The Supreme Court has decided it will hear the appeal from a Lakewood baker who, citing his First Amendment right of religious freedom, refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple. The couple, David Mulling and Charlie Craig, sued Jack Phillips, of Masterpiece Cakeshop, after he refused to create a cake for their wedding reception. Colorado’s civil rights commission and courts ruled in favor of the couple citing the state’s anti-discrimination law. The New York Times calls the case “a major test of a clash between laws that ban businesses open to the public from discriminating based on sexual orientation and claims of religious freedom.”
Republicans leaders semi-desperately push for a quick vote approving the bill that would basically repeal Obamacare, an increasing number of Republicans senators have, well, “concerns.” But expressing “concerns” and voting against the bill may be two different things. What we do know is that the CBO score on the bill is expected today or tomorrow, and then the stakes may grow just that much higher. Via The New York Times.
Now that the bill is out and some people have actually even read it, Vox has come up with the four losers and two winners. The biggest winner is rich people. The biggest loser would be the working poor, just edging out the disabled, the elderly and everyone else who relies on Medicaid.
Amy Davidson writes in The New Yorker that the Senate healthcare bill may be shocking morally, but it is perfectly in line with the politics of the day.
From The Louisville Courier-Journal: Mitch McConnell keeps saying that the Senate’s healthcare bill strengthens Medicaid when it clearly does not. Do the 470,000 Kentuckian covered by the Obamacare Medicaid expansion understand that? And if they don’t, what will happen when they do?
From The National Review: On the other hand, it’s clear that Republican voters will punish the party if the Senate doesn’t do something about Obamacare.
When Barack Obama learned that Vladimir Putin was directly involved in trying to throw the election to Donald Trump, he looked for a way to punish Putin without actually helping Putin achieve his goal. Let’s just say it didn’t work out so well. Another Russia blockbuster via The Washington Post.
Trump says he just learned that Obama has long known about Russia’s meddling in the 2016 campaign when, in fact, everyone has known that for months. And so he admits in a tweet that the Russian interference was not a hoax, but says Obama failed to reveal what he knew because he was trying to protect Hillary Clinton. Yes, that’s what he said. Via Slate.
Former Reagan aide Bruce Bartlett writes in Politico that Trump is what happens when a political party abandons ideas. It’s also what happens when a party spends 30 years appealing to the lowest common denominator.
Meanwhile, The Los Angeles Times reports that recent polling, not to mention the special elections, suggests Trump’s unpopularity may be not enough for Democrats to win back the House in 2018. They also have to take on Republicans directly to beat them. Or as Dan Balz puts it in The Washington Post, the Democrats still haven’t decided on a winning message.
Why Grenfell Tower burned: Regulators put cost ahead of safety. Britain allowed practices that are forbidden in the United States and most of Europe. Via The New York Times.