Carroll County Times

Tom Zirpoli: It takes all kinds to legislate

As my mom frequently says, it takes all kinds. There are people in the world who have some crazy ideas. Unfortunately, many of them are politicians who try to force their crazy ideas on the rest of us. Here are some highlights from the past week:

Democrat Lloyd Oliver, a candidate for district attorney in Harris County, Texas, thinks that domestic violence is "so, so overrated" and prosecuted too much. Harris County has the highest domestic violence rate in Texas. In 2012, 30 women were murdered by their husbands or boyfriends. But, according to Oliver, for many couples, domestic violence is just "part of their sexual routine." He asked reporters, "Why do we want to get involved in people's bedrooms?" Line up, ladies. This guy sounds like a real catch.

Republican State Representative Jerry Anderson, of Utah, proposed a bill that would limit his state's ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, such as carbon dioxide, because in his words, the atmosphere "could use twice as much" as it has now. "I'm thinking we could double the carbon dioxide rate and not have any adverse effects that I can tell," stated Anderson. With people like Anderson giving advice, do we even need scientists in America anymore?

Republican U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, of Minnesota, announced in an interview with columnist Cal Thomas last week that former Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton could not win a presidential election because the American people "aren't ready" for a female president. So why did Bachmann run for president in 2012?

South Carolina's House Ways and Means Committee voted 20-1 Thursday to reduce state funding for two colleges in the state. It seems that the committee did not approve of the freshman summer reading list assigned by the two colleges. Conservatives, it seems, are for less government regulation as long as you agree with their reading material and they are doing the regulating.

Arizona's legislature passed a freedom to discriminate bill making it legal for anyone in Arizona to discriminate against anyone else as long as the discrimination is based upon their religious convictions. So if you are planning to vacation in Arizona this summer, be sure to check if your religion, race, sexual orientation, hair color or political beliefs are acceptable to the resort's religious convictions. Restaurant owners, as well as all business establishments in Arizona, will be allowed to hand you a questionnaire upon entering their establishments and ask you all sorts of personal questions about your religious beliefs, sexual behavior and political leanings before allowing you to eat or shop in their establishments. One smart pizza shop reacted to the bill by posting a sign on their door stating, "We reserve the right to refuse service to Arizona legislators." I feel freer already.

After a federal judge ruled last week that Kentucky must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, Kentucky Republican Senate candidate Matt Bevin stated in an interview that same-sex marriage would lead to marriage between parents and their children. Then, hours later, Bevin's campaign put out a statement denying that the candidate had made such a statement that happened to be recorded for all of us to hear with our lying ears.

State Representative Gail Finney, of Kansas, a Democrat, proposed a bill that would allow teachers, caregivers and parents to spank children often and hard enough to leave bruise marks. Believe it or not, it is already legal for these folks to spank children in Kansas, but not hard enough for Finney. The proposal would allow up to 10 strikes of the hand in order, says Finney, to improve discipline in his state. In response, Harold McGrady commented on his Facebook page: "Perhaps we ought to allow for spanking of legislators when they propose and/or pass stupid legislation."

Now that's a crazy idea I can get behind.