The Watering Hole, Wednesday, March 26, 2014. Breaking Gnus: Supreme Court Allows For-Profit Corporations the Right to Impose Their Religious Beliefs on Workers.

Dateline 9/26/14: The Zoo’s “Way-Foreward Machine” brings us the news from 6 months hence. It all began with a simple question:

“Your reasoning would permit” Congress to force corporations to pay for abortions, Kennedy told Verrilli.

And with that, the door for Corporations to dictate health care was swung wide open. Ironically, the Affordable Health Care Act, or ObamaCare as it was more popularly known, did not force Corporations to pay for abortions – just offer health insurance that would cover such procedures.

But, with the Supreme Court paving the way, every employer soon jumped on the bandwagon. Within months, the health insurance landscape was in ruins as corporation after corporation, small business after small business, began demanding that they dictate their employees health insurance based on the religious beliefs of the board of directors or individual business owner, as the case may be.

Faced with literally millions of demands for differning coverages based on the ideosyncracies of the religions of millions of business owners, the Insurance Industry simply gave up. No company could write policies that covered enough people to be economically viable. Company after company simply stopped writing health insurance.

Now, 6 months later, the only health insurance in the United States is Medicare. Yes, even the companies that underwrote Congress’ health insurance stopped.

So, on the eve of the 2014 mid-term elections, Congress must face the polital piper. Religious Freedom protected individual, for-profit corporations from providing health care. But the Government must act in a manner that neither promotes one religion over another, nor any religion over no religion. Will Congress step up to the task of seeing that every American has a right to health care? Or will we have to elect new representatives that will?

OPEN THREAD
OPEN DISCUSSION

(P.S. The “Way Foreward Machine” is only capable of showing one of may possible futures. The actual future may be different than the one depicted here. Indeed, by publishing the Way Foreward Machine’s prediction, the future may have already been altered.

66 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Wednesday, March 26, 2014. Breaking Gnus: Supreme Court Allows For-Profit Corporations the Right to Impose Their Religious Beliefs on Workers.

  1. IIRC, Scalia wrote the majority opinion in a case that denied two Native Americans the right to use peyote in their rituals because a religious exemption for laws people don’t like could lead to anarchy. That bodes against him voting in Hobby Lobby’s favor. OTOH, after he wrote that decision, Congress passed some kind of religious conscience exemption law, but it didn’t sound Constitutional to me. But what do I know about the Law and the Constitution? I’ve been smacked down so often I no longer know what I know.

    Still, I can’t see how Hobby Lobby wins this one. Especially since what they’re arguing goes way beyond birth control even though they claimed they weren’t arguing that way. It seemed they were arguing strictly about the birth control and nothing else, even though their legal reasoning would allow employers to deny coverage for anything they wanted, religious objections or not. And that would violate Equal Protection. But, again, what do I know?

    • The hypocrisy with Hobby Lobby is so thick you need hip waders just to read the website.

      All of their crap, and I mean crap, Is made in China, probably by child labor working 10 hour days seven days a week.

      I have no need in my life for scented pine cones or wreath making supplies.
      Perhaps Lady Gaga needs Hobby Lobby for her wardrobe creations but, I don’t.

    • Scalia isn’t adverse to contradicting himself, in order to get the result he wants.

      http://www.allgov.com/news/controversies/justice-scalia-contradicts-himself-on-immigration-to-get-the-result-he-wants?news=844680

      The swing vote here is Kennedy, and frankly, I think he’s gone senile. The SCOTUS hasn’t protected the people in a long time, and it’s even less inclined to protect women. I am not hopeful the SCOTUS will rule the right way in this case, nor any other.

    • Who’da ever thunk it. Giving a shit about others (liberal/progressive) “raises all boats” and GREED (conservative/corporate/fascist) doesn’t? Far out!

  2. “Your reasoning would permit” Congress to force corporations to pay for abortions, Kennedy told Verrilli.

    What’s wrong with that? Corporations already, via their taxes and via the taxes their employees pay on the wages the corps generate and pay, pay to support wars, executions, torture (well, maybe not since Bush-Cheney, but likely coming again soon) along with the path toward mass extinction thanks to their use of fossil fuel energy, also thanks to their tax contributions to tax subsidies for giant energy companies . . . the list is endless. And yet, a corporation called Hobby Lobby is worried about four contraceptive pills/devices because they believe the fertilized egg (suddenly a freakin’ “human”) fails to implant? And because that wee little detail bothers the religious beliefs of the corporate CEO and his wife, that means they have the right to IMPOSE their own silly religious beliefs on everyone else in their employ?

    Bullshit.

    It’s so simple: IF you don’t believe in contraceptives, don’t use them. IF you don’t believe in abortion, don’t have one. IF you don’t like the concept of same sex marriage, don’t marry someone of the same gender. IF you don’t believe in climate change and/or the consequences implicit, then go back to school and get yourself educated!

    BUT stop trying to impose YOUR beliefs on OTHERS!!! And that thesis should ESPECIALLY apply to the SCOTUS! As for Mr. and Mrs. Hobby Lobby, sell off your corporate positions, take your money and run to the Caymans, or Switzerland, and live happily ever after in the tax-free Eden of your choice. But get the hell off the backs of everyone you and your nonsensical religious crapola are hoping to screw!

    *Ich bin anticipating lightning bolt from god*

    Nothing yet. So far so good.

  3. I had my employers religious beliefs shoved at me everyday where I used to work.
    I didn’t go to his church.
    Those that did advanced and received raises and promotion.
    Those that didn’t go to his church got the dangerous dirty jobs.
    The old Horatio Alger meme of hard work will yield success is bullshit.
    I watched talentless hacks move up while those of us that didn’t go to his church stay in the same job at minimum COLA for years.
    Getting laid off was the best thing that ever happened to me.
    It forced me to see things for what they are.

    • I saw that happen a lot in Mormon-owned businesses, and apparently, being a non-Mormon in Utah is almost like being black in Jim Crow America. They are so damn blatant about it.

      • Yep, I worked for a Mormon-run company in AZ for six years in the early seventies. Fortunately, the AZ operation was simply a wholly-owned subsidiary of a company with a Plumsteadville, PA HQ, and I got along well with everyone on that end, but the Mormons in AZ hated my ass and tried and tried and tried and tried to get me canned. Once I figured out that I was safe so long as I did what needed to be done in the lab and in the field, I took great delight in subtly tormenting the Mor(m)on buttcakes in the local office. That was the fun part!

        • I really had my eyes opened when I lived in Northern AZ.
          The Mormons are thick out there.
          Innocuous and ubiquitous.
          We would have to tell flight students which airports were acceptable and which ones to avoid.
          Colorado city was at the top of the list.

          • Yep, Colorado City AZ was at the top of the nutcase heap. They weren’t really even Mormons by today’s rules, although they practiced it the old way with polygamy plus more polygamy, where old guys might have maybe a dozen wives including some teenaged girls. Almost like the Founder was named Bringem Young, or something close to that. In my 40 yrs in AZ, though, I did have (out of the several thousand I met or ran across) two close friends of the Mormon persuasion. They were uncontaminated by the standard bullshit, and were good guys in spite of their LDS association.

  4. So….. Justice Kennedy…. by your reasoning, Mr Hobby Lobby Corporate Suit, do you think we should only offer to your employees insurance that would also pay for medical procedures that your religion says are part of your sincerely held religious belief, namely that all women are intrinsically whores and we should therefore circumcise their female parts at puberty?

    Two can ask that question, Justice Kennedy…..

    • I don’t know why we need 9 justices on the SOTUS. Kennedy’s vote seems to decide every case.

      • the disturbing thing is that it’s almost possible to predict how the justices will decide based on who appointed them. Dad might have said it best when he said: “if one can predict how a judge will decide before a case is even presented then he/she is not a judge”.

        • Yeah, but the thing about that is presidents pick SCOTUS nominees precisely because they have a pretty good idea of how they’ll rule – as a liberal or as a conservative – before they put them on the Court. True, they sometimes get it wrong. Earl Warren, Harry Blackmun and others turned out to be more socially liberal than the Republican presidents appointing them thought. But they’re usually right. Does anyone think Scalia, Thomas, or Alito will ever turn Liberal? Certainly not the presidents appointing them. Do you?

          You don’t know have to know how a Justice or Federal Judge will rule in a case, you have to know how they interpret the Constitution, Liberally or Conservatively. Many of these judges hear cases on appeal, and are usually not the court of original jurisdiction. And on cases at that level, as a president, you don’t want to appoint someone whose likely views you can’t predict. The only mystery is usually the reasoning they use to get to their predictable conclusions.

  5. Last Saturday, in Odessa, a Russian-speaking city of Ukraine, one of the cultural treasure-houses of Europe, performers from the Philharmonic flash mobbed a performance of the last bars of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony at the Odessa fish market. A decidedly political musical statement. Amazing.

    It builds @3:00 and takes off @3:50.

  6. Always look on the bright side of life. There is, at least, one drop of sanity remaining. The SCOTUS, in a unanimous decision no less, ruled that a confession or conviction for domestic violence bars one from possessing firearms. Plus; now we get to hear the frothing mouth breathers whining about all the “RINOS” on the SCOTUS.

    http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2014/03/26/3419173/man-convicted-of-domestic-violence-cant-possess-a-gun-supreme-court-rules/

    • I have often wondered what the average Chinese factory worker thinks about what many Americans worship. I am convinced that they could think it involves an old fat man in a red suit, rabbits that sing Jesus loves me, and horses in dire need of blessing by having a religious symbol made from their shoes.

  7. VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – The Vatican removed a German bishop on Wednesday because he spent 31 million euros ($43 million) of Church funds on an extravagant residence when Pope Francis was preaching austerity.

    German media, citing official documents, said the residence had been fitted with a free-standing bath that cost 15,000 euros, a conference table that cost 25,000 euros and a private chapel for 2.9 million euros.

    The affair has also deeply embarrassed a German Catholic Church that had been enjoying an upswing in popularity because of Francis’s wide personal appeal and after years of criticism for covering up sexual abuse cases among the clergy.

    Tebartz-van Elst, 54, is still 21 years away from official retirement age in the Church. He will retain the title and rank of bishop but the Vatican will probably want to put him in a low-profile job somewhere.

    The scandal has put pressure on German bishops for more financial transparency, forcing them to scrap centuries of secrecy over reporting the value of their private endowments.

    Germany’s church tax, collected from worshippers by the state and handed over to the churches, raised 5.2 billion euros for the Catholics and 4.6 billion euros for Protestants in 2012.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-vatican-germany-20140326,0,973901.story

      • That did surprise me. Wasn’t aware of the ‘collection’ tax from parishioners/worshippers.
        How would the U.S.A. xtians take to being taxed for bothering god?

  8. I finally got the kitty picture I’ve been trying for. Generally one of them will climb out of the sink as soon as I go for my camera so I stashed the camera in the medicine cabinet. Worked like a charm!

  9. Perhaps, some time over the past, oh,, six or seven years, you may have seen a NYS Assemblyman standing up in his legislative chamber saying that New York had “the most dysfunctional government in the country.” That man is now my State Senator (after replacing a guy who went to prison on corruption charges.) He day he was jogging through our village streets wearing nothing but running shoes and shorts. I asked some nearby people, “Was that our senator running through town half naked?” That got a chuckle. I also had an intense debate with him at our local supermarket. He kept wanting to change the subject. He was unpersuasive.

    As for his new bill, I’m not impressed with any law that merely increases the penalties for already-illegal things. It doesn’t make anyone safer. People who would break that law would do so regardless of the penalty. So i told him as much.

  10. Forget Hobby Lobby. The Bigger Legal Threat to Obamacare Still Has Life.
    Alec MacGillis examines the other big Obamacare case:

    “As readers may recall from our previous coverage of this challenge, it revolves around an argument put forward in 2011 by Jonathan Adler, a law professor at Case Western University, and Michael Cannon, a health care analyst at the libertarian Cato Institute and a committed Obamacare foe. They argue that the law is being carried out in contravention with its text: The section decreeing that people will get federal subsidies to help them pay for private insurance plans says that the subsidies are available for those buying plans on new exchanges established by the states – and makes no explicit provision for subsidies for those buying plans in states where governors and state legislators left the creation of the exchange up to the federal government. …

    The stakes in the challenge are enormous – 36 states have chosen not to set up their own exchanges, which means that if the courts side with the challengers, the millions of people who have bought coverage in those states (the vast majority of whom have receives subsidies to do so) would lose their subsidies and be left unable to afford coverage. This would in turn throw the individual insurance market into disarray as many of these people dropped their coverage – except, presumably, the sickest of people with the most incentive to keep it.”

    http://www.newrepublic.com/article/117156/obamacares-most-destructive-legal-challenge-still-has-life

  11. QOTD:

    “I know Rumsfeld well enough at this point to know that he’s never going to have this kind of epiphany. He’s never going to have this introspective moment where he realizes, even though we had the best intentions, that many of his decisions turned out to be disasters. It was rare that he would ever admit that he was wrong about anything. Part of his defense was that he was very adept at putting caveats into everything that he said so that he could go back later and cite the caveat. “I never said how long the war would last.” “I never said how many troops would be needed.” “I never said how much it would cost.” He was very slippery. You couldn’t pin him down on things. And his favorite technique, of course, was to challenge the premise of your question and never actually answer it,” – Jamie McIntyre, former senior Pentagon correspondent at CNN, and now at NPR’s ‘All Things Considered.’

  12. Father, son charged following nude street brawl, police say

    It was 6 a.m. at a house on Kent Street when an argument between an 18-year-old and his 39-year-old father turned violent, said police spokeswoman Anita Shell.

    The father later told police that both men were high on ecstasy, LSD and marijuana when they started fighting over drugs and a woman, Shell said.

    Police will not release either man’s name because the altercation involved domestic violence. Three children, ages 7, 12 and 16, were in the house at the time, and the 16-year-old was assaulted, Shell said.

    As the frenzy continued, the son — completely nude — ran through a large window on the front of the house, shattering it and gashing his shoulder and thigh

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