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Two weeks ago, before the decision was handed down, John Oliver showed why the Hobby Lobby case was so mind-numbingly irrational on so many fronts.

What these companies are arguing is that the sincerity of their beliefs should allow them a line item veto over federal law. But government is not an à la carte system where you can pick and choose based on your beliefs. Taxation is more of an all you can eat salad bar. [...]

If you really want to be treated like a person, corporations, then guess what? Paying for things you don't like is what it feels like to be one. In fact, if corporations want to be people, they should have to take the rough with the smooth. For a start, companies should only get to have the average lifespan of a person, 79 years. 75 if they're based in Mississippi. [...]

And for GM, who've admitted some responsibility for the deaths of a minimum of 13 people, I've got some bad news for you. People who do that generally don't get off with a fucking fine.

Video and full transcript below the fold.


Tomorrow is scheduled to be the last day of the Supreme Court's current term.  After that, the only two cases they'll be considering are Pool Noodle vs. Pool Noodle, and Mouth vs. Margarita.

But before they go, they've got two decisions left to deliver, including this one.

FOX NEWS: The biggest one we're waiting on at this point is Hobby Lobby.  This is the challenge to the administration's HHS contraception mandate.
That's right, Hobby Lobby, America's one-stop source for glitter and googly eyes, could soon also be America's leading source of landmark binding legal precedence.  Hobby Lobby's owners say that Obamacare's contraception mandate conflicts with their Christian faith.  Which means the whole case boils down to one fundamental question.
PETE WILLIAMS: Can a business, a for-profit corporation, claim it has freedom of religion?

CHRIS JANSING: Do for-profit corporations have religious rights?

ANDREW NAPOLITANO: Do corporations have religious liberties, or do just individuals?

PBS: Are corporations a person able to exercise religious rights?

Uh, no.  No they're not.  OK, are we done?  We done here?  Are we done?  I feel like we're done.  (wild audience cheering and applause)

Apparently we're not done.  Because thanks to the Citizens United ruling in which corporations were deemed to have the same free speech rights as people, it is now a possibility they may get religious rights as well.  And if they do, it's going to be pretty easy to guess which religions they'll choose.  Einstein Bros., obviously Jewish.

Although, they do sell bacon and are open on Saturdays, so let's say more culturally Jewish than observant.  Meanwhile, Ben & Jerry's, clearly Buddhist.  Although not "too" Buddhist, or they'd be selling you pints of Cookies & Nothingness.

And Taco Bell, I'm presuming, is Hindu, because you know there's no fucking beef in those things.  (audience laughter and applause)

But in the case of Hobby Lobby, the company's founders are the devoutly Christian Green family.  And to be fair, their faith has led them to do some genuinely admirable things.

STEVE GREEN: We believe that the principles that are taught scripturally are what we should operate our lives by, and so it naturally flows over into the business.

REPORTER: The company pays full-time entry-level employees 90% above minimum wage, and devotes a very large portion of its profits to a broad array of charities.

Well that's fantastic.  Although I wouldn't get on too high a horse about the moral high ground of your company, given that a solid chunk of your customer base are Etsy sellers buying yarn to make handmade cock-and-ball cozies,

and teenagers purchasing top quality glue for huffing.

Oh really, Bobby?  You're into model airplanes, are you?  Build one for me right now!  You can't, can you, boy?  You're killing your mother!  You're killing her, Bobby!  (audience laughter)

But here's the thing.  While Hobby Lobby's owners are seemingly sincere in their beliefs, their sincerity isn't really the point.  Just as it isn't the point with the other company which is also part of this decision.

LUKE RUSSERT: Conestoga Wood, a company that makes parts for kitchen cabinets, is owned by a Pennsylvania-based Hahn family.  They are Mennonites.
That's right.  In addition to Hobby Lobby, the government is also being sued by Mennonites — or as I believe they're called, the Diet Amish.  (audience laughter)  The Mennonites, they're cabinet-making pacifists who argue that they don't want to pay for something that could take a human life.  But under that logic, that is why I personally refuse to pay for Mennonite cabinets, because Jason Bourne could conceivably beat someone to death with one of those things.

(audience laughter)

What these companies are arguing is that the sincerity of their beliefs should allow them a line item veto over federal law.  But government is not an à la carte system where you can pick and choose based on your beliefs.  Taxation is more of an all you can eat salad bar.

You don't get to show up and go, "Look, I know it costs $10.99, but I'm only paying $7.50 cuz I have a moral objection to beets."

Because of course you do, they're an abomination of a root vegetable!  (audience applause)  Their bland flavor and slimy texture is an affront unto the Lord!

And if you can persuade enough people of that, then you can have a referendum to remove beets from the salad bar in the future.  But until such time, you're paying for those fucking beets!

Because everyone has their own version of beets.

FOX NEWS GUEST: I don't want my tax dollars paying for abortions.

KIT KITTREDGE, CODE PINK: I don't want my tax dollars in support of this Israeli policy.

TOM DOLAN, NYC FIREFIGHTER: I don't want my tax dollars spent to support this mosque.

JACK CAFFERTY: I don't want my tax money being used to buy illegal drugs.

FOX NEWS: A shrimp running on a treadmill.  Not sure it's the best use of my tax dollars right now.

ERIC BOLLING: I'm sure Pam in Kansas doesn't want her tax dollars spent on some of the things that they're spending it on, especially Mexican prostitutes.

Whoa, whoa!  (shocked audience laughter)  Look, OK, I can see your point on the prostitution, but those fat shrimp need help.

You think they like being called "jumbo"?  They're crying inside.  (audience laughter)

If you really want to be treated like a person, corporations, then guess what?  Paying for things you don't like is what it feels like to be one.  In fact, if corporations want to be people, they should have to take the rough with the smooth.  For a start, companies should only get to have the average lifespan of a person, 79 years.  75 if they're based in Mississippi.

Oh, and female companies?  You only get to make 83 cents on the dollar.  Sorry, Wendy.  I guess it's just that Burger King must've worked harder.

And that's just the big stuff.  There's also the little annoyances of being human.  So Mr. Peanut, I hope you enjoy attending your friend's shitty improv shows,

and Starbucks, get ready to have your name spelled "Starburst" on your coffee cups.

And for GM, who've admitted some responsibility for the deaths of a minimum of 13 people, I've got some bad news for you.  People who do that generally don't get off with a fucking fine.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 05:53 AM PDT.

Also republished by Electronic America: Progressives Film, music & Arts Group.

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