I've set up shop her at the Defending The American Dream Summit held in DC by Americans For Prosperity. There are great people all over the place and there is a lot of energy in the building.
Opening address is tackling many of the issues, with optimism about what the Conservative Movement will be able to do going forward as Americans become more aware of issues too often relegated to politicians to haggle out. Cap & Trade, unemployment, 'Stimulus', and more.
Newt Gingrich up next.
Newt Gingrich (9:45AM EDT)
Acknowledges the membership of Americans For Prosperity, noting that not only 'can' Americans make a difference, but the members of Americans For Prosperity - grassroots, motivated and informed citizens - already have made a difference.
Notes that President Barack Obama had a real opportunity to bring Americans together in a bi-partisan way. But instead, the "Socialist wing of the Democrat Party decided that now was the time" to press their radical agenda. Stimulus. Health Care. Cap & Trade. Meanwhile, unemployment soars and spending is "totally out of control." Government is picking winners and losers.
9:50: Socialist wing of the Democrat Party is "going to lead that party to a massive defeat" in the next sets of elections. Just look at Europe's move from the left toward the right as an example, Newt explains.
9:55: Tells story of gas rationing in the 70's when you could only get gas on certain days depending on whether your license plate ended in an odd or even number. A father would have his son go out and switch the license plates on the cars to get gas when needed.
Then Newt notes to great laughter and applause:
If you're a conservative and you hear of 13 year olds figuring out how to get around a program, you want to repeal the program.
If you're a liberal and you hear that story, you want to install program police at every gas station in the country.
10:00: Pokes at Obama's failed belief that he could swing the vote on Olympics. Recalls the process that brought the Olympics to Atlanta a decade ago. Makes serious point, noting - as have I - that the President of the United States cannot expect that oratory, speech and appearance will substitute for plain old hard, hard work.
10:08: Gingrich quips, "Bowing to a Saudi king is not an energy policy." Crowd erupts..
[Aside: Speaking of economics and unemployment, check out these charts and figures from AJ Strata.]
10:12: On Obama on economics, Newt says, "Yes we can. But not his way."
10:20: Newt's speech was excellent and engaging, as his normally are. He laid out, with both humor and poignant imagery, common sense economic policy and the way to prosperity and opportunity for all.
Health care is the next topic. Needing to step away for a few.
Speaking is Shona Holmes, Canadian cancer survivor from Patients United Now, on the perils of nationalized health care. "Unfortunately, in Canada we are all in the soup line (for health care.)"
10:30: Via Twitter, @aymond noted "Shona was diagnosed w/ a malignant brain tumor & the gov't told her she had to wait 6 months to see the right doctor."
Shona Homes stressed to the American audience that it is illegal for her to use her own funds for treatment of her choice or need as she or her doctor (if she can see one) would decide is best. This is what is in store for Americans, even if the Democrats pass a sneaky bill introducing creeping incrementalism under any name or descriptor.
10:35: Need to step away to do some audio work. Earlier, I was interviewed by Dr. Melissa Clouthier on Iran, Afghanistan and Barack Obama's approach to National Security and Foreign Policy. Let's just say that I'll not be getting invitations to the Roosevelt room with smiley faces from this administration.
11:30: Missed some speakers (or rather, missed writing of their words.) Currently, Hugh Hewitt speaking, and opened by defending Rush Limbaugh and "The Great One" Mark Levin against the left's incessant attacks. Currently promoting Chris Christie for governor in New Jersey to "drain that swamp." Hugh, you have no idea. It's not a swamp. It's a deceptively deep ocean with smelly surface plant growth.
11:35: Ed Morrissey of HotAir speaking now. Ed is as good a man as he is a blogger. He started blogging 6 years ago yesterday, and just graciously acknowledged Hugh Hewitt for his efforts. "...and I have followed Hugh Hewitt since day one." And no one recognizes bloggers more or better than Hugh Hewitt.
11:42: Gave multiple examples of tax code that complicate the system, such as deductions for pets, etc. "Congress like the tax code." And, Ed says, "each of these were written by Republicans, so it's not like I am just talking about Democrats here." And he's dead on.
Thanked the Americans For Prosperity grassroots audience, saying that they are the future. John notes rightly that the Left doesn't actually want to debate the issues. They descend into emotional diatribes and leave the sticky business of details behind.
Heh. Just called Senator John Baucus "Chairmonster Baucus." Talking about no one in Congress wanting you to read the actual bills - the mad dash to pass before you get it.