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Speaker of the House John Boehner (L) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va) unveil JOBS Act on Capitol Hill in Washington, February 28, 2012.   ..REUTERS/Larry Downing       (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS EMPLOYMENT)
And if you're really crazy, you can make it here.
It's been Stupid News Month in legislative America, presumably because the elections are over and a new batch of crackpots (or, let's face it, more often the same set of crackpots) have successfully moved into their new offices and gotten that whole ugly mess of having to appear reasonable behind them. Thus, we get a bunch of crazy bills that for the most part aren't going anywhere, coupled with another bunch of crazy bills (usually about womenfolk sexytimes or how certain kinds of scientists are tools of the devil) that probably are going somewhere, because those particular kinds of crazy have a whole movement behind them.

This Politico breakdown of some of the happenings in our various states is mixed, I think. A California law saying that police can't use the fact that you're carrying a condom in your purse as evidence you are probably a hooker seems actually a pretty good idea, because holy crap apparently police can do that? A law to allow miniature horses to be used as seeing eye, er, horses? Fine with me. A Montana law legalizing (licensed) salvaging of roadkill deer for meat, and allowing wounded but not dead ones to be finished off? Sure, whatever. Just because a law deals with an unusual problem doesn't automatically make it a foolish law.

The remainder of the bills fall into two camps. There's the anti-science or pro-my-religion-only bills, many of which we've covered here. An Oklahoma legislative yahoo has introduced yet another bill trying to assert creationism as equally valid to any of that science-stuff we're teaching our youngsters, or at least equal enough for you to get a good grade on your term paper if you say "God did it" with sufficient moral force. There's the Mississippi ban against the creation of human-animal hybrids, which seems to exist solely as a setup for any number of inappropriate jokes about Mississippi. I'll toss Virginia crackpot Bob Marshall's bill for Virginia to mint its own currency in that pile as well, simply because the goldbugs are a religion unto themselves.

And then there's the worst bills of all, the narcissistic nothing bills. They don't have a chance of passing, and if they did pass they'd be found to be unconstitutional by the courts in less time than it'd take to actually print the subsequent court decision out. All they do is waste legislative time and resources, intentionally, so that some twit with a chip on his shoulder can wag his finger and say he "proved his point," where "his point" was usually either indecipherable or something that any reasonable person seeking reelection really oughtn't confess to out loud. In this camp we can toss Mike Leara's Missouri bill making it a felony for other legislators to propose gun safety laws, which seems to exist solely to prove that Mike Leara does not know how to gubbern and should be nowhere near the building. And Idaho Republican John Goedde introduced a bill putting Ayn Rand's doorstop classic Atlas Shrugged on the high school reading list, apparently in an attempt to increase teen suicide rates in his state; this one, too, was done simply to prove he could.

I'd rank these bills as especially egregious simply because even the people who introduced them don't expect them to pass, don't particularly care if they pass, and/or (in Leara's case) know full well they'd be struck down immediately if they did pass, but they're still willing to piss away legislative time, staff and resources on the things purely as publicity stunt. Narcissistic is the most polite way of putting it; there are certainly others.

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Comment Preferences

  •  here's some unbelievable fine print (9+ / 0-)

    on Indiana's proposed 2 vaginal probe legislation.

    'Instead, focus for now on Senate Bill 489, which also cleared the same Indiana Senate committee on Wednesday. Among its provisions: Clinics would need to provide consent forms - ones that are already required - in color. "Why color?" Sen. Mike Young, the bill's sponsor, was asked. According to an account from Indianapolis Star reporter Mary Beth Schneider, Young said that color would be more realistic.

    The fine for using plain, black and white - less realistic, apparently - documents: $10,000.

    All of this from legislators who campaigned on less red tape.

    Now that you've set all of that aside, ask this: Is this legislature really up for this debate? Or is it just more chipping away at women's health care while dancing around the bigger issues?

    Paperwork in color. Wow.'


    I prefer pie on a plate, sometimes with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

    by dear occupant on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 04:14:06 PM PST

  •  What do I think of this story? (12+ / 0-)

    Besides, any story with this in it, deserves to be read widely:

    "because holy crap apparently police can do that?"

    "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization" -- me

    by Angie in WA State on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 04:15:00 PM PST

  •  I never thought I would long for the days (9+ / 0-)

    when watching the politicians in D.C. do their thing was boring, but it really used to be - at least most of the time.  Now I'm in a permanent state of outrage from paying attention to these bozos and exhausted by the effort.

    "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

    by SueDe on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 04:23:11 PM PST

  •  ALso the ultrasound has to have superimposed (5+ / 0-)

    soundtrack of screams and pleas for mercy by a 3-year-old Equity actor.

  •  If Politico told me the Earth was round (6+ / 0-)

    I'd have to try to demonstrate that it is not. They are wholly without credibility.

    "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

    by MargaretPOA on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 04:27:58 PM PST

  •  There's a sitcom in here (4+ / 0-)

    ...just waiting for an Emmy.

    Denial is a drug.

    by Pluto on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 04:29:00 PM PST

  •  Maybe one of these assholes (5+ / 0-)

    will do the nation a backdoor solid and just out and out try and make it a felony to vote Democratic, or worse, to make it a felony to vote while being female, gay, or a member of a minority community that doesn't vote GOP.

    America... here's your slap in the face to go along with the Sequester kick in the stomach... this is who these people are. You vote for this, you get this.

    Way to make the Andy Breitbart wing of the Supreme Court's attempt at potentially crippling or killing off the Voting Rights Act extra difficult for Conservatism and the GOP to both accomplish and to weasel out of or spin.

    The tortured David Brooks column explaining how its bad, but not as bad as you think, and might actually be good for the GOP's image, might be a classic.

    I am from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner wing of the Democratic Party

    by LeftHandedMan on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 04:32:07 PM PST

  •  I'd like to register a qualified dissent (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dogs are fuzzy

    What's wrong with the last category of bills is solely that they're bad bills, not that they have no chance of passing.  After all, progressive legislation has no chance of passing in a majority of our legislative bodies, starting with that big one in DC, but I wouldn't say it's narcissistic to introduce such bills.

    I'd rank these bills as especially egregious simply because even the people who introduced them don't expect them to pass, don't particularly care if they pass, and/or (in Leara's case) know full well they'd be struck down immediately if they did pass, but they're still willing to piss away legislative time, staff and resources on the things purely as publicity stunt. Narcissistic is the most polite way of putting it; there are certainly others.

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 04:32:35 PM PST

  •  Regarding the Idaho bill (10+ / 0-)

    I wrote a story up on this a few weeks ago. Atlas Shrugged was not just suggested for the reading list, it was to be a requirement. And students unable to graduate unless they could pass a test on it. Goedde admitted that he introduced the bill jst to make a point, though. That point being that he's an idiot, IMO. ;)

    Thank your stars you're not that way/Turn your back and walk away/Don't even pause and ask them why/Turn around and say 'goodbye'/Just wish them well.....

    by Purple Priestess on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 04:37:22 PM PST

  •  Legislatin' in America (4+ / 0-)

    There's no doubt left in my mind that Republicans are downright insane!

    •  Actually it's their paymasters who are insane. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      spritegeezer, hnichols

      These sycophants are vying for money.  
      Money from the sociopath Koch's, Peterson's, de Vos', Friese's, Simmons' and all the other insane billionaires who have captured the republicants.

      These attempts at legislation are no more than a concerted effort to distract the weak minded so the billionaires can effectively stop legitimate government and to steal as much labor production as possible.

      Stop these billionaires and civilization will survive.
      It's the billionaires, all else is a distraction!

      Don't believe everything you think.

      by BrianParker14 on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 05:07:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What gets me (5+ / 0-)

    is the idea that just reading Atlas Shrugged is enough to make someone a conservative.

    I confess.  I haven't read it.  I tried, though.  Honestly.  But after plowing through page after page of overwritten nonsense, I just had to give up.  Am I the only one?

    Really.  Our students, even in Missouri, can't all be that stupid.  Unless  they are destined to become either politicians or television commentators.

    In Washington, whenever anyone does something wrong, everyone else gets punished.

    by Noziglia on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 04:40:27 PM PST

    •  I read it over a summer (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      irishwitch, bear83, hnichols, tb mare

      I think I was going into 9th grade. I did get through the entire book, but I confess that I skipped huge swaths of it (like the 60 page speech by Dabney).
      Even as young as I was, I thought it was schlocky.

      “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

      by skohayes on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 04:58:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I was supposed to read it (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      irishwitch, hnichols, tb mare

      for high school English...but I couldn't get through it either. My teacher allowed me to substitute another book of my choosing, subject to his approval, if I wrote a critique of what I did read of Atlas Shrugged. (I wasn't quite as witty as Dorothy Parker who said of the book: "This is a book not to be taken lightly. Rather, it should be thrown with great force.") And that's how I got to read Tom Wolfe's The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, which got me to see many of Ken Kesey's writings in a new light.

      There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

      by Cali Scribe on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 04:59:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  You missed SC's attempt to outlaw US currency (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and to return the state to the gold standard and print their own currency or was that year before last.  To be sure Nikki and her cronies have done something worthy of note.

    Where is GA; their legislators used to be depended upon for a bunch of nutty laws?  did sanity suddenly descend like a cloud of mustard gas over the state?

  •  Any mention of "animal-human hybrids" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pluto, hnichols

    requires the posting of this video; Sam Brownback made a similar proposal back in 2009:

    There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

    by Cali Scribe on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 04:53:07 PM PST

  •  How does anyone get twisted into (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pluto, cybersaur, hnichols, tb mare

    being a shitbag at this level. Rapture already and leave the rest of us the fuck alone.

    I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country. Thomas Jefferson

    by Sam Sara on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 04:54:05 PM PST

  •  no nipples in North Carolina law (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pluto, bear83, Ender, cybersaur, hnichols, tb mare

    They are making it a law that women can't show their naked breasts in a public demonstration(strip bars are still cool) but the punishment is 6 months in jail - more than a first offense DUI. I believe Asheville is the only place public protest involves nakedness, but if they start arresting at our Halloween festivities here in Chapel Hill, there won't be jails enough to hold them.
    Nothing about jobs, yet. But they are trying to get rid of estate taxes, too.

    George W. Bush: the worst Republican president SO FAR.

    by Chun Yang on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 05:01:53 PM PST

    •  Yes, but they have an offset for inheritance taxes (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hnichols, Chun Yang, tb mare

      paid by 123 wealthy NC families last year - cutting out the state Earned Income Tax Credit, claimed by 900,000 NC taxpayers last year.

      You see, it's all a delicate balancing act...

      Filibuster reform, 2013 - woulda, coulda, shoulda.

      by bear83 on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 05:44:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  On the topic of government gone rogue (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hnichols, tb mare

    ...the Sequester ranks up there in the Hall of Legislatin' Fame. Charles Blow at the   NYT had a pretty wry take on it:

    Well, here we go again. Another season, another manufactured, self-inflicted, completely preventable crisis of government. This time it’s the sequester.

    According to the Bipartisan Policy Center, “Our estimate of approximately one million lost jobs due to sequester remains our base case if a full sequester occurs as scheduled on March 1.”

    So once again the American people are caught in the middle of a game of chicken between Democrats, who rightly warn that the sky could fall, and Republicans, who want to burn the coop.


    Erskine Bowles, the former White House chief of staff for Bill Clinton, and the Bowles half of the Simpson-Bowles Commission, said of impending cuts: “They are dumb and they are stupid, stupid, stupid. They are inane.”

    And yet dumb, stupid and inane have become the three pillars of government now that strong-willed, dimwitted hard-liners who see compromise as a dirty word have infiltrated the halls of Congress.

    Denial is a drug.

    by Pluto on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 05:02:39 PM PST

  •  Don't LIBERAL lawmakers (0+ / 0-)

    also "piss away legislative time, staff and resources" putting forward bills they know will never pass...?

    •  You mean bills that say (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tb mare

      you can't discriminate against minorities or that you have to meet minimum standards of workplace safety or that even poor people are entitled to health care or the wealthy should pay their fair share of taxes? You mean those kind of bills that don't stand a chance in hell of being passed?

  •  To you it may seem (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    pointless to pass a law against creating human/animal hybrids, but I'm sure the sheep in Mississippi would beg to disagree.

    "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

    by happy camper on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 09:21:46 PM PST

  •  A Mississippi farmer named Hollis... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hnichols, tb mare

    ...Used possums and snails for his solace.
             The children had scales
             And prehensile tails
    And voted for Governor Wallace.

    (Source: A 1970 Playboy Magazine.)

    NEW PALINDROMIC METAPHOR MEANING TO MAKE A PREDICTION THAT IS ASTOUNDINGLY OFF TARGET: "Pull a Gallup!" As in: "The weatherman said yesterday would be sunny and mild, but we got a foot of snow! Boy, did he pull a Gallup!"

    by Obama Amabo on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 05:08:59 AM PST

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