Give a Bigot an Inch, They Take a Mile

No one could have predicted:

The day after the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling, a group of religious leaders sent a letter to President Barack Obama asking that he exempt them from a forthcoming executive order that would prohibit federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT people.

The letter, first reported by The Atlantic, was sent on Tuesday by 14 representatives, including the president of Gordon College, an Eric County, Pa., executive and the national faith vote director for Obama for America 2012, of the faith community.

“Without a robust religious exemption,” they wrote, “this expansion of hiring rights will come at an unreasonable cost to the common good, national unity and religious freedom.”

I guess they think that since slut-shaming is now a protected religious right, so is gay bashing.

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

    My religion holds hating wimmenz/teh gays/the blahs/etc. as one of its highest virtues, and by gum, the constitution sez I can do it!!

  2. 2
    ET says:

    Wow. That didn’t even take a week.

    While I don’t think the Supremes that decided this had bigotry by religious exemption as an intention, I do think their Ivory Town insulates them from the real world and what thought was narrow decision had much bigger implications in the short term (i.e. until a case ends up at their bench).

  3. 3
    Poopyman says:

    The (hoped for) response:
    “NO. So sue me.”

  4. 4
    gf120581 says:

    Simple solution. You want to discriminate against gays, you don’t get any federal contracts.

    You want to be bigoted assholes, it’s going to cost you in the pocketbook.

  5. 5
    Poopyman says:

    @ET:

    While I don’t think the Supremes that decided this had bigotry by religious exemption as an intention…

    Assumes facts not in evidence.

  6. 6
    NotMax says:

    Used to have a running title for relevant posts at my old blog.

    “Give ’em an inch and they’ll take the ruler.”

    It remains an eternal truth.

  7. 7
    Poopyman says:

    The TPM article doesn’t explain, but what kind of Federal contracts are given out to religious orgs, anyway?

  8. 8
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    @NotMax:

    With this group, it honestly feels like ‘Give them an inch, they’ll take a mile, then complain they didn’t get 3.”

  9. 9
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Poopyman: They’re prime contractors for the actual provision of a lot of social services.

  10. 10
    Tone In DC says:

    You want to discriminate against gays, you don’t get any federal contracts.

    I couldn’t agree more.
    These “faith-based” people that wrote to BHO don’t have a beam in their collective eye, they have a fucking forest.

  11. 11
    Violet says:

    My deeply held religious belief states that men who vote Republican should not be allowed access to boner pills. Allowing such access violates my deeply held beliefs.

    Can someone bring a case like that?

  12. 12
    different-church-lady says:

    @ET:

    While I don’t think the Supremes that decided this had bigotry by religious exemption as an intention…

    But that’s exactly what’s so insidious about systemic bigotry: there’s always “other reasons” that, nonetheless, in the end add up to bigotry.

    “I’m not being bigoted — I’m just doing what society says is reasonable.” Yeah, and that thing is bigoted.

  13. 13
    Trollhattan says:

    @Davis X. Machina:
    The more relevant point may be that suddenly, a lot of corporations are “getting religtion” to try and leverage it to their advantage.

  14. 14
    NorthLeft12 says:

    This kind of attitude is what really convinced my wife and I to leave the Catholic Church. This ability to rationalize and justify their prejudice and hatred of others with religion teachings.

    I swear that if JC had a time machine, he would go back and make sure that Christianity would never be rather than let it become the backward and bigoted stain on human history that it is.

    NOTE: Sorry about the hyperbole, but I am pretty pissed over this. These religions have so much capacity for good in the world, yet are too wrapped up in hate and greed and ignorance to bother.

  15. 15
    NotMax says:

    Completely OT:

    As this is being typed, TCM is already into a mini-marathon of movies with Chester Morris.

    Or, as I refer to him, “The Actor Who Kept Brylcreem In Business.”

    (Advert for you young ‘uns.)

  16. 16
    NorthLeft12 says:

    @ET: Not sure why you are giving those five cretins the benefit of the doubt. Their record speaks for itself, no?

  17. 17
    boatboy_srq says:

    @ET: Nope. You expected the Reichwing FundiEvangelist Xtians to have to think about this? I’m waiting for them to begin disputing hiring/treating/etc ni-CLANGS and CLANGheads.

    @gf120581: And they’ll promptly shriek “Persecution” or “unfair business practice” or some such. They won’t be happy until they have explicit permission to discriminate freely against anyone not part of their sexual orientation ethnicity Xtian sect Righteous Real Ahmurrcan Patriotism™ and the rest of us can DIAF go back where we came from relocate somewhere more conducive to our heathen ways sinfulness convictions.

  18. 18
    chopper says:

    wait, so they’re religious leaders as well as federal contractors? floor wax and dessert topping?

  19. 19
    scav says:

    Come on You People Of Perfected Faith! Leap on it! Claim “Special Rights” after overtly protesting what you claimed gays were asking for since forever. You folks really need to demonstrate more widely how much you embody hatred for and an utter lack of being able to get along with anyone even slightly different than yourselves. Oh, and the rejecting laws or scientific, etc. realities you don’t feel like obeying.

  20. 20
    The Moar You Know says:

    I guess they think that since slut-shaming is now a protected religious right, so is gay bashing.

    Up next for “religious protection”: serving Negroes at lunch counters.

    Are we going to have to relitigate the entire last 70 years of American history? Because I’m not up for that.

    While I don’t think the Supremes that decided this had bigotry by religious exemption as an intention

    @ET: You have a charming level of faith that I just simply don’t share. I think they intended exactly this.

  21. 21
    BGinCHI says:

    I’m obviously not glad about the hatred and nakedly discriminating homophobia here, but I’m also glad to see the last vestiges of the religious right coming out openly for hatred and negativity.

    Let’s not let them hide anymore. Let’s get them out and on the record for what they stand for: against human rights and dignity in the name of a document written by people thousands of years ago.

    Do any of these fucking idiots even know how the Old Testament came to be written?

  22. 22
    Tiny Tim says:

    Catholics (not all catholics etc) strangely don’t really believe other religions exist. I don’t mean that they think other religions are wrong, I mean that to some degree they don’t acknowledge that they exist. Freedom of religion means freedom to be Catholic. So there is some set of “deeply held beliefs” that will make sense to the conservative catholic 5 on the bench, and the rest won’t, and they won’t see any issue with this.

  23. 23
    boatboy_srq says:

    @different-church-lady: I’d be interested to learn whether the Justices who voted in favor would be welcomed as fellow Xtians by the Greens (of Hobby Lobby ownership) and their congregation (I’m guessing not) – and how that would sit with Their [cough] Honors.

    @Tiny Tim: At least Catholics recognize a global community, with parishes all over the globe. Some of the extreme FundiEvangelist groups (AoG springs to mind, but there are others) that don’t even recognize those of the same sect if they don’t share a pastor and a building.

  24. 24
    JPL says:

    @Violet: The lawyers can pipe up but since religious organizations don’t seem to think boner pills are a problem, it would be difficult.

  25. 25
    scav says:

    @boatboy_srq: Might even see a breakaway Catholic splinter where the mass is in latin and child buggery a protected sacrament right up there with the holy oil. Isn’t there that oddish group now somewhere in South America that is halfway there?

  26. 26
    Schlemizel says:

    @ET:
    You give them way too little credit and assume too much good intention. The rulings they have made are very clearly thought out to justify what it is they want to agree to. Not based on legal principle or previously settled law but on the 5 morans personal beliefs. They know EXACTLY what they are doing.

  27. 27
    The Moar You Know says:

    The TPM article doesn’t explain, but what kind of Federal contracts are given out to religious orgs, anyway?

    @Poopyman: More social services stuff than you would ever feel comfortable with.

    Bush the Lesser really boosted this area of government welfare, but it has been around for quite some time, and it is quite the profitable racket.

  28. 28
    boatboy_srq says:

    @The Moar You Know: Not the last 70 years of US history; the last 500 years of Xtian history. It’s Wars of the Reformation 2.0 – and the Peace of Westfalia is officially dead.

  29. 29
    Ken says:

    the common good, national unity and religious freedom

    The original was “War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength”, but this is a reasonable paraphrase.

  30. 30
    Zam says:

    @Tiny Tim: Well I certainly don’t remember that part from my Catholic confirmation classes, then again I’ve been learning a lot about Catholics from people on the internet this week.

  31. 31
    Roger Moore says:

    @ET:

    I don’t think the Supremes that decided this had bigotry by religious exemption as an intention

    You’re a lot more generous than I am. Ginsberg pointed out exactly how open-ended their logic was in her dissent, so they have no excuse whatsoever for believing that their exemption is a narrow one.

  32. 32
    Belafon says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    Are we going to have to relitigate the entire last 70 years of American history?

    Yes. They would like to take us back to 1910, when blacks knew to be scared, women were property of men, and anyone not rich worked 60 hours a week.

    For a lot of these men, they don’t want to have the same opportunity as everyone else, because it’s hard work and a good number of them would fail. They will do whatever it takes to remain in charge. That’s why the guns are out. That’s why they’re taking contraceptives away. That’s why they close voter registration places along the Texas border and then require ID. That’s why they’re busting unions.

  33. 33
    Trentrunner says:

    The slippery slope start of all of this was the law forbidding Medicaid funds from being spent on abortions.

    When you start honoring “religious” objections to laws (and thereby funding), it really is a slippery slope to carve out any religious objection, regardless of how unreal.

    And because religious tenets are, ipso facto, anti-reality and anti-science, we are bound to such unscientific justifications such as Hobby Lobby just wielded, with its “abortifacients” nonsense.

    Goddammit, keep your religion to yourself. The rest of us have a modern, civilized, equal society to run.

  34. 34
    catclub says:

    @ET:

    their Ivory Town insulates them from the real world and what [they] thought was narrow decision had much bigger implications in the short term

    That would be because they ignored Ginsburg’s dissent. She pointed all of this out to them.

    read it. It is great.

  35. 35
    catclub says:

    @Roger Moore: Beat me to it. Good on ya.

  36. 36

    Remember, this only applies to federal contractors, so effectively they’re asking for taxpayer subsidized bigotry. They can forgo the government contracts and be fine, but they’re unwilling to do that.

    This taxpayer suggests that they eat a bag of dicks.

  37. 37
    Roger Moore says:

    @Belafon:

    They would like to take us back to 1910 1857, when blacks knew to be scared, and women were property of men, and anyone not rich worked 60 hours a week.

    FTFY.

  38. 38
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Trentrunner:

    The slippery slope start of all of this was the law forbidding Medicaid funds from being spent on abortions.

    Which is also why I’m not sanguine about single-payer national health care. When the government does the paying, that doesn’t typically mean _less_ meddling with what’s moral and immoral. At least insurance companies have a deep-seated interest in saving money, and know babies are more expensive than non-babies. Republican politicians, and a few too many Democrats, aren’t that clever.

  39. 39
    Hal says:

    Well that escalated quickly. So I’m guessing from here there will be a lawsuit, which will make it’s way all the way up the chain. The SC will then decide to take on the suit, and unless Obama gets another crack at an opening from one of the five conservatives, those 5 will conveniently find that their original ruling does apply to more than just closely held corporations.

  40. 40
    NotMax says:

    @⚽️ Martin

    This taxpayer suggests that they eat a bag of dicks.

    Must. Resist. Snarky. “Gay agenda.” Retort.

    Damn, did I type that out loud?

    :·)

  41. 41
    Helen says:

    @Roger Moore: Sure they do. Ginsberg is one of those girl people. She has no agency.

  42. 42
    Morzer says:

    @Belafon:

    The real meaning of every conservative slogan is “I am a white man and I want the slaves I deserve right here and now!”

  43. 43
    aimai says:

    @ET: Why do you think it wasn’t their ultimate goal? Scalia, Thomas et al show absolutely no hesitation in fomenting bigotry and sex based discrimination. I think Occam’s Razor would incline us to assume they intended each and every bit of the fallout from the HL decision.

  44. 44
    Belafon says:

    @Roger Moore: I thought about going back that far, but why would they want the blacks sleeping on their property? Better to send them home after an exhausting day. It’s not all that much different from slavery if you don’t pay them any more than they need to live.

  45. 45
    Haydnseek says:

    @NotMax: Not only do they take the ruler, they send it to China, they manufacture ten million shitty ultra cheap knockoffs, sell them to fine murika loving retailers like WalMart, and then do the howler monkey scream that Frank Luntz has drilled into them: “WHERE ARE THE JOBS?”

    ‘Twas ever thus since 2000…….

  46. 46
    artem1s says:

    @Poopyman:

    hobby lobby isn’t a religious organization. SCOTUS opened the door for any business to object to following any federal regulation or guideline. the point they have taken away is maybe if I complain, I won’t have to follow the rules either. Religious leaders wrote the letter, yea, but you can bet they will be preaching to the business men in the pews come Sunday that they have a Christian obligation to actively take up discriminatory practices on Monday morning, stat.

    I believe religious orgs already have a waiver on hiring practices and other ‘objectionable’ items since the Faith Based Initiative rulings in the 90s. But yea social services are often contracted out to faith based organizations thru local municipalities.

  47. 47
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    If I’m following these decisions correctly this court now has decided that all corporations are endowed with freedom of speech, that money is speech, and that some corporations are free to inflict their owners’ religious beliefs on their employees. This court has done more damage to America than the entire Republican party.

  48. 48
    Quaker in a Basement says:

    @gf120581: Good answer. Last time I checked, no company….er, PERSON was being mandated to become a federal contractor.

  49. 49
    scav says:

    @Roger Moore: Don’t forget the brick dust and adulterants in foodstuffs prior to the Pure Food and Drugs Act — although there seems to be lots more feeding into that original effort, but still, regulation invariably bad! If people don’t want GMO formaldehyde in their bread, they’ll buy the equipment to test for it themselves before ingesting it!

  50. 50
    Bendal says:

    Anyone care to guess how this would turn out if a Muslim company claimed that serving/hiring ‘infidels’ (i.e. Christians) was based on ‘religious beliefs’?

  51. 51
    Quaker in a Basement says:

    @Poopyman: Not religious orgs, Pooper. Lots of federal contractors are closely held businesses. Just like Hobby Lobby.

  52. 52
    Morzer says:

    @Bendal:

    Why do you think some of the wingnuts are now starting to claim that Islam isn’t a religion?

  53. 53

    @aimai: I have to assume so as well. I’m having a hard time finding a generous interpretation of their decision that doesn’t reduce to ‘Catholics alone have this right’ – especially given that they seem to be aware that the protection they are offering is protection against things that are knowingly untrue. It seems to me that if you are Catholic, you could claim religious exemption to anything on the grounds that you believe it’s an abortifacient. If I believed wheelchair ramps are an abortifacient, could I refuse to provide them to my employees and patrons in spite of the ADA accommodation mandate? Could I claim they are not reasonable accommodations because of that belief?

  54. 54
    bemused says:

    Good comment in Mpls Star Trib:

    When old people reminisce about things like ” you could get a gallon of gas for a nickel” or “men used to wear suits and ties on airplanes”, I always wondered if I would have anything equally baffling to tell my grandkids when I enter my dotage. Now I’ll have one–“I remember when my getting healthcare didn’t depend on my employer’s religion.”

  55. 55
    raven says:

    @Morzer: The guy running for Broun’s seat here doesn’t.

  56. 56
    burnspbesq says:

    @Violet:

    Can someone bring a case like that?

    All it takes to file a Federal lawsuit is software that can turn a Word file into a PDF and a credit card to pay for the filing fee.

    Winning is another story.

  57. 57
    Morzer says:

    @raven:

    Say what?

  58. 58
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @ET:

    While I don’t think the Supremes that decided this had bigotry by religious exemption as an intention

    Oh, please. The same five assholes who are loud and proud racists somehow are more enlightened when it comes to teh ghey? Not. They shouldn’t go a day without tasting other people’s spit.

  59. 59
    GregB says:

    Thank God these conservatives hate lawyers and lawsuits!

  60. 60
    Alex S. says:

    Interesting… religious freedom or equality…

  61. 61
    Richard Bottoms says:

    I’ve been reading Sully as he laments people being all mean and unreasonable. I wasn’t aware I had an obligation to accommodate religious nuts.

    No, I am more the beat them with a rhetorical lead pipe until they stop twitching kind of guy.

  62. 62
    burnspbesq says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Ginsberg pointed out exactly how open-ended their logic was in her dissent

    I don’t necessarily agree with Justice Ginsburg on that point, but it’s worth remenbering that when she drops dead and Obama can’t get a successor confirmed, the very same people who think she’s a saint will be here defending their decision to sit out this year’s election.

  63. 63
    NotMax says:

    @⚽️ Martin

    It’s a corollary of the “we create our own reality” yahoolosophy.

    Words mean whatever they say they mean (and even that new ‘meaning’ is elastic, and is subject to alteration without notice). Double ditto when it comes to medical terminology.

    Mu initial comment from a while back about attempts at mandatory prayer attendance and participation and also tithes taken out of pay as conditions of employment was met with some derision at the time.

  64. 64
    Belafon says:

    @Alex S.: This isn’t religious freedom. A religious person’s freedom ends at the end of their arms. It doesn’t cross into other people’s boundaries.

  65. 65
    Ken says:

    @catclub: Ginsburg’s dissent was good, but IMO the best statement of this principle remains More’s in A Man for all Seasons. A clip of the 1966 movie version is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9rjGTOA2NA

  66. 66
    scav says:

    @Alex S.: Fundamental and central to their faith, beliefs and practice is being cruel to those unlike themselves. They must be Free! to act out their hatred in the real world. wheee. Prince of Peace Seal of Approval!

  67. 67
  68. 68
    Morzer says:

    @Richard Bottoms:

    Andrew “David Brooks is a Liberal” Sullivan? That Andrew Sullivan?

  69. 69
    les says:

    @scav:
    I think 4 of the 5 (Catholic) justices signing on to the decision are Opus Dei–your splinter group is already here and representin’.

  70. 70
    skerry says:

    This was written last fall, but speaks to what holding a religious objection should really be about.

    No one forced Hobby Lobby or Eden Organics or any other corporation to be in business. If operating their business in accordance with the law offends their conscience, they should find another way to make a living.

  71. 71
    karen marie says:

    @ET: Oh, I don’t know about that. Repealing the Civil Rights Act and legalizing discrimination of any stripe (as long as it’s white males doing the discriminating) has been their goal since 1964.

  72. 72
    wuzzat says:

    @Zam: Pope Sidious Benedict actually made an official statement that Protestant denominations were more along the lines of Christian-themed clubs than actual religious organizations. He was fun.

  73. 73
    wuzzat says:

    @Zam: Pope Sidious Benedict actually made an official statement that Protestant denominations were more along the lines of Christian-themed clubs than actual religious organizations. He was fun.

  74. 74
    Botsplainer says:

    Hot gun nut on gun nut action.

    http://m.valdostadailytimes.co.....d=YrixpyNp

    I’m sad, deeply sad that they didn’t shoot each other.

  75. 75
    FlipYrWhig says:

    If you can opt out of funding things that fund other things that then produce immoral acts (here insurance -> contraception -> dead babies, in theory), on the basis that your religion forbids you from producing those immoral acts, our courts are going to be very, very busy. Maybe I’m a Jain who believes in harming no living creature, even flies and worms. Can I opt out of any law that harms any living creature, and then, beyond that, any law that funds any other law or agency that harms any living creature? Like I don’t have to build a wheelchair ramp for my business, despite the ADA, because concrete vendors probably use pesticides around the office?

  76. 76
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @burnspbesq:

    I don’t necessarily agree with Justice Ginsburg on that point, but it’s worth remenbering that when she drops dead and Obama can’t get a successor confirmed, the very same people who think she’s a saint will be here defending their decision to sit out this year’s election.

    Oh horseshit. If that scenario plays out it will be because the goddamned Democratic party has simply given up in so many races in so many states. The Republicans have a lock on the House and they may retake the Senate, are you going to blame voters for that as well? Fuck you and the rest of the my party right or wrong brigade.

  77. 77
    LAC says:

    Hands up for those who think both sides are the same, don’t vote because it doesn’t matter, etc! Anyone?

  78. 78
    LAC says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: oh that’s horseshit. How many different excuses are we going to use for not voting?

  79. 79
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    The Republicans have a lock on the House and they may retake the Senate, are you going to blame voters for that as well?

    Who else would you blame it on, if not voters?

  80. 80
    Mister Harvest says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    The Republicans have a lock on the House and they may retake the Senate, are you going to blame voters for that as well?

    Wasn’t Martians.

  81. 81
    Matt McIrvin says:

    What do folks think about the Halbig v. Burwell situation? This has been simmering for a while:

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/d.....dc-circuit

    Basically the argument is that the drafters of the ACA forgot to specifically mention that the government can subsidize insurance bought over the federal exchange, as opposed to the state exchanges (probably because they imagined the federal exchange as an exceptional stopgap rather than as the typical case), so those subsidies are illegal. If that prevails, it’s a bigger hit to the ACA than making Medicaid expansion optional, and the whole system could fall apart. It could be fixed with a simple law, but of course Congress isn’t going to pass that if the House thinks they can kill Obamacare by not doing so.

  82. 82
    Cassidy says:

    @burnspbesq: Well you know, they can’t sully themselves with impure voting. Maybe Greenwald will make it easy and publish a list for them to go by.

  83. 83

    @Matt McIrvin: I doubt that Roberts would go for that argument. Clearly the ACA intended to cover all exchanges.

  84. 84
    burnspbesq says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    Plaintiffs’ argument in Halbig is complete and utter bullshit. It violates every rule of statutory construction. There’s a post somewhere (Balkinization, maybe) that explains why, far better than I could on short notice. Sorry, don’t have the link handy.

  85. 85
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Cassidy: It’s against my religion to vote for an impure candidate. Thus I demand an exemption from various laws, because a portion of the money the government collects from me partially funds the Federal Election Administration, which abets the election of grievously impure candidates, and I cannot abide having that on my conscience.

  86. 86
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @burnspbesq: Does that matter? At this point I’m basically assuming that five justices on SCOTUS are motivated by limitless malice.

  87. 87
    Cassidy says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I don’t know if you’re a white male heterosexual, but until I see proof of being a corporation who donates to Republicans, we should assume you’re not a person and have no rights.

  88. 88
    catclub says:

    @burnspbesq:

    It violates every rule of statutory construction.

    Of course, so does the majority reading of RFRA in the Hobby Lobby case.

    If Halbig wins, blues states with their own exchange ( and their citizens) win, and citizens of red states who used them lose.

  89. 89
    PaulW says:

    Gee, and I thought Alito’s ruling spelled out “no discriminatory practice” for religious beliefs.

    Best possible solutions, everybody: stop voting Republican, period. Make sure there’s no f-cking way more conservatives can get placed on the Supreme Court bench or any other federal judicial position. EVER. Not for the next ten f-cking generations.

  90. 90
    James E. Powell says:

    I guess they think that since slut-shaming is now a protected religious right, so is gay bashing.

    Well, why wouldn’t it be? It’s not like the right-wingers have a hidden agenda.

    And it isn’t “gay bashing.” It’s “less than full citizenship for people we disapprove of.”

  91. 91
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    It’s still amazing to me that these people voluntarily and happily identify bigotry as the absolute core of their religion.

  92. 92
    Belafon says:

    @Matt McIrvin: All of these challenges and rulings remind me of FDR’s dealings with the Supreme Court.

  93. 93
    Tiny Tim says:

    Except for a few peacocks, people who read political blogs and spend their time discussing these things don’t sit out elections. If Democratic candidates fail to turn out candidates it isn’t because of a few self-important daily kos diarists. I don’t know why people persist in thinking this way.

  94. 94
    NotMax says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate

    In mid-term elections, participation across the board can be bumped up a notch, but rarely more. Individual spots or districts may see an actual spike, but that is the exception.

    Which is not in any way to say or suggest that working like dogs to increase turnout isn’t necessary or wise, just that the numerical results won’t match expectations.

    As for the whole “Republicans poised to take over Senate” meme, that is the media’s already decided “Obama/Romney is a horse race” slant for 2014, and they’ll run with it right up until Election Day.

    The Republicans will pick up a couple of seats (both the particular mix of seats in contest this year as well as the usual trend of mid-term elections make that a given), but not reach a majority in the chamber.

    Pace Mammy Yokum: “Ah has spoken!”

  95. 95
    Kristin says:

    This isn’t religion. It’s political. They should lose their tax exemptions.

  96. 96
    WaterGirl says:

    @PaulW: Oh, let’s go biblical on them. How about seven times seven generations? I think that should just about do it.

  97. 97
    scav says:

    Objecting to funding the death penalty or general warmongering personnel or supplies isn’t properly religious enough. “Thou shalt not kill” isn’t written in the same magic ink as the convoluted and otherwise nearly invisible prohibitions against abortion and homosexuals.

  98. 98
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Cassidy: Damn, you’re right. Only corporations have consciences now. The rest of us are slavering sacks of meat and teeth. Because Constitution, that’s why.

  99. 99
    Kristin says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: The Roberts Court will have an awful legacy.

  100. 100
    Emma says:

    @Richard Bottoms: Don’t worry. Now they’re going after gays he’ll change his tune quick smart. The man is so self-centered he has a black hole where his heart should be.

  101. 101
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Mister Harvest: @Mister Harvest:

    If Democratic voters aren’t showing up at the polls then maybe the party leadership might want to spend some effort finding out why that is. Throwing stones at imaginary progressives or purity voters isn’t going to solve the problem,

  102. 102
    boatboy_srq says:

    @scav: If it exists (and it’s possible) then it’s right up there with the Anglican Church of Nigeria – who is working on breaking away from the CofE (because Canterbury is too librul) and taking all the unwary Episcopalians (and their dollars) with them. Falls Church has already seen one parish go that way. They’re marketing it as a reaction to the ’79 prayerbook and Rite Two Eucharist – but it’s one BLEEP of a lot deeper than that.

  103. 103
    Iowa Old Lady says:

    @Bubblegum Tate: I had the same thought. They say this stuff in public.

  104. 104
    Kristin says:

    Too bad the House is so gerrymandered. A Democratic Congress could amend the RFRA to avoid all of these things. But, the obstructionists will never allow it.

  105. 105
    Kristin says:

    Too bad the House is so gerrymandered. A Democratic Congress could amend the RFRA to avoid all of these things. But, the obstructionists will never allow it.

  106. 106
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @scav: Plus the recently-discovered Umpteenth Commandment, “Thou shalt not purchase indemnities. For those have made indirect association with wombs rendered barren, and I am THE LORD YOUR Confusing GOD.”

  107. 107
    shortstop says:

    @gf120581: Because I am a crazed masochist, I keep up fairly well with how the religious right is currently spinning these things. Their savage bigotry is bad enough, of course; their whiny cries of victimization amid their shrinking legal ability to bully others are worse. But worst of all, in my opinion, is the way the reasonably well educated leaders of these groups cynically leverage their flocks’ lack of civic education and engagement. These are people who could not pass an eighth-grade government class today. And the bishops, pastors, right-wing think tank leaders and others pushing their buttons know it.

    The prevailing view among the winger masses is that “private” businesses have the “right to refuse service to anyone” without legal recourse — most have never heard of state anti-discrimination laws or understand how a protected class is different from an unruly drunk or a shoeless customer. They’re convinced that “Obama” has “forced” Catholic Charities and similar groups out of adoption services — they have no idea that absolutely no one was made to close, but public monies have been withheld from groups which voluntarily decline to observe state or federal laws. They think “activist judges” are “illegally and unconstitutionally overturning the will of the people” — they’re wholly unacquainted with the separation of powers or the concept of judicial review.

    And they think these things largely because their leaders egg on their mistaken belief that “religious freedom, which is spelled out in the constitution, unlike gay marriage” means they can discriminate freely and without consequence, including public criticism. The winger tribe’s self-absorption and selfishness are so huge that its foot soldiers believe any curtailment of their ability to deprive others of civil rights constitutes a hideous affront to their own religious rights. Why should they have to give up any source of income, including federal funds, just for disobeying laws that are “against God’s law”? ‘Elp, ‘elp, Christians are being repressed!

    That’s how this is going to be successfully spun. Millions of Americans will be straightfacedly insisting that an inability to get a federal contract while gay-bashing is an outrageous persecution of the faithful. That doesn’t mean the administration should hesitate to tell them to fuck off. It just means that we shouldn’t expect anyone not already on our side to be outside the rabbit hole on this.

  108. 108
    Ash Can says:

    @gf120581:

    Simple solution. You want to discriminate against gays, you don’t get any federal contracts.

    Absolutely. Then again, though, the Inquisition Tribunal Gang of Five decided in favor of discrimination against women and making certain controversial and unpopular Christian dogmas the law of the land, instead of just telling Hobby Lobby et al. “Look, jagoffs, we’ve already upheld this law; if you don’t want to follow it then don’t offer your employees insurance and just sack up and pay the fine and let them get their own insurance on the exchanges.” In light of this, I expect them to rule in favor of making blacks sit in the back of the bus and drink from different water fountains at their first opportunity. (And then turn to their buddy Clarence and say “You do realize what you just ruled in favor of, right, chump? Now here, make yourself useful and shine my shoes.”)

  109. 109
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Kristin: Lots of anti-abortion Democrats in the last House majority, though, Stupak chief among them.

  110. 110
    burnspbesq says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Actually, there is no better description of why plaintiffs’ arguments in Halbig are bullshit than the District Court opinion itself. Here’s a link.

    http://cei.org/legal-briefs/ha.....us-opinion

    The relevant material (in legal mumbo-jumbo, the Chevron Step One analysis) begins on page 25, and the guts of it is on pages 28 and 29.

    In plain English: for purposes of Internal Revenue Code Section 36B, healthcare.gov IS a state exchange, run by the Feds ON BEHALF OF the states that didn’t set up separate exchanges.

  111. 111
    Ash Can says:

    @Bendal:

    Anyone care to guess how this would turn out if a Muslim company claimed that serving/hiring ‘infidels’ (i.e. Christians) was based on ‘religious beliefs’?

    By coming right out and saying “This ruling doesn’t apply to any other religions” they made it perfectly clear how it would turn out.

  112. 112
    Kristin says:

    @shortstop: They read the Constitution just like they read the bible. They just pick and choose what they want, line item veto style. They wrote out the whole 14th. The right of association in the 1st doesn’t exist. The militia language in the 2nd is invisible. Etc.

  113. 113
    Keith G says:

    And once again, Conservatives are giving Liberals more than enough effective ammunition to use against them. What Liberals are missing is a competent plan of attack and (seemingly) the willingness to go balls to the wall on the offensive.

    Even though things look a bit bleak in the Congressional elections (proof in and of it self of Democrat’s fecklessness), Liberals can still make inroads as they attack the GOP as the party of the 1890’s.

  114. 114
    burnspbesq says:

    @catclub:

    so does the majority reading of RFRA in the Hobby Lobby case.

    I assume you’re prepared to back up that assertion with some analysis.

  115. 115
    Kristin says:

    @FlipYrWhig: True, but as it is right now there is zero chance. At least then there’d be a chance.

  116. 116
    WereBear says:

    To be a modern conservative is to make none of your brain parts touch each other.

  117. 117
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @Morzer:

    Why do you think some of the wingnuts are now starting to claim that Islam isn’t a religion?

    Exactly.

    OIddly enough, they also like to claim that atheism IS a religion. They say this a lot when trying to make creationism a scientific equivalent of evolution.

  118. 118
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Bubblegum Tate: Oh, good! Can I say that I’m exempt from a bunch of federal laws because it offends my atheist “religion” that the federal government gives money to faith-based groups?

  119. 119
    GIndy51 says:

    @Poopyman: Remember the company that put bible verses on guns?
    http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/.....id=9575794

  120. 120
    scav says:

    @boatboy_srq: I was thinking of the Legion of Christ actually as a possible node, although they seem to have done a little public backing away from their Marcial Macial (former?) posterboy. Feb 14 2014 NYT)

  121. 121
    Roger Moore says:

    @scav:

    Don’t forget the brick dust and adulterants in foodstuffs prior to the Pure Food and Drugs Act

    It’s not as if we’re free from food adulteration today. Remember the big scandals about melamine being added to Chinese dried milk powder to make it look like the protein content was higher?

  122. 122
    D58826 says:

    And can I withhold a bit of my taxes because my religious beliefs don’t for paying paying pensions or providing medical care to war criminals such as Cheney and Bush

  123. 123
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @catclub: The problem in Hobby Lobby was not as much a violation of statutory construction as it was the absurd notion that a corporation (even a closely held one) can have religious convictions. I suggest that any future lawsuits against closely held corporations that rely on this decision to justify anything also name the owners, personally, as defendants. Pierce the corporate veil.

  124. 124

    @Roger Moore: Should be noted that none of that was sold in the US thanks to the aforementioned law. In terms of food, we’ve been pretty clean and arguably getting steadily better over time (though sometimes more due to market forces than regulation). Have had more problems with medications, drinking water, and other areas.

  125. 125
    NotMax says:

    @FlipYrWhig

    The U.S. military has an officially designated “emblem of belief” for atheism for use on military headstones. As if atheism were a religion.

    Trivia: Also allowed is the Hammer of Thor.

    No colanders permitted. Yet.

  126. 126
    scav says:

    @Roger Moore: Well, in the brave new free market paradise we are being impeded from experiencing fully, they would be lauded for their devotion to their shareholders instead of being chided.

  127. 127
    Belafon says:

    @Roger Moore: How did we find out about that? How many Americans were exposed to it?

  128. 128
    muddy says:

    @Tiny Tim: This.

  129. 129
    ET says:

    I know everyone was saying I was giving the Supremes too much credit, but I am not going to going accusing people of being one thing without more evidence than dry, massaged, legalese. For me this ruling is a bit more indicative of a wider problem which affects all of the decisions from the Scalito wing of the Court.
    These are people who currently lived in a very rarified and narrow bubble. The people they socialize and work with on a daily basis aren’t that much different in either upbringing or education. They don’t spend much time outside the bubble and have pretty much no idea about the real world. Sure they know intellectually that not everyone is/thinks like they do but that intellectual idea doesn’t work its way to the practical. Everything in their world is a very polite, sophisticated shade of gray. I would hazard a guess that they really thought that people would see this as a narrow, only to affect contraception decision. That less than a week later the same cohort or at least a related one is going to try and use the same reasoning to go beyond this ruling would likely only be a surprise to the Supremes like Alito.
    Guys like Scalia and Alito and Thomas aren’t flexible and they hence the way see the Constitution and how they write opinions. Roberts however has lived in his safe, very white and privileged bubble his entire life . They intellectually recognize a world beyond their bubble as a messy place and see the Constitution and rulings as a way to get everyone to see that all will flow naturally according to prescribed paths that are self-evident if only people will listen to them and strictly follow the Constitution. That people don’t is likely a source of bafflement – which is indicative of living in a bubble. What is written on a paper isn’t always reflected in the real world and THAT is their problem because it affects all of their decisions not just the hot button race, labor, abortion/birth control cases. That and the “strict constructionalism” that backs the Court into a corner leading into some pretzel-like contortions when it comes to their decisions.

  130. 130
    WaterGirl says:

    @Ash Can:

    By coming right out and saying “This ruling doesn’t apply to any other religions” they made it perfectly clear how it would turn out.

    IANAL, but why can’t someone bring a lawsuit because this violates equal protection??

  131. 131
    Violet says:

    @JPL: Well that shouldn’t be a problem. Either convince a religious organization that boner pills are the devil or invent a religion that believes that. Either way you have a religion where the use of boner pills is deeply offensive to those that follow it. Then bring a lawsuit.

  132. 132

    @NotMax: I will not rest until the full emoji set is implemented. 💩

  133. 133
    Trollhattan says:

    @Belafon:
    Don’t know whether it made it into people food in the US, but definitely pet food.

    http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeter.....129575.htm

  134. 134
    Roger Moore says:

    @⚽️ Martin:
    The problems we have with drugs are more on the approval side than the manufacturing side. Drug companies can fudge the science on clinical trials to make it look as if their products are better than they are, but they can’t do nearly as much to make pills that don’t contain exactly what they’re supposed to. There have been a fair number of cases recently dealing with bacterial contamination of food. The only recent contamination case with drugs was with a compounding phar macy that was effectively acting as an unlicensed manufacturer to avoid the cost of obeying 21CFR210-216.

  135. 135
    David Koch says:

    I just hope they bring a case cuz I’m dying to see how Justice Kennedy contorts himself to say you can’t use religious beliefs to discriminate against gays but you can use those very same beliefs to discriminate against women.

  136. 136
    Cacti says:

    @ET:

    While I don’t think the Supremes that decided this had bigotry by religious exemption as an intention

    Really?

    Why wouldn’t you think that?

    3 of the 5 are from the same group who decided that counting votes in Florida was an irreparable harm to George W. Bush’s constitutional rights.

  137. 137

    @Violet: Boner pills are abortifacients. Easy. Since the court didn’t rule against actual abortifacients, only against things you believe are abortifacients, then it’s a piece of cake. Just claim all medication are abortifacients. Done. Hell, claim cake is an abortifacient and you can do away with the office birthday parties as well.

  138. 138
    Violet says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): Yes, exactly. And as I said in the thread Monday night, the concept of Hobby Lobby and Eden Foods and any other corporation having “beliefs” should be ridiculed every time possible. Ask what Hobby Lobby’s religion is. Ask to see baptismal records. Ask how often Hobby Lobby goes to church. Ask the church members if Hobby Lobby holds hands with them when they pray in times of need. No? Why not? Is Hobby Lobby not a living breathing person? What? How can that be? If they respond that the owners of Hobby Lobby are good churchgoers, then ask them if the owners ARE Hobby Lobby. Keep after it.

    I hope late night comedy writers get on this.

  139. 139
    Roger Moore says:

    @Belafon:
    My point was more that deliberate adulteration is not a thing of the remote past that people might reasonably not know about or believe couldn’t possibly happen today. It’s something that’s very much happening today, and it’s made the news. If it isn’t happening to us, it’s only because our government is actively protecting us.

  140. 140
    Anya says:

    To me, the most upsetting part about the Supreme Court ruling is that 5 justices think their religion is above all religions and laws. They are Catholics first and justices last.

  141. 141
    Roger Moore says:

    @WaterGirl:

    IANAL, but why can’t someone bring a lawsuit because this violates equal protection??

    Because the people who are effectively denying equal protection are the ones who would be ruling on their suit. If the Supreme Court says it’s fine to discriminate, it’s awfully hard to get anywhere useful by bringing a lawsuit.

  142. 142
    WereBear says:

    @Violet: Oh, no, just any religion cannot be protected. There are special religions who get treated special.

    They say so in this legal document.

  143. 143
    Cacti says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    The problem in Hobby Lobby was not as much a violation of statutory construction as it was the absurd notion that a corporation (even a closely held one) can have religious convictions.

    This.

    Not even Melville Fuller or Fred Vinson at their very worst, ever entertained the idea that the fictitious corporate “person” was capable of having religious beliefs.

  144. 144
    Trollhattan says:

    @Violet:

    I hope late night comedy writers get on this.

    John Oliver killed it Sunday, prior to the ruling, and I’d imagine will be revisiting it, given his astonishment as the very concept of a corporation having religion..

    J-Stew has been on target lately as well.

  145. 145
    shortstop says:

    @Violet: I was at mass with Hobby Lobby and let me tell you, sister, that bastard flatly refused to exchange the sign of peace with me. He muttered something about lady germs and turned his back.

  146. 146
    Cacti says:

    Only a body as august as the Supreme Court of the United States could find that persons of African ancestry were “beings of such an inferior order” that they had “no rights which the white man was bound to respect” and 160 years later, find that fictitious legal entities have superior constitutional rights to natural persons of the female gender.

  147. 147
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Botsplainer:

    Why? One was a hot head and the other seems to have been rather reasonable.

    Wishing for people to kill each other is sick, imo. You really need to look at yourself in the mirror when you start rooting for people whom you have never met and have never done anything to you…to die violently. The problem is yours…not theirs.

  148. 148
    Violet says:

    @Trollhattan: Daily Show’s on vacation right now, sadly. I haven’t seen one of John Oliver’s shows yet. Need to start watching.

  149. 149
    Kay says:

    I wonder if the fundies will surge a bit in the midterms. They’ve been a little sidelined by the corporate wing and the Tea Party/Return to the Confederacy people since 2010. They were pretty much moping around ignored for 2012, other than Santorum and Huckabee pandering to them occasionally and the SS marriage wins has to have had them pretty dejected.

    I think the corporate wing would much rather have the fundies in the coalition because nothing they do affects the corporate wing or their favorite politicians, like Eric Cantor. Fundies are better. Easier to handle.

  150. 150
    J R in WV says:

    No one in American national politics holding any office is more disgusting and repellent than these 5 Opus Dei roman catholic bastards!

    Their certainty of correctness in finding that the constitution doesn’t mean what it says in plain English is amazing in it’s self-centered unAmerican bigotry. We are all tracitional Catholic serfs now. Get on your knees, serf!

    And genuflect, genuflect, genuflect!

    Eating the transmorgified blood and flesh of their human sacrifice god repeatedly – ritual cannabilism carried to an absurd extreme. How can they believe that normal people don’t find their compulsary religious practices obscene? And now they seek to inflict it on all of us.

    Amazing. And Horrific. Just reading a description of what they believe is happening every Sunday is really stomach-churning primitive superstition… and these beliefs are now yours, also, too. No complaining, not any room to wiggle, just get down on your knees, or we’ll knock you thee into your correct space.

  151. 151
    raven says:

    “Cochran press call has turned into a disaster after guy asks why Cochran is “harvesting black votes like black people harvesting cotton”

  152. 152
    NotMax says:

    @Kay

    SS marriage

    Can we put that construction out to pasture, please?

    Like right now?

  153. 153
    Trollhattan says:

    @Violet: Don’t know whether Oliver might be available on demand yet, but he’s worth chasing down. Didn’t know quite what to expect and am really pleased with what he’s done so far. Has great writers and an unencumbered platform.

    Did you catch last Monday’s “A Streetcar Named We’re Always Wrong” on TDS? perfect blend of comedy and outrage over the Republicans and Iraq III, IMHO.

  154. 154
    Kay says:

    @raven:

    The whole thing is a disaster. The local elections people will end up hating the Tea Party. Mississippi isn’t a swing state. They’re not accustomed to all this nuttiness around elections. Even the Republicans in Ohio ended up thinking True the Vote people were a pain in the ass and since 2004 everyone and their brother has observed elections in Ohio. They stuck out, and not in a good way.

  155. 155
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @raven: Say what?

  156. 156
    Violet says:

    @Trollhattan: I’m behind on Daily Shows. Been caregiving for my parents and things have stacked up on the DVR. Plus World Cup took my TV time. Hope to get to it this week.

  157. 157
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): I’ve been looking for an actual write-up, but from the tweets it looks like the rat-fuckery goes on

    ‏@ samsteinhp
    what the… RT @ Bencjacobs: And Cochran conference call is now Obama soundboard and someone playing clips from Dean Wormer from Animal House.

    No more fun of any kind? Double secret probation? Fat, drunk and stupid? You can take your thumb outta my ass any time now, Thaddeus?

  158. 158
    Kay says:

    @raven:

    In a fundraising email to supporters, Chris McDaniel (R) says Sen. Thad Cochran (R) “stole last week’s runoff election” and is asking for money to wage a legal battle, the Jackson Clarion Ledger reports.
    Writes McDaniel: “Thanks to illegal voting from liberal Democrats, my opponent stole last week’s runoff election, but I’m not going down without a fight. I have not given up on sending my conservative values to Washington.”
    Meanwhile, a source on the Cochran campaign told Business Insider that McDaniel is a “clinically diagnosable narcissist” and a scam artist.

  159. 159
    Violet says:

    @Kay:

    Meanwhile, a source on the Cochran campaign told Business Insider that McDaniel is a “clinically diagnosable narcissist”

    So glad to see the Republicans are keeping up their tradition of medical excellence, like diagnosis at remote distance and diagnosis without a medical license.

  160. 160
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Ben Jacobs ✔ @ Bencjacobs
    People on the line now suggesting that it was a Cochran campaign plant who ended the call or “maybe Obama”

    No mention of the Dean Wormer stuff here, but HuffPo has the audio for anyone with time. I imagine the cable TV folks will be all over this

  161. 161
    shortstop says:

    @Kay: But the Venn overlap between the fundies and the Tea Party/Return to the Confederacy is huge.

  162. 162
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @NotMax: Yeah, but it’s really the logo of American Atheists, not a generic atheism symbol.

  163. 163
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: It’s time someone put their foot down, and that foot is me.

  164. 164
    Keith G says:

    @Kay: From your block quote:

    Meanwhile, a source on the Cochran campaign told Business Insider that McDaniel is a “clinically diagnosable narcissist” and a scam artist.

    That is one hell of a big group over there in Rightlandia.

  165. 165
    Kay says:

    @Violet:

    The bitter dispute threatens to further divide the Mississippi GOP, as well as national tea party activists and establishment Republicans, heading into the November election. While Cochran is the heavy favorite to win the general election against Democratic nominee Travis Childers, Democrats think there’s an outside chance the race could become competitive if McDaniel supporters refuse to support the incumbent.

    Democrats should pour money into it. It is probably hard to remain a Democrat in Mississippi, losing all the time, and they would have a lot of fun capitalizing on all this insanity. It would be worth it, win or lose.

  166. 166
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Kay:

    The bitter dispute threatens to further divide the Mississippi GOP, as well as national tea party activists and establishment Republicans, heading into the November election.

    In breaking news, popcorn futures are up.

  167. 167
    Trollhattan says:

    @Violet:
    I do so understand. Thank the teebee gods for rerun weeks, this particuar episode was last Monday.

  168. 168
    Kay says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    This is the Tea party lawsuit:

    Finally, the sole case that True the Vote relies on here, ironically a Project Vote case (it is ironic because Project Vote had a relationship with ACORN, a True the Vote Satan), does not contain any support for the idea that poll books are covered by this section of the NVRA. The Project Vote case concerned that group’s attempt to examine rejected voter registration applications.

    It’s just hugely satisfying to see all this voter fraud bullshit blow back on Republicans. They created this, and they’ve been using it to fire up their base for a decade. Well, they’re pretty fired up!

    http://electionlawblog.org/?p=62967

  169. 169
    Violet says:

    @Trollhattan: Thanks for the heads up. I’ll look forward to it! It is nice to get a TV off week from time to time so I can catch up.

  170. 170
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Kay: My god, that complaint is poorly drafted. “Because voting is a ‘fundamental political right,’ it is subject to strict scrutiny.” No, voting isn’t subject to strict scrutiny; any law that that burdens or potentially burdens voting is subject to strict scrutiny. Also, it is interesting to see groups like True the Vote acknowledge that voting is a fundamental right.

  171. 171
    Kay says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    They are the “leading nonpartisan voting group in the country”. According to them.

    You lived in Ohio, You know there’s some resentment of outside groups coming in to say the locals don’t know how to run elections. That’s why the Democrats pick an IN county lawyer to run voter protection in each county. Imagine Mississippi where this kind of thing doesn’t happen every four years and there’s this self-proclaimed expert from Texas demanding poll books in majority AA counties. Egads. I wouldn’t want any part of it if I lived and worked there.

  172. 172
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    Also, it is interesting to see groups like True the Vote acknowledge that voting is a fundamental right.

    By a “fundamental right” they mean for propertied straight white male Christians of the bible-believing variety only.

  173. 173
    Roger Moore says:

    @Kay:

    In a fundraising email to supporters, Chris McDaniel (R) says Sen. Thad Cochran (R) “stole last week’s runoff election” and is asking for money to wage a legal battle

    Because of course he is. The first thing they always do whenever anything happens is to ask for money.

  174. 174
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Yeah, we know what they meant, but it isn’t what they said. Somewhere down the road in another lawsuit or debate, someone is going to be able to say “As True the Vote itself has acknowledged, voting is a fundamental right,” and then drop the mic.

  175. 175
    Morzer says:

    Guess whose besties got caught breaking the rules and talking racist trash in Mississippi?

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/l.....tter-rules

    On Wednesday, conservative blogger Charles Johnson helped organize a successful attempt to crash a media call held by Sen. Thad Cochran’s (R-MS) campaign team by blasting out the information for the conference call on Twitter.

    The same blogger wrote on his blog about allegations that the Cochran campaign bribed black voters in the Mississippi GOP runoff primary election.

    During the Wednesday conference call, one caller repeatedly interrupted members of the Cochran team to ask why the Cochran campaign “harvested” votes from “blacks picking cotton.”

    After the call was cut short, Johnson denied that he was the caller who kept interrupting with the accusations, but he may have violated Twitters terms of service by trying to get people involved in the call.

    **Quick note this is not the estimable Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs

  176. 176
    Kay says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I think it’s a grift too. You have to watch it, though. It happens to both parties. I felt as if there was a huge Democratic-leaning grift operation that had taken shape and become entrenched between Clinton’s second and Kerry’s run. I think some of the resentment of Obama was he didn’t pass enough campaign cash out to various consultants. Republicans have 6 years where they’ve been out of the White House and they have a whole second parallel grift machine with the Tea Party. They were paying that Tea Party leader 450k or something to organize one deep red state for a primary run-off, and they lost.

    One has to be endlessly vigilant with pruning back the grifter potential in the campaign industrial complex :)

  177. 177
    WaterGirl says:

    @Roger Moore:

    The first thing they always do whenever anything happens is to ask for money.

    I have seen this before, only slightly different. When I worked at the vet school at the university of Illinois, the equine specialist had a cartoon on his door: on the left side was a list of horse ailments; on the right side was the treatment for each ailment.

    Except the treatment was always the same. Shoot the horse. Shoot the horse. Shoot the horse.

    Back to politics.. Something good happens – ask for money. Something bad happens – ask for money. Get caught in a lie – ask for money. And the grift goes on.

    Edit: sadly, I think this is one place where “both sides do it” might actually be true.

  178. 178
    Faction says:

    @WaterGirl: Sort of like…

    Good Economy: Lower taxes!

    Bad Economy: Lower taxes!

  179. 179
    nancydarling says:

    The White House Office of Faith Based Initiatives is another gift that keeps on giving from George W. He created it by executive order as part of his compassionate conservative domestic policy.

    Compassionate, my ass! Compassion is only for the right sort—white, nominally Christian, nominally heterosexual males. You can be as faithless and dissolute as you like, as long as it’s not with a dead girl or a live boy.

    “It wasn’t only wickedness and scheming that made people unhappy, it was confusion and misunderstanding; above all, it was the failure to grasp the simple truth that other people are as real as you.”—Ian McEwan, Atonement

  180. 180
    WaterGirl says:

    @Faction: You forgot something…

    Good Economy: Lower taxes for the rich!

    Bad Economy: Lower taxes for the rich!

  181. 181
    Felanius Kootea says:

    @Violet: This is what confuses me – if Hobby Lobby and its owners are pretty much one and the same, can the owners go to jail if Hobby Lobby’s products cause harm to a purchaser? Does incorporation still mean anything? Like in the GM case, if GM were a closely held corporation, could the owners of GM be made to serve jail time/face the death penalty for knowingly leaving on the market faulty cars that caused the deaths of their owners?

  182. 182
    Angela says:

    @nancydarling: That is a beautiful quote. And helpful to me today. Thank you.

  183. 183
    Mike Lamb says:

    @ET: Except that for a guy like Alito he’s not playing on a level playing field that he’s viewing through the lens of conservative jurisprudence. He’s a hack with an agenda. A smart hack, but a hack nonetheless. Scott Lemieux at Lawyers Guns and Money has some recent posts about this as well as some cross-references to earlier posts that he made on the subject.

    Bottom line is that there is plenty of evidence already available indicating that decisions like this are made with an eye towards allegedly unintended consequences.

  184. 184
    WaterGirl says:

    Could we all start using the term “The Corrupt Supreme Court” and see how fast it could make it to #1 in a google search?

    Surely they have some sense of shame, deep down inside?

    Edit: or maybe google searches are so yesterday? #CorruptSupremeCourt

  185. 185
    Chet says:

    The mackerel-snappers are feeling their oats:

    http://www.catholicworldreport.....attle.aspx

    It is important to understand how bad the Catholic view looks to people who accept the current secular view, which includes almost everyone who has been formed by present-day education and pop culture, and is well enough attuned to current attitudes and understandings to become respected and influential. The Supreme Court’s opinion in Windsor, which argued against the Defense of Marriage Act by treating marriage as a creation of the state and refusal to extend it to same-sex couples as simple malice, makes it evident that mutual respect is not to be expected.

    It is also important to understand that the Catholic view is indeed the Catholic view, and is correct no matter what the ruling powers may think of it. The points at issue are too basic to be finessed, and we can’t deal with today’s world and our fellow citizens without making an issue of them. Otherwise what we say will either be treated as incomprehensible or absorbed into the current secular outlook. A call for mutual love, for example, will be understood as a call for affirming and supporting the desires and self-defined identities of all people just as they are, subject only to the principle of mutual tolerance.

  186. 186
    Chris says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    Up next for “religious protection”: serving Negroes at lunch counters.

    This.

    That’s the ultimate prize: abolishing that whole part of civil rights legislation and vindicating the assholes who screamed back in 1965 that if they wanted to discriminate against black people privately, they should be entitled to (translation, “if we can’t maintain segregation de jure, we’ll mainstain it de facto” – which the civil rights people well understood and which is why they preempted it).

    The ultimate irony is that this road eventually ends with a completely “Balkanized” country, with each ethnic/sectarian group in its own enclave and living by its own “special rights.” In other words, exactly everything that they say is wrong with “multiculturalism.”

  187. 187
    Chris says:

    @Morzer:

    Why do you think some of the wingnuts are now starting to claim that Islam isn’t a religion?

    “Now?”

    “Starting?”

    I’ve been hearing variations since 9/11 at least that Islam shouldn’t be considered a religion by wingnuts who didn’t want it to have religious protections.

  188. 188
    Chris says:

    @Kay:

    I wonder if the fundies will surge a bit in the midterms. They’ve been a little sidelined by the corporate wing and the Tea Party/Return to the Confederacy people since 2010. They were pretty much moping around ignored for 2012, other than Santorum and Huckabee pandering to them occasionally and the SS marriage wins has to have had them pretty dejected.

    The somewhat strange thing (to me) has been the shift in emphasis from fundiegelicals to Catholics. Back when the religious rights started in the seventies, evangelicals (a.k.a. white, rural, especially Southern WASPs, basically unreconstructed Dixiecrats) were the heart and soul of the coalition; Catholics were just along for the ride. Nowadays, evangelicals probably still have the edge among voters, but Catholics are increasingly taking charge at the leadership level, be it the bishops or the Catholic League or Rick Santorum or the Supremes. Or at least that’s how it seems to me.

    Vaguely saddening as someone who was raised Catholic, but what the hell, we always knew there were bigots in every religious group. Even those who used to be as hated in this country as Muslims are today.

  189. 189
    Gex says:

    @James E. Powell: It’s more than second class citizenship. It’s eliminationist.

    The anti-gay folks don’t want live and let live. They don’t want us to exist.

    I can see the argument of how providing birth control coverage contributes to an act they find sinful. I don’t agree they should be allowed to withhold it, but I can see the connection.

    Employment doesn’t have the same connection to sin. Employment grants people the ability to have food, shelter, clothes, etc. To live, in other words.

    Employing someone doesn’t make them go have gay sex, otherwise they’d only have gay employees. This is as plainly as they will state their desires for us to not exist. Preferably we’d convert, but they’d be just as happy with dead.

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