The sun shines. The beach beckons. The kids are underfoot. There’s a fresh, gorgeous salmon sizzlin’ on the grill.
On days like this, priorities can run amok and the truly important things can get lost. In all of this family time, smart phones can get left behind. Facebook becomes a shell of its winter self, when we were all taking pictures of the snow and making unhappy emoticon faces. On lazy summer days, especially a day as full of festivities as the Fourth of July, we sometimes forget to get mad at the political happenings in this nation.
We’re here to help. We feel obliged. It’s truly our pleasure.
Behold: the top five things you should be angry about this week. We’ve compiled a cheat sheet so that you can get right to the heart of what’s happening. You can get mad.
Then you can go back to the beach—and the BBQ.
1. Hobby Lobby
SCOTUS ruled 5-4 in favor of Hobby Lobby that closely held corporations can be exempt from the mandate of the Affordable Care Act that covers contraception—intrauterine devices (IUDs) and Plan B pills—because of their sincerely held religious beliefs. Ginsburg authored dissent (spurring “Notorious RBG” memes—questioning whether this applies to Christian Scientist corporate owners who are against blood transfusions, etc. Progressives consider this ruling to be a serious blow to what they feel to be a stunning setback for women’s reproductive rights. All three female Justices dissented, arguing that this ruling places limits on women’s rights. In her dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg stated, “The exemption sought by Hobby Lobby and Conestoga would…deny legions of women who do not hold their employers’ beliefs access to contraceptive coverage.”
She concluded emphatically that “approving some religious claims while deeming others unworthy of accommodation could be ‘perceived as favoring one religion over another,’ the very ‘risk the [Constitution’s] Establishment Clause was designed to preclude.’”
Do these words whet your appetite for more RBG dissenting words? Perhaps in song form? Thanks to YouTube’s one-a-day songwriter Jonathan Mann, we can satisfy that craving.
Bottom line: Huge blurred lines between church and state, far-reaching implications that could influence overturn of Roe v. Wade.
2. Harris v. Quinn
This landmark case dealt a blow to organized labor by ruling that health care workers in Illinois don’t have to pay union dues as they are not considered fully public sector workers. Union leaders nationwide are nervous that this caveat undermines financial support of unions by encouraging freeloading—essentially reaping the negotiating benefits of organized labor without contributing.
Bottom line: Another blow to organized labor from the establishment.
3. Ann Coulter
She wrote something that has liberals frothing in self-righteous anger. She said that the United States’ newfound interest in the World Cup is a sign of the nation’s moral decay and that anyone whose great-grandfather was born here isn’t watching soccer. It’s a sign that we’ve been overtaken by the brown people. Also because soccer isn’t dangerous and is low-scoring, it’s a dream for liberals who like to reward those who don’t risk. Or something.
Bottom line: Why is she relevant? Oh right, because people like me like to write about what an idiot she is.
4. The Boehnler
Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner is using taxpayer money to sue the president for his overuse of executive power. This is a president gone rogue. He’s being a maverick. Oh wait, wasn’t that a good thing when McCain/Palin were headlining their road show?
The truth is Obama has used executive orders less than both Reagan and GWB.
Bottom line: Obama’s all, Dude, somebody has to work around here. “So sue me,” he said.
SCOTUS blocked Obama’s recess appointments to the national labor relations board (9-0) because Congress wasn’t truly in recess but on a three-day pro forma meeting spree. This is giving conservatives a boehner and giving them incentive for the above lawsuit.
Bottom line: This was a slap back from the judiciary to POTUS.
There you go kids. You have everything you need to argue with your belligerent uncle at the Fourth of July barbecue this weekend.