Will be spending the next three days as a guest at the Texas Public Policy Foundation's Policy Orientation for the 2013 Legislative Session. Having attended a TPPF orientation previously, I know the next three days will be akin to 'drinkin' from the fire-hose'. True to form, the Foundation will be providing an impressive quantity of quality research and analysis for those interested in public policy.
Theoretically, I can engage in 'live' blogging during the event; but I warn my readers that I'm not so great 'off the cuff.' As a true introvert, I prefer to spend time processing before daring to offer up interpretation. But who knows? Perhaps I can share a few nuggets of TPPF wisdom.
Stay tuned: Today's sessions will focus on "The Movement and the Media," and we'll be hearing from Senator Ted Cruz, Jonah Goldberg, Michael Ramirez, Erica Grieder, and others.
10:00 A.M. This morningTPPF's Joshua Trevino and Erica Grieder are discussing Grieder's forthcoming book, "Big, Hot, Cheap, and Right: What America Can Learn from the Strange Genius of Texas." She has highlighted some of the inherent strengths of the Lone Star State that have made Texas a powerhouse state, but also presents concerns over the state's ability to adapt to shifting economic realities.
11:21 A.M. Second session with Joshua Trevino and Ben Domenech (The Transom and a founder of Red State). Session is entitled "What Went Wrong and How We Get it Right: Conservative Media in 2012 & Beyond." Domenech points out that Schools of Journalism don't effectively prepare reporters for media jobs; writers in the media have little knowledge or experience in the areas on which they report. Consequently, many 'informative' articles are riddled with errors and not reliable sources of information. Also, conservative viewpoints are largely absent from mass media 'non-political' publications. (I've noticed women's magazines in particular are extremely left-wing and very, very political!)
Update: 8:12 P.M. "We should champion every day the 47%." -Ted Cruz
Lunch speaker was Senator Ted Cruz- amazing how the entire audience seemed enraptured by our junior senator, and they were not disappointed. He spoke about the problem for Conservatives in the 2012 elections: "47%" Our mistake, according to Cruz, was that we did not address the concerns of the 47%, when we should have articulated that conservative policies work and would actually improve their daily lives. Cruz noted that Obama's policies have hurt, not helped the poor, and that African-American and Hispanic unemployment rates have risen significantly since 2009. Also noted that school choice reforms would empower the poor. "We should champion every day the 47%."
Afternoon sessions included a highly entertaining discussion with Michael Ramirez, the two-time Pulitzer Prize winning political cartoonist of Investors Business Daily, and later discussion with Jonah Goldberg of NRO (National Review Online.) Goldberg included an interesting assertion that young voters are the "iPhone Generation" and accustomed to having access to choices and freedom, but strangely vote for the "one-size-fits-all Post Office Party." He hopes that the logical disconnect will eventually dawn on them, and believes Libertarianism is the path to reaching younger, uninformed voters.
We finished up with a special screening of "Rebel Evolution," a documentary by Anna Zetchus Smith that featured several former liberal activists who had 'evolved' in their thinking about politics and the Right. (Including the delightful Ted Hayes.) The main protagonist of the film Brandon Darby was on hand for Q&A about his persecution for turning FBI informant on violent 'peace' activists.
Okay, that's about as good as it gets for this writer for 'live blogging.' More to come for the next two days, and plenty of blog fodder once I've gotten to properly process.