People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Reality Bites

I read the other day a piece in the Washington Post by Dana Milbank about the federal census.  In it he tried to make the case that the newest, hottest phenomenon in the political world, the Tea Party movement, was only a paper tiger because the calls from the right-wing that went out to boycott it - the census - have gone unanswered.  His argument:
The 19th-century cartoonist Thomas Nast, who made the Republican Party an elephant and the Democratic Party a donkey, would, if he were alive today, have reason to draw the Tea Party as a paper tiger.

At least if the Great Census Panic of 2010 is any indication.

Glenn Beck, Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul and others in the Tea Party's starting lineup have warned Americans about the evils of the census, and many activists have called for a boycott. This prompted fears among Republicans that they would lose seats in Congress if conservatives refused to be counted, and Karl Rove took to the airwaves this week to urge compliance.

He could have saved his breath. There's evidence that this Tea Party rebellion is a bust.

That's how it looks based on a Washington Post analysis of census data. I asked The Post's database guru, Dan Keating, to break down the census response rates so far this year and to determine whether Republican counties were lagging in their census returns.

He found that, as of Thursday, counties that went for John McCain in 2008 were returning census forms at a slightly higher rate than counties that went for Barack Obama: 62.4 percent to 62.0 percent.
In truth Beck, Bachmann, et al. only decried portions of the census that had to do with race. And they complained about the intrusiveness of the effort.  Some have called for Americans to therefore leave portions of it blank.  But none of them ever advocated boycotting the thing in its entirety.

And who are those "many activists" who "called for a boycott"?  We aren't told.  Milbank would just as soon not go there.  Odd.

But you might find this interesting - if Milbank wouldn't:

My guess is, and it's only a guess, those "hipsters" aren't Sarah Palin supporters. In fact, I'd venture a another guess and say they'd support Lil Wayne for president before they would vote for Palin.

So how does that fit into Milbank's narrative? 

It doesn't.

But rational thought was never part of the equation anyway.

So ... You right-wing knuckledraggers and teabaggers who thought you could stop the federal Census - Take That!

- - -

Here's how the New York Times twists the facts to allow Dana Milbank to reach his eye-popping and boneheaded conclusion about conservatives:

"Glenn Beck and Representative Michele Bachmann, Republican of Minnesota, are among the conservatives who have urged Americans to respond only to the household count question. In response, some Republicans on the House subcommittee that oversees the census issued a statement saying that a boycott was “illogical, illegal and not in the best interest of our country.”[my emphasis]

To leave questions unanswered is tantamount to a boycott.


Justice Hillary?

Something to sour your Wheaties this morning:

"Doesn't this present an interesting quandary? Do we support getting her out of State, thereby preventing any further bungling incompetence and alienation of our allies? Or is the risk of having her on the Supreme Court for life too much to bear?"

Isn't there like a third option?  Can't we tell her to go back to baking cookies and leave us alone?

It Wasn't Supposed To Be Like This

Obama was to be loved.  Adored.  Worshipped.

Especially after he gave us all free health care.

Well, the American people aren't stupid.

Reinforcing the notion that though those who said our president would get a ten point bump in approval after ObamaCare passed most certainly are.

The latest presidential approval poll from RealClearPolitics:

For the first time, more Americans disapprove (47.3%) of the job Kid Wonder is doing than approve (46.1%).

We're so unappreciative.  Here he is, coming to us with free shit - ObamaCare! - and we treat him like this. We must all be racists.  And stupid.

Well, there are still three years of this nightmare to go.  What will these really intelligent friends of Obama be saying about us by 2013?

Click on the image to enlarge it.

I Qualify For Federal Aid

I knew it would come to this.  I, along with a shrinking minority of Americans, am not on the receiving end of a government handout.

Until now.

As it turns out, I qualify for federal assistance under the Healthy Food Financing Initiative. Sweet! First thing I'm going to do is go out and buy me a few more wallets.

Here's the deal: I live three miles from the IGA in Bland, Virginia. That, according to Michelle Obama makes me a victim. And you know how victims are treated in this country.

With cash!

The news:
Federal Anti-Obesity Initiative to Eliminate Food Deserts
By Peter Wilson, American Thinker

Before you get alarmed about the feds prying the Häagen-Dazs out of your cold dead fingers, the word "desert" in the title is not misspelled. A "food desert" is an area without a grocery store. For example, the Mojave Desert. Food deserts have been targeted by the White House, which has budgeted $400 million dollars a year for an intrusive nanny-state solution to solve a nonexistent problem.

First Lady Michelle Obama defined the problem at the Childhood Obesity Summit at the White House on Friday, one of the four program areas of her "Let's Move" campaign:

"We can do much more to make sure that all families have access to healthy and affordable food in their own communities. Twenty-three point five million Americans, including 6.5 million children, live in communities without a supermarket ... So, we're working with the private sector to reach a very ambitious goal, and that is to completely eliminate food deserts in this country."

If you live in a food desert where the only available choice is between fast food french fries and convenience store Twinkies, you have no choice but to eat junk food, according to the First Lady.

Consider, however, that a food desert is defined by the USDA and on the Let's Move website as "neighborhoods that are more than a mile from a supermarket." Stop for a second to wrap your mind around that. If your grocery store is more than a mile away, the federal government defines your community as "without a supermarket."

To summarize the USDA findings: 11.5 million people spend 4.5 minutes longer traveling to the grocery store. Does this qualify as "significantly more time"? Of this number, 7%, or 805,000 people, have to walk or take public transportation to the grocery store. Therefore the food desert problem -- people more than a mile from a grocery store without a car -- afflicts 0.2% of the U.S. population.

Let's Move reports:

"As part of the President's proposed FY 2011 budget, the Administration announced a new program - the Healthy Food Financing Initiative -- a partnership between the U.S. Departments of Treasury, Agriculture and Health and Human Services which will invest $400 million a year to provide innovative financing to bring grocery stores to underserved areas and help places such as convenience stores and bodegas carry healthier food options. Grants will also help bring farmers markets and fresh foods into underserved communities, boosting both family health and local economies. Through these initiatives and private sector engagement, the Administration will work to eliminate food deserts across the country within seven years.

We're going to "invest" $400 million a year to have federal agents "bring grocery stores to underserved areas" and "help" convenience stores carry (high-priced) apples and tomatoes? How exactly do federally funded farmers markets "boost local economies"? If the feds insisted on getting involved, wouldn't it be simpler to sign people up for a home delivery service like Peapod? [link]
I don't want to put ideas in Michelle's head but it would be a whole lot more cost-effective for the government to come here to this isolated part of Appalachia and force me and my neighbors - at the point of a gun - to resettle to areas that have supermarkets.  Or to require that Wal-Mart build a super-center on the southside of Bland, population 6,781.  After all, we deserve the opportunity of acquiring those South Beach Diet foods without having to drive a great distance to get them, just like everyone else.  Right?

So bring on the government assistance!

I wonder: Shouldn't the government provide me with a taxi cab - a Crown Vic! - too so that I can get to the market quickly and in style and without inconvenience?

This is great.  Free money from the government.  I could get used to this.