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Your CPAC flask

A slightly debauched survival guide for the Conservative Political Action Conference

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10:30-11:30 a.m.: Panel discussions

Thankfully for you, this sad parade of ego and ire takes a breather for an hour, long enough for a couple of panel discussions about things Republicans have already decided. The first, “An Inconvenient Truth? Can We Balance Our Energy Needs With Environmental Stewardship in a Post-BP Spill World?” will be an inane public relations exercise featuring Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Adam Putnam (among others) that both ignores the fact that there is ostensibly still oil spilling into the gulf and attempts to make Floridians feel like said spilling is in the interest of their freedom. The other panel – next door, at the same time – will try to present Florida as some kind of educational model, even though our kids are getting dumber. It’s safe to say that both should be avoided, unless you’re fond of Dean Cannon’s chiseled jawline.

Your better choice would be to slide over to the training rooms where “refreshments” are being offered by Americans for Prosperity; refreshments and classes on social media and “using humor for effectiveness.” That joke isn’t funny anymore.


10:45 a.m.: Marco Rubio, U.S. Senator, R-Fla.

The original American Psycho is here. He will have nothing to add.

11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.: Fire from the Heartland: The Awakening of the Conservative Woman

That movie we talked about before is actually showing, and Michele Bachmann will be prominently featured. This didn’t work for Sarah Palin. You may, however, choose to use this time for a terror nap.

11:15 a.m.: Florida U.S. Senate Republican primary straw poll forum

Why does it sound more appealing to sleep through a cinematic Bachmann vehicle than listen to the jockeying nonsense of Senate hopefuls Adam Hasner, George LeMieux, Mike McCalister and Craig Miller? Because it will be.

11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.: Panel discussions

Seriously? In “Breakout Room 1” you can stew along with new NRA President David Keene and St. Petersburg Times political editor Adam Smith (plus some corporate types) as they discuss the 2012 political “landscape.” Or you can opt for a property-insurance reform gabfest with a couple of state senators and virtually nobody else. You should still be napping.

Or training! Americans for Prosperity are back to teach you about making websites and disrespecting state and local journalists. No refreshments this time. (Check your flask).

12 p.m.: Panel Discussion: Controlling Government Spending: Would a Balanced Budget Amendment Work?

No, but this may be the only chance you get to say something awful to waxy pledge-man Grover Norquist, who, along with Dick Armey of FreedomWorks, will play out their yawning bedtime story about how all of your sorrow is caused by public employees. This is a grumpy lunch.

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