Sometimes, I read the news and just have to laugh at the weirdness of it all. Like yesterday’s news about NY Congressman Chris Lee’s trolling for chicks on Craigslist. (I hate to give Gawker the page views, but I worked on a campaign against that guy in 2008 and sat there just laughing and laughing at him all afternoon.)
In honor of good old Chris, I give you Political News of the Weird instead of my usual Thursday politics post. From chuckle-worthy to “I have to laugh or I’ll start crying,” here are some of the stranger ones I’ve come across in the past couple of months.
A few years back, New York State Senator Jim Alesi broke into a house that was under construction, tried to climb up a ladder to get from the basement to the unfinished first floor, and fell, breaking his leg on the way down. He claimed that he was interested in buying the home and wanted to check it out. (Wha?) The owners declined to press trespassing charges, thinking that the poor guy had suffered enough without the embarrassment of making it public. Flash forward to three years later, when Alesi recently decided that he wanted to sue the owners for the pain and suffering of his broken leg. Seriously? I mean, really?
It must run in that house, though, because in December 2010, New York State Senator Pedro Espada filed to collect his state pension the day before his first indictment of many for embezzlement, Medicaid fraud, and tax evasion. You stay classy, Pedro.
A bit further afield from my native New York and more a tale of “You have got to be kidding me” than an entry in the schadenfreude category, Utah Congressman Curt Oda proposed legislation that would allow ordinary citizens to kill stray animals. I mean, ok, fair enough, this is an oversimplification of the law. Feral animals wandering the streets can be dangerous. And yet there are trained animal control officers and nonprofit organizations that are much better equipped to judge whether an animal is dangerous and how to deal with the situation.
Finally, I’ll leave you with a story that deserves an actual chuckle instead of an epic headdesk. In New York, County Judge Tom Franczyk, who presided over the disturbing and horrific Mo Hassan case (in which Hassan was convicted of beheading his wife last year) added a little bit of levity to the heavy courtroom by joking about the kindness of sketch artists in their pictures of him.
Image Credit: Doctor Who copyright BBC; image macro made by sinkandrise