Arthur C. Brooks offers a challenging, intriguing discussion of Conservatives and Poverty. Conservatives are usually pretty clear about what they are against, and Brooks demonstrates this is mostly correct. But what are Conservatives “for”? How can a philosophy of limited government and a focus on maximum individual freedom help those who have little to begin with? The article is long and may challenge Conservative readers, but it is well worth the time and thought the article demands.

I don’t agree with everything Brooks says, and while his diagnosis seems accurate to me, his prescription is weak on specifics. But imagine if our Conservative leaders really turned their attention to this question. What if we locked Paul Ryan and Rand Paul and Scott Walker and Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio and, yes, Chris Christie in a room and didn’t let them out until they could clearly explain what a Conservative is “for” and how that can help the poor? I bet it wouldn’t take them too long.

Hopefully, in the upcoming Congressional election and subsequent Presidential election, Conservative candidates realize that the real goal is to help everyone improve their lot in life, but especially to help those below move into the American Middle Class. What we should want to “conserve” most of all is the American Dream for all.

Dear Mr. President …

I don’t think a minimum wage hike and a few more tech hubs is really going to make a difference.

(Full transcript of the President’s address is here. More Fitz and the Tantrums here.)

Senator’s Burr, Coburn and Hatch introduced legislation to “repeal and replace” Obamacare. I don’t think it is comprehensive, but it does seem to be a good starting point, and it addresses multiple areas of failure already apparent in the Affordable Care Act. Of course, Senate Leader Harry Reid won’t let it come to the floor for a vote, but at least it demonstrates to voters that a Republicans do have some ideas for “replace.” You can read the proposal here.

The Little Sisters of the Poor have been granted an injunction giving them protection from the ACA contraception mandate. Based on their religious beliefs, the court order protects the religious group from fines and penalties enforced by HHS while the Supreme Court considers the group’s emergency appeal. The Becket Fund for Religious Freedom documents 18 similar injunctions granted to other religious organizations appealing the ACA mandate.

Bloomberg’s Megan McArdle has an excellent timeline of “what comes next” from the ACA. (It’s about half-way down in the article – look for the “Small Business Cancellations” link for the start of the timeline.) The cancelled policies and the web site failures were just the beginning of our troubles.