Va. AG Goes All John Ashcroft on State Seal

The seal of the state of Virginia is really dumb looking. Its most prominent feature is a cartoon drawing of a lady standing triumphantly with one foot on the chest of an apparently lifeless gent lying on the floor. Both characters are dressed in something that looks like ancient Roman garb, and the drawing strongly suggests that the triumphant lady beat the lifeless gent to death with a gargantuan dildo during a role-play that got a little out of hand.

Trouble is, the cartoon lady’s toga has shifted to reveal a cartoon hooter. That doesn’t sit well with Ken Cuccinelli, the Ol’ Dominion’s current Attorney General. Like John Ashcroft before him, Mr. Cuccinelli has taken it upon himself to impose Christian decency upon slutty artwork. The AG has had new lapel pins issued for his staff. The new pins feature the same magnificently idiotic cartoon, but with the triumphant lady’s formerly exposed hooter covered up. A side-by-side comparison of the old and new lapel pins is available here.

You might recall Mr. Cuccinelli as one of the Republican state attorneys general who filed suit in federal court to challenge the constitutionality of recent federal health care reform legislation. The Florida litigation, which involved thirteen attorneys general, was apparently too anonymous for Cuccinelli, who filed his own separate lawsuit in a Virgina federal court.

Filing separately makes for better grandstanding, don’tcha know, and grandstanding is important when you ask a court to override the will of the people as expressed through their elected representatives.

Sic Semper Tyrannis indeed.

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“Nice guy. Meet ’em everywhere.”

Flashback Friday:

Kevin Ayers, Stranger in Blue Suede Shoes

Dianne Primavera Continues to Rock

I’ve gotten somewhat involved in local Democratic politics since moving to Colorado in 2003.  Over the the past couple of years, though, I’ve found myself sitting in a meeting or an assembly multiple times wondering, “What the fuck is the point?”

But every now and again the old excitement returns. Last night was one of those times.

I was a delegate to the Democratic Colorado House District 33 Assembly.  Pretty much the sole purpose of the Assembly was to nominate incumbent Rep. Dianne Primavera as the party’s official candidate for the state House of Representatives.

It was all pretty perfunctory. Everyone knew way that Dianne wanted to run for reelection. No other Democrat wants the job, AFAIK, and Dianne is extraordinarily good at it. She’s respected on both sides of the aisle and is widely viewed as the James Brown (“hardest working [wo]man”) of the Colorado General Assembly.

The Assembly got under way at 7:30 p.m. and its business took all of about fifteen minutes to complete. We managed to nominate Dianne before she even showed up.

So why wasn’t she on time? What’s the matter, can’t this hoity toity incumbent be bothered with the details of her own reelection?

That’s not it at all, of course. Dianne was late to the Assembly because she was working, as always. The House Judiciary Committee was conducting a hearing on S.B. No. 10-076 (pdf, 3 pages), which Dianne is sponsoring along with Sen. Morgan Carroll. The bill is quite important to Dianne, and she wanted to be there in person to shepherd the bill through what promised to be a rather prickly process.

It worked. When all was said and done the Judiciary Committee voted 7-4 in favor.

And what does the bill do? It designates as an unfair claim settlement practice an insurer paying its employees bonuses, incentives or other compensation for denying or delaying a claim, or for canceling or rescinding an insurance policy. When Dianne arrived and told us why she was late, the room erupted in applause. While clapping my hands I smiled and thought, “This, THIS is the point.”

Anyone who knows our humble little district knows that Dianne is a Democratic incumbent in sea of Republicans. Given the voter registration numbers, the state Republican Party has once again made retaking this seat a priority. So despite Dianne’s exceptional record over the course of two terms, getting reelected will take loads of time, effort and money.

You know what? It’ll be worth it. Dianne Primavera’s extraordinary combination of skill, work ethic and deep concern for actual flesh-and-blood constituents is all too rare. We’re fortunate as all hell to have Dianne Primavera representing us in Denver, and we’ll not give up such high-quality representation without a huge honking fight.

Shrill, Baby, Shrill

Here’s my favorite lunatic Republican conspiracy theory (from the past couple of days, at least). According to conservative icon and morbidly obese OxyContin junkie Rush Limbaugh, the current environmental catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico might just be the work of “environmentalist whackos.” That’s right — maybe, just maybe, said whackos blew up that offshore drilling rig, thereby causing an oil spill that may well end up worse than the Exxon Valdez disaster in 1989,  to prevent us from achieving energy independence by making “Drill, Baby, Drill” our actual, literal public policy instead of just an idiotic Republican slogan.

Didn’t Fat Boy say he’d leave the country if “Obamacare” passed?

Fuckin’ Racist Dipshit Law Students: How do They Work?

I tell everyone who’ll listen that, as a general rule, people who graduate law school aren’t all that smart. In my experience (admittedly somewhat dated), law school is geared toward people of average intelligence who don’t mind putting a lot of work into activities that fall largely between drudgery and pain-inducing on the I Don’t Like This Shit continuum.

Seems that analysis applies not only to middling law schools like the one I attended but also to the hoity toity upper crust schools. The analysis also applies to overall enlightenment rather than just intelligence.

The magnificent Aryan warrior princess depicted here is Stephanie Grace, a third-year law student at venerable Harvard Law School.  Ms. Grace managed not only to get into Harvard – an impressive feat all by itself – but to do quite well. The linked article indicates that she’s secured a clerkship with Judge Alex Kozinski of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Ms. Grace is a prime example of an excellent law student who’s just not  smart or enlightened. Seems she wrote and sent an email to some friends announcing that she just can’t rule out the possibility that black folk are genetically stupider than white folk. She does, however, admit the possibility of being “convinced that by controlling for the right variables, we would see that they are, in fact, as intelligent as white people under the same circumstances.” It’s difficult to determine which component of this story is stupider, the old-school Prescott Bush style eugenics or Ms. Grace’s apparent belief  that she could transmit such statements over the internet without anyone forwarding her email to, say, the Harvard chapter of the Black Law Student Association.

In any event, Ms. Grace’s apparent imperviousness to outrage should serve her well in her new endeavor. Judge Kozinski, who has long been famous in law circles for his rulings and legal writings, was outed a couple of years back as a serious devotee of barnyard-themed porn. Videos of boner-sporting donkeys chasing pantsless men through fields would no doubt appear eminently tame to someone like Ms. Grace.

Firearm Follies

The question then is whether the Michigan Legislature can constitutionally provide that a felon who possesses a firearm shall be convicted of and punished for violating two criminal statutes: felon in possession of a firearm, and possession of a firearm while being a felon in possession of a firearm.

White v. Howes, ___ F.3d ___, No. 08-1458, at 8 (6th Cir. Nov. 20, 2009) (pdf, 14 pages). The answer, says the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, is yes.

Unlike so many other recently decided firearms cases, White has nothing to do with the Second Amendment. This one’s a Fifth Amendment Double Jeopardy Clause case, and it’s an especially lovely example of how Byzantine double jeopardy analysis can get.

Palin-Beck in 2012?

Hey, don’t blame me. It’s Sarah Palin’s suggestion, apparently. The fact that such lunacy got so much as a nod from CBS News, much less the full-blown article it actually got, is itself a telling comment on the state of the media, the contemporary Republican party, or both.

H/T – The Legal Satyricon

Damn Fine Tune

Thanks to YouTube, everyone can enjoy this obscure tune recorded by a band of high schoolers from Dayton, Ohio long about 1971:

The Fabulous Originals – It Ain’t Fair But It’s Fun

“The Tank” is back!

Sociopathic racist lunatic Tom Tancredo, who’s gotten more than his fair share of ink on this blog, simply won’t go away. The failed Republican presidential candidate and former congressman looks to be planning a run for Governor of Colorado, according to the good folks at Colorado Independent. Though he hasn’t formally declared, he’s telling reporters that he “fully intends to run.”

Tancredo’s intent is perhaps best revealed in this breathtakingly over-the-top video the Tancredo folks recently posted to YouTube. The upshot is that all those illegal immigrant gangstas we’re letting into God’s Chosen Nation are raping, murdering and eating our godly white wives, children and pets, and will continue to do so unless and until we finally wise the fuck up and do what Tom Tancredo says.

Of course, the gang whose members are depicted in the video, Mara Salvatrucha a/k/a MS-13, hails not from some barbaric foreign land but rather from Los Angeles, California, USA. But hey, never mind that shit. One should never let a fact stand in the way of hysterical fear mongering. We can be damned good and sure that Tancredo won’t allow himself to get distracted. Let the good times roll, Colorado!

Speaking of taking it up the ass …

… our old friend Ted Haggard in back in the news. No stranger to this blog, Haggard was the golden boy of the lunatic Christian right until three years ago when his career as a megachurch pastor and de facto Bush administration advisor disappeared in a blizzard of methamphetamine and cockmeat.

After a lengthy sojourn during which he solicited donations to pay his living expenses while he pursued a counseling degree, using a convicted sex criminal as his collection agent, Ted is back in his $700,000 house in Colorado Springs. He and his lovely wife Gayle hosted a big ol’ prayer meetin’ on Thursday night.  In true hebephrenic Christian conservative style, Haggard observed:

“For the people who come tonight, that means they believe in the resurrection in me,” he told reporters before the start of the meeting Thursday night. “Because I died. I was buried.”

So, yeah. Ted is now zombified. Or something. And that’s a good thing for some reason. Maybe he’s saying that the “good” part of him is still alive; only the part that was into penis and meth died. Or maybe not. If anyone knows what Ted is trying to say here, please be so kind as to pass it along.

Haggard also wants us to know that he was never, ever a hateful anti-gay preacher. All that stuff about gays being an abomination was love, you see.

In addition, going through that silly ol’ gay sex scandal “was good for me as a heterosexual evangelical Christian, father of five, 30-year husband of Gayle.” As a result of all those Christians THINKING Ted was gay and hating him for it, his “compassion for the homosexual community has gone up incredibly.” Accepting multiple dicks in his mouth and anus no doubt helped with the compassion thing as well.

Anyhow, Ted says he’s looking to make a “comeback,” and judging from the fifty or so cars parked outside his house for the prayer meeting he’s well on his way. A fundy and his money are lucky enough to get together in the first place, and rarely stay together very long. In the final analysis, that’s a fundamental truth Haggard can really believe in. And exploit the hell out of.