Friday, January 23, 2009

NCGOP E-Letter - January 23, 2009


NCGOP Press Release
January 23, 2009

RALEIGH—North Carolina's unemployment rate has reached 8.7 percent, the highest jobless number since 1983 according to a new report out Friday. According to the N.C. Employment Security Commission, the number of workers unemployed but seeking work is at an all-time high. The state's rate remains above the national average of 7.2 percent unemployment and some economists are predicting that the percentage of those unemployed in North Carolina could reach double digits in 2009.

Chairman Linda Daves, North Carolina Republican Party, made the following statement:

"The economic crisis in North Carolina is nothing short of dire. With so many people unemployed and looking for work, Governor Perdue and the Democrat leadership of the General Assembly must resist the urge to delay and hope that President Obama comes up with a magic jobs program for North Carolina. We must take care of ourselves. One thing we must do immediately is cut our high business taxes which are damaging the economic climate of our state and costing us jobs as companies move their operations to neighboring states with better business climates. Republicans and Democrats must work together in the upcoming legislative session to craft a budget that will encourage job creation, aid small business owners, and encourage investment to stimulate the economy. There is no silver bullet to solving our economic woes, however strong leadership that applies common sense, conservative principles will chart a course for recovery. Republicans will stand up for the unemployed and the business owners and entrepreneurs who can offer them work."

A Wink and a Nod

Seeing Red Again
January 22, 2009

When a study on the possibility of offshore drilling for North Carolina was commissioned by Senate Leader Marc Basnight and House Speaker Joe Hackney in November of last year, Chairman Daves made a statement intoning her skepticism about the true nature of the project. With the announcement of the 24-member committee, Basnight and Hackney have confirmed the reasons for our suspicions. By appointing one co-chair of the committee who works for the Environmental Defense Fund and has already written a memo entitled, "NC oil drilling: no impact on gas prices, high impact on coastal economy," Basnight and Hackney have shown that their true commitment isn't to a "long, careful look" at the facts of drilling but instead to a predetermined outcome suited to their political predilections.

Of course, this is just the way Democrats try to handle an electorate in support of initiatives at odds with their liberal base. North Carolinians want a vote on a marriage amendment to the state constitution. Joe Hackney can just pocket it. North Carolinians want an up or down vote on support for the death penalty. Tie it up in committee and use procedural rules to keep your members from having to go on the record for or against. Parents want more educational choices and freedom. Allow charter schools but cap them at 100. That's how Democrats do business in state government. With a wink and a nod. Make promises. Do just enough to pretend you are doing something without angering the liberal base. Hold up progress for North Carolina.
Conservatives are up in arms. Liberal bloggers are satisfied.

Like in so many other areas of life, when liberal bloggers are happy, I'm uncomfortable.

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Perdue reception raises eyebrows
January 22, 2009

A high dollar reception celebrating Governor Perdue's birthday is drawing some criticism.

Party goers are being asked to pay as much as $10,000 to wish the Governor happy birthday. The event was held Thursday at a home off of Raleigh's West Lake Drive.

The invitation asked partygoers to give anywhere from $500 to $10,000 to the North Carolina Democratic Party.

"It's not illegal, but it's unethical, and it's not upfront with North Carolina voters and that's what they expect of our Governor and our leaders," offered North Carolina Republican Party Spokesman Brent Woodcox.

Woodcox said he's concerned the Democrats are going to use the donations to pay off Perdue's more than $900,000 loan to her campaign. …

"Once they put this money into the general fund, really they can use it for anything legal under the sun. And one of those things is paying off campaign debt." …

"We're just trying to put Governor Perdue on notice that until she fulfills her promises, we are going to be watching and we're going to hold her to them," said Woodcox.

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House Votes to Block TARP Funds

Media General News Service
January 22, 2009

WASHINGTON-The House voted Thursday to block President Barack Obama from accessing the second wave of funds from the $700 billion bailout of financial institutions.

Because the Senate killed an identical measure last week, the passage of the bill sponsored by Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., is unlikely to stop Obama from distributing to ailing banks and foreclosed homeowners the $350 billion remaining in the Troubled Assets Relief Program.

Congress created TARP at the behest of the Bush administration last fall to help thaw frozen credit markets.

The Bush administration's oversight of the first wave of funds prompted protests by both Republican and Democratic lawmakers after banks held onto the cash instead of lending it and the program was expanded to include auto companies.

Foxx, like many Republicans and some Democrats, opposed the program from the start. She and other early TARP opponents argued that it would reward financial firms that made bad decisions while expanding the deficit, projected to hit $1.2 trillion this year.

"Any money that Congress spends is taken from hardworking Americans paying taxes or is borrowed from foreigners," Foxx said Thursday while leading debate on the House floor.

The measure was approved 270-155, with all five North Carolina Republicans in the House voting to block the release of the money. North Carolina Democrats were split.

In the Senate vote last week, Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., voted to release the funds, while Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., voted to block them.

At this point, only approval of Foxx's bill by both chambers could block the release of the funds. There is little chance the Senate will bring Foxx's version up for a vote, because the Democratic majority wants to let Obama access the money. …

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By Linda Chavez
January 23, 2009

President Obama is learning it is a lot easier to reverse unpopular positions of his predecessor than it is to come up with better ones of his own. On Thursday, he signed executive orders aimed at shutting down the prison at Guantanamo Bay, which houses some of the most dangerous terrorists in the world. His orders also restricted interrogation methods that can be used by the CIA to elicit information from suspects and eliminated secret overseas detention facilities run by the CIA. Earlier, he suspended military commission hearings that were established to hear cases against those held at Guantanamo, including Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks.

Now he has to decide what to do with the 245 men held at Guantanamo. And, if he is lucky enough to see Osama bin Laden or Ayman al-Zawahiri captured on his watch, he'll have to decide what to do with them. Ensure they're read their Miranda rights and appointed taxpayer-funded legal counsel, perhaps?

It's no joke. The philosophical shift between treating accused terrorists captured on foreign soil as enemy combatants or simply heinous criminals is an important distinction. …

It is tempting to believe that the worst is over -- that we won't be hit again, maybe even harder than we were just eight years ago. Some Democrats are sure that nothing George W. Bush did made us safer, and many of them would argue Bush sacrificed important constitutional guarantees without gaining any measure of security. But I think it is highly implausible that pure luck has protected us. Waterboarding may be nasty business, but if the technique indeed forced KSM to reveal details in 2003 of planned attacks and thus saved lives -- as Bush officials have asserted -- is it responsible to say that there are no circumstances, ever, in which it might be used again? And would the Obama administration go further, as Attorney General nominee Eric Holder hinted in his confirmation hearings, and seek to prosecute those who ordered or carried out waterboarding?

So what will the Obama administration do with KSM and the others at Guantanamo? If the military commission established to try these men will no longer do so, will they be turned over to criminal courts in the U.S.? If so, it is likely that many would be acquitted on the basis of "tainted evidence" and lack of due process alone. Then what? Do we put them on airplanes and ship them home? …

As President Obama no doubt has figured out, closing Guantanamo while preserving national security will take more than a stroke of the pen. He risks alienating the leftwing base of his party if the barbed wire doesn't come down immediately. But the stakes are much higher if he lets terrorists loose on the world.

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Thank you, President Bush

January 20, 2009

As President Bush leaves office today, I stand in respect and gratitude for a man who did an enormous amount of good in the last eight years. …

Thank you, Mr. President, for standing up against a flood of criticism to do what is right.

Thank you for keeping our country safe from attack since Sept. 11, 2001. The president rightly said in his farewell address: "There is legitimate debate about many of these decisions. But there can be little debate about the results. America has gone more than seven years without another terrorist attack on our soil." The results speak for themselves. We've been safe on our soil while President Bush was at the helm. Thank you, sir.

We went on with our lives as usual after 9/11, but as he stated in his address, President Bush "never did." And for that I am grateful. Thank you for understanding the battle against a hostile Islamic takeover is the struggle between "two dramatically different systems." It is not about two equal ideologies we should work to appease. Rather, as he stated in his farewell address, the colliding worldviews are not moral equivalents: "Under one, a small band of fanatics demands total obedience to an oppressive ideology, condemns women to subservience and marks unbelievers for murder. The other system is based on the conviction that freedom is the universal gift of Almighty God and that liberty and justice light the path to peace."

I am grateful we had a president for eight years with moral clarity. As he said in his last address: "I have often spoken to you about good and evil. This has made some uncomfortable. But good and evil are present in this world, and between the two there can be no compromise."

You remember eight years ago when people were unable to recognize that highjacking planes and flying them into buildings was something we could uniformly recognize as "evil." We even had people like Bill Maher confuse that terrorism with an act of "bravery." What a confused society we have become. And I am grateful for President Bush's willingness to call evil evil. Woe to those who call evil good.

In that same address, the president also said: "Murdering the innocent to advance an ideology is wrong every time, everywhere." Of course, "every time" and "everywhere" includes in the womb. It is wrong, and this president stood against it.

So I would encourage my fellow Americans to stop complaining about President Bush long enough to look at the incredible good he's done. Thank him. Thank God for him. And if you don't agree with my words, then just brace yourself for what's to come without him.

To send President Bush a thank you note, email