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Benny

Today’s someone’s special day…LD’s birthday! Have a good day and another trip around the sun! @liepardestin

LD's B-day card  2020-07-08 135056.jpg
LieparDestin

Thanks friends! Starter new position today so sorry for the absense. Will pull myself together soon and get back to being here more.

wi62

Glad your still working

orlbucfan

Hear, hear!!

eve
eve

Best of luck on your new position LD! I hope it works out well for you.
You have a solid team here of dedicated people who graciously fill in – you/they know who they are – and when I stop by -not often enough- the good will and dedication that you created here when TOP made things intolerable in 2016 over there are alive and well here thanks to your efforts.
Please be patient with yourself, get back to full strength and please get the rest you need.
Us Birdies are patiently watching and waiting for things to become clearer on moving toward a GND, MEDICARE4ALL, etc and a sane foreign policy.
Hoping that all the young and not so young people Bernie inspires to run for office and like minded activists achieve the initiatives that one day will hopefully help shift us onto a sustainable stabilizing course.

Stay safe and be well

Benny

Well said, eve. Glad you could drop by and give the birdies some encouragement!

orlbucfan

Happy Belated Birthday, LD!!! Hope you and JD enjoyed your day. Congratulations on your new position! 🙂

orlbucfan

T and R, jcb!! 🙂

Benny

Supreme Court says employers may opt out of Affordable Care Act’s birth control mandate over religious, moral objections

The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the Trump administration may allow employers and universities to opt out of the Affordable Care Act requirement to provide contraceptive care because of religious or moral objections.

The decision seems to greatly expand an exception approved by the Obama administration, and the government estimates that it could mean that 70,000 to 126,000 women could lose access to cost-free birth control.

“We hold that the [administration] had the authority to provide exemptions from the regulatory contraceptive requirements for employers with religious and conscientious objections,” wrote Justice Clarence Thomas, who was joined by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., and Justices Samuel A. Alito Jr., Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh.

The decision sent the case back to a lower court and instructed it to dissolve a nationwide injunction that had kept the exception from being implemented.

Liberal Justices Elena Kagan and Stephen G. Breyer agreed with the court conservatives’ decision to send the case back to lower courts, but they did not join the majority opinion. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented.

At issue is the Trump administration’s decision in 2018 to expand the types of organizations that could opt out of providing cost-free access to birth control and the extent to which the government should create exemptions to the law for religious groups and nonreligious employers with moral and religious objections.

The Obama administration had narrower exceptions for churches and other houses of worship, and it created a system of “accommodations,” or workarounds, for religiously affiliated organizations such as hospitals and universities. Those accommodations would provide the contraceptive care but avoid having the objecting organizations directly cover the cost.

Under the Trump administration rules, the employers able to opt out include essentially all nongovernmental workplaces, from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies. And the employer has the choice of whether to permit the workaround.

The states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey initially challenged the rules, noting that when women lose coverage from their employers, they seek state-funded programs and services. Last summer, a unanimous panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit blocked the rules from taking effect nationwide. The court said the administration probably lacked authority to issue such broad exemptions and did not comply with requirements to provide notice and allow public comment on the rules.

In addition to the Trump administration, a charity called Little Sisters of the Poor defended the rules. The order of nuns, which runs homes for the elderly and employs about 2,700 people, points out that the government provided exemptions from the beginning for religious organizations such as churches. They say the accommodation provision violates the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the law that says the government must have a compelling reason for programs that substantially burden religious beliefs.

In 2014, the Supreme Court in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores ruled that certain closely held businesses do not have to offer birth control coverage that conflicts with the owners’ religious beliefs. But the court did not take a position on the accommodation provision, which requires objecting organizations to notify the government.

Two years later, a shorthanded court of eight justices declined to rule on the merits of another challenge to the contraceptive-coverage requirement and sent the case back to the lower courts. The unusual, unsigned decision was viewed as a punt by a court then equally divided along ideological lines.

The cases are Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania and Trump v. Pennsylvania.

Benny

Justices Ginsburg and Sotomoyor dissent:

JUSTICE GINSBURG, with whom JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR
joins, dissenting.

In accommodating claims of religious freedom, this Court has taken a balanced approach, one that does not allow the religious beliefs of some to overwhelm the rights and interests of others who do not share those beliefs. See, e.g., Estate of Thornton v. Caldor, Inc., 472 U. S. 703, 708–710
(1985); United States v. Lee, 455 U. S. 252, 258–260 (1982).

Today, for the first time, the Court casts totally aside countervailing rights and interests in its zeal to secure religious rights to the nth degree. Specifically, in the Women’s Health Amendment to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), 124 Stat. 119; 155 Cong. Rec. 28841 (2009), Congress undertook to afford gainfully employed women comprehensive, seamless, no-cost insurance coverage for preventive care protective of their health and wellbeing. Congress delegated to a particular agency, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), authority to designate the preventive care insurance should cover. HRSA included in its designation all contraceptives approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Destructive of the Women’s Health Amendment, this Court leaves women workers to fend for themselves, to seek contraceptive coverage from sources other than their employer’s insurer, and, absent another available source of funding, to pay for contraceptive services out of their own pockets. The Constitution’s Free Exercise Clause, all agree, does not call for that imbalanced result.1 Nor does the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA), 42
U. S. C. §2000bb et seq., condone harm to third parties occasioned by entire disregard of their needs. I therefore dissent from the Court’s judgment, under which, as the Government estimates, between 70,500 and 126,400 women would immediately lose access to no-cost contraceptive services.

On the merits, I would affirm the judgment of the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/19pdf/19-431_5i36.pdf

Benny

Debra Messing has no right to be whitesplaining to an African American woman who has led fight for those who are powerless.

Benny

Charles Booker Could Have Won

For a week now, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about what just happened in Kentucky, where progressive firebrand Charles Booker almost beat all the odds in the US Senate Democratic primary race. It’s not because I’m any stranger to electoral heartbreak. When I was 20, I moved from Brooklyn to a town I’d never heard of in Wisconsin to help a Democrat named Rob Zerban run a campaign to unseat Representative Paul Ryan, then the chair of the House Budget Committee. Years later, I moved to New Hampshire to work for the first Democratic socialist in modern history to mount a serious campaign for president. I’ve had my share of heartbreak.

It’s because I’ve seen this happen too many times before. When a race is decided by a margin that’s more than 10 percent, it’s easy to blame the media, or fundraising imbalances, or feel like it was fundamentally inhospitable terrain. But given how close the race came last week, it felt like a win really was within reach, and any little decision, any little investment could have made the difference.

I hope the progressive movement takes that seriously. A pro–Green New Deal, pro–Medicare for All, pro-UBI Black candidate came incredibly close—in Kentucky!—to beating someone who ran as a Democrat, but who has said she would have voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. I met Booker a year ago, when he was first thinking about running, and joined his campaign in April, when he was down 50 points in the polls. The final margin ended up at 2.8 percent, which was unthinkable when he started, with pennies in the bank, firmly in the single digits against the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s anointed candidate Amy McGrath, who appeared invincible sitting on top of a $40 million war chest.

At the beginning of his campaign, Booker had only what he likes to call “faith the size of a mustard seed.” That and the backing of the Sunrise Movement, who met with him and did the slow, grinding work of supporting his candidacy before anyone else had heard of him. If you looked at the numbers back in February, it was easy to think Booker’s candidacy was an unwinnable distraction. It also just felt unwinnable—a Black man running statewide in Kentucky on the Green New Deal? Get real. So most advocacy groups and progressive organizations stayed on the sidelines.

But Sunrise saw it another way: They saw it as their job to take on the slow, difficult fight, not only because we need more progressive senators in order to pass progressive legislation, but also because committing resources early on would ultimately grow and strengthen the movement even in the event of a loss. So they helped produce his launch video, worked with the team to build the bones of his campaign, devoted e-mail and fundraising resources to it, helped recruit a team, and set up a voter contact operation for the only Black candidate in the race back when everyone else in DC was waiting with bated breath to see if radio host Matt Jones would decide to challenge McGrath. They saw in Booker’s candidacy an opportunity to reframe the debate around the Green New Deal, which right-wing fearmongers had long dismissed as the elitist fever dreams of white liberals, instead of as a truly broad-based populist governing vision. What would it mean, they wondered, for a Black candidate to run and win on a Green New Deal in the heart of America’s coal country?

A whole lot, as last week’s results would prove. Sunrise’s early investment, and Booker’s immense heart and talent as a candidate, closed the gap from a 50 percent deficit to less than three points. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Senator Bernie Sanders, and Senator Elizabeth Warren all backed Booker, and national progressive groups like MoveOn, Indivisible, and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee began to follow suit. It became the national story to watch and a focal point of the battle between the party’s establishment and insurgent progressive wings.

But as the results rolled in last week, I kept wondering: Why did the help take so long? How could it be that Amy McGrath, backed by Senator Chuck Schumer, the DSCC, and their donors, blanketed the Kentucky airwaves with $3 million in the final week alone to paper over her weaknesses as a candidate, while major progressive groups on our side sat out the race or endorsed in the final hours before election day?

All told, Booker’s campaign spent $1.1 million on TV advertising, while McGrath unloaded a cool $12 million onto the airwaves over the course of the primary. Despite that, we came within 2.8 percent. Clearly, we didn’t need spending parity to win, but what would an extra $300,000 in help from outside groups have meant one month before Election Day, while Kentuckians were sending in their ballots by mail, and could it have put us over the top? That’s a question I’ll be asking myself every day for the next several months.

It’s hard to keep watching our ascendant movement blow the most winnable electoral contests of our time: Jessica Cisneros could be in Congress, Tiffany Caban should be the Queens County district attorney, Cristina Tzintzun Ramirez deserves the chance to take on John Cornyn, and it’s heartbreaking that Abdul El-Sayed isn’t the governor of Michigan. Falling just short again, watching history continue to repeat itself, compels discussion.

The truth is: All of these races look unwinnable until they’re not. But isn’t that what movement organizations are here to do—take on the worthy fights, and turn the improbable into the possible? What we’ve proven on Tuesday is that these races are winnable if we try, even when we’re badly outspent. But that can’t happen if the cavalry arrives five days before Election Day, which is when the biggest pro-Booker independent expenditure came in. That’s too late to make a real difference—and the establishment knows it. That’s why the biggest pro-McGrath independent expenditure came in 48 days before the election. We need established progressive organizations to learn from that, and do what Sunrise did with Booker, and what Justice Democrats has impressively done with Jamaal Bowman.

If progressive organizations and advocacy groups keep waiting for candidates to catch fire and have a moment before they hop on board, we’re doomed to keep losing winnable races by a few hundred votes. Put another way, if you wait until you feel thirsty to drink water, it’s too late; you’re already dehydrated. We need more organizations to understand what groups like Sunrise and Justice Democrats already do: that winning requires showing up early, and doing the hard, tireless work of slogging in the dark—not showing up to cut a check four days before the election and add their logo to a press release. I hope our movement learns that in time for 2022. Because somewhere out there this week, the next Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, or the next Charles Booker, is starting to think about picking up the baton.

Don midwest
Don midwest

a comment from the article below

We’re in an economic situation not unlike that of 1932 , and also similarly , we’re in an election year. What happened in that 1932 election , of course , was that FDR was elected , and then with the “help” of intense grassroots pressure from the working class he pushed through the New Deal , ultimately resulting in the three decades post-WWII during which the working class actually got a Fair Deal , the likes of which today’s young workers will only see in their dreams. It was good for everyone , up and down the income distribution , save for a fraction of a percent at the top who got properly taxed , which they didn’t like. It was the Golden Age of Capitalism , and not just in the US , but also in the war-ravaged countries of Western Europe , who had similar policies.

The oligarchs of both the left and the right never want to allow that to happen again. It’s their worst nightmare. That’s why the Dems paint Trump as a lefty Commie traitor and the Repubs paint Biden as a lefty Commie traitor. It’s a pre-election preemptive strike against leftist thought of any kind. Both sides want their audience to internalize the same message: No more FDRs , and no more successful leftist movements from below , ever again.

Oligarchs , unlike the masses , know their history and take lessons from it. Until the rest of us up our game , and stop drinking their Kool-Aid , they’ll crush us every time.

America’s Two Right-Wing Parties Absurdly Keep Accusing Each Other Of Being Far-Left
July 4, 2020
It’s insane that both U.S. mainstream political parties are attacking one another as being far-left extremists because by global standards they are both very much right-wing parties, says Caitlin Johnstone

orlbucfan

This was voter suppression from the get-go. Who is this flake writing this garbage?

Torabs
Torabs

I think his point is well-taken, and that progressive orgs need to spend more on growing candidates from the start of a campaign cycle. Maybe the national groups lack the grassroots connections to do so; ok, then start cultivating grassroots organizations that you can agree to boost as soon as they have the candidate they are supporting.

But let’s be clear; these races were not lost by the left. They were won by a corrupt, criminal establishment and all the enablers they have. Spare me the negativity next time.

Benny

Torabs
Torabs

Another example of rights of an individual being used as a sword to mow down the rights of others. The Trump Supreme Court is completely devoid of legitimacy.

Benny

How to apply for a cabinet post job and make revenue at the same time.

BREAKING: With 1% of his book written, Pete Buttigieg has declared himself winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature https://t.co/fzsGAaAKG6— People for Shahid (@People4Shahid) July 8, 2020

Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death
Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death

Lolol

Benny

So Biden says health care is a human right. But health insurance is not.

orlbucfan

Byedone is a semi-senile piece of crap.

Torabs
Torabs

Words are not meaningless you clown. What does this mush even mean, in light of your vow to veto Medicare for All legislation?

Benny