In a Scathing Dissent, Sonia Sotomayor Calls Out the Conservative Justices’ Hypocrisy

Stephan: 

Today, Clarence Thomas wrote the Supreme Court majority decision for Garland v. Cargill. No surprise, the majority was made up of the corrupt christofascist cabal that now controls one of the three branches of the U.S. government. It is a decision that I predict is going to result in a significant increase in gun murders. It once again makes bump stocks, a device that turns an ordinary AR-15 into a machine gun, legal. I think you are going to see gangs, mentally ill individuals, and White nationalist terrorists using this device and the result will be increased death. Thomas’ commentary on the majority decision is so stupid and factually wrong that I find it hard to believe any judge, let alone a Supreme Court justice, could write something like this. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor writing for the the three women of the minority in her commentary makes this very clear. Anyone who know anything about guns knows what bump stocks are and what they do. So, I suspect there is another issue underneath Thomas’ commentary. Maybe it is about supporting the civil violence that I believe will occur if criminal Trump loses. As I said though one thing is sure, there are going to be more gun deaths.

Photo illustration by Slate. Photos by Alex Wong / Getty / supremecourt.gov.

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor is calling bullshit on her conservative colleagues’ rationale for throwing out a 2018 ban on bump stocks, the device used to modify the gun used in the 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting—the deadliest in modern U.S. history. The Trump administration reclassified guns with bump stocks as machine guns, thereby banning the device’s use under a 1934 law that heavily restricts access to machine guns.

In Sotomayor’s dissent in Garland v. Cargill, which Justices Ketanji Brown Jackson and Elena Kagan joined, she called out how her conservative colleagues had basically bent over backwards to redefine the legal definition of a “machine gun.” She noted that these linguistic gymnastics  are particularly galling given how much conservative jurists claim to prize textualism—a theory that stresses adhering closely to the plain text of the law and to the ordinary meaning of words.

To drive the point home, Sotomayor came with receipts: She quoted past opinions where each one of […]

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US Health Care Spending Expected to Outpace Economic Growth Over Next Decade

Stephan: 

The Illness Profit System that passes for healthcare in the United States is running amuck financially. Ours is already the most expensive and yet the most inferior healthcare system in the developed world. Also, it is highly racist. It is blatantly obvious that we should convert to universal single-payer birthright healthcare, like the other democracies in the world, but the United States Congress is so corrupt that I don’t see anything happening. Biden is doing what he can, but it is Congress that controls this issue, and if the Republicans have the majority in either house nothing will change. Big pharma, and the corporations that control hospitals, and insurance corporations don’t want any change, and since political bribery is legal in this country, nothing is likely to happen.

A federal analysis released this week projects that U.S. healthcare spending is set to rise to $7.7 trillion by 2032 and account for nearly 20% of the nation’s economy, findings that single-payer advocates described as yet another indictment of the country’s for-profit system and further evidence of the need for Medicare for All.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Office of the Actuary said Wednesday that it expects national healthcare expenditures to outpace U.S. economic growth over roughly the next decade, “resulting in an increase in the health spending share of GDP from 17.3% in 2022 to 19.7% in 2032.”

The CMS analysis showed that U.S. healthcare spending grew at a rate of 7.5% last year, with overall expenditures reaching $4.8 trillion. CMS said it projects health spending will rise by 5.6% annually over the coming years, with overall spending reaching $7.7 trillion by 2032.

Robert Weissman, president of the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen, said in a statement Thursday that the coming surge in healthcare spending “has nothing to do with improving care and everything to do with price-gouging, monopolization, and […]

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Trump quietly funneled $5M from campaign coffers into private businesses: analysis

Stephan: 

As the Republican Congress members yesterday knelt to kiss criminal Trump’s ass, I wonder if his diaper was on or not. It is amazing that they are so frightened about losing their own office and power that they are willing to tolerate anything this convicted felon does. Congress and the Supreme Court have joined forces to remake the United States into christofascist White supremacy male dominant minority rule. And you can see that a large percentage of Americans have no idea what this will mean. As I have said again and again, it all comes down to the vote in November and I am not sure American voters are up to the task of protecting their democracy.

President Donald Trump at his plane Credit: Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Former President Donald Trump has funneled nearly $5 million from his presidential campaign coffers into his private businesses, according to a new financial analysis.

Trump — convicted last month of falsifying business records to cover up hush money payments ahead of the 2016 presidential election — has yet to donate a cent to his own campaign but his businesses have charged it $4.6 million, Forbes reported Wednesday.

The former president, worth an estimated $6.4 billion, has been collecting donations from MAGA supporters across the U.S. with increasingly threatening rhetoric that, on Wednesday, raised the specter of mass beheadings.

“Haul out the guillotine,” Trump declared in his campaign cash-grab. “It’s not just me they want gone, THEY’RE REALLY COMING AFTER YOU!”

Forbes analysis of Federal Election Commission records found $4.2 million funneled to Trump’s aviation company Tag Air.

Trump’s private jet — which he claims is better than […]

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US Puts Solar Panels on Old Nuclear Weapons Sites for Powering 70,000 Homes

Stephan: 

Here is some good news about the transition out of the carbon era. I happened to see a reference in a professional journal and went looking for a general audience report and found this. Like most of the good things the Biden administration is doing the development described in this report isn’t really getting any coverage. The media is obsessed with the madness of criminal Trump and the many good things that are happening in the U.S. are hardly mentioned.

The Idaho National Laboratory. Credit, DoE

Across the nation, land set aside for the purpose of possibly destroying the world is now welcoming infrastructure meant to save it.

Sites managed by the Dept. of Energy’s nuclear weapons division are now playing host to solar farms that should be able to power thousands of homes.

As part of a government program called Cleanup to Clean Energy, the Idaho National Laboratory, though never having hosted nuclear weapons itself, will soon be the site of a 400-megawatt solar farm spread across 2,800 acres.

Though the project timeline hasn’t been released, a lease was negotiated for the INL project with Massachusetts-based solar developer NorthRenew Energy for 300 megawatts of solar power.

Another developer called Spitfire was awarded a lease for 100 megawatts and another 500 of battery storage, according to Elektek.

Other locations including the Hanford site in Washington state, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico, the Nevada National Security Site in Nevada, and the Savannah River Site in South Carolina, are all considered strong candidates for the program.

“Working […]

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The Christian right is coming for divorce next

Stephan: 

The christofascist Republicans have made their next move clear: eliminate no-fault divorce. They want to take the United States back to the 1950s, and the years before that. This is their next move to control women. If you are a woman, and you vote for a Republican in November, you are saying that you choose to be submissive to your husband, and let him through the laws control you, and make it very difficult for you to get away. I had seen some earlier reports about this trend but didn’t run them because I thought it was too fringe to be taken seriously. I was wrong. Read this article carefully; it will help you realize what the Republicans really have in mind.

Some lawmakers are talking about turning back the clock on divorce law.
Credit: Mofles/ Getty / iStockphoto

Before the 1960s, it was really hard to get divorced in America.

Typically, the only way to do it was to convince a judge that your spouse had committed some form of wrongdoing, like adultery, abandonment, or “cruelty” (that is, abuse). This could be difficult: “Even if you could prove you had been hit, that didn’t necessarily mean it rose to the level of cruelty that justified a divorce,” said Marcia Zug, a family law professor at the University of South Carolina.

Then came a revolution: In 1969, then-Gov. Ronald Reagan of California (who was himself divorced) signed the nation’s first no-fault divorce law, allowing people to end their marriages without proving they’d been wronged. The move was a recognition that “people were going to get out of marriages,” Zug said, and gave them a way to do that without resorting to subterfuge. Similar laws […]

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Americans are less likely than others around the world to feel close to people in their country or community

Stephan: 

Pew Research Center has recently published a very sad story about America: “Americans are less likely than people abroad to feel close to others in their country and community, according to a 2023 Pew Research Center survey of 24 nations. This is especially the case among certain groups of Americans, including younger adults, those with lower incomes and less education, those who identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party, and those who are religiously unaffiliated. This is part of the Great Schism Trend, and gives yet another perspective on how American society is breaking apart.

Americans are less likely than people abroad to feel close to others in their country and community, according to a 2023 Pew Research Center survey of 24 nations. This is especially the case among certain groups of Americans, including younger adults, those with lower incomes and less education, those who identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party, and those who are religiously unaffiliated.

How we did this

Across all 24 countries surveyed, a median of 83% of adults say they feel very or somewhat close to other people in their country. A majority of U.S. adults (66%) also hold this view, but Americans are the least likely among those in the countries surveyed to do so.

Even fewer Americans feel close to people in their local community: 54% feel a connection to others near them, compared with a median of 78% of adults across all 24 countries. South Korea is the only country with a lower share of adults who feel connected with others in their community (50%).

Feeling close to other Americans

Some Americans are less likely than others to feel a connection to people […]

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