This is my first shot at the American Conservative Union’s (ACU) Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). I intend to capture as many cogent remarks by the speakers as possible in order to convey the highlights. I previously posted my notes from the early morning Thursday session here.

Here is what I captured during the next increment of Thursday’s sessions.

From the Coup: Impeachment – Hyped Slimes and Nancy’s Schemer session, with Rep. Jim Ratcliffe (R-TX) and Charlie Hurt (Washington Times columnist and FNC contributor), moderated by Vince Coglianese (WMAL and the Daily Caller)

  • Ratcliffe: During the impeachment farce, the President was deprived of due process, including the ability to cross-examine his accusers. The Democrats lowered the bar for impeachment, and we will be seeing more instances of these impeachment farces in the future.
  • Hurt: If President Trump wins a second term, the Democrats will attempt another partisan impeachment again. The House and Senate races are critically important in order to preclude another impeachment farce.
  • Ratcliffe: There was not a prima facie case of corruption by the President of the United States. The call with President Zelensky was entirely legal, especially in regards to looking at 2016-era corruption with Hunter Biden.
  • Hurt: No one is interested in Joe Biden’s corruption. When Bernie is exposed, people aren’t going to like Biden as they learn about Hunter Biden and Burisma.
  • The NY Times had a screaming headline last week that Russia is helping President Trump in 2020. Yet, now there are lots of stories walking that leak from a classified briefing to Congress back.
  • Ratcliffe: This leaking of classified information has been leaked in near-real-time by Democrat operatives for 3.5 years. This is just the latest instance in it. The question is, why are these leaks only going one way (against Donald Trump).
  • Hurt: If we are supposed to take Russia seriously, we shouldn’t be leaking classified info to the press. When you politicize it, you are doing the exact same thing you’re accusing the President of. The Democrats are now accusing the President of not taking the Coronavirus seriously but who spent three years on a Russian hoax.
  • Coglianese: Did the Democrats learn anything from their defeat in 2016?
  • Ratcliffe: They will double-down. They haven’t learned their lesson. There is finally some acknowledgment across federal agencies that there was indeed illegal surveillance against the Trump campaign and then the Trump presidency – which proved President Trump’s original allegations.
  • Hurt: The larger picture is so disturbing. The Democrats used to be classical liberals who were suspicious of government excesses. They hated communism, socialism. They have all left the party. Now, they are all about power and have no principles. Bernie Sanders is absolutely the most liberal politician we’ve ever had. He thinks the government is the solution for everything.
  • Coglianese: When Democrats see a concentration of power in the government, they see the solution to be even more concentrated power.
  • Ratcliffe: We are now on the precipice of having an avowed socialist being the Democrats’ presidential nominee. Democrats in the House are terrified of this.
  • Hurt: Nancy Pelosi is a brilliant tactician, but only for keeping herself in power. In contrast, I have never seen a better politician who can make the case for America than President Trump.
  • Coglianese: The FISA reauthorization is coming up.
  • Ratcliffe: Democrats don’t want to acknowledge that a Democrat administration misused FISA for political gain and don’t want to admit it. It’s a valuable tool, but there is no value of defending federal institutions if constitutional rights are being trampled.

Some of the remarks from the session of The Ills of Socialized Medicine, with Barbara Kolm (Austrian Economics Center), Marc Palazzo (Coalition Against Specialized Medicine), and author Dr. David Schneider:

  • Socialized medicine is now in the mainstream of the Democrat Party. It is a serious threat to the availability of healthcare in the US.
  • The number of doctors in countries with socialized medicine continues to decline. Rationed care is inevitable.
  • When people learn that private health insurance and Medicare will be lost, support for “socialized medicine” goes way down.
  • Bernie and his crowd are against patents, competition, and intellectual rights for healthcare-related patents.
  • The medical device industry is a mass exporter in America (the world imports America’s medical devices). Patents and intellectual property are the key market force behind this.
  • Excessive waiting times for treatment in countries with socialized medicine is the norm. People with life-threatening treatment requirements are coming to the US more and more for this reason.
  • All Democrat candidates want single-payer healthcare. Bernie wants it faster; the rest want it phased in. They are going for it all regardless of what they may claim otherwise.
  • The road to socialized medicine is the super-highway to serfdom. We should look at Europe and learn what NOT to do. Making everyone equal results in making everyone poorer (except for the very, very rich).
  • Socialized medicine will be the end of quality healthcare for more Americans. That is the bottom line.
  • The arguments against socialized medicine: government control of personal medical decisions, loss of private healthcare, no central planning, high taxes, rationed care, no competition for medical services.

From the Immigration, Assimilation, and Civics Education session with Kay James, President of The Heritage Foundation [former OPM director in the Reagan Administration]:

  • President Trump has embraced over 64% of the Heritage Foundation agenda. He said we would be tired of winning. My message to him is, “I ain’t no ways tired of that yet”!
  • We face a battle between those who want to preserve our nation and those who want to bring her down from within.
  • Our kids are told by the far left that America is the problem in the world. The reality is that America is exceptional among the nations.
  • They work to create divisions through identity politics.
  • Determination and self-sacrifice – the same characteristics the Founders had – are as badly needed now as then. We need to donate our time and our treasures to defend the Republic if we wish to preserve it.
  • It means volunteering to work for candidates – and finding the right ones who favor limited government solutions.
  • It means getting new voters registered and to the polls.
  • It means we need to stick together as conservatives and stay the course.

From the Jerusalem from the Pool of Siloam session, with US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, Aryeh Lightstone (Office of the US Ambassador to Israel) as interviewed by Ze’ev Orenstein (City of David Foundation:

  • Jerusalem is where our shared Judeo-Christian heritage originated. It is where the ideas behind America’s source documents like the Declaration of Independence began to be developed.
  • The founding documents are important for new generations to understand where we came from. The documents are God-given, immutable, and have stood the test of time. It’s important for Americans to know where we came from and how the ideas, theories, and traditions were central to the development of the US Constitution.
  • The United Nations is shameless and intent on denying the reality of the Jewish faith and state, as well as Christianity. Immersion in Jerusalem – physically seeing all the historical sites – puts the lie to that.
  • The spirit of Jerusalem is the spirit that founded our nation. American history is replete with the Founders’ reverence for Jerusalem and the “God of our Fathers.”

Vice President Mike Pence’s remarks:

  • President Trump has no higher priority than the health, safety, and well-being of the American people. He declared a public health emergency last month and established the Coronavirus Task Force which meets every single day.
  • There are now 15 cases in the US; no new cases within the last two weeks. The risk to the American public remains low, but we are ready for anything.
  • CPAC is the largest gathering of conservatives anywhere, anytime in America.
  • President Trump won more votes than any other incumbent president in 50 years in the New Hampshire primary.
  • President Donald Trump was acquitted by the Senate FOREVER.
  • Ronald Reagan said it was morning in America, and Donald Trump made it great again.
  • This president has signed a larger increase for national security than any appropriation passed in a generation.
  • This president is taking the fight to terrorists on their soil on our terms. When the terrorists swarmed our embassy on New Year’s Eve, this president sent in the Marines [unlike Obama]. Qassem Soleimani is gone, and every Democrat presidential candidate running this year was against that decision.
  • Bernie Sanders claimed that Soleimani was a member of the Iranian government. The reality is that Soleimani was a terrorist, and President Trump was right to take him out.
  • Apprehensions on the southern border are down 80% since catch and release was rescinded and Mexico started interdicting people on their side of the border. And we’re building that wall!
  • President Trump has already appointed 193 conservative judges to the federal judiciary, including two US Supreme Court justices.
  • This week, the Democrats voted down a bill providing legal protections for babies surviving abortion. In contrast, our President supports the sanctity of life.
  • Title 10 funding can now be denied to abortion providers thanks to a recent decision in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Every Democrat presidential candidate has said there is no room in the Democrat Party for pro-life people. Every pro-life American has a home in the Republican Party.
  • We’ve cut taxes across the board. This president has rolled back red tape and more regulations than any president in American history.
  • This president has fought for free and fair trade, as opposed to managing America’s decline [Obama’s phrase]. The era of economic surrender to China is over. NAFTA is gone and the USMCA is here to stay.
  • More than 7,000,000 jobs [real jobs, not the part-time jobs counted by Obama], more Americans working than ever before.
  • We will work to give every parent the right to choose where their children go to school.
  • President Trump won the Democrat debates – no contest!
  • Today’s Democrat Party has been taken over by the Left: higher taxes, open borders, late-term abortions. They are on the verge of nominating someone who honeymooned in the former Soviet Union and wants to take away Americans’ private healthcare. There are no moderates running for the Democrat nomination.
  • Democrats have been overtaken by leftist ideology that has impoverished millions around the world and taken away their freedoms and liberty for generations.
  • We have got to tell the truth about socialism. The antidote is freedom. Citizens in free countries earn an average of seven times more than citizens in socialist countries.
  • Americans will stand with the people of Venezuela until their liberty and democracy are restored.
  • It was freedom, not socialism, that led to the creation of the greatest and wealthiest country in the world.
  • We have a freedom-loving president of the United States of America. He is the real deal. He says what he means and means what he says. He never stops fighting to deliver on the promises he made to all Americans.
  • Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
  • Thank you for the privilege of serving as your vice president.

This is a good place to end Part II. More to follow in subsequent sessions.

The end.

Stu Cvrk
Stu Cvrk served 30 years in the US Navy in a variety of active and reserve capacities, with considerable operational experience in the Middle East and the Western Pacific. An oceanographer and systems analyst through education and experience, Stu is a graduate of the US Naval Academy where he received a classical liberal education which serves as the key foundation for his political commentary. He threads daily on Twitter on a wide range of political, military, foreign policy, government, economics, and world affairs topics.
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