Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Nutty Legislatures? Consider the Hoosier State

'I'd like to present this crazy-assed bill to ..."
We're pretty much in universal agreement that the Virginia Legislature's embarrassing 2012 session has been an exercise in a kind of comic-Fascism rarely seen in these parts, generated exclusively by the Republicans who swear to their mighty god that they oppose big government or any government that interferes with the rights of the private individual. Even as they invade our bedrooms and bodies, then try to control every facet of our private lives.

We know our story well by now, but what about elsewhere? Let's take Indiana as an example. It is run by Repubs who seem to see so few problems among Hoosiers and their economy, infrastructure, unemployment levels and the like that they apparently think they need to create some friction. Here's a look at a bit of what they've done:

  • Called for an investigation of the Girl Scouts, a "radical institution." (I'll do the cookies column later--the one where I say that Girl Scout cookies offer girls lessons in how to get somebody else to do your work, how to support overpriced institutions with sub-par products and how to beg for money).
  • Geared up the creationism debate.
  • Sen. Vaneta Becker (R-Evansville) proposed standards for performing the national anthem (which would eliminate virtually all ballpark versions, I'd assume). The Scribe says it would work this way: "The law would ... require that schools keep recordings of every performance for two years, and calls for the establishment of an office to deal with complaints regarding the national anthem."
  • Called for opening the state high school basketball tournament up to all-comers (so they can re-live the movie "Hoosiers," ostensibly).
  • Offered up a bill that would require cursive writing in schools.
  • Presented a bill to put the entire state on Central Standard Time.
There was also a pretty nasty dust-up over the right to work, a bill that would pretty much push unions out the door in a state that needs them, but that's a serious issue and we can tell you it almost completely stumped these legislators. But the national anthem? Legislate away boys and girls.

(Photo: wbez.com)

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