My husband the gardener disapproves, but I’ve got a new squirrel-friend:
She (pretty sure it’s a girl) recently started raiding one of the porch feeders, which is okay by me. I’m going to get some peanuts for her next time I’m out.
Florida woman, boxer wrangler and football hooligan currently deep-fat frying something in a humid swamp somewhere.
Betty Cracker has been a Balloon Juice writer since 2012.
I am not a lawyer, and I am not even related to any lawyers by blood more closely than first cousins, once and twice removed. And even those relatives have given up the practice of law to pursue other interests. So I won’t attempt to offer analysis, but here are short summaries of two of today’s rulings via TPM:
SCOTUS Rejects Red States’ Bid To Throw Out Obamacare
The Supreme Court rejected on Thursday Texas’ challenge to the Affordable Care Act, in a 7-2 decision. The majority opinion, written by Justice Stephen Breyer, said that the challengers had not met the procedural threshold to bring the case.
The Supreme Court’s refusal to dismantle the 2010 law marks the third time that the Affordable Care Act has survived a major Supreme Court challenge.
Only Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch dissented in the case decided Thursday. Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a concurring opinion.
It was red state yahoos who brought the case forward, IIRC, and it sounds like it got kicked out because zeroing out the mandate (Republicans did this!) meant they couldn’t claim harm? Something like that. Is this a significant ruling that is likely to shut down future efforts to trash the ACA, or will we be playing whack-a-mole forever? I have no idea, but maybe someone who understands it can tell us.
Here’s another ruling summary via TPM:
Unanimous SCOTUS Favors Religious Freedom Over LGBTQ Rights In Foster Care Case
The Supreme Court decided Thursday that the city of Philadelphia’s decision to stop contracting with a Catholic foster care agency unless it placed children with same-sex couples violates the First Amendment.
The case was seen as a clue for how the conservative Court will treat LGBTQ rights in the future, though the justices unanimously agreed on the final judgment that the particulars of the Philadelphia case implicated religious freedom. The justices were splintered in their rationales, though, with multiple concurring opinions.
Okay, this one pisses me off because it’s unanimous. (I expect stuff like this from the court’s Bony Carrot wing but not from Justice Sotomayor, et al.) This must be more nuanced than “everyone agrees it’s permissible for churches to discriminate against LGBTQ people,” right? Please explain if you’re so inclined; decisions are embedded at linked articles.
Otherwise, open thread.
Forget what the senator from West by God, etc., told the common folk in his recent op-ed; Joe Manchin was singing a slightly different tune on a Zoom call this week with filibuster-loving fat cats.
The call was arranged by the (shitty, useless, Joe Lieberman-led, but I repeat myself) No Labels group, according to a transcript obtained by The Intercept (and brought to our attention by valued commenter Martin in a thread downstairs). A few excerpts below:
Manchin told the assembled donors that he needed help flipping a handful of Republicans from no to yes on the January 6 commission in order to strip the “far left” of their best argument against the filibuster. The filibuster is a critical priority for the donors on the call, as it bottles up progressive legislation that would hit their bottom lines…
Manchin told the donors he hoped to make another run at it [a bipartisan commission vote] to prove that comity is not lost. He noted that Sen. Pat Toomey, a Pennsylvania Republican who missed the vote, would have voted for it had he been there, meaning only three more votes are needed. “What I’m asking for, I need to go back, I need to find three more Republican, good Republican senators that will vote for the commission. So at least we can tamp down where people say, ‘Well, Republicans won’t even do the simple lift, common sense of basically voting to do a commission that was truly bipartisan.’ It just really emboldens the far left saying, ‘I told you, how’s that bipartisan working for you now, Joe?’”
To find those mythical “good Republican senators,” Manchin hit up donors on the call who he said may be “working with [retiring Senator] Roy [Blunt] in his next life” to put in a good word for a Yes vote. That raises all sorts of ethical questions. But let’s not argue over who is bribing whom.
It sounds like Manchin really is feeling the heat from “the far left” or at least believes it’s to his advantage for big donors to think that. He also sounds sincere about the comity bullshit, though that could be nonsense decanted for this particular audience.
In any case, here’s an interesting exchange on filibuster reform:
Manchin’s openness for filibuster reform on the call is notable given it flew in the face of many attendees’ hopes. Asked about a proposal to lower the threshold to beat back a filibuster to 55 votes, he said that it was something he was considering, but then quickly referred back to his earlier idea of forcing the minority to show up on the Senate floor in large enough numbers to maintain a filibuster…
Manchin acknowledged that publicly he had drawn a line at 60, but said that he was open to other ideas. “Right now, 60 is where I planted my flag, but as long as they know that I’m going to protect this filibuster, we’re looking at good solutions,” he said. “I think, basically, it should be [that] 41 people have to force the issue versus the 60 that we need in the affirmative. So find 41 in the negative. … I think one little change that could be made right now is basically anyone who wants to filibuster ought to be required to go to the floor and basically state your objection and why you’re filibustering and also state what you think needs to change that’d fix it, so you would support it. To me, that’s pretty constructive.”
The highlighted part seems significant, at least to me. One of the most maddening things about the filibuster as currently practiced is that all the onus is on the majority. Right now, Republican refuseniks get to hide behind McConnell’s skirts when opposing popular legislation. It shouldn’t be that way.
Short of getting rid of the big donor-beloved relic, altering the filibuster so that the minority party has to show up and contend with a calendar controlled by the majority (we shouldn’t underestimate the power of that) could be a game changer. It might offer opportunities to wear the bastards down by making them publicly take unpopular stands on big issues, and it might even allow progress through attrition on smaller items. That’s worth doing, IMO.
Anyhoo, interesting stuff. Thanks Martin!
I posted this clip in comments in the morning thread because it’s a great explainer of the how and why of the just-concluded Biden-Putin meeting. But it’s also notable because Ms. Hill confirms that she was so desperate to interrupt Trump’s humiliating performance at the Helsinki summit that she looked around for a fire alarm to pull and considered faking a medical emergency to derail the proceedings. That portion of the clip starts at around the 6:10 mark:
President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin are just hours from meeting face to face.
— Don Lemon Tonight (@DonLemonTonight) June 16, 2021
Even after all we saw that preposterous orange clown do and say over four interminable years, his behavior toward Putin and his minions, especially in Helsinki, will never not be shocking to me. I guess I’ll always be a Cold War kid. Anyhoo, open thread!
Sometimes I feel like we don’t discuss TV and movies as much as we should around here. Let’s remedy that!
Did y’all watch “Mare of Easttown,” a seven-episode series that recently wrapped up on HBO? I thought Kate Winslet was terrific in the title role as a detective sergeant in a Philly suburban town who’s trying to solve a murder and get her shit together as a professional and also as a mom, gran, daughter, friend and neighbor.
I am also enjoying “Hacks” on HBO, which stars Jean Smart and Hannah Einbinder. Smart plays a semi-washed up comedian/QVC brand pitchwoman in Vegas whose agent talks her into hiring a 25-year-old writer to update her comedic material. It’s good, though it can be super hokey in a way that clashes with the show’s cynical core. (Or maybe it’s cynical in a way that clashes with its hokey core.)
IMO, Smart (who is also in “Mare of Easttown” as Mare’s grouchy mom) is an underappreciated gem. Einbinder is a talented newcomer who I recently learned also happens to be the daughter of SNL’s Laraine Newman. She must look like her dad.
To wrap up the entertainment section, did y’all see “Nomadland,” and if so, what did you think? I just saw it a couple of weeks ago and thought it was amazing. I’m not sure anyone but Frances McDormand could have pulled off that performance — not even Meryl Streep.
What else is good on TV or at the movies?
ETA: I can’t believe I forgot to share this relevant info: the Westminster Dog Show is this weekend! Group judging followed by Best in Show starts at 7:30 PM ET on Fox.
These fucking people:
Important to remember that most anti-vaxxers are not too smart
— Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) June 9, 2021
The woman above is a licensed physician, according to people on Twitter, who are never wrong. Anyhoo, she’s at a government hearing in Ohio, and it looks like she’s testifying in favor of stupid proposed legislation to exempt fellow idiots from vaccine “discrimination,” probably something modeled on the stupid law Florida recently enacted for that same idiotic purpose.
Dr. Tenpenny (confirmed!) does this by explaining that the coronavirus vaccines magnetize people because there’s metal in one of the proteins that are in the vaccine, and she wants to know what’s being transmitted from 5G towers.
At the same hearing, this nurse tries (and fails!) to demonstrate how her cleavage has been magnetized:
Anti-vaxx nurse demonstrates how the Covid vaccine turned her entire body into one big magnet! pic.twitter.com/TYRHp0umEL
— John Aravosis 🇺🇸🇬🇷🏳️🌈 (@aravosis) June 9, 2021
So, here’s what I see: a woman pressing a key against her chest, where it briefly sticks without her hand holding it up due to the naturally occurring oil we all have on our skins, and then she whips it away and tries and fails to get the key and then a bobby pin to stick to her neck. I see her pretending that the demonstration went off without a hitch and triumphantly demanding an explanation for her magnetic qualities rather than slinking off in shame.
In short, I see a raving kook.
But I am 100% certain that millions of Americans could look at the same goddamned video clips and conclude that OMFG, the 5G towers are triangulating on us and yes, that poor nurse can’t walk through the hospital without scalpels and stethoscope heads and crash carts and other metal objects slamming into her, irresistibly drawn by her magnetic boobs.
In short, we are doomed.