Archive for Conservatism

Conservatism is a Winning Strategy—Except in Elections

That seemed to be the message from this extended call to Rush Limbaugh yesterday:

RUSH: Here’s Ian in Fort Myers, Florida. It’s great to have you on the program, sir. Hello.

CALLER: Awesome. I appreciate it, Rush.

RUSH: Thank you, sir.

CALLER: First of all, I just want to let you know that I truly appreciate your perspective and all the ideas you share every time. I’m gonna do my best to try to articulate the point I was making to the screener. With regard to the Koch brothers article and just the message there that they’re trying to communicate, I just think the Republican Party is struggling to connect with the average person.

RUSH: Now, wait. Before you continue, I just want to make sure that we identify them. This is Charles Koch. The Koch brothers are Charles and David. There are two other Koch brothers that are not part of “the Koch brothers” as the Democrats use them.

CALLER: Sure.

I highlighted the caller’s point, and will trim the excess verbiage to try to keep it short. His inarticulateness and Rush’s deafness made for some tough listening.

CALLER: [...] I think when it comes to trying to persuade people about who they want to vote for and who they want running the country, to go out there and tell them that they need to distance themselves from the government, most people are afraid of that, in the masses at least. I mean, you’ve gotta understand, these people follow the advice of these progressives for the last 40, 50 years –

RUSH: No, I agree with you. I think it’s a scary thing for a lot of people to think of the government not being involved in their lives, particularly single women.

Okay, well, let’s take this down to the basic level. Do you have any kids?

CALLER: Not yet.

RUSH: Not yet. How old are you?

CALLER: Thirty-three.

RUSH: Thirty-three. Well, let’s pretend for a moment that you have a son who is 12 or 13, maybe 15, just on the verge of getting a driver’s license and a car. Let’s also, as part of our hypothetical, let’s stipulate that you and your wife have spoiled your son. Your son is way too dependent on you, and you are worried that he hasn’t learned and isn’t interested in learning how to take care of himself.

CALLER: Sure.

RUSH: What would you do?

CALLER: Well –

RUSH: The reason I ask is because you just said we can’t confront these people with the idea that they’ve got to take control of their own lives.

Again, cutting:

RUSH: Well, now, wait a second. See, this is where I kind of have a differing opinion from yours. Why is it that people today are immune from lessons in life? Why are people today somehow, “We can’t talk about taking care of yourself with this group. We can’t talk about providing for yourself. We can’t talk about making your life your own.” Why? What is it about this group that that so scares them? My point is, you would not raise your children that way.

If you were running for office, let’s forget that you’ve got a kid that’s gone off the rails and he’s dependent. You’re running for office, you want to reach these people. Okay, you’ve said we can’t make ‘em feel alone. We can’t humiliate ‘em. We can’t tell ‘em we’re gonna take things away from ‘em but we still want ‘em to vote for us. So what would you do? What would be your pitch?

CALLER: I don’t think there needs to be as strong of a pitch like you’re assuming to get people to vote for the person that they’re confident in. I don’t think Obama had a super strong pitch when he first won. He was just somewhat of a likable person. And even though these ideas that you share on a daily basis are pretty much the gospel to get yourself to a level in society that –

RUSH: I disagree with you. I think Obama did have a pitch, and it was he was gonna take care of you, and he was gonna fix everything that was wrong. And he personally was gonna guarantee you that things are gonna be okay. And he personally was gonna guarantee that the country be loved again. And he personally was gonna do all these wonderful things.

And, finally, Rush concluded:

RUSH: I can tell you that this radio audience is filled with converts, people that used to be dependent liberal Democrats who now listen to this program. You think that might not be possible because of the way they’re being approached because I make them afraid or feel vulnerable or whatever. But nobody that I know of anywhere is demanding that people be left alone.

That is not what “self-reliance” and “individuality” mean. It doesn’t mean alone. It doesn’t mean with no help. It doesn’t mean with no assistance. What it means is, “Be yourself, find out what you love, find out what you really want to do, and go do it. And don’t depend on people who don’t have your best interests at heart,” i.e., Democrats and the government.

If we’ve gotten to the point where we are literally destroying people’s futures by creating this dependency and then we can’t wean them off of it because that’s gonna make them vulnerable, then it’s not just that we’re gonna go to the grave never winning an election; we’re gonna go to the grave with the country never recovering. That, for me, isn’t an option. Tough love. You may think that’s too direct and so forth.

But I’m telling you, the question I asked you about how you would take care of somebody in your immediate orb that you feared was ruining their life is relevant here. If you love people, if you love the country, if you believe that everybody in the country contributes to making it great — if you love everybody and you want the best for them and if you know how they can achieve the best for them — you can’t be afraid to tell them.

As Rush said at CPAC five years ago:

I want to tell you who conservatives are. We conservatives have not done a good enough job of just laying out basically who we are because we make the mistake of assuming people know. What they know is largely incorrect based on the way we are portrayed in pop culture, in the Drive-By Media, by the Democrat Party. Let me tell you who we conservatives are: we love people. When we look out over the United States of America, when we are anywhere, when we see a group of people, such as this or anywhere, we see Americans. We see human beings. We don’t see groups. We don’t see victims. We don’t see people we want to exploit. What we see — what we see is potential. We do not look out across the country and see the average American, the person that makes this country work. We do not see that person with contempt. We don’t think that person doesn’t have what it takes. We believe that person can be the best he or she wants to be if certain things are just removed from their path like onerous taxes, regulations and too much government.

It’s up for debate if this is a winning message. But it’s the only message conservatives have. Liberals own the other side, the argument that you need government to complete you (which is appealing to some, repugnant to others). Where conservatives can win is if they persuade people that realizing their potential not only benefits them, it benefits that country. With ever greater numbers leaving the job market and going on aid, the liberal siren song sounds sweeter and sweeter. Until the ship capsizes (like Guam) from too many people rushing to one side to listen.

But as appealing as the conservative message is to me on its own, sometimes you win elections by pointing out the shortcomings on the other side.

ObamaCare.

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State of the Bunion

Actually, I have a higher opinion of President Obama: he’s a pain in the ass, not the foot.

People for the American Way, founded in 1981 by television producer Norman Lear, makes no secret that it is an advocate of a “wide variety of liberal causes.” The nonprofit’s 501 tax-exempt status has never been challenged by the Internal Revenue Service.

It’s a different story for Friends of Abe, a right-leaning Hollywood group whose membership includes actors Gary Sinise, Jon Voight and Kelsey Grammer. The nonprofit’s application for tax-exempt status has been “under review” by President Obama’s IRS for two years.

The Los Angeles Times reported last week that the federal tax authorities presented Friends of Abe (as in Abraham Lincoln) with a 10-point demand for detailed information about its meetings with various conservative political figures.

That follows a previous IRS demand that Friends of Abe give its enforcers enhanced access to its security-protected website, enabling the feds to identify the group’s members.

The agency’s demands on the Hollywood nonprofit raise renewed suspicion that the IRS continues to target conservative groups for extra scrutiny when they apply for tax-exempt status; continues to hold right-leaning groups like Friends of Abe to a different standard than unabashed liberal groups like People for the American Way.

The IRS hasn’t been been punished in the least for its disenfranchisement of American citizens, delivering the 2012 election to Obama. They couldn’t have been more intimidating if they had worn black fatigues and berets and carried truncheons.

Oh sorry, that was 2008:

James Taranto addressed this story yesterday:

FOA members have good reason to fear being identified to the IRS. Last year the agency was revealed to have leaked confidential donor information about the National Organization for Marriage to the Human Rights Campaign, an antagonist in the debate over same-sex marriage. HRC promptly posted the purloined information online. LifeSiteNews.com reported in October that congressional investigators had identified the leaker, “but in an ironic twist, the Internal Revenue Service is forbidden from disclosing whether the employee has been prosecuted, fired, or even reprimanded.”

The IRS’s intrusive tactics thus have a chilling effect on people who wish to exercise their First Amendment right of free association without attracting public attention–or, more precisely, the attention of vicious ideological antagonists. Even calling attention to those tactics can compound the problem, as illustrated by FOA’s need to reassure its members in the wake of the Times story. The gradual accretion of power by a vast administrative state, combined with an administration intolerant of dissent, has produced a clear and present danger to basic American freedoms.

Remember one of the demands by the IRS on one of the Tea Part groups?

“Please detail the content of the members of your organization’s prayers.”

I’m pretty sure that violates some part of the Constitution—maybe the part about not coveting your neighbor’s donkey—but I know for a fact it’s one of the most poorly constructed sentences ever written in what I take to be English.

Obama has seen what he’s gotten away with so far, and just keeps going. The executive branch will now ignore the legislative, leaving only the judicial branch as a check or balance. How you feeling about our chances?

Me neither.

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Everything is Spinning Out of Control! Except in Wisconsin

OMG! Chris Christie in the soup! Bob McDonnell under indictment! Dinesh D’Souza primed for arraignment! Either the Republican Party is going to the dogs, or Eric Holder has lost his mind.

Is there no sanity in modern politics?

Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin is scheduled to go on trial Monday in federal court here, the highest-profile defendant to face a jury on criminal charges for alleged corruption in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Mr. Nagin, 57 years old, rose to national prominence as levee failures flooded roughly 80% of the city when Katrina made landfall in August 2005. And while his trial focuses on a narrow series of business deals and city contracts, its backdrop is the massive rebuilding effort spurred by billions of federal dollars and the drive by New Orleanians to build a city free of the corruption and mismanaged government that festered for decades.

Where does George Bush go to get his reputation back? Something was rotten in Chocolate City.

Meanwhile, across the country…

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has completely changed the “state of the state” and Wisconsinites are reaping the benefits.

In 2011, Wisconsin had a whopping deficit of $3.6 billion dollars. But a cooperate tax cut and collective bargaining reforms invigorated the state economy. Now, the state is boasting a $911 million surplus, credited to “good stewardship of the taxpayers’ money.”

And what will Walker do? Buy his wife a $19,000 dress? Increase his paycheck? Go on vacation?

Nope. He’s proposing $800 million in tax cuts.

“What do you do with a surplus? Give it back to the people who earned it. It’s your money,” Walker said.

Hey, isn’t it time to indict another Republican? Get the lead out, Eric the Red, they’re not going to indict themselves.

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Dammit!

Untitled

Rush says he lives “rent-free” in Obama’s head.

Then why don’t we warrant a broom closet or a corner of the boiler room?!

RUSH: Well, ladies and gentlemen, it looks like I continue to live rent free in the head of the president, Barack Obama. It seems that the New Yorker has just posted more from their 18-page Obama interview. I don’t know if the whole thing has been on the Internet. I didn’t read the whole thing. It may have been up there all the time. But here is what the president said, the New Yorker interview with David Remnick that they have just posted.

“Another way of putting it, I guess, is that the issue has been the inability of my message to penetrate the Republican base so that they feel persuaded that I’m not the caricature that you see on Fox News or Rush Limbaugh, but I’m somebody who is interested in solving problems and is pretty practical, and that, actually, a lot of the things that we’ve put in place worked better than people might think. And as long as there’s that gap between perceptions of me within the average Republican primary voter and the reality, it’s hard for folks like John Boehner to move too far in my direction.”

So it’s me again, and Fox News. We are the reason Obama can’t advance his agenda, because Boehner is afraid to move too close to Obama because I have made you — along with Fox News has made you — think Obama is something that he isn’t. And it’s such a shame. I have so distorted who the real Obama is in your mind, that it is paralyzing our government. It is paralyzing the Speaker of the House, who really, really, really, really wants to go in there and really, really work with Obama, but he just can’t. It’s hard for people like Boehner to move too far in my direction because of the misperception of me, Obama says, created by Fox News and Rush Limbaugh.

Rush and Fox, Fox and Rush—what have we been for the past eight years?!?!?! We’ve called him doofus, fascist, Omoeba, and any number of other names! We’ve opposed just about everything he’s said or done.

Where’s our space in his jug-eared head?

Naturally, Obama doesn’t want to portray the opposition is principled. He himself is rational, centrist, practical. It’s the foamy-mouthed radicals on the right who just spew hate. (You don’t know the half of it, General Secretary!)

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OMG, America is So Sexist, Racist, Etc., Even the American Dream is Sexist, Racist, Etc!

Turns out the secret to wealth and success is love, marriage, and hard work.

The bastards! (Okay, you can skip love.)

Rich America is working America: Wealthy households contain on average more than four times as many full-time workers as do poor households, and, surprisingly, inherited wealth constitutes a smaller share of their assets than it does for middle-class and poor households. They live modestly relative to their means and for the most part do not work on Wall Street or as corporate executives. The caricature of the rich American as a child of privilege who inherited a fortune and spends his days shuttling between mansions in a private jet is largely a product of the imagination of such would-be class warriors as Elizabeth Warren and Robert Reich, neither of whom lives in Section 8 housing, or even downwind of it.

For the hated “1 percent,” inherited wealth accounts for about 15 percent of holdings. Contrary to the story the Left likes to tell about economic inequality in the United States, those numbers have gone down over recent decades — by almost half for the wealthiest Americans. Meanwhile, inherited money makes up 43 percent of the wealth of the lowest income group and 31 percent for the second-lowest. In case our would-be class warriors are having trouble running the numbers here, that means that inherited money on net reduces wealth inequality in the United States (measured as a ratio) rather than exacerbating it; eliminating inherited wealth would have approximately twice as much of a negative effect on modest households as on wealthy ones.

So, go ahead! Hammer them, Lieawatha!

There is a reason that money earned from work accounts for a relatively large share of the holdings of rich Americans: They work more — a lot more.

There is, to be sure, such a thing as the working poor, but the most salient characteristic of poor households is the lack of full-time workers in them. For the bottom income group, there is an average of 0.42 earners per household, with 68.2 percent of householders not working at all, as opposed to 1.97 earners per household and only 13.3 percent not working for the highest income group. The answer to poverty turns out to be “get a job,” after all.

Not surprisingly, 78.4 percent of those highest-income families were married couples, as opposed to 17 percent for the lowest-income group. What this all means in brief is that the highest-income families are composed almost exclusively of two-earner households, the overwhelming majority of them married couples. Those who are inclined to see public policy mainly through green eyeshades may sniff at the social conservatives and their quaint worries about marriage, but there is a very strong connection between how we conduct our family lives and our economic outcomes.

This is not an invitation to moral crowing about the virtues of the rich — okay, maybe it is. The country would in fact be far better off if more people lived the way the top 20 percent do: married, working their butts off, saving and investing their money, and living within their means. (In his research for The Millionaire Next Door, Thomas J. Stanley found that the most popular make of automobile among the wealthy was not Ferrari or Mercedes but Ford, and that the most common Ford model owned by a millionaire was the F-150 pickup truck.)

You know what’s funnier than the secret of wealth turning out to be Leave it to Beaver (with Mrs. Cleaver running a successful catering business, employing Eddie Haskell as a delivery driver)? It’s no secret!

This guy crunched the numbers, but who doesn’t know this intuitively? Two incomes, stable homes, kids learning the value of education—it sounds like the Obamas. And they’re stinking rich! (Relax, it’s just an expression.)

If class warriors like Fauxcahantas really wanted to help the middle class, she’d… she’d do nothing. Most government programs for the poor have led to more poverty. The successful household model—two working parents—has only gotten further out of reach for the poorer among us. God help us if Liberals get their talons into the rest of us. We’ll be skinning each other’s dogs and cats for food. Or living in Detroit.

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Road Kill

And the accusations of racism will commence in three… two… one…

It’s almost like a blank slate, isn’t it? Some may see murderous hostility; others a simple, straightforward dismissal of a vexing problem. Would that Obamacare were so easily dispatched. One YouTube commenter asked why the driver didn’t back up and drive over it again, but I think the point had already been made. America (the truck) rumbled over a speed bump (Obamacare). Other than a minor realignment (election), no further corrective will be required.

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Why Was Martin Bashir Permitted To Resign?

Why didn’t MSNBC fire him?

Just over two weeks ago, MSNBC host Martin Bashir delivered a harsh piece of commentary that culminated in the suggestion that someone should “s-h-i-t” in former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin‘s (R-AK) mouth. Bashir offered an abject apology on his next broadcast, but a chorus of critics continued to demand action against the host. After a reported “vacation” for the host earlier this week, Bashir announced, in a statement to Mediaite Wednesday afternoon, that MSNBC and Martin Bashir are parting ways.

Here’s the statement to Mediaite, from Martin Bashir, via email:

After making an on-air apology, I asked for permission to take some additional time out around the Thanksgiving holiday.
Upon further reflection, and after meeting with the President of MSNBC, I have tendered my resignation. It is my sincere hope that all of my colleagues, at this special network, will be allowed to focus on the issues that matter without the distraction of myself or my ill-judged comments.
I deeply regret what was said, will endeavor to work hard at making constructive contributions in the future and will always have a deep appreciation for our viewers – who are the smartest, most compassionate and discerning of all television audiences. I would also wish to express deepest gratitude to my immediate colleagues, and our contributors, all of whom have given so much of themselves to our broadcast.’

MSNBC released Bashir’s statement, plus the following statement from MSNBC President Phil Griffin:

“Martin Bashir resigned today, effective immediately. I understand his decision and I thank him for three great years with msnbc. Martin is a good man and respected colleague – we wish him only the best.”

Seriously, why is it ok to suggest that someone piss and shit into a woman’s mouth, just because she has the gall to be a conservative woman? Why is this ok? Why did it take this long for him to go, and why was he allowed to resign?

- Aggie

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Milton Friedman Warned Us

Over 30 years ago, and in less than 2 1/2 minutes:

And with a smile and a laugh, no less. Friedman would have swatted Obama like an annoying fly. Who’s around any more to articulate his philosophy, his truth?

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RepubliCare

Watching ObamaCare topple across the fruited plain like Saddam’s statue in Baghdad is glorious to behold, I think we all agree.

But is there something to put in its place? We’re starting to see some options:

What Republicans can and should do is offer the public something better. Now is the time to advance a conservative reform that can solve the serious, discrete problems of the health-care system in place before ObamaCare, but without needlessly upending people’s arrangements or threatening what works in American medicine. That the Democrats are now making things worse doesn’t mean the public wants to keep that prior system, or that Republicans should.

The biggest Republican misconception about health care is that the system before ObamaCare was a free-market paradise. On the contrary: It has consisted chiefly of massive and inefficient entitlements that threaten to bankrupt the nation; the lopsided tax treatment of employer-provided coverage that creates incentives for waste and overspending; and an underdeveloped individual market struggling to fill the gaps.

Exploding health-care costs and millions left needlessly uninsured are a result of misguided federal policies. Solutions require targeted reforms to those policies.

The first step of a plan to replace ObamaCare should be a flat and universal tax benefit for coverage. Today’s tax exclusion for employer-provided health coverage should be capped so that people would not get a bigger tax break by buying more extensive and expensive insurance. The result would be to make employees more cost-conscious; and competition for their favor would make insurance cheaper.

That tax break would also be available—ideally as a refundable credit sufficient at least for the purchase of catastrophic coverage—to people who do not have access to employer coverage. This would enable people who now choose not to buy insurance to get catastrophic coverage with no premium costs. It also would give those who want more-comprehensive coverage in the individual market the same advantage that people with employer plans get.

Medicaid could be converted into a means-based addition to that credit, allowing the poor to buy into the same insurance market as more affluent people—and so give them access to better health care than they can get now.

All those with continuous coverage, which everyone could afford thanks to the new tax treatment, would be protected from price spikes or plan cancellations if they got sick. This guarantee would provide a strong incentive to buy coverage, without the coercion of the individual mandate. People who have pre-existing conditions when the new rules take effect would be able to buy coverage through subsidized, high-risk pools.

By making at least catastrophic coverage available to all, and by giving people such incentives to obtain it, this approach could cover more people than ObamaCare was ever projected to reach, and at a significantly lower cost.

I have a bedrock aversion to using the tax code for social policy—my version of a 1040 would be a post card—but I salute everything else. The big, big, big, big difference between this and all Democrat notions is individual responsibility. ObamaCare is all about mandates and the government’s unimpeachable determination on what passes for coverage. (I still can’t get over that part—who is Obama to tell you that your plan is inadequate? Go to hell! … Sir.) This model allows individual Americans to pick from a broad range of coverages, using supply and demand to hold prices as low as possible.

I’m serious when I say that’s a big If in today’s America. Do we still have it in us to make our own choices? That’s been debatable for a while, and our decision to allow ourselves to be folded into the bosom of Big Government erodes what faith I have in even our desire to decide our fates for ourselves.

Many countries have socialized medicine, just as many have strict gun control, limits on free speech, and other manifestations of federal control. Some of them are lovely countries, delightful to visit. But do we want to live there? I love America’s “exceptionalism”, it’s treatment of its citizens as sovereigns jointly working together. I grant you that that’s an outdated notion, at least two centuries past its heyday, but a boy can dream.

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What Might Have Been

Instead of the Abortable Care Act:

[T]he Heritage Foundation last week released a definitive compilation of health-care solutions that make patients the primary decisionmakers. Our commonsense solutions are based on five principles:

Let Americans have total choice and control with regard to their health insurance.

Allow free-market forces, with light regulation, to incentivize insurers and health-care providers to offer affordable and effective health coverage.

Encourage businesses to provide portable health-insurance benefits to their employees.

Help the most vulnerable Americans through the states, non-government organizations, and the free market.

Protect Americans’ right of conscience and unborn children.

Our solutions include changing the tax treatment of health insurance so that all Americans, not just those getting coverage through work, can benefit from a tax credit to buy private insurance.

What does health care have to do with tax law? Don’t be silly! Next you’ll tell me the individual mandate can be twisted into a tax, and that the IRS will end up enforcing this crap law. Get out!

We also encourage states to use high-risk pools or reinsurance and risk-transfer mechanisms, so that insurance companies are able to insure patients with preexisting medical issues without risking insolvency.

See? How hard is that? If the government deems it vital that Americans without insurance, but with preexisting conditions, be covered by private insurance, government should kick in—have skin in the game, as Obama likes to say. Private insurance isn’t in the business of giving stuff away. Government is.

Why would Democrats forbid such initiatives? Because they empower the individual citizen, make him or her a sovereign unto him- or herself. [Bleep] that.

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See Cruz

Rush Limbaugh said this on his show today:

RUSH: Now, a lot of people say that Cruz is really exposing people, using them, setting them up for a massive disappointment. “Cruz is promising them things that can’t happen! Obamacare’s not gonna be defunded. Obamacare’s not gonna be delayed. Cruz knows it, but he’s making these people think that that can happen and they are going to be sadly disappointed.”

“Yes, he is. Ted Cruz is making people think that they can actually support and make happen the defunding of Obamacare, and it can’t happen. There aren’t the votes.

“He’s using people, and he’s setting people up for a major, major disappointment. It’s going to fail. It’s so mean. And then Ted Cruz is making people think that if they support him and sign his petition,” he’s not asking for money, by the way, “that they can delay Obamacare. And they can’t, and it won’t happen. He’s just using people, and he’s setting people up for major, major disappointment. It’s not nice and it’s very selfish.”

Well, my question is, “Why isn’t that said about Obama?” You want to talk about misleading people and setting them up for major disappointment and shock? How about a guy who’s promised people will “get to keep their doctor,” and they don’t. How about a guy who’s promised that their premiums come down $2500, and they won’t? How about all the promises Obama’s made with his stimulus and all the shovel-ready jobs?

None of it’s happened. How come the same standard is not applied to Barry? How come it’s not said of Barry that, “Oh, God, what a mean guy! He’s really using us. He’s setting people up. He’s promising all these wonderful things that are not possible really, and they’re going to be so disappointed.” Why is that not said, folks? I think it’s a perfectly legitimate question. Obama is misleading people.

Fine, you say, but hardly unique. Who isn’t saying that?

But who was saying that on October 11th, more than three weeks ago?! He replayed the rant today. I don’t post it to credit Rushtradamus. I post it because it was right then and is right today.

Ted Cruz may have done Obama a (temporary) favor by distracting the public from the rancid smell of the Abortable Care Act, aka EdselCare. But people will little note nor long remember that Cruz read Green Eggs and Ham on the floor of the Senate. They will remember that he was the last man standing in the fight to stop it. We may get our first evidence of that in the Virginia governor’s race, where Democrat (and Clinton stooge) Terry McAuliffe has been leading Republican Ken Cuccinelli throughout the campaign. As the deadline nears, however, EdselCare is featuring more prominently. Obama is even on the stump for McAuliffe, and Cuccinelli is portraying his victory as a “refudiation” of EdselCare. If the Republican wins, a lot of Democrat drawers will be soiled.

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Creating Conservative Converts

Not really, but read on, and you too will wonder why not:

For more than a decade, Robin Emmons felt helpless as her older brother lived on the streets, eating out of garbage cans.

After he was arrested in 2008 for damaging someone’s car during a schizophrenic outburst, she was finally able to become his legal guardian and get him into a halfway house with psychiatric services.

She investigated and found out that the nonprofit facility was mainly feeding him packaged and canned foods because it couldn’t afford fresh fruits and vegetables.

“I had a small garden, so I thought, ‘Well, I’ll just put in some extra rows,’” Emmons said. “I began making weekly deliveries of whatever was coming up.”

She soon realized, however, that the problem extended well beyond her brother’s transitional home. While farmers markets were springing up across the city, she noticed that low-income and working-class neighborhoods had few grocery stores or places to buy fresh produce.

A recent study from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte confirmed her impressions. It showed that more than 72,000 low-income city residents, many of them minorities, lived in “food deserts” — areas without a supermarket with fresh food nearby. They also faced a greater risk of cardiovascular disease and premature death.

“I really thought it was an injustice. … Healthy food is a basic human right,” she said. “I decided to rip up my whole backyard and make it all a garden, and it just kind of snowballed from there.”

Today, Emmons has 200 volunteers helping her tend 9 acres of crops on three sites. Since 2008, she says, her nonprofit, Sow Much Good, has grown more than 26,000 pounds of fresh produce for underserved communities in Charlotte.

Let’s see: government “benefits” barely feed the body, let alone the soul. But individuals, acting in concert, without any benefit from government, manage to grow tons and tons of food for their own benefit. They have learned the ultimate conservative value of self-sufficiency and hard work. It’s not only wrong to rely on the government, it’s unhealthy. If they’re not all overnight Ted Cruz supporters, I don’t get it.

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