Cocktail Chatter

Obamacare, Nora Ephron, and BuzzFeed’s Secrets

The week’s most interesting Slate stories.

President Barack Obama walks across the South Lawn before boarding Marine One and departing the White House June 28, 2012 in Washington, DC.

Photograph by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Supreme Court Year in Review” by staff and contributors. After the Supreme Court announced its decision to largely uphold the Affordable Care Act, Slate’s legal experts discussed the implications of the historic decision. Emily Bazelon, Walter Dellinger, and Dahlia Lithwick explored how Chief Justice Roberts’ decision to side with the court’s four liberals saved Obamacare and set a new legacy for the court, while Richard Posner and Jack Balkin discussed the Commerce Clause, the tax argument, and the court’s stance on the nuances of the health care bill.

While Democrats are heralding the  decision as an epic victory, others caution against too much fanfare. In “Don’t Celebrate Yet,“ Darshak Sanghavi explains how the decision will actually make extending health care to America’s poorest citizens even more difficult. Tom Scocca says that Robert’s move to uphold healthcare guts the Commerce Clause and so is a victory for the right in “Obama Wins the Battle, Roberts Wins the War.” And in “Did Obama Just Get His Mojo Back?” John Dickerson explains that, while the court’s decision was a victory for the president, Obama isn’t going to waste time dwelling on it. Read all of Slate’s coverage on the court’s decision to uphold the ACA here.

One Victory, No Cheers: House Republicans hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress—but they can’t celebrate” by David Weigel. Thursday, the House of Representativesvoted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for ignoring a subpoena and refusing to submit documents related to Congress’ “Fast and Furious” investigation. Some tout the move as being politically motivated, but Weigel notes that even in victory, Republicans have little cause for celebration.

In this mont’s installment of the Slate Book Review, Matt Taibbi presents an excerpt of his introduction to the 40th edition of Fear and Loathing in Fear and Loathing 40 Years Later.” Uzodinma Iweala looks at a lost African classic in “I Only Want a Little Authenticity!” Giving a new spin to an age-old genre, Campbell Robertson looks at the cartoons of war correspondent Joe Sacco in “Drawing in the Dark.” And the Audio Book Club can’t resist the temptation of 50 Shades of Grey.

How To Make a Viral Hit in Four Easy Steps: Want to know the secret to BuzzFeed’s monster online success? Click here!” by Farhad Manjoo. When BuzzFeed published “21 Pictures That Will Restore Your Faith in Humanity” last week, the post became a viral sensation, picking up more than 2 million likes on Facebook. Manjoo, after kicking himself for not coming up with the idea first, shares the secrets behind BuzzFeed’s success: finding stuff elsewhere on the Internet and repackaging it.

Why Don’t Christians Have To Get Circumcised? The other Abrahamic religions both do” by Brian Palmer. On Tuesday, a German court ruled to ban infant circumcision for religious reasons, citing violation of bodily integrity. Circumcision is a practice observed by Muslims and Jews, but not always by Christians. Why not? The apostle Paul thought mimicking the Jews was indicative of a lack of faith in Christ.

Growing Up With Nora Ephron” by Emily Yoffe. Nora Ephron, award-winning screenwriter, journalist, and writer, died Tuesday night due to complications from a rare blood disorder. Yoffe, who admits that she largely credits Ephron’s influence for her own career choice, looks back at writer’s impact on her life and the lasting effect of Ephron’s wisdom.