Inside the Beltway

CAN’T MAKE CPAC?

A certain melancholia can descend upon conservatives who just can’t get to the annual CPAC gathering, when some 10,000 political luminaries, grass- roots patriots, old school Reaganites, rambunctious bloggers and media titans assemble to reinforce and reinvent the conservative movement. CPAC is a traditional ritual. But it’s supercharged this year, ablaze with urgency and a renewed sense of mission.

“We have the opportunity to steer America back in the right direction, and it begins right now, right here, at CPAC 2012. Our urgency is real because our nation is at a crisis point,” says American Conservative Union president Al Cardenas.

But alas, you just can’t make it. Never fear. Mr. Cardenas and company are there for those pining to be a part of things. All main-stage programming will be live streamed at www.cpac.org. The entire agenda for the event is posted as well. In addition, C-SPAN offers extensive coverage of myriad events, as well as archival videos of past meetings.

Don’t miss the big finales. The results of the annual CPAC straw poll — which is sponsored by The Washington Times, incidentally — will be revealed at 4:15 p.m. on Saturday, to be followed by a speech by Sarah Palin and a fond farewell by Mr. Cardenas.

LOGO LOGIC

Rep. Randy J. Forbes, Virginia Republican, and a group of 35 other lawmakers now have some help in their quest to persuade Air Force Secretary Michael Donley to reverse a decision to remove “God” from the logo of the Rapid Capabilities Office. The reference to the Creator was dropped after the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers complained about the logo.

Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association, is asking the group’s 2 million supporters to contact Mr. Donley and urge him to reverse the decision, and restore the logo.

“Unfortunately, under Secretary Donley, the Air Force is quickly becoming the military’s leader in trampling religious symbols, emblems and freedoms from the armed services. Last year, the Air Force banned a class on the Christian-based ‘Just War Theory’ because the class used verses from the Bible,” Mr. Wildmon notes.

CANDIDATE TRACKER

Three Republican presidential hopefuls get their CPAC duties behind them quickly. Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich speechify on Friday, then it’s off to other things. Mr. Romney, for example, speaks at 1 p.m., then heads to a town meeting in Portland, Maine, that begins at 5 p.m.

And the big, decisive events? They are getting fewer. The next presidential debate is still scheduled Feb. 22 in Arizona followed by another on March 1 in Georgia, both broadcast on CNN. Rival MSNBC, however, has canceled a March 5 debate scheduled at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif.

KING PIN

He is plainspoken and ready to rumble. Rep. Peter T. King, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, once again plans a series of hearings to access the safety of, well, the homeland. Hollywood is included on the New York Republican’s agenda.

Indeed, key priorities include radicalization within the Muslim-American community, the “looming Iranian terror threat,” security at the summer Olympics, and the presence of Islamist money in the U.S. Mr. King also says he’ll examine “potential leaks of classified information regarding sensitive counterterrorism operations, from Hollywood to Guantanamo Bay, that could endanger the lives of our intelligence officers and special operators, their families, and the homeland.”

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