the left. Regarding energy he says increased supply is a good thing. We have resources in America that we can use to meet our needs. We don't need to sue OPEC, as some have suggested. We need to use the full plate of energy sources. In Texas we have a 200 year supply of coal. People are worried about that black stuff. "I'm partial to black stuff" (lots of laughter from the crowd). But we need to use coal in a clean way and we have the technology to do that. We need to use nuclear power. We need to innovate in energy. This summer Micheal is sponsoring two workshops for kids to create video games that are energy related. We want to make sure that liberty is protected and opportunity is expanded.

Alan Sager is at the podium to introduce John Fund - Editorial Writer for the The Wall Street Journal.

John thanks all the Wall Street Journal subscribers in the room - "they help pay my salary". There are several reason things will turn around for us in this election. The news we get is filtered. Reagan followed the people who bought the theater tickets rather than the pundits. The "lamestream media" are following their candidate around rather than reporting because they know that mainstream America is not with them. This is a center right country. They (the left) are using psychological warfare. They fear the fall campaigns. Eight out of 10 times Democrats have been ahead in the July poles. Only 3 times did they actually win. Since 1944 only one Democrat has run for President and got a majority of the vote. This election matters. Republicans can't afford to sit it out. If Democrats win we will have "card check for unions," same day registration for voters, and no excuse absentee voting. They will change the rules and consolidate their power for a generation. "If we we flight we win, if we flinch we loose."

Peggy introduces Hon. Elizabeth Ames Jones - Texas Railroad Commission Member. Texas develops 30% of the natural gas and about 20% of the oil used in America. Don't listen to the naysayers about our country's energy supplies. We are developing and will develop natural resources in a responsible way. For example, Barnett shale contributes about 6% of the natural gas used in our country. Texas is again playing our part to supply secure energy sources for the future. We need to develop nuclear energy. Wind, solar, and bio fuels cannot meet the demand alone. Texans and Texas companies have found and created these energy sources, not the Texas Railroad Commission or any other government entity or program.

Hon. Steve Lonegan - State Director, American for Prosperity Foundation New Jersey is now speaking. He is telling his personal story about dealing with Retinitis pigmentosa and how he rejected all the social programs set up to keep him hitched to his disability. He got an MBA. As his eyesight deteriorated, he found that no one would hire him but did not give up. He got a job selling kitchen cabinets and the company he was working for went out of business. So, he bought the business after getting some financing from "the bank of mom". That was 1981, after Reagan took office. His business prospered and he then got elected as the mayor in a Democrat town. His first act was to call together city departments and ask them to cut their budgets by 5%. He stayed mayor for 12 years and made that city the envy of New Jersey in terms of fiscal responsibility.

Up now is The Hon. John Carter, U.S. Congressman - 31st District of Texas. "Judge Carter" just got back from the "Devil's town (DC). He's glad to be back in "God's country". The Supreme court ruled on the Second Amendment and, "you live in Travis County. You really need the right to bare arms here." The Democrats want to take over production of oil and gas. They say that if energy prices get high enough they can get their Energy policy enacted, which is to tax exploration and to get away from oil. Just a few words by President Bush about expanding oil exploration/production and the price drops $11. The Democrats are wrong on oil.

Erik Erickson - opens by saying "it is nice to be Travis County and not indited by Ronnie Earle." You can get online on and tell your story about what is going on in your town, in your state.

Michael Steel
, Chairman of GOPAC and former Maryland Lt. Gov. is up. "You can't please everyone, but you can tick them all off at the same time." That's what happened in 1996...."We don't create wealth by robbing Peter to pay Paul and then robbing Paul," but that is what liberals do....Reagan made it cool to be Conservative. Now we've "lost our mojo." The issues that motivated voters in the days of Reagan still motivate people in America today...We need to be colorblind and reject the ideology that looks at people as members of hyphenated classes...Individuals transform a nation....There is a socialist-Marxist trend in America...The great opportunities in American rest in the hands of individuals...Tell the story of our cause, of why we link arms as conservatives...

Lunch with Michelle Malkin

Michelle starts off by telling how across the city the net roots are calling us freaks and our candidate not fit for leadership. She did a comparison of Obama and McCain's leadership credentials and asked in Sesame Street style "which one of these is not like the other." She said a lot more but I'm about brain dead by now...

Panel Sessions

(1:45 PM - 2:45 PM)

I'm sitting in on a session titled Map to Victory: How the Right Can Win Online. Panel members include,

Ken Emanuelson,; Blogger;
Ryan Gravatt,
David Kralik, Director of Internet Strategy - American Solutions for Winning the Future
Maggie Thurber, Ohio Blogger

Get the substance down first, then the form. Put links high up in your emails. In emails the Subject line is very important. Remember that we have the conservative message and that people want to hear it. We do not tout something that the Party tells us to tout like the Netroots do. We are more independent....User generated content...Book Recommendation: Wisdom of the Crowds...Take your online energy into a brick and mortar world. Build a conservative group. Raise money...(a lot more was said than reported here).

Time for a 15 minute break.

(3:00 PM - 4:00 PM)

This is a session titled Old Media vs. New Media. Panel members include,

Dan Gainer, Vice President - Business & Media Institute; T. Boone Pickens Fellow
Douglas Kirk, Editor of the Bulverde Standard
Sherry Sylvester, Sherry Sylvester Communications

Sylvester: Gave an impassioned intro about which I did not write down anything. She did say that the small town papers are the real place where journalism is vibrant and growing, while the old regional papers are struggling.

Gainer: Traditional journalists have switched from print/TV media to the Internet. They are competing with us, the bloggers. They are doing this because we are putting out unedited content that they cannot control. Your credibility matters quite a lot. If you make a mistake your credibility is on the line. Ask fellow bloggers to edit your work. You can do creative things. Keep files on the reporters and others you blog about. Responding to a question he said there are two models that will keep local papers alive - non-profit, supported by a benefactor, and for profit supported by traditional advertising.

Kirk: Been in the newspaper business for 40 years. First newspaper called the Anti-P.U.D. (Passive, Uninvolved and Docile) Express was an underground paper he published underground in Holland (see Opinions Make A Difference), because the school paper would not publish his letters. Now as a newspaper editor ( of the Bulverde Standard) he publishes every letter to the editor sent to him. The objective of both old and new media is mass communication. He gets 6000 man hours of impact per publishing day. Both new and old have a target audience. New media comes out immediately. Newspapers are comparatively slow in distribution and are permanent, tending to get archived. Google has now put smalltown newspapers ( online in a searchable format. Small town politics are by definition localized. Old media publishers and editors will let their bias block certain content. The new media, by contrast, has too much freedom, but that is turning around a bit.

Time for another 15 minute break.

(4:15 PM - 5:15 PM)

This is a session titled Global Warming: The Cost of Climate Change Hysteria. Panel members include,

Cathie Adams, President - Texas Eagle Forum
Sterling Burnett, National Center for Policy Analysis
Phil Kerpen, Policy Director - American for Prosperity Foundation
Iain Murray - Competitive Enterprise Institute

The biggest threat today to freedom and prosperity in our country.

Adams: Was at Kyoto. It was all about politics. Global Warming is a "moral challenge" - All Gore. The only place Global Warming is known to occur is in computer models. "This conference has nothing to do about science and everything to do about the [world] economy." - a delegate at Kyoto. 17,000 scientist who know say there is "no convincing evidence for global warming". In Bali All Gore said "My country is obstructing progress in Bali, but in two years it is [not going to be the same]." Does he mean when his country becomes the Obamanation. Congress is appropriating more and more to subsidize green energy. Wind and solar creates less than 1% of the electricity in this country. Windfall profits tax on oil has taken us for 20% to 8o% dependency on foreign oil. We must drill in Anwar. Drill here, drill now, and pay less. Global warming is a hoax.

Murray: UK is looking into carbon rationing. The fight against Global Warming is following the same game plan as that used to ban DDT in the 1960s and as a result 50,000,000 people (mainly in Africa) have died of Malaria. The Global Warming hoax could kill more than that. When people give "evidence" of global warming they usually don't give the whole story. The subsidies needed to "go renewable" is $88 billion dollars per year and will cost twice as much for the energy consumer. Since 1997 European (Kyoto) nations have had larger increases in emissions than the US has had. In terms of emissions during that period Kyoto nations have increased their emissions 4 times more than the US has (US=5%; Kyoto compliant nations in Europe - 20%). Gore's plan would increase the cost to the world by $44 trillion. See Senate Bill S3036.

Resources on The Global Warming Hoax:
Book: Unstoppable Global Warming
Film: The Great Global Warming Swindle

Bob Barr, the Presidential Spoiler Wannabe

I'm home now but spending a little time cleaning up my live blog posts. The last "event" I attended at the Summit was a speech by the Libertarian candidate for President, Bob Barr. He talked about his involvement in the impeachment of Clinton and other good things he had done for our Freedom and Civil Liberties. I genuinely appreciate what he has done.

However, the degree of success he has in his campaign for the Presidency could be the degree that McCain will lose to Obama. Barr is setting himself up to draw votes away from McCain, and with the shaky relationship between the base of the Republican Party and McCain, that could spell disaster for our Republic. That's because Obama will be the prime beneficiary of Barr's campaign success, and if Obama wins the election we won't be saying "God Bless America," but we'll be crying out "God have mercy on America." Based on Novak's comments last night, he does not consider a 3rd Party Candidate a viable option for conservatives. Neither do I.

I suppose Barr thinks he can have it both ways. He thinks he will draw from the left and the right. Why he even showed up at the Netroots Nation event across town:

A surprise visit by Bob Barr

Jul 19

The Washington Post notes that Bob Barr made a surprise stop by the Netroots Nation 2008 conference in Austin, Texas:

A second surprise guest at Netroots Nation 2008 is generating hallway buzz: Bob Barr. Yep — that Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party presidential ...

Read about it here in his own words., so to speak

All I have to say about that is "Give me a break."


Anonymous said...

A key theme has been energy and the climate change cap-and-trade threat.

"The greatest threat to our freedom is the Global Warming hoax." - AFP President Tim Phillips

Michael Williams was really on fire, as usual. He spoke animatedly on behalf of using all sources of energy, mentioning that Texas is the "Saudi Arabia of coal", and when he mentioned nuclear, he got a big round of applause. There's a lot of support for "drill now" and a lot of support for nuclear.

Another great speech, which surprised me, was Steve Lonegan.

Carter mentions the fight on energy in Congress. "We are winning that fight." He signed a pledge to not support the cap-and-trade tax hikes, and it fighting to drill
"We are not going to convince Nancy Pelosi because she's brain dead, but we've won some Democrats." "If we stand firm, ... we will get common sense back running this Government."

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