4:25p: Session is wrapping up. My iPad keyboard needs charging and the blogable aspects of the conference is about over. Signing this off for the day. One last comment from Stergios: If the Common Core assessments die, the Common Core dies.

4:21p: Mike Huckabee was pointed out by a member of the audience. Stergios defended to a point saying that Governors Huckabee and Jindal are coming at this from a perspective of having poor state standards. Solution should have come from the state.

4:18p: Stergios: Voucher programs in Indiana, Ohio and Indiana have come with strings attached, Common Core aligned assessments.

4:17p: Stergios: Common Core ends with Algebra II-lite. Will not prepare student for STEM.

4:16p: Stergios: Experimental approach to geometry developed by Soviets, has never been successful, and is required by Common Core.

4:14p: Stergios: All of the reading research shows that focusing on great literature and poetry expands and deepens a kid’s vocabulary. Informational text doesn’t do that.

4:13p: Stergios: At least $16 Billion will be spent by states and localities to implement this. But the spending goes far beyond what Pioneer’s cost report indicates.

4:11p: Stergios: LBJ & Carter realized that national curriculum, standards, & assessments were a bridge too far, and yet there are friends among us who think this is conservative.

4:09p: Stergios: NGA/CCSSO process was far different than actual state-led process. Common Core did not have any public hearings, did not involve teachers like state education reforms had, and did not involve parents.

4:07p: Stergios: Reasons why people are coming out now. It’s costly. Federal power grab, Moms who see homework come home that shocks, Common Core back dooring into private options.

4:04p: Stergios: Common Core is a homogenized, top-down fad in education that forces compliance and will kill innovation.

4:03p: Enlow: True accountability comes from parents.

3:59p: Enlow says it says a lot about Obama that he defunded DC scholarship program, worked against Louisiana voucher program and then funded Race to the Top. Common Core is homogenized and doesn’t provide choice. Says Association of Christian Schools International and Catholics aligned because we need to strengthen our private sector.

3:57p: Enlow cites school voucher program in Indiana. Program has drained Indianapolis public schools that the district wanted a bill that allows them to take over schools and get rid of unions. Ft. Wayne public schools had to door knock.

3:54p: Enlow: Parents should be in charge of education. Parents should have choice. “I run the competing vision in the nation.”

3:53p: Schlafly: “Common Core gives liberal a backdoor for bringing in propaganda.” Via focus on informational text.

3:51p: Schlafly discusses ELA text which is “well aligned” with Common Core.

3:49p: Schlafly: Math using constructivist approach, ELA standards using new textual criticism, not the joy of reading.

3:48p: Schlafly: Discussing how standards are now tied to statewide longitudinal data gathering. Law was supposed to protect against this, but FERPA was gutted.

3:47p: Schlafly: “Aligned” is the new magic word.

3:44p: Schlafly: goes through failed education reforms. She states that the goal is to have national control of curriculum through common standards and assessments.

3:37p: Schlafly: Common Core is the hottest issue with the grassroots.

3:31p: At the Common Core workshop with Lindsey Burke of Heritage Foundation, Jim Stergios of the Pioneer Institute, Robert Enlow of the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, and Phyllis Schlafly of Eagle Forum.

12:54p: Rubio’s talk mainly focused on foreign policy which surprised me. Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) is up. A lot of people are leaving (me too). I like Senator Lee, but I need lunch.

12:52p: Rubio: What we have in America is the exception, not the rule in world history.

12:50p: Rubio: U.S. needs to lead the world, not dictate to it. We need strong leadership.

12:48p: Rubio: Reagan never relinquished moral arguments. He called Soviet Union an evil empire. He never adopted moral relativism in his foreign policy like Obama has.

12:44p: Rubio outlining foreign challenges – Vladmir Putin trying to renew the influence of the former Soviet Union, China is laying claim to islands and international sea that don’t belong to them, North Korea is trying to develop nuclear missiles that can reach U.S., Iran is trying to get a nuke, Al Qaeda is resurging, Cuba is still a dictatorship, etc. “The United Nations can’t deal with this, they can’t do anything.” The U.S. must be engaged. Obama’s flawed foreign policy is exasperating this. We can’t see the world as how we’d like it to be, but how it really is.

12:43p: Rubio: Our economic problems are solvable as they are largely caused by a President who will be gone in three years.

12:42p: Rubio: Because their policies fail they do what they normally do – pit people against one other. This disunity is unacceptable because it is holding us back from our American century.

12:41p: Rubio: This administration has failed because they pursue policies that never work.

12:38p: Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) is up. We’re at a critical time in our history. While we are facing true challenges and obstacles there is no other nation where I’d rather be.

12:32p: Jindal: We would benefit and he would benefit if President Obama would read the Constitution. He should sue Harvard Law School because I’m not sure what President Obama learned there in three years.

12:30p: This President seems to believe that our first amendment rights begins and ends when we are sitting in the pews (Obama refers to it the freedom of worship rather than the freedom of religion). Discussed A&E TV/Duck Dynasty kerfuffle.

12:27p: It is cynical and hypocritical of President Obama and Attorney General Holder to deny Louisiana students of the great education their own children are getting. The US DOJ is fighting Louisiana’s school voucher program. Jindal says they are trapping students in failing schools.

12:24p: Jindal: changed teaching evaluations and tied it to student achievement. (Unfortunately that exasperates a teaching to the test atmosphere. Money follows students (voucher program).

12:21p: Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) is up, the main chamber is running about 20 minutes late. Jindal: While Obama was liberal he used to think that Obama was a smart man, but with Russia invading Ukraine while at the same time Obama said he would downgrade our military he will have to revisit that.

12:18p: Pierce has authored Stop Common Core legislation in Arizona.

12:17p: State Representative Justin Pierce from Arizona is a 10 Under 40 Honoree. He brings up the Space Shuttle Challenger tragedy and how President Reagan addressed it. One of my memories as well. Great message from Reagan. “The future does not belong to the faint-hearted, it belongs to the brave.”

12:11p: Christie: We don’t get to get to govern if we don’t win. He said his focus will be on winning elections.

12:10p: Chris Christie is getting a good reception here.

12:08p: Christie says he’s a pro-life governor who has been elected twice in New Jersey (what has he done?), and said Republicans are not the ones who are intolerant on social issues. Democrats are. When is the last time a pro-life Democrat has spoken at their national convention? They haven’t. He said being pro-life means we need to be pro-life through their entire life. References holding schools accountable.

12:04p: Christie: Governors get stuff done, Washington doesn’t.

12:02p: Christie touts what Republican governors have done. Primarily in the area of economic development and job creation. All of the Governors he listed minus Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker – Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and Florida Governor Rick Scott support Common Core.

11:59a: Christie: We have to start telling people what we are for instead of just railing against what we’re against.

11:58a: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is up talking about the pension reform he’s trying to make for public employees.

11:29a: Blackwell, our rights are gifts from God, not grants from government. My dad used to say when the Declaration said these rights were “self-evident” it was it’s way of saying, any dummy should get this.

11:28a: Healthcare panel on. Ken Blackwell is on it (former Ohio Secretary of State, columnist, and visiting professor at Liberty University School of Law).

11:15a – “Liberalism is not only not helping, but it is decimating lives.” – Dan Bongino, former U.S. Secret Service Agent and author of Life Inside the Bubble, a 10 Under 40 Honoree.

11:06p: Mary Katherine Ham of Hot Air wins the CPAC Blogger of the Year award. She’s great, had a chance to meet her a couple of years ago at BlogCon.

10:47p: Bolton: Re. Benghazi – it sends the wrong message when the President’s representative is murdered and those involved get away with it.

10:44p: Jorge Bonilla who is running against Congressman Alan Grayson (D-FL) in Florida’s 9th Congressional District stopped by. You can check out his website here. They also have a website targeting Grayson – NoGutsJustNuts.com.

10:41a: Bolton: We are not going to see peace through strength because we don’t have a budget for it. We’re not going to see peace through weakness either. Can you imagine Reagan dealing with Vladmir Putin?

10:38a: the intro music cracks me up. Cool music and then an old white guy comes up… which is former Ambassador John Bolton.

10:36a: McConnell: If given the opportunity to lead the Senate I won’t let you down. But, Senator McConnell, you already have as a minority leader.

10:34a: Came back as crowd *favorite* Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) started to speak.

10:01a: This is a good time for a break. Be back in a little bit.

9:58a: Panel on Obama’s executive orders, “Does Congress matter anymore?” with Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) and George Will. They are running about 15 minutes behind.

9:53a: Scott: Kids, not unions, should be the focus of our public education. Parents should also have a choice in education. “When the parents have the choice, the kids have a chance.”

9:51a: Scott: I failed high school civics, which sounds bad as a U.S. Senator. I thought I was the only one until I came to the Senate.

9:51a: Our greatness is not in the size of our tax bills, but in the size of our ideas.

Scott: We don’t need the Federal government tell us how many calories that are in our pizza. I don’t want to know about the 1292 calories in my Hagen Dauz ice cream when I eat it.

9:49a: Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) is up.

9:48a: Ryan: A life of equal outcomes is not as rich as a life of equal opportunity.

9:45a: Ryan: Republicans are the party of principles, not the party of personalities like the Democrats.

9:43a: Ryan: when I first submitted my budget I only had 8 co-sponsors and a lot of opposition. When the tea partiers were elected we have know passed this budget three years in a row.

9:42a: Ryan: The IRS is ten times larger than the Bible and contains none of the good news.

9:40a: Ryan: Touts school choice.

9:38a: Ryan: I don’t see a great divide in our party what I see is a great debate. We can be passionate. Debate not over principles, but tactics. I’d disagree, it’s been over principles as well. “There’s a fine line between being pragmatic and unprincipled.”

9:37a: Ryan: A majority party welcomes debate.

9:36a: Ryan: “Big government may sound good in theory, but it is horrible in practice.” Actually it sounds horrible in theory as well.

9:34a: Benson introduced Ryan as solution oriented policy wonk with dreamy blue eyes. Awkward.

9:32a: Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) is up next.

9:31a: Guy Benson encourages the young ladies to stay away from Congressman Grayson.

9:28a: Toomey talking about defeating the nomination of a DOJ appointee for civil rights office who played the race card during the murder trial of cop killer.

9:25a: A #StopCommonCore tweetfest is going on during CPAC.

9:24a: Ack, got a phone call so I haven’t been tracking with Sen. Toomey.

9:21a: Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) is up now. Hard to follow Ted Cruz I’m sure.

9:20a: Cruz finished gets standing ovation.

9:18a: Cruz: A friend of mine suggested to me a bumper sticker: “Republicans, we waste less.”

9:17a: Cruz: End corruption. If you served in Congress you should be banned for life from lobbying. Have a constitutional amendment for term limits.

9:16a: Cruz: We need to stop the lawlessness. We have a President who each day decides which laws to follow and which laws to ignore.

9:15a: We need to repeal every word of Obamacare. (Huge applause).

9:14a: Cruz: What we are doing to our kids is a moral outrage (talking about the debt). The reason we are here today is that we are not going to do this to the next generation. We are going to turn this around.

9:13a: Cruz: Close the IRS, incorporate fair tax, provide school choice, repeal Dodd-Frank (a bill that you shouldn’t have to read beyond the title to know nothing good can come from this.), we need to audit the FED, we need to pass a strong balanced budget.

9:11a: Cruz: We must stand free press – not having government monitor in your press room. Stand for religious liberty – meaning the IRS shouldn’t ask you the content of your prayers.

9:09a: Cruz: How do we inspire young people? We tell the truth. The truth is that Washington is corrupt.

9:05a: I want to suggest a radical agenda to you – hope and change. What personalities mobilized young people – Ronald Reagan and Ron Paul. The key must be having the name Ronald and be septuagenarians. “Liberty is under assuage…We can stand for principles.” He went on to address the need win young people “because that’s how we win elections.”

9:04a: Cruz: Standing for nothing will guarantee a loss. We tried that in 2008 & 2012 and failed. “When you don’t stand for conviction, when you don’t stand for principle – Democrats celebrate.”

9:02a: Cruz – “I have bad news for you attending CPAC, by virtue of you being here you will now be audited by the IRS.” Standard joke he typically tells.

9:00a (times are EST): “Invocation” given by Rabbi Chaim Segal.  More of a speech followed by “God bless us” instead of an actual prayer.  Strange.  Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) is up!

(National Harbor, MD) Welcome to CPAC 2014!  I’m at the Gaylord National Convention Center outside of Washington, DC on the banks of the Potomac River.  I will be liveblogging through the conference, but I’m sure I’ll be filing some stand alone articles as well.  Be sure to refresh for updates.  The picture at the top is my view from the “media filing center” which is a fancy term for seats clear in the back of the room.  The most recent update will be at the top of the page.

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