Michael Maiello's picture

    Your Boss Makes A Lot Of Decisions For You

    Doctor Cleveland says this morning

    "Your religious freedom is yours, alone. It does not belong to your employer, to your landlord, or to anybody else. The deepest stupidity of the inane Hobby Lobby decision is that it uses religious freedom to let your boss take away your religious freedom. That is not acceptable. And it is not sustainable. Five allegedly rational Supreme Court justices have just opened the door to vicious religious conflict. Because letting your boss make your religious decisions is not acceptable, and over the long run people will not accept it."

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Religious Liberty vs. Hobby Lobby

    Let's start with one thing. It is not acceptable for my boss to make my religious decisions. It is not acceptable for your boss to make your religious decisions, or for somebody else's boss to make religious decisions for them. Your religious freedom is yours, alone. It does not belong to your employer, to your landlord, or to anybody else. The deepest stupidity of the inane Hobby Lobby decision is that it uses religious freedom to let your boss take away your religious freedom. That is not acceptable. And it is not sustainable.

    Ramona's picture

    Today Five Members of the U.S. Supreme Court Moved Us Closer to a Theocracy

     

    Today the Supreme Court ruled that private, family-owned businesses--in this case, Hobby Lobby--could opt out of paying for contraceptives if their objections to them are based on the owners' religious beliefs.

    The case came to the attention of the Supremes when the Affordable Care Act included this mandate:

    Michael Maiello's picture

    How Domestic Policy People Think, Part I

    Here is a Wonkblog article by Zachary A. Goldfarb about why taxes have to eventually rise on the middle class.  Whether or not you buy that premise, look at this:

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    Michael Wolraich's picture

    The Valkyries' Lament

    There is something odd about the chorus of criticism against President Obama's foreign policy. Normally, the age-old debate over military intervention revolves around a particular conflict. From WWI to the Iraq War, hawks and doves have always squabbled over the ethics, efficacy, and necessity of attacking a particular enemy at a particular time.

    But Obama's critics haven't focused on any particular conflict or enemy. They speak of the peril in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Ukraine, and the South China Sea. They warn of threats from Putin, Khamenei, Kim Jong-Un, Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Taliban, or, more generally, dictators, fanatics, and terrorists. George W. Bush's Axis of Evil has become a Legion of Doom with new enemies, like ISIS, regularly joining the pantheon of international bad guys.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    How Foreign Policy People Think, Part VI

    This is easier to write than Rocky!  It does all of its own work.  I'll try to stop soon. But this, from Brookings, is hard to take.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    How Foreign Policy People Think, Part V

    Today's edition is about track records.

    Here is Anne Marie Slaughter, more than a year ago in the Washington Post, telling us all exactly what would happen, and how the world would react, if the U.S. failed to act militarily against Assad in Syria:

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    How Foreign Policy People Think, Part IV

    This time, from Rand scholar Karl P. Mueller, about civilian casualties in the event of air strikes against Iraq:

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    How Foreign Policy People Think, Part III

    Here is a New America Foundation blog that gathers various perspectives on how the U.S. should deal with ISIS.  There are outright calls for the use of force and absolutely no one explicitly takes the position that the U.S. could make matters worse by intervening militarily in either Iraq or Syria.  But, aside from the uniformity of voice in a supposedly diverse round-up, only one participant considers the idea that U.S. military involvement could end involve U.S. sacrifices.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    How Foreign Policy People Think, Part II

    Oh, wow.  Anne Marie-Slaughter has resurfaced in The New York Times to upbraid Obama for not having acted to stop the formation of ISIS in Syria two years ago. She begins:

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    Ramona's picture

    What Does The Death Of Cursive Mean?

     

    As someone who dreaded Penmanship class, and who always–and I mean always–got poor grades in it, let me just say if writing in cursive goes away I’ll be right up there in front mourning the loss.  (Cursive:  flowing letters all connected to make one word.  What we used to call “handwriting”.)

    We learned the Palmer Method in grade school, where every letter had to follow a pattern and fit between the lines, and where loops and curlicues had to loop and curl, but not too little or too much.  Just right.
     

    Michael Maiello's picture

    How Foreign Policy People and Presidents Think

    I read Robert Kagan's essay "Superpowers Don't Get To Retire" with an eventual blog post in mind, likely one that would attempt to rebut Kagan's latest call for greater American military action in the world, including dangerous neighborhoods like Syria and Ukraine. But I think that those of you who know me know where I stand on that and for those of you who don't (Hi!) I have to admit that my anti-war arguments are not particularly novel.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Wall Street Should Be Terrified?

    Interesting post at Business Insider about how the loss of Eric Cantor is a blow to Wall Street.  The establishment Republicans love the Street while the Tea Party insurgents are enemies of finance and friends of the real economy.  I used to actually buy something like that when, during the financial crisis, I saw an opportunity for anti-bailouts liberals and libertarians to make common cause but... that was a mirage.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Chekhov's Gun

    Anton Chekhov probably never actually said that "If a gun is on the mantel in act one it must go off by act three," but there is something in that little aphorism that tells us how to write drama and also warns us about how to live life.

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    Ramona's picture

    Hate And The "Patriots": Like Watching One Long Horror Movie, Wondering Who Dies Next.

     

    In an insightful article about the upsurge in anti-government hate groups and the murderous rampages they spawn, John Avlon calls them "Hatriots"--those people claiming that true constitutional patriotism requires them to disavow, disown, and destroy the United States government--and anyone who g

    Michael Wolraich's picture

    Eating Eric Cantor

    If revolutions eat their children, then Eric Cantor is the plat du jour. Just a couple years ago, he was the supposed leader of the right-wing House insurgency. The press waited hungrily for him to revolt against John Boehner and claim the Speaker's crown for himself. But Cantor chose to wait it out, and now the same insurgent spirit that bolstered his ambition has tossed him out of the House entirely.

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    You Don't Need a Gun: Mass Shooters

    The shootings in Isla Vista have left me too angry to blog. But now we have yet another shooter on a college campus, at Seattle Pacific. Fortunately, this murderer was stopped after killing one and wounding three. And he was stopped in the way the gun-rights community says he can never be stopped: he was stopped without a gun.

    If you'll forgive me repeating parts of a blog post from two years ago, written after another of our endless repeated mass murders:
     

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    BREAKING: NYT Reveals The Problem With Feminists

    "This means that the feminist prescription doesn’t supply what men
    slipping down into the darkness of misogyny most immediately need: not
    lectures on how they need to respect women as sexual beings, but reasons,
    despite their lack of sexual experience, to first respect themselves as men."
    Just want to start your Sunday morning with some clear thinking.
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    Ramona's picture

    Thank You, Maya Angelou, for Your Magical Words. And for Being You.

     

    We got word that Maya Angelou died today.  When her picture flashed on the TV this morning I held my breath, hoping it wasn't bad news.  When they announced that she was gone, I shouldn't have been shocked, considering her age (86) and ill health, but it took me a few minutes because it never occurred to me that she might someday leave this earth.
     

    Michael Maiello's picture

    The Bitter Turn of the White Male Killer

    I was interested in Brittney Cooper's take on the Santa Barbara Killer because I think she's definitely on to something about the white male snapping.  It's an old story that goes back to the age of "Going Postal."  It's happened enough that it should be addressed.

    But Cooper's take is all privilege without nuance and so it leads her down this road:

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