SCOTUS Decision on Harris vs. Quinn

In addition to ruling that noted corporate-person Mr. Hobby Lobby needn’t sully his immaculate digits with snowflake baby blood by providing contraception coverage to his female employees, the US Supreme Court also ruled today that state-paid home caregivers who received a whopping salary increase and benefits as a result of union negotiations on their behalf can choose to be freeloading scabs.

Some see the ruling as the thin wedge that will eventually make all public sector workplaces “right to work” shops. This prospect makes plutocrats like the Koch Bros. and Walton heirs polish their monocles energetically and spin the tips of their waxed mustaches with glee since the rise of public sector unions have kept the union movement from collapsing altogether in the US.

It’s not like the court hasn’t made a narrow ruling before only to come back and essentially gut a critical protection (Voting Rights Act, anyone?). TPM has an excerpt of Justice Kagan’s good news-bad news dissent to the majority decision.

Ah well. It may ultimately prove to be a Pyrrhic victory eventually. Knitting needle and blade-sharpening futures may rise.

289 replies
  1. 1
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    Just another nail in the coffin for unions, because obviously they’re such job killing economic drains, they have to go now or else, right?

  2. 2
    Scuffletuffle says:

    Sales of knitting needles used for illegal abortions=another win for Mr. Hobby Lobby!

  3. 3
    Belafon says:

    If we were adults in this country, this ruling wouldn’t matter: You would pay the union because you know it’s in your best interest. Instead, we think we would be rich if only other people would stop asking us for money.

  4. 4
    J says:

    I’ve decided that I want Scalia still on the court if/when a Democratic president replaces one of the conservative judges. I look forward to his increasingly unhinged, spittle flecked rants until, one day, he strokes out while writing an opinion.

  5. 5
    Yeggman says:

    I suspect (pray) that Alito, Kennedy, Roberts, and Thomas wanted to overturn Abood entirely and thus make public sector unions effectively “right to work” but Scalia (of all people) wouldn’t go along with it. Otherwise we’re pretty much completely fucked in a few years time when another one of these idiotic antilabor cases is decided.

  6. 6
    James E. Powell says:

    Taking a medium-long view, all of this is happening because white middle class and working class Americans did not want to share the benefits of the American society and economy with African-Americans. I mean, you can pretty much draw straight lines.

    Democrats and their often-wavering supporters had better wake up. To fix this, to turn back the tide, they need to win the next three, maybe four, presidential elections. And keep working on the senate.

  7. 7
    Sherparick says:

    Also, decisions like this will have any effect on Glenn Greenwald, Ralph Nader, Jane Hamsher, et. al. argue that the Democrats need to be punished by losing elections to Republicans, who really are not any worse than the Democrats after all regarding the rule of plutocracy and politics of Empire. However, there really is a choice between “not very good and sometimes stupid” and “downright malicious.” Besides the Iraq War, Alioto and Roberts are Dubya’s next greatest legacies, and Dubya owes a fair amount to Ralph Nader for getting the chance to make those picks.

  8. 8

    @James E. Powell: It is not as if the white middle and working class is not getting screwed too by the corporate persons and the 0.1% who control them.

  9. 9
    Anya says:

    Since corporations are people can we sue them for all sorts of things then? Can they be charged with homicide or any other crime?

  10. 10
    Belafon says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Yes, but a good portion of those people believe that they are not getting rich because the blahs are taking it from them, not because the rich are screwing them over.

  11. 11
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    @Anya:

    Of course you can….if you can afford the astronomical legal costs of doing so. But what’s a massively funded and staffed legal department against the guts and grit of a man and his lawyer?

  12. 12
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Anya: Yes, and yes.

    You always could, corporations are defendants all the time — provided you haven’t signed away your rights to sue, and instead adopted binding arbitration via some fine print someplace.

    And corporations have been charged with homicide — Ford was charged with homicide in the PInto explosions case. (I remember because I owned two PIntos, and lived to tell the story.) It’s not common, though.

  13. 13
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    What this entire slate of decisions, plus the last few reiterate for me is that Dems, liberals, anyone on the ostensibly non-crazy side of things, are stuck in a holding pattern, because the only thing we can trust the court now is to reiterate the GOP and the religious extremist line forever and anon until the shape of the court changes, and even then, the conservative side of the court still has enough relative youth on its side that we’re probably going to have to replace the liberal side first, furthering the holding pattern.

    Meanwhile, if the GOP gets an inch, they’ll turn it into a 50 mile stretch with the full faith and support of the Supremes, and fuck you you goddamn dirty dems for ever thinking this was YOUR fucking country ever.

    Wonderful. Fucking goddamn wonderful.

  14. 14
    Sherparick says:

    @Sherparick: I meant to write “no effect” before Glenn Greenwald, Nader, Hamsehr, et. al. Somehow unicorns are going to come along and convert the 45% of the country that hates 50% of the country and prefers to be gouge by plutocrats rather than let “those people” get anything “nice.”

  15. 15
    Cervantes says:

    @Sherparick:

    Also, decisions like this will [not?] have any effect on Glenn Greenwald, Ralph Nader, Jane Hamsher, et. al. argue that the Democrats need to be punished by losing elections to Republicans, who really are not any worse than the Democrats after all regarding the rule of plutocracy and politics of Empire. However, there really is a choice between “not very good and sometimes stupid” and “downright malicious.” Besides the Iraq War, Alioto and Roberts are Dubya’s next greatest legacies, and Dubya owes a fair amount to Ralph Nader for getting the chance to make those picks.

    Guess which political party enacted and signed into law the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993.

  16. 16
    Kay says:

    Let’s RACE the bottom!

    An employer can actually kill a worker in Texas, and walk away! All those federal laws you thought you had? There’s no one to enforce them. They’re more like suggestions.

    There is recourse, however. If you can find a private attorney to take your case on a contingent fee basis, we might let you into the court you built to see the judge you’re paying.

  17. 17
    Cacti says:

    @The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik:

    Yup.

    We’re stuck waiting for father time to collect Scalia and/or Kennedy.

    In the meantime, we also have 81 year-old, 2-time cancer survivor Ruth Bader Ginsburg who seems to think she’s going to live forever.

  18. 18
    Betty Cracker says:

    @James E. Powell: Aim a little higher than white working class and middle class Americans if you want to point out the true enemy. Sectors of that demographic were bamboozled too, to serve as the instrument of repression that accrues most of the benefits to the mega-rich, and they are also getting screwed, albeit not nearly as hard. It’s crab bucket politics. Powerful interests have every reason to keep us at each other’s throats forever. That way we lose, and they win.

  19. 19
    Mike G says:

    Southern paternalism. Rightards want “small government” so there’s no-one to stop your boss picking and choosing what health coverage you can have. Because Freedom.

    Maybe next your employer can cancel your vacation time because you’re going to use it to do sinful things in Las Vegas that he disapproves of.

    I wonder what would happen if an employer decreed they were going to exclude medical coverage for accidental gunshot wounds because they favor gun control.

  20. 20
    Cervantes says:

    I’m oiling my tumbrel as we speak . . .

  21. 21
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    @Kay:
    @Cacti:

    In other words, this really IS the GOP’s country, lock stock and barrel now.

  22. 22
    James E. Powell says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    It is not as if the white middle and working class is not getting screwed too by the corporate persons and the 0.1% who control them.

    Well, about 60% of them don’t seem to mind. Or,as one far wiser than me once put it:

    The salient fact of American politics is that there are fifty to seventy million voters each of who will volunteer to live, with his family, in a cardboard box under an overpass, and cook sparrows on an old curtain rod, if someone would only guarantee that the black, gay, Hispanic, liberal, whatever, in the next box over doesn’t even have a curtain rod, or a sparrow to put on it.

    Not a scientific sample, but a review of facebook posts discloses that the white suburbanites that I went to high school with think both of these decisions are all kinds of awesome. They don’t understand either decision, of course, but they know that that [insert racist epithet] lost two today.

  23. 23
    ET says:

    One one hand I know that a lot of the union hate from the right is historical and a general disdain for “those” people, but on the other I don’t totally get it. It isn’t like unions have much power anymore. I know that for the right any power = too much but really unions aren’t the big block they used to be.

  24. 24
    Belafon says:

    @ET: They’re still one of the largest group donors to the Democratic party.

  25. 25
    Cacti says:

    @James E. Powell:

    Well, about 60% of them don’t seem to mind.

    Indeed.

    According to the last election, 62% of white men and 56% of white women are just fine with today’s decision.

  26. 26
    Cacti says:

    @James E. Powell:

    Well, about 60% of them don’t seem to mind.

    Indeed.

    According to the last election, 62% of white men and 56% of white women are just fine with today’s decision.

  27. 27
    Yeggman says:

    @Belafon: Also basically the only economically left-leaning group with any power whatsoever.

  28. 28

    @Cacti: Of the people that actually voted not of the entire electorate. The key is to get all eligible people to vote.

  29. 29
    WereBear says:

    @Cacti: Because they don’t think it will ever affect their own lives.

    White privilege indeed.

  30. 30
    The Other Chuck says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Ford was charged with homicide in the PInto explosions case.

    Did Ford go to prison?

  31. 31
    kc says:

    Made the mistake of looking at Slate’s headlines. Must be seen to be believed. Peak contrarianism achieved.

  32. 32
    kc says:

    @Cervantes:

    Guess which political party enacted and signed into law the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993.

    Yep, sad but true. No good comes of Democratic pandering.

  33. 33
    kc says:

    @Cervantes:

    Guess which political party enacted and signed into law the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993.

    Yep, sad but true. No good comes of Democratic pandering.

  34. 34
    currants says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: No. But the two groups have learned to think of the other as the enemy, thanks to our plutocratic overlords. See TNC, Eric Loomis, et al on this.

  35. 35
    RareSanity says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    While corporate and political entities have definitely added to the rhetorical pressure of the “crabs in a bucket” mentallity, there is still plenty of blame for certain members of the white working and middle classes, for providing the fertile grounds for which those seeds can grow.

    Like @James E. Powell quoted…as long as there are members of those two classes, that are willing to endure any amount of suffering, as long as blacks are suffering more, the corporate and political interests need only give them a proper rationalization for their existing beliefs.

    Most of them are not being hoodwinked by the corporations and politics…they are happily accepting that as bad as things are for them, at least the blahs have it worse.

    I experience this almost everyday in the mostly white suburb of Atlanta I live in (I’m African American). The dirty looks I get from “good ole boys”, when I pull into a gas station, and my car is nicer than theirs are obvious.

    They are pissed off at the fact that some black dude seems to be doing better than they are. If I was white, I wouldn’t get a second look…that is perfectly acceptable in their eyes. But since I’m not, the anger in their eyes speaks volumes.

  36. 36
    Cervantes says:

    @The Other Chuck: The charge was reckless homicide under a then-new Indiana statute. It was the first criminal prosecution of a US corporation in a product-liability case. And no, the company was acquitted.

  37. 37
    Cervantes says:

    @kc: Indeed, a year later the Republicans took over the House for the first time in fifty years.

  38. 38
    srv says:

    @kc: John’s old gf, Amanda:

    This feels like an extremely reductive view of religion: As simply a way to codify reactionary beliefs about human sexuality. Or, as Atrios put it on Twitter, “religion is now only about unapproved fucking.” And it’s ultimately not good for the religious right to have one of its own—Alito—limit the scope of legitimate religious grousing to matters of sexuality, as if religion has nothing else going for it. Hobby Lobby may have won this battle. But it won at the price of portraying the Christian right as little more than a movement of sex-obsessed busybodies. This post originally reversed the names of the parties in the Supreme Court case

    And Mark Stern:

    But on Monday morning, the apocalypse didn’t come. In fact, quite the opposite: In its ruling for Hobby Lobby, the court—in an opinion authored by arch-conservative Justice Samuel Alito—explicitly stated that RFRA could not be used as a “shield” to “cloak … discrimination in hiring” as a “religious practice to escape legal sanction.” RFRA doesn’t permit employers to break a law when there is a compelling government interest backing that regulation, and, according to Alito, the government “has a compelling interest in providing an equal opportunity to participate in the workforce.”

    Alito cites racial discrimination in his opinion. But Justice Anthony Kennedy, in a concurrence, cabins the court’s ruling even further, making clear that the majority isn’t rewriting RFRA (or the First Amendment) to protect anti-gay discrimination.

    Nattering nabobs of negativity, you people.

  39. 39
    Morzer says:

    http://www.theguardian.com/com.....-women-sex

    Thirty-five years ago, cultural critic Ellen Willis wrote, “it is depressing to have to insist that sex is not an unnecessary, morally dubious self-indulgence but a basic human need, no less for women than for men”.

    If it was depressing in 1979, it looks downright miserable today.

    Because let’s be clear: While Monday’s US supreme court ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby was officially about religious freedom, the real issue at stake is sex – namely, if women should be able to have it as freely as men.

    The court ruled – in a 5-4 decision in which all the female justices dissented – that a closely-held company does not have to cover contraception under the Affordable Care Act. Hobby Lobby argued that, as a corporation, it has religious objections to certain forms of contraception that it believes are “abortifacients” (they are not). But the underlying values that drove this company to sue – and spurred a national debate – is the belief that women having pre-marital or non-procreative sex is wrong.

  40. 40
    JPL says:

    Israel has found the bodies of the missing teenagers and it’s such tragic news. link
    On another note, who will Israel bomb?

  41. 41
    The Dangerman says:

    I think this one was bigger than Hobby Lobby; the latter was pretty damned limited in scope and doesn’t really change much (HL gets the same deal as Notre Dame). Yes, HL sucked balls, but it isn’t going to tear things apart…

    …a first read on this pile of shit, however, sounds like things ripping apart because instead of limited scope nearing the point of ridiculuousness, this one sounds pretty damned broad.

  42. 42
    MomSense says:

    @Kay:

    I mean what is the plutocrat end game in all of this? We had a .01%er acknowledge that the pitchforks will come out if the economy continues this way. Unions are/were one of the few constructive ways that ordinary people had/have to advocate for safe working conditions and relatively fair compensation. So now that the courts keep limiting ordinary citizens’ means for representation with Unions, voting, campaign contributions that aren’t just outrageous corruption–what the heck is left but the pitchforks??

    The path we are on is just not sustainable.

  43. 43
    NotMax says:

    @srv

    +5 points for the Agnew reference.

    -10 points for making one remember Agnew.

  44. 44
    raven says:

    @The Dangerman: This is broad?

    The Supreme Court ruled narrowly on Monday that some government employees did not have to pay any fees to labor unions representing them, but the court decision declined to strike down a decades-old precedent that required many public-sector workers to pay union fees.

    Writing the majority 5-4 opinion, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. concluded that there was a category of government employee — a partial public employee — who can opt out of joining a union and not be required to contribute dues to that labor group.

  45. 45
    RareSanity says:

    @NotMax:

    Just think about the headless body of Agnew on Futurama, have a laugh, and give @srv their points back… :-)

  46. 46
    ruemara says:

    Oi vey. the stupid surrounding most of these decisions is depressing. I got into an argument with a trans libertarian who thinks that because he has to pay for his hormone therapy (which I fully support being covered under healthcare), then women should just pay out of pocket and stop infringing on the 1st amendment rights of these corporations.

  47. 47
    The Dangerman says:

    @raven:

    @The Dangerman: This is broad?

    OK, I stand partially corrected, but HL is pretty much a one off situation; this sounds like the just another shot against public sector unions that will continue.

  48. 48
    Morzer says:

    @MomSense:

    I mean what is the plutocrat end game in all of this?

    Weaponize the police as heavily as possible, pack the courts, privatize the prison system, constrict the right to protest, control the media, suppress the votes of people of the wrong opinion/gender/color – and exhaust ordinary people by making them work longer hours for less.

    It’s working rather well for them so far.

  49. 49
    Morzer says:

    @ruemara:

    Arguing with libertarians is so seldom worth it, because they confuse citing their various slogans or scriptures with intelligent discussion of a topic.

  50. 50
    J R in WV says:

    RareSanity, I don’t know how you survive in Atlanta, GA as a successful professional Black Person. Tough! My hat is off to you.

    Here we have an example of putting it to the liberals by the conservative right-wing. I am totally not surprised by any of these decisions. Ordinary people are intended to be serfs beholden to their overlord employer, only allowed to quit a job if they were already on the list to be fired and evicted.

    Droit du Seigneur may well be the next corporate religious belief put into effect, as it already is in many companies (see American Apparal for example). No, I’m not kidding – if corporations can have religious beliefs, why should the government be able to put a stop to sexual intimidation, or the requirement of women (or men for that matter) to take care of the needs of managers!

    We should just make sure we’re properly lubricated when we’re asked to bend over by a new middle manager.

    I’m a little bit bitter maybe, but it is sometimes hard to be calm in the face of impending repression. Gin and tonics this evening! I know from experience this will help.

  51. 51
    Morzer says:

    Erick Erickson ✔ @EWErickson
    A side benefit of the Hobby Lobby case is exposing more people who pose as Christians to undermine the faith from within.

    This is true – but probably not in the way Ricky bin Ricky would like to think that it’s true.

  52. 52
    Betty Cracker says:

    @RareSanity:

    Most of them are not being hoodwinked by the corporations and politics…they are happily accepting that as bad as things are for them, at least the blahs have it worse.

    I really don’t think that is true, at least not for the majority of GOP-voting, Confederate flag-sporting working class whites. I’m a white Southern woman who was raised in trailer parks and working class white neighborhoods, so I have some insight into the thought processes prevalent in those communities.

    Yes, there are legions of stone-stupid racist dickheads, but I don’t think I’ve known a single one who thought, “Well, it’s okay if Engulf & Devour Corp. screws me as long as it screws my n-word neighbor worse.”

    Instead, they were raised to believe (and get 24/7 reinforcement from Rush, FOX, et al) that while they have to bust their asses for a shitty paycheck and pay taxes, black folks live in government subsidized housing and get fresh tax-free welfare checks for every out-of-wedlock baby they have, plus preferences in hiring if they bestir themselves to work. Plus, liberals make it hard for honest white entrepreneurs with onerous regulations and rules about promoting blacks and women.

    Is it racist, sexist, stone-cold stupid bullshit? Yes, of course. But it’s also the result of a concerted campaign to create and exploit divisions. I’m not excusing the racist assholes, but I do think it’s important to understand that this doesn’t happen in a vacuum and that most of the redneck jerks are being manipulated.

    If your point of view is that they are fine with suffering as long as blacks suffer worse, there’s no hope. But if you believe it’s largely a matter of deception, well, people can be undeceived.

  53. 53
    mdblanche says:

    @James E. Powell: Just yesterday my teabagger aunt was suggesting to me that I look for a job with the government – which was also her employer before she retired. It was just the latest time when I’ve either been watching the news or talking with someone that what I hear can only be made sense of by assuming just what you said.

    I think you could do very well politically today calling for a carbon copy of the New Deal with public jobs for the unemployed, laws to encourage unionization, generous monetary support for children, the sick, and the elderly – and all the loopholes and caveats to make sure that white men receive the lion’s share of it and non-whites receive scraps at most. All this why I’m lot less sanguine than most around here that any wave of populism would be a good thing for either Democrats or for the country.

  54. 54
    srv says:

    @MomSense: In the pyrrhic link, Uber will just go to driverless cars in a couple of years and have the last laugh.

  55. 55
    JPL says:

    Both rulings today were quite narrow in scope, but both rulings can now be used in future cases. Isn’t that the same thing the Roberts court did with the voting rights act.

  56. 56
    Morzer says:

    @JPL:

    Yes. This is a classic case of “chip away a bit more and look to the future while the gullible/mercenary media hails it as a case of moderation”.

  57. 57
    kc says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I think this is accurate.

  58. 58

    My take: SCOTUS effectively just killed religion.

    Religious people should not be happy about this. When it all shakes down, they will be the losers.

  59. 59
    Trollhattan says:

    @Morzer:
    Am accustomed to word salad issuing forth from Ewe Rickson like a Popeil appliance run amok, but this is beyond the capabilities of my decoder ring. WTF is he trying to bleat?

  60. 60
    Betty Cracker says:

    @JPL: Exactly right, which is why I referred to that in the original post. It’s all about the long game.

  61. 61
    Morzer says:

    @Trollhattan:

    He’s trying to argue that liberal Christians undermine Christianity – but he hasn’t got the intelligence to realize that he’s actually describing the fundies/conservative goofballs.

  62. 62
    NotMax says:

    Have only just done a quick read of summaries, but don’t yet see how the expected ruling contains anything which does not open wide (and remove from the hinges) the doors to the owners of the ‘closely-held’ companies requiring as a condition of employment attendance at and participation in mandatory prayer sessions held in the workplace, nor to the exacting of a tithe to the owners’ preferred religion from employee pay.

  63. 63
    Tommy says:

    @mdblanche: I live near a large Air Force base. When I go to family events, well the family my brother married into are teabaggers. I am really the only liberal in a room of 30+. Funny thing, many of them work at the Air Force base as civil service. not this to them and they can’t seem to grasp my point and how funny I think this is.

  64. 64
    beltane says:

    @Southern Beale: Yes. The Supreme Court has inadvertently pushed us towards the European model of single-payer and widespread abandonment of organized religion.

  65. 65
    RareSanity says:

    @J R in WV:

    Atlanta is actually one of the better places to be, because there is a higher percentage…per capita…than just about any other major city, so there’s a bit more exposure, so less antagonism.

    @Betty Cracker:

    Is it racist, sexist, stone-cold stupid bullshit? Yes, of course. But it’s also the result of a concerted campaign to create and exploit divisions. I’m not excusing the racist assholes, but I do think it’s important to understand that this doesn’t happen in a vacuum and that most the redneck jerks are being manipulated.

    If your point of view is that they are fine with suffering as long as blacks suffer worse, there’s no hope. But if you believe it’s largely a matter of deception, well, people can be undeceived.

    Thank you for your insights, any view from a different perspective is appreciated.

    However, if there is one thing that is damn near impossible to “undeceive” people about, it’s deeply ingrained racial biases…especially in America, even more especially in the south.

    The fact that I see these upper-middle class high school twits, driving around in their $40k-$50k lifted pick-up trucks, with “Sons of Confederate Veterans” commemorative plates on them, doesn’t give me a great deal of hope to de-program them anytime soon.

  66. 66
    Kay says:

    @MomSense:

    I think it’s particularly dangerous because people feel government is captured (to one or another extent) by the same monied interests that are bankrolling Right To Work.

    If they start to believe government is either not responsive enough or completely captured and there’s no non-government advocacy or collective outlet (a role played by labor unions) something fills that hole, IMO. I think they should worry about what fills it because it isn’t always predictable and it isn’t always positive.

    Sotomayor gave a speech the other day where she mentioned “unrest”. I think she’s the most “in touch” justice (although I’m not familiar with Kagan, she may be one too) and I think she sees it.

  67. 67
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    @RareSanity:
    @Betty Cracker:

    On a related note to your exchange, that much-maligned Pew poll from a few days ago had something about the views about why Blacks might not be able to get ahead.

    On page 50 of the report (56 on the pdf), the crosstabs say that ‘Solid Liberals’ were the only group to entertain the idea that discrimination factored into why Blacks might be able to get ahead by any sort of majority. The others weren’t even close, and the aggregate was 27 on the ‘discrimination’ side to 63% on the ‘personal responsibility’ side.

    It’s a wholly demoralizing result even if you decry the binary methodology of the entire poll’s sorting methods. Too many people unwilling to entertain the idea that maybe shit isn’t a perfect meritocracy and that hard work maybe doesn’t get you anywhere if you’re the ‘wrong sort’.

  68. 68
    Roger Moore says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    You always could, corporations are defendants all the time — provided you haven’t signed away your rights to sue, and instead adopted binding arbitration via some fine print someplace.

    And, of course, provided you don’t try to certify as a class action, which the Supreme Court has effectively gutted as a real-world possibility.

  69. 69
    beltane says:

    @NotMax: Maybe the Catholic justices just want to bring virulent, European style anti-clericism to America.

  70. 70
    Tommy says:

    @beltane: Yes they have. I am a dude but pretty much every women I dated took some type of birth control. In several instances they were on the pill because it helped with their menstrual cycle. Not to have sex.

    I also hate the far right talks about how “cheap” birth control is. Sure it isn’t a “huge” sum of money. But I pay this for Hulu. Netflix. This online service. That online service. Those $10-$30/month fees start to add up. I am sure almost every women would like one of them to go away.

  71. 71
  72. 72
    srv says:

    @Tommy: I surely hope that you have pointed out to them that the United States Air Force is unconstitutional – it does not appear anywhere in The Constitution.

    Even got a relative (USAF ret) to use that on his local AF wingnuts.

  73. 73
    Morzer says:

    My conscience as High Priest of the New Dionysos requires me to ignore decisions by a group of unelected Christian theocrats. Surely the Supreme Court will support me in this fight for my religious liberties and grant me an exemption from complying with their spurious rulings?

  74. 74
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    Ah well. It may ultimately prove to be a Pyrrhic victory eventually. Knitting needle and blade-sharpening futures may rise.

    Bullshit. Nothing will happen. Americans love abuse, particularly when it’s inflicted by someone richer than they are. You might call it our national fetish.

  75. 75
    Paul in KY says:

    @Southern Beale: Excellent article!

  76. 76
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    @NotMax:

    Both rulings were supposedly ‘narrow’ and ‘constrained’ but leave the doors open to expand their logic wholly soon as someone tries to litigate it.

  77. 77
    Roger Moore says:

    @srv:

    But Justice Anthony Kennedy, in a concurrence, cabins the court’s ruling even further, making clear that the majority isn’t rewriting RFRA (or the First Amendment) to protect anti-gay discrimination.

    Today.

  78. 78
    Paul in KY says:

    @Tommy: Lot of those idiots probably think they’re ‘rich’ and are down on ebil gubmint for taking their taxes, etc.

  79. 79
    MomSense says:

    @Morzer:

    A friend of mine recently became the disaster coordinator for an NGO for a nearby county. She is doing the training and holy Hunger Games they are planning for the shit to hit the fan.

  80. 80
    Morzer says:

    @Roger Moore:

    First they came for the women, and srv said nothing because….

    etc etc etc….

    Finally they came for srv…

    And so it goes.

  81. 81
    SatanicPanic says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: Come on. Even if we accept that we’re not the normal crowd (you know, just for the sake of argument), I don’t think that “I love being abused by the wealthy” is quite as popular as you make it out to be.

  82. 82
    Morzer says:

    @MomSense:

    I feel almost afraid to ask for details.. but tell me anyway.

  83. 83
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Kay:

    …people feel government is captured (to one or another extent) by the same monied interests that are bankrolling Right To Work.

    Some people people feel government is captured (to one or another extent) by the same monied interests that are bankrolling Right To Work.

    The others think government is captured by colored people, and people who refuse to speak English, and hippies, and atheists, and socialsts, and every other group you can think of that looks funny, sounds weird, or prays wrong. They think “Right to Work” sounds pretty cool, too — who’s against work?

    And they have a political party. And they actually vote in mid-terms.

  84. 84
    C.V. Danes says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    It is not as if the white middle and working class is not getting screwed too by the corporate persons and the 0.1% who control them.

    Exactly. Unions may be on the ropes, but the conditions that created them still remain. When things get bad enough, expect a repeat of the civil unrest that led to unions to be created in the first place.

  85. 85
    Kay says:

    @MomSense:

    If you look at the history in the US, the tipping point is always government failing to protect ordinary people. There’s the private sector, there’s government and there’s some kind of collective organization that is apart from government. The AA labor movement within the civil rights movement grew because they had no recourse: they had hostile state law and the federal government took a shamefully long time to intervene. They were on their own. Of course they organized. It was the only option left.

    You can’t just have a private sector. Either government is effective at protecting workers or they turn somewhere else. Labor unions stepped into a void that government left. If it’s “no help there!” from the private sector and government is captured or asleep at the switch, something or other fills that hole.

  86. 86
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!:
    @SatanicPanic:

    It feels less like fetishizing abuse by the wealthy as it is the wealthy knowing how to misdirect rage downward. ‘The only thing keeping you from joining our sainted club is these dirty…OTHERS holding you down’. and that bullshit.

  87. 87
    hoodie says:

    @Betty Cracker: A lot of folks want to be deceived because that’s how they maintain an illusion of status. I come from trailer trash roots like yours, but don’t have much contact with that anymore, but one thing that strikes me when I visit my spouse’s relatives in Louisiana is that they suffer from much the same social ills that are supposed to be limited to the blahs, e.g., out of wedlock pregnancy, drug abuse, intermittent employment, etc., you know, shit that happens to all people, but rich folks can sweep under the rug. But I’ll be damned if they have any recognition that they’re not any different than the people they complain about, even though they often work side by side. Maybe the difference is that a lot of poor African Americans know they’re getting the shitty end of stick, and it’s acceptable within their community to say so, while poor white folks don’t want to admit they’re in the same boat because it would be an ego blow and loss of face in theirs. I wonder if the plutocrats are truly aware of how effective an innovation racism has been in the class struggle. Their next task will be how to make Latinos acceptably white. Worked with southern Europeans.

  88. 88
    Tommy says:

    @srv: I often won’t engage them. But I love my brother, his wife, and his 5 year old niece. I don’t have any children myself so I treat Katie almost like my kid. I am overtly polite to the adults, but I tend to just grab her. Read a book. Go for a walk. Play a video game. I ignore the adults as much as I can. I mean when they want to still debate if Obama is an American what is the point?

  89. 89
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    @C.V. Danes:

    Along with the violent attempts to suppress said movements. No promises that unions or whatever rises to replace them will win the war to exist this time around though.

  90. 90
    Belafon says:

    @MomSense: I’m a member of a group that volunteers and trains in case of local disasters like tornadoes. We also prepare for things like mass viral outbreak, large scale spill of chemicals or nuclear material on the highway that passes through my city. It’s a lot like preparing for a nuclear war: You hope it doesn’t happen, but you want to be prepared.

  91. 91
    gogol's wife says:

    Betty, you might be interested in this (OT):

    http://csgv.org/action/tell-de.....dyCampaign

    It’s a petition asking the Justice Department to enforce the law against Bundy

  92. 92
    Tommy says:

    @Belafon: That is pretty darn cool. I live in a place with tornadoes, massive floods, and even the fear of a major earth quake. The people in my area that train for disasters, and most might just be volunteers, but I got a lot of faith in them.

  93. 93
    C.V. Danes says:

    @The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik:

    What this entire slate of decisions, plus the last few reiterate for me is that Dems, liberals, anyone on the ostensibly non-crazy side of things, are stuck in a holding pattern, because the only thing we can trust the court now is to reiterate the GOP and the religious extremist line forever and anon until the shape of the court changes…

    I can think of no better reason for having to reaffirm appointments to the Supreme Court than the damage the justices have done over the last year alone.

  94. 94
    Punchy says:

    Serious Question:

    Potential employers cannot ask interviewees to state their religion during an interveiw; however, can interviewees now demand that employers offer theirs? Wouldn’t I want to know the level of Fundy Crazy of my potential employer (and its effect on my health bennies) before signing onboard?

  95. 95
    Morzer says:

    @Punchy:

    What would you do if they just fed you corporate pablum about how they don’t discriminate against persons of faith and don’t like to make windows into someone else’s soul?

  96. 96
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @Cervantes: I thought both parties were responsible for the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. How close to unanimous can we get?

  97. 97
    El Caganer says:

    @JPL: All of them, Katie.

  98. 98
    SatanicPanic says:

    @The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik: well yeah, but I don’t think we can claim that this is the majority opinion anymore.

  99. 99
    C.V. Danes says:

    @The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik:

    No promises that unions or whatever rises to replace them will win the war to exist this time around though.

    Me thinks that it will either end in a resurgence of unions, or degrade into radicalism and possibly revolution. Such a thing seems impossible, but nothing lasts forever.

  100. 100
    C.V. Danes says:

    @Punchy:

    Potential employers cannot ask interviewees to state their religion during an interveiw; however, can interviewees now demand that employers offer theirs? Wouldn’t I want to know the level of Fundy Crazy of my potential employer (and its effect on my health bennies) before signing onboard?

    Not if you want to be asked back for a second interview.

  101. 101
    Tommy says:

    @Punchy: That is a very, very, very interesting question which I don’t know the answer to it. I’ve only worked for liberal owners, if not very liberal small business owners. I can’t imagine a world where every health care option was not offered. Heck I can’t imagine working for a firm that didn’t offer complete benefits and a retirement plan. Paid maturity leave. A lot of things many Americans don’t enjoy.

    I recall the last place I worked. Towards the end of the first year my boss, the owner came into my office and sat down. Said it was getting close to the end of the year and I had not used most of my vacation days. She was like pick up your phone and schedule a vacation right now. We pay you a good salary and give you paid vacation days for a reason. Take them. We don’t want you to burn out. We want you happy and healthy.

    One of the best conversation I ever had with a boss …. and she was spot on.

  102. 102
    MomSense says:

    @Belafon:

    That sounds a lot like what my friend is doing.

  103. 103
    Paul in KY says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Unfortunately spot on.

  104. 104
    Ruckus says:

    @Morzer:
    Had this experience Sat. So convinced that any discussion was pointless. Another person where I was said he loves to poke at people who hold any position far to either side. Said it’s a waste of time but it can be fun. Another tried quoting limpballs to me and I think just the look on my face got him to change his tune.
    The role of our wonderful media in fucking over this country is a thing to behold. Mentally torture prisoners? Child’s play compared to the last 30-40 yrs of our media’s changing the political landscape for conservatives.

  105. 105
    Betty Cracker says:

    @RareSanity: I’m not so optimistic as to think we’ll overcome racial bias in the US, but I do think it’s possible to get the working class white folks mad at the right people, i.e., the ones who are screwing them. It’s happened before.

  106. 106
    C.V. Danes says:

    @ET:

    One one hand I know that a lot of the union hate from the right is historical and a general disdain for “those” people, but on the other I don’t totally get it.

    It don’t get it either, since “those people” who started the unions were, you know, predominately white.

  107. 107
    mdblanche says:

    @kc: The RFRA was actually written with religious minorities, particularly Native American religions, in mind.

    Like @Southern Beale said, it’s religion that’s dead. Not just godbothering Christianity, but all religion. This is a polarizing decision that vastly shrinks the ground for accommodating minority religious viewpoints in a secular state. Liberal Christians and non-Christian believers are going to have to decide which side they’re on.

  108. 108
    Betty Cracker says:

    @hoodie:

    one thing that strikes me when I visit my spouse’s relatives in Louisiana is that they suffer from much the same social ills that are supposed to be limited to the blahs, e.g., out of wedlock pregnancy, drug abuse, intermittent employment, etc., you know, shit that happens to all people, but rich folks can sweep under the rug.

    Absolutely true, and the white poor and middle class receive the most welfare too, of course. I’m not expecting them to join hands in brotherhood with their black neighbors (though that would be nice), but I do think it’s possible to redirect their anger at the royal screwing the working class has been receiving since the 1970s to the proper recipients.

  109. 109
    beltane says:

    @Betty Cracker: Working class white people actually despise the rich. So far, this loathing has successfully been channeled into a hatred for book reading “liberal elites”. If we had a free media in this country, it wouldn’t be too difficult to align the anger of working class whites with the true cause of their anger. However, given our highly propagandized media environment, this effort is doomed to futility.

  110. 110
    Anoniminous says:

    Been through too many of these to get all worked-up. It will be interesting* to see how this plays out. My initial assessment: it’s a damp squib; people will bitch and complain and … do nothing. When we get some distance and polling, say in late August, it will be time to re-assess.

    * Not really but it is the nice thing to say.

  111. 111
    Cervantes says:

    @mdblanche:

    The RFRA was actually written with religious minorities, particularly Native American religions, in mind.

    The point is, it was not written very well.

  112. 112
    C.V. Danes says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    And they have a political party. And they actually vote in mid-terms.

    Exactly. They may be a minority of the voting block, but they are a noisy, activist group of voters.

    Someone once said (can’t remember who) that the only people that liberals have more disdain for than conservatives is other liberals. We need to get over that, for obvious reasons.

  113. 113
    Roger Moore says:

    @mdblanche:

    The RFRA was actually written with religious minorities, particularly Native American religions, in mind.

    But don’t you know that Evangelical Christians are the most persecuted religious group in America? I know because they’re always telling me so.

  114. 114
    catclub says:

    @Kay:

    If you can find a private attorney to take your case on a contingent fee basis, we might let you into the court you built to see the judge you’re paying.

    Ha, ha. More likely only arbitration allowed. And the company chooses the arbitrator.

  115. 115
    Tommy says:

    @C.V. Danes: It doesn’t seem to happen as much here, but on Daily Kos and other “liberal” sites I am stunned by how we can fight with each other. I’ve always been a liberal. But as I have gotten older I’ve moved from more of a moderate to a far left liberal. Yes I got more liberal, not less as I got older. More moderate liberals, we can agree to disagree. I don’t get mad at you. I don’t tell you you’re wrong. Sure maybe you are not as liberal as myself, but still a liberal. I was that person at another time in my life and I like to think I have some self awareness.

  116. 116
    C.V. Danes says:

    @beltane:

    If we had a free media in this country, it wouldn’t be too difficult to align the anger of working class whites with the true cause of their anger.

    Actually, we do have a free media in this country: it’s called the Internet. Anyone who wants can find reputable sources of information on the Internet for the cost of a few minutes of their time. What we don’t have are people who want to spend even a few minutes of their time away from Fox News or Jerry Springer to enlighten themselves on the facts. They would rather burp their opinions over their gravy-stained wife-beaters than act like they have even an ounce of intelligence.

  117. 117
    Anoniminous says:

    Why old farts rule the roost.

    They are reliable voters and Teh Youngs aren’t.

  118. 118
    raven says:

    BEIRUT, June 29 (Reuters) – Eight rebel fighters have been crucified in Syria by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) because they were considered too moderate, a monitoring group said on Sunday.

    The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on contacts on the ground in Syria, said the men were crucified on Saturday in Aleppo province. It added that their corpses were still on view.

  119. 119
    Kropadope says:

    So, employers can force insurance companies, other private entities, to deny their employees a facet of the service that they are paying for, a service that saves money for all customers of the insurance provider? Great….

  120. 120
    beltane says:

    @C.V. Danes: A lot of these people don’t have an ounce of intelligence. The only thoughts in their heads are the ones that have been put there by someone else. If there is going to be any progress in this country, it’s going to be necessary to demagogue the stupid people.

  121. 121
    chopper says:

    @The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik:

    What this entire slate of decisions, plus the last few reiterate for me is that i want to neck punch every progressive who talks about how obama could get shit done if he just ‘used the bully pulpit’.

  122. 122
    Tommy says:

    @Anoniminous: I could rant on this topic for hours. First, clearly we need to make voting easier. Where I live voting is easier/faster then maybe ordering a Big Mac. If other people had this, they’d vote more. I also had adults, when I was younger, that pushed me to vote. My parents (mom runs elections in her district) and even employers. The owner would walk the office telling people to go vote. Vote. Vote. Vote. I am willing to bet most people don’t have that experience.

  123. 123
    C.V. Danes says:

    @Tommy: Word. I believe the term is “the narcissism of small differences.” Conservatives seem to oddly enough be able to get over it, but liberals can’t. Perhaps their deep hatred of others overrides the small differences that liberals get hung up on because we have the ability to view things in a more nuanced manner. Who knows.

  124. 124
    Belafon says:

    @raven: Cantor got lucky that we don’t have large crosses set up in the national mall.

  125. 125
    Linnaeus says:

    @MomSense:

    So now that the courts keep limiting ordinary citizens’ means for representation with Unions, voting, campaign contributions that aren’t just outrageous corruption–what the heck is left but the pitchforks?

    I’m not so sure the pitchforks will come out. Many societies that have gross inequities and concentrated power have been remarkably stable.

  126. 126
    SatanicPanic says:

    @C.V. Danes: This is one of my pet peeves. Yes, there are some dummies in this country. But what’s the use of complaining about that all day? Calling them fat, gravy slurpers isn’t going to help anything. And if they all are, then, well, we might as well just give up right now. I don’t even think this is the case. We have millions and millions of people working hard to make a better nation. And Republicans are losing. Just because they won a SCOTUS ruling doesn’t say much for the nation beyond what 5 justices think.

  127. 127
    Morzer says:

    One small, but gratifying datapoint from Mississippi:

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/l.....esignation

    The chairman of the Mississippi Federation of College Republicans’ (MFCR) announced on Monday he was resigning and planned to become a Democrat following a brutal U.S. Senate primary.

    “The Republican Party has shifted too far to the right in my opinion,” Evan Alvarez wrote in a resignation statement sent out by MFCR, according to The Clarion-Ledger newspaper. “When I ran for Chairman in the spring, I ran to be Chairman of the Mississippi Federation of College REPUBLICANS, not the Mississippi Federation of College ‘Tea Partiers,'” Alvarez said.

    The resignation came after the MFCR board decided to not impeach the organization’s executive director, Kolby Busby, for publicly endorsing state Sen. Chris McDaniel in the GOP primary against U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran. McDaniel eventually lost the race in a runoff.

    I feel a slight twinge of pity for anyone named Kolby Busby.

  128. 128
    MikeJ says:

    @raven:

    Eight rebel fighters have been crucified in Syria by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) because they were considered too moderate, a monitoring group said on Sunday.

    Not that long ago McCain was calling Obama a weak leader for not staging a military invasion to hand Syria over to these guys,.

  129. 129
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Tommy: Because some of us are cantankerous but fighting with conservatives is stupid because they don’t even share baseline reasoning with us. So we fight with each other.

  130. 130
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Cervantes: I don’t think anyone expected that corporations would be found to be persons and thus covered by that law. Because it’s unbelievably stupid to zip Citizens United together with RFRA and say, voila, some companies have religiously-inspired consciences. Yet that’s what SCOTUS has backed itself into doing. Stupid, stupid, dumb, and more stupid.

  131. 131
    C.V. Danes says:

    @beltane:

    If there is going to be any progress in this country, it’s going to be necessary to demagogue the stupid people.

    I think that’s where the Republican war on words has been the most effective. Democrats try to have nuanced discussions about the facts, but these people don’t do nuance. Life is literally black or white to them, and even the darkest/lightest shade of grey is suspect.

    Democrats need to learn to talk dumb.

  132. 132
    Morzer says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    I think this is probably the final spasm of the Reagan Revolution before the pendulum swings back. It may swing back more slowly and painfully than any of us would like, but I do believe we shall reach a brighter future.

  133. 133
    El Caganer says:

    @raven: Wonder if they were some of those moderate rebels we’re planning on sending bo-koo bucks to.

  134. 134
    Kropadope says:

    @Linnaeus: I think a major reason I don’t run to the pitchforks is that my prospective allies in the pitchfork mob would be the libertarians. I’m not participating in anything that helps those maniacs.

  135. 135
    Roger Moore says:

    @FlipYrWhig:
    I don’t think it’s as stupid as you do. They know that they’re the ones defining the limits of who gets to have religious views and who doesn’t. So the ruling is really that private businesses who the 5 conservative judges on the Supreme Court agree with get to have their religious views privileged, and anyone else can pound sand.

  136. 136
    mdblanche says:

    @Cervantes: The RFRA is a pretty simple law, really. All it does is require the courts to apply strict scrutiny in cases where the feds are sued for violating the First Amendment’s free exercise clause, which had been the standard for decades before a Supreme Court decision denying unemployment benefits to Native American Church members fired for smoking peyote (Guess who wrote that decision? That’s right, Antonin Scalia.).

    @Betty Cracker: The difference in the past was they didn’t have to join hands with non-whites to do so.

  137. 137
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @beltane: For years I have said that IMHO a great political ad campaign would be “The Republicans must think you’re pretty stupid.” Point out all the ways they manipulate us and tell us half-truths and outright lies. That way the issue is clearly not “Hey, pal, stop being so stupid and wise up,” but rather, “Hey, pal, you’re not stupid, you’re being hoodwinked, and here’s how to see through it.” It’s “meta” but I think it would work.

  138. 138
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Morzer: I think some liberals have been held hostage too long. I only vaguely remember the Reagan years, they must have been horrible.

  139. 139
    Morzer says:

    @Kropadope:

    Every revolution must have its Mensheviks.

  140. 140
    Violet says:

    After this ruling, would it be possible to have a “closely held” company and because of the “religious beliefs of the company” refuse to cover health procedures or medications for men if they in any way involve the reproductive tract? How about covering heart medication or heart procedures for men if those are against the religious beliefs of the company?

    Based on this ruling, would that sort of thing be possible?

  141. 141
    raven says:

    @El Caganer: Probably to the NOT moderate rebels know out dumb fuck approach.

  142. 142
    beltane says:

    @C.V. Danes: I’ve been saying for a long time that the Democrats have to test their messaging on the least intelligent groups of voters they can find. It doesn’t matter if the messaging is incomprehensible to the rest of us, it’s the dumb people who must be reached

  143. 143
    Morzer says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    Yes, they have – and they’ve run far too much of the Democratic party for far too long.

  144. 144
    Anoniminous says:

    @Tommy:

    Look at the graph again. The 18-24 turnout in 2012 was a drop of 7 points from 2008. A goodly swatch of that drop were people who were already registered, had previously voted, and didn’t. All they had to do to vote was show up. I don’t know how to “make it easier.”

    Meanwhile The Olds are chugging along at 70% turn out.

    So. You are a politician. What age demographic are you going to listen to, talk to, and curry?

  145. 145
    C.V. Danes says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Yet that’s what SCOTUS has backed itself into doing. Stupid, stupid, dumb, and more stupid.

    I don’t think it is stupid at all. It think it is, sadly, a brilliantly executed strategy to turn our democracy into an oligarchy under the guise of theocracy. The conservatives are earning the dividends of decades of politically outmaneuvering the liberals. At some point, you would think the liberals would get tired of getting their ass kicked and pack the National Mall with people who want their democracy back.

  146. 146
    raven says:

    @beltane: Why’s everybody always pickin on me. . .

  147. 147
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Roger Moore: But not religious views all in all, just religious views about zygotes. It’s… peculiar.

  148. 148
    Tommy says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    because they don’t even share baseline reasoning with us.

    I mentioned a few times in this thread, many times here in general, my brother married into this tea party family. On first meeting them it took me all of about 10 minutes to realize there was no need to engage. Debate.

    It would do no good other then raising my blood pressure.

    I can debate with my parents, moderate Republicans (yes there are a few left). We share the same set of facts. That family my brother married into, we can’t even agree on facts. A fact they don’t agree with is some liberal conspiracy.

    I hate to say this, but I feel sorry for them.

  149. 149
    Morzer says:

    @raven:

    Because you are a very naughty, wicked crow-cousin.

    Doesn’t it make you feel better, now you know?

  150. 150
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @C.V. Danes: It’s not brilliantly executed, though, because if that was their goal they could have gone much, much further. Just say that you’ve found that all businesses have consciences identical to those of their ownership group and you’ve thrown American politics into total confusion. They didn’t do that — they did something smaller and weirder.

  151. 151
    Trollhattan says:

    @Morzer:

    Got it. Still thick as a thick thing, then.

  152. 152
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Tommy: I feel your pain. My brother is a communist. I get the same nonsense, but from the left.

  153. 153
    Roger Moore says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    But not religious views all in all, just religious views about zygotes.

    Just wait until they sue about something else, whereupon the same logic will be extended to whatever else the Talibangelicals want.

  154. 154
    C.V. Danes says:

    @beltane: Seriously. We can talk intelligently amongst ourselves but still talk to the masses in terms they can understand. Revolutionaries have been doing it for thousands of years.

  155. 155
    Tommy says:

    @Anoniminous: I have clients, friends, folks in places where it can take them more then an hour to vote. I can vote in minutes. I am in and out of the place in record time. When I tell that to people in other places they are like “dude that is so cool.” Look I think younger people are lazy. Maybe not lazy but used to instant access to this or that. Are they going to wait in a line for an hour, five hours to vote? I don’t think so. Make voting fast and efficient, I think they would vote more. Just my two cents.

  156. 156

    @beltane:

    Yes. The Supreme Court has inadvertently pushed us towards the European model of single-payer and widespread abandonment of organized religion.

    Huzzah!

  157. 157
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Morzer: arrrgh yes. Lieberman may be gone, but there are too many like him left

  158. 158
    Linnaeus says:

    @Kropadope:

    That too. Pitchforks don’t always come from the left.

  159. 159
    raven says:

    @C.V. Danes: Yea and how’s that revolution coming?

  160. 160
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @C.V. Danes: I might disagree with you that conservatives tend to get over their differences. Case in point: Cohran v McDaniel.

  161. 161
    Cacti says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    They didn’t do that — they did something smaller and weirder.

    Pretty much.

    Their decision was 100% results oriented, and consequently, logically indefensible.

  162. 162

    @Violet:

    No. They limited the scope to just abortion. As that’s not something that men experience, it won’t affect them. Until someone invents a pill for men that causes the sperm to fire an AR-15 in the womb, that is.

    This vote was JUST for women and gave special rights JUST to fundie Christians. It was incredibly, dumbfoundingly biased against specific classes of people. I am still stunned that they thought they could get away with it.

  163. 163
    raven says:

    @Kropadope: I understand that this overused pitchfork bullshit is just a metaphor but my grumpy ass is sick of it. How many people here have been on the line against teargas and clubs? Not too goddamn many I venture to say. Talk is cheap.

  164. 164
    Roger Moore says:

    @Cacti:

    Their decision was 100% results oriented, and consequently, logically indefensible.

    Which doesn’t matter. As long as they maintain their majority, they can keep making illogical, results-oriented decisions to paper over the logical gaps made by their previous decisions. When they lose their majority, their decisions are going to get overturned like crazy. The only logic they care about is “we win, you lose”.

  165. 165
    Kropadope says:

    @raven: Talk is cheap. I can afford it by the bucket-load.

  166. 166
    C.V. Danes says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Just say that you’ve found that all businesses have consciences identical to those of their ownership group and you’ve thrown American politics into total confusion. They didn’t do that — they did something smaller and weirder.

    They don’t want to throw American politics into total confusion. American politics has been very nice to them. What they want to do is subvert our democracy inch by inch until the term itself has no real meaning. They want autocracy, but they have to convince us to put the yoke on ourselves, because the people who lose the most in a revolution are the rich. They don’t want to risk losing their riches, they just want us to agree that they have a right to call the shots because their money makes them better than us, as in an aristocracy without the name.

  167. 167
    D58826 says:

    @kc: It’s a little more complicated. The law was passed to reverse an opinion by one Justice Scalia that said the state of Oregon had a legitimate secular interest in regulating the use of peyote. Obviously Scalia has changed his mind on the matter. But then maybe not, since its still ok to tell Jehovah’s Witnesses that they have to cover blood transfusions.

  168. 168
    raven says:

    @Kropadope: I wasn’t really thinking of you but you knew that probably.

  169. 169
    Morzer says:

    @raven:

    Talk is cheep, said the wise bird.

  170. 170
    Kropadope says:

    @raven: Yeah, won’t stop me from my lame attempts to be a wise-ass.

  171. 171
    raven says:

    @Kropadope: Me neither.

  172. 172
    Violet says:

    @Southern Beale: I don’t know. Justice Ginsburg said this in her dissent:

    “In a decision of startling breadth, the Court holds that commercial enterprises, including corporations, along with partnerships and sole proprietorships, can opt out of any law (saving only tax laws) they judge incompatible with their sincerely held religious beliefs,” she wrote. “The Court’s determination that RFRA extends to for-profit corporations is bound to have untoward effects. Although the Court attempts to cabin its language to closely held corporations, its logic extends to corporations of any size, public or private.”

    “The absence of such precedent is just what one would expect, for the exercise of religion is characteristic of natural persons, not artificial legal entities,” she wrote. She concluded: “Indeed, approving some religious claims while deeming others unworthy of accommodation could be ‘perceived as favoring one religion over another,’ the very ‘risk the Establishment Clause was designed to preclude.’ The Court, I fear has ventured into a minefield.”

    I think there’s a real opening for members of other religions to deny whatever to whomever under this decision.

  173. 173
    scav says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Do seem to be at a bit of a transition point in the recent tradition of lockstep obedience and mutual support culture in that tent. Looking at how they can’t handle the caucus in-house and how badly they’re handling primaries, elections and polling for several years now — I’m not yet convinced they’ve adjusted yet to the new realities, either factual or “experienced”. Pockets are doing better than others.

  174. 174
    C.V. Danes says:

    @raven: Ask me again in a few decades when global warming has forced people to massively relocate to the cities in search for work at the same time that food, water, and reliable power start to run out. Think Syria, except much larger and in slow motion. Once a spark ignites, revolution will occur very rapidly in that situation, I assure you. Not that I am advocating that. Just sayin’

  175. 175
    raven says:

    @C.V. Danes: The future’s uncertain and the end is always near. . .

  176. 176
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    @Southern Beale:

    http://southernbeale.wordpress.....n-is-dead/

    Trouble is, they just did.

  177. 177
    Morzer says:

    @C.V. Danes:

    I don’t think it’s going to take decades – and part of the story will be the collapse of cities in Arizona and Texas that simply can’t find the water their populations will need.

  178. 178
    beltane says:

    @Violet: Yes, a Muslim owned company can now impose sharia law on its employees.

  179. 179
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @scav: You are correct, it is a recent shift.

  180. 180
    Cervantes says:

    @beltane:

    If there is going to be any progress in this country, it’s going to be necessary to demagogue the stupid people.

    Alas, lots of time and money is already being spent doing just that.

  181. 181
    Morzer says:

    @raven:

    Scalia’s on the road/His brain is squirming like a toad/Take a long holiday/Let the fundies play/If ya give this man a ride/
    The Supreme Court will die/Scalia on the road, yeah

  182. 182
    Violet says:

    @beltane: My company’s religious beliefs state that older white men who vote Republican should not have any health coverage.

  183. 183
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @beltane: Beautiful!

  184. 184
    Kay says:

    Why did Alito and his conservative brothers on the Court (literally, all 5 joining in the majority are men) rule this way? Principally, the Court bought the argument that “a home is not a union workplace.” The Court bought into the idea that the specifics of the domestic worker’s work arrangement causes domestic work to fall outside of the Abood framework.

    Domestic work isn’t “real” work. Fabulous. Who are these domestic workers who don’t do real work? Do we even have to look?

    In-home workers are more than 90 percent female, and are disproportionately immigrants. One out of every nine foreign-born female workers with a high school degree or less works in an in-home occupation. In-home occupations are growing rapidly, driven by sharp growth in direct-care work, including personal care aides and home health aides.

  185. 185
    Tommy says:

    @Morzer: I live in a Great Lake state. For about two decades we’ve had a Great Lake work group. We figure at some time Georgia or Arizona will ask us for water. Georgia did a few years ago and we laughed at them. We have a resource other states will need. We’ve spent billions cleaning up the Lakes and asked other states to help pay. They said no. So now when other states want our water …. well they are not going to get it.

  186. 186
    Morzer says:

    @Tommy:

    http://www.mensjournal.com/mag.....r-20140623

    Meanwhile, everywhere you looked, fights were breaking out between cities in need of water and the rural counties that had it. That water – the last true stockpiles in the state – wasn’t sitting around in lakes and streams, though. It was far underground, beneath ranches and farms, in nine vast, fragile reserves called aquifers. One of them, the Carrizo-Wilcox, had the very bad luck to flow under Bastrop County, a pipeline’s distance from Austin, San Antonio, and the thirsty suburbs along the booming tech corridor I-35. For the past three years, it’s been under siege from third-party players with grand designs, speculators who have signed leases with Bastrop landowners to buy up the water under their soil and sell it, for astronomical profit, to those wealthy cities. (In other states, groundwater is a public utility regulated like rivers and streams; only Texas has no laws barring private investors from buying and selling it as they choose.) A rural board has fought them off on behalf of Bastrop County, whose populace wouldn’t fill the Austin stadium where the University of Texas plays football. Gnashing their teeth, the speculators sued, saying their God-given right to sell someone else’s water has been violated by the board. That case is headed to district court this fall, and every eye in Texas will be watching. If the speculators prevail – prove they’re entitled to all the water they’ve paid for, even at the expense of Bastrop’s residents – there will be a gold-rush run on counties with ample water and sparse populations to protect it. And then it won’t be rice farmers and oystermen going broke, it’ll be people in cities paying ransom rates to shower, and rural families waking up to dry wells and faucets as the aquifers they drink from drain and die.

  187. 187
    beltane says:

    @Violet: My company’s religious beliefs state that older white men who vote Republican must wear clown suits to work and only be permitted to eat brown rice and tofu. Otherwise my company fears it will suffer eternal damnation.

  188. 188
    NotMax says:

    @beltane

    Uh-huh. And the Moon is made of mascarpone.

  189. 189
    Kay says:

    @Violet:

    I don’t know why anyone would continue to believe anything they do is “limited in scope”. I could see hanging on to that for the first couple of years, but after gun laws and Citizens, it seems delusional to continue to say the conservatives will observe some sort of limit. They won’t.

  190. 190
    scav says:

    @Morzer: depending on any local fracking, it might be a race to see who (of the two non-corporate players) gets the worst deal in that particular deal of TX-Tac-Toe.

  191. 191
    Mnemosyne says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    The US government actually tried that during WWII with anti-racist propaganda films like this classic:

    “Don’t Be A Sucker”

    Classic movie fans should keep an eye out for a small cameo by Lubitsch stock company stalwart Felix Bressart.

  192. 192
    Violet says:

    @beltane: My company’s religious beliefs state that anyone who votes Republican must undergo either a penile probe or a vaginal probe once a month. By a doctor of course. To ensure their fitness for procreation, which is the religious obligation of Republicans. My company will suffer eternal damnation if this obligation is not fulfilled.

  193. 193
    Eric U. says:

    @raven: the secret to mobs is that they only work if there are a lot of really worked up people. Then it’s the easiest thing in the world. Problem is, Dems have a really, really hard time working themselves up like that. They don’t know what to do with their totebags when they have to carry a pitchfork in one hand and a torch in the other. In fact, mob rule works against us, I think history bears this out

  194. 194
    C.V. Danes says:

    @Morzer: That will be the beginning, for sure. The question in my mind is how quickly the situation will unfold, and if the U.S can adapt quickly enough. The situation in Syria clearly changed faster than they could adapt, and they were already closer to boiling over due to sectarian disputes, and so on.

    We’re a huge country with lots of resources and we can absorb a lot more than just about any other country on Earth. But revolution is like boiling milk: it can simmer for a long time, then suddenly boil over.

  195. 195
    raven says:

    @Eric U.: Gettin knocked in the fucking head by the cops gives one pause.

  196. 196
    Mnemosyne says:

    @C.V. Danes:

    At some point, you would think the liberals would get tired of getting their ass kicked and pack the National Mall with people who want their democracy back.

    Because that worked so well at stopping the US from invading Iraq.

    You fail to understand the lesson that the Republicans learned from the Civil Rights Movement: if you control the levers of government, you don’t have to listen to any stinking protesters about anything.

  197. 197
    C.V. Danes says:

    @Eric U.: Truer words have rarely been spoken. Rome was burned by the masses while the intellectuals were fiddling with their togas :-)

  198. 198
    WaterGirl says:

    OT, but some happy news today: Bergdahl cleared of misconduct during captivity

    By :GREGORY FOLEY

    The U.S. Army has reported that it has found no evidence that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl of Hailey engaged in any misconduct during his five years in captivity of the Taliban.

    The report stated that there is no evidence Bergdahl helped his captors while he was held after going missing from his Army outpost in eastern Afghanistan five years ago today, June 30, 2009. However, the Army has not concluded its investigation into the Bergdahl case. Officials still plan to invetsigate the circumstances of Bergdahl’s capture by enemy forces. That investigation is expected to last several weeks or more.

  199. 199
    Belafon says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    You fail to understand the lesson that the Republicans learned from the Civil Rights Movement: if you control the levers of government, you don’t have to listen to any stinking protesters about anything.

    Actually, conservatives have known that for, like, forever. That’s why they’re rigging voting, worker’s rights, women’s rights, etc.

  200. 200
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    So now when other states want our water …. well they are not going to get it.

    @Tommy: I’m a California native, and have watched my entire life as the state, counties, and cities have handed out development permits to anyone with cold hard cash who could fog a mirror. Watched as the “stupid hippies” kept telling people that they were living in the middle of a fucking desert and that we couldn’t afford to keep parceling out water to those living here already, never mind the half-million or so folks moving here every year. Watched while the NorCal counties that actually had all the water had to go on water rationing while Angelenos and San Diegans kept watering their yards with not a care in the world. So I have a favor to ask. When California, as it inevitably will, comes to you folks and begs on bended knee to buy any of your water at any price you care to name –

    Please tell us to fuck off.

  201. 201
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Mnemosyne: The lesson from Occupy is that you can’t just show up one day and then leave.

  202. 202
    C.V. Danes says:

    @Mnemosyne: Oh, you won’t get an argument from me there. That will indeed work for a little while, or maybe quite long. But eventually, enough people will have lost utter faith in the government and hope for the future that pitchforks and bombs become their only hope. Just look at how much of the Middle East became involved in the Arab Spring, once it started, and how quickly it spread. It even reverberated here in the OWS movement, even though it was quickly dampened.

  203. 203
    Belafon says:

    @Eric U.: We’d be standing at an intersection arguing over which way to go, whether we need to stop at stoplights, and whether we let all of the aides out before we set the building fire.

  204. 204
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Mnemosyne: Nice!

  205. 205
    C.V. Danes says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    The lesson from Occupy is that you can’t just show up one day and then leave.

    Actually, I think the lesson from Occupy is that not a whole lot can stand against a coordinated government assault to shut you down. The government was not about to let that movement gain a foothold, no matter what.

  206. 206
    Trollhattan says:

    @WaterGirl:
    That is good news, and seems consistent with what we, the public knew versus what the wingnuts believed in their holy guts. They’ll still hang Benghazi on him, somehow, plus I’ll bet his dad still hasn’t shaved.

  207. 207
    shortstop says:

    This day has not kept hope alive. Work has been…difficult lately. Then I was musing over these two decisions when I snatched an hour to visit my elder friend in her nursing home (I volunteer with an org that visits isolated seniors who have no nearby family or friends, or at least none who bother to come see them). She is normally quite positive, but today spent an hour pouring out her frustrations with living in a nursing home for the Medicaid-dependent where the staff is overworked and the comforts few.

    I am aching for her.

    And I can’t be the only childless person who figures I might check myself out if I outlive my spouse and it comes to that. The modern nuclear family leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to generations joining forces to care for the very young and the very old.

  208. 208
    Mnemosyne says:

    @C.V. Danes:

    But eventually, enough people will have lost utter faith in the government and hope for the future that pitchforks and bombs become their only hope.

    That’s what they said in the 1960s and even into the 1970s. Funny how the reverse happened and conservatives took total control because the left was busy running around declaring revolution instead of trying to take the levers of power back.

    And I’m not sure that Egypt is really your best talking point here since a group that was even more conservative than Mubarak took over. Same in Iran, and the same thing will probably happen in Iraq and Syria. Revolutions rarely lead to less repressive governments.

  209. 209
    srv says:

    @Morzer:

    First they came for the women, and srv said nothing because….

    You’re saying Amanda Marcotte is wrong?

  210. 210
    Trollhattan says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!:
    Heh. But he’s too far away while we have Washington and British Columbia practically in our backyard.

    OTOH if the Bureau of Reclamation shows up, good luck to the state that tries to stop them.

  211. 211
    SatanicPanic says:

    @C.V. Danes: It accomplished all that it needed to- no more austerity talk after that. If the goal were to overthrow the government and replace it with something to Occupy’s liking, then it failed. THANKFULLY. I spent several days there and there’s no way I want those people running even a hot dog stand, let alone a government.

  212. 212
    Morzer says:

    @srv:

    You are Amanda Marcotte? Who knew?!

  213. 213
    dww44 says:

    @Betty Cracker: Great response, Betty. And altogether true. In my state just to the north of yours, the persistent belief is that blacks get free stuff all the time and whites don’t. This is a belief whetted and supported by Fox and 24/7 talk radio filled with conservative talking heads, many of whom are local and not regional or national. Mostly men, too.

    Re the Hobby Lobby case, it would be poetic justice if many of their workers walked to better benefits and medical coverage at other businesses. I do know that they just built a new store in my small city and I’ve yet to set foot thru their doors. Don’t plan to, either.

  214. 214
    beltane says:

    @SatanicPanic: They really did manage to shift the discussion to inequality instead of austerity. If there was a central point to the movement, that was it, so judged on those terms it was a success. Until OWS came along, the left never had a “them” in the form of the 1%ers.

  215. 215
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    But eventually, enough people will have lost utter faith in the government and hope for the future that pitchforks and bombs become their only hope.

    @C.V. Danes: The only problem here is that it’s not going to be the nice people, people who believe in freedom and equality, who pick up pitchforks and guns. Most of this nation’s gun owners, myself hopefully excluded, are all assholes.

  216. 216
    Cervantes says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    the left was busy running around declaring revolution instead of trying to take the levers of power back.

    That’s your synopsis of the ’60s and ’70s?

    Amazing.

  217. 217
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cervantes:

    That is my response to C.V. Danes’ argument that demonstrations are more important than having our politicians in office. Civil rights laws passed in the 1960s because liberals had enough votes in Congress to pass them, a president who would sign the legislation, and a Supreme Court that would back up the law.

    Political action is useless if you can’t get the legislation passed to put teeth into your demands.

  218. 218
    SatanicPanic says:

    @beltane: I don’t know if that was the central point of the movement, but I thought it was. By the time it was busted up, I don’t know if there was anything useful it could have done

  219. 219
    MomSense says:

    @shortstop:

    Damn. Sending a hug to you.

    Look for a place like this http://www.kaler-vaill.com/ It really is a special place.

  220. 220
    Cervantes says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    That is my response to C.V. Danes’ argument that demonstrations are more important than having our politicians in office.

    I must have missed that argument.

    Civil rights laws passed in the 1960s because liberals had enough votes in Congress to pass them, a president who would sign the legislation, and a Supreme Court that would back up the law.

    Interesting.

    And if I may ask: the American invasion of Vietnam was reversed because … ?

    Political action is useless if you can’t get the legislation passed to put teeth into your demands.

    Unless it begets further “political action,” which eventually leads to a desired result — yes?

  221. 221
    C.V. Danes says:

    @Mnemosyne: @CONGRATULATIONS!: It takes both having politicians in office with the courage to make change, and some form of protest to keep their feet to the fire to give them the courage to do so, if even for their own self preservation. This is a technique that the Tea Party has seemed to master, by the way. They may have lost the battle on getting more of their candidates in office, but they are winning the war by moving the Republican Party far enough to the right that the result is academic.

    As for Egypt, whatever, revolutions happen because enough people have no hope or faith in the current system that something sets them off and it sweeps the nation. Tarek al-Tayeb Mohamed Bouazizi was probably not a radical conservative when he poured gasoline over himself and set himself on fire, nor were the people who rose up because of it. They were people who had no hope left for change except to take to the streets, and they were undoubtedly not thinking much past that. The people who are running things now were clearly opportunistic, as they always are.

    As for OWS, I was there too, and the people who were there are NOT who the government was afraid of. The people they were afraid of were the ones who can run a hotdog stand, and who would probably have started joining if the movement had lasted the winter. The government’s goal was to shut it down before it got to that point.

  222. 222
  223. 223
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @C.V. Danes: “I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it.” – FDR

  224. 224
    Violet says:

    Looking forward to the challenges to the law.

    John Fugelsang @JohnFugelsang ·Supreme Court rules in #HobbyLobby case that religious preferences don’t have to follow laws. Your move, Rastafarians.

  225. 225
    C.V. Danes says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Political action is useless if you can’t get the legislation passed to put teeth into your demands.

    And my response to that is that this is true only as long as you are trying to work within the system. If we ever get to the point where revolution becomes viable, it will be because enough people have given up on passing legislation that they don’t care anymore. Revolutionaries can organize their hearts out as long as they want, but true revolution won’t happen until enough “regular” people become disenchanted and angry enough that pitchforks and bombs are the only options left for them. They’re just waiting for a spark to set them off, like someone just like them with the temerity to stand in front of the courthouse and set himself on fire.

  226. 226
    SatanicPanic says:

    @C.V. Danes: Who were these people who can run a hot-dog stand and were about to join OWS?

  227. 227
    Mnemosyne says:

    @C.V. Danes:

    It takes both having politicians in office with the courage to make change, and some form of protest to keep their feet to the fire to give them the courage to do so, if even for their own self preservation.

    There we go. Having demonstrations and other political action can be important, but it’s not sufficient on its own unless the end point is to overthrow the government entirely.

  228. 228
    C.V. Danes says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): Exactly. If you don’t, someone else will.

  229. 229
    Mnemosyne says:

    @C.V. Danes:

    Revolutionaries can organize their hearts out as long as they want, but true revolution won’t happen until enough “regular” people become disenchanted and angry enough that pitchforks and bombs are the only options left for them.

    You may be looking forward to the day the revolution comes and the Republic of Gilead is finally in place, but I sure ain’t. And the Republic of Gilead is a far, far more likely result of any US revolution than a free and open state.

  230. 230
    David Koch says:

    This must be a proud day for Ralph Nader.

  231. 231
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    That’s what they said in the 1960s and even into the 1970s. Funny how the reverse happened and conservatives took total control because the left was busy running around declaring revolution instead of trying to take the levers of power back.

    You don’t know what you’re talking about.There were only a handful on the left who advocated open revolution, I was there. The left was discarded in the back room deal nomination of Hubert Humphrey. Jimmy Carter’s hard luck presidency drove the last nail into the coffin. Lefties vote Democratic because it’s the last house on the block.The Democratic party now concentrates on winning big elections with center left candidates. It doesn’t even bother with the smaller ones. Take back the levers of power? Our party isn’t capable of doing so. All we can do is elect a president who will then sit in the White House railing against the Republican House. That’s not winning.

  232. 232
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cervantes:

    And if I may ask: the American invasion of Vietnam was reversed because … ?

    Because the Republicans were able to pin the failure on Democrats and liberals, which gave the Republicans cover to withdraw. See also, Nixonland.

    Those 18-year-olds who were newly given the right to vote in 1968 thanks to the protests? The majority of them voted for Nixon.

    Unless it begets further “political action,” which eventually leads to a desired result — yes?

    Again, it depends on your desired result. If your desired result is the overthrow of the current government and the establishment of a right-wing theocracy then, yes, it leads to your desired result. If your desired result is to fix problems within the current political system, then only legislation can bring that result.

    ETA: And in answer to the question that will probably be asked, I was born in 1969, so I have zero memory of politics in the Nixon/Ford era, much less Johnson. I know what people intended to do, but I’m only seeing the results. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

  233. 233
    lol says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    There were quite a few wins from 2009 to 2010 and those wins would’ve continued to pile up had the House not flipped.

  234. 234
    Cervantes says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    And the Republic of Gilead is a far, far more likely result of any US revolution than a free and open state.

    Any US revolution?

    Including the first one?

  235. 235
    Violet says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    The Democratic party now concentrates on winning big elections with center left candidates.

    Generally center-right candidates these days. The window has moved so far to the right that Nixon wouldn’t be welcome in the Republican party. Nor Reagan. What passes for “center-left” would have been teabagger level “conservatism” thirty years ago.

  236. 236
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: Dude, we had a supermajority in the Senate and control of the House only a few years ago.

  237. 237
    StringOnAStick says:

    @shortstop:

    And I can’t be the only childless person who figures I might check myself out if I outlive my spouse and it comes to that. The modern nuclear family leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to generations joining forces to care for the very young and the very old.

    My husband and I are childless, and niece- and nephew-less as well. Dealing with senility in our remaining parents has us talking about exactly this subject. Things like how long a life is long enough, how will we know and will methods for more easily checking out be easily available. I’m figuring assisted suicide will become a lot more common simply because most Boomers don’t have enough to live decently for an extended period after retirement, and the system will break. We aren’t the only ones worrying about this, and there are more urgent things to deal with right now, but this is bubbling out there right now and will grow more urgent with time.

    Maybe the revolution comes when 20% of the population is elderly and living in the streets.

  238. 238
    C.V. Danes says:

    @Mnemosyne: Why do you keep putting words in my mouth? Where in anything I have written today in this thread have I said that?

    The purpose of having demonstrations is to move the government in your direction. You can elect like-minded people as much as you want, but you have to be prepared to demonstrate if they don’t follow through. Otherwise, they will listen to whoever is demonstrating because they are, after all, elected people who want to keep getting elected and, in their mind, silence is assent.

    Demonstrations turn into revolts when enough people have had enough that they don’t care anymore. They’re no longer afraid to throw homemade bombs at tanks and rush machine guns because they have nothing left to lose. That’s a bad place for any country to be, because when the burning stops, it’s opportunistic groups like those in Egypt who step in and try to take charge. It almost never ends well.

  239. 239
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: While I agree with the first part of your statement, I don’t believe that is impossible or even unlikely that the Dems will take back the House (if not this you, in 2016). The GOP is going for broke because they have to. They are losing (just not quickly enough) and are doing as much damage as they can while they hold some power. At the end of the day, I still remain an optimist.

  240. 240
  241. 241
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    @Cervantes:

    The democrats lost the house due to hillarycare, not the bill you cited.

  242. 242
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    The left was discarded in the back room deal nomination of Hubert Humphrey.

    The Republican establishment has tried multiple times to discard the Tea Party in back room deals, but the Tea Party refuses to let them, because, unlike the left of the 1960s, the Tea Party knows that if you can control the levers of power, you can do what you want.

    The only way to take over a political party is to do it from the inside, the way Goldwater, Reagan, and the Tea Party have done. People on the left don’t want to do the work of becoming precinct captains and getting elected to school boards, but it’s the only thing that works long-term. Otherwise, you end up standing there with your thumb in your ass wondering where all of these Republican legislators came from and why there are no Democrats running against them.

  243. 243
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @lol:
    And if my aunt had balls she’d be my uncle. The House flipped because Obama was completely invested in passing his big deals rather than job creation. Nancy Pelosi punting on the Bush tax cuts didn’t help.

  244. 244
    C.V. Danes says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    You may be looking forward to the day the revolution comes and the Republic of Gilead is finally in place, but I sure ain’t. And the Republic of Gilead is a far, far more likely result of any US revolution than a free and open state.

    I hope to never see revolution in my lifetime. Revolution in this country would be the end of democracy, because what would we replace democracy with? Not democracy, to be sure. That was a once-in-a-millennia gift from the founding fathers. I would much rather work within the system than to break it.

  245. 245
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    Yoou’d be right save for the fact that the levers of power all rely on money from the same sources.

  246. 246
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Cervantes: That was hardly a bottom-up revolution.

  247. 247
    Mnemosyne says:

    @C.V. Danes:

    The purpose of having demonstrations is to move the government in your direction. You can elect like-minded people as much as you want, but you have to be prepared to demonstrate if they don’t follow through.

    And what do you do if you demonstrate your heart out and the government doesn’t follow through? Demonstrations are nice, but, again, if you don’t have access to the levers of power, you may as well jerk off at home.

    I feel like I’m the only person here who learned from Iraq that the important thing is not to put Republicans in charge, because you can demonstrate against them until your eyes bubble and they won’t give a shit.

    Otherwise, they will listen to whoever is demonstrating because they are, after all, elected people who want to keep getting elected and, in their mind, silence is assent.

    Actually, politicians listen to whoever it is that calls and writes their offices about issues. That’s one of the reasons why the teabaggers are winning — they’re flooding even Democratic offices with calls and letters and making congresscritters believe that we’re a “center-right” country. Getting 100 people to write letters to your (Democratic) members of Congress will go much further than one demonstration of 100,000 people.

  248. 248
    Cervantes says:

    @GHayduke (formerly lojasmo):

    The democrats lost the house due to hillarycare, not the bill you cited.

    They lost the House for many reasons, the health-care effort being one.

    I did not say anywhere that RFRA caused them to lose. I did suggest that it did not prevent the loss.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

  249. 249
    Cervantes says:

    @SatanicPanic: Oh, I agree completely.

  250. 250
    C.V. Danes says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    The only way to take over a political party is to do it from the inside, the way Goldwater, Reagan, and the Tea Party have done. People on the left don’t want to do the work of becoming precinct captains and getting elected to school boards, but it’s the only thing that works long-term. Otherwise, you end up standing there with your thumb in your ass wondering where all of these Republican legislators came from and why there are no Democrats running against them.

    What are we arguing about? Because it seems to me that we are mostly in agreement on this point.

  251. 251
    Cervantes says:

    @C.V. Danes:

    Why do you keep putting words in my mouth?

    One of life’s little mysteries.

    Savor it. (The mystery, I mean, not the stuffed-in-your-mouth persiflage.)

  252. 252
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    You’d be right save for the fact that the levers of power all rely on money from the same sources.

    Not necessarily — that’s why we have things like Act Blue. Most of Obama’s donors were small donors of less than $200 for the entire cycle. I’m pretty sure that Elizabeth Warren didn’t get elected to the Senate based on corporate donations from the banks. It can be done, but no one wants to do the hard work it will take. People on the Democratic side want to be able to vote for president every four years, not have to keep track of what their state politicians and members of Congress are doing year in and year out.

  253. 253
    Kay says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    The problem with this approach, Mnem, is you really do lose the heart of a political party. You seem to be saying that the people who show up regularly are motivated by the opportunity to pore over legislation and tweak federal law. That isn’t true. Those aren’t the people who go to county meetings and find candidates to run for office and talk endlessly about tactics. Really passionate people do that, and really passionate people almost by definition are a little over the top. They’re NOT wholly rational. They don’t even pretend to be!
    I think this idea that there are the useless “drum circle” people and then the serious wonks who do all the heavy lifting is very black and white, and you’re going to end up with a lot of meetings with 7 people who come back.
    The heart part is really important. That’s where the energy comes from. I guess we could have political parties that are wholly composed of DC professionals and uber-savvy pundits, but no one is going to that county meeting.

  254. 254
    lol says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    This kind of bullshit is why I have so little patience with The-Left-With-A-Capital-L.

    Why is there a complete inability to admit that so much good stuff got done Obama’s first two years?

    When there’s not a complete denial, there’s always minimization of accomplishments.

  255. 255
    Mnemosyne says:

    @C.V. Danes:

    We probably are mostly in agreement. It sounded like you were citing the revolutions in places like Egypt approvingly as the best way to get government action, but if you weren’t, then I apologize.

    My point is that demonstrations are, for the most part, pretty useless. The reason they worked for the Civil Rights Movement is that they continued on relentlessly, day after day, for almost 10 years (assuming you start with the Montgomery Bus Boycott — there are probably earlier dates you can start with). What really worked was getting Lyndon Johnson, Master of the Senate, on the side of civil rights and convincing him to work Congress over until he got the necessary votes.

  256. 256
    C.V. Danes says:

    @Mnemosyne: I feel like you are using me for a straw man for some reason. We are mostly in agreement, if you take the time to read what I have written in context.

    My only point about revolutions is that they only happen in modern times out of desperation, and not because they are planned. Demonstrations are planned, even violent ones. Revolutions only happen when enough people are desperate enough that something sets them off, and then all they care about is burning the place to the ground.

    And what the Tea Partiers are doing by swamping the phone lines and mail boxes is a form of protest. Protesting is more than just walking around in a circle with a sign. You want to get the ear of your politicians? You got to be prepared to speak louder than the Tea Party, and get out the vote.

  257. 257
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Kay:

    I think this idea that there are the useless “drum circle” people and then the serious wonks who do all the heavy lifting is very black and white, and you’re going to end up with a lot of meetings with 7 people who come back.

    I think we’re violently agreeing again, because what I want is for the “drum circle” people to show up at those meetings so they can use that passion and enthusiasm to find candidates they love and support. I’m actually complaining that a lot of the people on the left who are full of passion and enthusiasm are (IMO) wasting it on protests when they could be using it to change who gets elected.

    I’m not really on board with the wonks (although they are also needed when the actual legislation-writing time comes). Elizabeth Warren didn’t win because she’s a policy wonk, she won because she convinced people that she really cares about the little guy getting crushed by giant corporations.

    I think Kids Today can do it (I actually feel really good about Kids Today), but we as the adults need to encourage them and empower them to get involved in the nitty-gritty stuff like being a precinct captain or running for city council.

  258. 258
    Mnemosyne says:

    @C.V. Danes:

    Read #255 right above yours. :-)

  259. 259
    C.V. Danes says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    What really worked was getting Lyndon Johnson, Master of the Senate, on the side of civil rights and convincing him to work Congress over until he got the necessary votes.

    Yes, and then the protesters went away, and we have nearly lost it all. It took ten years of protesting to get there, but the protesting should never have stopped, because nature hates a vacuum, and if you aren’t protesting, someone else will, and the squeaky wheel is the one that gets the grease.

  260. 260
    lol says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    You mean, you don’t think it’s a better idea to minimize everything Obama has done and tell Kids Today that nothing gets done even when the Democrats are in charge?

  261. 261
    Morzer says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I feel like I’m the only person here who learned from Iraq that the important thing is not to put Republicans in charge

    Then you need to read the comments other people on here write.

  262. 262
    C.V. Danes says:

    @Mnemosyne: Yep. I think we are “violently agreeing” to use your term :-)

  263. 263
    J R in WV says:

    I made an executive decision. Not only to fight back with a tall stiff gin and tonic, but to make some more contributions.

    I contributed to 5 women (and Emily’s List) and two men.

    Ron Barber, who is the Congressman from the district we have a tiny winter camp in SE Arizona. He was won election twice, and the Republicans hate him. He was shot when Gabby was injured so terribly, but seems to be fine now.

    Nick Rahall, who isn’t a wildly liberal Dem, but he is our representative from West Virginia. I went to HS just a couple of eyars behind him, and did some photography for his very first campaign 40 years ago. He is the 4th most senior congressman, and except for having to suck up to the coal industry is a pretty good guy.

    Natalie Tennant, the WV Secretary of State, who is running for the Senate seat being vacated by Jay Rockefeller’s retirement at the end of his term. Rocky has been a good senator, and was responsible for SCHIP health care for children, among many other health care projects.

    Natalie is running against R Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito. She is the daughter of ex-Gov and ex-Congressman, Arcn A Moore Jr, convicted felon and long term grifter. Her very first job was as a Delegate to the state legislature, and then she won her Dad’s seat in Congress. No real earn a living jobs, ever. Mr Capito, her husband is an investment broker and bankster.

    So we also phone bank for her. Which for an up the hollow hermit is really hard!

    Also contributing to Alison Grimes, running for Senate in Kentucky, against “Turtle” McConnell. Hanging in a little bit ahead of Mitch in the polls, in spite of millions of dollars being spent on nearly-criminal TV ads by the hugely wealthy Koch brother’s Bircher groups.

    And for the first time because it was exciting, to Wendy Davis in Texas, just to make a point. Wendy has over 133,000 individual donors so far. Well, 133,001 now!!

    Also for the first time, Michelle Nunn, running for the Senate in GA. She too is ahead in the major polls, which surprised me, Mrs J R said she thought that might be good money after bad when we discussed it… so I looked up the polls. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution says she’s ahead, and that’s good enough for me.

    Lastly, Mary Burke, who is running for Gov. in WI against Scott Walker. I’m not sure on the polling numbers there, but Scott has pissed off a lot of people, so maybe she has a real change, with a little support.

    Now none of these contributions is huge. We’re retired folks with expenses, so locally we do volunteer work. But I can’t go to GA, or WI, or KY or (Gawd Forbid!) Texas to volunteer. So we made small contributions via ActBlue, who got 10% of all those contributions for their expenses.

    So now I want to urge everyone who is angry about what the reicht-wing is up to to pick a race, or even a few, and kick in $10! Or even $25… or whatever you can afford, just one time. Then in a couple of months, maybe you can do another $10. It adds up after a while, and you get counted in the totalization of donors, which also counts, Too!

    I’m still angry, but feeling angry and doing something about it feels so much better than just empty anger!!! Go do something!!! Volunteer, donate, take fresh cookies to the campaign office where the other volunteers are phone banking! Just do something!

    You will feel better after, I promise!

    Did’ja notice how all but 2 candidates were women? Sweet, make the troglodytes even crazier, huh?!?!!! Oh Yeah, I also gave to Ron Zerban, who is running against Paul Ryan! He’s done it at least the 3rd time. So that’s 3 guys, not two. Still mostly women!!

    He’s a really human guy, who has called to talk to me himself ever since the first time I told him I couldn’t donate because Mrs J R was in MICU, and I needed to find out if we were bankrupt after she finished up her hospital stay.

    He immediately stopped talking about politics and asked how she was, and why she was in ICU. So we talked about that until I had to go to the hospital. And he always asks how her recovery is coming. She fired her first PT guy, who started the first therapy session by telling her that supplemental Oxygen is nothing to be ashamed of, nor is needing to use a walker.

    She told him he was an incompetent boob for not pushing her to do the best she can until they were both satisfied that she had achieved the best outcome possible for her condition. And not to come back, to send someone prepared to be an optimist pushing her to work harder.

    We took a trip last fall to the mountains, and she walked miles many days, often in the dark of caves, no walker or OXY, thanks.

    That’s just how she is. Why I love her!

    So get out there and fight for the rights we need, for the Congress and Senate we deserve! You’ll be glad you did!!

  264. 264
    SatanicPanic says:

    @lol: Second this. I guess the ACA doesn’t matter because not enough jobs were created?

  265. 265
    Mnemosyne says:

    @C.V. Danes:

    Yes, and then the protesters went away, and we have nearly lost it all.

    Huh? The Civil Rights Act was signed in 1964. The Fair Housing Act was signed in 1968. At worst, you could say that the civil rights protesters switched to protesting Vietnam — the timeline is about right.

    But I would also say that, sadly, terrorism works, and the murders of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy dampened the enthusiasm of a lot of people.

  266. 266
    Kay says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I just don’t think the two groups are mutually exclusive. I don’t think we have enough people to start tiering them for levels of effectiveness.
    We had a little tiny Occupy group here and one of them, Dolores, latched onto the idea of a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens. I don’t know if she’ll ever succeed but I think she’s great. She’s always all worked about something, but she certainly shows up.
    Does Twitter have any effect on anything? I don’t know. I don’t use it, but the people who do use it are engaged, at least.
    Have the Moral Monday protesters accomplished anything? I don’t know. They met each other, so they accomplished that much. I was certainly glad as hell to see them out there.

  267. 267
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Morzer: To be fair, I didn’t learn that from Iraq. i had known for a while.

  268. 268
    Cervantes says:

    @J R in WV: Thank you.

    Not least for writing.

  269. 269
    Morzer says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    Ronald Reagan taught me that particular lesson long before the Unelected One wobbled into town. Still, I shouldn’t be too hard on Mnem. Some people take longer than others to understand how things work.

  270. 270
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Morzer: When I was 8, my life was pretty good so I figured that there was no reason to fire the current president. A short time later, Watergate hit the news. I learned young.

  271. 271
    Cervantes says:

    @Kay:

    I don’t think we have enough people to start tiering them for levels of effectiveness.

    No, but perhaps some people enjoy the exercise regardless. Perhaps it justifies their decisions to do and not do various things. Who knows?

    On a separate note: for what it’s worth, I disagreed with you (was it yesterday? no, it was this morning) re Roberts and women’s agency, etc.

  272. 272
    J R in WV says:

    @Cervantes:

    You’re welcome. Being Active is always better than sitting in a black pool of dispair!

    Sometimes. It. Is. Hard! But at least for today, I’m fighting back and being active.

    I just got an email from Grimes in KY – she’s just $3250 away from her quarterly grassroots goal with 6 hours to go!!

  273. 273
    Betty Cracker says:

    @J R in WV: Bless you, sir, and the missus.

    Maybe I’m naive, but I assume most of the folks who take the time to natter on about politics all day here are engaged, and therefore voters, door-knockers and campaign contributors to the extent their means allow.

    It sounds like you’ve found an excellent strategy for making your views known.

  274. 274
    liberal says:

    @Cacti: agreed. WTF is up with Ginsburg and Breyer?

  275. 275
    docg says:

    If covered previously, my apologies. I can’t help but wonder what a Christian Science owned business health insurance policy will now look like.

  276. 276
    rikyrah says:

    @hoodie:

    Maybe the difference is that a lot of poor African Americans know they’re getting the shitty end of stick, and it’s acceptable within their community to say so, while poor white folks don’t want to admit they’re in the same boat because it would be an ego blow and loss of face in theirs.

    This is the group that says,

    Sure, my life sucks, but at least I’m not a Nigger.

    And, they cling to that like a junkie with a fix.

    They fell for it…for generations…

    who wants to admit that they’ve been a fucking tool against their own interests?

  277. 277
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @liberal: Okay, I’ll bite. When exactly should a supreme court justice resign?

  278. 278
    C.V. Danes says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    But I would also say that, sadly, terrorism works, and the murders of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy dampened the enthusiasm of a lot of people.

    I would have a different perspective on that. What it did was deepen the resentment that many felt about the racial divide in this country, and gave some legitimacy to radicalism as a response, right or wrong.

  279. 279
    SuperHrefna says:

    @Morzer: That’s a completely horrifying article, yet I’m so glad I read it, thank you. I am so worried about this drought, it is not going to end well.

  280. 280
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): I’ll be less polite: It’s a stupid fucking thing to try to shame current liberal SCOTUS Justices into retiring. Like the gang of yay-hoos in Congress isn’t crazy enough to stonewall any nominee who is to the left of Bork and attempt to run out the 2016 clock? I want some of what they’re smoking!

  281. 281
    Kay says:

    @Cervantes:

    I don’t agree. I think womens decisions about health care are treated like no other health care issue.

    They’re treated like they are up for debate, always, and by anyone. I don’t believe that if there were a religious group that opposed cosmetic surgery on the grounds of “vanity” that would be treated as a subject that is worthy of the protection of “counseling without consent”. That would never happen.

    Think about how bizarre this is. In the US, where people get protections on privacy and health care all the time women walking into a clinic are treated as open to everyone and anyone who wants to approach them personally and counsel them. Justice Roberts thinks whether I visit a clinic or not is “an issue of national debate” and the citizenry can just engage me personally and really have a good debate on whether I go in or not.

    I know adults who do not want people to know they go the doctor at all! It’s private! I know them and I don’t know why they’re going! But women walking into a clinic? Weigh in! Just opine away! After all, obviously none of us have any fucking idea what we’re doing unless we receive involuntary counseling.

    It IS about agency and I don’t care if the women on the court saw it as a First Amendment issue. They’re wrong. They gave deference to a group of people who see my health as their personal crusade and once again women were placed second to whoever shows up and claims a right to tell them what to do. We’re always second in this debate. Always. Everyone has a prior and more important claim.

  282. 282
    Kay says:

    @Cervantes:

    And, Cervantes, I know lots of liberal women I disagree with on one thing or another. I disagree with Kagan and Ginsburg and Sotomayor on this. I don’t want them removed and I’m not personally attacking them. I DON’T think any other health issue would get this kind of treatment. Women are treated differently as far as health care, and it happened in this case, again.

    They came second to the “counselors” right to counsel them. The counselors rights and feelings were put ahead of the woman going into the clinic.

  283. 283
    Cervantes says:

    @Kay:

    I disagree with Kagan and Ginsburg and Sotomayor on this. I don’t want them removed and I’m not personally attacking them.

    Just to be clear: I had no doubt about these things.

    Thanks.

  284. 284
    Kay says:

    @Cervantes:

    It’s hard to explain. The constant scrutiny is itself weirdly oppressive. My daughter expresses it as “why are they always talking about us?” and I got an email from a younger sister today that was “fuck these old men”. Both of these women are very quiet people! My daughter is the person the phrase “keeps her own counsel” was invented to describe. They’re both ranting, and sputtering mad! :)

  285. 285
    Comrade Scrutinizer says:

    @raven: I was SDS, after the split. Did some marches, but never got gassed or beat on. Still pull out the Port Huron Statement and read it, from time to time. It gives me a sad.

  286. 286
    Comrade Scrutinizer says:

    @Kay: A thousand times this.

  287. 287
    Cervantes says:

    @Kay: I agree on many levels but then you keep saying this sort of thing:

    Justice Roberts thinks whether I visit a clinic or not is “an issue of national debate” and the citizenry can just engage me personally and really have a good debate on whether I go in or not.

    It isn’t only John; it is also Sonia and Elena and, above all, Ruth. I won’t insult you by belaboring the experience of these three women but, by the same token, you can’t just ignore it.

    Anyhow, I’m sure you’re aware that people here in Massachusetts are already working on a legislative response to the Court’s ruling. If you have thoughts to offer, I’m certain they’d appreciate hearing from you.

  288. 288
    KS in MA says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Totally right.

  289. 289
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Cervantes: I would expect that they pass a roving 6-8 foot no interference rule. It will be harder to enforce, but I would hope that the hte various MA communities file charges for every violation of the next law they pass and prosecute to the full extent possible.

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