Everybody Needs to Chill Out


Welcome to July! As of today the month of June, the first half of 2014 and the most recent term of the U.S. Supreme Court are officially over. With a little luck from the baseball gods, the worst “June swoon” in SF Giants’ history will be over too.

As I’m sure you heard, SCOTUS handed down two decisions yesterday that caused quite a ruckus. The celebrations on the right were drowned out by the weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth on the left. Most of the noise-making was over the second decision, but the first caused a few people to lose their shit too.

Everybody needs to chill the fuck out. The two cases yesterday are both small potatoes that are unlikely to make any major impact right away or in the future.

Noah Rothman at Hot Air:

NBC News journalist Pete Williams, an accomplished reporter who is not prone to indulge in speculation, went out of his way to insist repeatedly that the Court’s decision in this case was a narrow one. He noted that the decision extends only to the specific religious objections a handful of employers raised about providing abortifacients (as opposed to contraceptives). Williams added that Justice Anthony Kennedy allowed in his concurring opinion that the federal government can pay for and provide that coverage if employers would not.

The Federalist published a variety of other observations about this ruling which indicate that it was narrowly tailored to this specific case. The Court ruled that Hobby Lobby and other employers could not simply drop health coverage in order to avoid mandates. This decision does not apply to other government mandates like those requiring employers cover vaccinations. Finally, if the will of the public in the form of an electoral mandate creates a groundswell of support for a government-funded program which provides access to abortifacients, then that would be perfectly constitutional.

Williams’ MSNBC colleagues nodded along and, when asked for their contribution, proceeded to display none of this NBC reporter’s caution.

“I think we’ve seen a real goal post-moving here,” MSNBC.com’s Irin Carmon said. “We may say it is a narrow ruling because Taco Bell and Wal-Mart can’t opt out, but it is still an enormous expansion of corporate rights and of the refusal from the laws that are passed to create benefits for everybody.”

“The larger doctrinal implication here is potentially significant,” MSNBC host Ari Melber agreed. “For the first time, the Court is going and taking the First Amendment rights that we’ve seen long established for certain corporate entities and extending them to the religious idea.”

“Just because it was only restricted to women’s health access doesn’t mean that it doesn’t create a devastating precedent which says that women’s health care should be treated differently,” Carmon added. She added that the Republican Party is the biggest beneficiary of today’s ruling. “So, the context of this is an all-out assault on access to contraception and access to other reproductive health care services.”

SCOTUS ruled that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act applied to Hobby Lobby. The RFRA was passed in 1993 with near unanimous votes in the Democrat-controlled House and Senate, then signed into law by Bill Clinton.

All yesterday’s decision did was say that a small number of companies in a narrow set of circumstances can invoke the First Amendment to avoid paying for a limited set of medications (commonly called “abortifacients”) that induce an abortion/miscarriage. Obamacare already provided an exception to paying for surgical abortions and the Hobby Lobby case just extended it to employers paying for drug-induced abortions.

“Morning-after” pills will still be available, but some women will have to pay for drugs themselves because they won’t be covered by Obamacare. The decision does not affect other contraceptives.

See? Nothing to get hysterical about.

The other case (Harris v. Quinn) could have been much more significant, but the Court kept the ruling’s application narrow.

The conservative majority on the Supreme Court on Monday signaled its distaste for state laws requiring public-sector workers to pay union dues — but stopped short of sweeping them away, handing organized labor a partial victory in a contentious case.

By a 5-4 vote, the justices ruled in Harris v. Quinn that home health care workers in Illinois cannot be compelled to financially support a union they don’t wish to join. Illinois is one of 26 states that require public-sector workers — such as firefighters, police officers and teachers — to pay partial dues, often known as “agency fees,” to the unions that negotiate their contracts and represent them in grievances, even if the employees find the union’s advocacy work distasteful.

Union leaders had feared that the justices might strike down those state laws as unconstitutional. The justices did not go that far. They issued a more narrow ruling that the home health care workers at issue in the case are not “full-fledged public employees” because they are hired and fired by individual patients and work in private homes, though they are paid in part by the state, via Medicaid.

Because they’re not truly state employees, the justices decided these workers did not have to pay union dues.
Even the fairly narrow ruling is a blow to the Service Employees International Union, the American Federation of Teachers and other unions that have organized hundreds of thousands of home health workers in states including Illinois, California and Connecticut. Those workers can now decide whether they want to support the union financially.

Calling them “workers” is misleading:

Pamela Harris is the primary caregiver for her 24-year-old son Josh. Josh suffers from a rare genetic condition called Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome, which causes severe intellectual and developmental disabilities. To offset the cost of Josh’s care and provide an alternative to institutionalization, the Harrises and other families in similar circumstances receive a modest stipend—about $2,100 per month—from the State of Illinois’s Disabilities Program for mentally disabled adults.[1]

Pursuant to a 2009 executive order by Governor Pat Quinn, Illinois regards Pamela Harris as an employee of the state—but only for purposes of collective bargaining.[2] State law provides the same for home-care workers who receive subsidies through its Rehabilitation Program, which covers other disabilities.[3] Under both programs, disabled participants or their guardians are responsible for developing plans of care and hiring and supervising their home-based caregivers.[4] Illinois law makes clear that home-care workers are not considered to be state workers for any purpose other than collective bargaining, “including but not limited to, purposes of vicarious liability in tort and purposes of statutory retirement or health insurance benefits.”[5]

Illinois has designated SEIU Healthcare Illinois & Indiana, an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union, as the exclusive representative for Rehabilitation Program caregivers in bargaining with the state over reimbursement rates. So far, Disabilities Program participants have turned back attempts by the SEIU and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) to represent them before the state.

Illinois’s efforts to facilitate the unionization of home-care workers are not unique. Indeed, they are part of a decade-long campaign to organize home-based care workers, including medical assistants and even family child-care providers,[6] and thereby to “reinvigorate organized labor.”[7]

Pamela Harris did not want to join SEIU or pay them dues. No problem, the union just had the state deduct the dues from her monthly stipend. Yesterday, SCOTUS said that was a bridge too far.

The court could have extended its ruling to cover all government employees, but it didn’t. That’s what had public employee unions (and the Democrats who depend on their support) scared. But for now, in some states, public employees can still be forced to pay union dues.

In my opinion the cases handed down last week were more significant. But all in all, it was a pretty good month for the Constitution. Not so much for the current occupant of the White House.

Barack Obama

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127 Responses to Everybody Needs to Chill Out

  1. The Klown says:

    Just a few weeks ago the SF Giants had the best record in the major leagues and a 10 game lead in the NL West. As of yesterday they are in second place behind the hated LA Dodgers.

    No Giants team in history has fallen farther, faster, in the month of June than the 2014 team.


  2. The Klown says:
  3. 1539days says:

    My non-lawyer take is that SCOTUS, with these rulings plus the recess appointments one, is telling the administration if they keep going to court because they can’t work things out, they will lose another piece of their pie. Sebelius could have made the same concessions to Hobby Lobby, but this is the “I won” White House and they figured Obamacare gave them the right to do anything.

    This actually reminds me of the Tea Party fight. Conservatives have talked for years about limiting judicial “activism.” The Roberts Court is not very activist at all and tries to settle cases rather than create new law. The right shouldn’t piss and moan that they got the court they wanted just because they won’t repeal unions and Obamacare.

    • Lulu says:

      From my non-lawyer view it looks like the courts are telling the public the way to take on the Obama network is in the courts. They do whantever they please and then try to find a legal rationale then lose often spectacularly. A bunch of politically connect hacks practicing lawfare is no way to run the DOJ. Brilliant legal minds they are not especially Bronco. Tubin, Tribe and Turley all said yesterday in polite language that the WH deserved to be slapped silly and find his views of executive power disturbing.

    • Constance says:

      I don’t see why Obama can’t work with the Congress, he was in the Senate for a few years.

  4. The Klown says:

    Megyn Kelly Interviews Obama’s Terrorist Buddy Bill Ayers:

  5. DandyTIger says:

    These rulings seem to be a real boon to Dem fund raising. Sure is easy to herd the zombies. They’re screaming and yelling about the end to birth control. Seriously, are there any Dems left that can think their way out of a wet paper bag. At least they could be angry and argue about the actual rulings.

    • threewickets says:

      Whining, mocking, screeching, crying. Pretty much what Dems have learned from OFA activism. How to act like a spoiled adolescent to get what you want.

    • elliesmom says:

      The sad thing is they don’t realize the Hobby Lobby ruling yesterday was the best outcome HL’s employees could have hoped for. Or maybe socking it to conservative Christians was more important than the fate of the employees. The Greens were not going to pay for morning after pills no matter what. They could afford to close down their stores, sell off the properties, and live very comfortably for generations, leaving thousands of people unemployed. They could have dropped health insurance, paid the $2000 per person fine, pocketed the extra cash, and thrown all of their employees into the government exchanges. Instead those employees have jobs that pay well above the industry standard with decent health insurance with out of pocket expenses for a few forms of birth control the taxpayers will probably end up paying for.

      • WMCB says:

        That’s what annoys me, Helen. I have been going at it with some screechers on Facebook. If you disagree with the ruling, fine. Argue that. But don’t run around wailing like a fool that this means ALL companies can now refuse to pay for ANY birth control, and MILLIONS of women will now be without contraceptives. Nope. That’s not what SCOTUS said. Read the damn ruling before you hyperventilate.

        • The Klown says:

          I remember the 80’s when the far right used to freak-out over every little thing like it was a sign of the apocalypse. Now it’s the left that is overly-dramatic about everything.

        • votermom says:

          Wmcb! You’re back! Yay!

        • votermom says:

          We can probably blame some of the hyperventilating on Ginsberg’s mess of a dissent.

          • lyn says:


          • mothy67 says:

            I am a person of very limited intellect and the sum total of one law class- under grad and all we did was discuss Skokie and Carole Burnett suing Star magazine– but her dissent in my challanged opinion was jibberish. Am I wrong in thinking that the high court has one job and that is to determine constitutionality of a law. Fortune telling I was sure fell under media branch of government. I have not a legal mind in fact tying my shoes is a bit of a challange but I am in awe of the Constitution( Ezra learned me that a bunch of cross dressers 4 hundred years ago strew that baby together) It is so profound in its simplicity. A s a country we have flourished like none other under it. People ache the world over to move here. Her dissent I found to be a disgrace. Please correct me if there is another way to look at it.

    • lyn says:

      Obama really has turned people’s brains into mush.

    • Constance says:

      Well the Dems would make up other lies to accomplish their fund raising goals so it’s just more of the same but the decisions gave the Democrat party a temporary focus.

  6. The Klown says:

    Gabe Malor at AofSHQ:

    The Hobby Lobby decision is already having an impact on the contraception mandate accommodation line of cases. These are cases arising all over the countryin which non-profits argue the accommodation scheme the administration created enlists them in the provision of the very contraception coverage they object to. In one of those cases, raised by the Catholic cable channel EWTN, a district judge had denied a preliminary injunction against the accommodation scheme. Yesterday, within hours of the Hobby Lobby decision, the 11th Circuit stepped in and granted the preliminary injunction, relying in part on the reasoning of Hobby Lobby to conclude that EWTN has a substantial likelihood of success on the merits. That decision, which is a useful read, is here (PDF).

    Also, after the victory for “partial public employees” in Harris yesterday, folks were wondering when public employees would get a chance at undoing the ridiculous fiction that their compelled dues aren’t used to expand union ideological activity. Just such a case is already pending before the 9th Circuit. The case is Friedrichs v. California School Teachers Ass’n.

    • leslie says:

      And then there’s the case of The Little Sisters of the Poor….who are currently fighting having to pay for contraceptives and other types of pregnancy-related care.

      • Lulu says:

        I bet the “motions to stay” (I think that is what they are called) are flying fast and furious this week in the fed courts. The Little Sisters will probably be granted one.

  7. DeniseVB says:

    Hillary is “deeply disturbed” about the ruling…….


    …..for upholding a law Democrats passed and signed by Bill ? Crazy.

    • elliesmom says:

      So is her campaign slogan going to be “Elect me, and I’ll undo everything Bill did”?

    • Lulu says:

      I think she is full of crap. Did she personally bother to read it or just repeat what her spin doctor told her? Where is the triangulation Hill? Split the dif and sound original. Better yet ask Bill you dipshit.

      • DeniseVB says:

        Here’s another Prezzy Potential ….. ugh…..

        • elliesmom says:

          I used to be upset at the possibility I might go to my grave without ever seeing a woman elected president. Lately, I’ve been thinking I might rest easier if I do.

        • lyn says:

          These women are lying hacks (h/t to AngieNC who called U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan that yesterday in a tweet to her).

        • Constance says:

          The East coast is so backward when it comes to women winning elections that when they finally get a woman elected to the School Board they think she is a potential Presidential candidate. We have been electing women to political office for decades in the west and we have many competent people who could be considered for President. Sure they probably aren’t Ivy Indoctrinated, but it is time that people from west and south of Pennsylvania be considered for Federal government political positions. Also the fact that west coast people have seen women politicians for decades accounts for why we were so stunned by the east coast press reaction to Palin and Hillary in 2008. We had never seen anything such blatant unhinged sexism in the press before.

  8. The Klown says:

    How Do These Americans Feel About Hobby Lobby Supreme Court Ruling?:

    • elliesmom says:

      I’ve only been in a Hobby Lobby once, and that was while I was on vacation so Elliesdad was with me. Not the way I want to “explore” a craft store. The closest ones to home are out of state. I keep looking to see if they are going to open in MA, but it’s not on the calendar yet. A lot of my online sewing buddies seem to like to shop there. A few of them work there and seem to be happy with their jobs.

      • votermom says:

        The closest HL store is more than 1 hours drive (highway) from here so I haven’t been. Plus I avoid craft stores bec I have a huge (to me) yarn stash and I dont need any more temptation.

        • elliesmom says:

          Yarn and fabric are retirement investments. Our financial planner told me so.

          • Lulu says:

            LOL. Then I’m rich! I have a walk in closet full of “stuff”. Art supplies, fabrics, buttons, silk flowers, 10 kinds of craft paper, thread, yarn, needlepoint silk, calligraphy pens, you know “stuff”.

          • votermom says:

            I can’t believe I bought all that yarn. I think skeins of yarn have yarn orgies in the closet and make little baby balls of yarn.

  9. The Klown says:
  10. leslie says:

    WMCB . . . It’s so good to see you again!

  11. The Klown says:

    Watch Jesse Watters Get Kicked out of a NOW Conference:

  12. mothy67 says:

    Klown and other legal minds
    If you get bored I would be most appreciative if you discussed Ginsburg’s dissent. Seemed to me she has not a clue what her job is. Speculation? Fall out not her job. Her argument is almost identicle to those who claim acknowledement of gay unions will open the door to bestiality and pedaphilia.. I think the right should focus on her dissent rather than the win.

    • The Klown says:

      I never understood why people spend so much time covering dissenting opinions. They AREN’T the law.

      • mothy67 says:

        I am intrigued. She has been appointed to the highest court in the land. I would have been okay with a dissent that said corporations are not people but she went and spewed some personal philosophy. I think dissents are interesting when based on law and not feelings or crystal balls. I have read a few of Ginsburg’s opinions and even when I do not agree w ith her I find her captivating. This one makes me think she is bat shit crazy. She speaks of what ifs. Not her fucking job. Her role is to determine if a law or an action is constitutional. Nothing more. She was not elected. She does not represent the people she reps the Costitution.

        • 49erDweet says:

          I agree with Klown. Most dissents I’ve looked into were political posturing and CYAing, not intellectually valuable. It’s sorta like the volunteer fire department from East Hicksville arriving at a fire scene in NYC two hours after the fire is out. They still pull out their hoses and wet down the ashes. Same with most dissents.

        • mothy67 says:

          Also ignoring her emotional unfounded opinion does a disservice to all pending suits coming up in not only the Supreme Court but in all federal cases. She is not stupid so I wonder why she went so far out on a limb. Are you not intrigued? Sitting Supreme Court Justice penning an opinion that would not hold water at a community collegr. Read it.
          Why? I have read alot of her stuff and she is fascinating I just do not get this dissent.

          I am pro choice in as far as you live with it. I can never get pregnant and the odds of me siring a child are slim to none. Anyhow I think Roe v Wade was an awful decision. Legally it is full of holed. I support a woman ‘s right to choose was a bad decision.

          Sick and tired of being sick and tired. I am gay but I do. Not think it should be mainstream. I an so exhausted by the LGBT LMNO’LMNOP q ,
          COLOR me homopphobic but I do not support the transgender movement. BE an effeminate guy or a butch girl. N O S,weat off my back. Ithink gender confusion is dysmorphia. .Be a screaming queen but do not cut off your dick and balls.

  13. DeniseVB says:

    In case anyone missed it, Obama made a “funny” last night …….


    I’ve never tried crack, is it tasty ? He needs new joke writers.

  14. votermom says:

    OT. Wish we had one …

  15. Lulu says:

    “Cuellar says that as he was speaking to Customs and Border Patrol agents he was also discovering a disturbing trend of adults “renting” children in Central America in order to increase their chances of being able to stay in the U.S. once they cross over.”
    What has Obama unleased? Slavery? Child trafficking?

    • DandyTIger says:

      As long as it’s an issue that increases Dem votes, “at this point what difference does it make?”

    • Constance says:

      This is all so sad. Why do the Democrats not ask questions about what is really going on? They want to chant some political mantra and move on. How could you turn little kids over to someone you haven’t researched? Why don’t they build detention facilities in central American countries and ship the kids home to them immediately. Why give money to ineffective central american governments and hope they use it to address our illegal alien problem. These kids need to adapt to their own culture not get used to our culture or be in USA holding pens or handed over to shady people they have never met in the USA.

    • Constance says:

      Also why should the Congress waste their time passing any kind of immigration reform when the laws we have have never been enforced. It’s a complete waste of time. The President can just do whatever the corporate masters want which is what has been done for the past 30 years.

      • 49erDweet says:

        Yep. Basic logic. Why create more laws to fix “problems” when the laws we already have for those problems are officially ignored?

        • Constance says:

          The new laws will be ignored also. Except for the order to make a bunch of new citizens who take jobs in a stagnant job market. Laws have no meaning to todays Democrats.

  16. DeniseVB says:

    Funny parody twitter account for VOX…..LOL, it’s better than the original VOXers……

  17. The Klown says:

    My mom is a second wave feminist from the 60’s and 70’s. Because of her job (Secretary to the City Manager) she used to follow local politics pretty closely, but she was never into state and national politics. I was more the opposite – I followed state and national and mostly ignored the local stuff. For that and various other reasons she and I have never talked about politics a whole lot. If you want to talk about celebrity gossip or what’s happening on DWTS she’s got that covered, but nowadays she is basically what you could call a LIV – “low information voter”.

    So imagine my surprise when she called me today to discuss Hobby Lobby. Even more surprising, she had the straight facts and wasn’t buying any of the Democratic spin or bullshit.

    Eighty years old and she still makes me proud to be her son.

    • Constance says:

      My Mom died at age 88, June 2, 2008. It was a bad time for me. but she researched every judge and every county commissioner, everyone. Then she would mark her absentee ballot and photocopy it and pass it out to anyone who asked for it. She probably had 50 votes because people who didn’t want to waste time keeping up to date would just use her choices. I was shocked at how many people called around voting time to get her opinion not knowing she had died.

  18. elliesmom says:

    This story is local to me. A man tried to get an appointment at the local VA hospital. Before he got the appointment, he died. His wife applied for death benefits, but was denied because he had never been treated at the VA. Two years after his death he got a letter in the mail telling him he had been approved for an appointment, and it was important he respond in a “timely manner”. You really can’t make this up. http://boston.cbslocal.com/2014/06/30/iteam-acton-vet-finally-gets-va-doctors-appointment-2-years-after-he-died/

    • mothy67 says:

      Yep and 1700 per month is going to be allocated for the care of illegal children. Elderly screw hyou.

      • Constance says:

        Well if they can just snuff out the elderly sooner they won’t have to pay us Social Security for so long.

    • Lulu says:

      They got to his appointment request printout sitting in a drawer hidden for two years. Isn’t that special. I remember working OT for the feds to get caught up. If we didn’t we got canned. Of course that was in the 1970’s before the Civil War. And all racist and shit.

  19. The Klown says:


    • Lulu says:

      $7.00 per hour @ 40 hours wk @ 13 wks QTR div by 3 equals $1213 mo X 5% equals $60 per month. That is not reasonable and she knows it. My pills were non generic top of the line, insurance didn’t cover and were $30 tops. Idiot should learn to use a calculator.

      • DeniseVB says:

        Is she using Common Core math? Does she know full time workers at HL get 14/hr and part time get 9.50/hr ?

        • votermom says:

          Good point. My reply:
          #HobbyLobby pays $14/hour. Congress & Obama want low-wage illegal immigrants. Secure the borders & wages will rise. @sallykohn

    • mothy67 says:


  20. The Klown says:
  21. mothy67 says:

    I have to differ with you on the impact of dissenting opinnions. Ginsburg made the argument about future cased. Not her job. She gets one vote sbout constitutionality of a law. Her dissent dwas politics. More cases coming up so I think dismissing her dissent asks for noise

  22. elliesmom says:

    If the House votes to make birth control pills OTC, which is being proposed, what ever will the Senate do? I hope they do.

  23. foxyladi14 says:

    They should otc Condoms are. 🙂

  24. elliesmom says:

    It’s very warm here today, muggy, and the winds are picking up. The forecast of a 4th of July hurricane/tropical storm are beginning to seem plausible.

    • Lulu says:

      Hurricanes are nature’s way of showing who is boss. Having gone through several all throughout my life I decided to stand outside during Hurricane Rita blowing through. I wanted to experience nature’s fury. I was promptly blown off the porch into the hydrangeas and had to crawl out and back into the house. My husband called me Jim Cantore for several days.

      • lyn says:


      • DeniseVB says:

        I remember the season of Katrina, Wilma and Rita, all their “eyes” passed over my son’s house in SoFlorida. Scary summer for them.

        • lildoggy4u says:

          And very expensive for those of us who have State of Florida homeowner’s insurance (aka Citizens) which had to be created when all the insurance companies decided to pull out of the state. Now the state is trying to cancel all of us again since we’ve not had a hurricane in 3 years and their coffers are overflowing. They want the premiums they’ve collected added to the general fund instead of holding it for the next big one.

    • leslie says:

      Just went through a horrid night-filled with storms here. There were over 6k lightning strikes in this area last night. Even my kids called to see if everyone was okay. hundreds of thousands of households were without electricity this morning. Hope you only have the hot and muggies. I wouldn’t want anyone to go through big storms again.

      • cynic says:

        I’m about 100 miles SW of you, and we had damage to trees, and our beloved Starved Rock, had a tree hit the lodge. The road was closed until they could clean up the debris. I can’t believe how many lightning storms that we’ve had already this summer. Looking forward to turning off the AC and opening the windows! 70 degrees tomorrow/

        • leslie says:

          The low 80’s felt like a relief today. It’ll be downright cold tonight. I love Starved Rock. I’m sorry to hear of damage to the lodge. Yes, the lightning has been something this year. Enjoy the cool tomorrow.

  25. mothy67 says:


    Liver disease is running rapant. It is a silent killer. N o symptom s till it is to late. I drank a lot but never thought I was that far. I was scheduled for a transplant review. I decided no. It eas just creepy anxd i was not going to let my brothers take the risk. I went hard core with a dietician for a few months but it got boring. I now eat nothing processed no preservatives. My numbers are all healthy even my INR fits parameters. I am not a doctor or a chemist but I have been folling thd transpant stuff for a while. Huge spike. I think it is presevatives. The liver is fucking sweet.. N. O . Orga. Likd itf A sliver can regrow. I spent my adult bbc life eatinng frozeln foodds.. FYI

  26. 1539days says:

    I was thinking today. The Hobby Lobby case is the revenge of the bitter knitters.

  27. votermom says:

    • Lulu says:

      Where are the pitchforks?

    • Constance says:

      Well I’m glad there is some citizens standing up and saying “ENOUGH!” And so like the Feds to “solve” the problem by shipping the illegals in in the middle of the night when the hard working taxpayers will need to be sleeping so they can go to their job and earn taxes the next morning.

  28. The Klown says:
  29. DandyTIger says:

    Here’s something to wipe away the hate from the Dems. Crank it up. Also lots more good stuff from Glastonbury this year.

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