States: Take the 10th

Individuals protect themselves from incrimination by “taking the 5th”, exercising rights granted in the Bill of Rights by the Fifth Amendment. It appears the time has come for states, including North Carolina, to protect their rights by “taking the 10th”.

The Tenth Amendment is a beautifully crafted sentence, if only because it is a case study in word economy. It reads, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”

While the subject of North Carolina’s voting district map, as legally drawn by a Republican majority, is mired in court rulings and shrouded in uncertainty ahead of the 2018 elections due to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling related to a similar legal challenge in Wisconsin, an informed citizen already knows where things are headed.

In this era of monuments to American patriots being taken down, of professional athletes declining to stand in respect for the flag, and core American Judeo-Christian values being dismissed as offensive, who can be surprised by a movement to deny states the right to conduct their own affairs in matters of drawing up voting district maps?

North State Journal political columnist Frank Hill provides useful historical perspective on the evolution of district gerrymandering from an accepted, if not messy, norm left up to individual states, to the current hand-wringing about racially motivated mapping that, suddenly, needs to be taken up by the courts and, ultimately, the U.S. Supreme Court. It is no coincidence that this arises at a time when Republicans have a stronghold on statehouses and Governors’ mansions.

A Wisconsin group that recently navigated a redistricting case to the Supreme Court (a ruling is expected next spring), bases its argument on the premise that redistricting had been “too extreme” and for partisan political purposes. This prompted Hill to ask a question: what is too extreme?

How about a congressional district that was drawn in North Carolina that was 91 percent Democrat by registration in 1984? That was the makeup of the Second Congressional District I ran in during the 1984 campaign as a Republican. Sadly, the same masses of lawyers and advocates who are today running to the Supreme Court to declare gerrymandering as “unconstitutional” in any way, shape or form were not as concerned about it in 1984.

It is no longer 1984, to be sure, as we find radical judges and courts more than willing to dispute what has always been a “specific constitutional duty given to state legislatures,” Hill writes.

Back in June, the Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling on 28 North Carolina legislative districts. The lower court said these districts had been re-drawn to achieve illegal racial gerrymanders, diluting black votes, reported the Raleigh News & Observer. Which has led to the latest, even more disturbing, development in this story. In late October, a three-judge federal court panel announced it will appoint a Stanford University law professor to review nine legislative districts emerging out of a second re-districting effort by N.C. lawmakers in August.

Naturally, the far-left Southern Coalition for Social Justice applauded the decision to rob state legislators and their constituents of a constitutional right. Its executive director was quoted in news reports actually defending the idea that insertion of a voting rights scholar from California would “result in fair districts for all North Carolinians.”

Hill properly turns to an inconvenient fact to highlight the hypocrisy of Democrats condemning the evil partisan gerrymandering by the Republican majority. His point will be the basis for what should be vehement opposition to allowing a Stanford professor to influence North Carolina’s redistricting.

The North Carolina General Assembly has a long and proud history of drawing partisan gerrymandered districts at the federal and state level long before the Republicans took over control in 2010. All of it by Democrats since at least 1898.

Now that the Supreme Court has waded into debating the merits of gerrymandering, it seems inevitable that the body ultimately will be forced to do something it has expressly avoided for more than 200 years. It will have to decide if the Tenth Amendment still matters.

 

Reform terrifies tax addicts

High profile individuals in American society when caught engaging in criminal, deviant or unethical activity disappear into rehab programs, hoping to recast themselves as victims. Addicts are sympathetic figures, the thinking goes.

But how are we to feel about addicts who won’t/can’t seek treatment? In the case of tax addicted Washington politicians on the left, they should be judged as scoundrels, at the very least. How else to characterize tax-and-spend zealots such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who says the Trump administration’s proposed tax cuts are “just plain immoral.”

Warren and her fellow tax revenue addicts break into sweats at the mention of tax cuts like alcoholics hearing suggestions of a return to Prohibition. They always fall back on the same tired rant. Tax cuts benefit only the richest Americans and give little relief to working class citizens (as if Warren, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, et al, actually know any such people). Corporate tax cuts only enrich the titans, not the factory workers. On and on they drone.

That’s why Republicans need to do a better job when it comes to promoting the actual effects of the tax cuts they propose under President Trump. They need to be very specific about the objectives of cutting taxes by drawing on jaw dropping data neatly summarized by columnist Walter E. Williams writing for DailySignal.com, “The Facts About Who Pays the Most in Taxes in America”.

Thirty-seven million tax filers have no tax obligation at all. (That’s 45.5% of American households). … These Americans become natural constituencies for big-spending (Democrat) politicians. After all, if you don’t pay federal taxes, what do you care about big spending?

But the average hard working American typically does not fixate on federal spending and national debt. That’s Washington insider stuff. Working class Americans want a path to higher wages and upward mobility within their chosen industry. The surest way to make that a realistic goal is to ease the tax burden on American corporations.

Williams deftly points out that the current 38.91% tax on U.S. corporate earnings, the fourth-highest in the world, is a tax on living, breathing people. A corporate tax cut potentially has more impact on a middle-class family than a tax cut on its take-home pay. Democrats refuse to acknowledge this because, of course, the narrative must always be that corporations are evil.

If a tax is levied on a corporation, it will have one of four responses or some combination thereof. It will raise the price of its product, lower dividends, cut salaries, or lay off workers. In each case, a flesh-and-blood person bears the tax burden.

The messaging is really simple. President Trump and fellow Republicans must not be trapped into using empty jargon when talking about tax reform.

More than 45% of American households pay zero federal income tax. Just say it. Less than 1% of the population, according to data Williams cites, pays 70.6% of federal income taxes. Just say it, while advocating for some relief for these folks, too. But most importantly, just say that a significant corporate tax rate cut from about 39% to 20% will open floodgates of higher wages and greater upward mobility for working class Americans.

If passing real tax cuts means that scores of Congressional Democrats disappear to enter fiscal rehab, just think of what that would do to ease gridlock in Washington.

Trump ‘sabotages’ Obamacare, finally

A Fox News Channel commentator cleverly selected a golf reference to describe the impact of President Donald Trump’s October 12 executive order on a law bearing a famously disingenuous name, the Affordable Care Act. Harris Faulkner said Trump’s order will “take a divot” out of the law, a.k.a., Obamacare.

To carry that a bit further, it is one of those big, sloppy divots off of a drenched fairway that splatters one’s golf togs on precisely the day white slacks seemed a good fashion call. Obamacare, as time has proven, is not a pristine, sun-drenched Pinehurst No. 2 during a U.S. Open. It is a beaten up municipal course with poor drainage and a neglectful maintenance crew. Continue reading “Trump ‘sabotages’ Obamacare, finally”

The fallacy of ‘gun control’

The Washington Post‘s relatively new mantra reminds readers that “Democracy Dies in Darkness”. In the aftermath of the Las Vegas massacre perpetrated by a maniacal individual, who owned unfathomable numbers of weapons and was not on law enforcement radar, we are reminded anew that “Propaganda Thrives in Darkness”. The Post, in Oct. 3 editions and online, underscored this truth by publishing a stunning admission by a former “gun control” advocate, who sheds light on a reality that the newspaper’s editors and readers likely will find unsettling, if not heretical. Continue reading “The fallacy of ‘gun control’”

The ignorance of ‘the knee’

Do young Americans know, were they ever taught, that the Star Spangled Banner, today our National Anthem, was written to chronicle an actual wartime attack by British naval ships on American soil? Do they know that on a September morning at Baltimore’s Fort McHenry, the star spangled banner still waved because American soldiers, expecting they would die, stood under direct cannon assault to keep the flag’s pole standing? Do they know that the anthem’s writer, lawyer Francis Scott Key, warned British officers of their futility even as they shelled the fort to symbolically take down the American flag? Do they know Scott proclaimed the assault would fail because the American soldier “would rather die on his feet before he’ll live on his knees”?

Of course they know none of this, these ignorant, arrogant athletes who fancy themselves warriors on a battlefield while playing a game. If they knew, how could any one of them fall to a knee? This 12-minute video (provided by Paul Shaffer, a member of the Moore County Republican Men’s Club) should be required viewing in NFL locker rooms and in schools:

America is back

 

 

By Walter B. Bull Jr.

Before the analysis of President Trump’s September 19 address to the United Nations is compartmentalized by liberal and conservative writers, I would like to put forth my unvarnished opinion.

I liked the tone and American themed text that was not politically driven drivel pushed by the unrealistic cadre of Democrat politicians. Many listeners didn’t care for his philosophy. The stony silence when our president brought up the long term track record of failed socialism and central control of an economy by strong men dictators indicates Mr. Trump was testing his audience. Continue reading “America is back”

Unaffiliated voter surge

Newly minted data confirms what many area citizens are experiencing anecdotally. Demographics are shifting across Pinehurst, Southern Pines and surrounding communities. This is evidenced by just released voter registration statistics.

The Raleigh-based Civitas Institute, a self-described nonprofit policy organization, examined State Board of Elections voter registration data, beginning in early February (just after the Trump inauguration) through September 9, and finds surging numbers of “unaffiliated” voters. The trend actually began in 2009, at the outset of the Obama presidency, and coincides with a stark decline in voters registered as Democrats statewide. Continue reading “Unaffiliated voter surge”