Here we are

By Steve Woodward

In our upside down world, a Pinehurst resident last week unfurled and mounted a “BIDEN President” flag inconspicuously, almost out of view. For a few days it literally was hanging upside down, difficult to decipher, as if Joe Biden himself might have done the job.

Another Pinehurst resident said she admired thematic yard signs your humble author plants in his front yard, conspicuously, in full view of a busy road. They suggest highly controversial ideas. Socialism Distancing. Unmask Tyranny. Dethrone King Cooper. She was offered one but declined, fearing it would provoke property damage. Her words.

4 July.5The most upside down moment came last Saturday after a joyous parade on Independence Day through the heart of the Village of Pinehurst, organized after Mayor John Strickland predictably cancelled the annual parade operated by local government. In its place was the “oh really, just watch us” July 4th parade brought to life by our Moore County Republican Women and their many supporters. There were classic convertibles, red pickups, golf carts, a vintage Jeep, signs, flags, blaring music from car audio systems, and proud marchers armed with copies of the U.S. Constitution, not sledge hammers and bricks. So very right side up.

The parade was brief but exhilarating. It attracted a photographer from The Pilot. A news report and photos were posted later Saturday on The Pilot‘s Facebook page. Reaction was swift. Of the many upside down laments and criticisms aimed at our rogue parade, one man captured the award for best encapsulating the misery that defines today’s Left. He posted a one-word comment about the parade. “Yuck.”

Many of us hear that word in our heads as we open our eyes each morning to face another day of across-the-board hysteria. The Left has mounted an overwhelming campaign, years in the making, to tear apart our nation. The Wuhan Virus was perhaps not expected but easy enough to exploit on a dime to crater a robust Trump-era economy and, as a silver lining, restrict worship and foment government dependency. Quite a trifecta.

So, too, the death under (white) police arrest of a (black) Minneapolis man a couple of months later. Perfect storm. An easily stoked health crisis on a parallel track with an eruption of violence to decry “systemic racism.” And a bonus: If you oppose wearing a mask in crowds, just become an anarchist. Masks not required.

Any denunciation of race-baiting by pointing to systemic freedom, systemic prosperity or systemic innovation, is taboo. Do not even dare to suggest that all lives matter. The latter will earn you a “I’m a Racist” tee shirt.

As expected, corrupt media cheerleaders finally arrived at the moment when every case and every death tied to the Wuhan Virus — which time will tell include false cases and falsely attributed deaths — is blamed on President Donald Trump. (So, to be clear, he colluded with China, not Russia?) Then along came nationwide Marxist-led Black Lives Matter uprisings intersecting with traditional Independence Day celebrations. The media took its cue and echoed the words of Marxism’s highly paid spokesman, Colin Kaepernick. A celebration of American Independence is a celebration of “white supremacy”. Americans must re-think the Fourth of July. While wearing masks and fearing one another’s next sneeze.

But the collapse of our nation is not, and cannot be, inevitable. Because that was the essence of President Trump’s Mount Rushmore speech, the Left predictably denounced it. “Divisive and dark” read the headlines. Let’s hope so. Why would we seek unity with college indoctrinated, white guilt infused zombies who would erase our history, one monument at a time? And they won’t stop with physical destruction. The primary targets are religion, law enforcement and free enterprise. And the Washington Redskins.

Patriotic Americans have quoted adoringly, and for generations, President Ronald Reagan’s characterizations of the United States. “A shining City on a Hill.” “The last, best hope for man on Earth.” In 2020, we will find out if these words are destined to ring hollow, or if individuals are willing to fight to sustain them, not with weapons, not with parades, not with yard signs but with relentless determination to get out the vote and win elections, from Trump-Pence and Congress, to the courts and statehouses.

At the conclusion of Saturday’s parade, a military veteran who resides among us climbed atop a pickup truck to read, word for word, the Declaration of Independence. Dozens gathered around to listen. The final sentence reminds us today what we must be willing to do. “With a firm reliance of the protection on divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” Many founders lost their lives and their fortunes, but not one his honor.

Reagan also said that “our’s is a rendezvous with destiny.” Here we are.

 

 

 

War on democracy

By Steve Woodward

From both ends of the political spectrum a narrative is spinning in response to North Carolina’s embattled U.S Congressional districts. The essence is that the time has come for state Republicans to yield any presumption of controlling how districts are drawn despite their majority status in the statehouse and the U.S. House of Representatives.

This new “logic” dictates that Republicans must yield because the world has changed. Gerrymandering simply has become too precise, too data driven and, thus, overtly racist and unfair. Just ask former Obama Attorney General Eric Holder, the ringleader of a national campaign to weaken Republican control of gubernatorial, state legislative and state court seats. Holder’s organization filed the lawsuit that just a few days ago received a favorable ruling from a three-judge NC superior court panel (two members are Democrats, of course): re-draw your U.S. Congressional maps immediately, or else. Republicans hold 10 of the 13 North Carolina seats in Congress. Not acceptable, say the Holderites. The wrong voters voted to impose an unfair imbalance.

E Holder
Obama AG Eric Holder

Now what? Congressman Richard Hudson (NC-8) whose district includes Moore County very likely will be assigned to another district, or Moore will end up in another district. A member of Hudson’s staff acknowledges Republicans are powerless to stop what’s coming. The spokesman said the redrawing easily could result in 10-3 flipping to 6-7, the worst case scenario. This upheaval also handicaps fundraising by candidates like Hudson because he’ll find himself an unknown among new constituents.

Democrats claim they want to kill gerrymandering once and for all by taking map drawing out of the hands of politicians from parties in power, the American way for decades and a fact of life in our state during 140 years of Democrat control of the General Assembly until 2011. Confident in the public’s short memory span, Holder told The New York Times North Carolinians were “forced to vote on manipulated electoral maps … drawn to create a partisan outcome.”

Once a “fair” system of map drawing by independent bodies is in place, Democrats want us to believe they’ll never again try to leverage gerrymandering should they seize power in North Carolina, or elsewhere. (If you buy that, look at what happened in Virginia on Election Day 2019 as a result of new independent maps approved last February shifting Republicans into six Democrat dominated districts).

The Pilot‘s editorial board in November 6 editions declares “it’s time finally to bring meaningful reform to the redistricting process.” In fact, there is a bill pending (HB 140), known as the FAIR Act, proposing a constitutional amendment placed on a future ballot that would afford voters the opportunity to make a choice. The left claims passage would lead to “transparent” map drawing by independent panels. But who will form the panels, and what will stop well funded organizations like Holder’s from packing them with radicals? Nothing.

From the right comes another call for a serious look at the FAIR Act, and from none other than John Hood, author, television commentator and chairman of the Raleigh-based John Locke Foundation, a conservative think tank. Hood’s November 6 column in The Pilot declares “the handwriting is on the wall”, pointing to how the court-ordered redrawing of General Assembly maps played out in October. “North Carolina now has fairer legislative districts because a court ordered the General Assembly to open up the process and stick to neutral criteria,” Hood writes.

Hood, who should know better, inexplicably gives “court ordered” maps a presumption of purity. Since when are courts devoid of activist Democrat judges? Since when are lawsuits by well funded far Left entities acting in the best interest of all voters rather than Democrat voters and candidates?

The former Republican Governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker, has a ready answer. Since never. Now chair of the National Republican Redistricting Trust, Walker says Democrats have toiled for a decade using power grabs disguised as well intentioned state lawsuits.

“They pick a state, they sue until it’s blue,” Walker told National Public Radio’s Miles Parks. “Sooner or later their goal is to make those states blue and add as many House seats as they can, to keep Democrats in power for the next decade or more.”

The forthcoming 2020 Census data will bring a new round of redistricting opportunities across the country in 2021. This scenario comes around once every decade. North Carolinians very well might end up living with a FAIR Act and its unaccountable map drawing panels, but numerous states where Democrats are in control will go right back to gerrymandering traditions that are abusive only when Republicans apply them.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mid-terms begin NOW!

A determined team of Moore County Republican volunteers already is planning, strategizing and counting down to the 2018 mid-term elections, which will determine if Republicans continue to build a greater America under the leadership of President Donald Trump’s administration. If too many seats are yielded to Democrats in state and federal showdowns — historically a possibility — there will be years of gridlock and intensified attempts to undermine Trump’s credibility and his presidency.

Absentee voting by mail begins in one month, on September 7. That means there is precious little time to prepare to place your vote. Preparing to vote, not unlike preparing for an exam, is especially vital in 2018 because there will be six proposed amendments to the North Carolina constitution on the ballot. They are rather straightforward, such as returning to the requirement of voters producing valid identification before casting a ballot. Common sense.

Writes Mitch Kokai in Carolina Journal this week, “When people vote on amendments, they do not give up power. They exercise power.”

Learn more about these amendments and the candidates you will be selecting for various seats in the weeks to come by visiting Moore County’s Board of Elections Election Notice page. (Please note that Chris Anglin is listed as a Republican in the race for NC Supreme Court Associate Justice. He is a Democrat who registered as a Republican, last minute. On the actual ballot, his name will appear without affiliation. Republicans must turn out to re-elect Barbara Jackson to the Supreme Court).

This also is a great time to get reacquainted with U.S. Congressman Richard Hudson (NC-8), a stalwart supporter of our military personnel and proponent of strengthening their abilities to defend our freedoms. Go to his Hudson for Congress website.

State Sen. Tom McInnis is new to District 25 but no novice in the corridors of the N.C. General Assembly. He has a particularly influential role as Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, focusing on the need to keep our state competitive with our coastal neighbors as a commercial hub. Learn about his priorities at McInnis for NC.

All of this is about laying the groundwork for a victorious November 2018. That’s why we Moore Republicans gathered on a warm day in Robbins last Saturday to be visible during the Farmers Day Parade. We hosted a tent with wall-to-wall information about candidates, plus bumper stickers, yard signs and t-shirts promoting the Great Red Tsunami that will overwhelm the so-called Democrat “blue wave” this fall. And, during the tractor parade, we proudly displayed one very athletic elephant surfing a red wave toward November, “Donald Trunk”. Donald was conceived and fabricated by one amazingly dedicated volunteer and many helpers. This is just one example of what we can accomplish if we dedicate ourselves to the task that lies ahead.

Donald Trunk

The President of the United States has pledged to campaign around the clock. We must follow that lead, doing what we can, lending a hand, knocking on doors and leveraging email to share sample ballots with friends and neighbors across the county.

If we do not drive a substantial voting block to the polls through early voting, absentee voting and on Election Day, we will be courting disaster for our country’s future, which is today shining bright, Reagan’s City on a Hill. We have a Republic, founder Benjamin Franklin once said, if we can keep it.