I’m writing for tomorrow and recovering from an excellent Christmas day, in which I worked my butt off cooking. This was my first time roasting in my convection microwave oven, and it works like a charm. We also took a plate to the person working the security desk at my building, so he would not have to go without Christmas dinner, and he was very appreciative.
Jig Zone Puzzle:
Today’s took me 4:47 (average 6:23). To do it, click here. How did you do?
From NY Times: The contraception mandate in the new health care reform law accommodates religious beliefs. It exempts houses of worship from having to provide contraceptive coverage without a co-pay. Church-affiliated organizations like schools and hospitals need only send a short form to their insurance administrator, which takes care of the coverage.
There is no breach of religious freedom, nor any undue burden involved. But that was not enough for a judge of the Federal District Court in Brooklyn, Brian Cogan, who decided that even filing a form is too much to ask. He ruled in favor of two high schools and two health care systems affiliated with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act…
…This case is among dozens challenging the birth control mandate. The Supreme Court agreed to hear two cases involving secular for-profit companies. What Judge Cogan missed, and the justices need to recognize, is the threat to religious liberty comes from employers trying to impose their religious views on workers.
I’m not surprised that a Republican GW Bush appointee would rule that violating the religious freedom of women is the right of a high school that provides education in secular, as well as religious subjects.
From Think Progress: BP has sought to cut down on payments for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster by asking that local businesses prove the link between their economic losses and the oil spill. A federal judge halted BP’s effort to skip payments on Tuesday, ruling that BP cannot reverse its interpretation of the settlement simply because the cost is higher than what the oil giant once estimated.
BP wanted the rules of a class action settlement to be rewritten to require “proof of causation” or to throw out the entire multi-billion dollar agreement. U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier disagreed, writing that BP’s argument is “not only clearly inconsistent with its previous position, it directly contradicts what it has told this court.” In an earlier decision, Barbier also blasted the company for “attempting to rewrite or disregard the unambiguous terms of the settlement agreement.” BP had once called the class action settlement “more than fair.” BP plans to appeal.
Unlike the judge in the last item, Barbier is a Clinton appointee. This case underscores the need to keep Republicans out of the Presidency, where they would appoint corrupt judges, as a GOBP judge would not have ruled fairly.
From Raw Story: The GOP’s corporate allies have set a New Year’s resolution they hope will lead to electoral victory in the 2014 midterms: “No fools on our ticket.”
Republican House leaders are planning to impose discipline on unruly members to help avert the party squabbles that badly damaged the GOP brand, and major donors and advocacy groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and American Crossroads intend to develop and fund more centrist candidates.
“Our No. 1 focus is to make sure, when it comes to the Senate, that we have no loser candidates,” said Scott Reed, the top political strategist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, told the Wall Street Journal [Murdoch delinked]. “That will be our mantra: No fools on our ticket.”
In other words, the Republicans are intent on fielding candidates adept at hiding their true policies from American voters, like they did in 2010, when all those "jobs, jobs, jobs" gave way to TEAbuggery as soon as they assumed office. We must remain ever vigilant to expose them for what they are.