On Thursday, the House passed Rep. Cantor's bill cutting food stamps by $40 billion over 10 years. Fifteen Republicans wouldn't go along, and they include the usual suspects -- a few New Jersey and New York Reps, a few California Reps who face tough races in 2014, and Walter Jones, who hardly ever votes for anything the Republicans really want anymore and that ought to be a clue to him. I feel compelled to note that cutting $40 billion over 10 years was precisely what this House could never find the will to do in cutting unnecessary oil subsidies. And who's more unpopular right now -- the oil corporations who make money hand over fist and crap all over the environment while you pay $4 for a gallon of gas, or the food stamp recipients who include more of your friends and family than in recent memory? In a sane society, Republicans would learn the answer to that question at the ballot box in a little over a year. In this sick, immoral, and decadent society, where the "liberal" media can't be bothered to note the obvious, Republicans will probably hold the House in 2014, despite voting to destroy Medicare and to keep over four million good and decent Americans from getting enough food during their inauspicious reign.
Speaking of the "liberal" media, MSNBC talking head Chuck Todd suggested on Morning Joe that it's the White House's fault, not the "liberal" media's fault, for the fact that the Republican misinformation campaign against the Affordable Care Act has turned so many Americans against it. Mr. Todd responded to subsequent criticisms thusly (on twitter, hence the abbreviations and incorrect punctuation): "I was NOT saying it isn't job of journos to call out lies, I said it was not job of media to sell WH's healthcare message, it is WH's job." He's literally incorrect about what he said, regardless of how it might have sounded in his head when he said it. But "selling" the "healthcare message" isn't the White House's job, either: the White House's job is to execute the law, and a significant part of executing the law is, of course, helping the American citizens understand the law and navigate all the paperwork they'll have to do to enjoy the benefits of the law. You have to wonder why that wasn't first and foremost on Mr. Todd's mind when he said what he said. And please understand that by "you have to wonder" I mean "because the 'liberal' media treats everything like a damn horserace."
The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously dismisses a manufacturing corporation's claim that paying for birth control for its employees violates said corporation's rights, because "Autocam is not a 'person' capable of 'religious exercise' as intended by RFRA" (the Religious Freedom Recovery Act of 1993). But it's not as big a celebration as we'd like it to be, because the court does not say corporations aren't people generally, but rather that Autocam isn't a "person" in the context of the RFRA specifically -- "we find strong indications that Congress did not intend to include corporations primarily organized for secular, profit-seeking purposes as 'persons' under RFRA," the Court wrote, and the vast majority of case law about religious freedom at the time of the law's writing and passage did concern actual living, breathing individuals. The Court's opinion also finds Citizens United irrelevant, because free speech and free religious exercise cases (while both covered by the First Amendment) aren't really the same. In other words, it's a fairly conservative opinion -- one I'm sure this Republican House will try to extinguish with a quickness while they let everything else burn.