This year’s Conservative Political Action Conference has had something of a deflated feeling floating about it. The crowds are smaller, the panels are fewer, and the entire enterprise has a sneaking feeling of being scrimped on. For Rand Paul, however, CPAC was bigger and better than ever.
At last year’s conference, Paul was freshly coming off of his launch into the full national spotlight thanks to a filibuster of John Brennan’s nomination to the CIA in protest of Justice Department equivocating on executive domestic droning authority. Yet for all the positive attention he received from that filibuster, Paul was still treading softly on the Republican political ground. Libertarian politics had not been overly welcome in the wider GOP, especially after a decade of Bush II foreign policy. So he took to the 2013 stage with a rock star’s reception, complete with Metallica’s “Enter Sandman,” but deployed a sophisticated rhetorical strategy intended to make libertarianism more comfortable for conservative ears.
What a difference a year makes.
When Paul arrived behind the podium Friday night, he walked and talked with the assurance of a man confident in his base of support, and spoke more to rally the faithful than sell the skeptical. From the beginning, Paul centered his remarks around liberty, telling the audience he was not calling for more Republicans, but more “friends of liberty.” And where last year’s speech was essentially grounded, a friendly pitch to make common cause, Paul deployed much loftier rhetoric, interspersing (as he often has) quotations and references to classic thinkers like Madison and Montesquieu in his rousing call to arms. The running theme was the “great battle” coming, and an urging to not be “lemmings” rushing towards destruction, but rather men who would defend their inalienable rights.
Stephen Dinan and Seth McLaughlin
Published: March 8, 2014
Sen. Rand Paul demolished his competition in the 2014 Washington Times/CPAC presidential preference straw poll on Saturday, winning 31 percent of the vote -- nearly three times the total of second-place Sen. Ted Cruz.
Mr. Cruz's 11 percent was still a big improvement for the freshman senator, who won just 4 percent in last year's straw poll. Neurosurgeon Ben Carson was third with 9 percent and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was fourth with 8 percent in results that signal growing discontent with the GOP establishment in Washington.
As hangovers cleared, on panels and in booths, Day 2’s momentum drained away from the GOP’s aging “values” peddlers—in favor of the young, energetic followers of Rand Paul.
Day 2 of CPAC got rolling with a more subdued crowd than Day 1. Not because folk weren’t having fun. Quite the opposite: More than a few attendees clearly had stayed up too late having too much fun Thursday night. Throughout the convention center, you heard people asking variations on the questions: “So what time did you get to bed?” In the downstairs exhibit hall, attendees of all ages slumped on the white sofas like bleary-eyed rag dolls. Standing in line at the hotel’s sundries shop, one young Citadel cadet groaned to his buddies: “I’m hung over harder than I deserve.”
For much of the day, the main ballroom was drawing less action and attention than it did on Thursday. Most of the program lineup was slightly lower wattage (Rick Perry instead of Ted Cruz; Mike Huckabee and John Cornyn instead of Chris Christie and Marco Rubio), tilted more toward values issues (Rick Santorum and Ralph Reed), and, perhaps as a result, more sparsely attended. Which was a shame, because there were some sweet sparks flying, courtesy of the ongoing battle for the soul of the movement.
The morning panel on national security may have been the feistiest discussion of the entire convention. Libertarian lawyer Bruce Fein went mano a mano with former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore, who took a traditional strong-defense, Edward-Snowden-is-a-traitor stance. Voices were raised. The combatants got snarky. Charges of naivete, cluelessness, and “nonsense demagoguery” were hurled back and forth. And that was mild compared to the audience pushback. Though the crowd was tiny, it was fierce—and firmly in Fein’s corner. Most words out of Gilmore’s mouth drew boos and loud grumbling. At one point, an outraged audience member cut loose with a Joe Wilsonesque “You lie!” When Gilmore took a swipe at Rand Paul by name, I feared for his safety. By session’s end, I wanted to give the former governor a hug, a Band-Aid, and a big glass of Johnny Walker Black.
What has occurred in Ukraine was not a popular revolution, it was a carefully orchestrated coup d’état. The “demonstrators” with the metal barricades, bullet proof vest, army helmets, weapons, shield and masks were very well organized and trained. The whole affair was orchestrated by the West in an attempt to bring Ukraine into NATO and split Russia. Mr. David Shayler a former MI5 officer spoke to the Voice of Russia on the activities of the intelligence services and on what the forces behind the scenes are doing. He says President Putin is merely protecting his country and his people and is in a strong position.
Hello this is John Robles your listening to an interview with Mr. David Shayler, he’s a former MI-5 officer, turned whistleblower and truth campaigner. This is part 1 of a longer interview.
Robles: Hello David how are you this evening?
Shayler: Hello John I am fine. Thanks for having me on the show again.
Robles: Thanks for agreeing to speak to us. It is a very difficult time for Russia, for Ukraine, very strained relations. Something is getting lost in the media coverage in the West and I’ve seen a lot of reports from the West it is completely skewed. What is being lost, I think, is the fact that 80% or more of the Ukrainian population are Russian-speaking or Russian nationals and their rights are being obliterated. Can you comment on what you know about, since you are former intelligence officer, on subversive operations by NATO and the West in Ukraine? What do you think their objective is?
Shayler: When I first saw this it was absolutely clear to me that this was not a popular revolution. Immediately you had people turning up with metal barricades, they were very organized, they were in masks and so on. Now I would say if I was pissed off with my government, now I’m going to demonstrate, where would I get a metal barricade from?
So, clearly these people are paid mercenaries and this revolution was nothing to do with the will of the people. As you say, most of the people in the Ukraine either speak Russian or have relations in Russia and so on. This was something that’s been orchestrated by the west, they’ve been trying to start the Third World War, and we saw that last year in Syria. It failed then, but they are obviously now trying to open another front to try and cause that war.
And what’s a bit curious in this country has been the propaganda for both sides, on the one hand we’ve been told on certain newspapers, this is Putin trying to build an empire, and you’ve only got to look at the maps of bases that go around Iran, US bases, to see what empire building looks like. And obviously, I don’t believe Vladimir Putin is trying to build an empire at all, I think he is trying to protect his own country.
I've just finished uploading my photos from yesterday at CPAC, including Rand's speech, and every other major speaker up until this point. Just wanted to post what I have uploaded so far, before the final day starts, so you guys are aware!
According to the fuel records, H2-11 purchased jet fuel for prices ranging from $2.37 to $3.20 a gallon. At nearby local airports, the exact same jet fuel goes for between $5 and $8.50 per gallon.
Google Executives Globetrotting on Taxpayers' Dime
According to the inspector general’s report, the discount fuel saved Google’s principals between $3.3 million and $5.3 million since H2-11 was able to purchase the taxpayer subsidized fuel at Ames.
One year after his filibuster, the Paul love at CPAC is stronger than ever.
By Sarah Mimms
March 7, 2014
NATIONAL HARBOUR, Md.—A year after his 13-hour filibuster won the hearts of young conservatives just a week ahead of the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference, the fandom for Sen. Rand Paul here has only grown.
Paul gave a speech Friday before the first standing-room-only crowd at the conference so far, asking a cheering audience, "Will you, America's next generation of liberty-lovers, will you stand and be heard?"
Following his typical style, Paul's speech focused largely on personal freedom, the Fourth Amendment and rights he alleged are being usurped by the Obama administration, while avoiding the tricky topic of foreign policy, where his Libertarian views are not as widely accepted by conservatives here.
Paul's biggest applause line of the afternoon – the biggest applause line at CPAC so far – came during his discussion of President Obama's failures, particularly at the National Security Administration. "As our voices rising protests, the NSA monitors your every phone call. if you have a cell phone, you are under surveillance. I believe what you do on your cell phone is none of their damn business," he said to loud cheers.
Paul continued an assault on Obama's record, getting laughs when he asked how history will remember the president, and later quoting Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters in asking whether former supporters of the president now believed they had "trade[d] your heroes for you ghosts? … Did they get you to exchange a walk-on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?"
• Paul, a Kentucky senator, got the Conservative Political Action Conference's loudest applause with a libertarian message
• He railed against President Obama for allowing the National Security Agency to seize millions of Americans' phone records with a single warrant
• Paul is seen as a major 2016 presidential contender
• The CPAC even has heard from other crowd favorites Ted Cruz, Chris Christie, Rick Santorum and Donald Trump
• Paul sued the Obama administration, and the president personally, in February over the alleged NSA abuses
By DAVID MARTOSKO, U.S. POLITICAL EDITOR
PUBLISHED: 15:31 EST, 7 March 2014 | UPDATED: 15:51 EST, 7 March 2014
A sustained noise that could best be called a hoot and holler greeted Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul at the mention of his name, before he took the stage at Friday's Conservative Political Action Conference and declared that cell phone records sought by government agencies were 'none of their damned business!'
By the time he launched into his blue streak against the National Security Agency and quoted Pink Floyd to criticize President Barack Obama, the overflow crowd of thousands sounded like Beyonce concertgoers who had stumbled into the wrong ballroom.
The crowd simultaneously drank it in and shouted it out, making Paul the star of the Conservative Political Action Conference's second day and giving him – by far – the event's loudest applause.
'If you have a cell phone, you are under surveillance' from the federal government, Paul warned in his biggest moment. 'I believe what you do on your cell phone is none of their damned business!'
One group of partisans shouted 'President Paul! President Paul!' as he spoke.
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