Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Republicans running amok: It isn't just Arizona...

This isn't exactly heartening, per se, but it's nice to know that Arizona isn't the only state where the loons are running wild in the legislature. On the other hand, it really sucks for the rest of the country that they have to deal with some of the same garbage that we have here...

There are a lot of things that are unique to Arizona - the Grand Canyon, saguaro cactus, days where we have both the highest and lowest temperatures recorded in the continental U.S. and more. However, that species of creature known as the "Legislative Republican Loon" is not one of those "unique to Arizona" things.

To whit...

....In Virginia, Republican Bob Marshall, a member of VA's House of Delegates (akin to the House of Representatives here), stated that he thinks handicapped children are "God's vengeance" upon women who have had abortions. Lest you think he is a one-dimensional ideologue, focused solely on making misogyny a guiding principal of public policy in Virgina, he has sponsored or co-sponsored bills like: HB32, arming college instructors; HB340, listing qualifications of presidential candidates that must be proven before the candidate can be listed on a ballot; HB345, withdrawal from the Medicaid program upon passage of federal health care reform legislation; HB69, stating that firearms manufactured in and remaining in Virginia are exempt from federal regulation; and HJ125, a Tenth Amendment/state supremacy resolution.

...In Oklahoma, they've proposed things like HB2279, limiting divorce except under certain extreme circumstances; HB2532, drug testing welfare applicants and recipients; and HB2884, stating that firearms manufactured in and remaining in Oklahoma are exempt from federal regulation.

...In South Carolina the loons have introduced measures like H4501, mandating that tax bills are paid in gold and silver bullion or coins;

...in Michigan, bills like SB1127, eliminating no fault divorce;

...in Utah, HB255, changing the requirements of the already-existing "divorce orientation course" by mandating that a divorce cannot be granted until the filer for the divorce takes the course, no matter the grounds for the divorce action (and this doesn't even include the lunatic scheme in Utah to abolish 12th grade in order to save the state some money);

...in Alabama, SB319, extending the waiting period for divorces to 180 days (no minor children involved) and 365 days (minor children involved);

In case some readers have noted the similarities between some of the proposals before the various state legislatures, there *is* some organization behind these efforts. Perhaps the most influential of the ideologically-based organizations is the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). It's an industry-supported organization dedicated to advancing the causes of its corporate clients/donors. ALEC allows industry lobbyists to get together with legislators from all over the country to craft "model" legislation that if enacted, would benefit their clients. There are other national organizations dedicated to influencing state-level legislation, but few do it quite so effectively.

"Organized loons"?

Can't that phrase be used to describe other conglomerations of whack jobs, dedicated to undermining and even destroying the fabric of our nation? Al Quaeda? KKK? I digress...

Anyway, it really was nice to see that we aren't alone in the fight against legislative lunacy, even if it does seem that we have a higher concentration of loons per capita than almost any other state.


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