Saturday, June 27, 2015

End of June Weekend Links

Well, it's been an interesting week in Charleston and at the Supreme Court.  I'll make a little SCOTUS prediction here: John Roberts will write the majority opinion ruling in favor of the Arizona Legislature in the redistricting case on Monday.  I think he's the Republican political mastermind of the Court, and he knows that gerrymandering and voter suppression are keys to Republican political success.  Take a look at the Obamacare, gay marriage and voting cases in the past few years.  In NFIB v. Sebelius and King v. Burwell, he wrote the majority opinion which saved Obamacare from Republicans, and saved Republicans from themselves.  The Obamacare opposition is a political winner in the sticks, but an actual win would be disastrous for Republicans.  On United States v. Windsor, and Obergefell v. Hodges he writes the dissent for the anti-gay marriage lost cause crowd, winning back some of the conservatives who hated on him for the Obamacare opinions.  Finally, in Shelby County v. Holder, and I believe in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, Roberts will be the majority voice in protecting Republican special interests and minority rule against the onslaught of democracy (he also wrote a concurrence in Citizens United v. FEC, which also massively advantaged ultra-wealthy Republicans and damaged the interests of common citizens) and demographic change, which are the greatest threats to entrenched power.  Interestingly, if that is the case, he'll have argued in three consecutive decision days for the intent of democratically-elected legislators (King), against "activist judges" supposedly short-circuiting the democratic process (Obergefell) and for the supremacy of the legislature in overruling the (most-purely) democratic (referendum) process (Arizona Legislature).  It seems to be pretty flexible logic that continuously advances the power structure of the oligarchy in less-attention grabbing cases while allowing a few bones to be thrown in the direction of social welfare and social progress in the higher profile cases.
Update: Also significant Monday will be how the court rules on Michigan v. EPA.
Further update: I was wrong about the redistricting case, but the Court did rule against EPA.
After that little bit of armchair legal and political analysis, here are some stories I think might be of interest:

The First Pitch: Race, Redemption and American Legion Baseball - Vice Sports

Little League, Big Trouble - SBNation

A Toast To Butter Sculpture, The Art That Melts The Heart Of The Masses - The Salt.  I love me some butter sculpture.

The Sihks who saved Parmesan - BBC

The burger that could fix fast food - Yahoo

Can Craft Beer Survive AB InBev? - Bloomberg

Troubled Delta System Is California's Water Battleground - New York Times and How A Historic Blunder Helped Create The Water Crisis In The West - NPR

How Israel defies drought - Christian Science Monitor

The value of land - Pieria

The Increasing Scarcity of Helium - priceonomics

FedEx's New Electric Trucks Get a Boost From Diesel Turbines - Wired.  From last year, but interesting, and I missed it then.

Silicon Valley is a lie - GQ

L.A. to Nepal: America's first responders, California Task Force Two follows disaster around the world - The California Sunday Magazine

Camming Is Not Like Any Other Kind of Sex Work - The Stranger

Right-Wing Extremism Kills More Americans Than Islamic Terrorism.  So Why Aren't We More Afraid of It - Pacific Standard.  Because white people rarely terrorize white people?

 It Is Accomplished - Andrew Sullivan

Charleston and the Age of Obama - The New Yorker

Boeing Will Pay High Price For McNerney's Mistake of Treating Aviation Like It Was Any Other Industry - Forbes.  Forbes?  Wow.

Where Same-Sex Couples Live - The Upshot.  Northern Wisconsin?  Wouldn't have guessed that (maybe Monty Python's Lumberjack song was on the money).

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