Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Our latest Putz of the Week is a right-wing Texas legislator who wants to invalidate federal laws.

It’s 1 a.m. on Wednesday morning and Sam is in bed. I’d be in bed, too, except I spent all day Tuesday unconscious in the family room. This was thoroughly pleasant but seriously unproductive, although I did spring back to life in time for dinner and a creepy old movie on DVD. We watched The Old Dark House (1932) starring Boris Karloff, Melvyn Douglas, Gloria Stuart, Raymond Massey and Charles Laughton, a weird and scary atmospheric thing directed by James Whale, who did the original Frankenstein (1931) and The Invisible Man (1933).
Afterwards we also watched The Godfather Part II (1974) starring pretty much the same crew as The Godfather (1972) except for Sonny (James Caan), who got blown to bits on the causeway, and Don Corleone (Marlon Brando), who dropped dead in the tomato plants.
In the sequel we get introduced to Don Corleone as a young man played by Robert DeNiro in flashback sequences, plus there’s plenty of murder, revenge, sneaky shit, scenic locations in Cuba, Miami, Lake Tahoe and Las Vegas, Diane Keaton with the personality of grout and Fredo (John Cazale) as the family’s official fuck-up, although Connie (Talia Shire) runs a close second when she shows up plastered at a party with Troy Donahue. One thing we learn here for sure: Michael (Al Pacino) is a ruthless son of a bitch, and the worst scene is at the end when he has Fredo killed in that little fishing boat. Seriously, man, HE’S YOUR BROTHER! WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?!

I also recorded The Godfather Part III and we’ll watch that one later today. Oh boy, right? Bullets, blood and popcorn!

And now ... allow me to introduce our latest Putz of the Week. Meet right-wing Texas state legislator Dan Flynn, a founding member of the Y’all Qaeda, who’s trying to turn his fierce love for Texas into an unconstitutional law. Flynn recently filed a bill that would allow our speaker of the house and lieutenant governor to “suspend any federal law within Texas’s borders.” Holy mother of crap.

The legislation creates a 14-member “joint legislative committee on nullification” that’s co-chaired by the speaker and lieutenant governor. A simple majority of the committee (eight votes) can declare that a federal law “has no legal effect in this state,” and if the declaration is ratified by the state legislature in the next legislative session, it’s permanent.

Flynn’s proposal makes it easy for the co-chairs to create a committee stacked with their favorite right-wing goons and use them to manipulate any federal laws they don’t want the state to follow, which could include such programs as the Affordable Care Act, Social Security and Medicare. In a state where Dan Patrick — the ultra-conservative multimillionaire shitbag who owns right-wing talk radio stations — was just elected lieutenant governor, Flynn’s bill is enough to make you crap in your pants. Patrick is violently anti-immigrant, anti-gay and anti-choice, and if he ever has the power to void federal laws that protect the rights of women, gays and minorities, Texas is screwed.

Fortunately, Flynn’s bill has one major problem: IT’S ILLEGAL.

“Nullification” is EXPLICITLY PROHIBITED in the U.S. Constitution, which declares that federal laws “shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.” Federal laws are therefore “supreme” over state law, and states with douchebag legislators DO NOT have the right to invalidate them. For the record, the doctrine of nullification and states’ rights is what caused the South to secede from the Union and launch the Civil War.

I think I want to throw up.

Know what? I can’t wait to start playing with my new Epson WorkForce 3640 printer! It arrives on Friday, and I’m almost positive I want to hire a local on-site support service to come over next week and hook it up. I’ve used a local Mac consultant for the last seven years to do all of our computer upgrades and installation except she’s too damn expensive and wastes a lot of time yakking and answering her cell phone whenever she’s here — her last visit cost me more than $300! So I found another option online last night, a company called Half Price Geeks, that only charges $79 an hour for house calls. They work on Macs, they install and set up printers and other peripherals, and they only need 24 hours’ notice to dispatch a technician. I’M SO EXCITED I CAN HARDLY STAND IT, and now Sam and I won’t have brain hemorrhages trying figure this out on our own.

I have to answer some emails now. Thank you.

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