Out There

07.14.13

Fringe Factor: Tampons but Not Guns Banned in Texas Legislature

You can tote a gun in the Texas statehouse, but a not tampon or a maxi pad. From Pat Roberston’s ‘vomit button’ to a bevy of secessionists, a look at the far out in American politics this week.

Texas: State Capitol Bans Tampons But Allows Guns

With Texas’s state senate once again debating controversial restrictions on abortion, security at the state capitol has been tightened to prevent disruptions from the gallery like those that occurred during state Sen. Wendy Davis’s 11-hour filibuster of the abortion bill on June 26. The Texas Department of Public Safety is searching the bags of anyone entering the gallery to watch debate and confiscating any tampons or maxi pads found. There is concern that these female-hygiene products could be used as projectiles and thrown at state senators. However, visitors can still bring guns into the gallery if they have a concealed-carry license.

Virginia: Pat Robertson Wants ‘Vomit Button’ for Same-Sex Pictures on Facebook

Televangelist Pat Robertson expressed his desire for Facebook to add a “vomit button” to tag pictures of same-sex couples on the social-media website. On his television show, The 700 Club, on Monday, Robertson was asked by a viewer about the appropriate response to pictures on Facebook of gay or lesbian couples kissing. He responded, “You’ve got a couple of same-sex guys kissing, do you like that? Well that makes me want to throw up. To me, I would punch ‘vomit,’ not ‘like.’ They don’t give you that option on Facebook.”

Kentucky: Rand Paul Aide Is the Southern Avenger

Controversy erupted when the right-wing website the Free Beacon published a story chronicling the career of Jack Hunter, an aide to Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and former radio shock jock known as the Southern Avenger. In public appearances, Hunter, a former member of the League of the South, a pro-secession group, wore a Mexican wrestling-match mask on which the Confederate flag was printed. Paul refused to condemn Hunter. His office issued a statement that said, “Sen. Paul holds his staff to a standard that includes treating every individual with equal protection and respect, without exception. Our office policy is that all employees treat individuals with the equal protection of the law. We find no evidence that this policy has been violated by any employee.”

Colorado: Secessionist Movement in Northeast Colorado?

Residents of Colorado upset over the state legislature passing gun-control and renewable-energy legislation are trying to secede from the Rocky Mountain state to form the state of North Colorado. It’s unlikely this effort will succeed, as it requires approval from voters, Congress, and the Colorado General Assembly. However, the North Colorado secessionists do have a backup plan. They hope to pass a ballot initiative to expand the Colorado state Senate to 64 members, each of whom would represent one county. This would give Denver, population 634,265, the exact same representation as San Juan County, population 690. Unfortunately for the secessionists, even if successful, this initiative would be unconstitutional.

New Hampshire: State Senator Compares Obamacare to San Francisco Plane Crash

Obamacare is still the subject of furious partisan debate three years after it passed Congress and one year after the Supreme Court found it constitutional. But a New Hampshire state senator likely took the rhetoric too far by comparing the Affordable Care Act to the fatal plane crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 in San Francisco on July 6. Andy Sanborn, a Republican from Bedford, said in an radio interview, “Now that this thing [Obamacare] is barreling down on us like a jet landing into San Francisco, it’s [laughter] it should make people really concerned.” Sanborn later apologized for his comment.