Political Mojo | Mother Jones http://www.motherjones.com/Blogs/2011/04 http://www.motherjones.com/files/motherjonesLogo_google_206X40.png Mother Jones logo http://www.motherjones.com en The Legacy of the Hobby Lobby Case: Protecting Anti-Gay Discrimination? http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/07/hobby-lobby-anti-gay-discrimination <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>In his majority opinion in the recent <em>Hobby Lobby</em> case, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito took pains to frame the ruling, exempting companies from complying with Obamacare's contraceptive mandate if it violated the religious beliefs of their owners, as a narrow one. But gay and civil rights groups have long warned that a decision permitting such a religious exemption could have broad ramifications, potentially allowing employers to discriminate against gays. Now, their fears may be coming to pass.</p> <p>"What we've seen since last week's decision came down is that opponents of LGBT equality have pushed a misreading of that decision as having broadly endorsed discrimination against people, including LGBT people in the workplace," says Ian Thompson, a legislative representative for the American Civil Liberties Union.</p> <p>Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, told <em>Mother Jones</em> that the <em>Hobby Lobby</em> ruling "opens the door for corporations to discriminate against anyone that doesn't look, sound, or share the religious beliefs that they do. This isn't a business agenda; it's an extreme social agenda and it is deeply unpopular with the American people."</p></body></html> <p style="font-size: 1.083em;"><a href="/mojo/2014/07/hobby-lobby-anti-gay-discrimination"><strong><em>Continue Reading &raquo;</em></strong></a></p> MoJo Congress Corporations Gay Rights Wed, 09 Jul 2014 22:49:31 +0000 Alex Park 255741 at http://www.motherjones.com Is Montana More Corrupt Than Miami? http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/07/montana-public-corruption-prosecution <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>For such a sparsely populated state, Montana has managed to generate some outsized headlines lately. There's the GOP Senate candidate who made news by suggesting that <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/05/steve-daines-creationism" target="_blank">creationism should be taught in public schools</a>. Then there's Missoula's reputation as the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/01/montana-rape-investigation-prosecution" target="_blank">"rape capital"</a> of the world, thanks to, among other things, serious allegations of sexual assault committed by University of Montana football players. And continuing that theme, there's also the Justice Department's investigation of the Missoula County Attorney's office alleging that prosecutors had been <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/02/missoula-montana-sexual-assault-justice-department-report" target="_blank">systematically discriminating against female sexual abuse victims.</a></p> <p>Now comes new data showing that Montana is leading the country in public corruption prosecutions, suggesting that the state's reputation for graft (dating back to the days of the<a href="http://archive.greatfallstribune.com/multimedia/125newsmakers6/copperkings.html" target="_blank"> Copper Kings</a>) hasn't changed much. Clocking in with 18 active cases, the federal judicial district of Montana has had more public corruption prosecutions in 2014 than those in south Florida, southern California, and even New Jersey, according to data crunched by the <a href="http://trac.syr.edu/tracreports/crim/358/" target="_blank">Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University. </a></p> <p>How is it that such a small state has so many prosecutions? "Why prosecutors do what they do is a mystery," says TRAC's David Burnham. But the prosecutors in Montana have a good explanation: They've recently organized a major crackdown on corruption on American Indian reservations, of which the state has seven.&nbsp;</p> <p>A recent AP investigation concluded that, nationally, tribal governments are five times more likely to have <a href="http://bigstory.ap.org/article/ap-impact-tribes-mishandle-funds-go-unpunished" target="_blank">"material weaknesses" in their administration</a> that make corruption possible, and reporters for years have been sounding alarms that federal prosecutors have largely turned a blind eye to these problems. Montana decided to change that trend, at a time when millions in additional federal dollars have flowed into tribal governments thanks to the federal stimulus package enacted after the financial collapse in 2008.</p> <p>In 2011, the US Attorney's office launched a task force, dubbed the Guardians Project, with the FBI, the IRS, and inspectors general of various federal agencies, to target corruption on American Indian reservations. The results have been telling: In 2012, Montana had only one official corruption prosecution, but by August of last year, the Guardians Project had netted 25 indictments against people who'd allegedly done <a href="http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/guardians-project-seeks-to-root-out-corruption/article_35e03f9e-2934-5c2c-a515-e2e2d35392f3.html" target="_blank">all sorts of devious things</a> to keep federal money from reaching those it was supposed to help.</p> <p>Prosecutors promised there would be more to come, and there have been. Just last month, four members of the Blackfeet tribe were <a href="http://www.justice.gov/usao/mt/pressreleases/20140624171722.html" target="_blank">sentenced to prison</a> for involvement in a scheme to steal federal mental health and substance abuse treatment funds from a $9 million contract. More than $225,000 intended for the program ended up being spent on travel and gambling, among other things.</p> <p>Six people have pleaded guilty to embezzling federal dollars from a $361 million pipeline project designed to bring freshwater to the Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation. Another seven people from the Crow reservation were<a href="http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/jury-convicts-in-crow-corruption-case/article_de3ea6d9-82b6-5294-957d-fa87756b5741.html" target="_blank"> indicted for stealing at least half a million dollars</a> from the tribe in a double-billing scheme operated out of the tribe's historic preservation office. One of the people convicted in the scheme allowed a coal company to take a backhoe to a 2,000-year-old sacred bison burial site. The corruption investigations have already ensnared a former state representative and Chippewa Cree tribe official, Tony Belcourt, who in April <a href="http://www.havredailynews.com/story/2014/03/26/local/tony-belcourt-signs-plea-agreement/300355.html" target="_blank">pleaded guilty to bribery, theft and tax-evasion</a> charges related to the water project, as well as construction of a multi-million dollar clinic.</p> <p>Overall, though, Montana itself probably isn't more scandal-plagued than New Jersey or Miami. Montana's US Attorney has just taken a harder line on prosecuting the abuses on its reservations, and all those cases have added up to boost Montana to the top of the rankings in terms of public corruption prosecutions. "These figures from Syracuse reflect only a portion of our effort," US Attorney Mike Cotter said in a statement Tuesday. "Many of the public corruption indictments brought in Montana were initiated before last October. Relatively speaking, Montana is a small office; a David among Goliaths. But the Guardians have done truly remarkable work. Their efforts have unearthed widespread criminal activity and flagrant abuses of trust with regard to federal programs and grants designed to provide for the common good of our Indian communities."</p></body></html> MoJo Crime and Justice Wed, 09 Jul 2014 16:44:58 +0000 Stephanie Mencimer 255571 at http://www.motherjones.com We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for July 9, 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/07/were-still-war-photo-day-july-9-2014 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p class="rtecenter"><em>The 173rd Airborne Brigade Paratroopers participate in a ceremonial rotation of forces in Latvia. (US Army National Guard Photo by Spc. Cassandra Simonton, 116th Public Affairs Detachment)</em></p></body></html> MoJo Military Wed, 09 Jul 2014 15:31:19 +0000 255746 at http://www.motherjones.com This Is the Democratic Plan to Reverse the Hobby Lobby Decision http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/07/democratic-plan-reverse-hobby-lobby-decision <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2014/07/harry-reid-hobby-lobby-democrats-to-act-108617.html" target="_blank">promised "to do something"</a> about the Supreme Court's <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/06/supreme-court-hobby-lobby-ruling-document" target="_blank">recent Hobby Lobby decision</a>. Now two members of his caucus say they are preparing a bill that would reverse some of the controversial aspects of last week's decision.</p> <p>Take it away, <em><a href="http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/murray-udall-legislation-hobby-lobby" target="_blank">TPM</a></em>:</p> <blockquote> <p>The legislation will be sponsored by Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Mark Udall (D-CO). According to a summary reviewed by TPM, it prohibits employers from refusing to provide health services, including contraception, to their employees if required by federal law. It clarifies that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the basis for the Supreme Court's ruling against the mandate, and all other federal laws don't permit businesses to opt out of the Obamacare requirement.<br> ...</p> <p>This bill will restore the original legal guarantee that women have access to contraceptive coverage through their employment-based insurance plans and will protect coverage of other health services from employer objections as well, according to the summary.</p> </blockquote> <p>This is all well and good, but unfortunately this bill will never survive a cloture vote in the Senate; even if it did, it would be dead on arrival in the House of Representatives. The only way that Hobby Lobby stands even a chance of being overturned legislatively is if John Boehner is forced to hand over the Speaker's gavel to a Democrat. That's probably something someone at the DCCC should remind people of as we head into the midterms.</p></body></html> MoJo Supreme Court Wed, 09 Jul 2014 15:02:52 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 255736 at http://www.motherjones.com Here's How Obama Wants to Spend $3.7 Billion on the Child Migrant Crisis http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/07/obama-emergency-appropriations-unaccompanied-child-migrants <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>On Tuesday, <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1213236-emergency-supplemental-request-to-congress.html" target="_blank">President Obama asked Congress for $3.7 billion</a> in emergency supplemental appropriations to address the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/06/child-migrants-surge-unaccompanied-central-america" target="_blank">rapidly growing number of unaccompanied Central American children</a> attempting to enter the United States. The Border Patrol apprehended 38,833 unaccompanied kids in fiscal year 2013, and it already has caught <a href="http://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/stats/southwest-border-unaccompanied-children" target="_blank">more than 52,000</a> in fiscal 2014.</p> <p></p><div id="mininav" class="inline-subnav"> <!-- header content --> <div id="mininav-header-content"> <div id="mininav-header-image"> <img src="/files/images/motherjones_mininav/migrants_225.jpg" width="220" border="0"></div> <div id="mininav-header-text"> <p class="mininav-header-text" style="margin: 0; padding: 0.75em; font-size: 11px; font-weight: bold; line-height: 1.2em; background-color: rgb(221, 221, 221);"> More <em>MoJo</em> coverage of the surge of unaccompanied child migrants from Central America. </p> </div> </div> <!-- linked stories --> <div id="mininav-linked-stories"> <ul><span id="linked-story-252671"> <li><a href="/politics/2014/06/child-migrants-surge-unaccompanied-central-america"> 70,000 Kids Will Show Up Alone at Our Border This Year. What Happens to Them?</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-252866"> <li><a href="/politics/2014/06/unaccompanied-kids-immigrants-deported-guatemala"> What's Next for the Children We Deport? </a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-253266"> <li><a href="/mojo/2014/06/surge-unaccompanied-child-migrant-shelters"> This Is Where the Government Houses the Tens of Thousands of Kids Who Get Caught Crossing the Border</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-255056"> <li><a href="/mojo/2014/06/map-unaccompanied-child-migrants-central-america-honduras"> Map: These Are the Places Central American Child Migrants Are Fleeing </a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-255201"> <li><a href="/politics/2014/06/unaccompanied-child-migrants-border-patrol-screening"> 4 Reasons Why Border Agents Shouldn't Get to Decide Whether Child Migrants Can Stay in the US</a></li> </span> </ul></div> <!-- footer content --> </div> <p>The requested appropriations include:</p> <ul><li><strong>$1.8 billion to the HHS's Administration for Children and Families:</strong> to provide more stable, cost-effective arrangements and medical care for unaccompanied children.</li> <li><strong>$1.1 billion to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE): </strong>for the detention, prosecution, and removal of undocumented families, as well as transportation costs for unaccompanied children.</li> <li><strong>$432 million to Customs and Border Protection: </strong>for operational costs, an expanded Border Enforcement Security Task Force, and increased air surveillance in Texas' Rio Grande Valley.</li> <li><strong>$295 million to the State Department's (and other international programs') Economic Support Fund: </strong>for the repatriation and reintegration of deported migrants, and to address the root causes of migration in Central America.</li> <li><strong>$62 million to the Department of Justice:</strong> for additional immigration judges and legal representation for the children.</li> </ul><p>Notably, Obama's <a href="http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1213236-emergency-supplemental-request-to-congress.html" target="_blank">letter</a> to House Speaker John Boehner did not include a request to alter the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) of 2008. That law requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to turn over unaccompanied children from countries other than Canada and Mexico to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which temporarily houses them in shelters while it locates US-based family members or sponsors. (The kids are in removal proceedings throughout.)</p> <p>Here's the full letter:</p> <div class="DV-container" id="DV-viewer-1213236-emergency-supplemental-request-to-congress">&nbsp;</div> <script src="//s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/viewer/loader.js"></script><script> DV.load("//www.documentcloud.org/documents/1213236-emergency-supplemental-request-to-congress.js", { width: 630, height: 450, sidebar: false, text: false, container: "#DV-viewer-1213236-emergency-supplemental-request-to-congress" }); </script><noscript> <a href="http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1213236/emergency-supplemental-request-to-congress.pdf">Emergency Supplemental Request to Congress (PDF)</a> <br><a href="http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1213236/emergency-supplemental-request-to-congress.txt">Emergency Supplemental Request to Congress (Text)</a> </noscript></body></html> MoJo Immigration International Top Stories child migrants Tue, 08 Jul 2014 19:01:51 +0000 Katie Rose Quandt 255671 at http://www.motherjones.com New Conservative Meme: Migrant Children Aren't Children http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/07/new-conservative-meme-migrant-children-arent-children <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Conservatives have found a new line of attack on the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/06/unaccompanied-kids-immigrants-deported-guatemala" target="_blank">ongoing refugee crisis</a> along the southern border: The children who are migrating en masse from Central America and crowding into detention centers are not children.</p> <p>"I realize that in Barack Obama's America we now classify anyone under the age of 26 as a child eligible for their parent's healthcare insurance," <a href="http://www.redstate.com/2014/07/07/these-arent-the-droids-errr-children-youre-looking-for/" target="_blank">writes</a> <em>Red State</em>'s Erick Erickson. "But I'm pretty sure a normal person would not classify these men as children." He links to this tweet:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Yep, those sure all look like children. <a href="http://t.co/xXEnP9q2XN">pic.twitter.com/xXEnP9q2XN</a></p> &mdash; Cody Full (@CodyFNfootball) <a href="https://twitter.com/CodyFNfootball/statuses/486310562465193985">July 8, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Erickson's analysis is correct&mdash;the people in this photo are not children. The way immigration detention works is that children are separated from adults and then sorted by age and gender. This is noted in nearly <a href="http://www.thewire.com/politics/2014/06/the-border-patrol-finally-showed-reporters-how-detained-child-migrants-are-living/373054/" target="_blank">every</a> <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/24/us/texas-warehouse-unaccompanied-minors/" target="_blank">single</a> <a href="http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/immigration/2014/06/18/arizona-immigrant-children-holding-area-tour/10780449/" target="_blank">story</a> <a href="http://www.fronterasdesk.org/content/9695/attorneys-concerned-about-legal-access-migrant-kids" target="_blank">on</a> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/24/immigration-crisis-child-migrants-texas_n_5524510.html" target="_blank">the</a> <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/19/us/border-centers-struggle-to-handle-onslaught-of-children-crossers.html?_r=0" target="_blank">subject</a>. Just because more than 48,000 minors have been detained crossing the border in 2014 doesn't mean adults have simply stopped coming over.</p> <p>Lest you think that the administration is inventing this influx of young migrants, here is a photo of migrant children crowded into a single room. I found it on <em>Breitbart</em>:</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Screen%20Shot%202014-07-08%20at%207.05.31%20AM.png"><div class="caption"><a href="http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/07/07/SOUTHCOM-Commander-warns-border-crisis-Existential-and-National-Security-Threat" target="_blank">Big Government</a></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <p>You could also read my colleague Ian Gordon's <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/06/child-migrants-surge-unaccompanied-central-america" target="_blank">wrenching story</a> for the magazine on 17-year-old&nbsp;Adri&aacute;n's flight from Guatemala City to the United States.</p></body></html> MoJo Human Rights Immigration child migrants Tue, 08 Jul 2014 15:04:05 +0000 Tim Murphy 255631 at http://www.motherjones.com We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for July 8. 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/07/were-still-war-photo-day-july-8-2014 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p class="rtecenter"><em>Children from the Charmazi Orphanage in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania bond with US Marine Corps Officers through a community relations project. (Photo Courtesy of the US Marines.)</em></p></body></html> MoJo Military Tue, 08 Jul 2014 13:51:09 +0000 255626 at http://www.motherjones.com Gitmo Detainees Cite Hobby Lobby in New Court Filing. Read It Here. http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/07/guantanamo-bay-hobby-lobby-decision-court-filing-read <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>In a new court filing, attorneys for two Guantanamo Bay detainees have invoked the Supreme Court's controversial <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/06/hobby-lobby-supreme-court-bush-v-gore" target="_blank">decision</a> in <em>Burwell v. Hobby Lobby</em>, which allowed certain corporations to ignore the Obamacare <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/06/how-obama-can-make-sure-hobby-lobby-female-employees-are-covered" target="_blank">contraception</a> <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/07/supreme-court-scotus-hobby-lobby-all-forms-contraception" target="_blank">mandate</a> if their owners object to it on religious grounds. The motions, <a href="http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/7/5/hobby-lobby-guantanamo.html" target="_blank">filed</a> with a Washington, DC, district court on behalf of&nbsp;Ahmed Rabbani of Pakistan and Emad Hassan of Yemen, ask the court to bar military officials from preventing Gitmo inmates from participating in communal prayer during Ramadan.</p> <p>"Hobby Lobby makes clear that <em>all</em> persons&mdash;human and corporate, citizen and foreigner, resident and alien&mdash;enjoy the special religious free exercise protections of the [<a href="http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/42/chapter-21B" target="_blank">Religious Freedom Restoration Act</a>]," the lawyers argue.</p> <p>A spokesman for the Department of Defense <a href="http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/7/5/hobby-lobby-guantanamo.html" target="_blank">told <em>Al Jazeera America</em></a> on Friday that the "Defense Department is aware of the filing," and that the "government will respond through the legal system."</p> <p>Read the emergency <a href="http://www.lawfareblog.com/2014/07/hobby-lobby-at-guantanamo/" target="_blank">motion</a> for a temporary restraining order below:</p> <div class="DV-container" id="DV-viewer-1212883-gitmo-hobby-lobby-filing">&nbsp;</div> <script src="//s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/viewer/loader.js"></script><script> DV.load("//www.documentcloud.org/documents/1212883-gitmo-hobby-lobby-filing.js", { width: 630, height: 820, sidebar: false, container: "#DV-viewer-1212883-gitmo-hobby-lobby-filing" }); </script><noscript> <a href="http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1212883/gitmo-hobby-lobby-filing.pdf">Gitmo Hobby Lobby Filing (PDF)</a> <br><a href="http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1212883/gitmo-hobby-lobby-filing.txt">Gitmo Hobby Lobby Filing (Text)</a> </noscript></body></html> MoJo Civil Liberties Religion Reproductive Rights Mon, 07 Jul 2014 16:27:33 +0000 Asawin Suebsaeng 255526 at http://www.motherjones.com We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for July 7, 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/07/were-still-war-photo-day-july-7-2014 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p class="rtecenter"><em>US Marines celebrate a change of command ceremony in South Carolina under the American flag. (US Marine Corps Photo by Cpl. Sarah Cherry)</em></p></body></html> MoJo Military Mon, 07 Jul 2014 13:24:17 +0000 255506 at http://www.motherjones.com WATCH: Now That Corporations Have Freedom of Religion, It's Time to Lay Out the Corporate Commandments [Fiore Cartoon] http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/07/watch-corporations-freedom-religion-corporate-commandments-fiore-cartoon <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><div align="center"> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="281" mozallowfullscreen="" src="//player.vimeo.com/video/99800910?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0&amp;color=c96134" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="500"></iframe></p> </div> <p>Mark Fiore is a Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist and animator whose work has appeared in the <em>Washington Post, </em>the <em>Los Angeles Times, </em>the <em>San Francisco Examiner, </em>and dozens of other publications. He is an active member of the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists, and has a <a href="http://www.markfiore.com/" target="_newWindow">website</a> featuring his work.</p></body></html> MoJo Cartoons Video Health Care Reproductive Rights Supreme Court Fri, 04 Jul 2014 10:00:17 +0000 Mark Fiore 255471 at http://www.motherjones.com How Hobby Lobby Undermined The Very Idea of a Corporation http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/07/hobby-lobbys-other-problem <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Here's one <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/06/best-lines-hobby-lobby-decision" target="_blank">more reason</a> to worry about the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision, which allowed the arts and crafts chain to block insurance coverage of contraception for female employees because of the owners' religious objections: It could screw up corporate law.</p> <p>This gets complicated, but bear with us. Basically, what you need to know is that if you and some friends start a company that makes a lot of money, you'll be rich, but if it incurs a lot of debt and fails, you won't be left to pay its bills. The Supreme Court affirmed this arrangement in a 2001 case, <em><a href="http://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/533/158" target="_blank">Cedric Kushner Promotions vs. Don King</a>: </em></p> <blockquote> <p>linguistically speaking, the employee and the corporation are different &ldquo;persons,&rdquo; even where the employee is the corporation&rsquo;s sole owner. After all, incorporation&rsquo;s basic purpose is to create a distinct legal entity, with legal rights, obligations, powers, and privileges different from those of the natural individuals who created it, who own it, or whom it employs.</p> </blockquote> <p></p><div id="mininav" class="inline-subnav"> <!-- header content --> <div id="mininav-header-content"> <div id="mininav-header-text"> <p class="mininav-header-text" style="margin: 0; padding: 0.75em; font-size: 11px; font-weight: bold; line-height: 1.2em; background-color: rgb(221, 221, 221);"> More <em>MoJo</em> coverage of the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision. </p> </div> </div> <!-- linked stories --> <div id="mininav-linked-stories"> <ul><span id="linked-story-248586"> <li><a href="/politics/2014/04/hobby-lobby-retirement-plan-invested-emergency-contraception-and-abortion-drug-makers"> Hobby Lobby's Hypocrisy: The Company's Retirement Plan Invests in Contraception Manufacturers</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-255101"> <li><a href="/politics/2014/06/best-lines-hobby-lobby-decision"> The 8 Best Lines From Ginsburg's Dissent</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-255121"> <li><a href="/politics/2014/06/hobby-lobby-supreme-court-bush-v-gore"> Why the Decision Is the New Bush v. Gore</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-255131"> <li><a href="/politics/2014/06/how-obama-can-make-sure-hobby-lobby-female-employees-are-covered"> How Obama Can Make Sure Hobby Lobby's Female Employees Are Covered</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-255256"> <li><a href="/politics/2014/07/hobby-lobby-bill-gothard-institute-basic-life-principles"> Hobby Lobby Funded Disgraced Fundamentalist Christian Leader Accused of Harassing Dozens of Women</a></li> </span> </ul></div> <!-- footer content --> </div> That separation is what legal and business scholars call the "corporate veil," and it's fundamental to the entire operation. Now, thanks to the Hobby Lobby case, it's in question. By letting Hobby Lobby's owners assert their personal religious rights over an entire corporation, the Supreme Court has poked a major hole in the veil. In other words, if a company is not truly separate from its owners, the owners could be made responsible for its debts and other burdens. <p>"If religious shareholders can do it, why can&rsquo;t creditors and government regulators pierce the corporate veil in the other direction?" <a href="https://its.law.nyu.edu/facultyprofiles/profile.cfm?personID=20165" target="_blank">Burt Neuborne</a>, a law professor at New York University, asked in an email.</p> <p>That's a question raised by 44 other law professors, who filed a <a href="http://www.becketfund.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/13-35413-356tsacCorporateandCriminalLawProfessors.pdf" target="_blank">friends-of-the-court brief</a> that implored the Court to reject Hobby Lobby's argument and hold the veil in place. Here's what they argued:</p> <blockquote> <p>Allowing a corporation, through either shareholder vote or board resolution, to take on and assert the religious beliefs of its shareholders in order to avoid having to comply with a generally-applicable law with a secular purpose is fundamentally at odds with the entire concept of incorporation. Creating such an unprecedented and idiosyncratic tear in the corporate veil would also carry with it unintended consequences, many of which are not easily foreseen.</p> </blockquote> <p>In his opinion for <em>Hobby Lobby</em>, Justice Samuel Alito's insisted the decision should be narrowly applied to the peculiarities of the case. But as my colleague Pat Caldwell writes, the logic of the argument is likely to <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/06/hobby-lobby-supreme-court-bush-v-gore" target="_blank">invite</a> a tide of new lawsuits, all with their own unintended consequences.</p> <p>Small wonder, then, that despite congressional Republicans <a href="http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/06/30/Boehner-on-Hobby-Lobby-Decision-Another-Defeat-For-Obama-Overreach" target="_blank">defending</a> the Hobby Lobby decision as a victory for American business against the nanny state, the US Chamber of Commerce&mdash;the country's main big business lobby&mdash;was quiet on the issue. Even more telling: Despite a record tide of friends-of-the-court briefs, not one Fortune 500 weighed in on the case. In fact, as David H. Gans at <em>Slate </em><a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2014/02/hobby_lobby_contraception_mandate_challenge_why_have_corporations_refused.html" target="_blank">pointed out</a> in March, about the only sizeable business-friendly groups that did file briefs with the court were the US Women's Chamber of Commerce and the Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. Both sided against Hobby Lobby.</p></body></html> MoJo Corporations Regulatory Affairs Supreme Court Explainers Thu, 03 Jul 2014 18:50:13 +0000 Alex Park 255376 at http://www.motherjones.com GOP Gubernatorial Candidate: 47 Percent of Americans Are "Dependent on the Largesse of Government" http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/07/bob-beauprez-colorado-47-percent <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><object height="473" width="630"><param name="movie" value="//www.youtube.com/v/SmRddOPwM6U?hl=en_US&amp;version=3"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"><embed allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" height="473" src="//www.youtube.com/v/SmRddOPwM6U?hl=en_US&amp;version=3" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="630"></embed></object> <p>Colorado Republicans thought they'd dodged a bullet last month when primary voters chose former GOP Rep. Bob Beauprez as their gubernatorial nominee over Tom&nbsp;Tancredo, a former congressman and notorious anti-immigration activist. Not so much. On Wednesday, Democrats circulated a little-noticed 2010 video in which Beauprez rails against the 47 percent of the American population who he claims are dependent on government. Sound familiar?</p> <p>From the <a href="http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_26078290/video-shows-beauprez-saying-47-percent-dependent-government?source=most_viewed" target="_blank"><em>Denver Post</em></a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>"I see something that frankly doesn't surprise me, having been on Ways and Means Committee: 47 percent of all Americans pay no federal income tax," Beauprez said in the video. "I'm guessing that most of you in this room are not in that 47 percent&mdash;God bless you&mdash;but what that tells me is that we've got almost half the population perfectly happy that somebody else is paying the bill, and most of that half is you all."</p> <p>"I submit to you that there is a political strategy to get slightly over half and have a permanent ruling majority by keeping over half of the population dependent on the largesse of government that somebody else is paying for," Beauprez said.</p> </blockquote> <p>Beauprez's comments, which came in an address to a local rotary club, bear an uncanny resemblance to the infamous remarks, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/07/mitt-romney-47-percent-denial" target="_blank">first reported by <em>Mother Jones</em></a>, that Mitt Romney made to donors during his presidential campaign. (Romney's final tally: 47 percent of the vote.) A survey released by Rasmussen on Wednesday showed Beauprez running even with incumbent Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper.</p></body></html> MoJo Elections Thu, 03 Jul 2014 15:48:18 +0000 Tim Murphy 255401 at http://www.motherjones.com Obama Calls for a New Crackdown on Wall Street http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/07/obama-marketplace-ryssdal-wall-street <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>On Wednesday evening, President Barack Obama called for a new Wall Street crackdown, noting that more than five years after the financial crisis, banks still focus too much on gaining profits through often risky trading, instead of investing in Main Street America.</p> <p>"More and more of the revenue generated on Wall Street is based on&hellip;trading bets, as opposed to investing in companies that actually make something and hire people," the president said in an <a href="http://www.marketplace.org/topics/economy/obama-middle-class-issues-drive-my-agenda" target="_blank">interview</a> with <em>Marketplace</em> host Kai Ryssdal. He called for "additional steps" to rein in the industry.</p> <p>Obama's comments Wednesday represent one of the most <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/07/02/president-obama-sounds-ready-to-take-on-the-big-banks/" target="_blank">pointed critiques</a> he has made of the banking industry since he took office at the height of the financial crisis, and suggest that he may use his final two years in office to pursue further Wall Street reforms.</p> <p>The president singled out big bonuses as a central problem plaguing the financial system. Banks can still "generate a huge amount of bonuses by making some big [trading] bets," he said. "If you make a really bad bet, a lot of times you've already banked all your bonuses. You might end up leaving the shop, but in the meantime everybody else is left holding the bag."</p> <p>He did not offer specific policy cures, instead alluding to the need to "restructure" how banks work "internally."</p> <p>The massive Dodd-Frank financial reform law that Congress passed in 2010 was supposed to keep banks from taking excess risks and prevent another economic collapse. Obama pointed out that much of that law has already gone into effect. Banks now have to keep <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/06/capital-requirements-fdic-occ-fed-bank-basel-iii" target="_blank">more funds on hand</a> to guard against an economic downturn or a bad trading bet, he said. The law created a <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/02/elizabeth-warren-consumer-financial-protection-bureau" target="_blank">new agency</a> designed to prevent consumers from being duped by mortgage lenders, credit card companies, and student lenders. Last year, Wall Street regulators implemented a <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/12/volcker-rule-what-you-need-to-know" target="_blank">much-touted Dodd-Frank measure</a> aimed at limiting the high-risk trading by commercial banks that helped lead to the 2008 economic crash.</p> <p>But much is left to be done. Wall Street regulators have completed only <a href="http://www.davispolk.com/Dodd-Frank-Rulemaking-Progress-Report/" target="_blank">about half</a> of the banking rules mandated by Dodd-Frank. Scores of these regulations have been <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/07/sunlight-foundation-dodd-frank-meetings-cftc-treasury-federal-reserve" target="_blank">watered down</a> by financial industry lobbyists. Congress has made many <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/05/citigroup-hr-992-wall-street-swaps-regulatory-improvement-act" target="_blank">legislative</a> <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/04/democrats-derivatives-financial-reform-dodd-frank" target="_blank">attempts</a> to weaken Dodd-Frank. Despite efforts to ensure that banks are no longer too-big-to-fail&mdash;or so large that their collapse would endanger the entire economic system&mdash;the largest banks are <a href="http://www.marketplace.org/topics/economy/obama-middle-class-issues-drive-my-agenda" target="_blank">bigger</a> than they were during the financial crisis.</p> <p>Progressives fault the president for part of the lax response to the financial crisis. Under Obama's Justice Department, for example, no high-level bankers went to jail or faced criminal charges for actions that led to the financial crisis. And liberal critics slam Obama's economic team for focusing too heavily on bailing out banks after the crisis, and allowing the foreclosure crisis to fester.</p> <p>It is unclear how Obama will push through additional Wall Street reforms. He has <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2014/07/wall-street-barack-obama-108542.html" target="_blank">limited oversight</a> of rule-making, and banking legislation is not likely to get through the current sharply divided Congress.</p></body></html> MoJo Economy Obama Thu, 03 Jul 2014 15:18:28 +0000 Erika Eichelberger 255386 at http://www.motherjones.com We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for July 3, 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/07/were-still-war-photo-day-july-3-2014 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p class="rtecenter"><em>Soldiers of the 423rd Military Police Company march in a departure ceremony before training and placement at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (US Army Reserve Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Mark Bell)</em></p></body></html> MoJo Military Thu, 03 Jul 2014 13:26:56 +0000 255391 at http://www.motherjones.com We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for July 2, 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/07/were-still-war-photo-day-july-2-2014 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p class="rtecenter"><em>A group of US Marines learns proper blade handling techniques in the Philippines.(US Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl. Austin Schlosser.)</em></p></body></html> MoJo Military Wed, 02 Jul 2014 14:04:52 +0000 255321 at http://www.motherjones.com This Judge Just Destroyed the Stupidest Argument Against Gay Marriage Ever http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/07/judge-just-destroyed-stupidest-argument-against-gay-marriage-ever <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>On Tuesday, a federal judge ruled Kentucky&rsquo;s ban on same-sex marriages unconstitutional and issued a withering take-down of marriage equality opponents.</p> <p>Kentucky had argued that <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/05/kentucky-interracial-marriage-same-sex-birth-rate-ban" target="_blank">legalizing gay marriage would harm the state's birth rate. </a>"<a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/05/kentucky-interracial-marriage-same-sex-birth-rate-ban" target="_blank">These arguments</a> are not those of serious people," wrote US district judge John Heyburn. "Though it seems almost unnecessary to explain, here are the reasons why.</p> <p>"Even assuming the state has a legitimate interest in promoting procreation, the Court fails to see, and Defendant never explains, how the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage has any effect whatsoever on procreation among heterosexual spouses. Excluding same-sex couples from marriage does not change the number of heterosexual couples who choose to get married, the number who choose to have children, or the number of children they have.</p> <p>"The state&rsquo;s attempts to connect the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage to its interest in economic stability and in 'ensuring humanity&rsquo;s continued existence' are at best illogical and even bewildering&hellip;The Court can think of no other conceivable legitimate reason for Kentucky&rsquo;s laws excluding same-sex couples from marriage."</p> <p>Heyburn stayed his ruling while Kentucky appeals, meaning no same-sex marriages are taking place just yet.</p> <p>Read the full ruling:</p> <div class="DV-container" id="DV-viewer-1211523-a-federal-judge-just-struck-down-kentuckys-gay">&nbsp;</div> <script src="//s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/viewer/loader.js"></script><script> DV.load("//www.documentcloud.org/documents/1211523-a-federal-judge-just-struck-down-kentuckys-gay.js", { width: 630, height: 420, sidebar: false, container: "#DV-viewer-1211523-a-federal-judge-just-struck-down-kentuckys-gay" }); </script><noscript> <a href="http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1211523/a-federal-judge-just-struck-down-kentuckys-gay.pdf">A Federal Judge Just Struck Down Kentucky's Gay Marriage Ban (PDF)</a> <br><a href="http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1211523/a-federal-judge-just-struck-down-kentuckys-gay.txt">A Federal Judge Just Struck Down Kentucky's Gay Marriage Ban (Text)</a> </noscript></body></html> MoJo Gay Rights Tue, 01 Jul 2014 17:54:35 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss and Molly Redden 255266 at http://www.motherjones.com Here Are 4 Lawsuits That Could Inflict More Damage on Unions After Harris v. Quinn http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/07/union-harris-quinn-lawsuits-abood-supreme-court <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>On Monday, the Supreme Court's conservative justices on Monday defied some expectations by not decimating public-employee labor unions via their ruling in <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/05/supreme-court-harris-quinn-unions-right-to-work" style="line-height: 2em;"><em>Harris v. Quinn</em></a>. Given the opportunity to issue a sprawling decision that would overturn decades of precedent, and in the process kneecap the basic model of public-employee unionism, the five justices, led by Samuel Alito, instead issued a narrower decision. They ruled that home health care workers in Illinois are not full-fledged public workers and thus&nbsp;cannot be required to pay so-called fair-share fees to unions&mdash;money that goes toward the cost of union representation for all workers in a particular workplace.</p> <p>But we may be back in this same situation a year from now, with the Supreme Court holding the fate of public-employee unions in its hands. That's because there are a handful of ongoing lawsuits in courts around the country that pose <a href="http://onlabor.org/2014/02/28/cases-in-the-pipeline-challenges-to-union-security-clauses/">similar challenges</a> to unions as <em>Harris</em> did and that could end up before the Supreme Court. It's possible that one of these cases could do further damage to the labor movement&mdash;with the potential to wipe out the precedent set in 1977's <em>Abood v. Detroit Board of Education</em> decision. (In&nbsp;<em>Abood</em>, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of public-employee unions collecting fair-share fees from nonmembers to pay the costs of collective bargaining.)</p> <p>If you're looking for a common thread between these challenges, it's the National Right-to-Work Legal Foundation, the driving force behind many anti-union suits around the country. The foundation represented the plaintiffs in&nbsp;<em>Harris v. Quinn</em>, and it has <a href="http://www.sacbee.com/2014/02/05/6131723/seiu-foes-sue-to-end-opt-out-dues.html" target="_blank">provided</a> legal <a href="http://www.nrtw.org/en/press/2014/04/massachusetts-childcare-providers-lawsuit-04162014" target="_blank">help</a> in two of the following cases.&nbsp;</p> <p>Here's a snapshot of four cases that could be the next <em>Harris</em>:</p> <ul><li><strong><em>D'Agostino v. Patrick</em>:</strong> A group of home child care workers in Massachusetts filed suit after the state passed a law designating the SEIU as the exclusive union for those workers. Similar to the Illinois home care workers who brought the <em>Harris</em> suit, the Massachusetts workers claim their rights are being infringed on by being represented by SEIU, meaning union members and nonmembers pay dues in exchange for the benefits that come with union representation. This case is in the Federal District Court of Massachusetts.</li> <li><strong><em>Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association</em>:</strong> A group of public school teachers in California <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/01/prop-32-teachers-union_n_3692334.html">claim</a> that the requirement that they pay fair-share dues to the California Teachers Association infringes on their First Amendment rights. Their suit also seeks to ban the "opt-out" model of automatic dues deductions, in which teachers who pay dues must opt out to keep their money from funding union political activity. Instead, the plaintiffs want teachers to opt in to fund that political work. This case is with the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.</li> <li><strong><em>Parrish v. Dayton</em>:</strong> After Minnesota Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton signed a bill in May 2013 <a href="http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/story/22304027/day-care-union-how-will-vote-impact-minn-providers">allowing</a> the state's child care providers to vote to unionize,&nbsp;opponents <a href="http://www.minnesotafamilychildcare.com/updates.htm">filed</a> a suit similar to <em>Harris</em> to halt the new law. The suit was on hold pending the outcome of the <em>Harris</em> case. The plaintiffs hailed the Supreme Court's decision in <em>Harris</em>, and their&nbsp;lawyers now expect movement in <em>Parrish</em>.</li> <li><strong><em>Hamidi v. SEIU Local 1000</em>:</strong> This suit <a href="http://www.sacbee.com/2014/02/05/6131723/seiu-foes-sue-to-end-opt-out-dues.html" target="_blank">targets</a> the part of California law that allows public-employee unions to use the opt-out model for dues paying, as described above. If Hamidi, who works for the state's Franchise Tax Board, succeeds, his suit could take a bite out of <em>Abood</em>, which in part upheld the practice of opt-out clauses. Hamidi's case is currently in California district court.</li> </ul></body></html> MoJo Civil Liberties Economy Labor Top Stories Tue, 01 Jul 2014 16:05:44 +0000 Andy Kroll 255226 at http://www.motherjones.com We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for July 1, 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/07/were-still-war-photo-day-july-1-2014 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p class="rtecenter"><em>The USS Rushmore delivers equipment to a base in Hawaii to support Rim of the Pacific, the world's largest maritime exercise. (US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Dustin Knight.)</em></p></body></html> MoJo Military US Navy Tue, 01 Jul 2014 13:49:17 +0000 255221 at http://www.motherjones.com The IRS Is Coming For Your Offshore Bank Account http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/06/offshore-bank-accounts-fatca-irs <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>It's always been a pretty simple arrangement for America's superrich: Park your money in a country whose banks know how to keep a secret and then underreport your assets to the IRS. Without a way to independently verify how much money you have abroad, the taxman had to take your word for how much money you had stashed in a Swiss vault or in a sunny haven like the Cayman Islands. But as of yesterday, the US government will require foreign banks to report their American clients' assets, or face&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-06-30/offshore-tax-crackdown-opens-with-30-penalties-for-banks.html" target="_blank">30 percent</a> tax penalties on some offshore deposits.</p> <p>The move is part of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), which was introduced in 2010. Since then, more than 80 countries have agreed to open their ledger books to the feds. After some complicated last-minute negotiations, even <a href="http://www.themoscowtimes.com/business/article/putin-signs-last-minute-law-to-satisfy-fatca/502732.html" target="_blank">Russia</a> and <a href="http://www.scmp.com/business/banking-finance/article/1542111/beijing-back-united-states-over-new-fatca-law-against-tax" target="_blank">China</a> have started to cooperate.</p> <p>Companies and individuals have long used offshore banking to keep their taxes low: Last year, American multinationals kept an estimated $2 trillion (yes, with a "t") abroad, according to a <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/infographics/2014-03-12/offshore-profits-avoid-irs-reach.html" target="_blank">Bloomberg</a> analysis. In recent years, tech companies have become some of the most enthusiastic offshore depositors. Between 2010 and 2013, Microsoft more than doubled its foreign stockpile to $76.4 billion, while Apple increased its pot abroad more than fourfold to $54.4 billion.</p> <p>But while big US companies have stowed a massive pile of cash abroad, US banks hold even more money for foreign clients. <a href="http://www.taxjustice.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/The-Price-of-Offshore-Revisited-notes-2014.pdf" target="_blank">According to</a> Tax Justice Network, a British-based advocacy and research group, out of the $21 to $32 trillion kept offshore globally, about <a href="http://www.financialsecrecyindex.com/PDF/USA.pdf" target="_blank">22 percent</a> is kept in the United States&mdash;a fact that's not lost on countries complying with FATCA, some of whom are embracing the law because it means they'll <a href="http://www.china-briefing.com/news/2014/02/05/china-and-the-u-s-foreign-account-tax-compliance-act.html" target="_blank">get to learn</a> a few things about their own citizens' holdings in the US.</p></body></html> MoJo Corporations Economy Foreign Policy Tue, 01 Jul 2014 10:00:07 +0000 Alex Park 255181 at http://www.motherjones.com Here Is the Supreme Court's Decision in the Hobby Lobby Contraception Case http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/06/supreme-court-hobby-lobby-ruling-document <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>On Monday, the Supreme Court issued a decision in <em><a href="http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/sebelius-v-hobby-lobby-stores-inc/" target="_blank">Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc</a></em>. The court ruled that most companies do not have to cover contraception for their employees if the company has a religious objection to doing so. Here is the decision:</p> <div class="DV-container" id="DV-viewer-1210995-supreme-court-hobby-lobby-decision">&nbsp;</div> <script src="//s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/viewer/loader.js"></script><script> DV.load("//www.documentcloud.org/documents/1210995-supreme-court-hobby-lobby-decision.js", { width: 630, height: 800, sidebar: false, text: false, container: "#DV-viewer-1210995-supreme-court-hobby-lobby-decision" }); </script><noscript> <a href="http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1210995/supreme-court-hobby-lobby-decision.pdf">Supreme Court Hobby Lobby decision (PDF)</a> <br><a href="http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1210995/supreme-court-hobby-lobby-decision.txt">Supreme Court Hobby Lobby decision (Text)</a> </noscript></body></html> MoJo Supreme Court The Right Mon, 30 Jun 2014 14:46:52 +0000 254896 at http://www.motherjones.com Read the Supreme Court's Decision in The Blockbuster Labor Case Harris v. Quinn http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/06/read-supreme-court-decision-harris-quinn-unions <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><div id="DV-viewer-1210976-harris-v-quinn-scotus-decision" class="DV-container"></div> <script src="//s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/viewer/loader.js"></script><script> DV.load("//www.documentcloud.org/documents/1210976-harris-v-quinn-scotus-decision.js", { width: 640, height: 800, sidebar: false, text: false, pdf: false, container: "#DV-viewer-1210976-harris-v-quinn-scotus-decision" }); </script></body></html> MoJo Civil Liberties Health Care Labor Supreme Court Mon, 30 Jun 2014 14:13:06 +0000 254836 at http://www.motherjones.com We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for June 30, 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/06/were-still-war-photo-day-june-30-2014 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p class="rtecenter"><em>US Marines rappel from a helicopter in a training exercise at sea. (US Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Alisa Helin)</em></p></body></html> MoJo Military marines Mon, 30 Jun 2014 13:31:25 +0000 255111 at http://www.motherjones.com Map: These Are the Places Central American Child Migrants Are Fleeing http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/06/map-unaccompanied-child-migrants-central-america-honduras <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>A recently produced infographic from the Department of Homeland Security shows that the majority of unaccompanied children coming to the United States are from some of the most violent and impoverished parts of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.</p> <p></p><div id="mininav" class="inline-subnav"> <!-- header content --> <div id="mininav-header-content"> <div id="mininav-header-image"> <img src="/files/images/motherjones_mininav/migrants_225.jpg" width="220" border="0"></div> <div id="mininav-header-text"> <p class="mininav-header-text" style="margin: 0; padding: 0.75em; font-size: 11px; font-weight: bold; line-height: 1.2em; background-color: rgb(221, 221, 221);"> More <em>MoJo</em> coverage of the surge of unaccompanied child migrants from Central America. </p> </div> </div> <!-- linked stories --> <div id="mininav-linked-stories"> <ul><span id="linked-story-252671"> <li><a href="/politics/2014/06/child-migrants-surge-unaccompanied-central-america"> 70,000 Kids Will Show Up Alone at Our Border This Year. What Happens to Them?</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-252866"> <li><a href="/politics/2014/06/unaccompanied-kids-immigrants-deported-guatemala"> What's Next for the Children We Deport? </a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-253266"> <li><a href="/mojo/2014/06/surge-unaccompanied-child-migrant-shelters"> This Is Where the Government Houses the Tens of Thousands of Kids Who Get Caught Crossing the Border</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-255056"> <li><a href="/mojo/2014/06/map-unaccompanied-child-migrants-central-america-honduras"> Map: These Are the Places Central American Child Migrants Are Fleeing </a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-255201"> <li><a href="/politics/2014/06/unaccompanied-child-migrants-border-patrol-screening"> 4 Reasons Why Border Agents Shouldn't Get to Decide Whether Child Migrants Can Stay in the US</a></li> </span> </ul></div> <!-- footer content --> </div> <p>The map documents the origins of child migrants apprehended by the Border Patrol from January 1 to May 14. It was made public by <a href="http://thisisadamsblog.com/post/90066236084/u-s-customs-and-border-protection-has-produced" target="_blank">Adam Isaacson</a> of the Washington Office on Latin America, a human rights organization, and it includes the following analysis about the surge in child migrants:</p> <blockquote> <p>&hellip;Many Guatemalan children come from rural areas, indicating that they are probably seeking economic opportunities in the US. Salvadoran and Honduran children, on the other hand, come from extremely violent regions where they probably perceive the risk of traveling alone to the US preferable to remaining at home.</p> </blockquote> <p>This echoes what I found in my <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/06/child-migrants-surge-unaccompanied-central-america" target="_blank">yearlong investigation</a> into the explosion of unaccompanied child migrants arriving to the United States. As I wrote in the July/August issue of <em>Mother Jones</em>:</p> <blockquote> <p>Although some have traveled from as <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/documents/1180407-unaccompanied-apprehensions" target="_blank">far away as Sri Lanka and Tanzania</a>, the bulk are minors from Mexico and from Central America's so-called Northern Triangle&mdash;Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, which together <a href="http://unhcrwashington.org/children" target="_blank">account for 74 percent of the surge</a>. Long plagued by instability and unrest, these countries have grown especially dangerous in recent years: Honduras imploded following a military coup in 2009 and now has the <a href="http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/VC.IHR.PSRC.P5?order=wbapi_data_value_2011+wbapi_data_value+wbapi_data_value-last&amp;sort=desc" target="_blank">world's highest murder rate</a>. El Salvador has the second-highest, despite the <a href="http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/up-front/posts/2013/06/05-el-salvador-gang-truce-negroponte" target="_blank">2012 gang truce</a> between Mara Salvatrucha and Barrio 18. Guatemala, new territory for the Zetas cartel, has the fifth-highest murder rate; meanwhile, the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/06/science/earth/in-fields-and-markets-guatemalans-feel-squeeze-of-biofuel-demand.html?_r=0" target="_blank">cost of tortillas has doubled</a> as corn prices have skyrocketed due to increased American ethanol production (Guatemala imports half of its corn) and the conversion of farmland to sugarcane and oil palm for biofuel.</p> </blockquote> <p>Below is a more granular look at where kids are coming from, also produced by DHS. San Pedro Sula, the world's <a href="http://world.time.com/2014/02/17/honduras-is-still-the-murder-capital-of-the-world/" target="_blank">most violent city</a>, was home to the largest number of child migrants caught by the Border Patrol (more than 2,500). Honduras' capital, Tegucigalpa, sent the second-most kids, fewer than 1,000.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/uac%20by%20muni.png"></div> <p>&nbsp;</p></body></html> MoJo Maps Crime and Justice Immigration International child migrants Fri, 27 Jun 2014 19:48:15 +0000 Ian Gordon 255056 at http://www.motherjones.com We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for June 27, 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/06/were-still-war-photo-day-june-27-2014 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p class="rtecenter"><em>US Marine Corps recruits go through chemical warfare defense training. (US Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Octavia Davis)</em></p></body></html> MoJo Military marines Fri, 27 Jun 2014 12:59:18 +0000 255001 at http://www.motherjones.com Unions Should Brace Themselves for a Major Supreme Court Loss http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/06/samuel-alito-harris-quinn-supreme-court-union <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>It's official: The Supreme Court will wait until Monday, the final day of the current term, to issue its decision in <em>Harris v. Quinn</em>. As <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/05/supreme-court-harris-quinn-unions-right-to-work">I explained in May</a>, <em>Harris</em> is a blockbuster case that could, in a worst-case scenario, wipe public-employee unions such as <a href="http://www.seiu.org" target="_blank">SEIU</a> and <a href="http://www.afscme.org">AFSCME</a> off the map. And the chances of a damaging decision in <em>Harris</em> just increased&mdash;here's why.</p> <p>Heading into Thursday, the Supreme Court had <em>Harris</em> and three other cases left to decide. The justices chose to issue their opinions concerning <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/06/supreme-court-recess-appointments-obama-noel-canning" target="_blank">presidential recess appointments</a> (<em>Noel Canning v. National Labor Relations Board</em>) and so-called buffer zones keeping protesters at a distance from abortion clinics (<em>McCullen v. Coakley</em>). Justice Stephen Breyer, a liberal member of the court, wrote the <em>Canning</em> opinion; Chief Justice John Roberts, a conservative, took the lead in <em>McCullen</em>.</p> <p>This makes it more likely that Justice Samuel Alito, who we've yet to hear much from, will write the opinion in <em>Harris</em>, which points to bad news for public-employee unions. "There's almost no question [Justice] Alito has this opinion unless he lost his majority along way," <a href="https://twitter.com/rickhasen/status/482171260172914688" target="_blank">tweets</a> Rick Hasen, a University of California-Irvine law professor. "Anti-union is his signature issue."</p> <p>Labor officials can only hope Hasen is wrong. Alito is strongly anti-union. In the 2012 case <em>Knox v. SEIU</em>, Alito <a href="http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/06/justices-at-work/">essentially invited</a> labor's foes to challenge the basic model of public-employee unionism, in which non-union employees can be made to pay dues to a union for bargaining on their behalf, representing them in grievance issues, etc. <em>Harris </em>makes such a challenge; it's what Alito asked for.</p> <p>Unions like to call those non-member payments "fair share" dues. If it's the union's job, they reason, to represent all members and nonmembers in a unionized workplace, then all those workers should pay their fair share for that representation. Conservatives&mdash;and Alito&mdash;say fair-share fees violate the First Amendment rights of non-union workers.</p> <p>The outcome in Harris could cut a number of ways. The Supreme Court could uphold the lower court's decision dismissing the suit&mdash;a big union victory. It could strike down fair share fees&mdash;the equivalent of Congress passing a national right-to-work bill. (Right-to-work laws ban unions from collecting those fair-share fees from non-members.) Public-employee unions would survive that decision, but it would be a&nbsp;blow. The court could also effectively enact right-to-work nationwide <em>and</em> kneecap a union's ability to exclusively represent employees in a unionized workplace. That would be catastrophic for public-employee unions.</p> <p>If there's any judge who might go that far, it would be Samuel Alito.</p></body></html> MoJo Civil Liberties Economy Labor Supreme Court Top Stories Thu, 26 Jun 2014 17:04:41 +0000 Andy Kroll 254926 at http://www.motherjones.com