Bush 41

By Steve Woodward

Fox New Channel political analyst Chris Stirewalt, a marvelously plain talker, provided a first take in the moments after President George Herbert Walker Bush was memorialized and commended to God inside the Washington National Cathedral, December 5.

“It made me very proud of my country,” Stirewalt said, because the service was a demonstration of civility by and between political enemies in a polarized age. “We should hold (elected officials) to it.”

In other words, Bush 41 is gone but his legacy has a chance, albeit slim, to thaw the ideological cold war that is poisoning our nation and corrupting our media.

There were moments perhaps we never thought we’d see during the eulogies. Hillary Clinton smiling, really glowing. Who else could possibly evoke joy from such an embittered, tormented human being? She is. This not criticism. Or, James Baker crying uncontrollably as he contemplated spending the finals hours of his dear friend’s life at his bedside. Baker’s public image is stalwart, serious. He is a man with a Texas-style stiff upper lip.

It also was impossible to overlook that traditional marriage is alive and well in both parties in an era of endless pandering to gay marriage and transgenderism. George W. and Laura. Donald Trump and Melania. Barack Obama and Michelle. Bill Clinton and Hillary. Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn. The institution of marriage remains, for now, bi-partisan, at least among our leaders.

Historian Jon Meacham, probably not a Republican, but a celebrated presidential historian, author and, as exhibited in the Cathedral, master orator, was pointed in his praise of Bush 41 as a fighter, a man firm in his convictions, one who did not merely settle into what was to be a life of privilege.

George H.W. Bush could have been an oilman, period. He could have done anything he wanted to do. Bone fishing. Golfing at the world’s most exclusive venues. Hanging out at the family compound in Maine. Living a private life with his beloved Barbara. Attending philanthropic galas.

But instead he chose to serve his country, subject himself to media taunting (remember when he “lost his lunch” at a ceremonial dinner in Japan), immerse himself in the unification of Germany, the final chapter of the Cold War, despite its risks. He was not afraid to take on the toughest challenges of his times.

The man with an aisle seat in the front row of the Cathedral at the memorial is repeating the choices Bush 41 made. Lead. Take risks. Go full-throttle. Forsake a life of comfort and privilege. Subject your spouse to the unrelenting scrutiny cast upon a First Lady.

Trump haters never will buy into it, but the parallels are inescapable. No, Trump never flew a military aircraft into a perilous mission. He never worked in Washington’s corridors of power. He is not a George H.W. Bush in demeanor.

But if a President is to be judged by playing the hand he is dealt and marching toward the fight, fending off the arrows of naysayers and incoming media fire, I’d guess Bush 41 is from a distance rooting for Trump 45 now that Bush is free of the vexing nature of living in an imperfect world, as someday we all will be.

 

 

The $300 million elephant

By Steve Woodward

State Treasurer Dale Folwell has identified with tremendous clarity his next mission to keep North Carolina financially secure. He wants to prevent healthcare providers, UNC Health foremost among them, from fleecing the health plan for state employees to the tune of $300 million in the next several years.

Folwell, the first Republican state treasurer in 142 years, is sounding alarms in Raleigh. Many knew it was coming and yet still do not want to hear them.

Dale Folwell.111918He brought his message to Moore County Republican Men’s Club members and guests on November 19 in Pinehurst by raising a question that is both query and disparagement of the current system. “I know what you’re charging (the plan),” Folwell said. “What am I supposed to pay you?”

In other words, why don’t I know what I’m paying for before I decide on a course of treatment? This is otherwise known as competitive pricing. Capitalism, actually.

Reports the Winston-Salem Journal:

“Folwell wants to change how health care providers are reimbursed in an initiative that could save SHP members up to $60 million initially and $300 million overall. The plan is North Carolina’s largest purchaser of medical and pharmaceutical services at $3.2 billion in 2017. It represents more than 720,000 teachers, state employees, current and former lawmakers, state university and community college personnel and their dependents, and non-Medicare retirees and their dependents.”

When Folwell asked UNC Healthcare to provide documentation it hid behind patient privacy concerns. He asked a simple question and received redacted documents in reply. Folwell challenged UNC Healthcare to detail what medical procedures and pharmaceuticals actually cost and to prove that the state is receiving the discounts it negotiated. At the recent Men’s Club luncheon, Folwell displayed the thick stack of documents which appeared to have been generated by a faulty printer. No data, just page after page of blacked-out information. UNC Healthcare has raised a finger to the state treasurer. It’s the middle digit.

Why does Folwell persist? He knows waste and excess when he sees it. The state’s pension funds were paying Wall Street custodians $700 million in management fees when Folwell took office in 2016. He already has trimmed those fees by $100 million. Real money.

Currently, the state budget covers around four percent of the state health plan’s $3.3 billion — with a B — annual budget, even as annual healthcare costs are rising by 6.5 percent and pharmaceutical costs are projected to increase by 9 percent.

“The track we are on is not sustainable,” Folwell said in Pinehurst.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pilot embraces Trump hate

By Steve Woodward

The Pilot’s editorial standards achieved a new low when editors published a letter by Clifton Frye (The Morning After, Nov. 10) in which the author drew comparisons between the President of the United States in 2018, Donald Trump, and Germany’s Adolf Hitler in the 1930s.

Mr. Frye contends President Trump is a “(Russian Premier Vladimir) Putin-lover” and unconcerned about “home grown terrorist attacks”. What delusion. Domestic terrorism is driven by the refusal of citizens to be vigilant about their neighbors’ mental health issues and by the continuous illegal entry of undocumented individuals, which Democrats openly facilitate.

Being “bankrupted and sued” – which Mr. Frye assigns as a Trump flaw — comes with the territory of running a large commercial real estate empire. Bankruptcy is aided and abetted by Democrats who delight in seeing companies reorganize, which is the essence of bankruptcy. This is far different from liberal states, where pensions are bankrupt with no solutions to restructure them, save for raising taxes – again and again.

Mr. Frye says the President “feeds on divisive rhetoric”. Why? Because he desires to Make America Great Again, a goal shared by millions, control our southern borders and denounce trade partners who have taken advantage of our country for decades?

The notion that this positions President Trump as a modern day “Hitler” revolts Jewish Harvard University law scholar and lifetime Democrat Alan Dershowitz.

“It’s a horrible analogy because it’s a form of Holocaust denial,” Dershowitz said. “When you say Trump’s like Hitler what you’re saying is that the Jews of Germany and the Jews of Poland didn’t suffer anymore than we’re suffering now, and that there were no gas chambers, that there were no death camps.”

None of this occurred to the Pilot’s editorial board?

 

Judgment day

By Steve Woodward

Moore County citizens, and North Carolinians across the state, should by now be acutely aware of the havoc that can be wrought by activist judges. Exhibit A is the state’s congressional map, redrawn as recently as 2016 when a court ruled the 2011 map unconstitutional as a result of so-called racial gerrymandering, and challenged again this year by a three-judge panel, skewing Democrat, only months ahead of pending 2018 mid-term elections. Fortunately for voters of all parties, an effort to re-draw close to an election was quelled.

Until the recent hard-left turn by the Democrat Party, the phrase “activist judge” rarely was mentioned. But the party gradually has become intoxicated by the practice of overturning the will of voters in courts.

This is relevant in these early days of November 2018 because there are six contested judicial races on the Moore County ballot. Despite their best efforts, Republican judicial candidates, most of whom are incumbents, will go into Election Day this Nov. 6 (Tuesday) likely wondering if their campaign appearances and yard signs will lift them to victory.

Democrats have the same fears, undoubtedly. There are multiple variables in play. Foremost among them is that voters, even some engaged voters, pay little or no attention to judicial candidates. Secondly, judges are not in campaign mode as often as state and federal congressional officeholders. They are less known, less visible, and not always natural campaigners.

Judge Barbara JacksonA prime example is North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Barbara Jackson (left), who is running for re-election after an eight-year term. Prior to that, Jackson was six years on the North Carolina Court of Appeals as an associate judge. Despite her experience and reputation as a justice of utmost integrity, with a record to prove it, Jackson is in an uphill battle. In addition to being targeted by Democrat groups outside of the state (one run by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder), which are funding her opponent Anita Earls, Jackson has a second opponent in Chris Anglin.

Anglin appears after Jackson and before Earls on the ballot as a Republican because he simply switched his longstanding Democrat affiliation before filing. That such a loophole exists is a story for after Election Day.

“He is seven years out of law school,” Jackson said during an October appearance before the Moore County Republican Men’s Club. “I posit that he is in here as a spoiler (to confuse voters and take votes away from Jackson).”

We know RESOLVE readers are up to speed and fully aware of Anglin’s dishonesty. Now it’s up to all engaged Republicans to inform friends and neighbors why a vote for Justice Jackson is vital, especially given the defeat of GOP state Supreme Court Justice Bob Edmunds in 2016.

Also worth noting when you are imploring fellow citizens to vote on Tuesday is that there are two other judicial races pitting Republicans against one another. To be sure your friends vote for the endorsed candidates in these races (Jefferson Griffin for NC Court of Appeals, Seat 2, and Steve Bibey for NC District 19D Court Judge), ask them to carefully review the Moore GOP’s gold sample ballot before heading to the polls.

Finally, in addition to sample ballot “homework”, it’s suggested every Republican planning to vote on Election Day spend time over the weekend visiting the web sites of our judicial candidates.

Here they are:

Justice Barbara Jackson; Andrew Heath for NC Court of Appeals; Jefferson Griffin; Chuck Kitchen for NC Court of Appeals; Michael Stone for NC Superior Court; Warren McSweeney for NC District Court (unopposed); and Steve Bibey.

Historically, a “blue moon” election is a ho-hum affair marked by low voter turn out. But early voting data indicates Republicans outvoted Democrats handily and in atypically high mid-term numbers. The key on the way to Tuesday’s finish line is to fend off complacency when voting for Republican judges down the ballot.

“The game plan (among Democrats) is to start using state constitutions,” Justice Jackson said, “as a means toward political ends.”

Trending for autumn: Red

By Steve Woodward

Moore County is proving to be a microcosm of a growing national trend among Republican mid-term voters in early voting states. If it holds up through Election Day, the trend is pointing toward a mighty Red Tsunami.

“We are well on our way to a record mid-term turnout (among registered Republicans) in Moore County,” reports our volunteer data analyst, Josh Lowery.

Through 10 days of early voting, 5,466 Republicans have voted as of Oct. 29. Analyzing Day 10 specifically, Republicans accounted for 43.7 percent of the day’s total turn out (including Democrats and the unaffiliated). That percentage is 3.1 percent higher than total GOP registration in the county, also an encouraging trend.

“I would expect (October 30-31) to be roughly the same, (with) maybe a slight increase.” Lowery reports. “But watch for (Nov. 1-2) to see larger spikes — somewhere around 1,700-1,900 would not surprise me — as people realize they don’t have much longer to early vote.”

Meanwhile, three of the largest states also are experiencing motivated Republican turn out during early voting. California Republicans are heading to the polls in such disproportionately high numbers compared to Democrats, “and younger (Democrat leaning) voters are not returning their ballots at the same rate,” Political Data Inc.’s Paul Mitchell tells CBS Bay Area affiliate KPIX.

The KPIX report adds: “For Democrats, the path to winning a majority in the (U.S.) house includes flipping seven congressional seats in Central and Southern California. Mitchell says, to do that, Democrats need exceptionally high voter turnout.”

In Texas, reports the Houston Chronicle, ““Ahead of the Nov. 6 election, voter registration spiked, reaching a record high of more than 15.7 million. From the primary until the final day of voter registration in October, roughly 400,000 people were added to the rolls, election records show.” Republicans greatly outnumber Democrats, but it’s clear that both sides are engaged.

Early voting began Oct. 22 in Florida, where turn out that day was twice as large as for the last mid-term in 2014.

“Florida’s statewide turnout for the Nov. 6 election already exceeds the turnout for 16 states and Washington, D.C., for the entire 2016 presidential election,” reports the Palm Beach Post. “Of the ballots cast in Florida so far, 43.4 percent are from registered Republicans and 39.1 percent are from registered Democrats.”

Writes political analyst and author Gerard Lameiro: “While intended to hurt President Trump and keep Republicans from holding the House during the mid-term elections, all the (Democrat attempts to diminish Trump) have worked to enhance the Conservative Red Wave. Instead of creating or building a Blue Wave, the Red Wave continues. Republican voter intensity exceeds the much heralded (and Leftist desired) Blue Wave.”

Despite many encouraging trends, it is important to remember that 13 states do not conduct early voting, and that Election Day, Nov. 6, remains pivotal in determining the ultimate fate of Republicans.

That means that every early voter in our Moore GOP ranks still has one major task ahead. Find friends and neighbors with transportation challenges. Drive them to their polling places on Election Day.

Why Republicans will vote

By Steve Woodward

Data coming in after one week of early, or one-stop, voting in two Moore County locations indicates Republicans are, as predicted, motivated and energized as the countdown to Election Day, November 6, continues.

Nearly 41% of early voters as of October 27 were registered Republicans, outpacing registered Democrats (who represent 30% of early voters). The remaining 30% are unaffiliated, also known as “independent” voters. The numbers are significant for another, perhaps more important reason. Greater numbers of Republicans have voted early (4,622) in 2018 than at this point in the last mid-term election in 2014. That was not expected to happen, experts assured us. (Thank you, volunteer data guru Josh Lowery, who is tracking numbers provided daily by the Moore County Board of Elections).

The necessity of getting out the vote is obvious to those who are engaged in political trend watching and who consume news (and know the difference between it and proliferating fake news). If effective GOP members of the U.S. House, such as our congressman, Richard Hudson, are defeated in 23 or more mid-term races, the House will be controlled by Democrats who will stall and derail the Trump agenda with every fiber of their beings for at least two years.

In state elections, Republicans Tom McInnis (Senate 25), Jamie Boles (House 52), and Supreme Court Justice Barbara Jackson are up against well-funded opponents. Millions of dollars are flowing in from sources outside of North Carolina. Encourage your neighbors and friends to fixate on the down-ballot races, especially Jackson’s race where Democrats are fired up about securing a solid majority on the court, and have employed a sinister tactic to make it happen. (Supreme Court candidate Chris Anglin is a Democrat who switched affiliation before filing with the state to confuse voters and help fellow Democrat candidate Anita Earls).

We are acutely aware that many fellow citizens simply tune out mid-term campaigning and can’t wait for the yard signs to disappear on November 7. So what can we say to motivate them? Start by reminding them what Americans lose if Democrats win — lower tax rates, fewer regulations, and freedom to choose when it comes to their healthcare options.

In the era of Trump, the Democrat party is turning harder to the left. It’s leadership seeks open borders, abolishment of the Second Amendment, marginalized law enforcement, rule by intimidation and a lust for destroying people they disagree with, beginning with President Donald Trump.

Another President, Dr. Larry Arnn of Hillsdale (MI) College, recently spoke before an audience of local Hillsdale supporters attending a luncheon at Pinehurst’s Carolina Hotel. Arnn is one of America’s greatest living historians, but he does not speak using dramatic flourishes. Arnn is a soft spoken, deeply thoughtful orator. His message to those assembled in Pinehurst was sobering, alarming and precisely what Americans need to be thinking about as we go to the polls, and encourage others to join us.

The question Arnn asked is the question we must ask our neighbors and friends who express indifference toward voting.

“Are you concerned about the times?” Arnn asked as he opened his remarks on October 22. “The crisis we are in, I think it’s deep, myself.”

No student graduates from Hillsdale, founded in 1844, without acquiring thorough understanding of the U.S. Constitution and our Declaration of Independence. Hillsdale produces Constitutional scholars. One graduate currently is a clerk for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

The political climate at Hillsdale is quite different than what is now common across the country, as institutions of higher learning continue to deteriorate into incubation centers ruled by the hard Left. Tolerance and debate are out of style. Arnn referred to recent campus unrest at a liberal arts college in Portland, OR, Reed College, where a group of students denounced a reading curriculum as being “racist”. Professors were subjected to threats and gangs of students as they walked to their cars.

“At Reed College, they have cancelled half of that curriculum,” Arnn said. “And that means the other half is soon to go.

“We (at Hillsdale) think there is something abiding and worthwhile that can be known (by studying history). And if you give up on that, just think what happens to this (Constitutional) doctrine that we have our rights according to eternal principles, and (that) no power can take them away?

“Do you see why that kind of idea would have young people demanding things by force? Because force is all that’s left. That’s why members of Congress, if they happen to be in the wrong (Republican) party, they get hazed and heckled in public restaurants in the Nation’s Capitol. And that’s the kind of thing that used to happen in 1850, and we know what that was tending to. It’s like a cold Civil War.”

In this time of heightened conflict, voting emerges as a more fatal weapon than physical violence or public intimidation. We must find a way to win, as Americans, as patriots, as Republicans, because of what the opposition intends.

“What’s against that today,” Arnn said, “is just the assertion of the raw, human will. (The Left says) we must have things the way we want them, and if we go further down this line we are going to be shooting people. That’s the conflict.

“(Hillsdale) lives in reverence of and in the activity of knowing things that are beautiful, and fine, and true, and it labors against all opposition to keep them alive, as it did when it was born through the Civil War. This is not the first time people at our college saw this kind of thing. Are we going to rally? The answer is, come what may, yes we are.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Signs of our times

By Steve Woodward

After witnessing numerous cases of “mob rule” endorsed by the Democrat Party, the smear campaign against Justice Brett Kavanaugh foremost among them, it is not surprising that Republicans’ campaign signs are being removed every day (or under cover of darkness) across our communities.

This is not a new tactic by the left, but it is rampant in 2018. Last weekend, a fellow citizen was observed offloading a stack of GOP campaign signs, presumably removed from numerous locations. Offloading is perhaps too polite. The signs were dumped at the Moore County Landfill off of Highway 5. A keen observer captured a photo of the perpetrator’s license plate. The photo was sent to local law enforcement.

Republicans do not waste time wallowing in victimhood. Sign removal is a misdemeanor but more than anything it is a pathetic, ineffective strategy. It merely reinforces why getting Republicans and independents out to vote (beginning Oct. 17 with the start of Early Voting) through Nov. 6 is our primary mission. Energizing Republicans is what the new hard left Democrat party seems to do best, starting with anthem kneeling, and continuing with violent anti-police marches, historic statue vandalism (UNC-Chapel Hill), the Kavanaugh assault and, most recently, the exposing of Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s false claim of Native American heritage.

In a week when Stormy Daniels was downgraded to a rain shower by a judge who ruled she must pay President Trump’s legal fees, when the Russian collusion hoax is being proven further by the silence of key players, and when the number of job openings nationally surpassed 7 million, and with data out that there are eight times more new manufacturing jobs than during the long Obama era slog, those who bet the ranch on a “blue wave” are planning ranch estate sales.

Locally, Republican campaign signs might be dwindling but motivated Republican voters are surging. In the last official week for regular voter registration ahead of the start of early voting Oct. 17, Republicans have registered a total of about 4,300 new voters statewide (versus about 2,300 Democrats).

In Moore County, Republican voter registration has already exceeded 2016 by nearly 400, with a record 27,691 registered as of Oct. 16. In the latest reporting period, the Moore GOP picked up another 115 registrants compared to 46 Democrat registrants and 89 unaffiliated registrants.

The question for unaffiliated voters across North Carolina, of which currently there are 5,800, is not complicated and it won’t be swayed by yard signs. The question is: Do they want mobs or jobs in 2018 and beyond?