Hobby Lobby To Defy Birth Control Benefit Mandate and Hopefully Go Bankrupt [updated]

20121228-163318.jpgYesterday, I told you that Justice Sotomayor rejected Hobby Lobby’s emergency appeal, thus requiring Hobby Lobby to suck it up, provide contraception access without copay to its employees, and wait for its case to proceed in district court.

Welp, Hobby Lobby is none too pleased with that decision, and has chosen to throw a million-dollar tantrum while it waits to litigate the merits of its case at the lower court level. Hobby Lobby’s attorney stated today that Hobby Lobby will not follow federal law requiring it to adhere to the HHS mandate (aka, provide slut pills to its slutty lady-employees) and that it will risk incurring 1.3 million dollars in fines — per day — rather than follow the law:

Oklahoma City-based Hobby Lobby will defy a federal law that requires employee health care plans to provide insurance coverage for types of contraception that the firm’s owners consider to be “abortion-causing drugs and devices,” an attorney for the company said Thursday.

With Wednesday’s rejection of an emergency stay of that federal health care law by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Hobby Lobby and sister company Mardel could be subject to fines of up to $1.3 million a day beginning Tuesday.

“They’re not going to comply with the mandate,” said Kyle Duncan, general counsel of The Beckett Fund for Religious Liberty, which is representing the company. “They’re not going to offer coverage for abortion-inducing drugs in the insurance plan.”

As for the potential fines, Duncan said, “We’re just going to have to cross that bridge when we come to it.”

Setting aside the fact that Plan B is not an “abortion-inducing drug”, Hobby Lobby is being flat-out ridiculous. Why?

BECAUSE HOBBY LOBBY STOPPED PROVIDING CONTRACEPTION IN ITS HEALTH INSURANCE PLANS ONLY AFTER THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TOLD THEM THEY WOULD HAVE TO START PROVIDING IT.

That’s right. Hobby Lobby used to provide what it views as baby-murdering drugs and only balked when the birth control benefit would require them to do so.

As I wrote back in September:

Hobby Lobby has got its bedazzlers all fired up for Jesus — except when it comes to actually making sure that its insurance policies didn’t already cover what it falsely calls “abortion-inducing drugs.” Like Wheaton College, Hobby Lobby’s claimed religious fervor is belied by its failure to perfectly adhere to its purported religious tenets.

Oops!

Recently after learning about the nationally prominent HHS mandate controversy, Hobby Lobby re-examined its insurance policies to ensure they continued to be consistent with its faith. During that re-examination, Hobby Lobby discovered that the formulary for its prescription drug policy included two drugs—Plan B and Ella— that could cause an abortion. Coverage of these drugs was not included knowingly or deliberately by the Green family. Such coverage is out of step with the rest of Hobby Lobby’s policies, which explicitly exclude abortion-causing contraceptive devices and pregnancy-termination drugs. Hobby Lobby therefore immediately excluded the inconsistent drugs from its policies.”

As with Wheaton College, it seems that Hobby Lobby saw fit to ramp up its religious fervor only when it became politically expedient to do so. As such, Hobby Lobby’s complaints about religious freedom ring as hollow as they do false.

So spare me the religious jibber jabber and the feigned outrage. Just go bankrupt, and then go fuck yourselves.

In that order.

***Updated to reflect that Hobby Lobby is choosing to defy federal law, not a court order, and is throwing a million dollar tantrum while it litigates the merits of its case in district court.

[cross-posted at ABLC]

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119 replies
  1. 1
    Biscuits says:

    It all comes down to women’s sexy time and their obsession with it. It’s exhausting.

  2. 2

    Does their insurance cover Viagra? I’ll bet it does. Because, y’see, erectile dysfunction only occurs when womenfolk act like they can control their bodies and thus deprive their menfolk of their divinely inspired mastery over them, amirite?

  3. 3
    PaulW says:

    What is Michaels’ business stance on birth control? ‘Cause I do all my hobby/framework shopping there!

  4. 4
    Hal says:

    A co-worker of mine emailed me this just yesterday in regards to the memo sent out by the CEO of Hobby Lobby; which sounds like a adult video store to me. The mind is a terrible thing to waste:

    Just what is the American Dream in this 2012 U.S.A.? After reading this, I realize the dream our fathers and forefathers bestowed upon us is practically gone, and it’s not just from Barack Obama, the dream started it’s decline under George W. Bush, another progressive, or RINO if you please, then Obama put the pedal to the metal, so to speak. It’s up to the people of this STILL great nation to go back to the values and principles that made this the greatest nation this planet has ever seen, instead of the “Santa Claus” mentality that pervades it nowadays. We don’t need to live in an “entitlement society” where people are rewarded for not wanting to work or take any responsibility for taking care of themselves, that is not what our forefathers had in mind when they created this republic(not democracy, as the left usually call it)! Just one man’s opinion.

  5. 5
    JPL says:

    How do they feel about those blue pills? How about blood transfusions? If we have religious exceptions, what would be covered?

  6. 6
    gwangung says:

    @Hal: You show this to any Asian or Latino immigrant and know what they’ll do? Laugh in your face and say “White people problems.”

    They KNOW what the American Dream is–it’s what they came to America for and it’s nowhere near what these yokels think it is.

  7. 7
    jon says:

    This chain is opening near my humble abode soon. I look forward to opening day, as hordes of Christianist whackjobs will flock to buy airplane glue and other huffable adhesives.

  8. 8
    Drum Circles And Weed says:

    I realize the dream our fathers and forefathers bestowed upon us is practically gone, and it’s not just from Barack Obama, the dream started it’s decline under George W. Bush, another progressive

    I have done amyl nitrate while on LSD – I’m fucking serious here – and didn’t lose touch with reality to this extent. I can’t imagine how off the deep end you’ve got to be to consider George W. Bush in any way, shape or form a “progressive”.

  9. 9
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    Goddamn these ignorant fundamentalist fucktards to fucking hell. Fuck you and your stupid fucking entitled asses.

  10. 10
    West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.) says:

    @Hal: Well, if they think GWB was a RINO, then it’s pretty clear how they conclude that Obama is a socialist. Damn, the level of ignorance and stupidity out there is astonishing. Still, that’s a pretty neat trick: you don’t like one of your own, just disown him/her. That damn Claire McCaskill was a far-right-winger!

  11. 11
    Mnemosyne (iPhone) says:

    @Hal:

    Wow. Hobby Lobby must be a shitty place to work since the CEO thinks his employees are asking for “something for nothing” if they expect their compensation to include the same health benefits as every other for-profit company.

  12. 12
    Roger Moore says:

    Of course they’re going to rack up the fines, even though that will probably drive them out of business. They want to be martyrs, and damnit they’re going to be martyrs even if they have to nail themselves to the cross to do it.

  13. 13
    Mnemosyne (iPhone) says:

    OT, but how in the hell do I turn the mobile site ON?! I accidentally turned it off and there is no button on my iPhone to turn it back on.

  14. 14
    MikeJ says:

    Funny how these corporations, who are separate people, always have the same religion as their owners.

    We need to send Hobby Lobby off to college and it will come home for Thanksgiving a gay atheist. At least a LUG.

  15. 15
    The Dangerman says:

    @Hal:

    …which sounds like a adult video store to me

    That’s “Knobby and Labby”; it’s down the block.

  16. 16
    trex says:

    ABL: So spare me the religious jibber jabber and the feigned outrage. Just go bankrupt, and then go fuck yourselves.

    Can I get an “Amen!”?

  17. 17
    trex says:

    ABL: So spare me the religious jibber jabber and the feigned outrage. Just go bankrupt, and then go fuck yourselves.

    Can I get an “Amen!”?

  18. 18
    waratah says:

    Does Hobby Lobby not know that the majority of their customers are women?

  19. 19
    Anya says:

    With Wednesday’s rejection of an emergency stay of that federal health care law by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Hobby Lobby and sister company Mardel could be subject to fines of up to $1.3 million a day beginning Tuesday.

    How do we convince all freedom loving organizations to ignoring the law? This is the surest way to pay off the national debt.

  20. 20
    Roger Moore says:

    @MikeJ:

    We need to send Hobby Lobby off to college and it will come home for Thanksgiving a gay atheist.

    Not if we send it to Oral Roberts University or some similar wingnut bible college.

  21. 21
    Roger Moore says:

    @The Dangerman:

    That’s “Knobby and Labby”; it’s down the block.

    Is that where you get supplies to polish your knob? I’d expect that to be a much more popular place than Hobby Lobby.

  22. 22
    RSA says:

    @Hal:

    Just one CEO whose father is worth $2.8 billion man’s opinion.

    Sorta fixed. It always seems to come down to this–someone whose family is worth more than 25,000 the median net worth of a family in the U.S. today complains about poor people being lazy.

  23. 23
    FlyingToaster says:

    Where are these morons located? I do all of the ToasterHousehold craft shopping at ACMoore.

    Aha. I can drive 42.6 miles to Manchester NH or 48 miles to Warwick RI.

    Or drive 5 miles to Somerville to ACMoore.

    Or drive 3 miles — or take the T — to Cambridge to Michaels.

    I’m shocked they can stay in business in Manchester; closing on Sundays can’t help.

  24. 24
    Mnemosyne (iPhone) says:

    @waratah:

    They’re gambling that most of them are Quiverfulls or wanna-bes.

  25. 25
    Baud says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    I don’t think there is a way. When I used my ipod, I had to clear the Safari browser cache in settings then come back to the website.

  26. 26
    Mike in NC says:

    Hobby Lobby recently opened a store the size of a football field in Wilmington. Guess I’ll make it a point never to go in there.

  27. 27
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Hal:

    the dream started it’s decline under George W. Bush, another progressive

    The cretinous stupid. IT BURNS!

  28. 28
    Hal says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    That wasn’t in the CEO memo, that was the preface written in regards to CEO memo sent out in September regarding the lawsuit they filed. My co-worker inexplicably thought I would be sympathetic to Hobby Lobby’s “plight.” Still, the CEO memo is obnoxious all by itself.

    http://www.snopes.com/politics.....ylobby.asp

    Snippet:

    But now, our government threatens to change all of that. A new government health care mandate says that our family business MUST provide what I believe are abortion-causing drugs as part of our health insurance. Being Christians, we don’t pay for drugs that might cause abortions, which means that we don’t cover emergency contraception, the morning-after pill or the week-after pill. We believe doing so might end a life after the moment of conception, something that is contrary to our most important beliefs. It goes against the Biblical pr inciples on which we have run this company since day one. If we refuse to comply, we could face $1.3 million PER DAY in government fines.

  29. 29
    danielx says:

    Just go bankrupt, and then go fuck yourselves.

    No, I’d argue for reversing the order of those two requests.

    Have this company’s attorneys never told company management and ownership that IT’S NOT A GOOD IDEA TO PISS OFF FEDERAL JUDGES?

    Especially, the ones who, you know, wear the big S under their robes.

  30. 30

    OK. So, they’re evil.

  31. 31

    @Hal: That’s some Sovereign-class stupidity right there. Wotta ultramaroon!

  32. 32
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    In the past I’ve shopped, very occasionally, at HL, for scrapbook paper and needlepoint canvas. There’s one very close to me, so it’s convenient. I knew they were Christian-owned but didn’t realize until fairly recently that their owners are nuckin futz, not to mention cruel. I doubt that my personal boycott will make a particle of difference, but if anyone knows of something a lone half-hearted crafter can do to express outrage at the owner’s stupid and offensive decision, I’d be glad to hear of any initiatives.

  33. 33
    danielx says:

    @Hal:

    It’s up to the people of this STILL great nation to go back to the values and principles that made this the greatest nation this planet has ever seen, instead of the “Santa Claus” mentality that pervades it nowadays.

    That would be the whole “fuck you, I got mine” values and principles thing.

  34. 34
    Djur says:

    @Hal: Everything there is cribbed from Rush, Beck, Hannity, and friends — the American Dream in danger, Bush was a RINO progressive, “values and principles”, “greatest nation this planet has ever seen”, “Santa Claus mentality”, “entitlement society”, “republic (not democracy)”.

    The biggest lie in that email is “one man’s opinion”. He’s just shitting out a bolus of received nonsense, unsullied by any contact with the cognitive process or reason.

  35. 35
    Mnemosyne (iPhone) says:

    @Baud:

    Argh! I’ll give that a try. The mobile site is not perfect, but at least I can click on things without accidentally clicking on an ad.

  36. 36
    Roger Moore says:

    @Djur:

    The biggest lie in that email is “one man’s opinion”.

    That’s only a lie by implication. It really is one man’s opinion: it’s just that it’s Glenn Beck’s opinion that he’s repeating.

  37. 37
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Would someone knowledgeable please explain to this old man what the fuck happened to my country? Probably too deep a subject for a blog reply so, if someone could point me to a book, or books, I’d be most grateful.

    None of the companies for which I worked were ever benevolent. They offered a day’s pay for a day’s work and they understood that if you became ill or incapacitated they’d have to train someone to take your place. It seems that there’s a sort of meanness from some corps toward their workers now. It strikes me as a kind of metal illness that’s infected the ruling class; “Do you think you’re fucked? Well now you’re really fucked.”

    Anyway, thanks to everyone who offers me help in understanding what’s going on.

  38. 38
    Baud says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    Chrome on Android has a menu item that allows you to easily switch back and forth from the mobile site. Maybe Chrome for ios also has that?

  39. 39
    Suzanne says:

    I am sad that Hobby Lobby is crazy, because my daughter got injured in a Michael’s because the store is a dirty, disgusting shithole, and JoAnn’s doesn’t have a lot of the stuff I like. Honestly, if they weren’t nutty, I’d love to shop there.

    I should write them a letter about how craft-riffic I am and how they will never see a dime of that.

  40. 40
    kamalokitty says:

    Hey you know what? Fuck the mother fucker. HobLob wants to incur 1.3 million in penalties and fall on its sword on principle? Good luck, mother fucker. Go under. Sacrifice everything because JESUS. Michael’s and JoAnn’s will gladly absorb your market share and your employees. Don’t let the screen door hit you on the ass.

    If I was on the Board of this company, I’d be convening a meeting to remove this person making these calls. Bottom line is making money for the shareholders. You think the shareholders are taking this kindly?

    If not, then go down with the sinking ship. Tis a free market. Makes no never mind to me.

  41. 41
    kamalokitty says:

    Hey you know what? Fuck the mother fucker. HobLob wants to incur 1.3 million in penalties and fall on its sword on principle? Good luck, mother fucker. Go under. Sacrifice everything because JESUS. Michael’s and JoAnn’s will gladly absorb your market share and your employees. Don’t let the screen door hit you on the ass.

    If I was on the Board of this company, I’d be convening a meeting to remove this person making these calls. Bottom line is making money for the shareholders. You think the shareholders are taking this kindly?

    If not, then go down with the sinking ship. Tis a free market. Makes no never mind to me.

  42. 42
    Steeplejack says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    What Baud said. You have to clear your browser’s cache, leave Balloon Juice (maybe even leave the browser), then come back.

  43. 43

    @Suzanne: here in OKC (home of Hobby Lobby) the Michaels stores are clean, well lit, and not owned by crazy people. It’s great.

  44. 44
    MikeJ says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    It strikes me as a kind of metal illness that’s infected the ruling class; “Do you think you’re fucked? Well now you’re really fucked.”

    I’ve seen it from the fellow workers too. Watch what happens online when somebody complains about their working conditions. “You should be thankful you have a job in this economy!”

    I was reading somewhere about North Dakota having trouble filling minimum wage jobs because of the extraction boom going on there and heard from wingers that the unemployed from around the country should be flocking there for minimum wage with no security (and of course no money for moving expenses).

  45. 45

    @kamalokitty: HL ous a Family-owned business. There’s no board to save the company from the crazy.

  46. 46
    Roger Moore says:

    @kamalokitty:

    If I was on the Board of this company, I’d be convening a meeting to remove this person making these calls. Bottom line is making money for the shareholders. You think the shareholders are taking this kindly?

    They’re a privately owned company. AFAIK, the whole company is owned by the family that founded it. This decision is being made by the people who own the company, not some outside group of wingnuts that’s imposing its will against the interests of the shareholders. If the owners are willing to destroy their company in order to prove a point, well, that’s their right.

  47. 47

    @kamalokitty: HL is a Family-owned business. There’s no board to save the company from the crazy.

  48. 48
    Roger Moore says:

    @MikeJ:

    I was reading somewhere about North Dakota having trouble filling minimum wage jobs because of the extraction boom going on there and heard from wingers that the unemployed from around the country should be flocking there for minimum wage with no security (and of course no money for moving expenses).

    Yeah, and part of the reason they can’t fill minimum wage jobs is because they’re facing classic gold rush conditions. The places with all the jobs are growing too fast to hold all the people, so prices for everything have gone through the roof. The great looking wages local workers are earning are getting eaten up paying for inflated rents and grocery prices. Working people are getting screwed again.

  49. 49

    @Mike in NC:

    Good to know Mike, I’ll stick to Michaels here in Jacksonville.

  50. 50
    Todd says:

    Want to be religiously exempt? Don’t invoke the state and form a corporate entity. Be a set of individuals taking risks; skip the whole “limited liability” thang.

    Easy peasy, lemon squeezey.

  51. 51
    Felinious Wench says:

    @Hal:

    A new government health care mandate says that our family business MUST provide what I believe are abortion-causing drugs as part of our health insurance.

    There’s that “believe” word. It’s a step up from the usual blather in that it’s not presented as an indisputable fact.

    My winger relatives were all over showing support for Chic Fil A. Not a word from them on Hobby Lobby, no rallies for support, etc. They’re my trusty barometer for the Outrage du Jour; they love them their Fox News. Crickets.

    This seems to be VERY fringe, even for them.

  52. 52
    MattR says:

    rather than litigate the merits of its case at the lower court level, Hobby Lobby has decided to throw a million-dollar tantrum instead.

    I don’t see any evidence of this. It looks like they plan to fully litigate the issue but have chosen not to provide the coverage in the mean time (which would cost them millions of dollars if their suit is unsuccessful)

    Hobby Lobby will not follow the court order requiring it to follow the HHS mandate

    IANAL, but this seems a bit misleading. The court ruled that the HHS mandate applied to Hobby Lobby. IMO, it did not order Hobby Lobby to followthe mandate, but made clear that they will be subject to the HHS penalties if they decide not to. It is probably a nitpick but I have seen similar language at Think Progess and it leads commenters to think the company is in contempt of court for violating the court’s order and that people should be sent to jail.

    @kamalokitty: Hobby Lobby is a private company. (which I see I am the 12th person to point out)

  53. 53
    Suzanne says:

    @soonergrunt (mobile): A few years ago, at a Michael’s near my house, the employees left the ladder out on the sales floor. Having worked for Michael’s/Aaron Brothers in HS and college, I know that that is a BIG no-no. My daughter was two at the time, and her foot caught on a protruding part of the ladder and she fell forward, smacked her head, and stopped breathing and went unconscious. That was a fun ambulance ride. An executive from Michael’s called me and basically said that they would write me a check for whatever I wanted if I didn’t sue.

    That store has been closed and others have reopened in my area, but all of them are cramped, with disorganized merchandise and barely coherent employees, who still leave the ladder out on the sales floor because they don’t have anywhere else to put it. So fuck them.

  54. 54
    kamalokitty says:

    Well, okay, even closely held corporations have officers. If I’m a voting officer, I’d have his head. If all officers are behind this lunacy, more power to you all. See initial response above.Survival of the fittest. People not fit here.

  55. 55
    ckc (not kc) says:

    …for those looking at Michaels as an alternative:

    On October 31, 2006, substantially all of the Common Stock of Michaels Stores, Inc. (formerly NYSE: MIK) was acquired through a merger transaction by affiliates of two private investment firms, Bain Capital Partners, LLC and The Blackstone Group (collectively, the “Sponsors”), with certain shares retained by affiliates of Highfields Capital Partners (a then-existing shareholder of Michaels Stores, Inc.). As a result of the Merger, Michaels Holdings, LLC, an entity controlled by the Sponsors, owns over 93% of our outstanding Common Stock, which is no longer publicly traded.

    …sorry!

  56. 56
    Felinious Wench says:

    @soonergrunt (mobile):

    : in OKC (home of Hobby Lobby) the Michaels stores are clean, well lit, and not owned by crazy people. It’s great.

    Seconded. Same in Texas.

  57. 57
    Mnemosyne says:

    OT, but shorter Gun Owners of Ameruca asshole on O’Reilly: we need Bushmasters to protect us when the niggers revolt!

    I am not kidding. His two reasons for why civilians need semi-automatic rifles are the LA Riots and Hurricane Katrina.

  58. 58
    Tara the Antisocial Social Worker says:

    So, does MY religious freedom include the right to order Hobby Lobby execs to follow Christ’s Biblical instruction to sell everything they own and give the money to the poor?

    Strange how wingnuts’ idea of “Christianity” always starts at their own nose and ends at their neighbor’s panties.

  59. 59
    kamalokitty says:

    @ckc. Looks like Michaels is about to be raided. JoAnns it is.

  60. 60
    MattR says:

    @kamalokitty: I bet all those officers are family members or close friends of the founder who agree with his stand. (EDIT: I will additionally bet that they are all independently welathy and can afford to make “a principled stand” like this.)

  61. 61
    fleeting expletive says:

    I had a frustrating exchange of letters with Hobby Lobby management about 15 years ago over their practice of sending religious propaganda to their contractors in India and China. I had read about it in a progressive Oklahoma newsletter. Their reply was just as bad as the policy. “We just want to bring the light of jjjjjjjjjjeeeeeeeeebus to those people who are in so much need of hearing the truuuuuuth”.

    Haven’t been back in their stores since.

  62. 62
    Felinious Wench says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I am not kidding. His two reasons for why civilians need semi-automatic rifles are the LA Riots and Hurricane Katrina.

    Were Black Panthers at polling places mentioned?

  63. 63
    Baud says:

    @fleeting expletive:

    progressive Oklahoma newsletter.

    Three words I never expected to see in a sentence together (at least not without being accompanied by the word “burned”).

  64. 64

    @Mnemosyne: The difference between GOA and KKK ous that the latter are honest about it. Every so often the mask slips, though.

  65. 65
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @ckc (not kc):

    I’m afraid to ask about Joann’s.

  66. 66
    Raven says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Someone is going to have some shit to say about whoever you mention.

  67. 67
    Roger Moore says:

    @Suzanne:
    I’ll back up the thing about Michael’s being awful. The one I’ve gone to is crowded enough that I’d tell anyone with claustrophobia to stay away. The place is a nightmare when it’s busy. I assume they do it that way because rent is high and they’re mostly selling relatively low margin products, so they want to cram as much stuff into each square foot as the possibly can. It’s probably a bigger problem in big cities with high rent.

  68. 68
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Felinious Wench:

    Surprisingly, no. At least not in this appearance.

    Also, I’m not sure who it was that told Greg Gutfeld he’s funny, but that person needs to be punched in the neck.

    (Yes, it’s another lovely evening watching Fox News with my dad. Well, at least he’s here at home and not back in the hospital.)

  69. 69
    MikeJ says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Joann once shot a man in Reno just to watch him die.

  70. 70
    Roger Moore says:

    @Tara the Antisocial Social Worker:

    Strange how wingnuts’ idea of “Christianity” always starts at their own nose and ends at their neighbor’s panties.

    And never, ever involves removing the beam in their own eyes before bitching about the mote in their brothers’ eyes.

  71. 71
    Raven says:

    @MikeJ: And I left his dead ass lying by the side of the road.

  72. 72
    fleeting expletive says:

    Actually, there is an Oklahoma progressive newsletter, the Oklahoma Observer. It is published every two weeks, runs 20 pages, with book reviews and letters. Their people cover the state legislature pretty well. I’ve been a subscriber forever.

  73. 73
    mdblanche says:

    @waratah: They think they shop where their husbands tell them to shop.

  74. 74
    West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.) says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: I don’t know that there’s a succinct answer. It does seem (to some degree) to be a different world in some ways. Workers have definitely become disposable, sort of like shark teeth: sharks just keep growing new ones. An uninformed public thinks that “the right to work” sounds like a good thing. In my industry (junior college teaching), we’ve certainly seen an incredible rise in the use of adjunct faculty (myself among them). I wonder what the causes, indeed, are of this strange new world.

  75. 75

    @MattR: you know, you’re absolutely right. it was lazy writing on my part.

    ETA: i updated the post. thanks.

  76. 76
    Todd says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I’ll back up the thing about Michael’s being awful. The one I’ve gone to is crowded enough that I’d tell anyone with claustrophobia to stay away.

    Hell on Earth. Because I live in an estrogen sodden household, I’m frequently dragged to such stores, where I sulk in a manly fashion.

  77. 77
    burnspbesq says:

    @kamalokitty:

    If I was on the Board of this company, I’d be convening a meeting to remove this person making these calls.

    As far as I know, Hobby Lobby is not a public company, and the guy making the calls is the owner. Hard to imagine him suing himself for breach of fiduciary duty.

    OTOH, if there is company stock in the 401(k), a plan participant might be able to sue the trustees.

  78. 78
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Raven:

    Yeah, I imagine so. I should prolly just give up crafting and do nothing but watch Masterpiece Theatre or something.

  79. 79
    Evolving Deep Southerner says:

    What about the Christian Scientists, or whatever that group is that doesn’t let you take medicine or see doctors? Or what if you’re a Scientologist and own a business? Aren’t they weird about that stuff, too?

  80. 80
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @MikeJ: LOL

  81. 81
    JustAnotherBob says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Go in. Load some stuff in a basket. Go to checkout and let them ring it up.

    Then say “Oops, I just remembered. This is the place that is denying its female employees access to the health services they need.”

    Apologize for inconveniencing them and tell you’ve got to hurry somewhere else to do your shopping.

    Maybe throw in an “I’ll pray for you” on the way out the door.

  82. 82
    MattR says:

    @Imani Gandy (ABL): Lazy writing? Nobody on the internet ever does that :)

    I probably would not have mentioned it if I hadn’t seen the comments at Think Progress.

    Update looks good.

  83. 83
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Evolving Deep Southerner: I can’t answer on behalf of Christian Scientists, but ive known a few in my life and my sense of them is that they don’t try to impose their beliefs or practices on people who don’t share those beliefs or practices.

  84. 84
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @JustAnotherBob:

    I was with you right up to the apologizing part.

    Well, and the praying part.

    Otherwise, not a bad plan.

  85. 85
    Lyrebird says:

    Thanks for the warnings… I do wish that people would always specify which Wheaton College they mean (ABL’s source also omits this), but maybe that’s just ’cause I’m from Mass., where they have a very excellent and progressive small college (formerly all women?) by that name. The whack-job one is in Illinois.

  86. 86
    suzanne says:

    @Roger Moore: I suppose so, but Hobby Lobby and JoAnn’s are huge. Rent can’t be THAT high. But seriously, the stores are disgusting. And in ky daughter’s case, DANGEROUS. Unfortunately, Hobby Lobby is immaculate. (I went in once before I learned they were crazy.)

  87. 87
    Maude says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:
    Once in a while there will be a court case where parents have tried to heal their child and the child dies. CS don’t proselytize. They are not open to different kinds of people and that goes back to Mrs. Eddy.

  88. 88
    Lyrebird says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Do they have good supplies on eBay? (not to endorse their management, either…) They have such good batik fabric selections I kinda hafta stay away. Luckily for me I live kinda surrounded by Mennonites, and since my craft leanings all involve fabric, I’ve got sources all over the place.

  89. 89
    Evolving Deep Southerner says:

    Why, oh why, can’t a company I actually patronize pull some shit like this so that I could boycott them? If I refuse to shop at Hobby Lobby for the rest of my life, they’ll be no worse off than if Bernie Sanders ran it, at least as far as “losing” my business is concerned.

  90. 90
    Evolving Deep Southerner says:

    @Evolving Deep Southerner: Actually, I take that back. I used to get all my gas at BP since I had a card and could just pay it monthly. I canceled that fucker after the Gulf business. So that’s something, I guess.

  91. 91
    MattR says:

    @Evolving Deep Southerner: I had a similar thought earlier. I don’t eat at Chik-Fil-A. I don’t drink coffee. And I don’t knit. Now if Coca-cola ever pulled this shit, I could do some real damage to their bottom line (if I have the self discipline to ovrcome that addition)

  92. 92

    @MattR: i should know better. :)

  93. 93
    PaulW says:

    @ckc (not kc):

    …for those looking at Michaels as an alternative:

    On October 31, 2006, substantially all of the Common Stock of Michaels Stores, Inc. (formerly NYSE: MIK) was acquired through a merger transaction by affiliates of two private investment firms, Bain Capital Partners, LLC and The Blackstone Group (collectively, the “Sponsors”), with certain shares retained by affiliates of Highfields Capital Partners (a then-existing shareholder of Michaels Stores, Inc.). As a result of the Merger, Michaels Holdings, LLC, an entity controlled by the Sponsors, owns over 93% of our outstanding Common Stock, which is no longer publicly traded.

    Bain owns Michaels?! NOOOOOOOOOOooooooo.

    Time to go find a local framing store owned by a local resident!

  94. 94
    Karen in GA says:

    our family business MUST provide what I believe are abortion-causing drugs

    Oh, well, if he believes it, then never mind that it’s not true.

    Hey, I believe Hobby Lobby puts on a great big Christianer-than-thou act so people won’t find out the whole family’s full of Satanists who drink fetus blood while throwing darts at pictures of Jesus. So I guess that means it’s true.

    See, that’s the thing with people like this idiot — if he were truly worried about a drug that causes abortions, you’d think he’d be relieved to find out that Plan B does no such thing. But he doesn’t actually give a shit about the fetus — he just wants to deny those sluts their slut pills.

    Fuck him with a moldy wooden cross.

  95. 95
    PaulW says:

    Whatever happened to the Ben Franklin Five and Dime?

  96. 96
    Old Dan and Little Ann says:

    I googled Hobby Lobby and found one about 10 minutes from my house. I never would have known it was there. Fuck them.

  97. 97
    West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.) says:

    @PaulW: Haven’t seen one of those (a Ben Franklin store) in probably 20 years.

    I have to confess to having an old-school (and boyhood) sense of what a hobby store is: model airplanes and such. Our Michael’s store has a tiny selection of such stuff. Mostly it’s artificial flowers, beads galore, and so forth. Hearing that Michael’s is in some way connected to Bain does make me feel less likely to visit. Screw Romney and his vulture capitalism.

  98. 98
    RobertDSC-iPhone 4 says:

    May the CEO die in a (Hell)fire.

  99. 99
    Joseph Nobles says:

    You wish Jesus would have mandated a smile and as much silence as possible when a Christian crawls up on a self-imposed cross. He only spoke seven times Himself.

  100. 100
    LeftCoastTom says:

    Lately there’s a ridiculous number of companies that deserve boycotting, but I can’t boycott because I never go there. Olive Garden deserves boycotting, but the Bay Area has actual Italian restaurants, so…Papa Johns deserves boycotting, but I like to enjoy what I eat, so…Chick-Fil-A, but the nearest one is 60 miles away (a fact I only discovered from the wingnuttery) and nobody in their right mind would drive 60 miles to buy grease from a place that’s closed half the weekend, so…

    This seems to fit in the same category. I’d be happy to boycott them, except I’m not looking to buy yarn from a place that isn’t open half the weekend.

    Won’t Somebody Think Of The Boycotters?!?!

  101. 101

    I am going to argue that they’ve just shown that this is NOT about sluts, sexytime, or oppressing women. Yes, they’re assholes who get an extra kick out of that part, but notice the core hypocricy spelled out in this article: Until now, they always provided this kind of insurance. They only balk now. The primary motivator here is that they’ve become aware they hit a tipping point, and their fictional society of center-right white Christian Real Americans is not in charge anymore. Now, like whiny two year olds, they’re yelling ‘NUH-UH!’ at anything they perceive as not getting their own way.

  102. 102
    kamalokitty says:

    Frick, I’m still boycotting Shell Oil since the days of apartheid back in the deep 80s. I have no problem whatsoever boycotting, ChickFuckA, Olive Garden, Walmart for paying their people jack shit and relying on the government to make up the difference, Papa Johns, fuck him too. You should taste my grilled pizza dudes. Freshly grilled veggies, pie over the grill. Papa John’s can go grill his nuts.

  103. 103
    LeftCoastTom says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: How does the “we want to be a bunch of butthurt whiny-assed titty babies” interpretation differ from the “its about sexytime” interpretation? It seems to me they’re pretty much interrelated.

  104. 104

    @LeftCoastTom:
    Well, it IS all one big knot where tribalism, racism, narcissism, sociopathic contempt for the value of anyone else’s happiness, abusive pathology, paranoia, misogyny, religious extremism, and a few more things beside all interconnect. In this case, the difference is ‘When they had the opportunity to just spit on women, they shrugged their shoulders and didn’t care enough to bother. It took another motivation to make this important enough to bleed money over.’

  105. 105
    Joseph Nobles says:

    @LeftCoastTom: Exactly. If Olive Garden and Hobby Lobby cleaned up their act, I wouldn’t be going back anyway. I might start eating at Chik-fil-A again if they stopped being ninnies. I’m too used to avoiding Papa John’s at this point, too. I go to Little Caesar’s for all my cardboard-circle-ketchup-cheese needs. And for real pizza, I go to Il Cane Russo here in Dallas.

  106. 106
    koalaholik says:

    I haven’t been in HL, Michael’s or Joannes in ages. I found a great independent yarn shop in Boulder and a friend opened a bead store a mile from my house 6 years ago. The prices might be a little higher but the quality and selection are superb and you cannot beat the customer service. I don’t scrapbook but there is a store called Archiver’s in Westminster, CO I don’t know if they are a chain.

  107. 107
    FlyingToaster says:

    @PaulW: There’s one in Belmont, MA. I went there two weeks ago to see if they had any of the “decorate-your-own” picture frames (they were out).


    Ben Franklin Stores
    to find one. Hopefully not a gazillion miles away.

    Ben Franklins are all franchisees; AC Moore is publicly traded, and JoAnn is one of many retail chains owned by Leonard Green & Partners (BJs, Whole Foods, etc.)

  108. 108
    Robert says:

    Just saying, boycott Michaels all you want for its Bain connection. Sales are strong and the company is expanding and restructuring like Staples. I helped open one of the stores in 2007 or 2008 and was point blank told by the corporate framing trainer that the goal was to drive the local frame shop two doors down out of business. Mission accomplished. They had to skip town and move into a much smaller shop with less traffic last year.

    So, the chain is owned by a terrible company, but it’s doing better than ever. They were actually struggling a lot before Bain took over. Our local Michaels went through 5 different locations on the highway before closing in 1999. Now there are two gigantic Michaels within 20 minutes of each other and both do a lot of business by focusing on different markets. One is papercraft, jewelry making, and custom framing focused; the other is yarn, kids crafts, and floral crafting focused. They both have all the product lines, but each carries a larger selection of their specialties than the other.

  109. 109
    ckc (not kc) says:

    @Robert:
    By 2003, the company’s annual sales were in excess of 3 billion dollars.

    In 2006, two private equity groups, Bain Capital and the Blackstone Group, purchased the company for $6 billion.

    …Reuters further reported that Michaels “posted earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization of $661 million in 2011 and had total debt of $3.5 billion as of January 28, 2012…A report on the filing put the debt at $3.8 billion and said 2011 revenue was $4.2 billion (+4% year-to-year) and net income was $176M.

    …better than ever? Somebody’s doing better than ever, I’d wager.

  110. 110
    Tara the Antisocial Social Worker says:

    @Karen in GA: How long before a CEO believes that overtime pay causes abortions?

  111. 111
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Robert: Their framing products SUCK and are overpriced. American consumers are either idiots, or swayed by that “discount” because they’re in denial about their class status after so many years of stagnant and negative wage growth, downsizing, 401K busting, etc.

  112. 112
    HeartlandLiberal says:

    What we are seeing is the culmination of the lawlessness and disregard for the Constitution and the Rule of Law that has been foisted on our nation by the GOP, and eight years of Bush and Cheney, with the full cowardly acquiescence of the Democratic party.

    Our corporate oligarchy lords and masters of the universe simply no longer believe themselves bound to obey the law. They will take what ever arbitrary action is required to protect their power and their profits. And that is ALL that matters to them.

    They are in fact engaged in a strategy that threatens the continued viability of this nation as a Republic in which the law is paramount, and applied to any all equally.

    There has been no equal application of the law for decades. We have seen that in the failure to bring the perpetrators of the economic crimes leading to the collapse of 2008 to justice.

  113. 113
    Sgaile-beairt says:

    http://heyhobbylobby.tumblr.com/ via jezebel….this needs to be revived….

  114. 114

    These assholes really give Christians a bad name. I swear, we aren’t all like that. A lot of us try to live the way Jesus talked about, you know, whatsoever ye do for the least of these, if a beggar needs your cloak, give him your shirt as well, that kind of thing. I can’t say any of us live up to it, but some of us care about it and we try.

    But these totalitarian assholes only see Christianity as a way to scare others into doing what they want them to do, and they’re so loud and so nasty that they end up tainting all of us. I can understand why so many Americans are so leery of Christianity, with shitheads like these making such a stink every time the law asks them to behave in a remotely humane way.

  115. 115
    J R in WV says:

    Hey, Heartland Liberal, don’t forget about the 4 years of the other Bush and the 8 years of Ronaldus Magickus Raygun.

    All told 20 years of lawless Republican unAmerican hypocrisy!

    Sociopathic and irrational rule making, appointment of pro-corporation NLRB members, and the gutting of law prohibiting the firing of workers trying to unionize by splitting a hair to say the calling firing “Permanent Replacement” instead make it all legal to replace the workforce.

    The only people who can successfully make use of their union to negotiate as equals with management are those with such special skills that they can’t be easily replaced – like Boeing engineers, or heart surgeons – no,wait, they own a monopoly and don’t need a union. But you get my point.

    The minute the Supreme Court decided that firing and permanent replacement weren’t synonyms, and that no law against firing applied to permanent replacement, the union movement hit a headwind they can’t overcome.

    And that means that workers become disposable like a used tissue, so it doesn’t matter how you treat them, they’re intended to be tossed aside when the company is done with them, just like a worn fan belt or brake shoe. Now, to me, that’s immoral and if I was a believer I would say it was the pinnacle definition of unChristian!

    We have eaten at Chik-fil-a a couple of times, until they had their com-to-Jesus moment and revealed their stinking underbelly, never again, adn thanks to their management for making that so easy.

    HobbyLobby doesn’t seem to be around here, and I’m not interested in the crafts you do with their stock for sale. I’m more interested in the craft you do with planes and joiners and tools from Pile’s Hardware, and supplies from Danville Lumber, both locally owned and trustworthy to provide the best and to make it right if something goes wrong.

    Building things is big fun, so I understand the joy folks get from all their different crafts. But there is no need to buy stuff from religious bigots or bland national corporations.

    Our local Habitat for Humanity restore sells moulding intended for framing or finishing trim, and it’s really cheap compared to Michaels, so explore your alternatives before spending scarce funds with people you don’t agree with, and who hate you while they take your money and screw their employees, your neighbors.

    I don’t really have words to express my disdain for the HobbyLobby ownership and their toying with their employees’ lives to indulge their cheap sick politics wrapped up in lies.

    Despicable is one that works, but I need more fire. And tumbrels.

  116. 116
    gocart mozart says:

    @Evolving Deep Southerner:
    Christian scientist owners get to not provide any health insurance whatsoever.

    Scientologists are against psychiatry, so no mental health coverage.

  117. 117
    Thymezone says:

    The reason to hate Hobby Lobby is that they are in Oklahoma. We should hate everything in Oklahoma except for my friend Don.

    But anyway, Oklahoma is one of those states that we just don’t need. We need OK like we need a bleeding hemorrhoid. Like need Idaho, or Mississippi. States full of childish morons who are not fit to govern themselves and drag the rest of us down into being Arizona, where I live. Arizona at least has cowboys, people who really just get by on a live and let live attitude and produce nice middle of the road Supreme Court justices like O’Connor. Well, and Rehnquist.

    But anyhoo, fuck Oklahoma. Just fuck it. For one thing, hardly anyone outside of the state will care. The whole Land Rush thing was a mistake in the first place, let’s face it.

    And oh yeah, I am still here, bitches, and don’t you forget it. John, are you listening??

  118. 118
    Thymezone says:

    Add to Rehnquist:

    Rehnquist moved to Phoenix, Arizona, where he was in private law practice from 1953 to 1969. During these years, he was active in the Republican Party and served as a legal advisor to Barry Goldwater’s 1964 presidential campaign, including collaborating with Harry Jaffa on Goldwater’s speeches.[26]

    Many years later, during the 1971 hearing for Associate Justice and later during the 1986 Senate hearings on his chief justice nomination, several people came forward to complain about what they viewed as Rehnquist’s attempts to discourage minority voters in Arizona elections when Rehnquist served as a “poll watcher” in the early 1960s.

    — Wikipedia

    I delivered his newspaper when I was a kid, and could never collect from them, which was typical behavior of well to do Republican lawyer types even then.

  119. 119
    Lex says:

    Fuck the million-dollar-a-day fine; I want to see a bench warrant for the arrest of the CEO on contempt-of-court charges. And his ass stays in jail until the corporation is in compliance with the law.

    In fact, I’m pretty sure a whole lot of corporate misbehavior would go away if we started holding CEOs this responsible for their corporations’ malfeasance.

    IANAL, so I’m sure there are all kinds of LEGAL reasons why we can’t do this. Don’t care. Laws can be changed, and this is one instance in which they damn well should be.

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