Latest Crystal Coast Tea Party News and Views

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Crystal Coast Tea Party Patriot groups   (Everyone is cordially invited to any of our meetings.  If you can, come an hour or so early to eat, chat, and get acquainted!):

MOREHEAD CITY GROUP, Weekly Meeting:   Every Tuesday @ 6 PM, Golden Corral in Morehead City, NC, on Arendell Street.

WEST CARTERET GROUP, Semi-monthly Meeting:   On the 1st & 3rd Tuesdays @ 6:30 PM, Ribeye’s Restaurant, Cape Carteret, NC.

JACKSONVILLE-ONSLOW TEA PARTY PATRIOTS:   Every Tuesday @ 7pm, Logan’s Roadhouse on Western Boulevard in Jacksonville.  For more information, contact ThomasHAustin@hotmail.com.


 

  

John Kallam, Jr., Another Man of Principle

From the online News-&-Observer, this very brief Associated Press story about the resignation of a Rockingham County magistrate:

— A North Carolina magistrate has resigned, saying marrying a same-sex couple violates his religious beliefs.

Rockingham County Magistrate John Kallam, Jr. sent a letter to Chief District Court Judge Fred Wilkins on Thursday saying when he took his oath of office, he didn’t take it with the understanding that he would be required to marry same-sex couples.

Kallam wrote that marrying gay couples “would desecrate a holy Institution established by God Himself.”

Kallam declined further comment when reached at his home Thursday afternoon.

Kallam’s resignation, effective Oct. 31, comes a day after North Carolina magistrates were ordered to perform civil marriages for same-sex couples or face suspension or dismissal.  The directive was issued after a magistrate in Pasquotank County refused to marry two men, citing religious objections.

  

What’s West of the Crystal Coast?

In idly perusing a map of the United States this morning, it occurred to me to wonder:  If I got into an airplane and took off from Michael Smith airfield in Beaufort and flew directly west to the Pacific Ocean, how USMap_FlyDueWestmany states would I fly over?  Do you know?  Without cheating, see how many you can name before you click on the thumbnail graphic, on which the red line indicates the approximate course the plane would take.

By my reckoning, you would overfly South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California.

If you really want to get mischievious, put this in the form of a quiz for the kids and/or grandkids.

  

USDA Officials move to protect Kay Hagan

The television stations are reaping a ton of money for campaign advertising this season, among them the ads by Thom Tillis highlighting the apparent improprieties relating to the Hagan brothers’ solar energy grants.

In the latest news, intrepid Carolina Journal reporter Don Carrington is reporting today on the moves undertaken by the USDA, first from their North Carolina offices in Raleigh and then from their offices in Washington, to deny CJ access to the USDA energy grant records relating to taxpayer funding of Senator Kay Hagan’s husband and brothers-in-law.  The two grants, totaling about $300K, were to a company called JDC Manufacturing, the name of which is drawn from the initials of the three Hagan brothers, John, David, and Charles.  Charles Hagan, known by his nickname “Chip”, is Kay Hagan’s husband.  It turns out that the USDA Rural Development honcho in Raleigh who is assumed to have green-lighted the grants is a man named Randall Gore, who was nominated for his job by President Obama in 2009 after being recommended by the recently-elected Senator Kay Hagan.

I expect to read more about this in the coming days, but the link to the current article is HERE.  Carolina Journal also published a related story three days ago, and that link is HERE.

  

CANDIDATE ASSESSMENTS, PART 5: US House of Representatives, District 3

Most political observers view this race as having been decided back in May, when the primary election voters choose incumbent Republican Walter P. Jones, Jr. over Taylor Griffin, his Republican challenger.  Now, Jones’ is favored to win handily over his current opposition, a fellow named Marshall Adame, a Democrat, retired US Marine officer, and Vietnam veteran of Mexican-American heritage.  Now mounting his second campaign for the District 3 seat, Adame (pronounced ah-DOM-me) and his wife Becky have been residents of Jacksonville for over forty years.  He has extensive experience in the Middle East, having served, after his retirement from the Marines, as an advisor to the US Department of State and to American defense contractors on training and management assignments in Iraq and Egypt.

As to his policy views, according to an article that was published in The Onslow Times just before the primary election this spring, Adame opposes fracking, school vouchers, and the new Voter ID law, but favors teacher tenure and “living wage” legislation.  And in September, Adame announced his endorsement by the eastern NC chapter of the AFL-CIO.

Additional information on candidate Adame’s political positions can be found on his VoteSmart page, HERE.  Some samples include his support for the Union Movement, ObamaCare, passage of Equal Rights legislation for women, Living Wage legislation mandating an increase in the minimum wage to at least $12/hour, and expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).  On the flip side, he decries the Supreme Court decision in the Citzens United case.

In an interview on Public Access TV in late September (28-minute auto-start video HERE), Mr. Adame also revealed his support for the ObamaCare Medicaid expansion in North Carolina, and advocated for a renewal of President Johnson’s “War On Poverty”.

Next, to a question posed in the 2014 Wilmington StarNews14 Voter Guide (HERE), candidate Adame said that “Comprehensive immigration legislation from Congress is essential to our economic and social expansion.  I will work hard in the Congress to achieve a comprehensive immigration bill.”

In September of last year, while traveling in the Middle East, Mr. Adame wrote an essay offering his views on what was then President Obama’s stated intention to punish, if not depose, Syrian President Assad for failing to heed the “red line” that the President had warned him not to cross.  The following is how candidate Adame advised President Obama, in summary:

Mr. President, I am asking that you sit down with Russia, enter consultations with the new Iranian leadership, talk to Iraq, Assad’s neighbor and bring the force of international condemnation and sanctions, perhaps even a type of blockade, against Syria.  Or even charging Assad with Crimes against humanity at the International Court in The Hague.  If you are able to do that and Assad persist in thumbing his nose at the world while his people suffer, then increase substantially the aid the U.S. already provides to the rebels trying to over throw him, but be prepared upon their victory, to be utterly rejected by them and even threatened with war if you continue to mettle in their affairs and plans which will include the destruction of Israel as is the mantra of all Islamic states.

The essay cited above is just one of SEVERAL that Mr. Adame wrote for publication at the liberal blog Daily Kos beginning in late 2007.  Herewith are some interesting excerpts from his other essays:

On the candidacy of John Edwards (December, 2007:

Strength of character is not common today in Washington.  Over the past seven years our halls of greatness in Washington D.C. have turned into passages known well by the elite and privileged.  A place where corporate influence and the pursuit of personal gain and advantage has managed to drown the will of the people, where even those elected representatives of conscience and morals are quickly derailed or compromised, leaving them to no effect.

I believe John Edwards has the strength of character and the moral temperance to overcome the forces in Washington that are so easily succumbed to and to overcome them for the sake of the greater good and security of the American people.

<snip>

I believe John Edwards is qualified, ready, sincere and determined in his quest to do what is right for America and I have decided to support John Edwards for President.

On President Bush’s dilimma in Iraq (December, 2007):

Iraq does not need, nor should it get, any U.S. Combat force assistance.  All U.S. combat Forces should be withdrawn from Iraq, and that withdrawal should commence tomorrow morning.  I am confident that all U.S. Combat Forces and equipment could be out of Iraq within one year if we started today.

<snip>

… We brought a living hell upon these people of Iraq.  Although very bad under the Saddam government, life in Iraq has never been as fearful and dangerous as it is today.  The blood of Iraqis who supported the coalition, specifically, who supported the Americans, and who cannot leave Iraq, will most certainly flow.  They trusted us and would most certainly be killed in revenge for having done so.

On President Bush’s record in office (March, 2008):

We invaded a country, Iraq, that did not pose a direct threat to the United States or it’s interests in the world, created an entire generation of terrorist in doing so and caused immeasurable anti American sentiment throughout the world, including among our own allies.

<snip>

Hurricane Katrina devastated the homes of over a hundred thousand people in New Orleans Louisiana and more in Mississippi in one day.  Our government knew it was coming, knew it would be devastating and knew it would require considerable assets for rescue and recovery.  President Bush all but ignored Katrina’s victims.  Most of Katrina’s were poor and African American.  Those without political power, money or voice were left to suffer by our President.

On his endorsement of Barack Obama for President (April, 2008):

Senator Obama, to me, represents a kind of renaissance in politics where trust, truth and fidelity to principle will once again grow and bloom in our White House in Washington DC.  I believe, like a vine wraps itself around whatever it touches , this new beginning will too weave itself throughout our Capital and our country.  To me Barack’s candidacy represents spring after a long, dry and devastating summer of an untrustworthy President in the White House.

My expectations are high and my hope higher still.  I expect an end to the War in Iraq and hopefully the warring in Iraq between her own people.  I expect the return of our civil rights and liberties and a government’s respect for “Rule of Law” in America.

On his opposition to “torture” and his anticipation of Barack Obama’s Presidency (April, 2008):

Using our September 11, 2001 national tragedy as his spring board, and justification for every thing his did after that, President Bush led America into the dismal swamp of patently un-American behavior and immoral governance, much of which we shall never recover from.  For example, President Bush formally endorsed torture as a means of carrying out our country’s goals and achieving its ends.  With that, America entered into the practice and policy of “The ends justify the means”, thereby validating every third world tyrant and dictator who follow that ideology as a matter of course and forever ceding that moral ground we had stood on for so long as a people.  At that point, we became the very thing we have despised, criticized and fought against since our own conception as a country.  President Bush’s divisive leadership set American against American in struggles of ideology which have gone beyond the bounds of sane discourse and into the realm where many Americans now see those of differing ideology as “the enemy”.  [ NOTE: Although not explicitly stated, I assume Mr. Adame's term "torture" is intended to refer to waterboarding. ]

<snip>

Eight years in the desert President Bush took us into is coming to an end.  Soon America will speak and Barak Obama will take the helm of American government.  Senator Obama is our highest and best hope in restoring American governance to its intended place as a representative servant to us all, and an example to the world of what America is and who Americans are.

On the threat posed by Republicans and the Tea Party (June, 2011):

The Republicans are close to succeeding in eliminating Medicare, lowering taxes on corporations and billionaires while raising taxes on the working class, ending labor unions, privatizing our prisons and even some military responsibilities and , in the name of security, curtailing a few more of our Constitutional and moral liberties and rights while finding more and more reasons to remain in never-ending war …

<snip>

Although fewer in government every day, there are those who are standing against the right wing tide plaguing America.  One of those, for example, is North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue who courageously uses her veto pen to stave off the uncompromising dismantling of North Carolina’s Education System, Unemployment assistance to unemployed workers throughout the state and voting rights which, only after decades of struggle were achieved for rich, poor, white, black, brown and red, educated and uneducated alike.

On his lifelong regard for JFK, and on how he envisions liberal Progressivism (June, 2013):

I very much admired Jimmy Carter when he was President.  I think it was the way he came to office.  Eight months prior to his becoming President I did not even know his name.  Only in America can a person of humble beginnings grow up to become the President of The United States.

So much for Marshall Adame, whose judgment and policy views seem to be very much in line with most liberal Democrats in general, and with President Obama’s in particular.  For more, Mr. Adame’s website is HERE.

Frankly, I don’t see much point in writing extensively about Walter Jones in this post.  He has been in office for twenty years now, and what I had to say about him was contained in a post I put up before the primary election, HERE.  I will only add that, although Jones was not my preference for the Republican candidate, he is considerably better than a committed liberal like Marshall Adame.

  

Midwives to the birth of the “Nuclear Navy”

At the Atlantic Magazine, their technical editor Robinson Meyer has up a fascinating account of the initial development of the submarine USS Nautilus, the first nuclear powered American Navy vessel.  Meyer’s account is drawn from a 1959 article, also published in the Atlantic, that was written by Commander E. E. Kintner, a subordinate to Hyman Rickover, the man now known as the “Father of the Nuclear Navy”.

I urge everyone to read the full account for themselves, HERE, but this excerpt will give some idea of what to expect:

At the 60th hour, however, difficulties began.  Carbon dust from the brushes depositing in the windings caused difficulty in the vital electrical generating sets.  Nuclear instrumentation, operating perfectly at the beginning of the run, became erratic, and the crews could not be sure what was happening within the reactor core.  One of the large pumps which kept the reactor cool by circulating water through it began making a worrisome, intermittent whining sound.  We had not had any check on “crud” build-up; we feared that heat transfer would be so reduced by this point that the core would burn up.  The most pressing problem, however, was caused by the failure at the sixty-fifth hour of a tube in the main condenser into which exhausted turbine steam was being discharged.  Steam pressure fell off rapidly.  The Westinghouse manager responsible for the operation of the plant strongly recommended discontinuing the run.  In Washington, the technical directors of the Naval Reactors Branch was so concerned that he called a meeting of all its senior personnel, who urged Rickover to terminate the test at once.  But the Captain was adamant that it should continue …

In this year, the sixtieth since the USS Nautilus, the United States Navy has an inventory of eighty nuclear powered vessels.  The crews of those ships owe a lot to Admiral Hyman G. Rickover’s dogged insistence that, unlike those to be built by the Soviets in ensuing years, American ship-borne nuclear powerplants be designed to be as near to indestructible as was humanly possible.

  

Brent Bozell Punctures the Karl Rove Balloon

Last week, in a piece published at the Politico site, Brent Bozell (Chairman of the conservative group “For America”) pointed out what a dismal record Karl Rove has of getting conservatives elected, in spite of his recent advice to Republicans to “offer a positive, optimistic conservative agenda to make independents who disapprove of Mr. Obama comfortable voting Republican”.

Rove’s problem is that he advocates conservatism, but he promotes moderate candidates over conservative ones, a fact for which Mr. Bozell cites numerous examples.  Here’s a long but telling excerpt:

Rove has never cared about conservatism and has spent his entire career opposing any Republican who might be successful in promoting or implementing a conservative agenda.  Rove belongs to the same tradition of moderates who fought Barry Goldwater in 1964, who pushed back against Ronald Reagan in 1976, and did everything they could to stop Reagan again in 1980.  They said Reagan would be a disaster for the party and even the country.

Today, Reagan is one of the most well-remembered American presidents and remains the standard-bearer for what it means to be a conservative Republican, popularizing a small government message that GOP moderates said was too extreme to resonate with voters.  As with Rove’s predictions about Mitt Romney’s chances in 2012, GOP moderates couldn’t have been more wrong about Reagan.

Rove and his ilk have opposed every significant conservative leader who has ever dared to challenge liberal or moderate Republican orthodoxy.  A history lesson: Moderates wanted Gerald Ford and then George H.W. Bush over Ronald Reagan in 1976 and 1980.  Similarly, Karl Rove and his friends wanted Arlen Specter over Pat Toomey in 2010.  They wanted Charlie Crist over Marco Rubio in 2010.  They wanted David Dewhurst over Ted Cruz in 2012.

Karl Rove kneecapped tea party candidates in 2010.  He called Rick Perry’s policy prescriptions, many which have had great success in Texas, “toxic.”  Rove said Sarah Palin lacked “gravitas.”  He has said Rand Paul “causes GOP squeamishness.”

Right on, Mr. Bozell!  And for his full article, click HERE.

  

Trigger Happy Much?

Earlier this fall, on September 4th, South Carolina Highway Patrol officer CopsAbusePowerSean Groubert was parked behind a fuel station when he was passed by a pick-up being driven by a man who was, apparently, not wearing a seat belt.  Officer Groubert started his patrol cruiser up, and with his dash cam continuing to record video, followed the man into the fueling station.  Click the video below to see what happened next:

Three weeks later, Officer Groubert was charged with “high and aggravated assault and battery”.  If you viewed the video, as I did, you may be forgiven for thinking that attempted murder would have been more appropriate.

Full article, from the online Reason Magazine, is HERE.

  

NC-BDE versus FTC: SCOTUS Hears The Case

I have posted three times previously about this case, NC Board of Dental Examiners versus Federal Trade Commission, both because it is a case originating in North Carolina and because it provides a good example of the sort of rent-seeking behavior that results in unnecessary government regulation of services to the public.

My first and second posts are HERE and HERE.  In my third post back in August, HERE, I said the the Supreme Court would not hear the case until the 2015 session.  I was wrong, as THIS post by Damon Root today at the online Reason Magazine attests.  The Court is hearing oral arguments today.

  

Room Occupancy Tax — A Viable Alternative?

Even though there are no presidential aspirants on the November 4th ballot, voters will nevertheless have many choices to make.  One of them is on the issue of allowing Carteret County to impose an additional quarter-cent sales and use tax, which some of our Commissioners hope to devote entirely to dredging projects within the County.

The folks in the Wilmington area are going a different way.  The following is excerpted from a short piece under the “Town and County” section of Carolina Journal’s October issue:

New Hanover County commissioners have approved using room-occupancy tax revenues from unincorporated portions of the county as a stopgap method to pay for dredging Carolina Beach and Mason inlets.

The room-occupancy tax in New Hanover County is six percent.  If the Carteret County voters reject the local-use sales tax referendum next month, our commissioners may have to look to New Hanover County’s example.

  

CANDIDATE ASSESSMENTS, PART 4: NC Senate, District 2

This contest pits incumbent Republican Senator Norman Sanderson against challenger Carroll G. Ipock II, a Democrat more often referred to as Carr Ipock.  Ipock is a retired Weyerhaeuser executive, and for over twenty years, he was a representative on the Craven County School Carr_IpockBoard.  Not unexpectedly therefore, Ipock is running on an education platform, meaning he favors the expenditure of more taxpayer dollars on early childhood education, including expanding Smart Start.  He supports historic preservation, opposes fracking, and wants the NC General Assembly to comply with the ObamaCare expansion of Medicaid.  On the plus side, he wants to eliminate ferry tolls and supports the Cherry Point marine base (but so does his opponent).  For more, his excellent website is HERE.

In the NC Senate, Senator Sanderson sits on the Appropriations, Commerce, Finance, and Government Program Evaluation committees, SenNormSanderson2and serves as Vice-Chair of the Senate Insurance Committee.  He is now, or at one time was, endorsed by the American Conservative Union (ACU), the National Rifle Association (NRA), and Grass Roots North Carolina (GRNC).  In the conservative vote rankings maintained by NC Civitas, he was tied for first place in the recently concluded NC General Assembly session.

We most often see political candidates from afar, as images displayed on our television screens or as small figures standing at a podium, soliciting votes from the members of the crowd before them.  This process generally suffices for conveying to the public, with very broad strokes, where the candidate stands on the major issues of the day.  However, to really connect with an electorate, and to reassure them that he or she is genuine, is someone who holds the same core values as they, and is someone who will be responsive to their views, a candidate must appear at smaller venues and engage with the attendees in frank discussions or Q-&-A sessions.  In this way, the audience will come away more confident in their assessment of the candidate, whatever that assessment may be.  If the assessment is favorable, the candidate may benefit from a great deal of word-of-mouth advertising and advocacy.

I have never met a political candidate who appears to understand this better than Senator Sanderson.  He appeared as a speaker at our recent Tea Party Rally at Fort Benjamin Park in Newport, and over the course of the last two years, has appeared many times before the attending members of the CCTPP to update us on legislative affairs and to answer our questions, both on the issues and on his specific votes.  In every instance, the Senator was responsive to a fault and never evasive, even when there was considerable pushback on his policy views.  Our members consider him to be a bonafide conservative, and we hope you will vote for him in November.  For more, his website is HERE.

In the next installment of this series, I will look at the race between Walter Jones and Marshall Adame for the U.S House of Representatives seat for District 3.

  

SCOTUS to decide how long is Too Long

Suppose a police or highway patrol officer notices that one of your tail-lights is out, and pulls you over. After warning you to get the light fixed (or maybe giving you a ticket), he begins to have a gut feeling that you have illicit drugs somewhere in your car. He asks if you are willing to CopsAbusePowerconsent to a search but you, being a sensible person, refuse. Your refusal makes him even more convinced that you have something to hide, and based on probability, he figures it has to be drugs.

At this point, the cop does not have anything that would constitute probable cause, but he is loathe to just let you go, so he orders you to sit tight while he calls in a drug-sniffing dog and his K9 handler.  You protest, and say to the officer that you have a pressing engagement soon, and ask how long you will have to wait.  The cop tells you that you must wait until the dog and his handler arrive, however long that may take.

So, what are the limits in this situation?  Does the cop have the right to blow your whole day if the handler and his dog are delayed?  Without arresting you for something, can he just detain you for an extra minute, an extra hour, two hours, three, what?

We may soon have a definitive answer.  Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to take on appeal the Rodriguez versus United States case, a lawsuit which bears directly on the issue of traffic stops and their duration.  Here is an excerpt from the cert petition, the document in which SCOTUS outlines their justification for taking a case on appeal from a lower court:

This Court has held that, during an otherwise lawful traffic stop, asking a driver to exit a vehicle, conducting a drug sniff with a trained canine, or asking a few off-topic questions are “de minimis” intrusions on personal liberty that do not require reasonable suspicion of criminal activity in order to comport with the Fourth Amendment.  This case poses the question of whether the same rule applies after the conclusion of the traffic stop, so that an officer may extend the already-completed stop for a canine sniff without reasonable suspicion or other lawful justification.

What, exactly, is a “de minimus” intrusion, expressed in terms of time?  The lower court, from which the case was appealed, defined it as from seven to eight minutes.  In a similar case from Nevada (State versus Beckman), a lower court had said that nine minutes was too long.

Orin Kerr, a distinguished George Washington University law professor and one of the principle law bloggers at the Volokh Conspiracy, put up a post on this case back in February, as well as a second on October 2nd, HERE.  An excerpt from the first post:

Although the Supreme Court has held that the use of the dog is not a search, the length of a warrantless stop must be reasonable.  The officer can’t delay the driver forever.  This raises a question of Fourth Amendment law that has led to a lot of lower court litigation: If the officer has no reasonable suspicion that drugs are in the car — that is, he only has a hunch — how long can the traffic stop be delayed before the dog arrives and checks out the car?

My take is that ten minutes should be an absolute limit, less if the suspect has articulated an urgent need to be on his way.  By the end of next year, the Supremes will have defined a limit, or dodged the issue.  I’ll be interested to see which way they go.

  

Shale Oil Production: The Paradox

Back on September 30th I posted THIS piece entitled “Hydraulic Fracking: an Economic Miracle”, in which I lauded the increased production of petroleum products from U.S. producers based on hydraulic fracking of shale oil deposits.

But various factors of late have caused the world price of oil to fall significantly.  North Sea crude dipped below $90 per barrel (42-gallons) last week, and is now hovering around $91.  West Texas crude is now around $87 per barrel.  And while this development is causing some relief at U.S. gasoline pumps, it has also caused rising concern about whether the American shale oil producer can sustain his operations, given the fact that it typically costs 3-4 times as much to produce a barrel of shale oil as compared to conventional oil extraction methodologies.  Hence the paradox — the higher the price of crude, the more incentive producers have to invest in shale oil deposits and the fracking technologies needed to extract oil from them.  Conversely, the more shale oil that is produced, the less global demand there is for crude oil, so the price drops.

As Emily Latella often said, if it isn’t one thing it’s another.  For more details on the current state of oil prices, check out THIS article from The American Interest.

  

CCTPP Candidate and Referendum Preferences

The attending members of the Crystal Coast Tea Party Patriots and the Morehead-Beaufort Tea Party held their votes recently, and our list of candidate preferences is now up.  To view the list, proceed through the menu structure by first selecting “About Us”, then “Tea Party News/Views” then “Our Candidate Preferences”.  Alternately, you may just click HERE.

For those who may wish to print this list, this tip:  printing the entire web page on which the list resides will cause the printout to spill over to a second page.  The best way to print the list without printing the header, menu, etc., is to first click the list image itself.  In most browsers, this will cause the list to appear by itself on a new page.  It may then be printed by the usual method, and it should fit onto a single page printout.

  

The Truth About Ebola Transmission

I don’t know if they have dealt with the issue on any of their news broadcasts, but on Friday Fox News put up an interesting article explaining in detail the methods by which the Ebola virus may be transmitted between humans.  Among the salient points:

  • People who are infected with Ebola are not contagious until they become ill.
  • Initial symptoms of Ebola include fever, fatigue, muscle pain, headache and sore throat.
  • Ebola is transmitted only through direct contact with bodily fluids from a person who has exhibited symptoms.
  • What is “direct contact”?  Direct contact occurs when bodily fluids— such as blood, saliva, mucus, vomit, urine or feces— from an infected person, dead or alive, have touched another person’s eyes, nose, mouth or an open cut, wound or abrasion.
  • The disease is not spread by water or directly by food, nor is it transmitted by air like respiratory illnesses such as measles and chickenpox.  Coughing and sneezing aren’t common symptoms of Ebola, but if a symptomatic patient coughs or sneezes, and the saliva or mucous comes in contact with another person’s eyes, nose or mouth, these fluids may transmit the disease.
  • When someone recovers from Ebola, they can no longer spread that specific species of the virus.  People who recover from Ebola develop antibodies that last for at least 10 years.  Nonetheless, Ebola has been found in semen for up to three months after the person recovers.
  • Ebola can live outside of the body — on surfaces like countertops or doorknobs, for example — for several hours.

The complete article is HERE.

 

  

In South China Sea News, U.S. to Re-Arm Vietnam

Yahoo News reported on Thursday of last week that the Obama administration, amid growing concerns about the Chinese antics in the South China Sea, has decided to ease the ban on selling military arms and equipment to Vietnam.  From the article:

“It’s useful in trying to deal with the territorial disputes in the South China Sea to bolster the capacity of our friends in the region to maintain a maritime presence in some capacity.”

Some 40 percent of the world’s seaborne trade passes through the sea which is claimed in part by Vietnam, Taiwan, Brunei, and Malaysia as well as China and the Philippines.

The full article is HERE.

  

CANDIDATE ASSESSMENTS, PART 3: NC House, District 13

This contest is between the Republican incumbent, Emerald Isle resident Pat McElraft, and challenger Jim Nolan, a Democrat, for who will represent Carteret and Jones counties in the next two sessions of the NC General Assembly.

Nolan is a retired high school history and social studies teacher who, according to his campaign website, thinks that wealth inequality is a big problem in North Carolina.  He is running on a platform of opposition to the teacher pay reforms enacted by the General Assembly this summer, and he promises to work for the restoration of teacher tenure.  He opposes charter schools and favors passage of a law to guarantee a “living wage” to all workers.  He believes in Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW, or Climate Change), the predictions of catastrophic sea level rise, and the wisdom of re-enacting permanent taxpayer-funded monetary incentives to the film and entertainment industry.  He is adamantly against fracking, but is for the ObamaCare expansion of Medicaid.  In summary, he is your typical left-wing liberal, claiming to be for fiscal restraint but favoring a slate of tax-&-spend initiatives.  To visit his campaign website and see for yourself, click HERE.

Pat McElraft was elected to her seat in the NC House of Representatives in 2006, and it is a testament to her performance in that office that she has been re-elected to it three times already.  In the recently concluded session, she served, according to the account at Project Vote Smart, as Chair of the Appropriations Committee, Chair of the Environment Committee, Vice-Chair of the Insurance Committee, and Chair of the Sub-Committee on Natural and Economic Resources.  In addition, she was a member of the Regulatory Reform Committee, the Transportation Committee, and the Sub-Committee on Information Technology.  For those interested in more on Representative McElraft’s political biography, her Vote-NC page is HERE, and her Vote-Smart page is HERE.

On a more personal note, regular readers may recall that, in early July, I put up THIS POST that was critical of Representative McElraft in connection with her votes on SB-594, which contained provisions making the penalties more severe for carrying a firearm into a space, public or private, in which they are prohibited.  That post was in response to an alert put out at 6:30pm the previous evening by the gun-rights support group Grass Roots North Carolina (GRNC).  The two opening paragraphs of that alert read as follows:

In one fell swoop, the Republicans in the NC House have betrayed the gun owners of this state.  Senate Bill 594, “Omnibus Justice Amendments” contains a provision that would increase the penalty for carrying a concealed weapon from a Class 2 misdemeanor on the first offense and a Class I felony on the second and subsequent offense to a Class A1 misdemeanor on the first offense and a Class H felony on the second and subsequent offense.

That is fancy gobbledygook for: Accidentally carry your legally concealed weapon into a prohibited place and BECOME A FELON!  So, yes, if your grandmother is carrying the handgun you gave her for her protection – as any responsible grandchild would – under the provisions of the CCW license you sponsored her through (you are a really good grandchild) and wanders onto forbidden ground, some serious heat is coming down on her.

Representative McElraft did indeed vote for the bill, but it turned out that, in their haste to get out a warning to 2nd amendment supporters, GRNC mistakenly characterized the bill as being applicable to Concealed Carry Licensees (CCLs), when in fact it was not.  The bill was targeted at unlicensed carriers, and was intended as a measure to help law enforcement deal with juvenile gang members who were bringing pistols onto school property.

So, this is my mea culpa, my apology to Representative McElraft for also acting in haste, and for being too willing to believe that she might have backed away from her well-documented and long-standing committment to 2nd amendment rights.

Lastly, I will note that Representative McElraft has appeared before the attending members of the Crystal Coast Tea Party Patriots on a number of occasions over the last several years, subjecting herself to the inquiries of the members as to her actions and policy views, and has comported herself well on those occasions.  She is held in high regard by our members, including me, and is generally considered to be a significant asset to the Crystal Coast representation.  She therefore deserves to be re-elected to her office.

  

American Sniper: Now On Track To Be A Movie

In early February I put up a short post, HERE, observing the first anniversary of the death of retired Navy Seal sniper Chris Kyle, he man who deployed four times to Iraq, and while on the battlefield there, was credited with a kill shot at an incredible range of 2100 yards.

Now comes word that his book, American Sniper, is to be made into a movie starring Bradley Cooper and directed by Steven Spielberg.  Details are HERE, and by the way, the book is now a part of the CCTPP lending library and available to prospective readers.

  

Is North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un out?

The British newspaper Daily Mail is reporting that 31-yo North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has not been seen in public for almost a month, and offers this as well as other reasons to think he may have been ousted as the secretive nation’s head of state.

The speculation seems to be that there is a power struggle between the recent leadership and a dissenting faction that wants to emulate China and move the country toward capitalism.  From the article:

A former North Korean counter-intelligence officer has claimed that Kim Jong-Un is no longer in control of the nation and is now just a ‘puppet leader’.

Jang Jin-sung, who used to be an influential officer in Kim Jong-il’s propaganda division, made the sensational assertion at a September conference in Holland attended by several elite exiles, it’s been reported.

The capital, Pyongyang, meanwhile, has been placed into lockdown with even the elite banned from entering or leaving, according to a respected news site.  This adds weight to Jin-sung’s claim, as a North Korean expert said that this kind of measure is only put in place when a coup has taken place – or is suspected.

The full article is HERE.  Now the question is, will President Obama rush Dennis Rodman over immediately to get the scoop, or will he wait for the New York Times account?
  

Oklahoma’s 1st Success Against the ObamaCare Subsidies

According to a piece put up yesterday afternoon by Craig Bannister at CNS-News, Oklahoma was the first state to file a lawsuit in Federal court challenging the Obama administration’s arbitrary decision to subsidize, via the HealthCare.gov Federal exchange portal, health care insurance even in those states that did not choose to establish a state-level exchange.  Their suit was filed in 2012, and the first decision has now come down from the District Court level in eastern Oklahoma.

A key passage from Judge Ronald White’s DECISION in the case (known as Oklahoma versus Burwell) is as follows:

The court holds that the IRS rule is arbitrary, capricious, and abuse of discretion or otherwise not in accordance with law, pursuant to 5 U.S.C.706(2)(A), in excess of summary jurisdiction, authority or limitation, or short of statutory right, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 706(2)(C), or otherwise is an invalidation of the ACA [Affordable Care Act], and is hereby vacated.  The court’s order of vacatur is stayed, however, pending resolution of any appeal from this order.

The Obama administration will undoubtedly appeal, so the next step will be a consideration by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals (see map, below).  Since at least two conflicting decisions have already come down in other Circuit Courts, however, the case will almost certainly be folded into an appeal to the Supreme Court, probably in 2015.

US_FederalCourts

According to the article, HERE, this loss for the Obama administration is only the latest of the 71 court losses they have experienced (out of the 78 decisions handed down so far), and altogether, over one hundred lawsuits have been filed.

For further information on certain other cases filed against ObamaCare, the Beckett Fund is a useful resource.

  

CANDIDATE ASSESSMENTS, PART 2: The County Races

This is the second in my series of posts assessing the merits of the numerous candidates that will appear on the November 4th General Election ballot for Carteret County, HERE, and on our BALLOT REPLICA.  In the four or so weeks remaining before election day, I will post another assessment every few days until the entire ballot has been covered.

To repeat my earlier advisory, these assessments of the candidates will be guided by the Crystal Coast Tea Party Patriots’ CORE PRINCIPLES of Fiscal Responsibility, Constitutionally Limited Government, and Free Markets.  These principles are almost universally shared by conservatives, and particularly by conservative Republicans.  Conversely, they are eschewed by the liberal left, and by adherents of the Democratic party in general.  Therefore, if there be no other suitable guidepost, the Republican candidate will be favored.

This post will be concerned with the seven offices listed under the Partisan Offices section of the ballot, all of which are for offices within Carteret County.  In order as they will appear on the ballot:

Board of County Commissioners, District 1:

Republican Robin Comer, currently serving as the Vice-Chairman for the Board, is running unopposed for re-election.  Even if he had opposition, he would still be the clear choice.

Board of County Commissioners, District 2:

Republican Bill Smith is running unopposed.  And in this instance also, even if he had opposition he would still be the clear choice.

Board of County Commissioners, District 3:

In this race, Democrat Roger Eaton is being challenged by Republican Mark Mansfield.  Members of the CCTPP are MarkMansfieldwell acquainted with Mark Mansfield (photo at right), as he has appeared before several of our meetings this summer and fall, and was a speaker at our recent Tea Party Rally at Fort Benjamin Park.  He has a background in business and entrepreneurship, and is the clear conservative choice.

Board of County Commissioners, District 6:

Republican Jonathan Robinson is running unopposed.  And in this instance as well, even if he had opposition he would still be the clear choice.

County Clerk of Superior Court:

There are two contenders in this race, Republican Pam Hanson and challenger Ben Ball, who is running as an unaffiliated candidate.  Hanson is the incumbent, has been now for three and one-half years, has been doing a good job in the office, and has held up well to the scrutiny given to her conduct and views in her several appearances before the members of the Crystal Coast Tea Party Patriots.

Ben Ball is well known due to his exposure as a local radio host, but he has no experience in public elective office, and in his appearances before the members of the CCTPP, he was unable to articulate any particular reason why he should be preferred over the incumbent, other than to say he wanted to “give the voters a choice”.  When asked why he waited until mid-summer to announce his effort to get on the ballot (by means of a petition) rather than filing last fall, he told me that it was basically about money.  He went on to explain that, had he announced last fall, his employer would have been required to re-assign him to duties away from his radio host microphone, which would have resulted in a pay cut.  In short, Ball does not seem to have mounted a well-considered campaign, and although he seems like a nice enough fellow, in my judgment he is not a suitable candidate for a county-level office.

Pam Hanson is the candidate most attuned to the principles of the CCTPP, and should be retained in this office.  For more on what she considers to be her qualifications for the office, below is a short video (less than three minutes) taken from her opening statement at the recent debates.

County Register of Deeds:

There are also two contenders in this race, Republican challenger Jerry Hardesty and the incumbent, Joy Lawrence, a Democrat.

Lawrence has worked in the office for over two decades and has served as its head for about six years.  Hardesty is a Morehead City businessman, currently being the owner and operator of a local firearms dealership.  Hardesty has also appeared multiple times before the members of the CCTPP at their local meetings, and has given a good account of his conservative credentials.

Jerry Hardesty is the candidate whose views and policy prescriptions are most aligned with the CCTPP.  For more on what he considers to be his qualifications for the office, below is a short video (less than two minutes) taken from his opening statement at the recent debates.

County Sheriff:

Asa Buck, the Republican incumbent, is running unopposed. He seems to have been doing an outstanding job in the office, and deserves re-election.

District Attorney, District 3B:

I realize that this is not a Carteret County office, as District 3B encompasses all of Carteret, Craven, and Pamlico counties.  However, the incumbent, Democrat Scott Thomas, is running unopposed so the outcome is preordained.  Thomas was formerly a member of the NC State Senate, where he struck many as presenting an image as a moderate Democrat while voting as a liberal.  For example, he voted for tax increases after having taken a no-tax-increases pledge.  He will win, of course, but I will not be voting for him.

In the next installment, I will look at the contest for the NC House of Representatives.

  

Border Patrol Agent Ron Zermeno Does The Right Thing

… and blows the whistle on the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) decision in mid-summer to re-locate hundreds of Dreamers and other illegal immigrants from the Rio Grande Valley in south Texas to a town near you.

Ryan Lovelace of the online National Review has up an informative article detailing the DHS scheme, and the many warnings that Border Patrol (BP) agent Zermeno sent up the BP and DHS chains of command in an effort to dissuade them from surreptitiously dropping these illegals off at facilities that were often, if not usually, ill equipped to handle them.  Some revealing excerpts, focused mainly on Zermeno’s experience with DHS’s confrontation with officials and demonstrators in the southern California town of Murrieta:

on May 7, he received word from a senior agent of the federal government’s plan to send 140 illegal immigrants every 72 hours to the Murrieta Border Patrol Station, despite its inability to accommodate their arrival.  His disclosure says he was concerned for the safety of the agents because of reports that the detainees would be carrying infectious diseases, scabies, and lice.  The facility could not safely house the incoming women and children, he writes.

<snip>

Zermeno says in his disclosure that the order to relocate Central American immigrants to Murrieta was suspended and reinstated twice.  On June 27, it was reinstated for the second time, he writes, with the first group of 140 illegal immigrants set to arrive on July 1.  Murrieta mayor Alan Long says he was notified that the order would be reactivated on the afternoon of Friday, June 27.  Long tells NRO that he resisted the order in its first two iterations and expected he could continue to do so successfully.  The Murrieta facility was not equipped to house or process the immigrants: “There were no beds, there was no cafeteria, there was no place to make food,” Long says.  “It was a room with steel benches, a toilet and a sink next to it — all open.  Modest rooms could probably fit maybe 30 people each cell.”  As a result, county supervisor Jeff Stone offered the use of a fully staffed mobile hospital; Stone tells NRO that the hospital would have conducted health screenings, treated children for communicable diseases, and immunized them.  But federal officials rebuffed his offer, saying it would take too long to approve the facility and would also raise legal concerns about vaccinating foreign children.

Approximately 420 immigrants arrived during the first two weeks of July.  Nearly a third were diagnosed with scabies, many more were carrying infectious diseases, others had unknown illnesses, and at least one child — who was observed coughing up blood — was diagnosed with tuberculosis.

The full article is HERE.

  

CANDIDATE ASSESSMENTS, PART 1: The Judges

Today marks the first of my posts assessing the merits of the numerous candidates that will appear on the November 4th General Election ballot for Carteret County, HERE, and on our BALLOT REPLICA (accessible via the About Us / Tea Party News-Views menu, or by clicking the link).  In the four or so weeks remaining before election day, I will post another assessment every few days until the entire ballot has been covered.  I intend to start at the end of the ballot and work toward the top.

Let it be said at the outset that my assessments of the candidates will be guided by the Crystal Coast Tea Party Patriots’ CORE PRINCIPLES of Fiscal Responsibility, Constitutionally Limited Government, and Free Markets.  These principles are almost universally shared by conservatives, and particularly by conservative Republicans.  Conversely, they are eschewed by the liberal left, and by adherents of the Democratic party in general.  Therefore, if there be no other guidepost, the Republican candidate will be favored.

This post will be concerned with the eight Non-Partisan offices listed on the ballot, all of which are for judgeships.  Of the eight in total, one is for the Chief Justice seat on the NC Supreme Court,, three are for Associate Justice seats on the NC Supreme Court, and four are for seats on the North Carolina Court of Appeals.  My assessments appear below, in the same order as they will appear on the ballot within the non-partisan section:

NC Supreme Court, Chief Justice:

The race is between Mark Martin and Ola Lewis, both Republicans.  Mark Martin is a long-serving Republican judge with solid conservative credentials, currently serving as the Chief Justice, and as such he has been endorsed by the NC Republican Party’s Executive Committee.

Judge Ola Lewis is a former Democrat and NC Central University graduate who changed her party affiliation from Democrat to Republican in 2002.  Although Judge Lewis announced early on that she intended to run for one of the NC Supreme Court Associate Justice positions, sometime after a fund raising event hosted by NC Supreme Court Justices Paul Newby and Mark Martin, Judge Lewis decided to use the $50,000 donated to her campaign during the event to run against Justice Mark Martin for the NC Supreme Court Chief Justice.  This is bad form, to say the least.

The best candidate, clearly, is Mark Martin.  Judge Martin’s campaign website is HERE, and his WikiPedia page is HERE.

NC Supreme Court, Associate Justice, Seat #1 of 3:

This contest is between the conservative Republican Bob Hunter (website is HERE) and the Democrat Sam J. Ervin IV.  Ervin, who goes by “Jimmy” except when he is running for office and needs to trade on the name of his grandfather, was first elected to a judgeship in 2008.

In my view, the better candidate of the two is Bob Hunter.

NC Supreme Court, Associate Justice, Seat #2 of 3:

This race is between Eric Levinson and Robin Hudson.  Levinson is a Republican and former Court Of Appeals judge, and Hudson is the incumbent Democrat.  Levinson’s website is HERE, and includes the following additional information:

Judge Eric Levinson was appointed by the Bush Administration in 2007 as the Justice Attache to Iraq for the U.S. Department of Justice.  As Justice Attache, Levinson managed the U.S. government’s diplomatic relationship with the Iraqi judiciary and its Chief Justice, Medhat al Mahmoud, and advanced the establishment of Major Crimes Courts where terrorists were prosecuted.

Judge Eric Levinson worked in Kabul, Afghanistan as a Rule of Law and Courts Advisor in 2008.  In this role, he collaborated with members of the Supreme Court of Afghanistan and helped draft and advance guidelines to establish commercial courts to adjudicate business, contract and related civil conflicts.

I believe Eric Levinson to be the better choice.

NC Supreme Court, Associate Justice, Seat #3 of 3:

This contest is between Republican Mike Robinson and the incumbent Democrat, Cheri Beasley.  Robinson MikeRobinson(image at right) has appeared before the attending members at a meeting of the Crystal Coast Tea Party Patriots, delivering brief remarks prior to a Q-&-A session during which the members satisfied themselves as to his conservative leanings.  His campaign website is HERE.

For this seat, I think that Mike Robinson is the clear preference.

NC Court Of Appeals Judge, Seat 1 of 4:

There are a whopping 19 candidates running for this seat.  Of the nineteen, three Republicans claim to be conservatives.  The three are Marion Warren, John M. Tyson, and Hunter Murphy.  For a comparison of these conservative candidates, I called upon a friend who is acquainted with all three.  His assessment follows:

Marion Warren is the most forcefully articulate of the three.  His passion for conservative principles of jurisprudence wins him points.

John Tyson is the only candidate who has previous experience on the Court of Appeals.  He’s more low key, but has the strongest and most sophisticated understanding of the role and function of an appellate court.  He’s also the only candidate from Eastern North Carolina and narrowly edged out Warren for the NC GOP’s endorsement.

Finally, Hunter is the youngest of the three and has probably worked harder than anyone.  However, his lack of experience is apparent.

I think that the choice is really between Warren and Tyson.  Those who favor a more judicious and thoughtful temperament will prefer Tyson.  Those who favor a more forceful and strongly opinionated judge will be for Warren.

Then he goes on to summarize by adding:

“… the Court of Appeals functions as a three judge panel.  On the Court of Appeals, the ability to persuade other judges to his point of view is of paramount importance.  I think Judge Tyson is best equipped for the task from this point of view.  While Warren is more likely to inspire applause from a conservative crowd, Tyson’s even-tempered demeanor and mastery of appellate issues make him the most well-suited candidate for the Court of Appeals.

I agree, and therefore believe judge John M. Tyson to be the best choice among the 19 candidates.  Judge Tyson has no campaign website as such, but his WikiPedia page is HERE.

NC Court Of Appeals Judge, Seat 2 of 4:

This race is between Bill Southern and Lucy Inman.  Inman, the Democrat, is a sitting Superior Court judge appointed by former Governor Beverly Purdue.  Bill Southern is a conservative Republican, currently sitting on a District Court in western North Carolina, and was formerly an Assistant District Attorney for Stokes and Surry counties.

My preference is for judge Bill Southern, whose campaign website is HERE.

NC Court Of Appeals Judge, Seat 3 of 4:

The incumbent is Republican Donna Stroud, who is running unopposed.  Judge Stroud’s page on WikiPedia is HERE, and more of her biographical information can be found HERE.

NC Court Of Appeals Judge, Seat 4 of 4:

The candidates for this seat are Paul Holcombe, a Republican, and Mark Davis, a Democrat.  Since early 2009, Paul Holcombe has been serving as a District Court judge for Harnett, Johnson, and Lee counties.

The preferred candidate is judge Paul Holcombe, whose campaign website is HERE.

In the next post of this series, the subject will move on to the seven races for Carteret County offices.

  

A Poke In The Eye for all the Gun-Control Chicken Littles

Paul Valone’s gun rights group Grass Roots North Carolina (GRNC) issued an alert yesterday pointing out the fact that the 2013 NC General Assembly’s House Bill 937 was implemented just one year ago today.  From the text of the alert:

House Bill 937, which became effective on October 1, 2013, dramatically expanded North Carolina’s concealed handgun law into restaurants where alcohol is sold and consumed, assemblies of people for which admission is charged, parades and funerals, further into state and municipal parks, and even to a limited extent into educational properties.

As always when we expand concealed handgun laws, opponents and media naysayers predicted shootings in bars, guns stolen from vehicles at schools, and various other sorts of mayhem using platitudes like “guns and alcohol don’t mix.”

GRNC explained endlessly that concealed handgun permit-holders, by virtue of background checks and training, had proven themselves sane, sober and law-abiding since 1995, with a rate of permit revocation on the order of three tenths of a single percent.  We explained that permit-holders in restaurants would still be prohibited from imbibing alcohol.

But the dire predictions persisted.  Editorials ridiculed legislators.  UNC president Tom Ross sent UNC police chiefs to testify against the bill, claiming it would hamper their ability to protect students.  Gun control activists pushed restaurants to post against concealed carry.

It has now been one year since HB 937 became effective.  So what has happened?  Nothing.  GRNC monitors clipping services for gun-related incidents.  Just like Virginia, Ohio, Tennessee and other states which adopted restaurant carry, however, we have been unable to find a single instance of a concealed handgun permit-holder misusing a gun in a restaurant or educational property.

So, congrats, all you CCL and Open Carry practitioners, for keeping your cool.

  

The 4th Circuit Turns the NC Voter ID Law on its Head

UPDATE

As expected, SCOTUS over-ruled the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday (October 8th) and ordered that all provisions of the NC Voter ID Law would remain in effect for the November elections.  The unsigned ruling was based on a 7-2 vote, with Justices Ginsberg and Sotomayor dissenting.  The full story from WRAL is HERE.

ORIGINAL POST

According to an announcement by the NC Board Of Elections from earlier today:

The Fourth Circuit today reinstated same-day registration and out-of-precinct voting ahead of the General Election in November.  A divided panel ordered the lower court to enjoin enforcement of new election procedures that eliminated same-day registration and required that a voter cast her ballot in her properly assigned precinct.

NC Attorney General Roy Cooper is expected to appeal the decision to the US Supreme Court as soon as possible, probably this week, with the objective of getting SCOTUS to stay the 4th Circuit’s wacky decision.  There is good reason to believe that the Supreme Court would grant such a stay, and the details are HERE.

The 4th Circuit acted on a petition from multiple parties who oppose the NC Voter ID Law, lead by the NC League of Women Voters.

  

Hydraulic Fracking: an Economic Miracle

The petroleum industry refers to the ethane and propane by-products of using fracking methods for extracting oil from shale deposits as “related liquids”.  And now, if those “related liquids” are included, U.S. production will exceed that of Saudi Arabia for the first time since 1991, at over 11.5 million barrels (about 483 million gallons) per day.  Moreover, according to THIS article at the Financial Times (behind a paywall), U.S. production of oil itself is edging closer to the daily production of Saudi Arabia, and is within spitting distance of Russia’s.  Saudi Arabia, however, is still the only country which is producing at far less than their capacity.

Increased U.S. production has played a part in lowering prices at the pump here in the U.S. this summer.  However, the overall strengthening of the dollar has also played a role.  While the value of the dollar has risen, the values of the Euro and Yen have fallen, causing many to believe that the Federal Reserve will be raising interest rates after the election.  For more on this, check out THIS article at the online Wall Street Journal (unfortuanately, also behind a paywall).

 

  

The Khorasan Group: Did Obama Just Make Them Up?

UPDATE

According to THIS piece by Paul Mirengoff at Powerline, Tom Joscelyn of the Weekly Standard advises that Obama’s minions did not make up the Khorasan Group, that:

Although they haven’t used Khorasan publicly to describe themselves, that name is actually taken from the Khorasan shura with Al Qaeda, which is a specific advisory council.

And the word shura, according to WikiPedia, means “consultation”.

ORIGINAL POST

Yesterday, Adam Taylor wrote a piece for the Washington Post that called into question the origin of the “Khorasan Group” moniker that the Obama administration has been throwing around lately.  The O-team seems to be putting in a lot of effort to convince the American public that the enemy, at least until after the election, is not really the 35,000 members of ISIS, but a small cadre (roughly 75 members) of dedicated bombmakers situated in Syria.

Taylor’s article for the WaPo includes this interesting conclusion:

Pieter van Ostaeyen, a historian and blogger who follows jihadist movements, writes in an e-mail that “in all of the official Jihadi accounts I follow(ed), the name never was mentioned.”

<snip>

Among some analysts, there’s anger at what they see as a misleading use of the term.  “[The name] is clearly U.S.-originated,” van Ostaeyen said, later adding that he believed that the United States “blew up this story” to justify its attacks on Jabhat al-Nusra.  “It’s cute Pentagon is literally making up new group called ‘Khurasan’ when it’s just AQ AfPak/Iran guys in [Jabhat al-Nusra],” Zelin tweeted after the strikes against the group were announced.

That sense of distrust is amplified by conflicting reports about the threat posed by the group.  While Army Lt. Gen. William C. Mayville Jr., director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, initially told reporters this week that the group was in the “final stages of plans to execute major attacks against Western targets and potentially the U.S. homeland,” exactly what that plan was remains unclear.  One senior U.S. official told the New York Times this week that the plot was “aspirational.”

No matter where the name “Khorasan” came from, its easy to see why it could be a positive for U.S. officials to use it.  For one thing, by avoiding using the name al-Qaeda, the U.S. doesn’t remind the world that after more than a decade of the “War on Terror,” al-Qaeda is still an operational force.

The full article is HERE.

  

Justice Ginsburg Admits What We Already Knew

What did we already know?  Why, we knew that Supreme Court Justices were highly attuned to the issue of their successor, so much so that they would collaborate with the incumbent administration to ensure that JusticeGinsbergtheir resignation would be followed by the nomination and confirmation of a like-minded jurist to their vacated seat on the Court.

Jonathan Topaz has an article up on Politico about Justice Ginberg’s candid admission of this fact in her recent interview with Elle magazine.  From the Politico article, these excerpts:

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is pushing back against suggestions that she should soon retire, saying President Barack Obama would be unable to get a justice like her through the Senate.

and

“If I resign any time this year, he could not successfully appoint anyone I would like to see in the court,” the oldest member of the high court said.  “[A]nybody who thinks that if I step down, Obama could appoint someone like me, they’re misguided,” later adding that she can “do the job full steam.”

The full article is HERE.  And for extra points, there is THIS article at The Federalist on Justice Ginsberg’s views regarding Roe versus Wade.