One hand gives, the other takes away: Supreme Court rules that "closely-held" corporations can opt out of the Obama Administration's mandate that they cover birth control for their employees. In a closely-held corporation, five folks or fewer hold over half the stock -- perhaps we'll see a lot of consolidation of stock in right-wing corporations soon! -- and I suppose being "closely-held" would make a corporation's "views" easier to ascertain, if I thought corporations were people. But corporations are not people. And while Hobby Lobby's employees are likely quite fine with how things turned out, I still insist that people have religious beliefs, not corporations -- and that bosses shouldn't have more rights than employees do, as the Court has essentially mandated.
That wasn't all for the Supreme Court's Manic Monday: they also ruled that unions can't compel Illinois home health-care workers to pay dues if they don't want to, though they declined to take up the larger point of whether unions can compel any of their workers to pay dues. The Court ruled, essentially, that the workers in question weren't really public employees and thus didn't really have to pay dues. But I'm sure the Court's just waiting for the right case to come along so they can put the dagger in the union's heart.
Remember telling the Obama Administration to make health insurance corporation's proposed rate hikes public before they go into effect? Well, apparently the Department of Health and Human Services just made last year's rate hikes public. They have five more months before the next open enrollment for the federal health exchanges, but you have to wonder if they're innovating on the definition of "before."
Jeff Bryant at Campaign for America's Future writes a lengthy op-ed criticizing our federal government for continuing to shovel money at charter schools without asking them to do a good job educating students. Why folks think it's moral to shovel money at charter schools and then specifically exempt them from regulations that would actually make sure kids get an education is beyond me. I mean, I know the "parent power" crowd is corrupt, but even folks paying less attention should know better.
Much has been said about Hillary Clinton's recent comments about her finances, but Citizens for Tax Justice instructs us that the real story about her remarks is that it's become painfully easy to avoid the Estate Tax. Did you know you could put your home into a Qualified Personal Residence Trust and pay fewer taxes on it when you die? Neither did I, because I'm not spending all of my time figuring out how to cheat our government. Since, you know, that would be cheating us.
Finally, when I heard that Karl Rove called President Obama an "imperial President" and said he was "George III," my initial reaction was, "well, check out the cojones on this guy." Then I considered his argument and, well, check out the cojones on this guy. Yep, this is about Mr. Boehner's lawsuit against Mr. Obama's Executive orders, but remember that Mr. Rove had nothing to say when Mr. Bush wiretapped Americans without a warrant, a far more lawless act than any of the Executive orders Mr. Rove cites. Why does any news outlet talk to Karl Rove again -- particularly Fox News, the location of Mr. Rove's election night tantrum?