Archive for the ‘TownHall.com’ Category


I have to admit that when Obama “won” re-election I became more depressed than Madonna’s audience was when they were forced to watch her strip the other night. For God’s sake, Madonna, put some material on that mess, material girl. I guess she’s going to follow Cher’s path and torture us with her exhibitionism ‘til she takes the big dirt nap. Like a virgin? Yeah … right. More like a sturgeon. Hang it up, Madge … you’re scaring the children. Anyway, back to my post-election depression.

As I was saying, giddy I was not that Obama secured a second term via Fieldworks, entitlement mooks and the sponge-brained propaganda swillers of the ludicrous Left … but he did. And for that I must concede that if there is a God and this God is defined by the contents of the sacred Scripture, then this God must be really ticked off at the U.S. because He allowed, in His sovereignty, for us to be saddled with four more years of an administration that blows worse than Hurricane Sandy.

Yep, for those who take their cue from the Bible, you must have noticed that anytime God wanted to wake His wayward nation the heck up because they were belligerently ignoring His statutes, He usually appointed a crappy leader who brought their nation down to Chinatown through bad dictates.

Sure, God sometimes plagued His contumacious people with frogs or hemorrhoids or let enemy nations batter them unmercifully, but on many occasions He simply let them be governed by a daft king, some Moronosaurus Rex who ignored God’s ways and led Israel into a moral and economic ditch. That’s right. You heard me. God allowed it to happen. Not El Diablo, but God.

Personally, I don’t know why God hasn’t whooshed us completely off the map by now. I do know that if He doesn’t kick our backside for us showing Him our backside that—forgive me Lord—He owes Sodom and Gomorrah a big apology.

So, what can we do? Here are five musts that’ll get us on a decent footing with our compass pointing true north again.

1. As people of faith, we can quit sucking our thumb in the fetal position and wetting our big Christian diaper. God never promised us a rose garden—especially when our nation snubs its nose at His commands. It’s going to get rough, so I suggest putting on a cup and quit crying like a wuss.

2. Before we go on whining and moaning about the Left’s wantonness, we’d better make dang certain that our house is in order, eh Church Lady?

3. We might want to recommit our lives to God and our God-honoring founding docs and not give any wannabe leader who does not hold our Constitution in the highest esteem, on the left or right, our hearts and votes. Duh.

4. All the Pollyanna Christians out there who voted for this anti-biblical mess, you should be ashamed and hit yourself in the head with a sledgehammer. Repeatedly.

5. Lather, rinse and repeat steps one through four.

Look, the only hope I hold out for America is that God, at the end of the day, is extremely merciful. And therein lies my solitary confidence because we deserve to get our clock cleaned for how we’ve behaved and not receive a second chance.

In my obnoxious opinion I believe He’s going to allow us to sweat it for a few more years just to be certain that our repentance isn’t specious and our commitment to His governance is steadfast. I think that He thinks we’re full of it and truly don’t want to go His way, and the only way to ferret us out is to see if we’ll stick with His program over time or if we will simply cave in and bow and kiss the ring of stale statism.

And that, my friend, is a story that’s yet to be told.

Check out my latest video on how Allen West got scammed by Obama’s Fieldworks.

Doug Giles

Doug Giles is the Big Dawg at ClashDaily.com. Watch him on ClashTV. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter. And check out his NEW BOOK, Raising Boys Feminists Will Hate.

http://townhall.com/columnists/douggiles/2012/11/18/if_god_doesnt_judge_us_hell_have_to_apologize_to_sodom/page/full/


Washington, DC – For two months, the so-called mainstream media all but ignored the Sept. 11 terror attack in Benghazi, Libya that resulted in four dead Americans. What actions the Obama administration took before, during and after the bloody assaults on the U.S. consulate and a CIA outpost should have been a legitimate election issue. But the Romney campaign only raised the disaster once — and then avoided it like an outbreak of the Ebola virus.

 

Now that the election is decided, the Fourth Estate is on the story. Though the president never mentioned the Benghazi debacle in his prepared remarks at this week’s press conference — his first since last March — fallout from the fiasco in Libya was finally topic number one for the potentates of the press. Of course the question wasn’t, “What did you know and when did you know it?” Instead, the lead off question, posed by Ben Feller of the Associated Press, was: “Can you assure the American people that there have been no breaches of national security or classified information in the scandal involving Generals Petraeus and Allen?” The follow up was about whether the “commander in chief and the American people should have been told that the CIA chief was under investigation before the election.”

So rather than focus on incompetence, misfeasance and/or malfeasance leading up to, in the midst of, and following a deadly terror attack – President Obama gets a pass by claiming that “There’s an ongoing investigation” and that he didn’t “want to comment on the specifics of the investigation.”

It was a brilliant, audacious diversion. The “reporters” present didn’t even question the veracity of Obama’s claim that “we’re not supposed to meddle in, you know, criminal investigations and that’s been our practice.” Perhaps they have simply forgotten how he used executive privilege to cover up the details of Operation Fast and Furious and the murder of another American — Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

The president did pontificate about “FBI protocols” and “certain procedures that both the FBI follow or DOJ follow (sic) when they’re involved in these investigations.” All this served to cleverly shift the focus from O-Team culpability for death and destruction in Benghazi to what really captures the attention of the media: a salacious sex scandal involving the CIA Director, our senior NATO commander in Afghanistan, at least two attractive women, an FBI agent who sends shirtless images of himself over the Internet and lots of torrid emails. If I wrote plot lines like this for video games and novels, my editors and producers would tell me to come up with more realistic scenarios.

Tawdry aspects of the Petraeus affair fascinate our media elites and distract from far more important work. Some of it even landed in my lap. On Tuesday, Activision-Treyarch released their new, astoundingly successful video game, “Call of Duty: Black Ops II.” Within hours of the launch, I was receiving calls, text messages, tweets and emails asking if I’m offended by my likeness appearing in the same video game with that of David Petraeus.

The short answer is, no. “Call of Duty: Black Ops II” is fictional, as are most of the characters — even the villains. I was able to work with the producers on developing the game scenario, participate in the story and make commercial endorsements. I last interviewed General Petraeus when he was ISAF commander and I was on assignment in Afghanistan for Fox News. We talked on and off camera about real special operations and did not discuss the video game. In retrospect, I don’t know him as well as I thought. But I am certain the prurient fascination with “sex and the stars” is a distraction from the vital need to get the truth about what really happened at our diplomatic mission in Libya — and taking steps to reduce the likelihood of it happening again.

That’s crucial because Obama’s Arab Spring is rapidly degenerating into an explosive Islamist winter. Radical websites and propaganda organs are trumpeting U.S. weakness and disarray. Calls for martyrs to attack American military and diplomatic posts overseas have increased five-fold since Benghazi. That may not be as sexy as military-mistress dalliances, but it’s a lot more important.

Not surprisingly, this line of thought does not appeal to all callers. Instead, some want to concentrate on similarities between between “Call of Duty: Black Ops II” and my new novel, “Heroes Proved.” There are some. Both the novel and the game are set in the future. Both deal with the threat of global terror and realistic unforeseen threats, unexpected challenges, unwanted dangers and unpredictable outcomes. But the main characters and story line in the game and the book are unique to each. General David Petraeus is in “Call of Duty: Black Ops II.” He’s not in “Heroes Proved.” I’m in both. Those who want to see how they differ will have to play the game and read the book.

Oliver North

Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.

http://townhall.com/columnists/olivernorth/2012/11/17/sexting_with_the_stars/page/full/


With Thanksgiving fast approaching, it is time to talk about Puritans — but not the crew who fled England for the New World and established the Massachusetts Bay Colony back in the 17th century. No, let’s talk about the modern Puritans: we the American people.

The United States is considered a puritanical society by many Western nations. For example, they can’t believe we hassle public servants like Gen. David Petraeus because he had a mistress. In France, if a powerful man doesn’t have a mistress, he’s considered a wimp. In Italy, they elected Silvio Berlusconi, who allegedly puts together old-fashioned Roman-type orgies and brags about it.

You may remember the outcry in Western Europe over the impeachment of President Clinton. They couldn’t believe it over there. Lying about sex? In some countries, that’s the national pastime.

So the question is this: Are we Americans basically puritanical? Throwbacks to the days when Cotton Mather was hunting witches in Salem?

The answer, surprisingly, is yes to some degree. While it’s true that secular forces are whittling away traditional standards of behavior, we Americans still expect some decorum from our elected officials.

If you’re a rock or film star or play professional sports, we expect you to cat around and do self-destructive things. But if we count on you to protect us, like Petraeus did, we want your full attention. Part of the outcry over Clinton’s behavior was that it took place in the Oval Office, right beneath portraits of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Turning the most powerful room in the world into a Motel 6 is not acceptable to most Americans.

The truth is that many powerful guys have fooled around while working for the people: Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy and Warren Harding to name just a few. Grover Cleveland even fathered a child outside of marriage. We all know these things happen. But we don’t want them to happen, or at least most of us don’t. I can’t speak for San Francisco.

That may be because American tradition is based on Judeo-Christian philosophy, and that tradition has served us well. Honesty and loyalty are still esteemed values in most parts of this country. When the defenders of Bill Clinton wailed that it was “just about sex,” they were wrong. In cases where powerful people get caught in compromising situations, there is always more to it than a physical act.

I am deeply saddened that Petraeus is no longer protecting this nation. He is a patriot and a brilliant warrior in the cause of freedom. Frankly, I don’t care what the general does on his personal time. It is a damn shame he had to resign.

We are all sinners, but here’s what comes along with that: You always pay for the sin. Unfortunately, all of us would suffer along with the general, and that is why he had to go. If the folks trust you, don’t burn them.

Bill O’Reilly

Bill O’Reilly is host of the Fox News show “The O’Reilly Factor” and author of “Who’s Looking Out For You?” and Pinheads and Patriots.

http://townhall.com/columnists/billoreilly/2012/11/17/are_we_puritans/page/full/


Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” is a different film than one would expect from the brilliant filmmaker responsible for unforgettable films like “Schindler’s List” and “Saving Private Ryan.” Unlike those two features, “Lincoln” takes place on a much smaller scale.

When its trailer arrived in theaters several months ago, many viewers undoubtedly believed that the film would attempt to tell Abraham Lincoln’s complete story, focusing on a young Illinois lawyer who became president and saved the Union from sel-destruction. But this movie isn’t about that, nor is it simply a noble and simplistic tribute to the 16thPresident. The film is, instead, a well-told story about a good man who cajoled, manipulated and bravely fought to end slavery through the passage of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. p>

Despite the fact that the North was winning the Civil War when the amendment was passionatlely debated in Congress a few months after Lincoln’s relection, its passage was far from assured. To pass it, the president and his team of former rivals would have to overcome naysayers, pacifists and Democrats alike who were willing to do whatever was necessary to prevent it from becoming law.

The film begins with a brief battle sequence that shows the noble president watching as soldiers prepare for engagement. In the midst of the fighting, young men- who may lose their lives in a matter of moments—look lovingly at the quiet figure who sits above them. Like fans approaching their idol, they quote back to Lincoln portions of the Gettysburg Address and stand in quiet wonder at a man who they recognize is forever changing the course of their country.

As the film continues, it focuses less on the battlefield of war and more on the political landscape where the fight to pass the amendment is taking place. Instead of the grim details of war, Spielberg puts the camera in the dark halls of Congress where threats, manipulations and lies are all used to get legislators to say yes.

As the inevitable victory of the North over the South approaches, some legislators and members of Lincoln’s administration- including Secretary of State and one-time political rival William Steward (David Strathairn)—argue fervently that ending the war quickly should be their highest priority. Ending slavery, they state, is a secondary concern. Others, including the powerful Congressman Thaddeus Stevens (Tommy Lee Jones) are more focused on punishing the South after the war than anything else.

Lincoln rejects both ideas. He rejects the idea that ending the war at the cost of enduring more years of slavery is necessary and he disputes the notion that punishing the South after the war has ended is a noble goal. He is a man who yearns for peace but who is unwilling to compromise his values to achieve it.

Throughout the movie, Lincoln is depicted as something we don’t often view him as: a politician. Like a great politician, he is able to tell a grand story to a group of people with each believing that the story was intended for them. But unlike many politicians, Lincoln was—at considerable risk to both his political fortunes and his legacy— willing to fight for an unpopular position simply because above everything else, he knew it was right.

Many will likely dislike how Spielberg has settled his story around something as seemingly simple as the passage of an amendment. But in deciding to tell the story on a small scale, the director has brought attention to Lincoln the man– rather than Lincoln the legend– and made this great leader into a relatable figure who achieved greatness by never backing down from the princle that all men should be free.

John Hanlon

John Hanlon is the Operations Manager of Townhall.com. He can be found on Twitter @johnhanlon.

http://townhall.com/columnists/johnhanlon/2012/11/16/spielbergs_lincoln_is_a_grand_tribute_to_a_masterful_leader/page/full/


A Christian can be crushed gazing at the picture of Mary standing at the foot of the cross, watching her beloved son suffocate and die. But in that vision, she stands there for hours, patiently enduring her suffering. For two millennia, she has been a role model for Christians, a woman who practiced obedience in the most difficult of human circumstances, with fervent hope for what this sacrifice will offer all mankind as it struggles with sin.

 

This is why it seems so hard to reflect that vision of patience when black-hearted “artists” practice character assassination on the Blessed Virgin Mary to strip her of every virtue: her patience, her obedience, her courageous love and her prayerful faith in God. On Nov. 13, Simon and Schuster launched a vicious little 96-page novella titled “The Testament of Mary.”

The author, an Irish ex-Catholic named Colm Toibin, presents us instead with a Bible-burning “reimagination” of an alienated Mary who fled the scene of her son’s death in fear for her own life. Two decades after the Resurrection — or was there one? — this anti-Mary is filled with bitterness and rage. She describes herself as “unhinged” and bubbling with contempt for her son’s demented followers, to the extreme that she threatens the Gospel writers with a knife. She lives as a bandit, stealing to survive.

Her son’s followers must be stopped from making Jesus a god, “or else everything that happened will become a sweet story that will grow poisonous as bright berries that hang low on trees.” Toibin describes the scene of the crucifixion in mercenary terms: “It was like a marketplace, but more intense somehow, the act that was about to take place was going to make a profit for both seller and buyer.”

Christ‘s disciples are “fools, twitchers, malcontents, stammerers,” while her son’s preaching sounded to her “false, and his tone all stilted, and I could not bear to hear him, it was like something grinding and it set my teeth on edge.”

There is no God in her father or her son. She proclaims of the death of Jesus only: “when you say that he redeemed the world, I will say that it was not worth it. It was not worth it.”

Toibin’s last book of literary criticism was titled “New Ways to Kill Your Mother.” In this book, he murders the mother of God.

In a positive critique in The New York Times, reviewer Mary Gordon explained “The making of the Gospels is portrayed not as an act of sacred remembrance but as an invasion and a theft. The Evangelists — which are they? Luke, perhaps, or John? — are portrayed as menacing intruders, with the lurking shadowy presence of Stalin’s secret police.”

In our nation’s most prestigious newspaper, an author and his feminist reviewer can conjure up the apostles of Christ as Stalinist torturers. But when a Danish newspaper published cartoons mocking the prophet Muhammad as a freedom-of-speech test in 2005, the Times would not show them as “a reasonable choice for news organizations that usually refrain from gratuitous assaults on religious symbols.”

This is what Toibin’s book is: a gratuitous assault on Christianity and its central drama of salvation. The Times reviewer recognized that and enjoyed it.

Mary, the mother of Jesus, has given Christianity a good name. None of the negatives that have made Christianity a byword for tyranny, cruelty and licensed hatred have attached to her,” Gordon began. “The problem with all this is that it has led to centuries of sentimentality — blue and white Madonnas with folded hands and upturned eyes, a stick with which to beat independent women.”

Washington Post book reviewer Ron Charles was less laudatory: “If you’d enjoy a tale predicated on the idea that Christian faith is a toxic collection of ‘foolish anecdotes’ based on a ‘fierce catastrophe,’ Merry Christmas!”

Charles found it refreshing this garbage bag of words “hasn’t sparked outrage or boycotts — a reassuring testament to the West’s tolerance for such artistic license and Toibin’s prominence. Some of us are a lot calmer nowadays about creative re-imaginings of sacred figures.”

He somehow left Catholics out of the picture as he expressed relief that “Evangelicals in this country may finally have caught on to the fact that fiery condemnation plays right into the marketing plans of books that would otherwise ascend into oblivion.” He notes Toibin’s tome has been “widely praised in England, but Toibin is a larger presence there, and churchgoing isn’t.”

Somehow, he’s not making the obvious connection: Toibin and other God-hating authors are consciously conspiring to empty out the churches, and Christian believers cannot always refuse to condemn them. Speaking up for Christ and his mother (and ours) is a solemn duty, not an option.

Brent Bozell

Founder and President of the Media Research Center, Brent Bozell runs the largest media watchdog organization in America.

http://townhall.com/columnists/brentbozell/2012/11/16/the_malicious_mangling_of_the_virgin_mary/page/full/


The resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus over an extramarital affair has raised and will continue to raise a number of questions.

First among them (OK, maybe not first, national security being more important, but stay with me) is why should he have resigned? I am always amused when journalists use the words “sex scandal” when writing about such things. Having abandoned most standards for what used to be called “upright behavior,” culture now “tsk-tsks” when someone is caught in a compromising position.

Bill Clinton didn’t have to resign after the Monica Lewinsky scandal. He lied about their assignations under oath, for which he was later impeached by the House, but not convicted by the Senate. His liaisons in public office were legion, stretching back at least to his time as governor of Arkansas. Petraeus’ dalliance appears to have been a one-off. Is there a different standard, and if so, based on what?

The late Senator Edward Kennedy‘s sexual liberalism was well known and he wasn’t forced to resign. In fact, he repeatedly won re-election, despite his predilections. The sexual practices of numerous Republican and Democratic members of Congress over many years have forced some to quit. Others lost elections, but some are still in Congress and have survived whatever wrath remains for such things.

In our anything goes culture, what are the rules for public officials? Avoiding the potential for blackmail is certainly one, which is a crucial issue in the Petraeus matter, as well as whether Paula Broadwell, his biographer and mistress, had access to classified CIA information. In his resignation letter Petraeus cited “poor judgment” as a major reason for quitting. If poor judgment is the standard, rush-hour traffic in Washington would be a lot easier because there would be fewer government officials around clogging up the roads.

Then there is the potential political fallout. Petraeus backed the Obama administration’s timeline for the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, which killed four Americans, and he had been summoned to testify before the House Foreign Affairs Committee about the details, a summons he declined following his resignation. He has since reversed his decision and will now testify. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won’t be there, though. She has a “scheduling conflict.” Coincidental? Both Clinton and Petraeus should be compelled to tell what they know and when they knew it, or embarrassed by being forced to plead the fifth.

Now, back to sex. Culture promotes all sorts of pre- and extramarital activity as exciting, even commonplace. So how is a high-profile public official to know what is tolerable and what is an offense that can lead to resignation, firing, or impeachment? Divorce is another matter, as most spouses don’t tolerate adultery well.

Wouldn’t it be helpful to have a guidebook? Are there separate guidelines for military and civilian personnel? Should it be tied to one’s security clearance? If the secretary of agriculture, say, is engaged in an adulterous relationship, would that be a lesser offense than adultery by the CIA director, or the secretary of defense? Should one stay in office and the others resign?

What would Carrie Bradshaw advise?

WTOP radio in Washington has compiled a partial listof notorious Washington sex scandals for those interested (and you know you are).

My favorite is the story of Major General Daniel Sickles, a colorful antebellum politician and later Union general during the Civil War. In 1859, when he became aware of his wife’s affair with Philip Barton Key, U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, Sickles ambushed Key in Lafayette Square, across from the White House, shooting and killing him in broad daylight in front of a dozen witnesses.

Sickles’ attorney argued for acquittal based on “temporary aberration of mind.” The jury agreed, Sickles was acquitted and went on to serve the Union bravely, winning a Medal of Honor.

Apparently, standards were a lot different then.

Cal  Thomas

Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, “Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America“.

http://townhall.com/columnists/calthomas/2012/11/15/sex_and_the_city_of_washington/page/full/


SUPPORTERS OF SAME-SEX MARRIAGE have reason to cheer after last week’s election. Supporters of democratic self-government, even those of us who oppose gay marriage, do too.

On Nov. 6, for the first time ever, voters in three states – Maine, Maryland, and Washington – redefined marriage by popular vote. In Minnesota, residents said no to a constitutional amendment enshrining the traditional understanding of marriage as the union of a man and a woman. There is no denying the significance of these results: Previously the issue had gone to the ballot in 32 states, and in all 32 same-sex marriage was defeated. Gay-marriage advocates have insisted for years that it is outrageous to put what they consider a question of civil rights to a vote, but going 4-and-0 on Election Day presumably made the outrage a lot easier to swallow.

In nearly all of America, of course, marriage still means what it has always meant. Obviously a once-settled consensus has been changing, and last Tuesday may eventually prove to have been a tipping point. At the moment, however, there is no new consensus and it’s anything but clear that the battle to redefine the core institution of human society is a done deal. The votes in Maine, Maryland, Washington, and Minnesota – Democratic strongholds all – were close, and in each one Barack Obama got a lot more votes than gay marriage did. Even in four deep-blue states, in other words, many voters who wanted to see the president re-elected drew the line at same-sex marriage.

Plainly the political and philosophical struggle over the definition of marriage isn’t going away any time soon, no matter how much gay-marriage backers wish to declare the issue over. But now that gay activists have turned to the ballot and won, perhaps we can finally dispense with the claim that there is something unjust or illegitimate about deciding a question as momentous as marriage by referring it to the people (or to their elected lawmakers.)

In our democratic republic, we vote on rights all the time. On Nov. 6, citizens in 38 states voted on ballot questions inviting them to legalize marijuana, end the death penalty, ban affirmative action, permit assisted suicide, bar public funding of abortion, reject an individual health-insurance mandate, and eliminate teacher tenure, to mention just a few. The rights of immigrants, of gun owners, of gamblers, of criminals, of union members, of homeowners, of taxpayers – all of them and more have been the subject of ballot initiatives and referendums in recent election cycles. And they in turn are only a drop in the bucket next to the flood of votes routinely taken by legislators – federal, state, and local – that have a direct impact on the rights of individuals and groups.

Resolving thorny legal controversies through the political process can be frustrating and upsetting, all the more so when people feel that their fundamental rights are at stake. But the only alternative is to resolve them through fiat, as the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court did in 2003 when it conjured a right to same-sex marriage out of the state constitution. Or as the US Supreme Court did 30 years earlier, when Roe v. Wadepurported to settle the question of abortion by taking it away from voters and legislators. Abortion, you may have noticed, is more unsettled than ever. Stifling the political process rarely leads to democratic harmony.

Rights should not be put to a vote,” same-sex marriage advocate Evan Wolfson, the founder of Freedom to Marry, was still insisting the day after the election. But I suspect we’ll be hearing that argument less and less, as activists embark on fresh ballot campaigns to amend the many state constitutions that now block same-sex marriage. Unless, of course, the Supreme Court intervenes, and tries once again to impose a resolution by short-circuiting the workings of democracy.

I don’t claim that voters are always right, or that the people can’t make mistakes. By my lights, voters in Maine, Maryland, Washington, and Minnesota made a grave one last week. I believe same-sex marriage is a bad idea. But I also believe that political legitimacy derives from the consent of the governed. “I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves,” wrote Thomas Jefferson after a lifetime in public affairs. “If we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion.”

Gay marriage shouldn’t be treated as sacrosanct, too lofty for mere politics. Let the debates, the struggles, the compromises, and, yes, the votes continue. Until the people work it out politically, this issue will never be settled.

Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby is an Op-Ed writer for the Boston Globe, a radio political commentator, and a contributing columnist for Townhall.com.href=”http://www.townhall.com/Secure/Signup.aspx”>Sign up today

http://townhall.com/columnists/jeffjacoby/2012/11/14/gay_marriage_at_the_ballot_box/page/full/