Watcher’s Council Nominations – Scary Monsters Edition

Smart kid…he knows that with Obama, it’s all tricks and no treats for him! Especially not with $180,000 worth of debt to pay off he had no say in incurring.

Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere, and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council.Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday.

Council News:

First off, our condolences to those of our readers who got hit hard by Sandy.Some of our esteemed Council were caught in the storm as well, and here’s hoping for a swift return to normal and a speedy recovery for everyone.

This week, Ask Marion, The Pirate’s Cove, and Maggie’s Notebook took advantage of my generous offer of link whorage and earned honorable mention status with some great pieces they submitted.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

Simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address ( which won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out Wednesday morning.

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members. while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let’s see what we have this week….

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that!

Forum – Is DOMA Unconstitutional?

Last week, the New York State Appeals Court ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional.

The ruling itself was based on a very narrow  criteria, since there was a plaintiff that obviously  suffered financial damages because of a spousal deduction she would otherwise have received on the estate tax on her deceased partner’s estate as a result. But with the Supreme Court set to rule on the Constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8, this week the Council addresses the question: Is DOMA unconstitutional? How will the recent ruling affect coming Supreme Court ruling on Same Sex Marriage?:

The Independent Sentinel: I don’t want the federal government involved in this at all. I prefer it be a states rights issue. I feel the same way about abortion. I am opposed to big government and I am against changing the constitution for social issues.

I think DOMA will be found unconstitutional but I think it should be found Constitutional on the basis of states rights and the right of people to choose.

I will become concerned about this issue if it begins to affect freedom of religion. Religions that only marry one man and one woman must be allowed to do so or I don’t think we can call ourselves free any longer.

I believe the only civil rights issue in this country is the abuse of African-Americans through slavery and decades of oppression. No other issue, not even an important social choice issue, should take away from that.

 The Colossus of Rhodey: It seems the main problem the recent court ruling against DOMA has is with the law’s Section 3 which defines marriage *federally* as between a man and a woman. The ruling invoked “equal protection;” if the SCOTUS rules as the circuit court did, it will enshrine a right to collect benefits (from the feds) for legally married gay couples. BUT — it wouldn’t necessarily mean that the rest of DOMA would be stricken. The Act allows states to decide whether they want to recognize gay marriages (and those performed in other states), and a cursory reading of the Constitution’s Article IV shows that this part of the law *should be* constitutional re: the Full Faith and Credit Clause. The Clause notes that “And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.” In other words, those in favor of striking the entire law would have to demonstrate how Congress does *not* have the right to prescribe how its laws are enacted, or, in this case, why another state would *not* have the right to refuse to recognize a gay marriage performed in another state.

It will be difficult to guess what the SCOTUS will rule. If the states still get to decide the question of marriage, then could a gay couple still be able to collect federal benefits from a non-gay marriage state (if they were “married,” in a state which allowed such, but they didn’t actually *reside* in such a state)? If so, how and why? Or, can only those who were [gay] married in a state which allowed such unions be permitted to collect such benefits?

The Glittering Eye: There are two ways of answering that question. The answer in law is absolutely,
positively not. But the practical answer is different. The practical answer is that
whatever the currently sitting Supreme Court justices say is unconstitutional is
unconstitutional.

I’m guessing that, considering that there’s a majority of sexual libertarians on the court,the present Court will strike down the DOMA.

The Noisy Room:Yes, DOMA is unconstitutional for the simple reason that its foundation premise, that government has any business moderating marriage, is fundamentally broken. DOMA falls into that broader fascist category of “good ideas enforced at gun point.” If a constitutional foundation can be found and established for the concept that government is somehow the appropriate arbiter of the act of marriage at all, then a case can be made for DOMA because to the degree that government brokers marriage, government must then define it. However, the constitution offers no support for what was at the time a cultural and religious construct which more modernly, has been annexed as one of the “proper functions” of government.

I don’t see any constitutional support for it and in fact, it plays into the concept that government can replace religion. And this is one of the greasier slopes on which one can embark. This goes further to a broader premise that government somehow owns “citizens,” or as the British prefer to call them, “subjects.” As the premise broadens, it encroaches on education (all your kids are belong to us) and “health and welfare.” We have to keep you healthy so you are productive, our revenue depends on it. This, then, “logically” flows into mandated morality, and while actual crime is a province of government, what you eat for breakfast, how you iron your shirts and with whom you spend your nights is not. See Atlas Shrugged.

So, although this is a blatant attempt to pander to the gay community by Obama, DOMA is not constitutional in my viewpoint. Marriage is a personal (or religious) act, not a government province.

 Bookworm Room: Yes, I do believe that DOMA is unconstitutional.  The Constitution does not contemplate marriage at a federal level.  For that reason, it is a matter that, technically speaking, should be left to the states.  Having said that, let’s get to the modern wrinkles.  When the Constitution was ratified, the Founders could not have imagined same-sex marriage.  It did not exist at the time.  Had the notion existed, the Founders might have chosen to address marriage in the Constitution for one very specific reason:  The full faith and credit clause, which obligates each state to recognize the duly passed laws of the other states.  The problem with laws that provide fundamentally different definitions of marriage (such as those allowing polygamy or same sex marriage) is that, as people move from one state to another, they may be legally married in State A, but not in State B.  Any subsequent property, child custody, or third party contract disputes become a nightmare.

With new definitions of marriage never imagined by the Founders, the correct way to deal with the issue is through a Constitutional amendment.  If I could draft the amendment, I would remove “marriage” from government control and leave it solely to religious institutions to “marry” people.  Government should have power over “civil unions,” and that power should be exercised in whatever way is most beneficial to advance state goals of economic stability, generational property transfers, and the overall best situation for children.  Civil unions could certainly encompass same sex couples.  I would be loath to extend civil unions to polygamy, though, because of the problems with economic stability and generational property transfers.  (England, which legally recognizes polygamous marriages from Muslim countries, demonstrates that, in a Western culture, it’s hard for a single man to support multiple women.  These polygamous families end up using welfare disproportionately.)

I’m deeply concerned that, if same sex “marriage” becomes a constitutional right, we’ll have a major constitutional clash between church and state, one that makes the current fight over funding abortion look like a kindergarten party.  Think of it:  In the Catholic faith, marriage is a sacrament.  Can you imagine what will happen to the First Amendment freedom of religion if it crashes headlong into some new amendment mandating gay “marriage.”  If, however, the state passes an amendment recognizing civil unions, churches can continue to marry whomever their doctrine recognizes.

Well, there you have it.

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you won’t want to miss it.
And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

The Council Has Spoken!! This Week’s Watchers Council Winners

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match up.

What did President Obama know about what happened in Benghazi and when di dhe know it?” The old Watergate question surfaces again.

This week’s winner, Joshuapundit’s Heart Of Darkness – The Real Benghazi Coverup   was written  before a new slew of e-mails leaked that  showed the White House knew that Benghazi was a terrorist attack launched by an al-Qaeda affiliated militia within 2 hours, before it was known that the staff in the besieged Benghazi consulate communicated with the White House directly by phone as soon as the attack was launched and that  the attack was watched in real time by the White House with a video signal relayed by an overhead drone. And as this week’s Non-Council winner reveals, that the trapped men could very possibly have been rescued. 

Nevertheless, this week’s winner takes a look at the unanswered questions about Benghazi and the rotten heart of the cover up, the real reasons the Obama Administration chose to essentially lie  to the American people about what happened that night in Libya and what it means. Here’s a slice:

The CIA is apparently not willing to fall on its sword to protect President Obama, Secretary Clinton , Ambassador Rice, and the rest of the Obama Administration.

It’s now been leaked by officials within the Obama Administration that the CIA Head of Station in Libya reported within 24 hours that the attack on Benghazi that left four Americans dead was carried out by al-Qaeda and associated groups, that it was a planned operation, and that it had nothing to do with any protest or unrest over a video.

The linked story, which is essentially an AP rewrite says ‘It is unclear who, if anyone, saw the cable outside the CIA at that point and how high up in the agency the information went.’

‘Unclear’? It obviously went to various places – to the head of the CIA General Petraeus, to Obama’s NSC Tom Donilon, and to Hillary Clinton as head of the State Department at the very least. That’s how these things are routinely handled. Are we to believe Joe Biden and President Obama that nobody told them, and the entire attempt to spin this for nine days as a ‘protest’ over a video was due to misinformation and intelligence failure?

Or Hillary Clinton’s claim that she didn’t know either and that the obscene spin put on this was due to ‘ the fog of war’?

The AP does their best to shield the Administration, like always. They even repeated the falsehood Obama told at the last debate (with an assist from ‘moderator’ Candy Crowley) that he referred to Benghazi as a terrorist attack during his speech the day after in the Rose Garden, something I debunked previously.

But even if one takes a large leap in logic to assume that no one in the administration knew for certain what had happened, how does that explain the certainty with which the president and his minions declared for 8 days that what happened in Benghazi was a protest over a poorly made video on YouTube that turned violent?

How does it explain the deliberate removal of special forces security teams from Libya and the denials of Ambassador Stevens’ own repeated requests for more of it? Even his request for a barbed wire fence around the Benghazi consulate was denied.

How does it explain situating an unprotected consulate and staff in Benghazi, known to be a hotbed of al-Qaeda and associated militias? Even the International Red Cross pulled out months before the attack because of the security situation. If the Red Cross knew, if most European intelligence bureaus like Britain’s M15 knew, why didn’t our own intel?

The answer of course, is fairly simple. None of it adds up.

What does add up is an attempt at a political coverup, and it possibly goes even deeper than just shielding the president and his administration from charges of gross incompetence during an election year when President Obama is chest pounding over his supposed foreign policy expertise.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Bing West  with First, Aid the Living submitted by Joshuapundit. It details not only what happened in Benghazi  but  the Obama Administration’s failure to send in Special forces troops to rescue the men trapped in the Benghazi compound when they knew the attack was going on and  it could easily have been done. And it shows plainly why Barack Obama is unfit to be commander-in -chief . Do read it.

 OK, here are this week’s full results. The Razor, The Political Commentator and The Colossus of Rhodey were unable to vote this week, but none of them were subject to the mandatory  2/3  vote penalty for not voting :

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week! Don’t forget to tune in on Monday AM for this week’s Watcher’s Forum, as the Council takes apart one of the provocative issues of the day and weighs in…don’t you dare miss it. And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that!

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Horses And Bayonets Edition

 

To send President Obama’s snide little comment from last night’s debate right back at him, he needs to find out how our military actually works. He could start by talking to a Marine or a soldier who’s had his or her life saved because he or she knew how to put their bayonet training to use.

Or to the men of the 10th Mountain, some of whom I’m honored to be acquainted with, who participated in an amazing but undereported endeavor known as Operation Mountain Thrust. It involved them landing by helicopter on the side of a mountain to outflank the Taliban, a position the jihadis thought was inaccessible. Horses and donkeys were used to cart supplies in on a daily basis.

Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere, and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council.Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday.

Council News:

This week, The Grouch and The Pirate’s Cove took advantage of my generous offer of link whorage and earned honorable mention status with some excellent pieces they sent in.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

Simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address ( which won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category Then just return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out Wednesday AM.

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members. while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let’s see what we have this week….

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that!

Oops!!

Due to technical difficulties, ( mainly mine) this week’s Forum is being postponed, but will appear next week. And I guarantee that it will be one you won’t want to miss.