Failure upward is always an option.
Excellent news for America's failures, bunglers, clods, and sadsacks! There's always a rewarding career waiting for you in law enforcement, just as long as you don't start piling up a record of fuckuppery until some point after you've gotten your first job as a cop, according to an investigation of crappy sheriffs and police chiefs across our great land by the USA Today network. Records of police misconduct tend to be hard to find, and lots of small-town police departments either don't bother to do exhaustive vetting, or simply can't afford to be choosy. So it turns out that cops who get fired for all sorts of disciplinary problems sometimes end up running their very own cop shops -- and screwing up royally there, too!
The report, based on "misconduct records from hundreds of police departments and state licensing boards in nearly every state" as well as interviews with municipal officials who came to regret their incautious hires, explains:
Misconduct that might disqualify someone from being hired as a rookie cop hasn't stopped officers from taking the top jobs at law enforcement agencies throughout the USA.
Many ended up running small forces in places without the inclination to do basic background checks or without the wherewithal to penetrate the secretive and haphazard systems that can hide police misconduct even from the police.
The reporters identified "32 people who became police chiefs or sheriffs despite a finding of serious misconduct, usually at another department." Eight of the top cops had actually been guilty of a crime, and others had extensive records of misconduct like
Last week, when we wrote about how Republicans are fighting to let parents send their unvaccinated children to school, we told you we were in the middle of the second largest measles epidemic since the year 2000. Today, as I write this, we are now in the middle of the largest measles epidemic since 2000. We did it guys! We beat Disneyland!
Legislators in California, one of many states trying to do something about the current outbreak as well as prevent the next one, are trying to pass a bill that would give the state authority over whether or not an unvaccinated child's medical exemption is legit.
In 2015, California passed a law removing "personal belief" from the list of vaccine exemptions for children attending school. Almost immediately, the number of "medical exemptions" shot up 250 percent. In order to get around the new law, many parents decided to go doctor shopping to doctors known to give out medical exemptions for things like asthma, being related to a person with autism, a family history of allergies and other issues that have absolutely nothing to do with whether or not one can be vaccinated safely. Some doctors were even found to be selling medical exemptions for $150 to $300 a pop. California Senate Bill 276 was written to deal with these issues.
Fuck this guy entirely. And his wife.
We were a little busy when billionaire Democrat J.B. Pritzker was running for governor of Illinois, and also we didn't care, but we would have cared if SOMEONE had pointed out to us in the late days of the gubernatorial campaign that this punch-faced (we will remind you because it was several commas ago) BILLIONAIRE had taken all the toilets out of his mansion, so he could cheat the city of Chicago out of a couple hundred thousand dollars off his property taxes. On the mansion that was next door to his other mansion.
I don't know, maybe one of the two Wonkette writers who live in Chicago. Or any of the rest of you! THE MAN TOOK OUT HIS TERLETS, TO CHEAT YOUR SCHOOLS AND HOSPITALS AND, I DON'T KNOW, RECREATIONAL MURDER GUN CENTERS, OUT OF CASH.
He's got fire in the belly!
In a dazzling demonstration of failing upwards, Paul Ryan has secured himself a sweet teaching gig at the University of Notre Dame for the 2019-2020 academic year, the university announced Monday. The former speaker of the House and devotee of starving grannies for their own good will be a guest lecturer in economics and politics. Ryan is one of three "professor-of-the-practice" appointments, and will teach on "the fundamentals of American government, the current state of political polarization, and Catholicism and economics, among other topics."
Sounds like a good fit -- if anyone has practice in political polarization, it'd be the guy who dreamed of dismantling the social safety net since he was attending fraternity beer parties in college.
It doesn't actually sound like a very hot club.
Oh good, we have another story from the genre of "look at these sad Trump idiot staffers, who can't even eat 12 KFC Double Downs or find a boning partner on Tinder without being lightly made fun of or denied sex or LITERALLY MURDERED BY ANTIFA." Every so often we find a sad story like this, about how unlike staffers from every other administration (yes including the Republican ones), who had normal lives and lived close to the White House in the same neighborhoods every other administration's staffers did, Trump's people are SAD and DEJECTED and REJECTED and SHUT UP, WE ARE NOT EITHER SAD, AND WE DIDN'T EVEN WANT TO BE IN YOUR CLUB ANYWAYS!
They live in their own neighborhoods, down there around the Wharf and Navy Yard, because those are gauche and nondescript blank slates, just like they are. And for real, nobody will sleep with them, because Tinder is a "swipe left for Trump people" zone in DC, and we imagine all their screennames are MAGACOCK45 anyway, and that's kind of a dead giveaway.
And now Politico -- of course it's Politico -- has gone on another Cletus Coitus Safari into the mysterious hinterlands of the "45 Club," which is the hottest club for disaffected Trump staffers (WHO DIDN'T WANT TO BE FRIENDS WITH YOU ANYWAY). Also it does not have an address. And to be clear, this particular article isn't about how they're All Dressed Up With Nobody To Fuck, we are just assuming that is still their status quo, and as evidence, we'd like to point to Stephen Miller's latest immigration crackdown, which just probably wouldn't be happening if Trump folks were getting laid.
Putting the 'state-sanctioned murder' in 'pro-life.'
The death penalty is already pretty gross. The only way you could make it grosser would be if some asshole proposed the state-sanctioned killings of women who have abortions. And we've found one! The asshole in question is Republican Tony Tinderholt. The Texas state representative authored House Bill 948, or the "Abolition of Abortion in Texas Act." The bill wouldn't just ban abortion but would treat the medical procedure as criminal homicide, which can get you a lethal injection in Texas. Tindherholt believes this is the only way women will learn.
TINDERHOLT: Right now, it's real easy. Right now, they don't make it important to be personally responsible because they know that they have a backup of "oh, I can just go get an abortion." Now, we both know that consenting adults don't always think smartly sometimes. But consenting adults need to also consider the repercussions of the sexual relationship that they're gonna have, which is a child.
It's shocking that a man, with all his personal, firsthand experience in the subject, would think that abortion is "easy" for a woman or something they consider a "backup," like when students apply to the University of Texas.
Man bites fucking dog.
Mother Jones brings us a truly surprising story about Ron DeSantis, the rightwing schmuck who rode a bunch of racist dog whistles into office over Andrew Gillum last fall. DeSantis had a shitty environmental voting record in Congress and refused during the campaign to even answer whether he accepts the scientific reality of climate change, instead saying he didn't think anyone should be an "alarmist" about it. But a whole three months and change into his gubernatorialship, DeSantis has so far failed to be an exploding crude oil hauling trainwreck on environmental issues. Already, DeSantis has done better than Rick Scott did in eight years. That bar is lower than the sub-basement of "Cheers," but DeSantis made it over!
By golly, it's almost as if the NCGOP has a corruption problem. #NotAllRepublicans (#JustManyRepublicans)
Robin Hayes, the chair of the North Carolina Republican Party, is one of four people indicted by a federal grand jury in an (alleged!) conspiracy scheme to bribe the state insurance commissioner to get favorable treatment for insurance companies owned by a major Republican donor. Too bad for the grifty sumbitches, though: The state insurance commissioner, Mike Causey, went straight to the Feds with the scheme, then cooperated with federal agents to nab the conspirators. Oh, that smarts.
Always with the stupid shit!
Hello from Charm City, where we seem to have misplaced yet another mayor. How clumsy of us! Perhaps she's hiding in a warehouse off Pulaski Highway with the remaining 8,700 of her books purchased by the Baltimore City School system and never distributed. Knock twice if you're hiding in a box, Mayor Pugh!
In order to set up this story, we should start last month, when the Baltimore Sun reported that several members of the board of trustees at the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) had lucrative business deals with the UMMS. My very own state senator Jill Carter recently sponsored legislation to bar the state hospital chain from doing business with board members, which is good public policy, and has the added benefit of kneecapping a political rival. We really don't play nice here.
This post isn't remotely about Mitt Romney fucking. OR IS IT?
Everybody put on your favorite magic Mormon underpants, because it's time to go to Utah and let somebody what is not your lawfully covenant temple-married spouse RIP THEM OFF AND THROW THEM INTO THE GREAT SALT LAKE, because the governor of Utah has legalized all the fucking, even with people you are not wedded to. That's right, Romney family! You guys can do extracurriculars if you want now!
(Remember, Mittens, it's not the size of the car that counts, but the motion of the car elevator!)
So first there was HB40, which legalized sodomy and adultery in Utah. (See? EXTRACURRICULAR BUTT STUFF, Romneys! It will be your favorite!) And then there was SB43, which legalized fornication. And Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed 'em all!
Man, these Obama appointees not even letting Kentucky and Arkansas throw everyone off Medicaid :(
A federal judge has blocked two states' work requirements for Medicaid, ruling that the Trump administration had been "arbitrary and capricious" in allowing the rules, which caused tens of thousands of people in Kentucky and Arkansas to lose benefits. Writing for the US District Court for the DC Circuit, Judge James E. Boasberg found that Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar had approved the work requirements without adequate consideration of whether they would get in the way of the program's core mission: providing healthcare for low-income people.
Boasberg had already put Kentucky's work requirements -- under the name Kentucky HEALTH and we don't care what the acronym stands for -- on hold last year for essentially the same reason. Medicaid is a program to provide healthcare, and if you add requirements that cause tens of thousands to lose healthcare, well then you're not providing it, dummies (we're paraphrasing, a bit). No, not even if you insist you're encouraging recipients to take a more active role in their own health by worrying that they'll lose their coverage by not meeting the arbitrary requirement to work 20 hours a week and then submit proof every damn month. (As we point out every damn time "work requirements come up," most Medicaid recipients ALREADY WORK). The rulings also have implications for a whole bunch of other red states that want to impose work requirements -- six others have also received permission from HHS for similar requirements.
Ninth Circuit Court Rules It's OK For Cops To Steal From You. That's It. It's Okay For Cops To Steal From You.
Fresno case highlights absurdity of 'qualified immunity.'
Back in 2013, two cops in Fresno, California, stole more than $225,000 from Micah Jessop and Brittan Ashjian in broad daylight, right in front of their eyes. Now, the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals claims no actual crime was committed. The court dismissed the men's civil rights suit last week, declaring that the officers still enjoy "qualified immunity" and can't be sued in federal court.
Judge Milan Smith, a gift from George W. Bush, wrote the unanimous decision, and it's a doozy. He argues that even if the police officers robbed Jessop and Ashjian blind, the businessmen "did not have a clearly established Fourth or Fourteenth Amendment right to be free from the theft of property seized pursuant to a warrant." It's apparently "not obvious" that cops stealing from citizens violates their constitutional rights.
Meet Stephanie Borowicz. She seems nice.
Have you seen the OMG LOL WTF opening prayer at the Pennsylvania state House that's got everybody talking about what a crazy ass GOP state Rep. Stephanie Borowicz is? The one what happened the same day the legislative body swore in its first Muslim rep, Democrat Movita Johnson-Harrell, who had brought all her friends and family to celebrate the occasion with her, many of whom were also Muslims?
It was OH MY DEAR SWEET JESUS, but we don't mean that in a religious way, or in a nice way.
House Opening Prayer March 25, 2019 www.youtube.com
First off, we must note that these sorts of opening prayers are fucked up and weird and seem to fly in the face of that whole "separation of church and state" thing. (There's been a bit of controversy about this in Pennsylvania!)
We also must note that Rep. Borowicz herself responded to the controversy by saying, "That's how I pray every day," she is not sorry, and we believe her when she says all her prayers are that batshit.
And oh boy, do we mean batshit! Far be it from Wonkette to make fun of a person's personal praying style, haha just kidding, LET'S DO IT.
Great Moments In Gun Stupidity, part 5593 and counting.
Teachers in an Indiana school were shot in the back with plastic pellets by sheriffs' deputies during a January "active shooter drill," according to testimony in a legislative hearing this week. The rubber pellets, a bit bigger than a BB, were fired from an Airsoft pellet gun; at least one teacher reported the things raised welts and drew blood. But come on, it definitely got the point across that during an actual school shooting, people may get shot. That's very educational! The Indianapolis Star has the juicy stinging details:
[The incident] was confirmed by two elementary school teachers in Monticello, who described an exercise in which teachers were asked by local law enforcement to kneel down against a classroom wall before being sprayed across their backs with plastic pellets without warning.
"They told us, 'This is what happens if you just cower and do nothing,'" said one of the two teachers, both of whom asked IndyStar not to be identified out of concern for their jobs. "They shot all of us across our backs. I was hit four times.
"It hurt so bad."
Well look, lady, you're the one who volunteered to be on the front lines of combat by choosing to teach elementary school. Next we suppose you'll complain about having to carry your platoon's M-60 machine gun to the cafeteria. Nobody wants to hump the pig, but it's that or take point, OK?
The Indiana State Teachers Association, the state's teacher union, is asking lawmakers to add language prohibiting such simulated executions of school staff from future training, even though the sheriff's department that helpfully took teachers four at a time into a closet and pretended to blow them away has already promised not to do it anymore.
Probably Obama's fault somehow.
Last fall, after Wisconsin voters rejected Gov. Scott Walker's reelection bid and chose Democrat Tony Evers instead, Republicans in the state legislature got very busy doing anything they could to limit the power of the incoming governor and the new Democratic attorney general, Josh Kaul. Hey, voters may have chosen Evers, but that didn't mean Rs had to let Democrats actually govern, now did it? As Republican state House Speaker Robin Vos rather notoriously said at the time, the lege had to act because "We are going to have a very liberal governor who is going to enact policies that are in direct contrast to what many of us believe in." So in a two day "extraordinary session," the Republicans shifted power from the executive branch and gave those powers to the legislature, which conveniently remained in Republican control thanks to gerrymandering. Scott Walker signed the bills and then began his career as an idiot on Twitter.
Yesterday, a Wisconsin judge found the entire lame duck session violated the state constitution, and invalidated the laws it passed. Dane County Circuit Judge Richard Niess said in his decision the Wisconsin constitution is quite specific about when the legislature can meet, and nope, the "extraordinary session" didn't meet the constitutional requirements, so sorry guys, you didn't follow the rules and your laws ARE MOOT.
The Associated Press lawsplains the constitutional neener-neener:
Oklahoma is the Florida of Alabamas.
There are a few vacancies in the Sheriff's Office in Nowata County, Oklahoma. Like almost all of them, after the acting Sheriff, Terry Sue Barnett, resigned Monday, along with the undersheriff, all the deputies, and most of the staff at the county jail. They all walked off the job after Barnett alleged a judge tried to pressure and also maybe bribe her into reopening the jail, which had been evacuated at the end of February over multiple safety issues she says the county has not made any efforts to fix. The Tulsa World has the story, which had us raising our eyebrows so frequently our forehead hurts now. (Mind you it's a heavy lift.)
Three dispatchers and two jailers stayed on the job, at least; the dispatchers still take care of 911 calls for fire and EMT services, although they have to patch law enforcement calls to other agencies. Inmates from the county jail are being held in a nearby county's jail for the time being. In a news conference yesterday, Barnett said the jail suffered from an extensive list of problems that made it unsafe, including exposed wiring and carbon monoxide gas that had hospitalized jail staff. And then there's the live snake that fell on a prisoner, which we'll get to in a moment.
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