Up in Gibson County, Tennessee, they've got a confederate flag controversy going, but not the kind you usually hear about. Seems a local young lady, Texanna Edwards, got the idea to wear a confederate flag dress to her high school prom. A teacher advised her that was probably not a good idea and that she should clear her plan with the school principal, but Texanna, apparently a strong-willed sort of gal, ignored the advice and had a dress with the stars and bars especially made for that special night. Upon seeing the dress, school officials wouldn't allow her into the dance, and voila, a controversy that's now making national news.
Here's the Tennesseean story on the incident.
Hopefully, Texanna didn't spend a bunch of money on "heritage not hate" shoes to match. (I fully expect Tennessee's crack legislature to take up this vital issue before the week is out.)
Much has been written and reported about the incident in Cartagena concerning U.S. Secret Service agents hiring hookers during President Obama's visit to South America. But there's one aspect of the incident that I haven't read much about — the impact of the fact that prostitution is legal in Colombia.
Here's why it made all the difference: The incident came to light because there was a dispute over the amount to paid be to one hooker. The hooker believed the Secret Service agent, er, stiffed her on the price that she thought they'd agreed upon. After an argument, in which harsh words were exchanged, the agent finally just paid the hooker what he felt like paying her and sent her away — mad. The agent was probably thinking, "Big deal. What's she going to do — go to the police?"
Actually, yes. That's exactly what she did. Since prostitution is legal in Colombia, the hooker went to the local police and reported that she'd been ripped off by an American who'd used her services in a nearby hotel. The cops did their duty and investigated. Then, well, kaboom! Scandal time. It all came out — lots of Secret Service agents had hired hookers in Cartagena. Lots of people are going to lose their jobs.
Here's what I wonder: Was this incident in Colombia an isolated one? Or was this hooker-party thing a long-standing routine practiced by agents on assignment in other countries — other countries where prostitution is perhaps illegal and easier to cover up?
We may find out soon. But at this point, one lesson is clear: If you're going to hire a hooker in Colombia, you better treat her right, Gringo.
Tennessee continues to draw derision and snark from media outlets around the country for our stalwart legislature's continued — and mostly successful — attempts to turn the Volunteer State into a well-armed, fundamentalist theocracy, kind of like Iran, only without the oil and with stupider leaders.
The latest bit of buffoonery is the "Gateway Sex" bill that Hannah Sayle wrote about a couple weeks ago. Its time in the spotlight has come — uh, come up — and political humor websites are having a field day with it — Including Wonkette.com.
All this would be a lot funnier if I didn't, you know, live here. And if we had someone, anyone, in the Republican Party with the stones to stand up to these latter-day Reverend Dimmesdales, someone who could, er, rise to the occasion, take the matter in hand, and find a solution. But I'm beat at this point. These guys find sex in everything.
Who says American ingenuity is dead? Who says this country can't compete in the marketplace of ideas? Not me. Especially after reading the latest buzz (ahem) from California about pot-infused wine. Seems some vintners are putting a pound of marihoochie in wine barrels and letting it ferment with the grapey nectar, thereby creating a wine that offers a double-edged high. Thus far, it's not for sale, but how long before cash-strapped California legalizes the stuff? They're already taxing pot sales, after all.
Plus, let's not forget the potential for humor. They'll have to change Napa Valley to Nap Valley, for starters. And think of the blends that are possible: Pot-ite Syrah. Sauvignon Blunt. Pinot Grass. Cabernet Stonevignon. Sen Semilion. Zinfanduuude ...
For the past couple of months, I've been reading Steve Benen's weekly posts on the Maddow Blog on Mitt Romney's falsehoods. It's a simple premise: Benen records what Romney says each week — in speeches, on television shows, etc. — and fact-checks them. The results are usually pretty astounding. I know all politicians exaggerate to some extent, but Romney takes it to a new level.
Here's the latest installment.
Consumer Reports readers ranked their top 10 favorite supermarket chains. Unfortunately, you can only shop at one of them in Memphis. And it's not exactly a "neighborhood grocery." See the results here.