Friday, August 22, 2014

Last Call For The Notorious RBG

Justice Ginsburg, for her part, warned that tossing out a key prong of the Voting Rights Act “when it has worked and is continuing to work to stop discriminatory changes is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet.”

In what may become the most controversial part of her interview with Coyle, Ginsburg also suggests that public acceptance of gay Americans is eclipsing our ability to relate to each other across racial lines. “Once [gay] people began to say who they were,” Ginsburg noted, “you found that it was your next-door neighbor or it could be your child, and we found people we admired.” By contrast, according to Ginsburg, “[t]hat understanding still doesn’t exist with race; you still have separation of neighborhoods, where the races are not mixed. It’s the familiarity with people who are gay that still doesn’t exist for race and will remain that way for a long time as long as where we live remains divided.”

Hard words, but true.  America needs to think about things like that.  I know I do.

The Fix For Hobby Lobby

New proposed Health and Human Services rules regarding Obamacare and birth control may be the insurance coverage fix that hundreds of thousands of American women were hoping for.

A "proposed rule" by the Department of Health and Human Services lets female employees of for-profit businesses, like Hobby Lobby, obtain birth control directly from their insurer, at no extra cost, if their boss opts out of covering the service in the company's insurance plan for religious reasons
The move extends an accommodation that already exists for non-profit organizations, which are allowed to refuse to cover for birth control. In short, the religious owners can pass the cost on to the insurer so that they're no longer complicit in what they view as sin. 
The Supreme Court ruled in June that owners of closely held for-profit corporations cannot be required, under Obamacare, to cover emergency contraception like Plan B, Ella and two types of IUDs if it violates their sincerely-held religious belief. The HHS move is a workaround to that ruling. 

So that's actually great news, and insurance companies will be thrilled, because contraception is a fraction of the cost of neonatal services, pregnancy complications, and childbirth.  This is outstanding, and I hope these rulesgo into effect as soon as possible so that employees of religious companies can go back to using science to do things.

This is going to help a lot of people, and I'm glad I have good news for once in the Friday news dump slot.

The Luckiest Blue Dog Democrat In Minnesota

Democratic Rep. Tim Walz of Minnesota's first district is a decent swing state liberal at best, certainly no firebrand, but he does have one thing going for him in a pretty purple part of the state:  Republicans keep nominating utterly batshit crazy people to run and lose against him.  Walz would be exactly the kind of depressingly moderate, Obama-avoiding jellyfish that would be in trouble this year (with his 63.37 lifetime Progressive Punch score on crucial votes that puts him square into ConservaDem territory)  but the GOP goofball running against him has about 3 cubic acres of baggage.  MoJo's Tim Murphy:

Republican congressional candidate Jim Hagedorn could face a major obstacle in his race to unseat Minnesota Democrat Tim Walz: conservative blogger Jim Hagedorn. 
Hagedorn, the son of retired congressman Tom Hagedorn, was a surprise victor in last Tuesday's GOP primary. But he brings some serious baggage to his race against Walz, a four-term incumbent. In posts from his old blog, Mr. Conservative, unearthed by the now-defunct Minnesota Independent, Hagedorn made light of American Indians, President Obama's Kenyan ancestry, and female Supreme Court justices, among others, in ways many voters won't appreciate.

Oh good.  Yeah, I know I'd have all kinds of fun trying to run for office with this blog.  Hagedorn hasn't figured that out yet, it seems.

Hagedorn also reveled in the type of gay innuendo you may have heard in high school courtyards in decades past. (Kids these days know better.) He referred to former Wisconsin Sen. Herb Kohl as an "alleged switch-hitter" and a "packer." Former GOP candidate Mike Taylor, the target of a homophobic attack ad during his campaign against then-Sen. Max Baucus,came out even worse: "[T]he ad really bent Taylor over with rage and caused him to go straight to the bar and get lubricated," Hagedorn wrote. "It must have taken all Taylor's power to refrain from fisting…err…using his fists on Max Baucus, or at the very least ream him inside and out." 
In an entry on the Supreme Court's 2003 Lawrence v. Texas decision, which ruled that state bans on sodomy were unconstitutional, he wrote: "Butt (sic) never have winners lost so dearly. The Court's voyage into uncharted, untreated cultural bathhouse waters was designed to offer a gentle push from behind…to generate a small skip forward for the pink triangle class…to throw them a bone, so to speak."

This is comedy in conservative GOP circles, I guess.  It's unintentionally funny to see a candidate this awful pretty much assuring Tim Walz doesn't have to try to move left, either.

Except that part doesn't make me laugh, but cry.


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