Bottom Up, Truth Out.

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Obama’s first term White House environmental czar, self-described Marxist Van Jones, brought “bottom up” power to post-2009’s popular political lexicon. Basically it means change comes from the bottom, from the masses, forcing the top to their will. There’s a lot of truth to that, 2012-04-04-cnn-startingpoint-vanjones2God knows, but educated ears hear “violent mob” when Van says it, because that is what he means. The underlying principle is sound, however, even if the form it takes in the hands of a Marxist is less than righteous: true power lies with the people, and the people, over the objections of their leaders, can wield it to effect true change.

Well, the people with badges have had enough. By all accounts, the field agents of the FBI are ready to revolt, thus FBI Director Comey’s letter to congress on Friday saying ‘Yeah… Remember when I said under oath that if something juicy came along I’d reboot the Hillary probe? I got a whole truck full o’juicy.’

Left, Cheryl Mills. Right, Huma Abedin

Left, Cheryl Mills. Right, Huma Abedin

Know those 33,000 missing emails? FBI found 650,000 emails on a computer shared by Huma Abedin and her sex pervert husband, Anthony Weiner. Abedin, if you’re unfamiliar, is Hillary’s self-described “second daughter.” Her most trusted aide. Except for Cheryl Mills, who is an attorney, nobody is closer to her than Huma. Huma’s a human pilot fish. Constantly swimming alongside in the sewer of filth Felony Grandma oozes all over the globe.

Well, Friday about noon Comey threw the grenade, then Sunday night the Wall Street Journal dropped the MOAB. Friday we find out Comey’s rebooting the investigation. Sunday we find out it’s because of these newly found 650,000 emails.

Now we wait.

Rich Lowry at NRO pretty well captures the magnitude of it, and I recommend you read it, and follow the embedded link to the WSJ to fill in the details. These are truly historic days, indeed.


The FBI’s Clinton Foundation Probe

By Rich Lowry — October 30, 2016

SCOTUS on DOMA

UPDATE 3/26 @10:53am ~ Came across this study on what marriage/divorce/child-bearing looks like after 10 years of same-sex marriage in the Netherlands.  Being the first nation to do it, they are the closest thing we have to a real-life lab on this matter. Result?  It ain’t good if you’re a “marriage equality” advocate.  And by the way:  If you use that term (“marriage equality”) around me I’ll clock you one.  It’s silly & annoying.
Below is a brilliantly delineated path forward from The Wall Street Journal for the Supreme Court to navigate the rocky shoals of the same-sex marriage arguments it will hear next week.  It’s kinda dense reading for the non-lawyer (like me!) to fully apprehend, but take your time, and really try to digest the nuance of each argument.  It’s worth it.

Now, parenthetically, for what it’s worth, and for those who care and are unfamiliar with my views on the matter, they are this: Civil unions between one human being and one other human being of the same sex, who are unrelated, is fine & dandy with me. If you are lucky enough to find someone to love you through a lifetime, it seems to you should fall down on your knees and thank the Higher Power of your choice that someone is willing to enter into such a magnificent covenant with you – just don’t call it “marriage” – because it’s not.  You are absolutely entitled to have all of the legal responsibilities and benefits of  marriage – as a matter of law – but in terms of a societal or cultural imprimatur, or stamp of approval, no.  Call it something else.  

Understand:  I will not give you the stink-eye, shun, or otherwise refuse to associate with you.  My children have friends who have married same-sex parents whom I regard with very high esteem and extremely warm affection.  They are welcome in my home, at my table, and I am glad to have their embrace whenever I see them.  Further, I trust them absolutely with the care of my children at their homes.  They are lovely, lovely, people.

But it’s not a marriage they have.  It’s something else.

So, that’s where I stand, for what it’s worth.

And below, via WSJ, is the best argument I’ve seen yet for the path forward.  It’s brilliant.  It preserves legal, constitutional integrity while passing no moral judgement whatsoever on same sex unions, all while preserving the individual liberty to live and let live.  That’s a pretty neat trick.

Here’s where you could change my mind – sort of:  If someday, all 50 states decide that same-sex unions are lawful – literally, having voted them into law – then, and only then, should the Supreme Court step off the balance beam – but I would still withhold labeling them “marriage” for purposes of federal law.  The “label” question, it seems to me, should be left to society; via secular and religious consensus.

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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Michael McConnell: The Constitution and Same-Sex Marriage

By MICHAEL MCCONNELL

For most Americans, the Supreme Court cases being heard on Tuesday and Wednesday next week are about same-sex marriage. But the cases—Hollingsworth v. Perry (the Proposition 8 case from California) and U.S. v. Windsor (the Defense of Marriage Act case)—also are a test of the nation’s democratic and decentralized constitutional structure. These cases thus are not just about marriage. They are about how we reach decisions regarding matters of deep moral significance in our federal republic.
We learned from Roe v. Wade that the Supreme Court endangers its own legitimacy and exacerbates social conflict when it seeks to resolve moral-legal questions on which the country is deeply divided without a strong basis in the text of the Constitution. The court sometimes intervenes when the legislatures of the 50 states are approaching a consensus. When it jumps into a live political controversy, the justices look like they are acting like legislators.
The system today, without the Supreme Court’s intervention, is working as it should. Representatives of the people are deliberating. “We the People” are thinking. So far, nine states have extended marriage to same-sex couples; many others have chosen to explicitly endorse traditional marriage. Those choices distress advocates on either side of the matter when their wishes have been disappointed.
But when all of us have an equal right to be heard on an issue, and to participate through our representatives in making the decision, it is easier to accept the outcome than when unelected judges make moral pronouncements from the bench. Change that comes through the political process has greater democratic legitimacy.
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Corbis

Moreover, in states where same-sex marriage has been made legal, legislatures have taken care to provide generous protections for people and institutions—especially churches—that conscientiously disagree. This is good for civic harmony and for achieving a long-term position of mutual respect. A judicial decision likely would not include these protections.
The two cases that will be argued next week seem to endanger this process. If the justices hold that California’s Proposition 8, which provides that “only marriage between a woman and a man is valid or recognized,” is unconstitutional, this will end the deliberations and impose a single national definition of marriage on us all. The court cannot reach this outcome without branding the views of the other side as either “irrational,” if it employs the lower, rational-basis level of judicial scrutiny, or “bigoted” and hateful, which would justify heightened judicial scrutiny. That is not the path to national reconciliation, and it does not show respect to the diverse views on this divisive issue.
But if the justices hold that there is no constitutional right to same-sex marriage, this also imposes an answer of a sort. It would reflect the Supreme Court’s considered judgment that in the eyes of the Constitution, same-sex relationships may be treated as morally different from (and inferior to) heterosexual relationships. Such a decision would set a precedent for the foreseeable future. It would embolden opponents of same-sex marriage and deprive proponents of one of their most potent moral claims in the political process—that the denial of marriage rights offends American values of equality.
Even though the stage seems set for a momentous ruling by the court, the litigation actually offers the justices a golden opportunity to resolve these cases without setting a precedent either way, and to reaffirm the ideal of democratic, decentralized decision-making.
In Hollingsworth, the Proposition 8 case, the state of California has declined to defend the state’s own law. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals allowed a group of private citizens, proponents of the proposition, to step in and defend the law in court. Former Solicitor General Walter Dellinger, who served under President Clinton, has filed a friend of the court brief arguing persuasively that these intervenors do not have standing to sue (meaning they have no legal stake in the issue, but only political interest). He has precedent on his side. More than 25 years ago, in Diamond v. Charles, the court held that a pro-life doctor did not have standing to defend an antiabortion law in court when the state attorney general refused to do so. The same lack of standing is true here.
If Mr. Dellinger is right (and I think he is), the Supreme Court has no jurisdiction to decide the Proposition 8 case, and neither did the Ninth Circuit. The court should vacate the decision striking down Proposition 8, leaving in place the original district-court order that prompted the case by allowing two same-sex couples to marry, but deprivingHollingsworth of precedential effect.
In Windsor, the Defense of Marriage Act case, the government also declines to defend its law, but the U.S. Solicitor General, unlike the California attorney general, filed a notice of appeal and a petition for review, and the government is continuing to enforce the law. That preserves the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction to decide the constitutionality of DOMA.
But the court need not base its decision in Windsor on the merits of the same-sex marriage question. The leading argument against DOMA all along has been that the federal government lacks authority under the Constitution to create and enforce a definition of marriage different from that of the state in which a couple resides. It is hard to think of an issue more clearly reserved to state law under constitutional tradition than the definition of marriage.
The court has held that “regulation of domestic relations” has “long been regarded as a virtually exclusive province of the States” (Sosna v. Iowa, 1975). In the past, the court has recognized a “domestic relations exception” to federal judicial power. Although the legal question is close, the court could take the same path in Windsor—holding that DOMA improperly intrudes on the reserved powers of the states.
If the court dismisses the Proposition 8 case on standing grounds and strikes DOMA down on federalism grounds, the combined effect would be to reaffirm America’s democratic, decentralized decision-making process without imposing an answer—one way or the other—to the same-sex marriage question.
By taking such a path, the court would be spared from imposing a single nationwide definition of marriage as a matter of constitutional law, and from having to rule, for all time, that there is or is not a constitutional right to same-sex marriage—a momentous step that some justices might be reluctant to take. It would leave the issue to the states, at least for the time being. This course might appeal to centrist justices like Anthony Kennedy, John Roberts and Stephen Breyer—and perhaps could even command a unanimous court, which would have a welcome calming influence on the nation’s culture wars.
Considerations of these sorts have long been part of the virtue of judicial modesty, too often undervalued by partisans on both sides. In this instance, modesty requires no more than that the justices follow the technicalities of the law.

Mr. McConnell, a former federal judge, is a law professor and director of the Constitutional Law Center at the Stanford Law School, and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.

A version of this article appeared March 22, 2013, on page A15 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: The Constitution and Same-Sex Marriage.

Bravo, Mr. Olson.

This needed to be said – badly – and this well. Too bad it’s in invisible ink – as it is on the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal, thus, invisible to Democrats, but it made me feel better reading it! Enjoy.

February 1 2012

Obama’s Enemies List

David and Charles Koch have been the targets of a campaign of vituperation and assault, choreographed from the very top.

How would you feel if aides to the president of the United States singled you out by name for attack, and if you were featured prominently in the president’s re-election campaign as an enemy of the people?

What would you do if the White House engaged in derogatory speculative innuendo about the integrity of your tax returns? Suppose also that the president’s surrogates and allies in the media regularly attacked you, sullied your reputation and questioned your integrity. On top of all of that, what if a leading member of the president’s party in Congress demanded your appearance before a congressional committee this week so that you could be interrogated about the Keystone XL oil pipeline project in which you have repeatedly—and accurately—stated that you have no involvement?

Consider that all this is happening because you have been selected as an attractive political punching bag by the president’s re-election team. This is precisely what has happened to Charles and David Koch, even though they are private citizens, and neither is a candidate for the president’s or anyone else’s office.

What Messrs. Koch do, in fact, is manage businesses that provide employment to more than 50,000 people in North America in legitimate, productive industries. They also give millions of dollars to medical researchers, hospitals and cultural institutions. Their biggest offense, apparently, is that they also contribute generously to nonprofit organizations that promote personal liberty and free enterprise, and some of those organizations oppose policies advocated by the president.

Richard Nixon maintained an”enemies list” that singled out private citizens for investigation and abuse by agencies of government, including the Internal Revenue Service. When that was revealed, the press and public were outraged. That conduct will forever remain one of the indelible stains on Nixon’s presidency and legacy.

When Joseph McCarthy engaged in comparable bullying, oppression and slander from his powerful position in the Senate, he was censured by his colleagues and died in disgrace.”McCarthyism,” defined by Webster’s as the “use of unfair investigative and accusatory methods to suppress opposition,” will forever be synonymous with un-Americanism. Army counsel Joseph Welch’s “Have you no sense of decency?” are words that evoke the McCarthy era and diminish the reputations of his colleagues who did nothing to stand up to him.

In this country, we regard the use of official power to oppress or intimidate private citizens as a despicable abuse of authority and entirely alien to our system of a government of laws. The architects of our Constitution meticulously erected a system of separated powers, and checks and balances, precisely in order to inhibit the exercise of tyrannical power by governmental officials.

Our Constitution even explicitly prohibits bills of attainder so that Congress may not single out individual citizens or groups for disfavored treatment or unequal application of the force of government. Prosecutorial power is rigidly constrained and judicially supervised so that government may not accuse private citizens of crimes or investigate them without good cause.

Whoever may be the victim of such abuse of governmental authority, the press and public almost invariably unify with indignation against it. If a journalist, labor-union leader or community organizer on the left can be targeted today, an academic or business person on the right can be the target tomorrow. If we fail to stand up against oppression from one direction, we abdicate the moral authority to challenge it when it comes from another.

This is why it is exceedingly important for all Americans to respond with outrage to what the president and his allies are doing to demonize and stigmatize David and Charles Koch. They have been the targets of the multiyear, carefully orchestrated campaign of vituperation and assault described above—and much more. It has been choreographed from the very top. When the president personally takes leadership, his political surrogates and army of allies in the press and Congress quickly and surely follow the direction and tone he sets.

The misuse of government power to damage or demean one’s political enemies is abhorrent and the very antithesis of a free society and a government of laws, not men. It is time for the public to ask those engaged in these practices, “Have you no sense of decency?”

Mr. Olson, a lawyer in Washington, D.C., and a former solicitor general of the United States, represents Koch Industries.

"Oh wow!" Indeed

From Peggy Noonan’s December 23, 2011 WSJ piece, “Oh Wow! Some highlights of 2011”

“The great words of the year? “Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.”

They are the last words of Steve Jobs, reported by his sister, the novelist Mona Simpson, who was at his bedside. In her eulogy, a version of which was published in the New York Times, she spoke of how he looked at his children ‘as if he couldn’t unlock his gaze.’ He’d said goodbye to her, told her of his sorrow that they wouldn’t be able to be old together, ‘that he was going to a better place.’ In his final hours his breathing was deep, uneven, as if he were climbing.

‘Before embarking, he’d looked at his sister Patty, then for a long time at his children, then at his life’s partner, Laurene, and then over their shoulders past them. Steve’s final words were: “OH WOW. OH WOW. OH WOW.”‘

The caps are Simpson’s, and if she meant to impart a sense of wonder and mystery she succeeded. ‘Oh wow’ is not a bad way to express the bigness, power and force of life, and death. And of love, by which he was literally surrounded.

I wondered too, after reading the eulogy, if I was right to infer that Jobs saw something, and if so, what did he see? What happened there that he looked away from his family and expressed what sounds like awe?”

What indeed…

Wow 😉