In which Mark says so long, and thanks for all the fish.
I know it’s popular to hate on Vox these days, but their explainer on the contentious and controversial Indiana RFRA is the first and only major media piece I’ve seen to address most of the fundamental questions about the law.
In an election dominated by local economic issues, Benjamin Netanyahu won by cannibalizing his own coalition with a last-minute address about the Palestinian issue that may have permanently ended any hopes of a two-state solution.
The most interesting question from today’s oral argument in King v. Burwell is why Justice Kennedy suggested that a strict reading of the ACA in favor of the petitioners – and against the government – would create federalism concerns. Here’s a theory why.
By Mark Thompson
As Burt Likko argued yesterday, the recent spate of high profile religious freedom cases may indeed create an increase in dubious prisoner claims of violation of their religious rights. But it won’t create much of a backlash against protections for religious freedom. Maybe that’s a good thing.
Mark celebrates what remains of rock and roll.
By Mark Thompson The NFL may have a unique problem with off-field violence. That does not necessarily mean that football causes off-field violence. (UPDATED)
This seems pretty hard to argue with. Does anyone here have the ability or interest to check his work? Via Jamelle Bouie’s (@jbouie) Twitter account. UPDATE: See Chris’ comment below for some significant clarification.
Whatever its flaws, the Hobby Lobby decision was not as radical as some would have us believe. By Mark Thompson
The conventional wisdom at the moment about the shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri two weeks ago is that no one really knows what happened, and that the narratives conflict greatly depending on who you ask.
The conventional wisdom is bull.
League alum Jamelle Bouie has been committing journalism in Ferguson for the last week. His most recent piece, placing the events of the last two weeks in both a local and historical context, is absolutely essential reading.
From Popehat, regarding Ferguson. And yes, this means I’ve actually been looking at Twitter.
Bon Jovi’s Canadian alliance will not end well.
Rising inequality in the United States is a real problem, but that doesn’t mean we should find ways to disregard the reduction of global inequality nor that we should treat all increases in inequality in other countries as first order problems.
For those who missed it or forgot about it – and I hope there’s some of you – we are having a World Cup “pick ’em” contest this year. Instructions for joining our group are here. The grand prize is control of my Gravatar for six months. And bragging rights for all eternity.
How can a kitschy pop culture variety contest possibly be more important than the increased threat of the first European war involving a major power in 70 years? Easy – just invite a Bearded Lady. She’ll beat Vladimir Putin’s shirtless, macho efforts to salvage a fading empire every time. [UPDATED]
The Ordinary Court’s majority moves on to the final issue left in the case, and issues its ruling.
In Part III of the Ordinary Court’s treatment of the Hobby Lobby case, the Ordinary Justices’ voting pattern shifts, with dramatic results.
I thought the narrative was that anything that is “Koch-funded” is inherently evil and should be dismissed out of hand as corporate astro-turfing because (unlike George Soros, who’s totally ok) they only give money to causes that benefit them financially. Now the positions of anything “Koch-funded” should be dismissed out of hand because the Kochs benefit…
Supporters of Hugo Chavez and his legacy typically argue that, regardless of his illiberal crackdowns on speech, dissent, and civil liberties, those aspects of his regime pale in comparison to the great good that he did for the poor in his country. At the newly relaunched FiveThirtyEight, however, Dorothy Kronick demonstrates – quite conclusively, in…
Ralph Kiner, RIP. I grew up watching Kiner’s Korner after every game and delighting at the yarns he’d spin during the games; the occasional malapropism only added to the charm. It’s hard to imagine me learning to love baseball without him and without his signature line “That ball is gone, goodbye,” which I must have…
Jon Chait writes of the latest Republican health care proposal that:
Ken White explains perfectly why it is a disservice to the concept of free speech to attempt to case the Duck Dynasty brouhaha as a free speech issue, even if other values suggest that the reaction (and, for that matter, the reaction to the reaction) was absurd. He also makes a number of other essential…
Noted First Amendment scholar Sarah Palin on the backlash against a reality show star’s anti-gay comments:“Free speech is an endangered species. Those ‘intolerants’ hatin’ and taking on the Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing his personal opinion are taking on all of us.” Got that? Speech that is critical of someone who expresses a socially conservative…
On the one hand, it’s a 400 hundred year old tradition in a reasonably religious country. On the other hand, it’s pooping on the Nativity. No, really. I’m pretty sure coming up with an answer on this would finally achieve the full explosion of Sarah Palin’s head.
Ray Charles, Norah Jones, Ringo Starr, Neil Young, Sheryl Crow, Tom Petty, Everlast, Toots Hibbert. This is a partial list only.
John Judis’ article at The New Republic arguing that the GOP coalition is disintegrating is outstanding, and not least because it emphasizes precisely the same point as I’ve been making: the most powerful wings of the coalition no longer have anything of significance in common. Judis does a particularly excellent job tracing the way in…
There is no denying that the rollout of the Obamacare exchange website has thus far been a complete and utter disaster. I tend to agree with the assessment that if these problems aren’t fixed – and soon – it will start to ensure that the “young invincibles” that Obamacare needs to have any chance at…
Grant Wahl’s feature piece in Sports Illustrated on Bob Bradley, former head coach of the United States Men’s National Soccer Team, is a must read, no matter how much or how little you care about soccer. I can’t do the piece justice – you just need to read it. But for those of you who…
As with any right-thinking person, I hate and despise the Yankees with the heat of a thousand suns. While I nonetheless have a healthy respect for Mariano Rivera, I think this whole retirement tour has gone a bit overboard at times (was it really necessary for every team in the National League West to do…
It’s no secret around here that I’m an obsessive fan of the Buffalo Bills and an only slightly less obsessive fan of the New York Mets. This is a depressing enough combination as it is. Still, these things all happened yesterday (also this and this). Because Buffalo, that’s why. And then this happened. Maybe I…
Ted Cruz provides evidence that movement conservatism is not an ideology, but rather a set of compromises between disparate GOP constituencies.
The escalating war of words between two of the GOP’s leading 2016 contenders is a healthy sign that the Republican Party may finally be on the verge of overcoming its nihilism to build a coalition capable of governing again on a national level.
I’m pretty sure that if this sort of celebration happened more frequently, we could get Doc Saunders to become the League’s biggest sports fan. Maybe this is how wrestling finds its way back into the Olympics – by showing that it qualifies as a less corrupt version of rhythmic gymnastics.
This may be the Slate-iest article of all time. I’m trying to decide if it’s just idiotic or if it’s actually an indicia of sociopathy. I realize that in some circles, saying goodbye can be up to an hour of potentially tedious conversations, but that’s just a reason to perhaps limit your goodbyes to the…