So just some simple political links tonight. Sigh, it used to be we’d feel like this when we’d gone more than 30, but we’re out of condition.
•A detailed look at how going to a hospital in your insurer’s network can slap you with big out-of-network bills.
•A proposed bill in Russia would penalize anyone who engages in a “public demonstration of personal perverted sexual preferences in public places” At the link, Human Rights Watch condemns not only the principle of the bill (which the backers say is to stop the spread of homosexuality) but the vagueness with which it’s phrased.
•A cop tasers an unarmed man who was running from him, then shoots him as he’s writhing on the ground because she thought he might have a weapon (his hands are quite visibly empty and not doing anything at the time she fires). The jury sided with the cop, despite the video, and the local police union has condemned the public for “demonizing” cops when they have to make split-second decisions.
This shows simply recording cops won’t solve the problem of excessive force: cops think they’re justified if they imagine danger, and juries frequently defer. And FBI Director Comey to the contrary, there’s no evidence cops are holding back because of criticism from the public. And frankly, in cases like the one above, I wish they would hold back.
And here are four cases where cops shot themselves or other officers, but blamed it on someone else.
•The Affordable Care Act allows religious nonprofits to opt out of providing birth control, but lets employees get coverage anyway. The Supreme Court is going to hear cases involving nonprofits who don’t want ACA-coverage for their employees. According to the nonprofits, just saying “We don’t want to provide birth control” compromises their beliefs because it’s the first step to the employees getting coverage. The Scotusblog provides more detail.
As I’ve said before, this sort of thing is never about religious freedom, it’s about the right of some religious conservatives to impose their conscience on everyone else. And of course, about women having sex.
•Data caps at Comcast have nothing to do with some users congesting the Internet — and a leaked Comcast document confirms it.
•It’s a first world problem, but I’m happy the government is cracking down on hotels and convention centers that block customers wi-fi hot spots.
•Two of the country’s largest employee background-check services have been fined $13 million for getting the facts wrong.
•A running topic on the Lawyers, Guns and Money blog is that a number of for-profit law schools are taking federal education-loan money from students with no hope of passing the bar. Here the blog bites back against someone who insists they’re trying to kill the American dream!