Oh, Give Me a Home Where the Good Groceries Roam

One doesn’t have to be perpetually disgruntled to work in the Opposition Media, but it certainly helps. Not every Democrat operative disguised as a newsman can be assigned to the White House, but that doesn’t mean those unfortunates who aren’t can’t contribute to increasing the national vague sense of outrage.

The Washington Post is filled with stories designed to do just that. Recently the Metro section introduced readers to yet another artifact of our corrupt national system: “D.C.’s grocery gap reflects city’s income divide.”

Now don’t make the mistake I did and assume this is another hunger story. Hunger has been vanquished more thoroughly than Al Gore! The War on Hunger is the only successful social program in the history of Democrat handouts. I defy you to visit a school, mall, theatre, bus station, airport or stadium and find undernourished people.

Winning the War on Hunger was not a painless victory. There was collateral damage just like we see in kinetic conflicts. In Afghanistan collateral damage is typically confined to “wedding parties,” which limits the exposure of the general population. Collateral damage from the War on Hunger hit most of our population. Everything from weddings to wakes was affected. Many victims are still burrowing their way out of the adipose rubble, which tends to concentrate on the waist and behind.

America is now the land of the over–nourished.

Even the kids we’re told are one English muffin from disaster and must therefore eat free breakfast and lunches in government schools are fat. Gyms do a booming business because America is fat. Try this experiment and see if you don’t agree: The next time you go to a mall count the number of people you see who aren’t chewing.

Government bureaucrats and non–profit compassioneers have noticed this worrisome trend. The government compassion gravy train doesn’t attract the type of employee who will march in a Victory over Hunger parade through the streets of New York and then go get a real job. They prefer to redefine the mission and keep the tax dollars flowing.

That’s why instead of stories about hunger, we read about “food anxiety.” That’s a term that covers everything from genuine deprivation to worrying about a gas station burrito. The War on Food Anxiety is so nebulous its participants never have to worry about victory being defined. Traveling alongside “food anxiety” in the mission creep cavalcade is the concept of the “food desert.”

This doesn’t refer to a genuine desert like the Mohave where there is no food. “Food deserts” are a snob’s wasteland, like my old home in Odessa, TX, where there are no upscale groceries and people can’t pronounce “quinoa.”

The WaPost story was something of a hybrid. The Post sniffs, “In 2016, nearly 70 percent — or 34 — of the city’s 49 supermarkets were in four wards that are predominantly white and have the District’s highest household incomes, according to the review by D.C. Hunger Solutions, a nonprofit advocacy group.”

This combines Bernie Bro suspicion of capitalist motives with segregated geography paranoia. In this instance call it “whitebread privilege.” As Beverley Wheeler, director of DC Hunger Solutions, warns, “Grocery-store access is a racial equity issue that must be dealt with, and it’s a health issue. We can no longer pretend we don’t see what we see.”

So what is it they are seeing? Duck hunters are notorious for going where the ducks are. Retail merchants, which includes grocers, are equally notorious for building where the money is. It’s not a black thing, it’s a green thing. For the same reason one doesn’t find many Harris–Teeters in Appalachia.

And what good would it do residents of Wards 7 and 8 in DC to have a grocery store where they couldn’t afford to shop? At one time I defined wealth as being able to shop at Sutton Place Gourmet without worrying about the final tab. But I didn’t torture myself by walking up and down the aisles admiring groceries I couldn’t afford to buy.

Are there benefits to envy of which I’m unaware?

Companies look for average income, crime rates, transportation access and available real estate. This makes choosing the site of a grocery store is about as impersonal as statistics can make it. The decision is not based on a whim like choosing the headquarters for the corporation. Those usually land within a short drive or helicopter jaunt from the Chairman’s favorite home.

Frankly I don’t see how convincing the people she purports to help that their grocery stores are second–class is going to improve morale in those wards. Wheeler is quick with complaints and the Post is eager to amplify, but frankly this strikes me as a “problem” that won’t find a solution.

Advertisements

Any Chance Conservatives Will Finally Fight Back?

(This column was written before the deluge of sexual assault accusations hit the Roy Moore campaign in Alabama. At the time Codevilla’s advice was spot on, now I suppose now all conservatives are left is hope.)

The best moment for conservatives during the Claremont Institute’s panel discussion on “The Resistance and the Violent New Left” came at the end during the question period. An appeaser popped up and asked the panel how can “we” encourage more “leaders” like Lindsey Graham, John McCain and Lisa Murkowski to run for office instead of “embarrassing” candidates like Alabama’s Roy Moore?

His question was met with dead silence from the panel of William Voegeli and Angelo Codevilla (of the Claremont Institute), Michael Walsh (author and media critic) and Henry Olsen (Ethics & Public Policy Center).

After a lengthy pause Codevilla leaned over toward the microphone and observed Moore “hasn’t lost yet” and we can “vote and hope,” which was the conclusion of the optimism portion of the event.

In a single anecdote the audience saw the problem confronting conservatives today. We are assailed from without by, in Codevilla’s words, “a compact ruling class,” — where establishment Republicans are full participants — along with bike–lock swinging members of Antifa functioning as storm troops. While inside the GOP accommodationists and other Quislings want to restore tranquility by electing more politicians whose first instinct is preemptive surrender.

The situation doesn’t appear to hold much possibility for improvement in the panel’s view, in spite of or possibly because of the election of Donald Trump. Codevilla’s opinion is, “The Resistance has convinced itself Trump is a passing phenomenon.” And a brief one at that. “Trump was elected to be revolutionary against the ruling class and GOP establishment, but in office he has equivocated.”

It’s his belief that what he terms the Cold Civil War will continue to heat up.

Live–and–let–live conservatives are confused by the left’s increasing rhetorical and physical violence in what appears to be a Whittaker Chambers’ moment for the right. In sports, when one side appears to completely outclass its opponent, it’s not uncommon for the victor to display good sportsmanship and ease up rather than pad the margin of victory.

Conservatives see a cultural landscape where their moral positions have been routed. And an indifferent Big Government appears impervious to influence by average voters or election results.

Naturally, many conservatives assume they’ve lost. So why all the leftist violence? Isn’t it time to put the all–conference agitators on the bench?

As Mr. Dooley, not on the panel, said, “Politics ain’t bean–bag.”

“Cultural Marxists are sensing a win and it’s a fact movements get more violent the closer they get to ultimate victory,” explains Walsh. Voegeli posits that when a faction thinks it’s only a matter of time before total victory and the assumption of power in a permanent majority, any display of inhibition is a betrayal of the cause.

Furthermore, the left’s violence and the ideology isn’t likely to be coherent. “A [movement] united by impulse is likely to be impulsive,” Voegeli wryly observes.

The bad news for accommodationist Republicans, like the questioner, is when the left wins there aren’t likely to be many prisoners taken, ideological or otherwise. Academia’s cultural Marxists are marinated in aggressive outrage and moral arrogance. “The Left is taught they’re inherently superior,” Codevilla said.  And as ideologically superior beings, those who disagree are by default intellectual sub–humans with all the tender care and feeding the sub–human label encompasses.

Adapting to the left’s views is going to be difficult if not impossible for principled conservatives, although Lindsay Graham and John McCain may offer conversion therapy.

Olsen says the left defines America as “individual freedom. Anything that stands between desire and its fulfillment is null and void.” This leftist definition of America is intensely personal and subject to abrupt change (Voegeli’s “impulse”), while for conservatives the definition is institutional and relatively fixed. Olsen and Codevilla are united in their belief the differences between left and right are “intractable.”

Consequently, there’s no room for compromise in this ideological fight to the finish. Codevilla warns there are real consequences, “The Resistance expresses the evolving framework of ruling class thought.” The absurd and aggressive ideology one can read with distaste in the HuffPost is a harbinger of the next Democrat administration’s policy. Even Hillary Clinton, according to Codevilla, planned to “crush the deplorables and buy off the pitiables” on her way to victory.

With the exception of Olsen, the panel is united in a belief the left must be confronted and defeated in the street and in the voting booth. Conservatives need leadership, like Trump, that will get in the faces of the left and, not like Trump, be consistent in their opposition.

Walsh in particular has had it, “I can’t emphasize enough what miserable sods these people are. The left is an insane cargo cult of fascists. Until baby boomers are dead you will have no justice and no peace.”

Virginia Election Determined by Angry Swamp Creatures

The Virginia off–year election for governor demonstrates what would have happened last year if the Constitution didn’t require an Electoral College.

Crony Conservative Ed Gillespie carried 82 counties compared to Democrat Ralph Northam’s 13. The 69–county advantage didn’t mean squat though. All that counted was Northam’s 230,853 vote margin that put him in the governor’s mansion.

I assumed that Gillespie’s loss was due to his tepid embrace of President Trump’s populism and a generally uninspiring campaign. Gillespie’s issues may have been a hit with focus groups, but in the real world the campaign landed with a thud.

Gillespie is as much a conservative as Elizabeth Warren is a Comanche. Jeb Bush may have been low energy, but Ed Gillespie was low emotion. When a candidate speaks conservatism as a second language it’s tough to be fluent discussing issues important to the base.

Unfortunately, the numbers don’t support my case for conservatives and Trumpistas rejecting our lobbyist–in–waiting. It’s hard to evaluate intensity since Virginia doesn’t register voters by party. And you can’t compare the 2013 primary to the 2017 primary because in 2013 Republicans held a convention.

Since the big issue for Democrats and the OpMedia was the so–called Trump effect, it makes sense to examine counties carried by the president. It appears many Virginia conservatives were more tolerant of Establishment Ed and his amnesty background than I was.

Ballotpedia identified five counties in Virginia it terms “pivot counties” because they voted for Obama in 2012 and Trump in 2016. These counties should be the home of swing voters and the type of voter Gillespie would have to hold to win. During the GOP primary the ineffectual but bombastic Corey Stewart won only two of the five counties, indicating swing voters found Enervating Ed an acceptable candidate.

In the general election Gillespie again carried all five of the “pivot counties.” In three his margin was less than Trump’s, but in the other two his margin exceeded Trump’s. Analyst Jim Crumley contends it was Gillespie’s failure to turn out the Trump vote that cost him the election. I disagree. Gillespie got 66 percent of the Trump voters to go to the polls in an off–year election, which is very good when you consider overall voter turnout was only 47 percent.

What beat Gillespie was the remarkable 71 percent of the Hillary voters that Democrats turned out. Then if Gillespie’s loss wasn’t due to conservative turnoff, what was the cause? Simple, this election was the revenge of the swamp creatures. Republicans in the House of Delegates lost a shocking 14 seats and a stunning 11 of those losers were incumbents.

Looking at a color–coded map of the state by legislative district makes my case. All but one of the flipped seats were either in the suburbs of Washington, DC; the government installation–heavy Norfolk area, government–centric Richmond and isolated Communist cells in the university towns of Lynchburg, Roanoke and Blacksburg.

A combination of Big Government and Big Dependency helped the swamp break through the levee and inundate neighboring House of Delegates’ districts. Government pounded the governed.

And who can blame them? Trump has targeted Big Government from his first days in office. It’s a public–spirited swamp creature indeed who would vote for the party of the man who claims to be draining their habitat.

In February of last year — at the time I was on Cruz Control — I wrote a column about the best reason I’d seen so far to vote for Trump. A GovExec.com poll claimed that up to 25 percent of the federal workforce would consider quitting if Trump were elected.

It proved to be just another Big Government lie, but the survey was a useful indicator of attitude. The federal workforce and its various hangers on that include contractors, NGOs, lobbyists, handout seekers and crony capitalists see an unprecedented threat to their livelihood if Trump is successful. That fear and OpMedia–fed loathing led to an unprecedented negative, straight–ticket vote against Republicans.

They didn’t so much vote their pocketbooks as they voted to keep draining yours.

The question for Democrats is can they replicate this success in the 2018 mid–term elections? I’m doubtful. Metro can only export so many federal workers and camp followers to the surrounding DC suburbs. And it’s a cinch Trump isn’t planning to go on a nationwide federal hiring frenzy so he can send more Democrats to the polls.

That doesn’t mean Democrats won’t win by other means. If the Republican Keystone Kongress — the Gang That Couldn’t Govern Straight — doesn’t pass meaningful tax reform or repeal Obamacare; but does pass amnesty for DACA invaders, I predict a wipeout.

One in which I will gladly participate.

Where is the GOP Refund Window?

Scott Daugherty of the Virginian–Pilot has discovered a lawsuit that may make a conservative folk hero out of the lawyer/plaintiff.

Bob Heghmann, a 70–year–old retired lawyer who lives in Virginia Beach, VA, has filed a lawsuit in federal court charging the national and Virginia Republican parties with more than simple bad faith failure to repeal Obamacare, as Republicans had promised voters for over seven years.

His lawsuit contends Republicans “[have] been engaged in a pattern of Racketeering which involves massive fraud perpetrated on Republican voters and contributors as well as some Independents and Democrats.” Heghmann believes the parties and national GOP leaders raised millions of dollars in campaign funds from trusting voters “while knowing they weren’t going to be able to overturn…Obamacare.”

As far as Heghmann is concerned that’s prima facie racketeering.

Morton Blackwell, a Virginia GOP national committee member named in the lawsuit, issued a two–edged response to the filing. Blackwell began by denigrating Heghmann’s call for legal accountability. He described the case as a “frivolous, nuisance suit that should be thrown out of court by any judge.”

Then he followed up with a statement that sounds more like an amicus brief than a condemnation. “[Blackwell] argued that ‘progressives’ had taken over the Democratic Party and seemed to lament that ‘conservatives’ had not yet taken over the Republican Party.”

Heghmann struck while the outrage was hot, filing just a week after Curator of the Senate Mitch McConnell failed to pass an Obamacare repeal–only bill. It’s Heghmann’s belief Republican fund–raising should be just as accountable to donors as any other commercial money raising effort.

If Jim Bakker can go to jail for failing to honor pie–in–the–sky promises, why shouldn’t Republican committees be penalized for failing to honor pie–in–Obama’s–face promises?

Heghmann says, “Republicans could have repealed and replaced Obamacare with two–page bill. But the leadership never intended to do it. They want government control of healthcare, because as far as Republicans and Democrats are concerned it’s their way of balancing the books.”

It’s Heghmann’s belief he can strike a blow for an outraged conservative base because he’s been a contributor, although not to the Virginia GOP or the RNC. The dangerous section of his suit is where he demands the political arms refund donor’s money if Obamacare isn’t repealed.

By his calculations the RNC raised more than $735 million and Virginia Republicans took more than $20 million to the bank between 2009 and 2016 using the repeal of Obamacare as leverage to open wallets around the country.

If a promoter raised almost a billion dollars and promised to build a an energy plant and then didn’t even break ground, he would be guilty of fraud in spite of the fact he’s also probably a green energy advocate.

So why shouldn’t politicians who promise much and deliver nothing be held accountable, too?

That’s easy, just like DC politicians exempted themselves from Obamacare, they also made sure they’re not legally actionable for lying to the public. However, that exemption doesn’t apply to the state and national committees and that’s where Heghmann gets his leverage.

His first hurdle is surviving an expected motion to dismiss the lawsuit. If Heghmann makes it past that milestone, he has some interesting requests for the judge. He wants to limit the jury pool to Republicans who are both registered and voted and are aware of national issues. His contention is a jury of his peers in this instance is an informed and voting jury.

 

 

His goal is not really to obtain refunds, “I don’t want to bankrupt GOP, I want GOP to do what it promised to do.” Heghmann explains, “Money is leverage to get them to do what they are supposed to do.”

Mostly Heghmann is a “full supporter” of Trump who is fed up.

As far as he’s concerned, “Establishment Republicans have in effect repudiated the results of the last election. In their view the people made a mistake when they elected Donald Trump and the establishment is as interested in seeing Trump fail as Democrats are.”

Heghmann just wants the GOP to “support Trump’s agenda.” He has a better chance of getting the money.

You can follow Heghmann’s lead without going to court. Simply attend the next town hall meeting of your GOP Senator or Congressman and demand a campaign contribution refund due to failure to perform.

Should you know other contributors, stand up together and demand refunds in unison. If your politician is too gutless to won’t hold a real town hall meeting, then hold a refund news conference outside his district office when he’s back home.

I doubt you’ll get your money back in either event, but the embarrassment and bad publicity generated for the Obamacare betrayers will be priceless.