50 shades of grotesquerie: a snapshot of America, ft. Crowpocalypse

NASA's Earth Observatory: Where the trees areIf one looks hard enough, one can find something downright awful, or at least perniciously absurd, across this great land of ours, from sea to shining sea. To tell you the truth, the cynic in me is a bit disappointed to discover how difficult it can be to find a rotten apple in every barrel. The good news is that there are some states where it is a real stretch to come up with something suitable for this list of light reads. It seems some states, at least for the week of news I scanned, just suck less when it comes to pervasive wrongdoing, or even just high mischief. For some states, it was a choice of which horrible headline to pick.  For Georgia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Montana, Nebraska, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming it was a challenge to find even one. One week of news makes for poor sampling, but I think it’s an interesting snapshot nonetheless.

Alabama: Alabama Republicans say voter fraud found after offering reward

Alaska: New study ranks Alaska among 10 most corrupt U.S. states

Arizona: Arizona governor exploits border crisis to solicit donations

Arkansas: Hundreds disenfranchised by America’s worst voter ID law

California: Whooping cough epidemic declared in California

Colorado: Hundreds of Colorado oil, gas wells go uninspected

Connecticut: Despite death penalty repeal, Conn. hands down a death sentence

Delaware: Is Delaware law a favor to plaintiff lawyers, or shareholder protection?

Florida: Florida enacts abortion law requiring doctors to evaluate foetus survival

Georgia: 500 Georgia police officers may have lied about completing required training last year, survey suggests

Hawaii: Hero Hawaii legislator will save middle schoolers from terror of hearing the word ‘anus’

Idaho: Idaho Republican, appealing to right, enters race to replace Cantor

Illinois: ACLU sues after Illinois mayor has cops raid guy parodying him on Twitter

Indiana: Indiana punished inmate with more time behind bars for doing what the prison staff told him to do

Iowa: Iowa senate candidate Joni Ernst will castrate UN’s evil ‘Agenda 21’ plot to make you ride a bicycle

Kansas: Kansas’ tax cut disaster

Kentucky: Kentucky Retirement Systems pays millions in fees to money managers but keeps the details a secret

Louisiana: Gov. Jindal signs abortion restriction legislation

Maine: Paul LePage comes out as pro-homelessness for children

Maryland: Md. veterans have long wait for first VA appointment

Massachusetts: Massachusetts gives green light to MGM’s casino plan

Michigan: If Michigan lawmaker has his way, burning petcoke and plastic will count as renewable energy sources

Minnesota: Measles journey highlights risk to unvaccinated kids

Mississippi: Most hilariously tone-deaf political ad of the year: Thad Cochran’s appeal to lobbying and pork

Missouri: Nice Missouri state senator writes nice letter telling constituents to GTFO

Montana: Texting while driving still legal in Montana

Nebraska: Nebraska won’t disclose oil train details

Nevada: Cop killers had earlier talks with Vegas police, Ind. BMV

New Hampshire: Scott Brown’s campaign seems confused about what state he’s running in this time

New Jersey: NJ residents: fuck animals now while you have the chance

New Mexico: New Mexico Iraqi woman hurt in possible hate crime

New York: The NYPD’s racially skewed pot busts continue apace under De Blasio

North Carolina: North Carolina is still suing Facebook, wants to pass law banning public from knowing what else it’s doing

North Dakota: ND ethics law potentially broken on Petraeus fracking trip

Ohio: Ohio just signed its terrible anti-renewable energy bill into law

Oklahoma: Defense reports puncture lead to botched execution

Oregon: Railroads disclose Oregon oil train routes but state undecided whether to share publicly

Pennsylvania: The new debtors prisons: Pennsylvania mother dies while jailed for truancy fines

Rhode Island: Why are Rhode Island Democrats blocking minimum-wage increases?

South Carolina: South Carolina OKs Confederate flag at Citadel military college

South Dakota: Some question terrorism funding going to South Dakota

Tennessee: How to take out a Supreme Court justice

Texas: Rick Perry’s homophobia is a choice

Utah: Push to impose extra fees on customers 

Vermont: Vermont, food industry begin court fight over GMO label law

Virginia: Virginia lawmakers pass budget, kill Medicaid expansion

Washington: Crowpocalypse 2014: map shows more than 50 crow danger zones

West Virginia: Company that caused historic chemical spill leaks more waste into West Virginia waters

Wisconsin: Married gay couples in Wisconsin in legal limbo

Wyoming: Arizona man joins Wyoming congressional race to protest no-show by Democrats

District of Columbia: Wash. Post’s George Will: sexual assault victim is now a “coveted status”


Image credit: NASA’s Earth Observatory. Licensed under Creative Commons.

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