By now, this year's Conservative Political Action Conference is in full swing in Washington. And just as in the past, speeches from big-name conservative figures will take place alongside some rather offbeat panels on conservative issues.
Fortunately, CPAC has cut down on some of the egregiously inflammatory panels, like 2012’s infamous “The Failure of Multiculturalism: How the Pursuit of Diversity is Weakening the American Identity,” hosted by Peter Brimelow, leader of VDARE, which the Southern Poverty Law Center calls “a race-baiting hate group.” Still, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t a handful of truly unusual panels at CPAC this year. Here’s your guide to some of the most offbeat.
Does the U.S. Congress Matter Anymore? Executive Orders AND the Hopelessness of EVER Curtailing Federal Spending
Hosted by former American Conservative Union chairman and former National Rifle Association president David Keene and Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., this panel asks the questions “Since Congress can never cut federal spending, should we stop caring about who’s elected to Congress?” and “President Obama is paving the way toward severely altering the balance of powers – can he be stopped?” Expect plenty of talk about Obama overreaching his power via executive orders.
Healthcare After Obamacare: A Practical Guide For Living When No One Has Insurance and America Runs Out of Doctors
While it seems unlikely that an individual mandate pressuring all Americans to purchase health insurance would somehow inspire millions of doctors to give up on their careers, host Amy Fredricks of the lobbying group the 60 Plus Association is here to walk CPAC through that scenario just in case.
Rocky Mountain High: Does Legalized Pot Mean Society's Going Up In Smoke?
Colorado Republican state Rep. Janak Joshi and HotAir.com editor-at-large Mary Katharine Ham discuss whether Colorado’s legalization of marijuana is harming the state. Given that Joshi voted no on regulations for marijuana stores, it’s a safe bet that his answer to the Cheech and Chongian question above is a resounding “no.” Ham seems to have a more lighthearted take on the matter, telling her Twitter followers that she was “debating on the subject of that pot-weed the kids are talking about these days.”
What’s the Deal with Global Warming?
Perhaps unfortunately, this one isn’t hosted by either Jerry Seinfeld or a Jerry Seinfeld impersonator. Instead, the panel will be hosted by a number of climate change deniers including Joseph Bast, president of the Heartland Institute. Bast is the author of Heartland’s “The Myth of the 98 Percent,” which argues that a majority of scientists do not actually believe that global warming is a man-made phenomenon. Fellow panelist Stephen Milloy has argued against the reality of climate change on Fox News and is currently director of external policy at Murray Energy Corp., America’s largest privately owned coal company. Spoiler alert: The deal with global warming is that these guys don’t believe in it.
When the Fed Stops Building and the Mint Stops Printing: Rebuilding the American Economy after a Real Crash
Steve Moore, chief economist at the conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation, is joined by Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Ind., and Young Voices editor Cathy Reisenwitz in this Max Maxian panel on a potential Federal Reserve crash. Earlier this year, the Heritage Foundation published a report condemning the Fed’s ineffectiveness. Reisenwitz, meanwhile, routinely writes about Bitcoin’s superiority to the Federal Reserve’s regulations. Presumably, conversations on the panel will cover everything from the Thunderdome to cryptocurrency.
Not All Quiet on the Western Front: Conservatives Are Alive in Hollywood!
“Hollywood” might be a bit of a misnomer for this panel hosted by “2016: Obama’s America” producer and director John Sullivan. The panel also features “2016: Obama’s America” co-director Dinesh D’Souza and Daniel Lusko, director of the Christian thriller “Persecuted,” but none of them have any filmmaking experience with the Hollywood studio system, only low-budget documentaries and Christian films. Former Tennessee senator and “Law and Order” star Fred Thompson, who will also appear at the panel, at least has a tenuous link to the Hollywood elite CPAC is supposedly taking on here.