Where true leaders go

By Connie Lovell

Peggy Noonan, in a year-end column for The Wall Street Journal, asks “Trump insiders” to speak candidly about how the administration conducts the people’s business.  Two years are indeed enough time to evaluate the conduct of our government—including the duplicity in Congress and the vigilante style of the Justice Department and the IRS. Yet Ms. Noonan focuses her ire on President Donald Trump while overlooking these and other malefactors.

When the press stretches facts about events on Capitol Hill and in the bureaucracy, when the Justice Department decides to obfuscate facts and ignore subpoenas, when we learn that Congress has a secret slush fund to silence sexual-harassment accusers, these scandals often are made public by Trump insiders willing to speak honestly about what Americans have long suspected.

jim mattis
Gen. James Mattis

When Defense Secretary Jim Mattis resigned his post, we heard his message. The former general is in the fight to win, as is expected of a fine career officer. Yet others in the administration argue candidly that it is futile to fight a war for 18 years without rules of engagement sufficient to defeat our enemy. Experience tells us that peace does not come through empty promises and plane loads of cash.

There are indeed many books about the chaos in the Trump administration. But there also are many others authored by supporters of the president, willing to put their reputations on the line in defense of the president’s accomplishments and his right to govern.

Ms. Noonan suggests that honest Trump insiders are cowed by the president’s operatives, becoming “figures of “obloquy.” I am not a Trump insider but I am not afraid to speak up on the president’s behalf. I voted for him to expose the inner sanctum we call our government and shed light on the corruption we all know exists. He has persevered to the point of friction and beyond, and that is where true leaders go.

Originally published as a letter-to-the-editor in The Wall Street Journal, Jan. 4, 2019

A soft coup d’etat ensues

By Steve Woodward

The walls are closing in on Donald Trump, pundits and politicians now agree. Michael Cohen has turned on him. What else does he know? There is no proof of Russian collusion, but campaign finance violations will do the job. Robert Mueller is taking no prisoners. James Comey brags that he “got away” with FBI agents grilling General Michael Flynn without counsel present, thrilled to ruin a patriot who joined Trump’s orbit. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer wag their disapproving fingers at Trump with cameras rolling in the Oval Office because, well, he’s an unworthy President.

And, yet …

WASHINGTON (Reuters): The number of Americans filing applications for jobless benefits tumbled to near a 49-year low (in early December), which could ease concerns about a slowdown in the labor market and economy.

Democrats/Media: Trump and the Republicans must be stopped.

Infrastructure boomThe Wall Street Journal: State and local government investment in roads, bridges, buildings and other infrastructure hasn’t returned to its previous peak, but it is now showing signs—late in the expansion—of a real recovery. Bigger state and local tax collections, propelled in part by an acceleration in sales-tax receipts from consumer spending, is boosting capital projects and driving a municipal borrowing boom.

Democrats/Media: Trump and the Republicans must be stopped.

Breitbart: In October, imports used in computer manufacturing amounted to over $40 billion. That represents a savings of about $640 million over what they would have paid for those products a year earlier – more than half of the additional tariff payments. A big part of the tariffs are actually being paid by foreign manufacturers who now receive fewer dollars for their goods. People who think they have a better understanding of trade than the president like to mock Trump for saying that China and others pay tariffs but evidence suggests Trump has it right.

Democrats/Media: Trump and the Republicans must be stopped.

The Daily Caller: U.S. oil production hit 11.7 million barrels a day during the week ending Nov. 16. That’s unchanged from the previous week, but up significantly from the week ending Nov. 9. Oil companies are pulling more than 2 million barrels more out of the ground now than during the same time period in 2017, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported. That’s a 21-percent increase in oil production in the past year.

Democrats/Media: Trump and the Republicans must be stopped.

Rush Limbaugh: “I feel duty-bound to warn you and to give you a heads-up about what we’re gonna face. Donald Trump’s gonna have perhaps the most embattled presidency in — well, certainly in our lifetimes, and I dare say maybe in modern American history. They’re not going to quit and they are a new kind of stupid. They are not logical. They make no sense whatsoever. But they are going to have the media on their side, and that’s the danger.”

Rush uttered these words Nov. 22, 2016. Sadly, he was deadly accurate. But there is solace to be found in knowing that Donald Trump never quits.

 

 

 

Fraud cloud over NC 9

By Steve Woodward

Bladen County has a checkered history as a vote fraud hotbed in North Carolina. Democrats have complained about it for nearly a decade because they rarely win in the 9th District, which includes Bladen. But at least one Republican acknowledges a similar trend.

“Over that period of time authorities have failed to get to the bottom of that problem,” State Senator Dan Bishop said during a recent news conference covered by Carolina Journal. “The problem is not being solved by prosecutorial authority so far, and certainly not by the state board of elections over three administrations” spanning Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue, Republican Pat McCrory, and sitting Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.

For now, the final count in the race for the U.S. House seat in the 9th finds Republican Mark Harris, a Baptist pastor, holding a 905-vote lead on Democrat Dan McCready, but the state refuses to certify the result because a few volunteers came forward with stories of absentee ballot mishandling. Harris could use some divine intervention about now.

The alleged perpetrator is a Bladen County political activist, an otherwise obscure soil and water conservation supervisor and convicted felon, Leslie McCrae Dowless, Jr., who has worked in at least five campaigns since 2010, The Washington Post reports.

National media outlets have been paying attention, presumably because they salivate at the possibility that another reliably Republican House seat will flip to a Democrat. The right-leaning The Wall Street Journal editorial board has taken notice of the drama in western North Carolina, even while scolding “Democrats (who often) insist that vote fraud is a myth”:

“Forty percent of the mail-in ballots for Bladen County were never returned, and it was 62% for neighboring Robeson County. That compares with 24% district-wide. So one suspicion is that Mr. Dowless could have perhaps destroyed hundreds of Democratic ballots.”

The word “perhaps” hangs over the resulting count because, ultimately, investigators have only the claims of volunteer absentee-ballot collectors recruited by Dowless — and voters who say their ballots were handed over to these collectors — as evidence of fraud. Unlike Broward County, Fla., mysterious boxes of ballots, mailed in or cast on election day, have yet to materialize in Bladen or Robeson.

The WSJ’s editorial did not conclude that fraud occurred in NC’s 9th. But it rightly shed light on the perils of making fraud easier than it should be.

“One lesson from this mess is the folly of pushing to expand ballot access without regard for ballot integrity. North Carolina implemented ‘no excuse’ early voting in 2000, which was expanded in 2002 to mail-in ballots. Previously, a voter had to demonstrate he was sick or would be out of town.”

The point is well taken and should be reviewed thoroughly by the state’s election officials, especially given North Carolina’s growing national reputation as the home of election chaos. And if you think court ordered re-districting wreaked havoc this election cycle, TheHill.com reports there looms a daunting worst-case scenario if the state decides a new election between Harris and McCready in the 9th is not necessary.

Observes TheHill.com: “The U.S. House of Representatives, which has the ultimate authority over congressional elections, can also call for a special election, which would trigger a new filing process, to be followed by a primary and general election (our emphasis added).”

If this happens, not only will Mark Harris be missing as the elected representative of his district on Capitol Hill, our state will have no elected representative in the halls of Congress for the foreseeable future.

The state board of elections holds an evidentiary hearing on Dec. 21.

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.

 

 

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?

 

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?

 

 

 

Trump train rolls on

Washington and the corrupt mainstream media are abuzz about who to believe amid an embarrassing confirmation process for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Accusers of Kavanaugh claiming he was some teen-aged sexual predator and raging drunk are losing credibility — if ever they had any — with each passing day.

While Democrat Senators are obsessed with Kavanaugh’s high school days and his yearbook, not his career, and while the media hangs on every word, what can not be challenged is the runaway success story of Donald’s Trump’s presidency. The well orchestrated smear campaign against Judge Kavanaugh might ultimately drive more Republicans than usual to the November mid-term polls to avenge Democrat tactics. But if voters somehow have managed to shut out the confirmation fiasco, what ought to be driving them to the polls to vote for Republicans and secure the GOP’s continued majorities in the U.S. House and Senate is an avalanche of good news drowned out by a scandal-a-day, deranged press corps.

The Trump Administration reached an agreement with Canada and Mexico on the largest trade deal in history, governing $1.2 trillion in trade.

The results of a newly released Gallup poll indicates that the Republican Party is at a seven-year high in favorability among American voters.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed Oct. 2 at a record high (26,773.94), its 14th record close of 2018.

Consumer confidence rose in September to its highest level in about 18 years. The index rose nearly FOUR points since the August poll.

Across America, African American and Hispanic unemployment is at record lows due to Trump-led tax cuts and sweeping de-regulation that stifled business growth during the Obama years. Jobs and opportunities are flowing into communities.

Employment in North Carolina reflects trends nationwide. In our state, August employment reached an all-time high of more than 4.8 million jobs.

The Gross Domestic Product – which signals the health of our economy — grew at a rate of 4.2% last quarter. Average growth was just above 1% quarterly during the Obama era.

The United States is balancing trade deficits with key partners such as China, ending terrible deals with adversarial nations such as Iraq, and promoting peace in the Korean peninsula by promoting open dialog between President Trump and North Korea’s dictatorial regime.

Spread the word.