Monday, October 20, 2014

US taxpayers fund aid to ISIS. US aid programs to jihadists predate Obama but continue under him, ISIS approves some US aid staff in Syria. UN withheld polio vaccine from Syrian Kurds, said they had to go thru channels-Daily Beast

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"The origins of the aid programs pre-date President Barack Obama’s decision to “degrade and defeat” ISIS, but they have carried on without major review....Last November...Syria’s Kurdistan was not included in a U.N. polio vaccination campaign."...  

10/19/14, "U.S. Humanitarian Aid Going to ISIS," Daily Beast, Jamie Dettmer, Gaziantep, Turkey
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"Not only are foodstuffs, medical supplies—even clinics—going to ISIS, the distribution networks are paying ISIS ‘taxes’ and putting ISIS people on their payrolls."
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"While U.S. warplanes strike at the militants of the so-called Islamic State in both Syria and Iraq, truckloads of U.S. and Western aid has been flowing into territory controlled by the jihadists, assisting them to build their terror-inspiring “Caliphate.”

The aid—mainly food and medical equipment—is meant for Syrians displaced from their hometowns, and for hungry civilians. It is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, European donors, and the United Nations. Whether it continues is now the subject of anguished debate among officials in Washington and European. The fear is that stopping aid would hurt innocent civilians and would be used for propaganda purposes by the militants, who would likely blame the West for added hardship....

The aid convoys have to pay off ISIS emirs (leaders) for the convoys to enter the eastern Syrian extremist strongholds of Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor, providing yet another income stream for ISIS militants, who are funding themselves from oil smuggling, extortion and the sale of whatever they can loot, including rare antiquities from museums and archaeological sites.
“The convoys have to be approved by ISIS and you have to pay them: the bribes are disguised and itemized as transportation costs,” says an aid coordinator who spoke to The Daily Beast on the condition he not be identified in this article. The kickbacks are either paid by foreign or local non-governmental organizations tasked with distributing the aid, or by the Turkish or Syrian transportation companies contracted to deliver it.

And there are fears the aid itself isn’t carefully monitored enough, with some sold off on the black market or used by ISIS to win hearts and minds by feeding its fighters and its subjects. At a minimum the aid means ISIS doesn’t have to divert cash from its war budget to help feed the local population or the displaced persons, allowing it to focus its resources exclusively on fighters and war making, say critics of the aid.

One of the striking differences between ISIS and terror groups of the past is its desire to portray the territory it has conquered as a well organized and smoothly functioning state. “The soldiers of Allah do not liberate a village, town or city, only to abandon its residents and ignore their needs,” declares the latest issue of the group’s slick online magazine, “Dabiq.” Elsewhere in the publication are pictures of slaughtered Kurdish soldiers and a gruesome photograph of American journalist Steven Sotloff’s severed head resting on top of his body. But this article shows ISIS restoring electricity in Raqqah, running a home for the elderly and a cancer treatment facility in Ninawa, and cleaning streets in other towns.

Last year, a polio outbreak in Deir ez-Zor raised concerns throughout the region about the spread of an epidemic. The World Health Organization worked with the Syrian government and with opposition groups to try to carry out an immunization campaign. This has continued. In response to a query by The Daily Beast, a WHO spokesperson said, “Our information indicates that vaccination campaigns have been successfully carried out by local health workers in IS-controlled territory.”

“I am alarmed that we are providing support for ISIS governance,” says Jonathan Schanzer, a Mideast expert with the Washington D.C.-based think tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

“By doing so we are indemnifying the militants by satisfying the core demands of local people, who could turn on ISIS if they got frustrated.”

U.S. and Western relief agencies have been caught before in an aid dilemma when it comes to the war on terror. Last December, the Overseas Development Institute, an independent British think tank focusing on international development and humanitarian issues, reported that aid agencies in Somalia had been paying militants from the al Qaeda offshoot al-Shabab for access to areas under their control during the 2011 famine.

Al-Shabab demanded from the agencies what it described as “registration fees” of up to $10,000. And in many cases al-Shabab insisted on distributing the aid, keeping much of it for itself, according to ODI. The think tank cited al-Shabab’s diversion of food aid in the town of Baidoa, where it kept between half and two-thirds of the food for its own fighters. The researchers noted the al Qaeda affiliate developed a highly sophisticated system of monitoring and co-opting the aid agencies, even setting up a "Humanitarian Co-ordination Office."

Something similar appears to be underway now in the Syrian provinces of Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor.

Aid coordinators with NGOs partnering USAID and other Western government agencies, including Britain’s Department for International Development, say ISIS insist that the NGOs, foreign and local, employ people ISIS approves on their staffs inside Syria. “There is always at least one ISIS person on the payroll; they force people on us,” says an aid coordinator. “And when a convoy is being prepared, the negotiations go through them about whether the convoy can proceed.

They contact their emirs and a price is worked out. We don’t have to wrangle with individual ISIS field commanders once approval is given to get the convoy in, as the militants are highly hierarchical.” He adds: “None of the fighters will dare touch it, if an emir has given permission.”

That isn’t the case with other Syrian rebel groups, where arguments over convoys can erupt at checkpoints at main entry points into Syria, where aid is unloaded from Turkish tractor-trailers and re-loaded into Syrian ones.

Many aid workers are uncomfortable with what’s happening. “A few months ago we delivered a mobile clinic for a USAID-funded NGO,” says one, who declined to be named. “A few of us debated the rights and wrongs of this. The clinic was earmarked for the treatment of civilians, but we all know that wounded ISIS fighters could easily be treated as well. So what are we doing here helping their fighters, who we are bombing, to be treated so they can fight again?”

What becomes even more bizarre is that while aid is still going into ISIS-controlled areas, only a little is going into Kurdish areas in northeast Syria. About every three or four months there is a convoy into the key city of Qamishli. Syrian Kurds, who are now defending Kobani with the support of U.S. warplanes, have long complained about the lack of international aid. Last November, tellingly, Syrian Kurds complained that Syria’s Kurdistan was not included in a U.N. polio vaccination campaign. U.N. agencies took the position that polio 

vaccines should go through the Syrian Red Crescent via Damascus 
when it came to the Kurds.

The origins of the aid programs pre-date President Barack Obama’s decision to “degrade and defeat” ISIS, but they have carried on without major review. The aid push was to reach anyone in need. A senior State Department official with detailed knowledge of current aid programs confirmed to The Daily Beast that U.S. government funded relief is still going into Raqqa and Deir Ez-Zor. He declined to estimate the quantity. But an aid coordinator, when asked, responded: “A lot .”

The State Department official said he, too, was conflicted about the programs. “Is this helping the militants by allowing them to divert money they would have to spend on food? If aid wasn’t going in, would they let people starve? And is it right for us to withhold assistance and punish civilians? Would the militants turn around,. as al-Shabab did when many agencies withdrew from Somalia, and blame the West for starvation and hunger? Are we helping indirectly the militants to build their Caliphate? I wrestle with this.”

Western NGO partners of USAID and other Western agencies declined to respond to Daily Beast inquiries about international relief going to ISIS areas, citing the complexity of the issue

and noting its delicacy.

Mideast analyst Schanzer dismisses the notion that ISIS can use an aid shutdown as leverage in its PR campaign: “I think this is false. In areas they control everyone understands they are a brutal organization. This is their basic weakness and by pushing in aid we are curtailing the chances of an internal revolt, which is the best chance you have of bringing down ISIS.”"




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Political Correctness demands the West surrender everything achieved in past 2000 years, and is perfectly exemplified by US Ebola policies-O'Connell

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10/19/14, "A Plague on Both Houses: Insane Ebola Policy Exposes American Suicide Culture," Kelly O'Connell, Canada Free Press

"How is it possible that persons fresh from the site of outbreak of one of the world’s worst viruses, simply walk off airplanes into American cities?
 
Or, consider the dangerous, utterly indefensible policy of allowing the border to stay open, and illegal entries to cross, allowed to stay, even when criminal convictions for violent crimes are proved....
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A question which Americans should be actively pondering is whether we are a nation that now loathes ourselves and our past so much that we feel we should be judged and decimated? This is the rationale of Political Correctness. That is, to perpetually accuse the West of the most horrific crimes, and in response—demand the West surrender everything achieved over the last 2000 years. Ultimately, as in Frazer’s epic study of magic and folklore, the Golden Bough—a new king kills the old, and so replaces the old society—or so the Marxist PC thinkers believe....

"We tell ourselves that pestilence is a mere bogy of the mind, a bad dream that will pass away. But it doesn’t always pass away and, from one bad dream to another, it is men who pass away.—The Plague"Albert Camus"  
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"Kelly O’Connell is an author and attorney. He was born on the West Coast, raised in Las Vegas, and matriculated from the University of Oregon. After laboring for the Reformed Church in Galway, Ireland, he returned to America and attended law school in Virginia, where he earned a JD and a Master’s degree in Government. He spent a stint working as a researcher and writer of academic articles at a Miami law school, focusing on ancient law and society. He has also been employed as a university Speech and Debate professor. He then returned West and worked as an assistant district attorney. Kelly is now is a private practitioner with a small law practice in New Mexico. Kelly is now host of a daily, Monday to Friday talk show at AM KOBE called AM Las Cruces w/Kelly O’Connell'


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California GOP Chair Jim Brulte has taken donations from corrupt groups like SEIU and CTA. Why does the Republican Party even exist?

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10/19/14, "The Republican Party: A Play in the Theater of the Absurd?" Canada Free Press, Arthur Christopher Schaper

"Clearly, Republicans in California are succumbing to rhinoceritis:

Chairman Jim Brulte has taken union money from two of the most corrupt and left-leaning groups: the CTA and SEIU. Vice Chair Harmeet Dhillion is pro-abortion and same-sex marriage. CA GOP gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari supports the same illiberal social values along with driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants. Local assembly candidates have wavered on expanding food stamps.

One special election winner voted for drivers licenses for illegal immigrants. How can anyone clamor for a safe and secure border, yet at the same time support allowing people to drive legally in the state of California.

Not only are California Republicans infected, but the political disease is spreading to anyone who wavers on one or two points from the party platform. A blatant example took place in Washington last year, when US Senator Ted Cruz, during his twenty-two hour non-filibuster, inadvertently insinuated that anyone voting for cloture was voting to fund Obamacare. US Senator Tom Coburn bristled: “So, I’m a RINO now?” (He has the highest conservative voting record rating, by the way).

Why is this happening, and what can be done about it?

Politics is about unity as well as values, about acceptance as well as clear principles. For too long, the backbone of these values—individual liberty, limited government, constitutional rule—have become separated from the biblical narrative which defined and supported them. The issue is not about forcing religion on people, but even the deist Founding Fathers acknowledged that a free people is a moral people.

When the basis for these morals is removed, there is no strength to stand against the winds of change.

There is no resolve to withstand attacks against established institutions. Debate cannot end when there are no fixed parameters. Certain values are not open for debate, yet when people seek to debate them, right away their value as eternal verities gives way.

Is the Republican Party becoming another installment of the Theater of the Absurd? Are all California Republicans destined to become Rhinos? Or will members of the California Republican learn from the failures of “Big Tent Outreach” which has made an empty tent, and seek clear borders and defined principles?...
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Republicans needs to start asking key questions: why does this party exist? What are the core values which define this party? Former Congressman Allen West asked Rhode Island Republicans that question last year in Kingston.

“There are certain things which enter the minds of even people without one.”

Nature and politics abhor a vacuum, and Democrats have been reaching to neglected communities who would embrace Republican values, but for the onslaught of distortions and conflict promoted by Democratic Party operatives.

Think Boss Tweed and the Tammany Hall machine, for example."...

"Arthur Christopher Schaper is a teacher-turned-writer on topics both timeless and timely; political, cultural, and eternal. A life-long Southern California resident, Arthur currently lives in Torrance."

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Comment: Now that the GOP no longer exists, it's finally rid of its hated voters.


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Real battle for America is over culture, not elections. 2012 Romney campaign wasted a billion dollars. Hard work of changing the culture is done between elections-Mark Steyn

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10/19/14, "Why the real battle for America is over culture, not elections," NY Post, Mark Steyn

"While everyone is focused on the 2014 midterms, the question about where our country is headed is being decided in our entertainment and our schools."...

"Over the past few decades, I’ve seen enough next-presidents-of-the-United-States for several lifetimes: Phil Gramm, Pete Wilson, Bob Dornan, Bob Dole, Elizabeth Dole, Orrin Hatch, Gary Bauer, Lamar Alexander, Tom Tancredo, Tommy Thompson, Alan Keyes. . . .

Would it have made any difference to the country had any of these fine upstanding fellows prevailed? Or would we be pretty much where we are anyway? Aside from a trade agreement here, a federal regulation there, I’d plump for the latter.

You can’t have conservative government in a liberal culture, and that’s the position the Republican Party is in.

After the last election, I said that the billion dollars spent by the Romney campaign on robocalls and TV ads and all the rest had been entirely wasted, and the Electoral College breakdown would have been pretty much what it was if they’d just tossed the dough into the Potomac and let it float out to sea. But imagine the use all that money and time could have been put to out there in the wider world.

Liberals expend tremendous effort changing the culture. Conservatives expend tremendous effort changing elected officials every other November — and then are surprised that it doesn’t make much difference.

Culture trumps politics — which is why, once the question’s been settled culturally, conservatives are reduced to playing catch-up, twisting themselves into pretzels to explain why gay marriage is really conservative after all, or why 30 million unskilled immigrants with a majority of births out of wedlock 

are “natural allies” of the Republican Party.

We’re told that the presidency is important because the head guy gets to appoint, if he’s lucky, a couple of Supreme Court judges. But they’re playing catch-up to the culture, too.

In 1986, in a concurrence to a majority opinion, the chief justice of the United States declared that “there is no such thing as a fundamental right to commit homosexual sodomy.” A blink of an eye, and his successors are discovering fundamental rights to commit homosexual marriage.

What happened in between? Jurisprudentially, nothing: Everything Chief Justice Warren Burger said back in the ’80s — about Common Law, Blackstone’s “crime against nature,” “the legislative authority of the State” — still applies. Except it doesn’t. Because the culture — from school guidance counselors to sitcom characters to Oscar hosts moved on, and so even America’s Regency of Jurists was obliged to get with the beat.

Because to say today what the chief justice of the United States said 28 years ago would be to render oneself unfit for public office — not merely as Chief Justice but as CEO of a private company, or host of a cable home-remodeling show, or dog-catcher in Dead Moose Junction.

What politician of left or right championed gay marriage? Bill Clinton? No, he signed the now notoriously “homophobic” Defense of Marriage Act. Barack Obama? Gay-wise, he took longer to come out than Ricky Martin. The only major politician to elbow his way to the front of the gay bandwagon was Britain’s David Cameron, who used same-sex marriage as a Sister-Souljah-on-steroids moment to signal to London’s chattering classes that, notwithstanding his membership of the unfortunately named “Conservative Party,” on everything that mattered he was one of them.

But, in Britain as in America, the political class was simply playing catch-up to the culture. Even in the squishiest Continental “social democracy,” once every four or five years you can persuade the electorate to go out and vote for a conservative party. But if you want them to vote for conservative government you have to do 

the hard work of shifting the culture every day,  

seven days a week, in the four-and-a-half years between elections.

If the culture’s liberal, if the schools are liberal, if the churches are liberal, if the hip, groovy business elite is liberal, if the guys who make the movies and the pop songs are liberal, then electing 

a guy with an “R” after his name 

isn’t going to make a lot of difference.

Nor should it. In free societies, politics is the art of the possible. In the 729 days between elections, the left is very good at making its causes so possible that in American politics almost anything of consequence is now impossible, from enforcing immigration law to controlling spending.

What will we be playing catch-up to in another 28 years? Not so long ago, I might have suggested transsexual rights. But, barely pausing to celebrate their victory on gay marriage, the identity-group enforcers have gone full steam ahead on transgender issues. Once upon a time there were but two sexes. Now Facebook offers its 1.2 billion patrons the opportunity to select their preference from dozens of “genders”: “male” and “female” are still on the drop-down menu, just about, but lost amid fifty shades of gay — “androgynous,” “bi-gender,” “intersex,” “cisfemale,” “trans*man,” “gender fluid” . . .

Oh, you can laugh. But none of the people who matter in American culture are laughing. They take it all perfectly seriously.

Supreme Intergalactic Arbiter Anthony Kennedy wields more power over Americans than George III did, but in a year or three he’ll be playing catch-up and striking down laws because of their “improper animus” and wish to “demean” and “humiliate” persons of gender fluidity.

Having done an impressive job of demolishing the basic societal building block of the family, the ambitious liberal is now moving on to demolishing the basic biological building block of the sexes.
Indeed, taken in tandem with the ever greater dominance of women at America’s least worst colleges and, at the other end of the social scale, the bleak, dispiriting permanence of the “he-cession,” in 28 years’ time we may be fairly well advanced toward the de facto abolition of man, at least in the manly sense.

That seems to me at least as interesting a question as whether the Republicans can take the Senate with a pick-up in this or that swing state.

Culture is the long view; politics is the here and now.

Yet in America vast cultural changes occur in nothing flat, while, under our sclerotic political institutions, men elected to two-year terms of office announce ambitious plans to balance the budget a decade after their terms end. Here, again, liberals show a greater understanding of where the action is.

So, if the most hawkish of GOP deficit hawks has no plans to trim spending until well in the 2020s, why not look at what kind of country you’ll be budgeting for by then? What will American obesity and heart-disease and childhood-diabetes rates be by then? What about rural heroin and meth addiction? How much of the country will, with or without “comprehensive immigration reform,” be socioeconomically Latin-American? And what is the likelihood of such a nation voting for small-government conservatism?

There’s a useful umbrella for most of the above: The most consequential act of state ownership in the 20th century western world was not the nationalization of airlines or the nationalization of railways or the nationalization of health care, but the nationalization of the family.

I owe that phrase to Professor R Vaidyanathan at the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore. He’s a bit of a chippy post-imperialist, and he’s nobody’s idea of a right-winger, but he’s absolutely right about this.

It’s the defining fact about the decline of the West: Once upon a time, in Canada, Britain, Europe and beyond, ambitious leftists nationalized industries — steel, coal, planes, cars, banks — but it was such a self-evident disaster that it’s been more or less abandoned, at least by those who wish to remain electorally viable.

On the other hand, the nationalization of the family proceeds apace, and America is as well advanced on that path as anywhere else. “The West has nationalized families over the last 60 years,” writes Vaidyanathan. “Old age, ill health, single motherhood — everything is the responsibility of the state.”

When I was a kid and watched sci-fi movies set in a futuristic dystopia where individuals are mere chattels of an unseen all-powerful government and enduring human relationships are banned and the progeny of transient sexual encounters are the property of the state, I always found the caper less interesting than the unseen backstory: How did they get there from here? From free western societies to a bunch of glassy-eyed drones wandering around in identikit variety-show catsuits in a land where technology has advanced but liberty has retreated

How’d that happen?

I’d say “the nationalization of the family” is how it happens. That’s how you get there from here."
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Mark Steyn on . . . .
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More insights from his new collection, “The Undocumented Mark Steyn.”
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. . . ISIS

The roots of ISIS do not lie in the actions America took in 2003. Bush made mistakes in Iraq and left a ramshackle state that functioned less badly than any of its neighbors. Obama walked away, pulled out a cigarette, tossed a match over his shoulder and ignited a fuse that, from Damascus to Baghdad to Amman and beyond, will blow up the entire Middle East.


. . . [Obama’s] contempt for American power a basic class signifier in the circle in which he’s moved all his life — 


is so deeply ingrained that he doesn’t care what replaces it.

. . . Multiculturalism

Just in case you’re having difficulty keeping up with all these Composite-Americans, George Zimmerman, the son of a Peruvian mestiza, is the embodiment of epidemic white racism and the reincarnation of Bull Connor, but Elizabeth Warren, the great-great-great-granddaughter of someone who might possibly have been listed as a Cherokee on an application for a marriage license, is a heartwarming testimony to how minorities are shattering the glass ceiling in Harvard Yard. Under the Third Reich’s Nuremberg Laws, Mrs. Warren would have been classified as Aryan and Mr. Zimmerman as non-Aryan. Now it’s the other way round. Progress!


. . . Big government

Whenever I write about the corrosive effects of Big Government upon the citizenry in Britain, Canada, Europe and elsewhere, and note that this republic is fairly well advanced upon the same grim trajectory, I get a fair few letters on the lines of: “You still don’t get it, Steyn. Americans aren’t Euro-pansies. Or Canadians. We’re not gonna take it.”


I would like to believe it. It’s certainly the case that Americans have more attitude than anybody else — or, at any rate, attitudinal slogans. I saw a fellow in a “Don’t Tread on Me” T-shirt the other day. He was at La Guardia, being trod all over by the overgropinfuhrers of the TSA, who had decided to subject him to one of their enhanced pat-downs. There are few sights more dismal than that of a law-abiding citizen having his genitalia pawed by state commissars, but having them pawed while wearing a “Don’t Tread on Me” T-shirt is certainly one of them.


. . . Islam

I made the mistake of going to Europe to visit the famous banlieues of Paris and other continental Muslim neighborhoods. And at that point I started to get the queasy feeling the bewildered investigator does when he’s standing in the strange indentation at the edge of town and, just as he works out it’s a giant left-foot print, he glances up to see Godzilla’s right foot totalling his Honda Civic. I began to see that it’s not really about angry young men in caves in the Hindu Kush; it’s not even about angry young men in the fast growing Muslim populations of the West — although that’s certainly part of the seven-eighths of the iceberg bobbing just below the surface of 9/11. But the bulk of that iceberg is the profound and perhaps fatal weakness of the civilization that built the modern world. We’re witnessing the early stages of what the United Nations Population Division calls a “global upheaval” that’s “without parallel in human history.” Demographically and psychologically, Europeans have chosen to commit societal suicide, and their principal heir and 


beneficiary will be Islam.

. . . The tech economy

So what does every initiative of the Obama era have in common? ObamaCare, Obamaphones, Social Security disability expansion, 50 million people on food stamps. . . . The assumption is that mass, multi-generational dependency is now a permanent feature of life. A coastal elite will devise ever smarter and sleaker trinkets, and pretty much everyone else will be a member of either the dependency class or the vast bureaucracy that ministers to them. And, if you’re wondering why every Big Government program assumes you’re a feeble child, that’s because a citizenry without “work and purpose” is ultimately incompatible with liberty. The elites think a smart society will be wealthy enough to relieve the masses from the need to work. In reality, it would be neo-feudal, but with fatter, sicker peasants. It wouldn’t just be “economic inequality,” but a far more profound kind, and seething with resentments."
via Lucianne
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Image: "Steyn believes that “the nationalization of the family” can turn a free western society into a “futuristic dystopia where technology has advanced but liberty has retreated.”" Getty stock images, via NY Post
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Comment: Andrew Breitbart said the same thing, that culture was the main issue:

3/30/11, "But he’s not a politics guy, he told us.

I don’t care that much about politics, I don’t go on CNN or Fox to talk about politics, I care about the culture. We’ve allowed the cultural Marxists to take over our culture and I just want to expose some of what they do. I’m about exposing the mainstream media, I’m about exposing Hollywood,” he said in quick time."...

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3/30/11, "A Nationwide Movement To Eliminate Voter Fraud Is Born," RedState.com




 

The day he died.

 


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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Thom Tillis' main problem is a lot of things he COULD attack Hagan on could easily be said about him-Daily Haymaker

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10/17/14, "#ncsen: A “rebellion against the ultra-conservatives”? (SERIOUSLY?)," Daily Haymaker, Brant Clifton

EJ Dionne Jr.
"Yep. That’s the verdict handed down by Washington Post columnist and drive-by media pundit E.J. Dionne regarding our US Senate race this year...

Let me explain something to ol’ E.J. and the rest of the chattering class who think they have this all figured out. Tillis has a number of problems — none of which include raging conservatism. He’s a technocrat who is more impressed with process than principle. When he first ran for the state House, he bashed his GOP opponent for not bringing a sufficient amount of government money back to the district.  

The Tillis campaign’s biggest problem is that a lot of the things they COULD attack Hagan on could easily be turned around onto their guy.  It’ shard to establish credibility on fighting ObamaCare when your guy actually fought to establish a state health exchange. He tried to push through a massive pork-laden piece of legislation near the end of the legislative session. 

When his own Republicans balked at this largesse, 

he unsuccessfully  

tried to cut a deal with the Democrat minority. [A la John Boehner].Stuff like that takes away any credibility on claims of fiscal conservatism. 

You could make a case on corporate cronyism against Hagan. But stuff like this and this takes the wind out of those sails.  You could bash Hagan for embracing big government environmentalist crap. But then, Thom has too. 

A big factor is likeability.  Here in Moore County, we used to be part of the Sixth District and were represented by Howard Coble. A lot of us gave Coble a pass on his moderate voting record because he was likeable and responsive. Talk to people who KNOW Thom Tillis. Talk to people who have interacted with Kay Hagan. I hear plenty of stories from Republican-leaners about her responsiveness and likeability. I hear a lot of stories about Tillis threatening / intimidating people (or even primarying them) if they don’t see things his way.

Many of us on the right KNOW that we’re going to take a hit at the end of the election. If Tillis is unsuccessful, the Tea Party will be blamed. Never mind that Tillis has refused to approach or try to mend fences with Tea Party folks. Upon a Tillis loss, the media will blame “right-wing extremism.” Never mind that Tillis fought hard against most of the actual conservative legislation that passed the General Assembly. The GOP establishment will argue that we on the right need to be thrown overboard. We’re weighing the GOP down. Never mind that conservatism and its believers are responsible for nearly all the modern-day success of the GOP. 

Another factor: Too much defense. Theam Tillis has spent way too much time responding to Hagan. In football, keeping your defense on the field more than your offense is a good indicator that things will not end well. 

Many of us are looking for a reason to line up behind Tillis. But a campaign talking about committee attendance, paper routes, autism, birth control, and “replacing” ObamaCare makes it hard. A principled conservative campaign can produce positive results in North Carolina. Just ask Dan Forest."

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Among comments at Daily Haymaker:

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"Raphael"

"Calling Big Government Republican Tillis an ultra conservative is beyond laughable. Tillis has no ideology beyond a lust for power and money. He is a rent boy for the special interests and would not know a political principle if one jumped up and bit him.

In the legislature, Tillis was always a wet blanket on conservative issues, and often sought to destroy conservative legislators. As a candidate for Senate, he runs away from conservative issues instead of running on them, and that is largely because his own record in too close to that of Hagan on many of them....

The Republican Party today sits ideologically just about where John F. Kennedy sat in 1960. Both parties have moved considerably to the left since then. The extremists today are the Obama Democrats. 

Indeed there was a great TV ad that Scott Brown put out in the special Senate election in Massachusetts [in late 2009, early 2010]. He took a clip of a specch by JFK that covered a range of issues. The ad started out with JFK speaking and then morphed into Brown finishing the speech. All of the issues covered by JFK were right on the money for GOP positions today, and now the Obama Democrats are far far to the left of that....

How a prospective GOP nominee is positioned on the issues, especially those on which the Democrat is vulnerable should be a key component of vetting our candidates. The establishment does not care about issues. They did not do this with Romney, and we lost as a result. They did not do it with Tillis and we are likely to lose that one for the same reason. For example, when Democrats are vulnerable on the highly unpopular Obamacare, it is really really dumb to run a candidate who has championed the very similar Romneycare or has called Obamacare ”a great idea” and pushed legislation creating a state Obamacare exchange through the NC House."...

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[Ed. note: I added a link to a 1962 JFK speech to Raphael's comment. The speech is shocking in that its spirit and enthusiasm would be considered embarrassing today.] 

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2009-2010 Scott Brown :30 tv ad starting with JFK and ending with Brown:



"Uploaded on Dec 29, 2009
 
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Scott Brown and President Kennedy are two different people, from different parties and different eras, but they agree that broad-based tax cuts will create jobs and stimulate the economy. In this creative campaign ad, Brown and Kennedy take turns reading from the same 1962 Kennedy speech calling for tax cuts."



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JFK 1962 speech about urgent need for growth of private sector and tax cuts

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12/14/1962,  "Pres. John F. Kennedy Address to the Economic Club of New York," Waldorf Astoria Hotel, American Rhetoric Online Speech Bank

"You will recall that Chairman Khrushchev has said that he believed that the hinge of world history would begin to move when the Soviet Union out-produced the United States. Therefore, the subject to which we address ourselves tonight concerns not merely our own well-being, but also very vitally the defense of the free world. 
 
America's rise to world leadership in the century since the Civil War has reflected more than anything else our unprecedented economic growth. Interrupted during the decade of the 30s, the vigorous expansion of our economy was resumed in 1940 and continued for more than 15 years thereafter. It demonstrated for all to see the power of freedom and the efficiency of free institutions. The economic health of this nation has been, and is now, fundamentally sound.

But a leading nation, a nation upon which all depend, not only in this country but around the world, cannot afford to be satisfied, to look back, or to pause. On our strength and growth depends the strength of others, the spread of free world trade and unity, and continued confidence in our leadership and our currency. The underdeveloped countries are dependent upon us for the sale of their primary commodities and for aid to their struggling economies. In short, a prosperous and growing America is important not only to Americans, it is -- as the spokesman for 20 Western nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, as he stressed this week -- of vital importance to the entire Western World.


In the last two years we have made significant strides. Our gross national product has risen eleven percent, while inflation has been arrested. Employment has been increased by one-point-three million jobs. Profits, personal income, living standards -- all are setting new records. Most of the economic indicators for this quarter are up and the prospects are for further expansion in the next quarter. But we must look beyond the next quarter, or the last quarter, or even the last two years. For we can and must do better, much better than we've been doing for the last five-and-a-half years.


This economy is capable of producing, without strain, 30 to 40 billion [dollars] more than we are producing today. Business earnings could be seven to eight billion higher than they are today. Utilization of existing plant and equipment could be much higher -- and, if it were, investment would rise. We need not accept an unemployment rate of five percent or more, such as we have had for 60 out of the last 61 months. There is no need for us to be satisfied with a rate of growth that keeps good men out of work and good capacity out of use.


The Economic Club of New York is, of course, familiar with these problems. For, in this state, the rate of insured unemployment has been persistently higher than the national average, and the increases in personal income and employment have been slower here than [in] the nation as a whole. You have seen the tragedy of chronically depressed areas upstate, of unemployed young people -- and I think this might be one of our most serious national problems, unemployed young people, those under 20. One out of four are unemployed -- particularly those in the minority groups, roaming the streets of New York and our other great cities -- and others on relief at an early age, with the prospect that in this decade we will have between seven and eight million school dropouts, unskilled, coming into the labor market, at a time when the need for unskilled labor is steadily diminishing. And I know you share my conviction that, proud as we are of its progress, this nation's economy can and must do even better than it has done in the last five years. Our choice, therefore, boils down to one of: doing nothing, and thereby risking a widening gap between our actual and potential growth in output, profits, and employment -- or taking action, at the federal level, to raise our entire economy to a new and higher level of business activity.


If we do not take action, those who have the most reason to be dissatisfied with our present rate of growth will be tempted to seek shortsighted and narrow solutions -- to resist automation, to reduce the work week to 35 hours or even lower, to shut out imports, or to raise prices in a vain effort to obtain full capacity profits on under-capacity operations. But these are all self-defeating expedients which can only restrict the economy, not expand it.


There are a number of ways by which the federal government can meet its responsibilities to aid economic growth. We can and must improve American education and technical training. We can and must expand civilian research and technology. One of the great bottlenecks for this country's economic growth in this decade will be the shortages of doctorates in mathematics, engineering, and physics -- a serious shortage with a great demand and an undersupply of highly trained manpower. We can and must step up the development of our natural resources. 


But the most direct and significant kind of federal action aiding economic growth is to make possible an increase in private consumption and investment demand -- to cut the fetters which hold back private spending. In the past, this could be done in part by the increased use of credit and monetary tools, but our balance of payments situation today places limits on our use of those tools for expansion. It could also be done by increasing federal expenditures more rapidly than necessary, but such a course would soon demoralize both the government and our economy. If government is to retain the confidence of the people, it must not spend more than can be justified on grounds of national need or spent with maximum efficiency. And I shall say more on this in a moment.


The final and best means of strengthening demand among consumers and business is to reduce the burden on private income and the deterrents to private initiative which are imposed by our present tax system -- and this administration pledged itself last summer to an across-the-board, top-to-bottom cut in personal and corporate income taxes to be enacted and become effective in 1963.


I'm not talking about a "quickie" or a temporary tax cut, which would be more appropriate if a recession were imminent. Nor am I talking about giving the economy a mere shot in the arm, to ease some temporary complaint. I am talking about the accumulated evidence of the last five years that our present tax system, developed as it was, in good part, during World War II to restrain growth, exerts too heavy a drag on growth in peace time; that it siphons out of the private economy too large a share of personal and business purchasing power; that it reduces the financial incenitives [sic] for personal effort, investment, and risk-taking. In short, to increase demand and lift the economy, the federal government's most useful role is not to rush into a program of excessive increases in public expenditures, but to expand the incentives and opportunities for private expenditures.


Under these circumstances, any new tax legislation -- and you can understand that under the comity which exists in the United States Constitution whereby the Ways and Means Committee in the House of Representatives have the responsibility of initiating this legislation, that the details of any proposal should wait on the meeting of the Congress in January. But you can understand that, under these circumstances, in general, that any new tax legislation enacted next year should meet the following three tests:


First, it should reduce the net taxes by a sufficiently early date and a sufficiently large amount to do the job required. Early action could give us extra leverage, added results, and important insurance against recession. Too large a tax cut, of course, could result in inflation and insufficient future revenues -- but the greater danger is a tax cut too little, or too late, to be effective.


Second, the new tax bill must increase private consumption, as well as investment. Consumers are still spending between 92 and 94 percent on their after-tax income, as they have every year since 1950. But that after-tax income could and should be greater, providing stronger markets for the products of American industry. When consumers purchase more goods, plants use more of their capacity, men are hired instead of laid-off, investment increases, and profits are high.


Corporate tax rates must also be cut to increase incentives and the availability of investment capital. The government has already taken major steps this year to reduce business tax liability and to stimulate the modernization, replacement, and expansion of our productive plant and equipment. We have done this through the 1962 investment tax credit and through the liberalization of depreciation allowances -- two essential parts of our first step in tax revision -- which amounted to a ten percent reduction in corporate income taxes worth 2.5 billion dollars. 

Now we need to increase consumer demand to make these measures fully effective -- demand which will make more use of existing capacity and thus increase both profits and the incentive to invest. In fact, profits after taxes would be at least 15 percent higher today if we were operating at full employment.


For all these reasons, next year's tax bill should reduce personal as well as corporate income taxes: for those in the lower brackets, who are certain to spend their additional take-home pay, and for those in the middle and upper brackets, who can thereby be encouraged to undertake additional efforts and enabled to invest more capital.


Third, the new tax bill should improve both the equity and the simplicity of our present tax system. This means the enactment of long-needed tax reforms, a broadening of the tax base, and the elimination or modification of many special tax privileges. These steps are not only needed to recover lost revenue and thus make possible a larger cut in present rates, they are also tied directly to our goal of greater growth. For the present patchwork of special provisions and preferences lightens the tax loads of some only at the cost of placing a heavier burden on others. It distorts economic judgments and channels undue amounts of energy into efforts to avoid tax liability. It makes certain types of less productive activity more profitable than other more valuable undertakings. 

All this inhibits our growth and efficiency, as well as considerably complicating the work of both the taxpayer and the Internal Revenue Service."...


"An excerpt from John F Kennedy's address to the Economic Club of New York on 14 December 1962. Text & audio of the full speech here: http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speec..."...

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Comment: Tax rates were higher in 1962 but the speech was about much more and with great spirit. He speaks with an excitement about America that would be considered shameful today by a major political figure. Following his death in 1963, this country changed quickly and violently. It's impossible to believe that events would have played out as they did if he'd been leading the country at the time. He wouldn't have stood by for it. The hatred and destruction of the American culture that flourished in the 60's became permanent. Every president has stood by and let it get worse and worse. Unfortunately, Ted Kennedy became a powerful negative force for many years. This isn't to say JFK was a saint, it's that listening to his words today is shocking.




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Millionaires and billionaires greet Obama at Greenwich, Ct. Polo Club for fundraiser. Five helicopters, 3 carrying White House staff and press touch down at Polo Club at 5:08pm, the same field where Britain's Prince Harry played the Sport of Kings

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10/17/14, "Barack Obama: The Concern-Troll of The 1%," RedState.com, Repair Man Jack

"He Kids Nobody with the “Les Miserables” Act"

















"Big Money Donors Are Leaning to The Left."...
 
"On the same polo field where Britain’s Prince Harry played the Sport of Kings during a goodwill tour of the U.S., President Barack Obama helicoptered to Connecticut’s Gold Coast on Tuesday on Marine One for a VIP fundraising dinner to help Senate Democrats try to protect their slim majority in the midterm elections." – Connecticut Post"











10/7/14, "President Barack Obama walks off Marine One after arriving for a fundraiser, on Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014, in Greenwich, Conn. Obama is traveling to New York and Connecticut for Democratic fundraisers. Photo: Evan Vucci, AP Photo/Evan Vucci," CT Post

10/8/14, "Kicking up a cloud of dust on the manicured grounds of the Greenwich Polo Club, the fundraiser-in-chief visited the sprawling Conyers Farm estate of Richard and Ellen Schapps Richman for an intimate gathering of Democratic high-rollers.

Some forked over as much as $32,400 -- the maximum contribution allowed under federal law -- to be part of the president's exclusive supper club benefiting the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee....

Five helicopters, three of them carrying White House staff and the traveling press corps, touched down at the polo club at 5:08 p.m. A Marine in his dress blues and barracks cover waited to salute the president, who was whisked into a presidential SUV, not the ubiquitous limousine known as "the Beast."

A person familiar with the transportation logistics said the Secret Service did not want to risk nicks or dents from the gravel roads and driveways that the motorcade had to traverse en route to the fundraiser.

Greenwich police blocked off every driveway on a two-mile stretch of North Street as the motorcade passed. A woman sipping a glass of red wine on a stone wall near the Stanwich Club waved to the passing president."...

10/8/14, "Obama draws Democratic supporters in Greenwich," Connecticut Post, Neil Vigdor

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RedState, continuing:

"You can tell from the badly skewed fundraising numbers for the 2014 Election Cycle. Go to Opensecrets.org, type in Tom Steyer, and play around for a bit. You’ll see just how heavily the billionaires lean when they donate. 

Out of the 207 individuals or organizations donating $150,000 or more, one party gets 2.25 as much money as the other. This skew gets more perniciously pronounced as we look at the Top Ten political donors (47% of the actual cash given in large bundles). Here one group of plutocratic plunderers of the populace got seven times as much as the other side. And at the top of the pyramid, in the rarified air of the Iniquitous 1% (27% of the big donations),  

we see one side getting 99% and the other just 1%....

Yep, that’s right. The billionaires buy their statist interference from the Democrats. They do so by an overwhelming margin. When Barack Obama accuses other people of serving the rich, he’s fuller of fertilizer than a honey wagon....He reminds me of the ubiquitous poster to Conservative Blogs who starts out with “I have always supported Real Conservatives but this time I’m worried….”"...


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