Feb 122005

A couple of state legislatures are joining the bandwagon of the totally stupid. I think I need to come up with a name for the award. Does anyone have any suggestions?

First is the Virginia Legislature. They are trying to pass a law against people wearing baggy pants that slip down and show their underwear. I think the exposing of underwear?is a misdemeanor under the new law, so I would suspect that plumbers would probably face felony charges.

While I agree most of the kids who dress like look kind of stupid, not to mention the aggravation of walking around holding up your pants….is this all the most important issue faced by Virginians? I foresee all sorts of issues. Lets examine this. If I’m wearing my baggy jeans, boxers and brief’s under that, are the boxers my underwear? If I happen to be free-balling it, does that make my jeans my underwear, so I’m exposing them the minute I walk out the door?

Second place goes to the Georgia Legislatures. Texas representatives eager to gut the state’s ethics guidelines are said to be following in the footsteps of the master House Majority Leader Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX). In what watchdogs call “a junior version” of DeLay’s efforts in Washington, a veteran state GOP lawmaker this week filed a bill that would give the Texas Ethics Commission the power to prohibit a district attorney from continuing an ethics inquiry if the Ethics Commission did not agree that charges were warranted. Among the politicians who appoint Ethics Commission members is state House Speaker Tom Craddick (R). According to the Los Angeles Times, Craddick also happens to be a target of the fundraising investigation by District Attorney Ronnie Earle into whether political and business groups with ties to Rep. DeLay illegally financed the campaigns of 22 Republican House candidates in 2002. Earle called the bill “a slap in the face to the public.”

For those of you in the red states, which includes Virginia and Texas, I’d remind you that you supposedly voted based on “moral-values.” I guess, if they can never be investigated, they can’t be officially morally corrupt.

Honarable mention goes to Joseph Steffen, “[l]ongtime campaign operative of [Maryland] Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.” Steffen has stepped down from his position with the state. It’s part of a futile effort to stave off embarrassment after Steffen orchestrated an Internet smear campaign against Baltimore Mayor Martin O’Malley, who is likely to challenge Ehrlich in next year’s governor race. Rather than Steffen’s own conscience, the impetus for the resignation was a Washington Post reporter confronting Steffen with evidence that showed he was behind a series of conservative Web site postings defaming the mayor’s marriage. In an attempt to deny that Ehrlich knew what one of his right hand men was doing, Ehrlich administration officials are decrying and disavowing any prior knowledge of Steffen’s actions. So, according to Steffen, what was the indignant and outraged response that the officials gave when Steffen told them of his resignation: “They were basically like, ‘If you think that’s what you need to do.'”

What hath we wrought?

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