Archive for Supreme Court

Power play: Hobby Lobby et al. "not happy until their faith has more influence."

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My Twitter followers often ask me why religious-slash-conservative politicians do what they do despite the potential negative effect on so many Americans. Why, for example, do they persist with their War on Women? Why do they insist that a zygote is a child and force closures of women's health clinics, putting existing lives at risk? Why do they claim they are "pro-life" as they scream their heartless, vicious verbal attacks at-- and put the fear of their god into-- child refugees who are escaping from rape, violent abuse, and death? Why do right wing extremists allow these atrocities to continue? Why are they willing to potentially end lives in the name of their god? My answer is an abbreviated (it is Twitter, after all) one-size-fits-all reply: Power and money.

Power and money are strong motivators. Tossing red meat to rabidly hungry political donors and like-minded voters goes a long way to securing state and federal lawmakers' positions. And by keeping their jobs, they get to extend their influence. It's all about self-interest.

Hypocrisy is an ingredient of Theocratic Stew, too, but that doesn't answer the Why. Besides, some outwardly religious zealots may very well believe their own fevered, ill-conceived blather.

The Hobby Lobby case allows bosses to control and exert their influence over women, women who may hold different beliefs (or disbeliefs) than the corporate "person" that pays them. Rather, they claim it's about their beliefs. Some of us see it differently.

Today on her radio show, Nicole Sandler played an interview with David Silverman. Silverman is the president of AmericanAtheists.org. He was discussing conservatives and their heavy-handed religious policies, but made a very important distinction. To quote Silverman, "It's not conservative, it's theocratic." Bingo.

Which brings me to today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because, believe it or not, our voices matter:

That's rich, a Christian activist law firm calling itself the Becket Fund for Religious Freedom. Equally Orwellian phrasing titles the constitutionally dubious Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which the Becket firm has cited to obtain ill-considered U.S. Supreme Court decisions favoring Christianity over sound public policy. ("Law firm in Hobby Lobby win is playing key role in religion cases," July 19)

For truth in advertising, how about "the Becket Fund for Denying Nonbelievers' Rights to Freedom from Religion"?

So what if this firm advocates a Muslim prison inmate's right to grow a beard. That ploy likely will prevail as a bone thrown to non-Christian detractors, but its narrow application betrays the firm's ulterior motive: to set up more far-reaching court rulings to favor the Christian majority.

Edward Alston, Santa Maria

..

The lawyers for Hobby Lobby don't seek religious freedom. As with the recent Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate, they seek the right to extend their religious beliefs to apply to everyone else.

All over the world, it's common for those who practice a particular religion not to be satisfied with their own personal religious freedom. They are not happy until their faith has more influence.

In Iraq, this conflict gets people killed. In the U.S., the Supreme Court allows businesses to force employees to comply with owners' religious beliefs.

The freedom of religion in the 1st Amendment prevents the government from establishing a religion. Once the immense power of government assists one religion, all others suffer.

Norwood Price, Burbank

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Your Weekly Upchucks: Shocking Religion News

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Please welcome back regular guest contributor, author of Being Christian -- a racy novel that explores the dark underbelly of the right-wing Christian world -- and the go-to blogger on shocking religion news, hypocrisy, and all things church v. state (weekly upchucks), K.C. Boyd. You might remember her from her earlier posts.

You can link over to her site here for the rest of this post. It’s well worth a look, because I left out a ton of great upchuckable stuff, including antidotes! These are but a few of her weekly "where religion meets your rights" collection:

Your Weekly Upchucks: The place where religion meets your rights

– by K. C. Boyd

Abortion, Contraception And Women

Education

  • Arizona Hurls Again: Mesa public charter school teaches religion.
  • Flinstonian Puke-Fest: GOP candidate for Minnesota House of Reps, wants public schools to teach that humans & dinos lived together.

Fifty Shades Of Hate, Lies And Propaganda

  • Perky Pukery: Primo hater and theocrat Tony Perkins asks: Is it Burger King or Burger Queen

If Media Is The Message

  • Projectile Lies: Bill O’Reilly Advances Extremist Personhood Argument Against Abortion

Politics Nation

  • Poopy On The Upchuck: The Tea Party Isn’t a Political Movement, It’s a Religious One. Obama is the Antichrist, Republicans are heretics, and compromise is unholy.

Religion Gone Mad

  • Capesce Chuck? An Outrage Beyond All Others: The Use Of Religion to Assault Democracy
  • Penis Licking Upchuck! Right-wing youth leader threatens his ‘gay’ dog on Facebook: ‘Don’t challenge my principles’

Sausage Makers And Their Sausage

  • Snausage Spew: Governor tells Iowans to ‘repent’ in official proclamation for Christian revival at Capitol

Scandal

  • The Drip, Drip, Drip Of Puke: Florida pastor accused of raping clients of homeless shelter

Supremes And Lower Courts

  • Scotal Oath-Chucking: Justice in the United States is for the rich, powerful, Christian male
  • Scrotal Puke-Chucking: The Hobby Lobby Stages of Grief: Stage 2, Anger
  • Regurgitating Racism:. Federal Appeals Court Orders Texas To Issue Confederate Flag License Plates

Theocracy Rising

  • Upchuck’s Family Values: Hobby Lobby Case Linked To Secretive National Prayer Breakfast Group, “The Family”
  • Myth Bustin Spit-Up: Who’s surprised here? Researchers: Children exposed to religion have difficulty distinguishing fact from fiction
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Chris #Christie finally admits that he supports Hobby Lobby decision

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Chris Christie on whether he agreed with the the Hobby Lobby decision by the Supreme Court, on July 1 on CNBC:

"Who knows? ... Why should I give an opinion on whether they're right or wrong?"

How straightforward of him. What confidence! Way to take a stand, Governor Hubris. Dance around the issues much?

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"The fact is that when you're an executive, your Supreme Court makes a ruling and you've got to live with it unless you can get the legislative body to change the law or change the Constitution. The point is: Why should I give an opinion as to whether they were right or wrong? At the end of the day, they did what they did. That's now the law of the land."

Now here's Chris Christie on whether he agreed with the the Hobby Lobby decision by the Supreme Court on July 17, at a meet and greet at MJ's Restaurant in Marion, Iowa (key word: Iowa):

Christie, responding to a Cedar Rapids man at the event:

"Do I support the Supreme Court's decision in the Hobby Lobby case? I do."

Well that only took two and a half weeks. How blunt and direct of him. Way to go, Gov. Panderer! Oh, and way to appeal to women. What a leader. I wonder how many times he licked his finger before putting it in the air to check who would donate to his 2016 presidential campaign the political wind direction.

HuffPo:

Thursday was the first time Christie had expressed his view on the decision. In fact, a day after the Supreme Court ruled, he told a CNBC host that he would not be sharing his opinion at all.

So Governor Rude-y McArrogant flip-flopped. Who does he think he is, Marco Rubio? Willard Romney? A dolphin?

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Poll-itics: SCOTUS approvals near lowest "in 14-year trend"

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SCOTUS, SCOTUS, SCOTUS, what are we going to do with you? Well, here's an idea: Elect Progressive presidents who will replace right wing extremist Supreme Court justices (and other judges) who decide cases that are turning this country upside down.

This Supreme Court has:

  • ruled in favor of prayers in city council meetings (read: Christian prayers);
  • eliminated buffer zones around abortion and contraception medical centers in Massachusetts so that women can now be intimidated and threatened literally within an inch of their lives;
  • weakened unions by ruling that they could not force home-care workers to join them and pay dues;
  • and, of course, allowed Hobby Lobby and other family-owned businesses to decide what kind of birth control their employees could use based on their bosses' religious beliefs. Not the workers' beliefs, mind you, because apparently, corporate religion trumps that of the individual.

And don't get me started on Citizens United and McCutcheon decisions allowing corporate money to attempt to buy elections the way Willard "Mitt" Romney buys car elevators.

According to Gallup, this has affected the court's popularity. Democrats in particular are not too thrilled with this SCOTUS. If that's the case, you know what to do: Vote. In droves. Swarm the polls. Help to register other voters and get them to the ballot box, too.

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Gallup:

Americans remain divided in their assessments of the U.S. Supreme Court, with 47% approving of the job it is doing, and 46% disapproving. These ratings are consistent with approval last September, when 46% approved and 45% disapproved, and rank among the lowest approval ratings for the court in Gallup's 14-year trend. [...]

Republican approval of the Supreme Court is up 21 percentage points since last September, from 30% in 2013 to 51%. Independents' approval shows little change, going from 47% to 46%. Support among Democrats, on the other hand, is down [...]

Americans' current views more closely reflect the court's own ideological divisions in these two recent decisions, rather than its bipartisan unanimity.

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Is America politically mature enough for single payer healthcare?

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Back in 2011, I wrote Single payer to replace Obama health care plan in Vermont? Possibly. In a post of 2012, Rep. Jim McDermott's legislation may enable states to offer single payer healthcare, the L.A. Times ticked off reason after reason why such a plan would be superior to what we have now. Then our own Sherry Howarth asked this back in April: Are the Green Mountain Progressives Going to Pull Off Single Payer?

And now, one of my faves, Michael Hiltzik, has written another thoughtful column for the Los Angeles Times. This one asks if America has the "political maturity" to support single payer healthcare, especially after the dreadful Hobby Lobby decision by the Supreme Corp. Justices.

Hiltzik narrows it all down to the perpetual fight over abortion being the real obstacle to a single payer system. Once we stop our bitter squabbling and resolve that issue (not an easy task), it would open the door to enacting the same successful system so many countries around the world currently use. As Hiltzik notes, "That's not a permanent condition -- sooner or later, the gridlock will have to give, because the public won't stand for total inaction forever."

The entire column is worth a read, so please link over. He begins by responding to something Ezra Klein wrote. He ends this way:

[O]nly a mature system will be able to enact single-payer, so it's pointless to worry about it being hampered by childishness once it's in place.

Let's think again about abortion. There's no point in worrying that a single-payer program would bar abortion -- the thing to worry about is that the abortion debate will be an obstacle to enacting a single-payer plan at all. So clearly, the abortion issue will have to be resolved first.

Ezra Klein is right. Single-payer does have many virtues, and it does have some problems.

But under our current system post-Hobby Lobby, scientifically uninformed employers can interfere in the medical decisions of thousands of their workers. Obviously, that's the worst of all possible worlds.

Single-payer's problems, however, are either resolvable or conjectural, while its virtues are manifest. We should keep our eye on those, and worry about the problems when the time comes.

As we say on Google Plus: +1.

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Morning Joe Backs Gov. Good-Hair Perry on the Texas Tea Obama Wackadoo

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Slightly better than giving you Fvx at this hour, Morning Schmoe is semi-back from break, and Scarborough is all about kicking some PBO hiney about the humanitarian crisis at the Border. Governor Good Hair Rick Perry's stretch o' the fence.

We have all said or thought this a gazilion times about some of the asshats he has to interact with, but "Poor President Obama."

This time it's a Hairy Perry bully demand, not a respectful request for a presidential visit from a sitting governor. Perry has puffed out his Texas chest and bellowed that he wouldn't be doing any handshake on the tarmac with Barack Obama.

This comes on the egregious heels of Perry's Tin Foil Hat PBO latest … Obama himself is behind the humanitarian crisis at the Border. [Perry may be even less in touch with reality than we currently suppose.]

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So, according to MSNBC sourcing, the president and the guv'nah will be meeting behind closed doors … and we so wanted a 'shake your fist in Obama's face' photo op, blast. Which fired Ole' One Way Joe, have a gawk for yourself and I'll see you with shared frustration on the other side.

The smug is getting worse as Obama gets closer to the clean exit, it's like Regressive Right blood in the water.

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Perry and his glasses may not be running again (Hah!) in 2016, but as Rachel Maddow illustrated Monday night, he has some culpability in this Border Crisis.

President Obama does head out to Texas today, for two days of fundraising and with no advance-noticed plans to visit the border … which some have blown up into a faux Fvx Hair Aflame Scandale, and some conservative hate baiter editorialized this - ahead of time - "Obama's Katrina Moment."

Horse shite.

President Obama isn't a showman. He's not going to announce ahead of time that he is going to go down to the borders and see what is happening to the women and children, primarily, caught in this tragic cycle of entry, detention and legal action.

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There are not many good options. The president visited the border from Texas in 2011, and though no official plans have been put forward for Obama to re-route there in the next couple of days, liberals can easily seeing him doing that.

Without the hype and Regressive Right sportscasting. For a sane look at the immigration crisis, Lawrence O'Donnell had a factual look.

Praise Jeebus for the evening Voices of Reason.

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Overnight: Corporations Are People Now (But Apparently Women Are Not)

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Hobby Lobby Lauren Mayer


Lauren Mayer is a singer/songwriter/pianist who writes comedy songs about everything from Supreme Court decisions to the Kardashians. She proudly supports leftist causes including equal pay, reproductive choice, fair minimum wage, addressing climate change, and marriage equality.
Note: Lauren's CD is now available!! Hear clips or purchase CD/downloads at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/laurenmayer8. It is also on iTunes and will soon be on Amazon!

From YouTube:

A musical summary of the Hobby Lobby decision's consequences

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