I hope everyone enjoys their Fourth of July holiday. In Nashville we are experiencing an all-too rare dose of absolutely gorgeous weather: low humidity, sunny, with temperatures in the high 50s at night and low 80s during the day. This is not our norm here for July. Our norm here is sucky, swampy, heat and humidity. So Mr. Beale and I enjoyed our morning coffee and newspapers on the porch, then took the dogs for a long walk through the neighborhood. Everyone is out relishing in the September-like weather. As I always tell Mr. Beale, “If we lived in California, it would be like this every day!” He remains unconvinced.
On to other matters: Despite the bad news from America’s
Caliphate Supreme Court, there was some good news this week. Enjoy!
• In honor of July Fourth: what a difference a period makes.
• The governor of Missouri vetoed a bill that required a 3-day waiting period for abortions.
• Is it Obama’s economy yet? Just asking because of the fifth month in a row with 200,000+ jobs added (the first since 1999!) and the stock market reaching new milestones. Obama really is the worst socialist ever.
• Congratulations, Admiral Michelle Howard, who became the highest-ranking woman in Naval history.
• Burger King celebrates gay pride.
• Fuck you, SCOTUS: more than half of privately-insured women get free birth control as part of the preventive care portion of their health insurance coverage. This is the new standard and that bell won’t be unrung:
Business groups and employee benefits consultants say they see little chance that employers will roll back contraceptive coverage as a result of the Supreme Court ruling. The court carved out a space for “closely held” companies whose owners object on religious grounds. Most companies don’t fit that niche.
“I don’t think you will see a broad impact,” said Neil Trautwein, the top employee benefits expert for the National Retail Federation. “It’s a commonly offered benefit for many employers, including retailers.”
Wingnutty companies who insist on putting their religion on women’s bodies will either draw from a smaller employee pool or eventually have to offer some kind of compensation to make up for the benefits inequity offered male vs female employees. Personally I eagerly anticipate Hobby Lobby’s bankruptcy filing, but that may be a few years away.
• Target would prefer you leave your guns at home, thank you very much.
• A straw gun purchaser has gone to jail. About damn time.
• The New York State Supreme Court ruled that towns can ban fracking.
• This Wisconsin Rottweiler coughed up its owner’s wedding ring five years after it went missing.
• Kentucky’s ban on same-sex marriage has been struck down.
• Great story about how the Tolo River community in the Colombian rainforest is protecting over 32,000 acres of rainforest and watershed by selling carbon credits through the UN’s REDD initiative.
• Our glorious experiment in for-profit higher education has gone down a completely predictable path and appears to finally be ending.
Good News, Tennessee Edition:
• Industrial hemp is now legal in Tennessee.
• The State of Tennessee officially renounced its role in the Trail of Tears.
Today’s cool video: Ginsburg’s blistering Hobby Lobby dissent, in song: