Terrorism, lesbianism 

Tony Shipley's terrorist bill
In an audacious play to lock up Pith's weekly Kook Power Rankings, Rep. Tony Shipley has adopted a bold new persona. No longer is he an ordinary Christian goofball homophobe. He's now Tony Shipley: Secret Agent Man.

Shipley is offering important legislation to stop terrorism in its tracks. His strategy? Give Tennessee law officers carte blanche to go after terrorists before they come after us. Under his bill, search warrants could be obtained for terrorist hiding places when there's only "reasonable suspicion," not the "probable cause" now required. In other words, police could burst into your house if they sorta have a hunch you're a terrorist.

Much to Shipley's surprise, even the rubes on the House Judiciary subcommittee were a taken aback by his bill's implications.

"Tell me exactly what brought this bill to you?" the curious chairman, Eric Watson, asked. Shipley replied that he'd love to answer that question but, if he did, he might have to kill the entire subcommittee.

"Mr. Chairman and members, there are situations in the state of Tennessee, and I would be happy to provide that information to you under a different circumstance," he said. "But let me offer this somewhat scrubbed explanation. There are circumstances in the state of Tennessee where we have individuals that are pseudo preparing in that environment. It sounds a little tacky. I'm trying to walk around this issue without getting into law enforcement's business and the sensitivity of that information. It simply empowers us under circumstances where terrorism activity or training is occurring to intervene a little more quickly."

The subcommittee decided to delay voting on the bill to give time for the attorney general to think about whether it's OK if the legislature trashes the Fourth Amendment. —Jeff Woods

Red state, porn state
Though we in the red states like to trumpet our Godliness, we sure have a jones for watching pixilated fornication. A study printed in the scholarly Journal of Economic Perspectives found that eight of the top 10 online-porn-consuming states were red.

The survey tracked credit card porn subscriptions from 2006-2008. Not surprisingly, those horn dogs in Utah locked up the No. 1 position. It's perhaps to be expected from followers of a religion whose founder declared, "God told me I should take as many wives as I possible, and it's okay if some of them are only 13."

But among the Top 10, only the amoral blue states of Hawaii and Florida were able to break the conservative lock on going perv.

Tennessee was found to be the least hypocritical in the Bible Belt, scoring the lowest porn consumption among Southern states. —Pete Kotz

Protest by self-inflicted wounds
Last Saturday night, more than 1,000 cities in 80 countries participated in Earth Hour, where people turned off their lights in a gesture toward fighting global warming. And that made conservative blogger Bob Krumm very unhappy.

We're not sure if he doesn't believe in global warming. Or if he's automatically against all things environment. Or if he just enjoys large utility bills. But he decided to protest by running up his own electric bill.

That's right. Krumm turned on all 70 light switches in his own home—he apparently counted them—to make a statement against... well, we're not quite sure.

Forgive us for quibbling, but isn't the point of protest to inflict some damage/change upon your enemy, not yourself?

In related news, Krumm soon plans to protest the federal stimulus package by unloading the entire contents of his savings account on some guy at a bus stop who vaguely looks like Barack Obama. —Pete Kotz

Dolly Parton still not a lesbian
In response to swirling and sensational rumors, Dolly Parton announced today that she's still not a lesbian.

Though Parton's been married for 43 years, she's been persistently rumored to be a lesbian, since she has a lifelong friend who's also female. Under normal circumstances, that would be proof-positive that she's lesbian, because you're apparently not supposed to have friends of the same sex. But last week, Dolly set the record straight, telling AARP The Magazine "we do love each other, but we've never been like that."

This has been another installment of Updating the Sexual Preferences of the Stars. We now return to regularly scheduled programming. —Pete Kotz

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