5-4: Supremes Chip Away at Obamacare…

Justices: Can’t make employers cover Obamacare mandated contraception…

Hobby lobbyWASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled Monday that some corporations can hold religious objections that allow them to opt out of the new health law requirement that they cover contraceptives for women.

The justices’ 5-4 decision is the first time that the high court has ruled that profit-seeking businesses can hold religious views under federal law. And it means the Obama administration must search for a different way of providing free contraception to women who are covered under objecting companies’ health insurance plans.

Contraception is among a range of preventive services that must be provided at no extra charge under the health care law that President Barack Obama signed in 2010 and the Supreme Court upheld two years later.

Two years ago, Chief Justice John Roberts cast the pivotal vote that saved the health care law in the midst of Obama’s campaign for re-election. On Monday, dealing with a small sliver of the law, Roberts sided with the four justices who would have struck down the law in its entirety.

to be honest, i’m a little surprised by the supreme court’s ruling — regardless if you agree or not with the issue of contraception being mandated in Obamacare, seems a bit odd to equate a company or corporation as a “person” in the legal sense… but i’m sure the legalese and theory behind it all is probably above my poor polish brain to adequately comprehend.

ahhh, to be a fly on the wall when Obama heard the news… heh.

Supreme Court: Employees can’t be required to contribute to unions

Aereo vs. Cable Companies

Supreme Court Rules TV-Streaming Startup Aereo Violates Copyright

A victory for broadcasters and a defeat for Aereo

A company that grabs over-the-air broadcast TV signals and lets consumers pay to store them online and watch on their computers is violating copyright law, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.

The court’s ruling, in a hotly awaited decision, is a potentially fatal blow for the small, Brooklyn-based TV-streaming startup Aereo, and a victory for traditional broadcast companies like NBC, ABC and CBS.

In a statement, Aereo CEO and founder Chet Kanojia described the decision as a “massive setback for the American consumer” and worried that it “sends a chilling message to the technology industry.” The consumer interest group Public Knowledge also expressed concern that the decision “leaves consumers beholden to dominant entertainment and cable companies that constantly raise prices and gouge consumers.”

i can understand the arguements, but damned if this really doesn’t kinda suck for consumers — personally, i really dug the whole idea/concept behind what Aereo was doing and was more inline with what many people feel that various satellite/cable companies should be doing… pick the shows you want, and watch them when you want, while not having to pay an arm-and-leg for expensive packages for a handful of channels you care about.

#damnscotus

Gary Oldman Blasts Hollywood

Gary Oldman Blasts Hollywood Politics, Defends Mel Gibson and Alec Baldwin

Gary Oldman has blasted Hollywood for what he perceives as a double standard — asserting that Bill Maher and Jon Stewart can get away with politically incorrect humor while others like Mel Gibson and Alec Baldwin cannot.

The profanity-laced statements are included in an interview with the July-August issue of Playboy. The most explosive part of the interview includes attacks on Maher, Stewart and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, following his declaration that political correctness is “crap.”

“Well, if I called Nancy Pelosi a c*** — and I’ll go one better, a f****** useless c*** — I can’t really say that. But Bill Maher and Jon Stewart can, and nobody’s going to stop them from working because of it. Bill Maher could call someone a fag and get away with it. He said to Seth MacFarlane this year, ‘I thought you were going to do the Oscars again. Instead they got a lesbian.’ He can say something like that. Is that more or less offensive than Alec Baldwin saying to someone in the street, ‘You fag’? I don’t get it.”

i’ve been a fan of gary oldman for the last 20 years, and he just went up a few more notches if that’s possible.

he’s the fucking man.

North Korea Threatens War Over Seth Rogan Movie

North Korea threatens war on US over Kim Jong-un movie

North Korea has promised “merciless” retaliation if a forthcoming Hollywood movie about killing Kim Jong-un is released, say agencies.

A North Korean foreign ministry spokesman said in state media that the movie’s release would be an “act of war”.

He did not mention the title, but a Hollywood movie called The Interview with a similar plot is due in October.

Hollywood actors James Franco and Seth Rogen star in the action-comedy film.

if north korea didn’t have nukes, seeing something like this might almost be kinda cute… y’know, those damn crazy north korean bastards.

would love to see Seth Rogan’s reaction. heh.

Thoughts, Freud?

Thoughts, Freud? Vagina sculpture traps US student

BERLIN (AP) — An American exchange student who got stuck in a giant vagina sculpture was freed by firefighters in southwestern Germany.

Tuebingen fire service official Markus Mozer said Monday that the young man slipped as he tried to climb into the stone sculpture to pose for a photo.

He couldn’t free himself, so the fire service was called. Four firefighters eased him out of the sculpture.

couldn’t help but smile when i read the headline on my phone earlier… heh.

#chuckle

IRS ‘Lost’ Emails?! Umm, Seriously?

Here’s how the IRS lost emails from key witness Lois Lerner

On Friday, the Internal Revenue Service informed Congressional investigators that it could not recover two years of emails from Lois Lerner, the former head of the agency’s tax-exempt status department. Lerner has been at the center of the investigation into how and why the IRS applied additional scrutiny to the tax-exempt applications of Tea Party-affiliated organizations.

Lerner has refused to testify on the subject, meaning that her emails are one of the only records of what happened in her own words. The IRS has 67,000 emails from or to Lerner that it has or will turn over to investigators, but a large number, from 2009 to 2011, are apparently lost — a disappearance that quickly triggered skepticism, particularly from Congressional Republicans trying to figure out whether Lerner was acting on orders from Washington.

wow, this is just incredible… do they honestly expect everybody to believe that the “hard drive crashed”, and lost all of Lois Lerners emails? after congress has held multiple inquiries and asked for these damn emails over and over again? i mean, c’mon… this is just getting downright ridiculous.

oh, and it looks like the IRS has lost more emails — how unbelievably convenient.

Feeling Old Yet?

20 years ago today: O.J. Simpson’s slow-speed chase stopped L.A.

man, almost hard to believe that it was 20 years ago today — June 17, 1994 — that O.J. Simpson fled the scene of the murders at his home in that now infamous white bronco.

to be honest, i don’t even remember what exactly i was doing when i heard the news or anything like that… certainly not like i do with 9/11, but it’s still hard for me to believe it’s already been 20 fucking years.

p.s. i still believe he got away with murder.

Obama’s Problem From Hell

Iraq is Barack Obama’s problem from hell

The third Iraq war has just begun in earnest. And it’s created what may be the most devilish foreign policy problem of Barack Obama’s presidency, pitting two pillars of his administration’s foreign policy against each other: his strategy of using drones to counter violent extremism versus his ironclad commitment to ending Bush’s war in Iraq.

Obama views terrorism dramatically differently than Bush did. Both believe terrorism is the greatest national security threat the United States faces. But where Bush saw an epochal challenge to Western civilization, Obama sees a web of small groups that can be isolated and destroyed through global cooperation and limited military action.

Obama’s vision implies two things about American foreign policy. First, when you need to use force against terrorists, do it in a narrow way — targeted strikes, usually from drones, designed to pinpoint terrorist leaders and fighters and coordinated with local governments. Second, overreaction to terrorism can be a devastating own-goal. And the most obvious such overreaction — the Iraq war — must be repudiated without reservation.

it’s pretty crazy just how quickly this islamic militant group, ISIS, has surged into Iraq and taken town after town, city after city, in just this past week… meanwhile, can’t help but wonder what Obama is doing.

oh, and what’s this shit about the US considering talking to Iran? umm, seriously?!

The most important line from Obama’s Iraq speech

Honoring D-Day

Obama honors WWII, 9/11 generations at Normandy

almost hard to believe that D-Day happened 70 years ago today… over 6,400 american troops lose their lives that day — around the same number that we’ve lost in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade.

i mentioned watching Band of Brothers the other day, and i think i’ll go ahead and queue it up this weekend on HBO Go… seems like as good a time as any.

that show really is that good.

Transcript of Obama’s speech on 70th Anniversary of D-Day

#bandofbrothers

Was Bergdahl Worth The Price?

Revealed: Bowe Bergdahl left letter telling comrades at Afghan base he was ‘leaving to start new life and didn’t want to fight for America’ as Army announces he DOES face desertion charges

Bowe Bergdahl left a note saying he had gone to start a ‘new life’ and a former comrade broke his military gagging order today to tell MailOnline of the jaw-dropping moment he discovered the Taliban POW had walked off from their Afghanistan base.

That revelation came just hours before two top government officials confirmed that there will be a new, full investigation into Bergdahl’s disappearance.

Bergdahl

The soldier, who requested anonymity as he is still in the military, said: ‘Everyone looked at me like I was crazy but I was right, he had walked off.’

The New York Times reported Bergdahl also left behind a note in which he said he did not want to fight for America any more, did not believe in the war – and was leaving to start a new life.

The letter to his comrades was separate from the email he sent to his parents before he sent his goods home to them, wherein he wrote: ‘life is way too short to care for the damnation of others, as well as to spend it helping fools with their ideas that are wrong…. I am ashamed to even be (A)merican.’

man, i still can’t fucking believe that President Obama did this… i’m all for rescuing our guys, and would like to believe that we would move heaven and earth to save any of our guys captured — but from all accounts this guy Bergdahl looks to be a deserter… Obama had to know all of this, and yet he still went forward with freeing 5 taliban terrorists?!! what the hell happened to not negotiating with terrorists? to be honest, i’m simply stunned.

related news:

F*cking Hackers

Half of American adults hacked this year

Hackers have exposed the personal information of 110 million Americans — roughly half of the nation’s adults — in the last 12 months alone.

That massive number, tallied for CNNMoney by Ponemon Institute researchers, is made even more mind-boggling by the amount of hacked accounts: up to 432 million. [...]

The damage is real. Each record typically includes personal information, such as your name, debit or credit card, email, phone number, birthday, password, security questions and physical address.

It’s enough to get hunted down by an abusive ex-spouse. It makes you an easier target for scams. And even if only basic information about you is stolen, that can easily be paired with stolen credit card data, empowering impostors.

wow, didn’t realize it was that high… fuck’n hackers.

Snowden Explains All In Interview

Snowden Explains Why He Won’t Come Home in First U.S. TV Interview

In his first interview with a U.S. broadcasting company since going public with revelations about NSA surveillance last year, Edward Snowden responded to his critics on a number of topics including addressing accusations that he’s working for Russia, that he failed to go through official channels to register his concerns about the NSA before going public and that he’s a coward for not returning to the U.S. to face espionage charges.

Snowden interview with Brian Williams (NBC, 2014)

Snowden, speaking with NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams from a hotel room in Moscow last week, dispelled accusations that he was collaborating with the Russians or that he was in danger of being coerced by Russian intelligence into revealing secrets.

“I have no relationship with the Russian government, I’ve never met the Russian president,” he said. “I’m not supported by the Russian government, I’m not taking any money from the Russian government. I’m not a spy, which is the real question. The best way to make sure that for example the Russians can’t break my fingers and compromise information or hit me with a bag of money until I give them something, was not to have it at all. And the way to do that was by destroying the material that I was holding before I transited through Russia…. I took nothing to Russia so I could give them nothing.”

i’m still on the fence with this guy… on the one hand i think what he did was illegal and if he really felt so strongly about doing it, he should’ve stayed and made his case — preferably on live television before the american people, instead of running off to china and then russia… on the flipside, i’m happy in a way because it exposed what the NSA was doing, which i wasn’t too happy about.

“Snowden is a pussy. A sissy girly-man. He should grow some nuts and surrender to a secret trial followed by forever in prison.” — John Kerry

*chuckle*

We’re All Fat

30 percent of world is now fat, no country immune…

LONDON (AP) — Almost a third of the world is now fat, and no country has been able to curb obesity rates in the last three decades, according to a new global analysis.

Researchers found more than 2 billion people worldwide are now overweight or obese. The highest rates were in the Middle East and North Africa, where nearly 60 percent of men and 65 percent of women are heavy. The U.S. has about 13 percent of the world’s fat population, a greater percentage than any other country. China and India combined have about 15 percent.

“It’s pretty grim,” said Christopher Murray of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, who led the study. He and colleagues reviewed more than 1,700 studies covering 188 countries from 1980 to 2013. “When we realized that not a single country has had a significant decline in obesity, that tells you how hard a challenge this is.”

Murray said there was a strong link between income and obesity; in developing countries, as people get richer, their waistlines also tend to start bulging. In many rich countries like the U.S. and Britain, the trend is reversed — though only slightly. Murray said scientists have noticed accompanying spikes in diabetes as obesity has risen and that rates of cancers linked to weight, like pancreatic cancer, are also rising.

not really all that shocking, i know… but still, 30% of the world’s population is now “fat”?! didn’t realize it was that high, to be honest.

on a related note, was surprised to find out that D.C. take top fitness spot, so at least we have that going for us… i do tend to see a lot of people jogging, riding bikes around here.

Top Brand In The World? Google.

How Google overtook Apple to become the world’s most valuable brand

Google has surpassed Apple as the world’s most valuable brand, according to MillwardBrown’s 2014 BrandZ ranking.

Google

Apple, which had been #1 in the prior three years, fell 20% in brand value to an estimated $147.9 billion amid a “growing perception that it is no longer redefining technology for consumers,” according to MillwardBrown, New York-based research firm.

With the passing of Steve Jobs, Apple has indeed suffered from a perception problem and that it’s lost the mo-jo that made it the world’s most valuable company — both in terms of market cap and brand value. The company’s real issue is that it set an incredibly high bar for itself: Until very recently, consumers (and investors) expected Apple to create or redefine major categories every few years, i.e. music via the iPod/iTunes and communications via the iPhone. To say that’s easier said than done is a huge understatement; the truly amazing thing is that Apple did that with such frequency during its huge growth phase earlier this century.

“all good things aren’t meant to last…”, or something to that effect… guess i’m not overly surprised, since you could probably go into bumfuck africa and chances are pretty high that you’d find some tribal guy who knows “coke” and “google”… though google’s profits somehow continue to boggle my mind.

MERS in VA? Uh Oh.

Suspected cases of MERS investigated in Virginia

RICHMOND — State health officials are investigating whether several Virginians may have been exposed to Middle East respiratory syndrome or MERS.

Dr. Laurie Forlano, the deputy state epidemiologist with the Virginia Department of Health, tells 13 News Now that they are monitoring “several” Virginians who were on airplanes and may have come into contact with people who were sick.

She stresses that no cases have been confirmed in Virginia and they’re keeping track of each region of the state, including Hampton Roads.

Dr. Forlano says “If a doctor suspects that their patient may have MERS, they have to notify the local health department. The Virginia Department of Health then works with clinicians to determine whether testing for MERS is necessary.”

man, i really hope like hell that MERS hasn’t found it’s way over here… that’s the last thing i want to be worrying about. ugh.

Obama Warned About VA in 2008

He KNEW! Obama told of Veterans Affairs health care debacle as far back as 2008

The Obama administration received clear notice more than five years ago that VA medical facilities were reporting inaccurate waiting times and experiencing scheduling failures that threatened to deny veterans timely health care — problems that have turned into a growing scandal.

Veterans Affairs officials warned the Obama-Biden transition team in the weeks after the 2008 presidential election that the department shouldn’t trust the wait times that its facilities were reporting. [...]

In recent months, reports have surfaced about secret wait lists at facilities across the country and, in the case of a Phoenix VA facility, accusations that officials cooked the books to try to hide long wait times. Some families said veterans died while on a secret wait list at the Phoenix facility.

so it looks like the Obama administration got warnings and knew about the VA medical facilities reporting “inaccurate” waiting times all the way back in 2008, and obviously didn’t address or do anything about it? gee, color me surprised… selling weapons to mexican drug cartels? no problem… the US ambassador and 3 others murdered in a terrorist attack, followed by a cover-up because he was in the middle of his re-election campaign? check… the IRS targeting conservative groups? sure thing… VA hospitals letting veterans die waiting for treatment? as long as nobody’s reporting it, i’ll deal with it later.

#disgusted

US Charges China Military Hackers

US Charges 5 Chinese Military Hackers in ’21st Century Burglary’

Five Chinese military officers were indicted by the U.S. today and charged with hacking U.S. companies to steal industry secrets about nuclear and solar power in what one official called “21st century burglary.”

It’s the first time ever that the U.S. government has formally accused another nation of using the internet to break into U.S. businesses and shortly after the indictment was announced China suspended the China-U.S. Cyber Working Group.

The most serious charge of economic espionage includes a maximum 15 year prison sentence, although it is unlikely that China would arrest the suspects and send them to the U.S. for trial.

The five officers are members of China’s Peoples’ Liberation Army and they are accused of hacking into Westinghouse, subsidiaries of SolarWorld AG, Alcoa, U.S. Steel Corp. and other companies between 2006 and 2014. The secrets they allegedly filched were related to nuclear power, solar and metals industries.

about fucking time, only took them a couple years to actually formally file something regarding the blatant hacking being sponsored by the chinese government/military against US… f0ckers.