Neversweat Allegheny

Over the past several days, in what might be construed as outstanding foresight on our part, the general public, the media and the social media have gone all aflutter with concern over yoga pants and speedos, citing, naturally, the very topic we wrote about on Tuesday. While unsurprised to see this topic catch the eye of so many, we are stunned at its staying power. What should have gone away the moment the legislature regained its tenuous hold on whatever sanity they do have that caused them to table this debacle in committee, has managed to remain floating in the ether like so much flotsam on the Books of Face and the Twee of Tweets. As we don’t Pinterest, we presume someone stuck a pin in it there, and yet were unsuccessful in deflating and subsequently sinking the whole thing. A rather miserable situation, all things considered.

This wouldn’t matter in the least, except there is actual business to be done by the legislature and all eyes were turned away from their other activities while we collective tittered over tits and made ourselves arses over arses. It’s all very sad.

One item that was missed was the attempt by the Senate Judiciary committee as they considered increased penalties for domestic violence offenders. Or rather, they attempted that, but became confused by the current law and instead nearly passed an amendment to reduce the already staggeringly low consequences of abusing one’s partner.

How low might those consequences be? If you were to attack a pet, say a dog, in an inhumane way, you’d face a fine rising to as much as $1,000.00 and be imprisoned in the county jail for up to a year, or any combination of those two punishments, as the judge sees fit. And so it should be.

If you were, however, to strike your partner the same as your abused canine, you would get a mere twenty-four hours in jail and a fine of $100. If the republican amendment had gone through, we surmise that the police would merely give you a free ride to the nearest Starbucks and make you purchase a fancy latte for them as punishment, and in their terrible little minds, this probably still seems like too much.

The inhumanity to man costs you far less than inhumanity to non-human, and one does cast a glancing eye at the workings of those at P.E.T.A., thinking their tacky tactics might be needed to update the laws and eradicate these outlandish disparities.

We all seemed to miss this, yet the good folks at the Montana Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence were on the ball, protecting us all again. Excellent work, we do say.

If that were the only shenanigans flounced about by the legislature, we could probably let it slide, as there was no harm, no foul this time. Sadly, the legislature had other ideas, and instead has us searching our liquor cabinets for the ingredients to a drink that could win a war without spilling a drop.

Astonishing as it may seem, the Republican caucus has decided ti’s time for gamesmanship, and have pulled out their checkers board and nearly a full compliment of pieces, supplemented by several die, a matchbox car of the General Lee, and a pigeon feather. Their games are inscrutable, true, but they only seem to be playing with themselves.

The Department of Public Health and Human Services had asked for $3 million of funding for increased protection for children from abuse and neglect. House Bill 305 was drafted and presented to the House Health & Human Services Committee, and nearly immediately, the plot thickened to unbelievable madness. Representative Wittich, who is, lest we forget, facing charges of collusion and skullduggery from his campaign, somehow dreamt up the insanity of tying the funding this program in DPHHS to the funding of the Governor’s office.

When doing that many double-takes, it is always wise to first set down your drink. And perhaps to grab a seat and stare blankly out the window in the hopes that this is all but a phantasm, mindlessly swirling through the abyss that has swallowed your mind.

Appallingly, that’s not the reality with which we are faced. This strategy is interesting, no doubt, yet it betrays the basic hauteur endemic in the GOP’s extremist fringe, which has, horribly, taken over much of the membership. To all appearances, playing with the lives and safety of the most vulnerable citizens of the state is not only acceptable to these, and we use the term ever so loosely, ‘people’, it is not a concern in the slightest.  Money, a god they claim to not hold, but which, in truth, clutches them so tightly as to be nearly internal to their very beings, is their only concern, and that fact is laid bare by these antics concocted by someone who believes that rules are for the little people, not for him and his cronies.

There isn’t enough liquor in the country to make that palatable.

However, not having a drink would be ludicrous. Why should we punish ourselves further? It’s not like Wittich and his lackeys will devise more vile schemes, so we may as well indulge our mild hedonism as a shield from their perfidy.

Tonight we suggest the Neversweat Allegheny. Perhaps have two.

—E.C. Bourbon