It’s our last state news roundup before the election! Let’s take a moment to look at the strange things happening across the country before we get distracted by what will happen in the even stranger presidential race.
When Not to Bring Up History to Make Your Point
There are lots of sentences that human beings should never say out loud, like, “But what if we really are living in a computer simulation,” “I recently rewatched Crash,” or “Great quote from Hitler in the video.”
Kansas state legislature leader Peggy Mast never said that last one out loud, but she did post it on Facebook, which was perhaps even worse: Now her words would be saved for posterity. She later tried to explain what she meant by “Great quote from Hitler in the video. Please listen to it closely. His words are profound!” by saying, in another Facebook post, “Planned Parenthood has learned well the same tactics and deception used by Hitler regarding innocent lives. ... I was making a connection between the ideology he used and the arguments made by Planned Parenthood.”
The lesson of this story is that legislators in Kansas should stop using Facebook, something they apparently didn’t learn back in 2014 when a Senate candidate/radiologist got caught joking about X-rays of dead gunshot victims on his Facebook page. The other lesson is never say “great quote from Hitler.”
In other bad ideas of being nostalgic about low points in human history, Kansas’s solicitor general cited Dred Scott v. Sandford — the Supreme Court decision that said slaves did not have rights or citizenship — when defending abortion bans.
The Referendums Are Coming for You
San Francisco voters have to decide on a whopping 42 ballot measures this year, 17 of which appear on ballots across the state. These include a proposition that would make porn actors wear condoms, a measure that would abolish the death penalty, a measure that would keep the death penalty, an initiative that would prohibit the state legislature from voting on a bill until it’s been on the internet for three days, a plastic bag ban, a measure that would ban homeless tents on the sidewalks, a soda tax, an initiative that would let 16-year-olds vote, and marijuana legalization.
There are so many measures that there has been a “slight delay in processing because San Francisco’s five-page ballot is so thick, if voters fold the pages together, it will not fit through the machines.”
To be fair, California doesn’t have a monopoly on confusing, or at least time-consuming, ballot measures. Nebraska also has a measure on the death penalty. According to the Omaha World-Herald, “A vote to ‘retain’ would get rid of Nebraska’s death penalty. A vote to ‘repeal’ would retain it.” Just... read your ballot carefully.
We Interrupt This Programming for a Musical Interlude
This election is not fun. Here is a campaign ad from a city council candidate in Oregon who wrote his own song to remind you of simpler times.
This is not the only ad this year with a campaign song; here is one for Bob Edmunds running for reelection in a massively expensive Supreme Court race in North Carolina. It may be the first campaign ad to ever feature singing in the shower.
Don’t Judge a Car by Its Vanity License Plate
In less amusing news, everyone in Oregon should leave Brian Trump alone. He keeps getting harassed while driving in his car because of his “TRUMP” license plate. Don’t blame the guy for failing to predict that Donald Trump would run for president and suddenly make these plates the worst conversation starters ever. No one else thought this would happen either.
Vermont Still Has the Best Gubernatorial Debates
Vermont is just better at debates than the rest of the country. This year, the gubernatorial debates featured the Democratic candidate, the Republican candidate, and Bill “Spaceman” Lee, the former Red Sox and Expos pitcher. Lee wore a Hawaiian shirt during one of the events. He said he has no campaign staff or money, although he did take “20 dollars from a guy from Wisconsin. He was 91 years old.” He said things at the debates like, “And I may be out of the box. But out of the box is good. When you’re out of the box you can see the ridges, you can see the trees, which are alive. You can see everything that’s alive out there.” He also said, “I’m not an atheist. I believe in God. She’s black. And her name is Lucy. And that’s where it starts from. ... Women are going to be fine in my utopian environment. They’re going to run the show, because a lion sits on his ass and licks himself. It’s the females that go out and hunt.” Just let Vermont host all the presidential debates in 2020.
In other Vermont news, a judge named Otto has been replaced by another judge named Otto. As the AP helpfully points out, Otto is “the 543rd most popular male name in the United States.”
The Most American Moment of the Month
Here is a real headline from North Carolina: “NC judge convicted of trying to bribe federal agent with Bud Light.”
Someone dumped a giant pile of poop in front of the Warren County Democratic Party office in Ohio. Again.