- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 26, 2013

“The nation is looking for a change in leadership. Many Americans wake up every day wondering if we are descending rather than ascending as a nation. And most of our citizens want to rally behind hopeful alternatives to our current path,” American Conservative Union Chairman Al Cardenas tells Inside the Beltway.

In the next 48 hours, Mr. Cardenas and a battalion of those concerned citizens will head to the Conservative Political Action Conference in St. Louis on Saturday, a one-day event featuring 59 speakers and some provocative forums.

“How we are going to go about getting our country back on track? We will tackle tough subjects like immigration reform, Obamacare, the IRS targeting conservatives, Benghazi, what libertarians and conservatives can agree on, and more,” Mr. Cardenas says.

Among those up on the podium: Republican Sens. Roy Blunt of Missouri, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, Deb Fischer of Nebraska and Mike Lee of Utah, plus Reps. Louie Gohmert of Texas, and Blaine Luetkemeyer, Jason T. Smith and Ann Wagner of Missouri.

Govs. Sam Brownback of Kansas and Rick Perry of Texas will attend, along with Rick Santorum and Oliver North. Also on the agenda: Libertarian Party Chairman Geoffrey Neale, Americans for Tax Reform founder Grover Norquist and Washington Times Editor John Solomon and The Times’ editorial page editor David Keene, the past president of the National Rifle Association. Mr. Keane, incidentally, will offer a Second Amendment update.

At the heart, though, is grass-roots zeal and canny ground planning.

“Activists will leave the St. Charles Convention Center charged up and ready to fight for our values and principles,” an enthusiastic Mr. Cardenas declares. “2014 will be a banner year for conservatives. The American Conservative Union will be traveling the country arming our followers with the conservative tools that will lead them to victory.”

ONLY THREE THINGS?

“There are three things congressional Republicans should do now to win the battle with President Obama over the continuing resolution,” proclaims Steve Forbes. Yes, that Steve Forbes, of Forbes magazine fame.

“What’s good for big business is good for the American people. Demand that the individual mandate be postponed for a year, just as President Obama did — again, illegally — with the business mandate. Why should big business get a stay of execution from this dreadful legislation and not the American people? Make this another non-negotiable demand,” Mr. Forbes says.

Next, he advises GOPers to demand that no money from Medicare be diverted to financing the Affordable Care Act. “Be the champions of protecting the integrity of Medicare. Let’s enjoy the spectacle of Harry Reid and the White House opposing this,” Mr. Forbes says. “This demand will also be popular with defunding-minded Republicans.”

Finally, he tells Republicans “to eat your own cooking” by repealing the exemption for Congress provided in the health care law, an exemption that has irked the public.

“Throw down a non-negotiable demand: Repeal the exemption. If tens of millions of Americans have to eat this awful Obama stew, Capitol Hill should, too,” Mr. Forbes declares, adding, “Come on, Republicans. Get smart — and have fun while you’re at it.”

BUMPER PATROL

“Honk if I’m paying your mortgage.”

“To err is human. To blame it on someone else shows management potential.”

Bumper stickers spotted on the same car near Annapolis

SANTORUM TURNS MOVIE MAN

Conservative and political credentials intact, the aforementioned Rick Santorum quietly has become CEO of EchoLight Studios, an inspirational and family film company which will release “The Christmas Candle” nationwide Nov. 22. Mr. Santorum will tour some cities with the film.

Based on the book by Max Lucado, the movie is situated in the 19th century English countryside and dwells upon the charming local legend that an angel comes to call on the local candlemaker every 25 years, and a miracle occurs. The electrical age, however looms. British singer Susan Boyle is included in the unusual ensemble cast.

“Surprisingly, a Christmas movie releasing for the holidays is a unique event, as there have been very few in recent years,” Mr. Santorum says. “The story inspires renewed hope in the miracle of Christmas and illustrates that this holiday is not just about reindeer and receiving gifts. ‘The Christmas Candle’ will remind audiences of the spirit and sense of wonder of the season — something that is often lost in our modern era. Our goal is to release quality entertainment with positive, uplifting messages of hope.”

THE SAVAGE SAGA

In three months, Michael Savage moves to afternoon drive-time. The veteran talk radio host will take over the much desired 3 to 6 p.m. ET time slot on more than 200 affiliates of Cumulus Media Networks, including powerful major markets with WABC in New York City, WLS in Chicago and WMAL in the nation’s capital.

Mr. Savage, author of 28 books, is a tenacious talent who will not let loose of an issue. He is skilled in rooting out the quirks of culture, politics and global events. Some 10 million nighttime listeners tune in to hear him identify cultural nuance, slice through the inequities of life and talk tenderly about his beloved pooch, Teddy.

“With this important time slot as well as the iconic Cumulus stations coveted by everyone in radio, I hope to ‘edutain’ the world,” says Mr. Savage, coining a new word. “Politics will always be my mainstay, but there is so much more to talk about. Breaking news and science, religion, films and books have always been my calling cards. With these new stations, I break out a new deck.”

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

For sale: Bomb shelter, 16,936 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 6 baths, free-form swimming pool with faux boulders, sauna, specialized lighting, “attractive artificial outdoor space,” completely underground, 26 feet below Earth’s surface, on one gated acre near Las Vegas. Built by cosmetics executive Girard Henderson as a vacation home in 1978.

“Sin City, home of the nicest bomb shelter in the country. Foreclosed and priced at $1.7 million,” notes Toptenrealestatedeals.com

POLL DU JOUR

73 percent of U.S. voters support building the Keystone oil pipeline to ease the nation’s fuel challenges.

65 percent oppose raising the debt ceiling; 27 percent favor raising the ceiling.

55 percent are not in favor of the Affordable Care Act; 39 percent support it.

55 percent support a one-year delay in implementing the individual mandate in the health care law; 35 percent oppose a one-year delay.

54 percent support delaying the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

52 percent favor negotiating over the debt ceiling, rather than a “straight up or down vote”; 38 percent prefer the vote.

51 percent support a continuing resolution on the debt ceiling that defunds the Affordable Care Act; 41 percent oppose it.

Source: An Ending Spending/American Action Forum survey of 800 registered U.S. voters conducted September 13 to 18.

Tip line always open at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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