Attorney General Steve Marshall issued the following statement today praising President Donald Trump for introducing his Initiative to Stop Opioid Abuse and Reduce Drug Supply and Demand:
“I want to thank President Trump for his dedication to fight the terrible blight of opioid abuse in America. Opioid abuse is an epidemic that ignores cultural and political boundaries; it affects all of us—and thus demands a response that includes all of us.”
“While I am still reviewing the specifics of President Trump’s initiative, I am heartened to see that his outline includes many of the recommendations of Alabama’s Opioid Overdose and Addiction Council; recommendations such as improved prescription monitoring, increased access to treatment and recovery support for persons suffering from opioid addiction, and legislation targeting low-dosage, super-lethal drugs like fentanyl.”
“My hope is that, in the coming months, President Trump and Attorney General Sessions will work side-by-side with state and local officials to turn these ideas into reality. Together, we can conquer what the President has rightly called the ‘Crisis Next Door.’”
"Frontier Airlines will begin direct flights from Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport on April 11, the airline announced today. Frontier Airlines will start by offering direct service to Denver, Orlando and Philadelphia from Birmingham. Introductory prices will start at $39."
"At 87, Clint Eastwood is not only trying new things, he’s trying daring new things, and his new film 15:17 to Paris represents one of the most audacious gambits of his career. To dramatize the tale of three Americans who tackled and subdued a heavily armed Islamist terrorist on a train out of Amsterdam in 2015, Eastwood cast the young men, none of whom had professional acting experience, as themselves. It’s a decision with little precedent in the entire history of motion pictures."
Alabama Senate race draws high voter turnout across the state
Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill reports that the projection he released of 25 percent voter turnout is on track to be an accurate prediction.
If the trends continue, the Senate race today will easily exceed the final numbers for the Aug. 15 primary (reporting 18 percent) and Sept. 26 Republican runoff (reporting 15 percent).
Merrill remarks that the turnout boost is fairly bipartisan, saying “”I’m hearing that the turnout in certain areas that might benefit Doug Jones are complemented by heavy turnout in other areas, in some rural parts of the state that would probably complement Judge Moore. So I think that’s going to balance itself out if that trend continues.”
Polls will be open until 7 p.m. across the state.
To find your voting location, visit here for registered voter resources.
Former Shelby, Sessions pollster: Don’t trust Alabama Senate polls too much
A nationally-known political consultant and pollster who has done a lot of work in Alabama suggests that when it comes to today’s Senate election, we shouldn’t trust current projections too much.
“To be honest with you, I wouldn’t put a lot of faith in some of the polling I’ve seen over the last couple of weeks,” Jim McLaughlin told Yellowhammer in an interview.
McLaughlin knows Alabama. He has worked as a pollster for Sens. Richard Shelby, Jeff Sessions, and Luther Strange, and has also helped elect Reps. Robert Aderholt and Mike Rogers, Gov. Bob Riley, and Alabama’s Senate Pro Tempore Del Marsh.
He also knows polling. In short, there are three issues going on with the polls, McLaughlin says:
— “The problem is they’re doing these robo-polls, and those polls by law can’t call cellphones. More than half of these people don’t have landlines, so you’re missing a lot of people there.”
— The pollsters are using deficient samples: “They should be using good voter lists, and these hybrid polls with the internet stuff in there, they’re relying on panels, and these people may not necessarily be voters, and they’re claiming that they’re going to vote.”
— The pollsters aren’t choosing enough likely voters: “You want to screen really tightly, to make sure these people are actually going to show up.”
In any case, McLaughlin judges this election as an anomaly, challenging most of our preconceptions, particularly regarding what the turnout will be.
“I think turnout is going to be pretty high today, because it’s almost become a national election,” he said, comparing it to the Georgia Sixth District race back in June, which received major national attention and saw large turnout.
Whatever the outcome, McLaughlin expects it to be close, in part because he expects many voters to write in candidates. He made a half-joking prediction.
“I think Nick Saban is going to be the lead write-in candidate.”
(Take this article over to social media and start a conversation with your family and friends).
How this conservative Alabamian voted this morning
I didn’t vote for Roy Moore because I believe at least some of those allegations are credible.
I didn’t vote for Doug Jones, either, because he supports what any just man would call infanticide.
And no, I didn’t waste it on a write-in candidate.
I did what I’ve done in every general election since I was 20-years old – I voted to advance the conservative movement by darkening the circle beside the Alabama Republican Party and voting a straight ticket.
My vote indeed went into Moore’s column, although indirectly, but he’s not what caused me to stand in line this cold morning and vote.
I voted to maintain the GOP’s majority in the U.S. Senate.
I voted to confirm judges and justices who’ll uphold the constitution.
But more than anything else, I voted for life … for the millions of unborn children who the Democratic Party has sacrificed on the altar of electoral expediency, and the millions more who’ll die because of that party’s callous indifference to the most innocent and vulnerable among us.
When I took my ballot and sat down to vote, I wasn’t thinking about the liberal media or Obamacare or tax cuts or foreign policy or immigration … or even Roy Moore.
I was thinking about how this nation treats unborn children, and how Doug Jones supports a law that every month allows thousands of them to be poisoned in their mother’s womb, have their little arms and legs ripped apart, before they are then thrown in the garbage.
That must stop.
That. Must. Stop.
So yes, I have twisted myself into a mental pretzel of rationalization this morning. That’s fair criticism, and I’m not happy about my vote in the slightest. In fact, I’m upset about this whole election, from the primary to the run-off and especially the general.
But even in the midst of this frustration, I’m not going to stand silent while Doug Jones supporters tell me that my vote went to someone who thought it was OK to hit on teenagers when he was in his 30s (awful).
Maybe it did.
But theirs went to a guy who thinks it’s OK to kill unborn babies (reprehensible).
I’ll wrestle with the moral implications of my vote for years.
(Agree? Disagree? Take this article over to social media and start a conversation with your family and friends)
Yellowhammer Publisher: ‘There’s only one choice for conservatives in Alabama Senate race’
The following editorial reflects the views of Yellowhammer Multimedia ownership.
Tomorrow’s special election for the United States Senate was supposed to have been a mere formality for the Republican nominee. And, yet, this election has turned our state into a center of controversy and the object of scorn directed at Alabama voters from those outside of the state’s border.
Our readers have flooded us with messages of confusion, dismay, dissatisfaction, anger and resolve. Many of those feelings we share with them, particularly the attacks on Christian conservatives. We care about Christian conservatives because that is who we are. When we see attacks aimed at our friends, neighbors and readers, and an election with so much at stake, we feel compelled to speak up.
As a news outlet, we have not been afraid to wade into the controversy surrounding Roy Moore. We believe many of the things the women have said. We also believe some of the allegations have been credibly refuted. One woman has admitted that she falsified certain parts of the evidence that she put forth. Forty years is a long time. The uncomfortable reality in a situation like this is that memories fade and recollections become foggy. Many aspects of our justice system reflect that reality.
The validity of these claims aside, our disappointment with Moore centers primarily on his handling of the allegations. He initially acknowledged that he had known some of the women but nothing inappropriate occurred. Then he changed his story. Perhaps he made the political calculation that a full on denial of anything and everything was the path to victory. In our estimation, that amounted to unnecessary deception.
Moore has been the object of intense scrutiny for more than two decades. Liberal groups who think that the words “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion” should mean something other than what they do have fought him relentlessly for years. They have spent millions of their Hollywood-elite dollars to oppose him. During that time, nothing along the lines of these allegations has ever surfaced. And we are also encouraged by the fact that certain social norms acceptable forty years ago have dissolved for the better.
None of this has stopped the attacks. Attacks on our state, our citizens and our beliefs.
At the end of the day, regardless of the circumstances 40 years ago, we’re not going to defend the actions of Roy Moore back then or his evasiveness during this special election. If the allegations are true, they are simply reprehensible. However, we’ll default to the position of our country’s forefathers and conclude that a man is innocent until proven guilty.
Either way, we’re with you Senator Shelby, Alabama does deserve better. Our hope is that when this seat is open again in 2020 that a conservative all Alabamians can be proud of will emerge. The problem is, right now, there is so much more at stake than simply Roy Moore.
By every true measure, President Donald Trump has governed conservatively – just as the vast majority of the voters in our state expected he would. One of his first acts was to nominate Jeff Sessions to the position of Attorney General. He has fixed the job-killing and tyrannical regulatory mess at agencies like the Department of Energy, the EPA, the CFPB and the FCC. He has nominated conservative judges who are committed to upholding the Constitution at every level of the federal judiciary. President Trump has shown the fortitude to implement foreign policy recognizing America’s values and protecting our interests as evidenced by the dismantling of ISIS. Just last week he ordered our embassy in Israel moved to its rightful place in Jerusalem. He has also pushed through what will be the most comprehensive tax reform package in years. There is even more work to be done.
Those opposing Roy Moore have tried to float the idea that write-in votes are an acceptable choice. They are not. There are two choices tomorrow: Roy Moore or Doug Jones. There are only two men from whom you can choose to support President Trump’s agenda and represent our values in the United States Senate. And be sure about this, conservatives who choose to sit this one out are, in fact, choosing a candidate. A non-vote on Tuesday is a vote for Doug Jones.
Roy Moore will support President Trump’s agenda. Moore will protect unborn children, help repeal Obamacare and guarantee that Trump’s conservative judicial nominees get confirmation. Jones will not. Moore will vote similarly to how Jeff Sessions voted. Jones will not.
This is why we are all being attacked. They resent our faith and our values. This is also why we urge you to vote for Roy Moore in tomorrow’s election.
CNN gets clobbered by conservative Alabama talk radio host
CNN’s media analyst was taken to the woodshed Sunday by a conservative radio host in North Alabama who said our state doesn’t trust the national media because they have consistently called us “stupid” and “racist.”
“People don’t trust you guys and the reason they don’t trust you is because you are constantly telling them they are wrong, they are stupid, they are racists,” said Dale Jackson, who hosts a morning talk show on NewsTalk 770 AM/92.5 FM WVNN in Huntsville. “Then we’re saying, hey, listen to us you wrong, stupid and racist people.”
“It’s not going to work. They don’t trust you guys.”
Watch the clip here:
CNN Guest: "People don’t trust you guys and the reason they don’t trust you is because you are constantly telling them they are wrong, they are stupid, they are racists, and then we’re saying, hey, listen to us you wrong, stupid and racist people."
GOP defections from big Republican counties pose biggest threat to Roy Moore
Democrat Doug Jones has a path to victory against Republican Roy Moore on Tuesday in Alabama’s special election for the Senate — the same one Democrat Robert Vance nearly rode to victory against him five years ago.
All but forgotten now, Moore’s 2012 race for chief justice of Alabama Supreme Court stumbled across the finish line. He beat the former Jefferson County judge by just 3.6 percentage points. His 51.8 percent of the vote was 9.4 points less than Republican Mitt Romney garnered in the Alabama in the presidential race that year.
A county-by-county analysis shows Moore’s falloff from Romney was most profound in populous counties filled with well-educated, suburban voters. The returns suggest that Moore lost many normally Republican voters turned off by his controversial career, which had featured a heavy focus on divisive social issues and an expulsion during a previous stint on the high court.
And that was before a second suspension from the Supreme Court and allegations that he inappropriately touched girls when he was a young prosecutor in Gadsden. Several experts contend Moore’s fate rests in the hands of those upscale Republican voters.
“If Jones is going to pick up Republican defectors, yeah, I think those are the counties where he’s going to do it,” said Steven Taylor, a political science professor at Troy University.
Based on 2012, it would not take a seismic shift for Jones to become the first Democrat elected to the Senate from Alabama since Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Tuscaloosa) won re-election as a Democrat in 1992 — two years before bolting for the GOP. If an average of just 15 Moore voters in each precinct in 2012 had voted for Vance, the firebrand Christian conservative’s comeback would have fallen short.
That year, Shelby County had the biggest gap between Romney and Moore. Romney’s share of the votes cast for one of the two major-party candidates in suburban Republican stronghold was 14.8 points higher than Moore’s share of the vote against Vance (not counting write-ins).
Counties that are demographically similar to Shelby — Autauga and Elmore, outside of Montgomery; Baldwin, outside of Mobile; Madison and its neighbors, Morgan and Limestone; St. Clair in the Birmingham metro area; and Tuscaloosa County — all ranked among the 14 counties with the highest bleed rates. They were among 17 counties where Romney outperformed Moore by 10 points or more.
Interesting, Moore’s home county of Etowah had the second-highest gap, with Romney outperforming the judge by 14.7 points.
Many of those 17 counties also are the fastest-growing areas of the state, meaning they figure to play a more prominent role in Tuesday’s election Just in the five years since that chief justice race, the share of Alabama’s voting-age adults who live in those 17 counties has risen nearly a percentage point, to 54 percent.
Moore’s dropoff from Romney smallest in low-population counties
The counties where Moore’s share of the vote most closely matched Romney’s tended to be sparsely populated places with relatively few Republicans. Romney ran less than 3 points ahead of Moore in Geneva, Bullock, Sumter, Wilcox, Russell, Lowndes, Perry, Dallas and Greene counties. Moore actually got a higher share of the vote in Macon County than Romney.
The problem for Moore, however, is that they are not good prospects to make up for losses of suburban voters, elsewhere. Most of those 10 counties have black majorities. Both Moore and Romney lost all of them except for Geneva.
Joseph Smith, the chairman of the political science department at the University of Alabama, said the partisan tilt of the state makes it extremely difficult for Jones to win with crossover support — or at least depressed turnout among Republican voters.
“Their decisions are going to be very important,” he said. “They can decide to vote for Roy Moore. They can decide to vote for Doug Jones. They can decide not to vote at all. Or, they can write someone in.”
For Jones, a non-vote or a write-in vote by a Republican is almost as good as a vote from him.
But Smith added, “I have no good sense which proportion of them will choose any of those options.”
William Stewart, a longtime political scientist at the University of Alabama, said Moore does not have to win every Republican vote to prevail. But he added that he cannot afford to lose too many.
“In order to win, Moore needs regular Republicans to turn out for him and not boycott the election or write in the name of somebody else,” he said.
GOP expresses optimism
Republicans remain confident they will hold on to the seat once held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, however. State Sen. Trip Pittman (R-Montrose), who ran in the special election primary for the Senate and then endorsed Moore after finishing fifth, downplayed the 2012 results.
“We’re not talking about Mitt Romney running against Roy Moore. We’re talking about Roy Moore running against Doug Jones,” he said.
Still, an unusually high number of Jones yard signs dot Pittman’s Republican turf along the Eastern Shore in Baldwin County. He urged Republicans to vote for Moore and said a write-in vote is a silly protest.
“It’s the Republican Party, not the write-in party,” he said. “A write-in vote is a wasted vote.”
Taylor said if Jones does not outperform Vance’s 2012 totals among Republicans, he can still win by persuading a higher share of black voters to turn out. But he noted the African-Americans traditionally vote in smaller proportions in non-presidential elections. And, he added, it seems a tall order to increase the black share of the electorate in 2012 — a year when the nation’s first black president was seeking re-election.
Moore has topped most recent polls and maintains a 3.8-point lead in the RealClearPolitics polling average.
“If I have to lay money on it I’m not laying money on Jones,” said Taylor, the Troy political science professor. “I’m laying money on Moore.”
Brendan Kirby is senior political reporter at LifeZette.com and a Yellowhammer contributor. He also is the author of “Wicked Mobile.” Follow him on Twitter.
Roy Moore leads Doug Jones by an average of three points heading into Tuesday’s election
An average of six of the most recent polls indicates that Roy Moore has a slim lead over Doug Jones in the race to become Alabama’s next senator, with an average of 48.3 percent of likely voters saying they will vote for Moore and 45.6 percent saying they will vote for Jones.
Why it matters: Moore’s campaign received a bump this week through a combination of the Republican National Committee reinstating its support, President Donald Trump tweeting several endorsements (along with stumping for the candidate in nearby Pensacola), and the news that one of his accusers added her own notes below his alleged signature in her high school yearbook.
J. Pepper Bryars: Washington Post asks ‘What’s the matter with Alabama,’ and Roy Moore’s new ad answers
A conservative writer for the Washington Post asked this week what many in our movement nationally have been pondering while watching Alabama creep ever closer to sending Roy Moore to the U.S. Senate: “What’s the matter with Alabama?”
Examining a recent poll, columnist Jennifer Rubin bemoaned that Moore received nearly 60-percent of the female vote, asking did these women “consider that if Moore gets away with his alleged crimes and gets to the Senate, a horrific message will be sent to men who prey on young women?”
Seeing how we’re probably going to send someone to the U.S. Senate whose fellow senator from Alabama – whose own governor, even – sees no reason to disbelieve those who have accused him of sexual molestation and sexual assault, indeed, what is the matter with Alabama?
As many ex-girlfriends have told me, “It’s not you. It’s me.”
It’s not so much what’s the matter with us, it’s what’s the matter with the rest of the country.
Alabamians aren’t so much supporting Moore than they are reacting to years, decades even, of our way of life being constantly under assault from popular culture – the news media, film, music, books, you name it.
Then we’ve had our political leaders rise to power through our support only to see them abandon and then betray us to the establishment and elites once in office. We’ve seen the government use the force of law, and the courts use force of decree, to change our sacred institutions and force us to act against our conscience.
We looked to our leaders to successfully push back against all of this, yet we saw nobody, and we heard no one.
So is it any real surprise that when someone finally comes along who actually does push back, who actually does shout back, that he gets support from many of us, some of whom would have never supported him 20-years ago?
Look no further than Moore’s new television ad running this weekend as evidence.
— “They call us warmongers for wanting to rebuild the military.”
— “Racists for securing our borders.”
— “Bigots for recognizing the sanctity of marriage.”
— “And they call us foolish for believing in God.”
So if the establishment in Washington doesn’t like Moore, then that’s too bad. It’s their own fault that he’s about to become one of their colleagues.
They didn’t fight for us then, so Alabamians are looking for someone who will fight for us now, and some are rationalizing their votes because they feel they have no options and so much is at stake.
This isn’t about taxes or regulation or budgets or foreign policy … it’s about our culture, and many in Alabama see it slipping away, if not gone already.
Remember when Samson said in the Book of Judges, “With the jawbone of an ass, heaps upon heaps, with the jaw of an ass have I slain a thousand men.”
Had the Republican establishment treated us with respect, not lied to us, not retreated or rolled-over at every hard choice, and actually fought to advance or even preserve our way of life, then perhaps Alabama would be sending another conservative yet likable man like Jeff Sessions or Richard Shelby to the Senate.
Instead, Alabama has had enough, and it’s about to smack Washington upside its head with the jawbone of an ass.
(Agree? Disagree? Take this article over to social media and start a conversation with your family and friends.)
Moore Campaign: TV stations pull false ads attacking Roy Moore
After being outed for false advertising by Secretary of State John Merrill, the Montgomery Advertiser, and the Roy Moore for US Senate Campaign, Alabama television stations are pulling from rotation misleading ads paid for by the Highway 31 political action committee. As of Thursday morning, two stations have pulled the ad, and others are expected to follow suit.
This morning at a press conference in Montgomery, Moore Campaign spokesperson Ben DuPre called out Highway 31 for maliciously maligning Judge Moore and hiding their millions of dollars from public view and said that they have now pivoted to “voter intimidation.”
Yesterday, the Moore Campaign announced that cease and desist letters had been sent to Alabama TV stations which were airing the ad.
On Wednesday night, Secretary of State John Merrill announced that Google, in an unprecedented move, has pulled the false ads and Alabama newspapers statewide are being forced to headline the fact that the ads are misleading.
The Moore Campaign will relentlessly fight for the truth and see to it that the people’s senate seat is not stolen by outside elites with no concern for truth or integrity.
J. Pepper Bryars: Conservatives can vote for the Alabama Republican Party if they cannot directly support Roy Moore
Don’t want to vote for Roy Moore because of the allegations?
Cannot support Doug Jones because he’s an abortion extremist?
Think a write-in candidate will only help elect a Democrat?
Conservatives in Alabama have a viable fourth option – voting a straight ticket.
Voters will find a section for straight party voting at the top of every special election ballot handed out Tuesday. Darken the circle next to “Alabama Republican Party” and you’re done.
Moore will get your vote, albeit indirectly, yet voters concerned about the allegations can walk away having supported the Republican Party’s majority in the Senate rather than the judge personally.
Sure, voting a straight party ticket is a rather expedient “out” and a rationalization, but in these unprecedented times, and with the future balance of the U.S. Supreme Court in play, perhaps rationalization is the best some can hope for.
It’ll then be up to Moore to earn a majority of the party’s trust before he potentially stands for re-election to a full term in less than two-years – an election that will surely draw a primary challenger.
I have voted a straight Republican Party ticket since I was 20-years old and I encouraged the #nevertrump crowd to vote a straight ticket in the last presidential election, as well. Even though some conservatives had, and still have, concerns about President Donald Trump, the idea of a “President” Hillary Clinton was too horrifying for me to contemplate.
That was a bit different, of course. Rationalizing an unpleasant decision based on control of one-third of government is one thing, rationalizing an unpleasant decision based on control of one-one-hundredth of one-third of government is quite another. Still, it’s important enough to thoughtfully consider.
Either way, some conservatives in Alabama will remain conflicted about their vote long after Tuesday’s election, but at least we have options.
And that’s what living in a constitutional democratic republic is all about.
Quin Hillyer: Roy Moore’s own words prove his falsehood
Even if we don’t know for certain whether Roy Moore had sexual contact (of a sort) with 14-year-old Leigh Corfman, we now know that Moore has made a conscious decision to lie about his onetime relationships with teenage girls.
We know this from a combination of his own words and of new evidence that would be accepted as probative in any American court of law. (More on the evidence, shortly.)
The odd thing is that Moore’s initial reaction was to tell at least a simulacrum of the truth, only later to change to a flat-out lie. Often, a liar works in the other direction, at first denying everything and then admitting little dribs and drabs as new evidence warrants. Who knows: Maybe this strange evolution from partial truth to full prevarication gives an indication that, somehow, Moore’s conscience is warring with itself.
Either way, his willingness to move to full-fledged dishonesty helps undermine his onetime semi-believable denials of the worst of the charges against him. One fib does not prove that his other statements are lies, of course, but it does establish that he is not entirely trustworthy.
Here is the obvious lie (the part before the “and”), repeated twice in recent days, from church pulpits: “Let me state once again: I do not know any of these women, did not date any of these women and have not engaged in any sexual misconduct with anyone.”
If he said it just once, it could be attributable to a mere lack of clarity: Maybe he meant he did not know the women he had not already admitted to knowing. But when he said it twice, and insisted he neither knew nor dated “any” of them, he was committing a bald-faced lie.
How do we know?
We know, first, because he himself told us so.
Here was Roy Moore talking to Fox’s Sean Hannity a few days after the disturbing allegations came out [emphases added]: “I do recognize however the names of two these young ladies, Debbie Wesson and Gloria Thacker, which they have a maiden, that’s their maiden name…. I seem to know or remember knowing [Wesson’s] parents…that they were friends. I can’t recall the specific dates because that’s been 40 years but I remember her as a good girl.”
HANNITY: But do you remember ever going on a date with her? She said that you asked around out on the first of several dates but nothing progressed beyond kissing.
MOORE: I don’t remember specific dates. I do not and I don’t remember if it was that time or later. But I do not remember that.
HANNITY: But you know hard but you never dated her ever? Is that what you’re saying?
MOORE: No but I don’t remember going out on dates. I knew her as a friend. If we did go on dates then we did. But I do not remember that.
HANNITY: What about Gloria Thacker Deason says she was an 18 year old cheerleader when you began taking her on dates that included bottles bottles rosé wine. She’s 18 at the time. The Alabama drinking age at the time is 19. Did that ever happen?
MOORE: No. Because in this county is a dry county. We would never would have had liquor. I would never… I believe this she said that she believed she was under age and as I recall she was 19 or older and that just never happened. I never provided alcohol, beer or intoxicating liquor to a minor. That’d be against the law and against anything I would have ever done. And I seem to remember her as a good girl or I seem to remember I had some sort of knowledge of her parents, her mother in particular.
HANNITY: At that time in your life…Let me ask you this you do remember these girls would it be unusual for you as a 32 year old guy to have dated a woman as young as 17? That would be a 15 year difference or a girl 18. Do you remember dating girls that young at that time?
MOORE: Not generally, no. If did, you know, I’m not going to dispute anything but I don’t remember anything like that.
HANNITY: But you don’t specifically remember having any girlfriend that was in her late teens even at that time?
MOORE: I don’t remember that and I don’t remember ever dating any girl without the permission of her mother. And I think in her statement she said that her mother actually encouraged her to go out with me.
So Moore remembers them both as good girls, remembers the parents of both, recalls that one was 19 or older (she says she was 18), knew one of them “as a friend,” and can’t deny having actually dated them (but said there was no sexual activity).
Yet now, just weeks later, he insists he neither knew nor dated “any” of these women, not even the ones whose parents’ permission for dating he acknowledged requesting (and whose surviving parents confirm that he asked).
This isn’t splitting hairs. This is an unequivocal contradiction not only of the stories of multiple young women, but of his own earlier account.
And now one of those women, Debbie Wesson Gibson, has produced absolutely compelling evidence that she and Moore were indeed friendly. A scrapbook from her high school days, easily verifiable as dating from then and as having not been altered, contains references to her having gone on dates with Moore and features a note he wrote her congratulating her for graduating high school.
This personal scrapbook is far more compelling than the somewhat dubious, single-entry note allegedly written by Moore in another girl’s yearbook (although a hand-writing expert confirms what untrained eyes also see, which is that the bulk of the yearbook message is written in a hand remarkably similar to the writing featured in the note to Wesson/Gibson). A court of law would accept the scrapbook as evidence of some sort of friendly association between Moore and Wesson.
But now Moore says he not only never went on a date with her (she had described him fondly as playing the guitar and reading poetry for her), but never even knew her.
It would have been so easy to say what he started to say to Hannity: Yes, he did on some occasions date older teenage girls, with their parents’ knowledge, and he acted like a gentleman and never did anything inappropriate with them. He could distinguish those instances from the worse allegations against him, and trust the public to adjudge the stories and his believability for themselves.
Instead, he is falsely denying even the most innocent of all the “accusations” against him. He is lying after having had weeks to think about it. He is not miss-speaking out of the haze of memory newly jarred, but rather putting forth a falsehood with deliberate intent.
These new untruths are counterproductive. They hurt, not help, his case that he didn’t bring to his house, partially disrobe, and fondle then-14-year-old Leigh Corfman. By usual standards, remember, Corfman’s claims are at least credible. Her mother confirms their meeting of Moore at the courthouse. Court records confirm the mother and daughter were there at the time. The mother confirms that their home phone cord was long enough to stretch into Leigh’s room and that Leigh took private calls there. Public records (despite Moore’s team’s claims to the contrary) confirm they lived where they said they did.
And, to quote the original summation by the Washington Post, “Two of Corfman’s childhood friends say she told them at the time that she was seeing an older man, and one says Corfman identified the man as Moore. Wells says her daughter told her about the encounter more than a decade later, as Moore was becoming more prominent as a local judge.” One of those two friends actually recalled specific details of the second Moore encounter that Corfman told her, which match Corfman’s current account.
Meanwhile, other contemporaneous witnesses support several of the other (non-Corfman) stories, including one mother who quite explicitly says Moore asked permission to date her daughter when the daughter was just 16 (the mother refused).
Instead of asserting a sort of gray area among different types of interactions with teens of various ages, Roy Moore is now insisting against all evidence and common sense that all of it, every bit, is a false smear born of a grand conspiracy.
Pro-Jones group warns ‘your vote is public record’ in misleading ad
A political ad being broadcast throughout the state warns Alabama voters that “your community will know” whether you do anything to keep Roy Moore from winning the Senate election next Tuesday.
Why this matters: The ad, paid for by a group called “Highway 31,” states that your vote is public record. The ad’s language is misleading. The candidate you choose to vote for is never kept for public record, and indeed is never known by anybody but you, unless you choose to tell people.
— “If you don’t vote and Roy Moore – a child predator – wins, could you live with that?” the ad asks. “Your vote is public record, and your community will know whether or not you helped stop Roy Moore. On Tuesday, December 12, vote for Doug Jones for Senate.”
— Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill called the ad a “targeted effort to misinform and confuse voters” in a statement Tuesday.
— “No individual voting record is made available to anyone at any time, including the voter who cast the ballot,” Merrill also said.
— The ad distorts this truth: There is a public record of whether or not you vote, but not for whom you cast your ballot.
— The Jones campaign could not be immediately reached for comment regarding the ad.
How Roy Moore looms over today’s Supreme Court arguments over Christian baker
Roy Moore is not in the Supreme Court chambers today as the justices weigh whether a Colorado baker had the right to say “no” to a gay couple, but the Alabama Senate candidate’s fingerprints will be on the debate, nonetheless.
The former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice’s private legal group, the Foundation for Moral Law, filed one of the nearly 100 “friend-of-the-court” briefs on behalf of organizations and individuals arguing for or against Masterpiece Cakeshop and owner Jack Phillips.
The plaintiffs argue that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission violated their First Amendment rights by declaring that they unlawfully discriminated against Charlie Craig and David Mullins when Phillips refused to make a custom wedding cake for them in 2012 — before same-sex marriage even was legal in the state.
It is precisely the kind of issue that prompted Moore to create the foundation, which has come under scrutiny during his run for the Senate seat once held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. His opponents have accused him of using the foundation as a vehicle to enrich himself and his family.
On perhaps no other issue has Moore been more outspoken than same-sex marriage, however. His uncompromising stance has won him loyal supporters, but it also has brought him fierce critics and jeopardized his career.
It was Moore’s instructions to probate judges to follow state law on same-sex marriage — rather than federal judicial orders — that led to his suspension as the state’s top justice.
The arguments in the foundation’s 28-page brief filed earlier this year mirror those of Phillips’ lawyers and many of the organizations that have weighed in on his behalf. Religious freedom and free speech together form a “hybrid right” that should be afforded the strongest of protections by the government, attorney John Eidsmoe wrote.
“Those most fundamental rights should not be abridged to accommodate a claimed state interest in protecting same-sex marriage which is not explicitly granted by any provision of the Constitution and which was first recognized by this Court only two years ago,” he wrote.
Eidsmoe also makes some arguments that the plaintiffs’ lawyers do not mention, such as that compelling Phillips to create a custom wedding cake violates the 13th Amendment, which outlawed slavery. The amendment did not just abolish the slavery system but also outlawed “involuntary servitude.” Eidsmoe pointed to a 1988 Supreme Court case called United States v. Kizminski, which defined involuntary servitude as work “enforced by the use or threatened use of physical or legal coercion.”
Moore’s position puts him on the same side as the state of Alabama, which signed on to a separate brief with 18 other states plus Maine Gov. Paul LePage. It argued Colorado’s position is “fundamentally at odds with the freedom of expression and tolerance for a diversity of viewpoints.”
The states argued that there are “a host of alternatives for promoting the availability of customized artistic works at same-sex weddings. For example, States can create online tools publicizing those artists who will create works celebrating same-sex weddings.”
The Colorado Civil Rights Commission and the gay couple argue that the case has nothing to do with free speech or religious freedom. Instead, they maintain, it is about a long-established concept of “public accommodations.” No business open to the public may turn away customers on the basis of race, sex or other personal characteristics.
But Eidsmoe, in a brief quoting James Madison and making references to the Bible, noted that Phillips never refused to let a gay customer buy a product for sale in the store.
“He merely objected, because of his religious and moral convictions, to participating in the ceremony by preparing a customized wedding cake,” he wrote.
Eidsmoe’s brief argues that the Colorado Court of Appeals “twisted the newly-minted right to same-sex marriage into an imaginary right of same-sex couples to force others to promote their same-sex weddings.”
Eidsmoe outlined America’s long history of accommodating the views of religious minorities. He referenced a Supreme Court decision in which the high court ruled 8-1 in favor of a Jehovah’s Witness who was fired from his job after refusing to build tank turrets because it would violate his pacifist religious beliefs.
When considering whether a religious belief is valid, the brief argues, the court must defer to the practitioner.
“Phillips bases his beliefs and practices on the commands of God as revealed through the Holy Bible (e.g., Leviticus 18:22; Romans 1:26-27),” the brief states. “He believes he would sin against God if he were to provide a cake for a homosexual wedding.”
Brendan Kirby is senior political reporter at LifeZette.com and a Yellowhammer contributor. He also is the author of “Wicked Mobile.” Follow him on Twitter.
Poll results show write-in candidate Lee Busby may be a Moore election spoiler
The newest Emerson College poll shows Democrat Doug Jones pulling within just three percentage points of Republican Roy Moore in the Senate seat race.
The poll included write-in candidate Lee Busby who received 5 percent of the vote. Moore led the three with 49 percent support and Jones trailed close behind with 46 percent. Busby’s name will not appear on the December 12 special election ballot.
Why this matters: Busby may become a Moore spoiler since his supporters in the poll largely identified themselves as Republicans, said Emerson professor Spencer Kimball in a podcast.
— The survey asked 500 “very likely” voters, “If the special election for Alabama’s U.S. Senate seat were today, for whom would you vote or lean towards voting?”
— The poll has a margin of error of 4.3 percent, so it could be even more of a dead heat than reported.
— A previous Emerson poll, taken before Busby announced his write-in campaign and immediately after allegations broke of Moore’s sexual misconduct, showed Moore leading Jones by 10 percentage points (55 percent to 45 percent).
— In that poll, 28 percent of voters said The Washington Post story affected their vote, while 59 percent said it had no effect on their decision.
— A new CBS / YouGov poll has 71 percent of Republican likely voters saying the allegations against Moore are false.
If Busby and Jones supporters turn out come election day, it may make just enough a difference to make Jones the winner, despite the overwhelming majority of Republican voters who do not believe the Moore allegations are true.
McConnell changes tone, says Alabama voters will make the call on Moore
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell backed off his opinion that Roy Moore should drop out of the Alabama Senate race, saying on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that “the people of Alabama are going to decide a week from Tuesday who they want to send to the Senate.”
Why this matters: During the Senate primary, McConnell endorsed Luther Strange while the Senate Leadership Fund, a Super PAC run by McConnell’s former chief of staff, funded millions of dollars’ worth of ads attacking Moore. Neither worked. As the election looms, McConnell finally appears to be realizing both his limited influence and his unpopularity among Alabama voters.
— Anti-McConnell sentiment is high in Alabama.
— “Face the Nation” host John Dickerson asked McConnell about a recent CBS poll which indicates that among Moore supporters, 56 percent say they were more likely to vote for him after McConnell said he should quit the race.
— “Well, look, the people of Alabama are going to decide a week from Tuesday who they want to send to the Senate,” McConnell responded. “It’s really up to them. It’s been a pretty robust campaign with a lot of people weighing in. The President and I of course supported somebody different earlier in the process. But in the end the voters of Alabama will make their choice.”
J. Pepper Bryars: Roy Moore isn’t bad for business (but he isn’t necessarily good for business either)
Over the weekend NPR aired a story about how Alabama’s business community fears that Roy Moore’s likely election to the Senate could hurt the state’s economic growth, costing jobs for the very people he seeks to represent.
“Roy Moore is a disaster for business and economic development. He was a disaster even before the allegations,” said Susan Pace Hamill, a business law professor at the University of Alabama. “The fear is that his presence will tip the scales, causing the business to choose somebody else.”
(Side note: The report failed to mention that Hammil was the Democratic Party’s nominee in its 2010 challenge to State Rep. Bill Poole (R-Tuscaloosa), so perhaps her view is just a tad bias.)
The rest of the story is nonsense, as well.
“Senator” Roy Moore isn’t going to be bad for business.
But then again, “Senator” Roy Moore isn’t necessarily going to be good for business, either.
— First and foremost, we shouldn’t base our political decisions on economics alone. Our way of life is a broad tapestry of interests, often competing. Sometimes cultural issues trump economic issues (I’d rather lose my job than lose my country).
— That said, Alabama has a strong foundation and can weather any single storm. We were just named No. 6 on an influential economic development magazine’s survey of state business climates (and we achieved that ranking while having the embarrassing “Luv Guv” at the helm. That shows how little some politicians can actually mess things up).
— Alabama’s hope of landing a job producer doesn’t rest upon a single individual.
— Even if they did, a newly elected U.S. Senator has little to offer in such an arrangement. Because of the rules and committee processes, it takes senators years before they have the legislative clout to nab the types of appropriations or authorities needed to sweeten such economic development deals.
— Until then, young senators depend upon bones tossed to them by their party’s leadership or their colleagues for cooperation on other matters. (Roy Moore isn’t known for cooperating with leadership or making friends with people he doesn’t agree with, especially if it involves political horse-trading.)
— Aside from that, most companies don’t care about who a state has sitting in a Senate chamber 1,000 miles away, or what they’re saying (just so long as its pro-business on a macro level).
— In terms of political leaders, they care more about the people who can directly impact their company: the governor, leaders in the State House, local mayors, and other bodies like the school, zoning and utility boards.
— They care about how much water and power is going to cost, the local sales tax, whether they can get a road widened or extended, whether they can get a decent flow of educated employees, and many other pieces that have nothing, at least not directly, to do with the high-level debates in the U.S. Senate (just cut taxes and repeal federal regulations, and we’ll do fine down here).
— But our political leaders aren’t the only individuals who can impact a potential job producer’s decision to relocate to Alabama. Perhaps our best representatives come from the business community itself … the type of person a potential company’s CEO can understand and relate.
— Alabama has hundreds of world-class business executives who, if you knew them, would make you extremely proud of Alabama.
— Like our Founders envisioned, we’re a people who have a government not a government that has a people.
— Our economic fortune doesn’t rest in the hands of a single senator, or anyone else for that matter.
— It rests in the hands of every single Alabamian.
Roy Moore’s Senate campaign is running a TV commercial featuring a cheap lie that harms public faith in our constitutional system.
On a personal level, the lie isn’t as vicious as the smear-by-out-of-context-innuendo to which a recent Doug Jones ad has subjected Moore. In terms of systemic damage, though, Moore’s commercial is somewhat worse, as it adds to a long series of claims, events and trends that wrongly convince many voters our system is “rigged” by shadowy, powerful forces.
When Richard Hofstadter wrote his infamous essay “The Paranoid Style in American Politics” in 1964, it surrounded the germ of truth with a bunch of highfalutin’ claptrap used as a way to take cheap shots at conservatives. Unfortunately, though, today’s political world truly does exhibit a vast amount of outlandish paranoia all across the political spectrum; Moore’s TV spot cynically plays on, and exacerbates, that paranoia.
The Moore ad references the now-famous sexual-impropriety accusations against Moore by calling them “false allegations” (maybe) resulting from “a scheme by liberal elites and the Republican establishment to protect their big-government trough.”
That second part, about the alleged scheme, is a lie. (If it’s not, the Moore campaign should prove its contention. Put up, or shut up.) It features photos of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (with a crown on his head) along with Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, while big-dollar bills erupt out of the U.S. Capitol dome.
Before examining this further, let us be clear: The word “lie” is used here very carefully. Not every falsehood is a lie; some are just mistakes. A falsehood is a lie only if the one telling it either knows it not to be true or if he spreads the information with willful disregard for whether it is true or not – for self-serving purposes, with no real attempt to ascertain if it is indeed accurate.
The allegation that the Republican establishment and liberal elites are colluding to invent false accusations against Moore is the latter kind of lie. Not only is it untrue, but it relies on absurdist logic and/or a serious ignorance about how our government and politics actually work.
To be clear, McConnell has much for which to answer in this race. He and his team screwed things up at every step. But not only is there no evidence that McConnell or his team had anything to do with scheming to bring down Moore with these allegations, there also is not a shred of reason for them to have done so. The idea doesn’t just lack sense; it runs directly counter to all logic and all political reality.
As soon as the primary was over, Moore was the Republican candidate – and McConnell desperately needs a Republican to win. With only a two-vote Republican majority in a Senate full of GOP lone wolves, McConnell clearly was looking past his doubts about Roy Moore and starting to help Moore. That’s why the National Republican Senatorial Committee was helping support Moore’s campaign, financially and organizationally – because in a choice between Moore and the liberal Jones, of course the Republican establishment wanted Moore to be the senator.
And the very last thing they would want is an official Republican nominee to suddenly be credibly charged with teen abuse, and for the party to be faced with a damned-either-way dilemma in which a huge swath of the country would believe Republicans willingly overlook ephebophilia.
Meanwhile, here’s some news for conspiracy mongers: Roy Moore, in his self-appointed role as principled Christian conservative, represented not a single threat to the supposed “big government trough.” The DC ethos surely is flawed, but the system – especially the financial side of it – wasn’t threatened by a single junior senator in his 70s, especially one whose actual record and public advocacy on non-cultural-hot-button issues actually is rather moderate.
(Remember, too: The McConnell henchmen spent far more money and effort attacking Mo Brooks in the first primary than it did attacking Moore. Brooks, not Moore, was the one they really feared.)
There was no reason and no motive for McConnell’s minions, after Moore was the nominee, to have concocted false allegations of such a nature against Moore. Zero, zilch, nada. And there is no evidence they did so. (Indeed, through the journalistic grapevine, the story I’ve heard of how the Washington Post stumbled onto these allegations is a classic of a shoe-leather reporter being in the right place at the right time, with utterly apolitical sources.)
Mitch McConnell wants a vote for conservative judges, and a vote to replace Obamacare, and a vote to undo regulations. The last thing he wants is to be stuck with no choice other than one between a Republican colleague who is thought by many to be a sexual abuser and a liberal Democrat who will vote with Schumer 90 percent of the time.
Indeed, what’s truly insane in the Moore ad is the idea that somehow McConnell and Schumer are on the same side of anything, or that they are self-consciously protecting a system whose insider privileges are more important to them than are their vast policy, political, and personal differences.
To spread this myth, to feed this paranoia, about a political “class” whose ties supersede their partisan differences, all at the expense of their own constituents, is to undermine basic, small-‘r’ republican understandings among the populace.
There is no grand conspiracy. Period. End of story.
But there is a cottage industry of political hacks, or of tactical Leninists such as the blowhard Steve Bannon, who see either money or political power to be snatched if they somehow convince the public to believe the lie that the conspiracy exists.
Yellowhammer Contributing Editor Quin Hillyer, of Mobile, also is a Contributing Editor for National Review Online, and is the author of Mad Jones, Heretic, a satirical literary novel published in the fall of 2017.
Why would Christian conservatives in good conscience go to the polls Dec. 12 and vote for Judge Roy Moore, despite the charges of sexual misconduct with teenagers leveled against him?
Answer: That Alabama Senate race could determine whether Roe v. Wade is overturned. The lives of millions of unborn may be the stakes.
Republicans now hold 52 Senate seats. If Democrats pick up the Alabama seat, they need only two more to recapture the Senate, and with it the power to kill any conservative court nominee, as they killed Robert Bork.
Today, the GOP, holding Congress and the White House, has a narrow path to capture the Third Branch, the Supreme Court, and to dominate the federal courts for a decade. For this historic opportunity, the party can thank two senators, one retired, the other still sitting.
The first is former Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.
In 2013, Harry exercised the “nuclear option,” abolishing the filibuster for President Obama’s judicial nominees. The Senate no longer needed 60 votes to confirm judges. Fifty-one Senate votes could cut off debate, and confirm.
Iowa’s Chuck Grassley warned Harry against stripping the minority of its filibuster power. Such a move may come back to bite you, he told Harry. Grassley is now judiciary committee chairman.
And this year a GOP Senate voted to use the nuclear option to shut down a filibuster of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, who was then confirmed with 55 votes.
Yet the Democratic minority still had one card to play to block President Trump’s nominees — the “blue slip courtesy.”
If a senator from the state where a federal judicial nominee resides asks for a hold on proceedings, by not returning a blue slip, the judiciary committee has traditionally honored that request and not held hearings.
Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota used the blue slip to block the Trump nomination of David Stras of Minnesota to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Franken calls Stras too ideological, too conservative.
But Grassley has now decided to reject the blue slip courtesy for appellate court judges, since their jurisdiction is not just over a single state like Minnesota, but over an entire region.
Thus have the skids been greased for a conservative recapture of the federal judiciary unseen since the early days of FDR.
Eighteen of the 179 seats on the U.S. appellate courts and 119 of the 677 seats on federal district courts are already open. More will be opening up. No president in decades has seen the opportunity Trump has to remake the federal judiciary.
Not only are the federal court vacancies almost unprecedented, a GOP Senate and Trump are working in harness to fill them before January 2019, when a new Congress is sworn in.
If Republicans blow this opportunity, it is unlikely to come again. For the Supreme Court has seemed within Republican grasp before, only to have it slip away because of presidential errors.
Nixon had four nominees to the Supreme Court confirmed and Gerald Ford saw his nominee, John Paul Stevens, unanimously confirmed. But of those five justices confirmed from 1969 to 1976, Stevens and Harry Blackmun joined the liberal bloc, and Chief Justice Warren Burger and Lewis Powell voted for Roe v. Wade.
Of Reagan’s three Supreme Court nominees confirmed, Sandra Day O’Connor and Anthony Kennedy cast crucial votes in 5-4 decisions to defeat the strict constructionists led by Antonin Scalia.
George H.W. Bush named Clarence Thomas to the court, but only after he had elevated David Souter, who also joined the liberal bloc.
Hence, both Trump, by whom he nominates, and a Republican Senate, with its power to confirm with 51 votes, are indispensable if we are to end judicial dictatorship in America.
And 2018 is the crucial year.
While Democrats, with 25 Senate seats at risk, would seem to be facing more certain losses than the GOP, with one-third as many seats at stake, history teaches that the first off-year election of Trump could prove a disaster.
Consider. Though Ike ended the Korean War in his first year, he lost both Houses of Congress in his second. Reagan enacted one of the great tax cuts in history in his first year, and then lost 26 seats in the House in his second.
Bill Clinton lost control of both the House and Senate in his first off-year election. Barack Obama in 2010 lost six Senate seats and 54 seats and control of the House. And both presidents were more popular than Trump is today.
If the election in Virginia this year is a harbinger of what is to come, GOP control of Congress could be washed away in a tidal wave in 2018.
Hence, this coming year may be a do-or-die year to recapture the Third Branch of Government for conservatism. Which is why that Dec. 12 election in Alabama counts.
Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”
Letters to Editor about Roy Moore: ‘I have a daughter… But I also have a son’
‘I have a daughter… . But I also have a son.”
I have a daughter, so I believe in the protection of women. They’re to be protected and treasured, not to be abused. But I also have a son. If he were accused in the way Judge Moore has been, I’d want him to have the presumption of innocence and the constitutional right of due process.
Of all Judge Moore’s accusers, it seems to me there are only two with disturbing and disqualifying stories. As far as dating younger women, I don’t see this as disqualifying. Jerry Lee Lewis did. Elvis did. Doolittle Lynn married Loretta when she was 15. And one of my 40-something-year-old professors at Samford married a student. It might be weird for a 30-year-old to date teens, but it’s not terribly unique.
But the accusers who were 14 and 15-16 tell frightful stories that, if true, are disqualifying.
However, it’s been 40 years. In today’s world there could be security camera footage and telephone camera photos and recordings to substantiate. But how can these two stories be credibly substantiated after so long a time?
Granted, Judge Moore’s defense, or lack of it, has been disappointing. But, for me, there’s no choice at this time. He’s our GOP nominee. Alabama doesn’t need a liberal Democrat senator who touts a single accomplishment in his life. If the U.S. Senate doesn’t seat Judge Moore, we’ll have another gubernatorial appointee, or another election, so we choose again. And if he is seated, we can send Moore, or someone else, in two years to continue to support our president’s agenda to drain the swamp.
— Michael J. Brooks, Alabaster
‘The piling on of ill-timed accusations from 40-years ago become more ludicrous every day!’
I am voting for Judge Roy Moore because he is a constitutional conservative who believes the purpose of the Constitution is to protect the people from an overreaching government. He has the courage to stand against liberals, progressives, socialists and atheists who pass undesirable laws forcing us to fund abortions through our taxes.
He has been a public servant most of his life and is accustomed to attacks and ridicule. We need him to help strengthen our Senate and to help our President pass necessary legislation. Some of our Republican senators have a tendency to buckle under pressure!
Judge Moore has excellent qualifications. He is a West Point graduate and a Vietnam veteran who served his country proudly as a military police commander and a captain in the Army. He received a Juris Doctor from The University of Alabama Law School in 1977. He was the first deputy district attorney ever appointed in his home county. He has practiced law and been a circuit judge and until 2016 was chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.
He has been scrutinized and vetted throughout his career and has passed background checks from several state and county agencies. The piling on of ill-timed accusations from 40 years ago become more ludicrous every day! Those who counter the accusations rarely get a notice in the mainstream media. Our Senate is divided. Our candidates are Roy Moore or Doug Jones. It’s up to us!