Sarah Posner at The Nation discusses why the Supreme Court's recent Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling "Is Not as Harmless as You Think." Long story short: while the Court affirmed that the decision doesn't confer a right to discrimination on the basis of "religious" "conscience," the Court sure did turn over every rock in Colorado trying to find some evidence of "animus" against religion, and everyone who's ever heard a public official say religious bigots are knuckle-draggers now has a reason to try again. (Justice Kennedy's obsession with "animus" hasn't come out of the blue, though -- his finding of an "animus" against gays in Colorado's notorious Amendment 2 led him to strike it down.)
Why is the Denver Post laying off journalists left and right, you may be wondering? Well, in a CounterSpin interview, we learn that the banksters who bought the Post demand double-digit profits and think the best way to accomplish that is to hemorrhage jobs. And make the writers fill a three-byline quota daily (as if stories don't depend on work or something!), which results in even more rewritten PR releases. It's hard for those of us who work for a living to comprehend, but the biggest money-makers in America don't have better ideas or even better processes anymore; they just know how to suck the marrow out of an almost-dead body. And then they call themselves "job creators" and look down on you and I for "not working as hard as they do"! It's fucking un-American, frankly.
Ho hum, a lot of people who wrote that steaming piece of a tax "reform" bill are now going to work as lobbyists for the big corporations who benefit the most from that legislation. If you respond that this is as-it-should-be-because-it's-always-been-this-way, you'll want to consider more closely whether these folks might have written legislation the way they did because they knew they could cash in on their "expertise" more easily. You might also think of some other things that used to be always-this-way (you know, like segregation) and maybe demand a little more of your values than you're doing now.
After our President disinvited the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles from a White House visit in yet another manic fit of whining self-pity, the Fox News (sic) Channel, in reporting on the matter, showed photographs of several Eagles players, including tight end Zach Ertz, supposedly kneeling during the anthem, when these players were actually praying before the game. After Mr. Ertz dressed them down publicly on Twitter, Fox News admitted the error and apologized for it, but defensive end Chris Long wasn't impressed, and he shouldn't be: FNC knows full well that their million-plus votaries have already seen the report and diddled their rage glands over it, so Mission Accomplished! (As an aside, our President sure seems to have summoned a thundercloud in Reggie Bush.)
Finally, some good news: a Maine Superior Court justice has ruled that Maine Gov. Paul LePage (E) must implement the Medicaid expansion voters approved last year. You know, it's easy to take pot-shots at Paul LePage for his apparently bottomless cruelty, so let's just recall that he grew up a very poor Franco-American, suffered at the hand of an abusive, alcoholic father, was literally homeless for about a year as a pre-teen, and even though he worked hard in high school still couldn't get into college until a Maine state legislator named Pete Snowe (yep, the late husband of the former U.S. Senator) convinced said college to give him his entrance exam in French and vouched for his ability to catch up with his English. Let all that sink in, and then be sad at how thoroughly he's forgotten where he came from.