Why pundits, politicians and the press hate Ted Cruz By Todd Starnes

Senator Ted Cruz is now the frontrunner in the Republican race for the White House.

But if you believe the Mainstream Media and the political pundits — Marco Rubio won the Iowa Caucus.

Just look at Tuesday’s news coverage — they marginalized Senator Cruz — and glorified Senator Rubio.

And that’s the narrative. Cruz may have won — but Rubio is more electable. And yet… the numbers in Iowa tell a very different story.

One out of three evangelical voters chose Cruz — so did four out of ten very conservative voters.

And 26 percent of young voters — 18 to 29 – — they didn’t vote for Rubio — they also voted for Cruz.

The voters recognize a simple truth. Senator Cruz has been a man of his word — a principled conservative — and that is something the Establishment cannot tolerate.

“What we are seeing is evangelicals who have been dormant in the political process that are turning out,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council. “It’s something we haven’t seen in a number of years.”

Perkins, who has endorsed Cruz, told me the voters are not interested in a moderate candidate. They don’t want someone in the “middle.”

“There’s nothing in the middle of the road but yellow stripes and dead animals,” Perkins said.

Looking back on the results in Iowa, Perkins said there should be one take-away for voters.

“Do not listen to the pundits or the polls – but vote your values,” he said. “It was values voters and the return of those voters that put Ted Cruz over the top.”

It’s not that the pundits and politicos hate Senator Cruz – they know he can’t be controlled — and that has them terrified.

Todd Starnes is host of Fox News & Commentary, heard on hundreds of radio stations. His latest book is “God Less America: Real Stories From the Front Lines of the Attack on Traditional Values.” Follow Todd on Twitter@ToddStarnes and find him on Facebook.

EPA metastasizing into national zoning board By Washington Examiner

This past fall, federal courts put a temporary halt on the Environmental Protection Agency’s attempt to redefine “waters of the United States.” The well-known rule would expand EPA power over nearly every wet patch in America, including puddles. But this is not the only important case in the courts today about federal control of water.

Back in 2009, when the new Waters of the United States rule was still just some bureaucrat’s bad idea, the EPA began a separate power grab. And the Supreme Court may soon choose to review it.

Near the beginning of his first term, President Obama issued an executive order on “Chesapeake Bay Protection and Restoration.” It called on EPA to develop a plan that would impose new responsibilities to limit each source of pollution within the bay’s watershed, which extends as far west as West Virginia and as far north as central New York state.

In 2010, EPA released a 280-page document which went well beyond its statutory mandate. Whereas the Clean Water Act calls for the agency to set limits on the “Total Maximum Daily Load” of pollutants (in this case nitrogen, phosphorous and other nutrients), the EPA subdivided the watershed into 92 separate segments and set thousands of separate limits for the smaller units within them. This allows EPA to impose sanctions and forbid various economic activities within the watershed even if the total amount of pollution running off into the bay is below the overall limit.

The American Farm Bureau Federation filed suit in 2011, arguing that the EPA was claiming extensive powers over local land use that it was never meant to have. The bureau’s petition notes, “As a practical matter, the power to set numeric limits for sediment and nutrients by source type within specific geographic areas equals nothing short of the power to allow farming here, but not there, building here, but not there.”

State and local governments, who traditionally make land use decisions and with whom EPA is legally obliged to cooperate, say EPA’s goals are unattainable. Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection has called EPA’s calculation of local limits “wholly unjustified and arbitrary and capricious.”

The EPA’s plan, like so much that it does, is both economically damaging and anti-constitutional in its distribution of powers. It would have the federal government taking on zoning powers reserved to states, counties and towns. Federal sanctions could be imposed and federal permits required for several activities that have not previously been considered “point sources” of pollution.

Importantly, this policy would doubtless leak out from the Chesapeake watershed and across the rest of America. It is, the Farm Bureau argues, a blueprint for future regulation of all other watersheds. The EPA could literally become a national zoning board.

So far, the Obama administration has been winning this legal battle to arrogate powers to the EPA. It won the case in federal district court, and again in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. But these rulings seem to contradict recent Supreme Court rulings that set limits on how far federal agencies can go in rewriting statutes.

Everyone wants clean water, and efforts to date have already brought dramatic improvement to the long-ailing Chesapeake. According to the EPA, nitrogen and phosphorus emissions are down 21 percent since 1985, and sediment pollution is down 30 percent. The bay’s water quality has improved gradually since then, as one would hope.

But whatever the outcome, processes matter, too. Government processes can either safeguard personal and economic freedoms, or they can erode them.

Neither Obama’s nor any other president’s EPA should have the sweeping powers over all economic activity that it is claiming with this watershed plan. Nor can the constitutional order bear them.

Introducing the Lily Camera

Quote of the Day 02/08/16

“Who is the fascist? Individualism and the political philosophy of limited government is not only inconsistent with but is the exact opposite of fascism and Nazism. Under fascism and Nazism, the state reigns supreme with absolute power over everyone and all forms of property. It can well be asked: who is the fascist, when the president of the United States and many Democrats and Republicans in congress call for expanded authority for the FBI and other federal security agencies to intrude into the lives of the American citizenry? Who is the fascist, when the call is made for increased power for the FBI to undertake “roving wiretapping” or have easier access to the telephone and credit-card records of the general population? Who is the fascist, when the proposal is made to make it easier for the FBI to investigate and infiltrate any political organization or association because the government views it as a potential terrorist danger?”– Richard M. Ebeling (1950- ) Author, Professor of Economics, Hillsdale College

The establishment takes a beating in Iowa By Marc A. Thiessen

On both the left and right, the big loser in Monday’s Iowa caucuses was the political establishment. On the GOP side, the three establishment candidates — Jeb Bush, John Kasich and Chris Christie — won 6.5 percent of the vote . . . combined. Bush’s campaign and his super PAC, Right to Rise, together have spent $89.1 million so far — and about $14.9 million in Iowa alone. He won just 5,238 votes in the Hawkeye State, at a cost of about $2,674 per vote there.

Much of that money was spent attacking Marco Rubio. That strategy failed as well. In December, the Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register poll showed Rubio with just 10 percent support. Last night, he won 23 percent and barely missed passing Donald Trump to win second place. Rubio, who was elected to the Senate as an anti-establishment insurgent in the 2010 tea party wave and has one of the most consistently conservative voting records in the Senate, is now in a three-man race with Cruz and Trump. In the wake of Iowa, the “establishment lane” in the Republican race is effectively closed.

On the Democratic side, the establishment candidate, Hillary Clinton, effectively tied with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Exactly one year ago, Clinton led Sanders 68 percent to 7 percent in the NBC News/Marist poll. That means she blew a 61-point lead. Worse, she has spent $90.2 million in the race so far. To put the Iowa vote in perspective, in 2008 Clinton lost the state to a young, attractive, articulate, rising political star; last night, she effectively tied with a 74-year-old disheveled socialist from Vermont. Not a good sign.

As my Post colleague Chris Cillizza correctly predicted, Clinton survived only because Sanders failed to make an issue of the scandal surrounding her emails. Big mistake. Sanders should have stolen a page from Donald Trump’s playbook and copied how Trump raised the issue of Ted Cruz’s Canadian birth. He did not have to argue Clinton did anything illegal; he simply had to say: “She’s got a problem, and she has to solve it. We can’t have a Democratic nominee who could be indicted before the election. She needs to get it resolved.” Most Democratic voters don’t care about the illegality of Clinton’s actions, but they do care about the impact on her electability.

Sanders will have to make the investigation an issue if he wants to win the nomination. He has an 18-point lead in New Hampshire and will almost certainly win the state. But after that, the field becomes much more favorable to Clinton. It’s not enough for Sanders to argue that he is more electable (though polls suggest he is). To win, he needs to raise doubts about Clinton’s electability in November by tapping into Democrats’ worst fear — that the FBI could actually find that she committed a crime.

The fact is there is no great love for Clinton among Democrats (just 22 percent say Clinton is “honest,” and just 40 percent say she is “likable”). Her husband was elected in 1992 for one simple reason: With the brief exception of Jimmy Carter, Democrats had been locked out of the White House since 1969. They were so desperate for power, they were willing to put up with Bill Clinton’s New Democrat triangulation — even if it meant welfare reform, free-trade agreements and a promised end to the “era of big government.” When Democrats were given a choice in 2008 between a return to Clinton-style triangulation or the real liberal in Barack Obama, they went for the real thing.

But Obama has been a disappointment for the Democratic left — a president who personally approved terrorist kill lists, eavesdropped on our calls and emails and failed to take on Wall Street or deliver universal single-payer health care. So now they have the same choice again: a return to Clinton-style triangulation or the real thing in Sanders. In their hearts, they feel the Bern.

Sanders appeals to the hearts of the Democratic base because he represents what Democrats wanted but did not get in Obama: a socialist who is not afraid to say he is one. But to close the deal, Sanders also has to appeal to their minds as well. He needs to make the case that if Democrats nominate Clinton, she could end up in the Big House instead of the White House.

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